Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sweet dreams BOZO

I never thought I would see the day come.

I was in the process of moving a battleship to CHAOT HQ and knowing that I was going the long way through Hi-sec (getting popped in Auga or Kourmonen would just suck) I set the auto-pilot and spent time chatting with alliance mates, Montreal mates, surfing them internets, anything to distract me during the long trip. I finally get to HQ, which is then assaulted by a 25-30 man Provi-Bloc gang who tried a funny but failed attempt at Local smack-talk, being opposed by a few experts at the art. But as I'm happily trading smack blows in Local, the EVE MTL channel starts blinking and a quick check tells me that not only is the message for me, but the news it carries is almost shocking:

"Yo Coz... no more BOZO... going to sleep"


The fat-cocked, face-raping monster of Curse running out of spunk? I could barely believe it. I then tried to reach Icelandic BOZO Cerui Tarshiel to get a bit more info on the subject, but our messages were a bit sporadic as night time was creeping up on Reykjavic, and Cerui was in his own words semi-afk. But the small bit of information was clear: Clown Punchers is Queb's and Teister's baby; it can survive one of them going on a sabbatical for a while, but not both at the same time. This is pretty much all I got from Cerui as I had to leave the house, but as shocking as it was to have the confirmation, I will admit that it's something I did see coming. A few weeks ago I had a short stay in Curse, and in the same constellation as BOZO. So of course, me being me, I just had to do the dangerous thing and fly over there and trade some smack-talk with the best in the business. It helped that I had dozens of bookmarks in the 5E-VR8 system alone! When the system loaded I was almost appalled at the number of players: only 5 BOZOs (2 of whom I didn't know) and a couple reds. That was it. As much as trading smack for a couple minutes was very fun, it wasn't the smack assault I was expecting. I had noticed that the BOZO killboard had been getting a lot more quiet lately but had no clue as to how bad the quietness had spread.

To give a short history lesson, Clown Punchers was formed by the more PvP inclined members of Queb's AMC alliance (yes, currently Letrange's AMC) and Teister's UFA. According to T and Q, when the two of them met somewhere in Molden Heath space something happened kinda like when a bee meets a flower and pollen starts flying everywhere. After what must have been the roughest instance of man-sex the two were now joined at the nut-sack and it was together that they decided to get away from what they hated the most about EVE which was industrialism (though I know Q did his own little thing but never at Letrange's level), carebearism in all its forms, POS/Sov warfare (pre Dominion... remember those days?) and alliance democracy. They wanted to concentrate on that one oh so beautiful activity, skirmish warfare PvP. And they had every reason to want to do this because they excelled at it. When I was a new-born EVE player and got thrown into BOZO's lazer-shark pool it was already evident how tight a ship these guys wanted to run. They were pushing us pilots hard, but they were pushing themselves just as hard, maybe even harder. The killboard stats spoke for themselves.

Without wanting to be too critical, this is probably what lead to the BOZO engine running out of gas. When I first left BOZO I was sad about it for a bit because these guys had taught me so much, and yet I knew that my real-life buddy would need all the help he could get in shaping what was essentially an industrial alliance into one that could be combat-ready when the call came for it. T and Q may not know it but they did indirectly play a certain part in AMC's transformation from carebear to kodiak. And the second time I left had nothing to do with them being bad or anything, but everything to do with me not being able to keep up the frantic pace they had gotten into in my 6-month absence. But I'm afraid that this relentless pace simply could not be kept indefinitely without something breaking.

So is this the end of the self-proclaimed Big Fat Hairy Apes of Rape? Frankly I sure hope not because EVE needs corporations and alliances that are so dedicated at quality PvP. You see, unlike most gangs roaming around out there, they were extremely organized and the fleets flying as a single cohesive force. And when they found themselves facing a larger enemy, they did not run from it... they ran AT it! And somehow they found a way to come out on top. One of my first experiences as FC saw my T1 Jihad fleet holding the ground against a gang that should have killed at least half of us. At another time we held the ground with mostly noob ships after our T1 rides had died. Or one of the best ones: our mangled BOZO pod fleet is coming back to the then HQ at Jorund after a big scrap with the Provi-Bloc (them again!) and we're to arrive from the low-sec entry system of Sendaya, only the gate is camped on the Doril side. Teister, in a brilliant stroke of timing, called for whoever was active in Jorund to form up on the Doril gate, while the pod fleet sits at a safespot in the system just before Sendaya. When everything and everyone was in place, T had the pod fleet jump into Sendaya and warp straight to the Doril gate, and as soon as we landed he called for everyone to storm Doril from both sides. Seeing the massive BOZO spike in Local, the campers packed their tents and fled. Busting a camp with 10 to 12 pods... absolute brilliance !!!

I will not hide that now that I'm flying with another alliance, I was kinda of hoping to bring the fight to BOZO, hopefully to use everything they taught me to at least be on par with them, if not beat them. Now it seems I will have to wait a little before this clash happens. I know that I will have to spend this wait smartly if I want that clash to happen, because I know that when the Clown Punchers do come back, they will come back hungry. Let's hope I can give 'em something that's hard to digest!

Queb, Teister, I salute the fuck out of you.


Monday, March 29, 2010

And here comes 30!

Yes, some time in the middle of this week Cozmik will hit another benchmark in the number of skill points: 30 million. In the past I've written about the fact that it seems like yesterday I was drinking in all sorts of guides about EVE Online, mainly about the PvP aspects of the game, all while losing Rifter after Rifter after Rifter. But this time I hit the benchmark with a slightly different feeling. As I have done with my one and only corpmate, these days I feel more like being in a teacher/trainer mode. While CHAOT has plenty of advanced characters capable of flying capitals and the most advanced T2 ships, there are also many noobs spread out amoung the various corps in the alliance. Another phenomenon I've noticed here and there, sometimes I come across a character that is older than mine, but find out that the amount of skill points and game experience is below mine, sometimes by a large margin, mainly due to the player taking breaks off the game, from a few months here and there to entire years. Apart from the fact that I should have a lot more ISK to my name than I currently do, I'm happy with the sort of experience the game has given me, and even more happy than in the 2 and a quarter years of Cozmik's existence, skill training has never stopped except maybe a few times in cases of bad timing in the days before the skill queue, and exactly twice after. All in all I think there's only a training hole of 2-3 days, no more. Sure I've had learning implants only recently but at least I was able to train mostly non-stop.

But the experiences I've had. Be they good or bad, they all help understanding this beast of a game. You can tell people to fly only what they can afford to lose till you're blue in the face, but people will never understand until they lose something expensive. And I don't care how much a noob says to me "it won't happen"; fuck you noob, it will. You can tell people the theory behind tackling a ship, but the only way to learn tackling is by doing it, and doing it, and doing it. There will be easy ones where you come in at a perfect angle to get under the guns and never get shot, to complete fail ones where you're swatted of the sky before you get in scram range. But there will be more experience coming out of the failures than from the easy successes. But those can be fun too! Not a lot of people can say they've killed a carrier with nothing more than T1 jihad cruisers. God that was funny! Or a hauler so full of POS modules and fuel that none of our ships could loot the wreck. Those taught the lesson that going afk or flying unscouted in 0.0 is asking for it. Which brings me to my next subject, scouting.

How many times have I heard that when flying something big and/or expensive, "get a scout" ? I myself have lost ships to not being scouted properly, sometimes by my own fault, sometimes the scout's. But scouting itself, expecially in enemy territory... apart from actually fighting I don't think there's a more exciting activity to do in the game. Before I even think about doing any kind of activity in hostile regions, I get into something fast and cheap (I consider interceptors cheap now, but a speed fit Rifter would do) and proceed to fly straight into potential danger as if I'm about to own the place, but knowing I don't own it yet; paperwork at the notary still needs to be done! I then proceed to make a few safespots in the middle of nowhere, which are never fully safe but can be made on the fly, and tactical spots off grid of stations and stargates. Go to the next system in the constellation, rinse, repeat. Inevitably something will happen: hostiles will want to frag you. And as with other activities in EVE, there is only one way to learn evasive maneuvers, and it usually involves jumping into a potential bubble camp. I can tell you from experience, slipping away from an enemy gang is almost as satisfying as getting a good kill. Case in point: I was tooling around the entrance constellation to Providence near my alliance's current HQ, bookmarking the hell out of the place and dodging a bunch of Amarr god worshippers. Quite fun that! While a lot of more sensible pilots would have backed off and gone back home, I had decided to sacrifice my ship and possibly my pod in getting as many bookmarks as possible, even under the eyes of the enemy at times. It took them just short of an hour and a bit of luck to finally squeeze me on a gate, but I don't know how CVA does things because they failed to get my pod not just after killing my ship, but in TWO systems and THREE bubbles! The Eris pilot must've been distracted or something because he should have had plenty of time to pod me, And the other ships? I don't know, maybe they were scared of warping to a bubble or something. But even with luck and enemy failure, I can thank my scouting experience for getting at least my pod out of that particular fire. I think I'll write my next post on the scouting and evasive maneuvering subjects as I will be doing this quite a bit in the near future. I've done it in Curse. I've done it to a certain extent in Catch, Scalding Pass, Wicked Creek, Providence, Great Wildlands, Syndicate, and even low-sec and W-space. Believe me, it's worth taking the time to do!

So where to now after the command ship and 30 million SP? Well, I have the other command ships to train, and before that logistics ships, even though I don't think that fits my style of flying very well. I've recently been asked the question about capital ships, and I still stand by my view of them: they are big fat slow targets waiting to be DD'ed by the next Titan. I know some people love the big fleet fights, but I would find multi-hour poundfests where I have to shut off my brain and do the FC's bidding extremely boring and annoying. I much prefer small gang skirmish warfare because I'm just too much of a twitch player. So I'm pretty sure I'll be training capital ships only after I've trained every races' ship classes up to level V, and then some. Caps bore me that much. But participating at blowing 'em up? Ah, now that's a different story! Next life report at 40 million :)

Fly for your adrenalin levels and dopamin rewards


Friday, March 19, 2010

New beginnings

A few things have finally happened. After what seemed like an eternity even with the fact that I spent the most of the time wearing +4 implants, and therefore not flying as dangerously as I'd like, I have finally finished one of the longest skills I've had to train in my two year career. As you're reading these lines Cozmik is now finished with Battlecruiser V, and Command Ships is well under way! L4 missions, when I start to get poor enough to have to do 'em again, will be much faster paced now. That's how I'll be using the Sleipnir for starters because as per the "Fly only what you can afford to lose" rule, there is no way I can afford wasting them in PvP; the Sleipnir may be a very good ship, but as with anything in PvP, it will die. And replacing it would be ridiculously expensive for me. But who knows... maybe I'll get rich with an officer spawn or something :)

Which is now something that's not entirely impossible because while the corp HQ is still where I left it in Rens (not as expensive as you'd think), the corp has now joined an alliance. Chaos Theory Alliance to be exact. I was drafted by my co-patriot Cartboard Box who knew what I was looking for in the way I want to play EVE, which is mostly PvP, with a casual schedule, with some obligatory carebearism for relaxation and a bit of ISK. Well it seems that CTA is pretty much into exactly that. Now my stuff hasn't yet arrived at destination but I did fly in a few ships manually, but already I feel like I'm coming back home. Because for now I'm flying in that bit of space where I've flown the most in my time in EVE... Goddamnit have I missed Curse !!! There's a saying about Curse that reminds people that one does not simply walk into it, and yet it's that region of space which I know the most. It's like the stargate connections are imprinted in my brain!

But this means something is inevitable: there will be encounters with those Local-smackin' crazies bragging about the size of their penile instruments, more commonly known as the BOZOs. Sure they have a lot of newer members since I've left, but at some point I WILL have to fight my old corp mates, and I very well intend not to disappoint :) On flip side I'm sure a few of 'em would like nothing but to have a taste of my Canadian bacon, but I'll do best to disappoint them on that regard!

The irony though is that this is not the first Chaos Theory Alliance I've been a part of. A long time ago, at a time just after the massive Y2K scare/wet-firecracker, there was this sweet sweet multiplayer game called Quake III: Arena, and somewhere in Indiana a player known as Vlad The Impaler was hosting a crazy Beryllium server (and later Vladdimod, as Beryllium stopped modding and gave all their stuff to Vlad) he called Chaos Theory, filled will railing hook-monkeys. I was attracted there after following some =S4N= clan players (S4N=Stands For Nothing) whom I had just fragged to bits on another server and had commented "some clan!" in chat. The previous server was pure Instagib, no grapple, but the Chaos Theory server had one of the fastest grappling hook I had ever seen and most of the players there were masters at it. One of the =S4N= guys, DDave to be precise, had taken offense at my comment and proceded to give me one of the nastiest beatings ever. Pardon the pun, but I was hooked! I stuck around and learned the art of the Grappling Hook Monkey with clans =S4N= (which then split into Murder of Ravens and Friends of Chaos), Not My Problem (Vlad's own), The Alliance Chosen, Kill Em All (my own), Angels of Annihilation (I miss you Trinity!!!), and various other clans and players. Anyway we played Quake3 to death on that server, and at some point we were calling that bunch of clans the Chaos Theory Alliance.

And the CTA I'm in now? Well, even as I'm posting this it's still a very recent thing and there's only one guy I know well, but so far I like what I'm hearing. The group is very laid back and funny and I've received a warm welcome. Now of course I need to get my stuff that's in transit before I start going nuts in Null-sec, and dammit I intend to do so. One may not simply walk into Curse, but one may ram its doors wide open!

Fly with all knobs at 11


Edit: well, the stay in Curse didn't last too long: a whopping 2 days :) There are other things in the works so stay tuned!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blog Banter #16: WTH did I get myself into?!

Welcome to the sixteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The third Blog Banter of 2010 comes to us from ChainTrap of the Into the unknown with gun and camera EVE Blog. He asks us: "Eve University turns six years old on March 15th; six years spent helping the new pilots of New Eden gain experience and understanding in a supportive environment. Eve is clearly a complicated game, with a ton to learn, so much that you never stop learning. So, the question is; What do you wish that someone had taken the time to tell you when you were first starting out? Or what have you learned in the interim that you’d like to share with the wider Eve community?"

Well, my title maybe a bit harsh because frankly, apart from a few little details, I knew almost exactly what I was getting myself into. Unlike a lot of people who get in EVE, I knew about the games overwhelming complexity since its birth, and held back getting into it on purpose because I knew how hard it would grip me. Of course, having a good friend emphatically saying "You gotta see EVE !!!" each time I saw him kinda helped sway me, but I knew my friend's play style and I knew that it would be incompatible to mine on some aspects; I'm about as much an industrialist as Bill Gates is a poor man! But I knew what would make EVE such an awesome game for me: The PvP.

Although I will admit not just any kind of The PvP. As epic and grandiose as the big Null-sec fleet fights may be (yes I admit they are, the Youtube vids prove it), I had no intention of becoming a nameless grunt among a wall of nameless grunts fighting a wall of nameless grunts for an undetermined period of time (sleep? cancelled!) in a sea of lag so thick the game starts to look like a bad pps file. And to command those blobs? No thank you, my brain cells are already damaged enough as it is. But smaller gangs of 40 or less, down to the pure 1v1 when a good one could happen, now THAT sings to me! So from the start, even before getting into the game, I started getting information towards that direction. When I finally got in of course I had to get used to this awesome UI only a viking can make sense of, but in my early days I had plenty of outside help, first from Letrange, and through Letrange from the BOZO crew.

Two years later and has the learning process stopped? Not even a little bit. Hell, sometimes even my not-so-noob-anymore corpmate comes across something I didn't know about and vice-versa. At his start he needed more help than I did because he came into EVE cold without knowing anything about the game. Some skills he trained up are just mind-boggling! But all that is past now and he is slowly finding his path.

So the things I learned that I can share:

1- Train your learning skills. At the very least do plans in EVEmon and include the learning skills suggested (thanx Queb for that one!)

2- Don't try to fly something big fast. It will only end in tears. It's better to fly a small ship to the best of its habilities than a big one poorly.

3- Be careful about cross-training. Sure there are good ships in all the races but don't spread yourself too thin.

4- Play with EFT like a madman(woman). It's the best way to learn all those ships and modules and implants and stuff.

5- Expect PvP AT ALL TIMES! Some people may just want to "mind their own business" but this sandbox is a big one and PvP will happen.

6- And for the love of Jimi Fucking Hendrix FLY WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD TO LOSE !!!

I've done this previously but I want to do it again. I may not be a good or great PvPer by any measure, but the following pilots need a shout-out for making me the pilot I'm becoming: Letrange, Demonfurbie, Arancia Detto, Quebnaric Deile, Teister, Cerui Tarshiel, Maelgar, Tolarus, StarHomer, Madcoy Flinstone, Matriux, Feyd/Suzuko, Sul Razzor, and more lately Suletsap III, Unzer, Cartboard Box, Havegun Willtravel, Strongpaw Griffis, the Wyldfyre family, Mokmo3, BlueQueen/Miner, and BOZO's number one fan CrazyKinux :)) If you're not in the list, you know who you are but I swear EVE wouldn't have been the same without you!

You can afford to lose it, so fly the shit out of it!


List of Participants
  1. CrazyKinux: The Three Pillars of Wisdom
  2. The Elitist: Helping the new guy/gal
  3. Hands Off, My Loots: Nothing Needed
  4. Rantuket: Blog Banter 16
  5. EVE Opportunist: Nooby Cluey
  6. Into the Unknown With Gun and Camera: EVE University
  7. Zero Kelvin: We’re the young ones!
  8. I am Keith Neilson: Set Your Destination
  9. Prano’s Journey: Just Like the Very First Time
  10. A Merry Life and a Short One: No Seriously
  11. Yarrbear Tales: Nublet 101
  12. A Mule In EVE: If I only knew
  13. The Planet Risk Show: Dared to be Bold
  14. Diary of a Space Jockey: WTH did I get myself into?!
  15. EVOGANDA: Why?
  16. A Memoir From Space: 16th Blog Banter
  17. Death’s Sweetest Kiss: Who What When Where Why How??
  18. Freebooted: Beyond the Shortcuts
  19. Learning to Fly: Noobing
  20. Caldari Outcast: My First Blog Banter Post!
  21. More to come soon…

Friday, March 12, 2010

Enough calisse !!!!


Yes, two Seagate hard drives suffering catastrophic failures within the same year.

Do I have bad vibes enough to kill actual hardware? Possibly. Needless to say the 'puter has now been fixed, and no, this is not a Seagate hard drive anymore. Fuck.


Edit: and to add insult to injury, it looks like my DVD drive is also going... something tells me that a DVD drive should NOT sound like a 125cc racing kart... >:(

Saturday, March 6, 2010

It is coming...

Alliance Tournament VIII

Looks like there are only a few changes from the last one, namely some point changes on HACs, T1 cruisers and Faction cruisers. Also, people need to be part of a competing alliance 60 days prior to the tournament.

A fun twist to the tourney will be the nomination of a Flagship for each team, and that ship will have a name... can't wait to see what people come up with!

Fly ftw


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The pilot's seat

Here it is, about a week late but better late than never. My driving/flying/fragging/tackling setup. No, the X52 isn't on the desk all the time, but I don't know what I'd give to have the ability to fly my Vaga with it :) The Wingman FF wheel has seen better days and needs replacement though.