Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My corp haz a what ?!?!

Hey there people of New Eden, bloggers, scoundrels and carebears! It's been a while since my last blog post, not because of burn out or some such reason, but more because frankly, nothing really special has been happening for me in EVE. I guess such things can happen when training for a long time for something big and expensive; just before spring hits I will be plying the space lanes in a brand spankin' new Sleipnir, and because it will become my pride and joy money-making boat I will fit it accordingly, which is, hrm, NOT CHEAP! So lately I've been doing the slightly boring... what am I saying, boring as fuck job of missioning for ISK. These days I'm using a Maelstrom that's basically a practice fit for the Sleipnir, and let's just say it is Tanky with a capital T. When I step into the command ship things will only get better because the tank will be a bit better due to bonuses and faction modules, but the resistances will be just awesome, the signature radius will be much smaller than a battleship, and the tracking and speed will be pretty much doubled, all while retaining the same DPS. Estimated expenditure: 500 million ISK. I know it's not much for some of you older players flying capitals and such, but for me, who before November had never really had a solid ISK income, it's a Big Fucking Deal. So far I'm just over 400 million ISK in my wallet; in normal times this would be more than enough to say "OK, enough of the carebear shit and start fraggin'" but I want the Slippy bad enough to rough it through the boredom. On the flip side, I'm feeling much more comfortable flying around in HACs, and I need to get a Rapier just after the Sleipnir. Yes, things are getting fun just before I hit 30 million skill points... only 2 million to go :)

But the main reason for the blog update happened yesterday night as my corpmate and I were casually carebearin' around and listening to Adragon Technochrist on EVE Radio. Adragon is one of the most colorful of the ER DJs and always has some contests or draws with nifty prizes in ISK, ships, faction stuff, etc. And I must say that before yesterday we already had a good average at-bat because a few weeks ago I won an Apocalypse battleship (promptly sold to fellow Montrealer Cartboard Box cuz I'm nowhere near Amarr BSes) and corpmate Si Gong won 150 million ISK. For a long time now Adragon had been playing his own version of "Deal or No Deal" for prizes ranging from packs of cigarettes all the way up to an Orca. Well yesterday as I logged in one of the first things I heard was that the Orca was going to be given away that night, and if donations were good he was also giving away a billion ISK in another prize. How much more win can you get! So of course I bought a bunch of tickets and so did Si Gong, who logged in about 15 minutes before the ticket booth closed. After that we had to wait until DJ Erkenfresh's show to find out who the winners were because Adragon ran out of time with his crazy/funny antics but the wait was more than worth it: some guy named Derdlim (sp?) won the billion ISK prize.... and God-Damned Lucky Mother-Fucker corpmate Si Gong won the fucking Orca !!!!

Now of course after the dust settled and Si came back down to Earth, I pop open EVEmon to see just how far I am from flying that baby: 38 days, 15 hours and change. Si Gong checks.... about the same. The ship's location... 26 jumps from Rens, in the middle of Amarr space. Over this weekend we'll think about what our options are. The easy way out would be for Si to put it on contracts, but as I told him an Orca is too good an asset even if you don't use it for mining ops. Option #2 would be to train for it, which would kill a month and a half of either us' training for more interesting stuff. Option #3 would be to get an industrial character, but neither of us has the ISK needed for a character transaction. And option #4 would be to have an Orca pilot (/me waves in the general direction of Letrange...) travel to the ship's location and fly it to D94's HQ. Anyway, we'll see what we'll do.

Quick news out of EVE now, last monday I had the privilege of attending the Eric Clapton / Jeff Beck concert at Montreal's Bell Centre... zomg the guitar awesomeness. I'm not Clapton's biggest fan but Jeff Beck... DAMN !!! Add to that the sound quality that was just amazing and the fact that I was on the floor's 20th row, front center, and what a show !!! Thanks to my buddy Andre for inviting me to such an event!

And back to EVE but still in the nightlife topic, this Saturday, the 27th of February, will not only be a Montreal EVE Pilots' Meet, but it will also be "La Nuit Blanche à Montréal", the Montreal all-nighter where various clubs, museums, restaurants, and public transit will be open all night long. Yes, all night long! I don't expect to go to bed before the sun rises :) If you're in or around the greater Montreal area, please come have a chat with us in the EVE MTL channel, and/or post on the EVE-O forums in the Events & Gatherings section, we have a stickied thread there. Meet time is 7PM EST at Brutopia, 1215 Crescent st., between Ste-Catherine and René-Lévesque. Look for us in the basement, paying no attention whatsoever to the Olympics :)

Until next time, fly like Willy the orca :))


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Salute to a speedster

Nodar Kumaritashvili

Here is a true pilot who dared to be bold. I salute you Nodar.


Monday, February 8, 2010

And more rust comes off!

As I wrote in my last post, I'm starting to get back to the habit of flying around in 0.0 space in a semi-safe sort of way. As I'm mostly flying solo for now I'm sticking to small/fast ships because while I'm not as poor as I used to be, a T2-fit battlecruiser is still a nice chunk of ISK, and I don't have any spare HACs to burn yet. So my ships of choice for this little scouting endeavour: Rifter (T2/named solo fit) and Taranis (forced oral sex fit). Now that I have the entrance constellation nicely bookmarked I'll probably use my special "Yay for small rigs" Jaguar a bit more, and to go deeper I'll use the speed-fit Claw and make bookmarks till my Great Wildlands folder bursts at the seams.

Unlike last weekend I didn't bother to bring some warp bubbles with me; I need time to practice anchoring them at the right spots, time that I didn't get anyway, and I'll do this on Sisi where I can spam 0.0 space with bubbles with little to no risk. This time I concentrated on making as many bookmarks as possible. The entire entrance constellation is now fully bookmarked with multiple safespots per system, and both on and off grid tacticals on each gate. The only thing missing is some deep safes, but for now I've got plenty of escape vectors and I can make more bookmarks on the fly easily.

Great Wildlands is special as far as 0.0 regions go. It's not heavily populated the way Curse or Syndicate are because there aren't tons of stations in every system. There's only three systems with stations and in the rest of the space sovereignty cannot be claimed. But it does a have a few things going for it: it's the springboard region towards sovereignty space and also has a connection to Curse, so there's always a bit of traffic, but at the same time there are a lot of dead-end constellations that see little traffic so it would be easy to feel safe there. Add to that the fact that the entrance is only 8 jumps away from one of EVE's major market systems, and you suddenly have some target-rich space. So of course after doing a whole bunch of bookmarks and seeing what kind of traffic was out and about, I decided to fly more aggressively and maybe get a kill or two... or four!

This happened in two acts: the afternoon roam with the Rifter and the evening roam with the 'Ranis. To start the first act, I parked my Rifter at a tactical on the EO2 gate in 8YC, and watched what traffic may come out of the station system going up towards Empire. When a lone Rifter jumped through I warped to the gate but the pilot was just fast enough to evade my attack. Of course I smacked in Local a bit in order to maybe get him to fight. I was surprised by his response though: "I have much respect for Clown Punchers, and I'm even thinking of applying"... Ohkay! I've been out of BOZO for a few months now but somehow I still have a red stain on my nose :) Sure, all he had to do was "show info" but I still found it funny to be told that as I'm smacking him! But as this is happening a second Rifter jumps through, and clearly seeing me at my on-grid tactical he just stood there. I waited a bit to see if he wasn't the lead for a bigger gang, but after about a minute I decided he wasn't so I warped to the gate and started dancing. Apparently my solo fit was better than his maneuvering fit because I tore him up despite having smaller guns. The pod warped out so we saluted each other and I went to the wreck to loot it. Funnily enough his stuff is still halfway towards my cargo hold when the gate flashes. I brace myself for what may uncloak but I'm relieved to see a Punisher exactly in scram range, and he goes down like a ton of bricks. W00T! Two kills under two minutes, a first in solo flight for me :))

Act Two got under way after I put my boys in bed; I still had 12 hours to go before the possibility to get back in my learning implants so might as well keep doing fun stuff! Wanting a bit more speed and more damage I undocked the Taranis and headed out. Being in something faster allowed me to complete my bookmarking much faster and better, And I even paid a visit to the station systems of EO2 and M-M. There was more traffic about than during the afternoon so I had to fly carefully if I didn't want to get blobbed, but after a while I discovered that I wasn't dealing with a 12-man fleet, but with 3 small gangs. But at some point Luck shined on me, when two unrelated T1 frigs got to the M-M gate in EO2 just as I finished getting my tactical bookmark. I warp in and jump through, and just as I get on gate ready to tackle the first frigate, another Rifter, the gate activates and the fun starts. I hurt him so bad that I don't even have to pull out my drones! And what followed is still striking me with disbelief. After the Rifter died I'm able to tackle and kill the pod in front of the Merlin who was a bit late in helping his buddy. I then tackle him, kill him even faster than the Rifter, and again I'm able to send him on a one-way trip to his home station! YAY! Two kills plus pods under 2 minutes, even better than in the afternoon! Tip for PvP beginners: a pod will warp off as soon as you click "warp". When you know you're about to get wtfpwnd all you have to do is select a celestial (avoid moons as they can have POSes) and spam the warp button. Theoretically I shouldn't have been able to pod these two guys but then again I think their experience in pod safety was a tad lacking.

After docking back in Dock 94 HQ I really felt like a big chunk of rust had come off. It was all the more satisfying as my play time in EVE had started painfully. In case you didn't know, the Epic mission arcs are epic. So epic in fact that I came really close to loosing my Maelstrom (9.6mil ISK repair bill) and lost a Jaguar when I tried the blitz approach. Do these guys have Sleeper AI? It sure seemed like it, and maybe worse. But even before I went out to Great Wildlands I did something that was extremely satisfying, and even made my young boys laugh: I suicide-ganked a scammer in Rens! My time in EVE started getting better all of a sudden :)))

Fly dangerous but plz warp your pod out


Monday, February 1, 2010

Shaking the rust off

Come to Brutopia !!!

Last Friday was kind of a special moment for me in EVE, even if it's very common nature to most players. It was the first time I left my fully-implanted clone behind to jump into an un-implanted one, as I was getting ready to fly dangerous/stupid as I usually do over weekends, and it didn't take long for me to do the "fly stupid" part. Feeling enbolded by my lack of semi-expensive implants and by a hangar full of PvP ships, I proceeded to fly around the Minmatar/Amarr border, looking for likely targets for my Taranis. I wasn't very lucky with easy targets though as the only ships I had on scan were pretty much all tied to a POS, and the only traffic I crossed seemed to be the faction militias; there were many open combat sites now visible on the overview but the ships on scan like Vagabonds, Hurricanes, some recons, and more than a few tacklers, would probably chew me up in no time. So I left the combat sites alone and kept looking for a softer target. I didn't find a single mining ship, and the only ratting ship I saw was a Drake, but I got cocky after seeing the pilot's age and went for it. Bad idea. The fight lasted longer than I expected but inevitably his more numerous Warrior I's overcame my puny hull tank. *Sigh*... kids, don't tackle a Drake in a 'Ranis, m'kay?

As I got my pod to head for Dock 94 HQ and a new ship I was trying to decide where to set sail. Should I go to low-sec Derelik and risk getting turned perma-red to CVA? Should I go to the Gallente low-sec? Should I go to Curse and see how T and Q would welcome my trespassing? But as I'm thinking about this I'm listening to EVE Radio (I think I'll start asking for ISK for the publicity...nah!) and it's right on the transition between DJ Blacklight (see previous post about the Goons) and DJ Amergin, who is announcing he's to take a fleet out to the EVE Gate to spam secure containers all over the New Eden system, in a 25-man publicity stunt. I got nothing much to do, I want to head to low-sec or lower anyway, there will be most probably a trap... wtf am I waiting for! I'm the first one to X up for fleet and get shoved into the Wing Commander slot. Well, at least he picked someone who's been in a few fleets before :) Instead of a Taranis, this time I intend to fly cheap, and I needed room for a couple small containers anyway so I hopped into one of my Jihad Thoraxes, and then proceed towards the fleet's rendez-vous point in the Genesis region, 24 jumps away. The fleet's composition is quite eclectic, being formed mostly of T1 frigates of all races, a few cruisers, some people being fleet op veterans, and some on their first fleet. Oh, and one Drake. As soon as I noticed the Drake in fleet I smelled something fishy. Things got even fisher when only a few minutes before departure the Drake pilot, Heiar Helmet, decided to switch to an Apocalypse... yes, some of you can see where this is going, right? Let me tell it for those that don't.

The fleet got underway towards Humanity's entry point into the cluster and about 3 jumps later our stealth-bomber scout calls a big BC/BS gang camping the way in. Heiar, who happens to live in the area, goes to one of his safespots and calls everyone to warp to him. And as I come out of warp, space turns into Studio 54 and I swear I can hear the Bee Gees in the background! His smartbombing antics are mostly a success, but a destroyer, 2 shuttles, the stealth-bomber and my Thorax all survive and are able to get through the camp, which either failed horribly at catching us or just disbanded after their buddy had blown his cover. And finally, a few jumps later, what is left of the EVE Radio fleet gets into the most popular dead-end system in the entire cluster, and we still have 4 containers to anchor. The stealth-bomber pilot, asdlkf, anchors both of his with the intended EVE Radio advertisement, while I decided to put a different spin on it. The first container is a monument to those who got their asses smartied, and the second is an advertisement... for the EVE Montreal Pilot Meets at Brutopia! The return trip was pretty much uneventful, except for a convo with Omgah of the Jerk Cartel, who told me the new BOZOKast was out :)

Saturday morning I was still in my PvP clone, as I'll call it now, and because there is rumour of a move to 0.0 in the semi-near future I decided to get a bit of my 0.0 rust off and head towards Great Wildlands, which is surprisingly close to Rens. Once again I take out Sheik Yerbouti into dangerous space, this time carrying a small T1 bubble; I knew the odds would be totally against me if more than 2 ships came across my "camp", but this little practice op was more about getting back to flying semi safely and making bookmarks, and of course anchoring the bubble so it catches something. Well, I think I need to hop on Sisi and practice a lot more because my bubble couldn't catch a cold in the dead of winter! Plus, the great demon Murphy was interested in me; as I was anchoring the fail-bubble a Probe warped to the gate on autopilot, alnding 15km from the gate but over 60km from me, and I'm in a slow ship. I was able to tackle it and give it exactly one round, but he was too close to the gate and jumped to safety, while I was stuck with gate aggro. By the time I jumped in he was long gone and I lost him. I come back to my bubble, which has now anchored so i can now give it a test, which fails completely by my landing on the gate at 0 meters. Great. As I start unanchoring the thing a Bellicose jumps in and heads to the only other gate. More fail on my part: I'm just on the edge of my own bubble when I try to follow, and I got a message in the middle of my screen that translates to "HAHA YOU SUCK!". The second try is successful and I get to the gate just has the Bellicose jumps. I jump after it and pursue it to the next gate and finally, fun starts. That bitch Murphy is still around tho, as my ECM drones don't get a jam in, and the Belli is T2 fit with tons of drones and a neut. *Moar sigh*. Well, at least I didn't get podded and I'm still very close to home!

So all in all, that was an interesting weekend, but yes, it appears I've gotten a bit soft around the edges. Time to harden the fuck up!

Fly dangerous and flip the bird to Murphy ,,i,,