Wednesday 31 March 2021

An Interesting Title


I'm going to completely gloss over the fact I've not posted for a while and carry on like normal.

I've been in Shadow Cartel for a while now and have been having a blast. When I first joined, the (sometimes) expensive doctrine ships and large fleets (larger than what I was used to) were a bit of a turn off as I was a dedicated solo/small gang player. While I like to think I still am at heart I can't deny that flying in some of the organised fleets has been fun - Eve is after all a social game. It helps that there are some great FCs within the alliance.

During my time in SC I have noticed my playstyle has changed somewhat significantly. I rarely undock in the T1/T2/faction frigates that I used to before roaming the belts looking for like-minded PvPers to test my mettle against. These days I can be found flying larger and more expensive hull types.

Bored? I'll take the Mach out solo because why not?

Small gang roam with the blokes? I'll bring a Sleipnir because why not?

I do enjoy zooming around occasionally in a Kiki or a Wolf but I seem to have "upgraded" from my days of roaming in frigates looking for fights. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing and I won't ever rule out some T1 frig fun because at its core those are really fun, short, sharp scraps.

Joining SC has also enabled me to get my blops on a lot more than I previously had. I commented in a previous post about my Panther sat gathering dust and not doing a lot but now I can gleefully say that its been out dunking unwary miners. I'm still waiting for the day that we get counter-blopsed as I know it's coming Soon™.

When I was thinking about ideas for this post I looked back at my last entry - the Orca kill of the week. I've since killed three more Orcas which sort of dilutes it a bit I think. Two of them had blops dropped on their heads and the other was much like the first - I warped to a belt and found it mining. I was only in a Huginn at the time so had to call in the cavalry to help apply DPS. Due to being in SC now I've had the opportunity to be in fleets that blap carriers, dreads and Fortizars. Whilst these are big ticket kills worth a lot of ISK there usually isn't a lot to be said for the story behind them - not on a micro level anyway. I don't think it would be particularly interesting for people to read what would essentially be an AAR about a bunch of T3Cs' bridging into a lowsec system to systematically apply violence to three carriers and then bridge out again. I think I'll leave my "kill of the week" tales for fights that are worth writing about rather than "oh look we killed a shiny today".

I keep solo roaming around in my Sleipnir hoping to bump into a "manageable" gang of cruisers or something. Nothing that would just instablap me easily as that would be boring but a fight that would require me to be at the top of my game to survive or if not, get a load of kills before exploding, a ~good fight~ if you will. I'm not sure they exist anymore though; regardless of what side of the killboard I'm on it feels like the majority of fights in Eve are very one-sided these days. Maybe they always have been and I just need to take off the rose-tinted specs.

Fly recklessly,

- Cable

Friday 21 August 2020

Kill of the Week - The Belt Miner

Kavis Vercet is not having a good August. He started the month off losing a Mackinaw in lowsec - only a 270mil loss so not the end of the world. A few days later he was hauling a Tayra full of blueprints near Jita and when that inevitibly exploded he was down approximately 3.1 billion ISK. Some players might have just given up playing Eve for a while at this point but not Kavis Vercet - he forged on. I remember many years ago when I first started playing I read up about RvB and how it was a great PvP primer for new players. I joined Red Fed, spent all the ISK I had on T1 mods and ammo and undocked in a barely-trained Badger ready to get myself to the front line. 

I made it as far as the 4-4 undock.

At this point I didn't realise that ongoing wars between RvB weren't just constrained to those two corps but that third party entities had wardecc'd them too and I was livid that I'd just lost my worldly possessions to some random station campers. I nearly ragequit Eve there and then I was that mad but instead went off for about a month before coming back.

I digress but the message from that anecdote is that Kavis Vercet is clearly made of sterner stuff - the 3bill loss of all those blueprints did not dissuade him from staying in New Eden and merely a few days later he was back plying the space lanes. Unfortunately he took a Providence into lowsec which was promptly blapped on a gate and the hero of this tale was out of pocket by another 1.5bil. Like I said at the beginning, not a good month for Kavis Vercet.

The bad fortune for our budding hauler does not end here. A few days after losing the Providence, Kavis Vercet was out mining in highsec in an Orca - probably to recoup some of the losses he'd incurred earlier in the month. Now I've never taken part in asteroid mining because it seems colossally boring and I assume Kavis Vercet thinks so too because (and I'm making assumptions here) he went AFK in the belt. During this time an NPC Punisher belonging to the Blood Raiders landed on grid and promptly put an end to his Orca. I bet its laser crystals were nearly burnt out after putting out 114k damage.

Now you might be wondering where this is all going - what is all this buildup and backstory about? Well dear reader, lets find out. 

I've recently taken to roaming around my local haunts in my HAM Sandwich Loki. It has a wide engagement envelope and is all-around a fun, versatile ship. Yesterday afternoon I was bouncing around a few systems and ended up in Hulmate, in Essence. I noticed Kavis Vercet in local but couldn't find anything on d-scan so prepared to jump out and find somewhere else to go. I then caught wife aggro so had to go AFK. One of the joys of flying a cloaky ship is that I can drop Eve at a moments notice if needed and still be safe. 

I returned an hour or so later and hit warp to my out gate, idly d-scanning as I zoomed to my destination. An Orca flashed up on scan. I landed on the gate and held cloak. There were no stations or Citadels within 14 AU of this gate and yet there was an Orca somewhere in space. Immediately I dropped down to a 5° angle and started scanning the nearby celestials. 

There! Planet 3, belt 10. Orca.

My initial thought was that surely this was bait of the highest magnitide but I'm a big fan of taking the bait so I warped in anyway. Kavis Vercet and I were the only people in system anyway so I'd have time to bug out if local suddenly exploded.

I landed on the belt and found Kavis Vercet belt mining in his Orca. Clearly the losses of the month had drained our poor hero of a lot of ISK and he felt the need to risk the dangers of lowsec to mine some valuable ore. 

Slowboating within point range I uncloaked and got tackle. Local did not explode. I announced on the SC intel channel that I'd tackled an Orca in a belt in Hulmate. A few alliance mates scrambled to come and assist me. Meanwhile the Orca's shields were slowly being whittled down. A flight of light drones came and went. ECM drones were shot out of space. Kavis Vercet tried neuting me but I was too far out of their optimal range for them to do anything of note. The shields were almost down.

Two of my alliance mates landed on grid to get secondary and tertiary tackle and apply DPS. It didn't take long before the Orca exploded, briefly illuminating the belt.

 I collected my loot (fuck you loot fairy!) and slipped back into the night, content with the aggressive transaction that had just taken place. My two alliance buddies were happy to get on the kill. In hindsight I could probably have solo'd it but I had no idea if Kavis Vercet had any back up or any other hidden surprises so it was the right choice to bring in extra DPS.  

Moments after leaving Hulmate my notification feed lit up.

I can't say I was surprised in all honesty but I'll take it. A fairly good chunk of ISK though, 50mil - the highest one-time bounty I've accrued to date I think so happy with that. So that, dear readers is what I'm claiming as my kill of the week. It might not have been ~elite pvp~ but it was a big kill for me at least so I think it counts. I think there's only one thing left to say -

Kavis Vercet is not having a good August.

Until next time, fly reckless o/

- Cable

Wednesday 19 August 2020



A few days ago I hit something of a milestone in my PvP career - 1,000 player kills. I know, I know, in the grand scheme of things it's not that many but I felt like celebrating it with a light analysis of my kills from the beginning up until now.

One thing I would have liked to achieve is hitting 1,000 kills before I died 300 times but as you can see I was a little too reckless a handful of times more than I should have been. Close though! Perhaps my next goal can be 5,000 kills with less than 1,000 deaths? Lets see if I can do that, hah.

Another interesting tidbit is the 60/40 gang/solo split - I genuinely thought that I'd got a lot more solo kill than that but after some digging I found out that noobship, shuttle and importantly - pod kills - don't count as being solo even if you were on your own. It's worth noting that 250 of those 1,000 kills were pods so that's thrown the balance off a little bit. One way of getting my solo bar a bit greener is to stop podding people but that's never going to happen so I'll just have to accept it!

Above is a summary snapshot of all ship types killed and lost on my road to 1,000. 

The big takeaway from this picture is that I specialise in small stuff. Frigates make up the bulk of both my kills and losses which isn't a surprise at all - Frigate PvP has been the mainstay of my PvP career since I started way back in RvB many years ago and for the foreseeable future I'll be flying frigates more often than not. They're cheap (lol) and fun to fly so it makes sense to keep going with them. 

Unsurprisingly destroyers and cruisers follow frigate hulls for my most killed. After frigates they're the most commonly seen  ship types in lowsec so it makes sense. I'm happy that my ratios are again in the positive for both ship classes - makes me think I'm doing something right!

Speaking of ratios it appears that I suck at flying assault frigates. With only 28 kills to 41 lost - my only negative ratio across the board - I need to get a grip! In my defence the majority of those losses were years ago before the rebalance when AFs were considered to be slow and outclassed by a lot of other ships. I flew them a lot and lost them a fair few times too. I can't help that I love the Wolf, 2 mid slots be damned!

The rest of the numbers speak for themselves - I've killed small numbers of a lot of other ships and lost either none or very little of them myself. That isn't because I'm an ~elite pvper~ who doesn't die when flying more specialised ships but probably due to the fact that I haven't flown more specialised ships a great deal. That being said, since I came back to Eve in July I feel like I'm a much better pilot than I ever was when I played 7 years ago and I have a little ISK to spare to I'm planning on going out and finding fights in some more exciting ships in the immediate future. 

Until next time - fly reckless,

- Cable

Sunday 9 August 2020

Ominous Latin Name


So I seem to have wound up joining Shadow Cartel. Yes I know, this has completely come from out of nowhere especially when you take into account two posts ago I was shilling for my own, newly created PvP corp. 

Despite flying around New Eden solo most of the time it's still nice to have folks to chat to and enjoy the social side of Eve. In a one-man corp you don't really get much of that so when an opportunity to join Mea Culpa came up I took it. Since my return to Eve I've got to know most of the locals around Hevrice and I kept bumping into Max, one of the geezers from Mea Culpa and another SC pilot who keeps killing me in his Dragoon. Several ad hoc roams up and down the Black Rise pipe later (do not recommend - you always die when Max is in fleet) and I was basically in! There aren't too many pilots in the corp but I see that as a good thing - when you get to know basically everyone on TS/Discord a much more tight-knit group is formed rather than having randoms from a pool of a couple of hundred turn up for a fleet. 

Shadow Cartel then, eh? I remember back in my days as a Tusker they were the big alliance a couple of doors down from Hevrice who liked to drop carriers on cruisers for a laugh. I'm told they (we?) still do that, which is mighty entertaining. I mean it would be if I regularly flew carriers. I do have a Panther sitting around gathering dust so that will hopefully be useful in the not too distant future.

Speaking of big(ger) ships, there are a bunch of doctrines that SC use, some of which are nice to have and others which are pretty essential to own. Some of them aren't cheap either so I thought I'd try and grow my liquid ISK by doing some carebearing (I hear the cool kids call it krabbing these days), because PvE in Eve is easy right?    

There's no use hiding it so I'll just link it here. I welped a Loki on some random site, probably because I had no idea what I was doing. The first three battleship rats in the plex died easily enough to my HAM sandwich and I was barely taking any damage. Anyway after they exploded a whole bunch of other Mordu rats spawned and some of them webbed and scrammed me, which led to my beloved Loki with a bunch of killmarks on it also exploding. Something something hubris I guess. So yeah, I guess I'll go back to just taking other pilots modules after I've popped them. Might take me a bit longer to afford that Tempest Navy Issue though...

In other news I killed a Garmur today. That piece of information on its own isn't particularly noteworthy because lots of Garmurs are killed every day in Eve. Even the manner of how I killed it isn't really that interesting. On d-scan I saw a newbie in a Hurricane sat at an open FW plex. A few moments later I saw a Garmur on scan at the same plex. Using my incredibly impressive powers of deduction I identified the pilot, checked his recent Garmur fits on zkill - which were all semi-pimped LML kiters - and then fitted up my own Garmur with a scram and rockets.

I warped to the plex and due to Eve's rock-paper-scissors methodology I easily caught and killed the enemy Garmur. The loot fairy was not gracious and did not grant me the Republic Fleet long point but she did give me the B-type MWD which is better than nothing. I offered a gf in local and got one back and then the pilot said something in French which according to Google was slang for being irritated. Moments later my wallet flashed.

"for your skill". Had a good laugh at that. The irony of an LML-kiting Garmur pilot being salty because he got killed by an anti-kite fit Garmur is almost palpable. 

Until next time, fly reckless

- Cable

Saturday 25 July 2020

Going forward with Chasing the Blue Flash

I've been zooming around New Eden again for just under 3 weeks now and in the words of John Wick, I'm thinking I'm back. Despite having forgotten how exhilarating Eve PvP is I'm hooked back into it again. Since being back in lowsec I've clocked up 121 kills and lost 27 ships which isn't bad going. Granted, a bunch of those kills were newbie pilots who inadvertently ventured into lowsec a couple of days into their Eve journey but I need to get myself down to -10 sec status and a kill is a kill right?

All those years ago when I first started this blog I used it to document my journey from being a fledgling capsuleer to a lowsec pirate. It's quite funny looking back at some of the old posts and seeing how I thought I was doing or spotting obvious newbie mistakes that we've all made. Well now that I (sort of) know what I'm doing there's not much more progress to catalogue. At this point you might think that Chasing the Blue Flash has run its course like so many gaming related journals do but I enjoy writing about my time in Eve so I'll be keeping it going.

Posts now will be on a wider breadth of subjects other than "this is what I killed this week". Sure, interesting kills will still feature but I'll be doing spotlights on my favourite lowsec fits, good destinations to roam around lowsec and other topics that will become apparent when I either think of them or steal ideas from other authors. 

To kick things off, I solo'd two Praxis today. Neither were particularly well fit but I didn't know that until I warped in and made them explode. I initially saw them on d-scan whilst warping around Hevrice looking for FW pilots to shoot at. Narrowing them down to an area of space I reshipped into my cloaky Loki and dropped combat probes, hoping that neither pilots would be pinging d-scan and get spooked. I got a full hit on my first scan so instantly brought probes in and warped to their location and jumped through the accel gate.

I landed at 0 on one of the Praxis and the other was a good 40km away. I instantly tackled the one I was bumping hulls with and settled into an easy orbit, slinging missiles its way. I was hugely surprised that the other Praxis stayed on grid and didn't warp off to save his own skin. Even with both battleships engaging me they barely did any damage - I think their drones did most of the work. I think I had to cycle my XLASB maybe twice the entire fight. 

After the first Praxis went down I snagged his pod which didn't have anything exciting in and then tackled the remaining battleship. That one went down pretty quickly too and this one had an Incursus in it's escape bay, which also exploded. 

Shortly after the skirmish both pilots convo'd me. I was expecting the vitriol that normally accompanies such kills but was pleasantly surprised to find both pilots congratulated me on killing them so hats off to both of them for taking it in their stride!

Strigon Team are still on the lookout for lowsec PvPers. If you're interested in joining or want to know me, join the public channel - Strigon Team Public.

Fly reckless,

- Cable

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Strigon Team

When I came back to Eve I spent a few days pottering around in Wingspan and ultimately decided that it wasn't what I was looking for. After parting ways I made my own one-man corp with the intent of dodging the NPC tax for being in the State War Academy. I've since decided to attempt to create a small, tight-knit group of lowsec pilots who enjoy PvP in a relaxed and mature environment so am pleased to announce that Strigon Team is open for recruitment!

 What can Strigon Team offer you, the budding lowsec capsuleer?

Well, not a lot at the moment in all honesty as it's very much a grassroots startup. The goal is to get PvPers and pirates alike interested and form a small core group of players who are interested in both solo and small-gang PvP. My vision is for the corp to consist mainly of solo players who have access to a reasonable batphone of local corpmates and have the opportunity to create small ad hoc fleets for roaming around New Eden. More organised small-gang events to follow when numbers permit.  

It's worth noting that I (mostly) play during the UK evening so my main focus to start with will be people who are also EU TZ players. We have no voice comms right now because there's just me but if the corp starts getting members I'll whip up a Discord.

The corp - like me - is based out of Hevrice in Verge Vendor, Gallente lowsec. There are plenty of good roaming routes up to Black Rise, Essence, Sinq Laison and more! Hev is also only 12 or so jumps from Jita for relatively quick shopping trips.  

What do I want from potential members?

The corp only has 3 rules and they're pretty easy to follow:

1. Don't be a dick.
2. Always honour agreed 1v1s and ransoms, when offered.
3. Pilots must be fiscally self-sufficient.

And that's it!

I realise that there's every chance that Strigon Team will remain a one-man corp and no one will be interested but if it does I lose nothing - I'll still be plundering the space lanes either way.

If you're interested in becoming a founding member of Strigon Team then join our public channel, the aptly named Strigon Team Public. 

Fly dangerously o7

- Cable

Friday 17 July 2020


It has been seven years since I posted something to this blog. I imagine most people who read it back then thought it had died like so many other Eve-related blogs are want to. Truth be told, it did die. When I returned from Afghanistan back in 2013 I didn't really have the desire or drive to play Eve again despite missing flying around New Eden when I was out there. 

After a few months of keeping my sub up and skills training but not playing I did return to Eve. Some friends I'd known for a long time in another gaming community invited me to join them in Nullsec and enjoy the "real Eve". So, I left the Tuskers and went to Nullsec, joining Sabotage Incorporated which is/was part of EXE. Overall I enjoyed my time in Null. I didn't really play as much as I could have but whenever I did log on there was always something going on. Part of Nullsec life is the politics, intrigue and huge wars that are fought out there but none of that interested me in the slightest. I was loyal only to my corpmates and mainly did my own thing, much like I did in lowsec when I flew under the banner of the Tuskers.

I think the biggest highlight of my time in EXE was going to NPC Null and harrassing Fraternity for a couple of weeks in cloaky ships, disrupting their PI and blowing up their ratters. It was a basic gameplay loop but it was fun. 

After a while of flying with EXE there was a huge war over sov. To this day I have no idea who the big players were; I vaguely recall The Imperium and the Honey Badger Coalition being two of the big names but I honestly don't know. Like I said, the realpolitik side of living in Null didn't interest me. Anyway, I think my "side" ended up losing as one day a call came out to evacuate everything you owned in Cloud Ring so I packed up all my stuff and dumped it in one of the nearby lowsec systems.

With the war all wrapped up a bunch of my corpmates in QQ either left EXE or decided to take a break from the game. I too felt little desire to keep playing now that most of the dudes I flew with were no longer logging in and slowly drifted away from Eve again. Present Me is thankful that Past Me left my sub running and kept a bunch of skills training. I'm now nearly at 120mil SP and can fly most subcaps at max, or near enough max skills, which is nice.

So that brings us to now. Why am I posting this short history to why I stopped playing Eve? Well, I'm back ingame! A week ago I had a random desire to reinstall the client and see what was going on in New Eden. For some reason CCP thought I had 10 days of Omega Time on my account and so I've been flying around trying to burn the rust off. And I am definitely rusty!  There have been so many changes to Eve since I last played and I'm still getting to grips with some of them. Regardless though the game has got me hooked again and I think I'll be sticking around so I thought I'd reboot the blog for a couple of months and see if anyone bothers to read it. 

This post has gone on for a little longer than I intended so I'll cut it short here but I have a few ideas in the works which I'll go into in future posts. For now, I'm back to doing what I enjoyed most in Eve - being a lowsec pirate. Drop by Hevrice sometime and I'll show you some 200mm diplomacy!

- Cable