Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I ain't givin' you no tree-fitty: The Little Noctis That Could

I’ve decided to start the series off with a story as opposed to jumping right into the lecturing.  Personal victories are a very important thing in EVE Online.  Some victories are large like being able to fly a titan or landing a industrial kill that drops 9600 unit of Tech.  Other victories are smaller like finally completing that level five skill training or farming enough isk to get that monocle you’ve had your eye on.  Big or small personal victories are important because they have the opportunity foster moral for the pilot, breed excitement in others and they also give bloggers like me something to write about.

Last week a group of Split Infinity. pilots experienced a personal victory.  Their victory came by overcoming a problem that many null sec alliances deal with on a frequent basis.  AFK Cloakers.  When it comes to reader reactions to the phrase ‘AFK Cloaker’ I believe the break down is this:

The translation being; the recipients get greatly annoyed while the participants are greatly amused.  I’ve been on both sides of the coin, so make of that what you will.  Now there are those in the 20% category and for you there is a brief explanation of what an AFK Cloaker is at the end of the post.

Tu Ko of Legio Geminatus, Gentleman’s Agreement happens to be the in-system ‘guest’ for this particular story.  Their ship of choice was a Purifier complete with damps, a warp disrupter and torps with a little Manticore on the side.  Ouch.  Tu Ko did experience some early success and was able to take a Noctis and a Hulk during their stay.  The tide would turn however.

A day after the two kills, S1. pilots realized that attitude and behavior towards the unwanted guest had to change if they wanted to go back to their normal in-pocket ventures.  The pilots got together and formed a strategy to remove our previously mentioned ‘guest.’ They already had an expected behavior pattern for the AFK Cloaker as his targets were poorly defended, lone industrial ships and so they set their minds to the task of luring him out and given him a one way ticket home via the pod express. 

One tanked out Noctis later they had their trap set.  How exactly do you tank out a Noctis?  I really can’t tell you that since we might have to use the tactic against you some day.  Not all intel is available intel after all.  Once the Noctis was positioned in a Haven they played the waiting game while the support fleet of 2 strategic cruisers, a stealth bomber and a command ship laid in wait. 

After a while opportunity came and the plan was sprung into action.  As expected the purifier warped in with damps, the disruptor and torps at full blast.  The support fleet would reveal itself soon after and the same treatment was extended to Tu Ko.  Within moments the Purifier was down, but the pod unfortunately escaped.  The Noctis did survive. 

Now I expect that this story will some become one of those EVE Online Urban Legends one day at least in a local sense.  I caught wind of it the day of and heard the Noctis pilot weave a tale including guns in the highs and having complete faith in his fleet counter parts.  Now.. I don’t see the Notics on the kill mail, but the Purifier did have damps so that could have something to do with it.  A little bird also told me that the Notics pilot was on the verge of crapping his pants from the moment the Purifier started shooting until it exploded.  That’s all hearsay though.

One thing is certain.  The Little Noctis That Could brought a huge moral boost to S1. troops.  The story will be repeated over and over to any ear willing to listen.  The spark of PvP will jump from pilot to pilot causing a rise in fleet participation.  Within the pocket; the S1. way of life will continue business as usual with spirits high.  That is.. until the next AFK Cloaker comes. 

An AFK cloaker is just what it sounds like.  A person will enter into highly populated enemy system using a ship with covert op capability (stealth bomber, strategic cruiser, etc) and remained in space cloaked up.  The AFK Cloaker will stay logged almost continuously though a period of days.  During this period two things will happen: the moral of the system inhabitants will drop due to actives such as logistics, industry and ratting coming to a halt and eventually when there are no kills during the initial waiting period the system inhabitants will become complacent in their situation.  This is the point where the AFK Cloaker will strike and begin attacking targets of opportunity.  More details about all of that will follow in a later blog post.  

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