2019 Eveoganda


In a few short months Eveoganda will be celebrating its tenth year anniversary. And yes, I can't believe I'm still doing it either! While hundreds of blogs have come and gone over the last decade, this little journal of mine keeps me coming back day after day to chronicle not only Rixx's journey in Eve - but much, much more. Over the years I've transitioned from a Null Sec focused soldier in wars of sov to the Pirate Lord of Low Sec. I've tried my hand at various things, failed, triumphed, and finally found my home in the lawless regions leading a rag-tag band of amazing players in both Stay Frosty and A Band Apart. We are a scrappy bunch. We've fought in wars, defended ourselves, shown great tenacity in the Alliance Tournaments, the NEO, and many others. And along the way discovered the true meaning of Eve - friendship.

From day one this blog was intended as a journal of my personal journey. A way to share that journey with my readers and show other players the unbridled truth, good and bad, about playing Eve Online. It often became a platform for change, a place to stand on my own soap box and advocate for changes, to call out stupidity, and to bring issues into focus. At times I may have over-shared, I am after all not a professional journalist. And often my readers demanded to know more. I do not regret a single decision on that journey. I still believe it is my right, as the author, to share whatever I want in these pages. Just as it is your right, as my reader, to decide to read or not.

Blogs such as this one are not as popular as they used to be. Today we have streamers, podcasts, and other forms of sharing that have taken the spotlight from the written word. Writing a blog for ten years is hard work. I'll give you an example. In April 2013, the month I was leaving Tuskers and forming Stay Frosty, this blog had 112,495 visitors. It remains the most popular month so far. To give you a sense of how things have changed, this month we've had 10,774 visitors. Which is fine with me, I've never written a word here in the pursuit of more visitors.

But 2019 is the focus of this post. The greatest thing about this past year was my personal real life victory over my own life. A 14 year, multi-million dollar war that I finally won back in August. That war cost me everything and gained me everything worth having. It resulted in being DOXd on Reddit several times, being called every name in the book, being blocked, losing friends, and generally having to deal with idiots saying bad things about me every time I appear in certain places on-line. But it was worth it. To all of those idiots I say the following, I won. I paid my debts, fair or unfair, right or wrong, I paid them. And more. I paid every red cent myself, on my own, without help. Not a single dime of anyone else's money went into paying that debt. So there. Enough about that.

My greatest memories from 2019 involve people. Our trip to Amsterdam to send CCP Guard off, our Alaskan Cruise, Eve Toronto, and our 4th Annual Steel City Eve which is held at our home. These are the truly great memories that I cherish from the past year. Meeting fellow players, spending time with them, sharing stories, getting to know each other, and forging friendships. Real ones. I care a great deal about this community of ours and I'm looking forward to even more in 2020.


Hanging out the night before Steel City Eve


Presenting Guard with the illustration I made him in Amsterdam


Finally getting to see the quilt made from my illustrations


Hanging out on a Cruise Ship in Alaska with Eve Nerds!!

What a great year 2019 turned out to be. Thank you for reading, for sharing, and for being a part of that journey with me. I sincerely appreciate you.

I hope to see you in 2020, at Fanfest in Iceland, or at the 5th Annual Steel City Eve, or at any of the other events, meets, or in-game somewhere in the coming year.

Onward & Upward.



Year in Review Video



Check your email and see if you received one of these from CCP! It's a Year in Review video and contains some interesting information about your main and your alts. This is mine. Here is the link in case embedding this video didn't work.

I have a Year in Review post coming up tomorrow.

Enjoy!



Drake Roam

Drake Fleet 2019
Drakes Undocking
I try to run regular fleets on Saturdays when time allows, or we aren't fighting in WHs, or doing something else. Often these are just kitchen sink affairs, but sometimes I like to run "theme" fleets based around one thing or another. This past Saturday I ran a Drake themed fleet and it was a huge success. One of our members built 10 Drake hulls for us and I was able to give those out for free to those who didn't already have a Drake built. By the time we undocked with 13 Drakes to start, I believe we had every type of Drake fit represented in the fleet. Along with a half-dozen or so support ships, Griffin, Merlins, Condors mostly. We tried to keep things Caldari.

My own Drake was glass cannon fit for max HAM dps. Others went LML, or Heavy Missile and we had max tank, long points, scrams, dual webs, and everything else in-between. The fleet lasted for just short of four hours, so we added and subtracted pilots along the way. At one point I believe we had 23 pilots in the fleet. 

The challenge for me as FC was trying to figure out a way to get us fights. Having 13 Drakes suddenly appear in local either causes people to dock up or decide to up-ship and drop nasty things on us. So my strategy was simple, keep the fleet moving and head towards Tama. Hoping that along the way we'd be picked up by scouts and someone would organize a gang to engage us. Meanwhile, as always, my secondary goal was to educate our pilots on fleet tactics and how they work. For some of our pilots this would be the first time they flew BCs in a gang. So I always try to explain what is happening and why we are doing things.

We ran into some Test Alliance pilots in Heyd and managed to take down one of their Caracals, and a Scythe, before the rest of them ran off. We even managed to pop an unlucky Thrasher on the gate, which isn't easy to do with Drakes. The rest of the trip went about as well as it could, we chased, we baited, we waited patiently, we moved around, we ended up hanging out in Tama and getting no fights there (which is not unusual) and we even went as far as Ishomilken without much result. On the return trip I decided to take us into OMS and back thru Aeschee to see if Shadow Cartel might be awake.

But first we discovered a Pen is Out Gnosis and Vedmak hanging out on a Citadel in OMS. I sent two Drakes in to try and engage them while the rest of us waited. Luckily for us they both decided to engage our Drakes and we all made short work of both ships. The Gnosis. And the Vedmak.  This would have made for a solid ending to the roam, but luckily our scouts discovered a SC Drek gang in Ladistier on the OMS gate. So I made the decision to jump into them, and after a short positioning break on both sides, we ended up engaging each other.

I want to add here that I'm not trying to sugar coat the roam, we suffered some losses along the way. These are all represented on our killboards, but I'm not focusing on those here because it starts to get really complicated. One of our pilots who was trying to join us got caught on the trip and lost his Drake. Several of our support craft managed to give their lives in the effort. And Watson lost his Drake getting the Gnosis and Vedmak to engage. All of whom deserve mentioning. But honestly, given the size of our gang, our losses were minimal.

So six Dreks against our gang of 14 Drakes and support ships. The fight did not go well for them, and we managed to pop 4 of their Dreks before disengaging, and only lost one Drake in the fight. You can see the Battle Report here. After this we decided to head home, but then we saw that SC was re-shipping and asking for another round in local.

So we engaged again, but this time SC dropped an Apostle on us and things went much differently. We ended up losing 4 Drakes without being able to break a single Drek under FAX Logi. (Not surprisingly) However, once the Apostle dropped I made the decision to stay and fight. My orders were to lock up a string of Dreks and then keep switching our dps to try and break the logi. Mostly I wanted to teach our pilots how to do that under pressure and they all preformed extremely well. I learned later that one of the Dreks wasn't even locked by the FAX and would have gone down. But it was all good fun and a great learning experience for our pilots.

Almost four hours later and my Drake was safely back in the hangar. I have a lot of ideas for future theme fleets, so hopefully we'll be able to do this again soon.

But it was great to see so many Drakes warping together in space again. Just like the old days.




10 Years Ago Today



Get ready for a lot of these decade posts as we travel into the New Year of 2020! This is a big deal for me personally as in a month this blog will have been running along non-stop for ten years. So in the lead up to that anniversary I'll be looking back at the history, the highs and lows, and more in the weeks ahead. But today I wanted to just take a quick snapshot and see what happened on this day exactly ten years ago - before Eveoganda even started. December 20, 2009.

Just to set this up, by Dec 20th 2009 I had already been playing Eve for over a year. Fifteen months or so into the game already. Most of that time had been spent in Providence, fighting several wars, learning PvP, learning to FC large fleets from Progodlegend and others, and generally trying to find my way in this crazy, mixed-up universe of ours. At this moment I was in a corporation called Dissonance in an Alliance called Undivided based in Insomother. Dissonance was a great group of people and in another year we would move to Syndicate and form an Alliance called Black-Mark and I would be exposed to the Pirate lifestyle and start my transition into the Pirate Lord of Low Sec - but that was still a year away. For now I was a dedicated Null Sec soldier.

Nothing exciting happened on this day ten years ago. In fact I got one kill. I killed a Badger with a Manticore.

Of course there is a story there. Not about this specific kill, although I do still remember it believe it or not. But about what I was doing at the time. As always when I was in Null Sec, I would get bored pretty quickly. I wasn't a miner, or a mission runner, I enjoyed PvP and wanted to always be doing something. Sometimes that meant making stuff up on the spot. And sometimes that meant getting into trouble, starting wars, or much worse. In this case it meant inventing a whole new way of using a Manticore.

What I did was scout all of the surrounding regions and figure out the trade lanes, the busy gates and stations, and how goods were being moved. Etherium Reach was a good place to do this as several Alliances at the time were moving in and moving out due to recent wars. Once I gathered intel on those areas I started trying to figure out how to kill ships solo with just my Manti. In some case, like in that Badger kill, I would have company along. But most of the time it was just me hanging out cloaked somewhere and waiting. And waiting some more. And pretty much waiting.

I initially tried doing this on stations. I would create a spot right above the undock and cloak up there and wait for someone to undock in something big and transport like. My trials with combat ships hadn't gone well, in fact nothing about this was going well. So I decided to move to Gates instead. And this is where I scored the Badger kill.

How this worked was simple, I would warp to a Gate at zero and then burn straight up until I could cloak. Then I would wait. And watch combat ships jump thru and hope I wasn't de-cloaked. Always stay aligned. And then hopefully something like that Badger would jump thru and I'd de-cloak and point and kill it. Pretty simple.

The thing about it wasn't the kill itself, it was all the planning, intel gathering, bookmark making, avoidance, stealth - everything that went into making a kill like that even possible. This was the kind of thing I'd do to learn Eve. Learn by doing. Making things up to keep me interested. Keep challenging myself. Pushing the limits. From a specific standpoint that kill was dumb, meant nothing, and was pretty much a gank. But from a wider perspective it represents a lot more than that. It is learning skills that can't be taught from reading a blog post or watching a video - but that have to be earned the old fashioned way - by doing it. And failing. And trying again and again until you get it right.

Believe me I lost more Manticores than I was able to kill with them. But that wasn't the point back then. Heck, it still isn't the point. Get out there and learn stuff. Make your own experiences. Try new things. Undock and write your own story.

Play the game, don't let it play you.




2019 Holiday Wallpaper

2019 Holiday Wallpaper
Click to download your own copy


Every year I create a special wallpaper and this year is no different. 

Here are some of the ones from the past:

Not sure what happened to the 2013 Wallpaper but I can't seem to find it. From all of us in my family, both on Earth and in Space, I wish you all a Happy and Safe Holiday Season. Thanks for your continued support, readership, and fellowship. 

Sincerely.



The Athanor Drop Fight

Screenshot by Hun Tra
So yesterday I got a message on Discord and several in-game mails that an Athanor had been dropped in Ouelletta by a group called Galaxy Lords Holding. The weird thing was the Athanor wasn't anchored on a Moon but rather about 1,500k from the High Sec gate. A little digging and it was obvious that this was really an Intergalactic Space Hobos operation. Most likely a content generation ploy.

So we spent the day mobilizing the Alliance on Discord and waiting for the timer to pop up around 22:30 Eve time. I decided to spend the time leading up to the operation working the Diplomatic channels and see if I could find us some back-up in case things went all Hot-Drop O'clock on us. And also to camp the in gates to try and keep supplies and support from coming in. Mostly the gate camps were employed to keep the fleet busy, I've learned over the years that the hours leading up to ops can get boring - best to give people something to do. And it's fun.

Luckily this was a Saturday even though it was late for our EU players, we still managed to get around 30 pilots in fleet. As usual the numbers fluctuated a bit, but 30 is a good average. Not counting alt scouts, and other support pilots. We did manage to catch a Celestis coming into local and also a Hobos' Dominix as well. So it was time well spent.

Once the timer got close enough we switched out to one of our Home Defense Doctrines, this one based around the Brutix. We like this doctrine because a lot of our pilots can fly the ship, the rails give us good damage and range flexibility, and the Brutix is just a boss. I got into my AT Astarte which is a survivor of our last Tournament matches to provide links. And the rest of the fleet filled up with Guardians and other dps, support, as needed. And we started burning down the Athanor.

Scout reports came in from Hobos home system of a bunch of Lokis gathering around a Blops, but we weren't sure that was intended for us. We expected a cyno to pop up any second. Instead they did a log-on inside Ouelletta and about 13 of them logged into system. The Athanor was well passed half structure by the time the Loki gang landed and we started shooting them. We kept our drones on the Athanor so that it would stay in timer, which was a good call from our FC Watson. The Loki gang was no match for our combined damage and they started popping one by one. That's when the Minokawa landed to start repping them. You can see in this Loki killmail just how much dps it took to take one down under Minokawa reps.

That's when our friends in Shadow Cartel showed up with a handful of Bhaalgorns and started neuting the Minokawa. We cleared the field or they withdrew and for a while it was just us shooting the FAX and trying to bring it down. We briefly considered undocking Carriers or Dreads, but I felt it would be a mistake to escalate the fight into Caps at this point. Once it was apparent we didn't have enough dps to kill the Minokawa we switched back to the Athanor.

That's when they dropped 7 Carriers, 2 Revelations and yet another FAX on us. So the escalation decision was the right call. The fleet was anchored on me so I started moving away from the Caps to the other side of the Athanor, as we kept pounding at its structure. As you can see from the screenshot it finally exploded.

Then we started shooting Fighters, especially those annoying Siren IIs with the long points! At this point the field was lost and everyone pretty much decided to break things up. Good fights were given in local and our pilots started looting the field.

That was truly an epic fight and ABA stood our ground against overwhelming odds. You can see the Battle Report here or below.


I'd like to thank everyone involved for a great fight. If the point of the Athanor was to generate content then it worked as planned, all of us in A Band Apart appreciated the content. Special thanks to our friends in Shadow Cartel for showing up to help, I know the timezone was challenging for them as well - but we appreciate the support. And to others who joined in the fight without officially sanctioned support, thank you as well. You know who you are.

It has truly been a non-stop couple of months.

Onward & upward.






Eve Coloring Book Project

Eve Coloring Book
Some of my newer readers might not be aware of the Eve Coloring Book Project and the NEW pages that I just added. Today I added an Ashimmu and Kikimora page to the project, which contains print quality hi-res images that can be easily downloaded and printed on any black and white printer. There are also several activity pages such as a maze and a connect the dots page! These make great activities for kids, cousins, nephews and nieces. Get those young ones involved in Eve early!

Enjoy!



The Uncertainty Principle


Eve's greatest strength lies in uncertainty. The sheer amount of variables involved, which only seem to increase as the game goes on, make knowing anything for certain extremely unlikely. That next jump could be your last. The new ship you are so proud of could be gone in an instant. Your pod is not safe. Your destiny is unknown and largely unknowable. Darkness is everywhere you turn. Can this ship defeat that ship? Who knows for sure. It is a game of odds stacked against a wall of unknown heights. At the core of Eve lies a black heart.

And, for many of us, that uncertainty is what makes Eve unlike anything else. It drives us, challenges us, and makes us strive for mastery. This is fundamentally why Eve can never be for everyone. Why it should never be for everyone. It cannot lose that darkness.

My role inside this darkness is as an agent of chaos. I am the wolf that lurks outside the warm glow of the campfire. I, and others like me, serve as the danger that keeps uncertainty in the minds of other players. When someone needs more firewood, they may never come back again. This keeps everyone around the fire watchful, wary, and in touch with the realistic nature of their existence. The world is a dangerous place. You could get eaten by a wolf.

In the context of Eve I, and others like me, serve as a measure of other players success. A tangible measure against which they can achieve greatness. Lose your ship? Well then you need to learn, work harder, train more, seek revenge, come back someday and try to do better. When I lose a ship I don't get angry at the wolf, I get angry at myself for falling to the wolf. Why didn't I bring a gun? What can I do to get better at killing wolves? (Metaphorically speaking, not the actual Wolf Assault Frigate)

I added this to my in-game bio today in response to the many players that continue to question me about my activities inside of Eve:

Why Did You Lose Your Ship?
The core of Eve's gameplay is based on uncertainty. Your next jump could be your last, you could lose your ship, your pod, at any given moment. Your fate is unknown. I am the Wolf outside the glow of the campfire, the danger, risk, the agent of chaos. Without me there is no uncertainty, no risk, no unknown danger. I represent the darkness so that you can measure your successes against something tangible. Losing your ship means you have much yet to learn and more skills yet to master. Escaping or defeating me represents an achievement in that journey. If you lost your ship then I have done you a favor. A favor that is done to me from time to time. Learn from it, seek revenge, train hard, and someday return that favor. I look forward to it. And so should you.  - Rixx Javix

This is the role that I play inside of Eve. I find it infinitely fascinating, challenging, difficult, and highly rewarding. It is a personal test each and every time I undock to face the darkness, the unknown, the uncertainty. Because I have wolves, just like everyone else. I never know what might be outside the glow of my own campfire. And that is what keeps me coming back to this insane, stupid, crazy game.

As players we must understand that uncertainty needs to be treasured, protected, and actively engaged with regularly. For Eve to succeed we must embrace that uncertainty and help to spread it to all corners of New Eden. Build your campfires, but don't forget to venture out beyond the warm glow of safety from time to time. It is only there that you will face the darkness and find your own destiny.




Milestone: 7,000 Kills


Yesterday I exploded three ships and a pod to finally reach my 7,000th kill in Eve Online!

1 - A Vexor that Angor and I found inside a Medium Plex
2 - And his pod, which was empty sadly
3 - An Algos I managed to solo with my Comet, good fight, was very close
4 - And a Catalyst I found on the way home

The Catalyst pilot will be getting a brand-new fully fitted Catalyst from me in honor of being my 7,000th victim. He would have gotten it yesterday but I mistakenly contracted the ship inside our main Citadel and he can't dock there. So I'll get that sorted today at some point.


My ultimate goal has always been to try and reach 10,000 kills, so I have 3,000 more to go before I reach that. (Math is easy!) At my current rate based on the past year this will take me about four and a half years to accomplish. I suspect it will be more like five years or more given that I (hopefully) won't be unemployed or working from home forever.

And let me be clear here. No I do not play for killboard stats. This is simply another milestone along the journey that I am celebrating. Like an anniversary or other milestone. Having said that I do play to hone my craft, and my craft happens to be combat in Eve Online. It would be kind of weird if I had been playing Eve for as long as I have been playing Eve and I sucked at being a Pirate. I don't suck at being a Pirate because I work hard at being good at my job. And so, yes, I do take some measure of pride at these milestones when they come along. I'm not going to apologize or pretend they don't happen.

And yes many players have more kills than I do. Many of the pilots in Stay Frosty have more kills than I do. That's great! I do the best I can with the time I have. And I choose to play Eve in the hardest, most difficult, and most challenging way possible. That is a choice I made a long time ago and I stick by it every day. I only play on one character. Rixx does everything for me. (I do have a HS alt that transports for me) I don't have scout alts, or probing alts, or other support alts other than the HS transport alt. Which I have to have because I play at -10, which is yet another hard choice. It would be smarter to keep my sec status up, then I wouldn't get caught on gates or stations. My life would be easier in-game. But I choose not to do that. I've been -10 for the past eight years straight and that is not going to change. On top of that I am Rixx Javix and I fly around with a huge target on me at all times. People love to challenge me, kill me, test me, belittle me, threaten me, mock me... the list goes on and on. I love it. I love when Local empties out when I arrive. I love that people come at me to prove themselves. I love the boasting people do in local against me. Bring it on. Personally I find it incredibly challenging to just be me in New Eden. It's awesome.

If I cared about killboard stats I wouldn't play this way. I care about the challenge. The hard mode choices were made to make Eve as hard as humanly possible for me for a reason. Because I thrive under that kind of pressure. I enjoy it. It helps to make Eve incredibly difficult for me personally. Eve is hard. My Eve is insanely hard.

And posts like this only serve to make it worse.

Here's to the next 3,000 exploded ships and pods over the next few years. If it happens to be your ship or your pod please know there is no malice involved. Eve is a game that I play for the challenge, the adventure, and the friendships.

And the explosions.



Eve Comic #89


The very first panel of this on-going strip appeared on Eveoganda on March 9th, 2010 believe it or not. That means that in a little more than three months I will have been doing this strip for ten years! Good grief. I had no idea it would go on this long and I sincerely apologize. The things I've put you through over the years! I have a lot to answer for. God knows.

Seriously though, I hope you enjoy them!



Cloaky Camping: An Effective Response to HighSec War Decs


NOTE: The following is based on a recent war that was declared on our Alliance A Band Apart and was primarily written by Stay Frosty FC Watson Crick. This response was developed by Watson as a trial response to measure how effective it would be in changing the activity level of the group that had declared war against us. This is an individual incident and while we believe the results are extremely positive and warrant further trials in the future, please keep this in mind. I hope to have exact data to add to this report in the near future, but I didn't want to wait any longer to bring this to your attention. - Rixx

________________________

While the majority of ABA members spend their time in low security space, we do have several corporations that operate in high security space. While not a lethal threat, high sec wars remain an annoyance to our members. It even has an impact on those of us in Stay Frosty.

High Sec War Declarations have been the subject of infinite scorn and debates for as long as Eve has existed. Its victims usually only have two unpleasant options:
• Business as usual which results in expensive loss-mails and more war-decs.
• Fight. Not all Alliances have an effective PVP wing, and giving war-deccers fights can lead to, yes, more war-decs.

Consequently the most common response has been to turtle up and stop all activities in high-sec.

The most significant recent change to this mechanic has been the war HQ. This was meant as a way for the defender to have an opportunity to shut down a war early. Unfortunately, this option was not available to us when we were war-decced recently by a fairly young alliance named Hell Dawn. The war HQ was a Raitaru that had already lost its shield and armor, but its structural timer would expire in 8 days... after the war had ended.

Technically, this left docking up as our only remaining option, but the kill-board of our aggressor gave me an idea. Between October and November (51 days) Hell Dawn killed 502 billion isk in shipping, mostly in the pipe system of Sivala. That’s an average of 9.8 billion isk per day. I also remembered from my days as a high-sec mercenary that they, like null-sec ratters, don’t like having unknown war targets in system.

The 24 hrs lead time before a war-dec becomes active leaves very little time for intelligence gathering, developing a strategy, communicating said strategy to your alliance mates and, especially, moving ships, alts and jump clones into position. And let’s not forget that some of us need to visit the nearest CONCORD office with fistfuls of cash and clone tags (RIP my -10 security status).

The mood was set for the first evening of the war. A dozen ABA pilots were cloaked in system and our opponent had gathered a similar number. They might have been hoping for a fight but, since they could not tell what we were fielding, they remained docked and raged in Local. Our pilots never responded. However on our own comms we were having a wonderful time. It was working, NO ships were ganked in Sivala that day!

On day two, we had to demonstrate that this was not some toothless blockade with cloaky alts. T3Cs and Recons were added to the initial wave of bombers and we waited for somebody to run out of patience. They got a few kills but nothing that compares with their usual numbers. I managed to interrupt a gank attempt on a Rapier in Uedama. After we interrupted their gank on a Rapier, they regrouped in the Mini-Luv citadel in Uedama and then gradually undocked in a very good fleet: Drekavac, 2 Cynabals, 2 Oneiros, a boosher, a Lachesis and another ship.

They could have parked that fleet on the Uedama-Sivala gate and camped all night long. We never had the time to bring anything that could deal with that. At that moment, we had 12 in local but only 3 bombers and a Falcon were active.

But they didn’t know that. They saw my bomber and nothing else. Only the Logi and Cynabals jumped through and moved on to Jita. The others turned back, re-docked and their pilots rejoined Sivala in shuttles. After some Local chat PVP some of them ran away to Jita but then returned when they saw more ABA pilots in local. 8 of them hunkered down in a Raitaru surrounded by 12 ABA pilots in local. They undocked a couple of Thrashers to try to catch our very fast Slasher. Which didn't work.

On the morning of the third day, a couple of them tried gate camping again. They engaged an Ashimmu with a Gnosis and a Hurricane Fleet Issue. Only three of us were active at the time. Fortunately I had upgraded my ship to a very tanky Tengu so I warped to the gate and engaged the Gnosis. I also brought in my alt in a Nemesis because tanky Tengu = crappy DPS. The HFI ran away and, while my Rapid Lights were reloading, the Gnosis jumped through the gate with 5-10% structure left. At least now they knew our cloaky campers had teeth.

After that Sivala was ours. They moved on to faster ships (Hecate) and to other systems around Jita. But some of them still had their ships in Sivala, and we were able to catch and destroy a Tornado as it tried to rejoin its comrades. Our plan was to follow them, wherever they went. Unfortunately, PIRAT noticed our increased presence in the area and decided to bless us with yet another war-dec.

In conclusion, we believe that cloaky camping is a valid alternative to not playing EVE during a war-dec. A dozen ABA characters, flown by half as many pilots, were able to force a high-sec war-deccing alliance to leave their favorite hunting ground. Most of these alliances commonly war-dec dozens or even hundreds of alliances at a time. If these would contribute a small number of pilots and alts to cloaky camp pipe and trade systems, it would seriously impair the ability of high-sec war-deccers to use local to collect intel and feel safe while gate camping and hunting around high-sec.

We will continue to work on refining and testing the response in the future and I will report back on any additional findings as they become available.

- Watson Crick, Stay Frosty FC






Rixx Vs The Phoenix



Enjoy this video from yesterday. I undocked my Archon to try and tease some idiots in local into attacking me. Little did I realize that they would undock a Phoenix just a day after they lost a Moros in the same system! Awesome.

Here is the Phoenix killmail.

Special thanks to Shadow Cartel for being ready to jump in and bring the hammer! And to FireSequence for shooting the entire encounter.


The Power of Frigates

Stay Frosty Wallpaper
Click to embiggen
In May 2020 Stay Frosty will be seven years old. Seven years of hard-fought survival amongst the ruthless and unforgiving darkness of Low Security space. Seven years of being hunted, threatened, war-decced, hell camped, and much, much worse. If I had a billion isk for every time someone promised to destroy us over those seven years I could easily afford a Titan. Fully faction fit. But I can't, because - after all - I'm just a poor Pirate Lord.

And yet, despite all the challenges that come with being a successful and annoying Pirate Corporation in New Eden's PvP playground, Stay Frosty endures. How is that possible?

There is one secret that forms the basis for our success that has long-term consequences that help ensure our survival - and that is our relentless belief in our Code. Thing is, other people have codes and goals and dreams and visions and yet they don't survive for seven months - not to mention seven years. Why is that? Part of that reason is the buy-in we have from our members, both long-term and newly arrived. Our group believes in the Code and in our Mission and they all work hard to ensure that everyone in our Corporation plays by the rules. This level of commitment ensures that anyone that doesn't gets identified, talked to, encouraged, and ultimately kicked if need be. It is far too easy for Corporations or Alliances to get destroyed by cancer from inside their own ranks. Our players ensure that this cannot happen. No exceptions. And that no exceptions part is the second reason the system works.

Far too often in other Corporations or Alliances exceptions will be made for exceptional players, or those that bring content, or FCs, or someone's cousin, or friend, or whatever. I know, I've seen it in action many times over the years. This is yet another form of cancer that can eat away at your player's confidence in your commitment to the Code or Mission. Our players know that I mean business and will not tolerate exceptions from anyone. No matter who they happen to be. I've proven that time and time again over the years. I mean what I say.

Consistent leadership is also key. I wrote the Code myself based on the Pirate Code that KaJolo wrote years and years ago when he founded the Tuskers. Having consistent and engaged leadership is crucial to the long-term success of any organization and an Eve Corp is no exception. That is critical.

But beyond that there is yet another reason why we continue to thrive while our enemies have all tended to fade into history. A crucial and often overlooked part of our success comes from the fact that we mainly fly Frigates. Yes, the little ships of Eve are a crucial and important cornerstone of our success over the years. But how does that matter?

Over the years we often get pulled in many directions. From time to time various players will suggest that we should consider taking Sov in Null Sec, or that we need to form larger doctrines to defend ourselves, and that we should build Caps, or any number of other schemes designed to elevate us amongst the other players in New Eden. And while those desires are often tempting, as well as potentially exciting, we always resist the urge. Of course, the wisdom of time has taught me an important lesson when it comes to these urges - let the players play. So we've taken Sov before, we have larger doctrines that we sometimes fly when needed, we have Caps (You might not know this but at one point Stay Frosty had several Titans), and we encourage our players to have bigger ships on stand-by. You never know when you might need them.

But the important part is our reliance on Frigates. Frigates are hard to gate camp, station camp, or stop in any way. Once destroyed they are easily replaced. And you can have a lot of them on hand for next to nothing. Frigate combat also teaches players the best about PvP especially when you fly them over and over and over and over again. Master the Frigate first is our mantra and it works. Individually our pilots are among the best in the game. Because we work hard at our mission. Experience counts.

If you look at our All-Time Stats on zKill you'll see that you have to scroll down to #15 to find the first dessie, the Thrasher, on the ships used list. And #20 before you hit another one. And #26 before you hit the first Cruiser. Everything above that is Frigates.

Ultimately our continued success comes from our players. Over the years we've been fortunate to attract and maintain the very best pilots who have a innate desire to prove themselves, test their individual mettle, and stand strong against overwhelming odds to prove themselves worthy of being a Stay Frosty Pirate. This is what it is all about.

If you have that desire. If you would like to test yourself among the stars, fly whatever you want, test the limits of your abilities whenever you log in - then you should consider joining us. We are always on the look out for the next great Pirate. Come, fly with the Pirate Lord of Low Sec and help build Stay Frosty for the next seven years. Join our in-game channel EVEOGANDA and talk to someone about becoming a member.

Otherwise we'll just have to explode your ship.

Stay Frosty my friend.



November's Results


Another month is history as November 2019 fades into memory. Being unemployed and working from home has certainly given me more time to play Eve than I normally get. Although not as much as you might think, as I'm also trying to get a new business off the ground while also looking for new employment - both of which take up a lot of time and effort. Even so, more than normal Eve time. Which resulted in one of my best months in a long time. 160 kills is the most I've had since Feb 2016 when I logged 163 kills, 225 kills remains my highest monthly total and that was from January 2014.

160 still wasn't enough to secure my second month Hicks Award however, as both Watson and Lufax ended the month with more kills than I did. With 254 and 228 respectively, which means Watson managed to bring home the monthly Top Killer Award. Congratulations to the retired man!! Grumble grumble.

24 different ships registered kills for me during the month. The Astero led the way with 64 kills and I ended November #3 in Astero kills in all of New Eden. Although, as far as Solo kills go I was #1, not many people out there are using the ship for Solo roaming. It seems mostly the Astero is being used for probing ships down, which is what it is primarily intended. I was podded three times but two of those were empty Null Sec clones during our weekly Crow Gangs down in Null. The other one was due to a "friend" taking advantage of a server glitch to send me home on the PodExpress. Which happens.

My most valuable kills for the month were the two Orcas that Brrc Flynn found for us in Amoderia. (Orca one and Orca two) A House of Boom Deimos which was killed during a WH battle along with two Dreks, Drek One and Drek Two. And then the Praxis we bushwacked in Murethand. I had a lot of good Solo fights in November and it is difficult to go back and find them all, but here are some highlights:

2v1 - Two Caracals against my Drek. Caracal One and Caracal Two.
Solo Caracal with my Astero
Firetail with my Astero
Slicer with my Astero
Eris with my Astero
Vexor with my Astero

I'll add this Raven kill as another highlight of the month since it was the first time I used a Leshak in combat. All credit to the Raven pilot, he left the Large plex safely and then came back to fight. So that took some guts considering how quickly his Raven died.

I started October wanting to update the Astero and play around with it to see if I could make it a worthy PvP ship in the new meta. Back in 2013/14 Stay Frosty pioneered using the new ship in Low Sec PvP but a lot has changed since then. Since then I've registered 113 kills with 5 generations of the ship, mostly solo, so I think the experiment was a success. And while no ship is perfect and I still value my variety, the Astero has returned as a valid roaming choice.

I think I'll pick another ship to try here in December, but I'm not sure yet which one it will be. So stay tuned.

Until then, Stay Frosty my friends.



Anatomy of a Kill: Caracal & Jackdaw


I believe that one of the most difficult and challenging professions in all of Eve Online is hunting Solo. Which is why I do it as often as I do. While I also love small gang and sub-cap fleet operations, nothing quite satisfies like hunting down a fellow pilot and winning a good fight one on one. It is insanely risky, unpredictable, horribly intense, and often extremely rare. Killing another ship is one thing, but truly experiencing a good fight Solo is often quite another. I kill a lot of enemy ships, but only rarely does a fight elevate to the level of a truly good fight. And it is that pursuit that keeps me playing, refining, training, and undocking every single day.

As I've said in these pages hundreds of times, the definition of a good fight can change based on the circumstances involved. Sometimes it comes down to the tactics used to initiate the fight, or the subterfuge, or incidents surrounding the fight - the last-minute escape, or something more than just the actual slugfest. Like how expensive the kill might be. In other words, a good fight can often be in the eye of the beholder. More often than not, the dude on the losing side doesn't agree.

Lately I've returned to a frigate that Stay Frosty helped make famous back when it first appeared in New Eden - the Astero. Back in the early days my good friend Joffy was rather famous for flying the ship and these days I'm naming all of mine in his honor. I fly other ships of course, 20 different ships this month already, but I've been hard at work refining the fit on my Astero over four generations so far. So it was the other day that I was roaming the spacelanes in Joffy V looking to test it against worthy opponents.  I had already killed a Kestrel and a mostly unfitted Tristan(!!) but as you can imagine, neither of those kills elevated themselves to good fight status. I needed a challenge.

So I was hanging out near the Sun in Annancale the other day when I noticed the Jackdaw on scan. Now a Jackdaw is not normally a good target selection for my little Frigate. But what I noticed was that the JD had just opened a brand new Reprisal site. Fine, I'd let him have the site and be on my way. But then I noticed the Caracal on scan. Again, not usually a good target selection for my little Frigate. However, both of their sigs were on the Reprisal site now. And I immediately warped over. My hope was that the JD had already taken the gate and slid into the site and that my little Frigate would beat the Caracal to the gate and I could engage it in close quarters. If I could get the Caracal under my Scram/Web and in range of my Neut, then I might stand a chance of winning the fight.

Everything went exactly as I hoped. I landed before the Caracal and managed to get Scram/Web on him before he could activate the gate. And now I was committed. I hoped that I would be able to explode the Caracal before his buddy in the JD came to rescue him. Which is a challenge since my little Astero, while it has a solid tank, is not much of a DPS machine. (What I wouldn't know until later was that this Caracal was passive tanked with three extenders, so my Neut was having no effect at all really.) And then, just as the Caracal hit about mid-shield, the Jackdaw landed.

Now I was in a 2v1 against two ships both of whom are higher class than me and both of whom are shooting Frigate killing light missiles at me! And while the Caracal wasn't sporting points, his JD buddy surely was. Now I was truly committed.

Immediately I made the decision to switch my Web and my Neut from the Caracal to the JD and hope he was active tanked. I also drove my drones into him thinking maybe he'd be confused by the sudden thought of losing his ship and run away. (It happens!) He didn't. I was under no false sense of hope that I could break the JD's tank, I fly them myself and I know how they can be, but then again - this is Eve and sometimes people fit their ships like idiots. (Just look at that Tristan from earlier!)

At this point I was starting to run low on Cap Charges and the JD was making the decision to start shooting my drones. I asked for help in Corp channels, but most of Stay Frosty is off dealing with something else right now and no help was available. (More on that later this week.) So I decided to focus on the Caracal as my primary.

My tank was performing well and I wasn't in any immediate danger. I stopped using my Neut as it was having no effect and it was chewing cap charges. That helped slow things down a little on that front. Then I noticed the first red line show up in the Caracal's structure. That red line is like a shot in the arm for anyone fighting a shield ship and I knew the Caracal was going to explode. Which it did shortly afterwards. The Caracal exploded.

Which left me with this annoyingly well-tanked Jackdaw. I was losing drones and I only had about 5 cap charges left. I couldn't break his tank and, even without cap charges, he wasn't going to break mine. So I started pulling range and asked him in local if he'd like to call it a draw? His point dropped and I warped away.

That was a long engagement. And a good fight. And while that Caracal isn't the best fit Caracal ever, it is a solid fit for a Cruiser. Nothing wrong with it. So I still managed to Solo a Cruiser in a Frigate all while being shot and pointed by a Jackdaw. So that's something.

And those are the moments I keep playing for.

Like this Raven I melted with my Leshak earlier in the day while Lufax held it down with his Garmur. Also awesome.






The Rixx Store


If you are looking for Eve related merchandise for this upcoming Holiday season then head on over to the Rixx Store!

The store is celebrating its third year of providing non-IP "Eve Themed" Gear, t-shirts, mugs, placemats, phone cases, pillows, clocks, and much, much more. And while CCP remains stubborn about the concept of Limited Licensing Agreements, I do my best to provide community themes, Alliance, and related subjects of all kinds. Not just Eve either, in fact you'll find a lot of Geek and Gamer based gear as well. So be sure to check it out.

I add new stuff every week.

Like this "When in Doubt Dock Up" design.

Or this "1v1 At The Sun" design.

Or this fun (only we'll know) "Let's Meet At The Sun" design.

All of which got added just this week. And I've got more new designs in the pipeline, so be sure to bookmark the store and check back often.

The great thing about RedBubble is they will ship all over the world for a fair rate. I've had buyers from all over the world, Australia, Russia, Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Canada, England, Singapore, and more. Hundreds of items sold without problems. Just last week someone got the wrong sized shirt in the mail and RedBubble took care of that without any issues. So you can buy in confidence knowing that hundreds of people already have.

Be sure to gear up for the Holidays, for that next Eve player meet, or just to impress your friends.

Stay Frosty.



Neighborhood Work


No matter where you live in New Eden it is your home. That can be a Wormhole, a Null Sec pocket, a High Sec trading post, or a corner of lawless Low Sec - but no matter where it is that you call home the area surrounding you is your neighborhood. The things that go on in that neighborhood are of utmost importance to you, your activities, and those that you choose to fly with. Any disruption or unbalanced game play can impact not only you, but everyone around you. And while the reactions that such events can engender can range rather widely across the stars, I'd like to focus today on the idea of "tending" that neighborhood.

It might not be something that you've considered before. The idea that your specific game play choices can impact the area you choose to live in, but they do. For example, in my home system there is a High Sec gate entrance. It might be tempting for us to set up a insta-locking camp on that gate and farm kills all day, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week. And while some players choose to do things similar to that (looking at you Uedama!) I know that such a set-up would effectively destroy the neighborhood. So choosing NOT to do that is a choice that is being made to keep the neighborhood running smoothly and encouraging to those jumping into Low from High Sec. I want them to come. If I shut down the gate they will stop coming. And that would be bad for business.

That same theory dictates what types of ships we fly on a regular basis. We have to live in our neighborhood every day and we know that if we fly larger, more expensive ships on a regular basis, that will only discourage smaller ships from flying in our area. That's why, when we do fly larger ships, we tend to do so in other people's neighborhoods. Because we know we won't be there long enough to upset the apple cart there.

In our neighborhood recently we've had some idiots move in that perfectly express the worst of this idea. A handful of terrible pilots have decided to "hang out" in expensive ships with Dread and Carrier backing, to gate camp and farm easy kills. Yesterday I watched them kill a Rifter with an Ashimmu, a Gnosis, and a Praxis. Obviously that Rifter had no chance in that fight. Which is frustrating for that Rifter pilot and discouraging to him or those in his Corporation to come back again. It poisons the well. And so steps have to be taken to remedy the situation. To return things to balance.

And that balance might very well be your own perspective. Others in your neighborhood may not agree, and that is where conflict comes from. Which is good for the game and good for business, engagement, activity, and Corporate pride. I'm not against any of that obviously. Trade wars, gate camps, WH evictions, whatever your specific type of neighborhood conflict might be - it is the cornerstone of what makes Eve great.

For us, in our corner of the Universe, we welcome idiots. Eventually they will get tired of being killed, or blue-balled, or ignored, and move on. And then something else will happen and things will move along to the next thing.

But I think it is important, even as a main line player, to keep in mind that your actions do have an impact on your neighborhood. Keep flying that Loki every day and eventually you'll stop finding targets and discover that you are now the target. Mix it up, fly it somewhere else, move along and let the neighborhood recover behind you. There are a lot of things you can do to help keep the game vital and interesting, no matter what specific type of game play you enjoy.

Fly Smart.



Eve Art Studio Number Three



I meant to make this video ages ago and totally forgot about it until I ran across the screenshots on my computer this morning. Originally I was going to do a much more extensive deep dive into the process with voice over and more details, but I'll save that for another piece in the future. For now I wanted to get this done and out before I forgot about it again.

If you have any specific questions or requests for future content be sure to leave a comment.

Enjoy!



Also, an extra bonus for my readers (and since I forgot to include it in the video), here is a Vector View of the entire finished illustration so you can get an idea of how complicated it is.



Spontaneous Orca Gank


So yesterday I get a ping from Brrc Flynn of Average Pilots about a mining fleet he's spotted a few jumps over from Murethand in a Low Sec pocket a couple of jumps through High Sec. About 4 Orcas and a few Hulks going to town mining rocks and whatnot. Y'know, whatever it is that mining ships do. Unfortunately at the time no one else was active in Stay Frosty, everyone else was either afk or not answering. I even convo'd Nuke Cave of the Tuskers to see if he wanted to help us out, but he had to go get work done.

No worries. We had to move fast because we had no idea how long they had been working this field. So I made the call to jump into a couple of dps Cruisers, I took an Omen Navy Issue and Brrc jumped into a Cynabal. And I started burning over to Murethand to meet up. There were a few neutrals causing trouble on the Murethand station, but they kindly warped off as I landed and we quickly headed to the out gate. We are both effectively -10 so High Sec is not a kind place for either of us. Which is one major reason why we brought Cruisers instead of anything bigger. Plus that added agility might come in handy depending on whatever response fleet might be showing up.

I think we caught them completely off guard. We randomly picked an Orca to tackle and started burning it down. Once it was secured I switched tackle to a nearby Hulk to hold it down. Between his Cynabal and my ONI the first Orca was going down pretty darn fast. And it wasn't long before it exploded.  And we quickly started shooting the Hulk, while Brrc managed to grab tackle on yet another Orca. About this time is when the mining fleet started waking up and getting some drones on us, but what we were most concerned about was the nearby Athanor. But so far it had remained silent. The Hulk went down quickly and we started working on the other Orca. The other two Orcas remained on the field but they were further away, the closest one was about 60k off. Just as we started considering one of us burning for it, it finally aligned out and warped away. The other Orca exploded.

At this point local had spiked a bit and we had already noticed more ships on scan. So we both bailed and I went to Station to rep some of my OH damage in case we had another fight coming up. By this time we had been joined by Stay Frosty pilot Lufax in local as well. Needless to say local was alive and the hornets were swarming. It was then that I noticed that my friend Ashterothi was in local and that somehow this mining fleet was connected to him somehow. I later learned that it was also connected to Hateless Gaming as well. Either way we decided that we'd done enough for one day and should leave on a positive note. We said our farewells in local and burned back home.

Special thanks to Brrc for bringing this to my attention. I really enjoy operations like this as it is just pure, old-fashioned piracy in action. I hope we created an exciting event for those in local and something they won't forget anytime soon. Space is dangerous my friends and full of terrors.

-----------------------------

Later when I had more time to play I started flying a bit in my Astero. I managed to catch a Tristan and a Rifter without too much trouble. At this point she had 15 killmarks on her already. And that's when I spotted two ships in Hevrice local. An Algos and a Venture.

Just a quick note here about two things I'd like to mention. One is, Karma is a bitch. And the second is that I never, ever hunt Ventures. Ventures are simply targets of opportunity, if one is in local and nothing else is going on - I'll try to catch it. But I never waste time hunting one.

So I went for the Algos. What you should know is that an Algos kill in my Astero is not a sure thing for me. Especially with these monster hull-tanked Algos around. And while I can sometimes manage to disengage, for the most part once I am committed I'm committed to the bitter end. The operational range of this tiny little Frigate is close. However, despite a valiant effort from the Algos pilot (well done), it still exploded.

At this point I had 3 Nanite charges left in my repper and some heat damage on some of my mods. Normally at this point I should dock up and get reps. But that darn Venture was still on scan in the belt. Now my Pirate-Sense was tingling hard at the back of my neck and I should have listened, it usually keeps me from doing risky things. But, as I often do, I ignored it and went for the Venture without getting reps or thinking about why it had remained in the belt despite the Algos dying in local.

And yes dear reader, this was a tarp. The Venture died sure. But then a cloaky Stratios appeared on my overview. In classic small fish eaten by a bigger fish fashion I was doomed. And my poor Astero exploded under me.  Those with a keen eye will notice the Reaper on that km and don't ask me how it got there because I don't know.

Ships are fitted to explode. For miners and Pirate Lords. I told the Stratios pilot in local good fight and well executed trap. Because it was. Wether it was on purpose or if I just happened to get into the middle of someone else's effort to sneak up on a Venture cloaked - either way, well done.

That's Eve for you.




Astro Guitar

AstroGuitar Illustration

This drawing was originally just a quick sketch concept for an album cover I'm working on. It didn't get used but I still loved the concept, so I went ahead and finished the drawing. Originally it was going to be part of an entire background on an alien world or something, but I like it set alone against the color background like that.

If you are interested it is also available on shirts and other items over on the Rixx Store.

Enjoy.





Farming In Eve


There are very few choices in Eve Online for which I have no respect. Most of the horrible game play choices that incur my derision are based around incidental contact and impact on other people's playing styles. In fact, for brief periods of time, I could often be accused on "ganking" or "gate camping" or "smart-bombing" or any number of other activities in Eve that many people (including myself) might often look down on. Thing is though, those are choices based around momentary need and don't represent a commitment to that specific activity. Most of the time it only happens because the opportunity to do so presented itself.

Farming however, is significantly different. So what is farming? I will give you an example. I once farmed a system named Lisbaetanne with a fleet of Sacrileges for about six months or so. I wasn't playing Eve much at the time and I was in-between Corporations. So I fitted up a small fleet of Sacs and began killing everything that came into that system while I was logged in. I knew that 90% of the time I would be outmatching my potential opponents when I caught them on gate, or undocking, or in belts or missions. I played very little Eve during that time but I still managed to rack up well over 300 kills using those Sacs. They weren't all ganks either, I did manage to have some truly good fights in there as well. But, being honest, I was totally farming kills.

Farming kills can take many forms. Some Corporations do it with Caps dropping on much smaller ships and gangs. Some players will only fly higher level ships against smaller level pilots. You come in a Frigate and they come in a Dessie. Like most things in Eve, you know you are being farmed when you see it. And the difference between "farming" and just regular old pirating can be extremely subtle and confusing.

What is the difference between a farmer and me landing on a Tristan with a hull-tanked rail Comet? Or a Garmur? If I've been out on a roam with my Comet and happen to come across that Tristan is that farming? The odds of that Tristan winning the fight are low, depending on fits, it could be almost zero. Should I turn away from the opportunity of a win simply because the odds of the upcoming fight are nearly 100%? Of course not. For all I know this Tristan pilot could be awesome and defeat my Comet. It happens. It is only after the fight that I know the odds. But what if that wasn't good enough for me? What if I wanted to swing those odds to be more certain? I could do that rather easily. I could run with better head candy for one thing, that would help. I could also pop some drugs, a little extra speed, or better reps would certainly help. I could also have a friend ready in another ship to swoop in and help if things start to go in the Tristan's favor. Or I could fit faction or Abyssal mods on my ship to make it even more foolproof. And, even before the fight, I start to feel like my odds are more like 100%.

The thing is, this entire article is bullshit.

Those Sacs from the earlier example? I lost more than 20 of them doing that. It was hard work to get those kills, and it took planning, strategy, guile, and determination to rack up 300 kills that way. The truth is, if you are PvPing in Eve you are farming in one way or another. We all are.

The reason we don't like "farmers" is because they spoil the crop. The people that we know are doing this ruin the neighborhood for everyone else. Lisbaetanne become a desert from me doing what I did. Other corporations noticed the kills and started moving much worse things into local in response. Before long you couldn't get any kills in local for all the T3 ships on scan. Pirates cultivate their crops by moving around, giving good fights, talking to their victims, doing all the things that we know will help other players come back. Heck, I will sometimes throw a fight to keep other players interested. True farmers are only in it for the easy kills.

But there is no difference. Fitting your ships to win is the correct choice. Better fits and tactics win fights. Flying better ships is better. All of these things are in the toolbox and they should be used. Our goal is to win fights, as it should be. And doing anything you can to make that happen is what you should be doing.

Intentions don't matter. The difference between someone farming and someone not farming are all about intentions, and those are indifferent to what happens in space. Of no consequence. If you don't like what someone is doing then make them stop doing it.

In the meantime I'll keep farming Low Sec and hoping the crop comes in strong again soon.

Because it is all content.




1v1 #86 For Falcon


Having lost CCP Guard earlier this year, we've now also lost CCP Falcon. I've already expressed my thoughts directly with Paul privately, so I thought that a special 1v1 in his honor would suffice publicly.

Onward and upward.



Please, Don't Kill Me


Another system. I've taken the gate and immediately start d-scanning, two in local, one is in an Incursus. Where is it? In a belt. I immediately warp to the belt, point the Incursus and start my deadly dance. From my perspective at this point everything is on the line. I am exposed in local. I'm probably also being pointed by my target which means my own avenues of escape are narrow. I could be blobbed by his buddies. Ambushed by the cloaky Stratios in the belt with him. Or destroyed by the Abyssal mod fitted, drug induced, implant driven dual rep monster of an Incursus I have foolishly engaged. I have no idea how this engagement is going to go.

Except it doesn't go that way. The Incursus doesn't fire back, or point me, or engage in the dance of death at all. Instead it employs psychological warfare in the form of intense begging and pleading. "Please don't kill me!" Or another volley of, "This is my only ship." or some variation of real world words aimed at breaking my spirit. Suddenly I'm thrown head first out of the immersion that is Eve and into a mental evaluation of my own sense of morality. Of course I continue to pummel the Incursus until it explodes, but will I pod this pilot as well?

Begging for your life is nothing new in Eve of course. Certain pilots have employed the begging stance since the beginning of time. Often they will even name their ships something like, "No Fight" or, "Please No Kill" or something to that effect. As if I have time to not only find them, but also pay attention to the name of their ship. I don't. Mostly because I also often name my ships in ways to fool the locals into thinking it might be harmless, or stupid, or both. I can't allow the mere name of a ship to stop me. Begging is with us, no doubt about it.

And yes, we often share these moments in our Discord with each other. Or share stories about the time someone brought a large ship into Low Sec and then declared in local that they were just here to PvE and they shouldn't be bothered. Or the Russian player who taunted me a dozen times for being a coward, only to discover they had fitted WCS in ALL the lows. These tales can be epic. They can also be sad. Or weird to fathom. Isn't there a warning sign that pops up when you enter Low Sec? I believe there is.

Years ago, when I was first starting out in Eve my Son and I jumped from Piekura into Mara. We died so fast I'm still not entirely sure what happened. We laughed our asses off at how foolish we were and how dangerous Low Sec must be. My first dozen or so PvP engagements went much the same way. It's like playing College Football and then starting your first game in the Pros. Everything happens so fast. I get that it can be scary, sudden, and rather brutal.

I get that. I really do. Which is why I often spend time talking to or giving advice to my victims, when they are open to it. But I also have to admit that I don't like the sudden moral injection of decision that is being injected into my game. Suddenly I'm expected to judge a situation in real world terms that have no application to what is happening in-game. At the most basic level, every ship in Eve is destined to explode eventually. Eve wears its intentions on its sleeve. It is right there on the box. This game is deadly. I don't want to ruin anyone's game. I just want to play it at a high level and bring content to the wasteland that is Low Security space - or any space that I might be flying in at the moment.

A week or so ago I engaged a pilot in a Hawk. I was in my Astero. We fought for a long time and it was becoming obvious that neither of us would break the other. I suggested in local that we call it a draw and move on. He agreed. Good fights were given and we both warped away. I much prefer that sort of gentlemanly agreement.

If you really don't want to die in Eve there is only one way to ensure it doesn't happen. Don't undock.

Otherwise, there are dragons.

Be a dragon slayer.



1v1 Eve Comic Number 85


It's back! Yes that's right, the world-famous 1v1 Eve Comic has returned. If you happen to have been living in a cave for the last decade you can get caught up on the last 84 or so comics by visiting the 1v1 page here.  Or, I also have a dedicated Flickr album with all the comics as well.

I figured I would update the look and feel a bit, as well as illustrate these at a higher resolution so future generations can appreciate them even more and the coffee table book won't suck. Gotta plan ahead.

Anyway, I plan on trying to stick to a weekly schedule, so we'll see how that goes.

Enjoy!



In Defense of Chucky


FYI - Chucky is a shared Wormhole between Voodoo Children and Lucifer's Hammer, two of the corporations that make up A Band Apart along with Stay Frosty and Artemis Underground. This wormhole has a long and storied history which I won't get into today, but suffice to say a lot of blood, sweat, and tears have gone into this space over the years.

Late last week several of the structures inside Chucky were put into reinforcement by a roving gang of Goons and their loyalist allies*. We didn't believe that this action was a full-scale eviction based on the make up of the forces that showed up, but nevertheless we took it seriously. Over the next few days an incredible amount of work went into preparing Chucky for defense, our Alliance sprung into action with many people putting in long hours getting ships, mods, and other assets ready for the timers which came up on Saturday. Not all of our structures were in reinforced, so that helped. It also seemed to indicate this wasn't an eviction.

Things can get complicated when trying to explain a long, three-day event like this. It isn't as simple as trying to convey a single fleet fight. This wasn't simple. 3 Structures were at risk. The enemy had popped up a POS inside of Chucky and added some guns and other protection to that POS. On our side we had Bold, Thane, and Watson running as FC at various times, with Thane manning the Fortizar defenses when it was under attack. Our position from the beginning was to implement a "guerrilla"style defense and use our home to our advantage, striking from our bases and moving in and out quickly. So that was essentially the lay of the land.

Friday we harassed the POS and put its defenses into reinforcement. Mostly the enemy stayed inside the shields, but we managed to trade ships here and there during the day. Meanwhile our FC Watson and others worked hard to turn what we had available to us into a working comp, in fact by the end we managed to put together three main comps with support of various wings into action. It was a solid plan for what we knew of the enemies strengths.

And initially everything went according to plan. Our first major engagement went like clockwork and we managed to remove the enemy from the HS entrance and regain control of the hole. You can see from this Battle Report that we came away from that engagement with a clear victory. That early victory wouldn't last long however, as the enemy continued rolling entrances all day. At last count I remember at least seven or eight entrances being closed on us, which made reinforcement extremely difficult on our HS supply lines. Just ask Tovanis, who was heroically trying to get supplies to us inside.

Eventually the enemy re-took control of the hole and after several "fly-by" engagements we decided to put our first comp all-in and force them off the Hole. We managed to force them off the hole once more and take down the bubbles they had been using to protect it. Battle Reports are often confusing things, and in this instance it is impossible to pull the next two engagements apart. But we certainly started off on the right foot. As everyone was looting and grabbing drones, I noticed that the hole no longer had bubbles up. I told Watson I would return to base and grab a Sabre to put up some. Just as I turned to warp away I heard the hole going nuts. Immediately everyone on comms started saying crazy things. The enemy reinforcements had arrived in force. About 40 or so Harpies, Loki, Triglavian ships, Scapels, and other ships poured into Chucky. The fight suddenly went in the other direction and we were forced to retreat.

Up until that point I had personally gotten on 13 kills, and I know overall our win/loss ratio was very good. But now our goal was simple, we couldn't win this fight with what we had inside the hole, but we might be able to still save the Structures. Or at  least some of them. Our plan went into "distraction" mode, if we could distract them long enough during the timers - they wouldn't be able to take down the structures.

Three Hero Rorquals were sacrificed to this operation. And even against those odds I was surprised at how well they stood up to the onslaught. In the meantime most of us jumped into long-range Nagas to try and pop enemy ships from range. (I will say here that I do not like Nagas, I much prefer Oracles or Nados for this type of thing. The tracking on Nagas is horrible and I rarely manage to hit anything with one.) And for me, that was the end of the effort. My Naga died without hitting a single enemy ship and I was podded back to Ouelletta. After about eight hours I wasn't able to make the 27 jumps back and called it a day.

Out of the three Structures we did manage to save one. One of the enemy Commanders called the distraction offense of the timers "Epic" in our public channel. The enemy was obviously well practiced at hole control and did an excellent job of rolling, protecting, and keeping hole control during the last day. But eventually we were outgunned and while we did a decent job of putting together doctrines on the fly, and our FCs did a great job with what we had, it simply wasn't enough in the end. Thane and Tovanis manned the Fortizar to the bitter end all while continuing to blow up enemy ships.

In the end the enemy blew up a lot of unmanned ships popping out from the structures demise and our killboard suffered because of it. That, combined with our heavy losses in the last stand, combined to make our Alliance kb rather red over the weekend.

I think I speak for all us when I say we enjoyed the Hell out of those days. We put up a solid defense against a determined and practiced foe, and while we eventually did lose two structures and a lot of ships, we also gave good fights. In the end all that matters is that we stood together as an Alliance and proved to ourselves what we are made of.

To everyone in ABA and to those Allies who came to help us, I say thank you. It is moments like this that you will always remember and look back on as some of the finest moments in your Eve Online career. Well done. And well fought.


*PS: As it turns out this was primarily a House of Boom operation and the other "allies" were friends along for the ride. I've had several conversations during the course of the day with various members of the enemy operation and I can safely say that both sides enjoyed the engagements and the good fights. So kudos to the opposition, well played.