High Profile

Even as a director of The Tuskers, I'm sometimes baffled at how widely we are known. And I'm delighted that many people who have encountered or temporarily joined us speak so highly of our corporation and what we do.

Take this recent Crime & Punishment thread. I'm simply stumped at just how positively many people there speak of The Tuskers, considering that this particular discussion board isn't always the most civilized of places (to put it lightly).

Here's a direct quote from this very thread:
"That's probably because they spend most of their time active in-game rather than trying to convince everyone how pro they are (or crying about game mechanics) on the forums."
Well, I would consider this is pretty spot-on. We're not about blatantly shoving our killboard statistics in people's faces whereever we go. We're not about slandering our competition in regions we frequent. We're about doing what we do and we enjoy doing it well; preferrably to the point of excellence. People pick up on that eventually.

In the meantime, The Tusker Code is making sure that we're not putting them off. Chest beating, smack talking, scamming, lying - none of that has a place in our corp of - get this - pirates and warriors. Not saying none of that ever occurs, but the accused better has a very good explanation if it does.

The fact that The Tuskers are housing about half a dozen active bloggers generates further publicity. There are many tales of great victories; hardly boastful, often analytic and not rarely self-critical. Some terrible failures of ours regularly warrant an update as well. It's perfectionists writing about their craft and trade - admittedly for self-exposure and recognition, but done in style (at least I'm trying).

Recently it even seems like our level of exposure is gaining more momentum. Besides the thread staying on top of C&P for quite a while, I assume Taurean's and Suleiman's blogs are getting more and more readers. Rixx Javix over at the highly popular EVEOGANDA has given this snowball even more of a push, starting off his new series Know Your Lowsec Corps with The Tuskers. That's a lot of people who got to know us in one fell swoop.

So we do what we do, maintain a positive image and therefore have word of mouth working for us. But what makes sure The Tuskers aren't consistently, even occassionally picking up bad apples, who might set us back? The answer lies in our recruitment process.

First and foremost, the hoops applicants have to jump through are clearly laid out. Even if they miss one, they're encouraged to try again. Granted, I in particular can be a bit of a hard-ass if an application is significantly lacking in parts. But not even I slam the door shut immediately. Either way, our requirements rarely fail to filter out pilots who are a better fit for corps of different flavors.

All of the above makes me proud to be a Tusker and I'm happy to be a director as well, sometimes getting to be the first to welcome new great members into our ranks.

The one and only downside is that targets are becoming more and more wary as soon as they see our emblem in local. I for one can live with that, though. I'm even working on spreading our name, soon beyond blogging, too. You might want to stay tuned for that.


Fight Smart

As many aspiring space buccaneers learn rather soon after picking up The Business, piracy is feast or famine. Exhilarating fights, big ransom payments or shiny loot can be scarce. There may be several days between any of that which makes the life in lowsec so very worthwhile.

However risk averse and cost efficient I may usually fly, at some point I'm starving for a fight. This is where I disregard many of the things I've learned; like, say, not flinging my Rifter in front of any decently flown cruiser. Neutralizers, drones, many times the tank - any of that can easily deal with a frigate.

But screw that, I want to shoot stuff and that Bellicose is probably a clueless oaf anyway and oh cripes here come the Warriors shit shit not the webs, spiral out, repaaiir warp warp warp warp oh cool I'm out. What a clumsy chump.

With my hull patched up again, not even an hour later I spot another cruiser. Well, I've shot something, but hell, I still gotta make something explode! I can always disengage anyway, that Vexor got nothing on me.

Except a Vexor's drones are much more dangerous, and there's a lot of them. Not to mention a neutralizer and 1600mm of rolled tungsten. Long story short, I pop one drone and fail to keep enough distance. With no more cap, my Rifter is done for. At least some Pilgrim appreciates the point and gobbles up the Vexor soon thereafter.

So I contributed to a total of three explosions of various magnitude. I still don't know what I was thinking and wasn't all that pleased with my display of reckless idiocy. Always an effective reminder I should maybe go back to applying all of my skillset, that goes beyond "scan, warp at 0, orbit, shoot stuff". Fighting on my own terms, gathering intel, reading hands, watching local and all that good jazz.

And luckily, I got an opportunity to do just that. Twas a Dramiel, merrily ratting in Jovainnon without a care in the world; its pilot didn't seem to care much about me passing by. Dramiels can always run away anyway, right? Right.

After checking his combat record, I can safely assume that his Dramiel is rather specialized in running away. His disregard of whoever is in system may be almost warranted. With a micro warp drive, he's likely buzzing around far away from any initial warp-in.

I decide to put this disregard to the test. Once in my Harpy (proven by corp mate Tsubutai kill Dramiels rather reliably), I jump back into Jovainnon. I check the belts; the Dramiel pilot is still shooting rats. Warping to his belt would be pointless, I need to jump on top of him. Actually no, he needs to jump on top of me.

I check the belt that below his current one in the list for wrecks. There are none, so I warp there at 0. I ponder to move maybe 50km towards his current belt, but figure that if he's careless enough not to scan ahead, he's certainly careless enough to warp in at 0, too.

Watching, waiting, I see local increasing by one. It's another Tusker in a Taranis, who I quickly urge to look as harmless as possible and not to warp in on that Dramiel. Crisis averted, the friendly Taranis moves on. I'm amazed at how oblivious that Dramiel guy actually is, as he still hasn't moved.

Three wrecks now on scan towards his belt; shouldn't be too much longer. Some silly Serpentis cruiser is pestering me however and I decide to take care of it. Right this instant my overview informs me of the Dramiel warping in. I cycle all the tackling gear I've got and lo and behold, the Dramiel lands within 5km of my Harpy. Just according to keikaku*.

I barely get a lock on it in time. Not even ten volleys later it's dead. Thanks to my dear friends shock and awe, I'm able to point the pod as well. Unfortunately, my customer has no interest in my services and choses death by antimatter.

There, order restored. Let's hope that the next time I get bored I can pull myself together and stick with considering any engagement and preparing properly for it. Would save me the trouble of kicking myself.

* Capsuleer's note: "keikaku" means "plan".