Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Vacation time

The time for my vacation has finally come! While normal people have their vacations in Summer I took a time off in Autumn instead. Everyone is back and full up to speed by now. Meanwhile, I will be making an old dream of mine come true by visiting Japan. I'm an otaku that used to consume anime like a junkie. Something I barely do anymore. Hopefully visiting Akihabara district will reignite that flame.

People in w-space can relax as there will not be any stalking and ganking done for the next two weeks. There has been quite a lot of action lately though, so I have several stories scheduled. Stay tuned! And finally, I wish everyone a great day. Fly dangerously o7.

Monday, September 28, 2015

A badge of pride

When I settle in in a random wormhole, I expect to kill locals once or twice and then move on. Sometimes I may move on without killing anyone if I can't get an opportunity to present itself. While staying in one system, I always look for ganks in the surrounding systems. Sometimes targets come to me, like that random rolling battleship, which was unlucky enough to jump to the wormhole that I was watching. While I try to be as discrete as possible, it is usually hard to do so when you get your hands dirty.

After a Mega gank, I was chilling on the same wormhole. Not sure why, because it's a small chance they will try to roll it again, but the only other option was to watch low-sec exit. And I probably should have, but it's just my bias that more interesting stuff happens in w-space to w-space connections rather than in k-space to w-space. Anyway, here I was, sitting cloaked up, checking d-scan once in awhile when I get an Orca hit. Which is nothing unusual. The tower in range had Orca sitting for whole day. Not expecting much, I do nothing. A d-scan check later now shows absent of ships. Ah, probably logged off again. A one more d-scan later, Orca reappears. Wait a minute, something is not right here. I do my small angle check to the tower's direction and I see no Orca. Spread out again to 360 and Orca is on scan. Holy shit. By intuition, I set d-scan towards low-sec connection next.

Fuck me. How is that even possible? I have killed a Megathron within the tower's range and I know there was an Astero at the time. There is also a hostile corp that has more than few cloaky ships sitting at a pos. Is this guy seriously doing logistics? Unless another corp is not hostile and those tower kills I saw earlier were just a fuck up. I quickly warp to low-sec exit, but Orca is nowhere to be seen. D-scan shows he is back at the tower. I warp to get a visual.

Everyone is being a smart ass these days. I warp to 100 and almost get decloaked by a Mobile Depot. This is why I always prefer to warp to 70km as my default distance. Unfortunately, one time out of 100+ I got decloaked by tower's forcefield and decided those are not the odds I want to take. Problem is, that warping to 100 from the planet is done by everyone, so it's easy to anticipate it and set up containers to decloak you. This time I get lucky. I watch Orca at the tower and pray to Bob that he will do another run.

I see a movement!

Orca warps to low-sec wormhole! I warp to 10 while thinking if I should wait for him to come back or if I should jump after. Tower looks empty and I saw him sitting at the corp hanger for awhile. He must be evacuating assets. There's no way of knowing if this won't be the last trip. But also there's the risk that we'll end up on the opposite sides, outside scram range. If he has even one warp core stabilizer fitted, it could get away as my point would not be enough to stop it.

I land out of warp at 5km and decision to jump or not becomes easy as the fat Orca decloaks me when exiting warp. He jumps, I jump.

I decloak, he decloaks. As I feared, we end up 20km apart. I burn to him and try to get a lock, but unsuccessfully. Suddenly, Orca disappears from the overview. Oh shit, he has a cloak. My ship is decelerating, but I set full speed manually to the direction wherever I was going. Orca gets decloaked and I tackle him. Jump in my Domi fleet and my favorite part starts - the killing!

Orca pilot realizing his doom tries to grasp at straw.

No deal my friend. Orca is a symbolic catch. It's a beautiful ship that appears so rarely. To catch it is a badge of pride.

A badge I like to wear.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Artistic battleship

When I started using Linux, I've read somewhere that it's not advised to launch EVE via launcher. I did not pay much attention, because launcher seemed to work, but learned it the hard way, that it doesn't really work. I haven't yet tried to multibox and it looked like I won't try today as I couldn't select switch account due to over sized overlapping video.

I end up booting back to windows whenever there's action to be had and lately there has been a lot of potential opportunities since I moved to a new system.

The corp doesn't look that much threatening based on the killboard, but they sure seem active. Ships swapping here and there, two Orcas at the tower give me a lot of hope. A hope for a good catch.

I continued to observe the environment. First step in stalking is to know your opponent. I try to figure out their ships, their activities, pilots, all while waiting for my chance. This particular corp likes to put bubbles on each of the wormhole.

Interesting habit I must say. Perhaps I can work this to my advantage. There are a couple of ways I imagine utilizing it. Perhaps having their hauler stuck under the bubble, perhaps I get backup fleet on the endge and tackle it while being safe within jump range myself. Possibilities are limitless, I only need to wait for the right moment.

While waiting for my moment, I noticed something strange. There were wrecks on d-scan at some tower. A quick check on the killboard shows some interesting information.

Tower is bubbled, so it all makes sense. Sort of. There is another hostile entity living in it and they probably got dragged to the bubble near the tower. I don't know what would be the reason to warp a command ship there.

I'm not sure what to make of situation. System is kept clean, but during my stalking I am only seeing cloaky frigates warping around until a wild Megathron appears on the wormhole I have been watching. He doesn't belong to any of the corps. My guess would be that it's a rolling battleship as he quickly burns back and jumps out. Well alrighty then. He should be back in 5 minutes. I get into tight orbit and align my Domi fleet. I know he has a scout on this side, so I have to decloak as soon as I hear the jump sound. It might not be the Megathron and I have no way of knowing without eyes on the other end, but I will have to trust my gut.

Five minutes pass and I hear the jump sound. I decloak, burn to wormhole and wait for Megathron to appear. Here he is. I quickly tackle him and burn towards him for the bump.

All goes well. I keep bumping the battleship and he keeps trying to burn back. I keep him steady at 10km off. But where the hell are my Dominixes? They should be here by now. I open up window of my Domi pilot and see it casually sitting at the low-sec wormhole. How stupid of me, I am at c4 connection. I quickly order a warp to the right destination. Meanwhile, Megathron is scrambling his own rescue. I see a Falcon jump in. Thankfully, my Dominixes land just in time and I put so many tackles on Megathron, that Falcon doesn't even bother and warps away.

Rolling battleship gets quickly disposed. Pod warps away, despite me getting a positive lock.

It's always fun to see these rolling battleship killmails. They just look so...weird. Didn't the guy just slap Higgs Anchor rig to increase the mass and then put two nano fiber structure mods that decrease mass? Then we have a plate that is not even 1600mm size and 4 overdrive injectors that increase speed, which in the end wasn't really that helpful. If we considered fitting as an art, what did the artist try to say?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The tale of a space gank

If one wants content, he must look for it. While I do play stealthy stalking style, I sometimes also like to look for targets, especially if I have some free time on my hands, like on the weekends. So if you complain about not having pvp opportunities, you should reconsider your strategy.

That's a lot of wormholes to cover solo, but it's a necessary evil. While I was scouting low-sec connections, my Domi fleet was sitting at the station when I saw an interesting comment in local.

It immediately rang some warning bells. My profiles are being reviewed. It wouldn't bother me that much except at the time, my tackle Proteus was scouting their wormhole. I did not jump in just recently. I have been watching the corp of the guy in local for two hours now. It's quite possible they had a scout watching their low-sec exit and saw me coming in, but never saw me going out. There was not much for me to do there as wormhole had only few signatures.

My cover was blown and I probably wouldn't get any kills. Not today at least. I chose their wormhole to be my next target and perhaps I will need a few days to throw them off the scent. In a few days I may or may not still be at their system. I will do my best to move out when there are as few pilots logged in as possible, this way they might still think I'm around while in truth, I may be far away. This is my psychological warfare - keep your targets on your toes.

While I was chilling and occasionally checking d-scan, I always got a hit on an Epithal hauler. I did not pay attention at first as I just brushed it off as a simple pi run, but it's been awhile. It was, too long for it to still be doing it. I decided to take a look.

There he was, standing still. I must say, this looks very fishy. While it's possible someone had an emergency and had to leave the keyboard, it's been way too long. Also, timing is just too good. I am stalking in the system and suddenly there is an Epithal, conveniently sitting within my d-scan range from low-sec wormhole? If there ever was a bait thrown to my face, this must be it. To be honest, I am disappointed. I am being baited by a cheap shit t1 hauler. Of course it can work on solo hunters, but I am putting 4 expensive ships on the line. Why would I risk breaking my cover for a t1 transport kill? And these guys have done their research on my killboard, so they must have something to take on my Domi fleet or at least something that would be annoying to fight against. The game is on. I will not be taking the bait, but I will stick around for another opportunity.

So I watched them at the tower...

and watched them at the wormholes...

and watched them some more at the tower...

and watched them some more in other systems...

until one fateful day, my watch was about to end.

Four days later I have a Tengu at the anomaly. Don't know if they have forgotten me or if they just feel lucky. I have not been very stealthy. I did scout surrounding systems and I did jump here and there with some of them still online. I am quite sure I might have been spotted once or twice after our initial encounter. But that doesn't matter. If that's a bait, I will gladly accept it as worthy.

Tackle goes without a hitch. Tengu is orbiting his mobile tractor unit which I use as a warp in. My Domi fleet lands and gets to work.

Tengu gets converted to wreck and I am happy to see some of that blue and green loot that I like.

Unfortunately, they get scooped by a mobile tractor unit, however, with Bob's blessing and approval of the loot fairy I get most of it intact. My job here is done. and I take my leave.

Next day I get a surprising convo.

It was a CEO of the corp. It's always nice when someone commends on your kill, even though I did not get a gf at the time of a gank.

Logan wanted to ask a few questions. I'm an open book so I don't really mind. Anyone who can lookup a killboard history can get a good intel about any man or a corp. Besides, all my tools of the trade are always posted here.

I get revealed, that the Epithal I saw in the beginning was indeed a bait. Logan claimed it usually works quite well, but I explained that it is mostly a viable bait for amateurs and day trippers. You can bait a solo bomber or other cloaky ship, but anyone with a bigger fleet at their disposal will most likely will wait for another opportunity, especially when there are other, more juicy ships, sitting at the tower.

Sometimes it's hard to track days. While I stalk in particular wormhole, I always check surrounding systems. Everyday you get new connections and new opportunities arise. So even staying in one wormhole, in a way, you are still always on the move.

While I am quite lucky so far in not dying and three Dominixes can look intimidating, the simple truth is, it is very easy to counter my setup. First, each Dominix has a cloak fitted, which gimps lock time, even with sensor booster fitted. Second, it is me flying 4 ships at the same time, so I am bound to make errors. One jammer with one logi support can really mess things up for me. In other words, any normal pvp fleet can be the end for me. That is why I rely on quick surprise attacks. I am prepared to lose my ships every day I log in and it will happen sooner or later. However, I try to minimize such thing happening by observing environment and doing background checks of my targets. Good awareness, like everything, comes with experience. We exchange few more words and part our ways.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blog Banter 67 - This shit's gotta go

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 67th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

I am CCP X
There has been a catastophic accident in the CCP Offices in the style of the Robbie Coltrane movie "The Pope Must Die". A leftover open bottle of Brennivin hidden behind a filing cabinet from the last Christmas party has mutated and released fumes affecting several senior CCP staff. CCP Chair is now the CEO and CCP Cub is Executive Producer assisted by CCP Kitteh. In a freak accident your player account has just been upgraded to a senior CCP staffer leading a development team! With CCP now led by an inanimate object supported by a very young child and a fluffy cat, there is nothing to stop this from happening!

You are now CCP -Insert Your CCP Name Here- and have a team of developers eagerly awaiting your commands. So CCP X, what are you going to have your team work on?

One can dream, so why not.

I Am CCP Terminator. Today our order of business will be taking out the trash and balancing the items.

#1 Increase supply of purple loot

The situation is very sad. There are so many items that has 1pc movement a month a week or few days. I know some items should be rare, but there are no items so overpowered for such low movement. Ye ye, I know you all say officers loot would be way overpowered and I say good. If supply got increased and we had 20 people flying with purple mods instead of some random one carebear in his pimped high-sec ship I say it's a good thing. Current price makes then not applicable for pvp. Sure they give an advantage, but it's so easy to lose your ship that it's hard to justify the cost.

Now imagine you have several guys flying in the area that you know may carry nice loot. You start preparing baits, traps and putting extra effort to kill them. That's content right there. My dream is to see such mods used in action and not just read on a news site article once a year.

#2 Make storyline items not useless and make them to be easy obtainable by appearing in storyline missions and not COSMOS

They should be balanced in line with current modules, try to find a niche such as lower fitting requirements or different bonuses. Make materials to build them obtainable the normal way and not by farming poorly designed missions.

#3 Remove duplicates of deadspace and faction modules

Question: why there is multiple same modules with different names? Answer: no good reason at all. Make each module to be unique. Here's a crazy thought: reduce fitting requirements for faction items if fitted on same faction ship. Align their statistics to be on par and let the traders make sure each region is supplied with that faction items.

#4 Rebalance useless combat sites.

Those sites that noone bothers to do? Such as DED 3 rogue drone site for instance. Make them worthwhile by adding unique items. Those unrated combat sites that are insanely difficult for basically no reward? I'm looking at you Minor Blood Annex. Balance them so people actually would want to do them, by either having unique item drops or bigger escalation chance.

#5 Rebalance faction items from LP stores

Why the hell grindable items to infinity by doing missions are so good compared vs exploration drops? I'm looking at you Federation Stasis Webifier. Make them worse when compared to items obtained based chance.

#6 Remove implants from LP stores

Seriously. Why some of them can be farmed? Why not distribute them via anomalies. Make people go out of their farming systems to look for those riches. While we are at it, let's rebalance all those implants that are bought once a month. Boost bonuses so demand is on healthier level.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

False sense of security

Once I find a high-sec exit and am out of connections, I scan the surrounding systems. Perhaps I will find a day tripper or some small time corp doing sites or a big time corp doing logistics. I come across a c2 wormhole with Astero sitting on it.

Here is another tip: never warp to freshly scanned wormhole signature to 0 or 10. Chances are, sometimes you will land within 0km and it can be the time when it would be a potential gank opportunity, but you blew it, because got decloaked. To be safe, I always warp to 20km and so far I am at 100% success rate of not getting decloaked.

Sure it can be a bit annoying to be burning the distance everytime, but I had countless times when landing on wormhole I suddenly had someone jump in, jump out or decloak in general. If you are stalking in wormholes, I highly suggest you be patient. Those seconds of you showboating to jump range will decrease the ods of blowing your cover by a lot.

So I land and watch Astero pilot, which does absolutely nothing. He either went afk or he is waiting for someone. Background killboard check doesn't show anything interesting, so I doubt there is any pvp happening. After some time he warps out and comes back again just to sit there more. I don't know what the hell is he doing, but once he warps out again, I don't wait and jump in to see what the heck is going on.

Wormhole is empty. Nothing is there, or at least that I can see. I set an orbit and watch some more from within inside. Soon I hear a jump! A Drake decloaks and warps to an anomaly. Well I'll be damned, it's the same pilot. I follow him, warping to 100km as usual.

Warping to 100km is usually a safe bet. Regardless of direction you come from, mostly you land just far enough from any celestial to decloak you. It's not always true. There have been times where I got decloaked. It's sucks when that happens, but that is the way it is. Sometimes, like this particular time, you are just lucky enough.

That little dot in the middle? That's me, surrounded by various celestial objects. No, they are not decorations. I cross myself in the name of Bob and warp out to make a position bookmark. That was one close call. Lucky for me, but unlucky for the Drake pilot. Probably, as I still have to get him.

Few more warps and I find myself slowly approaching the prey with Domi fleet waiting next door.

You may think, what I am waiting for. I am within point range and probably could burn within webifier range before he realized he is not alone. I tend to be careful. You never know what you are about to tackle, so I prefer to to get a little bit closer to scram range. Once I'm in position, I decloak, tackle the Drake and get my Domi fleet in which kills it in no time. Checking the killmail, I smile. My decision to be a little patient paid off.

Yep, those are two warp core stabilizers. Talk about risk aversion. Granted, it probably does help you to escape from your average tackler, but that is just wrong. I checked his killboard and noticed a Drake Navy loss one week ago. Without wcs, but cloak fitted. I guess he figured cloak is useless once you are in a site fighting sleepers, so he opted for a few stabs instead. One point for going out to the dangerous space, minus hundred for not wanting to commit your ship.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

King of the hill

I like high-sec connections. It's like a fountain of life for wormhole dwellers. Anytime there's a good connection, you can expect some traffic. Jumping to one such exit, my interested is piqued by a faction police orbiting the wormhole.

Quite obvious someone with low security status was passing by. It's a small chance it will be a wormhole dweller. While there are some guys doing low-sec pvp, it's quite rare to see one with below 2.5 sec status, since it's a 0.5 system.

I settle in and orbit the exit for a little while to watch the traffic. I see some people go back and forth. Suddenly an Occator, deep space transport, lands on the wormhole and jumps to high-sec. Interesting. System is Shokal which is 6 jumps out from Amarr. I have a good guess where he is heading. I quickly log in my Amarr alt and sure enough I see the Occator pilot in local. It's quite an advantage to have an alt in each high-sec hub. I patiently wait for Occator to finish his business at the station.

In some minutes he undocks. I run ship and cargo scans on him and it looks like a fuel run. Ship scan also reveals that he has at least 2 warp core stabilizers fitted. My Proteus has only 4 scram strength on it which won't be enough to keep deep transport ship in place. I carry spare tackle modules in my cargo hold. Thinking fast, I rush to high-sec, which luckily has a station, and swap point and sensor booster for two additional scrams and go back to the wormhole. Meanwhile I keep my Domi fleet on close orbit on the high-sec side to have eyes both ways.

As predicted, Occator finally lands. If I'm lucky, he will drop out 7km off the wormhole and I should have enough time to tackle him and do some bumps to keep him from jumping back. It's a big IF, so let's see if RNGesus likes me.

He jumps! I decloak and break my 2.5km orbit off the wormhole and burn directly to it. Occator shears his session cloak and I throw all my tackle mods on him and burn at full speed to do a bump. All goes well, a bump was perfect and we are at 10km off the wormhole.

Suddenly a Loki decloaks and tackles me. Oh shit. That's unexpected. Of course I wasn't the most stealthy guy by jumping and moving my Domi fleet to high-sec, but I was still surprised to find out I was not the only cloaky ship orbiting. Then a Falcon decloaks and a Vexor lands. Occator warps out as I get jammed, but at this point I don't care that much. I moved from plan A - shoot an Occator, to plan B - shoot everything that moves. I bring in my big guns. They want a fight? Then they will get a fight.

Of course in the heat of battle you tend not to follow on such important details, such as how much mass does the wormhole have left? Turns out, my last Dominix made it critical. Looks like I'm not going anywhere. The only way I get out of this in once piece is by forcing their fleet out.

I am pleased not to see any big reinforcements coming in to our little fight and so I force them, ship by ship, out to high-sec. Occator is nowhere to be seen, which is a bummer, but with Falcon on the field there's not really much I can do. Soon I'm the only one left standing and warp back to my safe.

Good fight gentlemen. Let us meet again someday.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The tidiest wormhole corp

Approaching your prey is very exciting. You wait for the right opportunity to make your move, all while blood flowing stronger and stronger as you get closer. That inevitable moment when you will decloak and tear him to pieces.

Mandatory jaws theme reference

This is it. I am within point range. I will decloak, overheat my microwarpdrive together with webifier and I should be on top of him before he realizes what's going on. Here I go.

Are you fucking kidding me?

True meaning of stalking

Some time ago I covered a Tengu gank. One might think if I have been taking a break from the wormholes since then. Not exactly. After killing that Tengu on my first day I decided to wait for a second opportunity. The wormhole was very clean, with no anomalies and signatures present. I figured I should get my chance rather sooner than later. Boy, was I wrong.

Day after day I would watch the locals and patiently wait. Problem was, that while they were active, they were too active. Every time I logged in, there haven't been any signatures or anomalies which means no gank opportunities. I watched the guys mostly sit at pos. Not most exciting thing to do so I kept myself busy with other things while keeping one eye open.

When I stalk particular wormhole, I usually have local corp watch listed. It is so I know there is activity without the need to get actual visual. When there are people logged, I don't normally scout much. Reason is so I don't get compromised. If someone happened to check d-scan at that specific moment, or jump to the same wormhole, my cover would be gone and chances are, nothing would happen for the rest of the day. So I usually orbit towers or wormholes with maximum jump sound turned on - Cloaky Bastard style.

Days were passing by and I started getting second thoughts. I started to take risks and scout surrounding systems. Having only several hours a day to play EVE, I am subject to luck. As everyone else. I'm sure a lot of activity happens when I'm logged off, but it was getting ridiculous. It's been over a week and every day system was clean as a whistle. If there's an example of over committing to something, this must be it. I was ready to pack my bags, but Bob gave me a sign.

That's a fresh new anomaly after downtime with locals present. I think I can stick around for a little while longer. The guys at the pos were getting restless. Various ships being swapped and before I know it, two Dominixes warp to the anomaly. Praise the Bob.

I quickly try to log in my Domi fleet. Now here's the tricky part. I am logged in linux and launcher doesn't do shit. I can't launch extra clients. Can't even make quick auto screenshots as I'm used to. Shit, I am so under-prepared to gank in linux environment. I'll be damned if let these Domis go. I quickly warp to safe spot, which thankfully is out of d-scan range, reboot and log back in to my windows environment. Thank god for SSDs. I come back online probably just few seconds after my logoff timer has expired. I warp to my position bookmark. They are still here, shooting sleepers. That means I haven't been spotted! I land right on top of them and bring in the big guns. Time for a Domi slugfest.

Yeah, baby! Everyone is spider tanking and swarm of drones are flying around. Once I have my chain setup, focus aggro and allocate cap neutralizers, I start to come out ahead. Few minutes later, I'm the one that is left standing. I quickly check the killmails to see if anything shiny was dropped and immediately warp out back to safe. Both Dominixes were fully t2 fit, costing almost 300mil a piece.

Almost 600mil in damage. Some may frown upon at me for stalking for so long and killing only two simple battleships. Regardless of damage inflicted, it's all about the journey and I can tell you, it's very rewarding. I get my stuff and exit at the nearest low-sec wormhole. Time to find a new system. Who will be next?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Diving to the world of Linux

I have fed up with windows. When I bought a new pc several years back, I got myself an SSD. It was a huge improvement switching from the hard disk drive. Everything was super fast. Windows loaded faster than I could take a piss. At the time, 80gb storage was best bang for the buck and so I bought it. I installed windows 7 and battlefield 3 and still had quite a lot of space left.

Time passed, I got myself a new SSD with more space. My C: drive started getting low on space so I moved battlefield 3, which was about 40gb, half of the drive basically. And for the time it was good. I did not pay much attention since I never used C: for anything. Even my program files I have always installed to another drive, a habit I kept since the old days. System C: drive was kept purely for.. err.. system files, together with some pain in the ass software like EVE online, that can't fucking use settings folder where the game is installed. Nope, it must be in $user/AppData, unless you are willing to do some workarounds. Anyway, EVE online was only a small part of that 80gb drive.

One day I play EVE and it starts lagging like shit. "What the fuck is that?", - I thought. At first I did not pay much attention, as I written it off to a "computer fart" if such thing exists. But time to time it happened again and again. I started doing some research and found out that my SSD has less than 1GB free space. Recommended free space is 15% and I was operating under 5% which apparently makes your SSD shit and shortens it's lifespan.

Now here's the BIG question: where the fuck did all that space go? I have moved out all my games, made sure no big software are installed and no unnecessary big caches are present. I even went as far as disabling hibernation to remove system file and free up additional 5gb, but somehow free space would disappear into the void. Little by little, but eventually it would all be gone.

I desperately went through all the system files, hoping to find a cancer, that used up all this space. Maybe some shitty program or some temp files that did not get removed. But checking folder after folder I could not find an obvious culprit. Windows and all system file folders seemed oversized. I couldn't exactly tell what, but I know for a fact that I had a battlefield 3 installed in this bloody drive a few years ago and everything fit. I have not installed much else since I moved it. It was kept purely as a system drive, but it didn't help much.

Fed up and realized I'm fighting a losing battle, I ordered yet another SSD. Only throwing more gigabytes was not the ultimate solution though. I decided that enough is enough and downloaded Ubuntu. I would use my old 80gb drive for linux and I'd put windows 10 in a new one. It's been a long time I wanted to do the switch, and being angry at Microsoft might be as good reason as any.

I did not do full switch, because windows is still a monopoly and as sad truth may be, a lot of games are simply not possible to play on linux or at least are note very optimized. Besides, I always wanted to put more effort in learning the Python to develop market analysis tools. I tried to use it in windows, but every time I needed to make some shit work, I had to cross a hell by doing various workarounds which made me stay way from it. Meanwhile, in linux I wrote one command line and got same stuff what took me three hours in windows.

I also installed windows 10. First order of business was to set all privacy settings to "NO". I have spent half an hour doing that. Seriously. What the fuck. Why don't they just go straight to the point and ask if I like pussy or dick, rice or potatoes. Anyway, I turned all that shit off ,but also read on them internets that Cortana still collects and sends various data, unless I physically delete some files. All more reason to use Linux.

I like Linux so far. Having to put my sudo password every time I need to write important stuffz makes feel like important h4xorz. In my triple screen setup I have terminal open in full on my right. Too bad I don't know the fuck is going on when I just copy command from the internet to do shit. I hope I will learn, but for the time being my linux experience consists of following steps:

1. Google problem
2. Copy command line
3. ????
4. Profit.

There are few things that pulls down my quality of life. Like being unable to write to NTFS format because Microsoft hates open source like I hate raisins. So now in linux I am utilizing 80gb of total 4TB available. My hax level is not high enough to configure my server to detect ntfs drives which means I can't watch my downloaded shows on TV. EVE online takes a loooooong time to start. I thought something was wrong with me, but turns out it's normal for EULA to take it's fucking time to load. But at least I got ipython notebook installed in a few steps, so i got that going for me, which is nice.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Fooling around in high-sec

There are times when stalking requires you a ton of patience and commitment. It's not necessary to overcommit to your targets and usually not advised, but there are some days, when I just do it anyway. Sometimes ganking someone can become a matter of principle. After killing a Tengu, I decided to stick around for a second gank. The system was tidy and I just felt I may get a second opportunity. I had hopes here and there.

I was watching various ships at the pos, but nothing really materialized. I decided it was time to either move on or do something else. I went with something else.

Long time ago I have rolled two ganking alts. I wanted to try suicide ganking, but never really got around to do that. Time was passing by and characters were collecting dust. Not to waste all that plex, I decided to take them for a spin. I wanted to gank for one of the reasons: either for profit or for a cause. To gank for profit, you often need at least tornado or other battle cruiser sized ship and a lot of preparation and dedication. Since I was stalking wormholes, I was not feeling getting too serious about it, so I went with ganking for a cause. And what better cause at the moment if not for the New Order?

I love emergent gameplay and the fact that we have an active cult running in game is simply amazing. It's even more hilarious that there are so many that take this way too seriously, namely miners. So I gave a shout to any available agents and went to the nearest high-sec system to start gan...err patrolling.

My first gank was a disaster. Me and few other guys tried to gank a mining ship, but without proper organization, we totally fucked up timers and got concorded before getting a kill. Afterwards I decided to take matters in my own hands. I logged in my nearest high-sec trading alt to act as a scout and a warp in. Before I knew it, I had my first mining barge kill. Of course as a knight of New Order I started selling mining permits.

I must say it's quite fun to bring pvp to the people that don't expect pvp. I bring pvp in the form of ganking, ninja salvaging and now suicide ganking. Of course I take on opportunities, like stealing ore from miners that put it to the can.

I really wished I had my main accounts nearby and not somewhere locked in wormhole. As a rule of thumb, you will always get opportunities, when you are least prepared to take them. Like this Hulk, that was not too happy with me helping myself to his ore.

Unfortunately, the alt I am using has barely skills to fly a ship. Otherwise I have a battle badger for such situations.

The fun part of such play is the local. Once you start enforcing the law and promote mining permits, system suddenly comes to life.

I had some reactions while ninja salvaging, but when suicide ganking, it's just on the whole new level. It was my first patrol and I got so many tears that I was totally overwhelmed. I rushed out to get more tear buckets.

In an instant I gained a lot of enemies. Some people tried to snipe my Catalyst, some tried to create ingenious traps.

Gaerri Burtonne was constantly talking in local about how he is mining in a belt while his corpies taunting me. Couldn't be more obvious bait. Maybe they were not aware, but I had my covert ops scout watching them. I saw ships like Rifter, Astero. Some were on grid and some were warping and waiting for me at a nearby safe. It was so cute. Later the area was clear. I was surprised at first, but I knew something was up. So instead of using a ganking alt with a negative status, I warped in with a fresh one. Once I landed, I immediately saw an Astero and a Raven decloak and a Vexor warp in. I stuck around to see if they would shoot me.

Unfortunately, nothing much happened apart from a yellow box. Probably saved by the safety setting. I really was hopping for a shot and get them concorded. Regardless, it was an interesting bait. I don't know how they expected to get me. Cloak fitted battleship? Cloaked Astero? Good luck locking and killing me in time, with Venture as a bait. It just shows how clueless some people can be about game mechanics. Regardless, I enjoyed myself a lot. I'm pretty sure I brought excitement to some people too. Everyone wins.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Changing gears

A lot of time passed since I left to unknown space to play on my own . After my wormhole corp has disbanded, I was trying to rediscover myself. Being fond of my pirate life in early days, I was trying different low-sec corps, but neither of them really clicked for me. I somehow always get attracted to w-space. I just can't help it. The unknown, random, with no local is a sandbox I really enjoy playing in. I was not ready to join another w-space corp just yet, so I went off on my own. I went on, as what I like to call it, "The Pilgrimage".

Thing with my soul searching travel, it has to have some purpose. In the past it was me taking a break from a corp play without really leaving the corp. I used to fly around and look for THE target (something shiny) or go back via pod express. While I got some nice kills and really enjoy the stalking part, I decided to change the gears to make things a bit more lively.

It's been a good run so far. Around 70 kills and 0 losses (if we don't count recent suicide ganking losses, more on that soon). It shows that picking targets and doing research can go a long way. Of course I've been quite risk averse, avoiding big time corps. However, I'm in a ganking and not in a good fight business.

To make stalking a bit more interesting, I decided I will try to start targeting bigger corps. Perhaps not the most elite pvp corps during their prime time, but will certainly try to be more opportunistic. One reason is that those corps can have good targets. For example they can farm surrounding systems and have more activity in general that I could take on. Second, I decided that I will be ending my Pilgrimage in a pod. I've had a good enough success that it's time to sacrifice myself to Bob. He gave me so much, it's only natural I give something back in return. That doesn't mean I will go YOLO on the first chance I get. It will still be me taking calculated risks, but focusing on bigger profile corps. There are a couple of people/corps that I will give a priority to be my targets, but won't disclose details just yet.

Future plans

I haven't decided what I will do next. I think a clean slate is necessary. I will do that by getting back to the empire in a pod and not just parking my Domi fleet at the next high-sec exit. I gave a lot of thought where to go next. I had ideas to look for like minded people, by finding "wormhole stalking partner/s". I even have a half finished post in my drafts to recruit people, but never really committed to posting it. Idea was/is to run a wormhole stalking corp for people with little time to play EVE. Perhaps I will work on this little dream of mine and make it a reality. Perhaps I will join a wormhole corp myself or venture to do other things. All I know, it starts with a fresh clone and that is the current target.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The game is up

One might think: "when is it a good time to move to the next wormhole to stalk?". I'm glad you asked. There is no rule of thumb. Worst thing in EVE you can do is to be predictable. It is rather hard to do that, when you close yourself out in random wormholes and all your kills have the same fleet. I will be an open book for anyone who looks up killboard. When I was in a corp, I could use this to advantage. Bet on them thinking it's only me and my Domis, when I had whole corp fleet on standby. I'm getting off track here...

There's no fixed schedule when to change location. It is all about gut feeling. If I feel I can score more than one kill in a wormhole, I might stay. If I feel the game is up after one gank or even no gank, I will not waste my time. There are some factors that help to make decision.

After killing MariusKs23's Paladin, I stayed around. One reason was I saw him in a new Paladin and decided to give another shot. Another - wormhole had c2 and c3 statics. It was very convenient to scout next door systems and get kills. I suspected that something was off.

The guy was logging in and logging off in 5 minutes. I had a feeling I was watch-listed as it was hard to explain such behavior otherwise. It all became clear once I was congratulated with my Legion kill in local. I could play mind games and pretend I am not there anymore, but instead, I decide to move.

Journey continues

I packed my bags and set on a journey.  I enter one of the systems just in time... for something.

There was intense chatting on going. Unfortunately nothing I could have interrupted. Everyone was in the cloaky ships. Otherwise, it is always hilarious when a third party joins in on the fun out of nowhere.

Next wormhole I find a... bait Tengu?

Not sure what he is up to sitting at those pos modules, but I'm sure as hell not gonna do anything about it. Not until he does something. To my luck, Tengu warps to the only anomaly in the system. I follow.

I like this view. My Domi fleet is standing by and ready to come in on moments notice. I wait for the right moment and grab Tengu. It may be experience, but everything goes quite smoothly. Strategic cruiser is tackled, Domi on the field, spider tank is set, all is going well. In fact, it goes so well, that I decide to do what I normally don't - to killl an mtu first.

I'm quite tired of trying loot fairy twice. I usually ignore an mtu, because my strike has to be swift as many things can go wrong with each minute passed. Soon Tengu falls and I get to enjoy my loot, approved by the loot fairy

Maybe it's me, but I hardly find any expensive ships anymore. I don't know why. Prices of deadspace and faction mods are at historic lows, however a killmail full of blue and green loot seems to be as rare as a killmail of a unicorn.