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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Lessons: It's Not About Whether You Lose…

Recently, I’ve been trying out a new roaming system that involves Valeria in a fast-warping interceptor with Talvorian in a wicked neuting Vexor Navy Issue. It requires me to multibox, something that’s definitely outside my wheelhouse. But, that’s kind of the point, to get out of my comfort zone and stretch myself.

Originally, my goal with the setup was to use it to catch ratters more efficiently. I’ve often entered system and managed to pinpoint my targets in my Stratios, only to miss them by a few seconds. I wash hoping a fast-warping interceptor might be fast enough to pin them down and survive long enough for my back-up to kill them. I really haven’t gotten that chance; though I’ve flown the setup three times, I haven’t managed to find any ratters to test it against.

That’s not to say I’ve come up empty, though. While the planned engagements haven’t done well, it has performed admirably in surprised PvP situations, particularly against blobs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Remembrance and Idealism

Lately, there's been a lot of talk about Dominion sov and Aegis sov. Caprisunkraftfoods, a former alliance-mate and veteran of Black Legion and TISHU, shared some concerns about where Eve is headed. His concerns are incredibly valid, and demonstrate an awareness about the fundamental nature of conflict within the game. I share his concerns, for instance, about industrial citadels, and agree that I don't want POSes to be completely overridden by citadels.

Another former alliance-mate and fellow writer, Seraph Basarab (leaving out the Roman numerals) countered with his own perspective. In his write-up, he widens the focus conveyed within Capri's write-up to show that the story isn't as narrowly focused as one might think. His arguments are all incredibly reasonable.

Though both of them are in TISHU, they have some different interpretations about gameplay, the trajectory of Eve, and the general quality of recent changes. Both of them are right, and that fact alone reveals the complexity of what CCP is trying to accomplish. The simple fact is that yes, CCP has blindly followed their roadmap while completely ignoring player warnings about the inevitable results. This can have terrible consequences if they do everything they intend to do. Yet, the changes they have made to date have a lot of positive results to the game, as Seraph points out. I don't blame Capri for his lack of faith; that position is well-supported by recent rebalances. But nor is Seraph wrong in seeing the positives.

This discussion, though, has spawned a lot of conversation, though, and through that conversation, I've seen a lot of poorly constructed arguments, filled with fallacies that need to be addressed. This piece isn't an attempt to refute either Capri or Seraph, but rather to unpack and deflate some misconceptions and deliberate tricks being used by those supporting the both of them.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Nothing Whatsoever Happened in SH1-6P Yesterday...

...well, unless you count the destruction of 1.4 trillion isk worth of ships, including a handful of titans. Take a look at that battle report. Then scroll down. And down, and down. Then, you might hit the end of the list of titans who participated.

And who said Eve was bereft of reasons to fight?

The interesting thing was that this fight emerged over a CSAA that had been reinforced a couple days before. In a remarkably brilliant example of "I knew there was a reason CO2 wasn't annihilated", CO2 sounded the alarm and mustered their new allies against NC. and PL. Escalation followed escalation until we had a knock-down brawl that lasted several hours and wiped out a bunch of isk. It was the very best kind of battle... an impromptu one. I doubt many expected it to escalate as far as it did. A good time was had by all.

Well, almost everyone. Within the first minute of the fight, I found myself being yellow-boxed by the entire Snuff Box Nightmare fleet. I immediately broadcasted for armor reps, but I was dead before my logi even locked me. MintyRoadkill helped escort me to staging a couple minutes later. I only managed to get on the first two kills before I went down. Sad panda. So, I can't give much more on what happened since I was out so quickly, but a good summary can be found here.

But regardless of my own kill count, it was a good night for the good guys, and NC. lost only 71 bil. A good trade any day!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hangar Clean-out

I've moved around quite a bit over the past year, going from the north to Vestouve to 6VDT in Fountain to a couple locations in Pure Blind. My secondary staging moved too, out of and back to Tamo. Each time, I've loaded up my carriers or (more recently) dreads, sold off my excess ships, and moved on.

Suffice it to say, my 2016 hangar snapshot at the end of December is likely to look quite different from my 2015 version. Chiefly, it's going to have many fewer ships, as I found myself diversifying for diversity's sake. Never a good idea on the wallet. But, at a more basic level, I need to limit myself to two dreads' worth of ships now.

I tend to be very slow in giving up on a ship, a class, or a type of flying. I'll fit out a ship, and even if I don't fly it often, I'll keep it in my Tamo hangar for years. But now, I'm finally getting around to cutting the cord and removing some of these ships. Some of them are "old girlfriends" that I absolutely love. But, the meta moves on, and it doesn't do to keep the dead weight of ships eclipsed in every way by other options. There are times to fly with your heart (Friday night sink roams), but most of the time, if you want kills solo or in a small gang, you need to be smart about what you fly.

A few recently haven't made the cut, and were carted off to Jita to be sold.

Monday, August 15, 2016

There Is a Reason After All

My corp owns a C6 wormhole, though we’re part of a null-sec alliance. We do that sort of thing; while we all PvP, we each dabble in other areas of the game. Some of us like to do industry, some rat, some do PI, some market trade, and some of us run wormhole sites to earn isk. It makes for a well-balanced group.

We recently dropped an astrahus in our wormhole, so I was eager to get some ships in there. I occasionally scan down WH chains to find targets to kill, and I figured that basing that clone out of the wormhole with my hunting ships made more sense than waiting for a good connection in our null system. Go where the fish are, right?

I had my first ship – a Proteus that could scan down future connections to k-space for stocking a few more vessels – and three separate times, I headed to our connection only to find that the static hole had closed before I could arrive. Finally, on the fourth day, I managed to each the hole. I was ready to clone jump back to known space, happy to have successfully inserted a clone in my destination.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Knowledge Gaps

Eve is a game of horizons. You can play for years, skilling towards becoming the perfect pilot for a specific ship. Just when you reach that goal, you find yourself keenly aware of your limitations. So, you need to train for the next one, and the next.

For my part, I wanted to learn to be a good solo and small gang PvPer, so my first priority was to play “catch up” by topping off all the basic fitting and competency skills (shield, armor, etc.), then top off my cruiser/medium-and-below spaceship command and weapon skills. Only after that did I start working on capital skills.

Now, Talvorian is sitting pretty well, able to fly all carriers and dreads, as well as T2 siege. In fact, that’s been the case for about a year now, though I rarely fly capitals.

You see, capital warfare has always been beyond the next horizon for me. I can sit in them, I can follow commands, but I really just don’t “get” them yet. With my schedule of availability, I’m hit or miss for large capital fleets, and there were always other kinds of gameplay I needed to practice more.

Yesterday, I went on a fleet that had several of my corpmates multiboxing capitals, and it made me jealous. I wanted to do that. But, I have enough awareness to know I don’t have the “soft skills” to fly them. I completely missed the boat on the carrier changes; I read the patch notes of course, but I never previously flew carriers in combat situations, so I didn’t really take the time to understand what those changes meant.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Citadel Traps

I’m a big fan of gameplay that requires plays to do work to catch targets. Generally speaking, if Eve is about improving your skill and defeating a human opponent, using a cheap trick completely defeats the purpose.

That tends to be why I don’t really respect pilots who fly with boosting alts, particularly as they’re still of the off-grid variety. To me, that smacks of throwing money at a problem and pretending it’s skill. It’s certainly a viable, effective, and permitted tactic, but it’s not a very skillful one.

One of the tactics that fit into that category from the moment citadels deployed was dropping a citadel and drag bubbles in line with a gate to pop anyone who warped directly from gate to gate. From the safety of your citadel, you could kill everything with ease. It was a cheap tactic.

And, with the August patch, it’s no longer possible. Drag bubbles will now only catch ships if placed within 500 km of your warpto location (a gate, a planet, etc.)

What surprises me isn’t that Eve players chose to take advantage of this, or that CCP didn’t anticipate this application of the mechanic. It’s that it took this many months for the change to come. I mean, I can understand that it might require some development, and that citadel mechanics are new and prone to surprising effects when you change.

But in null-sec, a citadel-bubble combination is just ridiculous, and systems were lousy with them.

Regardless, it’s another one of those problems we can relegate to history and the “wow, that was really a thing?” category.