Tuesday, March 30, 2010

30 posts, 30 years old, on the 30th!

Why yes I do turn 30 today, thanks for remembering!

I will report back with any sweet loot I get from the faction spawn that is turning 30!

My wife didn't buy the bit that it was the 30th in GMT at 5pm Pacific to get access to my loots early... at least I tried!

I will even include pictures if I get anything sweet.  So far over the weekend I got a RC indoor helochopter!  I'm using it to terrorize my wife and dogs.  Other than that, I am going to turn into a regular Roc Wieler, since I got a 12 session personal trainer setup from my parents to help get my fat ass back down to shape, well a shape other than a circle!  That started yesterday, so other than typing I am pretty much useless!

More loot as it arrives!

Wifey got me something she said I would never have!  A second monitor!

So a little late the the meme party here's my setup!  Pretty light sexy LED monitor ftw

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eve Blogging Question (EBQ) #1: Infiltration?!

Well since I get limited playing time and thus few stories  to relate here, I am going to ask some questions of myself and if you would like to participate you can as well... all 10 people who read my blog that is!

My first question: define corp "infiltration"  v hacking.


Are there instances where I would infiltrate into another corp in any capacity? if so, what instances?

and Last,

Are there instances in which your main would infiltrate into another corp?  Why?


First let me lay out what I think the definition of infiltration in Eve Corps is.

Corp infiltration can really be broken down into about three MAYBE four separate, but pretty broad types.

  • First being intel gathering, possibly getting an alt into the corp to get a member list, and to provide intel through monitoring of vent channels and or forums to coordinate specific attacks made by your main or whoever hired you to complete the intel gathering.  Requires a minimum of work, just enough to remain low profile.  Usually once the war is over you trash the alt or remove them from the corp without revealing the source of the leak.  I would call this infiltration light since you don't really mislead anyone, or become friends with people to turn around and stab them in the back.

  • Next there is infiltration with the idea of both providing intel for the other side, as well as to hurt the structure of the organization that you are infiltrating by providing disruption.  This is a bit different than just getting into a corp to steal assets and make off with goods and money.  Here you are gathering the intel as in the first type, and attempting to gain access to items stored in corp hangars, POS etc.  You operate to both gain access and  feeding your side the information to operate effectively against the targets.  Here you are actively misleading people, and backstabbing as some call it, or others just call it acting like a SPAI!

  • Third is infiltration for the sake of gaining assets, isk, or something of monetary value.  Here you are gaining the trust of the corporation, making friends and attempting to gain access to corp wallets, POS stuffed with goodies, etc.  There is no real combat imperative that put you against this corp, they just seemed weak and you moved in to try to get some easy money.  Like above you are actively deceiving the other members of the corporation to gain access for the sole purpose of theft.  This is the mode most corp thefts usually take, select a random corp, join, act like a friend, get access to items, take items and profit.

  • The last, and hardly ever seen, would be consensual infiltration.  Where RPers would for the sake of a story allow a known spy into their ranks with the support of the player of the spy to drive a specific plot line or course of action.  Once the story is played out the Spy is outed or killed and the story moves on.

Hacking on the other hand falls into terms that are more legally defined for me, meaning :
  • Hacking - broadly defined as intentionally accesses a account/forum/vent server without authorization or exceeds authorized access.  This would be using a tool or a site venerability to exploit access, guessing passwords or breaking into area's where you should not have access usually utilizing tools found outside of the game of eve.  Things like Meta-gaming to some extent fall under this for me.
  • Hacking is the term I use to describe what people do when they log into a forum and delete it's contents, or hack into a vent server or TS server to shut it down to provide real world based disruption to enemy comms or to grief other players.  This is done outside of the game.

So with my definitions out of the way,  Here is what I think of it all

Infiltration of all kinds is a valid game mechanic in my eyes.  It takes a cold individual to do either of the two middle types of infiltration, something I can't even pull off because at heart I guess I am just too nice of a fellow, and I end up feeling bad about it all in the end.  However infiltration for just intel, I don't feel bad about that part of eve.  In fact I find that a very amusing and important aspect of the game.

Hacking on the other hand, I don't find anything okay with that on any level.  Breaking into a forum, or server of any kind, data or voice just seems outside the scope of the game.  I know some will say "HTFU," but at some point you have to draw your line in the sand and that is where the game ends for you.  On the other hand, if you suddenly get a vent bomb dropped on you from a spy versus from being hacked, that is a little difference, but just as hard to figure out so it may just get all lumped together.

So would I infiltrate a corp using a Alt?  I have and I would, but like I said before, I just never had the heart to steal anything.  Did I transfer intel?  Yes.  How about try to lure people to their deaths?  Of course, but I never took anything and in most cases ended up making a mistake somewhere along the line that left me exposed and ultimately kicked or removed from the corp.  In the right circumstances would I theft?  I think so, but it would have to be for some predefined insult or something that I could place the blame on for my overactive conscious.  Don't ask me why it didn't pipe up when I kill people for no reason in eve.

Would I do the same using my main?  I guess so if the circumstances were correct, like seeking some kind of RP vengeance, or for some kind of repayment of a similar debt.  Honestly it would have to be extreme to happen though, and the level of infiltration would be one of intel and teft/disruption.  Two things prevent me from doing any of that.  One being that I am in Stimulus and apparently we are known far and wide for corp infiltrations, mainly thanks to our unsuccessful attempts and the few successful ones, not to mention a few inaccurate ISD stories.  So anyone seeing that in my corp history would raise the red flag.  Second being that since Logan is my main, I would not want to expose him to that kind of hate.  If he became a truly hunted man after that and it prevented me from playing Eve the way I like, then it would become quite hard to justify remaining in the game.

As a side note, my current poll is due to finish tomorrow sometime so I will put up a new one on the sidebar of my blog about this to see how people feel.  Hopefully I can get more than 3 votes!  I think Mail still needs to vote for Gall so I have one vote for each race.


Pretty nifty tool, got linked to it from Flashfresh's blog!


I put Rise of a Rebel part 2 through the tool and got this

Wordle: Rise of a Rebel Part 2

Pretty cool stuff I think!
I will have to play around with it some more.
Definitely bookmarked.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Twenty-one

"In the battle of life, it is not the critic who counts; nor the one who points out how the strong person stumbled, or where the doer of a deed could have done better.

The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually strive to do deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends oneself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he or she fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
 -Theodore Roosevelt
The clock clicked over to 2000(eve time), Sunday, March 20th.

TXW-EL, Syndicate

A mass of battleships undocked from the station, forming a small cloud of reps and DPS.  In their number were three Megathron Navy Issue class battleships, and one Machariel.

Course was set for PF-346 and the fleet, comms chatter quiet.  Despite the size of the fleet it moved quickly, searching for a valid target.  Initially the target of the OP was called unavailable and the fleet reversed course, heading for S-U8A4, where talk of a fight was brewing.

A single jump out a similar sized HAC and Battle Cruiser gang loitered on the gate, hurriedly falling back when intel of the approaching Battle Ship gang reached them from their scouts in the outlying systems.

They fell back into the waiting arms of comrades in S-U8A4, numbering just above one hundred in system while the Battle Ship fleet pressed towards them.

A scout arrived ahead of the Battle Ships, jumping in to gage the situation, the hostile fleet was reported to be moving to range.  The order, however suicidal, was given.  The gate pulsed 20 times, sending every ship into harms way, for what would be the last time.

Rote Kapelle pilots and crews grimaced, surveying the field, already knowing that most of them would not leave the field alive.  But without chance is there ever glory?  This was the time to prove our rhetoric, or in dying open the eyes of those who fought us.  Ships uncloaked, heading for a regrouping point to focus repairs, comms staying clear to call out primaries, secondaries.  More hostiles landed on the field.  A third party in stealth bombers, darting into the battle, removed the drones from the field.  Their bombs, however powerful, were few enough to be unable to significantly damage the valiant Battleships.

The Rote Kapelle fleet engaged, taking down targets in range, but slowly each one succumbed to the firepower laid against it.  The order to disengage rang heavily through the fleet, many ships too heavily engaged in the fighting to pull back now.  On the other side of the gate hostile tacklers formed, preventing any Battle Ships from escaping intact.  The overall result was poor, devastating.  Not even the fleeing were spared.

The scattered remnants of those crews mourn the loss of their brethren, at the same time thirsty for revenge.  Next time, next time they will inflict more damage, next time they will not fall without their enemies falling first.  Next time it would be different.  Even in defeat glory can be found, earned, skills sharpened and battle praised.  In this space, this universe there was no time to hide, scared of losing.  Only time to kill or be killed.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rise of a Rebel Part 2

 The family is a haven in a heartless world.  -Christopher Lasch

Part 2

Amongst crush of humanity a single figure lay still.  Sprawled on the deck, the slack of his chains taken up by those around him.

The figure lay unheeded, between groups, yet still linked to one.  Passed for dead by the people around him.  Fresh injuries clouded his face, the bridge of his nose crushed in, his torn shirt showing some of his ribs a deep black color indicating some internal bleeding, bruising spreading over his chest.

Briefly his eyes fluttered open for just one second before snapping closed again, contorted in pain.  Weakly, the figure attempted to move, arms and legs pinned to the side by the chains binding him to those around him.  His movements, so weak, failed to disturb those around him.

A few moments later he opened his eyes again, forced to confront the press of people, slaves, all around him.  Bewildered he tried moving his arms again, pulling hard enough on his uninjured side to attract the attention of a old man squatting close to him.  A slight shift of those around him granted the young man enough room to move.

Over the soft drone of conversations around them the old man spoke.  "We thought you dead boy."  Anger glinted in the eyes of the injured man.  "We had to carry you down here," the man gestured to the other men around him, a Brutor and two tall Siebestor.  "Chained and all.  What is your name?"  He offered his hand to help him into the group. Even with his age the elderly Brutor was able to help pull the injured Siebestor to an awkward squat.

Squatting now, he was still defiant despite his obvious pain, "I'm no boy, grandfather!  My name's Logan."  Logan coughed, after the outburst, blackened blood speckling his lips.  The older Brutor shook his head slowly, dropping Logan's hand with sudden anger.

"We are all boys in the eyes of god!"  Logan drew back, bearing his teeth, the other Brutor groaned, sliding his imposing arm between the two.  The older Brutor slid back a bit, grumbling to himself, inaudible over the sounds of the cargo bay.

The voice of the younger Brutor was low and deep, on the edge of being inaudible over the surrounding noise.  "Logan, now you've done it, gotten old Bulkar talking about religion again.  His family spent too much time with the Amarr before his current situation if you take my meaning."  The Brutor shot Logan a warning glance, shaking his head to forget the perceived insult.  "My name is Rozor, stay relaxed, the guards said you suffered greatly while trying to attack a pilot, they gave you some repair, stopped some bleeding, but be still," he pointed to the two Siebestor males to Logan's right.  "These are Uldrik and Klolf.  We are your new family so you had best get used to us.  Quickly."  Logan attempted to interrupt, pain flaring in his side.  Rozor continued on without notice.  "Before you ask, no we do not know where we are headed, where we are, or any of that.  Bulkar and I were born slaves, I have been sold more than once, Uldrik and Klolf don't talk much, but from what I can make out, rather, from what little they have said.  They were only captured a few months ago.  By the looks of you, your capture was more," Rozor gave a long pause, as if searching for the best way to put it.  "More recent."

Logan's body tensed radiating anger, and then pain.  Looking around as if to strike out at his captors.  Logan, for the first time, noticed the hundreds, if not thousands of others pressed around them.  Not all in sight were of Minmatar descent, but each cluster of slaves seemed to have only one nation represented.  Logan turned back to his new family, briefly sobered by the sight.  His voice on the edge of breaking, recounting his story.  "I was working late, fixing some drainage issues, when I returned to our town, there were men all around..."  Logan tensed again, eyes wild, surging to his feet, looking around him.  "Where is my family?"  He screamed, looking for a familiar face in the crowd.  He found none.  The weight of the realization and pain was too much.  He stood for a brief second longer, his eyes rolling up into his head, falling limply into the arms of his new brothers.

Monday, March 15, 2010

EBB 16: Nooby Cluey

Welcome to the sixteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to crazykinux@gmail.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The third Blog Banter of 2010 comes to us from ChainTrap of the Into the unknown with gun and camera EVE Blog. He asks us: "Eve University turns six years old on March 15th; six years spent helping the new pilots of New Eden gain experience and understanding in a supportive environment. Eve is clearly a complicated game, with a ton to learn, so much that you never stop learning. So, the question is; What do you wish that someone had taken the time to tell you when you were first starting out? Or what have you learned in the interim that you'd like to share with the wider Eve community?"

I created my first eve character early in 2005.  Eve really was the first MMO I played that was more difficult to figure out then say, Planetside or City of Heroes.

I dove in, as usual for me, without reading or even knowing much about the forums or suggestions for creating a new pilot.  In hindsight, so much I wish I had been told, and so little space, so I had better get to it!

My starter was a Caldari, to match the character my good friend had just started.  Way back then several things were very different.  Mainly, lack of good guides for new pilots, no ship fitting programs until about 4-6 months later when Quickfit first came on the scene.  Without really knowing what to expect both him and I meandered across various skill branches, doing a little bit of each.  That was a huge mistake, one I corrected with my second pilot.  
Specialization, now more so even than then, is key in becoming a useful pilot early on.  The thing to realize is that even though someone may have 100+ mil sp, they will eventually max out in skills related to the ship they are flying.  That max out point is around 10-15 mil sp for frigs(of one race) and dessy(of the same race), 20-25 mil sp for cruisers and battle cruisers(of one race) and 30-45 ish mil sp for Battleships(of one race).  The numbers are just a rough estimate btw!  You can be competitive against these skillpoints with two things.  1.  A good fit, and 2. focus on a single ship or race that you enjoy flying.

I wish there had been the resources, and I had been pointed to them, to both guide a new character as well as show proper fits and suggested uses of ships.  There is a wealth of information out there on eve, don't hesitate to go and find it!  Scrapheap-Challenge, the Eve Forums, Blogs, and talking to people in game all provide great resources for the new pilot.

Lastly I wish I had been told about learning skills earlier on my career, but then likely I would still be playing a Caldari toon instead of the trusty Minmatar one I have now.  Learning skills are terrible to train but they make everything better.

By the time I started Logan a few months later and had a much better grasp on the game I was able to train up those learning skills from the get go, and fly much more effectively by specializing in one race, and one profession, rather than spreading out sp across many fields.

If I had known more about these things when I first started playing then eve would have been a much better, much more interesting place to live in, as opposed to the doggedly difficult, sharp learning curved one I found in it's place.

List of Participants
  1. CrazyKinux: The Three Pillars of Wisdom
  2. The Elitist: Helping the new guy/gal
  3. Hands Off, My Loots: Nothing Needed
  4. Rantuket: Blog Banter 16
  5. EVE Opportunist: Nooby Cluey
  6. Into the Unknown With Gun and Camera: EVE University
  7. Zero Kelvin: We’re the young ones!
  8. I am Keith Neilson: Set Your Destination
  9. Prano's Journey: Just Like the Very First Time
  10. A Merry Life and a Short One: No Seriously
  11. Yarrbear Tales: Nublet 101
  12. A Mule In EVE: If I only knew
  13. The Planet Risk Show: Dared to be Bold
  14. Diary of a Space Jockey: WTH did I get myself into?!
  15. EVOGANDA: Why?
  16. A Memoir From Space: 16th Blog Banter
  17. Death’s Sweetest Kiss: Who What When Where Why How??
  18. Freebooted: Beyond the Shortcuts
  19. Learning to Fly: Noobing
  20. Caldari Outcast: My First Blog Banter Post!
  21. Roc's Ramblings: Financial Survival
  22. Diary of a Pod Pilot: Free Knowledge Inside
  23. Nullsec Carebear: I could've been less of an idiot
  24. Facepalm's Ramblings: Something Smells Fishy
  25. Kirith Darkblade: Do you wish to know more?
  26. Autopilot Disabled: I'm still starting...
  27. Finders & Keepers: Relax
  28. Confounded Capsuleer: What have you got to loose?
  29. Clan Oriana: Sixteen
  30. Flashfresh: EVE Blog Banter #16
  31. More to come soon...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rise of a Rebel Part 1

"The depth of darkness to which you can descend and still live is an exact measure of the height to which you can aspire to reach."- Laurens Van du Post

Part 1

The stars against the sky let me make out man-sized shapes against the darkness of the ground.  Amongst them struggled other shapes, invaders had come to my home!

My teeth bared, why would they come here?  Why now?  We had been free for so long.  I was screaming internally, pushing my body's reaction, hoping there was still time.

I ran forward, cool air blasted over my clammy skin, hurling me towards the men.  NO, they were not men, they were scum, SLAVERS!  Anger warped my mind, clouded my vision.  I reached down, wrapping my hand around the hilt of my cold knife, freeing it as I moved.  The deadly weight of it pressing into my palm.

There was a sudden quiet of purpose in my mind , a far cry from the choas that raged in it just moments before.  My body became distant, as if acting without my input. . .

Only a few meters away now, my body tensed.  I calculated the remaning distance between us indifferently, my anger still in control.  My growl reached my ears, it sounded strange, disconnected from me and inhuman.  The man turned towards the sound, but he was slow, too slow!  The glee filled me as I lept into the air, bearing down on him.  I thought his fate sealed.

Starlight bounced off his glasses, or goggles?  I was comitted in the air, anyone else would have realized my folly.  He was free to move.  With trained, practiced speed, his body propelled his arm up and out, his forarm striking at my wrist.  The pain of his blow shot up and down my arm, my hand spasming around the the knife.  Stars glinted off the deadly curve of the knife as it spun uselessly away over his shoulder.  His arm slid as it struck, hand twisting, strong fingers sliding down my arm, allowing him to circle slightly, using my forward momentum to twist me in the air.

The ground raced under my eyes as he flipped me.  I landed hard on my shoulders and back, legs snapping over my head for a brief second.  The force of my body landed on my shoulders forced the air from my lungs, blackness closing in on my vision.  The weight of my body briefly threatening to crush my neck, only to be suddenly released as my back and legs followed my fall, landing me painfully flat on the ground.  How had he moved so quickly, so effortlessly.  Fear consumed me, tears welling in my eyes.

I was caught exposed, attempting to protect myself.  I twisted on the ground, arms pulling up to cover my face in defense, while trying to catch another sight of the man. My ears warned me first, his footsteps echoing in my ears, spelling my fate.  I could tell he was moving quickly around to my unprotected sides.  I tucked, trying to curl into a ball on the ground to protect my ribs, but I was too slow again.  The force of his kick drove the remaining air from my lungs as if popping a baloon.  I heard something crunch with the impact and pain flooded my body.

I half rolled and was half tossed to my hands and knee's.  I attempted to gain my feet once again, struggling with my balance, the tang of blood filling my mouth.  My lungs screamed for air, pulling it in over the blood welling from the back of my throat, the pain of my ribs stealing each gasp.  The wait was mercifully short.  I was trying to see the next attack, unprepared I turned my head...  The tip of his shoe filled my vision...