Member of the EVE Tweet Fleet

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Long op and rumours and what not

Although the 2011 fanfest was not chuck full of meaty new games or mega-heavy announcements, the active player base should be impressed by the restraint shown this year.  As usual people will miss-interpret EVERYTHING that was said at each and every one of the presentations.  But that's business as usual in EVE.  The willfully blind mixed in with the purposefully misleading (aka market manipulators).  CCP however was very restrained on what they promised.  The video was more of a statement of intent rather than an item for item promise.  Think of it as one of those corporate "mission statements" but with more visual elements than usual.  I'm waiting for the Youtube rollout of the various panel and presentation recordings to pick appart the things I missed.  People keep saying things like "Eyog said mining will go away" or "Melted Nanoribbons will get nerfed some more".  Which I figure are the usual miss-representation of what was actually said.

Apart from that it was a long grind of an op last night in support of dreadnaughts rendering various and assorted things incapacitated.  I did however get to bring out my shiny new Maelstrom, so that was good.  It even survived the evening.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A kill, ops and grid-fu

Saturday was a bit of a wash, between watching the live stream and being afk on a semi regular basis I couldn't justify being in a fleet and going afk every 20 min or so.  On the flip side there was a point in time where some neutrals were in system.  So I get in my Cloaky Loki and start a bit of stalking (cloaked up safes are nice when I had to go afk).  Eventually a nice neutral vagabond warps in to the ice belt at the warp to zero spot.  And starts motoring towards the sun at 2700+ m/s.  Eventually he turns around and starts re-approaching the belt.  Humm not headed at me but he IS getting closer.

So I pipe up on corp chat and let them know I may have a warp-in on the neutral Vaga - the neutral Rapier is probably cloaked in the belt though.  So one of the corpies gets in his carrier alt and a Rapier but unfortunately warps in from the wrong direction and a tackle is missed.  The Vaga warps off.  so the carrier and his Rapier head back to somewhere safe.  I'm surprised when the Vaga warps in behind me, pops drones and starts trolling for me (obviously he figured out I was providing a warp in even though he probably doesn't know what I'm flying.  I go "He's stupid enough that if I uncloak my Loki and tackle him, he'll go for me".  So I simply wait until he passes me then his drones get withing 5k of me I de-cloak and point him.  Sure enough he turns to attack.  But I'm not too worried as I have a carrier and a rapier coming back in.

While we were finishing him off - and the carrier kindly repaired my rather minimal shield damage, the neutral's corp mate uncloaks his rapier but he's too far away to help and besides what is he going to do at this point?  Rapier+Loki+Carrier vs Rapier+Almost dead Vaga.  About the only think he could realistically do is cyno in a black ops strike force.  That could have gotten messy but obviously these guys were either not willing to jump into us or didn't have the bomber forces ready to go.  So I get my 2nd true kill mail with R.A.G.E.  A nice sweet ambush of an ice belt raider.

The next evening was the all hands on deck in case the DRF come and mess with our station coming out of reinforced.  In the end they elected not to come (probably because it was Monday morning their time).  I ended up joining the bomber fleet when armor fleet turned out to want a different type of armor BS than I had in the operations area.  Things got a little funky when we discovered that the grid around the station we were defending was totally FUBAR. So we spent a few minutes getting bookmarks both in the main grid and in the 2nd grid to make sure that if someone warped/jumped in to this other close pocket that we'd know where they were.  Grid-fu was alive and well.  People who had never experienced the phenomenon were given links to the grid-fu manual so they could understand what was going on, and for the entire operation to repair the station and kill the SBUs we kept eyes on the pocket, just in case.  Very funky stuff.  One tactic is to bring snipers and fight at the border of the grid and we didn't want the enemy to be able to leverage that to their advantage, since it's like fighting at the edge of a pos shield.

Then it was stand down, Rep up the station some more (switch to my scimi) and then switch to a BS and go shoot at a station the DRF captured earlier in the day in Geminate.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Repping up

I finally got to use my Scimitar in an op.  Of course it was multiple POS coming out of reinforced op but oh well.  Those are less stressful - mostly - than battle where others are depending on you to keep them alive while you try to stay alive yourself.

The first one was a bit of a [insert favorite expletive here] as just after we started a DRF cyno appeared on top of us... while the BS fleet was reforming after an extended CTA...  3 carriers later the rest of us managed to get away.  The next op (also a CTA) went a weeeee bit better.  POS repped up and our repping fleet went home without incident this time.  Then it was time for some PI before bed.

So, how's everyone liking the EVE TV coverage so far?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fanfest 2011

Fanfest 2011 is now underway.  Not much to say until after the main presentation on Saturday. I will, however, be paying attention to the information streaming out of Iceland by various means.  Blog reports, Youtube videos, live streams.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My predictions

By now the voting should be over.  I will admit to slight disappointment with the last CSM for their overly focused on low sec priorities but what can you do.  I love how The Mittani rages about dirty politics and vote buying as I judge him to be most likely to engage in such antics. As such I predict that the odds are good that the two following people will be part of the CSM:

The Mittani (hey, it's Goonswarm - of course he'll get in)
Selene (ex Selene, ex CCP Abatur)

For the rest, I really have no clue.  I must admit to being Meh on most of the candidates.  I believe the CSM is focusing too closely on nuts and bolts details.  There needs to be more idea discussions to try and work on some of the major problems we currently have with sov warfare, pvp, and the economy in EVE.  We all know CCP has some problems with execution but there are also problems at the grand design level that should probably be addressed.

We're well along enough where some clear principals of how EVE operates should be clear.  The problem comes when you have internal inconsistencies and what not.  There's also the problem of lack of follow through with established subsystems.

I think this CSM is going to have many more internal dissensions than the previous one.  We'll see.

Monday, March 21, 2011


The last day of voting is today.  If you haven't already voted for the CSM candidate of your choice (multiple times thanks to alts) this is to remind you to go do so.  If you don't like the choices - run next time.  My two active accounts have voted.  Have yours?

As an aside, were there any candidates from eastern block countries?  I know there's a large Russian gamer population in EVE.  Lord knows we're fighting them often enough in Geminate these days.  What's the problem? Don't care what happens to the game?  Afraid of all the US candidates?  Afraid you'll have the KGB knocking on your door for participating in a democratic process?  What's the story?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the fight for the 74IL-O constellation continues unabated.  We came at them the same old way and they came at us the same old way.  Comparisons to Stalingrad and World War I trenches can be made.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My first Rage KM

Yay, I finally get a non-meh kill mail.  As part of the action around O2O I was in 6YC guarding the out-gate for an element of the NC fleet during these operations.  As part of them, I finally managed to get my first "Final Blow" on something other than a POS module or pod.  So although I've been on other people's kill mails before in NC fleets, this marks my first real kill for R.A.G.E.

The night before was spent in a tower kill fleet that was in stark contrast to the fleet that put said towers into reinforced.  Not in a good way.  This was followed by much purchasing in Jita.  I was in my pod so was able to get in and out without The Orphanage messing with me.

Now just need to get all those war supplies (hulls and fits) out to 0.0.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Just a neat pic from one of the O2O operations

Those dots on the planet? - Battleships

This was just a cool shot I took during a station shoot in O2O.

Just missed a titan shoot

Some times the timing just doesn't work out.  I logged on just as a CTA was finishing.  So I check out the killboard and find that the NC just killed a bunch of Titans and Supercarriers.  Grumble, grumble, grumble.

In other news I managed to claw my way back up over a billion so it will be time to acquire a few more fittings and hulls again and get them shipped down.

Not much in other news.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Something for Fuchsia 4

I didn't get on much last night.  RL stuff.  On the flip side this morning I did discover a fuzzy fuchsia Machariel.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An evening of carebearing

After the flood of action over the last few days, it was with relief that I greeted an evening of running anomalies and "doing" PI.  The bankroll needs to be replenished, new hulls must be acquired and new fit sets must be assembled.  Note that I'm not exactly bleeding funds, but I am in the process of building up 0.0 reserves.  Expect continued posts in this vein until I feel I've reached a comfort level.

In other news I'm no longer running through Barrage M like it's a box of Rice Krispies (i.e. by the large cargo container full).  Finally got around to stabilizing my ammo supply situation (i.e. melt loot -> manufacture Phased Plasma M -> kill rats for loot -> repeat).  I also discovered that Hail M kills battleships faster and cheaper than Barrage M (average of 30 volleys instead of 40 volleys) but that due to resist patterns, plain Jane Phased Plasma M is probably still the best bet.  So my efficiency both in isk and time is going up when running anomalies. 

On the PI front my Robotics production is stabilizing nicely.  My alt is currently doing construction parts and coolant.  The construction parts are to pile up a reserve for future projects.  After that I'll probably convert that part of the chain to a different production chain like Enriched Uranium or Mechanical Parts.  We'll see.  I'm basically running 4 resource extraction and one production planet per character and that seems to be working out well.

My high sec alts are on 4 day extraction routines simply doing 5 extraction->P1 planets each.  Just to keep my life simple (go to planets - pick up P1's and reset extractors - head to market - sell - go back to extraction system - repeat every 4 days)

No progress on my stable of ships last night as it was dedicated to making iskies as opposed to the logistics of getting new ships to my home in 0.0.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Woah! That was impressively fast.

Whole lot going on last night.  I had a family dinner last night so I didn't get on until much later than usual.  I only had a 3h window for EVE last night, so I figured "should be a relatively calm, I can get some PI done and then run an anom or two before bed"...  Just goes to show you how wrong you can be.  Instead I get on and there's a CTA starting 2 min after I log in.  So I grab a Hurricane (I really am going to have to get that Maelstrom hull down to 0.0 - getting tired of showing up to shield fleets in hurricanes all the time - course it would be nice if the CTAs abate a bit to allow me to do so...) and burn for the formup area.

Once there it was a matter of waiting a bit as there seemed to be quite a bit going on at the command level while the fleet (cap and supercap heavy!) was forming.  I appreciated the chance to "look at" some ships I rarely get to see (having lived in high sec and wormhole space for most of my EVE career).  The delay was explained when one took a look at EVE maps and noticed a constellation in our space that was suddenly without sov.  In the end we were told that although the supercaps would eventually be dealing with some "issues" related to that situation, the fleet I was part of was going ahead with it's original plan.

And then things started to move.  It was to be "Incap everything we can find in the two DRF systems in Geminate".

So we are bridged down right on top of one of the iHubs we need to hit.  And the sub-cap fleet starts chewing away.  We're not doing toooo badly, when our cap/supercap fleet arrive.  As they finish deploying drones we are told to align to the outgate and start burning for the next iHub.  Holy hell!  Visible movement to the damage bar on the iHub.  By the time we warp then land at the gate (about 2min total from the time the supercaps landed on grid) the iHub was incapacitated.  The evening went like that for the next few minutes with us starting in on things and the supercaps arriving and "showing us the firepower".

We were undisturbed by the DRF for the duration of this op, this being deep in the US timezone.  And we bridged back to our staging system.  Cadillac all the way.  2.5h after start of op that op was finished.  At that point although there would be further ops I just had enough time to head back to home base, do 15min of PI and log for the night.

In the morning I check evemaps and sure enough all vulnerable systems were in NC hands after downtime.  Obviously the collective FCs had made the right call since we were able to achieve our original objectives and deal with the distraction of the sovereignty issue in our own back yard.  Not a great night for forwarding my personal objectives of getting more appropriate hulls and fits established but a good night for the NC as a whole it looks like.

Note:  I won't report what hearsay there was about the sov situation, except to say that there was a sov situation since that much can be observed through evemaps.  Mainly because it was hearsay and since I'm not involved in the higher level stuff (thank god!) there's no way to confirm the truth about what we heard.  Ah, politics, such murky waters.

Edit: Another point of view of these events can be seen at Kirith Kodachi's site

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ok, that was a lot of ops on saturday and sunday

Busy weekend in the NC.  Started off just missing a CTA to rescue a tower.  Having missed that, I hooked up with a home defense fleet that was organizing to go after some reds in our space.

Engagement the first.

I ended up choosing a cov-ops for this mission.  We ended up almost mousetrapping a Raiden roam that had gone up a one way street.  I was scouting as the fleet was plugging up the only exit.  At one point I did try to probe the Raiden roam that was probably at a safe spot while I kept eyes on a specific gate, but no luck on that.  The Raiden guys bolted for home at that point and we did manage to get a kill or two as they tried to burn towards home.  So we chased them back to Geminate.  At this point things got a little messy.  At a fork in the road we have the Raiden guys that went one way and at the other we're suddenly confronted with Blackline.  The FC in his infinite wisdom decides to find out if Blackline. are as good as he's heard.

Engagement the second.

Short story: they are.  I got a ring side seat to Blackline doing what it does best and our FC getting a little impatient and jumping into them.  Sure enough although we managed to dis-engage with most of our fleet intact we did take a few losses, mainly to our logistics. 

Engagement the second bis.

This is when things got fun.  That Raiden roam we were talking about?  Managed to slip between us and Blackline and then jump right into Blackline just like we did.  So our FC decides to muddy the water and after a quick u-turn comes back and jumps into the ongoing fight making it a 3 way for a very short while.  Raiden melted at this point and the engagement between Blackline and ourselves continued.  But we managed to get out and dis-engage at that point.

Engagement the third.

At this point we get to a rally point for a slight break and for some of our pilots to get some replacement ships.  While there we get wind of a roam that had some potential and was in need of some reinforcement.  So off we go to the Kavala Expanse.  On the way we manage to get lucky and two red ships going from point a to point b manage to run smack into our fleet.  Since I was pushing ahead they managed to be ready and go the two.  We then caught up with the other fleet and after some neutral results (no actual engagement was had once we caught up to them) we headed back to NC space in order to take a break before a scheduled CTA.

I make the CTA this time.

This one ended up being a simple shield repair fleet.  We flew to the POS and the POS was patched up and we flew back.  We did loose an interceptor to some shenanigans next door but otherwise it was un-eventful.  Not exciting but necessary.  After we went back to our rally point I decided to bail from the fleet as I'd now been on ops for about 7h total.

Flying with and against the Russians.

The next day was once again CTA time.  This time a combined NC fleet was taking to that hotspot in Geminate that is the O2O system.  My first thought on entering the fleet was: did I get in the wrong fleet?  Lots of Russian.  Turned out we had a Russian FC for this op.  My big problem is that I was in a close range battleship with no way of switching fits right before the OP.  Note to self: Re-fit some of the armor BS to long range fits.  At one point I did manage to get high damage against a Jaguar that had wander a little too close to our fleet, but for the most part the reds were outside my engagement range.  It was very frustrating.  The initial part of the battle went well but eventually it went south and I lost my Tempest just prior to the fleet getting hot dropped by enemy super caps.  Ah well, Geminate will remain hot for a while longer.

Towards the end of Sunday I did manage to solve my issues of getting an Orca into our operations area for my alt.  And I also got my alt started on PI in 0.0.  I'll be concentrating on tower fuels for the most part.  My robotics production is hitting high gear on my main.

I did manage to get a Scimitar fit out and brought down.  So the establishment of my "stable of remounts" is ongoing.  Mind you all this logistics work does interfere with making isk.  But such is life.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

PI in 0.0

About the most annoying part of doing PI in 0.0 is that you need to keep on top of the resources piling up.  Apart from that it works out fine.  Don't need an expensive hauler to handle the goods, and if you are moving stuff around on a daily basis if you should get ganked at some point in time it won't be the end of the world.

Something some players loose track of sometimes is that it's not always necessary to build up "the best" ship for a specific job.  Sometimes a "sufficient" ship will do fine.  In this case I'm using a mammoth with 4 T1 extenders, 2 Medium shield expanders, 2 em hardeners and 1 thermal hardener.  That's it.  Total replacement value around 1mil isk.  One day, I'm sure I'll get ganked in it.  But at least it will have made it's replacement value in profits in the meantime and it will be cheap to replace (heck this one was built from melted rat loot - including all the modules in it).  It's cargo space is plenty for moving around all the materials from my extraction planets to my production planet and the final items to the station.  That being the case, why should I invest in a more expensive ship that would just be more losses when it gets blown up?  It's not like a more expensive hauler will save me from getting ganked.  Smart flying and attention to intel channels do that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Well I'm glad nothing happened

New definition for mixed emotions.  Flying with an FC that does not inspire confidence to support a POS repping op and nothing happens.  Yep it was one of those nights.  Starts off with a standard announced CTA.  The time rolls around and immediately things start to go sideways - the FC calls for a change in loadout.  Not having either an appropriate ship nor reserve modules to refit a hull, I decide to grab my interceptor. 

Equipped with my trusty steed, I head towards the rally point.  We start moving out soon.  Sure enough thanks to the vague orders the FC managed to split the fleet while traveling to the destination.  This is not normally something that gives your pilots confidence in your leadership skills.  Miraculously we arrived at our destination without incident with the repair work underway.  A short amount of time and we were able to return home without incident.

The good thing about this CTA was that it was a short one.  This allowed me to get back to running anomalies.  I'm still running anomalies a bit hap hazard instead of concentrating on the best isk per hour ones since they are new and I'm trying to get a feel for them.  So far I like the Forsaken ones best as they are short and sweet and the Hub and the Rally Point have BS on every spawn.

Meanwhile like most 0.0 residence I'm getting into PI down here and getting my main alt into the corp to help out with that.  Lord knows with all the large towers sprouting all over the place there's a need for POS fuel.

Monday, March 7, 2011

CTAs and the buildup continues

This weekend was a mix of CTAs and the continuing buildup of my nullsec reserves.  My latest shipment arrived and I was able to fit (and loose a battle cruiser).  I'm also starting to figure out which FCs are good and which, I'd rather not bring an expensive ship to their shindig.  Clue: broadcasting primaries and secondaries is good, saying "just shoot the thing nearest you" is bad.

The one problem I have with the build up of my 0.0 presence of course is the time it takes.  Basically I need to build up a stable of re-mounts from scratch.  This is an expensive proposition. Replacing combat losses at least has insurance to defray part of the cost.  An outright build up means you're paying full price for everything.  And in 0.0 even with a well stocked market, this is extra expensive.  Or time consuming as you purchase/build in high sec and ship it down.  The other thing is that even though you make isk much faster than you do in high sec (oh yea momma, come to papa you sweet iskies you).  Essentially re-shipping from scratch is a time intensive effort.  One more trip up to high sec and that should allow me to get the base of my "stable" established.  Once I do that it'll be "build back up to over 1 bil isk" and go shopping for the "cool" ships - like the Rapier, the Scimitar or the Munin.

In an effort to make a bit more iskies, I've started doing PI mainly to sell pos fuel to the corp.  Not sure how this is going to balance out in the long run, but being able to make some more iskies than just running anomalies and exploration sites is a good idea.  I've also decided to bring my alt Zindal down with me so some shuffling of corporations up in high sec is in order.  I'll also have a corporation for sale in high sec that can anchor towers in 0.7 Minmatar and 0.7 Gallente space for sale once I bring back my 3rd account (contact me via in game eve-mail if interested).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Building up.

Now that I've finally settled into 0.0, it's time to get serious about the buildup of my fleet.  Any pilot in EVE needs to maintain a stable of re-mounts.  Different ships have different uses and specializations.  On top of that you need to plan for the replacement of combat losses.  For my initial fleet I plan on having a back bone of six battle cruisers and six battleships.  Battlecruisers are for roams, fast response fleets and when I run out of battleships.  Battleships are for main fleets (going for strategic objectives as part of a CTA or Home defense fleet when called for by the FC).  Only once this backbone is in place will I work on building/re-building a stable of T2 ships for use on ops.

We'll see how it all goes but so far looks like within a few days I'll only be one BS hull short of my initial objective.  At that point it will be "build back up the funds" time.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stoping by the old haunts

Since it was quite a trip back to the area of 0.0 that I now live in from the op Sunday night, I decided to stop off at my high sec base and pop some stuff out of the oven and get some hulls built for later transshipment to 0.0.  I'll also need to get the alt to Jita and purchase some module kits in order to fit out said hulls.

Mmmmmm Barrage M mmmmm....