Friday, December 31, 2010

December 2010: Three year recap

Three years ago CCP Games released Trinity, the first EVE Online Expansion to include support to the Intel-based Macintosh computers. 7 hours after Trinity was released (damn workday schedules) I had downloaded, installed and paid for a year of EVE. I hadn't even logged in before I put up the first year. I had visions of ruling a space empire from the office in my newly remodeled basement, but I didn't really know how I would get there. For the first 4 months I did lots of missions. I didn't read the forums, I didn't talk to other players, I didn't get the multiplayer aspect of EVE at all. Then in RL my first daughter was born. I still played EVE, usually when she slept, or when my wife was nursing, but a lot less than the first 4 months. I also started putting my two cents out in corp chat - yes, the rookie NPC corp. Looking back I wonder how corp chat could be better for the new player - that corp chat filled with bitter vets who never want to MMO, alts training up for Capitals, and neutral RR/Cyno alts.

Not having a plan, or even a real grasp of what EVE was, I didn't even know to train skills for the first month or two. Then, when I did learn about skills, I started with the learning skills, and bought every skillbook I could afford (which was a lot of unrelated crap). Today, 44 million SP later (I didn't even realize you could use implants for months), you can see the mish-mash of skills slowly focusing into a decent combat-focused character. Just recently my leadership skills passed my industry skills - and I haven't trained an industry skill in over a year.

Eventually I figured out that the EVE forums were much better than the old Diablo forums were, even with all the trolling there was the occasional gem of useful information. I found out about EVEMon, and EFit, and Battleclinic. I learned that fitting a ship for missions (PvE) was very different than fitting a ship for combat (PvP). I was that player who kept thinking "I'm not ready for PvP, I just need a little more (skill/ship/module)."

After getting into a player corp (I had created my own, but who wants to be in a one-man corp in a multiplayer game?) I started to learn how much more there was to EVE, and started to plan for the game more effectively. That was, simply, the smartest thing I've ever done - to join a corp with other players (in my timezone). I've been in losec, nullsec, small alliances, big alliances, sovereign warfare, and NPC 0.0 (still my favorite space, TBH). Three years in and I have a plan for the future...

My 2011 Resolution is to complete my sub-battleship skillset. I want to have the skills trained to effectively fly any ship from any race smaller than a battleship. I've been working on that plan for a few months now (with the occasional distraction), and I have completed most of Gallente and Minmatar ships. I can fly all T1 and T2 Frigate- and Cruiser-class ships from both races (although I'm still working on support skills for some of the specialized ships like Logistics). By the end of the year I'm hoping to have T2 and T3 for all races, through Command Ships. Of course, this plan is subject to change, but it reveals something about how I like to play EVE - I like small ships, which means (usually) smaller battles and more deliberate planning for engagements. Battlecruisers V is first up - to be followed by the suite of skills required to effectively fly a missile boat. Once I can fit all the T2 missiles and shields, I'll pick up Caldari Cruiser V. That will make 3 races of full T2 ships completed. Next up will be T3 Minmatar and Caldari. Anyway, you get the idea. January is Battlecruisers V (two weeks of it, anyway) and then lots of missile skills. I'm pretty sure those missile skills will take me into March. Look for the next skill update then...

As for the industry alt, he is moving nicely into jump freighters now, with the occasional new science skill for a different T2 module invention path. This year will be about Jump Freighters for this toon, followed (eventually) by the Rorqual or Orca.

Finally, the super-sekret alt is still moving slowly towards Carriers, and self-sufficiency. I'd love to get one account paid by plex this year, rather than actually spending money on all of them...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

NBSI: Not just for nullsec

The acronyms flying around EVE are as rampant as they are in the U.S. military. Fortunately for us, there is a wonderful compendium of definitions available at the EVE Wiki. On of my favorites, and one that creates much consternation, is the NBSI/NRDS balance. For those of you not in the know, NBSI (Not Blue Shoot It) and NRDS (Not Red Don't Shoot) are the two polar positions of most corporations and alliances in nullsec. Our corp was a nullsec corp for a while, and although we currently inhabit losec, we maintain NBSI in the losec pocket we call home. This makes it easy to watch local, which has become more of an issue since our steady presence has led others to the pocket, both looking for kills and a quiet place to explore losec. Making it perfectly clear - we are an NBSI corp in our pocket, and NRDS outside (unless in nullsec). This upsets some folks who are new to either EVE or the whole concept of losec/nullsec. We don't own the space we live in - but since right now we are calling it home, we consider the assets in that space to be ours, and we defend that space and those assets to keep others away.

I think the one difference in losec is that NBSI isn't an automatic target lock. In nullsec, there are no chances for second-guessing - if they are neutral to you they are an enemy - clear and simple. However, in losec, there is occasionally an opportunity for discussion, a choice to be made - do we allow you to continue to access assets in our home, or deny them? A lot of that choice comes down to the attitude, and (frankly) the mood of our combat pilots. But it never hurts to ask - and don't call it piracy or ransom. If we ask for ISK to use our space, consider that you are killing rats (and earning isk that we might earn) or mining rocks that our industry folks might want, thus you are taking isk from us - so a small (and believe me, we don't ask for lots of money) payment for rent seems reasonable to me. We aren't a pirate corp. Frankly we are a bit lost in our direction, but even as an industry corp we need to have free access to the assets in our space, whenever we want or need them, and your presense (as a neutral) is an impediment to our progress. Of course, if you like our area of space, and would like to utilize the assets, we might be recruiting - just hop into our public channel and see.

What about you? If you are a losec (not pirate) corp, do you deny assets (missions/rats/rocks/plexes) to neutrals in the area of space you call home? Better question is, does anyone read this thing?

Our CEO for a while considered having us announce in local, when a neut appeared, that it was NBSI and they should evacuate with their assets intact. I think that's certainly a nice way to play, but shouldn't most people in losec already be worried when jumping into a dead-end system with 15 in local?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blog Banter #23: Who enters the new incarna(tion) of EVE...

Welcome to the twenty-third installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

With Incursion giving us glimpses of what Incarna will have to offer (the the Character Creator), this month's topic, by @Minerpewpew, comes just at the right time. He asks "What are your thoughts on how Incarna will effect the current EVE Online social dynamic?" I'd like to see this questioning go a bit further. How will this affect EVE's player base? Who will Incarna attract? New players to the genre? Seduce old players back into the game? Will we see new players come in that will never leave their station? Please explore to the best of your abilities!

EVE has seen a lot of changes this year, which may make it more appealing to the more mainstream MMO players. Incarna, due (last I recall) this coming summer, is the crown jewel of these changes. The ability to interact in some fashion with others in stations makes a level of EVE accessible to those familiar with the 1st person MMOs, where face to face interaction isn't a static picture next to text. Many people feel that Incarna will actually attract more real women to EVE (not G.I.R.L.s). I think that may be true at first, but unless they are able to find a path and place to deal with the inevitable darkness that exists just under the shiny face of EVE, they will be quick to arrive and quicker to leave. The roots of EVE are a social game - so many players actually just log in to chat it's like a glorified MSN sometimes. That aspect, in conjunction with interaction brought about with Incarna, will open up a new world of EVE with a different class of players. The ability to remotely manage Planetary Interaction, manipulate markets, and other activities that can (hopefully) be run whilst meandering the halls of a station seem to be activities targeted for this class of player.

Incarna may seduce some old players to return, but I don't expect a larger return than any other major expansion, and I don't expect that Incarna itself will be an incentive for those players to stay. Those players weren't EVE players who missed the interaction of others - they are players for whom the game lost it's luster, or just got busy in RL. What Incarna may do for some small number of older players, is open up EVE to their spouses, and by extension open up play time for them again. I have one friend who is married, and his wife is becoming interested in EVE with the new character creator, which has given him the leeway in their busy life to re-subscribe and start playing again.

I don't believe Incarna alone will attract a large new playerbase. Like any expansion, it will attract some old, and some new subscriptions. The difference may be that the new subscriptions to EVE will be less interested in blowing up spaceship pixels, and more interested in building relationships and products in the virtual world we call New Eden.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Easterly Wind...

Much as the mythical nanny Mary Poppins, I drift where I must, with the winds of change. This entry will be as disjointed as a mountain breeze, moving from one direction to the next based on the ease of movement. The winter is an unsettled time for me, often a time where I look back on unfinished business or activities that have fallen by the wayside, and this unsettled nature seems to be stronger this year than in some of the more recent years. Perhaps it is the vast number of changes in my game and personal lives this year, perhaps it is merely the lack of standing snow in my yard. Either way, I think that many changes will be coming over the next few months, both in EVE and without.

I have started looking, again, for a new home (or an old one). I am not quite ready to move on, but I will have consolidated my most valuable assets in Empire NPC stations again in the next few weeks, and restocked on my favorite hulls and fittings, and should be ready to set off again where the wind blows, by early January. It doesn't hurt that my industry alt should be close to flying an Anshar by then either - making some of my logistics a bit easier early in the new year.

With the windfall of skill points coming, I find the dilemma of what to do with them all continues to gnaw at the back of my mind. By my calculations I could train up any skill that is Tier 8 or lower to V instantly, maybe even two of them if my math is correct. The running joke on the EVE online forums is that everyone and their mother will have Battleship V - but that's not on my short list, since I am focusing on Battlecruiser or below skills exclusively. This week, regardless of those points, I will have all small and medium turret specialization skills to IV, and I finish of Medium Autocannon Specialization IV. It may (finally) be time to train up the missile and shield skills I've managed to avoid for so long, and finally give in to the mob and fly the Drake, fit correctly with a full T2 configuration.

I find in my hangar a veritable fleet of Assault Frigates - mostly Enyos. I'd love to know if anyone has a "favorite" fitting for this ship, my current favorite (which may be even more useful now) is below:

[Enyo, Goddess Fury]
Damage Control II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Initiated Harmonic Warp Scrambler I

Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Rocket Launcher II, Foxfire Rage Rocket

Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I

Hornet EC-300 x1

Which drone in an Enyo is always a question in my mind, but the added DPS of a Warrior II vs. the intermittent jam from an ECM drone seems to be a toss-up. I switched up the rockets to T2, along with using Void after the improvements to the ammunition recently. On paper it's much meaner than my previous fit, below:

[Enyo, Standard Blasters]
Damage Control II
Small Armor Repairer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Warp Scrambler II

Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Small Nosferatu II

Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I

Warrior II x1

With about 3-4 different fits for this ship in my list, I will fit up a few different ones and see how they do, wherever the wind takes me this winter...

Friday, November 19, 2010

The more things change...

... the more they are the same.

I was a Dead Terrorist for about a year. The recent shake-up and collapse in Feythabolis shook my personal commitment to the alliance, and I have left. It was not an easy decision, since the corp I was in is a great group of guys, and I had flown with them (albeit in another corp) in another alliance prior to DT. DT and RENT are both great groups, and I wish the best for them, but I'm not sure I'm ready for the life of a full-time losec pirate, which appears to be the recovery plan (at least in the short term) for DT. So what now? I went home, although it's not the same home I left, exactly. The first player corp I joined has changed from a mixed-purpose PvP/PvE/Indy corp to primarily an industry corp. In fact, my indy alt is in that corp, and happily popping out T2 frigates a couple times a week like a pregnant rabbit.

I'm here because it's comfortable, and I don't really like being in The Scope - the crap in corp chat there often annoyed me. I don't exactly fit in here either, my fleet of ships tends towards combat ships: AHACs, BCs, Tacklers, and HICtors rather than Barges and Haulers but I know everyone here (they have been here a long time). I've had a couple offers for PvP corps, but not sure I want Faction War, or LoSec piracy. Who knows, but for now, I'm back in a comfortable place, with a group of guys I like a lot. Another thought, maybe I can be the catalyst to revive the PvP arm of the corp. There are a couple others like me who would enjoy more combat already, so let's see what happens...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Feythabolis Evacuation: Day Three

Sleeping in a pod is second nature to a capsuleer. It's actually more comfortable than many beds I've been in over the years. Feyth is just as empty when I log in - two other pilots tonight, but nobody's talking. First scan reveals no wormholes, so I take out the Battleship and unload a few rounds into the local Angels. It makes me feel better, but a neutral pilot appeared in system, so I docked back up, switched out to my Helios, and started the search again. First two systems are a bust. For all the time I spent scanning wormholes in empire, I could find one in practically every system. Here, when I really could use one, I go system after system without finding one.

Rumor has it there's an alternative way out coming - but it's 18 jumps through questionable territory, before waiting and trusting our former enemies to not shoot us. Not once but 5 times - after all each ship needs to move. I don't trust that, and corp leadership agrees - don't trust them. I keep scanning, now I have a new neut. Two systems left in this constellation to scan. Lots of great anomalies and signatures, but not one wormhole. Finally - a hit. First wormhole and it's only 5 systems out from the station. As I get set to warp in, local bump. +1. +2. I scan. Cheetah, Malediction. Red.Overlord. Hmmm. I recall my probes and watch directional. Minutes pass. Finally, local is empty. Now, to see if there is a road home...

I enter the wormhole, which has bizarre effects on my systems. Capacitor is drained below 50% just entering system. There's a shining silver quasar at the heart of the system. I bookmark the "entrance" and drop my probes. I've dropped over 30 probes tonight, according to the scanner. Lots of signals. I immediately filter out the Anomalies, focusing on the signatures. First one is a grav site. Second is a wormhole. Third is radar site. Fourth and fifth - two more wormholes. As I'm working through these signatures a corpmate reports that SWBV is no longer showing Dead Terrorist claim on the system or the station. Looks like we are trying to buy our way out. I'd rather they have to grind through this just like we did. Teach them the pain we experienced, day after day, station after station, system after system, structure after structure...

I know I may lose docking rights to the station where my ships are, so the race is on. I start checking the wormholes. First goes to nullsec - Scalding Pass. No love there in xXDeathXx space. Second goes to Cloud Ring... Promising and close to an empire exit, 5 jumps to an NPC station. Third goes to another WH. Back in the original WH. Launch the probes again, hoping for more luck. My wife is interested in EVE for the first time ever, as I explain what I'm doing she has only one question: How long is a wormhole there? Less than a day and she knows I won't be in bed anytime soon. Dangit. Should have scanned all the signatures the first time, gotta filter out the successes by memory now. More radar sites. One more WH - leads to Kavlevala Expanse. That's not helpful. Clock is ticking, but at least we still have docking rights. Well, here goes nothing. I head back to the station to board my recon. Get it out first, if I can. I load it up with as much as I can, filling it with modules, ammo and loot.

After the last few weeks, 4 jumps through familiar (but hostile) nullsec doesn't bother me at all. Neutrals in system - check. Gate camps on the empire exit - check. Hop safes, scan gates, no bubbles. What kind of nullsec gate camp doesn't anchor bubbles? I jump through F7C-H0 into Alsavoinon. Losec. Safer but scarier here - everyone is neutral and I know as a former losec resident that gate camps can tank the guns. I fly careful, checking my gates before arrival, and finally I'm free. One recon, docked safely in empire HiSec. I verify my medical clone is in SWBV, undock in my pod, and start the self destruct timer. I did the math. Even paying to upgrade my clone, I come out way ahead getting that recon out. If I'm lucky twice, and get the HAC out, anything else is icing on the cake. I hear the final countdown, the pod cracks open, cold space surrounds me...

... and I wake up in SWBV. Make sure I pay to keep my clone updated. That's always painful. I board the AHAC fit Deimos, verify the guns and scripts are loaded, fill the hold with ammo, and set destination back to the WH system. It's still quiet out here, but it looks like R.O.L. will have the station and system in the next few hours. Not sure I'll be back for any other ships, so I bid farewell to my trusty interceptor. She's survived way too long, and it hurts to just leave her deep in 0.0 but I have to focus on the valuable (and most likely to succeed) ships on this evacuation. Back I head. Both WH are stable (still) - maybe I'll try for a third run and get the inty out after I dock up the Deimos. I jump into Cloud Ring, and the system is empty. It's empty until the inbound gate to F7C-H0. Fatal Ascension. I don't know them. There's a single Vagabond on the gate here. I'm guessing that means the camp in F7C-H0 has grown, since they have an out-of-system scout now. I weigh my options. The Vaga is a mean ship. However, I'm fit with rails and a buffer tank - if it comes to a fight I might have a chance. I warp to the gate, land at 0 (he's 2500 off me) and jump through. Strangely, there is no-one on the other side. I look for the nearest celestial to my directional - a moon. Less than ideal, knowing my luck I'll land on a tower, but I align and activate my warp drive. The Vagabond has decloaked, and is targeting me. It's a race between my align and his target - I'm sure he's called his friends and he's got a point. I watch my acceleration gauge as I reach top speed to activate warp - and I'm out.

I hop from the moon (landed just out of range of a POS) to a safe not far from the out gate. I scan the gate. Hmm. Two Sleipnirs, a Malediction, Stabber, two Vagabonds (including my friend from the other gate) - and four anchored bubbles. Well, the AHAC is an afterburner fit. Top speed is maybe 500k/sec. Not exactly a bubble evasion ship, and the buffer tank won't survive the damage that camp can do. So, I call it a night, shut down all systems, and log. I'm taking a couple days off to rest. I'll be back late this weekend, and will decide what to do then. But it looks like (fingers crossed) I might have most of the valuable stuff out.

Good Night, EVE. Keep the nightlight on - The Dead Terrorists are coming back from the deep south, and we want explosions...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am a Dead Terrorist

I am a Dead Terrorist. I have been part of this alliance now for almost a full year. Right now, I'm deep in Feythabolis, and it is a ghost town. I'm wandering systems looking for a short wormhole route to empire. Hisec, Losec, I don't really care. I just want to try and get out with what ships I have left. You see, I took a weekend off and did some family time. Admittedly, in the midst of an ongoing battle to claim the region, but family always comes first. That was Friday. I got back Sunday, way to late to check mail and find out how the weekend went. You always know things aren't good when the first mail you read has "Reset" in the subject line.

I'm not sure which story is true, there are a few of them, but this is what I know. Shortly before the reset, there was a brief email (at the corp level) to get online, get you crap together, and evac. And when I say shortly - I mean maybe an hour or two. I, of course, was a few hundred miles from my computer, so totally clueless until long after the fire, and now there is nothing but a few wandering pilots and the occasional enemy fleet. I log in, load up my only local ship (a Helios) with what it can carry (a few hundred rounds of Caldari Navy Antimatter, M), and set destination for the former carebear home system in Feythabolis. 18 jumps across enemy territory (since all territory is the enemies now...). It was quiet. Not one neutral, red (or blue) the whole way. Then in SWBV, there are three of us. I dock, unload my ship, undock and make some in system safes, and start scanning.

You see, in deep 0.0 wormholes, sometimes there is an empire link. Hop in a WH, scan down another, see where it goes. Wormhole operations depend on these empire links to get loot out and fuel in. I start scanning...

Four systems. Easily 20 signatures (I'm ignoring the Sanctums and Havens instantly, they aren't in that count). Not one wormhole. Time's up for the night. I sleep in my recon now, cloaked about 1000k off the station I used to call home. It's safer out here, right now, than inside. And there are fewer ghosts, outside...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quick Skill Update

Minmatar Cruiser V completed today. That's two classes of Tech 2 ships (fully T2 fitted).

I suppose the skill roundup is due...

Combat Main:
As mentioned above, Minmatar Cruiser V completed today, after having worked through the appropriate gunnery skills for Medium T2 Projectiles (Arties and Autocannons). This toon is on the road to flesh out all "BC and below" combat ships (not including T3) for all races. I dread the road to Amarr - I have none of the skills for energy weapons really trained at all. Hence Caldari roundup is next, getting those T2 missiles and all missile support skills trained to at least IV before the Caaldari Cruiser V grind. Once that's done I'm taking a lightweight break and training (and learning to fly) EWar Frigates for all races. Although paper thin and usually early in the targeting list, an inexpensive ewar frigate seems like an interesting way to disrupt the flow of battle.

Anyway, once that's done, I get to the Amarr grindstone - and since I have no energy weapon/laser skills trained at all yet it will be a long one. However, when completing Amarr Cruiser V I get to move to the next round - Command Ships, beginning with the appropriate leadership skills and ending with BattleCruiser V and then Command Ships to IV.

Industry Alt:
Finally getting the actual production skills up to V, to save that last 2% of minerals and materials in my T2 production. Frigate V done, Cruiser V is up after Production Efficiency V completes. Someday this toon will fly a ship larger than a Cruiser (well, maybe) that isn't a hauler. Right now the goal is multi-racial ship invention and construction through the command ships, and the skills to build all the components.

Super Secret Alt:
Can you say the long haul? This toon is working a focused plan on Carrier/Dreadnaught (which makes a short hop to SuperCarrier), after recently getting into Recons and HACs. I'll get back to you in about 332 days...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

EVE Blog Banter #22: Corporation Loyalty - Brothers and Sisters till the end?

Welcome to the twenty-second installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month topic is brought to us by L'Dene Bean of Nitpickin's who asks: Why, and how did you pick your corporation? Is your loyalty solid or just until a better placed organization "recruits" you. The shorter version: Who holds your Unshakable Fealty and why?

So this is an interesting question, since I run multiple accounts and multiple characters (yeah, how do I manage that, exactly...) Without giving away details, my personal (not character-specific) loyalty is to the first corp I joined. They are a good group of guys (although many are currently away from EVE) that I still chat with out of game, even though they may not be playing right now. The only reason my main left that corp was to maintain my 0.0 PvP lifestyle - the corp was too small for the alliance we were in (as far as active PvP toons) so we did a pseduo-merge with another corp that was in alliance, basically mothballing the original corporation until better times (a.k.a. more game time for the veterans to be able to effectively recruit and train new members). If that corp became an active PvP force again I would (with due consideration and notice to my current corp) head back at my earliest convenience - to fly with guys I like personally.

This is not to reduce the value of my current corp. I have flown with this group in multiple alliances, other members from my old corp are also here, and the group is just as solid, reliable, and entertaining as my old corp (which makes sense, since we were in multiple alliances together and we all got along already). The trend here? It isn't the corp - it's the pilots. That should make sense to anyone who has played a multiplayer game - the appeal is the players you fly with - where they go, you likely will go as well if they are a group you are close to. I even experienced this recently with an RL friend who played EVE with a different group originally. His core group of players had a corp collapse, they all went different ways, and he joined up with my corp for a while. Now that his old group is re-forming, he has left (best of luck!) to fly with his in-game friends - and I understand and respect that completely.

If you are playing EVE, and you don't play with (not just against) others, you are missing the biggest part of the game, and the main attraction to the game - the social aspect.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Time and Alternate Income Streams

Just like in our real world, money makes EVE go 'round. It takes ISK to buy whatever it is you want - that shiny new faction frigate, the Tech 2 Ice Mining Barge, or a fully decked out SuperCapital. For many of us, PvP is the life and breadth of EVE - so ISK is gained by looting the wrecks of our victims and selling that loot on the market. But sometimes, lady luck shines elsewhere, and your coffers run dry and your ships get blown up faster than you can afford to replace them. Even with the recent "buff" to T2 insurance, you can't replace a Taranis hull (let alone the mods) with the insurance payout, so what's a poor PvP player to do for ISK generation?
The obvious thing is to run missions, right? Yawn. Sitting around for hours on end doing "target, orbit, shoot, loot, salvage, repeat" makes a dull EVE session. Well, there's market manipulation, right? Frankly, too much for me, shuttling around large quantities of item X from point A to point B - not the way I want to spend hours in EVE. Planetary Interaction (if you have the skills, time and no issues with repetitive stress injuries) will provide a thin income stream, especially if your Corp or Alliance is buying POS fuels at market rates. Not too hard to set up an Enriched Uranium chain, or Oxygen and Coolant. Ice mining earns decent money - if you have something else to do while your toon sits and cycles the lasers every 5 minutes.

The inventive (and amoral) character can scam their way into millions - just look at that Caldari Navy Raven sale via station trade...

But there is actually a fairly painless path to passive isk generation: Datacore farming. On your main toon, you might already have the basic skills in place - Science V? Now you just need to pick a Scientific field to study - I'd suggest looking at Datacore prices and picking the most profitable. I'm going to use Gallente Starship Engineering as my example, even though it isn't the most profitable. So you train up the specific skill to at least IV (assuming you have the prerequisites in place - usually one of these: Mechanic V, Electronics V, or Engineering V). Then you find who researches the field you want to farm - and go to the best agent you can in that field. Open a conversation, start research, and get on with your life. Once a month or so, go visit your agent, collect your datacores, and move them to a trade hub to sell for profit. Now this gets interesting with three character slots on your account - you can take the time to train up the basic skills for all of them and get at a Level 1 agent without any work - in about two weeks you will get about 10 RP a day, which isn't much (only about 1 datacore a week) - but that's an additional 200-300,000 isk a week that you don't need to do anything to earn – just leave that alt character alone, collecting RP for datacores while you fly your main. If you have the time, and energy, you really want to get to L3 or L4 research agents (I have a corpmate who gets over 200 million a week with 2 accounts/6 toons just doing datacores).

And yes, I profit from sharing this, since I have an R&D alt who does ship invention, and the more datacores out there the better the price on them for me to buy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

EVE Blog Banter #20: Griefing, Ninja Salvaging, Suicide Ganking, Trolling, and Scamming

Welcome to the twentieth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

With the recent completion of the 3rd installment of the Hulkageddon last month, @CyberinEVE, author of Hands Off, My Loots!, asks: "Griefing is a very big part of EVE. Ninja Salvaging, Suicide Ganking, Trolling, and Scamming are all a very large part of the game. What do you think about all these things? You can talk about one, or all...but just let us know your overall opinion on Griefing, and any recommendations you may have to change it if you think it's needed."

I've been playing EVE for a fairly long time. I've heard lots of calls for "HTFU", or "Griefing is against the TOS" and my personal favorite "I hope you die of cancer." Right or wrong, good or bad, EVE is a virtual place we can be someone other than our day-to-day selves. I know some really nice guys who play EVE - guys with families, who would pull over on the highway in the rain if you were there with your flashers on - and in EVE they wouldn't bat an eye at scamming your entire corp's assets out from under you. These are genuinely good people, who play EVE to escape real life. So lets start with the inevitable fact that EVE is a game, and like any other game, is an escape from your personal reality. If you take EVE too far, and blur the lines between players in a game and the characters they play, you won't like what I have to say (hint: HTFU).

Personally, I don't like griefing. The idea that you play to make other miserable intentionally isn't my cup of tea. But I know (or like to think I know) enough to (a) not be a good target for a griefer and (b) to give as good as I get. Mind you, I have no issue with smacktalk, or laughing at someone in local. My issue with griefing (that I don't like it) revolves around the fact that you aren't playing an MMO if you grief one particular player all the time - if you get your jollies in game from being a general ass, that's cool - but I won't be one to play "with" you since that's not my style. ASCII genetalia - fine. Hassling another player so much they emo log or even ragequit - just not cool.

Ninja Salvaging
Totally within the scope of the game. Those who take this to the next level and get the mission runner to attack them and blow up their ships? Experts at harrassment. And no, this is not griefing - unless you are doing this to the same poor sod day in and day out without looking for other targets. I have even been a rookie ninja salvager, without the part where you try to get aggro and blow up the mission runner. I love this piece of the game though. Scan down a mission runner, warp in and salvage his wrecks. Back in the day, salvage could be as valuable as the loot in the cans. Today, maybe not so much, but still valuable. In addition, performing an important service keeping New Eden green by cleaning up other people's trash.

Suicide Ganking
I am of two minds about suicide ganking. First of all, I think it's a perfectly legitimate tactic - my only concern is that even with the recent insurance changes, suicide ganking doesn't have a lot of drawbacks for the ganker. Choosing your ship wisely, you can still break even (or even make a bit of profit) when CONCORD responds to your actions, which I think is an issue since you can also collect the loot from your victim. When I mine in HiSec, I watch my overview, and if someone enters the belt in a vessel that doesn't do mining duty, I am aligned and ready to warp out. Will I survive? Not bloody likely. But I'm going to try. And if they succeed, more power to them. Confession: I have not participated in alliance suicide ganks/freighter ganks. Timing just doesn't work out. But I'd do it in a heartbeat if it worked with my schedule.

No brainer. This one brings a smile to my face, or a smack to the forehead when I'm a victim. Total HTFU.

Scamming takes two faces, that of the corporate mole/thief and that of the Darwinian opportunist. I think the Darwinian opportunist is brilliant, after all, you should pay attention to what you are giving your ISK for. CCP makes it easy to do this safely - and victims of these scams are frankly, stupid enough to fall for them and should learn from their mistakes. The corporate mole is a different beast, but one that has some grudging respect. Taking days/months/years to develop a character who is designed just to infiltrate (and steal) is a commitment to the game I can't make - although I do have such an alt in the works.

All of these are legitimate courses of play in EVE Online - whether you (or I) like it. So, in the immortal words of every scammer, griefer, troll, and ninja salvager: "HTFU" EVE is a dark, dangerous world, no prettier than the one we live in every day, except that we don't end up face down in an alley bleeding when we get mugged in EVE. It's a game, one that supports many paths to escape the grind of reality.

And if you want more sage advice, you can send 1,000,000 ISK to Swearte Widfarend, and I'll tell you which PI materials to produce between now and October 1st for the highest profit margins, and 1,000,000 more gets you which T2 items to focus your R&D efforts on.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Skills Queue Update

By the time this is posted, S.W. will be fielding T2 Heavy Drones, and on the road to Strategic Cruisers. Following the Strategic Cruiser skills comes T2 Projectiles and T2 Minmitar Cruisers. Then T2 missiles and shield support skills. Finally, T2 Sentry Drones and it will be fall, with the leaves starting to turn. I'm a bit excited for the Strategic Cruiser - I've got some fits for the Proteus that seem to be really friendly to losec solo gate camping, and nasty. My full plan runs just under 180 days, and puts me in fully T2 fit racial T2 Cruisers except Logistics. I should be focusing on the T2 PvE Drake fit - but I can't admit that PvE is going to consume that much of my near future. The alt here needs to get PI skills up to snuff - in fact S.W. doesn't have P.I. skill up to snuff yet so that simple passive income stream needs some love too.

B. has finished Mining Barge V, and is currently on Gallente Industrial V, he will be rounding out the Hulk and Viator/Occator skills after that. R&D skills will move back to the fore with him, including Frigate and Cruiser Construction V. That should push about 60 days total, so he'll get an update in early October, either to start into the 2nd Tier refining skills or BC/BS Construction skills.

Of course, the super-secret alt account rages on, as planned. Sorry, no skill plan update here. Suffice it to say this toon would make any combat alliance happy once it leaves the noobcorp.

Yes - I have 3 paid accounts, and 5 characters, but in reality 3 of those 5 characters are idle or just skill training, one is my indy/income toon, and S.W. is my combat toon.

Oh, and happy birthday to me, I'm 41 today.

First Blood: Nullsec Newbie

This is my entry to the Inspired By Images Of Eve Competition 2. More details and links to all entrants can be found at Starfleet Comms.

"Buy you another?"

I looked at the man standing next to my stool. Well dressed. Too well dressed for a backwater station like this one.

"Depends. What do you want?"

He thrust his hand towards me. "Jambya Munitionary, ISD Correspondent. I'm doing a profile on capsuleers who are new to the area. Your name floated to the top of my list, since you have only been here a few weeks."

Nonchanlantly withdrawing his hand, he took the stool next to me.

"Did you fly a lot of combat up in Empire before coming here?" he asked, as he pulled out a data recorder and activated it.

"Not really. I've awakened in a clone vat bay a few times, but I'm in training out here as a combat pilot." I took a sip of the bitter beer in front of me. "Is this an interview then?"

"Well, sort of. I'm profiling combat pilots to discuss the ships they fly and why. I've spoken to a lot of the big-ship capsuleers, but I wanted to get the angle from a frigate pilot. I looked up your records and found you've got 25 kills to 1 loss flying interceptors."

"Interceptor," I corrected him. "Thunores has been my girl since I arrived. She still has structure damage from the first fight that I haven't had repaired yet - as a reminder."

"Thunores - that's what you call your ship?"

"Yes. It comes from an ancient, long dead language. It means Thunder God. You ever sit in an interceptor?"

"Well, no. I'm not a licensed pilot, but -"

"An interceptor is pretty much all guns and engine. Even inside the pod the rumble of the guns and engines resonate in your ears like a pounding surf. That's why I call her Thunder God."

I sat back, nodding as the bartender left another bitter by my hand.

"I didn't always call her that. She started out with a nice name, Queen MAB. I thought at first she was a small, spritely ship, agile and elegant. That was before I'd actually flown her in battle..."

"It was only a few months ago that I arrived out here. I was so green they thought I got spacesick. I was certified as an interceptor pilot, but I didn't know how to fly in combat. I'd become fed up with the cost-cutting measures at The Scope for months, and the announcement that soon they would begin taxing all Capsuleers who worked with them had pushed me over the limit. I had flown missions for various agents while working with The Scope, and often I had conversations with Capsuleers who worked in the private sector - for themselves or for corporations that were not merely shallow fronts for the various empires. The transparent tax was the last straw. I was going to join one of these independent corporations, and I knew which one. I had spoken to their CEO, a fine pilot named Pierre. He and his crew were fighting in the Caldari-Gallente war, on the side of Gallente, but finding that the sheer numbers of Caldari pilots online were overwhelming his strike team. There would be changes, but they welcomed my long experience as a capsuleer to provide additional depth to the organization. I submitted my resignation from The Scope and joined Aurora Security.

Shortly after joining, I was informed that Aurora Security had been invited to join an alliance that flew in the far reaches of Outer Ring, based out of the Outer Ring Excavation stations in 4C-B7X. I had heard the stories of lawless space - where huge fleets sat on stargates destroying everything in their path. I had never destroyed another Capsuleer in combat, although I had fallen victim to pirates and others a few times in my years as a pilot. With the corporate logistics team moving my ships out to the Outer Ring station, I found myself suddenly deep in lawless space, with no experience whatsoever. Pierre was a skilled instructor, better than anyone at the Center for Advanced Studies (at least in combat). He and his fleet commanders worked tirelessly to train myself and the other new members of our alliance in the survival and combat skills needed in the deep reaches of space. Training flights were thinly veiled roams into neighboring regions, looking for neutral targets."

I paused, thinking back to that moment. Even now, weeks later, my pulse quickened as I relived the experience.

"We were formed up on the gate, my Taranis orbiting around 500m from the gate as we scouted the system. I reviewed my ships systems, verifying that the Warp and Sublight Disruption systems were online and awaiting a target. I was primary tackle, my job was to respond to targets called by the fleet commander and prevent them from warping away or getting to the stargate. My sensors flickered briefly, registering a stargate activation. My camera drones all blacked out moments later, and the visual flash from the gate activation overloaded their sensors. I was primed, my overview systems awaiting the appearance of the enemy ships. As I listened to fleet comms, local registration announced there was only one hostile in system. Moments later a ship appeared on my overview - a Raven-class Battleship.

The ship blocked out the sun as I activated my Microwarp drive and targeting systems, accelerating towards the Raven. I settled into a tight orbit around him. Even with the Microwarp drive pulling me from my requested distance, I was far too close and fast to take any serious damage from his advanced missile systems. 'Point - Web' I announced on comms, as my modules registered locks on the Raven. I activated my blasters, even though they would barely reduce the recharge of his shield systems. The fleet began unloading all damage on the Raven, eating into his shields. As I watched the battle unfold, I received an alert that my own shields were taking significant damage, and that damage was starting to break through to my armor. I asked Pierre if I should continue to hold the Raven, as it appeared we were close to destroying his ship, and my armor began to leak into structure. Pierre ordered me to warp off and repair, rather than lose my ship.

I started to activate my warp drive, but I had forgotten we were fighting in a warp interdiction bubble. These devices disrupt all warp drives within them, and automatic warp activation is useless. I was panicking now, about to lose my first real combat ship in it's first encounter, when I remembered I could align to a celestial object, activate my Microwarp drive and get out of the interdiction range quickly. As I aligned, the Raven exploded, but somehow I was still taking damage. My inefficient armor repair system was just keeping even with the damage, and I was confused, so I continued my acceleration and warped to a nearby planet. I sat idle while my ships repair systems worked on the armor plates, patching and fusing the damage that was caused (as I was informed by my fleetmates) by a flight of deadly Tech 2 Warrior drones the Raven had unleashed on me."

My hand shook slightly as I recalled the adrenaline surge from surviving my first aggressive encounter. The reporter sat, quietly, the data recording blinking intermittently.

"It was after that battle I realized that she wasn't Queen MAB. She was a roaring surge of blasters and thrust nozzles. It felt like sitting outside in the middle of a thunderstorm back home. That's when I knew she needed a new name. Thunores - god of thunder"

I finished the bitter beer, took a deep breath, and stood.

"I gotta go. We have a defense patrol in 5 minutes. Good luck with your story - and make sure you take an alliance carrier back to empire. I'd hate to have to blow up your ship..."

Friday, July 23, 2010

The AFK nature of Planetary Interaction

First, I think I mentioned there's a new podling in my house. Yes, about a month ago my beautiful wife gave birth to our 2nd daughter. Unsurprisingly (to anyone who spends time around children or has them), they are two very different little girls. My eldest was sleeping through the night by the 2nd week, but even when she didn't, she slept in her bassinet. My youngest is a veritable cling-on. She only falls asleep when being held (or after 30+ minutes of ear-shattering wails), and wakes easily when put down. Why do you care? Well, this explains why my posts are very Carebear in nature. When you are juggling an exhausted spouse, a 2 year old and an infant, grand combat (such as defending a sov station) really isn't realistic. And sadly, I missed out on what is being described (by both sides) as a brilliant multi-hour campaign to save (or take, depending on your position) Sovereignty and a station. But I can, instead of describing an epic battle, talk about how Planetary Interaction is a great AFK low-maintenance way to earn ISK while you can't undock.

Planetary Interaction (PI) is the latest mini-game within EVE, and although rough around the edges provides a low-maintenance path to slow ISK growth when RL prevents logging in for longer (1 hr+) sessions. The hardest part is finding and setting up a production chain that requires little maintenance, but once that chain is setup you can touch EVE for 15 minutes, say hi, update your extraction cycles and/or processors, and go back to RL.

Get skills for 3/4 planets, find a system to product tier 3 or tier 4 goods from scratch. It will take a while to break even, since you don't have time to go buy tier 1 or tier 2 goods and just process them, but it lets you log into chat-with-spaceship-backgrounds for a bit every day.

And, that's all the time I have to post.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CSM: Lame Duck from the beginning?

Welcome to the nineteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This months topic comes to us from @evepress, and he asks: The CSM: CCP's Meta Game? - The CSM, an eve players voice to CCP. Right? In the grand scheme of things yes, the players bring up issues and the CSM presents them to CCP. But in its current iteration the CSM was supposed to be given small authority to assign CCP assets to projects that the CSM thought needed work on. As it has not come out this was not the case. So fellow bloggers, is the CSM worth it, has the CSM improved the game in any way, or is it just a well thought out scam by CCP to give us players a false sense of input in the game? What's your take?

Ah, the CSM. As this was the third CSM I voted in, I was actually interested in the candidates, platforms, and the spin from CCP that CSM would be "stakeholders" in the development of EVE. I used my votes (yes, multiple accounts) to cover both of my interests, LoSec and Nullsec. But was it worth the effort? Does the CSM do anything to improve the game? TL;DR: yes and sort of.

Of the people, by the people
I have always had high hopes for the CSM since I learned of this player-elected body. I am one of those who believe that CCP should listen to a filtered version of the player requests, since the sheer volume of "I wants" in this game would overwhelm anyone, and most of them don't balance the game effectively. In my fantasy, CSM is that filter, presenting the most focused, widely supported concerns of the playerbase in a way that enhances the game. And to the extent they can present those issues, CSM is a success. The minutes from the summit in Iceland show that the CSM (overall) presented widely supported issues or ideas to CCP.

Telephone Game, anyone?
As is always the case when the marketing department gets to filter the announcement, CSM is not actually a stakeholder, or at least not directly. They get a CCP employee to play the telephone game between the CSM and the actual development team. The breakdown goes like this: Players present issues to CSM members (usually in the EVE Forums). Other players support or troll those issues, until someone from CSM sees it, evaluates it, brings it back to the group, and they hash it out even more. Once they have a clear issue, position (and maybe even idea for solution), they bring it to their appointed CCP representative. That person then takes those issues and brings them to the stakeholder meeting and presents them, in whatever secret back-room meetings discuss the future of EVE development. I'm sure that even though the ideas are filtered more and more (Players -> CSM -> Representative -> Developers) they maintain their original weight and intent, right? Telephone always worked well for me as a child. Oh, wait...

Steady as she goes...
As repeated ad infinium in the CSM Summit minutes, CCP doesn't have resources to devote to CSM-raised issues for the next 18 months. On the positive spin side, if CCP has an 18-month plan in place and it is so rock-solid that they know exactly what is going to be in each expansion and point release, then they should already be aware of the existing major gameplay issues and have plans to address them in some way during that cycle. Unfortunately, the minutes tell a different tale, a tale of "oh, yeah, that's a problem, but we aren't going to fix it in the next year and a half. Now I'm a realist - software development cycles are not short, and plans have to be made far in advance to really develop quality products. But if CCP is serious about the CSM as a player represented stakeholder, they need to make some room. The "Winter Expansion" should include resolution to some issues brought up by the CSM. That gives CCP almost 6 months to cherry pick the ideas presented and incorporate solutions to some of those issues into that expansion. If that were to happen (and I'm just not so positive it will) then CCP could back up their (currently) hollow promise of CSM as stakeholders, and that they listen to and respond to the established, playing (paying) players.

If that doesn't happen then we all will know truly that CSM is merely a marketing ploy, a lame duck from it's inception.

Late Update
Of course, after I took the time to write this, CCP Zulu comes out with a defensive Dev Blog, a number of the Dev team is pulled in from vacation for damage control on the resulting threadnaught, and everyone is still up in arms about the future. One fine post summarizes this banter easily though, from the aforementioned threadnaught:
The important thing to note here is that there's an incredible number of new features presented by the CSM. Even if they're all "old features" that went derelict, they're still basically changes to the way Eve works now. Honestly, I'd say that the CSM outlined at least 3 possible expansions - and maybe a lot more.

I don't think its reasonable for the CSM to expect all of their issues to be addressed - or even a majority of them. They might be able to convince CCP to change an upcoming expansion if they get enough detailed and solid ideas in place - but they aren't in place fast enough to take part in the planning of the current expansion.

Meh. What I'm really left with here is the perception that CCP and the CSM are both doing a not horrible job with the cards they've been given. I agree very very strongly with the CSM that it feels a lot of features are being left behind and eventually we end up with not just code bloat, but also feature bloat. I agree strongly with CCP that they need to work on Incarna and Dust. I think Dust is a really big gamble, but Incarna is probably going to be a good thing once its fully out.

Furthermore, the CSM has no right at all to request that CCP stop work on these titles to focus on Eve. Their best line of attack is to request more development resources for Eve proper - which might include hiring a new team or two. Which they appear to be doing.

I dunno. I feel like a lot of the rage over this is unjustified and caused because the CSM is coming into things at the beginning of a release instead of when planning started (but can they ever be there when planning potentially starts months and years before?).

CSM5: Mismanaged Expectations on everyone's part.

(original quote here)

See other participants:

1. Growing Pains | CrazyKinux's Musing
2. CSM: Hoax or Serious Business? « Lost in New Eden
3. CSM-Power to the people or puppets of CCP « A whole lot of Yarrrr!!!
4. Gaming the CSM | A Mule in EvE
5. A Taste Of Democracy | StarFleet Comms
6. CSM: Player Power or Paper Tiger? | I Am Keith Neilson
7. Governance Thrash Redux? « The Ralpha Dogs
8. CCP Doesn’t Care: Blog Banter 19 « OMG! You're a Chick?!
9. The Cataclysmic Variable: It's Crunch Time!
10. The 19th EVE Blog Banter is upon us… and about the CSM and CCP | Victoria Aut Mors
11. More to come...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Juggling RL and EVE (literally)

[NOTE: RL Commentary]
With a new baby at home, EVE has become a fleeting moment caught one night or another, in between putting a two year old to bed and having a two-week old dropped on my lap. I've come to appreciate the simple, one-handed clicking nature of established PI chains during this stretch, but it leaves my PvP addiction aching with the cramps of withdrawal.
[END RL Commentary]

The excitement (and it appears, great success) of Hulkageddon III adds to my frustration, as I didn't have time to prep a ganking alt, so my mining alt is doing PI only during this time (the baby makes him even more of an AFK miner, which is an ideal target during the summer of gank). I've been following this event with much jealousy, as I really wanted to get in on the third iteration (I was a bystander for I and II, other than a few announcements in the public channel when T2 barges were spotted in hisec local). But, enough with the whining. Last night I was on my IM client that has pretty spaceship backgrounds (aka EVE) typing one-handed while holding the baby (who wasn't sleeping and was definitely crying). I saw intel reports of a small hostile gang approaching our station.

Timing was perfect for us, as there was a decent crowd in station, in between a just-finished POS bash and an about-to-start frigate/cruiser roam. For me, the baby had started to settle, and I was trying to figure out how to hold her on my lap so both hands could fly a combat ship. Logging on to TS, I jumped back to station (my 0.0 clone is implant free at the moment due to an unfortunate bubble incident), hopped in my Enyo Assault Frigate Goddess Fury, figured out how to balance the baby on my lap and hold her in place with a loose elbow so both hands could drive, and undocked, warping to the gate. The enemy gang (8 ships, mostly Cruisers/BCs, a couple Drakes and a Loki) were aggressed against our bait Domi on a gate. Fleet jumps in, lands on gate (I'm still getting on ship in station, 30 second session change timer sucks) and starts targeting and tackling the reds. I get in ship, undock, warp to gate, jump in, join fleet and warp to fleet, but the KB doesn't show me on the Curse kill (I had him targeted and my drones were out...). We lost a Scimi (one of our new pilots had auto targeting active and neuted OUR Scimi - FAIL), and took out a Loki, Curse and Cyclone. The enemy had successfully deaggressed and warped out (lost points - FAIL), but they then warped back to fly home - we had a couple pilots able to jump through with them, we pointed a Drake and took him down. I got my first kill in probably a month (the withdrawal was killing me), and the remains of the gang fled back to their station systems. At that point the baby started to stir, making the lap-hold less stable and safe, so I docked back up and logged, as the rest of the fleet reshipped for the roam.

If only EVE could present quick bouts of PvP like that for me each of my momentary logins...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Serpentis Watch and the EVE Player Blogroll

Got a note from the reputed "Blogfather" Crazy Kinux today, the third iteration of my EVE blog has made the basic EVE Players Blogroll. Crazy Kinux has been blogging about EVE for quite sometime, and if you don't know about his blog (or the rest of the blogroll) you should check them out.

Yesterday I took out my all-purpose complex Myrmidon to wander around the edges of hisec empire and probe out any interesting complexes in the less trafficked systems. Got lucky in my destination system with a hit on the unknown Complex "Serpentis Watch." A quick check of the Neocom database did not reveal anything about this complex beyond an error where it appears on the scanner but is vacant. Warping to the signal, I encountered a single acceleration gate, unguarded but for a beacon warning that the Serpentis do not take kindly to visitors. Ignoring the warning, I activated the gate, warping deeper into the complex.

Arrving in the second area, I was almost immediately targeted by a group of Serpentis pilots - mostly flying Destroyer-class ship, some in Cruisers. Examining all data on my overview, I realized there were 5 such groups, two included more advanced cruisers, likely the squadron leaders. As I returned fire and deployed drones, I intercepted communications revealing that the two command cruisers had requested backup - and that included a commander in a Bruitx-class Battlecruiser. My overview was literally full of hostile ships, pounding on my armor and wearing down my defenses - it must have been almost 20 cruisers, 20+ destroyers, the commander and his 5 lieutenants. They pounded on my ship, taxing my armor repair systems to their utmost, as my railguns and drones slowly worked through the enemy ships. At one point, they had managed to get through my armor, damaging my probe launcher and other core components directly, before they were all destroyed. As I destroyed the commander's ship, Aura informed me that an acceleration gate had just activated. Preparing for more reinforcements, I reloaded my guns and continued cycling my armor repair systems. When none arrived, I cautiously approached the gate, then, once my armor was fully repaired and my shields had partially recharged, I activated the second gate.

Coming out of warp, my overview was filled with structures, but only a handful of Catalyst-class destroyers - perhaps 4 or 5. I made short work of them as I examined the other items on my overview. Far above the main structure, there was a Smuggler's Gate, much like the ones I'd seen in Cloud Ring. Although similar, this gate looked less sturdy than it's fellows in the reaches of nullsec, so I targeted it with my heavy drones and rails, deciding to end the Serpentis secret entry to this system. As the gate began to take damage, my combat alerts went wild. Almost a duplicate squadron of vessels to the previous area were arriving through the Smuggler's Gate, hoping to defend it before I could destroy it. Knowing how close the previous battle had been, I immediately aligned to a nearby planet, activated my afterburner, and began targeting the nearest ships. Molten charges from my guns (and theirs) tore across the reaches of space, but I was better prepared for this group of pirates, and destroyed them one by one, when suddenly the gate activated again. Cursing that I had forgotten to destroy it completely, I saw another dozen ships arrive on scene, mixed cruisers and advanced frigates. Assigning my drones to finish off the gate, I continued to burn away from my enemies, peppering them with railgun charges. It was then that my chief gunner informed me that I was out of antimatter ammunition, and had only one full rack of Uranium charges I had looted from a ship in the previous area. I would have to depend on my drones to finish off this threat.
Slowly my drones worked through the ships, I would occasionally have to recall and recharge their shields as my opponents targeted them, but eventually nothing remained but the 30-40 odd wrecks. Knowing I was extrememly low on ammunition, I immediately examined the cruiser and battlecruiser wrecks looking for unused rounds to refill my empty guns, as I let my armor repair and capacitor recharge, knowing that this pirate den was closed...for now.

Serpentis Watch (Unknown Combat Site)
Room 1: Acceleration Gate, no NPCs
Room 2: 4 groups of 3 Destroyers/3 Cruisers. Destroying each Corelium Scout spawns another wave of Cruisers and Destroyers. The final wave includes a Corelium Militant Commander (gate trigger). Destroy this ship to activate the Acceleration Gate.
Room 3: 4/5 Destroyers. Multiple Structures. Attack the Smuggler's Gate to activate the final combat spawn - there are at least two of these including the Overseer.

Friday, July 2, 2010

EVE utility websites

EVE is a complex universe, but with API access for external tools try to make it easier to find and get information. Here's a shortlist of websites you should have bookmarked, and use regularly:

  • DOTLAN - a beautiful reference of the EVE universe, including printable combat maps. One of the newest features is the ability to see, at a glance, where various planet types exist in any given region. I use DOTLAN daily - with combat/kill updates, jump planning, and more. If you haven't spent time with DOTLAN - you haven't really seen EVE.

  • EVE-Survival is great for the PvE crowd - with details on missions, structure drops, triggers, blitz plans, and more. Back in the olden carebear days of my youth I had EVE-Survival up non-stop while missioning.

  • EVE Agents is another carebear/isk farming tool. Need to know where to find the nearest R&D agent for Hydromagnetic Physics datacores, or just a good L4 agent for Republic Security Services? EVE Agents has them all - even agents in space.

  • EVE Central is another tool site. Want to know the best price for anything that is on the EVE Market? It's listed on EVE Central - even with most recent transactions (within an hour or so). Don't spend too much on that ship when you can jump regions quickly and save tens of millions. Shop first at EVE Central.

  • EVE Ships is less exciting than the others, but for pilots trying to learn all the various shipnames, types, and such, a great resource. There's even a quiz - how many ships can you name in 60 seconds?

  • BattleClinic is the granddaddy of EVE sites for ship loadouts. Need to see some options on that new Claw? Battleclinic users can rate loadouts. Want to know who just blew up your ship? Check the killboard for their statistics and history.

  • Scrapheap Challenge and The EVE Online Uncensored forum at Kugutsmen are better news than in the EVE Online CAOD forum (usually) - but still should be taken with a grain of salt for factual information.

  • EVElopedia is the home of the official EVE item database - for statistics on every item under the sun.

  • Chruker's EVE site is the last one for this list, and it's a doozy. Tons of information on a variety of topics. I use it most for ship invention calculations to choose my decryptors (or not).

On a RL note, my wife recently gave birth to our 2nd daughter. Things may be more quiet here since I won't be ingame so much for a while.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Planetary Interaction short term review

So I've had PI processes up and running from day 1. I'm trying to keep it simple, so I'm only doing POS fuel bits, and only in one system where there are POS towers, so I can be in space safely when needed. Here's the short list of things I wish I'd known when I laid down my first centers:

  1. Plan first: I knew what I wanted to produce, and thought I had it all worked out, but I didn't. I've torn down my setup on 4 of 5 planets at least twice now. Part of that was poor planning. I am still tweaking the setups, and at the cost of a few million ISK each time it does get annoying. I could have planned even more and maybe had some of those stable from the first setup.

  2. Watch your processor loads.This one came to me just yesterday, and resulted in some of my rebuilding. Depending on the extraction cycle, you can overload your processor, which (I'm assuming) will lead to lost/wasted resources. Keeping track of the % of incoming materials to the processor and making sure it doesn't go over 100% (by much) will ensure you get maximum return on extraction. On the flip side, the extraction cycle you choose can affect the percentage of incoming resources, it seems, so it may be worth considering storage silos for large extraction sites - with a two way link between the processor and the silo to get the materials processed and safely stored. I'm still working through this, but I'm seeing a logical reason for silos more often than my initial setups anticipated...

  3. Profitability levels: I don't know if anyone is getting rich on raw PI production. I know (from experience) that the activity/profit level seems pretty high for me, since I am doing 24 or 96 hour cycles, so I don't babysit much. However, my setup is not providing the volume of materials I wanted, so the activity/profit level may be lower for useful production. As a byproduct it's not so bad just hauling stuff to trade hubs every week or two.

  4. Command Center or Spaceport... So I initially installed Spaceports on all my planets, to take advantage of the customs offices. I'm rethinking this on planets where I don't need Import and the volume is small. The PG freed up from a Spaceport for an additional extractor (or longer links) is tempting on T2 production. Don't automatically assume you need a Spaceport, and make sure your Command Center is close to the processing area - just in case you need to use it for a launchpad

begin ramble...
Start with one planet, and one process, whether it's a T1 or T2 product. Start simple. Cluster your extractors close to the first T1 processor to keep the link PG low. If you are trying to get a lot of material, add a silo between the extractors and the processor, with a two way link. If you aren't importing goods to the planet, consider using the command center as your launchpad - and apply the PG/CPU to more extraction or processing. Once you get one planet all setup, move to the next. If you are doing similar processes on similar planets, set up all those first. I did my Gas/Storm setups first to get the easy Coolant and Oxygen processes running, and since they are end products (in my chain) and there is no planetary import, I use the Command Center as my final storage and launchpad.
My robotics chain is more complicated, since I didn't have a convenient planet to run the whole chain in one place, so on my Barren planet I'm using a Spaceport for Import and Export, and (conveniently) it's a silo for the process materials as well. Two-way links FTW.
If you are just getting into PI for profit, you need to do the prerequisite research. Check the various product prices on the markets, and figure out where your top profitability lies, based on the planets available to you. Build the biggest Command Center you can. Seriously - train that skill to L4 if you didn't already. 17k PG goes so quickly you'll start rearranging your extractors and processors to minimize link distances and create shortest path links. I often use EVE Central for price checking - it's a great resource in or out of game so you don't need to log in that Jita alt.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

HTFU: Or, it's just a game get over it...

I'm apparently a bitter old vet, after only 2.5 years of playing EVE.

Funny thing is, I don't think of myself as a bitter old vet. I try to be helpful when people ask questions, when driving my alts in NPC corps (especially noob corps) I try to help them learn to play better (at least when I can) and I try to answer questions that I feel I can contribute to effectively. Interestingly enough, this doesn't apply to people who whine about some game mechanics. I think there are a lot of odd mechanics in EVE, and there are some broken ones, but broken to me may be playstyle to you - so I don't whine about it... until now.

Here are my top "broken or odd" mechanics in EVE, and whether I think they need to be fixed:

  1. Sovereignty Mechanics: I hate current sovereignty mechanics. The days on end of shooting structures with tens of millions of hitpoints hold little appeal to me. I am, however, a combat pilot in a 0.0 alliance, so it's part of the game I play. I will, when the time comes, ship up to my sniper Battleship (or close range Battleship) and shoot at the structures with my alliance mates. I don't like it, but it is the current iteration of this piece of the game, and although painful it's not really broken

  2. Lag/Disconnect: This is broken. I have personally been lucky enough to always load grid and at least have a chance to shoot. But the stories of blackscreened doom and the rage they bring are an obvious sign of a broken mechanic. Whatever the cause, the black screen disconnect is the top of the "broken - fix please" list for me.

  3. Faction War: So this is a touchy subject. I played FW for a while. I wasn't ready for non-consensual PvP (or consensual PvP for that matter), but that has nothing to do with what is actually broken. This seems new to me, but apparently in minor FW plexes, pirate faction frigates can enter where T2 frigates cannot, and CCP posted that these frigates were designed to be "more" than T2, so that seems broken to me, even if they aren't officially T2 or better. That's broken, IMHO and should be fixed. But the rest of FW? It's not broken as much as it needs help, much like sovereign warfare.

  4. Learning Skills: This one always gets my goat. Learning skills are not required. There is no rule that a new player needs to spend a month training Learning skills before they can undock and fly. Learning skills are an option to accelerate your training if you are in the game for the long haul. Don't want to spend a month training learning skills? Then don't. Nothing in this game requires you to train learning skills. Sure, they make it quicker to train other skills. But you don't need to. Just like you don't need to train Propulsion Jamming, or Hydromagnetic Physics. Learning skills: not broken.

  5. Ship balancing: This is a touchy subject for everyone. Here's my take. Each race has a ship for every role, right? In theory then, each ship should be able to perform that role completely. I'm going to pick on the Gallente Covert Ops Frigate (aka Helios). The covert ops frigate has 3 primary roles: Scout, Covert Cyno, Prober. Of the 4 racial Covert Ops frigates, only the Helios cannot perform all 3 roles simultaneously. Why? Because CCP gave it a 5m3 drone bay instead of 3 high slots. Unfortunately, they did not provide an accompanying drone to fulfill one of the missing roles - so there is no "Covert Cyno Drone" or "Scan Probe Drone". Now I'm all for keeping things within the "reality of the EVE universe" and Gallente are known for their drones, but not their stupidity. There are other Gallente ships without drone bays (Nemesis, anyone?) that match the other races capabilities in basic configuration - but the Helios drone-bay-for-high-slot makes no sense.

  6. Insurance: This is another great hot-button topic. Let me reference the real world though, for this argument. In the real world, you pay for insurance, and if you crash your car (or someone crashes into it) your insurance will pay to fix/replace it. As far as I've been able to tell, even when you commit an illegal act with said vehicle. You are paying for a service (insurance) and they don't care why your car is wrecked, only that you need it fixed/replaced. Insurance isn't broken. If you take your insured battleship to hisec and gank a miner (and get CONCORDed) your insurance should still pay out. Sorry, not broken

Those are the items that come to mind immediately - I'm sure there are a couple more and I reserve the right to add them as I think of them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Nature of Humankind

New Eden is an interesting place. With several hundred thousand capsuleers covering the known cluster and adjoining wormhole space, you will encounter all kinds of people, with all kinds of morals, attitudes, and habits. One of the hardest things about existing alone, in a pod, is that you never experience the nuances of communication that can reveal someone who is (or may be) out to get you or your assets. Even so, the fickle nature of humanity and the transient nature of possessions in New Eden mean that someone you have known and trusted for weeks, months or even years could turn sour and bring down your entire empire. The fall of Goonswarm can be attributed to an emotional outburst that then turned out to be perhaps very "in character" for karttoon, and perhaps even in character for the player behind him. There is an interesting analysis of the fall of Goonswarm at Massively, if you want to read more on this.

The history of Band Of Brothers and Goonswarm both attest to the difficulties of trusting someone too much in a world where there are no repercussions. Today I'm thinking about trust and the implications of trusting someone in our universe, since last night I was in on an operation to steal assets from a rival corporation courtesy of a spy. I look back on the operation now, and it goes against my personal real-world morals. However, in game, when your corpmates request help, you help - unless your morals preclude your participation. In this case, mine did not, but since I had to log off before the heist, I don't know if it was ever successful. And I wonder if that's the way I want it to be, so my personal moral position remains protected or ambiguous until challenged again. But last nights adventure, and a question of another corpmate earlier in the day, led me to think about the nature of trust in New Eden.

For those who like the short version: You can't trust anyone completely, but you need to trust others to some extent to truly experience New Eden in all it's glory.

The long version...
At some point in life and in game, you need to trust others. In EVE, we need to trust our CEO and directors to keep assets of the corporation safe, by being careful with who has access to what, and to have a strong enough personal moral fortitude to allow the corp as a whole to grow, rather than sneak off with all the assets and isk that everyone contributed to. We need to trust fleet FCs to make good tactical decisions. We need to trust our alliance leadership to do what is best for the alliance as a whole, not one corporation or another. Trust is a complicated issue though. Some players, or characters, are explicitly not trustworthy, others can be trusted for specific things. It's really not that simple. Helicity Bosun is a pirate, and a member of the Python Cartel, but she has been seen to be trustworthy (when running the Hulkageddon competitions) to distribute the prizes to the actual winners. In game, if I encountered Helicity in combat, I would not trust a ransom request based on experience with the Pythons, but Helicity has proven trustworthy with this specific action and experience. Situational trustworthiness. That's complicated...

I make a personal rule of trust in EVE. I trust few, and those I trust because I "know" them out of game, and I have an understanding of how they play the game. I don't automatically trust people I know out of game, because some of them play for the espionage and theft and piracy. I respect that, I like them as real people, but I wouldn't trust them with a Tech 1 frigate on courier contract without full-price collateral. After months (or years) of playing a game like EVE with people, you should know something about those people. If you don't, then either you aren't communicating, or they aren't - and that means there is an issue with either trust or truth - both of which should be a red flag. Recently a corpmate left to go back to an alliance we abandoned almost a year ago. He did it very openly (which I respect, and upholds my initial trust in him). His wife, however, did it quietly, one day she was in corp, the next she was elsewhere. I don't know her personally, and I want to believe that her actions were honestly executed, but the way you do something is almost as important as what you do.

Trust involves communication - if you communicate well and accurately, you will be trusted more than someone who is quiet. A couple months ago I was trusted to move the corp BPO collection from an office we were closing to our current headquarters. The 300+ original blueprints for ships, modules, rigs and components are an important part of our corporate infrastructure. Those BPOs sat in the hold of my Covert Ops Frigate for almost a month while we tried to coordinate a safe move across the universe. I worked daily to find a safe way to move them, and communicated with my CEO and the other directors the whole time. Granted, if you are a pessimist you know that I could have been lying, but because I communicate I was initially trusted with this job (which, BTW, was completed successfully - eventually). I trust our logistics pilots because they communicate with us, and they keep their regular schedules, so I know that if I have a ship to move from empire to 0.0 it will arrive on a regular logistics run.

Trust can't be unlimited though. I (personally) keep the vast majority of my in-game assets in neutral locations (NPC space) - and not always in stations where my corporation has offices. In sovereign nullsec, assets in a station are there at the whim (or defensive capabilities) of the sovereign alliance. I am so far removed from alliance politics that I know someday I will log in and everything in a sovereign station is locked, inaccessible to me, and I'll never get it back. That doesn't mean I keep everything out though - because if I didn't have combat ships at the ready I'm asking to be kicked out. I have a standard fleet of ships (and some replacements) for most standard alliance operations. I keep enough ships there to do my job, knowing that I will lose them (one way or another) eventually. Same goes for POS hangars. There are about 70 pilots in my corp - and although I've flown with most of them, I don't know them all well enough to trust all of them. If I were to keep ships in a POS, I would keep the bare minimum for the situation - for me that's a Battlecruiser (with fits to switch between ratting and combat), a CovOps Frigate, a Stealth Bomber, and an Interceptor. All told, about 100 million in ships, maybe 125 with fittings, if I were to be a victim of corporate theft. Not great, but with a good couple days carebearing in 0.0 you can recover most of that. Which brings me full circle to last nights activity. The corp we were going to acquire assets from was living out of a POS. Sometimes you have to, whether it be in deep nullsec or in wormhole space. But a corporation in those positions needs to be a tight knit group - and people with access to assets need to be known and trusted. In this case the person in question had limited access, but the corp was lax with security - they trusted too many people with too much access, and that was going to cost them assets.

You need to trust people in EVE to some extent - but you should never trust them with too much. The larger your circle grows, the more likely that someone isn't what they claim to be. In New Eden, there is no face to face communication, no subtle nonverbal cues to catch, that you have a spy in your midst, or a thief. You need to trust yourself - your instincts - first, but you will also need to trust others to experience everything this world has to offer. Hope for the best but expect the worst - you will never be disappointed and sometimes you will be surprised with something amazing.

Friday, June 18, 2010

EVE Blog Banter 18: It's the yellow box, stupid...

Welcome to the eighteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by none other than me, CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
On May 6th 2010, EVE Online celebrated its 7th Anniversary. Quite a milestone in MMO history, especially considering that it is one of the few virtual worlds out there to see its population continually grow year after year. For some of you who've been here since the very beginning, EVE has evolved quite a lot since its creation. With the expansion rolling out roughly twice a year, New Eden gets renewed and improved regularly. But, how about you the player? How has your gaming style evolved through the years or months since you've started playing? Have you always been a carebear, or roleplayer? Have you only focused on PvP or have you given other aspects of the game a chance - say manufacturing. Let's hear your story!

Let's say this - I don't roleplay in EVE. I did the roleplaying thing - I still have a set of the original paperback Dungeons & Dragons manuals in a box in my office. I play a harder, more aggressive version of myself in EVE, so RP isn't hard and isn't part of what I want to do. I respect those that do, and occasionally I'll dabble with it for enterainment, but it's not my style anymore.
I started playing EVE with the release of Trinity, in December 2007. I hadn't played games seriously in about 7 years, since I retired my old Windows 98 machine in 2008. I have had computers and consoles from Pong to XBox 360, but I have been a Mac guy for over 14 years. I was in the original beta test for Everquest on the Mac, and that really soured the flavor of modern MMOs for me. When Trinity came out, and I could play it on my beefy Mac Pro workstation, I thought I could finally get into EVE, a game I had read about for years. I was a part time dabbler in MegaWars back in the day, and space combat/MMO had a soft spot in my heart. EVE allowed me to re-enter that world in 2007. I am still driving my first character, and the distribution of skillpoints shows that fact. As I have about 35 million SP at the time, it would seem like I could be a PvP king, or an Industrial Baron, or a Trade Tycoon. Because of the winding road that is EVE, I am more a jack of all trades, master of none.
I flew my trusty Velator through the (then rudimentary) training sessions, and took it mining in the 1.0 system I started in. There were no rats in the belts up there, but back then the world was less crowded, and I often had little company mining Veldspar with the Civilian Mining Laser I got for free. Life was simple, I'd run Level 1 missions (and get lost every few missions, not mapping my way through the region I spawned in) or mine Veldspar, dreaming of ruling an empire in EVE, but having no idea how to start. After meeting the CCP promotions group at MacWorld 2008 (and coming home with an EVE: Concord T-Shirt) I realized I didn't really pay attention to the game I was paying to play. It was then I learned there was a skill-based system, and I needed to buy and train skills to fly other ships and items. Yes - I played EVE for almost two full months and never trained a skill. I flew a Velator through Level 1 missions (that was hard, by the way) and mined Veldspar and sold the raw stone on the local market. Then I started training skills, and got into a Navitas and Tristan. I flew nothing but those ships (and Level 1 missions) for another 3 months until my daughter was born in RL.
As with everyone in that position, my game time became a stolen moment here and there, so I trained up to a Retriever and strip miners, and became a full-time miner. Funny enough, after having run (literally) hundreds of L1 missions for Astral Mining, I had great refine rates with them, and made enough money to buy and fly a cruiser. I still ran missions, but had discovered that there were more levels of missions, and L2 missions were awfully hard to fly solo in a Rocket/Blaster Tristan, so I fit up my first Thorax with Dual 150mm Railguns and succeeded in completing L2 missions with ease, when I had more than a baby's nap to play (nap time = mining time). I took all of May 2008 to train both tiers of Learning skills to V, but never used more than +1 implants (since that's all you get in L1 missions). Funny enough, I tried out almost every module dropped in my missions, and learned how to use things that were useless in missions. I looted, I salvaged, but I never sold modules with names on them - they just didn't seem to have good price offers on the market compared to the Meta 0 items.
I introduced two co-workers to EVE that spring, one of them (Crescendar) turned into a PvP whore - and was the first person to call me a carebear to my face. It was insulting, no matter how true. At that point I'd lost two destroyers to pirates in Losec - and a mining cruiser to a corp with (what I know now) was an NBSI policy in their losec home. I hemmed and hawed, but didn't join a player corp for another year. With the Emyprian Age, I joined Faction War and ran the FW missions until I realized it was consensual PvP, and I didn't know how to fit or fight for PvP. I dropped Faction War quickly at that point, knowing it would cost me ships and isk to learn the hard way. With the release of Apocrypha, and wormholes, I became quite skilled at scanning, and hopped in and out of wormholes and anomalies in my quiet corner of the universe. I was even nice enough (early in Apocrypha days) to fleet up with folks who lost their way in wormholes and get them out into empire. That led to several invites for player corporations that I mulled over, but RL was coming up again, and a move across the country meant I wasn't going to commit to anything new in EVE for a while. I started working up through missions until I was about to do Level 4 missions for 3 different corporations, when I finally joined a PvP corp that was in Faction War.
Aurora Security has a long history in EVE, and the directors in that corp had experience in everything EVE had to offer. I saw a post from the CEO, Pierre Dumonte, in the recruiting forums, and it sounded like a good match. I evemailed him, and eventually got a convo from the industrial director at the time. They were happy to welcome me into their industrial wing, and I would work with them on POS maintenance, mining, missioning, more of the activities I'd done for the past 1.5 years in EVE. I explained I wanted to learn to PvP, and was passed to a combat director named Mr. Teu. Teu was a hardassed pilot from the U.S. southern states, and a great person to learn from. My 1.5 years in EVE had prepared me to be in fully T2 fitted T2 frigates, sometimes with better fitting skills than the experienced combat pilots in the corp. I learned how to fly a Covert Ops frigate first, then an Interceptor, then an Assault Frigate, and finally a Stealth Bomber while in A.SEC. I was in high damage and often top damage in frigate roams due to luck and my high skillpoint base.
A.SEC was filled with mostly mature pilots - people who were usually over 30 in RL, had families and other responsibilities, and knew EVE was a game, not a lifestyle. The common sense of humor and level of maturity in the group spoiled me - my first player corp was an adult experience, no kid gloves but no kid emorages either. Like many 0.0 corps, we bounced around a couple alliances where I met, flew with and learned from other great pilots. I will always be a member of A.SEC at heart, but when RL for a lot of pilots caused a significant change in the direction of the corp, I went where I was enjoying EVE the most - 0.0 PvP.
My current corp (and alliance) has a solid base in 0.0 PvP, and I continue to learn with them, now more about the medium sized ships (HACs, HICs and BCs). I can (like any decent 0.0 pilot) fit all the way up to a Sniper BS, but I don't like the battleship - too damn slow to align, target, and warp compared to a frigate, or even a HAC.
My history in EVE: Miner, Mission Runner, small-time Trader and now PvP pilot sounds like a lot of others who have wandered the spacelanes, and have found that combat against other people is truly the heart of this game.


  1. CrazyKinux's Musing: The Heroes with a Thousand Faces

  2. StarFleet Comms: Life. Evolved.

  3. A Carebear's Journeu: This Carebear Thinks He Is Developing Teeth

  4. The Elitist: Our ventures in EVE

  5. A Mule in EVE: From a guppy predator

  6. Travels of the Ronin: Evolution and Adaptation

  7. The Ralpha Dogs: The Past Through Tomorrow

  8. Where the frack is my ship: A journey, not a destination

  9. I am Keith Neilson: 7 Year Itch?

  10. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah: Evolution Me

  11. EVE Opportunist: A long history of a short time

  12. Roc's Ramblings: Things Change

  13. Guns Ablaze: Onwards and Upwards

  14. EVE On Real Life: Haven't you grown up yet?

  15. The Fang: The path of the ninja

  16. EVEOGANDA: Whoops Apocalypse!

  17. EVE SOB: Learning to swim

  18. The Life of a Dead Jester: My Time with EVE

  19. Personal Files, Ciarente Roth: Personal Diary 18.6.112

  20. Learning to Fly: Change is Good

  21. Depths Unknown: Falling With Style

  22. Morphisat’s Blog: Jack of all trades 

  23. Sarnelbinora's Blog: Thoughts of EVE

  24. More as they get published...