Traditionally around this time the powers that be grant us lowly souls a gift for the annual celebrations. I’m eager to know whether and what this years prezzy might be. My snowballs have melted and the launcher rusted so an item is needed to let those of us who celebrate, let our hair down and commit social suicide by behaving badly.

Will it be a new shuttle? Or perhaps the stations could become adorned with twinkly lights and snow. Even better would be a giant bearded fat fellow, dressed in red and stood at each gate, laughing and endlessly churning out seasons greetings.

I think the latter option may cause some aggression toward gate staff. We must remember however that New Eden does not share the same religious beliefs, and the multicultural nature of the cluster should be remembered.

For some unfathomable reason I tend to gain an extra tyre in weight, which I duly burn after the celebrations have tired. This year I’m almost out-of-my-mind from all the quafe I’ve consumed. There’s a tradition in my family that asks us to abstain from acts of violence during the celebrations but I’ve decided to make this year an exception.

Whatever your plans this time around I wish you all happy yarr! time, and trust that you will celebrate to the fullest extent of the law, and then some.

Merry hunting…

The Fear Factor

It is wise to choose a vessel because of its abilities regardless of its appearance. However, the design of any vessel brings with it the notion that, although we want to defeat every foe, the way a ship looks is only important in so much that it suits the role it’s intended for. For many, this simply is not the case.

I tend to choose ships based on their appearance first and build from that point. B13 does not; his choices are determined by the abilities of the ship. For this reason his designs are almost always more capable, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable flying a pirate ship which looked like a broken satellite or a lopsided chew toy.

The Damnation was for years my preferred hull. However, I found myself flying an Absolution more often purely because its abilities suited my needs better. I occasionally undock the Damnation and fly her to the moon and back, my camera drones endlessly snapping shots of her wonderfully dark hull but she is quickly becoming a relic.

The Cynabal cruiser is of excellent design. This little monster is hard to fit, but she looks terrific. I adore the teethy grin on her bow and the circular engines mounted on her hide. It’s one of those ships which looks very scary but statistically does not deliver. Many pilots have told me that the revised version is much better than the old, and so I’ve added a Cynabal to my purchase orders to revise this tiny terror.

I own a Nightmare for my own amusement. This ship has lately seen something of a renaissance. She is capable of delivering serious amounts of firepower on any stationary target and her appearance is dark, organic and spiky, like a demonic fly. The ships’ little sisters; the Phantasm and the Succubus also look the part and would make excellent pirate ships.

My favourite has to be the Daredevil because it resembles the bones of a demon. Its abilities make it very capable, but its initial costs outweigh its appearance. I’ve attempted piracy in a Daredevil, but it did not fare well and this idea was relegated to a whim.

It’s a shame that we are not permitted to choose an exterior colour for our beloved vessels, and most must agree that a colour coordinated fleet would appear to be well organised, or that every pirate vessel would be black. Perhaps care-bears should be mandatory pink, I’d vote for that.

Happy hunting…

Hauler Hell

Old Man Star is haulers hell. It’s regularly patrolled by warring pirate factions whom seek all life and civilizations to pillage. I needed to traverse this system or face a lengthy detour along the fringes of Empire which I was not prepared to endure and so a plan was hastily constructed which relied on the eagerness for looting that pirates regularly exhibit.

I’d estimated a years worth of modules for which I would require whilst living on the edge. The modules were split into useful and not, the useful modules I loaded into my hauler and the poorer into Miss NExUS’ to act as bait and as a means of recycling.

My elite slave ventured into Old Man Star without hesitation. She was instructed to propel the hauler away from the gate at the earliest tangent. Using an overheated micro-warp-drive the hauler picked up speed as the boosted ECM burst disrupted the inevitable hostilities’ targeting attempts. With the hauler nearly 30km from the gate and the pirates struggling to bring her down, I jumped into the system.

My hauler materialised and I witnessed fire billowing from my ALTs ship, and soon enough there was a white flash as the vessel exploded spilling debris into the fray. The bulk of the blockade was still swarming Miss NExUS’ industrial wreck picking through the spoils, leaving the gate unguarded. Within moments my pre-aligned hauler warped to a safe spot and cloaked.

Although my ALTs hauler was lost to the pirates, the price paid was much reduced had my vessel been the punch-line. I’ve since replaced Miss NExUS’ clone and her precious hauler and thanked her, personally. Thanks to her sacrifice my realm is that of the lost and the damned and I pray to flourish within these confines, as I vow never to return to Empire…