Friday, January 31, 2014

Lynch Pinned

Not much happens in highsec that I don't hear about. Having omnipresent Agents makes keeping track of the hundreds of thousands of highsec residents a lot easier. Is having total knowledge of highsec excessive? Not at all. It's necessary, if we're going to achieve 100% Code-compliance. Which of course we are.

Agent Alyth Nerun reported that he had been randomly contacted by notorious highsec scofflaw Capt Lynch.

Alyth hadn't had any previous interaction with Lynch, yet Lynch went out of his way to insult him. If he followed his pattern, this would be the part where Lynch turns around and accuses the New Order of harassing him.

In some ways, Lynch is a microcosm of the highsec community. There are ups and downs. It's a bit like a rollercoaster: One day a happy family of four is fully Code-compliant, and the next day they're violating the Code. Lynch was apparently going through another of his anti-Order phases.

Later, Alyth spotted Lynch in a remote corner of highsec. Lynch followed him! Alyth was still perplexed, so he asked Lynch about his history.

Lynch maintained his innocence. It's true that a corp theft committed by a New Order awoxer was once pinned on Lynch, resulting in Lynch's expulsion from the corp. He's been expelled from a lot of corps, though, so it was bound to happen sooner or later anyway.

During the course of their conversation, Lynch admitted that he funds his EVE activities solely through the purchase of PLEX, which he buys with real money and sells for isk. Classic RMT.

Bizarrely, Lynch still needed to mine ore. He actually paid real money so he could get isk... and then spent his time mining for more isk. When we first encountered Lynch back in 2012, he gave us the old "I'm not a highsec miner, I'm just mining in highsec" line. What excuse would he have this time?

Seeing Alyth's bumping Stabber in the belt, Lynch switched into a Venture so he wouldn't risk bump. Mining highsec ore in a Venture--a sorry fate for a 2009 character.

Still trying to untangle the enigma that is Capt Lynch, Alyth directed his attention to a MinerBumping post from the day before. In the post, Lynch had convo'ed me to tell me about his plans for an anti-miner mercenary corporation. Now he was mining for someone's corporation.

Lynch was sensitive to threat of being expelled from his latest corp. But in a rare moment outside of his default "victim" mode, Capt Lynch admitted that he had singled out Alyth for harassment.

...After which he immediately backpedaled and made up a story about the corp being located where Alyth happened to be. Classic Lynch.

Playing it safe, Alyth logged onto a ganker alt a few hours later and killed Lynch for the crime of illegal mining. After all this time in the presence of the New Order, Lynch still doesn't know how to tank a mining barge, it seems.

Within days, Lynch had been expelled from his corporation. He probably blames the New Order for this. He shouldn't. The New Order rules highsec, but highsec residents still need to exercise personal responsibility.

Several days later, I wrote a stirring series of MinerBumping posts about the New Order's path to victory. Lynch responded by using his alt, Dasha Naari, to post a complaint thread about the New Order on EVE-O entitled, "James 315... professional troll?"

Lynch's alt repeatedly denied being Lynch, despite the posts being written in his typical style and relating an anecdote about CCP calling the police to his house. (Not many anti-Order rebels have experienced that, other than Lynch.)

Then, a few days later, Lynch biomassed the alt and re-registered it. Nobody ever said saving highsec would be easy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dear Agent Guybertini

Agent Guybertini is a Knight of the Order. Where other elite PvP'ers might care only for killboard statistics, Guybertini takes greater pride in the virtues of honour, valour, and chivalry.

But the bot-aspirants of highsec do not. If you can't tie a specific isk value to honour and chivalry, they must have no value at all, they think.

Here's the thing, though: Guybertini strongly believes these bot-aspirants can be saved. And in reforming the carebears, in rebuilding their character from the ground up and teaching them how to play EVE properly, highsec can be saved.

I've written before that the New Order will win because of its infinite endurance. Guybertini gets it.

If you look at the history of nullsec, you see a lot of villainy and betrayal. People sell out their own allies and leave them to die. You know what's impressive about the Agents of the New Order? They show compassion to their own enemies. We treat our foes better than most people treat their friends.

The fact that our kindness so often goes under-appreciated makes it all the more impressive.

But if we weren't so amazing and inspiring, we'd never have been able to change highsec as much as we have.

On a routine patrol of the Jaschercis system, Guybertini discovered Tainted Dragon mining in one of the most bizarre and unnatural Retriever fits I've ever seen. Guybertini gave Tainted Dragon a Christmas present by assisting him in the disposal of the Retriever. Like all good Christmas presents, it was a surprise.

Guybertini sent Tainted Dragon an EVEmail with some helpful tips on fitting a better Retriever. In particular, he pointed out the empty "mining permit" slot. TD rejected his advice, but didn't say specifically how he disagreed with it. That's a thing people do when they've lost the argument.

TD was now broke, or so he claimed. Guybertini was unimpressed. What about all of the blood money TD had made while illegally mining? Guybertini rightly called TD out on his "'woe is me, I am penniless' pauper schtick".

TD claimed the New Order had turned day-to-day living into "bankruptcy and despair". Then he announced the imminent destruction of the New Order at the hands of an army of "10s of thousands of miners". Since this EVEmail was sent over a month ago, I think it's safe to assume that the miners of highsec will, in fact, lay down to our "capitalist piggly bullshit". That's a relief!

Tainted Dragon abruptly ended the budding pen pals' relationship by dismissing the Code and repeating his warning that the New Order's days are numbered. I agree with TD on one point: The New Order's days are numbered. The only question is, can anyone count to a number that high?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mobile Karma Units

In the latest Kills of the Week post, Agent Lord Kailethre made an impression with his solo kill of a Damage Control Unit-fitted (but not permit-fitted) Orca.

As I said in the post, no wardecs, kill rights, can-flipping (to the extent that even still exists), or dueling mechanics were involved. Just good ol' fashioned solo PvP--in highsec of all places!

Behold the power of the Code: An illegal Orca was transformed into a lifeless wreck, the fate of all enemies of the New Order. In a sense, our Agents do not "kill" the bot-aspirants; they simply bring out the inner truth that the carebear was already dead inside.

Mobile Tractor Units (MTUs) were introduced in the Rubicon expansion. Their purpose is simple: They collect the contents of nearby wrecks and containers. Does that sound bot-aspirant in nature? You'd better believe it. Yet it's in the nature of the New Order that we turn the instruments of bot-aspirancy against the carebears. It's called karma.

Highsec miners love to use drones to automatically kill NPC rats when they appear in the asteroid belts. Automated gameplay fits their view of how EVE should be: A risk-free, effort-free money counter that ticks upward without end.

By default, drones are set to "aggressive", which means that if someone attacks you, your drones will counter-attack automatically. For miners, this means if NPC rats attack them, their drones will destroy the rats, even if the miner is AFK. But aggressive drones will also defend the owner's property--including MTUs.

Unlike containers, MTUs are attackable by anyone, without CONCORD intervention. Which means you can attack an MTU and automatically be counter-attacked by a miner's aggressive drones. This gives you permission to engage the miner himself, without CONCORD's interference.

In short, an illegal Orca with aggressive drones can easily be converted to its proper state. A new means of serving up fresh justice in highsec is born! The same principle applies to bot-aspirant mission-runners, as well.

Agent Herr Wilkus, known for his mastery of the "boomerang" gank technique, has seen CCP take many actions to placate the carebear masses. He believes CCP is likely to eliminate the latest source of highsec fun. Agents are advised to make use of it well, while they still can.

UPDATE: As of today's patch notes: "Drones that are set to aggressive will no longer perform automatic actions against a target if those actions would trigger a new Limited Engagement, unless explicitly instructed to engage that target."

Herr Wilkus knows CCP only too well!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Officer Tear Drops

People tell the New Order to "try shooting something that can shoot back", but they forget about the miners' drones. Agent Krominal gloriously sacrificed his gank Catalyst, which had come under heavy assault from illegal miner Tri'Jaa Jarick's Mackinaw's tech II drones. Krominal's sacrifice paid off, as the Mackinaw was destroyed, never to threaten highsec again. CONCORD was also involved in this engagement.

The New Order won the battle. We're accustomed to winning battles, but unlike some other EVE entities, we don't make a habit of gloating about it. Agent Keraina Talie-Kuo moved swiftly to repair the rift between Krominal and Tri'Jaa by sending Tri'Jaa an informative olive branch:

Pirates and bullies don't send messages like these. Only the good guys do. That much should have been plain to Tri'Jaa; now nothing stood in the way of her becoming a member of civilized society.

And yet... As in the case of pods, which can be worth nothing or multiple billions, you never know what you're going to get with a carebear. (Note: The 100 million isk bounty on Tri'Jaa was added after the events I'm about to relate. This doesn't bode well for the carebear. But then again, neither does the title of this post.)

Tri'Jaa was down one Mackinaw for the day, but she still had an ample supply of exclamation marks from which to draw upon.

It's so weird that carebears say "you can't stop me" after we stop them from doing things. Keraina gently corrected the former Mackinaw owner. Now Tri'Jaa was at a crossroads. She could change her ways, or she could continue shedding tears.

Tri'Jaa was willing to replace some of her profanity with dashes. Judging by the number of dashes she continued to use, she was angrier about the loss of her Mackinaw than the average nullsec pilot is about losing an empire. The anti-Order petitions continue to flow; Tri'Jaa concluded by announcing she would get Keraina banned for harassment.

It's not for no reason that the New Order has lost zero Agents to harassment petitions (and every other kind of petition, for that matter). We know not to abuse the EVEmail system--or the English language.

After yet more fascinating carebear tears were shed, Tri'Jaa blocked Keraina and put the matter in CCP's capable hands.

Word of the tear drops got around, and controversial Jita businesswoman Erotica 1 took the opportunity to weigh in. She was personally offended by Tri'Jaa's real-life death wishes. Since Tri'Jaa had blocked only Keraina--and not the entire CODE. alliance--Erotica 1 assumed that Tri'Jaa intended for a line of communication to remain open. Perhaps by now Tri'Jaa had cooled off enough to see things more clearly. Erotica 1 closes billion-isk deals every day, so she was optimistic about being able to reach a settlement.

Astonishingly, Tri'Jaa still had tears left to give. So very many of them.

With more questionable use of the "block" feature, Tri'Jaa isolated herself further from the EVE community. In times like these, I find that carebears benefit from more interaction with the New Order, not less. Still, Tri'Jaa made her decision. Her mining vessels, should she continue to use them, remain at risk in highsec. If she loses another, will she yield more tears, or is she all tuckered out? Let's hope it never comes to that.