The Skill of Lucky Timing

Timing… the ultimate griefer of history. The top scorer in every battle and competition. Men worship it as ‘skill’, ‘luck’ or just plain success.

In EVE, the timing is generally bad. If it was good, it doesn’t matter, the blob is already in warp right on top of you.

You activate your scram the second the prey warps out.

The very moment you enter a system a large fleet, including HICs and other nasty stuff assembled at the same gate as you’re cloaked at. They possibly even decloak you accidently. Of course they kill you.

Some random belt, with a mining Exequror in it. You warp in it, quickly lock and point the helpless ship. And while your guns start pounding at its shields it just warps of. The worst thing: You just changed your ship from the Incursus with a scrambler to your Vexor with the standard one point Warp Disruptor.

I am sure there are countless other examples of bad timing in everyone’s (EVE) life and I suppose bad timing is much easier to recognise than good timing, although bad timing is mostly the enemy’s skill and good timing your own luck.

Well.

A few days ago I had one of those moments of good timing, although this time it was really ‘luck’.

I entered Lantorn with my cheaply  fitted T1 Incursus, still three frigates to go until I would go back to my corp’s HQ in Genesis. A Factional Warfare mission beacon appeared on my overview. A short scan shows a Manticore … I was faster in warp than I could realize I was warping into a public mission.

About half way there a Vengeance appeared on scan as well, right on line with the Manticore. The warp tunnel began to collapse, shaking my nimble frigate and I left warp. The acceleration gate quickly grew larger and I realized the energy readings sent out by the structure.

The Amarr assault ship was initiating warp. When I had decelerated so much that I could navigate manually again, the Vengeance had left the scenery, leaving a juicy stealth bomber on my Light Neutron Blaster I’s mercy.

The shields melted fast and so did the rest of the expensive ship, when it finally exploded, with a few dozen rounds of Antimatter Charge S dug into its innermost structures, my ship was nearly intact.

My shields were gone but the majority of my armour plates was still there, so I quickly scooped the loot while the Manticore’s escape pod warped off (too bad).

Thats timing. Pure luck, nothing more.

How often do you find yourself in a certain situation thinking ‘if I had done this a second earlier I’d be dead’ or ‘good this Interceptor isn’t sensor boosted’? Too often.

Life is random. So is pvp.

What’s this post’s point? There is none. It’s just a public notice: Not everything is about skill, there’s a huge portion of luck involved in everything.

Remote

Inactivity … the ghost of blogs. Well, I am still there. And no, this is not a copy/paste version of my last ‘I am still there’ post.

[p0int] is currently home of four fine pilots, and a few day ago we did a roam, Wolf, Vexor, Logistics Exequror, and myself in a gank Thorax.

As we were kind of spread out, Rino in his Exe and I moved out to pick up the Vexor, a few jumps down the route to Ami. We undocked and had a Thorax on scan. In a belt.

He was quickly popped, and although we missed the pod we sold the loot drop for nice three million to him right afterwards. After we deaggressed we moved on.

The route was quite empty, nothing in sight to kill, but in Ami we quickly disassembled a Coercer plus Pod, shame our Wolf-Noob had to kill the pod all himself without waiting for the other to get on it (the pilot refused to pay the offered ransom …).

Then there was this Arbitrator. About 70km off a belt’s centre, and our Wolf burned towards him, while the others tried to gain range so we could warp to the Assault Frigate. With all four of us in the belt the Arbitrator didn’t come into scrambling range so we warped out after a while, deaggressing again.

Not too long after the Amarr cruiser was back in the belt and we tried to get him again. This time it worked, and although Hayjin subsequently burnt his afterburner, we got him.

When he entered half structure, a Harbinger warped right on top of us. All ECM drones were focussed on the battlecruiser on the battlecruiser while we popped the Arbitrator and began chewing into the Harbingers armour.

Be he wasn’t alone. A Guardian showed up at 65km range and the Harbinger’s drones were killing our own logistic cruiser … As he had to warp out the Harbinger slowly killed first our Vexor and then me.

Although I had ECM drones on him all the time they didn’t get a single successful cycle, otherwise I could’ve escaped.

Ratio: 1 Kill, 2 Losses; the Exequror survived with a mere of 3% hull.

Several mistakes on our and especially my side.

Firstly we should have warped out as soon as the Guardian popped out, but I underestimated it’s remote repair abilities.

Second – after I decided not to warp out to save all but the Vexor – me and the Wolf should’ve gone for the Guardian. Even if we lost the points on the Harbinger, we still could’ve scored quite a nice kill if the Guardian didn’t warp out.

And – what enrages me most – someone had the time to pop the Arbitrator’s pod while the Harbinger was already locked.

Note to myself: Make clear that primaries are primary and not secondary.

De/Ap Preciation

In my last post you were introduced to the Elite Trade Group, a local and quite large alliance with some interesting members.

They are somehow fun to fly against, especially when they fail. And with fail I don’t even mean that they don’t kill anything but how they kill something.

Today was one of those … interesting moments. I flew Ash down into their dead end constellation looking for a good fight or at least a juicy target. When I entered the last system, there was a Myrmidon at the gate. Apparently waiting for me.

Against my better judgement I left the system after a while of jumping between my bookmarks and there they were. While on the outgoing side only Myrmidon and a decloaking Arazu waited, on the other side were multiple Interceptors and Cruisers and some more stuff, altogether about eight to nine guys.

I burned towards the gate, hoping the Arazu wasn’t at the gate and with just a few armor plates left I jumped through. The Myrmidon had left, but instead there was a Harbinger and said Arazu.

I was quickly pointed and a non ETG Thorax entered the scene. They quickly stripped me off my remaining hull and I warped my escape pod to the nearest belt.

That’s the way they normally do it, so I won’t criticise it (although I want to avoid blobbing for myself and my corporation …).

Well. After a short chatter in local, where they tried to be cool and divided the loot of my Vexor in local chat (although I think this itself is stupid enough to be noted here), I got two conversations.

The first one came from the Harbinger, non ETG, (EDIT!) who more or less apologized for blobbing me – he had told them [his ETG friends] ‘not to blob me’.

Phew. Why is someone in an alliance that uses methods, he doesn’t like? I won’t understand that anyways, so don’t try and explain.

Second invitor was the Thorax pilot, apparently blue to the ETG. Guess what he did? Yes, he said he doesn’t like blobbing. Same comment from me to this…

So, as résumé: Why is ANYONE  member of a corporation or alliance whose methods he doesn’t appreciate?

Discussion opened.

Elite Trade Group

Saturday I undocked Ash in his Vexor. I needed something else than frigate size all the time so I took my cruiser down to Partod, the last system of a dead end constellation.

In Anara, one jump before Partod, I had a Thorax on scan, apparently ratting. I fired up my thrusters and warped there. A quick point and a stable orbit later, the poor victim was about to die. His Hornet I did none to absolutely none damage, and my Hammerhead IIs slowly chipped down its reinforces armour.

Then a Vexor entered the belt, member of the alliance Elite Trade Group, as the Thorax’ pilot was. Due to fail maneuvering I lost my point on the Thorax, which was in deep structure, and was scrambled by the Vexor. Kept in shortrange as my MWD was shut down, I started to de-assemble my enemy, and when my drones finally arrived (25+ kilometres are a very long way for Hammerheads…) they stripped the cruiser of its shields and armour.

Although he did some decent repairing and even killed one of my drones (could’ve been the Thorax’ work as well, I didn’t even notice it until I scooped my drones afterwards), I finally killed him – 391 HP structure left.

I even overheated my two small blasters … it probably saved my ass.

Grabbing the more precious loot I warped off and repaired my armour. When I was done, the Thorax was back on scan – time to get him!

He quickly died although he had fully repaired his armour and even sported a flight of Warrior IIs this time. Well, more loot for me!

Later I found following comment on their killboard, made by the Vexor pilot at his own loss mail:

Waynebo > Faulty intel Q.Q

Today I log in and see Waynebo in local channel.

Ashnazg > what does your faulty intel say this time?

I don’t wait for an answer but leave the system. Next system: Hulk and Retriever on directional scan. I quickly pinpoint them and rush in the belt, this time in my Incursus. As I approach the belt, the Retriever is no longer on scan. Did they notice my presence…?

When I arrive in belt, the Hulk is 15 clicks off, I overload my scrambler and burn to my shiney prey.

Its massive shields tank like hell, but slowly and they approach their limits and with my turrets overheated I finally break through into the Exhumer’s armour. In the meanwhile an Iteron Mark V appeared in the belt, probably the Retriever pilot coming to haul their effort’s results.

The Hulk’s full rack of Hammerhead IIs doesn’t fire a single shot at my frigate, but my lone Hobgoblin II takes slight damage – although even a single Hammerhead II would’ve been enough to take me out during the long time it took me to kill the Exhumer.

The Iteron V locks me but does not engage.

While the Hulk enters structure, the Industrial warps out again and Thorax and Brutix appear on scan. I quickly finish off my victim, try to loot (‘not enough cargo left’) and to point and kill the pod as well. But the moment the reinforcements leave the warp, the pod warps out and so do I.

Retreating to a safe spot I type a short message in local.

Ashnazg > slightly too slow, mates.
Akira Akawa > yeh good kill
Ashnazg > nah. ‘good’ is something else tbh ^^

And see, who enters local: Waynebo!

Waynebo > it says that you’ll stay docked…

Although it takes a moment for me to figure it out, I finally understand it. Laughing up my sleeve I warp between my bookmarks and wait for the GCC to run out.

After fiveteen long minutes I leave system. On the other side of the gate waits a flashy Raptor. Although not belonging to said alliance, it smells of a bait (not to mention my nearly burned guns) and I move on. When I leave warp, the Raptor is there already.

It is a bait. And a <ETG> Drake appears at the gate as well. The Interceptor locks me but does not aggress, the Drake jumps in the meanwhile. I consider warping off but finally jumped.

Guess, who waited at the other side: Waynebo, in his beloved Ishkur. I warp to a safe, take the longer route back to my base system and leave a comment in local:

Ashnazg > haha lol

Fun alliance, to be honest.

Blood Bonds II

YC111, 27th July
Gonditsa IV, Moon 8, Aliastra Retail Center

The door gave in splintering as Romain’s studded leather boots unerringly directed the imitated wood into the foyer behind it. With the noise faded away in the hall’s widths and silence filling them again, Romain took back a step and revealed the lean Ash.

Ash closed up to his long year friend and together they traversed the hall. Except a few more or less modern vases to the feet of the columns sustaining the high ceiling the room was completely empty; light green marble walls – at least they looked like marble – dominated the scene.

The pair went for the door on the opposite wall, checking the corridors to their sides from their eyes’ corners. The moment they arrived Romain went to repeat the procedure on this door, but Ash stopped him with a short gesture.

“Never forget, we’re nice guys,” Ash said smiling sardonicly and knocked at the door.

Romain nodded grimly and backed downed a step, his hand on his gun.

Somewhere behind them something clanged, but apart from that a heavy silence reigned. The door didn’t move in the slightest. Ash put his head back, sighed quietly, and knocked again. Romain grinned, baring white teeth, and started to count down:

“Three … Two … One …”

He looked at Ash questioningly. But Ash intensely stared at the door.

“A half …?”

Romain went for the doorknob, but he was locked. Ash kept fixing his gaze on the door.

“A quarter …”

Ash continued ignoring him.

“A Eat-me!”

Romain took a run-up and kicked the door; it bowed under the sheer force but withstood after all, although the hinges on the sides were damaged considerably. Even if one tried to open the door conventionally, it would’ve been jammed anyways.

“You-”, the Khanid kicked the renitent wood again, “piece”, it began to splinter, “of”, he took a few metres run-up, “shit!” and slammed his massive shoulder against the door, which instantly exploded into a thousand pieces.

Romain slowed down a few feet into the room and scanned it instantly. No-one there.

Ash elegantly climbed over the debris on the noble, small tiled floor and went for the back of the room. In front of panorama window stood an old desk, pretty much like those in old crime movies.

Watching his surroundings he took out his pistol and walked over to said furniture. Romain followed a few feet off, with his gun drawn as well.

“I expected a few more guys here …”

“I shouldn’t have disfigured this boy from yesterday so much – although the hole was so neat …”, Ash replied muttering.

Romain nodded grumbling.

Ash rummaged the drawers tapping the wood with his pistol’s barrel, but even the hidden cases were empty.

“Mh.”

He went over to the window and watched the moon’s grey surface shimmering in the sunlight.

“There’s blood back here”, Romain said from a side door, pointing at the door’s frame.

“Oi.” Ash thought for a moment. “Well, nothing of interest around here, let’s get moving.”

“What about the blood?”

“Is it yours?”

“No…”

“Neither is it mine, so it’s got nothing to do with us.”

“You’re strange”, Romain commented dryly.

“Indeed. Besides that, please take the ID card from under the flower pot behind you.”

“How the -?”

“Just do it.” Ash grinned. “And don’t ask.”

Blood Bonds I

YC111, 26th July
Korridi IV, Hedion University School

With an almost merciful expression Ash’s eyes rested at the corpse in front of him. A hole in the victim’s temple, about a finger nail’s size, and the tiled bathroom’s wall covered in wet red, spoke volumes. He used a towel to clean his pistol, pitch-black with a crystal inlay in its barrel, and hid it in his belt.

He prostrated, whispering a few words and closed the dead’s eyelids.

After a short moment of quietness and devotion, he got up again and brushed his now dark hair out of his face. He noticed the metal scent of the blood on his fingers and also that he had smeared blood onto his forehead; he quickly used the sink to clean his appearance of that flaw.

Quietly closing the door to the bathroom behind him he traversed the flat with measured steps and entered the busy corridor. Students from all over the Empire bustled here, off the auditoriums and their teacher’s watchful eyes they were wild, the just so strict rules everywhere else merely touched them here.

Not even a tall man wearing a long, dark grey coat blazing his trail through the people would attract any interest around here, firmly but not aggressively pushing students out of his path.

Payback

Not what you think, although I have to admit that I have the certain wish to kick somebody‘s asses. Poor Vexor … Well, whatever.

On the recruitment site – see link above – I wrote following.

Communism. Somehow. All loot you get from PvP is stored in the corp’s hangars at free disposal for everyone. In return there’s a payment based on every destroyed ship’s price. You kill, you give your loot to the corp and the corp pays you in return.
This money is for buying everything that’s not provided via the corp’s hangar.

Basically it is a payment program that benefits those, who kill much, so they can fund their efforts only with pvp. No need to run an alt char for trading or producing. No need for excessive gate camping.

I calculated though a pile of kills, and in the end I found a number: 20%. Thats what you get relative to what the killed ship is worth.

Let’s underline that with an example from my killboard: a killed Wolf.

A Wolf costs about 25m ISK, depending on where you buy it. 20% of 25m would be 5m.

So all involved players – not only those on the killmail, but those that engaged in the fight; Logistics or Tacklers, that were tackling someone else, won’t be forgotten – get 5m alltogether.

There are two players on the mail, namely me and Nurse, so each of us would get 2.5m ISK. As Nurse is not in my corp, ‘his’ money stays with the corp, as he already got his half of the loot.

All pvp loot made by our pilots goes to the corporation hangars, is stored there and will either will be sold to fund this payback program and any restockings of the hangars (ranging from basic modules and ammo to perhaps even a few ships),or will be stored at all member’s free disposal (T2 stuff etc.).

Ransoms are immediatly shared among the involved parties.

What do I hope to achieve with that?

1. A well filled corp hangar, where the pilots are able to fit their ships.

2. Well filled wallets – so the players can buy themselves new toys and things, that aren’t yet in the corp’s hangars.

3. Your discussion in my comments. What do you think about that approach?