31 January 2015

Gud Fites

After an annoyingly long Monday and subsequently busy Tuesday I logged into EVE with a mood for some violence. My corp was scanning down our chain and thinking what to do with the evening when a Magnate jumped into our C3 static from a hisec connection. No kill is too small in wormhole space and we quickly found him setting up shop in a hacking site. I quickly got over there in my Astero and found him rapidly burning away from the cans. I set off in cloaked pursuit and was a little over 100 km away from him when he predictably warped down to start hacking the cans. I kept burning to where he had been, betting on the odds that he would warp back there after hacking a couple of cans. I was covering around 350 metres per second meaning I needed to keep on course for five minutes. In the meantime one of my corpmates was getting into position with an Arazu when he accidentally decloaked on a structure. Everyone's hand was forced and Ponder tried to point the Magnate. Of course, he was warp stabbed and warped off in the direction of a sleeper site, landing almost directly on top of the sleepers. This caused him to panic and warp around a bit before finally coming back to the 'safe' bookmark I was trying to position myself at. Fortune favoured me and I found him under nine kilometres away at which point another corp mate warped their Sabre to me and it was game over for the Magnate and pod (even with warp core stabs fitted, take that Rixx!).

It was at this point we realised the pilot was only three days old. There was some discussion as to whether or not he was someone's alt. He flew well enough doing all the right things with safes and bookmarks so we didn't believe he could truly be new. However the civilian fitting on the ship suggested he was. Somewhat confused I convo'd him for some clarification. After chatting for a few minutes I believed that he was new and was doing a good job learning quickly. I tossed him some ISK to cover the cost of his ship and pointed him in the direction of EVE University. Keeping people around who actually want to learn how to play EVE is good for the game. Some of my corp mates still think he is an alt and I just wasted ISK, but I'm willing to gamble 15 million ISK on being wrong vs. keeping someone new in the game maybe just that bit longer so they can find the same enjoyment I have of EVE.

Anyway, the night continued and we got another contact from an incoming C4 to our home hole. Ponder having reshipped from an Arazu to a Sabre jumps after the Buzzard, bubbles up and kills both it and the pod before any of the rest of us manage to show up to help. This pilot's been around for three years so gets no special favours but what comes next surprises us. A convo goes to Ponder from a corpmate of the victim asking how many we have online for an organised fight. Ponder says there is just the three of us and they pass for now. Having said that a Gila starts hanging around our C5 connection. Just sitting there looking tasty. We know there's probably a huge fleet sitting behind the hole it came from but a Gila is a Gila and we want to shoot it. A couple more people roll online and are getting sorted when we decide this is too tasty a target to pass up. What's the worst that can happen anyway? Four of us warp to the Gila and start shooting. The Gila's friends jump in. Our fight is Brutix, Drake, Harpy and Sabre vs. Gila, Devoter, Navy Vexor, Sacrilege, Falcon. The Falcon is a pain so we take one of our own onto the field too. I was FC and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised as we took out the Gila, Sacrilege, Falcon and Devoter. Even if we did swap most of our ships to do so. Our 'gf's in local were not reciprocated and we felt a little annoyed that they podded Epicurus.

We had a scout jump in to see what else they had awaiting to jump us with. The scout reported "a whole shitload of ships here" including various T3s. They amassed a fleet we couldn't fight and were considering our options when more people logged in. Numbers looked better and we had a bunch of corp ships which needed dusting off. An agreement was made to fight at the sun with no podding. Again I was FC and with a "fuck it, let's go" I warped the fleet to the sun. We landed 50 km from the opposing fleet and we just sat there for a bit. Should we burn to them? Wait for them to burn to us? Warp off and back to a better position? I get us to align away when they come to us. Okay folks, primary is the Drake. After shooting the Drake for a while someone points out it clearly has a brick tank so we switch to a Brutix. They are much squishier and it almost goes down before I die for the first time. Warping off to reship someone else starts calling targets and I derp around going to the wrong POS and missing not one but two Brutix kills. That is the last kill we get and after most of us dying two or three times we end the fight. Our ships are dusted off and exploded. To the victors go the spoils.

Actually, scratch that. Let's share the spoils! Some of my guys warp in to start looting and salvaging while both parties chat in local about what an awesome fight we'd just had. It's getting silly when one of my guys warps in an Orca. I reship to whore on the Orca lossmail if our new frenemies decide to shoot it (I wouldn't have blamed them if they had). They're good sports though and everything ends nice and friendly. It really was a great fight. I was told I did okay at FCing it. I'm not so sure as I never know what the hell to shoot first. I was happy that I at least picked ships to shoot and told people so we could cohesively all shoot at the same thing. I really need to read some FC 101 manual or something. Many thanks again to the guys in 'POS Party'. You killed way more ships than we did, we killed the same amount of ISK, everyone had fun - this is how you win at EVE.

26 January 2015


Shattered Wormhole Epicentre
Sometimes it is easy to miss the beauty that exists within the EVE universe. Instead of paying so much attention to d-scan, sigs and (heaven forbid) local, take a moment to just sit still. Find somewhere safe, turn off your interface and sup from the graphical delights of New Eden.

19 January 2015

In Game Channel

Just a short one. Kind of a follow on from yesterday's post. In the spirit of new things I've made an in-game channel in case anyone wants to chat with me. The channel name is 'NfNE'. You can add channels by clicking the speech bubble at the top of your corp chat window. At the top of the window that opens type 'NfNE' and click the 'Join' button. Stop by and say hi (or just spy on me to see if I'm online).

18 January 2015

Another New Year

For many, the start of the year is a time of reflection, renewal and change. Some mock the arbitrary nature of this but, as humans, it is good to re-evaluate your activities and decisions from time to time. However, as humans, we are all inherently lazy so require something to prompt this behaviour. Putting a new calendar up on the wall is a pretty good prompt to start the changes you might be thinking of.

On the last day of 2014 my wife and I decided to buy a new house in a new area currently at the start of a massive redevelopment of a small town. I've never fancied buying a newly built house as I much prefer old houses with history and character. In this case I surprised myself greatly when we went to view the various show houses on the 2nd of January. One day later, after a second viewing, we were committed to buying. What's not to like: I get a garage and there are talks of converting the attic into a man-cave for my guitars, books and Scalextric; the kids get a good sized room each and we get a guest room; my wife gets the kitchen of her dreams (apparently that's a thing). The downside is getting from where we are today to being moved into our new house is going to be a very busy five month journey which will inevitably eat into what EVE time I currently clutch on to.

Thankfully, almost pre-cognitively, I had already started putting plans in place to reduce my personally-perceived workload in EVE. Last year increasingly I was feeling it was my fault when nobody had been on to scan our constellation or when someone complained that there wasn't anything going on fleet-wise. In truth it is my fault but the 'fix' as I saw it was for me to spend even more time trying to do these things. Time wasn't something I had in copious quantities (see above) so I was just getting frustrated and annoyed at the fact others weren't taking on the responsibilities of scanning, etc. Over the holidays I put out a call for help in the form of job adverts. Dedicated scanners and people to run fleets. The reward was getting their share of the corp fuel bill paid as well as a bit of kick-back from PvE tax when we run sites.

After a slow start I've filled all the slots and have been able to relax as I've mentally passed some of the responsibility over to the people who've volunteered for the roles. A bit of responsibility placed on others rarely hurts anyone and a healthy dose of delegation should definitely help me. Thankfully, and as expected, the people who tend to be on most took on the roles. This pleases me because the most active people should be the ones rewarded for their efforts.

Of course, my mind has shifted on to what is next for my corp. And to be honest I don't know. Last year I pushed for us to move our PvE vs. PvP balance more towards the PvP side of the equation. This has been somewhat successful and we fly a more combat-ready fleet whenever we are out and about. We've also went on a lot more lowsec roams than we used to and met with limited success. We've had fun, which is important, but there is still some way to go to. However, I feel we've definitely reached a hard limit and I'm not sure how to progress further. To become even more PvP-oriented I need more people who are confident at and able to FC. Unfortunately people who want to FC PvP don't seem to want to join a relatively quiet wormhole corp which does PvP and PvE in equal measure. If you're focused enough to have the skills to FC well the chances are you like playing in a target-rich environment where pewpew is the primary activity.

Anyone have any ideas how to bridge that gap and move my corp closer to an effective but not exclusive PvP force?