Weak Muskells // Strong Muskells

Exercising your Muskells

State of the Warzone Address

It’s been a while since I’ve had anything interesting, informative or funny to say about anything in EVE. I’m not one to post for the sake of posting, unless it’s about my proteus, so I’ll try and keep this as too the point as I can.
 
I’m between a rock and a hard place. On one hand people have been attacking my much loved corpie Susan Black for her trolltastic blog post about the Amarr coming back with full force and kicking some serious ass on the war front. And on the other hand Shalee Lianne, a very old friend of mine, retorted in a not-so-nice way and pretty much called her out on it.
 
So rather than pick which of the two ladies I cherish more I’m just going to wax poetic on my feelings about the current situation of Faction War within the Amarr/Minnie spectrum.
 
The Amarr are whopping some serious ass and the Minnies aren’t doing too much to stop them.
 
I’m not too sure what exactly created the feeling of ambivalence within our ranks, or with me for that matter, but with the loss of Kourmonen came the loss of a lot of morale on the Matari side. I, for one, don’t so much give a shit about holding systems or plexing or anything like that. I never really used (see:abused) the LP mechanics in order to make money for myself. I always found that station-trade pvp or gambling on Blink was a much more fun and lucrative method for it. So take everything I say with the understanding that warzone control 1 or 5 doesn’t really matter to me.
 
EVE, like everything else, is cyclical. One side always seems to have the advantage for a few months and then it switches around. The recent balance of power just simply had a longer turn around time. So now it’s the Amarr’s turn to shine, make us feel small, and beat our slave asses into submission. It’s about goddamned time too.
 
There is one thing that I’ve noticed as of late, on both sides, and that is we’ve been having a lot more interesting and fun fights just like we did back in the day.
 
A few nights back KPP and co went up against and I.Law fleet with some Fwends in navy omens and other ships. We had no idea that the N.Omens were remote repped fit and our SFIs couldn’t do fuck all against them. That was pretty god damned fun and a relatively innovative way to spice up combat. Mad props to Almity and his crew for the great idea.
 
Last night, Galdornae in his infinite wisdom decided we should take out some remote-rep assault frigates and we got a hell of a fight out of it. (much to my surprise as I told him no one would fight us) I, again, had a great time and it was a really fun fight.
 
I’m very happy that the Amarr are back in full force and are willing to fight again as it makes me have something to look forward to other than spinning my ships in station or camping hi-sec gates.
 
I’m genuinely terrified about losing my home system Huola and the logistical nightmare that would be moving my shit out into another system. But it’s that kind of fear that makes the battle meaningful. I welcome it.
 
To summarize my feelings on everything: My dad can beat up your dad.

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Amarr Victor (C’mon I just want more fighting)

With the glorious amount of destruction raining down on factional warfare space this past weekend, I’ve been reflecting on the past few years I’ve been in FW and how it has evolved in my eyes.

A lot of the same pilots have been around the entire time I have, some have gone and came back and others have disappeared entirely. The interesting thing is that although we can all field bigger and badder stuff not much has changed. The attitude really hasn’t changed, the fights have ebbed and flowed into larger and smaller engagements with varying ship classes, capital support was prevalent for a good while and has come and gone in its own right, pilots have switched sides and some switched back, and space that was once home to one side is now home to the other. But really, war never changes.

Until now.

With the new Inferno expansion faction warfare will actually have some consequences come along that affect something other than your pocketbook. A few of the changes will still be ISK related but for the most part it will shape the battlefield in an entirely new way akin to those who fly in null-security space.

The major and controversial change that this expansion will bring into the fold is station lockouts. Currently if your faction holds sovereignty in a system it doesn’t really matter, the only thing that actually changes are the names in the top left hand corner of your screen as you float around aimlessly trying your best not to become space debris. With the new expansion, however, if your faction owns a system the enemy faction has no docking rights in any of the stations therein. As a result any assets you had in those stations are now inaccessible unless you drop out of the war.

This ends up accomplishing a few things. That system is now significantly harder to take back as reshipping requires you to float to either hi-sec or a system your faction owns, it gives a real and tangible feeling of worth to those stupid little plex buttons we all hate spinning so much, and it drives up the price of faction mods for the losing factions (theres more reason for this, but less systems mean less places to buy these things too).

The Amarrians are the relative (and ironicly so from a storyline standpoint) underdogs in the Minmatar vs. Amarr battlefront. Last time I checked they only owned 12 systems and that number was dwindling. This presents a bit of a problem as the vocal minority of the Amarrians have stated in the past that when the expansion launches they will pull out of the war all together.

I can’t really blame them.

You’re already fighting slightly outnumbered, you have fewer systems to dock in and less of a reshipping advantage and the moral must be getting quite a bit on the lower side of the scale.

On the other hand…

You’re the mother-fucking Amarr, the glorious golden fleet, the slavers of space and the great conquerors of New Eden.

From what I’ve seen there are quite a lot of new faces joining up with the Amarrian side of the war, Fweddit standing out right away, and that number gap in fleets seem to be closing pretty quickly. I fully believe that the Amarrians can come back from this slight upset in the balance of power and make a great, and fun, war for everyone involved.

I know the changes may seem a bit daunting. I know that if I was on the other side of the coin I would probably just drop FW all together and just go pirate but that’s only because I’m pretty much just a pirate anyway. I can’t imagine the amount of stress that these changes are looking at causing within the ranks of the corps of the Amarr Empire. I do also know a lot of the pilots fighting for that side are some of the most tenacious and skilled that New Eden has to offer.

In our sandbox the war over sandcastles will rage on for a long time to come. I, for one, am excited to be on the front lines.

How has Faction Warfare changed for you? Let me know in the comments.

My Space slug – an ode to the Proteus

My spaceslug is green, round and bulbous.
My spaceslug is asymmetrical and has mis-matched colours and lights.
My spaceslug can be fast.
My spaceslug can be slow.
My spaceslug can be sneaky and even have a hard shell.
My spaceslug is mean and can make anyone hurt.
My spaceslug is gentle and can make anyone feel better.

But most of all… My spaceslug is mine and no one elses.

My favourite ship in the game happens to be the strategic cruiser the Proteus. When you ask the average EVE player what their go-to tech 3 ship is I would hazard to guess the majority would pick the Tengu.

Not me. Green is mean.

The proteus, albeit an ugly and awkward looking ship, happens to have an incredible amount of diverse fitting options that can tackle (snicker) a multitude of roles. It is arguably the best cloaky PVP T3 out there, it can have a tank crazier than that of the majority of battleships. The proteus can put out an insane amount of DPS and can point out to a range similar to that of the Arazu or Lachesis. The proteus is a jack of all trades and a master of some, like most of the Tech 3 cruisers. But the proteus has one thing the rest do not.

The proteus has heart.

Like the ugly stepchild or the kid picked last in gym class, the proteus is not the most appealing ship on the surface. It has a hybrid weapon system, drones and arguably the worst range and speed out of any of the T3s. It’s round and bulbous and has mismatched green and silver paint on its hull. It can sometimes look like a combination of a hammerhead shark and a deformed penguin. Or it could look like a giant green spaceslug that has been pulled to a point at the front. It has a warfare link bonus that almost no one in their right mind would use as a T3 Booster ship. It has a cornucopia of cap issues and flying one without a cap injector is close to suicide. But what other cruiser can you deal 800 DPS and still have a passive tank of over 130k? What other cruiser can fit a covert ops cloaking device, expanded probe launcher, field a set of light drones (with drones to spare in the bay) and still do 500 DPS with its turret system? What other cruiser sized hull can fit a tank on it so massive it can rival that of pirate faction ships? Only the proteus.

I’ll agree. It isn’t the best ship in the game. But it’s my best ship.

My spaceslug has soul.
My spaceslug is a force to be reckoned with.
My spaceslug is green, round and bulbous.
But my spaceslug can whoop your arse and live the tell about it the next day.

How do I mine for noob? – Low sec gate camping guide

Shivers run down your spine as your warp-drive whirrs to a halt. You land 230 metres from the gate between high security and low security space. A momentary pause and you and your occator-class transport ship jump through into the next system eagerly awaiting the ISK you’re about to make by selling goods in a combat area.

You’ll be fine, you have a ship with an exceptionally strong warp-drive. Nothing possibly could go wrong.

“You are currently having your warp drive disrupted by external forces and cannot initiate warp.”

That’s not possible…

You clench your teeth as your ship and your goods vaporize into nothingness. You’re now floating in space, suspended by goo in a pod.

“You are currently having your warp drive disrupted by external forces and cannot iniatate warp”

The next moment you witness a burning hot sensation followed by the smell of burnt flesh and then nothing. You wake up in Jita, a new body untouched by the hazards of space. You thank the stars you’re still alive… albeit a lot poorer.

To most the gate-camp is an unavoidable evil, something you just deal with while venturing between low and high sec space. To others it’s a way to pass the time while shooting the shit (and noobs) with your corpmates and friends. To the pirate it is a source of income, entertainment and a lifestyle.

Today we’re going to go over how you can set up your own gate-camp, what ships to use, how to make some money doing it and how to avoid getting caught by one yourself.

First thing is first: in order to set up a gate-camp you need a few important things or this isn’t going to work out in your benefit at all.

A gate that is an entrance to high-security space in a low-security system – A group of friends (3+) who are willing to take security status hits. – An alt character who isn’t associate with your corporation/your friends corporation that can fly something that cloaks and has a salvager. – Good conversation and preferably some alcohol.

Finding a gate is a relatively easy process. It’s best to find a system that is a bottleneck into a region of low security space that is highly travelled. For example, the Ossogur gate in Amamake is infamous for the pirate camps there simply because it is the quickest way to Rens (the minmatar trade hub) from the warzone. You can find your own system to call home by checking out DOTLan maps.

Once you’ve found your system it is important to set up the gate properly. You’re going to need to make a few different safespots around the gate to make sure that you have the ability to get away quickly if a larger force attacks.

2 spots 175km from the gate. One above and one behind. (or just out of any direct line of celestials.)

1 spot 1500km below and 1 spot 1500km above the gate.

1 spot 5000 above the gate.

Any two safespots as 15AU or more from the gate. Preferably one that isn’t particularly close to anything, gate celestial or otherwise.

Keep in mind that gate-guns can only shoot you out to 150km and station guns hit you out to 250km.

Now that the gate is set up you need to figure out what ship types you can field and what you want to bring.

I recommend, in a 5 person gang, the following fleet composition:

– One heavy interdictor fitted with a ward disruption field generator with the focused script in it. (I use a devoter)

– At least one ship with a stasis webifier, the more the merrier. I recommend one ship with a 90% bonused web. (We usually use a vigilant)

– Two high DPS ships with decent range and tank. (You can use battleships or Tier 3 BCs. The Tier 3 BCs have the advantage of speed but either would work.)

– One ship that has a speed above 2500 m/s in order to both bump people out of alignment and help decloak those annoying blockade runners.

My ideal 5 man setup is:

– 1 Devoter with 3 SeBos, a Medium Armor Repper, Medium Neut and 2 Infinite Points

– 1 Proteus for the long scram

– 1 Talos, shield fit as bumper and dps

– 1 Vigilant for 90% webs

– 1 Vindicator (not the most cost-effective, but I like it) for dps and webs.

If you notice in my setup all except the talos are armor tanks. This is ideal due to the shield buffer right off the get-go for gateguns as well as armor tends to have a better resist profile for the most part as well as higher EHP. Also, each one of the ships has a drone bay with the exception of the Devoter.

If you run across a cloaky ship, I’ve found the best way to decloak him is to assign all your fast drones to the quickest ship in your fleet and have him orbit the gate at 7.5km with his MWD on. This will hopefully intercept the cloaky ship and allow you to get the kill off.

Of all the ships on field in my setup the most important one would be the devoter. With the warp disruption field generator (inc focus script) you can essentially nullify any warp core stabs as well as have fairly high scan resolution in order to grab any of the quicker stuff that comes through.

Boy Scouts Incoming

After everyone is undocked and in their ships you want to warp them all to the safe-spot 5000km above the gate and make sure everyone is aligning down to the gate. You’ll then send your alt in a cov-ops or other cloaky ship down to the gate and have him jump through. Make sure he sits about 150 from the gate and stays cloaked.

With this character you’ll be watching local and the directional scanner as well as the gate itself in order to pre-emptively spot any targets.

Some people like to have their alt sit on the gate with a passive targeter and ship scanner to see which loot piñatas they want to pop, but with my gang we usually will kill anything so it’s less of an issue.

When a target is acquired and lands on the gate you have two options: You can all warp down immediately and get ready to point the character (this has the potential of spooking him if he has a scout) or you can wait for him to jump and warp down once the gate activates on the high-sec side.

I prefer the pre-emptive land method as you’re more likely to know if they have a scout ahead of time by paying attention and watching local.

Once the target is decloaked and pointed, make sure to put all of your webs and send the fast ship to bump him away from the gate to ensure the kill. When it pops try and lock the pod for a ransom but that doesn’t necessarily matter as much.

Warp your scout down to the gate on the high-sec side and jump through, loot the wreck and salvage, hop back into the hi-sec system and dock up to deposit loot. Rinse repeat and you have a successful gate-camp.

Make sure to always keep an eye on local in both systems as it is not uncommon to be baited into a trap… Especially if you’re fielding expensive ships.

Can’t touch this

Now that you know how a camp is set up, how do you beat one?

This quick answer is patience but like most people in New Eden you’re probably not stocked full on that.

Option 1: Have a scout. Set up another account or have someone check the gate in a cloaky ship or shuttle that’s hard to lock. Have them look at the direction long-range scanner upon jump in and then check short range out to about 1 AU. If there happens to be a camp or a bunch of pilots in system with -10 security just don’t go through that gate and find an alternate route.

Option 2: Cloaky. Not foolproof by any means but offers a lot more protection then jumping through with warp stabs in the long run. With a blockade runner you can usually make it through all but the largest camps unharmed.

Option 3: MWD Cloak trick. Maybe working as intended or a bug… it is a viable way to get yourself out of a low-sec gate camp. It works like this: When you appear on the other side of the gate and realize you’re in a camp you immediately pick a gate to warp to, click align and your MWD at the same time as well as the cloaking device. This gives the MWD one cycle to run while you’re cloaked and gets you up to speed. So, as soon as you’re up to speed you can warp immediately upon decloaking. This works by putting the ship past it’s 75% of top speed required to warp by exploiting the speed the MWD gives you. I don’t like this trick but it’s there and isn’t changing.

Option 4: Ask the campers nicely or offer a bribe. I don’t normally suggest this as most gate-camps are out for the kill not the cash but it could work. Also helps to be nice and appeal to their ego. We’re all ego-centric at heart.

All in all gate camping can be a fun and somewhat profitable venture. It’s a shitty way of PVP for the most part because the majority of the fights you get are ganking industrials or other semi-defenceless ships but in a pinch it can be a good way to spend the evening joking around with your buddies on voice comms.

How do I shoot gun? Part 2 – the gunnening

Yesterday I presented a situation familiar to many faction warfare pilots where they warped into a plex and landed in an ‘almost’ trap like situation.

The FC was taken down immediately and calling targets/giving fleet orders fell on your shoulders.

The enemy fleet composition is as follows.

2 harbingers are at 0 on the plex warp in. 1 falcon is 60km away. 1 curse is 35km away. 2 brutix are 15km away. 1 hurricane is at 20km and burning away. 1 damnation is 60km away sitting on the plex button. 2 omen navy issues are at 25km orbiting the harbingers.

Your fleet composition is:

1 scimitar. 2 shield hurricanes. 2 drakes. 1 shield astarte 1 sleipnir. 2 talos. You are in a rapier.

Before we go into what I would do in this situation let’s look at both of the fleets and their strengths and weaknesses.

Our enemy is flying in a heavy armor-tanked fleet with damnation armor boosts. This kind of fleet is slow as molasses, has an incredible amount of effective hitpoints (which is increased even more by the damnation) and almost all of it’s midslots for disruptors, scrams, webs and other E-war… this is only multiplied by that damn falcon. The main problem with a fleet like this is that it is difficult for them to dictate any sort of range with their targets as well as because they use most of their low-slots for tank. This ends up not leaving too much for damage and tracking mods and as a result the range of engagement of this fleet is low. It relies more on getting the drop on the enemy fleet, much like what is happening in our scenario.

Our fleet on the other hand is a shield-tanking nano-ish fleet. This kind of fleet is fast, does quite a bit of damage out to a pretty decent effective range and has amazing range dictation. Coupled with the fact there is a scimitar and rapier to support the fleet, if you’re smart and engage properly this fleet can be hard to beat. In our scenario we’re in a pretty bad position as we have a few ships scraping paint at 0 right away.

If we look at the individual ships in this fight you’ll notice a few things right away. Most of the enemy DPS is concentrated in the EM/Thermal damage profile as well as most of the range is around the 25-30km with the brutices falling short around 15km will Null loaded.

Our fleet has more of a mixed damage profile with the 3 autocannon ships, two missile ships and 3 hybrid ships. The main advantage that we have on our side is the sheer amount of damage throughput we have and how far we can effectively hit out to.

The two taloses alone put out 800ish DPS each out to roughly 45km with Null.

The Fight

Upon landing in the plex a million things are probably flooding through your mind. What the hell, why are they at 0? Why did Baha have to put me in charge? Oh shit a Falcon.

The defining characteristic of a great FC is the ability to keep cool under pressure even though inside their head they may be screaming. Projecting yourself as a calm, collected and confident leader is the key to making sure they rest of your fleet trusts your decisions. If you don’t at least sound like you know what you’re doing why the hell are people going to do what you tell them.

The immediate threat on landing that will jump out at you will be the falcon but you can’t let all of your decisions be based around getting that annoying recon off field. The curse on the other hand will ruin a lot of your day simply because, as a nano fleet, you live and die on your cap. Fortunately, the curse is a bit too far to do anything incredibly bad to the fleet.

So, if I was the FC in this case, this is what I would do:

First of all, everyone should activate their MWD and burn away from the fleet back the way you came in. This creates a range-gap that you can capitalize on as your fleet has much better damage projection. The two drakes should immediately lock up the falcon and lob heavy missiles at it in an attempt to push it off field. The rapier needs to put a web down on curse and hurricane while every other DPS focuses on one of the harbingers.

The Astarte, being at 0, is almost a write off but can create a large hole in the fleet while the rest of them get into a good position. He should overload all of his modules and focus down the harbingers while the scimitar overloads reps IMMEDIATELY on him. Once your fleet is around the 28-30km distance mark from the warp-in, spread out points and dictate range using the rapier webs. All drones go onto the curse and while you burn down the other harbinger.

Hopefully, by this point, the falcon has either exploded or left the field due to the drakes pounding it with HMLs. Once the last harbinger has gone down, immediately switch DPS to the curse and burn him down quick with the talos’s overloading their guns. Make sure the rapier has him webbed down in order to make the large gun’s tracking isn’t a factor.

At this point the only casualty should be the Astarte and whatever else was webbed and scrammed on the warp-in. Clear up the field, burn down the N. Omens first and then brutices last, since they have no way really of closing the range gap between the rest of your gang. If anything is left, or the damnation was too stupid to warp out just spread points and finish them all off.

This may vary, depending on what the falcon has jammed or if the curse burned away but that’s the beauty of EVE. Everything can change, always.

So there is my answer to this little scenario. As you can see by the comments a few people had similar ideas to me and a few had some other plans.

Either way it was a well matched fight that shows the diversity of the game and the ships in it.

How do I shoot gun?

It’s a beautiful night in Huola and you have just been called to a battle in Kourmonen for the contention of the system.

Here’s the scene:

You and ten other of your closest friends are following the glorious Fleet Commander Bahamut420 into a major plex in the Kourmonen system. You are all in battlecruiser class ships, all shield fit, with one Scimitar as support for the fleet. Prior to jumping in to the complex Bahamut has designated you his secondary target caller in case he goes down in a righteous cloud of rust and smoke.

And let’s be honest here, He’s going to go down first. He’s Bahamutfucking420.

You all engage the complex gate. Warp Drive Active.

The enemy fleet composition is as follows.

2 harbingers are at 0 on the plex warp in. 1 falcon is 60km away. 1 curse is 35km away. 2 brutix are 15km away. 1 hurricane is at 20km and burning away. 1 damnation is 60km away sitting on the plex button. 2 omen navy issues are at 25km orbiting the harbingers.

Your fleet composition is:

1 scimitar. 2 shield hurricanes. 2 drakes. 1 shield astarte (stupid Manos) 1 sleipnir. 2 talos. And you, my dear friend, are in a rapier.

As you land, Baha gets nuked almost instantly and you, my friend, are stuck with the job of calling primaries for your pride of lions.

What do you do? Who do you call out to shoot first? How do you turn the tides of battle? And how stupid was Bahamut to put you in charge of something like this?

Post in the comments of how you would go about winning a fight like this. Let me know who you’d call as first, what direction you’d give the fleet and why. In my next post I’ll outline what I’d do.

The Huola Derby

If Late-Nite Alliance are lions then what does that make the Amarrians we fight?

The alliances of the Amarrian empire in factional warfare space must be the thoroughbred racehorses of our little part of the sandbox. On the surface they are calm and powerful, they have a air of nobility around them. They have a defined musculature second to none and have the endurance of ages.

But in all reality they are just a horse without any balls that is good at running.

In my time spent in FW space I’ve noticed a few things that have kept constant over the years. There are always fights to be had if you know where to look, the average pilot is actually below average, and if you win you are blobbing.

One of the chief complaints that I see most of my compatriots mention, myself included, is that there are a deficit of fights on the warfront and this leads to abject boredom. These fight-starved pilots that are drowning in a sea of blue then resort to petty inner squabbling which in turn breaks up the unity that brought them together in the first place.

Where the buffalo roam.

There are fights to be had at all times in EVE-Online and especially in FW space, you just need to know where to look and be willing to put yourself at a ‘apparent’ disadvantage.

I find some of the best fights I’ve ever had in KPP was when we were outnumbered, outgunned and out positioned but we managed to squeeze a victory due to us out smarting, outplaying and demoralizing our opponents.

One example of this was a month or so back:

It was very late at night(usually when I play) and most of my alliance was not to be found anywhere. I was roaming around in a shield fit Talos used for skirmishing as well as having my loki boosting alt sitting in system. There was a small gang of Amarrians from Wolfsbridgade putting around in some somewhat shiny ships and I figured I’d give them a bit of a run for their money.

Enter Talos vs Harbinger, Harbinger, Vindicator, Hurricane, Arazu, Malediction, Rapier.

Immediately you would think that this gang set up would decimate my poor Talos, but I wouldn’t let that stop me. Fitting with a HG Snake set and skirmish links I could pull range without too much trouble and dictate the fight on my terms. I spent the next 10 minutes warping from safe-spot to safe-spot harassing the group with potshots and verbal punishment in local.

Then my opportunity presented itself.

One of the harbingers managed to get itself close to a safespot beside me, but was too close to the gate for its friends to warp directly to it. So I lit up the harby and took him into structure before his allies arrived on scene. By the time they landed I was 50km out of their range and their harby friend was dead. This act was repeated while the other harbinger died as well as a thrasher that attempted to tackle me.

I drew the fight out along the axis of the gate, making sure to burn away in a direction where there was nothing they could get a decent warp-in on me in range. My made a small piloting error and capped myself out while trying to kill the Arazu pilot and ended up losing my Talos to the rapier and vindicator’s webs.

Was I upset that I lost my ship? Not at all. Did I have an excellent fight? Absolutely. Did I go in expecting to lose my Talos? You better damned well believe it!

The moral of the story is this: If you’re willing to put yourself at a risk it can end up putting you at an advantage in the long run. Smart piloting makes anything possible within the confines of this game and that is the beauty of EVE.

Stupid is as stupid does.

One of the things I hear more often on comms than I would like is the word *bait*. Oh that drake might be bait. That’s a bait for a hotdrop. We shouldn’t go attack that fleet because it’s bait. While in quite a few cases people will set up a situation in order to provoke aggression only to subsequently gangbang the opposing team, AKA Bait them into a fight.

But that’s just it, isn’t it? If you have present yourself as weak in order for the opposing team to gather up enough balls in order to provoke a fight all that’s happening is you’re fighting cowards. And when the tides of war flow out of your favour you turn tail and run, not considering other options in order to give you some force multiplication. You’re just going to perpetuate a cycle of spy vs. spy.

Another thing I notice is that the vast majority of pilots tend to over-estimate the capabilities of their enemies. One of the best skills I learned from being a pirate and roaming solo was to gauge my opponent not by his ship-type but by his eve-kill/battleclinic history, age, and actions. Too many solo fights have been lost before they’ve even begun because of the simple idea that they couldn’t possibly kill that zealot in a rifter. Never underestimate the stupidity of your enemy. If anything you’ll confuse the fuck out of him and he might just make the mistake that will cost him his ship.

Once you’re comfortable enough with your own knowledge of the various ship types in EVE and their abilities, as well as having another window open on another screen or in the background with eve-kill pilot search open you’ll be much better at determining what you can and cannot engage.

That four letter word.

Blob. I’m only going to touch on this briefly as my wonderful and talented corp-mate already said what was needed to be said about this subject.

Last night KPP and company heard Nitrog (an old friend, new pilot in corp) shout that he was getting engaged by an Amarrian gang a few jumped out from our location. By the time we got there our poor Nitterdoodle had had his hurricane blown into tiny space bits but we weren’t going to let that stop us avenging his death.

Enter KPP and Co, avengers of the Crickish (his nickname).

We warped to the Labapi gate at 0 and started to light up the terrible fleet of our enemies. On field they had a falcon and rook, a few BCs and a navy omen totally 8 pilots. We had a proteus, vindicator, talos and a few other BCs totally 7 pilots sans ECM ships.

We dispatched the brutix on field first, then the navy omen, then the harbinger followed by the rook that was at range.

We ended up victorious, despite the number and ECM advantage the Amarr had. But what followed was the interesting part.

They said we blobbed them.

Seriously.

I probably don’t need to explain why this is ridiculous but I will anyway. Not only did they have a slight number advantage, two ECM ships and quite a bit of DPS on field. They also had us trickle into the fight slowly which would’ve made it a lot harder for us to project our damage out.

I guess this is one horse-race where I’ll sit on the sidelines.

At the end of the day EVE will always be a dynamic and free-form game where it’s up to you to make your own fun. But when the time comes that you get upset over losing when someone has a distinct disadvantage over you and you resort to the ‘blobbing’ defence to make yourself feel better… maybe you should re-evaluate why you play the game.

The Savannah and KPP origins

The EVE-Online universe is a giant savannah. The constellations and sovereign nations are all different areas of the expanse. Within these areas are a myriad of different species all part of a giant chain that interweaves with one another to make this savannah an organism on its own.

First, we have the lowly antelope. The antelope roams the plains of the savannah, not really affecting anything other than its own and the plant life that they use for sustenance. You can liken the antelope to that of the mining care bear. He sits in high-sec minding his own business with the rest of his mining group, munching the space-rocks in order to keep the chain going.

Then we have the majestic giraffe. It picks the low hanging fruit from the trees above and fuels the growth of the plant life in the area. It is a solitary animal that is very rarely accompanied by more than one other animal, picking up the scraps as they fall from the trees. This is much like the mission running care bear, he’s more than happy to sit in the safety of high-sec and destroy NPCs for easy ISK.

We have the wildebeest next. A herd animal by nature, the wildebeest roams around with a large group and follows the general order of the pack leader. The mighty wildebeest could be compared to that of the incursion runner, they roam together in large groups and make their ISK by destroying NPCs in high, low, and null-sec in complexes.

The cheetah makes its appearance near the end of the list. As a solitary predator the cheetah takes on targets of opportunity in order to sustain itself. It will jump on the weak and lonesome without warning hoping for a quick and easy kill. The cheetah is the low/null sec solo PVPer in our savannah.

The hyena is an interesting creature. Much like the cheetah it takes out targets of opportunity but it does so with the help of a group of like-minded other hyenas. The hyena makes its mark on the savannah by picking off the seemingly weaker groups of animals by using smart tactics and ambushes. The hyena is akin to that of the small pirate gang, they operate in small and smart groups picking off targets of opportunity and running when anything bigger threatens their numbers.

The crocodile sits in the second last spot on our list. The crocodile is a predator matched by almost no others, he sits in large groups and bides his time in order for the best opportunity to strike and make the kill. The crocodile will sometimes let the antelope or wildebeest be in order to make them feel comfortable so as to ensure a coming food supply in the future. The crocodile is that of our sovereign null-sec alliance pilot. He sits and waits to defend his territory using the miners and mission runners as a passive form of making ISK.

Lastly, we have the lion. In the savannah there are no animals that are as fearsome and respected as the lion. He sits astutely with his pride and watches over all that he surveys. He is a pack animal by nature but each and every lion in his pride can hold their own just as well as the other. The lion has no natural predators and is the undisputed king of the savannah. What the lion wants, the lion gets and not even the mighty crocodile will stand in his way. In EVE’s savannah, we are the lions.

Ka Pow Pow was formed by Manos Kdo as a splinter of Ice Fire Warriors. Our lovable Aussie was annoyed by the amount of corporation mails he received while under the employ of IFW and decided to create a one man splinter corporation in order to remove himself from the politics and place to stick all of his alt characters. He was joined shortly there-after by his long time real-life friend Shoog and was more or less still IFW at heart.

A little while later, Manos was befriended by a new IFW member looking for a way to rid himself of the politics as well. Muskells had been an Amarrian pilot, a pirate, and a wormhole dweller for some time but enjoyed the simple easy going nature of the Minmatar.

The friendship was solid from the start and they enjoyed a long string of neutral and factional kills and fights, much to the chagrin of the rest of the pilots in Late Nite (a communal channel for the pilots allied with IFW). For a while, the two pilots when all but unnoticed on the warfront, using smart tactics and expensive ships to turn the odds in their favour when outnumbered. This didn’t last too long however as they caught the eye of a few pilots looking for place to hang their ships and enjoy the policy of “No bullshit, all pew pew” that KPP employed.

The next to join the ranks was Galdornae. He was another ex-amarrian from Locus Industries, a slightly infamous corp known for it’s professional level of piloting as well their penchant for war-deccing other corps within their faction for *tears* and *lulz*. He was a welcome addition to the group and much fun was had.

Sneaky Noob, a loud mouthed and hilarious troll, was the next to throw his hat into the ring with the KPP pilots. He, also known as Pel Ukken, was another ex IFW pilot looking for a way to get a bit of his aggression under the ideal that Ka Pow didn’t care too much about who they pissed off.

The Soap-box, or LP McDuffs, as most would know was the next to join the ranks of Ka Pow. Famous for his hit-and-run tactics as well as his way of interjecting his well-informed and well-written opinion on pretty much anything that happened that was out of kilter with the Late Nite crew. He was the face we needed in order to start putting Ka Pow Pow out front as one of the powers in the militia.

The mascot, M0220h was the next in line to join up with the pride. He didn’t so much apply to the corporation as he was stolen from Autocannons Anonymous due to him not only being a solid pilot but a generally fun and entertaining guy to be around, especially on comms.

A long standing friend and ex-corpmate of Galdornae, Susan Black was next in line to join the wicked ranks of Ka Pow Pow. The only ‘actual, real life, nail polish wearing’ girl in the corp, Susan did not let that stop her from keeping up with the general abuse from the testosterone fuelled idiots. She threw the rest of the gang a lot punches herself and is one of the most influential pilots that Ka Pow Pow has in it’s roster.

Ka Pow Pow is a corporation, part of the Late Nite alliance, that holds the philosophy that EVE-Online is supposed to be fun, regardless of who you’re inconveniencing. As a result, almost all of the members are -10 security status as well as infamous for assaulting anything that moves that isn’t set blue to the alliance.

We have no rules of engagement. We have no set tactics and techniques. We do not care if we hurt your feelings. We have fun, regardless.

We are the lions of the savannah. We are Ka Pow Pow. And we don’t give a fuck.

Faction Warfare – Why you all need to man the fuck up.

I was there.

I was there when the Amarrian Empire was at its peak.

I was there when there was non-stop battleship fleets smashing into each other every single night, every single day.

I was there when there was a plethora of different Fleet Commanders to grab everyone from public comms and shape them into bloodthirsty slavers.

 

The problem is not the mechanics behind the Factional Warfare changes. The problem isn’t even the ridiculous amount of isk you can make through LP stores and bottle-necking the stockpiles. The problem isn’t even the station lockout.

The problem is the people.

For the first grand portion of my FW career I flew under the name Xaerik in a corporation by the name of Deus Imperiosus Acies. It was lead by a real-life friend of mine by the name of Invelious who, at the time, was a relatively prominent FC in the Amarr milita. He had lofty goals that had no in game reason to be done but he wanted to do them for God and Empire, which to me was pretty cool so I jumped on the wagon. It was only a matter of time before I lost a bunch of frigates and cruisers to epic fleet fights in trying to take over systems that did not really even matter.

I ended up flying with a number of great FCs on the Amarrian side and had a great time doing it.

After a while spinning plex buttons I ended up meeting another pilot by the name of Zenton Karvash. Him and I became fast friends and ended up getting a lot of small gang kills and helping take a bunch of space. We ended up having quite a few great fights in plexes but I noticed that our targets were dwindling and we were getting ::goodfights:: less and less. Especially when Invelious decided to move the corporations base of operations down to Aset in an attempt to capture it.

That was the beginning of the end for me as an Amarrian.

I ended up making Proper Villains shortly after dropping out of militia and I brought some of the people I flew with from DIA with me. We had a great time as pirates, only having each other for backup and taking all the punches that come with being -10 in lowsec space. Everyone was our enemy and I wouldn’t have wanted it any otherway.

Proper Villain’s demise came with a failed stint into Wormhole space which I won’t get into here. I ended up, with Zenton, going back to Amarr and saddling up with Aldrith and Shalee in the Knighthood of the Merciful Crown.   (This is when I bought Muskells, fwiw)

I remember joining a fleet shortly after many people had realized that Xaerik and Muskells were the same pilot. I was ready to help bring down a small Minnie gang with a bunch of cruisers and battle-cruisers when someone piped up on comms, “Hey Matt” to which I replied of course. Eran Mintor had just then realized that Xaerik and Muskells were both me, and I was promptly kicked from the fleet.

I was blacklisted.

I shrugged it off and went back to piracy, getting more outnumbered fights and flying alone for the most part.

It wasn’t until one night where I was floating around in a vagabond picking off a gang of Minmatar tackles in Ice Fire Warriors when LP McDuffs sent me a convo that simply stated, “If you ever feel like joining the Minnies, you’re always welcomed here.”

That was a weird idea to me. The only real interaction I’ve had with the folks in IFW had been being blown up and blowing them up in fights and they would just out of the blue offer me a spot with them? Why the hell not.

That was when everything changed for me in FW and EVE in general.

After my very first night in comms with the guys of Late Nite I realized one thing right away: I was fighting for the wrong side all along. The guys of late nite were friendly, laid back and hilarious… every single one of them could hold their own and didn’t need to get anyone to hold their hand with orders. When shit hit the fan and a FC went down another one stepped up right away. Everyone was part of the group and it was an organic kind of relationship.

Everything just fit.

This was such a diametrically opposite feeling from the overly strict fleets of Amarr where they constantly worried about spies in their ventrillo and other crazy things that no one really cared about. The Late Nite crew had fun regardless of them winning or losing. They fought for the sake of fighting, the way I had always played.

The point that I’m trying to make with this poorly written wall of text is this.

EVE is a sandbox and it is as much or as little fun as you make it. I left the Amarr because there were a bunch of power-tripping and paranoid jerks to me. And as far as I can see most of Amarr’s really amazing pilots switched sides too… not because being Minmatar made any difference then being Amarr but because the Minnies always seem to do something the Amarrians never can: Have fun.

I’m biased. I was burned. I’m still a little sore about it.

But if your side of the sandbox has cat shit in it. Why not remove the cat shit or move to the other side of the sandbox.