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Cole and his Craptor: A Tale of Trials

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#1 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 30 August 2013 - 06:05 PM



A while back I read through Greygal and Loteaus' threads about their journey from Trial to Core, and I said to myself, "If I ever make Trial, I want to document it much like that." With this thread's inception, it is my hope that others can take something positive away from my experiences. My time as a Trial in Agony was truly incredible; please, enjoy the ride.

Table of Contents:

0. Applying to Agony - 19.08.2013
1. Day One: 27.08.2013
2. Day Two: 28.08.2013
3. Day Three: 29.08.2013
4. The Blur: 30.08.2013 - 12.09.2013
5. Double Down: 13.09.2013 - 14.09.2013
6. The Road So Far: 15.09.2013 - 22.09.2013
7. Cole and the Hornettes: The Making Of (My First Fleet) - 15.09.2013
8. Certified: 01.10.2013
9. Being the Best You Can Be: 03.11.2013
10. The End is Only the Beginning: Trial to Core (26.11.2013)

Edited by Jeremiah Cole, 26 November 2013 - 08:32 PM.

#2 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 30 August 2013 - 06:08 PM

Day Zero: Applying to Agony
Before I write about my second day, I want to talk about my experience with the Agony  application. There's no doubt in my mind that filling out the application can be very daunting and the urge to breeze through it quite a prominent one. Why would you possibly want to spend more than thirty minutes applying to a corporation in a game? The answer is simple: Agony is worth it. Why is the application purposefully daunting? Carver explained it to me very well during my interview: The garden that is Agony is a sacred place to them. Every person who goes from trial to core earns their place amongst the rest and becomes family. The recruiter's job is to tend to that garden and keep it safe.
See, Agony is more than just a PvP corporation in a video game about spaceships, it's a vibrant community full of members who enjoy playing with each other and helping those who seek help. They won't hold your hand, but they do point you in the right direction. The same can't be said for very many other corporations, in my experience. For me, just the process of filling out the application took about three days. For the better part of the first day and a half I had no idea what I was going to put, everything I tried writing seemed to fall flat in my eyes. "Bugger it, I'll come back to it," I said shortly before the Drunken' Maulus Roam. I hopped into one of my newly fitted Harpies, brawler fit, and flew out with my eyes set on destruction. Turns out it'd be my destruction. I lagged a bit behind (for whatever reason, I can't remember) and found myself thinking, "Hmm, this looks like a gate camp. Let's see if I can't get them to aggress." A daredevil and malediction were orbiting the gate and I knew that my Harpy just wasn't fast enough aligning to get out. I engaged my hardener and prepared for a fight. But first... a deep breath. Second? "Recon."
I remember the hesitant pause over comms while I juggled between gathering information and fighting back against the two frigates. The daredevil was in my scram and web range so I stopped him dead in this tracks and overheated my guns. "Go recon," said GG, before I then reported who I was, where I was, and what my situation was. I made sure to x up in fleet and tell them to warp to me at 0. I knew I was going to die, the combined DPS was too much for my poor little harpy to handle. Just as I popped the fleet came screaming in and I warped off, getting safe where I listened on comms. Something about a Typhoon? The fleet had managed to scare off the daredevil and malediction (which was a shame, since the daredevil was in structure) but had instead caught a battlecruiser. Harpy for a battleship? I think that's a fair trade. I hitched a ride on the pod express back to Berta where I hopped into my second Harpy and made best speed back to the fleet, giving recon when it was relevant.
As soon as I caught back up with the fleet, Greygal put me on the spot, "Since you're doing such a good job with recon, Jeremiah, why don't you go plus one for us?" Thanks Greygal, no pressure. It's no secret that AF's are much slower warping around than Fleet Inty's, but what can you do? I was given a job I had never done, really, and I planned on doing it well. It didn't take long for me to hop ahead with Toran as an experience set of eyes where I got the chance to hunt down a Caracal and a Drake. Toran had them on scan, but said they were moving. I scanned ahead and took a guess, deciding to warp to a planet at range. When I landed, both the Drake and the Caracal were on the customs office at 0. I gave my location, what the threats were, and what the warp in should be and began to burn towards them. They didn't warp off right away, only the Drake managed to get away as the fleet landed and tackled the Caracal, killing it quickly. That was the moment I decided that joining Agony was exactly what I wanted. Later on that evening as the roam wound down Species pulled me aside (having already heckled in comms "So, why isn't Jer in Agony yet?") and told me that I needed to apply. We talked for a bit, and it really sunk it that while I was roaming with Agony I might actually be able to fly as one of them. All I had between me and Trial was an application that needed filling out.
With that in mind, I began working on my app with a renewed vigor. While it had been a bit of a side project at first, I found myself enjoying filling it out (especially the scenarios.) Now, I won't tell you what I put there but the result is obvious: I earned myself a trial. When you put a serious amount of effort into the application, they see that. When you're honest, they appreciate it. So if you're thinking about applying to Agony, don't let the application deter you. The only one who can make it happen is you, and you will never regret applying. If that hasn't convinced you, send a recruiter a message and talk to them. If nothing else, they're honest and helpful.

#3 Greygal


Posted 30 August 2013 - 07:19 PM

Terrific stuff, Jeremiah!  I don't think I was able to stop grinning for several days after I got in :)  Keep this going, can't wait to read the next installment!

What you do for yourself dies with you, what you do for others is immortal.


The only chance you get is the one you take.

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#4 xikorita


Posted 30 August 2013 - 07:53 PM

This is so cool. Keep it up :)

#5 Aote


Posted 30 August 2013 - 10:27 PM

I love these. Great job on your first kill.

#6 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 30 August 2013 - 11:26 PM

Day One: 27.08.2013
The day I joined Agony was a heart stopping experience for me. I was flying about in Empire space collecting a few things after BLOPsing with Bombers Bar when a little notification popped up on my screen informing me that Carver DiGriz would like to start a private conversation with me. At the time it didn't even cross my mind that I may be receiving news about the status of my application, I recall asking myself, "Oh, wonder what's up with Carver?"  I threw him a wave and kept hopping from system to system back towards Amarr. There'd be another fleet forming up soon and intel was we might get a Rorqual, and a Rorq is just something you don't pass up. I figure that since I had had my interview not twenty four hours earlier it couldn't possibly be about that, it was too soon! Wrong. 
[ 2013.08.27 02:39:44 ] Jeremiah Cole > o/
[ 2013.08.27 02:40:23 ] Carver DiGriz > you're in - [...]
I stopped dead in my tracks, completely forgetting that I was supposed to be flying a stealth bomber. Shit, did I read that right? Okay, play it cool, man. Play it cool. I enabled my cloak and kept making best speed, breath trembling a bit as I did.

[ 2013.08.27 02:40:44 ] Jeremiah Cole > Anything you'd like in there like API info?
[ 2013.08.27 02:41:22 ] Carver DiGriz > nope we're good
[ 2013.08.27 02:41:49 ] Jeremiah Cole > Awesome, I'll dock up and do that now

Queue my freaking the fuck out. Thank god I wasn't on teamspeak with the rest of Agony because I don't think I wouldn't have survived my hyperventilation. I know it sounds stupid--and it was, kind of--but I couldn't believe that it was actually happening. I was so excited, it took me back to when I was a little kid and had won a scholarship to attend Space Camp. While I tried to find a station to dock up in and get the ball rolling for Carver, he began teasing me a bit about what mentor had decided to pick me up. "Great guy, good match, old school agony" were his words. I finally found a station and docked up, sending in the in game application when Carver sent me...
[ 2013.08.27 02:44:24 ] Carver DiGriz > welcome to it little brother
... and I fucking lost it. At that point I decided I needed to step away from the computer and get my bearings about me, went and made dinner and took my time with a little bit of wine. Was I seriously about to start my Trial? Was I prepared? When I came back to my computer, lo and behold, the invitation was extended and the welcome mail graced my inbox. Now, bear with me here: I stared at the invitation grinning like an idiot for a good five minutes before clicking "Accept". Bing! Shiny gold scorpion next to my name, the Agony tag next to my name. The stuff dreams are made of, man.
I convo'd a friend of mine and spent the next five minutes freaking out to him, trying to get it out of my system while simultaneously trying to work up the courage to say hello in corp chat. The need to calm my nerves was so ridiculous that I had to step outside and have a cigarette, something I normally only ever did when I had shit days and was extremely stressed. I grabbed a stick, stepped outside and smoked the damn thing. The whole thing was a bit overwhelming to me. Since I had first flown with Agony in the earlier part of 2013 on my Basics class I had toyed with the idea of applying. To me, Agony played the game in a fashion that was a tier above how people like me played (PvE, Industry, Trade, etc.) While they do all those things on their own to make ISK, Agony excels in PvP to the point that when people come across them they know they're in for a fight, with years of tradition rooting them together. To be a part of that? It was a daunting prospect.
When I came back inside and sat down at the computer, I got a warm welcome in corp chat and was encouraged to hop onto teamspeak. I did, still having issues with breathing. Everyone was really inviting once I joined and it made me feel genuinely welcome. They laughed a bit when I told them how nervous I was and how excited, and then I abandoned my push-to-talk key all together and let them go about what they were doing. Sonmi, another trial sent me a convo, welcoming me again and encouraging me to relax a bit, that I wasn't the only one excited to have me there (no pressure!).
That first night I spent reading through the forums and wiki, organizing how I was going to get my stuff to my new home, and listening in while members of Agony coordinated with each other on the fly. If no one has told you this yet, take it from me: Agony is incredible when it comes to on the fly coordination. People can be doing there own thing, ratting in belts, chatting in stations, mucking about with planetary interface when all of a sudden, "Point on Domi, 3KNK Planet IX Belt 1" is broadcasted. In a minute or two, hellfire is raining down on that Domi as Agonites stream in from all over the region to whore on the killmail. I went to bed that night mentally prepared to take the next step and head to my new home in the morning.
The following morning I fitted up a Raptor using a corp fitting and flew myself out to Orvolle, waiting on the PF- gate. I was preparing myself mentally, trying to decide if I should ask for a scout to our home or go for it myself in my Fleet Inty. When I read up a bit, it all said to ask for a scout but something was going on in comms. Hmm, better listen. A Talos was chasing Joe in FD-M, two hops from my location. Not even thinking, I hopped into PF and warped straight to FD-. I didn't realize I had down it until my system changed to FD-M. 
As I appeared on grid, there was Joe burning away from the Talos. I quickly joined fleet, decloaked and aligned my Raptor. Joe kept asking who was nearby and me, forgetting I was on comms and how to use it, warped to Joe @ 100km without a word, landing on top of the Talos. I began to engage it, drawing it's drones off and giving it a hard time in the hopes that I'd be able to pop the drones and tackle the Talos without any issue. Of course, the Talos warped off to a gate I didn't see so I stopped my ship (which is a no-no in an inty.) Nobody said anything to me yet about me forgetting to tackle the ship, which is really my only job, while we waited for others to make their way to us. What is this? The Talos is back on grid 13km from me! I immediately back orbitting at my optimal, holding him with my point while his drones swarmed around me and did no damage. Temprial warped in his his (N)omen and began applying DPS, Gillion and Jade provided back up points, and Joe warped in to help lay waste to the BC pilot. The pod warped away as soon as he popped, good fights were given in local, and I made best speed to home station with my first "kill" under my belt.
I was grinning like a madman the whole way home.

#7 DanyelEmere


Posted 30 August 2013 - 11:55 PM

Awesome read Jer! Can't wait for the rest of them  :D

#8 Jysella


Posted 31 August 2013 - 03:35 AM

Oh goody! Another epic thread to keep up with! :)
Always wish I had thought to do this myself.
BASIC-20120108 WOLFPACKS-20120420 COVOPS-20130420
"Pretty. What do we blow up first?"

Yes, this is my freighter. No, I won't help you move.

#9 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 01 September 2013 - 02:58 AM

Day Two: 28.08.2013


My second day in Agony consisted of joining a frigate gang run by xikorita and going out for a to the death roam. Jade had a few ships in system he could fly but both Gillion and I were waiting on a J-Freighter to haul in our items, so any thought of flying something other than a Raptor went right out the window.  As we sat docked in station, xikorita asked very politely how terrible our skills were by linking us fits we couldn't fly (for the most part) until we came to the fabled Dual Rep Incursus. Since xikorita really wanted to get us our of our home system for a T1 frigate roam, he contracted over an Incrusus to both Gillion and I. Then the fun began! Never having flown an Incursus before I had a brief look at the stats. With the fit xikorita had on there I was cranking out roughly 114 dps, which would be enough to solo roam if I happened to survive the oncoming engagements, I'd just have to do some tricky flying and use my drones right.


We undocked and made our way through space, me still being bookmark-less and flying by the goodwill of whatever gods watch over EVE players. As we hopped into 8V we got a fight straight away: a Taranis and Merlin vs. the Agony Trials! As our scout (who I can't remember) warped ahead we received our intel, a Taranis and Merlin off the K-5 gate in 8V. We aligned and waited, second by terribly slow second passing by, for the magic words of war, "I've been aggressed!" Come to think of it, I believe it was Gillion who was our scout.. Yeah, sounds about right. You can always count of Gilli to try and pick a fight! We warped in, guns primed, scrams and webs ready to screw with their navigation systems. By the time I landed, the Taranis was already burning away from our afterburner T1 frig fleet. Ah, but what is this? The Merlin's not going anywhere? "Primary the Merlin! Overheat, overheat!" called xikorita as I burned into range, unleashing the full range of destruction in my immediate arsenal. Pop! The Merlin melted away like you wouldn't believe under the combined fire of three blaster Incursus' and a Slasher. xikorita was nice enough to afford us a moment for me to recall my lone drone before we began to make best speed, looking for another fight.


While none of my cohorts could see me, I gave my Incursus a nod of approval for holding up well during the fight. Having flown blaster Merlins and Comets for most of my time doing PvP, I was very happy with the ship's performance. Who wouldn't be? It's a classic! We made our way towards BMNV where Dotlan registered a series of hotspots. xikorita was keen on going out and fighting until some if not all of us turned to space dust. We hopped into system and Jade proceed to be our eyes, warping off to the 31- gate where he reported an Ishkur on the gate at zero. You could nearly hear him salivating as he told us he was cold warping fleet, that primary was the Ishkur. Of course the Ishkur would be primary, but that's the thing about being in fleet: it sounds so much cooler when your FC says it. We landed and immediately engaged the Ishkur, who began to fight back. "Put all DPS on the Ishkur!" yelled xikorita, keeping his cool. We were very slowly beginning to break his tank. "Overheat your guns!" As I did and I began to watch him slowly melt away, d-scan and local pinged. +2, stabber and vexor. "Get out of there, guys! Warp away" came the order as the Ishkur popped, the Vexor and Stabber landing right on top of us. Gillion's away, Jade's away, xikorita's away, Jeremiah's... caught. "Who didn't make it?" asked xikorita as I activated my dual rep modules, being careful not to aggress anything at that point. "Jeremiah didn't, two secs" I said as my ship disappeared from around me and my pod came flying out in all it's majestic glory. Tally ho! I warped to the first celestial I had seen, courtesy of my GTFO tab on my overview and reported, "Pod's away, I'm getting safe."


Queue the giggle fest all the way back to 3KNK after that where I reshipped into a second Incursus, courtesy of xikorita. I gave xikorita a half hearted apology for losing his ship, having happily traded one Incursus for an Ishkur. I can't speak for him, but I'm going to say that he was happy with the outcome as well. Honestly, I think I could have made it out of there if I had been a little faster in selecting a celestial when the order came down. We could have taken the Ishkur with no losses, but alas! T'was not meant to be. I let the high from the PvP cloud my reaction time, which is something that I'll have to work on holding back until I'm safe. A couple of hours later I joined up with Giz and a couple others for another frigate roam, using my new Incursus where we caught a Thorax and absolutely wrecked him. Something I've come to realize is that you cannot underestimate the power of a frigate gang. They are agile, they are quick, and they put out enough combined DPS to take down battleships. I took a short break after that because I had been playing for a while and my eyes and hands needed a rest, and my body needed sustenance! Can't tell you all how many times I've forgotten to eat because I get caught up in EVE. That's bad, haha! 


We went out a few hours after that, me finally back in my Raptor. We flew out to near EZA looking for a fight where I baited E-UNI off the station with my Raptor. How did you bait them in an Inty? you may ask. The answer is simple, I messed it up. I sat still. They deployed combat probes, I didn't use my d-scan, and they landed on top of my before I could react. Whoops! Learned the hard way what I should be doing. The rest of the fleet warped in and the fight went on for a bit, Agony coming out on top. One Vexor Navy Issue, three Vexors, and a Tornado for one Raptor? Sounds like the blood sacrifice worked! I made it back to 3KNK in my pod and reshipped into my backup Raptor, taking a quick bio before undocking and making best speed back to fleet. I met up with the fleet halfway between 3KNK and EZA where I then flew +1 all the way back to home system. What's that? "Wasn't there a Drake kill?" Why, yes there was! We encountered a member of Dust Tride on the way home at the 8V gate in 3KNK where he aggressed us and quickly melted him before his backup showed.


Day two, in my opinion, was an overwhelming success.

#10 xikorita


Posted 01 September 2013 - 03:08 AM

Just replace mahni with xikorita :) that is just the char I play right now.

#11 Zael Serine

Zael Serine
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Posted 01 September 2013 - 05:14 AM

Glad you are enjoying yourself Cole.

#12 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 01 September 2013 - 06:25 PM

Day Three: 29.08.2013


When I woke up on Thursday morning with the intent of logging on for a brief period to update my skills before I had to go into work, I had no idea what was in store for me. Having gone into hisec the night before to grab myself a couple of skill books like Cynosural Field Theory, a skill Toran recommended I train up to at least one in the event that we ever need a Cyno and I'm the one who's on. I undocked from Orvolle, sleep still fresh in my eyes with my destination set: Home. The route home was pretty boring for the most part, the occasional spike in local while I traveled. At 7:00 AM PST, or 14:00 EVE, there isn't a whole lot of activity. I got myself to a safe in  K5, MWD on burning away unaligned while I got myself a cup of coffee. When I got back I joined comms where Jade was the only other Agonite on, said my hello and then proceeded onward towards 3KNK. The theme of the morning so far was "system friendly" which, in as much of a target rich environment as our region normally is, isn't my favorite flavor of local. With me still clinging to consciousness, sipping my coffee with one hand and navigating with the other, I hopped into 3KNK. "Mmm, I love coffee. Ah, a Cyclone."




Wait, a Cyclone?! I've never done a quicker double take as I nearly spilled my coffee all over my keyboard. Immediately following soiling my boxers with hot coffee, I warped after him towards Planet VI @ 100km, and lo and behold I landed 13km off the Cyclone. "Point Cyclone, planet VI" I called out on comms to the only one who could possibly hear me. I wanted to scream "I need help!" but that wouldn't have been very professional. I was awake at this point, Cyclone pointed, navigating around him while he tried to slingshot me. I wasn't having any of that! It took a moment before I could throw together a quick standing fleet where Jade joined me, providing some back up tackle in his Stiletto. Cole and his Craptor were off to a good start this morning, but I had to ask, "So.. how does this Jabber thing work?" We had a couple of members 'online' but afk, totally unresponsive to my call for help in corp chat. Jade had no idea, so I said "Bugger it" and hopped onto the forums, telling him to make sure he continued with the backup tackle. I logged onto Pidgin and followed the instructions provided to us (that I couldn't remember off the top of my head) and sent out a Jabber ping calling for help, "Cyclone pointed 3KNK @ Planet VI, need help." it read.


Of course the first response I received was a return message from Carver, my recruiter. "Go get 'em, Jer," he said. As much as I love the show of confidence, I needed DPS, haha. We could hold the Cyclone there all day and never do anything but scratch his shields. Thankfully, Danyel logged onto comms in response to my ping. I told Jade I was going to disengage and reship for DPS just as I looked away and was grabbed by the Cyclone. He popped me after about a minute, burning out his MWD in the process. I managed to warp back to station just as Danyel warped out to Jade who still had him pointed. In hindsight, I should have reshipped into my scythe to give Danyel's Hurricane reps (since he was breaking the Cyclone's tank solo.) In reallity, I reshipped into a Caracal and had to fit it out, arriving on field just as Danyel's Hurricane popped. With Jade stilll holding him down, I kited out to 20km and began applying my own DPS to him. From time to time his autocannons were landing a small, negligible hit. Not too long after that, Danyel arrived in his Myrmidon and our combined DPS melted the Cyclone.


The high I had from the engagement can't even be described. Jade commended me on grabbing the Cyclone, as did Danyel. I appologized to Danyel about the loss of his Hurricane, but overall he decided that he shouldn't have even undocked in it and instead brought the Myrm to begin with. Either way, I had grabbed us a kill in the wee hours of the morning. I sat there overjoyed, extremely pleased with myself for finally doing exactly what I needed to with an Interceptor. The only thing was I allowed myself to be fished by the Cyclone early on because I stopped paying attention for a brief moment. I spent the rest of my day after that high off that kill, so much so that work flew by. All I could think about was the fight and how awesome it was that a couple days after joining Agony, I'm flying around on my own and manage to grab something, and when I request help I get it.


So awesome, I love being in Agony.

#13 Jalisco Eisen Koraka

Jalisco Eisen Koraka
  • PipPip

Posted 02 September 2013 - 05:54 AM

Kudos, JJ. If I had even SOME of your mad skills... Well, you have succeeded in making me jealous.

#14 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 08 September 2013 - 07:14 AM

Jeez, it's been a while since I updated my little thread. Life's been one hell of a ride recently, but since it's winding down I'm going to get a post up sometime within the next day covering the time I've missed.




Kudos, JJ. If I had even SOME of your mad skills... Well, you have succeeded in making me jealous.


I don't know about "mad skills", just trying to learn from everyone around me. :)

#15 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:28 PM

The Blur: 30.08.2013 - 12.09.2013


Two weeks after the nervous new Trial began his journey from sucking hard to sucking a little less with corpses piled upon glorious space metal (some of which were his own), he looked back and said, "I should probably get some sleep." When he finally woke the entirety of those times, all overly joyous, were nothing but a blur of missiles, shiny lasers, explosions, and the stars of hundreds of systems.




With that being said, the last two weeks have been by far the most fun I've ever had playing EVE Online. I have zero regrets when it comes to joining Agony, regardless of the costs of losing ships in (sometimes not-so) glorious deaths or the frustration that comes from being unable to fly heavier metal than a frigate in Agony's doctrines. "Patience," I remind myself as if Obi-wan were delivering wisdom unto me. I've accomplished a lot, I think, and I'm proud of that. I completed my Directional Scanner, Basic PvP, and Structure & Organization certifications (all requirements to get up to Core); I experienced what it's like to effectively XO a PvP-U class with BNI and had the chance to be Ewar officer for 20 Griffin pilots; I've skirmished and scouted out whole regions, blinking across whole solar systems in my Raptor; I even got a couple solo kills under my belt.


The future of this Trial is certainly unclear, though on most days I don't feel like a Trial and forget that I'm not Core (until Itko or Wulf reminds me.) I've made friends with people through the PVP-U and established a sound repor with other alliances and have had no bad times at all. Everything, from the moment I popped into Agony until the second I posted this, has been fantastic. The people, the organization, the everything has been wonderful. I'm so happy to be here.

#16 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 15 September 2013 - 11:05 PM

Double Down: 13.09.2013 - 14.09.2013


Friday morning or thursday night, however you look at it, Toran held an internal Skirmishing seminar for us Agonites that was very cool and helpful. I learned a lot from it and am really excited to see all the student skirmishers during the Skirmishing class coming up go through everything we all did. We even managed to grab us a kill!


A Rifter: http://www.agony-unl..._detail/114029/


The day after that my mentor, Sev, held his first fleet in years. Things went pretty slowly at first but then they began to pick up quite a bit. I was a little late to the party because real life called and then canceled (let's blame my girlfriend.) Things went pretty well! I got to use my guns on an Omen and a Stabber Fleet Issue!




Then, we found a fleet for three Ravens, a Drake, a Maelstrom, and a Rattlesnake on a gate. Well shit, of course we tackled something (aka Rattlesnake.) ;)


Here's the outcome of that fight: http://www.agony-unl...related/114055/


Then on the way back I hopped into an Ibis and kill whored like a pro: http://www.agony-unl..._detail/114049/


The next day, or rather, later that night after I actually spent some time with my girlfriend and did fun stuff like go to the science museum and watch cult classics, I joined a fleet where Giz and Wulf were both in Vagabonds having fun without us! Gillion, Bloodmyst, and I all hopped into Interceptors and made best speed to them where we roamed around a bit until this happened: http://www.agony-unl..._detail/114080/. The combination of great scanning, a little luck, and a quick point by Blood bagged us an awesome Tengu kill. :) Not long after that we moved ourselves into PF- and bagged a Cynabal: http://www.agony-unl..._detail/114081/


As if the end of the night wasn't already perfect, having hopped on with the intention of only updating skills and getting 1.9 bil added to my killboard instead, keacte chimed in on comms that he had a Hyperion out in TXW. We made best speed to him and I now finally have a Hyperion on my killboard!




Two days of fun for the price of one!

#17 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 22 September 2013 - 10:44 PM

The Road So Far: 15.09.2013 - 22.09.2013
The past week has accelerated by like you wouldn't believe. The past month, really. A lot has happened, and even more so, a lot has changed. I found myself a stable source of ISK to fund my PvP, I've got my alts all set up, a skill plan all worked out. So much as happened yet... I feel like I don't have much to say. Normally I talk about battles and great fights I've been a part of or events that were phenomenal, but not today, no. I want to talk a little about how things have changed.
When I started flying with Agony back in February I looked at PvP as an elite play style. I managed enormous mining operations, partook in station trading and live events, even ran my own PvE corp for a while. None of that satisfied me as a player and I felt like I wasn't getting all I could get out of the game. There is so much to do in EVE and--while I've done a lot of it--I've done nowhere near all of it. For me, PvP in any area of that game, not just null sec, was a huge change in my play style. I like to think I've adapted well to it, learned some new strategies and overcome any fear I have of flying there. In reality, I'm more afraid of flying in hi sec now where you can be lulled into a false sense of security. Out there in the black of null, I feel like I'm at home.
Gillion and I talked with Joe the other night about Agony, the Trial period, and how we all got started. There was a lot of nostalgia and good advice tossed around, but one thing that was said and I believe is overwhelmingly true is this: the Trial period isn't about how good you are, it's about who you are. While Agony has some really incredible pilots (Gillion being an absolutely outstanding interceptor pilot) and while skill does factor in, the fact of the matter is nobody wants to fly with an asshole. On the flip side, Agony isn't for everyone; the way Agony flies is far different than how friends of mine flew in Faction Warfare while I was with them.
I probably won't be updating this thread daily (as you may have noticed) but I'll do my best to update it with changes and what not. Also, on a side note: Charlie Squadron (US TZ) is currently recruiting!
Coming SoonTM: A look into Cole's first Fleet

#18 Wulfrunner


Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:54 AM

WTB more posts :)

Posted Image

#19 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:17 AM

Cole and the Hornettes: The Making Of (My First Fleet): 15.09.2013
Every Trial is required to FC a fleet with at least four Core Agony members present as a part of the right of passage from Trial to Core (which I'll talk about in the next post.) For several days I had been trying to cull my buddies into fleeting up with me, but there was either always a gang or nobody was online. Finally I decided the best course of action was to schedule a fleet, all official and what-not. Like always I began to over think everything, delving into the annals of the Agony wiki to absorb all the information I could regarding FC'ing, reading through literally every wiki article there was before listening to the audio seminars regarding FC'ing successfully. Since I had never FC'd, only been a member of the fleet or been the XO, I--for some reason--decided that this was a good idea.
I stressed myself out with details that didn't matter and disregarded things that did because I forgot to stop and 'breathe'. The day before my fleet I talked with Greygal for a bit regarding the PVP-U and how I could be more involved with it (something I'll delve into deeper in a later post) when afterwards she asked how I felt. "Are you excited, Jeremiah?" she asked. "Terrified" was my answer. But I was both excited and nervous and the prospect of sitting the FC's chair. As the time came for my fleet to begin I set up the fleet, created an advert, and waited to see who would be coming online to join in. The theme: Cole and the Hornettes. We were to fly out in Assault Frigs, Inties, and Ewar support frigates.
To my dismay, only Greygal and Wulfrunner were present for the roam.I began to panic, already deeming the roam a failure as more time passed and no more people logged on to join us; that's what I get for planning a roam on an early Sunday afternoon. Wulf suggested that I send out a ping, so I did, and we managed to wrangle Gillion into joining us for my first major failure of my Agony career. We formed up at the POS--all four of us--and departed 40 min. late, a fabulous start. GG in the suicide Griffin, Gillion in the Ares, Wulf in an Enyo, and me in the faithful Hawk.
Ronat hopped on and brought his hound and cloaky eyes to help scout our route towards eastern Syndicate where I had hoped to provoke a fight from the Moonies or E-Uni. It was slow goign at first as I tried to acclimate myself to the Fc's chair and using the J-word (blek), not to mention piecing together bits of recon coming in from both Gillion and Ronat. We moved slowly through area but got not response from either of my preferred targets, so I moved us down further south. An hour in and we had found no targets whatsoever. Then Gillion informed me that he had some intel for me. E-Uni and the Moonies were planning to form up in a joint op to go after TCF down near VV-V.
Curious, I had Gillion add me to the conversation with the informant. They wanted us to come in and mop up TCF stragglers as they went after the POS. However, after a few minutes of talking and some recon of our own revealing nothing to be happening near that area we moved on. I hadn't even noticed while I was talking with Gillion and the informant that Levnov (who is Agony's newest Core member!) had joined us in a Stiletto. So I did a little bit of micromanaging, telling my two skirmishers where I wanted them to scout and then realized with the help of a request in fleet chat that it was a good time for a bio-break. We took a ten minute bio and were joined by Reverend in an Enyo. By the time we came back I was feeling pretty good about our fleet composition. I gave the order to undock from the station and had Gillion head south for me while Levnov scouted north near JH where Reverend was waiting for the fleet. As our ships exited the station I noticed a Myrmidon on the undock, the only other pilot in system apart from my gang. I gave the order to align to JH and locked up the Myrmidon as we did to see what he'd do, gave it a few seconds, and then warp the squad to the gate and had them jump on contact. Just for a few seconds I waited as they went through and, sure enough, the Myrmidon landed on the gate. I hopped through and cold warped our fleet to the gate Rev was at as Gillion gave us recon in VV: 20 man Initiative BC fleet on the gate @ 0 km. A few seconds later Gillion informed me that his ship has been blapped, and that he'd make his way to EZA where he had a Jag to reship in.
I moved the fleet up towards MHC after that, only followed by the Myrmidon who--I realized--was Initiative as well for a system or two before detouring towards 6-C through 6E. Now I looked at the map and decided, whatever was in 6-C I wanted to come at, cutting off their escape by having Gillion ready on the EZA gate and my gang ready on the 6E gate when a Stabber hopped through. "Aggress the Stabber?" Wulf asked, and as I was about to say "Grab it" it warped off down towards ZVN--the direction we had come from. "Chase" I ordered, warping myself as Wulf warped as well. We got to the gate and hopped right after he did, and aligned out to the JH gate prepared to warp when we missed our tackle a second time. "Want us to go after him?" I was asked. "No, he's heading right for the Initiative BC gang." GG seemed a little impressed I remembered that. ;) Back to 6E we went where I put Levnov through into 6-C and the rest of us on a tac above the gate. Lo and behold: an Ishtar! Wulf warped down before I could say anything, but I had already been aligned to warp. "Permission to grab the Ishtar?" he asked. "Tackle him," I said, "Lev, be ready on that side. GG, hold here." With a brief confirmation from all parties the Ishtar was tackled and I went through, waiting to see what would happen. Gate flash. "Ishtar into you."
"Point Ishtar," called Lev and I approached into my optimal orbit and scram and webbed the Ishtar, applying my DPS to it. Gillion warped to us and hopped through to Wulf. Unfortunately it crashed the gate again, and then my brain shut down on me.
I saw the rats shooting at us, I told Lev to deaggress and go through, I started shooting the rats since they were a problem for us while we waited. Where was the tackle? The rats were shooting Lev and I needed my skirmisher alive. Good, he's through, now I can get rid of them and not worry about being killed while taking out the Ishtar. Why was the tackle taking so long? "Drones are out." Come on, aggress you bastard.
"Has he aggressed?" I asked. I got a stream of information at that point that revealed that, while I had blanked, the Ishtar had warped to planet 2 where Gillion chased and landed tackle. Some urgency was creeping into Gillions voice as he reported he was dying. I hopped through the gate and warped to Gillion immediately, knowing that everyone else had already warped to him. While in warp I then heard "Cyclone on grid" to which I gave the order, "Primary is the Ishtar. All DPS on the Ishtar." When I landed I powered to the Ishtar and applied my own DPS. Thirty seconds later the Ishtar was going down and there on my overview his reinforcements were creeping in: two Cynabals, a Typhoon, and another Ishtar plus the Cyclone that was already on grid with us. Wulf asked politely, "Should we disengage?" I replied with urgency, "disengage! Disengage!" I aligned out and warped off, and asked if anybody had been tackled; no response came.
I then discovered, only after a comment by Wulf that I seemed kind of quiet, I had forgotten to push my damn push-to-talk key. Damnit! If I done so, I doubt we would have lost anything, but instead Greygal, Levnov, and Wulf had all gotten caught.
Here's a battle report: http://www.agony-unl...related/114174/
I had us regroup at a tac off the MHC gate before going to F67 so our pods could hop into noob ships, where I reassessed our strength. One hound, a hawk, an enyo, and a jaguar still flying; it was time to head home. As we got everyone through to F67 and docked up, I stayed behind with Reverend on the gate where he and I got a Nemesis coming through. With that we made it safely all the way back to 8V where I had Rev go through and give recon: Sabre, SFI, and a Naga on the 8V gate in 3KNK. Gillion and I both hopped through and Gillion burned towards the Naga, causing it to warp off while I drew the Sabre and SFI off the gate a bit before warping to a TAC. I had hoped to bait the Sabre into bubbling the gate using our fleet mates in newbie ships, but he and the SFI both warped off. I got some positive feedback about my fleet and calmed the nerves and was assured that, in their eyes, it had been a success. We had gone out, gotten a fight (and died), and won the ISK war!
It was a lot of fun and I've promised a Cole and the Hornettes: The Encore at a more reasonable time. xP
That was the first time I FC'd, the first of many.

#20 Silivay


Posted 04 October 2013 - 07:05 AM

Nice catch; expensive Ishtar. Don't worry about the stress, it is all in your head. Everyone else cares less than you think :)

“Moros' are like dinosaur, you have to hold really still.” ― Deran Francks
BASIC-20101226 * WOLFPACKS-20101228 * FLYBYS-20110212 * COVOPS-20110219 * ADVANCED-20111216

#21 VennCarr


Posted 04 October 2013 - 09:53 PM

Awesome recounts of your time and experiences w/ Agony.  Keep it up.  I'm intrigued to hear more.

#22 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 07 October 2013 - 04:08 AM

Certified: 01.10.2013


When I first joined Agony I had a few certificates under my belt, such as Core Competency Standard and Turret Control Improved, but nothing that really mattered or proved actual competency. As I progressed through my Trial I scoured through the contents of the Agony Unleashed wiki, finding as much as I possibly could about what I needed to do to make Core. I was pointed in the direction of certifications--not fake sheets of paper the game gives you for training a certain set of skills, but a series of questions that tests your knowledge and capability in the game.


The first certification I ever completed was only a couple days after starting my Trial, a D-Scan Certification. The D-Scan certification is done by a Core member taking the Trial out and hopping into a system, warping to a celestial, and then having the Trial hop in and hunt them down using their directional scanner in three minutes or less. For my D-Scan test, I paired with Sonmi and we went out with Species who figured he might as well haze us a little bit (though the learning didn't stop, even as we were tested.) We spent a good hour wandering from system to system trying to find Species and ended with us both being passed, but not before he logged off with us looking, swapped ships, and cloaked up a couple times.


The second certification I passed was the S&O (structure and organization) certification, a test to make sure a Trial understands the--well--structure of Agony, how it works, etc. I was very concerned that I'd get a lot of the answers wrong when I turned it in to my mentor, Sev because no matter how hard I scoured through the wiki for the answers, they weren't there. Here's a link to the S&O certification so you can see what I mean: (click here). The third certification I passed as my Basic PvP certification, which touches upon different aspects of PvP combat and the mechanics behind it (as well as some other things.) Extremely confident that I was going to pass the Basic PvP cert without any issue, I sent it to Sev right before my S&O.


However, when Sev pulled me into a private channel on Teamspeak to touch base with me regarding my certifications, I was informed that I had passed the S&O without any issues but there were a couple things he wanted to go over with me on my Basic certification (which can be seen by clicking here.) We went over a couple questions, and it was great. Sev forced me to think hard about my answers, revisit them as best I could and try to expand on them--think outside the box. After about twenty minutes of going through it, I had learned some things I didn't know before, things that I now utilize everyday.


Even though it's not a certification, it's "recommended" (I've heard "required") that a Trial schedule and FC a roam with at least four Core members in it. I've got that under my belt not once, but twice! My second roam went much better and felt much more relaxed. I learned a lot from my experience FC'ing the first time, and I can't wait to schedule Cole and the Hornettes: The Encore.


Finally, there's the Intermediate PvP Certification which doesn't just test you on game mechanics or your knowledge of ships in the game, but how you deal with different situations. Although I completed it and submitted it about two weeks ago, I've yet to hear back about how I've done. I am confident that I'll do well, though. Now comes the time to be patient and await the pass or fail.


And I passed my Cert! Turns out I forgot to full answer a couple questions, but Yamir was awesome and went through it with me.


For anybody who is taking the time to read through all this, see if you can answer the questions of the different certifications. The trick is simple: there are few wrong answers, and so so many right ones. There are even more certifications listed through the wiki, some of which I've only just unearthed but will be utilizing as a tool to test the knowledge I have and improve and grow from.

#23 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:43 AM

Being the Best You Can Be: 03.11.2013
It's been a while since I updated this thread and I want to apologize for that, a lot of things have been going on in real life that--when coupled with focusing on my Agony Trial--make it difficult to stay on point here. In lieu of that, I had been waiting for something really incredible or something damn near it to happen that I could write about when I realized today that each day I spend in Agony I am bettering myself as a player. When I started out in Agony I could barely fly anything, interceptors being about the most useful thing I could be in at the time (thus the thread name.) There were about 20 kills to my name from previous public roams and PVP-U roams that spanned the course of two months. Now? I have over 300 recorded kills to my name in under three months time with Agony with over 70 of them from the month of Novemeber alone. I have flown everything from cloaky frigates to bulky armor tanked battleships; brawl and kite fits, and nano and brick tanks.
I figured at the beginning that if I threw enough ships into the proverbial meat grinder that I'd come out on top some day, but that was the wrong approach for me. I learn best by watching others, and then trying to do what they do and adapting it to fit me. It took me nearly two months to figure this out, and in that time I have learned several key aspects of interstellar warfare that keep you alive: (1) space is three dimensional, (2) know your enemy, (3) manual flying will always beat orbiting. Just understanding those three can be tough, but seeing EVE like that changes how you play entirely, and there are no shortage of excellent pilots to learn from in Agony, as well.
On the subject of learning, I wouldn't be here now if it hadn't been for the PVP-U back when I returned to eve in late January 2013. I learned the basics of PVP and, in wanted to get even better, dove head first into the PVP scene shortly there after, supplemented by other PVP-U classes and watching Agony pilots on public roams and during the alliance tournament. I'm probably going to get a little flak for this, but it's something I've wanted to do for a while now:
I am going to be awarding full ride scholarships to Agony's PVP University to several pilots in the near future. Expect details soonTM on how to qualify.

#24 Druur


Posted 05 November 2013 - 05:23 AM

Being the Best You Can Be: 03.11.2013
It'I had been waiting for something really incredible or something damn near it to happen that I could write about when I realized today that each day I spend in Agony I am bettering myself as a player.

Yup. While I don't have 300 kills like you, especially not in that short amount of time, I learned that the Big Breakthroughs are a myth. But when I compare myself to where I were a year ago - yep, I can't complain.

Keep writing. The gradual development over the months has its own appeal.
BASIC-20091121 -- FC BASIC-20091114 -- WOLFPACKS-20091201 -- ADVANCED-2603102400 -- ADVANCED HSSR -0805102300
The FC's Eyes in PVP-20101605 -- SKIRMISH-20110129 -- FLYBYS-20110212 -- PVP-COVOPS-20110219

Greygal> I am getting bored. Let’s do this.

#25 Jeremiah Cole

Jeremiah Cole

Posted 26 November 2013 - 08:23 PM

The End is Only the Beginning: Trial to Core (26.11.2013)
Life is a process, each and every step taking you further forward. Every decision you make counts for something, and both your world and the worlds of others are shaped by them. EVE Online is no different. For me the decision to join Agony was not a decision that I made lightly. Everything I had done, all things I had accomplished, everything that had made me the player that I was meant nothing in the end. When I decided to join Agony I did so looking to my future. I wanted more from the game than to log on every day and grind away killing enemies that would just respawn. I wanted more than the stagnant, repetitive content of faction warfare. There was even a point that I tried flying incursions and with bombers bar, but still the game failed to live up to the expectations I held for it. While on the verge of canceling my subscription for the final time and biomassing all characters, I received a private conversation from a member of Agony during one of Greygal’s public roams. The plan was to attend this roam as my final bout in EVE Online, to have it be my own personal send off--to go out with a bang. Needless to say it wasn't long after that I put in my application to Agony applying for my own Trial.

It's been several months since I joined Agony, and I have had some incredible experiences. On more than one occasion I have felt less and less like a Trial and more like a member of a family. But all families are not without their faults, and that is not something I had not taken into account when I first joined Agony. As will happen with any group of people, we sometimes argue with each other without any discernible outcome. Agony was once described to me as "our own kind of paradise", an exaggeration that is not at all far from the truth. I suppose it really depends on your own view of paradise. For me, Agony gave me a sense of purpose. It allowed me to look to the future and helped me decide how I would want to define my legacy.

When Agony was founded, it enriched the lives of players from all over the world by showing them just how much fun it was to PvP and how easy it could be done. I am proud to say that I am one of those people, having first attended a basic class in the middle of February 2013. My experience in that class shaped how I played the game from that point on. I started my own corporation, where players could choose to either mine or to go out and run missions. But for all the members who joined, I pointed them to Agony PvP University. I wanted everybody who joined my corporation to be able to fend for themselves should the need arise. I felt it was increasingly important that they all have the basic training that I had. I didn't expect anybody to become elite PvP players, but I did expect them to become much harder targets. Unfortunately, Agony PvP University was not running any classes at times my members could join. Instead, I used what knowledge I had, referring to the Agony wiki, to provide my members with basic information, skills, and practice necessary.

While I was, in my opinion, nowhere near as complete as the Agony basic class I felt incredibly rewarded by the feeling I had after teaching the newer members who had no PvP experience at all. It was several months before I could attend a basic class as an alumni, time permitting. Once I did, I began to fall deeper and deeper in love with the element of teaching. I wanted to give back to Agony by helping those who would be joining the classes. One idea I'd come up with was something I had called the War Chest. It contained hundreds of modules required to fit ships of all varieties for a basic class, including all the necessary, types for every race. It never really took off, and that's alright. All that meant was that the people who are attending a students were prepared, and that is never a bad thing. Another service I begin to offer those attending classes free free from any location in the cluster (so long as it was high sec) to the staging site. Finally, I have my full ride scholarship which is still having it’s details ironed out but will be going live soonTM.

While none of my ideas ever really took off, once I joined Agony as a Trial I wanted to invest myself in PvP University as much as possible, the need to help driving me forward. One of the issues with focusing on PvP University as a Trial in Agony, is that sometimes it begins to affect the players focus on their Trial. As a Trial it is necessary to be active and engaging as much as possible. For me this was a balancing act, because no matter what anybody thought I wanted to be as much of a part of PvP University as possible. Any chance I got volunteered to be a part of a class, filling in a support role for the lecture and roam, my first ever class being a private one with Brave Newbies Inc. Just like most graduates never forget their first basic class, I will never forget my first basic class as Agony, finally being on the inside. Just as I won't forget that time, I will never forget the most recent one where I was allowed to teach a substantial portion of the class. While I came away hesitant about my performance, I am now confident in my teaching ability thanks to the feedback I have received since then.

Looking into the future, there are many things that need to be done. I previously mentioned that Agony helped me define how I wanted to leave a lasting legacy, and I feel it's time to specify how. It’s not my own personal Legacy I want to ensure, it is Agony's as a whole. Agony holds great pride in its culture and by ensuring the success of PvP University, I am adamant that I--amongst many--can ensure that the culture of Agony will never be lost or malformed. That is the opinion I've come to have since I started my Trial, and the road to pursuing my previously stated objective starts with Core.

On the 19th of November 2013, I logged on to EVE Online and joined comms. I had no intentions that evening of playing the game but something urged me on. I joined fleet and undocked in my Thorax, warping myself to a TAC off of the 8V gate. When I arrived I found a gang that there was no chance of engaging. Instead, I kept my eyes on them, and watched they warped away and hopped out of system. Another minute passed and I listened to the Intel from the other systems, deciding what to do next when I heard that we were changing ships. I reshipped into an Enyo and went back to the 8V gate, regrouping with the rest of my fleet. We waited and waited and waited some more as we got intel and brought our probers to system to see if we could catch some ships that were at TACs. The moment I heard tackle called I hopped through the gate and warped to Gillion. I realized mid warp what was happening, warping not to a gate but to a deep safe.

As soon as I landed, I was primary. All tackle was called, all DPS was applied, and as my ship melted around my pod I could do nothing but giggle and laugh uncontrollably. Bubble up! This was it, this was the moment I had been waiting for. It was what every Trial had hoped to accomplish the moment their application was accepted. With one final explosion, I was welcomed to Core.

Thank you everyone who has joined me in this grand adventure from Trial to Core, and followed the course of my thread; it has been one hell of a ride. The amount of support I've had, the amount of friends I've made, is incredible. When I first created this thread I had hoped it would help guide potential recruits and onlookers, and although my journey to Core is finished, Core is merely the first step. My mail box is always open to anyone who has questions or wants to talk, and will remain that way. Thank you again.