December to Remember

This month has been, in many ways, my best month in Eve ever. In over four plus years of playing Eve this past December has been an incredible experience for me personally. Mostly this has happened because the shackles of 15 minute Sentry Gun timers have been removed from me playing the game.

If you'd like some proof that this change that was introduced in Retribution means anything, just take a look at my stats this month. My previous highest kill month was last May when Lucifer's Hammer was at the height of its power, I went 118-22 that month.

So far in December 2012 I am 188-14. 78 of those kills have been solo. Due to my playing time constraints I've simply never been able to put up huge numbers before. And for me, those are friggin' HUGE numbers. 87 Top Damage and well over 60 pods! In a single month.

And it all comes down to the Sentry Gun changes introduced in Retribution. Now I can engage a target and move on to the next target without being trapped in a T1 Frigate for 15 minutes, or banned from Gates or Stations for 15 minutes or longer in some cases. This simple change has made a huge difference in how I can play the game I love. And I know it has meant as much to all Tuskers, we've passed 2,000 kills this month for the first time ever.

So to wrap up the best month ever, I thought I'd go back over some of the good fights, interesting fights and failures from the past month.

Condor Vs Merlin
Hey look, a well fit Merlin in a FW complex! This fight took forever. At 107 damage per second the Condor took a full 1.5 rounds of Light Missiles to break this Merlin's tank. The fight was never in doubt, his blasters couldn't touch me, but I spent the entire time worried someone else would show up. He got his LP by the way and I got my kill, so we were both happy.

Condor Vs Slasher
I actually jumped this Slasher while he was fighting a Rifter, but the Rifter ran off. The Slasher presents some issues for the Condor and it was a close fight, but the range control is the key and my Web got a real work out.

Sac Vs Thorax, Sac Vs Thorax
I mention this one because it was 2 Thorax's at once, which is pretty darn cool. If you scoff, feel free to try it yourself someday.

SFI Vs Condor
I was in the SFI because we had been chasing a Cynabal around, so I flew it into system and found a Brutix on scan. He docked up before I could catch him and then this Condor undocked, looked at me and then docked up again. I was just about to leave when he undocked and aggro'd me on station! I give Ohm all the credit for having the balls to engage a SFI in a Condor! But, as he admitted afterwards, he didn't expect the Web. And my drone skills are really good.

Condor Vs Algos
Sometimes you are just in the right spot at the right time. I came thru the Gate and this Algos was sitting there. I yellow-boxed him and set up my attack run, fully expecting him to jump away. But he engaged! Well done m8.

Slasher Vs Atron
I had never fought an Atron in my Slasher before and Andracin admitted he was bored, so we decided to have a go at each other. I honestly didn't know what to expect but the little ship performed perfectly and the whole fight came down to me having a MWD and him having an AB. Good fight though.

Firetails and Condors
This one is a bit of a story. I was in my Condor and saw this Firetail on scan. Again, not often you see one of those around so I engaged. I really should have won that fight but I made a critical error and paid the price. So the Firetail went into the next system and my friend Ludicrous Dave was over there in his Jag. I asked him to set up bait and see if the Firetail would engage him, as I went and got my own Firetail. Sure enough he did and he went boom. Nice when the story works out like that.

Ishkur Vs Ishkur
Speaking of Ludicrous Dave. I didn't know him at this point and he was hanging around Hev in an Ishkur. So I docked and got my own Ishkur and went at it. ( I always do actually try to get a "like" ship to engage with if possible btw ) It was a good fight and I learned that he is trying to join the Tuskers and later in the day we worked together to kill that Firetail.

Condor Vs Rifter
This should be a solo kill in my opinion and it is one of the failures in the Eve Kill system that it isn't. I'm honestly not sure why anyone would fly a Rifter these days. I sold all but 2 of mine.

Sac Vs Ferox
Sometimes the kill is more than the killmail. Destroying this Ferox in my Sac wasn't a big deal, but it is the story that makes it memorable. The wreck was about 37k from the station and I decided to dock up before I looted the wreck. I was about halfway between the two and taking Sentry Guns, so quick dock, repair and then go loot the wreck. As I turned toward the station a Rapier appeared next to the wreck and lit a Covert Cyno. I thought about going after the Rapier but the cyno also had me concerned, I thought perhaps 12 Sleath Bombers might appear! They didn't sadly. And the Rapier got away.

Sac Vs Manticore
The strangest things happen to me! I was sitting on station one day in my Sac when this Manticore appeared about 50k off station. He just sat there for a moment so I figured I'd at least start slow boating out to him and see what happened. He started moving towards me. The moment he yellow-boxed me I lit the MWD and plowed forward straight at him! I don't think he expected me to have a MWD or to be so aggressive, but his mistake cost him his ship.

Us Vs Tengu
1.3 Billion. This was the most expensive kill of the month. And a great example of team work. It wasn't a gank despite what it might look like, the pilot was neutral and we played a very delicate game of engagement and points to hold it, keep it interested, and destroying it. Well played by everyone involved.

Sac Vs Sarum Magnate
This was my most expensive solo kill of the month and the kb doesn't show any of it! This was when the kb's were still wonky after Retribution and most of the cargo doesn't show up on BC or Eve Kill, but this thing netted me nearly 500m in profit as it was loaded with holiday goodies and apparel from the Nex Store.

Condor Vs Merlin
My vote for solo frig fight of the month. We both flew extremely well and tried to kill each other as best we could. The fight was epic.

Slicer Vs Atron
I love fast ships and the IN Slicer is one of my favorites.

There are others, the gangs with other Tuskers. Due to the Holidays I was able to fly in a few of those for once. And actually got to fly my Gila for the first time in three years!

This month I registered kills with the following ships:

Sacrilege
Condor
Gila
Imperial Navy Slicer
Oracle
Slasher
Republic Fleet Firetail
Corax
Harpy
Executioner
Thorax
Ishkur
Stabber Fleet Issue
Cyclone
Maelstrom


I also flew about 12 or so other ships that I didn't register kills with.

The Other Side

Wolf Vs Merlin
My worst loss of the month. I love the Wolf but it has a fatal flaw and that is tank. It ain't got none. Came out of the Acceleration gate and landed right smack dab on top of this Merlin. I wuz doomed.

Condor Vs Executioner
There is always a faster ship! This was a close one but remind me to stay away from Executioners in my Condor!

Condor Vs Slasher
What did I just say!?!

Sentinel Vs these guys!
And then sometimes you run up against the perfect ships to kill you and the Gate won't fire and you are stuck so the only choice you have is to fight...

Maller Vs Everyone
And sometimes the FC says align to gate and then he says get back to station and then he says align to gate and you get blobbed in the middle somewhere.

Cyclone Go Boom!
The Cyclone has a decent tank, but against these guys and the station!? Not so much. They didn't like my Maelstorm much though! lolz



Learn To Fly: Condor

"Learn to Fly" is a new series in which we examine the specific skills required to properly fly a ship in Eve Online. In this post we take a look at the Condor.

The poor Condor was for years one of the worst Tech 1 Frigates in all of Eve Online. The butt of jokes and pretty darn worthless in combat. The only good thing going for it was how gosh darn cheap it was and it allowed an entire generation of young players the chance to point something and die before the rest of the gang arrived.

But not anymore. Thanks to recent changes and Tiericide balancing the Condor has been given a new life. Still incredibly cheap it is also now a potentially lethal little tackler/killer. I've been flying the ship pretty often over the last month or so and have gotten some pretty good fights in it. So I thought I'd share with you what I've learned so far.

Some examples of recent kills in the Condor:
Condor Vs Algos
Condor Vs Rifter
Condor Vs Catalyst
Condor Vs Merlin

Fitting

There are two valid ways to properly fit your Condor and they depend on your fighting style and the type of ships you will be engaging. The determination is based solely on what you want your extra mid-slot to be based around - a Web or a Target Disruptor.

Web Based Condor Fit

High Slots
3x Light Missile Launcher II

Mid-Slots
Limited 1MN MWD
Warp Disruptor II
'Langour' Drive Disruptor (Meta Web)
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster

Low Slots
Ballistic Control II
Nanofiber

Rigs - These are not set in stone and I've been changing them around
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Small Anti-EM screen reinforcer or Small Core Defense
Small Ancillary Current Router (depends on your fitting skill and implants)

TD Based Condor Fit

High Slots
3x Light Missile Launcher II

Mid Slots
MWD - Depends on your fitting skills the one you can use
Disruptor - Again, see above
TD - The DDO or Balmer depending on skills
Small Ancillary Shield Booster

Low Slots
Same as above

Rigs - Again, you have flexibility here and a lot depends on your skill set and implants.
2x Small Aux Thrusters
Small Bay Loading Accelerator


The important thing to remember is that nothing is set in stone. These are tight fits and you'll need to test them out with T2 and Meta versions of the mods listed to find the fit that works for you and your skills.


I've flown both configurations and they are both valid Condor fits that allow you to engage a wide and varied range of ship types for relatively cheap.

Know Your Ship

The Condor is fragile and will be killed a lot. The margin for error is extremely thin. This makes it an exciting and dangerous ship to fly. I've been having a blast in it and it allows you the opportunity to engage ships you probably might not otherwise engage because it is so cheap.

You have two factors in your favor - Speed and Range. The Condor is very fast and can hit targets with its bonused scourge missiles at 30k ranges. So an inside Disruptor orbit of 20k is possible. The danger comes from being "caught" and the two options reveal the two solutions for that possibility. The Web means you have the option of moving in closer, or using it when caught. In the above referenced fight with the Merlin, the Web saved the fight in my favor. The other pilot was flying manually and managed to get in close on two attempts. The Web allowed me to dictate range and keep those close encounters at a manageable 7-8k range, still at the edge of the Merlin's blasters. The TD works on the same principle, except it only works on gun-totting targets. Which, fairly, are the only ones you should be engaging in the Condor anyway. Range is dictating by the lack of the target being able to shoot you. The TD allows you to attack targets the Web does not and vice versa.

For most 1v1 engagements with the Condor I manually fly the ship to engagement. Depending on your skills the MWD Bloom of your Sig Radius isn't horrible, but you do make a rather tasty target when on approach. So be careful. You'll have time to decide if you want to fully engage or make a hasty retreat. Attack at the intended destination of your target and watch for them doing the same. Remember, range control.

I usually engage in what I call the Spiral Engagement. This is where I start out high and lower my circle of engagement as the target dictates. This can be dangerous. For example, I had a Firetail dead to rights the other day, but it was taking forever. I got overly aggressive and went in a tad too close and paid the price. That kill should have been mine. ( The good news is, I baited him down in the next system and killed him moments later with some bait help. )

Your DPS output is not great, so these engagements tend to last awhile. Stay patient and keep your eyes on d-scan!

Targets

As a general rule anything Destroyer or under that relies on guns is fair game. Avoid missile boats and drone boats with good skills and Warriors. ( Most other drones won't be able to hit you, you are too fast for 'em! ) I've had some success killing Ventures in them, but since you only have a Disruptor, the Venture pilot has to be an idiot to die. Luckily Eve is full of idiots.

You are faster than most frigates, but not all of them. Know your target and exploit his weaknesses.

Reality

The Condor is fun to fly if you like speed and can handle the pressure that comes with it. It is not a brawler and it has no tank to speak of. The ASB is there to keep you alive long enough to kill from range, to make those mistakes you'll make survivable and to make things interesting. The important thing is not to panic. Most fights end with you completely unhurt or deep into structure!

It is a fun ship and it won't kill your wallet to lose a bunch of them.





Always a Bigger Fish: The Secret to Eve


Somewhere in New Eden right now, even as I write these very words, a lone Venture Mining Frigate is burning rocks in a lonely corner of Low-Sec. His motivations, his history, his hopes and dreams are unimportant. The only important thing is that he exists. A Frigate enters local, a Merlin, and he spots the Venture in the belt using the tools of his trade. He warps in and engages and most likely, and we'll agree here for the sake of the grand point, he defeats the poor Mining Frigate. As he was engaged however, several AF Class ships had moved into position and the poor Merlin is caught and destroyed by a Vengeance and an Ishkur. As the victorious AFs move to leave the system they are met by a couple of Cruisers at the gate. The Cruisers jump into a small gang of BCs, the BCs are killed by RR BS on Station, the RR BS are hot-dropped by Dreads, Carriers undock and a Titan appears and the whole thing continues to get way out of hand.

This happens every single day in Eve.

But the poor Mining Frigate knows nothing about the grand equation. He was podded back to Hi-Sec and is unaware of the small part he played in the grand story of New Eden. He is angry and frustrated and extremely pissed off. As any small fish would be.

Eve has often been compared to a Submarine Sim. It is actually a more pure expression than that. It is without a doubt, a pure expression of Darwinism in action. It is survival of the fittest. This simple fact of truth, pure and unadorned by flowery commentary and lore and technology, is the heart of Eve. The "secret" if you want to call it that.

The only way to break the chain is to be smarter, faster and more clever than the bigger fish that want to eat you. That Venture isn't doomed. He has plenty of chances to survive, if only he is smart, clever and better than the Merlin.

Yesterday my Corp mate killed a Vagabond in his Tristan. He did so, not because the Vaga was a noob or left off his entire mid-slots or something else. The Vaga was well-fitted except for one simple mod - he fitted a Nos instead of a Neut. And because of that mistake a much smaller fish was able to defeat a much larger fish.

This story also happens every single day in New Eden.

And that is why the bigger fish fear the smaller fish. And why the bigger fish often bring more bigger fish with them to kill the smaller fish. The smaller fish can still bite.

So the Venture pilot sends the Merlin pilot a nasty email calling him names and making fun of his Mother. He wants to know "why"?  Why did you do it? He might as well be asking the Shark why he killed the Tuna. He did so because he was hungry. It is the nature of things. And it is the nature of Eve, the larger fish hunt. They don't always hunt the smaller fish, sometimes they hunt larger prey. But if a Tuna is just hanging out behind a rock, not moving or defending himself, the Shark would be an idiot to pass up a juicy meal.

And the Shark is no idiot.

Although, you never know what else might be hiding behind that rock. The Shark is taking risks. That innocent Tuna could be packing a Cyno after all. And he may be friends with a pack of Giant Squid. It's possible.

Anything is.




BB42: Eve is 1000% Better Now


"A gaming universe as vast and unique as EVE Online is constantly evolving and the experience is different for every participant. Conventional games review techniques cannot possibly hope to provide an accurate measure of every aspect of EVE's gameplay. However, with a community initiative like the Blog Banters, we have the resources to deliver the most thorough and up-to-date review ever.

By combining the experiences of contributors from across the EVE metasphere, we get a wealth of opinions from veterans and rookies alike. We'll be able to combine input from faction warfare specialists, wormhole residents, null-sec warriors, missioners, pirates, industrialists, roleplayers, politicians and more to paint a complete picture of the health and progress of EVE Online in its current Retribution incarnation.

Who better to review EVE Online than those who know it best?"



Those people in the picture ain't crazy, they are just insanely happy about Eve Online: Retribution. And those other recent expansions that didn't have the name Incarna attached to them! Eve Online is without a doubt 1000% better than it was before.

Oh sure, I know what you are thinking. But Rixx, what about... (insert your own self-centered pet peeve here!)  And I know that Null has its problems, that Tech Moon Mining is whatever it is, that you think POS Towers need something done to them, and whatever else you think CCP needs to do to improve Eve. And I'm with you. Don't think for a second this whole 'Eve is 1000% better' thing means it is finished. Cause it ain't.

But Eve is never finished. And isn't that just an amazing statement after ten years of development, they are still in development!  How friggin' odd is that?

I wish I could say the same thing about other video games I've enjoyed over the years. But no matter how many times I write the makers of "Shadow of the Colossus" they still haven't updated the graphics or added new content for a really long time. I'm beginning to have doubts they ever will. Which makes me incredibly sad. But CCP? Those nutbags just keep trucking along making Eve better and better each time. And I don't even have to write them annoying letters, they actually listen!

So why is Eve so much better now?

• Ships 350% Better!
The ongoing Tiericide effort has resulted in a more uniform and predictable array of ships to fly in Eve. This has meant that PvP is more widely spread across ship class than it has EVER BEEN. The other day a Merlin defeated my Wolf. That would have been almost impossible before. I'm engaging ships with other ships that wouldn't have stood a chance in previous versions of Eve. You may not think that is important, but it is hugely important. Why?

It means that younger players have options. T1 Cruisers are good at PvP. You can fly more Frigates now than ever before without being embarrassed about it. The Minmatar Rifter is no longer the only choice when it comes to Frigate excellence. I just exploded one yesterday in a stupid Condor! That also would never happen before. And it also means that older players also have options, cheaper options when it comes to choice. The idea that bigger and more expensive automatically means better is, while not completely gone, at least more leveled than before. ( It should never go away, but the gaps being smaller is important.)

• Environment 450% Better!!
You can warp away from Sentry guns and they forget you! Honestly, that should be enough said, but there is more. Sentry guns don't shoot your drones no more. And you can set up your camera to track whatever you click on. People that hate me can put a Bounty on my head and get an email when I explode! Not to mention getting some of their money back. How cool is that!?

Seriously, the entire environment of the game is so much better in so many ways that it is impossible to cover them all. The mere fact that the little number is highlighted when I buy or sell something has made me so happy I could burst! And I don't even use it that much. I can't imagine how happy your traders and industry people must be.

Eve is overall so much easier to play. Less annoying things and more room to engage in actual play.

• Everything 200% Else!
Still work to be done of course. So everything else gets only a 200% better score. ( But notice that adds up to 1000%! See, I didn't just make that up to sell comics! Sorry, old joke.)  I got carried away and added some of the everything else paragraph to the Environment paragraph above didn't I?

OK then, Eve is just generally 200% better than it was when you consider all the other stuff not ship related or environment related.


As my dear readers know I am a Pirate. I live in Low-Security space and I fly around exploding and looting my fellow players ships. That is the sum total of my play-style. My enthusiasm for Eve has never been higher than it is right now. And my optimism towards the future is greater than it has ever been. If this path continues I can only imagine Eve continuing to improve in many, many other ways in the coming months and years. And I haven't always believed that.

As for me, Retribution has fit into my play-style perfectly. I am having my best month EVER in Eve simply because of the changes made in Retribution. So yes, I am proudly biased. In four years of playing Eve I had one month (May 2011) when I killed more than 100 ships in a month. This month I am already approaching 150 and we still have time left. And I haven't played that much, or not any more than I usually do. The simple act of rendering Sentry Guns "fire and forget" has made my own play-style more open. I'm no longer trapped for 15 minutes or more because I engaged someone in system.

And for me, that simple act is worthy of the 1000% better claim.


To read more opinions and entries in the Blog Banter #42 please follow this link.



Happy Eve Holiday

Eve Planetside Holiday
Click for additional sizes to download
I may find some time here and there to play Eve over the coming days, but I most likely will be taking a short blogging break to spend time with my own family. Wherever this Holiday season finds you, my best wishes to you, your family and friends.



Tusker Frigate Free For All II

Frigate FFA2 Wallpaper
Click for additional sizes! Share with friends!

As if your life wasn't awesome enough already, now you have something even more incredible to look forward to!! It is time once again for another Tusker sponsored Frigate Free For All and this one is even Bigger & Longer!


The last FFA was a huge and rousing success, I think everyone managed to have a great time and enjoy themselves. So be sure to join us, bring lots of frigates and your finely honed skills.

See you there!



Shunners & Sinners

For those of you looking for rude, crude and nasty talk about Eve - you might want to consider the Shunners & Sinners Podcast.  Check out the page with newly designed Banner by Rixx!

But don't say I didn't warn you.




TOP SECRET: Talwar Testing

Our Eveoganda spies have uncovered the earliest known evidence of the Minmatar testing the new Talwar Destroyer. At great risk to life and limb we present this evidence for your entertainment.

Click to embiggen!

PS: For those of you that don't know, "Great Talwar Charge Day" is a little-known Minmatar Holiday held in celebration of the first semi-successful launch of a Brutor spaceship. Dr. Rubio Talwar was the man primarily responsible, but sadly he perished in the explosion of the ship as it entered warp. Talwar Charge is in memory of his last know transmission, "Charge the Warp Batteries!".

Making up lore as we go along!



2012 Year in Review

2012 is rapidly drawing to a close. It was, literally, the best of times and the worst of times. For a year that began horribly and almost saw the end of not only this blog but your friendly neighborhood writer - it has been a hell of a journey.

It is the first year in my Eve career that I spent an entire calendar year in one Corporation. I've been in the Tuskers for over a year now and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

So let's take a look back at the past year here on Eveoganda. I'm going to start it off by giving you several different lists of posts from the past year. The first one is my Top Ten favorites from the past year, in no particular order:

RJ's Favorites: Top Ten

These are the ones I'm most proud of!

Posting As: Jester's Trek - I write a post pretending to be RipardTeg.

Posting As: Mord Fiddle - You can probably guess what this one is.

The Frill is Gone! - The post that started it all and brought the Frill back to New Eden!

The CCP Pledge - Seriously important post.

The Unexplained Journey - One of my best ideas ever.

The Ring of Fire Project - Followed by one of the most important posts ever.

Pay Per Kill - And my most predictive posts ever, as this series preceded the new Bounty System.

GCC The Stand in the Corner Mechanic - Man, I was on a roll.

EVEOTORIAL: The Sandbox - one of the smartest things I've written about Eve.

The Mittani Killed the Eve Community - and the most controversial thing I wrote this year!


RJ's Fun Time Ten

We also like to have some fun here on Eveoganda!

Pod Gods get all the Chicks! - ain't it the truth?

RJ's Homemade Point Spread - it's delicious and sticky!

1v1 Video: Rixx Vs. Placid - A fun fight caught on camera.

1v1 Eve Comic Video! - Speaking of videos this one is the best Eve video EVER!

Ring of Fire Music Video - A serious moment.

Your Guide to Hiring Crews! - Yep you need 'em!

The Most Important Person at CCP Meme - Punkturis asked for it!

Area Man Watches Eve Tournament - My Onion style parody that got picked up like real news!

Eve Minimalist Poster Series - Yes more are coming soon!

BB40 Blood Sport Summary - Possibly the funniest thing ever written about a Blog Banter!


Despite a rough start, 2012 was my third year writing Eveoganda. And I think it was the best year yet. The Eve Community is stronger than ever and we've stepped up to plate on a variety of issues this past year and taken responsibility for helping to shape the conversation about our beloved game. I'm not taking all the credit for this, nor even a percentage of the credit, it has been a community-wide effort and something we should all take credit for. I'm proud of my fellow Eve Bloggers, those in Tweetfleet, and everyone that reads and contributes in their own way.

It is the reason I stick around and put so much effort and time into something when I have better things to be doing.

Enjoy. Explore the archives. And hang on to your hats!! 2013 is going to be a Hek of a Year! (Unless the Mayans kill us all of course.)




Year of the Sac

This has been, rather unintentionally, the year of the Sacrilege for me. Yesterday I went back through the entire year's worth of ship stats to see what ships I've flown and how often. Always interesting.

The caveat here is the knowledge that I didn't play much Eve at the beginning of this year. As many readers may remember I barely avoided quitting Eve due to some rather serious personal catastrophes back in January. February and March  especially, I didn't even play at all. Having said that, I've certainly made up for it during the last six months.

I'm pleased to see that I registered destruction using 38 different hulls in 2012. I also managed to avoid destroying another ship using a Battleship at all. I know I flew Battleships from time to time, but I must have been doing something else with them or just missed out. Remember these stats only tell me what ships I destroyed another ship with, not the total of all ships flown.

By far the most popular ship of this past year has been the Sac. I've registered nearly 200 ships destroyed in the T2 Cruiser and that doesn't account for probably close to that number in Pods. The Sac has become my fun-time option for killboard padding and wanton destruction of assets. And it keeps me in the iskies as I have managed to turn a fair trade in stolen lootz. So far this year I estimate I've made nearly 1b isk in pure loot profit from my efforts.

And here is the entire list of ships I flew in 2012 which destroyed at least one other ship:

• Sacrilege / 200
• Slasher / 30
• Drake / 26
• Merlin / 17
• Executioner / 14
• Wolf / 12
• Daredevil / 11
• SFI / 10
• Vaga / 8
• IN Slicer / 7
• Gila / 7

6 - Comet, Condor, Incursus and Broadsword

5 - Oracle, Zealot, Ishkur and Tornado

4 - Dramiel and Moa

3 - Hurricane

2 - Manticore, Pilgrim, Rifter, Enyo, Catalyst, Cyclone, Atron, Thorax, Sentinel, Firetail and Corax

1 - Vengeance, Absolution, Hawk, Taranis and Thrasher


I like variety. But even with that variety I'm not completely happy with myself. I need to try harder in the coming year to get some registered destruction with some other ships. I'm sure it'll happen, especially with the new Destroyers. And I really need to undock that Naga and whatever the other one is called. ( I seriously can't remember right now, isn't that weird? ) Talos?

Plus I expect other ships will be getting more use in the New Year, ships like the Rax, Condor, Caracal and others are more viable now as PvP platforms. And since I'm currently training my first BS V skill, time to raise some Hek with some BS!

I'm so excited.




Beyond Srs Bzns

[ Let's try this again. Apologies for posting this earlier and then taking it down. It might not be obvious, but I do have standards around here and the earlier post just didn't cut it. I promise to do better.]

The theme of "Eve is serious business" or its variations "Internet spaceships is serious business" have been with us since the very beginning. And while I appreciate the thought, it is now time to move away from that theme.

Why? One major reason is that the "srs bzns" idea has done nothing but hurt Eve Online from growing past its initial, and some might argue, dedicated player-base. Already encumbered by "spreadsheet wars" and other negative stereotype monikers, Eve is certainly a complex, time intensive slog fest when it comes to perception of the brand. For the past ten years this overwhelming perception has dominated the description of our beloved game. It is time for it to stop.

Certainly CCP must be aware of this. They've done nothing but try to move away from that foundation for the past two years. Sometimes successfully and sometimes not-so-much. But the current wave of ship balancing, FW changes, Crimewatch and Bounty Systems have been primarily driven by a desire to "open" Eve to the light of something far more powerful than "serious business". One could argue that DUST is also a huge step in this direction as well. And that direction is openness and fun.

And by "fun" I mean accessibility to new audiences. Call it whatever you want, fun, adventure, playability, access, openness, the beginning of this process stems back to the introduction of PLEX and Game Time into Eve. That was the opening bell of a new round of development that stumbles, such as with WiS, and succeeds, as with Retribution. But moving forward it will continue. It has to.

And let's not lie to ourselves here, it is working. Eve is a better game today than it has ever been. And I'm not talking about your favorite pet-peeve, or the problems in Null, or anything else. I'm talking about the Game, with a capital G. Eve looks better, runs better and has more opportunities for play-style options than it has ever had. In small ways and large ways, Eve is the best it has ever been. And there is no reason to think it won't continue in this direction into the near future.

Serious business is not the right perception for Eve any more. I would argue that it isn't even that accurate in describing the current state of our game. While the core concept of "earned potential" within New Eden continues to make the game mean something beyond the pixels ( and that fact is really the heart of why Eve matters so much ) the connection to a level of seriousness beyond the obvious is no longer relevant. Let me try and explain.

When I started playing Eve over four years ago, the options were pretty damn bleak for a new player. Earning ISK and protecting your investment were primary goals because earning it back was a daunting task. Mining, ratting... uh, well that was about it really. Since then we've seen the introduction of Wormholes, Faction Warfare, Plex, GTC, and dozens of other new ways to earn incredible amounts of ISK. ( This isn't an economic post, so we'll ignore the obvious problems ) The point being options are now plentiful and rather gosh darn abundant. ( I'm not bitter about this, lack of funding took me to Null when I was only a week old and I would't trade that experience for anything thank you )

I like the idea of "earned potential" because that is really what Eve is about. I've never used a spreadsheet in my time playing Eve. And I've never once considered Eve anything remotely like a business. I do take it seriously sometimes, but mostly I play for the fun of it. I suspect that most veteran players who start to take the game seriously end up being bitter.

And now the part that tripped me up when I wrote the other version earlier. What does this all mean?

I believe it means we can help. Eve needs to grow up a bit. The "development" phase is over and we need to attract new players to take a spin. Retribution, DUST, these are all going to help us do that, but they can't do it alone. And CCP certainly doesn't have the resources for a massive marketing campaign.  How can we help?

As bloggers, writers, reporters, CSM members, players, readers - Eve Evangelists really - each of us can help in our own way. I can only speak for myself but I plan on dedicating the coming months to promoting Eve the best I can. Writing more young player guides, giving more advice, taking the time to spread the news of just how awesome I think New Eden has become.

I encourage everyone reading this post to consider how you can help. Maybe it is as simple as telling your friends about Eve. Or posting about it on your Facebook page, or starting a new blog, or a thread on your favorite forum, or creating knitted Eve caps - what the heck do I know!!? Do I really need to list all the things you could be doing?! Have a freakin' bake sale or put on a talent show!! For goodness sake start thinking for yourselves.

Sheesh. Eve has already moved beyond serious business, you might just not have noticed.



Ye Old Intersteller Blood Sports: A BB40 Review Summary Thingie


Earl: "What in the confounded netherworld is an 'e-sport' Herman!?"
Herman: "I ain't got the foggiest Earl, but this here fella' is payin' us good greenbacks to comment on it. So I suggest we do us some readin'."
Earl: "Fair enuff I suppose. Let me git mah Kindle."

Several hours later.

VO: Join us as we travel back in time to summarize Blog Banter #40: Intersteller Blood Sports! A Blog Banter that happened long ago in October of 2012. For this summary we ourselves have traveled back in time to Eve Oklahoma in 1898 to ask Earl Broderidge and his cousin Herman Oilfield to read and comment on the vast array of responses generated by the Eve Community.

Let's listen in as they do their best to accomplish the goals we established beforehand and earn those greenbacks we promised them. Some modern conveniences were provided to make their task a mite easier.

Earl: "This here Kindle is a marvel."
Herman: "Rightly said cousin. I am astonished."
Earl: "Flabbergasted would be closer to puttin' it true in my humble opinion, but nevertheless it contains a lot of readin'."
Herman: "I suppose. However you say it I remain ignorant of what in tarnation this here Eve Online is, or what, beyond the obvious fallen sinners of Rome, blood sports have ta do with anythin'."
Earl: "I can surmise that these referenced Blood Sports are bloodless acts of mere imagination, a mental brain exercise as it were. Totally figmated."
Herman: "Mayhaps. One could debate the acts of future folk unseen fer days 'n not come to the truth of it. I say we git on with summerizin' and leave the mental shennanigans to smarter folk 'n us."
Earl: "Well said cousin."
Herman: "This Rixx Javix fella seems a fair bit smarter than most. He thinks sports is an integrated part of Eve and future folk are gonna do what they are gonna do wether the big industrial powers that be say boo or not."
Earl: "Ehh, while his take was level headed and all, I didn't come away with nuthin' new from it. Frankly it left me mighty cold."
Herman: "Not at all like that Keith Neilson fella from Britain."
Earl: "British people are smarter'n us generally, and that fella laid out an entire multiple part organizational blueprint for building a complicated system of sport playin'. I didn't follow most of it, but the gist seemed to be rather smartly done."
Herman: "I always have trouble with accents."
Earl: I appreciated the brevity of Tetra's take on it, he called bull fast 'n furious."
Herman: "He makes a good point from my side, if it ain't in the Eve it ain't in the sport. Fakin' it just fer the sake of fakin' it don't make it real."
Earl: "Ayup."
Herman: "Which is partly the point of Orakkus column that perhaps Eve ain't exactly built fer sportin'. Not yet anyways."
Earl: "Not without some changes he makes it plain ta say. And his point 'bout game money and real money is well taken."
Herman: "Smart fella."
Earl: "He used pictures I didn't understand."
Herman: "Mabrick didn't use no pictures."
Earl: "No, but he sure used a fair amount of bluster'n, man's got some strong opinionatin' goin' on in there. I ain't sure I followed most of it, but it is plain sure he don't like the idear much."
Herman: "Ya don't have to be from the future ta see that plainly."
Earl: "I like this here Trebron fella. Keep everyone apart that 'r different than you. That there is good thinkin'"
Herman: "I hate to part with ya cousin but that ain't a'tall what he was sayin'. He believes these sportin' games'll be fer the elite only."
Earl: "Ain't the elite supposed to be better'n us?"
Herman: "Perhaps folks think different in the future?"
Earl: "Perhaps they do. Goodness knows they probably think different'n a lot of strange ways."
Herman: "Like this Hydrostatic gent that thinks Eve is one rather large sport already?"
Earl: "Fair 'nuff. He throws a lot of dirt around in his column."
Herman: "That ain't dirt cousin, that there is Dust rather. From what I savy it is some sort of other game that doesn't exist yet."
Earl: "Strange ways these future folk have. Playin' in imaginary worlds with made-up people using things that don't even exist yet..."
Herman: "Makes me long fer the simpler days."
Earl: "The simpler days fer days that don't even exist yet?! Now you are the one imaginatin' cousin."
Herman: "Harr! I stand corrected cousin."
Earl: "Now this Ninveah fella' is hog-wild crazy over the idear!"
Herman: "Sure enuff, he seems ta think Eve needs more sportin' and mayhaps even some arena places to butt heads whenever the passion builds up in folks."
Earl: "I do enjoy a good game of cards. That picture I understood."
Herman: "I suppose in the future they let women write cause this here Dian Lung lady seems to be a lady."
Earl: "She's just another fence sitter in my opinion and a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways, so the Good Book says."
Herman: "She ain't no man though."
Earl: "You sure 'bout that cousin?"
Herman: "Heck, I ain't sure 'bout much no more. She made some good points in my humble opinion. I think she is closer to the truth of it than most."
Earl: "Certainly better than this Mike Azariah fella, who didn't do nuthin' more than confuse the heck outta me by writin' a story about his opinion. At least I suspect that was what he did."
Herman: "I found it quite powerful and movin' even though I can't follow most of what was doin'.  But combinin' things people like with stuff they don't, makes sense to me."
Earl: "Like Cranberry Sauce and Turkey I guess."
Herman: "I don't care none for Cranberry sauce."
Earl: "My point exactly."
Herman: "Now this H person uses a lot of Math in his column, talkin' bout faction this 'n that."
Earl: "That ain't math! Math is fraction with an R. Faction is... well I don't rightly know what in the blue blazes it might be. But he sure thinks people will fight fer 'em."
Herman: "He sounded smart ta me, even though I don't know my fractions from mah factions."
Earl: "If you think he was smart, this next one is a scientist!"
Herman: "A gosh darn British Scientist ta boot!"
Earl: "From what I can figure, and I ain't no super English brain, he thinks sports could be dangerous to this imaginary world... or somethin' like that."
Herman: "I git it. Treatin' a game... like a game... is mayhaps a bad turn? Somehows."
Earl: "That'd be my guess."
Herman: "I like this here Althurus gentleman, he writes like I think, short 'n sweet."
Earl: "Rightly said, in both incarnations cousin. But I tend ta agree. Eve is already a sport type a show, so makin' it more of a sport ain't all that different than makin' it a sport in the first place."
Herman: "Twistin' words like a tornadie, but I git yur meanin'."
Earl: "Morphisat? Sounds like another word for the Devil don't it?"
Herman: "If he is a horned devil then he don't like sports in Eve none, he makes that quite clear."
Earl: "I learned that this Eve ain't the only made up imaginary world in the future, that knowledge don't sit well with mah brain. So I'm not goin' ponder much beyond it."
Herman: "Best to keep the noggin' tempered in these cases cousin."
Earl: "This Sered fella is another brief opinionator and he don't say much, but throws his weight behind the idear flatly."
Herman: "Why beat the bush when you can jus' sit it on fire?"
Earl: "Well said indeed cousin."
Herman: "Some of these fellas tend to jawbone an idear till it ain't nothin' but gristle I say."
Earl: "Like Adhar?"
Herman: "Nah, it seems like a lot a words until ya take the time ta read 'n figure it with him. But he makes good points. Eve ain't ready for sportin', not until changes is made."
Earl: "Fundamental changes. Like those Baptists are always harpin' about?"
Herman: "I figure one taint got nothin' ta do wit the other cousin."
Earl: "Mayhaps."
Herman: "Tha' next fella reminds me I need a new hat!"
Earl: "I think this arena idear has some legs to it. Several these writer fellas has mentioned it and the Mad Habberdasher seems t' think it has merit."
Herman: "It sounds Roman t' me and we all know how that ended."
Earl: "Fair point. Judgin' by that picture of that fella in his column, mayhaps he leans a tad Roman in his thinkin'."
Herman: "I can't rightly say this next fella's name, TurAmarth?"
Earl: "Sounds fairly right t' mah ears."
Herman: "His place has somethin' t' do with coal I think."
Earl: "He don't think much about sportin' but he does enjoy racin'!"
Herman: "I like me some horse racin'! I need t' git down to the track..."
Earl: "Herman Oilfield!! Remember yer vow cousin! To young Emma 'bout yer tendancies towards gamblin'."
Herman: "I'm ashamed in front 'a these future folk cousin."
Earl: "Ain't no need now, chin up, you is a human bein' full a trouble from Eden. New or Old, the fall done filled us all with carnal doin's."
Herman: "I am pleased t' see they has baseball in the future!"
Earl: "That Sand fella is yet another one talkin' bout arenas."
Herman: "I admit t' bein' mostly confused, he like the idear and then he don't like the idear none t'all."
Earl: "I'm gatherin' that there is the entirety of his point cousin."
Herman: "Now this here Glory Hole is somethin' I need t' git me some of! Glory!!"
Earl: "Cousin, I'm feelin' it might not be the kind'a Glory you git in Church."
Herman: "He admits to provacatatin' right up front, my sinceres fer not readin' ahead."
Earl: "S'right, he clearly adheres t' the common ground that Eve is already a game and addin' more game t' a game makes sense."
Herman: "Makes sense t' me 'n I don't even know nuthin'"
Earl: "This Hark gent makes some good points regardin' slang talk."
Herman: "Eve is a bit like those Rotary meetin's when the Doc gits up t' speak. I ain't always sure what he is goin' on about, but it sure sounds fancy."
Earl: "It does make it difficult fer us that ain't Doctors."
Herman: "Or if'n we ain't Jace. What in tarnation is this here immersion he goes on 'n on 'bout?"
Earl: "I got me a theory."
Herman: "Well, let's hear it then."
Earl: "I theorize that Eve bein' an imaginary thing that exists only in ones brain, it takes a whole lotta concentratin' to make it work proper. An this here hard thinkin' is rather easily disturbed by outside forces called CCP 'n bugs of some sort."
Herman: "That gotta be right, it makes perfect sense t' me."
Earl: "Well it is only a theory, I didn't finish the third grade, but this has been a lot of readin' today."
Herman: "Well now here we git pictures a Rome!"
Earl: "He come 'round from the other side, this Rox fella is a tricky one."
Herman: "True enough cousin, he walks a mile down a dirt road and then tells ya it been paved while you was a listenin'."
Earl: "I don't think he likes the idear and don't think it'll work much."
Herman: "I still ain't sure, but I suppose he may have a harder time concentratin' than some."
Earl: "Now this here Rhavas gent done went and laid out a solid plan fer doin' all the things those other fellas said can't be done!"
Herman: "The future sure is confusin'."
Earl: "It is indeed hard fer us to summarize that which we do not understand proper."
Herman: "It is a plan though 'n mayhaps that is enough to say?"
Earl: "It ain't enough for this here Roc fella, he don't take kindly to somethin' that those hard-thinkin' breakers done."
Herman: "Those... wut was it ya called 'em? See-See-Pee?"
Earl: "I think those 'r letters not words cousin."
Herman: "Ahh right, it does appear in quite a few places amongst these writin's."
Earl: "Like that other fella a whiles back, he think these sportin' are fer elite types. Like those rich folk that hit balls with horses!"
Herman: "They do that up in the Capital don't they?"
Earl: "Now how in tarnation would I know that!? I ain't no fancy pants."
Herman: "We jus' got us one more cousin."
Earl: "I heard a bean whistle, when it is on the stove!"
Herman: "We best not make fun of future folk cousin..."
Earl: "I suppose yer right."
Herman: "This one bein' last is right proper, cause Bean does a right nice job of summarizin' the entirity of the entire enterprise right nicely."
Earl: "I tend to agree with..."
Emma: "Earl! Herman! You dolts done talkin' to yer future friends yet!? I got chores needin' done!"
Herman: "Emma, git yer scrawny bones over here and help us earn our money!"
Emma: "Don't you go talkin' t' me like that Herman or you won't be gettin' no supper!"
Earl: "Well did ya read the Kindle or not?"
Emma: "Oh I read it. Was a lot of words and most of it didn't make no sense t'all. Like lookin' at a two-headed cow!"
Earl: "Can you summarize t'all?"
Emma: "Rightly so. Eve, whatever in Sam Hill that might be, ain't the place for real sportin' unless somethin' changes, which ain't very likely with them shadowy ccp fellas around to muck up things constantly. But seems people like sports."
Herman: "I know I do."
Emma: "Now git off'in your butts and git these chores done!"
Earl and Herman: "Yes'mam!"


VO: "And so we leave the past to once more travel into the future. We hope this multi-billion dollar expenditure of R&D Research funding has entertained and amused and enlightened. Don't blame us when your taxes go up next year!"


Earl: "We git to keep these Kindles?"



Young Player Advice

I've written thousands and thousands of words on this blog intended to help younger players over the past four years. Guides, posts, fitting advice, you name it and I've tried to impart some sage wisdom from time to time. I suppose I will always continue to try and improve those around me, despite the fact that I often feel like it might be wasted effort.

So here goes again. Young players!! Pay attention.

• Autopilot
DON'T USE IT! Ever. In over four years my main has never once used his Autopilot and he never will. The last time I used it was on my hauling alt 997 days ago. How do I know that? Because she got podded. I had to pee. Now when I have to pee I dock up.

It is called "warp to zero". Learn it and use it. You will die less. Warp to zero and dock. Warp to zero and jump. See how easy that is?

• CTRL+Space
It is the single most useful key command in all of Eve. It stops your ship. Why is that so awesome? Because it will save your stupid life that's why. Get in the habit of using it when you undock. If there are bad people on the Station then dock back up again. If you are moving you are more likely to be bumped, pointed or otherwise killed. Personally I control space every single time I undock. Unless...

• Instants
If you are going to be traveling to the same station over and over again, it pays to have an Instant. What is it you ask? It is a spot you've bookmarked in a direct line from the undock that you can warp to when you undock. It is usually 150-300k from the undock. How do you make one? Undock in something small and cheap when no one is around and burn straight ahead until you get at least 150k from the station. I recommend going a bit further since I can tell you that people like me have that 150k spot bookmarked already. When you undock the next time, just warp to that spot! It happens almost immediately and it is extremely difficult to catch you.

• Ship Bonuses
Every ship in Eve has a bonus built right into it. You can see these bonuses by click on the "Show Info" tab, or the little blue button. In the description you'll read about the bonuses your ship has. Use them!! Don't fit lasers on a Rifter for goodness sake. You are a young player and you need all the help you can get. Someday, when you are old and crusty, you can play around with stupid fits. But not now.  The bonuses are there to help you. Use them. Ignore them to your own peril.

• Tears
I am not actually evil. I have a loving family and a professional career in real life. I love dogs, cats and children. I have killed you and exploded your ship because you came into Low-Sec and you are fair game when you do that. Believe it or not, when I first started playing Eve people exploded me for doing that. It is called a cycle and someday I hope you will return the favor. I actually want you to learn and get better at Eve. I really do. When I warp in on your Thorax in the belt I am hoping for a good fight. I want you to fight back and do well. I'm still going to kill you, but you might just surprise me. That would make me happy. It doesn't make me happy to see your Thorax without mods in the lows and fitted with Mining Lasers.

And instead of getting angry at me for doing my job, ask me for advice. The other day I spent almost an hour talking to someone that I had just killed. I do that all the time. A lot of pirates will. Cause we are just playing a game.

• Cargo
If you just have to go into Low-Sec to trade or sell or whatever it is that you carebear people do, please don't fill your transport ship with everything you own! ( I mean, please continue to do so by all means... man this is hard to write! ) Make more than one trip. Split it up. The odds are good that somewhere along the way, someone is going to catch you eventually. Know this. Plan for it.

That's enough for today. Remember one thing. You are a young player and young players make mistakes. This is normal. It is up to you what you do with this horrible, traumatic experience. Will it make you stronger? Will you learn anything, or will you just keep doing it the same way?

The most surprising thing to me, having talked to hundreds of young players in-game over the years, is how many of you know all the answers already. I've been playing for over four years and I don't know all the answers. Being a student of Eve is the way towards success. Learn, adapt and keep moving forward.

And don't use your drones when you undock in your mining ship. Bad idea.



Learn to Fly: Sacrilege

"Learn to Fly" is a new series in which we examine the specific skills required to properly fly a ship in Eve Online. In this post we take a look at the Sacrilege.

So you've purchased and properly fitted your new Sacrilege and it is hovering in the docking bay waiting to fly into space. Congratulations. You have one of the most deadly instruments of death and destruction on your hands, but it will be your own death and destruction if you aren't careful. And by careful I don't mean, "Oh I can't undock in that thing!," I mean learning how to fly it properly.

I don't give out fitting advice but I strongly suggest fitting ships to take advantage of their bonuses, so that means you should have HAMS loaded and be armor tanking this sucker. Since we are going to be taking a lot of Sentry Gun fire, I also suggest a strong Armor Repper be present. The rest I leave to you. (For goodness sake, learn how to trawl a killboard!!) Sheesh.

Fit

Ok, I've decided to share the current constantly changing and always updating fit that I am using.

Highs
5x Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II (Dps)
5W Infectious Power System Malfunction (Neut)

Mids
X5 Prototype Engine Enverator (Web)
Warp Disruptor II (Long point)
Parallel Weapon Navigation Transmitter (TP)
Experimental 10mn MWD (go speed!)

Lows
1600mm Rolled Tungsten Plate (Chewy)
Ballistic Control II (Extra ding)
Damage Control II (Extra Protection)
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane (Resist!!)
Medium Armor Repairer II (Ouchie!)

Rigs
Medium Aux Nano Pump (Faster Rep)
Medium Ancillary Current Router (Moar juice!)


The first thing you will notice about your Sac is how large it is! And despite impressing the ladies this also means it is friggin' slow! And easy to lock! And will get caught if you ain't careful. It is a brick and flies exactly like a brick doesn't. This also means you have an advantage over almost everything you will face on an individual basis. 1v1 you are a mean killing machine against just about anything below a BS. But don't get cocky and go up against a Maelstrom, I made that mistake once and got popped.

Remember this, you are about to own the System you are in. You will be cautious, dangerous and take advantage of every single situation. You will also die eventually. It might take a day or a month, but sooner or later you will be caught and unable to escape. Deal with it. And don't fly it if you can't.

Undock. Crtl+Space you idiot! And hit d-scan. Intel, intel, intel. We are going to learn the fine art of what I call "Hard Point Bushwacking" otherwise known as hugging Stations waiting for a kill. This is not Station Camping, although it kinda looks like it sometimes. And other people will think you are Station Camping and will make fun of you for it, sometimes using harsh language, which might make you very sad... get over it! We know the truth. You can't Station Camp in a Sac because it is to friggin' slow!! You won't catch anything. We are hugging Stations because we may have to dock quickly. We are also using other Bushwacking spots, so make sure you already have spots above gates, spots off the Sun, spots below and above stations, insta-undocks on all stations, mid-warp safes and various other hide spots. Make those in a fast ship, not the Sac.

Target #1 - The Belt

From your perch you can d-scan all the local belts (this may take two or three station spots) and keep an eye on who is in there. People do still rarely rat or mine and you want to catch them and explode them. I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this because it should be easy enough. You need to learn the art of the double-tap scan. Here it is, 15 or 30 degree the belt. Ship on scan, let's say a Vexor. Warp to belt at 20 or 30. Immediately d-scan at 360! That's the double-tap. You should have been doing this before, so you already have an idea of what is around. Based on the local count you should have a good idea if he has buddies. Land and kill the Vexor.

If he has a buddy kill him also. This is a belt, there are no Sentry Guns. If he has two buddies, you may be able to kill them as well. But if one is a Falcon, or an Arazu, or something nasty - make your escape.

The smartest thing is knowing when to leave the kill. It is only one kill and usually not worth losing your Sac over.

Target #2 - Undocked

If something does undock on you, you need to make a snap judgement. Luckily Eve gives us a few seconds to decide. Anything smaller than a Cruiser is usually not worth the effort and will fall into Target #3. Transports, Cruisers can be locked and attacked. But know this, they may just dock up on you before you kill them. Leaving you with aggro and sentry fire. You are unable to dock and will have to warp off to remove the sentry fire. So part of the decision is what else might undock and/or warp in while you are killing him.

This is why you have a Web fitted. This is why being big also helps. Your station perch is not right on the undock, your station perch is above the undock! You will burn straight at the target and bump his sorry care-bearing ass into another County. The other day I hit a Thorax and he bounced 35k off the undock. That's rare, but it does happen. Then kill him.

Target #3 - Undocked and warped

It might seem sad to see those little ships escape, but you know something they don't. They are idiots and you are a killer. 7 out of 10 times they have warped in a panic and they haven't done so at zero. You are already aligned to their out-gate and in warp, sometimes right along side them which is just hilarious. If they do land at zero on the gate let them go and get off the gate!! If they don't land at zero, kill them. This tactic allows you to kill all sorts of things you'd never be able to kill otherwise, I mean you are in a Sac for goodness sake! How else can you kill Condors, Rifters, and other small ships?

Target #4 - Inbound

Sitting up there on your perch you can tell exactly where ships land when they come in from a Gate. You have those spots memorized and bookmarked. When a ship enters the system and is headed towards your station, you will burn to that exact spot and wait. He'll land right on top of you and you'll kill him. Usually you'll scare the crap out of them and they will forget they can just dock, or they didn't warp at zero, or they try and fight back. Which is the best.

Oh and when doing this you don't friggin orbit! You plow straight at them. That big front end on the Sac is there for a reason, use it!

Advice

• Don't overstay your welcome. This works best in small bursts. The longer you stay the more likely they will kill you. Do this at random times. It can also get extremely boring. So move on to the next system or go do something else.

• Carry ECM Drones. You only get 3 anyway and they can be the difference between getting caught and getting away.

• Carry ammo. At minimum Inferno, Nova and Thor's Hammer. I also carry all varieties. Get to know the different types and what they are good for. Use them. A few seconds less on a target can mean the difference.

• Respect other pilots. If someone was there before you, let them have it. The last people you want mad at you are fellow Bushwackers. Even those Station Campers. They can make life difficult and hot-drop you.

• Know your local. Learn the Corps and pilots. Look at their killboards. You want to know the ones with hot-dropping tactics, the ones with surprises waiting inside the station. Know your local!!


The Sacrilege is an awesome ship with limitless fun built right into it. It also has limitations. Know your ship and know your targets. Be better than the enemy. Know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

And most of all, have fun. Otherwise, why do it?



More Eve than you can shake a stick at!



Crappy weather, sick children, and the ever impending Holiday meant that this weekend resulted in more Eve playing than any weekend in a very long time. I might have logged a good six to eight hours all told. Some of it went extremely well and some of it did not.

I logged into Lisb on Friday night to grab my wittle ship ( I usually keep two or three ships in Lisb. My Sac of course, and one or two wittle ships - INSlicer, Rifter, something small I use to travel. ) In this case my wittle ship was a Firetail. As usual however, I jumped into the Sac to poke around for a few minutes to see if anyone was ratting or mining or lighting a cyno. Sure enough I caught a Thrasher at a belt and his pod as well. And then a Cormmie using Autopilot to warp to station. I missed his pod because the station suddenly got extremely busy and I had to warp away. But he had some nice lootz in that thing.

I jumped into the Firetail to go roaming. Nothing much was about and a few ships ran away from me, so I figured I'd go get something a tad cheaper. This being a Saturday and all. In Hev there were some things on scan so I waited. It turned out I wasn't the only Tusker hunting and Morin and I got on the same kill. While it was good to kill something with the Firetail, I didn't mean to barge in on someone else's kill. I blame it on my overview, but I always back away from those situations unless someone needs help. But it does happen sometimes.

I took some time to fit up a Corax and decided to try the ship out. After getting the hang of it by killing a few rats I noticed another ship on scan. Once again Morin got there a tad ahead of me and he got the ship, but we shared the pod. Kill one in the Corax. I noticed a Cormmie on scan and started chasing him. He asked for a 1v1 at the Sun and I was more than willing to oblige. Cormmie vs Corax should be a good test of the ship. The fight started out fine but quickly turned into a strange bug-filled dance of death. No matter what I did my mods wouldn't activate! And yes, the safety was on full red. Remember I had just killed a pod not ten minutes before. Apparently it didn't matter as we both died. And me.

I hate losing a ship to issues, but it happens and it was a good fight. I returned to station and the Corp was busy getting ready for a roam. This was going to be an interesting one, full of Gila's and support. I had a Gila just waiting for this opportunity, so we formed up and went out looking for a fight. I won't bore you with two hours worth of frustration, but we really couldn't find a decent fight. Either the enemy gang was too small and ran away, or they were huge fleets with BS/Gaurdians, or they were cyno baited hot-droppers looking for easy ganks. We did manage to get some kills, admittedly also mostly ganks. A Vexor, a Solar Fleet Broadsword, a Talos along with his buddy the Drake, and a Megathron. There were many more kills on the roam that I didn't manage to get on, Gila is rather slow to warp, so you often arrive after the kill is already made.

A bit of fun on the way back. We caught a Miner mining in a belt in Hev. Poor guy must of crapped his pants when he was pointed and held down by so many Gila's! We tried ransoming his pod, but he only laughed and asked to be podded instead.

And then yesterday.

We were organizing a T1 Cruiser roam around Mallers and logi. I had bought a Maller a few weeks ago in anticipation of Retribution, so I got it fitted up. And before long we were on our way. It didn't take long to realize that once again it was going to be hard to find fights. We were scouted out by a rather large Russian based gang which we tried to out run, but eventually we were pinned to a station in Tama. It was a confusing and slightly tense couple of minutes, trying to time our escape to miss their fleet. Several align to gates followed by several get back on stations and finally they landed on us. In such situations you try to anticipate the orders and be ever so slightly ahead of them. I simply guessed wrong and was a hair-second late on the warp. Got my ass double webbed about 3,500 from the station. I tried to dock, but the dps was too much and I exploded. Despite being in dock range and and or "already in warp" they also managed to pod me.

( For a detailed telling of what happened after, Suli did a nice wrap up.)

Being podded for me means losing about an hour of game time. Set up the new med clone, get back to Hev, log into my alt, travel to hi-sec to buy new batch of implants, get back to Hev, contract them, log back into Rixx and do some brain surgery. Since I am a poor Pirate I can't afford to keep multiple sets of implants on hand, so I only buy what I need. Which on average is about once a month these days.

So two hours of game time and not a single kill. So I jumped into the INS and decided to go roaming. Only two jumps in and someone in Aeschee asked for a 1v1. Devas Weddo, a fellow tweetfleet member, was in an Atron looking for a fight. I made sure to let him know I was in a INS before the fight, but he wanted a go anyway. I ddn't know how he was fit, but it was safe to assume he would be rail fit. So I decided on a closer approach than usual. If he was rail fit I could quickly get in under his guns, if he was blaster fit - well then I'd still be outside his guns most of the time. It is a dangerous game this guessing game, with a MWD based fit, a web can ruin your day. It was a good fight but he was blaster fitted and the fight went my way. I never pod 1v1 fights and we ended up talking for a bit afterwards, which is always good.

I went into Lisb to jump into the Sac for some Spree Fun and ended up killing a loaded Catalyst before noticing a Vexor ratting in a belt! I love those. The poor guy never had a chance, but it made the events of the day earlier a bit easier to take.

I got back into the INS to head back to Hev. No one was about so I decided to fit up some new ships in my hanger. A Hawk, a Punisher and a new Slasher. A few neuts popped into system so I undocked in the Slasher to see if I could get a fight.

I was warping around trying to get a bead on a few things when I saw the Obelisk on scan. This is an extremely unusual happening in low-sec, it is extremely rare to see one of these things on scan. I warped to the Jov gate just as he landed. I told Corp about it but no one was really around. I jumped thru with him and watched him warp off into deep space. I did give the 'ol bump a shot, but Slasher! Sadly, once again, wrong ship wrong time. Before we could get probes he disappeared into his WH. I give the guy props for having some big balls.

Back in Hev to dock up and call it a day, when someone asked for a 1v1 in local. A Venture this time. I accepted of course, although honestly I have no idea why someone would be attacking me in a Mining Frigate. I know people are fitting them for PvP, but still. How exactly do you tank a Venture, shield or armor? I didn't know, so I went for Phased Plasma. It was a good fight but the Venture never stood a chance to be honest. Turns out it was shield fitted. Oh well. Thanks for the fight though. My first Venture kill.

So what is that 18 kills for 2 ships and a pod. Not bad. Some of the loot will help with the death costs and some of those were good fights.

It felt good to have time to participate in some Corp gangs again, I don't often get the chance any more. So all-in-all a decent weekend.

Onward and upward.



The Pirate Patch

Make no mistake, Retribution was and is an expansion patch intended primarily for Pirates. And the changes introduced this week will have a long lasting impact on the Yarr Play-style.

I came away from Tuesday impressed by the apparent strength of the Sentry Gunners Union. I admit I haven't paid much attention to these tireless guardians and their lonely vigil before, but we can't ignore them any longer. The recent strike and negotiations have spread fundamental and game-changing alterations throughout New Eden.

How so? Well, if you haven't noticed yet, you can now attack someone on a Gate or Station - warp off and then warp back - and the sentry guns won't shoot you anymore. They forget you.

This is an incredible strategic and tactical change to "the way things are" and will have a tremendous impact on how, when and where fights happen in Low-Sec. I honestly didn't believe it was all that big of a deal until the Tuskers went out on a roam the other night. Already, you can feel the changes having an impact in how we plan, engage and re-engage enemy gangs. Ships can now warp away and warp back to re-engage.

Added to this potentially game-altering change is yet another one. Sentry guns no longer shoot Drones. Apparently the SGU and the drone manufacturers are in bed together, because this was always one way to mitigate the amount of damage you could bring to bear on hard points. The lack of drones on Stations and Gates meant an entire generation grew up with tactics developed to overcome that issue... an issue that no longer exists.

These two changes alone are game-changing for us Pirate types and I haven't even mentioned Crimewatch or Bounties yet, or the selling of Kill Rights.

The addition of easy to see and easy to understand "criminal" icons to the game screen is a welcome and much needed addition. No more general timing guessing games, with a single glance we can now tell exactly what our status is and isn't. This is taking some getting used to, but it is amazing how quickly it has become second nature.

And while I still worry a bit about the long-term viability of the Bounty system, I must admit that it has introduced something to the game that I didn't anticipate - fun. Who knew the Bounty system would be so much fun! That people would be talking about it so much, trading bounties, making gifts of bounties and generally acting like bounties are the new "like" of Facebook in Space! I know I didn't see it coming and I don't believe anyone else could have anticipated it either.

As for Kill Rights I'm not sure yet. A bunch of people have been selling the kill rights they have on me this week, but so far that hasn't resulted in more fights. ( Of course, my play time this week has been somewhat limited, so we'll have to wait and see ).

On top of this add the new ships, new FW mechanics, new rat AI and other balancing changes and you've got yourself an extremely robust patch that - I believe - primarily benefits low-security space. It doesn't address the fundamental flaws in the system sadly, but at least it might make us forget that we don't have very many targets. At least for awhile.

Whew. I haven't even mentioned ship balancing, or the new sounds, or some of the other stuff. I'm waiting a bit longer on the re-balancing - you really shouldn't judge those changes until you have a chance to properly use them - at least that is my opinion. So I'm sure I will be posting more about those in the coming weeks.


All in all Retribution is turning out to be an extremely fun Pirate Patch.


PS: Good Grief!! I forgot one of the most important things!! The "Tracking Camera"!! Good grief baby, where have you been all my life? ( And yes, I am aware that many of these features existed in the advanced camera functionality, but that doesn't count imo because they weren't intuitive and easy to use ) The tracking camera is an amazing thing, but it adds a level of functionality that may have been unintended. Lock that thing to the middle of your ship and you have an immediate and automagically aligned d-scan point to anything you want. No more swinging around trying to find that hard to find object, just click and presto, you are aligned for d-scan. We have a Bingo!!






1v1 EVE COMIC #54

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So far I'm loving Retribution.

The Tracking Camera has to be the best completely new thing in the game in quite some time. It adds a tremendous amount of versatility for such a small addition. Everyone by now knows how I feel about the Vagabond model and it is great to see the Frill returned, but on an even more gorgeous model!

I don't really understand the need for the safety settings, but they really don't impact me all that much. I fly without them anyway.

The timer icons are helpful. The new UI improvements are an actual improvement. I hope we can get rounded corners someday!

I don't play nearly enough for the new Bounty Hunting changes to impact me, but it will be nice to make a little extra isk here and there.

The improved sounds are amazing! I actually played Eve with the sound turned on yesterday for the first time in a very long time. Nicely done.

I tend to let expansions grow on me a bit before commenting, but my early impressions are extremely favorable. I just bought my first new Dessies today, so hopefully I can get a chance to fly them soon.

Lots of ships to re-fit, tweak and re-think. The Thorax and the Caracal seem like early winners, but we'll see how things shake down in space.

I'll have plenty to say soon enough I'm sure.



1v1 EVE COMIC #53

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PRESS RELEASE: Vagabond Memorial Foundation


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Hevrice/Tuesday December 4th, 114YC

The Vagabond Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce the discovery of the mysteriously missing Solar Adaptive Navigation Panels (SANP) from the Minmatar Vagabond. Also colloquially known as "Frills" or "Wingy Bits" in various parts of New Eden, the SANP became a distinguishing and notorious feature of the dreaded ship since it was introduced to the space lanes.

The Frills appeared all across New Eden today as pilots inspected their Stabber Class ships in their docking bays. The Stabber, Vagabond and Stabber Fleet Issue hulls were all affected by the rapid change in design. With the SANP's appearing, albiet in modified form, on the Vagabond hulls. Almost as if by magic.

Members of the Vagabond Memorial Foundation were seen cheering the news as it traveled across the wire, impromptu champagne popping and spontaneous undocking parties seen as fans of the ship class were swept away by their emotions. Not everyone was so positive however, Randall Javix, the CEO and Chairman of the VMF expressed his concerns at the press conference in Hevrice, "While this is indeed a day of joy and celebration, we must ask ourselves some extremely disturbing questions - how exactly does an entire ship class simply change almost at once - all across New Eden? The ramifications of this are mind boggling!!" Most of the attendees were juiced on champagne at this point and ignored the speaker. But Mr. Javix went on, "It is almost as if we are being manipulated by some unseen forces!! Doesn't anyone else ever feel that way!?!!!" He was eventually removed by Station security and is recovering nicely.

But noted scientist Ignarr Whoabrain echoes some of the Chairman's concerns. "We must ask ourselves, where did ze Frill go? What did it do there while it was gone? And why haz it returned?"

Thukker Mix, as usual, remains silent on this issue. But in a recent promotional piece obtained by the VMF, Thukker Mix seems to be implying a Jovian connection to recent events.

Whatever the ultimate reason for their return the VMF is pleased to see the SANP proudly mounted on the side of the Vagabond once more. And we would like to also announce the dissolution of our entire organization effective immediately. We all have better things to be doing.