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.

The accursed system shutdown

It happens, once in a while, when you go to attack someone and you get excited when the combat starts, and then the screen freezes, and a sinking feeling hits your stomach. And then you wake up in a new clone, not even having seen the results of your battle, nor being able to warp your pod out.


Welcome another blogger!

Please welcome my new friend, Biz Quick, who has decided to take up blogging about his adventures as well.

The Yaarrrk Side

I hope you enjoy his blog as much as I intend to! :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thank the Gods for drones

So this Sacrilege (Heavy Assault Ship) enters the system. I've always wanted to test myself against a 'Sac', so I fly to a belt and wait for her (Weirda). I'm in my Thorax cruiser, and I'm aligned to a stargate - just in case she brings friends.

So she warps in eventually, and she's 54km away. I'm just travelling outwards from the belt, and she starts moving towards me. I take no evasive action, just slowly moving away at 240m/s, to all intents and purposes, maybe even looking like I'm AFK.

At around 20km she target locks me, and I quickly spring into action. I release my ECM drones and have them engage her. I set my orbit at 1,000m and activate my MWD to close the gap. My shields drop to about 20% but then the incoming fire stops as the ECM drones dampen her down.

I get in close, activate the blasters, and watch the damage start piling up on her ship. Her shields are down! To about 85%. And then the ECM cycle ends, and I start taking damage again.

My shields disappear, and my armor gets blasted off as the Sacrilege fires at me again. The armor is now down to about 30%, and then she stops firing again, and her warp disruptor field disappears from around my ship.

Smiling, I click on the 'warp to' button and leave the field of battle. She can have the drones, I don't need them any more - they saved my arse!

In local, we said 'gf' (good fight) to each other, and she lamented that I wasn't carrying damage-dealing drones. I would have died if I was. But then, I wouldn't have engaged her either.

Thank the Gods for drones. Especially ECM drones when you want to get yourself out of a tight situation!

So now I know that ECM drones are good to allow you to get away, but not so much for a constant dampening effect on a target's targeting systems. Since I downgraded my armor plating for an extra magnetic stabilizer (to increase damage output), I think I might return to the heavier plate... for those times that the ECM doesn't work.

I like learning new lessons - and surviving the process!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Everyone needs a goal

We all need goals. I have a few of my own, but the most pressing goal I have right now is to catch up on the losses I've had in the past. For that reason, my goal is to achieve at least 1 kill every day.

It's working so far. :)

It's hard though. As I've mentioned before, the region is very quiet in the lowsec systems. There just isn't as many people as there used to be, ratting and mining and presenting themselves as targets.

But there are still targets here and there, which makes the thrill of the hunt worthwhile.

I managed to make my way through a couple of gate camps yesterday, and discovered that I was a 'fag' because I didn't let myself be killed by them.

I find it amusing that these kiddies who pretend to be pilots don't like it when someone avoids death at their hands. They make me laugh at them as they scramble to chase me through various systems, and fail. I like that. A lot.

I lost a Myrmidon yesterday in a glorious fight. A real fight, not a random fight or a duel.

I was gate camping all by myself, just for the fun of it. No bluemates were around, so I thought I'd give it a go. The battlecruiser was tanked to buggery, so I was sure I could handle a gate fight, against selected targets, of course.

Unfortunately, all the potential targets that jumped into the system decloaked out beyond the range of my warp disruptor each time, so I didn't even bother to engage any of them, as there was no point. I would only engage any target that I could handle alone, and which decloaked inside of my disruptor range.

But no such luck.

And then a couple of cruisers came along and sat at the gate. I approached them, and orbited one of them at my optimal range. I studied their bio's, and saw that they were both members of Electus Matari, an anti-pirate alliance. And here's me, flashing yellow and gate camping...

I watched local, but saw no one else in the system and no spike of newcomers. My 'eyes' on the other side of the gate saw no other alliance pilots there, so I figured these guys were just loners, helping to protect the gate by their very presence. If I engaged anyone, they would have the rights to attack me.

So I warped away, erring on the side of caution.

Now, one of the things about getting into piracy is that you must be prepared to lose your ship at all times. So I decided that I was prepared to lose my ship.

I warped back to them, orbiting them again, and target locked both of them. They target locked me back. Neither of us fired at each other, all of us waiting for the other to engage first and receive the sentry gun fire. But nothing happened, and so we danced.

Since nothing was happening, and I decided I didn't want to fight two cruisers AND gate guns, I warped away again, leaving them behind at the gate.

I mentioned this 'engagement' in the bluemates channel, and one of them pricked their ears up. Anti-pirates? Sitting at a gate in cruisers? Let's get it on!

So they jumped into their own battlecruiser, and the two of us went to a flashpoint off the gate. The cruisers were still there, and not a single other member of their alliance in the system.

Eirelle decided to engage first, and I would warp in on them and attack. The primary target was the enemy Vexor, followed by the Rupture.

I warped in as Eirelle started saying the sentry guns were really hammering into him. I quickly engaged the Vexor and let rip with the blasters. The Vexor very quickly fell, exploding into a billion bits of space dust. I turned my attention onto the Rupture just as Eirelle's ship exploded too, and he went silent as he warped his pod away. Damn!

It was just me and the Rupture, and I quickly engaged. Suddenly I saw a bunch of drones orbiting my ship. Checking the overview I saw that he had engaged ECM drones. At the same time my target lock on the Rupture dropped. Damn!

That was two damns in just a few seconds. Things were not looking good.

I tried warping away, but was scrambled, so I activated the MWD to try and move away, but I was webbed as well. Ah well...

So I returned to orbiting him at my slow, crawling pace, and tried to re-establish a target lock. Repeatedly. But it wasn't happening. His drones damped me down too much, and before too long my own ship was exploding from the Rupture's attack and the sentry guns.

As I warped my pod away from the scene of this battle, I couldn't believe that two battlecruisers had just been defeated by a surviving cruiser...

Looking at the killmail, I saw that Debes Sparre, the Rupture pilot, had only done 7,230 points of damage to my battlecruiser, but sentry guns did about 16,500 points of damage.

It was after this experience that I vowed never to go out without my own ECM drones. Definitely a formidable addition to any ship's complement of offensive weaponry.

If I had ECM drones on my ship as well, I could have deployed them, broken his target lock, and warped away.

The things we learn.

But this was a fight, a real fight. A battle between two battlecruisers and two cruisers. They won because of gate guns and ECM drones, but I have learnt from this, and it won't be so easy for the enemy next time.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The hunters and the hunted

Jalif talks about hunting and being hunted over on his post, Hunted. It made me think about how I hunt, and am hunted in return. This post is for the solo hunter.

The hunters

Things are pretty slow in Molden Heath at the moment, with so many pilots staying out of lowsec. Those that are in lowsec are usually on missions. To find them, use a scan probing ship to find out where they are, and then you can gatecrash them if you think you can handle them.

Scanning them down

A good way of doing this is to scan them down, then enter their mission location while cloaked so that you can check out which ships they're using, and then bookmark the location for you to come back to. (Click on People & Places, click on the Places tab, then click on Add Bookmark.)

If they're using ships bigger than you can handle, you might at least be able to come back when they've left, and scour through the wreckage they leave behind, as they don't always clean up after themselves.

If you can't use scan probes, then mission runners are out of bounds to you. The next best thing is to check out the asteroid belts and planets in a system for those pilots ratting or, occasionally, even mining.

When you enter a system, check the scanner, to see if there's anything showing up. It will be within 14 AU of you. If something does show up, move to a safe spot or a nearby planet if you don't have a safe spot - you don't want to be stuck on the gate.

As you go to the nearby planet, quickly drop a bookmark and then come back to it. (Name it after the gate it's nearby, eg. 'Heild gate safe', so that you can identify bookmark locations.) Now you have a temporary safe spot, making you harder to find while you're about do what comes next.

Important note: no safe spot is safe. It's a temporary illusion of safety, as anyone with scan probes can scan you down. But at least it provides you with a bit extra safety than sitting on the gate. However, if there are 3 other people in system, and you are scanning 3 ships and not one of them is a covert ops or recon ship, then you can sit there a bit longer, because at least you know they are unlikely to pinpoint your location.

From this location, assuming the ships are still on your 360 degree scanner, move the scanner angle down to about 30 degrees, and then circle your view around your ship, positioning your ship over distant objects. Click on scan when you are over each group of objects (like belts and planets).

The reason it's only 30 degrees at this point is because you don't need to worry about further refining it until you get close to your target.

Assuming you've found a ship showing up in your 30 degree scan, check out that distant group of objects. It will likely consist of a planet and a bunch of asteroid belts, maybe even a station or stargate. Select the planet in that group, and warp to it at 100km. (You don't want to warp in at 0km, because your target might be at that point. You don't want to be surprised and have to defend yourself, you want to be the hunter who chooses his battles.)

Now that you've arrived at the planet, clicking on that scan button during travel to make sure they're still there (and to see if any other ships come within scan range), you can bring the scan angle down to 5 degrees (assuming there's no one else right there, of course. If there is, you might want to warp out and then come back at 0km if you can defeat them, or run and hide if you can't.

Click on your ship so that a square appears. This is your 5 degree angle. Now circle your view and position that square on the belts that are around that planet.

When you find your target at a belt and believe that you can take them, warp in at 30km. Most ratters will warp into a belt at a distance, and then close the gap between them and the rats. You want to be far enough away that you can allow yourself time to get the hell out of there if their friends arrive while you were in mid warp, but close enough that you can scramble their attempts to warp out, and then close the gap yourself so you can engage them. 30 km is a good point to give yourself breathing room. Make sure you use a Warp Disruptor II for up to 24km of disruptive goodness. Preventing them from warping out while you approach is your first objective. Close the distance, activate your webifier to slow them down, then engage and destroy them as you see fit.

Congratulations, you've just hunted down your prey! All of this, from entering the system and setting up a safe spot, to arriving at the planet and scanning them down at a belt, should take no longer than 2 - 3 minutes. It's very fast when you know what you're doing.

Back to the combat... If they're faster than you and are keeping their distance from your webifier, then check what object is behind them, and take note of what their approximate distance from centre of the belt is. Eg. if you came in at 30km, and they're 30km out from you, then they're about 60km from centre of belt.

Warp out towards the object behind them (at 100km), and then come back to the belt at 60km. By going to the planet behind them, you are modifying your angle of approach so that it will be on the same plane as them and the centre of the belt, and if they're still there (hey, it's possible!), then you should be almost right on top of them and can engage the warp disruptor and webifier. Destroy them!

If they've gone, of course, then return to the planet and see if you can scan them down again. They might have moved on to another belt. Follow the same process.

If they've moved on to another system, or you have a bunch of potential hostiles enter system (eg. more people enter the system and warships start showing up on your 360 degree scanner), then you might want to consider docking or moving on as well.

Remember: if you have attacked a target that is NOT flashy red to you, then you will be flashy red to everyone else for the next 15 minutes. This also means that if you approach stations or gates in lowsec, the sentry guns WILL fire upon you. (If you're flashy red all the time because of your negative sec status, then you're going to be used to this!) Do not attempt to enter highsec when you have a red aggression countdown timer, or CONCORD will be introducing you to the emptiness of space.

Lying in wait

The next part of this 'being the hunter' section involves waiting for your prey to show up when a known ratting system is empty.

Most ratters will start at the first belt in the list when they enter the system, and move on from there. So find the planet that the first belt orbits, and warp to it at 100km (always avoid the standard 0km, so that if someone is there when you arrive, or arrives after you get there, you have time to engage or warp away if you want to). Search around you for the belt that you're focusing on at this stage.

Once you've found it, click on it so that it's selected in your overview. Click on Align To at the top of your overview. You will now start moving to that belt at your maximum normal speed.

This serves two advantages. 1) It moves you away from the warp-in point at the planet, so that even if someone warps in at 100km, you won't be there. 2) You're aligned for the belt so that when a target arrives you can click on 'warp to' at the top of the overview and arrive there in just a couple seconds.

Click on your ship to create that 5 degree square, and position it over the belt. Change your scanning angle down to 5 degrees and repeatedly scan when someone enters the system. As soon as they arrive at the belt, they'll show up on your scan.

Always keep an eye on your overview to see if they arrive at your planet (see The hunted below). You're now monitoring both the belt and your planet this way, allowing you to see either a target or someone arriving at the planet to potentially hunt you.

Don't forget to change the scanner angle from 5 degrees to 360 degrees and back to 5 again. Every time you change the angle, it'll automatically perform another scan, allowing you to keep an eye on both the area around you, and the belt you're monitoring.

When a potential target arrives at the belt, they will need about 30 seconds to get agro from the rats. Keep monitoring them during this time. If they're still there after 30 seconds, warp! (You don't want to warp in too soon and get the agro from the rats onto you!)

Remember to note your angle of approach, and note that you will be coming in at 0km. Take note of their location and any objects behind them, and warp out and come back as necessary (as already explained above).

Good luck with your hunting!

The hunted

If someone turns up at your planet while you're lying in wait and you don't want to engage them, luckily you're already aligned to the belt you're monitoring and can warp to the belt immediately. They won't be aligned, and will take a few seconds to follow you. While you're en route to the belt select an object in your overview, like a stargate. As soon as you hit the belt, immediately click on Warp To, and you'll immediately re-align and take off to the stargate. You'll be warping out of the belt as your hunter arrives, waving them goodbye and laughing as you escaped another hunter doing the same thing you were.

It's always important to expect that you will be hunted by others, just as much as you are hunting others. It's absolutely necessary to always be preparing yourself for running away. Always have an object selected in your overview, and where possible, always be aligned to it and traveling to it at your maximum speed - even at safe spots.

This guarantees that if you are surprised by someone, that you can immediately warp away and avoid them, thus ensuring your continued survival.

When being hunted, do not sit in one place for longer than 30 seconds unless it's a safe spot and those hunting you are not in covert orps or recon ships. (Covert ops ships will be trying to scan you down for their friends to come in and warp to you, or to bookmark your location, dock, and then come back and kill you in their battleship...)

When more people in local start arriving, and they're of the same corp as your hunter or the same alliance, you might want to leave the system or dock. It's safer to dock, because their friends might be waiting for you on the other side of the gate.

Never leave your keyboard when out in space. Always dock first. Let me tell you a story of what happened to me this morning, and let this be a lesson to you to never leave your keyboard.

I was out hunting with a bluemate (you don't ALWAYS have to be solo, as it can work very well in pairs too), and he pinpointed a Hoarder at a station. Arriving at the station, he found that they were about 100km away from the station and slowly moving away from it - the pilot must have gone AFK when he undocked.

My bluemate advised of the target's angle in relation to a nearby object, and distance from station (about 100km). I warped to the object, and then warped back to the station at 100km, only to find the Hoarder was in a different location and about 90km away.

Beyond him was another planet. I advised my bluemate of the planet and the distance the Hoarder was from me. He warped to the planet, and I alerted him the distance had changed because I was moving to him (it was now about 70km). My bluemate warped to me at 70km, and came out right on top of him.

Bang! One destroyed Hoarder, and my bluemate podkilled the pilot as well. He wasn't carrying anything and only dropped a cargo expander, but so be it. You can just imagine the reaction when the pilot comes back to his computer, seeing himself back in his station.

Never think you're safe when AFK, and always keep in mind angles of approach and use your environment to help you and hinder the hunters.

Stay safe, and good luck.

Bloggers everywhere!

They're coming out of the woodwork, like ants. They're everywhere, they're insidious!

We have a new blog on the scene, I just talked to him in the Eve-Bloggers channel tonight. I don't think he's on the main OPML yet, but I'm sure he soon will be. (Looks at Ga'len....)

It's Just Business.
Tales about the cutthroat world of New Eden from a trader's perspective.

Welcome to the fold, brother blogger! :)