Archive for February, 2011

Bruce Schneier on Societal Security

Posted in When RL Invades on February 15, 2011 by paul

Sorry for When-RL-Invades post, but in my exploration of corporate infiltration in Eve I’ve given a lot of thought to security and trust models. Particularly, I’m interested in how the differences in identity and scarcity in Eve from identity and scarcity in the real world modify behavior. I’ve always liked Bruce Schneier’s blog, but today he posted a teaser for his new book.

In a primitive society, informal systems are generally good enough. When you’re living in a small community, and objects are both scarce and hard to make, it’s pretty easy to deal with the problem of theft. If Alice loses a bowl, and at the same time, Bob shows up with an identical bowl, everyone knows Bob stole it from Alice, and the community can then punish Bob as it sees fit. But as communities get larger, as social ties weaken and anonymity increases, this informal system of theft prevention — detection and punishment leading to deterrence — fails. As communities get more technological and as the things people might want to steal get more interchangeable and harder to identify, it also fails. In short, as our ancestors made the move from small family groups to larger groups of unrelated families, and then to a modern form of society, the informal societal security systems started failing and more formal systems had to be invented to take their place. We needed to put license plates on cars and audit people’s tax returns.

We had no choice. Anything larger than a very primitive society couldn’t exist without societal security.

I’ll be very interested in the release of this work, and if you’re reading this blog and are entertained by thoughts of what makes the ethical landscape of Eve so compelling, you might be interested as well.

Corp Theft: Upstarts Unlimited (4bn)

Posted in Capers on February 9, 2011 by paul

A few days ago Upstarts Unlimited invited my alt with terrible skills and a corp history as long as my arm into the corp without so much as a limited API check. After about a week I finally got into their wormhole and made off with this.

(Click to enlarge)

After I made this screenshot and started selling the loot, a bunch more stuff from repackaged ships showed up in my assets list back in Nikh, where I had left without checking to make sure I had collected everything. This included some faction modules and a good pile of ammo.

When everything was sold my approximate take was four billion ISK. Not a ton of money in terms of infiltration, but I had less than four hours invested, including time talking with the CEO and selling the loot. I fully expect for the alt to be kicked, at which point I will let the heat die down and do it again. Always bet on stupid.

Taildust Gives Paul Clavet a Loki

Posted in Combat, Duffers, Ninja Salvaging on February 8, 2011 by paul

I was talking with Khalia out of game and announced that it was time for me to get my ninja on. He had been doing his ninja thing in Ammold where I was based at the time, but was frustrated that he wasn’t getting any bites. He declared that he would go one system over to see if he could improve his luck. I told him that I would log in and get an expensive kill in the system he thought was mined out for the night. Of course, he didn’t believe me.

So I dropped probes. The third hit was a Loki flown by Taildust. For all my stupidly expensive kills, I still had not ever gotten a T3 kill. I warped in to find Taildust doing some sort of Sansha mission, pewing the last rat. I looted, and Taildust shot at me.

Do you remember what happens when you shoot at Ninjas? If you said “bad things” then you may move to the head of the class. Also, see me after we’re done. The chalkboard needs cleaning.

He was still there when I arrived, though he was almost out of range and moving away.

I overloaded my afterburner and warp disruptor. A quick note about warp disruptors: If you are flying an expensive ship already, it makes sense to spend the extra money on a faction point. Also, if living out of an Orca it’s worth your time to train the Orca pilot to maxed out Skirmish Warfare skills. Fit all three Skirmish Warfare links. Much like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects a Tengu to point them at 48km (overloaded) and charge them in excess of a kilometer per second. I’ve gotten many kills this way that wouldn’t have happened in a stock Raven. This was one of them.

I opened a convo with the victim:

Paul Clavet > 500M or your ship dies
taildust > like io got the money
Paul Clavet > How much do you have?
taildust > i give 20 mill
Paul Clavet > not good enough

I steadily burned through his armor.

I figured that he wasn’t going for a ransom and I’d have to pop him, but there was one thing left to try.

Paul Clavet > eject
Paul Clavet > you’ll get your mods back
Paul Clavet > 15 seconds to comply

A minute passed. Nothing. One more little reminder.

Paul Clavet > you’re going to lose SP


Now, here I must share my fail. In an ongoing effort to fly everything in the game so that I can steal anything in the game, I’ve trained all four racial cruiser skills to V, with Minmatar being the final one completed only days ago. I had all the Minmatar Subsystem skills trained to I, but had forgotten to grab the actual Minmatar Strategic Cruiser Skillbook. Dang it.

I knew I needed to delay Taildust as long as possible while we secured his ship.

Paul Clavet > meet me in station
taildust > i am here
Paul Clavet > OK, it’ll be a minute
taildust > ok

I warped in my Orca, but being deadspace the Orca had over 80km to cover at 78m/s. Luckily even after much taunting Khalia had not ceased to be my BFF and brought over his new toy: A cap-stable Orca that goes over 300m/s. I also had fellow Ninja Zavulon Sukkot start the 14-jump trip over just in case the Loki had something in the hold that prevented it from being scooped by the Orca. Fortunately the Loki only had ammo and was scooped by Khalia, who took it to station and contracted it to me. Khalia was paid 100M and Zavulon 50M for their appreciated efforts.

taildust > how come i wasnt hurting u
Paul Clavet > Because you suck and I am awesome
Paul Clavet > by the way, I’m keeping the ship and whatever is on it
Paul Clavet > thanks for ejecting
taildust > i new it

He came back to the mission in a rookie ship to get his mission item. I pewed him again and popped the can containing his mission item. Whoops.

30 minutes later I had Minmatar Strategic Cruiser I and could get into the Loki. It was mostly T2 fit and T1 rigged, but the hull and subsystems still made for a very profitable evening.

Reader Mail: Making a Ninja/Griefer Corp

Posted in Mail on February 5, 2011 by khalia

Reader Lazarann writes in:

Hey guys,

I love your blog, it’s some seriously entertaining reading. It’s great how you’ve made a career out of ruining the days of carebears. It’s part of what makes Eve great.

My corp is currently moving out of Syndicate and while we find a new home, we’re looking for something to do to pass the time. There’s only about 10-12 actual people in our corp and a plethora of alts.

I thought it might be fun to take a page out of your book and see if we can’t get ourselves some tears. I’ve got an Orca and it’s easy enough to find the carebears. My concern is, I want to be able to involve as many of my corp as possible. Keep the pvp interest alive while we find something to do.

So my question is: What’s the easiest way to get everyone involved? As far as I’m aware, they won’t get aggression unless they actually get shot at so aside from some Logistics support, I’m hoping you can suggest some ideas. A few of our members are pretty inexperienced so I don’t think they’d have much success on their own.

Thanks a lot,


Great question!

I’ll take a page out of Suddenly Ninjas playbook and suggest large fleet operations. Stage in a large mission hub. Get one or two people who are experienced with scanning to act as mission runner scanners. One person should be a scout to check out the hits and determine if they’re worth going in and bothering the mission runner. Everyone else should be in a salvage ship. Then go and swarm over these missions like flies, stealing everything in sight.

Eventually you will get some angry carebears to shoot. Great! Let them rage at your fleet while the person or persons who got shot off go and get gank ships; the Orca is good for keeping these and for rapid-turn around. No need to dock/undock. You can have a few of your fleet mates keep logistic ships handy, but you won’t need a lot of them. Then go and blow the mission runners up.

If you’re brave, have your salvage ships fit points. You can point a mission runner, and if he doesn’t have drones, you should be able to fly around him at high speed under his guns. Get a fleet mate to bring you a PvP ship. They eject, you enter it, take out mission runner. It may help to bump the mission runner if he’s aligned to something. Use battlecruisers with microwarp drives, as they do excellent bumping.

Make sure you keep the scan-id of your targets. For added hilarity, scan them down over and over, and keep plundering their missions.

Hope this gives you some good ideas!

Sometimes the Bear Eats You

Posted in Combat, Ninja Salvaging, The More You Know on February 4, 2011 by khalia

“Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you.” – Elwin Charles Roe, major league pitcher

Paul and I have never made any illusion that we are invincible, amazing players. His best line on this was, “We don’t claim to be good PvPers. We just kill mission runners in hilarious ways.” Like everyone else, we sometimes have a Really Bad Day. Yesterday was one of those days.

I moved to Ammold system, as Taru was getting used to my presence. I soon found a pair of mission runners running a Gone Berserk mission; an Abaddon and a Vargur. They brought in a third player in a Noctis, so I stole everything the Noctis tractored to himself, and dumped it into a jetcan. Near the end of the mission the Abaddon targets me and aligns to the station. I warp in my Orca to pick up the jet can and so I can swap into a gank ship if he fires.

With all the wrecks gone, he fires, and I jump into my Sacrilege. I had expected him to warp off, but I put a point on him and start firing. After a solid three minutes, I’m realizing that my single energy neut is not enough to break his tank. My alt looks at him with a ship scanner, and he has three Capacitor Control Circuit rigs and his midslots are full of cap rechargers.

It takes another ten minutes, but I manage to get my Orca back in range, and start adding more energy neutralizers to my ship, while also using my alt’s ship scanner to monitor his capacitor level. I add a second neut, then a third, and finally a fourth. This severely gimps my DPS, and he still has enough capacitor recharge to pulse his armor repper to hold out against my DPS. I start trying to figure out how to get my Bhaalgorn out to me so I can swap into it.

While I’m planning, the Vargur pilot has returned and starts dropping ECM drones for the Abaddon. This is a fairly clever move, and I approve. I have to shoot the drones before he recalls them, and hope that the doesn’t get a successful ECM cycle, breaking my lock.

Then, as I’m shooting the ECM drones once again:

Khalia Nestune, criminals are not welcome here!

What the hell? CONCORD arrives in scene and melts my Sacrilege. What just happened? My first assumption is that an aggression timer bug has happened, because of the passing of drones back and forth between the Vargur and the Abaddon. I even file a petition for this. Later I realize what actually happened: I shot one of the drones that the Vargur had dropped and not yet abandoned for the Abaddon. I had no aggression against the Vargur.

“But Khalia”, you say, “didn’t you get a pop-up warning about attacking a neutral?”. I did not. Several days prior I had been attempting to suicide gank T3 ships as they undocked from station. I had disabled the warning, as the short delay could mean the difference between a hit and a miss due to warp.

I’m pretty ticked off at this point, so I dock all my characters. A few minutes later I realize that I could try to extend the aggression timer against the Abaddon by shooting the few wrecks that were left in the mission. So I board my Bhaalgorn (only ship I have in station), and undock.

The few people reading who have kept careful track are now screaming “Nooooooo!” at their computers. Because I had invoked CONCORD, I didn’t have a regular aggression timer, I had a GCC. As soon as I undocked CONCORD spawned again and destroyed my billion ISK faction battleship. Fortunately I was able to get an alt to scoop the drops.

“But Khalia”, you’re asking, “didn’t you see the bright red GCC timer in the upper left?”. I didn’t. I run three or more clients on two monitors, and client space is often at a premium. I had moved the chat window bar to the far left, over the aggression timer, system name, etc. I needed the extra space to work with the target indicators for all of the drones that I was targeting.

At this point I did the smart thing: I closed the client and went to read a book.

Losing the Sacrilege was annoying, but I was more upset because I thought CONCORD had spawned due to a bug. Losing the Bhaalgorn is painful. I have enough ISK to replace it several times over, but it’s still a big expensive loss, and by my own carelessness.

What are the lessons to be learned here? First, don’t turn off your CONCORD warning. Secondly, when you lose a ship, take a deep breath, stand up and walk around for a minute to clear your head. Mistakes are easier to make when you’re upset. I also had some personal drama going on in real life, adding to my loss of perspective.

I’m not going to replace my Bhaalgorn immediately. To remind myself of this, I’m going to use a T1 battleship as my backup gank ship for a while. I have dozens of mission runner kills in my past with battlecruisers and T1 battleships, and I think it will be good to remember that an expensive tool is not always the best for the job.