Thursday, December 6, 2012

Retribution Review

For fuck's sake...

Well, it is released. The newest EVE Online expansion, Retribution.


CCP has been continuing their new focus on iteration over "Jesus Features," and I feel this is an extremely worthy addition  Where Inferno fixed factional warfare and warfare in general, Retribution's large focus is on Crime and Punishment.

CrimeWatch 2.0

First off, the "aggro" tracking system has been completely redone in a feature called CrimeWatch 2.0, and it is incredible. It has its own quirks, but there are basically 3 global states for any player: Normal, Suspect, Criminal. 

Normal is as expected, you aren't a valid target in hisec, and will cause aggressors to lose sec when engaging you in lowsec.

Suspect (gained through shooting people in lowsec, or can flipping in hisec, or meddling in affairs you shouldn't, like remote repping) means you are a valid target to everyone, everywhere (including your pod!) until the timer is up. 

Criminal is gained by shooting non-valid pods in low or suicide ganking in hisec (which causes Concord response), and grants the victim a Kill Right on the aggressor which can be made public for sale. These Kill Rights, when activated, flag the individual as Suspect for 15 minutes. 

In addition to these global flags, and to cover up confusing situations, CCP added Limited Engagements, that basically means you can fight with a specific person for a shorter period of time. This is more or less caused when a player shoots a Criminal, Outlaw (low sec status, same as before), or Suspect, they enter into a Limited Engagement against that target.

Also, these flags are readily available at all times in the upper-left hand corner with pretty icons instead of a single bar of text. This INCLUDES the weapon's lock timer.

A small gripe I have with this system is that shooting a target in lowsec front-loads the sec loss now, which is 1/2 of what a full hit was before if a target didn't aggress, but this is still higher than the old system of simply taking a minor hit for aggression, since I almost always waited for a target to shoot back. CCP Greyscale mentioned during the New Eden Open that there would be a fix for this coming, possibly involving tags.

Bounty Hunting

This has FINALLY been fixed, and after an assault frigate roam through the Tama pipe yesterday, I have to say this is quite possibly the greatest thing CCP has done for PVP in ages.


Any player can place a bounty on any other player, Corp, or Alliance. This bounty pays out 20% of the loss value of anything destroyed. This prevents exploitation and actually creates incentive for fighting. My Alliance received a 100 million ISK bounty from Seph Kerr, which was quickly paid out to the Basgerins. We also made some money off that engagement (to my surprise. Have you read my post on how ECM is ridiculously overpowered compared to other EWAR?).

But, loot aside, every member of the fleet during our AF roam made 11 million ISK, as the bounties split to each fleet mate of the member that got the final blow.

We will start looking for corps to wardec with high bounties, as this could potentially be extremely profitable.

Ships

There has been an extraordinary balance pass with Retribution. All existing frigates, destroyers and cruisers (tech 1) have been rebalanced and placed into roles as Attack (fast, light), Combat (durable, decent damage), Disruption (EWAR), or Support (Exploration, Logistics). I have personal refit just about every ship in the game and saved their fittings to our corp fittings for guidance of the newer players.

Four new destroyers, filling the gaps in fleet doctrines among the factions (Gallente and Amarr with drones, Caldari and Minmatar with missiles), have also been added, alongside the new ORE frigate that took the place of the 4 existing mining frigates (which have been rebalanced into logistics frigates). I have made cheap fittings for these as well.

UI


The targeting UI has been completely revamped, moving from squares to circles, and adding the amazing ability to resort targets not only in horizontal position but now vertically as well.

New overview colors and icons have been added to FINALLY differentiate between Outlaw, Criminal, and any other form of aggression that was previously indistinguishable from one other.

Overall, this expansion is pretty kick ass. Now if only my shit Alliance can muster more people for some AF roams, we could really start profiting off this shit.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Basgerin's Robbed of a Carrier Kill

For fuck's sake...

So, we were playing some Dust 514 during their "stress-test" event, and right when I hit an exceptionally laggy game, I decided to call it quits. All-in-all, it wasn't a bad run all day, but that's beside the point. When I turned back to EVE, I saw in our intel channel "Friendly carrier tackled." I looked in local to see several of the now-returned-to-Seyllin Basgerins global criminal. So I assembled a rag-tag fleet of Rectanus, Dark, and Yinandyang, shipped most of us into battleships and warped into the great unknown on the Roden undock.

D-scan reported that they had a couple Loki's, a Brutix, and an Archon. The Archon was parked under the station, repping the hostiles that had Cpt Ghost's (a blue from Sea Hamsters  Archon tackled off station about 50 km. The Domi's (me and Dark) attempted to damp the enemy Archon, but must not have been able to bring his targeting range down low enough, as he continued to rep the enemy fleet. I charged outward with bold, reckless abandon against the tackle fleet, and to my surprised they all began to scatter off of the blue Archon and back to the safety of station dock range. I used my MWD to bump the enemy Brutix away from the Ghost, towards Roden itself. I continuously told Ghost to "stay aligned!" in the intel channel, and as soon as the Brutix was out of disruptor range, Ghost took off.

I then gave the order to warp off, and we all made it but Rectanus, who was now tackled and being similarly bumped off station. I warped back to him, and proceeded to repair his ship and bump, as best I could, his Armageddon back to station. In the end, we lost only a stationary, uncloaked, pretty terribly fit Nemesis, and managed to save both ships that were in danger of dying, against superior forces.

For there being almost no record (through kill mails) that the engagement happened at all, it was one of the best I've had in ages. I look forward to future skirmishes with the Basgerins, at least until they get bored and move on... again... for like the 5th time.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Coalition WTF?

For fuck's sake...

As I've stated in the past, General Tso's doesn't really like coalitions, since it tends to be us carrying all the weight, guarding miners and haulers through Seyllin and Ane. Well, with friends of friends being what they are, the situation has changed... slightly.

JEDI's Alliance, Preatoriani were getting harassed in their usual mining system and us, being the nice fellows that don't mine, offered them to mine in our 0.3 system, Ane. I've seen some pretty pretty efficient mining ops in my day, but these dudes regularly annihilate every single belt in Ane. It's usually done long before I come online, so when I go to rat, it's creepy to see the belts cleared dry, like a safe spot.

Anyway, they made nice with our existing "partner" Remnants of the Forgotten, another industry corp. So they blue'd each other, and we upgrade them from NAP to blue, just for consistency's sake. This is when another alliance, Solar Mechanics, who was running protection for those industry groups started showing up in Seyllin and Ane. We attacked them, they attacked us, so on and so forth. Through ridiculous email chains, I was informed they were friends with PAXR and Remnants, and were actual PVP'ers, so I went ahead, took a quick vent vote and set their Alliance blue as well.

So it appears I've fallen ass-backwards into another coalition. Thankfully the Solar guys are kicking ass in Seyllin and showing us they actually will pull their weight, and that's a relief since a lot of SMERG seems to have slumped into an inactive period again. Also, we have an industry corp in the alliance, if I hadn't mentioned it before, but a few of their members are standing out as good PVP'ers as well, and came on an Assault Frig roam with us.

We'll see how this all turns out, but I'm sure if it explodes, we'll take another 2 year break from coalitions, and be seen as the bad guys... which I actually don't mind.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Step Towards Dust514 Integration

For fuck's sake...

Updates:
We "won" the war against RvB. Barely.
We are currently in the process of removing towers in Ane.
We scooped a corp into the Alliance (Industry fellows).
I have taken this time to start mining in prep for Retribution (Dec).
And Inferno 1.3 launched today which incorporated Districts (the things Dust bunnies will be fighting over) in FW space, and also the chat integration between the two games that was live on Buckingham for the past month or so. So exciting. Dust 514 is not the BEST FPS I've ever played, but its certainly the most addictive. And its awesomely similar to EVE in its skill names/system and fitting system. Awesome times. Can't wait to bombard my own matches, however.


Oh, and halloween is right around the corner and with a pub crawl this coming weekend and a legit party in Salem next weekend, I probably will be around sparingly during those time frames.


But the cocksuckers in this Alliance have come to expect that I won't be around so... fuck you guys.

Me in costume:

Yes, we know, Bane's mask looks like a sideways Goatse. GFY.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Petition to CCP to bring back Snowball Launchers!


Go to the Eve forums to support this idea:
https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=158225&find=unread

tl;dr version:
Snowball Launchers were fun. Gimme.


Back in winter of 2008, CCP gave us what was easily the best gift they have ever given us. Every pilot logged in that day to a Snowball Launcher and 300 snowballs sitting in their hangar. I remember hanging out outside Dodixie Moon 20 station, and there were just dozens of pilots engaged in one massive snowball fight. It was a free-for-all, and nobody was safe. Well, except for the interceptors, whom I remember seeing zooming around at high speeds, some kiting over a dozen snowballs which were trailing behind them, trying desperately to hit them. I have not met a single pilot who was around for the Snowball Launchers and does not remember them fondly as I do.

Now compare this memory to my memories of other gifts we have received. My Apotheosis I think I undocked in once to see what it looked like. Same with my Primae, Zephyr, and my Echelon. All undocked once, and then docked up again to keep as boring, though valuable collectors items. I bought two Interbus Shuttles just to have, and I have not undocked in either of them. I own two of the Quafe Iterons, and I have not even sat in either of them. My Quafe shirts are sitting in a can in Dodixie, never to be worn. My Quafe Zero is also sitting in a can, right next to my gift implants, all of which are unlikely to ever be used by anyone. Don't get me wrong, none of these are particularly bad gifts. In fact, I am pretty fond of my collection of collectors items. But they are not FUN gifts. They exist to be collected, not used. They exist to sit in station, collecting dust and going up in value, forever. The Snowball Launchers were the only truly fun gift we have ever received, and that is exactly why everyone is so fond of them, and why they should be brought back.

With the recent addition of launcher hardpoints and models, and the missile revamp, new Snowball Launchers are almost too perfect of a gift this winter. And because of this, I have decided to start a player petition to CCP to try our best to convince CCP to bring them back.

Here is my proposal:

1) Leave the current Snowball Launchers/Melted Snowballs as they are. The ones in the game now are collectors items, which players have been holding onto for years now, and they should not be punished for that. I am opposed to anything that will lower the value of the Snowball Launchers or Melted Snowballs that are currently in the game. These new Snowball Launchers should be a different model of Snowball Launcher, and the ammo should be different as well. That way the launchers and melted snowballs from 2008 will continue to be rare and valuable as collectors items.

I am not opposed to making the new ammo work with the old launchers, so long as if and when the new ammo melts, it is distinguishable from the old melted snowballs. Actually, I think it would be a nice reward for players who have been holding onto their old snowball launchers for all these years to be able to use them again. Maybe even give them slightly better stats than the new ones, so players have a reason to use them again.

2) As you did last time, give each player 1 launcher and a bunch of snowballs to have some fun with.

But that's not all.

We got 300 snowballs each last time. 300 was far too few. That was an hour or two's worth of entertainment at most (if you stretched them out). Surely a gift this awesome should bring more than a couple short hours of entertainment, right?

I considered a few solutions to this problem, and I think I know the best solution. But here are the not-so-best ones first so you can decide for yourselves:
A) You could increase the number of snowballs you give us. But I still have a problem with this. Even if you increase it to 3000, you are still injecting a limited, set number of snowballs into the game, and basically capping the amount of enjoyment we can get out of them (as a community, not as individuals).
B) You could seed snowballs themselves onto the market. But this just isn't in the spirit of Eve, really. If you do this you are giving an arbitrary isk value to the snowballs, preventing them from being traded like a normal commodity. And then of course they are being seeded by NPCs, and who wants more NPC seeded items in Eve?

These two clearly are not optimal solutions, which leads me to number three:
3) Add snowball BPCs to the market. In my opinion this is the perfect solution. For one, the BPCs would be a nice, massive, one-time isk sink. Everyone loves isk sinks, especially CCP. And then you are allowing the players to decide how many of them will exist in the game, and you are letting the market decide what they are worth. And of course, if a player wants to hoard massive amounts of snowballs and spend all winter lobbing them at people outside Jita 4-4, they will be free to do so, and they can get as much enjoyment out of their gift as possible.

So please, please, PLEASE CCP, bring back Snowball Launchers for us this winter. I think it's safe to say I want this even more than a lowsec buff, or a neutral RR nerf. I can't even describe the number of sexual favors I am willing to give in order to make this a reality.

And to you players who want this as badly as I do, show it. Post in here stating your support. Link this thread for your friends, so they can show support. Spam this thread in local if you want. Drown the Jita local scams in a sea of cries for Snowball Launchers (all right, lets not go that far). But seriously, this is a petition. CCP will only respond to it if we show them just how many people want this.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Operation: Decon Vacation The End

For fuck's sake...

We had a good run, but like all vacations, it had to end eventually.

Shadow Cartel did kill our tower, and reinforced our POCO's in Decon. They ended up not coming to the final kill of the structures, most likely because of the late time (for them). We didn't quite learn our lesson, and continued our siege.

When we were sieging the Decon I Customs Office, we were again hot dropped, this time by two carriers and their support fleet. We however, had been contacted by Drunk and Disorderly Alliance, who were all too happy to counter-hot drop the Shadow Cartel carriers, with their own fleet of dreads and faction battleships. Since my Alliance is absolutely terrible at EVE, we only managed to tackle one carrier properly, and it died, along with one of Shadow's Rapiers. Needless to say, we finished killing that POCO and erected our own.



Since we ensured that at least one POCO would come out of reinforced every day, we were able to move right on to Decon II the next day, and for whatever reason the same hot-droppers didn't want anything to do with us, so we were on our own... or so we thought. A much larger Shadow Cartel carrier and support blob came through the cyno this time, and we got into ranged ships, and kept shooting the POCO. Strangely, all they had for shield transfer was a Chimera, which did not enter triage, so we were able to out-damage its reps and continue to bleed armor damage on the structure. That's when the strangest thing happened, I don't remember seeing a second cyno light, but 2 Nyx super carriers dropped onto the field, sending the Shadow fleet scattering like sand on a strong wind. After much debate, we assumed that the Nyx's were a standby counter-counter hot drop fleet ready to land on the DnD guys, should they have shown, and they must have been pissed that Shadow didn't provoke the proper response from DnD. Interesting games... We took this time to blow up the POCO, though, so victory for us once again.

We got in a couple skirmishes in Sharu while reinforcing more POCO's, and the fight turned out to be pretty fun, and we managed to kill a Guardian and a Rapier, while Rectanus died in his Oracle, which became a constant for all our ops.

After Salid got a hold of Shadow's CEO, however, we came to an agreement for a cease-fire. Basically we didn't want to siege any more, since it sucked balls and the Shadow guys changed their reinforcement timers to come out at like 11AM EST, which is really shitty for us, and the passive recharge alone would keep us from ever killing them again. And they didn't really want to deal with us, since we are frustrating opponents, so we agreed to stop being dicks in exchange for a favor we've been wanting for over a year now:

TITAN BRIDGE TRISTANS

So, yea. We've since returned the bulk of our force to our home in Seyllin, had to kick out a few squatters that set up shop while we were gone, and are now ratting up our sec status. We plan on keeping a satellite presence in Decon/Sharu for the time being, and it being only 4 jumps away might give us some black ops bridging practice. Plus those H0NEYBADGER guys are awesome, so we wouldn't mind helping them if they get into a jam.

As far as whether we'll have to give our POCO's back to SC... the offer to buy them back was put on the table, but we'll have to wait and see. Those things can be pretty profitable and should pay for themselves in a month or so, judging by initial estimates, so even if they are forcibly removed, we shouldn't have lost too much.

We now look into the future at the next goal, since our initial turnout in Decon wasn't bad and it was nice to see what we actually capable, I think we might spread our wings into some of the faction warfare territories. That's about a month away, so stay tuned!

Friday, September 14, 2012

How To Buff Lowsec

(Edited 9/17, see addendum)

For fuck's sake...

The Problem

There are a ton of people on the EVE-O forums complaining (and I agree) that there isn't enough incentive to move to lowsec, and even CCP is looking into this (sort of), and some of the ideas that have been floated seem to involve nerfing hisec, especially regarding manufacturing, to try and "push" manufacturing to lowsec. Ripard Teg wrote an amazing blog breaking down how this will have little effect on prices, since taxes (even raised) play such a small role in the manufacturing of ships, the hisec producers will just suck up the tax and pass the measly increase off to the customers anyway.

Another CCP idea from this spring's CSM minutes mentioned that all lowsec should be Faction Warfare space, and "agents of chaos" (pirate corps) can come through and remove any Faction Warfare infrastructure in a system to return the systems to their current "normal" state. While this is kind of interesting, it hardly adds to the experience of the pirates, since they don't want to shoot structures, and now they pretty much are required to just to return the system to its "normal" state. This is not really a buff and does not add an incentive for people looking to own/operate in a lowsec system.

Now, a lot of other people believe lowsec should behave like miniature sovereignty, acting as a mini-nullsec. As a lowsec player, I would like to have the ability to alter my system to benefit my Alliance, but do not want to deal with structure grinding, timezone warfare, blob-fests, supercap hot drops, sov bills, etc. I might be overstepping my bounds here, but I'm sure no other lowsec entities want to deal with this. So, the system has to benefit the people living there, but since we are "lazy," it should be based on activity, and should be more fluid than any other sovereignty system.

Indices

My idea would change control to be entirely based on activity, with only a touch of structure placing/removing. The drawback would be, if you don't use/live in your space, you will lose it!

The core of the idea are three indices:
  • Piracy (PVP) - Warlord
  • Exploration / Enforcement (PVE) - Protectorate
  • Extraction / Production (Industry) - Cartel

Calculation

Each will be calculated in real time to an ISK value (with modifiers to balance the share of one over the other. Since PVP losses are higher than NPC kill values, the PVE value might have a 4x multiplier applied to its base value, for instance.)
  • PVP will calculate all ISK destroyed (ships, pods, player owned structures) by one group (corporation/alliance).
  • PVE will do the same, but for value of NPC's (belt/complex/missions), and the value of items dropped in Archaeology/Hack/Salvage sites.
  • Industry will calculate the value of raw resources harvested in system from belts/gas clouds/grav sites/moons and add in the amount refined/manufactured in POS's within the system.
Now, these values will be calculated in real time, and should be visible in a breakdown within the system's sovereignty. Depending on which is the highest, the "type" of control over the system would be visible. If the occupying force kills everything that moves, their alliance would be the Warlords over the system. If they mine the belts and planets dry of all their resources, they would be a Cartel. If they keep the belts free of all NPC activity, and clean up any hack sites, the systems would become a Protectorate of the alliance.

Each Sunday, the influence would be applied, and whichever corp/alliance has the highest "score" in any of the three indices is granted control over the system automatically. Now, this entity will be able to install upgrades into the I-Hub (see below) that match all the indices in which they are the highest in. Since they are in control of the system, they are clearly the highest in at least 1 index, but if they lost out in the race in one or both of the other two, they will not be permitted to install upgrades that affect those indices. If they do have all 3 indices as the highest, they can install any of the 3 types of upgrades, up to the limit of how many I-Hub upgrades can be placed in total. They can all be of one type.

Upgrades

Every system will have a single Infrastructure Hub erected in it, which is able to be destroyed, but does not play a part in the actual ownership of the system. It is a neutral entity, into which the controlling corp/alliance can install upgrades once they are given control over the system. It will reinforce if attacked, the same as null/FW I-Hubs, but if it is destroyed, it will not change control over the system (but it will apply the cost of the structure to the attacking corp's Warlord index for the day), instead it will simply remove the bonuses applied from it, and it must be replaced by a controlling corp/alliance before more bonuses can be applied again. When control flips, the structure "consumes" all installed upgrades and the access to the structure is assigned to the new Warlord/Protector/Cartel in control of the system. They must install fresh upgrades themselves.

To tie in benefits for long-time holders, the upgrades will scale with time, increasing in value/power the longer a controlling corp holds a system. However, as soon as they lose the system, they lose those benefits and must start their counters over. The ideas behind these bonuses are general buffs to behaviors in lowsec.



In addition to these, there should be a form of "Incursion" influence over the systems, depending on the "size" of the empire. These bonuses would behave similar to the Incursion damage/tank, but at most a 10% swing (with 10 systems), as an incentive to claim adjacent systems. If a "chain" of systems is disrupted, however, the bonuses will only apply from the two sectors. So, a line of 11 systems has a 10% bonus to the owners (damage and/or resistances), loses its center system, so it breaks into 2 strings with 5% bonus. Controlling chains of connected solar systems is a mechanic overlooked in the current nullsec sov system, so its possible to grab every-other system with no drawback to the overall Sov owner. This would behave more strategically, and create choke-points for defenders.

Addendum

From Iron Straw:

Another problem with lowsec is the lack of drive to go there. Currently this concept outlines a good system to keep them there, or at least make those that live there have a more rewarding experience.

So, a thought would be to make specifically Level 4 missions evolve a bit from their current state. While a lot of the existing content would remain the same, there should be additions:

  • More multi-part missions
  • Some of these parts should fork, and have optional pieces, like the last room in Angel Extrav.
  • These forks should head to lowsec, and should be more difficult to run alone (approx 1/2 an Incursion Vanguard)
  • They should be rewarding, like 10M payout, on top of bounties
  •  Alternatively, there could be rewards from current missions that include bookmarks to hack sites in lowsec that contain unique drops (deadspace scrams/webs, other E-War) that make someone want to go there, and then live there, to avoid getting killed in the future, or kill missioners that DO go there.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Gospel of Eve, Pt. VIII: Potestas Precis

Whenever you are lost in space, tired, damaged, alone, you can always take comfort to know that someone is watching you. it may not be a physical entity, or a friendly pilot, but His eyes are watching you. but hen you are down, broken, and all hope is lost, you can always count on one word of truth for guidance, salvation, hope: the Gospel of Eve

Part VIII: Potestas Precis (The Power of Prayer)

This is the Gospel according to Lord RectAnus...

First letter to the members of The Methodical Alliance:

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, brothers...

Your devotion is inspirational. Me in Sancta Luce lava, fratre. 

Sancta Luce?

I can only wish to accept the Lord so fully into my life as you have. I know that faith requires me to end all hesitation, and by doing so, I will be rewarded. But such hesitation has been beneficial to me in the past. However, your devotion to the One Truth has brought you nothing but unending glory and fortune.

Methodical Alliance: protecting sovereignty with the power of prayer.
We need your guidance, brothers! We are willing to accept Jesus into our hearts! Only few of us still reject His glory. The rest of us are willing to fully accept Him into our lives and souls.


We know exactly why we have been having troubles in our lives. Brother Targamarr only made it too plain to me and the others. And we are indeed ashamed.


Please hear my pray, brothers! I love Jebus! I love the Holy Trinity! Join us! We will join the side of Jesus with you! And together, with the power of prayer, we will conquer New Eden in the name of the Lord!

Faithfully yours,

Brother Lord RectAnus
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Transcribed by Lord SphinctAnus RectAnus

PERMITTE ME INDVCERE: DOMINVS SPHINCTANVS RECTANVS MIANI CONNECTICVTI SVM.

RIP Vile Rat

I want to take a break from the general douchebaggery and meta-shit talking usually prevalent on this blog to honor a fallen EVE player, Vile Rat of Goonswarm. During the compound raids in Benghazi, Libya, several people were killed, including a diplomat of the U.S. and some of his staff. Among them, was Sean Smith, known more commonly in the EVE universe as former CSM member and Goonswarm diplomat, Vile Rat.

Here is a collection of touching articles about this man, from people who knew him:
The Mittani Post
The Mittani Blog
Seleene's Blog
Two Step's Blog

I personally never met nor talked to the man, but I knew of him, and heard many stories, most are recounted in Mittani's blog post. As a general griefing Alliance, I have modeled a lot of Tso's strategies after Goonswarm tactics, even if they don't necessarily follow them anymore. They were my inspiration to join Hulkageddon III, IV, and V, and we won Hulkageddon IV as an Alliance. I was quite surprised that Goonswarm's diplomat was, in fact, a diplomat IRL, but I imagine it would take a great man with great skills to negotiate among the several large power blocs in this game, and where else to learn these skills but real life experience.

The EVE community has a thread going in honor of his memory. Please go there and show your support.


Several outposts are currently being renamed in honor of VR, showing that, as a sandbox, EVE and its community has the ability to erect our own monuments, and we can all come together and overlook squabbles in the digital world to honor the memory of a fallen player.


At last count, there are over 300 outposts renamed in nullsec.

On behalf of General Tso's Alliance, I extend our condolences to Sean 'Vile Rat' Smith's family.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Operation: Decon Vacation 9/6

For fuck's sake...

I lost track of the days, so go fuck yourself.

Our vacation has been extended, HOORAY!


So, we reinforced every single POCO by day 2, using our measly dread fleet in Sharuveil to reinforce all 7 of the POCO's in about 20 minutes.


This seemed to attract a ton of attention from Shadow Cartel, as predicted.

Their first attempt to hot drop us occurred when we started to reinforce the last of the POCO's a day later at Decon VII. They Titan bridged a menagerie of ships, mostly tech 3's and HACs. We bailed as soon as the cyno was lit, expecting a much larger response. We reshipped, and intended to sacrifice a Battleship fleet anyway, but as we undocked, the Shadow guys landed on station. We attacked, they docked, then undocked, then docked, then undocked.... you get the picture.

In the fray I manged to bump their Zealot of station with my Dominix, but aside from that they didn't really engage. Well, they did smack talk a ton, especially when we got tired of the docking games and sat at our POS. The enemy called us pussies, predictably, and then said they were "waiting at planet I" for us. So, knowing they must have actually got a cyno ship ready in this time, we switched gears, opting for sniper Tornadoes as the fleet composition. They saw this on scan, again called us pussies, cyno'd 2 carriers in and then all logged. We finished reinforcing Decon VII POCO.

During this period we worked out a nice little friendship with the H0NEYBADGER alliance guys, as they seemed similarly fun-spirited as we are, having a good laugh at losses and not too taken by smack. Since they were such good sports about us taking their POCO, we'll prob transfer ownership of a couple of ours when we finally take the system over (or we'll just lose everything when we sufficiently piss of Shadow Cartel... this remains to be seen).



The next day the Cartel got a jump on us, as they seem to be EU time-zoned, and repped up all their Decon POCO's before we even logged in. We then did the only naturally annoying thing and began to shoot whatever we could in Sharuveil. One of their POCO's was off-time from the rest (left in default configuration for exiting reinforced), so we shot every other POCO. They got their carriers in system and managed to snag a couple of our ships in the process. They also then dropped in 4 Moros and 1 Revelation to siege our vacation home (POS). It is currently in reinforced, comes out tomorrow around noon EST, so it probably won't be here when we log in tomorrow. We'll have to wait and see.

We however managed to kill their POCO at Sharuveil III that night, putting up our own. Bringing our POCO control count to 2 between the two systems.

Today we managed to take down the last POCO that was delayed, at Decon VII. They popped a cyno, brought in 2 carriers but the cyno was killed before any additional support fleet was able to get through. The carriers, left standing kind of naked, bailed and we finished murdering the structure, erecting our own. Our POCO count is up to 3. Soon the systems will be ours, and the festivities can commence!


Friday, August 31, 2012

Operation: Decon Vacation Day 1

For fuck's sake...

DECON DAY 0:

Yesterday we ERECTED a medium control tower as an outpost for our operations, a nice safe spot after going GCC and also a staging point for our boosting/RR alts.

It's armed... but after all its a medium tower, so it wouldn't take much to take down. We'll see what happens now that we also kicked a hornets nest.

DECON DAY 1:

We started the day boringly by sieging the only POCO not owned by the Shadow Cartel alt corp. It was owned by a corp  in the alliance The H0NEYBADGER.


Yea like that. Badass. Except no one showed until wayyyy later and they just basically explained what we already knew about Shadow Cartel owning all the other POCOs. The chap was pretty cool about it all, though. We'll more than likely just kill their POCO regardless. It comes out of reinforced midnight (EST) Saturday night.
Fun.

ASSAULT FRIGATE ROAM:

Anyway, we killed a Small Caldari Tower and scooped its shit, and we also reinforced one of the Shadow Cartel POCOs, then decided we were too fucking bored to keep doing it, so we went on a highly successful assault frigate roam. All in all, we probably killed 1.5B in ships, but with Battleclinic's new price calculation only taking "destroyed" into account, who the fuck knows anymore.

We ganked one fleet near Parts, with the first Vigilant of the night, killed a Cynabal in a Gallente plex in Fliet, killed two destroyers in Deven, then had an awesome belt fight in Tama, where we killed a second Vigilant and his Deimos buddy. Amazing times.



More on the Decon progress tomorrow... or as close as I can get.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Operation: Decon Vacation Day -2

For fuck's sake...

Since things have been really quiet in Seyllin for the past couple of weeks, we have decided to do something never before thought of in the history of SMERG:

INVADE ANOTHER SYSTEM! omg!

THE DECON INVASION:

We decided not to stress ourselves too much so we picked the nearby system of Decon and its sister system,  Sharuveil, to attack. Both are 0.4 systems, sandwiched between hisec on either end. Decon has 1 singular station, which is a kick-out station similar to Roden in Seyllin and Dodixie IX Moon 20, so bumping will happen. And we already got a good fight.

Engagement 1:

While staging ships for this weekend's fun, Saggy and I spotted a ton of tech 1 cruisers on d-scan at top belt in Decon. We figured it would be a stomping of sorts, so I warped my blaster Dominix to 0, and had my alt and Saggy wrap around from the sun to warp in on me at 50km in Guardians. The fight started strong, I went GCC, immediately face-raping a Thorax, and before I knew it 3 Blackbirds were on grid jamming the living shit out of me. This was in addition to the several wings of EC drones that would intermittently jam me. I tried damping a Blackbird whenever I became unjammed, and used Bashar's compliment of Hornet EC's to jam a second Blackbird, but it was just too much ECM. One Blackbird died to drones while I was jammed, but they still had enough ewar to basically keep Burseg perma-jammed. 

We kept a cool head for a while, until the fleet actually started developing some form of coherent strategy, first tackling the Logi's with the Assault Frigs (Ishkur and Jaguar) they had join the fight, then by jamming Bashar and pouring their DPS into Saggy. I managed to overclock my alt's ECCM and his RR's to burst-rep Saggy a couple times, but it didn't take too many cycles of jam to finally kill that useless spick. By this point Rectanus and Brusanan finally decided to help (they were 3 jumps away the entire 25 minute fight) and showed up in an Armageddon and Talos, respectively. They raped a few ships, but we ultimately lost the battle with both my alt and Saggy falling to the other fleet.

A campaign has been created for our little adventure into Decon, and the actual "invasion" doesn't begin until Friday night, so we'll see what kind of mischief we can get ourselves into.

How to "fix" ECM:

This engagement further emphasizes the need to nerf ECM. While some would say "buff other ECM isntead," the basic equivalents to accomplish this feat (to bring the others into line) are as follows:

Damps - Make it so you can't lock frigates or beyond 15km PERIOD.
TP - Increase every ship's signature so they can be hit by fighter bombers for full damage, and, fuck it, doomsdays
TD - Slows ROF to 10%, Reload speed to 1minute, tracking to 15%, falloff to 2% (finally a nerf for Minmatar?)
Webs - Stops you dead in your tracks and disables MWD/AB
Scrams - 200 point strength, works on supercaps
Neuts (ewar?) - cause uniform heat damage across the board + 3x effectiveness

My point is, ECM is OVER-powered, its not that the other E-wars over too-underpowered. ECM is chance-based, but when it hits, it completely knocks a ship out of a fight. All you can do is sit and die. I put a change idea on the forums, but I'm sure it'll be locked soon.

To sum it up:
Multispectral jammers disable 1 random hislot on a target ship. Racials do 2. Learning the Signal Dispersion skill will change so it is a multiplier (something like 5x at level 5).

By hislot I mean ANY active hislot. RR, weapons, salvager, smartbomb, neuts (HIC warp disruption field? I think YES). This makes ECM boats focus on DPS ships or Logi ships, and make them really good at this purpose, but do not utterly cripple a ship. They also do not need to focus on other EWAR ships since they can't do jack shit to midslots.

"But Burseg, doesn't this mean you'd have been killed anyway, as your Logi boats would have been disabled with no chance-based shit anyway?"

Yes, asshole, I'm not bringing this up as a tirade because I died, as the forum post shows, I had this idea weeks back and figured this is the best time to put it up. And also, ECCM would be boosted to maintaining slots being online, so ECM boats with proper strength bonuses could have 1 racial jammer with the strength to jam 20 hislots, and a Megathron with 4 ECCMs overclocked might have the effectiveness of 28 hislots or something along those lines, making him a shitty target to attempt to jam.

But anyway, back the war!

CURRENT CAMPAIGN STATS:


We are down for now, but not by much.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Band That Slays Together, Stays Together

For fuck's sake...

It's been a month since anyone from my shit Alliance has posted anything, so I might as well capitalize on this lull by posting

A SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTING PLUG-ION!

My band, Kill-Tac 9, has released their newest album, "A Band That Slays Together, Stays Together."

AVAILABLE FREE for download/listen on our Soundcloud!!!
Lyrics on our GoogleDocs.
Like us on Facebook.
Visit our Website.
Check out tons of videos there, too. Practice demos, skits, Justin Timberwolf, music videos, etc.

And album artwork by Tim Rogalski:

Track breakdown:

A Band That Slays Together, Stays Together:
Metal chants, talks about zombie apocalypse and how the band would cope with such a situation. Hint: it involves beer, women, and questionable powders.

F.A.W.K:
Metal/Rock riff-o-rama. Like a rock band got raped by a metal viking.

I Don't Fit in Your World, and You Don't Fit in That Dress:
Softer, piano involved, generally used to moisten the panties of women. Just don't tell them the title of the song, as true as it is, they don't like hearing that shit.

Samantha:
X-Files homage, complete with choir ending and sound clips from the best FBI show of the 90's-00's.

Yo Girl:
Worst pick-up line ever, some of the best lyrics imaginable.

Tainted:
All the sweetest things in life, are now tainted by your smile.

Vanity Unfair:
About that bitch we all know that would ditch everyone she's known her whole life for a chance in the lime light. (sounds a lot like my Alliance mates, come to think of it).

Beers:
Self explanatory.

River:
Holy shit that guitar track is amazing. Best dynamics in the album, amazing song to close on.

ACTUAL EVE STUFF:

Well, that's it for the plug. Stay tuned for details about our upcoming INVASION OF DECON. Standby for loss mails.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Now that THE Op is Over

For fuck's sake...

Before I begin, I think I should take this time to cover a piece of General Tso's history for our readers. Play this while reading the scrawl part:


A long time ago, in the Thoulde Constellation of Essence Region...

[START TITLE CRAWL]

A group of allies existed as part of a lowsec coalition known as "Pain Vault" consisting of several corporations, TKPRO, SMERG, DEP, JEDI, and others. They existed to fight the -10 groups of Hell's Rejects, Basgerin Pirates, Evil Alts, etc. TKRPO was the major PVP force in the area, but internal issues and desire to head to nullsec began the downfall of that corp. It wasn't long before SMERG and DEP were the major players in the area, with only a couple TKPRO members participating at all. It became quite apparent to SMERG, however, that they were carrying most of the fleets, with all the top damage of every engagement being racked up by the small, younger, corporation.


With the exodus of the "enemies" to regions unknown, and the absolute cave-in of TKPRO, SMERG decided to restructure its standings with the Pain Vault allies, understanding that very few "blues" offered anything in the way of PVP support, or even free ships to defend the  industry corps. We formed our own alliance (with offers to old Pain Vault members to join) and every other corp was reset, save DEP and JEDI, as they had always been supportive of SMERG in the past.


Before too long, DEP became as restless as TKPRO had been in our dead-end lowsec, and a lot of their members had grandiose dreams of life in nullsec, so there was little presence from them in Seyllin and Ane, aside from their POS's in Ane. One day they returned, and some of their noobs did not have properly configured overviews and shot at Yin, who was -10, but absolutely blue to DEP. We retaliated, in what I've (now) dubbed: The shot heard up my sphinct.

[END TITLE CRAWL]


This was the first kill against our old-time friends, and they chose to take the side of some idiot noob over their long-time allies. They were then reset.



Over time they have joined much larger alliances in nullsec, and somehow convinced their members to come back into our little pocket of lowsec to harrass us, in some misguided attempt to vindicate their wrong stance many many months earlier. Here is a good breakdown of blog entries if you are interested in more of our insignificant (by nullsec standards) history:
But, I think this image sums it up (we are the mouse, it has AIDS... sucks for the turtle):



BDEAL (the alliance DEP joined) eventually fail-cascaded and a lot of the corps joined other alliances, including DEP joining Fatal Ascension (FA). And with Goons/TEST taking all of CFC to the south, they would bring FA with them. We, at first, wanted to take this window to finally remove DEP's only attachment to the area once and for all, their 4 POS's situated on 3 of the more valuable moons in Ane. I mandated that as soon as ten Dreadnought pilots were logged in, the Op would start, as setting scheduled times never works for SMERG. While we hit 8 pilots many times, we never managed to actually ring that important (read: arbitrary) "10" bell.

And then, a week or so back, I had a nice conversation with Killer Predator (KP), the (former-and-now-once-again) CEO of DEP. He informed me that he was forced from FA by their leadership, who gave KP an ultimatum: either he goes, or DEP goes. He didn't want to screw his corporation, so he bowed out. He also told me that things were rocky for DEP anyway, due to FA's obsession with K/D ratios and killboard epeen-ness (word?). And it wasn't long before DEP was out of FA, and the moment we realized this (read: 3 days before this blog post) we rallied every imaginable motherfucker we could and put all 4 towers of DEP's into reinforced. 




Big win.


We then used our new "Alliance Bounty" system to place 3 Billion ISK on the destruction of all 4 towers, ensuring the assholes in Tso's would actually show and finish this shit once and for all. And show they did.



Results:


But I'm sure some day DEP will once again get some big brother to fix the problems they can't; and claim the victory for themselves. Our future, picture below:





But the thing about SMERG/Tso's... we are a lot like herpes. Just when you think we are gone, we spring our disgusting faces out right as that hot guy from the bar is about to go down on you.


Monday, July 16, 2012

80mill Catalyst

One may ask what could make a Catalyst worth 80mill?
  • Add faction mods wrong
  • Add t2 rigs wrong
  • Add an ass-ton of faction ammo   wrong


Give up yet?
Well Charles Issier did find a way, with 4 implants in his ship he headed off to battle.
He knew that he was going to die, so why did he do it "I thought I undocked in my Incursus"says Charles Issier.
Here is the horrid prof:  KillMail
Please harass and remind him each and every time you see him.


Spy for hire,
Xion Ellecon

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The rambling of noobs notepad 1

"Charles Issier > i wish you could just slam your ship into the hulks and then self dirstruct"
EVE just slam your ship in to the enemy. 
"Fightback > just had too much personal stuff going on irl and couldn't keep up with the game"
He has lost my vote, this in no "game" this is a corp of businessmen in the field of asset relocation and wallet liberation.
"What I can't make a copy of a copy?"
What do you think this is the 21 century, we don't have the technology to copy a copy?

"There was a flash of light around my ship then I was back at a station did I level up?"
No comment.

Spy for hire,
Xion Ellecon

A Sad Day For Smerg

Long time deserter of SMERG Lord AlBannII  for the first time to date.
Lord AlBannII the once all time worst fits men in New Eden evaded his certain destruction, and baffled the attacking SMERGS.
What allowed him to escape was the target spectrum breaker that was equipped on his dominix.
But that was not all not only did he escape once he warped back and allowed us to attack him again.

 Update: Lord AlBannII has rejoined SMERG, for the lone reason of not being shot at by us.

Spy for hire,
Xion Ellecon

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Incursions Are Trusting Places

For fuck's sake...

I'll never understand why players trust other players in EVE. Like all those that fall for trade window scams, or loot from a can that says "free stuff," or assume that their Hulk won't get suicide ganked in hisec...

Well, another form of idiocy comes from those that do the group PVE events known as Incursions. The Vanguards (the second smallest) are meant to be run with fleets from 6 to 10 ships in size, with 3 logistics. This requires a lot of trust, which can usually be found in decent corporations (or shitty ones like us, but at least there's some honor among the scumbags).

Where the problem stems from are those individuals that don't have Incursion-running corps or skilled members in their corps. They are forced to rely on hopefully joining random fleets, hoping to get their cut of the profits and then hope to be remote-repaired by the logistics when the couple thousand DPS comes pouring in. There is a lot of hope there. And this is what we exploit.

So, this guy, below, was asking for an armor fleet (LFAF). With that fit that he linked.


We did what any awesome corp would do: Invited him to fleet, then warped out of the Incursion as soon as the next wave of enemies spawned... warp scramming the noob and killing him as we lol'd away. I caught his pod on scan on the warp back in, confirming his ship died.


Then he further confirmed it with his reaction in fleet chat:


Salid then tried to recruit the guy, as is customary for our alliance, and he revealed his true butt hurt level, which was clearly around 9002:


I wonder which coalition he speaks of. Could it be Clusterfuck Coalition (CFC)?


No, I'm assuming he means the Coalition of the Willing. Image related?



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

War Mechanics Overhaul... Sort of.


For fuck's sake...

CCP has finally got around to fixing their busted war mechanics, for the most part.

Problems before:Dec Shedding - A Corp that is decced joins an Alliance and immediately leaves. This would allow POS's in hisec to be reinforced only once and by the time they came out, the corp would have lost the war and left it with the Alliance they ditched. Corrected by keeping the wars going. Very awesome, and would have been nice in the past, specifically when BMX did that to use twice. I'm sure there are other shit head corps, I just can't fucking remember their useless asses.

Dec Shielding - CCP said it was "cool" to dec yourself a ton of times with 1-man alt corps to jack up the price of a dec against your. The school (Ivy League) did this a bunch, and once CCP gave a "go ahead" on the mechanic, it just got ridiculous, especially once the wars were all made mutual. This was corrected by ignoring the amount of wars a target corp has, and instead factoring the cost only off of size, which was put at a cap of 500M with Inferno 1.1.

Corp jumping - Douche nozzles would dec large corps with a 1-man corp, wait for about a week to go by and complacency to kick it for the defenders, then scoop a couple guys to gank a mission runner. When the defenders muster a fleet to kick those dude's asses, they jump in station, leave corp, undock and "LOL." Now you are out of the corp until the war is over (I think... can't remember if its 2 weeks or war is over, whichever is sooner)

Low Barrier of Entry - Apparently CCP needs to create ISK sinks, so the lowest fee for a dec is 50M and scales with the size of the defending corp, with a modifier applied from the number of wars the attacker has declared.

New war-tracking mechanic - There's finally a damn way to track success of wars in-game, based off of ISK value (which means we will probably look super awesome and cool, despite that not being anywhere close to true)


An Ally System - Defenders can scoop up friends, woot.

Mutual Wars mean something - You are locked in until someone surrenders, and the defender must declare it mutual within the first 24 hours of the war being declared. Interesting... Before the defender could make it mutual, then regret it, and pull it. Not so much anymore.

A surrender mechanic - Finally a system to offer a cash payout to the attackers, if the attacker accepts, the war ends and can't be started again until a grace period ends... I believe a week, maybe 2. Either way, you can still get decced by another alt corp, and you'll basically just be labelled an ISK pinata.



Problems with the new system, that have since been corrected:
Defenders could stack the living shit out of free allies - Allies could jump on board no questions asked for no money whatsoever. Corrected by making a doubling fee of 20M after the first ally jumps on. This goes to CONCORD, as another ISK sink.

Allies would be stuck with a war indefinitely, as what could have happened with us. Basically, you join an ally (who is probably an alt of the corp that decced them) and then you are stuck in that war for as long as the attacker wants to keep paying. This was fixed to a 2 week limit, then the ally is punted and must re-apply to join the war.

Allies that were in a mutual war were stuck in the same scenario as above. Now the allies get punted as soon as the war goes mutual.

Problems that still exist:

NEUTRAL RR. Seriously, wtf? This is the biggest plague of all hisec wars.




MY FIX: You RR someone in a war, you are kill-able to everyone on grid. Even if the "vaporware" concept of the Crimewatch overhaul doesn't go through, this little piece should.

It is still practically impossible to make money as a "merc." Defenders now must pay a fee, on top of having ample "mercs" willing to fight for free at their side.
MY FIX: The Concord fee should go to the "merc" if the war was a success for the defender. Success meaning the defenders did more ISK damage, or the attackers surrender.

I'm sure there are tons of more problems, but these two need to be addressed first if this mechanic overhaul can be seen as a complete "revamp."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Off Topic - PVPIP App

For fuck's sake...

We are jumping back into the Merc business with the launch of Inferno and its "Mercenary Marketplace," more on that in a later blog post... as of right now, the expansion has been out for 2 weeks and I've made bids to join corps around Gallente space at a measely price and only yesterday was accepted by a small corp decced by The 0rphanage [AD0PT]. Details in a later blog.

But I'm going to take this moment to show off a small tool I developed in Visual Basic that I started in December of last year and have been tweaking ever since.

For those that don't know, General Tso's loot policy (PvP Incentive Program [PVPIP]) is as follows: (very summarized as many rules have had to be changed over the years due to exploitative behavior of Dark Drifter, Mary, etc.)

  • All fleet kills (more than 1 Tso's participant) will have all loot returned to the Corp hangar in Seyllin.
  • If any Tso's member was killed in the engagement, his loss is reimbursed by an immediate cut of the drops.
    • However, if the ship lost was not in keeping with the fleet purpose (T1 Vexor swarm, for example, and the loss was a Ishtar), then the player is not reimbursed.
  • The pool of loot in the Corp hangar is sold at the end of every month, paid out to the top 10 killers (in participation) for the month.
  • If we are in an active war, only war target kills are valid.
This last piece is the most important that led the development of the PVPIP calculator. Our current Battleclinic killboard can have campaigns, but it would still require hand-counting kills. We could develop our own board, but my calculator works just as well and has the added benefit of tracking some background stats that I can use at my leadership level, such as PVPIP disqualification, and our revamped "Project" program that creates and incentive for recruitment.

But anyway, without further babble, images and descriptions:


The first popup is the main date selection, which has the user enter the month/year of the current calculation, and lets the user browse to the location of their Griefwatch/Battleclinic killboard dump.  The two check boxes open the following screens.


Ship filter currently only has a Hulkageddon filtering system that removes any kills that are not valid for Hulkageddon (This was specifically designed for last month's Hulkageddon event, but can be re-purposed to find any specific ships).


The Wars check box on the Select Date form will launch the most important feature of the PVPIP calculator, the filtering of ONLY valid war target kills. A user inputs the name of the war target, checks whether the entity is an Alliance or a Corporation, selects the date range (within the already-selected month) that the war was active for, the clicks "Add." When "Apply" is clicked, the filtering begins, removing all kills that are not valid from the list of kills pulled from the killboard dump.


Then launches the Payout form, which lists every member of the Alliance that had a kill for the month selected. Old disqualified individuals are flagged red automatically (this data is pulled from an XML document that updates when the PVPIP calculator is closed, with the "Close" button on this form.) 

Also, as mentioned earlier, our recruitment system's perks are visible on this form. As shown here, the column "Modified" shows a number next to myself, Burseg Sardaukar. This means I received 2 bonus kills to my score for this month (Hulkageddon filter is applied), from my projects Shinobu Hita and Athos Thorne. Athos has since left the corp, so he was flagged as "DQ'd" for this. We are currently voting on whether DQ'd Projects should negatively affect their Mentor's score, and the vote closes at the end of this month. The code is in place, simply commented-out, and can be enabled for this month's PVPIP come July 1st.


When an ISK value (in millions of ISK) is entered in the text box at the top of the form, and calculate is pressed, the payout values are populated in the 4th column in the list view. When the "Copy" button is pressed, it feeds the data onto the clipboard in our forum post style for easy pasting. Note that check boxes on alts can be checked off and this would skip them in the calculation. Also, ties are automatically calculated, as are DQ's.

A ton of ties at the end... splitting 2% all those ways. The last form is a corporation management form that allows for new DQ's to be added, new members to be added, old members to be removed, etc, etc. Also, when the tool launches, it automatically makes Projects that have been in the corp for 3 or more months no longer Projects and notifies the user (me) to change their Titles in EvE itself.


This is an extremely useful tool that I plan on expanding to incorporate a loss-posting confirmation section (that will have to pull from the API), and a loot-logging system (also from API) at the very least. These will mostly be used to DQ people more effectively.

Anyway, this blog was probably boring, but it was about time I released an in-depth look into the inner workings of SMERG/3XXXD's rewards programs, and how my first foray into EvE apps has gone. So, stick it in your ass.