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The above wallpaper is the first of the custom wallpapers requested by donors after Friday's post. In this case the donor wanted one featuring the Catalyst and Mega, "the rest is up to you" special. Which was funny since I already had the Catalyst done, it was one of three Cats I did back when I was trying to figure out the poster version. The donation offer still stands by the way, we've raised about 24b isk since Friday. So thanks again to all of our supporters. You are all much appreciated, as always. I have always considered myself extremely lucky to have such a great community support group behind me, you guys always come thru on events, specials, and other requests. I couldn't do nearly as much without you. And I know it. I never take you for granted is what I'm trying to say.
This weekend saw the fully-realized birth of a growing class of lazy PvP in Low Sec - the Recon Baiters. While I warned of this waaaay back when Recons were removed from d-scan, up until this weekend the use of this new mechanic was rather limited and sporadic. It is now a full-blown monkey, much like Instalock Gate Camps. Yesterday within a seven or eight jump radius of Ishomilken we had no less than three fully functioning lazy-ass Recon-Bait gangs up and running around us.
For those of you that do not yet have the pleasure, let me explain the concept. As you may know we have Novice, Small, Medium and Large FW Plexes. Each comes with its own various expectation regarding content, something you get used to the longer you work around them. Lately we've started to see T1 Frigates hanging out in Medium sized plex, often with others in local. This is typically a rare thing and a bit unusual. In a busy local, T1 Frigs tend to stay in Novice and Small plex for safety. So what's going on? Well they aren't alone in there obviously. They also have a Sebo'd Rook and a Curse waiting with them.
Now, don't get me wrong here. I've certainly used the invisibility of the Recons to my advantage as well. Often in an attempt to turn the tables on these PvP farmers, we almost got one of them on Saturday! So close. I'll also use Insta-Locking ships to catch targets, but I've never used it to Gate Camp. Same type of thing. If I'm in a plex with a Recon its only because I was chasing someone else and you have extremely bad timing. It happens.
So let's add yet another nail in the coffin of Solo.
As if our lives weren't difficult enough already, now we have to pause and wonder if that potential target is alone or not. And I say this with the caveat that I have yet to be caught by a single one of these traps. I've flown into a bunch, but always manage to get away before they lock me. So far. I know a lot of people that haven't been as lucky.
Nothing teaches you just how hard Solo is these days as trying to do it on a weekend. Links are everywhere, gangs are roaming, everyone is bringing out the bling, the weekend warriors are even more risk averse than normal and the pressure to put as much into a short play-time is high. Weekends are rough on Solo pilots.
Look, Solo is supposed to be hard. It is, possibly, the hardest thing there is. And that's fine with me. I enjoy the challenge and my play-style is entirely built around it. But I am a rare exception and I worry about others who may not be as lucky as I am. We shall have to wait and see what this Recon Baiting brings us as time moves along, but it has the potential to be a rather large blow to an already struggling niche.
Until then we will continue to hunt them down and make it difficult for them.