Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Farmer or Militia????

For a few years, Rixx Javix has lead a crusade against the overabundant use of Warp Core Stabilizers in low sec, primarily in faction warfare complexes.

Rixx is not against these modules, when they are fit to ships which are not designed for offensive combat (haulers are a good example).  What Rixx is against are combat hulls designed to encounter potential targets, yet when a mad target appears they will simply warp off as they are fit with at least one, or more than likely a full rack of stabs.

Recently while Rixx was in Iceland during fanfest he had the opportunity to chat with some of the CCP staff and to discuss the issues with stabs and low sec.  It actually sounds as if there possibly might be some review of stabs in the future as it relates to the review of modules that CCP has been conducting over the past few months.

Talvorian Dex had a post up earlier today discussing another possible solution which would look to add consequences to the use of the stabs, rather than restrictions.  The primary emphasis of his post was to provide a standings hit from your faction when you enter a complex with a stab fit to your ship.

But, both the issues pointed out by Rixx and the possible solution discussed by Talvorian made me start to think of an issue which really has not been addressed yet.  Are you a militia member who has joined for purposes of advancing the militia's cause?  Or, are you simply a farmer who has joined the militia as it is a very easy method of farming ISK?

Part of this is a flawed design of the faction warfare aspect of the game in how systems have control established.  To have control swing by complexes being captured by a single pilot orbiting a beacon for a set amount of time is not what anyone had in mind when you talk about warfare.  There are things that "could" be done to address this, possibly coming in the future with some type of Entosis Link specifically designed for faction warfare.

But, back to our core issue.  If you are an individual who has joined the militia for the purposes of advancing their cause, you should be in an offensive ship hull with the intention of engaging in combat to kill the targets who are against your faction.  You should not have a stab fit to your ship as it provides penalties to your offensive capabilities in the battle as well as wasting a low slot that is better used for either tank (armor fit) or offensive weaponry upgrades.

Now, if you are a farmer, go ahead and farm.  But, you will not do so with a stab or stabs fit to your ship.  CCP has the capabilities to allow or restrict module use based on security status of systems or hull classes.  There is no reason that they could not introduce a restriction to acceleration gates if you have a stab fit to your ship.

You want to fit a stab to your ship for navigation between systems using gates (allowed).  Looking to fit a stab for warping between station and a customs office (allowed).  Looking to fit a stab to your rifter, so that you can head into small complexes and farm LP (disallowed).

There is a purpose for the stab in this game, and use of it in complexes is not it.

CCP it is time for a change with how the stab is used in complexes.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Best Keynote Ever!

@CCP_Seagull delivered the EVE Online keynote address earlier today, and hit it out of the park!

For all of you who do not live in the United States or have familiarity with American baseball, sometimes a player will hit a home run where the ball clears the playing field.  Sometimes, they have the strength and power to literally hit the ball out of the entire park, which is what this keynote did.

There were references to the new and improved release schedules, some very quality graph porn, wonderful art discussions, additional information on the new skins, and an announcement of a model which you can purchase of a Nyx...... that levitates!

There was a discussion on our alliance slack about the keynote ending, but I told the audience that it couldn't yet:

Witmer Jolith [10:53 AM] @draivsolregard: can't be.  there is no bomb dropped yet

You see, CCP Seagull has had a plan for the past 24 months, lets call it a roadmap.  We are still on that plan and have made some tremendous strides in the past 12 months as she mentioned in the list of accomplishments which were achieved via the new and improved release schedule.

Last years bomb was not so much one single item, but rather the concept of the flexible development team, releasing improved or updated code in a faster schedule than ever before.  We also have seen a huge transition in the way that CCP announces updates or functionality changes and how they gather feedback.  In a nutshell, they release information far in advance of a change, and they actively seek to gather feedback from player community, such as the recent phase two changes to sovereignty.

About 75 minutes into the keynote, Seagull returned to the stage and introduced CCP_Nullarbor to the stage.  He proceeded to discuss one of the wonderful mechanics in the game that many players have come to despise and literally become sick over, Player Owned Stations (POS).  He then proceeded to go into a summary of many of the changes which CCP plans to make in the near future (some in 2015, others later):

First, your current structures will be safe:

I could just imagine players and corporations getting very fearful of the changes which will be coming as it relates to their current structures.

Next, CCP will be transitioning the structure system to something very similar to the ISIS system for ships, which is a natural transition given the new and improved structures.

Size will become very important in the future, with new structures being over 100 kilometers in length.

A new structure management tool for management of your structures in space, which seems far superior to the current one.

A totally revamped anchoring process which is very similar to the current fitting tool.

Other highlights of the presentation on structures, but not captured in graphical form are the ability to control guns on structures, the ability to apply permanent bonuses on structures, player controlled markets, mooring slots on structures, and the ability to transfer structures from one entity to another.

All in all, I could not express this any better than was by Lockefox on twitter:

There is a presentation scheduled for 1300 GMT on Saturday regarding these structures, and I for one know that I will be waiting for all of the details I can get on these structures.

Finally, I mentioned on slack that this is honestly a perfect time for structures:

1) It goes to addressing the long time complaint from many EVE players on the pain in the arse which is the current structure system within EVE.  Improvements to actual structures and their use, new structures, anchoring and management just to name a few.

2) This more than likely ties into the sov update for phase two which is coming later this year.

3) Certainly involves the end goal of that plan that I referred to earlier with player built stargates.

CCP was onto something with the changes in Phoebe, they increased upon it with the release of the This is Eve video, and now with these changes as well as the phase two sovereignty changes in June they are making major strides at player retention and bringing that spark back to EVE which for many of us has dwindled in the past.

Bravo @CCP_Seagull!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Indices, now they actually have meaning...

Ever since the last re-vamp of sovereignty in 2009 with Dominion, EVE has had an index system within player controllable null security space.

These indices in the past lead to the number of anomolies/ore sites as well as the quality/volume of them appearing in a given system.  Military index has always been tied to ratting (killing red crosses) and Industry has always been tied to volume m3 of mining.

Certain systems have always been consistent with their indices, others have changed over the course of time.  This could be to changes in owners, level of PVE activity within the holding entity, and finally renters.

With the dev blog release on Tuesday from @CCP_Fozzie, we now see that the plan is to provide additional incentive to actually use the space that you hold.  Each system has a base timer for attacking forces to take advantage of the Entosis module.  System structures (TCU, iHub, Station) have a base time of 10 minutes.  Station services have a base timer of 5 minutes.  For each level that your indices are at, it increases the amount of time that the attacking force must spend to gain control over the object being targeted.

There is some speculation in the community regarding what will be done in the future with null sec residents.  As mentioned earlier, there are systems with high index levels, and there are some with nearly zero.

This map was taken as a screenshot on Tuesday roughly 10 hours after the blog was released.  The systems with colors in white or highlighted in green have nearly no ratting activity.  It is possible that there is mining taking place, but no matter what the residents of Tenerifis are not taking advantage of their systems.

This will be the key in the future.  The changes to sov mechanics now mean that more alliances will be able to engage in sov warfare even without having a massive super capital fleet at their disposal.  However, to maintain that space and make it as difficult as possible for an attacking force to attempt to take over you actually need to use your space, both mining and ratting.

I for one am very excited about these changes and I look forward to engaging in activities where we can turn over an apple cart or two in null sec.  A Band Apart. official has no interest at this time in taking sov space.  However, we are all about content and looking for it wherever we can find it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

First Step in the Death to the Donut

Just this morning, CCP released the latest development blog for Nullsec Sovereignty, if you have not taken a look yet, please head over there and take a look.

There are many aspects of this proposed change which is scheduled for June 2015 which are very appealing, but the one which jumps out immediately are the defensive bonuses applied for actual use of your system.

The current model of indices are tied to Military (killing red crosses) and Industrial (mining).  All of player controlled sovereignty uses this model and the higher the level of indices the more red crosses and ore sites will appear in system for you to take advantage of.  With the new model, all of this is still accurate from the PVE side of the equation, but the defensive bonuses of system are tied directly to these same indices as well.

So, to actually gain defensive bonuses above the standard times required for attacker you will actually have to make use of your system.

Where this really helps in sov warfare is that there are huge areas of null sec where systems are not in use at all.  No shooting of red crosses, no mining, literally nothing outside of jumps in and out of system.  So, all of these systems immediately become ripe targets for invasion.  This also makes it much easier for smaller alliances to take footholds into null sec and take advantage of that game play if they have ever considered it previously.

This initial blog and the potential it provides is spectacular.

Already the thread of tears is at an all time high for even the first few pages, and the twitter posts are quite fun as well.

I for one am very excited about the potential for these changes and hope that the spectacular success of Phoebe is brought forward into these changes as well.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Meā Culpā

Over the past 36 hours, there have been some interactions which involved myself and at least one dozen other members of our alliance leadership, for which I seriously regret my actions.

All of this started with the loss of a Raven by one of our corporation members two days earlier to war targets, while the Raven pilot was in high security space.  For those of you not aware of that loss, please refer to the previous post here.

I will not dwell on that loss here, nor the interactions that took place in the aftermath.  The purpose of this post is an apology to Trekan, to Draiv, and to all of the alliance leadership who were in the Slack channel on Wednesday evening USTZ.

In addition, this spilled over to the wormhole leadership Slack channel this evening.  Unfortunately, I still was holding in some anger over the interactions that had occurred over the past 36 hours and lashed out at Trekan who was attempting to assist a corporation member in the Slack channel.

After looking back at the series of interactions with Trekan and Draiv I saw that both of them were attempting to assist me, the Raven pilot and our corporation.  You see, we are relatively new with A Band Apart and are attempting to "fit in" within the alliance.  So, instead of me seeing the offer of assistance by the two of them, I only saw what I wanted to, which was them attempting to get involved in the affairs of our corporation.

And, the part that I feel most horrible about was that only a week ago I had been interacting with a very prolific friend wither in Twitter or Slack and we discussed the concept of taking the high road, and he applauded something I had done which was a step towards "taking the high road".

As for A Band Apart, we love being a part of this alliance and look forward to a very long and beneficial relationship between them and New Jovian Exploration Department.

As for our corp, we have finally resolved some of the challenges earlier this week in regards to our future and long term home.

Finally, for the Raven pilot.   Sigh.....  Neither the other Director or myself have heard one word from him.  He did speak with Trekan, which I am glad that he did.  I have come to understand from reliable sources that he decided that it was a good idea to autopilot, in high security space, with an active war going on.  We are not attempting at all to troll on this pilot, his decisions for the loss.  What we are attempting to do is to reinforce the concept of learning from his errors.

We look forward to anchoring ourselves with Stay Frosty, providing a sickle for our friends in Lucifer's Hammer and doing the math with our "roomies" in Supreme Mathematics.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Recently there have been some discussions within the corporation related to our future home and whether we maintain the existing C2 wormhole that we have.  We have come to a decision regarding that, but the part of this story which is impacted by our discussions were the fact that I strayed off of some of the core concepts that have driven our corporation since day one.

I took a moment on Monday to pause, formulate some thoughts, put pen to paper as it were and to open a discussion among the corp members as to their home.  This was the two steps forward.  It started a very interesting discussion among corp members and many opinions came out that I honestly were surprised in.  I went to bed on Tuesday evening fairly clear that we had a mandate from our corp members as to what should be done with the C2 hole and I felt I could make an announcement today.

I woke up early on Wednesday, grabbed my iPhone and was greeted by the following:

We had a new war which had started on Monday.  The war was pretty much a high sec war involving a group who generally campe trade system undocks, trade route bottlenecks and the like.  We had taken what we felt were appropriate precautions and warned members to avoid those areas.

Now, you would generally think that most members who have been informed that there is a high sec war will proceed with caution if you are navigating high security space.  You generally would fly in a cloaky (Covert Ops Capable) ship or failing that a very fast frigate such as a T1 tackler (atron, condor, executioner, slasher) or even better an Interceptor.  We do not prohibit members from traveling into high sec during these wars.  We basically state that trade systems are off limits.  This is primarily due to the ability of the war targets to lock and shoot you instantly as soon as you undock.

Even more distressing about this kill is that this is a member of the corporation who has been with us since our first week.  He can fly covert ops capable ships as well as larger ships.  Basically, he is experienced enough to know better.

Unfortunately, following the loss yesterday this member made no mention of it in our leadership channels.  There is no post on the forums to explain the circumstances of his loss.  Basically, we are all left wanting more information outside of him losing his ship to a war target.

One of our core principles is to teach new pilots to the game or to exploration.  We have always stressed that killboard colors are not the end of the world, and that we do not purge members for losing a ship.  However, what we have always stressed is the need to constantly learn.

When a member loses a ship.  We expect that they would write up a summary of the loss on our forums.  Explain the circumstances that lead to the loss.  What could you have done better?  What would you change in the future?  Basically, how do you minimize the potential of incurring that loss in the future.

One step back.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tech II Manufacturing for the Week - Stiletto

This weeks analysis shows that the highest margin on Tech II ship hulls is the Stiletto with a margin of 35% over build costs.

To acquire this margin, all manufacturing needs to take place at a POS using Component Assembly Array, Small Ship Assembly Array and Advanced Small Ship Assembly Array.

I have just delivered 20 jobs at 4 runs each across two of my characters.  This resulted in 80 hulls which sold at Jita this morning for a total profit of 320 million and change.

Based on the recent margins with specific hulls, I am spooling up two additional characters to take part in T2 manufacturing and eventually T3 manufacturing.  When I train characters like this, I tend to focus on one ship race at a time, this way they can assist with T3 manufacturing if certain skills are at V.

There is a very interesting margin on a certain module that I will run this week and possibly make the focus of next weeks post.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Seeing the Forest through the Trees

Over the past twenty-four hours, our corporation leadership made a decision which was a bit rash.

Some background - New Jovian Exploration Department has advertised itself as a corporation for teaching pilots in EVE about exploration and wormholes.  We specifically advertise that we are open to brand new members joining the corporation.  This core principle of the corporation is one which I as the CEO overlooked during a conversation with the other director over the weekend.

Recently, A Band Apart. (-ABA-) had war declared upon us by The Bastards.  There was a call to arms by our executor Rixx Javix and specifically a request for all pilots of the alliance to make their way to Ishomilken to defend the alliance and seek out the war targets for combat.

I put out a notice to the corporation that we should all make our way there, and many pilots have made appearances in the system over the course of the war so far.  However, we in the leadership have noticed that the presence of NJED members in the system is not at the same levels in comparison to the other corporations in the alliance.  However, there is a reason for this.

The feedback among corporation members is that they have made themselves available and unfortunately the war targets are either not online when we are, or they will not undock from the station.  So, our corporation members are left spinning ships in the station themselves.  I myself have elected to undock ships and to go searching pvp opportunities in low sec, but I have failed to stick with one of the core concepts of our corporation - "you can do what you want, when you want, where you want".

All of our corporation members are fully in support of this war and participating in the defense of ABA.  What they are not fully in support of is to go searching low sec looking for neutral pilots to engage, where you will incur a security hit as well as possible get a kill right.  Most of our members navigate high security space in times when there is no war, so to mandate that they participate in low sec pvp is not an issue.

Unfortunately, I and the other director of the corporation tied overall participation with low sec pvp together.  I did not seek feedback from corporation members on the war and their involvement so far.  And, I developed a negative opinion of members who did not stay in Ishomilken with me and go seeking pvp in low sec.  For this, I regret my opinions and my subsequent actions.

You see, we currently reside in a C2 wormhole with static exits to high security space and C1 holes.  Many members have enjoyed living in this hole as it has allowed the ability to get your feet wet in wormholes, but also constantly provides the ability to exit into high sec (except for when we get a lame high sec on an Aridia island).  With us recently joining ABA, we now will be cohabitating with another corporation in a C4 wormhole.  We felt we could maintain 2 holes and not have any issues.  However, the perceived lack of participation by corporation members in our war along with the logistical challenges of maintaining 2 holes led me to make a decision to close down the C2 hole.

As you may be able to ascertain, that decision was met with some very informed opinions on the war in general, our decision to close the C2 and some of the basic core concepts behind NJED.  It was pointed out most clearly by Zilzin:

"Also as a last note: Im pretty sure many (newbro) members joined with exploration in mind.  They dont have much SP and experience yet, and they sure didn't sign up for pvp.  You can't just expect them to forfeit usual activities, and join pvp, otherwise they get punished."

It was at this time that I saw the general tide of opinions coming into our forum thread announcing the closure of the C2.  I realized that I had failed to see the forest through the trees.  We have prided ourselves on being a certain type of corporation, and we have allied ourselves with a like-minded alliance which shares many of the same core principles.  I acted rashly and did not fully understand that our members have made efforts only to sit in a station and spin ships.  I also unilaterally decided to close a hole that less than a week earlier we had ensured the membership would remain open.

For this, I am sorry.  It takes a lot to realize that you have made a mistake AND to admit to the mistake and own up to it.

I have attempted to reverse course on the decisions which were made over the weekend and to get myself and our corporation back onto course.  We will still be participating in the war and attempting to keep the name of ABA and NJED in a positive light.  But, I cannot punish members of our corporation for not being in Ishomilken when the war targets are either not online or will not undock.

I suppose, you could say that this goes back to the content with Nashh stated that The Bastards would be providing.  Unfortunately, that content has been lackluster at best and has lef our members wanting.  So, as explorers, when you are left without the ability to fight in the war, what do you do?  You go exploring.

I now can say that I have seen the forest through the trees.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


One of the effects of our recent war declaration by The Bastards. was a call to arms from our charismatic leader Rixx Javix.

You see, A Band Apart. is a very different alliance from any others that you will see in the game of EVE.  We have multiple corporations that all tend to go off and do their own things.

  • Stay Frosty - The original corporation of the alliance and low security space pirate corporation.  however, even though they are a pirate corporation you will frequently find their pilots off conducting solo pvp and not very large amounts of small gang or coordinated activities.
  • Lucifer's Hammer - The corporation who has members conducting mission running, mining, manufacturing, and any other activities which take place in high security space.
  • Voodoo Children - Wormhole corporation, along with mission running, pvp.
  • SUPREME MATHEMATICS - Wormhole corporation who reside in a C4 hole.
  • New Jovian Exploration Department - Exploration/Wormhole corporation who train newbies to explore and live in wormholes.

The great part about A Band Apart (ABA) is that you the individual pilot can elect to do anything you want on any particular day.  Feel like scratching that low sec pvp itch?  Spend a weekend with SF down in The Citadel.  Want to run some missions in high sec and get some LP for a faction?  Go spend an afternoon with LH in high sec.  And, if you are looking for fat loot that is available in wormholes, the wormhole corporations have an open door and a spare bed for you to use for a day tripping into the hole.  We are different, but this is one of the greatest qualities of this alliance.

So, the declaration was sent via CCP mail and one of the first interesting things identified was a low sec pirate corporation declaring war on another one.  However, a bit of context was placed onto the declaration via Ithica's blog post last week:

Still not entirely sure exactly the reason for the declaration, but Nashh Kadavr provided some additional context on the first day that the war kicked off:

Now, some individuals who are involved in this war have failed to grasp the comment that Nashh has given.  The interpretation from the my point of view and of others in ABA is that The Bastards are providing content to ABA via this war declaration.  Yet, when we seek this content or actually look for their pilots to provide it we are left wanting.

The one piece of this war that is a true positive is the galvanization of ABA, it's corporations, the leadership and the individual line pilots.  I am not sure if Nashh or The Bastards intended that or thought that it might occur, but for whatever reason we are a much stronger, resilient cohesive group of pilots and corporations.  We are teaching members to fly ships they have never had to previously.  We are losing ships and killing ships, but morale remains high among membership.  Individual members have expressed enthusiasm during this war and seek to inflict losses upon The Bastards.

Galvinize - shock or excite (someone), typically into taking action

For your part in this galvanization, I say thank you to Nashh and The Bastards.  Still seems silly for one low sec group to declare war on another, but vOv.  We still are looking for that content, but for now we remain satisified with the after effect of you galvanizing ABA.


Saturday, February 14, 2015

AAR - One System Too Far

Day 2 of the war with The Bastards. and I decided that we would try something during West Coast USTZ.  You see, on Thursday (Day 1) there were no war targets online and available to provide us with content.  I fit a few ships we had imported for the war, but was tired and called it a short night.

So, in the morning of Friday, I announced that we would be having a fleet.  If the war targets decided to grace us with their presence, then we would try to accept their content generation (and provide Bob with his required sacrifices).  If there were no war targets available, then we will go look to pick a fight.

We formed up the fleet at 03:30 with one war target in system with us, Michael Pancake.  Seeing as though we outnumbered him like 20:1, I decided to act honorably and request a 1v1:

[ 2015.02.14 03:07:22 ] Kiri Jol > Michael Pancake 1v1 at planet 1?
[ 2015.02.14 03:08:37 ] Michael Pancake > nice joke
[ 2015.02.14 03:08:45 ] Draiv Solregard > no joke, he's serious
[ 2015.02.14 03:08:52 ] Marq Aideron > nah dude, we'll honor a 1v1
[ 2015.02.14 03:09:03 ] Marq Aideron > no links, no ecm, no backup
[ 2015.02.14 03:09:09 ] Kiri Jol > Michael Pancake so, is that a no?
[ 2015.02.14 03:09:12 ] LoKi Wackenbush > I'll stay at the station..
[ 2015.02.14 03:09:23 ] Raoul Herrington > Me too
[ 2015.02.14 03:09:28 ] Michael Pancake > LoKi Wackenbush you are my smallest problem
[ 2015.02.14 03:09:58 ] Kiri Jol > no?
[ 2015.02.14 03:10:05 ] LoKi Wackenbush > didn't I blow you up already tonight?
[ 2015.02.14 03:10:14 ] Argos Gelert > Aww, I was hoping to be your smallest problem...
[ 2015.02.14 03:10:18 ] Kiri Jol > wow, i was told that The Bastards are all about honour
[ 2015.02.14 03:10:30 ] Raoul Herrington > I thought I was the small problem
[ 2015.02.14 03:10:42 ] Matthew Kalidan > I AM the smallest
[ 2015.02.14 03:10:56 ] Michael Pancake > Kiri Jol when im looking on your kb i dont know if you are sure what is 1v1
[ 2015.02.14 03:11:09 ] Kiri Jol > np
[ 2015.02.14 03:11:17 ] Kiri Jol > clearly you refuse a request for a 1v1
[ 2015.02.14 03:11:24 ] Michael Pancake > haha
[ 2015.02.14 03:11:43 ] Draiv Solregard > what's funny is if we didn't honor it you could whine about it on twitter
[ 2015.02.14 03:11:53 ] Kiri Jol > no, just nashh
[ 2015.02.14 03:11:55 ] Draiv Solregard > but I guess that needs to be pointed out
[ 2015.02.14 03:11:59 ] Michael Pancake > some of guys young, some drunk and some just dump
[ 2015.02.14 03:12:02 ] Kiri Jol > he is all about the honr game
[ 2015.02.14 03:12:02 ] Michael Pancake > srsly

Clearly he was not in the mood to provide us with content, so we elected to take a roam out.  We debated whether to go in Frigates or Cruisers, and finally decided upon Frigates.  We got about 12 dudes in the fleet with 2 Inquisitors for logi and 2-3 ewar frigates as well.

We set destination for Heydieles, but prior to leaving I decided to take care of some house keeping.  We had a "few" (honestly about 40% of the fleet) rookie pilots who were literally going out on their first PVP roam.  We discussed broadcasting for repairs, turning off safety, and other items.  With all of that sorted, we set out for Heydieles with our scout +1.

Things were relatively light until we got to Kedama,  Our scout reported that there was a Tristan in a plex and he warped in to obtain the initial tackle.  Unfortunately, he was going down pretty fast and went down as our fleet was landing in warp at his postion.

-1 Scout

But, we were able to kill the Tristan and pod him back to Bob:


Things remained very quiet as we waited for our scout to re-ship and for another member of the fleet to catch up from Ishomilken, except for some slips in operational security and the pre-requisite shooting of blues due to overview settings (most likely from a rookie pilot):

[ 2015.02.14 04:12:08 ] Kiri Jol > this is making for a fantastic blog post tomorrow
[ 2015.02.14 04:12:20 ] Kiri Jol > opsec in local, shooting blues due to overview, etc

Our scout caught up to us along with the additional member of the fleet, so we continued on towards Heydieles.  It was there that we caught our next action.  Unfortunately, the length of warp from the in gate to the plex led to us losing two scouts:

Scout #1
Scout #2

At this point, we had reached our destination.  We had gotten one kill for the fleet, and we were about even in the ISK war.  I should have turned us back and headed home.  But, there was a report of a Kronos in Old Man Star agressed on a station.  Clearly in hindsight this was obvious bait, but seeing as our war targets had refused to provide us with content, I went all Leroy Jenkins and had the fleet get onto the Old Man Star gate.

I had another member of the fleet become the 3rd scout and had him warp to a station at 100km.  He reported an Exequror on station, so I had the fleet jump in.  Ruh ro (in the scooby voice).  Gnosis and Ishtar on the gate.  We primaried the Gnosis as he was red and i had the logis and ewar setup.  Within a few seconds, additional hostiles warped onto the grid, so I gave the command to disengage and get clear.  Shockingly we only lost 3 ships and no pods.


Loot fairy said no, and did not drop my scrambler.

So, I had the backup FC get the fleet back to Ishomilken while I went AFK for a few.  Fleet arrived safely back in Ishomilken with no further losses.

Then, while in Ishomilken I made one final request to our war target to provide content to us.  Again, he refused:

[ 2015.02.14 04:52:14 ] Kiri Jol > Michael Pancake 1v1?
[ 2015.02.14 04:52:25 ] Michael Pancake > to late mate
[ 2015.02.14 04:52:36 ] Gori Thane > Kiri Jol frig 1v1?
[ 2015.02.14 04:53:08 ] Kiri Jol > :(  Michael Pancake
[ 2015.02.14 04:53:23 ] Michael Pancake > its rly late in my TZ
[ 2015.02.14 04:53:29 ] Kiri Jol > k
[ 2015.02.14 04:54:07 ] Kiri Jol > Gori Thane planet 1
[ 2015.02.14 04:57:53 ] Gori Thane > haha wow gf
[ 2015.02.14 04:57:55 ] Kiri Jol > gf

Very nice 1v1 at the planet.  Once I killed off his drones, his DPS disappeared.  And, a very friendly exchange after the fight:

[ 2015.02.14 04:58:37 ] Gori Thane > do you know what your targeting range was>?
[ 2015.02.14 04:58:44 ] Kiri Jol > about 20k
[ 2015.02.14 04:58:52 ] Kiri Jol > never had a problem when i got in that close
[ 2015.02.14 04:58:54 ] Gori Thane > hmm ok cool, thanks =)
[ 2015.02.14 04:58:57 ] Kiri Jol > np
[ 2015.02.14 04:59:12 ] Gori Thane > also thanks for not gang raping me lol
[ 2015.02.14 04:59:22 ] Kiri Jol > ABA honors 1v1 requests
[ 2015.02.14 04:59:29 ] Gori Thane > good to know =)
[ 2015.02.14 04:59:35 ] Kiri Jol > fly safe!
[ 2015.02.14 04:59:39 ] Gori Thane > o7
[ 2015.02.14 04:59:42 ] Kiri Jol > o7

We made one final attempt to have our war target provide us with content, and this time it worked:

[ 2015.02.14 05:19:23 ] Sanders Schmittlaub > Where's the honourable 1v1 Pancake?
[ 2015.02.14 05:19:39 ] Michael Pancake > im to tired
[ 2015.02.14 05:20:14 ] Sanders Schmittlaub > Then you should probably go to bed :)
[ 2015.02.14 05:20:21 ] Michael Pancake > what are trying to achive?
[ 2015.02.14 05:21:13 ] Sanders Schmittlaub > Fights.
[ 2015.02.14 05:21:38 ] Michael Pancake > but only with friends as backup?
[ 2015.02.14 05:21:49 ] Sanders Schmittlaub > Haven't called them.
[ 2015.02.14 05:21:59 ] VanHellin Krovchenko > gf
[ 2015.02.14 05:22:11 ] Marq Aideron > gf
[ 2015.02.14 05:22:13 ] Raoul Herrington > GF to you as well
[ 2015.02.14 05:22:39 ] Sanders Schmittlaub > I'm enjoying this war so far, how about you?
[ 2015.02.14 05:23:15 ] Michael Pancake > some content for you, for me nothing special tbh
[ 2015.02.14 05:23:34 ] Marq Aideron > the smugness...
[ 2015.02.14 05:23:52 ] Dragon blizard > Raoul Herrington thanks
[ 2015.02.14 05:24:11 ] Sanders Schmittlaub > Do you usually cower out of every fight?
[ 2015.02.14 05:24:14 ] Raoul Herrington > NP
[ 2015.02.14 05:25:14 ] Michael Pancake > i will not call friends lol
[ 2015.02.14 05:25:29 ] Sanders Schmittlaub > GF :)
[ 2015.02.14 05:25:50 ] Michael Pancake > dont write gf after blob
[ 2015.02.14 05:25:54 ] Michael Pancake > dont
[ 2015.02.14 05:26:05 ] Michael Pancake > this general rule :)
[ 2015.02.14 05:26:12 ] Sanders Schmittlaub > Call me after the war and we'll 1v1
[ 2015.02.14 05:26:34 ] Michael Pancake > im numnut at pulled 7k range with blasters
[ 2015.02.14 05:27:05 ] Sanders Schmittlaub > Kill: Michael Pancake (Merlin)

With that, the fleet toyed around in the surrounding systems but there really was not much activity at all.

We are still waiting on that content you stated you were going to provide.  We'll be waiting at Ishomilken V - State Protectorate Logistic Support.

Friday, February 13, 2015

AAR - Do YOU Know the Ship YOU are Flying

So, the war with The Bastards kicked off yesterday.  Members of A Band Apart had been preparing themselves for this war by getting pilots into system, and beginning to stock corporate offices with ships, modules and other necessary provisions.

This post will not focus on the total activities of the day.  Ithica has a very good write up of the action here.  It is from The Bastards point of view, but decent in respect to what occurred.  Take a look at the write up.

The focus of this post is a reflection on one aspect of the action yesterday from the ABA point of view; Engagement Envelope.

You see, certain ships fill certain roles within a fleet.  A tackle frigate will be diving into the hostile fleet and looking to obtain point/scram on the primary target and also web them if they are fit for webs.  Logistics, you are the space priests.  You should be hanging behind the main fleet and in range to apply remote repairs.  DPS - the heavy hitters.  You are following commands of the FC in relation to whether you are aligning or anchored on the FC.  Finally, there are the e-war aspect.  Brave are famous for fielding entire wings or e-war frigates.  CFC created an entire doctrine based on the Celestis.  Our post on the engagement envelope will be focusing on the e-war side of a fleet.

The example we will be using here is a Griffin.  When you have been given a command to warp to X, you are not warping to zero.  Oh dear.  You warped to zero.  Get ready to warp your pod out and re-ship.  You should ALWAYS be warping to range.  It is totally within your role to warp to 70 of the FC's command.  Pictures are always better, so lets get to those.

We warped to this station at 100km, as there might be hostiles undocked, and without intel on their positions we do not want to warp into their position.  Landing 70+ km off the station gives us some maneuverability room to play with.  So, we start to align off of the station in a straight line relatively in a North-Northeast direction.

Ok, now in the Griffin, we technically have 2 different offensive platforms.  We have a couple rocket launchers as well as a rainbow rack (one of each flavor) of jammers.  Those rocket launchers, offline them.  Seriously.  We do not want you to be tempted to dive into their range.  You should NEVER, EVER, EVER be in range of a ship to use those rockets.  They are there to fend off drones or if by chance a tackle frigate gets into range of you.

Your purpose is those jammers, so lets look at the next picture.

Ok, first we have the pink arrows at the top of the picture.  The top one is the range of my jammers.  The closer arrow is the optimal range of my jammers.  This is the tactical overlay and will use the same mechanic for any offensive module as well as remote assistance modules.

Highlighted in yellow are those ranges in kilometers.  The zone between those arrows is what we are looking for.

As we have been aligning in that line that I mentioned, we have now started to get into the sweet spot.  That engagement envelope.  You will know that you have arrived there  as  the station undock is now in that window between total range and optimal range.  Technically we could move closer to get the optimal bubble closer to the undock, but by doing so we put our ship at risk.  The FC would rather have a live griffin than a dead one.  So, lets keep things in this envelope.

You want to keep maneuvering your ship to keep the hostile fleet in that window.  Getting yellow boxed, align our and warp out.  You are outside of point range unless it is a proteus or lachesis.  But, the MWD allows you to burn out of point range fairly easily.

Griffin #1 Not Using this technique
Griffin #2 Not Using this technique

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Bro Exploration Tip of the Week - Suspect Timers

Johnny Pew recently posted a very nice video on his YouTube channel which went over the process of mining untold amounts of ISK that have been littered all across New Eden in the form of abandoned Mobile Tractor Units.

However, there is one unique consequence of hunting for these abandoned units and putting them out of their misery.  You acquire a suspect timer for shooting the mobile tractor unit.  Once you engage with an offensive weapon on the unit, in the upper left corner of your User Interface you will see this:

This means that for 15 minutes, other pilots are allowed to shoot you without intervention on your behalf from Concord.  Here is an explanation of the suspect time.

In the past, I have informed our corporation members of the ability to go hunting for these units and the fact that there is ISK just waiting to be appropriated.  Unfortunately, not everyone in the corporation heard me speak on Teamspeak about the need to either dock up or activate your cloak once you get the suspect timer.

All of this is a result of a recent loss on our killboard which piqued my curiosity:

The first thing that jumped out to me was a loss which occurred in high security space.  The only way that can happen is a derp by our pilot, unless ganked.  With a single hostile on the kill, gank is not possible.  So, derp it is.  The second thing I noted on the kill was the use of a very shiny ship for what appeared to be high security exploration.  The Orthrus does not receive any bonuses to hacking, scanning or anything related to exploration.  This also made me wonder what occurred.

So, early morning today I chatted with the corporation member who had this occur to find out what occurred.  It took some time, but eventually he mentioned that he had an aggression timer, which prevents you from jumping gates or from docking.  This is where that cloak would have come in handy.  So, I told him that he needed to bounce safe spots.  He stated that the Proteus found him at his safe spot and committed space violence on the Orthrus.

So, our lesson here is that you might get a suspect timer even for actions in high security space.  Other pilots are free to engage you if this occurs.  You need to either dock up or activate your cloak if cannot dock.  And finally, do not use a 400 million ISK ship to go hunting abandoned mobile tractor units.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tech II Manufacturing for the Week - Hound

This post and the hopefully weekly variant of it will focus on Tech II manufacturing.

Tech II manufacturing relies on skills which you need for Tech I manufacturing, however it also relies on additional skills in the Science category.  This can be as few as two skills for things like modules or ammunition.  As you scale up the item you are manufacturing, the skill requirements will increase.

Tech II manufacturing also requires different inputs than you are used to in Tech I manufacturing.  You will need the Tech I item which your Tech II is a variant of.  In addition, you will need some ore (Morphite), Planetary Interaction items (Construction Blocks), R.A.M. (miniature bots that assist in manufacturing T2 items) and finally Components (think of these as high grade inputs which come from moon mining).

With the basics of the manufacturing out of the way, you will also need to have a Blue Print Copy.  There are Blue Print Originals in game, but they are outliers and honestly are challenging for use in order to gain a return on investment for purchasing them.  We will focus solely on BPC's.  You gain the BPC by inventing one.  Here is a great guide by Neville Smit.  I will not go into detail here on how it works.  Read Neville's post.

Our corporation has explorers going out and acquiring loot.  We purchase the loot off of them in our wormhole for 90% of Jita Buy Orders.  We will export the loot and sell what we do not want on market at Jita.  However, items such as datacores, decryptors, and relics we keep for invention and reverse engineering.  This is important, as the invention I did earlier this week was on Breacher BPC's using Optimized Attainment Decryptors.  The resulting T2 BPC for the Hound that was returned yielded me a 3 Run, ME3/TE2 BPC.  I spun off 20 of them.

First is a screenshot from ISK Per Hour (IPH) which shows the breakdown of the build for a single BPC:

A break down of this as follows:

  • Upper Left Quadrant - This is where we choose the blueprint to be used.
  • Upper Middle Quadrant - This is where we enter the ME/PE and runs of the blueprint.  We also identify where the manufacturing is taking place.  We manufacture our items in array's at a POS.
  • Upper Right Quadrant - This is where the financial breakdown occurs.  Market price is total price on market for the item.  Total Component Cost is our build cost for either purchasing the inputs directly or the necessary goods to build them.  Component Profit is the total profit we are looking for with this single BPC.
  • Lower Left Quadrant - This is the Build/Buy List.  Items we are building are highlighted in yellow.  All of the components are being built.  The green are items to but, and this is only the Morphite, Construction Blocks, and the R.A.M.
  • Lower Right Quadrant - This is the listing and line item cost for every necessary input.
With a build cost of 41,555,198.33 and a profit of 17,034,801.37 we are looking at a margin of 40.99%, which is very nice for a T2 hull.  This was one of the more profitable ones this week when the analysis was prepared last weekend.

We build T2 hulls for two purposes in New Jovian Exploration Department.  The first is for hulls we need to stock our Ship Replacement Program (SRP).  The second is that we sell hulls to alliance members as cost plus a small percentage.  The remaining hulls are sold on market to capitalize on market conditions.

If you have the skills to manufacture the components and the hull, start cranking out Hounds.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Who exactly is that person behind the computer?

Earlier today, Rixx Javix put up one of the better posts he has ever published.  By his own admission, his post had the following effect:

I had not read the post yet, as I had been driving for the first part of my commute.  So, I hopped onto the train and opened up EVEOGANDA to see exactly what was it that made his wife cry.  I was overwhelmed.  You have not read it yet, head over here and take a look.

I myself have recently had the opportunity to have a similar encounter with a potential member to our own corporation and also had the unfortunate mistake of handling his departure from the corporation.

You see, we play this funny game where people will use a keyboard and mouse to do different things in space.  Usually this revolves around spaceships, but not always.  The one constant in this game of EVE is the human (unless you happen to be a bot, but we are not going there in this post).

As humans, we all have personalities, traits, beliefs and some of us have certain interesting characteristics.  Some of you may call these characteristics handicaps, but I like to look on them as opportunities.  My friend Joffy Aulx-Gao does as well.  You see, the large aspect of Rixx's post today was to provide a light not just on a member of -ABA-, but rather to demonstrate that here is a human who plays EVE, but who has one of these opportunities.  Joffy does not use it as an excuse or limit the types of things that he does.  Instead, he customizes his User Interface, so that he can limit the challenges that he has and still enjoy the game of EVE and in many respects excel at it.

My post from last Friday was titled We Can Do Better.  And, I mean it.  You never know whether the person who is flying that ship in your fleet is colorblind, is partially deaf in one ear, or has any other type of physical opportunity.  How we interact with these people says a tremendous amount about our character and general human behavior as well.

So, the next time you are in your corporation chat, fleet comms, or wherever.  Ask yourself "who is the person behind the computer who is interacting with you?"  You might be surprised at who it is, what they do, where they live, and the wonderful opportunities that they have and they may even share them with you.

To Rixx - thank you for sharing your story with us today.  And for Joffy - even though I have only known you for two weeks, I consider you a friend and hope to get even closer to you as a friend in the future.

Friday, February 6, 2015

We Can Do Better

Two things have occurred this week that made me start to do some self-reflection.

The first of these was a series of events that occurred 7-10 days ago within our corporation.  We had made the decision to leave our previous alliance, and we were in discussions with another alliance about potentially joining their organization.

One of the things that they require is a full listing of all Full API's from corporate members.  I had no problem providing them with this information, as we collect a Full API for each applicant to our corporation.  We collect it via Google Form and it is maintained on a single sheet for just this type of need.  Within a few hours, I was informed by the alliance contact that there were some problems with some of the API's.

This post is not about the wonderful world of API collection and maintenance, but rather what I did in response to the information that there were "issues" with some of the API's.  I sent e-mails to the individual corporate members, and informed them that there was a deadline and that they needed to respond by the deadline to remain with the corporation.  There were some questions as to why, or I already provided it, and those I could deal with.  What really threw me for a loop was the response from one member who was AFK for about 7-10 days prior to the API event.

Now, I do not recall the circumstances surrounding the day that I recruited Spector to the corporation.  I recall that we spoke to great length as to the difficulties he had encountered with other corporations/alliances in the game and their views on his disability.  Maybe I was setting up a tower in low security space.  Possibly I was working on crunching numbers for manufacturing Confessors.  The real problem with Spector's API was my failure to collect one from him in the interview process and then not providing him with accurate and efficient instructions on how to obtain one.

Upon receiving the mail from him, I replied back and offered my apologies for how the situation was handled, but clearly I had screwed up this interaction with this previous member of the corporation.

You see, there is a huge part of EVE which is very much social.  The social aspect of this game literally is it's own society with members from different countries, cultures, languages, and other beliefs all coming together to fly spaceships (or just spin them).  My fault in this incident was how I handled the social aspect of an individual who had been maligned by others in the game and almost kicked when he was down.  I advocated trying to be a champion for just these types of individuals, but when a perfect opportunity comes along to do just that I failed miserably.

Rixx has a post today which has extended his theme from earlier this week on Paradigm, and one of the lines in there resonated with me while commuting to work today:

"But I would like to think that more and more of us are striving toward our better Angels.  One has to believe this, doesn't one?  If you don't, then what is left to you?"

The entire post is one of the finest pieces of writing that I have had the pleasure of reading, but the tone and the theme of this individual post, the guest posts this week, and the original one on Paradigm are bringing up a huge topic.

Clearly Rixx is starting the process of getting others in the game to think about it, and I definitely want be a better Angel.  We can do better.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Nerf Bat on Aisle 6

Over the past few years there has been a proliferation of use of a certain class of ship in the game of EVE, Strategic Cruisers.  These ships have gone through the process of receiving some level of changes which have negated their power (nerfed).  But, as a whole they are entirely too overpowered (OP) for the game.


Many large scale pvp organizations (I'll use CFC as an example, as I know their doctrines) will use T3 cruisers in a heavy tackle role.  The example I will refer to in this area is the Das Boot Mk II, which is a battleship heavy doctrine for the CFC.  Their tackle outside of Heavy Interdictors and Interdictors are 5x Web Lokis and 5x Point Proteus.  These ships are replacing the Huginn (Loki) and the Lachesis (Proteus), which actually used to be in the doctrine for the CFC.  The Loki and the Proteus get you the same bonus to web/point but with a outrageous tank as well.


You can fit your T3 cruiser for scout/tackle duty as well.  The tank will not be as good as the Tackle version above, but it still will be far superior to the Arazu/Falcon/Pilgrim/Rapier variant.  If you are fit with the Covert subsystem, you also can fit the Covert Cyno as well.

Many Black Operations fleets will use a T3 cloaky scout to also serve as their cyno and initial tackle member.  With a huge tank, you will not instantly be popped and you can still warp cloaked and totally fill the role of the scout.

However, there is also 2 areas where the ship is used in a non-cloaky recon role, and that is the ECMgu and the Neut Legion.  You can fit a very nice tank on your ship, go with neuts in the highs for the Legion or ECM modules in the mids for the Tengu.  You will be getting bonuses just as the Rook or Curse would be, but the tank would give you lasting power in a fight.


We actually encourage all of our members to strive for the T3 as their primary exploration vessel.  It would allow you to explore as a T2 exploration frigate, gets you the exact same bonuses that the T2 frigate gets.  You have a much better tank, and can fit enough weapons to handle sleeper sites in the lower class holes.


This is probably the one area of the T3 cruiser where you do not see it being utilized at all.  You can fit the proper subsystems and modules and basically become a Basilisk/Guardian/Oneiros/Scimitar, but you really would not want to.  Logistics ships rarely have uber tanks to begin with and there is no change in that with the T3 variant.  Sure, you might get a few extra thousand EHP on the T3 logistics ship but that is not worth it for the cost of the ship.

Command Ship

This is the largest area where there is a problem with the T3 cruisers.  You can fit your ship with up to 5 link modules, can fit it with covert ops ability and interdiction nullifier and get it close to unprobable.

Again, the CFC doctrine Das Boot MkII calls for:

1x bonus legion (armor)
5x bonus loki/tengu (skirmish)

Their doctrines used to call for Command Ships.  Not any longer.

Now, technically the other areas of the T3 you can choose to fly a T2 variant and you will be just fine.  For tackle, a Huginn or Lachesis would be great.  For a Force Recon, the Falcon/Rapier/Arazu/Pilgrim will be fine.  For exploration, a T2 frigate will work unless you have a sleeper site.  And, the Logisitcs really always should be the T2 platform.

You will very rarely see a Command Ship being flown.  If so, more than likely the pilot is not skilled for the T3, does not have the ISK for one, or got drunk and purchased the wrong hull.

The last part I will leave you with is an analogy of a Swiss Army Knife.  You see, the Swiss Army Knife is a wonderful creation that is small enough to keep in your pocket.  It has usually 2 knife blades, a screwdriver, a scissor and possibly other attachments.  However, even though it has all of these abilities in the single tool it is not superior at any of them to the original tool.  A screwdriver will be superior to the Swiss Army Knife, same with the knife blades, the scissor and any other tool.  This is where CCP has gone wrong.  The T3 cruiser is superior in every respect to the T2 hull save for the logistics.

For all of the reasons above, but especially the Swiss Army Knife, please apply the nerf bat to the strategic cruiser class.

Something Does Not Compute

In the past few days I have been gearing up for the Tiamat release, specifically the Svipul.  My main will be training to fly the ship and commit space violence on others, but the focus of my analysis has been on the industrial side of things with building the Svipul for sale.

I have a few Confessor BPCs that were reverse engineered, and I took a look at the inputs which were necessary to manufacture those.  I also plugged the blueprint into ISK Per Hour (IPH) and was shocked.  IPH showed a build cost of 25 million and change ISK for a build.  As of this morning, Jita 4/4 has Sell Orders at 52 million per hull.  This is a 100% markup on each single hull.  Something could not possibly be right here.

So, I logged in the Jita trade alt and took a look at the inputs.

Outside of the R.A.M all of the components came out to a cost of 25,800,000 to procure.  There clearly must be some other factors going on that would lead to a 100% markup and the most shocking part is the sustained levels at those Sell Orders.

When the Confessor originally was released, the first few hulls were over 100 million.  It took about 2 weeks, and then the prices started to come down to 70 million.  But, this ship was released with Rhea in early December.  To be nearly 2 months later and have the Sell Orders still at 50+ million is astonishing.

Yes, you need to reverse engineer the BPC and there are limited ways of doing that, but a POS with the Array for Reverse Engineering does not require that type of markup on the end product.  Yes, the supply of relics is not overwhelming and that could be leading to a markup, but again it is not logical that it is worth 25 million ISK per hull.  Especially when you generally get multiple runs on a BPC when you reverse engineer.

One of the benefits of being an exploration/wormhole corporation is the ability for members to sell their loot to the corporation.  That is where we initially received the first batch of Small Hull Relics.  I am thinking now that we will come up with a new reimbursement system for those which will generate increased interest in corp members going out and finding those relics, but also be a benefit for the corporation on the ISK side of things.

I am very glad that one of the builder alts has Minmatar Starship Engineering V in training now.  Clearly there is a huge opportunity to make some serious coin on these builds.

The other huge benefit is that I can produce both Confessor's and Svipul's in mass quantity at relatively low cost and re-sell to corporation and alliance members for far less than they could purchase on market.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New Friends and All the Possibilties

One of the most important things that a player in EVE can do is to join forces with other players.  Initially when you begin your very first character and any other characters you will be placed into an NPC corporation.  Get out!  Do not delay.  There is honestly very little benefit that an NPC corporation can provide to you.  The only factual benefit is the inability for any other organization to declare war upon you.  However, this does not mean that you are immune to losing your ship to an act of space violence.  CODE, Marmite, Deadly Fingertips all will attack regardless of your affiliation in high security space with or without a war.

The reason that I advocate leaving an NPC corp is primarily social.  By joining a player run corporation, you will be looking through Tinder (Alliance & Corporation Recruitment Center), beginning to interact with them (public channels, interviews), going out on a blind date (submitting an application and answering their lengthy questionnaire), and finally deciding to move in to their apartment (joining the corporation).  All of these social activities take place in the game when you are looking for a potential corporation to join.

Now, the focus of this post is not necessarily what you the individual pilot should be doing, but rather to discuss a change for New Jovian Exploration Department.  We recently left our previous alliance due to a Non-Social relationship with the other corporations in that alliance.  We still yearned to be part of a larger group, as the directors of our corporation understand the benefits that can be gained by aligning yourself with a group of like-minded individuals.

So, after some careful discussions internally and searching we made a decision to approach a well known EVE pilot and his "Band".  I had some discussions with their diplomat over the weekend, and posted the conversation for the other director to review.

Things progressed to a point on Monday where I received a Twitter Message informing me of the approval to move to the next step.

On Monday evening, our directors had a Teamspeak discussion with many of the members of -ABA-, but primarily the leaders from SM.RB.  The other director and I were commenting in-game via chat that we were very impressed with SM.RB and if this 90 minute interaction with them was any indication things looked very promising for -ABA- and us beginning a relationship with them.

On Tuesday morning, I dropped the application into -ABA- and sent Rixx a message to let him know.  At roughly 14:15 EVE time today, NJED officially joined -ABA-.

We could not be happier with our decision to pursue the possibility of joining -ABA-.  We have found that their operation and leadership are "top notch" and they are a unique alliance in EVE where you literally can do anything you want to as a pilot.

Here is to new friends and all the possibilities!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

New Bro Exploration Tip of the Week - Perches or How To Survive a Bubble....

There is a unique mechanism allowed in null security and wormhole space, Warp Disruption. This is either in the form of a probe (launched from an Interdictor), a generator (a module on a Heavy Interdictor) or a mobile variant (anchored in space).

The Warp Disruption field has a unique characteristic that prevents a ship from initiating warp (unless you are an Interceptor, T3 with Interdiction Nullifier Subsystem or have a Micro Jump Drive). All other ships and T3's will not be able to initiate warp while within the bubble.

There is another characteristic of the Warp Disruption field, and that is the ability to stop a ship which is in warp or to "pull" a ship beyond the intended landing place (a gate or wormhole). The field needs to be in direct alignment with the point you are warping from, and must be active PRIOR to you initiating warp. If the field is present, in alignment with your position and up before you initiate warp, you will warp to the edge of the bubble and be stopped. The most frequent example of this is getting a "bubble" in place 100km off of a gate or wormhole. This way, when you warp to the gate/hole you are stopped 100km away. You are too close to warp to the gate, and it will take a very long time to slow boat to the gate/hole.

In order to prevent this from occurring you will want to create a tactical perch off of the gate/hole. The perch can be technically anywhere, but you want to be at least 150km or more away from the gate/hole, so that you can warp from the perch to the gate/hole. There are ways to create the perch using celestials, but guess what Mr. Sabre pilot does, he will account for celestials as much as he can. It is best to create a perch which IS NOT in alignment with any celestial.

The way that I do this is to look into space, specifically for a place with no celestials. I double click in space to start moving my ship, and activate MWD. Note - this is best handled by an interceptor or very fast frigate. If you use one of those, you will have a perch in 15-20 seconds. Get to a point greater than 150km away from the gate/hole and create a bookmark.

If you live in a wormhole, every hole should have at least one perch, if not two. For null sec, you will want a few around a gate.

Our (Mine) Paradigm

Rixx has a fantastic blog post this morning discussing a unique concept in EVE; Paradigm.  Go ahead and take a look at it, then come back over here.

For those not knowledgeable about a paradigm, here is the description from Wiki:
  • a model or pattern for something that may be copied
  • a theory or a group of ideas about how something should be done, made, or thought about
Now, Rixx brings up a particular concept in relation to EVE Paradigm which is that he is in the midst of a reformation within EVE and his post as well as my own personal choices recently within EVE have had me start a brand new paradigm which I did not display previously.

Late in 2014 I had recently come back to the game after my longest sabbatical in the game.  For one year, I had unsubscribed from the game due to general dissatisfaction with the game and a personal malaise for EVE.  I did what I always have in the past, I searched for comfort, which for me was previous friends and possibly a place in a CFC alliance, as most of my EVE career has been in the North.

Having joined an old friend of mine in Fatal Ascension, I began the process of moving all of my ships (12 full carrier round trips from Black Rise to Fountain) and over 5 million m3 of non-ships as well.  It took roughly an entire week, but I was finally settled into Fountain just as Phoebe was hitting and the N3 conflict in Fountain took place.

I searched for content, but fleets were almost always during EU prime when I was at work.  There was very little at all to be done during US prime, so I found myself constantly either doing work on my alt corporation in low sec working on reactions, component manufacturing, invention and T2 manufacturing.

I also started to watch a Twitch streams at a higher frequency than I previously had.  There were a decent amount of the streamers who had this unique concept of actually streaming with the intention of providing assistance and demonstrating to new bros how to do things in EVE.  Part of Rixx's post this morning discusses the periphery of this issue:

"That it is us - the players themselves - that are to blame for the failure of Eve to "catch on" in a larger context. That we are, in the larger sense, solely responsible for choosing poorly when it comes to managing our sandbox."

When you combine Rixx's statement with a post by Neville Smit as well there has been a problem with the paradigm for new players, and this was something that I started to think about.

With my general non-activity in Fountain, my increased activity with alt characters and corporations in low security space, the huge steep learning curve of EVE and the previously well documented challenge of New Player Retention, I began to think of a new concept.  I'll get there in just a second.

The final piece of this puzzle for me was exploration.  This is something that I never really did much of previously.  It really was only when looking for wormholes which would provide a tactical advantage to roaming or in the good old days of probing for Ore sites when you had to probe them down to get them.  I took an alt character who really only served as a scout, but they had the necessary skills to scan and fly an Astero.  I played her for one week almost daily and loved going our and exploring.  This is when the plan started to come together for me.

I wanted to start a new corporation.  Originally this was to keep bookmarks organized, have corporate offices in empire space and just general organization for the scanning characters (2-3).  But, within a day or so, I thought "why not take this new corporation and actually use it to help with the New Player Experience".  So, I started this blog and began to aggressively advertise this corporation with the intention of assisting new bros or returning veterans to the game, with large parts of that steep learning curve especially with exploration and then shortly afterwards with wormhole mechanics.

I can say today that I am happier in the game now more than I have been since about 2010.  I have enthusiasm for the game, for teaching others, for sharing the love I have for this game, and all the possibilities that it offers for you.

This is my paradigm, which is "Demonstrating to others how to quickly learn and adapt techniques within EVE which increase your odds at survival, specifically with exploration and wormhole life".

What is your paradigm?