Archive for the 'Today In Ironfleet' Category

Yes, folks, Santa Clause has shit down my chimney:

Worse yet, I probably deserved it. Pride goeth before a fall. I was tempting the gods with my hubris, and picking on the weak at the same time. All the laws of justice cried out for my blood. Which was duly delivered, in a bucket. [Afterthought edit: A bucket with little paper umbrella decorations and naked lady swizzle sticks.]

I came upon a Catalyst destroyer, mining in a belt. A newbie, we might assume. But all veldspar spends the same.

The newbie, DanceofDeath, is a member of Astrodynamic Innovations [ADIN], which doesn’t mean anything to me. He’s been a member less than a day, so I figure, probably one of the little corps that — like Ironfleet, so I don’t mean anything bad by this — infest high sec. No worries, guys like that never seem to get the backup they need.

Irate note to self: There’s no damn hurry. There’s always time to check local to see how much potential backup the miners have. ALWAYS. You dumb arrogant fuck.

Ore. Not very much. My cargo hold. Align for departure. He’s flying a mining drone, does this guy even have a gun?

Er, yes. I can tell because he’s shooting an asteroid now.

That’s always comedy gold, in large part because I can remember doing that myself once in a fit of newbie panic.

This I’ve never seen before: now he’s shooting a DIFFERENT asteroid. I’m laughing now.

Finally he targets me, and starts shooting me. Not so funny now; I lock him up and lock him down and begin introducing him to the concept of the heavy missile.

Which goes quickly and smoothly. He goes boom, I open his wreck and loot the components, it’s time to go…

Ouch. There’s a Harbinger battle cruiser standing on my head and shooting at me with very ugly lasers. I never saw him arrive. Was he cloaked? Or, more likely, was I too intent on my easy kill?

Boy, he sure got here fast. It only goes to prove, even newbies can have big brothers.

And this guy’s big brother has got my head in the toilet and his foot on the back of my head. I’m webbed, I’m warp scrambled, and I’m melting so fast I don’t think my speed (such as it is, under the web) is going to save me. Does this swirly even come with a flush?

It doesn’t:

2008.12.25 03:52:00

Victim: Marlenus
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Prowler
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 5914

Involved parties:

Name: Deadzero (laid the final blow)
Security: 5.0
Corp: Astrodynamic Innovations
Alliance: Strength in Numbers.
Faction: NONE
Ship: Harbinger
Weapon: Heavy Pulse Laser II
Damage Done: 4946

Name: DanceofDeath
Security: 0.1
Corp: Astrodynamic Innovations
Alliance: Strength in Numbers.
Faction: NONE
Ship: Capsule
Weapon: Light Ion Blaster I
Damage Done: 968

Destroyed items:

Ballistic Control System II
Nanomechanical CPU Enhancer I (Cargo)
Capacitor Control Circuit I, Qty: 2
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 703 (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile (Cargo)
Medium Shield Booster II
Concentrated Veldspar, Qty: 1200 (Cargo)
Havoc Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
‘Smokescreen’ Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Veldspar, Qty: 2838 (Cargo)
Havoc Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 200 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Ballistic Control System II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Small Shield Booster I (Cargo)
Thunderbolt Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
Y-S8 Hydrocarbon I Afterburners
Nanomechanical CPU Enhancer I (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile, Qty: 31
Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile, Qty: 153 (Cargo)
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 69 (Cargo)
EP-S Gaussian I Excavation Pulse (Cargo)
Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile, Qty: 176 (Cargo)
Depleted Uranium S, Qty: 962 (Cargo)
Faint Warp Disruptor I
Thunderbolt Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 200 (Cargo)
Veldspar, Qty: 5012 (Cargo)
Tungsten Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)

Yes, boys and girls, that IS my shiny new ‘Smokescreen’ Covert Ops Cloaking Device II you see there on the destroyed items list. Thanks for asking.

I don’t think my most expensive ship hull, with rigs, cost as much as that one module. Maybe my Cerberus, at the price I paid for it back in the day, if I’d bought the rigs on the open market; certainly, nothing else I own even comes close.

I had that cloak for five hours and forty-six minutes. Hmm, let’s see, that’s what work out to? 434,000 ISK per minute, give or take? A little over seven thousand ISK a second?

Hookers and blow would have been a bloody BARGAIN by comparison.

Moving on. I can, if I want to, afford half a dozen more ships just like that one; it met the definition of “can afford to fly it.” But still, ouchies. The last time I lost a blockade runner, it was a Crane, to a guy named Girin, in a Cyclone, and it was before I started this blog, way back on January 12, 2007. Of course, I’d have lived this time (maybe) if the blockade runners still had two points of warp strength; much though I love the cloaking, I paid for it tonight. This is only the third Blockade Runner I’ve lost in my EVE career — so wouldn’t you know I’d lose it five hours after fitting a module that could buy four more with enough left over for TII fittings all around?

That’s what makes EVE so strange and wonderful and terrible.

Just for giggles, here’s the entire combat log after the Harbinger arrived, so you can enjoy the extreme brevity of the face-melting I endured:

(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 520.8 damage.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 869.8 damage.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 670.5 damage.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 493.3 damage.
(notify) Warping to Stargate ([redacted])
(notify) External factors are preventing your warp drive from responding to this command.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) aims well at you, inflicting 859.3 damage.
(combat) Deadzero [ADIN] (Harbinger) hits you, doing 1533.1 damage.
(notify) Ship is out of control

It’s still an hour short of Christmas, in my time zone; I think I’ll go to Jita and buy myself another present.

Today I was flying about in a belt in my newest (shiny!) Prowler when I spotted an oddity.

I like oddities; they usually spell opportunity.

Today’s oddity was a Retriever, jet can mining, flying three TII drones. Usually Retriever = newbie miner = tech one drones.

So I took a second look. He was sharing a jet can — his jet can — with a Hulk. The Hulk pilot had corp and alliance tickers, but the Retriever pilot, tigris32, was Science and Trade Institute (starter NPC corp) and was a full two and a half years old. I thought about that for a second, and guessed that he was alt hauler for the Hulk pilot, who must have decided to put him to work. So, I started creeping (still cloaked) toward the can.

Before I got there, the Retriever pulled his drones in and flew away.

To get the hauler? Looks like it; the jet can is full.

Now, normally I haven’t been a can flipper, not in the pure sense of trying to use the flip to fool the other pilot into “stealing” from me unwittingly. That’s just not got a high enough success rate for me; jet can miners tend to pay better attention.

But, there’s nobody around, the Hulk pilot probably has no eyes in this grid at this moment. I flipped the can, moved a way a little bit, and cloaked. Worth a try.

Rumble rumble rumble, here comes tigris32 in a Badger II. He swoops right to the can, and without any hesitation at all he starts flashing red to me.

Uncloak, start locking, lock lock lock, warp scramble, missles away! (I really enjoy it when I get to play the Romulans.)

I’ll give him this much, as Badgers go, this one had some crunch. But he never had a prayer:

2008.12.25 01:33:00

Victim: tigris32
Corp: Science and Trade Institute
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Badger Mark II
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 3357

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Prowler
Weapon: Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 3357

Name: Guristas Imputor / Guristas
Damage Done: 0

Destroyed items:

Shield Recharger I
Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2
Depleted Uranium S, Qty: 30
Cargohold Optimization I, Qty: 3
‘Anointed’ I EM Ward Reinforcement
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Expanded Cargohold II
Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Small Shield Booster I
250mm Light Carbine Howitzer I
Heat Dissipation Field I
Depleted Uranium S, Qty: 962 (Cargo)
Ballistic Deflection Field I
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)

After he went pop, I scooped his modules, and one of the three giant secure containers that fell out, and as much of the ore as would fit. Then I moved away some and cloaked again.

By now his egg is gone. What will he come back in?

Would you believe, he came back in a Navy Raven?

I just watched from under cloak for awhile. Eventually, he flipped the Ironfleet can back into one of his. Normally I’d have stalked him until he parked the Raven, then tried again to get the ore; but I had a real-world obligation. So, instead, I crept out to about 30 clicks, orbited the can, and uncloaked long enough to blow it with one missile. His cruise missiles, I’m pleased to report, were plenty survivable; I couldn’t have tanked them forever, but as expected, I had lots of time to blow the can and warp out.

He had stuff to say in local in an unknown language.

Today I bought myself an EVE Christmas present.

My Prowlers, I have discovered, have fitting issues when I try to fit them for combat and carry a Covert Ops cloak. After fitting the cloak, there just isn’t enough CPU for the DPS and tanking modules I need.

So I studied and studied. Where, among the stuff I like to fit, could I spend a ton of money to achieve a substantial CPU savings?

The answer, it turns out, is a ‘Smokescreen’ Covert Ops Cloaking Device II. It’s an storyline item built (I believe) from blueprint copies received running Cosmos missions. Since each EVE character can only run the Cosmos missions once, and the Cosmos BPC rewards are (I’m told) random, there’s a tight limit on the number of these items that can enter the game.

On contracts, they are currently going for $150-$200 million ISK. OUch.

But the CPU! They only require half as much as the standard Covert Ops Cloak. For me, that’s 45 extra CPU to play with — which is a lot on a ship that leaves the factory with 281. It lets me fit T2 tank and gank modules, where before I was scraping to fit the lowest-CPU mid-level meta varieties, and still trying to decide what essentials to do without.

My daily wallet was far too low to justify such a purchase, so I checked the corporate war chest. Hmm, not too big a dent, nobody will ever miss it. It’s good to be the CEO.

Merry Christmas to me!

Now, before somebody decides to hunt me down and pop me for the sheer joy of smashing my Christmas present, it’s important to remember that I currently have more than a dozen blockade runners, and at least six Prowlers. I don’t plan to fly this one except in the most controlled of circumstances. Yes, boys and girls, I’m blowing ISK to build a hangar queen. I think maybe I’ll make the Amarrian slavegirls (Jim Bridger won’t have any other kind) polish her every day.

They said I was crazy when I put three salvage rigs on a Merlin, but the result (I call her the Luxury Salvager) has paid for itself several times over. Putting a 150M ISK module on a 40M ISK blockade runner is only a little bit crazier than that…

Today I spent a lot of time putting a Hulk in armor, but I couldn’t close the deal with my Prowler. I love that Minmatar pile of junk, but it doesn’t have the raw DPS that I can achieve in a Crane.

I’m not going to give the full battle report, because those are only fun when there’s a killmail. But in short, I found a Hulk mining in a belt, in an alliance, with a very young corpmate (alt) hauling for him. There was a transfer jetcan with some ore, which I took.

Hulk pilot thought long and hard before launching drones — a mix of Hammerheads and Warriors. The Warriors didn’t hurt much, the Hammerheads were painful.

I had to kill the Hammerheads. With a heavy missile launcher.

That was long and slow and painful and by the time I was done, I was missing most of my armor. He had at least one brief chance to flee when I lost cap for warp scramble, but he didn’t take it; that warned me he might have friends on the way.

Once I was shield-stable again and he was firmly scrambled, I began chewing on his shields. Bottom line: I needed to overheat my launcher to get it done. This is not something I’ve done before.

Once I got him into armor, I was low on missiles and ready for a new flavor. That’s when I screwed up. I accidentally loaded precisions instead of Navies in the new flavor. By the time I got that sorted out, he was back to half shield.

So, I turned on the overheat again, watching closely with an eye toward turning off the heat at the last possible moment to save my launcher.

I got rid of his shields and was literally mousing over to the button to turn off the heat — when my launcher finished overheating and died.

Game over, man. I broke my only tooth.

So, I started to warp way.

And it’s possible that was a good thing, because as I was aligning for warp, one or more corpmates of his finally arrived on the grid. I wouldn’t have had time to kill him, unmolested, anyway — although it’s possible I would have, if I hadn’t flailed the first missile reload.

Ah, well, combat lessons learned, at the cost of a 700k-ISK armor repair bill back at station. It’s cheap education.

“Safe”, of course, being a purely relative term.

After another day prowling around in Morsus Mihi space, I decided it was time to come home.

I learned a lot on that jaunt.

One thing I was hoping was that I’d find poorly-secured loot to scoop. I did come back with half a dozen nice high-meta named mods that I found cleaning up after local ratters, but nothing substantial in value. In low sec and empire, you often find drifting garbage associated with POS projects, especially stuff left drifting inside force fields that remains after the POS goes unfueled and the forcefield drops.

I didn’t find anything like that in 0.0 space. I don’t know if it’s a general rule, evolutionary pressure, or just a clean operation by Morsus Mihi tenants, but I put eyes on every POS installation in close to twenty MM systems, and the only scoopable object I found there was a single Giant Secure Container. Unfortunately, it was floating just outside the shields of a very serious-looking death star, and I didn’t feel comfortable trying to scoop-and-scoot under the POS guns, complete with webbing and scrambling batteries. I don’t know how fast the warp scrambling battery can lock a transport, and I’d like to test it in a disposable (preferably “borrowed”) Badger II before trying it in my blockade runner.

Those were some ship-shape POS installations. Clean, tight, and devoid of anything that could be readily shoplifted.

I also looked at every belt rat in those twenty systems, and shot a fair few of them. What I learned from that is what I already knew, which is that my Prowler is a bit puny for 0.0 rats. I can, however, kill most anything up to cruiser size with the fit I was packing, and with some fitting changes it wouldn’t be too hard. As I was fit (for agility and speed) it was a challenge; and I burned far more ISK in faction missiles than I got back in loot. As expected; this was a voyage of discovery and science.

The one hauler spawn I found had four cruiser escorts and two medium “Gatherers” based on the Osprey hull. It was a challenge killing the first cruiser with the DPS I had, while surviving the fire of the four enemy cruisers. But once I killed the first one, the rest dropped easily, if slowly. One Gatherer dropped a million units of Tritanium, which was nice, but not so useful fourteen jumps from the nearest station I can dock at. The other one dropped 30k units of Isogen.

I only saw one faction spawn, and it was a Dread Gurista battlecruiser that I could not scratch. I did try, just for giggles, but his natural shield regeneration shrugged off my puny missiles.

Coming home, with a hold full of loot even if it wasn’t enough to pay my ammo bill, was uneventful, with one notable exception. Jumping into the last system before lowsec, I expected to find a gatecamp on the Taisy gate. No worries; on my last trip through, I made a bookmark 300km off the gate so I can scout the camp and make sure I’m not warping through a bubble.

What I did not expect, being an awful noob at 0.0 combat, was the huge frickin’ bubble around the gate I jumped IN through … the next gate down the pipe in the direction I was coming from.

After I got done soiling the interior of my pod, I took stock. It was hard to see my position within the bubble because the camera was zoomed all the way in. There were wrecks on my overview, there was a handful (or more) of live ships present, I could hear the sound of some other poor fool being shot at, and most importantly, something had decloaked me. I needed instant action.

I hit the afterburner and the cloak button, in that order. Cloaking failed because I was being targetted, and indeed, I now saw three or four ships targetting me in the overview. The distant Taisy gate was visible sort of vaguely in front of me, so I right-clicked it and attempted to warp. No joy, still in the bubble, but moving fast now. Shields are melting, I’ve got some active tank so I turned it on, this shit is getting serious. Am I out of the bubble? Have they got me warp scrambled yet? Surely I’m dead. Let’s try that warp again!”

Hey! “Warp drive, activated!” Yay! But it’s not like I was aligned, and the shields aren’t looking good. Let’s kill the afterburner, shall we?

And….WHOOOOSH. I am gone, I am cloaked, and they never even scratched the armor. Remind me to send a postcard of appreciation to Core Complexions, Inc. for building the finest blockade runner in known space.

The above is how I remembered it; I wrote it before I looked at the ship’s logs. The logs show I was actually in a 20km bubble from a Warp Disrupt Probe, presumably launched by MrHooke who was present in a Heretic inderdictor. As for damage, I took:

* four Bloodclaw Light Missiles from Grantavius Fowler, for 50ish each
* two Caldari Navy Paradise Cruise Missiles from Ensidious, ouchy at 520ish each
* one volley of three Wrath Cruise Missiles from Yurrin Range, much calmer at 120ish each
* one volley of six mixed heavy missiles from Argos Knightblade, mere tickles at 20ish each
* one exceptionally painful Caldari Navy Bloodclaw Light Missile from MrHooke, for 243.8 damage (how he do dat?)
* one little gunnery scratch (13.9), also from MrHooke.

We rejoin our intrepid dirty-underwear-wearing hero in mid warp to the Taisy gate:

There were ships present at the Taisy gate, but no bubble; I hit the stargate, uncloaked, and was back in sweet bubble-free .3 space. It felt safe, which told me I’d been in 0.0 for too long.

Now I’m back in high security, ship and cargo and all. I’ve got plans to refit before the next voyage out, sacrificing a smidge of agility for better damage. More on that as the plan comes together.

Still peeping and creeping around in 0.0. Tonight I encountered MaceMakaio, member of The Arrow Project [ARROW], which is a Morsus Mihi corp I’ve been seeing fairly frequently down this way. He was ratting in a Megathron, and I cleaned up some of his left-behind loot, just on general principles.

Then we had a reasonably friendly conversation in local. I told him I was flying a cloaked Blockade Runner, but I do not think he believed me:

MaceMakaio > *cough*
Marlenus > Here, have a tissue
MaceMakaio > Ty
Marlenus > No need to mention it
MaceMakaio > Ninja salvager?
Marlenus > Got it in one
Marlenus > I suppose the empty wrecks gave me away
MaceMakaio > LOL.. might have
Marlenus > Drat. Or, it might have been my corp name. ;-)
MaceMakaio > Read about you guys, thought you were empire based
Marlenus > Still are, mostly
Marlenus > But the new tech (covops cloak on the blockade runners) gives us a little more reach
MaceMakaio > Ahhh, spiced up the game for your alliance thats cool too
Marlenus > Just so. To be honest I’m mostly just having a look at the parts of the universe I haven’t seen before, seeing what’s out here
MaceMakaio > well it can be real nasty seeing how your not blue
Marlenus > I do my best to remain unobserved, I’ll grant you that
Marlenus > So far nobody’s spent any effort hunting me, and I’ve been lucky at gates
MaceMakaio > Force recon i bet..
Marlenus > Would you believe a Prowler? ;-) I’m mostly harmless.
MaceMakaio > LOL I’m younger than you but not that young
Marlenus > Heh, didn’t figure you were
MaceMakaio > gotta be a rapier..
Marlenus > You’ve heard my side of the story. ;-)
MaceMakaio > got that Minmitar twinkle in your eye
Marlenus > My momma may have got around, it’s hard to say
MaceMakaio > LOL, mine too

Sadly I believe he felt constrained by my presence, for he stopped ratting and left the system fairly quickly.

P.S. They have some death star POS setups down here that simply have to be seen to be believed. A nasty feature I never imagined: warp disruptor bubbles moored at likely warp-in points near the POS, to hold you down long enough for the guns to hit you.

Hey everybody, consider this a postcard from 0.0 space, Tribute region.

In all my EVE life so far, I’ve only been to 0.0 twice; once in an Ibis when I was young with a load of guns to sell at an open outpost (which worked but was very exciting and not worth the trouble), and once in a Faction Warfare fleet under RapidTaco; we camped the gate back to low sec for twenty minutes, blew up a few random and innocent victims, said “Yarr!” and then boogied before the natives could smush us like the bugs we were.

I’ve considered solo expeditions, being sneaky and patient and careful in a slippery ship — but until now, my sense was that any ship I could hope to survive in (think covops frigate) would be too puny to be useful. What’s the point of going just to see, unless you know somebody who will pay for intel?

My new Prowler tipped the balance in my mind. With the covops cloak, it’s slippery enough to have some hope of getting there and back again; and the missile launcher gives me one very blunt tooth to chew on small rats with. But most of all, the cargo space makes it worth going, because if I find anything worth salvaging, there’s some prayer of getting it home again.

So, last night I came down the pipe from Jita, which is still only about a dozen jumps away, into Tribute. I stopped in Taisy (.3) at the last station before 0.0, to put up a load of goods for sale. Then, very late, I jumped into 0.0 through a desultory gatecamp (they didn’t try to lock me). The sovereignty is Morsus Mihi, but I haven’t yet seen anybody anywhere except at the gate back to Taisy.

The big questions in my mind were:

1) Can I get in? Answer: Yes.

2) What’s it like? Answer: Very empty. Most systems are not loaded until I try to jump into them.

3) Are there rats I can kill? Answer: Yes. However, as expected, I don’t have the firepower to kill the big valuable ones.

4) How rare are the special spawns, like the ore haulers and Dread Guristas? I have good luck finding these in high sec; I’m curious if I can survive long enough to find some in 0.0, and will be doubly curious to see their drops. I’m told the haulers, at least, have much higher volumes of ore, and sometimes higher value ores, than their equivalent high sec spawns.

5) Will I find unclaimed salvage? Answer: Still too soon to tell. I’ll have to find some more populated / contested areas.

In the long run, this is intended as an adventure, and I expect to lose my Prowler. If I manage to find a shipload of salvage worth taking home, and then get it home, I’ll count the trip a success. I don’t have any real hope of making the venture worth my time in hard terms, but I’m exploring and learning and having fun.

Today’s marvel: An empty 0.0 system, with one other character present: MyGirlsLife. MyGirlsLife is four days old,
State War Academy. I immediately assume she’s a spy alt, watching a gate to make sure nothing sneaks up on her peeps on the other side.

Then I found her. Ninja mining a Jaspet asteroid. In her Ibis. Three jumps from the nearest station (the other side of a Morsus Mihi gate camp) and six or so from high sec.

I was (and am) impressed. I said so. Sadly but understandably, this made her nervous, so she left. But I’m sure she’s still out there mining merrily away somewhere.

Flying the new cloaked blockade runner has a lot in common with submarine warfare. Which makes it great fun, if you’re willing to be patient.

Today I was flying around when I spotted a Retriever mining barge mining into a jet can. He was a long way away at the other end of the belt, so I bookmarked his can and warped away to a planet, warping back to the jetcan at zero.

He was gone.

The jetcan was full. It had a name.

I created an Ironfleet can. I gave it the same name. I put the ore from his can into my can.

Does this trick ever work? I mean, the can is the wrong color. But then, there’s greed to consider.

I moved away a few kilometers, cloaked, and waited.

Sure enough, within just a few seconds the Retriever pilot was back, this time in a Badger II. Upon warp in, he sat motionless a long time.

Then, he crawled over to my can. Again, he sat motionless a long time.

Then he heeled around, clearly aligning to something. Le sigh; he’s not falling for it. And if he does a clean grab-and-warp, I won’t have time to decloak and lock and scramble him.

Then, another lengthy wait. He’s clearly thinking about it, and thinking hard.

Ah ha! Now, he’s red flashy.

Decloak, wait for the uncloak delay, target, lock, locking, locking, locking… sweet! He’s scrambled. Fire all torpedoes!

Except, of course, what I’ve got is one heavy missile launcher. It will have to do.

Boom, boom, boom. He’s tanked pretty well, this is taking time. His shields are about gone though.

What’s this? He has initiated self-destruct? That, I’ve never had anybody do before.

No worries; he doesn’t have two minutes. Boom, boom, boom, he’s popped.

Two giant secure cans full of ore fall out, some useful modules too:

2008.12.11 01:13:00

Victim: Cavros Demetri
Corp: Firestorm Tactical Industries
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Badger Mark II
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 3187

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Prowler
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 3187

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 3
Shield Recharger II, Qty: 2
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 11142 (In Container)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 11142 (In Container)

Dropped items:

Invulnerability Field I
Medium Shield Booster II
Burned Logic Circuit, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Sensor Booster I (Cargo)
Salvager I
Shield Recharger II
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 11142 (In Container)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Azure Plagioclase, Qty: 11142 (In Container)

While I’m hauling his full cans, I notice that he’s smacking in local. We converse. It actually goes fairly well once he calms down, even though somebody who used to smacktalk me back when Ironfleet was a baby and I was salvaging in a tricked-out Badger II) can’t resist chiming in to share her low opinion of me:

Cavros Demetri > marlenus you’re a knob. you tipped my can then got my badger. what a cock cheese
Marlenus > I got your cans of ore too. ;-)
Cavros Demetri > hope you choke on them
Marlenus > It seems unlikely
Cavros Demetri > hmmm… welll hope you’re refining chokes you lol
Marlenus > You thought about that load a long time before taking it … you can’t say you didn’t have a bad vibe
Cavros Demetri > i spend nearly an hour mining for some knob to nick it. yeah it was mine. the principle of it
Marlenus > Oddly enough, it was floating alone in space when I found it.
Marlenus > From my perspective, some “knob” nicked it from an Ironfleet can
Cavros Demetri > funny that. you obviously didnt realise that a jet can needs a larger ship to recover it
Marlenus > Larger that what? Your cans are in my hanger
Marlenus > Your former cans, I should say
Cavros Demetri > you’re just taking the piss. shame you cant mine you’re own stuff eh?
Marlenus > Why should I mine, when there’s ore floating abandoned in space?
Cavros Demetri > you knew exactly what you were doing.
Cavros Demetri > you waited cloaked for me to warp
Marlenus > Of course I knew what I was doing, Ironfleet has been in the salvage business for almost three years
Marlenus > How many blockade runners do you see in this business? It’s a specialized trade
Cavros Demetri > nothing hard a bout sitting cloaked waiting for someone to warp away for their hauler.
Cavros Demetri > no skill at all
Valeria Crossroads > 3 years of being a bad human, sad that some are proud of it
Marlenus > LOL at Valeria
Marlenus > I’m just playing the game, same as the rest of you
Cavros Demetri > “LOL at valeria” 3 years and thats the best you can say
Valeria Crossroads > ore thiefs are people who would be a traitor in a real world war
Marlenus > It’s plenty good, she doesn’t have any merit to her attacks
Cavros Demetri > but she hasnt been dishonest
Marlenus > She’s one of the many who confuse in game fun with out of game morality
Marlenus > I haven’t been dishonest either
Cavros Demetri > you took out a harmless badger. ( is quite funny )
Cavros Demetri > yeah you played with the rules though
Valeria Crossroads > stealing is bad, in or outgame
Marlenus > Nothing dishonest in shooting at a ship that goes flashy red
Marlenus > And in-game, it’s not stealing.
Valeria Crossroads > yes it is other wise you would not been flagged as a thief when you do
Rocky Dean > it’s only stealing if you get caught. : P
Cavros Demetri > then firing cruise missiles at a badger. is that what you consider challenging?
Marlenus > Cruise missiles? I wish. You try to fit cruise missiles on a blockade runner, just let me know how it works for you
Cavros Demetri > well i wont be jetting when i get my hulk. and the corp will be told about you.
Marlenus > Oh good.
Rocky Dean > um, ya, I’m gonna tell my corp on you too Marlenus. : P LOL
Cavros Demetri > ill tell my mummy while im at it
Cavros Demetri > lol
Marlenus > My alliance chief will be delighted at the publicity.
Cavros Demetri > lol
Rocky Dean > oh, by the way Marl, any other juicy spots i could join in on the free lunch with that you’d suggest? : )
Cavros Demetri > try uitra
Marlenus > Not sure what you’re asking Rocky
Marlenus > It’s a full time job for me just keeping the local belts free of nav hazards
Rocky Dean > cans with free ore in them, i love those. : )
Cavros Demetri > you’ll find a few ibis’s there. thatll challenge you
Marlenus > Actually Cavros it’s not as easy as you think finding people who are willing to go flashy red like you did. There’s plenty of challenge to it.
Cavros Demetri > well, to be honest i did align to the station but clicked the wrong frigging one when i tried to warp so lost alignment bugger the thing lol
Marlenus > Yeah, you’d have got away if you’d done a clean flip-and-scoot
Cavros Demetri > i knew you would attack when i took the ore back
Cavros Demetri > yeah but im down to using this darn mouse touch pad thing on my laptop its driving me nuts
Marlenus > Ouch, I couldn’t fly with a touchpad
Cavros Demetri > yeah it pissed me off. sorry mate i know its a game just pssed i got the wrong station to warp to
Marlenus > I understand, no hard feelings on my end
Cavros Demetri > lol nope. fair play i like the tactics. not seen that before
Marlenus > I do try to be original, and the cloaking blockade runner is new tech for everybody
Cavros Demetri > right. i need sleep so ill catch you all later. well done marl. you got my ore:-)
Marlenus > Night Cavros
Cavros Demetri > nite! i might reset your standings tomorrow lmao

I found myself inside a mission today, in one of my odd shipfits that looks more dangerous than it is, and salvages better than it should.

Mission runner was there salvaging in a destroyer, but I saw a cargo can, which turned out to have several million ISK worth of robotics in it. So I flipped it to Ironfleet possession, put it on tow on my tractor beam, and wandered around salvaging a few of the more worth-while looking wrecks.

Mission runner was aggrieved. We had this convo, where I’m attempting to be as polite and friendly as possible without being unduly helpful:

Ziief > why do you have to flip my can man?
Marlenus > I don’t have to. I’m just salvaging
Ziief > u just took my robotic parts man, that’s messed up, i havent played this game for long and need the isk more than you could ever
Ziief > and cant you run your own missions so u can salvage your own wrecks?
Marlenus > I don’t think you understand … salvaging stuff floating in space is what I do, just like you run missions
Ziief > you saw me salvaging my own wrecks dude, is not like it was abandoned wrecks floating in space like you like to call it
Marlenus > Um, wrecks are not owned, so they weren’t “your own”
Marlenus > Wrecks are free to whomever gets there first
Ziief > ohh really? what about the robotic parts you stole from me man?
Marlenus > I scooped some parts floating in space, nothing in this game is yours if you don’t have it under control
Ziief > do you really have the need to steal crap like that?
Marlenus > I don’t consider it stealing
Marlenus > Have a look at the blog, you’ll get a better sense of why we like to play the game this way
Ziief > alright you fucking piece of shit, i tried to come to terms with your cocksucking ass, you’ll have it your way, this shit you stealing from me, will cost you dearly, be prepared to face a serious raping, you’ll learn a nice lesson you piece of shit

Oh, my.

We tremble, we do.

My alliance brothers in the Suddenly Ninja corporation have a monthly contest for who can generate the choicest “spouting off” from a salvage customer (although they don’t put it quite like that). It’s not an alliance-wide contest, I don’t think, or I’d have to enter this one.

Since robotics are bulky, I went back in one of my combat Cranes, and even then I had to leave a few behind. Ziief showed up right behind me in his Badger II, and I briefly thought I’d get to shoot at him. But he executed a smooth scoop-and-warp on the handful of remaining robotics, and (whether because of lag or client-side sluggishness) the can didn’t pop and he didn’t turn flashy until he was already (from my perspective) vanishing into warp. Ah, well, can’t shoot ’em all.

Last night I returned to Caldari space, only to discover that Jim Bridger had made Ironfleet some fine new friends at GunSlingerSquad Corp.

I came back because my skill training for the Prowler (a blockade runner like my beloved Crane, but having a second high slot to fit the newly-available-to-this-shipclass Covert Ops Cloak) had finally completed. I had a Prowler in the hangar and ready to fit, and I was eager to tinker with the new setup.

It turns out the Prowler is lower on mid slots and CPU than my beloved Crane, making it a challenge to fit up for the combat role I use these ships in. Not impossible, just tricky and expensive, so I was back and forth to Jita several times last night looking for mods that would fit.

By the time I was done, it was very late. I went out into the belts for a maiden voyage, and encountered SPJR mining into a jet can. Of course, I relieved him of his ore. While hauling the first of two shipments home, he wrote the following in local:

SPJR > you better bring that shit back right now

This made me fall off my chair laughing. Oh, really? Or else, what?

On the other hand Jim’s been riding these boys fairly hard, so I stayed quiet in local. Others did not:

Ranger Miriya > what happen sp
SPJR > Some dick just looted my 20k of ore
Ranger Miriya > what he in
SPJR > transport ship
SPJR > his names marlenus
Ranger Renlea > thats a bunch of crap. put a bounty on his head and we go hunting
SPJR > how i do that dude im new to this shit
SPJR > i have to be docked dont i?
Ranger Renlea > go into a station that has a bounty office and place bounty

I’m thinking “Good luck with that” but I hold my peace. They’ll learn the bounty rules in due time.

I do have to say, though, that I don’t comprehend the foul language. It seems like every time in this game that I’m considering lightening up on somebody because they are new, they come across all potty-mouth, which only convinces me they need extra pounding until they learn some humility or at least some politeness. Do they think it’s intimidating? Do they think it’s persuasive? Do they think it makes them look tougher if they talk tougher? I’ve never understood the theory of victory that underlies vulgar smack (except of course in the situation where you want to goad your enemy into fighting harder or stupider).

So. That was last night.

This morning, I took my shiny new (and as yet, unblooded) Prowler out for a prowl. Guess who I found?

Yup, SPJR. Destroyer mining into two Giant Secure Cans. Ah hah! Progress! They’ve finally abandoned the jet can!

Unfortunately, whoever gave them that tip didn’t tell them about anchoring. :(

So, as I’m looking at these two juicy GSCs that need plucking, despairing at my new friends from Gunslinger Squad and wondering how many expensive lessons they will need, what do you suppose appeared in local chat?

You guessed it: vulgar smacktalk. And not just any old vulgar smack; this was the best kind: premature, unjustifiably triumphalist vulgar smack!

SPJR > cant steal now can you? fuck head

You know Ironfleet. You know me. You know what happened next.

I couldn’t scoop both cans into the Prowler, so I scooped one of them, then took ore from the other to fill up my nooks and crannies. Now I’m flashing red to SPJR in his mining destroyer, but he seems reluctant to shoot. Fine, I’ll take his marbles and go home.

While warping home, I had to opine in local:

Marlenus > There are nuances to the use of Giant Secure Containers that you have not yet discovered.

And then, of course, I had to go back for the other can.

SPJR was still there, the can was still there, I scooped it. Then I began aligning for home. Anybody want to play shooty shooty? I was in no hurry.

At this point, MasterGladiator drops out of warp in his Badger II. Fine, maybe he was trying to save his GCS. No, wait, what’s this? He’s locking me! In the Badger! And it’s shooting! And I’m warp scrambled!


Damned if he didn’t engage me in a very creditable BattleBadger. His damage was decent for his age and skills, he had some anti-gunnery ECM fitted (which didn’t affect my missile launcher), and he came with a tackle and the blood lust to try and use it. After the haplessnesses that Jim encountered, I was impressed.

So, after I locked him back, scrambled him, and started shooting heavy missiles at him, I said so in local:

Marlenus > A creditable battle badger, good work!

I also noticed that SPJR in the mining destroyer had left the field — a surprise, as I expected them to double-team me. I guess he went home to refit for combat.

The Badger II went down slowly but surely. His damage never got through my shields, but he certainly was denting them. Just before he went pop, SPJR reappeared on the grid, this time in a Merlin.

As the Merlin was locking me, I finished the Badger:

2008.12.08 18:43:00

Victim: MasterGladiator
Corp: GunSlingerSquad Corp
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Badger Mark II
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 4820

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Prowler
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 4820

Destroyed items:

Warp Disruptor II
ECCM Projector I
Medium C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I

Dropped items:

280mm Gallium I Cannon
M51 Iterative Shield Regenerator
Medium Azeotropic Ward Salubrity I
Proton S, Qty: 4952 (Cargo)

Now it’s Merlin time!

Wait, can I even hit a Merlin with heavy missiles these days?

The answer, it turns out is “yes, but not very hard.” I’d have to say our damage output seemed roughly equal. But of course, my shields were much bigger than his. He was warp scrambling me hard, and hitting me with ECM that might have helped if I was shooting guns, but he was having trouble doing enough damage to hurt me. He clearly had the speed advantage, though, so he could have escaped at any time. To his credit, he didn’t; I figured he was trying to hold me until the Badger pilot could come back in another ship.

Which, indeed, happened. MasterGladiator showed up in another Cormorant destroyer. By now the Merlin is in deep armor, and my shields are pretty much gone. If the Cormie had been fit for serious damage, this could start to hurt.

So, I decided to turn on my shield booster, and went back to finishing the Merlin:

2008.12.08 18:47:00

Victim: SPJR
Corp: GunSlingerSquad Corp
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Merlin
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 1420

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Prowler
Weapon: Caldari Navy Havoc Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 1420

Destroyed items:

Gremlin Rocket, Qty: 3119 (Cargo)
Power Diagnostic System I
Small ‘Knave’ I Energy Drain, Qty: 2
Gremlin Rocket, Qty: 32
Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters

Dropped items:

‘Malkuth’ Rocket Launcher I, Qty: 2
Tracking Speed Disruption
Phalanx Rocket, Qty: 3499 (Cargo)
Gremlin Rocket, Qty: 32
Warp Disruptor I
DDO Photometry I Targeting Interference
Warp Core Stabilizer I

MasterGladiator had time to get a fair few licks in before the Merlin went pop, but nothing my shields weren’t handling. I turned off the shield booster so he wouldn’t get discouraged, scrambled him, and got to work. It went pretty fast (the old saw about Destroyers and heavy missiles not mixing remains true). And this one looked to be a mining fit, not a fighting fit:

2008.12.08 18:52:00

Victim: MasterGladiator
Corp: GunSlingerSquad Corp
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Cormorant
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 3877

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Prowler
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 3877

Destroyed items:

Tungsten Charge S, Qty: 2190 (Cargo)
125mm Railgun I (Cargo)
Medium Shield Booster I
Miner II
Small Shield Extender I
Rocket Launcher I
Light Ion Blaster I
Tungsten Charge S, Qty: 72
Phalanx Rocket
Pyroxeres, Qty: 65 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Uranium Charge S, Qty: 55 (Cargo)
Phalanx Rocket, Qty: 244 (Cargo)
Iron Charge S, Qty: 100 (Cargo)
150mm Railgun I
125mm Compressed Coil Gun I (Cargo)
Monopropellant I Hydrazine Boosters
Small Shield Extender I
Tungsten Charge S, Qty: 120
125mm Compressed Coil Gun I

By now, however, I was genuinely impressed by the creativity and sheer combat spunk these guys were showing me; they were outclassed, but they weren’t giving up. So I complimented them again in local:

Marlenus > Thanks guys, that was a lot of fun. With that kind of combat determination you’ll go far in EVE, I mean this as serious praise

Sad to say, they aren’t such good sports off the field as they are on it.

SPJR > Yeah thats fucked up though pickin on some newbies
Marlenus > Er, you attacked me, remember? There was no “picking on”
SPJR > well you stole from us what you expect us to do just watch
Marlenus > That’s just business. I expect you to defend yourself, which you did quite well, actually
Marlenus > But you might want to reconsider the arrogant smack in local *before* anything has happened to you

No response. Any bets on whether they were receptive to the advice?

I honestly do think these guys (if indeed there are two of them) have a future in EVE. They are right on the steep part of the learning and earning curve right now, but they do learn from their mistakes, they do adapt their tactics, and they have plenty of aggressiveness. Now, if they can only learn not to pointlessly antagonize people, or even (dare I hope?) to remember it’s all just a game, they could go far.