Who Put That There?

Plus one.

So one night last month, the crew was Camping Curse with a couple of frigates, a couple of AFs, a couple of bombers, and of course, a Falcon.  No students.  2 brand new instructors onboard make this an all staff fleet.  

We’re shooting the breeze when a Scythe coming through.  He’s battle damaged, running home from wherever the fighting is happening tonight.  We break out the jaws of life to help get his pod from his ship.

Don’t panic.  We’re here to help.

A little while later, a Loki jumps in.  Strategic Cruisers in null sec are frequently fit with Interdiction Nullifiers.  This makes them immune to the effects of warp disruption bubbles.

T3s never land in the bubble. 

So when the Loki decloaks on the frigates, we enthusiastically but cautiously grab him.  Our covops support decloaks: torpedoes away, the Loki is jammed, and quickly goes into armor.  

Should be right about now.

The Loki activates a cynosaural field.  

Imagine that.  

Cyno, Cyno, Cyno.

Every OUCH pilot right clicks someplace and initiates a warp to a safe.  Covert cyno, someone calls out.  A Black Ops ship jumps in and our guys try to put on brakes, because sometimes the BOPS jumps when he should bridge and Black Ops are juicy kills.  But local continues to spike, and the Loki is surrounded in jump effects until there are about 40 Noir and Mildly Inappropriate in Local.  By then, our guys are long gone.

I’ve been watching this, aligned to a safe, jamming the Loki while my teammates warp away.  When they are clear, I cloak up, and right click and warp to the gate.

The gate?

Hmmm.  That’s not right.  Who put this thing on my safe?   Oh look, there’s a covert ops fleet 70k away, slowly approaching.  I wonder if they are friendly.

Hey Breh-ehhnn, one of my BFs in a bomber says, you’re on the gay-yate.  

Well, I’ll be damned.  You’re right, this IS a gate.  Thank you, bro, I had no idea.

The gang starts to approach the gate.  The only positive things about this situation is none of the bad guys seem to be MWD fit and I haven’t been pointed by an Arazu.  My aggression timer makes jumping through not an option.

Move. Move. MOVE!

I finally push the Falcon off of the gate and into warp. 

Cloaked up safe on a tactical, I check my bookmarks:  Seems that nested in the middle of my gate tacticals is a bookmark labeled “Stargate CL-85V”.  I’m sure I put it there for convenience.  

How inconvenient would it have been to accidentally warp into the middle of a gang of hostiles sitting on the gate?  

Yeah, stupid of me really.  I watch the opposing the fleet cloak up as they prepare to move on for easier targets.  One of them asks in local, Why you run?  

I laugh.  There are so many ways to answer this question, but I think I’ll paraphrase Ron White:

Well, I don’t know how many of you boys it’s gonna take to kick my ass…

… but I know how many y’all are gonna bring.

Minus one.

Go Black

Break Break.

One of the major events that influenced how I play Eve Online occurred in May 2010.  I had been flying spaceships for about six months.  I left my last corp a month earlier, joined OUCH and due to a lack of active Fleet Commanders on my time zone, found myself stepping into the role of FC.  Over time and in the retelling of this story, I have always believed I was flying a Caracal on this fateful day.  Records show I was flying a Kestrel.  

The memory is the first thing to go.

In any case, I remember that I got a small gang together in Sendaya, got out my Omber 2D maps and pencils and planned a route deep into NPC null.  Set destination XX9-WV.  

That’s like a dozen jumps, Bren.

I know, but in those days, that was a big deal.  I was used to SOV in Geminate where I flew a handful of systems into null and then used a jump bridge network to get 40 jumps out where it was safe to do carebear things.  

Anyway, I planned a roam to XX9-WV.  We made it to Jorund.

Sendaya.  Doril.  Jorund?  Hmmm.

I don’t remember seeing a cyno.  I just remember suddenly there were people on grid with us.  I ordered my fleet to warp out.  They made it.  But Bren is Primary and I was tackled by fast locking bombers.  Then everyone locked me up, and everyone got their EWAR on me.  

The kill mail shows 5 Recon Ships:  3 of them are Falcons.

Ah, the irony of it all.  

How many ships does it take to kill one Kestrel, I asked?

“All of them,” is the famous reply.

I laughed then and I still can laugh now, but I realize today how much Dirt Nap Squad heavily influenced me, my style of play and my corporate culture.  DNS gave me my introduction to the BOPS drop.  In fact, they were my first hotdrop of any kind.  They showed me that one guy in local is a threat.  They showed me that you don’t have to race to see who gets the kill mail and exclude your mates.  They showed me that there’s more to Eve than flying around in fleets roaming looking for a fight.  

Sometimes you roam.  Sometimes you camp.  Sometimes you drop.  

They showed me that like Life, Eve Online is not fair.  Big fish eat little fish and big fleets eat little fleets.  If you don’t understand that there is no rule book and you fail to pay attention to your surroundings, you are going to spend a lot of time in your pod.  

They also showed me that, over the years, a “one-trick-pony” can last forever.  It just has to be a damn good trick.  AWA has it’s own tricks of the trade, heavily influenced from dealing with the likes of Appetite 4 Destruction, Agony Unleashed and, of course, Dirt Nap Squad.

I’m telling you this so that you understand that my respect for DNSBlack is founded in an adversarial relationship.  I’m telling you this to remind you that the best of Eve is born in conflict.

This battle that Black has engaged CCP in, over allegations of SOMER being able to Real Money Trade, it is conflict, writ large.  It makes people choose sides.  It brings out passions that make Eve more real than ever.

I sincerely think he is right.  I sincerely hope he wins.  

I admire his resolve.

Tough Break

Plus one.

So I have a Bro-mance with TuxedoMask from Justified Chaos [JUSTK], Gallente Faction War.  He tells me a story the other day.

He and one of his boys warp to a small plex, Tux is in a Tormentor, his buddy in some other frigate.

They check D-Scan: 2x Kestrel, a Cormorant and a Rifter are inside. They go in because they are steely eyed killers. They are pretty confident that that they can beat these guys.  JUSTK is kind of good at this FW game.

They tackle the Cormorant and primary a Kestrel. They put tracks on the turret ships.

A few moments later, Tux says, his partner calls out, I’m jammed!!!  A moment later, Tux is jammed too.

A Griffin decloaked inside the plex and jammed them both. Webbed and scrammed, they both lose their ships.

“Micro Falcon?” I say, “Nice! Why didn’t I think of that?”

Silence.

“Oh. Tough break, dude.  Sorry about your loss.”

Laughs.

Minus one.

Falling Trees

Plus one

Goonswarm announced they were deploying to Curse to finish off TEST.  Personally, I don’t see it happening. [Not Goons going to Curse, cause that’s happened.]  I just don’t think you can kill TEST, because of TEST’s Reddit presence. I think it’s more likely for Goonswarm to see TEST in their vulnerable state and take their little brothers back under their wing, back into the CFC. 

It’s the kind of metagame thing that happens and you say, I didn’t see that coming..  

I don’t hate Goonswarm.  

I don’t like them.  I don’t hate them.  I’m neutral toward them.  

NBSI.

Does what they do affect my game?  I guess that anyone who can field thousands of anything and manipulate the free market like the Goons can affect my game.

There are individuals that affect my game pulling strings behind the scenes and I do not even know who they are. And there are allies and corpmates of mine manipulating things too.

I try not to care.

Occasionally, I admit, I will get on a tear and bitch about how this Goon Fleet did this or that, and because of it, I can see a big nerf bat coming that will affect small gang pvp.  I will admit that sometimes, it really pisses me off.  

I get over it.  

I get over it because I know that the Goons don’t get special VIP privileges.

They were not behind Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination.

They did not bomb Pearl Harbor.  

They didn’t change the original formula for Coca Cola.

They were not on the grassy knoll.

They didn’t hide WMDs.

In short, they do not eat babies or brains.  They do not drink blood.  

They don’t have secret meetings with the Illuminati (the Queen, the Vatican, Rothschilds and Colonel Sanders) and to decide how to rule the world.  

They are tasteless jerks with delusions of grandeur and a mob mentality.  I get that., but so are a lot of corporations and alliances in Eve.    

It makes them great villains, and great villains make for great stories.

Count Dracula.   Darth Vader.   The Joker.

Dick Cheney.

But folks, if a tree falls in the forest, it doesn’t mean that The Mittani ordered it cut down.

Minus one.

Right In The Middle

Plus one.

I have been very busy these past few weeks, mainly because our region has been very busy these past few weeks.  

Tribal Band came to the region and did what many SOV alliances seem to do:  they came to Curse to die.  Confederation of Pizza came out to harass TRIBE.  TEST followed TRIBE out here with hopes of using Curse as the forge to make their iron into steel, but this is Curse.  Razor deployed to their old home in Sendaya looking to chew bubble gum and kick ass.  Black Legion and Pandemic Legion came out to harass everyone.  

And now, the fabled Goonswarm is deploying to Curse.  They told their guys to dock up in G-O in Hale and buy their ships off the local market that TEST has been stocking for themselves.

Live off the land.

The Goons are coming to Curse to finish off TEST, which I’m not quite buying.  That’s like saying Something Awful is going to put Reddit out of business.   I just don’t think it’s possible.  I don’t think that TEST can be killed.  Culled?  Maybe.  

And that leaves the locals, the “hillbillies” that TEST was going to put a smackdown on, before everyone and their mothers drove out to Hale to lock down G-O.  The Denizens of Curse, as I like to call them, are doing what they do: Harassing the transients.  Disrupting operations.  

Farming tears.  

Some of the locals are just really damn good at blowing up other people’s spaceships.  If you have 10 guys, they will destroy you with 6.   If you’re the slow fat kid following the blob, they will trip you up and take your ship.  If you blob, they will just get out of the way.  If you hotdrop, they will run for the corners like roaches in the light.   If you bring enough guys, they will skirmish and pick you apart.  If you don’t bring enough guys, they will send your whole gang home in pods.  If you fly by yourself, they will gank you.  

If you’re into PvP, Curse is a great place to live, but it’s a terrible place to visit.  

And OUCH is right in the middle of it.

Minus one.