Monday 4 December 2017

Farewell, you magnificent bastards

This is me this time last year as we sailed towards the Antarctic
It's been a blast, these last few weeks playing again brought back a lot of memories, and while the game has changed a fair bit, and it's definitely not as busy a it used to be, EVE is unique in it's ability to give me the PvP shakes, still to this day, 11 years after the first time.

So as I sail off once again, I hope to be able to come back and enjoy this amazing game in the future, when that will be, nobody knows.

Till then, fly it like you stole it!

Tuesday 28 November 2017

That's one ugly ass ship, but it gets the job done

 - "America?" said Mrs Liberty. "Won't we get scalped?"
- "Good grief, no!" said William Stickers, who was a bit more up to date about the world.
- "*Probably* not," said Mr Fletcher, who had been watching the news lately and was even more up to date than William Stickers.
-- Still looking for a good place to party
(Terry Pratchett, Johnny and the Dead)

It's been good, being back in the black, looking for targets and finding a few.
The Gusandall pocket is no where near as busy as it once was, but from time to time a target appears.

One such target was preying on a Thrasher in Eifer, piloted by a very young capsuleer. The Tengu pilot looks to have been around a while, definitely experienced, a quick glance at a screen containing recent confirmed kills indicated he was a small scale operator, a few solo kills of late and seeing as I was already in the black in Gusandall, I made my way over to Eifer to investigate.

Just as I jumped the gate into Eifer, the young Thrasher exploded and I felt I had missed my chance, but as I landed in system I engaged warp to the asteroid belt where the smouldering wreck of the Thrasher was, now a grizzly reminder of what had just happened.

Keira was watching, from a perch above the belt, she noticed the Tengu wasn't aligned to anything in particular and as I landed she raised her concern about what I was about to do.

Too late, I had disengaged the cloak, primed tackle and activated my targeting systems.
Good target lock, tackle glows green and I pulse my microwarp drive to get in range of my guns.
In range, blasters start blasting and the Tengu starts chewing through my shields, not with missiles, as is customary, but it looks like blasters too. Large chunks of my shield are stripped away, I activate my armour rep, the Tengu scrams me and deactivates my MWD, starting to pull a little range, I launch a flight of small ecm drones, which disrupt the Tengu's lock just long enough for me to get it back into my optimal.

It's taking too long to strip the Tengu's shields, I recall the ecm drones and launch some Hobgoblins for a little extra DPS, I overheat my blasters to the brink of melting but finally the shields collapse, and in short order so too do the armour and hull. The Tengu explodes violently, the escape pod warping out a second before target lock resolves, and away from danger.

It's at this point, as the adrenaline is coursing through my veins that Keira brings my attention to the Tengu pilots kill record, showing me that it is know to fly with the locals who have on more than one occasion dropped black ops and other assorted mayhem on me via cyno, had I seen that I would have not even thought about engaging, but fortune favours the brave, and sometimes the foolish.

I'm rather impressed with the Proteus, a few decent kills , it's not often you can pack good DPS, a cloak, combat probes and a solid tank into one package, does it have to be so ugly though?

It's definitely an ugly duckling.

Keira is making up for it, flying something way sexier, as is her way. Let me just say there's something special about being able to warp around at over 15 AU/s

OOC: ...And once again I'm off

While it's been great being back in game, unfortunately I head back to sea on Monday, sailing across the Indian Ocean and away from any sort of decent internet. The past few years have been an amazing experience and while it takes me away from the joys of the modern world like the good internet speeds, it has taken me to the Antarctic twice, around the world several times and I don't regret a thing.

Might be able to play a bit at the end of the year when I will be spending a few weeks in Boston with my partner, but maybe not, who knows :)

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Look who came to visit...

 "You can think and you can fight, but the world's always movin', and if you wanna stay ahead you gotta dance."
-- (Terry Pratchett, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents)

An old friend came by Gusandall.
She didn't bring with it the frenetic frigate combat she was famous for.
She didn't bring bling fit frigates to harvest for their tears
She didn't bring back life to this now empty corner of the universe.

She did bring back some great memories!

Thursday 16 November 2017

A Thief in the Night

"You won't get away with this," said Cutwell. He thought for a bit and added, "Well, you will probably get away with it, but you'll feel bad about it on your deathbed and you'll wish -- " He stopped talking.
-- Cutwell tries to reason with the Duke of Sto Helit
(Terry Pratchett, Mort)

The Hangar is cold and dark, the low hum of slumbering giants a white noise to block out all sound, an eerie stillness to the air, almost suffocating.

It's been a long time, a layer of dust obscures the console, I wipe the dust away and check the hangar systems and inventory "Yep, all as I left it" I think to myself, but something is not quite right, someone has been here. As power is restored to the hangar, the lights high in the vaulted ceiling start to flicker to life, slowly illuminating the caverous hangar.

As light slowly pushes back the dark I see tracks in the dust, someone has definitely been here. I follow the tracks, towards my old Rifter, The Cunning Man has been the ship that defined me and to a large part I defined the Rifter, back in the day, when frigate Piracy was a vibrant and wonderful thing.

I board the vessel and immediately see someone has been messing with the systems, modifications have been made, and I don't like what I see. There's a note on the fitting console, it reads:

"I made some changes, took away the utility high cause let's be honest, who needs a utility high, and I made adjustments to the lows, you can now fit an extra low.
You're welcome

I don't know whether to scream or track down this Fozzie and strangle him with his own tongue, or both at the same time. I know I haven't been around for a while, but don't touch my stuff.

The utility high was the only thing that gave the Rifter parity with other frigates after they were boosted to not only match the Rifter but to superscede it as the premier tech 1 frigate.

When the Rifter was good, it was oh so good, able to catch and brawl Interceptors and Assault Frigates in the 2/10 of Gusandall, to hunt down cruisers and battlecruisers in the belts of Eifer and generally punch above its weight in the right hands in all sorts of situations. The Rifter was Godly if piloted well, but it was never really that overpowered that it deserved this.

Maybe this Fozzie was indecently assaulted by a Rifter when he was a young Capsuleer, or maybe he's forgotten what it's like to be a Capsuleer. I suppose we will never know.

Sunday 14 May 2017

A Decade of Solo

"Well, 'scuse me. I was jus' tryin' to save the world."
-- Gaspode the wonder dog
(Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures)

It is a strange thing, having played EVE Online for 11 years, but having spent most of it in my own little world is even stranger. Of course I missed this little nugget of information, there should be a pop up or something, maybe CCP could look into that.

EVE System > Channel MOTD: ArsClan Public Channel |  <3 br=""><3 3="">
<3 br="">Lars Erlkonig > happy belated 10 years of solo in NovaKane  Kane Rizzel
Kane Rizzel > holy shit
Kane Rizzel > didn't even see that
Kane Rizzel > thanks
Lars Erlkonig > o7 welcome

What really amazes me is that the game is still going, somewhat different to what I remember, I miss the so-called good old days, an age where solo Piracy was a vibrant and exciting path.
I have found it very difficult since returning to actually Pirate in my old area. There was definitiely a Golden Age for Piracy, it certainly isn't dead, the new local bloc living in the area are proof of that, using bait citadels where they often kill unsuspecting super capitals, being able to covert cyno onto any valuable target in moments.
Of course like most power blocs that have lived in the Gusandall area they tend to spend their off time running the local anomolies and DED sites without a care as I certainly don't pose a threat to them, their ability to use Black Ops with impunity has seen to me staying far away from them.

The universe has changed so much.

I have enjoyed my time back in game, I will however be deploying again, pretty soon actually, so will be away for an undetermined amount of time, but as always, I will be back.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Watch EVE on TV

I must confess the the activities of the UK governments for the past couple of years have been watched with frank admiration and amazement by Lord Vetinari. Outright theft as a policy had never occured to him.

-- (Terry Pratchett,

Nashh Kadavr and his EVE_NT team have a youtube channel that broadcasts all there torunaments and events, give it a follow and enjoy Tournament PvP at its finest.

Really stoked to see the EVE_NT brand grow so much since that first meet a few years ago.

Friday 7 April 2017

This fit ain't right

"I like the idea of democracy. You have to have someone everyone distrusts," said Brutha. "That way, everyone's happy."
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

The corporation hangar is crowded, various methods of violence adorn the cavernous hangar of Gusandall station, massive containers full of modules, ammunition, drones, and loot sit in one corner, in another is a freezer container full of over a thousand corpses, and a few frozen scientists.
Numerous unbuilt hull packages sit waiting to be opened and assembled.

I open the datapad and start looking at various fits, some in serious need of updating, some frigates with large rigs still fitted. So I spent most of the day updating and refitting dozens of ships, most have never seen the outside of this hangar, some never will.
Keira's Moros and Apostle sit idle, the Apostle needs to be refit but no way of getting hold of my errant sister, Keira the only member of the family able to fly both capital ships.
My Command Strategic cruisers have been totally refit, at great expense mind you for a totally different role, which would mean being part of a fleet so they too will now stand idle, but at least they look awesome

It amazes me how when left idle for so long, that some of the fits of my ships no longer 'fit', degraded CPU and Powergrid seems to have been the biggest issues with most of my frigates.

It's a good thing the Gusandall pocket is a dead end of space, with very little traffic and even less targets presenting themselves over the course of the day I was able to get everything pretty much sorted.

I should really look at consolidating some of this stuff, maybe try and sell off some of my unused shinies, but that will take a great amount of effort, and probably require a few freighter loads to get everything to Rens or similar, which would require tracking down another NovaKane associate who has a freighter and having the patience to sort through everything.

It's crazy how things have accumulated, I guess being away so long has given me fresh eyes with which to assess my needs, and I could really do with less, or more ISK.

Wednesday 5 April 2017

If you can't beat them...

And this had been the way things were for as far back as the frogs could remember [footnote: About three seconds. Frogs don't have good memories].
-- (Terry Pratchett, Wings)

Perusing my rather expensive losses since my return to the black, I have come to the conclusion that if you can't beat them... Uhm... join them?

So off I went to buy myself a Black Ops battleship, fitted it, and admired it's awesomeness.

But there's a small problem, the thing is pretty, but useless as a solo ship, this thing would require at least one other person, in a hunter ship, to track, tackle and light the covert cyno to obliterate some fools day. Or get counter dropped and lose some more ISK.

The Return of the Plex

So, I'm going about my business, probing out the sites of the day, making bookmarks, when something remarkable happens.

An old freind has returned to Gusandall. Some old school pirates will be familiar with this friend, responsible for many, many good fights, crazy traps and all round good times.

Sadly, he won't be around for long, it's so crazy that he very rarely shows up anywhere in the cluster, let alone Gus, but it was good to see him, even if no one was going to try farm him and lose their expensive farming frigate hilariously.

I still mourn the loss of the static 2/10, the sheer amount of content it created was amazing, the personal drama and good risk versus reward  of plex life fueled the area. Now Gusandall is a ghost town, other than wormholers moving stuff to highsec or the occasional lost rookie mining outfit, the area is devoid of much action.

Reading over some of my accounts of life in and around the 2/10 of Gusandall, really makes me feel old, almost eleven years in this verse and the shine is somehwat diminished.

How do we bring life back to pockets of space that were once vibrant combat areas?
Where mission runners dared to risk their shiny battleships, where small ship Pirates could make ISK by hunting those that would venture into the area for a big b-type payday without risking having blackops/supercarriers dropped on their heads, where actual large scale mining ops used to take place with a full armed escort ready to be pounced upon by crazy locals. Where anti-pirate corporations and alliances would roam through to try clean up the area. Where major PvP corporations and alliances would come to for "Good Fights"

Where have all the "Good Fights" gone?

Sunday 26 March 2017

Covert cynos killed the solo piracy star

 Anathema didn't only believe in ley-lines, but in seals, whales, bicycles, rainforests, whole grain in loves, recycled paper, white South Africans out of South Africa, and Americans out of practically everywhere down to and including Long Island.

-- (Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman, Good Omens)

A slight miscalculation

You can tell I'm it's been a while, that paranoid edge is gone, and it led to an expensive mistake.

I'm running around the area, getting used to everything again, when I spot a Vargur running a cosmic sig in Auren, having previously probed out the area I went back to station in Gus to grab something a little more suitable to take on the mighty tank of said Vargur. I boarded my Hyperion, undocked and warped to the Auren gate.

 [ 2017.03.26 01:57:30 ] EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Auren

I landed and didn't even pay attention to local in Gus, I jumped through and was followed by a Tengu.
The stargate launches me into Auren I hold cloak for a second but I don't want the Vargur to get away, so I drop gate cloak and initiate warp to the cosmic sig, only for the Tengu to decloak, and tackle me.

Now at this point I'm pretty sure I can take the Tengu, thinking it was associated to the Vargur (perhaps it was but it never came)

But all of a sudden, covert cyno goes up and ships start cynoing in.

 [ 2017.03.26 01:59:07 ] Rengas > happy daylight savings

Things appear to be going south, but I'm pretty confident in my tank, that is, until the neuts rock in.

 [ 2017.03.26 01:59:56 ] Rengas > can you just die already

I could see by the incoming DPS, the fact I was neuted and out of cap, target painted, jammed, scrammed and webbed that I was not going to make it back to the gate, I was not going to be able to micro jump out, consuming a booster was not going to save me, so I prepared to warp my pod out.

Of course, as my Hyperion explodes, my pod's systems froze up and crashed.
I furiously try to get the systems back online, and then...

Pitch black.

Waking up in a fresh clone after all these years, never gets easier, or cheaper. Even if my systems didn't crash, I would not have been able to save my pod, the smartbomb on the Panther made sure of that

[ 2017.03.26 02:00:13 ] EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Gusandall

[ 2017.03.26 02:01:55 ] Kane Rizzel > client crash as i popped and podded
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:21 ] Rengas > nice pod bruh
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:25 ] Kane Rizzel > thanks
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:32 ] Kane Rizzel > not my most expensive luckily
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:36 ] ROSSLINDEN0 > tanked like a beast
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:47 ] Rengas > the other sin pilots have garbage fits
[ 2017.03.26 02:02:54 ] Rengas > you could have tanked them all day
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:02 ] Kane Rizzel > didn't really stand a chance against what you dropped
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:08 ] RX-78GP01 Uraki > that sux
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:18 ] Kane Rizzel > it's all good
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:18 ] Rengas > solo pvp died in 2011
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:24 ] Rengas > embrace the blob
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:28 ] Kane Rizzel > never
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:38 ] Kane Rizzel > good hunting
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:45 ] Rengas > you too o7
[ 2017.03.26 02:03:46 ] Messoroz > i too spend more on implants than the ship 10x

After the fact, as I was getting used to my new clone in station as a few of my pod liberators passed through Gusandall they commented on the kill. One comment struck me. So many times I have been told that solo piracy is dead, but I think most people who say that are the problem it's not thriving, my fate only minutes earlier a good example of why.
If you run around all day waiting for a target to drop your friends on, you are the reason solo is more difficult. This isn't me crying foul, it's just a fact.

Will it stop me running around solo doing what I have always done?
No, it just means I need to be smarter about it, or find folk who align with my ideals.

Being smarter

Coming back after all these years means old gentlemen's agreements have fallen by the way side, and not taking them for granted is a key survival tool. Point in fact, yesterday as I was hunting for an Astero, I warped in on the data site and engaged the Astero, only for a Cyclone to warp in (The pilot was in a corp from many years ago who aligned with my ideals and we generally had an aggrement not to violence each other and even helped each other when needed)
At first I assumed he was going to steal my kill, but as the Astero popped, the Cyclone engaged me, scramming and neuting.
A quick afterburner burst aligning out and I quickly got out of scram range, engaging my cloak as I warped out.

Minutes later a cyno is lit in Eifer, I warp at range to investigate, to see a cyno lit by a Vexor, who's systems seem to have gone offline. I moved closer and still seeing the Cyclone in system I orbited the Vexor at 30km with my MWD burning, launched drones and set them on the Vexor.
The Cyclone wars in, on the top of the Vexor and once again I assume a kill is about to be stolen.
The Vexor explodes and the capsule emergency warps out and the Cyclone appears to not even having engaged. He did of course steal the loot of both kills, c'est la vie.

Feeling a bit putout I needed to make tale out my frustrations, so I headed back to Gus and grabbed a Cheetah to combat probe the pod. Having done so I headed back to Gus and grabbed a combat vessel, headed to Eifer and liberated the capsuleer from his implants.

In conclusion

My return hasn't been spectacular, well only my loss could count as such, but I'm slowly finding my way again. I started watching some videos of a dude called Chance Ravinne and was massively impressed by the wormhole solo PvP he engaged in. I imagine most of y'all have seen his stuff, he was even a CSM member, but after 3 odd years away from the universe, I'm only just starting to catch up.

Who do I speak to about Lowsec and Piracy?

Saturday 18 March 2017

Spring Clean

Instead, people would take pains to tell her that beauty was only skin-deep, as if a man ever fell for an attractive pair of kidneys.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Maskerade)
It's been a while, the dust lies deep over the dimly lit desk, a small tablet counts away the skillpoints, still learning after all this time. The dark clings tightly, the dim light not enough to illuminate the surroundings, but it's a large hangar, and it somehow, feels full of menace, danger, and excitement.

Everything is exactly where Kane left it, more or less, the family is spread far and wide, his adventures having taken him elsehwere, but having just returned from a polar expedition on some far flung planet, he feels a need to venture once more into the dark of the universe, amongst the stars, a home as important to him as the oceans of all the planets in the verse.

So much has changed, none of the familiar faces in comms channels for one, and Gusandall seems to have grown some so called citadels, corporation owned space stations, but all seems strangely familiar.

Kane thinks to himself  "Time do do some cleaning"