Friday, August 31, 2018

Back in the USSR, Part 1

Each suicide gank in highsec is a lesson--and a fork in the road.

Michael Sviridovich had been playing EVE for about seven months. That might sound like a long time. It is. But Michael made precious little progress in the game during those seven months. All he had to show for it was a highsec mining Venture--which exploded.

Michael was lucky to be ganked by Agent Katy Melons. She was kind enough to send him a bunch of information about the Code along with his lossmail. Michael was presented with a fork in the road. He went the wrong way.

Anyone who calls our Agents "bullies" is obviously acting in bad faith; nobody can be reasonably expected to think they're not going to experience spaceship combat in a spaceship PvP game. And that goes double for highsec, the most crowded area.

Michael's bad faith was confirmed when he pretended not to recognize the name of the Saviour of Highsec. Thanks to the decline in news stories about nullsec over the past few years, I am arguably the most famous player in EVE today--and in highsec, there's not even an argument about it.

Michael tangled himself in a web of lies. First, he doubled-down on his feigned ignorance about me, while simultaneously comparing me to Hitler. (Why would you compare someone to Hitler if you don't know anything about him? Are people assumed to be Nazis by default?) Then he accidentally admitted to being familiar with the mighty CODE. alliance's Venture-killing contests. So much for pleading ignorance.

CODE. Venture-killing contests have a proud history going back to 2014, when Agent Anal Canal made an ambitious proposal for one such event. Another contest was held earlier this year, making Michael's illegal activities in a Venture all the more unpardonable.

Michael cursed our Agent for suggesting that AFK "gameplay" isn't satisfying.

Agent Katy corrected the miner and encouraged him to learn more about his affliction: Bot-aspirancy.

Katy linked the miner to a YouTube video by Agent Sasha Nemtsov. She could only hope that he'd watch it, and that its lessons would sink in.

Tragically, the miner confessed that bot-aspirancy was the only reason he'd even begun playing EVE. Someone on CCP's marketing team needs a talking-to, I think. Assuming there's a marketing team.

Several hours later, Michael composed a fiery rant and sent it to Agent Katy. According to the miner, the Code triggered bad memories of his experiences in post-Communist Russia in the 1990s. Could Katy help the miner deal with his personal baggage and embrace the New Order? Or would he rage-quit and leave the game forever?

To be continued...

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Overmind, Under Code

One of the many benefits of being a Code enforcer: Random people start handing you 10 million isk.

Agent Aiko Danuja was ganking miners and proclaiming the word of the Code when she was suddenly contacted by Overmind Niminen, who wanted to purchase a permit.

Overmind seemed an unlikely candidate for permit-holder. On many previous occasions, he'd made threats about driving the mighty CODE. alliance from highsec. And his bio contained a foul mockery of a mining permit. When someone like this buys a permit, our Agents will take their isk--but will also ask some probing questions.

It didn't take long for Overmind to drop some hints about his true motives.

Aiko cautioned the miner. The Code cannot be twisted; it is pure and good and cannot be used to facilitate bot-aspirant ends.

As always, our Agent's instincts were right on target. Within a day, Overmind lost faith in the Code and returned to his old ways--minus 10 million isk.

The anti-Code rebel turned his coat twice in the same day. The threats resumed.

Although Overmind didn't get the glorious opportunity to speak with me during his short time as a permit-holder, he felt he'd been let down by the Saviour of Highsec. Now there would be consequences.

Thus far, all Overmind had ever done was mine in highsec. Still, he was confident that he would've become an elite Agent--the elite of the elite. I guess we'll never know.

Overmind declared his willingness to suffer losses for his cause. Which was a good thing, because it seemed likely that he would.

Our Agents discovered Overmind fighting the good fight in an asteroid belt.

The rebel wasn't AFK--at least, not at first. He warned one of our Agents not to try anything funny.

What did Overmind have in store for our heroes?

Some free drones, apparently. Our Agents confiscated 170 million isk in contraband from Overmind. And the resistance fighter was willing to lose more.

Later, Overmind ended up sacrificing his Orca. Agents of the New Order are willing to make sacrifices for what they believe in, too. In this case, however, our Agents didn't need to suicide any Catalysts to destroy the Orca...

...Overmind was doing just fine getting Orcas blown up all by himself. Any price to defeat CODE., right?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Rising Star, Part 7

Previously, on MinerBumping... Akmaund Askiras imagined that he was destined for greatness. If he could drive the mighty CODE. alliance out of the Isanamo system and save its miners from being ganked, Akmaund's triumph would rally the Anti-Gankers around him. Instead, Akmaund failed to stop CODE., and fellow Anti-Ganker Knowledgeminer ridiculed him in front of the rest of the rebels. A heated argument ensued.

Knowledgeminer believed that Anti-Ganking could only succeed if it actually stopped ganks. Making up stories about imaginary victories wouldn't do.

Akmaund and some of the other Anti-Gankers had a different perspective. Since they were unable to stop CODE., pretending to win was the next best thing.

Fellow rebel Faye Salentine was so incensed that she actually put a (modest) bounty on Knowledgeminer. That would teach him not to criticize people for pretending to defeat CODE.

Faye spoke for most of the anti-Code resistance when she said it simply didn't matter. Anti-Ganking wasn't in the gank-prevention business anymore. Fantasizing about beating CODE. was just as good.

With both sides firmly entrenched--despite theoretically being on the same side--it appeared that nothing was going to get resolved.

Suddenly, Akmaund sounded the alarm: Gank in progress!

The "gank in progress" was soon an accomplished gank. An unlicensed miner was destroyed in Isanamo, right in front of Akmaund's very eyes.

Putting a brave face on his latest failure, Akmaund celebrated the CONCORDing of the gank ships.

Anti-Ganking, as usual, got the news right on time.

'Twas another crushing defeat for the rebels. They couldn't prevent a gank even when they had someone sitting right there in the asteroid belt while it was happening.

Akmaund had failed before, but this time felt different. He was frustrated and angry--at himself and at the AFK miner. Maybe some of Knowledgeminer's words sank in.

The aspiring rebel leader couldn't understand why the miners were so irresponsible. Why wouldn't they help him help them?

Akmaund's efforts to save the miners were ineffective. But at least he tried. And maybe the miners didn't even deserve that much.

Akmaund lost faith and went inactive. His dreams of battling CODE. and leading Anti-Ganking disappeared into the night--like so many miners' ships and pods.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tapestry of Tears, Part 13

Previously, on MinerBumping... In the Nakugard system, Agent Alt 00 was confronted by the mighty CODE. alliance's latest archenemy: Lahnius the "Hardcore" Anti-Ganker. But Alt 00 didn't need to lift a finger; Lahnius' efforts were frustrated by Aitillies of Failed Diplomacy corporation--another enemy of the Code. Both rebels were convinced that their natural ally was secretly working for CODE.

Earlier, Failed Diplomacy had broadcast a PSA in Nakugard local to warn miners about Lahnius. He returned the favor.

Aitillies wasn't convinced. Lahnius might pretend to reveal "intel" from MinerBumping, but it was all a front.

Each time someone entered Nakugard, Lahnius made sure to repeat his anti-Failed Diplomacy propaganda. That way, everyone would know who their true friends were.

Aitillies found himself dragged back into the debate about who was the real anti-Code rebel and who was the mole. He'd had the momentum earlier, but now Lahnius was putting in more work.

Both would-be resistance leaders disseminated their competing messages. Aitillies wasn't ready to give up just yet.

As far as Aitillies was concerned, the debate was over. Lahnius had already incriminated himself. The miners should naturally rally to Failed Diplomacy, not Lahnius' corp.

If you've ever wondered why all of the tens of thousands of people who hate CODE. don't just band together and create a united front against us, this should give you an idea of why that wouldn't work.

It suddenly occurred to Lahnius that his time in CODE. might give him an edge over Aitillies, rather than being a liability. Granted, Lahnius had only spent a week in the alliance, and he'd spent that time solo-ganking Ventures. Still, he could claim access to CODE.'s deepest, darkest secrets. And he could reveal them in Nakugard local to win support from the miners.

For months--even before his alt joined CODE.--Lahnius had attempted to ingratiate himself with Alt 00. He'd failed to do more than annoy the Agent, but that didn't matter now. Lahnius could recast his failed attempt to win friends as a successful act of espionage: He had the goods on CODE.!

Before the assembled miners of Nakugard, Lahnius worked himself up into an anti-Code soliloquy. When everyone saw the passion he put into his speech, surely they'd know that he was a genuine Anti-Ganker. A Hardcore AG.

In going on an extended rant in chat, Lahnius sought to prove that he couldn't be provoked into making a fool of himself in chat.

According to Lahnius, CODE. and the anti-Code corp Failed Diplomacy were one and the same. He would defeat them all. Now it was time for Lahnius to wrap up his speech with a thrilling conclusion, one that would restore his credibility as a rebel and inspire all the miners into action:

It was the moment of truth. Would Lahnius succeed in putting the rumors behind him--and begin his anti-Code campaign in earnest?

To be continued...