Archive for the 'Today In Ironfleet' Category

Jim here again. (Marlenus still appears to be off farting around with the TEARS boys in Gallente space.)

Is there a whole crop of new players who don’t yet know about the hazards of jet can mining?

I ask only because, right now, there sure seem to be a lot of barge pilots out there right now with dreams of bloodlust.

Right after my latest encounter with SPJR, I stumbled over a Retriever pilot, mining into a transfer jet-can (placeholder: 1 unit of Veldspar) and thence into a Badger II. A perfectly sensible mining method, if you can calmly accept that sometimes you’ll lose your unit of Veldspar.

When I took that one unit of Veldspar from ScarletMint (a pretty face in Star Caliber [SCAL.], member of the 25-corporation OWN Alliance [OWN]) she apparently flipped out. Why else would a Retriever pilot launch two Warrior Is and a Hammerhead I, and then sic them on a Rifter?

Result predictable:

008.12.07 19:56:00

Victim: ScarletMint
Corp: Star Caliber
Alliance: OWN Alliance
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Retriever
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 2167

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Rifter
Weapon: 250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Damage Done: 1973

Name: Guristas Saboteur / Guristas
Damage Done: 194

Destroyed items:

Strip Miner I, Qty: 2
Veldspar, Qty: 11530 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Warrior I (Drone Bay)

Note it was a completely unfitted Retriever. I think that’s the worst loot drop I’ve ever seen from a player wreck.

There’s a corp in that alliance called Pleasure and Pain. If there’s justice in the world, OWN will send them after me.

Jim Bridger here, again.

Remember SPJR, who lost a Cormorant to my Rifter yesterday, then suicided a Caracal under the sentry guns in a vain attempt at revenge?

Today during my routine sweep of the belts, I found him mining … in another Caracal. Which is a terrible abuse of a fine missile boat in my unsolicited opinion.

So I hastened to clean up his drifting hazards to navigation. And he commenced to trying to kill me, again.

It went badly for him, although at least this time he did get into my armor:

2008.12.07 19:16:00

Victim: SPJR
Corp: GunSlingerSquad Corp
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Caracal
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 8111

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Rifter
Weapon: 250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Damage Done: 7974

Name: Guristas Imputor / Guristas
Damage Done: 137

Destroyed items:

J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I
Medium Shield Extender I
Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 86
Power Diagnostic System I
Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 3271 (Cargo)
Warp Core Stabilizer I (Cargo)
Dual Diode Mining Laser I, Qty: 2
‘Malkuth’ Assault Missile Launcher I, Qty: 2
Small Energy Neutralizer I (Cargo)
Supplemental Screen Generator I
FZ-3 Subversive Spatial Destabilizer ECM (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Tracking Disruptor I (Cargo)
Ballistic Control System I
‘Malkuth’ Assault Missile Launcher I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Medium Shield Extender I
Bloodclaw Light Missile, Qty: 43
Medium Clarity Ward Booster I
Murky Energy Transmitter I (Cargo)
‘Malkuth’ Assault Missile Launcher I
Shield Recharger I (Cargo)

Given some of the fitted items, like the warp disruptor, I think we are looking at a young EVE player aggressively groping toward a bait-and-gank fitting. If so, congratulations!

As I was scooping the ore in my hauler, his CEO was seen in a Merlin, but didn’t engage.

Hey, everybody, Jim Bridger here again. The fun I’ve been having in my little Rifter!

Today I happened upon a guy mining in a Cormorant destroyer. Being a destroyer guy myself, I’ve had trouble convincing myself to take them on in a frigate; but a miner-dessie shouldn’t, as a rule, have the guns and tracking to pose a problem.

So I sidled up to this guy and rectified the hazard to navigation his jetcan was posing. (As I’ve explained before, Ironfleet jetcans use the latest beacon technology; once we get abandoned ore safely stowed in OUR cans, we feel much safer.)

He didn’t seem to notice, so I looted and salvaged some wrecks he’s got laying about. (Yes, I have a salvager fitted on my Rifter. You wanna make something of it? Take it up with Marlenus, I just work here. I can hear him now, all sarcastic: “A pretty fine salvager you’ll make, with no salvager fitted on your ship. Mark my words, some day you’re going to come upon a dying dreadnaught, and you with no salvager. How stupid will you feel then?” Trust me, it’s not worth it.)

So anyway, today’s winner of the “I got salvaged by Ironfleet and all I got was this stupid shirt” prize finally noticed the flashy red frigate, and decided (need I even need to keep saying “unwisely”?) to shoot at me.

He got a few hits in as I was setting up my orbit, but then his guns began to miss very reliably. Whereupon, I blew him up:

2008.12.06 23:59:00

Victim: SPJR
Corp: GunSlingerSquad Corp
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Cormorant
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 2270

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Rifter
Weapon: 250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Damage Done: 2270

Destroyed items:

75mm Compressed Coil Gun I
Miner I, Qty: 2
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 166
Dual Diode Mining Laser I
Pyroxeres, Qty: 586 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

75mm Compressed Coil Gun I, Qty: 2
Plutonium Charge S, Qty: 82
Dual Diode Mining Laser I
Overdrive Injector System I

Just about then, I was called away from my computer by events beyond New Eden’s event horizon (girlfriend with food, helpless to resist) for about half an hour.

When I came back, I realized I never hauled the ore, and there was, like, half a jet can full. So I jumped in my rust-bucket Wreathe and undocked to go and check on it.

First thing that caught my eye was my new best friend SPJR, in a Caracal cruiser. Right next to him is his corpmate and CEO, MasterGladiator, in a Badger.

I am taking this in, when SPJR begins to target me. While I am still mentally wondering WTF his deal is, he begins hitting me with light missiles, as I’m reading this go by:

(notify) SPJR, Criminals are not welcome here. Leave now or be destroyed.
(notify) SPJR: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.

And kaboom! There was a brand new Caracal wreck to loot and salvage. (Nothing too exciting there, perhaps a couple of low-meta T1 launchers.) Note, his CEO was present in a hauler, but either did not try to loot his stuff, or was too slow.

At this point I’m beginning to suspect GunSlingerSquad Corp of being a non-stop parade of fail, so I paused to look at their corporate info. I nearly laughed up a lung when I saw the corporate description:

GunSlingerSquad: -=GSS=-

The GunslingerSquad Smaller than most Corps
The GunslingerSquad Military Training and honor
The GunSlingerSquad moto team work fight hard


Mess With The Best-Die Like The Rest!

Being new, I have a lot of sympathy with. Being new and arrogant? Not so much sympathy.

Seeing as how the CEO had a hauler, I assumed that the Ironfleet jetcan would be long gone, but hey, it never hurts to look; so I proceeded to my can bookmark to check. Hey, whaddya know, it was still there! So I hauled it in a couple of trips (I really need to upgrade my hauling skills if I’m going to keep working for this outfit) by which time, I had MasterGladiator attempting (more fail) to have a menacing conversation in private chat:

MasterGladiator > i figure u owe me 670.000
Jim Bridger > Really?
MasterGladiator > yea
MasterGladiator > really
Jim Bridger > On what theory of obligation?
MasterGladiator > my cargo containers you took
Jim Bridger > Are you someone’s alt? I don’t remember you
MasterGladiator > SPJR corp
Jim Bridger > You said “my” like you were talking about something of yours?
MasterGladiator > it’s ok if you don’t fill like you have to will all work out…
Jim Bridger > I’m still confused what you are on about
MasterGladiator > it was mine..he was mining for me
Jim Bridger > “He” being who?
MasterGladiator > you took cargo containers that did not belong to you..
Jim Bridger > You didn’t answer my question
MasterGladiator > my clan member
Jim Bridger > Eve doesn’t have clans?
MasterGladiator > no problem big will work will see

And then he was gone from chat, before we could have a conversation about why I am supposed to owe him money.

And that would have been the end of this episode of hilarity, but for a conversation that got started in local after MasterGladiator decided to try his case in the court of public opinion. He managed to troll up a bored mission runner who wanted to make, but was unwilling or unable to defend, a variety of snide remarks and false aspersions about Ironfleet’s line of business:

MasterGladiator > hey dude.. u need to bring my ore back…
MasterGladiator > so steal stuff all the time?
MasterGladiator > just started with eve…but every dog has his day…
Jim Bridger > Ironfleet prefers to call it “salvage”
Takatii > Pretty good gig…if anyone fights back, they sic the mercs in their alliance on you.
Jim Bridger > It’s a living. Worked pretty well when it was just Ironfleet, to be honest; the alliance has more salvagers (Suddenly Ninjas et al) than it does combat pilots.
Takatii > lol…yeah, just as long as you don’t piss any real corps or alliance off.
Takatii > gotta love the baby pirates
Jim Bridger > I leave the politics to my Alliance betters, but the word from on high is that we welcome all war decs. Me, I just work here.
Jim Bridger > So far as I know we don’t have any actual pirates in the Alliance, but I could easily be wrong
Takatii > lol… you sure you’re not a diplo? You have the verbage
im Bridger > Meh, I used to read too many books on long salvage trips
Jim Bridger > My CEO, now, THERE’s a talker!
Takatii > Talker, as in word count, or vocabulary?
Jim Bridger > Word count, vocabulary, arguments per hour, pretty much any way you want to measure it. Inebriated by the exhuberance of his own verbosity? You name it, he’ll talk it to death.
Takatii > Most politicians can talk for hours and not say a damn thing
Jim Bridger > I think he may have been a lawyer before he took up an honorable salvage profession and started working for a living.
Takatii > lol…lawyer…that figures
Takatii > a true pirate
Takatii > Well, I guess missions DO get boring after awhile… and pirates usually can’t hack 0.0, so it’s back to hassling miners and hoobs
Takatii > But, as you say, it’s a living
Jim Bridger > Oh, you were aiming that at me? I’m no pirate, that’s for sure
Jim Bridger > You should check out the Ironfleet blog at, it will give you a better idea what we do for fun
Takatii > Oh, I know what you guys do for fun…. been on the butt end of it myself
Jim Bridger > I don’t think Ironfleet has ever ransomed anybody, I’d think that was the irreducible minimum for calling somebody a pirate
Jim Bridger > We just like to haul stuff, and sometimes that means prying it loose first.
Takatii > Hahahaha…. You DO love the semantics game, don’t you?
Jim Bridger > I guess my boss has rubbed off on me a little bit
Takatii > Thanks for reminding me why I love Empire life so much
Jim Bridger > Just one of the many services Ironfleet Towing And Salvage is happy to provide!
Takatii > LOL
Takatii > Just for laughts, how much do you charge to hauls someone’s ore?
Jim Bridger > We haul ore for free. Unfortunately, your selection of destinations is very limited.
Takatii > I’ll bet
Takatii > And how much to get the ore BACK?
Jim Bridger > Meh, I have no idea; my CEO does something with all the ore, not my department.
Takatii > Wait, let me guess….that’s not an option
Takatii > Ahhh… I see
Takatii > Well, good luck in your ‘noble’ endeavor
Jim Bridger > Who are you quoting? I don’t remember seeing “noble” in our corporate recruitment literature.
Takatii > lol…the emphesis is my own.
Jim Bridger > Quotation marks are not a good choice for emphasis as a rule, that’s why I didn’t understand you were trying to emphasize your own adjective
Takatii > If I were quoting, I’d have used ” “, not ‘ ‘
Jim Bridger > Since when is a pair of misplaced apostrophes supposed to be emphatic?
Takatii > never mind…. I can see you can’t survive without playing the semantics game. And it’s getting boring. good evening

Sorry about the rough language, but it seems I met a Covetor pilot who knew my mother. :(

Jim Bridger here, again.

As a young pod pilot, I developed an unholy fascination with destroyers. One result of this is that I don’t have much experience with my native Minmatar frigates.

Another result is that I’ve got hella gunnery skills. ;-)

The recent technical changes that have made tiny ships a little harder to catch and kill throughout New Eden has given me a new interest in playing with them; hence, the Bantam Of Doom project, from earlier.

The main idea there, of course, was that military experts agree: the Bantam is a useless helpless harmless ship. Making it irresistible, as bait.

Just now, though, I decided to play with a Rifter. This may be the single-most respected T1 frigate in the game; it’s got a reputation as a serious PVP platform, although I think modern tech advances have mostly relegated it to the nostalgic past. But I was concerned, nonetheless, that a Rifter wouldn’t seem harmless enough for my purposes.

Still, I wanted to play with a fitting, so I fitted one out.

On its very first outing, I set up my gun stacking while in warp, and the guns were reloading when I dropped into the first belt. And what to my wondering eye did appear but a big fat Covetor mining barge, and five tiny reindeer. (No, wait, those were Hammerhead drones.)

CCP said they rebalanced medium drones to make them less effective against small targets; I wonder how true that is?

My friendly local Covetor pilot (name of Sideshow Pete, member of Geniality hop [GENIA]) had a jet can out, which I always hate to see; such a hazard to navigation, doncha know?

So I sidled up to the can and flipped it into an Ironfleet can (we have better safety beacons, the ore is much safer now), then commenced to orbit the barge at a handy range.

He targeted me. I returned the courtesy.

His drones began shooting at me. Again, I returned the courtesy, turning on my lovingly-polished artillery pieces.

I also hit the warp scrambler and the afterburner, noting as I did so that his medium drones were MISSING, horribly and completely. (Well, not quite completely; his five drones scored a total of eight hits during the fight, according to the logs.)

The next thing I noticed was that Republic Fleet EMP ammo makes awful short work of a Covetor’s shields. Damn barge melted like snow on a hot skillet. It was almost sad, after all the years I’ve spent watching Marlenus pry those bad boys open the hard way, with a single missile launcher, a hot screwdriver, and a lot of patience.

So my new best friend Sideshow Pete went kaboomski almost before I knew what was happening:

2008.12.05 03:32:00

Victim: Sideshow Pete
Corp: Geniality hop
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Covetor
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 4729

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Rifter
Weapon: 250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Damage Done: 4729

Destroyed items:

Veldspar Mining Crystal I, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Survey Scanner I
Plagioclase Mining Crystal I, Qty: 2
Modulated Strip Miner II, Qty: 2
Hammerhead I (Drone Bay)

Dropped items:

Mining Laser Upgrade I, Qty: 2
Plagioclase Mining Crystal I
Modulated Strip Miner II
Plagioclase, Qty: 9461 (Cargo)

The one strip miner is a several million ISK loot item, so that’s the whole ship and most of the modules paid for on the maiden voyage. I can live with that!

Mind you, between the ore I flipped and the ore he dropped, I still had more than half a jetcan to haul home. Normally I’d just whistle for Marlenus and a Bustard, but he’s still down Kaimon way. But I have a dirty little secret, which is that you can’t really stay in Ironfleet if you can’t fly a hauler. So, much as it pains me to admit, I had to jump in a rusty old Wreathe and make about three trips to get the ore home.

Somewhere in all this, I noticed that Sideshow Pete had posted something in local:

Sideshow Pete: “come on”

So I answered, as seemed only polite:

Jim Bridger: “Yes?”

Sideshow Pete: “son of a filthy whore”

I was tempted to respond “Dad? Is that you?” But, I didn’t.

Jim Bridger, reporting in.

The Bantam, as most Caldari know, is a perfectly fine little frigate, good for zipping out to the belts in starter systems and bringing home … well, as much ore as you can reasonably mine in a frigate. Against high sec belt rats, it’s got enough combat power to get the job done, if you work at it. Barely.

In all my time in EVE, I can’t remember hearing anybody seriously talk about fitting it for combat, or using it in combat. Which means that anybody who sees one in space reflexively thinks “newbie!”

Making it [he said with an evil laugh] perfect for my purposes.

I’m a small ships guy. My whole career in EVE, I’ve spent training combat skills for fighting in small ships, destroyer and below. Not that I’ve done much combat … but that’s where my skills are.

So I decided to see what kind of teeth I could put into a Bantam.

There I was, flying through the asteroid belts in my artillery-fitted Bantam. And here’s a dude in an Exequror cruiser, with mining laser beams out and shining. I admire the Exequror hull, I truly do; it’s a large and handsome cruiser with some excellent support capabilities. This guy (one Hesselich, in the Academy of Decadence [ACADE], of the Hereticus Aegis Communis [HAC] alliance) was mining into a Giant Secure Container, but he did have some rat wrecks littered about. He also was flying three mining drones.

My tactic was as simple and ancient as they come. I relieved both of his wrecks of their goods, so that I was flashy red to him. I instructed my ship to orbit him at my optimal. I targeted him.

He targeted me and commenced firing, with what turned out to be a single laser. Presumably, he was thinking the German language equivalent of “Newb in Bantam stealing my schnitzels! Hopeless fool, I’ll teach him a lesson he won’t soon forget! Shnell!

I hit my afterburners. I turned on my warp scrambler. I commenced launching artillery shells at him.

From there on in, it was a nailbiter, especially at first. Our shields went down at about the same pace. I was hitting him solidly, he was mostly missing, but the hits he landed were hurting.

Once we got through our respective shields, my damage improved against his armor. And I think perhaps he had a run of bad luck, as his hits became fewer.

Once he got into hull, it was over quickly:

008.12.04 18:14:00

Victim: Hesselich
Corp: Academy of Decadence
Alliance: Hereticus Aegis Communis
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Exequror
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 3368

Involved parties:

Name: Jim Bridger (laid the final blow)
Security: 0.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Bantam
Weapon: 250mm Light Artillery Cannon II
Damage Done: 3368

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II
Small Hull Repairer I
Radio S
Miner II, Qty: 2

Dropped items:

Residual Survey Scanner I
Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2
Miner II
Concentrated Veldspar, Qty: 5530 (Cargo)
Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Dual Anode Light Particle Stream I

The salvage was perfectly respectable — several TII modules — but the part that’s got me wondering is in the destroyed items. Was he really running a Small Hull Repairer?

A couple hours after the Hulk escaped me, I came upon an Osprey cruiser, mining in a Kaimon belt. Pilot was Dysje, member of Otakus Society [OTK], in the Revolution Alliance [REV]. He had multiple lasers lit and a jet can out, but no visible drones.

When my Crane came rumbling out of warp, his miners were off. His can had just a smidge of ore inside it (less than a Crane load) and I began to fear a trap. But I took it.

Negative response, Captain. He’s not targetting.

Sometimes stronger measures are required. I approached a rat wreck that he owned.

He begins targeting me. I begin targeting him back.

He shoots me with a Flameburst light missile, and the game is ON!

And on, and on, and on. I’m hitting him for triple digits with every heavy missile, but it’s making just tiny little dents in his shield. They aren’t regenerating visibly, though, so maybe he has a big passive tank? On a mining cruiser? It’s possible, but I’ve never seen it.

After most of a launcher full of my default ammo, his shield is maybe one-third gone. And by this stage in the proceedings, I’m starting to worry, as I always do with these corped-up guys, about the retribution fleet that might be inbound.

It’s time to reload with better ammo. Which, I pause and do.

Right about now a Gurista rat appears and begins shooting him. Hey, I’ll take all the help I can get.

The new missiles are doing thirty percent more damage, and his shield drops below his peak recharge and starts falling fast. He decides (far too late!) to pull out a pair of T1 combat drones. They buzz around with paint guns or BB guns or something, but they aren’t doing appreciable damage to my shields.

And then, finally, it’s over. Kaboom!

Is it just me, or did CCP tweak the explosion graphic for more oomph while I was away?

And, can this really be my first kill mail in 100 days? I have been SLACKING!

2008.12.02 22:41:00

Victim: dysje
Corp: Otakus Society
Alliance: Revolution Alliance
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Osprey
System: Kaimon
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 12260

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: Crane
Weapon: Caldari Navy Thunderbolt Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 11537

Name: Guristas Invader / Guristas
Damage Done: 723

Destroyed items:

Miner II
Large Subordinate Screen Stabilizer I
Standard Missile Launcher I
Large Shield Extender I

Dropped items:

Flameburst Light Missile, Qty: 229 (Cargo)
Flameburst Light Missile, Qty: 24
Miner II, Qty: 2
Quantum Co-Processor I, Qty: 2
Expanded Cargohold I
Solid Pyroxeres, Qty: 1888 (Cargo)
Large Shield Extender I

The killmail explains the crunch — our boy had three large shield extenders fitted. No wonder it took so long!

The pair of Miner IIs isn’t the multi-million ISK bonus it used to be, but it’s still good loot and worth the ammo expenditure. Not a bad afternoon’s salvage work if I say so myself.

It’s been awhile since I got a good chance to shoot at a Hulk in my beloved blockade runners, but today I found one in Kaimon mining into three neatly stacked and nicely labeled jet cans. (The one on my bookmark list was called “Sieriel PX-Kaimon II B2-01” — how precise is that?)

So I come rumbling up on the can and flip it, putting a tiny fraction in my tiny Blockade Runner cargo hold. The pilot was flying five T1 combat drones, and they immediately began trying to eat me.

They failed — insufficient DPS to break my shield regeneration curve.

Meanwhile, I’ve put the Hulk in a headlock and am pummeling him with heavy missiles.

It’s very slow going. I’m gaining, but my DPS seems to be reduced since the ships and missiles were rebalanced (this is the first time I’ve had a chance to shoot at a barge since then.) Or, possibly, he had some tank fitted — unlikely, but certainly possible.

So, while I’m chewing through his shields, I’m looking him up to see who he is. Pilot name is Sieriel, member of Cohortes Stellaris (Ticker COH, 55 members, German speaking, looks like they are selling capital ships). These guys could be trouble; will this Hulk pilot be getting reinforcements before I break his tank? Worse yet, COH is a member of ParadoXon Alliance [PX], which has ten other members. No telling how many friends will be dropping out of warp!

And then (it being the time of year when I live at a place with crappy internets) I lost connection. I’d say I had him to about 55% shields, so still some uncertainty about whether I could break him below peak regen, when I lost the connection.

Logged back in quickly, warped back. He’s still there! But, I guess, scooping drones to leave, because he was gone before I got him locked.

So I flipped another can, it having been more than 2.5 minutes. And then I went to get a stealth bomber. By now I’m sure he must have corp assistance on the way, and I’m expecting to see an escorted hauler return for the ores.

It never happens. Dude never came back. Belt sat empty until aggro timers expired.

Meanwhile I’m looking for my nearest Bustard. Sadly, they are all too far away, but I have an expanded Badger II in system. Which, eventually, I use to haul both of the Ironfleet cans of Veldspar, and then (having seen no sign of enemy action in nearly 30 minutes) the last remaining COH can.

I’m still marveling at the fact that in an organization of such size, there was nobody interested in helping the hulk pilot haul his ore from a hot zone.

I’ve always considered myself a bit of a “carebear with teeth”, so the “carebear tears” allusion in the title of my new alliance is a slightly uncomfortable fit. But I have long enjoyed collecting good smacktalk from people who have strange ideas about the way peace and harmony ought to rule in EVE — even though it manifestly doesn’t.

So, tonight I was on a routine sweep of my belts when I encountered something I haven’t seen in a long time — a new character mining in a Navitas mining frigate. Normally I’d leave such minnows alone, but this one (Deter Javan) had an annoying corp name (Shoal of the Intrepid Righteousness) and — oddly for a two-week-old character — an alliance tag for an outfit called Integrity Respect Selflessness. Worse yet, he had named his ore jet can something like “Property of the Shoal Of The Intrepid”.

My Suddenly Ninja allies would die of shame if I left this cub unmolested. Besides, he’s well connected, he might have valuable stuff on board and he might decide to “teach the helpless hauler a lesson”. (He is, after all, flying one combat drone.)

So, in I swept in my slightly crunchy blockade runner transport. Click-foom, his can is gone and I’m about 20k units of Scordite the wealthier. All in a day’s work.

What’s this? He wants to talk?

Sure enough, the first miner smacktalk I’ve enjoyed in months:

Deter Javan > was that honestly necessary
Marlenus > Necessary?
Deter Javan > yes
Deter Javan > was it
Marlenus > I dunno, it’s what I do. Is the game necessary?
Deter Javan > no, but you know I pay for it and I’d like to not have my stuff stolen if you don’t mind
Marlenus > Stolen? I’m just salvaging jettisoned ore. I pay too you know.
Deter Javan > it was mine and you know it
Marlenus > It’s mine now, thank you.
Deter Javan > I tagged it and everything
Deter Javan > you’re a fucking dick dude
Marlenus > And I put it in my cargo hold.
Marlenus > No, I’m a *salvager*
Marlenus > And I pick up stuff that others throw overboard
Marlenus > It’s what I do
Marlenus > There are a lot of us, we have an alliance and everything

Unfortunately I lost connection at that point, I’m sure there would have been more.

If there were a “Smacktalk Bingo” drinking game, this player would have scored at least three chugs.

First: “I pay for this game” as a reason why the player should be immune from the activities of other players. Who among us does not pay?

Second: “I tagged it and everything” — the precious idea that putting his name on the can should have caused other players to leave it alone. Is he aware what kind of game EVE is?

Third: Rank profanity. Enough said about that. He who swears first, loses.

No guilt about taking candy from babies this time — because babies don’t have potty mouths.

After a month of being too busy for EVE and another month of moving house plus annoying travel stuff, I got back into the game to find out it was time for new projects. Faction warfare from the Caldari perspective had (has) degenerated into a game of “find some targets”, with no regular fleet combat happening due to the general pointlessness of it all. Worse yet, my favorite people to fly with have all left the Caldari Militia to pursue other projects in other places.

On the upside, the batch of high-quality scoundrels at Suddenly Ninjas has finally gotten their act together (sorta) and formed an alliance of like-minded corps. Since their methods and mine share certain commonalities, I’ve long thought it would be fun to be allied with them, and they attract just enough war declarations to keep life interesting. One quick Evemail to Tchell Dahhn (we’ve discussed the possibility before) and the deed was done!

TEARS (stands for Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service) looks to be in an organize-and-expand sort of phase, one the less charitable might term “getting our shit together”. That’s fine with me, considering that Ironfleet has always been a very loose collection of loners anyway. There aren’t many alliances that could tolerate the enemies a salvage corporation tends to accumulate, but TEARS is up to the job!

Updates as events warrant.

There’s a new dev blog up on proposed changes to the blockade runners, which of course includes my beloved one-missle-launcher Cranes:

The Blockade Runners (Crane, Prorator, Prowler, Viator) are meant to be rather good at getting through gate camps and navigating through low and null sec space with more impunity than the other industrial ships. Several changes such as the introduction of interdictors, heavy interdictors, and force and fleet recons have had an impact on their ability to run blockades with much success at all. As a result, we wanted to try and balance things to better focus them towards their role in light of many changes EVE has seen since they first were introduced.

To improve them we refocused on stealth rather than agility. They will gain the ability to equip covert ops cloaking devices and therefore can warp whilst cloaked. In lieu we removed the +2 warp strength and one or part of their active tanking bonuses which were not really being used anyway as much. They will also gain the ability to utilize the black ops jump portals.

For a salvager, the idea of an stealth-warping hauler is the ultimate pants. I’m gonna have so much fun with this!

I’ll miss the +2 warp strength, it was an insurance policy when can flipping in belts. For that role, it will increase my risk. And the loss of an active tanking bonus will eliminate some of the potential targets (especially hulks) where it comes down to a battle of the tanks. But for the tactical flexibility that covops cloak gives me? I’ll make that trade!

Of course, “these changes are not final and are subject to change” et cetera. But, still. I’m stoked.

(My big haulers, the deep space transports like the Bustard, are also gaining the +2 warp strength the blockade runners are losing. That means I can, for the first time, take them into harm’s way in the asteroid belts without worrying about a devious miner with an unexpected warp scrambler. Also cool.)