Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 537

Entry: five hundred thirty-seven.

CI space has been insane the last few days. At the time of my last entry, our space was infested with AQUILA and BORG. One thing I did not record of importance in the previous entry was a BORG pilot in a Malediction warping into one of our towers, ejecting a Dominix, and destroying it. BORG are ex-ATLAS, so of course they knew our password.

Two and a half days ago, there was a RAZOR gang running around. Alliance formed up a fleet and smashed them at the 9CG6- gate in UYU-. The RAZOR gang attempted to kill me three or four times. 

This is probably because I was a tackle Rifter. I warped out each time I started taking damage. After repairing with the local armor repair module I had onboard, I returned to the fight, only to have to quickly warp out again. I did manage to hold down two Scimitars to be slaughtered however.

Two days ago, we had a POS defense operation in some system in Blood Raider territory. Computer: link killmail.

As a quick aside, the killboard that provided this mail labels me as an expert frigate pilot. I find this amusing as I am by no means that. I do know my role in the fleet, however, and do my best to fulfill that role while avoiding ship loss.

The mail said to formup at 22:00, that we'd leave at 22:15. I formed up on time, as did much of the fleet. As is always the case, there are stragglers that join late.

We sat in station for almost two hours. Rather suddenly, we burned a few systems to get on a Titan, and then bridged into the target system where a friendly cyno had been lit. The fleet jumped.

When we landed, we were being bombed. Immediately after bombing, the enemy fleet, an AHAC gang, warped in on top of us and proceeded to, essentially, annihilate our alpha fleet. Our guardians were destroyed first while the fleet tried to get inside of the POS. It took some time, but they were finally able to get in. The enemy then landed in the middle of the tower with the fleet.

The enemies were BORG, RAZOR, and Morsus Mihi. As the password was changed several times, it was made exceedingly clear that our alliance, while not rooted, was severely compromised. With our fleet crippled and huddling inside of a POS shield, command called for aid from Nulli Secunda. With their help the tower was barely saved, but we took crippling losses. The operation was a loss in every way except for the objective itself.

Yesterday, our space was teeming with hostiles. There were three separate gangs, combined totalling up to about one hundred twenty hostiles roaming our space. My alliance did manage to get some kills despite this, without being "whelped" as the terminology goes.

I, however, wasn't really feeling the desire to face yet another fifty man hostile gang, and just sat in station watching television. Eventually, I disconnected myself from the Neocom entirely and just watched television.

Perhaps today will be different. Half of my lack of desire to fly has to do with goals in skill training. I have a particular Republic Fleet Firetail I'd like to fly, but it will be some time before I can. It it my belief that this version of the Firetail will not only exceed the standard mold of Firetail, but completely reinvent how the ship is supposed to be flown.

Computer: terminate recording.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 534

Entry: five hundred thirty-four.

Yesterday, Cascade Imminent space was choked with enemies. RAZOR, Borg, Aquila, Morsus Mihi, all of them were there in our space making a mess out of things. Our pilots, however, quickly became accustomed to random hostiles running around in our space, and resumed ratting and plexing even when hostiles were in the same system.

They were literally killing us left and right. I refer you to June 23rd, 2011.

When I logged in, the intel channels were blinking so quickly I barely had time to make sense of any of it. I'd heard that some of the hostiles were coming out of a wormhole in N-M, so I boarded my Cheetah, went to the destination system, and set about scanning.

It took about ten minutes, but I found three wormholes. All of them were class five or class six. It's pretty obvious when you see black and red through the transit bubble. By sheer dumb luck, just as I was about to warp away from the final wormhole I scanned down, something came through from the other side.

It was a Drake. I quickly looked at the corp ticker before he warped away, and I saw that he was from Aquila.

While I'd been scanning, a revenge fleet had been formed. Someone else, aside from me, had gotten so fed up with our guys being retarded and getting killed while we let hostiles run rampant through our space that he formed up the fleet. I joined and camped the wormhole, providing intelligence for the rest of the fleet.

For a while, friendlies camped the 49-U gate in 5V-. And then we got word that a Machariel was tackled in N-M on the 49-U. The fleet quickly made its way over, and after some maneuvering to get a warp in on the Machariel trying to let his Drake friends on other side get through the gatecamp, the fleet got a warp in via StonerPhreak and made short work of the Machariel. The pilot ejected before being destroyed, managing to make it back to the wormhole. It appears the comments were deleted from the killboard posting on Aquila's killboard, but there was much trolling and laughing to be had at Rengas for ejecting, nevermind orbiting at snipe range with autocannons.

The fleet resumed camping the 49-U gate while the two stranded drakes attempted to work out the alternate route with a cheetah that came out of the wormhole. They seemed to have decided against that route however, as they later came into N-M via 49-U. Neither the first or second had a chance to escape to w-space.

Our revenge didn't stop there, however. I and the fleet entered the wormhole. I set about scanning down every site I could and triggering it, only learning after I triggered all of them that the system wasn't actually their home. Nevertheless, Aquila came back for a fight twice, once with a lone hurricane, a second time with a pair of hurricanes and a scimitar. I participated in both battles, bringing both of my tracking disruptors into play, but we only managed to kill the one hurricane.

We camped a little longer, before much of the fleet disbanded. A few of the more vindictive ones, like myself, proceeded to track them to their system, only one wormhole jump away, and entered. I scanned down and triggered every site they had present, and they cut off our route back to Catch. Unfortunately, two comrades were stuck with me, and now relying on me to get them out. Both were in stealth bombers: M3phisto and Sweet Bitterness.

I scanned out another class five, and we entered. Aquila attempted to ransom us for the exit several times, and we kept our mouths shut. I scanned out two more class fives in addition to the one Aquila came though. Aquila was keeping tabs though, bouncing between the class fives with a Sabre equipped with a cloak, just waiting for us to make a mistake.

After some time, a new group appeared, closing one of the class fives by jumping a Chimera and several other ships in. I scanned down another class five, and observed as a Revelation closed it. I scanned down another class five, and, at last a zero zero connection. It appeared as Aquila had left though, though Dotlan wasn't yet reporting their jumps.

We observed the zero zero connection for a short bit, then decided to jump through.

We ended up in Vale of the Silent: White Noise Territory.

Suggestions went around for getting into higher sec system and scanning. Being back in k-space, I felt the best course of action was a twelve jump burn to high-sec near Yrmori.

Every system was empty, with the occasional single resident. We encountered no threats at all. Once back in high-sec space, I was given ten million ISK from each of them for getting them out safely. Sweet Bitterness managed to make it back in time to recycle his ten ten DED site, potentially worth a billion, and he invited me along on what is, excepting for me, a corp only bomber fleet training series. I must admit, I'm pretty excited in finally finding a group of people interested in that aside from me. The first session I'm able to attend will be today.

Revenge has never tasted so sweet.

Computer: terminate recording.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 530

Entry: five hundred thirty.

Today I was thinking about my life as a capsuleer. Honestly, it's hard to think as far back as my first days, even harder to think beyond that. However, this being the sum of my experiences, I will endeavor in the future to log and back enter my pre-capsuleer and early capsuleer experiences. Upon final compilation of this journal, this will no doubt be but a footnote referencing when I decided to do this.

It's a little humbling to think about all the experiences I've had since becoming immortal. I worked for Quafe and Brutor in my early career, joined a capsuleer corporation which attempted to become an economic power but failed, and was a miner for a brief period.

Shortly after working for Brutor under the guise of this capsuleer corporation, I and several corpmates ventured into w-space. We experienced difficult yet profitable ISK generation, combat, and gained more in those three months than we had gained in six in hi-sec by far.

After three months of w-space, we returned to k-space. A month later, the corporation I was a part of at the time dissolved, and the CEO went planetside. Those I had lived in w-space with formed a new corporation and we began the business of griefing.

We didn't last long as griefers. Our hearts weren't in it, but we had good times when the combat was available. I earned some man card points with the group, however, for chasing down and killing war targets in Amarr space. Normally, that in itself doesn't earn man-card points. However, the Amarr Imperial Navy was hunting me as I was hunting targets, and even engaged and attempted to destroy me while I assaulted the targets.

About a month into the griefing business, we had gotten tired of it. At the same time, I was approaching a two month-two skill plan: Logistics five and Battlecruiser five. To be brutally honest, I was also experiencing some burnout. Between regular logging, research on targets, and gate games and station games, I was exhausted.

I took a two month planetside leave of absence. Instead of hunting, logging, and researching space-combat, I took on a new course of study: strategy. Previous attempts, successes, and failures had largely been based on one or two step planning with a heavy emphasis on brute force or extreme stealth. The study of strategy planetside led me to learn the importance of positioning, reinforcement timing, advance and retreat maneuvers, and the importance of variation.

On my return, we joined a zero-zero corporation that was part of an alliance. The alliance at the time was a pet, but by now is probably a full member of the Deklein Coalition. In zero-zero, I got my first real taste of how what I learned planetside applied in space.

There were many CTAs, many small roaming gangs. I had established a good foundation on my leave, but now I was learning specifics. I was learning particular fitting schemes, small gang fits, fleet fits, fleet strategies, maneuvering, scouting, hotdropping, and target prioritization. It was a lot to take in all at once. I learned much of it quickly, and through some lost assets, other very important lessons regarding survival in zero-zero when solo.

Just as I was getting a concrete layout of the region, so that I could begin a new challenge, fleet command, our corporation changed alliances and regions. I started over learning the new region while still expanding on previous lessons in relation to combat. I began developing new fits to deal with problems I saw arise, and making ISK on the off time.

And then, after I learned the region, I found myself unsatisfied with my corporation. We had different goals and different timezones we were active. I was mostly solo, and I was having a difficult time rationalizing staying. I made the decision to change corporations, and joined what is my current corporation at the time of this recording: Militaris Industries.

It's been perhaps a month since I've joined them. I find myself enjoying this corporation and its members far more than my previous corporation however, as I tend to be active when they are. Also very important is the new alliance. They, like myself, decided their previous alliance was a bad fit for them, and left to join Cascade Imminent. I find myself in line with much of Cascade Imminent's modus operandi: zero-zero griefing and combat.

The thing I disliked about hi-sec combat was the ease of it. By and large, it wasn't a challenge, and being a small corporation of five at the time, we could not challenge many corporations. On top of that, I was forcing combat on someone completely unprepared. It was like being a soldier who killed civilians. It was plain boring, unfulfilling, unchallenging, and not worth any effort.

Being in zero-zero, everything is different. Everyone out there is prepared to fight, willing to take risks, willing to be bold. Kingdoms rise and fall based on the politics and the ISK. The station games of hi-sec are largely non-existent, and locking down entire solar systems or regions is entirely possible.

From what I've gathered about Cascade Imminent, it's an alliance of almost all combat pilots, with a small but substantial industrial backbone. As an alliance, we own a few systems so that we can recoup ISK we've spent on military efforts. Our operational scheme is largely to leave on deployment for a period of time, engaging in as much combat as possible, inflict as much damage or sovereignty loss as possible, and then return home for a brief period to earn ISK.

I think I'm going to enjoy the times ahead.

Computer: terminate recording.