Archive for August, 2010

I am a noob… apparently

Posted: 2010/08/30 by evilsilents in Activities
Tags:

I thought it was about time to get some rep up so that I can access L4 agents for locator purposes.  As it happens, my buddy Brep is running L4’s at the moment in Gallente space, so I packed up a few ships and spare ammo and pirating fits and moved on over.

So there I am in a Level 2, farming rep with Bruce in his Jag and Shaz in a salvage Cyclone, when eelp turns up in the mission in a Heron.  Hello, this mission just got interesting!

He starts sidling up to one of my unlooted wrecks, quite obviously getting ready to flip me.  Well sir, I have a little surprise for you.  Both Shaz and Bruce made a beeline for him in readiness.

Just… JUST as he went flashy and I was ready to spring the trap, the missus walked into the room and grabbed my attention about something or another.  It was one of those things that you’re supposed to take seriously, and I simply couldn’t manage two accounts in PvP while giving the appropriate level of concerned nodding.  Something had to give, and I missed the tackle after evaporating the Heron’s shields.  Without the distraction I would have been able to switch to Hail, sic Shaz’s Tech II drones on him and scram him good, earning a nice Heron killmail.  C’est la vie.

Of course, as soon as he warped out, the missus stomped off at my inability to immediately drop everything I was doing and give her my full attention with no notice.  My bad.  Ah well, I bet eelp will be back in something tasty now that he has aggression from Bruce.  Best clean up these wrecks so he doesn’t extend aggro all night.

Lo and behold, he turns up about ten minutes later (really?  Did he have to buy and fit something specially?) in a Brutix, probably fitted something like this.  Well I’m not stupid, and I like choosing my battles rather than having them dictated to me, so I finished salvaging and warped off.  Laughing, I convoed him.

Shaz: o/
eelp: run run as fast as you can
Shaz: get anything nice? :)
eelp: noob (close convo)

Awwww, poor widdle flipper got cross that I didn’t stick around to be shot at by his slow-ass battlecruiser, and he wasted an hour to get one wreck’s worth of level 2 loot and almost lose his Heron.  The fact that he’d warped his own Heron out of a fight he couldn’t win was lost on him, though he expected a PvE Assault Frigate and a salvage-fitted Cyclone should do the honourable thing and stick around to be pwned by a ship specifically designed to do so.  Erm, no.  Noob things I could have done:

  • Shot him before he flipped, resulting in concordokken
  • Left wrecks in the site, allowing him to extend aggro
  • Tried to dock with an aggression timer
  • Lost the fight to the Heron (for that, I would have had the word noob tramp-stamped on my arse)
  • Um… tried to fight him, resulting in a dead Cyclone and a warped-off Brutix

Hope your next flip target is stupider than me eelp.  You can’t play a playa :)

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POS attack fail… again

Posted: 2010/08/30 by evilsilents in Activities
Tags: ,

Sunday morning.  all set for a bit of fun with the kids, get them off to bed and some pirating shenanigans in Eve in my new temporary home in Gallente space.  Quick check of Eve Gate to see what’s going on – what’s this? A mail from a corpie who has a scanning alt in our old Class 2?

As of this timestamp the other corp that setup shop inside our wh tower is now offline….go figure they too apparently having trouble keeping things running smoothly. Anyway I looked over the tower and whatnot. Easy pickings.

An offline POS?  In a wormhole that I also, as it happens, have a scanning alt in?  Well now.  Piracy has a new name, and it is POS bashing.

So in and around playing with the kids, I scanned down the seven signatures inside the hole and on the sixth (of course) I found an exit to lowsec not 14 jumps away from my base.  I autopiloted both my toons to the nearest hisec station while I cooked dinner; Shaz fitted up a max-DPS battleship in and around bathtime, and at 7pm with the kids in bed I hooked up with another corpie in an Itty V for the POS rape of a lifetime.  What goodies would we uncover?  What riches awaited us?

An incident-free traversal of lowsec under Bruce’s watchful covops eyes and we were in.  Bruce warped to the enemy POS and it was, as reported, totally offline and unpopulated.  D-scan was clear – Bruce gave the OK for the big ships to warp in and for Shaz to start pwning the Corp Hangar.

Er… where’s the Corp Hangar?

Er… where’s the Maintenance Bay?

So it seems that the good folks from Zaren Family are smarter than initially thought.  They left their medium POS offline with all defences anchored and took the hangar, maint bay and all their stuff out.  They’re clearly planning on coming back once the sites revive, and they don’t need to arse about with re-anchoring everything.  There’s no point in bashing the POS as no profit can be made, and it’s probably still chockers with Strontium.  Grudging respect for the cleverness of that approach.

I bashed it a bit anyway, purely out of frustration.  Even the anchored GSC’s were almost entirely empty apart from some scan probes and stuff.

Sigh.

So we picked up our PI and headed out, to log off in a huff at a wasted evening.  Thank you CCP, may I have another?

Choo Choo! All Aboard the Fail Train

Posted: 2010/08/25 by evilsilents in Activities
Tags: , , ,

My intersection system wasn’t turning up any interesting targets, so I moved to the nearest lowsec to see what was up.  Bruce went ahead in his cloaky to check out the scene, while Shaz brought up the rear in her shiny new PvP fit Cyclone.  Lowsec right?  A den of scum and villainy?

I have never seen this particular system empty, but tonight it was.  Not shaping up to be a productive evening – when all of a sudden, I got a new spike in local.  Good evening Lipena.  How lovely to see you.  Now, let’s see what you’re up to.

Bruce quickly pinpointed her at a belt using my new 7-probe technique which I’m liking a great deal.  Imagine 2 x 0.5AU probes offset from each other by about 0.4AU, with that dual blob surrounded by a 1AU probe, itself surrounded by 4 x 4AU probes in a cross.  It’s hard to describe, but it gets 100% locks on destroyers and small indies without resizing.  Quality.

So Ms Lipena was happily bashing rats in a Thrasher.  Bruce warped to 50 to check out the scene, but was decloaked by a rock on landing.  Fail.  Lipena seemed not to notice, which sparked my curiosity and an info check.  Ah bollocks – 8 days old.  Damn me and my principles.  Still – the guy has balls, ratting in lowsec solo in a Thrasher at 8 days of age, in an NPC corp.  Or maybe he just doesn’t know any better.  Should I… educate?

Shaz was still a couple of jumps away picking up ammo, so Bruce followed the prey from belt to belt.  By the time Shaz arrived, Local had spiked to Lipena plus two and the system was getting more interesting.  Shaz jumped in, immediately warped to the target belt and with my heart thumping I got my very first security penalty with a textbook tackle.  Thanks Uni, the training paid off.

I was within seconds settled into a tight orbit around my prey, scrammed and webbed, though weapons cold for now.  I wanted to chat.  Opening the window, I commenced a delightful conversation with a very polite gent which went roughly like this:

Me: Hi there
Him: Hi
Me: I guess you’ve realised you’re in a bit of trouble
Him: Really?
(oh, playing innocent are we?)
Me: Are you new?
Him: Check the info, employment history
(wtf)

Yes you guessed it, I convoed the wrong guy.   A CEO of an Ushra’Khan corp.  Who proceeded to piss himself laughing when I told him what was happening.

Choo choo.

Er, ok.  Convo the correct guy.  Who by now is firing on me unprovoked – the guy either has balls of solid steel or brains of solid steel.  One salvo from the Cyclone’s guns put him into armour, and I left it at that while sorting my chat fail – he was barely tickling my tank.

Me: Hi there
Lipena: Hi
Me: are you new?
Lipena: yeah
Me: OK, normally I would have killed you but I just wanted the tackle practice.

More firing, goddammit.  Another salvo from the Cyclone and he was in deep structure.  The big guns fell silent, the peashooters not.

Me: So, be careful ratting in lowsec, there are pirates about ;)
Lipena: OK
Me: enjoy your evening o/

Still under fire, I warped Shaz out.  Shortly afterwards, Bruce watched as Lipena streaked off for the highsec gate, trailing a plume of fire from the ship he probably put every cent into.  I been there my friend.  You may hate me now, but you will remember that lesson.

I later probed Mr U’K down in a Primae.  Goodness but I wanted that kill, but he proved slippery and warped off just before Shaz landed :(

On the positive side, I got my first sec hit and nailed a very nice tackle if I do say so myself, plus had a hilarious night and picked up some 0.4 salvage.  This pirate crap is awesome!

o/

Please note that the following Eve Blog Banter post is as-yet unofficial.  I just couldn’t resist, as it’s a topic very relevant to the whole purpose of Evil Silents.

Welcome to the twentieth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

With the recent completion of the 3rd installment of the Hulkageddon last month,@CyberinEVE, author of Hands Off, My Loots!, asks: “Griefing is a very big part of EVE. Ninja Salvaging, Suicide Ganking, Trolling, and Scamming are all a very large part of the game. What do you think about all these things? You can talk about one, or all…but just let us know your overall opinion on Griefing, and any recommendations you may have to change it if you think it’s needed.”

Timmy sits in his Retriever shooting rocks.  Yawning, he drags another load of Arkonor into the jetcan spinning lazily beside his ship, parked unaligned and solo in the midst of a pristine belt.  Bored already, he brings up his mining spreadsheet.  No need to watch D-scan, Local or the grid; he is safe.  Eve no longer permits non-consensual PvP, can-flipping, ninja salvaging and scamming.  With a few calculations, he smiles – four more months of doing this two hours a night, and he’ll have enough ISK to upgrade to a Covetor.

If you have played most other MMOs (for the record I was an endgame Rogue in a 2nd-tier WoW raiding guild for a looong time) you will understand that Eve is different.  The sandbox is not just a marketing concept, it is literally the case – every player action does have real effects on other players.

But many people do come to Eve from other, lesser games; games in which they had a slow grind upwards, risk-free, with the amount of input effort the only factor in their rise in wealth and experience.  They are conditioned to expect that they can play how they want to play, and others have no ability to upset that.  PvE servers on WoW are the classic example: outside of battlegrounds and arenas – tightly controlled and consensual – there is no real way for another character to interrupt your slow climb.  Effort = reward.  Linear relationship.

Then they come to Eve, and their slow climb is interrupted by a flipper, a ninja salvager, a suicide gank.  They are offended and confused – how can this be?  Another player has affected their slow climb to wealth and power!  Hax!  Griefing!  Shenanigans!

Welcome to Eve.

Eve without risk is this: shooting rocks and shooting AI.  Is that really what you want? Without loss, there is no market for ore and salvage because there is no market for replacement ships.  There’s no market for those looted modules.  There are no people to play Eve with, because they all got bored and went away.

Oh I get it: you want loss and risk, lots of it.  You just don’t want it to happen to you.  That’s the crux of the matter right? You want to pursue your strategy in a bubble, safe from the chaotic maelstrom around you, reaping the benefits of that storm while being insulated from it.  I’m sorry Timmy, that just ain’t how it works.

You are Tony Stark. You have wealth and power, obtained by providing the tools of misery to others for profit, all the while insulated from the harshness of the world you help create.  Then you are forced to confront the realities of that world in the harshest way imaginable.  Do you curl up and die, bemoaning your misfortune; or do you rise as Iron Man from the ashes, using your intelligence and creativity to forge a path to greatness?

Losses are without doubt a source of grief for the loser.  Whether you’ve lost a jetcan of Veldspar or 74 Plexes, it hurts, and I know that all too well.  But people, transcend your hurt.  The chaos and lawlessness of Eve is it’s biggest attraction – it is a big boy’s MMO, where you have to grow up fast or be eaten.  Either you find that awesome, or you don’t belong.  Unfortunately it’s as simple as that.

Eve is ultimately about the balance between convenience and risk/reward.  AFK mining Veldspar in 1.0 space in a Mammoth is low risk, convenient but very low reward.  Autopiloting that same Mammoth with a POS tower in it to Rens is also convenient.  But, as it turns out, high risk when you traverse known trade pipes in the process.  Mining to a jetcan is more convenient than returning to the station every time your hold is full, but you accept a risk when you do so and, according to the Eve Wiki, can flipping is officially considered griefing only in rookie systems.  You could fit a huge active tank and salvage each mission wreck as you make it, almost eliminating the risk of having them stolen, but you make a convenience trade when you do so.

I’m all for letting new players settle in, as I believe this is an investment in future targets – similar to throwing back undersized fish.  This is why I have a personal ban on targets under 1 month old, and avoid rookie systems.  For reference, the rookie systems are (I believe):

  • Gallente : Cistuvaert, Bourynes, Duripant
  • Minmatar : Ryddinjorn, Hulm, Ammold
  • Caldari : Todaki , Amsen , Kisogo
  • Amarr : Emrayur , Sehmy , Chaven

However, arguing the amorality of stealing is utterly bogus in a game.  You simply can’t make the case that it’s OK to blow up somebody’s prized battleship in “fair” PvP (which almost never happens), which they worked and saved for; but not OK to steal someone’s ore, salvage or loot.  Every loss is an ISK loss.  But though you grieve for your losses, you must understand that you have not been Griefed.  Your loss was part of the game, and you accepted the risk of that loss when you undocked.

If you get suicide ganked in highsec, you get kill rights.  Now you have a month to exact payback.  Exciting huh?  Doesn’t that add a dimension to the game that fires you up and leads you in interesting directions?  Revenge.  Locator agents.  Hannibal chewing on a cigar, saying “I love it when a plan comes together” with a mischievous grin.

If someone takes your ore or loot, you can shoot them without Concord’s interference, and bring in corp buddies to help.  Feel that thrill?  That’s the risk/reward centre of your brain kicking in, arguing with your pride and struggling with adrenaline and testosterone.  Why the hell else would you want to play a game, if not for that awesome high?  Someone looking sideways at your wrecks?  Bait them, trap them, convo them and practice social engineering.  Don’t be a victim.  Play the game.

Feel the joy of your loss, as it opens doors for you.

Timmy sits in his Retriever shooting rocks.  Yawning, he drags another load of Arkonor into the jetcan spinning lazily beside his ship, parked unaligned and solo in the midst of a pristine belt.  He grins as the can flipper beside him falls for the trap, and laughs as his corpmate decloaks his Rifter and blows the flipper to glowing dust.   Exhilarated, he brings up his mining spreadsheet.  With a few calculations, he smiles – four more days of doing this two hours a night, and he’ll have enough ISK to upgrade to a Covetor.

Other Blog Banters:

More to come…

Cherry… popped.

Posted: 2010/08/22 by evilsilents in Activities, Thoughts
Tags:

I have stolen.

It felt good.

After an hour scanning a likely ice system for candidates for my first love, finding nothing but a very well organised and staffed ice operation, I decided to move to a nearby intersection system to see what I could rustle up with my D-scanner.  I immediately got a hit on a Cyclone in a mission site, which I certainly wasn’t confident of taking out with my backup 2nd account but hey, who dares wins right?

Being a 0.8 system it was never going to be a super dangerous mission, but you gotta start somewhere.  In with my Vigil and nobody there.  The inconsiderate vandals from Fish ‘n’ Fun had left a bunch of half-looted wrecks in a one-room mission and scooted right out of local.  I felt it was my duty to clear it away.

Clicking on that “Yes I Am Happy To Steal This” button was cathartic.  I had a little evil giggle and pressed on, engaging my best W-space d-scan and Local surveillance.

10 minutes later I had about 300k worth of salvage and loot (nothing special right) and a good feeling that I had done something new.  Had I been just slightly more distracted by waking kids and inquisitive wife, I might have indeed pressed that “dock” button in my eagerness to enjoy my spoils.  As it was, the old Eve instincts kicked in, the hairs on the back of my neck went up and I paused for thought.  What is it.  What’s wrong.

Aggression timer.

My first one.

Time to write a blog post while I wait.

Fish ‘n’ Fun have not been heard from, and I doubt I will as they had cut and run.  Litterbugs, all of them.  Me, I’m happy to be alive and if I should lose my salvage Vigil, hey it’s just about paid for itself already.  Obviously this stuff isn’t as profitable as the 20M/hr C2 sites I’m used to, but the potential for giggles is much higher.

And if you’re not playing for giggles, why play games?

o7 Silents

Postscript: On docking up at the end of these shenanigans, I noticed a certain miner undocking in a Retty.  Checking him out, I saw he was youngish (though eligible) and popped out to have a look for him.  Turns out he was solo mining in a belt, tanking the 0.8 rats.  Hooboy.

Long story short, he was mining to cargo and unloading at the station.  Dude is more patient than me.  I waited a whole cycle cloaked up off his port bow to see if he’d spit a can out, but no joy.  He really needs to get a friend with a hauler :)

Hello world!

Posted: 2010/08/20 by evilsilents in News, Thoughts
Tags:

I’ve been playing Eve Online for some time now.  For a lot of that time I was a carebear, then late last year I joined Eve University and the Ivy League Navy with my main, Silent Bruce, to get some PvP.  I loved being a unista, loved the ILN and still think E-Uni is one of the proudest achievements of the Eve player base.

As Brucey ascended the ladders of the ILN, my alt Silent Shaz decided it was time to leave her carebearing ways and go live in W-space.  Forming Into The Pink with some buddies, she set off into the unknown.

Not long afterwards, Bruce reluctantly left the Uni to join Shaz in the hole to defend ITPNK’s POS (as E-Uni prohibits mixed-fleet PvP, he could not do this as a Unista).  A week turned into a month, and both toons remain in the corp to this day.  Wormhole ops recently ceased (as you can read on the ITPNK blog) and both accounts were scratching around for something to do.

So, dear reader, that brings us to Evil Silents.  Throughout my Eve career I have experienced much in the way of the dark side from the receiving end, including a very expensive suicide gank in highsec.  I never once flew into emo rage though, as it’s the non-consensual danger of Eve that makes it such a compelling MMO, especially having come from the consequence-free world of WoW.  I have never, however, trodden on that wild side myself.

Until, as you have no doubt guessed, now.

I’m going to see what the world of Eve has to offer as a game, where I can explore shades of morality that differ wildly from that which I adhere to in RL.  I want to know what it is to flip a can, to suicide gank a hauler, to ninja salvage.  I do this not with malice or intent to grief, but in order to get the full experience out of my subscription.  No doubt I will fail spectacularly on many occasions and give my would-be targets cause for great hilarity.  That is all part of Eve’s rich pageant and I wouldn’t deny them that.

I will adhere to my principles though, for what they are worth.  I know that the line between griefing and piracy is a fuzzy one, so I elect to define it thus: I will not set out to deliberately ruin someone else’s enjoyment of the game, as that is what I call griefing.  Non-consensual PvP and thievery are intentional, legitimate game mechanics, and do not constitute griefing even in highsec.  Having your shit blown up or took in Eve is a part of the game, and while that may diminish your enjoyment of that day’s play, Eve would be pointless and banal without it.

If you pay your ransom, I will honour it.

Toons under 1 month old are off limits to me, unless they’re in ORE ships or they shoot me unprovoked.  Similarly I will abide by my corp’s NAP with E-Uni.  Unistas are off limits in recognition of E-Uni’s sterling contribution to developing the new players of New Eden.  Note that this in no way implies an endorsement by the Uni of my activities.  I am not affiliated with the Uni in any way other than as an alumni.

If you do not fit into one of these categories, then I will look forward to seeing you in the black.

Please note that my activities are my own – as enacted by Silent Bruce and Silent Shaz – and do not reflect on the attitudes or preferences of my corpmates (though they may change their minds!).  It’s for this reason that I’m blogging seperately from the corp blog.  I understand that some may wish to wardec ITPNK for my actions, but as CEO I accept that risk on their behalf and will do my best to keep them out of it.

I will at some point update the Info page to elaborate more on why I think engaging in these more… unsavoury… aspects of Eve is legitimate and fun for all involved.

07

Silents