Monday, 12 October 2015

Gone off the reservation

Another day, another dollar, another whiner in local.  If you don't know what I am on about read this first.

In order to judge whether ganking is as easy as they say it is, I joined forces with the resident CODE agent around Osmon - Agent Liek DarZ.  Yes in a moment of miner whiner driven insanity, your author went rogue.

One quick email to agent DarZ and a little while later I am on my way to a gank.  Now in truth, this is not the first time your author went ganking.  But seldom as slick as this.

Get your ass to xx station.  Trade window goes up as I dock.  Accept T1 destroyer.  Get in ship.  Message to undock at count of 0.  2... 1... 0... undock.  Take fleet warp to gate with instructions to jump on contact.  Take fleet warp to another gate, jump on contact.  Take fleet warp.  Message to overheat and activate guns. Targets name gets posted in fleet.  Land at optimal, lock... and the rest happens automatically.  I was slow, so I get the kill mail.  Also I am too slow to target the pod.  Warp to station.  Undock in rookie ship to "pull concord".  Dock again and wait out aggression timer.

While we wait I chat to Agent DarZ.  He has been at this for a very long time. Look at his kill board.  No seriously, go and take a look.  Way more losses than kills (you get shot by CONCORD twice for every gank - once with the gank, and once when you undock your rookie ship per above).  ISK efficiency of course the inverse.  The asymmetrical nature of that stat of course the chief bone of contention.
Name redacted to protect the guilty

I ask if I may post my observations in this blog and offer to run it by him first.  Sure he says - I can do that, but he doesn't care to censor me in any way.  There is nothing secret about what he does.  Too true. Every step we took in our gank is documented.  Everything from basic catalyst training and fitting, to advanced catalyst, thrasher and vexors.  There is even a nice section on "managing" CONCORD.

We chat about the philosophy of CODE.  The complacency of care-bears.  Anti tanking.  Whether or not he thinks ganking is too easy or not.

The way he does it, certainly makes it seems ridiculously easy, but your author has been around the block enough times to know that is not the case.

What we have here is an individual that has put an enormous amount of time and effort into perfecting his technique.  Intimate knowledge of his environment as well as his targets.  In short, a player that has done the hard work, put in the time and should be rewarded for his efforts.  Whatever your opinion about the philosophy of ganking - at least lets have respect for that.

In Agent Darz' case he runs 4 clients.  Most of his targets are identified with D-Scan (he only rarely uses probes).  He has perches for most of the systems around Osmon and can scan any system easily.  He ship scans his targets beforehand to ensure that he brings enough dps to guarantee a kill, and get gets the warp in pretty much spot on every time.

When the gank goes down he normally controls 2 dps characters - and snags the pod in the vast majority of the cases.  In addition he usually scoops the loot with a 3rd.  For the uninitiated - this requires a certain amount of coordination across multiple screens - something your dimwitted and slow deliberate author has trouble pulling off.

If that still seems all to easy, well then the below is posted especially for you...

Agents of CODE are cowardly you say
and only in it for the easy prey
they care not about the ISK
dishonourably they enter the fray.

In PVP, not so easy the fight will go
in a tournament they might not even show
In miner space grief they sow
always land the final blow

Regarded as the most dastardly clan
in all the realms of the LAN
If ganking is your plan
an agent from CODE is your man

Where CODE is concerned most of the targets happens to be industrials or miners, but as Agent Darz points out - a target can be anything - he links a Caracal kill as an example of a "moving" target of opportunity, although those happen less often.  In passing he mentions that he doesn't really care about the ISK.

He has been ganking for a long long time - I ask him what keeps you coming back and not getting bored?  "Some people actually start to be cautious, so there is challenge. But there is also new ones all the time" he says.  He continues that he just needs a target : "The harder to kill, the better"

Of course the ganker is but one side of the story.  Your author is only too well aware of the ostential reason for his roguishness - miner whining.  Well in this case not a peep.

In fact when I tried to contact marian64 Sukarala the convo gets rejected.  A second try sees me permanently banned from contacting him.  A pity as I really would have appreciated his perspective. I take a cursory look at his and his corporations' kill boards - as far as the corporation goes, not too bad (lots of losses but at least a good number in low/null/wormhole space).  As far as marian64 himself goes - could be a noob with a good couple of highsec losses.

This is the point your author realises he will never be CODE agent worth a damn - his conscience gets the better of him and he refunds marian64's 30 million ISK loss

Forgive me Agent DarZ for I have sinned...

As part of my redemption I send an email to his CEO - with an apology and an offer to sacrifice a tanked ship to marian64 and the rest of the corp in highsec if they so choose (gets rid of the kill right too).  In truth I'm struggling to figure out what the character of the corp is - no idea whether that would appeal or insult.

So does this mean your author has turned around and slunk back to the care-bear den from which he came?  Not quite.  With kill rights against him waiting to be activated PVE is out of the question - who knows what he will get up to!


  1. [post deleted and reposted 'cause I cant spell...]

    OK... I'll accept that in briefly joining with a CODE agent you were 'looking for answers' as 'twere... for now.

    But here is where James and his ilk lose me... "The complacency of care-bears."...

    noun: complacency; noun: complacence

    a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.
    "the figures are better, but there are no grounds for complacency"
    synonyms: smugness, self-satisfaction, self-congratulation, self-regard;

    I have hear this in reference to the 'fact' that they don't contribute or 'actively' take part in the game... that they prefer to play apart from the rest of us... and I will grant you the whining and crying in local from some is irritating, but these are the guys who have, almost exclusively, devoted their gametime to making the ships and modules we play with... so while their interactions are separated from PVP to when we ALL interact with the market... tell me how they are not contributing or actively take part?? What? Cause they don't PVP?? That is no argument in a sandbox MMO, that dog just don't hunt.

    And I don't know about you, but complacent does not describe the carebears I know in EVE. If anything they are best described as players working hard to find satisfaction in a job well done, but "smug"? & "self-congratulatory"? No... "self-satisfied" yes, but then anyone who prides themselves on a job well done, such as your Agent DarZ is guilty of that.

    No, the labels "smug" and "self-congratulatory" DO however fit quite nicely on James and his minions... The 'complacence' players in EVE are the gankers... the miners and haulers and Industrialists are just playing the game their way, and James seems to just hate that... plus IMHO anyone who feels attacking a non-PVP fit players is some kind of 'win'...

    Well, anyone with guns, knives and bats can beat the piss out of anyone who is unarmed and cannot fight back... and as your friend said, ...He ship scans his targets beforehand to ensure that he brings enough dps to guarantee a kill... So yeah, not something I'd ever do and feel even a trace of pride in.

    And while I cannot for the virtual life of me understand them who do, it's EVE... and I mine in a wormhole anyway and CODE seems to be (justifiably) afraid of holes... LOL

    1. Well yes - that is precisely the narrative that goes round and round in local. And I have to admit you (and they) have a point.

      Besides that - there is something about the lopsided nature of a 100+ million SP player like the toon I used to gank with - shooting at a month old character in a vessel with no guns that deeply troubles my conscience.

      Others point out that it is a game, part of the rules and to be expected. That too is technically correct - like I said gankers pay money to play and ganking is a valid playstyle. Just not for me (not like this at least - there is a slight twist in a future post). My conscience won't allow it.

      I would hate for my actions to be the cause of even a single guy rage quitting EVE. Besides, carrying the cost of both the ganking ship AND refunding my victims is bound to drive me out of business...

      After all is said and done? Safe to say I will have to add high sec miner ganker to my growing list of EVE professions I fail at.

    2. Hey, Liek here :)

      The "issue" I fight is the 'entitlement' to achieve one's goals without being interfered with. The miners build my ships? Great. They are not doing it because they are altruistic, but to make ISK. All good, nothing bad about that.
      BUT the miners doing it while insisting that they should be "left alone to their own devices" - I have heard that far beyond hundred times - I think THEY are wrong. There is no right to be "left alone" in a MMO with mandatory PVP. People make RL comparisons like "sure, free rape/muggery in the backyard" all the time, they claim that shooting defenseless ships is poor sports etc.
      Yet, why do the targets MAKE themselves targets? Pretty much all of them have the OPTION of being attentive & prepared. The Retriever pilot DECIDES to pick a Ret over a Proc - trading cargo for tank capacity. Should that choice not be a meaningful one? I think it should be one - after all, the tools are available for everybody.

      This usually is the point where the two camps clash - the one side saying "But they do not harm anyone", while the other says "They want to opt out of PVP".
      I do not believe there should be an "opt out of PVP", not even in hisec. That is what made EVE special from the start - the permanent *real* risk you had to be prepared for. NPCs do not mean relevant danger in hisec, but players do. We pose some of that risk, and that is all good for me. IMO - yes, people not cut for that permanent risk should rather adapt or leave. Not because I wish them anything bad personally, but rather because I want to keep the risky playground I signed up for. Do I want it watered down to get another theme park? No sir!

      And yes, like every sensible person my alts have CODE set to red, of course. I may gank, but that does not make me stupid ;-)

      Oh, BTW - Liek has 30m SP, Plasma has 6m...

    3. Hi Liek - thanks for helping out!

      Just to clarify the 100 mil SP reference was for my char/conscience - apologies if I created the wrong impression.

      The CODE training map could get you ganking in one day - I wonder how that is influenced by the new 400k SP starter toons get?

    4. It is influenced quite some bit. The longest training for efficient cat ganking is T2 guns, and those 400k help with that. Yet, just making new chars and dropping them later is not allowed (as a means to avoid the effects of bad sec status). But overall, it allows to get faster into ganking, or just to check out ganking on new toons, correct.