Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Came Here to be Podkilled - Overkill Edition

I was jumped, popped and podkilled the night before last. I've been letting it simmer before writing. I always figured I'd write about it because, let's face it, it's entertaining to read about someone getting blown up, isn't it? Far more than hearing about me killing rats.

But before I do that, I'm going to say a few words about the recent terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. And I'm going to draw an analogy to me getting podkilled. I don't normally write about political stuff on this blog, for good reason. I expect that some of my readers have differing political views than I do, and which touch this event. Please bear with me.

It starts with Spencer Ackerman's post on Abdulmutallab. Spencer outlines what we knew about him beforehand:

  • His father went to the US embassy in Abuja, Nigeria and told them that his son was missing and could be in Yemen.
  • He's Nigerian
  • Al-Qaeda in Yemen may be looking to use a Nigerian in an upcoming attack.
Spencer asks the question:

Is that really enough?

The answer to that question most certainly requires a policy decision, not an intelligence decision. The intelligence community is drinking from a fire hose of data, a lot of it much more specific than what was acquired on Abdulmutallab. If policymakers decide that these thin reeds will be the standard for stopping someone from entering the United States, then they need to change the process to enshrine that in the no-fly system. But it will make it much harder for people who aren’t threatening to enter, a move that will ripple out to effect diplomacy, security relationships (good luck entering the U.S. for a military-to-military contact program if, say, you’re a member of the Sunni Awakening in Iraq, since you had contacts with known extremists), international business and trade, and so on. Are we prepared for that?

Ok, the issue is one really of policy. A tighter policy like this has a cost, a very real cost.

Which brings me to my podkill. I was ratting in a system when I noticed that a red had entered the system. So I recalled my drones, and prepared to jump to a safe spot while the drones were returning. When they were in the bay, I hit warp immediately. Nothing happened. Tried it again, still nothing. That's when the interceptor flew across my screen, and the thought "Oh, shit, I'm screwed!" went through my brain.

Then I noticed that my tank wasn't breaking very fast at all. He only had popguns. So I launched drones again, determined to do some damage at least. That's when the sky filled up with reds. I think there were 15 of them. All on me.

I tried one last thing to salvage something. I ejected early, to try to warp away before they could lock me. It didn't work, there was a warp disruption field on me. I think someone dropped a bubble on me. Ok, that is serious overkill. Except maybe it was needed to get my pod.

The red forces are in competition with us for space. It's their job to slow me down as much as possible. Podkilling at the very least will force me to upgrade my clone again, and may get some expensive implants. I had one pretty nice one in, but I still follow the rule of not using anything I can't afford to lose. In any case, no resentment there.

This fleet had come deep into our system with absolutely no warning on our security channels. At first I thought I had been hotdropped on, but now I think the most likely thing is that they used a wormhole.

How does this relate to Abdulmutallab? My policy, at the moment is to recall drones and jump to a safe spot when reds enter the system I'm ratting/plexing in. Is this a bad policy? Should I abandon my drones when a red enters the system? This time it would have saved me. However, it would certainly mean the loss of my drones, the rats will kill them once I leave. Still, better to lose them than get popped.

I'm not changing the policy. I think that the reds got really lucky to find me so fast, the system I was in has tons of belts. I did find one mistake that was costly, which I will correct.

The overview settings that I used showed asteroids. Which means that I did not notice when the interceptor warped in on me, he was scrolled off. This is a big problem. I don't gain anything from having those roids on my overview, they are going off. Or at the very least, I'm making another tab for ratting with them off.

That way, I can warp out immediately if I see someone coming in on me, abandoning the drones only when necessary.

Checking Battleclinic I find that while I'm woefully behind in the kills/death game, I'm actually ahead in terms of ISK killed/lost, in spite of my recent loss. Quel suprise!

I definitely need to get a new ship fitted and get back in the game.



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