Hat Trick and a Chance Encounter In The Sandbox

Jimmeny freakin’ crickets!

This has been an absolutely epic day in Eve. I don’t even know where I should start to be perfectly honest. I had been dying to get into the game all day long. It’s summer, which means summer Fridays here in New York (we get out at 2:00 pm). I watched alliance tournament coverage for most of the day (don’t tell anyone), and basically just didn’t get any work done while I day dreamed about Eve. Needless to say I was excited when I finally got past the log in screens and was welcomed by a full turnout from the corporation.

We got a lot done. Things were shuttled to and from hi-sec space. PI got switched around, again, and we tested out a few fits for durability and damage output. I even got an Arbitrator fit to resemble the Pilgrim speed tank fit I developed recently. It will be interesting to see how it performs, but I think the cap is too unstable to make it a viable fit.

Snow suggested we go for a lo-sec roam. She apparently has quite an itchy trigger finger, but a little more bloodlust in the corp is always welcomed in my books. I grab my Pilgrim, Oz rolls out an interceptor, and Snow brings a covert ops boat for scouting. Ok maybe not the most intimidating gang ever, but we should be able to find some fun. We start out in our static system and its adjoining lo-sec chain of about four systems. Not much going on here, but I notice we’re only a few jumps away from a very familiar spot.

Oz and I used to operate out of the Fensi lo-sec chain. It was our first experience living in lo-sec and we felt pretty badass at the time. We know the systems pretty well and have fond memories of some very good hunting spots. It started out pretty much on par with my hunting style so far. An afk frigate was sitting outside a station with a cyno up. I popped him pretty quickly and evaded taking too much damage from the station guns. Sweet only a few minutes on the roam and we’ve got a kill, not bad.

We continue moving through the chain until we enter a system with an unusually chatty local channel. There are only a few pilots in system so I’m surprised to see so much dialogue. It sounds like one of the players has an Eve blog they publish and was recognized by the other pilot in local. The blogger was sitting in a Jaguar outside a station about 15km from docking range. He noticed Snow’s combat probes but didn’t dock up or warp away, instead broadcasting over local where he was. While all of this was going on I was slowing crawling my way towards his ship while cloaked. I was still about 30km away from him and needed to buy myself some time.

I decided to ask the pilot in local about his blog, trying to distract him while I closed the distance. As he was describing his blog to me I mentioned I had an Eve blog as well and we exchanged links (his blog can be found here: After time adrift under open stars). Much to both of our surprise, he recognized my writing! Apparently he had visited the blog a few times in the past. What a small world! A random player in the same lo-sec system as me that I found through a wormhole connection reads my blog. Blows my mind, but doesn’t prevent me from engaging the Jaguar while he is alt-tabbed out reading my blog. Shameless? Absolutely.

Luckily for him the Jaguar’s tank is robust enough to buy him enough time to get into docking range. We all have a laugh in local and I warp to a celestial to wait out my new global tag. We hang around a little longer talking until my tag expires and our roam continues on to the next system. A number of ships appear on d-scan, but there aren’t enough pilots in local to account for all of them. Snow throws out some combat probes to start getting a handle on them while I d-scan the system to help narrow the field. It turns out a Velator has decided to going afk while in a safespot. Never a good idea, especially with my expertise in popping afk Velators. Snow locks down the signal from her probes and I warp in to make quick work of the defenseless ship. Two ships down! What a good roam!

A few more ships are hanging out in the system, but we know there aren’t any pilots in them. Snow finds them with the probes and we see two Herons unpiloted floating in what remains of a POS. The tower and many of the buildings are still there, but nothing is online and the Herons are free for the taking. I wanted to blow them up, but apparently Snow could make some use of them for some of that industrial, profitable stuff she does. Oz ejects and “commandeers” the vessels. This has been a surprisingly profitable excursion so far. I mean considering we were expecting to lose our ships, things are turning out well. We move on, and find a rather elusive Myrmidon. We play cat and mouse through a few systems but can’t seem to lock him down. He knows we’re after him, and we know his ratting ship won’t withstand our force. A Myrmidon would be a very nice addition to the killboard.

Eventually we let Oz into the system alone with our prey. Hoping with only one pilot in local he will be less likely to run. Oz is having a tough time finding him even in his interceptor, but it’s only a matter of time before he eventually lands in the same belt as him. I kick the slow as hell Pilgrim over into the warp and heat up the modules. Oz has the Myrmidon locked down well, and isn’t taking too much damage. The Hobgoblin I drones can’t keep up with him and he hasn’t taken much if any damage so far. I lock onto his drones and launch a wave of acolyte II’s. They begin chewing through the outclassed enemy drones while I get into a suitable orbit of the target and engage my tracking disruptors.

The pilot of the doomed vessel begins a chat session with Oz asking for us to spare his ship. Negotiations begin but he is less than reasonable. We offer a ransom of 80 million isk, which is a steal in his ship to be honest, but he refuses. Alright, no sweat off my back. The energy nuets make his attempts at actively repairing his armor impossible and he shortly vaporizes in a brilliant blue explosion. We loot the wreck and even salvage what’s left of the ship with Snow’s salvager module. Who fits salvagers on a roam? We do apparently. We decide to call it a night after such a great kill and fly our ships back to the HQ system.

What a great day playing in the sandbox! This is really what keeps bringing me back to Eve over and over. You just can’t get these kinds of conflicts and interactions in any other game. Not to mention flying spaceships is super fun!

Poor Little Guy

Ugh work has been such a pain in the ass the last few days. I was out in the field for 48 hours doing nothing but planting plugs in a wetlands mitigation test area. Long story short I had to make holes in dirt. A lot of holes. Like on the order of 2,250 of them. They weren’t big mind you but still, the shoulders are very unhappy with me, and I have a volleyball game tonight! Anyway, this is not why people read an Eve blog…

I’m able to log on for a bit. It’s the fourth of July which means no work for me! It does mean I have to go watch things explode for half an hour later on though. Better get as much time in as I can. The whole corp is on, and of course something has just gone down. Fleet invites immediately upon logging in are always a good sign. Turns out a small fleet from a connecting wormhole had laid siege to one of our new towers in the HQ system. They pounded away on it for a while and threw a number of threats our way before packing up and leaving. Collapsing their wormhole connection along the way. So much for the threats I guess.

I check the kill log for the corp while everyone is catching up on PI and other industrious things. I can’t help but notice that Oz lost a Bestower to an Anathema that scrambled him while a friend warped in for the kill. It’s too funny, and embarrassing for both of us, to not exchange a few words on the matter. Anyway time is wasting and I want to hunt. I grab the Pilgrim and throw it through our new static wormhole.

Great God of Amarr I hate Gallente space. It just feels hostile towards me, even in lo-sec away from their pestering navies. This static has dumped us in the Isenan system, which is a dead end with a connection to one more lo-sec system before being bracketed by hi-sec. Gallente hi-sec and me don’t get along too well, so it looks like my hunting area is pretty limited at the moment. The gateway system has a few pilots pass through but nothing of note. I jump back and forth between the two for a while hunting random frigates that happen to leave a station and what not. Everyone seems to stay near force fields or gate guns though, and my ship has a hard time keeping up with the agile smaller vessels I’m stalking.

Finally I find a Velator sitting somewhere in our gateway system alone. That sounds promising, and I start narrowing in my directional scanner range to find out where he’s hiding. I can’t believe what I find. He’s alone in an asteroid belt mining. I land about 20km from him still cloaked, and begin to creep my way towards him. There is no one else in the system and I know I can pop his ship before any help comes even if this is some kind of bait. At about 12km I decloak and warm up the modules while a fleet of light drones poor out of my drone bay. The fight, if you can call it that, lasted about 10 seconds. Six of which was me waiting for my cloak to stop interfering with my ability to lock onto his ship.

He never moved, never said a word, never turned off his mining laser. His ejected pod sat next to his wreck while I looted it and destroyed it. He finally warped off and Oz congratulated me on another impressive kill. I’m actually quite proud of all my kills. Was his class of ship ever going to withstand my attack? No, but I was able to find him, approach him, and engage him without him knowing. That is the thrill of lone wolfing a cloaked combat ship. Being able to pick the fight you know you’ll win and execute it. For every afk frigate I kill, there are a dozen ships I run into that would have blown me away easily. A good pilot recognizes when to fight and when to flee and I feel like I’m becoming better at it every day.

That’s when I notice the pilot I just attacked was two days old.

Ok maybe I feel a ping of guilt on this one. But that doesn’t stop me from trying to kill him again when I see him in the system a few minutes later in another frigate. Luckily for him he doesn’t stick around long and is out of system before I can really begin to start looking for him. Either way I have another kill, but it’s time to go watch things explode like every good American. Hopefully I can find something a little more satisfying tomorrow.

Oz Will Never Let Me Live This One Down

Eve time has been sporadic. Was out of town for most of the weekend and limited time between starcraft matches before that. I did manage to touch base with Snow for a bit before going away. She informed me that the corp needed more enriched uranium for POS needs and such. My planetary interaction has been focused on producing nano-factories for a while, but the profits aren’t very good and the turn around on them is very slow. I’m more than happy to reorganize some thing to help the corp out.

Enter my PI notebook. Scribbling commences as I note which planet types we have in our system and what resources are most abundant on each of them. It looks like the uranium won’t be a problem, but it’s going to eat up two of my command center slots. That’s fine, I’m thinking I’ll make something less labor intensive this time around. I opt for polytextiles since our system is rich in carbon compounds and autotrophs. Setup takes me a little under two hours but they start humming away nicely. When I logged back in a few days later I was already measuring uranium by the thousands and the polytextiles weren’t far behind.

I had just gotten back from my trip away, slightly sunburned and ready to catch up on the planets’ outputs. I take the Bestower out and warp to planet one to grab the first load. Just as I’m aligning to the next planet I see an Anathema pop up on my overview. He doesn’t have time to lock me up before I enter warp, but I also know I’m not going to have enough time to align to another target before he gets a second chance. Sure enough he drops out of warp next to me before I can even get the ship turned around. I drop all of my cargo into our customs station at planet two. At least I can prevent them from stealing my stuff even if I can’t keep them for blowing up my hauler.

It takes what seems a lifetime. The Anathema is not made for combat. Even though my ship is completely defenseless, it is taking quite some time for him to blast his way through my armor. A Manticore showed up at some point but I was too busy giving my support to the covert op gank to pay him much attention. My ship pops, we have a chuckle in local and I ask what they were able to salvage from my ship.

“Just the tractor beam.”

Profitable excursion. They probably spent more on ammo than they got back in loot. Hell I got more back on my insurance than they made in killing me. Thanks guys! Either way it was a fun little encounter. I ask if either wants to test that fit against one of my Punishers but no one pipes up. I decide I probably shouldn’t head back out to finish my hauling. Besides, Snow has a fresh batch of Arbitrators in the hangar ready for me to fit! That news makes my evening and I rocket my pod over to the hangar to grab one. Only problem is someone put the hangar offline, and I can’t get anything out of it! Nothing seems to be going my way tonight. That’s alright, I only had about an hour to play anyway and even though I lost a ship in the process, it was entertaining, although I don’t think Oz will let me forget I was ganked by an Anathema piloted by a Mr. Moontitties anytime soon.