Friday, June 19, 2015

And now for something completely different.

After my previous blog post on tips to bring your wspace group up to snuff. I caused quite the hub bub (not really) in my alliance. People asked the alliance leader if the member corps would be ‘required’ to implement my suggested changes. 

The alliance leader, said very clearly, NO. All changes would be viewed as optional and it would be business as usual. … sigh…

This new information came on the heels of me listening to a podcast that had Kira Tsukimoto on it. She was talking about how she was creating a new corp with the very specific goal to training newbies in a class like structure.

I thought to myself, why am I attempting to force people to learn ways to improve, if they don’t actually want to learn? My time could be better used  teaching newbies useful things before they get to this stage. So I said my goodbyes and thanks for all the fish.

I started up a convo with Kira and asked if she was looking for a new W-space PVP teacher with a high patience threshold. She agreed. So here I am.

This is the great thing about EVE, you can reinvent yourself at a drop of a hat. What’s important is you are playing and not complaining. No one wants bitter around them, so pick up stakes and do something different.

Nova Haven!

First I want to say, I really like the attitude of all the people involved so far. They have this really great vision of what they are going to do. The enthusiasm displayed so far is slightly intimidating . Like some guy asked a question in our help channel  and I would say that everyone in our corp instantly answered it and then attacked him with helpful tips.

Right now I’m spending my days in voice coms talking to new people on how to scan, best practices for wormhole travel and seeking out more newbies.(that's harder to do than you might guess)

I’m going to build a class like structure, where I’ll take a small group of newbies and do some high sec diving. Have them all in a fleet spreading across low sec and high sec looking for holes. When they find a target, we will all ship up and bring the newbie heat.

When we find a juicy hole to grind some sigs/anoms we will do it as a fleet from high sec.

Instead of just doing the job for them, I’ll be teaching them how to do it themselves as a purely consulting role. Possibly handing out ships to these guys and walking them through how to do sites and kill people.

You may see more guide type posts coming up because I’m this teaching kick as of late, no idea why.

Recruitment offering.

If you are a newbie/returning player or just want to learn something new, not sure on how to do wormhole thing, check us out. If you know someone who might want to try EVE and you just don’t got time to train them the basics, send them our way.

You can find us in "Nova Haven Help" channel.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Some Tips and best practices to get your Wspace group up to snuff.

 I thought I would take some time and give some tips on how to make your own rag tag group into a fighting force. Many people want to convert their Wspace group into a pvp group with an organized structure but aren’t really sure where to start.

Lets start with some very basics. These basics are the bedrock of your group and are critical to competing with other groups who already do these things. Most wormhole groups have these already, so if some of these points don’t pertain to you, just acknowledge that you’re doing something right all ready and pat your little selves on the back.

1st Voice coms. The person in charge of your group needs to put his foot down right out the gate and require every single person in the wormhole to be on voice coms while they are active in the wormhole. Not just when there are fleets, ALWAYS! Even if you are just listening and your mic “doesn’t work”. If you’re audio doesn’t work and your mic doesn’t work, sort that shit out first before you start randomly jumping through wormholes. If you aren’t in the wormhole, you don’t need to be on voice coms. Very simple.

2nd Remove Ship Tags. That little bull shit naming convention for all your ships.  Ship tags will get you killed by anyone who knows how to press “Ctrl +C” “Ctrl+V” on the D-scan window.  Each pilot should be aware of all ships that are around them at all times. Why someone is in one ship over another should be a very common discussion for people.  Have a running memory of your Dscan window. Ship tags convey way more intel to hostile fleets than you could possibly imagine. I know people in EVE who have memorized ship tag symbols for wspace corps that have been around for years. Why would you give that kind of intel away?

3rd Have your pvp ships ready and fit. There shouldn’t be any need what so ever for you to refit when someone is calling for more ships. The ships need to complete and ready ammo loaded and drones ready.

4th Find a common name for your home and its static. It doesn’t matter what it is, or how simply or complex, just that its consistent and referred by everyone as the same thing. For example: One of my home holes is/was called Frank. No reason, it’s just Frank. Get in the habit of calling your home hole exactly that. Don’t let people call it “The C5” “Home” “Base” “Our Home” whatever.. it has a name, call it its name ALWAYS. When someone calls it something else, correct them with “O do you mean Frank?” Get into this habit. Why? Because in complex fire fight situations saying “The C5” could mean any fucking C5 that may or may not be still connected in the chain. Same goes for the static connection. If you have a C2 static, call it “C2 Static” or Susann or whatever. The point is each of you remember that the static exit for Frank is always XXXX.

5th Use correct terminology when describing where you are. For wormholers, there is a battle speak language that is learned and applied in almost every wormhole corp. Quick messages that convey the most information without everyone needing to ask 100 questions.  

Example:  Spear is in the C3a on the C4c connection and I see an AFK dread.

This is a very quick message that conveys every single bit of info anyone on coms would need to know. Where am I ? Which character am I flying. With that single line of info anyone can jump into my fleet, go to the C3a without being told to, know exactly which hole I’m fighting on and join the fight in seconds.

What NOT to say: “I’m in the static looking at a dread”

I don’t know who “I” is, but that fucker isn’t in the fleet. What static?! Our static? The C3’s static? Every hole has a static. Now we have a conversation of where you are that could have been avoided if you simply said the correct battle phrase language.

6th Maintain a standing fleet. Everyone active in the wormhole should be in this fleet if you aren’t active, don’t be in the fleet. If you are ratting in the static alone, be in the standing fleet, because when you are tackled and fighting for your life, help can’t find you unless you are in the fleet.

These simple things are the bedrock of what comes next.

Fleet doctrines.

Fleet doctrine can be very complicated or very simple. Typically what this means is a selection of ships and fits approved by someone who knows what they are doing. Even that doesn’t have to be as complex as it sounds.

I recommend each corp/alliance have each of these doctrine set ups.

1.       Fleet Rescue Doctrine --  It takes a day or less to fly a black bird and use ECM. Even if you are a pure 100% pve corp there is absolutely no reason against every pilot being able to fly a single blackbird. The fit ship costs less than 10 million and could save a fleet of billions. Don’t want to apply a single day to training this ship, go for the griffin. What to go pure nuts, work toward a falcon.

A rescue doctrine should be maintained by every single pilot in any wormhole group. Hauler just jumped into a cloaked sabre? Calmly (over coms) tell him to hold his cloak, you are in warp with a blackbird. Land at the edge of the bubble, burn out of the bubble jamming all the things. The hauler now has a little more of a chance because you are now their focus. The difference is, your Black bird costs 10 million and that hauler could be bringing in 100+ million isk worth of fuel.

2.       Gank doctrine--- This is your go to ship you plan on using to explode targets you may find. Personally I recommend cruisers or smaller. Something that can last, without being repped, either self reps, buffer or speed. Ganks happen fast, often outside of your home hole, speed and efficiency is key. This isn’t the time for your hull tanked navy brutix. You won’t be able to apply damage to your target quick enough and your warp speed on target won’t be as fast as is required for quick lighting strikes.

3.       Armor Doctrine and Shield Doctrine – Many wormholers come from all different opinions on  which is better, some say shield, some say armor. I’m not going to have that argument. I will say that its important for everyone to be able to fly in both doctrine. Either fly logi in one or DPS in another. It doesn’t matter really, what really matters is that every single pilot can be in both at any particular moment. Many wormholes have beneficial or hindrance effects on the ships in them. Bring an amour fleet to a Pulsar and you may find yourself back in Jita. Don’t give your opponent the advantage by only limiting yourself to one or the other.

Roles in both Armor and Shield Doctrine – Roles are defined as fleet functions within an organized doctrine. Every play Wow? Think Tank, healer, dps.. same kind of thing.

DPS- This is what most people fly when they first get into EVE and Wspace. This is any ship that can bring damage as its primary role. Reserve this role for your least experienced pilots because its simply the easiest to do. Critical things to have on any DPS ships: Buffer tank, Tackle and Damage.

Logi- Logi ships in EVE come in two flavors, the solo logi boat and the paired up logi boats. A solo logi ship is exactly that… by himself. For amour doctrine it’s the Execurer and T2 version Onerios, for shield it’s the scythe and T2 version scimitar.  Solo logi ships have 2 goals, try and keep everyone else alive, and themselves alive. Your targets primary will be almost always the logi first. Mitigate that risk with distance from hostiles or self reps. The primary threat to logi ships is almost always kiting ships and drones. Both can close the distance and remove the solo logi ship from the field.

The other type of logi ship is the paired logi. For armor it’s the Augurer and T2 version Guardian, shield it’s the Ospry and the Basilisk. What makes these different than the solo logi ships is their ability to efficiently energy transfer between each other. This gives them a tremendous advantage over their solo counter parts. These take a bit more coordination between pilots but are far more efficient.  The primary threat to these is honestly everyone. In most engagements the person with more logi often holds the field.

Force multipliers – These are typically ships that are purely Ewar. ECM, Neuts, Damps, boosts…  They can change a doomed situation to a win with just a few cycles of their equipment. Force multipliers can’t end fights themselves but they can make an organized force way more effective. Jamming out enemy logi can remove their effectiveness from the battle. As if they weren’t there in the first place.

When your group decides to build a solid armor/shield doctrine every person on coms should be able to fly 2 of those 3 ships. I’m sure this is assumed by I would like to say it again, every single person should have those ships fit and ready at a moment’s notice.

Curious on how to maintain all these doctrine with such a large herd of cats? Well someone was super awesome and made a site called it might be one of the most awesome sites ever. With it, people in the corp/alliance will know how the leadership wants each ship to be flown. As an FC it frustrates me to no end to know that what I was expecting out of a ship never came about because someone was being “creative” with their fitting.

This was some very basic goals and functionality roles of ships in a wspace fleet. You can get even more creative and have an entire ‘Throw away doctrine” (ships you just throw at people because fuck it why not) A sniper fleet doctrine.. a frigate hole roam doctrine…. The list goes on.

The point of this post is that a small amount of organization before engagements, some best practices if you will, can and do make a big difference in outcomes of engagements. If you can’t do the things I listed here, you are shooting yourselves in the foot vs everyone else who can.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

New Friends and New Challenges

I'm sorry I haven't updated my blog in a while, but work has been rough. I'm also moving soon across the country, so there's that. 

Game Update:
When searching for a corp and interviewing potential corps I had some requirements in my head that I didn't exactly share with the people I spoke with. 

One of them was the spirit of aggression. 

There are people who play EVE and live in Wspace who don't exactly feel shooting at others is their top priority. That's OK, EVE is filled variations of play styles, it takes all kinds. I just don't want to fly with those pussies. I didn't care if they were good at PVP, that can be trained. I just wanted to know if they fought every single thing that came across their hole. 

The follow up part of that was if they were respectful if they won or lost. You would be absolutely amazed how many people view pvp in a negative light. Either they are talking shit when they win or talking shit when they lose. Sometimes in both situations. 

Where I finally settled, was a c4 alliance with 8+ corps in it. Some corps were alt corps formed to do ice mining in high sec, others alt corps for god only knows what but the primary alliance holding corp was the most active in the hole. 

I thought about joining that corp, purely because of the corp book mark situation. After hearing how they practiced security I decided they where taking risks that I didn't feel comfortable with. 

Even with the challenges I heard their attitude sold me on the group. Their totally red kill board showed they got out of their shields and mixed it up with every connection. They lost 9 times out of 10 but they still got out there, tried, laughed doing it and reshipped for more. 

I ended up dusting off my alt corp Semper Ubi Sub Ubi or SUSU for short. 

1 week after moving into the hole their primary corp that I was going to join was robbed. All I could do is hold my tongue without shouting at the top of my lungs "I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO". They have, I assume repaired their security issues.  Turns out it was a corp approved Op from the Wspace group Odins Call.

Even with a recent theft that would have broken most pilots, these guys just got up and dusted themselves off. I admire them for that. Had it been my stuff, I would have taken action in the purest revenge.I was thinking of making a side project and invading their wormhole, but honestly I have been so busy with work and this move, that I wouldn't have been able to pull it off with any real effectiveness. Maybe after everything calms down I'll work some magic. 

Once I got everything into the hole and ready for action, I did have the pleasure of FC'ing some alliance fleets. 

Now before I give the blow by blow, I  like to remind my dear readers and pvp experts, the group I joined isn't good, at... much.. but they fucking try! So cut them A LOT of slack.

The battle of Destini (what we call our C3 static, destiny spelled with an "i", because stripper name)

One particular engagement was after we had rolled our C3 static. Our scout called out that there was a Gila on D and an Astero. Then shortly after, our scout said there was a thrasher. We could only assume that they were planing to or have already started to run sites. So we formed up. 

Now forming up with this crew is not as quick as it was in Iso5.  In Iso5 everyone is on point, no matter if they are in the game or not. They know what ship to get into for what ever situation may arise. The ships are ready, fit and each person knows how to fly them to the best of their ability. These guys not so much. 

I ended up jumping one of my falcon alts into the C3 to assist in target location. The thrasher was parked in space at what looked like a signature. 

Some quick deductive reasoning and made the call that it was a wormhole.

The reasoning being that if the thrasher was salvaging, there would be wrecks there, if it was any other type of sig other than a wormhole it would have been totally obliterated by rats, or useless. I asked my scout buddy to drop probes near planet 4 and scan down Sig XXX, its a wormhole. 

He said "How do you know that?" I told him, "I just started playing in Wspace and I had a hunch." 
To his total surprise it was a wormhole and we warped his astero to the hole, then he watched the thrasher jump through. 

I quickly jumped my own astero into the target hole and told him to jump after it. 

The scout jumps through following the thrasher. Low and behold there was a sabre on the other side, It was a trap!

They saw the probes, knew that someone would tackle the thrasher.. ooo those crafty wspace people. 

I jump through the hole to assist right as the Gila joins the fight. 

This hole process of me finding the thrasher on D, him scanning for it was less than 3 minutes. He and I moved so fast that our back up wasn't even close to being ready. 

We both quickly burn back to the C3 while trying to pop the thrasher and sabre. Nope, we jump back. 

Now at this time, I still had my alt in a falcon in the target hole but the jumping of the bait thrasher was so fast, the hole wasn't book marked. So when I jumped the astero back, this gave me the warp in I needed. 

Now with a friendly falcon on grid, we could sort the situation. 

The hostile stratios jumped in the c3 to follow. 

Sadly the scout lost his astero, it was left to just my astero and whatever random ships decided to join us from the home hole. 

Finally our back up did manage to jump into the C3 and we ended up chasing them back to their hole with the only loss an astero. We did manage to kill a Gila and his pod. So isk wise for the engagement we were ahead.   

After the skirmish I left my falcon cloaked on their connecting hole to the static C3. Everyone headed back home, high on the fact that we actually won an engagement. 

Hole activation.... a Omen navy began circling the hostile wormhole in our static connected to their hole. The gauntlet has been thrown. 

We decided to form up and see what kind of damage we could do, but first lets take a quick gander at what was on the other side of the hole. 

I reshiped another character into a cov ops and he said his farwells to his family because there sure as hell was death on the other side of that hole. 

I warped in my scout to the hole, waved at the Omen Navy and checked out what was on the other side. Uggggg.. 

2 Guardians, 3 Stratios, 1 Brutix, 1 Munin, Legion, bomber and I think some destroyer. There might have been something else, but it was more than we could take. 

They saw my scout jump in and told me in local they where going to blow me up. They didn't end up trying. They let me take a good look. I warped off and back again. 

Now at this point I could have told the friendly fleet to stand down, instead, I said in local. "We'll fight, but we can't fight that". 

Like true wormholers, they responded with "Ok, let me talk to the FC and see if we can ship down".  Bob Damn I love wormhole space. Cool dudes, even when fighting one another.

They warped some stuff away, and I told my guys that they might be shipping down for us. Someone in voice coms said "They'll do that"? I said, "Yea dude, this is wspace not K space, people are cool here." 
I asked everyone in coms to attempt to fly the same doctrine, either armor or shield. We kind of got that. Instead of guardians, we went with two excecurs, cap chains are for scrubs :)

So I removed my scout and told our opponents that I would brb. I wanted to keep the falcon on standby in case they went back on their word. Wspace aside... some people are just dishonest sometimes.. this is EVE after all. I did mentioned to the aggressors that if they shipped down and fought, I would leave the falcon at home. Cloaked, at home... same difference right?

I got into a Navy Harb and prepared to do this. I gave my fleet the overall plan. I told the fleet to jump in and then warp to the hole at 0. I went out of my way to explain that we could jump into them if we got too low, possibly polarize their fleet, use the hole to our advantage. I was under no illusions that our logi would be on point.

I  then told the execurers to warp in at 50 orbit like a mad man, if they get primaried and started to drop warp off and back again.. 

Great plan right? Basic wspace throw down tactics. I told the fleet to jump and warp. Everyone asks, which book mark they didn't have the target hole book marked. *face palm*... 

Well, I wanted to move quickly so I didn't have time to sort out the fleet boss situation. We aren't so good at that either, "Who's boss? Dono, that guy is afk"..... sigh... 

Ok, everyone warp to the cloaked falcon at 10. I pasted his name in fleet. 

We landed 70k from their hole and then I asked everyone to make their way to the hole. 

When we landed they jumped into us, and we had a proper throw down. 

I called the hostile brutix primary.  He gets low and jumps back into this hole. We shift to another target and we lose our brutix.  (cap stable self repping... )

To my surprise, our reps were holding and they all jumped back into their hole. I was stunned!

We held the field vs a fleet with logi and we had our own logi. 

After the fight, the people who we brawled with thanked us for it. They even went to far as to offer their assistance any time we might need it. We made a friend because we brought the fight. Man I love wspace. 

I wish I could describe what a huge win this was for us. But Spear, "you guys lost a ship and killed nothing." Sure, it looks like that on the surface, but if you look a little deeper. We brought a fight to an organized group, with nearly the same doctrine in fleet (intentionally) everyone was on coms and for the most part we all followed instructions. 

This is progress! This small success makes me feel great! I just hope the alliance feels the same way and we can continue to improve.