Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mishin Boredumb and Ninja Regrets…

Things that happen when one has OCDB and we break our unwritten rules…

Ninjas & Griefers… 

When I was a few months ingame, before we discovered the wonder of wormholes, we did as so many do and we ran missions. We ran missions solo, as a corp, and with allies and friends. We worked our way up the mission ladder… Level 1, Level 2… Level 3 and the very lucrative Level 4s! We were fighting increasingly stronger and better equipped eminies. We were skillin up and getting into Battlecruisers and the highly sought after Battleship.

Running missions is a mainstay ISK maker and time sink for many in EVE. It is not the fastest way to make ISK, and there are other moar profitable endeavors, but anyone can run missions and it IS flying and fighting in the way cool spaceships we all love so much in EVE… and the ISK can be decent once you get into the higher level missions.

You receive income from:
-Mission Rewards
-Mission Bonuses (if completed in a specified time limit)
-Bounties (on the various NPC ship classes)
-ISK from the sale of Loot from the NPC wrecks
-ISK from the sale of Salvage from NPC wrecks

Depending on who yer flying for you can also receive:
-Loyalty Points (depending on faction etc.)
-High Value mods such as Implants, BPCs, etc.

It can add up to tens of millions, even hundreds of millions of ISK at the completion of a mission.

It was around the time we started running L3s that I encountered my 1st “Mission Ninja”. Damn I hated that guy. I also made the acquaintance of the ever hated “Mission Griefer”. For those who dunt know, mission Griefers and Ninjas are guys who scan down your ship while you’re running a mission, bookmark your location and… 

Ninjas, reship to a specially fitted salvaging ship and combined with the right skills (both book and experience) he can fly into a large mission, and using superior speed he can out traverse (wait for the link to load, it's worth it...)(simply put, to out transverse is to fly so fast that the eminy turrets are unable to track you and therefore unable to hit you) ah hem,  as I was saying,... he can out traverse any NPC and almost any player weapon while salvaging and looting all the wrecks...This is what the Mission Ninja does. He scans you down, warps into your mission, and steals all your hard earned Loot & Salvage. 

Taking just the Salvage is not considered aggression (IE aggro),… however taking the Loot from the wrecks (AKA ‘wreck flipping’) is seen by CONCORD as theft and is therefore is an act of aggression, turning the Ninja [Flashing RED] to the mission runner thus allowing the runner legally to engage the Ninja in combat... if he so desires. So It is up to YOU to stop the Ninja Looter, not CONCORD.

CONCORD KILLS people... they dunt arrest them, they dunt take em to court, they dunt fine em... uh, okay, they DO fine ya fer runnin drugs, if they catch ya... but killin someone for just takin loot is a bit extreme, unless YOU want to as it was your stuff he took in the first place... CONCORD will allow that. 

Griefers, may reship to a frigate and pretend to be a Ninja or he may just warp-in in a PvP ship and flip a wreck or 2 in the hope you will take the bait and fire on him, if not he may keep on flippin your wrecks to get you mad enough to engage him, but he dunt want yer Loot & Salvage… well, not the NPC L&S… the Griefer wants YOUR ships L&S. He uses wreck flip aggro to try and get you to fire on him then, if not already in a PvP ship he usually warps off, reships to a PvP ship and returns… sumtimes with friends. What the Griefer wants… is your deth.

Like so many, I was enraged the 1st time a Ninja warped in to a mission we were running and started brazenly stealing the L&S I and some friends had spent time and effort to create. I was as mad as I have ever been in this game… I felt it was really, REALLY unfair.

It was simply… simply… ARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!

My anger and outrage was, of course… one of the things that Ninjas enjoy quite a lot and one of the things Griefers want most of all… carebear tears. EVE is somewhat unique in that the ‘rules’, such as they are, are spelled out pretty clearly and, like real life, there are situations where you are… well, on your own so to speak. You see the Ninja and the Griefer, if they flip your wreck, are legal for YOU to engage in combat.YOU have the choice to step up and defend yourself or not, call in reinforcements if you can, warp out and reship to a PvP ship and warp back and make HIM pay for his acts of aggression…

Of course, both Ninjas and Griefers are not looking for a “fair fight”… they want to pick fights they are sure to win and they judge the situation and respond accordingly. I have seen a Griefer ship warp into a mission when we have say 5 or 6 guys in BC’s and BS’s… and, with the odds not in his favor, he then chose Discretion as the better part of Valour… and exited stage left never to return.

A Tale of Woe From the Past… 

I was killed by a Griefer once. I was mishin w/ a corpmate and we had a griefer pop in on us… I called out, “Leave ‘im be! He WANTS you to shoot. If we leave him alone he’ll eventually leave.” My corpmate was pissed off to say the least but he followed orders. Problem was, another corpmate ‘came to our rescue’ as twere… he warped in flying a Raven, ignored my repeated commands to “LEAVE THE EFFIN GRIEFER ALONE!!” and engaged the griefer... oh great.

Now we were in a Harby, a ’Cane (me) and a Raven (all PvE fit) against a (PvP fit) Fed Navy Comet. On the surface it looks like a win for us. I mean 3 T1 Battlecruisers against one frigate? Yea, OK, it was a faction frigate but one effin frig?? Well, as it oh so true in EVE, it is not the ship that wins fights… it is the ship, the fit, the chars skills AND most important of all, the players SKILL at fying and fighting in PvP and my corpmate had attacked a Fed Navy Comet flown by the, at the time, fifth ranked (Battleclinic ranking) PvP player IN ALL OF EVE… oh fukkin great.

Now our mutinous Raven pilot calls for assistance. He says he’s getting into him pretty good and we can take him! Now I am a bit pissed… he ignored my orders and pleas to leave the griefer alone… but he is my corpmate, and you don’t leave a corpmate in trouble, even if he deserved the trouble he was in… So the Harby pilot and I joined in the attack… at which point the Comet pilot really stepped up his game and showed us just  how fast and maneuverable the Comet could really be. He easily out transversed all of us and began really hammering at my corpmates…

Granted he didn’t put out the kind of DPS our BCs could, but he worked over my friends until they were getting low into armor... they warped out but I was unable to as he had me webbed and scrammed. He then turned his full attention on my ‘Cane. I was buffer armor fit, which meant he could wear down my tank in time and break it. And he proceeded to do just exactly that.

He orbited at 1000M constantly pounding away at my tank while I (1) could not hit him at all and (2) could not engage my MWD and (3) could not go to warp… it went on so long that I actually got something akin to bored waiting for my ship to aplode… I am sure the griefer did too. But, eventually it was over… my ‘Cane exploded and I warped my pod out.

A side note: The Griefer in question was so put off by my corpmates warpin off, after getting me involved in the first place, and then leavin me to burn… he sent me 30M ISK in recompense. Strange game huh?   =]

One Last Chance for Mishions… 

In the months before I started spending the majority of my time in wormholes I had a few run ins with Ninjas. I use a tactic many do, I try to blow up my wrecks before the Ninja can get to ‘em and steal my L&S… and I have had a Griefer or 2 join me in a mish, and I ignore them and they always end up leaving or going Ninja, in which case I pop my wrecks. Now we get people who come into the C2 and do what we call a raid, IE run the Sleeper sites (IE “our” Sleeper sites) WH Raiders are in essence Sleeper Ninja/Griefers, but that is a totally different dawg as W-space is NullSec therefore CONCORD rules do not apply and WH Residents and Raiders are not bound by aggro mechanics… if they want PvP they just attack, if they dunt want PvP, we will attack anyway...  =]

By now you may be askin what all my blathering above has to do with “Mishin Boredumb and Ninja Regrets”? It comes across as moar of a primer on Ninjas and Griefers… and it sorta is, but it is also background for the title theme… as you see, I have now become… that which I hated so much.

I had left the hole on a store run, Sleeper L&S for sale, and I ended up staying in Empire space thinking that I wanted to work on a solo mishin fit for one of my ‘Phoons. I tried a cap-boosted active shield fit based on the one I use on my WH Mael for Sleepers. Then I started soloing L3 mishes and found I was well pleased with the fit. As long as I had Cap Booster 800’s in my hold I could run the X-Large C5-L Emergency Shield Overload shield booster and that allowed me to tank a serious L3, running low on Cap Boosters was the primary limiting factor on soloing a mission.

On a side note I have adopted a new (to me and have not read of this anywhere else yet) Drone deployment tactic. I now launch 3 attack drones, either Valkyrie IIs or Warrior IIs, and 2 Heavy Webber drones, Berzerker SW-900s. This combo is very effective on fast NPC frigates. The 2 Web Drones tie them down hard allowing the Valkyrie IIs, my ‘Phoons Heavy Missiles AND the 1200mm Heavy Carbine Howitzers (a weapon that is usually completely ineffective against small fast frigates) to have devastating effect often 1 or 2 shotting smaller frigs. This is even better than if I had the ability to add a midslot and run a Stasis Webifier II, because the web drones can work at 54 Km, far exceeding the max range of 10 Km for the on-board module.

But I soon found I was bored… I hated missioning. I hated the time it took to kill the NPCs, I hated the predictability of NPC behavior but mostly I hated the low ISK/time ratio when compared to runnin Sleepers. I have an X-L dose of what I call, OCDBoredom. I can get very OCD (for them as what dunt know = Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) I can get deeply hooked on something, as long as it’s ‘new’ to me, as long as I am challenged. Once I have it down, I get bored with it real quick.

I have come to the realization that, as far as missions go, unless I am runnin at the very least L4s, and w/ corpmates, allies or friends, I am now permanently bored unto deth by missioning in Empire space… Mishin Boredumb has set in.

The 'Flip' Side of Mishin… 

So there I was, spinnin my ship (Yea!) but with a bad case of what to, what to do. I am blogging and browsing other blogs when I come across this video guide for Ninjas. I was initially interested because I have very high scanning skills and experience but I am (1) always looking to improve my scanning as this is a vital skill because I live in W-space and (2) I had not yet worked with Combat Scan Probes.. as I watched the guide I found myself quite interested in the whole thing. Imagine my surprise…

He uses a scan probe pattern which looked really interesting as it can give you a 100% hit in 1 to 2 scans by changing just the position of the probe set but w/o changing the scan radius of the probes and he got me interested in the Vigil, a Minnie frig I had not had any real interest in before. I did a test fit in PYFA and was amazed as it spec’ed out to over 4000M/s. If PYFA wasn’t lyin to me, it would be the first ship I had that broke 4000 Kilometers per second…  !

It met the requirements for my OCD to kick in. It was something NEW to do in EVE… I bought and fitted a Vigil and bought and fitted a CovOps Cheetah for scanning in hisec. I then tried out probe pattern and it worked as advertised, as did the Vigil. I scanned down a battleship and Bookmarked its location… there I was cloaked up just off grid above Dodi with a BM for a BS at the right distance to be a mishin runner. So I dock up, board the Vigil and undock… 

Did I have a Crisis of Conscience?   Did I experience a Moral Dilemma??   Was I skeered???   Uhh… nope.

And yes I remembered how I felt when I/we got Ninja’ed, but I have been ingame long enough that the initial immersion that one goes through in EVE, or at least that I went through, was past. Yea, it’s still the best and most immersive MMOG I have ever seen by a long, long way… but I have become just jaded enough to have gained some perspective, plus I was the most upset back when ISK was harder for me to come by. While I still have not broken the BILLION ISK in da wallet mark yet, life in da hole keeps me makin enough ISK to play as I please, for the most part.

But I am always lookin for ways to make moar ISK in ways that hold my attention and the possibilities in Ninja Salvaging intrigued me so I warped to the BM at 100 Km and watched the Rattlesnake as he ran an L4 mission solo… he had about half the NPCs in the current spawn already down and was workin his way through the rest. Hmmm… I set the “keep at” distance to 1000 Km, fired up the MWD, turned and burned away from the center of the fight at over 4000 m/s. I made an OOR (Out Of Range) BM at 160 Km and one more at 320 Km, shut down the MWD, allowed my Cap to regen to 100% and then warped to the wreck farthest from the fight…  

On landing I targeted the nearby wrecks, set the “orbit at” distance to 1000m, burned to the nearest wreck and fired up all 3 Salvagers IIs. The Vigil unmodified top speed is 629 m/s, with an Overdrive Injector System II and a Nanofiber Internal Structure II fitted this is boosted to 713 m/s which allows a nice tight orbit while still out traversing almost all incoming DPS. With the Catalyzied Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters MWD on she burns at a heady 4099 m/s… sheeeit!! I like to know I can get outta trubble faster than I got into it… LOL!

I hopped from wreck to wreck salvaging ONLY… I wanted to see how it all went and I dint want to aggro the mish runner by looting. If he engaged me out of rage and w/o legal aggro CONCORD would take care of him for me so I basically ignored him and concentrated on how well I could (with this ship) speed tank the NPCs. At first they ignored me, the aggro mechanics of NPCs ‘seem’ to primary the most dangerous ships, BCs & BSs first, Cruisers & Dessies second, and Frigs last so they left me alone for quite a while.  

When they did finally take note of me, it was a few frigs and cruisers and they could NOT hit me at any range. It was good… It was amazing!! The only time I got hit was during a switch between wrecks when I had to reverse and my ship came to a full stop before burning back to the next wreck. I got tagged and tagged good. I lost upwards of ¾ of my shields very quickly… but again, my fit was up to the task. I pulsed the MWD, accelerated quickly to over 2000 m/s again out transversing the incoming DPS, then pulsed the Small Shield Booster II and very quickly repped my shields back to over 90% and it was back to salvaging as though nothing had happened... Shiney.

Once I had cleaned up all the existing wrecks I warped to one of the OOR BMs I had made and let my Cap regen and moved all the salvage to a Can in my hold. The one real downside to the Vigil is it has a very paltry cargo hold to start with, a base of 173 m3 and the Overdrive mod reduces the cargo capacity to 138 m3. So I carry a Sm Std Cargo Can in the hold (takes up 100 m3, holds 120 m3) basically making back 20 m3 of the hold space lost, bringing it up to 158 m3. I dunt really need this for salvaging only as salvage takes up very little m3, but if (read when) I get into looting, it will make a bit of a difference. 

This runner’s tactic against me was to warp off when I was in the thick of it in the hopes the NPCs would all aggro me, which they did, in the hope they would asplode me all over the sky, which they couldn’t did… I finished up the wrecks that were left and warped to the farthest OOR BM, then warped to the station, dropped off all my salvage, warped back to the same BM and then burned away from the center of the NPC fleet until I went just off grid, about 360 Km out (the ships all disappeared from the overview) I made an Off Grid BM and waited there.

Every 15 mins or so I would align to the 320 Km OOR BM and burn in until I was back on grid with the NPC fleet to see if the runner had returned, If not, I burned back to the Off Grid BM and waited again. When he did show up, I burned back to the Off Grid BM and gave him 20 or so mins to kill off some of the NPCs then I burned back on grid, warped to a wreck and went back to work… After all was said and done I sold off the salvage and made about 10M ISK… huh... 10 M eh? I can make 10 M in da hole in FAR less time and while it was ‘kinda’ fun as I really like running a salvager ship for some strange reason… it was simply not the ISK faucet I was hoping for.

OK, so I scanned down another, 2 ships this time, I salvaged until they warped off and then looted all the cans I could, ran to station and waited out the aggro timer. I usually melt down (reprocess) all the loot and sell the refined ore as selling all the mods is quite the pain in the arse. This did bump the take up a bit, but waiting out the aggro timer allowed the runner to usually get all the rest of the loot, unless he/they were running the mish for standings only, then I would get all the loot… unless another Ninja showed up, then we would race each other to get everything.

In the last few days I have run a number of Ninja ops… with basically the same results, depending on when I find ‘em. I have landed on a few very near the end of the mish and dint make enough to pay for the fuel, food and crew. I had only 1 mish where things went definitively south. I was workin what had to be an L4. The runner warped out and I dummied up… I got all the aggro and was speed tankin it fine… until I got dubble webbed… very quickly I lost shields, armor and was into hull before I realized I was webbed… I tried to warp off, but it turns out I was scrammed too… crap crap crap!! So I went tactical, decided on the optimal course to put distance from me and ALL the NPCs and burned as hard as I could while balancing Cap regen against pulsing the Shield Booster… I had NO armor, less than 50% hull and the ONLY reason I dint die was that 700 m/s beat all but a few of the fastest NPC frigs and once I broke lock on all but them, I was able to increase the amount of Cap I allowed to regen which allowed me to pulse the Shield Booster moar and then I was able to afford to pulse the MWD and break away to warp out… I must admit THAT had my heart rate up a bit and was a lot of fun.

 That was it… bein a Ninja just dint cut it for me. Not enough ISK and it seems I am not in this for anybody’s tears… and yes, I regret havin tried to be a Ninja.

What I regret is that there just aint no damn ISK in it is what I effin regret!!!  =] 

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)= 

PS - An addendum as regards the above. I was going thru my books and found that: 

As a Ninja, solo, over 4 nights (approx 6 mishes)
I made: ISK  32,591,834.08 

Running Sleeper sites solo over 2 nights (5 sites)
I made: ISK 138,738,172.04 

Need I say moar?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I been Holeschooled…

Class, is in session…

Not a whole lot to write about since the POS bash back a month ago. I had decided to take a PvP break and went back to HB (my home corp) and moved back to the C2 wormhole and “Serenity Station”, the Planetary Orbital Station we call home.

Since then I have been takin it “easy”… Huh. Easy… I find it a constant source of amusement and amazement that I am most comfortable and at ease in our Class 2 wormhole… the ‘unknown deadliest space’ in EVE. Now a C2 wormhole like ours is not “the” deadliest space… there are higher, and vastly moar dangerous classes of wormhole… they run up to the mindbendingly deadly Class 6.

As stated ours is but a Class 2. And the Sleeper Sites, the Sleeper combat and resource, Mag, Radar, Grav & Ladar sites are soloable (with the right skills & ship & fit) in C1 and C2 WHs. C3 and up require moar ships and as you go up in Class you will need not only moar fighting ships but you will eventually need logi and maybe a Capital or 2…

The absolute best W-space write up I have ever seen, I include my fav quote here:

Wormhole Space Classes 

W-space systems fall into one of six classes: 

Unknown Space - Class 1-3
Dangerous Unknown Space - Class 4 and 5
Deadly Unknown Space - Class 6

Class 1 and 2 systems can be soloed.
Class 3 you want some friends with RR.
Class 4 you want lots of friends with RR.
Class 5 you definitely want lots of friends with RR and probably a capital.
Class 6 you definitely want a capital or two and lots of friends with RR.


Anyway… due to the above, I have always found it fascinating that I am happiest and feel the most at ease in wormholes. As I said the last few weeks I have been taking it easy and working on fueling the POS, completing and tweaking our Dethstar defenses and separating the local Narcoleptic Squads from their highly lucrative Loot & Salvage.

Then, one fine EVEning, one of our guys and one of the guys from our sister WH corp had been tempted by a decent run of sites in a C3 that one of the guys ha scanned down in an adjoining C2… I joined in and we ran a total of 11 sites and we found the warning above, Class 3 you want some friends with RR, was spot on.

 Here we have me watching as 2 of HLPs corpmates do…
something improbable with their Maelstroms

We were flying 3 well fit Shield  Maels and a Tengu but we really coulda used some RR… We had to warp out for repairs several times, something none of us has had to do running Sleepers in a long, long time… and once all three of us had to warp out of one site and my Mael had hull damage… LOL! We were able to complete the site and I came back to Noctisize all the L&S… and there is one other thing the write ups on W-space are spot on about… the harder the sites, the moar profitable they are. This C3 was no exception on that part… a VERY profitable trip.

So that’s about it… I wake up to the weird starlight AI’s Great Wall O Bubbles casts through the POS… Instead of Ship Spinning I just sit and stare at the stars of our W-space system and bask in the feeling of solitude and peace as I have my cuppa coffee and plan on what to do, what to do… in (one of) the most dangerous spaces in EVE…. Ahh… life is good. 

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=