Friday, October 31, 2008

New bloggers

I'm excited to announce two new bloggers.

The Adventures of Birdog, Freelance Privateer


The Adventures of Eirelle

Birdog, like Jalif, had decided to start his own blog, inspired by this one. And Eirelle has also been inspired enough to start his own blog too!

Give them a big applause and make sure you subscribe to their blogs for future updates. And don't forget to comment on their blogs to encourage them. :)

Skill training for PVP

In order to engage in combat against other pilots, you need to work on a few skills. I've already mentioned the basics needed to start venturing into piracy, but if you really want to become specialised, you need to work on the skills detailed below.

Please understand this is part of a long-term plan! Don't be discouraged that you need all these skills at all these levels in order to get into PVP. You don't. These are just to give you an idea of what you need to work on over time.

With thanks to Cal Nereus.

Fitting Skills

These are all the skills you need to fit all your desired modules onto your ship without running out of powergrid or CPU.

Engineering: 5% Bonus to ship's powergrid output per skill level.
Electronics: 5% Bonus to ship CPU output per skill level.
Energy Grid Upgrades: to fit Power Diagnostic Systems, which increase powergrid.
Electronics Upgrades: 5% reduction of sensor upgrade CPU needs per skill level, and to fit Co-Processors.
Shield Upgrades: 5% reduction in shield upgrade powergrid needs.
Weapon Upgrades: 5% reduction per skill level in the CPU needs of weapon turrets and launchers.
Advanced Weapon Upgrades: 2% reduction in powergrid needs of weapon turrets and launchers.

I believe the most common benchmark for PvP Fitting Skills is to have Engineering, Electronics and Weapon Upgrades all up to level 5, and Advanced Weapon Upgrades up to 3. The others can be at the level of your choice.

Basic Capacitor Skills

These are all the skills you need to optimize the size, recharge rate and efficiency of your capacitor. As many Eve players will attest to, cap is life in Eve. If you don't have it, you're dead.

Energy Management: 5% bonus to capacitor capacity per skill level.
Energy Systems Operation: 5% reduction in capacitor recharge time per skill level, and to fit Capacitor Boosters.
Energy Grid Upgrades: to fit Cap Rechargers (I already mentioned this skill as a fitting skill earlier).
Energy Emission Systems: 5% reduced capacitor need of energy emission weapons per skill level, and to fit Nosferatu.

You'll want Energy Systems Operation at level 5 and Energy Management to level 4 at least. Cap Rechargers or Cap Boosters are prevalent in most PvP fittings, so you'll want to be able to fit the best.

Navigation Skills

Anyone planning on using frigates or microwarpdrives in PvP (in other words, just about everyone) will need to consider training most of the Navigation skills.

Navigation: 5% bonus to sub-warp ship velocity per skill level.
Acceleration Control: 5% Bonus to Afterburner and MicroWarpdrive speed boost per skill level.
High Speed Maneuvering: 5% reduction in MicroWarpdrive capacitor usage per skill level.
Evasive Maneuvering: 5% improved ship agility for all ships per skill level.

Frigate specialists need to seriously consider training all of these skills to level 5. Personally, I'm a Battleship pilot, and even I have Navigation trained up to 5. If you plan on piloting Interceptors or Interdictors, you will need Evasive Maneuvering up to level 5 just to sit in your ship.

Tackling Skills

Almost all PvPers (actually, pretty much all of them) need to train up their tackling skills. These are the skills you need to prevent your target from escaping.

Propulsion Jamming: 5% Reduction to warp scrambler and stasis web capacitor need per skill level, and to fit warp scramblers/disruptors and stasis webifiers.
Energy Emission Systems: To fit energy neutralizers to kill the target's cap (this skill was also mentioned earlier as a basic capacitor skill).
Anchoring: Used to deploy and anchor various items, including mobile warp disruptors.

All PvPers will want to train Propulsion Jamming, preferably up to level 4 at least. Specialists in the field of tackling will want it trained to level 5. Anchoring is largely optional, but in 0.0 I've seen it used a lot to anchor bubbles.

Armor Tanking Skills

Armor tanking is without a doubt the most common form of tanking in PvP, which is great for the Gallente and Minmatar races, but makes things difficult for the Caldari ships. Amarr prefer armor tanking their own ships, but hate when their enemies do it.

Mechanic: to fit Armor Repairers.
Hull Upgrades: Grants a 5% bonus to armor hit points per skill level, and to fit Active Armor Hardeners and Plates.
Repair Systems: 5% reduction in repair systems duration per skill level, and to fit Armor Repairers.
EM Armor Compensation, Explosive Armor Compensation, Kinetic Armor Compensation, Thermic Armor Compensation: To improve passive/inactive armor resists.

Most PvPers seem to believe Mechanic and Hull Upgrades should be trained up to level 5, and Repair Systems up to level 4 to fit all the modules you will need. The compensation skills should also be trained up to level 4, or at least 3 if you don't have the patience for 4.

Electronic Warfare Skills

Electronic Warfare is a major part of fleet PvP, and useful in gang PvP. With the right combination of E-War you can practically turn off an opponent's ship. Combined tackling and E-Warfare can render even the sturdiest tank and most ominous firepower absolutely useless.

Electronic Warfare: 5% less capacitor need for ECM and ECM burst systems per skill level.
Sensor Linking: 5% less capacitor need for sensor link per skill level, and to fit sensor dampeners.
Long Distance Jamming: 10% bonus to optimal range of ECM, Remote Sensor Dampers, Tracking Disruptors and Target Painters per skill level.
Signal Dispersion: 5% bonus to strength of all ECM jammers per skill level.
Frequency Modulation: 10% bonus to falloff for ECM, Remote Sensor Dampeners, Tracking Disruptors and Target Painters per skill level.

Train Electronic Warfare to level 4 at least, but it's up to you how far you want to take all of the other skills. The aforementioned skills only touch upon the most common forms of E-Warfare: ECM and Dampening, and I believe it's possible to specialize much further in this category of PvP.

Up until now I haven't even mentioned the relevant gunnery, missile and drone skills you need for PvP to actually deal damage to your target(s). To be honest, there are simply way too many such skills to mention, and the ones you use are entirely up to you. Most PvPers prefer guns, specially hybrid turrets and projectile turrets. Some skills that can apply to all guns are Motion Prediction, Rapid Firing, Sharpshooter, Surgical Strike and Trajectory Analysis. Seriously consider training each of those to level 4 or 5.

All of this information is from 2007, and while I think it's all still relevant today, if anyone can show anything here is incorrect, please leave a comment and I'll update it.

Good luck with your PVP!

Black Claw's Guide to Piracy

Since I’ve started engaging in piracy, one or two of my fellow bloggers have asked me questions about how to start off doing it themselves. I thought I’d write a brief guide about what’s important to know for those starting out in this ‘business’.
You can read the rest of this article over at - Black Claw's Guide to Piracy. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blogger profiles #4 - Geaux Tiger

I'm really pleased by the response I've got from people who have been happy to send me their profile. If you would like to send me yours too, please fill out the questions here and send it back to me. I really would love to hear from you, and so many other bloggers and Eve Online players would love to know more about you.

Here's the latest from Geaux Tiger. I really like his blog. Even though he says he's not into roleplaying in the game, his posts are certainly flavoured that way, which makes it such an enjoyable story.
What is your character's name or handle?

Geaux Tiger is my main character. Varnoka is another character which sometimes helps Geaux Tiger out. Not sure if she is my character or not.

What is your blog's URL?

How long have you been blogging?

Five weeks I believe. It started with my ascension to the noble occupation of Pirate.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

Essence is my current region of activity with jaunts into Verge Vendor, Sinq Laison, and the FW regions of Placid and Black Rise.

When did you start playing EVE?

*Thinks back* I believe it was 6 months ago maybe. Not sure and I’m too lazy right now to check.

Why do you enjoy about EVE?

Tough question here. The freedom is probably the thing I like the most. Coming from a RPGMMO background, the whole space ship thing was intriguing to me. Then finding out that nothing is restricted to you play wise I fell in love with EVE instantly. Being able to not only PvE and delve into the industrial side of things, but also being able to concentrate on PvP, exploration, and 0.0 politics are the types of things you just don’t find in other games. Everything is player driven, for the most part, and this only works to add to the sense of accomplishment in whatever you choose to spend your time on while playing.

What is your playstyle?

A bit of an open ended question here; I guess you would label me as a pvper. Though to be honest, I started the game as a carebear initially. I have never been much of a pvper in any game I have played. EVE, with all its freedoms, allows players to change playstyles easily if they wish. Now I am a dedicated pirate and don’t see myself changing from that anytime soon. The EVE personality test labeled me as a “Gunslinger”, go figure.

Do you play any other games?

Currently, no I do not play any other online games. I choose to run multiple accounts on EVE instead. Warhammer looks intriguing, but with the current implementation of it I’m waiting a while before starting an account. Offline games I enjoy occasionally are D2 (yes its ancient but still a blast), Titan Quest, Oblivion, and Crysis.

What do you blog about, and why?

I choose to blog about my pirating adventures from an incharacter point of view. This allows me a chance to work on my fiction writing skills, though that has been lacking lately. I like to think of it as a starting point for a possible future novella or maybe even a full blown book. I know I have a lot to learn about writing fiction, but it has always been a dream of mine. This explains why many of my post are “walls of text” as others would put it. I plan to occasionally have out of character commentary on various aspects of EVE once I gain a little more experience playing the game.

What are your other interests?

Currently my 15 month old child takes up most of my time. I’m a stay at home Dad, but currently looking for a job. If anyone needs an out of work researcher/historian let me know. Just kidding there. *shakes his head no* Yes I am. *shakes his head no again.* Other than that I enjoy rockclimbing, backpacking, fishing, hunting, playing rugby, watching American college football, and Renfest.

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

Newer players just have to find an aspect of the game they enjoy. There are plenty of guides and information out there to help you along your way. Older players that are becoming unmotivated may just need to take a slight break from the game. Everyone gets burned out sometime. I personally found what keeps me motivated is trying new things, even if it is something I think I’ll hate doing. You just never know.

Anything else to offer?

Just that I enjoy reading just about anyone’s blog or stories. They all give me ideas for directions in which to take my own character and writing. Keep up the good work guys.


That's the name of my new corp mate's blog - Jalification. His name's Jalif. It's a good read, so check it out. :)

It's great to have new bloggers arise. It'd be real funny if everyone in my corp ended up blogging too!

*smiles at corp members*

Lessons for today

After an interesting day's experiences I have a few lessons I've learned that I'd like to share.

First, I encountered a Hound in a belt, and quickly approached, engaging him. He managed to get me down to about 80% armor before he went KABLOOEY! He sat there watching me loot his wreck before he eventually warped off.

This guy signed up as a capsuleer some 2 years ago, but had been inactive. He didn't even know where his lossmail would be. And his fittings were crap. Who brings a Stealth Bomber into lowsec, WITH a cloak, and then lets themselves be blown up?

Lesson 1: Not all 'veterans' know what they're doing.

Just to hammer this point home, I managed to find a Cyclone, 280km off a planet. I joined up with some bluemates, and one of them probed him and warped to the Cyclone, then the rest of us warped to them. We immediately engaged this battlecruiser, quickly destroying it. My bluemate podkilled him while I retrieved the loot.

The pilot woke up in his new clone, not knowing what had happened. He contacted me after checking his killmail, asking "Why? WHY?!" or something like that. Turns out he was away from his systems having a big turd or something when we struck.

He was a 3 year old pilot too, but had been active for only a few months before being inactive for almost 3 years. He started piloting again today, and decided lowsec was the place to go. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't.

So I gave him some advice about lowsec, referred him to my '23 tips for surviving lowsec', and offered to sell him back his loot. But it was mostly crap anyway, and he understandably wasn't interested.

In between those two kills, I met up with Biz Quick again. It was him and his brother who had destroyed my Brutix yesterday. Anyway, we got to talking, and eventually I suggested a rematch. My cruiser against his equivalent. He went to get his Arbitrator and met up off a remote planet.

It was on! I watched as he released his drones, and I released mine. Then I discovered he'd set his ship up for speed, and my MWD simply wasn't capable of catching up, nor were my drones. I watched him circle me at about 20km, avoiding my web and guns, and keeping his distance from the drones failing to catch up to him.

I set my guns on his drones, and brought my drones back to deal with them too, but by this time I was at 20% armor, and he was about 30% shields (my drones had a few potshots at him). My medium blasters were having difficulty hitting the drones, and I knew I'd failed.

He was good enough to stop fighting, much to my surprise, as I had expected this was to the death. If the situation were reversed, I would have destroyed him, getting revenge for the loss of my Brutix yesterday. His explanation was that it wasn't a real fight because I couldn't touch him, so there was no point taking it to the end.

I like how there's honour amongst pirates. I'm not sure I can say the same about antipirates.... They always fight to the death, no surrender and no quarter. Pirates are such a different bunch.

Lesson 2: Take out the drones first!

It would have worked better for me if I had've taken out his drones first, so that they weren't doing me any damage. It turned out that he had no weapons in his high slots, focused entirely on using drones and keeping his ship out of range.

So some good experiences today, and some good lessons.

I've also finally completed the skills I've been training on for the past month, letting me now fit Tech 2 Medium Blasters to my ships. This is an exciting time... Bring on the destruction!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It feels like home

I joined up with some bluemates yesterday (like corpmates, but blue instead) for a gate camp. They wanted me to join, and would hear no excuses. So they bandied together and set up a Brutix with fittings. It was a touching moment for me, to be donated 36 million worth of ship and fittings. I'd never had that before.

So many of my new flashy red friends are so much more generous than my old 'noble' friends ever were.

As I wrote that, I was thinking back to some of the donations that I received from people back when I was an anti-pirate. It just occurred to me that most of those donations were from pirates themselves, who enjoyed being able to help fund an anti-pirate in his endeavours against pirates.

I've been walking the wrong path. My friends were never the antipirates, but the pirates!

I feel like I've come home, in a way. I grew up amongst pirates, and to pirates I return.

Anyway, the actions I were involved in yesterday with my nice, new Brutix were, to say the least, fruitless. I wasn't involved in any kills whatsoever. So today, I undocked from the station in order to move a couple systems over, ready for the next fleet actions. When I got out of the station, however, I discovered I was being engaged by a Sacrilege, a Heavy Assault Ship.

By the time I'd realised this however, my shields were down to about 20%. Crap! I thought. I quickly activated everything. Target locking him, I engaged the battery of guns first, followed by the armor hardeners and then the armor reps. Then I brought the warp scrambler and web online. You're not getting away, matey! I thought to myself. Yeh, I know... he attacked me! But I didn't want him changing his mind.

I was starting to get excited about the fact that my armor tank was holding, and he was down to about 80% armor. I figured that if this kept up, I might actually win!

That was until the Maelstrom battleship arrived, and started remote armor repping his friend, who's armor just zoomed back up to 100%.

With a heavy heart, and while still firing my guns against the assault ship (pointlessly now), I tried turning around to get back to the station. Being webbed though meant that I was slower than a Minmatar slave on his way to the execution block. When the battleship added his own firepower to the show, and my armor was disappearing faster than the dual reps could repair, I knew it was all over.

I selected a distant stargate as the Brutix began to fall apart, and when it exploded I was warping out of there faster than you could even blink.

Easy come, easy go. Thanks to my friends for providing me the means of assisting them, but nothing lasts forever in this harsh galaxy.

So I went on a patrol in my interceptor, but found nothing. I got bored. So I spent some money on a new battlecruiser, another Myrmidon. I shouldn't, 'cause I can't afford it... I can't afford 5 of them, so I'm violating my own rules. But what the hell... you only live forever!

So I spent some time and money fitting it for tanking, and joined up with my friends again. Lo and behold, I was involved in two kills! I never actually managed to lay any blaster rounds on the target, but I did manage to get a target lock and scram on both of them. They died before I could get close enough to shoot them though. Oh well, next time.

Here's the really awesome thing... For the first time ever, I've earnt money from pirating. The second victim wanted to buy back the loot that was dropped from their ship, and as a result, my share was 40 million.

Woohoo! That will fund the next battlecruiser once this one is gone.

I'm really enjoying myself!

Carebears need to harden the fuck up

One thing I've noticed, all across the galaxy, is that people are having a whinge, having a sook, having a cry about it. If our ancestors were around today, I reckon they'd be spewing. Carebears need to harden the fuck up.

This is Daniel. He owns a big, shiny, fancy fucking battleship. But he doesn't know how to change his low slots to tank anything. Harden the fuck up, Daniel.

This is Petros, and he's too scared to enter lowsec. "Ohh, look at me, I'm combat intolerant." Why don't you try a gate camp and harden the fuck up, Petros.

This is Theresa. Her kitten has a psychiatrist because it cries every time a Hulk is attacked. How about this, Theresa. Dr Black Claw prescribes that you harden the fuck up!

This is Mark. He doesn't approve of people swearing on blogs. Well how about you harden the fuck up, Mark.

This is some fool with a stupid name I can't care to type. Learn how to come up with decent names, fool, and harden the fuck up.

This is Yellow Rose. She won't join in on fleet action without taking half a dozen smartbombs with her. Harden the fuck up, Yellow!

This is Jad. He spends an hour a day trading on the stock market. He's also a DJ at a local nightclub. So why don't you ha-ha-ha-harden the fuck up, Jad.

This is Bevat. He owns every Tech 2 ship you can buy, sleeps with his blasters, has over a thousand kills to his name, and once cut off his own arm for a dare. Fucking spot on Bevat!

So come on, carebears. Take your skirt off, cancel your manicure, grow a mustache, and harden the fuck up.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Something's changed

A long time ago I used to work on the streets. No, not that kind of street work, you fools! I used to sell pizza outside a pizza joint, to the various assortment of drunken nightclub goers that were starving. A lot of them were violent too, but never to me - my pizza and I were the source of their happiness!

However, the environment meant I had to develop a certain street sense, being able to 'feel' the atmosphere around you, to know when trouble was brewing, to know who to watch as the potentially dangerous, and who were the weak and innocent.

I feel like that right now. It's like, instead of having 'street sense', I've developed 'space sense'. I feel like I understand who's dangerous, who to avoid, who to hunt, and who to attack. I know how to escape other hunters, and how to leave the area without being caught.

It really is a good feeling, one which I'm sure won't last forever. No one gets it right all the time, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

In the past few days, I've had a number of engagements in my Taranis interceptor that I have usually been able to slip away from if I haven't been winning, or have simply wanted to avoid contact. This has included against a Drake, just to test the capabilities of the ship. Even though orbiting at 1,000m managed to avoid most of the Drake's defensive fire, I was still down to about 80% armor while I had only whittled his shields down to about 80%. I warped away, with the pilot in local commenting that he wished he had fit a web and scram...

It's awesome to enter a fight expecting to lose, but being able to survive it instead.

I've been roaming the lowsec systems, looking for targets. They're few and far between, with many of the inhabitants being other gangs looking for targets themselves. It's the occasional stray, naive pilot that ventures into lowsec, not really understanding what they're getting themselves into. Like the pilot in lowsec in a destroyer, mining. Who mines in lowsec, unaccompanied and in a destroyer? New pilots that don't know any better, that's who.

I feel sad for those people who have so many losses and no kills. Who die so many times, and don't seem to learn anything about surviving. I really feel sad for them.

It makes me want to help them more. And I've decided that after a fight against someone that doesn't seem to know any better, I will offer some kind of advice in local, hopefully to make them think more about what they're doing, and maybe even help them survive in future. It's the least I can do as I take the loot from the shattered remains of their ship...

I took one of my corp members out on a training mission last night. It was good. The purpose was to find a target for him to get his first kill. He's a new guy, a friend of mine, someone that I've taken under my wing in order to help him become a hunter too.

Unfortunately, the trip was uneventful. After maybe a couple of hours, through a dozen systems, we found nothing. But along the way he learnt how to use his scanner, how to make safe spots, how to use flashpoints, how to align and always expect to be jumped at any point, and how to work in a fleet.

Hopefully soon, he'll learn how to tackle and kill too.

It's exciting when I have two very skilled, capable, and deadly pirates want to join my corp because of my style. Birdog and Jalif. Both of them tried to hunt me down and kill me when they first found me, and both of them failed. And now they've joined my corp. I like that.

As a result of my new members, and of the style of play I've been venturing into, I've found a sense of direction for my corp. Here is the new description for it:
Have you ever seen a pack of scorpions? No, you find them by themselves. Scorpion's Sting is a corp for the loners, the hunters, the dangerous few who want to rely on their own skills and wits to find and destroy their prey.

Contact Black Claw if you would like to learn more.

Capture ships instead of destroying them

One of the strategies that is suggested in chapter 2 of my Art of War series is:
Where possible, force the ejecting of enemy pilots in order to take their ships whole. Enemy pilots who eject should be allowed to live, to provide incentive to eject again in future.
How often does this happen? I've never heard of it happening at all, unless it's an accident, where the 'noob' accidentally ejects from their ship in a panic.

There's a lot of pilots with very expensive implants that they really don't want to lose, and would rather not get podkilled. So once you've locked them down and damaged their ship into structure, stop firing and offer to let them go in exchange for their ship (if you have the time and safety to do this, of course).

They might be hesitant because they'll lose the insurance, but if you really want the ship then offer to pay them for it. Make it worth their while, of course. Maybe just less than the cost of the ship, not including fittings. If they have implants they want to keep, they'll likely jump at the opportunity.

Of course, it would only work if you can fly their ship, or you have someone nearby that can fly it for you. You would also need to have someone there to protect the ship from anyone else wandering by...

You could warp to a safe spot or dock, eject from your ship, and go back and board the new ship you've just claimed, taking it to a station and docking.

This would be better than looting a wreck... you get the whole ship and all its fittings to add to your war or combat efforts. And the victim gets to keep their implants.

Give it a try, you might just find yourself stocking your hangars with new ships and fittings that you can use or sell. You'll still get enough kills from those that refuse to eject.

An interview with a pirate

I was flying along in my Taranis interceptor, minding my own business... well, ok, I wasn't. I was flying along, looking for some trouble. I almost found it too, in the flashy red presence of Jalif, flying a Huginn at a gate I'd just come through. Luckily for me there was an asteroid belt directly in front of me.

I warped to it, getting away from his probable 'gate camp'. However, I knew that if he was after me, I wouldn't be safe, as there was no other objects in that direction, so he'd be directly on my tail. As soon as I dropped out of warp, I selected my safe spot and warped to it straight away.

Just as I entered warp, Jalif arrived at the belt too, and was just in time to see me warping away. I chuckled, and we struck up a brief conversation in local. He said something about how some people are stupid enough to sit in the asteroid belt.

Let that be a tip to you, my fellow pilots. When you warp to an object to get away from someone, IMMEDIATELY warp to yet another location, preferably a safe spot if you have one, or a jump gate if you don't. NEVER think you're going to be safe.

Anyway, he seemed like a nice fella, for a pirate. And I'm always happy to chat with nice fella's. He also had a read of my blog, and wanted to chat a bit about that. One thing led to another, and before you know it, I was interviewing him for the blog.

Please enjoy my first impromptu interview with a pirate. May there be many more. (Maybe I can become some kind of space-faring journalist or something....)
So Jalif, how long have you been engaging in pure PVP?

The last few days... before that I took a break of 2/3 months... before that I did it around 3 months straight without a break.

What were you focused on before that?

A bit of mission running, ratting & visiting forums to complain about CCP's balancing... the things that an average carebare does...

So what is your goal with your PVP?

To have a lot of fun & know new people who do the same as I do. Eventually it's to become the mastermind of piracy, of course ^^

Would you say you're a pirate?

To a surtain extent yes... how else would I explain my criminal actions then? (I do like a bit of roleplaying too)

Do you make a living from Piracy, or from some other means?

I'm trying too. But its very hard. Piracy probably has the worst balanced risk vs reward in the game, but that doesn't stop me from doing it.

What would you say drives you to be a pirate?

The freedom mostly. I can't stand corporations/alliances with their oppression. Everything that I want to do is better then being in that kind of organisations.

Why are you a solo fighter?

Because when I fly with others, I get easily irritated how they PVP. It's also often when you are in a group, stuff goes slow... which makes me more impatient.

What's your favourite ship?

At the moment, a Rupture - but that is probably going to change when the speed balance hits.

What will it be then?

Not sure, but one thing I know, its not going to be bigger then a cruiser

Why is that?

As a pirate you need to choose your battles. In a battleship you are forced to join every battle & before you know it, they blob you. So I fly small ships to increase my risk vs reward, ISK & the ability to choose my own battles. This specially counts when you are doing solo PVP

What would you say is the most rewarding part of your 'career'?

Pride & joy when I kill a "victim" who should/could be potentially stronger then me

Is there anything that sticks in your memory as one of the most enjoyable experiences you've had?

Well yeah, one of my good pvp-days when I got into Molden Heath. Tackled a Typhoon on a gate & called for backup... I still did 75% of the damage & got out with 40% hull left. That was a great day

What made it great?

The guy was a year older, bigger ship, I was in the "worst" conditions...

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

That they will have to come & get me. An eye for a eye.

Is there anything else you would like to add for those who are reading this?

"I hate blobbing!"

Thank you for your time :)

You're welcome.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Art of War - Waging War

Chapter 1: Laying Plans

Welcome to the second chapter (below) in my Art of War series. This chapter looks at the strategies of actually waging war...

Chapter 2: Waging War

In order to commit forces to battle, the corporation or alliance must have the money and resources to replace losses. You should commit only what you can afford to lose.

When you engage in fighting, if victory is long in coming, weapons will run out of ammunition or charges, and enthusiasm will disappear. If you lay siege to a station, you will exhaust your strength.

If the campaign is long-lasting, the resources of the corporation will not be equal to the strain. When your weapons are exhausted, and your willingness to fight is gone, you will be at the mercy of those who have waited, and they will strike when you are at your weakest.

Cleverness has never been associated with long delays.

It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable ways of engaging in war.

Bring war materials from your base, but forage on the enemy. Thus the fleet will be able to compensate for any losses.

In order to kill the enemy, your men must be roused to anger; there must be rewards to defeating the enemy, and that’s where the foraging on the enemy’s wrecks and cargo containers helps.

Where possible, force the ejecting of enemy pilots in order to take their ships whole. Enemy pilots who eject should be allowed to live, to provide incentive to eject again in future.

In war, let the object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.

Next chapter coming soon: Attack by Strategem

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Changes to how comments work

Google Blogger has changed how they do comments, allowing the comment box to be visible and available at the bottom of every post instead of on a separate comments page. In line with this convenience, I've enabled it for this blog.

You can do the same on your own blog by going to your Settings - Comments, and enabling 'Embedded below post' in the 'Comment Form Placement' section.

I also disabled the 'word verification for comments', so there's no need to type out random text and numbers. This always annoys the hell outta me, so I'm sure it does to some of you as well.

I'll re-enable it when I start getting inundated with spam, but until then, enjoy commenting!

Blogger profiles #3 - Gigaer

One of the things I enjoy about getting to know people in real life is how everyone has a story. I'm enjoying the same thing with these Blogger Profiles; everyone has a story, and I'm really enjoying reading the stories that bloggers tell. Here's the latest blogger to honour us with his stories.
What is your character's name or handle?
Gigaer (primary) and Howlynn (alt), but my online handle is PsycheDiver.

What is your blog's URL?

How long have you been blogging?
About 5 years, on and off. I had a livejournal account in college and tried to blog on IGN after that. The problem with IGN is that the community is really only about video games and I want to write about more than that. My weekly comic book reviews (that I put a lot of work into) went unnoticed.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?
Metropolis (Hakeri for mission work, though I may be making a second home for lvl.3 missions) and Curse (CL-85V, which is where my corp usually hangs).

When did you start playing EVE?
I had an account back around 2005 (I think) and was part of the ACSN's "Training" corp, which ended up being a scam to rip off noobs and I got kicked from the corp when I started asking questions, which got me depressed and I quit because of it. Luckily ACSN went down soon after so I was actually quite lucky... and happy. I started a new account after making sure I was fully prepared for the intricate nature of EVE and have been playing for almost 9 months now.

What do you enjoy about EVE?
Complex gameplay, deep story, originality. It's the most hardcore game ever and I enjoy the challenge. Plus it's the coolest place to RP!

What is your playstyle?
My primary is combat-focused, either PvP or PvE. My alt is a miner/refiner/etc... that I'll be handing over to the wife when everything is set.

Do you play any other games?
Plenty of 360 games in the RPG, action, adventure and FPS genres. Getting a PS3 soon. The only PC game I play right now is EVE, but I might get Spore after I do some upgrades. Games I'm playing currently (or will in the near future) are Gears of War 2, Team Fortress 2, Penny Arcade Adventures ep.2, Mass Effect 2, Too Human, Metal Gear Solid 4, Final Fantasy XIII (and all its variants), etc... (Don't know if I want Fable 2, and I hope to pick up Rainbow 6 Vegas 2, Ninja Gaiden 2 and a few fighting games when they drop in price).

What do you blog about, and why?
Games, anime, comics, TV, movies, RL, politics, novels, writing, etc... I blog about these things because they are the foundation of my life. I write about everything about me because I feel the purpose of having a blog is to connect with people on a personal level. If I wanted to just keep a journal of my thoughts for myself I wouldn't bother publishing it for others to see. I also make a real effort to comment on other blogs when I can because I think others see blogs in the same way and communication between bloggers is half the fun!

What are your other interests?
Everything above and more.

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?
If you can't stay motivated in such a deep game, EVE is not the place for you. Go back to WoW you noob. EVE is a complex game with a complex community, some of whom rely on you for one reason or another, so if you're going to go offline for a few weeks, let people know. If you need to go AFK for longer than you're subscribed for, then I don't think you should expect to progress for free, and so I'm happy that ghost-training is gone.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The blogging community grows

First up, thanks to Ga'len for creating a forum for Eve Bloggers and interested readers! You can find it here:

I think it's an awesome location for discussing and mentioning Eve Blogs and Bloggers and blogging-related information. Go have a look!

Second, thanks so much to Emywn Vanya for his help today in setting up a Ventrilo channel for Eve Bloggers! Using Ventrilo, you can access it using this information:

Port: 9934

Once you're in, double-click on the Eve Bloggers channel to join in. I look forward to seeing you there!

We had a small issue with the fact that Mac users couldn't access the server, due to an incompatible codec, but we managed to get that fixed so that both Mac and PC users can all happily chat to each other. Good for me, 'cause I use a Mac!

See you around, bloggers!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blogger profiles #2 - Jenni Concarnadine

Thank you to our second blogger for submitting their profile! I really like Jenni's style. 'Cute' comes to mind, and I really love cute.
What is your character's name or handle?
Jenni Concarnadine

What is your blog's URL?

How long have you been blogging?
On EVE, a month. Generally, about 3 years

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?
Heimatar and Metropolis

When did you start playing EVE?
About a year and a half ago

Why do you enjoy about EVE?
The open-ness -- you can, within reason, try anything

What is your playstyle?

Do you play any other games?
Not at present

What do you blog about, and why?
Life, I suppose

What are your other interests?
Reading, writing, sundry TV shows

What advice do you have for EVE players who are struggling to stay motivated?
Have goals, short, medium and long term, and be flexible with them

Anything else to offer?
Not really -- I haven't enough experience.

Essential skills for new characters

You can read my latest article over at, Essential skills for new characters.
If you’re a new pilot in the EVE Online galaxy and you want to know what skills you want to prioritise, the following should be a good guide for you. Please note it’s only a suggestion of what you should train, as there are many different combinations of skills you could train up, for whatever reason you want.
Visit to read the rest.

Contact Black Claw

You can contact me via email:

Or via MSN Messenger for out-of-game chat:

Look forward to chatting with you!

Eve Blogger posts and comments via Google Reader

There's over 100 blogs for Eve Online, and maybe you'd like to add some comments on a few of them, but you're unsure which ones to subscribe to. And then there's the hassle of reading a post in Google Reader, clicking on the title to go to the website, clicking on Post A Comment, and then adding a comment. It's all such a huge hassle!

Not any more.

First, you have to be using Google Reader. Second, you have to be using Firefox or Firefox-based browser. This won't work in any other browser.

Step 1: Visit the Wandering Druid's blog and download the OPML file for all the Eve Bloggers. He's done all the hard work on this, so you may as well thank him while downloading it.

Step 2: Import the OPML file into Google Reader. It's already been set up with a tag for easy administration called 'EVE: Player Blogs'.

Step 3: If you're using Firefox, then add the Greasemonkey add-on:

Restart Firefox.

Step 4: Go here to install the 'Google Reader Preview' script:

Restart Firefox again.

Summary: What this will do is add a small PREVIEW button at the bottom right of each of the blog posts that show up in your Google Reader.

When you click on this Preview button, the script loads the actual web page inside Google Reader - including the comments and the ability for you to post a comment of your own.

Clicking it again will close the Preview frame, returning you to the RSS feed.

This can allow you to keep up to date with any interesting conversations that might be occurring in any comments section, without having to open a new browser window or tab to go to the web page.


See me on

I'm writing articles for now, and am very happy and excited to be involved with them. I decided to start off my involvement with doing a series for them that complements my own series on the Art of War. You can read it here:

A guide to the Art of War (Part 1)

23 tips for surviving lowsec

I know there's a few non-combat oriented pilots that read this blog. They've never flown a ship in combat against another pilot, or if they have, they've lost because they didn't know what they're doing. Well, for those that are curious about combat in lowsec (low security space, between 0.1 and 0.4), here's a few tips (ok, a whole bunch of tips!) on how to survive out there.

If they save just one life, my job here is done. :)
  1. Dont play the game while away from the keyboard (AFK). You should never consider yourself safe while being away from your computer. If you have to quickly do something else, then dock at a station.

  2. Enter space with security status 0.4 and below at your own risk. You can never expect to be safe in unsecure space, regardless of how safe you think you might be.

  3. Insure all ships you are using, especially the expensive ones. Make sure you buy the most expensive "platinum" type of insurance.

  4. Don't rely on sentry guns to keep you safe. Especially not when travelling in lowsec space. There are several ways to avoid sentry gun fire that are not considered to be an exploit, like sniping outside of sentry gun range. There are a lot of ships that can also 'tank' the incoming fire from sentry guns.

  5. Use map filters such as "ships destroyed in the last hour" to spot possible player pirate camps and other dangerous areas. Also check 'pilots in space in last 30 minutes' to give you an idea of how many people are flying around in the system you want to go to. If there's 10 in space in the last half hour and 4 ships destroyed, you can be guaranteed it's not safe.

  6. Use the local chat channel to see what's happening within the system when you have just jumped in. Checking 'show info' on each of the pilots in the local chat channel (if there aren't too many people in local) can show you if there's any 'nasties' in the system. They're the ones with negative security status.

  7. If you're intent on avoiding combat, use Warp Core Stabilizers (WCS or 'stabs') to help avoid being warp jammed, allowing you to warp away if they try to scramble you.

  8. Different types of ammo have different ranges. Right-click your gun and check it's attributes to see the optimal range. Fit some ammo to it and re-check the range. By choosing long-range ammo, you can mostly stay clear of enemy fire (especially when up against rats). Try to stay at your optimal range.

  9. Make sure you always have a clone available for when you need it, and always buy a clone (from a station with a medical facility) that is going to handle your skill points. Upgrade when your skill points get close to the limit of the clone. You never want a clone that is less than your character's skill points, as that wastes all the time that you spent training.

    If you wake up in a new clone, buy a new one immediately! If you die again without upgrading, you will lose a percentage of skill points from your highest skill. Your screams will be heard even in space.

    More information on this and the percentages can be found here.

  10. If you're in an asteroid belt killing rats and someone jumps in, keep an eye on them. If they're a pirate (you can tell from their red colour in your overview settings) then disengage from the battle and immediately leave. You don't want to have rats hammering at you at the same time as the pirates are. In fact, it's always better to be safe than sorry - just leave as soon as another pilot enters your belt. Do it. Do it now!

    If they're not actually a pirate, they won't attack you or try to follow you. But never take that chance.

  11. When you're flying anywhere and someone target locks you, do not fire first. If they fire at you first, then they're the ones that take the security hit, and they're the ones that take the sentry gun fire if it's near a gate or station, and they're the ones that get attacked by CONCORD if it's in high security space. Never start combat if someone target locks you first.

    Ignore this rule if you don't care.

  12. If someone invites you to join their fleet and you don't know them, decline the invitation. It's likely that they're a pirate. As soon as you accept a fleet invite, they can warp straight to your location and attack you.

  13. If someone attacks you and you actually destroy their ship, podding them in 0.1 space or higher will give you a huge security hit, and make you a target for sentry guns. You can only pod kill in 0.0 space without any loss of security status.

  14. Don't buy that shiny new ship until you can afford the ship, the fittings, and the insurance without having to sell anything you currently own. That way, if you lose the ship, you've still got enough money or assets to afford a replacement (after the insurance payout, of course).

    Ideally, if you can afford to buy the ship and fittings and insurance 5 times over, then you can afford to buy one. Don't do it with less.

    This is because you WILL lose it if you take it into lowsec. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But you will lose it eventually. Don't fly what you can't afford to lose.

  15. If you're mining in lowsec space, stay as far as you can from the asteroids, in case you need to warp away quickly. If you're too close to an asteroid, you'll crawl away from it before you can warp away.

  16. If you're in 0.0 space, EVERYONE can be a pirate, even if they have positive security status. There are no security hits in 0.0 space. Do not trust anyone.

  17. Do not take stuff from someone else's cargo can, as you then become a 'can thief' and they can attack you without penalty, even in Empire space. If they're offering stuff from their can for free, they're probably setting you up. If they really want to give you something for free, then they can trade it with you while docked in a station.

    Never take from someone's can unless they're in your corp or fleet and you trust them.

  18. If you want to be attacked in Empire space then you can jettison something from your cargo hold that they can then take, which allows you to attack them without taking a security hit or being attacked by CONCORD. This is good if you know you have a good chance of defeating them in combat. Otherwise don't do it, as you're likely to be destroyed.

  19. When you jump into a low security system, DO NOT MOVE. Disengage the autopilot AS you jump, so that it's inactive when you get to the other side of the jump gate. This is so that you don't move when you get there.

    Why can't you move? Because when you come out of a jump, you are cloaked and no one can see you. You will remain cloaked for 30 seconds or until you move, or until someone comes within 2 km of you. Being cloaked is good for you, as it gives you a bit of time to see who's in local, and if there's any bad pirates, you can either jump back where you came from, or do something else.

  20. If you find you're in the middle of a gate camp, as soon as you move and decloak they're going to try and lock you and attack. Since they'll be using a warp scrambler, you won't be able to warp away. Your best chance is to try and crawl back to the gate to jump back out, and hope that any shield or armour tank you have holds them off long enough for you to jump.

    Of course, if you think your ship is fast enough to go to warp before they get a lock on you, then good luck to you. See tip #21.

  21. If you are leaving a station and you need to get away FAST, then look straight ahead of your ship. Select a destination (asteroid belt, planet or jump gate) that is right in front of you and warp to it. You will go into warp a lot faster than if you had to to realign for a different direction. This is because you're already moving at your maximum speed as you leave the station.

    If you're at a jump gate though, and at a dead stop, there's no difference between the time it takes to reach warp going straight ahead or turning to align.

  22. Make a safe spot. This is a bookmark that you drop in the middle of nowhere, while you're warping from one point to another. While warping, open People & Places and drop a bookmark. Click OK so that it has the default name, which you can change later so that you know it's a 'safe spot'. The advantage of this bookmark is that it's literally in the middle of nowhere, allowing you to warp to it from anywhere in the system, when you need to escape from pirates and you don't want them finding you.

    To make it harder for them to find you though, you need to warp from your safe spot to another location in the system, and drop another bookmark along the way. You need to try and drop this bookmark more than 5,000 km from any other object in the system, if you can, so studying your system map is essential.

    The first safe spot is along an established flight path and easy for probe scanners to find, but the second safe spot will be out of range of any scan probes that could find you.

    However, still do NOT think you're safe. If they drop a scan probe at their own safe spot that's within range of yours, they will find you. Try to bounce around between your safe spots if you can't leave the system or you can't dock, so that it's harder for them to actually detect you in one location.

    When you're at a safe spot, remember - you're still not safe.

  23. Whenever you're sitting somewhere (like at a safe spot) and not actually traveling anywhere or doing anything, always align yourself with a distant object, like a jump gate or station. Preferably an object you can select in your overview. The reason for this is that aligning yourself to something has you traveling at your maximum normal speed towards it.

    In order to go to warp, you have to be at 75% of this speed, so if you're already traveling at that speed, you'll go into warp much faster than if you were standing still.

    So with the object selected in your overview, and you're aligned to it, you can sit there with the knowledge that if someone turns up with your death on their mind, all you have to do is quickly press the 'warp to' button at the top of the overview and you will go to warp almost immediately, avoiding their attack.

    If you don't do this, you will die as you try to align for the destination and gather speed.
I hope these tips help you find safety within EVE. Please add your own tips if you think they will be of value to others.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oh my God, I won!

No, I didn't win the lottery, although that would certainly be nice... I won a fight.

I'll pause here for you to pick yourself up off the floor.




Ok, shall I continue? Thank you.

Birdog and me went on a small hunt before that accursed system downtime that affects everyone's ships at the same time. I really wish they would fix that... Anyway, at first we set up a trap in a belt, where I pretended to be mining in my Thorax with a can sitting nearby. I was bait. I was 50km from the warp in point, so that it was close enough to engage if 'safe', but far enough away to be able to run for it if something nasty came along. Birdog was cloaked and nearby, and together we waited for someone to 'take the bait'. I guess we were fishing, in a way...

We were watching the scanner, seeing various ships appear and disappear as they were warping within scan range and then on past it. Birdog said that if the Curse or Rattlesnake we spotted appeared in the belt, I should run for it. I didn't argue.

Suddenly, the Curse appeared in the belt, 43km from me.

"RUN!" yelled birdog, but I was already running! I slammed my finger down on that warp button so hard, I think I dented it. I was out of there before you knew it!

I had warped to a safe spot and birdog said the Curse pilot was following me. Impossible, I thought, so he must have been going on to the gate. I decided to go to the gate too, and see if he would attack me there. I arrived, but he wasn't there. I then spent ten minutes at the gate, waiting. No one came.

So we moved on to another system. The Curse pilot was still around, just not coming to the gate. He probably thought it was a trap.

When we got to our destination, birdog called out, "Warp to me." I did, checking the scanner as I approached him. A Prophecy was showing up. Hmm... A battlecruiser? I guessed maybe we could take it...

I arrived and found birdog already engaged with the Prophecy. The belt was lit up with the flashes of exploding missiles. I quickly moved in and locked the battlecruiser, webbed and scrambled him, and then set the guns and drones on him. He was at about 20% shields, when suddenly birdog warped out.

"I'll be back," he said. I didn't have time to think much about it, but he obviously needed to repair. It was up to me now...

If I'd had the time or the ability to bite my nails, I wouldn't have any left by now.

Here I was, alone in my cruiser against a battlecruiser, and he was pounding his way through my shields. I'd activated my Damage Control, adding a bit of shield boosting, but it certainly wasn't enough to slow him down. He hit the armour, and I activated the armour repairer.

I was very conscious of my cap; with everything on, it was draining fast. My armour tank was holding at 100% as I watched my weapons and drones chewing into his own armour. By the time he was down to about 10% armour, my cap was getting low. I switched off the guns, letting the T2 Hammerheads do the rest of the damage. The cap was down to about 15% now, and I switched off the armour repairer, leaving the web and scrambler on. My drones were chewing into his hull now, so I figured that I could afford to turn the armour repairer off.

When his hull was at about 10% and my armour was around 60%, my web and scrambler failed as my cap ran out. I could feel the sweat on my face, and a muscle in my back knotted from the tension. I ignored it all, just focusing on the battlecruiser in front of me. He was going to die!

A few seconds later was the beautiful fireball of a mighty battlecruiser exploding. Birdog hadn't come back, leaving it to me to destroy it.

I whooped! I laughed! I shook the pod around me as I cavorted in it!

I let the pod go and made my way to the wreck, realising I could actually loot a battlecruiser wreck. He had mostly T1 stuff, with some T2 fittings. I had won because he was a young pilot, only a couple months into his journey. But it was still a victory.

Birdog says the kill wouldn't have happened without me, but I know it wouldn't have happened without him either. Thanks birdog!

Blogger profiles #1 - Eve Chick

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm doing profiles of all the OTHER bloggers that aren't in CK's Blog Pack, so that we can get to know just about EVERYONE who blogs! Well, everyone that honours us with their profile, of course.

If you're a blogger, please contact me so that we can organise your profile too!

The very first to honour us is the Eve Chick! What a great person she is for starting the ball rolling, and she seems like a great person just in general! Here's her profile...
What is your character's name or handle?

Anyka Celeste is my play-nice alt and Gankis Khan is my yarring main!

What is your blog's URL?

How long have you been blogging?

I've had several false starts (unrelated to EVE), and I don't think they count, so about *gasp* three weeks.

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

We (Ken, my husband, and our RL cronies) hang out in the Citadel Strip. There are lots of pirates there who squish us and so show us how to better fit our ships.

When did you start playing EVE?

We started about a year ago.

What do you enjoy about EVE?

I love how everything is player-driven: the market, the politics, the whole shebang!

What is your playstyle?

Well, according to the EVE Personality Test, I am an "industrialist with teeth." However, I am currently trying on the pirate shoes to see how they fit.

Do you play any other games?

I play Warhammer Online (come to Wolfenburg and be Order with me!) and console games with my kids. They love the PS2, GameCube, etc. but aren't allowed to play the new stuff unless a grown up is around, so I've been getting a lot of Rock Band and Fable 2 in. :)

What do you blog about, and why?

I blog about whatever comes to mind, though it's mostly been EVE. My husband ran into Mynxee one fateful EVE night and through her I found out about the world of EVEblogs. I wasn't sure anyone I didn't know would read it but I thought it would be fun for our friends.

What are your other interests?

I love to read. Lots of people say they love to read but I read all the time. I read the backs of cereal boxes and milk cartons at breakfast and I take books in the bathtub and read for hours. Reading's such a habit that I read things even before I mean to, and end up spoiling a movie or something for myself. :P I also hang out with my kids a bunch (Kenny, 7 and Robert, 11). They're totally fun and we have a blast! I also am hooked on lots of the realityish shows. Not really the Survivor kinds but totally the highbrow ones like "A Baby Story," "What Not To Wear," and "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant."

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

It DOES get better. At first, the learning curve is pretty steep and it seems like you'll never be able to beat those missions or fit your ship right or catch up to those people who've been training for years before you. But if you can hold out, you'll find your place and EVE will make your heart race and your palms sweat and you'll forget about any other games while you're playing it. Unless you're all about the PvE... I don't know how that turns out. ;)

Welcome to the corp

As I mentioned in my last post, I was jumping back into the Thorax cruisere to go out hunting. I did that, fitting it for tanking, and went cruising around lowsec looking for a fight. As you do...

Well, it was reasonably busy, which was surprising, and there were so many 'younglings' out and about. I was trying to scan them down, but they were all hiding in their stations. Smart.

I quickly realised I was being followed by a pirate, birdog, when he kept on appearing in every system I jumped into. He never appeared on any scans, however, so he was obviously flying a cloaked ship. I knew I would have to be careful.

Eventually I found a Vexor pilot ratting in a belt, and I warped in at 100km to study him. As I watched him finish off some rats with his drones, I brought up a display of his history. He was only a few months old. A worthy challenge for someone with my luck!

I activated my MWD and started moving towards him. I know I could have warped out and back in again at a closer distance, but I went with the slowboat. I wanted to see if he would warp out or engage, to determine whether or not he had some courage.

It seemed that courage was something he didn't have, and he warped off to another belt. I followed him, just in time to see him disappear from the overview, and I didn't catch which direction he was going. So I scanned a nearby gate, and saw him arrive at it and then leave the system. The game was on!

I followed him into the next system, and it looked like birdog did the same with me. I quickly scanned the Vexor at a nearby belt, and warped in at 0km, arriving only 9km away from the Vexor. Again he had his drones out, picking off the rats.

I didn't waste any time, knowing that birdog was around somewhere, and immediately engaged the Vexor - I wanted a kill before the pirate arrived! I suspect the poor Vexor pilot didn't know what was happening, as he didn't start to fire back at me until he was at about 50% armour.

Unfortunately, birdog arrived before I could finish off the hapless Vexor. Seeing the flashy red Arazu appear 43km away made me realise I needed to get out, and I needed to get out now!

"All hands, get us the frak out of here!" I yelled at the crew. With the Vexor at about 20% hull, I skedaddled, making my way to a gate and then to a safe spot! I left the drones behind, as there just wasn't any time to wait for them.

I guess birdog was surprised I got away from him, because he asked me in local comms if had stabs on. I told him I didn't, that I was just prepared for any surprises and managed to get away quickly enough.

I also congratulated the Vexor pilot on his survival, which he seemed thankful for.

And then it got interesting.

Birdog asked me if he could have a conversation with me, which I agreed to, so we had a bit of a private chat. Turns out he was interested in joining my corp!

Why would anyone want to join my corp? I'm not actively recruiting, as I'm just enjoying having me, myself, and I - and a couple of real friends - to hang out with. But he was looking for a small, casual corp, and was impressed to see that I was solo hunting, just like him. A kindred spirit. There's so few solo hunters these days, so he wanted to join up with me.

He flew an Arazu. He'd been a capsuleer for about 4 years. He had a lot of experience, and he seemed like a genuinely nice guy.

So after answering a bunch of my questions, and passing the 'gut feeling' tests, I let him in. Welcome to Scorpion's Sting, birdog!

I can already tell it's going to be good having him around. He's a capable hunter that I can group up with, and whom I can learn a lot from. He's also introducing me to 'plex's, where there's a lot of money to be made... I'm going to give it a go, and have fitted an Incursus frigate for it.

I have to go now, there's a 'plex to raid!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The gate campers get camped

I had a feeling I shouldn't do it. But I did it anyway. I need to learn to trust my feelings.

I was invited to a gate camp, that was 7 jumps through lowsec to reach a gate camp on the edge of 0.0 space. I knew I shouldn't, but off I went. I traveled only 2 jumps into Bosena, only just beginning the journey to the gate camp, when what should happen?

That's right, I hit a gate camp.

I was traveling with Pabu when we jumped into Bosena. He and I were on the way to the same camp. There was a Rapier sitting off the gate. I started to warp off to the next gate, when Pebu said in fleet comms he was engaged. Damn!

It took only a second to make the decision. You don't leave your buddies behind. So I canceled the warp and locked the Rapier, moving in close and adding my fruity Myrmidon goodness to Pebu's Broadsword. That's when the shit hit the proverbial fan.

My target lock disengaged. What the...? I glanced at the overview and saw two flashy reds appearing. One of them obviously jammed me. Awesome, I thought. Just awesome. I couldn't re-engage the lock, so I advised in comms I was being jammed.

Pabu didn't answer, busy fighting for his own life!

I realised the gate was only 2.5km away, so I tried to jump out of there, and was politely advised by gate control that because I attacked the Rapier pilot, they weren't letting me through.

"Screw you buddy!" I yelled at him.

"And that's another reason I'm not letting you through," he said, with a smug smile on his face, and then he activated the gate guns.

The extent of my swearing cannot be repeated here, but after the swearing finished I closed the comm with gate control. My armour tank was holding up ok, but I knew it was only a matter of time before it failed. And by ok, I mean it was decreasing at a rate that was certainly visible, but not faster than light.

I couldn't get a lock on anyone, and I couldn't jump anywhere. I went limp, sighing to myself. The fight was over, and I was finished. So I selected a distant gate in the overview, and when my armour disintegrated and the hull began peeling off from the onslaught, I started pressing that warp button.

As my ship disintegrated around me, I gave our attackers the finger as my pod warped away. I doubt they saw me, but at least I had the satisfaction of avoiding their attempt to podkill me.

Pabu was not so lucky, poor fellow. He woke up in a new clone, while I ping-ponged between safe spots until my criminal countdown disappeared.

Needless to say, I didn't make it to the gate camp...

The insurance from the destroyed Myrmidon is not going to fund another one. It's too expensive to lose like this, so instead, I'm getting back into the Thorax cruiser. For the price of a Myrmidon, I can fit two cruisers with T2 fittings... I'm going to be a Thorax pilot from now on.

In the next exciting post, I'll talk about the adventures I got up to in the nice new Thorax.

I'm mentioned on Massively!

One of my favourite websites has just posted about my article on the Art of War. I'm very excited! And honoured. Very honoured. And humble. I don't deserve this.

Oh, what the heck, of course I do!

You can read it here: EVE and Sun Tzu's "The Art of War"

Thanks Massively, you guys are awesome. :)

Blogger profiles

Good ol' Crazy Kinux has started doing profiles on all those members of the Eve Blog Pack. I decided that while he's doing that for the top 30 bloggers, the rest of us might want to know about the other bloggers too.

So this post is for all those bloggers who aren't part of the Eve Blog Pack. We'd still like to know about you!

There's well over 100 blogs for Eve Online out there at the moment, with 30 of them being in CK's Blog Pack. I don't know if all of them will get around to reading my blog or this post, but for those that do, please fill out the questions below and send them to me by email ( I will post each blogger's submission every few days. Hopefully I'll have a few to post!

Please share this around, so that we can get as many bloggers involved as possible, and get them to answer the questions and send them to me.

So please, tell us about yourselves and help us become a solid community.
What is your character's name or handle?

What is your blog's URL?

How long have you been blogging?

What region of EVE do you mostly operate in?

When did you start playing EVE?

What do you enjoy about EVE?

What is your playstyle?

Do you play any other games?

What do you blog about, and why?

What are your other interests?

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

Anything else to offer?

Feeling guilty?

There's a problem that 'carebears' have when they venture into piracy - they feel guilty when they kill other pilots who aren't experienced at combat.

These poor, innocent souls aren't combat veterans, and they often know nothing about how to properly fit their ship. They're the wrong people in the wrong ship in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And it feels wrong to kill them.

When we DO kill them, these innocents without a clue, we feel guilty. We feel sorry for them, for all the work they've put into whatever it is they've been doing. Their emotional attachments, their naivety, their pure innocence. They lose so much when we take it from them.

How can we NOT feel guilty?

We used to be them, and we know how it feels to have someone attack us because we were weak, because we were new, because we didn't know how to defend ourselves. We used to be them, and now we're doing to them what was done to us.

The cycle continues, and it shall always be this way.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I have no issues engaging in combat with someone who is looking for a fight, who has fit their ship for war, and who is a veteran of many battles. In this case it's a dance of skill and wits. May the better pilot win!

No, my issue - and the issue of so many other 'carebears' - is the blatant destruction of the young pilot in their first battlecuiser, who has been flying only missions. Or the young trader or hauler who has never even fought an asteroid battle in his life.

When these naive fools venture into lowsec because they don't know how harsh it is, they can lose so much, and we feel so guilty.

I've gone through a few stages of 'growth', I guess you could call it. I know I'm not a bad person, I'm not evil. And so I've been trying to come to terms with this blatant killing of innocents. How do I console myself over what I'm doing?

Of course, I could stop doing it, but then I remain the same naive fool that I've always been. That's not an option. So there has to be another way.

I realised it only recently, when I was writing a previous post. I'm helping these young pilots grow.

These pilots are fresh out of flight school, or trader's academy, or miner's classes, or whatever it is they've been doing. CONCORD has been protecting them from the harsh realities of life outside of Empire space, and this protection has made them weak.

In order to grow, they need to learn how to protect themselves, how to find strength in their souls - and in their ships. They need to learn tactics, strategies, and the best way to achieve success in their lives.

Without hardship, there is no growth. We provide them with the hardship that they need to grow.

And if they can't find it in themselves to grow from their experiences, then we have helped them learn their limits. They will either return to the safety of CONCORD, living fearful lives, or they will find their strength and carve out their place in this harsh galaxy.

Or they'll quit and retire from piloting, returning to their life before they jumped in a ship.

Either way, we have helped them.

Immortality is there for all capsuleers. Dying in space is not permanent, it's just part of the ongoing cycle of life and death for those of us who are privileged. It's only through repeated death that they learn it has no significance. It's only through repeated financial loss that they learn to adapt their money and asset management.

We help them more than they will ever realise.

We help them become us. We shape them to be the best they can be. We become the best WE can be in the same process.

Everyone wins!

Kill someone today, and tell them "You're welcome."

I'm an Industrialist With Teeth!

I met the Super Gamer Housewife in EVE-BLOGGERS today (hi!) and was inspired by her most recent post to take an Eve Personality Test. The results were... interesting.

You enjoy Eve's economic model and you find that the greatest challenge of the game lies in mastering the market. System security status is a matter of profit/no profit for you, and you always factor in the possibility/probability of PvP in your estimates. To you, Eve isn't a PvP or a PvE game. It's a simulation of capitalizm in its purest form, and a place where the savvy wins the day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Profile of Colonel Roc Wieler

I have a goal - to get into the Eve Blog Pack of 'elite bloggers'. It'll happen, it's just a matter of time. In the meantime, I will be linking to the profiles of the current Blog Pack bloggers as they're published, thanks to Crazy Kinux.

The first in the series is Colonel Roc Wieler. He's an interesting fella. I really enjoy his style of leadership, and his writing. You can read more about him here.
Name/Handle: Colonel Roc Wieler

Blog URL: Roc's Ramblings at

The Art of War - Laying Plans

Some time ago, I created a 'handbook of war' for my corporation, which guided them and advised them on how to operate in times of war. It was called The Art of War (with thanks to Sun Tsu). I have decided to add this handbook to my blog, to share with everyone how to engage in war in the Eve galaxy. Follow these guidelines, and you can only succeed in your endeavours.

Chapter 1: Laying Plans

The art of war is governed by five constant factors: 1) moral law, 2) heaven, 3) earth, 4) the Commander, and 5) method and discipline.
  1. The moral law causes people to be in complete accord with their CEO, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.
  2. Heaven signifies being available at any time of the day, any season, and any time zone.
  3. Earth comprises distances, near and far; danger and security; open space and asteroid belts; the chances of life and death.
  4. The Commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, benevolence, courage and strictness.
  5. Method and discipline is the marshalling of the fleet in its proper subdivisions, the graduation of rank among the officers, the maintenance of resources, and the control of the finances.
These five factors should be familiar to every leader; he who knows them will be victorious. He who doesn’t will fail.

Therefore, in your planning of the military conditions, let the following comparisons be made:
  1. Which of the two corporations (or alliances) follows the moral law?
  2. Which of the two leaders has the most ability?
  3. With whom lie the advantages derived from heaven and earth?
  4. On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
  5. Which fleet is stronger?
  6. On which side are officers and pilots more highly trained?
  7. In which fleet is there the greater constancy of reward and punishment?
By going through these considerations, you can forecast victory or defeat.

The leader who understands this and acts upon it will win. The leader who doesn’t understand
it, and doesn’t act upon it, will lose.

The 5th factor of ‘method and discipline’ will ensure that lack of understanding and success will
be met with appropriate disciplining, usually removal from positions of leadership.

Bonus Tips on planning
  1. Modify plans according to circumstances.
  2. All warfare is based on deception.
    a) Therefore, when you can attack, it must seem as if you can’t.
    b) When moving your fleet, you must seem idle.
    c) When you are near the enemy, you must make them believe you are far away.
    d) When you are far away, you must make them believe you are near.
  3. Hold out bait to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and destroy him.
  4. If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is superior in strength, evade him.
  5. If your opponent angers easily, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, so that he may become arrogant and overconfident.
  6. If he is resting, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them.
  7. Attack him where he is unprepared, and appear where you are not expected.
  8. Planning strategies must not be divulged to anyone outside of the leadership structure.
  9. The leader who wins a battle makes many calculations before the battle is fought. The leader who loses makes few calculations. The leader who makes no calculations will face annihilation! Victory or defeat is in the planning.
Next chapter coming soon: Waging War

Another kill!

In my desire to avoid my own death but to engage in the deaths of others, I'm doing my best to only fight in those battles where I am more likely to win. It's this reason that is encouraging me to join up with those other pilots who, in their nefarious ways, are going to help me find victory.

This is why I came back to Molden Heath! The violence, the adrenaline, the excitement of laying in wait for prey, and then striking hard, and winning! The few victories I've had in my short career only make me crave more of them.

Today, I joined with Temar, Jardin and Rebnok, skilled pilots who have been quite happy to help me learn their ways. I joined them in Atlar, and in our short time flying together we managed to kill ourselves a Drake. Among other kills as well, but I was unfortunate in that I had no sensor booster, and therefore by the time my target lock engaged, they were already dead.

I'm feeling less and less sorry for these people who I end up destroying... Instead of feeling sad for their losses, I'm starting to understand I'm here to help them grow as pilots. They will either find courage as they become warriors, or they will find wisdom and stay out of lowsec space. Or they will realise they're actually little girls and retire from being a pilot altogether.

Either way, it's my duty to help them realise their true calling, whatever it might be.

My short term goal is to match my losses with victories, and then to double the number of victories over losses. When I reach my goal I will have a party! Everyone will be invited - even those I have slain in battle. There is no shame in defeat, and those who join with me in battle, whether as friend or foe, are all brothers in arms. They will be welcome at my party.

Exciting times lie ahead, my friends. Exciting times.

The bloggers channel is becoming popular

A big thanks to Crazy Kinux and YoMma for them mentioning me and the EVE-BLOGGERS channel in their recent Micro Warp Cast #2. Very cool!

Since I created it a few days ago, it's been relatively quiet, with only a few other bloggers popping in now and again. As of today, however, that changed when it EXPLODED with guests! There were about 15 bloggers and other interested pilots sitting in the channel chatting about their adventures and misadventures.

It was awesome, and I really look forward to seeing this channel being a meeting place for all the Eve Bloggers in the Eve community.

If you're a blogger and you'd like to help promote it, please 'advertise' it on your blog or website, to spread the word. The more the merrier!

Ok, ok, I'm not very smart

I didn't think things through enough when I decided to fly on over to Gallente space. After being there a couple of days, doing L2 missions for the Federation Navy, I realised something.

I missed lowsec.

The nearest 0.4 system to where I was doing missions was 6 jumps away. It was too far! I couldn't just do a quick roam around some lowsec systems to see what I could see.

And they didn't even have any intel channels for me to sit in, mainly 'cause they weren't near any systems they needed intel on!

It made me homesick for where I'd come from, and I realised - I'm not home. Home was back where I came from!

The main reason I went to Gallente space was to do missions and earn loyalty points that could be spent on Gallente fleet battleships which, unlike the Minmatar ships, I could actually fly. As I was thinking of how much I missed Molden Heath and the border worlds of lowsec, I realised something else...

I could spend loyalty points on Minmatar fleet ships and sell them, and then use the money to buy Gallente fleet ships on contract!

So yeh, I'm not very smart. I'm impulsive, and just don't think things through.

So I'm back in Molden Heath now... And I really feel like I'm home.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Eve Bloggers

There's a movement of Eve Bloggers that's arisen, of people writing about their adventures in the Eve galaxy. If you're one of them, then join the in-game channel for all the Eve bloggers. It's called EVE-BLOGGERS.

I hope to see you in there.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Returning home

My roots are in Gallente space, and today I realised I need to return there. Not because of any soppy, heartfelt emotions drawing me back... No. For me, it's because I realised I'm working for the wrong people.

I'm Gallente, and here I was, working for the Minmatar. And their worthwhile rewards for my service were blueprints for Minmatar ships. I realised I was wasting my time.

I'm specialised in Gallente ships and their tactics. Minmatar ships are unknown to me... and here I was, working hard for Minmatar rewards that I can't use...

Stupid, stupid Black Claw!

So I've packed my few important belongings into my nice new battleship, which I only got yesterday (that was an exciting day!), and I'm heading off for Gallente space, where my rewards will be in accordance with my abilities to use them!

I found an agent and a system that's only 14 jumps away from where I was based, and I'm en route as I type this. Autopilot through highsec space is a wonderful thing.

Unfortunately, it's only a high-quality level 2 agent, but considering I was only doing level 3 missions at the moment, I don't mind working my way up again.

The only other issue I'll have is that I'll have to re-establish my mission setups in my new territory. My agent used to send me missions into any of 4 regular systems (Gulfonodi, Aeddin, Teonosude and Gelfiven), and so instead of having a single salvaging ship that I'd have to go and get and bring back, I set up a salvager in each system. This reduced travel time, which increased the available time for actually doing missions, thus maximising potential income. I wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone who runs missions and salvages.

Anyway, setting myself up again in the new systems will involve more salvaging ships needing to be set up. I think that until I can afford to do this properly in each system, I'll be fitting salvagers and tractor beams to the battleship (a Dominix). I won't need the same firepower on the ship as I did with the level 3 missions, so my drones can do all the work while I salvage the remains.

It's going to be fun! I'm looking forward to returning home, finding new adventures, and meeting new pilots. If you're Gallente, and you're flying around Oursulaert systems, look me up and say hello. It'll be great to meet you!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Missions, tanks and battleships

As I venture through the various missions, talking to other pilots here and there, I've been taking on board a lot of their advice and building up a nice tank for my Myrmidon battlecruiser. I've trained up the Hull Upgrades skill to level 5, and I've installed T2 armour hardeners. It really makes a difference...

I did a mission that saw me warp in on a bunch of rat pirates, and there was about a dozen ships that immediately started to attack me. I activated the modules and started picking the ships off one at a time. I quickly discovered that there were 4 battlecruisers throwing their combined firepower at me, assisting their brothers in cruisers and frigates.

It was quite a battle, and I was excited to see that my own battlecruiser easily tanked everything they could throw at me. They all died to my railguns and drones, and victory was sweet.

I also tested how long I could maintain my cap while maintaining my armour tank. With 4 Cap Recharger II's sitting next to my afterburner, I could maintain the dual Medium Armour Repairer II's and the rat specific hardeners and Damage Control Unit II for about 7 minutes before the cap ran out. But if I threw on an extra cap recharger, I was able to hold the cap indefinitely at about 50%. After 12 minutes with it sitting at 50%, I gave up.

Unfortunatelly, my systems use the Apple OS, which means that both the skill training and ship fitting simulation programs that many other pilots use is unavailable for me. I have to make do with advice and personal experience. It's ok... I don't mind. Just means that I get to see how things really work, instead of in the simulations.

I'm using my missions to save up for a Dominix battleship. I'm not too far away now. I got excited last night when I realised that most of the modules I have in the battlecruiser can simply be transferred over to the battleship, saving me a lot of money. I'll have to upgrade the armour repairers, the guns and the afterburner. But that's a small cost to having a much larger tank.

I've been able to up the missions to level 3, and earning a bit more money than before... I'll have that Dominix faster than you can say OMGITSAGATECAMP!