Monday, December 31, 2012

Ganking 101: Fleet Commanding

If you're a Knight of the Order, you know how our gank fleets operate. You've seen the undock countdowns, the warping to insta undocks, and the Concord manipulation. You know most of what there is to know about commanding a gank fleet. However, many pilots are shy about taking responsibility for a fleet, particularly when there are murky areas of game mechanics that they haven't seen firsthand.

The purpose of today's post is to shed some light on what FCs see, that the other members of the gank fleet don't see. By removing a little of the mystery, hopefully more Knights will have the boldness to take a gank fleet out for a test drive. Remember, the more potential FCs we have, the more likely it is that at any given time we'll be able to field a gank fleet.

After undocking, the FC fleet-warps everyone to the insta undock bookmark. I like to have a few different instas in my collection, just in case one ever gets compromised. As you can see, the FC's warp interface is only a little different from the standard one. Just select "Warp Fleet to Location" instead of "Warp to Location". Yes, it's common for new FCs to accidentally click "Warp to Location" out of habit, which will cause the FC to warp off by himself. No big deal, just abort the mission and go back to station. Also, sometimes you may be Wing Commander or Squad Commander instead of Fleet Commander. Same interface, it will just say "Warp Wing to Location" or "Warp Squad to Location".

After landing at the insta undock location, the FC fleet-warps everyone to the warp-in. This is a little different: Instead of right-clicking in space, you right-click the member of the fleet that you want everyone to warp to. The options are nested under "Fleet". Select "Warp Fleet to Member" and you're good to go. Once again, don't select "Warp to Member", or you'll warp off without your fleet.

If your gank fleet is heading to another system, the fleet warp is performed as pictured above. That's all there is to it. From a game mechanics standpoint, this is the only special thing an FC does. Instead of waiting for someone else to fleet-warp you, you're the one who selects "Warp Fleet" from the menus.

A more important job for the FC is making the call whether to attack a particular target or not. Our scouts scan the fittings of Code violators and report what their tanks look like. Our Knights "x up" with DPS. Now you just need something to put those two things together.

I've previously written about EVE Fitting Tool (EFT), which can be downloaded at that link. If you load up a Mackinaw, Retriever, or whatever, you can set Character to "[All level V]" and see what the target's maximum EHP is, after plugging in their tank modules. But you'll want to set a "damage profile" by right-clicking where I put the green arrow. If you don't have one set up, click "Edit custom profiles..."

The damage profile I created is for Caldari Navy Antimatter, our standard ammunition. You can either put the numbers I listed, or just use 42 for thermal and 58 for kinetic. Our ammunition doesn't use EM or explosive damage. The reason damage profiles are important is that otherwise the EHP will be based on the four damage types averaged together. Also, our enemies often use tank modules that boost resistances specifically to thermal damage.

The target's "Effective HP" (next to the blue arrow on the earlier picture) tells you how many hitpoints the target has, adjusted for resistances. Now it's up to the FC to decide whether the gank fleet is likely to take down the target. Add up your fleet's total DPS (including your own). Then multiply it by 15, if Concord is pre-spawned. That will give you an estimate of the maximum possible damage your fleet will inflict in a 0.7 sec system.

For example, suppose your fleet has a DPS of 1,800. On paper, you can deal about 27,000 damage. However, that's on paper. If your target's EHP is near 27,000, you may not be able to kill the target; someone could accidentally forget to overheat, or have trouble locking the target, or miss the fleet warp, or go AFK instead of undocking, or have any number of problems.

I always like to leave some room for error. Besides, you'll need a little overkill if you want enough time left over to get the target's pod.

Bonus content! Here's some random tips that can apply to anyone, to reward you for reading this far. Remember how I mentioned Caldari Navy Antimatter? Well, for some reason, there's an ammunition not listed on EFT that's equivalent to it: Federation Navy Antimatter. It's often available when Caldari Navy is sold out, and it's usually cheaper, too. They inflict the exact same damage.

If you haven't saved fittings, do so. It makes refitting after your Catalyst gets blown up a lot easier. I have multiple fittings saved, including one that uses Prototype Sensor Boosters, since--like Federation Navy Antimatter--it's often cheaper and available when my regular option is sold out.

Another handy fitting trick: You can group guns while docked. Hold shift and drag a gun onto another gun. The "1" appears, indicating they're in group one. Drag each gun onto another gun with a "1" until they all have a "1". The reason this is useful is that you can load all the guns simultaneously with one drag of ammunition, rather than having to load X bullets into each gun, one at a time. Sadly, it's not possible to save groupings or ammunition in your fittings list. Get on that, CCP!

Lastly, saving your pod. If you know you're going to be Concorded, select a planet or customs office so that you can spam the "warp" button and get your pod out safely. This is easiest when undocking in a rookie ship to pull Concord. When you're in the middle of a gank and preoccupied with killing the target's ship and pod, it's harder. But if you remember where a planet is located on your screen, you can quickly click on it and start spamming warp when the police arrive. It's not possible to save your pod 100% of the time, but doing this makes it much more difficult for a vulture to catch you.

Shall I Compare Thee to a Nazi?

Rebel miners have a way with words. Normally they're AFK, so you don't see them use words. But when the New Order brings life into a system, you get to see the miners' talents for metaphor and imagery. Unfortunately, they usually direct that talent toward comparing the New Order to Hitler and Nazis. Today, let's celebrate the misguided Code violators who compared us to something other than Hitler.

One point to Ironfood TheHungry for the creativity of his analogy, but one point subtracted for not making the analogy clear enough. What's the point of comparison? Is selling mining indulgences like selling sex slaves?

MarAnt Antmar shows how it's done. Bizarre analogy, but he explains it.

A rebel miner compares us to Norwegian serial killer Anders Behring Breivik. He's not the first to be fixated on that comparison, and he misspells it. Did Breivik have a Code, though?

A sign of the times. Kim Jong-Un picks up where his father left off.

The fact that we allow miners to go AFK while using the bathroom is like making miners give up their daughters? Once again, the miner has it backward.

What? How did this get in here? No Hitler comparisons in this post, please.

It seems no matter how hard they try, they can't resist the Nazi references. Though I do appreciate Jean Pelletier's revealing comment at the beginning, where he implies botting is legitimate.

SPIONKOP can always be counted on to express his fury toward the New Order. I would advise against putting Amazon links like that into local. You're just going to encourage people to buy Hitler's book, and he'll get more money from royalties! Seriously though, let's get away from the Nazi comparisons and see if the miners can come up with some other way to describe the experience of being required to follow the Code. Just don't overdo it.

Whoa, dial it back!

Hmmm... Close enough.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dear Saviour of Highsec

In my quest to bring peace and love to highsec, I encounter all sorts of people. I also force them to encounter me. The New Order builds connections with players who might otherwise never have contact with anyone else. We don't believe EVE has a single-player mode. Some of the people we interact with are grateful, others less so. But no matter how famous I become, and no matter often people call me a "rock star", I always find the time to read my EVEmail. On occasion, I might even find the time to answer some of them. Join me, won't you?

KC Adoudel: I am Supreme Protector of five systems that I listed in my bio. As Father of the New Order and Saviour of Highsec (separate titles), I am also deemed Supreme Protector of all highsec systems.

According to Google Translate, this says "Come on dick jerk, and do not forget to fasten my bubble". shubras: highsec is a distinctly bubble-free zone. No need to anchor any.

Vailor: Please refrain from the use of colored text in EVEmail. It's hard to read, especially when I screenshot it in JPEG form.

ICE COLD CUBE: You carebears always tell me that either Concord is good for blowing up Knights, or bad for protecting bumper Agents. You can't have it both ways.

Hazmodan Amat: If you have enough self-control to cover your profanity with asterisks, it stands to reason that you could simply dispense with the profanity altogether.

Rampent: I agree with you on the "earthly" point, as I do have my feet planted firmly on the ground. I'm a pragmatist, and my efforts to build a paradise by ridding the galaxy of bots and bot-aspirants reflects this.

Nikola March: No dice. Those people you mentioned haven't said anything about free highsec in quite some time.

RICHARDofSCOTLAND: That's what she said!

Nexus Reign sent me this EVEmail in response to my notification that our gang killed his ship. To answer your question, we do our fleet comms in text. Some people are unable to speak or listen anyway, and our ganking operations are simple enough to coordinate in chat.

Civir Civirbl4: I'm still waiting on that radish.

Civir Civirbl4: Nice to hear from you again. But why are you trying to flip me the bird in the subject line with your ring finger?

A Diabetic: Yes, we charge money. But remember, it's the miners who benefit from paying us money. As far as CCP goes, I hope they are aware that MinerBumping has brought them far more subscriptions than they have lost. And the players who join the game are far better than those who leave it.

1strike: Yes, James 315 and Currin Trading both have bounties on their heads. James' bounty is over 1.6 billion isk and no one has been able to collect any of it. The only thing I want to know is, how are you going to collect bounties if you're busy mining "anywhere you want in the game"? In any event, the New Order has absolutely no intention of stopping people from mining. We merely require that if you mine in our systems (security 0.5 or above), you follow the Code. That's all.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Journey Begins

Agent Agent Eunoli has graced us with a fantastic video about the New Order:

New Order of Highsec - A Journey Begins

The video contains footage straight from the field, including both miner bumping and ganking by groups of Knights. Plenty of explosions and victories to be witnessed in this one. Don't neglect to make use of YouTube's higher-quality video settings. It's quite breathtaking. The title has it right--our journey to liberate highsec is only just beginning.

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

Thirty-Seven Billion in Shares Sold

The holiday season is traditionally a time of generosity and giving of gifts. That's certainly the case when it comes to the people of EVE. The isk is pouring in! Today we have an unprecedented Quintuple Supreme Protector's Tip of the Hat™ to award! The honor goes to mynnna, whose purchase of 4,444 shares sent us past the 33, 34, 35, 36, and 37 billion marks. mynnna, universally recognized as one of EVE's foremost economics experts, is now the New Order's largest shareholder. The Tips of the Hat are each well-earned.

The torrent of isk that has been dumped into the New Order's coffers in recent days is beginning to open up new possibilities. We've already been reimbursing the cost of our Knights' Catalysts, and that will continue indefinitely. The additional isk may make it feasible--in certain limited situations--to execute ganks against Orcas or other high-value, high-EHP targets in highsec, through the use of ganker Brutixes and/or Taloses. Much more info on that soon. In the meantime, Knights are advised to fully train up their T2 Catalyst capabilities. I know some of you are running out of skills to train, so further suggestions are forthcoming.

The Education of Brim Wilf, Part 2

Previously, on MinerBumping... Ice miner Brim Wilf was terminated by the Knights of the Order for the crime of unlicensed mining in highsec. Brim launched into a rant about the injustice of not being able to mine without interference in a sandbox game. Agents rushed in, hoping to save Brim from his distorted carebear view of EVE.

Brim wanted to know why I get to decide what the rules in highsec are. That part's easy, since I explained it way back in October. (Time flies, doesn't it?)

Ladorne Drakkare also had a bone to pick with me. He, too, had been killed that evening. Brim revealed that this wasn't the first time we had ever dealt with him. I can't keep track of all the names and faces of miners. I've bumped and killed so many people...

One of the most important aspects of our great movement is that our violence is non-random. If it were random, miners wouldn't have reason to change their behavior. But we follow the rule of law. That means the miners have good reason to follow the law, too.

Brim was disgusted by the thought of civilization and order in highsec. Ladorne plead ignorance.

Three different reactions to the New Order, all futile. Ladorne claimed he had no knowledge of the Code. That claim that might have flown a few months ago, before we became the talk of highsec. New Order Agents are rock stars now! Brim spouted Miner Bingo catchphrases. And Xirtic Emarfatem offered bad advice on how to avoid being ganked.

There's a major difference of opinion about what the low sec status of a Knight means. The carebears in local felt it implied some kind of negative moral judgment on us by CCP. But the Knights take it as a badge of honour. Our negative security status is the visible sign of the oath we've taken to defend the realm. Once you are clad in blinking red, there's no turning back.

It's true that most of our gankers take pleasure in killing. Some might say we have a need or compulsion to kill, or that we develop one after tasting miner blood. Whatever dark passengers we may carry with us, they are kept firmly in check by the strictures of the Code.

Ladorne's words prove he has lost all reason. At first, he weighs the death of his ship in economic terms, based on the couple hundred million isk he lost. But then he says he would rather quit the game than pay 10 million for a permit. So there's the value of the permit, the value of the ship, the value of his total assets accumulated from mining thus far, and the value of playing the game. How do they rank? They're all muddled in Ladorne's mind.

Note the confusion of the locals. They don't always understand our message when it is articulated to them in words. That's why it's so important to bump and gank miners. It's a form of communication. Different miners learn in different ways, so the New Order does not take a one-size-fits-all approach.

Consumed by anger and despair, Brim hopped into a ship and ineffectually attempted to bump Code-compliant miners. It was a tragedy. Brim became an incompetent, un-cool version of the thing he hated most.

Brim descended deeper into self-torment. He was overcome by nihilism.

Brim Wilf departed, having lost all sense of purpose, self, and meaning. It's a powerful demonstration of the truth that a miner who disobeys the Code is engaging in self-destruction. Miners of highsec, give up your 10 million, not your sanity!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thirty-Two Billion and a Goblin Appears

Everyone's seeing double in the New Order these days. Yesterday we had a Double Supreme Protector's Tip of the Hat™ offered to a new shareholder who purchased two billion isk worth of shares. And now it's happened again, as a second new shareholder earns a Double Supreme Protector's Tip of the Hat™ for purchasing 2,000 shares and sending us past the 31 and 32 billion marks.

Today's double accolade goes to Gevlon Goblin. For those of you unfamiliar with Gevlon, he is a longtime blogger who made the jump from World of Warcraft to EVE. Owing in part to the readership he built in the WoW community, Gevlon is perhaps the most widely-read EVE blogger. He is best known for rapidly earning large amounts of isk as a new player by trading in highsec, all while blogging openly about his trading methods.

Gevlon posted about the New Order on his blog, and he included several screenshots of Outuni local--whose miners had strong reactions to his bumping them out of the ice field.

The Threat in New Eden

Aspiring Agent Self Proclaimed sent me a link to his YouTube video about the New Order. This short, simple video highlights the threat being posed to the EVE galaxy each and every day. You can watch the video here.

With all the hubbub and tumult in highsec, it's good to occasionally stop and reflect upon what unites us all--our common enemy.

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

Thirty Billion in Shares Sold

It's a Christmas miracle! Over 30 billion isk worth of New Order shares have been sold. That's a lot of Catalysts! A not-unprecedented but still impressive Double Supreme Protector's Tip of the Hat™ to Lux Imperator, whose 2,000 share purchase put us past the 29 and 30 billion marks. He is now tied with Prencleeve Grothsmore for the biggest individual shareholder, and second biggest shareholder overall.

Way to go!

Highsec Miner Grab Bag #17

I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season. I don't have a segue or anything here, so let's dive right into the Grab Bag of miscellaneous miner tears!

You know you've made it when you're immortalized in ASCII.

Perpetual rebel miner Rokmal Serala was hoping for a Christmas truce. But that would require the Code violators to put aside their violations for the day, and they didn't do it. So the New Order blew up several billion isk worth of their stuff.

Even fleets of half a dozen Catalysts and multiple bumpers operating simultaneously don't convince some people that we're not all my alts.

Statistically, the more often a miner reads my name, the more likely he is to follow the Code and live a fulfilling life.

MadeinUSA Sotken is more pessimistic about the movement than most.

What's wrong with the way we speak? Verily I say unto thee, followeth the Code and save thine Mackinaw!

The James 315 = The Mittani meme is still out there. Some people are still sore about that whole Fanfest thing, which appears to have taken on a life of its own.

A post about a disgruntled miner somehow resulted in the user comment above.

I forgot to send a Christmas card to the GM team, so I guess Vailor's screenshot of me bumping him will have to do.

KC Adoudel, like so many, completely misinterprets our bathroom protocol. It's there to help you. To help you!

At some point, the miners do begin to realize the New Order can't be stopped. They cope in different ways. Weird metaphors are one such method.

Can there be any doubt that we are the leaders of the civilizing forces in highsec?

Granuaile O'Sullivan is furious about something I've done, and she takes issue with my use of the English language. Somehow I'm not offended by her criticism.

Biggie09 does a good job of articulating the carebears' beliefs about the sandbox: You should only blow someone up if they give you permission.

Like so many others, Chi Sho compares blowing up or bumping a miner to terrorism.

Well, that does it for this edition of the Grab Bag. Have a happy New Year every--

...Yeah, have a happy New Year.