23 April 2014

Fleet Finder Update

One of the popular tactics for tracking potential targets in wormholes is the in-game watchlist. This lets you know when someone logs on or off. With the absence of local this can be invaluable if you want to know if someone just logged off in your home system, a pilot you are waiting to jump on has decided better of coming back past you, or if a hostile logs in when you are running sites in someone else's hole.

The problem doing this comes if you are running a fleet. As the fleet boss, each time you add or remove a contact a popup appears asking if you want to enter a new advert for your fleet. The answer is almost always 'Yes'. Adding or removing a single contact isn't so bad. I can cope with clicking the yes button once. Last night I added around 8 different pilots as they were using our home system as a route to K-space. Each time we saw a new pilot I had to add him, set standings, then click that damn 'yes' button again. It got old very quickly.

Can you see my solution in this screenshot? It's a very minor change in the bottom left of the the dialogue window. Please, please, please CCP, will you let me tell the client I always want to re-advertise my fleet. The number of times I click 'Yes' outweighs the number of time I click 'No' probably 20/1. The few times I click 'No' don't matter as I'm generally shutting the fleet down anyway. Thus, I would love this tick-box to appear. You can do this for the summer expansion, right?

20 April 2014

A Kill For Breakfast

The background to this post
Being slightly crazy, I am up at 07:00 to watch the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix. Being awake means my computer is switched on and I'm logged into the alliance jabber server. It isn't long (25 minutes and 10 seconds to be exact) before someone notices I'm there and asks me to take care of some administrivia. For once this particular administrivia requires logging into the EVE client which is probably not a good thing half an hour before the lights go off and the race starts. Tiny bit of work done for my alliance buddy so I settle down to watch the Grand Prix. Being at my computer I decide to continue the admin trend by going through my old emails and filing them appropriately, mostly in 'Trash'. I finish clearing out several pages of old mails then decide to clear out our old intel and start scanning. There is only one new sig to scan down - our static.

I can't just scan down the wormhole without jumping through to take a look at our new neighbour. Class 3 wormholes always have a static in K-space and this one leads to nullsec. Not my idea of an ideal hole to live in and many people must feel the same as C3 holes with a static null are often empty. With this in mind it doesn't surprise me that there are no online POSs showing on d-scan. With three planets over 14 AU away I warp to each of those in turn to make sure nobody lives here. On the final planet I discover an online POS, but more importantly I see drones, two Dominix and an Armageddon, and (the final tell-tale sign) wrecks on d-scan. Someone is running sites. Almost on cue one of the anoms disappears from my scanner interface to confirm this.

I warp to a safe spot within d-scan range of the remaining two anoms bookmarking both while in warp so I can be sure to find their locations later. I work out which site the ships are now in then sit watching d-scan while the sleeper wreck count creeps up. I count 11 wrecks then warp in to get a bookmark on their Mobile Tractor Unit. I'm slightly surprised to find the battleships still in site with two more sleepers to shoot. Maybe I miscounted, but anyway I bookmark the MTU and beat a hasty retreat before I get decloaked by one of the Sleepers who are worryingly close. I get myself to a nice distance where I can warp down onto the MTU while watching the battleships run the final site on d-scan.

Surprises in EVE are rarely pleasant
It's now a matter of playing the waiting game while watching the post-race interviews. I can see the battleships running the other site without an MTU gathering the wrecks. An age passes while waiting for the battleships to leave the final site and then for their salvager to reappear on d-scan. He isn't in my site though. A narrow d-scan shows him in the other site first. I contemplate warping there but I decide I should just wait here where I'm all set up. This should mean I get more loot in my killmail. At some point between d-scans the Noctis turns into another MTU. Confusingly the Noctis has warped somewhere other than my site leaving me puzzled. I start to worry if he has some plan involving downtime keeping him safe from ganking before deciding that is just silly. Finally d-scan and then the overview show a Noctis exactly where I expect it to be. I warp to the MTU, decloaking while in warp and activating all my modules. I land a mere 4km from the Noctis, point him and give a hefty bump just to make sure he's not going anywhere. He explodes and his pod flees the scene.

I scoop the loot, shoot the wreck, then retreat to my safe spot. Triumphantly I link my killmail in the Alliance channel only to receive a mouthful of sarcastic abuse for ruining the game for the poor innocent site runners. I then link a second killmail for the MTU in the other site and a corpmate pipes up that he's online and would I like a Noctis to come salvage the two dozen wrecks? Well, this sounds like a really dumb idea but given the chance to rub salt into the killmail wounds we do it anyway. Not a hint of any of the residents is seen until we warp back to the hole home with all our ill-gotten gains. There on our wormhole home is a Prorator who appears to have just launched a large warp bubble. He cloaks up and we decide to leave him be. Too late, mate, and thanks for the loot. Funnest 100 million ISK I made for a while.

16 April 2014

Vote now for CSM 9

Have you voted for the people you would like to participate on the 9th Council of Stellar Management (CSM)? If you haven't, why not? There is less than a week to register your preferred candidates so go do it now. I consider voting a personal thing so I won't tell you who to vote for. If you are totally stuck you could do worse than checking out Jester's recommendation list and basing your choices from there.

I frequently see a lot of shit-posting about how the CSM do nothing for us. This generally comes from people who have very short memories, or people who consider the CSM is doing nothing because their particular area of the game isn't the one CCP are actively focussing on Right Now™. To those people I would ask you to consider the few crazy ideas CCP mull in public which we see the CSM actively address then consider how many other ideas are put to death long before we would see them.

The very nature of the CSM operating under NDA makes it difficult to appreciate what does and doesn't happen there. I am confident that if CCP thought the CSM did nothing useful they would stop flying the CSM members to Iceland for meetings and the whole CSM concept would go away.

14 April 2014

Alternative Fanfest Meetup - 2014

Unfortunately I will not be going to Fanfest this year. Last year I was lucky enough to go on a stag-do and wedding in Boston, shortly followed by Fanfest. Both trips were without my wife or kids. Understandably I am dedicating most, if not all of my vacation days to doing stuff with my family this year. Also, after two very wintry locations last year I want somewhere with warm sunshine and a relaxing pool!

I don't want to entirely do away the essence of fanfest this year so have organised a gathering in Edinburgh on Saturday the 3rd of May from around 18:30. I'm aiming for at least twenty others who can't make it to Iceland to stage our own mini-fanfest party. CCP have even promised some swag for me to give away (which I'll believe when it drops through my door).
What's not to like behind that bar?


What: EVE Gathering
When: 18:30, May 3rd, 2014
Where: Lebowskis, Edinburgh, Scotland (website link)

If you do plan to come please reply to my EVE forum post which should convince other people who are not sure to also come. Hope to see you there.

13 April 2014

Drunk Roam

Friday night led to a happy coincidence. A decent number of EU pilots all appeared online at the same time, each with a clear case of being a little drunk. Our constellation was well scanned and nothing interesting was presenting itself anywhere. Nobody appeared online in any of the plethora of holes that had been scanned. Our static had very few sites to run but even if it had nobody particularly wanted to shoot red crosses. Someone, possibly me, asked how lowsec looked. The reply came that it was dead with not a soul in local. Just then another EU pilot logged in, one who knew how to hunt in lowsec. He was appraised of the situation, thought for a moment, and then said "right, it's a crap lowsec but let's go see what we can find".

With everyone in a mix of Brutix, Vexors and the obligatory Drake we were ready to go. Then one pilot arrived in a Mammoth. "Well, that answers the question as to who will be bait". As we made the two short jumps to lowsec our FC read out the rules: "Every time we jump a gate, take a drink. Every time you dock, take a drink Everytime you...". We quickly got the picture and everyone started adding rules. I added a rule of "everytime you add a rule you take a drink". By the time we stopped adding rules I think the only thing you didn't take a drink for was breathing.
Waiting for a fight

Our quiet lowsec was indeed quiet so we headed off in some direction to see what our Mammoth could fish up. It only took two or three jumps before Rhianna in the Mammoth announced ships on a gate. Two of them warped off leaving only a Vigilant there when the Mammoth shed its session change cloak. The Vigilant pilot couldn't pass up the chance of an easy kill on the industrial ship and was probably a little surprised when he was tackled by it. The rest of us quickly jumped through, gained extra tackle, webs, and started shooting. The Vigilant went down rather fast under gate guns, three battlecruisers and my Vexor. It would have died a little faster if I'd remembered about my drones.

Unfortunately the FC didn't get on the kill due to some problem with docking at a station resulting in the people outside the station killing him. Unsurprisingly, we also lost the Mammoth. The two pilots reshipped but the rest of the evening was fairly quiet. We tried to get some locals to engage us at various places in one system. Rather than come fight they undocked an Archon for a bit then put it away again. Really? Obviously they were too scared of losing their ships to come fight us. Well oiled and satisfied with our single kill we went home.

11 April 2014

Homage to a 'Moe'

Made by an alliance mate:

I was there at the taking of Moe. I couldn't be there to defend her (him?). No words....


9 April 2014

Featured Fansite Honour

I was wondering what the spike in my blog stats were about until someone pointed out that a link on the launcher was for this humble blog. I welcome all you arriving here from the launcher and I hope a lot of you stick around to read the old posts here and await the trickle of new adventures and random thoughts yet to come. If any of you are interested in trying out wormhole life I'm just about to start a new recruitment drive so get in early and drop me an evemail or convo me and we can see what we can do.

For Posterity
For any of you in Scotland I'm also arranging a 'Party a little down from the top of the world' in Edinburgh on the 3rd of May. This is for us unlucky people who are not able to make it to Fanfest this year. I'll post more here about that soon.