The Black Hole

•September 21, 2008 • 1 Comment

Space was an empty place until man reached out into the stars.  In the millenia that have passed we have yet to find another sentient race such as man. Everywhere that he goes he multiplies, erects monuments to his achievements and uses up every resource until all that is left a husk for those less fortunate to fight over.

It seems even in the endless vacuum of this galaxy we can take up too much space. The following edict was issued as safety concerns arose over the more heavily used stargates in the galaxy.

Star system player limit deployed to Tranquility
reported by: CCP Wrangler | 2008.09.21 13:38:10

During the downtime today, Sunday 21st September, we deployed a new feature to Tranquility. The Stargate will now check how many players there are in the system and deny access if you attempt to jump into it when too many players are present. In addition to this you will not be able to login on a character if the system has too many players. We have also increased the amount of GMs this evening and if you are unable to login, please press the ESC button and submit a petition in the Stuck category.

This is a temporary solution to this issue, we are working on a permanent feature which has the highest priority and will be implemented as soon as possible.

Many have joked that the solar system of Jita was a black hole for traders and suppliers. It was hard to escape the gravitational pull of bargains and fast and easy shopping. It seems that this system is now under lock down with several other systems to follow.

Larger alliances have issued concerns that this may limit their fleet operations. That they could effectively lock down a system which would prevent their enemies from entering a system in order to defend it. Or on the other side an alliance could potentially lock down a system so that no intruders may enter.

Overall this raises a lot of concerns while alleviating very few at the moment.


The Turning Point

•September 16, 2008 • 3 Comments

There is a very specific point in the universe of EVE which either makes or breaks a Capsuleer. I of course am referring to the loss of a ship in an unwanted PVP engagement. What happens depends on the fortitude and character of the pilot.

1. You can take this event as a devastating loss, and let out your anger on everyone around you until you regain your perspective. This can hurt your reputation and quickly turn new friendships around.

2. You can just give up, the loss may have seemed to great, watching all that work disappear in a blue flash. It’s always disheartening watching an investment fall apart while everyone looks on with apathy.

3. You can become one of them. Sometimes there is a strong bond after the anger fades away. Knowing that at that point you were the weaker one, and now you want to be amongst those that are stronger. Joining the Dark Side so to speak.

4. Or you can learn from the experience, walk it off and become stronger for it. A lot of people choose this valiant step, but not all who do, have great success with it. In my short existence I have seen and heard those people rebound with a new ship only to fall prey to destruction once again putting them back in the position of making one of these dreaded four choices.

Those choices were presented to me last Sunday. I heard of some new leads on missions in a system a few jumps away. I had been working in low sec for about a week now, setting up bookmarks in space, and getting the lay of the land so to speak. A cautious approach was always the best approach  while traveling through the systems in the Solitude region I was told.

Many have told me that you can live in low sec in relative safety so long as you follow some basic rules and keep your wits about you. I was inclined to agree as I have had few issues with travel or other pilots bothering me. That is, until I threw all I learned out the window just to save some time.

If you check your star map at any given time in low sec, there’s always going to be the glow of someone, somewhere who’s ship has expired within the last hour. I saw one of those jump points coming up on my route. It was a 0.0 system Y9G-KS. I Approached the gate and saw a pilot close by, his standings were set negatively by my corporation. In that moment I knew there was a high probability that he was the scout of a gate camp on the other side. But with only one more jump after this one landing me at my final destination; I didn’t give it much more thought. The stargate lit up and hurled my ship to the Y9G-KS system.

My ship sat cloaked 14km off of the stargate, a gleaming blue interdiction field was surrounding it. This wasn’t the best placed bubble but it would do the job. I knew that at this moment in my haste I was presented with very few choices. My ship was not setup for PVP, even if it was, I had never fought a battle like this before, I had no idea how my ship would perform. Would I just embarrass myself by flailing around shooting at everyone? Needless to say. I did not die well.

I engaged my warp drive to the next gate hoping that It would not take long to align and they were hunting for someone else instead. My warp drive quickly ground to a halt as that eerie blue aura wrapped around my ship. I was locked, scrambled, and webbed.  I tried not to panic, I had thought I could perhaps make it back to the gate instead, if I did not attack back, the gate would let me through. They were all smaller ships, and several T2 drones, it took much longer to pick through my shields and armor than I expected. However at roughly 14m/s speed I sure wasn’t going to get to the gate anytime soon. I was going to loose this fight without even firing a shot back.

My ship was starting to loose its structural integrity, the damage control systems were holding but my final option was to make it out with my pod. I had the computer setup to warp the pod as soon as it hit open space. My ship’s reactor burst apart in a blinding light, which covered my escape, or so I thought. My pod warped to the next stargate but was dragged out of warp by another interdiction field. My new found enemies had setup bubbles between the stargates to trap those who managed to escape their grasp. A second later one of the recon ships came warping into view. They landed roughly 3km away from my pod, he must not have brought his A game with him as I had time to change course without being targeted, and warp to my own safe spot in the system.

This spot which was unknown to them put me away from any more potential interdiction fields. I was able to warp to the gate and make it to my destination. The ship was insured, but out here in low sec finding suitable replacement parts and crew was going to be difficult. I did not have the resources yet to have many replacements on hand. While I did not consider it a gift, time was now back in my hands again as I weighed my options.

Lessons Learned

  • Firing on an enemy will prevent you from using a stargate for a minute. [Slang: De-agressing]
  • If you fall into a trap, fight back! [Even if you are doomed you can test out your ships capabilities for next time]
  • If you suspect a gate camp, and you see the scout. Don’t go through the gate, or at least not alone.
  • If you know who’s camping, check their killboards. It will show what you are up against.
  • Bookmarking saves lives.
  • Have an object in your overview ready to warp to. Spam the warp button so your pod makes it out instantly. The only reason you should ever loose a pod is if your stuck in a bubble.

I’d like to hear some choices you all have made or other lessons learned from negative experiences.


    •September 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

    Everyone has seen them, even for those who are not even looking for them. But rest assured they are looking for you, maybe not at this very moment, but one day they will have an eye out for you. I of course speak of gate observers. Not quite as obvious, nor quite as dangerous at the moment of contact, but what may seem like an idle ship may actually be sizing you up for the kill.

    I had been traveling through Empire space for a while now. I could see that a few people may consider a jumpgate a fairly safe spot due to the local sentry guns, and CONCORD patrolling the area. However I could not fathom that someone would use a gate as a layover point. At the same time this also piqued my interest. I was passing through more and more gates with small, or even larger combat capable craft sitting idle.

    There were no gate ques, they were simply admiring the view perhaps? The overview displayed one of the ships having a slightly lower security status. I contemplated for a moment if I should target the ship to see what kind of reaction I would get. Suddenly it hit me, a brief moment of panic and adrenaline washed over my consciousness.

    As if in an instant I felt as if a million eyes were upon me. I realized that the customs officials used passive scanners to target and scan passing ships to check for contraband. That same captain was scanning ships for potential targets, not for himself but to relay the information to a gang out in deadspace. I suppose I could say I felt violated by this invasion of privacy, but I wasn’t. I was Envious.

    Captains were choosing to sit in a major traffic gateway and passively scan the approaching ships. Each vessel passing by not even knowing that someone was analyzing their combat load out as well as downloading their cargo manifest. No one was there to interfere, there was nothing that was being done. I wanted in on this.

    I had no malintent with the information I was about to gather, so I placed an order for a Crucifier class frigate and all the scanning equipment I would need. I ordered it from Dodixie as it was a busy system where I could have the pick of a large variety of passing ships.

    My scans relieved some ships that were configured as almost a joke, and others configured for salvage and recon. Others almost seemed like they were there to bait and lure other explorers to their doom. At this point I almost felt as if I should have stayed away from this temptation. However, at that moment, I saw an Abaddon. Shimmering gold, cutting through space like the battle axe of a god.

    A tool powerful enough to stare back at the stars and simply say, “Die… die… die…”

    I couldn’t help myself. I engaged the passive targeting system on my tiny ship and locked the battleship. It only took a brief second to lock on while the ship named “Winds of Fate” moved effortlessly through the black. The tactical readout was complete. I think I died a little inside when I went over the complete overview. This was no military ship, it was privately owned by another captain or corporation. The loadout was expensive and impressive. I didn’t have to look at my own wallet to know how far I was outmatched here.

    +[ Winds of Fate Tactical Loadout ]+

    The scanner blinked off as the Abaddon engaged its warp engines and soared passed my tiny ship. How does someone afford to fit a ship so large with such equipment? This is a place I need to get to. In order to get there, I was going to need more training, more money, and more exposure. I need to get out of Empire Space.

    Darker Days or a New Amarrian Nation?

    •September 8, 2008 • 3 Comments

    There seems to be no shortage of news pouring out of the Galnet news feeds. Caldari reclaiming territory, Martial Law, Civil Unrest, and now it seems as if those at the very top may fear something worse may be coming.

    We have all seen it happen in the past. Citizens do not trust their governments, then governments no longer trust their citizens. Policies are put into place that could possibly lead to a civil war. However I think most of the galaxy would be a little shocked to find out that of the four major races, the Gallente would be on the brink of it happening to them.

    Or perhaps the Caldari have been orchestrating this from the very beginning. If so, Bravo.

    We Amarr have grown accustom to the benefits of the Theology Council and it’s esteemed members. I am sure that the Ministry of Internal Order would gladly send an envoy to the Federation to help them on the true path.

    This indeed could be very good news after all.

    President Foiritan announces new Federal Intelligence Division
    reported by: ISD Tsuki Kiyuu | 2008.09.07 02:36:31

    Villore – Earlier today Gallentean President Souro Foiritan announced the formation of a secretive new department within the FIO, empowered with oversight of the entire Federation. Officially titled the “Special Department of Internal Investigations and Federal Security,” the new branch will be led by Gallente Head Senator Mentas Blaque.

    Currently in Villore to attend a series of high-level meetings with various political officials, the President delivered his brief announcement against a giant backdrop of the department’s logo; a black eagle reminiscent of the national icon.

    He described the new body as an “ever-watchful eye” that would be “entitled to take any means necessary…to ensure integrity is maintained throughout every branch of Federation government.” Although light on details, President Foiritan did state that finding rogue Admiral Anvent Eturrer was one of the branch’s first directives, alongside a more general order to tighten up internal security and root out corruption.

    Many were surprised by the formation of the new department, claiming it showed a change in the President’s usually hands-off approach to matters of internal security. “It’s normally something he would leave to the military commanders and FIO leadership,” said security analyst Piel Bursch, “but when it is those same people you want to keep an eye on, things naturally have to change.” Others were less surprised, pointing to recent public demands for a department similar to the one established today.

    For his own part, the President distanced his announcement from the latest public outcries, stating that the formation of the Black Eagles, as they are quickly becoming known, had been a “long time coming”. He added that recent public displays such as the Citizen’s Summit only reinforced his commitment to the idea and served as “just one of many reasons” why his decision was both the right one and worthy of a popular mandate.


    •September 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

    At first I really wanted to keep this account of my adventures as an in character only blog. But I’ve really got more to say than a dramatized account of my left clicking. But that will change a bit. I want to be able to express opinions and ideas as well as update my story. I will keep all posts game related though.

    EvE is going strong right now. I’ve been meeting some great people, and joined up with a corporation who is incorporating its own training academy. Which I think is a fantastic idea, one which I’m going to elaborate a bit more on in the next post.

    I would also like to thank and express a moment of appreciation for other EVE bloggers and those I’ve had brief contact with in the last few weeks. They are the people who make communities work. (Points at Blog Roll on the right)

    I also want to mention specifically The Zion Chronicles link on the right. I have not been able to pour over all the information there, but it really is amazing how much lore and back history is on that site.

    Alone in The Dark

    •August 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

    Studies show that the majority of Pod Pilots feel more at home inside their capsule. Suspended in wires and fluid, motionless while their minds stretch out and interact with their ships and surroundings. I can understand why, however I enjoyed the feeling of fabric and fine traditional robes as well. I have not been in space for two days now, and am finding it harder to sleep in this station.

    It was something about the light. That sickening green glow that seems to be around everything the Gallente create. Even the artificial lighting inside my room had green and blue accents. Even when I closed my eyes I could still see it.

    I sneered again at the broken and malformed candles that had rolled across the floor. Only hours earlier I had purchased them hoping to bring in some calming natural light. Light in it’s purest form, fire. When I had them lit on the table they flickered with an unnatural green glow. Chemically enhanced Gallente garbage! Vagrants and children on the lower market decks were selling them to make a few additional ISK.

    There was something very foreboding with this place, something wrong with this whole station. I swear I could almost feel the gravity pulling  my skin towards the twin moons that this station orbits. Dead soul stealing moons. My fists were beginning to clench as I thought more about my situation.

    In that moment though the steel bulkheads had been spared the wrath of my bare fists, my NeoCom chirped to life with a new message. The video on the pre-recorded message was full of static and the audio was seemingly purposely distorted. I could make out the figure of a short haired woman, probably Caldari as the message, although short, was very formal and commanding.

    “Broadcast to all available parties. Scouting mission, details follow: Proceed two jumps coreward, scan for fleet movements. Report back to station, Deltole System. Payout 3,000,000 ISK upon completion. Multiple parties accepted.”

    I sat back down and thought to myself, “So it’s to be a race is it.” With a contractual payment that high, a cryptic mission objective, and the completion point on a .5 sec boarder system, there’s bound to be more to this than what it seems. The thought of floating home in my pod  while leaving another Harbinger wrecked in space didn’t seem appealing at all… Until I saw those damned candles on the floor again. I pressed the accept button and left my room for the hanger decks.

    Though the Gallente Federation holds freedom and individual rights above all others, they still can’t escape the subtle hints of segregation that the Pod Pilot Bay radiates. Only the capsuleers are allowed beyond this point, there are no guards, no paperwork, only the genetic makeup of ones body allows entry, only a person who has a pod docked and registered at the station is allowed access. I saw two nearby Minmatar pilots arguing about who was going to be flying, and who was going to be running engineering.

    The larger of the two whipped his head to the side to try and avoid looking at me, his dreadlocks flowing in a quick motion with his head. I half smiled to myself as I proceeded through the secure checkpoint, the smaller of the two men tried to get a glance inside the door before it sealed shut.

    An automated announcement went off over head as I stepped to the access Pylon. “Pilot, Asari Norral. Capsule delivery in 23 seconds.”

    The floor beneath me began to vibrate as the automated systems began to bring my pod up for delivery. The machinery below was like a large serpent guarding its eggs, coiling around and around moving potentially hundreds of pods between the hangars and storage bays.

    Upon arrival I climbed inside of the pod, and closed my eyes. I could feel wires and probes connecting across my body, like small fish nibbling away at me. Then, the rush comes, as if you are being pulled away from your body, you feel as if something has taken a hold of you and is holding your an inch away from your own life. But then the warmth of the Hydrostatic fluid fills the pod, and you begin to regain control, you feel power, like you are now something more than what you were a moment ago. it is an uncontrollable high that is always put down moments later by status displays, system reports, and the drudgery of technology which comes pouring in through the nets.

    I’ve been loaded into the pod, sealed, and my mind scanned to update my clone. The pod is loaded into my Harbinger and departure clearance is given.

    Scanners immediately blink to life as I exit the station, another battlecruiser, a drake was leaving the station. Navigation was predicting an identical course as my own. It looks like the reward had enticed someone else into this little excursion as well.

    Back in Business

    •August 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

    All it took was a little bit of time, and of course a few million ISK to get back into the swing of the universe again. My weapons order had been filled and I was alerted that it was ready for pickup. The slave transport was also due in later that day, but I had time to pick up my shiny new instruments of death before meeting the slavers.

    It’s strange to think that one has time to travel millions of light years within a period of hours and still make it back in time for dinner. I was hoping for my contact back in Amarr to fill the order more quickly, but instead my Caldari contact in Jita managed to edge out the competition with a fair price. I took a Magnate class frigate out to the station to pick up the weaponry. The gate traffic was flowing through the Jita stargate at it’s usual snails pace. There was little time for any pleasantries while in the Caldari trade hub, most everyone wants to get in and then out.

    Except those looking to prey on the local privateers. I must have been scanned at least twice while exiting the station. Fortunately my relatively small shipment of weapons was not deemed worthy of a hail of missile fire from the mentally unstable suicide gangs that prowl the region.

    My new Harbinger Battlecruiser was waiting back in Englenaert. I offloaded the weapons to the ground crew at the station, and they had it fitted up in no time. I was then off to meet the Slavers to receive my new maintenance crew.

    The crew was integrated into the ship and assigned their positions. I contacted the agents I was working for earlier, and they still had work for me.  I was not expecting the job that was offered to me, I had not expected to com across this sort of thing on this side of the galaxy.

    The Equilibrium of Mankind have been stretching out further into space and were actively hitting civilian transport routes. While the philosophy and teachings of Amarr run deep within any true Amarrian, these EoM fools have twisted it into their own perverse religion.

    My pod interfaced with the ship seamlessly, It already felt like an extension of my own self, identical to my previous ship. My warp drive pulsed a blueish-yellow and within moments the warp bubble wrapped around my ship.

    The warp bubble collapsed and I could already see laser fire from the EoM ships arching across shields and burning through the hulls of the civilian convoy. I don’t think they were expecting to see another Amarrian ship this far away from the space lanes. The laser batteries opened fire on the lead destroyer and shut down their shields. This drew the attention of the remaining battle group as they all set out towards me.

    I rotated in a different spectrum of crystal to compensate for range, they were getting closer, but that only means the energy stream would be hitting them harder. Ships were bursting apart after only a few volleys. The lead ship broke off and dove into a nearby hollow asteroid. My afterburners lit up as I headed for the same devoid rock.

    My sensors flickered but the lock remained, I dove in to the cavernous asteroid and opened up my drone bay. Four attach drones shot through the dark rock, illuminating its walls with their engine coils and thermal blasters. The enemy frigate was starting to break up as it suddenly turned towards me and lit its afterburners. It was going to ram!

    All laser batteries lit up again as thew cut straight through the enemy ship. Them beams were so strong that they carved into the rock and started to collapse one of the walls. My afterburners burst to life to escape the crumbling asteroid.

    A few debris glistened off of the shields while I recalled my drones. The camera drones picked up a few remaining civilians ships. I’m sure they were probably trying to hail me to thank me for my heroism.

    I engaged the warp drive and headed back to the nearest station. I wasn’t there to be a hero, I was just there to get paid.