Sunday, June 17, 2018

Kills of the Week

It was a truly terrifying week for the bots and bot-aspirants of highsec. Everywhere they turned, the valiant Agents of the New Order stood ready to oppose them. The Anti-Gankers, fleeing in panic whenever they were seen at all (which was, admittedly, a very infrequent occurrence), were unable to save the carebears from total destruction. That's an unbiased picture of how things went during the week of June 10th @ 00:00 EVEtime through June 16th @ 23:59 EVEtime.

Late last week, Angela Belvar managed to lose 1.6 billion isk on a Retriever. When you look at the fit, it's not obvious how Angela lost so much. There was a standard fail-fit yield tank, and some particularly bad rigs. But where's the bling? Agent Malbona Pomon discovered Angela's deepest, darkest secret hidden away in her ship's cargo:

Those pesky Michis! I guess Angela didn't know how to plug it in. It's also amusing to note that Angela was mining with tech I strip miners even though she had tech IIs in the cargo.

If you want to lose billions of isk hauling in highsec but you don't own a freighter, you can try Iskander Fireseed's method: Stuffing a bunch of cargo in a Deep Space Transport and going AFK. Agents Gandor Ironfist, iZaEaRl, Spazmongloid, Mongochicken, and Elvir didn't bring quite enough firepower to destroy a freighter, but thanks to the DST "meta", they didn't need to.

Bot-aspirants don't know the meaning of the word "elite". Our Agents do. They live it each and every day.

Countless freighters died in the fires set by our Agents this week. The freighter pilots, like BL00DYH3LL, didn't know what hit them--until they returned to their keyboards, that is. Agents Tax Collector Larry, Tax Collector HongMei, Taxman Daniel, Tax Collector AynRand, Tax Collector Fuemi, Tax Collector Kimi, Tax Collector Alison, Tax Collector Hill, Tax Collector Max, Tax Collector Aruka, Tax Collector Richard, Australian Excellence, Pod Destroyer Molly, Tax Collector KarlMarx, Tax Collector BokChoy, Tax Collector Kittens, Tax Collector Buck, Tax Collector Yuna, Tax Collector Shardani, Tax Collector Stroheim, Ding Dong MingMong, and Trump The King rode forth into glorious battle and delivered victory to the Code.

Carebears love to complain about our Agents "shooting ships that can't shoot back". As the case of Evan Cunningham shows, there's not a ship lethal enough to defend a carebear from an Agent. This time, Agent Krig Povelli managed to win a duel against a faction battleship. Evan used a rack of energy vampires instead of guns, but hey, that was his own choice.

Ragnarok Monster offers us another example of a battleship who bit the dust. He, too, had an eclectic fit. Then he had a screaming fit, after he realized he was defeated by Agents Lucy Inthesky, Alt 00, Aaaarrgg, Max August Zorn, Ernst Steinitz, YouDoneMessedUp, and Marcus Luttrell Khan.

Top damage went to the Orca. I wonder if those miners are starting to regret all the times they begged CCP to buff Orcas?

When a carebear loses a pod in bubble-free highsec, you know something went wrong. Not only did Sumeramikoto lose his pod in highsec, he lost it in a 1.0 security system. Agent Apo123 didn't fear dying to CONCORD; he had no reason to. He knew his cause was righteous.

Sumeramikoto lost a bunch of expensive implants that day. In truth, though, a carebear always loses his implants on the day he plugs them in. It's only a matter of time before an Agent comes along and makes the loss official.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Defined by the Decisions We Make

Highsec is all about choices.

Agent Ernst Steinitz was engaged in honourable Code enforcement activities in the asteroid belts of highsec when he was presented with a choice: Which of these ships should he gank?

Ernst made the decision to attack the hauler first; the mining vessels fled. As a result, an unlicensed 324 million isk Impel was destroyed, along with a pod containing 374 million isk worth of implants. How did he know which ship to target? Instinct.

Now let's look at another example. This time, Agent Ernst came across an Orca piloted by Rezka Stalker.

Some of you may remember Rezka as the "Russian poet" featured in a MinerBumping post from several months ago. Back then, Rezka was a mere Venture pilot. Now he has graduated to mining in an Orca with blingy drones. The lesson? Today's Venture is tomorrow's Orca. Gank them all.

When faced with Rezka's Orca, Ernst called in back-up from Agent Lawrence Lawton. Together, they arranged to separate the miner from his mining drones.

The result was an overwhelming victory. Ernst graciously shared some of the confiscated drones with Agent Lawrence.

Now let's look at a trickier decision point. Our Agent recovered an 'Aoede' Mining Laser Upgrade from the wreck of a miner he killed. Upon selling the module in Jita, he identified the buyer, one Covey Deninard.

If Covey's name sounds familiar, it's because he was also a repeat offender whose ignominy was reported by MinerBumping. Here's a sample to refresh your memory:
your pride will be your undoing...your ego is going to be you weak spot....I'm going you hurt you in EVE......make all the threats you want.....I'm an old disabled vet...I fight.....I bleed.......but I take you with me....swallow your pride and return what you took now........that is your only chance.......I do not keep my wealth in isk for you to look have no idea what is coming......but you can stop it....You preyed upon my geneerosity.....these things too make a real simply do not seem to have learned that.......but I am always willing to teach a small man like you....the train is coming.......the 1st wave will not seem small compaired to the second.......and I can count very high........
Two years later, Covey was back in action. However, when Agent Ernst located Covey, he was not piloting a mining ship--nor was he carrying the offending module. Ernst had a decision to make: Gank the miner now, or wait until later.

As a general principle, the best time to gank a miner is now. Though Covey was in a Nemesis at the time, Ernst was able to delete Covey's 1.2 billion isk pod, as well.

The pod kill made our Agent feel pretty good about his decision. But Covey saw a silver lining in his defeat.

Now it was time for the hunter to become the hunted.

...Or not. Covey pretended that the destruction of his stealth bomber and pod was part of an elaborate ruse to acquire a kill right on Ernst, a Catalyst-flying suicide ganker. Why was Covey still a Goofus after all these years? Because when faced with a decision point of his own, he failed: He chose not to follow the Code.

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Coolest Dude in EVE

Bumping serves countless practical purposes in EVE: Tackling freighters without triggering CONCORD, pushing miners out of mining range, and--perhaps most practical of all--enabling a ganker to get in touch with his roots.

Agent Vlad Putinkov picked up a Stabber Fleet Issue and meditated upon the Code while bumping an unlicensed miner named TalosTheKing. It worked.

Vlad eyed the miner carefully. To be sure, TalosTheKing was reluctant to purchase a permit. On the other hand, he did not turn into a volcano of rage upon hearing the name of the Saviour of Highsec. Further investigation was warranted.

TalosTheKing was weak-willed, even for a miner. A few bumps were enough to make him want to quit EVE forever.

Unused to emergent, player-generated content, highsec miners can become fixated on petty notions of "legitimacy". Luckily, the Code is indeed an actual thing.

Agent Vlad provided his credentials, which were of unspeakably high quality. But the miner was still uncertain.

TalosTheKing tried to remain calm. However, when the greedy miner thought about having to part with even a small amount of isk, he let slip a flash of anger.

TalosTheKing knew that if he remained in highsec, he would have no way to resist the awesome power of the mighty CODE. alliance. That much was clear. He tried to convince himself that he wasn't really a highsec miner--that he was something better.

The lonesome miner dreamed of being part of a powerful organization. That way, no one could tell him what to do ever again. That's how nullsec works, right?

What is it with highsec miners and RAZOR these days?

TalosTheKing had a sudden change of heart when our Agent raised the possibility of Code-noncompliance going on his permanent record. That would make it much more difficult for him to join a nullsec alliance.

After a quick Google search, the miner discovered that the Code is serious business. He quickly paid for his permit. Now the "new returning player" had a fighting chance.

It's true, I am a pretty cool dude. Some would say the coolest.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

You Can't Spell Toxic Without an X

Who has a problem with "James followers"? The bad guys, that's who.

Meet Culdaris Kahn X. He's an Anti-Ganker, which tells you most of what you need to know about him. Even among his fellow Anti-Gankers, he is known for being toxic. That's not good.

(Failed on both counts.)

Anti-Gankers rarely get along with anyone, but those who choose to inhabit the toxic environment of the Anti-Ganking channel get used to each other eventually. Somehow Culdaris managed to become notorious for being toxic, in a place where it's exceptionally difficult to stand out for that reason.

Since Anti-Gankers tend to be similar, they generally don't earn a reputation outside the channel--unless they have a funny origin story that got recorded on MinerBumping prior to their joining the channel.

Culdaris and his behavior caused enough disgust among enough of his fellow rebels that word began to reach our Agents. Agent Lawrence Lawton was particularly curious about the rumors that Culdaris had been caught making real-life death threats. He decided to investigate. Luckily, Culdaris was available for a quick interview.

Lawrence dove right into the heart of the matter. Culdaris denied the accusations by insulting the mighty CODE. alliance. That's not an effective way to make a denial, by the way. Innocent people don't usually go ranting about the government after they get charged with a crime.

Nevertheless, Lawrence gave Culdaris the benefit of the doubt. He tested the rebel by using a well-known litmus test: Invoking the name of the Saviour of Highsec. The results were conclusive.

Culdaris revealed that he held a personal grudge against me. As far as I can recall, I haven't interacted with him before. I suppose he must actually have a problem with the Code, then--and I can't help him with that.

Lawrence tested the miner yet again. Culdaris continued to fail. No wonder this guy is so unpopular.

Our Agent revealed to the troubled rebel a different path: His list of confiscated bling and the billions he'd made from them. Culdaris ignored it. Even wealth could not tempt him to improve his behavior.

Our Agent was genuinely curious as to why an Anti-Ganker would bother to persist in their failures day in and day out (and in some sad cases, year after year). Culdaris couldn't explain it.

The truth was, Culdaris himself probably couldn't understand why he tried (and failed) to oppose the New Order. Something was broken inside the rebel. Only the Code can fix it--if anything can.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

An Actual Thing

Score another one for the good guys. Only a few days into the game, Khudabai lost his first ship to Agent Revis Owen.

Now, those of you who are of a particular sensitivity and empathy may feel a bit of concern here. But don't worry about Agent Revis--he only sacrificed a gank Atron.

Genuine newbies can find EVE confusing. There's a lot that the tutorial doesn't teach you. The rest can be learned from our Agents.

Despite Revis' help, Khundabai was struggling. He seriously doubted his future in the game.

No one in EVE treats "newbros" as well as our Agents do. We're extremely accommodating--within limits. On some things, there cannot be any compromise. The Code, for instance.

It was clear that Agent Revis wasn't going to bend the rules of the Code. That meant Khundabai probably had no choice but to quit EVE forever. And if that happened, CCP would lose a source of good money.

...However, there was still one possibility. When all else fails, when all hope seems lost, there's still the Saviour of Highsec to consider.

Khundabai threw a Hail James 315 pass and wrote me an EVEmail. So much rested on that EVEmail.

Even though he probably had a sleepless night ahead of him, it was time for the newbie to log off and go to bed. He was tormented by dreams of PvP'ers killing him instead of NPCs. This miner clearly needed a change of perspective. A proper EVE player would much prefer to lose a ship in PvP than PvE.

It would be some time before the Saviour of Highsec would respond to Khundabai's EVEmail (this post qualifies, I guess). Luckily, Revis was ready to offer the miner some expedited assistance.

Revis introduced Khundabai to some good people. All of them confirmed that the Code is indeed legit, and that he definitely needed to buy a mining permit.

It's amazing what happens to a gank recipient's attitude when he realizes that he wasn't "griefed" or bullied. When he recognizes that he was brought to justice, the world changes for him. So our Agents continue to change the world.