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There and back again 0.0 (Querious)

Not all of the silence in here is due to me having been away from New Eden because of issues over the so called Monoclegate affair. Before that I actually was quite active in getting my first feelings for 0.0 sov space and testing the waters to see if a small Alliance might be able to venture forth and get their name up on the starmap with a single system.

Some time ago (see older blog-posts like Gone ratting) my Alliance already tried that once using a renting system. But when the alliance we have been renting from (Atlas) fell, we had to go as well. Renting was quite an interesting first option for us to get a few corp-mates interested in the capsuleer ruled vastness of the outer regions of known space to experience that part of New Eden for the first time. It also managed to whet our appetite.

After this first taste we started trying to get more people into the corporation interested in excursions into 0.0. Before we knew it – thankx to diplomatic contacts – another opportunity did present itself to us: That of trying to get our own solar system. This time around it was a step up from renting: We would have to try to get our own system together with other corps and alliances.

Hostile i-hub under attack by our bombers.

And the incredible thing happened: we really did it! We managed to get a TCU up in a system and put up our alliances “flag” on the map for a second time! To be honest we were quite fortunate insofar as the alliance to which the region was belonging to (IT alliance) was at that moment not faring too well. Otherwise this undertaking would not have been successful. But without having tried it out, we wouldn’t have seen if we could do it at all.

Most of the actual sov-warfare (like shooting i-hubs and SBUs) was done in small gangs of Stealth Bombers which proved ideal for hitting those structures and dispersing when larger hostile gangs showed up.

Stealthies for the win!

For pilots first exploring 0.0 I can therefore strongly recommend using a Stealth Bomber as your first craft of choice as it is also much easier getting to the systems in question. They also help you to stay alive when larger gangs do show up while still packing quite a punch.

Infrastructure Hubs do take a long time to bring down so we really where happy that we didn’t have to count exclusively on bombers for our sov structure warfare. The picture below shows a Firbolg Fighter launched by a helpful carrier helping us take down a TCU.

Of course we also had to defend our claim. That we did with stealth bombers as well (frustrating our attackes by denying them fights).

SBU on fire

Sadly there started to be infighting in the coalition and it did break up. But for the time it did last (nearly half a year) it offered ample opportunities for those of our pilots interested in sampling those (and that is what the corp I am in is trying to be all about anyway). I even got to participate in a battle reported in evenews24 0:-) We did also forge nice friendships! (Which in my opinion was the best part – aside from being able to make nice screenshots and having stories to tell 0:-) )

After the breaking up of the coalition we did return to my corp’s ancestral home to rest and start thinking about a possible next step. It was clear that we would have to try to get more pilots interested in participating and starting their own fleets, so we decided to try that from a region that is more accessible for the bulk of our members. So at the moment we are looking more into neighboring Syndicate.

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Roids are burning

In more quiet days than those we are having now, some industries corp mates did set up a huge mining op which was open for all alliance members. Like in all of our mining ops all miners/haulers/booster do get equal shares no matter what ship they are in. This is especially to help pilots new in New Eden who are invited as well even should they just fly a Bantam! The nice part about mining is more the social aspect anyway and the chatter in fleet chat as well as in voice was quite nice too and also a nice opportunity for new members to get to know the other corp mates.

I can only recommend such ops to any corp with industry activities.

I better don’t contemplate too much an all the heat of the above lasers and how dangerous it was for our mining vessels to navigate through all of them!

I wouldn’t like to be one of those roids there …

Our hero hauling Orcas! 🙂

Angel Dreams

 

Finally not too long ago I did manage to finish the Angel Pirate Arc line of missions. For me that is quite some achievement, as I have started those missions a year ago and only now did complete them.

So it was some time ago that this Scholar was talking to Aton Hordner via direct link to his Tempest. I am no Angel pirate sympathizer, but I do wanted to help my people and judging from the info Aton was giving me, helping the Angels was helping the lesser of two evils.

The missions went quite ok up until I was sent against Demense who destroyed my trusty Stiletto. Not one to give up soon a week later I tried again in a Wolf. But when that got destroyed as well I didn’t return the week after that. And weeks became months and that month became a year when I finally tried again. My trying again was mostly due to Wensely mentioning that he had flown through these missions without much trouble. That got me to try them again and finally (this time in a Dramiel) I did it!

It was the first time ever I tried a faction ship as well and it was quite some experience.

With it I did manage to get that pilot down and could enjoy scouting out interesting research sites like the one below.

I can only recommend these mission arks as they at least from nearly all missions do tell a bit of a story.

Before embarking on it just don’t forget to read one of the nice guides like the EVE Uni one!

Sleepers here we come

Not long ago an enthusiastic and friendly corp member was busily scanning for plexes to run with is for a small fleet when he found a wormhole into spaces unknown not far away from our home. This proved to be an opportunity not easily squandered so he decided to test it out with us. Lots of preparation work was done (like scanning and bookmarking the anomalies inside, scouting, persuading people to join up, setting up the fleet, helping people with ship fittings, ammo and possible setups, even contracting people his own ships to haul in, getting a fleet organized and so on and so forth).
We ended up with a fleet with 3 wings. The combat wing in remote-repping battleships, a wing of miners and a wing of haulers. This was done to reap the most benefit from the possible incredible resources hidden within that unknown region of space.
We ended up with a fleet of about a dozen pilots (Not counting scouts and haulers that came later on). Congratulations for that nice showing!
All that preparations and getting people together did take quite a while though and we were very exciting when the fleet undocked to first head to 0.0 near us and then that unknown space in which sleeper drones were rumored to reign supreme. It was my first excursion into these dangerous unknown spaces!


The fleet reaching the wormhole entrance.

Once within that wormhole the superb organization was even more apparent when it was first the battleships which warped to the belts while the rest of the fleet gathered at a safespot – with the haulers cloaking there.


First time in the unknown.

When warping there we had our first encounter with the sleepers and testing our remote repping. It went very well so far.


My first sleeper sighting!

After it was cleared the courageous Hulk pilots warped there and started gathering up ore, first in one and then in the other site.

With that – and mining so much – they made the most use of the resources there. At least 7 cans were filled.

While the miners were busily gathering resources the battleship pilots explored the first site that we got reports on might encounter more of the sleepers-drone fleet.


Fleet in w-space in flight to our next encounter.


The Core Garrison that awaited our poor Battleship crews.


The Garrison itself.

At first we did great and the remote-repping worked quite well and the first wave of sleepers were dealt with. The second wave sadly proved too strong for us though as our cap-boosters ran out and we lost two battleships. 😥


Go us remote reppers!


Oh noes combined fire … but also combined repping of our FCs Tempest.

Still it was quite some interesting experience and I guessed we did learn a lot (perhaps tanking the last sleeper while salvaging the first wave before heading to other places if the following waves could prove to be too strong, as well as fitting more cap-stable setups).

Due to the long time it took to head out I and other pilots sadly had to head homewards after that, but a stalwart part of the fleet still lingered on with others joining to try to get the loot gathered by the miners into the safety of normal space.

Thankx to all involved in setting up that op with its first, incredible, BTA-wide excursion into sleeper space! And thank you all involved for the really exciting evening!
This encounter seems to have been the start of more and more corpies setting up ops into spaces unknown, but so far it was the only one I could participate in.

Vision of the Future

When I read this tweet by @ccphammer:

I’m so energized because of all the productive brainstorming sessions lately. Name a feature you would like to see in 2015. #tweetfleet

I had to reply with a few more words than possible using twitter. So behold a few of my vision of the future (and yeah I am quite a fan of Timothy Zahn’s StarWars books, like the Vision of the Future one 😉 ):

Vision 1:

Standing on the command deck of an Amarr station looking out of its viewport you gaze upon the vast Amarr homeguard fleet, that you yourself commanded during a battle where your corp teamed up with the Amarr fleet to repel the attack of a Sansha station-busting worldship. You bow to Jamyl Sarum as she nods towards you and congratulates you proudly for your achievement.

Vision 1 features meeting EVE signature characters in Incarna after a storyline epic mission that includes scripted interactions and lets player corps fight alongside NPC fleets. To get a feeling for the grand ceremony mentioned do look at the cool video of the coronation of Jamyl Sarum:

Jamyl Sarum I – Coronation

Vision 2:

The War of the Elders that heralded the start of the Empyrean Age was only the beginning. It was an epic beginning at that! But the war continues – albeit at a small scale. After having rescued Minmatar slaves from an interplanetary slave-transport vessel, you dock up at Minmatar station, leave your ship to meet with soon to be freed slaves administering them the Vitoc anti-toxin you managed to secretly hoard. Perhaps of few of them will try to seek employment as loyal crewmembers?

Vision 2 features the possibility of freeing slaves (as mentioned in an older blog-post of mine), administering the antidote in Incarna and setting the slaves free. Not only that, but in the Incarna from this vision the out-of-pod experience could be used to hire the crew needed for your spaceship (or needed to handle your ship more efficiently).

Vision 3:

Finally your alliance did it! The explosion in front of your eyes nearly blinds all your camera drones at once, with debris raining down onto the verdant terrestrial type planet below devastating a whole forest at a time. But even this devastation pales in comparison to what the world-eating hiveship of the drone incursion would have done to the planet when its bionic tentacles would have wrapped themselves around their planetary target to gather up as much minerals as possible to feed the hiveship.

Vision 3 features an upgrade to the Sansha invasion and its battle versus a Sansha Mothership using and even more epic incursion. Into this also my blog post that mentions World Devastators could be built in ..

Do you have further ideas? Looking forward to read about yours!

Dantekkie memorial roam

The corporation I am in (BTC) prides itself on having good relations even with members who have left. Having those is probably a good sign and shows that the corp can’t be too bad, if even those that leave stay in contact with us and sometimes even decide to return.

One such honored ex-corp member was Dantekkie who sadly left for a more pvp minded company. Even though no longer in corp, he did continue to encourage us to start roaming into neighboring Syndicate (aside from sharing with us his special cocktail recipes). It came quite as shock earlier this year when we came to know that Dantekkie had died.

R.I.P Dantekkie

In memoriam Dantekkie another honored ex-BTC corp member called friends of Dan together to form a small roaming gang in Dan’s honor. There were a few delays but finally this week the operation was launched. And some roam it was! Dan would surely have liked to see it and also liked to see that the industrial/missioning corp he left some time ago now has started to hold exactly those small gang roams he was calling for.

Our special guest FC also made some interesting choice for the ships involved in the roam: It was to be an all-Caracal fleet. As a Minmatar I should have both gunnery and missiles skills, but I have to admit that my skills atm are almost exclusively in gunnery so that proved not easy, but I still managed to get into one and was surprised at how nice the Caracal was.

Caracals undocking

Kudos to the courageous Cerberus pilot we had among us as well!

The first part of the flight took us through quite a long stretch first of 0.0 then through low-sec and back into 0.0. It was quite a lot of jumps, but it really didn’t feel that way with the journey being over faster than I thought. There were a few targets along the way but they did manage to evade us. I was pretty happy with my locking speed though, only a hesitation on my side to engage saved an Ishkur.

We tried to impress our FC by flying our Caracals in formation 😉

Here our courageous scout in a specially fitted Dramiel leading our Caracals (in the background) into battle (sadly the drone cameras had to cope with a dark nebula in the background as well).

At the end of our journey we were far away in neutral territory with lots of people in the same solar system. The neutral pilots were almost three times as many as our small fleet with us still trying to catch targets. That was quite exciting. I was the first time too that I saw a new station design (I guess it must be a special Caldari deep-space-station setup).

Caracal dawn.

We did manage to engage other ships quite a few times and even though most targets managed to escape, it was quite exciting (especially considering that non-friendly local was thrice our fleet strength). Thankx to our experienced FC we managed to survive though and did get to destroy a Drake and an Hulk.

The evening grew late though and we decided to stay and wait for some fleet to come in response to our presence. We didn’t have to wait for long and did get to see quite a nice fleet fight in which we even managed to take some ships with us before we died in a .. well in a blaze 🙂

The final battle.

Waking up in our respective medical stations our FC of the glorious evening did call for a toast to Dan. It was a sobering thought for a fun roam, but I agree with the FC: Dan would have liked that!

Cheers and rest in peace Dan, we miss you!

Carebearing, the second meaning

The word Carebear in the context of MMOs has two meanings. The first one is a – not so nice – term for players who do not prefer to engage in PvP. The other one is a term for a player who likes to help others and likes that aspect of multiplayer online games more (i.e. is a player more of the socializer, achiever or explorer mindset than that of the killer one – see Dr. Bartle’s article). The carebears I am speaking probably would best fit in the socializer aspect.

The New Eden (of EVE) might be a dark universe, but it is not without its carebears (those of the second derivation from above).  When we hear news of New Eden it is mostly about the dark deeds of spies, scammers, con artists, thieves and pirates. The others, the often misunderstood, carebears seldom stand in the limelight, nevertheless they are there and there are more of them than one would think in the dark universe of New Eden. There are PvPers who give survival and combat tips to newer players, there are veteran players who help another even though they don’t know him e.g. by donating useful things, there are all those players that blog and write articles to explain aspects of this diverse game to others and lastly there are the players of the corporations who are there to help other corpies (as that is what corporations should be for).

I confess to be more of the Socializer variety (even though in my time in MUDs I guess I was both socializer and explorer) in EVE and would proudly confess to be a carebear.

Below are a few screenshots of this self-confessed carebear’s recent doings, which is namely running “Welcome Missions” i.e. level 4 missions for new players in the corp I am in (Black Thorne Corporation). It was much fun! (Much more so than “just” running missions alone – I can only recommend it 🙂 ).

A Thorax in Angel Extravaganza.

A Caldari frigate vs a drone hive.

A Caracal saving the Damsel.

Me in my trust Maelstrom trying to get most of the agro.

Well I wasn’t alone in helping, quite a lot of corpies did join as well! Yay for the great and friendly ppl in it!