Friday 9 August 2013

Signing Off

I'm sure to some of you this won't come as much of a surprise, but it's time to make it official; the Altruist is officially going dark.

I've played Eve for five going in six years now without a gap, far longer than I've played any other game. I've had a great deal of fun doing that - it's a testament to the depth of Eve that it can hold someone's interest for that long and still provide enough challenge and enjoyment to keep them coming back. However, it has also been quite a considerable commitment. Eve may be a game that can be played casually, but to really get the most out of it - to be fully involved in the community, take an active role in running a corporation, or these days simply to stay on top of balance changes and keep the rust off as a PVPer - requires a level of both time and effort that shouldn't be underestimated. That's before you add in silly things like running a blog, teaching classes, and so on.

The decision hasn't been an easy one, but I feel like I've reached the point where I need to let that commitment go and start freeing up time to spend on other things.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Confessions of a Lowsec Pirate

As you'll know from my last post, I recently renounced my wicked ways of lowsec piracy to pursue other things. CONCORD were willing to overlook my sins in exchange for a fat wad of isk, and I'm now once again an upstanding pillar of the community. Well, sort of anyway - I'm still -1.3, but that'll have to do!

Having spent a little over a year in lowsec including my previous stint in faction warfare, I felt like now was an appropriate time to look back at the highs and lows of lowsec life.

Thursday 27 June 2013

Of Sleepers and Sec Status

It won't come as much surprise to you if you're following the blog (or rather, the lack of blog), but my motivation to play Eve has taken a bit of a dive recently. I've been having a lot of fun with some other games (in particular Dota 2, The Old Gods expansion for Crusader Kings 2, and more recently a bit of AI Wars) and combined with some RL goings on I've not really had the urge to log in very much.

Part of that has also probably been down to the gameplay I've been focusing on. When you're a solo pilot in a solo-centric corp it's really down to you to make your own fun, and unless you put the effort in things can easily become fairly routine. I have a more detailed post on the ups and downs of lowsec piracy that I'll be posting in the near future, but suffice to say I decided it was time to try something a little different. In fact, I'm going to try two different things!

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Know Your Enemy - Disruption Cruisers

Commonly referred to as Electronic Warfare or EWAR cruisers, Disruption Cruisers specialise in the suppression and - you guessed it - disruption of opposing ships. Like the smaller Disruption Frigates, each race's platform favours a different form of electronic warfare - ECM for Caldari, remote sensor dampening for Gallente, tracking disruption for Amarr, and target painting for Minmatar.

They may not offer the raw power of Combat Cruisers, but make no mistake - Disruption Cruisers
exist to ruin your day.

The disruption cruisers range from pseudo combat ships like Arbitrator and Bellicose, through to dedicated electronic warfare platforms such as the Blackbird. While they do see varying levels of use as solo platforms, these ships are most at home in a gang environment where they fill a crucial supporting role. In the right hands, against the right opponent, the disruption cruisers can easily be some of the most powerful in their class.

Monday 15 April 2013

Know Your Enemy - Attack Cruisers

Combat Cruisers may top the chart in terms of raw strength, but Attack Cruisers are the masters of speed and damage application. These ships offer greater mobility than any other cruiser, with bonuses to range or tracking giving them a more flexible engagement envelope than their slower counterparts.

If Sigmund Freud played Eve, he would definitely have flown an Attack Cruiser.

While some Attack Cruisers (particularly the Thorax) make excellent brawlers, the main strength of this class is in kiting. The combination of flexible range and great mobility allows Attack Cruiser pilots to dictate the terms of an engagement on the fly, and makes them particularly dangerous to any smaller ships which might attempt to pin them down.

Sunday 7 April 2013

Tusker Frigate FFA 3

Following the success of our first two events, I'm happy to announce that the third Tusker Frigate FFA will be taking place on Saturday, 4th May from 18:00 to 24:00 Evetime.*

The rules for the event remain the same as Round #2, but we will be mixing things up with more "mini-events" occurring throughout the evening. The location for the event will be revealed 96 hours before the event starts.

A multitude of prizes will once again be available, ranging from Tech 1 Frigates to Faction Battleships, as well as a few oddballs thrown in there for good measure. As usual, the best prizes will only be reserved for younger characters (less than 1 year old).

You can find more information in our announcement thread - I hope to see you there!

In other news, RL has done a fairly serious number on both my Eve time and blogging time over the last month, and I expect that to continue for probably another month before I'm fully active again. For those of you waiting for the rest of the Retribution KYE articles, I apologise - I'll try to get them out as soon as I can, but can't make any promises.

In the meantime, I hear there's an election on?

*Updated from the 11th in order to not clash with the round 3 of the Syndicate Competitive League.

Friday 1 March 2013

A Signature Resolution

Ripard Teg over at Jester's Trek has made a couple of quite spurious posts recently. It started fairly innocently, with him stating in passing that a Ferox sniping with Spike effectively has worse tracking then a Naga sniping at the same range with faction ammo.

While it's true that the Ferox's tracking speed is worse, a number of respected PVPers commented that because the Naga's larger guns have a much higher signature resolution, it's tracking in practice is actually much worse. Ripard proceeded to double down on his mistake, claiming that signature resolution is not working as intended, and that it has little effect on the ability of large guns to hit small targets. He even published an entire second post to establishing his position that, while he knew that was how signature resolution should work, it was quite definitely not working in that fashion.

While Ripard occasionally takes up controversial positions, his posts have a reputation for being well informed and well reasoned - it's quite rare to find one that's clearly and demonstrably wrong, much less so two within the space of 24 hours! I'm not generally one for internet arguments, however Ripard is currently a shoe in for a spot on CSM8, and personally I like my CSM members to be well informed about how the game works. With that in mind, I decided to jump on the test server and prove Ripard wrong.

In Ripard's own words "The math is failing... And trust me, I know math".

Well Ripard you may know math(s), but I know Science!

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Know Your Enemy - Frigate Updates

As the process of updating my Know Your Enemy articles continues, I wanted to address some of the gaps left in previous articles before publishing anything new (yes, Attack Cruisers is coming - honest)! In particular, there were two things that really needed fixing.

The first, as you probably noticed, was that my Combat Frigates article only covered five of the eight ships in the class. At the time that I wrote it, the Tristan, Kestrel and Breacher were still pre-tiericide and I decided it was better to leave them out and add them in later rather than include them in their unbalanced form. That, finally, is done.

The other issue was less obvious, and has to do with the Condor. I wrote my Attack Frigates article quite soon after the ships were released, and at the time the Condor wasn't all that popular. In the time since then, there's been an explosion of light missile Condors to the point that they're probably one of the most popular T1 frigs around. That really wasn't reflected in my article, and I was probably misleading a lot of people as to the frustratingly awesome nature of this ship as a result. Solution: the Condor entry has been rewritten too!

I didn't want to repost the articles since much of the original content was still accurate, but you can find the finished pieces here: Combat Frigates and Attack Frigates. For maximum convenience, I've also included the updated entries by themselves right here:

Friday 22 February 2013

The Art of Influence

It's been quite a while since I responded to a Blog Banter. This blog has a fairly focused topic list, and I like to avoid steering too far away from that focus where possible. Blog Banter 45 however caught my interest, and I'd like to share my thoughts with you. The subject? Propaganda.

We all know roughly what propaganda is, although many of us may feel like it's not something that we personally do. In short, propaganda means communication with the intent of influencing wider opinion. Ask someone to point to an example of Eve propaganda, and you'll probably see references to various pep-talks by nullsec CEOs, or perhaps some of the well crafted posters or parody songs used to rally the masses around their alliance banner.

In truth however, it's difficult to do anything in the sandbox without affecting someone's opinion of something. Whether you're posting a CEO update or simply asking a fallen opponent if they happen to be upset about the experience, every interaction with another player conveys some form of message. Even the ships you fly and the way that you act can play a significant part in shaping what other people think about you. There is no do or don't on this one - you can argue about where exactly the definition of 'propaganda' stops, but the simple truth is that your actions will influence the opinions of those around you regardless of whether you want them to or not. The only question is whether you want to understand and control that influence, or simply let it run unchecked.

Friday 8 February 2013

Know Your Enemy - Combat Cruisers

When strength and firepower are your requirements, look no further than the combat cruisers. These four ships represent the heavyweights of the T1 cruiser lineup, with stronger tanks and (for the most part) higher damage outputs than their attack cruiser counterparts.

Combat cruisers make excellent brawlers, with strong tanks and plenty of firepower.

While the class offers plenty of variation, combat cruisers generally excel when fighting at close to medium range. Thanks to their strong tanks and offensive abilities, these are difficult ships to take on toe to toe, and are typically capable of out-brawling most of the competition. With lower speed however, they have a harder time chasing down or evading targets than their attack brethren.

Saturday 2 February 2013

Considering Joining the Tuskers?

As you might have heard, we at The Tuskers have undergone a little internal organisation recently. Legendary pirate and Tusker founder Ka Jolo has stepped aside to focus on RL events, handing over the reins to long-time director and FC Suleiman Shouaa. Sulei has been all but running the show for some time, so I'm confident that the corp is in good hands and things are definitely looking good for the future.

One of the outcomes of this change is that we're going to be taking a slightly more targeted approach to recruitment.Initially we're looking for ten new Tuskers from any timezone to join our ranks. After that, we'll likely be switching the focus to bring in applicants with specific skills and experience, or who play in a particular timezone.

If you've got a strong desire for solo PVP, like the idea of a life of piracy, and think that you've got what it takes to be a Tusker, consider putting in an application. You can find out more about us (as well as our current recruitment situation) by visiting our website or clicking that new image over on the right hand side of the blog. ->

Feel free to also drop into The Tuskers Public Channel in-game, where you'll find plenty of members, friends, and general hangers-on to answer your questions and tell you just what nice guys we are! (Honest)

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Turret and Launcher Reference Chart v2

A while back, I published a reference chart to help people visually identify different weapon systems.

Being able to do this quickly can be a really useful skill - it lets you figure out roughly what someone's fit might be before you actually engage them, and can help you decide the best way to proceed in a fight. Recognising the difference between blasters and railguns, or medium and small guns on a cruiser, is likely to have a significant difference on the range you want to engage at or even whether you want to take the fight at all. Even different calibre guns within the same class can give you an idea of what other modules your opponent might be fitting (for example a rupture with 425mm autocannons will generally be shield fit, while dual 180mm autocannons suggests a heavy armour tank).

The original chart didn't include capital weapons, and I've since had a few requests to add them in. There have also been a couple of name changes which made the old chart potentially misleading, so I figured it was time for an update!

Have a browse through the chart, and then try looking at a few ships in space and see if you can figure out what they're fitting!

As before, I've also produced a high-res version suitable for printing.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

Scram Tacklers - Taranis v Enyo

I was browsing the Eve Uni forum a couple of days ago, and someone asked the apparently straightforward question:

Which makes the better scram tackler; the Enyo or the Taranis?

I originally set out to give a fairly straightforward answer about how the Combat Interceptors don't really have a role any more and AFs are probably the better choice, but made the mistake of trying to back that up with some real numbers. An hour or so later, I'd not only written an extensive analysis which went well beyond what I'd intended but I'd also managed to prove my original answer wrong in the process! It's not necessarily the most robust analysis and it does contain an unhealthy dose of EFT warrioring, but where possible I've tried to put things in a realistic context. Either way, I thought the whole thing was pretty interesting, so I've tidied it up a little and republished it here for your reading pleasure.

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Tusker FFA #2 - Prizes

Prizes for the second round of the Tusker Frigate(/Destroyer) FFA have been announced!

After the success of the first event expectations were high, but I'd say the night delivered. Six hours of constant PVP, thousands of ships destroyed (including a carrier and a freighter full of goodies), countless free ships handed out for glorious exploding (seriously, we had so many that we had to use every division of our corp hangar to prevent it lagging out), and once more, billions of isk in prizes!

You can find the full details of the event here.

That was some firepower... (Top number of kills in a Destroyer hull)Talwar x7Gorski Car
Going rogue.. (Final blow JUST before event starts)Dramiel x1Hanssollo
This one, he has promise (Most kills for new character)Navy Megathron x1Redamok Houssa
Like a boss (First Venture lost)Venture x20 Mattias Kerensky
Lacks honour, must find it (Flew only sniping ships)Amarr Shuttle x50AkJon Ferguson
I think you're missing something. (Flew Stealth Bomber without a Cloak)Covops Cloak x5Brick Clay
Maybe this'll last longer.. (Lost the first Assault Frigate)Navy Augoror x1Axis Mikels
Apex Predator (First new character to get on Tusker killmail)Daredevil x5Speissi Song
Going for a spin... (First Federation Navy Comet lost)Navy Comet x5Jack Valley
Those frills.....are mine! (First young character to kill Rixx Javix)Vagabond x1Ivan Butz
What am I covered in? (Top damage on Legionnaire's Freighter (Young Pilot))Ashimmu + Cruor x5Elrandir of Arnoria this? Perhaps this might work better.. (First one to fly a fail fit Exequror)Navy Exequror x1 SeaElder4
Next time I'll get away! (Died as the event finished)Ares x5 Bleyddyn apRhys
You can't fly that.... (Assisted the take down of Rogue IN Slicer)Navy Slicer x5Sara Lucheni
Needs more speed! (First Firetail loss)Claw x5 Garw'in
Born to be wild (Most losses)Daredevil x5Ghanar Drraba
I'm prickly (First young person to lose a Succubus)Phantasm x1Void Metachron
This one, he has honour (Only member of his alliance to fly solo during event)Coercer x10Doctorkaba

Thursday 10 January 2013

Lowsec Survival Guide

The most common mistake that a new player can make on their first trip into low security space is to vastly underestimate the risk that's involved. An equally large number of people set out believing the polar opposite; that a trip into lowsec might be tantamount to suicide! The truth is that lowsec is dangerous - other players will actively hunt you, and you need to keep your wits about you at all times - however with some simple precautions even a new player can enjoy the excitement of lowsec life. In this article I'll explain the basics of how to survive and thrive in this hostile environment.

Tuesday 8 January 2013

Quick & Dirty - BC Changes

I was working on another post for tonight, but then Fozzie went ahead and published the proposed battlecruiser changes. I'm not going to spend too long on the ramifications since these are still open to modification (and likely will change again to some extent before they go live), but here's a quick rundown:

The Altruist is the Eve Online blog of Azual Skoll, PVP instructor and small gang PVPer.

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