Sunday, 14 May 2017

A Decade of Solo

"Well, 'scuse me. I was jus' tryin' to save the world."
-- Gaspode the wonder dog
(Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures)

It is a strange thing, having played EVE Online for 11 years, but having spent most of it in my own little world is even stranger. Of course I missed this little nugget of information, there should be a pop up or something, maybe CCP could look into that.

EVE System > Channel MOTD: ArsClan Public Channel |  <3 br=""><3 3="">
<3 br="">Lars Erlkonig > happy belated 10 years of solo in NovaKane  Kane Rizzel
Kane Rizzel > holy shit
Kane Rizzel > didn't even see that
Kane Rizzel > thanks
Lars Erlkonig > o7 welcome

What really amazes me is that the game is still going, somewhat different to what I remember, I miss the so-called good old days, an age where solo Piracy was a vibrant and exciting path.
I have found it very difficult since returning to actually Pirate in my old area. There was definitiely a Golden Age for Piracy, it certainly isn't dead, the new local bloc living in the area are proof of that, using bait citadels where they often kill unsuspecting super capitals, being able to covert cyno onto any valuable target in moments.
Of course like most power blocs that have lived in the Gusandall area they tend to spend their off time running the local anomolies and DED sites without a care as I certainly don't pose a threat to them, their ability to use Black Ops with impunity has seen to me staying far away from them.

The universe has changed so much.

I have enjoyed my time back in game, I will however be deploying again, pretty soon actually, so will be away for an undetermined amount of time, but as always, I will be back.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Watch EVE on TV

I must confess the the activities of the UK governments for the past couple of years have been watched with frank admiration and amazement by Lord Vetinari. Outright theft as a policy had never occured to him.

-- (Terry Pratchett,

Nashh Kadavr and his EVE_NT team have a youtube channel that broadcasts all there torunaments and events, give it a follow and enjoy Tournament PvP at its finest.

Really stoked to see the EVE_NT brand grow so much since that first meet a few years ago.

Friday, 7 April 2017

This fit ain't right

"I like the idea of democracy. You have to have someone everyone distrusts," said Brutha. "That way, everyone's happy."
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

The corporation hangar is crowded, various methods of violence adorn the cavernous hangar of Gusandall station, massive containers full of modules, ammunition, drones, and loot sit in one corner, in another is a freezer container full of over a thousand corpses, and a few frozen scientists.
Numerous unbuilt hull packages sit waiting to be opened and assembled.

I open the datapad and start looking at various fits, some in serious need of updating, some frigates with large rigs still fitted. So I spent most of the day updating and refitting dozens of ships, most have never seen the outside of this hangar, some never will.
Keira's Moros and Apostle sit idle, the Apostle needs to be refit but no way of getting hold of my errant sister, Keira the only member of the family able to fly both capital ships.
My Command Strategic cruisers have been totally refit, at great expense mind you for a totally different role, which would mean being part of a fleet so they too will now stand idle, but at least they look awesome

It amazes me how when left idle for so long, that some of the fits of my ships no longer 'fit', degraded CPU and Powergrid seems to have been the biggest issues with most of my frigates.

It's a good thing the Gusandall pocket is a dead end of space, with very little traffic and even less targets presenting themselves over the course of the day I was able to get everything pretty much sorted.

I should really look at consolidating some of this stuff, maybe try and sell off some of my unused shinies, but that will take a great amount of effort, and probably require a few freighter loads to get everything to Rens or similar, which would require tracking down another NovaKane associate who has a freighter and having the patience to sort through everything.

It's crazy how things have accumulated, I guess being away so long has given me fresh eyes with which to assess my needs, and I could really do with less, or more ISK.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

If you can't beat them...

And this had been the way things were for as far back as the frogs could remember [footnote: About three seconds. Frogs don't have good memories].
-- (Terry Pratchett, Wings)

Perusing my rather expensive losses since my return to the black, I have come to the conclusion that if you can't beat them... Uhm... join them?

So off I went to buy myself a Black Ops battleship, fitted it, and admired it's awesomeness.

But there's a small problem, the thing is pretty, but useless as a solo ship, this thing would require at least one other person, in a hunter ship, to track, tackle and light the covert cyno to obliterate some fools day. Or get counter dropped and lose some more ISK.

The Return of the Plex

So, I'm going about my business, probing out the sites of the day, making bookmarks, when something remarkable happens.

An old freind has returned to Gusandall. Some old school pirates will be familiar with this friend, responsible for many, many good fights, crazy traps and all round good times.

Sadly, he won't be around for long, it's so crazy that he very rarely shows up anywhere in the cluster, let alone Gus, but it was good to see him, even if no one was going to try farm him and lose their expensive farming frigate hilariously.

I still mourn the loss of the static 2/10, the sheer amount of content it created was amazing, the personal drama and good risk versus reward  of plex life fueled the area. Now Gusandall is a ghost town, other than wormholers moving stuff to highsec or the occasional lost rookie mining outfit, the area is devoid of much action.

Reading over some of my accounts of life in and around the 2/10 of Gusandall, really makes me feel old, almost eleven years in this verse and the shine is somehwat diminished.

How do we bring life back to pockets of space that were once vibrant combat areas?
Where mission runners dared to risk their shiny battleships, where small ship Pirates could make ISK by hunting those that would venture into the area for a big b-type payday without risking having blackops/supercarriers dropped on their heads, where actual large scale mining ops used to take place with a full armed escort ready to be pounced upon by crazy locals. Where anti-pirate corporations and alliances would roam through to try clean up the area. Where major PvP corporations and alliances would come to for "Good Fights"

Where have all the "Good Fights" gone?

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Covert cynos killed the solo piracy star

 Anathema didn't only believe in ley-lines, but in seals, whales, bicycles, rainforests, whole grain in loves, recycled paper, white South Africans out of South Africa, and Americans out of practically everywhere down to and including Long Island.

-- (Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)

A slight miscalculation

You can tell I'm it's been a while, that paranoid edge is gone, and it led to an expensive mistake.

I'm running around the area, getting used to everything again, when I spot a Vargur running a cosmic sig in Auren, having previously probed out the area I went back to station in Gus to grab something a little more suitable to take on the mighty tank of said Vargur. I boarded my Hyperion, undocked and warped to the Auren gate.

 [ 2017.03.26 01:57:30 ] EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Auren

I landed and didn't even pay attention to local in Gus, I jumped through and was followed by a Tengu.
The stargate launches me into Auren I hold cloak for a second but I don't want the Vargur to get away, so I drop gate cloak and initiate warp to the cosmic sig, only for the Tengu to decloak, and tackle me.

Now at this point I'm pretty sure I can take the Tengu, thinking it was associated to the Vargur (perhaps it was but it never came)

But all of a sudden, covert cyno goes up and ships start cynoing in.

 [ 2017.03.26 01:59:07 ] Rengas > happy daylight savings

Things appear to be going south, but I'm pretty confident in my tank, that is, until the neuts rock in.

 [ 2017.03.26 01:59:56 ] Rengas > can you just die already

I could see by the incoming DPS, the fact I was neuted and out of cap, target painted, jammed, scrammed and webbed that I was not going to make it back to the gate, I was not going to be able to micro jump out, consuming a booster was not going to save me, so I prepared to warp my pod out.

Of course, as my Hyperion explodes, my pod's systems froze up and crashed.
I furiously try to get the systems back online, and then...

Pitch black.

Waking up in a fresh clone after all these years, never gets easier, or cheaper. Even if my systems didn't crash, I would not have been able to save my pod, the smartbomb on the Panther made sure of that

[ 2017.03.26 02:00:13 ] EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Gusandall

[ 2017.03.26 02:01:55 ] Kane Rizzel > client crash as i popped and podded
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:21 ] Rengas > nice pod bruh
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:25 ] Kane Rizzel > thanks
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:32 ] Kane Rizzel > not my most expensive luckily
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:36 ] ROSSLINDEN0 > tanked like a beast
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:47 ] Rengas > the other sin pilots have garbage fits
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:54 ] Rengas > you could have tanked them all day
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:02 ] Kane Rizzel > didn't really stand a chance against what you dropped
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:08 ] RX-78GP01 Uraki > that sux
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:18 ] Kane Rizzel > it's all good
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:18 ] Rengas > solo pvp died in 2011
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:24 ] Rengas > embrace the blob
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:28 ] Kane Rizzel > never
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:38 ] Kane Rizzel > good hunting
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:45 ] Rengas > you too o7
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:46 ] Messoroz > i too spend more on implants than the ship 10x

After the fact, as I was getting used to my new clone in station as a few of my pod liberators passed through Gusandall they commented on the kill. One comment struck me. So many times I have been told that solo piracy is dead, but I think most people who say that are the problem it's not thriving, my fate only minutes earlier a good example of why.
If you run around all day waiting for a target to drop your friends on, you are the reason solo is more difficult. This isn't me crying foul, it's just a fact.

Will it stop me running around solo doing what I have always done?
No, it just means I need to be smarter about it, or find folk who align with my ideals.

Being smarter

Coming back after all these years means old gentlemen's agreements have fallen by the way side, and not taking them for granted is a key survival tool. Point in fact, yesterday as I was hunting for an Astero, I warped in on the data site and engaged the Astero, only for a Cyclone to warp in (The pilot was in a corp from many years ago who aligned with my ideals and we generally had an aggrement not to violence each other and even helped each other when needed)
At first I assumed he was going to steal my kill, but as the Astero popped, the Cyclone engaged me, scramming and neuting.
A quick afterburner burst aligning out and I quickly got out of scram range, engaging my cloak as I warped out.

Minutes later a cyno is lit in Eifer, I warp at range to investigate, to see a cyno lit by a Vexor, who's systems seem to have gone offline. I moved closer and still seeing the Cyclone in system I orbited the Vexor at 30km with my MWD burning, launched drones and set them on the Vexor.
The Cyclone wars in, on the top of the Vexor and once again I assume a kill is about to be stolen.
The Vexor explodes and the capsule emergency warps out and the Cyclone appears to not even having engaged. He did of course steal the loot of both kills, c'est la vie.

Feeling a bit putout I needed to make tale out my frustrations, so I headed back to Gus and grabbed a Cheetah to combat probe the pod. Having done so I headed back to Gus and grabbed a combat vessel, headed to Eifer and liberated the capsuleer from his implants.

In conclusion

My return hasn't been spectacular, well only my loss could count as such, but I'm slowly finding my way again. I started watching some videos of a dude called Chance Ravinne and was massively impressed by the wormhole solo PvP he engaged in. I imagine most of y'all have seen his stuff, he was even a CSM member, but after 3 odd years away from the universe, I'm only just starting to catch up.

Who do I speak to about Lowsec and Piracy?

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Spring Clean

Instead, people would take pains to tell her that beauty was only skin-deep, as if a man ever fell for an attractive pair of kidneys.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Maskerade)
It's been a while, the dust lies deep over the dimly lit desk, a small tablet counts away the skillpoints, still learning after all this time. The dark clings tightly, the dim light not enough to illuminate the surroundings, but it's a large hangar, and it somehow, feels full of menace, danger, and excitement.

Everything is exactly where Kane left it, more or less, the family is spread far and wide, his adventures having taken him elsehwere, but having just returned from a polar expedition on some far flung planet, he feels a need to venture once more into the dark of the universe, amongst the stars, a home as important to him as the oceans of all the planets in the verse.

So much has changed, none of the familiar faces in comms channels for one, and Gusandall seems to have grown some so called citadels, corporation owned space stations, but all seems strangely familiar.

Kane thinks to himself  "Time do do some cleaning"