Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We are what we are

A few days ago IT had an alliance teamspeak meeting about the upcoming war. In response, yesterday the Northern Coalition had a TS meeting of their own.

During the IT meeting Molle outlined logistics routes, the timeline for the opening of hostilities and other important information. By contrast, the NC event announced a "best friends forever" themed poster contest and ended with a singing rickroll of the 1600 people listening .

Never have I been so certain I'm in the right coalition.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Massive cap fight aborted by node crash

I woke up today with people calling for a full-scale cap op. I got in fleet with a dread while we were still in the staging system. Word was there might be an epic cap fight in the works.

[16:53:35] Melaki > what do we need 180+ caps for^^
[16:53:53] Baeryn > If you have to ask you don't need to know

It quickly turned into the largest capital fleet I've ever seen, which is saying something. After a while we moved out and jumped. We landed on grid with what can only be described as a shitload of hostile capitals - 200-300 at a rough estimate - sieged immediately and started shooting. Lots of lag, lots of people blackscreened. Hostile capitals went down slowly, ours went down much more slowly.

After a while of grinding targets they went siege red and tried to get out. Then the node died. The kills (like a dozen of them *eyeroll*) weren't undone, but of course the hostiles didn't log back in.

According to the FC the hostiles were disorganized and hopefully lost some face today, though something like this just isn't a significant event in the grand scheme of things.

Of special note is that that toward the beginning of the fight the FC announced that Goons, PL and even Cry Havoc (very surprising to me) were heading our way to... help? Most likely at least Cry Havoc were in it to shoot everybody, but still. I had heard rumor that Goons - the NC goons, not the other ones - were asploding or something, and wasn't at all expecting PL to come all this way.

As we were about to jump out, apparently a cyno ship was tackled by some hostiles. We bubbled and hotdropped them with all the supercapitals. Amusing!



The fight

Aftermath and the fleet

Monday, March 29, 2010

How To Plex: A case study in guristas

This is a brief, step-by-step guide for getting into plexing guristas, in response to a comment on a previous post. Other types of plex (angel, serpentis, etc.) would typically mean doing the exact same thing but with a different tank ship and damage types. For ishtar fittings and comments please reference my earlier Ishtar-vs-Guristas post.

There are five things you need to do in order to plex.

First, find the plex and get your plexing ship to it. The first part isn't really very hard -- you just need scanning skills. Although a covert ops ship with gravity capacitor upgrades would be best, you might note the solo plexing ishtar fit from my ishtar-vs-guristas post linked above, which even though it lacks any sort of scan strength bonus is apparently able to find the tougher solo plexes (e.g. pith's penal complex) with good skills.

The ishtar is a pricy piece of hardware though, and I wouldn't fancy slowboating it around a region without good intel. If you have two accounts it would be good to use a cov ops scanner as a scout, or better yet a scanner/scout that adds damage such as a T3 with covert reconfiguration and scan bonus, or a covert ops to scan then switch to a stealth bomber with torpedoes to scout and do damage.

Second, know the plex. This part is easy -- the eve wiki lists most plex and is mostly accurate. The ones that have a 180,000 damage EM torpedo in the last stage? Stay away from those until you have a plan for surviving it.

Third, you need to tank. If you don't mind burning through cap booster 800s and have somebody to do actual damage, you can do this in a scorpion with an x-large shield booster. Less horrible options include a passive-tanked nighthawk (if you don't mind doing no damage), possibly a passive-tanked gila (very similar to ishtar, but less damage and tank) or, best of all, an ishtar.

Finally, you need to do damage. Once again the ishtar wins, dealing over 500 DPS with good skills. If you'd like to step things up though, a third account can be fit for pure DPS (since the tank has aggro) -- and at that point you can easily pay for all your accounts with isk.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

IT TS transcription: War details

This is a transcript of the IT teamspeak event in which Molle gave instructions for the new northern war. Original recording can be found here. As follows:

I was counting on 400 to maybe 600 on Teamspeak and there is 2780 (trx note: probably 780, he doesn't say thousands later). So everyone should be on now. Also we are having guest from the outside, a bunch of them. We are currently being broadcast as well on the northern coalition's radio as well, just so you know.

So, let's see. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are the 3 days you have to prepare yourselves for Thursday. Anyone with half a brain knows exactly where we're going. Anyone with one temple of a brain knows exactly where we're going as well. You will be moving by corporations and as corporations will take care of moving yourself over to where you need to be. You are going to halt in Empire until Thursday.

We are going to be supercapital ops and capital ops with alliance. We have a jump path set up all the way but we are going to take all the capitals in one go or two goes or three goes, something like that. Also capitals, all capitals, you are going. You will be using corporation fuels to move yourself. That means your corporation will fuel you to to get to destination. From there on it is alliance fuel. You are going to go up to... I think it was drone regions. Uh, no. You are not going to the drone regions. _____

All corporations have a corporation op. We are going up to the north. Do not expect to see Delve for about 6 months or so at least. It is going to be a mad dash and mad rush for going to the end goal. It is going to be in the north, the most north you can go, and there are 5 different teams going. We are 1 team, so there are 4 more teams going as well. Expect to see a bunch of blues that you have not seen before whatsoever. Do not be surprised, just go by standings as always.

Now let's see, what else do we have. First base where you can start with to take your corporations and just get into empire, that is Torrinos. That is a given. Move your shit over to Torrinos, start shipping as soon as you can. You have a couple of war declarations so just keep your eyes on that. Move as corporations, move as fast as you can and stash all your stuff in Torrinos, then we will just take stuff up to X-7 when we are done.

I am going to need an alliance jump freighter team with like 10, 15 jump freighters to move some stuff over as well, but I will post about that one.

From the beginning we were in a worse position than we are in right now with goons breaking up in 2 different teams. Goons are apparently breaking into 2 different teams and we will see where those land, so I do not think they are an issue whatsoever. They were not really on our target list either so it doesn't matter.

We have 1 team that is going to go for whatever the goonies have right now. We have one team that is going to go for whatever is in for Pure Blind. We have one team that is going to go for Deklein and Fade. One team is going to for Tribute, one is going to go for Vale and one is going to go for Geminate. That leaves Branch and Tenal, and Branch and Tenal is going to be harrased by a couple entited just to kill their carebearing stuff, nothing major, no important stuff.

The end goal of all this is not to take space. The end goal of this is not to take stations, not to take space, not to take moons. The end goal is simple. It is to break up the NC. If we need to take all theie space to do it then we will do it. If we need to take all their moons to do it then we will do that. Enough pressure and anything buckles, so enough pressure.

FCs, we are going to have target lists listed for you guys in the FC forums. Just to give you an idea, we have 90 technetium moons in range of x-7 so that is going to keep you busy for a month or two.

All titans,all motherships I want you to come up with us. I want you to have jump clones back home for everyone. If you have a bunch of alts and stuff leave an alt behind. Jump clones in Delve or in Fountain where your home is. You can bet your ass something is going to attack down there while we are away. Also, for downtimes when there are no alliance ops whatsoever just use your alts for making some cash. This is going to be a long operation, so that means you are going to have to sort your cash making abilities while we are away. That means making cash on the fly.

The NC are waiting for us. They are not stupid, they should have been ready for a couple of weeks and they have been posting all over saying they are waiting for us. On a more interesting side is that we have 3 different NC entites at the moment speaking to us and trying to make deals behind locked doors without anybody knowing, so stay tuned and see exactly what is happening with that. Two of them are major and one of them is minor so we will see what happens.

Now, if anyone has any questions regarding all this please type if out in IRC and I will get to it.

The 5 different groups are 5 different groups, that is all I'm going to tell you.

And the campaign doesn't have a name. (trx comment: lol ^_^)

This is going to be crashing nodes as much as we can _____. You know how the server is going, there are going to be crashing nodes left and right.

Alliance will be reimbursing capital ships, yes.

Taking over a system in 9 hours is not possible (someone).

Capitals, you are going to go to a different place than Torrinos. You are going to place all your regular ships in Torrinos for now.


Just to clarify, regular ships go to Torrinow. Capitals will be moved by alliance operations. So that's regular ships, just travel up there in corporation groups, park your ships, go back, grab more ships or sort the logistics however you want to.

On Thursday we are going to deploy first operations. We are most likely going to be moving the capitals on Tuesday and Wednesday. Could also be some capitals moved on Thursday, we will see exactly what what time we need to set up for that. It is going to be posted on forums.

And we're up to 850. That means I am going to be expecting 850 on the next alliance operation as well.

Those of you who are going to be on jump freighter operations and can do jump freighters please PM me on forums so I can get you started on where you need to gather up and stuff. We are going to do it here in 1 day on the euro time zone, most likely it is going to be Wednesday, and I need as many as possible because there is a truckload of stuff to move.

Any more questions drop it on IRC please.

We are going to be bringing a couple of our allies with us as well. They will be flying beside us and they will be doing their own operations as well. Exactly how depends on how the blob in the north behaves. We have a set path on how we are going to do it and what we are going to do but any plan that survives first impact does not exist, so.

And I just disconnected from IRC so there is no point trying to give me questions on IRC at the moment. One second.

Alright ladies I am going to open op this channel so that it is not moderated any more. There is 850 of you on here so pleasetake it easy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Longpost: Preparing for war

(long for me, anyway)

With everybody preparing to come up and smash the north, it's high time I got my shit on an actual war footing. Ideally this means reducing your worst-case liability to only PvP assets, though this is rarely actually done. In order to prepare for the war I've taken the following steps:


Going into a war, it helps to have liquid currency. You need to have enough to replace, fit and insure ships, upgrade clones and so forth... and, if things go badly, get your isk-making infrastructure up and running in a new alliance afterward.

I expect to be on nonstop, mandatory deployment for a period of months, and to lose many ships including multiple capitals during this time. Deploying best-fit ships for the duration of a major war isn't cheap, and toward this end I spent a couple dozen hours over three days plexing. Tenal was kind to me, generating some 3.7 billion isk worth of saleable items (pictured below) and around 320 million in bounties.

Lewts, phat


As I won't be able to train Amarr T2 weapons before the war starts, I've switched to capital cruise missiles in order to be able to fly the alliance dread fit. Flying a modified fit might result in ship replacement being denied, and lacking the capital cruise missiles skill could mean not being able to use the missiles on a replacement dread.


Things which don't contribute to the war efford need to be moved to empire, or at least an NPC station. I left around 2 billion isk worth of mins, manufactured ships and exhumers behind when we lost geminate, and I'm not going to let that happen again. In sorting out my stuff I was actually able to put several plexing ships, rendered defunct by my new ishtar, on the market instead of moving them via carrier. I jumped saleable assets, a pair of hulks, a maelstrom and a can full of blueprints and skillbooks down to empire, leaving behind two plexing ships, a carrier and a jump clone, all in the same station -- risky, but I have scout alts and know how to exercise caution.


My hangar is stocked with ships of various types and ranges for different situations, and I've verified each of them to be fitted, loaded and ready to undock . Getting everything sorted out, including fitings, drones, a number of large CCC, ACR and trimark rigs and a bunch of fighters cost me a total of 590 million isk. Remember step 1? Yeah, that's why. The carriers aren't even insured yet; capital insurance is expensive - 220 million for a carrier - so they won't be until I need to take them out on an op.

Possibly more battleships than strictly necessary

And there you have it. This is it, the big one, the one we've all been waiting for. We know the enemy, we know the score and we're prepared for whatever happens. We know there's a good chance we won't win this fight, but we will NOT go down as easily as PL or goons. Here's to hoping for goodfights.

In pre-war news we're fighting Red Overlord a bit, who have POS somewhere over in west NC space. Recent events include a highsec freighter gank, doomsdaying a jump freighter and a lovely titan kill. Not a bad way to kick off a war.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ishtar vs Guristas: Hilariously Excellent

The ishtar is the gold standard ship for killing guristas, especially when plexing. I just got into one for the first time and yes, it's good. I'm not though -- I can't use t2 heavy drones yet and drone interfacing is only level 4, so I'm severely lacking for dps.

For those who don't know, the Ishtar is a gallente drone-boat HAC that starts with some kin/therm resists. It's good against guristas because they do kin/therm damage and target jam constantly (hence, it's nice for drones to be doing most of the work).

I've included two fittings here. One is optimized for resists (the deadspace mods are actually pretty cheap) and the other is a solo scanner/plex runner. Both are currently set up with caldari heavy drones, which should be best against guristas resists even though gallente do slightly more damage. The DPS tank is calculated using a 50% kin, 50% therm EFT damage profile.

EDIT: On the first fitting below, it might be good to replace the thermal passive resist mod with an energized adaptive nano membrane -- as it is, that fit can't tank the EM smartbomb in guristas military complex without taking hull damage, even starting with full shield.


Cap stable and tanking
(note that there is a second ship off-screen doing DPS to the target;
I don't think I could break its' tank solo with my drone skills)

There are two things I've noticed flying the ishtar. First, heavy drones are actually very effective against small rats, at least once they've caught up to them, so once everything's aggressed you can just launch heavies and do something else while keeping an eye on local. Second, the ishtar is completely and utterly screwed by neuts -- some plex (pith penal colony seems to) and ladar sites (h-pa crash crew) have some energy neutralizing going on. In both cases the trick is to stay outside of neut range (about 45 km for guristas energy neutralizing sentries).

EDIT: In response to comments on this post I've made a follow up post addressing shield ishtar setups.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Adventures in dying

Being a horrible little carebear nobody, it's no secret that I'm terrible at pvp. In fact, I've never pvp-d solo (at least, not on purpose). But today I got bored and decided to go get killed. This was partly because of how awesome it was when I got separated from a roam gang and killed some tacklers one time, and partly because vagas are fucking useless in gangs so I might as well get the one I had killed. So I decided to go hither and yon and see if I could die well.

(short version: no)

I started at the top of IRC space, saw no ships until down somewhere in russian space with a station-camping rokh and a neut-golem (I lost my ECM drones to the latter). Logged off for the night somewhere in southern russian space, and in the morning decided to make my way toward highsec. I eventually (after several detours to avoid cynabals camping my out gate) hit a highly populated station system somewhere in scalding pass or wicked creek. There were a bunch of people sitting on the undock - no big deal, they can't hit me anyway - so I buzzed around a little and a ceptor approached me.

This is when I learned that a vaga with 220s and a tracking enhancer can't hit a ceptor orbiting at 20 km.

I got out - he warped off or something - and headed to the out gate. Jumped through just as a tackle-heavy enemy gang was landing on the other side. Reapproach, overheat, MWD. I got back through with half shield, but some tackle - and more importantly, target jammers - jumped in and caught me on the other side.

It was fun, other than not getting any kills, and I learned some important things that I never would have otherwise -- what works, what doesn't, what to avoid. I think I'll stick with hurricanes in the future though; not being able to kill a ceptor makes vaga pretty useless.

Monday, March 22, 2010

You know those kills?

No, not the triple-tanked battleships with random sizes and types of weapon. Those can be explained by simple idicy. Those kills, the ones that aren't merely bad but which seem physically impossible. The neutral freighter undocking from your station. The mission-fit hostile paladin wandering through your space, ten jumps from the closest possible undock point.

There is a navy apocalypse fit meant for solo PvP. It has armor; it has dps; I don't fancy my chances against it in a 1v1. It was with this reasonable pvp setup that some IT guy fit his navy apoc, and took it to M-O. M-O is a major 0.0 entry point; it is one of the dozen most-camped systems in the game.

He didn't use a scout. I am trying, really trying, to imagine what sort of decision-making process would lead to this situation, but I've got nothing.

Later that same day I warped to a gate in my cov ops. I was in northern MM space -- NC core, blues for 10 jumps in every direction. As I was about to jump a neutral orca decloaked 15 km from the gate and (no scram! dammit!) warped off.

I'd like to take a moment here to appreciate this situation. Orca. Neutral. Stargate. 0.0. Do you have a headache yet?

Anyway, he died trying to dock at an MM station. He will be sorely missed.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Also finally, taking out Cry Havoc

Well I don't know what was different this time, but after repeated ignominious defeats, today we onlined some SBU and reinforced all the (hostile) pos in the system as well as the station and ihub. We're going to be installing Zenith Affinity here, an alliance which I'm not familiar with but if I recall correctly was a Goon ally in the second Delve war and had space in Querious before things fell apart. Maybe it's just because they're brosefs and nobody needs as much space as they used to, or maybe the coalition is making an effort to get more numbers for the upcoming war. Either way I'm always happy to make new friends, provided we don't start bluing all of 0.0... and that's obviously not happening.


Finally, supercap kills

Today I logged on and found people calling for supercapitals > capitals > standard subcap stuff when there was supposed to be a subcap op scheduled. I quickly scouted my new dread home from Pure Blind, where I had had to log after a few hours shooting IAC (yes, that IAC... they're still around apparently) pos in Pure Blind last night. The FC sounded in a hurry, so I was expecting a fight.

We were halfway to Pure Blind when we found out that PL had 5 Red Alliance and Solar Fleet motherships tackled in Geminate and we did the fastest about-face I've ever seen in a capital fleet. We got orders to only shoot the russians and not PL, in a sort of battlefield truce (we have been on the wrong end of similar arrangements before).

Three cynos later we jumped into the fight and started pounding on a hostile nyx, which went down in short order. We had two other motherships warp out and the fifth I never saw, but we also got an aeon and a handful (about 6) of capitals that weren't dead yet.

We lost about three ships, to my knowledge two to russian fighter-bombers and one dreadnaught to a trigger-happy PL titan pilot. There were a few other minor friendly-fire incidents, but all in all we got in and out without any major problems.

In case you're wondering, no, those deadspace and officer mod prices are NOT accurate.

(most of the red is PL)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New capitals

I'm just about specced for minmatar caps now. I started when the nag got buffed a while back, cried bitter nears when they got nerfed again and said meh, okay when they were re-de-nerfed.


Two things are wrong with these. One: the hilarious split range weapons on the naglfar. This is because I can't fit capital cruise missiles yet (or possibly ever -- who wants to waste 21 days of training on that shit). Second, the carrier is not an official fit, either triage or combat, since I'll be using a dreadnaught in any serious capital op. It's designed for non-triage armor rep, such as in a carrier RR group or supporting a battleship gang.


Friday, March 12, 2010

CH again

Today we went to D2, the Cry Havoc station system, where we had SBU onligning. We killed a small tower which was unstronted, then warped to the station at various ranges when Cry Havoc warped in on us at 0, dropped a cyno and Red Overlord bridged a fleet in. Local was a little over 250, with about 120 blues. We MWDd out of the bubbles and left the system. The logistics sitatuion this time was different -- we were able to take down enemy targets, but the enemy fleet had brought ewar in the form of about half a dozen scorpions which were jamming our own logi.

This is the ultimate showdown

We've now received an actual "get ready to fight" notice from alliance command. They say that hostiles including IT, Atlas, Solar, RA, IRC, R.OL, Initiative, Tri, White Noice, xdeath and possibly others (as well as pets like COW and GC of course), will be attacking us on as many as 6 separate fronts within the next month.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Coalition map

Fall 2010 map here

Time to get around to posting this, since it's weeks old already. I've been out-of-game doing some real life stuff recently.

I was curious about how the alliances in the galactic south were aligned. Obviously they're all blue to each other (except for providence) but they are still grouped into blocs which have worked together closely in the past. After a small amount of research I edited the sovereignty map to add some color layers to represent existing coalitions and, in the case of the vast east-southeast-south-southwest-west blob, groups of alliances which are traditionally closer to each other.

As of the time of posting this map is already out of date. Ev0ke 's space has nearly all fallen to SOLODRAKBAN and I believe C0ven have reset systematic chaos, which probably means C0ven is no longer part of Stainwagon.

Green: Northern coalition
Blue: IT
Hot pink: Drone lands coalition
Orange: Stainwagon
Red: Southern Coalition
Whitish-tan: Ev0ke and Cry Havoc
Yellow: Providence Holders

Sunday, March 7, 2010

How to lose a fleet to superior enemy RR

It is with greatest sadness that I must report the loss of my beloved Apocalypse 'M/R/I 15'. Also my pod.

We were shooting a Cry Havoc ihub with about 40 or 50 when they hotdropped us a bit. I think they had slightly superior numbers (also, 3.5x as many logistics - ouch).

We tried to rustle up some numbers and got a small reinforcement fleet - myself included, having been podded and reshipped to a tempest - and headed back to the target system.

One jump out we warped to the out-gate, the one that went to the destination system, and hit a bubble. The enemy fleet jumped through to us, shortly followed by the friendly fleet which was trapped in the system, and we warped back to the in-gate, then aligned back to the out-gate. We dropped remote rep carriers as the hostile fleet landed on us and were ordered to stay near them, though I somehow managed to end up moving toward the in-gate. The enemy cynoed in their own carriers plus two Nyx, and ours started going down fast. I got in jump range of the gate and possibly had time to deagress and jump, but elected instead to shoot dictors in hopes of saving our capitals (it didn't work).

After getting popped, crashing and relogging

Killboard link - 12 billion lost for 0.25 billion killed.

Gf cry havoc. You guys are awesome.

I win! Also, carebearing

Last month after the first week of epic POS bashing and that fight against evoke/CH/ROL, I somehow ended up with about 160 kills. That's when I found out that my corp had a contest on: Whoever got the most kills, as long as it was over 250, won a fitted gila. So I camped some gates, went on some ops and came out first with 274. Yay me.

That over, and feeling a little skint because I didn't have any way to make money, I moved some carebear shit to Tenal and spent a few days plexing with results as below.


I'll save you the math, that's 1.75 billion in maybe four days.

And now it's back down south to shoot more targets. Goons killed a CH titan a few days ago, so apparently evoke and/or CH are still fighting back for some reason.