Regular Updates Weekly

My name is Hallan Turrek. This is my blog.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

What It's Like

Not about to see your light
But if you wanna find hell with me
I can show you what it's like
Till you're bleeding
DANZIG - Mother

I've got nothing against CTAs, organized ops, and fleet doctrine ships. In fact I'm well aware that that's a huge part of what makes the game fun. Being a part of something way, way bigger than you are is sort of a draw for people. It's a draw for me.

But I always find the most enjoyment in PVP while part of roaming gangs of killers. It's the interactions on a smaller scale that really make me want to log in. So when I found myself dreading the idea of logging into EVE, because I'd be needing to check for ops and fits and logistics and everything else I knew it was time to move on.

Noir. today is not what I remember (but what corp is after 5 years?). It would be a ton of fun for someone seeking 0.0 warfare, but not for me right now, given my low levels of commitment to and time for the game. Not to say I won't want to do that sort of thing later, but right now? I need to fly a little freer.

So I mailed my resignation and dropped corp. And right  now I'm flying around in High Sec looking at my assets window.

Yeah that's the stuff.

There's always been something remarkably freeing about not having anything stashed anywhere. I'm not sure a non-eve player will ever understand the significance of that. It means I can go anywhere and do anything and never worry. And that's definitely a kind of freedom.

Also if you're wondering what that vague shape behind the window is, that's a Svipul I kitted out. Here's the fit if you're wondering: 

[Svipul, Blackjack]

Damage Control II
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Medium Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Initiated Compact Warp Scrambler

200mm AutoCannon II, Barrage S
200mm AutoCannon II, Barrage S
200mm AutoCannon II, Barrage S
200mm AutoCannon II, Barrage S
Small Ghoul Compact Energy Nosferatu
Core Probe Launcher II, Core Scanner Probe I

Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I

I really would've preferred to use T2 rigs, but I'm apparently not skilled for that. I am however, skilled for any Destroyer again. I may give Command Destroyers a little look in a while, but for now I'm gonna go see if anyone wants to play with this.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stayin' Alive

Waste time with a masterpiece, don't waste time with a masterpiece
You should be rolling with me, you should be rolling with me, ah
You're a real-life fantasy, you're a real-life fantasy
But you're moving so carefully; let's start living dangerously
DNCE - Cake By The Ocean
One of the most popular posts on this blog is my Stealth Bomber Guide (64k views!). I wrote it back in 2010, and outside of the fittings (which are outdated due to module changes in the last 6 years) it's still, if I do say so myself, fairly valuable advice.

I've been giving some thought to how I'm going to update it. I'd like to ensure that it remains useful going forward. While thinking about that, I had to give some thought to what keeps a Stealth Bomber safe in combat. Then I realized that I'd thought it out so much it probably deserved its own blog post.

Really there are 4 things to keep in mind. Each has different applicability depending on the circumstances of the fight itself.


Your own ability to recognize and respond to threats.

This is an easily overlooked skill that most pilots need. If you're flying a Stealth Bomber any ship that's 30k or closer to you is a threat. But it goes beyond that. Threat recognition is not an instantaneous thing, even to the best pilots. So there should be a hard range that, once an enemy enters, you know to GTFO or cloak.

With a fragile ship like a Stealth Bomber, it's going to depend heavily on your range. That's why my Bomber guide talks about maximizing range. For one it gives you the longest period of time on the field, but beyond that, it gives you time to react to threats and make decisions.

Hastily made decisions can, with training, be often the correct ones. But sometimes you'll screw up, so the more time you can give yourself to work out the best course of action, the better.


The defensive capability of your ship.

This is less important to a Stealth Bomber. But not unimportant. If you get tackled, you're almost always gonna die unless you're lucky with how the engagement goes. Your tank is just too poor to keep you alive for very long.

But still, getting caught by a bomb run, or shot a little as you're re-approaching a gate can become a problem if your tank can't handle a little damage.

There are bomber fits with medium shield extenders and damage controls that try to give you longer periods of time on the field but it's really a losing battle. You're not playing to the Bomber's strengths, which are Range and Stealth.

That isn't to say these are necessarily terrible fits. Bombers have a wide range of uses, arguably moreso now than ever before. But it all depends on how you plan to fly it.


The threat you represent to the target and/or enemy gang.

It's usually safe to say that bigger ships will see you as a huge threat, and the enemy gang will want to clear you off the field quickly if they're facing a gang of stealth bombers. If, every time you decloak, an interceptor burns your way, you're going to have serious difficulty staying on the field and applying damage.

But this is situational. Are you the only Bomber in the gang? Are there others? How far away are you from the fight? It ties in strongly to point one.

If there's a bunch of DPS ships on the field and you think you have a shot at winning the engagement, the ideal solution is to take out the DPS that is easiest to kill first. A good FC will play it that way. Now that may be a Stealth Bomber at 60k away, or a blaster cruiser that has you tackled.

But threat also comes in things that aren't DPS. Perhaps it's a jamming or neuting recon. Perhaps the target or gang thinks they can extricate themselves if they take down the tackle. Take a look at the enemy gang or target, and keep your own gang's composition in mind. Figure out what a reasonable person would think is the greatest threat. Then keep and eye on who targets you or burns for you.

Always do the best to understand what threat you represent to an enemy.


The damage a doomed target or gang can do before they die. And the ease by which they believe you can be dispatched.

So, just because a gang is going down doesn't meant that they're not a threat. I've seen so many Stealth Bomber pilots lose their shit as a target enters structure. They lose an orbit, or they stop paying attention to their own hulls.

Don't do this. Remember that the guy or gang you're burning down is likely going to shift their tactics when they realize they're about to die. Where previously they focused on the threat the various ships represented the shift now goes to "what can I kill before I die".

A good pilot will know when to do this the moment they're tackled. No help is coming and they're gonna die. Time to bloody the enemy. Some pilots might figure it out when their tank breaks, others might never figure it out.

The important thing is that you are watching for this shift in tactics. And, as per point one, you have both the time to react to this, and a way to negate the threat (be it leaving the field, ewar, or cloaking).


The biggest problem you'll run into is that all these points assume rational actors with perfect understanding of the game. Maybe the target thinks they're dead when they actually have a decent shot at winning the engagement. Maybe they think they have a decent shot despite having a gang of 20 ships burning them down.

You can't know these things before hand, but you can understand their behaviors in a way that allows you to know how to react to the problem they represent to your survivability. The longer you live the more use you have to your gang. The more kills you get. The more fun you'll have.

But hey, if you die, just reship and start over. In EVE nothing is forever.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

We Will Rock You

There's no time for us,
There's no place for us,
What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us.
Queen - Who Wants To Live Forever

Suicide roams can always attract my attention. They let me harken back to my days as a low sec pirate. But there I was stuck in 0.0 with shit to do in real life. So I said my goodbyes and logged out.

Started taking out the trash, putting clothes in the washer and something inside me went "nah, let's do this shit". So I logged back in, jump cloned to one of my 100 Rifters stationed in Evati, and burned hard for Kheram, the low sec rally point for our roam.

It wasn't an uneventful time, but everyone else was in Jita buying either a Talos or a Rook so I avoided conflict. By the time everyone was outfitted my clothes were finished washing, so I threw them in the dryer and settled in for what was sure to be a very short nullsec roam.

Now, at this point you oughta get some background on why Noir. and Mercenary Alliance in general was doing a suicide roam. Many of you may know Alekseyeve Karrde. He's been the CEO of Noir. for over 8 years now. Hell he'd already been CEO for a few years when I joined the first time around.

I learned most of what I know about PvP in Noir., so it just made sense to me to join back up when I came back to the game and needed to relearn the old and learn the new. It's been a rewarding and fun experience. Plus I get in on the tail end of the Imperium Eviction. That's just fun to say.

But to get there I had to poke at Aleks first. His first response was "put in your application" so I did. And very shortly thereafter I was flying with some very fun pilots.

Then a little while back I heard some rumblings. Nothing serious but enough to make me be on the lookout for big changes. A few days ago I saw that Aleks had decided to leave Noir. (not the game, though, if you're wondering). Nothing acrimonious, mind you, he's just one of many long time corp leaders who wants to try new things. I know that feeling all too well.

But it's because of that fact that Alek's farewell roam is organized. We were going to take about 60 pilots who don't give a fuck into nullsec and wreck some shit. And wreck some shit we did. I could go into detail but it was wildly successful as a roam and wildly unsuccessful as a suicide roam. 

We wrecked all of the shit. Hell, we killed 3.5 billion isk in ships before we ever left the starting system of Kheram. And we got back out of null with our suicide ships intact after 4 hours in CVA space.

About 2-3 hours in, by the time we're all giddy with anticipation on what we can kill next, something magical happened. Fortunately for you guys (or perhaps unfortunately, I'm not sure) Aleks was streaming on twitch at the time (and with his permission I've uploaded the pertinent part to youtube), so I can present a piece of Noir.'s history right here for you to see.

Fly safe, Aleks.