Monday, 21 February 2011

astral vs eveSOB round 2

Only 1 thing of note happened over the weekend for me.
I finally got round to another 1v1 frigate duel with eveSOB, following my last defeat I had been meaning to give him a rematch.
We both agreed on our frigates, myself in a punisher , him in a rifter, and that we would not restrict the fit, so it was a case of anything goes.
Although we agreed we could fit them, we both agreed that points wern’t needed as it wasn’t like we were gonna try to run away, which opens up another mid slot (unless you want a scram to kill a MWD).
Now I used this fight as a way to test a theory that I have had for a while I’ll share my thunkage with you…
Every one seems to think frigates need to have a prop mod, normally a AB when fighting 1v1. however I fly amarr, and they are slow as shit anyway, even with a AB, EVERYONE is faster than you. So why are we fitting one?
The idea of a AB is to allow you to dictate the range of a fight, trouble is your almost always gonna get webbed and even with a AB as I said everyone else is faster so can dictate the range, forcing you to hope the superior amaar tank holds…right..
So if a AB isn’t gonna let you dictate range what else would?

With that thought in mind my punisher fit for the duel..

High slot – Small T2 NOS
High slot – 150mm AC T2
High slot - 150mm AC T2
High slot - 150mm AC T2

Mid slot- T2 Web
Mid slot- DDO tracking disruptor with range and speed scripts

Low slot-SAR T2
Low slot-ANM
Low slot-ANM
Low slot- 200mm plate

Rig slot- trimark
Rig slot- trimark
Rig slot- poly carb engine housing

It didn’t move that fast, but it didn’t need to, my idea was he would bring a AC rifter and id cut the incoming DPS slightly with the TD, while the larger tank allowed mr to out last him while fighting at the same range thus putting out optimal DPS.

We both agreed a system to meet at for the duel and flew out can flipped 1 unit of ammo each and warped to a planet to begin the duel..
I landed at the planet first..
And then came disappointment.
SOB landed 15km away and began kiting me with artys…he had guessed he wouldn’t be able to beat me in a brawl and was being clever.
Good thing I brought the optimal range scrip too lol.
The whole of the fight was spent with with me disrupting him while he continued shooting from miles away till he ran out of ammo, as he refused to come with in range of my guns, and couldn’t hit me for toffee with his.
In the end we had to call it a draw. Both being too clever for our own good.
Still we will continue these little 1v1 match’s as they are quite fun…..wonder how many blasters could I fit on a nano punisher….

Friday, 18 February 2011

aim for the stars.

It’s Friday and I am feeling groovy.
That could be the tramadol though.
Anyway, I have been reading a lot of piracy blogs lately, and some thing is niggling at me, a lot of the writers come across as PVP experts, and I’m not entirely convinced.
See the thing I am discovering lately is that most PVP’ers generally operate in a group, many have back up even when solo initially, however operating in this way allows you to make a certain amount of errors the worst way and the best way allows you to be on the winning end of fights you should never win, aka blobbing. However true PVP experts are the guys that fight solo most of the time…no back safety net. I have met some people who would fit that description and flying with them is awesome, flying against them..unwise.
Don’t get me wrong I don’t profess to be a pvp guru..infact I still think of my self as quite a novice with a lot to learn, the reason is that most of my kills as part of the black rabbits were in fleets where others had my back..or gate camps, where poor souls stood no chance. I have had a few solo kills, but not as many as id like.
Lately I have taken to roaming low solo, not solo but with friends near by incase…really solo. And I have lost a few ships so far. But I am learning the differences, I am also becoming far more selective with my targets.

Two days ago I set up killboard for BTEK ( a few members were requesting one), as a result I have a completely blank record on this board, as it doesn’t take into account old wins or losses. My goal that I have set for myself is to achieve over 100 solo kills by the end of the year, and to have a positive kill loss ratio.
You can keep track of my progress if you like by going though the killboard link in bteks forums (link is on my blog.) and laugh at my mistakes and victorys.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Exploration guide part 1

hi guys ..this guide is getting to big so i am breaking it down into sections, here is the first one :) enjoy


Welcome to my attempt to guide the brave and suicidal into lowsec exploration. I feel I have done enough of this now to have a decent idea what I am talking about. Also having read a lot of the information currently available, I feel a lot of it is out dated which makes it very hard to get a idea where to start now day’s.
This guide is designed to help set you on the road, it will not hold your hand.
If you follow this guide and find it interesting you may have a career in lowsec or null sec exploration ahead or maybe as a prober for a null sec alliance or pirate corp and will have many of the skills needed to move to a Wormhole corp.

First off, what is “exploration”?
It is entering a system and finding cosmic signature’s that cannot be found using the onboard directional scanner by using probes, then completing a PVE task or series of tasks. These come in 5 different flavours, and oddly 6 types ; they are :-

Radar – these are hacking site’s that require a code breaker to complete. They will normally have small NPC resistance and several cans with loot that can only be opened with a code breaker module. The loot from these sites varies greatly but they can be VERY profitable.

Magnetometric –These are archaeology sites, similar to radar site there are several “cans” to open, normally derelict ships or wreaks that can only be opened with a salvager or a analyzer module. Again these sights will normally have a small NPC presence and some ships are trapped. These sites can be profitable though normally less so than radar sites

Ladar – these are gas cloud sites, mainly for harvesting fullerides, they can be very profitable if you have the skills and the modules to harvest them which can be expensive to buy to begin with. These sites are rare in hi sec (and lowsec imo) and the amount of time spent harvesting at one will make you a target. I I would leave these sites to those deep in friendly null or W space.

Gravometric- these are private asteroid belts, normally containing or above the grade you can find in the area (for example in a hi sec grav site will normally have low sec only ore’s) in highsec these can give a indy corp a field day, in lowsec exploiting them is harder as most pirates will actively try to find mining barges HOWEVER, I have seen low sec alliances lock down a system with their PVP corps while the indy corps stripped and entire field in 20 mins, this took a lot of man power and capital ships but it can be done. To begin with if you choose to mine these I would do so in a cruiser fitted to mine, stay cheap and be careful.

Unknown – The last of our signature types, this one can mean 1 of 2 things, the kicker is you wont know until you have almost found it. It will either be a combat site, which can have very light to extremely heavy NPC resistance, however will pay good bounties and at many sites drop faction loot or BPC’s, or a wormhole which is essentially a hidden jumpgate to W space. If your reading this guide you probably arn’t ready for W space yet…trust me. The combat sites also come in 2 flavours DED complex’s that are rated depending on difficulty and deadspace, which is unpredictable but will often spawn the top grade loot. I would advise if your going to run these sites you stick to DED complex’s to begin and I would keep under DED 5 rating which will require a well tanked battle cruiser and good skills to solo

What do you need to get started?
Well there is 2 schools of thought on that, the first is to use 1 all purpose ship for scanning and running the sites, however this is not very effective in my opinion as no ships have both scanning bonus’s and decent combat ability, the closest you will get is either a exploration tech 3 ship or maybe a pilgrim, both of which are quite expensive. The second school of thought is to have two ships using one as a dedicated scanner and a second ship to run the sites, in my experience, combat sites are best run in a cheap battle cruiser (however these will often attract pirate’s to hunt you), grav sites in a retriever, you can use better mining barges but you are a juicy target and people will actively look for mining barges (so stay aligned), for the mag and radar sites a cruiser is normally sufficient. I personally find drone boats very effective for running these sites as it lets you fill more slots with site specific equipment, like salvagers and code breakers.
For a scanning ship, you can either use a T1 probe ship like a heron, or magnate ( look to see which ships offer bonus’s to things like scan strength and probe flight times) or if you have the skills (and if you don’t, train them) use a covert ops frigate. These get VERY good bonus’s to scanning and the ability to use a covert ops cloak is a HUGE help.

The fittings for these ships are dependant on what your flying and what site you are doing, in general with the scan ships they should all need a Probe launcher (sisters if you can afford it) and a cloak to keep you safe while scanning and at least 5 probes, And the ships you use for the radar and Mag sites will need either a analyzer or a code breaker. All ships other than the scan ship should fit a salvager.

The other thing that you will find handy although not essential is a Exploration jump clone, By that I mean a jump clone that you equip with implants like the “Prospector” set left in lowsec for the express purpose of finding and running sites.

How to find the sites.

This is the part that takes a little skill and a lot of practice.
Jump into your scan ship and undock, warp to the furthest plant from you at 100km and along the way bookmark the location to create a “safe spot” , then warp back to that safe spot. this will mean people cannot find you by accident. Launch 5 probes into space (core or sister core probes are the ones you need) go into the map view by opening the scanner (click the icon next to the navicom, >system scanner > map icon in the top right corner.

Make sure your ship is cloaked (you will need to move away from your probes a little) now minimize all the other crap on the screen accept the scanner panel, you will see your 5 probes on the panel but it will look like there is only 1 in space, this is because they are all on top of each other.
In the scan panel, hold ctrl and click on all 5 probes, giving you control of all 5 at once, now relase control and right click > set scan range to 32AU (maximum)
Got it?
Now zoom out so you can clearly see what you are doing in the solar system. And arrange the probes so four of them over lap a central this.

Now hit scan in the scan panel.
It will take a few seconds ad the probes move and begin scanning, and then you will get the results back.
At the top of the list you will get the named sites you can find normally with the onboard scanner, you do not want these, below that will be the cosmic sig’s you want. They wont be named but will instead have a alpha numeric name like DG4-745 for example, and next to that will be the strength of the signal…it should look something like this


Ok here comes the guessing game, of all those results you cant tell which site is which, so you have to scan down each one to about 30% to see what they are, so pick the first one you want to try reduce your probe size to 8 AU, moving the probes back into formation.
Don’t forget you need to line the probes up on all 3 axis, x,y AND z like this

Once you get to about 30% signal strength you can see what sort of site you are looking at this
In this pic I was looking at a unknown, which is normally a wormhole but some times a combat this instance not what I was looking for so you right click on the result and click “ignore result” and rinse and repeat on the next one.. until you narrow down one you want to 100% like this


I have a radar site too 100%, it MUST be 100% to allow you a warp in, so i book mark the site, naming it radar 1 then the date (this is handy for organising bookmarks and allows you to easily find and delete sites that are old.

At this point you need to swap into the ship your using to run the sites, if your following my advice a cruiser. Personally I like arbitrators for this as they are cheap and the drones allow me good range. When you have your cruiser before you warp to the site if your in lowsec or null switch the scan panel over to the directional scanner at max range and do a 360 deg scan to make sure there are no ships lurking that can find and kill you, like this
If it all looks safe warp to your book marked site, as you enter warp you will get a brief description of the site pop up, note it shows you the module you will need to complete the site on this pop up

Once you land you will see a bunch of ..well cans basically to go hack or analyze, so go get started, keep checking your d scan for any ships that maybe incoming or looking for you ( and make sure you have probes on your overview)
As you work your way though the cans you will sometimes cause spawns of enemy’s, some time with every can some time only some , some times none at all, on this site I had 1 spawn of a dozen frigates and 3 cruisers (although my CEO had joined me by this point in a caracal to learn how to do these sites)
Once you kill the spawns continue your looting and after your done return to base to drop off the swag.
The loot from the above site..

Not including the salvage which someone else was grabbing, at a estimatethe loot was worth around 10 mill.
To give you a idea of speed for these the site took around 6 mins to find and about 8 mins to complete, you could probably cruise through these at 1 site every 20-30 mins. The hardest part is finding them.

I will follow up with fittings and strategies in the next part.
Fly well 07

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Ok..havent been posting much of late, but I have been a busy boy.

Just yo keep you updated on whats been happening, BTEK has grown a fair bit over the last few months, we now have a pretty big group of good players, and you can almost always find someone on at any point during the day, at peack times , between 1800 an 0200 eve time, there can be anywhere from 5-20 of us on at a time, and the corp is really growing into a close knit group of friends. Recruitment is always open to anyone that wants a good home in high sec.

Things with the alliance seem to be going well, BTEK are doing our part, although im a little worried people seem to thing I’m some kind of pvp expert, the truth is I dabble but there are far more talented people out there. This has been highlighted even more by my recent spate of losses, going solo in lowsec is a hard road. And not having a pvp corp to back you up when your against the odds makes a huge difference. Also many people don’t give the pirates in low their due respect, if they are making a living as a pirate they are normally pretty competent and very in practice, and as a result win a lot more than they lose against part timers like me. Cant really say much more about the alliance with out compromising security, although the alliance is growing nicely.

As some of you may have guessed, I now have a second account. i only have 1 pilot on it who is training fast to drive a orca and will become my industrial main, with all relevant production and refining skills, I have him paid up for a year, so he has 1 year to get to the point he pays for himself with plex and makes me enough money on to to be worth keeping. While he is training for the orca I have switched training over to vespa and I will have her in a hulk before to long, I will then finish off her mining skills and switch back to astral.
The plan is to have vespa and my orca pilot run all the mining indy stuff and make money, and astral as a lowsec dweller / mission runner.

And on to lowsec, BTEK has opened a offive in lowsec we will be basing out of for a while, I will be running ops and lowsec training form there, and will also be doing some exploration. My CEO is looking to get into exploration and a few other people seem to be giving it a shot after reading this blog.

On Exploration, the guide I am writing is too big…so.. I will be releasing it in sections with the first part coming in the next day or two covering the basics of exploration, so anyone looking to start I hope it will help you.

Fly well 07

Sunday, 13 February 2011

my orca alt

Aurelius Bombatsu

he is my new slave... er alt.
I finally have a second account so I don't Gimp Astral's training.
just gotta afford a orca in the next couple of months now lol.

Monday, 7 February 2011

balence is key

I am at a Interesting tightrope in my eve career.
I find that now I am back care bearing I have a fairly large and stable income, which is in turn allowing me to buy quite a few nice PVP ships.
Also I now have excess sec status (lets face it anything over -2.0 isnt really needed it?) so what can I do to alleviate the mission running blues..I can hunt.
See if I don’t POD people I should be able to keep decent sec status with 2-3 kills a week as long as I do enough missions to work off my fun.
So I shall be walking a tight rope for the next few months while I try to get the baalence right..I will be Btek director and mission runner..nurturing young pilots, some of the time, and the rest of the time I will be returning to my old hunting grounds with the rabbits, probably solo hunting. I am really looking forward to getting back to it!
I already have a few assault frigs ready..some interceptors…and a daredevil which I will be spending a insane amount fitting (rude not to on that ship).
If you see me roaming low in future ..I may well be hunting you :)

Sunday, 6 February 2011

I am a lucky git

Today i sent 3 mill to Somer blink thinking id have a gamble in the long trip i was making ..when i logged in i found i had 50 mill promo I had some total investment is Somer blink so far 36 million.

Friday, 4 February 2011

me and my troll

Ok its been on my mind for a bit now, but I’m putting a stop to the idiot troll I seem to have picked up.
Every few posts he pops up leaving some dumb ass comment slagging me off with out any reasoning. Im not sure who this person is or why they feel so aggravated by me…or why they continue reading if they are?
I don’t mind a little criticism but I’d like to know WHO is criticising me, so I have removed the ability to post anonymously. Im sorry if this stops people who have something constructive to say posting, but registering with google or open id is quite easy.
If the troll finds a way round this I will begin comment moderation.
Own up or sod off.

broadsword vs arby = bad

Last night logged on to finish moving my arbitrator a few systems over in lowsec. On the way however I got in to a great fight. I was using my duel TD fit and was hunting frigates on the way..not that I found any. And then 2 jumps from my destination as I jumped through I found the 1 type of ship you never want to see…a broadsword. Those puppies have VERY fast lock catch pods fast.
Figured id try to warp anyway, hell maybe he was asleep.
As soon as I broke cloak he locked me..only but none of his friends had warped in..he was solo..
So I figured id have a go..I had gate guns on my side thanks to my non outlaw status, I set my nuet , NOS, both disruptors web and scram on him and lanched a flight of warrior 2’s and sent a few missiles his way for good measure..
It was a very good fight I couldn’t break his shield before I popped but still was a very entertaining fight..he had to close to point blank range to apply DPS and it took him longer than I expected for him to break my tank.
The broadsword pilot seemed happy Posting very good fight in local as well.
I seem to be finding good fights quite a lot at the moment , just need to start winning them again.

the moral of this story, 9 out of 10 times you wont win a fight you didn’t pick.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I miss lowsec

Had a bit of fun last night.
I logged on after a explosive argument with my electricity supplyer..muppets. anyway I wanted some stress relief, so when I logged on to the imidiate question from my CEO “wanna run some sites in low with me” I jumped at it. I jump cloned out to Lerm, where I had a arby fit for exploration waiting..
Relt my CEO was fitting up his own cruiser and bringing a cov ops as I hadn’t replaced mine yet from my ninja experiment. So I figured I would refit for more of a PVP set up in case…sorry for when we got interrupted. I was buying the bits I needed (I was also selling the bits I needed which worked well lol) when a fleet of 20 jumped into system, which wasn’t uncommon, however at this point I realised I didn’t have a tracking disruption script.. ine was available 2 jumps out..and relts was still building his cruiser..
I made the 2 jumps with out incident, but as I landed in the system I noticed a fleet of 20 in local..a quick d scan showed nothing much, so I hoped they were docking up for a bio break during a roam..I docked at the station I needed and bought the script…then checked the stations guest list..
19 other pilots…
All from well known pirate corps ..
Like VETO and Shadow cartel..
I figured it was a long shot but I undocked and was hoping id sod off before they noticed I was gone.
As I undocked I saw a drake sitting off the station in my haste I miss clicked the warp out…bugger I tried again already knowing it was to late…I almost warped but the drakes lock and scram kicked in.
I re docked in half armour
I thought id play in local with a jibe about station camping and got the response “but astral..low sec is dead..we cant be station camping you”
That made me chuckle..I may have been on the receiving end but I liked these pirates.
I sat for about 5 mins chatting and hopped they would get bored ..
They didn’t.
I then figured if I tried again I might align and make it before they could point me, the arby had a fast-ish align time, if the drake was still waiting..
It wasn’t.
Instead I was greeted by a loki..shit!
The scram was on in seconds and I couldn’t re dock before the T3 ship shredded me.
I warped the POD out and posted a GF in local and thanked them for the fun..I had by this point completely forgotten why I was stressed. ..however I now needed to go get my other Arby 13 jumps away.
During the trip I got several Eve mails from W0wbanger ( the guy that killed me) and we got chatting , seems like a cool guy , sort of got a invite to go back to piracy if I want to, also in a strange turn of events he sent me the money for the ship, apparently he only wanted to blow me up cos of the blog…good reasoning to me.
By the time I had grabbed the other ship the wife was pestering me about bed, so I logged off, but I have a real itch to spend more time in low again..I have the beginnings of a plan.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Recruit (IC)

You couldn’t mistake where you were.
Tall arched ceilings wide arches slightly gothic looking architecture.. you knew it was amarr
The young Brutor male was led into a large circle at the centre of the bidding arena, drugged out of his mind on vitoc, he did exactly as he was told..
Around him hundreds of amarian nobles sat patiently waiting for the bidding to begin, behind them were private bidding chambers normally used by people that whished to remain anonymous ..if they had the isk to rent one.
The noise in the hall began to rise as the bidding started at a mere 200 isk, the accepted price of a brutor life.
As the back ground of the young male was read the price increased.
The announcer read “this young male, a brutor, was recently captured after piloting a rifter class frigate into amarr space, we believe he may have been part of the capsuleer program, guaranteeing a prime specimen”.
At this point the noise in the room dropped to a wispper, a bidder had jus placed a bid over 2 million isk. No one wasted that amount of isk on a slave..the bid was anonymous.

In his secluded chamber the bidder downed his drink, and sent a message to the trader, “give him the vitoc antidote and clean him up. Send him to my office when he is Ready.”

9 hours later the young broutor sood before the office to to his “buyer”. Since they had stopped the vitoc, he had been looking for a way to escape, preferably killing a few amarians in the process. Nothing had presented it’s self .. yet.
The door slid back to reveal a fairly basic office, a few displays on the wall, none of the religious crap he was expecting.

“My name is Astral Dominix, sit down”
The tone left the brutor in no doubt it was not a question.
“you were a capsuleer correct?”
“yes” the brutor grunted
“ then I have a use for you, you will be given your freedom, ISK and the resourses you need to do as I ask, if you accept the job. If not you will be placed back on vitoc and resold”

The brutor liked how straight forward this man was even if he was amarian.

“ok What do you want”
“go to Jasc, I’ll loan you a shuttle, meet my associate Vespa, she is another EX slave, she will explain what is needed of you..oh and one last thing. If you let me down ..I will kill you 100 times over.”

As the brutor left, Astral dispatched a message to Vespa “I’m sending you a new recruit…make me a orca pilot”

Poor choice of words.

Ok so my last little rant about people posting low sec is dead..maybe I had a poor choice of words, as I had this comment from Suleiman Shouaa

“Mate, I have to admit I am disappointed by this blogpost. You with your history in low-sec should know better then most that low-sec is not actually dead, but the general perception is that it is. In reality, its choke-full of targets if you can be bothered to look for them. If one region is empty, go to another!

Maybe you've spent too much time away from low sec?”

I gotta hold my hands up he is dead right. Low sec isn’t Dead, far from it, however I do think it could be made much better by bringing more people into lowsec. At the moment 90% of people you meet in lowsec are trying to kill you, most as part of a large fleet, what I would like to see is more “targets” for solo PVP’s to go after , mission runners explorers ect, and hence more solo/small gang PVP between PVPers in general.

So I apologise for my poor choice of words. Lowsec isn’t dead, but I feel it could be made a lot better.
…and maybe I have spent to long away from low…

tuesdays musing

I keep reading the same thing..
Every few days a blog pipes up lowsec is dieing, piracy is dieing!
Trouble is no one is doing anything about it.
Lets cut the long winded explanations, lowsec is not whgat it was because there is no reason to go there. The only real reason to go there is for PVP, and the way to win that in 90% of players eyes is to have more people than the other guy.
That’s it…the whole reason low sec is the way it is.
There are 2 things that “could” change that, first if people had a real reason to draw them into lowsec..for example a very lucrative mission that may offset the risk of losing ships, the other thing that could happen is CCP could impose a penalty on blobs, I’m not sure how, but if the bigger blobs were put at a disadvantage small skirmish warfare would return (and that’s a good thing IMO).
CCP has said it will be at least another year before anything like that gets looked at. So unless all the people saying lowsec is dead do something drastic to pull people into lowsec it will not change. And I can hardly see all the pirate corps in lowsec agreeing and saying “ok guys we are all gonna limit our fleet’s to less than 10 men” , it would be fun, but it wont happen because it would take away the easy win.

/rant over

In other news,
I had a reply from notorious ninja -Aiden Mourn- giving me some much needed advice on my recent attempt at ninjaing, I think I may give it another go as a part time guilty pleasure, to see if I can get good at it. It’s a very different idea to piracy as a lot of the time its VERY hard to get people to shoot at you, when you do you are often out numbered, and if they have any sense and switch to a pvp ship also you have NO idea what your warping back to. Piracy was much more direct..find someone ..kill em.
Still I feel with a little practice I can keep my kill board afloat while care bearing to pay for my ships.
Oh and I wanted to say a public thank you to the anonymous lovely person that gave me a fed navy heat sink for my birthday, I will put it to good* use sir!

*Good use may infer evil deeds.