The Eve University Work Fair

Break Break.

Recently, there is a trend among Eve bloggers to focus some time on their blogs to idea of helping New Players.  They are telling people what they do or what people should do to encourage New Players to join them in PvP, which is different from the newbie preying, Harden-The-Fuck-Up attitude that is common in Eve.

Lot’s of talk about mentoring.  It’s a good thing.

So one of my students pointed out to me that Eve University has a Work Fair section of their forum where corporations post recruitment threads.  Interestingly enough, I didn’t know it existed.  So I shot over and made a post for Open University of Celestial Hardship.

Quite a few organizations posting that they provide training.  OUCH seems to get more than our share of students who joined corps that claimed they provided training, but didn’t live up to the student expectation.

We think giving a guy a rod and a book on fishing isn’t teaching them how to fish.  You have to show them.

But if you’re a player that’s looking for a new home, there seems to be a lot of corporations out there looking for you.  If you’re a veteran looking for someplace to send a friend that you want to get caught up with you, there’s a place for you to look.  You still have to figure out which one is right for you, but Eve Uni is providing a place for you to search, as an alternative to the Eve Online Forum.

If you’re going to go to Null, I’d suggest joining OUCH for 90 days.  Might as well get some survival skills rather than learn it the hard way.

Just an idea.

See you out there.


The Agony Holiday Hangover Roam

Plus one.

Agony Unleashed is one of my favorite organizations in Eve.  They are a PvP corporation, first and foremost, but they provide basic and advanced PvP training through their PvP University.  They are one of the handful of organizatons that actively teach people their part of Eve, encouraging people to make the great step to into Eve PvP.

I’m an Agony Alumni, having completed the Basic and Wolfpack courses, as well as a private Interdictor course with Azual Skoll, so I can honestly recommend to them pilots who are looking to gain a little more of the Eve experience.  Their PvP basic course is taught every month or so, a four hour seminar followed by a roam to give the new pilot a chance to die in a fire.  Works out for a good time.  Alumni are invited to join on the Agony training roams to help make it a repeatable experience.

We encourage OUCH staff to go through the Agony Courses and join the Alumni Roams, for their own personal development.  For my part, it’s a chance to roam in a large gang and not have to worry about being in charge.   But there are not a lot of Agony Alumni in OUCH, and I don’t want to leave my corpmates while I gallivant about with Agony, so I tend to stay home with the boys, and complain that they haven’t worked on their professional development.

But this Christmas, Greygal, the head of Agony’s PvP University, invited OUCH to come and join them on their Holiday Hangover Alumni Roam.  So we jumped in our Tier 2 destroyers and met them in Berta, and headed back out to our home region of Curse.

The night started off well, we took down a -A- Dramiel in Doril and two jumps later we engaged a gang of Gallente ships in Hemin.

Outbreak.  In Exequors.

That must have went well.

I love Outbreak.  They are among the best, if not the best, small gang pvpers in New Eden, regularly taking on fleets many times their size and coming out on top.  I have a half dozen friends, mentors and associates who are all ex-0utbreak guys.  Outbreak’s not just good, they are damn good.  I’ve been flying against them for over 2 years, Utopia being their traditional home in Curse, and I’ve been on their both sides of their killboard a few times.

Hell, they are probably one of the reasons I became an ECM pilot.

They took out 3 OUCH destroyers and the same number of the Agony folks before we decided that 5 Exequors were fit with enough repping power to keep 20 or so destroyers at bay.  Not to mention the 25 Hammerhead IIs bringing enough damage to do the job.

Sounds like they gave you a PvP lesson.  

A little one.  But it was a great fight anyway.

So we reshipped and moved on, got into a little scrap with Why So Serious in RMOC that resulted in kills on 2 Ruptures, a Vagabond and a Cyclone.  I ended up burning for a Scythe to chase it off the field, using tracking disruption to limit the damage on our fleet.  Again, a great fight.

For a while there, I thought I might get through another night with Agony without losing a ship, but when we went to Providence, I lost my Corax against a Sev3rance gang.   Ah well.  Then I jumped my pod into the middle of an interdictor bubble on the way back.

Damn.  3000 meters from the edge of the bubble.  Might as well be a light year.

Under gate cloak, I open my character sheet and click on my Augmentations tab.

People love to see expensive Pods.  I know I do.

Unplug?  Yes.  Unplug?  Yes.  Unplug?  Yes.  Unplug?  Yes.  Decloak.  Pointed.  Boom.

You are so mean, Bren.

Achievement Unlocked:  Happiness Stolen.

You really don’t play well with others, Bren.

I play fine with the people on my side, thank you very much.  I’m just not interested in a shared Eve experience with the guys who are podding me.

All in all, we had a great night, thanks to Greygal and Agony for having us along.  We’re all looking forward to the next night of madness and mayhem.

Maybe I’ll do that New Year’s Noobship Roam they are planning.  Sounds like fun.

Minus one.


So, Do You Come Here Often?

Plus one.

I’ve just finished Gallente Cruisers 5.  Couple of weeks ago, I finished Amarr Cruisers 5.  This is a milestone for me, because now finally have access to all of the Recon Ships, Heavy Assault Ships and Logistics Ships in the game.  I really can fly everything in the game smaller than a Battleship.

Well, except Strategic Cruisers, Bren.

Thanks.  I see you’re always there for me.

Before this, I never has a desire to fly an Arazu.  I think the Curse and the Pilgrim are two of the most beautiful ships in New Eden, but I never actually thought I would buy one.  Flying the Deimos, or the Zealot never appealed to me much.  I mean, I can fly Caldari and Minmatar Heavy Assault Ships, I just choose not to.  The performance to cost ratio never seemed right to me.

But have you actually seen what a Retribution has done to the T1 Cruisers?  Cruisers 5 in all races is a moral imperative.

See, the new Attack Cruisers are calling me.

The Stabber and I already had a relationship.  Even when she was under gunned, I had a thing for her, because she was so fast.  I was never embarrassed to fly her like a Super Rifter, filling a heavy tackle role on many occasions.

One night, I got blown clean into structure, and warped off to get off grid reps.  Then I warped back in to make a critical tackle on a battle cruiser.  Yay me!  A few minutes later, I was back in structure at the repper, but the BC was a wreck on the field.  I started shield tanking after that, though.

My Stabber doesn’t seem to have changed much, ‘cept now she has more teeth.  She was sexy, but I played the field.  Occasionally, I’d take out a HAM Caracal, not as fast, but she was a good time.  Now both of them are faster, tankier, and gankier.

Better than they were before.  Better.  Stronger.  Faster.

So now I’m looking at the Thorax like she’s that skinny redhead from high school that blossoms during her first year in college.  Curves in all the right places.

Shield tank?  Medium Ion Blasters?  That’s what I’m talking about.

Oh, who is that blond sitting next to her?   Hello, gorgeous.  You’re an Omen?  Damn.  Can I get your number, baby?  I got some medium laser skills.   Pulse lasers.

We could have a good time, you know what I’m saying?

Minus one.


For the Good of the Game

Plus one.

The other night, we engaged a NC Dot gang in our training system.  Five ships: 3 Assault Ships, an Interdictor and a Frigate, trying to get a couple of our guys,  a Rifter and a Harpy, to engage them.  When I jump in system, NC Dot  is on the gate, my guys are on tacs.  There's a dictor bubble up, but it's a big gate and I am way outside it.  I warp to a tac and cloak up.

What are you flying, one of my guys asks.

Falcon, I reply.

Want to kill these guys?


Our Harpy pilot goes for a tackle on a Wolf, and grabs him.  Rifter pilot warps in to assist.  The bad guys warp in on the fight, too.  I decloak.  A Jag and a Harpy burn for me with murderous intent.  I commence gathering tears in local.

With a fight starting up, my corpmates next door all start undocking and heading to the fight.  When more of our guys show up, the NC guys bug out,  the Wolf just a wreck on the field.

My manhood is questioned in Local.  I'm used to it.  Still, it amazes me.  These guys saw me jump in system.  They tried to catch me on the gate.  They knew I was in a Falcon, and somehow, they expected me to just watch while they took on my corpmates in a 5 to 2 fight.  At least that's the impression I got.  They seemed upset that I didn't let them gank my buddies.

One of their guys gets me in a philosophic mood.  He questions the validity of the use of ECM, explains to me that it's really not Good for the Game to use ECM.  I agree.  I tell him I'm sorry that I didn't give him a good fight.

I asked him if using Scrams is Good for the Game.  Just something to think about.

A minute or so later, a Falcon lands in the bubble.  My fleet commences to take it down, but it's tanky.  Hmmm?  The cyno lights and a 40 man HAC and BC gang jumps in on my frigate and cruiser fleet.  Why So Serious.  I jam the Falcon and a half dozen OUCH cruisers and frigates all warp to safes.

That's normal to us:  Large gangs trying to gank small ones.  Battlecruisers trying to kill frigs.  Bait Drakes.  Black Ops drops.  Titan bridges.  We deal with them every week.  But in Curse, small gangs pick off large gangs, ship by ship.  OUCH pilots have become experts at escape and evasion, killing ships and vanishing into the depths without a trace.

Null Sec Survival.

We could play the game the way everyone else does.  Honorably.  Just damage dealers and healers.  No ECM.

We just don't.

We'd rather kill more, and die less.

Minus one.

No, Really. Two of Them.

Plus one.

Last Sunday, I flew a Rifter.  I almost never fly them, despite having 4 or 5 of them always ready to go in my hanger.

For years, if you were going to PvP in a T1 Frigate, you did it in a Rifter or not at all.  They were just that much better than every other frigate.  Not being one to do what everyone else is doing, I frequently found myself in Merlins.

But after the Frigate Rebalance, pilots have choices.  You don’t have to play the min-max game and fly a Rifter.  You can fly what you like.  That’s a good thing.

So of course, now that I have a choice, I jumped in a Rifter and brought it out to the Camp.  Small guns to kill drones.  AB/Scram/MSE fit with DC2 and shield rigs tipping her toward a heavy tackle role.  Someone else will just have to bring webs.

I suppose you think that a guy with a name that starts with ‘B’ needs to have a little tank?

Well, I’ve been known to get Primaried now and again.  Don’t know why, I’m a nice enough guy.

Now, the scouts have been quieter lately. One of my favorite guys does a running commentary of what’s going on next door and puts us in perpetual let down when he tells us what’s not coming our way.  I scolded him, told him to stop doing that.  Makes me sad.

So when the scout on Sunday told us, Hey, hate to tell you this, two Scorpion Navy Issues and a Cynabal just landed on the gate, and warped away, I wept.

Then they came back and jumped into system with us.

Our FC was kind of junior and our fleet kind of light.  2 Dessies, 3 Frigs, 1 Assault Frig and a Griffin.  2 Stealth Bombers for a little DPS support.  He pulls the gang off the bubble to assess the situation.

Doable, but it might be a little bloody.

Yeah, it’s pretty even on paper, but they can score kills faster than we can, and our Griffin certainly can’t jam all of them.

Because I am probably OUCH’s most conservative FC, I almost never second guess a fleet commander when he decides not to engage.  I rarely commit the fleet to a battle that I don’t think I am going to win, and win decisively.

How many guys does it take to kill one cruiser?

All of them.

There’s no shame in the game, huh, Bren?

Nope.  Not at all.  None whatsoever.

Our guests slam into our drag bubble as a group.  We’re still talking.  FC is consulting his XO, who almost has him convinced to go for it.  I align to the bubble.  Our guests are just sitting there, looking at us.  Teasing us.  No.  Now they are slow boating back to the gate.

I’ve never killed a Scorpion Navy Issue before.

XO reports that a couple of our neighbors are en route, flying damage dealers.  FC says he thinks we should go for it, but he’d rather an experienced FC take over.  I’m the senior FC on the field.

Bren’s fleet.

I detail a quick plan to spread points and EWAR, then I warp down to the targets.  I land 20K away and start burning straight for the them.  I’m worried about the Cynabal, if he gets loose, he can wreck a frigate fleets day.  But he’s someone else’s target, not mine.

The fleet is landing as I scram the first SNI.  The Cynabal locks me up and my shields take a hit.  A second one.  Then it stops.  Cynabal is jammed.  I love Griffins.

In seconds, both SNIs are scrammed, the Cynabal is scrammed and webbed and he is looking mighty squishy.  Primary.  We are working him over when the cavalry arrives.

Boom.  Cynabal is down, SNI-A is Primary.

We go to work on the first battleship.  He has me webbed and neuted, but he’s not going anywhere.  Tier 3 guns open up from the gate, stripping away shields.  I’m already moving for SNI-K when SNI-A goes to pieces.  Boom.

Seems silly, but I call SNI-K Primary.  The guys are already trying to figure out what these guys were thinking.  I tell them to settle down until the last Scorpion is finished.  He lasts about as long as the first, which is not long at all. Boom.

We thank our neighbors for their help, loot and salvage the wrecks and start making guesses on why 3 guys in what look like PvE fits, ie no points or scrams, would try to engage us.  We certainly gave them enough time to escape.

Why didn’t they take door number two?

Don’t know, but I’m not complaining.  Like I said, I’d never killed a Scorpion Navy Issue before.

Now, I’ve killed two.

In an effing Rifter.

No, really.  Two of them.

Minus one.


Tools of the Trade: Light Tackle

Plus one.

New pilots come to the Open University of Celestial Hardship literally “dying” to get into null sec and PvP.  The come in blasting us questions at a high rate of fire. If I’m lucky, they’ll find their way to one of my favorite requests:

Can someone link me a good PvP fit?

What race do you fly, an instructor might ask?


And then someone will link this fit in chat.

Rifter – Student Fit

125mm Gatling AutoCannon I (3)

Rocket Launcher I

1MN Afterburner

Stasis Webifier I

Warp Scrambler I

Nanofiber Internal Structure I

Overdrive Injector I (2)

Or a similarly fit Incursus, Merlin or Tormentor, depending on the pilot’s preferred race.   OUCH instructors have a soft spot for Merlins to be honest.

The one day old pilot with just say “Thank you!” and move on.  But the month old pilot or veteran carebear will balk almost every time.  They’ve been playing Eve long enough to have an opinion.

They’ll notice the distinct lack of T2 or T1 Meta 4 modules and ask if they can upgrade it.  They’ll remark that the guns are too small.  They’ll note the complete absence of tank or repair module.

We’ll tell them, Trust us.  It’s perfect just as it is.

The Student Fit is built to Tackle.  The power of the fit is in the “Holy Trinity” of it’s medium slots.  A scram to shut down a target’s microwarp drives.  A webifier to cut the speed of afterburning ships.  An afterburner to maintain maximal traversal on a tackled target and take advantage of the ship’s small signature radius to avoid incoming damage.

This is not a ship for solo null sec or low sec piracy.  This not a ship that a pilot uses to chase down his target like a cheetah on a gazelle.  This is a ship that when you land on the target, or he lands on you, you grab him by the ankle and hold him in place while until the cavalry arrives.

The cavalry?  They’re bringing damage, EWAR and more tackle.

You catch ’em, we’ll clean ’em and fry ’em.

While those itty bitty guns might not do much damage against a battlecruiser, their high tracking speed will let a couple of tacklers quickly clear the field of the one thing that can kill them:  drones.

Is it a good PvP fit?  I’d say its a GREAT PvP fit.  It does exactly what it was designed to do, with no muss and no fuss.  It’s a fleet fit that lets the brand new player contribute on Day One in null sec.  OUCH students have used it, and ships like it, to destroy more than 400 billion ISK in ships over the last 2 years.  At less than a million ISK for a fully fit hull, that’s a lot of bang for the buck.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money, or have a lot of skills, to contribute to the fleet.  You just need a ship with a defined role and someone to teach you how to use it.

That’s where you start.

Minus one.