Tuesday, 7 May 2019

In praise of activity

Roaming solo. Again.

Yes, Dear Reader, my corp has gone dormant.

There is stuff to kill and fun to be had, but there is a limit to what you can do as a solo pilot.

Related imageNow don't get me wrong - I'm not overly needy and I'm not averse to flying solo.  A casual look at my main's killboard shows forty or so kills for April.  Not a big number I grant you, but also not atrocious for a player of my minuscule skill and limited playing time.

The vast majority of those kills have been solo - the ones that were not, were either pods (zkill doesn't reward shooting pods as a solo kill), or kills showing damage from a prior engagement my opponent had entered into.

Flying solo makes it a lot tougher to find content.  I had to push hard and enter into more risky engagements than I normally would.

There were a couple of 1v2 scenario's as well as numerous engagements in my Comet vs destroyers (Can be done, but in the past I was very hesitant to do so).

Al this yielded surprisingly positive results (Blind luck!... but content win or lose)

What is that you say?  "Shameless self aggrandisement Absence...? Surely that is beneath even your low standards!?..."

Ah, Dear Reader...  It is a lamentation more than anything else... you see, there were no traps, no schemes, no upshipping, no dropping or getting counter dropped, no hasty fleet compositions...

No call to undock.  No cries of "Point"!  or "Secondary!"...

Had my corp been active my modest kill count would easily be four times what it now is.  And those would have been better kills (solo I tend to only kill small stuff in plexes).

Worse than all of that... there was no corp chat,   -banter, -laughter or -merriment. 

The truth is, I guess I just miss my friends....

I know what you're thinking.  And you're right.  Time to move on.  In due course I no doubt will.

But moving on begs the question: to where.... which in turn leads me to reflect on what exactly drew me to the crew I flew with for the last 18 or so months.

In a previous post I wrote about the big wheels and people who do the work in the background to make the corp run.  I still stand by those words.

I have however come to realise, that equally important is the "essence" of the corp.

The essence of Schneckt I regard as constant activity, fun, fast paced, small ship content generated during the time of day that I played.

Some of us log in and nothing much happens, and others log in and content explodes.

In this there were a few individuals that stood really tall.

Normally loathe to name and shame, in this instance, I will do so, because these guys deserve it (see names below).

You think I'm joking..?
Whilst navel gazing, I recall there were those in corp that told me I am getting too risk averse.  I now have to admit they were right.  A casual look at my killboard suggests that I did get extremely averse to losing ships.

As a consequence I (and my corp mates) missed out on many fights and kills (or losses :-) ).  For this I apologise.

Recently, flying solo, in order to engage more ships I had to tinker with fits and bring different- and in some instances more expensive ships and fittings.

I recall there were those in corp that pleaded with me to import a wider variety of ships into the warzone and fly different styles (I'm a one trick pony - scram kite..).  I never did.  I now have to admit they too were right.

For this too I apologise.  I should have supported you guys more.

Looking back it is clear that I was a venerable leach on content generated by others.

Don't get me wrong - just having another warm body around that can push F1 makes engagements possible that would otherwise not be, but in truth I could have done much more than I had.

"Oh my word... Would that have saved your corp Absence?"    No, no I don't think so.  What it would have done is improve the gaming experience of both myself and other corp members during the time the corp was running.

That is important.  And that is the lesson I think I should carry forward wherever I go.

Names of the "shamed" - thanks for what you guys did during the course of my Schneckt experience!  If I left you out, I'm sorry.  Alternatively it might be that you also just suck like I do... ;-)

 6eCeH0K Kaai

"... you better have eated all your vegetables,
it's gonna be a rough one" --Kaai
This guy joined Schneckt shortly before I did.  In the time I had collected 1500 kills Kaai collected 7000.  Yes 5 times the number of kills.

Kaai was prodigiously active.  He was always on.  Forming fleets, making plans, handing out ships.  Going for tackle...  Killing stuff... losing stuff - of course winning a fight is better, but if there ever was a guy that understood that losing was part of the game, this is him.

As an added bonus Kaai is a French Canadian - to his credit his English improved a lot during the last 18 months...

He came up with the most fantastic and funny  "Frenglish" expressions - what's more he was always the greatest of sports about it when we could not help but burst out laughing!!!


We need tackle...
Zaloorb was an old hand even when I started.  In my admittedly limited experience and worthless opinion, Zal is one best PVP pilots I had ever encountered.

Few and far in between are the guys that know the meta better.  Know what to bring and how to fight an enemy, with a killer instinct and hunger for kills that I have not seen anywhere else.

Zaloorb takes the tough (often solo) fights against formidable opponents and often comes out on top.

We especially love him for two things -

1) being the guy in the dramiel that could not wait to go kill that hated kiting garmur in local (with amazing success!!)


2) imparting a lot of his knowledge to us.  I shamelessly admit to stealing all his fits....

Rahgg Graageor

Rahgg Graageor
So what are we doing?
Rahgg joined Schneckt about the time I did.

Very active, and if ever there was a team player Rahgg is it.  Always ready with a ship, always willing to go, often forming and leading fleets.

Did some heavy lifting to import ad hoc items from Rens for hapless corpies that did not have ships ready to go...

Seldom a complaint and the most delightful "of-the-wall-type" sense of humour that you will ever encounter.

Takes everything in stride and is without a doubt the best smack talker in local that I have ever encountered - it is smack, but never to the point where it is nasty or distasteful...

Friday, 26 April 2019

How not to move a carrier: A tale of two noobs

If you think hiring a pro is expensive, try hiring an amateur.
Recently a corp member, lets call him *Bill asked in corp slack if anybody could fly an Apostle.  He was friendly with a wormhole corp and wanted to move the Apostle into their wormhole.

Bill could fly other capitals, but he could not fly Amarr.  Not yet.

Now a long long time ago and in a universe far far away - lets call it *null sec your author did fly a carrier.

This was during the age of the slow cat.

For you kids that do not know, slow cat's was a doctrine of masses of remote repping carriers that were nigh unkillable.

Not that your author was that sophisticated - oh no, ever the slacker and under achiever he had a mere suitcase carrier - a carrier fit for travel, designed to move his sub caps from one staging point to the next.

The carrier favoured by your author's null sec corp at the time was the Archon - also an Amarr capital.

Thus, thinking himself imminently qualified (if slightly rusted), and ever the helpful type, your author volunteered the services of his alt, lets call her *delihla to help move said Apostle.

I mean,  get carrier, perform one jump, enter wormhole, dock at citadel... what could possibly go wrong?

Well plenty as it turns out...

At this point dear reader I will spare you (most) of the detail of the trials, tribulations and mishaps of getting *delihla into the home hole.

Suffice to say it somehow miraculously happened without anybody dying.

Not that we didn't try, oh no, there was a sabre and a bubble involved, my running back to the "gate" (*Bill had a smug wormholer chuckle at my use of the term "gate"... fu *Bill, if you had actually been scouting in lieu of just leaving bookmarks to follow none of this would have happenend....).

To the credit of self same *Bill, this was the point where he did show his wormholer experience.

Told me to wait on the higsec side of the "gate" (wormhole) whilst he did something actually involving scouting and I'm guessing, showing some kind of scary ship on D-Scan to make the big bad sabre go away...

Why wait you ask?  Because of a thing called polarisation (don't worry, I didn't know either).... An arcane wormhole mechanic that would render me unable to run back to the "gate" a second time to jump back out - likely a "bad thing" for my little helios if a sabre still was around...

Reaching the home hole without further indecent, *delihla was provided with a cloaky hauler inclusive of Oxygen Isotopes.  Well done to the ever overachieving *Bill.

Out to the null sec exit she went and was spit out somewhere in NPC Fountain.  System empty.  One unscouted gate jump and she is docked in the (also empty) station system where the Archon is located.

Board ship, move fuel to fuel bay, move hauler into hangar.  So far so flatteringly good.

As I undock *Bill lights a cyno on the wormhole entrance...  I right click on jump to and.... nothing....

*delihla: "Wtf?  Did you light the cyno?"
*Bill: "Yes, why?"
*delihla: "no jump to destination...?"
*Bill: "Right click and... then go jump to..."
*delihla: "duh... duuuudeee, I'm telling you, no destination.  Did you actually light the cyno?"
*Bill: "yes I'm sitting here in space, with cyno up" (sounds kinda panicky).  "Maybe you tried to jump too early, dock and try again."

At this point *Bill is already regretting my help.  I dutifully dock and undock.  To my delight this time *Bill is available as a destination to jump to.

At this point dear reader you'd think that enough has happened and the story would promptly end, but nooooo....

I right click jump to *Bill and.... Nothing.  Just a message saying something about needing isotopes followed by a "traffic control" message.

At this point your author's nerves are fried.  All that he can think is that he somehow put the isotopes in the incorrect bay.

*Bill: "You have to put the isotopes in the fuel bay dummy..."
*delihla: "grrr... I did... I don't understand... OH F*CK!!!"
*Bill: "What!!!?"
*delihla: "I'm getting shot at - taking damage!!!"
*Bill: "I thought you said the system was empty....!?  DOCK!!  DOCK!!" (sounds very panicky)
*delihla: "It was... IT IS!!!"  (docking, again.)

 In our defence, this was in the hey days of the "chat system bugs" where pilots in system would often not show up in local chat.... but they would show up on overview surely?

A quick check of the log.... and... aaaaahhhhhggggggg.... I was shot at by rats (my pvp overview does not show rats).... F*ck me what amateurs.... ok, lets go again.

Undock, right click jump to... and... No jump fuel message again.  At this point both *Bill and myself have moved beyond panic to mere despondency.

Somehow becoming resigned to the idea of impending doom drives mindless clicking and chatter from our heads.  I actually read the message.  To jump the ship requires Helium Isotopes.

Something clicks.  I recheck the fuel bay.  And there it is: Oxygen Isotopes.

*Bill: (alarmed) "What??"
*delihla: "we need different isotopes"
*Bill":"Huh" (my turn to be smug and lecture his degenerate Gallente ass about isotopes)

Luckily there are some Helium Isotopes to be had on the market (at a nice markup for the seller, but at this point we were really beyond haggling over a mere 1000% markup).

I buy the fuel, move to fuel bay and undock.

*Bill:"Only one minute left on the cyno"

Yes dear reader.  During all this time that I had been trying to find the "jump to destination", undocking, redocking, undocking..., panicked about rats and finding fuel, *Bill had been sitting stationary, on that wormhole entrance, in the middle of null sec, cyno lit for all to see....

Astoundingly nothing had happened.  Yet.

I undock, right click jump to.... and I JUMPED!!!

Enter the wormhole and dock.

*delihla: "F.U. *Bill, you can keep the helios" (trades helios to *Bill and death clones back to Jita)

No dear reader, I don't know what happened to *Bill after that, so don't ask.

Thus ends the tale, with proof that no good deed goes unpunished, as well as vindication that Bob looks after the hopeless and the hapless.

In truth we deserved to lose something through all that....

For advice on how to really move a capital ship  I leave you in the capable hands of the (late) and great **Azual Skoll over at the EVE Altruist site (unfortunately dead. Edit: the site, not the author).  Much of this site is now out dated, but some things have endured...

*Names published without changes in order to implicate the guilty.
**F.U. Azual - you never said anything about isotopes!!!