29 October 2012

What to do with Geo?

It has been a while since I last mentioned the toon I created specifically for PvP. My intention with Geo was to have someone I could jump to when W-space was quiet and/or I just wanted to shoot someone in the face. To be fair, my time as CEO is taken up a lot with various administrivia and actually shooting at sleepers. This generally doesn't leave much time for playing with Geo, but it does happen.

I've taken Geo on a couple of RvB Ganked roams and had great fun. If you want to experience flying in a relaxed atmosphere and landing on gates as a giant ball of purple death then you should try it. No matter what the theme is, make sure you fit your ship to lock fast otherwise you'll miss out on most kills. Even with that in mind I've still managed to get on 4.7 Billion ISK worth of destruction and, more imporantly, I've had a blast doing it. Shame I can't get out on those roams more often. I particularly enjoy that nothing is expected of me. Nobody even cares if I screw up and die early.

I tried doing some solo PvP but I don't seem to have the killer instinct to get involved with that. I think it has a lot to do with not really knowing what my ship is actually capable of, but there is also a lack of the social aspect to it. Flying around solo looking for people to explode doesn't feel like my style, I'd rather have someone there to discuss what to do and where to go. When I do go out on my own I just seem to fly around lowsec and not see anyone. Maybe this is something I'll shake with some combat experience, or maybe solo just isn't for me. Time will tell on that front.

I think what I need to do is find a casual PvP styled corp. I'm not in it for some nullsec powerplay, I just want to fly around in a group who have an idea what they are doing and shoot at people. While the Ganked roams are fun I think fleets of 150+ would get boring if that was all I did with Geo. At the same time, I don't feel like I would be any good in a fleet of only two or three. I guess I need to start trawling though the recruitment forums.

My plan right now is to polish up some more skills for flying Stealth Bombers and see if I can hang out with the Bombers Bar folks. Beyond that, who knows. Sometimes it's good to just be a grunt and fly 'somewhere' to shoot 'something'.

22 October 2012

Too Many Sites

It had been quite a while since I last did any major site running in our wormhole. Others had also been lazy at cleaning our sigs and as a result we had nine sites available. Whilst I like keeping a couple of sites around, having nine is a bit ridiculous. Another corp mate also decided this and put out a call for everyone to get online and we would clear our the nasty sigs in record time.

Unfortunately the organiser had to pull out of hosting this sig-busting event (something about very good painkillers) so I stepped in to ensure a fun night would be had. I logged in to find our nine sites had become ten. I also found almost nobody else had logged in. Maybe the notice was too short, maybe they all have so much ISK they don't need to murder sleepers. Whatever the reason we were only running with three people. Guess it would be only one site at a time then.

As much as I dislike FCing site running I took the lead whilst keeping my alt on wormhole guard and combat probe duty to ensure our safety. I also had wine, which helped. We ploughed through the first site and were moving onto a second when another corp mate logged on to find themselves directed at the nearest Noctis. Great, at least we don't have to pause to salvage.

After getting through six sites with the Noctis pilot swapping between salvaging and shooting one of our number had to call it a night (again, more top-notch painkillers). Now we were three but I was on a mission to kill each and every sleeper infesting our home. The seventh and eighth sites were fine but I would be lying if I said I enjoyed running the final two. It was a relief to see them die and get salvaged.

I headed off for a sleep at 3am knowing I would only get five hours sleep at best. My wallet was padded by over 300 Million ISK but I really didn't care. Ten sites is at least four too many.

17 October 2012


A friend reminded me today that your actions in EVE can have consequences. This is one of the main principles of the game, but it's sometimes possible to forget this. It was two entries side-by-side on our killboard which highlighted this for me today.

The kills above occurred from the bottom up and neither exchange cost any real ISK. What happened was my corp mate was lazily autopilotting through hisec in his pod. Randomly, in Hatakani, capsuleer Villq decided to pop mimori's pod with a Thrasher. A quick look at Villq on eve-kill suggests he's set himself a goal this week of killing pods as a change from the haulers that he normally targets.

So, mimori died a painless and cheap death to Villq's Thrasher. Not being happy at this turn of events, mimori returned to Hatakani in a Cynabal to exercise his kill rights. It took three hours before Villq undocked again. I don't know if Villq knew mimori was there or not, but he very quickly found out.

I think Villq's 'business model' may be about to go out of fashion real soon. This was just a little taste for him of what happens when someone decided to exercise their kill rights. This should change with Retribution as people are more likely to sell their rights and others will definitely buy them for hisec lolz.

11 October 2012

EVE 2.0

Just a quick post. Have you seen the new planned UI for Retribution? It looks like CCP have taken some tips from the 'Web 2.0' crowd and decided rounded corners are a good thing. Of course, being CCP they've taken the concept to the max and completely removed the sides.

Can't say I'd expect to gain a positive lock like this for long

Reading through the devblog there are more changes than just rounding of the targetting reticule. The yellow and red boxes will also become circles although I don't expect in-game terminology to change from getting "red boxed". Also there will be representative visual indicator of who is actually shooting at you and how much damage they are delivering. I personally think this has the potential to be a much better system than the current boxes of text telling you who did what that disappear too fast to read. Actually anything is better than giving someone two lines of text to read for each hit they take.

Finally, the targetting reticule is going to subtly change when you get into targeting range of a ship. This should mean less ignoring the pretty spaceships in favour of the overview panel when in combat. Personally I would prefer if this reticule changed when a particular module was within range. Drifting out of lock range is not as common as moving beyond the optimal and/or drop off limits of your guns or missiles. For that you'll still need to be glued to the overview.

A Weekend Deployment

I was all set for a relaxing weekend. I had prepared a couple of cruisers for the 40th RvB Ganked roam on the Saturday and I had no other fixed plans. For anyone who hasn't been on a Ganked roam, you should go on one. Just remember that you will not be taking your ship or clone back in one piece. Something has gone very, very wrong if you don't wake up in a new clone with a message from the insurers of your former ship. But I digress.

We had been aware for a while of a visitor in the class 2 wormhole system which houses our academy. He had been seen on d-scan and had been chatting in local. I'm not sure if he actually tried to blow anyone up. If he did try he definitely didn't succeed. At some point he decided to blow up a couple of warp bubbles my corp had left there when we handed the wormhole over the Corp that now runs the academy. Being a little bored I decided to have some fun. I sent the visitor a bill for 30 Million ISK and requested a written apology for the inconvenience.

Sadly his response was neither imaginative nor particularly polite. My reply pointed that out to him and I was delighted to receive a response he attributed to a corp mate:

In my travels through wormhole system J######, I found my ship battered and encumbered by multiple warp disruption bubbles belonging to your corporation. During that time, my travel was detrimentally effected. I lost valuable time (which is ISK). During my harrowing navigation, my ship suffered multiple scratches and dents, both when I ran into your warp disruption bubbles as well as when I was hit by pieces of debris when I disposed of them. I expect compensation for my time and damages to the tune of 30,000,000.01 ISK. Please remit payment ASAP to avoid further loss of your corporation assets and additional monetary damages of time and maintenance. Furthermore, I expect a written public apology on the EVE Gate forums for your negligence and oversight. Please also refrain from leaving your shit all over space for people to have to work around.

Now that was more like what I was hoping for. For his part I tried to sent the 0.01 ISK balance between what I requested and what he wanted for his ship. Sadly the EVE client will allow 0.10 ISK as the minimum so I chose 1.01 and a suitable reply. I also figured I might as well ask why he was hanging around the academy. If it was for easy kills he was going to be a bit disappointed as those guys are pretty savage against single targets. His reply was slightly unexpected as he told me his alliance was invading the C2. Ooo, change of weekend plans then.

After our success at forming a local defence against nothing it was good to now be testing how successful we were as an alliance at deploying from our local wormholes and meeting up in the academy. At least with a static lowsec wormhole it would be easy to get to the destination, but with the other corps living in class four systems there was going to be luck at play for good routes to K-space.

Plans and fleet compositions were drawn up by people with more knowledge than me. Money was deposited in a kitty in case anyone was short of ISK to buy what was asked of them. Come Thursday I scanned a very nice route out of our home system. Very nice apart from the 32 jumps to Jita. I then went shopping and bought the ships I was planning to take. I do like wilful shopping sprees that aren't just the result of a ship loss.

Come Friday I had the ships hauled up to a staging point near the appropriate lowsec system and flew my gaggle of ships into the C2. It was a bit like going home. That system is where I started my wormhole career over a year ago. It gave me a fuzzy feeling inside to go back. I even still had my 'safe' bookmarks. During this time we became aware that our visitor and one of his alts had left the C2. Watchlist triggered d-scans also meant we suspected the other alts had also left as we didn't see any ships appear when he logged off. Had our visitor gone? Sadly we received confirmation of this when we announced some other corp activity meant there would be no action for us. Not being particularly trusting we decided to maintain watch anyway just in case.

At some point after several beers and boredom I decided to wander off in a bomber to Tama with a slightly inebriated Emergent Patroller. This had the expected result of us losing both our ships to pirates. I'm fairly certain that would probably have happened if the beers hadn't been flowing given the expectation of tonight had been to lose ships or die trying. It just wasn't meant to be in the pirate bolt-hole of Tama.

For all the weekend didn't provide in combat activities, it did give us good practice at a defensive deployment to another wormhole system in our alliance. I found the planning and execution of this good fun as well. Rather than just logging in to hope there were people or sleepers to shoot we had a proper mission to execute. Great stuff.

Now if only CCP could find some way to make NPC missions involved and meaningful like that.

9 October 2012

Golden PLEX

Oh wow, how did PLEX prices get so crazy? Could it be some combination of resculpting faces for PLEX combined with bidding an uncertain number of PLEXs to enter a tournament? I have no idea if this is actually the reason but it seems plausible enough. Certainly the prices are high enough for me to decide not to PLEX one of my accounts this month.

When I first started playing EVE I made a rule to myself that I wasn't going to buy PLEX to turn into ISK. That would be too easy and ruin some of the challenge of building myself up. It didn't take too long before inexperience and foolishness lead me to be a bit short of ISK. Don't fly what you can't afford to lose, especially to a lowsec mission or during a wardec. As a result I decided to buy a GTC, turn it into two PLEX and sell one while using the other to keep my account running. I did this two months in a row and had more ISK that I knew what to do with. Each PLEX sold for a little over 300 Million ISK.

As a result I was able to continue running L3 missions without worrying too much about a ship loss. To fulfil my previous desire to not buy ISK I bought two PLEX some time later when I was flush for ISK and applied them to my account. It was a loan with a really high interest rate. By the time I paid it back PLEX were up to 350 Million ISK.

Today a corpmate told me PLEX have broken 600 Million. That's one hell of an increase from the prices I had paid. My memories are from mid to late 2010. Amusingly I can also remember Orca prices from back then as my corp bought one just after I joined and I helped scout it home. It cost 350 Mil. (As a random point of interest, today Orcas are just under 700 Mil. - Orcas and PLEX seem to be inflating together).

Part of my original plans to not sell PLEX for ISK was also to not turn ISK into PLEX. I have a Monday to Friday job and I didn't want to turn EVE into another job. Some people I've met are constantly working to earn their next PLEX to play for another month (to earn another PLEX, ad nauseum). In contrast to those plans, around the start of this year I decided to create another account with a pure PvP character on it. I would only keep that account running as long as I could afford to buy a PLEX for it. While I am still able to fulfil that decision, I'm not sure I'm willing to pay 615 Million ISK for a PLEX. I'm going to go back on that decision and use real money to run that account. At least until PLEX prices drop back to 500 Mil. Then I can refund my gametime in a perfect mirror of the initial loan scenario.

Prices are going to drop back aren't they?

1 October 2012

Scratch One Tengu

Ah well, it was almost inevitable what was going to happen this weekend. For the last few days I had been feeling a bloodlust not particularly common for me. Maybe it was a result of how quiet wormhole life has been, fake encounters notwithstanding, but I really just wanted to make someone explode.

Friday night I undocked in the hope of making said explosion happen. We had pilots out exploring and mapping our entire constellation of about six or seven wormhole systems. In our c2b there was a lowsec exit to Aridia and a Viator floating in the POS. I sat quite happily for over an hour watching the Viator, willing him to make a move to a POCO so I could send him on his merry way. A couple of other corp mates joined me so you would think one of us would have been on the ball to work out where he was going when he finally made a move. Unfortunately, the time sitting doing nothing dulled our reactions and we had to scatter to find him. "He's on the lowsec, I've got him pointed" someone called but he jumped through and away. Will he be stupid enough to come back? We sat waiting for half an hour until receiving a notification that the potential target had logged off. Damnit.

Someone now scanned a new K162 in our home system. Jumping through we had a C5a to go with our normal C4a static. A pilot floated in the POS in a Moa suggesting to me that he might be planning on sucking up some gas. He didn't warp off so I took the risk that he was otherwise distracted and scanned down two ladars in the system. Unfortunately he either saw me or decided to do something other than suck gas and logged off. Gah!

By now my corpmates were starting to bunk down for the night but I was still hopeful and jumped out into the lowsec of Aridia to see what was out there. Suffice to say I finished my evening jumping around a ring of five systems popping rats as I went. I was delighted to raise my sec rating from almost 4.1 to just over 4.1. Yeah, right...

Saturday had me looking for a route out of our home system to meet up with some folk and go shoot at people in nullsec. We had a K162 with a nullsec exit in our home system that wasn't particularly useful to me and our C4a led to another C4 and that led to a C5. I paused in C4b for some scanning practice. I'm still perfecting a technique involving four deep space probes and four core probes and the twenty signatures in C4b seemed perfect. It took about 45 minutes due to distractions before I had neatly catalogued all the sigs then I took a break.

Coming back I decided to peek into C5c. When I first connected to the corp and alliance channels there was some chatter about the Wormhole Engineers and I assumed they were in here. Being a fan of Tigerears' blog I decided taking a look was worth the risk of those elite wormhole PvPers. I jumped through the wormhole and "oh crap, grey boxes and a bubble". I held cloak for a short time while I formulated a plan of escape. I assumed I was dead but that wasn't going to stop me trying to get out in once piece. Jumping back to C4b I immediately broke the session cloak and activated my covops cloak while spamming the warp button to a random planet. The wormhole gods didn't smile at me as the attacking forces landed right on top of me forcing my cloak back off. I continued to align and spam warp while assessing what was there and what was preventing my escape. I first targeted a Hurricane before noticing the Ishkur and switching to it. Four separate points on me meant I was dead I just wanted to take someone with me.

Overheating everything and trying to burn away was futile but I tried anyway. With four people preventing my warp engines from engaging this was going to be very messy, plus there was a Onyx in the field so I didn't expect to get my pod out neither. I was slowly eating through the Ishkur's armour but HAMs aren't designed for frigates. It was simply a matter of spamming the warp button while waiting to die. For some reason I was allowed to leave with my pod. I left a 'ta' as thanks in local because my brain couldn't compute 'gf' and then I started to wonder why I didn't eject to save some skill points. D'oh!

At least I got my wish to shoot at someone. Me exploding wasn't exactly the plan though.