Member of the EVE Tweet Fleet

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The #tweetfleet takes GCC.

Yesterday saw a flurry of activity amongst the #tweetfleet, debating and discussing a number of specifics surrounding the system CCP refers to as CrimeWatch. CrimeWatch is the system that handles all of the consequences (and rewards) associated with criminal activity. This means every GCC, sec status hit (or gain), killmail, wardec, corp aggression... You get the idea. It's a topic that has been beaten to death by half the blogosphere, at least two CSMs, and it's been mentioned once or twice by CCP. I'm sure I'll make some duplicate points, Rixx Javix and I see pretty much eye to eye on the subject, but I'll at least try to be original in my presentation.

The problem with most of CrimeWatch is that it’s completely unbiased in its execution. Regardless of the WHY, if you shoot first, then you’re the criminal and must take the penalty. It’s that question, “Why?”, that intrigues me the most. I am a member of Electus Matari. This means that, in addition to supporting the Republic against the Amarr, I defend Republic space against the likes of Rixx Javix and other unwashed pirate scum, regardless of any hat-related public services they may provide. This is not as easy as it sounds. We frequently prowl the seedier areas of low security space, hunting down the denizens of society and shooting them in the face whenever we can.

But not all pirates are considered formal outlaws. An outlaw (someone with less than -4.9 security status) can be shot at by anyone, without repercussions. It’s really one of the few bits of the system that makes any sense. But there more than a few “pirates” that work to maintain a reasonable security status. Maybe they like to do their shopping themselves, maybe they like mining on the weekends, who’s to say? The bottom line is, I know they’re a pirate, they’re always running around doing piratey things, but I can’t shoot them first without being labeled a criminal in my own right for 15 minutes.

It’s been suggested (on more than one occasion) that the playerbase should be given the tools to properly police the space lanes ourselves. Among the ideas was sometime of “Sheriff”, where a player could sign up to directly police Empire space. It’s an interesting idea, and one that I could support if it was implemented correctly. That being said, Rixx really has the right stopgap measure, reduce the GCC timer down to 5 or 10 minutes. The entire CrimeWatch system needs a massive overhaul and, if memory serves, CCP agrees. But considering how many things the system touches and interacts with, it’s a massive undertaking. Not only in the coding, but in the QA process. While I encourage CCP to take the plunge and get a team working on Crimewatch, I’d really like to see a GCC reduction in the meantime.

Opponents of a GCC reduction say that such a reduction would put the “bear” population at greater risk and further reduce bear activities in low security space. Sorry, but I’ve got to wave the BS flag on that one. Your average highsec bear already avoids lowsec like the plague because they choose to avoid PvP combat. It wouldn’t matter if GCC was 30 minutes long, because the pirates would STILL hunt down and shoot the bears. So GCC doesn’t actually prevent any violence in lowsec, it just annoys and inconveniences people who choose to engage in PvP. With that in mind, I do not support shortening GCC in high security space. I think the 15 minute punishment for “suicide ganking” in high sec is a reasonable, appropriate response. The big problem with that point of view is, yet again, the CrimeWatch system. If I’m remembering a recent dev blog correctly, the timer length has to be the same regardless of space security, only the punishment changes. Which brings us back to a major overhaul of CrimeWatch… *sigh*

There’s not going to be a single solution that pleases everybody. Most players, even the highsec-only SuperBears, will agree that changes need to be made to the combat systems that apply outside of nullsec space. It’s a major undertaking, and one that would likely require 2 full development cycles to handle properly. CCP needs to make a pretty major directional shift back to the Flying in Space game before they’ll have the resources to pull it off. But I think it’s something that needs to happen. Before I sign off, I’d like to thank Rixx Javix, Garheade, Logan Fyreite, Marc Scaurus, @EVE_Tyen, and the entire #tweetfleet for yesterday’s discussion/back and forth. It was a lot of fun and I honestly look forward to proving you all wrong at some point in the future.

For the Republic.

EDIT: CCP_Fallout has most graciously helped me find the dev blog I was thinking about when I wrote all this. Turns out it never mentions that bit about the GCC timers needing to be the same between lowsec and highsec. So I was talking our of my a$$ right there. Sorry about that. Maybe Mord will let me borrow one of his research assistants...

Monday, August 22, 2011


About a week ago, a COA anti-pirate fleet ran into (and killed) a Loki belonging to a GOD SQUAD director/CEO. How do I know he was a CEO? Because GOD SQUAD had filed a wardec with CONCORD before we could even get the killmail posted. Good Times..

The war progressed as most high security wars do. They ganked young pilots in Rens and industrialists not paying attention. Smack was talked in local and in a few Evemails, pretty standard stuff. About three days in to the war, apparent GOD SQUAD buddies The Devil's Warrior Alliance decided to join in on the war, making things down right interesting.

This brings us to Wednesday night, and another COA anti-pirate roam. The fleet was pretty well varied in ship composition, best described as "shield tanked with nano aspirations." The roam had been largely uneventful, although we did catch one GOD SQUAD Hurricane that blind jumped through a region gate in to our waiting fleet. Needless to say, he died. Shortly after his death, our scouts spotted a GOD SQUAD Proteus sitting on the Osoggur gate in Amamake. Is anyone else spotting the potential problem with this engagement yet? Osoggur is high security space, and the GOD SQUAD have a well earned reputation for using neutral logistics support. It should have stood to reason that this Proteus was a little bit of bait, and the rest of their "Ow, my face" fleet would likely be waiting on the other side of the gate.

The FC sent one of our Tempest's in to Amamake to engage the Proteus and get him to agress so the rest of the fleet could come screaming in to whore on to the killmail...I assist in the kill.... The point was called and the attack order was given. As soon as our fleet landed and engaged the Proteus... Oh look, local spike. Joy. To call the resulting battle one sided would be an understatement. I never got a clear count myself, but by all accounts the GOD SQUAD brought at least six Logistics cruisers and eight T3 cruisers to the party. When combined with a number of piloting failures by the members of our fleet (myself included) and the half dozen high damage Proteus', we died. Horrible, painful deaths. That pretty much eviscerated that particular fleet, the only action of note after the Amamake fight being when we blind jumped (WTF??) in to the highsec island of Anher, right in to a reformed GOD SQUAD fleet of battlecruisers. Somehow, miraculously, the one other remaining -EM- pilot in the fleet made it back to the gate in his Tempest, and I was easily able to burn back in my replacement Hurricane. After a few minutes bouncing safes in Hagilur, we broke out to highsec and the fleet stood down.

Fast forward to Saturday morning. Our war with the GOD SQUAD is set to end in about 5 hours, and -EM- leadership put out the call to both the Alliance and our allies to form up the mighty Alpha Maelstrom fleet! The plan was to park our fleet 50km off the Rens undock and camp GOD SQUAD in to their favorite station for a few hours before the official war ended. It seems our other Republic wartargets, The Devil's Warrior Alliance (Remember them?), wanted to come play!! We spent the next hour and a half bouncing around near Rens, trying to get an engagement on our terms. There was concern that the Devil's and GOD SQUAD would be teaming up, and might be trying to pincer our long range alpha fleet. Eventually the Devil's forced the issue, jumping their AHAC/Absolution/Guardian fleet in to ours in Sasta. We were in ideal position to pick apart their fleet, when they made a move that was, in my opinion, brilliant. They warped to a close, but off-grid, tactical safe, then immediately turned around and used their out of alliance scouts to warp in directly on top of our fleet. At that close range, they should have been able to tear our fleet apart, but the EXCELLENT work of our logistics pilots was able to keep everyone's shields repped up. Our Maelstroms managed to pull range and began to chew through their fleet, eliminating their in-alliance Guardian support (they had more out of alliance) before tearing in to the HACs and their Falcon support. By the time we were moving on to the Absolutions, Devil's made the wise decision to withdraw, and a lack of sufficient long point capability in our fleet allowed them to escape.

Once we were able to clear the field and sort through our combat records, the battle again looked pretty one-sided, but this time in OUR favor. Now, that battle report is admittedly not 100% accurate. -EM- also lost a Falcon, but that killmail does not appear to have been posted publicly and, in the interest of OpSec, I won't reveal that particular Falcon pilot's name here. Despite the Tempest loss earlier in the week, I'm definitely pleased with the overall result of the past week. I certainly learned some new things about Alpha Fleets, and I was painfully reminded how to properly fly a Nanopest.

I'm still pretty new at this whole blogging thing, and this is my first combat report. I'd love to hear any feedback you all might have in the comments section below.

For The Republic!