A gift for Pirates

01/07/2010

It seems that it wasn’t only the Primae survey ship that was gifted to players by the Tyrannis 1.0.2 patch on Tuesday. Looks like pirates got a temporary gift too when the autopilot system was broken, which means ships are travelling the shortest route even when safest route is selected. A boost for gate campers for sure.

Alas the good times are nearly over as CCP announced that in there latest patch to be deployed on Thursday the autopilot will go back to how it normally works.

Shame.

Welcome to the eighteenth instalment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by none other than me, CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

On May 6th 2010, EVE Online celebrated its 7th Anniversary. Quite a milestone in MMO history, especially considering that it is one of the few virtual worlds out there to see its population continually grow year after year. For some of you who’ve been here since the very beginning, EVE has evolved quite a lot since its creation. With the expansion rolling out roughly twice a year, New Eden gets renewed and improved regularly. But, how about you the player? How has your gaming style evolved through the years or months since you’ve started playing? Have you always been a carebear, or roleplayer? Have you only focused on PvP or have you given other aspects of the game a chance – say manufacturing. Let’s hear your story!

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Much like the Eve universe I have evolved as an Eve player. I started playing Eve Online in 2006 so I wasn’t in anywhere near the beginning, but I’ve been around log enough to know what’s what. Eve was the first and only MMORPG of it’s kind I have played (that’s right, I have never played WoW!!!).

Although I have spent the greatest part of my Eve time as a low-sec Pirate, believe it or not I was completely against the idea of Piracy when I first started out. My first Character back in 2006 was 100% Carebear first trained as a miner, then later as a mission runner. For quite a while I played solo not really seeing much need to be part of a corporation, but then I realised that I was holding myself back from learning the intricacies of Eve Online. There is a LOT to learn in this game and while much can be learnt by reading guides people have written, there is a lot more to be  picked up by interacting with other Eve players .

I joined a Carebear Corp where I quickly filled in the gaps in my knowledge when it came to Mining and Mission running, and in a short period I was promoted as a Director responsible for the Corp mission runners. At the time I found the whole idea of attacking other players and destroying their hard earned possessions abhorrent. I wondered why anyone would want to cause others suffering in a game.

The corp  I was in regularly received wardecs from various groups and individuals, but they rarely caused any disruption to our daily lives. That was until we got wardeced by Error666 (a highsec ‘pirate’ corp)and they actively prayed on our members which led to much disruption on our operations. The corp by now had reached a decent size and it was decided that we would try and fight back. The only problem being that just a few members had actual PvP experience, so we lost in a big way.

The upshot of this ass whooping experience was that it was actually quite fun to shoot at other players and I decided that I would take a closer look at PvP, maybe I could become an Pirate hunter. Except that it’s not that easy for a Carebear trained character to take part in PvP so it made sense to create a new Character specifically designed for PvP and Kaya Valda was born.

During the period of time to get Kaya up to a decent level I maintained my Carebear character, but soon she was able to fly a good ship with a decent fit and dive into the world of PvP (I focused her training on being able to fit and fly a Crow. This was back when they were solo pwnmobiles). I researched where the Pirates hung out and went in search of action in the belief that I could do my bit for taking on the scum of Eve.

I quickly found that most Pirates were good pilots, and certainly a lot better at PvP that me. Of course flying a Crow meant that I could get away when I was losing, even if I wasn’t actually making any kills myself. I had read about a system by the name of Rancer where many people complained of being attacked by Pirates, so I went to investigate. On arrival I found a system full of -10 ne’er-do-wells, many of whom were congregated on a gate. Not liking the sheer number of flashy ships I quickly moved on through to nearby Otou where I found some possible targets.

Unfortunately for my first Crow my first target turned out to be one Larconis Trassler, also in a Crow. It was quickly apparent he was a far better pilot than I, with a pimped out ship. I ran for my life and escaped to a safe spot, but what I didn’t know was that Larconis was busy scanning me out (I didn’t even know it was possible to do that at the time). Within a minute of my escape he warped in on top of me and taught me my first PvP lesson – Don’t sit at a safe doing 0 m/s. He quickly had me locked, scrammed and exploded.

This encounter led on to a bit of conversation in local and it struck me for the first time that Pirates are not real life sociopaths living out their twisted dreams in Eve, but they were just normal, nice people playing a computer game. Larconis explained to me that anti-piracy really just doesn’t work in Eve and a day later I join the Neo Spartans and I found myself to be what I had previously hated – a Pirate.

Larconis and the other members of the Neo Spartans taught me everything I now know about PvP and Piracy. After a few months I became a trusted member of the corp and was given a Director’s position.

There isn’t the space here to go into detail about what I got up to as a pirate (read the rest of my blog posts), but what I can say is that PvP really is the pinacle of what Eve is meant to be. It really is a sandbox game and I have tried virtually every aspect of it now (I had 4 accounts with alts covering trading, missions, mining, exploration, capital ships and manufacturing) and I have to say that PvP is by fun the most fun part of my Eve experience.

But then my Eve experience all went a bit off the rails. Member activity in the Neo Spartans dropped suddenly, and a lot of members left to do other things which meant hours of ship spinning. By the beginning of 2010 I had decided to take a break from Eve which has lasted some 7 months up until last weekend. I have no idea what the trigger was, but I decided to reactivate one of my accounts.

I’m now in the position where I am probably going to have to evolve again for my next step in Eve. maybe I’ll find another decent pirate corp to join (although they seem increasingly rare) or maybe I’ll look at doing something different (Mercenary or 0.0 stuff), but I am at a crossroads at this time and have no idea where the next Eve chapter will take me.


The Kaya is back!

24/06/2010

So it’s been over a year since my last blog post. It’s not that I got bored with blogging, but I got a bit bored with Eve.

Towards the end of last year Neo Spartans went through a very quiet period and eventually folded. Finding it difficult to find another decent Pirate corp to join I eventually decided to sec up and look for something different to do.  Eventually I joined Noir but by this time I had already lost my Eve MoJo and a week later I decided to let my Eve accounts expire (not a bad reflection on Noir as I didn’t make any effort whilst a member).

So my last account expired at the beginning of 2010 and I have since been doing other stuff in RL. Occasionally I have been checking out the Eve Online forums because in the back of my mind I was sure I’d want to come back to Eve at some point. Last weekend was that point when I reactivated one of my 4 accounts (This is tricky to do when you want to use ISK to buy a GTC and don’t have an account with the ability to post of the forums).

The title of this post is a little misleading however, as I chose my Trader to be the first to be resurrected (due to being the only account with enough ISK to buy a GTC), and Kaya Valda will be back at some future point once I am sure I want to let Eve back into my life again.

Current Situation

18/05/2009

Things have been busy again this last week. The launching of Neo Catamites is coming along well and we’ve had some decent looking new members join up. Still looking for more new applicants though, so if any wannabe pirates approach your corp but don’t make the grade send them to us.

As previously written about Larkonis Trassler is running for CSM and will be the first credible pirate friendly member of the CSM if he is elected. Voting has now started so give him your support and vote for Larkonis. You can also see his campaign blog here, and read his latest CSM forum post here. If previous CSM elections are anything to go by he needs only about 700 votes to get a place on the CSM (last successful candidate in CSM1 got 706 votes, and in CSM2 637). I’ve voted for him 4 times and hopefully with most of the Crime and Punishment forum behind him I think he has a pretty good chance of success. No matter what you think of Larkonis in game I’m convinced he is the right man for the job when it comes to representing the occupants of C&P. Even The United members seem to be giving him their vote! lol.

We had a particularly good last week when it comes to capital ship kills with 6 dreads and 2 Carriers on the killboard. In comparison we only lost 1 Carrier, but what started out as an inadvisable move by one of our cap pilots turned into the opportunity to kill 3 Dreads. The more we get of these type of kills the more I can’t wait for my Carrier pilot to be fully trained. Only about 80 days to go until I can use and fit a half decent Archon.

Headhunting

14/05/2009

Now I am a Director of Neo Spartans (and my alt a Director in Neo Catamites) I spend a bit more of my time thinking about how we can move forward and expand. The priority at the moment is getting the Neo Catamites membership growing so that someday we will have a good supply of experienced new pilots for Neo Spartans. But at the same time I think it’s important to be on the look our for pilots that already have the skills and experience that can come straight into Neo Spartans.

I come into contact with other pilots I admire all the time in Eve, and there are a fair few I’d like to recruit, but they are generally happy where they are. Or are they? You see, the problem a lot of the time is how do you go about approaching pilots to see if they might be interesting in joining? It’s particularly difficult and sensitive if their current corp is friendly to your own. The risk is that by poaching some of their best pilots some bad feeling between the friendly corps is created. Even worse, they might be a CEO in their own corp, or a Director which would certainly take some persuasion to get them to switch corps.

To be honest I don’t really have a way to deal with these situations yet, so I’d be interesting in hearing what some of my readers think. Also, feel free to speak with me if you’re looking for a new pirate corp ;o) Although not actively recruiting at the moment the Neo Spartans are always on the lookout to recruit talented and experienced pilots.

Neo Neo Spartans

10/05/2009

The Neo Spartans have for some time had minimum requirements for potential new recruits to meet before being allowed to join. It means that we have kept a decent standard of members who all have some experience with piracy before they come to us.

The problem however has always been that we have had to turn a lot of applicants away. 15M skill points means that a player less than a year old has little chance of joining us. Sure we have always made the odd exception for the right people (me included, so maybe not the right people after all) but it always seemed a shame that we were losing some decent pilots because of this rule.

So in order to address this problem we have created a new corp that goes by the name of Neo Catamites, and we have joined them with Neo Spartans via the Laconian Syndicate alliance (Name has nothing to do with our CEO Larconis – Larconia is a region of Greece that has Sparta as it’s capital). You can see a bit more detail of what it’s all about in our recruitment post but essentially Neo Catamites has a much lower skill point requirement of just 4M, mostly PvP based skill points. The idea is that pilots will have enough of an idea about PvP that they can join in straight away without anyone needing to explain what a warp disruptor does, but are still needing to gain experience in the art of piracy.

Members of Neo Catamites will frequently work with Neo Spartans and eventually it’s members will get transferred over once they make the grade (whether they have 15M SP or not). Members of Neo Catamites won’t be able to coast along in the corp without taking part however, as members will also be ejected if we think there is no chance that they will make the grade.

When the Neo Spartans first moved to Onatoh I hated it. I was used to the way of life in Otou where we could go out and solo in the belts, camp a busy gate, or roam around in a gang depending on our mood. Life in Onatoh is very different. For weeks I barely made a kill, but in these last 10 or so it all seems to have clicked back into place.

For those of you that don’t know Onatoh isn’t located on a busy pipe, so gate camping is usually a slow occupation. No-0ne is stupid enough to come here to rat in the belts, and it is just two jumps away from the Faction Warfare system of Tama, which mean a lot of blobs. For me and the way I was used to working it seems like a nightmare system to have to live in. Now however I have warmed to some of the charms on Onatoh.

It’s difficult to imagine being anywhere else than a FW zone, getting hit by a 30+ man blob and still win outnumbered 3 to 1 (there were more ships there than appear on the killboard). We also benefit from much more interesting roams as from here we can get to 0.0, Old Man Star and Amamake without having to leave the comfort of lowsec. The quality of kills has also been much improved with Neo Spartans being part of 5 Carrier and 3 Dread kills in the last 8 days (with no cap losses).

On balance I think I have now made the conversion from Otou to Onatoh. The elements that I have left behind in Otou have been replaced by new ones in Onatoh, and in time I’ll probably find a system near by the will allow me some solo PvP when I want it. Admittedly Tama is a pit of a system where if you make the mistake of docking up you’re unlikely to get your ship out without the assistance of a friendly gang outside, and I’m certainly not keen on bringing my supplies through that way in a freighter (which means a long way from Jita to take the safer route), but Onatoh certainly has some charms of its own.

The war with The United has ceased for the time being. The United’s tactic of napping everything that moves has meant that either we were getting blobbed when their friends were online, or they remained docked up when numbers were anything close to approaching equal (for equal read 2-1 in their favour). It’s a shame it has come to this as we were really looking forward to taking on The United head to head and were sure it would be pretty equal even though they have more the twice the number of members that Neo Spartans have.

Basically we have had a better offer and have moved our operations out of Otou. But mark my words we will be back to sort The United out at some point, when they least expect it, and hopefully when all their ‘friends’ have got bored with having no one to fight. It’s only a matter of time before their naps turn on them for entertainment instead (they were fighting most of them before the napfest).

Instead we are working with some other pirate corps in an area around Caldari and Gallente Faction Warfare, which is completely different to what we are used to. For a start the FW guys like to fly around in large gangs, usually in small ships, but sometimes large BS gangs. It means we have to be far more careful of what we are doing when out and about on our own.

A good example of this came up last night. 4 or 5 of us travelled in the direction of Old Man Star to see what fights we could get. We were in a mixture of frigate and cruiser sized T1 and T2 ships and the journey was a little quieter that we were expecting. Eventually we had some fun with the locals in Heydieles before deciding to return to our home system.

We had to jump through a huge gang fight on one of the gates but after that the journey was pretty uneventful again. I needed to take a bio break and docked up in Deven while the rest of the gang continued home. It was when I got back to my ship and undocked that I became careless .

Forgetting that my destination was still set to Old Man Star I warped to the yellow gate on my overview. As I arrived on the gate there was a frigate on the gate. The guys on Vent were saying that the systems ahead were clear and I just wanted to get back to base however so didn’t really want to get a global counter again. I jumped right through to….. Fliet….. It was at this point I realised my mistake and I was going the wrong direction.  I’m not familiar with Fliet and didn’t have any bookmarks there so as I arrived on the other side of the gate I looked for something to warp to before returning to the gate and get on my way home. Before I had even uncloaked something bad happened.

A FW fleet arrived on the gate and before I knew it there were 20+ ships right on top of me. I realised that the was little point in me trying to warp away as I would surely die so I maintained cloak as long as possible in the hope that they didn’t realise I was there and jump through the gate. I guess the frigate I’d seen on the other side however had been their scout and they waited. Eventually I could wait no longer before my cloak was to expire and made a break for it, but unfortunately for me they had a lot of fast locking ships and I was toast in a matter of seconds. Bye bye my T2 fit Cerburus, I barely got to know you.

My undoing was a mixture of my lack of care with a good dose of bad luck by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Had I warped as soon as I jumped through the gate I’d have been in warp before the blob had landed on the gate, but I was wrong footed by needing to think about the best way to turn around and go back through the gate I had just come through. Of course I shouldn’t have been there in the first place and it is a good reminder of the importance of checking the destination before undock. A bit more care and I’d have saved myself from losing a 200M ISK ship.

Blog changes.

25/03/2009

Just a quick note to say that I have tidied up my list of links to other blogs. I have gone through each link (which I do from time to time to see what others are writing) and removed links to blogs that have not posted an Eve specific post in the last 4 months. In the future I will been keeping an eye on new blogs added to the blogroll but maintaining my own list of links on this criteria.

If you are the writer of one of the ‘dead’ blogs I have deleted which later comes back to life then let me know and I’ll re-add it to my links.

I’m planning a design change to my blog in the next week or two so expect to see further changes.

Lowlife CSM

19/03/2009

Wow, have I been slack or what with my blogging!

There has actually been a lot going on with Kaya and Neo Spartans lately, but nothing interesting enough to write into a blog post about (I wrote a few and they sucked enough for me not to publish them).

Biggest news for me recently is that I have been made a Director at Neo Spartans. Business as usual to be honest except that now a have a few extra tools available to support my fellow Pirates.

Anyway, on to what I really want to write about…

The Council of Stellar Management (CSM) is in the words of CCP:

A democratically elected representative council manned by players elected by players.

But up until this point the interests of the darker side of eve have been mostly unrepresented on the CSM. Hopefully though this is all about to change.

In recent weeks a number of candidates have shown themselves to be interested in representing the interests of the ‘underclass’ of Eve. I’m talking about the Pirates, Privateers, Mercenaries, Griefers, Ninjas etc. who prey on others to earn their ISK (or sometimes just because they feel like it). Up until a few days ago however it was looking like all we would get are joke candidates – Captain Pompous and Death4free (sorry mate but it’s true), or people that don’t have the dedication to see it through – Tchell Dahhn. But now we have a proper candidate that all us lowlifes can get behind to represent our interests. I present to you Larkonis Trassler for CSM.

Now I’m sure you’ll think I am biased here, what with Larkonis being my CEO and everything, but if you had known him as long as I have then you would know that he is an intelligent, articulate and motivated individual. You only have to take a look at his Manifesto to see that he has some good ideas to present too.

As a proportion of Eve players us shady types don’t make up a very large number of pilots, so for any C&P candidate to be successfully elected we need to get behind just ONE person to take our views to the Council. If the vote is split between multiple candidates then none of them will be successful and we can expect another round of pro-carebear changes to further curtail our way of life.

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