30 Apr 2009

EVE Pirate Speed Linking March/April 2009

Welcome to my March AND April 2009 speed-linking of pirate focused blogs here in New Eden. Lots have been happening as of late and I have been busy in real life as well as in corp but have no fear, you should now have double the number of posts to look through - all summarised by yours truly.

The last few posts by Marlenus of Ironfleet has been about his experiences in worm hole space, a new phenomena for many capsuleers. Worm holes have been in New Eden since even before the collapse of the gates and the long dark night of ignorance and heresy. However, it wasn't until recently that the technology was stable and economical enough for the majority of the capsuleer community to utilise.

The prospect of newly unexplored space, right on your doorstep with potential rewards in rare ore, gas clouds and sleeper technologies all there to entice the brave, the greedy, the entreprenure and the foolish; has meant potential rich pickings for pirates.

So, one of the best accounts so far has been Marl. His posts (so far five) have been most excellent reading and I recommend them to anyone who wants to exploit the w-h space for their own ends. Latest post is title 'Oh God, How the gas rolls in' as he kills a gas cloud harvester. Yarr indeed. There's been a fair few new posts since the gas cloud one, Marl is a regular poster and his new area of W-SPACE salvage and piracy is a brilliant move.

However, is piracy possible in w-space? It certainly seems so judging by this particular encounter between members of RAZOR and Veto. Some obscenely crap fits there. Anyway, the reality is that a pirate corp needs to be comitted to it with logistics in place. The WH entrance could collapse behind you and one will need to probe themselves out. Being outlaws means that only another WH system or low-sec system is a viable exit point. An worm holes leading into Empire space is non-viable in anything but a covert-ops or nano-fitted ship. Still, I would be very interested to read up or chat to pirates who have gone down this route.

Eve-pirate is a great site but I have neglected it as of late but there's a new post by a chap called 'Grumbles' who has skilfully posted about what an adrenaline rush piracy and pvp is in New Eden as he embarks on his first solo kills in his thorax. New posts include: On a Whim and trial of a newb, part 1. If you want quick snippets of pirating goodness from newer bloggers, go to Ander's excellent site. I still think their forums can do with some improvement....

In terms of networking and ability to get other bloggers to chat, none can beat our dearest Mynxee as her latest Life In Low Sec Discussion kicks off with subject No: 5 'location, location, location...'. Also, due to real life issues, I missed out on contributing the the 6th EVE-Blog Banter.

Now as CEO and blogger-star that she is, for all those pilots out there who complain endlessly about being bored and there being no fleets or action , Mynxee says :'GET OUT THERE AND DO SOMETHING, DUMBASS' or words to that effect. Let me say once and again, if you're female and want to join the best female-only pirate corp in New Eden, drop Mynxee a shout.

Also, doesn't her portrait look HOT?

Been eagerly waiting for the next installment of Shae's excellent Thicker Than Blood series and here it is - Chapter Seven and about time! However, the most thought provoking post was the one near the end of March titled appropriately 'The Skin We're In.' Brilliant stuff and highly recommended. However, lately - there's been some events that has made Shae think more philosophically and none better captures this than her recent 'leaf in the wind' post. There are some new changes being pushed through in New Eden and a shake-up is due. I saw Roc's recent broadcast and being Minmatar myself, I am proud of how my race has stood up for itself more and more but the slight lurge to authoritarianism is worrying me generally. While I view piracy as a life-style and choice; it isn't for everyone and yes, we're viewed as criminals and villains by many. I knew that sooner or later, there would be a reckoning in low-sec space. It will fail.

New Eden's best solo pirate, Kane Rizzel has come back after a break and his tales have exhilarating. His prowess as New Eden's most prominent solo buccaneer resulted in an invitation to be a guest teacher at the Black Rabbits Pirate Academy. I am thrilled and very proud of Kane; well done. Even with his new found academic interest, Kane still had time to kill someone with some class, this time in his Dramiel. A more recent post, has Kane chewing the fat over friends in new eden and how those who are friends can become enemies and those, who were enemies can become friends. It's a funny old world, New Eden more so if you're a pirate.

Wensley has been on leave for a bit and the blogsphere was a bit quiet but he came back with a bang, melting his way through enemy ship after enemy ship; all to the tune of A Little Less Conversation, Elvis Presley! Actually, Wensley has put together a corp blog for his bunch of cut-throats, the Tuskers and the blog is here. or http://thetuskers.blogspot.com/. It's a good idea and creates a portal for his corporation. In fact, I like it so much I might do the same thing for The Bastards; so thank you Wensley. A recent update has Wensley fly the devastating AC Thrasher, a ship set up that I like too but he hasn't had much luck with the sentry guns....better luck next time Wens!

Addendum: Wens is changing the name of his blog to Rifter Drifter and he explains more.

A serious of disturbing posts from Hallan helps explain his disappearance a few weeks ago. Looks like he was kidnapped and then tortured. Why was he tortured so horribly? He was being asked about The Bastards' defensive setup around our 'home' system. Hallan had nothing to say and he was only telling the truth. We simply don't have any defensive weapons systems, procedures or even scouts. People should know where we are - no need to resort to this! So why was Hallan even kidnapped in the first place? It can't be due to his objective of interviewing some of the new CSM candidates could it? Read up his interview with Larkonis of NeoSpartans, here as well as visiting Larkonis' own CSM blog. Hallan also interviewed Chip Mintago, another CSM candidate of which the contents were leaked to the media. A voice recording sorts this one out.

A former corp member both of Black-Flag and The Bastards, Jorge Belda is finding his sea legs once more and relishing the thrill of the solo hunt. JB left us once again to strike out on his own but he still pops in occasionally to say hi and his blog posts keeps us up to date. Just recently he has given notice of the imminent arrival of the next chapter in his 'Dark Omen' series.

It is a welcome return to New Eden for Havohej. He spent six months in a wet-navy pirate world of PotBS but has decided that he will swap his wooden-based frigates for the joys of a tritanium built wolf-class assault frigate. A lot has changed as Hav observes but it is all good and certainly a challenge for all. Just an addendum: his latest post is called 'whispers' and is a recommended read.

Now what has Spectre been up to? Lots it would appear. Since rejoining with the newly formed Python Cartel he's been busy, busy, busy. I chuckled at his latest post about the plight of us blinkies. It isn't easy being green.....

Meanwhile Kor Anon is furiously grinding his sec back into the positives for a mission of some sort. I am very interested in finding out more.

Turning the tables is the latest instalment from Lanissum's well-written and regarded pirate blog. It's a retelling of his engagement with a thorax and hound in his myrmidon after a long and frustrating day. The screen shot of his 18% remaining hull as he docked was testament to a close but enjoyable engagement.

New pirate blogs (well to me anyway...)
  • Let me introduce to you Brutus Severus and his blog (http://brutusseverus.blogspot.com/) - another rifter loving pirate, welcome to the brotherhood!
  • Hardin has a new blog and while it's nothing to do with pirates - it is a good read..http://internetspacewars.blogspot.com/
  • A recently withdrawn candidate, Jmarr Hyrgund has his own blog and a well-written and formatted one at that. His name is Keith Neilson and his name will be known in the future.
Addendum: Jmarr has decided to re-organise his blog and In character posts are now under: http://eveyarr.mygamescribe.com/ and it's all good stuff.

Addendum 2: We're now reconsidering his application and his withdrawn status and will re-activate his application soon. He's improved so much in the last few weeks. He's a pirate and a good one too.
All of these blogs have been added to my list of pirate blogs visible on the right hand side. Have a looksee and tell me what you think?

29 Apr 2009

Zombie Apocalypse

"So Rodney, just what is your zombie escape plan?" I said to my fellow pirate when I saw him link into the corporation chat window. I was outside in my rifter just cruising but there was a lot of talk on our internal forums of Rodney's zombie escape plan. To be honest, this was probably started with a throwaway comment by Rodney and it's been picked up by others and repeated by others until the whole thing has built up enough energy that it just needed some release. Poor Rodney.

Rodney played game and recounted a plan he had hatched with friends when he was planet-bound and didn't fly internet space ships. I think his plan to survive a zombie apocalypse involved stealing a boat, loaded with supplies and get into a large body of water....preferably an ocean. Since, as we all know, zombies can't swim. Then wait it out.

Oddly, I know a thing or two about zombies as well (!) - being an avid reader and pointed my intrepid pirate survivor friend to two excellent resources: World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide. Hera loved the first one so much, she went out to buy one while Shae then jumped in and gave us a link to a Zombie Survival Quiz - I came out with a 59% survival rating.

Anyway, as one can clearly see this side-tracking of 95% of our online pilots down the zombie survival route added a certain extra flavour to the rest of the evening, which also ended in our own zombie swarm in the form of GIS and their friends.

Without much ado, a fleet (mainly cruisers) was put together and the rabble roared out of Evati, the destination was to be Skarkon but the fun is in the journey and we were delayed when our scout informed us, just two jumps into the route that there was a large cruiser and frigate gang in Otosela. We waited impatiently on the Otosela gate in Akkio when a myrmidon blundered in.

A trigger happy pirate yelled out 'POINT!' and it was game on. Unfortunately, I had already given the order to approach the gate and therefore we were in a very poor position to take down the myrmidon under sentry fire. The myrmidon managed to jump back into Otosela while we had to disengage and warp to the nearest planning and away from the guns.

Meanwhile our scout was relaying information and it appeared there were two or more groups around. A ferox class battle cruiser, vagabond, hawk and harbinger were now on the Akkio gate in Otosela - a worthy snack for us, while a much larger cruiser class gang was apparently cleaning out some nearby Gurista bunkers. Our scout was looking for both.

We had the gate on our scanners and I ordered people to keep a keen eye out. A ferox suddenly appeared on our scanner. It was obvious and the order was given. The ships, already aligned to the Otosela gate whipped back to our starting position and we tackled and webbed down the ferox. It was a quick gank and module grab.

Our scout then reported a positive hit on the missioning gang and without hesitation, the fleet warped in. The numbers were about even but they were spread out and we only managed to take down the myrmidon and the vexor. Please note, that our 12-jump journey we had only ventured 3 jumps from our home system!

As we waited and cooled off our global count-downs, pilots docked up and repaired and sorted out the loot. Cooche had a malfunction with his docking computer and it crashed his thorax into the station - all the time stating 'Docking sequence initiated. Docking sequence initiated.' There's bugs in some of those computers I can tell you and to add insult to injury, Cooche was carrying a fair chunk of the loot too. Some of it blew.

A large GIS and friends gang swept through our system and the order was given to exit the system and scatter back to Evati. I had temporarily handed over the FC role to someone else as I need to effect some much need armour and hull repairs but I proved to be ineffective when I took it back and failed to marshall the fleet well enough to bring them all back in one piece. In short, we lost Rodney(Zombie Survivor) Star and Gorgoleon to overwhelming numbers. The rest scattered home.

Disappointed we needed something to end the evening with a cheer and it was Randgris who spotted a missioning Cerberus and Cooch scanned the pilot down. We all raced in and the pilot, seeing his fate, yelled out that he would pay a ransom. Cooch took the pilot into a ransom channel, quick negotiation and we were 135million isk richer. We then departed and cooled off our global countdowns.

The pilot then continued with his mission and this generated a heated debate over what we should do once the criminal countdowns had expired. After all, we all had the mission area bookmarked. He had paid his ransom but not a pass. The former lets you go with a clip around the ear after you have been jacked while the latter sets you blue for a set period and allows a varying degree of freedom in nominated areas. This pilot had paid a ransom and didn't even leave the mission area. The Bastards do NOT go back on our word. So we honour 1 v 1 and ransoms and pass-holders. However, it has been noted that this was a grey area and could do with more clarification.

Anyway, I should have squashed the discussions flat but in a moment of weakness, I encouraged it. Eventually, I decided to inform the missioning pilot to vacate the area for a bit and let things settle. We were planning on leaving anyway. He agreed and left unmolested.

Pirates are quite a democratic group, believe it or not and have been ever since wet-navy days when societies were largely planet-bound. Debate and votes are encouraged and unlike a lot of our more 'civilised' societies - the results of such votes are binding. Of course, it would be a foolish Captain to encourage too much debate that would run counter to his goals but such is life!

Traditionally a wet-navy pirate organisation was quite flat and loose. Here are some examples and here. If anyone has any thoughts on how ranks were traditionally put together, I would be very interested to know!

The night ended with Gorgoleon and Hera testing out new ship configurations. Gorgoleon in his new hound and Hera showing off his new Moros dread. The firepower of the hound was quite impressive, considering Gorgoleon (an excellent pilot) had just taken this stealth bomber into his hangar a few hours earlier. I was his crash test dummy in my maelstrom and he was firing off deadly salvos of torpedos at me - with him illuminating me through a target painter, the damage was quite impressive from such a little ship. Hera decided to unleash his dread on me and I quickly docked up. Rodney, was also out in his rupture and it dropped down into low armour after just a couple of 'testing' shots. RoninData, our CEO made an appearance and caught up on the day's events.

So a fun night and not a zombie in sight, eh Rodney. ......er what's that behind you...?

26 Apr 2009

[OOC] - I have been working on a creative writing course for some time now and been asked to submit various pieces of short work. Here's one of them. Got 85% for it, so it can't be too bad? Had to work to a word limit of 1500 and the theme was about waiting and anticipation. Decided to use dear Old Flash as the subject and what goes through the mind of a pod pilot after his first pod death?


Anticipation filled Flash’s chest like hot exhaled air in a balloon. He pumped more and more of it until he felt like he was about to burst apart. He was simultaneously excited and afraid as he waited.

Flash, like the majority of the Brutor race was big-boned, black-skinned and bald. Even in the dimly lit room, he was wearing a pair of matte black sun glasses, protecting his eyes. A legacy of the perpetual darkness in the slave mines in Aridia prime where he grew up. It was all in the mind, said the brain doctors, there's nothing wrong with your eyes. He was tense and still, with his breath light and economical. He focused intently on the mirror, the same one hanging on the back of the door marked ‘exit’ as last time. An old analogue clock slowly thumped down the remaining minutes. I have time yet thought Flash as he tried to relax, just a little.

Fresh kill markings were being chiselled onto his skin by an auto-engraver. It hummed quietly as its needle drew and coloured in complex symbols. Blood welled from the shallow wounds and wept down his arms and legs. Flash, having refused an anaesthetic, relished the sting; this was not the first time that the same tattoos were done on his skin. It was an inescapable fact of his new life and status.

Flash glanced back at the clock. It read twenty seven minutes past three in the afternoon. He had three minutes left and inhaled slowly. His fists, meaty instruments of his indomitable will, smooth skinned and bearing no scars clenched and released slowly and rhythmically, in time to his heart-beat.

Would she recognise me? Thought Flash as he reached up and touched his right cheek. His bones, high and well-defined, were exactly as he remembered them. Of course she would recognise me! He was still himself, thought Flash as his finger traced an invisible line of an old ugly scar. On this occasion it was gone. It had never marked this body and thus the memory and evidence of that particular event, was gone. It had never existed.

Flash slowly exhaled, as he realised that she loved that scar and would spend hours tracing it with her fingers.

In fact, this body, grown from a strand of his own DNA, was one hundred percent his own. However it was too new, too unspoilt for Flash to feel like it was his. His body, until his first death, carried the echoes of his life. His struggles and his disappointments recorded in the numerous scars, countless bumps and imperfections in his skin, bone and flesh. He now felt like a fake, a fleshy impostor.

With a hiss, the auto-engraver automatically folded away and his tattoos were completed. Flash inhaled and slowly released it. It was now time to see whether he had managed to reclaim some small part of him from the prison of immortality. He got up and looked at the mirror, then at the clock and tensed as he heard footsteps approaching the door. There was a knock, uncomfortably loud. It was time.

25 Apr 2009

Quick in and out

Logged in last night; had a chat to a few fellows and conversed over the recent kills. Especially the two scorpion kills.

Good to see some friends and applicants make it on the kill and especially Rabid Rich, a highly regarded pirate and killer. Gorgoleon has been with the corp less than a week and has already made a significant impact; he is a very kill hungry and blood-thirsty pirate and a damn fine pilot to boot as well. Am very happy to see him in our fleets.

Going to be busy over this weekend so will save up the posts and work on the missed speedlinking post of March. Going to combine it with April so that I have a gigantic two-month pirate blog roundup. Should be fun.

24 Apr 2009

Cruiser roam and our probe.

There was a cruiser / battle cruiser roam last night. I joined up late as the fleet already had a couple of kills and ransoms by the time I joined up. The fleet was distracted by a couple of missioning typhoons that we came close to probing out but we finally ended up in Atlar - having set off all sorts of warnings in the Molden Heath Intel channel of our presence. Didn't realise that this channel was still working or even trusted but there you go.

Initially, we smashed apart a rifter/cruiser gang that had killed Bhaull at planet II. We even managed to pod some of the enemy pilots, all refused ransoms. We then found a hyperion class in a belt. It screamed 'bait' but we said 'what the hell' and went in. A stabber fleet issue whipped in as well both were pointed and webbed and then the hammer dropped on us. In the confusion, half the fleet was accidentally warped out by the squad commander. Jmarr, after warping out, bravely came back in. He was determined to sink the hyperion we had initially tackled. It was near hull when we left.

Unfortunately for us, the enemy fleet, very battle ship heavy, pulled Jmarr apart. He was congratulated on his tank however and gracefully accepted the praise. z0de and 3Jayne lost their myrmidons and RoninData, had his drake (why is he flying a drake?) smashed to pieces around his ears. Speaking of Jmarr, he applied to join us but had his application withdrawn - mainly due to his inexperience but he is impressing everyone with his rapidly improving skills and eye to detail. Certainly, we are delighted to have him flying with us and he is determined to do well and learn. Excellent attitude to have. Gorgoleon was a successful applicant and now has The Bastards infamous winged skull with crossed swords motif stitched onto his flight suit; he's turning out to be a right bastard: smart, deadly and with a mouth to match. We love him. He was in a probe-class ship last night, determined to kill someone in the crappiest ship possible (bar the shuttle or rookie ships). Personally, I like the probe; 'tis a good cargo carrier. He was using it as a cheap covert-ops. Minus the role bonus and good looks.

Anyway, Gorg lost his probe to the remnants of the rifter/cruiser gang (from z3ro gravity corp) that we had killed. So SAD PANDA.

The night ended up in defeat but it was drowned out by the chuckles and roaring laughter from our pilots. We have to come back to MH again.

22 Apr 2009

Oversized Clip & Carbine

"Tuesday the 21st of April sees the most ridiculous fleet yet - Operation Oversized Clip and Carbine.

I want to see the biggest motherfucking guns you can cram onto your ships - frigates, think cruiser guns - cruisers, think battleship guns and so on. Shit, if you can fit a battleship gun on a frigate, go for it! You know this is going to be comedy gold, even if we just get one kill mail. Only rules are, no damage other than the oversized guns, no drones. Try and fit for gank if possible. ECM drones allowed. T2 allowed, if you can fit it.

Prizes will awarded for most outrageous and stylish fits."
I re-read the corp message three times before the message sunk in and then grinned like an idiot. Oh this is going to be fun. Chucking a cruiser sized gun onto a rifter is a strict no-no in anyone's books but the corp had decided that, for tuesday's pirate roam - this fitting was exactly what we wanted.

The order was given to all assembled pilots to select a weapon system that was normally fitted to a ship class one or two classes above. In other words, a cruiser gun onto a frigate, a battle ship gun onto a cruiser etc etc. I picked up the voice comms and and it was RoninData, my CEO.

"Ronin. Oversized clip and carbine?"

"Hell yeah. Going to be a hoot, probably can't hit anything but what the hell. You in?"

"Of course, just trying to figure out how the hell I can cram an oversized gun onto a frigate." I paused and flip open a schematic of a rifter hull. "I will have to remove practically all the forward infrastructure to accomodate a set of dual-180s. Remove the armour plating and reinforce the mid-sections. Otherwise the guns will fall right off."

"Yeah, I am having problems jamming a set of dual-425mm onto my rupture." Replied Ronin as we shared notes.

"No way can we do all this work in the station; even if we can reduce the gravity. Has to be done in zero-G."

"Already ahead of you Flash, here's the coordinates of the construction yards. Ship your gear and crew and get ready. We roll out in four days." The line winked off and I sat back. Four days? Easy.

Actually, it wasn't that easy. While the frame was strong enough to sport a set of dual-180 auto canons; I was lacking power and the only way to overcome this was to rip out the existing system and replace it was three new auxilliary power cores. No room for even an afterburner if I needed tackle but I could pop in two top-line target painters.

A day before the operation, we gathered our fleet of engineering monstrosities. It meant for very unbalanced ships, both in terms of aerodynamics and looks. With the large 180mm dual ACs strapped to the front, my rifter had trouble keeping it's nose up in the hangar bay, once there was a hint of gravity.

So here's the ship:

The other pilots had similar issues: 'Unable to sustain my repper!', 'Can't generate lift, guns too big!', 'I can't see!! - that electron canon is blocking my view!'. We decided that the only thing we could hit would be battle ships and above and moons.

Hilarious, with much laughter to be had by all. Our tracking was horrible.

So with a flourish we left Evati on the operation and headed out for prey and we soon found one, a hurricane class battle cruiser, z0de was in his thorax that was sporting a massive electron canon - normally fitted onto battle ship class ships and not the venerable thorax cruiser. He already attracted attention from some station camping carebears who questioned his sanity.

'z0de warping in.....'

We waited on the other side of the gate for the successful tackle. Worried and excited at the same time and fully expecting to die. Our setups were so gimped to near-uselessness; all to fit in the large guns with no guarantee of hitting anything smaller than a battle ship.

"Point." Said z0de and we all screamed in.

What happened over the next fifteen minutes was some of the most amusing time that I had spent with my chaps. The hurricane had drones: deadly to frigates but since our tracking was so poor we had problems shooting down the deadly little robots. Even quad-target painted and dual-webbed, a single drone could only be dropped by a lucky shot. We had Warrior drones shield tanking us. Yes, you read that right.

Thanks to Gorg (love that dual web) and Fish for dealing with most of the drones as well as z0de for keeping a point on that hurricane. Am sure the pilot was rather bemused by our attempts at trying to kill him. He may even thought that he could take our fleet. At many points, some of our ships had to warp out to repair. Finally, the last drone was dropped and we concentrated on the hurricane.

We eventually dropped the pilot.

There was a second opportunity with another hurricane but without enough webs or afterburners, the hurricane escaped. Much to our frustration.

We called an end to the operation and we gathered together our learning points.


  1. Vulnerable to nos/neut and drones.
  2. Many could not fit afterburners or microwarpdrives.
  3. Poor tracking.
  4. Vulnerable to smart bombs.
  5. Poor DPS - since we could fit one gun at most.


  1. Lol-factor

16 Apr 2009

Thoughts of a pirate recruiters and me, a used car salesman?

The last two weeks has been quite busy for me and The Bastards - recruitment has been open for two weeks and we have plenty of exciting prospects coming into the corporation. Some older, less active members may need to make way for these newer chaps as The Bastards continue to expand, renew and reinvigorate. It is a good time to be here, active, flying in space and fighting for a spot on roaming gangs.

No room for complacency and this is a good thing.

We are about to close the recruitment cycle again in order to keep on top of things.

Let me make some things clear: I manage the recruitment side of things inasmuch as usually being the first contact point with applicants before they are handed over to one of four nominated recruiters who take on the candidate until a vote is cast on their application. These recruiters of ours are either senior members or directors of the corporation. I also take on a fair number of applications myself as does Mynxee with her Alliance director hat on.

We currently have twenty two applications and we have rejected three already and there are eight more we're about to chop or ask them to withdraw. The last bunch of about a dozen are coming through to the two week mark where the initial vote is cast between the recruiters and a random selection of corp mates who have been flying with a particular candidate.

Have had some varying responses so far: some failed candidates take on board the reasons why their application was rejected, many see it as positive and have vowed to fill in their knowledge gaps. Others less so.

In the last three months since I took over the rather haphazard recruitment process, we have had many successes. With the newer pilots doing a tremendous amount of damage in isk as well as ransoms. Some eventually washed out or moved onto other corps and this sort of personnel-churn is inevitable. We're still looking for more suitable pilots.

Out of some fun and interest I decided to check the master list where I keep track of all recruits that have ever crossed my desk. This list has information on their stage in the process, whether they've been accepted or rejected or withdrawn and my notes. While the more detailed discussion is confidential and internal to the corporation, here's a summary:

Total candidates applied since October 2008: 113
Candidates accepted: 29
Candidates withdrawn: 29
Candidates rejected: 35
Candidates in queue: 21

A candidate's application is usually withdrawn if there's been no more communication from the applicant for over two-weeks. This has happened a lot, where the initial communication between both parties were enthusiastic and positive but then, it peters out. It could be a fault in our own processes but when the applicant doesn't log on and makes no effort to keep in touch, we have little choice but to withdraw the application. An email or a chat informing us of other important events and responsibilites would have been useful to both groups. Most withdrawn applications never get reactivated. So far, only one candidate who was withdrawn, re-approached us to continue the application process.

Those that get rejected are for a number of reasons. Some I can share and they include:
  1. No working mic, despite repeated attempts at getting one. You need one eventually!
  2. Refused to hand over limited API key - screenshots not allowed!
  3. Prematurely sending in an application to the corp - when it was stated clearly that this would be instant rejection.
  4. Really sloppily filled in application form - looks like you don't care, so neither do we.
  5. Dodgy employment history - jumping from corp to corp, staying no more than four weeks in each. Some employment histories had over 35 corporations. It looks like you wander around and can't stay in one place - so chances are, you'll leave us too. So, bye-bye.
  6. Smack talker. You love smack, and have smack template in your bio. Then bye, bye.
  7. Being a dick in the interview. 'Nuff said.
  8. Really, inexperienced in pvp and didn't match the character SP level - character was purchased or given to applicant.
  9. Not a good fit - chemistry isn't there.
  10. Evasive - not sending in API key, logging off when we convo him, dropping out of vent when asked a question.
  11. Character is a corp thief and proud of it. We're not interested.
  12. Irritating git and doesn't listen to orders and wanders off when in fleet.
  13. Acting like a child when internet space ship blew up. Learn to align and warp out dumbass.
  14. Account sharing with loved one. Very sweet but NO.
  15. My pirate toon is not my main. I have it for fun only. We're pirates full time, so bye-bye.
Most common knowledge gaps that I have found in a fair few of the applicants include not knowing how to use the directional scanner properly or understanding what can cause a global criminal countdown and the difference that is from an 'ordinary' aggression count-down. There is still the dreaded 'hidden' countdown that sometimes results in your ship being popped as it undocks.

Ship fits are usually okay for the most part but some are, well - odd. Warp core stabilisers are a strict no-no. As is fitting frigate guns on a battle ship, because you didn't have the skills for bs sized guns. Also, fly only what you can afford to lose - don't undock with your faction fitted megathron. SELL the faction fitted megathron and buy a dozen of well-fitted thorax class cruisers and go on a roam! You'll have lots of fun.

There's also a number of applicants who do well in the interview, decent skill set and they're active but they're don't 'get it' about piracy and yes, dropping to -10 in sec status is consequence of your new life style so embrace it.

A bit of a ramble but it hasn't been all desk bound recruitment work. I did go out and FC a couple of fleets over the week and it was fun. One evening we had a mixed gang and popped a well fit abaddon in our frigates. The abaddon was piloted by a pirate from the corp, 'The United' and we tackled and then popped him in our frigates. That was fun and we had a chance to see some of our applicants do their stuff and I was, in the main, impressed with them. The roam ended up with us in 0.0 space where we took out a munnin only for us to be eventually bubbled up on one side of the gate. I lost my rifter and someone else their rupture. Still, not a bad trade. Each night there's a roaming gang moving out, most roams are successful so plenty of loot to be had by all.

Actually, The United have been the news for a fair few weeks - a number of subjects ranging from what appeared to be a failed attempt to over Neo Spartan territory to The United being accused of manipulating their kill board to some other inane bit of forum driven drivel.

Ah drama and fun times indeed.

15 Apr 2009

Carrier kill and other bits.

After cleaning up some of the newer applications I linked into the corporation chat and it was nice to see over 20 corp members and another 6 in our semi-public chat channels. Immediately, I was bombarded by fleet invitations.

"Guys, guys - what is going on?" I asked.

"Carrier outside a POS shield. I need a webber here asap!" Replied RoninData, obviously doing his ninja-type skulking around.

"We need a remote repping battle ship fleet NOW." Demanded Hera as he busily got himself ready.

"Get a fleet up. All pilots, acknowledge."

"RoninData, ready. "

"Randgris, ready."

"Jax, ready."

"3Jayne, ready."

"Pix, ready." In all, the fleet had seventeen pilots and within two minutes, the rag-tag fleet raced to Helgatid in a near approximation to a remote armour repair gang as could be done in the time limit available. Gorgoleon was the first battle ship to arrive and double-webbed and pointed the chimera class carrier. I was next but had no point, instead I was concentrating on repairing the armour on my fellow fleet mates.

The chimera was slowed to a crawl but then fighters and drones were launched, screaming into space. The POS had two gunners who controlled the plethora of guns, webbers, neutralisers, scramblers and missile batteries to keep us busy.

"Bump him. Bump him!" Shouted Hera, taking lead as the larger ships attempted to get into position. We knew that the chimera had an immense shield tank and only by attacking the capacitor supply would we be triumphant. However, most of the cap was being used to power our remote repairers and energy transfers. It was a fine balance and we were found wanting. The chimera pilot was slowly crawling, like a glacier towards the safety of his POS shields. More corp members logged on and were pulled in to assist. Silv came in, twice with his hauler with much needed cap boosters before a gate camp prevented his third trip. Silv informed us that in the neighbouring system, Electus Matari were camping the gates and their numbers had been going up since we had tackled the chimera. They had not yet made their move but it wasn't clear if they were friendly to the chimera pilot or not.

However, our DPS was too low to worry the carrier, initially. The chimera was smart bombing our main source of DPS, the drones from the two dominix class ships. We needed dreads or our own carriers but we didn't have any available. All we could do was to keep the chimera webbed and occupied long enough to think of something else. Meanwhile, the POS operators cycled their webbers, neutralisers and ECM on all of us.

"Randgris needs armour."

"Maltrox needs cap."

"Gorg needs armour and cap."

So it went on for a good fifteen minutes. Silv's timely appearance in his hauler allowed us to keep up the pressure but we needed more energy neutralisers and / or damage. We desperately called out for more help. If the POS was unmanned - it would have been easier but the POS gunners did an effective job on us. At times, we had our ships warping out to repair and or jammed into ineffectiveness. Our logistics cruiser was almost 100% jammed or neutralised to the point of uselessness.

Finally, our frantic calls for assistance was answered with Herdzo coming in with his carrier and we even pulled in a complete neutral - not even an alt of any of the pilots; who brought in his thanatos to assist. With a carrier full of cap boosters we could finally get on top of the fight. Our own fleet fighters screamed out and all our heavy neutralisers could be permanently run. The Chimera's shield shrank very quickly and once it had dropped below 10%, it was good night and pack up your stuff.

Meanwhile, the number of reds next door continued to rise - they already outnumbered us and we were getting a bit nervous. However, our ships started to align as the chimera began to drop into structure.

"Contact. Contact. Contact." Said someone in fleet - the Electus Matari fleet, finally arrived and dropped six carriers on us. Their long period of sitting in the next system (almost 30 minutes) was probably them organising their own capital ships. They were too late to save the chimera (if indeed they were) and most of the The Bastards got out; we lost a dominix battle ship in the ensuing scramble. The neutral carrier was warp scrambled by the POS tower and was doomed. I don't even know the name of the thanatos pilot at the time (found out it is Maruk Ihnati) but we thank him from the bottom of our (black) hearts for his assistance. After the fight, we chatted to him and he sounded mellow and calm. He wasn't too bothered and was looking forward to a new carrier. I don't think it was even insured...

Here's the kill mail linky.

Great job on the work, considering that The Bastards had mothballed their remote repping fleet setups during the run up to the alliance tourney, we did okay. Need more damage and better organisation but it was good nonetheless. Additional screenshot courtesy of z0de.

6 Apr 2009

Ranks and Ribbons and Recruitment.

There's now a flurry of activity at the corp as our killboard has been updated to include ranks, ribbons and rewards. Sure, I know that many corps have had this feature but for us, the novelty is still new and has invigorated some of our pilots to ever more deeds of daring and yarring.

I love the new RANK and RIBBONS now available as well as the rewards. The new KB has been improved to include both kills and losses, so at a glance one can see combat activity in the last few days. Additionally, we have automatic kill mail posting; in the heat of any combat some pilots simply forget to post their kills and losses. Now, this should be a thing of the past.

The new cycle of recruitment is open - here's the forum link and the EVE-O link for those who are considering joining The Bastards. We are looking for pirates / pilots who are experienced enough to use a directional scanner correctly as well as understanding the GCC mechanics in low-security space. Prior experience in piracy is a bonus but importantly, one needs to 'get it' about piracy in New Eden and who has an instant chemistry with the current members. No alts or part-timers please.

Piracy isn't all pretty explosions and ransoms. Sometimes it can be downright depressing. Feast or Famine is the only way to describe piracy.

So for your information our previous cycle was successful with the following statistics:

January to March 2009 Recruitment Intake
Total Applicants: 29
Instant rejection due to failing to complete form as directed: 2
Rejection due to failing basic security, AGE and API checks: 3
Rejection due to failed interview (ex. no vent): 2
Rejected due to inexperience in piracy: 8
Rejected due to other reasons: 11
Passed and accepted on a three-month probationary period: 3

The average time for a decision to be made on an application has been decided as two-weeks from being invited into our roaming fleets. Then, around day 14 there is a vote between amongst the recruitment officers on a 'yes' or 'no' to the application with the CEO having a deadlock breaking vote. However, we did slip up very badly with a couple of recruits whom completely split the recruitment officers complete with abstentions. This resulted in an unacceptable period of delay. So our system isn't perfect but we've put in processes to get round it. Basically, if you impress the recruitment officers and the corp pilots with your skills, kills and banter in the first two weeks; then your chances are good. If there's any doubts by anyone, we tend to take a closer look and there is a likelihood of the application being delayed or withdrawn or rejected.

The recruitment process is an unforgiving process, minor mistakes count more during this period of scrutiny than any other time and first impressions count as well. Unfortunately, this is about human nature and now with a time-constraint to ensure that we make a timely decision, it does mean that applicants need to be on the ball.

Anyway, we already have nine applications being looked at and some of the aspiring pirates are very impressive. Good luck to them all....now where are my damn medals?

5 Apr 2009

Back home

"Sir, I think I have it. It's real faint but I have it."

With that one statement, we were now on our way out of Wormhole J56654.

"Feed in the probe results into my pod."

"Yes sir." The results streamed in bright, clear and full of glowing data.

"Shipman: your name?" I asked, my implants already sifting out the various frequencies and sorting them into order of importance.

"It's Midshipman Tu'challa sir."

Ah, I remember him, a Brutor like me. He shipped in from the home world four months ago. I think he has a mother and one younger brother. The rest died escaping to the Republic.

"It's Ensign Tu'challa now. Immediate field promotion."

I closed the link as I concentrated on two signatures, each about 15% in return strength. However, while faint, Ensign Tu'Challa had indeed found an unstable worm hole. From the data return, the worm hole had only just formed. A small probe was sent through and we waited eagerly for the results.

In the five days that we were in worm hole space, we had explored the entire system of three planets, nine moons, fifteen gas clouds, seven belts and numerous sleeper installations. Worm hole space was far from empty - it appears that large areas are inhabitated by some entity only just now awakening. The ships and drones are vaguely of an ancient design, Sleeper based ships, before the advent of FTL drives. Looks like they had found their way into worm hole space and had stayed here until we discovered them, tens of thousands of years later.

There's isk to be made here. Much isk in the clouds, in the rarer ores and in the newly discovered installations - automated stations left behind by the sleepers. However, for me - the isk would come from the those explorers brave enough to venture into these systems. I detected one pilgrim class recon ship on the third day but am sure that there will be more.

Five days ago, the worm hole that I used to enter this region of space started to decay. Against my better judgement I decided to stay an extra few hours only to see the exit rapidly decay and evaporate into the aether. So I was trapped until I could find another worm hole. Initially, I thought it would be easy to probe out another wormhole but the initial return was too target rich - I received about 25 signatures of various strengths from one area of the system alone. Then another 20 from the second planet. It took me and my crew about an average of ten minutes to properly scan down and map the signatures, so many hours were expended.

Still no worm hole however until this morning.

Into our fifth day and we were still here but now awaiting the return of what lay on the other side of this worm hole. The small probe came back and squirted the data back. My crew waited for my annoucement. The results flashed into me and after double-checking the return, I addressed the crew.

"Attention crew. This is your captain. The worm hole is viable but it leads into Empire space. Almost useless to us in normal times but we have no choice."

I considered my options but there were none. I was in a cheetah, fast enough to evade all Empire navies and able to make it back into low-security space unless I drew attention. The exit point was Khanid prime and it would be a full eighteen jumps back into the nearest friendly low-security space. I had to go through Amarr prime as well. That should excite the locals.

"All crew, battle stations and make the ship ready for fast running. Strap everything down, divert all power to the engines and thrusters."

There was a flurry of activity and within five minutes we were ready. Without delay, I jumped through the worm hole and was vomited out into a system in Amarr Prime. The warnings from the Amarr navy flashed across my GUI. If I was to stay any longer I would be webbed and then destroyed. I raced for the next star gate - having already plotted an eighteen jump journey to Amamake and then back into the relative safety of low-security space.

Thank goodness I was in the cheetah with its fast align speed. I couldn't warp under cloak but I was fast enough. After scaring a few locals, loitering at the gates, I made it Amamake and breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, I was relieved that I was in Amamake.

Next time: leave the worm hole space unless you have a pos and plenty of firepower to exploit the system.....

1 Apr 2009

Lost in space

I found a wormhole from low-sec to 0.0 and then the entrance collapse behind me. Now I am probing my way out. Have found a ton of LADAR, GRAV and MAG sites but no useable wormhole. The only other wormhole leads to high-sec.

Oh well, keep on scanning...