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Plot Twist

Just a brief note on a sudden change of pace in Eve. I resubbed my main just in time to get the news that we were moving out of Aeschee and heading back to Arcno territory. It didn’t take long before nearly all of the US time zone was summarily kicked from Shadow Cartel for reasons above my pay grade. I only know that we were planning to leave and the European contingent sped up our departure.

Almost immediately the drop in numbers was noticed, and a very large ball of titans and supers showed up to reinforce the Aeschee Keepstar. We finished our evacuation uneventfully when that wasn’t happening. The Keepstar is due for demolition in two or three days.

So we evacuated to Dom-Aphis and have recently redeployed with the rest of the Shadow Cartel refugees in our own newly-formed alliance, Shoot First. This should be fun.

Operation TD5K: Epliogue

TerrorDestroyer5K had seen hundreds of viewers on his twitch stream. He’d become a phenomenon, and somehow he’d convinced himself that most of those people were there to learn the wisdom of his ways. We couldn’t have that. We put the word out that it was time to stop taking away his ships, and take away his viewers. The goal was to drop him from 100+ to less than 12 in a day. A restream was set up so we could watch without raising his view counts. He was baffled at the sudden decline, and on his next foray into nullsec he couldn’t understand why no one was chasing him. His immediate assumption was that he’d won: we were all too afraid or too guilty or banned or…something. I stopped paying attention.

Ultimately, nothing of note happened after this. Random gankers regularly paid attention to him so that he couldn’t fly anything of value. After months of losing literally hundreds of frigates, rookie ships, and pods, he lost his free Praxis to rats. Fun fact about that 780,000,000 isk fit: I reproduced it in Pyfa, and it can rep at best less than 70 dps. He somehow built a battleship less tanky than most frigates.

Since then, I haven’t seen much of TerrorDestroyer5K streaming Eve. Our daring spy created a tribute video capturing some of the signature moments of that weekend. I’ll end the story with that.


Lately I’ve not done much Eve myself. As I said at the start of this series, real life has been taking up a lot of my time lately. I let my accounts lapse into Alpha and only logged in to randomly roam about our territory looking for prey. But I’m getting ready to dive back in, and I’m looking to possibly make myself blog at least a couple of times a month. I’ll be reinventing it a bit, though, as Eve has changed and so have I. But I’ll get more into that later. Maybe.

Operation TD5K Part 2: The Gankening

dontdoevil

Following the gank of the Raven, TerrorDestroyer5K fumed in silence for some time before launching into his customary tirade. He’d said before his storyline mission that he’d be going to bed soon, but that seemed forgotten. After an extended fit of arguing with his camera, he began rage missioning in his next-best ship, a Drake Navy Issue.

While this was going on, I was being bombarded with chat requests. Dozens had watched the gank go down and more than a hundred were witnessing the aftermath. We were getting congratulatory mails and chats from all over New Eden. I received two corp invites out of nowhere, got dragged into a dozen new chat channels, and ended up on CODE.’s teamspeak chatting with loyalanon as he assembled a fleet of Tornadoes. Members of Hard Knocks joined up and 142 minutes after the loss of his precious Raven, I listened in as the Drake Navy Issue died along with an empty pod.

His rage renewed, TD5K stayed docked for a while, ranting at the camera while we continued talking to everyone who is anyone in Eve Online. Members of a dozen major alliances were watching. Viewing numbers were soaring. And he still wasn’t sleeping…but I had to.

I woke the next morning to real life needing attention. I checked in on the stream, and found him still going. My CODE. contacts indicated he had never stopped. He’d reshipped into an Osprey Navy Issue, his next-next-best ship, but he was moving around a lot and no one had put much effort into pursuing him. I checked in throughout the day, marveling as the resilience of his rage. He was still streaming, still yelling at the camera. He’d come unhinged.

When I sat down to actual game time that evening, he was about 24 hours into streaming. He’d moved his Osprey from Lonetrek out to Genesis. We organized a fleet and followed him down a highsec dead end route. Knowing he’d be coming back our way, I staked out a gate in a 0.5 system. We sat on the gate in our tornado gang and watched as he made the two jumps toward us, then stood up and walked away right as his ship jumped through to us.

We thought at first that his local channel had loaded and he’d stormed off. Turns out we just got lucky. We waited 60 seconds for him to decloak and then ended the Osprey. Turns out, he bought new implants, too. He sat down just in time for us to see his face washed in the white glow of a fresh podding.

In a fit of rage, he decided to sell all his assets in Korama since he knew he couldn’t undock. All of Eve was watching him and dozens of destroyers were prowling looking to be the next one to gank him. When he realized the Magpie MTU buy order was only 300 isk, he decided to make a Jita run. Once again Arcana got the kill, this time amidst stiff competition.

This was the beginning of a flurry of ganks. Multiple ventures were badly fitted, undocked, and destroyed. He tried to go hide in a wormhole. He failed. He invented the Swiss Army Moa and bragged about his 40k EHP before undocking it in Jita, to find himself at 25% structure before the grid even loaded. At some point in the chaos, he put his webcam on a loop of him headbobbing to his terrible reggae music and got some sleep. He loudly announced on stream that we were all too afraid to follow his empty pod to null, so eight of us promptly followed him to null and killed him. The person with the final blow doesn’t seem to have posted the mail, so I have no link for that one.

His killboard illustrates just how chaotic it got, and doesn’t even reflect all his losses as people created characters with the express purpose of ganking him. If you have unposted mails, please get them on the board to show the full glory of what happens when all of Eve unites for a common goal.

We began to realize he was coming to derive some enjoyment from leading people on long pursuits before his free ibis got ganked. I put out a call to stand down and get people off his stream. The goal was to deny him the notoriety he believed he’d achieved and leave him wondering where everyone went. There was a phase 3 plan in the works, but TD5K was worn down and so busy insulating himself against contact with other humans that it was impossible to provoke him or engage him in anyway.

Operation TD5K: The Hunt

(This happened way back in March, I’m just getting around to posting it because I’ve been distracted by real life sucking.)

So life in Shadow Cartel hasn’t always been conducive to the lifestyle I write about here. There’s plenty to do, just not much to write about. There are other bloggers and streamers who talk about lowsec PVP far more competently than I ever will. So I’ve been quietly playing (and based on my recent killboard, not playing) without much to say here.

And then Market Tycoon linked this stream to the BU channel way back on February 4. At the time, the streamer was engaged in a 30-minute tirade because people were spamming 100k bounties on his character. I joined the fun, delivered some content to my Shadow Cartel brethren, and much amusement was had until he rage quit the stream.

Some further investigation revealed interesting clips on his channel: him justifying his use of macros to fire all his guns at once instead of grouping them. He has an irrational aversion to grouping guns and loads his 8 launchers with all four damage types.

Two days later, I found my new playmate streaming again. This time he was roaming about in a venture, dodging Gallente faction police because he a) doesn’t know how to decline a mission, and b) doesn’t know how to avoid wandering into an entire empire that considers him a criminal. Once he returned to the safety of Caldari space, I spent an hour pacing him with a scout while he roamed in search of that most rare and valuable ore, Omber. He finally abandoned his quest in Ahynada, settling instead for a Jaspet site he found. The New Eden Asteroid Preservation Society took issue with his wanton disregard for the natural beauty of the anomaly and his Venture was reclaimed for nature.

The loss of his venture triggered another outburst. For twenty minutes, we were treated to the most spectacular rant about the inferiority of people who do such terrible things, how “the stream is about the streamer, not the viewer” and how I had violated terms of service for Twitch and/or Eve–I was never clear on which. I watched as he docked in Korama and boarded a Raven Navy Issue. He ended that stream and I thought he was done for the night, only to find later that he lost a Heron four hours later to a Tornado.

It became a hobby/side project for Arcana Noctis to watch his stream and trigger his rants. As more of the alliance took an interest, we assembled a Talos fleet and began seriously pursuing him. I got a ship scan for the RNI and discovered a full rack of Caldari Navy launchers. We staged up, and were surprised when he abruptly docked and ended his stream while I was scanning his mission site. We suspected he’d seen probes on d-scan, and confirmed this the following day when he saw probes again, this time docking and launching into yet another lengthy rant, the first of his stream that we recorded live and the source of one of our favorite quotes, regarding why he doesn’t join a corp:

They want to change your build, they want you to build ships so that you can get killed faster, they want you to group your weapons, they want to manipulate you <unintelligible> so that to you aren’t a billionaire. I’m a billionaire.

Fast forward to March, and one of our own has gained his confidence in his Twitch chat and asked if she can run missions with him. On March 5, I logged in to find the Talos fleet on standby and our spy in fleet and running missions with him. One problem: our spy was drunk. After an hour of trying to negotiate with an increasingly-inebriated spy, she effectively passed out and we lost our window of opportunity. But it gave us the chance to see how our prey operated, and inspired my plans for the gank.

It took a few days to get everyone online at the same time again. After watching his interactions with our spy, we abandoned the idea of catching him in a mission space and instead set about grooming him to allow his new prospective girlfriend fleet control. We watched as her Hurricane successfully shield tanked level 4 missions better than his Raven Navy Issue. We watched him awkwardly flirt, smirking as he typed in private chats. We watched as they embarked on a 12-jump storyline mission late on a Friday night, and we set our plan in motion.

They were running missions out of Korama. One jump out is Piekura, a 0.5 that sees a lot of ganking action. The system’s killboard for earlier that day showed CODE. pulling six concord squads after a successful gank; that meant half our fleet would be ganking under pulled conditions, making the odds even better. We were bringing so much overkill it wasn’t necessary, but there’s nothing wrong with padding your margin for error.

I set up a safe spot near the Saatuban gate, well out of dscan range of anything but a planet and its few moons. As the pair returned form their journey, Phurious informed our prey that she now had access to level 4s and would like to run some of hers if that’s okay. He agreed enthusiastically, and I docked and contracted a bookmark to her. While TD5K was doing something mundane and forgettable, she retrieved the bookmark and returned to sit on the Korama gate in Piekura, where her mission was supposedly going down. He gave her fleet command and the scene was set.

A minute later, he jumped through the gate into Piekura. They sat on gate chatting for a moment before Phurious initiated a fleet warp to the “mission”. She landed first, followed shortly by TD5K.

Raven Navy Issue
Capsule

Our primary goal accomplished, we settled in for the rage. We had no idea what we’d begun.

Victory Genesis, and Another Chapter

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year’s, well wishes for all the other holidays I didn’t blog during because I’m terrible and there hasn’t been much to talk about since this isn’t a PUBG blog.

We deployed to Genesis and pushed out most of the existing residents in the pockets we had our sights on rather quickly. We extended our reach several jumps into highsec with wardecs, the most enteraining of which was Order of Allied Knights, whose Azbel was the subject my previous post. They mounted a similar defense on the final timer, and this time I was prepared with a covops legion that appeared and disappeared all over the grid as they attempted to snipe our logis. The Azbel kill ended up being number 1,000 on my killboard, which was kind of cool.

Which brings me to the next bit:

Image result for shadow cartel logo

Arcana Noctis joined Shadow Cartel just as 2018 was getting started. After a month of entertaining ourselves with scraps in Eve and mostly playing other games, we’re in a flurry of activity setting up move operations. At this point I have no idea what I’ll have to write about in the next few weeks: I recently finally trained my first capital skills and can sit in a Naglfar, although without JDC5 I’m not quite “there” as far as joining SHDWC fleets. I can be in any dread or carrier in a matter of hours with the right skill book at this point and have moved to the FOUR MONTH chore of training all my battleship skills to 5 so I can get into any black ops and improve my mobility.

As our reach expands, I find myself constantly challenged to reinvent how I operate. This is what keeps me coming back to Eve: after all these years, I can still find things new to me.

“Can We Get Some Probes In System?”

 

mega3Last night we suffered a fit of bored and decided to reinforce a wartarget Azbel. On the way there my scout turned up an Astrahaus belonging to another target who had allied into a war. While we were shooting that, I realized we had another structure, this time a Raitaru, from the principal targets of that second war with less than ten minutes of vulnerability. We split the fleet to handle both those structures at the same time, then moved on to the Azbel. Putting all three to armor went uneventfully and we returned home.

Tonight we returned to put all three to hull. Again with a split fleet, we watched the Azbel owners forming up, piling twelve people into system before we were ready to engage. As we formed up, the decision was made to have one Vindicator and a Phobos (flown by our glorious leader) stand off grid and use probes to catch people at pings. I immediately volunteered to be the Vindi pilot because this is something I’ve always wanted to try.

Our little three-man squad staged up on the nearest moon while the main fleet hit the structure. The wartargets landed a fleet inside tether, and several more ships at range. We started to work.

The Phobos was immediately sent to grab a Talos that was warping between pings before our battleships could lock it. It died. While the Talos was being burned down by the fleet, I took a shot and warped my Vindi to land on a Megathron for a solo kill. We reset and hit an Oracle shortly later.

The next target was a Megathron, which at first managed to slip the Phobos and get off grid. Not to be deterred, the Phobos ran him down and caught him on the sun. I arrived just in time to put one volley into it, because who needs tank? A few minutes later a Celestis tried to damp out our logis, giving the Phobos a nice solo kill of its own. As the core fleet mopped up stragglers in the brawl just off the station, we dropped in on a Naga that was attempting some sniping.

In all, 14 ships were killed in that engagement, six of them by our probing squad. I’ve wondered for a long time whether having a squad for such a role was viable. I’ll definitely be looking to do more of that in the future.

The Value of Cross-Training

We’re doing some interesting things out in Genesis, but I’ve been out of the loop for a while due to real life and don’t have any stories to pass on at the moment. However, on my way out I was discussing some viable targets with my fellow hunters and suggested we do some testing. No, I’m not going to elaborate on that right now; we want to fully utilize our theorycrafting and testing before sharing it. That got me thinking about how important it is to know more than just what it is you want to be the best at.

Let’s say you want to gank exhumers. Knowing the mechanics of mining and fitting exhumers is important in understanding how to effectively gank.  Or maybe you’re going to invade missions for loot and possible fights, where being able to recognize missions from what you see on grid will make you considerably more effective. Even if your flavor of PVP is in the market, understanding what’s going on that will influence the market can mean the difference between profit and loss.

Lifeblood brought about a whole new set of mechanics to the game. New structures, new activities, new ways of operating in low- and nullsec. I’ve been fortunate to be among the first to anchor, use, and destroy these structures. In the process, I’ve learned mechanics that we have used offensively to great effect.

So if you’re one of those who takes pride in never having mined, knowing nothing of industry, or being completely clueless regarding these carebear structures anchored everywhere, it’s time to rethink your priorities. You might be missing some excellent opportunities. Take some time to learn something you don’t know. You might find some unique ways to apply it.