Monday, December 2, 2013

Eve Online: Something Fishy with the Stratios

So I just saw an article about NASA could someday achieve warp speeds and I noticed something a little strange.

I probably don't even need to add a link to what I'm referencing, but just in case here you go.

The Stratios looks scarily like the image used in the first article. I googled Vulcan Command Ship and sure enough, there is was staring me straight in the eye.

I'm not outright saying anyone copied anyone else, but there are a few similarities that are hard to ignore.

Any thoughts on this?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Eve Online: Rubicon First Week

So it's been almost a week since Rubicon was released and I've really only had a chance to play with a small percentage of the new features since last Tuesday due to focusing on one specific aspect of it.

We all knew that ghost sites, new deployable modules, new ships, etc were going to add a bunch to everyone's game play and that everyone would be busy trying to make as much ISK as possible in the early days, but we decided to spend out time laying down POCO's.

Our group spent almost a whole week bashing both Interbus and player owned POCO's in the .5 and .6 systems and then setting our own up. The first day was chaos with people constantly ninja dropping POCO's right after another group finished bashing the Interbus POCO. This only happened to us once and we immediately declared war on the 3 man corp that stole a planet from us. The following day we found their very poorly defended POS in high sec and put it in reinforced. They agreed to turn over the POCO they stole from us if we promised not to destroy their POS. We agreed and in the end made three new good friends that will probably join our alliance.

Another aspect to day one is that we noticed everyone flying around in tech 1 hauling ships carrying POCO's to be dropped. We protected our own POCO's by keeping them off grid and in freighters until necessary. In addition we put together a small gank squad and every time one of these ships showed up on grid ready to try and steal another planet we were about to take, we would suicide gank them to secure our resources. We popped three different ninja haulers on day one of Rubicon, each killmail valuing around 150-200 million.

After one day of dropping POCO's I heard the FC's say they were earning about 20-30 million a day so far, and we've dropped about fives times as many throughout the week. I would estimate we're earning about 100 million a day with as many POCO's as we put out there but I can't be sure since I'm not privy to that information. Obviously it cost us a huge investment up front to be able to secure that many but they should pay for themselves fairly quick and they don't require us to do any maintenance at all, other than defend them if a group tries to steal it, which they would have to declare war on us first.

Now that all that's done, I've jump cloned back to my home in null sec and plan to start playing with some of the other new features such as how frequent the ghost sites spawn and how easy they are to find. I'm hearing they are extremely rare, so I doubt it'll be one of those sites people go hunting for specifically, it'll probably more like one of those sites that when you happen to notice them you take advantage of it. I got to play with them on the test server so I already know how to run them, just need to see how it goes on Tranquility now.

This week I think we plan to drop a bunch of small mobile siphon units on our enemy's moons to start draining their income.  I trained interceptors to IV prior to the Rubicon launch, but since I'm not an experienced interceptor pilot I don't plan to use them for combat just yet. I only plan to use them for the nullified aspect that is new with Rubicon. I've got a Cloaky Nulli Proteus that I use a lot already, but Interceptors are much faster to go scouting with, so it will likely be my new exploring ship when checking out nearby systems.

Stay tuned for more updates. Cheers!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Eve Online: Logistic Pilots on Killmails

I know that this has been brought up to CCP attention already and I'm not the first person bringing this up, but I'd like to also jump on the bandwagon and say that logistic pilots need to be added on killmails. They are the unsung, unremembered heroes of New Eden. Although every fleet is extremely grateful to always have that logi pilots there, in a day or two when people are looking back to see who contributed to the kill,who was involved in the fight, the logi pilot is always left off that war story.

My initial thoughts are that if a logistics pilot actively helps a member of the fleet that does get on the killmail, then they should as well. For example, if a Thorax and Exequror are fighting a Vexor, and the Thorax kills the Vexor, as long as the Exequror repaired the Thorax (during the combat and before the Vexor was destroyed) then the Exequror should be present on the killmail as well.

I know this is probably way easier said than done, but it'd be nice to recognize the members of our fleets that keep the fleet alive long enough to make the kills.

All that being said, where do you draw the line? If I'm in a command ship and giving active boosts to the fleet, but don't contribute any DPS, does that mean that I should get on the killmail as well? I'm not sure. I guess I would be ok with it as long as the booster was on grid and actually risking their ship, and not remote boosting  from a safe location somewhere in the system. (I know that you can't boost from inside a POS anymore, but you can still boost from a safe spot in system). Fleet boosts can be very powerful tools in a fleet, and most definitely influence the results of a battle.  If command ships did show up on a killmail somehow, but never engaged during the fight, then the pilot blown up would know all the factors that contributed to their loss. I'm not set on this though since command ship pilots can easily get on a killmail if they want to, by just engaging during a fight. They are strong and capable ships that can handle themselves just fine in a fight.

Ultimately I'd like to see the logi pilots start to get some recognition. I think more pilots would be willing to learn to fly logistics if they had the ability to be recognized. Early on in my training I loved flying logistics for my corporation. I enjoy being the supporting character in a fleet and helping everyone else do their jobs. When I used to play D&D I enjoyed playing a Cleric so that I could help everyone else. I stopped flying logistics in Eve, because when the fights were over, and everyone was linking killmails and talking about who did what, nobody ever said "Oh and Val did an awesome job at keeping us alive" or anything like that. In the end there wasn't any proof at all that I was even involved in the fight, unless I loss my ship in the process.

So, I changed over to flying other types of support instead. I learned the art of EWAR and now if I remote sensor dampen a bunch of the enemy ships, my actions are noticed and remembered.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Eve Online: World Peace

I may be completely naive to how the world really thinks but in my ideological mind I believe that the majority of the people on Earth would welcome world peace if it could somehow be magically obtained. Obviously this will never happen because we all have different ideas of what "World Peace" means, but ultimately I believe that most people want the killing to stop at some point. Maybe that means they successfully exterminate an entire group of people to obtain their peace, but I think the end goal is that there would be no more fighting. "If I could accomplish XYZ, then I could live in peace" kind of theory. Again, this might mean XYZ equals killing millions of people, which entirely goes against "Peace" but that's just how it is. There are exceptions to everything, and I know that there will also always be people that do not want peace.

That being said, I do NOT think that peace is the end goal of Eve and New Eden, nor should it be. People want to blow each other up, conquer each other's territory, steal their ISK, and ultimately find new and creative ways to kill.

There is also an industrial and economic group of people in Eve that don't care first hand about blowing someone else up, but they do indeed embrace (even if they don't know it) people blowing each other up, otherwise their craft and contributions to Eve would fail.

This goes both ways. Without the industry and marketing people in Eve, the PvP aspect of the game would fail.  If nobody was around to build ships and ammo, and sell them to us, we'd have to figure out how to all live with fighting in our noob ships that get provided every time you dock with just your pod. That or we'd all be running the tutorial missions for some free tech 1 frigates and destroyers.

Throughout time in life and in Eve countries (solar systems) and groups (corporations) would ally together to strengthen their standing in their regions and then combine forces when an outside evil threatens to disrupt their way of life. Ultimately though these alliances always fail because someone offended someone else, someone gets greedy, the love of a woman, or a multitude of other reasons. People like their safety net though and like to know that someone else out there can't just destroy everything they've worked for with little to no effort. If I was a lone corporation that owned one system in null sec, but I refused to be part of any alliance, I would have to always fear someone bigger and stronger just taking what is mine and not being able to do anything to stop it. Hence why we form alliances.

Too many allies is also a bad thing in Eve because then there isn't as many people shooting at each other. No pew pew =  no ships blowing up = no industry needed = no marketing needed. It's a long negative domino effect when there is peace in New Eden.  It's a very sensitive balancing act that is controlled by the players and nothing else.

On that note, a big war just broke out again in Eve, and you can read more about it on Stabs blog, but stuff like this is very good for Eve in my opinion. Even if you have no stake in the war at all, thousands of ships blowing up is a good thing (well, unless they are your ships being blown up). We're only two weeks away from Rubicon being deployed which will add a bunch of new elements that will also shake things up, so if this war continues longer than 2-3 weeks expect drastic changes in the market prices of a bunch of items on top of what was already expected.

I'm interested in seeing how many of the mobile deploy units such as the new tractor and cyno jammer are going to be carried into battle after the Rubicon release, and how much more TiDi (time dilation) occurs because a 1000 vs 1000 battle just dropped a few hundred modules not currently used in battle into an already slow fight. CCP better step up their ability to handle large scale fights or prepare yourself for tons of rage when the server crashes during a fight.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Eve Online: Pod Jumping

Lately I've become very accustomed to a game mechanic that can be utilized to jump all over New Eden without having to make the long journey one jump at a time. The term is called "Pod Jumping" and the short version is that you destroy your own pod by self destructing just so you can awaken someplace far away. I live in deep null sec, many  many jumps away from high sec and the major trade hubs. This tactic is very useful for me when I need to quickly inject a new skill, run some errands, etc, before I head back to null.

Jump Clones are great for pod jumping, but if you only use jump clones then you need to wait 19-24 hours to use a jump clone again (depending on skill level). This tactic has no time constraints, but what it lacks in time constraints it makes up for with a bunch of other ones.

There is a laundry list of steps and details you should know about before you just undock and blow yourself up though.


If I knew how to make that flash red and jump out of the page to get your attention more I would, but alas I'm not that smart. If you accidentally forget any other steps, do not forget to update your clone before doing this. If you don't know about updating your clone here's what you need to do.

Dock at a station with a medical facility, it'll have a red cross and medical looking icon as one of the services offered at the station. Click on that icon and select "Update Clone". You'll see a series of options such as "Alpha, Beta, Theta, etc", and they each have an associated price and skillpoint associated with them. Select the SP/ISK combination that is slightly above your skill point level, luckily it will gray out any options that are too low for your skillpoint total, so at least you can't choose one that doesn't meet the minimum requirements. Don't spend too much on a clone though, you're just going to blow it up.

What this means if for XXX,XXX ISK you can upgrade your clone/pod so that if you are destroyed you don't lose any skill points, otherwise you'll be penalized and lose a few weeks of training (trust me it really sucks to find out you lost a few of your level V skills).

If you are a regular PvP player you already know religiously about updating your clone. If PvP is not your thing that's OK and pod jumping can still be very useful for you too. If you simply want to travel to the other side of New Eden, this will come in handy.

When your pod is destroyed, either by someone else or self destructing, you lose any implants that you have plugged into your pretty little head, so either change to a jump clone that doesn't have any implants installed or accept the fact that you're about to lose them. If you use this tactic a lot or participate in PvP a lot, you don't really want to be flying around in a super expensive pod anyways. Why fly a ship worth maybe 5 million isk, but have implants worth 500 million isk? It makes no sense at all, and don't do it.

Alright, back to pod jumping. Your next step after you've ensured that your CLONE IS UPDATED, and that you don't have any implants in that you aren't going to miss is to set your clone to the destination you want to wake up from.  As long as you have access to the station and have items in the hangar, you can set your pod to that station. If your corporation has an office at a station, and you don't have any items, you can still set your clone to that station.

To do so you once again click on the medical facilities icon at a station, and click "Change Location". You'll see a list of "Stations with Medical Facilities" and "Stations with NO Medical Facilities". The reason why they separate these two types is that once you blow up, you will be instantly transported to that station and if they don't have a medical facility at that station you will have no way to upgrade your clone again.


Otherwise, you might undock, get shot by someone and now you've lost a few weeks of skillpoints that you now need to retrain.

Now that you've made sure your clone is updated, you've set the destination you want, you've made sure you don't have any implants in, is to now leave your ship. Right click on your ship and select leave ship. There is no point in blowing up a perfectly good ship, when all you're looking to do is blow up your pod anyways. Next, go ahead and undock.

The preferred way to pod jump is to utilize the self destruct option on your pod instead of having someone else blow you up. If you don't care, then I don't either, but I prefer to handle the deed myself. If you self destruct then there won't be any record of you doing it, no killmail, no trace of it at all. I typically warp to a location in system that is not a gate or a station and push the big red button, but you can do it wherever you want. If you are in high sec, be prepared to have a bunch of people challenge you to a duel if you are on a station, especially one of the trade hubs.

To self destruct either right click on your capacitor or your pod in space and select "Self Destruct". Now you've got a 2 minute warning that you're about to blow up. If you do nothing else, you'll blow up in 2 minutes. If you change your mind and decide that suicide just isn't your thing, you can always click the "Self Destruct" button again, and it will cancel it.

Now that you've blown up your pod, you will awaken wherever you set your clone to be, and as I'm sure you know by now, UPDATE YOUR CLONE.

Congratulations, you've just pod jumped.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Eve Online: Why do I play Eve?

6 more days till I've been playing Eve for 8 months. 

It's crazy to think that it's actually been that long already. I think I initially started this blog (my first one ever), with the purpose to hopefully share my newbie experiences with anyone else that may be new so they could learn from my mistakes and hopefully make the transition easier from a mistake ridden noob that is ready to rage quit, to a stable pilot that isn't completely lost and is able to be a productive member of New Eden.

I still hope that my posts add value to capsuleers out there, but I think I write these post more for me now than for anyone else. I'm thirty-four years old and for most of my life I've been an outgoing extrovert that thrives on social activity and being the center of attention. Over the course of the last five to six years I have transitioned to be more reserved and much more selective with the people I choose to share my life with. I think some people call this "growing up". The bi-product of all this is that I've spent years pushing out all the superficial friendships I have in my life, leaving me with only specific people around that I value. The result is also that I am becoming more and more introverted, which isn't a bad thing.

These are some very common misconceptions about introverts that I'd like to make sure I point out before you start drawing your own conclusions about what that means. I used to associate introvert to a negative personality trait but I no longer see it that way. 

Why am I rambling about all these things on a Eve Blog? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Eve is full of every personality you can possibly imagine. You will find every nationality, stereotype, and social class in the vast number of solar systems across Eve. Eve is more than just a video game for me, it fills a gap I have in my real life with the social interaction it provides. I have no problem making friends in real life and have plenty that I spend my weekends with when time permits, but most of my friends don't have kids and all they do is party like there is no tomorrow on a daily basis. In the end, Eve is still a game and I will shut it off in an instant if something in real life gets in the way.

I wake up around 5:00 am every day, get ready for work, help my son get ready for school, have breakfast and I'm out the door by 6:30. I get off work around 4:00 pm, pick up my son, head home by 5:00 pm (traffic sucks), help the wife make dinner, help the son with homework, watch a little TV and at 8:00 pm my son goes to bed and I either hang out with my wife or log into Eve for 1-2 hours. On weekends I'll stay up late and play but I've still got to wake up early with my son so we can head to hockey practice/games.

I love my family but if it wasn't for Eve, the only social interaction I would really get is with my family every day, since I don't have time to go out and be crazy with my friends. There are days that I find myself not undocking and just hanging out on teamspeak, drinking red wine or sipping whiskey (not together it just depends on my mood what I'm drinking), and catching up with what's going on in the Eve Universe. And sometimes when the conversation gets petty and boring I find myself just sitting quiet for hours, enjoying the silence. People will say "Hey Val, you haven't said anything in a while you still there?", and I usually respond that I'm just hanging out and I'll jump in as soon as the topic changes direction to something I have input on.

The time I do have to socialize with people I don't want to waste it talking about the weather, which celebrity cheated on their significant other, who is in rehab again, or other things that I have no interest in. I don't care about your cat or what you had for breakfast or how you post pictures of yourself daily on facebook so that all your friends will tell you how pretty you are. I like outer space, space ships, politics, economy, subterfuge, and overall I like the feeling of camaraderie that the right group in Eve can provide.

I like that there are consequences for your actions in Eve, and that you don't just respawn and try it again and again with no fear of loss. People react differently and make very different choices when there are potential negative consequences for their actions. You can be a F1 monkey in Eve and have plenty of fun I'm sure, but for intellectual and analytical people, Eve can be so much more.

Anyways, I've rambled on long enough. If you've taken the time to read this long winded blog entry, feel free to share your thoughts on why you play Eve.

Eve Online: Fleet Makeup

It's been a week or so while since I've posted, but mostly because things have been moving forward at a standard pace, with nothing truly exceptional to report on. I'm all settled in my new home now in NPC Null Sec, flying with a good group of pilots, making ISK, killing ships, and bashing POS' on occasion.

I think one of the best moves I could have made for my experience in Eve was to leave my old life and corp and fly with a new group. Not only because I got lucky and landed with a good group, but it allowed me to gain some perspective on how things are done around other corporations. Since I had flown with the same pilots and leaders since the beginning of my career all I knew was what they had taught me.

Many months ago I talked about training to various tech 2 ships and being excited about flying in a Tech 2 Cruiser fleet. Sugar Kyle commented on one of my posts a while back and told me that T2 ships aren't necessarily better, just more specialized. I took her advice to heart but since my old CEO was a HUGE advocate of getting everyone to fly tech 2 cruisers so that we could do T2 cruiser roams I still had to learn the lesson the hard way. We were so new to fighting and PvP that we almost always lost our shiny new toys, costing us tons of ISK.

The greatest thing I've learned from this new group I fly with is that a tech 1 ship can be just as effective, and sometimes more effective that it's T2 counterpart. One of the reasons is that when you are the most expensive ship on the field, you very commonly are called primary and die first, thus negating the benefit you could have brought to your fleet.

Before when I'd lose a ship, it would cost me around 150 million for the ship and all the fittings, now when I lose a ship it typically costs me between 5-20 million depending on what I'm flying. I still have all my shiny expensive ships, but they only undock when we have a very solid fleet composition and they are flying with everyone else's nice shiny toys, and typically in those fleets we know exactly what we are going up against and rarely lose more than a ship or two.

Having a plan and choosing specifically what types of ships will be in your fleet, and how they are fit is also extremely advantageous. We used to throw kitchen sink fleets at people and I can't tell you how ineffective those were in most fights. Everyone would fit different range weapons, different speed ships, and everyone would be buffer tanked but we'd only bring one logi, so when he died, so did everyone else. Now days when a fleet is organized for a specific purpose, everyone needs to fly a specific doctrine not only so that the Fleet commander knows exactly how to command his fleet, but also so we can be more effective in every other way.

There are good fleet doctrines and  bad fleet doctrines, but even a bad fleet doctrine can be more effective than a kitchen sink fleet. If you're reading this and trying to learn more about what type of ships to fly, there isn't a right or wrong answer, because every ship in the game is useful in it's own way. You just need to know how to fit it, and how to fly it, and when to fly it.

Everyone knows rule # 1 in Eve, which is don't fly what you can't afford to lose. I'd also like to add that even if you can afford to lose something expensive, doesn't mean you should be flying it and I don't mean based on your skillpoints. For example, if you have a fleet of T1 frigates, don't bring a T2 logistics ship to support 10 frigates, or a battleship just because it has more HP. Grab something more practical, because you'll just end up dying first if you don't mesh with the rest of your fleet properly.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Eve Online: Killboards


A huge source of arguments, intelligence gathering, stress, gloating, and smack talking. In my old corporation they didn't matter at all to us. The CEO and directors didn't monitor them to make sure that everyone maintained a certain ISK efficiency or anything like that. People still looked at them and asked questions about kills and losses, but nobody was yelling at you for losing ships. Maybe if you lost a billion worth of loot in an Iteron V in high sec, you might get a few extra jabs for being stupid, but we didn't even take those too seriously because the person that lost the ship already has to deal with the loss as well.  Apparently that isn't the norm though, because I've been in a few alliances in my eight months of playing Eve and most of them are pretty serious about their killboards and try to make sure people don't die too much.

This is a strange catch-22 in my opinion. They want you get out there and fight and blow up other ships, but to do so you have to risk your ship, which means that you are going to lose ships too. Since I moved back out to null sec, I have killed around 2-3 billion in ships, and I've only lost one Talwar for about 13 million ISK. I think that's pretty damn good if you ask my opinion, but for some reason people always focus on the negative.

A few days ago a corp mate in his Thorax and me in my Talwar took on a Stabber Fleet Issue (SFI) and we both lost our ships in an EPIC fight. We had the SFI down to about 25% hull before we died, and it was glorious. I was not upset in the slightest from losing my ship, neither was the Thorax. The SFI had 90% overheat damage by the end and thanked us for an awesome fight. He scooped up both of our wrecks, and contracted them back to us for free because he had so much fun with the fight. Nobody was upset at all in the end except the CEO that we lost. Why was he upset? Not so much that we didn't win, but because with the Thorax and Talwar deaths, we had now dropped to 89.9% ISK efficiency on our killboard.

He didn't yell or get angry or anything, but you could hear the heavy sighs and disappointment. I felt like saying "Sorry Dad, I'll try harder next time", but I didn't. I just let it go. When I was a kid I remember always feeling like I was being told what I was doing wrong, and never told when I did something good. Reason is, if you're doing your job right and not making mistakes, then people in authority positions (Parents, Bosses, Teachers), will typically leave you be and you never hear from them. The moment you do something wrong though they become "Johnny on the Spot"  and are there to remind you that you're doing it wrong. This is why I make an active effort to acknowledge the successes my 10 year old son has as well as his mistakes.

So why do killboards matter? Whether you use Battle Clinic or Eve Kill or some other board, why do they matter in the end? I know that some groups won't allow you to join if you don't have a certain number of kills a month or aren't operating at a certain efficiency level, and I'm sure that's because they don't want someone joining their group that can't hold their own. Other than that though, who cares if you die? Ships are meant to be blown up in Eve. You're going to have good days and bad days, good months and bad months, Eve is a game of give and take.  An ex corp mate used to fly sniper fit Cormorants and he'd lose about three or four a day, but he also killed about 40-50 other ships a day. That's a solid trade off in my opinion.

I try not to take Eve too seriously. I enjoy it, it's a lot of fun, but in the end it's still a game. I could shut it off tomorrow, walk away, and New Eden wouldn't even notice I was gone.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eve Online: Patience

Whether you are setting a trap, camping a gate, or assembling a fleet there is one skill that you must posses that is more necessary that any skill you can train in Eve, and that is patience.

Question: "Do you know the reward for being patient?"
Answer: "Patience"

Two days ago I was in the process of moving some of my stuff from high sec through a wormhole to my new home in null sec. Right when I docked with my first load of stuff, assembled a Talwar just in case of emergencies, the alliance intel channel spotted a Tengu a few systems away. A general call out for extra ships to help bring it down was relayed, although if it was cloaked and nullified, we knew the odds that we wouldn't likely be able to catch it. Someone checked out the guys corporation and his corp used to live in the area about 6 months ago but left a long time ago. Odds are this guy logged off for a few months, and logged back in and was just trying to get the hell out of dodge.

The FC relays over comms that he had eyes on the Tengu was going to check to see if he was nullified by using his Sabre to catch him on a gate. The rest of the gang are still 1-2 jumps away but if the guy is nullified then there is no point in really trying to catch up to him. A few seconds later he announces that the Tengu is NOT nullified and he has the Tengu in his bubble and pointed, but he's trying to run and getting away slowly. The fleet jumps in right as the Tengu gets out of range of his point and we see him warp off and cloak. We figured at this point that he's gone and if he's smart he'll log off for a while and try again later once we've all forgotten about him. There are only two gates out of this system so we split our fleet in half, and jump through the only two exits this system has. We place a Sabre and 2-3 DPS ships in each of the adjacent systems, so no matter which way he goes, he'll have a hard time getting away.

We wait....and we wait... and we wait. We added him to our watchlist so we know he didn't log off. Finally after about twenty minutes, local spikes by one and the gate flashes and he jumps into the system I'm in. Sabre pops his bubble, and the Tengu starts to run for it as he engages his cloak. We rush his location and are able to successfully decloak him. The other 3 guys that were camping the other exit from that system jump into system just as we melt his shields away. If you know anything about shield tanked ships, you know that once you push past the shields, the fight is just about over. We pause for 3-4 seconds for our friends that joined late to get a lock and start attacking so they can get on the killmail, and almost instantly the Tengu is reduced to space dust. With the Sabre's bubble still up grab the pod, lock it up and give him a proper "Welcome back to Eve" greeting.

After we see the killmail we notice the Tengu was PvE fit, and worth about 650 million, the pod however was worth even more than his ship at around 820 million. Also it turns out that one of our corp members has a spy in the guy's alliance intel channel (apparently they know he's a spy but don't kick him from the channel), and decided to post the killmail there just to be funny.

They respond by saying "Yeah, he logged into teamspeak and started screaming like a baby demanding that everyone come and help him, to which we responded "Sure, we're only about 70 jumps away, we'll be right there."". They also then kick him out of their own teamspeak because he won't stop screaming and they are on a fleet op of their own at the moment. We check the Tengu's character sheet five minutes later and he rage quit his corp and logged off. Classic.

So far I like the new guys I'm flying with. The fleet commander appears to know how to do his job, people respect him when he talks, but don't kiss his ass. I think I made a good choice moving to my new home and deciding to leave my old life behind. I can feel the "Eve Spark" returning which is good. It was definitely fading there for a bit.

Topping it off with 1.5 billion in kills on my first day isn't too bad either :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Eve Online: Dotlan

I use this site so much that I thought I'd spend some time writing about some of it's uses and how it can be used for a multitude of functions. Handy for the veteran planner or the newbie looking to learn a few new tricks.

DOTLAN is it's name, and if you ever wanted to know some extra details about systems, alliances, and corporations, this is a site that you need to familiarize yourself with.

On the initial page you've got a series of regional maps and faction warfare maps that you can check out, each of which will take you to a fully interactive overview of that region. Go ahead and click on the regional map Catch and once inside you'll notice all the system names, which alliance owns it (if any), the sov level of that system (1-5), if there are any outposts in that system and what type of services that outpost offers. You can also find Ice Belts, whether or not a system is contested, and which other regions connect to that region.

In the top right corner of the map is a drop down that allows you to change what type of information you want to view on all the systems such as; Sovereignty (which alliance controls the system), Corporation (which specific corporation owns that systems), Security Level, how many belts, planets, moons, if there are any permanent DED complexes in that system, jumps in the last hour/day, ship and pod kills in the last hour/day, NPC kills in the last hour/day.

Let's say for example that you're trying to plan a roam through null sec to go pick a fight (or avoid a fight). I'm going to look at the regional map for Catch and I'm interested in entering Null Sec through HED-GP, and heading down towards Stain. I'm going to check to see which systems in my path have had recent activity lately so that you can steer your roam in that direction, or away from that direction if you think a large gate camp may be present. I'm going to filter by jumps, then by kills, then by NPC kills to gather some initial intelligence on the system.

After filtering by ship/pod kills, I notice that there have been 16/9 kills in WD-VTV in the last hour. That tells me that 16 ships and 9 pods have died in WD-VTV so there is most likely a gate camp there. If I change it to in the last 24 hours I see 227 ships and 93 pods have died in the last 24 hours. Either a large fleet battle took place, or one hell of a gate camp. Now I'm going to click on the WD-VTV system and drill down and get some more specific information on what's been going on.

By clicking on a system you are now presented with tons more information for your viewing pleasure.  Let's focus on kills by clicking on Kills next to the pretty pink heart.  This will now tell me all the ships that have been killed in the last 48 hours in this system, who died, how many were involved, what time they blew up, etc. If you want you can also click on a specific kill that will take you to the actual killmail, showing you specifically who was involved, as well as everything else that comes along with a killmail.

Pretty handy stuff right?! 

Let's head back to the home page and take a look at some of the other elements that Dotlan has to offer. On the right side of your screen you can see the Most Violent Systems for null sec and low sec in the last 3 hours, Top Sovereignty Changes in the last 7 days (who has gained the most or lost the most systems), Alliance Movement showing who has lost or gained the most members in the last 7 days, and the last 5 shiny New Outposts that have been constructed. Each of these stats can be clicked on to bring you to a more complete list if you're interested.

In additional to all of the above, Dotlan also offers a navigational tool, that can help you plan a trip, including ships capable of using jump drives. Simply click on the Navigation tab, input your systems into the jump planner, including any waypoints or systems to avoid and BAM! You're all set.

Last but not least the Faction War tab will take you to a list of all the systems out there involved with faction warfare, who owns it, if it's contested or not, and where you can find it.

Anyways, that sums up my synopsis of Dotlan's EveMaps. Check it out, use it, abuse it, and fly smarter (or more stupid if you prefer). Either way you can plan it better now.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Eve Online: Decision Made

After a lot of thought and a few annoying conversations, I left my corp. I resigned as CEO and turned control over to one of the other directors in the corp. There were only two directors left, one of which never liked being a leader so that left me with one option. I decided I didn't want to try and fix a group that doesn't have any interest in being fixed.

One of the members that left our corp a few months ago has been living in NPC null sec the entire time and invited me to join his group in their region they "control". I say "control" but the difference between NPC null sec and other areas of null sec, is that you can't claim sovereignty over a system when it's owned by one of the NPC factions such as Serpentis, Sansha, Rogue Drones, etc.

Technically, nobody can fly in with a fleet, take control of your station and force you to leave. They can still fly in, harass you, and make you WANT to leave, but you will always be able to dock in at the NPC station, even if the resident NPC faction hates you.

The group I've joined lives in a secluded area that has a long pipeline. Unless someone comes in through a wormhole, we will get plenty of warning that someone is hanging around our space. I did a bunch of research on the region, the systems, their alliance, their killboards, and decided that this group definitely knows how to thrive and how to fight. They excel in small gang warfare, have a strong killboard, and are on their way to being a strong enough group to confidently win fights when they are outnumbered 2-1 or even 3-1.

I want to now focus on making some ISK, perfectly my EWAR skills, and just be a pilot in a corporation with no leadership responsibilities. Being a leader in eve was fun and all, but I don't see myself trying to be a leader again any time soon. It'll be nice to just focus on the game and myself for a while.

I haven't moved out to my new home yet since I'm still gathering up everything I will need to live in deep null sec for a while. I got spoiled last time I live in Null, and with the awesome jump bridge network was only 3 jumps from high sec to stock up on anything I needed.

Hopefully this new path doesn't backfire, but I feel good about my decision to leave and blaze my own path away from the pilots I've known since I started Eve. I'm excited to find out if other groups out there can be as fun to fly with as the guys I flew with when we were all active and focused on a mutual goal.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Eve Online: No Lack of Options

This has been an interesting week for sure. I have decided to not give up on Eve, but I still haven't decided where my future lies. That being said, there hasn't been any shortage of options which is really nice.

Some of you have reached out to me through my blog to let me know that I'd be welcome shooting stuff with you, and one of you was even able to track me down in game and extend an offer which I thought was pretty cool.

In my seven months of playing Eve and writing this blog, I've only ever publicly said who I was once, and I deleted that comment after I got in touch with the person I needed to. I'm not sure why I am still trying to hold on to anonymity, but I think it helps me feel free to fully express what's going on with my Eve experience. I've vented from time to time, expressed frustration, even outright insulted some people in a few of my posts, and rather than create a diplomatic incident with various alliances I've decided to just keep my identity semi-secret, for now.

The happiest I've been in Eve was when we rented a system out in Catch, had access to an extensive jump bridge network, got plenty of PvE within our system, very close to a null sec trade hub, and there was no shortage of PvP when we wanted it. Truly we were spoiled with our location, logistics, and ability to make mountains of ISK.

I still haven't made up my mind what I'm going to do, but I'm leaning towards moving back out to null to be a renter somewhere. My only dilemma is whether or not to join someone else's corporation or to stay in my corporation and join an alliance. There are currently around 45 members left in my corporation, but we've only got 4-5 active members now. 15 of those 45 members are the alts of the 4-5 active members, and the rest we haven't seen in a month or two.

I'm leaning toward kicking everyone that hasn't been active in the last 30 days, and joining an alliance that holds an area that I'm interested in moving to. I'd rather run a corporation of 5-10 active core members than having 100 members but only ever see 5% of them.

I currently have ZERO loyalty or hatred to any alliance out there. I've had negative experiences with one or two alliances, but overall I don't have an opinion formed. If I bothered asking opinions about alliances out there, I'd find people loving and hating each one for different reasons.

My goal will be to most likely live in Null, do some ratting to make ISK, join up in PvP and Call to Arms when needed, and lay low for a while.

Currently I specialize in covert ops, recon, remote sensor dampening ships including the electronic attack frigate, and in a week I'll be flying a Heavy Interdictor. I can fly a multitude of other ships, but these are the ones I've spent extra time specializing in. I enjoy flying support ships and not so much the front line DPS ships. My alt is an awesome Talwar pilot, and currently training for command ships to give boosts to me and others in our fleet.

If I do decide to leave my corp and join up with another one out there, I think I'll have a lot to offer. Stay tuned for more details.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Eve Online: Is this the end?

Our corporation has finally hit that major crossroad that will determine our fate going forward. Most of our directors have left to join other groups, or just left Eve altogether. The CEO resigned yesterday and appointed me the new CEO. We're falling apart at the seams.

No real drama happened to bring us to this point. No fighting within the corporation, nothing crazy and controversial. The biggest thing that happened was inactivity in my opinion. Now I'm left standing alone staring at a corporation of 48 members, most of them inactive, plus probably a few billion in corp assets scattered all across New Eden.

This week I plan to fly around and start gathering up all my personal assets and corp assets and put them in one location to see what I've got. I may even create a bunch of courier contracts and hope that someone picks them up and relocates all my stuff for me rather than spend an entire day flying around.

(Do people even do courier contracts?) 

I am going to be tearing down the POS in the wormhole this week as well. I've already told everyone to grab their stuff and get it out. I'm not going to pay for the fuel on a POS when nobody ever logs in, and when they do, they don't even go into the wormhole. A lot of our members keep saying "Lets do some PvP", but all they ever do is whine, complain, or do some PvE. When they do PvP, they fly out in very expensive ships, get them blown up, and then rage quit for a few days.

It's a shame to waste a C3 with a high sec exit, but I don't have a choice. I'll probably put the wormhole back up for sale at in the next few days. Let me know if you're interested, if you ask here on my blog, I'll give you a discount over what I'll be asking for on the sale forum.

I don't know where to go from here, or even if I want to carry on with Eve. Real life keeps finding a way of taking more and more of my time, and I find myself logging in less and less often.

Stay tuned for more details...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Eve Online: Winter 2013 Expansion Wish List

CCP recently announced they will be giving us a taste of things to come in a live stream on September 26th, at 20:00 Eve Time on Twitch TV.

I've been trying to think about a wish list or if I could have it my way list of items that I would love to see, and it's hard for me to wrap my brain around all of New Eden at the same time.

Most of these ideas have NOT been well thought through, I'm just throwing them out there. 

  • Saved Ship Fittings / Auto Buy in Station
    • Basically if you save a fitting, you could have an option to "Buy Fitting" from any outpost. All the modules available in the station will be bought at the same time and placed in your inventory.
    • A pop up window could open and say "Fitting will cost XXXX from this station" , and show how much above or below market price % you will be paying for the fit. 

  • Too early to ask for Advanced Infomorph Synchronizing? 
    • If you've training Infomorph Synchronizing to level V, you can then train the advanced version, and knock off an additional hour per skill level to jump clone times.

  • Drones being capable of targeting yourself?
    • I know this one could have too big of impacts to allow. But if Logistic Drones (or any other drones for that matter) could be set to target yourself, it could be interesting. They are my drones after all, I should be able to tell them to target whoever I want. 

  • Allow Null Sec Infrastructure Upgrades be allowed to be captured
    • If I've spent 3 billion ISK to upgrade a system I live in, and someone comes and takes that system away from me, all those upgrades are gone. I recently read a good analogy why this doesn't make sense. Throughout history (and in modern times) , an invading army would often invade to gain the resources of that land. They had the option to just destroy the existing resources, but they could also just take them and keep them as well. 
    • Maybe you have to bring the shields or armor down on the I-Hub to a certain level, and a percentage of the upgrades get destroyed in the process once you assume control, but not all of them. 

  • Change out strategic cruiser subsystems at a POS
    • I know this has been on the books for a while, but it'd be nice to find a way to swap out subsystems from a POS. 

  • Increase the % that killing someone with a bounty pays out
    • Currently there is a formula for how much of a bounty a person collects when they kill someone that has an active bounty on their heads. I'd like to see the % increased by 5-10% if possible. 

  • Allow Bombs in High Sec and Low Sec, but have it be a Concord offense?
    • What would happen if stealth bombers "could" launch bombs in high sec and low sec, although doing so would be punishable by Concord? Would anyone actual launch a bomb knowing full well that they would be popped by Concord in high sec or have a security hit in Low Sec, even if they didn't hit anything?

Maybe all these ideas are crap, and none of them should take place. They are merely the ramblings of a noob and should be treated as such. 

Do you have any items on your wishlist that you would love to see CCP add or change?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Eve Online: Suicide Ganking

Ok, now that I'm living in a wormhole again I remember that there are times when you can get very bored. And boredom causes me to do stupid stuff. I'll admit I now have a guilty pleasure in suicide ganking people when I get bored. I know that it's a horrible thing and everyone hates a suicide ganker, but it's a natural part of Eve, and there are very easy steps you can take to prevent someone else from suicide ganking you.

One of the biggest things you should do if you're carrying any loot you don't want to lose, avoid using autopilot. There is also a ISK to Gank ratio that you should to take into consideration. If you're flying a tech 1 hauler, and you're carrying more than 100 million in loot, you're a target juicy target. You might even get ganked for carrying 50 million because tech 1 haulers blow up so easy. If you're in a freighter and you're carrying more than 1 billion in loot you "might" be a target but maybe not a juicy one. It takes a LOT of DPS to bring down a freighter so autopiloting is typically safe as long as you stay below the 1 billion isk benchmark. If you start carrying 1.5 - 2.0 billion in loot in a freighter, you just became something everyone wants to shoot. If you've got the extra low slots, think about using some warp core stabs as well, they've saved my life on more than one occasion.

As a ganker, you have to accept that half the loot will drop, the other half will vaporize into space dust. So if you blow up something carrying 100 million in loot, only expect 50 million of loot to drop. If anything more than that drops, count yourself lucky. Using this basic formula you shouldn't risk more than probably 20-30 million in ships to gank someone carrying 100 million in loot.

This morning me and my CEO decided that we wanted to try and make some easy ISK and go suicide gank someone. We headed out to a nearby .5 system, him with a catalyst, me with my alt in a Talwar. I used two of my mid slots to equip a passive targeting system and a cargo scanner so he had to equip the tackle mods. People can tell you're still scanning them even with a passive targeting mod, but they have to be looking for the long yellow scanning beam coming from your ship to theirs. If you're hauling something you don't want to lose, and you think it's likely you might be ganked, fly to a safespot immediately and wait out the storm.

Our target was just going to be one of the tech 1 haulers out there, like the Iteron Mark V or a Badger II or something like that. If we attack on gate the sentry guns will instapop my Talwar, so I'm only good for one volley, but luckily that volley will get me up to 1500 damage. The catalyst will get a few more shots off than me, but we'll end up with very similar total damage in the end. We've also got a third person in a hauler ready to scoop any loot we may be lucky enough to have drop.

Twenty minutes go by and I've been scanning ships left and right and not seeing anything really worth it. All of a sudden a Cheetah arrives at the gate and he's autopiloting. You can tell someone is autopiloting when they land about 15km from the gate and start slowing approaching it. I decide to go ahead and give the cheetah a scan.

I about shit myself when I see that he's loaded up with faction mods. I inform my CEO that we need to pop the Cheetah now. I'm already in range so I light him up, one volley and I'm dead, but I've knocked him down to about 50% armor. The catalyst joins in and the cheetah pops like zit. Our cargo hauler swoops in and scoops the loot as we warp away in our pods.

My CEO posts the killmail and the cheetah was worth almost 800 million and he ended up dropping almost 600 million of it, well above the 50% expected drop. Not a bad exchange for the 20 million in destroyers we lost.

I don't feel sorry for suicide ganking him and taking his stuff. I do feel a little sorry him because now he has to go explain to his corp/alliance how he got ganked in a covert ops frigate in high sec. It's very hard to catch a covert ops frigate in null sec when you've got bubbles and cans to help you. It's near impossible to catch a covert ops frigate in high sec unless he's autopiloting, and if you're autopiloting, you shouldn't be carrying 700-800 million in loot on you. Period.

Last week a member of our corp was flying an Iteron V with over a billion worth of loot in it. He had a T3 cruiser with all the fittings and a deimos with all the fittings in his cargo. As you may suspect, he got ganked and lost it all. He rage quit that night pissed off at suicide gankers. I understand his anger, but you're asking for it if you're carrying that much loot in a very soft, slow, and easy to catch ship.

Whether you hate gankers or not, they are a reality in Eve so you have to take precautions so as to not fall victim to one, and as long as people are willing to fly around in very soft ships carrying way too much loot, I'll be happy to shoot them and take it from them.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Eve Online: Moon Mining Question

Currently moon mining is not allowed in wormholes, and the only reason that I've heard given why is that you have to control sovereignty of a system to be able to moon mine, and since you can't own SOV in low sec, wormholes, or high sec, then it's not allowed.

Eve does a decent job, IMO, at explaining why some things are allowed and why other things are forbidden within the mechanics of the game, but I have yet to hear any logical reason why moon mining can't be done in wormhole space, high sec, or even parts of low sec.

I truly understand that if moon mining was allowed throughout New Eden, including w-space, that it would drastically change a lot of the game, which I'm not necessarily pushing for. I'm mostly looking for a reason that makes sense.

I could understand if High Sec's excuse is "The Gallente Federation owns this system and they don't allow it, because they harvest it themselves", and that excuse would be sufficient for me.

I am at a loss for why moon mining isn't allowed in W-Space though. They "could" use the reason of "sleepers will destroy any moon mining" or something like that, but if you use that reason then it would only make sense that other NPC rats would/could attack POS towers all over the galaxy.

Ultimately I think any POS in ANY system is vulnerable so nobody should feel safe, even in high sec. I think if it's able to be anchored to a moon, then moon mining should be allowed (unless forbidden by who owns the system). Or maybe moon mining could be allowed in High sec, but the whoever owns the system will take X% of whatever is mined. Also the moon goo in high sec could be horrible or sparse, and not even worth mining, kind of like the planetary interaction in high sec, but at least it's allowed.

Have you heard any good reasons why it isn't allowed?

Do you think it should be allowed, but moderated like ore values or planet resources so as to not flood the market?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Eve Online: 170,120,431 Jumps To Your Destination

Ever been in a wormhole and set your destination to somewhere in known space? As you may guess it doesn't work. There are no star gates or jump bridges that can help you get back to your home, only wormholes. The act of doing so confuses your intergalactic GPS navigation telling you that you have a few million jumps to go.

After a week of shopping for a wormhole we finally found one worth moving into. We ended up settling on a C3 with a static high sec. We initially wanted a C2 with a static high and another wormhole static so we could regularly go raid other people's wormholes, but we couldn't find one that fit most of our corps needs for the right price. We wanted to make sure that it was difficult enough for most of our members to run sites solo, but not impossible.  The system needed to have decent PI available for people to make extra income on the side.

A few of our members have been scanning for the last week to try and find us a new home without any luck. Most of the wormholes we found that we liked were already occupied and we didn't want to have to evict anyone (although that would have been fun). I had also been monitoring  for any deals out there being offered. Wormhole sales is a site that people can buy and sell wormholes in Eve Online with. "Wormhole Sales" also has a chat channel in Eve that I joined to inquire and negotiate about potential wormholes I was interested in. For the first days I wasn't making a lot of headway to securing myself a wormhole, but I was committed to finding our corporation a wormhole, otherwise I feared our core membership was going to start logging off, and not come back.

Wormhole Sales offers a 3rd party service to buyers and sellers of wormholes. The general idea is that someone "Seller" has the location of an empty wormhole and they want to sell it, they advertise their wormhole, the on their site, and people can inquire about it. A buyer then contacts one of the "brokers" who will then charge 10% of the sale price of the wormhole to make sure that neither the buyer or the seller gets screwed on the deal. Once I was able to get in touch with a broker, I was very pleased with the service. A quick shout out to Redslay for the solid service he provided. I would definitely use these services again if I go shopping for a wormhole.

We've got our Large Amarr Tower set up now, plenty of guns, EWAR, and a few shield hardeners to hopefully be able to put up a good fight. Only one member of our corp has Starbase Defense Management, so if someone came and attacked us right now, we'd have to hope that the random target selection by the POS would be sufficient (not likely). I've got another week to train Anchoring V to be able to help with the POS defenses, until then I just hope we don't get attacked.

Since we've moved into the wormhole a few of our members that left our corp have returned, our core members are logging on more often, and there seems to be a renewed sense of cooperation and teamwork. For now I think our corporation will survive, as long as we keep having fun and earning ISK in the wormhole and other means, I think we'll be alright.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Eve Online: Wormhole Shopping

I'm not sure how many people from my corp will be joining me, but I've decided that I'm going to move back into a wormhole. I used to live in a wormhole for a month or two early in my Eve Career, and I've decided it's time to move back. I've been tossing around what class of wormhole, what static's I want, and what wormhole effects I'd be willing to live in.

If you've never lived in a wormhole the entire mechanics of the game can drastically change if you're not prepared. 

The first noticeable difference when you enter a wormhole is there is no local chat channel. You are unable to see how many people are in the system. Local chat still shows up, but you can't tell if anyone is there or not. It is HIGHLY recommended that you do NOT chat in local, because once you talk in local, everyone in the system will know you are there, and be able to plan accordingly. Stealth is your greatest asset in wormhole space.

DSCAN DSCAN DSCAN: You need to have Dscan up and constantly scanning when you live in a wormhole. Failure to do so will ultimately end with your death.

The second difference you may or may not initially notice is a message saying that strange effects may be present in this system. If you don't know what you're looking for, you may not know that your ship just became highly ineffective the way you fit it. Check out this site  for detailed information on wormhole effects.
Your resists can go up or down, range up or down, speed and signature radius drastically changed, damage changes, etc. You need to know what you're getting yourself into, or kiss your ship goodbye because I guarantee you that if anyone is living in that wormhole they are prepared accordingly.  Proper planning is always important, but with wormhole combat it's twice as important.

Planetary Interaction (PI) is amazing in wormhole space. If you find the right system, you can be swimming in ISK quickly.

Sleepers are the NPC to shoot at, and if you don't know anything about sleepers then you may find yourself sitting in your pod before you even know what hit you. Sleepers are the most aggressive, hard hitting, omni-tank, omni-damage, badasses of the galaxy. If you stumble across a few sleepers in a site and think "Oh, there's only 6 of them, I got this", and you've never faced sleepers before, get ready to be webbed, scrammed, and have to tank a TON of damage. If you live, the salvage and loot from sleepers is extremely high in value, but you won't get any bounties from them.

Each wormhole comes on a classification from C1-C6. The higher the number the higher the difficulty to live in. Also, the higher the class of the wormhole the actual wormhole itself changes. I don't have all the details memorized, you can read here for more, but wormholes have a specific amount of time they stay open and a certain amount of mass that can pass through them before they collapse. For example, a brand new wormhole may have a life of 24 hours and 20,000,000 m3 of mass that can pass through it before it disappears, whichever happens first. They also have a per ship limit of how much mass can pass through them, based on the wormhole classification. I believe that Battleships cannot pass through a C1 or C2 wormhole, but they can with C3-C6. Capital ships cannot pass through anything smaller than a C5 or C6 I believe, but they might be able to enter some C4's.

Every wormhole will also always has have static entrances to and from itself. A static hole is a type of wormhole that will always be connected to your wormhole. For example, I may live in in a C3 wormhole and my wormhole has a static to highsec. This means at any given point my wormhole is currently connected to high sec space. If that wormhole collapses, another will immediately spawn in the wormhole to another high sec system. Wormholes can also have static's to another wormhole class. If I live in a C3 wormhole, and have a C1 static, that means that I will always be connected to a C1 wormhole, when that wormhole collapses, another will immediately spawn to another C1.

Having a high sec static is nice for being able to move stuff quickly in and out of your system, BUT it also means you will have a lot more traffic in your wormhole. In my opinion the best static to have is to a C1-C3, so that you are only typically one jump away from known space. I'm currently shopping for a C2 or C3 wormhole, with a static to C1-C3.

I've recently been directed to use this website to help me shop for a wormhole. You can scan for weeks and not find an empty wormhole, and this site allows you to buy the location off of someone that has already scanned it down. They use 3rd party brokers, to help ensure that you are getting what you pay for.

I'll update more as soon as I move in. Cheers!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Eve Online: Fleet Commanders

Just a caveat before I get started. I am not a fleet commander, and don't even pretend to be one on TV. My experience that I will share for this article is from the point of view of a member of the fleet, and not from the captain's chair. 

I've been playing Eve for about 6 months now, and in my short time I have had the pleasure and pain of flying with fleet commanders with varying levels of competence.

Early on in my experience I had the pleasure of flying with some small gangs where the FC had a few years of experience. He taught us how to align to the gate, warp as a fleet, observation points, safe spots, burning back to gate, optimal range, and the dreaded roams through low sec and null sec looking for a fight. He'd have us put together a kitchen sink fleet as long as it was cruiser or smaller and we'd go looking for a fight. 90% of the time we got our butts handed to us, but on those rare occasions we landed on a lone rifter or whatever we basked in our kill and talked about it for hours. "Our 5 Frigates, 3 Destroyers, and 3 Cruisers totally killed that Rifter!!!"

We were so proud of ourselves.

Countless mistakes were made on our fleets part, but our fleet commander was always great and made quick and decisive decisions. None of us were ever upset that we lost our ships, because we fully accepted that could be the reality when we undocked and headed out to meet our destiny.

Many months later I had the pleasure again of flying with a one of Initiative's head fleet commanders and I once again saw what a strong FC can bring to a fight. His understanding of his fleet doctrines, intelligence gathering from scouts, proper tactics to use, respect from his fleet, and control of the comms was amazing to witness.

Recently I have been witnessing the exact opposite of good fleet commanders. They go AFK during a fight, if they get remote sensor dampened they scream into comms "Someone else FC, I'm sensor dampened", they take WAY too long to make a decision, and we keep dying over and over again.

I don't mind dying and losing my ships at all, but I hate to die when it could have been easily prevented.

Two days ago a group of 10 caracals were roaming through our space and were 2 jumps away while we were sitting on a gate they had to come through. We had an Armageddon, 2 Dominix, 3 blaster Talos, A sabre, an interceptor, and 3 Vexors. We were ready to fight and KNEW beyond a reasonable doubt we could wipe the floor with the caracal fleet. I ask in comms since they are completely quiet "FC, are we fighting or running".... 30 seconds go by no response. Intel says over comms they are jumping into the next system "FC Are we fighting or running?" .... No Response.

Scout says "They are landing on the gate", FC says "We are running, everyone go to a safe spot". Frustrated and annoyed I still obey orders and warp away as the fleet is jumping into system. We lose an Armageddon and a Dominix because they couldn't warp away fast enough. Later he blamed it on everyone else, then reluctantly said he'd pay for the lost ships (which never happened).

Later back in our system, the caracal gang showed up and started camping our station. We had 20+ pilots docked up in station so the FC says "Let's undock and fight them", to which people start undocking one at a time and getting blapped one at a time, not realizing there isn't an actual fleet outside fighting back, just solo pilots undocking and getting popped. I undocked in a Navy Issue Vexor and I see we have two carriers undocked as well. I launched my full flight of sentry drones and started to attack the Caracal that the FC called primary. I was immediately called primary (since there was only about 4 ships undocked) and I melted pretty fast. I warp away in my pod and wait to come back when my aggression timer is done.

The FC starts screaming like a baby to "stop dying!" and after 10-15 minutes finally tells everyone to stop undocking. We lost multiple battleships, multiple cruisers and basically got our asses handed to us by someone we should have been able to take on with little problem. It was an outright embarrassment to be associated with that fleet. The fleet commander then proceeds to yell at me for undocking in a Navy Issue Vexor and says he never wants me to fly that ship again and he doesn't want to ever see it on our killboards ever again. I argue for a few minutes but eventually I bite my tongue and said "Ok, I'll follow orders", because I don't want to have our entire corporation kicked out of alliance and everyone have their stuff stuck in station with no access to it.

This long annoying day is only one of the many frustrating experiences lately with this new alliance. I have already moved most of my stuff out of their space. I think I'm done with the whole Alliance thing for a while, too much of a bad taste in my mouth. I'm highly considering going to live in a wormhole for a while until things blow over.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Eve Online: Cinderella

I'm grew up in the 80's and Cinderella said it best "You Don't Know What You Got, Till It's Gone"

Our corporation recently left the Alliance we were a part of and joined a new alliance on the other side of the map. We used to be living in Catch, which is Sansha space, and through the use of jump bridges we were only 3 jumps from High Sec, but we actually lived about 15 jumps from high. In our downtime we could dock at our station, run anomalies in system or nearby systems, go ratting on the belts, and transport any loot we earned easily to high sec with limited logistics needs. 

Now we live in Rogue Drone space, NPC's don't drop any loot, we're about 40 jumps from high sec, the systems our alliance owns don't have any outposts, we've been told to NOT go ratting in the systems that aren't ours (even though they belong to allies of our alliance), and people are charging between 500-1000 isk per m3 to transport stuff out to our region. 

Oh, and to top it all off a lot of the alliance members frequently begin and end their sentences with racial slurs or hate speech, which I refuse to continue to deal with. Sugar recently posted an article on this , and I think she captures the problem well. 

We've lost about 10-12 members of our corp in the last week or two, because they don't agree with the move. I'm on the board of directors and I don't agree with the move, but I'm giving it a few weeks to see if things get better. If things don't change I already know what my backup plan is. 

Our Alliance is blue to another alliance that owns some space back in the area we just moved from, only a few jumps from where all my stuff is staged in high sec. If things go south, I'll be moving me and 3-4 other members from our corp to that system to get some small gang pvp action, perhaps even joining the alliance that owns that region that I do like. 

We weren't looking to leave our old alliance, but our old alliance was abandoning the region we lived in, and that system wasn't safe for us anymore. 

I've got two toons, and for now I'm playing in our old region with one toon, staging my other in the new region with the bare essentials and if things start to go south, I'll be moving out. 

PS. In my opinion Rogue Drone space is horrible. Some people may like it, but if you enjoy doing a little PvE action when there is no PvP going on, then I don't recommend living in Drone space. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eve Online: Morality?

I consider myself having a lot of moral flexibility. Some may say that means I don't have any morals, but what someone else perceives as my obligations to a situation may not be what I perceive my obligation to be.

Last night, I was hanging out in the public chat room that our corporation uses to chat and talk with our non-corp allies. We have a few friends to our corp that are NOT allies to our alliance, which can pose a multitude of conflicts, confusion, and potentially dangerous situations in the heat of battle.

Three members of our corp decided we were going to go gate camp with 3 members of this other corporation. We're blue to each other so we don't shoot each other, but our enemies are not the same. Our group of three arrive first at the gate and begin camping and let the other guys know where we are so they can come join us. While we're camping this gate and they are on the way an alliance Loki begins to camp with us. This Loki doesn't say hi, or mind if I join, or anything at all, just hangs out and starts camping with us. We relay over comms that there is now a "friendly" Loki sitting on gate with us.

Our buddies decide they want to kill this Loki since it's not blue to them, and we remind them that we can't help since we're blue, but we're not going to stop it either. First they send a Hawk to engage the Loki by himself, and the Hawk is handling the Loki just fine on his own, tanking the damage and pulling him from the gate farther and farther. As soon as the Loki is 10km away from the gate he warp scrams it, webs it, and his two buddies jump in with Sleipnir's. The Loki tries to disengage and burn back to the gate but he can't jump until his combat timer runs out, giving the three ships plenty of time to crush his tank and kill him. His pod jettisons and they lock it and pod him as well.

This entire time, I'm sitting there not doing a single thing to help either side. Just hanging out watching the fight.  A moment later a neut Arbitrator jumped into system (which was neut for both of us) and we work together and make quick work of the lonely ship that happened to stumble on our camp.

Time goes by, and I'm waiting for an email or something from the Loki pilot asking why we weren't engaging, blah blah blah, but nothing ever comes. I'm not sure if he knew we weren't engaging or if he just assumed we were helping and the enemies just called him primary.

I thought the whole thing was hilarious, and didn't lose a bit of sleep over not helping the Loki. We are part of the renter alliance so we're not treated with the same respect as the rest of the alliance so I don't think I owe them anything. They take our ISK monthly, don't really provide us any protection, and so I don't care if one of them dies by gate camping in Strategic Cruiser.

I didn't know the pilot in the Loki, so I had no loyalty there. If I had known the pilot, I would have warned him or tried to prevent his ultimate demise in some other way.

Our friendly corp and us are working on how we end up blue to each other and have everyone else can have the same standing, but until then we will likely have many conflicts of interest when we decide to fleet up.  I smell some sort of diplomatic incident coming soon. Hopefully we out our new rental situation by then.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Eve Online: Relocating our home

We are currently living in Catch, and due to recent turmoil, politics, and I'm sure dozens of other things, Initiative has decided that they are going to be moving their efforts to some place else. They aren't giving their systems away to anyone in particular but in a few weeks they will stop protecting many of them. We were told to pretty much pack up our stuff and move it to a safe place, because our system and the systems of all the other renters would no longer be protected.

I'm guessing that wherever their new interest is leading them will cause them to be stretched too thin to have to worry about protecting all their systems in Catch. This sucks for us, because we've just spent a few billion ISK upgrading our system with infrastructure upgrades. Now those upgrades are useless to us. 

Over the course of the last week, our corp has painstakingly moved all of our assets out of our system and into high sec. We've started asking around to other alliances regarding rental options, and what the details of those contracts look like.  

We're not set on leaving Initiative but we're not set on staying either, which presents us with a good opportunity to shop around. Our corporation has 54 members about 35 of which are highly active. We have a mix of PvE, PvP and Industry pilots in our corp. So far for the month of August, we've killed over 225 enemy ships. It's not a lot, but we're just now starting to get into it. A few capital pilots but mostly sub-caps. 

If you and your alliance provide rental agreements to corporations please let me know and I'll be in touch.

Another option since we are starting to get more and more involved with PvP is to join up with an alliance and help provide security and participate in CTA's so much so that we reduce or eliminate our rental fee. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eve Online: Knowing When to Fight

Knowing when to fight and when to run. Kenny Rogers said it best "Know when to hold em, know when to fold em" This is a lesson all of us have to learn the hard way I think. I'm guessing most of us didn't have the natural instinct to size up an opponent, and needed to learn through trial and error. I'm still learning this lesson daily.

It's pretty easy when you jump into a system alone, it's camped, and you're outnumbered 10 to 1 that you should probably run. Unless you have backup nearby or you take a quick glance at all the ships targeting you and feel that you can take them, the choice is obvious to burn back to the gate, or execute some other form of escape if possible. If you have resigned your self to death, try to take as many of them with you as you can.

Sometimes, and most times for me, the choice isn't so clear. Very commonly I will encounter a lone ship flying around null sec looking all juicy and ready to be killed. I'm most often in a stealth bomber if I'm not in my own system, so I have the luxury of looking at the target and deciding if I want to engage or not. During these times I think to myself though "What if I was in my Vexor" or one of my many other ships, would I engage or run? I think that my skills have started to blossom lately and I think my ability to take down more targets is getting better an better. The problem is that nobody is ever "alone in null sec", unless they are daft in the brain or truly don't care if they die (more on that in a moment). Either they have friends in nearby systems also looking for a fight, or they have a cyno on them and able to call in the rest of their fleet to wipe you out. This makes it difficult to try and find a fight that will only involve you and your opponent.

I make a decent amount of ISK right now, but not so much that I don't mind throwing away ships. I've tried making a dozen frigates or destroyers and fit them all up and take them out and keep looking for fights, and then I lost 9 out of 10 ships and all their fittings. Part of the problem was that I was engaging the first target I saw and inevitably I was always way outmatched. I'd have my opponent's shield tank or armor tank only down about 10% before I got blown up.

A few months have passed since I last tried that experiment and I'm reluctant to try it again. When I'm not flying a covert ops ship, I'm typically flying a drone boat. I can get about 515 dps out of my Vexor and it tends to be my preferred PvP ship, although I keep plenty of Algos around as well.

I think I still hate dying, and not because I have to replace the ship. I think I hate giving my opponent the satisfaction of killing me. These same pricks show up in our system over and over again and they are all flying 5-8 year toons, and every time we try to engage them they wipe the floor with us. I have stopped undocking and fighting them, because they know they can come to us for an easy kill. Now they'll park an alt in our system and cloak all day watching us. If anyone tries to go about their business running sites or whatever, then we have to constantly look over our shoulder that someone is going to decloak, cyno and kill us.

It's starting to take the fun out of the game. We pay rent to be able to run anomalies, go ratting on the belts, and mine if we choose to. Now we are only able to do that IF they let us. We aren't strong enough to fight back one on one, if we form a fleet and try to engage they drop a cyno and kill us all, and if we don't fight back, they camp our system. I've almost logged off and not logged back on a few times it's been so frustrating. Yeah, I know I sound whiny but when you invest so much time and effort into something and then someone else just controls your experience in the game it sucks.

I'm not giving up hope though. I keep training and planning and devising ways to secure our system, to be able to start effectively killing them and to make it not worth it to them to come around anymore. Who knows, maybe I should give up trying to secure our system, and control what I have the power to control.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Eve Online: API Key, Kill Mails, and Intel

A few months ago I registered at  because when you kill someone, unless you are the person to execute the final blow, you don't get the kill mail for it. Since then, my CEO has mentioned that he doesn't want anyone registered on any sites like that because it provides too much intel for any enemies looking to cause us harm. They can see where we hang out, what type of ships we typically fly, what those ships are fit with, and who we typically fly with.

For those reasons I completely understand not wanting to be registered. I've learned that PvP comes down to a few things that ultimately decide who will win and who will lose. The #1 thing I've learned is preparedness. Whoever is more prepared will greatly increase their chance for survival. This is part of what makes up a good FC. A fleet commander that knows the names of all the other ships out there, how they are typically fit, and the best tactics for bringing them down, will easily beat a fleet twice his size if the other fleet is just a ragtag group thrown together hoping to win by sheer numbers. If a FC is outnumbered 10 to 1, chances are they are going to retreat, not because they're scared, becaues there is no point in everyone dying, just to be stubborn. Unless of course they actually believe they can beat a fleet ten times their size with proper ships and tactics.

All that said, a small portion of why I engage in PvP is for the kill mail. I don't need to be the one that gets the final blow, but as long as the kill goes to a member of our corporation so it ends up giving us credit, then that's all that matters to me.  But since I commonly find myself in mixed fleets, that's not always the case. I have to wait 30 minutes after killing someone and hope that either the person that got the final blow or the person that blew up, was registered as well, otherwise there is no record that I have had a hand in their demise.

Right now, our corporation is working on its PvP kills to try and join another branch of our alliance that specializes in PvP. We aren't allowed to join until we have proven ourselves with kill mails. They don't want spies and noobs that can cause huge headaches to infiltrate their group, and I respect that. But that brings me back to whether or not I keep my API key registered or remove it to prevent enemies from harnessing intel on our fleet makeup.

I fight for fun, but without the kill mail there is no proof. Which in turns ends up resulting in people making up kills that never happened, just to look cool. Maybe they should add a new category in the combat log for Assists.  That way, kill mails stay protected but even logi pilots can start to see the fruit of their labor. They can receive credit if they are involved with healing someone that got an assist or got a kill.  Right now, being a logi or support pilot doesn't receive any recognition, and I think it's time they start to get some well deserved love.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Eve Online: Sacrificing Your Ship

Yesterday a neut in an Iteron V was passing through a nearby system while I was hanging out cloaked in my stealth bomber. My mouth started to salivate and I realized he was about 40km from my.  I was barely out of point range, but I knew that if he warped straight to the next gate there would be a stop bubble and he'd be caught by it. I decided to stay cloaked and watch to see if he would warp straight to the next gate or if he'd warp to a celestial first and then to the gate.

If he was going to a celestial first, I would wait on the other side of the next gate and grab him then, otherwise I would meet him at the bubble.

Sure enough he warped straight to the next gate, so off I went in pursuit. At the time of my warp there were no other neuts in system so I was pretty confident I'd have no problems taking down this Iteron and getting away. As is customary with my luck, while I was in warp two neuts also entered system, but at this point I didn't know if they were behind me, or in front of me at the next gate.

I come out of warp to see the Iteron stuck exactly where I expected him to be, looking like a steak dinner after only eating ramen noodles for a month. Right when I'm about to uncloak I see a Sabre and a Navy Issue Slicer uncloak on the gate, but they're 60-70 km away from me, and I haven't uncloaked yet. I don't know if these two ships are friendlies of the Iteron or if they just happen to be passing through too, but either way I have to make a decision and fast.

I decide that I want the Iteron kill, even though that I know it will almost surely end with the death of my Nemesis. I uncloak, target, paint, point, launch torpedoes. I didn't have time to get into bombing position to launch a bomb, so I was stuck using only torpedoes. A few volleys and the Iteron becomes space dust.

Right as the Iteron blows up I see that I've been warp scrammed by the Sabre and Slicer. I know at this point that I'm dead but I don't care.  I look at local and the Iteron pilot had apparently been screaming for us to spare him and his ship and was offering to pay for safe passage. Oh well, don't fly an Iteron through Null Sec without a scout.

Checked the kill mail and the two neuts were not friends of the Iteron, since they also had some damage on him too. They just happened to have dumb luck and jumped into system at the perfect time to get part of an Iteron kill and to pop my Nemesis. I wish I had that kind of luck.

Iteron was carrying about 200 million in ISK on him, plus I got to harvest a few tears. All in all, totally worth the loss of my bomber, but maybe next time I can do it without losing my own ship.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Eve Online: Arazu time!

My skill queue just finished training for the Arazu, unfortunately I'm at work right now and unable to login to Eve to start outfitting it, but the anticipation is killing me. As you know if you're been reading my newbie ramblings I love flying covert ops ships and the thrill of sneaking up on someone and controlling the beginning of a fight or choosing not to fight when it's a bad idea fits my playing style.

For the last few months we have had the members of our corporation all training to fly cruisers, destroyers, and frigates to the best of their ability. We have members that have dedicated their training queues to being able to dish out the most DPS possible while still being able to tank as much as possible. We have other players that have dedicated themselves to being as fast as possible. Two of our members have dedicated to logistics and the ability to remote repair our fleet. Two members have focusing purely on interdiction cruisers and being able to use bubbles. I have spent my time working towards the Arazu to be able to provide long range tackle along with covert ops cloaking. 

We are still missing a Rapier pilot in our fleet, but we have a new minmatar pilot in our corp that we'll try to get to steer that direction if possible. Having a Rapier and an Arazu in a skirmish fleet makes for perfect tackling abilities. 

All in all we have the makings of a solid skirmish gang. About a dozen other members of our corp either already can fly a stealth bomber or will be able to in a few days/weeks. After I finish training my Arazu skills up higher to at least level 4 for most skills, and cyno field theory up to level 5, I'll begin working towards the Black Ops Sin so that we can begin to hotdrop or simply travel farther distances with more ease. 

Here is the Arazu fit I plan to install on my ship when I get home tonight, feedback is welcome:


  • Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
  • Covert Cynosural Field Generator I
  • 2 - 250mm Railgun II 

  • 2- Remote Sensor Dampener II
  • 2- Warp Disruptor II
  • 10MN Afterburner II
  • Sensor Booster II

  • 2- Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
  • 800mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
  • Damage Control II

  • 2- Medium Inverted Signal Field Projector I

This gives me just over 20,000 EHP so that I can de-cloak, point, and hold my target long enough for everyone else to warp to me (or cyno in). This ship is NOT designed to put out very much DPS, but it should be able to tank a decent amount of damage, long enough for your friends to arrive. I'm hoping that the remote sensor dampeners will also prevent most people from being able to target me, thus also reducing the possibility of taking damage. 

If I'm able to warp scram you at 40km away, and put 2 remote sensor dampeners on you, I'm hoping that my 460 m/s speed will be fast enough to stay away from some of the larger ships out there. I understand that without webbing my target, there is a good chance that many of my targets will be able to escape, which is why we need a rapier pilot in our gang as well. It's either that or I commit to web/scram on this ship but be forced to stay within 10km. If I did that I would remove the remote sensor dampeners and replace them with webbers. 


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Eve Online: Temporary Corporation Member

Two days ago I received an application to join our corporation, and even though we have an advert out right now to help boost our numbers, every application is screened as much as possible. Our new members have very limited access to any of our important assets, a few dozen frigates, destroyers, and cruisers in a corporation ship hangar, some extra ammo and mods and that's about all new members have the ability to access.

This new applicant was currently in TEST and has been away for 3-4 months due to health issues. He logged back on and noticed that his entire world had changed. His application said "Let's shoot some stuff together" and that was it. We did a quick interview on him and his story seemed legit enough to warrant an invite to join our corp. He was a 2010 toon with about 50 million sp, so the risk vs payout of having a strong toon added to corp was worth the risk that he might steal a measly 50 million in ships and mods.

All that being said, I still didn't trust him. I don't really trust anyone, but definitely not this situation. Something in my gut didn't feel right, but we still decided to allow him to join.

Being a director or a member of corporation with the proper roles/access, you can see where everyone in your corporation is currently located. After I accepted his application I watched in the corporation window to see where he would go. He was only one jump away from our home system, so logic would dictate that he would go to our home system to join his new corp mates. Nah... that'd be too easy.

Instead he was 3 jumps in the other direction, then 8, then 20, then 40. At this point I knew exactly what was going on so I started a private conversation with him ( I wish I would have thought to copy it but it's too late now). Anyways it went something like this:

Me: Hey, I've got a question for you, and I'd like a no bullshit answer. I'm pretty sure I know what's going on, but wanted to confirm. Did you join our corporation just so you could safely pass through Catch to go and rejoin your old corp? 

Him: Yeah I did

Me: Cool, that's what I thought. Thanks for the straight up answer. I'm not upset at all, and since you were straight with me I won't remove you from corp until you've had a chance to move all your stuff out. 

Him: Cool, I appreciate that. I've already got all my stuff out. 

Me: Awesome, if you don't need to be a member anymore I'm going to go ahead and remove you from our corp but no hard feelings at all. 

Him: Thanks, you guys seem like a good bunch, but I'm not a fan of your overlords.

Me: We just rent a system, we haven't known our "overlords" long enough to like them or hate them. 

Him: I appreciate you allowing me to join to get my stuff out, I'll come back some day and pew pew some of your enemies for you to say thanks. 

The conversation went on for a bit, and we continued to chat throughout the day. Eventually we decided we had to remove him from our group chat channel, just to protect intel, but all in all it was an interesting experience.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Eve Online: Making ISK Bombing

Making ISK as a bomber has proven to be fairly difficult for me. Bombs cost between 1-2 million (depending on where you buy them) each, and typically if you are solo bombing, a single bomb won't pop most targets unless they have almost no type of tank fit to their ship. There are tactics that you can take to help increase your chances of popping your target with a single bomb, such as using a target painter, but the problem with that is you have to remain uncloaked and are likely within 30km of your target (since you just released a bomb) so they will be able to target you, preventing you from cloaking back up again.

If you are bombing with a group of bombers, then you'll need to split the loot with the other bombers, but that is limited by the amount of cargo space you have (which is next to nothing, especially when you have extra bombs in your cargo hold).

This means that your are spending a few million ISK every time you go out bombing, and most likely not making enough ISK to cover the cost of your bombing runs.

So why do we fly stealth bombers if not for the potential ISK you'll make?

There are lots of reasons out there but here are mine:

  • The thrill of sitting cloaked 30 km away from your target, you knowing they are about to die, but them not having a clue
  • The chance they will catch you and pop you is a huge adrenaline rush
  • We control the battlefield when we stealth bomb, if we don't want to engage or think that it's not worth it, you'll never know we were there
  • Camaraderie with other stealth bombers. Even if you don't know them, or maybe even if they are normally your enemy you still share in some unspoken bond.
  • Because blopping (black ops cyno hotdrop) 20+ stealth bombers on a Dominix ratting in asteroid belts, and then lighting him up with so many torpedoes that he'll be shitting missiles for a week is extremely fun. 
The reasons go on and on, but ISK isn't one of them for me. I have to earn ISK other ways to pay for my bombing habit. You can make ISK bombing, but I don't think that ISK is in the top ten reasons why any of us do it. If you plan it right you can make it, but it will take lots of set up and patience.

Patience is one of the key attributes a bomber needs to possess. The ability to set a trap, know where your pray will be, and then wait for the proper moment is crucial. For example, right now Relic sites are the big thing out there that everyone seems to be doing. What better place for a trap? You know the ship that is going to show up will likely be a scanning frigate, and it doesn't take very long to wait if you pick the proper system with a high likelihood of traffic passing through regularly. Scan down the site, bookmark it, then hang out in the site all cloaked up and positioned to bomb one of the relic containers. Since the target will likely be a covert ops frigate, your steps should look something like this:

  1.  Position yourself 30km from one of the containers
  2. Cloak
  3. Wait for target to show up
  4. Align to target/celestial
  5. Uncloak
  6. Bomb
  7. Target 
  8. Activate Target Painter if you have one
  9. Active Warp Scram if you have one
  10. Launch Torpedoes over and over again (just in case)
  11. Orbit at 15-20 km until target is dead

This is a safe way to practice bombing on a target that most likely won't be able to fight back.  Your bomb may be able to pop the frigate in one shot, but the added torpedoes are there just in case. Typically you would launch bomb and already be aligned to a celestial or warp away point, and then get the hell out of there. But against a target you know can't fight back, might as well finish the job in person.

If you want to try a can flipping trap in high sec, you can do the same thing by leaving a cargo container in a relic site with some tempting cargo inside. Hack one of the relic containers and leave the rest. This way the prey will think someone did visit site, but had to leave, and just left their cargo behind too. They take the cargo container, turn yellow suspect, and then you uncloak and share with them the penalties of breaking the law :)

Either way, planning and patience are your best friends.

Fly safe