The High Sec Carebear has finally moved to 0.0, Adventures with TEST awaits.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Lore, EveReader and Hydrostatic.

Today I would like to bring up a topic that often goes unnoticed in EVE, to the point where it feels like most people ignore it.
This could be down to ignorance of the subject or a complete lack of interest, it it's the former then please keep reading, if it's the latter you can stop here.
The subject is lore, yes, EVE has a tremendously rich lore behind it, some is player made and most is from the fine folks at CCP.
It can be something as small as landmarks in space, those weird beacons you can warp to that really does nothing, all the way up to one of the commercial novels written about the game.

I first got interested in EVE lore back when they featured the "Chronicles" on the front page.  The Chronicles, for those who don't know, are short stories and novellas written about the EVE universe we all live in.  The fascinating bit about the Chronicles, and indeed a lot of the lore, is that it's not solely about us capsuleers, it's about normal people and events.
The EVE universe is an incredibly dark and horrible place to live, and the lore reflects this in nearly all the stories, the Capsuleers are detached, inhuman demi gods and the little man is always getting stepped on.
It's not cheerful reading, but it is fascinating to learn about the events that shaped the universe we all indulge in.

The political machinations between the Empires, CONCORD and the various pirate factions are quite interesting and well fleshed out in various texts.  The pirate factions themselves are quite enjoyable to delve into, from drug syndicates and "zombies", to batshit crazy cultists and a space Red Cross with some serious agendas.

If the lore isn't anything you've really gotten into, but you think you'd find interesting, I have some recommendations on where to start out.

  • The EVE Reader podcast is a great place to start.  It's basically a narration of the CCP EVE Chronicles and will give you a wide coverage of back stories to the EVE universe. The narrator sounds very professional, sound quality is excellent, guest voice actors and production quality is top notch.  I can not praise this podcast enough when it comes to exposing the player base to the lore in nice, bite sized chunks.
  • The Chronicles is the stories written by CCP that the aforementioned podcast narrates.
  • The Hydrostatic podcast does an excellent job at dealing with the wider lore of EVE, they'll discuss anything regarding lore, focusing often on present events in the universe.  They have excellent guests and panels on various aspects of the lore.  Highly recommended listening.
  • There are also excellent books written in the EVE universe, The Empyrean Age, This Burning Life, Templar One and the EVE Source, there are also various other books floating around on Amazon that might be worth checking out.  Most, if not all are available in both paper and Ebook versions and they are a great read.
While you may not have been very interested or even aware of the lore up to this point, three of the four bulletpoints above are perfectly free, will provide you with hours of entertainment and a more meaningful look into the universe you play in.  

I hope you will take the opportunity to check at least some of these out, the podcasters in particular have put work and effort into this and they've done a fantastic job. 
I wish you hours of entertainment and enlightenment.

Amarr Victor.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Alt's and a Happy New Year.

New Eden, I wish you a happy new year, may you get plenty of killmails and narrow escapes in the year to come.  May your Killboards be green and your wallets fat, so on and so forth.

I'm sure everyone has seen all the Holiday presents we got from CCP, my personal favourites are the Friend Ship and the Drunk Bodyguard, and I'm wearing one of the jackets currently as well.  There was another gift in there that many may have missed unless you actually read the Dev Blog, it's the FREE 20 day multiple character training.  Yes, 20 days of dual account training for FREE.

This may not mean much to a lot of you, 20 days isn't much after all, there are only so much you can squeeze in on that time, but free is free.
I set me up a skill plan in EVEMON and made myself a station trader alt, just to see if I could do it in time, or how close I'd get.  I can get the most vital skills up and running in 19d 8h with a neural remap, meaning that I have a perfectly viable station trade character for free, courtesy of CCP.

I grabbed an old untrained character on my account and set up the following skill plan:

Trade - lvl 4
Retail - lvl 4
Broker Relations - lvl 4
Accounting - lvl 5

Those skills puts the queue on my character up to over 20 days, but due to an unused remap, it ended up on just over 19 days total. 
I currently have the alt parked in a major trade hub with a few orders already going. 
May not be much, station trading may not even be your thing, but it's a thing to consider since it's costing you nothing.

I expect others might use the opportunity to create hauling or cyno alts, whatever floats your boat, you have 20 days to do it at no cost, providing you're even aware of the offer.

Oh yes, the first fleet of the new year, a fast little frig fleet netted me a nice 1.2 bill pod kill along with some other stuff, very shiny.

Fly Hard, Amarr Victor.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

CVA, Providence and me.

I started playing EVE in 2007, I've had a few breaks here and there, but like a lot of people I've always come back. 
I've spent my career in high sec space, mining, trading, running missions and whatever else one does under CONCORD's watchful eyes.  I've been part of a few different corporations and an alliance or two, in one we decided to prepare ourselves for War decs by running low sec NRDS roams, engaging pirates and other characters of questionable moral fiber, but people lost interest.
There was the occasional plan to rent 0.0 space, and a for a while I think we had some systems out east, I at least found a jump clone out there, but I was never fond of the renting idea and never spent any time out there.
Eventually I found myself wanting something more.  That's when I decided to pack up my solo Corp and try to make a living for myself in Providence.
Now, as stated in a previous entry, the stars somewhat aligned for me and I found myself as a member of Corp 54 and CVA.  Now, call me whatever you like, but that's somewhat of a big deal for me and here's why.

Back in 2007 when I undocked from a station for the first time, I had no clue what I was getting into.  I liked spaceships, I had a friend who said I should try this game so I figured I'd give it a go.
0.0 was something I read about early on, it was BoB vs Goons vs NC back in those days, but it was to "scary" and inaccessible to me at the time, that was at least my own opinion on it.  I quickly became interested in all the stories that came out of 0.0, the wars, the MAX campaigns, the fall of BoB etc, it was fascinating even though I had no part in it myself.  It was amazing how much politics, underhanded spying, dealings and massive wars one could find inside a single computer game.
I followed the old CAOD forums, checked the Sov maps and generally tried to keep up on what happened "out there" while sitting in highsec, doing whatever I did.

There was one region, one entity that stood out from the rest.  There was place in the south, where neutrals were welcome, a place that didn't adhere to the shoot first, ask later policy of every other region.  It was Providence, and CVA was the law along with the other Holders.  Back in those days they were locked in a war over Providence with another roleplay based Alliance called Ushra'Kahn, but even so, neutrals were welcome and the Holders did what they could to protect them.

I found the concept of Providence fascinating, and I kept coming back to any news about the region as often as I could, CAOD, Podded Podcast and the likes was something I followed with regularity.  I never took the plunge though, I never moved down there, I just kept going along in High Sec.
I can't really put my finger on why I was infinitely more fascinated by Providence then the other regions, but looking back on it I'd say NRDS had a lot to do with it.  I like the concept of NRDS, I know there are no limits in EVE and it's the sandbox and all that, but I've always liked and respected a measured response rather then mindless aggression and violence.  NRDS is just a concept that suits my playing style.
There's also the fact that Provi Block basically gave the rest of EVE the finger and dared to be different.  They refused to get in line with the rest of 0.0 and follow the "standard" policy, they carved out their own space and ran it how they saw fit, not how CAOD told them it should be ran.

All these things ingrained Providence in me like a near mythic region of space, and I knew that if I ever headed out to the deep dark, it would have to be Providence.
I never did go, but I always had Providence in the back of my head.
Without ever having been there, without ever having seen Providence for myself, it had started to mean something to me.  It was a symbol of how one could turn ones back on the norm, Aura says "Dare to be bold pilot, dare to be bold".  Providence said "Dare to be different" and from a universe away, in a High sec asteroid belt,  it meant something to me.

I found myself defending Providence against the smack talkers.  NRDS sucks, Shit space, LoL RP, I argued in local against those people, not a very constructive thing to do in a high sec local by the way, but I did it.
And still, I'd never set a foot in Providence.

Now here I am, years later, knowing that I have to get out of High sec, break the mold and reinvigorate my game, what shall I do?
In the back of my head, a single word around which I've almost built a myth of it's own, Providence.

It was not without some reverence I jumped out the Dital gate and found myself, for the first time, under Providence skies.  I quickly decided that the region was probably not gonna live up to the expectations I had created for it over the years, that the Holders might not be the same, they'd probably kill me as soon as they caught me, I didn't even have a clue whether or not I could dock.  I also decided that I needed a new game and that I would tough it out no matter what, I was here, in Providence and I would make it work.

I do in no way intend to diminish the other Holders, but from day one CVA was the one I heard about, and so they held a "special" place in how I perceived Providence.  It was quite something to jump into a system and see local full of CVA pilots, fortunately still adhering to the NRDS policy.
When I was contacted by a recruiter from CVA itself after spending a little time in Providence, like I said in the opening, for me, the stars aligned.

I've come here to live, play and laugh.  I've come to defend Providence and NRDS, to defend an idea I've liked since day one.  I've come here to be different in the face of all those who fall in line, I've come home.

The point of this rather long story, Providence holds a special meaning to me and it's hard for me to explain why, seeing as I don't really know myself why Providence has grown in my mind since I started playing.
Either way, here I am, 7 years down the line, finally I'm here, I'm in Providence.
I'm home.

Fly hard, Amarr Victor.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A fool and his money are easily parted.........

And today, I'm definitely the fool.
Have you ever seen those 1 bill sell orders for something and thought to yourself, who the hell is dumb enough to buy that?
Well, apparently, I'm dumb enough.

I just bought me a 1 bill T2 warp disruptor.  Yay.

Memo to self.
When you're tired after a night shift, shopping for some random stuff and looking more at the number of jumps rather then the price.  Step away from the computer, get a cup of coffee and then look at the market orders again.
Don't just click buy and then OK on the, "warning, don't be dumb and spend your money on this, it's ridiculously overpirced", warning box that comes up.
If you do, well, you got yourself one high cost module.

Live and learn, I certainly hope the person who received the money will spend it more wisely than me.
And if anyone wants to buy a warp disruptor, I'll sell you one for a discounted 700 mill.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cloaky Campers, Risk vs Reward.

I've read a lot about cloaky campers on forums, in chats etc, the consensus is that it's all whining, HTFU and all that good stuff.  I really would like this to NOT come across as whining and shall try to present it in a more rational/constructive manner. 
The truth of it is that I don't really mind it at all on one level, it's a necessary evil in 0.0 and an effective means of area denial, while I do have huge problems with it on another level.  I shall endeavor to present my argument as such.

Cloaky campers is something I've not experienced at all until now, seeing as I've only recently moved to Providence, I've heard and read about them, but it's all been second hand experience.
While it should be said that cloaky campers are somewhat of an oxymoron in Providence, NRDS, neuts and all, we do have red campers, and I've made their acquaintance recently.

I pretty much divide my time between the Fleet staging system and a "home pocket" for making money, whenever I'm not at the staging system shopping or waiting on a fleet, I'm in the pocket chatting and making money.  Recently some people started sitting in most of the pocket systems, effectively denying access to the belts and anoms for the residents.  The concept is simple, make yourself visible in local and the residents won't undock for fear of what you might do to them, cloak you're ship so no one and scan you out and you're good to go.
In Providence this is not really a problem seeing as all of Providence is open to everyone, no restricted systems etc.  I also mentioned how cloaky campers are somewhat of an oxymoron in Providence, considering that you will quite often operate with several neuts in local.

I can see how this starts becoming more of an issue in space that's restricted.  You and your corporation has access to a handful of systems, the availability of upgraded systems is limited or something similar, one camper can effectively shut down your income.  You will either stay docked or take the risk of undocking and hoping that he won't drop you or something of the likes.
Nullsec is supposed to be risky, but for the most part it's quite safe to operate in isolated systems, due to the availability of intell and backup a large part of the risk can be negated.  This is why I don't really have a problem with the cloaky campers, they introduce a level of risk and inconvenience one should learn to live with in nullsec. 

The problem I have with the campers is that this level of risk does NOT go both ways.
The camper shares none of the risk of his victims, he/she is completely safe in their cloaked ship and runs absolutely no risk of harm or injury while shutting down an entire system of people.  In my opinion, damage on that level should carry with it a level of risk proportional to the damage you do.  You disrupt a system full of people, you should at least be at risk of loosing your ship, not be completely untouchable as it is now.
I look at the map, find a few upgraded systems within reasonable range of each other, stick a cloaked alt in these and I've forced a lot of people to move or stay docked.  I've either created alot of inconvenience or a lot of risk for a sizable crowd of people and I'm not at risk at all.

The second problem is that you can do all of the above with absolutely zero effort.  You get to the system in a cloaky ship, which isn't all that hard and then you log in after DT, cloak up and walk away.  You're now sitting there for 23 hours, cloaked, disrupting activity in that system for zero effort and zero risk.

CCP has stated that they want to change the current state of 0.0 sov over to something else.  One of the models they've suggested is an occupancy based sov mechanic, where you basically have to use the space to own it.  Now, I don't know how the mechanics of this is going to work at all, so I'm just speculating now, but if you have to use the space to own it, the cloaky camper has the potential of disrupting sov all by himself.  I assume that it's not gonna be that easy, there must be some other mechanics involved to counter that possibility, otherwise you're actally ruining sov for zero effort and risk.  I find it completely unacceptable under those circumstances that you have no way of pinning down and killing the camper due to cloaking mechanics.

Anyways, that was just my observations on the matter, I've no real solution to the problem considering how cloaks work under the current mechanics.  I support the fact that a camper introduces risk and inconvenience into a system that is otherwise very safe if you're even semi conscious.
I just feel that the proportions of risk and effort are very much off between the two parties.

Conflicting opinions and arguments are more than welcome.

Fly hard, Amarr Victor.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Phoebe, So Far.

No more force projection, at least not like it used to be.

I'll preface this with saying I've really no idea of how it used to be either, so take this with a pinch of salt.
As I'm sure everyone is aware, Phoebe, with it's dreaded jump change has now dropped on TQ and it seems as though some love it and some hate it.  Jump drives have been nerfed into the dirt with reduced jump range, they've added the fatigue timer on every jump and deathcloning is gone.

I don't own a capital, so the only real impact this has on me is in relation to jump bridges.  I've only recently moved into 0.0, and have enjoyed the jump bridges immensely in that time, but now the usage of them is somewhat restricted.
The day Phoebe dropped I grabbed an interceptor and headed through the closest bridge, just to check it out, roughly 1 hour fatigue timer from one jump.
Now, I can live with this, it means JB's are no longer a convenience and more of a strategic asset.  I won't be using them for easy, convenient travel anymore, but rather for high value transport and safer routes.
The fact that interceptors are nullified and turns on a dime these days, A - B travel is not really that hard, say from home base to staging system, slightly more of a hassle, but no more than that.

The redeeming factor so far is that they held back on the "industrial" ship nerf, any ship classified as such enjoys a 90% reduction in distance traveled, so the same jump in my Blockade Runner resulted in a 15 minute fatigue timer.  This makes travel in Blockade Runners and Transport Ships more feasible for bringing cargo to trade hubs etc.  Blockade Runners in themselves would make excellent travel ships, rather safe with the align time and cloak, all though somewhat expensive at around 170 mill and up.

I've been looking at other alternatives as well, something like a "poor mans" Blockade Runner and the Wreathe fits the bill nicely.  It's fast, cheap and gets down towards 3 sec of align time with decent skills and some Inertia Stabs in the lows.  Yeah, it gets caught, you're dead, but it's not like it's gonna break the bank.
Caution is advised if you're hauling high value stuff in it, but that's what Blockade Runners and Deep Space Transports are for anyways, and as a taxi it should be pretty ok.

On to some other stuff from Phoebe, bookmark changes and multisell.

Bookmark changes are awesome, hotkey for quick access, visible in space, it can't really get any better.
Making BM's, tacs, bounces and pings are fast and easy compared to pre patch and you can quickly find them via the compass and overlay.  It also takes some of the guessing out of it when the FC asks if anyone has a ping close to that annoying inty above the gate.

Multisell has also proven to be a lot quicker then the old one, all though it seemed weird the first times, I quickly got used to it.  There is a lot less clicking needed to sell things and less clicks are always good.

That pretty much sums up my immediate impressions of Phoebe, overall a very good patch in my opinion, the fatigue is a hassle in many cases, but nothing one can't adapt to.

Providence is still proving to be very kind to me, I'm loving every minute of it and I haven't even managed to die yet, even though I have actually been joining some PvP fleets.
Provi Block is currently in the process of retaking sov in D-GTMI after settling on a very favourable peace treaty with the HERO Coalition and eagerly awaiting the changes coming with Phoebe.
I've been running in some Cruiser defence fleets chasing bad people away from hitting a few towers in a Providence high sec border system and I even got to fly a Zealot around a bit.  I'll get back to my unhealthy obsession with Omen hulls at a later date.

Fly hard, Amarr Victor.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Harpies in Fountain.

I'm approaching three weeks in null sec space, two of which have been with Corp 54 and CVA, and I'm still alive, still flying and can't remember last time EVE felt this good.
Life in New Eden has in many ways turned both harder and easier then ever before, null sec space does provide a set of unique challenges that a former high sec resident might not be used to.  Something as simple as going to fetch some ammo might suddenly become a very interesting trip, whereas the intell networks does actually provide a level of security one is not used to in highsec.

I did actually go on a trip for some ammo, there was nothing of the type I needed for my ratting ship in the pocket around my home base, and so I was forced to run an industrial ship several jumps through null sec.  Now that did wonders for my blood pressure.  There are fortunately these handy things called Jump Bridges installed at convenient locations and they will shave off several unwanted jumps on your trip.
The ammo run turned out all right by the way.

I've set certain rules for myself that I will follow in order to make my null sec life as painless as possible.
I won't fly bling stuff that I can't stand to loose, not that I've done much of it in the past, but definitely not now and here.
I realize that I will have to move stuff, assets, minerals, products etc. around null sec, I also realize at some point that I will loose a haul of something like that, therefore I won't load a transport with more that I can stand to loose.
I will try to have a backup ship for every main money making ship I use, so backup miner, backup ratter etc.
The possibility of loosing a ratting/mining ship is just to large to ignore and I'd hate to be stranded without something.
 Basically it comes down to common sense and not putting all your eggs in one basket.

While null sec is far more dangerous than high sec in many ways, I have the impression that it's a lot safer in general.  The intell channels keep you up to date on the movements of nearly every red/neut in the entire region, probably aided by the population density of Providence.  There aren't many empty systems in Providence, so reds/neuts are usually tracked in pretty much realtime, allowing you to keep close tabs on anything moving around close to you.  Compared to high sec this new level of intell and information does make you feel alot safer, could be a very false sense of security I guess, but by keeping an eye on the proper channels I've avoided many unpleasant encounters already.

Ok, enough of the day to day stuff.  This weekend, I've been PvP'ing, yes, so what, no big deal.  Well, considering my previous PvP experience was a few high sec wardecs and some ill fated trips to low, it was kind of a big deal for me.
Being in a null sec fleet was an entirely new experience in EVE and one that certainly gave me an appetite for more.
The fleet was advertised as a fast Harpy fleet, but seeing as I had no Harpy available at that moment, I instead jumped into an Executioner and headed out to catch up with the fleet.  We headed into a wormhole leading into Fountain and started looking for a fight.
I apologize for not having any sort of detailed account here, I'm still rather new to this whole thing and was mostly focused on following orders and not making mistakes, the kills themselves quickly vanished in a blur of activity.  Suffice to say, we killed alot of ships belonging to Fatal Ascension.
The main enemy fleet we ran into seemed to be mostly made up of FA pilots with some other CFC entities mixed in, they were flying a similar Harpy fleet to us, but we managed to kill most of their tackle and logistics and picked off damage dealers after that during an orderly withdrawal to the wormhole we came from.
I eventually got killed while venturing to close to the enemy fleet on a gate engagement, managed to warp off and self destructed my pod seeing as the enemy was between me and my way home at that point.

The evening was not over however, so upon waking up back in Providence I headed back to F-Y for another Executioner just in time to head out again.  This time it was the people still online from the Fountain fleet, in more of a "kitchen sink" setup, heading into Catch for targets of opportunity.
We found several, amongst them a T4 Loki class Strategic Cruiser, probably the shiniest thing I've ever killed.

During the course of one night, I saw more action than I've seen so far in my entire EVE career, there are actual killmails on my board and I had an unbelievable amount of fun.
So far, heading to Providence is without a doubt the best move I've done in EVE.

Fly hard, Amarr Victor.