Monday, March 11, 2013

People, Gaming, and the 21st Century

This entire post is OOC. It has very little to do with EVE, other than what I will write about here reflects my experiences in EVE Online, which, in its defense, has been a much more mature environment than any other online game I have ever played.

I am a woman. I play an internet spaceships game. Nothing about this should be in any way remarkable or cause anyone to alter their behavior around me. I wish to be treated identically to any other gamer in the community, and I can only assume every other woman who plays online games feels the same way.

As I write this, about twenty-four hours have passed since the most unbelievable exchange between myself and a sexist, violent, homophobic, racist asshole, in which I was insulted and sworn at repeatedly, threatened with real-life violence, and spammed with harassing emails, all directed at the fact that I am a woman.

Ok. Deep breaths.

I wish I could say that incidents where I am held to a different standard, or expected to adhere to some different code of conduct, were isolated and infrequent. In EVE, these sorts, the outright asshole kind, have been; I have only been the target of outright assholeishness due to my crime of being a woman (we are not "females". Do not fucking call me "a female". If you do, I will refer to you as "A person possessed of an XY chromosome pair") twice. The first was in Korvus Falek's forum post that you can find both a link to, and my response to, earlier in this blog, and the second is the incident described above.

However, other, less outrageous but nonetheless aggravating, bits of sexist asshattery show up all the time:

How many male readers of this blog, or gamers in general, have been told "Dont no (pick your male-designated profane insult of choice) talk to me that way! That aint how I was raised!!"

How many of you have been asked "OMG are you a guy IRL???" and upon answering it, have been spammed with private convo invites for cybersex?

How many of you have emoted profane activity to another male character or player?

When I lose a fight, do people have some divine right to claim superiority at all things gaming related simply because they were born male? (If they're guys, of course)

What part of any of this is ok?

You can change my complaints about people's behavior toward me to represent any other group in EVE, or the wider world of online gaming; LGBT people, elderly players, young players, people of specific national, religious, or ethnic backgrounds. Whatever. Whatever it is that makes one person or group distinct from another.

If you wouldn't say it to another player who is exactly like yourself, keep whatever it is that you have to say to yourself. It's a game. We play it to have fun. If you're here to try and ruin other people's fun, stop and think. When you drift across that line, from normal acceptable levels of smack (which, to be honest, is anything more offensive than "lol" or maybe "noob") you probably shouldn't hit enter. It hurts. It is upsetting. It really, really sucks. What happened yesterday crossed the line into actually being frightening. It is not funny, it does not make you cool. Being an asshole on the internet, especially when you drift into targeting aspects of people outside of the game, still makes you an asshole. I don't know many people who want to be thought of as assholes. Not like that.

Making personal attacks of sexist, racist, homophobic, or any other socially or culturally oriented nature is going too far. Threats of violence are going way too far. Way, way too far. You will play this game with people of all sorts from all over the world. If you cannot interact with them like a mature, responsible adult, then you should find a new hobby. We live in a global social community now. The only time I EVER think about the fact that I am a woman who plays online games is when someone reminds me of that fact. Usually, I am being reminded in an offensive, condescending way.

Stop it. All of it. Stop. Doing. It. Play the game to have fun. Let everyone else have fun too.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

My Secret Admirer?

Been quiet for a while, as stationside duties and my son have been keeping me busy, but, it hasnt been a completely dull month... not by far.

For starters...

For some time, I have been receiving somewhat unusual emails from a fellow capsuleer...

AVA IS ONLINE and all is well with the Universe.
From: Strhyke Cantaso
Sent: 2013.03.02 17:40
To: Ava Starfire,

I woke up this morning heavy of heart and  in a raw panic.
Could it be, I asked myself, that I missed a day in which I told my precious, sublime, exquisite, unattainable Ava, that she is and always will be, the epicenter of my universe? In the event that the fates may have cursed me with that possibility, I will take this opportunity to scream to the heavens that mantra that acts as my raison d'etre,
Fly SAFE my Darling!

And so on.

I fear that he may have amorous intentions... only time will tell.

(( OOC note; have a link to a hilarious blog.


Simply too awesome to miss. I had no warning or idea of this until today... just the emails! ))

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Dumbest Wolf Loss


So, yeah. I was out in the Todifraun/Arnstur area all weekend, and had a lot of fun. This morning, I got a Slicer, a pair of Enyos, and a Corax in rapid succession, and then found a Catalyst / Coercer pair in a plex. I warped in, ready to engage (I had Plasma loaded) and they warp off as I land. Cool, no worries, I start counting down the plex, as we're faring somewhat poorly in the faction war just now.

I see a few more Amarr enter system. There is me and 7 of them in local. A peek at my dscan reveals Incursus, Retribution, Coercer, Catalyst, Merlin (Who is a stabbed, useless farmer) and an Executioner. The 7th never came on scan, or was cloaked somewhere.

Hmm. If they all warp in, Im gonna need to do some fancy flying.

I load Barrage.

In come the Incursus and the Retribution. I am expecting the 2 destroyers to return, so I immediately start burning around, and am shooting the Incursus at 20k or so. Both incursus and retri have MWDs, and NEITHER IS POINTING ME. Mistake no 1. I dont look to see which one, if anyone, is pointing me. I am watching their ranges and speeds. Had I done so, I would have realized one, or likely both, would have scrams. I figured the Incursus would. I figured the Retri to be long point fit. Sigh.

Hey, the heavy slicer Retri is common enough, I figure its flimsy and long point fit (dumb, see above)  so i just keep firing at the incursus, who never did fire (blaster fit) and who warps out when I lose point due to me manually flying; remember when I said I am bad at kiting? Yeah, I am working on that, flying a 2 TE/MWD/long point wolf.

Then, somehow, I get scrammed by the retribution. How? By being bad at kiting. Mistake no. 2

Well, that was dumb. I am in low shields, and my cap is dry from all my MWDing around and pointing. I quickly offline the MWD and swap ammo types, as a Retri will die, if shot with barrage, sometime tomorrow. Of course, I Think my wolf is gonna be ok... em and thermal resists, right? It would have been... had I not screwed up yet again.

In my haste to swap ammo types, i select fusion. Sigh. Mistake no 3.

10 seconds tick by. The retri is pecking away at me, and i am losing armor.

I decide to load EMP... remember, I had plasma loaded way back at the beginning?

10 more seconds. I am in low armor when I start firing, only occasionally getting off a rep cycle.

My wolf dies with the Retri in low armor, and I go sit in station in my Reaper, playing with my unit of Tritanium, thinking about how incredibly stupid I am. I probably should have just stuck with barrage, and not lost 20 seconds farting with ammo types. I DEFINATELY should have just loaded Plasma, and burned the pair down.

I lost a Wolf, to a Retribution.

Kudos to the Retri pilot.

Im off to get an asschewing from my CEO for a deeply stupid loss.

Fly it like you stole it. And maybe, steal me one, please? Sigh.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Play the hand you have, not the one you want

Hello all! Sorry about the lack of activity lately, there has been quite a number of complications for me; stationside demands, technical difficulties, and illness have all kept me from updating this for some time.

(( As of today, January 12, 2013, I have been having problems with my ISP for 6 MONTHS. I am on service call no. 12, there is some issue with the node where I disconnect from the internet several dozen times a day for a few seconds. EVE has basically become unplayable, but they think they have finally tracked the issue down, so i am crossing my fingers that I will be pewing again soon. I would simply switch providers, if the only other option were  not infinitely worse, a DSL provider using phone cables installed in the 1930s. I have also finally finished my bachelor's, so it has been a busy - and tiring - few months. On to the blog! ))

Today, I am going to talk a bit about the most common question I am asked; "How do you find a solo fight?" In another post, I talked a little about using the map, and provided a link to an excellent video tutorial made by Kil2, but this post deals specifically with how you find a fight you can take, and expect to win, in a frigate or AF. Solo flight does not mean an endless string of 1v1s; it would be very dull if it was. While I will never turn down a fun 1v1, I no longer undock with the intent of finding them. I undock and look for a group of targets that I can possibly do something with; these fall into 2 types, which are groups I want to destroy every ship in - or as many as i can, anyway - and groups I want to kill a specific member or members of.

In the first case, I am dealing with a group of ships I want to engage, because I think I can, if I do my job right, kill most or all of them. This will, when I am in an AF, usually be a group of frigates, other AFs, or possibly destroyers. Groups I have engaged in this  manner in the past, off the top of my head, have included Firetail/Dramiel/ Succubus, Wolf/Jaguar/Jaguar, Coercer/Coercer/Omen/Dramiel, Ishkur/Stiletto/Jaguar, and so on. You can see a pattern in these sorts of groups; they do not have tanks with varied resistances I have to deal with, they do not have ECM or excessive amounts of drones, and they do tend to have ships that do lowish DPS or DPS i am very heavily tanked against. Now, I wont (normally) charge in, guns blazing, and just try to grind my way through all of them at once. Splitting them at a gate, for instance, or warping around, getting them to chase me, warping at random distances to celestials until one lands on top of me, will be my usual tactics. A lot of times, this blows up in my face, but sometimes, everything goes my way.

Finding a group that has resistances that dont require me to swap ammo is a plus, as is finding groups I can probably pick apart, or that I can fight at range. I would not WANT to fight, say, a Vengeance and a Wolf at the same time, as the damage I will wish to deal to one is virtually useless against the other, though if i could split them, and get the wolf first, by itself, I may try it. These tend to be extended running fights, and reloading or swapping ammo in warp, and getting in a few rep cycles and some precious cap regen, is very important. These tend to be my most memorable fights, and as I said, I will often lose; I will still take the fight if I believe I can destroy a couple of them before I go down. Groups of faction frigates or destroyers i can isolate are my favorite, as they have very weak tanks, and tend to just crumple. I WILL avoid anything I know is likely to have heavy TDs or ECM; I wouldnt want to fight against a Sentinel, Dramiel, and Hookbill, for instance, as the combination of TDs and fast targets would simply be way too much to overcome.

The second case is when I find a group I wish to kill one member of; this is usually a heavier or larger gang of ships, such as cruisers or battlecruisers, who have tacklers I want to kill. This is usually easier than the first case; warp to a gate or whatever at range, and tacklers will, almost always, burn out to try to get you. Why? Because that is their job! They are in a gang, they want to land tackles, and many do not understand that the Wolf theyre burning over there to point or scram is simply going to shred them long before their friends get anywhere near enough to open fire. Of course, this must be done carefully if the gang you are pulling a tackler from has snipers or recons, but it is still doable; ensure you are out of their gun range, but close enough that they cannot warp to save their friend(s). If they have ECM on field, it is best to warp to a celestial a ways away, and see if the tacklers will chase you. You want the tackler to be of a sort that you can just nuke; dont try this, in general, if they have Vengeances or Hawks as tackle. Stilettos, Dramiels, and the like are what you want to find. They are flimsy, they do not generally orbit beyond the range of a 2 TE wolf, or even a 1 TE wolf with barrage, and they tend to burn at you in a lovely straight line. Spam your dscanner if you fight at a celestial, and be ready to bounce the instant the tackle dies if you must; dont die because youre trying to loot a wreck. I score pretty often in null with this method, as tacklers are much more likely there to attempt to scram you on gates, because, of course, there are no gate guns.

Solo flight is not "PvP". As someone once told me, it is "PvP+P+P+P...+P". You have to find ways to take fights which, at first, may not seem to be in your favor, or otherwise, you will simply not find many fights. Also, as 1v1s seem to become less and less common, you want people to think they have (or actually have) some advantage, so they will attempt the fight. Nothing screams "Advantage" like 10 of your friends sitting on the gate with you.

Sadly for them, and lucky for us, those friends are meaningless if they cannot save that tackler from the wolf he burned 60k to tackle.

Hope to be posting kills (and maybe... some video?!?!) soon. However, for now, feel free to drop me a line in game if you need or wish to, and until next time... fly it like you stole it!