Archive for the 'EVE Essays' Category

Remember back when Torpedo Ted caught a Badger II with his rocket Kestral during Ironfleet’s war against INDY? Well, this story (sadly, Ironfleet has nothing to do with it) is like that, only vastly more epic.

Very short version: a roaming gang of seven [edit: nine, I can’t count] frigates caught an unsupported Rorqual, which remained unsupported for the seven or so minutes it took them to blow it up. They then guarded the wreck long enough for one of them to buy an Iteron V two jumps away and come back for the loot — two trips worth! And then they bought a destroyer and came back to salvage the wreck.

Back when I was in Faction Warfare, I used to get annoyed at the folks who would discourage the newbies from fleeting up in frigates. I’ve always felt there’s no such thing as a useless hull in EVE; every ship has the potential to be dangerous to something. Now, obviously z0de and Mynxee and their merry band of cutthroats aren’t newbies, but I still think this is proof of the principle.

Awesome kill, good salvage.

As long-time forum readers know, there’s a perennial crop of butt-hurt mission runners who pop up about once a week on the official EVE forums to complain about “salvage thieves” and either (a) claim that salvage is an exploit or (b) demand that the salvage mechanic be “fixed”.

I’ve long maintained a page of handy quotes from the CCP people who have explained that salvage is not theft and is functioning as intended. It’s even in UBB format so that I and others can cut-and-paste into the forum threads, to save time.

Today, one of the software engineers (CCP Prism) made a statement worth updating the page for. It’s a politer version of Ironfleet’s long-standing policy: if it’s not in your cargo hold or your hangar, it’s not yours.

Why is stealing salvage OK?

It’s not.

It shouldn’t even be possible to move an item from your cargo-hold / hanger to another persons cargo-hold / hanger without opening a trade window. Before the salvage enters those containers it is not considered your stuff by the server code. Hence it’s not stealing.

If you’re surprised as to why the server does not consider it your stuff, it’s because it’s a mini profession designed for people who want to roam and look for salvage, not to further increase the revenue from mission grinding. I doubt anyone with a perspective thinks we need to high-sec increase mission grinding any further.

Emphasis added.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that as aggressive salvagers, Ironfleet gets a lot of flak from people who just somehow think it’s wrong for us to play the game our way. They want to use open space for ore storage, and under their morals, which they think universal, that means that nobody should come along to clean up the mess they are making, because, *gasp!*, in the real world, that would be stealing! ZOMG!

This game has seen extreme cases where people have even confused in-game loss with real world crime.

So I was amused, that an errant Google search brought me to this:

So I play this silly Dragon Cave game online, where you collect and breed dragons. And in the forum for the site, people come up with all kinds of topics to discuss. The latest one, that really blew my mind, was about whether or not it bothers you to inbreed your dragons, and whether you’ll keep a dragon that someone else bred if it’s inbred. What stunned me was how many people were completely and militantly against it.

There isn’t any kind of “genetic coding” in the game, for crying out loud. The only coding of any kind in the breeding is that the offspring will always be the color of one of its parents, and “rare” types won’t breed together. Everything else (gender, for instance) is totally random, except in the 2 colors of dragons that are always female (pink & purple, in case anyone wondered).

And these are imaginary pixel pets! Not real animals. Not people. Just drawings, for crying out loud. But more than one person in that forum thread seemed offended and disgusted that people would even dream of inbreeding their dragons. One person went so far as to say that morals have to be absolute, and that you should never do anything online or in a game that you wouldn’t do in real life, and that if they had their way it would be impossible to inbreed the dragons on that site. WTF?!

That last sentence, does it sound familiar to anyone? Because, these people, we have them in EVE.

Apologies dear readers if this grows tedious for you. I use this blog sometimes as an aid to memory, and so I tend to include stuff that happens all in a rush even when it doesn’t make a lot of dramatic sense to blog about it. If you’re just now joining us, there’s a rush of incoming love notes from Vampire Zim. If you prefer sequential chronology to this reverse-bloggy stuff, start with Love Letters From VampireZim, then read But Wait, There’s More! and then come back to here.

For those just joining us, in a previous post I called VampireZIM a liar for claiming he was “making every effort to right this issue.” Last night just as I was logging off, he responded:

Obviously I meant that I was making every effort to right this issue without losing face. If I back down after the wrong you have done me, then I look bad. So that being known, unless we find another way to right this, and I think I have taken a big step in calling for this cease fire, that you have declined, then I dont see this ever ending.

Losing face? You’d think the guy in his ninth fruitless war would have started to notice he’s not exactly saving face by declaring and maintaining them. But, maybe that’s just me.

Just before I logged out for the night, I wrote back:

Do you honestly think anybody but you thinks that some POS modules you lost two years ago are a matter of honor? It’s like the first caracal I ever lost to a pirate, I’m the only one who cares. It’s EVE, sometimes you lose shit.

I suppose that wasn’t nice, but it’s how I see things. Readers, tell me — does anybody here have a low opinion of VampireZIM that stems from his failure to avenge some laboratory modules lost in 2006, which low opinion will be revised upwards if he successfully blows up some Ironfleet ships and pods?

Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

Anyway, this morning I woke up to more love letters. I tell you, things don’t look good for the forces of detante. Where’s Jimmy Carter when we need him?

Responding to the last two paragraphs of my last blog post, VampireZim writes:

First, of all I dont need permission from an FC to pursue you into low sec, if that was my intention, it would have already happend, like the first two times i asked for fleet, I knew you were entering tama, why didnt i set up my camp on the other side waiting for your arrival.

Second, I offered this cease fire for the benefit of the fleet, I very much want to kill you, but I am not going to cause problems in a fleet where I am expected to watch my “brothers” backs.

Zim’s trouble here is that he’s got a credibility gap. Why didn’t he set up camp on the Nourv gate in Tama? Because he lacks the forces required. That gate is usually too hot for two pilots (which is what he had in Nourv yesterday) to sit on. It would be a waste of his Ishtar and Max Threat’s Onyx, and he knows it.

The pious “for the benefit of the fleet” would cut more onions if he’d ever previously volunteered for this or any other of the fleets leaving Nourv at that time of day. (There are time slots when I’m rarely online, I can’t speak for what fleets he joins at those times.) Bluntly put, I don’t believe that he is “not going to cause problems in a fleet” that he joined for the express purpose of finding and killing me. It’s simply not credible.

His next EVEmail, responding to the one above that I sent just before logging off last night, the one in which I asked if he seriously thought anybody else in the game cared about his two-years-gone POS modules:

No, that is the difference, you lost a ship because you were stupid and entered low sec, my POS was my home, it was supposed to be safe in high sec, but you exploited a bug that allowed you to attack it without concord agression. Thats why it was telling you that you were committing an offence against concord, but they didnt show up, you knew you were doing something wrong and you did it anyway.

In addition, it doesnt matter what others think, I think its a matter of honor and thats all I need.

I am fascinated and astonished that VampireZIM thinks I “exploited a bug” when I attacked his off-line POS (apparently home maintenance is not a vampiric strength). At the time, in 2006, there was no Concord response to such attacks. I searched the forums to find out whether Concord ought to be responding, and found nothing but a few conflicting opinions; nobody seemed to know. I didn’t know squat about “the rules” for high sec POS warfare, so I figured hey, shoot first and ask questions later, that’s what everybody else in this game seems to do.

Moving on: Does anybody else see a conflict between the statement “If I back down after the wrong you have done me, I look bad” and the statement “it doesnt matter what others think, I think its a matter of honor and thats all I need”? If it doesn’t matter what others think, why care about looking bad? How can someone fret about “losing face” who doesn’t care “what others think”? Somebody needs to quietly re-examine their inner motives.

And then — the fun never stops! — two more emails in the queue:

I have always warned you, out of sight out of mind, since you joined militia, you have been in sight alot, that is why you are perma dec’d. It was easy to forget you and move on, but now you are always where I am, that is the problem.

I will not cancel this war until we are back to that point, you on one side of Caldari Space, me on the other side.

You make alot of assumptions, I join fleets all the time, you dont seem to notice, I play eve 16 hours a day and I have 3 accounts, just because you dont notice the times I am in fleet, doesnt mean i never do. When I am in fleet, i have a job to do, i dont give a fuck about you, im not going to sacrifice my position in fleet and make myself look bad just to kill your “fully insured T1 replaceable ships”.

But while you are flying around stealing peoples shit, blowing up thier POS modules or whatever the hell you CLAIM to be doing with your time, I will fuckin hunt you till i pass out.

Thirty six minutes later:

In addition and I really think you would be doing the few people that read your blog justice by adressing this. You keep coming back to this SMOKING GUN, that I promised not to attack you if you stopped blowing up my shit, and then afterwards war dec’d you.

Lets put it like this, an evil man breaks into your home, while you, your wife and 5 children sleep, you wake and confront him, he stars shooting one child at a time. You in an act of desperation, tell him you will open the safe and give him all your money if he just leaves, he agrees, then you pull a gun out of the safe and shoot him. In your twisted little mind, are you a dis-honest person or justified in taking revenge on your attacker, someone who has done you harm?

You were blowing up my fucking shit, I negotiated with you to get you to stop blowing up my shit, you are NOT the rightious party in this situation, so get the fuck over yourself already!

The first email speaks, I think, for itself. The second one, since he asked me to address it here, I shall address.

VampireZIM entirely misconstrues and misunderstands the significance of his broken promise to me the night he first encountered Ironfleet. Although I am enormously entertained by the comparison of Ironfleet’s mighty Caracal fleet to an evil child-murdering home invader, I have no problem with the essential mechanics of the analogy. This is called situational ethics, and it’s highly pragmatic — the idea for people like VampireZIM is that you make the promises you need to make in order to get what you want, and then you break them as soon as you’ve gotten what you want.

Situational ethics are pragmatic, but they are not “honor” in any normal sense. Someone with situational ethics cannot be trusted, because they will break a promise whenever it is convenient. And that is why I “keep coming back” to my first encounter with VampireZIM. He speaks of honor, but he doesn’t practice it. And then he wonders why he cannot negotiate with Ironfleet. I think he’s genuinely confused about that part. Because he’s full of his own sense of self-justification, he doesn’t see that he’s forever destroyed his capacity to be believed.

Now, as it happens, I think “honor” tends to be pretty silly in an internet spaceship game. These modern-day would-be samurai who smack-talk anybody who won’t “come out and fight” are figures of derision for me; I see EVE as a very modern war of all against all. Picking your fights and arranging for uneven fights, avoiding the ones you aren’t sure to win, strikes me as the very essence of enlightened self-interest, and EVE is a game that rewards self-interest.

What is not silly, despite all pointless notions of honor, is a reputation for keeping your word and doing what you’ll say you’ll do. Even pirates, the good ones, try to develop a reputation for honoring their ransoms. In a game where many fun and interesting activities require trust, a reputation for situational ethics — for giving your word lightly and breaking it just as lightly — is a bad thing to have. And that’s the reputation VampireZIM has earned with Ironfleet. It makes negotiations between VampireZIM and Ironfleet virtually impossible — a fact he does not seem to grasp or comprehend.

I have never claimed to be the “righteous party” in Ironfleet’s dispute with VampireZIM. On the contrary, I’ve freely admitted that we did him an injury in the hope of financial gain. That’s what Ironfleet does, unless we’ve given our word not to. (I defy anybody to name an instance where Ironfleet has given a promise and not kept it, though. The closest case I can think of was when I accidentally podded Aktala at a time when she thought, wrongly but with good reason for thinking, that we had a no-podding agreement; and I resolved that by paying her the price she named for her implants.)

Nope, the only reason I keep mentioning VampireZIM’s infamous lie (and his repeated statements that he doesn’t feel bound by his promises to Ironfleet) is because he keeps going on about his honor. What he needs, and does not have, and now cannot get because of his repeated denunciations of the very idea, is a reputation for keeping his word.

Sadly real life issues have mostly kept me out of the game the last few days, but from my brief logins, it was clear that the Gallente had figured out some clever way to lose track of the NPC Caldari Navy ships, allowing them (the Gallente scum) to dwawdle about in Caldari hisec, popping our militia guys without taking fire of any kind from the Navy. I was not at first too curious about the tactics involved, assuming they’d figured out some unanticipated exploit or loophole that CCP would quickly close. When that did not happen and signs began pointing to CCP condoning the tactics in use, I began paying close attention to the relevant forum posts. Here’s one from Le Skunk that comes at the core Navy vulnerability from several angles and seems ripe with suggestiveness with regard to further research; I’m reprinting it here so that fellow FW people who are not forum warriors can get up to speed on tactical experimentation, even before I get a chance to experiment myself:

*1* THE CHEESE – TESTED in a 0.7 Amarr System on Singularity

1) Jumped in a macherial – undocked from station and hit the mwd

2) If you get to far ahead – they despawn and respawn next to you

3) The fastest ship they had was doing 2.5km/s (the little frigate)

4)so i adjusted my speed to keep the frigate (who i could tank) at about 30km behind me – I steadily increased the distance from the 2 BS spawn to 350km (the cruiser was at about 200km)

Then I stopped my ship – and tanked the frig. The BS headed towards me at about 500m/s. The cruiser at 1200m/s.

ArrowThe point here is the main damage dealers slowboating 350 km towards me. I assume this process (if done in reverse) would enable you to camp the station for around 10 mins before the BS started shooting at you.

IT seems as long as one member of the spawn (the frigate in this case) is close to you – the ENTIRE spawn will not tactical warp.


I simply jumped into the system, with an alt in a falcon 200km off the gate.

The alt was not in the militia – so did not warrant his own spawn.

The alt had all amarr racial jams on – and had a good 80% jam rate on the 4 enemy spawned. This meant my main could comfortably tank the enemy. If you keep the BS jammed thats the majority of the damage dealt with.

A couple of non militia noobs in blackbirds could easily keep one guy permasafe from the enemy.

If i knew damage types and all that carebear crap, I could probably have fit a specific tank. A HAC with racial resists should have very little problem.

If you combine this with some remote repping for jam failures, perhaps a damp or two on the actual camping ships, etc you should be able to replicate the ops complaint.


I decided to engage the enemy, dropped drones, then mwd’d off as i was taking heavy fire. The enemy did some sort of drone gimp on me – because suddenly the drones dropped dead.

The amarr navy followed me for a bit -then when i got out of range (which would normally trigger a respwan) instead, they went back to where the drones were (they did not tactical warp – they flew) and started popping my drones. This took them a bit of time and gave me a good 2 mins sat still with nobody shooting me (time to camp the station) before they popped the drones then respawned.


Farting around trying to find the minimum distance the navy will tactical warp (seems to be about 90km?) I got blown up 190km outside a station.

So i docked, got into a new ship, undocked. And the same spawn where there at 190km. They locked me and started to approach, but did not tactical warp.

I couldnt replicate this however.

So there we go, perhaps some of the above was used in the jita camp. Perhaps many of these were used combined.

Thanks, Le Skunk!

Jim here. As a Minmatar with Caldari loyalties (well, not really; my only loyalty is to Ironfleet, but I live in Caldari space and consider it my home) I was amused this morning to see this thread in which various butthurt-sounding 0.0 alliance types scoffed at the Caldari militia for having tangled with the Red Alliance. Supposedly they are a bunch of nasty 0.0 types, but I never heard of them until militia FC Boromor pounded three of their carriers into space scrap. Anyway, the thread quickly filled with prophecies of doom to befall the Caldari militia, and especially with warnings that we need to quickly learn all the 0.0 politics so that we don’t “aggress” alliance operations by our very presence in “their” low-sec systems.

I don’t got much truck with politics, so I posted this:

Hi, I’m Jim Bridger. I’m an empire guy. I don’t know squat about alliance politics or “the rules”. Nor care.

After a few days in FW it’s clear to me that popular FW fleet commanders are going to wield the power (inside their area of operations) of old-fashioned barbarian kings. People like me will flock to their banners so long as they are winning and making the fleet operations fun. And we pretty much will follow them anywhere, and shoot at whatever they tell us, so long as it stays fun.

Last night FC Boromir (not sure about spelling so I gave him the heroic one) screwed up and told us all to jump through a gate that turned out to lead into Gallente highsec. We jumped. (This “we jumped” being the key information in this story.)

The FC cursed, apologized, organized our withdrawal under Gallente faction navy fire, stood at the gate tanking the Navy until he had all his peeps out that were getting out, and promised to take care of the (astonishingly few) casualties. He’s an instant legend for taking down the RA carriers, he will have a hundred-man blob to play with any night he cares to say “x up” in Nourv local. We, the newbs of the Caldari militia, will follow him anywhere and shoot what he tells us. We won’t care about the politics, because we’ve got nothing to lose and because it’s fun.

There will be other FCs like him. They will be accountable to no one but the people in their blob. Their power will ebb and flow, but the good ones will always have a fleet. And the more famous they are, the more expensive will be the ships people will be willing to risk under their command. I’ve been bringing T1 thrashers because that’s what I can afford to lose forever. But my effectiveness has been low. I’m starting to think, what can I bring that this FC needs and will use?

My advice for the alliance diplomats? Identify the popular FCs and bribe them, or reach an accomodation. Boromir would (I’m just guessing) love to have a thousand fitted t1 cruisers sitting in a hangar in Nourv — the alliance who delivered that would get a lot of consideration from him during FW operations, I’m guessing.

I was skeptical about FW, but the more I see of it, the more delighted I get. CCP has upset the applecart in lowsec, but done it in a way that leaves lots of room for delightful chaos, astonishing events, and epic fun.

The post got a couple of positive comments, but I was really surprised by the convo I got in game. A benefactor hailed me, complimented the post, asked a bit about my ship preferences and skills, then told me he was “cooking up” a large number of Thrashers for me, to be delivered tomorrow. He also deposited more than sufficient ISK into my wallet for me to fit them. So it looks like I won’t need to be scrounging the Ironfleet hangars quite so hard!

I thanked him nicely and promised to explode all of those thrashers in Caldari service. Which, I expect, I shall — although I did join three different fleets for sweeps through Gallente space today without losing a ship. No killmails either, but I did put carbonized lead into several expensive enemies, and earn some victory points in Minor Facilities also.

Jim Bridger here. By popular demand of the corp minions, Marlenus signed Ironfleet Towing And Salvage up for factional warfare, on the side of the Caldari (my CEO he may be, but he’s still a fascist bastard and slaver-lover, what can ya do?)

He’s not much inclined to play with the new FW stuff — not enough rewards, and he does too much hauling into all four empires to want perma faction loss — but he was willing, at least temporarily, to put the corp on a war footing and let slip the dogs of war (woof). He was even kind enough to stock the Ironfleet hangars with a bottomless pile of frigates and a round half-dozen Thrashers for me. There must be twenty sets of destroyer guns in cheap second-best-named flavors, and they’d all melt down trying to fire the enormous cans full of ammo he’s stockpiled. Turns out the Old Man is a paranoid sumbitch who doesn’t believe in shopping or hauling when there’s a war on, y’know? So, war material we got.

I myself have a ton of destroyer skills, but damn little actual PvP experience. So faction warfare seems like a nice cheap way to get some.

Logged in this morning, found myself at the edge of the war zone, checked my militia office, set my destination for a contested system. Off I went.

The militia chat was full of noise about a huge furball in Tama, but I was on the wrong side, with an enemy gate camp between me and the main fleet. So I went to this other contested system, or tried to.

Along the way, I found a contested system (one of ours) that had nobody in it but me, so I went to the beacon and captured it for the Caldari. Got some militia faction for my boring ten minutes of orbiting, and the system stopped being contested.

Found a nice wrecked Ferox (one of ours) with several thousand Tech II heavy missiles in it, and a best named warp disruptor; so I salvaged those, and docked them in the next system I came to that had a station.

Long story short, finally got to the system they said was contested back at the militia office. Their intel was old by the time I got there; it was firmly in Gallente hands and there were, oh, about a bazillion red stars in local chat. I therefore resolved to return whence I cameth.

Jumped through gate out of death stars central. While aligning for next warp, a red star in a newbie ship came warping in and stopped, 15km from gate. Bait, or noob?

Firing all guns!

Bait ship popped before all guns were activated. And then things went to shit.

I never really saw what hit me or where they came from; I think an enemy fleet must have followed me through the gate while I was sniffing the bait. All I know is, the sky filled with flashy reds and hungry drones, I exploded, my pod exploded, and it was all over. Free pwny ride for Mr. Bridger.

I just checked, there were ten different Gallente Federation scums in on my kill. But only six of them contributed to my pod-squishing.

It was overkill so bad it was funny, and fun as well. I never expected to survive; I don’t know what I’m doing in PvP, but I know enough to know that roaming around alone in a destroyer in lowsec is not survivable, even without hostile militia fleets setting traps. I just wanted to see the elephant. And boy, did I!

So I woke up in my clone bay … at the noob station of my birth, deep in (enemy) Minmitar space. Oops, should have moved the clone!

Go to undock. “It’s scum like you who’ve ruined your own lands, you’ll not ruin mine!” (Not a perfect quote, but you get the idea.) By the time I got control of my newbship after it squirted free of the station, it was being pounded by the Minnie faction navy. I went to kindergarten with those boys, but I guess they have their orders.

By the time my newbship made warp, I was into armor. From there it was a hot and hostile set of warps back to “friendly” territory, but nobody shot again before I could warp.

When I finally hit friendly territory, I did find an enemy newbship wreck and an enemy pod, drifting where the ship got blasted on jump-in. Was the pod pilot AFK? One way to find out!

Turns out a civilian gun only does two or three points of damage per shot, to a pod, and apparently the pod pilot was not far from his keyboard, because he warped out after about a dozen shots.

So now I’m back in the Ironfleet hangar, my clone is moved into the local clonevats, and I’m kicking the heat dissipation vanes on all these used Thrashers Marlenus bought, trying to decide which one gets blown up next.

Hi, this was posted yesterday in the official forums, but very oddly only in the Missions And Explorations channel — there were no patch notes or other public notices, meaning that if you are a salvager but not a mission runner, you might never have heard about it. Posted by GM Ytterbium:


This is caution for all players currently engaged in mission running activities. The wreck ownership mechanism has recently been changed, and as such will not belong to the character doing most damage to the NPC anymore, but to the pilot who first accepted the mission.

The EVE Online Customer Support Team advises extra wariness when doing missions in a fleet with members, as doing any kind of damage to a wreck not belonging to your corporation will result in CONCORD intervention. Since this remains within normal game-play, Game Masters will remain of little assistance regarding vessels lost in such a fashion.

Also, this change has nothing to do with salvaging rights themselves as they remain untouched. Players are still completely free to salvage other pilot wrecks at will, no matter if they belong to the same corporation or not and doing so is not considered as an exploit.

Many thanks for your understanding,

Best regards,
Senior GM Ytterbium
EVE Customer Support Team

If I’m understanding this properly, it protects mission runners from that certain form of interference where someone probes down their mission, then kills and loots the mission mobs — which can, in some missions, make the mission impossible to complete. It could still happen, now, but at least the mission runner would have shooty recourse.

It shouldn’t affect Ironfleet at all, as we have never done this — we almost never shoot at wrecks, so we don’t much care who owns them, and I don’t think we’ve ever tried to kill a mission-loot bearing mob before the mission runner does. It wouldn’t be against corporate policy — salvage is salvage, and sometimes you have to shoot it first so it doesn’t twitch while the salvagers are running — but for me personally, the difficulty seems to outweigh the profit, especially as the stuff is usually worthless to anybody but the mission runner. It would really need to be some carrot-juice drinking Enemy of Ironfleet before it would be worth the bother — and in that case, the wreck ownership won’t matter.

Of greatest interest to Ironfleet is the reiteration of CCP’s salvage policy:

“Players are still completely free to salvage other pilot wrecks at will, no matter if they belong to the same corporation or not and doing so is not considered as an exploit.”

I just posted this to Features And Ideas Discussion; please comment there, for the benefit of the Devs, if you have any substantive feedback on the idea.

As a salvager, it bothers me that I can see wrecks on the directional scanner that there’s no practical way to get to before they expire. That’s just wasted goodies.

We can’t currently probe for wrecks, presumably because it would tip the balance too much in the controversial matter of probing for mission runners. Like everybody, I have my opinions on where that balance should lie, but this suggestion is carefully crafted to avoid touching on that controversy.

A mission runner may, or may not, plan or desire to salvage his wrecks, or to have someone else do so.

But, once he leaves the mission space, he’s usually either coming right back with his salvage vessel, or he’s abandoning the wrecks — far more often the latter, in my experience.

So, why not add one or more probes that can probe for wrecks only, with the following very specific feature: scan signatures of any kind interfere with it, such that it cannot find any wrecks that are within, say, 10,000km of any ship. That would let dedicated salvagers probe down “abandoned” wrecks, without making mission runners any more or less vulnerable to probing. (You might need to adjust that distance to 20k km or 50k km to account for multi-pocket missions, if you need to guarantee the lack of impact on mission runners. Or you could just have wrecks in deadspace be “too hard to find” — they’ll still be findable if the mission runner turns in the mission without salvaging them.)

Whaddya think, a net benefit to the game without goring anybody’s ox?

During last winter’s war, I spend so much time in my Manticore stealth bombers that my pod goo was starting to smell like ass. It was bad.

But it was also great. I became convinced of what I had formerly suspected, which is that the stealth bomber is an awesome ship to use when you’re outnumbered and outgunned, but still want to take the fight to your enemy. The bomber is a relatively cheap ship that lets you be where you want to be even when surrounded by enemies, and lets you bring the pain to the place where it will hurt worst.

I also confirmed my then-suspicion that the conventional wisdom for bomber fitting was wrong, at least when you’re using them the way I like to use them. Everybody seems to want to fit sensor dampeners on them, then try to use the damps to stay alive at knife-fight ranges, in close to your enemy fighting at ranges where’s he’s comfortable and confident about killing you, and you have to prove he’s mistaken.

I say, screw that. Why not use the bomber’s strengths, which are range and damage? You won’t kill all that much working solo — face it, you won’t kill anybody who doesn’t screw up, fail to stay alert, or want to die — but screwups in EVE are not unheard of. And besides, there’s a lot of “win” to be had in denying the field of battle to your enemy. Making him flee can be a victory.

Anyway, I say all this by way of introduction to some posts I just found by Logan Galactor on the official forums. (post, post, post, post) Here’s the start of what he has to say, and I’m quoting it here because I think it’s an important strategic document on the use of my much-favored bombers:

Hey everyone. I’m pretty much an exclusive manticore pilot. All I’m ever doing is clearing belts out with them to mine in 0.0, or hunting enemy frigates. I’ve spent a LOT of time ****ing around with the EVE fitting tool, exploring every option of the versatile stealth bomber class (with the exception of the broken nemesis). I’ve come up with some unorthodox and hilarious setups that up the WTF factor of the manticore significantly when flown right. Thus, much to the pleasure of my 0.0 enemies I’m sure, I will submit to you my favorite working setups.

First off a bit of a side note. These setups are meant for surprise solo ganking of idiots, long-range support in fleet battles and stealth bomber ops in groups against victims or stationary targets. I don’t understand what else you would use a missile manticore for other than those things. You should not solo pvp a cruiser at 70km in a manticore. It is generally a bad idea. That being said, The setups hardly ever use a dampener as a countermeasure because they do not need one. You SHOULD NOT be taking on cruisers solo at less than 100 meters anyways unless you’re a real idiot, and if you’re taking them on in a decent group at range you will not be primary anyways so there is no real need for these taxing modules. You do not need a dampener on battleships because you will not be fighting them solo or you will not be their primary in a fleet battle. You do not need a dampener on interceptors because you will be killing them before they’re in weapon range and webbing them or escaping rather than trying to damp such a small range and a fast targetter and prevent the inevitable lock. The nerf to the dampeners in trinity made them less than half as effective as before, and you’ll notice this as you’re getting targeted and hit much faster at the sub-100km ranges you really shouldn’t be uncloaked at anyhow if the odds are against you.

In solo work, the enemy won’t die if he doesn’t want to or isn’t stupid, whether you’re at 20 or 200km. Cruise missiles are SLOW, and manticores can’t tank. In an ideal situation, you never have to target paint or sensor dampen much because you’re far over their range. In a situation that is not ideal, you’re warping away or sitting in a pod as soon as your cycle breaks because you pilot a glass-cannon of a ship. People who warp in at 40-80km using duel dampening setups and fail miserably and then complain that manticores suck have not adapted to the fact that sensor dampeners are pretty useless after the trinity patch; You have half the pre-trinity buffer range now, so this guide attempts to adapt and compensate.

If you’re loosing bombers at any point except for terribly-ranged warp-ins, warping into bubblecamps, or docking/undocking from stations, ur doing it wrong and should fly with a friendly veteran for a bit (not that I claim to be one!).

Also, no T2 launchers here. You can get a huge DPS bonus with cruise specialization V and T2 launchers based on rate of fire, but seeing that we’re mainly hunting frigates and doing general versatile work, I’m not going to include them in the setups because they are not practical to the midslot requirements and require a retarted amount of skill and fitting to do anything.

Lastly, people are going to say stuff like: Well that’s dumb, people are just going to escape or something like that. Well, that’s a given. Go fly a falcon or a curse or something. This is about instapopping*****y interceptor pilots and laying down serious damage while you laugh your ass off from 200km away. Naturally, the setups have some major tactical significance in certain areas, like protecting sniper battleships from a cruiser rush or ambushing in groups with aid of a tackle. But please don’t insult my setups if you’re not of the opinion that stealth bombers are the ultimate LULZcrafts of the EVE world, because that’s what these ships and setups are all about.

Needless to say, I agree, even though I don’t have a tiny fraction of the experience Logan sounds like he has. I’m posting his actual suggested fittings (with extensive commentary) after the jump, so I’ll be able to find them when I need them. Thanks, Logan!