Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kills of the Week

There was stiff competiton for the Kills of the Week over the last seven days. Numerous freighters and carebears of all kinds exploded across highsec. The oft-arrogant incursion runners felt the sting of Code justice, and were duly chastened. Today, I'd like to highlight just a handful of the delicious New Order victories from the week of November 23rd @ 00:00 EVEtime through November 29th @ 23:59 EVEtime.

If seeing Creare Iniziare's 5 billion isk travesty of a Vindicator doesn't make you realize the importance of the Code, I don't know what will. It's bot-aspirancy taken to a whole new level. Luckily, some friendly neighborhood Agents were camping the system and provided what was needed. Agents loyalanon, Gohman Patrouette, Ralph Abre-Kai, ELicken, Walter Kramer, Ilithyia Borgia, John E Normus, Held der Finsternis, Gallie Credraven, Braggs Seyllin, Quaker Oatmeal, Sasha Cohenberg, and Lament von Gankenheim deserve maximum praise for this kill.

Need to vomit in a hurry? Try some ipecac. If that doesn't work, check out Miss Martin James's mining Megathron. WARNING: Consult a doctor, or better yet, an Agent of the New Order. Agents > doctors when it comes to highsec medicine. Agents GrifterEx, Agent Kailethre, Lord Mandelor, and Maqari Kinraysuwa treated their patient to some antimatter--and wrote a prescription for a mining permit.

Notice anything wrong with this freighter? If so, you're doing better than Shell Coldcinder, who apparently didn't realize you can't put a Damage Control Unit on a freighter. Nor can you travel with a freighter through highsec without a mining permit. The end result was predictable, but still glorious. Agents Walter Kramer, loyalanon, John E Normus, ELicken, Braggs Seyllin, Ilithyia Borgia, Gohman Patrouette, Nanny State, Misty Stenier-Tian, Ralph Abre-Kai, Lament von Gankenheim, Sasha Cohenberg, Quaker Oatmeal, and Held der Finsternis heroically won their PvP engagement against Shell Coldcinder.

Heinrich Floss wasn't carrying much in his freighter. It was only a handful of items, and they were all cheap. But this kill was very significant, and it cost Heinrich a lot more than you might imagine. You see, Heinrich was being tested.

...Tested for greed. Heinrich failed. He accepted the courier contract, got blown up, and lost the 900 million isk collateral--which was paid to our Agent, who set up the contract. Agents Jack Van Impe, Porky, loyalanon, Globby, Axel Plathe, Sophia Soprano, Held der Finsternis, Sasha Cohenberg, and Jason Kusion served as greed test proctors.

A gank always reveals what's truly in the heart of a carebear, doesn't it? Zeur Primus was casually abusing highsec with his billion isk anti-tanked Orca. Did he put a "GF" in local after it was destroyed?
Zeur Primus > you never met me
CODE Agent AC > My guns state that I met you at least once.
Zeur Primus > you know what sucker punch means baby
Zeur Primus > enjoy it
Zeur Primus > your like 13.. enjoy
CODE Agent AC > 13 as in my age?
Zeur Primus > everytime you undock.. myself and a gang will be waiting.. lol the more you strike the more we know your names and alts .. its not a winning strat
Zeur Primus > come to provi.. we will fix you up
Rather than congratulating our Agents on a fight well fought, Zeur chose to play the "powerful friends in nullsec" card. Only, instead of appealing to powerful friends, he appealed to the Providence bloc. (Don't be surprised; highsec miners look upon the Providence bloc with a sense of awe.)
CODE Agent AC > I've done more in null than you have.
Zeur Primus > omg code.. i smell pussy
Zeur Primus > dammit code.. this is a game for me
Zeur Primus > did your daddy abuse you.. ? come now be a man
Zeur Primus > i smell pussy
CODE Agent AC > No you witnessed fun.
Zeur Primus > i fuck pussy
Zeur Primus > i see easy unchivalrous kills
Zeur Primus > and a quaint niche that will not last
Like so many miners before him, Zeur predicted the end of the New Order. He doesn't think we'll last. Agents John E Normus, Zasar, Nitetime Video, loyalanon, CODE Agent AC, Gallie Crendraven, Norek Crendraven, Gohman Patrouette, Sophia Soprano, Quaker Oatmeal, BeBopAReBop RhubarbPie, and Martyr Oira proved that the New Order has a lot more staying power than Zeur's Orca.

Zeur was so impressed by his encounter with our Agents that he updated his bio.

MetalFoX Tazinas's 4.5 billion isk set of Genolution Core Augmentation implants went pop. When Agent RingPiece Raider asked him to purchase a permit like everyone else, MetalFoX's temper went pop, too.
MetalFoX Tazinas > You two have made a very, bad mistake.
MetalFoX Tazinas > I have 5 friends in your system in battlecruisers waiting for you.
RingPiece Raider > sorry why my friend?
MetalFoX Tazinas > And the cost of them implants to me is pocket change.
RingPiece Raider > Sorry can i refer you to management if you are not satisfied?
MetalFoX joined the long list of rebels who threatened to do something to stop the New Order. But as the last week has shown, no one can do anything to stop the New Order. No one.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Highsec Miner Grab Bag #68

Some critics call the New Order a bunch of "tear harvesters", as though our goal is to make carebears cry. I find this accusation amusing. It's like saying a personal trainer's goal is to make his client's muscles sore. The New Order's objective is to save highsec, including the carebears. We're here to pump them up, to make them stronger. If, in the process, they shed some tears, that's a side effect also associated with the victims of nullsec conquests. But I will admit that the carebears cry more. Luckily, we've got Grab Bags.

For nearly two and a half years, the New Order has swept, unchecked, across highsec. Carebears haven't given up on the idea that we're violating the EULA. They merely assume CCP is very slow to catch on.

At the heart of bot-aspirancy: The idea that no player can impose anything on another player in highsec. They believe anarchy is mandatory.

Miners also believe the "James 315 nonsense" isn't part of the game. However, it's not up to the carebear to decide what is and is not part of the game. No one's ideas are more a part of the game than mine. In highsec, I am EVE.

Of course, it's silly of the bot-aspirants to object to the New Order and its ideals. The carebear has no ideals--or ideas--of his own, so why not adopt ours, and live?

Carebear Raknar Obrien came to our Agents with a disturbing report: The New Order is against a provision in the EULA. The provision clearly states that "culting" is forbidden "in the New Have and EVE platform". A citation was needed.

Unfortunately, Raknar disappeared before our Agents could obtain a copy of his extraordinary document.

I know what people say about judging a book by its cover, but I have yet to read a pleasant EVEmail with "Butt Fucker" in the subject line.

Mick has a "buddy" with a titan. In one "blast," it can destroy an entire corporation. It must be nice to have buddies in high places!

Ketsuo Rotsuda was AFK autopiloting in his pod through my territory. He was promptly ganked. At least he had the balls to AFK autopilot solo. Unlike all those pods who travel in groups. What do you call a pack of pods, anyway? A pod pod?

Actually, Agent Piir8 does engage in a lot of solo PvP. Maybe Ketsuo doesn't consider it "solo" if you've got the full power of the Code behind you.

I told you all when we first encountered her, that Dream Five was special. She doesn't give up.

And yet, maybe she's softening her anti-Order stance a bit. Don't be shocked if one day you see Dream Five trade in her freighter business for a little freighter ganking.

In the end, no carebear is beyond our ability to save. Some take a few more beatings than others, but they all get it eventually. The New Order is their Order, too.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Smart Bombs, Dumb Miners, Part 1

Just another dead Hulk, killed for failing to obey the Code. The usual, right?

Uh-oh, here we go again...

Our Agents are always at the cutting edge of developments in anti-carebear tactics and technology. When a very compact group of Hulks was spotted, it provided an opportunity for our Agents to test out their smartbombs. It never hurts to add another technique to our arsenal.

As luck would have it, the Hulks contained implant-rich pods. This was unfortunate for the miners, since all the pods popped.

Agents Braggs Seyllin, Held der Finsternis, Ilithyia Borgia, John E Normus, Martyr Oira, and loyalanon performed masterfully. According to the battle report, approximately 11 billion isk was vaporized in this smartbomb attack.

The miners belonged to a single player. Fwydatt Masech initiated a private convo with Agent Ilithyia, demanding an explanation.
Ilithyia Borgia > hello
Fwydatt Masech > I am curious how did you guys figure out you had to use Battleships to kill me
Fwydatt Masech > I have never seen one of you guys near my ships before
Ilithyia Borgia > We are CODE, we know
Fwydatt Masech > so you work for ccp and cheated?
Fwydatt was hostile right from the start. He leveled an outrageous accusation against our Agents: He believed the only reason they knew how much damage to apply to his semi-tanked Hulks was by cheating. Could the destruction of these miners become the next t20 scandal?
Fwydatt Masech > well I have to say I am impressed
Ilithyia Borgia > Well thank you
Fwydatt Masech > I doubt many people pull hard enough to get people to waste megahorons on hulks
Ilithyia Borgia > It was not a waste
Ilithyia Borgia > We do whatever is necessary to ensure compliance with the Code
Fwydatt Masech > code?
Ilithyia explained that the Agents' goal wasn't to spend as little isk as possible, but to enforce the Code. Fwydatt claimed not to know about the Code--despite having spent the last three and a half years of his life mining in highsec.
Ilithyia Borgia >
Ilithyia Borgia > Perhaps you have heard of us?
Fwydatt Masech > no actually could give a crap less about people who make a living and ego trip about this kind of thing I like to mine simple easy ooo wait supplying people like you what a twisted system but you still never answered my question
Fwydatt Masech > how did you find out it required battleships to gank me
Ilithyia Borgia > All non-code compliant miners deserve to have their ships destroyed
Ilithyia Borgia > The means is irrelevant
Fwydatt Masech > I was compliant
Although he'd supposedly never read the Code or heard of the New Order before, Fwydatt was confident that he was in full compliance. Typical miner.
Ilithyia Borgia > Did you have permits for all you miners?
Fwydatt Masech > never will
Ilithyia Borgia > Then you are not code-compliant
Fwydatt Masech > then I will simply quit paying eve ... bummer
Ilithyia Borgia > And your mining fleet was destroyed
Fwydatt Masech > its 150 bucks a month I can go to the movies with
Ilithyia soon realized Fwydatt was the kind of miner who likes to escalate things as quickly as possible. Fwydatt immediately threatened to quit the game. If he's really spending $150 per month to mine in highsec, quitting might not be the worst thing. However, since every EVE player's primary goal these days is to maximize CCP's subscription revenue, we're not supposed to entertain such thoughts.
Fwydatt Masech > I will not be held hostage like this and if you used ccp insider info to do it
Fwydatt Masech > I hope you get your accounts jaked
Ilithyia Borgia > If your EVE experience consisted of mining you are probably better off watching high quality cincema
Fwydatt Masech > in your opinion
Fwydatt Masech > in mine it is a way to destress and relax
Ilithyia Borgia > Have you ever heard of miner-bingo?
Fwydatt Masech > nope I kind of keep to myself
Ilithyia Borgia > Well you are playing now
Fwydatt insisted multiboxing miners in highsec is a great way to relax and relieve stress. This surprised Ilithyia, because Fwydatt didn't seem very relaxed. Personally, I'd say going to the movies is a better way to relax. I've found highsec miners to be in a state of perpetual agitation.
Fwydatt Masech > I offer orca bumps to folks I find in belts often leave bags of ore behind for them and keep destressing and mining
Ilithyia Borgia > So about your permits...
Fwydatt Masech > will never be purchased
Fwydatt Masech > if I spend any money it will be in the billions on bounty for all of you
Ilithyia Borgia > Just think - a 70 mil isk investment could have saved you over 10 bil in ships and implants
Fwydatt Masech > I would spend 10 bill on bounties
Fwydatt Masech > before I spent a dime on being held hostage
In the context of a conflict with the Barbary pirates, Americans had a similar saying: "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute." They ended up paying the pirates. Eventually, the miners always pay, too. (We're not pirates, though.)
Fwydatt Masech > ever see that movie Ransom?
Ilithyia Borgia > If we did it once
Ilithyia Borgia > we will do it again
Fwydatt Masech > you will cost eve money
Fwydatt Masech > because if you wish to harrass me out of the game
Fwydatt Masech > so be it but I will not pay you anything now later or ever
Ilithyia Borgia > How have you been harrassed?
Fwydatt Masech > um lets see you just sank my fleet with what you say is insider info
Indeed, Fwydatt's mining fleet "sank"--in all directions, at high speed--and he believed this was harassment. The miner who kept to himself and didn't know about the Code, but he parroted the "Ganking Is Bullying" nonsense instinctively. For some reason, he thought Ilithyia claimed to have insider info. Fwydatt was the source of his own conspiracy theory, and now he imagined he'd gotten it confirmed by the ganker.
Ilithyia Borgia > We own highsec
Ilithyia Borgia > If you want to mine in our space you must comply with our rules
Fwydatt Masech > no you wander highsec
Fwydatt Masech > pissing people off
Fwydatt Masech > feeling better about yourself and the isk you have to do it
From a certain perspective, Fwydatt seemed like a hopeless case. He saw conspiracies everywhere, felt bullied, refused to pay anything for his mining privileges, and threatened to quit the game. Was it impossible to convince Fwydatt to obey the Code? Some would say so. Yet our Agents do the impossible every day. Ilithyia was determined to make this miner see reason. Would she succeed? Or would everyone's accounts get "jaked" for cheating?

To be continued...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Knight Before Christmas

It's easy to celebrate Thanksgiving when you're a member of the New Order. We have so much to be thankful for: Family and friends, fellow Agents, the Code, and, of course, me and everything I've done. It's hard to imagine what highsec would be like today if it weren't for me--it's probably better not to think about it too much.

Having been duly thankful, it's time to officially mark the beginning of the Christmas season. No one celebrates it quite like the New Order. We do something very special around this time of year; we enforce the Code, which is special no matter when you do it.

Recently, Kaely Tanniss was contemplating the nexus between Christmas and the Code. (This is a natural thing to do if you're an Agent of the New Order.) Inspired, Kaely wrote the following poem. Please enjoy.

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all throughout EVE,
A miner was harvesting, with a sense of reprieve.
He harvested his minerals and mined without care,
Not knowing CODE. Agents soon would be there.
With a quick glance at local, the system seemed dead,
"But high sec is safe," still stuck in his head.

With he in his Retriever, and CODE. on their way,
He settled into mining and was soon AFK.
Over his speakers arose such a clatter,
He raced back to his screen to see what was the matter.
Back to his keyboard he flew with a flash,
As a bumper sped toward him and hit with a crash.

He knew he was in trouble, with nowhere to go,
As a group of Catalysts approached from below.
He tried to align to make his escape,
But there was no avoiding the impending gang rape.
The Catalysts approached him so stealthy and slick,
He knew that his end soon would come quick.

When out of nowhere old James 315 came,
He whistled and shouted and called Agents by name.
"Now Loyal, now Lament, now DJ and John E,
On Borgia, on Sasha, on Wolf and AC.
Put an end to this violator and answer the call,
Now fire away, fire away, fire away all!"

As dry leaves before the hurricane fly,
Antimatter bursts soon lit up the sky.
Around the miner the CODE. Agents flew,
Unloading their blasters, James 315, too.
It didn't take long for the miner drop,
As he blew with a flash and a whimpering pop.

What's left of his Retriever was nothing but dust,
As he voiced his opinions of hate and disgust.
He responded with obscenities and insults abound,
As they explained in his bio a permit was not found.
He cried out in local with defiance and tears,
As the Agents responded with laughter and cheers.

The poor miner's mood was not at all merry,
After all, he was popped, like a young virgin's cherry.
He cried, he yelled, he responded with threats,
But the Agents just shrugged--there were no regrets.
They offered him a permit but were met with his jeers,
As their offers for a solution only fell on deaf ears.

He refused the CODE. Agents, still stuck in denial,
He made more excuses and threats with such guile.
With the miner still yelling and being so vocal,
Old James said with a smile, "Please stay clean in local."
He explained he could mine, with no sense of dread,
If he'd just get the concept of Code in his head.

The rants went on, condemning CODE.'s work,
He called James a bully, a noob, and a jerk.
Old James cracked a smile, Agents at his side,
"By the rules of the Code you'll learn to abide."

Forsake your botting and aspirant behavior,
And recognize James as your new highsec Saviour.
James said with a grin as they flew out of sight,
"The Code always wins, now have a good night!"

Thank you, Kaely Tanniss, that was lovely. This was based on a true story, by the way.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Over Half a Trillion in Shares Sold

Many have threatened to put a stop to the New Order. All have failed. The New Order and its brave Knights have only grown more powerful each day. Why? Because the bot-aspirants don't really care about anything; they can't. They can--and do--shed tears, selfish tears. But the New Order and all its supporters wield the power of unselfish devotion to the Code. That makes them unstoppable.

Permabanned Heroes of the Code gained another 1,000 shares from a purchase by Leia Jadesol, who wanted to give her friend DJentropy Ovaert his due. With this purchase, we exceeded the 486 billion isk mark, and the Permabanned earned another Supreme Protector's Tip of the Hat™.

The Conference Elite also gained an additional 1,000 shares by way of Leia Jadesol. This sent us over the 487 billion isk mark and earned TCE another Supreme Protector's Tip of the Hat™.

...and then it happened.

Anti-Mining Activist came out of nowhere and purchased 15,000 shares. This sent us over the 488, 489, 490, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495, 496, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, and 502 billion isk marks. Anti-Mining Activist is a man who knows how to make a good first impression. Having only just arrived in EVE, he's already earned a Fifteenuple Supreme Protector's Tip of the Hat™!

I don't know much about Anti-Mining Activist, but I do know that he likes to party. Look at that party hat--you don't see those very often, even in the perpetually victorious New Order. What's he celebrating? I'll give you 500 billion guesses.

KABOOM! At long last, the New Order has sold over half a trillion isk in shares. Everyone involved should pat themselves on the back. The New Order has done something truly special, something unprecedented in EVE: We have united players from all across the galaxy, men and women of all different professions. At half a trillion isk, our ganker reimbursement fund has accumulated ten times that which was paid by Hulkageddon Infinity. Once, the carebears predicted our downfall. Now they can only tremble.

The bot-aspirant can't see beyond the asteroid he's mining. The New Order dares to dream. What shall we dare to imagine next... a trillion isk in shares?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Out with the Old, in with the New Order

I get the most peculiar EVEmails sometimes. They're especially puzzling when I'm not provided with any context.

Take, for instance, this letter from foxtrot 02. I've been Saviour of Highsec for so long that I don't remember if it's weird to get apologies from people I've never met.

One unsolicited follow-up apology later, the picture became a little more clear. A little.

But to get the full story, I needed the assistance of my loyal Agents. Held der Finsternis was the hero of the day. Before he joined CODEdot and proclaimed loyalty to me publicly, he was a member of a highsec mining corp called The Drug Dealer's of Astroides Corporation.
foxtrot 02 > are you a vet pilot or new?
Held der Finsternis > this character is new :o)
foxtrot 02 > how old is your alt toon?
Held der Finsternis > oh, a bit older
foxtrot 02 > sorry trying to gauge everyones abilities here
foxtrot 02 > we had a serious security breach the other day
Held der Finsternis > oh yeah?
Like many highsec corps, it invited everyone to join freely. They would take anyone, no matter what. The corp ballooned, gaining a couple dozen members after only being open for a few days. Everything was wonderful; in theory, new player retention was about to skyrocket, and CCP could make more money. But the corp was in chaos.
foxtrot 02 > not trying to tell anyone how to do thier jobs but i used to get about 10 new recruits a day
Held der Finsternis > speaking of security, I do want to have everyone's full account api on file, can you mail me one please
foxtrot 02 > so can i make some suggestions agbout recruitng?
Held der Finsternis > of course
foxtrot 02 > ok first off...
foxtrot 02 > no more spaming local
foxtrot 02 > doesnt work well and will attract the wrong crowd
With so many new members and few old ones, no one knew who was in charge of what. Confusion reigned.
foxtrot 02 > wwe play this game to have fun not to have second job we pay for
foxtrot 02 > security is utmost
foxtrot 02 > DO NOT TALK aboput sensative things in corp or disclose tactical financial information
foxtrot 02 > promotions and access to corp finances hangers etc... should be done to proven seasoned pilots only
Held der Finsternis > all good ideas
foxtrot got the impression that fellow new recruit Held der Finsternis was in charge of recruitment. Or maybe they both were.
foxtrot 02 > we need emergency operation procedures in the even of futre breaches and or threats
Held der Finsternis > so I've been gona couple days, what all happened?
foxtrot 02 > we had awoxer accepted into the corp
Held der Finsternis > oh no
foxtrot 02 > he was known and stated it in his email he had a bad security status
foxtrot 02 > he had a very lengthy resume with many red flags
foxtrot 02 > he tried to ransom my ship
foxtrot 02 > if left uncheck he coulda done alot of damage
In reality, Held der Finsternis had little interest in highsec mining. He only joined the corp to help enforce the Code. It was his deeply held conviction that only honouring the Code and James 315 would make this highsec corp worthwhile. If anyone complains about EVE's learning cliff, just share this simple truth. It's all they need to know.
foxtrot 02 > i like to know who you are where you are from what you do in RL hobbbies etc...
foxtrot 02 > i have never been betrayed by anyone i recruited ever
Held der Finsternis > thats cool, I think you'll be a core member
foxtrot 02 > teamwork is kinda my thing
foxtrot 02 > speaking of... where you from how old what do you do?
Held der Finsternis > just a moment having cell ph issues
A rapport was established between foxtrot and Held. As their mutual trust grew, Held began asking foxtrot for his personal assets.
foxtrot 02 > what the hell am i gonna do?
foxtrot 02 > im fucking broke and shipless
foxtrot 02 > so explain what happens if he doesnt want me?
foxtrot 02 > what happens to my shit?
foxtrot 02 > ok so what happens if he says no
foxtrot 02 > what the hell
Shortly thereafter, foxtrot transferred all of his assets to Held. Our hero calmed the miner by telling him James 315 would solve everything.
foxtrot 02 > nah i wouldnt do that
foxtrot 02 > track his IP then use a few dozen .45 to show mistakes
foxtrot 02 > lol
foxtrot 02 > access to law enforcment stuff is fun :D
foxtrot 02 > obivously im wondering if i just got seriiously fucked
foxtrot 02 > in a new extremely creative form of piracy
At first, foxtrot was nervous about his future. He'd need to sleep on it.
foxtrot 02 > im not here to make threats or yell or talk shit
foxtrot 02 > im not coming after you
foxtrot 02 > you guys really pulled one over on me but its my fault for being an idiot
foxtrot 02 > as gay as this sounds... i am more pissed that i found another griefer
Held der Finsternis > For your convenience, I moved all your stuff to Uedama. The stuff arrived safely
foxtrot 02 > i dont understand
The next day, foxtrot returned with a new attitude. Held was pleased to hear it, but foxtrot's journey was just beginning. Held told foxtrot to report to Uedama immediately.

foxtrot was invited to a freighter ganking fleet. He saw no alternative but to go with the flow. He managed to get on a Providence killmail. He was hooked.
Held der Finsternis > tell then you gave all your stuff to agents to prove your loyalty and waiting on word from james 315
CrazyKiller6226 > Welcome to the club fox
foxtrot 02 > this is cool
foxtrot 02 > this shit i live for it awesome i just wish i hadnt lost all i had to do this'
Held der Finsternis > hey maybe someone will join corp you can take stuff from lol
It was a new day for foxtrot. Instead of spending all his time mining, he'd tasted the true EVE experience. Now it was time for foxtrot and Held to assist the rest of their corp. Together, they persuaded the corp's founder and CEO, Mario Jr Fontanez, to transfer all of the corp shares to Held der Finsternis.

Immediately upon seizing control of the corp, Held got a sneaking suspicion that the corp's founder and CEO was, in fact, a security risk to the corp. Held and foxtrot had no choice but to awox the corp's next mining op. An Orca was destroyed, along with Mario's Retriever. This prompted shock and outrage. Held send an EVEmail to the entire corp explaining what had happened:

The sordid details were shared with the corp--their own CEO was a traitor! But there was good news:

To take Mario's place, Held promoted foxtrot to the position of CEO. However, foxtrot was more interested in fireworks than paperwork, so he passed the reigns to another player. It was to be a new era for the corporation. Instead of mining, they would gank miners and obey the Code.

It was a golden age. But it was not to last. You know, liberating people isn't always as easy as ganking their former rulers and telling them to enjoy their new democracy. The transformation from Code-violator corp to Code-enforcer corp was too much, too soon. Before long, every single member left the corp, leaving its EVEWho profile as the only evidence of its former existence. Even so, the story of The Drug Dealer's of Astroides Corporation will inspire generations of new players to come. It was a glorious victory for the Code, for Held der Finsternis, for foxtrot 02, and for the New Order. Let us never forget.

Monday, November 24, 2014

This Is EVE: Nullsec Fleet Battles

Have you seen the latest EVE "trailer"? EVE players are singing its praises. It's gotten over 1.2 million hits on YouTube in just a few days.

This is a very nice little advertisement. ("Trailer" probably isn't the right word for something that shows off an 11 year-old game.) The ad uses a simple, effective concept: Ships in space as usual, but with real players' recorded voice comms for the audio. You get a taste of the multiplayer experience by hearing the players--and the emotion in their voices--as they played.

For obvious reasons, actual gameplay isn't used for the visuals. Tidi and spreadsheets don't sell a game. The battles are reenacted with tight, zoomed-in shots showing off the spaceships. The audio, however, is authentic, for the most part. The video begins with the caption, "All voices recorded by EVE Online players during actual gameplay". This is sort of true. Most of the audio is taken from TeamSpeak recordings captured during fleet battles. Some of it is staged, such as when you get a recording of a guy in station who's talking about how much powergrid is available for his ship fitting. The caption is technically true since the guy was "playing" the game at the time.

A lot of people are saying this is the best advert CCP has ever done for EVE, and I'm inclined to agree. What I find interesting about the ad, and the reason I'm writing a post about it, is that the video tells us what CCP thinks EVE is, or what CCP wants potential players to think EVE is. The title of the video says as much: "This is EVE."

So what is EVE? Basically, EVE is nullsec fleet battles.

One of the reasons EVE has such a notorious learning cliff is that the game is very broad. There are a lot of different things you can do in the sandbox. Even if you've been an EVE player for many years, there are likely aspects of the game you've never even dabbled in. We don't get a sense of this diversity from the advertisement. Instead, we see shot after shot after shot of nullsec fleet battles, with the occasional fleet battle in wormhole space. It's all PvP in zero-security space.

A couple caveats. For what I suppose you might say are political reasons, CCP declined to show off the so-called "griefer" side of EVE. They're not going to show players suicide ganking a freighter, or a guy freaking out after being awoxed, or someone perpetrating a scam. Needless to say, the New Order is not featured in this video. It's a shame, but an ad won't include activities that CCP employees themselves are not allowed to participate in. I don't agree with it, but I understand it.

Every other aspect of EVE, however, is fair game. So what don't they show off in the video? Anything that carebears do.

There's a minimal, token effort to show a few things other than nullsec fleet battles. For a few seconds, a guy talks about doing some manufacturing. Someone else hauls expensive cargo. But even there, he's talking about being chased by pirates, and he's in a wormhole. A miner is shown, briefly. He's not in highsec like 99% of the miner population; he's explicitly identified as a nullsec miner. (Amusingly, the video still manages to inject the miner with the self-pitying attitude we're so accustomed to seeing from the highsec variety.)

The highsec carebears are always telling us that their professions are legitimate and important. They tell us EVE isn't entirely a PvP game, that it's a PvE sandbox for those who want to play the game that way. The carebears lecture us that the vast majority of the EVE populace is in highsec, and that without miners there would be no ships. If CCP agreed with this, why is the carebear population absent from the video?

It's very revealing what CCP chose not to show. They could have shown carebears running a Level 4 mission together. They could've shown off a highsec incursion "fleet". Highsec could have been represented by a highsec mining corp sitting around a block of ice, or some people grinding Planetary Interaction, or shooting belt rats, or whatever. They could've hauled stuff around in the highsec trade hubs.

All of these activities, which sadly do consume much of the EVE population's time, are written out of the story. In their place are nullsec fleet battles and more nullsec fleet battles. And maybe a wormhole fleet battle or two, for variety.

You might say, "But James 315, the point of the ad was to highlight nullsec PvP, not to show everything in EVE." I would completely agree, if not for the token efforts that were made to show other aspects of the game. Clearly, this ad was meant to show not a part of EVE, but to put the game as a whole on display. As the title says, "This is EVE."

The video shows a vision of EVE, and that vision does not include the PvE crowd. Carebears are not a part of the EVE being advertised here. The teeming masses of highsec are pushed aside. The kinds of players being targeted by this ad are people who want to engage in PvP with a bunch of other PvP'ers, in nullsec.

So does CCP's advertisement suggest to the carebears, "You're not EVE"? Does the video tacitly admit that the PvE, carebear, highsec, single-player, isk-grinding style of "gameplay" isn't really desirable or legitimate? I invite the reader to draw his own conclusions.

But yes, it does.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kills of the Week

The New Order is the center of all EVE today. Everyone who plays the game knows this. Yet when we imagine the New Order and its Code, we don't visualize a giant star around which everything else revolves (some picture me this way, which I find flattering but don't officially endorse). Instead, we see the New Order as a thousand points of light--countless Agents doing good work across highsec. Let's look at some of the points of light that shone during the week of November 16th @ 00:00 EVEtime through November 22nd @ 23:59 EVEtime.

Agent BeBopAReBop RhubarbPie put together a photo album of screenshotted freighter ganks. The photos are 5760x1080, so I can't do them justice in this space. Check out the photo album yourself and enjoy.

At first glance, Baalsebub lost a 2.9 billion isk freighter while blundering through my territory without a permit. On second glance, we notice that his blueprints were originals. Whoops...

zKillboard values the loss at over 15 billion isk. Naturally, Baalsebub used three cargo expanders on his freighter, maximizing cargo space and minimizing hitpoints. Which would make sense if highsec were 100% safe and we all wanted to play EVE like bots. Agents Clarice Avrill, Klapen, Oshrog, Braggs Seyllin, Duramah, loyalanon, Immortalis Vitium, Martyr Oira, Sasha Cohenberg, BeBopAReBop RhubarbPie, BlackSack, Nikko Salters, Bypbyp, Ahab Of Pequod, and Zephia Soprano enforced their own different perspective on the game.

Kiriene didn't lose the most expensive of the jump freighters suicide ganked this week, but her Anshar loss was notable for another reason:

Sixty-eight participants, acting as a kind of United Nations of gankers, took part in this kill. Many alliances were represented, including several that are at war with each other. Topping them all was our own Agent Dekiranu of New Order Logistics, who inflicted the most damage. You can read the rest of the honour roll on the killmail.

What ever happened to keeping one's belongings in a station? Dors Venabili Seldon speed-tanked her Orca and packed in all her EVEly possessions--six and a half billion isk worth. She was doomed even before she left her keyboard. When she chose not to purchase a permit, an expensive Orca killmail became inevitable. Dors was executed by a motley crew of Gavrila Master, wzI, FautzX, Artem Ice, Stella Uta, Dichzor, Serafin Falcon, Kanonissa Selena Agna, Xae Kae, Dekiranu, Virtum, Sova Omaristos, HABEPHO, Komuto Huevato, and ChangKaiShi.

Rhoagan Johanson of Grasping At Straws corporation lived up to her corp's name when she fit out her 4 billion isk Golem. She could've chosen a proper PvP ship to run her little missions or whatever, but she wanted something she could put a bunch of tractor beams and salvagers on. Not today, friend. Agents FauztX, Kanonissa Selena Agna, Dekiranu, Sova Omaristos, Raimor, Dichzor, Artem Ice, SPIwere, Narl' Amhar, Baboon Copper, Prototype 288, Nik Makeev, Megamaks T44, Slash Jet, Lexx Min, Unprecedented, Gavrila Master, Casey Acura, Xae Kae, Djokart, Benglish, Kosaki Shi, Njals, RazDDva, Andre Crow, and HABEPHO cooked this turkey--just in time for Thanksgiving!

Kurgal Wolf lost a triple-anti-tanked freighter. Nothing new there. But unlike the rest of the loot piƱatas, Kurgal's freighter wasn't popped by a huge gank fleet...

A single Agent of the New Order, empowered by his or her conviction in the Code, can move mountains. Or destroy freighters. The irrepressible Bing Bangboom remarked, "I decided to get into that freighter killing business. It wasn't as hard as people make it out to be."

Speaking of things that aren't as hard as people make them out to be, how about buying a New Order mining permit? They're only 10 million isk and available for purchase all year 'round. You'll be so glad you did. Judging by the kills this week, you could be awfully sorry if you don't.