Archive for December, 2011

Faction War Mentions

Posted in Uncategorized on December 9, 2011 by shaleelianne

From the recently released patch notes, here,

EVE API

  • Added factional warfare systems to the SDE with warCombatZones and warCombatZoneSystems.

Also, Faction Warfare got a small mention from CCP Soundwave on the Mintchiplol’s interview with him, which can be found here.

In other news.  Huola was taken by the Minmatar Militia recently.  I wouldn’t even mention this because I feel that plexing is somewhat pointless with the new mechanics, that systems can now be taken in the matter of hours instead of weeks that it used to take us.

However, I wanted to open up a dialogue about plexing.  What do you think about it?  Do you participate in it?  What are your reasons for doing so?  Comment!

And while you’re here, participate in this poll:

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New Eden Racing Association Closes

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 by shaleelianne

An interview with Norrin Ellis, Team Manager of Venture Racing.

Click here to learn more about New Eden Racing Association.  Also, you can read Norrin’s blog here.

 

To start with, tell us about the Racing League. When was it created?

Oh, it’s been a long time. I believe the league has been around in one incarnation or another since 2006. Maybe before that. The ship classes allowed in the competition have changed over the years, and so has the season format. The tracks have been adapted as game mechanics necessitate it, too.

For the most part, however, the sport has been very consistent as far as rules and procedure go.

How long have you been a part of it?

I got involved as a spectator and fan around the end of the first season with my original character. I started racing as a hobbyist in Season 2, and I formed Venture Racing Team ( www.ventureracingteam.com ) with my partner, Takashi Kurosawa, for Season 4.

How many seasons have there been?

There were eight full seasons, and the current season that collapsed was the ninth.

Tell us about the racetracks and describe how the races were conducted. Also, how often were the races held?

Most recently, races were held once per week. The tracks consist of 15 secure audit log containers scattered through space. At the starting line, racers would be given the location of the first waypoint and a password for all the cans on the track.

Upon reaching the first location, racers approach the can, open it, and the bookmarks inside give the location of the next waypoint. Locations can have multiple waypoint cans in one spot, so there are opportunities to shoot each other or be shot by passers-by.

The last waypoint gives the location of the finish line, a station in highsec. Race order is determined by docking times.

Where were the races held?

Any region of empire space was valid. The regions for the season would be randomly selected prior to making the schedule. All waypoints were in lowsec. Starting and finish lines were highsec stations.

Races did not have to stay in one region though. It’s possible to start in Sinq Laison and end up in Kor-Azor.

Any notable FactionWar pilots in the racing league?

Graelyn is probably the biggest name I can think of off the top of my head.   Esna Pitoojee joined my team last season, too. He didn’t have an opportunity to race often, though.

What kind of prizes did racers win?

The league had prize pools built primarily from sponsorship funds that were contributed. Racers and teams also pay registration fees that were paid out as prizes, after meeting administrative costs. In seasons past, some sponsors have also contributed ships or modules as prizes for winning or accomplishing other specific feats on the track.

As a team manager, I paid my racers simply for participating. The more often they raced and the better they performed, the larger share they received at the end of the season.

From your perspective, why did the League collapse?

It was a combination of things related to my scouting of the track. No one had ever scouted entire tracks. Racers typically didn’t know the layout or waypoints in advance. Occasionally, people would find a waypoint before the race and bookmark it, but it was never a systematic effort until I did it for the final race of last season.

Before I did it, I asked the league organizer if it was alright. The league’s position is that it was not against the rules, and no prohibition could’ve been enforced anyway, so I was permitted on the condition that I did not physically stalk the race organizer while she set up the tracks.

I continued scouting the tracks for the first, and only, two races of the current season. When our rivals realized what we were doing, they were a lot more agitated than I expected. Had the league organizer expected the degree of rage that ensued, she probably would’ve told me up front not to do it.

The league posted new rules to mitigate the benefits of scouting because, as I mentioned, banning scouting itself would be unenforceable. My team and I, along with a small minority of our rivals, were satisfied with this as the most feasible plan, but others insisted on an unenforceable regulatory scheme.

In the end, the league organizer decided it was no longer fun to run the events and decided not to continue.

As a friend said, it was a team effort that collapsed the league. I scouted the tracks. The league let me do it. The majority of our rivals couldn’t let it go and move forward.

How have you been affected by the closing of the League? Any fall out with other racers?

I think a lot of them blame me exclusively for the collapse. The tradition that developed over the years of not knowing the track prior to the race was simply accepted as law. The argument about what is and what is not in the spirit of the sport, however, ends at the point that I made my intentions clear to the league official and asked permission to break this tradition.

I’ve always trusted Gyra as the final arbiter of what is within the letter, as well as the spirit, of the rules. When she didn’t say no, I proceeded with a clear conscience.

There are a few outsiders that didn’t even race who have made a hobby of smearing my integrity at every opportunity, even before this incident, but I tend to ignore those folks.

Sometimes I do things I’m not exactly proud to admit. This wasn’t one of those things. Tracks were kept secret to prevent outsiders from setting up shop at the waypoints and ruining the events. The fact that racers never knew the layout was purely incidental.

Do you think the League will start again under new management?

I think that someone will eventually pick it up. Perhaps Gyra will get bored and decide to give it another go. In the meantime, I’m not going to dwell on it. EVE is supposed to be fun, and lamenting a loss isn’t fun. I’ve got other things on my plate to keep me occupied.

Thank you for the interview, any parting thoughts?

Games within the game are a great concept. It’s part of what made racing fun. For those who enjoy that sort of thing, I recommend EVE Online Hold’Em to play poker for ISK ( www.eohpoker.com ). Drop by the in-game channel EOH Poker to see what it’s about, and tell them Norrin sent you.

Yeah, shameless plug for the win.

Poll: To Spy, Or Not To Spy?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 by shaleelianne

Interview: Nashh Kadavr, CEO of Kadavr Black Guard, Minmatar

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2011 by shaleelianne

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. 

To start with, tell us about the Kadavr Black Guard, [-KBG-] and what inspired you to create it?



To cut a very long story short, I needed a break from low sec after two years and setup a WH based corp just for myself, shooting sleepers in relative peace and quiet. That corp started to grow with the addition of some friends and inevitably the pull of combat was there after a few run-ins with invaders.

I didn’t want to be left out of a position of control and rejoin the Bastards so instead started the ‘Kadavr Black Guard’. Slowly but surely the black Guards started to grow and it still is, although a little slower than I anticipated.

Has [-KBG-] always been a part of the Minmatar Militia?



Yes, since it’s formation, the Black Guards have been in the militia. At this stage we are on a brief hiatus mainly related to a PVP holiday to null sec.

Why did you choose the Minmatar Militia over the others for [-KBG-] ?


The Minmatar militia resides in my most favoured area of lowsec and living next to a big clump of Ammarians would provide plenty of targets to shoot at. An associate of mine has been in the Caldari Militia a few years back but they are simply to disorganized and live in an area I don’t come often anymore.

What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of the Minmatar Militia currently?


The Minmatar militia unfortunately lacks trust in other corps and in newer players. Rightfully so in many cases due to spying and suchlike, however this leads to smaller gangs with too few willing FC’s to take on the much larger Amarr community.

There are some quality FC’s but when multiple of them are online often they refuse to organize themselves to form up a cohesive battle force for the greater good, instead choosing to remain on their own comms and flying in smaller, less effective gangs when the need arises to come together for the greater good.

What kind of rules and policies does [-KBG-] have?

Having fun is the main priority for sure, I guess second would be a certain level of respect for colleagues and enemies alike.

The less rules the better if you ask me, EVE is a relaxing time away from planet-side-life and it shouldn’t be too stressful. Of course we follow basic comms- and gang- disciplines when we form up but other than that we encourage members to go out and do stuff as they please.

Good killboard stats are nice but certainly isn’t a requirement to remain with the corp.

What are some of the more memorable battles [-KBG-] have been involved in?



I guess we had a fair few that are worth mentioning but I guess the smack related to killing Lord Servant’s faction fit Machariel was very good fun. (I did undock a carrier on him which was the reason for the smack)

Also recently we killed a faction fit Tengu from an anti-pirate corp that has now vowed their revenge and such like.

I guess it’s not always the fight that makes the excitement; sometimes it’s just the chase that gets the blood flowing. Winning or losing can still produce the same levels of endorphins that we all look for by doing PVP.

What kind of pilots do you look for? 

We have accepted many new PVPers and will still consider the ‘right’ noob to join our ranks but ideally we would only collect those with experience in low-sec PVP.

What are the requirements for joining [-KBG-]?



We have a ranking system not only indicating the level of participation and skills of each member but it also incorporates a trial period of 30 days. In those thirty days a new member (cannon-fodder) has to produce 20 kills of which 2 solo. Once that standard has been reached they become a full member of the corp.

The minimum skill-points required at this stage is 5 million sp but we can make exceptions for those gifted few.

A final requirement is that you don’t bring baggage in any form, if you are that miserable bitter-vet with a list of moans and groans, we are not for you.

What are some other corps that you most admire, and why?



I guess I would have to say the Bastards as they still have some of the best guys in EVE. Flash their CEO is the best CEO I have had in-game and I can only aspire to make my corp as great as the legacy he is building. Other than that they have a few members that contribute to the EVE community as a whole like TheHermit for example with his many apps and add-ons custom made to make EVE a better place.

What are you most proud of for your corp?



The core group I have managed to gather around me. Building a corp in EVE is not to dissimilar as running a business in real life and in my opinion it all revolves around people.

Getting the right people onboard is essential to generate a lasting concept and will help the the corp to be stronger in the long run.

I currently have two directors, one UK based (Anabaric) and one US based (Acute), both are very different and bring something very different to the table but both are loyal and dedicated to the project we have going here. Without those guys it would have been a lot harder if not impossible.

I run a second corp and again I have key people at the helm there, Beaute and Dragon. Without those guys I wouldn’t have enough time to do what I do and would likely have to disband one of the corps for the sake of saving the other.

What is the hardest part of being a CEO? Also, what is the most gratifying?

Ha! Well in the same breath as saying that people are the key to success they are also the bane of any bosses life. An old friend of mine once said without staff and customers I have the best job in the world, a very true statement.

With so many different personalities and cultures swirling around in our Universe you are guaranteed to run into troubles along the way. People disagree and fall out, people go that you don’t want to go and so on.

It is important to stay positive in those situations and move on as intended. As much as possible I run the corp democratically, every director gets an equal vote into the direction we go or mayor decisions we take. Without a majority vote we do not make any changes that may rock the boat.

Does your corp have a public channel? If so, what’s the name of it?



We do now yes; its ‘Kadavr Public’, feel free to join and say hi or ask questions or if you must; shout at us.

Where do you get the inspiration for your blog stories from?


Tough question. I started the blog in August 2009 after having read stories from my blogging hero’s way before that, Kirith, Flashfresh, Mynxee, Shae, Venom, Roc, Kane to name just a few.

I tried my hand at writing a fictive story on my joining the Bastards even before I actually had been accepted, that and the CDM series made the blog fairly popular straight from the beginning.

Sometimes my wife reads my fictive blog posts and wonders if I am actually sane, I cant blame her. Some of the content is pretty far out there but I guess I just have a vivid imagination and I like writing funny enough…

You mention in your blog that you run multiple corps. What others do you run and how do they differ from [-KBG-]?



Indeed the first corp I started is Kadavr Conglomorate; a WH based corp. It differs indeed in the sense that its primary purpose is PVE not PVP. It’s the corp some where our alts and others make isk, isk to be spend on PVP in the Kadavr Black Guard.

There is a third Corp; Kadavr Militia, which is a corp specifically used to run Minmatar Faction Warfare missions. No matter what –KBG- ends up doing, that corp will remain in FW for ever.

What is the Celebrity Death Match (CDM)?



CDM I a series that really was (is?) the bread and butter of my blog, CDM posts still are by far the most read articles when I post one.

Very simply as the name may suggest CDM is me fighting an EVE celebrity and writing about the experience, the preparation, the celeb and the fight itself.

Unfortunately I haven’t had much time to do any lately as the running of three corps takes up a lot of my time. CDM is not dead however and a big one is in the pipeline.

Just keep reading my blog…

What is your most memorable Celebrity Death Match? 

Tough question, through CDM I have met lots of very interesting people and have had lots of fun with even ‘lesser’ celebs. To be very honest, most CDM’s have been fun in the preparation, trying to work out what the opponent is going to bring, what fittings the will use, their tactics… sometimes just getting to the fight location is an adventure in itself.

I guess going by those standards I would have to say CDM 16 was the most EPiC in preparations I think i traveled 190 jumps to the fight location, lost my ship with all fittings (faction) in the process and then with help from many people I finally managed to get there, losing the fight within minutes of starting. CDM 16 was played with Mynxee and myself vs Split Infinity Radio, the ship types where faction cruisers and an amazing video has been produced and narrated by Teadaze of Alliance Tournament fame.

It’s amazing to think how many people came together for that one fight to make it happen and to produce everything related to it.

Here is a link to the video, here and here are the links for the two parts of the write up.

Thinking about it, its indeed weird I would mention this particular CDM as most memorable because the preparations took weeks of planning, 6 hours of getting there, then the fight lasted just mere minutes for me.

Who would you like to do a Celebrity Death Match with?

Ha! lol the list is pretty long but the next one will be with my good friend Lady Shaniqua, terror of Heimatar. In the future if I get the time for it I intend to cross more names off my list. One of the ones near the top is CCP Claw whom had once expressed interest in participating. We’ll see, with your building fame I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a convo one day asking if you know what CDM is….

Lastly, what is the links to your blog, kill boards, and any other thing you’d like to share.

My blog;  Our alliance killboard; Our websiteYoutube channel, and email my is: nshhkdvr@gmail.com

Thanks for doing the interview! Any parting thoughts?

No thank you for the interview, thanks for the opportunity to plug my blog and my corp.

We are still recruiting and due to technical difficulties on my side the best people to speak to at this stage are Anabaric or Acute Dragonis, I will personally be available on my return.

Fly safe (or not)

Spies In Faction War

Posted in Uncategorized on December 4, 2011 by shaleelianne

Author: Wendi Wu

The Story

It was a Friday evening in Huola. The Arzad Minmatar (CTRL-Q and Angry Mustelid) had been camping the Kourmonen gate along with a handful of Gallente destroyers and so my corp formed up to go after them. The Minmatar withdrew back to Arzad as soon as they saw us coming. They didn’t tell the Gallente. Several dead destroyers later, Huola was clear of war targets and we went looking for something else to shoot.

Scouts in Arzad started to report that the Minmatar fleet was reshipping and getting reinforcements, so we formed up our own fleet to counter them. As we went through the usual form-up delays, though, we began to notice something odd. Whenever our FC gave an order on Ventrilo to change fleet composition the Minmatar fleet would suddenly halt and go back to Arzad station to reship.

It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on. There was a pilot in fleet from the 24th Imperial Crusade, Seirscha Valentine, who nobody seemed to know and who wasn’t talking on comms. Further investigation revealed that Seirscha was in a rookie ship in Tannakan, at which point a general feeling of disgust went through the fleet. We’d had a spy listening to our voice comms for the last 15 minutes, which meant the Minnie fleet knew exactly what we had and how few of our pilots had heavy ships avaiable. As soon as Seirscha was booted the battleship-heavy Minmatar fleet began moving out from Arzad, heading slowly towards Kourmonen.

Given that the Minmatar had more battleships than we had people in fleet and given that less than a third of the people in our fleet had battleships, fighting them wasn’t on the cards. The rest of our fleet ship down while I stay in my Crow, hanging a few hundred klicks off the Lamaa gate. A few minutes later Zenton Karvash shows up in a Navy battleship with a group of Guardians and escort ships designed to look just small enough to be vulnerable. I’m not fooled: I know what’s on the other side of that gate. When I don’t engage Zenton starts talking in local.

Zenton Karvash > call a shipup to bs on comms then run off ZzZ
Zenton Karvash > get your fuckign ships we’re here
Zenton Karvash > lets do this
Wendi Wu > Zent, a friendly hint: if you want to get big fights putting spies on enemy comms is not a great way to do it. 😛
Zenton Karvash >
Zenton Karvash > tis

The Minmatar chased us for another hour, but the lumbering battleships couldn’t catch our cruisers and frigates. We got another half-dozen kills before logging for the night.

Aftermath

Although our kill ratio for the night had been nearly perfect, several people left the fleet in a bad mood and I found myself thinking about it over the next few days. Next week one of the EVE blogs I follow posted a story of another fleet roam which had ended badly due to a spy, and it got me thinking about spies in FW in general.

I don’t have a spy alt in the Minmatar Militia, and as far as I know nobody in my corp ZERO HEAVY INDUSTRIES has one either. I can’t speak for my corpmates, but for me there’s nothing a spy could tell me that I’d be interested in. I don’t fly in the Amarr Militia for ISK or for territory or for RP, I fly for the sake of combat and to practise my skills to become as good a pilot as I can possibly be. The combat doesn’t need a purpose: it’s it’s own purpose, and spying would just be a distraction. The fight is everything.

There’s a second reason I don’t like spies: it feels like a vaguely shady sort of thing to do. When I log on to EVE fleet comms after a day’s work I want to relax and chat with my corpmates and generally let my hair down. I don’t like the idea that someone could be eavesdropping on what’s supposed to be a private conversation, I don’t like lying to someone over something as trivial as a computer game, and I don’t want to get involved in the general culture of suspicion and paranoia that spies tend to produce. I don’t like it when other people do it to me, so I don’t do it to other people either. Yeah, yeah, I know, “it’s part of the game”. Acting like a douche is part of the game too.

On top of that, spies are a bad way to get fights. Few things kill a fleet’s enthusiasm faster than knowing they’ve got spies on comms and corps that use them too much will get reactions of “if you’re going to act like this then **** you, we’ll go do something else.” CTRL-Q and Angry Mustelid have started to get a reputation for this and the couple of times over the past week that they’ve brought a big fleet into Kourmonen the Amarr have simply ignored them and waited for them to go away, which is really the cruellest thing you can do to a PvP fleet.

But there’s another reason I don’t think spies are a good idea, and it ties into FW as a whole.

The Decline of FW 

FW used to be much bigger than it is today. As recently as six months ago when I joined FW, I’d see fleets of 100+ Amarr ships slugging it out with the same number of Minnies. Nowadays a fleet of 30+ is rare and anything with over 50 is almost unheard of.

Most of this is probably the fault of CCP. FW has been suffering from years of neglect, and despite Hans’ efforts on the forums there have been few signs that anything will change (though the plex fix is a good start). For a long time vets have been drifting away from FW. But there are newbies out there who want to do PvP and small gang warfare and supporting their faction and everything else that comes with FW. They join the Tribal Liberation Force or the 24th Imperial Crusade or the Federal Defence Union or the State Protectorate and once they’ve joined they pipe up in the Militia channel asking to join a fleet.

And they get treated like crap.

Why?

Because everyone assumes they’re a spy.

Trying to get accepted into the PvP “inner circle” of a FW militia nowadays is a nightmare. The main way spies get into fleets is through fleets that are open to general militia (like our one was in the story I just told). After a few experiences like this most FW corps stop running open fleets – but those open fleets are often the only fleets that new FW pilots can join! This has made FW’s recruitment system like Fight Club where newbies have to stand on the doorstep and take shit for however many days or weeks it takes for the people inside to decide they’ve taken enough shit to be allowed in. Occasionally a new pilot is patient enough to break in – I did – but how many would-be PvPers try this for a while before giving up and going off to join a pirate corp or Red vs Blue or a nullsec alliance instead? I don’t know but my guess is that it’s a hell of a lot.

The problem is that in each case it’s the other militia that causes the suspicion. The Minmatar spy on the Amarr because the Amarr are all evil scum who deserve to die (and anyway they do it to us). The Amarr spy on the Minmatar because the Minmatar are all evil scum who deserve to die (and anyway they do it to us). There’s no motivation for either side to treat their opponents better because they’re enemies – what helps the Minmatar hurts the Amarr and what’s good for the Amarr is bad for the Minmatar, right?

Well, no.

The truth is that the opposing militias depend on each other. The Minmatar need the Amarr as an enemy to fight, and vice versa. If either militia vanished the opposing militia wouldn’t last a month – without war targets FW is just a more restrictive kind of lowsec piracy.

And this means that in the long-term spying actually hurts your own militia, by driving off the enemy newbies that are your future food source. Sure, in the short-term it might win you a fight. But the only way you can get fights is if there are people willing to undock and give you fights, and the more of a spy culture there is, the less that’s going to happen.

What to Do 

I think FW needs more people, and to do that FW needs to be able to recruit and keep newbies. So how to deal with the spy problem?

In the long run the only way spies are going to fall out of fashion is if the militias police themselves. If some bittervet wants to make a spy alt, the rest of the militia can’t stop him peeing in the pool – it’s not like we can revoke the guy’s membership. But we can tell him not to use it, and we can refuse to fleet with or help him if he doesn’t listen. When spies are used in fleet actions, it’s generally with the approval of the FC – if the major Amarr/Minmatar FCs make it clear that people who used spies aren’t welcome in their fleets, I think spy use will drop pretty fast.

In the short-term, though, people on both sides can help by trying a lot harder to welcome newbies in the Militia channel. Sure, some are spies, but most aren’t. And the newbie you help today might be someone who you need a favour from somewhere down the line.

In the end what we make of FW, just like so many other things in EVE, is up to us.

Random Links

Posted in Uncategorized on December 2, 2011 by shaleelianne

CCP’s Hekatonkheires announces, “Later today, you’ll find something new in Account Management: a transferable 60 day trial game code.”

The new time codes rules are:

These codes are single use.
These codes are transferable.
They can be copied and sent via most any means, and are good for creating one 60 day EVE trial account.
All trial account restrictions are in place
These codes may not be used to extend any existing trial or buddy account, or to add game time to any previously existing EVE account.
New users can redeem their code in three easy steps:
o Visit https://secure.eveonline.com/Activation

o Enter the Code

o Enter account details

These codes must be redeemed and used by January 24th
Availability of regular 14 day and 21 day Buddy trials are unaffected by this promotion.

For more information, read the dev blog here.

***

Hwong Jian of the Caldari Militia has started an interesting thread on the economics of Faction War on the main EvE forums.

In it, he discusses his idea for fixing Faction War by “limiting the payout of missions to your participation in pvp-related objectives. Add a quick item into the game, a “missioning license” or something similar. Have it cost victory points.”

Read the full article here.

***

In a new chronicle released today, the character Gister says, “And speaking of alliances, I’ve heard that those ragtag things will now be allowed to join the empire wars en masse,” which leads many to believe it is foreshadowing the allowance of alliances into Factional Warfare.

Hans Jagerblitzen has started a thread about it on the EvE forums, it can be found here.