30 Dec 2008

Broadsword and Christmas Cheer!

Piracy continues in New Eden even though there is festive cheer and joviality around. I linked in only briefly to here the cackling of Sarge on our vent server. He was in his maelstrom-class battleship and was busy popping anything that was venturing through into Evati through the Todifrauan gate. I was in my broadsword with a sensor booster but as soon as I resolved my lock on a target; Sarge had already popped it. His Maelstrom was equipped with 1400mm tech2 artillery pieces but he was backed up with an unknown number of sensor boosters with scan resolution scripts hacked into it. He could lock a target almost as fast as a frigate and then destroy them in one salvo.

Scary stuff indeed.

Within 30 minutes, the space around the gate was a hazardous scrap yard. Destroyed ship hulls drifted around, bumping into each other. I was not able to do much so docked up and checked the buy orders.

Sarge talks about his ship and that day here.

I so wanted to get a kill on either side of the new year but alas; it wasn't possible.

Happy New Year all.

25 Dec 2008

EVE Blog Banter #3

This month's EVE Blog Banter comes to us from Roc Wieler of Roc's Ramblings. Roc's asks us to "write a story about a fellow EVE Blogger, or an EVE player whom has inspired you or affected you in some tangible way. After your story, describe why you chose them, and any Holiday wish you have specifically for them".

Oh my.

I would love to write a story about a number of my fellow EVE bloggers and a fair few are already in my blog posts; by some quirk of fate The Bastards Alliance has managed to accumulate a large number of the pirate bloggers out there including the well-known vixen of destruction, Mynxee and the sexy, sweet voiced but oh-so-deadly, Shae Tiann. We then have Jedizah (witty, fun pirate out-takes) and Hallan (crazy rifter pilot) and now Khaled, VB Sarge, and more.

In no particular order of importance, here are the EVE Players who have inspired me and continue to inspire me in New Eden. I wish them a merry Christmas and a happy new year.
  • Kane Rizzel
  • Jubes
  • Mynxee
  • Shae Tiann
  • RoninData
  • Viper Sam
  • Votrian Alpha
  • Chribba
  • CrazyKinux
  • Ombey
However, I feel like that I should write about a very special 'someone' who has inspired me into logging into New Eden daily and why I fly the way I do. This someone keeps me coming back, day after day. I love her very much.

Sit back and enjoy.


"Pilot designation: Flashfresh. Ship types qualified: Minmatar MK III Rifter-class frigate. Posting"

With some pride, I stepped forward and took the small bio-chip and placed it onto the back of my hand. It beeped as it recognised my DNA. I had finally qualified to fly the rifter-class frigate, I had been working for agents of various corporations already, moving goods and mining asteroids. However, higher quality and much more regarded agents were now already lining up offering me work and the future was bright. Graduating from the reaper-class ship straight from pod academy took months of dedicated study but it was worth it. There was a ripple of polite applause from the assembled class of '56, my class and my friends, as I made my way back to my seat. Pity my parents were not alive to see me this day.

I glanced around the crowd, those seated around me and the general spectators gallery further back. Specifically, I scanned for one individual in particular and eventually spotted her in the shadows. Even in the dark, I could see her green eyes boring into me. I knew she was smiling, like a feral cat.

After the graduation ceremony, with a drink in hand, I slipped away and waited for her, my heart pounding like a drum. In my sweaty hand was a note, handwritten in a beautiful flowing script. It said simply: 'West Balcony, second floor. 19:00 standard. Angel' I tried to re-hearse what I wanted to say, thoughts tumbling in my mind, so much to gush out and yet, still not enough. What if I said something wrong? What if she did not turn up?

"You're early."

Shocked, I whirled around, nearly sloshing my drink out of the cup. There she was: even in the long dark cloak, her slim figure underneath was so evident , the curves tantalisingly close to the surface. Her face, still hidden in the shadows of her hood, didn't hide the mischievous smile beaming from it. She called herself Angel, though I doubt it was her real name.

"I, I-." Stammering like a fool. Her hand, ending in immaculately manicured nails, reached out covered my mouth. Cool and firm.

"Shhhhhh" She murmured to me and then grabbed my hand. "Come with me and close your eyes. I have a surprise for you."

Like a fool in a drunken stupor, I was dragged and staggered after her. I tried to figure out where I was going, it was getting noisier and I could smell a combination of engine oil and the tang of ozone. I think we were close to one of the station's hangar.

"Watch your step Flash." She warned, as I tripped over what felt like a cable. "We're almost there." I felt her positioning me and then with a soft whisper she said.

"Open your eyes."

She had indeed led me towards the ship hangar and I was underneath a freshly painted rifter-class frigate, a newer MK IV with upgraded engines. She twirled.

"Here's your new ship, loverboy."

I was gobsmacked.

"Pardon? This is mine? Why?" I blurbed. She twirled close to me and leaned close and kissed me on the nose.

"Why? Because of what we discussed last week. I see so much potential in you. So much. You are destined for great things Flash. Great things. People shall hear your name and quake in fear."

I stared at the ship and then her. She continued.

"I know what you're thinking, those stupid mining operations those idiot agents keep asking you to do. They're beneath you. You said as much. Those courier runs, can be done by drones. I can see in you a need for a challenge. Deep down you know that, unless you take a different path, then this will be your future. An eternity of mining and hauling. You're immortal lover boy. You can do more. You crave for constant change and excitement."

I shook my head, I was proud of what I had done so far. My standings with my agents were rising.

"No, you're wrong. I am happy with my life as a capsuleer. I am valued and the work is stimulating."

She laughed, a light musical note.

"Stimulating? I don't need to hack into your cortex links to know that you day dream about other things when you're hauling cans of quafe between systems." She winked. "And you talk in your sleep..."

"Other things?" I asked, a slight tickle of fear in my stomach.

"Yes, other things. You dream of pitched fights in the depths of space, where the strong, like you survive. You dream of riches beyond your imagination. Where you answer to no one but yourself and fate."

I slowly nodded, a little bit shocked at how easily this woman had wormed it out of me.

"Want me to show you another life? A life that you have been looking for ever since your parents were killed?"

I was a capsuleer. An elite of elite. However, it was true that I wanted more. So much more than hauling quafe and toy dolls between systems. She turned around and walked towards the section of the hangar where the capsuleers entered their pods.

"Let me show you."

I was gobsmacked for the second time, stripped nearly naked and about to enter the warm gelatious goo of the pod when I heard the soft rustle of a robe dropping down onto the floor. I glanced back and saw Angel's slim, naked body filling my vision. I tried to hide my excitement but with only a small towel, it was hard.

"I am going to join you Flash.We'll link in together." A technician, hidden in the background until now, sputtered.

"This is strictly against regulations! The pod is not designed for -" The protestation of the technician cut short abruptly at the sudden appearance of exquisite diamonds on the table.

"Will this take care of any irregularities?" She purred.

The technician scooped up the gems and regarded them keenly. His eyes widened a little and he coughed nervously.

"Certainly miss. Certainly."

Ah the power of isk. She winked at me and whispered.

"The power of near limitless levels of isk, all can be yours." She reached out her hand and pulled me close. Moving closer to me, I could feel the coolness of her skin and the swell of her breasts. It was evident that I was extremely excited but she merely giggled.

"Hold on." The floor below us opened up and I dropped down into the floor below, the pod was waiting for us. It was a tight and very intimate squeeze in the capsule. Not at all uncomfortable. The automated cortex links snaked out and slithered into the various input sockets around the back of our heads and spines. The pod lid slowly closed as the warm, amniotic flooded in. We clasped each other closer and slowly, my consciousness was expanded as the pod was plugged into the waiting rifter.

I opened up my eyes to the vastness of space and my soul soared as the rifter left the undock point.

"Let me show you another world Flash."

The rifter hit the afterburners and streaked away towards a gate, I noticed that the frigate was heading away from the main centres and into the wilds of low-security space.

"Where are we going?" I asked; well, I thought of the question as I couldn't speak, otherwise I would choke on the amniotic gel.

"To low-sec and your destiny Flash."

There was a flash of fear as I recalled the horror stories of this region of un-lawful space. It was away from the reach of CONCORD unless you were close to the gates and stations but the regions betwen them was no-man's land. Ships were pulverised into scrap by those who preyed on them.

"Is it safe?"

"Of course it is. You're not going to be a victim anymore. Just relax."

The rifter made the journey and finally jumped into low-sec, the warning message by Aurora casually dismissed. I was in low-sec. There were no monsters waiting to gobble me up. Just me and lots of asteroids.

There was a blip on the screen.

"Ah. We have a guest in the system. Can you see him Flash?"

I willed the scanner up and performed a quick scan and located another rifter in a belt.

"That's good Flash, but I am afraid he's found you first." There was a shriek. "Battlestations lover boy. You better show me what you have."

The second rifter jumped into the same belt and immediately locked me. My rifter was rocked back and forth as missiles smacked against the shields. My shields were already gone and I hadn't got a shot off. Whipping my rifter around and diving into the belt, I hit the afterburner. Behind me, the enemy rifter gave chase. I ducked and dived between massive asteroids, auto canon fire stitching a firery path behind me.

"You're doing good Flash, but time to bite back. Here, let me show you." My rifter, now not in my control, performed a physics defying loop and turn and I was suddenly behind the enemy rifter. "Now back to you."

The tone of my targetting computer changed into a solid tone. I opened up with my 150mm autocanons, the emp shells streaked across space and blowing out the rear shields of the enemy rifter. Adrenaline was pumping into my body at a furious rate. I felt like a God. The second and third salvo bit deep into the armour.

My soul soared at the same time as a bestial side of me strode to the fore. The fourth salvo punched into the hull.

I was intoxicated on the wine of combat. The enemy rifter tried to escape by diving up and out of the belt but I had the angle. The fifth salvo and the enemy's craft burst into pieces.

"Get the pod."

The pod was locked and I had this pod pilot's life in my hands.

"What are you going to do Flash? He has opened up to chat to you." There was a tingle in my back of my head as I communication implants patched into those of the defeated pilot. His voice (or thoughts) came in, accent-less and with a hint (oddly) of oranges. His avatar shimmered in my mind: a stern faced, Amarrian no less.

"Mercy. You beat me. I beg for mercy. I have no isk now." He said.

"None? Surely your ship was insured?" I answered.

"Well, yes but I need it to get a new one." He said.

Kill him, whispered Angel.

"True enough but you did fire on me first." I protested, my anger still not abated.

"Yes, but this is low-security space. I saw you and you're more or less out of pod school in a shiny new ship. I thought, why not?"

Kill him.

Without another thought, I opened fire and smashed his pod open. The warm, embracing amniotic fluid, cushioning and protecting the pilot, flash froze in the vacuum of space. I was on a high and I was addicted. This is what I wanted to do. This. THIS.

My heart, still hammering away, deafened my enhanced hearing. I wanted this to continue but wondered whether my body could take anymore. I savoured the feeling for a good fifteen minutes, completely oblivous to anything else. I was cursing for even trying to fool myself that running missions for faceless agents was to be the destiny of a capsuleer. I had lost so much time.

Reluctantly, the rifter headed back to base and I was soon docked up. Staggering out of the pod, I flopped like a newly birth calf onto the plasteel floor. A technician came forward and offered me a towel. Angel stepped away and moved straight to a shower unit.

"You did so well Flash. So well, I am proud of you."

I smiled weakly, still exhausted.

"I am leaving now, I have set you on the path that we both wanted."

"When are you back Angel?

She shook her head and smiled.

"You are destined to do great things Flash and every time you fly out and see the vastness of space, you will see me."

I now felt physically weak, the thrill of my first kill still coursing through me and sapping my motor energy.

"Wait. Wait. Don't leave. I can't do this on my own."

Angel shook her head, dark hair tumbling around her, miraculously dry and shiny.

"You did all that yourself. Bye bye Flash. We will not meet in the flesh again."

I reached out, my legs apparently not working.

"Wait. Angel. Is that your real name? Who are you? I don't even know you. I never knew you did I?"

She paused and turned her head towards me, her face, already made up, plump red lips parting in a slow wicked smile.

"You knew me in your dreamings of a better life in space. You knew me when you killed that pod pilot. You know who I am when you locked on that ship. You know me, you always had." She approached the exit, she was already dressed and looked immaculate.

"And my name is Eve and I am pleased to have made your acquaintance."

Merry Christmas everyone. Current Blog Banter entries:

20 Dec 2008

EVE Pirate Blog Speed-linking December 2008

Christmas is here!

December 2008 EVE-Online Pirate Blogs, my summary.
  • Kane Rizzel is back with a bang and he shows us, once more, how effective he is as a predator with a vivid tale of Kane hunting and waiting for a raven-flying mission runner. He killed him three times and causing much grief in The Farmer's Tale.
  • Wensley decided on a GANK GANG - damn fine fun and an impressive amount of DPS from T1 cruisers. His blog was featured on episode three of MicroWarpCast; a superb series alongside the Virgin PodCast library of EVE-Online shows. Get iTunes onto it and download! However, Wensley doesn't just talk about gank gang. Nope, the prolific blogger churned out quality post after quality post and I have to highlight the 'Rifter PVP Guide' as being a most superior entry. Following this most excellent post, he then goes in his rifter and kills some State Protectorate Drones in his rifter of doom.
  • Skira Ranos has put together a very useful, well-written 'Beginners Guide to Piracy'. To be honest, even seasoned salty dogs could do with a remainder and a run through of the basics. Well done Sir!
  • Thanks to Mynxee, she has led me to Sard Caid, a pirate terrorising Molden Heath - read his exploits in the well-named: Broadside. I like the style already and MH isn't too far from me....
  • However, how can I forget Mynxee; that husky voiced vixen pirate? She did go a bit gooey over Roc Weiler however. Gushing some might say...but no, I will not pry into the affairs of a lady and besides, she's been busy with her part of The Bastard alliance - what do you all think of her new logo?
  • 'We are having hot lesbian sex'. Well, that is part of the profile text for Shae Tiann. Did it capture your attention? I hope so as when I saw the words 'Lesbian', 'Sex' and 'hot', how can you leave the page? Actually, her posts on 'Rescuing Mr Frog' and 'Chapter Three: Thicker Than Blood' and 'Chapter Four: Thicker than Blood' should be the reason to linger around this most delectable and sexy of female pirates.
  • Biz Quick has now come back Molden Heath....and I hope to see some explosions soon. He calls himself 'predictable', but the only thing I can 'predict' about him from viewing his KB is that he will, most likely, kill you.
  • That salty pirate dog, Jedizah always writes with a certain style and panache and yes, San Rintu is no more - having been sold to some dirty Amarrian Slave trader. However, without missing a beat, Jedizah picks up the story-telling baton and hits the spot with a snap-shot of a week in the Bastards, with multi-billion isk kills and a fracturing of a long-term relationship with another pirate group; after breaking some Rules of Engagement.
  • December also saw the pirate blogsphere bid farewell to Spectre. His exit was a typical fanfare-filled flamboyant send off and his Haiku driven giveaway, ended with a twist. Come back soon you pirate you!
  • Cussbeard is still enjoying his studying at EVE-U but his blog page is looking more pirate-like with each passing day. He had a crack at Spectre's Haiku giveaway with some nice replies. Cussbeard may be a haiku master.
  • VB Sarge has had much happen in his real life but he had time to sit down and pen a worthy post on 'Searching for the truth'. Recommended reading.
  • Havojeh continues with wet navy piracy with an article of an interesting interview with the devs of PotBS. Good for those interested in non-EVE-Online piracy.
  • Marleus of Ironfleet is continuing his prowls into Morsus Mihi (bite me) space and he reports back on collection run. Battle prowler indeed.
New Pirate Blogs
  • Khaled Urduni, is another brother pirate, flying with me in The Bastards and he adds his own flavour and style to the Blogging world. You know? I think that a fair number of the New Eden related Blogs are pirate-oriented and of them, a good chunk are with us, The Bastards. Khaled kicks off his journey in the literary world with a fantastic first post about what it is like to fly with us and to be with us. We're not the best pirate corp in New Eden (yet), nor the richest, nor the most feared, most isk effective, one with the best K/D ratio - but we sure have fun. We'll kick down your doors and stomp on your throat. Such is the the Epicness of The Bastards. His most recent post is an audacious Hulk steal.
  • Krendar tells us how she lost her citizenship and her loyalty to the decaying empire states in her Thoughts of an outlaw. Welcome my sister, to the dark side. She has recently followed up on this post with 'Part Deux' and her thoughts on an ex-corp member's Betrayal.
  • DJ Akula is another Bastard, he had a blog called 'The Drone Collector' way before he even considered joining us but he has been strangly quiet on the writing front. Maybe because he has been too busy killing people?
  • Kalazar is a hopeful Bastard candidate, coming along with his three corp mates from the non-defunct, DOOM Armada (that counted the Hellcats as their members). His first post so far is an introduction to himself to New Eden and we welcome him.
  • Alongside Kalazar, we have his partner in crime: Azadeh Lawliet.
Pirates who got tagged recently.
If you want to find out about some real life facts about us, the pirating bloggers then follow these links.

Seven real facts about some New Eden pirates:
Those Pirate Bloggers who fly under THE BASTARDS banner now include:
Flashfresh, Jedizah, Khaled Urduni, Hallan Turreck, DJ Akula, Jorge Belda, VB Sarge, Spectre (now departed), Mynxee, Shae Tiann, Lanissum and (hopefully) Kalazar.

Some wishes:

To Votrian: join the pirates!

To The Bastards: A merry Christmas to my corp and friends: may New Eden yield much loot, epic ransoms and fights and isk in 2009!

To The HellCats: Angry women with guns. HAWT.

Finally, I wish a merry Christmas to all my readers (there appears to be at least two of you!) and a festive, safe and fortuitous New Year.

17 Dec 2008

T1 cruiser bum rush

"Cruiser gate camp. X up if you want in." Said Kulmid. Within five minutes, I was outside in a rupture (having rushed back three jumps) and was alongside Kalazar (cane) and Maltrox (ruppie) alongside Kulmid, in his thorax.

Not a record-breaking time for a fleet set-up but not bad for us Bastards.

With no further ado, Kulmid took the fleet towards EOZ-AC briefing us as we made the three jump journey.

"There's a drake, rapier, vagabond and a frigate on the Akkio gate in EOA. They have a bubble there. We're just gonna bust it."

I glanced at my watch list and was satisfied at with the numbers. With our own four cruisers, we had to drop the rapier first and then work on the frigate and then drake. Or something close to this.

We arrived at the gate and without any preamble, we jumped on contact and held cloak on the other side.

There were a couple more ships here than Kulmid had stated. In addition to the named, there was a hurricane and a falcon. Not good.

Betraying no unease, Kulmid ordered us to de-cloak and primary the rapier. We dropped him quickly enough but by then, the falcon had us locked and cycled through us. The enemy Keres was next but was too quick and we switched fire to the enemy hurricane.

It didn't work and we all popped successively. Normally, isk wise - with the drop off the rapier - we would have broken even but we all left with nothing, our pods flashing all the way home. So no loot and this makes most pirates a big sad panda.

I have a stack of ruptures in the hangar all fitted and ready to go but this time, I did forget to bring drones. Am sure I would have had the keres killed if I had drones. Doh.

Next time!

16 Dec 2008

Just been tagged

Like in a school play ground, sometimes you're wandering around, not quite noticing anything and then - boom, you're 'IT' and a bunch of snotty nosed kids run off, cackling and yelling to everyone that you now have the 'lurgy' and for everyone to avoid physical contact.

Anyway, amongst the bloggers out there - we sometimes tag each other for fun. Once tagged, one has post a few facts about themselves and then tag other bloggers in the hopes they'll do the same thing. All in an effort to find out things about me.

I have been tagged by Mynxee, she-devil pirate, friend, fellow blogger and fleet-mate.

Mynxee - you could have just asked me....

So here goes, I supply eight facts about Flashfresh, with a twist, one 'fact' is in fact, false. Can you guess which one?

So here goes. Did you know that I:
  • Am trying to breed White Cloud Minnows?
  • Was a part-time ex-male model?
  • Have two Masters Degrees and planning on a third?
  • Count myself as as pretty damn good cook (Chinese) ?
  • Considered a career in the military but went to academia because their posters were more eye-catching?
  • Run, not as often as I would like but I do cross country and half-marathons?
  • Lived in Africa and South America before settling back in the UK?
  • Have met the Queen of England? (she's a very small lady!)

The Rules:
  1. Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 facts about myself in the post - some random, some weird. I added one more, a false fact to confuse. You don't have to!
  3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

I now tag the following:
There's so many more I want to tag but the rules state only seven. I have included a fair few of The Bastards crew but not all of them; DJ Akula hasn't blogged much; so I hope this tag will galvanise him to do so!

15 Dec 2008

Atchoo with some pure sex thrown in......

Been quite ill so not much to post about in the last week; I missed what looked like some fantastic fights between us and M34N, details are: here. Not 100% sure about the causes of the loss in blue standings but it's a great pity. I think we definitely worked well together but am sure egos had something to do with the breakdown. The loss of the M34N carrier may have put a repproachment beyond us.

What else have I missed? A quick scan on the KB also shows a 5-billion isk kronos kill, a romp into null-sec, an ass kicking by some ECM heavy gang, a T1 and T2 frigate roam and some lol-kills. And lots and lots of loot to sell. In other words, a typical Bastard week.

Am busy reading up on the missed blogs and will have some summaries for everyone soon.

However, just to keep you all amused, I want to thank Pi'rate, one of our newer members for helping us refine our loot-system where the plunder from our kills are sorted out, valued and categorised - all ready for sale either in Hek or Jita. Loot handling has always been done manually. Loot sales and the isk share from our plundering is one of only a small handful of sources of income for us and the procedure needs to be crystal clear; even amongst us pirates. Nothing would poison the corporation than distrust of this nature. Loot thievery would no doubt increase and it would be a nasty affair sorting out who gets what when the dust settles after every fight.

It does get complicated in multi-corp gangs however and we need to put in a system where it doesn't de-generate into a mad grab for loot....but then again, we're pirates and there by treasure!

Still, it is an involved process but deemed open and fair. Each kill and the loot dropped from the kill is split equally between all involved members, including those not involved in dealing damage such as scouts and those providing intel leading up to the kill. All loot kills are collected up and sold as a batch once every couple of months.

With the high rate of pirating we've had; that's a lot of loot with a lot of potential isk and an appreciable amount of administration to keep people up dated. Thanks therefore has to go to RoninD and Jed (to name two) who have been doing a bulk of the work.

Now, check out the results below:

Automated with a handy program that tells us the value of each item sold for each kill. We already know who is involved in each kill through the KB kill-id (held separately) but this organisation of the loot drop is now pure sex and almost an automated process. We can log into the forum and check on the progress. All we need now is for the allocation of the isk share to be done automatically, at the end of each month (for example) and it will be win, win, win.


What can I say but pure sex?

Piracy does pay and we're lucky it has been paying quite well. All we have to do is to keep on looting, ransoming and plundering ships across New Eden and wait for the isk to appear in our wallets a couple of months later. I have a 'phoon and tempest to put together and the isk will come in very handy.....love to hear what 'phoon and tempest set-ups peeps out there think are the 'dogz bollocks'.

12 Dec 2008

More roams and more booms

More new faces.
We have welcomed more recruits to The Bastards so let me introduce to you all:

DJ Akula


We are stronger with these chaps and they have been busy adding to our kills and loot. We have 14 applicants in the queue and the next batch will be processed as soon as this post is complete. In fact, the month of December has been a magnificent period for us, both killboard and loot-wise. We were posting up 1billion isk in kills per day for a period of five days....and this was only the first five days of December! However, it did start to slow down but, for a small corp like ourselves, this sort of activity meant plenty of loot and ransoms.

A roam into null-sec

I FC'ed a roam into null-sec, hopeful that we could re-enact the 'Saving Private Frog' episode from a week ago. However, it did not go according to plan as we ran into some rather recaltriant members of Southern Cross Alliance who kicked our asses royally at the FDz gate in M-MD31. We were all in T1 cruisers ('cept Viginiti) and managed to knock down a drake and arazu but we were over-whelmed.

Fight summary here.

They were much better than the IRC chaps and I am sure we'll pay that part of Geminate a visit soon for some kills and loot and ransoms.

Moving down the pipe then?

So, a few days later I found myself in a rifter and decided on a solo roam. There were Bastards about of course, in stations and in many of the neighbouring systems but no sanctioned corporation excursions, so we were left to our own devices. The Bastards does expect pirates to have a bit of get up and go and to personally lead roams in search of loot and kills. So it was around Egmar, I met up with Khaled Urduni, on a shake down cruise with his Hurricane. We both had the same idea and I set up a two-man fleet and we continued on our merry.

It was wasn't long before I had spotted three ships in local: a rifter, rupture and zealot. A quick spin of the scanner and I found two of the three. With a quick kill in mind, I asked Khaled to hold on the gate and leapt into the belt.

Both the rifter and the rupture were not in the same corp but evidence of their work was all over the belt: sparkling wrecks. I quickly narrowed them down to a single belt, set battle stations and raced into the belt, with all my weapons primed. As I arrived, I caught the tell tale warp signatures of the departing ships. They went in two directions.

Cursing, I chased after the rupture and raced after it towards Planet III.

"Khaled: this is Flash. Hold on gate, going after rupture."

"Roger that Flash. Good hunting." I was determined to solo it. The rifter could sense my eagerness and like a blood hound, it strained at the leash. I landed around planet III and found nothing.

Disappointing but to be expected. I hit the scanner again and found, that both the rifter and rupture were nowhere to be seen. Setting up a lazy orbit around planet III; I continued my scan and stopped. A zealot had appeared within scan range. The third ship and not one that I was initially hunting. His location steadied around Planet IV.

"Khaled. This is Flash. I may have a zealot. Stand by."

"Roger, Khaled standing by."

Planet IV was a short hop and the warp jump took less than five seconds, dropping into orbit - my overview updated with a the solid white square of a HAC-Class ship. It was the zealot, moving at around 900 m/s and away from me. I hit my afterburners and gave chase. The zealot pilot (Anni Bonney) obviously saw me and turned her ship around, 180 degrees and made her intentions clear to me: she locked me. As I did her.

"Khaled. Prepare for imminent violence. Zealot is approaching me. Should have a lock and point in seven seconds."

"Roger that Flash. Waiting for your signal."

The steady pinging of my targetting computer changed tone as I got a lock on the zealot as did she. My shields boiled off almost instantly as her lasers washed over me.

"Flash has point. Warp to Flash Khaled." I got into an eye-crushing close orbit around the zealot, desperate to keep myself alive long enough for Khaled to come through. It looked like she was using heavy pulse lasers and my tactical computer detected it was most likely scorch laser crystals. If I could just keep this orbit; I should be okay.

A laser purple beam cut deep into my port fuselage, jarring me out of my tactical day dreaming. Red alert lights flashed across me, looks like I had suffered some major damage to the port stabilisers. I compensated and adjusted the power input.

Well, there was alway bad luck too, another hit like that and my ship would be cut in two.

Khaled's hurricane finally roared in, the wedge shaped minmater battle cruiser always had an impressive entrance.

Between the two of us, we finally made the kill. The zealot pilot had a very impressive armour tank and when it looked like she was stabilising at 10% armour, I decided on a ransom. Before I could finish the demand, the armour was blasted away and her hull critically damage. She went up in a flash and we missed the pod.

We celebrated with an ewok-dance as the loot drop was decent and the fleet was joined by Euan8, Raelyf (a new applicant) and z0de. The latter in his incursus and racing from ten jumps away. The expanded fleet spread out into the neighbouring systems; we all had hits on the scanner but the ships slipped away.

I was luckier - while I missed a thrasher (twice) in a belt; I did manage to attract the attention of a sentinel frigate. A deadly Electronic Attack Ship and piloted by Darth Semios. He doggedly pursued me from planet to planet and belt to belt. Each time, I managed to slip away. I knew what the outcome of this fight would be: my death.

Raelyf was the first to get close enough to assist, having raced past Khaled at Ardar. Euan8 and z0de were a bit further behind.

Me and Darth danced around the ice belt; the large chunks of ice and rock bumped and shattered around us, littering the space between us with debris. I landed as he was re-aligning to get out. He stopped as we both locked. His drones popped out and his nosferatu winked to life. I was going to knock him down as quickly as I could, my guns required no capacitor to fire but his nos would drain me enough that my afterburner, web, scrambler and armour repairer would all go down. I could counter with my own smaller nos. It would be a bit tight but this was not a 1 v 1. It was me being bait.

As soon as I had point, I ordered Raelyf in and he started to warp to me. I was down to no cap and well into armour. My repairer shutting down with a squawk of protest at the lack of power. Darth's warrior II drones screeched around me and ripped the rifter to pieces around me. I managed to kill one before my pod was out in space.

I warped out, leaving Raelfy to kill the sentinel. Khaled sneaked in as well and between the two, the sentinel was doomed. By this time, I passed the FC to Euan and z0de as I couldn't do much in a reaper with a GCC. As the same fleet tracked down towards Amamake; they engaged and destroyed a thorax and phobos; both from the Pegasus Foundation Corporation.

I managed to sneak in with the reaper to point the pod.

Don't mess with a combat reaper!

At this time, I docked up as sleep was calling but the small gang managed to snag yet another thorax, a rifter and an arazu before they too, called it a night. For the loss of one rifter, the gang made six kills and got some good loot.

Well done chaps!

Loth's Comic A L4 Lunch

And yet another....

7 Dec 2008

Saving Private Frog

A Frog is in Trouble

While we pirate and make life a misery for mission runners and ratters; we're not *that* cut-throat and we do stick together and watch each other's backs...providing we don't expose ourselves to too much danger of course. We're all focused on the loot and ransoms as that is how we make our living in New Eden. So all combat to us is a balance between gaining and losing isk. Sure, sometimes people fight (or duel) for honour and reputation but we mainly fight to secure more isk. Isk is God to us pirates.

I was in my gank-tank rupture with Jorge Belda in his malediction, assisting Mynxee in wrestling some decryptors from the local Angel Cartel pirates. Yes, we were running an exploration site and the destruction of the Angel Cartel ships under my guns, was deemed a good thing by CONCORD. So good in fact that they increased my sec status from -9.998 to -9.995; thus the perfect '10' was now getting further. I was obviously heading in the wrong direction.

The Bastards, as a whole were between corporation sanctioned excursions - some pirates were holed up in the station, drinking and wenching while others were out trading and scheming. Mr Frog was in null sec and chasing down the bounties on some low- to mid-range Guristas pirates. The credit crunch has hit even New Eden and forced Mr Frog to 'rat' to make much needed isk.

Mr Frog has the honoured distinction of being the only Bastard to be awarded the 'Running Away' award. Something that he is very proud of.

Anyway, the ratting wasn't going too well.

"Those gits! Can't they leave me alone to collect the bounties?" Complained Mr Frog.

"The locals giving you problems, Frog?" I asked half concentrating on taking down yet another Arch Gistii raider.

"Yeah - they have sovereignty of this area but does that give them the right to stop me from doing what I want to do?"

"Absolutely not." I nodded, chuckling as the raider blew up in a thousand shiny pieces.

"And just because they have gone to the effort of securing this space, does this mean that they have the right to hassle an honest bounty-collecting pilot, harming no-one?"

"The sheer gall and audacity of that alliance." I nodded.

"I just told them to 'leave me alone' and they laughed at me. They're now dogging me with a zealot and raven."

"Damn. The locals sound down-right unfriendly."

"I just want to make some isk. There's no empathy in this part of the world. I fear for the youth of today!" Said Mr Frog, now in full flow.

"You can always run away?"

"And that is exactly what I am doing..." Fired back Mr Frog. I could see from the star map that he had gone deeper into null-sec and was now into the Vale of the Silent region. "Shit. A shuttle on the gate. Am cloaking!" Mr Frig was flying a cloak enabled Vexor.

Mr Frog is not a coward, he is just very, very cautious. He came back to the group, sounding a bit more worried.

"They have an onyx here and that bloody zealot again. A dominix, malediction and astarte too. Damn it. I can't rat in peace! Have to find some empty space for myself."

"I think they are determined to chase you down Mr Frog." I said as a plan slowly formed in my mind. "Did you say an onyx, zealot, astarte and domi?"

"Er yes and bugger me with a sharp marrow. They're camping the two gates in this system. Am stuck!" Wailed Mr Frog as he realised that, at least for tonight, his ratting excursion would be seriously curtailed. Nothing makes a pirate cry than a lot opportunity to make isk.

I glanced at the various corp and corp related chat channels. We had plenty available tonight, I thought, along with the two resident Hellcats (Shae and Mynxee), a decent fleet could be assembled. Clearing my throat, I asked around and tried to find out if anyone was interested in an incursion into null-sec space to rescue our very own Mr Frog.

Indeed there was interest and Kulmid stepped up as FC.

A fleet was already set up but its first task was to deal with an ishkur that was dogging Khaled Urduni. We completely overwhelmed the plucky assault frigate with excessive amounts of firepower. As we waited for our Global Criminal Flags to disappear, I updated all the available pilots on Mr Frog's 'predicament'.

"Chaps, we have an onyx, zealot, domi and drake dogging Mr Frog."

"Yeah, so we hear." Said Jed. "Frog, you're a knob-end. Why are you collecting bounties on those Guristas?" This brought a lot of guffaws from the assembled crowd.

"Well, it's easy isk innit?" Replied Mr Frog.

"You're a pirate. A PI-RATE. By definition it means you pirate other people not chase down bounties."

"Yeah....but the isk is good; but that is not the point. We have some fools here who have been dogging me. You coming to help me or not?"

"Well, we're not too sure if we want to risk our ships. Any idea what the loot would be like?" Asked Euan.

"Dunno, but the onyx, domi, malediction and ishtar has been joined by a second domi. Come on guys, there's isk to be had here!" Pressed Mr Frog. "They're Interpid Crossing Alliance [IRC]; who are dogging me, am sure we can take them. Come on chaps!" Exhorted Mr Frog. The inability to make isk from the bounties was making him mightily antsy.

There was a general murmur of agreement on the potentially lucrative loot drops and Kulmid, who was still eating something, asked for a vote to either 'rescue' Mr Frog or leave him to the tender mercy of the null-sec alliance. The show of hands was definitely for a pirate romp into 0.0 with the full intention of stomping anyone we could find.

"Mr Frog. Tell your new found friends that your help is on its way."

There was a pause and then Mr Frog came back.

"Those guys laughed at me........"

The Fleet moves out....and along blundered in a raven
So we had assembled the following:

Kulmid (FC) - Armageddon
DanMart - Drake
Mynxee - Hurricane
Shae Tiann - Myrmidon
Jorge Belda - Maller
Jedziah - Omen
Euan8 - Vexor
Flashfresh - Rupture

and of course,

Mr Frog - Vexor (with cloak - good for running away)

Not too shabby, plenty of points but a bit slow on the locking front. An interceptor or frigate would have been useful but we wanted tank and we had it. There was much yelling and hooting and the FC was (once again) having trouble establishing order but eventually, Kulmid made himself heard.

"Fleet! Destination set. Assemble on the Todi gate. We bum-rush."

The fleet rumbled out of the dock bays - a surge of ships, blinking red and angry in everyone's overview. Aligning, we completed the three jump journey and arrived at the EOA-ZC gate in Akkio. On the other side of the gate was null-sec. I love null-sec due to the absence of effective gate guns but hate it for the sheer emptiness of the place. Shae muttered 'here we go again' not too quietly to herself.

Our destination was 7G-H7d, IRC space (we think), where Mr Frog was trapped and the rescue fleet jumped into null-sec, with no scout and a shout of 'BUUUMMMM RUUUSSHHHH!!!"

There was nothing in E0A-ZC; the scene of many a bubble camp but not tonight so the fleet moved on; neglecting the use of scouts we moved as one angry mob of ships and guns. Jumping through on gate-contact and making best speed to 7G-H7D. At QPOK-B; we assembled at the 1W-0KS gate - there were some ships around in local space and we tried to give chase but they were too fast and evaded our efforts. Grumbling, most of the ships gathered around the gate when our computers detected an incoming gate fire - an indicator of an impending arrival from 1W-0KS system.

"All ships, orbit the gate." Ordered Kulmid. The fleet parted and moved around the gate, maximising the size of our 'net'.

"Overheat your warp scramblers." I added.

"He's holding cloak for as long as he can." Chuckled Euan; his voice dripping with eagerness. A few seconds later, there was a shimmer about 7km portside and the distinctive shape of a raven-class battle ship materialised. The gate induced cloak finally wearing off. The raven was already frantically aligning to get away.

"Point." Said Shae and that was it.

With the warp core on the main drives disabled, the ship was helpless. We quickly pummelled it into scrap and grabbed the pod; Kulmid led the ransom but after some time wasting; the raven pilot (his corp is part of the alliance that claimed local sovereignty) was killed out of hand. His last words, before he was exposed to hostile vacuum, were: 'Chill and let's hang together, man."

The cavalry is here!
We finally jumped our ships into 7G-H7D and local spiked up high enough that the locals dogging Mr Frog ran off. We tried twice to point them but they were too quick, who said nano and therefore speed, was dead? Part of the reason is the increased size of the star gates but the roam to 'rescue' Mr Frog was successful. We even bagged a raven at the beginning of the journey. So nothing to complain about.

Leaving Mynxee and Jorge as tail-end charlies to ensure we were not followed; the fleet turned back. Mr Frog was already busy eyeing up the null sec systems between us and Akkio and telling everyone about how he was going to earn millions of isk. Partly concerned for his turn to carebearishnish (is that a word?) we secretly plotted to blow him up at a belt.....

It was Jorge who cut through our chatter.

"Local spiking. It's jumped by five. Six."

"Mynxee here. IRC Astarte arrived at gate and is locking me." There was a pause. "He's aggressed. Am jumping."

"Jorge here. I see IRC Domi, domi, onyx, zealot and raven on scan. They're in line from outpost to gate."

"Jorge, this is FC Kulmid. I think they're coming. Come back and rejoin Mynxee. We're leaving." Said Kulmid, aware that we had been in one place too long. He had his armageddon to think about as well as those lovely +5 implants in his head.

Jorge joined Mynxee on the outbound gate, passing the still hostile IRC Astarte.

OMG - Runzor!
"Okay guys, we are leaving." Announced Kulmid as the fleet began to align to the next gate. Mynxee and Jorge one gate behind us. As we jumped to the next system, both of them caught up with the fleet. An unknown number of hostile ships now following us.

We run but we don't (can't) hide
So yes, we ran. With an unknown number of hostile ships chasing us, we had no idea what we were facing. We're pirates and we lose isk and if the fight yields no coin for us. We ain't interested. We ran but due to the mixed nature of the fleet (cruiser heavy); there was a risk that Kulmid would be left behind. He was having none of it.

We pirates did not get any further than two more jumps when the same Onyx dogging Mr Frog, raced past us and landed at the gate we were heading to. The IRC trap was beginning to close on us. Already, IRC had a good idea of what ships were in and how many of us.

"Wait for him to jump. Wait. Wait."

The Onyx jumped ahead of us, into 1W-0KS - no doubt eager to catch us as we raced through.

"Here they come!" Yelled Kulmid

Local was filling up as more IRC Alliance pilots answered the call and came in.

"All fleet, jump! Jump!"

We activated the warp gate and jumped in after the Onyx. The onyx pilot did what any HIC pilot in null-sec would do: he dropped a warp disruption sphere and bubbled us all up.

The Epic fight and resulting loot
"Kill the onyx now!" Shouted Kulmid, who later, fully confessed that he was trying to save his implants if he lost his ship during the inevitable fight. "Primary is firestrm!"

"Flash is on the onyx." My 425mm auto canons, pre-loaded with EMP spun up and delivered a furious broadside to the Onyx just as the rest of the fleet did the same. Laser fire, rockets, missiles and projectiles showered the Onyx and it went down quickly. It's shields stripped off in a pyrotechnical display of symphonic destruction. The onyx died and there was much hooting and laughter.

1-0 to the pirates.

"Gatefire. Gatefire." Said someone. The rest of the chasing IRC fleet came in, no doubt eager for the kill and to avenge the destruction of the quite ineffective, onyx. A malediction, flown by Aelux existenz decloaked but he bugged out before anyone could finish target locking him. The remaining enemy ships, mostly T2 variants winked into existence on our overviews.

It was game on.

"Primary is Matthew2451. Secondary is Alan Flease." Commanded Kulmid as he was counter-targeted by the IRC fleet. The shields on his armageddon flashing and blurring as it absorbed the multiple impacts from the hostile fleet.

Matthew2451 was in a Zealot, deadly in close combat and it had to go down. Jedziah bravely pushed his omen into his optimal and started to track the zealot.

"This is Shae. Am being primaried but am tanking." Her myrmidon's repairers working furiously at patching the holes being punched into her thick armour.

"DanMart here: more gate fire. I see a second Domi."

"Check. Check. Check. This is Jorge; new contacts: second ishtar and raven."

"Primary is down. Switch to Alan Flease. Primary is Alan Flease. Secondary is Greyform." Commanded Kulmid.

2-0 to the pirates.

"Yaarrr, I got the killing blow!" Interrupted Jorge.

"Christ, there's a lot of drones out!" Continued Kulmid.

Sure enough, the two dominix and two ishtar-class ships spat out swarms of advanced combat drones that buzzed around us. We replied in kind.

"First ishtar is going down." I said. There was a burst of light and my own shields flared as shrapnel peppered my cruiser from the destroyed HAC. "First ishtar is down." I said.

3-0 to the pirates.

Off to my left, Jorge Belda was now being hammered back by a mass of ogre II heavy combat drones as well as the close range attention of Shinzon Ren's Astarte and his blasters. IRC were obviously wanted to avenge Matthew2451's demise.

However, it was Jedziah in the omen who went down first; succumbing to the horrendous damage dealt by the Zealot in the very first opening moves of this, most deadly dance.

"Jed is down. Jed is down."

3-1 still to the pirates.

Mynxee's hurricane held the centre of the line alongside Kulmid's Armageddon but a newly arrived raven levelled it's missile launchers and unleashed a salvo of paradise cruise missiles, cutting her battle-cruiser in two.

"Mynxee is down. Mynxee is down."

3-2. We're in the lead by one.

"Primary Killljoy. Secondary Shinzon." It sounded like Mr Frog. Where was FC Kulmid? I thought, but didn't bother asking as my 425mm auto canons reloaded and sought out the Dominix piloted by Killljoy. It was already in half armour when I resolved my lock. The dominix died under a hail of fire, followed by Shinzon's astarte, the latter's blasters shredding off all my armour.

5-2 to the pirates.

"Jorge is down. Jorge is down."


"Euan is down, Euan is down." I saw Euan's vexor tank a massive stream of cruise missiles but it could not take any more and exploded.

5-4. We're in the lead by one.

"Frog is down. Frog is down." NO! I thought bitterly to myself, we were to rescue him not see his demise.

5-5 and it looked like IRC were drawing level.

"Shae is down. Goddamn raven!"

5-6 and IRC took the lead.

"This is Kulmid. Kulmid is FC again! New primary is Suboran and secondary is Cavalera. ECM drones on the raven. Points and webs on the ishtar!" I had no ecm drones left but hit the afterburner to close the distance to Suboran. I was starting to run out of ammunition and some of my weapons were close to shorting out, due to my excessive over-heating; pushing them beyond the original design parameters.

I glanced at my watch list and we were down to three ships: Kulmid's Armageddon (how did it survive for so long?), DanMart's Drake and my rupture. However, IRC were down more. There was Cavalera's raven , a plucky harpy, a second ishtar and second domi. Aelux in his Malediction was nowhere to be seen while Brendalin Kerr, in the rapier had sustained enough damage from Kulmid that he wisely retired from the field.

The second ishtar went down.


The the second domi.


"All fire on Cavalera! Take it down!" Ordered Kulmid, I did not need telling twice and locked the magnificient Caldari battle ship. Kulmid's laser beams, long and as thick as palace columns, streaked the short distance from his laser pods to the raven, boiling off it's shields. Cavalera tried to match the damage output but this is where missile based boats have problems. Missiles need time to travel to it's target and it can be slow. Rapid fire systems such as lasers, deal their damage almost instantly. The raven melted under the combined fire. So did the harpy. Even more odd, some of the pilot capsules stay around; spectators it would seem. They obviously were not paying attention as DanMart (in his drake) managed to lock one pod and proceed to send the unfortunate pilot back to the clone vats.

With the raven and harpy dispatched. We held the field and floated, victorious amidst the detritus of battle.

9-6. Quite a high scoring and thrilling match if it was a football game.

Us Pirates (9)
Kulmid - Armageddon - Survived
DanMart - Drake - Survived
Mynxee - Hurricane - Destroyed
Shae Tiann - Myrmidon - Destroyed

Jorge Belda - Maller - Destroyed

Jedziah - Omen - Destroyed
Mr Frog - Vexor - Destroyed
Euan8 - Vexor - Destroyed

Flashfresh - Rupture - Survived

Them Null Sec'ers (11)
Greyform - Dominix - Destroyed
KillJoy - Dominix - Destroyed

Cavalera - Raven - Destroyed

Firestrm - Onyx - Destroyed

Shinzon Ren - Astarte - Destroyed

Alan Flease - Ishtar - Destroyed

Suboran - Ishtar - Destroyed
Ron Bacardi - Harpy - Destroyed
Brendali Kerr - Rapier - Survived

Aelux existenz - Malediction - Survived

Matthew2451 - Zealot - Destroyed

(Matthew 24:51 --> And shall separate him and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.)

We held the field. My goodness. Instead of running back to base however, we eyed the wrecks with hunger. There must have been much good tasty loot considering the enemy IRC fleet was largely made up of advanced tech 2 and battleship hulls.

"We should loot up you know?" I suggested.

"Hell yeah." Agreed Jorge - in his pod, no doubt racing back to home base.

"This is Kulmid, I am going to a safe. Grab as much loot as you can and dump it with me."

"Roger that. Flash is going back for the goods!" My rupture turned around and burned towards the gate.

"DanDrake is joining Flash."

Those in the fleet who were in pods, raced home and despite the presence of a half-hearted gate camp at EOA-ZC into Akkio. All pirates got back safely.

Dan and I grabbed all the loot we could and each made over nine separate journeys between the gate and Kulmid's safe spot. We were eventually joined by a friend in his hauler and some other corp members returned in salvagers.

The very late Cap Drop
In all, the loot drop alone was about 300million isk and it practically filled a viator's cargo hold. With all the jangling loot, we escorted the precious ship blockade runner home. As we left; Jorge (now back in another ship) announced that IRC had come back into the system and instantly dropped a cynosural at the gate bringing in two thanatos and archon-class capitals.

We had long gone by then. Too little, too late.

The battle statistics make me warm inside:

The wrap up and Sarvic with them smart bombs.....
Once the fleet had returned to HQ safely, we had passed a massive frigate swarm around the EOA-ZC to Akkio gate. They didn't appear to be too good at the camping as even in a rupture, they failed to lock me let alone point me. Sarvic and a couple of others linked into the fleet, just as a few left for the night, satisfied with the kills. Sarvic loved that there was a frigate swarm around and came out in his smart bombing typhoon just for the occasion. After some missed opportunities, Sarvic was finally 'tackled' at a belt by one, then two then the rest of the frigates. The smart bombs were activated and much laughing and ewok-dancing ensued. Sarvic even podded some of the unfortunate pilots.

'Tis good to be a Bastard.

1 Dec 2008

EVE Blog Banter #2: The Allure of New Eden

I love the idea that once a month, most of New Eden's bloggers get a single subject to blog about. Thanks to CrazyKinux - we have the blog banter; a great concept and through it; you get a chance to read about one topic per month written under dozens of different writers. Each adding their own touch and flavour to it.

Direct questions about the EVE Blog Banter to CrazyKinux.

So, this month's EVE Blog Banter Topic comes to us from Brinelan over at The Shard. He asks: What drew us into EVE, what keeps us playing the game and what brought us back if we've ever left?

What drew me into EVE?

EVE-Online was and still is, a beautiful game. The sweeping vistas of space, attention to detail and the sultry voice of Aurora caressing me when I am plugged in provides a rich and in-depth world that not many MMORPGs can match. I came over from Star Wars Galaxies and was immensely saddened when it died and morphed into something else. I wanted to be TIE pilot so much! I let my subscription expire and wandered around, both in real life and virtually. Was a MechWarrior 2/3/4 and MechCommander player too but wanted something a bit more long-term; something that I could invest in.

A friend of mine (ex-FRICK, ex-MoO) dropped a few hints to me about this other game and that I would love it. CCP? Who? Icelandic Game Company? Wha-?

So with some skepticism, I downloaded the EVE client, activated my buddy account......and I was hooked after I had undocked and snapped my mining lasers on and the first bit of scordite appeared in my cargo hold.

It drew me into the game and as I searched for more, it threw up more questions for me. I could, literally, be doing anything I wanted. New Eden was HUGE. Initially, this was very intimidating and daunting. There was no defined career path for me and the choices therefore was of a dizzying amount of options within options. I could be a miner, an industrialist, a mission runner, a trader or anything. Anything at all.

I could also be a pirate but this path, (my true calling) was not realized for a couple of years and I wandered around and enjoyed the solo life and saw the sights and sounds around New Eden. I still get a thrill when I see the 'undocking' dialogue, even now. Each new update brings changes and EVE forces me to throw away some old tried and tested techniques and experiment with new ones. It certainly is a demanding mistress but a smart one too; with enough change to keep me interested and challenged.

What keeps me playing the game?

After two years, friends came and went but it was the community (both good and bad) that kept me firmly glued to New Eden. The game continued to improve with innovations and updates as well as the occasional drama bomb on the forum.

My first encounter of PvP was a gate camp in EC-P8R where I was unceremoniously podded. This was after six months. I never knew that this could happen. I was stung yet thrilled at the same time. I had indeed lost something, my clone was not updated and precious time was lost on training. My God, a game that had real-world tangible losses!

I then decided that the only way to survive was to fight back, so in a rifter I went into low-sec and took on all comers. My rather indiscriminate killings proved to be quite thrilling and I was hooked on this newer, and much darker path. I could live off the loot and ransoms quite well, providing I kept my overheads as low as possible. High sec empire became a distant memory as I roamed the low-sec corridors, picking off miners and ratters in belts. Once a system was exhausted, I moved on. I had this hunger, almost physical in it's extreme to continue to feed the monster.

Piracy was now my only calling and I began to tackle bigger and better targets and my isk count started to nudge up. I grew more experienced and wily and the rifter became an extension of my will. I love that ship class still. The thrill of the hunt and chase and the sinking of my teeth into them. Wonderful. I decided that I wanted to write my experiences and my first post called 'Alive' captured, in that instant, my mindset. I wrote that after a particularly hectic day where I was dogging a bunch of ratters and picked them off one-by-one; like a predator. I loved it. I find reading it now, many years later, still instantly takes me back to that day when I looked ahead on the road I would be travelling and tripping over myself as I ran towards my destiny!

However, it is not just piracy that keeps me in the game; there are other reasons.
  • Friends. I have made friends here in New Eden; those that share the same darker view of universe as well as those who prefer to walk the path of light. Some of these friends have become real-life ones - moving out of the virtual pirate characters to living and breathing individuals who I have met and had a drink with. These friends make even logging into the game and using it like a rather impressive chat client possible and on some days, desirable. So I count guys like Kane Rizell, RoninData, Votrian, SanRintu, Lucius Cain, Jubes - all the ex Black-Flag corp mates, my current corp, The Bastards and the Hellcats as real life friends. I know that without EVE, at least one good friend of mine would be out of touch now.
  • Community. As much as I try to avoid the forums; there is no doubt that the EVE community is an active and passionate one and while I may disagree with much being said at one point or another in the various forums; I can not deny that much of the traffic is driven by individuals love of the game. It comes through, the passion and commitment and this is another binding agent.
  • CCP. They're not EA for one thing and seeing them at Fanfest 2006 as well as their (rather sadly increasingly diminishing,) presence on the forums and other contact points with their fans has shown me that the guys who make this game, who try to improve it, love it as much as me and care for it. That's a great thing.
  • The Blogging community. Yes indeed, there's a bunch out there that are fine writers adding to the massive tapestry of New Eden lore and legend. I love the bloggers and their tales. I have to keep playing just to get more materials for my own blogs!
  • Stubborness. Ok, well I have been a resident of New Eden for over four years now. Longer than some marriages and out of stubborness, I will not be the first to walk away! Never!
  • The Game. It is still the most beautiful game in the world. It's a single-sharded, beautiful world and I am a part of it. There's much to fiddle with, even if you're not piloting a ship out of space dock. I can spend time messing with my character's skill plan, experiment with the latest ship fittings (EFT RUINS YOUR SOUL) and check up the latest market movements for Tech 2 afterburners. With CCP and their plans, I can see EVE becoming bigger and bigger. I want to be part of it.
In the interest of space and that I am late with this topic, I will stop it here! Links to other EVE Blog Banter Topics is under CrazyKinux's link which is here....