So, I’m still in a process of figuring out two year’s worth of changes to the game, and consolidating my assets. One tricky part of that has been jump clones.

See, I still only have three of them. The thing is, I never missioned enough to have high standings at NPC stations with clone vats, and I was never willing to do corp-jumping shenanigans to get them. I got my first one from my old faction warfare fleet commander Steelcastles (may he rest in peace) back when Rorquals with clone vats were fairly new, and he undocked it one night (down in Syndicate) to hold a clone party for anybody who could make it. The other two I got when Jim Bridger was flying with a sov-holding alliance, and he got me some personal blue standings so I could run them some logistical errands that took me into a couple of their outposts with clone vats.

But in the here and now, when I woke up from my two year nap, one of my clones was safe in high sec, one of them was in some lowsec system I’ve never heard of (presumably moved there after being evicted from an outpost by a hostile new owner) and one of them was in an Intaki Commerce station deep in Syndicate NPC nullsec.

That one I wanted back in one piece, it has some nice implants.

So last night late when I thought things would be quiet, I got out of my ship in Reblier and hit the button to jump down to DP34-U. Things were quiet in Syndicate, and I hit two or three different stations for the parts I needed to build a Heron with a probe launcher and a prototype cloak. Paid too much, but that’s nullsec for you. In the second system I checked, I found a wormhole to deadly unknown space, and I took it. After poking around in there for quite awhile (and refreshing my faded memories of how to probe scan) I found another hole to merely “dangerous” unknown space, and took that. Then I parked for the night.

Resuming this evening, I quickly found a wormhole into “unknown” space, and from there, got a hole to high sec on my first try. Popped out in my trusty little Heron and where do you suppose I was? Of all places, Chesiette! Just one jump from where I left my ship. Is that an amazing and convenient coincidence, or what?

Jim’s in the same situation as me, only he had five jump clones and three of them were in now-hostile 0.0 outposts. He’s been jumping into them, selling or contracting all his local assets, and then just Leroy-Jenkinsing his way to the nearest dockable stations. (His clones don’t typically have many implants.) The first time he did this he took seven jumps to the nearest pirate nullsec station. He claims he saw six different Sabres along that route and none of them caught him. Either it was large gates all the way and he got really lucky, or those were the world’s worst Sabre pirates. Then today he jumped into a locked-down Executive Outcomes outpost down in 00TY-J and undocked in his newbie ship. He leroyed it all the way into Black Rise without ever seeing another soul in local, which is not the EVE either of us remember.

Whoa. Marlenus here, just back from a more than two-year vacation in the clone vats. New Eden is almost unrecognizable. The laws of have changed and everybody shoots at me now when I salvage those hazard-to-navigation jet cans. Lots of new boats, and none of my old boats work right, all kinds of the wrong gear duct-taped to the hull where there used to be open equipment bays. But change is good, right?

Jim Bridger is back, too, and he’s returned to Ironfleet after many years away. He has a complaint about the inevitable memory loss that results from too long a sleep in the vats. Specifically, he’d like to know WHY IN HELL he has a Thrasher in dock in Adacyne named “Return of Tubgirl.” Anybody?

In a trio of posts, CPP Diagoras has revealed the birth and death statistics for supercapitals in EVE in 2011. The population explosion (net births over deaths) is far worse than I had imagined:

Rixiu: How many titans and supercarriers are built per month?
CCP Diagoras: 2011 average was 137 supercarriers and 31 titans built per month, total of 1,646 supercarriers and 370 titans.
Della Monk: A titan every day? Goddamn. How often are they blown up?
CCP Diagoras: 86 titans destroyed in 2011, 269 supercarriers.
Rixiu: Damn. That’s insanely low. Supercap proliferation indeed. How many are there in the game total? Must be over 1000 titans by now and 2-3k supercarriers. That’s insane.
CCP Diagoras: Not counting ones that are in capital maintenance arrays (I wouldn’t expect that to be many) – 3,385 supercarriers and 847 titans.

Now, it’s worth remembering that supercaps were rebalanced near the end of 2011, with significant changes to them (and to logoffski mechanics in general) that may, it is to be hoped, increase their death rate. However, it’s unclear (to me; presumably the cap people know) how the changes affected their rates of manufacture and of being put into harm’s way, so the effect on net supercapital populations in 2012 is beyond my ability to predict.

Based on 2011 stats, though, we’re looking at a game population of supercarriers increasing by 1377 a year, and a game population of titans increasing by 284 a year. For determinedly subcap pilots like me, it’s a worrisome trend. Subcaps are enormously important in large support fleets when capitals are on the field, it’s true, but individual subcap pilots don’t get to have much impact in those battles. I worry that EVE may see the day when most subcap hulls now extant will be as irrelevant to important fights as most tier one frigates and cruisers are now. It doesn’t matter if the hull is useful (and most are, in the right role in the right situation); it only matters if the pilots around you think you’re not in the best hull for the job. And if the supercaps keep proliferating, we’re going to see the day (mark my words) that the minimum standard for a 0.0 fleet is going to be a Dreadnaught, which will be regarded as being about as disposable as a Drake is today.

Nope, it wasn’t me or Marlenus that got this awesome kill:

2012.01.14 12:50:00

Victim: Long Stroker
Corp: FP Council of Trust
Alliance: None
Faction: None
Destroyed: Nemesis
System: Tolle
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 1250

Involved parties:

Name: Zedrik Cayne (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.1
Corp: Standards and Practices
Alliance: None
Faction: None
Ship: Iteron Mark V
Weapon: Medium Pulse Laser II
Damage Done: 1250

Destroyed items:

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Overdrive Injector System II, Qty: 2
Mjolnir Torpedo, Qty: 22
Mjolnir Torpedo, Qty: 1352 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Stasis Webifier I
‘Arbalest’ Siege Missile Launcher, Qty: 3
Warp Disruptor I
1MN MicroWarpdrive II
Target Painter I
Mjolnir Torpedo, Qty: 11

That’s old Ironfleet friend Zedrik Cayne, who goes all the way back to the days when Ironfleet was in TEARS Alliance with the Suddenly Ninja boys. Apparently he’s still tearing up the spaceways in his own outfit, Standards and Practices.

This kill, though, came to my attention when the 0.0 alliance I’m in got a war declaration from Standards and Practices. I couldn’t stand the curiosity; I simply had to track down the info on which of our lovable chuckleheads had managed to irritate Zed so badly. Turns out it’s all on his blog and a forum thread. TL;DR version: They got butthurt about losing the nemesis and a few other things, declared war on Zed, and then boldly ran away — which is to say, they all dropped corp and joined up with one of our member corps, while their CEO stayed behind just long enough to taunt Zed with the supposed impossibility of his following them to 0.0.

They don’t know Zedrik the way we know Zedrik. This should be funny!

It was another quiet night in alliance coms, so I went up to high sec to get some fittings. Took the Bantam of Doom to check a few belts along the way.

First guy I found was a 2008 character mining in a Ferox. Six mining lasers were shining and he was flying T1 drones, so I gave him a try. But his drone skills were too good, it was flee or pop. So I fled.

Then I found a young feller in a mining Osprey. Yay, these I can kill!

Unfortunately, as I approached his can, he warped off. So, of course, I flipped it. And he came back in a Mammoth. Surely he won’t…?

He did.

2011.12.29 06:43:00

Victim: Harvey Katelo
Corp: School of Applied Knowledge
Alliance: Unknown
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Mammoth
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 1918

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 4.00
Corp: Steel Fleet
Alliance: Important Internet Spaceship League
Faction: None
Ship: Bantam
Weapon: 200mm AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 1918

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2
Rich Plagioclase, Qty: 1544 (Cargo)
Small Tractor Beam I
Survey Scanner I
10MN Afterburner I
Salvager I

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2

Jim Bridger, here. I don’t fly with Ironfleet any more, but Marlenus wants to hear about it if and when I get up to any of our old tricks.

So, you remember The Bantam Of Doom?

Well, it’s Christmas. My alliance doesn’t have a lot going on. So I got in the Bantam of Doom and went patrolling the belts.

Found a guy (it felt like one guy) flying two Retriever mining barges and a Hoarder hauler. All characters in NPC corps, so they could not help each other. Mining into jet cans.

There’s no story. Just, I flipped some ore into an Ironfleet can. I waited. After about five minutes, the hauler guy took my ore and went flashy red. It was the last thing he ever did:

2011.12.25 22:52

Victim: Claire Ronuken
Corp: Pator Tech School
Alliance: None
Faction: None
Destroyed: Hoarder
System: Hageken
Security: 0.6
Damage Taken: 1503

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 4.6
Corp: Steel Fleet
Alliance: Important Internet Spaceship League
Faction: None
Ship: Bantam
Weapon: 200mm AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 1503

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold I, Qty: 2
Small Tractor Beam I
Civilian Shield Booster I
10MN Afterburner I

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold I
Small Shield Extender I
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 7889 (Cargo)

However, one of the Retriever pilots, fellow name of Ceenara, called me a “bitcch”.

This guy never says the word “EVE” but it’s obvious what game he’s talking about. And he’s dead right — there are strong practical reasons why you shouldn’t let your alliance trash your coms with language that demeans and excludes and offends an unknowable but real percentage of your members:

I play an online game where the most commonly-heard phrase for “destroying the enemy” is “raping their faces.” Usage notes: “we really raped face last night”, “we caught them by surprise and raped their faces”, “who’s online and ready to go rape some face?”

By no particular coincidence, the voices you hear in your headset when you play this game are overwhelmingly male.

The politics of managing voice coms for a group so large are intricate. The more people using coms, the more social cohesion you have and the better your gaming group will fight together. But if coms are shitted up in ways that make various groups feel unwelcome (gays, women, ethnic minorities) these people will not use coms and may not stay in your group. So when your people start using “gay” as a derisive adjective, calling the folks who aren’t combat-oriented “Jews” because they are busy earning in-game currency, throwing around words such as “cunt” and “bitches” like the unsupervised 14-year-old-boys many of them are, or using “rape” as a laudatory verb of victorious combat, it’s important to push back.

That’s from ErosBlog, which is emphatically NOT a link that’s safe to click at most workplaces.

Alternative post title: Fuck Me Asshat

Sometimes jet-can miners lose ore. As readers of this blog know, that can be painful, especially if they have poor impulse control or an anger management problem.

One very old-fashioned and somewhat inefficient solution to this problem is to anchor giant secure containers in the belts, and mine into those. (It’s inefficient because they are expensive, small in volume, and difficult to anchor in numbers due to minimum spacing requirements.)

The steps involved in doing this correctly are:

1) Anchor the can or cans.

2) Set a password on the can or cans.

3) Mine into the can or cans.

Fail any of these steps, and you may lose stuff. For example, fail at step 1 and I’ll scoop your cans.

Failing step two is rare, but it does happen. Interestingly, taking ore from an anchored can with no password does not appear to trigger a criminal flag. It can, however, trigger smacky emails from members of Iron Society [IRONS]:

From: Murthrox
Sent: 2011.11.25 18:31
To: Marlenus,

Fuck you asshat

While Murthrox was mailing me in anger, I was busy hauling ore. The ore I couldn’t fit in my Crane stayed there in an Ironfleet can.

I had some important stuff to do (like catching up on my Jester) so I watched the Ironfleet can for awhile in my stealth bomber. Murthrox docked his Retriever and came back in a Vagabond, then went from can to can setting passwords. (I checked, later. Good boy, you can learn from experience!)

The the Vagabond went away again. I was still catching up on blogs, so I watched for quite a long while. Finally, Murthrox came back in the Retriever. Sadly, he went to another part of his canstellation and resumed mining without showing any interest in the Ironfleet can. So, then and only then, I went back to get the rest of the ore.

In all the pain of the last couple of years as CCP seemed increasingly to lose its way chasing monacles for use in locked empty rooms, it’s been easy to post a lot of shit on the forums (and I’ve done my share of that). Less easy has been to maintain empathy for the devs who may have shared the pain, but could not say so. Here’s CCP Grayscale, apologizing because (or at least explaining why) he didn’t pay enough attention to the forum objections during the big round of nerfing the better anomalies out of most of sovereign nullsec:

I’ve been increasingly withdrawn from the forums for the last year or two. It’s a pretty draining experience reading page after page after page of angry posts, about all kinds of topics but all ultimately driven by the same core concerns of abandonment and neglect, and agreeing with those concerns, and not being able to do much of anything about it. As a result, I’ve been avoiding listening to the forums and focusing on doing the best work I can, but the former occasionally precludes the latter. On the bright side, it feels like the mood on the forums has been improving hugely in the last month or two…

Indeed it has. Progress is on the horizon, prosperity is just around the corner. Hope is in the air. Welcome back.

So today in the very first belt I found two Osprey mining cruisers and a Cormorant destroyer, all in the same corp, all mining into a common jet can.

This might have been a trap. But I took it at face value as some new players trying to get organized. Three against my combat Crane could be devastating, but — without actually checking the player ages — I went for it, and put the loose ore into my cargo hold and an Ironfleet container.

One of the Ospreys immediately warped away. Uh oh, that puts a sharp time limit on this operation. The other Osprey did nothing, except to scoop his Tech I combat drones.

But the destroyer? He opened fire.

It has been true for as long as I have been playing this game: destroyers and heavy missiles do not mix.

2011.11.13 18:26:00

Victim: John Mi
Corp: Silver Nation Academy.
Alliance: Unknown
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Cormorant
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.5
Damage Taken: 2195

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.3
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 2195

Name: Guristas Wrecker / Guristas
Damage Done: 0

Destroyed items:

Uranium Charge S, Qty: 293 (Cargo)
Thorn Rocket, Qty: 41 (Cargo)
EMP S, Qty: 618 (Cargo)
Type-D Altered SS Reinforced Bulkheads
‘Langour’ Drive Disruptor I
Solid Pyroxeres, Qty: 492 (Cargo)
1MN Afterburner I
Uranium Charge S, Qty: 15
200mm Light Carbine Repeating Cannon I, Qty: 2
Medium Shield Booster I

Dropped items:

Survey Scanner I (Cargo)
Thorn Rocket, Qty: 59 (Cargo)
‘Limos’ Rocket Launcher I (Cargo)
150mm Carbide Railgun I
EMP S, Qty: 186
Fleeting Warp Disruptor I
Dual Diode Mining Laser I, Qty: 2
Dual Modal Pulse Laser I, Qty: 2
Multifrequency S, Qty: 2

The chaos fit is notable, but the character is less than four days old, so it’s understandable. All characters involved were younger than a week.

After the Cormorant popped, the second Osprey pilot warped out too, so there was never any flashy red aggro from either mining destroyer. Of course they were free to shoot at me (and would have got away with it, my Crane only having one point) but they did not try it.

I spent a little bit of time watching the Ironfleet ore can in my stealth bomber, but no joy. My cormy pilot eventually logged, and although the two Osprey pilots came back and resumed mining, they showed no interest in the Ironfleet can.

Interestingly, one of them came back in a Cormorant, and was mining with two lasers. The other came back in his Osprey … mining with one laser. This looked to me like an effort to get revenge, so I tried to oblige. I went back in my Crane. Sadly, all I got was a couple thousand more cubic meters of ore and this comment in local:

[18:58:44] Ken Vortag > эй ты лошок вали нах отсюда