fredag 23. mai 2014

AAR: A Conspiracy we didnt fail at completely

This evening started with scanning. And scanning. And scanning. We had several huge chains that all ended in endless c2-c2's. After a while we suddenly get a new signature in the c5 off our static. Scout goes in and its Red Coat Conspiracy's home system. Nice :)
Chain goes like this to them:

Retreat -> C5S (no effect) -> C5A (pulsar) -> C6A (Magnetar) RCC home

Since they are mainly us tz they might actually have a fleet we could meet up to as its early for them. But its late for us so we start pinging to get some more on. Scout report they warp a fleet to their static. Kiting shield fleet. Now we dont want to fight them in C5A. Us having a armor fleet could struggle against a kiting shield fleet there. (Mainly because we're bad at pvp). So we set up in c5s on our home hole. They got eyes on us and we got eyes on them so nothing is hidden really. Suddenly they engage on C5S wh inside C5A. It appears one of our guys went to bait them :D Its only a navy vexxor. Dies quickly. We hold a bit more and then they come rushing to engage. We jump to Retreat and burn off the hole. Jams go on their logi and it hits almost every cycle. They sit on our static now and mostly jumps out as we down them, but then they get a cynabal at range from wh. Finally a kill of an otherwise stalemate fight. RCC calls it and head back home.

In hindsight we could probably have taken the fight to the pulsar considering we managed to get jams on their logi.Well live and learn I guess :P

Didnt look like zkill or eve-kill wanted to link the two kills to same fight but each is listed above. 

torsdag 22. mai 2014

AAR: Probes in Static

So we were basicly rolling our static to make use of a lowsec in a different chain to roam the locals. New static was scanned and scout reported back. "This is the home of Probe Patrol" Confusion breaks out. Should we hurry and close the hole and go ahead with our former plan? Or take a fight to Probe Patrol. We decide to close. Fleet is told to warp to static. Arriving there I notice most of the fleet isn't actually there. I warp to some of the others. We are split. Half the fleet is sitting on the wrong wormhole. Instantly people realize the bookmarks are messed up. Not good. Huei makes a quick call to regroup at tower. I'm already on my way back to c5s and landing there we see the first Loki of probe patrol jumping through. He goes straight for tackle on me (did I mention I was in a Celestis?). I throw my damps on him and start burning off the wh. He sit tight on wh and eventually jumps back. Our scout report a fleet forming up and heading for the wh. Theres no option of closing now. We either fight or blueball. We reship to our ishtar doctrine. They jump their fleet in. Phobos put up bubble on our side. I already have a stratios on its way to making warpin beneath the bubble. FC is named. A few more minutes gets wasted on lazy people who dont know what ship they should take (did I mention this was actually a alliance doctrine /shakemyhead) and we warp to engage. Final number we count us having 12 vs their 18. Ishtars vs pure t3 fleet. We unleash our drones but I really feel for them. Going up against 5 guardians isnt a work any drone enjoy. Not at all. They might even decide to demand a raise for this. I'm not having any of that. As I burn away I quickly abandon my gardes and launch bouncers for better range. Our two guardians hold the incoming damage just fine. We are all holding fine. But we're not breaking anything either. 5 guardians. We would have to swap half our fleet to ecm to break that. In my mind I think about my lovely ecmgu who died some days before. Completely new it was. Not even fully rigged. But die it did. Due to an archon on the HS. Theres no way to pull a win here. FC makes the call to withdraw. Three ships and drones are caught behind to the gruesome fire. Wont be hearing anything from the droneunion now I think. As we initiate warp away we spot them bringing a ecmgu to the fight and I picture the bloodbath that could have happened. GF are exchanged. Everyone happy. Somewhat at least. We close the static and go out and murder some poor lads in lowsec instead.

tirsdag 20. mai 2014

Storytime 3: Ghost of christmas past

<<Last chapter

Dscan is your friend. Dscan is your most important friend. This is one of the most important lessons I have ever learned in wspace. Dscan is your friend. You remember last time, when wrecks appeared? Yes dscan is your very best friend. Shortly after the wrecks appeared some corpses. Corpses have name. Names is vital intel. So we ofc struck a convo with those names. Convo goes something like this:
Us: Hey, we see you self-destructed a capital in our wh?
Them: Uhm, yes, well we tried to roll and it failed so we got stuck :D

Yeah right. The lack of any new signature (and yes we kept an eye on them) didn't exactly confirm that. But they left convo and logged off. So this means that this wh we thought were empty had a capital force in it which of now at least two had self-destructed themselves. Just moving into c5 space and we get a wh full of content :P However we had seen at least one carrier as well on dscan. But the two wrecks were of dreads. So some of their cap force was self destructed and some not. Before you read on take a pause and try to figure out what this kind of intel means. To us, not used to intel gathering of capital fleets from c4 space, it was mildly confusing. The ones self-destructing obviously ment to leave. But the unknown capitals still inside (of at least one carrier was known) had decided to stay. Either to extract through a different wh or to launch an offensive. However. We had to start digging to find out who these guys were. We had two names to start with. Killboards showed them flying with different german corps and alliances. We also had the name of the corp whose POS we destroyed. All of them were added to watchlist by every single member in our corp. Time to hunt our ghosts.

To a keen eye the killboards show an awful lot about people. Digging and digging into the history of our ghost residents showed us a good picture of what to expect. Now I have to do a small recap here. We are still in the first two weeks of us living in this c5 wh. The killboards tells the history. At march the 16th we pulled the offline tower. And already march the 17th we made first contact with the owners of said offline tower. I just realized my former post was very out of order in the order of events. Thank you eve-kill. Ok we are taking a step back here. Lets take a breather and get a overview. Details I had forgotten are coming back to me. I need to bring you up to speed.

Axial Tilt whom we came out of was, together with No Self Esteem, in the alliance Malefic Aspects along with some other corps. You ever heard the phrase that in wspace corps and alliances change all the time but the people stay the same? You have? Good. Then bear with me. Both of these corps had the previous year come from Blue Moon Alliance (oh btw most of these went to Lead Farmers in KILL), TLC (for a month. Says something.) and then Imperius Legio Vitrix. MALAS was not a small alliance either. However that didnt help us very much. You'll see that in a bit.

So march 18 we were shown that you don't ignore the bonuses of a wh. First contact was made. So watchlist already being made at this stage. The following weekend we initiated operation sologrinding POCOS. Yup. In the middle of the day. One oracle to put the pocos into RF. Took about two hours. Then 3 people to kill them off when they came out. Horrible work. But this is what in turn initiated the appearance of the capitals. And no the other corp hadn't joined us in there yet. Oh dear. Now I remember the panic we had. When those pocos fell. And when the capitals appeared. This was not to be a easy takeover at all. And our pvp skills was horrible. But no we had come to live in here and live we would. But it was a struggle. Our local ghost made sure of that. In all respect. Nimon knows his guerrilla warfare. And over the week we had a cat and mouse fight. Every time he logged on we had to be on our toes. Ship into something to counter his fast small ships. Then there was this turning moment. The first contact ended horrible for our part. The continued hunt didn't go very much better. But one day we got a setup and managed to tackle him on the static. He jumped through but we stayed. In with orcas and poof goes the wh. He is locked outside. Scan down the new one. We notice he relogs. We go to camp the new static. But then it happens. While sitting there he logs another character we haven't seen much online. We hit dscan. Thanatos. Wait.. thats a .. carrier! Heart starts beating faster. What is happening? Then the sabre lands on the wh. And the carrier. Panic take hold. We have no logi in our fleet. We start burning in different directions. BS goes down to fighters. Then they start going for the next one of us. We get out of bubble and warp to safe. Fighters follow. Next safe. Fighters follow. Warp to POS. Fighters follow. But then they get recalled. Carrier warp to planet. They have no support. We need to get tackle and try to kill this thing. Warp a enyo in to speed tank the fighters but he swap to light drones and I have to warp out. He moves to safe. Start combat scanning. He cloakes. In the end he manage to safelog the carrier without us catching it. The next day he declare his intention. Hostile POS in system.
  Now this is even more confusing. First his friends SD dreads. Then he puts up a POS. Will his friends come back? We take no chances and ask alliance for help. We put the hostile POS into reinforced. And without any battle to speak of its taken down.

I think the show off alliance support is what made him take a step from the bold offensive. Never got to ask him about that. But come april he goes back to casual harassment and it also seem to us he start being online in the middle of the night. Which is odd, seeing he is german and same tz as us. However in april we manage to start settling properly in our new home. We eagerly harvest every gas cloud and PI our ass off. Slowly we start bringing more capitals in and more ships. We encounter other entities and keep up the small skirmishes with nimon and morticia (that most often result in a lot of hunting without any killmail for either part). March also see some members leave the corp as the corp as whole decide to sell off the c2 and move everything into the c5.

 At the same time we also started recruiting. Having just a couple of guys isnt enough to defend a wh. And we needed to get more capitals so we could have a go at capital escalations (while having an unknown hostile fleet in system. thats logic for you :P). Now recruitment in a wh corp is a peculiar process. In fact I think it deserve a ramblings post of its own. But due to the situation at hand we decided we would perhaps need a better timezone coverage. We had one us tz guy that came with us from Axial and he was willing to aid with recruitment. Around this time I joined the ranks of directors in ENNE aswell. Dont remember exact date. Maybe a dusty chatlog will reveal that. If it still exist. The library of chatlogs from Eve is probably my most extensive collection of documents. Yes I save them all and they have served me very well over the last year. Everything from a recruit showing up from chatlogs of other peoples pubchannel to diplomatic negotiations. Never underestimate what people may say when they think noone cares.

But now spring had come and May was at our door. May is usually a lovely month here. Temperatures change from aprox 10* C to well above 20 and you get that early summer feeling. But in Eve and our c5 that was now our home it would be different. Very different. Ghost never rest. And at the very end of april a hostile POS was back up.

Continue to Part 4>>

fredag 16. mai 2014

AAR: Archon at HS

Courtesy to Chaplain Silkor for this writeup:
May 16th, a young lad is writing his paper about eye movement in print advertisement when an old fart starts talking on comms. His heavy British voice completely disrupts the lad's concentration. "Sigh, Dirky's been drinking again..."

"Oi, stupid fucks! Some lazy shitheads are attacking me and their DPS IS SHIIIIIT! Anyone wanna come and kill them? They're like sitting on the high sec nd."

"Oh? What they flying?" The student queries.

"Some lame ass proteus, 2 of them, and a gay loki. Ha! C'mon Chappyboy, don't be a wuss and join me in glorious frakking battle."

Ugh, well I guess I can take a little break. Chaplain Silkor boards his Goddess Ishtar and sets forth too the designated location. Maxxor and several others join in the crusade to save Dirky's ass.
The fleet trickles in and engages 2 protei and a loki on the hole. Damage gets applied decently as Dirky calls a primary. But as all chickens do, they jump to HS. Maxxor notices one of them has a killright which he activates. Trying to esccape, that Proteus jumps back to J-space, but more of us are waiting at that side. Eventually he bites the dust. The other targets disperse as cockroaches in the sun.

Half an hour later, the same guys are camping the HS hole again. Fleet gets sorted again and we engage. Chaplain takes command "All DPS on the loki!" DPS gets applied and the Loki goes down, but before it dies, it escapes again. No glorious death for that <sencored>! The other targets stay put and call in a falcon. "Main DPS on the Solci, sentry DPS on the Falcon!" It takes about 10s for the Falcon to give us some nice fireworks.
Soon after Solci joins him

"Argh, well done ladies! You got some balls yet! Gah! Lets go home and have some moar beer!" Dirky exclaims.

Hardly landing on our home connection, Saera, our scout that stayed behind calls out: "Guys! They brought an Archon! It's sitting 20 from the hole!" 3 people, including Chaplain, warp back to get some tackle on it. Alas, theyr fleet have some decent DPS sitting on the hole and the vanguard needs to jump out. Dirky tries to get a fleet sorted from the home hole, but keeps tripping over his internet cable with his drunk ass and thus, keeps disconnecting. Eventually, what seemed like forever, a fleet is ready for combat. But, in that time, the hostiles had improved its fleet. "Screw it, lets go ballsdeep!" And we engage. Chaplain starts calling primaries, but the shit Archon's reps are getting everyone from 10% armor to full health. Next to that, the ECMgus are screwing over our Guardians. Not for long the friendly reps stay on the field... The call for tactical withdrawal is made and some survivors make it back home.

(some alterations have been made to the text to not offend those without self irony :)

tirsdag 13. mai 2014

Ramblings: Here comes the past

In just a few days something extraordinary have happened. Things are moving and stuff is happening.
Bane Nucleus relaunched Transmission Lost and in its wake Chitsa Jason relaunched Narwhals Ate My Duck. If you are unfamiliar with these names I can tell you that they used to be among the biggest names in wormholespace in the days of old. Now they have been born again.
 Best of luck to you Bane and Chitsa!

Storytime: 2. New neighbours and noughty ghosts

<<Last chapter

A offline tower, solitary in a wh, might tell a story of someone having been there. Once upon a time that tower was online and had ships in it. But now it doesn't. Its just a shadow. A ghost of something past.
Moving into a new home brought back something I had been missing from EVE for a long time. Excitement and the sense of taking on something new. Something unknown. Grand was the hope of the promised land. The land of capital escalation and c320. And us few adventurers took on something we didnt know if we would manage or even if it would last. But better to risk and enjoy the fun than to be bored to death in a c4.
(Now I have to be honest. We were in no way hardcore pvpers or masterhunters.  We liked to hunt but also to mine and make isk. But we didnt mind taking risk for a little adventure. )

When I came home from easter holiday a new frontier laid before me at my computer. Brewing a fine cup of coffee, and settling down while the baby was sleeping brought on a new dimension to eve. First step when moving in: bring in ships! And so began the haul. Having towers already waiting for me made it rather easy to start heading into our new Home. We mined gas like crazy and decided to pull down that offline tower and kill off the poco's. At about the same time ceo of ENNE sold off the c2 and the rest of what was left of the corp moved into our new c5 aswell. The guys we sold the c2 to however seemed like a really nice bunch of guys. So we invited them to join us in alliance and come along to the c5. A new entity born. We called it Shadow Politics (couse we had that alliance just laying around anyway :P ). So two corps living togeather in a wormhole create some challenges that need to settle. Especially since one was doing a pure communistic economy and the other a light tax but mostly individual economy. Lets just say shortly that after some heated forum discussion and a very interesting incident we found a way of working that we all agreed on. This cooperation worked eventually so well that we later formed a new corp togeather. But thats a story for another time

But all was not as easy as we thougt. Remeber the mention of ghosts?  Normally the dead stay dead. And one would think a dead POS taken down would maybe blow some dust from a forgotten evemail on a long abandoned account. Maybe someone would even lift an eyebrow while being annoyed at something they had forgotten. But not for us. 

Some might call it Bob's blessing. Others would call it bad luck. For us now, after so many months, we call it content. We call it adventure.

Within a few days after taking down the dead POS and setting up our own poco's a new cry was heard on coms: "Capitals on dscan! Dreads and carriers! And wrecks!"
Our adventure had just begun

Continue to Part 3>>

lørdag 3. mai 2014

Ramblings: Trust and Security

One of the most interesting aspects of playing EVE is the level at which we interact with other people. Its at a much more advanced relationship than you get in any other games.
As artisticly illustrated by Tim Buckley at Cad-Comic recruitment processes in most corps in eve goes a lot closer than any real life job interview is even allowed to go. In wormhole corporations this is even more so. And for a good reason. With a corp management tool that may finally be fixed (as announced on fanfest 2014) it is not easy to aid your members in keeping their stuff safe. If the corp leadership doesnt know how to deal with roles and titles the entire corp can easily fall prey to a ill intentioned new member. I feel however we got this nailed in ORLY. Got a nice divisional system with several layers of access at each pos. Also specialised titles providing just the right access needed to do i.e. manufacturing in our wormhole aswell. Combine that with a full api check on applicants and you got the most secure setup you can atm for recruitment.

 But I dont feel thats really a good solution. Being a CEO I have a responsability for the culture we build in corp. To create a framework where our members can flourish and build friendships and enjoy the game. In wormholes one of the biggest challenges for any corp is content creation. People solve this diffferently. Some do lots of planned ops while others fill their alliance with hundreds of members where 1-5 drive the content for the rest. However, I wish to enable people to be creative. Living in a c5-c5 has a lot of opportunity for those who care to move beyond the lazyness most gamers are plagued with. But I refuse to hold peoples hand doing it. So how do one stimulate creativity? I think much can be attributed to having just the freedom to do stuff. Aswell as the inspiration of other players being creative. But how does this relate to the topic of this post? It relates to trust. It relates to having room to do mistakes without being taken for a awoxer or a idiot. Want to afk mine in a orca? Np. When you die I'll tell you to fit neuts, drones and xlasb. Maybe next time you afk mine in orca you can kill something before you die :P But I want my members to feel they are trusted to take desicions and make mistakes if they want to. A member who feels he constantly is under monitoring grow afraid to do mistakes and will rather just tag along what someone else is doing. A member who feels trusted have greater freedom to be creative.

Now how to translate this into practice? One of the biggest stumbling blocks I feel is often in the little things. In how leadership or other members react and talk in game. This is one of the reason I really dont like "elite pvpers" as their attitude to anyone not on their level destroy any room for creativity. Also leadership need to be consious about this. And I also think this is why so many corps in wormholes is stressing the "no f*cks given" attitude. To help people be creative and dont fear loosing or making mistakes.

What areas do you feel is important in building a good corp culture? And how do you handle building trust while maintaining security?

fredag 2. mai 2014

Storytime: 1. Feeble beginnings

It was around easter last year (2013). I was away visiting family on the other side of the country. Spring hadn't yet fully come tho winter was definatly over. I dont drive over the mountains unless winter is over. Hate running the risk of getting stuck up there. For those living in sunny countries unfamiliar with the turmoils of winterdriving, let me elaborate shortly: During winter many of the mountain passes are closed due to snowfall or wind and snowfall or just wind blowing the snow already there. When its not horrible and completely closed they have these huge snowplowers clearing the road. Thing is the road doesnt stay cleared. It fills up again with snow. And fast. So what they do is run the plowers (and they drive fast) and then a qeue of cars follow them at same speed. Now if you are one of those cars there are some things you have to avoid. You cant stop. Not at all. If you stop you are left behind and your car will get stuck in snow and you have to call emergency service. Another thing you have to avoid is driving off the road. This might sound like a joke but its not. Your driving fast on a slippery road (with cars behind you pushing the same speed) and the road is anything but straight.
 So winter was over. And spring was on its way. But what came sooner caused me to smile. A text trickled in on my phone: "We found it". And so begins a new adventure. This was how it started.

At this time I am just a ordinary corp member. We had in the previous years enjoyed life in a class 4 wormhole (short: c4)  with a c2 static. Life in a c4 is nice. But for a few of us it wasn't enough. We wished to progress. To take on bigger challenges. But not everyone felt the same way. And so me, MD74 and Jeraadhetnoit chose to leave the safe harbour of the c4 and move on. And so in february we left Axial Tilt (who had been our home in c4) and joined a friend in a c2 and his corp No Self Esteem. Here we set up to roll the static c4 to a c4-c5 and then scan out the chain in search for a new home. What we were looking for? A c5-c2, preferably Wolf Rayet, with decent PI.
(In hindsight we should have gone for a c5-c5. Just saying to anyone who might read this and want to set out to c5 space themself. A c5-c5 doesnt give you HS (highsec) every day but it provide a lot more content even for a group of 3 people. However you need to have wh experience and know what your doing)
So now you probably guessed what the text was about. What had been found. But to be fair it was more it who found us. What had happened was a k162 opened up in the c2 we were camping in. And it lead to the system we would later come to know as Max, by brutal force. But to us it was just a new home. And thats what we called it. Home.  It contained a offline tower but otherwise it was empty. So MD and Jeraad grabbed a tower and setup base in this new home. While I was on holiday and spring had not yet fully come.

Continue to Part 2