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New Shiny

July 28, 2012 2 comments

Well, so the past 3 weeks have been pretty much solid real life work. I have literally only had time to log in and change my skills.

I did pay attention to the alliance tournament and I have to say, like a good many people that the Rote Kapelle Vs Pandemic Legion was my favorite.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it on youtube here

just goes to show what good piloting and disciplined FCing can do against an overwhelming amount of isk. Pandemic legion’s setup breached the 100 billion isk mark and included ships given out as prizes for last years tournament. PL’s setup for this match, far exceeded Rote Kapelle’s entire Alliance tournament Budget.

one of the Rote Kapelle pilots writes a blog at jestertrek – his version of things is enlightening:

clicky

He has also written some follow up blogs about alliance tournament training and matches that are well wort the read:
tournament matches
tournament training

On another note, I’ve started training towards light interdictors. There are just some situations where they are more suited than HICs. I don’t have much experience with them yet, but when I do, I’ll surely post my thoughts on the different tactics required.

In the meantime however I have gained the skill of interceptors (required on the path towards interdictors) and so even though I won’t be using them much, I just had to buy, fit and undock in my first interceptor, a caldari raptor. New shinys give me a bit of an endorphin kick after a hard day’s work in RL. 6.1km/s overheated, it’s not the fastest interceptor out there, but I still think it looks cool. I have a thing for asymmetric ships. (damn those CCP bastards for ruining the scorpion)

Just for kicks, I bought four with fittings and shipped them out to nullsec. I’d like to try to give them a go in a small home defense fleet, as some of the physical skills required for interceptors will translate to light dictors. I fully intend to die gloriously in a hail of blaster fire.

nnnnneeeeeewwwwwwrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!
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Comming up soon: a small guide on why everyone, without exception, should do some time as a fleet scout, why it will improve your gameplay in nullsec and how to not make a fool of yourself while doing it.

Timezone issues

July 11, 2012 3 comments

And so it seems that the Ancient Gaming Noob is getting all the screenshots and battle reports that used to be the bread and butter of my blog. This is partly because of my timezone, but also partly due to Real life issues that have come up recently.

Please take the time to read TAGN’s posts on the Delve war:
http://tagn.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/watching-the-alliance-tournament-in-319-3d/

Also of note is Jester Treck’s blog posts on the reasoning behind the war and musings on why we’re fighting at all:

http://jestertrek.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/ego-has-landed.html

While I’ve been a bit active, My timezone has mostly been gate camps and small harrassment fleets and I’ve gotten no kills due to insta-cane killmail whores (note to self: build and fly an instacane for killmail whoring). Of note, I am now able to fit tech II bubbles on my Onyx, meaning that I’m approximately 42% more effective as a HIC pilot now. This makes me happy as I sometimes found myself with an inferiority complex vs light dictors who’s bubbles are bigger than a HIC IV, bubble IV pilot.

gate camping with tornadoes
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On another note – it seems merlins are the flavor of the month with the current alliance tournament. As my RL friend is getting into nullsec shortly I gave him a bit of practice with the actions of tackling and burning towards an opponent. Also we had a bit of discussion about the advantages/disadvantages of short/long range guns on a tackler as well as scrams vs disruptors, whether to fit a web, etc. quite an educational session, even for me as I know a bit of theory but have only minimal tackle frigate experience. I also tried out the new anciliary shield boosters, using Jester Treck’s double 150 merlin fit here

out of the merlin and the rifter, I came out slightly better
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Anyway, I think I’ll be able to get some time over the next week to get really stuck into more fleets and hopefuly bring some good stories. Perhaps I’ll have to adjust what I’m looking for in terms of blog material.

What aspect of nullsec would you like to hear more about? Suggestions anyone?

EVE Resume

May 15, 2012 Leave a comment

In preparation for maybe joining up with a nullsec alliance, I was gathering together a bit of a history of what I’ve done in EVE. Generally in my experience there are varying requirements for joining a nullsec corporation. These vary on the maturity, size and attitude of the corporation. For example, a corporation that is new to nullsec may be happy to accept new members so long as those members are willing to contribute in some way.

on that note, I’d like to give a shout out to Jacabon Mere who commented on my last post – he’s a CEO of a smallish Aussie-timezone corporation that is now in the very northern reaches of nullsec as part of CONVICTED alliance. (useless fact of the day, I have a jump clone still in one of the stations up there). now his corporation are small and the requirements are low. This is necessary to build the corporation, and with proper leadership this corp may be well respected in the nullsec world.

Then the next level up are the established nullsec corporations, to whom an influx of inexperienced pilots would be detrimental. These corporations generally have a minimum skillpoint requirement and request an interview over voice chat prior to joining.

Further up the chain are the corporations which are super hard-core. I would place the Dark Knights of Daneb (my last nullsec corporation) in this boat. If I remember correctly we had to maintain 30 killmails per month to stay in the corporation (not really a hard thing to maintain due to the war we were having with the providence block at the time). These guys wanted to see references to previous killboards and evidence that I was serious about and experienced in PvP.

These corporation levels (for want of a better word) are not “better” than one-another, it is all dependant on the culture of the corp and the play style that you’re after. In any case, I was looking back at some of my old posts and I’ve found that quite a few of the links to corporation or alliance killboards have gone dead. I have a screenshot of my Mostly Harmless killboard summary from just prior to the Dominion patch here: pre-dominion-kill-summary. but other than that, all killboard websites seemed to have vanished.

And so, I must resort to using battleclinic or eve-kill.net. This is me here:
eve-kill pilot summary
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Now, I’m certain that this is not all the kills/losses I’ve had. This is only the kills that other people have posted (via their api key) to the eve-kill.net website. What I would really love is for Eve to be able to show all the killmails that you have been on. That way I would be able to see every fight I have contributed to in some way. Unfortunately, the only thing that CCP allow us to have is mails when we land a final blow and when we die ourselves.

I have also been thinking. It is fairly important to keep your corporation history clean. This is one of the reasons I chose to name my corporation “0.0 veterans rest and relaxation corp”. If it was called something else or if I had joined a different corp it would have been one extra thing to explain to a recruiter next time I wanted in on nullsec.

On another note – My buddy and I took a bit of a roam through lowsec, just to get our feet wet. This was the result. I expected as much and we didn’t take anything I couldn’t afford to lose, but I was still annoyed I lost my pod as well, they had an onyx there that must have had a sensor booster or two. Still, I got a bit flustered in between telling my mate to warp out in fleet chat and trying to remember what things to click to get my pod out. It was a stupid mistake, no one should ever lose their pod in lowsec except to smartbombs. still, good learning experience once again.

The next thing to decide is: What ships should I prepare? Clearly my HIC, a covert ops or two, a stealth bomber or two, my deep space transport, my blockade runner and Tengu, but what are fleets made out of these days? pre-dominion in Mostly Harmless we flew heavily tanked armor battleships able to survive a doomsday device (Titan Doomsday’s were AOE back then). Post Dominion, both Mostly Harmless and Against All Authorities flew long range glass cannon battleships. But I’ve heard recently that battleship fleets aren’t so common now days? especially since the new Tier 3 Battlecruisers came out. Is this true? are all fleets now made up of spider tanking drakes and tier3 BC?

If so, this is even more incentive for me to go buy a Fleet Command ship.

I think, there is one thing I would like to do before joining a nullsec corp. I’d like to go see the station at 9UY4-H again. last time I was there we had just finished an epic system lockdown over the course of a week and had finally taken the system. I would like to see it under CVA control once again. To that end I’ll be flying a nostalgic tour in my Onyx HIC starting from the Dital gate probably tomorrow night. I promise I won’t try to kill anyone 🙂

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: , ,

First impressions of the South

January 31, 2010 3 comments

So I have recently joined Against All Authorities. I originally applied to Ushra’Khan, but weighing up the options and pros and cons of each option, -A- suited me better. I’m used to being in a large space holding alliance while Ushra’Khan is more of a roaming-bases alliance. Every corporation generally has requirements to remain part of it and the Ushra’Khan corporation that I applied to required a payment of anywhere between 2 and 10 million per month per member to support the role-playing wardec against the providence members. The corporation that I have joined as part of -A- requires that every member get 20 killmails per month to remain in the corporation. This was more to my liking, and so I chose to join them. There were some other smaller reasons that also contributed. The 20 kills haven’t been hard to accomplish, having been on 26 ship kills in 4 days. some of those were of course as part of the large battle for D-G, but nevertheless I think it won’t be hard to maintain a good rate.

Before I go any further, I’d like to set the record straight about Goons and the Providence holders. I blame Podded Podcast for the source of this misinformation but I have since seen many people on both sides of the battle lines deny that the goons and providence holders are in any sort of non-hostile agreement, including seeing declarations to that end in Ushra’Khan pilots bio. I’d like to apologise for perpetuating this myth.

Against All Authorities Market system of G-E
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First Impressions of the south:

Against All Authorities
This alliance seems extremely well organised. It seems like there is almost 50% russian pilots and so every fleet that I have been on except the small roaming gangs have had the fleet commands translated from english into russian either by the FC himself or a translator. Most of the important fleet commands are also transliterated into fleet chat in english, which most of the russians can apparently read better than they can understand spoken english. This is quite cool. I think though I will make an effort to at least learn how to count in russian so I can get an idea which gate they’re talking about before the translation comes along.

It is hard to compare it to my previous alliance Mostly Harmless because there has also been some changes in the sovereignty mechanics since I last participated in large fleet fights. It seems that Capital ships are deployed with an almost reckless abandon compared to what I’m used to and Battleships are relegated to an almost support role. This is good in a way as it increases the incentive for pilots to train for capital ships. I’m certainly inspired in any case. on Saturday night we had a CTA to go and destroy some goon POS’s in Querious and the battleship fleet wasn’t used for anything except destroying cyno jammers so that the capital fleet could warp in and do its thing.

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General fighting
The highlight of the evening was coming back from querious to Catch via empire, where the fleet of 50+ battleships stumbled upon a 5 man war target camp in a 0.9 security system. our scout mentioned they were there and one of the alliance undocked a freighter at the station and warped it to the gate. The wartargets must have been so busy wetting themselves that a freighter had been stupid enough to warp to the middle of their little camp that they didn’t notice the battleship fleet jump in. We killed Two Loki’s. Very cool.

Also of course, we had the huge fight in D-G the other night, the same day I joined.

Fleet Salvation Initiative
My first thoughts when joining the alliance and reading alliance mails about CTA’s was that everything was fairly similar to what I’ve been used to for so long. Get the Teamspeak details, get the jump bridge map, bookmark all gates along the main routes etc. but then they kept on referencing “FSI” as in: “CTA 18:00 Dreads > Carriers > BS > FSI > support” which usually tells you what to bring in order of priority. After asking around I found that FSI stood for “Fleet Salvation Initiative”. this is simply the most organised bunch of logistics ships that I’ve heard of in a nullsec alliance. if you can fly a logistics ship but can’t afford, or don’t want to afford one. just grab an alliance logi ship before the op and hand it back afterwards. Pilots are encouraged to rotate out from damage dealing ships into the FSI every now and then.

Casual Roaming
My prior experience to frigate/cruiser roams have been mixed. In the north, unless we stumbled on a gang of empire guys wanting a bit of pew, or some pirates that ventured into nullsec for a change, most of the fights were close things. We would go roaming down through cloud ring and syndicate where Evoke was at the time and during these roams we all knew it was only a matter of time before an equal or more powerful fleet of evoke or Sons of Tangra was formed to take us down and it would be an intense fight on a gate somewhere, after which only one side would emerge victorious.

My first roam through providence however was completely different.

I dusted off my Onyx, which hasn’t seen action for a couple of months and joined up with a mixed cruiser/frigate gang that was going for a little roam through southern Providence. Ga’len a fellow blogger from Ushra’Khan joined up in his vagabond and about 20 of us roamed free, back and forth through a few dozen systems owned by CVA and Paxton Federation. No one stopped us, no one seemed to care. We hit a little bit of a gate camp at one point but they were quickly dispatched. We went to one station system and bubbled the station, staying there for a few minutes while unsuspecting proviholder members undocked and died. Now, when I first joined eve, I spent a little bit of time down in severence’s space and I had access to their intel channels. When a red was reported nearby you safe’d up and waited until they went away or got destroyed. I find it hard to believe that providence’s intel channels have degenerated so far that people were so willing to die to our fleet.

Bubbling a station
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Perhaps it is just a lack of morale after losing D-G to -A- or perhaps it’s just a general incompetance. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but my initial impressions are not good.

What was good however, was getting back into my Hictor. they seem to be appreciated a little bit more in this alliance. I did stuff up at one stage – that station in the screenshot above is an amarr refinery. I’d never seen one of these before and moved to the other end and bubbled, not realising that the undock point is the flat end, not the pointy one. “Fail bubble” on teamspeak and a sorry from me in fleet chat and I changed to the position you see above. I won’t make that mistake again.

Other thoughts
I am in the same corporation as Wensley of rifter drifter fame. he is also a new recruit. it will be interesting comparing our blogs. I think we have different blogging styles and we come from different backgrounds in the game so there shouldn’t be too much overlap. hopefully he’ll pick me up when I exaggerate too much about -A- victories 🙂

HICS need redesigning

January 20, 2010 3 comments

As I collect all my stuff, preparing to move back out into nullsec, I look at Gothic Robo-chicken, my trusty Onyx-class heavy interdictor. Sitting there, collecting dust ever since I could fit a t2 galente battleship and started flying them instead.

It occurs to me, that the Heavy interdictor is no longer fulfilling the role it is designed for. This, quite frankly, sucks.

Here’s why:

TL;DNR: Because of Titan

The long story: Cast your mind back to pre-dominion times

Titans had an area of effect weapon, that pretty much blasted any sub-capital that wasn’t a heavily tanked battleship. Your battleship fleet set up for gank and not tank? Boom, one doomsday and you’re sitting in a pod, Dual doomsdays and local drops by the exact amount of pilots that were in your fleet. Most alliances in the Northern Coalition therefore mandated that their battleship fleets should be able to survive at least one doomsday device.

a poor defenceless support fleet gets blasted into space dust, their battleship fleet barely hanging onto their ships by the skin of their structure while a Malicious titan laughs at the effects of his Doomsday Device
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Both Titans and Motherships are immune to electronic warfare. This includes warp scramblers and so interceptors are useless against them. The potential for area of effect doomsdaying renders standard interdictors, destroyable, err, destroyer-class vessels less than survivable should a second titan come to assist the first supercapital.

Enter the Heavy Interdictor: A cruiser class vessel with the Effective Hit points of a heavily tanked battleship, able to project Warp bubbles if need, sacrificing manoeuvrability and speed, but also able to pin supercapitals with a focused warp disruption script, maintaining manoeuvrability and speed, making it hard to hit. Double doomsdays from titans of different races? Pah! A mere inconvenience. Doomsday destroy your fleet? Hold the supercapital in place, light a cyno when you’re fleet is ready to jump back in. Supercapital ships lived in fear of the cyno-HIC.

Small gang cruiser warfare? Oh, I’ll just take my cruiser class vessel with the hit points of a battleship and a bubble generator and infinite warp scrambling power along and see if we can’t trap a HAC or three at a gate.

They were Gods in nullsec.

Now: Post dominion:

So, what are Heavy interdictors good for now?

Tackling supercaps?
Titans now only hit one target at a time. Battleships no longer need to be tanked against Doomsday devices. You can tackle a titan and it can have ten doomsdays go off without reducing the effectiveness of your 100 man battleship fleet, despite the fact they are all glass cannons.

Sure, the supercapitals are still immune to ewarfare but I can buy and equip five standard interdictors for the price of one Heavy interdictor. And if a titan doomsdays, none of the interdictors die. And they have the manoeuvrability and speed almost equalling frigates.

Small gang warfare? Ok, they may be still good for gate camps, but if given a choice between a 30 million ship and a 160 million ship just to have a bubble up on a gate, heck – if you’re camping a gate why not deploy a large static bubble? That’s only 5-10 million.

Tackling tech III ships: ok – I admit, this is the one specialist role remaining. Only a focused warp disruption script can tackle a interdiction nullifier equipped strategic crulser. How the hell am I supposed to catch one though.

Tackling supercapitals in lowsec: ok, the HIC remains the only thing that can tackle super capitals in lowsec. I know I don’t fly in lowsec very much, but I’ve only had that happen once, and it was a fluke.

Wormholes? Please… you can’t fit a supercapital in a wormhole. Use an interdictor, although perhaps it would be nice to pin down a carrier… hmmm.

Gate camping in empire: Ok, a remote sensor boosted Onyx or Broadsword is still king of gate camps in lowsec, but why not have I don’t know… five interceptors for the same price.

My point remains: The Heavy Interdictor’s unique ability to pin down supercapitals while surviving multiple doomsday devices, is obsolete. And sitting on gates in lowsec is not what the ship was designed for.

What should happen:

In My Humble Opinion, the following changes should happen to HIC’s:

1) Hit points reduced
2) Warp disruption field generator range extended to at least give it a bit of advantage over a standard interdictor
3) The addition of scripts to change the properties of the bubble for example (and these are just ideas, some perhaps overpowered):

a) Make the bubble area of effect tracking disruption.
b) make the bubble area of effect webbing.
c) make the bubble area of effect sensor boosting (for friendly fleets)
d) make the bubble area of effect hit point boosting (portable shield for fleets)
) My personal favourite: Make the bubble Area of effect cloaking. Remember that protoss ship in starcraft that could conceal troops, revealing only itself..

Warp cloaked? Able to use black ops bridges? Perhaps too overpowered…

I’m not asking for a buff, I am just asking that it be looked at again in the light of the dominion changes.