Monday, January 26, 2009

Ready... FIGHT !!!

It's that time of the year, the sixth EVE-Online Alliance Tournament is now under way, and the matches from days One and Two are now posted up on the EVE-O forums. At the same time last year I was a complete and utter n00b and didn't know a tenth of the ships being used, let alone the modules and drones. All I could do was watch the slugfests happen and once in a while ask Letrange a question or three about the things I had no clue on. But this year , after almost a full year of PvP action under my belt I have a new appreciation of what EVE combat can offer, and the only things I'm still not fully up on are the logistics and ECM drones, as I very rarely see those in action. The major change since last year is the disappearance of the spider-tanking fits that made a few of last year's matches somewhat boring as two teams would just slam into each other and it would take until one of the primary target's tank would break to make something happen. It's still not a true picture of what EVE PvP is like, but having 2 fleets going around a constellation looking for each other and taking forever at it would be very bad and boring on the spectator side, so slugfest it is.

This year's different rules (which I will not go into because redundancy is bad; see EVE's main site for details) not only make the matches a lot more exciting, but also very unforgiving in the case of mis-fit, pilot error, or bad FC calls. Look up any of the matches that last under 5 minutes and you'll know what I mean. One thing I did not expect though is the importance of movement, and a good example was AAA's fielding of 9 Republic Fleet Stabbers and 1 Claymore fitted with speed and tracking links. Despite of what we call the "speed nerf" that happened with the arrival of the Quantum Rise expansion, speed can still be used as a combat tool in this game. I'm not quite ready to go back to training HACs to get into Vagabonds, mostly because of the cost of the skillbooks, ships, rigs and mods to make it viable in combat, but my recent successes flying interceptors or fast frigates is making me want to erase the "nerf" term and call it a rebalance.

Back to the recent matches, it was also interesting to see our usual 0.0 enemies fighting in the tourney (if a bit infuriating that Bozo is not >_<), namely Atlas Alliance, Agony Empire, White Core Alliance and B.L.A.C.K. Alliance. There are a few more that we come across in Curse but these four are the main ones. And of all four, only Agony has won its initial match fielding Vagabonds and a couple of Griffins, which died rather quickly. GF Agony, now please do the same in Curse and stop hugging stations FFS! Atlas's Ishtar+support gang didn't seem to work for too long against heavy volleys of missiles, and I have no clue what B.L.A.C.K.'s strategy was but one thing was sure: they were not concentrating fire power AT ALL! I wasn't on the field but from what I've seen I'm sure they should've done better with the fleet they had. I'm thinking that whoever was FCing did not have the other side targetted but who knows. And then there was White Core. To be honest, I've never been impressed by this alliance through my own experience dealing with them and against them. In the early summer when we were working with them and Goodfellas against TCF I remember a Bozo pilot losing a Thanatos carrier in a "rescue mission" blunder to an obscene number of dreadnoughts, carriers and battleships. Well the next day, I came home from work and logged in to a TCF station camp with about 30 of them in Local, and even knowing what had happened to the Thanatos, this White Core pilot (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) was asking someone to undock a cyno ship so he could jump in his Archon. Nice. Well, White Core's tourney match was, to remain polite, very short. a Trophy of Absolute Fail must be given to the Paladin pilot who fired 5 minutes before the match was to start. Neat. And though there was plenty of energy transfer going, the Dominixes crumpled like newspaper going into a fireplace. Again, I wasn't there but I'm sure the WC guys would love to have a rematch; well, tough noogies!

On my own little personnal side, Cozmik is now able to fly around all cloaked up and stuff as he now has the capability of Covert Ops ships. It will take a bit of tweaking to make me fly it right, and also some Cruise missile training to field my brand-spankin' new Hound stealth bomber. I've always said I wasn't exactly a fan of all things cloaky (and I'm being VERY polite...) but being a scout made the training of these a semi-important thing, and it will bring me this much closer to Recon ships. I will be bumping the Cov Ops skill to IV when I get back in game but my current long skill is finally Gallente Frigate V, so I'm getting closer and closer to that Taranis I seem to be obsessed with. The missile training I need for the bomber will also be useful for my Bozo-fit Drakes as well; I've already tried one out on belt rats, and where I may lack in firepower I make up in tank because I can literally laugh at 3 belt battleships and 3 cruisers! And once the shield support skills get better it should be even funnier against rats, but I will need a lot of practice flying that slow a ship in fleet combat.

And that's it for my update. I will be watching the tourney matches closely and post My Little Two Cents on them in the near future.

Until next time, fly hard and fast...


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A well-celebrated birthday

So it is now official, Cozmik R5 passed (survived?) his first year in EVE! I didn't get to play as much as I really wanted but I was still able to get on a small, fast-moving Frigate-AF-Interceptor gang and we went on a roam through Catch in search of action. I first thought we would have gotten some action as soon as I logged in because the Bozos were waiting for a recently ex-Goon to undock his Abaddon so in 2 minutes I had refit my high-damage ratting Hurricane with a scrambler (a few other Bozos also had gank ships ready) but this kill never happened because at some point Mr Ex-Goon simply logged off.

For a short time I ratted a few belts as scouts were going to the neighboring systems in search of stuff to blow up, but slowly Curse was getting into quiet mode and I was wondering if I was going to have to spend Cozmik's birthday doing Carebear activities. Thankfully one of our guys had other plans and we started putting together our fast-moving Bug Swarm of Annoyance. Knowing that between all the ships we had we would have no shortage of warp scramblers and webs, I decided to give the maiden cruise of a Claw setup that was totally experimental, if a tad expensive:

[Claw, GankClaw]
Overdrive Injector System II
Overdrive Injector System II
Damage Control II
Co-Processor I

1MN MicroWarpdrive II
Warp Disruptor II

200mm AutoCannon II, Barrage S (switch to Hail S for close-range pain, or Rep. Fleet EMP)
200mm AutoCannon II, Barrage S
200mm AutoCannon II, Barrage S
'Arbalest' Rocket Launcher I, Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket

Projectile Collision Accelerator I
Projectile Collision Accelerator I

Yes, this baby is rigged, which is always risky in a ship which "will get popped with a neut and a stern look (copyright, Quebnaric Deile)", but at least these rigs aren't too hard on the wallet. I came up with the setup while playing around in EFT and the amount of damage this little thing can put out while still keeping a very high speed made it too interesting to leave it untried so I went out and bought a few of those rigs and waited for the best opportunity to try it out in gang. And yesterday's was the perfect occasion. As it happens quite often, the big roam didn't give much more than an opportunity to smack reds in Local, and "the fight" happened when we where almost home. There was a mid-sized Agony Empire gang camping the RMOC gate in the Hemin system, but when we jumped in everybody warped off the gate except for a lone Caracal; take a wild guess as to what happened to it >:) It didn't take long for them to change their minds though, and soon an Armageddon, a Devoter, and various other nastiness arrived at the gate and started shooting. As the call was made to GTFout I finished off the Caracal pilot's pod, got clear of the bubble post-haste, and warped myself to freedom. We didn't lose a single frigate !!!

So this little ship gave me a lot of flexibility exactly when I needed it. As it's fit now on EFT with All Level V skills it barely perma-runs with a 36% cap stability, and with Coz that goes down to about 10 minutes, but engagements rarely last that long, and when they do you do not want to be in an interceptor because at some point you will get that stern look! I am anxious to try it again though, even if some of my corpmates disapproove of its price tag, but I took it out once and it was a blast! It does miss having a web though, but when I know I'm not alone as primary tackle I can live with that. I think it will be a great addition to my fleet, at least until I have a decent Taranis, but don't worry, I'll be telling about it if at some point it fails horribly :))

Until next time, fly dangerous but watch out for Bozos in Local !!!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Busy Saturday

Hi guys!

It's finally the weekend, and although I'll be doing all sorts of fun stuff like playing drums for the first time in a month (better than waiting 4 months!), getting together with buddies I don't see nearly enough, and of course the bi-weekly EVE Montreal Pilots Meet, which is now especially fun as one of the pilots is in-game member of one of Bozos deep-red neighbors as of late :) On the flip side, I intend to be spending Sunday doing nothing but playing EVE, hopefully popping more enemy ships than my own.

Speaking of ships, I'll be soon training a few more ships in between the current Covert Ops and the Drake. Not too long ago I lost my Sabre to comm snafu and when I had my hauler alt shop for a new one I noticed that Sabres are pretty much double, if not more, the price of the 3 other interdictors. WTF?! So in an effort to get some cross-training I'll be putting an extra level in Amarr Frigate because Heretics are barely more expensive than interceptors, and that's awesome, especially with the way I fly. This will take like a few hours, but the other ship I want to train for will need something like a little over a month. A few weeks after the Quantum Rise expansion was released, an already nasty ship became even more nasty, and being killed more than a few times by them is making me say the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" proverb: the Taranis. 31 days are separating me and and a decently T2 fit Blasteranis Of Rap4ge. Of course, not having much experience with blasters apart from my Jihad Thoraxes means it'll take some getting used to, and I have a feeling I'll be called Primary and be popped in milliseconds at some point, but this ship will be extremely more feared than the Minmatar inties I fly, which are fast but have the DPS of mosquitoes, and I'm not talking about the WWII planes which are Death Incarnate !!!

So if there are any Taranis flyers out there (Winterblink... HELP !!!), please feel free to give me your best advices in the comments. I know my alliance has a few very good 'Ranis pilots, and a pretty straight-forward fit, but i need advice on what to do in space to make sure I fly this thing to its fullest.

As a coda (musical term for The End), sorry for not being in-game more, but I swear I'll make up for it tomorrow.

Fly like I play drums... loud, fast and powerful !!!


Friday, January 16, 2009

A year already ?!?!

Well, I'm not quite there yet but on Tuesday, January 20th 2009, Cozmik R5 will have been 1 year out of Minmatar Republic Military School. And because of bloggers and corpmates Coz is able to celebrate his graduation anniversary without being deep-frozen in a cryosleep can, unlike his Gallente cousin Demonia, but hey what can you do, times are rough for r3dfiv3, the entity overseeing his toons lives and destinies, as well as cold. As most of you already know, I live in Montreal Qc and at this time of year the weather turns about as warm as deep space. To anyone who hasn't experienced -30C and below (at that point it's sort of the same thing for Farenheit btw), imagine sticking your head in your freezer, after setting it to max of course. Now stay there for a couple minutes, just enough so the cold seeps into your skin's pores. You think that's cold? Piffles! That's about HALF the temperature Montreal is dealing with these days, and I haven't said a word about windchill factor yet. Brutal is un understatement!

Anyways, back to the subject of Bday! I was mentioning to my buddy Letrange that last year, just like this year, all of New Eden was anxiously awaiting the Alliance Tournament, but a year ago I was day-glo green when the tourney started, I was still fighting this omfg-could-it-be-more-complicated-plz UI, and I didn't know a tenth of the ships, weapons, modules and drones being used. Back then I was probably one of the greenest pilots to ever enter a pure PvP alliance, but having no easy support like free ISK meant I went on 1 of every 5 ops and spent the rest of the time ratting away in Hi-Sec, looting and salvaging like mad to keep the ISK coming, and to make sure I could have at all times 3 fully-fit Rifters and my ratting Thrasher (which I lost on numerous occasions to noob error!). It was a few months before I discovered the joys of Trading, and also before Let gave me that most awesome present of enough BPCs to build a massive fleet of Rifters! I remember giving a shot at ratting the 0.0 Angels with a cruiser and having to bug out mere seconds after landing at the belt because these Commanders (!) would eat me alive. And when I was pointed to battlecruisers I nearly fainted when I saw the price tag. But even with good mods it still took me some months before I was actually able to solo-rat in 0.0 and even then it had to be done carefully; I learned the hard way how some rats warp-scramble you when I lost a Cyclone to a Crow in a belt. Looking in hindsight it was an easy kill for him, and I would now do the same but with the roles reversed.

The main turning points were when my skills would actually make a ship sing. The first time I fit a Rifter in all T2 mods I had become A Tackler, with caps please! Same with the Stabber, then un-nerfed and fast as hell. When I switched my 0.0 ratting ship from a T1 fit Cyclone to a T2 fit Hurricane, I started laughing at belt battleships because I could chew straight through them. And when I got into my first interceptor it was love at first sight. Being on a road towards the pre-nerf Vagabond I did get the Assault Frigate skill, but somehow I was never successful with them. I'll get a new Jaguar to give it a shot again, but as in any other game I know I'm always at my best at high speeds. When going slow I prefer being in a gank-fit Hurricane; gank fleets are great fun... ever seen a Drake insta-pop, or a Megathron go down in 3 seconds? I have :))

And now looking towards the future... I'm currently training Cloaking IV for that elusive Cheetah and Hound I've been avoiding for a long time, and after that it'll be the buffing up of all Gunnery, Missile and Drone skills to be able to fit my battlecruisers to their fullest, which isn't easy as I can fly Minmatar, Gallente, and now Caldari BCs. And then I'll have to choose weather to go towards Battleships (the skill is already in Coz's head, not trained up, plus I own all the large weapon skillbooks), HACs or Heavy 'Dictors, which are skills that are about as expensive as the ships themselves. It'll probably be a path towards a remote-repair Tempest as this will be easier on ISK. Another thing I can never forget though is that currently I'm playing EVE because I've been ALLOWED to continue playing by outside forces. This will hold until mid-April, but I have no clue if I'll be able to go longer. I cannot count on being kept in-game by outside help for the entirety of Cozmik's life. Oh well, I live for the present and right now the present is pretty good in EVE so I won't let that get me down.

So happy grad party Cozmik, you've earned it !!!


Friday, January 9, 2009

Sorry about that!

Yeah I know, I hit a slump and I didn't post any EVE-related stuff in a while. Well, like I told my buddy who's my drum kit babysitter when he asked me "where's my favorite drummer?", I got pwned by Santa and the New Year bunny :) And those times where I did have time to myself, well that's what I did... I used the time for myself, and damn did I need it! I do log on to make sure ISK is coming in and to switch skills and whatnot, and I've even been on a few ops. I even FCed one where I wanted to see the new residents of Wicked Creek; I had a fast-moving Frig gang and managed to dodge 100+ ship blobs while losing only a single Rifter. I was out to scout and again, thanks to Ombey and his maps for finding me the way to freedom and home !!! At one point my scout called 3-8-8 in Local at one of the outpost systems, just after we had past a 70 man gang that wasn't on the gates. It must've been a tough day for POSes that day :))

On the skill side, Cozmik is now trained up for Caldari ships up to Battlecruisers so after a bit of missile skill tweaking I'll be able to effectively fly a Drake in anger. As far as passive shield BCs go I could already fly a Myrmidon but my drone skills are nowhere near where they should be to use the Myrm to its fullest. Right now I'm just a few days from Cov Op ships, which I should get before February hits. I was never a big fan of cloakers but putsing around undetected should be fun. And after that I'll be buffing all the side skills as much as I can to prepare the road for the remote-repping Tempest, and maybe a Maelstrom to keep in Hi-sec if at some point I need a serious break from PvP. One ship I do have and that I really need some practice flying is my Sabre; with my skills slowly climbing I'm not too far from flying Broadswords, but it would be pointless to have one and not really know how to use it.

And on the not-EVE-related side of things, with my EVE buddy Carbon Freezer and my 10y-old niece Jade getting electric guitars, I'm feeling left out and I want one too! My problem is of course funds; It's a complete miracle I'm still playing EVE but I don't think anyone would be crazy enough to sponsor me for a 1000$ worth of ax equipment; well, I could go a bit lower but I'm musician enough that there are some standards that the equipment would need to meet, like a Floyd-Rose licensed tremolo, a decent and versatile amp, etc. Oh well, I'll get there, someday.

Anyways, back to the daily grind... fly hard !!!


Thursday, January 1, 2009


This has nothing to do with EVE and I don't care...

Steve Vai's "For The Love of God" with orchestra.


HAPPY 2009 !!!

First of the blog roll....I hope... !!! :)))

Fly with fire sticking out of your hair


P.S.: I'm playing multimedia DJ here and I can tell you....

WINDOWS VISTA FUCKIN' SUCKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1