Friday, 26 November 2010

EVEreport Pod Talk

This is the linky link for my Pod Talk over at EVEreport;

great website! check it out!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Fiction; Congrats Hermit

It was rare for this many Bastards to be together all in one place. Word got round that there was some important news to be heard. No doubt, there would be some sort of address from their CEO with free beer to ensure a decent turnout. Most of the more well known Bastards were there; Fenneck, Fizzix, InterDict, Vig, Silv, Arrhideaus, Hermit, Tibbsy, Raven, Jaba, Jman, Jmarr, Blackler, Persephone and Nashh. Even z0de had made a guest appearance although he didn’t stick around and left early. Other Bastards’ pirates, too far away to come back had arranged for camera drones to be made ready to relay the information back to them.

The rowdy bunch had gathered in the old cargo container they had made into their impromptu office and meeting room. It was located at the far end of hangar B-6. Loud talking about nothing much at all was the order of the day, pirates swapping tall tales in response to even taller tales of daring do’. Nothing unusual in this part of low sec space and certainly not for this crowd.

‘Atten-shun!’ Viginti shouted over the loud hubbub; making some Bastards chuckle as Vig was almost like an Uncle to everyone here. Though one would add it was of the cuddly Uncle-with-the-shotgun hidden under the sofa, type of uncle. Everyone went quiet so as to listen to what their CEO, Flashfresh, had to say.

“Thank you Viginti”, Flash nodded for Viginti to take a seat. “I’ll keep this short and sweet. As most of you will have noticed Raelyf has been less active over the months gone by and this morning he regrettably resigned as a Bastards’ Director”.

There was a silence in the room. Glances were exchanged between some of the pirates.

Flash continued, slowly taking in the assembled pirates around the room. “Raelyf is not leaving, Raelyf is not dead, Raelyf will be back. Raelyf is doing something that hasn’t been witnessed for a long time in any profession certainly not ours: he is relinquishing some power. He has observed each and every one of you and he made the decision for Hermit to take his position. He submitted the nomination to me this morning and I support this decision, in full”.

A buzz sounded around the room as Bastards whispered to each other and some began clapping. Two of the camera drones, hovering bumped into each other with a clang. Flash raised both hands, silencing the room before he continued.

“I am sure you will all agree that Hermit is an excellent choice: he is active, leads by example, is well liked and has the right pirating spirit! Now please join me and raise your glasses in celebration of Hermits promotion!” Flashfresh smiled his big smile.

The Bastards stood up from their seats, cheering and clapping.

“Woot! Yeah! Good work!” Jman shouted. Persephone ran up and jumped on Hermit, squeezing him as hard as she could. She had been away for a while and had only just recently returned. Tibbs, one of Hermit’s closest colleagues thumped Hermit on the back. One pirate decided to let loose with his side-arm but he was quickly jumped on and disarmed. It looked like Captain Blackler though it was difficult to tell. Arrhideaus strolled over to where Hermit stood, now being crowded by fellow pirates; “Dude, man...” he started, “well deserved”.

Monitors, dormant until now, flickered into life as the other Bastards Captains, not physically present all linked in, eager to get their messages across.

Nashh had not left his seat and he was not cheering. He emptied the remainder of his drink, spilling some down the sides of his mouth, before letting his feet slip from the table. He sighed, wiped his face with both hands then slapped them on his knees. Stomping his feet he launched himself forward from his chair. Without stopping he marched past the group huddled around a smiling Hermit.

The newly appointed Director glanced over his shoulder, catching a glimpse of Nashh leaving. His smile faded but with many pilots wishing him well and pouring beer over his head his mood soon picked up.


It used to be his regular seat, but he hadn’t been in the ‘Long John Pub’ for some time. His assistants Morrigan and Aether had made sure to reduce his drink and drug habit.

Nashh Kadavr didn't have to look: the figure that stood behind him carried enough presence not to need any introduction.

“Is this seat free?” Flashfresh asked rhetorically.

Nashh didn't speak, he knew that it didn’t matter what answer he gave, Flashfresh would be sitting there regardless.

Flash signalled to the bartender for two more drinks. “I sense disquiet in you. You disagree with the decision?” Flashfresh asked politely as he took his seat.

“No, I do not.” Nashh cleared his throat, “He is the best man for the job”.

Flashfresh nodded as he sipped his rum, served in a two-inch high, slim shot-glass. The caramel coloured liquid was one they both enjoyed.

“Your dedication to the Corp is not doubted.”

Nashh picked up his drink and peered at it intently. “I know,” Nashh said before emptying the glass. He held the glass up, and looked at the bartender, signalling him over for yet another top-up.

“You can leave the bottle my good man, thank you.” Flashfresh smiled politely at the tender, making it clear that he didn’t want to be disturbed again. The bartender melted away.

The silence that followed made Nashh uncomfortable and he shifted uneasily on his barstool. He knew he had to explain his actions earlier that day. There was no way Flashfresh would let him get away with disrespectful behaviour like that. Flashfresh looked calm and unarmed, but that didn’t mean anything; henchmen to do unspeakable things for Flash would be hidden from view until needed.

“I…” he started, “…think I need a break for a while”.

Flashfresh didn’t interrupt; he picked up the bottle of aged rum and carefully topped up both glasses before moving one of them closer to Nashh. Flashfresh then reached up and carefully removed his sunglasses. He nodded and winked, encouraging Nashh to continue. It wasn’t often that Flashfresh was seen without his ever present aviator style sunglasses.

‘I have a lot on my plate at the moment sir.” Nashh continued, “And I don’t feel I can fulfil my duties as recruitment officer at this very stage.” Nashh paused and waited for his CEO to respond. Flash merely raised an eyebrow and motioned for Nashh to continue.

“I am considering moving to null-sec for a little while; I have some friends that asked if I could help them out with some stuff. It would give me an opportunity to practise some things....”

Flashfresh reached over and put a hand on his fellow Bastard’s shoulder and smiled at him. “You will be sorely missed my friend, but I know you will return”.

There was a pause before Flashfresh pressed the issue that was bothering him; “You understand why Hermit was chosen as a Director, yes?” Flashfresh placed the shot-glass onto the table and steepled his hands in front of his face. Peering into Nashh’s eyes Flashfresh asked the question that Nashh had steeled himself. “This has nothing to do with your desire to leave Nashh?”

“No.” Nashh replied firmly.

“Do you wish to resign your commission as a Bastard Nashh?” Flashfresh asked before pouring and sipping another drink.

“I do not.” Nashh sighed, “If at all possible I would like to keep my place in the corporation, but I understand if you wish for me to remove myself entirely”.

“I have to say that the timing of all this is, unusual.” Flashfresh sat back and looked at Nashh. He mentally recalled his first encounter with him, the explosion of Flashfresh’s own ship, the camaraderie and the laughs.
Nashh was a pirate but cut from a different cloth that most. Flashfresh also remembered the drugs; the massive cocktail of drugs that was ingested by Nashh and his frequent ‘disappearances’ for days sometimes weeks on end.

Flashfresh sighed…

“On my home planet,” Flash started saying with a far-away look in his eyes, “There is an ancient ritual called ‘Walkabout’, it is a common event among many of our tribes. This ritual requires a younger tribe member to set out on his own for six weeks or more with limited resources and go on a journey of self discovery”. “This journey of self-discovery is useful when your own life is still ahead of you or your life is so cluttered with the detritus of living that you can’t see your way anymore. One should always keep moving until one comes back.”

The pair of pirates sat in silence for a moment. Both taking a moment to reflect on the conversation and to enjoy their drink.

“How long was your walkabout sir?” Nashh Kadavr asked after a few minutes.

Flashfresh regarded Nashh with a twinkle in his eye. “I am still on it” . Flash stood up from his seat, with his glass still in his hand. “You’ll come back even better and stronger.” Flash emptied the remaining golden fluid before putting the glass on the bar. He removed a pair of aviator sunglasses from an inside pocket and put them on. “See you when we see you, son.” he smiled and disappeared.

In a strange way Nashh felt relieved, speaking to his CEO could be stressful at the best of times but there was an innate sense he just had a ‘real’ conversation with him. With his CEO’s blessing he pulled out his Neo-com and scrolled down his list of contacts, found what he was looking for and made connection…

“Rixx! How are you mate? Have you got a minute?

Friday, 19 November 2010

Thursday, 18 November 2010

CDM #24; Sard Caid, Billionaire playboy in black rubber pants?

CDM #24; Sard Caid, Billionaire playboy in black rubber pants?

The Celeb, preparation…

Sard Caid, what an excellent pirate name… every time his name comes up in one of the many Intel-channels we now share it fills me with dread. It exudes danger, dread and horror. Intimidating as his name had always been to me, his actions proved that it was not just hot air. This man means business, being ranked within Battleclinic’s top 500 pilots and an impressive solo career behind him.

On a few occasions we had spoken, nothing more than comments here or there though. Brief encounters in solar systems far and wide. I learned about Sard well over a year ago, when I read his blog through the now dead Capsuleer application. Tales of action and the result of looking for action, vividly explained in a well written manner and the occasional sprinkle of excellent Fiction. Broadside is an ingenious name for a PVP biased blog, for those not familiar with the term broadside; this is the wiki link.

Sard also managed to get himself a cool article in E-On!

I contacted Mr Caid a few weeks ago and asked if he would be interested in meeting me for a Celebrity Death Match. Sard was not familiar with my blog but after some explaining he agreed to meet me. It took him a few hours to catch up on some of some previous CDM’s and the rules. This CDM was to be different than any other, excellent. Sard proposed to fight in T1 frigates and to duel it out over 5 fights, first to 3 wins. Each fight a new frigate flavour would have to be used, No Faction items other than ammo were allowed, ECM would be allowed however Sard laughed; ‘ECM makes baby Jesus cry’… ‘Ha! Yeah’ I sniggered, making a mental note to not bring ECM.

With a fleet of war vessels at my disposal, choosing ships should be an easy task, right? Wrong. Worms, Comets, Dramiels, Daredevils and other such goodies are classified Faction and thus a nono, Enyo’s, Ishkurs, Wolves and various other frigate sized hulls adorn the many docking slots in my hangar; frigate sized yes but T1 they are not.

Ok so let’s take the T1 frigates that I have flown before and know work in some way or another;

‘Nuet-Riftah’ (one of LS’s designs), ‘Kessy of Doom’ (a CDM classic), ‘Chack’nul’ (Tristan fit by Chack’nul), and ‘Persey’ (Persephone’s Incursis) and a …

Mmm I am stuck…

Browsing forums for idea’s on a fifth frigate yielded nothing. I spent various hours on EFT trying to come up with a frigate fit that I believed in. I tried fitting a Griffin, but the DPS is laughable, and ‘ECM makes baby Jesus cry’. It would be funny though…

In my time in EVE I have met a few pilots that are simply exceptional at figuring out what fittings work on certain ships and one of those pilots is 00sage00 from Yarrbear tales. I was flicking through some stuff on his blog and then stumbled on ‘the gingerbread man’; a kiting-1v1-Vigil. Bingo! That’s just what I was looking for! Well, almost, I can’t use Artillery Cannons…

A few small amendments and hey presto, my fifth frigate was good to go! This fit also lacked a Warp-disruptor of any kind; interesting I thought and stripped all my frigates from Scram’s and replaced them with either webs or Tracking-disruptors.

Sard Caid is ranked 5500 places better than me on Battleclinic and has double the skill-points but I am so gonna kick this dudes ass!


The fights

Both of us had our frigates stationed one jump from the Weld solar system, and a ‘warp-to-point’ in Weld itself. Neither of us knew what ships the other would field, however I had made some estimates on what he was likely to bring and also in what order.

I had hoped Sard wouldn’t mention anything like it but to my dread he requested that all ships should fit a point or if it didn’t a draw could be achieved by warping off. ‘Yeah cool no worries’ I mumbled, cursing under my breath. (I replaced some of the ewar on my frigs with scrams)

Fight 1;
For morale, self confidence and a general good start it was clear that both of us would field what is overall considered to be the best frigate available; the Rifter. I was pretty certain that he would bring one and judging from previous kill-mails he was likely to fit it with Auto-cannons and a Nos for weapons, web, scram and afterburner in mids, small plate and Small Armour rep in lows. Pretty classic.

I have been flying the Nuet-Riftah for some time now as I really really like the fitting. I have not scored a single kill with it just yet however and lost 4 of them. This is the fit that LS used to brutally destroy one of my earlier Rifter adventures. So, perfect right?

Rifter Vs Rifter;
Both of us entered Weld and warped to the meeting point at our preferred range. As expected D-scan revealed I would be fighting a Rifter. I crossed my fingers and hoped he wouldn’t land 20 clicks from me and MWD/Arti me to death.

As our warp engines slowed and the sub-warp engines roared to life I already felt victory was mine; we both warped in nice and close. All my modules were overheated before the fight even started, cannons spat hot projectile rounds towards my foe. Nuzzle flare mixed with the red lightning streaking from my energy-neutraliser. At this close range the muzzle flashes from our cannons nearly touched. Then it dawned on me, this fight was over before it even started. It was obvious, I should have known; Sard has a web, I do not. What was I thinking?!

There was nothing I could do, with the lack of a Web myself; Sard was slowly edging away from me. His NOS comfortably kept his repper going, repairing the now little damage my ammo choice was doing. With barrage fitted and keeping me at arms-length, Mr Caid trounced my Rifter, shredding through shield, armour and hull.

1-0 to Sard Caid


Fight 2;
It was likely for Sard to bring a Punisher, but would it be this round or the next? It was all a gamble so I undocked the ‘Kessy of Doom’. My gank-Kestrel used in this very format in previous CDM’s has a little sentimental value. No it isn’t the greatest frig ever, but I love it, and have had some great fights with them.

On jumping into Weld I held cloak and my breath. The stress and pressure of the first fight had been replaced by shaking hands and adrenaline coursing through my veins. I sighed, closed my eyes for a moment and mentally prepared for what was coming.

The gate induced cloak dissipated. My Kestrel slipped into a shakey warp-tunnel towards the meeting point.

‘A Kestrel!?’ Sard noted over comms, ‘what the hell am I supposed to do with that!’. Sards distress filled me with the confidence I needed. I focused; squinting at my head-up-display I activated all modules the very second I was able to.

Caldari Navy rockets spewed out of four launchers, fast and furious. Sard had chosen an Incursis but it was clear he had not flown one for a little while as the drone stayed firmly in its bay for at least 10 seconds. My single web did not slow my opponent’s vessel sufficiently for the rockets to achieve their full damage potential, the oversized shield on the Kestrel did a stellar job however and outlasted Sards’ shields and armour.

A damage control on Gallente ships add a significant amount of EHP to their structure. This fight would prove this yet again. Sards’ ship was on fire, leaving a trail of smoke and debris. His overheated weapons rained volleys of pain; straight through my armour, and straight through my hull.

In a moment of disbelief I watched my pod gently rock up and down amongst the Kessies wreckage. ‘Good fight!’ I mustered…

2-0 to Sard Caid


Fight 3;
The subsequentl fight could determine the outcome of this CDM. The next ship I had in line was the Chack’nul named Tristan. A great little ship but also easily outmanoeuvred and kited. That was the reason I had removed the scram and put on a second webifier. It would give Sard the opportunity to warp himself to safety and force the fight into a draw. All or nothing I figured and took the webber back off and reinstalled the scrambler.

Tristan Vs Merlin
There was a distinct possibility that Sard Caid would bring a Tristan himself, if not, surely this time he is bringing the Punisher? Warping to the battlefield I spammed D-scan, slightly surprised to see a Merlin as ship of choice. Surprised also that Sard could fly Caldari ships, I had not seen any in loss-mails, or at least none that I could remember…

As with the previous fights both of us warped in nice and close. Caldari Navy rockets and antimatter hurtled towards the Merlin, crashing into its reinforced shields. My own shields were not long for this world, enemy fire cutting through them revealing the tougher armour-plates underneath.

Range and speed again proved to be the deciding factor. The Merlin’s top speed peaked well beyond the Tristan’s heavier fit. Desperate attempts to get my blasters back in range were futile; my heart sank, knowing the inevitable was due any second. One final attempt to slingshot myself into range failed and the last slivers of hull gave way. The Tristan erupted in a large blue ball of fire, ejecting smoke-trails from its core.

‘Ah damn!’ I proclaimed, knowing that I hadn’t even come close to beating Sard Caid. Three of my wrecks now littered the field; none of them had been looted yet.

3-0 to Sard Caid


Fight 4;
The score was beyond redemption, this CDM was lost. We had already agreed to continue our fights even if a winner would be crowned after 3 fights. Both of us had prepared 5 frigates and were intend on seeing them destroy or be destroyed.

The next ship I had planned to use was the Incursis but it was time to redeem myself a little and bring out a MWD propelled vessel rather than a Afterburner. Time to bring out ‘the gingerbread man’.

Vigil Vs Tristan
This was the first time for me undocking a Vigil, ever. My pending/delayed CDM with Aiden Mourne was to be in Vigils so this was to be a practise run.

Sard was in high spirits, the 3 previous victories clearly giving him superhuman confidence. I hoped that this would make him forget to check for basics like; ‘am I being scrambled?’. This Vigil sported a MWD and a sensor disruptor but no point of any kind.

A Tristan registered on the onboard scanner mid-warp to our battlefield. I commandeered the Vigil to 20 kilometres from the usual, intending to keep Sard’s Tristan at approximately 15 clicks range.

The Tristan struggled to hit me at this range, the MWD keeping my speed high enough to dodge several sling-shot attempts. Again there was a delay in Sard ejecting his combat drone, however once deployed I turned my pitiful DPS on the remote combat drone to eliminate the only damage I was taking.

Concentrating hard on keeping range and shooting Sard’s drone became harder as the drone repeatedly got retracted. I noticed that my Sensor disrupter didn’t have the effect I desired and became increasingly worried that Sard would bail and force this match to a draw. With Sard’s Gallente frigate now suffering severe Armor damage, glory was inching closer, I didn’t want to let this slip away...

Blood rushed to my head, I had done it! At least this CDM wouldn’t be a complete humiliation! What the….? No, no no NO! My speed dropped to less than 10% of its intended output, meaning only one thing; Sard had craftily tricked me in to a tighter orbit and managed to get a scram and a web on me.

A lack of patience and concentration had got the better of me, it didn’t matter if I had full shields, armor and hull, none of them had been reinforced as speed was my only defence. With Sards’ hull only just peering through my Vigil violently erupted, making it the fourth frigate wreck to litter the field.

4-0 to Sard Caid


Fight 5;
I limped back to my staging station to pick up my final ship, already dreading having to write this post; imagining the heckles, fitting no no’s and general laughs I will have to endure. Sod it; I was smiling from ear to ear, this is the most fun I had had in ages.

Incursis Vs Griffin;
Well at least I was sure this time on what Sard would be bringing, a Punisher, guaranteed. I stripped the scrambler and replaced it with a tracking disrupter, risking a draw but that didn’t matter anymore. Feeling confident I let ‘Persey’ slide into the darkness, aligned to the Weld gate and initiated the warpdrive.

‘At least I should win this one’ I stated over our comms channel. ‘I hope so’ Sard laughed, ‘but what makes you think that anyway?’. ‘Well…’ I started as I entered the Weld Solar system, ‘I have a pretty decent anti-Punisher fitting on this ha ha!’. Sard remained quiet for a few seconds then chuckled; ‘well, this is not a Punisher but I do have lasers’.

I aligned to the warp-in-point and engaged the warp-drive. D-scan revealed a Badger, clearly not Sard, a Griffin, clearly not Sard, a Thrasher also not Sard… Hold on a minute.. I .. but but…

I landed a split second before Sard Caid’s Griffin appeared on grid. I ejected my Hobgoblin, knowing that my drone would be my only chance. As soon as the onboard computer let me, I targeted the Griffin, send in my drone and immediately lost lock. A quick check satisfied me that at least the Drone had received its instructions and was attacking the Griffin. There was nothing left to do but wait… baby Jebus cried…

My singular drone was taking heavy damage and a difficult choice stood ahead of me; do I recall or not? Unable to check how much damage my foe was taking I made the choice to recall the drone, saving it from destruction but knowing that all I could do from that point on is hoping his ECM’s would drop a cycle.

Already in low armour I tried to make a run for it but just as I got myself in a position where I could warp off, his ECM missed; giving me a tiny window of opportunity. Weapons primed and overheated started spewing hot death at the Griffin, slamming through a last sliver of Armour before lighting up its hull. Thick plumes of smoke and fire trailed behind the Griffin.


Darkness returned, electronic blackout… ‘NOOOOOO!’ I yelped, letting go of controls and watched ‘Persey’ expand as a tiny blue flash vomited out my pod.

GFGF! I sputtered; still surprised Sard Caid brought a Griffin?! Where was his punisher?

5-0 to Sard Caid


Aftermath and stuffs

Sard Caid was extremely pleasant to talk to, his name may invoke fear but his calm soft spoken voice does not. He was happy and in good spirits and so he should be I guess. It was refreshing and positive to meet Mr Sard Caid, I haven’t enjoyed myself like this for a while! The recent blog-posts flying around from most seasoned Pirate veterans spell doom and gloom. It is depressing and I disagree, it is nice to find someone that is likeminded on at least that part. Or as Sard put it;

‘I don’t have time to moan about the state of low-sec, I am too busy shooting stuff’

Monday, 8 November 2010

Mo Money Mo Pwoblems? / The State of lowsec?

Very recently I have sold two of my alts and netted myself a solid 15 billion isk. To be very honest I haven’t been poor for a long time. This was just a onetime big injection of isk.

One character I never used anymore for personal reasons just sat there and it was time to bin him or sell him. 8 billion offered made it an easy choice not to bio him but take the isk. Then with the loss of a T3 worth about a billion on another alt I came to realise that Nashh is the one that should spend all the isk on flash ships and not my alts. I don’t make enough isk to have multiple characters losing expensive ships! So I sold him to making me another 7 billion.

I tried to burn some of the isk quickly to make sure something useful gets done with the isk. I purchased a new prober alt for 2.5 billion, donated 2 billion to the corp, gave away 1 billion in faction ships, purchased a cap fleet (1 moros and 2 thanny’s) and spend 2 billion on faction frigates and cruisers with 2 billion in modules and faction fittings.

My hangar is the sex. Everything I ever wanted and more, there are shiny faction ships in there I can’t even fly yet. My ships are fitted up in the way I want with whatever I want.

I have always had multiple ships ready to go at any time. I did this to avoid the sting of losing one or two. The problem with having the isk is that I undock ships rather carelessly. For situations where a T1 frigate suffices I now take out a faction ship. I engage ships or get into situations that any sane pilot would avoid. Obvious bait? Yes please, why not? I have plenty! Gun-Ho Gun-Ho! Oh crap I am dead. In general sloppiness and over-fitting the basic requirements of my ships I have lost in the region of 1 billion isk. /me shrugs…

I am an atheist, although I do have a strong belief in morals and values. This also leads me to believe in a twisted version of karma, or if you prefer; what goes around, comes around. Shit is coming around. I fitted an Ishtar with Centum A-Type Medium reps, faction point, T2 rigs and more such juicy stuff. Wow, on paper that thing is a beast! Let’s test it? Anyone? Hey dude you free? What about you? Ah nevermind chaps I’ll just shoot at the station for a bit and see how she rolls. Pew! Bish bash bosh, LOL this station sux balls, cup of tea you say? Yes please, o btw did you see so and so, holy fucksticks I forgot to inject some cap! The 1.3 billion Ishtar bought it, due to being careless.

I buy some more faction stuff in Jita, and not that I have any immediate use for it I decide against better judgement to take it home myself, in an Ibis. Yes, a corp-mate offered to cloaky-haul my gear the following day but I didn’t want to wait. Needless to say I didn’t even make it halfway home, losing the 1.2 billion cargo.

I had intended to take very good care of my new prober alt. No I don’t fly a T3 prober/gang booster no more. Instead I figured as I will only be flying a single cheap ship and look after it well to invest in top-spec probing implants. Just before lunch-time I docked up Nashh and my prober alt. I had a cheese sandwich, a cup of coffee and some stick-crisps, you know the ones that look a little like skinny French fries. Nashh was docked up just where he should be, my alt however was docked 44 jumps from Evati. I didn’t even have to think too long to figure out what happened. The station must have rejected my ship as it was still cloaked, then uncloaked it and left it floating outside. As I was tucking into my cheese sandwich a scoundrel blew up my ship and 1.7 billion pod.

One might say; surely you have made some wicked kills to compensate for the soul-destroying losses you have suffered? The answer is pretty simple; no. I have not made any more kills than when I had limited isk. In fact, I have made less kills. To be very honest, I have not scored a satisfying kill for some time, other than a few arranged 1vs1’s and that time I dropped a Thanny on a noob-ship.

Is it the general state of low sec? That seems to be what everyone else is proclaiming. Low sec apparently is shit, the game is fucked. Veterans I respect are fading, not logging in anymore, playing other games, moving on. ‘New-breed-so-called-pirates’ suck mayor balls and either blob or run away like little girls, ruining the game for others, or are they? ECM is overpowered, unless it’s on our side, right? Is strength in numbers? Is running away, hiding, ECM cowardly or clever? Someone is having fun right?

I guess a discussion is what I am asking for; does isk rot the brain? Have I become spoiled beyond my means? Am I now too careless and if I am does it matter? Will I be able to amend my ways? Will my mind ever allow me to return to just T1 ships? T2 and Faction makes you feel like a demi god though right? And they look sexy right? Is it not me? is it you? Is it low-sec? Was it the cheese sandwich? what is the solution to any of these questions? Am I asking too many questions? Is this post about anything at all? did I have to many coffee’s today?


Watch this space…

Saturday, 6 November 2010

CDM #23; Entity, Lord of the Items

Celebrity Death Match #23; Entity, Lord of the Items


The Celeb

If there were to be an -A-list for the way Celebrity Death Match ranks its celebs, this man would be somewhere at the top of the list. ‘The Lord of the Items’ has been playing EVE since 2003, and is best known for that title and what it stands for.

There are various alliances that wield great power through combined isk values; however this man alone, as a single individual is the wealthiest man in our Universe. His power is not used to fund vast armies or to conquer space; he uses his wealth to fund a very noble hobby, collecting and preserving EVE’s history.

I had heard and read about this man over 2 years ago, as a mission runner, drooling over Navy Issue Ravens, and then looking into a State Raven. Why were they never available on the market or contracts? Looking into rare ships history a bit further it became clear how rare some of these ships actually are. EVEWiki is a great tool to look up basic information on guides or items. Every time I looked at a rare ship’s history; the name ‘Entity’ could be found in the text somewhere…

Entity holds the single largest collection of items in EVE. This includes one hell of a lot Faction, Commander and complex gear most of us could not afford to buy a single piece of. Other than that there are items in Entity’s collection that do not even exist anymore; prototype drones, artefacts. Then there are the items most pilots only dream of having; the rare ships, and boy, does he have a nice collection.

I feel extremely honoured to have been given some time to speak to Mr Entity, he made time for me, joked with me and spoke openly about his history and pretty much anything I asked of him. His involvement with CCP, his banning and un-banning from the game, his isk income… you name it.

One of the reasons I started this project was to be able to meet Pilots of the ‘celebrity’ persuasion, see what they are about, and find out what makes their EVE-day tick. Entity has been one of the most interesting EVEbrities to have met so far, a unique individual with a great history and noble existence in our Universe.



Entity had not heard of my blog prior to me contacting him, many celebs not in the blogging community haven’t. Its nerve-wracking trying to explain what I do and why I would like to meet up with a potential participant for CDM. Not knowing of CDM, people must think I am nuts. The Lord of the Items was as suspicious as I suspected, but took the time to hear me out and read over previous CDM’s before agreeing to participate.

Interceptors it was to be, another CDM first. Jokes were exchanged about there not being any ‘rare’ interceptors… even if there was, he wouldn’t have undocked in one. I am glad he wouldn’t have; he is preserving items that pilots like me would have foolishly undocked in, then lost, forever.

Faction items were allowed as was Faction ammo, no ECM or ECM drones, other than that everything goes.

As soon as the fight was confirmed I contacted the only man I know that gives me ‘no-bullshit-advice’ on ships, ship-fittings, tactics, my hair and anything else I need help with. Lady Shaniqua answered the call and we got to work…

Yes Entity can be found on Battleclinic but with hardly any history; kills or losses no concrete info is available. He has an army of alts that do his Industry work for him so there is no need for him to have his skills trained in that direction. With well over 100 million skill-points he must be able to fly all races, and be able to fit them as he pleases and well.

Our best guess would be that he would come in a close range, high DPS fit ship and therefore he must be coming in an AB fit Taranis. Within minutes LS ruffled up and old Rail-Ranis fit, some modifications were made, tactics discussed and that was that. The tactics were simply to ‘kite’ at the edge of scram- and web-range peppering the pain. If Entity would for some reason bring a kiting MWD fit himself, manual flight would have to trick him into scram range and victory would be assured. Discussions went on about ‘orbit’ and ‘keep-at-range’ but for the most part I was confident that with this ship I stood a chance, however so slim...


The Fight

With Entity not having undocked other than to collect rare items for several years, stood in my favour for sure, I PvP as often as I can. However with a near unlimited budget and with a significant skill-point advantage this fight was sure to swing in his favour. I had already accepted the loss before undocking.

The agreed system was a mere few jumps from my home system and the journey there was without hassle, evading a small camp on the way. I docked up in the agreed system to find a missing module. For some reason the Stasis Web was missing from my setup however a replacement was quickly found.

I baptised my Taranis ‘Entity Destiny’ and undocked into the blackness… and certain doom.

The Carrier that had previously sat at the undock, had gone, and the system was fairly quiet.

‘mm a Ranis?’ Entity quizzed in our fleet chat.

Quickly pinging the scanner revealed no ships in space within 14.5 AU, he must have seen me come in, perhaps the Carrier was his alt, or maybe he was watching me, cloaked.

Silence on deck, as usual, silence before the storm.

With nothing left but the fight, we wished each-other good luck and I initiated the Warp-drive.

Instructions to the Ranis navigation systems were clear, I intended to land at 10k from my foe and remain at roughly that distance.

The long warp didn’t settle my nerves, hitting the D-scanner again as soon as I was within range showed up a single Claw. A Claw? Is that good or bad? I am not familiar with the Claw and don’t know anyone that flies it, in fact I don’t think I have seen one for some time. Should I change tactics? Should I try a tight orbit?

The warp-tunnel collapsed, spewing out my frigate sized vessel, my time to think was up, time for action.

Entity had manoeuvred himself away from the warp-in-point, creating a distance of about 25 kilometres. This was not good; if he was range fit he could easily outrun me, and my anti-blaster-Ranis fit would be useless.

Drones are often overlooked on ships that can only field a few of them, with this in mind I immediately ejected two Hobgoblins and on resolving lock both sped towards the enemy Interceptor. As expected both were ignored as the gap between us rapidly closed. The drones initially overshot but on the return-loop they opened fire and steadily began eating away at the Claw’s defences.

Our speeding vessels nearly collided, both clearly determent to keep each-other close enough to keep within the optimal range of our weapons. Entity’s Auto-cannons ripped large chunks of shield away from my spacecraft, demolishing it in merely a few volleys.

Red and blue lightning snaked from Entity’s Claw to my Ranis; diminishing my capacitor every 4 seconds. A quick check of his speed showed he was AB fit and I turned of my scram, saving every last bit of capacitor for my overheated Rail-guns, Afterburner and Web.

Desperately I tried to create a little distance as my Armour buckles and tears as easily as the shield had done. Flames erupt from my Ranis, this fight was nearing its end, my end.

The superheated rounds of Caldari Navy Antimatter propelled from red-hot-Rail-guns combined with the power of two high-damage drones slowly took their toll on the armour-tanking claw. Too slow however and closing down my HUD I prepared to capture the moment I would valiantly explode in my efforts to take down the Lord of the Items.

I selected his vessel as the focal point, with myself in the background for maximum cinematic effect.

The camera jolted heavily and a burning Taranis appeared in my overview. I… what? The confusion took a few seconds to settle down until I realized what this meant. Opening the HUD showed my vessel had a solid 15% hull remaining and all three mid-slots burned out. Unbelievable! I made it!



It took about a minute to make my way back to Entity’s wreck and raid its contents. I returned all dropped goods to its original owner, as I always do. It did drop one unusual item, estimated at about 80 million isk and the Claw sported T2 rigs.

His fit was more expensive than mine; his skills are nearly three times that of my own, why did I win? The answer is not that simple, yes I did manage to get myself to a range where his guns did less damage, whilst mine still did full damage. The truth is; Entity didn’t overheat his modules or weapons.

Mynxee introduced me to overheating, a skill-book I immediately purchased and use every fight I get myself into. It is often the first thing I do, even before a fight starts, it is second nature to me.

I explained to Entity that most modules had burned out and laughed, he went silent for a moment but then stuttered; ‘Crap, I forgot to overheat’. PVP skills go rusty if you don’t use them regularly, it’s not like riding a bike, it’s a spaceship.

This simple equation shows the result if Entity would have overheated;
WINNER =\lim_{z\rightarrow z_0} f(z)=f(z_0)ax^2 >(hothothot)+ bx + c = 0 (Mad skillz) ax2 + x bx + c = 0> = Entity

Pretty obvious indeed, perhaps next time Mr Entity…


The video

After my second meeting with Mr Entity, where we spend maybe 2 hours talking about life, love, EVE and other related stuff, I decided to include a video with this CDM. This is not an easy decision as I already knew how much time it takes to make a video, to a standard that pleases me enough.

I had prepared the basic intro to the video in the weeks before our fight, I did some basic editing of the video and Lady Shaniqua helped me get some extra footage to make the video into a spectacular one. I posted a very basic version of it on youtube for LS and Sassy B to give me some feedback on. We agreed it was too long and LS wanted to see some kittens?!

A further 30 hours had been spent on the video; editing, clipping, adding effects, adding music, overlays, you name it.

And then my laptop crashed, and no, I didn’t back anything up. A years’ worth of fraps, programs, fittings, blog-posts, artwork and the Entity video gone forever.

So for your viewing pleasure I present the very first upload of the video, pre-editing;

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Fiction; TFS Tibbs

Tibbs contemplated his next move, his could take a while.

'Chess..' Nashh sighed. 'You fucking loser'. A grin hid his poor attempt at sarcasm.

Sarcasm, Nashh never quite got it. He had enjoyed playing the game himself, as a youth, many moons ago. These days he lacked the patience, fast paced, high octane action was now more his style.

Nashh leant against the inside post of the office door.

"The office" was pathetic really, in size, compared to the giant hangar it serviced; it had once been a freight container.

It had a coffee machine, 20 cheap fold-up-chairs around a long square table. Various blackboards had combat schematics and tactics drawn on them. Some rubbed out, some partly amended. Arrhideaus had left his mark by drawing random blobs, vaguely resembling frigates.

For the quality of the furniture, fixtures and fittings, it is rather surprising that so much time was spent here by the Bastards. It served as a staffroom, canteen or meeting place. A placard above the door read 'Dbastards' referring to days long gone, the days when the Bastards were known as the Dastardly Bastards.

It was rather quiet though today; just Tibbs and his chessboard.

'Where have you been mate?' Tibbs asked, not looking away from the chessboard.

'Busy' Nashh replied cold and direct, 'Queen to b4'.

'Ha! Yeah right' Tibbs muttered. Looking up he managed to get a glimps of Nashh leaving the shed-like office.

Tibbs pushed the intercom button. He glanced from the intercom panel to the chessboard and confidently proclaimed his move; knight c8 to a9, check.

A moment of silence passed…

'I had hoped you would do that' Flashfresh's voice crackled over the intercom. 'Queen to a3, check-mate' Flash reported with a hint of joy in his voice, 'good game my friend, good game'.

Tibbs snorted an embarrassed smile, annoyed he had spent as much time as he had on that move and then getting it so wrong.

'Well played sir, well played'.
Tibbs hesitantly pushed the intercom button again, 'what if I had moved queen to b4?'

The intercom went silent. Long enough to make Tibbs wonder if the message hadn't come through on the other side.

The intercom crackled; I don’t know, Flash paused; you may have lasted another hour...