Author: Zapp Blappington

Baptism By Concord in Maurasi: Code has The Power to Enforce Its Law – Belief is Not Required

Success continues for the Office of Culture’s Enforcement Division.  Recently, two new Agents received their Baptism by Concord and got their target:

KM - Darius

I guess Darius Damascus thought it was safe to mine in 0.9 security space with a Covetor.  Agents Virginia Blappington and Montana Blappington obliterated his illegal equipment.  Darius wasn’t just targeted because of his yield fit abomination, which we presume spends more time in ice fields than the asteroid belt where it met its demise.

Darius Damascus1

That’s right, Darius was sporting a fake Mining Permit. Darius’ “I Can Do What I Want” permit was even weaker than his ship’s tank.

Darius was in the belt with an Orca piloted by Jace O’Durn.  The tears began to flow even before I even had the chance to offer Darius a Mining Permit.

Convo1

Darius immediately admitted that he improperly fit his ship.  However, Mr. O’durn seemed the most outraged by our Agent’s act of justice.

Convo3

These two were quite impatient if I did not immediately respond to their questions.  But it was true, he had the same “I Can Do What I Want” permit and a silly video that he inexplicably associated with the Code.

Convo4

It appeared Mr. O’durn was a Code denier… I acknowledged that the two Catalyst pilots at my disposal would be unable to gank his Orca.  And he agreed that other Code Agents do regularly gank Orcas. After a few more questions he revealed that he had only recently returned to highsec when his nullsec corporation “got rolled by the goons.”

Convo5.jpg

O’durn’s time in nullsec had honed his Eve logic.  On his own, he concluded that Code is “certainly capable of enforcing [its] laws so I guess… belief is not required.” He quickly conceded that he had “melted [his] own side of the discussion.”

A short time later, Mr. O’durn contacted me via private convo to tell me that he was removing the anti-Code portions of his bio.  While he still needs a Mining Permit if he plans to remain in highsec, it is a step in the right direction.

Progress

I suspect that Mr. O’durn will return to nullsec.  His almost-Gallantry is more at home there. In the meantime, we can only hope that his keen insight will spread to other Code deniers (and that he will come around to purchasing a Mining Permit).

“Repairing” Security Status With Low-Sec Ratting

We’ve been surprised at the number of carebears who attempt – and so far have universally failed – to assassinate agents carrying out bumping enforcement. These carebears have given us so many kill rights, a couple of our Enforcement Division agents decided to shift their primary focus from ganking to hunting these would-be assassins.

One agent, Ricky Deckard, decided to raise his security status to more easily take advantage of these kill rights.  We asked him to document his path to higher security status so we could share a concrete example of what it takes to increase it.

First, here’s a little background. Most Eve players are probably already familiar with “Security Status” which primarily affects your freedom to operate in highsec space.  As your security status drops from -2.0 to -4.5 you will be subject to attack by the faction police in increasingly lower levels of highsec.  When you drop to about -5.0, you may be attacked by anyone in highsec without Concord intervention to protect you.

Security Level Consequence
-2.0 and below Faction police will attack you in 1.0 space
-2.5 and below Faction police will attack you in 0.9 space
-3.0 and below Faction police will attack you in 0.8 space
-3.5 and below Faction police will attack you in 0.7 space
-4.0 and below Faction police will attack you in 0.6 space
-4.5 and below Faction police will attack you in 0.5 space
-5.0 and below Anyone may attack you in highsec space

For a more detailed explanation about actions affecting your Security Status and the consequences see Eve University’s wiki.

Many gankers simply operate in highsec with -10 security status. They can still travel through highsec jump gates and dock at stations. They need remain on grid for only a short time to perform the gank.  The only real downsides to very low security status are they cannot sit in one place for long because faction police will (eventually) show up and any player can attack them without affecting their own security status or Concord intervention (the latter may not even really be a downside). Moreover, faction police are not impossibly overpowered like Concord, it is possible to tank or run from faction police.

But if you decide you want to raise your security status, what does it cost?  Again Eve University has a helpful and thorough wiki article on “Repairing Security Status” which explains the fundamentals.  Basically, there are two options: (1) killing NPC pirate rats (mission, belt or anomaly) or (2) turning in “Clone Solider” security tags.

Here’s a concrete example of raising security status based on Agent Deckard’s experience. Note that Agent Deckard had not trained any levels of the social skill “Fast Talk” – which gives a bonus to effective security rating increase.

Agent Deckard’s security status was not that low, only -3.64.  This meant that faction police would attack him in 0.7 – 1.0 space.  He wanted to increase his security status to at least -1.9 so he can operate freely in all of highsec.  Since he was between -2 and -5, he could have used “Clone Soldier Transporter Tags” which cost about 16.8M ISK.  He would have needed 4 tags to get above -2, for a total cost of about 67.2M ISK.

Instead, Agent Deckard decided to raise his security status and earn some ISK at the same time by doing some low-sec ratting (mostly in asteroid belts).  Over the course of about a week, he destroyed rats primarily in 0.2 and 0.3 security space.  Here is his report:

Deckard Sec Status Rpt

Let’s all take a second to laugh at Agent Deckard for losing a ship to a rat: zkillboard.

In short, Agent Deckard raised his security status from -3.64 to -0.74 and made about 321M ISK.  Agent Deckard is only about a month and a half old, and most of his skills are focused on flying ganking Catalysts. So he didn’t use some fancy ratting ship.  He used a relatively cheap Atron frigate (costing about 4.1M ISK):

Atron fit

Agent Deckard informed me that he destroyed all sizes of pirate rats from frigates to battleships.  As one would expect, Battleships and Clone Soldier rats provided the best bounty reward and security status gains.  Battleship bounties were between 500,000 to 800,000 ISK and Clone Soldiers ranged from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 ISK, with security status gains of about 0.1700% and 0.400% respectively.  Also, Clone Soldiers drop security tags which can be worth a fair amount of ISK (about 2M ISK in a 0.3 system and about 17M ISK in a 0.2).  Below you can see the last bit of security standing Agent Deckard gained:

sec status

Concord finally recognizes Agent Deckard is engaged in “Law Enforcement”

So, if you’re interested in giving ganking a try, but worried about your security status, don’t be worried.  You can spend a modest amount on Clone Soldier tags to quickly increase your security status.  Or you can make a decent amount of ISK while “repairing” your security status.

Here are a few tips for newbie low-sec ratting I got from Agent Deckard:

  • Pick a low traffic group of systems with the security-level(s) you want, preferably with lots of asteroid belts.
  • Pick one or two conveniently located stations to drop your loot since your cargo hold will be small. About 1/3 of my gains were dropped loot that needed considerable cargo space to move to a trade hub. Have a plan for moving this stuff through low-sec (or don’t bother to loot it, you’ll still be ISK-positive).
  • Frigates and destroyers are the biggest threat, since cruisers will rarely hit you and battleships will pretty much never hit you.  Close the distance quickly (without flying straight at the rats) and be ready to pulse your armor repairer.
  • Clone Soldiers will destroy you in about 5 shots.  Once you take the first hit, turn your armor repair on and leave it on until you close the gap (then turn it off). Once you close the gap and orbit they will almost always miss.  In 0.2 systems Clone Soldiers use a web and in 0.1 systems they will warp disrupt you.
  • I also carried a few Null S and Faction Antimatter S rounds in case I ended up in PvP, but I was able to destroy all the rats with Void S.

Our First Baptism By Concord

Friends, I have been delinquent in my posting duties.  A little over two weeks ago, our Enforcement Division had two agents undergo baptism by Concord.  Agents Boutros Boutros Golly and Ricky Deckard found an unlicensed Covetor in  Ahtulaima.  They had no choice but to destroy it.

Triade Utama Killmail

Following its destruction, I sent the pilot our standard Enforcement Action Notice.

Triade Utama EAN

This pilot proved to be an almost-Gallant.  After a pleasant exchange of EveMails, she declined to purchase a Mining Permit.  However, she offered greetings from Germany,  asked me to give our agents a GF and informed me that she had read the Code several times.

Triade Utama GF.jpg

Although our Agents were unable to get this pilot a Permit, they succeeded with their first gank and spread the word of the Code.  Just a short while later, they destroyed an unlicensed Retriever in nearby Mitsolen.  Not a bad start for these two promising agents.

Sadly, their streak of friendly encounters was not to continue.  About a week later, they destroyed an unlicensed Retriever piloted by Tony Orti in Sirseshin.  Mr. Orti’s response to our Notice of Enforcement Action was far less cordial.

Tony Orti EAN

Again, we were unable to get this pilot properly licensed.  However, we found our first red-pen violation.  So these two fine Agents have achieved two firsts for the Office of Culture.  I want to extend my congratulations and thanks to Agents Golly and Deckard for their fine work protecting the culture of New Eden.

Of Bots and Men

I was excited to learn that an intrepid player, who goes by the name Broadhead on the forums, created a bot detector which displays its results on the website Eve Bot Detector.  According to the tool’s creator, it uses algorithms to identify “persistence and consistence” of ratting activity and then assigns systems a probability score for botting.

Botdetector

Although there were many positive responses to the idea, quite a few forum users also expressed skepticism.  As one poster said, “Let me guess: It detects high constant ratting activity which is basically useless because large alliances actually do have the krabbers to keep rat kills at a high level with only human manpower.”

Bowhead concedes that his algorithm cannot identify botting with certainty.  But he says, “I know very well that people can and will rat for long periods of time, without being bots. But if you notice, some of the most ratted systems does not appear on the list, mainly because people are not so consistent as bots.” Whether this tool identifies bots or bot-aspirants, it could be a great force for good in New Eden.

I can’t say how well this tool works, but it’s an interesting idea.  The web and big data have certainly demonstrated the often surprising power of algorithms to reveal unexpected patterns. Like several forum users, I would love to see an organized effort to investigate the systems this tool identifies to evaluate its performance.  But, whether it works or not, it is good to see a player trying to make a difference himself, rather than just letting somebody else (CCP?) address the evils of botting.

In my short time enforcing the Code, I regularly come across apparent bots or bot-aspirants like these two:

Hentogaira ice miner

A Huge Group of Skiffs Mostly in NPC Corps Arrived Together

Gelhan miners

Locals Informed Me This Group of Hulks Seems to be Controlled by a Bot or Bot-Aspirant. Upon Being Bumped it Fled the Ice-Field.

It would be great if an algorithm could identify persistent and consistent mining activity in highsec, in addition to ratting.  It could make Code enforcement so much more efficient.  Unfortunately, the Eve Bot Detector has not been applied to highsec systems because its creator expects that it will not work there.  As he says, “I collect data from all systems, but you are right, I only display null systems. There is too much interference in ls/hs from regular people to make a proper analysis. (I think, haven’t actually tried).”  If true, this is yet more evidence that bots are likely to hide their evil schemes in highsec.

Until an industrious player figures out a way to detect bots and bot-aspirants in highsec, we will have to continue to rely upon the hard work and judgement of New Order Agents to fight the evils of botting and bot-aspirancy.  Fortunately, there is no more qualified group of people, for the New Order has spent years disrupting the best laid schemes of botters and those who aspire to follow them.

No Higher Calling

Hello friend!  I’m Zapp Blappington, the CEO of the Office of Culture (CUULT).  We’re a for-profit humanitarian organization that seeks to study and protect capsuleer culture by enforcing the CODE.  Think of us like the Servant Sisters of Eve, but instead of being obsessed with bizarre pseudo-scientific theories about the Eve Gate, we’re focused on the everyday wellbeing of our fellow capsuleers (and we’re not a NPC corp).

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Another johnny-come-lately who just wants to join the most winning team in highsec.  While it’s true that the CODE always wins (Always!), that’s not why I chose to become an Agent of the New Order of Highsec.

Having finished pilot training, I pondered the seemingly infinite possibilities before me while working on a skillplan.  Wormhole exploration, faction warfare, pirating, joining a nullsec group and working my way up, using my clean record to try scamming.  The list goes on.  My planning was interrupted when my friend Boutros Boutros “Boo Boo” Golly convo’d me.

Boo Boo founded CUULT, but was looking to move to the also newly founded Enforcement Division Office of Culture (EDOC).  Would I take over for him as CEO, he asked me.  He assured me it was a perfect job for a new pilot.  No other pilots to watch over or manage.  I’d just have to do some scouting and bumping, low skillpoint jobs, I could keep my security status for the time being, share in any earnings, and do some writing about CUULT and EDOC activities.  I told Boo Boo that I’d think about it.

Like most people, I’ve always admired the vision and welcoming nature of CODE and the New Order.  But, I thought, Eve is all about nullsec.  I’ll need some time (or a few skillpoint injectors) before I can really compete out there, but shouldn’t I get into that as soon as possible?  While I considered my future, I decided to take my rookie ship for a trip to Halaima, the historic birthplace of the New Order.

Arriving in system, I was pleased to see more than 20 people in local.  I said hi, no one responded.  My probe scanner didn’t show any ice deposits, so I guess everyone was AFK waiting for a new one.  After visiting Halaima’s stunning purple sun, I decided to visit the asteroid belts.  To my disgust, every belt was completely mined out.  Two fleets of NPC miners zipped aimlessly from belt to belt, apparently as aghast as I.

I left the eerily silent, barren, system and headed to Kamio.  There was also a sizable, but mostly silent, group of pilots there.  Thankfully, all but one of the asteroid belts looked healthy.  My spirits were rising and, when I checked my probe scanner, I noticed an ice field.

I quickly went to take a look (I’d never seen one before).  Despite the 20+ pilots in system, there appeared to be only three or four miners in the ice field and a healthy number of ice chunks, a good sign.  But then I saw this:

kamio abomination

This monstrosity – 4 Skiffs, an Orca, and an Obelisk – would periodically activate its mining lasers, apparently when their lone operator returned from being AFK.  Based upon the ships’ actions, pilots’ names, and lack of permits it seems likely these were all controlled by a single operator suffering from severe bot-aspirancy (though at least he flies Skiffs).

Kamio Bots

Attempts at communication failed.  I’m not sure whether this was due to the operator (likely) speaking Russian or that he was AFK most of the time.  Suddenly, I regretted not having anything with which to bump or attempt a gank.  For if I have learned anything from reading the Words of James 315, it is that every miner is worth saving, even one as apparently far gone as this fellow.

And that was it.  I had found my calling.  Highsec is worth saving! Boo Boo was offline, but I immediately mailed him that I would accept his offer.  Then I modified my skill training for a bumping Stabber.  I should have been better prepared (obviously, I have not adequately immersed myself in the CODE yet), but I’ll be back to save this miner.  Because, as we know, the CODE always wins.  Always.