Saturday, 18 September 2010

The Infamous 'Rifter Plan'

One of the most frequent questions that I have been asked by readers of this blog concerns my continued reference to the Rifter Plan.

For those of you unfamiliar with this phenomenon, The Rifter Plan is the skill training plan that I created when I first created Kirith. I wanted him to be able to fly a max-skilled Rifter and be something approaching the most deadly Rifter out there flying the low-sec space lanes. I could summarise simply by saying that the plan takes every skill which affects the Rifter to level V. Now once some readers have seen the plan they will say "but that doesn't max-skill my Rifter", well all I can say is that it does for mine. Some of you will say that I shouldn't waste time taking those skills that only give a small bonus to V and that I should concentrate on more ships etc. This is my plan, I'm happy with it and will not be swayed.

The initial idea was to stick with this plan until completion and then move onto another plan, however I have swayed a little from this mantra to get into some different ships. At least every other skill that Kirith trains is one of my Rifter plan skills.

So without any further adieu, I present the skills that I will have trained by the end of the Rifter plan:

- Electronics V
- Propulsion Jamming V
- Signature Analysis V

- Energy Management V
- Energy Systems Operation V
- Engineering V
- Shield Management V
- Shield Operation V
- Tactical Shield Manipulation V

- Advanced Weapon Upgrades V
- Gunnery V
- Motion Prediction V
- Rapid Firing V
- Shrapshooter V
- Small Autocannon Specialisation V
- Small Projectile Turret V
- Surgical Strike V
- Trajectory Analysis V
- Weapon Upgrades V

- Hull Upgrades V
- Jury Rigging III
- Mechanic V
- Projectile Weapon Rigging V
- Repair Systems V

Missile Launcher Operation
- Missile Bombardment V
- Missile Launcher Operation V
- Missile Projection V
- Rapid Launch V
- Rocket Specialisation V
- Target Navigation Prediction V
- Warhead Upgrades V

- Acceleration Control V
- Afterburner V
- Evasive Manouvering V
- Fuel Conservation V
- Navigation V
- Warp Drive Operation V

- Thermodynamics V

Spaceship Command
- Minmatar Frigate V
- Spaceship Command V

Many of these skills are either prerequisite for bigger ships & weapon systems or will scale beautifully when I upship.

That's all for me today.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

August 2010 Character Review

Well hello there! It's been a while hasn't it. Kirith is still very much alive, but not so much kicking right now.

Following on from July, which as I noted in my last post was my least active month spent in game at that time August has been even less active with me recording under 1 hour of time spent in game in the whole month. When I did log in I jumped in my surprisingly long living MWD Jaguar and tagged along with a few Tuskers harassing the neighbouring systems. Unfortunately no kills were had but still it was good to be on vent with the guys, meeting up with some of the new blood that had joined since my play time dropped dramatically. It's been a very busy time in real life for me which has led me to look at and rebalance how I'm spending my time, needless to say I'm really enjoyin the way life is right now though I do miss the banter with my Corp mates.

It's a bit late in the day to be writing my overdue August character review, so I'm going to bring you up to date with where Kirith is up to today in some respects, although I did export the graph below at the end of August so apologies that things are going to be a bit disjointed.

Kirith has now completed Minmatar Cruiser V and has all the support skills in place to make these things deadly when flown in anger. Being so rigid on working towards the ultimate Rifter of course means that all those support skills scale really well when shipping up. My bigger hulls really will kick out the hurt. Kirith is also now over the 20m SP bar and boy that seems to have happened fast. Small Autocannon Specialisation V is cooking as I type before I get onto interleaving the skills to fly one incredibly badass Hurricane. The shortest skills I have left on the Rifter plan come in at just under 12 days each with the longest at 23 days!

Here's how Kirith's skills broke down at the end of August:

No play time to speak of means that all other things not mentioned, including my trading income have halted. I have kept up skill training on the alt account, I aim to get one of my alts into a plex busting Tengu in time.

I would like to pick up my blogging again and get back into the saddle, even if it's just once a week but we will have to see how that goes. Now I need to get some fittings for my cruisers shipped down to Hev!

Remember my motto my fellow pirates; take a chance for you never know what you and a Rifter can achieve!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

July 2010 Character Review

July must have been my least active month to date in terms of time spent in game, as reported previously I have a lot of things happening in the big world of real life. In the last two weeks I have hardly gotten any online time aside from a very occasional 20 minute session.

At the beginning of the month I replaced my deceased laptop with a spangly new one which really is sweet, meaning running two accounts at once on two different computers was a breeze. However it seems that the arrival of the laptop coincided with the drop in play time so I have barely used it.

This month saw the proper beginning of training towards Medium Minmatar Hulls, taking Medium Projectile Turret to V aswell as rounding out a couple more support skills to V. I'll get a couple of missile support skills maxed in August and be well on the way to Minmatar Cruiser V by the time the month is out. So September will be the month I fly a Minmatar Cruiser in anger. Fourteen skills remain on the Rifter plan before I am max skilled in all aspects of it's performance.

I've continued to Stockpile Minmatar Cruisers & Battlecruisers throughout the month, admittedly I only have hulls stockpiled at the moment so during the course of this month I will ship down a heap of fittings for them. Unfortunately I lost my second Dramiel in the month, however I'll post about that another time when I review it's performance.

Now sitting at over 18m SP my skill plans have been followed to the letter this month. Kirith will be a year old in August. It feels like so long ago that I was starting out as a fledgling pirate.

Kirith's bounty has gone up another 10m isk since last mentioning about it exceeding 100m isk. Some find it strange that I like to have a sizeable bounty, I can't say why I do like it so much. Maybe it's status, perhaps it brings people to fight you to claim the bounty and maybe it's just because it's fun to mention it to Kishin from time to time.

My trading alts profits picked up well this month to 196m from 104m the previous month which considering that I haven't logged in on half the days this month is encouraging. My probing alt has been mostly gathering dust in the month. My Freighter alt which has been an isk sink to train up can now ably fly a Providence Freighter! I have been fortunate enough to be loaned one by a friend who has suspended his account for a while.

Some stats:
Tuskers: Rank 14 on Battleclinic, up 6 places!
Kirith: Kills 720 (42 in July), Losses 111 (3 in July)
Kirith: ISK Destroyed 20.6Bn, Lost 1.2Bn

Friday, 23 July 2010

New bounty

Logging in today, I find my bounty has rocketed to over 100,000,000.00 isk. Very impressive, now lets see how long it lasts!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Beginings of A New Era

That's right, something new is afoot for Kirith. The training towards flying Minmatar Cruisers is underway and at the moment Medium Projectile Turrets V is cooking with 10 days remaining, after this skill I have Medium Autocannon Specialisation to take to IV and Minmatar Cruiser to V and then I shall be seen in space in rusty Matari Cruisers. I am looking forward to flying them, though I would have to say that I am looking forward to jumping into a huge DPS machine Hurricane soon after far more.

My blogging has been quiet as my house sale approaches conclusion, thus meaning I am taking time to find somewhere rather than playing EVE. My blogging will return to normal once things settle. I logged in for 20 minutes earlier today, my fist log in in nearly a week. As such I have nothing in game to talk about other than my new Cruiser raining.

I would like to mention that I found it very sad to hear that Mr Kane Rizzel is leaving EVE, a fact which really does sadden me. Whilst I have never crossed Autocannons with him, he is a figure in which I hold a great respect and I very much hope that he will return.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

What's the most badass looking pirate ship in EVE?

My good friend, wingman and all around awesome pilot Kishin asked the other day, which ship in EVE do we think portrays piracy or a pirate the best? On pondering it, I find it a tough question to answer as there are so many different angles that can be taken. For example is it to be best defined by most successful, the one that leaves the victim feeling violated the most etc? I chose to think about this from a purely visual perspective, thus I present my shortlist of ships that I consider to be the most aesthetically badass looking pirate ships in EVE.

Curse (Amarr Recon)

Malediction (Amarr Interceptor)

Nightmare (Sansha Battleship)

Vagabond (Minmatar Heavy Assault Ship)

Vindicator (Serpentis Battleship)

Well, that's a quick top five and I admit that the pirates would have to be pretty well off to fly most of those as vessels of piracy, what do you think and do you have a view on the most badass looking pirate ship?

Friday, 9 July 2010

Press Ganged

No, I wasn't but our latest Tusker recruit Laronz0 was. After only just over 24 hours after he joins the corp this very young and I hope he won't mind me saying, low SP pilot was effectively press ganged into FC'ing an ad-hoc Tusker fleet. Initially he was like, no you have got to be kidding until it became apparent that we were not and he finally accepted that there was pretty much no getting out of it. A few tips & old chestnuts were spoken into vent to our newest FC along with a few puns about his World of Warcraft past concerns wipes, pallys bubbling & Rogue Vanishing and whether he knew EVE was different and that we would be upset if we wiped! All said in good light hearted jest of course.

And so we departed Hevrice in a mix of Frigate & Cruiser hulls with a couple of cloaky proby alts. Well they did and I caught up after finishing up a loot split from an earlier Raven kill with my much loathed Jaguar, determined to lose it in a fire. I was also flying one of the proby alts. (Love having two computers again!). The probers and a scout roaming ahead here follows a brief account of what we found and where we found it:

In system our scout had gone after an Ishkur in a belt only to find it at a pounce approximately 200km off the belt. He burned for it but as he did so a Hurricane landed. Doing a quick 180 he pointed the 'Cane and the fleet descended. The 'Cane quickly died. Killmail. We had seen the Ishkur warp out to a safe and quickly had probes on it, in fact it was that quick that some people were still in warp from the belt whilst our scout and myself were gang warped by the prober right on top of the poor Ishkur who melted quickly Killmail

We sighted a few ships but they either kept an eye out for probes or we were unlucky. We headed on and decided to take a peek in a high sec pocket, the pocket required us to jump through a high-sec system. One of the probers found a couple of Myrmidons doing a 5/10 complex. We sent in two tacklers and quickly caught them and held them while the fleet jumped through high-sec and warped in. Myrmidon one went down quickly Killmail as I was en-route to gain secondary point on the second Myrm. Kishin stays behind and holds Myrm pilot one's Pod missing out on the KM for Myrm two. The second dies equally quickly Killmailbut the pod instawarps.

Returning to the comfort of low-sec proper we caught a ratting Thorax and his Pod in Iges Killmail.

Moving a system or two over we bagged another ratter in his Vexor, though he managed to get his Pod clear

At this point it was getting very late and I headed back to Hevrice to dock and log for the night. In short, I had a terrific evenings fun and our newest member and newest FC handled himself in excellent style. A bunch of kills for no losses!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The Evil Bastard

And so, nothing much has occurred since my last post due to a general lack of time in-game. And so I thought that I would take the opportunity to write a little about my first proper Dramiel.

First lets begin with the fit that I used:

H: 150mm Light Autocannon II x 2
H: Rocket Launcher II

M: Catalyzed Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters
M: Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters
M: Medium Shield Extender II
M: Warp Scrambler II

L: Micro Auxillary Power Core
L: Nanofibre Internal Structure II
L: Gyrostabiliser II

R: Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer
R: Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer
R: Small Anti-Thermic Screen Reinforcer

D: Warrior II x 4

With this fit I managed a ridiculous number of kills (70+) and loot drops alone have paid for this ship & fit several times over. It eventually met it's end going for tackle on one of two Genos Occidere Tengus playing in belts in Hevrice. I was of course sad to see it go.

In reviewing the performance of my first fit on this nasty little ship only one point really stands out as needing to change. That point is the rigs. Sure against EM & Thermal damage it's ok but more often than not having a larger shield buffer I feel would be better and so, when I come to buy my next that s liekly what I will fit for.

A number of people are surprised that I don't even fully T2 fit ships, some state that the Dramiel really demands Faction pimp nevermind just T2. I have a serious dislike to spending inordinate amounts of isk on ships that are guaranteed to get exploded. Forking out the chunk of isk on the hull was a leap of faith in itself, nevermind extra shiny toys. I find also that there is a distinct link between the number of shiny components and the speed at which it gets hopelessly destroyed, and no it's not the way you would expect!

I am now in my second Dramiel, which has a completely different fit and no MWD. It already feels lethargic and I am struggling to love it but I shall persevere as it hasn't had a truly insane ability test yet. A second report on it will follow once it has been destroyed.

In short the Dramiel is an extraordinary ship which inspires utter madness in it's pilot, it is rightly feared.

Friday, 2 July 2010

June 2010 Character Review

It's a couple of days late, for which I apologise.

June has been a weird month for me, it kicked off with the Alliance Tournament which seems like oh so long ago. Then I was swept up with the Dramiel whirlwind and destroyed a host of ships with it. Since the loss of the Dramiel though I have struggled to find the inclination to fly. Tonight for example I was determined to get out there and fly. And I did just that, but only for 25 minutes. In that 25 minutes I managed to lose Blog Moar!, the Wolf which I have talked about a couple of times. It was lost valiantly tackling a Myrmidon whilst a corp mate attacked it with his Ishtar. Now I am logged off again feeling a bit "Meh, can't be arsed". The biggest factor in this for me is that June also saw my trusty laptops graphics card overheat and completely wreck my laptop. I have been attempting to fly on my desktop PC but I just can't get my mojo using a desktop. Fortunately though my new laptop is scheduled to arrive on Monday so I should be back to my pillage & plundering ways soon enough.

After some catch up on the Rifter plan for having diverted to the Dramiel I had three level V skills to catch this month before getting myself into the interleaving of plans. Motion Prediction, Rapid Fire & Sharpshooter are now all resplendent at level V, Hull Upgrades V has only two days remaining now. 229 days remaining on the Rifter plan. I don't expect much progress on that plan through July as I will be getting Medium Projectile Turret to V along with Medium Autocannon Specialisation to IV. Maybe just squeezing out one or two Rifter skills.

I have purchased my first Cruiser hulls already in anticipation. Five Ruptures & Stabbers, Two Bellicose & Cyclones and a single Hurricane. A drop in the ocean in numbers as I will have another five Ruptures, eight more Cyclones & nine more Hurricanes joining them soon. Moving them is a logistical "challenge" but I do like to keep a very well stocked hangar.

PS. I also plan to buy a Scythe for my comedy collection.

Kirith sits at 16.3m SP right now, major gain in the month is clearly to Gunnery. I did have to train Target Painting up for the Tournament, but other than that blip things went to plan.

My trading alts profits dropped again this month to 104m from 138m the previous month which is disheartening. Following the "free" 100,000 SP's from CCP (Thank you)I chucked a load into trading skills for my Hulk pilot to make him a much more effective trader. It early days of course as this was only a few days ago, but early signs are good. My probing alt as has been mentioned previously has now finished getting his skills to a good standard so i have moved onto my Freighter alt which again is an isk sink to train up even without the actual purchase of the Freighter!

Some stats:
Tuskers: Rank 20 on Battleclinic
Kirith: Kills 678(188 in June), Losses 108 (4 in June)
Kirith: ISK Destroyed 18.9Bn, Lost 1.1Bn

Monday, 28 June 2010

My Best Ransom Evah!

Last night started slow, very slow. I had just destroyed a noob Catalyst a few jumps from Hevrice when a corpmate mentioned that he had been engaged by an Ishkur. I asked if he would like me to burn to his assitance. My offer accepted I set off, though as I jumped into Hev he signalled that it had been destroyed. Cue sadface.

It was long however before a gang of Sentinel, Jaguar & Rapier entered Hev space. I was sat at a tactical close to a belt as the Jaguar landed with Incognito's Ishkur. I warped to his aid as the Sentinel landed. Expecting the Rapier who had also been sighted to be inbound, ItsMe brought out his Cynabal. We called the Jag primary (which in hindsight was a mistake), realising our error we switched to the Sentinel and quickly dropped it, swiftly followed by the Jaguar. They went down just in time to save 'Blog Moar!' the Wolf which was fulled capped out from a sticky end.

Back at my tactical repping up and waiting out GCC a second Ishkur lands at zero on the belt, I report it to Incog & Itsme and engage calling point as I land. The Ishkur literally dissolves in front of my eyes at astonishing speed, the fit tells the story here. Following the Assault ships demise I attempt ransom of the pod after a quick check of his age (2006 I think).

Here follows a copy/paste from my activities last night from out ransom board which tells the story:

Date: 27.06.2010
Location: Hevrice
Vessels ransomed: Pod
Pilot: Kaobserver4
Amount: 635,323,037.92mil
My Share: 211,774,345.97isk

Involved Pilots:
Kirith Darkblade

Fun as follows:
EVE System > Channel MOTD: Hello, one or more members of The Tuskers are prepared to destroy your vessel. Should you wish to pay a ransom to save your ship, please do the following immediately:

1. Turn off all modules (including guns, missile launchers, webbers, scrams, etc.) and recall all drones. Stop your ship.

2. From the time a ransom amount appears below, you will have 30 seconds to pay the amount specified. Right-click the picture of the pirate stating our demands and select "give money" to do this.

If you do not comply immediately, we will re-open fire on your vessel. If we get nervous for any reason we will re-open fire on your vessel.
Kirith Darkblade > hi
Kirith Darkblade > 100m to save your pod please. pay to me
kaobserver4 > lol, hi
kaobserver4 > Allow me to get to a station and I'll send it.
Kirith Darkblade > you can send it here
kaobserver4 > Yeah, but there's the chance of you scamming me.
Kirith Darkblade > then you will be freed
ItsmeHcK1 > There's a chance of you scamming us too.
Kirith Darkblade > we honor ransoms, guaranteed
kaobserver4 > lol. True, true.
Kirith Darkblade > viewforum.php?f=35
Kirith Darkblade > quickly check that link
Kirith Darkblade > if i scam you, i have to repay it and get kicked form corp
Kirith Darkblade > thus i wont scam you
kaobserver4 > 70mil sound fair then? It's about all I have atm.
Kirith Darkblade > agreed, please pay to me
Kirith Darkblade > you are free to go
kaobserver4 > There's 700 for bein' an awesome pirate. :D
Kirith Darkblade > :D ty
ItsmeHcK1 > :D
kaobserver4 > Your Corp is based on piracy then?
Kirith Darkblade > It is
kaobserver4 > Is it recruiting?
ItsmeHcK1 > oh god :D
Kirith Darkblade > Recruitment is indeed open atm
ItsmeHcK1 > Dude, I love you. :P
Kirith Darkblade > viewforum.php?f=2
kaobserver4 > Love who?
ItsmeHcK1 > You.
kaobserver4 > Oh.
kaobserver4 > Why?
ItsmeHcK1 > 700M! :D
kaobserver4 > Yah. :D
kaobserver4 > I was eating god damnit, lol, I'm dead the next second. It was awesome.
Kirith Darkblade > :D
lncognito > it's been an awesome last 15 minutes actually
lncognito > so much action ;3
kaobserver4 > Yeah, I'd be interested in joining. The one I'm currently in is really really boring-
kaobserver4 > You guys have a vent?
Kirith Darkblade > we have
Kirith Darkblade > I was like, guys i have an Ishkur pointed.
Kirith Darkblade > Then, he died :(
ItsmeHcK1 > And we were like 'WE ARE IN ON THIS SPLIT!'
kaobserver4 > xD..
lncognito > ;3
kaobserver4 > c.c
lncognito > EVE System > Channel MOTD: Guests may join us on Ventrillo. Presence in this channel is no guarantee of free-passage from the Tuskers.Hostname IP:<br>Port Number: 3840<br>Password: walrus
ItsmeHcK1 > I noticed him, I get a share! :P
lncognito > What type of corp was your old corp?
lncognito > I notice thats your first loss mail in a while
lncognito > recently resubbed?
kaobserver4 > About two months ago.
kaobserver4 > Rusty as hell. c.c
Kirith Darkblade > Kaob, just to confirm that you accept that I am keeping this ransom payment of 635m isk?
kaobserver4 > No give it back.
Kirith Darkblade > I'm not giving it all back
kaobserver4 > lol, I'm on vent you oblivious tards.
Kirith Darkblade > >.>
ItsmeHcK1 > We know. :P
kaobserver4 > "No, no, kick him!"
ItsmeHcK1 > Still. :P
kaobserver4 > I'll plug in my mic once I finish eating.
kaobserver4 > once*
Kirith Darkblade > Can I keep it then? :D
kaobserver4 > yeah.
Kirith Darkblade > \o/ you're a gent
Kirith Darkblade > :)

Because I'm real nice I split the ransom three ways with the corpmates who had undocked to take out the Ishkur!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Boom Boom Pow

Well, it was bound to happen at some point almost guaranteed in fact. After nothing short of an amazing performance totally exceeding my expectations my first Dramiel "The Evil Bastard" has been lost. The little beasty died attempting tackle on one of a pair of Genos Tengus in Hevrice a few days ago:

Lossmail here

It's not been a busy week for me in terms of playtime so I don't have so much to write about. The loss of the Dramiel has put me into the saddle of the Wolf 'Blog Moar! It's not fit the way I normally choose to fit my Wolves but on the recommendation of a reader I am going to give it a try.

First blood has been spilled by the Wolf, I caught a fellow pirate ratting in his Caracal last night. I managed to take advantage of his shields having been weakened by the rats to swiftly take it down into hull. He attempted to burn out of range keeping me webbed, though through overheating my AB and Scram he could not escape. Disaster looked like it had struck though as he managed to get a jam off on me with his T2 Multispec Jammer with a sliver of hull remaining. I don't know how though but he popped just after the jam landed. Maybe projectiles have a delayed flight time effect? A nice loot drop of about 10m isk, not a bad start to this Wolf's career I hope.

In other news, I start training towards Minmatar Cruisers tomorrow, so in preparation I have bought 5 Rupture & Stabber hulls, along with a couple of Bellicose. I even contemplated a Scythe for lols but wills ave that for another day. As I am a sucker for temptation and was feeling flush I bought 2 Cyclones & a Hurricane too! My probing alt is now finished with getting decent probing skills (all IV+) so onwards I go to getting another alt into a Providence Freighter.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Acts of Hero Tackle & Lunacy

I have been thinking that it has been too long since I last talked about actual combat experience and encounters. What I hope to do is every week pick a few fights that I have gotten myself into in and write a little about them. Whether I manage to keep it up I don't know but I certainly hope so.

This week I'm going to pick a few (3) fights that have gotten the old adrenaline going. In all of these fights I am flying my Dramiel, I haven't gotten into any other ship but this Dramiel since June 2nd! Yes I am aware it is now offically doomed having made that statement. In my previous post about the Dramiel I talked about perceptions of Godmode, well I have perhaps taken this a bit far biting off challenges that would be considered maybe acts of lunacy.

First up we have an Ishtar, said Ishtar was in a system neighbouring Hevrice. I had been roaming around looking for things to shoot, I can't remember if I had actually killed anything. I watched as a new Faction Warfare mission opened up whilst I was mid warp, checking the D Scan there's only an Ishtar in space that I can see. Exiting warp I jump to the beacon and use the acceleration gate. Emerging inside the complex the Ishtar is 90km off. I overheat the MWD hit approach and scream towards it at around 7400m/s, 20km off and he warps out. Dammit. I warp out of the plex to a safe and can see that he has docked up. Just two other Tuskers are online so I report the intel to them and move my prober into the system where the Ishtar is docked too. I leave him cloaked and off the acceleration gate. Ishtar undocks and arrives at the mission so I pursue with Kirith (dual screens ftw). Kirith goes through the gate and the Ishtar is 80km off and warps out before I can even approach. This time I take Kirith out of the system into Hevrice and keep watch with the prober. Waiting on the gate I see him back at the mission, jump in and warp. Then, yep he warps out again! Arrgh. Leaving Kirith on the gate I attempt a logoff trap, sure enough he's back so I log in so he warps out again. Bugger am I ever gonna catch him? I warp out to safe and by the time I land he's back on the gate. I warp to him he warps off. This time I'm going to wait and he warps back to me. Woohoo, tackled I call over comms "jump and warp to Kirith". My corp mates are in warp but holy cow I'm melting scrammed and webbed. I tell my compatriots this and attempt a GTFO hoping they will land and catch him. Overheated AB and I'm free due to the Ishtar having a short point I escape with 40% hull. The first ship lands points him, but he manages to escape, stabbed I assume or fail pointing. The pilot links a picture of Nelson from The Simpsons in local "HAHA". Props to him for a good fight and mounting a fierce defense. Well that's one that got away :(

Second up we have....another Ishtar, maybe they are on discount at the moment or something? I probe out his mission and it looks like Blockade as I warp the alt into it to have a look. T2 Sentries are out from the Ishtar. I warp Kirith in, overheat MWD and cover the 90km to him, I take a few hits from the Sentries on the way in but nothing scary at all. Tackled \o/. Keeping the MWD on (not overheated) I comfortably pewpew away taking no damage from his Sentries or the latter deployed T2 lights as I orbit him. He's armour tanked and I am gradually chewing away getting him down to 40% with the help of 4 NPC BS's. Then he deploys 5 EC-600's so I think, shit :(. I started attacking them but it's only 10s before they have me jammed and he's away. I bookmark the mission and warp to repair the heat damage. I warp to and from the mission a few times not able to catch him until I warp to the mission and burn 300km out. I wait for him and he comes back, I warp to the closest wreck I could find to him and tackle again. This time Warrior II's are out and I'm pointed and webbed, ouch ouch ouch ouch goes my little ship, I wait for my AB to deactivate and attempt GTFO with overheated MWD, screaming out to 50km from him quicktime I give thanks to the fact it was a disruptor not a scram and warp out in 30% armour. I commend his performance in local and move on. Another one that got away, maybe I should quit chasing Ishtars? I somehow doubt it :P

Finally we have a missioning Raven & Dominix. The pilots belong to a corp I'm very wary about engaging and especially as these two were in the system next door to their home and probably 20 friends who were logged in at the time. As a corp mate had spotted them I probed them down quickly and a small fleet of three of us formed up. Bomber & Hurricane they brought and refit to AB's. I went in for point, first room empty with wrecks that appeared to be from the Mordus Headhunters L4 mission. I burned the 60km to the next gate quickly and jumped through, I landed 10km from the Raven and tackled it. The Dominix warped out shortly after while I maintained point and started laying into the Raven. I had notified the gang that I had point and they were slowly crossing the 60km between gates. Once the Domi, which seemed to have been tanking some of the rats had warped out however a bunch of rats took a dislike to me, specifically two webbing frigates. My speed reduced to about 300 m/s the Raven and other rats really started pounding on me, as my shields went past 10% remaining two things happened. I considered warping out and the Raven's shields vanished. I decided to stay and watched the Raven explode, wasting no time I warped out with 40% armour remaining. The Cane & Bomber reached the gate as it popped (sorry chaps) and so were denied the killmail. Fortunately the bomber jumped in a recovered out ill gotten loots. Talking to teh Raven pilot afterwards he told me that he hadn't lost a Battleship in a mission for the previous couple of years even in Low-sec but on that day he had lost three! Clearly not his day.

Please let me know if you'd like to see more of this type of post

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Blog Banter 18: Devolution

Welcome to the eighteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by none other than me, CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to

On May 6th 2010, EVE Online celebrated its 7th Anniversary. Quite a milestone in MMO history, especially considering that it is one of the few virtual worlds out there to see its population continually grow year after year. For some of you who've been here since the very beginning, EVE has evolved quite a lot since its creation. With the expansion rolling out roughly twice a year, New Eden gets renewed and improved regularly. But, how about you the player? How has you gaming style evolved through the years or months since you've started playing? Have you always been a carebear, or roleplayer? Have you only focused on PvP or have you given other aspects of the game a chance - say manufacturing. Let's hear your story!

I Am the Way I Am
As Kirith approaches a year old in a couple of months, not a lot has changed since I started playing. Inspired mostly by Ka Jolo's blog, this blog was started as I created Kirith. You can read back to his very beginnings on the blog if you have the time.

I have always been a pirate in Low-Sec and I cannot see that ever changing. I love the playstyle. It may sound very obvious, but with my experience under the belt I can say that you become a more successful pirate with experience, not necessarily better per-se. Situational awareness, how to spot a trap, when to ransom or Pod, when to GTFO etc. These are the things that experience develop and hone.

To date I have only flown Frigates, Assault Ships & Destroyers, not being skilled and thus able to use bigger or more widely varied ships. When I struck out with Kirith I designed "The Rifter Plan" skill training programme to fly a maximum possible skill Rifter. Afterall most of the skills I pickup have direct benefits to bigger ships & different hulls. I have stuck to this plan for the most part only going off piste to pick up Destroyers IV, Assault Ships IV, Gallente Frigate V and all relevant light drones skills to IV. There are only 18 skill levels to go now before the plan is finished, though that weighs in at another 245 days. Of course the desire for different hulls to play in is strong and so I am now interleaving skill plans in the following order of priority:

1, Minmatar Cruiser
2, Minmatar Battlecruiser
3, Minmatar Interceptor
4, Blackbird
5, Heavy Missile Drake
6, Minmatar & Caldari Stealth Bombers
7, Sabre

From the outset Kirith was going to be a solo pirate, and this is one thing that has changed. Due to a change in RL circumstances I became able to use voice comms, which meant that I could look at joining a pirate corp. There were a few options that I considered. VETO Academy, The Tuskers & M34N Corp. Having followed Jolo's blog for a long time even before I started playing EVE I knew if I was going to give Kirith a home in a pirate corp it really had to be The Tuskers. I was thrilled to be accepted, and I have not looked back since. I fly with what I can only describe as some of the most excellent pirates I have had the honour to meet in EVE.

The only other change that I can think of since Kirith was created is the creation of his support network of alts, some market traders for passive income, a probing alt, a miner and soon to be a Freighter alt. The prober proving extremely useful.

So, that's mine, what's yours?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Alliance Tournament

The Alliance Tournament is well underway now, with this coming weekend we will see who walks away with the coveted honour and prizes of victory. So far I have watched every match, mostly live and some in retrospect. I have also taken part in one match, which at 15m SP and less than a year old I feel is one hell of an accomplishment:

What I hope to share with is my "Tournament Experience".

It all started back around March 2010 where a poll was taken asking who might be interested in taking part in the coming eighth Alliance Tournament along with The Bastards. Interest was deemed to be good and plans were progressed to get confirmed names etc. By the end of the process 16 Tuskers had expressed a desire to participate along with 18 Bastards. Wheels started turning and the Alliance name was agreed and formed with just our two mighty Corps. A tourney war chest started to be assembled.

Prior to the creation of the alliance our two Corps had never/rarely had any interaction with each other, perhaps the odd shot across the bows of each other in low-sec. This changed once the Tusker Bastards Alliance was formed as we started to get to know one another and how we operated in order to build trust and cohesion among the pilots. Joint roams were organised out of various bases of operation in assorted configurations. During the process Captains, Leaders & Organisers were appointed to keep things rolling. Joint forums were created for sharing of ideas and enhancing communication between corps.

Doesn't this all sound idyllic so far? Well it does sound it but the best laid plans seldom go off as planned and unfortunately the AT was no exception. For multiple reasons things seemed to stall for a while. Eventually however, thanks to some sterling work by a number of parties the involved parties were roused and put to practice. Practices were a combination of both fleets and gangs on TQ and organised practice sessions on SISI where blowing up a ship lots of times doesn't matter two hoots.

We generally had organised practice three times a week where we would attempt to have two full teams of 10 able to face off against each other. Sometimes this wasn't possible for many reasons. One of which being that it's hard to pull a career pirate off TQ to shoots his Alliance mates on SISI. Huge thanks must go to those individuals who had not signed up for the Tournament but gave up their time to assist with testing. Our practice sessions when in full swing were fairly effective, though as a couple of small low-sec pirate corps we didn't have the vast resources of pilots & isk that many of the big 0.0 alliances have. We certainly made the best of what we had and put things through their paces.

The first match was soon upon us and we were up against a tough draw in HUN Reloaded, they were known to the tournament scene and a certain to be tough adversary. For the match a team composition of our flagship Bhaalgorn (Don Pellegrino' Boat) along with two Apoc's, two Rooks, Guardian & Daredevil were chosen. This was not our most tested fleet composition but in tests that we had conducted it performed exceptionally well. The match came and the alliance members not in the team eagerly awaited the match on vent, unfortunately we did not prevail and were taken down very swiftly by the HUN team. Congratulations to them. The biggest factor to our team in the match though was just how powerful ECM drones can be in sufficient numbers despite our ships being fitted with ECCM modules.

Onto the next match we rolled, and we put in a couple more practice sessions and decided to field a slight variation on our most tested team. It was looking like I would get to fly in this match too. We discovered a few days before the match that we were up against Dead Terrorists, another tough adversary. (why couldn't we have one of the comedy smartbomb teams to fight?). Determined to put up a respectable fight we formed up on the day. Due to RL circumstances though we lost a couple of pilots and made some last minute changes. Ships, implants and modules were distributed to our pilots, Kirith receiving a can containing his Dramiel for the day. It's not how I would have fit it by any means, but the AT isn't like low-sec pvp on TQ. Following a strict timetable we were formed and ready in fleet in Hevrice V station and before long we were teleported to the arena. Our FC gave the command to warp to a Team beacon (A,B,C or D). Once in place we aligned to the arena where we would be fighting and warped to our ranges. BC's to 30km, Others to 50km. Being extra careful not to move and incur a HP penalty we waited for the countdown. I was watching and listening to the live broadcast on a second monitor while sat there in the arena, surprised that the broadcast has a slight delay as our match had started before the broadcast came up. Any nerves or other concerns that may have been going on immediately dissipated and we set to business. Dramiels went after their Frigs and the BC's after the Mach's as at this point it didn't appear that they had logistics. It didn't take long before we found out that their Proteus was logistics. We tried in vain to break them but to no avail, we managed to catch a bomber by some swift target switching but alas that was the Terrorists only loss. With our Scimitar heavily damped and forced to get to very close range to deliver some reps we lost a few ships until we reached breaking point and knew that we could not claw back a victory. It's always easy in hindsight to say what we should have done differently, but it is pointless & futile in my opinion. I think it's fair to say that for the most part everyone enjoyed taking part in the match, I did anyway. Nicely Done Dead Terrorists, good luck this weekend.

All in all it was a great experience to have had, as for would I do it again. No chance, I much prefer proper non-consensual low-sec pvp!

Oh yeah, I lost my first Dramiel in the match. However I don't think that counts as a real loss. Not in my book anyway :)

Sunday, 13 June 2010

An audience with the Roughnecks

Earlier this week some myself and some fellow Tuskers had some great fun. A number of us had noticed as were passing through the Aeschee solar system that there were more than the regular number of Roughneck battleships in space, it was also apparent that a lot of Roughnecks had GCC. They were shooting a POS, a POS belonging to Devious Decorum. Devious are some of our neighbours, a fellow pirate corp who we lock horns with frequently. Anyway, we didn't have the numbers to do anything about a battleship fleet so we just kept tabs on them.

A little while after the POS bashing had been noticed a member of Devious had convoed a fellow Tusker and we agreed to lend some assistance against our mutual target The Roughnecks. Most Tuskers shipped into BC's where possible except for Noir & myself who either can't fly (me) or didn't have one ready to go (Noir). Joining with the Devious fleet the fun commenced. We warped in, Noir and I charging around the field getting points. A few of the BS's escaped as only really had two tacklers at the start. It wasn't long before we had laid waste to the field, however a number of the Roughnecks reshipped and returned to the field at range. Burning out across distances of 100km to get points Noir & I were like blue arsed flies charging around and holding them in place while the BC's blew them to pieces for us. I had a dicey moment with a Tempest where I was completed neuted, webbed & scrammed with drones on me. Into 50% armour and logistics saved me \o/. We got a few Pods too which was cool. Roughnecks deployed a Nidhoggur Carrier to the field and Devious escalated themslves dropping Killer Chick's Nyx Supercarrier onto the field which absolutley destroyed the Nid in a incredibly quick time. A smaller number of the Roughnecks returned to the field again and were summarily despatched. Praise where praise is due must go to the Devious logistics pilots who did an excellent job.

After the fight, Devious had lost two BC's, Tuskers lost nothing \o/ and Roughnecks lost 21 ships/pods to the tune of 4.4bn isk as you can see in the report below:

Fun times!

In other news, my Dramiel is still kicking ass 58 kills according to our killboard in it so far, not sure if that includes pods :)

On the subject of killing Pods, I have passed the landmark of 200 podkills. In a rare moment of not podkilling yesterday I obtained a ransom of 100m isk from a 2007 player who i had releived of his Ishkur.

AT8 round 2 this weekend, day 1 some some shockers (two smartbomb teams and Erebus no show) and some of the commentating is just so bad from the newer presenters :(. Tusker team is up again this afternoon vs Dead Terrorists with hopes of doing better than last week, I wish the team good luck, may your Mega-pulses strike true.

All in all it's been a good week!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

You are now entering...Godmode

It's not often that I am at a loss for words, but I think simply "wow" suffices.

You all know that I have been working towards getting into a Dramiel. Well, Gallente Frigate V is finished and I stepped into one a few days ago. Since then it's been just insane. In just a few days I have used this little frigate to destroy 742m ISK in ships & modules. That's three quarters of a billion! Sure not all were solo, some small gang work is in there but the ship was certainly capable of soloing them all given the opportunity. I'm not going to share my fit with you just yet but rest assured it will be coming soon.

Undocking in the Dramiel feels to me like entering something of a godmode. You feel indestructible and uncatchable. Of course I am neither of these things but it is the sensation that i get from flying it. I daresay that my current feeling for the ship will fade and it will become normal and all other frigates will seem subpar.

I think it is that my current 15 million SP specialised into Matari Frigates matches perfectly with the Dramiel to make such an insane craft. The ship isn't as good as it is hyped and can be killed but it inspires such confidence in the pilot that almost anything is worth a shot especially given the terror with which other pilots hold it when it is baring down on them. The Dramiel is truly terrifying to most Frigate pilots.

I will be interested to see how long my first Dramiel lasts, it will indeed be a sad day when it is lost.

In other news,

A quick big thanks to Trony and he I am sure will know why.

AT8: The Tusker Bastards Alliance Team unfortunately lost their first match, well played HUN and good fight. We claimed some points from HUN Reloaded and hope to make the cut after our second match this Sunday against the Dead Terrorists. Will be interesting to see if the Apoc's do any better this time. I had a great time watching the matches live and listening to the reactions on Tusker vent.

Chewing my way slowly through some Rank 2 Gunnery skills at the moment which will make the Dram even more evil.

My Bounty went up to over 30m iskies \o/. Now I really hope not to be podded!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Rifter Loadout: MSEMWD

I thought it about time that I updated on one of the Rifter loadouts that I have been trialing.

This loadout I bought three of a few weeks back and haven't lost one yet. I am pretty pleased with the fit although it does have one pretty substantial flaw which is fighting other pvp fit frigates. This fit pretty much is guaranteed to lose against them. Fortunately this is offset by some very handy positive points.

Very fast
Decent EHP
Cap stable with everything running

Vulnerable to scrams/other pvp fit Frigates

The fit as I have been testing is as follows:
H: 125mm Gatling Autocannon II x3
H: Rocket Launcher II

M: 1MN Microwarpdrive II
M: Fleeting Progressive Warp Scrambler
M: Medium Shield Extender II

L: Nanofibre Internal Structure II
L: Power Diagnostic System I
L: Damage Control II

R: Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer
R: Small Core Defence Field Extender
R: Small Projectile Burst Aerator

Vital Stats with my skills:
113.4 dps with Faction ammo
Cap Stable at 27.92%
5210 EHP

Assuming that your opponent does not have a scram then you can maintain a very fast orbit around the target without having to pulse the MWD. In gangs this is a very fast tackler with decent EHP and staying power. The main bonus I find with this ship however is against Faction Warfare plex/mission runners as you can quickly catch them before they realise how fast you are closing on them and manage to warp out.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

May 2010 Character Review

263 days remaining on the Rifter plan. Perhaps not as much progress this month as I perhaps had hoped at the start of the month, but I guess that the way the cookie crumbles when you start eating into those longer skills and interleaving two skill plans at a time.

June is upon us and that means a few things to me. First and as I stated last month in the not too distant future this month I will be behind the wheel of the Dramiel, which I have been looking forward to for some time now. I really hope that it lives up to my expectations. I have two fitted and ready to go in the hangar but am doing a stirling job of resisting the temptation to fly them until I am properly skilled. The two that I have are both fitted differently, one with something of a controversial fit. There are two fits that I also want to try, the classic fit and I want to try an utterly bizarre fit that will need me to get Shield Upgrades V to fit. The latter will have to wait a while I think.

June also means that the Alliance Tournament starts this coming weekend. The Tuskers and The Bastards formed an Alliance for the purpose of entering. I have been doing bits here and there to help out with practice and will be cheering our team on from the bar & big screen TV in Hev V. Hopefully Mr Snypes ladies will be coming along to provide entertainment between matches. Good luck fellas.

Finally June will see the first true steps into bigger hulls and bigger guns as I start training for a Rupture. Minmatar Cruiser will be taken to V before I get into one of course and that will be the last skill on the plan that I train to avoid temptation to take one out for a spin.

Up to 14.7m SP now, and this months big gains are made in Drones, with some padding in Spaceship Command, Gunnery & Navigation. Drone skills should be fine where they are for a while, Navigation is nearly maxed out for me too. Next months gains will predominantly be in Gunnery & Missiles.

The main hangar is still well stocked, due to a further supply run bringing in a couple of new Rifter flavours to try and limited play time reducing my losses. I think I have around 55 ships in Hev right now with plenty more scattered about the universe.

Funding this are my hard working alt team. I don't know whether it's just me but this month station trading has been poor, bringing in 138m isk to the coffers which is well down on last month. I have "lost" an alt from station trading to being my prober which has an impact, especially as I have invested quite a bit of isk into his Covops, skill purchases & implants. Given time I should be able to get him to earn his keep. My afk miner is resplendent in a Hulk too which has eaten up a chunk of isk. Overall it's been an expensive month given the reduced level of income.

I should probably save the months stats update for following the MEME started by Romeo but I'll give a brief summary here as normal:
- Tuskers Battleclinic rank is all over the show lately, so we'll see next month when hopefully it settles down.
- Battleclinic is also broken at the moment, but Kirith is upto around 590 kills for 104 losses. I have been having a bit of a laugh with Slasher & Burst frigates recently so expect to see them die in a fire on Battleclinic soon!

Monday, 31 May 2010

Tusker Interview #10

The latest interview by Romeo Blakstorm is now up here. This weeks interview is with the highly successful in house kamikaze pilot and director of a number of EVE videos Issamailkin.

Check it out to find out what goes through the mind one of our more kamikaze style pilots.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Come on lads, don't you know there's a war on?

Well, err no actually.

I don't know actual the reasons why, but at some point in the last few days the Nostradamus Effect Alliance retracted its war against The Tusker Bastards Alliance. Of course there are some obvious hints on our killboard as to the reason why, but I wouldn't like to state that as the reason.

The war, was well, very strange. Trying to camp a pirate corp into their home station with about 4-6 pilots probably isn't the greatest idea. Who knows how many Tusker vessels are holed up the bowels of that station but if I'm anything to go by, it's a helluva lot. This gave our pilots the ability to pretty much choose whatever they pleased to undock in. Of course, much docking games were had but props to them that they did fight occassionally. Unfortunately I think I missed out on all the fights.

Lately I've not been getting so much time online, or on the blog as I imagine that you have noticed. No, I'm not quitting EVE or taking a break! Dratted real life presents a massive work load. Work's busy as we hurtle towards the annual audit and at home the sale of my house was agreed a few days back so I'm going to be sorting all that and somewhere new to live out in the coming weeks.

A couple of parting shots for this short blog entry:

I'm very pleased to see that it looks like Battleclinic is up and running properly again after a weeks brainfart on rankings. Thanks BC team for fixing it.

My probing skills on my alt are continually improving, today we took out a mission running Drake & also a mission running Rupture. I'm loving the probing alt and can't wait to get him in a proper Covops ship!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Tusker Interview #9

Interview number nine in Romeo Blakstorms Tusker interview is available hot off the presses here.

Be sure to go have a read and get the latest scoop on a Tusker member.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Are you ready for a war lads?

Today just before downtime The Tusker Bastards Alliance received devastating news. We find ourselves the subject of a wardec. As you will imagine, the following 24 hours will be spent gathering enough provisions to see us through this mighty siege that we can expect, the women and children have been ordered into secure locations deep within Hev V. We await the delivery of white flags which shall adorn our vessels during this coming war. Surely the agressor shall not violate the flag of truce?


Who in their right mind wardecs a pirate corp who can be shot anywhere by virtue of outlaw status anyway. Issuing a wardec on a pirate corp gives the agressor a significantly weakened fighting position as we can freely shoot them now under sentry guns. Not that we are complaining, in fact I think we can offer them an open invitation to the Tusker BBQ's that regularly take place in Hevrice. Mr Snypes cabin crew usually provide the entertainment and Kishin, boy can that lad cook a rack of ribs. We look forward to seeing all of you Nostradamus Effect boys in local sometime soon.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Mr Snypes

The Tuskers seem to be renowned for their blogging, you enter a system and frequently are greeted by comments about Tuskers and blogging. Usually complimentary comments I should add, rarely negative, sometimes its just why do so many Tuskers write blogs?

Fellow Tusker and pirate of some significant repute Mr Snypes has recently gotten a blog up and running. I would recommend heading over to have a read, it's one of the most amusing blogs that I read and always makes me smile. Especially as when I read it I seem to read it with the voice of Snypes in my head!

PS. The pictures of his cabin crew certainly add some appeal too...

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Another 100 landmark reached and exceeded with Kirith last night. I finally reached 100 losses.

Now most people know that I fly my ships pretty damn wrecklessly so to hear that I have hit 100 losses won't be a surprise. Indeed some people probably think I have lost way more than that.

For the tale of that hundreth loss I would love to regale you all with some spectacular story of getting blown up in blaze of glory. The truth however isn't so interesting sadly. Feeling quite chuffed with delivering revenge to some pilots who had earlier in the evening killed another "Doomed Wolf" of mine I cheerily went on into Lisbaetanne with my Thrasher, spotting a Rifter sat in a belt I threw caution to the wind and dived in (that's my style) and fairly quickly despatched it. However all was not well as an Ishkur, Dramiel & Rifter landed on me and proceeded to blow my poor Thrasher to pieces.

So, roll on 200.

I am therefore running a competition to see who can correctly guess the ship type that will be my 200th loss. The prize will be 50m isk (I don't have loads of liquid iskies ya'know) paid upon the death of my 200th ship as listed at Battleclinic.

To enter this fun contest just drop me (Kirith Darkblade) an in-game EVE Mail with the subject "200 Competition" with the ship that you think will be my 200th loss. I'm looking for specifics like:

Federation Navy Comet NOT Frigate. However Pod is of course valid.

Entries are open until midnight May 31st EVE time. Be aware that the prize may not be awarded for a long time as it depends how long it takes for me to lose 200 ships! In the event of a tie for the correct answer the prize will be split evenly.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Tusker Interview #8

For those that have been heeding my advice and checking out Romeo Blakstorm's Tusker interview series, this one is a classic and one of my favourite yet.

I heartily recommend that you check it out here

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Wolf

I've been able to fly Minmatar Assault Ships for a couple of months or so now, first I tried the Jaguar and was left dissappointed. Second I tried the Wolf, and again was left feeling dissappointed.

I would really like to love flying these ships but somehow they just don't do it for me. My most fundamental reason for the dislike stems from the lack of the Rifter hulls tracking bonus. Throw that on them and they would go up no-end in my estimations. However, they are what they are unless CCP changes them.

I have lost three Wolves thus far I think, two of them them against possibly the worst type of ship for them to fight against, Arbitrator & Pilgrim. The other I lost trying to solo a Drake. Typing those sentences makes me realise that perhaps my expectations of this Frigate hull have been perhaps rather high!

I have only been running a single fit on my Wolf thus far, which is as follows:

[Wolf, KD: 125mm & rep]

4x 125mm Gatling AutoCannon II (Republic Fleet EMP S)
Rocket Launcher II (Foxfire Rage Rocket)

Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Fleeting Progressive Warp Scrambler I

Damage Control II
Small Armor Repairer II
Gyrostabilizer II
400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I
Small Projectile Burst Aerator I

My skills:
8560 EHP
860 m/s
227 dps
Runs the rep for around a minute

I am determined to keep testing Assault ships as I really do want to like them, perhaps the changes in Tyrannis to insurance will make this mission a bit easier on the wallet.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

An Introduction to Boosters in EVE Online

And so, as promised I present the guide written (to the best of my knowledge) by fellow Tusker Don Pellegrino on the subject of how Boosters work in EVE:

What is a Combat Booster and what does it do?

They work exactly like temporary implants. Each booster uses a booster slot.
Boosters related to tanking in some way use Slot 1.
Turret boosting drugs use Slot 2.
The only missile booster uses Slot 3.

At any given time, you can have up to 3 boosters active (1 per slot).
Boosters are available in 4 different types and 8 different flavors (so 32 kinds total).

Most boosters can cause side effects and the general misundertanding of the side effects is the reason why so few people use combat boosters. All types of boosters except Synth can cause up to 4 side effects at the same time. However, for a 20% chance side effect booster, the chance to suffer from all the possible side effects at once is only 0.002%.

Also, even if you are that 0.002% unlucky guy, almost all the time (it depends on your fit), your ship is still more powerful than without the booster.

The types are:

Synth: Very little bonus, no side effect and legal in highsec.
Standard: Best price/performance ratio, most popular. (20% side effect)
Improved: A lot more expensive (about 5M to 12M) than standards, it is also more powerful. (30% side effect)
Strong: Very pricey (about 7M to 20M), it's for those situations where you need to tank well over 2,000 dps in a Hyperion or deaggress your carrier on a station while being shot at by several dreads. (40% side effect)

The flavors are:

It boosts the effectiveness of armor repairers. They repair more per cycle (they don't cycle faster, so it doesn't use more capacitor).
Possible side effects:
- Total armor hitpoints reduction
- Maximum capacitor reduction
- Turret tracking reduction
- Bigger missile explosion radius

Summary: It is pretty much a must have for ships that rely on active armor tanking to survive. Due to the possible maximum armor reduction, it doesn't work very well on hybrid tanks (buffer and repairer). A standard Exile booster makes it possible to tank 1,000 dps in a Myrmidon (triple rep) and 1,600 in a Hyperion (dual rep).

Blue Pill:
It boosts the effectiveness of shield boosters. They boost more per cycle (they don't cycle faster, so it doesn't use more capacitor).
Possible side effects:
- Maximum shields hitpoints reduction
- Maximum capacitor reduction
- Turret optimal range reduction
- Slower missile explosion velocity

Summary: It is pretty much a must have for ships that rely on active shield tanking to survive. A standard Blue Pill booster makes it possible to tank 1,400 dps in a Maelstrom.

It increases your maximum capacitor. Due to the way capacitor (and shields, by the way) works, having more maximum capacitor means that it recharges more GJ per second, even if it takes the same time to go from 0% to 100%.
Possible side effects:
- Shield boosting reduction
- Bigger missile explosion radius
- Turret optimal range reduction
- Armor repairing reduction

Summary: At first, those side effects look to be very bad, but keep in mind that most of the time you will not get any of them, and that they don't do much anyway. However, in case you haven't noticed, a shield buffer tanked ship using projectile weapons won't suffer from a side effect at all. Vagabond, Cynabal, Ishtar, Jaguar, shield tanked Hurricane and Rupture (amongst many others) will be able to run the MWD or neut during a lot longer! Logistics ships benefit a lot from it, too.

It reduces the signature radius of your ship.
Possible side effects:
- Maximum armor reduction
- Maximum shields reduction
- Turret falloff range reduction
- Bigger missile explosion radius

Summary: It reduces a lot of drone and missile dps and also makes it even harder to hit a tackling interceptor. Armor tanked logistics sometimes use it along with an afterburner.

It increases turret tracking.
Possible side effects:
- Maximum shields reduction
- Armor repairing reduction
- Turret falloff range reduction
- Maximum ship velocity reduction

Summary: A standard Drop booster is like having the skill Motion Prediction at 10. The difference is tremendous. It is a must have for any turret battleship. The side effects can (they aren't so common) be annoying for shield and active armor setups, but a buffer armor fitted ship won't be affected at all. Imagine a Blue Pill boosted 800mm AC Maelstrom using Drop.

It increases turret optimal range.
Possible side effects:
- Shield boosting reduction
- Maximum armor reduction
- Turret tracking reduction
- Maximum ship velocity reduction

Summary: Perfect for sniping ships, it lets you use higher damage ammo or sit further out. Drop booster works better at closer ranges.

Sooth Sayer
It increases turret falloff range.
Possible side effects:
- Armor repairing reduction
- Maximum shields reduction
- Turret optimal range reduction
- Maximum ship velocity reduction

Summary: Not many sniping ships fight in falloff (apart from the Muninn: 50% optimal and 50% falloff), but no side effect can affect buffer armor fitted ships, so it is a very good alternative to Drop, depending on how you use your projectile based ships.

It reduces missile explosion radius.
Possible side effects:
- Shield booting reduction
- Maximum ship velocity reduction
- Missile velocity reduction
- Maximum armor reduction

Summary: This one acts as a free Target Painter. It turns your Heavy Assault Missiles (HAMs) into Heavy Missiles and Heavy Missiles into Assault Missiles when it comes to hitting smaller ships, while retaining all the damage from the bigger missiles.

How can I use them?

You need the skill Biology at level 1 to use synth and standard boosters. It generally takes 7 minutes to train. You need Biology 2 for Improved and 3 for Strong boosters.

There's 3 skills that are related to boosters:

Biology: Lets you use boosters and extends the duration time by 20% per level.

Nanite Control: It is a very expensive skillbook (300M) and it isn't mandatory at all. It is definetly not a good buy unless you have money to throw around. It reduces the severity of side effects.

Neurotoxin Recovery: Requires Nanite Control 1. Reduces the chance to get side effects. It costs about 10M.

To use a booster, right-click on it and hit Consume:

It is now active. You can see the remaining time under Augmentations in your character sheet.

How can I get some boosters and how much do they cost?

Apart from synth boosters, they are illegal to carry in highsec (you can still fly and fight under the influence by consuming it in lowsec) and will result in a faction standings and security status loss.

If you are interested in obtaining a supply agreement for Boosters your corp or your alliance then drop an in-game mail to CanDmaN, though be aware that he will be looking to deal in bulk agreements.


Boosters are powerful and make a huge difference in a fight. Yes, the entry level of Booster isn't exactly cheap for most people, but they make enough of a difference to any T2 ship (and rigged BC/BS) to be cost effective. The cost is nothing compared to the cost of a fitted Jaguar (35M) or Battleship (150M when rigged, 60M loss after insurance). If you use them the right way, they will save your ship and make those close fights go your way.

Big thanks to Don for taking the time to write the detailed post that he did, it certainly cleared up some misconceptions that I had and puts the information in a very easy to digest format.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Tusker Interview #7

The next in line of Romeo Blakstorm's series of interviews is now available, this time our intrepid reporter meets with Kopecky I suggest that you go and read it here.

In other news, I hope that this week I will get around to posting up an article I have been wanting to do for a while now. Fellow Tusker Don Pellegrino recently posted an excellent guide to the somewhat widely misunderstood Boosters on The Tusker forums. I'll be bringing that guide to the wider community in the near future.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Two "new" Rifter loadouts

Before I get onto the main body of the post, following my last post about the 1m isk bounty it seems to have increased up to the heady height of over 25m isk now and certainly attracts some interest from fellow pirates who now would quite like to take it for themselves! Nothing quite beats having a nice number over your head for me as a pirate, I just hope that I don't go and get podded now and lose it again...

Anyway, to the main body of the post. To regular readers you will know that so far in game with my 13m sp I have only ever flown Minmatar Frigate hulls with the occasional foray into the Thrasher. The Rifter is where I always come back to, it's just capable of incredible feats whether by skill, balls or blind luck (delete as appropriate). To new readers then, this sets the scene.

To date I have had a distinct preference for the cap boosted gank machine Rifter which has been posted elsewhere in this blog. What I have come across recently is the undoing of said cap-boosted Rifter by other Rifters mounting a web. This traversty surely cannot stand. Time to change my setup to move with the times as more and more ships I fight now seem to have fallen in love with webs again. Change and adapt.

With that said I decided on my last supply run to buy 15 Rifters upon which to test my two "new" loadouts. And so, in just over a week I have lost a single one, and that was down to simple unintelligent piloting by me.

The first loadout is slow by Rifter standards, but sports some nice ehp courtesy of an armour buffer, bigger guns and a web. With the bigger guns came a decline in the tracking that I am used to so a tracking enhancer has also been introduced.

[200mm AC Heavy]
3 x 200mm Autocannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
1 x Rocket Launcher II, Gremlin Rage Rocket

1 x Fleeting Progressive Warp Scrambler
1 x X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
1 x Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters

1 x Micro Auxillary Power Core
1 x Tracking Enhancer II
1 x 400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates

2 x Small Trimark Armour Pump
1 x Small Projectile Burst Aerator

My skills put her at 4400ehp, 122dps, 877m/s. In solo fights its a very tough mofo, however if you are engaging multiple targets solo in the same engagement then it's probably going to die.

The second loadout being tested is more of a falloff fighter, pretty easy on controlling range. A variation based originally on the old cookie cutter fit with a few swaps on modules.

[Caned & Unable]
3 x 150mm Light Autocannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
1 x Rocket Launcher II, Gremlin Rage Rocket

1 x Fleeting Progressive Warp Scrambler
1 x X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
1 x Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters

1 x Small Armour Repairer II
1 x 200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates
1 x Gyrostabilizer II

2 x Small Projectile Ambit Extension
1 x Small Projectile Burst Aerator

My Skills put this one at 2700 ehp, 146 dps at a speed of 1070m/s. Everything runs for 36 seconds which of course is stable without the repper active. Having never been a fan of falloff fighting I do actually like this ship for it, its pretty effective.

I have yet to reach firm conclusions on the capabilities of these two, so time remains to tell. I have a couple of other loadouts I want to try on my next delivery which include shield tanks & MWD's so watch this space in months to come for the low-down.

On an unrelated note, A small crew of around 8 Tuskers were fortunate enough to receive word of a carrier (Archon) and a command ship (Sleipnir) doing a site in a wormhole. Forces were mustered quickly and despatched. The Sleipnir died extremely quickly followed by the Archon. Props to the carrier pilot for not self-destructing! I was there to offer a token frigate hull presence on the mails =)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

To Whomever placed the 1m isk Bounty...


It's always nice to have a bounty, I miss my old 20m isk+ one but c'est la vie as some say.

I just wish you could find out who put them there.

My first shot at Fleet Command

...albeit a bunch of Frigates, was quite good fun.

Readers will possibly recall a couple of months ago that I said that I would give FC'ing a go at some point in the future, well Kishin had pulled at my sleeves quite a bit about teaming up for a run down to my old haunts and I eventually caved. I posted up the Op on the corp forums and was fairly surprised at how popular it seemed. Some 9 pilots had signed up a ship to the cause, despite me stating that this run was estimated to take a helluva long time and cover over 80 jumps. As I was wary of my inexperience at being FC I decided after recommendation by a corp-mate to cap loss reimbursement at 5m isk to encourage T1 non-faction frigates, any "shinies" were bring at your own risk.

Looking at the roam in retrospect, I can see that it was too long and I was flagging at the end. It was however fun, and nice to breeze through gate camps in our bunch of Frigates. Targets were scarce unfortunately, though that's not a factor that I can influence. I imagine I will FC again, though I feel the preparation that I put in planning the route and setting up in & outbound safes paid off. Without the preparation I think my experience would have been very different. It was also nice not to be a Scout, sitting back in almost armchair mode. I made some effort to try and rotate the Scouting too so that no-one was unduly lumbered.

Below is the After Action Report I posted:
We departed on time from Hevrice with our Frigates and set course for Huola, encountering no targets we headed on towards Evati. In the system Hofjaldgund a Faction Warfare mission opened and Tsubutai went in with his Claw and swiftly despatched a Kestrel, no sooner had the Kestrel been dealt with than a Rifter landed. I called the fleet to warp to the mission but the Rifter was down before most of us landed. And so we continued onwards. We chased a few targets around in Hadozeko but alas they came to naught aside from bagging a few abandoned drones after Tsubutai managed to chase off an Arbitrator in another Faction Warfare Mission. We moved through Evati and in to Todifrauan where a neutral Rifter pilot had the gall to engage Kishin on a gate. Kishin having none of it killed him stone dead. After a short rest stop our fleet numbers diminished to six as some folks needed to log. We headed the back way towards Aralgrund but found nothing available to us. We did see a couple of large gangs but slipped by past them. Setting destination back to Hevrice we methodically scouted systems for targets as we downsized to five members as the roam had gone on for what must have been around 3 hours. Mr Snypes who was ably scouting for us at this point announced sight of a Brutix and tackled it as the rest of the gang were engaged by an Omen on the gate in Ingunn, giving the order to jump in rather than agress the Omen we warped Mr Snypes only to see our brave Incursus go "poof" :o, gladly though additional points had been applied to the Brutix. We took out his flight of Warrior II's and ECM drones before making short work of his pure gank shield buffer fit. Warping to a safe to wait out GCC so that we could dock up with the loot Mr Snypes searched the local markets for a new noble steed and found one in a neighbouring high-sec system. Once GCC was up he purchased the craft and rejoined the fleet as fortunately his incursus was very generous dropping 100% of the modules on to make fitting the new one a breeze. While we were waiting out our GCC we were probed out by the Omen pilot we encountered earlier. Seeing him land with us and being nicely pre-aligned we warped to another safe much to his chagrin. It went that smoothly that Kishin didn't realise that we had moved :!: Back in fighting form we continued our journey back to Hevrice. It was when we reached around 10 jumps from Hevrice Zombie, who was scouting announced four EVE Uni pilots in system in Interceptors & covops. We set up a bait for them which they took eventually and then dropped a fleet of around 25 ships onto poor Zombie who had no means of escape. I certainly was flagging by this point in the roam, some 5-6 hours after we had started and we make best speed for Hevrice.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

April 2010 Character Review

Now down to 279 days to go on the Rifter plan, it's reassuring to continue to watch it gradually diminish and I am happy that I continue to make progress despite the increasing temptation to fly other ships.

The next goal is the Dramiel, I will train up Gallente Frigate V once the remaining three Drone skills of Drone Durability, Drone Interfacing & Minmatar Drone Specialisation are at IV. I anticipate that we will be in June however before I am behind the controls of the aforementioned Dramiel.

The most significant increases in skill distribution this month are seen in Drones, Navigation, Engineering & Electronics. Aside from the Drone skills it is slow going as the Rifter plan skills are all level V's left to train with minimum train times of just under 8 days.

Kirith's main hangar was restocked this month, at a cost of around 120m isk. There are now just under 40 fitted ships in Hevrice with more in other locations. I have steered away from the T2 Assault Ship hulls this time as I am finding myself disappointed with their performance. Instead of the T2 hulls I bought 10 Rifters with a loadout I want to test, I'm sure I will lose quite a few before I get a true feel for them. I will post the fit in a future post.

My alts are doing a sterling job of station trading still this month, station trading alone this month has brought in 252m isk. Not bad for 20 minutes spent per day I feel. Less than a week now until the afk miner is into a Hulk.

Updated Battleclinic stats:
- The Tuskers are ranked 36th, up one place on last month.
- Kirith has 498 kills for 95 losses.
- Accumulated assets destroyed total of just under 10.5bn.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Tusker Interview #6

Well, no posts for about a week, apologies. That thing called "Real Life" has thrown a curve ball as it sometimes has the habit of doing. The positive of this is that this evening I decided I was going to do something rather outrageous and completely out of character in the near future in real life to attempt counterbalance said curve ball!

Anyways, enough of that. Romeo Blakstorms latest Tusker interview is up. It's another recommended read. This time he interviews Kishin Hattori a fellow Rifter enthusiast. The interview took place only a few days after Kishin joined The Tuskers and I'm sure if interviewed now his answers might be a bit different in some areas.

You can read the interview here

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Spring has Sprung

Casiella Truza of Ecpiltic Rift posted a few days back about their in game plans in the near future taking them through Spring 2010. He asked the community if they had any interesting projects coming up.

Jumping on the bandwagon, this is what Kirith and my second account characters have lined up:

As I worked out this morning has another 118 days to go before setting foot into a Rupture. The Rupture will be nicely fitted out and have all the necesary skills to fly it well and I am very much looking forward to the day I fly cruisers, and especially battlecruisers.

Why so long? a lot of corp mates have asked. Well, of course I could fly it quicker than that but I have some rules that I am following you see. I am determined that I do not lose sight of my long term goal of flying a max skill Rifter. When I say max skill I mean literally every skill that is publically available and affects a Rifter I will have at 5 at the plans conclusion. This includes all of the support skills. Not only then will I fly a fairly overpowered Rifter, but loads of those skills will naturally benefit a host of other ships. But I digressed a bit, so back to the subject of why so long. Every skill towards the Rupture I am taking to least level 4, once I have that skill to 4 I do another Rifter skill to level 5 and interleave them. Eg.

- Combat Drone Operation, train levels 1-4.
- Fuel Conservation, train level 5.
- Drone Interfacing, train levels 1-4.

You get the idea. Now the shortest of my Rifter plan skills as they are all train to level 5's from 4 is currently 7 days 22 hours and they get longer from there.

There are two distinct sections of skills for the Rupture, Drones & Cruiser specifics like medium guns. Once Kirith completes training the Drone skills, a quick stint of Gallente Frigate 1-5 will be trained to give my a bit of fun as I plan to buy a Dramiel to mess around with.

The alts
My alts are still doing a comfortable job of station trading generating a nice income stream on their basic bog standard 5 orders. Bringing in an average of 8-10m isk per day for 30 minutes of time spent updating orders.

In 12 days my "afk miner" will be in a Hulk.
Plus 33 days an alt will be behind the wheel of a Charon Freighter
Plus 55 days the other alt will be a properly skilled Covops pilots

Kirith, Dramiel & Rupture
Alts, Hulk, Charon, Covops

How about you, anything interesting planned?

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

EVE Blog Banter #17: The Female of the Species

Welcome to the seventeenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

What could CCP Games do to attract and maintain a higher percentage of women to the game. Will Incarna do the trick? Can anything else be done in the mean time? Can we the players do our part to share the game we love with our counterparts, with our sisters or daughters, with the Ladies in our lives? What could be added to the game to make it more attractive to them? Should anything be changed? Is the game at fault, or its player base to blame?



CK you really do ask the greater community the easy questions sometimes don't you.

I have broken the "mighty paragraph" down into its constituent parts to attempt to answer it. My answers are based on my own involvement with female players of MMO's and may not of course be fair view of your average female MMO player. I am also a former long-time WoW player and much of the context I use will using that as a comparative.

What can CCP do to attract and maintain higher percentage of women?
Hmm, I'm not sure that both parts of this question fit together because there is the possibility that they adversely affect the other rather than compliment each other. You see if by the process of attracting female players there are changes to the game as we know it those changes "girlify" the game then CCP may succeed in raising the percentage by virtue of losing male players. I can bet my bottom dollar this won't be acceptable to them. So, anyway where was I?

Oh yes, how do CCP attract more female players? I think if I knew the absolute guaranteed answer to this I would be knocking on CCP's door and demanding a percentage cut of the new players they gain. I can only offer up my main suggestion, which is that CCP alter their....

EVE is marketed with imagery surrounding it's superb graphics, these images typically show ships, battles, explosions and destruction with a pretty backdrop. These typically are not the aspect of the game that the women I know look for in an MMO. Of course take these out and how do you grab the attention in your marketing? Find a way of presenting industry, trade and production. If we have to have some 'plosions and battles represented, how about concentrating on the "healer" and support roles of Logistics, Carriers and the like? The women I know have always preferred the support & healer roles along with maxing standings, crafting and trade skills. Also promoting that you do not have to grind your way through levels and progress in real time even when you are not online should receive some love.

A quote from a female friend who trialed EVE:

"It really only appears to be aimed at blokes who want to 'blow shit up'" & "It's geared to fighting and I don't think that's what most women look for in a game"

As for how CCP can keep their newly acquired and highly treasured female players, I think this will take care of itself. The game is very robust and has massive scope that is likely to "hook" them from very early on and drag them to the keep net. Of course EVE isn't for everyone, so there will always be natural wasteage.

Will Incarna Help?
Probably, though with the lack detail released at the moment I cannot add so much context to this. In my opinion (Dons Kevlar Helmet) women are more interested in vanity, and being able to create a visually pleasing to them incarnation will be something that I expect to be very important to them, especially so in the interaction between players. I expect that us males can only sit back and adore some of the creations that they will model. Though of course that assumes there will be player input into creation of the incarnation along with it's external appearance. Whereas I anticipate most GIRL's (Guy In Real Life) avatars will probably end up slutty incarnations of some sort, at least for male players in their tweens.

Can CCP do anything else in mean time?
Of course, changes to marketing. Raising the games profile to a female audience. And building a solid way for sexual harassment in game to be handled will show that CCP care and are serious about its female gamers. A dramatic shift in population male:female is bound to spark off the heap of immature folk we have amongst us in game.

What can the existing players do?
Existing players can do a lot when around female players. This applies to both new and veteran players alike. Practically foaming at the mouth and drooling over them like some slack jawed beast is not going to endear them to you or the game is it? Not treating the female of the species like a complete idiot when they are playing is also a sure-fire way to piss them off big time. Sure they are a noob but we were all one once, remember. Interlacing sexual inuendo around them really pisses them off and is a sure way not to be spoken to again too.

What could be added?
More Epic Arcs with worthwhile rewards. The Entry level SOE Epic Arc is great for getting new players out into the blackness of space. Make more of them, but how about Arcs that are not just about blowing stuff up? Industrial and Exploration Arcs would be a superb hook I beleive.

Raise the profile of trading and add more detail to the tutorials surrounding areas like the market where you have for example the mystical and not well explained "Price History" Tab. I'm an accountant IRL and yes I understand it, but it would greatly benenfit from a better explanation.

Demonstrate the cycle of EVE and how everything links in the cycle of life, for example:

Miner>Ore>Sell Ore>Industrialist Buy Ore>Build Product>Sell Product>PVP Pilot Buy Product>PVP Action>New Ship Required>Return to Start

Should anything change?
In my opinion it doesn't need to, players are players ultimately whether male or female. Sat at my desk in control of my Pod/Ship I don't know (or care) if the person I shoot at who is sat at their desk is male or female.

Of course from CCP's perspective if they can access this untapped market then they can invest more RL isk into the game and potentially make it even better for us all!

Is the game at fault
Maybe, EVE is lets face it for the most part about the PVP. It's what makes the cycle of life quoted above turn over and keep the game, economy etc rolling. The women gamers I know are typically not into destruction. They are into support and creation.

Is the player base at fault?
I think the only fault here is a bunch of men trying to get/force/coerce their *Insert Female Relation Here* to try and EVE and sometimes push too much. All they will tell their friends is going to be *Bloke* tried to get me to play his computer game last night, I won't be doing that again. Be there to help them and give gentle support when they might need it.

As my ex-wife, MMO player said:

"It normally takes a man to get the woman into a game like EVE"

And I this I beleive is where better marketing, raising the profile etc will tip the balance and open up a host of womens eyes to the wonder of EVE. This is the obstacle for CCP to overcome.

Apologies if I have offended anyone in the content of this post. As I said at the start I am sure it is not representative of everyone but is based on personal experience.

A selection of some other participants in this Blog Banter so far include:
- Freebooted: The Rise of the Female Gamer
- Flashfresh: Women in my Spaceship, is she from Mars?
- Wench with a Wrench: Where are all the Wenches?
- A Merry Life and a Short One: You'd Rather be Playing SIMS Right?
- Sweet Little Bad Girl: EVE vs Women

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