Black Claw’s Meanderings
The beginning (May 2006)
The beginning of what? Frack knows, but it’s the beginning of something. We’ll just have to work out what that something is as time goes by. I hope you enjoy the meanderings of me, Black Claw, as much as I’ll enjoy writing them.
A week later I was made Head of Recruitment of Purify because of my passion about their goals. By the end of the month I was exploring being a trader.
Trading (May 2006)
Trading sucks. But damn, there’s a lot of money to be made from it! When you can get past the annoying learning curve, that is….
In early June I was promoted to Head of Operations, so I could have authority in implementing a number of ideas I had for improving corp operations. But, as is the case with Eve, a lot can change in a very short time. The CEO of Purify left, and there was resistance by its ‘board of directors’ to me stepping up and taking ownership as its new CEO. They appointed someone else instead, so I left to start my own corporation, Black Scorpion Ltd.
And so it continues (July 2006)
Black Scorpion Ltd wants to help CONCORD make EVE safer. Accordingly, it involves itself in anti-pirate activities in Empire space. However, this doesn’t mean we just go around killing pirates in PVP (player vs player) actions. Black Scorpion is more than that. It’s about helping those that need or ask for help.
I began moving down a path of helping people, but which would be challenged with so many distractions.
Interesting adventures (August 2006)
I was talking to a member of Awox Inc, Robert Wells. He was a pirate, just like all the members of Awox Inc, but I do a lot of trade with Awox, the CEO of that corp, so Robert asked me if I wanted to help him hunt down another pirate, someone by the name of Coldt, I think it was. I said I’d give it a go, as I was happy to hunt down pirates given the opportunity!
The result was my first experience with Tech 2 ships and fittings.
I launched my own drones and engaged with my blasters, with Coldt quickly returning fire. His drones also swarmed around my ship, and before I could say “Holy shite!” my shields were gone. My armour was gone. My hull was gone. I was sitting there, my ears ringing from the explosion of my Thorax, watching the expanding gas cloud and debris of what used to be my favourite cruiser.
Attack of the Vagabond (August 2006)
By late August I had over 30 members in the corp, and I had been in touch with Vance Avalon, a famous pirate hunter at the time, and he decided to join my corp with his alt, Kaenon Steel as our Chief of Security. Thanks to his support, we became significantly better at defending ourselves from rabid pirates in Tech1 frigates.
Zyax lost his Stabber as it erupted in a large explosion, but by this time the Vagabond was unable to get an effective lock on anyone else. It was dampened, jammed, scrambled and webbed. It wasn’t going anywhere, and it wasn’t able to get a lock on anyone. We continued our own onslaught against it, and it was helpless against us! It took a little while to get through its shields, but sitting there, helpless, it was soon another expanding cloud of gas and debris, mixing with the remains of the Stabber.
With great whoops of excitement, our Chief of Security was telling us all what a fantastic kill that was. Apparently Vagabonds are extremely tough to pin down and destroy, and we had done exactly that. If we were veterans, it seems that we would have run in all directions, screaming like little girls with our panties pulled down.
Our experience has shown us that we need never run when we stand united.
A valuable lesson.
By late September 2006 I had almost 50 members in the corporation, but I decided to start a personal journey to travel around the New Eden star cluster.
The journey begins (September 2006)
I’ve decided to start a journey, to travel the galaxy, to visit strange and interesting places, and to kill pirates wherever I find them.
Delusions of grandeur, to be sure. I wasn’t a very good pirate hunter, and they often roamed in packs. But the journey to travel the galaxy began. I started a new blog for the purpose.
The Travels of Black Claw
Day one – the journey continues (September 2006)
I spoke about my inspiration for traveling around, someone who inspired so many people to do the same.
I was, of course, inspired by the adventures of INNOMINATE NIGHTMARE and his own adventures around 0.0 space. My journey will be a little different, however.
Where his was simply to travel around the galaxy without venturing into Empire space, mine will be to go everywhere, seeking out pirates and hunt them down. And see a few interesting things along the way. And make some interesting friends. And write about it!
And then my corp got wardec’d. It was my first wardec. I had to interrupt my travels to return to corp HQ and lead the battle.
We’re at war! (October 2006)
What an interesting time it’s been! I’ve never been in a war before, and it’s actually quite amusing. You have these pirates scurrying around taking it all so very seriously, getting upset when you taunt them by running around the system in a shuttle, then calling you all manner of names for not fighting their group of elite cruisers and battleships in your T1 cruiser.
I mean, really… what kind of idiot chooses to engage in a battle they can’t win?
This is when I started to realise the nature of highsec wardecs, and how to defeat them. You don’t play the same game as them.
It was also the first time I started to use Sun Tsu’s Art of War in Eve.
I know that as a new CEO of a new corp filled with many new pilots, our chances of success in battle against the pirates is limited. Therefore, if the strategy of the pirates is to do battle in order to win, then in the words of Sun Tzu:
“What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy’s strategy.”
The enemy’s strategy is to engage in battle against an inferior force. Therefore, in order to attack their strategy we must ensure that we avoid battle.
“If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If [their corp and members] are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”
We won our war against them (which made them cry a lot).
The war is over! (October 2006)
The war is over, but there were casualties. My allies deserted me, succumbing to Darkside’s strategy to divide, all thanks to a traitor within my corp who was passing information on to the enemy.
But still, I was confident that my own strategy would succeed; the strategy of guerilla warfare, of choosing the battles to fight, of knowing when to run and when to stand and fight.
As a result of my success, I decided to start publicising how.
The Art of War (October 2006)
I’ve been an avid follower of Sun Tsu’s Art Of War. I re-wrote it as a guide for my corp and its activities during war, and use it as the foundation of my strategy.
Some people seem to feel that the ‘art of war’ is to go toe to toe with your enemy, engage in battle and may the better pilot win. Nope, that’s not the case. In fact, the main proponents of such a foolish strategy are usually those who think they have the biggest dicks… I mean, the biggest ships.
Instead of comparing dick sizes… I mean ship sizes, I instead try to follow Black Scorpion’s Art of War. Contact me if you want a copy.
It’s amazing how the Art of War is so useful in so many different situations and environments throughout history.
Once you know the Art of War, you can use that knowledge to aid you in the fight.
Where the enemy was strong, we avoided them. Where they were irritable, we angered them. Where they were weak, we hunted them.
This is the art of war, and ignoring it results in defeat.
Over time I was becoming a more capable pirate hunter, achieving a number of successes and learning more from the failures.
Again, over time, things change. The corp never really recovered from the war, and even though we won, it was a sad remnant of what it used to be. Most left or were inactive, so I disbanded it and formed Scorpion’s Sting, with the biggest incentive being what I learned from an oversupply of new shares in the old corp.
Scorpion’s Sting will be run a little differently from now on. I’ll use what I’ve learnt from the leadership of my first corp and apply it to my second corp. I intend allowing and encouraging shares ownership, and paying dividends on revenue each month. I’ll also be using shares as incentives for member promotions and exceptional service, and monetary donations will receive discounted bundles of shares.
But then I had a break for a year. I needed the break to clear my head, and when I came back I engaged in a life of piracy, rather than continuing the life of the anti-pirate.
Being a pirate was so much more fun! My first fight in two years was a success.
Back with a bang! (August 2008)
But the Wolf exploded in a glorious ball of fire, while the other ship didn’t move an inch. I let Agamaggon go in his pod. I had no interest in actually killing him, as my motivation here was simply to see if I could still fight.
Its pilot, Agamaggon and I became good friends. I haven’t seen him around for a while though. I miss him.
And then I met Garmon.
And the killing begins (August 2008)
I received quite a shock when someone by the name of Garmon messaged me in the local comm channel. ‘What the…’ was my thoughts. I’ve read about Garmon on the message boards. People are creating religions in his name, it seems. And here he was, contacting me out of the blue!
I invited him to a private channel, and he reminded me that back in my early days I actually hauled for him when he was too lazy to do it himself. Ah, that would explain the blue icon next to his name, I thought. He’s a friendly!
And so my life changed.
I flew with him for a while, but I think I only got on one killmail with him.
Back to basics (August 2008)
It was over relatively quickly. My drones and blasters smashing away at the Thrasher, and Garmon’s Rupture doing most of the damage, the destroyer wasn’t able to last too long. We let the pod get away, and Garmon grabbed the loot while I scooted out to a safe spot.
I didn’t stay with Garmon for very long though. I wasn’t good enough to fly with him. It was my decision to move on, because I didn’t feel comfortable being the ugly ducking to his beautiful swan. I felt like I was holding him back, so I had to leave for my own peace of mind.
The measure of insanity (September 2008)
It was an ancient Earth scientist who had some kind of quote I’ve never forgotten – ‘The measure of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results each time.’
I’m not insane, so therefore I had to stop repeatedly doing the same thing! If what you’re doing doesn’t work, then just stop doing it.
So I’ve stopped looking for ships to attack, for opportunities to engage in acts of combat against other pilots. It’s just not working for me.
But…. I was a dismal failure at avoiding combat.
Burnt by lowsec (October 2008)
We got ourselves a kill, some poor soul who was flying a Rupture without any modules fitted. He was angry, as you’d expect, and lit up local comms with his smack talk. It was both amusing and sad at the same time. Amusing that he would fly a ‘naked’ ship into lowsec and expect to get away with it, and sad that he was relatively new to piloting and this was probably a big loss for him.
I still need to work on my ‘carebear’ feelings for other pilots and their losses… I need to get involved in more piracy/combat actions to eradicate these feelings from my system.
Around this time I began forming my part of the Eve Online bloggers community. I was a blogger myself, and I wanted to do my part to encourage others in blogging and coming together as a blogging community.
Eve Bloggers (October 2008)
There’s a movement of Eve Bloggers that’s arisen, of people writing about their adventures in the Eve galaxy. If you’re one of them, then join the in-game channel for all the Eve bloggers. It’s called EVE-BLOGGERS.
I’m still sitting in that channel today, as I’m writing this. If you’re an Eve Online blogger reading this, you should be in that channel too.
Ok, ok, I’m not very smart (October 2008)
After spending a short amount of time up in highsec to try and do some missions, I discovered something that surprised me.
I missed lowsec.
Who would have known? I didn’t. Until I realised it. Sitting up there in the highsec systems was too far away from home.
And they didn’t even have any intel channels for me to sit in, mainly ’cause they weren’t near any systems they needed intel on!
It made me homesick for where I’d come from, and I realised – I’m not home. Home was back where I came from
So I went back to lowsec, returning to my life as a pirate.
So I’m back in Molden Heath now… And I really feel like I’m home.
The Art of War – Laying Plans (October 2008)
October 2008 was a very busy month for me, having returned to the game from a year’s break only a couple months prior. I decided to start publicising my Art of War guides.
Some time ago, I created a ‘handbook of war’ for my corporation, which guided them and advised them on how to operate in times of war. It was called The Art of War (with thanks to Sun Tsu). I have decided to add this handbook to my blog, to share with everyone how to engage in war in the Eve galaxy. Follow these guidelines, and you can only succeed in your endeavours.
Feeling guilty? (October 2008)
This was one of my first articles, exploring aspects of gameplay for myself and for others in Eve Online. In this one I was exploring the process of ‘carebears’ deciding to become pirates but then feeling guilty when they killed someone new to the game.
I’ve gone through a few stages of ‘growth’, I guess you could call it. I know I’m not a bad person, I’m not evil. And so I’ve been trying to come to terms with this blatant killing of innocents. How do I console myself over what I’m doing?
But I quickly learned that I’m helping these new players become better players.
We help them become us. We shape them to be the best they can be. We become the best WE can be in the same process.
Kill someone today, and tell them “You’re welcome.”
I’m mentioned on Massively! (October 2008)
I received my first ‘brush’ with fame in the media. It was quite an interesting feeling.
One of my favourite websites has just posted about my article on the Art of War. I’m very excited! And honoured. Very honoured. And humble. I don’t deserve this.
Oh, what the heck, of course I do!
You can read it here: EVE and Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”
Thanks Massively, you guys are awesome. 🙂
It’s nice that the article is still there today.
23 tips for surviving lowsec (October 2008)
Remember what I was saying about October 2008 being a very busy time? I must’ve been on an incredible roll… Based on my experiences with lowsec PVP I wrote a post on how to survive lowsec.
I know there’s a few non-combat oriented pilots that read this blog. They’ve never flown a ship in combat against another pilot, or if they have, they’ve lost because they didn’t know what they’re doing. Well, for those that are curious about combat in lowsec (low security space, between 0.1 and 0.4), here’s a few tips (ok, a whole bunch of tips!) on how to survive out there.
If they save just one life, my job here is done. 🙂
The Art of War – Waging War (October 2008)
Welcome to the second chapter (below) in my Art of War series. This chapter looks at the strategies of actually waging war…
An interview with a pirate (October 2008)
My very first interview. And there were many more to follow this one.
Please enjoy my first impromptu interview with a pirate. May there be many more. (Maybe I can become some kind of space-faring journalist or something….)
Which reminds me. I think I’m currently a space-faring journalist, travelling around the cluster, reporting on my adventures, and interviewing people along the way. I love it.
Something’s changed (October 2008)
I feel sad for those people who have so many losses and no kills. Who die so many times, and don’t seem to learn anything about surviving. I really feel sad for them.
It makes me want to help them more.
I keep on finding statements like the above that show me how, even in the throes of piracy, I wanted to help people survive. It’s been a path I’ve been on from the beginning.
It was also at this point that I began developing a corp that was ideally suited to my playstyle, which would become the precursor to what I’m doing with Touring New Eden today. A corp for loners, solo pilots and nomads….
As a result of my new members, and of the style of play I’ve been venturing into, I’ve found a sense of direction for my corp. Here is the new description for it:
Have you ever seen a pack of scorpions? No, you find them by themselves. Scorpion’s Sting is a corp for the loners, the hunters, the dangerous few who want to rely on their own skills and wits to find and destroy their prey.
Carebears need to harden the fuck up (October 2008)
I explored some comedy writing, with a message.
One thing I’ve noticed, all across the galaxy, is that people are having a whinge, having a sook, having a cry about it. If our ancestors were around today, I reckon they’d be spewing. Carebears need to harden the fuck up.
The hunters and the hunted (November 2008)
One of my most popular articles, for the solo hunter (like me). It went into some detail on how to hunt, and how to avoid being hunted.
Congratulations, you’ve just hunted down your prey! All of this, from entering the system and setting up a safe spot, to arriving at the planet and scanning them down at a belt, should take no longer than 2 – 3 minutes. It’s very fast when you know what you’re doing.
The Art of War – Attack by Strategem (November 2008)
Welcome to the third chapter (below) in my Art of War series. This chapter looks at the strategies of attacking your enemy…
Success! (November 2008)
I finally achieved a measure of success as a pirate…
One of the measures of my success as a pirate was to be mentioned in this channel by name as someone to watch out for. When the intel channel was helping people be wary of me, then I knew I was succeeding as a pirate.
This happened yesterday, when I was mentioned by name as someone to watch out for in such-and-such system.
I danced! I was finally ‘somebody’, and not just a nobody!
We’re at war! (November 2008)
As a pirate I initiated war against another pirate corp because they were bad pirates while I was a good pirate. Hang on a minute…
For the first time ever, I’ve initiated war against another corp – P.A.N.D.A. The reason for this is because they’re a bunch of treasonous, backstabbing, dishonest, sonsofbitches and we want them out of the region.
The war is over (November 2008)
The war has been active for only 4 days, but in that time we’ve gotten 15 kills vs their 2. This morning we saw the fruits of our battles as we monitored a number of enemy battlecruisers and support ships providing escort to one of their freighters.
We watched them leave the region.
It was a good feeling to have won a war against a bunch of griefer pirates and kicked them out of the region.
And so it begins (November 2008)
I became a ‘real pirate’ when my security status got so low I could no longer venture into highsec without getting attacked by CONCORD.
My security status went from -3.6 to -4.7. You know what that means? It means I can’t go into highsec any more. No more trips ‘across the border’ to grab ships and equipment. It’s a damn good thing that I spent the past week transporting all of my highsec assets into lowsec.
The Art of War – Tactical Dispositions (November 2008)
To prevent our own defeat is up to us, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy themselves.
It’s all so new… (November 2008)
Once I became a ‘flashy red pirate’ everything changed. The entire gaming experience changed. Being an ‘outlaw’ meant that I couldn’t go into highsec in a ship any more, and everyone I met tried to attack me because it was suddenly safe for them to do so. If you want ‘pure PVP’ where nowhere is safe, become a pirate.
I’ve also discovered another interesting aspect of all this.
People are afraid of me now. They run and hide, or dock, or quickly leave the system. They call in reinforcements, and they try to hunt me down.
This is just fantastic! It really creates such new and exciting experiences, where I am more the hunted than the hunter.
Another first (November 2008)
As a dedicated pirate, I had an enemy – the anti-pirates. I used to be one of them, now they were my enemy. This was my first victory over a member of a very successful anti-pirate corporation:
While sitting in a safe spot waiting for the criminal timer to count down, I could hear the crew throughout the ship celebrating their victory over a Foundati0n member. I let them party, smiling to myself as I enjoyed the victory too.
Boy, they have it easy in 0.0 (November 2008)
I realised that people in nullsec (0.0 space) have it really easy compared to pirates in lowsec.
So now you can see that they really have it easy in 0.0. The real men? The real warriors? They’re in lowsec.
So next time you see a flashy red pirate, give them a salute before they attack you. Give them the ransoms they ask for.
You can’t imagine the stress they’re going through, and they need your support. Help a pirate today.
An interview with an anti-pirate (December 2008)
I’ve had an interview with a pirate before, and it’s only fair to have an interview with an anti-pirate.
One of the most feared and respected pilots in Molden Heath (among pirates, that is) is a fellow called Debes Sparre, who flies with Electus Matari, an anti-pirate alliance.
Into the future (December 2008)
I decided to start a new character and try new things.
So I’ve decided to go undercover and start afresh. A new clone has been activated. Unlike me, this clone will be purely dedicated to combat, and will be working on all the skills needed to focus on being the best that they can be in ship-to-ship combat. The mistakes that Black Claw has made during his life will help my new clone avoid them.
And a new blog was started for the new character.
Hello (January 2009)
Alexia Morgan is my name, and I intend sharing with you my adventures in the New Eden galaxy. I’ve only just got my capsuleer’s licence, so it’s all very new to me.
[OOG] An explanation (January 2009)
Some people didn’t understand why I would create a new character, and how I should just carry on with Black Claw. I had to explain how I felt.
I was being ganged up on by all manner of pilots who feared me for my age. Normally a pilot of Black Claw’s age would be able to carry around the ‘heavy machine guns’, but unfortunately, I only had the skill points to carry a knife (I hope you understand my analogy!). This meant I was constantly being chased by gangs of machine gun-carrying pilots who expected me to be as powerful as they were.
But I wasn’t, so I didn’t enjoy the experiences I had as a result.
The Punishers (January 2009)
I started a new corp.
Part of the reason I did this is because I didn’t want to worry about the constant chatter of the 700+ other corp members in the starter corp I was in. Now I have the peaceful silence of my own corp… Bliss.