Sunday 29 June 2014

BB57: Survival of the fittest

Drackarn pointed this killmail to me recently and proposed the following for a blog banter:
Obviously that is a not just a bad fit, its horrific. But the guy might not know any better. We get these all the time circulating social media and corp/alliance chat. How do we educate players on fitting? This guy has been playing four months and can fly a BC, but has no idea how to fit one. What could be done to help bro's like this?
Furthermore, what (if any) responsibility do veterans players have in finding these players and instructing them on the finer arts of ship fitting? If it exists, does it extend beyond them into teaching PvP skills, ISK making skills, market skills, social skills, life skills...

And another question you can think about is this: do purposely wrong fits, aka comedy fits or experimental fits or off-meta fits, offend you or your corp? Would you, like Rixx Javix when he was in Tuskers, face expulsion for fitting your ships differently than the accepted standard?

"Its the difference between streaking and getting caught with your pants down." - Kirith Kodachi

So not long after I wrote about hull tanking Kirith calls a Blog Banter on fitting. I guess it's already obvious where I stand on the issue.

So let's start by exploring the alternatives - a simple fitting system. You have 10 points. You can spend some on speed, some on tank and some on firepower. So for instance a kiting caracal might be 4 mobility 2 tank 4 firepower, a brawler maller might be 5 firepower 5 tank.

Does anyone want this?

Does anyone want to scrap our marvellous and complex rich spaceship engineering for some dumbed down version?

I love fitting ships. It's a great minigame. "EFT Warrior" or whatever you want to call it. I think people get frustrated because in a group game not everyone can be the fittings person. It's hard to get your special clever doctrine idea adopted in a corporation or alliance setting. What's more "kitchen sink" fleets where everyone flies their own individual choice of ship and fit are terrible and get taken to the cleaners by doctrine fleets.

So fitting is great, fitting drama or fitting constraints are what people chafe at. The Rixx incident in Tuskers was a case of a strong willed individual not being willing to fit the required doctrine. That's not really a fault of Eve's fitting system, it's an issue about people. It even resolved well imo - the individualist went on to become his own boss, forming Stay Frosty. Now that's very like what happens in people's professional lives. Someone works for a boss, hates it, goes to start their own business, becomes a success. I'd call that working as intended.

Now the thing with Eve's fitting that's so great is that there's a cycle of innovation. Dull hidebound doctrines lose to clever imaginative new ideas. Those new ideas become doctrine and individuality and divergence becomes frowned upon. This leads to stagnation which opens the door to innovation.

Now it is hard to be at that apex of alliance power where you're the person coming up with the new fits. It's going to tend to be the most experienced FCs who get to play with new doctrines, and the larger the organisation the harder it is to be one of the people who gets to say what everyone else flies.

Saturday 21 June 2014

Real men hull tank

For a long time in Eve hull tanking has been a joke. There are modules but they were pretty terrible, especially hull reppers which repair about a tenth of what an armour repper or shield repairer would do.

Forget everything you know about Eve tanking and just consider this:

APPLE style tanking:

mod that boosts apple resists by 30% costing 32 cap per 10 seconds.
rig that boosts apple hit points by 15%

PEAR style tanking:
mod that boosts pear resists by 20%, cap free
rig that boosts pear tank hit points by 15%

BANANA style tanking:
mod that boosts banana resists by 60%, small boosts to the resists of the other tanks, 1 cap per 30 seconds.
rig that boosts banana tank by 20%

Holy crap banana tanks look good.

Now let's look at it with the Eve info:

Shield style tanking:

mod that boosts shield resists by 30% costing 32 cap per 10 seconds.
rig that shield hit points by 15%

Armour style tanking:
mod that boosts armour resists by 20%, cap free
rig that boosts armour tank hit points by 15%

Hull style tanking:
mod that boosts hull resists by 60%, small boosts to the resists of the other tanks, 1 cap per 30 seconds.
rig that boosts hull tank by 20%

Now let's review hull tanking:
- unbelievably good resist all mods
- outstanding rigs
- mediocre +hit point option (Reinforced Bulkheads)
- shockingly bad active tank mods (Hull reppers)
- poor rep drones (hull rep drones rep half as much as the other rep drones).

If we just take the really good modules we get a skeleton Eve fit as follows:

Damage Control II

Transverse Bulkhead I
Transverse Bulkhead I
Transverse Bulkhead I

This fit leaves almost all your main module slots free while giving you a hull tank with 60% resists and 173% of base hull hit points for the ship type.

Now here's a thing I didn't know and you may not: Gallente ships have lots of hull hit points. It's a racial thing.

So now we're looking at Gallente ships which can make good use of the other slots. In general this approach is best suited to ships which need a bit more tank but can really use all of the slots. This probably means ships that are on the small size, it's less useful on a large ship with many slots like a Dominix.

Here's a fast aggressive Taranis tackler:

[Taranis, hull]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Overdrive Injector System II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Warp Scrambler II

Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
[Empty High slot]

Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I

2 Hornet EC-300s

It uses the extra slots freed up to get more speed and damage while packing the mids with mwd and tackle. It has 4.5k ehp which is fairly high for an inty, it has 236 dps which is exceptionally high for an inty and it moves over 4km/s. It can web scram and ecm jam.

If you armour tanked this you'd lose damage and speed modules, plus a plate would slow you down, if you shield tanked it you'd lose a web and need an auxiliary power module to give you enough grid, costing you either your overdrive or your mag stab.

Here's another particularly evil fit: a cap stable triple neut tristan with 122 dps and 5.1k ehp. It will neut out a half cap tristan in 8 seconds!

[Tristan, hull]

Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Overdrive Injector System II

Small Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 400
Warp Disruptor II
1MN Afterburner II

Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I

Hobgoblin II x5

Last but not least I present a beast of a Vexor: 882 dps, 2 web, scram, 1663 m/s, 17.3k effective hit points.

[Vexor, hull]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M

Medium Transverse Bulkhead I
Medium Transverse Bulkhead I
Medium Transverse Bulkhead I

Ogre II x2
Hobgoblin II x1
Hammerhead II x2

Spare drones 10 Warrior IIs

(Image borrowed from Tiger Ears)

Saturday 14 June 2014

Nullsec: The Cold War heats up

A very large battle was fought yesterday in Delve in QY6-RK, at the southern end of the CFC Empire.

The N3 coalition responded to The Mittani's recent claim that there would be no summer war by reinforcing a LAWN CSAA - a large POS module capable of building titans or supercarriers. The CFC responded in force - I was part of a massive armada that included over 200 Megathron battleships. At one point on the POS grid there were 1290 ships - here's a D scan of ships on grid during the fight. According to the final battle report there were over 1000 from the CFC against just over 600 from N3 and HERO. Local peaked at just under 2000. Tidi was 10% for most of the battle.

These charts show the isk loss over time. At first N3 was winning the isk war but the battle turned and they took heavy losses disengaging.

Now politically it was a good time to test the CFC. CFC alliances Gents (in which I had found myself) and Li3 had recently collapsed with a new alliance, The Bastion, formed from the ashes. A reddit troll that FA had collapsed was widely believed. Two key corps left Razor Alliance. From the outside it may have looked like much of the CFC was close to failcascade.

However the reality lies in a term Gevlon coined: fleetbears. Most of the CFC happily rat or mine most of the time, making us look like easy prey to people who pvp all the time but we do get into our big ships and field strong numbers for key operations. "Carebears" who fleet up for, say, CSAA saves. A typical CFCer is ratting his way into a titan or super, occasionally pausing to join a strat op if it gets heavily pinged on jabber. This is quite simply a playstyle that works for many of us and to some extent the specific corp or alliance ticker doesn't matter so much as being able to rat in nullsec for the most part in peace and getting SRP-assisted defence when the Coalition is threatened. As The Mittani said when The Bastion was formed "For years we have noticed that corporations move around within the CFC, but almost never leave it."

The Bastion has proved to be a good home for most of the alliances it took in. We have active fleets and a core of aggressive pvpers and experienced players. And of course we do lots of ratting.

And the familiar issues that I found difficult to bear while I was on the side that opposes the CFC struck in full force. Pandemic Legion has spent the last month blowing up the ships that their allies need for the war, with a "friendly reset" of Nulli, much like the friendly reset of Test last year which led so rapidly into Test going broke in the Fountain War. There's a lack of coordination - while everyone in the CFC came to the op yesterday no one from Test was on the report and only 8 people from PL. Spaceship Samurai didn't come. Brave brought no more than Fatal Ascension and in much cheaper ships. Black Legion, MOA and Pasta brought low numbers and seemed equally happy to shoot either side.

This is why I left that team - it's frustrating if you want to win to see half your side not trying or even working against you.

The battle itself was a heavy defeat for N3 with over 43 billion isk lost and many T3 strategic cruisers killed. causing pilots to also lose skill points. It was also a great day for the salvagers and tractor units - at least those who weren't blown up by jealous friendlies.

Personally I added to my tally of celebrity kills by bagging both of Nulli's main FCs and picking up the leader of INK. I also bagged 14 T3 Cruisers.

The CFC got to the field first and set up around the pos. It was quickly repaired by carriers leading to a strategic win before the battle began. Our FC was very concerned about bombers so we formed by orbiting the pos shields in our battleships making it difficult for a single bombing run to kill a large clump of battleships.

N3 countered our apoc/megathron fleet by using protei and legions. They were armour tanked and were using their mid slots for tracking disruption, hoping that the low sig radii of the strategic cruisers would make them too difficult for the battleships to do effective damage to.

I think they basically got the maths wrong. First of all it's difficult to effectively ewar if you have lower numbers. No one tracking disrupted my Mega for the entire fight - there just weren't enough of them to cover us all. Next they're not bonused for tracking disruption - it would have been better to get Brave to come in Arbitrators and Crucifiers if they had wanted this tactic to work. Next Megathrons and Apocs both have ship bonuses to tracking - we're the battleships this tactic works least well on. Finally we simply weren't having trouble hitting. The primaries were double webbed and painted - hugely lowering their ability to sig tank us.

I do really admire the ballsiness of the N3 who gave this a really good shot but fighting out-numbered may work 3 v 5 it doesn't usually work in large battles.

Fired by the win the CFC's new Sky Marshall, Blawrf McTaggart has announced an aggressive campaign over the weekend. Expect more fights today.

(Hatip to reddit user /u/korniax for the beautiful screenshots).

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Damn you, Gevlon Goblin!

My evil campaign against Gevlon's minions of justice was doubly foiled yesterday. First the news broke that Darwin's Lemmings would not be deploying to Oasa, foiling my cunning plan to surgically remove their plasma pocos and buzz them daily with interceptor gangs.

Then I fell victim to my own favourite tactic as a MOA interceptor gang entered my new ratting system. With hindsight I realise this system has a flaw - it's very large. I had just started a long warp when the first neut appeared in local. By the time I landed there was an interceptor in the site already. I got pointed. I aligned out and tried to kill inties with Precision Cruise missiles and a gecko. Oh for a rapid heavy missile fit and a mobile depot! I also had a Domi alt and we had a raging battle - myself and my alt versus around 18 interceptors, funded by Goblin trading profits.

I drew blood killing three of them but their damage was too much for my overheated reps and my mjd trick was unsuccessful. Bye bye to my shiny new Rattlesnake! To add injury to injury they even killed my pod. They also got the domi

No doubt there'll be a smug Gloating Goblin post tomorrow morning. Good fight MOA!

Monday 9 June 2014

The Lemmings decided not to jump after all

    For a week or so I've been polishing my missile launchers in anticipation of the arrival of CFC arch-nemesis, Darwin's Lemmings, in nullsec, just 31 jumps from where we live.
    Hello Everyone,
    Darwins Lemmings is closing its doors !
    Our Plan to deploy to 0.0 will be canceled we simply dont got the members we need to be sucessfull in 0.0.
    We kicked the asses of some of the biggest alliances in EVE for a half YEAR !
    We washed away their Pocos in High Sec (The M8s who fly with us since we founded know what fun it was to outplay several goon FCs!) But the most important thing we did we where sending a message "RESISTANCE IS POSSIBLE" ! The most of the CFC laughed about us when we start called us
    "Pubbie Shit Lords" and unrelevant ! I didnt hear the Pubbie Shit Lord thing for months now :). Iam proud of everyone of you who became a PVP Guy during the last Months. It was a lot of work with some alarm clocking for me (during the poco wars) but i would do it again ! So i hope everyone of you had fun and learned something about PVP.
    You will find me always at the side of the underestimated !
    fly smart !
    doc know
    My Corp " The Red Barons" will do a 1 week break for recovering and then we will join a merc Alliance to keep up the pressure at the CFC in high sec !
    The Red Barons currently accepts applications. If you want to fly with us in the future then send in a application. If you dont meet the requirements but you are willing to focus on Logistics (Guardian) or Recon (Falcon) then send me your application (with a full api + eveboard (with password) maybe we can do something.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Perspectives on Eve

(4:12:06 PM) callduron: i enjoy the phrasing on both sides
(4:12:15 PM) callduron: for example this on TMC
(4:12:17 PM) callduron: Less than five months into their holy crusade, Darwins Lemmings <.GRR.>, the centerpiece alliance for Gevlon Goblin’s “GRR Goons Project”, has called it quits.
(4:12:28 PM) callduron: will be this on Greedy Goblin
(4:12:56 PM) callduron: after 5 glorious months .... has declared victory and op success and is taking the fight to the next level

Scouting for dummies

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Hello Test Alliance my old friends, I've come to welp with you again.

(6/2/2014 8:08:01 PM) callduron: !ping all Fleet Type: Inty fast roam || Formup: TVN docked by 19.20 eve time || FC: Callduron || Reimbursement: Peacetime || Duration: approx 2hrs || Comms: BASTN OP 6|| Notes: we're won't be in Kansas any more, Dorothy

1) To serve and protect Krestianin

2) En route


3) The battle of V-3


The battle of HED-GP



FC's ship looking battered after hard night out.

Someone mentioned a wormhole going from our home in Vale out to Amarr space and I thought to myself "hmmm, that's near the new home of my old friends from Test Alliance Please Ignore."

I formed a small gang of inties with 2 guys in frigates who can't fly inties yet.

Just as we were leaving we had a call for help from Krestianin who was being hunted in his pod a few jumps away by a couple of frigates so we raced down there on our white horses and chivalrously rescued his expensive pod. We charged him a Police Pursuit Comet to be paid to our newest player, a cheap price for our service and protection.

Back on track we headed to the wormhole and most of us bookmarked it ok and it took us to Domain. We burned to Provi where CVA formed up a gang. They actually blocked us from going where we wanted to go so we went an alternative route. They raced us down that pipe too and got ahead of us so we simply turned around and burned the way we'd wanted to go anyway.

We next encountered a Nulli caracal fleet. We tried dangerzoning with their fast tackle a couple of times but didn't get a kill and lost one of our frigates. We raced ahead of them but they headed the same place as us - V-3, Brave's form up system. In V-3 we bounced around trying to pick off loose targets at the edges as Brave fought Nulli. After a while Nulli left and we bounced around fighting Hero, murdering a handful of ships. I got to take a few potshots at my old boss, Sapporo Jones.

We moved on to check out Test's mighty new space empire in YHN. Sadly the cupboard was bare - no one in system, no brave ratters out restoring the finances, no one for us to play with there. We pinged the SBUs just for fun then took an afk break. I guess you could say we went for a dump in Test's new space

We headed up to HED-GP. We camped the gate for a bit then a Deimos came in and aggressed. We took the fight but he was supported by a second Deimos and we lost a few people who went within web/scram range. We bailed. (Note, blaster Taranis not optimal in kitey Crow fleet).

Then boodabooda and another Test guy came in so we maneuvred into position to play. We were trying to manoeuver around Booda's cruiser and pick off his inty friend but he motored like a man on a mission. They started reinforcing and we were a little low in numbers so we bailed.

[22:01:03] BoodaBooda u scare?

Yes, sadly we were.

This time.

We ran back through high sec and got home just in time for Kith's ishtar fleet.

I enjoyed the repartee with Test

[20:56:05] Durpmen Durps You a nurse in the old peoples home now?

[20:57:42] Callduron he he think so

[21:03:05] Giovanni Titus how are you doing?

[21:03:16] Callduron really good they're leeting me fc

[21:03:23] Giovanni Titus  haha, rip

Low sec goes nuts!

Very entertaining in low sec, right now, I just FCed a 3.5 hour roam.

We got a ton of fights, found a Barghest bpc, sold it for 1.5 bill in Jita, found an offline pos, killed the SMA for a free Rokh and Cyclone.

So many low sec systems are buzzing with activity and half the names in local are flashy.

If you've nothing better to do tonight low sec is where it's at!

One of my alliance mates made a short video to celebrate.