Friday, October 16, 2015

Zappity's Adventures: I have been very busy lately

I have been very busy for the last couple of weeks. This nullsec business is very different to the lowsec life to which I had become accustomed. First up was a small gang roam to Provi in destroyers and frigates. I must admit a certain partiality to small ships since they allow you to cover a large amount of territory, not to mention the fact that they are generally maneuverable enough to evade defence fleets.

Provi, however, has become disappointingly quiet during the Australian time zone. Defensive response fleets are practically a Provi institution but I am sad to report that the last three times I have visited we have had to make do with mining barges and industrials.


Having said that, we were shamed by a local who bravely brought his Astarte out to play. We had just finished killing a Rupture ( who adroitly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by aggressing our gang whilst sitting upon his own jump bridge. The Astarte was just a couple of jumps further on and we leaped upon him, betting on the stupid that is so often seen. Unfortunately we backed the wrong horse and the very competent Astarte pilot killed several of us before we ran away, humbled.

It is not all one sided, mind you. Provi gangs have been visiting OUR space, especially in the US time zone. I think this is very rude and therefore happily join fleets to hunt them down whenever the opportunity arises. These invaders particularly enjoy persecuting the inhabitants of a pocket adjacent our home system. Unfortunately for them, however, the pocket is adjacent our home system with the consequence that placing bubbles to trap their fleet is very easy.

Their last visit came in the form of a couple of dozen destroyers which we were happy to whittle down for them:


Lots of solo ships visit our space, too. The last one I can remember happened to come to our attention just as a fleet was returning home. We cornered him in a constellation. He did not like it and complained bitterly about being blobbed. It was a justified refrain and yet I find a certain adrenaline inducing rush associated with hunting down a cornered opponent. It reminds me of fox hunting!

Scythe Fleet Issue:

Of course, solo roaming is entirely possible but I haven't really had much time or desire to do it recently. The closest I have come would probably be a Stealth Bomber who foolishly decloaked next to me and was casually popped:


The larger fleets are very interesting to me. We are at war or something (I'm still a bit vague to be honest) with GClub and have been doing our best to make their lives miserable in retaliation for their malicious entosis activities. I am utterly convinced that it is totally one sided. No doubt at all. So I felt fully justified in joining a fleet designed to go and harass one of their key stations. They did not like it. We killed a few ships before local spiked and they undocked a flipping great wodge of T3s, Macharials and carriers. We were chased away and, humiliatingly, had to log off a couple of systems out because we were trapped by their gate camps who were clearly sitting ready with cynos.

They returned the favour a few days later, appearing in our home system with an awful lot of Hurricane Fleet Issues and logi (CCP please nerf because they make it too boring). It was all fun and games, as they say, until someone went a bit too far by entosing our station services. That really wasn't on. We hastily formed a fleet of armour T3 cruisers and undocked into their midst. It was tremendously exciting. They very effectively bubbled their own fleet with the result that we killed every single one of them. Admittedly, a few of them did manage to warp away but I am convinced that they later died of their wounds.

Battle report

I have even done a little bit of entosing myself. It is very boring. I look forward to the patch that introduces the roll back (or, as I think of it, the 'troll back'). But I really wish that successful entosing was traceable by API since this would enable the placement of bounties or rewards for both offensive and defensive cycling. This would mean that people who wanted to earn ISK could do it and leave me in peace.

On the whole, I would have to say that this Aegis sov business is pretty good. I am enjoying sov null an awful lot. I have no idea what it is like elsewhere but the south east is very enjoyable at the moment.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A change is as good as a holiday

I decided to leave ABA after it became clear that the leadership had decided to do the responsible thing rather than jumping straight back into another sov attempt. This involved NPC nullsec, recruitment, and a very long timetable.

Despite (or is it because of?) being very responsible in real life, the idea of a similarly grown-up attitude in EVE is anathema to me. Activity, fun and fights are the primary goal! In addition, I think NPC null is a terrible place to live.

Nevertheless, it was a sad moment because I quite like a lot of the people there. One of the Stay Frosty directors, Joffy Aulx-Gao, is running for the next CSM. I hope he gets in because he is a very good advocate for the small gang and solo play style.

So I began looking for a new corp. My requirements were:

Sov null.
A hefty AU timezone presence (and not just be a very big corp with a small percentage in AU).
A strong (but not exclusive) PvP focus.
Mustn't be too l33t about killboards. Obviously!
Not CFC because I don't want to join the dominant side and I think they are going to increasingly be bored.

I did my research and Black Aces was ranked at the top of the list. These primarily AU and US guys had recently formed a new alliance within their coalition of Stain Wagon. I joined and was immediately busy entosing a bunch of nodes left by a roaming gang. It was very boring because nobody came to fight us. And yes, I am sticking with that verb.

The next day I tried to bring an Occator in through Curse but found a gate camp a few jumps out from the home system. Unfortunately, I was still thinking in solo mode and didn't take the logical course of action by simply asking for someone to come and shoo them all away. I tried to crash the gate in my scouting Svipul but was quickly webbed down by a Daredevil. Ugh.


Oh well. A roam into Provi space cheered me up, especially after a scout found a Paladin on a station piloted by someone called 'Suitonia'. He aggressed and we jumped on him, only to see him MJD away. Our light tackle was burning towards him when he warped, very obviously to a specific planet.

Being a good player, I expected him to warp at range and thus chose 70 km as my own destination. But he landed at zero, of course, and by the time I had burned in his reps were already struggling to keep up. And so it was that his ship died in glorious combat and his modules surrendered to the whim of the Loot Fairy, that most fickle of mistresses:


I'm a big fan of Suitonia's videos and felt quite honoured to kill him, even though his reps sustained surprisingly little damage. I would personally have had dual reps.

We continued into Provi space and were over the other side of Catch when a small G-Club battleship and cruiser gang jumped into HED-GP, apparently intent on a little Provi bloodletting of their own. Now, Gentlemen's Club are apparently our mortal enemies although I am somewhat hazy about the precise reason for this. It is probably something sov related. But to be honest they could have all been in an NPC corp and the verdict would have been exactly the same: we burned back to them.

This was quite an interesting fight for me. All these targets being called out is very confusing when you are meant to be shooting one ship while simultaneously bumping another away from the gate and keeping a third tackled. It was tremendously good fun!





The most satisfying part was that we noticed a cowardly, but very wise, Vexor Navy Issue who managed to jump through the gate to freedom. As soon as our weapons timers were clear we gave chase, tackling him just a couple of jumps out on a gate. Hehe, that'll learn him!


Of course, such fights are not particularly relevant in the grand scheme of things. Unfortunately, the sov angle has been a little quiet. The two large CTA fleets I have managed to fly on have been disappointingly uneventful with our enemy not making an appearance. Perhaps they were frightened of my magnificent Proteus.