Monday 31 August 2009

Screw Dust514, Rust is here and now

Slab: Jus' say "AarrghaarrghpleeassennononoUGH"

-- Detritus' war on drugs
(Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay)

The hangar is cold, too long have I been away. Tonight however I had a date, a date with explosions.

A few weeks back I was challenged to a duel by one Lau Wensink asking if I would be so kind to grant him a 1v1 duel. I agreed at the time but was unavoidably detained with other activities.

Yes I've been away and yes I'm rusty but there's nothing like violence to shake the rust off. The duel was to take place in Eifer, at a safe spot of Lau's choice, I always allow my opponent to choose the safe and form the fleet as it gives them peace of mind that no one will interrupt our little party. We had decided to use Battlecruiser class ships and looking over the assembled hardware in my hangar I was torn between my trusty Hurricanes, two different setups but both rather efficient, and the Harbinger, a brick of a ship but capable of a rather beautiful light show.

Well, Lau was on his way and I chose that age old method of choosing something when undecided, I tossed a coin, Heads it would be the Hurricane, tails, the Harbinger.

The coin spun in the air and took its sweet time to fall, reminds me I need to make sure the artificial gravity is reset in the hangar. I caught the coin and placed it on the desk, a certain unease came over me as I slowly lifted my hand.... Tails

I walked over to the Harbinger, named Sgt, Detritus, an absolute slab, massive armour plates and pretty lasers. My pod was set up nearby and I made preparations to be plugged in. Once inside the pod it was inserted into the Harbinger, systems coming online as soon as I was set. I ran through the installed modules, making sure everything was in order, that I had the correct crystals for the pulse lasers and everything was five by five.

Lau had opened comms with me and said he was in Eifer, I told him to set up a safe and we'll form fleet when I get there.

The long undock of Gusandall station is dark but it helps one focus on the task at hand. I started running through my mental checklists, wondering what I would face, what my tactics would be, finally the night sky of Gusandall greeted me, a fantastic site.

I warped to the Eifer gate and jumped through, automatically aligning and warping to a central safespot where I could scan most the system. Once there I was greeted by a Drake on scan. Interesting, a most formidable battlecruiser with a legendary shield tank. We formed fleet and waited a bit for Lau's capacitor to regen before I would warp in.

Once ready Lau gave the signal, we agreed beforehand the fight was to the wreck of the ship, no podding, suited me fine. I warped to zero, landing about 5 clicks off the Drake, warp trails still streaming off the Harbinger's golden hull as I swung her around and made a direct line for the Drake. Warp scrambler set to overload, stasis web set to overload, I locked the Drake and opened fire.

A flight of light ECM drones spewed out of the Drake's drone bay and it was then I deployed my own drones, a flight of Warrior IIs, chosen specifically to deal with the prospect of ECM. I locked each drone and set my own to deal with them.

The PvP rust was showing as I was neuting drones, webbing and scramming them and Lau got away from me for a moment, until of course I dusted the cobwebs from between my ears and got my act into gear. All the ECM drones were dealt with, but I had more pressing problems, Lau had stripped my shields and was slowly eating away at my massive armour buffer, I had closed the distance and had him firmly tackled, a medium energy neutraliser sucking the lifesblood of the Drake away, my lasers eating at his shields. I had started to overheat everything but neglected to turn off my MWD, my sig radius that of a small moon meaning Lau's Scourge Fury missiles had a whale of a time with my armour. Schoolboy error Kane.

I shut the MWD off, Lau wasn't going anywhere as he was firmly pinned down. My lasers and neut were overheating, climbing into the red, I stopped overheating the lasers as I broke through the Drakes imperious shields, not long now, his armour stripped away, hull venting gas and fuel into space and then my guns winked out, overheated beyond repair. Sweet zombie jesus Kane? What the fuck is wrong with you? I had left the neut running overheated and it did collateral damage to my lasers, burning them out. Lau, at most had 5% structure left and it was down to my flight of Warriors to finish the job and they did a fine job, heroes, each and every one of them.

Lau's Drake exploded, illuminating the expanding cloud of gas and fuel. A fantastic fight, really enjoyed it, burnt out lasers and all. I was at 27% armour when Lau popped, nice and close, just the way I like it.

We spoke for a bit after and then Lau went on his merry, slightly disappointed I think but he did very well and respect to him. This duel is only a small part of this pilots adventures and it appears he has taken it upon himself to challenge celebrities from around the EVE universe to duels, a fantastic idea and one I'm honoured to say I've been part of.

Take a look at Lau's blog for further adventures and you never know if or when he'll challenge your celebrity :P

I docked up in Gusandall, set the crews to knock the dents out of Sgt Detritus' armour and lit a cigarette... I'm back... Sort of.

Sunday 30 August 2009

[OOC] Winds of change

"Just because someone's a member of an ethnic minority doesn't mean they're not a nasty small-minded little jerk [...]"

-- (Terry Pratchett, Feet of Clay)

Needless to say, thinking about a lot of the stuff in my previous posts, I'm pretty much wrong about most all of it. I need a change to re invigorate my love of EVE, don't know when and if I'll find it but I have some Ideas.

The Ideas are just that at the moment and there's nothing concrete, I might fly in different parts of the universe, might join a corp and maybe, just maybe, do something so different it scares me.

I made a recruitment post on Scrapheap Challenge and there are one or two corps that interest me and as soon as my work schedule eases slightly I'll take the time to try and fly with one or two of them before making any decisions on that Idea. It is just an Idea and if one or two others come about I may just stay in NovaKane.

One Idea that intrigues me is one that will take quite some time and a whole lot of planning but it will be epic if I can pull it off. I will probably need one or more wingmen/women to actually make it work but I'm still toying with it.

That's all for now folks, just thought I'd update and write some stuff down to see how it looks.

Stay Classy

Thursday 13 August 2009

[OOC] The Zombie that is Solo Piracy

"Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time."

-- Bursar 1 - Hex 0 (Terry Pratchett, Hogfather)
I'd like to take a moment to respond to a comment on my last blog post. In the post I said:

I've become a dinosaur in EVE, the last of my kind. Solo Piracy may well and truly finally be dead.

It's been bothering me ever since I said it. Now I should probably explain what solo Piracy means to me.

Solo Piracy is one man against the universe, keep what you kill and have the freedom to do anything. Now I have been doing this for over two and a half years, in that time I have made a fuck load of ISK. I scoop every bit of loot, very rarely does anything really shiny drop but it does really add up, I estimate in this time I have made over 4 billion ISK purely off Piracy (Including Ransoms, ship hijacking and the rare shiny faction/deadspace drops)

At the end of the day it's just me. I have had the opportunity to fly with many other pilots, the like of flashfresh, Lucius Caine and Nozarro. I have flown in gangs with Mean Corp, The Bastards and others but when flying with them I have always declined any share of the loot as I'm a guest. Through all this I have remained in NovaKane, in this time I have turned down many offers to join other corps, for one reason, I would lose my freedom. "But you'll be ale to still fly solo" While true I'm going to say something now that will probably make me unpopular. If you're in a corp/alliance with other players, no matter how much you solo, YOU ARE NOT A SOLO PIRATE.

Now that is my opinion and I'm fucking entitled to it.

Sard Caid said...

Solo piracy doesn't die with Kane's dwindling interest in it, ha.

Hope your vacation from solo lowsec PvP works out for you.

Well, there aren't many like me, I suppose it's vain of me but I've done this a very long time, very few EVE players can make that claim. Two and a half years out of three and a half years in EVE I've been in NovaKane, causing havoc around Heimatar, a fucking long time in a game. I've done some awesome things but also made some stupendous mistakes, all without the luxury of calling for backup, Three members of NovaKane: Kane, Keira and an honorary spot for my friend Walter Tull (Who hasn't logged in for almost a year) that's it. Now people may say solo Piracy isn't dead, well, it's fucking close.

Solo PvP is still viable, I will always defend that. It's a hard road to travel but it can be done. Solo Piracy is still viable but don't fool yourself by thinking you're a solo Pirate if you're in a corp/alliance with other players. There is a difference between solo PvP and being a solo Pirate, I just hope people can understand this.

I probably should have clarified my statement in the previous blog to add that it's my opinion.

My previous blog was a ramble, just putting thoughts into text, but Sard did raise an interesting point and thank you for your well wishes, I do hope to find what I'm looking for and you never know, I may just yet drag the zombie corpse of solo Piracy around with me yet.

Wednesday 12 August 2009

[OOC] Crossroads


-- (Terry Pratchett, The Last Continent)
Yes, I'm still alive, no, I'm not fully back to EVE.

Yet again I'm at a crossroads in this marvellous universe, not really sure what I want to do. I've accomplished much in my time, much of which I've written about at one point or another, but you need goals to really keep you interested and to be brutally honest, I have none.

I set out two and a half years ago to forge a name for myself as a solo PvPer/Pirate and to a degree I have. Sure I've stuck to mainly flying small ships but that's my style, I'd much rather fly a Rifter than any other ship in the game.

The game has changed.

Two and a half years ago being a solo pilot in lowsec/nullsec was nigh impossible, yet I managed to do it. I made friends and enemies as I went about my business but there's only so much casual friendships can help you achieve in the game.

Many times I've found myself in situations where I was outnumbered many times over, the mighty Rifter no match for the assorted fire power and ECM availed against it. It was times like that I wish I had a gang of my own, a gang of like-minded individuals out for a suicidal attack, win or lose, good times.

Now I'm pretty gung ho about going into fights, but my suicidal nature has been tempered with the painfull reality that whilst I may be enjoying the moment, it's still a loss. Again, the reality of losses to a solo Pirate matter more than anything else, they affect the bottom line, profit.

I have many investments, enough ISK to last me a lifetime but one thing I've always maintained is that my lifestyle as a Pirate should fund itself and as such I'm loathe to dip into the corporate wallet. My time in EVE has seen me invest in Capital ship building projects, T2 invention & high end market manipulation. I own a T2 BPO, one particularly suited to my favourite class of ships, through this BPO I've been able to fund many of my interests over the years and with my investments in Capital programmes I have friends who have researched and manufactured for me. In the end it's not what you know but who you know.

I'm particularly interested in each of my characters being able to fund themselves, Keira has R&D as a major source of income, of course to get the R&D she had to grind missions, which was painful but paid off. A year or so ago I started her towards an Archon carrier, not touching any corp ISK, she ground out mission after mission to make the 2 Billion ISK for the skillbooks, hull and fittings. Again, missions are boring as all hell but they take very little effort and as such after a long day at work I can mindlessly grind them out. Skill wise, Keira is proficient in flying every ship Kane can although she is specced more towards larger ships. She has Battleship V in three races, maxed in Commandships, exceptional probing skills, all in all a very rounded character, not as focussed towards PvP as Kane but still very, very capable.

The special friend in her covops is absolutely maxed for probing, started specifically for that role but has branched out into transport ships. She flies a mean Prowler. Exploration in lowsec has interested me and this character has been pivotal in this role. She can salvage, hack, analyse and harvest gas, with that in mind she has been known to partake in Ninja Salvaging operations. She is also skilled for PvP and is just a few days away from Interdictors V with Assault Ships V thrown in for good measure. At 30million SP she's a useful character with very good base skills.

There are a few other characters floating around but they will for very obvious reasons remain unknown to anyone but myself.

The latest member of the family was started to be a bait Drake pilot but has evolved into his own. Kenny @ 15million SP is focussed towards flying a max skilled Drake and with that you just know he's being used to grind missions, not for ISK but for Loyalty Points. His latest project is what is taking much of my EVE time when I can be bothered to log in, but the pay-off in the end is huge. Thus far on this little project he has been able to fund a Tengu strategic cruiser which I must say is a very interesting ship.

Now you're probably thinking, Kane, what the fuck? Missions?

Well, uhm yeah, my work schedule has been severe, I have just finished a 22 day straight stint at work, I'm physically and mentally burnt out and as such I have found missions to be rather relaxing. I get to log in, chat with old friends and still play internet spaceships.
I love PvP but it takes a lot of energy, physical and mental to really be successful.

Work though is unrelenting and as such my Piracy and PvP will be virtually nil for the foreseeable future.

So what now?

I've debated a few times closing this blog, but then I've started writing a fictional short story involving some of my characters (I do actually hope to get this done and published on here but I only really write when I'm inspired)

I'm unsure what my future in EVE is. Solo Piracy has always been difficult, taking the most selfish, mentally unstable attitude to being successful but like I said before, the game has changed. Very few people are confident in their skills to take someone like me on solo, they always bring friends (more friends than I can handle), or just happen to be with a boatload of friends whilst I attempt to explode them.

I've become a dinosaur in EVE, the last of my kind. Solo Piracy may well and truly finally be dead.

Nullsec? I really enjoyed my trip to nullsec and my old corps HQ for the Frigate Thunderdome but their membership in Goonswarm doesn't endear that choice to me, they did however recently reveal their first Titan, an Erebus that was involved in a rather successful dual doomsday and with that a massive congratulations from me. Which brings me to another problem I have with nullsec, the blobs are bigger and have bigger toys. The option to join another corp or nullsec alliance does nothing for me, I'm just not going to be another cog in the machine.

Wormhole exploration? An option but a one man operation, even with multiple characters is going to be time consuming. Wormhole Piracy? Again, a time commitment I'm not too keen on.

Faction Warfare? Heh

Open recruitment to NovaKane? An option I've thought about on numerous occasions but one ultimately destined to fail. I just don't have the time and I already run a busy Kitchen, in which I have no time for drama, doing so in a game just doesn't seem to be a productive use of my time off.

Join a small corp of like minded individuals? Shit, I just don't know. Two corps who I have friends in are red to each other, seems like I'll always have mixed loyalties. Again, being a small part of a corp is not for me, my ego wouldn't be able to take it down a notch and I fear I may never fit in. I wouldn't be able to offer much to any corp that would make the corp stronger as a unit, I've been solo too long, preferring to do my own thing, at my own pace in my own time.

It might be that I need to change my perspective on things to find the next challenge, the next big step, to finally achieve something after having done so much in this game to little or no consequence.

So what does the future hold? Well, to be honest I don't know, what I can tell you is I'll still be around, on different characters, but still around. I may actually do some writing from Kenny's perspective as a change of pace cause let me tell you, PvE needs a kick in its ass.

So that's it, an update from me.

Edit: Blogger seems to have been the victim of further DOS attacks and as such I've only just been able to correct some of the many spelling mistakes made, probably more to get but I will try and rectify them ASAP