NBSI. NRDS. Two simple terms that represent two of the most prevalent combat focused mindsets in EVE today.
NBSI, or ‘not blue shoot it’, pretty much says to the world “If you aren’t with me you are against me, and I will come down hard on you if you look funny at me, or touch my stuff or hurt my friends”. NRDS, or ‘not red don’t shoot’, says to everyone “go about your business in our space as you please, but hurt me and mine, and you will no longer be welcome here.”
The Tagalong kid
Always in the background skipping along behind NBSI and NRDS is a third mindset, one that simply says “you aren’t flying in this fleet with me, you’re toast”. This mindset is known as ‘not purple shoot it’, or NPSI. Now this way of deciding who you can or cannot shoot has been around for as long as EVE has, with everyone from pirates to small high sec corps to forum communities using it to get some kills while roaming the space lanes.
Ceofore Aideron, streamer extraordinaire, says of NPSI:
“The NPSI mentality is all about getting fights. Some of the best fights you can get in EVE are against people who you might find fun to hang around with. But if all prey turns into pals, you’ll limit yourself too much on where and who you can lead fleets against. Maintaining the bare minimal standings and ceasefires is all about allowing you and your fleet the most opportunity for fun. There are some groups you taunt afterwards and others that you invite onto comms for a beer and laugh. Either way it’s never a good idea to rob yourself of fights via diplomacy.”
To my mind NPSI and the communities that live it are also a great way for players to experience large events, both player and CCP organised, without feeling like they are just feeding kills to other more organised groups consisting of the larger low sec and null sec alliances.
Suleiman Shouaa, leader of the The Tuskers nails it with this line on NPSI:
“NPSI allows for a significantly expanded set of prey, increasing the amount of pewpew/hour which has been strongly correlated to the amount of fun/hour a gang has in a roam.”
However over the past couple of years NPSI has really taken off with many groups taking it on board as their raison d’etré, even while many others succumb to an apparent need for for longer and longer lists of who they can or cannot shoot. Communities and groups like RvB Ganked, Spectre Fleet, Redemption Roams, and The Tuskers Public Fleets all seek to offer kills and good times to pilots from all walks of life in EVE, without the necessity of having to watch who they shoot.
While other roaming communities in EVE can be said to have been running longer, most notably Agony Unleashed’s PVP-U roams and EVE Radio’s roams, RvB Ganked easily claims the crown as running the largest NPSI fleets week in, week out, usually on Saturdays.
Ganked as it is known to its regular pilots, has been running since 2011 and was started by RvB following the demise of Ganknights, a series of roams organised by pilots from Failheap Challenge. What started off as a fun monthly roam soon turned into a weekly event which to this day has successfully run over 130 fleets, with thousands of pilots taking part. The most notable event Ganked has run was the 100th event, when they invited EVE to come shoot some capitals. It went rather well.
As the driving force behind Ganked, I am in awe of what the pilots who have flown with me have enabled me to create. From little more than an undisciplined rabble flying Rifters, Ganked has become a reasonably well oiled machine that relies on a growing core of experienced pilots, flying specific doctrines to punch way above its weight. And to know this is all being achieved by pilots that would not normally be flying together, to whom NPSI is a key aspect of their play time, really makes me proud that I have played a large part in continuing the NPSI dream.
Once upon a time, there was a NPSI community known as Bombers Bar. They became the scourge of many null sec systems, and often showed up to “honourable third party” large fights during sov wars. Then one day, Bombers Bar closed, and many pilots were left wondering what was next.
Spectre Fleet was born as a result of the ties pilots had formed flying with Bombers Bar, and a desire to try out more fleet types. Many of these fleet comps they invented themselves, and have gone on to prove they work over and over again. You can see examples of these on their mailing lists, Spectre Fleet and Spectre Fleet Doctrines.
While Ganked can take the size prize, Spectre certainly takes the trophy for stamina. Spectre runs multiple fleets daily thanks to a growing stable of FC’s from many different areas of EVE, covering doctrines from Cormorants to cruisers and beyond. Thanks to the work of Jayne Fillon, the doctrines that Spectre runs are ridiculously successful while still being accessible to the average joe, a key aspect of NPSI communities.
Redemption Roams are the baby of Greygal, former organiser of Agony Unleashed’s PVP-U. They run every Sunday out of Derelik and are fast becoming the scourge of the south. Unlike Ganked and Spectre which are both weak in the Australian TZ, Redemption has a very strong following amongst the Oceanic pilots in game.
Greygal has been at the forefront of the NPSI world for many years now and she had this to say when I asked her about it
“NPSI roams are some of the most fun you can have in Eve! You throw off all your worries and cares about :stuff: like diplomacy, blues, strategic objectives and just go out and make explosions for the sheer fun of just making explosions! NPSI also gives you the opportunity to fly with people you normally would shoot on sight, meet new people, and enjoy roaming activities that you may not normally get to participate in with your home corps/alliances. NPSI is the epitome of the “social” side of Eve; I routinely see people connect with others, make deals, recruit new members, find new corps, and make new friends through our roams.I believe NPSI is healthier than ever in Eve right now, despite the challenges of a game client that is focused on corp/alliance communications and not open-to-the-public communications (i.e., no way to create a fleet advert that is open to “all”). While there are challenges within the NPSI community (such as scheduling events at the same time as other events), the NPSI community as a whole is remarkably supportive of each other.”
The Tuskers are an infamous group of low sec pirates based in Hevrice who are always on the lookout for a good fight. Unusually, they have no blues beyond their alts and entities that pay them for the privilege of protection under their wing.
They organise a weekly public roam every Friday which consists of between 10 and 20 pilots (20 being a strict upper limit) who head out to see what trouble they can find. Anyone not in fleet is a valid target – personal standings are put to one side, with pilots shooting their own corp/alliance mates willingly, which has the potential to cause all kinds of drama with those unfamiliar with the joys of NPSI.
The Tuskers gangs vary from T1 cruiser right up to HACs, however they are all designed to get the most bang for their buck, and everything is provided to the pilots by the FC at Jita costs, which makes the logistics for an individual pilot as easy as just signing up on their forum. Pilots of any experience and skill point level are welcome, either as tackle or ewar which can usually be trained for in no time at all.
All Grown Up
As I quoted above, Greygal is very enthusiastic about the future of NPSI and the communities that follow it, however Suleiman Shouaa worries that NPSI is dying out:
“NPSI is unfortunately becoming rarer and rarer, with even low sec entities developing their own blue lists.”
Ceofore Aideron, despite his love of NPSI feels a similar way when it comes to entities in lowsec that claim to follow NPSI:
“On any given day now you can look at an enemy fleet and know who they’ll batphone when the hammer comes down. Lowsec is now more interconnected than ever before, and as an FC you tend to suffer from the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” mentality on the behalf of those you’re fighting. As fights occur less and less (because too many groups shake hands and set standings), those groups like mine that do come in guns blazing often find ourselves outgunned and outclassed by uneasy coalitions of largely bored lowsec PvPers.”
And while I understand the argument that groups out in lowsec particularly are moving further and further away from the NPSI ideal, which more often than not results in a multitude of batphones ruining what would be otherwise great fights, groups like Ganked, Spectre et al can and are breathing new life into the playstyle, by letting more pilots find out just how fun it can be not having to care about standings or allies or politics. As the aforementioned groups get larger and more accessible by an increasing number of pilots, new groups will splinter off as a consequence – not everyone can fly in the same fleet after all, leading to more targets for everyone.
With sites like EVE Events and Fleet-up also starting to support NPSI communities, the future really is bright for those seeking as much PvP content as they can get, be it guys in a one man tax haven, pilots from a small corp who dont quite feel they can PvP alone to null sec pilots wanting a change of pace from structure grinds and capital warfare. It is my own opinion that 2014 is the start of a golden age for NPSI in EVE, and I hope to see many of you along for the ride and if not, I’ll be seeing you explode.
Tags: ganked, mangala, npsi, redemption, rvb, spectre, tuskers
Mangala Solaris has been playing EVE since 2006. In his time in EVE, he have been a missioner, a miner, a scammer, a trader & even a null bear, however over the past 4 years or so Mangala has been heavily involved in Red Versus Blue, and more recently has become one the key figures in the NPSI communities of EVE. Somehow in addition to all of this, he finds time to represent the players as a member of CSM 9.