Anatomy of an Ambush – Part 2

So, here we are – we are stalking a C1 Wormhole corp that routinely mines in Rorquals and has two Dreadnaughts on standby.  We decided to remind them gently that Wormhole space can be a little bit more dangerous than High Sec.

Just to be clear, we never wanted to evict them from their C1. Evictions can be a lot of fun (from both sides…), they offer content, kills, teamwork and camaraderie, just in this case, we did not see a reason for it.  Removing an industrial / mining / new-bro friendly corp brings neither challenge, honor or reward, just boredom.  It also wouldn’t have made Wormhole space more interesting in the long run.  No, this would be an old school hit&run ambush.  My kind of EVE…

Back to the ambush.  Since I spotted the Rorquals, we brought in additional scouts and kept gathering intel. As a EU-based corporation, their timezone was not ideal for us, on a weekday, they would close their mining operation before our team would be home from work.  We decided to launch our ambush on a Saturday with the Sunday as backup in case they watch football, eat sausages or whatever Germans do when not working or mining rocks.  We planned 2 weeks out and put out a ping to our friends and acquaintances.  For security reasons we just told them that we had “a thing happening” and “be in Amarr with ISK“.

Traditionally, Wormhole ambushes are log-off traps, i.e. we would bring in all of our assets during the week whenever the target is asleep and keep them logged off until its time to execute.  That works well because the target can feel perfectly safe, roll off the their connections, guard them, let them go EOL, whatever.  Unfortunately, during this timezone we didn’t have the numbers willing to do the log-off trap (for several days, after all) and we decided to have 2 separate fleets.  One that tackles the Rorqual(s) and survives whatever the target brings on field.  A second fleet then burns in from Low Sec mostly in Logistics cruisers.  Since that second fleet would be formed by “friends” of ours, getting Bookmarks and doctrines right would be really important.  The new Bookmark system had come out literally that week  and were giddy with its capabilities.

So, during the week, we filter in our core fleet via Low Sec and convenient Wormhole chains.  Our target is predictably quiet during our timezone and we have plenty of scouts.  Aside from a couple of close shaves with Low Sec gates, nothing really exciting happened.  Since its a C1 hole, we are bringing in armor cruiser / Battlecruiser DPS and cruiser Logistics, plus a few cloaky, heavy T3Cs for additional intel, tackle and scouting.

Saturday arrives and our team is on standby.  Our scouts report no activity at all.  First time in 4 weeks that there is no mining going on.  I am a little suspicious, wondering if someone somewhere saw us but we all call it just bad luck and move the operation to Sunday.

Sunday rolls in and the same as Saturday.  The target has a few people online moving around in T1 haulers and Epithals but no mining, no Rorqual, nothing.  I am really worried now that something tipped them off and re-check their wardec history on a hunch.  And yes, dumb coincidence, they started a new Wardec on Sunday against a dead industrial corporation in “their” home high sec system.  They had done this a few times before, to remove Athanors from valuable moons I assume but there never was real PvP at all which means that they would shoot the (unfueled?) structure into its timer and then have to wait for many days before the next timer rolls along.  Enough time to hang out in their C1 and go mining.  Its just bad luck again but given this information we expect them to start mining on Monday.

Now this is a problem.  Monday is a workday for us in the US and its tricky to get the numbers to kill 2 Rorquals, 2 Dreads and whatever subcaps they bring in their prime time and tank through an Athanor.  We really need that relief-fleet that we staged in High sec to be on the ball and burn in without major hiccups.  If the target mines at all, of course….

I get up early and sneak out quickly to secure the WH route.  We know the timing of these holes and unless our target rolls it off, this connection will stay open for the rest of the day, so I relay that information to our K-space friends who start moving closer – but not too close, we still have no idea if our target is mining at all.

But they do!  A Rorqual undocks, aligns sluggishly and warps off to the Athanor we already picked as the most likely target.  Noteworthy is that our target has made zero preparation, has no scouts anywhere, no probes out, nothing.  They behave just as if they were in the perfect safety of high or nullsec.  Well, to remind them that WH space works a little bit different is what we are here for. A ping goes out, our team fetches their coffees and stands by log-in screens.  Our FCs coordinate with our friends in High Sec who send their scouts ahead and confirm that the Wormhole is indeed bookmarked from the lowsec side.  Then they start burning in more logistics since we are pretty skinny right now.  If our target really fights back, we need those dudes.

Time has come – Spracklin, Cryo, Gunner, Tegan and Seraph work together to place scouts, last minute bookmarks and instructions.  I pilot 3 characters right now, my main in a Drekavac Battle Cruiser, a cloaky Tengu and an out-of-corp Stratios.  I refused to run logistics simply because I don’t trust myself to be on grid with 2 characters, so my 2 alts remain cloaked.

The order is given and the DPS/Logi team logs in, aligns and warps to the target Bookmark.  During warp everyone joins fleet, moves into the assigned squad, confirms ammunition type, hardeners and scripts.  When we land on the Rorqual a few seconds later, we are a fully formed PvP fleet with coordinated logistics.  Our HIC bubbles the Rorqual and shooting commences while our relief fleet moves to the Low Sec 1 before our entry.  The idea is that we don’t want to show our full fleet right away but try to lure out the 2 Dreads that we know exists.  In the meantime, the Rorqual dips deep into armor but suddenly holds – the pilot found the “Panic” button and the fight stops cold.  He also launched a Microjump Unit.  We have no idea why he did that but we kill it just in case.  Then the target manned the Athanor with a second character and starts fighting back.

Rorqual Ambush 1

Our 3 logistics cruisers hold well enough but if the Athanor pilot finds his stride and neuts out 2 of them, we are in trouble.  Our FC calls the relief fleet from Low Sec, one way or the other we are committing the entire fleet now. If the target wants to commit their caps, so be it, if not, we need to make sure that our friends are on the killmail.  They jump in, and warp on top of us, a very welcome sight as they bring mostly logistics. The Rorqual’s Panic Timer runs out but there is no sign of any coordinated rescue fleet and we commence shooting the Rorqual until it blows up in its spectacular fireball – garnished by Spracklin who smartly fitted a festival launcher to celebrate the occasion.  We take down the capsule and exchange “GF” in local with our target and get ready to exfiltrate.  Spracklin gets a last laugh as he lands his personal Viator on grid and loots the Rorqual – trust him to be that organized (and confident!).  All loot goes to our friends who came from K-space as “thank you”.  Their FC asked how long we had stalked this hole. I told him and take his politically incorrect response as a EVE compliment… 

“Over one month stalking?  That’s Wingspan-level autism”.

And this, dear kids, is how how you do it…

Rorqual Ambush 2

Anatomy of an Ambush – Part 1

As my remaining readers may recall, I fly in Wormhole space with Anomalous Existence, famous for our recent victory over some yahoos who invaded our home, blew up some meaningless structures and failed to achieve their mission – to break our spirit.  But enough of that, I already laid out how that all happened.  Onward to new adventures.  Because, we settled a new home.  Bigger and better of course.

Alright, so we found these C1 guys when their hole popped up in our chain. It was late US Time Zone and normally I wouldn’t have bothered but the residents had 7  (!) Athanors, a Fortizar, a Tartara and a Raitaru all fueled and active crammed into their C1/LS.  This suggests intent, quite a bit of planning and organization and of course massive mining operations. C1 anomalies are worthless and PI alone can not pay that fuel bill, only Moon Mining can.  I decided to stay the night and brought my two characters into the hole, and settled in.

None of the locals were online but a quick survey showed that the residents are German (=EU Timezone), based mostly in High Sec (Miake where they have a massive presence of dozens of Athanors) and advertise themselves as pure PvE / Industrial corporation(s).  According to Z-kill, the leadership spent some time ago in Nullsec, Wormhole space and overall seems to be well-rounded. Oh, and they removed the local POCOs with at least 1, probably 2 Revelation Dreadnoughts. Having Dreads in a C1 is a fairly serious commitment and suggests that they really wanted to stay.  

I logged off for the night, ready to take a look in the morning.  But real life intervened and kept me away from EVE for a few days and when I finally managed to log in, I found substantial activity in the hole, Epithals going every which way, T1 Minmatar Haulers warping as a pack from the Raitaru to a Signature and back (presumably rolling the connection), other haulers moving around, overall a busy corp doing busy things.  I keept looking for signs of a organized mining fleet but was a little weary of the Athanors. Taking down a miner in front of a well-armed citadel is quite risky if the locals are awake and know what they are doing.

I logged in a few days later during US Time zone and found the system quiet with the exception of a single mining Porpoise.  One other guy in the Raitaru but nobody else anywhere and certainly nobody in the Athanor that the Porpoise was mining at.  I had been in the hole for a few weeks now and not really seen any other mining target and decided to drop on this guy, blow my cover and call it a day.  Just in case they had some mysterious response fleet, I’d watch the Raitaru / Fortizar with my alt and do the killing with my main character. Textbook-takedown, I warped in, tackled and started shooting.  The Porpoise launched Ogre drones and aligned himself, basically did all the correct things – except bring help.  The Porpoise exploded, the Pod swam free and warped away.  My cover was blown, my ambush over, time to go home but only connection out was somewhere in Aridia with 30+ jumps to civilization and I decided to just hang out for another night and wait for the next connection.

Real life again intruded and kept me away from EVE for nearly a week before I finally could log in and try to get my two characters out.  But when I checked D-scan, I was surprised to see a full mining fleet at an Athanor.  And not just any mining fleet, this one had a Rorqual in the middle happily sucking on some mighty rock.  

Now this changes things.  Of course, I can’t take down a Rorqual by myself, certainly not in front of an Athanor (even if it isn’t manned like the one I was watching was).  Its suicide – which is fine – but useless – which is not. But Rorquals make nice fleet targets and I am pinging my corp.  They get excited….

Coordinating an ambush on a Rorqual is a little trickier than dropping onto a solo miner as  I had done before. Burning one down takes time, especially if they fit the Panic Module that pauses the fight for 5 minutes – enough time for them to bring the Revelation, man the Athanor and stand up a decent sub-cap PvP fleet (if they have one).  Since its a C1, we can’t bring Battleships (Nestors excepted) and have work with Cruisers or Battlecruisers which we have to bring in first – no guarantee that we can stage outside in the LowSec since we would have no idea where it was.  But first we brought in additional scouts to get more intel and look for weaknesses and opportunities.

And then, one day, they undocked not one Rorqual but two.  That of course makes life a lot more exciting but also difficult.  The Rorquals now can “Panic” the entire fight for 5 minutes each, that means we are on grid for an additional 10 minutes.

Curiously, the second Rorqual pilot was had also been one of the Revelation Pilots that took down the POCOs – so if he sits in the Rorq’, he can’t fly the Rev’, thats nice to know, lets kill him last. Its also encouraging that the characters names give away which are flown by the same player.  I never understood why people do that, if I see AmazingJoe1 and AmazingJoe2 on field.  Free intel is never bad, though.

Oh and they have a Charon.  Not that it matters much for the fight but its cute.

So overall, we could be dealing with 2 Rorqs, 2 Dreads (as response fleet) and a whole corp full of other boats plus an armed Athanor.  This calls for a full fleet operation.  Lets call some friends.

To be continued

Escape from Envy – A tale in 4 Acts

Here follows a personal view of our glorious fight for our home, J150859, lovingly known as “Envy”.  The narrative is personal and written by me, a high-powered marketing executive with decades of experience in Fortune 100 companies. Consequently, it is saturated with exaggerations, lies, self-aggrandizement and bristling with meaningless expressions for no other reason other than to vividly illustrate the author’s (=me) intellectual, physical and moral superiority over his worshiping readers (=you).  If you want an honest account of what happened, go away and read this, this, or listen to this.

To rephrase the last sentence for the benefit of the illiterate trolls and village idiots from Reddit (meaning no disrespect to actual village idiots), the following is a pisstake, a persiflage, a joke, you dumbnuts.  PS.  Writing this on a hot Sunday afternoon, so (mucho) beer may have been involved.  There will be typos.  I am proud of them.  

Act 1.  Invasion

The enemy knew they were up against the most experienced wormhole fighting force that had ever settled J150859 since 2013.  Our corp, N0MEX has a fearsome reputation for destroying ships, rocks and planetary resource layers and on solid days, we can muster 10s of experienced, square-jawed, steely-eyed fighting machines willing to give their all in the service of our Supreme Leader and the glory of our Juche.  Dying under the command of our blessed fleet commanders is every line-members ultimate goal and when hundreds of thousands Russians oozed through our high sec hole like a thick stream of yellow puss out of an engorged abscess we knew that we had been granted our wish to honorably lay our life to feet of Bob and ask for a speedy route into Sto’Vo’Kor.

We watched the enemy, oh we watched.  Our zeal and lust for blood was unbearable and many times we had to hold a comrade back to launch a Banzai charge into the breach with his combat Epithal.  We employed all the patience we had since we had planned for this contingency.   We had put a Keepstar in our home deliberately to paint a target on our muscular, manly & hairy chests, imploring hapless foes to brave their terror and “come at us” as the vernacular goes.  We would fight with a solid tactic, worked out in countless hours, fine-tuned by our fleet commanders who are very stable geniuses, military tacticians that make Sun Tzu a naive peasant, using the iron fist of dozens of brand new ships, manufactured and spit-polished by our industrial team. We were a death machine sharpened like a razor, determined like a salmon going upstream and hung like a mythical donkey.

The trickle invaders slowed to a stop.  We counted a few hundred, nothing we couldn’t manage.  Of course, Inner Hell are the best in Wormhole space but we are trained for this, we are born for this!  No uncoordinated horde of unemployed, vodka-swilling, shoe-less peasants whose only source of heat are their chattering teeth can match our unblemished war machine!  “This is all??” we cried?  “Where is the enemy?”  Itching for a fight, we let them anchor their structures, hoping it would lure them deeper into committing their resources so we may have a more glorious battle.  When the wormhole flashed again and Hard Knocks and Lazerhawks came forth, we rejoiced.  “Now”, we screamed, “it will be an even battle”.

The fight started like all wormhole skirmishes with establishing dominance over hole control.  Inner Hell was highly effective in this, using a tactic that gained them even our respect.  We sat cloaked and watched their efforts, even cheered when they rolled.  Respect for your enemy before you crush him, drive him before you and hear the lament of their women is the the greatest we can give and we solemnly prayed for their souls.  More and more ships entered, flashing a re-assuring “red” before we were joined by several waves of friends and allies who begged to join us.  Of course, we had thousands of allies waiting in K-space wanting to enter the valiant fight but honor demanded that we keep our numbers low, not to outcrowd the enemy on our battlefield.  So we chose only a handful of highly trained and occasionally sober mercenaries lusting for glory.

Act 2.  Engaging the Enemy

As the timers tick down, a dance ensues with smaller ships to establish hole dominance while the bulk of the defense fleet rests in our Keepstar.  Finally! Our glorious combat FC  Cryostassiss gives the order to engage in a dashing frontal assault and chooses my alt to lead the charge in an Interdictor.  I feel giddy, being selected for this vital mission from which there can be only one outcome – glory!.  But the days and months of grueling combat training kick in, my body is ready, my mind is calm.  Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds, I feel the vibrations of my trusted Sabre pulsing in near-orgasmic anticipation.  I race out of the safety of the docking ring into the path of millions of missiles, aligning and initiating the warp tunnel that faithfully carries me to my end.  We land.  The wormhole shines ahead of me, virginal, untouched, unblemished.  I align my steed, overheat everything, willing it across the 10km chasm when red Interceptors fall out of the sky thick as hail.  I bubble, I jump.  I link the high sec route allowing our allied fleet to engage their warp drives and race toward me.  A deep calm overcomes me, my mission is done, I have fulfilled my role.  But through the wormhole, I hear the clash of weapons as a major engagement is on the way.  My brothers! Fighting to keep the hole open at all costs.  Trumpets sound.  Without thought, I race my ship back to the hole and jump to be and die with my comrades

Death welcomes me with gentle embrace and as my body floats in the emptiness of space, my mission is fulfilled, the relief fleet enters the system in un-catchable ships and beelines to the Keepstar to swap into ships of the line.  Leading the charge – if I may be so humble – was my main character, Epigene, who came in 10th or so.

Epigene Warp In

Act 3.  Skirmishes

My fleet now hands out ships, sanctified by Bob and we accept them humbly as Sacramental Bread.  Our overall strategy is handed to us by our all knowing fleet commanders, simple yet effective.  “Undock and kill all the things“.  And so we do, I have received a Drake, often a laughingstock among pilots but in my experienced hands, this piece of rain gutter turns into a fearsome death machine.  At the docking ring, I aim at a random foe and select the microjump function (thinking it was microwarp but jump/warp, all pretty much the same at this point) and land 50km behind him.  I  activate the launchers and when my missiles crash into my helpless target and scratch nearly 0.1% of his shield, I rejoice briefly before my faithful Drake disintegrates.  My capsule swims clear and I decide not to dip into the treasured corp pool of defense ships but take a ship from my own ample stable.  My mission now is to survive, harass, kill and slow down the foe so that our inevitable victory can come sooner.

A second FC, the indomitable Artimus Arbosa from Noir. takes charge of the little ships and starts a phenomenal harassment campaign.  With incredible skill and elegance, he warps his shrinking band of Cormorants hither and thither and I follow cloaked my my own Manticore, scoring a couple of solid hits myself.  However, Cormorants have a different engagement style from my Manitcore and I am veering off, this will get me killed needlessly.  I need to stay in the fight and select a worthy target.

Which happens to present itself when the foe engages a hapless POCO. I see the alert flashing and decide to see if the attacker is worthy of my attention – i.e. afk.  Turns out he isn’t really afk and engages before my torpedoes land but I surely gave him the fright of his life!

Epigene POCO Escape

And so the skirmishes continue all over the system when finally our Keepstar succumbs to the relentless assault of our brainless foes.  It had a short life but a worthy one, cradling us in his (?) bosom, projecting our might across the galaxy and beyond.  May you rest in peace, sweet prince(?ss), knowing thou shall be revenged!

Act 4.  Man all the Guns!

With the Keepstar down, the guns don’t fall silent and our small ships score many more vital points.  Har!  If the enemy thought they had won just because they downed this random, meaningless structure, they have a thing coming.  Onward to Round 4 where the fight to death occurs on the smaller citadels.

The next day the timer for the Astrahuses and Athanors comes out but without the Keepstar, our friends and foes already declared the fight over.  Not so fast. “As long as we draw breath, we owe it to the ones we loved and lost to live out our lives without wasting them on regrets”.  I log into the system in my Manticore and saw things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. Citadel debris strewn about, vultures picking on the dead remains of our sacred temple – this is hallowed ground, how dare they.  The time has come for the last citadels to make a stand and as the only N0MEX pilot left standing, I select the Athanor with 6 minutes on its timer.

No enemy opposes me as I enter the scorched structure, no hostiles on grid as I make my way the command center and “take control” of the structure.  I have never done this before but I clench my teeth, A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day.  The time for the Athanor runs out, 2 hostiles are warping in. Well, Let them come,  There is one Athanor yet that still draws breath in Moria Envy.   I man the guns, 3 ECM batteries and other stuff I have no idea how it works but I SHOOT ALL THE THINGS and let lose a barrage of something that looks dangerous but I don’t know the name of.  My corpmates sitting in their clones in cursed K-space cheer me on and tell me I have Fighters to deploy.  After only 5 minutes I figure out how to launch them and they too find a glorious end in combat.  My structure’s structure is running low but also its cap – I did not know that citadels even have a capacitor but its never too late to learn.  Well, for this one, it is.  

My capacitor runs out.  The structure dips.  Only death awaits me here without the glory of taking an enemy with me.

I race to my Manticore and eject from the burning structure, surrounded by hundreds, thousands of enemies, their eyes glazed in bloodlust, their warp scramblers fecklessly scratching for a hold on my hull.  Bob be blessed, my Manticore aligns and warps away while income missiles miss their targets and harmlessly empty into the eternal ether.

Athanor Explode_ManticoreJPG.png

An artist’s rendition of my famous last stand.  Image inspired by action movie heroes who calmly walk away from an exploding building. 

 

The Athanor blows up in a spectacular display or hard radiation and destruction.  Other structures follow but they are mere trinkets, the fight is done.

The fights we sought, the death we craved have come.  We are victorious in challenging a worthy foe onto our battlefield and taunting them for content, death and destruction. We vanquished the weak, the fearful and meek and the fires of our citadels hardened the rest of us, forged us into One.  We are again a weapon, ready to deploy, ready to strike fear into the very hearts of our enemies.

Victory is ours!

 

The Fall of Visteen

Just to keep my last two readers updated, I am collecting screenshots from our fights / eviction and writing my observations in to a blog post, probably tomorrow or Tuesday. In the meantime, I copy/paste Seraph Essael Reddit post and video below just in case Reddit dies. Seraph is one of our main FCs and has really the full “Director’s view” of what happened.  I couldn’t write a better AAR, so I shamelessly copy his.

If you want to see the post on Reddit (and read all the comments), go here.  All content below comes for Seraph.

So, before this all gets out of hand and people start to speculate how, why and what happened in J150859: The home hole of N0MEX. Codename: ENVY

Back in January 2018 a few of us in N0MEX decided that we wanted to build a Keepstar from scratch and so began our long and arduous task of doing it. There was only about 7 of us that were actually involved in the planning and building of all the bits and bobs. And keeping it quiet from the rest of the people in the corp to avoid a leak was actually done rather well…

Why did we build a Keepstar in a Class two hole with a Hisec and C4 static? Because we could. We’re not about to allow others to dictate how we play our game. It was a gargantuan task and we wanted to see if we could do it. And here’s the thing, we had the balls to do it. So we did.

After the IH Keepstar loss and the eviction of HK and their Keepstars, a lot of groups who may have thought about getting one, decided against it, and other groups decided to take theirs down. The funny thing is, that the three main group that lost their Keepstars, are the three main groups currently evicting us now.

But I digress.

About three quarters of the Keepstar was built by the time Null came for HKs and a few people involved seriously considered not doing this. With the majority vote we decided to go ahead with it. I personally had put in far too much time and ISK into this endeavour and I would be damned if I was going to let someone take away my fun. This though was mirrored by the majority of people involved. Many hours, lots of ISK and so many corp mining ops and buying of salvage off members, all the while whilst trying to maintain a healthy dose of PvP. As I am 100% PvP driven in this game, for me keeping the PvP going was paramount. Same with the others.

Originally called Project Dellingr the name of the Keepstar changed just as we were about ready to go when we tragically lost one of our members on the 30th Dec 2018. Thus the name changed to Visteen in his honour.

And so we locked down the hole. We had previously unanchored The Red Queen, our main Fortizar, to make sure we had a cover for locking the hole back down and having max dudes on to protect it if necessary. Carriers on mega bubbled holes, rollers on standby and an assortment of other goodies to throw at people.

We had waited for this moment. In January 2019 about a month or so after HK had lost theirs and everyone else took theirs down. N0MEX anchored their Keepstar. Not because we wanted to brag about it; there was no reddit posts, there was no praise bob comments etc. but simply, just because we wanted to.

We had been updating our homedef fleet constantly whilst other evictions were happening. We had ships to counter Machs (which was the flavour of the month when we first began to build Visteen and before we started doing this), Counters to boosh Ravens (seeing how effective they were against HK in large numbers). Leshak Counters. And a whole load of shit to hand out. Overall, we just needed the pilots to man them. I won’t go in to detail about our tactics or the reasons for the ships and Keep being fit the way they were but it was all planned well with testing done to ensure it worked. So we will leave everyone wondering on that one.

Of course, no plan survives first contact with the enemy. We had been betting on someone that was not IH to come knocking…

What can I say, Inner Hell are on a whole different level. Their attention to detail is like military precision. Almost surgical. The way they hold hole control the way they have their timers and their fleets set up. Honestly, it’s damned impressive. And something not many other groups in Eve can match, certainly not us.

However, that being said, we still wanted a fight. We wanted the people rolling for us to be able to get an entrance. We wanted to hand out the armada of homedef ships we had built, and we wanted to employ our tactics to see if they worked. Overall what we wanted more than ever, was to be able to go down swinging with our dicks in our hands. If we lost, so be it. If we won, fucking great, so they’d come back the week after, but we knew we’d given a damned good fight.

For all the spin about people doing evictions for the “good fight” and in the “hope the defenders put up a good fight” mentality. That is not the case. And I 100% agree with the fact that: just do an eviction because you can and because something is shiny to kill. Don’t try and spin it so that you spout all the nonsense about a good fight. Because at the end of the day, that’s what we wanted, win or lose, we wanted to give you one hell of a fight that you would never forget.

When 15-20 real people with 30 chars are faced with a fleet of 150+ chars and around 60ish possibly more actual people. There isn’t a lot you can do to get people in. HK, LZHKS and a lot of other people learnt this the hard way when they were outnumbered during the HK invasion. Also, it didn’t help some of our main people were locked out of the hole getting stuff sorted for another story.

But regardless, know this: at the end of the day we’d rather go out with a swing instead of SDing all the crap on the undock. Because let’s face it. Eve is a game and we don’t give two buggers about the killboards.

There is also some confusion about the killing of Jonathan Lennellucs Rattlesnake. The dudes 1 year Anniversary is today and so he wanted to go out of Envy in style. We granted that. So please wish him a happy anniversary. All the best matey.

We also allowed most of our members to speak up if they wanted to give the DD a go, because lets face it. How many people can say they have actively fired the main cannon of the biggest, most baddass structure in Eve during a fight. Not many.

Truth be told. No one in N0MEX is sour over this, the good majority have taken this pretty well. There are a couple who were blamed for it that took it real hard and a couple that have just decided a little break is necessary. But generally spirits are good.

This is not the end for N0MEX, most certainly not for the core group of players who have played the same games with each other for years. The morale is not broken and it won’t be any time soon. We don’t just play Eve. We play a multitude of other games with each other. APEX. PUBG. Sea of Thieves. Forza on Xbox. Long story short. We bullshit on comms about RL issues, politics and our better halves. And we meet up IRL to have food and drink. Even if some of our members go elsewhere after this, they will still be on our comms and having a wild ride.

To everyone that tried to roll for us. To everyone that offered aid. To everyone involved in that. Thank you.

To Inner Hell, fuck dudes the shit that you do is mental. No one was expecting Polarised bombers spread out around the grid. Clever. Your timing is immaculate.

To Lazerhawks and HK, we honestly didn’t expect you guys to join in with IH we thought the days of Quazerknocks was over, but we understand you guys needed to remember what a Keepstar looked like.

For real though, no hard feelings.

Oh…and btw… N0MEX is recruiting.

Words have consequences

Just a quick post with a paste of an EVE mail I just sent to my corp.  (I fixed some typos)

 

Dear All

as you may have heard, my blog has been cited as reason for our invasion. Specifically, two posts are being talked about, one dealing with Hard Knock’s eviction and the other with our relationship with Blue-Fire. (links below)

I won’t go through a justification, backpaddling or somehow saying “I didn’t mean it”. That is not my style. At the time when I wrote it, these posts reflected my thinking. My only regret now is that I didn’t distance the blog from our corp and made clear that the opinion was mine and mine alone. That was a mistake.

So, I don’t apologize for my blog, I have been writing for nearly 10 years and always said what I thought. The blog is as much “EVE” for me as stalking wormholes. Without the blog I wouldn’t play and without the game, I wouldn’t blog. And I won’t change my style. I don’t want to play a game in “fear” of some bully who doesn’t like what I say.

But, words have consequences and whether the invasion was caused or even fueled by my posts is not important to me, I’ll lose pretty much all the assets I have left, but that is the risk I took when I moved to WH space. Assets in WH space are always considered lost.

What is important to me is that you know how much I respect N0MEX, every damn one of you. And if you decide that it is time for me to quit, so be it.

See you in Sto’Vo’Kor.

Epigene

Blog links below
https://splatus.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/and-so-it-begins/

https://splatus.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/the-eviction-of-hard-knocks-and-why-it-could-be-good-for-wormhole-space/

And so it begins

My remaining two readers may recall that I fly with Anomalous Existence (N0MEX), a storied WH corporation with home in a C2/HS/C4.  I joined N0MEX because they focus on small gang PvP, acknowledge that real life is more important than PvP and – yes – because the corp has core ethics that appeal to me.  No shittalk, no screwing anyone over, honor your word, come to the defense of others etc etc. Yeah, my kind of people, no regrets at all.  Solid dudes, all of them. Continue reading

Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back!

As my last remaining reader(s?) may recall, I recently took a break from EVE and played No Man’s Sky exclusively.  There was really no drama involved, “my” EVE (=low class Wormholes)  have not experienced any changes in years and the “blackout” or PvE content has not had any impact on my play style at all.  And the NOMEX team I fly with is awesome, nothing wrong there either.  I just felt like exploring something brand new, learn new skills, really discover something that I had never seen before and No Man’s Sky delivered every time I logged in.  New planets, new alien worlds, new stuff to see after every warp – its an incredible game when played solo and – so I heard – with others.  Last week, a massive update dropped, full with base-building, quality of life and multiplayer features that sounded incredible (one can tame and ride the weirdest critters now – and yes – milk them).  But for some reason, the same update patch turned my interest off entirely.  Its sort of like WoW for me in 2009 (or any game other than EVE since…), once I “get” it, I lose interest.  NMS has phenomenal breadth but very little depth, i.e. I can warp to a huge variety of planets but once landed, do pretty much the same thing.  Most players seem to go down the base-building path and painstakingly assemble gigantic, floating castles or go the team route which – thankfully in NMS – is quite controlled and allows small groups of RL friends to do quests together, sort of what Elderscrolls Online should have been instead of a WoW clone 10 years too late.  I am not into multiplayer (outside EVE) and never really got the “building” bug – not in EVE or Space Engineer (never tried Minecraft).  So, I logged into NMS the other day and realized that I’d really like to play EVE for a bit. Continue reading

The Comeback Kid

As both of my remaining, loyal and handsome readers know, I play and write about EVE Online, a spaceship multiplayer game where real people matter.  I created my first character sometime in 2009 and have been subscribed pretty much continuously since then. EVE is – needless to say-  an awesome game, in fact, the best MMO(RP)G still on the market.

However, sometimes, when Real Life goes busy, my patience for EVE- or any MMO –  is just not there.  Especially in Wormhole Space where the connections vary and hunting – while amazing fun, is never done in 1 hour, it takes time to scout, assess the situation, set up the ambush, call in the team, spring the trap etc.  And while there are many other facets to EVE, I have never been able to “get into it”, not the massive Nullsec fleets, RvB, industry, mission running etc.  No, “EVE” for me is “WH” space and its just a time sink at the moment I can’t really afford.

Well then!  Other games have always had their place in my life, a quick pickup in Planet Side 2, a side quest in Fallout 4, Skyrim, a skirmish in Destiny or cleaning out an outpost in Far Cry – all of these games I have played, enjoyed and eventually put down, they served a temporary, quick fix for 30min and then I can move onto other things.  The exception to that rule had always been No Man’s Sky, one of the two games I purchased pre-release when it was – officially – terrible.  I recently came back since Hello Games had pushed quite a few serious updates and screenshots / reports from the game looked pretty good.  So, I thought, whatever, I already own it, may as well reinstall and try it out.  Nothing to lose.

And what a game it is.  Unreal.

So, let me back up – when I bought the game in 2016, I really wanted a solo-SciFi, space exploration game.  Basically like EVE but without irritating hostile players, without industry grind or repetitive missions and just exploration of “stuff”.  Just me, my small ship and the universe to explore.  That was what I really wanted from NMS and while it didn’t deliver at launch it really has done it now.

By now, I am 50 hours into the game and have most of the basics figured out.  I follow the story arc fairly closely with a few side quests here and there.  I am not a dedicated “base builder” (yet), the story is interesting, has good rewards and I have not seen a planet to really call “home” yet.  I am sure this will come but I do also like the nomadic nature of zooming around star systems, landing on an unknown planet, hop out of the spaceship only to be nearly roasted to death by the environment and chased around like Benny Hill by overly ambitious drones.  I had to build a couple of bases for the story arc but they are unloved collections of modules thrown on the ground without care, they are not permanent by any means.  Nah, there is too much to discover.

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Just me and my tiny shuttle landing on an unknown planet, taking a look around.

Right now, the story had me land on a planet with fairly hostile drones who kind of make my life miserable on land but don’t follow me under water.  The quest-line made me discover a (space) ship wreck under water and asked me build a small, globular submarine that I am to pilot beneath the surface.  The graphics and sound effects are incredibly well done and the experience of slowly gliding through an alien reef is incredible – in fact far more interesting than flying through space.  I had sort of known that underwater construction was a thing but I had no expectation just how well thought through it was, how immersive (sorry, couldn’t resist) the underwater environment was and how punishing some of the mechanics could be.  For example, the quest asked me to pilot that little submarine to a new location but by attempting to take a shorter route, I got thoroughly lost in a network of underground caves.  I tried to blast my way out, creating a tunnel, was chased by hostile drones, stung by jellyfish, poisoned by exploding plants, pinched by a fat clam and scalded by a hot vent.  All of that while running out of air and resources.  I had to give up and restart from my last “Save” which is in No Man’s Sky not that straight forward. Basically I lost 45 min worth of progress, something that has not happened to me in any game in a long time…

So, No Man’s Sky is back on my list of games and to judge from the interwebs, it has fully redeemed itself.

Here is to the comeback kids – the guys who were pronounced dead but miraculously pulled themselves up, surprising everyone.

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By the way, big shoutout to Twitch Streamer “TheManAnimal“.  What a legend  – chilled, easy going, knowledgeable, funny.  You, Sir are the Man.

 

 

Mindful Visteen – Chapter 1

EVE Online is the last remaining computer game where the interaction between players actually matters.  Within EVE, the smaller and the more ambitious a group is, the more the actions of one man or woman impacts the success of the whole team.  Wormholes with their resource and mass limits attract smaller groups who relish the complexity of transient routes, danger running even the most mundane activities and the uncertainties that this lifestyle brings.  Wormholers are tight group, even by EVE standards for those reasons and many of us can not imagine anymore flying in the anonymity of a large k-space alliance.  And when corpmates become friends, the transition from “game” to “Real Life” is complete.

On December 30th 2018, our corpmate Mindful Visteen died while logged into EVE.  He was scanning an unknown signature when he suddenly disconnected and dropped off voice comms.  Nobody knew what happened, people attributed his sudden disappearance to a computer or network crash and only later we found out from a friend what happened.  It hit us like a sledgehammer.  Some of the information can be found here, some other details stay with us. Continue reading

I shot the Myrm, but I did not kill the Dominix

As my last remaining reader may recall, I live in WH space, staging with NOMEX out of a C2.  And while fleet fights are awesome fun with our solid FCs, occasionally I get “wanderlust”, drift away with my two characters and deliberately go down chains with EOL holes.  When the last known connection expired, when the bookmarks become stale and old, I really get the old feeling of being totally isolated and alone.  Whether I engage hostiles or not, whether I live or die, win or lose is now all up to me, no excuses, no regrets.

And so I drifted from Wormhole to Wormhole over the weekend with my Legion and my Stratios, sniffing around dozens of holes, checking out citadels for activity, keeping a mental log of how many anomalies or gas sites should be there but are not (indicating recent PVE), checking if the POCOs are allied with the citadel owners, checking the citadel owner’s killboard and so on.  Much has changed (for the worse) in WH intel since POSes are gone but I just try to get a feel for each hole I travel to and get a mental image of the people who live there.

I bumble into a C1 with a static Low Sec connection.  Its a very large system (which is good, so I can make excellent safe spots to log off in) and I tend to like C1s.  In general, they are inhabited by PvE guys who seek riches from PI, hacking, mining (the anomalies are nearly worthless) and of course as manufacturing base.  I look around and see an Astrahus and 2 (!) Athanors pulling in rocks.  All owned by a 7 man corp (i.e. 1 guy with 3 accounts and 2 Jita trade toons).  A single POCO is being reinforced, comes out in 24 hours or so.  I shall sleep here tonight.

Continue reading