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Archive for February, 2010

Caldari Outpost

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m away in Prague – enjoy this AFK screenshot!

Caldari outpost somewhere in 0.0 I don’t remember where!
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Wyrvern Vs Avatar

February 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Paralax error makes a Wyvern look as big as an Avatar.
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Updated Impressions of the South

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Having written a blog post when I first was accepted into Against All Authorities (here) I thought I should update my impressions based on having actually had some combat time with my new alliance as I’ve found it is very different, and yet the still the same in certain aspects.

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Supercapitals
The main difference that I’m noticing is the number of supercaps fielded. I’m certain that this is mostly due to the dominion and subsequent motherSuper Carrier changes, but it certainly makes a difference. Mosupercariers are fielded almost as commonly as normal carriers. Prior to the recent few weeks I had never seen a mothership in actual combat, now they seem quite common.

Mothership deployed at the hostile station in 3D-CQU
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The Number of titans is also huge compared to what I am used to from the Northern Coalition. In the North, we were lucky if we had two titans online at a time and often there wouldn’t be any titan pilot logged in at all. The corporation I was in had a special corp event to launch our first titan with all the associated pomp and ceremony, but then we never heard from the titan pilot again. I believe that this had a lot to do with the type of war that was being fought in the north, which I will discuss later, and also the pre-dominion titan functionality causing them to be only used when there was no danger of a hostile capital fleet. Now, of course, there is safety in numbers and the titan pilots from -A- are very active.

edit: I have recently found this blog: Jump On Contact and it looks like the NC is also fielding supercapitals in a similar way as we are down south

Capital Fleet at the 9UY4-H siege
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Station and I-hub timers
This is new as part of dominion and it has completely changed sov warfare. Having taken sov in D-G and 9UY recently, my impression is that since the sov changed is guaranteed if you can hold the system for 5 days or so, there is more morale, more motivation to fight when there is a definite end in sight. It depends on the system of course. The defensive fight for P-2 that I participated in while I was in Mostly Harmless was quite a different story as there was only 5 moons in the entire system the enemy could effectively remove our ability to fight by destroying our towers and so the normal Dominion sov mechanics did not really apply.

Sub-capital -A- and U’K fleet about to jump through and engage a CVA battleship fleet
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The recent fighting in Z-REF3 and 3D-CQU (mentioned in Ga’len’s blog here) has been another story, but one thing for sure, the new mechanics seem to make for more good fights so long as there isn’t a massive fire-power disparity like we saw in 9UY. Reports are coming in from both sides of the fighting in the providence/catch area that the fighting has been good in recent times.

Offensive War
The biggest change for me is going from a defensive grind to an offensive mindset. No longer can I go home from CTA’s via jump bridge network, I have to rely on titan bridge, which is actually working out very well. – so far in all major engagements there have been regular (30mins or so apart) titan bridges to and from the battle. I can’t imagine how much isotopes/ozone is burned through every operation, but I guess we do hold a fair amount of space and therefore wealth.

Also, I’ve noticed the larger number of haulers required – moving things like blockade units and Territorial Control Units. The battlefield seems much more dynamic now. But these are just impressions, others may have an entirely different opinion of course.

Crane at a gate
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So far I’ve achieved 87 kills, 72 not including pods and I have lost a HAC and a pod with +4 implants. Not bad – I hope to keep this ratio going long into the future.

In other news – I’m away next week so I’ve prepared two screenshot posts to appear during the week to keep you interested 🙂

Gaming Morals: of exploits, secrets and metagaming

February 16, 2010 23 comments

As there hasn’t been much of a battle recently that I felt was worth reporting on I thought I would post on this topic. it is something that’s been weighing on my mind for a bit and was hoping to get some good feedback/discussion going.

I have been thinking about it since I read The Ancient Gaming Noob’s blog post (thanks for the shout out on SUWT!) about cheating and how it relates to MMO’s.

The issue at hand that has inspired me to write about this is the topic of creating Deep Safe Spots. (hereafter known as DSS’s).

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After playing for a year and a half I have finally found out how make deep safespots with a method that does not involve abandoned fighters and a lot of probing. It has only taken me this long because I have not been actively looking for this information, it just came to me, and I tried it and now I can consistently create Deep Safespots at > 50au out of the system, and then subsequently create other safespots past that one etc. Anyone with a month of skilling up or so can do this as consistently.

Progressivley deeper Safe Spots
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My moral quandry is that the method used is clearly not within the proper game mechanics. The game is not supposed to be used this way and so it should technically be classed as an exploit. But as far as I am aware, this particular trick has been in existance since the beginning of eve.

First Question: Should I be using this information to create safespots at will?
Second Question: Should I be posting this information on my blog?
Third Question: Regardless of the answers to question one and two, what should happen in other circumstances?

I’m going to go for a bit of a ramble here, back through some of my old gaming experiences where I’ve used cheats or “exploits” to have a bit of fun:

Diablo – I used good old dial up and a friend who had lots of good armour and weapons to exchange items using the duplicate item trick. Due to the PVE nature of the game, this didn’t harm anyone since the game was entirely against the environment – I was only “ruining” my own gaming experience

Fallout: This is a single player game but I thought I’d mention it. there was a very easy method involving a save game file and a Hex editor which enabled you to get max stats and money and pretty much anything you want.

Half life 2 multiplayer: when the game first came out, there was an exploit whereby you could change yourself into any model in a particular map. a favorite of mine was turning into a headcrab, equipping a crowbar and yelling “die humans” in the game chat and going around killing other people. most of the time it was just funny and the other players laughed more often than not. Here was the fine line that I crossed to affecting other people’s gaming experience, but I still did it because I considered it light hearted, I didn’t use proper weapons and everyone who I told how to do it was appreciative of it. it’s funny having only one human spawn in a map full of human-controlled headcrabs with crowbars 🙂 . That and Valve fixed the problem very quickly. possibly though this was an exploit that I shouldn’t have used, but I deemed it to be not one that affected anyone’s gameplay very much.

Of these, “exploits” only one affected other players, and players did not get banned for it, rather it was fixed.

So I’m wondering. in the case of the Deep Safespots, do they affect other people?

In the case of one of the evenings in D-GTMI the CVA used a cyno beacon at 500au away from the system. all this allowed them to do was load a grid and then warp before -A- and co could get there. Deep safes aren’t all that useful for anything and I suppose that is one of the reasons why this particular “exploit” hasn’t been “fixed”.

I am still conflicted:

The blogger in me wants to tell all for the people that will link to my site.
The analytic gamer wants to tell all because it’s facinating mechanics.
The part of me that loves pushing the limits of things wants other people to be able to do it also.
Part of me knows that it isn’t a secret so why not post it anyway?

but

What if it is declared an official exploit – I don’t want to be banned – can I in good conscience say that I didn’t know it was an exploit?
part of me doesn’t want to tell anyone because despite the fact it is actually available online it isn’t common knowledge. making this information available on a public blog will contribute to it becoming common knowledge and perhaps then it will be “fixed”…. and I like being able to make deep safes despite the fact I don’t actually use them for anything.

What would happen if there was an exploit that made my ship look bright pink to other players? should I post about that?

Compare this exploit to the moon goo reaction exploit that was clobbered last year. This particular one affected everyone in game causing artificially low prices for tech II ships and making production nearly impossible for those not in 0.0 alliances. This was clearly an exploit which I would not have told anyone.

So, the question is. should I write a nice, screenshot-filled guide on how to make deep safes for those of you out there who don’t know how and can’t be bothered searching to find the goonswarm produced PDF or the scrapheap challenge forum post?

What should happen in the future if other exploits like this come up?

Categories: Info Tags: , ,

I’m writing fiction!

February 12, 2010 9 comments

I’m Writing Fiction are you?

Don’t forget, there’s a Dramiel up for grabs and (because I take my writing instruments as seriously as I do my PvP) an extra 20 million for the first person to guess what pen I use.

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Categories: Fiction Tags: , , ,

The fighting spirit

February 10, 2010 15 comments

This (trying very hard not to be ranting) post was mainly inspired by a comment on my (mostly ranting) post here.

Here is the comment in question but feel free to read the entire discussion on the original post:

First of, the proviblock only lost d-g because of grid lag, -A- took the field first, and due to the unfortunate issues introduced in dominion, it appears that whoever takes the grid first wins.
Your corp then proceded to rub it in by bumping out pilots out of a POS bubbles using passwords they got their hands on by placing spies within CVA, underhand tactic that the Provibloc would never use.
The people of Providence have a loyalty that -A- players don’t have. You sound like a glory supporter, jumping to whichever corp you feel you will win with, maybe you should think about trying to stick it out with an underdog alliance and try and put up the best fight you can facing overwhelming odds.
What I understand the least about -A- is that they completely missed the oppertunity to take advantage of the fall of goonswarm. Delve region is worth so much more than Providence, yet you decide to fight for pointless little systems and make life difficult for an easier opponant when you could have push full force into delve and taken over that region. Instead you let it fall to IT Alliance, who I believe will want to come for your blood in the not-too-distant future.
Yeah you can bully the proviblock, but think about it in the long term, its going to be much better to clear out, leave them too it, and concentrate on bigger enemies. Even if you push them out, -A- will fall eventually, and you wont stick with them, you’ll jump into the next strongest corp that will let you in… Loyalty is more important than brute strength.

Yes, I admit that I am an alliance grunt, I have no knowledge of what either CVA or -A-/U’K have in store for the future, so perhaps I’m missing quite a lot somewhere. Perhaps providence has some epic smackdown planned. I’d also like to admit that I feel no ill will whatsoever, I am not bitterly ranting like Helicity Bson did in the epic post about carebears far from it.

I’d just like to address a couple of issues, the first of which is that I have switched alliances to be part of the winning team. In doing so I also hope to demonstrate that despite being an alliance grunt, I know something about defence in both pre and post dominion.

First of all: I did not leave Mostly Harmless (part of the Northern coalition) solely due to the fact that they were on the back foot. In fact, from the moment I entered nullsec until when I left in early January I have only been fighting defensive wars.

We fought against Tri, although that was before I started this blog

We fought against Evoke continuously, holding on, sometimes with the rest of the Northern Coalition, often by ourselves to the critical stations in Cloud ring. When they got the advantage and held our station systems, we fought back.

We fought against Sons of Tangra by ourselves, as they struck into our critical high-end moon systems and staged their entire capital fleet just outside our home region. We won because we counter attacked and they made mistakes. We did not stop harassing them on their home turf. Heck – we reinforced their R64 moons by deep incursions in frikking stealth bombers. We camped their jump bridges, we brought as many people we could to the fight.

We fought against Pandemic Legion who were hell bent on reclaiming all our R64’s just before dominion hit. They presented so much of a threat that we ended up losing the entire region of cloud ring to Evoke while we were defending our home systems. But still we made an effort to harass Evoke and yes, we got wiped out often also but we gave as much as we got. yes, ok, sometimes the northern coalition managed capital blobs. but when the NC weren’t backing us and we faced superior forces in a cyno jammed system we got into stealth bombers and executed coordinated attacks on their RR battleship fleet and made sure that we at least had sub capital fights rather than loosing a system without a fight at all.

Again, we tried to fight off evoke. Here we were fighting a war on both fronts. Pandemic Legion in the heart of our systems in Pure Blind and Evoke making a very good effort to take over cloud ring. We made some very bad mistakes and lost a lot of ships, but immediately afterwards got back into stealth bombers and executed coordinated attacks on PL’s battleship fleets. (the more perceptive here may note the recurring “get in frikking stealth bombers” theme here). Even after the entire Northern coalition tried to force Evoke out, but after some initial success we had to pull back, leaving Cloud Ring to the hostiles.

And again Triumverate came, and we fought against them but also didn’t let evoke take cloud ring without a fight. I didn’t write about the battles where evoke came and destroyed our r64’s in cloud ring because they had more in fleet. I didn’t write about the hours spent sitting staring at a system being totally ripped apart by hostiles because screenshot opportunities were hard to come by. Nor do I write blog posts about the hours spent sitting in a covert ops ship trying to find out where the hostile jump bridges are or which pos’s have Capital ship construction facilities, or where the enemy stages from because that is seriously boring stuff. I write about epic battles, whether we win or loose or even when the battles don’t happen but we made an effort. At one point it was so bad that we were told to move to an NPC station because we didn’t think we could hold Pure Blind. We also had our main staging system attacked, and destroyed prior to which I spent hours ferrying alliance assets out to a rear staging point. And a week of logging off in the ever decreasing number of pos’s in system.

As for the few fights I have had in providence. I have to say, I’ve only been here 2 weeks, I don’t know the history behind -A- and Proviblock, so I have no grudge or any emotion about this. The fight in D-G was great – and I don’t mean great in the fact that we won completely and utterly, I mean great in the fact that Providence actually tried to win. In fact, if I would say that the fight wasn’t satisfying at all. Read this post: Turkey Shoot and you’ll see my views on one fleet wholesale slaughtering another fleet. You’ll see that it is not enjoyable, I would much rather have my ship destroyed and me be podded ten times over if it meant we could have a good bit of a fight.

The reason why I am disappointed with CVA is that there is no resistance, there is no counter attack, you’re not deploying SBU’s in GE-, you’re not harassing our jump bridge network. Did you know that if you incapacitate a jump bridge or pos-based cyno generator, we have to rep it up or kill it entirely before we can online another one? Do you know how freaking long that takes? You can do that with a smallish battleship fleet and therefore prevent reinforcements coming to the front lines and/or divert valuable assets away in order to fix the logistics network. Put together a fleet of 40 or so stealth bombers, find a valuable POS of ours that has only large guns on it and reinforce it or kill cyno generators! If the tower starts to target you, cloak up! make it a war of attrition, leave alts cloaked up in our carebear systems and our staging station systems. harrass our undock points, camp our jump bridges! Don’t just sit there whining about grid lag on a battle that happened half a month ago. Do something!

As for the station loss itself: With the new Sov mechanics, you have 5 days or so, and two major battles with which to reset the attack. Control the system yourselves and the enemies won’t be able to gain it back without a lot of effort. That goes for both sides, attacking or defending In case you didn’t notice, a combined force of -A- and IT alliance was pushed back by goonswarm when we (I wasn’t here at the time) tried to take 49U from them. You’ll notice that goonswarm, despite being at a timezone disadvantage managed to prevail against a superior force. Don’t tell me it’s impossible for CVA to at least try the same, yet over those 5 days sieging 9UY there was no concerted effort to take back the system. there was the occasional freighter breakout fleets and the occasional solo stealth bomber (solo stealth bombers won’t do much at all, get in a group and coordinate your targets and warpings) but that was it. As I have said, I don’t know the reasons high up in CVA for this, but I’m under the impression that it was a major psychological blow to all providence holders, and indeed it was intended to be. -A- doesn’t want that system! we just wanted the psychological blow that it would deliver and we succeeded in that.

Finally, I’d like to state the obvious: holding nullsec requires fighting. If you’re not capable of fighting, then you need to be good friends with an alliance who is. That is the way of it. it’s not “unfair” it’s not “bullying” I don’t even understand what you mean by that…. it’s just the game mechanics. you’re in 0.0 you are not going to get a free ride. I do understand that there are a lot of people in providence itching for a fight. It remains a leadership problem then if you don’t get what you want.

Perhaps it’s not relevant now, U’K have 9UY and are NRDS therefore with the exception of D-G, the holders of Providence region are still NRDS. -A- is withdrawing from the offensive for the short term. perhaps this is the politics that I’ve been missing, perhaps this was intended by CVA.

Still, CVA would do well to heed what confucius said. A quote that I have in my Bio:

The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved. – Confucius (circa 551-479 BC)

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not trying to twist the knife, I’m trying to exhort you to take control yourselves!

oooh, and again finally: I’d like to sincerely thank the CVA and proviholder members who have posted on this blog – I appreciate being corrected on things like the relationship with goons and the fact that I’m missing political goings on that are over my grunt-like position in the alliance. I never got that honest feedback when I was in the NC. Being able to have an open dialogue with your enemies is certainly refreshing. I will approve any comments posted on this blog usually within 12 hrs at the latest (I usually post at night and I need my sleepy time) so please be patient if it doesn’t appear immediatly.

Unity Station 9UY4-H

February 8, 2010 5 comments

I can almost hear the tears of joy in the voices of the Ushra’Khan members on voice coms. After many years of struggle against the Amarr, they have finally reclaimed the station that they created and was taken from them so long ago.

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Unity station
Haven for the Ushra’Khan
Freedom for the Slaves

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A glorious moment even if the station was relinquished without a fight.

May the Ushra’Khan use it wisely. -A- are going back to catch and I’ll be able to dock for the first time in a week.

In other news, Razor and Morsus Mihi alliances both declared war against -A- the very moment the station fell, and then Wildly inappropriate shortly after. We’ll see if anything becomes of this, I expect Mostly Harmless and Tau Ceti Federation will follow suit.