28 Sep 2008

It's Official. Am a Bastard.

Leaving Black-Flag
With heavy heart I switched off the lights of the Black-Flag offices and dismissed the administration staff there. What? Did you all think that pirates did their own paper work? We had minions to do it for us. I sent them on the way; some had been loyal staff and I hope to re-engage their services soon.

Closing the Black-Flag office was easy.....as someone had done it already and deposited the junk of the hangars, mainly ammunition, into my bar and my own hangars. A bit of a mess but I have the full intention of using it!

Joining The Bastards
My application was accepted immediately and I was thrown into the fray before the ink was dry on the contract. Hurtling into the belts and gates as intelligence reports poured in, thick and fast. The Bastards are based in Evati and they have a number of excellent options to plunder: they're two jumps from 0.0 space, at a hub for low-sec mission runners and can be in three other regions in under four jumps in any direction. In the corporation channel I saw with delight, ex-Black-Flagers in Sarvic, Jorge, Snake and Ndor! Literally, old glory times.

My first action with The Bastards was against a Typhoon and Thorax. Just check out the rigs on the thorax. Brave man to be flying that. The 'phoon was bait in a belt and we just all jumped into the belt, both feet first. The rest of his friends came in but we killed a vexor in addition to the above ships before getting out. We lost a rupture but that is the butcher's bill and well worth paying.

LOL Mails
The last week or so has been intense and fun and some of the victims we have come across, quite clearly, are mad or too rich to care. Just check this fit out: megathron of fail and the same pilot in a hyperion of LOLS. Yes, we killed her twice and she's only THIRTEEN days out of Pod academy. Am a bit jealous that after 13 days, she's in a battle ship class vessel. I was in a rifter for months when I started. As you can see from the ship fitting above; she needs help.

Other victims simply did not know how to fly ships or what they were facing. An example is The Bastards' Ndor, ex-Black-Flag, HIC pilot and all-round AUSSIE POWA who tackled a CNR and with help, reduced the ship to scrap. Here's the chat, plucked from local, with the CNR pilot; just before he was podded.

Aireal Rogue > LOL. So what you blew up a 1.5 bill ship. Gratz. Just curious on how you kept me from warping out I had a warp stab on meta 4?
RoninData > It is a SEKRET.

(Hint: it's either a scrambler (2 points! or, umm, Ndor's HIC generating the Warp Disruption Field?)

Yes, some people simply do not deserve to be sitting in a chair let alone a ship.

More Kills
One night, one of our scouts informed us that there was a bubble in a 0.0 system with a relatively weak support in place: brutix, raven rokh, falcon, hound, drake and some other ships. We had over eleven online with nine available to go immediately. No futher ado, we did just that and made rendezvous two jumps away in Todi.We killed the Rokh, Drake and something else. We recieved some (very confusing) smack with (not so) hidden threats and such. Great fun.

Even More Kills
The Bastards are working hard at making life misery for others while enriching ourselves. According to RoninData (current CEO) this, being my first week; we had a record in terms of isk damage: over 5Billion isk worth check the KB out here. A fair chunk of T2 loot drops and ransoms to swell the coffers.

As I write this, I spy a megathron and harbinger in local.

27 Sep 2008

Musings of a Pirate - Part 8 - Pushing the envelope.

Being a pirate means you need to be very isk efficient. Am in this business to get rich at the expense of others, thus I need to fly something that is relatively cheap and easy to replace. Forget faction mods or a ship dripping in tech two goodies. However, expensive mods and rigs can give a pilot the crucial split-second advantage to win a contest, so it's always a balance. After bagging that freighter and machaerial, my luck changed appallingly.

While I view uneven odds as a given and challenge, I recently pushed my ship and my skills too far and in the last few days have lost a rifter, a wolf and a rupture.

My Rifter versus Rupture and Stiletto: Loss of Rifter but gain of a rupture.
This was an interesting hunt as my intelligence sources told me that they were both working together. The rupture and stiletto were playing the station hugging game and I decided to bring them out into a belt. With a gang of three, I jumped into Hrondredir. Surely a lone rifter was too obviously shouting 'bait' to them? The stiletto arrived and engaged me, I did not have the speed to kill him but he didn't have the damage output to make much of a difference. I informed the situation to some local pirates and waited for a response while I danced the complicated dance with Sahonen, the stiletto pilot. I was ready to take advantage of any mistake.

Then his friend in the rupture arrived.

The game was up. I switched my attention to the more dangerous threat of the rupture and the rifter gave a good account of itself but when it was down to armour, I knew that I was in trouble. I could repair the damage from the stiletto but not that and the rupture. DJ and Daplat (I think) now entered into local. The interceptor scampered off while the rupture smelling blood, managed to clip my port side engine nacelle and my rifter blew up. He stayed too long however, a flashing thorax entered into the belt and tackled the rupture. It was DJ in his thorax. Something very funny happened soon thereafter. The rupture pilot, fearing a podkill, ejected from his rupture and got away. I re-entered the belt and boarded the still smouldering rupture and piloted it away! I tasked one of my camera drones to take a picture of the still-on-fire rupture.

Details of the rifter kill.

My Wolf versus Deimos
Still chuckling from getting a 'new' rupture I docked in Gusandall. One of my contacts informed me that there was a ship inside the Angel plex. Now, normally, it is Kane Rizzel who patrols these plexes; ensuring them that it is clean of all interlopers. He wasn't around so I took the job. The wolf would be perfect, with it's formidable armament it will shred any other frigate or assault frigate into scrap. Feeling confident, I undocked and engaged the warp engines. It was a pity that I bounced off the warp gate into the plex and even worse luck that i fell into the embrace of a waiting deimos. Too big to go in, the heavy assault cruiser was sitting there with the sole purpose of snagging anyone trying to get into the complex. Fair play to him, I would do the same. My bad luck he snared me. My wolf did not last long as the hybrid blasters punched into it's frame and his five drones screaming all over it, buzz-sawing it to death. I was too close, in fact, I was inside the deimos' optimal kill-zone. Mercifully, it was over quick and here's the details for everyone's amusement.

My Rupture versus Cyclone, Crusader and Incursus
Still smarting from the loss of the wolf, I wanted revenge and Gusandall was proving to be most active. Even though the systems from Gusandall to Evati had pirate HQs and roaming gangs and solo operators; we still get many, many pilots and corporations going through it. Providing a constant source of combat but more importantly, isk. So, it was with interest that I spotted some new faces in local and undocked in my rupture (no, it wasn't the one I liberated) and proceeded to do what all pirates do: scan and get a closer, more accurate location of the prey. I picked up a cyclone, a rifter, a crusader, an incursus and another rupture. I had no idea if all the ships were in a pos or in a safe or running a mission. Not many pirates were active today, probably sleeping off the night before.

I managed to scan and pin down the crusader it to the top belt but the rupture, without sensor boosters, was woefully in-adequate for tackling the speedy interceptor.

Sitting in my scanning perch, high above the system plane, I managed to pin down the crusader a second time but no, I was too slow. I whipped into the top-most belt. Like most systems, the top belt (usually designated as 1-1) was the main area that people visited first. It's also the most obvious location for baits and traps and counter-traps.

I thought I was being smart and laying down the trap. Little did I know I was the bait and kill.

A cyclone came into the belt, plasma streaming off it's bludgeon-like hull. Excellent, I thought - time to chew into a battle cruiser then. I readied myself and locked him, reloading EMP into my auto canons. Then the crusader came back in, eagerness evident in it's hostile attack pattern and to add to my woes, a fanged incursus joined them. My ECM drones screeched out and attempted to do their work on the cyclone.

OK, not too bad but I better get some hits in I thought and I volleyed the cyclone. The cyclone replied with it's own volley, this time from it's much larger 425mm auto canons. My shields were ripped off in one salvo.

I wasn't expecting that. The cyclone pilot quite clearly knew what he was doing and I was past the point of being worried.

The Crusader was buzzing around me and the incursus was blasting at me as well. At least I wasn't jammed but the plated Ruppie couldn't cope with the DPS and the cyclone was FAST. I hit my own micro warp drive to get some distance and managed to get away from the incursus but the cyclone was on me and maintained it's range. It had a micro warp drive too.


I died very quickly.

Fair play to the other pilots but losing three ships was a blow and humbling. Hope my luck changes soon!

23 Sep 2008

Mach and Mega Meal at the gate.....drive-by take out please.

Capt Nessaja (aka Nessa), Tenchuu Khaan (aka TK and pictured), RealZonk (aka Zonk) and I were out hunting for a raven, running some sort of kill mission but it had been proving to be a most, elusive prey of the night.Numerous probes were dropped but the raven pilot was evading us. Taunting us even, with his continued presence.

The scanner piped and I checked the results. I toggled the fleet channel:

"Raven has left system."

There was a groan from the small fleet's captains as we all scrambled over to the various gates and jumped into neighbouring systems, hoping we could catch the raven.

No such hope.

Grumbling, I pinged the scanner a couple of times more before leaving. I stopped and starred at the result. I checked local and scanned again. I reached out to my fleet mates.

"Guys, I see a Machariel and a Megathron on scan. We have some friendlies but those two beauties are not ours."

"Flash. You sure?" queried Nessaja.

"Yeah, am sure. Goddamn Mach and Mega on scan. Towards the Arnstur gate in Gultratren. There's also a couple of NO FEAR pilots in local too." I said. "We saw one of them in a vaga going through Brin." I added. After some fiddling with the scanner and the process of elimination we had more or less narrowed down the possible battleship pilots.

"Then I am going to get my maelstrom." Said Zonk in a matter-of-fact voice - he swung his ship towards his homebase.

"Getting my Domi." Added Nessaja as he too, left for home. Steady on I thought, we haven't even located them let alone pointed them! However, I guess Zonk and Nessa's instincts were stronger than mine on this occasion.

"Am on my way to the gate. Phear my ruppie of doom!" Roared TK; completely disregarding the danger he was in. He just wanted that tackle and had no interest in changing ships.

I re-aligned towards a safe spot and waited. It was a few jumps back to my home base as well; I could really do with my hurricane and not this rupture. Gate fighting is fun but against monstrous brutes like a megathron- and machariel-class battleships, under sentry protection as well? However, TK had made his stand and I was going to stick around to help him out. No sooner had he settled onto the gate, that his voice came over the communications channel, excitement clear.

"NO FEAR Corporation Vagabond locking me."

"ID of pilot TK?" I asked, though I had a pretty good idea which one, I began reloading barrage ammunition into my dual-180mm auto canons.

" Tial'C and he's firing on me!" TK laughed manically, "Yes! Am coming to get you, you.... " the rest of TK's response was lost in a burst of static as his guns opened up.

"Fleet: enemy vagabond has aggressed on the Arnstur gate in Gultratren!" I began my warp to the gate; the rupture picking up speed as it aligned to the destination.

"Zonk; one jump."

"Nessa; one jump also. Overkill for a single vaga. Where's that Mega?"

My rupture was mid-way towards the gate when the communications cleared and TK shouted out.

"Mach and Mega at the gate. They've just come through.....They've fired on me!" There was something incoherent as TK's communications broke down once more, no doubt interference from the weapons' discharges. The TK came back. "Going down. Going down."

Cursing at my long warp - I hoped that TK could hold on.

"TK - move away from the gate!" I said, not being too helpful.

"What do you think I am doing?" I didn't get a chance to reply as my sensors detected the sudden presence of a pod.

"TK is down. TK is down. Didn't even get a chance to fire on the mach and mega! Shit!"

"Mach? Where?" It was Maro from M34N corp who was listening in. "Am undocking!" Nothing could stop Maro or his friend, Jubes from throwing his ship into the fray.

"Arnstur gate in Gultratren." I said.

"OMW," replied Maro.

Meanwhile, back near the gate. "GF." Offered Tial'C in local, no doubt proud of the kill. Having a machariel and megathron arrive definitely tipped the odds!

My rupture arrived just as TK's pod whipped out from under the sentry guns and the dual brooding presence of a machariel- and megathron-class battleship. The vagabond, no doubt damaged from her engagement with TK's rupture, was nowhere to be seen. The two battleships' guns were still glowing from the salvo they had delivered into TK's rupture. They turned their guns onto me. I locked them. The targeting reticles cycled. It was going to get very ugly. My targeting computer resolved it's lock and I threw a point onto the machariel.

"Flashfresh here: Mach pointed." I croaked. The sentry guns spun up. I braced myself for the inevitable battering from battleship class weapons as they slowly turned their attention to me.

"Hold on Flash. We're almost there." It was Zonk, his accent is unmistakeable.

Then things happened very quickly.

Multiple gate fire seared my senses. Zonk and Nessa were back, in their battleships. Maro also joined in his megathron, a second later.

"Who's primary?"

"The Mach." Replied Zonk.

"The Mega!" Someone else counter-ordered.

"The Fecking MACH is the primary!"

Oh the confusion. The shouting. The swearing. With no recognised FC, it was a brutal affair. Half the ships now engaged were not in the original fleet of four and therefore they cluttered each other's overviews. More pirates were being alerted and we had Annapolis, Mandaro and WayCharles on the way. The latter bringing in the curse. The machariel is very fast for a battleship and was in danger of leaving the battlescene, so the presence of WayCharles' curse was vital. My rupture was spewing out gasses and fluids as the hammering it was getting from the both Machariel and the sentry guns was just too much.

"Flash is disengaging. Someone take over the point on the Mach."

"Mach has been pointed. Go." Said someone, it sounded like Nessa. It was unclear as I was in danger of popping in a spectacular fashion. My rupture re-aligned and whipped out. My warp engines un-molested. Meanwhile, there were curses as the machariel was moving out of the other pirates' ranges. It wasn't until WayCharles had arrived and hit the fast battleship with a couple of energy neutralisers that the prey was locked down. We had no losses and both the enemy megathron and machariel were down. The Mach dropped some gorgeous loot. Concord, efficient as ever recorded both the megathron and machariel kills. Check out the dread gurista cloaking device that survived the explosion.

In all, the loot drop totalled between 400-450million isk according one pirate, so a nice payout to all of us. Very nice indeed and fair play to the pilot for having enough courage to undock in his faction battleship in the first place.

19 Sep 2008

Killing me softly, killing me softly.....

Killing my targets - one by one....

"There is a FECKING FREIGHTER on scan!" Yelled someone. The call reverberating in the joint intelligence channels that all pirates have. "Freighter in Gultratren."

Nothing moves a pirate faster than the prospect of a pay-day and a freighter can be a mighty big pay day. We had word it was coming in from Ingunn and was already inbound towards either the Gusandall or Sotrenzur gates. There was a mad scramble as pilots from five pirates organisations roared out of the station and scattered towards the two gates; bumping the dwaddling industrials out of the way.

Some of the faster ships got to the Sotrenzur gate and jumped in. Others were still turning their ships in space and aligning.

"Who is the freighter pilot?" I asked. The only answer was a load of noise, talk of isk and non-sense.

"WHO THE HELL IS THE FREIGHTER PILOT?" I asked, a little louder.

"Er, Fest or Fester or something." Reported someone. I forgot who replied but a quick scan on the local communication channel and there was a pilot in Gusandall local called 'Festry'. That must be him I thought, panic rising as the prospect of this most juicy of prey slipping away from us.

I snapped on the ship's onboard scanners and performed a 360-degree scan. What I saw made my heart miss a beat.

"Contact. Contact. Contact. I have FESTRY in local and can confirm a providence-class freighter in local." From the angle of my scan, it was inline with the Eifer gate. "I think it's closing on the Eifer gate." I willed my rupture to turn around and face the right direction.

"We need to move, tacklers on the other side of the Gusandall gate in Eifer!" Said someone, it sounded like RoninData (The Bastards Corp) or Annapolis (Modern Amusement Corp); either way - everyone raced towards the gate. Festry disappeared from local as did the freighter. Jesus we're a bit slow today, I thought to myself.

"Festry jumped. He jumped into Eifer."

"Jumping now." Said someone. I approached the gate and was granted immediate gate activation, sling-shoting me into the Eifer system. I joined the tacklers on the other side. Checking the local communication channel, I saw that Festry was also there. His freighter was still under gate cloak and no doubt he was pondering his next move. He had to hurry, he had but seconds to act before the gate-induced sensor cloak disappeared.

"Freighter is under gate cloak. All ships spread out and get points ready." I said, dropping my own stargate-induced cloak and proceeding to orbit the stargate. Other pirates decloaked as well: Ard and RoninData from The Bastards and Annapolis. Our heavy hitting battleships had only just arrived on the Eifer gate in Gusandall.

My scanner pinged up.

"Contact. Contact. Contact. Freighter just decloaked. Get him!!"

A klaxon blared in the background, angry and potent.

"No one web him! Get a point first!"

We were all too far to immediately scramble the engines of the freighter. I was 38km and even over-loading my warp disruptor, it would only get a range of 28km. That's why they made micro warp drives, I thought as my ship start to shudder, the engines pushing the rupture towards the freighter. I slowly gained speed.

The freighter was slowly aligning to it's next destination. It was too slow and ungainly to escape. I could only imagine the thoughts racing through the mind of the freighter pilot as he was steadily surrounded by red, flashing, angry and hungry ships.

"Point!" Said Lord Saradomin.

"Pointed." Informed Serenator.

"Got it!!" That was RoninData.

We had it. Now came the hard bit, the freighter had a massive amount of structure and it would require a lot of firepower to kill it. The sentry guns spun up and started to fire at us, there were now a total of five ships and we shared the sentry gun's damage. More were coming in. We yelled for more damage. More battleships, crewed by battle-hardened and blood-thirsty pirates, answered the call.

Now to ransom it.

"Ronin. You do it. Ransom it. 500million isk. " Said someone.

"Okay, hold on." Replied RoninData. The freighter was now into armour and soon it was down to hull - thanks to the presence of a rokh- and hyperion-class battle ship adding to the firepower. I glanced down at the local channel and the avatar of Festry winked off. I checked my equipment to ensure it wasn't in error. He had disconnected his pod from his ship hoping for an emergency warp.

"He's logged. He's logged. The fool has disconnected his pod."

"Okay - wonder why the ransom negotiations ended so abruptly..."

"Kill the freighter before it emergency warps." With the prospects of a ransom now gone, we took it upon ourselves to destroy this ship. The combined firepower of eight ships just pulverised the unfortunate freighter into scrap a few seconds later. The resulting wreck twinkled, all forlorn in the night sky.

What was odd about that freighter?

It was completely empty. No cargo.

Cynabal - we want it
Chasing down a faction cruiser is always fun. So anyone flying one around Eifer and Gusandall is bound to attract attention - pirates are always looking for 'bling' kills and faction kills are sweet. Ransoms also work well with faction ships. They're relatively hard to get on the open market and expensive when they are available. To fully utilise it, faction and rare modules tend to be used in place of the more plain tech one variants. You wouldn't drink a vintage Chateaux Du Paris '89 in a plasteel cup would you?

All in all, these ships are highly coveted things. Both to keep in your hangar and for us pirates, to kill to get the CONCORD kill mail.

So, I was there chilling in a safe spot and enjoying the sights of the stars wheeling above my head when the shared intelligence crackled to life. It was Assassin X, a pirate from the ever-present Mean Corp.

"Flash, I have a cynabal in Auren. Trying to scan it down."

A fleet was quickly formed from the pirates lounging around and my rupture slid into position on the gate. Kane Rizzel joined us, with his broadsword. Daplat Mode was in his HIC as well but he volunteered to sit at the Auren gate in Gusandall, in case our cynabal pilot made a run for it. Of course, Auren had a gate back into Empire space and safety but we hoped he wouldn't do that.

A fleet of three then joined Assassin X and our prober (who shall remain nameless).

"Flash here. Will sit on the Gusandall gate in Auren - just in case our Cynabal pilot comes towards me."

"He can always jump into high-sec." Ventured someone.

"True, let's hope he becomes complacent."

"I have a hit!" informed out prober. We all warped eagerly to the spot. It was empty. Our instruments still registering the tell-tale signs of a recent warp drive activation. We waited for the next probe cycle and we got another hit, and on arrival, we had just missed him once more. We decided that, like most pilots, the cynabal pilot will cycle through his safe spots and left one of our own in each newly discovered safe spot. There was a strong probability that the pilot would eventually come back and get a VERY nasty shock.

I waited patiently in my spot as did the others, scattered across the three to four safe spots around. We did not have to wait long.

"Contact. I have a point on the cynabal. Warp to me." It was Gousgounis Theos (Mean Corp) who had the luck. The cynabal landed on him, it was pointed and within moments, the other three had descended on it and proceeded to tear it to pieces. I was locked by the desparate pilot, the cynabals strength was speed and we threw as many webs on it as we could. It strength was not heads-up toe-to-toe fighting and against overwhelming odds; he was doomed.

"Ransom the ship."

"Aye, aye."

The avatar of the pilot then winked off.

"Kill his ship. Find the pod. Kill the pilot."

The Cynabal shuddered and burst open as our explosive ordnance detonated something inside the ship. The pod instantly emergency warped out but we found it easily enough. Without any ceremony, we podded the pilot and pulped the bio-mass. All the tech two gear on the cynabal was lost bar one overdrive injector. Oh well. Like I said, a bling kill mail will have to do.

Lesson for would be prey: If there are probers in the system - cycle through your safe spots once but do not linger in one spot too long or repeatedly return to one. Chances are one or more may have been cracked open and you will have a nasty surprise in store for you. Best you negotiate a ransom to leave the local system intact.


More kills
The other days had more kills and one loss (my rupture) to a well-executed trap where our little pirate gang was ambushed. No complaints. What goes around, comes around.

So in the last six days since my entry, I have chalked up the following kills:

A thrasher, a vexor, a huginn, x3 stabbers, coercer, cyclone, x2 rifter, hyperion, a freighter (!), a myrmidon, a thorax and a cynabal.

A fair few came from a new corp calling themselves the 'Elusive Russians'. Not so elusive as Kane and I found them readily enough.

Hunting them ravens
Now, not all days are full of yarr and isk and fire. Far from it. A pirate needs to be patient but coiled tight like a spring; ready for action. We spotted a couple of ravens missioning and finally managed to probe them down. We knew that they were stabbed to the max so we had HICS as our tacklers. These ravens were quick too in cutting through their mission: by the time the prober had settled close to them and provided a warp in point; the mission was almost complete. By the time the HICS were in the system and warping to our prober, the ravens (already aligned to leave) had almost completed the mission. By the time the first HIC popped warped into the area: both ravens had gone, the last one's engine exhausts leaving a glowing trail of plasma behind us.

So some disappointment for sure - we need to be smarter when hunting these mission runners. They endlessly churn through the agent missions 23/7 - day after back-breaking day.

A cross-road
Just recently, I sat down with Nightmare, the only other active Black-Flag pilot and we shared a drink and chatted. Haven't seen Nightmare or his friend Huaca in a while and it was good to catch up. This was it now: Black-Flag had been reduced to three pirates. The conversation quickly turned to what we could do with the corporation. We could not (I would not) seize control as it would be mutiny but nor could I stay indefinitely. I had sorted out the bills and sold as much of the (rather useless) loot on behalf of the corporation.

The hangars were empty now. Nothing left apart from tech one ammunition.

So we three now had come to a decision-point and we had stayed long enough to satisfy all requirements for pride and loyalty. What next? Nightmare muttered about staying for some unfinished business while Huaca was already leaving. He just wanted to say his farewells.

Me?

Since the problem with Black-Flag I had a number of invites from organisations and alliances. I thank them all but I really only have two choices: Mean Corp or The Bastards. Going solo had crossed my mind (what have I been doing since Viper Sam took his leave?) but Hiematar has her King of Solo Pirates and that is Kane Rizzel. A friend, a colleague, a brother. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him. He will (singlehandedly) make life unpleasant for anyone foolish enough to cross his path. No, my solo days are not yet over but it's not the right time to drop back into this way of life.

So I considered Mean Corp - a bunch of cut throats, now part of the Mean Coalition of pirates. Jubes had left Black-Flag and joined up with them; strengthening them with his unique talents. In their ranks they counted fearsome pirates such as Ceraci (only 16 registered losses in her career!), WayCharles , Kerjin and RedBad. With their new Alliance and friends, I am sure that Mean are going places. Cap ships are in place too I believe.

However, it is the smaller corp, gleefully calling themselves, 'The Bastards' that I am going to throw my application to. Four ex-Black-Flag members had joined them and this has swayed my choice. Sarvic, Snake, Vertias and Jorge are all there and it's the continuity that is appealing to me.


Call me nostalgic but I miss flying alongside them in a gang consisting of hurricane-class battle cruisers. How the skies shake as we roar through towards a target.

So that's it for now. In a week or so, I will leave Black-Flag and be a Bastard. Not going to relocate as Gusandall is my home and the Bastards stomping grounds is but four jumps away. However, I will keep the small Black-Flag badge on my uniform for a while longer. I looked at our kill board and took down the details for prosperity: there was a crash about nine months ago and we lost a lot of data so the information below is not 100% accurate but there you go.



New SpeedLinking

I love blogs, especially the pirate ones. Here's a selection of the thoughts, accounts and boasts from some of the pirates of New Eden that I found fun and interesting in the last two weeks (or so), that I wish to share with you all:
  • Kane Rizzel acts a teacher and ladles out the knowledge of the YARR to some pilots in the art of pirating class. In my view, Kane is one of the best solo pirate out there. Young prospective pilots can start with Kane right here.
  • Sweet Little Bad Girl does some farmer killin' but don't let the title 'Isk Farmers are People too' fool you. A member of the all-female pirate group, the 'Hellcats' led by a blogging favourite of mine: Mynxee. Drop by their killboard and see how these vixens are terrorising and plundering the unwary and unprepared.
  • But wait, I could not forget Mynxee. Oh no. She has penned a wonderful poem called 'Are you Pi-Curious' and I have played this a number of times to my crew. She's our new pin-up. Will have to drag out the cat 'o' nine tails to instill some discipline.
  • Down by Law by Pegleg Punk - 'Dirty Frarn' - very good account of how he turned the tables on a bear and drank deeply from the inexhaustible cup of carebear tears. Great stuff from a pirate that will be setting the skies of New Eden on fire.
  • Tiger's Space Journeys by - Another new pirate blog, yaarr...yes, he urges us, his piratical brothers and sisters to have a 'talk like a pirate' day. Tiger, I let my guns do the talking but YARR.....
  • Suddenly Ninja's is the most popular Ninja Salvaging and Looting Corporation in EvE Online and I fully approve of their actions. Great website and blog and love the merchandise. Their current post is about Carebear Tears. Mmmm, delicious. Mission runners beware; SN will come knocking on your door soon.
  • Havojeh has a great brain and writes well, click here as he discusses the recent CCP changes.
  • Ka-Jolo's lust for loot and plunder forced him to take his thorax into Empire space. The results were not pretty, read it here.
A long(ish) blog post is coming - just putting the finishing touches on it. It's an update on what I have been doing and my plans for the future - thanks for the evemails guys.

10 Sep 2008

Some Winsauce

Sometimes, I don't have to do anything. Funny stories come right out of local.....(punctuation and spelling mistakes corrected but the rest is, well - it is winsauce!)....

[16:22:33] Somal Thunder > Deathstar.
[16:22:39] Somal Thunder > I challenge your ship to a fight!
[16:23:23] Saelie > DeathStar is actually good.....
[16:23:36] Somal Thunder > Deathstar, nevermind.
[16:24:13] DeathStar > LOL
[16:25:05] Hitomi Desu > heh
[16:26:53] WayCharles > LOL!
[16:27:06] RoninData > hahahahaha
[16:27:27] Rhyothyn > ROFL

EVE Pirate Speedlinking

I love to read what other pirates are doing so here's a run down of some funny pirate stories that I have read as well as a recap on some other entries. Crazykinux does a great job with an overall speed-linked update but for specific pirate content? Well, hope this effort of mine helps! I know my good friend Votrian is doing something similar for explorers like himself.

  • Kane Rizzel. One of the best solo pirates in New Eden. Mission running locals avoid him like the black death. Holder of a recognised speed record in New Eden (will find the link) and a friend and respected pilot to me and others, has hit a milestone: 1000 kills.Congratulations. Hop over to his blog and check out his cool tattoo..
  • Your money or your life is a well-written blog by Ka Jolo, a pirate of some standing. He talks about the etiquette of the 'GF' we all write in local, whether you've just had your ass handed to you or did some killing yourself.
  • EVE Newb (not a noob to be honest) in a classic encounter against x3 battleships versus his inty, a cruiser and a frigate. They kicked ass, the entry is quite recent so read it while it's still smoking. Plenty of chat and post on the eve-forums too.
  • Justice in the Dark Universe is Cid Drakir's account of how he turned the tables on an idiot. Cid isn't a pirate but the story was too good to be excluded.
  • I love salvaging stuff in space and Ironfleet have made it their own. A fun tale of sneaking in, stealing a can from a miner and then high-tailing it out of there...while the miner is completely unaware! They'll take anything not nailed down to a planet. I love it.
  • Mynxee updates us all on her comings and goings in low-sec. I agree, sall cyno-ships must die.

8 Sep 2008

Good rifter pilot and fight

Sitting in my bar in Gusandall station, I have plenty of time to pick up juicy information on new pilots and such. I spied one chap, a new pod pilot for sure but he carried himself with some courage and style. He was making enquiries with a well-known agent. They both sat down, some nods and then he was off. I approached the agent and threw down some coin. The agent swept up the money.

"He's going to tangle with the local Angels in the belts then bolt into the 'plex." Said the agent, his lips barely moving. "He's leaving straight away. Docking bay 7223." He added.

I turned and made my wolf-class assault frigate ready. It was 'Lupen' for a good reason.

Having lost the Jaguar I was left to fly around in this bigger, heavier hitting brute. Am still in two minds over it to be honest. The Jaguar is so much more versatile, it's faster and more fun to fly. The Wolf-class assault frigates are designed with one thing in mind: to shred it's opponents. With it's two medium slots, my options are limited to a warp disruptor and an afterburner. I had to go with ABs as I slapped on a plate into the lows. So 'Lupen' is kinda slow and it was this ship that I chugged out of the station at a stately 212 metres per second.

Snapping on the scanner, I discovered that there was a hawk-class assault frigate and the rifter out in space. The hawk was another pirate - probably sitting in one of the two complexes in Gusandall. Narrowing the scanner down, I discovered that the rifter was not in either complex. He was out towards the IV cluster - and there was only one belt.

I swung the Lupen around and accelerated into space. Confident that I would get a kill. Yarrr!

Pinging the scanner ahead of me ensured that the rifter was ahead of me and indeed, inside the belt. I arrived into the same bit of space and found it 32km from. I quickly gunned the afterburners and gave chase. At 24km, I engaged my lock and then hit the tech 2 warp disruptor.

Yarr!

At 23km I hit the guns and spat out EMP death. Didn't do any damage of course, not from this range.

Then the rifter hit it's own afterburner and burned away from me. He also returned fire and scored credible hits. I tried to get closer and toyed with the idea of over heating my afterburner but the target was moving away from me. He kept on hitting me too, much to my chagrin. My shields dropped down and then I was into armour. 'Lupen' is an armour tanker, as much as any assault frigate can be so I was not too bothered about the damage but it became very obvious that I had no hope in hell in catching the rifter now. I needed to get within 12-13km of my guns then he would be dead. He controlled the range of engangement due to his superior speed.

Cursing, I turned my assault frigate around and jumped to a warp spot and pondered my next move.

I studied his movements and anticipated where the rifter pilot would be, as I jumped to a belt I checked up on the pilot and to my surprise, he was only four-days out of of pod school. Damn, the school must be good or was I being a noob myself?

Anyway, I waited in the belt, shutting down all power except to essential systems and waited. I was at the warp in point to the belt beacon - risky as most pilots would warp in at about 70-100km from a beacon to ensure it is clear. If he landed on me, he would be dead - even is he hit his burners and moved away. I was in the middle of the belt and negotiating his way out around the asteroids would waste precious seconds and enough for my x4 150mm auto canons to scrap his rifter. Also, insta-warping would be difficult due to the likelhood of bumping off the rocks. Using your environment like this is just as important as having the right tools in place. Fighting in belts thus is risky but without a webber in place, I needed all the help I could get.

Minutes ticked by. The rifter was still on scanner. Surely he could see me too?

However, the pilot did not leave the local communications channel so I just had to wait.

In a flash, my overview blinked red as the rifter pilot came screaming in. I checked his range even before he had fully materialised in the belt. 60km and closing. By the time the warp plasma had slipped off is ship and he had materialised into the belt, he was 12km away. I was already flying at full speed at him with all modules on. Closing the distance was the key and knocking him out as quickly as possible the only thing on my mind.

My 150 mm auto canons spun up.

The rifter turned and found a gap between two rotating asteroids and proceeded to move out. He fired a fraction after I did.

His shields went down with a big satisfying drop - EMP based ammunition will do that to you, I thought to myself. My own shields winked down. He was now pulling away from me. At 15km I had him into armour but my damage output was dropping with every metre. I switched to the more armour lethal phased plasma rounds. Due to the range however, I was also considering moving towards carbonised lead or even barrage ammunition.

Come on, come on! I hissed to myself, I over heated my afterburner and there was a kick as my speed jumped up. Red lights begin to flash as the engines started to over cook. I did not care. The prey was there, in front of me and it was dying. At 18km, my EMP rounds took the rifter down to 10% armour but his shields flashed up to 35%.

At 22km, I overheated my warp disruptor as the rifter was now in danger of warping off.

A lucky shot from my star board auto canon clipped the rifter in the back as it was re-aligning. This slowed him down and presented a bigger target. My next salvo punched deep into the rifter's hull and ignited the fuel and ammunition.

It was down.

I tried to lock the pod but the pilot, got away.

He gave me quite a chase and well done to him. We chatted a little after the fight. I collected the remains of his ship and offered it back to him. He told me it was his PvE fit and that he would be back in a more focused PvP fit. Excellent I replied. For a four-day old pilot, he sure knew what he was talking about.

On examining the kill mail - he had equipped the rifter with howitzers and lost a load of skill books too. Oh well - it just goes to show that a rifter with a determined pilot is deadly and even in a Wolf; I was in danger of losing the fight.

Well done Brundan and hope to see you soon! A most excellent contest.

4 Sep 2008

Yarrr and all that with some smack please.

Warning: some bad language in this post.

"Welcome back Flash!"
"Great to see you!"
"WTF are you doing back?"

Well, just three of the greetings I got back into circulation. I was missed by some, not missed by others and yet more simply didn't care. Oh well. It is interesting how, in our 'profession' - you have to keep killing, looting and ransoming to get anywhere.....

It looked like three ex-Black-Flag pilots joined up with The Bastards: a fine bunch of killing, looting and ransoming pirates who I have flown with and one of them, Jorge Belda contacted me while I was in my bar, slurping noisily on yet another alcoholic drink.

Nothing too emotional, no hugs but straight to the point from Jorge.

"Flash! Am looking for this thorax and I may have found it."
"Jorge my friend - well done, your scanning kung fu is strong!" There was a pause and Jorge's voice came back, a bit distorted.
"One point!"
"Nice work Jorge - who is it?" I asked as I finished my drink. Seconds later, the CONCORD pilot details flashed across my viewer. The pilot was not a rookie and for Jorge it was a good tackle.
"Er, Flash - I need some damage here. Am in my 'ceptor and can't really much damage. Your assistance would be good!"
"Wait one." I replied, checking with my hangar manager. I had one new ship all prepped and ready to go, The Resilient, yet another hurricane-class battle-cruiser. A bit overkill for a thorax but I didn't care. "Be there in ten minutes. Can you maintain the tackle Jorge?"
"Yup. No problems unless the fool brings in help!"

Within seconds I was out in space, engines throbbing brightly as it pushed the wedge shaped battle cruiser into space. Gate activation was easy - those chaps know me and my ship very well and I was into Eifer. A quick scan to check for an all clear and I was hurtling towards Planet 1 - asteroid belt 1.

The thorax was tackled by Jorge's malediction. There were drones out but they had trouble catching the small and speeding tackler. I hit the target lock and diverted power to the micro warp drive. Jorge and the tackled thorax were in a complicated dance that had it ambled over 60km from the warp in point. There was a small shudder as my micro warp drive engaged and I closed the distance. The thorax was firing small blasters and not the medium ones I would expect. Meant that this thorax had slapped on a 1600mm armour plate all around it. Could be interesting.

My scanner pipped up.

A falcon had decloaked and a hound too.

Ah, so the hand was revealed. The thorax, was bait. What a surprise.

I closed the distance to the thorax and managed to hit my warp disruptor before the falcon flooded my targeting computer with an ECM jam.

"Falcon just decloaked. Am jammed." I informed Jorge, who no doubt managed to see the danger himself. The falcon pilot was from the same corporation as the thorax pilot. The hound was some other third party.

"Hound too, damn - doesn't look too good now does it?"

"Nope. Prepare to hit your micro warp drive and get out of range from the falcon."

"Roger that. Damn it!" Yelled Jorge in frustration.

I was now being perma-jammed by the falcon. No way could I break through his ECM - I had toyed with the idea of ECCM being installed but wanted more firepower instead. However, if you can't lock your target, you can't hit anything. Not for the first time have I regretted my ship fitting decisions.

Checking my scanner, I aligned towards a planet and was about to accelerate away when my a shared intelligence channel opened up.

"Need any help ladies?"

It was Tenchuu Khaan, a pirate I know from the respected Hellequin Inc pirate corporation [JOKER]; he had arrived into the same belt as Jorge, myself and the three other ships. No doubt, his interest piqued by the presence of so many juicy ships. For some idiotic and noobie reason, the falcon pilot, having decloaked, was right at the warp-in spot for this asteroid belt. It was his bad luck that TK warped in and landed on him. The falcon pilot died horribly as TK blasted him to scrap. The loss of the x30 trit alloy bars must have hurt too.

With the ECM gone, we proceeded to work on the thorax and it wasn't long before Jorge and I dismantled the plucky cruiser in short order. We missed the pod however. The ship was mostly tech-2 fitted and it was a good haul.

2008.09.03 15:30
Victim: Aeon Veritas
Corp: merovinger inc
Alliance: None
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Thorax
System: Eifer
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 13601

Involved parties:

Name: flashfresh (laid the final blow)
Security: -10.0
Corp: BLACK-FLAG
Alliance: None
Faction: NONE
Ship: Hurricane
Weapon: 425mm AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 8638

Name: Jorge Belda
Security: -9.9
Corp: The Bastards
Alliance: None
Faction: NONE
Ship: Malediction
Weapon: 'Malkuth' Standard Missile Launcher I
Damage Done: 4912

Name: Angel Shatterer / Archangels
Damage Done: 51

Destroyed items:
Void S, Qty: 160
Light Neutron Blaster II
Light Neutron Blaster II
Warp Disruptor II
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
Damage Control II
Void S, Qty: 2501 (Cargo)
Vespa II (Drone Bay)
Hammerhead II (Drone Bay)

Dropped items:
Light Neutron Blaster II
Light Neutron Blaster II
Light Neutron Blaster II
Void S, Qty: 240
10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Medium Armor Repairer II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Valkyrie II (Drone Bay)
Hammerhead II (Drone Bay)
Infiltrator II (Drone Bay)

The Hound had quickly cloaked and probably got out. Pity really - it he would have been a very nice kill.

Switching back, I left Jorge to hunt around and I retired to check up on my sale orders. I was in my wolf when I Jorge, once again, requested help. A friend of mine had already alerted us to a rupture-class cruiser moving around between Eifer and the other systems and this time - Jorge had managed to track it down and was screaming his way towards it and to make the tackle.

"Flash? I have a point on the rupture!"

Damn, Jorge's scouting and tackling kung-fu is strong today! I thought.

"OK, am in my wolf - will get there as soon as possible. Where are you?"

"4-5"

"Roger that. On my way."

The wolf whipped round and headed back towards Eifer. Some of my sales will have to wait as a kill always takes precedence. As I entered the belt, I saw, in the distance - Jorge and a rupture. They were both moving just under 1km/second.

I warped closer to Jorge but by the time I got there. The pair had moved off. The rupture pilot desperately gunning his cruiser hard and fast in an effort to get away from Jorge's attention.

My wolf was only capable of a maximum 659m/s velocity and I didn't want to over-heat my after-burner. I had to switch ships and toggled the sub-space chat with Jorge.

"Jorge, need to change ships. I can't keep up!"

"OK Flash - this chap is moving fast but I am cap capable. Just hope he doesn't have any friends!"

"Roger that, like last time huh?"

I quickly changed to my own rupture, made sure I had a micro warp drive installed and was soon back in the belt - chasing the tackled rupture down. I had a webber installed as well as a warp scrambler in addition to the all important MWD.

As I closed to within web range, we opened up a line of dialogue with the rupture pilot. Apart from some spelling and grammatical changes, the conversation is lifted straight from the logs.

grytpype > Dumbass.
grytpype > Your missiles aren't doing shit.
grytpype > I could do this all day.

grytpype > Asshole.
flashfresh > Hello all!

Jorge Belda > Your compliments enlighten me, have a great day!

grytpype > What a cunt.

flashfresh > Huh? What type of language is that?

Jorge Belda > This fine fellow was commenting on my fine tackling skills.

flashfresh > Fine indeed.

At this point, I had closed and webbed the rupture, slowing him down to a fraction of the speed he was once enjoying. I sent my drones at him as he started to fire back at me.

grytpype > I'm going to self destruct anyway.
grytpype > You wont get shit.

flashfresh > Really?

grytpype > You wont get my t2.

grytpype > You wont get a killmail.

grytpype > You wont get jack shit.

Jorge Belda > Ah but I get the satifaction of watch your carebear little heart die a little as all your 'T2 loot' goes pop, regardless of whether I get it or not.
grytpype > cunt.

Ship went boom as my dual-180mm auto canons spun up and spat death at it. The rupture had a tough shield and the killmail revealed why.

flashfresh > bye bye ruppie!
Jorge Belda > 5 mil for your pod, or that goes too

Jorge Belda > You have 10 seconds Jorge Belda > 5
Jorge Belda > 4

Jorge Belda > 3

Jorge Belda > 2

Jorge Belda > 1

Jorge Belda > pop

flashfresh > Oops
flashfresh > Thanks for the salvage.
Jorge Belda > Thanks for flying Eifer Airways, welcome to Heimatar.

flashfresh > And please, fly with us again.

He was right of course, the T2 MWD did go pop but we had the corpse to add to our collection. We always ransom pods - it's a good source of isk. I suppose he was upset however. I hope he didn't lose any implants.

I had one more kill that evening of a rifter pilot, not the one I was hunting for but another who blundered into my belt. A kill is a kill and my appetite has been whetted.