Death of A Fortizar

[UPDATE: I have added a few updates to the article, in brackets like this one. These updates are clarifications from readers where I had incorrect information or understanding of events.] To those who are watching this sort of thing, Citadels and Wormholes are in the midst of an interesting relationship.  That relationship, as best I can tell, is that if you try to put up a Fortizar in a wormhole, a few groups will do whatever they can to come knock it down in the fifteen minute vulnerability window following the anchoring timer.  As of writing, 13 Fortizars have been destroyed in wormhole space.  Some combination of Hard Knocks, Of Sound Mind, and Lazerhawks have been involved in most of these kills. This article recounts the birth and death of my corp’s first Fortizar. To those unaware, any citadel is completely vulnerable and unable to have modules fit or fighters loaded for a minimum of fifteen minutes after the anchoring timer ends.  At the end of the fifteen minutes the citadel fully regenerates the hull, armor and shield, and you can fit and load your modules, weapons, and fighters.  This is why you see so many citadel kills where the Continue Reading →

Blog Banter 76: Whither Flagships?

Per Drackarn: At fanfest CCP Fozzie proposed a potential new ship class. Lets call it the fleet commander’s flagship for now. This is to try and prevent “FC Headshotting” where the opposing fleet knows who the FC is and alpha’s them off the field leaving the rest of the fleet in confusion and disarray. Fozzie mentioned a ship with a great tank but no offensive abilities. Is this a good idea? Is FC head-shotting a legitimate tactic? If CCP do go down the route of a “flagship” how might this work? Also is a new ship the answer or is there another way of giving an FC the ability not to be assassinated 12 seconds into the fight without letting players exploit it? To start this piece off, a few notes about how I play Eve.  I live in wormholes, which means my fights usually involve 3-15 people on a side, unless there is a particularly large fight happening around an eviction or a timer.  This is a vastly different scale than null sec or even some low sec battles where fleets are often an order of magnitude larger.  I also tend to fly in fleets where doctrine goes about Continue Reading →

Trading Traps

I flew an Onyx in combat for the first time last night. So I might as well type it up. The corp was running around, one group out searching and scanning, the other running sites to feed our insatiable hungry for isk. The call comes out over comms: “I’ve got two Dominixes in the C3 off lowsec. Running a site. Looks like they are repping each other.” Carebear fleet slams on the brakes, reships into things with pointy sticks and tackle, and we get in position on the LS>C3. I am sitting in my Onyx, trying to pretend I know how to bubble. We notice an Anathema jump through into the C3, but it is a third party so we don’t pay too much attention. The Domis are being annoying, warping around and being spread out. In the time it took us to stage they finished the wave they were on. We have two cloakies in the site, manuevering for initial tackle. The our FC says “All tackle jump and warp to site”. My braind someone decides that an Onyx is tackle, and I jump and warp. Then FC says “Hold cloaks”. Well crap, I just entered warp. “Ah shit, Continue Reading →

The Joy of Hunting

Since moving to wormhole life, a lot has happened.  A big part of what I do now is logistics, planning, and helping run the day to day corp stuff as I have joined the leadership of my new corporation.  Just to prove I still actually play Eve, I will recount my second completely solo kill. I logged in, not sure of what I was going to do.  Check on the POS?  Run my PI?  Oh, wait, there is an Imicus on d-scan.  I hop into my Loki (overkill, to be sure), and start looking for my prey.  I assume he has no cloak, as I see probes in space and he is still on d-scan.  I narrow him down to a particular planet, and warp over. My approach was good, but he was just outside of point range, and moving.  Moving in a direction that gave no good warp in, as it was towards the edge of the system.  I really need to make perches around each planet.  I start flying in the opposite direction, and the phone rings.  I have to help carry up groceries!  This is ok, though, as I can burn away for a minute or two, and use the distance to warp on him. One sprint of the stairs Continue Reading →

Tragic Tayra

The night started out rather slow, as many nights do.  No new sigs were to be found, but as luck would have it we had a chain of C2 to high sec, a few jumps out from Jita.  Time to sell some loot and goo.  But as I prepared to do so, we noticed a Procurer appear on dscan.  With only one ore site in system, I hopped into the Proteus and went to go get a nice perch and maybe pounce.  Sure enough, the mining barge was there, with the sole high slot obviously filled with a mining laser. I started to maneuver, and checked who was in system with me to help.  I have a Procurer, and you can fit a rather sizeable tank on those.  I wanted some back up in case this was a trap.  Of course, no one was in system with me.  Then the Procurer warped off, and left the system.  Time to move cargo I guess. I had second thoughts about my original plan of taking everything in one expanded hauler, and piled my sleeper goodies into a covops, and dropped it off safe and sound in the HS system.  I came back Continue Reading →

The Championship Tournament of Winners

Reading through Jester’s posts about the recent New Eden Open got me thinking about competitive tournament play in Eve and in other games. I can think of a few broad types of ranked play in gaming. The DOTA/LoL approach, with lots of characters and a set map with set objectives. The FPS approach with identical classes and rankings based on K/D rates and what have you. The RTS approach of winning matches against other players. The WoT approach where you have either informal rankings based on metrics or Clan tournaments. The ad-hoc Eve tournaments with weird buy-ins, metagamey team composition mechanics and various win conditions that have varied. The WoW arena approach. All of these have strengths and drawbacks that are far too numerous to go into at any length. The point is there are a lot of ways to skin this cat. Coming from a rather uninvolved standpoint, I want to come up with a new way to do tourneys in Eve! In my experience the biggest problem to most competitive gaming formats is either a lack of depth, or so much depth that the mental barrier to entry is too high for most people to get into a Continue Reading →

Reasonable Foreseeability

In the wake of Burn Jita 2, I have a few thoughts: Who plays Eve, but ignores the metagame? How do haulers, one of the most at-risk groups to events like BJ2, manage to ignore it? What responsibility does CCP have to players in regards to known events that CCP is not actually causing? I’m fairly sure the answers to the first two are something like “many” and “through dumb luck”.  But the anser to the third is not clear.  One very angry pilot posted the following in part of a draft letter he plans to send CCP, and posted on the forums: “Lack of capacity in Jita causing a large amount of ships (likely on autopilot) containing vast wealth to be stuck on the gates around the system.” In the larger context of the letter, he was implying CCP’s lack of ability to meet player demand for access to a system was responsible for a large number of the deaths in Burn Jita 2.  This made me stop and think for few minutes.  What we have here is a player trying to apply a real world legal principle to Eve online, a game made on a pile of interconnected Continue Reading →

Making NPCs Matter – Blog Banter 46

“EVE Online is a unique piece of science fiction that is ‘participatory’.” – CCP Seagull, December 2012 EVE Online is heading into its Second Decade with renewed vigour and a new development strategy. At the CSM Summit in December, Executive Producer CCP Unifex and Development Director CCP Seagull explained how future development and expansions will be broader in scope than recent “collections of features” stating that CCP “want to create something more inspirational, that players aspire to play.” With the return of Live Events such as the Battle for Caldari Prime, clearly the prime fiction of EVE is back in favour as part of this new thematic approach to expansions. However, EVE’s story is very much a tale of two playstyles, with an entirely player-driven narrative unfolding daily in parallel to the reinvigorated backstory. Often, they do not mix well. How can these two disparate elements be united or at least comfortably co-exist in a single sandbox universe? The biggest disconnect between the lore of Eve and the Reality of Eve, in my mind, is that nothing players do has much impact of the NPCs of New Eden, aside from making an endless supply of red crosses explode. The following Continue Reading →

Meanwhile, In Black Rise…

I had surgery a few days ago, so I missed all the fun in Enulari over the weekend.  Boo! No longer will the Caldari be using Ena for quick jumps into Nenn.  Hikkoken, my favorite place to lose frigates, has no stations.  In fact, no systems that the Caldari control neighboring Nennemaila have stations, so I kind of hope the squids push back and take something.  So I’m fighting neutrals and lowering my sec status.  I’ve found a few fights there recently, and I just had a fun one that makes me like Eve. I’m in Hikkoken, running down buttons, because why the hell not?  I’ll take a nice pile of LP for hitting the scan button.  A neutral Atron hopped into my plex (because I own it, right?).  I was also in a kitey Atron, and we had a fun little dance.  I wasn’t quite hitting enough, but he kept letting me get out of point range.  So I got out at mid structure.  GFs happen, and then he says “I need to learn to fly better.”  I told him to not let me get out of point range.  We both ran back to Nenn, and met up in Continue Reading →

Double Play in a Three Way

Low sec faction warfare has a lot of wrinkles any time engagements start.  An interesting twist to many fights is that allies in one moment are you foes the next.  Amongst faction warfare pilots, you have those who have hit pirate status (pies) and those who either haven’t by choice or those who haven’t simply because it takes some time to drop your sec rating.  I joined FW with a shiny 5.0.  As I write this, one month in, I stand at 3.8.  Yep, I’ve become that evil bastard that shoots the innocent.  Sometimes. Tonight we had a nice little fight that showed how all of these mechanics work.  My corp had meeting to discuss various things, and then we decided the proper way to conclude business was a gate camp in Akidagi, on the Ichoriya gate.  For those who are unaware, Icho is a HS Caldari system jumping into low, so it gets s moderate amount of consistent traffic from both Militias, neutrals, and pirates.  It’s a good place to catch those who are not taking the proper precautions when entering low sec.  It’s also a really nice place to catch Caldari Militia loners who don’t bother checking intel. Continue Reading →