Thursday, December 15, 2011

From mehgle to EAGLE!

An entry for Kirith's "Redesigning the Eagle"

With the added bonus of suggested changes to the Moa!
How about the Eagle actually does something with those Claws?
Currently the Eagle gets the following bonuses:

Caldari Cruiser Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range per level and 5% bonus to shield resistances per level.

Heavy Assault Ship Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret optimal range and 5% bonus to Medium Hybrid Turret damage per level
In sum that is a 50% bonus to optimal range from the cruiser skill alone, and another 50% bonus from HAC 5. If there is one thing that is true about bonuses we know that 100% bonus to anything is good right? Well not exactly; let's just say that the long range sniper position is already covered by more than one platform, ie Rohk, Apoc, and maybe arty Maelstrom. Realistically the real game changer are the new tier 3 BC's, who with BS weapons join their battleship brothers in being able to engage at long range with surprisingly good damage as outlined in Kirith's post.

So we need to fit the Eagle into a new niche, and I propose the mid-range, anti-tackle support DPS role similar in speed and ability, if with poorer tracking and slightly more range, to the Vagabond. (I know I know; "a Vagabond pilot proposing a new-Caldaribond" but stick with me.)

The first problem stems from the second bonus to optimal range, indicating that the Eagle should be sitting out with the snipers, but its weapons (who have been sold-out for damage to achieve the range needed) give you an anemic 213 DPS at 190km + 24km (locking out to 213km). Using the fit below, keep in mind this is not an optimal fit, just spitballing to outline my point. Fit has 12.3k EHP, enough to be sneezed at and killed. Do not attempt unless you are a professional.

[Eagle, rail range]

250mm Railgun II, Spike M
250mm Railgun II, Spike M
250mm Railgun II, Spike M
250mm Railgun II, Spike M
250mm Railgun II, Spike M
[Empty High slot]

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon Microwarpdrive
Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range
Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range

Reactor Control Unit II
Tracking Enhancer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Medium Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
[Empty Rig slot]

Such a sell-out fit to allow the eagle to even fly in a traditional snipe apoc/Rohk fleet, let alone the newer 100km ranged Tier 3 BC fleets. Even then your DPS is little more than that of a frigate, in the stop-it, that tickles range, and your volley is a whopping 746.... Not even cresting 1k, and hardly enough to, at max damage, peel through shields. Not to mention not even closely competitive with the Naga or the Rohk.

That's the first bonus we should get rid of, but not the whole thing, just the 10% bonus offered by the HAC skill. Instead, replace the bonus with a 7.5% rate of fire increase, negotiable down to 5% RoF increase. Here's the trick though, and this is something that will draw some heat, we need to force the Eagle to be a rail platform, I like the blaster Eagle but, the eagle needs to fill a specific role, not one of half blaster fits and half rail fits.
GEagle is not impressed, wants to be a BEagle.
Specialization means it would be more useful in its intended role, while less useful out of that role. For specialization's sake, the rate of fire bonus will only apply to Rails and not the more generic "Hybrid" bonus. We have to do this because Blasters and Rails share many attributes and can't be set apart like AC vs arty where a falloff bonus screams AC and an Optimal Bonus screams arty. We have to specifically designate Rails as THE weapon for the Eagle. Similar to, but more explicit than, the Vagabond and A/C or Torps on Stealth-bombers, HAM on Sacri's, Arty on Muninn...

From that one change, now rails get a specific bonus to their rate of fire and the bonus no longer implies long range use, like the current optimal bonus. Let's face the truth, the eagle has not fit in the long range role since the release of tier 3 BS, if not before.

It moves them to the currently under-populated mid-range DPS class of ships, akin to its spiritual brother the Arty Muninn, and to some extent the pulse-shield Zealot and 220mm Vagabond. An intended range of between 20-80 KM from target.

The second largest problem of the Eagle is the crap fitting given to the ship, even at max skills. The numbers I will talk about below are what I call "peak skill fitting." To me this means that you go into PyFA/EFT and select the all 5's template when you are looking skills, granting you the elusive "perfect" skill base to theory craft off of.
Eagle : "Does it look like I have trouble carrying stuff?"
Man : "No, no it does not."
I expect a HAC (a skill intensive ship to sit in, let alone fly properly) to at LEAST be able to fit a full rack of mid-tier guns for the class, a decent buffer tank, and damage or DPS modules in the lows. The Eagle can't even pull any of this off. Instead it gets a HUGE pool of CPU to draw from, even fitting with 250mm rails, and a bunch of other CPU hungry items you have a large amount left over.

Then to oppose that it has a tiny powergrid. Not enough by 15% to fit mid-tier guns (200mm rails) an MWD, a LSE, Invul, Photon, and point. Let alone high tier guns.

The eagle should get a 10% reduction in peak CPU, losing just shy of 55 tf CPU and gain 10% Powergrid, a little more than 110 grid at peak. I think the following should be a possible fit, if only barely with most level 5 fittings skills similar to the 220mm/medium Neut/3 gyro/2 TE Vagabond.

[Eagle, Caldaribond]

200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
200mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon Microwarpdrive
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Invulnerability Field II
Warp Disruptor II
Photon Scattering Field II

Damage Control II
Tracking Enhancer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

[Empty Rig slot]
[Empty Rig slot]

I realize the rigs aren't filled but they can be fit with whatever vOv

The next problem is the speed of the Eagle, the Cerb was always a Nano-able ship because its base speed was barely high enough to keep it out of most danger without having to go to far into stacking penalty of doom land to get you up to speed.

The base speed of the Eagle is a slow 164 m/s, in fact this is the slowest ship in the entire HAC class, Even the supposedly "slow" Amarr armor tanking HAC's have a faster base-speed than the Eagle. Here I thought Eagles were pretty fast animals, they should have name the ship class the Sloth instead. Not to mention agility values on the Eagle are very poor.
Something with my name is SLOW? unpossible.
Base speed of the Eagle should be increased from the current 164m/s(or 204m/s with max skills) to 194m/s, boosting max skill speed to around 242 m/s, giving it viable, but not overpowered speed in comparison to the other speed based HAC's. For reference the Vagabond's BASE speed is 239m/s, and that with the ships bonus and max skills equals out to 373m/s. The aim isn't turning the Eagle into a replacement Vagabond, but a ship in a similar class, yes. The Eagle would also need an agility buff to bring it more in line with other mid ranged skirmish ships, once again removing it from the current duldrom as the sloth of HAC's.

The final problem with the Eagle and one of the problems with the Moa - lack of drones. It joins the Zealot and the Cerb as the only three HAC's without drones. I would improve on nature here, and fix that, on the eagle along with a similar adjustment to the Moa. I would give the Moa a 15m3 drone bay and matching bandwidth(I'm so smart, as Sae points out below, the Moa already has a 15m3 drone bay, research fail, and CCP fail). The Eagle would get 15-25m3 of bay/bandwidth, enough to fit 3-5 light combat drones or dishonour drones, to fight off tackle.
"Man I wish I had something to get this tackle off of me!"
The Eagle already has most of the other requirements for its new role.
- 6 highs with a utility high and five guns. (check)
- Sufficient Shield HP and resists (check)
- Good capacitor (check)

The Moa should receive the changes to speed as well as the changes to agility, if you can't have the beagle, you can still have the boa!

How am I actually named something graceful?
Fugly ass ship design is fugly, calling it an Eagle is like calling Quasimodo a hottie.
I r pretty!
The problem with the Moa/Eagle ship is that they are trying to represent two very different animals with a single ship. Both are birds, but one is flightless and enormous, larger than an Ostrich,  the other may be one of the most (at least in America) revered flying birds of prey.

Because of this the current Moa ship model fails to make sense for either of its namesakes. The asymmetrical design, lacks any of the clean lines of birds of prey, let alone the intimidating look of Eagles, or the natural sleek grace of flightless birds like the Moa, hell, any kind of impressive look at all would work.

I am not an artist so my contribution for the redesign of the ship model ends here, with these images of the Birds that this ship hull is named after. (Onyx non-withstanding) Might inspire someone else to create a few new Moa/Eagle hulls.
Moa's, larger than a human. (All but the Lesser Moa was)
Haast Eagle and Moa, predator and prey.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The perils of patching

I'm not sure (and too lazy to go look) if I have ever posted about the numerous patching problems I have with Eve on a consistant basis, and I know that looking at the tech issues forum that I am not nearly the only person, I just seem to be the only one with problems with nearly every patch.

Patching, meant to be done with Lego's right?

First I have to say, thank CCP for the repair tool, I used to have to download the full installer after nearly every patch to get back online. It's not like I am using an unusual computer setup either, Intel processor, Windows Vista ultimate x64 (yes yes I know I know, I haven't had the money to buy windows 7 ultimate though), 8gb Ram (recent addition, up from 4), GTX 460 video card. So not exactly "exotic."

In any case I have seen all kinds of errors. I always get the "corrupted install, patch failed" message with almost every patch, leading me to come up with a huge list of things to try to get Eve to work again. Sometimes it's pretty simple, just let the repair tool run and it will fix everything (given the time it takes to do so, roughly 10-20 minutes each time, or clearing the cache if you can get back into the game but are still having other issues, but almost every time the repair tools detect missing bits in my files.

So with all this in mind I get home from work yesterday, looking for a little quality Eve-time. With the server having already crashed after the morning patch, I was expecting the worst. I had already had good luck with the Crucible patch as it only required the repair tool to run before it worked, so I knew the odds were stacked against me.

Well those are the odds I suppose, the patch failed and I had to run through the repair tool, but once that was complete I was "ready." Only not really, I opened eve and the login screen had no cool Crucible splash, just a black background with the usual login prompt. I prayed it was a small bug and logged in anyway. Only to find my hangar blacked out as well, and on top of that in space I could see all the brackets, but no nice new nebulae, nor any other damn thing, just all blackness. (Did CCP forget to turn on the lights?)

Enter the usual-post patching troubleshooting.

1. Save out my overview settings, fits, and cache files. (after you export them from eve they are located in documents\eve\)
From  Anxiir - "exported overview and exported fittings yes. actual overview and cache/settings, no.

It is located in appdata/ccp/-location of eve install-

you can get there easily by typing %appdata% in the start menu search box and pressing enter - then go up a level."

or just %appdata%\ccp\

so %appdata%\ccp\eve\ holds all the actual program files.

2. switch between the "two" cards listed in the graphics menu, I usally operate on #2 (though I only have one card I think it detects the dual core GPU as two cards.) This didn't fix anything other than moved my window 2" to the right. Changed that back, resized the window, docked and undocked again. No change.

3. Close and restart Eve, Login screen was still black, logged in anyways, and no dice.

4. rebooted my computer \o/    .... .... ..... No change

5. Updated my graphics driver, I was one whole rev behind, maybe that'd fix it, or at least get me ready to play BF3 (as advertised). No change.

5.a. Swear at my computer (DIRTY WHORE!)

b. Pet my dogs when they come to figure out why I am so angry.
Why you make me get out of bed for this?
6. Sigh deeply and investigate the forums for people with similar issues, using the search function to see if there is a thread on this with (hopefully) a fix. There wasn't, though there were people with a whole host of other problems and a GM suggesting that people re-install directX from a folder in the eve game directory, so I gave that a shot (nada).

7. Finally drop a petition to see how fast I can get attention. Attach screenshots of black screens to prove I actually have a problem.
8. Wait for a response.... for 15 minutes. Run out of patience....


10. Re-install Eve. (I <3 You, don't leave me!)

11. Wait 1+ hour for it to download and finish installing.
12. Log in to find it's working! Look at the clock and realize... I don't have time to play!

13. Copy over all my settings, verify it is still working, reset my overview, windows, chat channels... log off.

Now had #12 not fixed it, I would have waited for a response from CCP, who usually ask for the following (so attach them right off the bat through the web petition interface and not the Eve In-game petition interface) Run dxdiag.exe and save then upload the results. As well as run eve with the Log server enabled to do this (the log server part)

Using the logserver
(to minimize problems with this, its recommended that you either restart your computer or check Task managers process list for unresponsive instances of Eve.exe)

1. Find your Eve folder in Windows Explorer
2. When you have the Eve folder open, find "logserver.exe" and launch it (Do NOT have EVE running)
3. Select "File" -> "New Workspace"
4. Start Eve like you would normally do
5. When you have reproduced the bug, Eve crashes or when you kill the process if it hangs, select "File" -> "Save workspace as..." and save the workspace in a place you'll find it again.

Then upload the resulting file to your petition. From there you just have to let CCP take over. Fortunately I usually only get to re-install to fix things! Thanks to CCP Xamother for the quick response, (responded inside of 45 minutes from my last update, a good turnaround) but by then I had already logged off and went to bed.
Work you sonofabitch!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dissapearing through a WH and returning, loot laden

I get home from work yesterday and honestly just can't focus on writing my novel for NanoWriMo, so I log into TS and decide to move my new (and shiny) Loki from Stacmon to TXW.

As luck would have it Rote had a gang out so I hopped in their channel to hear if there was anything sexy going on. As it turns out they had just returned from a shield BC roam, where losses were to be had against Agony Empire, and had just probed out a active WH in a nearby system. By active I mean, has people in it, fighting sites, not sleeper sites.

I was already moving up the pipe from Stac to TXW at that point, and started to wonder if I was going to make it in time to participate. So I yelled at my ship to go faster, simultaneously startling my dogs with my enthusiasm.

I was able to land in the target system just as the order was given to jump through and engage. Now as usual, Rote has a habit of starting out with 5 guys interested in flying, and then 'suddenly' when there are kills to be had, fleet spikes from 5 to 15 quickly, so the fight was a lot less interesting than it could have been, but rape ensued!

It turns out that not only had we made a lucky catch, but we had incredibly lucky loot drops as well, check out the Tengu (I barely missed out on the killmail). Oh, and the Proteus. I think we let one t3 escape the slaughter grounds, then salvaged and looted the field, including the sleepers they were farming, and headed home, without even collapsing the WH and trapping people behind. (well I was impressed)

My webloki performed great, landing an extra point when needed and the much needed webs that I am sure the other t3's didn't appreciate. It does shit-all damage, but it's really there for the webs.

Now let's see what else I can get in on kills with using the Loki.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

107 posts, 107 mil sp

No, really, I planned this.

Okay maybe not.

So I am up to 107 mil sp with Logan, and have done pretty much everything I want to skill-wise with Logan, sub-cap. I would like suggestions with what to do next. Look at my skill sheet (now closed).

No I will not be training towards flying a Orca/Exhumer/freighter/supercap, but other possibilites include getting my electronics skills to 5, ie all the assorted ewar skills to 5 so I can be maxed out for TD's, damps, ECM, and TP. Other possibilities include Marauder 5, Command Ship 5, and all the assorted carrier and dread skills?

What do you guys think I should do next? I've gotten a lot of "shield comps to IV" so that is likely already on the list.

I will leave my sheet open to the public for a week or so and then lock it back down once I have chosen my path. One remap is available so I can always get out of the good ole leadership doing charisma set of attributes!

Here is my current skill breakdown for those who are interested.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Most winter expansion changes on Sisi!

So why aren't you already logging in there to help with that bittervets disease?

I was going to do a change list when I got home, but tgl3 beat me to it!

Go take a look on his post here.

The new Nebulae look amazing, a welcome change to Eve I think, Similar in scope to when they fixed how the planets looked. Now someone should fly over to WH space and see if there's identifying nebulae out there as well and if they can see any k-space nebulae from way over there!

Someone stole the cop car is the only thing that makes me sad about the changes, also known as the v3 changes to the Comet.

Looks like some kind of fish with a big attractor light on the top.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Early Tier 3 BC status

Now with slot layouts added, speeds and agility numbers, and sig radius.

First leaked by Reddit, apparently from scraping against sisi's DB,

Reddit leaked tier 3 bcs stats

More extensive raw data from Sisi, currently compiling BC stats from it.

I'll copy the important bits into here aka everything that isn't a comment, (from reddit)

Battlecruiser Skill Bonus: 7.5% bonus to Large Energy Turret tracking speed and 7.5% bonus to Large Energy Turret optimal range per level.
95% reduction in the powergrid need of Large Energy Turrets 50% reduction in the CPU need of Large Energy Turrets 50% reduction in the capacitor need of Large Energy Turrets

Battlecruiser Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Torpedo Velocity, 5% bonus to Torpedo explosion velocity, 10% bonus to Large Hybrid Turret optimal range and 7.5% bonus to Large Hybrid Turret tracking speed per level.
95% reduction in the powergrid need of Large Hybrid Turrets 50% reduction in the CPU need of Large Hybrid Turrets 50% reduction in the capacitor need of Large Energy Turrets 40% reduction in the powergrid need of Siege Missile Launchers 58% reduction in the CPU need of Siege Missile Launchers

Battlecruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Hybrid Turret damage and 10% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level.
95% reduction in the powergrid need of Large Hybrid Turrets 50% reduction in the CPU need of Large Hybrid Turrets 50% reduction in the capacitor need of Large Energy Turrets

Battlecruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Large Projectile Turret Rate of Fire and 10% bonus to Large Projectile Turret falloff per level.
95% reduction in the powergrid need of Large Projectile Turrets 50% reduction in the CPU need of Large Projectile Turrets
Let's look at generalizations that can be taken from these numbers.

CCP has wisely decided to use a "role bonus" instead of just providing the masses of PG/CPU needed to fit BS sized weapons. This will prevent the majority of attempts to uber tank these ships and use them for something other than their intended use, or even the idea of 100mn BC's running around. Now usually these role bonus effects get modified by a pilot's ship skill level, so the question remains if someone with BC V will get more out of the "95% reduction in the powergrid need of Large Projectile Turrets 50% reduction in the CPU need of Large Projectile Turrets" bonus.

And now a bit more specifics;

I still hate you Sun.

First up we have the Oracle, the already promising looking Amarr "true" BC. A tracking and optimal range bonus almost screams for use of Mega Pulse/Scorch and some kind of kiting setup, using that extra BC "speed" while your extra tracking on the already HAX tracking of lasers keeping everything hostile around you, dead. As with all these new BC's I am not sure exactly how this will fit into a gang, other than just bringing more BS sized guns to a BC/cruiser fight. In a large way this might be the Amarr answer to the nano Tempest.

Now obviously the energy reduction for these guns is needed given the hull size of BC, but is strangely absent in favor of MOAR RANGE with the optimal bonus. This is going to be interesting because the question stands if the Oracle will need to be injected just to fire it's main guns for any period of time? I guess only time will tell!

Prelim other stats
8 high slots with 8 turret slots (looks like I was wrong about the whole no 8 guns thing!)
3 mid slots
6 low slots
3 rigs (medium rigs)
17 total slots (h+m+l)
180m sig radius, no drones. Agility is a respectable 0.57, top speed of 200 m/s

So with this extra data it looks like I was mostly right, this is the second slowest of the new line of BC's but it is also the second most agile. No Drones, and 8 turrets means a built in vulnerability to light and fast ships (yay!).

Next up we have the Caldari Naga. A lot of people were expecting a cruise missile ship here but instead these early stats show another Caldari Torp boat. BUT WAIT! It actually has !TWO! sets of bonuses. Not only do these stats show a pair of torp bonuses but also a pair of hybrid bonuses. Could it be it will have both?
No, or at least very unlikely. Minmatar being the kings of split weapons and all that, but in addition to that thought, I think the dev's are still trying to figure out if torps or hybrids are the better way to go for this boat. For testing on sisi/their dev servers they have included both sets of bonuses to make a final call while balancing.


With a bonus to both optimal range and tracking speed (both useful for rails and blasters) this would be the little brother (or sister) to the Rohk, and effective both at range and up close, a good step to seeing the Caldari a bit more diversified from the usual missile approach. I would rather see this in-game as a strong ship rather than yet another torp/missile boat introduced to the Caldari line, although I suppose the Ferox already fills the role (poorly) as the Caldari gunboat BC.


So its not a cruise missile naga? I'm surprised, this is a interesting departure from the norm, and could be seen as something of an influence from the Khanid line with a pair of strong bonuses towards the short range missile system instead of the usual long range bias placed on Caldari missile ships. Or if not bias than weapon system range ambivalence. The torp speed bonus gives a range increase to torps but the real important bonus is the second one, a bonus to explosion velocity to torps is huge! It means this ship could actually engage ships other than BS's with it's torps and be able to hit for at least decent damage, similar to a large stealth bomber, though less sneaky! Torps vs other BC, especially bonused like this, makes a whole lot of sense and seems to go hand-in-hand with the class's apparent idea to get tracking bonuses to large guns, enabling them to down-engage a "bit."

8 high slots and 8 missile launcher slots
6 mid slots
4 low slots
3 rigs (medium rigs)
18 total slots (h+m+l)
190m sig radius, no drones. Agility is the highest at 0.58 with the lowest top speed of 195 m/s.

So where do I start here, what did the Caldari guy miss the memo that the max number of slots for these things is 17 (all the others have 17) and toss in an extra slot for fun?! What the hell is up with that. Anyways, I have not posted some of these numbers, but the shield/armor/hull numbers for these ships are LOW, like lower than some cruisers. Very glass-cannon. And this was across the board.

You giant Bronze bastard!
Wow, the Talos. So clearly this ship is going to highlight the hybrid changes, but I have to say that I am a little disappointed that this isn't a drone boat. Okay, don't laugh at me too hard. It would be sweet to have a new BC able to field 5 or even more heavy drones. A-la the Myrm pre-nerf. Hopes aside, indications show that webs will be a part of the changes to fix hybrids and more specifically blasters. With 90% or so webs, and a damage bonus to Hybrids, the Talos will be able to theoretically pin down and destroy it's targets, but I wonder how much of a difference this will actually be?

Tracking for blasters needs to be looked at as well, but this is a good start. 90% webs will make a huge difference, but there is a lot depending on other things for this ship. Agility and top speed will be key, ie will it be able to burst to top speed to hunt down other kiting ships like (presumably at least) the Tornado and Oracle, or at the very least the nanoCane, or NanoTempest? If it can, then it will indeed be a huge leap forward in blaster ships. If not it will fall into the category of all current blaster ships, you either land in range and have a chance, or you don't and are ineffective until you can close range.

8 high slots with 8 turret slots
4 Mid slots
5 low slots
3 rigs (medium size)
17 total slots (h+m+l)
sig radius is 200m, and sports a 25m3 drone bay/bandwidth, the only one that does, fitting that it is a Gallente ship. In addition it's agility is 0.56, and max speed is 210 m/s, making it the second fastest, only behind the Tornado.

Low HP across the board, for instance the Talos here has the following HP base;
Shield : 2111.0
Armor : 2272.0
Hull : 2597.0

In comparison the Deimos sits at
Shield : 1160.0
Armor : 2040.0
Hull : 2531.0

This brings me up to the (overly) anticipated Tornado. Winner of the design contest (though there are rumblings that the other ships in this class will be player designed as well). It will finally see the light of, well I was going to say day, but let's just say Eve. I'm initially a little worried about this ship, the Minmatar do specialize in kiting, range control and hit and run, and this looks like another ship to put in the mold of the nanoCane, Vagabond et al. So the reason why I am worried is that it looks like the Tornado will sit in the same role as the nano Tempest. The Tempest will still have the heavy Neut's and or utility high slots and probably a much more favorable slot layout, but that the Tornado sits in the same role shows a real lack of creativity on the side of CCP. I would have liked to see something more versatile, without a range bonus of any kind, but possibly another arty platform. With the falloff bonus the Tornado is going to be another premier falloff fighter with auto-cannons, a stat that doesn't merge well with arties.

This ship really begs the question, "Will it be able to fit a full rack of 800mm?" To answer that I look at the bonuses it sports and can firmly conclude that no, it will not be able to mount 8 800mm guns(but I might be incorrect). Between 5-6 guns yes, but 8, I think that would be largely overpowered, and more than slightly the favorite of the new BC's. Keep in mind the Hurricane, when designed and for a long time on Sisi started off with 7 turret slots and then was reduced to 6 before release to Tranquility. I think something similar will happen here, and the Tornado will get more utility slots and less than 8 guns.

8 High slots with 8 Turret hardpoints
5 mid slots
4 low slots
3 rig slots (medium rigs)
17 Total slots (h+m+l)
Sig radius of 170m, and no drones. Agility is the worst of all ships at 0.54, but top speed is the best at 225 m/s.

I look forward to all those stathead people out there to tell me if it is possible to rack any of these up with a full set of the biggest guns but I will assume at this point that it is. Going to be an interesting balance game with these things.


I think that a line in the sand (since CCP isn't willing to draw one for us) is needed for these new ships. They are more of a conventional "BC" than the previous sets of tier 1-2 BC's. Realistically current BC's should be re-named and re-skilled to heavy-cruisers (ships with heavier armor but cruiser class armament) and this new class should retain the name BC (ships with battleship weaponry but lighter than average armor in comparison to a BS). Then a new BC class of ship skill could be introduced into the game instead of consistently mixing and muddying the BC class with what are essentially going to be two completely different types of ship.

To really make a good call on the usefulness of these new ships, it will be important to look at these bonuses, agility, and slot layout. As will their supposed light to non-existant tanks, and exactly what that means. Especially in this era of logistics, tank and spank. Time will tell! (or rather has told)


Slot layouts minus the Caldari one look pretty even, I am not sure why the Caldari gets an extra slot but hopefully that will get taken care of in balancing. The lack of drones and across the board low hp seems to suggest that these will be very glass cannon like. I wish I had the time to poll more numbers in there and put them up against ships like the Cane or Harbi but I just don't have the time to do it right now.

I think the better idea is to scale back on the number of weapons they can fit and then only give them 5-6 high slots with the same numbers of mids and lows, reducing slot layouts from 17 to 14/15. Right now these things look very strong, and possibly will take the place of most tier 1 BS in terms of gank power, but of course not tanking power. Though with these slot layouts they will not be far behind (keeping in mind that the Drake is also 8/6/4.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rise of Rebel, Part 4, Subjugation

If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.
- Abraham Lincoln

It had been impossible to adjust, being looked at like meat, like a dumb, obedient dog. Crammed in the tight quarters with the rest of the chained circles of slaves. Weeks and then months ground by, each second worse than the last. To some extent I felt bad for my behavior then, but I never knew what it would lead to. I resisted the guards, preventing our purchase because of my struggles. Growled at the interested buyers, scared them away. Slaves who came in after us were bought before us, Ammarian Holders and other "decent" slavers (according to Bulkar at least) left us alone like we carried a plague. Most didn't have to come close when inspecting the slave groups to know I was the problem, the guards let them know, and started showing us off to the worst of an already bad lot.

Rozor was the first to snap. I let his fists rain on me, wishing, hoping he would hit something vital that the guards missed, and put me out of this life. Without a family, without my family, I was nothing. Worth nothing, beaten, shunned, I sat outside the circle, but still chained to it. I slipped further and further into a depression unlike any I had faced. There would not be such an easy escape from this life.

Rozors beating did what the guard hadn't. Buyers kept coming through, and at some point I was too weak, too tired to make a stand anymore, to care anymore. We were purchased by some Angel Cartel toughs, the fact that we were simple labor seemed to meet their requirements, that we were all so beaten down, I'm sure that didn't hurt. By then I had lost weight and any muscle I had. They shocked, beat and collared us with electric collars for control on the journey through the smuggler gates of eve. The slight lurch in my stomach at each jump was the only thing that let me count the jumps, 33, to our destination. If that was in a straight line, or just a route to avoid customs....

The ship we were in rumbled into a rough dock and we were shuffled off the ship like so much cattle. Pushed and prodded still, we made our way to the small casino in the middle of the outpost. As the toughs took their payments for delivery to the casino's tables, we were taken by a new set of grim and humorless overlords, assigned menial jobs as if we were not there, in area's we had no idea how to get to. Then taken and beaten until we "learned some respect for our new masters." 

There was no escape, the outpost was isolated in dead space, that forbidden zone between civilization and the dark of space that somehow managed to be neither. It around then that with a final sickening hurt I knewI had been broken, and I worked as if my life depended on it, the deep dark depression now turning into something darker, something that made me want to excel at what they asked me to do, as if that would convince them to save me. I hated myself for it, but couldn't help it, I lived, I rejoined my brother slaves as another to their ranks. It was around then that a new leader of the facility, Thomas, showed up. He must have been the son, or cousin, of someone powerful in the Cartel. Power radiated off him like so much heat and the deference the guards gave him stunk of connections.

He took joy in "training the slaves personally." There was nothing any of us could do, right or wrong, to be spared. During the day we worked like janitors, cleaning up the aftermaths of parties, unloading stores from ships and slaughters when fights broke out. 

Uldrik had been the first to get a taste of the pain doled out by Thomas like candy. Our group was one of few on the casino, all broken men, scared of the fist, of the glance of the guards, or the bite of their discipline. It wasn't enough control for Thomas, he desired more. His men came to the small quarters the five of us shared, pressing the rag that passed as our door to the side for Thomas. He stepped in and looked us over, thumbing a single six sided die between his palm and thumb. The game, as it were, was explained to us, slowly, deliberately. He would roll a single six sided die. If he rolled a six he said, "Then I'll move on, all nice-like." At first you start out hoping for a six. This time I was a five, he rolled a two.

Uldrik was pulled from the room, wet smacks and thuds the only sounds we could hear. I cried, wishing it was me instead, that his pain was my fault, if only I had gotten us sold sooner...

Uldrik was deposited back in the room, bleeding from the eyes and ears, we did our best to cover for him, but he was never quite the same. He lost hearing in his right ear, his right eye kept a deep red hue. It was then that we started talking of escape, of some kind of life where Thomas, where these Angel thugs wouldn't own us anymore. Dreams of lost freedom. Foolish dreams.

Desperate hopes for men trapped deep inside dead space, in some system they didn't even know the name of. Some claim planning escape is almost as important as completing it, but planning for escape, for freedom, is false hope if there is no real chance of it. Bulkar had been the hardest to convince of the need to plan, but then of course we weren't with his precious god-fearing Amarr, who would "never let this kind of treatment of slaves stand." We were with the heartless Angles, we thanked their lack of toxins to control us. Physically, psychologically, it didn't matter.

Thomas had been initially sated by the damage he caused on the slaves. He still trained the guards how to "handle" us better. Their beatings were brutal, more so than before, but at least Thomas left us alone.

We didn't expect it to last; it didn't last. 

He came back, with the same die, only changing our numbers, he had a knack of finding the weakest of us each time. Bulkar came back with ragged, lazy knife cuts across his chest, mumbling incoherently to himself, it took weeks before he made sense or even spoke to the rest of us again. Rozor was next, his pinky fingers and small toes broken and splinted and then re-broken. The pain was to remind him of the grace that Thomas left him alive each day. It was weeks before he was allowed to get the nanobot medical injections to help heal his toes, his pinkies still turned at crooked angles to the rest of his hand. Rozor remained defeated, but still somehow defiant through all of it, drawing from some central core strength I wish I had. Somewhere along the line I stopped wishing for a six, and just wished for anything but my number.

My turn was next. Thomas strode in, and told me I was number four. Blind, callous hope spread through my body, four had never showed up on the die before, I was hoping to be spared. Then die stubbornly rolled to a stop on four, laying between us, slaves and master. Thomas looked unsurprised and his guards took me into the hall. I should have resisted, should have fought, but I walked meekly along with them.

He stood there, staring at me for a long time, and did nothing. I, in turn, stared at the ground, feeling his eyes on my head. His guards pushed me to the ground and Thomas stood over me, as if gloating, looking down at me as I knelt. I felt something deep inside of me stir, but I wasn't sure what, it was deeper than the fear, the depression, even hate, the sensation seemed somehow familiar, I knew it, but couldn't remember the name of the feeling. It rose as the moments crept by, I suddenly knew that it was hope, hope that this was all he needed from me, that maybe the others had been defiant, deserving in their beatings, that I was safe. I clung to it as the last emotion I had. 

Then blows came. Only after the hope was pounding in my chest. His sharp, hard kicks and knee's to my chest, compressed the air out of me explosively, and he never stopped for a instant, letting me feel each blow and creak as my chest took each blow. I kept my eyes closed, unable to take a breath, taking kick after kick, each one twisting that hope inside of me, driving it into my heart more effectively than any toxin could, cutting me open far more effectively than any knife. I started hoping that each blow would be the last, that I would live and serve just to avoid one more kick, one more knee...

When he was done, when we were done, I would have thanked him for stopping, for each breath, if I could have spoken. I had tears running down my cheeks, I remembering wanting to thank him for stopping, as if he couldn't stop before then, as if he did me a favor for beating the hope out of me at all. I spat out mouthfuls of blood from the gouges my teeth had taken out of my cheeks, but the tears were of happiness, I had deserved it, he was right to punish me. He had taken that brief hope and turned it into a twisted kind of fear, obedience. I'm not sure what my injuries were, I coughed up blood for weeks, my chest ached for months more.

Thomas never returned for Kolf, he didn't need to. Broken in spirt now, our quaint little escape plans were just the feeble mess that hoped for a empty container and deep dark space.

The exact spot we found ourselves now.

There's a Stabber in my nanoRupture

NanoRupture vs Stabber


"Why you shouldn't fly the stabber."

It's pretty simple really; I don't even have to dig all that hard to start showing just how much better the Rupture is (in every way) than the stabber. Let's just start with a slot layout comparison, now the stabber here is a tier 2 cruiser while the Rupture is a tier 3, so we already know that the Rupture is going to have more slots to show for that, as well as other better stats to back that up

Stabber - 6 high, 3 mid, 3 low, 5 m3 drone bandwidth and bay, 3 rig slots.

Rupture - 6 high, 3 mid, 5 low, 25 m3 drone bandwidth and bay, 3 rig slots.

In addition to that the Rupture has better base hp across the board! Already that should be enough to tell you that short of the price tag difference, there is really no reason to buy a stabber let alone fly in one. Okay I suppose that some people will say "what about the speed man, the stabber is soooo much faster."

Well yes, I suppose you are right, but let's look at two test fits, without rigs. Nano Rupture (t2 guns) vs the Nano Stabber (also with t2 guns).

[Stabber, Standard]
Damage Control II
Tracking Enhancer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Large Shield Extender II
Warp Disruptor II
Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
Small Energy Neutralizer II
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Warrior II x1


[Rupture, nanorupture norigs]
Damage Control II
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Large Shield Extender II
Warp Disruptor II
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
Medium Energy Neutralizer II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
Small Energy Neutralizer II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M

Hornet EC-300 x5
Hornet EC-300 x1
Now while the Nanostabber holds the advantage in speed (still) the Nano Rupture wins in every other way, more EHP, much better DPS, better engagement envelope, as it can hit out to about 32KM (opt + falloff), better gun tracking, ability to use faction ammo out to the ranges the stabber will likely be fighting at, further multiplying it's DPS. Even as heavy tackle the Rupture is a bit better, overheating close to the base speed of the stabber under MWD.

Then you throw in being able to use 5x drones vs the 1 drone from the Stabber, and the utility of neut's to immobilize light, fast tackle getting close to you?

I've heard that people fly the Stabber to "get ready" for a ship like the Vagabond. Realistically the Nano Rupture, especially with rigs, is a much better option to train with. The hull feels heavier than the Vaga or even the Stabber, but the guns hit much more realistically towards what you get out of a Vaga vs similar from the stabber, and the slot loadout is much closer to the Vagabond on the Rupture than the Stabber.

The always flawed approach is to look at a NanoStabber vs a NanoRupture in a 1v1 engagement, so let's save that for last and instead look at application vs targets. The Rupture's better engagement range, and still intact ability to stand off (kite) targets forges it's very true reputation for being a great solo boat, able to up-engage and then disengage if things are going badly. The stabber has much lower DPS, without downgrading the guns (lowering it's DPS further) there is no room to fit anything but small neuts, rockets, or assault missile launchers. None are very good options. (In be4 defenders)

Now I was using all level 5 skills to look at this, so the numbers in use may vary a bit, but what the Rupture loses in speed, it makes up for in range, DPS, survivability and utility.

Taken from the only view the stabber gets of the Rupture. Right before it dies.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm not all THAT impressed

As most of you know, Yesterday the Eve-world was hit by a bomb shell of Hellmar proportions; the massive, and deserved, letter to the fan base.

Now other than that dev blog already being inaccessible, and the terribly worded unavailable notice, I'm just not all that surprised to see this letter from CCP.

Why? because it comes too close to being just another ploy, and already an effective one. If just by releasing this blog CCP starts to see more people re-sub, or new players come in from the attention it will undoubtedly draw then it was a full on success. CCP's in a unique place here. Theoretically at least, they have the resources to draw from now that they did not have before(this being close to the end of their 18 months, or at least 13-14 months), with the last of the CQ's being completed, even though only one person in a time in there please, they now have some dev cycles they can use to fix parts of the game that need some fixing and have since either their release, or in some cases (hybrids) for the last 2+ years.

Right now is the perfect time for Hellmar to draw people back in with promises to address those things nearest to our hearts, the spaceships. I was expecting this blog for as long as Jester over at Jester's Trek and I guessed it's content with perhaps some more clarity or at least accuracy than he did a few weeks ago looking at problems with the game from my perspective.

The task list looks impressive, but how much of that will actually get done in the next 2 months? or how much will just be heavy-handed, and forced into some kind of change so they can mark the checkbox next to the problem with a big ole check even if their "fix" just breaks 10 more things with eve gameplay.

It's a good start; but one that shouldn't have taken this long to bring into place. I'm reserving judgement on this until I start to see how these changes will happen, and over what time-period. I suggest you do the same. As always, nothing has changed in-game yet, so if you still hate Eve's current problems, you are still going to hate eve's problems because nothing has changed. If you still have fun with Eve then Eve's still fun. Now, as always, all that's left to do is wait to see what CCP does with this letter, and momentum change, will they capitalize and turn the game around, fixing all those things they can in a admittedly short time, or will they devote 1/4 effort to every project and in doing so fail to fix any of them?

Time, not Hellmar, will tell.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Criminal is in the Name

EVEOGANDA : Criminal Intentions

First let me state, that as in my comment there, I will not be sitting over here trying to convince Rixx's character that he is a criminal. Self perception being what it is... let's just say that is futile, and would be like trying to convince Stalin that what he was doing was evil and unjust, he certainly didn't see it that way.

The idea that "nobody" controls lowsec just simply isn't true and can be clearly defined by looking in the upper left corner.

This is taken from just some random screenshot I found online, I didn't have time this morning to fly all the way to Rixx's home system in lowsec just to make a point on my blog! It clearly states "Sovereignty > Amarr Empire" and if Rixx still lives in List then it likely says Sov is Gallente. Out in Syndicate, it says Sov > Syndicate. Even when you engage in combat against a neutral, non-flashy target, your GCC lists (usually) the Empire/Republic/whatever that is pissed at you for engaging in combat in highsec, and lowsec, but not in nullsec.

"Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory."

Sure there are no police, faction or otherwise in Lowsec, as are present in Highsec, but it's a lot like the wild west analogy brought up by Rixx. One where if you jump into the real fort (aka highsec) or to an outpost (aka stations in lowsec or gates) the guns will engage you and your criminal acts (Global CRIMINAL countdown, security status punishments and restrictions) are punished in some fashion or another. I'd get into a million game design arguments here but I really don't think that 15 minutes is a fair offset for fighting in lowsec, it should be much shorter (5 minutes). In lowsec, Law is "enforced" or maybe better explained by "represented" by your security status. Kill enough ships, pilots, pods etc, and your security status drops below -5.0 making you "flashy"until you use another broken mechanic to rat your way back above -5.0.

Punishments in lowsec may be light in comparison to highsec (CONCORDOKKEN) but they are still present and are enforced by the controlling parties and Concord in the case of your sec status.

Ships of all sizes do indeed have crew, so although the pod might or might not escape and the legality of destroying another players pod is questionable (although with the monstrous sec status hit one takes for killing a pod strongly suggests that it is illegal). Digressions aside, it has long been established in PF, or as cannon that ships, even frigates, do indeed have crews in addition to the capsuleer.

Now survival rates and "real math" aside (that would lead to the startling knowledge that the eve universe would be facing near extinction with the current crew losses faced on a day-to-day basis). The proof is in the pudding that fights and kills in lowsec made against other capsuleer ships do cause casualties, and is a pretty solid crutch used in RP, as by this token we are all mass murderers to some extent (especially you high-sec red + killing people, those ships have crew too!).

This image, shamelessly stolen from a post entitled "Your frigates have crew" on Backstage (thank you Victoria Valadeus, of KotMC), and originally from a Dev blog on the same subject, clearly shows that there is sizable crew on most ships and even room for passengers with the maximum capacity stat. Survival stats are much lower than I would expect(I think it should be closer to 80-90% survival or more across the board), however, people are sure to die as a result of Rixx's ship opening fire on them.

Now on to the more philosophical argument, does Logan and by extension Rixx understand what they are doing?

I am sure Logan, the character, is aware, he knows some of his crews, and understands loss all to well. Does this deter him from fighting? No, as he also is aware of his cause, outlined by Stimulus, requires bloodshed to enlighten and advance their cause. To him these deaths are justified, further, he sees himself as a freedom fighter on a scale that not even pilots of Ushra'Khan can comprehend.

Rixx on the other hand seems, judging by Rixx blog post, chooses to either not understand the deaths he inflicts or marginalizes them by not choosing to acknowledge their deaths, or instead, like pirates, claims to own his own house and only direct force to bring him to justice would label him a criminal. Or that he is simply defending his home, albeit aggressively.

Criminals aren't "criminals" because they are in jail, they are criminals long before then, judged by acts they commit. In the confines of this game, capsuleers are largely "above" the law of concord in null and lowsec with the obvious exceptions (gate guns, sec status). Does this freedom grant us, as capsuleers, the ability to stand above the repercussions of our actions, I think the answer there is a resounding yes. If every time one broke a "law" in Eve or murdered an innocent, you were punished fully, I think Eve would take a bit of a turn for the dull.

While certainly individual capsuleers in eve each have different view to death and loss in eve, and the destruction that they cause, and others cause. I'll wrap it up here and just simply say that to some level we are all criminals in eve, all the rest is up to perception, both yours and theirs.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

AT9 group stages day 2!

Did pretty well yesterday, here are my official choices for today!

Sunday June 12th

15:00 RAZOR Alliance vs. Wild Boars
15:20 Circle-of-Two vs. Outbreak
15:40 RvB - Red Federation vs. Babylon 5..
16:00 White Noise vs. SOLAR FLEET
16:40 Aggravated Assault.. vs. The R0NIN
17:00 Black Legion vs. Nulli Secunda
17:20 Lack of Imagination vs. B A N E


18:20 Pandemic Legion vs. Unaffiliated
18:40 Ushra'Khan vs. HYDRA RELOADED
19:00 Against ALL Authorities vs. Raiden.
19:20 Negative Ten vs. DarkSide.
19:40 Vanguard Imperium vs. Sev3rance
20:00 Perihelion Alliance vs. Paisti Syndicate
20:20 The G0dfathers vs. Get Off My Lawn
20:40 The Kadeshi vs. Wildly Inappropriate

Saturday, June 11, 2011

AT9, group stages, round 1.

So just because Rote Kapelle was put out in the second round, that's no reason to stop covering AT9!!!

Good fight to our opponents, our setup was banking that they would not bring the setup that they did, or the more common 3x tengu setup, our gamble failed and as you could tell, our setup didn't work out all too favorably in our favor.  Now this week has been busy for me so I will be guessing the match winners in the shortest fashion possible this time, while still retaining some thought as to how they did so far.

This should keep this post from taking 2 days to write as well, especially since AT9 starts up again in about an hour!

15:00 The Kadeshi vs. The G0dfathers - G0ds did well in their second match, I think the Kadeshi might be the slight underdogs here, but still manage to win.

15:20 Get Off My Lawn vs. Wildly Inappropriate - LAWN, gotta love those guys, fought back into it and will manage to win this one as well.

15:40 Perihelion Alliance vs. Vanguard Imperium - Perihelion made a believer out of me, 10v10's tend to be a bit harder than the 5v5 slugfests of the two last weeks and Vanguard did great the first two weeks as well, this will be a match to watch on the first day, if not the match to watch.

16:00 Sev3rance vs. Paisti Syndicate - I'm surprised to see Sev this far, Paisti is more their match and will carry the day this time.

16:20 Negative Ten vs. Against ALL Authorities - -A- has looked strong so far, I'll give this win to them.

16:40 Raiden. vs. DarkSide. - Raiden. came back in week two to win and advance, nice work gents.

17:00 Ushra'Khan vs. Pandemic Legion - What a bad matchup for the first round for U'K against PL.

17:20 Unaffiliated vs. HYDRA RELOADED - At least our Syndicate bro's made it through, okay they aren't our Bro's but have a very hard matchup vs Hydra, good luck.


18:20 Lack Of Immagination vs. Black Legion - Black Legion made it through! Should be a good fight.

18:40 Nulli Secunda vs. B A N E - meh, don't really care either way here, sorry guys.

19:00 Aggravated Assault.. vs. WE FORM VOLTRON - VOLTRON, I liked their name last year, nothing has changed.

19:20 POWER OF TWO vs. The R0NIN - Another good match I think, and definately one to watch, POWER I think will win, but barely.

19:40 White Noise vs. RvB - Red Federation - Yay red-fed!

20:00 Babylon 5.. vs. SOLAR FLEET - Crap, running out of time!

20:20 Circle-of-Two vs. RAZOR Alliance - Bring more shineys!

20:40 Wild Boars vs. Outbreak - Go Outbreak!

Friday, June 3, 2011

AT9 week 2 Predictions, now with soup!

Okay, I lied, no soup for you!

As mentioned week one was a good showing for more than one alliance. The matchups are out for the next week.  Pretty simple (for once) actually, each team was ranked, winners vs losers as the first ranking point, then points earned. Points earned were figured as follows;

Winning Team Points

The winner of each match gains a 25% bonus to the total ranking points scored. The points values for each ship are available in the match rules page.

Intentional Handicaps

If a team begins the match with less points value worth of ships than their opponent, and wins the match, they score extra ranking points equal to the difference in the two teams' values.

This put Paisti and Razor in the top two spots, 63.75 points each.

After that matches were done #1 vs #2, #3 vs #4, etc...

I'm operating under the assumption that if you go 1-1 and have around 70+ points you will be close to making it into the next round, 83+ points and you are nearly surely granted a spot in the next round.

Saturday June 4th (AKA the losers half of the bracket)

15:00 Dark Taboo vs Waterboard - Both teams were massacred last weekend, both losing without killing a single ship. Unless both teams come out with substantial handicaps, somewhere in the 10-20 point range, and win, nither of them will be making it on to the next rounds. Looking at reports shows that both teams suffered mostly at the hands of flights of ECM drones, perhaps signaling to fit a few smartbombs on their ships to weed off the pesky drone jamming swarm. Since taboo has a password protected killboard and I already covered how stupid I find that, Waterboard will win here but still fail to advance.

15:20 Controlled Chaos vs Chain of Chaos - This is one of those matches you can only hope happens. Chaos vs Chaos... Everyone's always getting these two alliances confused, myself included! It's a good thing that there won't be commentators looking at this match, I can only imagine the confusion then. Anyways, nither team fielded very good setups in the first round, an initial look at the NAWTI setup looked decent, sleipnirs supported by some ECM blackbirds, then I actually looked at the losses they have posted, and now I can understand why they didn't post all of their losses! Sleipnir was active-tank fit with large shield boosters (at least it was shield tanked), the Blackbirds tanked by a 800mm plate? No wonder they went down without a fight. Controlled Chaos didn't fare too much better, 2 x cerb, a rook and a Cyclone, even on paper that sounds like a weak setup that has-to depend on range as part of it's tank. OINK paid them due credit by wiping them off the field without a single loss. Once again, these teams will have to come in with a 10-20 point handicap to stand any chance of making it into the next round. Seeing their first setups, I'll give the nod to NAWTI, their setup looked to be at least headed in the right direction.

15:40 Adeptus Arbetus vs Legion of the Damned - Adeptus came to the first fight wholly unprepared, and apparently for good reason, after suffering a massive corp-theft and loss of their FC the day before their match against AAA. While AAA might have been involved, I think the tourney just made an easy scapegoat for the saboteur and a nice excuse for the loss in the first round. Unlike Adeptus, Legion of the Damned showed up with a ballsy, good setup, centering around two Machariels, unfortunately, they faced a setup like that's worst nightmare, a TD heavy team that killed the effectiveness of the Machariels to lay down damage at range, or even in close. With the weight of experience on their side I think Legion has a chance to field and win with a handicapped team and get them close to advancing into the next round.

16:00 Corcoran State vs Reverberation Project - Corcoran State lost in what appeared to be a close match against B A N E, even though they didn't manage to kill anything, they held on close to the end, their last ship falling with inside a minute left in their match. Their setup in the first round seemed solid but was defeated by the strong turtle power of the Widow led team they faced. Reverberation Project on the other hand, had no such luck, facing off against a minmatar heavy setup that made short work of the tech 1 BC's and support, easily clearing the field of them while they were unable to kill anything. Both teams here will need to field handicapped setups in order to advance to the next round, but I am not sure either will do so. My bet is Corcoran state comes out with a win but does not advance.

16:20 United Front Alliance vs The R0NIN - UFA, fresh off their crippling loss to G0ds will, unshockingly, have to fight with a handicap to stand any chance of making the next round, but so will the R0NIN after their loss to Ushra'Khan. I have to admit I was surprised that Ushra won in that fashion, especially after I picked against them, but the R0NIN made a few mistakes in that match, their rook leaving the ring, thus turning the match on it's ear. After looking at UFA's losses, including a armor tanked Cyclone in their first match I feel pretty confident choosing the R0NIN this time, though it will be interesting to see if they will arrive at the match with a large handicap in the hopes of making it to the next round.

16:40 Clockwork Pineapple vs Transmission Lost - Well GROON you just HAD to let me down didn't you. Our Syndicate sparring partners lost while facing a very unconventional active tanking, or at least heavily tanked Scimitar that absorbed their Tengu's fire with ease, while still having the reps to keep the rest of the RAZOR fleet they faced alive when they tried to change primaries. Transmission Lost on the other hand lost in a very fast match against a ECM and minmatar heavy setup that jammed and crushed their HAC based setup with ease. In one of the rare cases so far where a team without a logistics ship was able to beat a team with one, largely due to the pair of EAF's fielded by the Paisti Syndicate. I think GROON shows up with another solid setup and we have a good fight here, but both will once again have to field a handicapped setup in order to advance to the next round.

17:00 Dead on Arrival vs Morsus Mihi - DOA brought a solid setup into the first match, but ended up facing the scissors to their paper. Two key components of the DOA setup, both fielded by the Curse, being TD's and Neuts were pretty useless against the cap independent team they faced, and soon they were all removed from the field, but the opposing Tengu's. MM on the other hand showed up with a Logistics Tengu, that was primaried first and removed quickly, once that lynchpin was removed from their setup, they barely managed to kill a destroyer before they finished dying. Both teams scored 2 points in the first round, and will need to operate at a handicap to stand a chance of making it through. A win plus a handicap seems a little much to overcome but stranger things have happened. I think MM's experience will get them the win, but it will be once again interesting to see if they come with a handicapped team.

17:20 The Star Fraction vs Smacked Alliance - I was honestly sad to see the Star Fraciton do so poorly in the first round, because it meant that there was little chance we would be facing them in round two or that they would advance past that. Their dual Curse setup brought too much EWAR and not enough DPS, especially when their EWAR proved mostly ineffective against the Tengu/Loki combination they were fighting. They did manage to kill off a single destroyer before falling, netting them 2 points. Smacked brought a solid setup, one that would have suffered heavily at the hands of the 2 Curse's SF brought last time, but found another enemy in a trio of Tengu's. Their Sleipnir setup had a hard time breaking any of the Tengu's they faced, losing to the trio while managing to eliminate just one of the opposing destroyers. Once again both teams will have to look to deploying handicapped setups to have a chance at advancing. Honestly with SF's history in the last two or so AT's Smacked has a good chance of advancing to the next round, even with a handicapped setup.

18:20 Test Alliance Please Ignore vs RvB - Red Federation - Just two points prevented the penultimate match of Red Fed vs Blue Republic. Instead Red lands up with a tough match against a TEST team that was surprised in the first weekend by a trio of Tengu's used by Brick Squad. Their trio of Gila faction cruisers were only able to remove the opposing destroyer before succumbing to missile fire. Red fed faced off against a menacing pair of rattlesnakes fielded by our next opponent, Perihelion Alliance. Their tier 1 and 2 BC's were unable to put much of a dent into the faction battleships before dropping, only able to remove the Rattler support, scoring 8 points. TEST will show up in force again, looking to win with a handicap setup if they want to have any chance of advancing, while Red Fed has marginally more points, it means that they can afford to handicap less and with a win still stand a chance at advancing.

18:40 The Conglomeration of Ill Advised Ideas vs RvB - Blue Republic - The Conglomeration faced a tough 5 man BC setup in the first round, their shield tanking Rupture, claymore and Scimitar fleet was made short work of, folding to the CVA fleet, but not without killing a single Cyclone. Blue Republic fought hard against Outbreak. but we unable to come up with a win in their match of drakes vs Tengu's. The Blue setup was much better than the comparable Conglomeration setup, and with the 12 points from the kill of the basilisk, means they will not have to handicap much, if at all to make it to the next round.

19:00 The SPACE POLICE vs Northern Coalition. - The Police pulled together 14 points in their loss to near system rivals Neg10 in a battle of Cyclones vs Tengu's. That 14 points will be helpful but they will still need a win in order to have a chance to advance. The matches from this point on will rely less and less on handicap setups to advance, and starting here there is a good chance that either team will field a full 50 points. Northern Coalition squared off against newcomers Bacon and LOST. Though to be honest their Dual Rook setup failed in the way most ECM setups will eventually fail, that being a missed jam means a lost ship, not to mention very low DPS. I think the SPACE POLICE will have more drive to win this match.

19:20 Mos Vape Heavy Industries vs Sev3rance - Apparently Mos Vape can't add very well, or just have issues counting to 50. Their first setup was worth 53 points and cost them the match, even if the skillful piloting of the Kadeshi team hadn't already defeated them. Mos ended up with 17.5 points, half of their actual kill points once their infraction was discovered, leaving them with not only a loss but significantly less points that they would have otherwise. I think the penalty wasn't steep enough, and they should have lost all points gained. In any case, Sev3rance faced a close match but lost to yet another triple Tengu setup, despite nearly winning against them with the craft use of EC- Drones. They did score 18 points in their loss and showed a lot of skill getting as close as they did.

19:40 Atlas. vs Get Off My Lawn - Atlas suffered a few piloting errors that ended up costing them their first match, but such is the breaks in the AT. They managed to kill a proteus and a destroyer to bring their total up to 18 points before being brought down first by a burnt out MWD and then by a boundary violation. LAWNs first match went the distance, lasting the full 10 minutes before Raiden. pulled away with a victory. LAWN's setup was solid but ultimately unable to defeat the Logi backed Tengu setup fielded by Raiden. If Atlas continues to make mistakes my money is on LAWN.

20:00 Capital.Punishment vs Black Legion - Well the Maraner led cap.pun team let me down once already and it turns out that it was due to a likely spy in their ranks leaking their likely setup to their opponents. The interesting thing to see will be if that same spy or a different one leaks the next round's setup to Black Legion. Black Legion fought against RK last round and narrowly avoided beating us, but still scored 20 points. Both teams need a win in order to advance, and this will likely be a brutal match, if a bloody one, only the winner will advance.

20:20 Babylon 5.. vs Ishuk-Raata Enforcement Directive - Babylon 5.. brought the 3 tengu setup and managed to lose with it, one of the only teams to bring that setup and lose. They still managed to kill a few ships, but ended up losing, somehow, allegedly because they didn't move their Tengu's off 0 from the warp in. I-RED on the other hand fought a long and bitter battle, they ended up barely losing with a very unique 2 Loki, Oneiros setup, against a dual Mach setup. In the end the simple ability of the I-RED team to field something unexpected and still do well with their setup vs a solid Mach setup, in addition to scoring 29 points to Babylon 5..'s 25 lends me to think I-RED will win the match, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

20:40 Majesta Empire vs GoonSwarm - Majesta fought what was one of the closest and likely most heartbreaking matches, losing by just 12 points to the White Noise. Team, after white noise managed to come from behind to kill a Sleipnir and a Dramiel and take the points lead. Majesta fielded a solid setup, thankfully not more Tengu's, instead opting for Sleipnir, and canes with some support. Goons on the other hand brought Sleipnirs with logi support but still fell in a very close match to yet another Tengu setup. They did manage to score 34 points, leaving them within striking distance to get into the next round with a solid win in this round. I'll stick with Goons here, and wish them luck against ME.

Sunday June 5th (AKA the Winners half)

15:00 Perihelion Alliance vs Rote Kapelle - Perihelion did a great job in their first match showing up with a very unusual setup that while low DPS managed to take out Red Fed and never truly had their tanks tested. They will be a tough opponent for us, having just barely won our match against Black Legion. We are both experienced Tournament teams so it really will come down to skill. In the past neither team has showed up with the same setup twice, so we will have to see if that trend continues. Once again I definitely choose RK!

15:20 Raiden. vs The Obsidian Front - Raiden. fought out a win from a tough match against LAWN, their Tengu setup performing in much the same way as they intended, but still made some strong errors, one of their pilots burning out their missile launchers well before the end of the fight, costing them a decisive victory in the process. The Obsidian Front had a inside track on the win after securing the setups of their Foes pre-match. Admittedly this advantage stood them in good stead, and their dual Golem setup was still strong, up until one of their members made a similar overheating mistake as the Raiden Tengu pilot, only with midslots instead of high. It's these kinds of mistakes that can cause lost matches, so it will be interesting to see who cleans up best in this round. My thought is Raiden will put up the stronger showing.

15:40 White Noise vs The Initiative - White Noise fought a bloody, bloody battle against their first round opponents, leaving just a Dramiel on the field opposing their Proteus. They won in points and edged close to making it into the second round regardless of a win or a loss in the second round if the battle is again very bloody. With 57.5 points, white noise will likely only need 30ish more points to guarantee a spot in next weekend, and 20 to be on the cusp. In the last match of last weekend The Initiative faced off against a similarly setup opponent, Logistics and Tengus, but was able to dominate the field with more effective calls from their still intact FC. They swept the fight, 50-0, and now are in a great position to advance, needing roughly 20 points to make it into the sweet spot to advance. It will be interesting to see if both teams come for the complete kill or go for more turtle based setups designed to get them their points and get out. It's a real toss-up, but I think in a close, and bloody match that Init. will win, but White noise will score enough points to advance as well.

16:00 Circle-of-Two vs Wild Boars - I view Circle-of-Two as one of AT9's favorites, they stood out in round one, crushing their opponents while taking no losses, their 5 S(scimitar, sleipnirs, sabers) setup proving to be effective and devastating against a curse/Logi backed team on the other side. Wild Boars came into round one as an unknown to me but quickly proved themselves against Controlled Chaos fielding the only two Myrmidons I think in the tourney. They managed to wipe the CC team pretty easily, after the CC team made some mental mistakes, like moving before the match and going outside the arena. Even if they hadn't made those mistakes Boars would have won that fight. I'm going to side with the favorites, though every part of my under-dog body wants Boars to win. Both can advance with a bloody enough match.

16:20 Important Internet Spaceship League vs Against ALL Authorities - BDEAL aka IISL, had an easy time in the first round, crushing their opponents sleipnir setup with ease, everything seemed to be going their way, but a closer look at the setup they faced, shows some interesting anomalies, mainly active tanking Sleipnirs, 800mm plated Blackbirds, no luck on jams apparently. AAA went up against what I would say is one of the weaker setups fielded, Caldari Navy Hookbill, Celestius, Cynabal, Blackbird and Tengu, AAA had no problem powering through that assorted mess and cruised into this round with the maximum amount of points. BDEAL and AAA face much tougher opponents in this round and will have to prove their setups against a much more difficult foe, but with a bloody battle both sides could advance. Even though the AAA guys we fought last year are no longer with AAA I'll still root for them.

16:40 Unaffiliated vs B A N E - I'll be rooting for my Syndicate brosefs in the Unaffiliated after they cruised through the first round without a single loss, but they will face tough opposition in B A N E who also made it through the first round without a loss. Bane fielded the only Widow we have seen so far while Unaffiliated brought another unorthodox setup that worked well, things will have to change on both setups if they are brought again, but it will be good match.

17:00 Electric Monkey Overlords vs The G0dfathers - EMOOOOOOO, okay okay I'm done. I-CUT, I think, is their ticker, and they proved it by cutting out the chances of their opponents in week one, their Minmatar setup cleaned the field, leaving only a Echo of ECHO behind when they were done. Look I can do cheesy, bad commentary too, I should apply next year. G0ds brought a 5 man 5 tier 1 BC setup, one of the few brought, and had tremendous success against their opponents, overwhelming them with EC drones and DPS. Both teams did very well in their fights so it will be interesting to see what will happen with this matchup, I think EMO will pull the upset here and continue on to the next round. Like the rest of these high-scoring teams, G0ds can advance with a bloody match, needing just 20ish points to secure a spot in the next round.

17:20 Ushra'Khan vs Ignore This. - Ushra pulled through, my Minnie brosefs slid past the first round with ease, employing dual Sacri's, logistics and some support to clear the field, showing those dirty Amarr how to fly those shiny ships. Ignore this was hard to ignore (there I go again) in their first victory, while they did lose a single ship to DOA, they managed to wipe the field and move on with authority, Fielding yet another variation on the ever-popular Tengu setup. I'll be pulling for Ushra to continue on, though Ignore This has a great chance to make it to next weekend if they can eek out a few points against whatever Ushra brings to the field.

18:20 Vanguard Imperium vs Intrepid Crossing - So let me try to get this right for once, VI, who hold some southern sov, in and around Querious and Delve(thanks anonymous) did a great job taking out MM in week one. Their solid setup of Sleipnirs backed by a logi had little trouble with the MM Cyclone setup and has left them in great shape to advancing to the next round, while a win would be nice to seal the deal, it is not required. With as few as 10-20 points and a loss they still stand a good chance to advance. IRC either lucked out or chose well (your choice of words) when they were pitted against Star Fraction in the first weekend. The Tengu and Loki combination they selected was easily able to down the two curse, logi and bomber setup used by the Star Fraction. It will be a tough matchup between these two as they square off in round 2, both sides can advance with a bloody battle. I think IRC has the slight advantage here, but I'm going to go with VI instead since I did such a shit job of researching them last time, apparently.

18:40 P0WER OF TWO vs Brick Squad - P0WER brought 3 tengu's and a Destroyer as cannon-fodder, they lost the Dessy early in the match but easily swept the rest of the hostile field of the 5 S's. The three man Tengu setup looks to be one of the strongest fielded and proved it time and again against varied opposition. Brick brought the exact same loadout, down to the Cormorant. It will be strange to see them bring separate setups after having so much luck with the three tengu's, in a close match I'll choose Brick.

19:00 Curatores Veritatis Alliance vs Outbreak - CVA, the dirty RPers! Used converted Minmatar ships to push their opponents into an early grave, their 3 Cyclone, 2 Ferox setup brushing off all but one loss, eliminating their foes. Their setup was solid, obviously, but their piloting was alo good, using their ships and drones to the best effect, and coming away with a win. Outbreak opened their week one with a bang, using a variant on the Tengu setup to crush a similar drake setup. Neither one of these teams seem weak, and both made it to the round of 16 at least, last year before being eliminated. In a bloody battle that ends up seeing both teams advance I think that Outbreak squeaks away with a victory.

19:20 Negative Ten vs Bacon Fortress Gaming Syndicate - NEG10 showed up as well with a two Tengu setup, managing to pull out a solid win against their first round opponents despite losing some of their ships. Bacon surprised me by beating NCdot and turning out to not be an alt alliance, seems I've been wrong a lot. Bacon fielded the dual Sacri setup with a Logi further buffering the t2 resists. I'm not going to be surprised again, and think Bacon will come out just ahead in this fight.

19:40 The Kadeshi vs Aggravated Assault - The Kadeshi fought the illegal points setup(53) in the first round and still did well, their Vagabond based setup reducing the Megathron to low structure before the match ended with their opponents being penalized for their failure to count to 50. Aggravated Assault was another team to field the triple Tengu setup, their screening Dessy being their only loss in the first round. I think the Kadeshi will come up with a solid counter to the triple Tengu I anticipate to see from Aggravated assault.

20:00 Lack of Imagination vs Solar Fleet - Imagination used theirs and came up with 3 x Proteus instead of the 3x tengu look we saw so many times, they pulled out a win and buried their opposition, managing to take out the Machariels they were facing with a bit more ease. Solar, one of the few people to beat a 3xtengu setup slipped by their first round opponents, even if barely, their tactic worked. Imagination showed up with 3 x proteus and killed a Mach setup and Solar came with a Mach setup and beat 3 x tengu. Should be a good matchup, no matter what setups are brought. I like the Proteus and the Mach so there goes that Tie breaker, I'll go with Solar on a coin flip.

20:20 Nulli Secunda vs Wildly Inappropriate - Nulli squeezed by I-RED in the first week of fighting, in a close fight they proved to be the tougher, only their Machariel making it out of the fight in one piece. Nulli had to adapt on the fly to counter the I-RED setup, as it wasn't something anyone else saw coming. Wildly used the Tengu setup to relieve Goons of their ships, left with only a Tengu at the end, they still managed a victory. In this I will give the flexibility and thinking on their feet advantage to Nulli, who I anticipate will make this match a good one.

20:40 RAZOR Alliance vs Paisti Syndicate - RAZOR and Paisti took a one point handicap to be the highest rated teams on the ladder, and still managed to complete their matches without loss. RAZOR faced the trendy Tengu setup in their first match and still took no losses while eliminating the opposing team with ease. Paisti had a bit easier of an opposing setup, facing a dual ishtar setup, but still made it through without loss. Voting against RAZOR screwed me last week, and I won't let that happen again. I think Razor comes through in this battle just barely ahead but both teams advance on points to the next round.

Man these things take forever to write! Until next week, good luck to all. Hopefully RK will make it to the next round!