It’s Still Solo

EVE Online ships explode all too often, killing almost everyone aboard.

Blind jumps into hyperspace are a terrifying right of passage for each EVE Online player count member.

The Republic Frigate is many things, but it’s very rarely an Assault Frigate hunter. When you’re flying solo, you need to be able to disengage from unfavorable encounters.

Keep an eye on your directional scanner to see where there might be useful landscape. In this case, decorated Matari Warrior Joseph Swolin and his fleet were already busy throwing down at an outpost.

Flying solo means no multiboxing, no backup, and no comms; you just gotta believe! I figured the Minmatar boys in the plex might appreciate me bringing a kiting war target assault frigate to the beacon at 0. I took the gate and when I slid out of warp I found that the fight was spread out, with an ally double teamed about 40km from any support. There were other, easier kills nearby that I could’ve likely taken advantage of, but I decided to save an ally was a better mission.

By the time I caught up with Donald Trump in the slasher, he’d slid barely out of tackle range and dove right back to the beacon. Unexpected.

Of course, I followed; by the time we arrived at the beacon from within the skirmish, the retribution that’d been chasing me across multiple constellations thudded out of warp.

Shit.

Donnie The Clown In EVE Online?

Donnie The Clown’s slasher was clearly fit for speed, evasion, cargo space; he was screaming around the beacon in an oblong 20km orbit at better than 3km/s. The brawl taking place within a few hundred meters of the beacon still raged on, but there were only two ships left; one ally, and one war target.

Abandoning pursuit of the slasher, I adjusted my own orbit to within range of the enemy Imperial Navy Slicer; it had already taken heavy damage by the time my first autocannon barrage landed. Unfortunately by this time, Lithalnas in the retribution had managed to lock on to the rifter and start dealing heavy damage from long range. The 200mm plate armor held until the fall of the slicer, and during the ensuing evasive maneuvres. With only shorter range weapons, the rifter was unable to return fire on the retribution from greater than 20km.

With one kill already, I used the distance of the retribution against it, launching into warp with no impedence save for the laser blasts forcing the mighty rifter off grid.

Evading long range fire from the retribution and pursuit from the slasher, I somehow managed an escape with minimal damage. The crew, who should always be considered before heading into battle, are overjoyed.

And much more experienced.

Hard Sparring

Again with the heavyweights. I got hit clean again in sparring today. When the left hook landed the universe vanished.

I snapped awake in a warm vat of liquid blue goo, which, honestly, was so much nicer than a boxing ring.

But a split second later I’m on the canvas. Confused.

I got up. Somebody asked me if I wanted to keep going. What the fuck is this bullshit?

I couldn’t see; or rather, I could see, but I couldn’t understand the images coming into my brain through the eyes. I was having similar trouble with my ears; in fact, my entire body seemed to be completely out of sync with my thoughts.

After what seemed like a split second, I was back on my feet, being pummeled with shots from all directions. I tried to move away from the punches but they followed me. I tried to block them but they landed where I couldn’t cover up. I tried to slip but I ended up leaning right into clean shots.

They say you’re not supposed to fight angry, but it worked for me. It was all I had left. I wanted to hit him as hard as I could, just once, as a proof of concept. He’d tried to knock me out but he was running out of gas now. There had to be at least a minute left in the round. I could feel his arms tire in the clinch. I could see his punches slowing down.

I could feel his confidence beginning to slip. He threw a tentative jab, which grazed the headgear across the cheek but missed. He stepped forward onto his front foot, eyes wide, I bent at the waist to slip the incoming attempt and ripped a perfectly placed uppercut to the jaw. This is the type of shot that would erase anyone in my own weight class. The heavyweight, momentarily stunned, took a stumbled back. He shook his head.

He came again.

Now, he looked angry.

Iron Sharpens Iron

More leaked sparring footage from a legendary training camp.

Personally, I don’t care who they put in front of me. I don’t care about their reputation. I don’t give a shit about their followers. They get in my ring and I’m gettin’ all up in that ass.

When I’m hungry I don’t pet the cow before I eat the steak. I don’t touch gloves before sparring if I know you got bitch in your blood. If you make it out of the ring, I’ll shake your hand. Otherwise, good luck with your recovery.

Reaching The Surface

After traveling to an unconquered planet, Hannibal is faced with the struggle of survival with little support from logistical supply lines.

Training is difficult. The barracks are tiny and cramped; mere tents in the jungle hidden in the shade of a skybreaking cliff. The geography is extreme here, with blistering heat in the starshine for 20 of the 48 hour days. It takes us half this day just to gather food and supplies from the trees all around and their plentiful inhabitants. Gravity is punishing here; everything feels heavy, from our supply packs to our actual bodies.

All manner of insect, lizard, and flying creature plagues us by the minute while the sun is high. At night, the insects and lizards get much worse. Every once in a while, we find a large, boar-like creature, with two long, straight, sharp horns jutting out from its crown. Unable to smuggle our rifles from the ship orbiting some 12,000km above, we resort to fashioning weapons from the exotic timber of this alien world. I’ve fashioned a club, heavy, with a weight on the end. I carry this with me every day when we forage; it has saved us from hunger many nights.

How To Play Solo In EVE Online

I have a small contingent of crew members to assist and help carry out my plans. This includes smuggling additional personnel to the surface of the planet from the automated customs office in orbit. We make other weapons and tools from the dense, oily bark of a strange tree so massive its branches break the clouds above.

Scouts have reported that there are people on this planet, somewhere, but we haven’t seen any with whom we hadn’t personally traveled. What there have been plenty of are magnificent beasts of every horrifying appearance you can think of, but nothing resembling a typically sized man or woman. In an environment of survival like this, instincts are honed, the belly becomes filled with exotic meats and fruits, and the mind is free from distraction to focus completely on any task.

White hot intention has illuminated every exercise. I spend every waking moment sharpening the skills that will protect me. Chopping wood for months on an alien planet has given me power and stamina. I feel good. I have little more concern for space politics while on this new world, save the customs office checkpoints. Once on the surface, we’re the only people in the geographical vicinity, whatsoever. It’s true that it’s difficult to get people down to us, but we make exceptions aside from Minmatar crew.

There are certain prisoners of war that we have captured and incarcerated who have become more useful since sparring partners are so scarce in this side of the galaxy. They’re fed well and allowed extra freedoms in the weeks leading up to their transport to the outpost. Once they reach the surface, they are retrieved by my crew and brought to the camp. With us, they eat well, they rest well, and they work a fair amount, as do the rest of us.

What Happened To The 23rd Imperial Crusade

The only difference is these prisoners of the Pendulum War have to fight me to determine their fate. They’re all given the same deal; if you can beat me in just 1 round, I’ll let you go free. It sounds easy because it’s supposed to. So they all take the deal, one after the other.

Because of this, I now have quite a few permanent residents on the surface in our fledgeling community. It’s only fitting that these former colonizing slavers are forced into inescapable servitude on a far away planet, cut off from the rest of their so-called civilization. I will set free whoever can beat me in a fair fight. None of them have come close.

So now, I have plenty of sparring partners from which to choose; my height, taller, shorter, bigger, smaller, southpaw, old, young; you name it. The best part is, even if I beat one of them really bad, and he needs to heal for weeks, he’s always welcome to another try. It’s the only way off this rock, as far as they know. We don’t even tell them what star this planet orbits. Nope. Amarrians are not for trusting; they’re for fighting.

EVE Online is a very old space mmo that spans hundreds of storylines.

They come in all shapes and sizes, and I can’t wait to drive my fists into as many of their sullen, downtrodden faces as I possibly can. They all want out of this colony and would likely say anything to make that a reality. I’m not taking it easy on any of them. Every time I call, they line up outside my gym, one after the other. The first few are always energized and motivated when the door to the sparring rings opens. I try to make an example out of that first guy.

If the second guy believes he can win still, he gets it even worse. By the time I get to the end of the line, some of them realize they just watched their most admired comrades defenseless as I beat their brains in with my bare hands in fair fight after fair fight. Oh, the expressions on those faces!

It’s a wonderful life.

There’s Got To Be More Than This

EVE Online Player Count Sees Uptick With Update, But Something Is Still Missing

EVE Online Player Count Is Climbing Despite Lack Of New Players

Despite killing so many with missiles, cannons, lasers and such, there’s still nothing quite like the look on all those faces, after you’ve smashed a fist into one of them. I’ve always loved stellar combat, even in the battles I’ve lost. Watching the enemy crew panic as mine slides onto the grid within a few kilometers of them is one of life’s true pleasures. Extracting salvaged parts is yet another. But with no real feeling of consequence to maneuvering, so many kills lately have left my bloodlust unsatisfied. I found myself wandering the stars, thirsty for a target of real consequence.

I found one, on a station, orbiting a planet, which orbits a star, somewhere in Great Wildlands. Since the expulsion of the Matari Liberation Front from the Minmatar Republic, my old cohort of freedom fighters has been reduced to common pirates in the eyes of the empires. Without awakening the rest of my many clones resting throughout the cluster, I contacted an old friend, a trader that’s always in the major trade hub stations orbiting Jita. He’d caught wind that there’s a customs office in New Eden that employs smugglers who have secured a route from orbit to the surface of a desolate, but inhabited, gambler’s planet. A sufficiently funded capsuleer could then travel to the surface of the planet to carry out otherwise impossibly illegal deeds. The possibilities for exploitation are almost endless.

EVE Online new ships can't land on planets yet

He arranged transport for me to the surface of a temperate, if arid, world for a new kind of specialized combat instruction. There’s a new type of fighting, up close, and very violent, that I recently witnessed, and it speaks to my Brutor roots. It’s called boxing, and it’s the most beautiful thing I ever saw; no ships, no pixels, just fast, smooth action, speed, power and momentum.

I’ve already started training. It’s brutal. No interstellar mission with infinite funding has ever prepared me to live on merely 20 ISK per day on a hostile world, filled with hostile people. A few of my captains have stubbornly insisted on accompanying me to the surface of the planet to ensure my safety; their loyalty is appreciated. If we fought together, high above this planet in the reddish skies beyond, I would expect them to risk their own lives to save each other. Now, on this one planet, the rules are different. There is no Minmatar Republic to uphold any semblance of empirical law. For all intents and purposes, we were isolated from every other capsuleer, and from the galaxy itself while on the planet. And there’s no turning back.

Once in the cargo transport to the surface, there’s no returning to orbit. I gave each loyal officer opportunities to stay aboard the customs office and return to the ship to leave me to my foolish fate planetside, but each captain valiantly refused, despite having no knowledge of any mission or endeavor that I was to take part in. Little did they know that we had traveled to the surface of a strange world with no supplies or support in search of a new way of life. They were willing to die for me, but would they be willing to live?

The Fall of Floseswin

A Mammoth evacuating critical supplies from the front line of a factional warzone in EVE Online.

After a bloody and bitter months-long campaign of disinformation, infiltration, subterfuge and eventual overwhelming force, the Amarrians had finally regained control over a key solar system in the Eugidi constellation. Their tactics were admirable, I had to admit, having taken queues from warlords from millennia ago. The first wave was a wall of new recruits that flooded to the Minmatar lines. These were pilots with almost no employment history but seemingly plenty of experience; an obvious red flag to almost every recruiting officer without too much greed to vet. In truth, it was more difficult to tell which of the Minmatar organizations were NOT infiltrated at one point.

Effective communications broke down as bitter political discourse broadcast daily and nightly subtly became the norm, the most popular talking heads had finally pieced together the very beginnings of a narrative of explanation of the utter failure of the Minmatar to stem the tide of these seemingly inexhaustible enemy. Once the Amarrians had the ability to glean information about their enemies, Hannibal noted that they began strategically avoiding larger Minmatar fleets with greater efficiency than they had been before; Amarrians are typically and notoriously risk averse to some extent but were usually unable to maneuver throughout the various constellations with such surgical precision as they showed in the Eugidi campaign. There were multiple instances in which tactical information broadcast to the entire Minmatar Militia was immediately acted upon by the enemy without delay.

During the period in which the Amarrians were gathering information regarding Minmatar deployments and logistics, they simultaneously spread disinformation among Minmatar ranks. It eventually got so bad that most seasoned officers refused to use the dedicated channels, effectively cutting off the seasoned and experienced pilots from any legitimate new recruits, leaving most of the actually loyal, new Minmatar pilots completely at the mercy of the Amarrian disinformation campaign. Soon, previously recognized authorities were in constant disagreement with each other about whether or not to defend Eugidi as a whole, if the Floseswin system was even worth fighting for in the first place, and whether or not joining forces was worth any advantage or should the forces remain scattered and vulnerable. Throughout, I was impressed, if not annoyed, by the sheer coordination. Once he realized that the hearts and minds of Minmatar defending forces were under clandestine assault and that most Minmatar were unwilling to concede that fact, I ordered the Matari Liberation Front’s forces to evacuate the area, save a few absolutely mission critical materials and locations.

A Mammoth evacuating critical supplies from the front line of a factional warzone in EVE Online.

Over time, he was proven right. The Amarrians, with the aid of their numerous mercenary allies, captured the system on 22/4/121 despite a valiant, last ditch effort to defend by MLF-led forces. Many ships were lost, many crews were killed. Losses on each side were technically about even, but the Amarrians had the advantage of more numbers and more efficient logistics. In time, they claimed victory; without reinforcements the Matari defenders would fall, regardless of the tide of each skirmish. Although the solar system of Floseswin technically changed hands under Amarrian control, a small, decentralized cell of Matari dissidents still reside there, keeping a low profile, waiting for the opportunity to strike when the enemy is vulnerable…

EVE Online Republic Fleet Firetail Solo PVP

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Since bullying mega-alliances solo in a t1 faction frigate is apparently my thing, I decided to keep the ball rolling by sharing the skirmishes leading up to the third flight of the Penetrator.
This is the kind of thing that makes the writers get all excited and quivery.

This here’s what they call a “pirate ship,” repurposed from a factional warfare fighting frigate. Instead of looking for 1v1 solo frigate pvp fights, pirate ships look for victims of opportunity.

Going deep into enemy territory solo is usually difficult to do in most regions, due to the residents guarding their stargates. With a handful of ships, restricting access to the systems for a single frigate is usually simple.

And for the solo frigate pilot in EVE Online, these gatecamps are brutally efficient. There’s usually a tiny window of opportunity to escape instant death.

Alone in a single frigate, I somehow managed to slip behind the stellar barricades and stab directly into the dirty, unwashed underbelly of Pandemic Horde.

And it stinks in there.

I didn’t really even do that much damage, or so I thought. A little time goes by, and I see some reactions:

Well I’ll be goddammed! I guess the whole alliance was overmatched against the big bad Hannibal wolf!

So I decided to go a little deeper and show the prequel to the Flight Of The Penetrator 3, lol, because fuck ’em!

Every kill counts!

It felt really good to kill a Rifter, and an Algos, and a Crucifier, and get away with each before Praxises, a Svipul, and an Arazu could catch me. Especially since they were all PH.

fly:
https://bit.ly/3pvZdtf

follow:
https://bit.ly/3hA2fYU

EVE Online Solo Frigate PVP | Rifter vs. Tristan 2

The Rifter is one of the most popular EVE Online ships

In Minmatar Factional Warfare, I fought a lot of Tristans. There’s a good reason for this. Besides the Rifter, the Tristan has a reputation as one of the most versatile eve online ships. Throughout your tour in factional warfare, you’ll learn some of the strategies it takes to determine which targets are engageable.

The main reason so many of them are used in factional warfare is because it’s cheap, so cheap, compared to buying projectile ammo and autocannons, for instance. Drones don’t use the same type of ammo as the manned vessels do in Eve Online, so you don’t have to worry about reloading them. I might be able to help you with ammo acquisition, for a fee.

A disadvantage is that drones cost a lot more to replace than most small ammo, and typically offer lower damage at the entry level of EVE Online pvp in factional warfare low security space than the turrets. Drones can also be destroyed by enemies while in use, which results in even lower damage potential. Every strategy has an application, and a counter; a particularly robust Tristan can cause problems for the typical Republic Frigate, for instance. This constant fluctuation of tactics is a factor that contributes to the notoriously steep eve online learning curve, but enriches the experience of player versus player beyond the scope of any other space mmo.

On a standard assault against a Tristan, the crew and I were shocked to find the enemy ship easily breaching velocities beyond the capabilities of the mighty Rifter. At times, this is due to some extreme skill, but this wasn’t one of those times. Although that Tristan was much faster and more maneuverable than the 200mm plated Rifter, our superior ship piloting secured a narrow escape, and allowed a retaliatory strike against a clone of the original enemy Tristan. Although the first battle was lost, the second was clearly won. It’s likely the only reason the first Tristan escaped was due to some unseen, planned advantage anyway.

The Republic Frigate isn’t just for catching kiters. I beat up pleanty of plated Punishers using a similar tactic, in the same ship.