Sunday, 29 June 2014

Moros Rescue

Ever shut your door realizing you haven't got your keys? 

It was a quiet morning in the wormhole, Hehulk, Ya Huei, and myself were finding our current chain from the previous night quite stale.  In a quest to provide ourselves with some content we decided to roll.  I must confess to knowing absolutely nothing about the mechanics and nuances of closing a wormhole - but the guys seem to have got it nailed.  Except this morning. Through goes the Moros, down goes the hole. Oh Cock. Silence took over coms. Then nervous laughter took over coms. Then actual laughter took over coms. We assessed the situation and things looked sub-ideal. The Moros was not equipped with probes and it had no jump fuel, it did however have a cloak.

Content generated - OP success.

The C5s had 4 connections to nullsec space, and luckily very little activity. So things were looking okay - but we really really really needed to get a scout into the C5s with the Moros. Myself and Huei, now joined by a couple of others started to furiously scan down the new chain in order to look for a way into K space, and Hehulk (the Moros pilot of the moment) set about working out which nullsec connection was more favorable.

Hulk worked out two options - both two cyno jumps away from decent lowsec space, and both through quiet nullsec. He then safe logged the huge ship as we managed to find a way back out into K-Space.  Ya Huei made his way out of our new chain in order to try and enter our old chain and work his way back to the stranded ship, which he managed. We were now in a much better situation; the Moros was safe logged and we had a scout with it in system.

We found that one of the two ideal nullsec systems was still open but EoL, so Huei jumped in, there were a few in local but we didn't have much choice, so safes were made and the Moros was logged back in, jumped into nullsec, and made it into an off-grid safe and safely logged off. Very smoothly done and we all breathed a small sigh of relief. Now to get fuel to the dread and jump it towards the safety of a station. 

Huei scanned for a way in but was defeated by real life, so it was decided a blockade runner of fuel should be run down the pipe to lowsec. A decision that ended.. Well...  And by well I mean a lost blockade runner and a lost 200mil ransom. Pirates just ain't what they used to be. 

Soured by this loss I vented my frustrations by scanning. And a scanning. And scanning. And scanning. And well you get the jist. 

Eventually I found a route that let me jump from highsec, into a c3 and then into nulsec only 7 very quiet jumps away from the stranded dread! 

A sigil was loaded with oxygen isotopes and successfully made it. Wahey! Dread fuelled! And with that we got the big old ship jumped back to a station in lowsec. 

Although it wasn't ideal, in the end it have us something exciting to do! Chew on that highsec...

Learner FC - Welps for all #2

Gather round one and all, for this is a tale of not much significance at all...

It started last night - with a motley fleet of T1 shield cruisers, mainly Vexors and Caracals. We formed up on a lowsec hole and discussed the plan as Khaizim scouted around. He found a Cerberus running an anomaly so we jumped and gave chase. The Cerberus turned out to be faster than Usain Bolt with diarrhea 100 metres from a toilet so we broke off and warped back to the hole, unfortunately we lost a crow in the process.

- 1 to us! 

After some more poking around, and extracting some tears from the local plex farmers by sitting in a large plex for some time it was decided we should light up a cyno bait and see what comes.  Cyno went up - we waited. As our hope of a fight was fading a Stabber, Stabber, Stabber, Belicose and Vexor appeared on scan. Then on short scan. Then on grid.  
Belicose was called primary (I made this decision because of the target painters, I think it was the right call, feel free to disagree but please tell me why!) but it seemed as if their dps was just too much. We started jumping back through the wormhole as we neared death and warped off to reship.  Unfortunately, a Vexor didn't make it.

- 2 to us!

This is where things went tits up. In a big way.  We reshipped into tech IIs and HACs to continue the fight, but the fleet dribbled back to the hole and we got split up and polarized in all the wrong ways. Perhaps I didn't make my instructions clear enough, or I panicked a little and this reflected in the behavior of the fleet - we live and learn and I can work on thinking logically for a couple of seconds before I speak. Either way, an Oneros went down. We did manage to salvage things slightly and managed to catch a Stabber and a Belicose.

-  3

We composed ourselves, reshipped back into T1 cruisers and set off for a highsec detour to console ourselves and try and grab some easy, cheap kills based on 'reddit intel'. Unfortunately nothing was happening so we turned back and dove back into lowsec

Thanks to some great scouting we soon discovered a Proteus and an Ishtar of the same alliance that owned the stabbers so we headed that way.  We jumped into system and were soon joined on grid by an Ishtar. He was sitting 50km away so we aligned towards the gate he had come from and burned towards him.... I decided not to attempt to kill him there, we were strung out and would have difficulty dropping him quickly enough before the inevitable blob of support arrived.

So we entered warp back to the where he came from, but cheekily, on a hunch I decided to land 50km away from the gate.  After a second that juicy Ishtar landed right in the middle of out cruiser blob and was blown up pretty quickly, turns out it was worth 500mil!. We scooped the tasty faction loot and ran for the hills.

- 3


As we warped off towards home they ishtars support arrived, so getting out of there was a good shout! We returned home for tea a medals with draw on kills and a positive ISK result (not including the cyno ship we used as bait for 'statistical' reasons).

I took a lot more away from this fleet than the last, and I feel I performed much better as FC. I was sure to keep the ball rolling, never letting coms go quiet to try and keep enthusiasm up and people on the ball. I made some bad calls in getting the fleet split up on the wormhole, so this is something I need to work on and do some thinking about to be better prepared next time we fight on a hole. I also made a couple of good calls and catching that Ishtar so beautifully gave me a warm fuzzy feeling!

I highly recommend stepping up and having ago at FCing, if you have the right bunch of people around you it can be a great experience!

To be continued...!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

A Lucky Day?

I mentioned a shopping list in my previous post, and my trip back from highsec with a cargo full of loot turned into a small adventure worth writing about. For reference the chain looked a little like this:

Home > C5S > C5A > C3A > HSA

I hate shopping, both in the real world and in New Eden. So when I finally undocked from Rens I was almost happy about the 22 jumps my hauler would have to perform to get me to the highsec entrance of the moment. I plotted the route and merrily set about jumping from gate to gate. In between clicking warp and jump on my alt I was scouting out the 4 wormhole jumps required to get home in a cloaky proteus on TJ.

The chain appeared calm, nothing much on D-Scan to be aware of so I put my proteus into a lazy 30km orbit around the entrance from highsec, occasionally spamming D-Scan. My hauler was 3 jumps out when things started to warm up a little. I noticed an Astero blipping on and off scan so I docked up my hauler and proceeded to check out the chain again on TJ. As I entered warp one, two and then three Dominixes appeared on the scanner – I narrowed my scan radius and pointed my camera in the direction I was warping to find that they had appeared on the hole I was about to land on.  I was due to drop out of warp 10km from the hole, certain muscles clenched a little as I slowed and landed on grid with the battleships – luckily well away from them.

Flight of the space potatoes

With my cloak still on I turned around and pulled range and proceeded to sit and watch as the Dominixes dropped a range of sentry drones and geckos and proceeded to set up a cap-chain, I hope they weren’t waiting for me! I pulled up the pilots info and discovered they were from Chained Reactions and local to the system. My corp was light on numbers at this time, but Pancocco moved up the chain to sit the other side of the C3a hole and observe.  We put the word out on Jabber but unfortunately most people were still at work or otherwise engaged so we settled into watch.

One of my favorite things about wormholes is the ability to remain 100% un-noticed and just watch other people (I promise I don’t carry this hobby into the real world). After five or so minutes of watching, a Hyperion and fourth Dominix appeared and started to role the hole, which thoroughly irritated me, mainly because I was on the wrong side and also because I’d just done 22 jumps in a hauler! I was debating whether or not to just make a run for it and finally decided what the hell – they’re battleships I’ll be long through the hole before they can even think about locking me!  With that I turned my ship around, bounced off the nearest moon and dove into warp just as Pancocco called the hole had closed.

Oh Cock. 

I was now heading straight towards a fleet of 5 battleships at 0. We both laughed at my predicament on coms as I fell out of warp 2229 metres from the nearest ship, once again my cloak held and my luck was in! I slowly navigated away from the not so gentle giants as Pancocco dropped probes in C5a.

I got my Proteus back to the now end of life (EoL) highsec hole to find an Eos command ship there – I weighed up my options and decided not to fight. It was pointless anyway being on a highsec hole and I’m still a little timid after my last Proteus loss.  As I activated the wormhole so did the Eos and we landed on the other side together, he then proceeded to try and persuade me back in for a fight – I don’t think he realised I’d seen the rest of his buddies in there but we had a lovely chat and I warped off to the nearest station as Pancocco announced he had found a new C3a with a highsec static, once again my luck was in! I opened up my hauler once again and prepared to put in a new destination and when I saw Pancocco appear in local…. I couldn’t believe my luck – we had re rolled straight back into the previous C3a. As I already had the bookmark for the entrance I immiediatly warped my hauler and proteus back and jumped before the guys inside had any chance of figuring out what had happened. Me, my hauler alt and Pan burnt back down the pipe successfully and about two minutes after got a bemused message of a scout form Chained Reaction asking what the hell we had just done and how we had managed to get a hauler un-noticed through there ‘camps’.

What can I say – lucky day, I’m off to buy a lottery ticket! 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bringing home the bacon

I hope that documenting my ISK making methods does not bore you to death! Heck I hope it's helpful to people starting out in W-Space, there are so many ways to make ISK in eve it's confusing sometimes. 

Since deciding I was going to attempt to save up and buy a new alt I’ve lost and replaced a Proteus, which isn’t an ideal way to start my savings drive! Saying that, I am not going to shy away from PvP at all, if I lose a ship I lose a ship but, I’ll try my best to reduce the amount of ‘gung ho’ I apply to certain situations. My current balance is 469mil, I’d like to get to 1bil by next week – so call that a target. I know this might be a dull read for some people, so I will limit these 'updates' to once a week.

Last night was the first time in a while I made a real effort to make ISK (sounds lazy I know). My usual routine when logging in is to: check coms, check the mapper to see what the chain is like and get into space in a scanning ship to have a look around. Instead of doing that, I decided to take stock of what I had in space; I trawled through my junk and ships and made a short ‘to get’ list for my ISK making mission. This list looks something like this:

  • Mining Mods for Prospect (Don’t judge me)
  • A dedicated PvE ship or 2 (You have to spend money to make money eh..)
  • Salvage destroyer
  • A bunch of specific hardeners/ammo/drones to suit the rats in various regions of nullsec
  • Exotic dancers
As I was making this list a member of the corp (very kindly!) donated a fully fitted RR dominix to me for isk making purposes, which was amazing! I have promised to pay back the isk when I am 'space rich'

After my domestic duties were done I jumped into a scanning ship and took stock of the chain. Ignoring the call to hop into j - space and look for people doing silly things I instead jumped into the first of two direct nullsec connections we had. Nobody in local and 6 signatures greeted me, an awesome start! I set about scanning and soon resolved two gas sites hidden amongst an EoL nullsec wormhole and a couple of combat sites. Now, I’ve spent the sum total of 2 hours in nullsec, so I had to google the sites and soon discovered they held a combined 200 million ISK worth of Golden Cytoserocin!

I gleefully skipped (in a very manly fashion) back to the SMA and reshipped into a very poorly fit prospect and headed back out to start sucking all that juicy gas. Whilsed in nullsec I found myself wrapped in the lovely security blankie of the local channel, the gasing was all going very well and I was only half paying attention like any good miner. Then, all of a sudden my shield alarms went off and I panicked and warped off to a random moon (much to the amusement of the people listening to me on coms thinking I was about to enter PvP with an invisible gas cloud…). Assessing the damage, it turns out this stuff hits you for 800 – and it does this repeatedly. Without a shield extender that’s quite a lot!

Tail between my legs I set off back to the SMA so I could actually put some effort into fitting my prospect only to find I hadn’t got a Medium Shield Extender (MSE) ‘in stock’. I went back to my shopping list and made a small addition of more utility mods, and rigs and stole a MSE from my Enyo.  Back I went, feeling confident that no puny gas cloud could harm me! I spent the rest of the evening bouncing between the two gas sites filling my boots with evaporated ISK. I spent the final 20 minutes of my playtime scanning down a relic and data in the system next door and netted some more loot. I then thought it’d be amusing to steal from a siphon unit but I only managed to grab 440,000 isk worth, hardly master theft of the century. All in all I netted an estimated 186 million ISK, a figure I am very pleased with!

I know that stacking items is a thing - I just feel like I have more stuff this way...

It’s certainly not the most exciting evening on eve, but there is something about setting yourself a task and completing it that I enjoy.  My next mission is to make sure I am properly supplied to earn ISK! Wormhole logistics can be the worst sometimes.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Proteus Down

A lot of people fish the regular way, with rod and reel – other people fish with a net, or harpoons. And then there are those fantastic people that fish with explosives. Well I’ve found out how those poor fish feel, I nibbled on some bait and then got my whole life exploded by overwhelming force. It was fantastic, I would do it again.

My first T3 loss happened during a fairly short session on eve last week.  I hadn’t been able to get on much in the week so I was itching to get into space and do something. There were three of us online and we were on coms having a laugh at each other’s expense when a potential target was spotted in the static. A tengu was poking about so we set about trying to catch him. Suddenly one of the guys called point on a legion on the entrance to our home; I turned around and warped back to the action.  At that time it was the legion vs my proteus, a loki and an Ishtar, we were chewing threw his armor when he jumped back into retreat.

Before I continue I’d like to do a small ‘hindsight’ assessment: We knew there was a tengu with the same tag in space. It was far too easy to catch the legion and he was tanked well. We had no eyes in our home and hadn’t scanned down the chain properly, oh and we had no back up. But what the hell do those things matter when you could get into a sweet fight……. right?!

So, of course, I followed him through. As I dropped my session cloak he targeted me and scrambled me – this is where I knew things were about to go very, very wrong; he was smart, I was not. I burned into a close orbit and light up my blasters. Just as I did that my overview filled up, a bubble went up and the colour and moisture content of my pants changed significantly. In all there were many t3s, 3 guardians and a HIC versus our three ships. 

There was nothing to do, no point in even trying to panic, I thought for a second about trying to escape but it was useless, they had dangled a juicy worm in front of us and we bit. Then we were harpooned and exploded in glorious style, props to the ‘bad guys’ they had a very well set up and executed gank.

As I was going down I figured I should use this experience to my advantage, I overheated everything and tried to survive for as long as possible. I was pleasantly surprised with my proteus’ ability to tank, I managed to stay alive long enough to burn out all of my mods and kiss my exotic dancers goodbye. In the end the inevitable happened and I exploded and was podded, a long with my corp mates loki.

It was refreshing to be ganked in a way. I had gotten complacent; we dove into that fight without a moment’s thought and got our just reward! Sometimes wormhole space seems to feel safe, and we should be grateful that Bob sends the big bad wolf from time to time – it keeps wspace fresh, at least for me!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Learner FC - Welps for all

So my alliance are asking for people to step forward and have ago at FCing, so I thought I would give it a crack, and document my fleets as and when they happen. After all, what’s so bad about losing a few internet spaceships?

My first fleet went out last Friday, the ships were t1 cruiser and the fits were armour tanked brawlers, my favourite. A few people moaned about the choice of armour as shields have more speed but I have poor shield skills and I love blasters! After forming up and some bullying encouragement on coms we set off down the chain into low-sec of the Aridia region. After consulting DOTLAN I decided to head for Onanam, it had seen the most kills in the last 24 hours so away we went, it took me a fair while (and a gentle reminder) to remind me that fleet boosts were a thing, and I could warp the squad! (My advice to any new prospective FC is to ask somebody to explain fleet/squad/wing boosts and how to control them, it’s confusing to say the least!).

We had a very lucky encounter with a retriever on the way, the unfortunate soul jumped into our impromptu gate-camp and promptly exploded. Why ever they thought that was a smart idea I don’t know?

We reached our destination without much fuss but there was nobody around to kill or be killed by. After further DOTLAN consultation it seemed as if it wasn't worth going anywhere else, so we started to slowly head home. I noticed a few of the gates were fairly active so we set up another gatecamp. After a while a Viator blockade runner jumped through, somebody got tackle and we started chewing away on it.  Now, alarm bells should have been going off here for several reasons:
  1.      This guy shouldn't have got caught.
  2.       He was tanking our combined DPS way too well.
  3.       He wasn't really making an attempt to get back to the gate or align to a celestial

My inexperience lead me to ignore all of the signs hindsight has provided with me and a few seconds later a thanatos, appeared on grid along with a harbinger and proteus, it was hot drop o’ clock!. I was primaried and blasted off the field but the rest of the fleet managed to get out. We lost one further cruiser to the thanatos’ fighters but with the help of that retriever we won the isk war for the evening. And now I have a kill mail with a carrier killing me on it - bonus!  

As a learning experience it was good, I wish we would have got into a proper fight – or at least tried to put some bait out for a better challenge but that will come in time.  I learnt that scouts are always good, bait is always to be taken, and hot drops are not fair.

Buying a new me?

I am contemplating attempting to buy a replacement for my alt. TJ is my second attempt at a character and thanks to the guidance of others he has very well placed skill points – and hence has become my main.  My alt (while having more SP than TJ) has a more eclectic mix of skill points, most of which don’t suit my needs any more. I have always browsed the character bazaar, watching fantastic characters come and go but I have resisted buying one in the past. A small part of my being able to resist the temptation of an all singing, all dancing character is due to me wanting to learn to play the game properly, but largely due to my tremendous ability not to make any isk – what so ever. 

So, why the change of mindset? Why do I want to try and replace my faithful alt? Well I feel as if I have gotten to the point where I have learnt enough about the game, and would like some more flexibility to try my hand a new things.  TJ needs his core skills boosting a little – which will take the next few months of training, core skills are important – but so is having fun! I get a little frustrated watching my alliance mates hop from HICs into Carriers, into fast tackles then a range of t3s, ECM ships, the list goes on. It also sets me a new goal in game, it’s easy to burn out on eve but having and achieving goals keeps people subbed and playing.  My last goal was getting into a proteus and flying it well.  Now I have the proteus, it’s fantastic! But I won’t be able to set myself another ‘ship’ goal until my months of core skills are done.

So, how to raise the ISK? There is a wealth (pun intended) of material a simple google search away on market trading, incursions, ratting blah blah blah – basically get rich guides.  I seem to have real problems making ISK – I’m lazy! But equally it’s something I’ve never really set my mind to. I’ve maintained a wallet balance of around a billion for the last month or two, soaking up losses, making small amounts of ISK here and there, but that’s not going to get me the new character! 

I intend to have a dabble in the market – but I feel I will have limited success here, sitting looking at numbers/items/profit margins does not interest me, being in space does. I will try my best to suck gas, find combat sites, rat, scan, hack; the list goes on but I’ll be taking full advantage of my C5 home! I won’t have any of the ‘classic’ PvE ships at my disposal, I don’t have many shield skills and I mainly use blasters. But I’m sure there are work arounds! 

My aim is somewhere around 10 – 15 bil, I’d like to do it inside of 3 months, but the way I make ISK the new character might turn out to be a late Christmas present to myself! Only time will tell, and if I change my mind about spending it on an alt that’s a hell of a lot of care free PvP I can enjoy!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Wormholes and 'New bros'

I havn't posted for a while, so I'll make up for it with a wall of text exploring my thoughts on new players and wormholes. Also I hate the term 'Newbros', but it made a nice title.

TL;DR I am a new(er) player, I wish there were more new(er) players in W-space. Why don't you see more new guy corps in lower class wormholes??

Despite the whole 'Eve is dying' attitude on the forums and in space there are a lot of newer players entering and exploring New Eden, and some of them find an interest in wormholes.  I like wormholes - always have done. I like the idea behind them, the mechanics and the community. And so do a fair amount of newer players I have spoken too, sometimes however wormholes (and the people that live in them) become very intimidating.  

Before I go on I want to make three points - hopefully which will become clearer as this post develops.

  1. Eve is a multi-player game
  2. The 'progression' built into eve is rarely used 'properly'
  3. Eve is a multi-player game

I first jumped into wormholes to live and play with just over 3million SP and now having 14mil SP I am part of a C5 PvP alliance. Luckily for me I have been supported by fantastic and very experienced players. I, and many others like me are living proof that you don't need 50mil SP and a carrier alt to thrive and have a blast in w-space, sure life would be easier with those things but I am supported buy a great group of people - which brings be very nicely to point 1; Eve is multi-player.

Wormhole (J) space is hostile, very hostile, in fact I've never entered a more hostile feeling place in any game I've ever played (although there were some pretty brutal levels in Spyro the Dragon). For this reason new players need help and lots of it, Eve has a steep learning curve and wormholes have a learning overhang - but properly supported anybody can succeed.  

Stating the obvious here, but there are 6 classes of w-space, C1 - C6. I often only see PI alts in c1 - c2, and hear remarks such as 'c1 - c2 just ain't worth the time' etc., which brings me to point 2. There are wormholes where groups of supported new players could live, grow and learn in an environment that can allow them to PvE to support losses. Of course at this level you are not going to earn a fortune, but if you if you see wormholes as a place to enable to you swim in isk, in my opinion you are doing it wrong. If you catch these enthusiastic newbies early, you can help shape their SP and get them into more enjoyable stuff faster, both enhancing their eve experience, your eve experience and adding a new pilot to pewpew with/against into the wormhole community.

Of course there is a minumum level of SP to fly in wormholes - but you don't have to always assume that is a c5/6 hole with a leet PvP corp. I see a depressing amount of new players that jump to that conclusion and give up on wormhole dreams and end up in highsec, or worse as nulbears

The problem with this c1 - c2 'cresh' for learner corps are more often that not the big boys. I have semi contemplated starting up a beginner friendly wormhole PvP (PvE funded) corp that can act as a starting ground for those interested. Given the small community that live in wormholes it would be fairly easy to spread the word about this with the big corps and attempt to get them to down ship a bit to take us on. Because if 1 thing puts newer players off wormholes it's getting destroyed by 50 t3s. (Disclaimer: I know eve Uni have a wormhole campus, but in my experience they keep themselves to themselves in the wormhole scene.). 

I'll finish with point 3) Eve is a multiplayer game, if the wormhole community want to bring new players in we need to accept they need help and new players need to be aware they can get help - I would have biomassed my beautiful dreadlocks long ago if it wasn't for a few players that have helped me learn to survive and have fun in wormholes.

I am open to opinions on this post - but I feel that new players bring a level of passion, excitement and enthusiasm into a corp that can snap bittervets out of their 'eve is dying' attitude and maybe even provoke them into having a little fun.

Please discuss, 


P.S My opinion on the whole 'Eve is dying' thing is: Eve is not dying, it's stagnating due to a large portion of the community ignoring newer players.