Monday, February 27, 2012

Patience pays off

One thing that a lot of people never seem to quite get when playing EVE is the value of patience.  When most people come across an enemy ship their first instinct is to shoot at it, whether its a frigate or faction battleship.  What they don't realize is that frigate they just shot could have been the forward scout for a juicy freighter or deadspace fit battleship.

As an example, when I was in Noir. we were hired against Narwhals Ate My Duck for a highsec dec contract.  Initially, we got a few easy ganks against careless targets while camping directly on the gate, but they wised up quickly and changed their tactics.  I then noticed them using neutral alts to scout, so I changed our tactics as well to keep our in-corp characters out of system so their scouts would report it as clear.

This worked, and once their neutral scout reported the system as clear, sure enough they would move one of their cloaky T3s in.  We tried a few times without success to catch them and then decided to not even bother to see if they would bring anything else through.

This worked too.  After their T3 came through and reported nothing in system, they began moving in their faction battleships, command ships, and HACs.  Several of which we were able to nab.

Now to their credit, this would have worked against most people in EVE, since most people in EVE go after every target they possibly can, everytime they can.  Most people wouldn't hesistate to kill a Drake running L4 missions while at war, rather than wait for them to get overconfident and frustrated enough at the lower isk/hr to feel comfortable enough to bring their Golem back out.

People often criticize us by calling us n00bs that only kill the idiots that fly without scouts and don't pay attention to local.  This may be true for most highsec dec organizations, but the truth is a lot of the ganks we get are far from "easy" and require quite a bit of setting up and preparation.  We might not be fighting outnumbered or using supercap blobs, but the fact remains, lots of the kills we get, most of the organizations in EVE wouldn't be able to pull off.

I'm not talking about the Machariel pilot that jumped into a gatecamp becuase he flew unscouted. Sure those kills are always enjoyable and take them as they come, but what is most enjoyable to me is killing the guy who did everything right, the guy who had a forward scout, the guy who had been watching the gate he was about to jump into with a Falcon for the past hour and felt safe.

Lots of people may disagree with how I play EVE.  Sure it may seem boring sometimes, there will be hours where you don't go for a single target and just sit waiting.  It can take a lot of discipline to learn to let those cloaky Tengus go through, but I dare you to take a weekend and sit on a gate cloaked and just watch the traffic.  You'll learn that more often than not, the shuttles and cloakies that you wouldn't have been able to catch anyways are scouting for something far more juicy and far more worthwhile.

EVE is different than most games and people forget this.  Its not a first person shooter that relies on twitch reflexes, nor is it a modern action game that relies on the ability to sit through CGI cutscenes.  EVE has a very strong human factor, how people fly in EVE is purely based on their own human instinct and becuase of this you should never show red unless you absolutely have to.  The safer people feel, the more complacent they get and the easier they make your job.

tldr: As an EVE pilot, its your job to determine the optimal stopping point and when you should engage.  Just like in real life, never give everything away on the first date.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The misunderstood aspects of Highsec PVP

I've been reading a lot on CSM candidates platforms on highsec war decs lately and have noticed a common theme, in fact its what has inspired me to finally start my blog.  The things I've been noticing basically fall within the two following categories:

They have no idea what highsec war decs are about and think the core issues are neutral RR and station games.


They don't really understand how the CSM works, at all.

Neutral RR and Station Games
Regarding neutral RR, in reality, the only place that this can be frustrating is on station games against groups like Nova Ardour (one of the few groups that plays station games right), while everyone else is usually just can flippers that should feel bad about themselves anyways.  Even then, neutral RR at the top or on the back of a station is insanely easy to counter.  In fact, most of the time you can neutralize a single logistics ship with a single module, ie: the sensor damp.  Why more people don't do this is beyond me other than it probably takes less effort to go write an angry post on the forum than it does to become better at the game.  But what about neutral logi on a gate?  Just shoot it and force it through, not hard.  

Have problems with station campers?  Introduce them to a sniper gang.  Moar Tears decimated the 0rphanage on the Jita-4-4 undock with sniper HACs.  The sad thing is, I know of only a handful of organizations who have thought to do this.  In fact sniper gangs are such a hard counter to station campers, you could liken them to being rock against scissors.  If you're going to complain about scissors being overpowered and a shitty game mechanic, then try to play something other than paper when you're up against scissors.  I hate to use nullsec comparisons to justify a point, but if you can't figure out that you shouldn't try to warp off when there are flashies on a station then whats the difference if you lose your ship in highsec versus nullsec when you try to do the same thing?  At any rate, station games have actually received a hard nerf already in the form of the reduced 10 second session change timer.  Unless you get alpha'd, you try to undock and by the time you get warp scrammed you should be able to redock since your session timer is up.  Though, the fact still remains, unless you're also willing to nerf neutral bumps, and nerf kickout stations, and change docking radiuses, there will always be someone sitting on an undock playing a station game.

Remember, you didn't lose because of the fact the logi was neutral, you lost because there was logi period.  Even if the logi was in corp, there really wouldn't be much of a difference in the outcome.  Sure you might not have engaged our gang if you had seen how much logi we had, but the truth is thats the only way we can force fights in highsec and disguise our fleet composition.  In nullsec AND lowsec, "good fights" are ruined by titan bridges and triage hotdrops, ironically, neutral logi is the least maddening of the three and the easiest to spot.  Its a lot easier to spot a Guardian sitting on a gate than it is to spot a blob sitting on a titan a whole region away.  Thats why out of all the options to nerf neutral logi, I think Widders was the most elegant, just give them a 60 second aggression timer like combat ships.  Problem solved.  People wanting neutral logi to be flagged for entire wars, really don't just get it since we would just use non-flagged alts instead of flagged ones to scout.  In fact, you can "flag" alts already using the watch list.  People seem to assume that if they change game mechanics they'll be able to beat us because we'll keep flying the same way we did pre-change.  When in reality, this couldn't be further from the truth.

The truth is, people don't want to adapt their tactics.  Nullsec people want to bring nullsec tactics to highsec and then lose when half their gang goes GCC because they shot at a logi before it repped anyone.  (Yes, this happens all the freaking time when people come to fight us)  Case in point, people complained for so long that 0rphanage was just a bunch of station campers that weren't worth fighting because of neutral logi, yet we absolutely decimated them despite them using "cheesy highsec tactics". In highsec, you have locator agents everywhere, you know exactly what tactics they'll use, you don't have to worry about hotdrops or titan bridges.  Its a very fightable battle, people are too used to nullsec blob tactics where they don't have to think or use their brain to go after targets.

Onto the second rant, the more I read CSM proposals, primarily Kelduum, the most i'm convinced  people don't really understand what the CSM is about.  Candidates as well as voters, still seem to be under the impression that a CSM chair gives you the equivalent power of a lead developer at CCP, when in reality you're more there to provide feedback on the changes they propose.  Its sad, but not surprising, that many people still seem to think that a candidate can actually deliver on their elaborate and development heavy proposals.  I'm serious, the more I read some candidates platforms, the more I feel like they think they're running for Hilmar's position.

tl dr; Its easier to whine on the forums about how things are too hard, than to get better and fight back.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Random acts of kindness

Later that night, I saved a poor chap in local who had gotten canflipped by a Merlin while mining, and thought it would be a good idea to return in a Raven only to learn a very harsh lesson about cruise missiles and frigates.  He was begging for help in local offering a whopping 5 million ISK for assistance.  Normally, I just ignore these things because there's usually not much you can do and these people deserve to die, however, today I decided to help him. Maybe I felt genuine pity, maybe I was feeling altruistic, maybe the appeal of taking away an easy kill from a griefer struck a chord in my own inner griefer, maybe it was all of the above.

My first plan was to drop him some ECM drones so I grabbed my Curse, headed over to his asteroid belt and dropped medium ECM drones for him to scoop...except he doesn't have ECM Drone Interfacing trained.  So I drop some Warrior II's, only to find that he can't use those either.  At this point I begin to wonder if this is an elaborate trap and i'm being setup, for a 2008 player, WTF was does this guy have trained?  I'm keeping him repped with my alt in a Scimitar, while I go to pickup some EC-300's for him and the ECM Drone Interfacing skillbook next door.  I seriously begin to wonder why i'm going through so much effort to save this guy, but i've come too far to go back now.  He tells me this plan won't work because you can't switch skill training queues while in space...


 I really really begin to think this has to be some sort of troll, but drop the can off with some EC-300s, tell him he is wrong, and ask how long until he can train it to level 1.

48 minutes...


At this point i'm about to call it quits, since its been about 40 minutes, but decide to give it one last shot.  I grab a bump stabber on my alt...he tells me this won't work because he's webbed...


I line him up with a station anyways, tell him to spam warp the second I make contact with him (I had to explain how to spam the warp button on an object to him...), and give her a go.  I'm able to bump him 30km off of the Merlin and perhaps 10 seconds later he goes into warp, saved successfully.  Woohoo for creative use of game mechanics!

Forty-five freakin' minutes later I finally save this guy.  He thanks me and gives me my promised 5 million ISK, leaving me to sit there perplexed as I reflect on what just happened.  I would like to think that such an experience would leave me feeling warm and fuzzy inside, but I couldn't help but feel like I betrayed Darwin somehow.

Part of me feels like this is because despite the fact that I saved this guy today, I got the impression that he didn't realize just how lucky he got, he didn't realize that most of the time people would just laugh at 5 million ISK and demand more, that most people would just laugh at him in local, that most people who would attempt to save him would actually trick him into giving them aggro and help kill themselves.  Maybe it irritates me that I feel like despite my best efforts, he isn't going to be a better player because he never really understood anything that happened around him today.  Still, this is what I love about the EVE and the sandbox aspect.  You can go from being a highsec PVPer, killing everything you come across and then help save a complete n00b from highsec PVPers an hour later.

At least I made a new friend right?

Axis Stargazer has set their standing to excellent towards you.

But a YF-12? These things are dangerous..

Lovelocke > gf highsec faggots
Pinky Feldman > let me guess, come to nullsec for real mans PVP?
Lovelocke > just you're a faggot thats all

Moar Tears and other highsec PVP groups repeatedly get called "highsec n00bz" among other things, and repeatedly get invited to nullsec for 'elite' PVP.  Even though we generally massacre everything we come across, people still seem to write us off as being terrible PVPers with no actual skills.  I wonder if we signed up for and completed several Agony Unleashed courses as an alliance if that would get us respect from the nullsec EVE community, maybe if we joined EVE uni people would take us more seriously.

But seriously, back to reality, today was fairly slow.  This week for some reason we share several decs with Privs and 0rphange.  For example, AAA Citizens and TEST are both decced by all three of us and i'm sure this is part of the reason things have been so slow.  Still, I managed to kill a Tempest and a Drake that came down the pipe.  The Tempest almost got away, but luckily panic and pilot error on the Tempest pilot's side allowed us to get the kill.  Caius and I, initially caught him on the Niarja gate in Kaaputenan with me in a Talos and Caius in a Proteus.  Since it was a regional gate only I was in point range upon decloak and without a web he was able to burn back to the gate.  Caius held aggro and jumped in after him but unfortunately he spawned on the other side of the gate so we were forced to watch him warp the zero.  Normally, this story would end in the Tempest warping off as our own Proteus landed, except for an unknown reason the Tempest pilot stayed there only to get quickly melted while the rest of our gang landed.

And oh look, a YF-12!!  Seriously though, war targets just get more and more confusing these days.  Out of all of his possible options he picked almost the worst one.  If he had warped to any of the out gates other than the sun he would have lived, if he had bounced safes he would have lived, if he would have warped to any celestial cluster other than the sun he might have lived, if he had logged off he would have lived...but he didn't, and he died.


In other news, i'm loving the Talos as my first Gallente combat ship.  Blasters just dish out the pain and the shield fit i've been using seems to negate any "issues" of getting into blaster range with its insane agility and top speed.  As much as I love T3's for highsec gate work, I'm quickly falling in love with Tier 3 BCs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Within 24 hours fighting can legally occur between those involved.

So I've finally made the leap and decided to start blogging.  Despite what most people may seem to think about highsec PVPers, its the style of gameplay that I find the most fun and am creating this blog to consolidate my experiences and opinions on various EVE topics.