Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Scorpion Model (CCP Blog)

Well, if you haven't seen it yet, go check out the new blog by

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Non-Consensual PvP thoughts

Read this, then come back to here:

I find this is a very common line of thought by players who seem to come from other games and look outwardly at eve, and non-consensual pvp as a whole.  I have had some experience in both WoW, Warhammer in realms that were both open pvp or RvR, so pvp all the time to the PvE groups that were only if flagged could you pvp or pvp in instances.

I think that the main cross seen in many games is the comparison between Consentual, risk free pvp, to non-consentual, asset loss pvp.

Here we have the ends of what I call the extreme.  PvP in WoW is mostly (on non PVP servers) on a consensual basis, barring noob mistakes.  The other end of what I call the common gaming line is Eve Online.

In Eve when one engages in PvP there is the obvious fight as well as the chance at asset loss, meaning your ship, money if ransomed, etc, where in WoW you just lose the time it takes to run back to the fight.

The line connecting them represents the path that most games take between the extremes.  FPS are closer to Eve on the scale of non-consensual, where they also have almost no loss of assets.  Warhammer had repair costs associated with dying in PvP to another player so that puts it lower on the loss of assets list where WoW you don't take item damage from PvP, or at least not as a result of dying.

Another blogger, SERIAL GANKER posted on the subject as well, providing another image akin to mine.  His was a chart of types of pvp however, it is still good material.

Honestly, nobody really enjoys losing, but for some, most of us Eve players for example; pirates and PvPers tend to like the rush associated with the fight, and not with the gank.  Most ganks in Eve are carried out either for monetary gain, griefing, or in the hopes of a "good fight."  Or at least some kind of response from the target.  PvP in a consensual/non-consensual basis is way more than just simple gank vs fair fight.

Even in WoW you will never find a fair fight, classes are designed to be good against one class and bad against another, say a Hunter vs a Paladin, or a Hunter vs a clothie, button pushing skills, as well as timing and knowing your characters weaknesses as well as skill-set can spell the difference between winning or losing, as can gear, level, lag and experience in PvP. 

The same factors are true for Eve.  Skill in a ship, fitting of the ship, allies, location, knowing the role of your ship, how to fly it, what to look for, be on the lookout for, as well as how to fight in your ship will provide the difference between winning or losing.  Sure there will be unfair fights, but that is common amongst all types of PvP, and claiming that is a hallmark of JUST non-consensual PvP is a huge misnomer.

For example, Even in a FPS there are unfair fights all the time, such as turning a corner and getting sniped, grenaded, or ambushed by 4 people around the corner.  Or on a more global basis, when you join a side and they are currently outnumbered by the other side by virtue of server admin, skill or just random server placement.  Truth is there are still fights of 20 vs 10 in a FPS or even in WoW!  Thanks to instanced combat, there are common fights of 8 on 3 or 40 on 20 in AV or Warsong Gulch, or even the one in the middle of Northrend who's name escapes me right now.

PvP isn't best when it is fair, PvP is best when you are matching wits against an enemy focused on your destruction.  Sure non-consensual PvP is different than consensual PvP.  The ever present threat of being attacked simulates the environment suggested by a cruel and uncaring world or universe.  That mirrors the one we live in as well as the one presented in Eve.  The key is providing such an environment while still providing some type of protection or retribution means for the ganked.  No matter how small the chance.  Eve is successful because they have balanced that well, with high, low and null sec, Concord, Wardecs, Wars and space holding.  Many other Non-Consensual games failed because they did not properly address this balance and left no recourse for the ganked to gain any revenge or even the chance of revenge.

I think there will be more games like Eve, where non-consensual PvP is the norm and not the exception.  Or at least there should be!

Friday, February 19, 2010

No third chance given

I'll say it has been a while since I have flown in Provi space (meaning provi 0.0 as well as surrounding lowsec).  I had honestly forgotten the attitude of pilots around here.  NRDS isn't something making these people better, smarter or better equipped, it is just fertile hunting grounds for every pirate to visit and get good, funny kills!

Seemingly oblivious to the fighting going on some 2-4 jumps away, life in the lowsec close by goes on like nothing is happening.  Local teems with neutrals, noobs, and war targets moving through space trying to get their easy money.

While flying close to our current Vacation hotspot, I noticed a Rupture on scan; the pilot, a fellow Sebiestor, was apparently ratting.  I drove through the belts, just a step behind him, even seeing him briefly on my overview before he piled into the next system.  I stayed behind a little, then followed him through, finding him on my scanner once again was easy, seeing as how he was back to ratting!  Had he not noticed my Vagabond on scanner, or on the overview?

It is not as if I have a positive sec status or anything, nor a overly negative one.  No attention was paid however, even when I failed to capture him twice more, the next system closer, however, I was getting closer each time.

Finally I came out of warp, sitting roughly 30 km from the rupture and a small group of NPC's.  Engines straining, my vaga pulled down the range and up the speed, locking into a 15km orbit, my warp disruptor preventing a quick exit by the rupture pilot.

Feeling a touch of pity in my belly, I launched a conversation, to give him just one chance.  My conversation request was denied...  Alright, maybe two chances, speaking in local convinced him, this conversation he took.  Immediately he asked if I was going to kill him.  I delivered my words, that his crew and him could fly out safely as long as they promised to not return to this space.  Warning him that CVA was not a friend to any Minmatar, regardless of birth, or station.  However my brother did not seem to care or listen.

Silence awaited my request that he leave, his group of 425mm autocannon shells suddenly scraping into my shields, HAM's falling short.  His speed jumped up as he tried to burn into range.  My instincts took hold, MWD slamming my ship forward, letting me pull range, my 220mm autocannon answering in thundering volleys of Barrage, stripping him of his shields, armor and hull, at least as fast as one can when facing a 1600mm rrt plated cruiser!

His actions left me confused.  On one hand at least he did not lie to me, say he was going to depart and then stay anyways, forcing me to hunt him down and kill him.  On the other, it was not as if I had ransomed him either, or at least for isk on hand, but he was willing to sacrifice his crew and compatriots on the off chance he could close with me and destroy my vagabond before I could kill him.  His kill mail showed his lack of rounds or equipment suited to fighting my speedy ship.  His pod left the scene, conversationally overjoyed to make it out, as if I had taken the time to lock his pod.

I wish I could say the pilot in question had learnt his lesson and moved on, but the following hour I found him in system again, docked this time, but NPC wrecks showing his lack of understanding of the situation of the area.

Indeed, no third chance will be given.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vaca to Proviii

Rote's taken a vacation!  To provi no less.

So here we are tooling around lowsec and nullsec, at war with Tread and I-RED as well as a few others.

Not much has been happening, bar some good fights that I had no part in... damn you work, puppies, and life!

Tread Alliance CNR of DOOM!

I have to say, heavy missiles for the win!

Vs Tread as a whole...

Vs. I-RED's battleball!

I have gotten a few kills here and there, but nothing too shocking!  So far we have been doing well cleaning up the scraps that come our way and enjoying the local porn if nothing else.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Carriers, the new s***fit target?

Seriously.  There used to be talk about how caps would eventually become the new battleship.  I realize that transition happened a while ago but come on.  It is now filtering down to bad fittings on 1 bil isk+ ships, failure at understanding how fighters and aggression work, and basically not understanding what should be and should not be done with Carriers.

Let me digress a moment and point out that I thought Dreads were going to be the new BS in fights and thus subject to more bad fits, but honestly I am shocked to find it is definitely Carriers!  price point is lower, I should have called that... ANYWAYS

Back to the point,

Just look at these killmails.

As reported by Mail Lite and Spectre:

ummmmm.  Jesus!  Real men hull tank carriers?  At least he had a DCU... and reinforced bulkheads... aww god damn it I can't even keep a straight face looking at this fit.  Total comedy/horrible sadness!  But the saddest thing this is indicative of how things are going for cap fittings, did he just not realize that the medium armor rep or large hull rep might be better served with SOMETHING ELSE?

Four slots (3 low and 1 mid) wasted that could have gone towards something, I dunno, useful, like stabilizing his cap for perma running or closer to perma running his shield booster?

Five if you include the drone tracking link!  Six if you include the drone nav computer.  So all told 3 lows and 3 mids... wasted?  BAH.  Even his rigs!  CCC anyone, I guess the semi-conductor works ok?  but the shield extender rigs???

Nice kill TGA and Jerks!  Rid the cluster of another shoddy fit!

How about this one, from the RK forums...  For those of you who have access... (not sure about the public status of the post but here is the kill...  IT Carrier loss

Core probe launcher?  Felt he needed to do a plex in a carrier?  In the middle of taking over what is left of Goonie space?  Wow, even a IT pilot.  Proving no-one is immune to stupid.  Let's add to this equation, the carrier was soloed by a Pilgrim!  Mainly because he was logged off with aggression!

Pro-tip, the two others on the mail came much later.

Let that be a lesson, auto-aggressing fighters OFF!  No logoffski with aggression.  OR with fighters deployed!


Is it that money in eve is so easy to get that Carriers are now throw-away items?  (yes) Or at the very least so easy to get that poor(meaning awful terribad) pilots don't have a hard time getting into them/fitting them horribly/having no idea what the hell they are supposed to be doing? (apparently) Maybe that is overly pessimistic, but DAMN!

I propose a new mandate.  If you are fitting your carriers like the first fit, just contract them to me,  that is Logan Fyreite in game, or Rote Kapelle, or Jerks, TGA, someone else, ANYONE really.  Just not you.  You have failed the required intelligence test to fly one.  If you are using a carrier to scanprobe, sell it, buy a cov ops, and send the diff in isk price to me!

::muttering to myself:: Hull rep and medium armor rep omni tracking link... at least he had a cap shield booster. ::louder:: At lest he had a capital shield booster...

End rant

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Racial basic PvP discriptions and suggested skill list.

This was supposed to be a comment in Response to Basic Skills on K162's blog... but then turned into a whole blog post!

Caldari in PvP might not be the most popular PvPing race(ship wise) but can be remarkably effective and fun to fly in PvP.  Just not for your enemies... ECM!

Good choices for DPS or front line fighting include the HAM Drake, that packs quite a punch, as well as a pvp fit HM Drake, range of HM, decent tank and tackle.  You are heading the wrong direction with a PvP Raven unless it is t2 torp fit with Caldari BS level 5 and target painters in a shield tanking fleet of them!

To start with the Griffin and Blackbird are great ECM entry ships, with a LSE Caracal being a good anti-small support ship.  Or even a Blaster Moa or Ferox if you are headed down the Rail/blaster combo path.

If you plan on mostly flying in combat with a fleet and not solo Caldari can be a very rewarding(for you) and needed(for the fleet) PvP platform.

If you are interested in ECM fleet use; train towards flying a max skilled (in this order) Griffin, Blackbird, Falcon, Rook, then Scorp.  You will never be hurting for gang invites or thanks for jamming out enemy DPS and you will be learing how to play a tricky, if often bitched about role (by the enemy) in a fleet.

By their nature missiles and missile ships can be useless in long range fights, taking forever to reach their target, making the primary(and sometimes secondary) usually dead before they arrive, but Caldari DO have other options with ECM Jamming ships as well as providing damage mitigation (by screaming PRIMARY ME) and overall fleet support by taking out pesky MWDing ceptors with light missiles/rails to providing surprises to nano style MWDing cruisers with HAM, HM and light missiles and rails.  Not to mention providing long range fire support in the Eagle(meh), Rohk and Ferox.

Caldari also have on average fewer skills to become combat effective especially for ECM use in comparison to Minmatar or they might be even with Gallente.

Skills for pvping in a Caldari ship should be t2 shield skills, all flavor of missile skills, with focus on HAM's and light missiles from the start as well as ECM skills to increase the strength, range and open t2 ECM up.  

If you desire to fly another race consider the below.

Minmatar are notoriously skill reliant, requiring armor, shield, drone, missile, gunnery, and navigation skills to get their ships up to a good level.  However they do in return get some of the more versatile ships for pvp (especially currently with Alpha and falloff changes).  Not to mention the sexy Rifter and rifter hulled t2 ships.  You also get the Hurricane, Cyclone, Vagabond (whee), Stabber, Rupture, Rapier, as well as the Phoon, Tempest and Sliepnir are all PvP standouts!  However none are very good in the hands of a underskilled pilot or when poorly fit, and are even worse when both are true!

Gallente have some monster DPS PvP ships, but rely on mostly close range action to meet their scary potential, barring the use of long range t2 sentries(Ishtar and maybe Domi) and all flavors of drones(Domi/Ishtar/Vexor).  Mobile Drones aka not sentry drones have the same problem as missiles, requiring some time to get on target.  Gallente require skill investment in Drones, Armor tanking, t2 blasters, as well as t2 rails (to some extent but not required) with later cross training into shields for shield tanked Ishtar and Myrms.  Their PvP standouts are almost too many to list, but all fill basically the same role in a fleet.  Brutix, Astarte(asstart), Thorax, Diemos(diemost), Megathron, Incursus, Taranis, Domi, Ishtar, Myrmidon, Lachesis(long tackle), Arazu(cloaky long tackle), etc etc.

Amarr might be one of least skill intensive races to pvp with(at the beginning).  Needing mostly lazors and armor tank skills to be effective (plus they get the Punisher for early term pvp).  Later in life they will need to cross-train to Drones for the Curse and Pilgrim (arbitrator), as well as HAM's and Rockets for the Sacri/Damnation and Malediction respectively.  Amarr pilots can be effective because of the  easy focus on armor and lazors to begin with.  They do also boast some good pvp platforms across the board, both t1 and t2 like the Crusader, Punisher, Maller(sacri), Omen(Zealot), Harbinger, Prophecy(Absolution), Geddon, Fleet Apoc and Abaddon.  Of those, most are lazor platforms making them easier to train for.  Example being you get t2 medium lasors and immediately feel the benefit on the following ships, Omen, Maller, Harbinger, Absolution, Zealot, and Prophecy.

Short version is that the Caldari aren't a bad choice for PvP, just one that takes some time getting used to the role you fill.  Solo pvpers they are not!  They can be very viable combat pilots filling a support and often overlooked role in a small to a huge fleet.

This is a great list of Skills by K162 for combat effectiveness with my additional suggestions at the bottom

Learning Skills:
  1. Analytical Mind IV
  2. Clarity IV
  3. Eidetic Memory IV
  4. Empathy I
  5. Focus IV
  6. Instant Recall IV
  7. Iron Will IV
  8. Learning V – Evemon recommended this to IV yet I trained it up to V. Getting it to V takes a a few days off your overall time if you plan on having your character for over a year.
  9. Logic IV
  10. Spatial Awareness IV
(I vote taking the time to train ALL advanced learning skills to level 4, minus social skills.)

Primary Skills:
  1. Engineering V – Maximize the power core
  2. Electronics V – Maximize the CPU
  3. Energy Management V – Maximize the capacitor capacity
  4. Energy Systems Operation V – Maximize the rate at which the capacitor recharges
  5. Energy Grid Upgrades IV – Reduce the CPU requirements of installing power modules
  6. Mechanic V – Maximize hull strength
  7. Shield Management V – Maximize shield capacity
  8. Shield Operation V – Maximize the rate at which the shield recharges
  9. Hull Upgrade V – Maximize armor strength
  10. Repair Systems V – Operate the best armor and hull repair modules
Secondary Skills:
  1. Drones V – Control up to 5 drones
  2. Targeting IV – +4 targets
  3. Long Range Targeting V – Maximize targeting range and opens up Sensor Booster II (@ IV)
  4. Signature Analysis V – Maximize targeting speed and opens up Logistics and Recon Ships (@ V)  (This should be #1)
  5. Navigation V – Maximize sub-warp speed
  6. Evasive Maneuvering V – Maximize ship agility  (This should be #2 as agility is life in a frig, and it also opens up Interceptors)
  7. Acceleration Control V – Maximize afterburner and microwarp drive speed boost
  8. Cloaking IV – Allows you to use Covert Ops Cloaking Device II which is good for Covert Ops ships. (this should be last, Cloakers should not be trained until needed and then only fit on ships meant to use them :) )
  9. Propulsion Jamming V – Minimize warp scrambler and stasis web capacitor requirements (scramblers/webs require little cap and longer range points lock down targets long enough for the rest of your fleet to engage.  This also opens up Heavy Interdiction Cruiser bubbles in the long run.)

In addition to the skills listed in the K162 post you also should train
  1. High Speed Maneuvering to 4 to open up the use of MWD
  2. Weapon Upgrades to 5
  3. Advanced Weapon Upgrades(AWU) to 4 to minimize the fitting requirements of turrets and missiles.
  4. RIGGING!  (this includes Jury Rigging and at least armor or shield rigging depending on your race, as well as their primary weapon systems.)
  5. Tactical shield Manipulation to 4 so you can fit t2 shield hardeners if flying a shield tanking ship OR
  6. Armor Comp skills to 3 or 4 to harden up the passive resist modules usually used in armor tanking pvp.
  7. Racial frigate 5!  Pushes you towards your first t2 ship class, the interceptor(gall, Minmatar{meh} and Amarr)  or EAS(Caldari, Amarr and Minmatar).
  8. Thermodynamics and associated nanite repair skills (because overheating and repairing overheated modules is key.
All that said, refer to my earlier post about when you should get into PvP in your eve career, especially if you are training an ALT specifically for PvP....