Monday, December 30, 2013

Roamin', Roamin', Roamin'

From flickr user Jim Surkamp

We did something a little different last night and went roaming, flying from system to system looking for fights. When I signed in the fleet was already up and running in Kedama and heading outwards. I asked what I should bring and was surprised to be asked for a "long point Atron", a fit we don't fly much. This is a fast tackle ship that can switch off the warp engines of a target at 24km away, but can't switch off the microwarp drive. So the target still has a chance to burn away...except that I have an MWD too and can chase them, keeping them in range and unable to flee, while the rest of our fleet applies damage and blows their ship up.

I'd never flown this role before, and my ship wasn't fit exactly to corp standards, but I have to say it was great fun! To be able to scram someone from that far away was like magic! Within seconds of arriving at the fleet in Kedama a Condor appeared. I quickly pointed him and chased, and he was dead very quickly. I easily got on another 8 kills in the ninety minutes and didn't die. You can see the complete results at this site between 2013-12-30 between 02:53 and 04:22

Our fleet felt like a quickly moving snake, sliding through these systems and catching a lot of ships unawares. This was quite a different atmosphere than what we've done for the last few months, sitting in a plex, orbiting the button and waiting. We also fought a lot of neutrals and my security status has slid to -1.9. A couple more of these and I won't be able to enter 1.0 security systems unless I go kill some pirates first.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

My First Experience as Fleet Commander

Captain Sheridan of Babylon 5 FC'ing, like I did :)

When I signed in last night our CEO asked me to take our small fleet of four pilots out in cheap Atrons and "just see what happens, get some fights, get blown up." We had free ships to hand out to people so I was encouraged to take fights and get some FC experience.

My first opportunity to get some glory was *just* missed as we undocked alongside a war target Manticore (stealth bomber) and Imicus. Our small ships could have probably taken them on, since Manticores are often fit for Faction Warfare missions running, not PvP combat. But I was too slow in remembering what a Manticore was, so they got away.

The rest of the night, about 3 hours, was very smooth. Luckily for me our targets appeared one at a time and our pilots were very quick to pin down targets of opportunity. They reported their location and we'd all just warp there and kill the ship. The first to go was a neutral Merlin in plex, then an Incursus, Ishkur (plus pod), another Incursus and a Harpy. The last was particularly satisfying for me as we'd encountered this Harpy a couple of times hovering 80-100km off several gates. He was reported as being on short scan outside a medium plex and I had a quick idea to have our pilots warp to a random distance between 20km and 100km short of the medium plex. I figured there was a chance one of our pilots would land close enough to point him...and they did!

I mostly emulated what I'd seen other FCs do on a slow night. Put most of the fleet in one plex and one or two pilots in the other available plexes, and be ready to warp to them and assist. When no plexes were available we went to a neighbouring system and did the same thing there instead. We capped about a dozen of them and lost on average one ship in each encounter.

Thanks to Marcel for pushing me into the FC chair on a nice slow night and to the pilots who made my job very easy with their initiative and understanding.
In other news I finally got my Epithal to the Customs Offices and liberated some of my valuable factory production. I got a shipload of Toxic Metals to Yvangier.  I'm also setting up what I hope will be a very profitable production run of an item that sells for far higher than its production cost.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Money's All Spent

From flickr user Profound Whatever


I went on a bit of spending tear over the last few weeks, spending more than half of my wallet balance setting up my own ship supply chain. I made a Google Docs spreadsheet to track my inventory of the components used in four of our fits and noted an approximate price and best-priced source for each component. I could have tried to automate that part, but decided not to. I mainly stuck with Jita, but if a cheaper source was available close to our Yvangier base of operations I bought the supplies there and ferried it over myself.

I also set up buy orders for many of the parts: I have Procurement III so I can place these orders within 10 jumps of my current location. These buy orders usually sit ignored but I've picked up some bargains too: ENAM IIs for 250K instead of 900K for example. But mostly, even if I'm the top buyer, the orders are not filled quickly so this method shouldn't be relied on if you need the parts urgently.

I also spent a lot of acquiring datacores, which I have not yet sold. Most have been shipped to Jita and I'm waiting for either a price spike or for me to run out money, forcing a sale!


We had a really good fleet last night and rampaged through Heydieles and surrounding systems for a while. I was in a Navitas and Exequror and did some good things, though I still messed up a couple of times. I've *just* now realized a common mistake I make: I lock a target and turn on the reppers WITHOUT first checking which of my current targets are selected.  As a logi pilot you always have the other logi and the FC pre-locked, so I have often started repping the other logi (who don't need it) instead of the poor bastard who needs armor! Now that I know how I keep falling into this mistake I hope I can avoid it.

I also discovered that you can turn off a particular armor repairer by clicking the icon that appears under the target, rather than trying to remember which of your three reppers is pointed at which target.

The best fight was against five Tech 2 ships (Pilgrim, Stabber Fleet, Arazu, Pilgrim, Arazu) - those are some pricey ships and we sliced 'em up good :)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Oddball Fleet: Exequrors

This was written by Phyridean, a fellow Aideron pilot. I wasn't able to join this fleet, but the battle report is fun and I wanted to share.  This took place last week.

The fighting Exeq is fit as follows:

[Exequror, Sudden Explosions]
Capacitor Power Relay II
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Sensor Booster II
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I

Medium Remote Armor Repairer II
Medium Remote Armor Repairer II
Medium Remote Armor Repairer II

Medium Remote Repair Augmentor I
Medium Anti-Explosive Pump I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Sprinkle with Drones to taste.
First, we helped some guys bash an ihub. Good times. Then we moved on to the main event.

We had five Execs, three Atrons in various tackle fits. The execs were 4x sudden restoration with combat drones, 1x Sudden Explosions (what I'm calling your fit above--it's good for an FC).

We headed first to Tama, with KnotHeather providing +1 scouting. On jumping into tama, we were presented with a neutral vexor and omen on the gate. Since we had the reps, we engaged the Vexor. The plethora of webs helped immensely in this regard, and he went down. The Omen got away.

At this point, we needed to change up some drones, so we went back to Notoras, refit, and came back to Tama.

We warped to a medium plex gate, and were ready to go in when a cynabal landed on us. We ate him for breakfast, poor guy.

Just after the cynabal went down, two Vigilants warped onto us, one after the other. I called 'the vigilant' primary, so we had some split DPS initially, but we were able to take the first vigilant down. During this fight, we lost all three Atrons (Opeth, KnotHeather, and Manboy) and Yoyo's Exeq. We switched DPS to the second Vigilant, and as he was deep into structure, an Augoror landed and got reps on him. We were breaking the reps slowly when a Falcon uncloaked and jammed me, losing our last point on the Vigilant. He warped out in 7% structure.

We flew back to Yvangier to reship, came back to Tama, and captured a medium plex with 18 neutrals and 1 war target in local who seemed pretty butthurt about our reps.

After the capture, we set destination to Yvangier. Investigating some plexes in Heyd, one of our pilots noticed that one of the Dust Districts had lit up. Our Atrons warped in and KnotHeather got her first FW tackle ever, on a Cormorant. We killed the cormorant  while a WT Crow sat at 250km, regretting saying in local, "what are u going to do bro rep me to death?".

Yes. Yes we are. And we did.

My Friends Are Here

Our assault on Heydieles began again yesterday morning, and I had the honour of starting the fleet. Our main fleet commanders FCs weren't going to arrive for a while so I thought I'd try and get something started before they arrived so they'd have some pilots to work with. Setting up the fleet was easy, though I had trouble find where to set the Message of the Day (MOTD). I advertised the fleet to the Gallente Militia channel in-game and seven pilots joined in about fifteen minutes, and luckily one knew more about actual FC'ing, so I turned the fleet over to him. I stayed with the fleet for a couple of hours.

It started slowly, with us taking plexes without resistance, but the enemy soon came out to play (see Dec 22nd to 23rd). We had up to 25 in fleet and were able to control the system, running the contested status up to 27% (started at 5%) at 10PM EST. I checked again early this morning and Heydieles was at 43%! That is a FINE day's work!

I flew logi (repair ships) most of the time, but deployed a single Hobgoblin II drone, assigned to the Fleet Commander so I could get on the kill mails :) I also enjoyed interacting with the new pilots that joined us: some new to faction warfare and others new to Eve itself. I was them only 4 months ago! One guy had been in a PvP corp that saw very little action and was blown away by how many fights we got into, and won, in just a couple of hours!

Blogger Kirith Kodachi is in our corp and wrote today about limited engagement timers: worth a read if you want to avoid falling prey to station games! I was one of the two logi that got killed in this fight.

But the BEST story comes from an incident that I missed. One of our pilots was killed, then his pod held for ransom. While the attackers pressured him to pay up he played for time and then said:

"My friends are here."

And the Aideron ships burst out of warp, pinned down the bad guys and blew them up! Hence my choice of graphic today :)  (Yes those are the psychotic amoral Reavers from the Firefly movie -- what's your point?)

Friday, December 20, 2013

First Time For Everything

Me in a Maulus with a busted overview

It was an unsettling night of firsts for me, though it turned out to be very successful AND I didn't lose any ships, which is a nice bonus.  I flew both a Maulus (e-war frigate) and an Exequror (cruiser repair) for the first time AND did it with a broken overview.

A couple of weeks ago I installed the test version of Eve, the one that lets you connect to their "Singularity" server where you can test ships and generally mess around.  It was odd that the default directory that this wanted to install in was the same folder my regular Eve client sat in, so I changed the test installation folder and let it go to work. From that point on the overview in my regular Eve client seemed to revert to its default factory settings BUT not every time I ran it, just sometimes! How weird is that?!  Last night it was totally nuts, having no tabs except a "Default", with neutral ships having no background color, so after the night's fleet action I uninstalled the Eve test client, rebuilt the overview and hopefully put the issue to bed. No more test clients for me!

The first encounter we had was a quick skirmish with a Vexor sitting on an acceleration gate. Our Maulus-heavy fleet encountered him and tried to take him down but several of his buddies showed up, killed one of us and chased us off. It was, as mentioned before, my first time in the Maulus and I was pleased to be able both use it and get out with half structure remaining.  We reshipped into cruisers and joined up with QCATS - our fleet of 18 ships, including me in a borrowed Exequror. For the loss of only one ship we killed nine of theirs: Condor, 2 Exeqs, 2 Harbinger, Maller, Oracle, Curse, Brutix. (see here on 2013-12-20 in Abune).

I tried to record video, but thanks to the Big Reset mentioned above, the Eve client was running DirectX 11 and my video recorder only works in DX9.

I've also made a spreadsheet to manually track the ship modules which I own that can be used to build our corporate ships. We pay a markup to our logistics guy, to make the effort of keeping us supplied worthwhile and I wondered how easy/worthwhile it would be to bypass that. There's only a 2M ISK savings on the Tristan, but a more substantial saving on the Algos. will ship from Jita straight to my hanger for 7.3M ISK for up to 9000m3...I think I can make that work. Imagine having all the components for multiple ships just delivered straight to you from Jita without having to undock! Buy, ship, assemble, put up on contract, collect the money -- easy :) Hmm...on first look it looks like hard going. A 1B ISK investment buys me 65 completely fitted and delivered Algoses. Selling them at 2M less than our current offer yields about 90M profit. That's not nothing, but it's a lot of clicks to get those contracts up. If I buy less of them, the efficiency of the shipping costs falls and eats into profits even more.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Zao Amadeus takes on two Thrashers in a Fed Navy Comet

This is a fun video!  Zao is known as a pilot that can fly most of the ships in Eve and fly them well. He does regular live streams, so tune in when you can.

Retail Therapy

From flickr user Amit Chattopadhyay

After a couple of hours wrestling with the abomination that is iTunes on Windows 8 (albums only shown as tiles without enough room to read the whole name, "Find" function that doesn't work, invisible process for transferring songs to devices) I did some shopping in Eve. A couple of weeks back I had assembled the parts I needed to make a couple of my own ships that complied with fleet doctrine. This saved me a few million on the corp contract cost, and left ships for those who needed them more than I did.

So this time I went a bit bigger, spending about 200M ISK overall. I think I bought enough parts to fit out 15 copies of our three most commonly used fits: an Atron, a Tristan and an Algos.

I made a spreadsheet (wouldn't be Eve Online without spreadsheets, right?) to keep track of the components used, some of which are used by more than one fit. I used to determine where would be the best place to buy each component; I mostly stuck with Jita, Algogille and Dodixie but made a side trip in a case where the cost and quantity justified it. I used to ship from Jita and I did the shopping and transport myself from Algogille. I tell ya, the trip BACK,with 60M ISK worth of stuff, felt a lot more dangerous than the trip out! I haven't been to Dodixie yet, but will go soon. I have all the Tristan hulls, and most of the Atrons, but no spare Algos hulls yet, so I'll have to sort that out sometime soon.

I also set up some buy orders that will, hopefully, acquire these components at an even lower price than I just paid, though I've actually been trying this for a few weeks without success. I've placed the order AT the trade hubs this time, so perhaps they'll get more attention.

I estimate that this will save about 80M ISK on the ships I'll make myself, versus buying them from corp contracts.  The question that kept nagging at me in the two hours or so I spent doing it was "Is this really worth it? Or should you go out and run plexes/data-sites and make the extra money to buy the ships on contract?" In the end, though, I'm glad I did it and will be able to do it again more smoothly next time. I had a new experience, though a bit of a mundane one, and tested my organizational abilities. I don't think I missed any components, and I also had time to stop at Caslemon and purchase another round of datacores and get them shipped to Jita.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Faction Warfare Guide Series: Missions

Subsparx, though a misguided lost soul who fights for the Caldari, has produced an excellent guide to a part of faction warfare that I haven't tried yet: running missions.  You will be sent deep into enemy territory to achieve an objective, usually killing one or more targets. I recommend you watch this video. When the Gallente next reach tier 3 or 4 I hope to be able to try this.  I also see an opportunity I didn't know about before; if you see a beacon in your current system that has a FW mission name, warp to it and see if there are any good wrecks to loot. FW mission runners don't care about looting their wrecks and may not even be adequately armed to fight you if you attack them.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Video added to earlier post

I've added the promised video showing the successful defense of Heydieles on November 29th. We lost the system a week later, but the fights on 11/29 were a lot of fun.

Last nights fleet was mainly focused on plexing in Heyd again. We had about 13 people in fleet and scored some great kills: slicing up this T2 frigate fleet from General Tso's Alliance was fun.

One of our pilots had a Really Bad Day in Eve. He got suicide-ganked TWICE, first losing an expensive mining vessel, then losing a cargo of datacores. He fought well in the evening's fleet though, acting as Hero Tackle in one of our fights. I directed his attention to PushX.Net and hope that will make his life a bit easier when it comes to moving valuable cargo around.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Faction War update on

Raktak Takrak has written a good summary of the events in Caldari vs Gallente faction warfare of the past few weeks. It's nice to see our actions in Heydieles described as "heroic" even though we ultimately lost control of the system. Hopefully we can get it back soon.

Accidental Bait

Fishing Lures from flickr user Chau kar

We took a fleet of about 10 ships out last night. We ran two plexes in Heyd without incident; in fact, for about 15 minutes there was nobody in Heydieles except us! That's *really* strange and I'm quite sure it's the first time that has happened. I should have jumped in my Epithal and liberated the contents of my factories, which are starting to fill their respective POCOs.

On our way to answer a call for help in Ladistier we ran into 2 Stabber Fleet Issues at a gate. We tried to goad them into opening fire on us, which they did, but the gate guns didn't seem to bother them much. They took out one of our two Navitas repair ships and when I tried to repair it (I was the second of our two repair ships) they got me too. We were unable to bring either of them down and when three more SFIs turned up, the rest of the fleet scattered.

The FC decided to reship into cruisers and take the fight. When we re-entered the system to look for our targets we noticed there were 102 people in local....Brave Newbies had arrived! We sent a scout to see where they were; he reported a cloud of BN ships with no enemies in sight, then they started posted their kills in local. They included a Rhea, which drew whistles of approval from our fleet.

We reshipped into smaller vessels and returned to Heyd; here's where I accidentally became bait (and forgot to video the damned fight again, sorry!). We entered a plex that already contained  a Condor. We suspected it was an Old Man Gang pilot that would keep his distance and try and tempt someone to chase him and, once separated from the pack, kill him.  Tonight, that was me!

It wasn't on purpose; I was totally set to orbit the button like usual but the FC says "Vic, burn in the opposite direction"....odd, but I do it. He was setting a few things up so I didn't think to question the order. After a short interval he says "What are you doing out there!?" as the Condor burns towards me. I drop drones, lock the Condor, and engage as my fleet-mates burn towards me to try and help. I wish I'd recorded the fight because its all a blur. I was scrammed early so I could not get away quickly, but I did try and burn away in a straight line and let my drones do the fighting. His damage on me was erratic; two or three big hits interspersed with small hits. My group were able to catch him, point him and attack hard....he went down when I was at about half structure.

So why was I ordered to burn off? The FC thought I was still in a Navitas...which was destroyed in the run-in with the Stabbers! And I'd been in an Algos after that, and was now in a Tristan. There's a lot to keep track of when you're an FC :) No harm done; I still miss steps in one ship, let alone tracking ten of them!

Heydieles was at about 15% contested when I logged out, so we're making progress towards recapturing the system. I also dealt with my factories...4 of them are humming along quite nicely though I have not been able to pick up their output for a couple of weeks. Then I went ratting in the asteroid belts, found and ran a data site (12M in loot) and logged out.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Begun, the Clone War has

Clone Soldiers - from flickr user HJ Media Studios

I only had time for a brief sortie in Eve yesterday. I started with a corp fleet plexing in Ladistier, but we didn't have the numbers to take on the experienced enemy pilots we encountered. We did take a couple of plexes, though and before logging off I decided to take a cheap Tristan through a set of asteroid belts and kill the local pirates in order to improve my security status.

The first couple of times I tried this I was found by other players who were hunting for pilots like me, and quickly finished off. I've started hitting d-scan a LOT more often now, and also flying this cheaper Tristan fit.

[Tristan, DerpTris]
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
Drone Damage Amplifier I

Limited 1MN Afterburner I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Anode Light Ion Particle Cannon I, Tungsten Charge S
Anode Light Ion Particle Cannon I, Tungsten Charge S
Small Remote Armor Repair System I

[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]

Hobgoblin II x5

The main damage is, of course, the Hobgoblin II drones. I keep away from the enemy and let the drones do the fighting, only closing in to add some blaster damage if necessary. I have a variation where I use railguns instead.  I have Scout Drone V and Drone Interfacing IV, so the drones deal decent damage. The remote repairer is for healing damaged drones, but I usually don't stay out long enough to make use of it. The scrambler is....well, pretty useless. In the unlikely case I get into a fight with another pilot that tries to escape, I could pin him down. But against rats this is a wasted module. The web is handy for slowing rats down and letting the drones increase their damage. I've used this fit to take out a Serpentis battleship.

The tradeoff with flying a cheap ship like this is that it is relatively slow in killing your targets, so you need to use d-scan frequently to make sure nobody is coming to get you. 

In the last belt I checked I found my first Clone Soldier! These are especially tough belt rats (mine was a "trainer", the easiest of the four types) that drop a valuable tag which you can use to raise your security status. I kept at least 30km from him during the 5 minute fight and luckily nobody else came to the belt while we were there. In retrospect I could have returned to the station and got a more powerful ship, if I wanted to risk getting caught. I think that anyone coming to find fights in a belt is likely to be in a group that is well-equipped enough to handle whatever I can dish out, so I might as well stick to my cheap ship and just focus on running away if someone arrives.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Financial Weapons

This was a fun little incident that closed out my night of Eve yesterday. I had purchased a large number of rigs that weren't available at our current station. Well, there WERE a few, but instead of costing the normal 100-200K, they were listed at 1M each. Obviously someone trying to catch buyers who were desperate.

I listed mine for 175K, used a few on ships I was building and thought no more of it. At the end of the night I noticed my wallet balance was 10M higher than at last check. Sweet! What did I sell?

10 of these rigs....for 1M each! The buyer had accidentally clicked on the crazy-expensive listing and bought ten of them. The way Eve works is that in case of mistakes like this the sale goes to the cheapest offer (i.e me) at the price the buyer was willing to pay (ie 1M instead of 175K).

I chuckled and decided to offer a large refund to the buyer, assuming it was a member of my corp building their own ships, who had made a simple mistake.

I didn't recognize the buyer's name so I double-clicked on it see his corp and alliance...WAR TARGET! F*ck that guy! I'll use your money to buy the ship WITH WHICH I KEEEL YOU!

How I Made My First Billion ISK in Eve Online


There are many "first billion" stories in Eve; this is mine.

August 8th 2013 was my first day in Eve and I hit my first "wallet balance" billion ISK (not counting assets) about four months later. My first two months were spent doing solo play: missions, manufacturing, trade and the other stuff you can read in early blog postings. This made some money, but nothing serious. I also got a 250M ISK kick-start by sharing a plex the friend who got me to play Eve.

The serious money started when I joined Aideron Robotics and started earning Faction Warfare loyalty points. We were in Tier 3 at the time, so the LP flowed thick and fast. Over the next two months I earned about 350K LP by running plexes. I was told it was best not to spend it until we had dropped to Tier 1, which everyone was sure was coming soon, especially as TEST joined FW.

The reason behind this thinking is simply supply and demand. When the LP is flowing like wine, most people spend it right away, buying and reselling items from the LP store, and their prices drop. When we hit Tier 1 and people are earning a lot less LP, they buy and resell less LP store items and their prices go up again. I watched the datacore market and decided (right or wrong) that Electronic Engineering and Gallentean Starship were the most valuable. When the price of both went above 150K I started cashing in LP, buying thousands of these datacores.

I shipped them to Jita, where the highest prices are found, using Push Industries,and sold them through an alt. I had to do this because my main character cannot go to Jita; it's in Caldari space. My alt put the datacores up on sell orders, asking nearly 200K per Gallentean Starship...and got it! I sent the money back to my main character and, hey presto, billionaire!

Next time the Gallente rise to Tier 3 or even Tier 4 I'll be plexing even more and aiming for even more LP!

In regular Eve-play news, I helped plex Ladistier up to 22% contested, but sadly this morning it was back down to 1%: we don't have consistent timezone coverage to hold our gains. I got on two Thrasher kills of the same pilot that were rather fun. After that I ran three data sites (16M ISK) and went belt ratting. Unfortunately I shot at a wreck that wasn't mine, just for kicks and was surprised to lose a big chunk of security standings. I'm only -1.6, a carebear by many standards, but it's surprisingly easy to push this number down. Remember that if it gets below -5 you can be attacked anywhere, making trips to high-sec more difficult than they need to be.  I also built several Tristans that match with our corporate fit, which saves money versus buying them from our kind industrialist :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Heydieles has fallen

From flickr user Pedro Vezini

The Caldari militia put overwhelming numbers in the field today and captured Heydieles. Congratulations to them for their tenacity! We look forward to taking it back again.

Later Update: I'm told Heyd was at only 60% contested the previous night, so the Caldari worked very quickly and steadily to capture it.

Our evacuation to a nearby system went smoothly, with only some of the expected hassling from Old Man Gang who were, I'm sure, very happy to kick us in the butt as we left. I got caught in by a large smart bomb in an Imicus at a jump gate, and it also killed my pod.  OK, NOW I'm seeing a pattern. Remember a few days ago I lost a set of +2 implants by getting podded two days after installing them? Well, this time I only had a single cheap implant but I guess it was enough to invite the Curse Of the Self-Podding Implant to strike again! I've now been podded twice, within a day or two after putting in implants.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Heydieles Vulnerable Defense Part 17 of Eleventy Hundred

Fighting the Many-Headed Caldari Dragon

From any point, on any world it is possible to look into multitudes of galaxies and find an arrangement of stars which reads "F*ck you" in whatever language you care to name. This means something important, but buggered if I know what.
  -- Roland "Soup" Nozl, Street Astronomer

This blog entry covers my activity from about November 29th to December 4th. I was on vacation and was either deeply immersed in playing Eve or couldn't actually get the time to play it. But boy howdy, what an exciting time!

This surge in Caldari militia activity in Heydieles may have started with a plea from Old Man Gang in the public Eve forums on November 26th asking for help in taking Heydieles. (Side note: when I bring a lot of pilots to an engagement it's "making good use of available resources". When you do it, it's "a blob.")

The post was met with relief and laughter, of course, from our side, especially since the response in the forums seemed very weak. We assumed this meant they were on their last legs, that their morale was broken and they'd soon be leaving the area. Wrong! The attacks from OMG and their allies stepped us in the next few days, pushing the contested status to 60%...70%...80%...90%...

On 11/29 Heydieles went vulnerable again as our allies in Dust lost ground. Our immediate concern was to defend the iHub while getting the system out of vulnerable. We ran a couple of plexes but the status didn't change as the Dust percentage continued to drop. We called for help and received some (thanks Wise Human Swords!), though, frustratingly, we got no help from forces in Eha. Our fleet numbered around 50.

The Caldari militia (mostly OMG? Not sure) set up an ihub bashing fleet and began hitting their attack. This was it! We saw up to 109 people in Local. It took us a while but we managed to assemble a strong force and we hit their fleet hard. We were so focused on the attack that our FC didn't seem to notice that Heyd actually drop OUT of vulnerable before we warped to the hub! There was a second skirmish at the hub too and then we hit back at some of their infrastructure. Enemy-controlled POCOs were attacked and sent into reinforcement timers. Our allies in Prima Gallicus set their Dust players the task of taking Heyd back to 12.5% and within a few hours they had done so. Heydieles was now out of immediate danger, but still at 95% or higher. No time to relax.

With this much blood in the water it no surprise that the sharks came out. There were two pirate fleets in system: one was know to be working with OMG, but the others were the real deal. They set up at the ihub and, according to our scouts, killed a lot of OMG ships that continued to trickle into the hub in small groups, seemingly unaware that they were being chomped as they arrived.

Our FC (was it Crosi?) noticed a battleship fleet outside a plex and upon scouting it it turned out to be Goonswarm. We flew at it hard and cut it to pieces...that was a fun fight :) I survived long enough in my Atron to get on five kills, though my security status took a hit. I'm only at -1.5 right now, but I can see how easily you fall and how hard it is to raise it up again.

There was a strange incident where six condors, ostensibly flown by GalMil pilots, entered our plex and started attacking us! All six had similar names "RugedBanana", "RigidBanana" etc. Our FC paused a few seconds to make sure this wasn't an "overview-screwup" and gave clearance to attack. We did so, confused as to what the hell this was about...the conclusion was it was some kind of scam to sell kill rights, or just awoxers having fun.

Once more great credit falls to our ship-wranglers, especially lockefox, who kept up a steady supply of ready-to-fly ships on contract. He also brought new POCOs in when we destroyed the two we had attacked earlier.

Heydieles was, for two days, the most dangerous system in Eve, with over 800 ship kills registered. Our corp killed 809 ships in November, almost double our previous record of 440 kills just the previous month. We have 111 in just the first four days of December too.

Defensive plexing has continued for the last few days and Heyd is currently in the range of 40-50% contested....well, that was true for a while. Now, on Dec 4th, it is nearly 90%. This is hard, repetitive work and we need to get more Militia pilots in space during the hours we in the US evening time zone are not available. We have some European allies, but need even more coverage.

In non-combat news I'm refining my Planetary Interaction setup, with four factories at work. I sold my first batch of Chiral Structures for 10M ISK, which pays for much of the infrastructure in one fell swoop. I've done a little belt-ratting in Indregulle, which has dozens of asteroid belts, and ran a couple of data sites, which seem to be getting harder to find. I also sold another batch of data cores and have finally achieved a wallet balance of one BILLION isk!