Spartan Films

23/12/2008

I am fortunate to belong to a corp that has such an abundance of creative talent (even more than in my blog!), particularly in the area of Eve film making.

Today I have decided to showcase the films of Larkonis Trassler, Verizana, and Ga’len. I am very much jealous or their creations, maybe one day I can create something half as good as these:

Larkonis:

Crow Squad – Oct 2006
Assumption of Risk – June 2008
Calm Your Passion – Sept 2008

Verizana:

TANK – May 2008
7 Shooter
– May 2008
C.A.H.S – July 2008

Ga’len:

Ebil Piwat
Battles of The Bleeding Rose

The Ancient Scourge
– June 2008
NSPTA Summer 2008 – Sept 2008

I hope you guys enjoy watching these as much as I did. Merry Christmas.

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We were involved in a noteworthy battle last night so I’ve decided to talk about it here. Neo Spartans vs. The Bastards. Let me first say that we have respect for The Bastards. We have had a few small scale battles with them in the past and they always bring a good fight and like us, they don’t get often involved with smacking in local.

About 8 or 9 of us were out of one of our fun suicide roams in T1 cruisers. The plan was that we’d go up through Evati and beyond to see what we could find to kill. In all likelihood we’d be coming back in pods, but the aim was to kill more than we lose. We didn’t get very far however.

Jumping into Evati we noticed a lot of members of The Bastards in system. Our scout noticed that they were all sat outside one of the stations forming up a fleet. Our CEO Larkonis made a snap decision that we would have a go at The Bastards to see what we could get a good fight. T1 cruisers were no good as The Bastards fleet were all Battleships, so we’d have to return to our home system and switch to fleet Battleships.

We have a corp rule that means we always have Fleet Battleships fitted and ready to go. Of course there is always someone that hasn’t got the right fittings on the ship and need to make some adjustments (ok so I was one of them). By the time we are ready to go some 10-15 minutes after we first spotted them our scout reports that they are on the move. By now we have 11 members in fleet BS ready to go.

It soon becomes apparent that they are on a roam of their own, and it looks like they are heading out to nullsec. As fast as we can we get ourselves back to Evati while our scout follows their fleet. Worried that they would get too deep into 0.0 before we had a chance to catch up with them Larkonis decided that we would not be following them too far. The last thing we wanted was to be dragged out into 0.0 unprepared for what might be through the next jumpgate. It seems they were being similarly cautious as they were sitting on each gate for a few minutes, presumably whilst they had a scout running ahead.

Fortunately they hadn’t got too far when we caught them in the first system into 0.0 – EOA-ZC. Had they already jumped through the next gate we probably wouldn’t have engaged them. As we entered EOA-ZC we immediately warped onto them, no doubt with the element of surprise on our side while they planned they next jump of their own roam.

I won’t go into details of our ship fittings, but I will say that we are big fans of remote repping fleets, and every member of the gang fits at least one. This allows us to keep the primaried ships alive for as long as possible.

Now would be a good time to have a look at the video footage captured by my corpmate Ga’len.

Unfortunately for me my Raven was first primary, and as often happens the first primary dies pretty quickly before corp mates are able to lock up and rep the ship. You can see from the watch list that all fire was focused on me. Top marks for The Bastards all getting on the primary. Before I pop however Loth’nwenar is first to die.

Next to be primaried is Professor Claw in his Megathron. It looks like he might die quickly, but by now we’re up to speed on our repping and it takes a long time for him to get killed. A further 3 enemy BS are destroyed before Claw goes pop. The remaining ships are hitting Daff Punk with all they got, but the remote reps are doing the job nicely and keeping him alive. It all looks to be going wrong for The Bastards and a further 4 of their BS go pop with no more loses for the Neo Spartans.

With ‘gf’ exchanged we pick up our loot and head off home happy with a job well done. 11 of our BS versus 10 BS, 2 BC and a few other support ships from the enemy (not sure if the non-Bastards were with them, but they certainly fought with them) this was a pretty even fight. Neo Spartans killed 8 BS in total (7 Bastards and 1 other) and The Bastards killed 2 Neo Spartans BS.

Once again respect to The Bastards for trying to stand up to us and for a good fight. It’s always a pleasure fighting you guys and I’m sure we’ll have another opportunity for a rematch in the future.

I’m getting quite a bit of enjoyment at the moment watch the fallout of another big Eve scandal. At least this time it looks like it may be down to CCP incompetence rather than CCP involvement. It seems a lot of players like to indulge a bit of mass hysteria, and it’s CCP bashers versus CCP fanbois. Personally I think these kind of players are taking it all a bit too seriously.

There’s is no doubt that if the original claims on the  Scrapheap Challenge forum are true this is a big deal for the game, but I have some reservations about how true this post is. After all this is a player who has just had his account banned, and it wouldn’t be unusual for a person in that position to try and make CCP look as bad a possible.

The hysteria mob are making big on the ‘fact’ that this bug existed for 4 years. But is it really a fact? CCP unsurprisingly have not made any reference to how long this bug has existed and been exploited for, but I find it difficult to believe that it really has existed that long without CCP either being made aware of it, or discovering it on their own. If on the other hand this is a relatively recent bug, the markets don’t appear to reflect that, there is no noticeable sudden drop in T2 prices which would indicate an increase in supply.

Another ‘fact’ being touted is that the big alliances such as BOB are involved in the exploitation of this bug. Again there is little in the way of evidence to support these claims. If this exploit was as widespread as some people say then I think there will be at least one person involved who is a member of an alliance as large as BOB, but to say that BOB is built on this exploitation of the bug is probably going too far. The problem for BOB it that no-one really trusts them, so involved or not accusations will always head their way.

I’m a ‘sit back and see’ sort of person so I’m just going to enjoy the fireworks over the next few weeks and maybe I’ll share some more thoughts on the subject later.

A commonly spouted piece of crap I read on the Eve Forums is that it’s not possible to be self-sufficient as a pirate. I am living proof that this is a load of rubbish.

When I created this account I brought in a couple of hundred million ISK in from other accounts to buy myself learning implants and skillbooks. But since that point I have never needed to bring in any further ISK from outside to support my pirate way of life. And in all honestly I could have done it from scratch without any starting capital at all, it just would have taken longer to get started.

I do have Trading alts that make large sums of ISK to pay for things like GTCs, but I have always stayed true to the idea that Kaya could support herself in her life of crime. All of the isk spent in buying ships, weapons and ammo has been earned through piracy, and if she hasn’t been able to afford it she hasn’t bought it.

I have no doubt that a solo pirate might struggle to make enough isk to pay their own way, but when you are part of an organised pirate corp there are many ways in which to make a decent living.

Gatecamps are our primary source of income. It may not be the most interesting way to play Eve, but you get lots of pretty explosions and there is some satisfaction to be had when the camp is running as efficiently as possible and all but the fastest of ships are unable to escape (and even they get popped often). There is also the added excitement of getting blobbed by some passing gang (even better when we wipe the floor with them).

A good pirate corp will ‘own’ a bit of lowsec space where they take a cut of the activity that goes on there. It’s a kind of protection racket where other corps are allowed to setup a POS in the system(s) and stay free from harassment (from the local owners mostly) . We don’t actually protect them from outsiders, but simply living in our space does offer a certain amount of safety. Other options are selling mining or ratting rights, or just offering safe passage through the system.

Another string to the pirate corp bow is merc work. Of course, there is a certain amount of limitation here for a pirate corp due to the inability to operate outside of lowsec space. None the less there are still money making opportunities like charging to destroy a lowsec POS for example.

Solo PvP and gang roams are rarely a big money making opportunities, but it’s where most of the fun is in being a pirate. What is important here to the self-sufficient pirate is not losing too much of your hard earned isk to silly losses. Something I am good at avoiding is unnecessary risk when it comes to PvP.

If you can afford to bankroll a pirate from other sources and you don’t mind losing it then being a pirate may be easier. My point is that it is not impossible to be a self-sufficient pirate, and I personally find it much more rewarding to pay my own way as a pirate. After all in real life you wouldn’t do it if it was costing you more money than you earn.

Having embarked on blogging I have found that there are loads of other Eve related blogs out there. CrazyKinux keeps a list of them at his site which lists 136 of them at this time. While my corp mate Ga’len keeps an OMPL list of the sites to download.  I recommend having a look at these other blogs, as there is a lot of good reading amongst them.

To really make ISK as a pirate in Eve you need to be working with a good group of like minded people. It makes the game a whole lot more fun too.

I originally intended to learn my new trade as a solo pirate in my Crow, and I was having some success with that. I wasn’t going out of my way to find myself a pirate corp because I had assumed they wouldn’t be interested in a PvP noob like me.

I can’t remember now what led me to be pirating in Otou but there I was taking on small ships in the belts there. One day I had just killed some noob in a frigate who started screaming in local for help. It was too late for him, his ship popped, and I warped away to one of my safespots.

I was sat there wondering what target I might find next when out of nowhere another Crow appeared. I wasn’t moving so before I could do anything he was right on top of me, had me scrammed, and I was finished in seconds.

This taught me two important things. One, never sit still in an interceptor. Had I been moving I would have been many km away when he had jumped in and I’d have been able to get away. Two, playing as part of a group means more kills. If he’d been a solo player in that Crow he would never have been able to probe me out and jump in on me. He needed someone else out there to do the probing for him.

As it happens being killed that day launched my career as a pirate. The pilot that shot me down was Larkonis Trassler, CEO of Neo Spartans. After he had killed my Crow he gave me a chance to save my pod (another noob mistake getting caught) at the cost of a good joke. But better than that he offered me a chance to join the Neo Spartans and fly with a very experienced gang of pirates.

I’ve never regretted joining the Neo Spartans since that day. Flying as a gang is enormous fun, and I don’t think that there could be a better group of people to do it with. I now consider myself a competent pirate and I owe it all to what I have learnt form the other members of the Neos. More importantly it’s really been fun getting there.

What really makes a good corp isn’t necessarily the skills an experience of a player, but a lot to do with the kind of people they are. As a corp we have been pretty successful in selecting the right people to join us and making sure they will fit in with what we are about. Yes there is a 15Mil skillpoint minimum (which I am only just approaching) but if you have the right attitude and personality new members will be taken with less. Above all else it is about having fun.

I spent quite a bit of time and effort when choosing how to set up Kaya. Eve is one of those games where the choices you make to start with during character creation can have such a big effect on how the character develops, particularly in the early stages. Eve is different from some other games out there however as it allows you to train all the skills available with none being specific to one particular race, but if you get it right in the first place things are much smoother.

My method of choosing my character’s race was to research what other pirates were flying, particularly for solo piracy. I understood that most pirate corps were reluctant to take on PvP noobs and so I intended to gain some solo experience first before selling myself to a good pirate  corp. The solo ships of choice  for solo are mainly frigates, at least for the beginner. I had however noticed that many people were having good success with the Crow Interceptor for solo PvP. A little research told me that if I setup the right race and skills in character selection I could be up and flying a crow in 15 days. That looked like pretty good going to be able to get into a T2 ship in such a small space of time so my decision was made, and I was born a Caldari.  Even when I took a look at Crow setups I could see that it wasn’t so important to get a T2 fit straight away, and that a mixture of named and T1 fittings were fine. I didn’t even bother to learn the PvP ropes with a frigate.

My attention now turned to what kind of image I wanted to project. I felt it was important for people to believe they were safe with me in system to increase the number of targets, so I selected the the most innocent looking avatar I could find, which unsurprisingly was also female. I would now appear to be the kind of person everyone could trust, at least until my security status stated to tumble:

Kaya Valda

At the time I think I made some good choices as the Crow served me well, and I made many kills with it for minimal losses. I think it’s also what got me noticed as a bit more than the average PvP noob when it came to joining a coproration. Unfortuantely things have changed in Eve, and the latest nerfs to ship speed and missile damage has made Caldari less suitable to the life of Piracy, the changes have particularly affected ships like the Crow.

Kaya Valda wasn’t my first character in Eve. When I was first introduced to the game I quickly formed the opinion that Pirates were scum, created a Mining character, and set about building a carebear mining and missioning empire. I could see no way ahead that would see be become a Pirate and if I was to be involved in PvP it would be as an Anti-Pirate or in 0.0 warfare.

I became a bit of a mission expert but once I had achieved standings to do lvl4 missions and subsequently realised how repetitive missions were I felt that I needed something more out my Eve life. I found mining to be the dullest of all dull things to be doing in Eve so it was inevitable that I would have to look into some of the alternative activities that the game had to offer.

My missioning had given me my first taste of conflict in Eve, so I was keen to move more in the direction of PvP. The plan was that I would become an anti-pirate and a bounty hunter making my living out of bounties. Further reading on the Eve Forums however soon put the dampener on that idea as it became obvious that bounty hunting isn’t really a viable career. Not only is the bounty system in Eve seriously flawed, but it soon dawned on me that in order to make big ISK I would have to be taking on PvP experts. Me, the PvP noob. My only experience of PvP had been on the wrong end of highsec ‘wars’ (in other words highsec pirate ganking).

During my research had come across a lot of Pirates who could justify what they did as ‘just being part of the game’. I suddenly realised that I didn’t have to feel bad about piracy because it was just a game after all. I had played non-multiplayer games before as a pirate, so what was so different about doing it in Eve? Well the difference that had stopped me before was that when I had lost a ship it felt bad, like I had lost something of real value. But now I had realised that I really hadn’t lost anything other than a bit of effort I had spent earning the ISK to buy the ship, and I could afford it anyway.

Eve is ‘just a game’, and the point of a game is to enjoy yourself. My problem was that up until my realisation I was treating it all rather too seriously and it had become a bit of a chore, almost like a job that I was paying for the privilege to do. Something had to change. And so there went my Eve principles in a sudden reversal.

I wasn’t all that keen on cutting my ties with Carebearism all together though so Kaya Valda was born, on a brand new account with a brand new state of mind. From the outset I had decided to make Kaya 100% Pirate and the skills I would train would all go towards that aim, there was no room for compromise.

P.S. Sorry for the length of this post, I’m not intending all my ramblings to go on this long.

So this is where it starts. My first post on my new blog.

First of all let me introduce myself. My name is Kaya Valda, and I am a Pirate.

I’m not a Pirate on the high seas West of Africa capturing oil tankers, but a Space Pirate in CCP‘s excellent game Eve Online. I have been plying this trade for almost 7 months now and sometimes I feel I have something to say, but nowhere to say it. Of course there are always the Crime and Punishment Forums, but lets assume that I don’t want to be constantly flamed by the resident retards.

At this time I am working in a Pirate Corporation that goes by the name of Neo Spartans. We’re a friendly bunch of Pirates so long at you don’t get on the wrong side of us, even to our victims. We shoot with a smile and understand that there is more to Piracy and PVP than counting the kills, or making ISK. It’s all about having fun (probably ours rather than our victims).

So what can you expect from my blog? Well you’re not going to get stirring fictional stories of our exploits in space. I don’t really do Role Play, it’s just not me. What you will get are some disjointed ramblings of someone who likes to play as a pirate Eve, and who has something to say about it. I’ll aim to post something here a couple of times a week.

Whatever I have to say hopefully it will be entertaining to some, and comments will be gratefully recieved, even is you want to tell me it’s all a load of s**t.