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.


The Hick's Award


"We're all in strung out shape, but stay frosty, and alert. We can't afford to let one of those bastards in here."
―Hicks, to Hudson and Vasquez

Our patron Saint Corporal Dwayne Hicks of the United States Colonial Marine Corps, part of 2nd Battalion Bravo Team. Cpl. Hicks inspires the spirit and determination of Stay Frosty pilots in the face of overwhelming odds in the cold, dark regions of Low Security space and it his "never give up" determination that we all strive to achieve every time we undock. It is only natural then that I created the "Hick's Award" back in May 2013 to honor the pilot that registers the most kills for the month. Since then we've awarded this honor every single month to pilots that have gone on to become some of the most feared and respected Pirates in all of New Eden.

I consider it a point of pride as CEO of this inglorious band of lawbreakers that I have personally only be able to win this award once during our very first month. While I always seem to appear in the list of top killers, it was always another pilot who managed to rise to the top each month. Which is awesome. Honestly that first month I only managed 63 kills and I think we had about 15-20 members just starting to get set-up in Hevrice. In my mind that one always came along with an asterisk.

Until this past month when, due to a rare combination of me looking for work, starting my own business, and having more than the usual amount of time to play (Not to mention some of our more aggressive pilots being on break) - I managed to end the month at the top of the board with 135 kills. As you'll see from the following list, nothing extraordinary in that accomplishment. It still feels good to finally add my name to the award roll beyond that first month.

In light of that accomplishment I'd like to present to you the roll of Hick's Award Winners from May 2013 to October 2019. Damn good pilots each and every one. And all Stay Frosty, no matter where they happen to be flying today.

Stay Frosty
Monthly Hicks Award Winners (Top Killers)

2013
May - Rixx Javix (63)
Jun - Joffy Aulx-Gao (218)
Jul - Nakamura Shuji (169)
Aug - Bloody James (265)
Sep - Joffy Aulx-Gao (199)
Oct - Joffy Aulx-Gao (142)
Nov - Cervantes Marovinjun (247)
Dec - Stan Ace (309)

2014
Jan - Syl Kougai (445)
Feb - Ciba Lexlulu (322)
Mar - Deltron Zi (275)
Apr - Skir Skor (241)
May - Cervantes Marovinjun (215)
Jun - Bloody James (242)
Jul - Laguna Fox (283)
Aug - Laguna Fox (231)
Sep - Laguna Fox (139)
Oct - Skir Skor (154)
Nov - Ciba Lexlulu (224)
Dec - Ciba Lexlulu (173)

2015
Jan - Tia Aves (411)
Feb - Reed Tannid (163)
Mar - Ciba Lexlulu (225)
Apr - Joffy Aulx-Gao (280)
May - Demeisen 00 (236)
Jun - Ciba Lexlulu (205)
Jul - Ciba Lexlulu (246)
Aug - Ciba Lexlulu (266)
Sep - Cervantes Marovinjun (236)
Oct - Cervantes Marovinjun (232)
Nov - Raylan Yutan (325)
Dec - Raylan Yutan (283)

2016
Jan - Cervantes Marovinjun (317)
Feb - Laguna Fox (301)
Mar - Cervantes Marovinjun (250)
Apr - Raylan Yutan (300)
May - Raylan Yutani (329)
Jun - Methea Selenis (274)
Jul - Methea Selenis (355)
Aug - Methea Selenis (145)
Sep - Methea Selenis (278)
Oct - Methea Selenis (326)
Nov - Methea Selenis (471)
Dec - Methea Selenis (591)

2017
Jan - Methea Selenis (490)
Feb - Methea Selenis (325)
Mar - Raylan Yutani (260)
Apr - Martinez Grabov (187)
May - Hamul Jinn (285)
Jun - Cervantes Marovinjun (199)
Jul - Soul Online (346)
Aug - Methea Selenis (174)
Sep - Methea Selenis (239)
Oct - Methea Selenis (441)
Nov - Methea Selenis (353)
Dec - Cervantes Marovinjun (271)

2018
Jan - Martinez Grabov (194)
Feb - h0tsauce 0onyaD0G (293)
Mar - h0tsauce 0onyaD0G (348)
Apr - Martinez Grabov (160)
May - masonk (167)
Jun - Martinez Grabov (136)
Jul - Spar Jamlamin (77)
Aug - NanoSpirit (101)
Sep - Ginzou Tzestu (189)
Oct - Sebastian Thielman (157)
Nov - Daniel Alpena (215)
Dec - Daniel Alpena (94)

2019
Jan - Ciba Lexlulu (240)
Feb - Ciba Lexlulu (138)
Mar - Ciba Lexlulu (183)
Apr - Sokolnikov (279)
May - Sokolnikov (285)
Jun - Sokolnikov (160)
Jul - Cervantes Marovinjun (97)
Aug - Watson Crick (400)
Sept- FireSequence (118)
Oct-  Rixx Javix (135)

Who will rise to the top next month? Only time will tell.