I found myself with a free day today, and as is often the case when this occurs I didn’t have anything particularly pressing to do. What better time to do something silly and pointless in EVE!
Now, the key to a successful low-budget adventure lies in setting an arbitrary goal for yourself, and doing something you have not done before. Well, that’s what I enjoy anyways.
A while back I came across a solo high-sec exploration fitting for the reliable old Heron frigate, it’s cheap as dirt and apparently works. So I went out and bought one, it only cost me like 2 million isk in total or something similarly trivial, this also puts this in range of the greenest of newbies to do! You will need a few scanning skills to do the exploration thing, but in highsec the demands are fairly trivial.
[Heron, Hi-Sec Cheapskate Heron]
Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Small C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I
Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I
Prototype Cloaking Device I
Core Probe Launcher I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
It can carry 6 small drones, and deploy up to 3 at a time, I brought some hobgoblin IIs, but if you cannot use those tech 1 drones should work just as well.
In order for this to be entertaining, I needed a goal. And as I was shopping for my ship one quickly presented itself! There is a fancy Heron skin, the Sukuuvestaa Heron. I want it.
Now it is important to understand that I can buy about 800 of these right now should I so choose, but that would be missing the point! The Goal then is to earn enough is screwing around in my godawful ship to buy the fancy paintjob. Good to go!
Time to get to work!
Now, I’m not going to go into detail on probing and finding sites here, if you’re a new player reading this, there are plenty of places to read up on the skills you need and how to do it, such as this EVE-university wiki page.
I set my destination to some highsec system in gallente space and dropped a single probe in each system as I went along to see if there was anything to probe out in detail. I ran across a truly frightening amount of wormholes initially (not very useful to my battleheron… but maybe an idea for the next low-budget shenanigans) until, at last I located my first actual site.
This turned out to be a Mag-site, which disappointingly contained nothing to BRAWL with the Heron. It did however contain three cans which my Analyzer I switfly opened for me, revealing a cache of (relatively worthless) salvage and two jury rigging skillbooks. Meh. Still, free is free, and the site looked really good!
The Great Unknown has many secrets.
A few jumps further along I finally found something more interesting, a Radar site presented itself, which would hopefully contain some resistance as well as juicy data-shards for me to hack into in hopes of some fancier loot.
As it happened the site contained three Destroyers and two of the shards. The ever-homicidal drones in my dronebay made extremely swift work of the Serpentis scum and I set about hacking the shards.
Jackpot! In one fell swoop I was already halfway to my goal! (something which actually kinda bothered me). With a few mill in my cargo I left the lag-inducing dust and debris field and went back into the unknown.
And away we go again!
Next I found what turned out to be a 4/10 plex, something which I was not very confident my Heron would be able to kill, I also found a 3/10 plex which seemed more in my league… despite some unbelievers on twitter assuring me I was going to die in a horrific fireball.
Seriously, have a little faith guys!
Besides, does this look like the face of someone who is afraid of some red crosses?
Not scared, hombre.
I did however take the precaution of dropping up my loot thusfar in a station before diving headlong into the Rogue Drone Asteroid Infestation. As I warped in I realized I had neglected to fit anything capable of actually aggroing the NPCs in the site, meaning my drones would presumably get beat up. At first I was a little concerned, but then I hatched the plan of simply sending in my drones, popping a rat, and then calling them back.
…Which was what I spent the next fifteen minutes or so doing, until not a single rogue drone was left alive. Some handy piloting and pulsing the MWD ensured I never even needed my shieldbooster, and with careful micromanaging my drones stayed alive. I looted all of the fancy-pants cans and found I had now made enough money to trade in my Heron for a new, fancy, paint job!
And there you have it, two hours spent having good fun (in my opinion anyways) and my goal was achieved!
I can highly recommend this activity to newer players as well, the payout is really decent, the investment is very low, and you get to practice a lot of things that will be useful to you later in life.
Last night I found myself with no scheduled alliance ops, and very little desire to go look for people to shoot. As I often do on nights like those, I instead logged in on my alt account to muck around with my PI setup (my primary source of income in EVE). PI is not terribly exciting past the initial setup/tweaking phase, so I was bored out of my skull rather swiftly.
It was at this point that I recalled the claims of one of my corpmates about how good the new ORE Venture mining frigate was, and how he had no issues at all dealing with lowsec belt rats. After looking at the pricetag on the (cool looking) new industrial frigate, I decided I couldn’t really go far wrong for the pitiful amount it cost and bought one.
I made my way over to Goinard, took a deep breath, and warped to the top belt.
Almost immediately I was besieged by a pair of Serpentis Cruisers, I fired up the afterburner and marvelled at the impressive speed of my little yellow ship. Settling into a 5km orbit the rats had no chance of tracking the Venture, and while it took some time (lol 2 small drones) they eventually blew up. The next few minutes saw me struggling to find a nice juicy Jaspet rock to chew on (obviously, the overview settings of the most hated destroyer of Hulks is ill-suited for mining).
As I was doing this, I was having a lengthy nostalgic discussion with alliance buddy Lumpysnake about how large and scary and awesome EVE feels when you are just starting out, and how we had wished the Venture existed when we first started. The amount of money you can nab with one of these little rascals as a newbie would seem vast for a player just starting out. You never really get that feel back once you start piling up ships and isk in your assets later in your career.
Lumpy immediately decided to join me in my venture (I am SO sorry for that one) to relive, just for a moment, the days of old. He was on his way back to Goin with a mining frigate of his own when I was jumped in the belt by something I have never seen before… A hauler spawn of some description!
Now, I never rat on Helicity. EVER. Because that would damage my pristine and heard-earned -10.0 security status. So this was new to me entirely, I made a beeline for the Serpentis convoy (the venture has the most awful lock range in the game) and attacked them with my puny drones.
Imagine my surprise when the rat dropped a rare and apparently popular Mining Laser Upgrade… worth 55 million isk.
My venture had now paid itself back ten times over, and had I been an actual newbie (and not a total monster pretending to be one) I would now be RICH!
Lumpy and I screwed around with our ventures some more, killing rats, mining jaspet, clearing out the Abandoned Battleground site with assigned fighters and more nonsense.
We were having a blast in our bright yellow ships!
Of course like anything, this experience began to tire after a while, this is when we started hatching ever more elaborate ideas of what to do with these ships (more on that soon TM) and on the whole living-off-what-you-find experience of the newbie. I suggested we use the money from the Mining Laser Upgrade to obtain a pair of combat vessels with which to SAVE THE CITIZENS from the serpentis menace. Lumpy agreed and suggested we try the new Corax destroyer hull, fit with passive tank modules aimed at thermal/kinetic resists.
The interesting thing is, when you’re doing nonsense like this (especially with a guy filled with such boundless enthusiam about…anything as Lumpysnake has) a narrative tends to develop.
We went from trashtalking the rats, to donning outlandish accents and waging war against the serpentis who had so brazenly disrupted our mining. This all culminated with us running a full-on assault on their hidden base (we found a serpentis anomaly) to drive them from the belts (not really) with our top-of-the-line, cutting-edge prototype warmachines (shittily-fit Coraxes).
It was at this point we realized we were pretty tired, and had been so caught up in our play that well over 5 hours had passed.
We made about 20mil a piece after factoring in the ship purchases, which is absolutely nothing next to the billions in our corp wallets, but for just a little while, we had a small scale adventure and relived the excitement of our first days of playing EVE online, and that is priceless.
Hopefully, we will go on our next small scale adventure this weekend, where our objective is to steal as much Arkonor as we can from a nullsec alliance with our ventures. We’re probably going to die. And it won’t make a single difference.
I highly recommend giving this a go with a like-minded buddy if you find yourself being bored, grab some cheap crappy ships for like 5 million isk each and see how much money you can make and what kind of trouble you can get into from there.
The season for giving is truly upon us. And give generously we have! Plentiful gifts of torpedoes, bullets and laserbeams that is. I’ve not had much time/need to blog of late, but it’s been a busy few weeks, so I figured I’d make a shiny megapost for the holiday season. Let’s do this!
It’s more than meets the eye.
Anybody that lives in or frequents lowsec will be familiar with the occasional EVE-university megablobs. While somewhat annoying to smaller pirate outfits, the EVE-uni strategy of “make up for lack of skill(points) with overwhelming numbers and more blackbirds than you can shake a victorian afficionado at” is a sound one. While they may not fight exactly fair (who does that anyways?) I find it pleasing that at least they fight.
Of late they have evolved their strategem to involve heavier ships and triage carriers, which they employ in so called “Dragonslayer” operations, the idea behind these is to present a tempting target with about 70 battleships to bait out capitals, and then warp in a hundred more battleships and drop triage carriers.
Unfortunately for EVE-uni their OpSec leaves a few things to be desired, and when they set out to try and bait Rooks and Kings capitals on the night of the 25th of November their doom was already sealed.
Most pirate outfits cannot hope to match the sheer numbers of an EVE-uni fleet, least of all Shadow Cartel, however if there is one thing that can unite disparate groups of normally antagonistic pirate factions, it is the promise of a massive brawl with hundreds of potential killmails to be had. And so it was that our little Pirate Coalition was formed for the occasion as Balkan Express, Snuff Box, Stealth Wear inc. and Shadow Cartel joined forces to prepare to slay the slayers.
Long before the EVE-uni fleet was even assembled, our spies had been monitoring the enemy FC and noting the coming and goings in the staging system we pilfered from the leaked EVE-uni plans, it was with great joy that we noted their fleet size swell and swell until it contained some 200 pilots in local.
The plan was a simple one, Shadow Cartel would bait out the fight with it’s brand new Shield Triage fleet doctrine (a novelty to most, I am sure) holding down the enemy with a strong force of Navy Scorpions, Rattlesnakes and the odd Nightmare, hopefully weathering the ferocious storm of fire the dozens and dozens of EVE-uni battleships would no doubt unleash.
Once locked down the Snuff Box fleet would join the fray at range, providing long ranged Artillery firepower from their formidable Machariel fleet; they would also deal with the predicted heavy amounts of ECM ships we were likely to face.
Snuff Box in turn would be protected from tacklers burning at them by a mid-ranged picket of BALEX Navpocs with their own guardian support.
Provided the Shadow Cartel fleet would succeed in tanking the mind-boggling damage, EVE-uni would be trapped and slowly taken to pieces, they were likely to wish to engage at zero range in order to employ neuts; a fact which does not work against torpedo-belching scorpion-shaped vessels. at all.
We did not have to wait long once we were in position (though we did have to use an alt to give EVE-uni directions, as they took a wrong turn at the Siseide stargate) and soon Shadow Cartel found itself neck-deep in Abaddons, Megathrons and Dominixes. We immediately jumped in carriers to spring EVE-uni’s trap; in retrospect we made a critical mistake putting Itsme’s carrier into Triage too soon, as EVE-uni had a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of neuting boats in their fleet. This mistake was costly, but ended up keeping EVE-uni too interested to notice the counter trap being sprung and our allies arriving on field. EVE-uni apparently REALLY don’t like Itsme, soon after killing the carrier they began pouring everything they had into his second character’s Nightmare, neuting him so dry even his DCU shut off. Despite our best efforts we could not keep him up, but he took well over a million damage, yes you read that right a million before finally giving up the ghost.
After Itsme was off the field, it was my turn, apparently EVE uni shoots the names they know first. I felt a rather immediate twinge of “uh oh” when 150 ships suddenly had red brackets and rammed my finger down on the broadcast button as hard as I could. I lost power almost immediately, no cap to work with there was literally nothing I could do but angle sideways for a little bit of transversal, and keep pumping out Torpedos and hope for the best.
The Scorpion Navy issue took a beating few ships are likely to survive, but survive it did, it’s inherent resistance bonus keeping it alive quite comfortably upon reviewing the footage.
While things sound grim up until now, what I haven’t mentioned is that as all this was going on EVE-uni was hemorrhaging battleships at a truly terrifying rate. If you watch the EVE-uni video below you will see very few targets being called, comparison with our own video revealed that in the time it took them to take down the nightmare… we killed over twenty of their ships with our insane torpedo spam. Their Ewar vessels were also dead and gone at this point, obliterated by Snuff and BALEX’ ranged fire.
The fight ended shortly after, and we set about looting the 149 wrecks that EVE-uni had left in their wake, while recovering what we could from our 9 casualties. It was a great fight, I’m pretty confident everyone had a good time (Though if you watch the video you too may feel a little sad when the EVE-uni FC asks “type Y if you lost a battleship” and his chat window becomes a blur). More importantly, I think it also showed EVE-uni that they can’t always get away with being a bully simply through numbers. We’ll be watching them…
EVE-uni video (fight starts at 50minutes or so, Itsme dies and I get primaried at 1h4m)
Serpentis? More killmails you mean!
A few days later, CCP hosted a roleplaying event. While we do not particularly care for roleplaying (go to ex-veto members for that) in game, it became quickly obvious that the blob of Dev-piloted Serpentis Capitals and Vindicators (along with the NPC rats they were spawning on players) would no doubt attract a large number of curious folks, folks that quite obviously need killing. (protip: everyone, always, needs killing).
The uncertain nature of the event, and which parties might show up, led us to select a medium to long range 100mn oversized afterburning gang consisting mostly of Oracles, Tengus and Basilisks. This setup can put out some impressive damage at the right ranges and is very mobile, this would protect us from snipers and allow us to elude heavy fleet tackle. The drawback is that they are pretty unforgiving if you screw up, as they have all the agility of a runaway train.
By the time we arrived on the scene, Snuff Box (our allies from the EVE-uni fight) were already there, shooting at Serpentis (and anyone else) with their usual machariel setup, and some smaller parties were trying very hard to get a shot off at the CCP controlled ships without getting mauled by them. We did some driveby shooting at the Serpentis ships, taking great care not to get within the lethal web range of their vindicators, but were unable to do significant damage compared to their triage Thanatos repairs. As it became more evident that these guys were not going to die, Snuff and Shadow Cartel decided they were unable to kill eachother’s sniping setups anyways and it would be mutually beneficial to just kill everyone else and collect the goodies.
As this was developing, APEX, also present for some inexplicable reason tried to warp onto someone and failed utterly. As far as I was able to discern they landed in range of the vindicators and were promptly, and collectively, murdered for their effort by the firepower of everyone else (serpentis, snuff and shadow cartel alike).
This left only Snuff and ourselves as the RP events (the ones we don’t care about) wound down, we collectively set upon shooting as many of the Serpentis as we could and holding down the dreads and carriers so they had to self-destruct.
The night of the 12th of december saw several POSs belonging to Noir. which we had previously reinforced come out. We formed up in our Navy Scorpion fleet for the occasion, hoping to test it against a more experienced opponent than EVE-uni had proven to be. Sadly when we checked up on them, the formerly large, but sadly fallen, mercenary corporation was making no attempts to counter the destruction of their assets.
Sad as that was, we did get to see the wondrous splendour of massed Torpedo fire (with no lag) in action. Below is a selection of the screenshots I took, I’m sure you will agree they are esthetically rather appealing.
I heard you like escalating, so we put escalations in your escalation etc.
A common thread amongst low sec dwellers is their dislike of Supercapitals. This may seem odd to many readers, since many of us own and actively use titans and sometimes supercarriers, but it finds it’s basis in the nature of lowsec (no bubbles) and of supercaps (can’t be pointed without bubble or HIC). Basically supercaps are far too good in lowsec, and odds of having a HIC handy at random times are low, as they are quite useless in other situations where recon tackle is vastly superior. Anyways, I digress, the point is: ” if someone is leeroying a Nyx at random carriers, we WILL try and bait it ”
Which is exactly what we started out with last night. We found a brave soul willing to bait in the target system in a heavy duty Archon carrier and had cynos, tackle and HICs on standby. Sure enough only moments after jumping into the system the Archon was tackled.
The small number of ships on field could not even hope to break it’s massive tank of course, we had hoped this would bring out the Nyx pilot at the request of his friends in hopes of scoring a quick carrier kill. Imagine our excitement when the Nyx character logged in… and then the devastating disappointment when he arrived on field in a GODDAMNED GUARDIAN. The Archon continued to hold it’s own for an impressively long time, but in the end the arrival of a Bhaalgorn left us with no choice but to bail him out in structure.
The bhaalgorn pilot was sadly aligned the whole time and escaped, but I managed to snag a Tengu with my Sacrilege’s web and scram while lobbing a few missiles at a tackled tornado. They died with dissatisfying poofs, along with our hopes of grabbing this particular Nyx pilot.
Our disappointment was alleviated somewhat when upon arrival back in Goinard scouts reported a 50-man EVE-uni cruiser gang in the Old Man Star area, swiftly followed by reports of our Frenemies BALEX assaulting them with an armor cane fleet.
We decided to drop in on them with a heavy armor BS gang with triage support. To our delight we found them fighting eachother on a gate in pynekastoh, and wasted no time in barelling into the fray and gently applying megapulses to everything that did not have the presence of mind to flee: http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_related&kll_id=15469285 (not seen on this report, the fleeing EVE-uni blob).
Obviously this was rather overkill, but we were expecting to fight EVERYTHING, not just BALEX; oh well.
We then looted up and started making our way back when we realized we were being trailed by a BALEX rapier. No doubt BALEX intended to return the favor (BALEX are awesome guys, they LOVE fighting, and we love them for it) and drop on us with some heavy material.
At this stage we were all a bit battle-drunk and we decided we’d happily sacrifice some or all of our triage carriers for a chance at BALEX’ inevitable Dreadnoughts and/or supers. They soon bridged in their fleet and set up on the other side of the jumpgate. We decided to just go for it, jumped in, lit a cyno and dropped in the triage and began a close range slug fest with our battleships.
As predicted they escalated using dreadnoughts… unfortunately, this was precisely what we wanted…
We lit another cyno at range with an alt hastily burned over for the occasion and landed a handful of our own tracking dreads on the field. Everything became insanity, carriers and dreads exploding left and right, subcaps being mauled, then saved in structure… basically EVERYTHING THAT MAKES ME HAPPY.
My lasers spat death until I ran out of cap charges, then I looted a wreck of a fallen BALEX pilot for it’s cap charges to continue my violence. BALEX was giving it out as good as they got, ruining two carriers even as their dreads were dying. In the end BALEX lost the slugfest, but I am confident they had as much fun as we did. This is what fights should be like!
If this month continues in this manner, I am going to be WELL happy before the next year rolls around.