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.