Monday, December 30, 2013

We Wish You a Merry Christmas...

Oh my goodness, what a difference a month makes!  My sincerest apologies for not writing anything for a few weeks, but the evil assholes at work decided I needed to basically move in.  I, being the good corporate lackey I am, obviously obliged, because any job is better than a trip to the unemployment office.


Sucks Worse
So yeah, those soul-sucking bastards got all of my free time, and just in time for the holidays!  Anywho, we have a lot to talk about, so let's get this rolling!

First, I want to touch on mercenaries, and the unbelievably vital role they play in the EVE universe.  Mercenaries are basically guns for hire.  There are entire corporations that do nothing but mercenary work, and to be honest, this stuff looks fun as hell!  In my corporation, we will do the occasional merc contract.  Nothing too major, usually a structure bash for someone who has been wronged in one way or another.  Maybe someone is moving in on a low-sec pocket that some industrial corp controls.  Maybe someone isn't playing nice in a wormhole (our most recent foray).  Maybe someone bounced their twig-n-berries off someone's mother's forehead.  Hell, I don't know, and quite honestly, I don't care.  The fundamental argument here is the same argument that works everywhere in the world, both real-life and virtual.

Money talks!

For the right amount of cash, or ISK, or, too, can have your archenemy, college roommate, that asshole who keeps hitting on your wife/girlfriend/sister, or any other undesirable person, beat utterly senseless.  Of course, in the real world, this is illegal in many circles, and I certainly don't ever (ok, maybe sometimes) recommend hiring someone to beat the crap out of someone.  In game, however, it's perfectly legal, and actually encouraged!  Personally, I find it enjoyable to get paid to do something I already do on a daily basis. and seeing our corporation rally with absolute military precision to eradicate any hope of our target saving anything was glorious beyond words.  Thank you for a glorious op, and many harvested tears.

Repercussus Leadership from left to right:
Joe, Troyd, Altiar
Now, on to the roam affectionately known as "Zero Fucks Given".  I'll be the Queen of France if I didn't end up leading this fleet Friday night.  Let it further be known, that I, and only I, have managed to get us beat down.  It's funny, really.  We've spent three months pissing off faction warfare scrubs by overloading their sites and blowing them up, and they finally responded.  Of course, they responded on a day when we only had like seven people in fleet, and they responded with like 25 ships...  Karma is a bitch, but payback is an ever bigger bitch.  See you boys on Friday!

Much love folks, and I hope 2014 produces even more tears than 2013.

Fly it like you stole it,



Sunday, December 8, 2013

Today is a good day to die!

Oh, corp events, how I've missed you so!  Well, I guess we can't really call them corp events when we're inviting the whole alliance now.  Seriously, I'm not complaining.  We get good fights (and a PAP link), have a lot of fun (and get PAP), and drink lots of alcohol (PAP!!!11one).  Normally, I'd recap the fight, but Talvorian did a beautiful job summing things up yesterday.  You can read his blog here.

I wanted to talk about two other things today.  The first of which is a rather glorious invention that brings subterfuge to the forefront of carebearing.  This beautiful device would be the Mobile Tractor Unit, or MTU.  Commonly used by site runners and PvErs alike, this beauty will tractor any loot on the field to one central location and scoop it for you.  This is particularly useful for folks who like to loot and salvage their sites, as everything is nice and close.  In addition, it provides a clean warp-in.  I, however, have found another use for such device.

A typical Carebear Loot Piñata

This device is capable of providing lulz in the face of a really shitty situation.  Here's the scenario:  you're caught, and about to die.  You anchor the MTU.  Once you go 'KABOOM', the MTU will tractor your wreck, and scoop all the loot.  This accomplishes two things.  First and foremost, the enemy fleet/player will be forced to blow up your MTU to get the loot.  This means not one, but two rolls of the dice, depriving your assassin of loot from the piñata.  Nothing screams "SCREW YOU" more than depriving someone of loot.  Secondly, these MTUs aren't the easiest things in the world to blow up.  This could potential buy you some time to come back and dish out a heaping pile of Whoop Ass, should this be in the works for you.  Either way, I see a win-win situation here, and if it's a big enough site, you'll already have one out anyways.  Not that I recommend ever getting ganked in a PvE ship...

Actual can of Whoop Ass

I bet you thought I was finished here.  Well, I'm not!  So, now that we've gotten that out of the way, I have to speak quickly about last night's Thunderdome event, hosted by Repercussus.  I had a lot of fun, except I died in 7 seconds.  That's right, someone uttered the word "go" a little early, and Joe and I both felt the wrath of people who were paying more attention on comms than we were.  Whoops!  Either way, I'm a little disappointed, as I was promised a doomsday activation which never happened, thanks to fail cap fit on titan. I didn't get to blow up any of my corpmates either.  I guess I'll just have to AWOX a few of them (cheaters!) when they're not expecting it (during a StratOp seems appropriate).

#5 is Alice Karjovic

Fly it like you stole it,



Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Unsung Hero

Good evening, friends.  After a week of blowing up random red assets in the south, I've decided to take a quick reprieve back north to kill more rats, and chase my tail a little bit when hostile interceptors enter our space.  I'm still trying to come up with a valid counter, but a few things have really stood out.  For example, interceptors really hate any form of electronic warfare.  This has caused the usage of electronic attack frigates to climb in recent weeks, particularly in low-sec, where there is little risk of interdiction.  I, for one, am happy with this, as my secret love affair with the Sentinel is now reasonably validated by its mild usefulness.  I never thought I'd see the day where I could fly a Sentinel and be effective, but if I hop in a Vengenance, I'm about as useful as tits on a boar.  Sure, tracking disruption doesn't bode well against missile ships, but neutralizers and vampires are absolutely genocidal to speed tanks, and my EAF specializes in it.  Overall, I'm happy right now about this, although I do feel the rush of wind from the nerf bat may be around the corner for the interceptors, as they're still not being used in the role they were designed to fill.  Anyhow, I didn't want to dedicate too much time to this topic again, so let's move on.

Friday night was E-P-I-C!  Of course, I started in an interceptor (Crusader lolololol), and ended up being on point for the good part of the fleet.  Good fights were had, until we ran into the mother-of-all-gatecamps.  Look, I know about gatecamps, and here's the criteria I use to determine how bad things are about to go.  First, look at the damage dealing ships.  How much shiny stuff do you see?  Heavy assault cruisers, recons, command ships on grid with you?  All of the above?  Check.  Secondly, examine the enemy fleet's logistics capability.  Are then in frigate, cruisers, or actual tech 2 logistics ships?  The cluster of Oneiroses was a pretty good sign.  So, there we are, me and another scout in a small fast ship, basically repeating Carlin's seven words in TeamSpeak, and the FC calls "jump"...  I'm sure you can imagine how this ended.  Much love, Val!

Then, the mother of all awesomeness began.  A few weeks ago, I had a chat with the powers that be, and they decided to let me do a little fleet commanding.  Now, keep in mind, I've FC'ed well over 100 fleets, but it's been a long time, and never with anyone but EVE University.  The FC told me to "get in something that's not an interceptor"...hrmmm...what to fly?  Well, seeing as we like to keep it small, cruiser and below, what would be a good ship to FC from?  Then, like a light bulb clicking on, only to immediately burn out, it came to me...

Augoror Navy Issue!

This ship actually came with a wallet...

So, I fit my ANI up, pulse fit, Conflag and Scorch at the ready, some heat sinks, and armor...GLORIOUS ARMOR!  I proceeded to take the fleet down a stretch we don't normally run, and voila!  My scouts have found a juicy target for us to take complete advantage of, kinda like that chick at the party when you were a teenager.  You know, she's kinda hot, but not super hot, but what do you care?  You've had 9 really crappy beers, and she's looking like Kim Kardashian (well, before you knew she was sleeping with Kanye), and she's starting with the band camp stories.  Make your move now, or sit in self-loathing pity regretting your indecision...

Wait, where was I?  Oh yeah, the target!

So, I manage to get everyone on grid, calling primaries as we warp in.  I can feel the juices flowing.  Multiple hostiles.  During the warp, I hear, "POINT!"  There's at least 5 on grid, and the tackle is outnumbered, but not to fear, the big boys are right behind.  Well, what we ran into was a bunch of faction warfare guys, and apparently, they love warp core stabilizers.  We did manage to tackle and blow up 2 of them before the rest bailed.  Once I pressed F1, I discovered what a few of you already knew.  The Augoror Navy Issue really is a bad ass ship, and not a bad bang-for-buck either.  I paid around 50 million in Jita for the hull, and probably under 100 million for everything, including some T1 rigs.  All-in-all, I'll be keeping one or two of these around for these fleets.  I'm in love with a ship, and it's been under my nose for a year or so, but that's the beauty of the discovery.  I would have never really considered buying one of these if it wasn't for a drunken fun fleet, but I'm grateful that I did.  Amarr pilots and friends, please do yourselves a favor, and give this often overlooked ship a shot.  You won't be disappointed.

Also, because I promised on Twitter, a little teaser of an upcoming contest.  Guys and gals, I'm going to have a contest here shortly, and I intend to give away some PLEX.  If you'd like to contribute some ISK to the cause, please contact me in-game via mail.  I will make sure you get mentioned.  This isn't a skill-based competition, so all will be invited to participate, new and oldbros alike.  Please, I can't float all of this on my own, and I promise you, it will be tons of fun, and should provide some laughs.

Also, as a quick footnote, and it has to be a footnote, because he'll f**king kill me if he actually read this, my long time pilot buddy Atlas Tartarus decided to help me out in a big way.  We help each other out, and he's never been one to shy away from that.  So, I just needed to let him know how much I appreciate his friendship.

That's it for this week folks.  Please remember to check back periodically, and follow me on Twitter @MedLacroix.

Fly it like you stole it.



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rubicon: Death of the Assault Frigate

Good evening, folks!  Tonight, I come to you from the deep deep north, where the Guristas have entirely too many hubs, havens, and rally points.  I, as any other good little noob, am here to help liberate the space.  Besides that, the ISK isn't bad, and the security standing is greatly helpful, because at least one night per week, I attempt to piss as much of it away as possible in low-sec.

What has happened in the (almost) week since Rubicon launched?  Well, our boot.ini file is safe (sorry for the oldbro Trinity joke), as is our bread and butter doctrine fits.  There really is some neat stuff in this patch.  ISIS, albeit mostly useless and good for a laugh, is visually stunning and very refined.  The character selection screen is very pretty (ohhhh...SHINY!), and is a constant reminder of how little amount of ISK I have.  The changes to warp speed are very interesting, and I can definitely see the usefulness of some of the T2 frigates, and even destroyers and interdictors, attempting to catch that lonely Vexor who has no idea why he's flown into your system, but dammit, WE WANT HIS POD!

What I find outright appalling is the new flavor-of-the-month interceptor fleets and doctrines.  I've seen more interceptors and interceptor gangs in space in the last week than herpes spots on Miley Cyrus's va-jay-jay.  Well, obviously, if everyone is flying them, there is a reason.  Let's examine this a little further.  You see, in the long long ago of EVE Online, there used to exist this little bugger called the "combat interceptor".  The combat interceptor, upon unveiling, was very effective at a few roles.  The ship was quite capable of tackle, limited only by the number of mid slots on these fine vessels (and believe me, they're limited).  These ships were also capable of dealing a formidable amount of damage, albeit nothing to truly write home about.  It was, however, enough that CCP decided to buff the assault frigates to make them not only superior in tank, but superior in DPS as well.  Well, the cycle spins, and we're back to interceptors being the hot item.

The fundamental problem with where interceptors sit right now is that they have, in essence, rendered the assault frigate worthless.  Why on earth would anyone take out a fleet of ships that have slightly more DPS, slightly more tank, and literally half the maneuverability and a much slower warp speed?  I have been racking my brain around any possible use for assault frigates, and I simply cannot come up with one.  They are incapable of catching or tracking any interceptor, although the Hyena and Keres just became useful again.  They are also incapable of surviving the onslaught of any cruiser or destroyer, due to the buffed, but not buffed enough tank and recent improvements (using this word very loosely here) to rapid light missile launchers and medium long range guns.

Friday night, I got to witness this first-hand.  My corporation likes to do a little drunken roam on Fridays.  This low-sec roam is basically us, trolling around in low-sec, looking in faction warfare sites for people to blow up, or general anti-piracy see-flashy-shoot-flashy stuff.  Encounters with interceptors could be described best as watching a dog chase its tail, and that's exactly how we felt.  We took almost an hour to refit into a much faster and anti-speed setup.  This is where I've discovered the glorious electronic attack frigate, and it's usefulness in countering these Ricky Bobby-esque speed demons.

I am gravely concerned about where the assault frigate fits into this mess.  Sure, they are the highest DPS frigate group in the game, but they're simply not a valid counter to the new interceptor.  To combat these newly revamped ships, a fleet commander is almost required to bring out a Rapier/Arazu combination.  Bringing this out definitely gives you the upper hand, but you're forgetting the other part of this equation...they're in interceptors.  If you think for a second an interceptor fleet doesn't have the final right of refusal on any fight, you're sadly mistaken.  They can simply enter grid, and leave grid just as fast, long before you have time to call targets, and long before you have time to actually lock something.

Long story really short:  put your assault frigates on the shelf and pick up a few interceptors.  You'll thank me later.

Fly it like you stole it.