Kino. Long has it weighed on my mind. If bot aspirancy has a black hole center from which no light or Code compliance can escape, it is Kino. When my travels have occasionally taken me through the gates of Kino I always feel a dark oppression on my very soul by the sheer mean spirited defiance of all things New Order.
Never been to Kino? Well, it's like this....
(STOP! STOP! NO SINGING!)
Welcome to Kino!
It's a nasty place.
If you speak to us,
we'll spit in your face.
We're not here
when we mine.
So we'll ignore
Kino is a nasty place!
Our White Glaze
is like glass.
We'll petition your
Kino is a nas-ty place!
Recently, I was pulled there again. Attempting to enforce a kill right I had righteously received on none other than Mine Teck himself, my locator Agent reported to me that he had gone to ground in none other than Kino itself. Now, what happened there with MT is another story but lets just say, the reception I received in Kino when I went there reignited my white hot hatred of the place. I determined to bring The Code to Kino even if I had to freeze it into an icicle and plunge it into the brain of every bot aspirant in the system.
I entrusted a shipment of eighty Catalysts to Red Frog Freight to be delivered to Kino. While waiting for its arrival I began moving assets into our designated station and making contact with the few local sympathizers. Taking time out of my busy schedule to kill one of Mine Tech's alts (Another another story) I discussed the nuances of Code compliance with the local rebel miners and multi-boxers. I delivered warnings of imminent Knight arrival, I received threats and insults. Well, they were warned. Let the plagues be unleashed!
Last night, the Cats arrived in Kino. Followed shortly by Spine Ripper. Now, Spine Ripper's arrival did not go un-noted. As soon as she entered system, local lit up with warnings of "anyone mining, Spine Ripper spotted in system". The miners reacted in typical afk fashion.
Entering Ice field one in my trusty SFI, I began offering to sell permits to any miners who had not had the opportunity to purchase one so far. I received no permit payments but I did generate a number of comments. My Bingo card filled rapidly. I had quite the discussion of why afk mining and bot aspirancy needed to be purged from Eve. Well, I discussed it. The miners swung from "EULA" to "you can't do anything".
And then Spine Ripper exploded the first Retriever.
I have read that the start of the Oklahoma Land Rush was quite a thing to see. I believe it paled to the Kino GTFO Rush of last night. Apparently, no one had "hipped" the miners of Kino that the New Order is now ganking non compliant miners. One fellow told me he was reporting me to James 315 (Hi James!) which is what Mine Teck also told me. On a side note, people are always reporting me to my superiors. My whole corp got kicked from my ironically "anti pirate" alliance last week because of reports about me (and one wardec). But back to Kino, sorry.
The miners were not sold. Another object lesson was needed. Now, Kino is a .7 system and Spine Ripper, while very skilled up on Cat flying, is about 50/50 on pods. The Ret she asploded last night took long enough that the pod survived and was left sitting in the ice. And sitting. And sitting. I pointed out to the non afk miners (if any) that this was bot aspirancy by definition. I sat nearby in my SFI, salvaging the wreckage, observing the departure of CONCORD and watching. Watching like a crocodile at a water hole.
My patience was rewarded when after oh, 15 minutes or so, Spine Ripper reappeared and cleaned up the loose ends. I do like things tidy.
A stunned silence gripped the system. Silence except for my non stop chattering in local of course. And that's where I left them last night.
My war with U.S.A.T.O has consumed a large amount of my on line and blogging time since I first started this thread. However, my erstwhile opponents have devised the clever strategy of mainly quitting Eve so I have found myself with little to do. Accordingly, I revisited Kino. Yes, I'm in town with "a little time to kill".
Just to see what one Agent with a solo Knight sidekick can do in one system I added up the butcher bill from late March 2013 to present. In the system of Kino alone, Spine Ripper destroyed:
Mackinaws - 1
Retrievers - 58
Covetors - 3
Pods - 12 (.7 system makes it hard to get the pods on the same gank)
Total - 74 kills
Total ISK destroyed - 5.2 billion
Meanwhile, since I was actively bumping I was on the receiving end of several gank attempts. Survived most of them although I lost a ship when I accidently targeted (and shot) a nearby rebel miner who was not a valid target at the time. Executing my kill rights resulted in:
Mackinaws - 2 (One of these was Mine Teck)
Coercer - 1
Catalyst - 1
Retriever - 1
Capsule - 1
Its about time for a resupply of Catalysts to Kino and I will be arranging a Red Frog contract later today. The miners are pretty quiet there now, keeping their heads down but sporadic defiance does pop up now and then. I have to say it is gratifying that whenever Spine Ripper logs on, local lights up with warnings. Not that it helps the afkers....
Spine Ripper recently went over the 1000 kill mark and it got me thinking about the path I'd taken with her. Although I've used her to gank with the freighter fleets and a few others she has mainly done her work in Kino and the two adjacent systems, Erenta and Venilen as a solo ganker of mining ships. As you can see the first Kino kill was in March 2013 so here we are almost two years later. I'd like to share what I've experienced in Kino in regards to Code enforcement via both gank and bump.
The current total for Kino since March 2013 is 593 ships and pods. Erenta added 176 and Venilen at 99, all but about a half dozen as solo kills. 868 fiery explosions, many witnessed in the Kino ice belts, have been visible proof for the bot aspirants of Kino, Erenta and Venilen that, as I say at the beginning of each day's activities, "Miners of Kino! By choosing to mine in this New Order system you have agreed to follow the New Halaima Code of Conduct". Although it has not been consistant as Bings wardec work has necessitated my absence from Kino for long stretches of time, this works out to over 39 a month, therefore more than one a day. What has this death toll resulted in?
Before discussing the results its probably fair to ask if this is even a significant amount of carnage to affect anyone. To be sure, the kills did tend to come in bunches and over busy weekends mainly due to my own schedule and the larger population generating more possible targets. In addition, other Agents have hit Kino targets frequently, often in large enough fleets to destroy Mackinaws, Orcas and even the occasional Skiff. Still, the miners of Kino mainly associate the New Order with Bing and Spine Ripper and seem to have adapted to the perceived main threat of a single Tech II catalyst. I would argue that Spine Ripper's activities have been significant enough to consider the results valid. If only by making the New Order a real threat that miners have to acknowledge and react to, her presence is immediately noted in local with a variety of colorful expressions that must be common in Slavic nations. I am confidant that changes I've noted amongst the miners over the last 20 months can be attributed in a large part to the steady attrition of mining assets that SR has caused.
I have used a cloaky Cheetah to replace my Stabber Fleet Issue as my warp in and scanning ship as the SFI became famously associated with sudden death and targets were warping away upon its arrival in the ice or asteroid belts. Back in the perma ice days, the SFI would come in and I would find abundant targets at the warp in spot. It was easy to just scan the fittings and bring the pain. With the new ice situation the targets now tend to scatter out and even keep moving more because of the depleting ice. I felt it was useless to use a Procurer as I was well known to the population so I adopted the practice of positioning myself, while cloaked in a Cheetah, at the 10, 20 and even ocassionally 30 km spots beyond but in a line with SR's station and then warping to the appropriate distance. I only uncloaked to scan the targets and then recloaked until time to scoop the guns and mining equipment from the resulting wrecks. Even this created the small window to be identified and many targets were lost as they "spotted" me and headed for station. Using these distance warp ins I found it to be surprisingly accurate as long as i pushed the 10km down to 9XXXm or 20km down to just ticking into 19km. I became very expert at triangulating out where I needed to move to line up the target and the station. Pro tip: Set the station as destination so it stands out as a yellow box when doing this. I mark the target as bad for a similar reason. Put the orange target on the yellow box at 10km and everything is set for SR.
In lonely asteroid belts not being right on the target still allows me to scoop SR's surviving fittings. In ice belts however a combination of greedy miners and those damn tractor units means the Catalyst wreck gets emptied before I can get there. Fortunately I can afford this especially when I bother to send in a reimbursement from James. On an interesting side note, some Code compliant miners actually contract my stuff back to me after they scoop it but this is rare. I do manage to scoop all the corpses as people don't usually have biomass on their overviews unlike ghouls such as myself.
So that's the routine and the miners have gotten used to it. They have adapted in the usual manner, mainly replacing their Rets and Macks with Procurers and Skiffs. Retrievers have become unusual in Kino although not completely unseen. The miners and the White Knights will actually advise a Retriever pilot in local that his ship is the preferred target and he should replace it. Most often Spine Ripper replaces it before the miner but after that its Procurer city. There have been some instances of White Knighting but my tendency to wardec the corps of those pilots makes their stays in Kino short-lived. There are a few that favor NPC corps and those are more difficult. I have had to also deal with capable White Knights like Jennifer En Marland, Soonja Giriea and, the most difficult for me, the Saint Tsero but they have larger fish to fry and don't stay around long.
When I sell a mining permit, I set the individual pilot to good status which helps me sort through the possible targets. About six months ago I was sitting in the ice belt and I counted 26 miners with mining permits out of about 50 total. I was quite proud of this result and considered it a milestone of Code compliance. Unfortunately it appears to have been an abberation as this only lasted a couple months. Now there are fewer permit holding miners although there are almost always some when I go to look.
What there really is now is this. Tanks. Lots and lots of tanked mining ships. Don't get me wrong. I rarely lack for a target but instead of 10 possibles there is usually 1 or 2. This almost always is a new comer to Kino who just doesn't understand that the likely looking system they have chosen to make their home in is a Retriever grave yard. The old timers seem to have accepted that there are some things you just can't do in Kino, have analyzed the danger level that a single catalyst can cause, and have moved themselves just above the line of possibility. Most of them don't even bother to debate me about the Code anymore as they know that 1) I enjoy it and 2) that none of their arguments make the least amount of difference in what is happening. Many of them seem to enjoy the show and its not infrequent for local to be filled with written renditions of the opening music from "Jaws" when it becomes apparent to the more observant that a gank is about to occur.
I have to admit that sometimes I wonder if staying in Kino is a good use of my time and assets. I sometimes envy the Agents who are killing larger, more valuable targets. If I moved SR to a .5 system I could solo Hulks and probably untanked Mackinaws especially now that SR has Brutix and Talos skills. Certainly a fresh system would be filled with untanked and unwary miners who may have felt outside the reach of the New Order. Back in my bumping days I would often go to some distant area and aquaint the citizens there about us. Maybe Kino is as Code compliant as I, working alone, can make it. By killing every Retriever and Covetor I come across I may just be creating more Procurer pilots and teaching them how to become better at resisting buying a permit.
I didn't come to Kino because I loved it. I hated the miners of Kino and considered them the vilest of the bot aspirants I had ever encountered. In many ways, that has changed. The miners, even when taunting me, do so in a much more jovial manner. The White Knights, both professional and amateur, seem to be having a good time in trying to perform gankus interuptus on me. Those of you who gank in the large fleets with loyals reassuring FCing and the constant hilarity provided by the regulars in Teamspeak may sometimes forget that the targets may be interesting and likable players outside their unfortunate addiction of ISK grubbing. Although I support ganking freighters completely I sometimes worry that the attention it creates and the mind blowing losses reported on Kills of the Week aren't drawing attention and assets away from our original mission, ie, saving the highsec miners. If I may be so bold, I would say that we have a better quality bot aspirant population in Kino than Uedama for instance. This is VERY little anger. Everyone seems to be aware that you have to work at whatever you choose to do there.
I don't have enough data to prove this but I would argue that Kino, while no where near Code compliant, is possibly the most Code aware system in Eve. Each citizen knows what the Code is, what is expected and what can happen to those who don't comply. They may still be on the path from resistance to compliance to full support but everyone has moved from the place they started. Since we are only in year three of an eight year plan this may be progress enough. I still don't respect the miners, approve of their choices and Lord, I sure don't like them but I cannot give up on them yet.
"Many of them seem to enjoy the show and its not infrequent for local to be filled with written renditions of the opening music from "Jaws" when it becomes apparent to the more observant that a gank is about to occur."
That is some beautiful content creation right there.
When I return to Eve, I think I'll follow your path Bing. I got burned out on the coalition warfare in sov null (though I'll likely always have a soft spot for BRAVE), and I realized that I am simply not psychologically cut out for corp infiltration and awoxing. But adopting an individual system and helping improve its miner population over time...that seems like a task worth doing.
Have you published any unified guides on Code enforcement in this manner? I've noticed that you give advice on specific tactics here and there, but is all that advice brought together in one place anywhere? While I'm sure that, given time, I could probably eventually come up with a system which works, I'm not a big fan of reinventing the wheel. How many simultaneous accounts do you have, and use for ganking? Do you fund your ganking with plex, or do you also do PI etc on your toons? How do you determine how much DPS you'll need for a gank? Etc etc. It'd be interesting to see you write a guide on the subject, you seem like one of the most experienced solo gankers out there.
Keep up the good fight, Bing Bangboom. Highsec is constantly improved by your efforts.