Fixing Station Docking Games

March 9, 2010

Props to Letrange for bringing up a nice little tidbit from the CSM meeting minutes. The link in question is here, and the specific comments are:

‘Noah asked what the CSM thought of a feature where ships that were warp scrambled or under other module effect could not dock. This was received with mixed comments but it was pointed out that it would open up something which would give unfair ganks. Noah asked if it would change anything if you could get overview information before undocking. There were more mixed reviews about that and nothing conclusive came out of subsequent discussions. [The CSM, upon further reflection during the weekend, rallied behind the idea. See Saturday minutes for further information. Xhagen]’

I, like many in Eve, dislike station games and those who practice this as their version of PVP. While I’m all for people having the right to play however they want, imho ‘playing station games’ is largely a tactic of griefers to mess with the noobish and less powerful. It’s my hypothesis that nerfing station games by making it impossible for a warp scrammed ship to re-dock would greatly reduce high sec griefing, and potentially re-vitalize high sec warfare. A bit of background on station games:

– Station games are PVP on a station, usually in a heavily tanked ship which engages (typically unsuspecting) targets as they undock, where the aggressor has the element of surprise and counts on a large tank to allow him to de-aggress, aka wait out the 60 second aggression timer, and dock before a counter-attack can successfully finish him.
– This tactic is commonly used in high sec, low sec, and NPC space in 0.0.
– Commonly combined with alts for repping and / or sensor boosting. In low sec and NPC 0.0 this alt is often a carrier, whereas in high sec often a (neutral) repping alt in a logi cruiser or rr bs. Repping alts are highly effective, as repping an aggressed target is not considered aggression, so the alt has no timer and can redock immediately if threatened.
– Station games are generally not as big of an issue in 0.0, because it only affects NPC stations, and because of the greater resources of the harassed: more experience, larger counter-fleets with more dps, and snipah Titans that insta-pop carriers. Losing one carrier to a DD is enough to call it a day in my book. I saw a number of these killmails shortly after Dominion launched, likely enough to end the practice in 0.0. Plenty of station camping happens in 0.0, true, but not as much of the de-aggress docking games version.
– People will view this as a low sec pirate nerf. However, because of the common use of carriers, above, imho it is not. Why? First, because the carrier reps are so large, but, also because there is a much better tactic than de-aggressing – just place your ship into the ship hangar of the carrier and warp your pod away! No timer on hangaring your ship, so ta-da! The aggressors ship is instantly safe. My former corp mates do a ton of this, but I think it’s rather meh. Combine this with no Titan DD in low sec and you have safe carrier tactic (exploit?) – can anyone tell me why exactly they took the Titan headshot out of low sec??

Overall, I think this change would largely affect high sec griefers, and would be a positive change. This tactic is fairly easy to avoid by experienced, prepared characters, through alts and insta-undock bookmarks. However, younger characters are not familiar with these counters. As a result, this tactic is primarily used by high sec griefers to target noobs in an environment where the aggressor relies upon game mechanics to save them. Every tactic should have a counter, but high sec station games have very few.

Yes, this would increase the risk to certain ships as they undock, possibly resulting in more ganking – but I’m skeptical. Ganking on stations is very, very common today, and this would add far more risk to the gankers than the gankees, imho.

But, shouldn’t this really be aimed at those horrible low sec scum? Yes, low sec dwellers pwn noobs too, but the difference is its low sec, it’s very very clearly marked not safe. This change would affect low sec griefers as well, but they’re more comfortable with the risk and, fair or not, have the carrier escape option, so THIS change is more of a high sec one than low sec.

I’m also not arguing that high sec should be 100% safe – I’m all for war decs, suicide ganks, etc. Station games ruin high sec wars by turning the whole affair into ‘who has more alts and has more stamina for boring station camps’. Adding more risk and tactical options for both sides would be a good thing for high sec warfare.

This is not a ‘whine’ post. I live in low sec and 0.0. I’ve lived flashy for the last 8 months in game. I have numerous alts and station insta-undock bookmarks that allow me to easily avoid these tactics. I couldn’t care less if they don’t opt for changes here, as I find it easy to avoid, but I do think, as I’ve stated above, this is a tactic largely used in high sec to harass noobs. As a result, I think it’s a solid proposal and would add complexity and balance to the game.

Another juicy bit from CSM minutes – no more self destructing to avoid KMs?? Um, yes please! It sucks to work on killing a carrier for an hour, only to have him self-destruct to avoid a KM.

Lastly, go CSM!! Nice job touching on the biggest issues plaguing the game, from lag, to the 0.0 income imbalance, small but really annoying things like self destructing to avoid KMs, and finally adding in new features. Glad to see you guys are representing the player base well!!


Sources of EVE News

February 19, 2010

Crazy Kinux posted recently about updating the EVE Blog Pack. Wonderful to see!! I look forward to reading the latest posts from the pack every morning when I get into work. The blog pack is one of my main sources of Eve news. Here are a few others that I read / follow:

The other news sources I follow are:
* ScrapHeapChallenge just to stay current on all of the politics and :goodfights: going on around the EVE universe, especially 0.0
* Kugutsumen is good too, but I’ve only started following it recently
* Of course, the usually weekly Eve Tribune is great!

And lastly, killboards! Yes, I regularly take a look at a few corp and alliance killboards for lulls, interesting fits, and emerging tactics. My two favorite are:
* Genos Occidere – Garmon and crew are some of the baddest guerrilla warriors and small gang PVPers in the game
* Triumvirate – Always has funny kills, marauding through NC space or low/high sec; stuff like this is gold
* And of course, my former m8s in BYDI; gotta love the emoragequit inspiring pirate kills like this one

Where do you get your EVE news from?!

Sandboxes and Moving Vans

February 11, 2010

The last few weeks have been incredibly busy ones for me, both in game and out of game. A lot has changed for me in-game, more than I can cover in one post. I’ll try to do a quick summary.

I’ve decided to move out of the Amamake region. I’ve also decided to leave F1NAL. The last two months in this region have been some of the most fun I’ve had in Eve. When we first moved here, Amamake was the Wild West, more targets, more fights concentrated in a small area than anything I’ve ever experienced. This lasted for roughly the first month or so, which, I now realize coincided with a post-dominion traffic spike and winter holiday for uni students. The last month or so has been quite different – enormously quieter. So much so that corp gangs now salivate at the chance to gank a rifter. This has resulted in blobbing and gate / station camping in the worst way, two things which I do not particularly enjoy. As targets and good fights became more and more scarce in our local region, I found myself soloing a lot more – something I’ve honestly not done a lot until now. I’ve started to really enjoy it, and its awoken in me my old wanderlust. Bosboger / Amamake is very sequestered, and as a result not a good area for roaming – there are really only two directions to go if you’re flashy, and both are not particularly populated.

So, on to new things in new regions. Maybe the grass just looks greener, or maybe I’ll find something I enjoy more. All I know is Ama and F1NAL were great fun for a while, but ultimately not for me. Time to pack up the moving van (Obelisk) and go build a little sandcastle somewhere else in the box. A few friends and I have relocated back to our roots, Black Rise, for a bit, to catch our breath and try some new things.

My time in game is currently split between the freedom of doing whatever I want, wherever I want, whenever I want on my main (except the whole flashy part) – a feeling that for some reason had left me for a while – and the drudgery of hauling on my alt. I hate moving. I have now moved 3 times in 4 months. First from Black Rise to the Maila area, then to Bosboger / Amamake, and now back to Black Rise. I have accumulated roughly 50+ ships, including a half dozen battleships (wtf are all these things for?!), so my Obelisk alt is rather busy running afk courier contracts around the Eve universe, plus running friends ships around as well. Ughh, so annoying. But almost done (for now).

I’m worn down from moving, but, on the other hand, I have not been this excited to play the game in a long time. I think this is the first time I’ve truly felt the thrill of the sandbox – the freedom to do anything, the knowledge to know what’s out there, and the resources to have a shot at actually accomplishing it. This unique openness is one of the two things that sets Eve apart from other games – I would be quitting any other game right now, but Eve allows me to reinvent my character into something completely new. I just have to decide what that’s going to be.

And load up the truck.

ROFL Goons

February 3, 2010

First the sov eff up, now a CEO ragequitdisband. Goons never stop being goons. Walking off with 300B liquid isk and as much as 1T in assets though, wow. That’s like $50-75 thousand dollars or more, based on PLEX rates.

But it does remind me of why I love EVE. I think there was a blog banter recently about this topic – why do you love EVE. This stuff is why. There is no other game that I know of that is so entertaining on a grand scale. You’re really part of a large world, a community, when you play EVE.

Lol Goons

January 27, 2010

Massive turmoil in 0.0 makes me smile. I guess Goons screwed the pooch on paying their Sov bills. Wow Karma is a bitch – not exactly an alliance disband button, but sortof better – they really were terrible at this game the whole time! Now IT/BoB moves back to Delve, PL is booted from Fountain, Atlas and TriCo are pwning the NC – and all this while 0.0 is nearly unplayable b/c of lag (so they say, prefer yarring to lagging). About to be a huge power vacuum in 0.0, it seems. The talk of Tri and NC forming a truce in protest of CCP’s failure to address lag issues and instead moving their war to Jita for a week is one of the funniest ideas I’ve heard in a long time. But, to the title, fuck goons – these are people that state explicitly their goal is to ruin our game. My limited experience with them was killing a few here and there and a couple of fleet engagements over moons – but their tactics like spamming local to lag out fights, while arguably effective, are simply lame. Glad to see them take a huge hit. God the tears and rage over all the trapped assets must be epic.

F1NAL’s first month and my plans for the blog

January 8, 2010

Been meaning to post an overview for this blog, finally got around to writing it up. But first, a quick shout-out to my mates in F1NAL. For a little over a month now we’ve been shooting people in the face in and around Amamake, and what a month its been. F1NAL was founded in late November, just prior to the launch of Dominion (coincidental timing) by Villwrath, and a number of other pilots, leaving Beyond Divinity. We moved into our new home in Bosboger and opened for business shortly thereafter. A few highlights from our first month as a corp:

– We’ve had a ton of awesome fights – more gang pew pew than I’ve had at any point in my Eve career. Sadly, I missed our two latest brawls, a nice fight with xxDeathxx and the russian mafia (Disclaimer: our KB is not the best view, as there were many corps involved on our side – losses are split among boards) and a slug fest in Amamake today against the Minnies and Star Fraction. GFs to all!!!
– Nearly 3,400 kills and 120B isk in damage; lulz, slow December. Stats are not our goal, but some people can’t help but look at them. Jan has been even better so far, especially now that our esteemed Wolfy brosef’s have moved to the area.
– We’ve quickly grown our membership to our goal of ~100 members, about where we want to draw the line. That’s a rather large number as pirate corps go, but this allows us to have good coverage across most of the day, not just one of the two big EU/US tz (AU/JPN/late US is always tough), and frankly I do not view us as a pirate corp, but as a PVP corp that happens to prefer low sec to 0.0. Pirates are dirty and smelly and poor. Most of us are just dirty and smelly.
– Our hard work is appreciated by our neighbors. 🙂

So, with that out of the way, back to my original plan. The theme for this blog is PVP – small gangs, soloing, large gang fights, 0.0 roaming and hunting low sec. Due to sec status issues, high sec pvp will be…errr…limited (o hai thar afk hulky), and probably not much large scale 0.0 sov warfare – been there, done that some and simply prefer the <100 stuff.

My posts will be a mix of stories and battle reports, PVP tactics and advice, and general Eve commentary. I plan to keep 80%+ of my posts PVP focused, even though I do actually enjoy many other aspects of the game – exploration, industry, trading being a few. Pew pew costs money yo! But, imo there are already some great blogs out there that focus on these topics.

My goals for the blog are:
1) Increase the general Eve population's understanding and interest in PVP. I only got serious about PVPing in Eve about 15 or so months ago, and, while my understanding and skills have grown enormously, I'd hardly consider myself an expert. That said, I think there the more people see different PVP styles, options, engagements, etc, the more willing they will be to try new things out. I want everyone to enjoy PVP as much as I do – the rush of a good fight is the best part Eve. So I thought I would add my meager perspectives to the mix.
2) Improve my own abilities in game, as both a PVPer and an FC. As I said, I don't consider myself and expert PVPer, much less strong FC, but I want to learn more. I find that writing up engagements and thinking the fight through after the fact helps me learn what worked, what didn't, and what I can do better.
3) Learn to blog and write a bit for an audience. This is my first blog really, and my first attempt to write for an audience for entertainment value – I know I have a lot to learn. I'm really not very technically savvy on html or web related stuff but would like to be more knowledgeable, so this is sortof a side project for me to learn more.

On that note, I want to do few things to improve this blog:
– I need a banner and/or surrounding artwork, but I have no idea how to do this stuff. I keep toying with the wordpress pre-built layouts; haven't found one I really like yet.
– Suggestions on how I can make my writing and be more interesting are greatly appreciated as well. First and foremost, gotta write shorter posts.
– Need to get the blogroll expanded for some linky love.
– Leave me a comment! Just so I know its fookin workin. I'm a nub when it comes to this stuff.

Cheers all, fly wreckless!!

Fights like this are why I play Eve

December 22, 2009

Good fights in Eve are hard to come by. Most fights are lop-sided at best, that’s just Eve – not a complaint at all, simply a fact. ‘Better to blob than be blobbed’ is a common refrain. But sometimes things come together to get a real, evenly-matched brawl, and there’s nothing like it. The buildup of intel. The rush of adrenaline on landing and seeing the overview fill up with reds. The chaos of target calling. The cold spike of fear when you’re primaried. The relief when your logistics pull you up out of hull. The giddiness of victory. No other game comes close imo. Great fights like this are the reason I play eve.

We formed up a decent sized roaming fleet this Sunday with high hopes and were not disappointed. Nearly two straight hours of back and forth fighting in and around Amamake. PVP heaven, and a great way to head off for the holiday.

Round 1
We started the day moving out with roughly a dozen BCs, 2 guardians and a few heavy tacklers for support. I was FCing and piloting one of the guardians. We didn’t have to go far to find targets. Scouts spot a Minnie FW gang of about 20 or so, mixed, cruiser heavy that passed through Amamake ahead of us. Time to bait in top belt. The Minnies take the bait, with us warping our gang in at about the same time as them. They outnumber us slightly but we’re quite a bit heavier, so, understandably they bug out. We manage to grab a couple, give half-hearted chase to Auga, but they’re moving fast.

Round 2
A few minutes later as we’re finishing looting and about to head out, an Amarr FW gang is spotted in Auga – fifteen or so with a few BS and a variety of BC/cruiser and tacklers. We warp to Auga to engage, unfortunately getting split on either side of the gate as it appeared that we would need to jump to them for a fight. Battle is joined in earnest on the Amamake side when the Auga FW gang jumps through and another half dozen or so Amarr land at range, including 5 (presumably) snipe fit zealots. Go time!!

Primaries are called, things start going boom. We start working on their BCs with the most gank/tank, they do the same. We trade 3-4 losses each, our logistics are starting to turn the tide and tank their damage, when in jumps the Minmatar FW gang, having shipped up to BCs and up. They start shooting us too, turning the whole thing into a nasty menage, with us getting f-ed in the middle. Call is made to de-aggress and gtfo. We warp off or jump as necessary, Minnies pew the Amarr, hold the field, and set to looting. At this point I have learned a valuable lesson – I’m trying to do way too much – maybe a more experienced FC could simultaneously fly a logistics, call targets, and run a cov ops scout on a second client, but my sub-par talents are not up to the task; and it hurt our performance with slow target calls and slow reps. I hand target calling off, we re-ship to RR BS and get ready to go again!

Round 3
Fifteen minutes later, Minnies are still looting, we’ve re-formed and warp onto them from both sides of the gate (half our fleet was still in Auga having jumped through). We catch what we can, they bail, we pick through the rest and reset in Amamake for a few minutes. Quick bios, rep overheated guns, get sorted. As we undock to head out, de ja vu…Amarr gang cited in Auga, inbound. At this point we’ve got roughly 15 total, with ~10 RR BS, and they’re 30+ with roughly 12 or so BS (six gd tankaddons), another 8 or so BC and various support / tackle. Everyone aligns Auga, fleet warps to gate, landing as they jump in. Time for an ol’ fashioned brawl!!!!

/calderus rex does his happy pew pew dance

Primaries are called, starting with lesser tanked BS and ewar – we knew their Abaddons would be very heavy on tank, so mostly left these to last. Overheat everything, guns blasting, drones swarming like angry bees, FC furiously calling targets and everyone watching broadcasts. We’re burning through their BS and tanking ok even though they’re jamming and neuting our logies, and primarying our BS with less tank. We lose a rokh (if you bring a shield ship to an RR fight, you’re instant primary), a domi that I believe got bumped away from the BS cluster, and couple of our tacklers, but they’re losing more. Their DPS starts dropping and we manage to pull a phoon out of deep structure, turning the tide. They’re switching primaries, but we’re able to keep up when the Minnies again jump in. However, this time its just a few skirmishers and we’re in full blood lust mode and don’t really notice – just more targets on grid. As our tank holds, they start to bug out, we spread points, and mop up the rest. Finally tally for round three was 7BS, 8BC, and a few support killed to 2 BS and 2 support lost.

We hold the field, looting everything we can. Frankly, we’re not paying very close attention, and, as we warp off one of our BS gets tackled. Our mods are burnt and we’re low on ammo and 800s, but our FC says hold, warp back to gate and save the gang mate. Unfortunately some people have already docked, others re-align and start to warp…right as our tackled BS says ‘o sht, there’s a Minnie gang here…whoah, 7 typhoons, and a bunch more.’ Derp. Order to break warp is given, but a few ships are already in warp, including both of our logies. We’re scattered and unorganized, so FC makes the call to stay out rather than trickle in one at a time; net result is in the process of de-engaging we lose three more ships (plus the initial tackled BS). Doh!

Our killboard for the fight is a mess because of the long running engagement, the various 3-way action causing people to appear on both sides, and us changing from BCs to BS, listing many of our pilots two (or more) times. Overall tally on our KB was 2.8B in damage done, with .6B received; 48-9 k-d; however, there are a few losses from our side on other corps boards and I suspect there are a few more kill mails floating out there as well.

Regardless, epic fights, great fun, much love to our FW opponents for one of the best days of pew pew I’ve had in Eve. Fights like this are the reason I play this game so I’m always very appreciative of opponents that will bring it. GFs to all involved!!

Merry Christmas to everyone. I’ll be largely out of game over the holiday and am working on a couple of more general posts. Specifically one on advanced combat probing as well as one to explain what my goals are writing this blog. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!