The general rule about posting in local chat is simple: don’t do it. There are several valid reasons for this. First, It gives away the fact that you are not AFK and therefore probably undocked. If people look at the time signature of your post, they can track your location given a reasonable time frame. Depending on what you choose to post, you can inadvertently give away vital information about your position and vulnerability, and finally, sperging in local tends to draw the attention of everyone in system, which is problematic for obvious reasons.
But what if you could use all of those seemingly negative circumstances and turn them to your advantage?
Some corporations and alliances, like TEST and Dirt n’ Glitter, embrace local chat as a place to spew unfathomable amounts of autism. This could be because they simply enjoy making their presence known and showing off the memes and posts (that sometimes border on artwork) they have collected, but it could also have a deeper purpose. Spamming local jams any communications that might occur in the system, but most organized alliances will have their own channels of communication anyway. No, in this case, I think the TEST and DnG sperg has more to do with spreading a virulent and often annoying (to the locals) culture, distracting pilots who are drawn to the blinking “local” tab like so many flies and keeping eyes off their real objective. Also, I’m sure they’ve drawn more than one fight from groups perturbed at the dinosaurs and obscene gestures parading down their local chat.
This can be scaled down to small groups and individual pilots wishing to use a public forum to entice or enrage enemies. For example, my corp mates and I have spent many nights in a nearby region fighting a small group of Caldari that provide excellent and reliable small gang content. Over the past few months, they have crept up the pipe towards our home system, but since we consider the systems irrelevant, no major push was made to retake them. Eventually, they flew too close to the sun, and we responded with force, taking systems they had pushed for months in just two to three weeks. Naturally, this has caused some resentment and rivalry among the line members on both sides. It was with this in mind, that I began to spam local chat late one night, hoping to provoke a fight.
“I thought you said you would see us at the hub bash in another week. What do?” I said to a random Caldari Pilot.
He responded with something I can’t remember but implied we were girls.
“Must be hard to picture us as girls with us down here (doing things women cannot physically do without some extra hardware) you every night,” I said.
This sparked a local smack-talking battle that probably would have made DIX proud as both sides exchanged colorful banter, but still, I had no ships on scan. Eventually, I gave up and left system when I heard a tentative voice over comms. “Uhhh…point on the Purifier in the large?”
By the time I returned, one of our pilots had soloed a stealth bomber in his Maulus. The Caldari pilot had been so distracted by the war of words in local that he hadn’t seen the EWAR ship creeping towards him and payed roughly 30 mil for it. Although this is one of the more rare instances of weaponizing local since most pilots are aware enough to spam D-scan while typing, there is another, more straightforward method.
In large fleets, oftentimes the FC will ask a scout to tell another roaming gang to hold up and wait for a fight. Many times, the enemy fleet simply ignores this and moves on, but usually, they’ll at least hold long enough to get eyes on your fleet and decide whether or not to engage. This can be enough time for your own fleet to get fast tackle in place and force the engagement should they decide to run. Once again, this scales down to solo fights as well.
I’ve had several excellent solo fights directly related to my posts in local. I suspect that because it’s a public forum, people feel compelled to fight to defend their space-honor. Also, it might be slightly disarming to have a reminder that a very fallible human being rather than a silent killing machine occupies the spaceship pursuing them. Regardless, talking in local is a great way to get fights although you have to be careful that you’re not biting off more than you can chew.
Note that I did not say victories in my sentence about “excellent solo fights.” A few weeks ago, I lost a kite Tristan to a blaster Incursus because he let me babble in local until I was fairly sure he had no idea what he was doing. That said, I also soloed a 120 mil Astero after recalling him from a gate. I use local as a last resort and only when the numbers in system are equal to my own or at least low enough that I’m sure I won’t be ganked.
If you should be on the receiving end of a local tirade or an enraging shitpost, the old adage holds true: don’t post anything. The best thing you can do if you’re in system while your Poco gets bashed by a horde of T3s you have no hope of engaging is to remain silent. If you lose a fight, don’t get mad about being outgunned or outmanned, at least publicly. Feeding the trolls accomplishes nothing and gives them the exact morale boost they were looking for when they posted in the first place. Whether you’re actually angry or not, say nothing or a simple “gf.”
Weaponizing local is a simple but under-utilized tool in the EVE universe. There’s a certain taboo on speaking out in local unless given strict orders to do so, but the effects can be very positive for the player willing to put him or herself out there. You’ll meet people you wouldn’t have met before, gain friends and enemies you would otherwise not have and hopefully, bag a few kills that would have escaped you. So fill the silence of space with your shitposts, your trolling and your cries for help, you never know what will come echoing back out of the void.
Tags: Gin, smack talk
Gin Wuncler is a FW lowsec newbro who saw “This is Eve” and hasn’t looked back since. Most days, you’ll find him doing solo or small gang work around Placid/Black Rise or supporting one of the larger Galmil fleets with whatever low-sp ship he can fly.