Black Shark Cult [JAWS] And Me… And You?

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In one of my previous posts, I already mentioned that I was spending some time on helping out an out ex-EUNI friend, Hezekiah Winter, to bootstrap his small gang community and corp Black Shark Cult [JAWS].

I knew Hez had been working on something like this for a while now – I’d seen early versions of the dedicated subreddit, and read various wiki guides and tutorials that had been in the making for quite some time. Say one thing about Hez, it’s that he knows how to write guides and is not afraid of walls of instructional text…

Anyway, ever since I joined Mostly Sober – and as a result, became corpmates with Hez again – I could not help but notice how the Black Shark Cult community was beginning to take off, and when Hez told me he was working on turning what was just a loose community of like minded PvP souls into a proper corp, I was intrigued. Read more

Drama

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Just stating the obvious: the drama lama spat the Dead Terrorists alliance squarely in the face just a couple of days ago, resulting in the corp I am in (Mostly Sober) leaving the alliance, together with another mainly US TZ corp, FUITA.

I myself was not really privy to any of the details, but from what I’ve learned since the split-up, there was unease with alliance leadership that had been brewing for a number of months, and things came to a head due to the uneventful nature of our stay in UMI-KK, where DT were supposed to support Snuff and MC.

Sources? Our corp meeting, and off course them dank leaks on Reddit, if that’s your kind of thing.

My take on this? Not much. I liked some people in DT – Gulsen was great, Saltire was a cool enough FC to fly with, and I’ll be sad to not fly with them any more. Other than that, I’ll see what Sober brings in the future. Black Rise, apparently, which is fine with me, as you can imagine.

One nagging doubt: Sober considers itself to be a “US TZ” corporation. There’s always people up and about in my TZ, but not that much in terms of ops. So… Meh.

I’m Back!

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Well, I was never away, to be entirely accurate. Not from the game at least, or from Twitter/Slack or corp forums – but I did let this little blog project die down a little. There’s a number of reasons for that: time being one, as real life kicked in with some more pressure at work; and a general feeling of uncertainty and restlessness being the second and perhaps the most important one.

This restlessness can be seen if you look at my recent corp history. I joined Horde – I think it’s the last thing I posted here, right? I actually really enjoy my stay in Pandemic Horde, but I did not stay long. Weird, huh? I know. But like I said, restless…

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What happened?

About a month ago, I moved to Pandemic Horde [THXFC], part of the Pandemic Horde alliance [REKTD]. Why? I found myself craving a bit more social contact (active comms, mainly) than I was getting in Stay Frosty. Also, I was tired of the instalocking Svipul gatecamps in Black Rise. If you’re out looking for fights and not in US primetime, you basically need to roam quite a bit, and that makes encountering those inescapable gate camps inevitable. I just got so fed up with them that I said f* this, I need to do something else or just quit the game.

Seriously, instalocking gate camps are a problem for the game if you ask me. Even in an inty, a resebo’d arty Svipul or three ruins your day and there is literally nothing you can do. And I think that in lowsec, that is a real problem.

Life in faction warfare lowsec is all about PvP. Small gang PvP, solo PvP. Roaming. This type of gate camps makes that lifestyle very frustrating. There’s nothing you can do against them unless you are part of a larger lowsec corp or alliance, and even then, these guys just run as soon as they see any chance of an actual fight.

It’s different in nullsec. In null, you know that travel from A to B may not be possible. Roaming on your own is simply not such a great idea. It’s also not part of the general lifestyle in null – you are usually fleeted up and have a corp to back you.

That’s why I believe that these instalocking gate camps don’t have a home in lowsec. Travel through low should be possible, if risky. But you should always have a chance if you are in an almost-insta-warping inty…

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Life as a Solo PvP pilot

A narrow escape

Some of you, my loyal readers, may remember that I moved to Stay Frosty because I wanted to learn how to fly solo, and because I thought Stay Frosty would be a cool place to do so.
Turns out I was right. Now that the initial adjustment period has passed – I’m not on voice comms every night, but that’s perfectly fine, as our chat channels are plenty active – I am having a blast.

Here’s what my time in Eve looks like, most nights. I spend five minutes updating orders and setting up contracts for my trader alts (need to keep the ISK flowing in!), then I log Lynx in. Have a look around local, fleet, corp and alliance chat, and choose a ship from my hangar in Ishomilken. When I say choose, I mean a pick one of three types, assemble it, fit it with one push of the button, insure and undock all within the first five minutes after logging in.
How do I get to undock so quickly? Well, when I moved here, I bought myself 10-packs of some standard PvP fits I got from Kelon Darklight, Eve Uni’s in-house solo expert. That means I bought 10 hulls, and all the fittings and ammo to go with them. I then had them shipped to Isho, and as a result, I now have the choice between a Tormentor fit, an Executioner fit (have not really used this yet), and two Tristan fits. Getting these 10-packs was such a good move, because it means I get better and better at flying these specific fits, because I learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of the fitting and the hull as I lose them. Right now I have a few Tormentors and Tristans left, but I have yet to fly the Executioners. I can’t really remember why I bought them, I guess…

So. I undock. D-Scan. Fire up Pirate’s Little Helper – did I mention Yashidza, the maker of that little gem is now in our corp? Because he is, how cool is that? – and check for potential blobs. Then I have a quick look to see if I can match up the D-Scan with the intel from PLH. If there’s a match, and the ship I see on D-Scan matches my engagement profile, I dive in and head for glorious death or an unexpected victory. Pre-OH mods, make sure to have the tactical overlay on, and focus on range control, and hope for the best…

Of course, in reality sometimes you need to spend quite a bit of time looking for that fight. But around Black Rise-Placid FW area, I have always found at least one good fight so far, even though it hasn’t always resulted in kills. Sometimes people get away, and as I become better at slingshotting and manual piloting, I can get away if I don’t like how the fight is going as well.
I had a lot of fun recently in kiting Stabbers as well. They’re cheap and pretty simple to fly – just look innocent and weak, wait until someone burns at you, then fly away and watch them realize that the puny Stabber actually applies its somewhat low 350dps pretty well in this scenario.

So. I’m getting better at this solo stuff, and enjoying the game more than I have in a while, because I’ve seen more direct action. I’ve also been on one small gang roam since I joined Stay Frosty, which was fun as well. Pretty similar to how we used to roam from the LSC in E-Uni, to be honest, if a little less strictly organized.
Next up: trying out the newly buffed battlecruisers now that I’ve trained T2 medium drones!

Which battlecruiser one would be most suited for solo/small gang play in Black Rise? Let me know!

Still Frosty? Hell yes!

Svipul unto the breach

I joined Frosty two weeks ago, and I don’t seem to have posted anything since, so you’re overdue an update on my experiences so far.

Overall, I think my first two weeks have met up to my expectations (which were pretty high):

  • I moved to Stay Frosty’s home system of Ishomilken, which is conveniently located 10 jumps out from Jita, and only a few jumps out of the hotbeds of faction warfare in Black Rise. There’s always someone around to pew in this area, and so I’ve managed to see some explosions even though I have not been online that much.
  • The downside of this is of course that many people who live here are experts a solo or small gang PvP. It’s almost a surprise to see someone out and about with under a thousand kills on their board, and if given that I am still under 150, that is a little bit offputting. However, fights must be had so I swore a solemn oath to myself not to shy away from fights simply because I know the other party is a bona fide elite PvPer. I do try and stay out of fights where I know the other side is running links or is likely to blob me, but even then, as my bedtime draws nearer, I often yolo into situations that I know will not end well.
  • Needless to say, Pirate’s Little Helper is my friend when roaming Black Rise. Intel is life and everything. Or in my case, it’s not life so much as choosing how you die… So when I saw a player like Nuke Cave come at me in his Rifter, I knew I was gonna pop, just not that it was going to be over so quickly!
  • The people in Stay Frosty and A Band Apart in general have been very welcoming. Tips were given, reading material provided, ships were freightered in for free – I could not have been received any better. There’s an active Slack community that gets me through the day, there is usually a standing fleet in game for intel and impromptu roams, and various other chat channels. All the little things that make you feel part of an active community.
  • That said, I did have to adjust a bit coming from the large and very organized corporation that is Eve University. Solo roamers seem not go onto comms, at least not in my EU timezone, so Teamspeak for Stay Frosty is pretty dead on regular nights. I did not realize how much I’d become used to the friendly banter on E-Uni’s Mumble server. Relying on chat channels only takes some getting used to, I can tell you that. It could also just be that Stay Frosty is more active in the US timezone, I’m not sure yet.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my move. I feel I have definitely improved my solo game already, by just going out and getting tips and support. I try to focus on manual piloting right now, and on keeping my situational awareness up to par. That’s what usually goes when the action starts – I tend to get a strange kind of tunnel vision where I only see the overview, my modules, and the target on the HUD, and I completely lose track of where ships are in space, I just don’t look at space any more. So that’s what I am working on, because my best fights so far were had when I did manage to look at my opponents maneuvers and responded appropriately. And when I miss an opportunity to get a kill, it’s usually because I rely too much on the HUD… I must have let a dozen ships get away these last two weeks because I slingshotted myself out of point range!

I think being a pirate suits me quite well in Eve. I may also join in ABA’s null endeavour when the time comes around for another try at capturing and holding sov, just to fly some bigger stuff and to experience nullsec a bit more. And then ABA also has a very active wormhole corp as well, NJED… Yes, I think I’ll be around for while yet, Frostians.

I took a right turn… and ended up with Stay Frosty!

Wow, I seem to have been away from this blog for a few months. Why? It’s been really busy at work, then vacation time, and also some indecision on my part: should I stay in E-Uni’s wormhole campus, where fights are big but far between and the people are awesome; or should I move on to another corp where I could get more action in the limited amount of time that I can spend online?

In the end, I asked for some advice in game and on Twitter, and in the end, I went for lowsec and Stay Frosty!

I’m currently setting up shop in Ishomilken, Stay Frosty’s home system. I was too lazy to move any ships from my old home in Uphallant/Stacmon, so I now need to get loads of frigates and dessies shipped down to Ishomilken, and then I expect it will be lots of pew!

So, sorry for leaving suddenly, good folks of E-Uni; and thanks for the hospitality, Rixx and everyone at Stay Frosty.

Crossroads

Chimera Down

So, I seem to have forgotten to update this blog, haven’t I? Not to worry, I think I may take it up again.

Here’s a quick recap of the past few months in Eve for Lynx. He has…

  • learned how to scan wormholes, how to live from a POS, and got to feel at home in Eve Uni’s wormhole campus (best campus!).
  • trained into loads of T2 ships, which is rather useful in wormhole brawls (mmmm, resists). If you’re fighting T3 gangs supported by Guardians and/or Archons you do not want to have T1 resists. Found that out the hard way…
  • learned to love lazors and armor, and now mostly flies Amarr. Zealot, Sacrilege, Curse, Slicer, they’re just so sexy.

And finally, he got a bit restless again. It’s finals time for many students and as a result, the wormhole campus is a bit quiet at the moment. My own game time is more limited than usual because of the Day Job… And a result of that, there’s not been much action for Lynx lately. Not enough time to go out and generate content by scanning and scouting our chain; nothing else being generated by other people either at the times I’ve been able to log on.

So, to cut a long story short, the solo PvP itch has returned. I am decidedly rusty, but I remember that before I moved on from lowsec I was getting the hang of things… and now, with all these new skills, I should be able to pick up the lost art of solo again pretty quickly. I hope. Fingers crossed.

In other news, I moved my market alt to Rens in an attempt to push my profits to the next level. Big failure so far. I just don’t have the time or will to babysit orders (I had been told the 0.01 game would not be too bad in Rens, but clearly that info was bad). Back to Stacmon or maybe Ichoriya, I think…

Current plan:

  • fit and blow up a dozen Tormentors, some more Incursi and maybe a Breacher or two
  • move my market alt back to a regional trade hub.

Silent here, space still goes boom

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Since my last post here, I’ve seen some interesting evolutions in my gameplay. Let me take you through them one by one.

First, my regional trader became more and more successful; and at this point I am making more than enough money on this trading venture to cover all my main’s PvP needs. Still not enough to PLEX my account, but instead of pushing towards this goal, I decided to let it slip a bit and just enjoy the fact that I make hundreds of millions a month with just half an hour a week or so of effort. Can’t be beat, I would say.

Second, I started exploring more aspects of the game on my main, Lynx. He’s moved on to Null Sec first, and to my surprise it turned out to be not quite as scary as I thought at first. Bubbles, sure, but you learn to live with them. And not having gate and station guns really makes the game a lot more… “free”, if you will. You get a lot more options in null for PvP, lots more options on the tactical level as well… But for some reason, just a few weeks later I moved on to Eve University’s Wormhole Campus – the next level, so to speak. Why? Just because I could. I finally had the skills for a Covert Ops and a Battlecruiser, so no reason to wait, right? And I had never spent any time learning about exploration and wormholes.

So that’s my current challenge: figuring out how to live in wormhole space efficiently, getting the hang of scanning quickly and living without local, flying bigger and more blingy ships, and even running sites (imagine that, me doing PvE… that is a first).

In the meantime, lots of people in my old lowsec haunt have stepped up to start FCing and I have to say, I want to head over there again to join some of their roams, just to see how they are doing. One day I may want to do one myself, I think. But not just yet. A little while longer.

Can I Bring My Jag?

Jaguar

Been a while since my last update on my very own This is Eve moments, my little online diary as it were. The previous post, of course, was not a diary update as such, but rather a fictionalized account of one of my first forays in my Stabber, in which I try to express the excitement and joy of undocking a new ship.

I’m sure you’ve all felt it. You’ve trained the skills, scoured the web for fits, played with them so you can fit a variant of what you’ve concluded is The Best Fit Out There (for whatever purpose you have in mind for the ship, of course). You’ve bought the hull, collected the mods, paid for the insurance and waited for the right opportunity to take it out, and there you are, watching it from every angle as you admire the newest addition to your personal fleet.

That’s the kind of feeling I was trying to convey in that story. But also how it makes you sloppy, how it makes you make the wrong choices. As for the end of the story, I was not the one who got left behind when the hole popped, luckily, but it made an impression on my young mind.

Anyway, so how have I been doing? I have rediscovered the joy of being in a bigger fleet – all too often I find them massively boring, as we spend hours looking for a good fight, and I find it much less of a problem if there is not much action if I am calling the shots on a solo roam. However, of late I have been lucky enough to take part in some really cool fleets, one of them a blingy farewell kind of show, in which some recently departed ex-unistas took us out for one last roam in T2 and faction cruisers. This obviously attracted some attention, and I really enjoyed the fight we had with BNI in a plex, even though I could not shoot any targets myself (I was flying a heavy tackle Jaguar and we were kiting the enemy assault frigates, so going into range of their blob so I could shoot at them would have been a pretty daft idea). But seeing a bigger engagement with an FC (and other people) who knew what they were doing unfold like this was, like, wow. Just like the trailer!

Which kind of brings me to my Jaguar. For some reason I really enjoy flying it, even though it can hardly hit anything. And if it hits, you won’t feel it. Just like a Slasher, really. But it’s so damn fast and pretty tanky.
I can’t wait to take it on some more fleets and throw it at targets that are tough to catch. I have been flying a scram/web version as well as a scram and dual MSE flavor. Still not sure which one will be most useful. Scram/web will be more lethal to whatever I tackle (and could work solo with Barrage against brawlers), whereas the dual MSE will help me hang until the main fleet arrives. I guess I will have to check with the FC whatever they think will be most useful on a particular fleet…

So, do you have any ships you love for no rational reason?