Saturday, January 23, 2016

Triangle of Content

We all have our favorite in-game activities. For me, it's merciless piracy in Lowsec, and advanced miner protection in Highsec. These are my specializations in this universe. The latter remains the biggest source of my best EVE memories.

An important element that keep Highsec entertaining is the following triangle: miners, gankers and anti-gankers. Each of these three sides need the other two for a maximum level of fun, because each of them creates content for the other two. It's a triangle of content.

Some people protect the gank targets as an in-game hobby with a Griffin for example, others prefer stepping up to ships like Falcon. Their motivations, however, remain the same. Standing up. Making a difference. Below is just a partial list of some beautiful counter-ganking examples that emerged recently from all around Highsec.

Kill Report

Ganker Stephanie chan started the new year with the activity that fits her best: failing to gank miners. Content generator Mai Khumm successfully stopped her DPS which resulted in a failed gank. Stephanie is known for some of his ganks that work well when it's calm out there, but this time, Mai said "No."

An hour later, Stephanie came back to Otela again. This time, however, she was not alone. 

She brought 2 other Catalyst pilots with her: Yofarmeo Loqueveo and Guille Minero. Obviously, Stephanie wanted to succeed this time. Confident and determined, they arrived in Otela III - Asteroid Belt 1, engaged the miner and went criminal. Needless to say, with the DPS of 3 Catalysts in a secluded asteroid belt, the gank was about to succeed.

Kill Report

Kill Report

Kill Report

Or not. That's right, Stephanie failed again despite having the support of 2 friends. The Anti-gankers' opposition was even stronger compared to an hour ago. In addition to Mai Khumm, other content generators Vodka Revolution, Pepito Xineki and Eros Elanor contributed to the disruption of the gank with their teamwork.

Stephanie's Catalyst was taken care of with interest: Vodka Revolution used his ECM Manticore to stop his DPS while Pepito Xineki pinned him down in case she aborts without going criminal. In addition to that, nearby miner Eros Enalor did an excellent example of "Mining Like a Boss": he deployed ECM drones to engage Stephanie's Catalyst, which meant additional jamming chance on her.

By the way, Stephanie's friend Yofarmeo Loqueveo had an excellent Catalyst fit:

He was so confident that he didn't feel the need for anything in mid-slots, or maybe he forgot to fit modules, which is a common situation in elderly capsuleers:

The third Catalyst pilot, Guille More, was the luckiest one:

In addition to being jammed, he had the privilege of not having to wait for NPC police since Pepito Xineki destroyed him completely long before the stupid, unneeded, over-buffed CONCORD arrived.
"Invincible NPCs are the dumbest idea since solar powered torches. Given that this is supposed to be a player-driven universe they make even less sense here than in other games." 
-admiral root
Kill Report

Ganker Zopiclone is not only courteous, but she's also relatively more successful compared to Stephanie. She has delivered many punishments to the stupid full-time-AFK carebears. However, sometimes it doesn't work. BluewingSniper's Griffin emerged in Raneilles to give some electronic education to her Catalyst. As a result, the gank attempt was ruined and no mining ship was destroyed. Blueing's alliance, Preatoriani, brought back memories for me. I had joined their "Mining for Good" fleet as a part of PLEX4GOOD in 2013 with my ECM Skiff.

Kill Report

teh penguins had a few mysterious failed ganks in Piekura recently. Nevertheless, the above example is a bit clearer. It looks like he tried to gank a miner within sight of several vigilant capsuleers. Miners Kunas Mont'ka, DOT GIB, Tol Stiy, Caldari Police 3rd Lieutenant and amana ram's engagement against the Catalyst resulted in a failed gank for teh penguins (no barge/exhumer KM was generated).

"How?" one might ask. There were no jamming ships around.

But a closer look on the kill mail shows once again why vigilant miners are good for the game. teh penguins probably lost his target lock because of amana ram's medium ECM drones, or he failed for another reason. Either way, there is no doubt that miner amana ram is on the right track. The next step in his successful mining career will be switching to the ECM Skiff. He is not a carebear, folks. He's a vigilant miner. Yes, there's a difference.

Meanwhile in Kino, a ruthless gank fleet with 5 Catalysts were about to land on a miner. 

There was a problem though.

Lion Drome engaged 3 of the Catalysts with his Griffin Navy Issue's magnetometric jammers, which resulted in a considerable DPS loss for the criminals (=not enough DPS to kill their target). The gank was prevented successfully. The battle report can be found here.

It's interesting to note that Lion Drome is actually a Lowsec PvPer and a suicide ganker.

He is another example of the fact that Anti-ganking not only transcends corporations or alliances, but also offers an enjoyable Highsec emergent gameplay possibility to capsuleers with a huge variety of backgrounds: industrialists, miners, Lowsec roamers or even suicide gankers.

My previous Anti-Ganking post was about tackling the outlaws in Highsec. There is no doubt that it's one of the best ways of disrupting a ganker's operation. Ganker Tisiphone Dira is known for her monumental portraits that amaze people. Many residents of C&P actually believe that her head can turn 360 degrees. 

Despite being extraordinarily educated for a ganker, she lacked a proper ganking permit, which is a violation of the Neo-code.

Kill Report

Vodka Revolution didn't like that. While Tisiphone was navigating in Highsec looking for a stupid AFK target, he succeeded in tackling her Thrasher at the Uttindar star gate in Bei, and faction police did the rest. Tisiphone's operation was disrupted successfully. 

Kill Report

Anti-Gankers -the real ones- are content creators by nature. Vodka Revolution wasn't convinced about Tisiphone's loyalty towards GankerJamming, so he kept a close eye on her. Several days later, he once again tackled this outlaw Thrasher and ruined her entrance to Bei. He also activated a jammer to convey a stronger message.

Don't get me wrong, Tisiphone does a pretty good job when it comes to waking up the stupid full-time AFK autopiloters, but she certainly has a low chance of surviving a disruption from a dedicated Anti-Ganker. 

On behalf of Vodka Revolution, I hereby address the following message to this particular ganker who seems to enjoy other languages.

Gutten Tag,

Ich Heisse Azov Rassau. Mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut. Ich bin ein Anti-Ganker, Du bist eine Ganker. Wollen Sie ein Ganking Permit?


Kill Report

Some gankers have truly creative and beautiful names. Salah ad-Din al-Jawahiri is one of them. Unlike Gaylord Fappington, Salah ad-Din's name carries an exotic variety of inspiration, culture and history: Sultans of Egypt, Persian Imams, the cosine law of Ghyath-Al-Din Jamshid Kashani, stories of the South African author Wilbur Smith, the beautiful poems of Muhammad Mahdi Al-Jawahiri or the strategic placement of political figures in Egypt to stop the bribery in Suez Canal. Salah ad-Din's gank attempt in Otela was dealt with thanks to the intervention from miners CONCORD Police Captain, ERIS LUCAN, Paolo Francesca, Alistair Shepard and Eros Elanor. While CONCORD was busy w***ing on the KM (without really contributing to anything), an ECM Nemesis and a Skiff with ECM drones were already ruining Salah ad-Din's gank attempt which didn't result in any barge/exhumer kill mail. 

Just like Tisiphone Dira, Salah ad-Din is also known for his monumental portraits. However, he unfortunately updated the old one, which was much better:

This unique expression pretty much covers it. 

Kill Report

CONCORD is the most over-powered kill mail wh*** in this universe. The presence of Kraken's Falcon and the battle-Procurer of NOAH Charante was enough to ruin Duck Butler's gank attempt in Otela. I think it is time for a nerf to this over-powered CONCORD monstrosity as well as the Faction police so that there are more possibilities to exalt the player-driven conflict between Highsec players. 

Halaima Bonus: Energy Neutralizing

Kill Report

This one is quite older, but the motivation behind it deserves being mentioned. You know, some gankers adapt by fitting ECCM modules to counter the jammers, which in turn incites us to innovating as well and trying different things, making a difference. That's the beauty of competitive EVE.

"High sec was never meant to be 100% safe. Get that idea out of your head. CONCORD is punishment, not protection. If you want New Eden to be safer, it’s up to you to make that happen. So keep doing what you do, white knights. Oppose CODE. and all the rest of the bad guys in Eve. Force us to get creative and adapt, and we’ll do the same for you. Only good things can come from it. At the end of the day, you’ll have done something new and different."

Destroyers don't have huge capacitor amounts, so a ship like the Armageddon can actually shut down a Catalyst completely with a few Heavy Energy Neutralizers. Alexander Kaan wanted to test it and see if it works as a way to counter ganks.

He fitted an Armageddon with two of these heavy neutralizers and warped to an ice field in Halaima. It didn't take too long before a test candidate appeared:

Why hello there. A ganker named Myd'raal landed on top of a Retriever as usual, and he opened fire. 

Alexander promptly applied both neutralizers. The Catalyst's 650 GJ capacitor was emptied by the two heavy neutralizers which had a combined neutralizing amount of 1200 GJ (600 GJ each). Consequently, upon being neutralized, the ganker's blasters stopped working.

The Retriever was saved. 

 Alexander Kaan > Neuts against catalysts work wonders, but only if you use Heavy Neuts (battleship size)
 Alexander Kaan > and 2x of them for each catalyst.
 Alexander Kaan > this will nuke their cap to zero
 Alexander Kaan > they will miss a couple blaster volleys which at their typical 600 dps means a lot
 Alexander Kaan > and if you have a full rack of 7-8 heavy neuts
 Alexander Kaan > you can keep a single catalyst with his mouth shut for the whole duration of the gank

Slow clap and a Captain Morgan Rum to you sir. 

Anyways, to conclude, this list of recent kill mail examples can actually go on for a long while. After all, more and more examples emerge from all around Highsec almost each day. The point is, all these people above (and many others that are not mentioned) deserve our compliments. (and as a person who enjoys contributing to EVE's blogosphere, it's my job to make their actions more visible.)

I sincerely applaud all of you who have the tenacity to put up a fight. I’m not talking about the ones who just sit around shooting criminals after a gank target is lost; I’m speaking to those players who are actively looking for ways to foil ganks.

They didn't go to forums to whine or demand more buffs to CONCORD response times or Mackinaw EHP. They didn't say "someone else do it". They went in-game and used in-game solutions to disrupt the ganks and they succeeded.

In other words, they played EVE. 

Long live the Triangle of Content! 


Image sources:

Friday, January 22, 2016

Delightful Lowsec (+Safety Tips)

Sometimes you want to leave the crowded systems of Highsec to feel the calm and ominous vastness of Lowsec. Still, you just never know what's going to happen down there.

The feeling you get while watching a local spike, the excitement of a wing warp just before landing on enemy grid, glorious tears from carebears, the ransom moments, the reactions of joy on comms after one of our bumpers manages to push a stupid Jump Freighter off the station… these are all parts of Lowsec and it's a place to have a delightful EVE experience. 

Battle cries, calls to action, cheers of victory, panicked escapes and virtual high-fives... This is EVE Online.

Lowsec allowed me, and many other EVE players to discover basic piracy (ransoming, gate camping etc. including a large collection of tears nearly everyday), small gang PvP, baiting, probing and many fights that we sometimes won, sometimes lost. I once had an ironic moment when I said "miner calm down" to an angry carebear who started insulting me in Local after I ambushed his precious mining barge. It was also particularly funny to see some of those "talker" types who clearly had no idea what they were doing. 

Some of you will remember the following examples from my previous posts:

[ 2014.10.27 23:07:43 ] kapten sortebil > u wot m8

[ 2014.10.27 23:11:27 ] kapten sortebil > you guys are such scrubs
[ 2014.10.27 23:13:12 ] kapten sortebil > I love coming into peoples homes and taking a shit on their doorstep

*2 minutes later*

Kill Report

Needless to say, my passion for the Skiff not only helped me do Anti-Ganking in Highsec, but it also allowed me to surprise other players since about 2014.  This resulted in some delightful memories for me.

Angry carebears often say that mining ships cannot shoot back when an offensive ship is nearby. 

Kill Reports

I beg to differ. koh baelfire learned the truth in a violent way. Mining ships can indeed shoot back, folks.

Kill Reports

For some capsuleers, a mining ship that shoots back is an unexpected, "uncalled" situation. As a result, they react with anger and frustration whenever they encounter this small problem. Luke Damon now knows that nearly everything is possible in a sandbox like EVE. 

Aside these people (that also bring fun), most people who live in Lowsec are actually great people.

It is also a place to learn from. Allow me to share an impressive moment from quite a long time ago, October 24th 2014, when we were once again looking for trouble in Amarr/Gallente lowsec area. During our travels, we came across an Incursus at the gate.

He strangely stared at us while we were aligning to the next gate. We didn't want to waste time with just a frigate and started warping to the next gate. During the warp, I remember the FC say something like: "Bah c'est qu'un Incursus de merde." ("well it's just a shitty Incursus")

We jumped on contact to the next system and guess what. The Incursus showed up again. 

Again, staring at us and literally doing nothing besides flying around our cruiser hulls. I must admit that at that moment, I felt a little suspicious and uncomfortable about it. But hey, it's just an Incursus after all. We started shooting the Incursus for the hell of it…

Image Source: / Reload's channel

…and suddenly, I noticed that Local was already spiking:


Few words can describe the feeling you get when you watch these numbers increase so fast. It's a combination of shock, panic, curiosity, excitement and uncertainty in the ominous vastness of space. Something was incoming.

We knew that there was no one in the surrounding systems. Then where the hell all these people were coming from?


Apparently, that humble Incursus frigate we had just killed wasn't that innocent. He was actually a cyno bait for a fleet composed of about 20+ members. While we were shooting him, the Incursus pilot was busy lighting a lovely cyno by using his Cynosural Field Generator I.

A glorious scenery with sparkling red lights and roaring sound effects surrounded our 5-man fleet. In about 5 seconds, our grid was filled with approximately 20 hostile stealth bombers. Thank you dear Incursus.

Not sure if it was Spectre fleet or Bomber's Bar. I remember seeing some fireworks and then my Moa was destroyed

I don't remember the exact reactions on our comms. However, I recall the hilarious reaction of a fleet member who was relatively new to the game: 

          "C'est quoi?" ("What is it?"). 

"Ehuöheueheheh a lonely Incursus… WTFBBQIAJDSFN!!11!"

I got my pod out of that chaos. Next thing: Never warp to the star upon losing a ship. Of course, I knew this as a general rule. I even have a dedicated GTFO overview tab for that purpose. However, in that WTF moment, I didn't really make the right choice. Upon seeing that sudden spike of hostiles on top of us, I clicked Warp to the first celestial I saw: 

The Star.


As I landed at the star within 0km, TZ Baker (one of the stealth bombers) was of course already there, waiting for my pod in his Hound. I managed to save my pod by quickly warping to another celestial at God knows where, but yeah, it was an amazing moment.

You learn something new in EVE everyday. The next time I see a weirdly-acting and humble-looking newbie Incursus wandering around gates in Lowsec, I will think twice before engaging. Thank you Papor for the fun. It was a good fight… well.. sort of. o7 

Anyways, below I listed the important points about this engagement and some general tips for safety in Lowsec

  • Always have a ready-to-use overview tab dedicated to GTFO purposes. It's easy to set up: go to the overview settings and remove everything but celestials. This is very important for one's ability to save a pod. As you start losing your ship, select a celestial (planet, belt etc.) and start spamming the Warp button. I also recommend reading this blog post written by a player named Feyd Rautha Harkonnen (aka "God Wills It", "Kill-it-forward", "HTFU" and "Jessica Alba").  "By spamming the warp-to (planet/belt) button prior to seeing your ship explode, you actually start your pod's align & warp-to cycle before your enemy even sees your pod on overview."

  • Obviously, do not warp to the star upon losing your ship. People like Santo Trafficante...

...or a few members of the enemy fleet might be waiting for you. 

  • If you see a ship acting in a bizarre, unusual way (sitting at gate for a while before jumping, engaging your fleet lonely, doing odd maneuvers which don't make sense, going away to another system then coming back, waiting for you to engage him etc… anything weird of that sort), the odds are not in your favor and it can be a bait/trap. Also, like Bronson Hughes once said, "When sitting on a gate in losec, if someone comes along in a frigate, locks you up, and starts chatting with you in local, it's probably a trap."

  • D-Scan, D-Scan, D-Scan. Use it, manipulate it, embrace it. If you're not alone in a system, check D-Scan like every 10 seconds (or every 3-4 seconds if you're a maniac like me). 
  • Did I mention D-Scan? Yeah I think I did.
  • Local. Make sure that you have a separate Local window at all times and keep an eye on it at all times. Also, I recommend removing the small portraits in the Local chat list so that you have nice list with names only.
  • Bookmarks/Safespots. If there's a station that you have to use regularly. Create insta dock/undock bookmarks. (This goes without saying for many of you). Safe spots close to stargates and perches near those gates are also extremely useful. 
  • It's a very good idea to have scouts in the next-door systems. Keeping an eye in the surrounding systems gives an important advantage since it's an early warning intel.
  • When you're chasing somebody from system to system, add him to Watchlist. Sometimes he will go offline to trick you or for another reason. Don't waste time searching an offline pilot.
  • Although I've never been a fan of third party killboards, I cannot deny their utility when it comes to collecting some intel about a group of capsuleers. Use the online kill boards (like zKillboard) to identify active capsuleers in your favorite systems. Click on the kill reports and take a look at what they fly and who they fly with. 
  • If you have some time before engaging somebody, check their killboards to see if he/she has already lost the same ship type. Most people don't change their fits much for a given ship, so it can give you an idea before engaging. Also, if possible, Look At their ship and try to understand what type of offensive weapon system they have. For example, Autocannons have an obvious rotation, Artilleries don't (correct me if wrong).
  • Use voice comms as much as possible. It has a huge advantage for fleet coordination and fleet members' reactivity. 
  • Let your favorite music accompany you in space, especially when there's nobody on comms. This can be EVE music itself, or anything you like. My personal all-time favorite will remain the beautiful world of Trance music (which goes perfect with space!)
  • Be careful when you encounter lonely roaming ships like Procurer, Skiff, Maller, Prophecy, Myrmidon, T3s and even battleships like Dominix or Abaddon. These ships are often used for baiting.
  •  If you really feel uncomfortable while engaging a suspicious-looking target that looks like a bait, try to keep your ship aligned to a celestial while shooting him (as much as you can do). This makes it easier to GTFO in case bad things happen. If you're pointed though, good luck. 
  • But most importantly: Don't be too much paranoiac. Enjoy the moment. Losing ships is a part of EVE, and as Dame Edna Everage said:
"Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century."
Because even though you pay attention, something horrible will happen and you will lose your ship.  Allow me to finish this post with this great quote:

"Out here, you are either the hunter, or you are the prey. Remember this before you undock. Somewhere out there, right now, someone is hunting you. They will probe down your missions. They will camp your gates. They will smartbomb your pod, they will scram your stabbed ship. Plan accordingly, accept losses graciously, and fly dangerously." o7


Image sources: / Reload