Friday, February 27, 2015

The Strange Case of Dr. Compliant and Mr. Bot-Aspirant, Part 1

Mining permits are a hot-ticket item these days. Highsec is swarming with New Order Agents on the constant lookout for Code violations. Who wouldn't want to buy safety for their mining equipment--especially at such low, low prices?

A fellow named Doctor Schutz was mining away in the Leremblompes system with a fail-fit Venture. Agent Mildron Klinker is a pillar of the Leremblompes community, so he took it upon himself to put a stop the dastardly deed.

Our Agents see everything. In fact, Mildron had already been keeping a close watch on Doctor Schutz. Two days earlier, the good Doctor purchased a Covetor--from none other than Mildron Klinker. So after the Venture was destroyed, Mildron knew there was still an unlicensed Covetor unaccounted for. He swore he'd find it.

Several days later, he did. Doctor Schutz's fail-fit Covetor was brought to justice.

The Code is an acquired taste. Some miners become interested in the Code after they lose one mining ship. Other miners need multiple lessons. Having lost two mining vessels to the same Agent, Doctor Schutz was ready to talk.

It's like I always say: If you want to strike up a conversation with a silent carebear, suicide ganks are a great ice-breaker.

Unable to deny the importance of a mining permit, Doctor Schutz sent in the 10 million isk he owed.

At last, the miner was on the winning team. Mildron couldn't have been happier for him.

In no time at all, the newly compliant miner was reaping the benefits of New Order citizenship.

The Doctor's alt repaid Mildron's kindness by purchasing a mining permit. Excellent! Nevertheless, the Code isn't some scam that extorts 10 million isk from the miners; it demands so much more. To ensure that Doctor Schutz was fully committed to his new path, Mildron decided to make a surprise visit to Leremblompes.

The visit was supposed to be a fun little reunion, but it turned into a nightmare. Everything was as Mildron feared: Doctor Schutz and his alt were both mining AFK. As the minutes ticked by, Mildron hoped against hope that Doctor Schutz would respond in local. But he didn't.

Nearly 10 minutes after he was greeted in local, the silent pilot of a fail-fit Retriever was ganked.

Doctor Schutz finally returned to his keyboard, explaining away his absence by saying he'd been in corp chat. Then he sent Mildron a dreadful EVEmail. Was this an aberration, or a sign of things to come?

It was like Doctor Schutz was a completely different person. All traces of the permit owner Mildron once knew were gone. The spirit of compliance no longer flickered in the Doctor's eyes. In its place: Bot-aspirancy.

To be continued...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

MinerBumping Endorses Sabriz Adoudel and Xenuria for CSM10

It's that time of year again! The voting is open for CSM10. You can log in and vote for CSM10 candidates from now until March 10th. Remember, each account gets to cast its own vote.

As an Agent of the New Order, Sabriz Adoudel is an obvious choice for CSM. You can read Sabriz's official campaign thread, but membership in CODE. and loyalty to the New Order of Highsec are qualifications enough. Do you need to read anything else?

A note to members of voting blocs: I recommend putting Sabriz at the top of your ballot, ahead of the rest of your bloc's voting list. Even in the largest nullsec coalition blocs, only the top few candidates are likely to get any value out of your vote. On the other hand, if Sabriz is not elected to the CSM, the voting power moves down to the next candidates and your vote will be processed like any other member of your bloc.

A note to the disaffected: If you're on the fence about participating, I encourage you to take the few seconds needed to vote. This year, the field is filled with incumbents running for another term, so fewer spaces are available than usual. When you factor in the difficulty of not belonging to a large voting bloc (nullsec coalition, wormhole ballot, large alliance, etc.), the odds are stacked against Sabriz. Every vote counts.

Xenuria is our other endorsement this year, though it comes with a number of caveats. First of all, Xenuria doesn't really belong on the CSM. This endorsement isn't meant to suggest Xenuria would make a good CSM member. He wouldn't. In fact, you should probably leave Xenuria off your ballot.

All that having been said, a vote for Xenuria sends a word of caution to CCP. It reminds them that they shouldn't take the CSM for granted, and that whatever issues they may have in dealing with the CSM candidates who do get elected, things could be worse.

You can read Xenuria's official campaign thread, I guess.

As in the previous two elections, you find your candidates and drag&drop them into your order of preference. Vote for CSM10 at this link.


Jahyson Malone is a promising artist. Inspired by others who have submitted New Order artwork, Jahyson sent me this:

The full-size version is certainly worth the click. And if you're planning on making a visit to highsec, a mining permit is certainly worth the 10 million isk.

Permanent links to all New Order artwork may be found on the Links page.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Trial of Krimletch, Part 4

Previously, on MinerBumping... Krimletch was put on trial. He was found to be a bot-aspirant miner, and therefore obsolete. Because he'd been so rude to our Agents during the trial, he was also placed on the Red Pen list. This meant the miner owed 30 million isk for a mining permit instead of the usual 10 million. He paid 10 million and sent in an appeal.

The disrespectful miner's ego had been taken down a few notches since the convo. He wrote the single longest tearmail I have ever read.

And friend, I've read a few.

Like all angry miners, Krimletch claimed that he wasn't angry. If it weren't for killboards, the ganked miners would also claim that they had never been ganked. (See, for example, any message board or comment section where a miner can post anonymously. They hate the New Order and its gankers, but insist they've never been ganked.)

Uh oh. Krimletch's "appeal" went bad in a hurry. He admitted that he was rude to our Agents, but said he only did it to test them.

According to Krimletch, he was really a nice, polite miner who was only pretending to be a Goofus to see how people would react. Apparently everyone flunked his test, because instead of apologizing for his own behavior, he started complaining about everyone else's.

The miner, who was supposed to be giving me reasons why he should be excused from the Red Pen list, went into a lecture about how the Code should be changed.

Unfortunately for the miner, he is not the Saviour of Highsec. The Code was not his to write. Also unfortunate for Krimletch: I had the entire chatlog of his convo with our Agents. His allegations about their rudeness were unfounded.

Krimletch went on and on in this manner, blaming Agents for not treating him respectfully enough when he pretended to be rude.

As Krimletch's lecture continued, he even complained about the word "guilty" being used "so loosely" in the convo. Well, that's the risk you run when you're a guilty miner.

Yep, still going. At this point in the essay, you might be wondering how long it took Krimletch to write all of this stuff. The answer: Not as long as you'd think. Comparing the timestamps of the EVEmail and the convo, it actually took Krimletch less than an hour to put all this together.

In retrospect, that time wasn't very well spent. And no, it's still not over.

...Now it's over. In all, the essay was over 1,500 words. Remember, it took less than an hour for him to write it. As he reached the conclusion, he said he was hurrying because downtime was approaching. Considering all the effort he put into this, should Krimletch be let off the hook? I had a decision to make.

A few days later, while I was still considering the Krimletch matter, the miner returned to the asteroid belts. This was a bad idea, especially since he still owed 20 million more isk, pending the outcome of his appeal. He was ganked by Agent Guybertini. Of course, Krimletch played the victim.

On occasion, deciding the fate of the miners is easy. Despite the fact that I hadn't yet responded to Krimletch's titanic EVEmail, the miner told Agent Lord Mandelor that I "lifted" the penalty. His story was an unlikely one--who ever heard of a mining permit costing 15 million isk?

Krimletch was also asked about his bio, which made no mention of a mining permit. Then came another whopper: Krimletch said that I was no longer requiring miners to put permits in their bio. At Krimletch's suggestion.

Then the brash miner warned of dreadful consequences for the New Order, since miners can easily hire "protection agencies".

Still wondering about the outcome of the miner's appeal? Let's just say I have a feeling ol' Krimletch is going to remain on the Red Pen list for a long time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The 3800 Dollar Miner

The February Venture-Killing Contest is still going strong. Hundreds of these disproportionately botted mining frigates are going *POP* all over highsec.

Some feel it's inappropriate to shoot a Venture, since it might be piloted by a new player. But a pilot old enough to violate the Code is also old enough to obey it. Consider Shadows Knight, who had been playing EVE for a few days before she lost her Venture.

Agent Jack Van Impe is a chivalrous, gallant Knight. When he discovered that Shadows was a new player, he sent her some money to get a new ship. He even offered to train her how to fly a gank Atron--the same ship he'd used to kill her Venture. This is classic New Order: Helpful, informative, and polite. When you put good out into the universe, you get good back.

...Unless you're dealing with a highsec carebear, that is. Shadows refused the reimbursement money and threatened to get Jack banned for committing the crime of shooting a spaceship in a spaceship-shooting game. The miner wasn't keen on the whole "violence" aspect of EVE. If only she knew about it before she pre-purchased an entire year's subscription.

Jack wasn't intimidated by Shadows' threat to get him banned from the game. Gankers get these kinds of threats all the time. You'd be surprised how many miners truly believe it's against the rules to shoot someone in highsec. Our hero maintained his courteous demeanor and sent Shadows additional information about the game. Now that the carebear had spent some time cooling off, maybe she would appreciate it.

...Or not. Shadows claimed to have spent the last five days trying to complete the tutorial. (I know things have changed since I was a newbie, but I don't recall the tutorial being quite that long.) In addition, Shadows was going to cancel thirty accounts.

Jack kindly pointed out that the carebear was ganked while mining in a 0.7 security system. A detour from the "tutorial", perhaps? Even so, Agent Jack tried to help her understand EVE. This time, Shadows didn't reply for an additional hour. Perhaps she was really giving the matter some thought.

...No, the miner was busy complaining to CCP--probably bending their ears with stories about her thirty accounts.

Jack sent one more EVEmail, this time with detailed instructions about avoiding ganks in highsec. He concluded by telling Shadows that he would help her do something other than mining. Could Shadows Knight become a proper Knight?

...Unlikely. The newbie boasted about cancelling 32 accounts and $3,800 worth of EVE subscriptions. All because of one lost Venture. You know, that's a lot of money to invest in a game you've never played before, especially when a two-week trial is available for free. Jack didn't have the heart to tell Shadows how many Ventures she could've bought with $3,800 worth of PLEX.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Trial of Krimletch, Part 3

Previously, on MinerBumping... Krimletch was given the punishment he deserved for illegal mining in highsec. He dismissed his obligations under the Code, preferring to repeatedly call our Agents "peasants" instead. His informal chat with two Agents expanded into a full-blown trial.

Eventually, Krimletch realized he was on trial. It was probably all the intense questioning by the Agents in the convo that clued him in.

The miner tied himself in knots. First he claimed to be a new player, despite having an EVE account for two years. Then he said he was kicked out of his corp for not playing, but denied having AFK tendencies. Now he had to explain his possession of implants.

Krimletch said that he used PLEX to buy whatever items he thought were "interesting"--even if he didn't understand the nature of said items. Classic RMT behavior. Krimletch looked incredibly guilty.

Krimletch railed against in the injustice of it all. He was a misunderstood miner, mistreated by the system.

In his passion, Krimletch refused a fair plea bargain. He demanded an apology from the gankers. Since the panel of judges consisted entirely of suicide gankers, this didn't go over very well. Nor did the "I would have paid" line.

Still intent on putting the system on trial, Krimletch cast aspersions on the noble Knight who had ganked him so righteously. Not that there's anything wrong with being a pirate. This is EVE, after all.

The Agents who presided over the trial looked upon the unruly miner and shook their heads. His conduct in the courtroom was enough to condemn him.

At last, Krimletch finished his soliloquy about the New Order's cruelty and injustice. No one applauded, though. The speech probably would've gotten a warmer reception in the Anti-Ganking channel; this just wasn't the appropriate venue for it.

Despite the insults, our Agents maintained their objectivity. They considered the case carefully and weighed the evidence. Krimletch was clearly a bot-aspirant, a miner whose sole objective was to mindlessly grind isk in 100% safety. Our Agents determined that the Code had made such a playstyle obsolete in modern highsec. Obsolete!

Krimletch's energy was spent. His oration against the Code had exhausted him, physically and emotionally. He admitted that he had been rude.

Now the miner, like so many others before him, went back on his promise never to pay for a mining permit. He meekly requested instructions for making his payment.

Unfortunately, his bad behavior during the course of the trial had gotten him into more serious trouble. Now he owed 30 million isk.

Parsimonious to the very last, Krimletch chose to pay 10 million isk and await the outcome of an appeal--rather than paying the full 30 million so he could go back to mining immediately.

And so it was that Krimletch wrote his request to be excused from the Red Pen fee. The EVEmail turned out to be the longest such mail ever written to highsec's ruler. Yes, even longer than toad trotter's epic masterpiece. But would it be persuasive? Or would it be a bunch of self-pitying, unrepentant nonsense?

To be continued...