Friday, November 28, 2014

What's happening in New Eden?

I like to lurk around in eve subreddit, read news and various blogs. It's quite true that you don't need to play the game to be a part of it. I don't normally write about EvE politics and drama, but time to time there are few things I want to say. So here it goes.

Goons doxxing

An article popped up on eve reddit about goons doxxing their own members. For those who are not familiar with terminology, doxxing, according wikipedia, is the Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual.

Story is related to recent CFC purge of one of their SMA directorates, alleged BL spy, who then later turned out to be innocent after all. Reddit post is written by someone who claims to be from SMA leadership. He basically explains CFC leadership levels and brief security measures for each group. Goons are quite well known for their 3rd party custom programs to make life easier, so I was not surprised to read about things like jabber auto IP checker to cross reference IPs of known spies.

What surprised me was when article went in further detail on what is being done for security at higher level leadership. Stuff like gathering info about real life, including email, living address, work and so on.  Trying to hack email to gain access to personal information, which then is used to find out any potential threats in game, including any additional info for possible threats in case person does something against "the policy". You know, standard KGB stuff.

Now all this seems far fetched and I am not the one to jump to conclusions after reading anonymous posts revealing big secrets and lies. However, if any of what has been posted is true, then I am baffled. I know games can be taken quite seriously and the fact that loss can hurt in eve, makes it even more intense, but in the end, it is only a game. I really hope story is not representing the reality. On the other hand, it only takes one whistle blower and CCP banning your characters would be the least of your worries.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A hit for ISBoxer users

If you have been following latest buzz on EvE, you most likely heard, that CCP revisited some of the rules on multiboxing policy. In short, starting next year, you will not be able to use any program that lets you control more than 1 account with single click. In other words, you won't be able to multibox with isboxer as some people have been doing up till now.

Positive change

I believe this is a step to the right direction. Some people have been single-handedly controlling whole fleet, be it a bomber fleet, apoc fleet or similar. Having such possibility, you could do some of eve end games by yourself, such as running incursions, bombing enemy fleet out of existence or just simply "roflstomp" small/medium gangs by having many ships that locks and shoots at the target as one. Broadcasting command to multiple accounts and executing it in near perfect timely manner gave a player huge advantage.

I myself was planning on using ISBoxer. I had few things in my mind I wanted to try . Such as smartbombing battleships to kill cloaky haulers or just ganking stuff. Fortunately, I couldn't bring myself to train additional pilots. And my usual spider tank setup to gank people is not a very viable option to do via ISBoxer. Nevertheless, as someone with multiple accounts, I envied those who could do massive damage and cause chaos just by themselves. But those days are over and I am happy.

Well done CCP. +1 internets for you.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hunting down 2 Marauders and a blingu

"Our armor is dropping, Sir!"
"Distribute all reps on Dominix 1 and Dominix 2. Do we have a tackle on that Golem?"
"Negative, Golem has bastion module still active"
"Sir, 2 sleeper battleship class vessels just switched fire to us. We are also getting aggro from both Marauders"

Armor alert goes off.

"We are at 30% armor. Sir, we need to align and warp out."
"Negative! Overheat and set all reps on Dominix 3. Keep focus fire and neutralizers on the Golem"
"We are holding! Positive point on Golem"

Capacitor alerts go off through the board.

"We are low on capacitor and we are getting split aggro again. All ships are heavily damaged"
"Keep injecting those cap charges. Turn off overheat and split repairs again. Get secondary tackle on Vargur"

2 hours ago

It's been several days since I have been stalking a c4 that was inhabited by small Russian corp. I never see more than few anomalies at a time and no other sigs apart from wormholes for the last 3 days. Guys that I am watching log in and do absolutely nothing, which is quite annoying. I did a quick check-in in the morning before leaving to work. I saw tengu at the tower. Since I can't wait for him to start farming, I warped off d-scan range and logged. Later, in evening, I log in to find same tengu at the same pos. Same number of sites indicate I didn't miss any farming activities, but by now I don't expect to kill anything anymore in this system, so if I get an opportunity to move out, I will take it.

I stop giving shit about my cover and start scanning around. 2 statics and k162 to c3 is resolved. I start with k162. Empty. Just some signatures with one empty tower in the system. I jump back and head to a c3 static. Once I'm in, d-scan shows promising results. Some ships on scan sitting at the tower, few other cloaky ships quickly disappear. I do not know if they logged or activity is ongoing. After waiting for a couple of minutes, I decide to jump back and check out c4, just so I would be aware of my neighbors and not try a gank with potential big fleet next door.

Spotting an opportunity

A tower and 2 tengus on 360 degree scan with no wrecks. A little promising sight. Then I realize tengus are not on tower. A more promising sight. Then I realize tengus are at the anomaly. A very promising sight! I quickly initiate warp to the destination. When I land I see a beautiful sight of 2 tengus starting their farming activities. Is today going to be a lucky day? Not that I complain, as I had quite few kills lately, but timing is just perfect. I also seem not to be spotted when cloaking up as tengus continue shooting sleepers. Perhaps I moved once they were locking the targets. Doesn't matter. As long as my internet does not crash and I get a positive tackle I will be happy.

2 tengus doing a c4 site. Something feels a bit off. Site is not for your average tengu. Taking a closer look, orbiting speed looks very high - above 1kms. I've seen this behavior before. Those must be 100mn afterburner tengus and those tend to have some shiny mods fitted. To catch, hold and kill 100mn afteburner tengu is no easy task. Especially if you have only 1 webifier fitted. Not only you must get good position to 1000ms+ moving tengu while cloaked, which is within 15km range, but also to hold it enough time for back up to arrive, which normally, by the time Battleships exit warp, you are so far away that you can't get remote reps on tackle ship and can't catch it, since speed is almost the same as of that webbed tengu. But I'm not the one to give up before trying. Wormhole is 5AU from the site, so it's not too bad for warp time.

I get into position, burn to intercept tengu's orbit and wait for the right moment. As soon as tengu enters 15km I decloak and move to him at full speed. Possitive lock, scram/web landed on primary, point on the second tengu. I initiate warp of my domi fleet. It probably took some time for tengu pilot to realize what is happening, as when my dominixes landed it was only within 20km range trying to lose proteus. I overheated mwd, clicked approach tengu and unleashed heavy neutralizer with drones on him. Being greedy, I set 2nd domi to follow other tengu and by the time I clicked on my 3rd, target was already 40km away, which turned out to be a big problem, since my proteus was at 20% armor and first dominix was still not within scram or rep range, not to mention running out of cap. Eventually tengu was capped out and focus fire of 3 ogre sets got the job done and tengu exploded.

Cha-Ching! Isn't it beautiful? 1.2bil tengu went up in smokes. Loot fairy was generous as ever. Have you ever seen picture as per below?

Yes, those are mid slots that all dropped. Though I can't help but not notice t2 mod in the low slot. I guess he couldn't afford last Ballistic Control System to be faction, what a cheapskate! I loot the wreck, carefully selecting shiny stuff, due to limited capacity in my ship. When you leave on long wormhole trip, you pack as much as you can, with no cargo space to spare.

There's a good rule in EvE, that nothing belongs to you, until it's in the station. My first priority is to export all the stuff to empire asap. That first c3 I scanned out with low sec static few jumps out from highsec will do nicely. In a few minutes I am at the station, creating contract to red-frog all while chatting with my corp mates, discussing how will they not play poker with me anymore due to my luck. They said that all shiny mid slots dropping equals to straight flush. However, there was something that kept bothering me. When value of my drop is brought in the discussion, it seems not to add up to what I just contracted to red frog freight. After double checking, value i looted was 530mil, while drop was 700. It's too big of a difference for t2 loot to make, did I miss something? Well, yes I did. Turns out I didn't pick Caldari Navy BCU mod. "God damn it", I thought. I decided to go back and check the wreck if it's still there and if it hasn't been looted yet. I'm pretty sure locals will have tried to scoop remaining parts, but it doesn't hurt to try.

When you think everything is over

I jump back to c4. I click d-scan and get Golem and Vargur as a result. Interesting, but I don't make a big deal out of it. I mean, this is the same system where tengu was ganked in less than just an hour ago. Half finished site, sleepers wrecks, tengu wreck, surely anyone who has a little bit of common sense won't be farming anytime soon. Right? Well, d-scan says otherwise. Both Marauders are sitting in an anomaly. What is even more strange, they are in the exact same anomaly where tengu was killed. This does not make any sense. If I didn't know any better, I would say bait is written all over it, but after checking corp's background that looks unlikely. Ship of choice doesn't strike to be a bait either, but you never know. Can it be that those are legit targets? I sit and watch for couple of minutes, while getting my domi fleet ready.

I give another thought about this and decide that opportunity like this is why I play EvE. 2 Marauders dish out a lot of pain and they are 35km apart. This will be hard. Plus, as a rule of thumb, sleepers always focus fire on me, so I always take that into consideration. Regardless how this will play out, I am going in. I wait for 2nd wave to be almost cleared, with 2 BS present. I chose to attack and not wait for only 1 BS to be left in case they shoot it and I get last wave spawn on my ass. Here it goes. Domi fleet jumps in and warps. I decloak proteus and set close orbit on the Golem. Due to range between both targets, I do not expect to kill them both. I set my goal on Golem and fully expect Vargur to flee.

Most stressful gank ever

I don't remember last time having to work so much for my gank. Proteus receives a lot of punishment. When dominixes land, suddenly marauders and sleepers focus fire on them. Just as when I finish to launch drones, focus neutralizers on Golem, set up cap chain, I already hear armor warning go off. Jesus. I keep juggling between reps, trying to keep everyone alive. Overheat everything and pray that Golem's tank breaks soon. Low cap warnings keep going off. I'm almost to my last cap charges, thanks to chasing 100mn tengu. Keep toggling repairs, trying to land a scram just in case Bastion Module is off. It would really suck if target just warped out in the middle of a battle.

Things start looking up when Golem enters armor. Looks like I'm going to come out as a winner here and they must have same conclusions as me. Vargur is still on sight. I overheat point and burn at full speed to maximize my situation and get both Marauder kills. Golem pops and domi fleet soon follows proteus. Sleepers and Vargur still dish out  a lot of dps, so I can't relax. Bloody auto cannons don't use any cap, which means dps won't stop until he is killed. Once I start grinding down the shield, I see a smartbomb go off - a nightmare to drone users. All my Ogres are in red. At this point I am so stressed in keeping my ships intact, that the thought of burning outside smartbomb range, while keeping spider tank range (~10km), really depresses me. I am all-in here. I decide not to care about drones. I will need to visit k-space to resupply anyways. I keep pressure with heavy neuts. I am pretty sure he will run out of cap and tank before I run out of drones.

Tank starts to drop and Vargur is no more. I get commended by locals, admitting I caught them "nicely", to which I promptly reply with a gf. Without wasting more time, I quickly finish off MTU, collect the loot and warp to safety. This really stressed out my ships, with half mods almost burnt, no cap chargers and no nanite paste left. I head straight back to low sec. Once I'm at the station, I log in my closest trading alt to bring in supplies. Now it's time to reflect on what I have accomplished.

The point of my pilgrimage, where I go to the unknown with just a handful of ships, isolated from my corp and anyone else, is to have a soul-fulfilling hunt and a kill. Sometimes you get nothing, sometimes you score big, sometimes you end up back in medical bay with a new clone. This time, I am happy to go home not empty handed, but with a trophy that I can show off.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A by the book tengu gank

In my early days, as an EvE noob, I wanted to be an explorer. Finding unknown things, clearing all the obstacles and getting a reward was my thing. When scanning and doing Data/Relic with some combat sites, I eventually came across this strange signature called Wormhole. I remember to this day how I was sitting on it and asking in various channels of what it is. Should I go in? What awaits me on the other side? Will I be attacked? I had no clue. One answer I got was, "Jump in and find out", so I did. At the time, I didn't know almost anything about EvE, except how to scan and cycle data/relic analyzers.  My introduction to W-space began when I jumped in and started scanning. I found a lot of Data and Relic sites.

It felt like a jackpot. I did not know what will be different, but I knew that I need to go in, shoot NPC, analyze containers and collect loot. I did not know what was blue loot, sleeper salvage, how strong sleepers were, or worst of all - what a directional scan was. Being excited, I went, shot sleepers with my trusty Myrmidon, which I'm sure was a fail fit and poorly skilled since it took me an eternity to clear the sites. However, after clearing and collecting loot, I was overwhelmed. For a noob like me, I could get 100mil or more per site. That was a lot. I did continue running wormhole data and relic sites without using d-scan whatsoever. Even today, I am surprised that I hadn't been ganked even once. Wormholes by that time have been around for more than a year. I must have been extremely lucky. Since then, I always felt special connection to "Anoikis".

Growing as a hunter

Eventually I moved to low sec with my friends. I slowly learned the way of life of a pirate. I was getting good at using d-scan and hunting. Since I resented missions, exploration remained as my main income source. It was a combined hobby of scanning, doing plex and other sites, when occasionally finding pvp opportunity and killing target on my turf. I also haven't ignored wormholes. I always poked around to see what's up. If I saw activity, I was stalking them, waiting for the right moment with my corp sitting on the other side, eagerly waiting for my signal to jump in.

D-scan was essential. It's not always you will find your target comfortably in anomaly. You need to be fast. If you need to map more than few towers in the system, you have to be efficient. If you find targets sitting on wormhole or doing data/relic sites, you need a whole new level of d-scan skills. I was getting good at it. I could scan with one try small t3 ships that were 2-4 AU outside closest celestial. My corp was very eager to join when ping went out. They knew that if there are targets in wormhole, I'm the bast man for the job to catch them. And I rarely failed to deliver.

Damn those mobile depots

Here we are today. I jump to a c3 static of my local wormhole. A tengu on scan appears. I initiate my standard protocols. While still holding session change cloak, I quickly confirm tengu is not in tower and review for potential anomalies. Tengu appears to be in one of the anomalies. No wrecks must indicate he just started. I initiate warp and cloak up.

I make 200km position bookmark from the Tengu. Fact that he is still shooting sleepers means I haven't been spotted. He even makes things easier by dropping MTU and setting close orbit around it. Now I have a perfect warp in spot which I use without a second thought. I decloak, turn on my sensor booster and lock tengu before he notices I'm even here. Of course when scram and disrutpor lands he starts to realize what's happening. I convo for ransom when suddenly I see a mobile depot go up. Shit. That can mean only one thing - he is refitting for warp core stabilizers to bail. I have 3 point scram and a single point disruptor on him. If he has 4 low slots he could very well escape my gank. To make matters worse, I am pure tackle proteus. All my dps is just few smartbombs which is not enough to disable the depot. Timer is at 30 seconds and counting. It's a race against time.

Soon domi fleet lands. I lock tengu and cycle additional scram as soon as possible. Mobile depot is already deployed and I guess he is in the middle of refitting. Once additional scram lands I start to breathe normally again. I land an extra point just because I can. That little shit is not going anywhere anymore. I quickly make a short work of his ship, which turns out to be a standard t2 fitted tengu with a dead space shield booster. 

Gank executed by the book and with a little luck involved netted me a solid t3 kill. After checking the killmail, I notice that he had only 3 WCS fitted. I do not know if he swapped for DCU last minute or perhaps he did not expect my proteus to have more than 3 point strength. Nevertheless, it was a close call. I almost lost my target, despite perfectly executed gank. After this encounter I started to wonder if I should replace long range point to a second short range scram. Both modules have advantages in different situations. Unfortunately you don't always have a luxury of choosing and have to adapt based on different circumstances. I decide to keep point until I get my first target escape with mobile depot deployed and refitted to WCS.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Obvious bait is obvious

Fishy activity

After recent gank I was continuing with my trip. Just few jumps out I found activity. A rather fishy acclivity that is. What comes to mind when you encounter situation as per below picture?

If you think "free target" then you must be quite new to EvE and you will probably soon learn the hard way that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

It's not that I mind taking a bait. I have taken few myself, but you have to be smart about it. You have to know who and what you are up against. Think of an engagement plan. What are bailing options if things go south and etc. Usually, when someone is baiting, whatever fleet they have, it probably is too much for my solo fleet. Were I with my corp at that time, this story would be different.

Watching the bait

Since I was flying around in the system, it's a good chance I am the one being baited. It might be dedicated for someone else, but surrounding systems are rather empty and timing with me checking systems is just too big of a coincidence. While I watch bait, I do background check on the corp and the player. Trying to find peak times and add some to watch list. I end up with around 10 active players online and mapped. Fleet composition looks a bit too much for me, but I haven't given up yet.

3 dominixes, with neutralizers and remote reps are not to be taken lightly of. If I manage to setup my spider tank and drone assists, it could be quite a killing machine, that can fight off even a small gang. Tricky part is, to split the fleet. While 10 players is too much, I could take on 5-6 of them with more confidence. So I watch the bait. Some cloaky t3's appearing and disappearing on d-scan only reinforces theory, that there's a fleet ready and waiting for unlucky bastard to take the bait.

The only way for my to come out of this ahead is to wait for their ship to jump, then tackle with proteus and tank until their fleet arrives. Assuming they would be eager to jump for a kill and not wait on the other side all the time. I probably would need to tank until 30%. Goal would be to make half fleet join on the dps, then jump with them going after me and then jump back again, getting myself polarized, but also half of their fleet. It's a lot of ifs. And even though I know from which wormhole they came, I haven't scanned their home system and I really don't like taking obvious bait without knowing enemy fleet composition. In other words, not too fancy to suicide. Not until I get my trophy kill of my current pilgrimage trip.

Teasing the bait

Eventually prophecy warps out, probably tired of waiting. I see cloaky proteus and tengu jump around. It is hard to track 2 connections so I have no way of knowing who is where. I do some teasing though. When wormhole seems empty, I orbit around with my proteus uncloaked, trying to provoke them to show up. As long as there are no interceptors and/or dictors I am quite safe and untouchable. Speak of a devil, guess who shows up on d-scan!

I warp back to my safe and watch a little bit more. Nothing shows up, patiently waiting, as if they expect me to take the bait. I decide not to play my luck and go inactive. Set my proteus on connection where bait came from, minimize EvE and go do other things, while keeping max sound, just so I can hear jumps and spot activity to see whats up. As expected, baiters get bored and after not seeing any movement they go other things. By watching their wormhole, I spot a fleet of around 5-7 t3s and few other random ships warping around. I can only regret, that I have not met them on another time outside my pilgrimage trip. I would have loved to take the bait with my corp waiting around the corner. I love wormholes for the mind games you can play. With no local, you can easily hide half the fleet and bait the baiter. Before logging off, I did convo the guy. Seems they didn't know what to expect either and assumed there could be even bigger fleet waiting for them. That would explain why they were flying cloaky gank fleet.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

When not reading patch notes costs you a kill

Today started as any other day. I launched my probes and started scanning the outer systems. I have no new home system set after abandoning the last one due to inactivity of native corp. I have been a traveler for the past few days, looking for targets in any system I could get my hands on.

Trying to maximize an opportunity

Eventually I stumble upon a c4 with some activity in it. Scan reveals 2 battleships and a command ship with wrecks present. I move my ship and cloak up immediately. I love new changes that you never end up close to wormhole anymore. In the past, in such situations if you ended up 0-500 meters from the wormhole you were really unlucky as it meant there's a good chance you will be spotted before you cloak up. Even now, the time it takes to disappear from d-scan feels too long. In this case, seems I am in a clear. Probably I haven't been spotted, but you never know for sure. Perhaps a fleet is not afraid of a lone t3.

I quickly find the anomaly where ships are at and make a position bookmark. My domi fleet waits few jumps out. I see 3 ships: Apocalypse, dominix and Eos. I'm trying to figure out the best course of action. It would be much easier if I had my corp waiting on standby with dictors and fast locking fleet ready. But this time I am on solo trip and have to make due with what I have, which is a tackle proteus and a few battleships.

Proteus has only 2 tackle mods, of which one is a scram and the other is a point. At best, I can only hold 2 ships until my dominixes warp in. If battleships are equipped with MJD, which is often the case, then I must hold one with scram and command ship with point. What's even worse, it seems that all ships are aligned to celestial or a point in space. All moving to one direction as if they are ready to warp out on moments notice. When that's the case, it usually means I am spotted and pilots are being cautious. In such situations I usually wait for ships to realign position to have better angle on sleepers and catch them during that moment. Another downside of attacking battleships is that they can hold quite few drones, especially dominix. Even though I have 2 medium and 1 small smartbombs fitted, I might not be able to kill heavy drones or even medium ones in time before I get jammed. Especially that battleships are warping so slowly after the changes and it will take awhile for my domi fleet to arrive.

Going for a kill

While I'm analyzing situation I move my domi fleet on wormhole exit to be ready. Everything is set and I wait for the right moment to grab my prey. Suddenly I see ships align to new direction. It is not a celestial and it does not look to be a signature either (love the overlay). This is a chance I've been waiting for. I carefully warp to 20km distance from targets and slowboat into scram range. Once I'm in 10km I start my well orchestrated gank procedure with multiple accounts. It goes something like this:

1. Jump in domi fleet and hold session cloak.
2. Decloak tackle proteus and turn on mwd with sensor booster.
3. Initiate warp with domi fleet (sometimes can be step 2 if target is out of d-scan range).
4. Initiate tackle with proteus and set close orbit. Set smartbombs for drones if there are any.
5 .Land with domies, Launch drones and set approach target while locking with point and neut turned on (repeat x3 for each domi).
6. Lock remaining ships and set up cap transfer with remote reps on proteus (x3, can also be step 5 if proteus is taking heavy damage).
7. Use ship scanner to evaluate cost of the ship for potential ransom (mostly applies for single target ganks with low risk of being ganked).

As you can see, piloting 4 accounts with spider tank is no walk in a park. Some people can say it is overkill. And it probably is for single targets, but I if I want to be able to gank ships up to c6 class wormhole and give a fight to small sized fleets if I needed to, I found this to be best setup. After warp changes, now that BS warps so slowly, I am considering of changing my setup to t3 only. Agility will be a huge plus, but it won't pack as big of a punch and also is more costly, not to mention skill loss chance.

Back on the subject. All seems to go according the plan. I hold the ships, domies are exiting warp, I kill ecm drones rather fast. Blood is rushing and I am feeling excited. When fleet exits warp, I notice that for some weird reason, apocalypse and eos are sitting 100km away. What is going on? Did I get jammed? Doesn't look like it. And I am sure I had both ships pointed. So what could be the reason? Well, turns out, during my time off, CCP introduced medium Micro Jump Drive, of which I was not aware or completely forgot. Had I known, my primary target, of course, would have been Eos. What a shame. Engagement left me a bit bitter taste in my mouth. But at least I have dominix still pointed and scrammed. As he is not going anywhere, I initiate convo and try to ransom.

ggnoreTT > ransom?
ggnoreTT > 200mil
Lianara Eventy > 150(
ggnoreTT > ok

Surprisingly, ransoming went quite well. Guy did not waste much time and paid up. Of course being bastard that I am I took the money and also the ship. I consider ransoming to be my personal tax on bringing in the content to the people. In total 300million isk of damage. Not bad. I'm sure the guy won't even miss it.


Once things settled down. I moved my domies to a safe spot and cloaked up. Resolved the wormhole where my targets escaped and went in for a look. I found them comfortably sitting in the tower, with already new Dominix replaced.

Usually, after people get ganked they do one of few things. One is that they stay afk at pos or log off. Second, they get reinforcements and try to bait or try to catch and kill you. Almost never they come back to salvage their wrecks.

This time, I see ships being swapped, from battleships to t1 cruisers. Activity in pos catches my eye. Will they try to ninja salvage their wrecks? They probably are not aware that I have their wormhole scanned out and watching them.  Now I see noctis and recon ships. I'm positive they will try to ninja salvage their wrecks. Recon ships warp ahead, presumably to scout and noctis follows. I was a bit too slow to follow, so I decide to give them a head start and make them go back by scaring with combat probes.

After a minute noctis left, I jump after, launch probes, pretending to be scanning them, and eagerly wait cloaked on the wormhole. Once I see noctis on scan, I warp my domi fleet in. Everything goes as planned. Noctis and cruisers come back and jump. I follow. I tackle and wait for my domi to come. It's a big system. It took quite awhile for them to land, jump, lock, launch drones and attack. Just as I was half into shields, noctis jumped out, with me still being polarized for a minute. Ah, what a shame. Everyone jumped out except for arbitrator. Perhaps he was late to the party and was still polarized. Doesn't matter, I'll take it. With fire focused he pops in a just a few seconds. That is enough for adventure today. I pack my bags and continue my pilgrimage trip.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Representing New Order in wormholes

I'm an avid reader of minerbumping and believer of the CODE. Since I don't operate in high-sec, I rarely encounter people staying afk outside pos forcefields or engaged in semi afk activities such as missioning and mining. However, I do sometimes encounter bot-aspirant like behavior and when I do, it's my duty to make the best of a situation.

The Story

Our roads crossed when I was hunting in a c4 class wormhole space. I can't help but feel that people living in wormholes are so isolated that they think CODE does not apply to them. Meet Jessica Dune. A wormhole miner that I have been watching for over half an hour. I decided this will be a great opportunity to bring New Order wisdom to most cold and isolated place in the universe that is a wormhole.

While cleansing by fire and confiscating mining ship is always a good strategy, I decided to stick around and see if I can make experience more memorable. Besides current ore site that he was mining, there was one more in the system. Daily reading made me quite qualified in understanding a behavior of a miner. I knew he won't resist mining the next ore site after he is done with the current. But there was a catch. He will need to bring a pvp ship to clear sleepers - an excellent opportunity to test his pvp skills. So I decided to follow my hunch and wait.

My hunch was right. After waiting some minutes, Jessica finished the site, warped back to poss and swapped to Brutix. Without wasting much time, he warped to another site. This was my chance. A chance to introduce Jessica to the CODE. Didin't take long and he was tackled and glorious battle engaged....after about 1 minute as I did not get aggression or any reaction. A bot-aspirant sign is never a good sign.

While battle was on going, I convoed the pilot to give him a chance to redeem himself in a form of ISK.

Unfortunately it took him quite awhile to transfer isk and his Brutix melted before I could confirm the transfer and cease fire. A miner demanded reimbursement. No pledge to New Order and the CODE, no permit, mining and doing PVE activities semi afk and most importantly - not congratulating with gf. He broke all CODE laws that he could and he asked for reimbursement. People have great misconception about agents of New Order. They think we can't be trusted, we are evil and etc. It couldn't be further from the truth and hope my actions will prove it.

Not only had I left his wreck with modules intact. But I reimbursed his ISK in a far greater way then just sending it back. I purchased New Order shares on his behalf. It's like presenting a gift coupon to someone you care about. Unfortunately my efforts were unappreciated and after offering a permit, conversation was abruptly closed.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Loot fairy rewards the patient

It's been 2 days since I moved out of my c3 wormhole to a c4. It was a US timezone corp, however I still decided to stick around and perhaps get a kill before bed time or leaving to work. While watching TV, I occasionally check for activity. I see some guys log in, log out, some stay afk at pos. Not more than 2 guys online at the same time. It doesn't look like it will change anytime soon. Too bad.

Looking for targets

Since my home system has c2 static, I might as well scan it out and see what's out there. I launch my probes and quickly resolve missing signatures. Few new Gas sites, a useless c1 and finally a c2. I jump in. Wormhole is out of scan range and there is nothing but empty space around it. I continue with the usual drill - save bookmark and warp to outer planet to cover the system.

Hello! Drake and a buzzard on scan. There are only few signatures and one anomaly left. Perhaps I will get lucky and see him do the site? Though buzzard is not at the pos. A quick check reveals him in space with a container, close to a celestial, but not on grid. I warp out of range, launch combat probes and get ready into hunting position with hopes to get that buzzard, which obviously is collecting faction modules in that secure audit container. Obviously.

Unfortunately by the time I get ready, buzzard seems to be back at pos and container has disappeared too. I start watching the tower. The waiting game begins.

Game is short. Just after a couple of minutes both ships log out. What an unexpected turn (sarcasm).

Finding activity

Since it seems I won't be getting a Drake kill and it is still early, I might as well scan the system and see what's up. I quickly resolve C3, Low Sec and High Sec wormholes. Which route would you take? Probably not the High Sec one. I decide to go to High Sec... Can't explain why. Probably because I haven't seen it for awhile and you always can expect to find a wormhole with activity inside.

I jump in and start scanning HS. I'm lucky to have just few signatures of which one is combat site and another is wormhole. I warp and see it is a c2. I go in. Dscan quickly shows very promising results. Too promising in fact. There are more than 10 ships at the pos. And not just useless frigates and transport ships, but tengu, lokis, talos, legion, orca you name it. I bookmark the wormhole and quickly warp to the moon where the tower is at.

Finally an active wormhole. At least 7 guys logged in, swapping ships and warping to empty space. There are only 2 sigs and one ore anomaly and I am sure it is neither high sec nor anomaly they are warping to. Must be another c3 static connection and it doesn't look like it's a farm fleet. A gank or a fleet fight is happening or is about to happen. I am interested!

Hard choices

There is a fleet in space. There are also 16 probes in space. I do not know what is the purpose, but I decide to join the party and launch my probes at the outer planet as also changing my ship name to the local. You know, just in case. I resolve the signature and warp to set up a spot. I have 2 talos, loki, legion, strations sitting on the wormhole.

Pretty sure there were few more ships flying around, at least another loki and tengu. Probably something is on another side. Now I'm thinking what's the best course of action here. I could just go balls to the wall and try to take them on with my dominixes, but that would be most stupid decision for a few reasons. First, it probably would be too much dps to handle until my dominixes jumps and warps in. Not to mention sitting without cap due to neut legion. Second, if things go south they could just jump out and I wouldn't kill anyone. Would be worse for me, because battleships are slow and easy to decloak if I jumped out. So straight on confrontation won't work. I have to be smart about it.

I am not too excited to engage full fleet that is prepared to kill. Especially without knowing what is on the other side. So my original plan is to wait for them roll the wormhole with Orca. That would be the best scenario. I could hold it polarized, kill it and then bail or make them bail. Orca is always a nice trophy. Too bad it is un-piloted and it doesn't feel they will do it.

Suddenly all fleet jumps. I have my dominixes cloaked on high sec entrance. If I were to ambush, this would be the time. I could set remote reps and wait for them to come back, hopefuly polarized at least a minute or two. Should I go or should I not? Jump or not? I might not get such a chance anymore, but there are so many unknown factors. My gut says to wait and see what happens next. I follow my gut.

EVE is all about taking risks

In a couple of minutes some of fleet jumps back and warps back to pos. Some weird ship swapping is happening but not much more activity than that. I do not think everyone came back and some might still be out there. In short I have no clue what the hell is happening. One thing I know though, it is most likely a gank. Since none of them came back in pods and some ships still warp back to wormhole I decide this will be my opportunity.

I see loki, tengu and a sabre siting on the wormhole. Ok, fleet looks split and few ships I can take solo without too much trouble. I get into position and prepare my domies. Now all I need is for them to jump and I set my trap in motion. Fast forward 5 minutes and they jump!

Ok, this is it! I warp to 10, set close orbit on the wormhole while still cloaked and wait for a jump(back) sound. Hopefuly when someone goes back and I decloak, I will have enough time to lock before they could warp. I am quite confident, as my proteus is fast tackle and I might even act as a bait. 1 minute later, I get a jump sound. Game is on. I decloak, jump in dominixes and initiate warp. I have loki, stratios and sabre show on my overview. Bubble goes up. I put my points on them, they put their points on me. Domies land, I lock and start unleashing the pain.

Multiboxing tackle proteus and 3 remote rep dominixes is a pain. It is a chaos. Nevertheless after reps are distributed enemy can see things are not going their way. Stratios and sabre gets away, however I still hold loki and legion who desperately tries to burn away. Soon loki goes down and legion follows. Though he could have warped out as I was capped out and could only land a scram once every few seconds. It was also out of point range from my domi fleet. I loot the wrecks and get pleasantly surprised. Over a billion ISK is destroyed and I am promptly rewarded by the loot fairy with surviving loki modules. Beautiful.

What a day. That is exactly why i fly remote dominixes. It is so I could take on a small gang and have a chance of winning. Could have not expected things to turn out any better. As soon as spoils were in my cargo, I went back to highsec. Gf and short convo were exchanged with legion pilot. Turns out, loki pilot was rather upset with his loss. There's nothing better for a ganker to ruin someone's day and get that acknowledged.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Unexpected kill

Recently I have set out on one of my usual hunting trips. Me with my trusty proteus, accompanied by my trusty dominixes, surrounded by an empty wormhole space with no local. That is all I need. My bags are packed with drones, cap boosters, probes, mobile depots and few extra modules - anything I need to be self sustainable.


It seemed I found a nice wormhole to settle in. 15+ member corp. Few sigs and anomalies in most cases indicate activity. Further background check showed that corp was with East Europe timezone, which suited me well.

After stalking for a couple of days and keeping eye on the corp I found zero activity. Either I was very unlucky and missed them, or corp is just few guys with their alts and not a single member logged in. That is quite depressing. I know it is always hit or miss, but you still hope for some sort of activity. Since CCP does not provide API kills anymore, I can't see if any activity happened when I was logged off. In these situations I follow my gut. And my gut said, - "go out and explore." And thus I did.

Adventure finds you

Things started looking up. I was happy to see 2 more connection available in addition to null static. More wormholes - more opportunities. I quickly scanned them out and started checking out the chain. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just bunch of empty wormholes with bunch of empty posses. Man, how I wish CCP introduced hacking skill to unanchor poses that are without forcefields. A man can dream...

Finally I get to a c3 with a lowsec static. I usually love c3s. Those are wormholes that people like to solo in some shiny t3s like tengu and they usually have good connections to other c3s and lowsec. I love lowsec. It normally has more c2-c3 connections, some doable plexes and no bubbles. I decide to check it out.  I jump in and see I am alone in local so I start scanning. Couple of seconds later I get +1. Not that I mind, probably just a traveler anyway. Dscan shows cerberus.

Afters canning for a couple of minutes I still see the guy in local and cerberus is still on scan. There are also no stations. Now it starts to pick my interest. I quickly check his position. Is he in the anomaly? No. Is he in the belt? No. Is he at the tower? No. A rough guess shows he is in empty space.

Just minding my own business

Now, normally I would try to pinpoint his position in more detail, warp to the nearest celestial, align to his position and combat scan him in a few tries. That is what I do in wormholes anyway. Since I was not trying to be particularly stealthy, I said screw it, and replaced my core probes with combats. I was not trying too hard. Scanned him out in about 3 tries, casually reorganizing probes on his signature each time, fully expecting him to be on his way.

I get a hit and start warping in. Having so many targets warp off asap I throw probes out, or see them go while waiting for re-calibration to end, I was still taking this opportunity with a grain of salt. I order my dominixes to warp to lowsec wormhole just in case. I land 26km off cerberus. Ok, this is interesting. Guy is just shooting red crosses in what looks like a mission and doesn't give a shit. I decide to slowboat to scram range, but unfortunately I am decloaked. I overheat my mods and go at full speed. Point landed. Suddenly guy realizes what is happening and starts to pickup speed. Unfortunately for him, he is in my web range now and soon after - in scram range.

Domies jump and are on the way. Meanwhile I open convo with the pilot. I ask for a ransom, but all I get are question marks. Probably another guy who doesn't speak english so I close convo and continue bringing slow painful death. Finally his ship explodes. Almost 300m kill. Not bad! I also take a gamble and shoot the pod, which turns out to be empty. Damn.

Weirdly, I receive a follow up mail from the guy:

So he could speak english after all. Sigh... A whopping 12B in his wallet. That must be a lot of missions. Too bad he doesn't value his time and pay off ransom to avoid trip to the market and buying new ship. Not that he would though.

I pack my bags and move on. Eventually I come across a c4. 1 anomaly, few sigs and some average corp. I decide to settle in. Will I have better luck this time? Time will show.