Wednesday, December 17, 2008

7 facts about me

There's a meme going around, almost like a cold or flu... everyone's getting it faster than you can say "geezwhatwilltheythinkofnext..."

You can find my facts over here: 14 facts about me.

Enjoy.  :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Into the future

It's taken me a long time to come to the decision I'm about to tell you, but I've ended up agreeing with myself that it will be the best thing I can do.

For quite a long time I was lost on a planet inhabited by dwarves, night elves, gnomes and all kinds of other odd creatures. It was a nightmare, and one which I'm yet to recover. For a year and a half I was there, trapped, unable to continue training the high-tech skills that my 2 and a half year old clone desperately needed.

Finally, when I escaped and managed to return to high-tech civilisation, I realised that my 2 and a half year old clone only had the skill points of a 1 year old. I thought to myself, what the heck! I'll make a go of it anyway.

However, over the past few months, I've come to realise that this has handicapped me in ways that I thought might happen, and which have turned out to be true.

The age of my clone, coupled with my career path, makes small children cry, grown adults run screaming inside their houses, and anti-pirates forming entire fleets to hunt me down.

The problem with this has been that I haven't been able to compete with the competition at my level of skills, and the competition has expected me to be much harder than I actually am. 

You should never bring a knife to a gun fight, and I'm often left feeling that all I have is a knife, while my enemies have heavy machine guns.

So I've decided to go undercover and start afresh. A new clone has been activated. Unlike me, this clone will be purely dedicated to combat, and will be working on all the skills needed to focus on being the best that they can be in ship-to-ship combat.  The mistakes that Black Claw has made during his life will help my new clone avoid them.

It wasn't an easy decision to make. It's like starting a new life, with all the trials and tribulations that will bring.

It was a bit of a shock sitting in the starter corp's chat channel, watching over a thousand people trying to get a word in.

I'll have to start my own corp, so I can silence their incredible noise.

You won't keep Black Claw silent though. He will continue writing articles, as that is what he enjoys. My new clone will also start their own blog shortly as well, continuing with an entirely new theme.  

A toast, if you will - to the future, and all its twists and turns.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The starbase exploit

Everyone's talking about the starbase exploit that's resulted in 4 years' worth of free minerals for a number of players, resulting in the banning of 70 or so accounts this week.

I see bloggers screaming for blood.

I don't need to mention names, because we're all friends.  But screaming about this is not going to change what happened; neither will screaming for the banning of all accounts and all corps and all alliances that are associated with those initial banned accounts.

With all due respect to all those screaming for something to be done, it's wasting your time and energy going on such verbal rampages.

So a number of people exploited the system and got banned for it...  This is a game, after all, and the game has rules. And everyone knows 'rules are meant to be broken'.  People will break the rules for as long as they can, if they think they can get away with it.

So you've been hard done by because you purchased items that were cheap(ish) as a result of this exploit being used, and now that the bug has been found, suddenly the market has to readjust and prices start increasing due to supply not meeting demand.

Big. Frackin'. Deal.

It's a game

You've enjoyed playing it, even if you were ignorant of various exploits occurring without your knowledge.

Damn, people... move on already!  Get some tissues, dry your eyes, build a bridge, and get the frack over it!

You have no choice but to adapt to circumstances.  Crying about it and screaming for hundreds, if not thousands, of accounts to be banned will not change the circumstances you're now in.

If you don't like the circumstances you're now in, quit.  But stop the damn crying, you're making me resent reading your blog posts and cluttering up my feed reader with them.

Seriously, it's all well and good to talk about this exploit in a matter of fact way, but calm the frack down!  You'll burst some blood vessels.

UPDATE: damn, I burst a blood vessel writing this...

Blogger Profiles #8 - Hallan Turrek

One of the things I enjoy about Hallan's blog is that he's a pirate - and a Star Trek fan. Just like me!  (Picard is the best captain, but DS9 is the best show!)  And I love reading the blogs of other pirates, 'cause you can learn from them as to how they engage in piracy. Whether you're a pirate too, or you want to avoid pirates, there's always something to learn.  Please enjoy.

PS. Don't forget to send me YOUR profile if you haven't already. The questions to answer are here. I look forward to hearing from you!

What is your character's name or handle?

I play by the name Hallan Turrek.

What is your blog's URL?

How long have you been blogging?

Almost two and a half months ago. Never really been into blogging before that. I started blogging when I started pirating.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

I range from Metropolis to Heimatar. If I want to play solo, I'll hang out in Eifer/Gusandall. If I want to do group piracy, I'll hang out closer to Evati.

When did you start playing EVE?

July of his year.

What do you enjoy about EVE?

The pure expansive universe. The ability to do anything you want. PVP is alot of fun, but I like the fact that should I choose, I can just go shoot rocks all day. Just flying is inspirational to me.

What is your playstyle?

You might have to ask my corpmates about that. I've been told I'm a bit crazy or reckless. "Hard on my ships." I have 120 fits and 80 something rifters, most of which are in one station that I base out of. I like to use my ships like ammo. Alot of people will never realize this, but there is actual utility in a fleet situation to losing your ship. Almost none of what you accomplish couldn't be done better by keeping the ship, mind you, but then again you might not risk it in something tougher but more expensive. 

I like to distract people, I like to get people out of formation and looting my wrecks. Sic those ECM drones on me cause I was first in, forget the Hurricane. As I've said in my blog before, it's something of a motto for me: "It ain't suicide if you live." Oh, and more importantly, I kill things. I like the image for the gunslinger in the eve personality test, but a little secret: It pegged me as a carebear.

Do you play any other games?

Not much. I used to play Nationstates as Douria. I'm pretty sure my nation's gone now, but the resolutions I passed are still in effect. 

What do you blog about, and why?

I blog about my piracy and some short stories. I recently did a new feature called Karaoke Corner, where I rewrite lyrics to songs in a comedic eve related way. Why do I do any of it? It's fun, I get to flex my writing muscles and more importantly I get to refine my writing style.

What are your other interests?

Politics. Economics. As much as they can be interests for me. I'm a rather educated un-educated fellah, at least I like to thinks so. I really enjoy astrophysics, quantum physics and science in general. 

I'm a huge fan of sci-fi, Star Trek and Star Wars more than others. I'm not a trekkie or whatever you'd call a star wars fanatic, but I don't forget much about anything so you could probably peg me as one if I went off on a tangent as to how whinyness seems to run in the Skywalker family or why Sisko was the best captain. Actually lets not.

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?

Do something crazy. Stop caring about whatever it is you hold dear and just go. Get a cheap ship and try some different things. Don't plan it, don't scheme, just do whatever you want. That's the beauty of the game, you can do whatever you want. Don't let artificial restraints hold you down, there's enough of that in the real world. Or you could join The Bastards. We're always having fun.

Anything else to offer?

For December I'm doing a marathon of 31 posts in 31 days, I hope to bring in traffic with that, but who knows. I'm trying to get installed into the eve blog pack as well, and I'd like your votes for that. One more thing: Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New blog on the scene

Jinarre's New Eden.

From Jinarre's blog:
So, welcome to New Eden as I see it, a new player. Eden is HUGE, and can be very hard to grasp in the first few days. So I will start with what I've learned in Eve so far.
All the best with your new adventure, and there certainly is plenty of resources to draw upon out here, as you've already found out.  Welcome to the Eve Blogosphere!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What do you find frustrating?

One of our fellow bloggers has asked what we find frustrating: What is frustrating about Eve?. I thought about answering it with a comment on his post, but decided to instead make a post of my own about it.

Apart from the usual frustrations with lag, and blobbing (even though it's simply an element of the game, it's still frustrating!), I have something that frustrates me greatly right now.

When CCP released the 1.02 patch for Quantum Rising, they really screwed it up for Mac users. I don't know if it affects all Mac users or just some of them, but here's the problem we have.
  • Typing causes lag.
  • Not only does it cause lag, but letters keep getting dropped. Often. Do you know how frustrating it is to spend 2 mins on a 10-second sentence, simply because you have to keep backspacing to put in the letters that get dropped? FRAKKIN' FRUSTRATING!
  • If you enable Eve Voice the keyboard stops working. Completely. It simply will not work. If you tab out of the game, it works fine, but tab back into the game again, nothing. When you disable Eve Voice, the keyboard will work again - but drops more letters than usual.
  • Eve Voice does not work. At all. It just doesn't work any more since the patch.
Now, CCP have advised in the Mac forum they're aware of this bug. But do you think they're actually working to fix it? I don't think so.

This new patch coming out this week does not seem to address the issues for us Mac users, at least they don't actually specify that these Mac issues are being fixed. If the fix is there, I'll be happy. But if it's not, then I'll be even angrier than what I am.

All the talk CCP has about how wonderful the game is? Try being a Mac user, and you'll have a completely different perspective. And we don't even have Premium graphics, and there's apparently no plans at this stage to give us the Premium graphics either.

So if you have something that frustrates you, think of the Mac users. You've got nothing, baby. Don't even start with me.

Social Media for Eve Online (Part 2)

As part of my investigation into social media integration, I've added a few things to the site, including changing a bit of the site's design.
  • increased the width of the site's content
  • changed the header image to suit the new width
  • added Eve Blogger Twits, a RSS-generated output of Eve bloggers using Twitter. This updates the same way as the Eve Bloggers post updates
  • added subscription options by RSS and Email, to allow everyone to stay up to date with new posts whether they use RSS or email
  • turned the Tags into a Tag Cloud, making it look prettier and tidier
That's it for now, but there's still more coming!  

Monday, December 08, 2008

Social Media for Eve Online (Part 1)

Social media is all the craze these days, and if you're not involved, then you're behind the times. This is the same with the Eve blogging community. We're all blogging, and we're communicating on each other's blogs, and some of us are even using Twitter to keep in touch with each other and share comments and blog posts.

I'm in the process of setting up a few things to help make this more accessible to those who don't use it, so that they can follow those that do. You'll see what I mean soon enough.

I've added my own Twitter updates to my blog, just above the posts (so if you're reading this via RSS, go visit my blog so you can see it). It's only the 3 most recent updates, as I think that's enough.

The blue box in the sidebar ('Eve Blog Updates') shows recent blog updates using the RSS output of the Eve blogs from Google Reader. If you click on 'Read more' at the bottom of it, it will take you to my public share of all the blog updates. As I update the OPML file in Google Reader when new blogs come onboard, it will automatically update on my site as well.

There's more social media technology and implementations coming, so stay tuned!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Snapshot of Eve Online

I thought it would be a nice idea to do a weekly 'snapshot' of Eve Online. But not in screenshots. No, it will be a snapshot of the concerns that are being discussed on the Eve Online forums.

The rules of these snapshots are pretty simple:
  1. Only in the following categories: General Discussion, Warfare & Tactics, Crime and Punishment, and Features and Ideas. These categories, I believe, will be where the majority of interest and discussions about the game reside.
  2. Only those topics that are on the FIRST page of each category, and which are at least 3 or 4 pages long, will be included. This should reflect the lengthy discussions that are happening at the time. (I won't include stupid topics.)
  3. I will not include those discussions which have been made 'sticky'.
  4. I won't be exploring the discussions, but will instead list them and link to them. As I said, it's a 'snapshot', not an exploration. If you wish to see the discussions yourself, you can click on the links and see what is exciting people enough to discuss it.
If you have any suggestions as to what else you think should be included, please let me know in the Comments.

Let's begin with this week's snapshot.

General Discussion
Warfare & Tactics
Crime and Punishment
Features and Ideas
And there you have it. A snapshot of the main issues that people are discussing about Eve Online today. See you here next week!

Friday, December 05, 2008


Last night, I scanned down a Hulk sitting in a belt. The pilot was about 10 months old, and there were no other pilots in the system. I'd just come from another system, and that was dead too, so it was unlikely this guy was bait.

At first, I couldn't believe it.  It was as if someone had left me a treasure chest and it was unlocked. Surely there's a catch, right?

In local, the pilot said hello, and asked me who I was hunting. I stayed silent.

I warped into his belt at 0km, only to find the Hulk mining, 54km away.  Damn!  So I started moving my Ishkur towards him, but he was already aligning for warp. I target locked him, but before I could get within disruptor range, he warped out.

In my bio last week, I placed the following:
If you think I'm hunting you, you're probably right.

Pay me ISK, and I will leave you alone.
Pay me enough ISK, and I might even help you out.
Pay me nothing... well, you'll pay, one way or another.
So I said to the guy in local, "5 million ISK and I'll leave you alone."

A few seconds later, my wallet flashed. Surprised, I checked it. I mean, he got away - why would he be paying me after the fact?

He'd paid me 4.7 million, saying that was all he had.  Sure... But I accepted it.  What's 300k between hunter and prey?  Nothing.

So here I am, sitting back in my pod - at a safe spot - laughing to myself.  I'd just ransomed someone who had gotten away.

Sure, I had every intention of continuing to hunt them down, and I know they were paying me so I wouldn't - but I never expected it to work!

I engaged the pilot in conversation, and he was happy I was so friendly. (Ummm... I'd just ransomed you...)  I gave him some tips about mining in lowsec, and how to avoid this kind of thing happening again.

When my criminal timer faded away, I farewelled him and left the system.

I'll be using this more often. :)

If you're reading this and you see me in local, it's in your interests to pay me to move on. You'll be able to continue doing what you're doing without me harrassing you.  Sure, you'll have others to watch out for, but you won't have to worry about me for 24 hours.

The alternative, of course, is that I hunt you down and destroy your ship, which will cost you a lot more than what I cost. Or even if you get away, I will continue to hunt you and disrupt your operations, and cost you money through wasting your time.

So pay up. Everyone's happier as a result.  :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Blogger Profiles #7 - Selenalore

I'm running short of Blogger Profiles, so I need your help. Please answer the questions here and then send them to me if you're an Eve Blogger, and not in the Eve Blog Pack. Thanks!

Today we have the lovely Selenalore! She's a carebear, but one of the nicest carebears I've met. (Anyone who's not into pvp is a carebear in my book ;) Please enjoy reading her profile.
What is your character's name or handle?

Selenalore (Michigan)

What is your blog's URL? - this is our corporation blog, and I've got one myself but I HARDLY EVER use it. I post mostly on The Ralpha Dog's Blog.

How long have you been blogging?

Since about October, and I'm really new at it. Not been doing it as long as Erbo has.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

I hang mostly in the Metropolis, the only time I even venture out past this point is if I go with Erbo, only to guard his ass if he gets into an encounter. :)

We also got offices scattered all over the galaxy of Eve. More than I can count. Hehe

When did you start playing EVE?

August, so I'm still a baby IN a way :), but yet I was flying battle cruisers within a month :) That makes me sound like I've been playing it a long time, but nope :) hehe :)

What do you enjoy about EVE?

I enjoy everything that is about EVE, and it is a breath of fresh air from all the other things I do game wise :)

As Erbo says, "I LOVE to KILL", and I can be a menace if I wanted to, but I'm not going that far.

Erbo, the man in my life, is the hauler of our corp, I'm the security or guard dog (bitch) of the corp, while Lexx and Petros are like the miners, while with Kit and Zan, they both mine and haul, but kit also likes to do missions and Zan does with him from time to time.
I enjoy the missions that Erbo and I do, and if I really have to while training and waiting for him to come home from work during the week, I'll get on EVE and mine some, but I usually just get on to change training when my one training is done. EVE has a lot of possiblities that will be even more fun as they expand and grow.
What is your playstyle?

You know that's kind of strange, the EVE personality poll also called me an "Industrialist with teeth" also.

Yet I don't know if I'm the industrial type, now Erbo yes, but me, I'm more of the teeth I guess, I bite and don't let go until I'm satisfied. HEHE :)=
I might be in the carebear area, but lets put it this way, you fuck with me and the ralpha dogs and you'll find our bite far worse then our bark and will regret it. We fight when we need to and in missions, but as for actually fighting, it only happens when someone decides to steal or more from us and then it goes down. Our ships might be get destroyed in the process or the perpatrators, but we'll have the pleasure of showing that we are carebear with very sharp claws and teeth.

Do you play any other games?

Yes I do. I meet Erbo through Second Life(SL), and had been there for over a year, and all went well with us as you can tell :). I also play Pirates of the Caribbean Online(POTC) and I'm a sea bitch on a ship and at battles at sea, as well as killing bitch on land, I guess you can say it has helped me transition to being a space bitch that loves to kill :).
I also play the 360 as well as my birthday gift that Erbo got me recently over the weekend last week. That gift was a playstation 2, and I've got a number of games with it from golf to bullriding :). Yes I love playing the bull cause I get to buck off the cowboys and then run them over as well as the clowns or bullfighters before I go back to my pen in the back :).
I also play Shaiya from time to time but not to often, but that is also what got me into being a killer :) and loving to kill :). LMAO and before that, I use to be on Runescape :). So I've played a number of online games that has given me my lust for killing online :).

What do you blog about, and why?

I mostly from time to time blog on the Ralpha's webpage, and it usually deals with what we have been doing on EVE, with the missions and the mining and such. As Erbo says, it's still a new website and still needs to be worked on more, but we will eventually be up there with the other bloggers. :)
What are your other interests?

Well lets see, I love reading romance novels, watching movies, listening to music, play online, which is the one thing I do lots of. I also enjoy reading poems, going out to commune with nature, as in fishing and swimming and such, but that might take a lil while here since I just recently moved to Denver and winter is fast approaching us. I also enjoying playing my PS2 and just cuddle and snuggle with Erbo.
If I had a job and was working, I'd be working with data processing and word processing, since that is what I'm trained in real life, and from time to time, I'll have the need to write some stories or some poetry, but mostly it's to stay home and relax. Oh yeah and one other thing, Erbo doesn't always do the cooking, I do my share as well at times, umm when I feel like it *laughs to herself*.
Anyways there is a lot more I enjoy that would take forever to write about. :)

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?

Umm as for this, all I can say is, don't give up, and keep going forward, hell everyone loses ships and such, but eventually you'll learn how to fly and protect yourself and get out when you know you've been beaten, but don't let that lower your head, just hold that head high, or as I say here pod high, and keep going forward and tell yourself, I'll get things right soon enough and I'll be back and when I come back I'll eventually blow you to space dust like you did me and when I do, I'll have the last laugh.
Also, just be strong and enjoy the game, cause geeze people it's only a game and not RL.

Anything else to offer?

Hmm...anything else aye....well lets see.....Not Really, just be safe and have fun and enjoy Eve and as well as RL. Sending shout outs to our friends and family out there on Eve and out in RL. :) Enjoy your time you are on EVE and let the good times roll and the bad ones will soon be limited to only a few :).

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

An interview with an anti-pirate

I've had an interview with a pirate before, and it's only fair to have an interview with an anti-pirate.

One of the most feared and respected pilots in Molden Heath (among pirates, that is) is a fellow called Debes Sparre, who flies with Electus Matari, an anti-pirate alliance.  

I've personally had the misfortune in meeting him in combat, and won't be doing that again in a hurry!  However, he's been following my blog, and we've had a bit of a chat, and the result? An interview!  

Thanks Debes!  
So Debes, how long have you been playing Eve?
9 days shy of my three year mark.  

Well, actually a few days less than that. I rerolled (and soon almost wished I hadn't!) before my 14 days were up. That character hardly counts, though.

And you've been an antipirate all that time?
No, I went pirate for a little over 3 months starting about a month in. I was sticking to frigates and between my low skills and the way my corp pirated (shoutout to V-H-I, you're all carebears!), it ended up not working out too well.  I actually pirated one or two of my alliancemates-to-be.

What are your future goals?  I mean, what do you want to achieve in your 'career'?
Skillwise, finish off all my remaining skills for minmatar T1 and T2 cruisers and frigates. Best estimate is that this will take me about two and a half years, before we put T3 into the picture.

In-game wise, I run a bar and I want to get that back up after it goiing to waste when I left eve for 6 months recently, as well as kicking pirates out of Molden Heath. Again.

And how do you run a bar? Is that a chat room in the game?
Yes. Sheasbar&grill, located in Istodard IX - M5 - RFAP. I have a full holo suite, so you can visit without being there, but don't expect to get drunk.

One question that's on my mind is, how do you make money? Do you get it from the pirate wrecks you loot, ratting, missions or trading?
I wish I made it from the pirate wrecks. You people are cheapskates. I make the majority of my money from ratting, though I do run the odd mission in Istodard so I can get RF ammo without market markup.

It's our job to make it hard for you, just like it's your job to make it hard for us.  But anyway, what is it that drives you to be an antipirate?
My character, as is for many people, a bit of a larger-than-life extension of me. It's just how it worked out, once I decided where to go with him. And that's just how I am. I have a bit of a history of getting into scraps so that someone else who can't deal with it as well can make it out.  I'm just too nice for my own good, in the end.

Do you prefer solo combat or fleet combat? And why?
I really actually prefer small gang work, though solo is fun too. Small gang work, especially if you can work with the same (good) group of people day in and day out is amazing.

And what is your favourite ship?
Muninn, though it's hard to pick. As I'm poor, I actually end up not flying it too much. Its' little brother the Rupture is easily my most flown ship, but I'm no stranger to the Jag or Wolf (or Rifter!). Never bought a Vaga, though, and my Stiletto and Hyena don't get too much work in low sec.

What would you say is the most rewarding part of your 'career'?
So far, watching Molden Heath pirates leave in droves back when I was in NMTZ, and coming back in EM to find out how few pirates are even there. Really feels like I helped do something, even if a look at the sov map doesn't tell you that.

Is there anything that sticks in your memory as one of the most enjoyable experiences you've had?
Most enjoyable experience... If I say anything I'll remember something later that was even beter. I can't say anything does.  Most memorable is likely arranging the tracking of every PIE wartarget back in the NMTZ days. Getting people to run traces every 15 minutes on the right people..crazy, but fun. We had some great intel considering how few covops pilots we had back then.

So what would you say to those people who want you dead because of your career choice?
Get in line.

Hehehe. So is there anything else you would like to add to those who will be reading this?
Come to Molden Heath!  I need pirates to blow up, and people to help me blow them up! Bait is useful too...

Well, thank you so much for your time Debes.  I appreciate it
No problem. Thanks for the chance to do the interview.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Eve Blog Pack

I've been accepted into the Eve Blog Pack, as mentioned here: So, you want to be part of the EVE Blog Pack?

It's an honour to be part of such a prestigious bunch of bloggers, and I want to thank Crazy Kinux for letting me in. Thanks mate!

I shall continue posting about my adventures and exploits as much as I have been, along with anything else to do with Eve that has an impact on me and I want to talk about. There's going to be some interesting developments soon...

By the way, I mentioned about 5-6 weeks ago that I would be a member of the Blog Pack, and that it was just a matter of time. It's great to finally be here!

Bloggers are coming out of the woodwork!

We have another blogger posting his first post today. I've known about his interest in blogging for a while, but today he strikes!

I'm not really sure what his blog is called, as there are 3 different names in his title/s. But you can find him here:

Vile Rune Guild
seventy-seven thirty four
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Please subscribe to his blog to enjoy his scribbles.

Another blogger has joined us!

Please welcome someone who has been a frequent commenter on this blog, Sard Caid. He's started his own blog to share his own experiences, and you can find it over here:


Please welcome him to the fold, and make sure you subscribe to keep up to date with his posts.

Welcome to the Eve bloggers, Sard!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ventrilo server required

I'm looking for a Ventrilo server that I can use permanently for Eve Online, that will give me admin access and room for up to 50 participants at a time, with the possibility of expanding.

What better way to seek this out than to put the word out to the Eve Online blogging community and the multitude of interested readers.

Please contact me by email or in-game to discuss what you can offer. I hope to hear from you (whoever you might be!) very, very soon. Thank you.

Big plans are in the works, and an announcement will be made when I've got the foundations laid.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Eve Blog Banter #2 - Why I'm here

Ooh, I'm so excited! I've been asked by CrazyKinux if I want to participate in the Eve Blog Banter. I had to consider it for about 0.00632 seconds, before I sent an email to him saying 'absolutely!' and here I am.

Well, the question posed to us by Brinelan is:

“What drew us into EVE, what keeps us playing the game, and what brought us back in if we’ve ever left?”

Well, what drew me into Eve was the story about the Guiding Hand Social Club assassins and the contract they accepted to destroy the Ubiqua Seraph corp. Over the course of a year, they infiltrated the corp, established themselves as trusted members with full access to corp hangars and wallet, and then, when the time was right, coordinated a looting of all corp assets along with the assassination of the corp CEO.

I was amazed that such a game existed, that allowed such intricate involvement and complexity. While this event happened back in 2005, and I read about it shortly after, it wasn't until 2006 before I actually started playing the game.

I remember reading a lot about the game over that year. While it was intriguing to learn about - and imagine myself - playing it, I wasn't entirely happy with the game client. I read too many reviews that pointed out the flaws of the game, and so I stayed away.

It wasn't until the Red Moon Rising expansion that the reviews started changing. Titans were introduced, along with many other additions like new capital ships, bloodlines, and new Tech 2 ships. The reviews began changing for the better, and so I eventually downloaded the free client.

What I discovered was a galaxy of freedom, and that's what kept me playing it.

You know how most games are linear, where you have to do something in order to get to the next part of the game? Eve wasn't like that. You could do anything you damn well liked, and none of it was necessary to go to 'the next level'. Of course you had to train skills to fly bigger and better ships, but that just made sense! How else could you do some things without training for them?

Eve Online was the closest thing to a virtual REALITY that I'd ever experienced, and I loved the sci-fi aspect of it.

Starting off, I decided to venture into the realms of anti-piracy. I ended up in an anti-pirate corp and got extremely excited about the possibilities unfolding before me. I was encouraged to start my own anti-pirate corp when the one I was in started falling apart, and so Black Scorpion Ltd came into existence.

I managed to get it to about 49 members before a merc corp wardec'd us, and suddenly we were at war in highsec. Once the war ended, I splintered the corp and started Scorpion's Sting as the military arm of Black Scorpion Ltd, which would go on to become the industrial arm deep in highsec.

But then real life distracted me from my virtual life. My job changed and I sought redundancy. I moved from New Zealand (where I'd been living for 7 years) back home to Australia, and ventured into yet another stage of life, work and play. After things settled down a bit, I thought I'd try World of Warcraft (WoW) for a while.

With everything that was going on in my life, it would be about a year and a half before I realised WoW was making my brain bleed out my ears. It was the grind! So I had to give it up. It was Eve Online that I returned to, about 3 months ago now.

What brought me back into it was the memories of freedom, that I just didn't feel with WoW.

Since I'd been an anti-pirate in my early days, I decided I'd come back in as a pirate, and see where it would take me. It's been a wild ride, but I'm getting there, and enjoying myself thoroughly.

Black Scorpion Ltd didn't exist any more, as the person I gave it to eventually disbanded it. Scorpion's Sting, however, was still mine and had me and a friend in it. He'd been inactive while I was, but rejoined when I did. He got into missions, while I got into piracy.

I don't mine, or do missions, or engage in lengthy trading. I hunt other pilots, or run from those hunting me. Sometimes I'm even successful at running and hiding...

I love the fact I can do whatever I want, go wherever I want, create or destroy whatever I want. It's the freedom that drew me in, and it's the freedom that keeps me here.

I know that I roam around and take away the freedom of others, by hunting them down and destroying their ships. But they still have their own freedom to make those choices that take them into lowsec, and the freedom to enjoy the consequences of their actions.

That's what it's all about.

I'll be here for a while, enjoying this freedom, and the other people that I've met along the way.

It's the relationships that you create that help make it all so worthwhile as well. The social aspect, the interaction, the pure enjoyment of sharing your experiences with others.

It's worth the time and even the money invested in it. It's a rewarding and fulfilling hobby that's going to keep me around for a long time to come.


Other blog banter participants are here:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Why I play

xiphos83 has done an excellent 'blog banter' post about “What drew us into EVE, what keeps us playing the game, and what brought us back in if we’ve ever left?"

What he says here is exactly in alignment with my own fascination about the game:
Past the high security centers, pirates roamed, corporations struggled for control, and alliances sent waves of ships crashing into their not so distant enemies. The further you advanced past the first station, the darker, and grittier side of New Eden encompassed your very being. In the lawless 0.0 regions of space, more opportunities presented themselves. Vast amounts of wealth, juicy targets, fame, and glory were all for the taking. Players have to strategize though, think tactically, since charging ahead against equally minded opponents would only result in failure and a quick trip to the clone vats. Foreign policy was real, as were the wars and refugees displaced by them. There is pure chaos around every corner, and still, pure unadulterated sand to play in at every turn.

It's why I play. Admittedly, I don't play in 0.0, but the excitement is the same wherever you might play in the game.

I'm recommending xiphos's post to everyone not in Eve, so that they can get a good understanding of why they should be. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Boy, they have it easy in 0.0

I just realised something... Those people out there in 0.0 space really do have it easy!  

Let's look at life in 0.0 space for pilots - they're not pirates, 'cause they can't break the law if there's no laws...
  1. They don't have to worry about sentry guns, and can go anywhere, and engage anywhere
  2. Everyone not blue is an enemy, so they know who to avoid. See #3
  3. They fly around in fleets, so they've always got the protection of their friends
  4. The most dangerous spots are the main entry points into 0.0 space, which are often protected by alliances. Everywhere else is safer than highsec. See #2 and #3
That's about it, really.  Life is pretty easy for 0.0 pilots...

Let's look at life in lowsec for pirates:
  1. They have to worry about sentry guns, limiting options for engagement
  2. Low security status prevents them from going everywhere
  3. Everyone not blue is not an enemy, but they're all targets.  See #1
  4. They fly around solo, so they have to rely on their skills and their wits. See #1
  5. Every lowsec system is dangerous. See #1
  6. After attacking someone, they have to wait out a 'criminal timer' which forces them to sit in a safe spot. See #1
  7. Fleets of pilots from 0.0 space roam around lowsec looking for excitement, since 0.0 is so boring. This only makes the pirates bored, as they wait for these fleets to move on before getting back to their piracy
  8. Accidentally jumping into highsec when chasing someone not only gets grief from #1, but from CONCORD too
  9. There are soft targets and hard targets. Making a decision about who to engage can be a real nightmare!
  10. Lowsec pilots are hated and feared... No one cares about 0.0 pilots
So now you can see that they really have it easy in 0.0.  The real men? The real warriors?  They're in lowsec.

So next time you see a flashy red pirate, give them a salute before they attack you. Give them the ransoms they ask for. 

You can't imagine the stress they're going through, and they need your support.   Help a pirate today. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another first

For the first time in my 'career' as a pirate, I have fought and beaten a member of the Foundati0n alliance. They're a bunch of antipirates operating in and around the Molden Heath area. Their usual modus operandi is to fly around in fleets, because they're afraid of decent fights.

I was sitting at a gate this evening when Lord Xibalba warped in with his Rupture. I waited for him to jump through the gate, as they so often do when they're alone, and me being flashy red and all. But he didn't jump.

With a smile, I target locked him and activated my drones. I was flying my Brutix battlecruiser this time, and released a world of hurt on him. He was firing back, of course, and even released his own drones. And then the gate guns decided to unleash a world of hurt on me too, and even though I was fitted for gank instead of tank, I was able to tank those damn guns long enough to see the Rupture pop. I didn't bother popping the pod, as I just wanted to get out of there.

I recalled the drones and activated the 'warp to' to get the hell out of there. By the time I warped off, I was down to about 20% armor, and 3 of the drones failed to get back into the drone bay in time. I should have gone for the pod as well, since I had time, but what the heck...

While sitting in a safe spot waiting for the criminal timer to count down, I could hear the crew throughout the ship celebrating their victory over a Foundati0n member. I let them party, smiling to myself as I enjoyed the victory too.

After the 15 minutes passed, I warped to a station and docked, repairing the armor. I spent another 20 minutes talking to some fleet mates, and then undocked and went to the next system over.

But wait... what's that? Oh, it's the wreck of the Rupture I destroyed, along with a few drones sitting motionless around it - including 2 of the 3 drones I'd lost! So I grabbed them, along with 2 surviving Warrior drones from the Rupture, and then continued on my way.

I was happy.

I think I'll keep flying this Brutix around for a while.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Taking it for the team

Sitting at a planet, my fleet mates talked about the Rupture that they spotted on scan. I saw it on my scanner too, and started to check the nearby gate to see if it was there. Suddenly it appeared. Not on my scanner, but right nearby, and flashy red too!

It was 24km away from me. I started to move towards it, target locking it, engaging the warp disruptor so it was locked down. It didn't try to escape, and only came closer.

I was very busy initiating combat, but managed a quick "xzzxxx" in the fleet comms.... it was only supposed to be 'xxx', but my fingers got excited!

"On my way!" said the fleet mates, just as the Rupture released its drones. Damn drones...! I knew they'd be the death of me, but I released my own drones and then set about targeting his to try and eliminate them.

Unfortunately, the Rupture and his drones were too powerful for me, and even though my own drones managed to get the Rupture heavily into armor, my ship once again exploded around me.

I warped the pod away just as my 2 fleet mates arrived, and they finished the job I'd started.

I'm starting to rethink using an advanced Tech 2 ship in PVP... looking at the killmail, the Rupture's cost was just over 11 million ISK. Looking at my loss, it was valued around 23 million ISK.

These figures are extremely conservative, but it's obvious that I'm losing out in the money competions... The ships I'm flying are too expensive for the targets I'm fighting.

I bought an Ares. It's a snazzy looking ship, and it's got some nice tackling bonuses. For 13 million, it's cheaper than an Ishkur, and should be a little bit better at tackling, so I'll be experimenting with that.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's all so new...

I'm now at -5.5 on the security meter, which means I'm permanently flashy red. Between you and me, this has created an entirely new gaming experience!

Now, when I see people at a gate or station, they try to target lock me because the sentry guns no longer work in my favour. This means that every gate is a potential 'gate camp' by anyone who's there, who might want to take the opportunity to attack me.

I've been an outlaw for about 24 hours now, and I've had only a couple of random people trying to attack me at gates I've been passing through. I avoided them very quickly, because I was surprised they were trying to attack me. The consequences of being an outlaw is still very new to me, and I've got to adjust to it.

I've also discovered another interesting aspect of all this.


People are afraid of me now. They run and hide, or dock, or quickly leave the system. They call in reinforcements, and they try to hunt me down.

This is just fantastic! It really creates such new and exciting experiences, where I am more the hunted than the hunter.

Tonight was an incredibly exciting time. I entered a system where there were a dozen others in it, in an out-of-the-way, deadend system. I started chatting with one of the locals, who turned out to be an alt of someone who talked to me about my blog last week. They informed me that the local antipirate protection they had, had advised them to hide in their POS, and reinforcements were on the way. I thanked them for this intel, talked a couple more minutes, and then turned my Ishkur towards the only gate leading out.

On the other side, the excitement began.

There were about 5 heavily armed and powerful ships being flown by the antipirates - all of them waiting for me, camping the gate. My heart rate began to increase. These people wanted ME!

So I quickly ran their camp, heading for a gate that happened to be in front of me. They were in hot pursuit, and I arrived at the gate around the same time they did. I jumped through, along with them - and found even more ships on the other side of THAT gate!

Laughing at the excitement, I activated my warp drive towards a distant asteroid belt, running their second gate camp. As soon as I hit the belt, I realigned and warped off to another gate. They had pre-empted my course, however, and had already arrived at this gate, with some of them jumping through to again try and catch me on the other side.

I jumped through anyway, not having much of a choice, but confident of my abilities to laugh in the face of such danger.

On the other side there were 3 of them, waiting for me to uncloak, and I again warped off to a distant belt, followed quickly by another gate.

This time I lost them, and I jumped into a system that was empty of their presence. I quickly docked, choosing safety over the constant danger of being 'on the run'. But none of them jumped into the system, and I managed to take a breather and calm myself down.

That was an awesome experience, and very enjoyable! It was even more exciting than actually getting a kill!

Being a pirate is different to anything I've experienced before, but it's so much more enjoyable too.

Being the hunter or the hunted has just increased in intensity.

Blogger Profiles #6 - Erbo Evans

Erbo Evans is the latest of our Blogger Profiles for you to enjoy. He and his partner Selenalore spend a lot of their time running missions, doing their bit to save Empire space from those rat pirates! (Between you and me, I'm hoping Selenalore will send her profile in soon too...)
What is your character's name or handle?
Erbo Evans.

What is your blog's URL? this is our corporation blog, the other two authors of which are LexxEva and Selenalore.

How long have you been blogging?
On the Ralpha Dogs blog, since the beginning of October. Blogging as a whole, for somewhat over 2 years.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?
We're primarily in Metropolis and Heimatar, with some jaunts into Sinq Laison and other nearby empire regions.

When did you start playing EVE?
April of this year; I was introduced to EVE by a friend who had been playing it for a couple of years before that.

What do you enjoy about EVE?
Mainly the limitless possibilities of the environment. I feel like it may take me years to thoroughly explore the potential in here. My girlfriend (who plays as "Selenalore") likes to kill. :-) I can do with some of the pew pew action, but I also like figuring out how to make money through manufacturing and marketing, and I've also been doing scout operations on lowsec regions, which will hopefully allow us to start working those regions, eventually.

Also, the depth of the backstory is amazing for this game. It all hangs together at least as well as Star Trek or Babylon 5 does.

What is your playstyle?
The EVE personality poll called me an "industrialist with teeth." Generally, in the Ralpha Dogs, we mine, we build stuff, and we run missions. (Selenalore and I run a LOT of missions together.) We don't PvP or pirate people, but we will fight back when attacked. And we don't engage in smacktalk; as the saying goes, "Loose lips sink ships!" If that puts us on the "carebear" end of the scale, then so be it. Whether we go farther than that in the future is basically up to Lexx, who runs the corp.

Do you play any other games?
I'm in Second Life, and have been for around 2 1/2 years (see also my SL blog, In fact, I used my SL name to name my EVE character. :-) I also have other PC games, and Xbox game consoles (both an original and a 360). The last other PC games I enjoyed recently were Hellgate: London and Portal. On the consoles, I've played Halo 2 fairly extensively, and a scattering of others.

What do you blog about, and why?
Since the Ralpha Dogs' blog is still new, it kind of needs to settle down and find its "legs," as it were. In terms of intent, I plan to talk about various aspects of the corp and of EVE as a whole. Certain posts on the blog are written in "storyline" mode to chronicle some of our adventures in the world; Selena has shown something of a knack for writing those.

What are your other interests?
I'm a programmer by trade, and fairly well versed in aspects of virtual communities. I'm also a fan of science fiction. And I'm developing more of a talent for cooking these days, since Selena generally has me fixing dinner. :-)

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?
This is a complicated game; one of the most complicated I've ever seen. It's a little like learning to fly a 747. But you CAN make sense of it all, eventually. Selenalore only started a couple of months ago, and now she's totally hooked. If she can do it, so can you.

Also, it helps to be in a good corporation. We're trying to make ourselves into a good corporation, for just that reason.

Anything else to offer?
Shout-outs to Lexx, Selena, and my other fellow corp members, to our friends in the Hauling Hogs, to Slif and Valandriana over in Chilled Solutions who helped us get our start in EVE, and, to our patron saint, Jeff Duntemann (, author of The Cunning Blood, the science-fiction novel from where we get our name and many of our titles and traditions. Fly safe, everyone, and clear skies to you!

The Art of War - Tactical Dispositions

Chapter 1: Laying Plans
Chapter 2: Waging War
Chapter 3: Attack by Strategem

To prevent our own defeat is up to us, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy themselves.

What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.

He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the
certainty for victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

The skilful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy.

The victorious strategist only seeks battle after he knows the victory has been won, while he who is destined for defeat first fights and then looks for victory.

The greatest leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline.

Thus it is in his power to control success.

New article at

There's a new article of mine published over at

The PVP Guide for Assault Ships


It's only a blob when you're the victim.

When you're the aggressor, it's a superior tactical engagement.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And so it begins

What begins?

My venture into true piracy.

Tonight a group of us went hunting. We didn't really find anything, but towards the end of it all, there were a couple of bored pilots sitting at a gate - in their pods. They were taunting one of my fleet mates, who was a carebear friend from a far distant region. He'd decided to join us for the hunt, since he was in the area, and he stated that he would indeed attack neutrals and flashy reds.

So he's sitting at the gate in his Huginn, bantering back and forth in local with these two bored pod pilots. They wanted him to kill them, but he was stating he only killed pirates.

Meanwhile, I'm at a safe spot, also bored, since we hadn't found any targets. I was in my Ishkur, and I got sick of the banter in local.

I warped to the gate and target locked one of the pods, orbiting it at 500m. I activated my Damage Control, and then clicked on a distant asteroid belt and aligned myself to it. This was so that once I began firing at the pod, I could quickly warp away from the gate guns as soon as the pod was popped.

So I started firing as my ship began moving towards the far distant asteroid belt, my glance darting back and forth between my shields and the pods'. Nothing was hitting me yet, and I had only got the pod down to about 5% structure before I was out of range (about 6,000m) and not hitting it.

Frowning, I checked my systems. Nope, not a single hit from the gate guns. Shrugging, I turned the Ishkur back for another pass at the pod, which was still sitting there with his friend, also in a pod.

I quickly finished the job, and the pod went POP! And THEN the gate guns started firing. So I clicked on warp to, only realising after I slowed down and realigned that I should have selected another object in the OTHER direction.

But I managed to warp that tough little Ishkur away from those gate guns, with 95% of my structure remaining.

In local, the surviving pod pilot was still taunting my fleet mate.

"Black Claw is the man! You, however [fleet mate] are a pussy!"

And the guy was right. I've got to train my friend to stop being a carebear....

My security status went from -3.6 to -4.7. You know what that means? It means I can't go into highsec any more. No more trips 'across the border' to grab ships and equipment. It's a damn good thing that I spent the past week transporting all of my highsec assets into lowsec.

But... the really exciting thing is... I feel like I'm a real pirate now! I can't go into highsec. I'm 0.3 points away from being an OUTLAW!

This is so exciting!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

War and Cloaks

While our war with PANDA had unofficially ended because they had left the region, the formailities were still in place and we were still engaging stragglers we spotted here and there.  We were going to continue doing this for another billing period (another week), but last night I logged into my pod and discovered that we were now at war with an alliance, which PANDA had joined.  The bill for the war to continue would rise from 4 million ISK to 150 million.

I laughed to myself, and withdrew the wardec, ending it in 24 hours. Interestingly, while they had joined an alliance which we were now at war with for the next 24 hours, I saw only PANDA members in lowsec for the time I was logged in last night.  Where was their alliance?  Probably hiding.

The CEO of PANDA engaged me in conversation, laughing that now I had to pay 150m to CONCORD instead of PANDA paying 200m to us... He seemed to think he'd succeeded in 'ransoming' US instead of the other way around.  I didn't have the heart to tell him the cost wasn't immediate or mandatory.

So 4 of them were in battleships, camping the station I was in, emboldened by their new alliance membership and the shiny new battleships that they seemed to have recently gotten from their new alliance buddies. 

I smiled, and let them waste their time.  I needed to go make and eat dinner, which took a couple of hours...  After dinner they were still there, orbiting the station and waiting for me to undock.  So I went and wrote an article instead, which will soon be published on  There was another couple of hours.... 

I was actually enjoying the psychological waiting game I was playing with them.  Eventually they gave up and logged off. I think I'll continue to sit in the station every now and again and give them cause to worry, wasting their time and getting them to pull their hair out in frustration and anxiety.

My corp will continue to engage them where we find them, when we can safely do so.  We'll engage in a guerilla war.  We're not stupid enough to think it's worthwhile fighting 4 battleships with a single cruiser, but it's nice to give the enemy the sense of superiority which ultimately leads them to feeling overconfident, and then we'll strike when they make mistakes.  With 15 kills against them, compared to them getting 3 against us, I'm sure that victory will ultimately be ours.

I've been training up Assault Ships, flying around in an Ishkur, and last night I finished training on Cruise Missiles, and went to play around with my Nemesis.  Hiding in a belt, watching someone ratting and waiting for them to stop to grab loot so I can decloak and fire my missiles at them is so much fun!  But when it's an experienced pilot in a new, 2-week old clone, it doesn't work out quite so well.

He was ratting, and I waited 12km from a wreck he left behind while he dealt with another rat. When he eventually made his way back to the wreck I was near, I started getting excited.  As soon as he stopped at the wreck, I decloaked and targeted him.  All my systems were already primed, so as soon as the lock was established, the cruise missiles launched.

Unfortunately, in the 3 seconds it took to lock him, he had already started warping out, obviously having already selected a distant object and clicking on 'warp to' as fast as he could.  He shot into warp as my missiles streaked through the spot he'd just left.

I cloaked again, waiting for the next target. This was fun.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The war is over

The war has been active for only 4 days, but in that time we've gotten 15 kills vs their 2. This morning we saw the fruits of our battles as we monitored a number of enemy battlecruisers and support ships providing escort to one of their freighters.

We watched them leave the region.

Their CEO never got back to me after our recent negotiations, so I guess they decided to leave instead of pay our demands.

I don't mind. Our goal was achieved. And what's even more exciting is that only 3 of us (in an 11-man corp) were actively engaging against their 20+ (in a 60-man corp).

We kicked their arses!

The party will be held soon, but I'm afraid only corp members are invited.

Meanwhile, we're discussing whether or not we should start promoting ourselves as mercenaries, available for hire in lowsec. If you think that might be a good idea, and you think you'd like to talk to me about it, look me up in-game.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Discussing the terms of their surrender

As the war continued overnight, while I was sleeping, my two corpmates birdog and Jalif were busy. Busy enough that when I logged on this morning, the CEO of the target corp started a communication with me to discuss the terms of their surrender.
Black Claw dances a jig.
The war is not over yet, as he has to discuss it with his corp, but it's looking good so far. I left my corpmates to continue hunting war targets while I head off to my day job. I'll miss this war, but am looking forward to getting back into it when I log back into my pod tonight.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We're at war!

For the first time ever, I've initiated war against another corp - P.A.N.D.A. The reason for this is because they're a bunch of treasonous, backstabbing, dishonest, sonsofbitches and we want them out of the region.

They go around griefing, whenever they can get away with it. Jalif, one of my members, accepted a one-on-one with one of them a couple of weeks ago, and in the middle of the combat, in flew a bunch of his opponent's corpmates, and together they ganked Jalif to death. It turned out this was a common tactic of theirs against those that didn't know them.

They had raised the anger of a number of corps in the area, and by the time we were ready to declare war against them, two other corps had also engaged in war with them. Today our wardec was finalised and PANDA now have 3 corps at war with them.

According to PANDA's killboard, their wars with the other 2 corps have been completely uneventful, but I fully intend to change that our involvement.

Tonight birdog and I were hunting PANDAs. I engaged one of them at the gate in their home system, but he managed to evade my tackle and my own MWD was unable to keep up with him before he warped away. Another of them undocked in their Tempest battleship, and since birdog and I were in cruiser-sized ships, we left the system to go get something bigger.

I ended up selling my old mission-running battleship to birdog, and he's now the proud owner of my old Dominix. He didn't use it though when we went back into the PANDA home system again in our cruisers, and we ended up terrorising one of their members by hanging around being all threatening like, until he logged out.

So that was the first night's engagement in our war with PANDA. No kills to either side yet. Last night birdog lost a Manticore to them, because he had misjudged the changes to his missiles, but considering that occurred before the wardec took effect, we won't count that against us....

So, with it being all quiet on the western front, I went roaming through 'the loop', a series of lowsec systems that loop around and come back to the bordering systems with highsec. And on the way, I discovered something that made me laugh, and laugh, and....

I warped to a gate, about to jump to the next system, when I saw a yellow wreck icon. Yellow means some pilot lost their ship. I checked it out and discovered it was the wreck of an Arazu. I looked at the local comm channel - I was the only one in system.

Aware that someone could jump through the gate at any moment, I quickly moved to the wreck and looted it, and then quickly docked at a nearby station to offload it. After checking the market details of the following loot items:
  • covert ops cloak
  • T2 drones
  • faction ammo
  • named MWD
  • T2 sensor dampeners and scripts
  • other miscellaneous items
I found their value was just over 20 million ISK - not bad for stumbling upon the wreck at a gate in an empty system...!!

It was a good night. I sense good omens about the beginning of this war campaign.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back to the real world

For the past 7 weeks in the 'real world' I've been looking for work. While doing this, I was able to spend a great deal of time in the Eve galaxy, meeting people, talking to people, roaming the belts and planets, and dodging the anti-pirates.

But I started a new contract this week, and am working full time again. This means I'm going to miss being online at the same time as all my American friends, since I live in Australia and my after-work playtime is when they're all in bed.

So I just wanted to let you guys know I'm still around, but only when you're asleep. I miss you already, but we can still keep in touch via comments on each other's blogs, and in Twitter (join in if you're not already on Twitter, it's excellent).

Fly safe, and I'm sure I'll see you on weekends!

Random encounters

So I was hanging out in my local system, looking at the new gate designs, and cruising around the planets and belts trying to find someone. Rocket Ajax, another local to the area, seemed to be doing the same thing. Like me, he was glowing yellow as he warped his Rupture into orbit around the planet I was also orbiting. I started to move towards him at my normal 204 m/s, thinking about the situation instead of using my MWD to quickly engage.

He wasn't approaching me, and he wasn't warping out, so he was waiting for me to close and engage. There were quite a few in local, and so I decided to err on the side of caution and warped out.

However, during the warp travel, I was thinking... I'd be willing to engage him even if he had friends warp in, IF I could at least kill him in the time it took for them to kill me. I had ECM drones on my heavily armed Thorax cruiser, and I figured that I really need to test them out properly, and I was willing to lose my ship for the test.

So be it!

I warped back to the planet at 0km, and landed 3 km from him. I quickly targeted him and my already-primed weapons and tackling modules launched into action. I wondered how the new system changes would affect my tactics, but what the heck... I hadn't upgraded my blasters to railguns for the longer range, but I was willing to try out the setup anyway.

So my T2 medium blasters opened up on him, and his shields disintegrated quickly. At the same time as I'd launched my attack against him, I also launched my ECM drones and set them upon the Rupture. I cursed, as it looked like one of the drones was stuck in the drone bay, refusing to come out. Well, I guess 4 of them would be enough.

Rocket Ajax's Rupture returned fire, and in the time it took for the drones to jam his target lock, my own shields were down and he was striking chunks off my armour. When he lost his lock, I thought that I might actually win this one, as I was also chewing into his armour, and was able to continue doing so while he wasn't.

But suddenly a couple of his flashy red friends arrived. An Ishtar (Heavy Assault Ship) and a Rapier (Recon Ship) warped in at the same time at about 10km from the Rupture and I.

Now, if it were another couple of cruisers or even frigates, I would have stayed and fought, fully prepared to die but thinking I could at least take out the Rupture. But in this case, I knew that I would surely die too fast for me to effectively destroy the Rupture.

I don't believe in fighting a losing battle, and it's always better to flee and fight again later, than to foolishly die in a blinding explosion.

So I fled, leaving the drones behind. They had served me well, but there was no time to retrieve them.

To my absolute surprise, I managed to realign and warp out before either of the newcomers could get a target lock on me. My armour was at about 85%, while the Rupture's was around the same. As I reached warp speed, I let out a great sigh of relief at escaping this trap.

In local comms I said, "Nice." An expression of my relief.

Ulfskein Gangr, the Rapier pilot, was curious about my statement, so I explained what I meant. We exchanged pleasantries, and then moved on. A few minutes later however, I opened up a private comm with him. In my desire to write about the encounter, I couldn't remember the types of ships that had warped in to spring the trap. All the excitement, I guess. So I asked Ulfskein for his assistance in helping me remember.

He was a kind enough fellow, and decided to tell me his story.

It turned out he wasn't associated with Rocket Ajax or the other pilot at all. He had just warped in at the exact same time as the other pilot, quite by coincidence, and then watched as I warped out. Very shortly after I left, so did the other 2.

I guess everyone runs from a Force Recon, which is why I'm so excited about getting my own for Christmas.

Random encounters. Such interesting phenomenons. It would have been funny if the Ishtar pilot also was not aligned with Rocket Ajax, and Rocket was just by himself, hoping for a fight - when suddenly all these other ships arrived!

He might have thought I brought MY friends!

Who knows. All I know is I was happy to have survived an encounter I wouldn't have won if I'd stayed, and that in a one-on-one fight with a Rupture, I've got a good chance of winning.

Next time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New articles at

I've got a couple more articles published over at which I thought you might want to know about.

The Art of War: Waging War


The PVP Guide for Interceptors

Go check 'em out. You know you want to.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Changes are coming

Everyone knows about the changes that are coming next week with the next system upgrades. Most people are complaining about them, it seems, but personally, I think the changes are going to be good for those of us who want to have a more even playing field.

However, it seems that most of the people complaining are the ones who see their advantages being taken away from them. They're upset that they will no longer have overwhelming superiority over others, and this upsets them.

I can understand why. When you're always winning, and then the rules are changed so that you won't always win, it's very hard to accept it. It feels like the developers have decided to side with the 'losers', and that makes it seem like the developers are 'losers' too.

For me, I see it as helping to bring tactical warfare back into the game play. Instead of having 'super setups' that no one can beat, there will be an emphasis on tactical engagements, using multiple ships for specific purposes within small or large fleets.

I can see that solo PVP will be that much harder as a result of these changes, but I'm personally looking forward to it.

If solo PVP is harder, then there will be less people engaging in it. Since less people will be engaging in it, those few 'victims' out there will be running and hiding from the fleets that enter their low-traffic systems. They won't worry so much about the lone pilot that comes in, because he's sure not going to be engaging in PVP by himself...

But when they suddenly see a Force Recon decloaking next to them, then they'll realise that solo PVP is still a force to be reckoned with.

So these changes are not going to spoil the game for me. They're just going to help me do what I want to do. By leveling the playing field, it makes many targets viable, instead of just a small few.

I'll be seeing you out there. Alone. Be afraid.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Damn those couriers!

I'd just had victory snatched from the barrels of my railguns when my orbit exceeded the range of my warp disruptor, and the Rifter pilot was able to warp out of the belt with only a few points of damage to his shield from my strafing run as I zoomed past him. So then I was at a planet, aligned and keeping an eye on the belts, when someone else warped in with their cruiser. They were 103km away, but started moving towards me, so I activated the warp drive and immediately warped to the belt I was aligned with.

Following protocol, I immediately warped out from the belt to a safe spot, waving goodbye to the pilot as he entered the belt as well. Nice try, but no cigar.

So I was sitting there in my safe spot, trying to ignore the chatter in local from all the antipirate guys that had just entered, when suddenly someone's knocking on the pod door.

What the... I'm alone, in an interceptor. Who the frak is knocking on my door??

Systems check - there's a courier hooked up to my airlock door, demanding attention! How the hell did he find me out here? I guess those postal couriers always find their 'targets'...

If there's one thing I've always been banging into people's heads, it's to never think you're safe at a safe spot. And never leave your keyboard while you're at a safe spot - dock in a station instead.

So I set the ship to dock at the station (including the small courier ship attached to my airlock), and then left the pod to go find out what the courier was. It's a small ship, so it was only a couple seconds down the empty corridor to the airlock door. I let him in, quickly pressurising the airlock and opening the door into the ship.

"Package for you sir," he said, handing me a package and a pad for my signature.

"Why the hell couldn't this just be put in my post box back at the station?" I angrily asked him.

"It needed your signature," he replied. Just as he took the pad back, the interceptor was rocked by explosions.

What the hell? Was my safe spot discovered? The courier jumped back into the airlock, but was just in time to see his ship disintegrating on the other side of the outer airlock door. He turned to look in fear at me, but I closed the airlock door on him. For pressurisation reasons, you see...

Running back to my pod, I got in it just as the interceptor disintegrated around it. I saw the quickly freezing body of the courier fly past a window. Serves him right, I thought, distracting me like that.

I quickly took stock of the situation - the pod was outside the station, right in the centre of the interceptor wreckage. Was I attacked by the antipirates at the station? Then a flashing light on my console drew my attention, and I was reminded of my global criminal countdown timer, with 4 minutes remaining.


I'll need to get the pod replaced, of course, as it has lots of dents and damaged equipment on the inside, from all the kicking I was doing.

Never think you're safe at a safe spot.

But never try to dock a small ship while your criminal timer is still counting down.

End of lesson.

New article on

Part 2 of my series based on The Art of War is now available.
Chapter 2: Waging War

Before any corp or alliance can engage in battle, you must have the money and resources to do so. There really is no point going to war if you can’t afford it. Before you plan the battle, you will need to plan how you will gather the money and resources to fight it.
You can read the rest of it over at

Friday, November 07, 2008

Blogger profiles #5 - Pegleg Punk

Thank you to those who are sending me their Blogger Profiles, I really appreciate it. If you haven't sent me yours yet, please fill out the questions here and send it back to me.

Here's the latest profile from Pegleg Punk. He hasn't updated his blog in a couple of weeks, but I'm looking forward to his next lot of posts!

What is your character's name or handle?
Pegleg Punk

What is your blog's URL?

How long have you been blogging?
Since May 2008.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?
Classified (My blog readers have a pretty good idea).

When did you start playing EVE?
The first time I climbed into a pod was a little over two years ago.

What do you enjoy about EVE?
I enjoy EVE because New Eden is shaped by the game's subscribers. EVE offers a sandbox environ that I was not accustomed to in previous MMOs'. This non-linear universe provides players with boundless and unique oppurtunities and game experiences. The fact that citizens of New Eden may lie, cheat and swindle their fellow citizens (within game mechanics) reinforces a player's ability to affect the landscape of New Eden. This makes EVE very refreshing to me.

What is your playstyle?
I enjoy PVP. Some would classify me as a griefer by the means that I engage, or initiate pvp. I prefer to think that what I do is create player driven content for citizens of New Eden. I may irritate any number of pod pilots, but none will argue that I don't create a measure of excitement to an otherwise bland or boring aspect of EVE.

Do you play any other games?
Yes, although I have played a number of MMOs in the past, EVE is the only MMO I am currently subscribed to. I recently finished Star Wars: The Force Unleashed- and loved it! Generally, I am not a fan of console games, but Unleashed kicked ass. I have played Spore and really enjoyed the ability to make and share critters. I recently started playing Sins of a Solar Empire. Sins has proved to be a fun game, but I will admit that had I read CrazyKinux' blog entry about Homeworld, I would have chosen HW over Sins. I am waiting in anticipation for CoD 5 World At War and Fallout 3.

What do you blog about, and why?
I blog about my alter-ego's experiences in New Eden. One day I had a particularly harrowing experience with a fellow pod-pilot, while doing what it is that I do. It was such that when I posted the killmail on, I included a descriptive forum post, in-character, describing events that led up to my opponent losing his ship. That post was greeted with such a positive reception from forum readers, that I began translating my in game experiences as quasi-stories told in the character of my alter-ego, Pegleg Punk. I enjoy interacting with the EVE community in this manner. Some of my experiences deserve to be shared with others- they are just that damned funny.

What are your other interests?
Friends, family and athletics: I enjoy a great run every morning…New words- one can never have too many words at their disposal.

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?
  • Do something new. If your current activities are growing stale, perhaps it is time to try a different aspect of the game. There are so many different activities to discover and participate in to keep a pod-pilot engaged for years.
  • Express yourself, artistically: Write about the game. Draw, paint or animate about the game. Create music inspired by the game. Player driven content fuels EVE in a very unique way, which in turn inspires fellow subscribers to similar forms of self-expression. This is obvious by the number of active EVE bloggers.
  • Flip a bitch! No, not that Amarrian tart that gyrates her hips at the Clap Trap. I mean try an activity opposite of what you normally do while inhabiting New Eden.
Anything else to offer?
Save Darfur.


I used to quietly hang out in the region's intel channel, which had the sole purpose of updating people on the movements of pirates. This was helpful because it let me know where the bad guys were hanging out and I could avoid them.

As I ventured into piracy myself, I stayed in this channel because I still wanted to avoid where the other pirates were camping. But I kept quiet in there, 'cause I didn't want them to know I was there (since I was into piracy as well). The members list was hidden, but you could check it if you wanted to, and see who else was in the channel

One of the measures of my success as a pirate was to be mentioned in this channel by name as someone to watch out for. When the intel channel was helping people be wary of me, then I knew I was succeeding as a pirate.

This happened yesterday, when I was mentioned by name as someone to watch out for in such-and-such system.

I danced! I was finally 'somebody', and not just a nobody!

One of the drawbacks of becoming noticed is that when they see you sitting in the channel, they ban you. I found out this morning, when logging on, that they'd banned me from the channel.

Now I won't get that good intel on where the pirates are, so I can avoid their damned gate camping!

But at least I'm somebody now... :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Art of War - Attack by Stratagem

Chapter 1: Laying Plans
Chapter 2: Waging War

Welcome to the third chapter (below) in my Art of War series. This chapter looks at the strategies of attacking your enemy...

Chapter 3: Attack by Strategem

In the art of war, the best thing to do is take the enemy’s resources whole and intact. To shatter and destroy it is not so good.

Therefore, to fight and conquer in all battles is not supreme excellence. Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without actually fighting.

The highest form of leadership is to prevent the enemy’s plans. The next best is to prevent the gathering of the enemy’s fleets. The next in order is to attack the enemy’s fleet in space, and the worst policy of all is to besiege stations.

The rule is not to besiege stations if it can possibly be avoided. The preparations will cost too much, and the losses will be too great.

The skilful leader subdues the enemy’s fleet without fighting. He captures their stations without laying siege to them. He overthrows their leadership without lengthy operations in the field.

With his fleets intact, he will dispute the mastery of the Empire, and thus, without losing a single pilot, his victory will be complete. This is the method of attacking by stratagem.

It is the rule in war:
  1. If your fleet is ten to the enemy’s one, surround him.
  2. If five to one, attack him.
  3. If twice as numerous, divide the fleet into two.
  4. If equally matched, we can offer battle.
  5. If slightly inferior in numbers, we can avoid the enemy.
  6. If unequal in every way, you can flee from them.
Though a stubborn fight may be made by a small force, in the end it must be captured by the larger force.

There are three ways a leader can bring misfortune upon the fleet:
  1. By commanding the army to advance or to retreat, being ignorant of the fact it can’t obey.
  2. By attempting to lead a fleet in the same way as he leads a corporation, being ignorant of the conditions which affect a fleet. This causes restlessness in the pilot’s minds.
  3. By employing the officers of his fleet without discrimination, through ignorance of the military principle of 'adaptation to circumstances'. This shakes the confidence of the pilots.
There are five essentials for victory:
  1. He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.
  2. He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior fleets.
  3. He will win whose fleet is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks.
  4. He will win who, prepared, waits to take the enemy unprepared.
  5. He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by civilian leadership.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, you will gain as many defeats as victories. If you know neither yourself nor the enemy, you will always fail.