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

@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.

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

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

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

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

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

@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

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


@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

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