Its been a while but..

Today I got a really great ransom. Spotted a Venture mining in lowsec and went to fetch my double scram atron which is used on these occasions. Scrammed him and opened a convo which took a long time since I was speaking French very badly and asked for the Marseillaise which is the French national anthem and a belting tune.

Turns out he was Belgian so that was out but then had to try to translate “drinking song” which was beyond my linguistic ability, eventually I realise his English is better than my French so we switched.

I love French songs, they always sound good and afterwards spent 20 mins or so giving him some advice and trying to find a decent lowsec French speaking corp for him, if anyone knows of one please let me know. This guy has the right attitude, he found being ransomed a good laugh and unusually didn’t swear at me or threaten to burn my house down and shoot my dog.

The pilots name is Osvlad Oskold, he is very new so if you enjoyed his singing please send him some ISK.

I’ve been sacked:)

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For the last six weeks or so I have been writing articles for mittens dot com. At the time both EN24 and TMC were looking for writers so I applied and was accepted for both. I wrote one for EN24 and about 13 for TMC for the simple reason that the latter pay nearly three times as much for each piece.

Today I was sacked for kicking up a fuss (which was probably inevitable) about one of the editors who would rewrite bits of my articles so badly that I then had to go back and spend about half an hour arguing to have the changes reversed. They included nonsensical syntax, basic grammatical errors, and simple spelling mistakes.

To be fair mittens responded to my criticisms and we had a discussion about how the bonus pay structure rewards the most prolific writers not necessarily the diligent ones (the significance of a Tusker trying to point out the benefits of quality over quantity to a goon were not lost on me) but in the end they decided to bin the troublemaker. There goes my attempt to get a bit of lowsec pvp news onto the mainstream sites.

I could still write for EN24 but given the fact that I put a lot of time into each article it’s probably not worth my while. Producing run of the mill battle reports doesn’t interest me, it’s the interesting story behind the killboards that is the difference between linking a killmail and adding a title, and an interesting read. Sailing season is coming up too and I’ll be partying my arse off on a boat in the med for most of July so maybe the stories will have to take a break.

August will bring AT so I’ll no doubt have some good tales to tell about that provided we don’t get spanked in the first round but somehow I don’t think that will happen..

Always bet on stupid..

stupid

Always.

Many years ago when I was a learner pirate, a very experienced guy who taught me a lot used to say “always bet on stupid”. He was right more often than not.

We had just finished some AT practice and jumped in the comedy battle navitas for a quick roam, ending up on grid with a kitey ashimmu we killed a few drones but couldn’t pin him down and he warped out. Less than five minutes later he was outside the plex where we were set up and we were all saying “naaah, surely he wont”.

He did and it was a long fight since navitas are not known for blistering dps but even with nasty vamps sucking us dry we tanked fine and finished him off, 360M kill with 133M dropped, nice – we knew this guy always flies flashy and were pleasantly surprised.

I think he must live in system because literally minutes later a cynabal appeared on scan and I just knew it was a rage undock, sure enough it appears on short scan and its game on again. This one went down even easier than the last. 320M kill with 72M dropped, thank you very much again.

At this point Switch’s mind is blown, he simply can’t fathom the guys thinking and his voice is going really high as he struggles to comprehend the sub-optimal choices going on here. He knew our fits from the first engagement that ended with no kills but still came back twice. Well three times as it turns out.

We were discussing what he would bring next and someone said “well a curse would be nasty” and just then hey presto he appears in a curse. Scram bosh and it’s round 3. The neuts were indeed a pain but we killed drones and then made a mistake as he managed to get an MWD cycle off and pull range, he got one of the navitas down but we continued to harass him and kill drones until he warped off.

A 12M frigate for two blingy pirate cruisers and 200M of loot, yep that’ll do.

Eve collides, Tuskers vs Sniggwaffe

Tuskers vs Sniggwaffe

Man this was a good one, I got back from racing all day and was knackered with quite badly burned hands, sat down and was given a jackdaw which I did my best to derp into a couple of battleships. Luckily they applied like shit and I squirmed out in one piece.

Not even gonna bother describing the rest of the matches, they were bloody entertaining and well worth a watch.

29:10 – 2nd fight

52:20 – 3rd fight

1:16:57 – 4th fight

1:37:30 – 5th fight

What is piracy?

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In a sandbox game with very few hard and fast rules or absolute social constructs how do you define what constitutes a pirate?

The short answer here is that it depends on context; a highsec mission runner or sov nullsec player will have differing ideas based on the experiences they have had in lowsec and may or may not agree with my definition, or yours, or each other’s.

I call myself a pirate and am a director of one of the better known pirate corps (the Tuskers) so this article is a few of my thoughts about why I identify with this description and what it means to me.

My character was made in late 2011 and almost immediately I realised that highsec held little interest, luckily (after a pretty bad start) I found a corp willing to teach a hopeless newb and I disappeared into wormholes for many months emerging back into lowsec still a hopeless newb but having had a lot of fun.

From that point on I have lived exclusively in lowsec and now after nearly 3000 solo and small gang kills I feel I have earned both the right to the title I give myself and to wax lyrical on the subject in prose.

Of course many people will disagree and call me a “pvper”, “ganking bastard”, or worse and their assessment is equally as valid as mine but I call myself a pirate.

Let’s start with the historic reference from which we romantically draw our influences. The so called golden age of piracy was the late 17th Century and saw various colourful characters rampaging around the fringes of the new world preying on the fantastic wealth of the treasure ships returning from the Americas back to the “old” world. These men chose the “merry life and a short one” and were unusually liberal and egalitarian for the time, electing their own captains but living to an established code.

The smaller less regimented pirate vessels could not fight toe to toe with the navies of the powerful empires of the time, there are rare occasions when they did pull off some impressive victories but these are the exception rather than the rule so hit and run was the order of the day. They lived for the short term and the loot rather than an allegiance to a flag and state.

Returning to our fictional space environment the pirates in our corp live like this – we own no territory and take targets of opportunity, our leaders lead by broad consent and in our case we have (for Eve) a highly restrictive code the terms of which are adhered to absolutely. We do this by choice because it makes us what we are.

This is my definition of piracy, a small group of people living to a common set of beliefs and while numerically inferior to the big alliances and incapable (even uninterested) in playing the game of sov with all the hassles and dramas that entails we are pretty damn good pilots and very effective in small numbers.

Yes we focus on the “space bushido” element of the game and strive to be “elite” pvpers but in my case this is secondary to, and in order to satisfy the need to live to the code and fulfil the expectations of the pirate lifestyle.

There are many other definitions, for instance Shadow Cartel, Periphery, and others are pirates but they are much larger and own infrastructure to pay for SRP so have made one step towards the “flag and state”. They are very effective at what they do and I admire many aspects of their models but in choosing to own assets which require structured defence they loose some freedom and must continually maintain manpower to keep them.

Each to his own, our corp number approximately eighty pilots so our model is by definition a minority one but it is the one I have chosen and the one I will always live and die by. You are welcome to challenge our opinion, in space, with an overheated rack of weaponry and we will defend it likewise, may the best man win.

Op Success

proteus

On a gate, with five catalysts..

Sometimes a roam just boils down to one kill. We took out a group of what I call psycho catalysts which are very high dps murderwagons fit for dps and hardly any tank. The trick is to all engage at the same time therefore bringing well over 500dps per ship to bear on anything unlucky enough to be on grid with you and kill it before it can kill you. Approaching anything beyond 15km is not an option, you have to be practically at zero and go all in – death or glory.

We came across two proteus and a tengu on gate, figuring the tengu was links we jumped through with them and at this point were six catalysts strong. A bit of a standoff happened with one flashy proteus and one not but eventually one of them aggressed so I called to jump gate in order to split them up.

At this point I wasn’t sure if it was the flashy or non-flashy that had shot but when the flashy one followed us through and aggressed it was game on. “Hose it lads” and we unleashed over 3000dps of overloaded void fury into the thing in a frantic race to melt it before his mate could jump through. Now a proteus has pretty solid resists to blasters but we were winning with pure damage and his tank was failing, I got primaried but then he pulled damage to deaggress and jump. Big mistake.

Looking at his fit – with twin webs he probably could have rinsed the lot of us but was perhaps trying to play it safe with his 1.8 Bn ship, we had no such concerns with our 6 Mill ships.

The Tengu did aggress too (though we are not sure how) and we had that into low armour before it managed to jump gate as we had all been heating our guns like mad (Johnathan won a ship skin for most overheat damage with 96%) and just couldn’t run any more hot cycles for fear of burning out.

After comms had died down I looted the wreck and suddenly had to shout “Holy shit lads, I have 600M in my cargo!” After rapidly docking the most expensive catalyst ever to fly we negotiated selling the loot back to the unfortunate victim (who was pretty cool about it actually) and carried on our merry way.

That loot paid for our ships hundreds of times over and each pilot got a decent payout.

The rest of the roam was quiet apart from getting involved in some stupid station games with the Heyd Russians, we instagibbed a svipul that was daft enough to engage and then lost a couple of catalysts to instalockers, after that we called it and headed home fairly chuffed with the night’s work.

My bad luck finally ends..

Definition of bad luck

Things have not been going well recently..

My luck skill has been pretty bad recently, normally I don’t loose too many ships and when I do it is to a blob I could have done nothing about but recently I have been making stupid mistakes and loosing ships I shouldn’t have which has been endlessly entertaining for my opponents and there has been some pretty cheesy smack in local.

All this came to an end last night in classic style, here’s how:

We had a roam scheduled and all the ships were ready – a pretty solid armour fleet with logi (which is something we very rarely use) but the numbers were just a fraction too low to make it work so I raided my hangar and found five or six battle navitas’. “What the hell is a battle navitas?” you ask, and to be fair so did all the guys I was with but these things are awesome – you fit one remote rep and two guns with full tackle and afterburners and go looking for a fight.

A big problem in the current risk averse meta is getting a fight, half a dozen Tuskers in a solid fleet comp will struggle to get anyone to engage but a load of navitas’ – everyone will shoot that and this is exactly what we wanted.

We started off well and as we undocked someone called a Harby navy in a plex, team yolo sprang into action and we nearly got him but he bailed to the next system followed closely by us, a few minutes of bouncing around and we had the bugger tackled on a gate, taking gate guns in very flimsy frigates. It was close and we lost one frig before reps could stabilise but he went down nicely followed by quite a juicy pod.

At this point it was op success but we headed out again and two jumps later saw a ‘cane at a plex. Obvious bait always has to be taken so we tackled it and watched scan, huginn, tornado, vexor, rupture and thrasher appear and it’s game on. At this point we are facing some serious dps, enemy with links and us with none and in their home system so they can reship – all in some t1 frigs with a couple of algos for moral support.

Mods are glowing hot as the ‘cane goes down and shortly afterwards my brave navitas succumbs to the dps on grid, the guys keep working through the huginn, tornado and thrasher while slowly loosing frigs and at the end it is down to one of our algos vs the last ship, a vexor. The algos goes down bravely and we narrowly miss holding the field. The battle report is a bit confusing since they appear to have shot their own side but this gives the rough picture. Best fight I’ve had in ages – outnumbered, outgunned to hell and we were half an inch from clearing the grid.

This was the night that just kept giving however and returning from some highsec shenanigans and much the worse for drink we spotted a Tornado, Drake, Navy drake and Myrm in home system apparently running belts. We were hopelessly spread out at this point with one guy stuck in high waiting out criminal timer after some distinctly sub-optimal choices regarding concord and several guys had no ships. John had to buy an unbelievably crappily fit brutix and I grabbed a Keres for point and we piled in completely unprepared expecting bears who would run. Props to them because they fought on gate and a running battle ensued with Switch moaning all the time about how he couldn’t undock for another 5 mins and was missing the fight.

I was a bit pissed and can’t remember exactly how it went but my Keres was a bloody hero, multiple times I warped in and pointed stuff only to get drones set on me and have to warp in low hull, repping up and heading back in to keep things on grid. Johnathans brutix went down due to t1 reppers but eventually our deeply unsuitable fleet somehow dropped the drake and the tornado with the other two escaping. Grid was ours and so was the loot. Again the battle report is a bit screwy but here it is.

It’s good being a pirate.

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