Saturday 31 May 2014

BASTN frigate roam

This is a repost of an internal After Action Report. I'm Callduron.

As Callduron brought his hawk fleet home Ahriman made the mistake of coming on comms to say hi and got talked into taking out a low sec fleet. It was conditional on Callduron handling paplink and aar so this is being written by Callduron.

We formed a small gang of T1 frigates in Piekuri, 4 of us fairly new to low sec pvp.

And we did rather well!

We showed the new guys the ropes with some d scan hunting and Ahriman going ahead to bait fights/hunt. Ever bloodthirsty, Callduron spotted a cyno for our first kill.

We then met 2 incursi but Ahriman tore through them so fast the rest of us barely got there in time to whore.

We then camped inside a novice plex in a very busy system. An incursus came in to us but he was stabbed, followed shortly after by 2 slicers. We just got a scram and web on one as they burned off (he reached 9500m where the scram fails at 10km) and we killed him. The other was doing well until he got suckered into getting too close as we spread out around him and we webbed and scrammed him and soon killed him although he killed a merlin.

They came back in comets while we were looting and we killed them again for the loss of a firetail and an incursus. They shipped up to afs but we declined any further fights after a spirited exchange of views in local. Seems they really didn't like losing!

Amusingly the loud mouthed guy went straight off from fighting us to lose his daredevil 10 minutes after. I guess it wasn't his night.

We were winding down now so we headed back to Piekura with Cik reshipping in Jita and coming back. Just before we got back to base Callduron spotted a blinky yellow stabber on a gate. Call called for backup and sat at zero. The Stabber also had backup and a Vagabond turned up. Call jumped. The Vaga jumped and aggressed, Call jumped back and Ahriman and Call tackled the Stabber and started killing it. Ahriman was doing the lord's work with neuts so naturally got primaried first and went down just before the Stabber. Meanwhile Cik had joined for our team and a gnosis had joined for the bad guys, with the Vaga jumping back in. We killed the Stabber but lost our frigs, a respectable outcome.

So 6 T1 frigates (4 of them new to low sec) killed 4 faction frigs and a cruiser plus 2 incursi. oh and a cyno, let's not forget that. Great fleet Ahriman Taredi!

Heads up to everyone - Ahriman Taredi regularly runs these fleets on Friday nights.

BASTN Hawk roam

Repost of an internal After Action Report.

I formed us up in Hawk doctrine then did a short training drill in TVN to show my new logi anchor how I wanted him to position (relative to a jetcan labeled "BAD GUYS".) After the fleet positioned flawlessly we blapped the can for our first victory of the night.

Intel was received of a wandering Tengu so I took a chance on him choosing the MC60 pipe and burned us there quick but he had chosen a different direction. That was actually fine as it was a more interesting way to travel to where I wanted the fleet to go, we took the NCG jb and headed into Geminate.

Senshi had mentioned a new alliance moving into Gem called Flame something so we were heading to pay them a visit. En route I couldn't resist checking out the heavily ratted system of SV- but it was practically empty and besides my devious plan of having a dictor bubble the station was spoiled by their dastardly tactic of not having a station.

True confession time - I had slightly messed up my fleet comp. I assumed that someone would be coming in a random interceptor or frig that I could use as a scout but no, everyone was perfectly in hawks bursts plus one dic one eaf. You know what they say about assumptions....

I used two ab hawks as my scouts (Minchurra and Sploink). They did a wonderful job.

We did some interceptor fleet style shotgunning of ratting systems as we headed for FLAME space without any catches. In Flame's new station system I had my scouts play docking games for 5 minutes to see if they could convince a Deimos to slowboat off the station but he let them shoot him without taking the bait.

We moved to Flame's other systems looking for kills without luck and I decided to take us back via BWF or FDZ for a bit of danger. En route we did some shotgunning and actually got someone on grid with a rorqual which for some reason was in a grav site but sadly it entered warp just as senshi was about to scram it.

We then happened across what at first glance seemed to be a fight in OEY-OR. With hindsight it was a couple of roaming neut cruisers from Choke Point and a strong XDeathX hac gang (about 40). I took us bravely into the fight and the XDeathX FC panicked and told his guys to burn back to gate. We shot a Caracal (I thought we killed it but kb says no so he must have managed to jump out in deep structure) and we killed a Hurricane and his pod. Expert work from our logi prevented any losses.

Now I assumed we'd be in real trouble so meanwhile I had been anchoring the fleet, burning us out of the bubbles. As soon as the Cane died I warped us out to a planet. making a safe on the way then took a long warp to a second planet making 2 more safes. I bounced us into one of the safes and aligned the fleet by burning out a little ahead of them, aligned to one of my safes, then having the fleet anchor by approach to approximate an align. (Quite a neat technique, I came up with it on the fly).

The hostiles were a bit reluctant to jump into us. They pushed a sabre and a couple of inties in for a look so I took us back to the gate and we alligned out. After we took a few potshots at a sabre their tackle ran back to gate. Despite having twice our numbers and bigger ships they didn't want to come in, possibly because a similar FCON gang was also in the vicinity, possibly because he was worried all their tackle would die.

I wasn't going to go into them, I wasn't going to send in an ab Hawk to scout so I thought about it for a couple of minutes then took us out of Geminate the back way to 9-G. As I said at the time what we did was equivalent to a 14 year old kid running up to Mike Tyson, punching him in the leg and running away again - we killed their cane and extracted without loss against a fleet superior in both numbers and comp.

We burned back home and it was pointed out to me I'd forgotten to pap so after a heroic feat of frantic multitasking I managed to get a paplink put up just as the fastest people were docking.


Fun fleet, it was actually more entertaining than the killcount suggests because we moved fast and had a continual chain of possible kills. It felt good to draw blood then disengage against a much superior fleet.

One small room for improvement. I did say "load scourge fury" as we were in warp to the ahac gang but most people didn't. Dps on the caracal and the cane was a bit lower than it could have been. I also don't think people were overheating enough. (If you're on the cane kill compare your dps with top dps).

I'd also ask a couple of Hawks to switch their scrams for webs next time. 8 scrams and no webs isn't optimal. (assuming no one brings a hyena).

What was an absolute delight was people's willingness to step up to responsibility. I delegated a lot and people keyed up willing to be scouts, anchors, to take particular anoms on shotguns and so on. Very good work guys.

Thanks for flying Air Callduron!

Saturday 24 May 2014

Tuesday 20 May 2014

BASTN Inty roam

This is an After Action Report for a fleet I just ran for The Bastion. I really enjoyed myself. I'm not technically a CFC FC yet but hopefully that will happen soon.

I took a fleet out partly for the fun of it and also partly to test a few of our systems.

I believe Carneros pinged it but for some reason I didn't get the ping. I do get goon ones.

Spamming in alliance chat got me some people, spamming in our Bastn jabber channel got me some more, I think I had 10 inties and 2 T1 frigs in the end.

We burned to Cobalt Edge then raced to the system with the most recent ratting on dotlan. Spooked a lot of miners and a few blingy ratters. Some close ones but no kills. We then headed to another busy looking system and caught a Drake and a Hulk - sadly the Hulk got away before we could establish secondary points. The Drake didn't nor did his pod.

We then headed to Oasa where we found 4 carriers on D scan but didn't get a tackle. We did get a legion who was belt ratting on the way home. Higuise heroically pointed it until he died. Still inty for legion is a decent trade.

We got some superb angry Russian rage in local for that kill which I'm reliably informed meant "I kill your mother and rape your sheep." (Don't have the chat open, might have misremembered the order).

We then stopped off in Venal on the way back to get Higuise a noobship and accidentally found a fight. It was a very messy fight - we killed an Ishkur and put a loki into half armour but we had people missing/reshipping so we disengaged and regrouped. We lost a couple of inties and a frig. TRI got very mad and camped some of our guys into station with Onyx, T3s etc so like a true brave and loyal leader I told them they were on their own and led the rest of the guys back home. 3 velators were sacrificed to send people to TVN the quick way.

We nearly caught a cynabal 6 jumps out but it too got away and that, as they say in showbiz, was that.

- ragged comp
- superb fleet discipline
- non bubble immune ships coped well with our extreme pace (except the pod)
- we lost at least one to not disengaging. More practice with inties will reduce losses.
- upbeat friendly chat
- no paplinks available
- I'd like people to be able to get peacetime SRP later on please. (Total losses 3 inties and an atron).

I'd like more doctrine conformity (but I guess we need a doctrine first, right?) but otherwise went super smooth and made a lot of bad guys mad while entertaining us.

Also can I be a FC please?

Saturday 17 May 2014

A Newbie's Guide To Being A Pangalactic Superwarrior

written for my new alliance, The Bastion [BASTN]

Hello new person!

Welcome to this corner of the internet.

Before we go too much into specifics let's have a quick recap on how the internet works. Here's a reddit post about kittens.
Currently 3043 people like this post.

Here's a brilliant and technical analysis of Eve physics from an expert space warrior
Currently 24 people like this post.

Expressing this numerically, if you're a kitten THREE THOUSAND more people like you than if you're an expert space warrior. You're more than twelve thousand percent more liked.

We can put this into a mathematical expression:

Kittens > expert space warriors. By tons!

If your Eve life ever feels difficult or frustrating just remember this simple, empirically proved statistical fact - you're twelve thousand percent better than the narky bitter vet who shouted at you. And that's awesome.

Down to details, it may seem daunting that you're in an alliance that jumps across the universe to fight people. There's two important things that help you though, in fact the game mechanics advantage new players in this.

- you can deathclone to anywhere your corp has an office. When we deploy we normally rent an office at or next door to the target system.

- you can operate in almost any fleet in a tech 1 frigate. With a brand new character you just need to learn the microwarp drive and the warp disruptor to be a really effective tackle frigate pilot. Ewar frigates (Vigil, Crucifier, Maulus and Griffin) are also super fun and really really useful.

Let's recap - we can get you there. We can get your ships there - just ask a friend or your corp to get someone with a carrier to help move your ship. You'll probably have to change the ships' names to [Yourname]'s Slasher etc.

It's also likely that our market wizards will stock the deployment market with newbie friendly ships - these are often on alliance contracts.Some corps will have ships available, find out how your corp does this.

Once you get there your enemy is inactivity and your main weapon against this enemy is sociability. Talk to people. Make sure you have all the IT things sorted - jabber mumble. Get a microphone and talk to people.

Practice practice practice. Go out with one other person and practice tackling them burning perches and warping back, scouting and so on.

Now very occasionally there will be fleets you can't come on. Black Ops fleet work by teleporting ships but they can only teleport ships that fit covert ops cloaks so the minimum to be part of the operation is usually a Stealth Bomber. If in doubt ask the FC (Fleet Commander) if you can be of use.

Now once in a while you may get shouted at. As a FC let me explain why. We work in horrible conditions, we have to listen to multiple audio channels where different people are talking at once, while multitasking a ton of complex things. We have to monitor local, private chats, jabber chats. We have to know what the bad guys are doing, just did, are about to do and might do. In addition there's often aggravating alliance spacepolitics which makes us grumpy. (In one of my former alliances I was the senior active FC and our Recon people still didn't consider me spaceimportant enough to give me any actual recon).

FCs get grumpy.

So we might yell shut up or something but it's because we're busy stressed people in the middle of doing a really hard job.

If we annoy you please remember where we started this discussion - you are literally and provably TWELVE THOUSAND PER CENT better than us. We're internet nerds, you're kittens. So neer neer ner neer.

If you get really pissed off then please a) sleep on it. (A lot of times if I think I was rude I'll contact people after a fleet to apologise). b. raise it with your corp ceo or a diplomat. (No need to just let it go, newbie relations is really important - a FC may need to be made aware he's doing his job wrong). And finally c) if you really can't stand a particular FC simply stop joining his/her fleets. There's lots of other fleets to go on.

On to specifics, how you have fun as a new player in fleets:

- stay alive. Tackling is not a matter of just burning into a huge blob of ships and dying, often your best first move is to get 200km off a fight and watch it. A Tackler is often most useful at the end of the fight when the bad guys are trying to escape. One of my favourite memories is a fight when I was flying a Crow, which is a glorified tackle frigate and I caught two battleships at the middle and end of the fight then caught the enemy FC at the sun in his Damnation command ship and got his pod too. My tackling caused about a billion isk damage to them and turned a loss into a disaster and all because when I got shot at early on in the fight I warped off to a random planet then back. I actually warped off to survive three times before I landed all those juicy tackles. So keep alive - you're important.

- be prepared. Trying to set up IT or something during a fleet sucks, get everything ready and working before. Make sure there's ammo in your ship etc. Nothing wrong with taking it out for a test flight (unless we're camped in by bad guys).

- understand intel and geography. A big part of Eve is simply learning the map. Have dotlan open during fleets and check where we are as the FC moves the fleet about.

- have isk. In addition to pvping it's good to work out some way of making money. Looting during combat can help although if you missed a juicy tackle because you spotted a wreck of something expensive the FC might get cross. never mind, you're a kitten. If you don't have isk and you need it just ask people for some. You can pay it back down the line later when you're some superfat space cat.

- everything is free. Newbie ships are often given out free and if they aren't free then they cost isk which you can get just by asking veterans for free money. Effectively while you're new when you want to pvp you can do so for free so don't let money be a reason not to take part. Later on it's nice to have money for fancier ships or whatever but T1 frigs are so cheap there's no reason for a space holding alliance to see people left out because they can't afford one. In the grand scheme of things the 10 rifters you lost in various dumb ways are insignificant compared to the value of the moons we hold because you and the others are active.

- be sociable. People who burn out in this game burn out because they get frustrated by the many problems the game throws at us. If you ask for help we can fix pretty much anything. And people like looking after kittens.

- keep busy. If you don't have work ask for some. In a t1 frigate you can check whether moons have towers (mind you warp off quick before it shoots you!), you can build up our bookmark collections, you can roam and see if you can find something your size to fight, you can grab a few friends and just fly around looking for trouble, you can camp gates, you can rob ESS ratting thingies, you can take a siphon and steal the bad guys' valuable moon goo, you can rehearse tackling and flying techniques on jettisoned cans. (Try orbiting a can at 20 km only doing manual piloting). Even a simple thing like reporting names in intel channels can be very useful.

Saturday 10 May 2014

CSM Voting Results - breakdown

Round beginning - 36 candidates remain
31294 votes, 10432 quota
Initial talley:
  4314 "Sion Kumitomo"
  2944 "corebloodbrothers"
  1915 "Sugar Kyle"
  1692 "Steve Ronuken"
  1655 "progodlegend"
  1521 "Ali Aras"
  1453 "Matias Otero"
  1418 "Mike Azariah"
  1171 "corbexx"
  970 "Major JSilva"
  959 "DJ FunkyBacon"
  857 "Mangala Solaris"
  853 "Psychotic Monk"
  828 "Asayanami Dei"
  786 "mynnna"
  775 "Xander Phoena"
  691 "Aram Kachaturian"
  653 "James Arget"
  645 "Gorski Car"
  602 "DNSBLACK"
  528 "Jayne Fillon"
  518 "Proclus Diadochu"
  483 "Podli"
  474 "PsychoBitch"
  437 "Alner Greyl"
  355 "Awoxing Pizza-Spymaster McBlushooter"
  324 "Angry Mustache"
  266 "Einear Lightfingers"
  235 "Azami Nevinyrall"
  201 "riverini"
  190 "Psianh Auvyander"
  162 "commander aze"
  141 "Karen Galeo"
  97 "Xenuria"
  93 "Ramirez Dora"
  88 "Karma Bad"
  Elimination: "Karma Bad" with 88.000000 votes


I bolded the candidates who went on to become CSMs.

Some pretty interesting things emerge.

Condolences to Psychotic Monk and Asayanami Dei who came 13th and 14th respectively in the first round but didn't make the final 14.

Well done to the CFC for ordering their ballots efficiently enough that they got guys in despite their polling 15th and 16th in the first round.

I suspect what's happening here is the power of the full list of 14 names. For people who didn't simply copy a list 14 names is quite hard. I picked a bunch of people I liked but that only got me to 8. Then it was just people I dislike or people I'd never heard of. I think a lot of people simply didn't fill out the 14 and that's possibly part of why Mynnna and Xander got in simply by being on many people's ballots while not first choice.

So the low turnout (31k votes out of "500 000 subscribers" - probably including Serenity players who would not be eligible to vote) may actually be even lower once things get down to to the last elimination round.

In fact here is the last elimination round.

Round beginning - 3 candidates remain
18936 votes, 6313 quota
Initial talley:
  7784 "Ali Aras"
  6055 "Sion Kumitomo"
  5097 "Steve Ronuken"
  Elected: "Ali Aras"
  Transfer from "Ali Aras":
    Votes: 7784.000000, Factor: 0.188977, Excess: 1471.000000
    726.240108 votes to Exhausted
    587.719681 votes to "Steve Ronuken"
    157.040211 votes to "Sion Kumitomo"
  Elimination: "Steve Ronuken" with 5684.719681 votes

So only 18936 people voted for a full set of 14 candidates.

Also interesting is that Ali Aras came 6th in the first round and finished top. While she wasn't top on as many people's lists as other candidates she did manage to appear on most voters' lists.

Some conclusions I have:

- it's dangerous to assume that views of the CSM precisely represent the Eve player base. We've had ongoing disputes for some time between one end of the playerbase spectrum that can be characterised as extrovert/event-attending/pvpers and introvert carebear soloers

- only 31k/500k accounts voted and many of those, especially the nullsec and wormhole guys will be multiple accounts. That's about 6%.

- one could argue that it's not right to count the Serenity server as those players are not enfranchised. I don't agree. They are still Eve players, CSM influence on how Eve develops still shapes their game. It's probably a really bad thing that those players are disenfranchised, if there are major cultural and attitudinal differences between that small subsection of the Eve playerbase that is vocal and Western and the Chinese players.

- 40% of voters didn't complete the full ballot (including me). A significant proportion of those who did were probably copying someone else's lists. This means a small number of people, those who make the list, are having a very large impact on the election results.

- Steve Ronuken who just missed out last year did amazingly well. This echoes Jester who failed 3 years ago then got a sackful of votes last year. Standing for the CSM even if you don't get in seems to help future campaigns.

- Mynnna got a surprisingly low number of votes. One expected his Goon constituency to vote for Sion first Mynnna second as per instructions but he went from top last year to barely scraping in this time round.

Saturday 3 May 2014

Dust and Ashes (NSFW)

Sorry Dust514 players.

Bad news from Fanfest (nsfw)