Posts Tagged ‘ alliances ’

Kings of Amamake

July 2nd. While killing a Hurricane in a 6-man frigate gang, we got blobbed by an 8-man AoS (Advocates of Sin) HAC + logistics gang. We lost one frigate while finishing off the Hurricane, and AoS began to smack, saying we were fail PvPers. “Orly?” we thought. “How about we fight with equal numbers?”

So at exactly 00:00 Eve time on July 4th, we undocked a battleship gang with logistics support and began burning towards Amamake. Because our sole goal was to have a fight with the Amamake locals, we did not stop to kill anything along the way. Upon reaching Amamake, we sat in the top belt, told everyone to come fight us, and waited. And waited. And waited. Despite there being 50 in local, nothing appeared on scan. So we began smacking. Apparently our smack was of such exceedingly high quality that the locals petitioned us and a GM gagged several of our members for “inappropriate ASCII art” (Python is the only corp I know of who gets gagged for smacktalking).

After thirty minutes of waiting, we were itching for a fight, so we left Amamake and toured the nearby systems. Everywhere we went, there were consistently 40-50 in local, but no one was willing to fight us. Disappointed, we decided to go to Egghelende to smacktalk Ken Plante. On the way, a BANE alliance scout told us that they were willing to fight us in Amamake (apparently AoS was too scared to fight us but Bane had risen to the challenge). The fact that the hostile fleet couldn’t even move one jump to fight us made us suspicious that they would drop capitals on us, but we were confident that we could hold our own.

We had 11 remote rep battleships, 2 battlecruisers, and 3 Guardians. Knowing our exact fleet composition, Bane brought what they thought would be the ideal counter: a triage Nidhogger, 7 battleships, 1 battlecruiser, 2 HACs, and a Falcon. Two of their battleships were fit solely with neuts just to cap out our remote rep chain, and their Falcon had only anti-Amarr jammers just to break our Guardians.

As Bane had planned, their neuts and jammers wrecked havoc on our Guardians. Despite energy transfers, I was so capped out that I could not even activate my damage control. And the Falcon had our ECCM-fitted Guardians permajammed. Whenever we could, we tried to rep the primaries, but several of our battleships still started dipping into hull. We managed to get a Bane Megathron into hull, but then the Bane carrier entered triage and the Megathron’s shields and armor popped back to 100% nearly instantly.

But the tide started turning. One of our sniper fit battleships alphaed the Falcon, freeing the Guardians. Our FC, knowing that the carrier would have cap issues due to how fiercely it was repping the Megathron, had us focus some DPS on the carrier. As the carrier’s cap dwindled, we were able to kill several more Bane battleships, including an Armageddon flown by Ken Plante. Realizing that they were losing, the rest of the Bane fleet quickly bailed, leaving the carrier behind to die.

As the last Bane pilot exploded and we floated alone amongst the wrecks in the belt, our lemming brains slowly began to realize that we had won – 7 kills for 0 losses. Ecstatic, we began circle jerking in Vent and in local, declaring ourselves kings of Amamake.

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YouTube – EVE Evolution 2009

YouTube – EVE Evolution 2009.

Neat time-lapse of nullsec sovereignty changes during 2009.

New Alliance

My corporation, Transdimensional Trading Company, joined an alliance named “Raikiri Assasins” a few days ago. Although I hope that the alliance will bring new life to the corp, I have my doubts.

Like me, the alliance professes to be a jack-of-all-trades. They mission, rat, mine, trade, live in wormhole space, and PvP. As stated in my Year in Review post, I hate everything but PvP (the rest are necessary evils for being a yarrbear). So initially I was excited about the “Oh hey we PvP” claim. But then I looked up their killboard stats

…I have more kills than the entire alliance. And their success ratio is lower than that of my corp.

Between the poor PvP and misspelled name (Assassins, not Assasins), I am not all that impressed, but I will refrain from passing judgment until I have met my new alliance mates more.

Thoughts on Dominion

Last week I posted a fairly negative review of Dominion, as I felt that it was not fully ready for release, particularly with respect to its nullsec changes (sovereignty and capital/supercapital issues). Despite this, Dominion was still released yesterday. Here are my thoughts thus far.

The Fleet Finder

The Fleet Finder has dramatically improved fleet functionality. Broadcasts work better, there are new abilities such as loot logging, automatic re-joining of a fleet after getting disconnected works, and locating members is much easier. The new fleet interface also allows you to see your fleet mates’ ships, locations, and leadership skills:

As you may know, the fleet finder now allows you to place an “advertisement” for your fleet to allow others to find it. This worked a bit..differently from what I had expected. Attempting to make my fleet available to an out-of-corp buddy, I set it open to all people with standings above 5.0 with me (I had him set blue). However, since my corp had blued Proviblock (to make it easier to distinguish NRDS guys in nullsec from, say, U’K), my fleet ended up open to all of Proviblock. I did not even realize this until I was told by several bloggers in-game that they could see my fleet. So if you are using the fleet tool, be very careful when setting who your fleet is open to.

Graphics

The new planets, moons, and stars do look very nice, but after about thirty minutes, I had already forgotten about the changes. The other new Dominion changes seem more important to me than the graphics. The new mega pulse laser graphics do look better than the old one, however.

Evemail

The new mail interface is far better than the old Evemail. However, because of the fact that you no longer have corp and mailing list mails in a separate tab, you must use labels, or you will be overwhelmed by the jumble of mails in your inbox. I only wish that Evemail threaded conversations like Gmail does; currently you need to manually label your replies.

Jukebox

Personally I do not care at all about the ability to import playlists (right click on the Jukebox in the Neocom to do so), as I would rather just use iTunes (where my music is already sorted, rated, etc). The filepaths do not work properly on the Mac, so a fix is here. A word of caution (from a corp mate) concerning the jukebox: Do not attempt to import 10k mp3 files at once.

In-game Browser

Although the browser is now actually usable, I still use my out-of-game browser (Firefox), as the in-game browser does not sync bookmarks, does not support extensions, and does not work with bookmarklets. Of course, many others do use the in-game browser now; this may bring about an increase in the number of fap kills.

Faction Ships

I have not gotten the opportunity to fly any of the new/tweaked faction ships yet, but some mates have told me that certain ones (e.g. Cynabal) are really epic now. There have been some complaints about empire faction battleships being worse than pirate faction battleships, but that is not an issue because empire faction battleships are far cheaper than pirate faction battleships (less than half the price) and thus should not be as good. Of course, some faction ships still need rebalancing (for example, the majority of empire faction cruisers are absolutely useless (Navy Osprey, Navy Augorer, Navy Scythe, etc).

Self-Destruction

Self-destruction still needs a change: if a ship is under attack and self-destructs, the attackers should get some sort of killmail. Or at the very least, the self-destruction notification message should be more visible (e.g. a red countdown timer under the ship’s bracket). Several times I have not even realized that a ship was self-destructing because my combat notifications hid the destruction countdown notification.

Alliance Mechanisms

Alliance creation/disbanding mechanisms should have been changed in Dominion; I cannot understand why CCP would not make it an ultra high priority issue. For example, while playing with the alliance creation controls, fellow blogger Escoce accidentally created an alliance (and thereby lost a billion ISK) due to a lack of confirmation dialogs. This could have been easily prevented using a method similar to my KOS space warning message proposal. And the alliance closing controls still have not been changed, even after the CVA fiasco.

Supercapital Ships

Motherships have not received any buffs in Dominion, and are thus essentially useless. However, the new Titans seem fairly effective for driveby shootings, as they can instapop any ship in the game. Stationcamping Chimera kill. Rorqual kill. Naglfar kill (the fitting seems to indicate the pilot’s dislike of the Naglfar’s new bonuses :P). Phoenix kill.

Sovereignty

This topic was one of the main reasons I wanted Dominion to be delayed, and it still needs significant tweaking. For example, infrastructure hubs are enormous and only fit inside T1 freighters (not jump freighters). This makes it very, very difficult for any alliance without direct highsec access to make upgrades to their systems (like this battle). The full effect of the sovereignty changes will not be seen until the seven-day transition period expires, but Razor and Wildly Inappropriate have already lost a large number of systems (freighter train slaughter).

The new map options are pretty though:

Conclusion

Overall, I feel that Dominion did introduce some very nice features, but high-priority ones have been either neglected or poorly implemented. Motherships are useless, dreadnoughts are terribly imbalanced, and sovereignty is problematic.

Dominion: Disaster Imminent

As you probably know, Dominion is set to arrive in less than two weeks (December 1). However, as much as fresh content and changes excite me, I believe that the release should be delayed. Here’s why:

When the preliminary ideas for the expansion were initially shown at the FanFest and shortly thereafter, I was quite optimistic about Dominion. The push to make nullsec more accessible yet simultaneously more volatile, the new roles for supercapitals, the revamped faction ships, improved graphical eye candy, and functional in-game browser all excited me.

But as the months passed and the release date for Dominion neared, CCP still only had vague ideas of what the actual changes would entail. For example, a mere four months before Dominion, the dev blog posts on the upcoming sovereignty changes displayed great ambiguity. It was not until a month before potentially game-upheaving changes that the devs gave any indication as to what the changes would actually be like. And that dev blog post created an uproar among the Eve player base, as calculated costs would exceed several billion ISK per month per system. The prices were hastily adjusted, but suddenly Dominion seemed a bit less bright and a bit more unstable.

Then twelve days before Dominion, CCP made major changes to the behavior of all capital ships. This dramatic change was not only unexpected but also quite disturbing. Once again, those affected by the change protested (CCP somehow managed to get sworn enemies such as IT (ex-BoB) and GoonSwarm to unite on something). The dev blog not only reversed months of planning and testing, but it also displayed a complete lack of knowledge about capital ship warfare. Take these two statements from the dev blog: “Capital ship fights rarely if ever happen at short distances” and “The explosion velocity is slightly higher than that of the Citadel Cruise Missiles which means target painters will have to be utilized in many situations to achieve full damage potential.” Both are completely wrong. Capital fights do indeed occur at close ranges, and target painters do not work on supercapitals, POS modules, sieged dreads, and trianged carriers. And those are just two of the issues with the dev blog.

So what should be done? With ten days to go, implementing half-baked changes would be a terrible mistake. Dominion needs to be postponed, at least until the end of December, or there will be tremendous instability in nullsec (and thus the rest of Eve). And do not be fooled, these changes will not affect only nullsec dwellers. Wherever you are, you will be affected.

I Accidentally CVA

As you may have heard by now, Curatores Veritatis Alliance (CVA) was closed today. Similar to the Band of Brothers collapse, corps were formed to take the CVA name (look up the characters Asarus Mekalurin and Rayleen Orendo for some examples).

As expected, there are various rumors flying about as to the cause of this. Some claim that a director account was hacked; CCP is said to have locked down certain accounts to verify this. Traceless Representatives of Anonymous Players has also claimed responsibility.

Until official word comes out, I have begun my own investigations (slight edits to keep convo relevant):

Song Li > I log out for lunch and CVA dies
Song Li > Man, I have to stop logging
Kellnirr Tiryon > Same here!
00sage00 > what were you doing when BoB died?
00sage00 > eating lunch as well?
Song Li > No.. I think it was dinner
00sage00 > hm. i think that’s enough grounds for a criminal investigation of food.
00sage00 > could you describe it for us?
00sage00 > how was it behaving?
00sage00 > did you notice anything unusual?
Song Li > it was delicious
00sage00 > would you agree that it had criminal tendencies?
Song Li > No.
00sage00 > oh so you’re defending it
00sage00 > i think we need to investigate you as well

To Shoot or Not To Shoot

Being a yarrbear is not always fun and happiness; lately, I have been considering becoming a full-time pirate. Why? For the following reasons:

Solo PvP? Let Me Blob You Instead

Being a yarrbear instead of a full-time pirate means that I am usually solo. If you look at my killboard, you will see that 95% of the kills are solo kills. I love soloing, as I believe it is the ultimate test of your piloting skill (the larger the fleet, the less skill and effort required – just compare the behavior of a pilot with a wingman vs one in a blob vs one in a huge 0.0 fleet). But soloing is not easy, as you can only really fight other solo pilots (try soloing a blob of recons and ECM ships; it doesn’t work). And actually finding other solo pilots is difficult, especially as my once-favorite systems in Minmatar lowsec have become blob playgrounds.

Support? What Support?

Soloing also means I cannot call in support when I need it. A while back when I tackled a Maelstrom in a Rifter, I was lucky that a pirate contact was able to come quickly enough (ten minutes) to help kill it. But this usually is not the case. For example, yesterday a corp mate and I tackled a Vargur at a station (I was in a Maller, he was in a Rifter). We had him triple webbed, pointed, and 14 km off the station. He also had a GCC and sentry gun aggro. For twenty minutes, I repeated pleaded for support from the Pythons, Hellcats, and anyone I knew that had ever shot someone in their life.

[ 2009.10.18 02:16:07 ] 00sage00 > i have a vargur tackled in gulmorogod
[ 2009.10.18 02:16:11 ] 00sage00 > can anyone help?
[ 2009.10.18 02:17:35 ] 00sage00 > anyone?
[ 2009.10.18 02:21:17 ] 00sage00 > all i need is a neut arbi or two
[ 2009.10.18 02:36:03 ] 00sage00 > help
[ 2009.10.18 02:36:09 ] 00sage00 > we still have him tackled
[ 2009.10.18 02:36:16 ] 00sage00 > can’t break tank

Fourty-five minutes later, some Python Cartel folks responded, but it was far too late. By then, the Vargur had crawled back to the station (at 8 m/s!), deaggressed, and was merely tanking us for fun.

[ 2009.10.18 03:05:03 ] Chicohonda > thanX for testing my fitting ;-)
[ 2009.10.18 03:08:39 ] Chicohonda > i think that was long enough….ty guys ;p gn8

I was quite disappointed.

Blues?

Another problem is not knowing who is blue and who is not. After popping a Hellcats member by accident, I had set the Bastards Alliance to blue to help me avoid future confrontations like that. So when my corpmate and I ran across a Bastards pilot while chasing a Cerberus, I was conflicted over how to respond:

[ 2009.10.18 05:02:05 ] 00sage00 > the vagabond is a hellcats ship (a mistake; it was actually a bastards ship)
[ 2009.10.18 05:02:22 ] 00sage00 > looks like it’s going to engage me
[ 2009.10.18 05:03:04 ] Kelkyen > get it?
[ 2009.10.18 05:03:12 ] 00sage00 > mm
[ 2009.10.18 05:03:18 ] 00sage00 > i want to stay friendly with the ‘cats
[ 2009.10.18 05:03:20 ] 00sage00 > but…
[ 2009.10.18 05:04:34 ] Kelkyen > that the all chick crew?
[ 2009.10.18 05:04:40 ] 00sage00 > yeah
[ 2009.10.18 05:04:40 ] Kelkyen > one on vent?
[ 2009.10.18 05:04:45 ] 00sage00 > yep xD (we were on the Hellcats vent just earlier due to the Pythons’ vent being down)
[ 2009.10.18 05:04:54 ] Kelkyen > shes targeted me
[ 2009.10.18 05:05:13 ] 00sage00 > same for me
[ 2009.10.18 05:05:23 ] 00sage00 > we could easily kill a vaga
[ 2009.10.18 05:05:29 ] 00sage00 > but…
[ 2009.10.18 05:06:41 ] 00sage00 > convoing pilot
[ 2009.10.18 05:09:17 ] Kelkyen > locked me back up
[ 2009.10.18 05:10:28 ] 00sage00 > lame
[ 2009.10.18 05:10:43 ] Kelkyen > what brought that on?
[ 2009.10.18 05:10:50 ] 00sage00 > dunno
[ 2009.10.18 05:11:39 ] 00sage00 > ok, don’t aggress
[ 2009.10.18 05:11:48 ] Kelkyen > rgr, not even targeted
[ 2009.10.18 05:13:18 ] 00sage00 > are you shooting? (the Vagabond was shooting, but I wasn’t sure if Kelk was responding)
[ 2009.10.18 05:13:18 ] Kelkyen > shootin me
[ 2009.10.18 05:13:21 ] 00sage00 > dock
[ 2009.10.18 05:14:18 ] 00sage00 > kelk, pull back

Kelkyen popped shortly afterwards. Looking back, I should have fought back or left ASAP. My indecision caused me to not help my mate in time, and thus caused him to lose his ship.

So what can I do about these problems? The obvious fix is to join a pirate corporation. That way I do not have to always solo, I can have support, and I clearly know who to shoot. I doubt I can join the Bastards due to fighting them before (twice now!). Spectre has invited me to join the Python Cartel:

[ 2009.10.16 04:28:58 ] Spectre3353 > you know what kind of corps i hear are awesome?
[ 2009.10.16 04:29:00 ] Spectre3353 > pirate corps
[ 2009.10.16 04:29:04 ] 00sage00 > lol
[ 2009.10.16 04:29:09 ] Spectre3353 > maybe you should think about joining a pirate corp
[ 2009.10.16 04:29:12 ] 00sage00 > i have
[ 2009.10.16 04:29:13 ] Spectre3353 > if only i knew a good one… hmmm…
[ 2009.10.16 04:29:32 ] Spectre3353 > OMG I JUST REMEMBERED THAT I RUN A PIRATE CORP
[ 2009.10.16 04:29:33 ] Spectre3353 > !!!!!!
[ 2009.10.16 04:30:03 ] Spectre3353 > come join python
[ 2009.10.16 04:31:34 ] 00sage00 > spec, i will join a pirate corp someday
[ 2009.10.16 04:31:41 ] Spectre3353 > ok
[ 2009.10.16 04:31:44 ] Spectre3353 > well when youre ready you let me know

So Python is an option; a lot of good guys in there. Or I could take a look at the Tuskers, way over in Gallente space (Wensley, where are you??). Or I could become a mercenary or join a 0.0 alliance…

Yet I still don’t feel ready to make a change, despite the fact that all this “to shoot or not to shoot” terribly confuses and saddens me. For now, I am just going to retreat to my cozy lair in Amarr lowsec while I think things through…