Friday, September 30, 2011

EVE Online Pod Pack: Sept 2011 Update

It’s the end of the month and it’s time for the EVE OnlinePod Pack update.  I plan to do these updates monthly to provide you with this months news surrounding EVE Online podcasts.  Most of the information with in will contain podcasts that have been added or removed from the feed.  The updates will also include cast changes and special announcement from the podcasts.  September has been a very busy month, so let’s get started. 

Introducing...
Angry Monkey Podcast (AMP)
Let’s give a warm welcome to the newest podcast to join the EVE Online Pod Pack.  Angry Monkey Podcast aka AMP is hosted by ChYPh3r and EX River from the SpaceMonkey’s Alliance [SMA].  They are also joined by two little co-hosts known as Slap and Tickle, who’s main job is say all the terrible things that most of us were already thinking.  This show is rude, crude and filled to the brim with pure unadulterated trolling.  Keep in mind that this pod cast is intended for mature audiences only.  You’ve been warned. 
 
Taking Stage Left...
Cap Stable
I’m really not sure what happened to these guys.  Their last podcast was in June and celebrated the anniversary of AIEU, the corporation the podcasters are from.  I’ve looked for a way to contact the hosts, but I haven’t gotten anything in the way of a response.  I’ve even gone as far to contact the corp diplo and nothing came from that either.  Whatever their reasons for going dark; we wish the best and hope to see them around again soon.

ISK
I’ve spoken to Tehg a few time since he’s one of the podcasts helping me with Listen to the Voices 2011 ATX.  He’s not fading all the way in to the black, but he is going on hiatus.  He even went as far to post a blog for his reasons simply saying that he hasn’t been in the mood and when the mood returns, so will he. 

Lost in EVE
This curtain call comes on rather sad terms.  Per a post made on the podcast site, Jade, is going though some real life issues as well as health problems and has decided to close down the podcast for good.  There will be no final episode and this seems to be the finale as Jade has also stated that he will be unsubbing from EVE Online.  I’m an sure that Lost in EVE will be missed by the community at large and we all wish Jade and Jayne the best in their future endeavors. 

In Other News….
Declarations of War
Now you may be wondering why DoW is listed, but there is no website and it’s not included in the feed.  Unfortunately, the person that had control over the website and feed has left Noir.  This has left the podcast in a bit of a lurch as they work to establish a new site and feed while still maintaining Noir. Mercenary Group.  Yes, these updates are slow in coming, but hey.. Noir. is about to celebrate their 200th contract.  I think it’s okay to give them a break and let it slide for the moment. 

Fly Reckless
A pretty big change have been made over on the FR cast.  Chad has decided to part way with the podcast.  In his desire to see FR continue on, he’s left the cast in the capable hands of Priest Kristoph and Angus McDecoy.  The two are working diligently to get the podcast on a regular schedule as well as develop content.  They off to a great start so far and we’re glad to see FR sticking around and staying strong.

Not A Lot of News
Jason and Erin’s cast has been growing.  FrmfrPukin and EnderHexFyre have become regulars (even though Ender doesn’t log in to EVE much anymore).  They’ve also added in Quazz, who is a mining and industry guru of sorts.  Others have been invited to come hang out on air giving the podcast a great community feel.  These all appear to be great changes for this podcast.

Pod Goo
After a brief one month hiatus due to real life, Ender Black is back and better than ever.  It’s hard to tell if Lorkin Desal will be back due to the scheduling conflicts that the two seem to be having, but his presence is still on the podcast.  The Complete Unknown, a wormhole guide written by Desal, is now featured in the guides section of the podcast.  Along with his, Ender Black is moving The War College to the pod goo podcast and they are still planning to have more of those great roundtables. 

And I Should Mention...
Please go and check out Tech4 News.  This is a collaborative effort by Seismic Stan, Angus McDecoy and myself.  Not only do we want you to listen, but we want you to leave us your feed back as well.  Tech4 News is as much of an experiment as it is a podcast.  We hope to bring the great story lines created by the content team to life in a new way.  We also hope to draw more people not only to the role-playing aspect of EVE Online and to the story lines, but to EVE Online in general.  So please share this podcast with your corp mates, alliance mates and just your general sci-fi nerd friends. If you'd like to read more about Tech4 News, just check out the website or you can visit Seismic Stan's blog, Freebooted or my own blog post for our perspectives on the project.

Now you may be wondering why this podcast isn't in the "Introducing..." section of this blog post.  Well, like I said, this is an experiment.  A podcast like this takes a lot of time and effort even with a lot of people sharing the work load.  We want to make sure that this is a worth while endeavor that is not only fun for us, but adds value to the EVE Online community as well.  Once we figure that part out... we'll let you know what our future plans are.
And that’s is for the Monthly Update for the EVE Online Pod Pack.  If you are a podcast and have information that you would like put in the monthly updates, please contact be in-game or via g-mail.  Podcasts can also contact me to update their podcast image, podcast information and description that are on the Pod Pack site.  Also, if there is a podcast that I have missed out in the EVE Universe please contact me.  While updates to the feed are done only once a month at the end  of the month, we’re always looking for new EVE Online content to add.

Ciao

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tech4 News

I'd like to introduce to you all a new type of podcasting venture called Tech4 News.  Tech4 News is the brainchild of Seismic Stan from the Freebooted blog.  Along with Arydanika from Voices from theVoid and Angus Mc Decoy of Fly Reckless, the team of podcasters has come up with a EVE Online podcast unlike any other.  

Tech4 News is a completely in-character EVE Online podcast.   The concept of the podcast is that it is an independent news cast run by non-capsuleers who are investigating the mysteries that the Capsuleers are uncovering.  The podcast will follow the current in-character storylines generated within New Eden starting off with the Arek' Jaalan Project.  

The podcast has also been created to attract a wide audience.  While the main focus is to help generate interaction and conversation within the EVE Online role-playing community; we want anyone to be able to enjoy the storylines and entertainment the podcast has to offer.  We hope to entertain new players, non role-playing players as well as individuals who simply enjoy good Science Fiction.  

The podcast features four main characters all played by podcasters within the EVE Online Community.  There is the Gallente-born, ratings-driving lead anchor Paydas Adavaar voiced by Angus McDecoy.  Arydanika plays the bold and daring Minmatar field reporter Mielikki Valpuri.  Uriah Tedanih is the worldly and educated Amarrian staff science expert played by Seismic Stan.  Then Erin from Not A Lot of News Hour gives life to the cheeky, but very handy Minmatar staff engineering expert Sarkastinen"Sark" Insinoori.

The website for Tech4 has been launched and the first episode of the cast is ready for download.  The hard work and efforts of several different EVE Online players have come together to create this project.  We hope you'll find a few moments to listen and invite you to leave any feedback you may have. 

VandV Podcast: Episode 23

I've been very busy over the past few weeks.  I had a birthday, had some family stuff going on, then there's Teach4 News and Listen to the Voices 2011 ATX.  Something had to fall through the cracks and it was the The News videos.  I know a lot of people like them, so I'm doing my best to fit them in to my schedule.

----------


Join your hosts Arydanika and Hallan Turrek for Episode 23 of Voices from the Void; an EVE Online podcast covering the in-game and out-of-game current events.  This week features news updates for Null Sec, CCP, CSM and the community.  The community spotlight goes to the upcoming Austin, TX Listen to the Voices Meet-up.  The creamy filling is an interview with friend of the show, Seismic Stan of the Freebooted blog to chat about his new project.

Also, don’t forget about the VandV Thanatos Lottery.  Check the website front page for details!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Monday: The Chill Room


The acrid scent of tobacco and other smokables mixed with fragrance of stale perfume and spilled alcohol was the first thing one would notice when entering the decently sized chill room.  Thick wisps of smoke hovered in the air creating a fitting atmosphere of intrigue and danger.  Muted background conversations buzzed softly, the words could barely be made out over the sound of music being piped in.  It was Matari music, music weighted with drums and passion.

Most would view the little establishment in the back-galaxy solar system of UHKL-N as a den of debauchery, greed and murder.  Only the most depraved and degenerate type of capsuleer sought refuge here and those that maintained offices there were happy to keep it that way.  For Ary, this was home.  The place she laid her boots and docked her ships now they had all moved back out to null sec space. 

They seemed more like family rather then random individuals brought together by a single minded purpose.  That purpose was to wreak as much havoc across the universe as possible.  Even though practices such as espionage, thievery and out right brutality were among their best practices, there was a deep bond that connected them and that was what made them so dangerous. 

Only a few hung out in the chill room tonight.  Small groups and pairings scattered lazily over the small space with a d├ęcor that could be defined as a mix of pleasure hub and strategic planning room with elements of a trophy case.  Pieces of furniture had had been procured from various sources ensuring the forever bachelor pad feel the place had.  Really it wasn’t so bad when you took a look at the ‘Vitok Hotel’ style of quarters most stations offered to Capsuleers.

Off at a table towards the back the Big Daddy’s were busy with the night’s plans.  Kennedy, Detrick, Ramon and Lucas were the driving force behind the small corporation.  They ensured the group had everything they needed as well as keep everyone in line.  Decent space for flipping some quick ISK, targets to shoot at and ops to keep their band of merry thugs focused enough to keep from killing each other and their alliance mates.  They even provided limited ship replacements and allowed the more tenured members access to corporation owned modules and other necessities.  All in all, their efforts made life out in the ass end of space suck a little less. 

There were a few other groups huddled at a couple of tables.  KC and Kos were busy arguing over a Brutix fit while Equsi was busy mocking them for actually wasting time on Brutix fits.  There was also a poker game started up with four of the pilots staring at their cards and each other intently.  A good share of ISK has been won and lost with the game showing no signs of slowing down. 

Ark was sprawled out on a large set of beaten and battered floor pillows along with Miller and a couple of Gallante dancers that he picked up the near by low sec hub.  In the center of the pillows was a rather tall and elaborately designed hookah with several hoses.  One rested by Ark and still had a faint trail of smoke trailing from the metal tip.

“You couldn’t wait 10 minutes?  Addict.”  The pointed jab of comment was laced with truth as well as jest.  The low purr of Ary’s voice softened the blow, but not by much.  Drugs were common among the group.  All of them used on some level and the spectrum ranged from high grade boosters to some harder substances here and there. 

“Maybe if you trained some propulsion skills you wouldn’t be so fucking slow and I wouldn’t have to wait so long.”  Ark was no gentleman and came right back at her at full force. 

Ary’s only response would be to pick up the hookah hose and throw it at his face.  This too was blocked with a simple gesture of his hand.  The stoned dancing girl curled up to his side tittered until she noticed Ary’s unamused stare.  The girl’s attention would shift as she cleared her throat.  Her delicate fingers wrapped around the metal tip placing it to Ark’s lips.  He would oblige her and simply cast a smirk to Ary. 

“Asshole.”  The word was muttered under Ary’s breath as she went to take a seat beside Lou.  The faintly malicious expression on her face turned softer as she rang her fingers through Lou’s rust colored hair.  He was starting to thin out at the top, but she thought it gave his look more character.  “And how’s the favorite Ginger?”

“I’m good.”  The capsuleer would turn and gave her that shy smile of his.  His eyes would flicker down to the Hookah hose he was holding.  A drag of the ‘naturally enhanced’ plant was taken before he pointed the smoking tip towards her. 

“You’re a terrible influence on me Lou.  You know that right?”  Her body couched down as she moved between the dancing Miller was pawing at and Lou.  His offer was accepted graciously and she allowed her body to slide comfortably in to the pillows below her.  After a few long drags, her head rolled towards to Lou and her eyes lifted upwards him.  “You’re coming with us tonight right?”

“No…  Not tonight.”  He hemmed slightly as he started to brace himself for the oncoming backlash.  Right on cue Ary shot up from her reclined position.  Those dark eyes were now narrowed and staring intently in to his.

“What do you mean your not coming?”  Her tone had grown louder and much more demanding.

The other conversations that had been carrying in the room grew a bit softer at the Matari’s outburst.  Equsi leaned over to Kos and gave him a nudge in the ribs.  Darq, who was over at the poker table, a nod of his head towards the two.  The dancer beside Mullet was startled.  He leaned over to a nibble and whisper to her ear, but it would do little to ease her discomfort.  Mullet simple shrugged and continued to enjoy himself.

“Aww, come on Ary.  You know how it is.  I have things…”  Lou’s voice maintained it’s fairly hushed tone.  His eyes flickered around the room seeking some type of assist.  Ark noticed, but would be of no help as usual.  A pillow simply brought up to protect himself and the dancing girl he was now entangled with.

“Ary, give Lou a break.”  The calm, clear voice of Kendrick rose up.  He hadn’t even bothered to lift his head from the holographic strategic maps he was reviewing.  Kendrick had the type of voice that didn’t have to be loud to be heard.  The tone of his smooth tenor carried more fire power than most others had in their turrets. 

A chuckle came from Detrick as their leader spoke up.  “Besides, haven’t you been moon lighting in Jita?”

“Hey, I gotta get paid some how.  Unless you’re ready to be my new Sugar Daddy?”  Her head and her aggression would turn to Detrick.  His response would be a simple indignant snort.  “Didn’t think so.” 

“Alright you slackers.”  Kendrick’s head finally lifted from the strat maps.  The image that was hanging in mid air flickered away.  “Let’s go.  Its hellcats and guardians tonight, armor bs if haven’t been training properly. ” He glanced to a few specific pilots.

It only took those words for the entire room to mobilize.  Eqsui and Lou would be staying behind but everyone else rose and migrated towards their quarters and thusly their ship hangers.

Their chill room was left in a state of suspended existence.  The hookah was put out and left out with his hoses slithering through the pillows.  The mobile ship analyzer was left out with a half done Brutix fit on its glowing screen.  Even the card game was stopped mid round with cards left at the player’s seats.  The ISK pot, however, was put away for safe keeping.  Even the dancers were left behind to their own devices content to lounge and enjoy some of the finer things that the Capsuleers have access too.

“You lucked out this time.”  Ary whispered the words as she rose from the place on the pillows. 

“Blow up something good for me?”  Lou reached up to tug at the end of Ary’s jacket as she turned to walk away.  She would turn long enough to cast a wink before disappearing down the corridor to get podded up.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I Ain’t Givin’ You No Tree-Fitty: Recruitment Scams and You

The universe has instructed me to write this blog post.  No, I have not been drinking Tiger’s Blood with Charlie Sheen and getting messages from my god-like peers.  However, the same themes keep crossing my path over and over again.  I just figure it’s time to take the hint.

Over the past few weeks I’ve come across several instances of EVE Online players getting caught up in recruitment scams.  These types of scams are not as widely recognized as the typical Jita Scam even though there are hordes of “I got scammed out of [instert ISK amount/Assets] by [Insert Corporation/Alliance Here].”  A new twist in this trend is that this type of scam has now started to target entire corporations and alliances; not just individual pilots.

Recently one of my Voices from the Void listeners has the experience of being one of the unlucky few caught in a recruitment scam.  This particular scam was ran by a member of Goonwaffe, the executor corporation of Goonswarm Federation [GSF].  They wrote in to VandV Podcast and shared their experience after we aired a news story about another GSF scam.  Here is their experience in their own unedited words:

Greetings, I just wanted to share an unfortunate experience I recently had. The long and short of it is I was scammed out of a lot of ISK and several ships by an active member of GoonWaffe, who was openly claiming to recruit on GoonWaffe's behalf. His name was Hopeless Bromantic, and he promised to have my ships moved from high-sec to VFK-IV for me, free of charge. Not long after this was done, he revealed GoonWaffe's intentions in an mail, demanding 300M ISK for my ships back. This was done with the full knowledge of GoonWaffe. I hope people will be able to save themselves some ISK and avoid the thieves. I don't want to sound like a crybaby over this, I know I have no power, no recourse; I just want other players who might fall for this as I did to know and be proof against it. Lots of people say this is standard operating procedure for them, and that it was general knowledge, but what can you do when you're among the few who don't know it? I'm sorry if this is not the best place to send this, I'm just not sure how would be the best way to get the word out. Thanks for reading this!

The particular scam used above is not the “usual” recruitment scam that you hear about, but there are still many pilots that fall for this ploy.  Usually what happens to most pilots is the same thing that almost happened to a friend of mine.

Just yesterday I received a conversation request from a long time in-game friend of mine.  He explained that he had grown bored with his current path, but lucky for him he had an application in review with Goonwaffe.  Needless to say my spidey senses went up instantly.  I ask him if they asked him to pay ISK and he admitted they wanted a 500mil application fee.  The next 30 minutes of the conversation was spent on me trying to convince him of the truth:  He was being scammed. 

Naturally he was reluctant to believe me and I understand.  No one wants to believe that they could be the victim and fall into right in to the clutches of a scammer, but it happens.  It happens a lot.  Like I said before, there are hordes of threads from pilots that have fallen into the same trap and the trend shows no sign of ceasing.

In fact, the trend is growing.  Entities such as GSF have become more brazen with their scams and have started to set their targets on entire alliances.  A high profile case of this is the Pure Blind Freighter Massacre that Fuzzy Logec Alliance suffered early September 2011.  The story was covered by several media sources including Interstellar Correspondents, EVENews24 here and here and you can see the battle report yourself on eve-kill.net

Just to drive the point home, I’m going to include a few more links you should read.  As you go through them you’ll notice that all of the links included are pilots outing corporations or alliances for recruitment and rental scams.  You’ll also notice that these links cover a variety of corporations and alliances, but I do pick on GSF and Test Alliance Please Ignore [TEST] slightly.  You’ll also notice that these links have a range of dates and personal experiences and scams used do vary.  



And if 20 different examples of these recruitment/rental scams aren’t enough; there’s more.  Entities like GSF and TEST have come out openly and said they do not recruit publicly.  They also go on further that that recruitment is only open to those that are already members of their social groups and those recruits must be active members of the social groups for a minimum of three months.  The only other way to join these organizations is to have a personal sponsor and anything else is a scam.  Need to see it in print?  Then check out this Goonwaffe public wiki article and this Dreddit public wiki article.  It’s right there in print.  Just to add a little cherry on top, you can hear TheMitanni, executor of GSF, say the same thing with your own ears in a Lost in EVE Podcast* recorded 09.09.11.

Don’t be Stupid.

*Special Thanks to Araziah for reminding me of this interview.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Listen to the Voices ATX 2011: Contests and Giveaways

The following is a follow up to the post: Listen to theVoices ATX 2011: An Update.  This particular post details the fun giveaways and contests that we plan to hold at the Meet-Up.  Pay close attention because some of the contests have specific instructions that you need to follow.  I wouldn’t want you missing out because of a silly technicality.

If you've been directed to this blog, but have no idea what Listen to the Voices 2011 is... Then check out the LttV Facebook event page or the LttV Events & Gatherings post on the EVE-O Forums.

See you there New Eden.
Dani

Pod Breaker
The sucky thing about going to gaming conventions or meet-ups is that you usually don’t know anyone there.  Well, never fear.  We have a plan to fix all of that.  For the first event of the night, we’ll be doing a little something called a Pod Breaker.  Think of it as an EVE Online scavenger hunt, but you’re looking for pilots.  Attendees present will be given a list and it will be their job to find a pilot that has achieved the listed items in game.  Now you won’t be able to use the same pilot twice so… you better get socializing. 

The Swag-Off
Pilots attending the meet up are encouraged to bring along their most unique pieces of EVE Online memorabilia.  Not only to you get to prove that you’re the coolest pilot in the station and allow others to bask in your glory, but you also have a chance to win even more cool swag.  That’s right.  The most unique pieces of swag will be rewarded with… more great swag.

EVE is Real… Oh so real
This event is for you more creative types out there.  For this event, we want to see how much you get in to Eve Online by seeing whose avatar resembles them the most.  Now it doesn’t have to be your main on display.  You’re more than welcome to create a custom alt just for the event.  Just remember to show up with a picture of the character so our judges can see how real your EVE Online experience is.
Note:  15 pilots must participate for prizes to be awarded.  To participate, please bring a picture of your avatar with you.  Print outs and pictures on smartphones will be accepted. 

This one time… In EVE Online
EVE Online is a single-shard universe where absolutely anything can happen and we want you hear your story.  Come tell us your story of tragic loss, epic triumph or a tale absolutely boggle the mind.  Rip off a corp for billions of ISK?  Take down a massive freighter full of BPO’s in your rifter?  Get tricked in to becoming a council member and diplo director for an alliance that lost 72 plexes in a freaking destroyer?  Whatever the case is, we want to hear about.  The most spectacular and entertaining tales will walk away with… you guessed it.  Spectacular prizes from the EVE Online Store.
Note:  To participate bring a small summery write up of your experience with you.  The top stories will be selected to present to our "judges panel" for a chance to win prizes.  All entries must be received by 6:00pm CST the day of the event to be considered. 

Fantasy Feature
Hey all your amateur game designers.  Here’s your chance to showcase that great idea for a new EVE Online feature that’s been rolling around in the back of your mind.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an idea for a new ship, module or even a game mechanic.  Make sure you tie up those loose ends and add those finishing touches because not only will your idea land you a chance to win some sweet swag, but you’ll also be getting some dev feedback from the one, the only, the bro… CCP Soundwave.
Note: Please bring a small printed summery of your fantasy feature feature with you.  All summaries will be reviewed and the best will be selected to pitch their ideas to CCP Soundwave.  All entries must be received by 6:00pm CST the day of the event to be considered. 

LttV NFL Football Pool
As you all know the meet up is being held on Sunday.  And nothing goes along with an Austin, TX Sunday like the NFL.  Lucky for us Lavaca Street Bar and Grill has 21 flat screen TV’s to catch all the action, so we’ll be taking advantage of that and doing our own NFL Football pool.  At the bottom of this blog post you’ll find the games that are scheduled that day.  Pick your winners and e-mail them to vandvpodcast(AT)gmail(dot)com.  If you’re the pilot with the highest score, you’ll score yourself a swag filled touchdown. 
Note: Only points for games that have completed will be counted.  Entries must be submitted prior to Saturday October 8th 11:59 CST.  Winner will be called at the end of the event.  15 pilots must participate for prizes to be awarded.
Listen to the Voices NFL Picks For Oct 9th
New Orleans
@
Carolina
Your Winner:
Cincinnati
@
Jacksonville
Your Winner:
Tennessee
@
Pittsburgh
Your Winner:
Kansas City
@
Indianapolis
Your Winner:
Tampa Bay
@
San Francisco
Your Winner:
New York J.
@
New England
Your Winner
 Philadelphia
@
Buffalo
Your Winner:
Seattle
@
New York G.
Your Winner:
Oakland
@
Houston
Your Winner:
Arizona
@
Minnesota
Your Winner:
San Diego
@
Denver
Your Winner:

In the event of a tie, the tie breaker will be determined by who guesses the closest scores for the Oakland @ Houston Game.
Oakland Score:
Houston Score:

Listen to the Voices ATX 2011: An Update

In less than three weeks the Listen to the Voices ATX Meet-up will be here and everyday I’m getting more excited.  Most places I have a calendar, the date it highlighted and when  I look at them I feel like a kid counting down to Christmas or their birthday.  Not surprisingly, I’m cool with those particular vibes.

Each passing days little pieces of the puzzle are coming together.  I’m in the final planning stages with CCP Daishi and CCP Soundwave for the different events and giveaways we’ll do.  I have been assured that some wonderful goodies from the EVE Online Store will be available for those that are brave enough to participate.  I just hope that those coming will be as excited about winning the swag as I am about giving it away.

Jason, Tegh Rhind and I have also taken the liberty of getting some podcast and event specific swag to give away as well.  Any good Hostess (or Host) will make sure their invited guests will have something memorable to take home with them and I’m no exception.  Plus this is Texas so Southern Hospitality is a must.  That’s why everyone who RSVPs will get some Listen to the Voices ATX swag just for showing up and making the event a success. 

The community response to the event has been bigger then I could have ever hoped.  Almost 50 players have RSVPed on the Listen to the Voices Facebook page and another 10 or so have signed up on the EVE-O Forums.  Of course some of these may be cross posted, but that’s still a better response than I could have predicted. 

I did try to get the word out as best I could, but in a community as massive as EVE Online it was a little challenging.  Of course I went the obvious route and made posts on the EVE-O forums.  The post was stickyed on the “old” forums and I’m still waiting on that sticky for the post on the new forums.  [Insert comic clearing of throat at CCP Daishi here.]  Then there’s the event posting on the Facebook page, ads on my own podcast as well as Jason’s.  I also put up a little something on Reddit seeing as how 1 of every 3 Austin EVE Online players seems to be in TEST. 

Even with all that people are still posting “I just found out about this.’  Are you people living under rocks or what?

So that’s the basics of where things are with the meet-up.  I can’t wait to meet those of you that will be attending.  Make sure you come ready to eat, drink, be merry and socialize.  There are also a couple of other things that you should come ready to do.  That has more to do with the events though so if you want to go home with a little something extra… I suggest you check out the blog post Listen to the Voices ATX 2011: Contests & Give-Aways

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Ain’t Givin’ You No Tree-Fifty: AFK Cloakers & Defenses

Welcome to the final (maybe) edition of the AFK Cloaker series.  In the first blog post I did a smallintroduction to the phenomenon of AFK Cloakers.  In the second blog post I discussed types of AFK Cloakers and their “methods of operation.”  In this third blog I will cover ways to protect yourself against AFK Clokers and things to keep in mind when you’re out in Null Sec.

As always, I’ll insert my little disclaimer that I am not the end all, be all of this subject.   I do hope to give some sage advice as well as highlight some points of common sense.  Hopefully after reading the article you will feel a little more enlightened and embowered to venture out… and not loose your ass while doing it.

Vigilance is Your Friend.
Like many things, the best person to count on is yourself.  Then again, sometimes we are our own greatest enemy when it comes to protecting our assets.  Complacency and over confidence play a major part in players getting caught by AFK Cloakers.  The sad reality is that these losses are completely avoidable.  Keep your eyes and ears open and stay aware of your surroundings.  Don’t get lazy or fall in to patterns no matter how safe you feel.  These are the kind of behaviors that AFK Clokers look for and seize opportunity on.  Don’t let yourself become a kill board statistic. 

Use the Tools Available to You.
As a former alliance leader and a current member of a Null Sec alliance, I hear the same complaints all the times.  “Another in-game/ts/mumble/etc channel?  Don’t we have enough yet?”  Yes I understand that having 5 in-game intel channels, 2 TS3’s, 1 mumble, 4 Jabbers, 2 IRCs and a pigeon coup for messenger birds can be incredibly annoying, but… these tools will save your ship, your pod and your ego.  Not only do they offer you intel of surroundings areas as well as your immediate local, but they are also a venue you for you report intel and scream like a nub when you get tackled by an AFK Cloaker.  Vast communication options can be obnoxious, but they are essential to survival.

Here a Scout, There a Scout.
If you have a second account (or third, fourth, fifth) then there is no reason for you not to have a scout.  Scouts are one of the biggest life savers in EVE Online and soooo many people do not use them.  Blind jumping is the most terrible, stupid, brain thing you could ever do.  If you ever have the inclination to blind jump, just send me a convo and I’ll come blow you up myself with the added bonus of me stealing your crap and then mocking you while posting my Hello Kitty ACSII image in local.  Of course there are some situations where all you can do is blind jump… like not having any alts. 

If you do not have an alt, never fear.  There is a second option for you.  Make friends!  3 of 4 EVE Online players have alts.  If you’re nice to your corp and alliance mates, they might be nice enough to do some scouting for you.  Hell, they might even let you know some secret uber pocket where they’re stashed off and already have an alt.  Not being a douche to the people you fly with does have it’s advantages.

Location, Location, Location.
Where you choose to do your operations can either be a blessing or a curse.  Use tools like Dot Lan to find areas of operation that work for you.  I would recommend using the following guidelines:
  • Stay near or in friendly space
  • Find a single piped pocket where you can easily place a scout
  • Avoid systems that connect constellations and regions
  • Find systems that have low jump count and rat kills within a 24 hour period
  • Avoid staging systems

That’s all I have for you at the moment New Eden.  I hope these few tips and things to remember will help you see a little less red on your killboard.  As an added bonus, a few weeks (maybe months) a go, I did an EVE Online: Question of the Day on Twitter.  The question was:

@Arydanika: So I'm curious #TweetFleet How do you deal with AFK Cloakers when playing #EveOnline? #EOQoTD

Needless to say I got some interesting responses.  So to close out this post, I’m going to leave with you some final thoughts gained from the combined wisdom and trolling of #TweetFleet


@ibrahas
@Arydanika As often as not I am the AFK cloaker. It is passive tear extraction. I smile at work knowing someone is crying at my afk alt.

@stevietopsiders
@Arydanika BattleRorq minmatar.co.uk/killboard/?a=k… #tweetfleet

@SharksInSpace
@Arydanika: Skiff with a point and friends. Transport ships (like the Mastadon) can also work for this bait. #tweetfleet #eveonline

@Ikeo58
@BuckyOhair @arydanika pt a drag bubble up 150 away from what your doing and carry on as normal or afk cloaky falcon #tweetfleet

@Khanhrhh
@Arydanika after living in WH space for a few months, you realise how pathetic AFK cloaker whine is and move on #tweetfleet

@BuckyOhair
I am the AFK cloaker MUHAHAHA RT @Arydanika: So I'm curious #TweetFleet How do you deal with AFK Cloakers when playing #EveOnline? #EOQoTD

@bel_amar
@Arydanika I live in a WH. I find complaints about AFK cloakers amusing. It's like people complaining that EVE is too hard for them #EOQoTD

@eclipticrift
@bel_amar @Arydanika I learned to abuse D-scan living in W-space. So until I see probes, I don't worry about them.

@rulesaremyenemy

@Arydanika Use killboards to find his active times and what he brings to the party (cyno bridging/cap drops), then set up a trap.


AFK Cloaker Series:
I Ain't Givin' You No Tree-Fitty: Meet the Cloakers Pt 1
I Ain't Givin' You No Tree-Fitty: AFK Cloakers & Defenses

Saturday, September 17, 2011

That Old Flame

For the past few months I've found myself in this toxic mix of a "rut" and a "funk" when it comes to EVE Online.  I think the catalyst was the act of me getting hung up on my corp joining Brick Squad.  It tainted my game play experience so much that I stopped enjoying my game play experience.  After a few weeks of being bummed and moping about it; I came to a simple conclusion. 

I was being Stupid.

My eyes narrow slightly at my computer screen as I read those words, but yea.  I was being stupid.  I really enjoy playing EVE Online.  I really enjoy my corp and my corp mates.  I really enjoy PvP.  Who the fuck are they to taint that for me?  No.  Screw that noise.   

As soon as I said that to myself the most wonderful thing happened.  It was unexpected and even a little shocking.  It's also the most logical progression events and a welcome relief.  That's right folks.  When I let it go, I started having a good time again.  Who would have thought?

The catalyst for this "Letting It Go" was going back to the very thing that lured me in to EVE Online in the first place.  The ships!  I remember the first ship I ever saw.  It was a Daredevil.  If the sleek and sexy body style wasn't enough, the thing is a speed demon on top of it.  I was absolutely enchanted by it and my friend had been using them a lot as a low sec pirate so he did an excellent job of selling me on all it's stats.

That ship put some kind of spell on me.  It's supple curves accented with the dangerous tips of its wings sparks a visual pleasure for me.  There's an edge about that ship.  The design alone makes the resounding  statement of; I will fuck your shit up.  When I saw that ship I knew I had to fly it.  I knew it would be something that would eventually be in my collection.  That hasn't quiet happened yet due to be being forever broke, but... one day.  That's how it all started though and that's where I went to rekindle that spark.

Recently I've gone from not being able to fly jack shit, to being able to fly more ships than I know what to do with.  I should note that when I say "I can fly" I mean with proper fits as well.  So I decided to do a little window shopping on EVE MON with my fitting room on EFT soon to overflow.  I spent time looking at Lokis Rapiers, Scimitars, Munins and Vagabonds. Rapiers got the most attention tonight since my mates were discussing fits in corp chat.  I was shocked that I was able to fly it and immediately started asking questions.

I wanted to know everything about this ship and I'm lucky that I have corp mates that are experienced and that want to see my succeed in PvP.  I'm pretty sure most would be quick to call my questions out as being noobish, but I am a noob.  I asked about price, fits, if being able to fit a covert cyno was really necessary, how does it compare with the Huginn and its missile bonus' etc, etc.  That lead to Kenndo asking me if I was coming or not. 

That's something about Wrecking Shots that I really love.  There usually something going on most nights.  If it's not an Alliance Op, we're going a corp op or a roam.  Then of course, some nights are "Bear Nights" as we call them as everyone needs to make their ISK.  Tonight was no exception and off we went towards a pipe leading to the Y-2ANO area looking for a little bit of fun.

Tonight we were doing new style of tactic.  The idea is internet spaceships, but Guerilla Warfare Style.  Nanos and Cloaks create a dangerous combination for stragglers that aren't on their toes and plenty of killmails for me.   After one night, I'm still fairly new with the method of operation and my dictor performance was mediocre at best.  I made a couple of big mistakes, but the FC was cool about it.  This particular FC is great like that and I've always enjoyed his fleets and learned a lot from them.  I'm sold on the new tactic and I can't wait to get back out there again.

I ended the night with four solid kills and there were six for the entire night.  It's not much, but it's not bad for two hours of camping.  We only had one loss and that was to Incursion rats, ugh.  More importantly, I think I found my flame again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Ain't Givin' You No Tree-Fitty: Meet the Cloakers Pt 1

So after a month of doing everything else I could possibly think of, I’m here to unleash the second installment of the Tree-Fitty: AFK Cloaker Series.  What can I say?  I’ve been a busy lady over the past month, but that’s a different blog post.

In this article I’m going to zero in on three distinct types of AFK Cloakers and their tactics personally observed.  Now this is not the definitive article on AFK Cloakers by any means.  Still I hope that the article will help you, my darling reader, be more aware and knowledgeable on how to deal with these menaces to space society. 

--------------------

Mr. Snipe
The snipe is one of the more dangerous types of AFK Cloakers.  I refer to them snipes because they usually pick off one ship at time and then go back to be dormant.  Their tactics force them to rely on the complacency of system in habitants.  Of course this means that their kills are easily preventable.

Method of Operation:
They are the kind that suddenly appear in the system, go inactive and remain inactive for an undetermined amount of time.  What they are really doing is biding their time and waiting for the system inhabitants to go back to their normal routine of hauling or ratting.  When they find a suitable target; they will strike quickly only going for the one kill and then disengaging before assistance can arrive. 

Primary Ship Type:
T3’s, Cloaky Sabre

Primary Targets:
Single targets, usually hauling or PvE ships.

Where they attack:
Gates, Belts, Anomalies & Signatures


Party Animal
The Party Animal is the jackass of all AFK Cloakers.  As the name suggests, they enjoy the company of others and usually en masse.  In fact, they enjoy the company of others so much that they like to fit cynos and then hot drop the hell out of people.  The truly sad thing is that this tactic works… repeatedly.  How ever they are also usually the easiest to get away from due to the amount of things the AFK Cloaker needs to coordinate in order to achieve “op success.”

Method of Operation:
This AFK Cloaker looks not only for targets of opportunity, but also targets with a large pay off.  This is because they are not the only ones seeking a kill mail and they need to make sure the quarry is worth it for all involved.  These types will usually show themselves and attempt to get the intended target to aggress prior to lighting the cyno and jumping the rest of the fleet in. 

Primary Ship Type:
Anything that can fit a cloak and cyno, usually T3’s & Cov Ops

Primary Targets:
Single Targets of ‘Merit’ (ie ratting carriers/ faction battleships), Small and Medium Gangs

Where they Attack:
Gates, Repair Ops, Anomalies, Signatures, Safe Spots


Can-Can
Out of the three, The Can-Can is the most obnoxious.  This is the one that sits in local, cloaks and then proceeds to never shut the hell up.  At anytime you can find them sperging away with rants, personal taunts, porn links, ASCII code and anything else to cause disruption and gain attention.

Method of Operation:
This type of AFK Cloakers wants you to notice them, but probably not for the reasons you think.  Yes by making their presence known most hauling & PvE will end instantly, but this is not the main goal.  Each time they start ranting in local, they’re actually conditioning the system inhabitants.  They will start up and end around the same time and the pattern will repeat day after day.  That is until at some point in time, a time when they aren’t usually active, they find a nice juicy victim.  It’s usually the guy in TS saying, “Oh, they’re never around at this time” as he undocks his Nightmare.

Primary Ship Type:
T3’s and Cov Ops

Primary Targets:
Anything expensive

Where they Attack:
Anywhere

Hopefully this second installment of the Tree-Fitty: AFK Cloakers has given you a little more insight in to the subject as well as some things to think about.  Keep in mind that this article only covers 3 tactics and I’m positive there are more out there (especially since I thought of a few as I was writing the article).  For the rest of the articles in the series, check the link below.

AFK Cloaker Series:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pulling the Trigger

I hate doing it.  Not in the literal sense of initiating turret/laser fire against an enemy, but the in the metaphorical sense of making a difficult decision.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been going back and forth over leaving WSHOT.  I thought it would be an easy decision and an even easier process, but I was clearly mistaken.

Recently my current corporation, WSHOT choose to join an organization called Brick Squad(dot) which I will refer to from now on as BS.  I do not particularly care for BS.  I’ve had quite a few experiences with their leadership, FC’s & membership which brought me to the conclusion that this organization is not worth my time or effort.  This is an opinion that will not soon change if ever. 

This conflict creates a bit problem.  While I enjoy the company of most of WSHOT’s membership, the kills, the usually frequent activity, etc… there’s no way in hell I’m ever going to contribute to any of BS’s goals.  This is no secret due to the fact when BS was being discussed as an alliance option and I was asked point blank at a corporation meeting about the possibility of joining BS my response was, and I quote, “I’ll either leave WSHOT or go dormant until WSHOT finds a worth wile alliance.” 

In the end it was decided the BS was the best decision for the corporation and I can’t fault the leadership making the decision to become part of that particular organization.  Really I couldn’t agree more when it comes to look at the pros and cons on paper.  The lack of capable FC’s gave WSHOT FC’s a chance to step up to leaded fleets and gain notoriety with in the organization.  BS has decent space for ratting.  Also the Delve area is filled with the brim with ‘good fights.’  Those things make BS a better match for WSHOT than other organizations that were being considered.

In the beginning, I even gave it a (very very very small) chance.  I went out on a few roams with the corporation.  One ended up being sucked in to a fleet ran by the organization which ended up being a pretty terrible fleet.  Still as time went on, I stopped logging into comms and eventually stopped logging in to the game preferring to spend time on my brand new alt.  Eventually I took Ary to Jita for market trading.  I only recently came back to Delve to sell off what few assets I had there  since all of my assets got lost in the corp move and still have not been found after three weeks.

Now, logically speaking it seems pretty obvious that I should leave WSHOT.  Still, I’ve tried to a week to click the little ‘quit corp’ button, but I can’t.  I’ve procrastinated using any excuse I could find from needing to finish updating market orders to I should really go do that load of laundry.   I’ve even been searching for the smallest reason to stay.  I really don’t want to leave WSHOT, but as I continue to put it off… the reality of the matter grows more obvious.  I’m unhappy in my current EVE Online experience and something’s got to give.

So I have two choices.  I can either suck up my absolute contempt for BS or I can leave and find somewhere else to hang my hat.  I’m not sure which option is the best, but I already know the answer.  In speaking to the leadership of WSHOT I know they’ve already written me off as a loss much like the many other members that have already left when they joined BS.  Even if I did stay my participation would most likely be little to nothing which really isn’t fair to WSHOT since most organizations look at membership activity.  Then there’s the obvious why stay some place you don’t want to be?

I guess it just bugs me because I thought WSHOT was truly my home when it came to EVE Online.  I thought I found that elusive mesh between a player and corp where you just end up staying there until you stopped playing.  I wanted WSHOT to be my PvP Happily Ever After where the closing scene was nothing more than engine trails leading off into the distance with empty wrecks left in their wake.

 Then there's that little voice in the back of my mind.  Maybe I'm giving up too soon.  It has only been a few months.  Plus, where else would I go.  Honestly.  I'm sure it will come across a little weird when I say WSHOT gets me.  They get my terrible sense of humor that involves a lot of off color jokes that would make most instantly uncomfortable (including my own co-host).  They get my joy for smack talking in local even though we know it's immature and tardish.  They get that I like to not just kill things when I play video games, but I like to kill things, rez them, kill them again, t-bag and hang their corpse as hunting trophy. 


I think a need a drink.  Or several.