Wednesday, 11 March 2009

I must be doing something wrong...

I fit out a Jaguar after posting that post last night and headed back into the wormhole I found (I had a probe launcher with me this time, just incase, I spent about 45million isk on that ship).

That shot is the Alarm Clock getting pounded by a Sleeper battleship.

With that one little ship, I was able to take on 4 cruisers. I killed 2 of them and that spawned 3 more frigates and a battleship. So all at once, all on my own this time, I was taking on 6 sleeper ships, plus 2 turrets. Sure I had to warp out a couple of times just to be safe, but I had it under control.

Everywhere I look, I'm seeing people telling of how they got totally owned by Sleepers here and there. Sure, I started off in hi-sec so my spawn is an easier one, but still...

I got a lot of cool loot, and even went back for a salvage ship to hoover up all the leavings - I've started training for reverse engineering too so I can see if I can get some Phat Lewt from all the goodies I found.

I think a lot of people have fallen into the old newbie trap of "Must fly biggest badest thing possible into wormhole", my trusty Jaguar does the job brilliantly, I just need to tweak it a little more - shield booster goes on in place of the second multispec hardener (which I can't really perma-run anyway) to minimise the downtime on warpouts!

Small is beautiful.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Hey you! Wake Up!

I was a bit cheeky today and downloaded the patch whilst I was at work, installed it all and was ready to go when I got home this afternoon.

All my probes had been converted to Core Probes, so I loaded up my CovOps and set out to see what I could find!

I was in empire space, because that's where I was when I logged off and I figured I'd have the most chance of killing stuff if I started in easier systems!

After about an hour, I found my first site - it was a salvage profession site and I didn't get a whole lot from it about half an hour later though, I got an 'unknown' hit and got very excited.

It took me about 20 minutes to scan down the wormhole - at one point I somehow had 4 probes at 0.25AU, all getting a 100% hit each, they must have all just had an edge on without actually overlapping! crazy!

Finally though, I got the magical green dot and I warped on in

I really like some of the new effects they've added and wormholes have to be the most impressive

Well I didn't come all this way to look at pretty swirls, so of course I hopped on through

I didn't bother dropping any probes and just used the onboard scanner - found 2 'plexes and warped in cloaked

2 frigates, 3 cruisers and 2 turrets. Not gonna get very far launching probes at them, let's go grab a shooty ship and see how we do!

I didn't really plan ahead properly so I only had a crap shield fit Rifter from some work I was doing a few months ago. Off we went - I was joined by a corpmate in an Arbitrator.

I warped in first to test the water and took out one of the frigates on my own - didn't take too much damage at first but they started to chip away at my shields eventually so I warped out then warped back in with my bud. With one frigate down, the second fell pretty quickly and then most of what was left was struggling to hit me. I'm pretty confident that with a few tweaks, the Mordant Core will have a whale of a time in these low-level 'plexes.

After we killed everything but the turrets (they were really hard to kill!), a second wave of 5 cruisers warped in and my corpie's Arby was getting a bit beat up.

We warped out with a handful of interesting bits and pieces, worth about 500k each to NPC buy orders. I didn't get a chance to salvage so I'm not sure what kind of stuff these little rats have to offer.

All in all, a very successful first foray into Sleeper territory and I really enjoyed all the probing to find it. I am liking Apocrypha so far!

Friday, 6 March 2009

busy busy bee

I've been very busy, both in RL and in EVE. I've hardly played this week at all, but last week things moved on quite a bit:

I now have an Orca at my disposal - my industry alt can fly one and I bought a shiny new one Euclidean. I haven't actually used it for much yet, but flying it around with a load of ships loaded onboard is way cool.

I'm working on building my cash reserves back up and with my main combat dude I've decided to spend some time 'Ving up', stuff like Surgical Strike and Navigation always nice to get the last few percent of whatever it is.

I put a POS up for my corp a couple of weeks back, didn't get a chance to post about it, but it looks like we might have to take it back down at some point soon, so I'll probably write about that - all depends on whether or not our CEO logs in any time soon...

Tuesday soon!

It's space Jim, but not as we know it

I just had to repost something I thought was pretty awesome in the latest Dev blog:
So when you enter a wormhole system and see something ‘unusual' off your port bow, proceed with the knowledge that some of the things you know about how your ship performs may no longer be true. Your ship drives may push you faster, your weapons may hit harder, you may find yourself with no shields or less effective armor... and just when you think you've got it all figured out, things may change again!
I'm thinking I'll just find myself a w-space system and live there, I wonder if it's possible to be completely self-sufficient in there, ice? asteroids? I hope so.

Friday, 20 February 2009


I haven't posted very much lately, mostly because I've had a week off work and I've been playing EVE pretty much non-stop.

The picture should help to illustrate.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Number OCD

I can be a little OCD about numbers - volume on the TV has to be an even number or multiple of 5. 27 is a no-no, 26 is better, 25 (assuming I can still hear it) is best.

so the patch notes cause me some trouble:

2499 new solar systems are now accessible through the emergence of mysterious wormholes throughout New Eden. These celestial gateways open doors to lucrative new opportunities for the bold and wary traveler.

2499?! Why 2499? What happened to the 2500th system, is there a secret Dev party there that we're just not invited to? I NEDE TO KNOEW!1!one1"!

Testing, testing...

My play hours over the last week and a half have been a bit unusual, and as such, I haven't quite found the time to post anything.

Monday and Tuesday last week brought snow to my part of the world and with schools being the first to close (I'm a teacher), I was given the gift of 2 solid days of EVE Online. I spent most of that time mining in null-sec whilst chaining a spawn of juicy battleships.

In related news, I broke the 700million isk mark at the week end!

I also decided to have a look around the test server. It was all really quite straightforward, copied the EVE installation directory into a new directory, applied the test patch and away I go. Then came the waiting.

It seems my character was last mirrored about 2 months ago, so I was short about 1million skillpoints and a few corporation roles. I wanted to play around with putting up a POS you see.

So first I had to renounce the roles I did have with the corp, then wait 24 hours.
Then I discovered that you can only launch a POS on behalf of a corporation, not yourself, so I had to fly into empire space, set up a 1-man corporation and then fly back to where I'd already bought all the modules!

Eventually though, I spent an interesting few hours anchoring and onlining various structures. Bizarrely I actually enjoyed doing it, made me think seriously about setting up my own POS somewhere - until I realised that the fact that test-server is not only mostly empty, and the no non-consensual PvP rules in effect made it all seem much easier than it would likely be in the 'real' world.

I started downloading the Apocrypha patch last night but I have a fairly narrow pipe so it's going to take a while before I get to play around with all the new exploration stuff (assuming they re-mirrored my character and I actually have any of the skills! in which case my POS will no longer belong to me! It's very complicated). Kirith Kodachi has written an introductory post about the new probing stuff though.

Also, I wanted to mention the recent dev blog post about the POS exploit. Genuinely interesting stuff and I just loved this part:

The opening action on our part regarding the exploit included the total destruction of all the POS complexes involved. This entailed flying to each one and basically nuking everything in sight - a fireworks show of epic proportions but with no witnesses except the GMs in the demolition team.

I mean, surely they could have just opened up a link to the database and just deleted all the various entries associated with the exploited POSs, but instead a strike force of GMs was assembled and sent off to destroy them the old fashioned way. How cool is that?!

GMs must have a fairly rough time of it, so this must have been a fantastic little party to be part of!

Friday, 6 February 2009

This week in skill training

Drones V
Astrometrics III, IV (ongoing)
Target Painting I
Armor Rigging I
Energy Pulse Weapons I

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Skill Queue - Yay!

So, I've been playing EVE on and off for about 5 years; setting alarms, swapping skills here and there when all of a sudden: The Devs announce a skill queue system!

This is very exciting news.

I haven't bothered to read the forum replies, MMPORG forums make me sad, but I'm guessing their chosen method of implementation is going to come under some fire but I think it's really thoughtful. Allow me to discuss.

The Devs were talking about skill queues a while back in one of the CSM meetings and they said that they didn't like the idea of people setting huge queues and not logging on for a year. I thought this was a bit odd - surely they only care that people are coughing up the monthly fees. Reading the post above however leads me to believe that the EVE Online Development team really do love and care about the game - they actually want people to play the game.

That gives us the 24-hour skill queue. Put up to 50 skills in the queue and as long as they all begin training within 24 hours, all is good. That means all those stupid mid-range skills you can usually only get to at the weekend can be queued up and run through in a day. I also noticed in the UI mockup that you can queue the next level of a skill, which is probably the thing that I am most excited about.

Now, obviously there are going to be some limitations in this system - what if I go on holiday? But the important thing to remember is that it is the start of a system that once in place can be tweaked later - if CCP see that suddenly people are playing so much more because now they can actually use all that cool stuff they bought, maybe they'll make it even better later on.


Serious Playtime

We were lucky enough here in the UK to get a whole bucketload of snow which closed schools and stopped trains and all that stuff. Being a teacher, this is most definitely Good News. I got 2 extra days of solid EVE. So what did I do?

When it's cold and snowy and you were up at 6am posting closure notices on the school website, it needs to be a pretty low-impact task. I chose a mining & rat combo.

I found myself a nice belt in my 0.0 home system with juicy 'roids and a dual-battleship spawn, parked the Mordant Entropy and made with the pew pew whilst Orobas parked the Endless Light (hulk) and munched through asteroid after asteroid.

I did this for about 20 hours in total, bounties racked up, minerals piled up and I now have a new Raven cooking in the local outpost.

I was also able to start fitting out the as-yet-unnamed Typhoon that Malphas will be training up over the coming month or so. He can already fly it, but he can't really fly it.

All in a very productive pair of snow days! Wallet is well into Orca affordability territory now but I really can't decide if I'll get enough use out of one...

Sunday, 1 February 2009

This week in skill training

Hull Upgrades IV
Minmatar Industrial IV
Fuel Conservation II
Signal Acquisition I & II
Idetic Memory III
Astrometrics II

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

More Wormholey News

Eve News posted a summary of the new wormholey exploration stuff that is coming in the next EVE expansion.

I have to say that this is really going to be a lot of fun.

I already have a small cache of probe blueprint copies in my hangar and I think I'm going to go ahead and buy some more, and I'm going to build a small stockpile of some drones in anticipation of them all being converted. I guess it's kinda gaming the system a little bit but I think it's fair.

As I've posted recently, I trained up for Covert Ops so I could fly a probeship. I guess my only disappointment with the new system is that whilst I can still use it and it will give me bonuses, it's probably not going to be all that useful on the other side if I actually want to kill any of these new UBARLEET NPC ships to take their PHATLEWT and make PWNMOBILES out of it. I hope I can squeeze a probe launcher onto the Mordant Core.

One other observation I had was that Lasers are going to continue to be FOTM for this stuff as you're very likely to run out of ammo in these new areas. The Mordant Core tears through ammo so fast and I still need to keep space for probes and PHATLEWT.

Perhaps the Mordant Entropy, my hurricane, would be a better option. Obviously the ultimate solution is to always take corpies along with me, but it's not always feasible.

One thing is for sure, my first trip through a wormhole will be in a cloakyship packed full of emergency backup probes so I can get back again :O)

Monday, 26 January 2009

Holy cow, this is gonna be sweet!

I've just finished reading the dev blog about the upcoming expansion to EVE, specifically how the wormholes will work and how we will find them.

I've only just got the training for exploration, having set off on many tangential paths that have finally converged on me being able to fly a half decent exploration ship. I still need to boost my Astrometrics skill, but I'm well on the way.

I loved the whole idea of the exploration mechanic and I'm excited about the new content. What I'm even more excited about are the propsed changes to the scanner and probe mechanics:

  • You will be able to drop more than one probe in a grid
  • Probe scan ranges can be adjusted via a drag and drop interface in the 3D map, removing the need for multiple probe types
  • Probes can be repositioned in the solar system map using a drag and drop interface and will warp to their specified positions
  • Scanning will now use triangulation to refine and improve accuracy of scan results
  • You can recall probes for re-use at a later point and time
  • The transition from ship view to 3D Solar System view to Universe Map view has been made near instant, allowing for quick switching between them


I had been wondering how the whole "probe out wormhole, fly through wormhole, wormhole closes, run out of probes before you find the way back" thing was going to work and this answers it and really makes the system cool!

There's lots more in there and I really think this will add a lot of really cool stuff to the game.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Drama Bomb

Mynxee wrote a discussion post about the Corp Drama Bomb. When I read it, it made me smile as I've read loads of accounts on the forums and in other peoples' blogs about it but I didn't have anything of my own to add to the discussion; until today.

As I've mentioned before, I have mostly played solo or with a small group of close friends. Just before Christmas I joined up with a corporation and have been enjoying the opportunity to experience new things in game.

This weekend, the shit hit the fan, but not only did the shit hit the fan, but I WASN'T EVEN THERE!

Now, so far, the corp is still alive, the bomb didn't strike a killing blow but I think it will be a while before we fully recover.

It all started with a mineral windfall.

One of our corp members had been dilligently mining a metric fuckton of various minerals. He dumped the minerals into the corp hangar but at this point things got a little tricky. Our corp offers about 80% of market value for mins, they build stuff with it and proceeds go to the corp. However in this case, the value of the minerals far exceeded the corp wallet. An arrangement was made that things would be made with the minerals and sold and money would be paid in installments. Everyone is happy life goes on.

Second corp mate, bit in production, running a big recruitment & training programme for the corp inquires as to the availability of some of the massive stockpile of minerals in the corp hangar. Corp tells him the situation denies him access to them, he offers to pay for them, still no go.

This irks him ever so slightly but it takes about a week for it all to kick off. He makes repeated appeals for a small amount of minerals to be made available; he hasn't been able to mine because of the time he has spent with new recruits and is told repeatedly that he won't be given access to any corporation assets. Eventually, CEO gets fed up and expels him.

Other members, loyal to this guy are up in arms and "I quit and this is why" corpmails abound.

Now, I'm wise enough to realise that there has to be more to it on both sides that this (this account is pretty much all I've been able to squeeze out so far), but what is very obvious is that it was very much avoidable (from both sides again).

I'm not making any plans to leave the corp over this, but it does leave me a little sad. We've lost a fair chunk of our 0.0 sec pilots to it too, so I think our operations down there may well be affected.

I think this is just the first chapter in what will probably be a long drawn out affair.

Friday, 23 January 2009

This week in skill training

Electronic Upgrades V (yay)
Covert Ops I, II & III
Instant Recall IV
Hull Upgrades IV (ongoing)

Finally got my Cheetah, now I'm going to spend some time going back and picking up some of the useful bits that I've been neglecting. Generally, I'm pretty happy with the shape of my skills now, I'm currently very focused in one area and it really shows when I shoot at people (and when people say "You're ratting here in a jaguar?"). Gives you the warm fuzzy feeling again.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


I finally got my Covert Ops frigate tonight and it is sooooo cool, I just spent about half an hour warping around cloaked just because I could.

Then I actually tried to fit some other stuff to the damn thing. Mucho :(

I can have a covops cloak II, or a scan probe launcher, but if I want both online at the same time I have to use a co-processor II (or I can't have a MWD). I pretty much can't have an autocannon at all unless I train Advanced Weapon Upgrades to V (and put power diagnostics on), which isn't going to happen any time soon.

So I figure I'm just going to have to fly this thing with half its slots open.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Skirmish Report

I'm quite getting into living in null-sec, even mining isn't boring...

I've reactivated my alt and having realised he is not good for much else, I've put him to work in the mines. In my new 0.0 home.

I was irritated to realise that because of the utter noobishness with which I trained this ancient character, he can't even tank sub-million isk rats in a Hulk at the moment, so I have to keep watch in the Mordant Core.

I was doing just this on Saturday when a red popped into the system. Orobas was duly dispatched to the safety of the outpost station whilst I took the Mordant Core to sit in my safespot, in case anyone needed assistance.

Sure enough, a member of the Alliance called for help from a belt and I set off. Other pilots in the Alliance also said they were on their way so I felt confident that we would be ok.

I arrived in the belt, and promptly engaged the hostile just in time for my ally's pod to escape, sadly he lost a Drake.

Hostile was flying a Sacrilege, which is a little too much for the the Mordant Core, but I had 2 points to lay down and the promise of support incoming.

I was giving a pretty good show, but my damage was insufficient to break his tank and with my armor down to 50% and no support yet on grid, it was time to bug out. I pointed my ship at the nearest planet and spammed the warp button until I was clear of his warp disruptor. Predictably he followed me to the planet but I was already boucing off to a safespot and after a few half-hearted shots fired at another Ally at the gate (oddly the one who was incoming to my belt...) he left the system.

As with all of the fights I've gotten into so far in null-sec, I learnt some things:
  1. Our Alliance needs to sort out its battle comms, people were talking in local, no fleet was ever formed and it was generally a dropping of the ball.
  2. If you want something done properly, do it yourself - I was waiting for someone to take charge of the situation. Next time, I'll be the one in charge.
  3. My little Attack Ship actually held its own for much longer than I expected against a HAC, I couldn't have killed him on my own, but if I'd had the backup, I had him locked down ready for some sweet justice.
I do so enjoy learning lessons without my ship going pop. I guess that means that I am actually learning something!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

This week in skill training

Electronic Upgrades V (ongoing)

urg, will it ever end? :)

This skill has ammused me. First off, it is almost completely useless, no-one would ever train it for its inherent bonus:
"5% reduction of sensor upgrade CPU needs per skill level."

No, the only reason anyone gets this baby to level 5 is Covert Ops.

When I first started training it, the timer was 15 days and some change until my overexcitement got the better of my judgement one day and I lost my attribute implants. That put it up to about 17 days and a bit more change which was irritating. I spent those 2 extra days training up some of my long-neglected learning skills and managed to get the timer back to about 15 days and chopped time off a whole bunch of other skills.

Sometimes EVE's skill meta-game drives me to distraction, other times I get that warm fuzzy feeling from having accomplished something worthwhile.

At least whilst I'm training an important long skill I don't have to make any difficult descisions about what to train next...

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Escort mission successful

We just finished a short 'n' sweet escort op to get an allied freighter into hisec.

Was a nice opportunity to meet some new people in the Alliance. I get to fly scout most of the time and although the trip was entirely uneventful, I still get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing I've done my bit.

This is something I've been missing from my MMPORG career for a while now; having a good group to play with, help out and all that and it really does put the MMP into MMPORG (I like to pronounce that 'em-em-porrrg' in my head, I'm weird like that).

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Battle Stations!

Well, that was interesting.

As mentioned previously, my corp are currently in the process of moving to nullsec and thanks to my previous Jumpclone grinding, and a well planned, careful move to our new home, I'm in a more stable position than most.

I still have my main store of BPOs, spare ships and other crap in the corp's hisec empire base and I made the trip back tonight to take advantage of a fantastic market opportunity I found (which I was going to post about until this all happened. Read on).

I was just contemplating logging off for the evening when we got a call in Corp chat, one of our guys was under attack in our nullsec home system and was taking damage fast. We're still a little noob in these matters, so it took a few moments to get a position but I eventually realised that I'd flown to hisec instead of Jumpcloning so I could head right on down and fly support.

I warped into the fray at a respectable distance in the Mordant Core, locked target and hit him with 2 points and my quick-hitting 150mm AC IIs, a second corp mate was already engaged and laying on the hurt.

I was feeling pretty good as our target hit structure and we were still holding strong - teamwork FTW and all that when Corp chat lit up with:

Stop shooting! It's xxx

WTF? was my reply (by chance my ACs were down for a reload!).

It turns out 2 corpies had decided to test our 'combat readiness' with a faux call for help, one of the second corpies was running an alt.

So far, I'm slightly less than impressed, but I will conceed that we learnt a few lessons (and not neccessarily all of them intended).

I refrained from making my own point and finishing the job...

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

No matter where I roam

The corp I joined at the tail end of 2008 have an agreement with a larger alliance that gives us access to 0.0 space and we're all slowly moving our stuff down into a friendly station and finding our way around.

Part of the agreement is that we help to keep our little corner of space clear of any undesirables and to that end once a week we go aromin'.

I've been on 2 of these roams and they've been a little less than eventful so far. As with most things online, particularly where not all parties are fully experienced veterans, getting started usually takes a little longer than it should, and then there's usually someone who keeps crashing and needs to be re-invited and all that jazz, but generally we are fairly well organised.

I usually get to play scout, which make things a little more interesting. I get to be all serious and military and it's great fun.

So far though, we're a little short of making any significant kills. This isn't because we aren't very good so much as because we seem to pick nights where no-one else is online! We see the odd red in local but since none of us are packing probes, finding them isn't always easy.

What it does do though is give everyone a great introduction to moving around 0.0 space, following orders and all that jazz so hopefully when we finally do meet some nasty red people, we'll be ready to take them down quickly and cleanly!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Dust sheets

Wow, did I really post last in August? That's pretty poor really.

Basically, shortly after that last post, I pulled the dust sheets over my ships, switched off the hangar lights and suspended my accounts - I wasn't playing very much, I didn't really know what to do with my time in the game and I just hadn't quite found a corp to join.

As I've said before, I've played a lot of MMPORGS in the past (it used to be *most* but there are so many now that it simply isn't true any more) but EVE Online is the only one I've gone back to again after I've left. There's something about the shiny internet spaceships that makes me want to log in and play. I had already decided I wanted to start again but was putting it off because I had all my stuff spread across 2 accounts and couldn't really justify reactivating both just for a look around. So the good old "Why not reactivate your account for 5 days for free" christmas email came as a very nice christmas surprise! I was able to reactivate 1 account and use the free days on the other to transfer all my stuff! Job's a good'un!

Quantum Rise didn't add a huge amount of particular interest to me, but I still had a few things I wanted to try out. I've also found a corporation to join. Blood Moon, it's a small corp currently who are part of a smallish alliance with access to 0.0 space, which opens up a part of the game I always felt a bit excluded from.

So, I've liquidated as much junk as I can, trashed the rest and moved all my remaining worldly possessions 45 jumps into the great unknown (without a freighter, with my own crappy indy skills).

So far it's been fairly exciting; I've been on a roam in a fleet of 11 other ships, searching out the enemies of our alliance (we got 2, 1 was a pod and the other one no-one seemed to be able to find the killmail for - we're still fairly inexperienced!) but it was a good introduction into moving as a fleet around null-sec. I even got to play scout, which I did fairly well (if I do say so myself).

Training wise, I'm still very much a fan of small ships (I got that Assault Ships 5 skill, along with a few other useful bits) and I've started work on my Covert-Ops skills (cos I think being able to move around unseen will really come in handy in null-sec).

All-in-all, a fairly successful return and I intend to start writing about my EVE experiences again.