Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Conditions of Victory

So, today the pilots of Per Ardua Ad Sol scored a mighty victory, assisted by none other than yours truly.

Now admittedly, there's no killmails to be had, but there's also no loss-mail. I guess it really depends on your definition of 'a mighty victory'... You decide.

Today a wormhole opened into Our Slice of Heaven from a suddenly neighbouring class 4+ wormhole. (I didn't stop to check the readings on the other side, but the wormhole indicated at least a C4). Within that wormhole was a branch of the Shadow of xXDEATHXx alliance. They decided to pop in and start running some of our sites.

Understandably I was a little intrigued to see 7 Moa's and a Bestower on my directional scanner when I logged in, and perhaps just the slightest bit amused when dropping combat probes cleared the system in about 25 seconds flat. Give the boys over there in xXDEATHXx credit, they were paying attention and they scrambled their butts out of there when the free gas harvesting time was over.

So while I looted their wrecks, others of the corp scanned the system down properly, identified their entrance and planted a scout.

Not really feeling like doing much, I AFKed for some time and came back to check on things a few hours later.

Seems xXDEATHXx had gotten bored sitting in their own system, and decided to come over and do a few sites.

That's all well and good, but I really wanted to run some of those sites in the next day or so...

What to do, what to do.

So that was when I decided on setting the Conditions of Victory. Against a group of remote-repping (with drones) Drakes and with relatively minimal numbers available on my side, and the knowledge of their numbers back in THEIR wormhole, I decided to see if we couldn't convince them to keep it quick by ripping their wormhole a bit of a new one with a few battleships.

Racquel and Leilani went to work in Scorpion and Dominix respectively, but as they arrived on-gate, an Onyx appeared beside the wormhole. "Oh crap" was pretty much the sentiment all around.

Ducking through, the Shadows converged from all over the wormhole, eventually sporting a fleet of 9 people on Our Slice of Heaven's side of the wormhole, including the Onyx. One drake dropped through and managed to decloak Leilani and she was forced to jump back through. As we're anticipating a HICtor bubble and much pain, Leilani ramped up the warp drive, and to our surprise, noted the Onyx had jumped through!

Racquel quickly scrambled to jump back through to our side, even as Leilani evaded tackles and warped out from under the 8-man gang of battlecruisers (one of them MIGHT have been an Anathema instead, reports vary).

Racquel then joined Leilani in attempting to warp, while the Onyx was still stuck on the "Thirty Second Timer of Doom" that we all know and love. She too managed to slip the tackles on her and warp off to the safety of our POS.

With the damage done, the wormhole starting to look a little ragged, I sat patiently on the wormhole and watched from cloaked safety as they milled about... As they warped back to their own space... As they came back with cloaker ships (sorry, homefield advantage wins in the intelligence business) and left again, and as they finally decided they wanted to play with someone else and popped the wormhole with a few visits of an Armageddon.

So, my Conditions of Victory were met, and the 4 of us that took the time to work on it effectively drove off at least a 9 man fleet.

Oh, and I got to go loot our combat site and salvage their wrecks. Only about 40 million ISK worth of profit, but hey, at least I didn't have to waste any missiles on it. ;)

Fly Straight! Even you Shadow boys! You were organized and you rallied FAST to every change of situation, it was impressive to see you in action, but I'm glad it turned out how it did.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Making The Game: Billing

I know, what a boring topic... Only one with potential, I think...

I'm not entirely sure why this topic came to me as I was sitting down at the breakfast table to study the scriptures. (Yes, I'm religious.) But I put it on the mental backburner to write about during the day today, and the more I think about it, the more this seems like an important tool that is missing in EVE.

Sure, we can enter into hand-written contracts, kept track of in an Excel sheet somewhere on our desktops back in meatspace, and try and remember to double-check our corporation finances tabs on a regular basis to see who has paid their monthly dues, whether that is as a renter, or for 'protection' from pirates, or whatever. But would it really be that hard to build it in?

Imagine the possibilities if not only could you create contractual bills, where individuals required to pay their bill would get reminders in the notifications tab just like when they need to pay for an NPC controlled office or headquarters, but you could set up consequences?

I'll give you an example. Or two.

Ok, I'll admit, I used the S word because it gets people to read what I'm saying... *Grin* But, that aside, this really does touch on Sovereignty in an important way.

Sovereignty costs. Nowadays it costs more than it used to, and from what I understand, some folk find it harder than others to raise the capital on an alliance level to pay for all the toys they want their systems to have. But, Minuit, you ask, how can billing and consequences help us to pay for our toys? Well, I'll tell you, dear reader.

If your corporation, or alliance, is anything like mine, you get access to certain tabs of your corporate hangers based upon your skillset, the amount of trust you've earned and your needs. Well, imagine that, instead of taxing folk for their bounties/missions and hoping that none of your corp-mates earn their money through silly things like: Wormholes, Trade, Invention, Production, Mining, or any other untaxable method, why not drop that Corp-tax down to 0% and institute a corp-wide bill. Every member pays X-Million a month for the priviledge of access to Corp/Alliance resources. Anyone in arears will be visible as 'unpaid' to the corporation leadership and can be removed if they don't address the matter in a timely fashion. Suddenly, you go from 'herding cats' to get people to donate towards paying for that Jump Bridge network, to automated smoothness.

This one has a wide array of applications, from Renters to Non-Aggression Pacts to Pirate 'Protection' rackets. Put quite simply, you pay, or your standings change.

Seems straight-forward enough to me. Pay your bill on time or lose Blue status. Pay your bill on time or have your Neutral status dropped to Red. Whichever function suits you best, you really ought to pay your bill if you don't want that carefully negotiated deal to go sour all of a sudden.

In conclusion, I believe that adding in a Billing system would be a huge asset to corporation and alliance management, would provide an effective solution to Sovereignty issues of raising capital, and also provide any number of other options in true sandbox style that the players of EVE would rally around excitedly.

What do YOU think about introducing Billing?

Can YOU think of any different uses for such a system?

Fly Straight, and post comments! ;)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Loki Ahoy!

So, as my skills slowly develop, I find myself finding a handful of roles where the Loki can shine. Not necessarily 'the be all end all' of ships, but a ship that I can customize to a specific niche and perform better than other ships I could fly for that same niche. Really, that's what the Strategic Cruiser is designed for, right?!

So, today my first set of three Loki hulls were dropped in the oven back at the Caeleste Ad Media Nox. I thought that was pretty awesome, and did a bit of a happy dance... BUT... There was more good news on its way!

The night before I had stocked up the Experimental Lab with as many jobs as Katt's skills would allow, and left it to cook overnight. I delivered the jobs, and was getting discouraged as job after job returned no successful result. Finally however, one of the seven jobs we input had a successful return! It wasn't a new offensive array, nor a new propulsion, both of which I'd been kinda hopeful for. It was another 3 run Loki Blueprint!!

So, as I chortle wildly to myself and break out EFT to decide on fittings for my first three Loki (I'm still open to suggestions, folks...) I now have that pleasant realization that with the exception of about 60mil of items, I have everything on hand that I'll need to make ANOTHER 3 Loki.

With a stable of 6 Strategic Cruiser's up my sleeve, I figure I should be able to fly and learn the craft without too much fear of loss, at least until I'm half-way through the stable or so!

Fly Straight, pilots!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Getting into a bit of the action...

So I managed to make it out into a fleet today. Yay me!

I only had a bit over an hour, so when I logged into my Stiletto and was informed that the fleet had left and was just a jump away, I hurried along like a good little grunt and caught up shortly. With a fleet sizeable enough to draw complaints of "blob" from those people who weren't currently in a fleet (Aka, more than 5, but less than 1000, which I think would draw cries of 'Oh My Gosh, NODE CRASHING PARTY' as opposed to the far less complimentary 'blob',) we headed out into the great black.

I listened on comms as the scout singlehandedly chased away pretty much everyone in our path, pretty certain that the few docked up or otherwise tedious to track down individuals we had passed along our roam had already spoken up in their intel channels and cleared our path, it was looking like no action for The Dirk today.

Fortunately, some of our own intelligence (intel rocks) filtered back and we managed to charge forward en masse to drop in on a pair of unsuspecting Harbingers.

We wandered on and our scout engaged an enemy, drawing his buddies through to him as we jumped in to assist. Unfortunately, our scout met his end upon our arrival, and the buddies got away, save for the one tethered in place by The Dirk's point. Happy to be so vitally involved, I fair giggled with glee when his armor collapsed. Which in case you can't tell by the number of folks on the killmail, didn't take long.

Shortly after that, I had to log, so I warped off in a random direction and looked forward to the challenge of returning home.

Logged back in a while later, and hunched over my EVE station, eyes alert, maps at the ready. I passed through 7 systems, and only in the last 3 were there any people, and they were all blue. Disappointed, I was just coming out in the second from last system when I heard intel on someone warping my way. Curious, I waited patiently until Kirzath arrived. 188 off gate in a Claw.

I shrugged mentally, having no real idea on if my Stiletto was close to up to snuff, but figuring I could likely hang onto him long enough for SOMEONE to get him, I charged. I'm guessing he figured he could kill me before reinforcements arrived, because he did likewise.

My long-point snatched hold of him, and we made an opening pass, just a love-tap on each others shields. He took it out to distance and I overheated the MWD and brought it back in close, this time dropping the Scrambler I had fitted for such occaisions into place, along with my web, bringing his zipping rampage to a crawl. He knocked my MWD offline with his own scrambler, but for a while there our guns looked to be chewing shield at about the same rate.

Unfortunately for me, he was tidily armor tanked for such solo fights, and soon enough I was in the red. I warped my pod out safely. Fortunately, my efforts had not been in vain, and backup arrived, snatching hold of his Claw and tearing it apart.

I watched as Kirzath smacked the efforts in local with the call of 'SF' (I'm assuming this means crappy fight, from his other comments).

I went and picked up another iteration of The Dirk, and was met by the cavalry, who not only traded me back my wreckage goods, but also Kirzath's. Happy as a pig in mud, I dropped back to my home station, listened on Intel as Kirzath showed up and was blown up again, and unplugged for the night.

Hopefully, there will be more chances in the future for fun like this, until then,

Fly Straight!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Getting things back under control...

It's amazing how much stuff can pile up in a Wormhole when the most active participants in site-running take a vacation.

I'm not really complaining, mind you, I quite enjoyed the 6 Radar sites, and 4 Mag sites, that awaited our greedy little Analyzing and Codebreaking ship. But getting caught up, amidst growing 'real life' complications has proven to be a bit of a challenge. I'm currently staring at the hardly dented list of sites to run, and it's a little bit daunting, to tell the truth.

But, with plenty of fuel in the POS and bills to pay, we'll just have to suffer through the horrible burden of making a few billion running wormhole sites.

Doesn't your heart just bleed for us?


Fly Straight, from site.. to site... to site....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Blog Following - Part 2

Well, you may have noticed a bit of an absence of posting this April, but, honest, I have an excuse!!

I was out of the country. My Mum was getting married and that calls for a cross-planet journey, that takes a heck of a lot more time in meatspace than in eve-space.. Blasted real-life pods.. But never fear EVE fans, I'm back and posting, and not just to say 'durr, I were gone, n stuff, I'll stop being a slacker someday soon n stuff, ok?' because I know you all HATE that.

So it's time to give a shout to all the followers that have cropped up last month. Since My Blog Following - Part 1, I've noticed a somewhat dramatic increase in followers, but you'd have to ask this group if they were hoping for the recognition or could actually, genuinely, stomach my writing.

Kename Fin
Available over at Our Eve, Kename provides yet another look at Wormhole's from the inside. With a static High-sec, I can only imagine the horrors that come when some fool touches his static exit from the inside after entering through another hole. Have I mentioned that High-Sec exits are among my least favorite? (Second only to occupied C5 exits...)

Available over at, funnily enough, 'rantuket', I'm currently enjoying his series of posts on ECM, an area of EVE warfare that I haven't given a lot of attention to, but have always wanted to try. Mostly because it's evil, broken, wrong, and has been shoved in my face more times than I care to remember.

In other words, I follow the adage, 'if you can't beat em... steal their tricks and beat them.' *grin*

The writer of EVETASTIC!, Letarious provides an enjoyable viewpoint as a newcomer to EVE who has thrown himself into the middle of the mess, from mining to pvping to blogging, he's definitely jumping right into the mix. Good stuff, Letarious, keep the posts coming!

Welkyr doesn't provide us with a profile pic, and taught me in so doing that non-profiled followers attach to the blog from the bottom right instead of the top-left, meaning it was awful good that I'm tracking this stuff as it happens. Thanks for reading, Welkyr! If you're a blogger, drop me a line somehow to let me know where you put your thoughts onto the web and I'll shoot you a special shout-out!

Daniel Kennelly
Another profile-free wonder. Definitely drop me a line as mentioned for Welkyr.

Nashh Kadavr
I will admit to having been a bit excited to see Nashh from Nashh Kadavr's EVE Blog was now one of my followers. I've enjoyed reading his celebrity death-match reports since he got added to the Blog Pack, and I'm looking forward to reading more of his shenanigans!

KelvinW regretfully doesn't have any profile set up. Speak up, Kelvin, and like Welk and Dan, thanks for reading!

I'll admit, by this point I was starting to wonder if these new followers were really EVE players at all, or just happy readers, but Banear, from his profile pic, clearly plays. However, Banear appears to be a common word in some language or another... My online translator-fu is pretty weak, but I think it means 'To Ban'. Anyhow, suffice to say, I couldn't find a blog attached to you, Banear, so give me a call like the profile-free wonder-crew, would ya?

Thanks to Banear and Welkyr for speaking up and putting voice to their names. Welkyr it appears is just a loyal fan (just, he says) while Banear is a new blogger himself. Be sure to check him out over at The Cataclysmic Variable, I know I will be!

And that, as they say, is that! Up to 17 followers as of writing this post.

Keep an eye on this space folks, I'll have something a bit meatier for ya'll soon.

Fly Straight!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

ORDR Takes Sovereignty

So, as anyone who reads the news knows, ORDR (Sodalitas-XX), the Alliance to which IT (Imperium Technologies) belongs now has it's name on the map.

In fact, we have our name on the map in... *googles 'Seven tuplets'* septuplicate!

That's right space-fans, ORDR has annexed a constellation just inside Providence, as part of AAA's continued offensive in the wake of CVA's refusal to accept terms, ORDR has stepped up and after some diplomatic discussion accepted AAA's assistance to take their own constellation.

Now, the cry of 'Pets, pets' has already hit the news-stands and there's a lot of derision and scorn being thrown ORDR's way. Which is giving everyone a lot of smiles and chuckles. While Sodalitas is new, do a check on the employment history of some of our top pilots and leadership sometime. You'll note that little glitch in there where CCP acknowledges they weren't keeping employment records back when these folk rolled their characters. Some of the Corps are in the same situation, having been created prior to employment record keeping.

While I don't have nearly the kind of play-time that I would like, roaming out there and joining in the action, I can comfortably say that what comes next is well expected by ORDR leadership, and anyone who decides that having intelligent leadership with an understanding of how diplomacy works is a weakness, is in for a bit of a shock.

Fly Straight,

Thursday, March 25, 2010

EVE Blog Banter #16: R.C.F.T.W.!

Welcome to the sixteenth 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!

The third Blog Banter of 2010 comes to us from ChainTrap of the Into the unknown with gun and camera EVE Blog. He asks us: “Eve University turns six years old on March 15th; six years spent helping the new pilots of New Eden gain experience and understanding in a supportive environment. Eve is clearly a complicated game, with a ton to learn, so much that you never stop learning. So, the question is; What do you wish that someone had taken the time to tell you when you were first starting out? Or what have you learned in the interim that you’d like to share with the wider Eve community?”
Hmmm.... What do I wish someone had told me when I first started out?


Now that that's out of the way, I'll go ahead and explain. You know how you get your first mission as a total noob, and they tell you to go to the mission site and kick some pirate hull?

When I first started playing, they didn't tell you how to get there. Sure, I managed to find the right star-system, and then spent ages flying around asteroid belts trying to find the 'mining camp' that these wretched pirates were infesting... Knowing to Right-Click on open space when flying would have really helped about then...

Right click on everything, and read all the options that pop up. If you have a question about something, right-click it, if that doesn't answer your question, THEN ask someone.

Many of the other fine bloggers out there have given great explanations for all the little things they wished they'd known. Like, 'don't bother with better ships till you can actually fly the one you're in' and 'fly cheap stuff and get used to getting blown up before you fly expensive stuff and rage-quit', so I'm going to leave this incredibly late entry short and sweet with my 1 pearl of wisdom.

Straight Fliers Right Click.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Making The Game: PvP Missions

Once again, the banter on someone else's blog has sparked off a diatribe of a comment that I'm turning into a Making The Game post. What can I say, I get wordy at times...

The original post comes from Letrange over at Letrange's Eve Blog, I give him a C- for blog name originality, (who am I to talk, I just translated my name for a blog title) but a solid A for content, including the two guides on Dominion projection weapon changes that I have linked on the right-side bar of my page and will until something changes to put them out of date. If you don't read his blog, start. :)

Basically, the tl;dr version is that he suggested that PvE should be given elements that make it more exciting and realistic, and offer a 'training' opportunity for budding PvP pilots, so that the flight styles aren't so VASTLY different. One or two people commenting on his post stated their disagreement, that missions are supposed to cater to a different clientèle than PvP.

I think a good compromise/workaround the various schools of thought on this sort of thing (and something more in line with CCP's style) would be to add a new agent-type, that offers advanced military missions.
They already did it for the training lines, but if they did so for missions, they could add agents that offer missions that are designed for PvP fit ships. None of this 'waves of badguys, go-go-drake-tank and wait for the money' and instead more along the lines of 'catch that Rifter for a big bounty'. Stuff that gets the blood pumping a bit more, with higher payouts for the individual kill, but the overall reward being based on the time it'll take you.

One of the great things about EVE is it's 'toolkit' nature. Far too often I read cries of 'nerf this' 'change that' 'this is boring, fix it'. While in some cases that can be appropriate, (if 1 ship is out there defeating all comers, regardless of situation or opponent, there's obviously a balance issue) for the most part the 'toolkit' approach suggests addition over subtraction.

In other words, when you find missions grievously boring (I do) and only run them for money, don't suggest changing missions and driving off the folk who enjoy them, suggest ADDING something new that can allow you an outlet of PC vs NPC violence that YOU will enjoy.

Another possibility. What if they introduced PvP missions that could let you pew pew on other players and make money doing it?


Here's a sample.

Capsuleer A is hired by Agent A to take a frigate sized hull out to a rendezvous point, carrying a valuable trade commodity. Naturally, they don't trust Capsuleer A, so they make him put some money down and tell him to 'come alone'. He flies out to the mission coordinates and finds a rusted old Minmatar jump-gate leading into the deadspace. He activates the jump-gate and slingshots out into the complex.

Inside, he finds silence, and receives an incoming communication from his agent. "Agent B is trying to horn in on my deal. Kill his Agent when he shows up, then make the deal."

Here comes the tricky part (from CCP's standpoint), the jump-gate 'sorts' people into different 'instances', the first 2 people to enter arrive together, the next two, the next two, and so on. This way, numerous people can be running the mission, and they'll get their chance to complete it as soon as a second mission-runner shows up. Entering the later half of the complex also gives aggression to you and the other party, keeping Concord out of the equation.

After a set amount of time, the contact shows up and drops a can for his swag.

If no-one else is running the mission, you get to drop off an item for an easy, though probably not large, reward. If someone else is running the mission, you get to drop off an item for the small reward, AND get some 1v1 PvP action, complete with the possibility of recouping the very item you had to put money down on when buying it from your agent, which you can then turn around and sell on the market.

Obviously it needs tweaking and goodness knows I don't know squat about the programming that would be required. But in my head it sounds awesome.

What do you think?

Fly straight!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

My Blog Following

So, today I received my 9th follower, and it got me to thinking that most Bloggers in the community don't really acknowledge their following as well as they should. Shame on us. I'm determined to turn that around, and so I want to start by publicly thanking, and doing a bit of a 'hey, look at these guys' to those people who are willing to read my drivel, and (perhaps more importantly) are willing to admit it!

My wife and gaming partner, Katt has been with me from the start. Making a profile and blog of her own, over at Katt's Midnight Starr, she hasn't done a lot of blogging, but has read and commented (to me) on all my work. I'm a lucky lucky man to be able to share a hobby like EVE with my wife, and I'm sure 90% of you that are reading this will agree with me.

And the other 10% of you? Just shush.

"The BlogFather", my 2nd follower. I was very excited to see his name appear, not least because of his notoriety (Capsuleer introduced me to blogging, so I had been reading the fruits of his organization before I knew he was organizing it at all!). You likely know who he is, but just in case you've stumbled into my Blog after removing a several tonne rock, complete with several years of moss, from your head, he runs the Blog Pack from out of CrazyKinux's Musings.

No, The Midnight Sun, isn't in the Blog Pack, but maybe one day!

Romeo Blakstorm
Follower number 3, Romeo authors Life Among the Pirates. He doesn't put out a lot of blog posts, but they're worth a read.

Logan Fyerite
Follower number 4, and also the most prolific member of the Frequent Commenters Club (The FCC, I like it...) here at The Midnight Sun. From Scimitar fittings to commiserations on my screwups, Logan has been nothing but great. He writes at EVE Opportunist and often has insightful commentary.

Winner of the 'Why We Love Eve' competition, and writer of Wench With a Wrench, Lea was follower number 5. I will admit I haven't been as loyal a reader as I should be for one of my followers, but after earning fame on CrazyKinux's site, she hardly needs MY readership.

Ok, so this is actually my wife again. She set up another account for her RSS Reader, and followed me again. *blush* What can I say, she loves me!

Despite being a filthy Amarr, some of the most enjoyable fiction in blogging has come to my various readers from A Ghost Blog, so I was naturally very excited to see Cartoonboy's grinning moniker on my blog. I will continue to be an avid fan of Mr NOXx, until of course we meet in-game.

Die Slaver Scum!! ;)

Quivering Palm
The Planet Risk Show blog has been a source of entertainment for me, and I'm sure for many of you too. I haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast, but I nod my head in deferential awe to anyone willing to go to that length for their contribution to the community. Frankly, I don't think I could keep up the energy nearly as well. Kudos to you, and thanks for being Follower Number 8. (7 if you don't count Katt as being worth 2 people... I suppose it's possible I'm biased as to how awesome she is... Naww...)

The most recent addition to The Midnight Sun followers, Arrhidaeus writes at Cogito Ergo Yarr and inspired this post by giving me that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you see your follower number bigger in the morning than it was when you went to bed. I checked out his blog, which wasn't one that had come across my reader before, and was very pleased. Bushkazi sounds like an awesome load of fun, and I might have to conn some corpies into playing a game of it out in 0.0.

That's it, the complete role-call. It's not as fancy a list as is attached to say CrazyKinux Musings, but it's MY list. As more folk (IF more folk) add themselves as followers here, I'll be sure to do regular thank-you's, because how can we call ourselves a blogging 'community' without the manners to acknowledge those people that give us such a high compliment.

Fly Straight, and may my follower's ammo be laced with Dev-Hacks that own non-followers... Hmmm, a 'Making the Game' post in the making?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction 10: “Should you be doing that?”

This week's entry into Ecliptic Rift's Friday Flash Fiction.



The distinctive crackling sound that characterized communications funneled through communication drones, dropped surreptitiously through wormholes to connect W-Space to K-Space for corporation and private comms, was evident in KattraStarr's disapproving voice, "Should you be doing that?"

As I threw the Bam a Lam I, one of a matching set of ten Rifter's I had purchased and had my engineering crew fit out in preparation for some silly fun, into a keep-away orbit of a pursuing Amarrian assault frigate, toning down the microwarp-drive so that I didn't completely outrun the armor laden beast, I replied back, my own voice tinged with amusement and adrenaline. "How am I supposed to become a better pilot if I don't risk a few ships here and there. This fellow isn't going to catch me, and it keeps me from getting bored while I hope for a less lopsided match up."

Katt voiced her disapproval anyway, "You get blown up and it'll look bad on the alliance's reputation." She admonished me.

"Bahh, a half-mil Rifter? I'll admit, when she gets blown up, and the speaker's stop blaring Black Betty, I'll be sad for a moment or two, but if anyone gets pissed off that I'm out training in a ship that costs less than what we can make in two volleys of rockets, they're gonna need to harden up." I pulsed the MWD again, throwing the Rifter into a lazy barrel roll as the persistent Amarr continued to burn towards me.

Deciding to make a few safe points and dodge around a bit, I let the engine kick over into warp and left R3TRO behind, zipping around the system making bookmarks and otherwise amusing myself. Dropping back to his location every now and then just to get his hopes up.

"Warning: Incoming target lock." Aura piped up.

Glancing at the gate, and the Tempest battleship that was currently locking me from 150 km out, I grinned. "Amarr boy needed some Minmatar backup." I told Katt gleefully, kicking in the warpdrive again and zipping off to a nearby planet before the target lock could solidify.

Weighing my options, I decided to buzz the other stargates just to see what was around before heading back to base and docking up. As my warp-drive disengaged, I whistled appreciatively at the standing gate-camp, whipped the rifter around, kicking in the MWD foolishly to distance from the spied interceptor, despite its range.

"Well, new Tip of Experience to note in the journal, Katt." I voiced into my comms as my pod zipped safely away from my wreckage. "Don't turn on the MWD when fleeing a sniper gate-camp. Helps them lock you faster and makes the hit a LOT nastier, I've never seen my systems red-line that fast."

"I wonder if the ammo they spent cost more than my Rifter?" I asked her, despite her disapproval, as I flew my pod past R3TRO, offering a 'good job' in Local as I exited 0.0 and dropped back into High-sec space.

"Back to base. Still another 9 Bam a Lam's that need their wings shaken out."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Making The Game: Planetary Interaction In Wormhole Space

Unlike my usual 'Making the Game' posts, this particular post centers less around an idea I had for making the game more interesting, and more around my growing suspicion that the new Tyrannis expansion is going to be applied only to K-Space in terms of Planetary Interaction.

So I thought, 'well, maybe we should go over the positives and negatives of letting W-Space holders have access to Planetary Interaction'. Voila, a blog-post was born. Don't mind the squalling, newborns are cranky like that.

- Consistency of realism.
- More reason for people to explore.
- More resources in riskier locations.

- More profitability to W-Space habitation.

Now, let's discuss these points in a little more detail, shall we?

For the Positive team, we have Consistency of realism, which can be roughly explained by this question. How does it make sense that all W-Space planets and moons are completely devoid of profitable minerals? And people too? Did the sleepers strip-mine all the planets to build more of themselves and in-so-doing kill all the indigenous people? I could buy that, if there were planet-side ruins and the like, but if so, couldn't we import colonists and export archaeological finds? Maybe as a precursor to T3 Frigates? It's unrealistic and inconsistent to, in a sandbox environment, say 'you can do this stuff with planets and moons' and then say 'except the ones over there' without giving an explanation.

Next we come to, More reason for people to explore, that's right, the shiny probing interface that was installed a few expansions ago? Doesn't that suggest you WANT people to explore, find W-Space, and go searching for fun and profit? Another resource in w-space means another reason for people to want to visit. It also ties in well with my next point...

More resources in riskier locations. The key point here is RISKIER. W-Space is more dangerous than 0.0 in a lot of ways, particularly if you're at a location that isn't either a) protected by a POS bubble, or b) requiring a full set of 4 scan-probes to location. In other words, paranoia at a Mag-site, needed. Paranoia at a combat site? Really needed. Paranoia floating above a planet? Down right necessary to even the faintest hope of survival. In 0.0, you could dock up when someone comes in system, in W-Space, you have to hope you spot them as they're warping to your planet, and hope you can get into warp before they arrive. Is anyone else snickering at your odds there?

Since Risk vs Reward is what you're looking for, W-Space will have a good mix of risk to reward if PI does get implemented there. Sure, you're off the beaten path and someone has to scan down your hole to find you. But once they're in your system, you have no way of knowing if you're going to drop in on your planet safely, or if a handful of SB's are gonna decloak and fry you for your greedy ways.

Add to all that my hope that they'll design the 'launch to space' system in such a way as to give a chance (however small) for theft of your hard-earned goods, and it just sounds like a better and better idea.

For the Negatives team, I could only come up with one thing that really seemed logical to me. Call me biased, cos I probably am, but More profitability to W-Space habitation was all I could decide would hold CCP back. It's been stated that CCP didn't intend for W-Space to be colonized on a permanent basis, so maybe they won't want to give people even more reasons to want to stick around in W-Space.

But that ship has already sailed, folks. W-Space is colonized in the majority of systems that open up connecting to Our Slice of Heaven, and from what I hear, it's the same for most other colonists out there in the community. Trying to artificially coax people out with inconsistent, artificial schemes is a bit sad at best and detrimental at worst. People wouldn't do it if they weren't enjoying it, and the game you've designed is supposed to be a sandbox, and the first rule of the sandbox is that you don't kick down other people's castles just because you don't like their moat.

Anyhow, if YOU have any ideas on a good Positive or Negative on the 'PI in WH' argument, post it in the comments and lets chat. I'm sure there's plenty of arguments for both sides that I've missed!

Fly Straight,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Honour, Humour and Piracy.

Not exactly the Holy Trinity, but it was pleasant the other day after getting jumped while closing an unscheduled Low-Sec hole, (details to follow) to find a set of Pirates with both Yarring skill (see details for a bit of an addenda to that..) a sense of humour, and enough honour to follow through on a ransom.

We lost 2 ships and 1 pod to their gank, which included a Phobos. Fortunately for us, it took them too long to kill Leilani and her pod before moving onto Katt that by the time her Typhoon exploded, the Phobos pilot had run out of capacitor and lost his bubble, so Katt slipped away safely. Fortunately for me, I'd managed to get my cloak on before they jumped through the bubble, and despite some close calls, they didn't manage to close within 2k (<2.6k? Sure, but never less than 2k.. phew).

Tip of Experience: Cap stability is not an optional item on a HIC.

Insurance covered Leilani's loss, but Katt being in the wrong ship cost us a few million, nothing hurtful though.

Normally, this would quite upset us, as would the threat from the pirate gang to further harrange and bother us in Our Slice of Heaven, they were asking for 50M, which isn't a tremendously unpleasant amount of money to pay, which just shows at least they weren't silly. Afterall, we could just hide out in our POS and unless they felt like sieging us while we called the reinforcements, they would have a very boring afternoon.

So, to pay or not to pay? I was working (called away when they warped INTO the wormhole, of all the darned times to get someone at my door), and so Katt held the negotiations. Some of the highlights included the threat of seeing one of the pirates in a Leather Tutu, which surely evoked horror in his compatriots, who fair begged Katt to give them the money and save them from such a fate.

They made Katt laugh, and that was worth 50M to us, so we paid them to go about their business, fully expecting them to stick around and cause trouble.

Well, holy moly! They said their thank-yous and meandered out, assuring us several times of their lack of ill intent. Katt closed the wormhole up boldly, and was unmolested in the process.

So, Pirates, if you're going to ask for a ransom, keep in mind that while you've just had your entertainment and blown someone's ship up, if you're trying to get paid, it helps to get the OTHER party, the gankee if you will, in a good mood! If they'd just threatened us, we'd have kept our money and onlined a few extra defenses at the POS, they'd have spent a very boring day in a wormhole hoping we'd come out, when we'd in actuality cleared the absolute last site in there just hours before their arrival on the scene.

Their sense of humor netted them 50M, and I hope they have similar luck elsewhere.

Well, I also hope the next group they jump on a wormhole is sitting there in a gank-squad and teaches them to leave W-Space holders alone.... But I never said I was consistent.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Speaking in Local... Part 2.

Last month I told you all of my quandary regarding warning people in the local channel of our presence and ownership of Our Slice of Heaven.

Not long ago, I had occaision to test the theory once more. Upon logging in for the early morning victuals (don't ask...) I was displeased to find a small gallente POS on the D-Scanner. For those of you that play WoW, (I know, I'm a sub-par EVE personage), you may remember a certain iconic phrase uttered by mechanical robots in Gnomeregan.

That's pretty much what I was screaming inside my head, "WARNING, WARNING, INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT!!!".

After I calmed down a little and started scouting this new threat out, prepared to pester as many folk online and into combat ships as possible to drive these intruders out, I found the tower. Looking up the corporation from the ticker, I quickly looked up membership numbers.


Ok, that's not so bad. Katt spotted a wreck, named after the pilot (tsk tsk) and I looked that guy up. He wasn't from the corporation of 1, but had a name eerily similar. Hmmm.

Convo? No convo? Convo? No Convo?

Here's the score-card for warnings in Local:

Warnings Gratefully Received: 3
Gankings: 1

Because 90% of you didn't go read my link *Sad panda* you will have to keep reading to know what that means.

But, I'm not gonna make you wait long.


Ok, fine. He was really nice, and explained he was very new to Wormhole space and 'did I set up my POS too close to yours?'. I explained that typically speaking, in the same wormhole is considered too close, and normally explosions followed shortly after such a lapse in etiquette. He politely asked if he could move his stuff out of our space and I agreed.

I and others watched him move out, and though none of us ever uncloaked, I kept relaying helpful tips on how he could improve his operations in WH space, in part to let him know he was being watched, and in part to be nice. Let me tell you, having only just recently trained up Bomb deployment, it was tempting to break cloak when, 30 km in front of me, and still 10km from the wormhole, his Hulk comes out of warp and starts slow-boating towards safety.

Fortunately, I'm a nice guy. Phew for him, eh?!

Fly Straight, but not into other people's territory!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Time Demands in WH Space

Hey folks,

Over at EVE-Online Wormholes, this post popped up and sparked my conversational side. I started to leave a nice rambling comment, when I realized it was going to be almost as long (or longer) than the original post!

This calls for, BLOGGING MIN! *Plays cheesy super-hero music*

Ok, now that I've got my inner dork out of the way for a bit, let's get down to brass tacks. Many different bloggers and W-Space occupants have recently decided to step back their operations in WH space, citing either the emptiness and inactivity of their bit of space, or the constant demands upon their time that managing W-Space requires.

While Katt and I have run across both of these problems within Our Slice of Heaven, we've come up with several methods of combatting the dread 'W-Space Mania' that has afflicted so many of our fellow capsuleers. And now this information can be yours for the price of just 49.99 ISK plus shipping and handling!

Or, you could just read the blog...

Let's set up some fancy looking (not) headings and break this issue down, shall we?

"So much empty space... Nothing to do in it... Gahhh!!"

Problem number 1, and by far the most common complaint I hear from the various WH inhabitants that I've spoken with or read the blogs of, is that they're too efficient, and everything is cleared, and now they've got nothing to do.

While indeed this is a painful problem, and one that's difficult to amend, there's a key pair of words up above, 'too efficient'.

That's right, you done shot yourself in the foot, boys!

Wormhole signatures, while not completely reliant upon the number of signatures in system, DO take into account current 'activity' (via readings on how many untouched sites there are) when spawning new sites, particularly wormholes and combat anomalies. What this means is that, when you aren't getting enough sites, you need to do LESS.

Freaky, I know. But when we left 5 combat sites and several signatures as 'seed', we would often have upwards of 5 combat sites and 3 wormholes or other signatures spawning PER DAY in Our Slice of Heaven.

It takes a little coordinating to leave these sites alone amongst the various folk inhabiting your wormhole, but the net result can be a large increase to the profits your corporation can enjoy. Another big issue is defending all these resources from poachers. But really... You went to WH space to avoid PvP?... Seriously??

"Zzzzzzzz... *Snort* Huh, What, yeah, I've got that Sleepless Upholder right where I want him.... Zzzz.."

Sometimes, Real Life (tm, pty, ltd), can be a real pain in the neck. Often it keeps us from playing as much EVE as we want (*gasp*) and even more often, it leaves us with only 'so much' time to spend on our hobby. When our WH's spawn rate is high enough, that can mean we don't have enough time to get all done that we want to.

Also, EVE is a big game, sometimes we want to do something OTHER than pop the 3 wormholes that spawned in our hole this morning, before we go to work.

Actually, I can pretty much guarantee we'd rather be doing almost anything than popping all those wormholes. It's boring as all get out.

Anyhow, for whatever reason, the other main gripe going around at the moment is people getting sick of the amount of time they need to spend EVERY SINGLE DAY to keep their WH under control.

You probably won't be surprised to learn that the solution to this problem is 'DO MORE'.

Ok, maybe a few of you were shocked. But only if you're not paying attention. That's right, if you completely clear (or, just visit every site and let them despawn on their natural cooldown) your wormhole, you will get less site-spawning.

By clearing your wormhole down to the static exit, and then popping that static exit and not scanning down the next one, you have effectively sealed off your wormhole. You're all alone, with no way in, and nothing to do.

Log off at that point, and take a much-needed break. Sure, stuff will spawn, slowly, while you're gone, and there's always the possibility that a wormhole will open into yours, where it will be almost instantly disregarded by 99% of visitors as 'worthless'.

IF by some chance you run into that last 1%, your tower should be online, armed, well defended, and with a fat bay full of Strontium. Odds are, most folk won't bother, and the few that will, would have bothered even if you were logged in.

Using this method, you can log in every other day, or even less frequently. If you're a little worried about leaving it that long, open up and run a search for your J-Code, see how things are going. If you see a bunch of jumps, maybe log a character into the WH and peek about lazily to make sure the POS is still untouched.

In closing, these methods have worked for Katt and I. We've been occupying Wormhole Space for over 6 months, and have no intentions of leaving any time soon.

Fly Straight, whether you're agoraphobic or using toothpicks to hold up your eyelids, it's just darned easier than zig-zagging!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Busy doing nothing...

EVE is one of those games. You know, the kind where you can sit at it, playing for hours on end, and not actually be 'doing' anything of major importance.

Except it's all important.

So, this morning when I logged in, I wasn't expecting much on scan probes. We had popped the last signature (a Ladar) the day before, and surely our spawn rate had dropped to next to nothing.

So when I saw 6 signatures, all unscanned, I was a little surprised.

Tip of Experience: When scanning, organize your first set of results by scan strength, the higher your percentage, the more likely the signature you're aiming for is a wormhole. Gravs, Ladars, Radars, Mags, they're all harder to find, so if you start with the stuff that yields the best results, you'll usually scan down all the exits before you get to the good stuff. Reverse the process if you don't care about exits, obviously. ;)

So, I wanted to find wormholes, so that Katt and Leilani could drive battleships through them and make them go away. With 6 signatures, I'm thinking at least 1 'extra' wormhole in addition to our static.

First sig, static exit. Katt and Leilani get to work.

Second sig, another wormhole, the Tip of Experience up above proves itself worthwhile once more.

Third sig, ANOTHER wormhole. Well crap, how irritating, Katt and Leilani are by this point bouncing around between the signatures like they're auditioning for a new game, "EVE: The Pinball".

Fourth sig. You guessed it, folks, wormhole number 4. At this point I have 4 different calculators open and running on my secondary screen to keep track of mass allowances, and I'm starting to get a little confused as to which one matches up with which name. Fortunately, Katt is more practical than I, and named her bookmarks 'Wormhole 1' through 'Wormhole 4', so I just put calculator 1 at the top and staggered them downwards.

Fifth sig, couldn't possibly be another wormhole, could it? Sure it could!! It's that kind of day! Fortunately, this one spawned sometime after we logged yesterday and was nearing closure all on it's lonesome.

Sixth signature.... Nope, Ladar. Phew! At least we got something to do other than ping-pong between wormholes.

In other news, far more exciting, in my opinion, we have started production, finally, of our T3 Subsystems, should have a batch in my hold for a trip to Jita or another big market, soon. Rather excited, to say the least.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Little Fish in a Big School

Outside of the confines of her pod for a change, resting in Caeleste Ad Media Nox, their starbase within Our Slice of Heaven, Minuit glanced across the sturdy metal table at her business partner and lover, KattraStarr. "You would have appreciated the awe of it, Katt."

"Every time the order to align went out, I'd pulse the M.W.D. to break free of the pack, and when the system was clear, I'd set the camera drones to look back in my wake. Dozens of ships, from humble Rifters' struggling to keep up with the Kitty Kitty to lumbering Megathron, edging closer to their assigned group. And in the middle of that armada, a fleet unto itself of freighters. Charon, Obelisk, you name it. They crawled up to speed, the webbing fleet limiting their maximum velocity to help them align to the next gate while their engines ramped up to seventy five percent to generate enough energy to engage their warp-drives."

Minuit sat back, shaking her head and taking a swig of her beverage of choice, hot-chocolate, an expensive treat these days that was well worth every ISK in the billionaire's estimation. "It was long, and boring, no-one to cycle up the autocannon's on, but I think the freighter pilots probably prefer it that way." The capsuleer snickered.

"My first time in a big fleet wasn't exactly what I had imagined it would be. But I got a few kinks out of my overview along the way to reduce strain on the sensor systems for when it's important, and it sure was an impressive sight."


So, several interesting matters are on the horizon in EVE for me.

Logistics V is almost trained:  More than many other ships, Logistics ships seem to benefit incredibly from the final trained rank of their ship-specific skill. Add to that my recently awoken desire to one-day fly myself a Nidhoggur and Logistics V for the Triage Module becomes a logical step to take. Big thanks to reader Logan Fyerite for sharing some of his PvP-minded Scimitar fittings. I'm a little worried about the lack of tank, but absolutely awed by the remote-transfer power that can be thrown out while remaining cap-stable and mobile.

0.0 Action: The floodgates were released during hades week and ORDR jumped their assets out of Syndicate and moved into their new home. With diplomatic standings worked out primarily by IT's CEO Avernus (again, for anyone new to The Midnight Sun, IT refers to the IT Ticker holding corp, Imperium Technologies, not -IT- the Alliance) assets were moved down and we entered Querious in .-A-. territory. Now that my work schedule is dialing back to normal I am pumped at the prospect of getting down there and joining in the good work.

Loki Production: EVE: The Spreadsheet has been consulted, updated and recreated, and the wheels of our Loki production line are back in motion! Minuit has trained the basic skills, but I'm finishing my Logistics project before I think about putting the time into flying one of these beauties efficiently.

Loki Flying: Obviously intrinsically tied to the above point, I am scouring the web and making fits in true EFT Warrior style, but am not finding a lot of very impressive load-outs for this versatile ship. While it's great that I can fit the Loki to do poorly what any number of my specialized ships can do well, I want to find somewhere that the Loki excels compared to my current arsenal! Any thoughts, fittings or suggestions on that would be gratefully received.

So, lots of interesting things in the future of EVE for me, and of course, plenty to do.

Fly straight!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Flash Fiction 6: Nebulae

My contribution towards Ecliptic Rift's latest installment of the Friday Flash Fiction series.


Ben Yelsni hunched his shoulders and gritted his teeth as he tried to ignore the fingernails on a chalkboard sound he was making with his nano-chisel against the sides of 'The Anti-Nebula', a Cyclone class Battlecruiser pressed into service as a mobile gas-harvesting plant for use in Wormhole space.

"I don't know 'bout you, Rajek, but I didn't sign up on Min's crew to kill nebulae, and I certainly didn't sign up to clean the bloody left-behind vapors off the sides of her Battlecruiser just because the harvester is smart enough not to take the unnecessary compounds, but ain't smart enough to blow them other compounds away from the darned shielding." He complained to his companion, who was far more sanguinely directing the cleaning-drone that was polishing in the wake of Ben's chisel.

The two were conversing inside the largely deserted ship maintenance array of the P2AS tower. Segregated from the rest of the crews by their loyalty to the Imperium Technologies pilot they signed on with, Ben and Rajek were often paired together aboard the myriad of ships in the Minmatar capsuleer's arsenal. They had served as the primary engineering crew on several iterations of the Rifter, Bam A Lam I through VI, aboard the slow and steady Black Betty, hauling goods throughout New-Eden, and even once upon the Hurricane Class Battlecruiser Rock You Like A... but for some unknown reason, word had recently filtered down that Ben and Rajek were to be removed from the regular crew rotation and placed on 'special assignment'.

Since that time, they'd served primarily upon The Anti-Nebula, but had also been sent to work as part of the P2AS crew in charge of ship-salvage, upon the Labrador Retriever mining common minerals, and even station duty in the hybrid polymer reactor array.

"I tell ya, we've had some hard times with the boss, but I don't know why she's singled us out for the crappiest and most boring jobs available out here in W-Space." Ben complained.

Speaking slow, as was his want, Rajek replied in his obscure drawl, "Ain't nothin' ter worry 'bout, Ben. Ah'm hearin' rumors, an they might be what's true, ye ken? Them rumors sayin' tha boss be figurin' who she'll be hirin' on fer tha first Loki to churn out o' production out here. Says she's got some folk in mind an' want's ter make sure tha crew know what went into buildin' tha beasty, tha hours an' tha 'boring' crap, so they're of a mind ter keep 'er runnin' smooth an' sure. Ye ken?"

"So, if ye wanna get yer hands on some o' that fine high-tech sleeper shizz, ye best be shuttin' yer mouth, lowerin' yer head, and diggin' that chisel a bit faster boyo. Ah'm catchin' up with this 'ere fancy polishin' rag, and ah'd hate ter 'ave ter ask tha boss ter get ye some 'elp." The Minmatar crewman smirked at his shell-shocked companion.

Ben blinked, slowly translated the drawl into more intelligible language, grinned, and turned back to his task. "Well heck yeah then, let's kill us some bloody nebulae!"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Speaking In Local...

As I'm sure you're all aware, Wormholes have a 'delayed' local. In actual fact, they're just missing a local entirely, you just have an 'optional local', there's no-one manning the wormhole to tell the populace who has just entered system, so as long as a Pilot keeps their mouth shut, no-one is the wiser.

Well, except for the D-Scanner, and combat probes, both of which are likely being spammed every few seconds.

And cloaked scouts on wormholes...

You get the idea.

Anyway, the lack of a local channel is both a curse and a blessing. For one thing, it makes you paranoid as heck. I know my brief visit out to Syndicate was made incredibly relaxing by the presence of a Local channel. I listened on comms one day as people talked about checking local every few minutes and was agog. Seriously, checking every few minutes? If I had Local all the time, it'd be stretched as tall as it could go, and the moment my screen made a flicker in a way I wasn't expecting I'd be ramping up to speed and gone.

On the other hand, having a Local channel means the guy who drops in knows who you are, how old you are, and what mates you have with you. Intel cuts both ways.

So, when is it a good idea, in a Wormhole, to break the comms' silence and give out the intel that you're around? We've had good luck and bad with making our presence known to trespassers and passers through, and I'm torn as to which is the correct choice.

Just yesterday, a pilot (Boshack) who was passing through spoke up in local, requesting permission to pass through our space. Since I don't go out of my way to be a jerk to people who are nice to me first, I spoke up in reply, letting him know he could pass through, but that all entry points (including the one to his Wormhole) were at critical destabilization, so he should keep the ships nice and small.

Boshack acknowledged the reply, and upon exiting the system, thanked us for our consideration and convoed me for some general chatter about what we enjoyed out in W-Space.

Just this morning, I gave a 45 second warning of wormhole collapse to intruders from null sec, and upon returning to our space, surprisingly without the complete destruction of the wormhole (had enough left for them to get half their gang back through) discovered a present waiting. Katt managed to get away while they primaried my disposable battleship and tore me up, jammed all the while by their Rook pilot (I totally need to get an ECM ship).

So you can see why I'm of mixed thoughts. I've given the 45 second warning before and watched from the safety of cloak as the interlopers warped back to their territory and waved their thanks for the warning in Local, and I've been ganked.

Which is the right choice?

Right now, here's the scoreboard:
Warnings Gratefully Received: 2
Gankings: 1

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A 'warm' welcome home.

Yesterday was day 1 of freedom. My 'hades week' in the Work Pod was over with, and I was freed from the confinement of my 9x9 office cell, allowed to roam the world, or, more truthfully, fasten my buttocks to the stability ball that I call a chair and let myself roam through New Eden.

Day 1 didn't go so hot.

Katt and I decided to try clearing an entire magnetometric site in Our Slice of Heaven. We've cleared the first two waves and looted the relics on a regular basis for the past months, but we've never been willing to tempt fate and face the 3 Sleepless Upholders that come at the end of a typical C3 Mag site. With some friends helping out, we figured we could give it a go.

Wave 1, cakewalk. Bring in the Analyzer ship to take care of the relics before we push on, take those back, store safely and come on back in combat ships.

Wave 2, cakewalk. Turn on our tanks, smiling happily at our full capacitors as we ready the remote rep.

Wave 3, manageable. 2 Battleships, not really that big a deal, we were handling it fine and starting to get into a groove when it happened. Onyx and Tengu drop out of warp on top of us, and the bubble goes up.

"Oh crap."

Then the Rokh, Drake and Drake arrive inside the edge of the warp bubble.

"Double crap."

In what must have been a relatively swift and skilled use of combat scanner probes, our ships were reduced from 'hey, we got this!' to imminent death. I scattered for one edge, trying to draw them off while Katt and our corpmates headed the other direction. They seemed intent on destroying her Typhoon, but given that, even at 20km out, my Scimitar's 4 Medium Shield Transporter's were well within range, they weren't having a great time with that.

Their own tanks held up under massed drone-fire without much of a scratch, our ships being outfit for the long-haul of PvE combat, not for burst dps.

They switched targets and came after my Scimitar, but once they had a standard point on me, their Onyx paced the battleships to destroy any hopes of escape. As it was, webbing kept me from getting to the edge before my shields finally (after more than a minute of fire) crumbled. As expected, my pod was sure to follow.

This process was repeated, minus my shield transporting, upon all 3 of the others. I don't have KB links, as P2AS doesn't have a Killboard at this time.

So, what to do when 4 of you are stuck out in Empire? Run for the entrance!

It was closed.

Fortunately, we had other corpmates who had not been deployed and destroyed in the battle of Magnetometric pass. New entrance found.

11 Jumps of low-sec.


Noob-ship fleet action! We made it back without incident, hopped in new ships and converged upon the Wormhole that had permitted the Brotherhood of Starbridge to invade our territory. While we were gone, they had gone to work running every last one of our unfinished sites. Part-way through the wormhole collapsing process, they converged on the wormhole themselves, collapsing it with Leilani on the wrong side, less than 2km from another of their ships.

You guessed it, second BS loss of the day for the alt.

Got the pod 'out' and warped around their system for a while, chatting at their english-speaking comrades, giving them props for their very well executed gank. Eventually I self-destructed and ran my way back into the hole through the previously scanned entrance.

Meanwhile, we had the Tengu (Cov-ops fit), Rokh, and a Heron sitting inside our wormhole. Katt started collapsing the entrance to at least limit their stay, and they camped her outside. She managed to just narrowly escape their clutches and cloak-up in the low-sec system and we outwaited them, Minuit sitting off the gate in a Stealth Bomber, eating popcorn while I watched them hope she would be dumb enough to jump back into their grasp.

We proved to be the more patient group, and when they left, with a parting shot of 'bu))' that I'm not sure I understand, but took to be a sign of great frustration and sadness, we finished collapsing the wormhole and replacing our losses.

All in all, a very expensive day for Katt and I, and P2AS, but, we later went out on a loot-selling run, and recouped pretty much the entire cost of the days adventure, and a months fuel.

Could be worse.

Fly straight,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Theoretical Combat: Passive Targeter I

Welcome to the first installment of a new section on my blog. Theoretical Combat. Basically it is what it sounds like, different theories regarding possible combats, load-outs, modules, etc. It's theories because often it will be about stuff I've not personally experienced, which will make any feedback you might have all the more valuable to me!

Today I'm pondering the Passive Targeter I

I've not seen these in general use in any PvP ships, and by and large I can see why. If you're flying out in 0.0, your standings determine who is targeting you. If you see a Red, or even a Neutral, you assume they're about to attack you and you act accordingly.

So, clearly this relegates the Passive Targeter to noobs and high-sec gankers, right?

I don't think it should... What if, you were fitting a Ship-of-the-Line (defined in EVE, typically, as a sniper battleship, often with Remote repairing ability) and you sacrificed a little of your range for passive targeting? If you were the only one in the fleet doing it, a complete waste. But what if your entire fleet of BS's were similarly outfit?

- One less slot. You have to sacrifice SOMETHING in order to fit the Passive Targeter. Whether that's range, tank or other, something has to go.

- No warning prior to damage. That's right, rather than warning the top-5 targets of their possibility of becoming primary (and as such, giving Logistics the top 5 people that need to be ready to be repaired) your fleet would give no warning prior to the execution of it's first Alpha.
- Viability of Missile Damage. An odd one, but a wing of Ravens, separate from the main fleet and with their own target-caller could utilize Passive Targeters to avoid preemptive warping by their target. Sure, that volley of missiles is coming towards you, but also towards your 9 closest buddies, if you want to ALL warp out to avoid it, I don't think your opposing fleet will cry in their cheerios.

What do YOU think? Do Passive Targeting Arrays have a place on Ships-of-the-Line?

Do they have a place somewhere else entirely?

Fly Straight, but keep an eye out, you never know when someone is targeting you...

Flash Fiction: Sensor Boosters

Ecliptic Rift's Flash Fiction Friday 5

Grinding her teeth in irritation, Minuit manually reactivated the safety protocols that kept her 200mm autocannons, warp disruptor and web scrambler from melting themselves into so much slag as she watched the Crow's warp-drive kick in and propel the enemy pilot out of range. She apologized profusely to the friendly pilot who had received her incoming fire due to an overview malfunction.

"There's no other skill-book I can implant to speed up locking time, is there?" She asked over comms, to the snickering replies of her squad-mates.

"That's it, 'The Dirk' is getting a sensor booster."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Big Happenings, No Time

Big things are happening in ORDR, most of which I'm not yet well informed about enough to give great detail on, and the remainder of which is not yet available intel for the public.

Unfortunately, I have no time to capitalize on these changes, gather the intel I want, or blog about the goings on! (I have been accused of being an information ho, and it's not inaccurate...)

Real Life, tm. pty. ltd. has reared its ugly head in the form of medical leave for a coworker, increasing my work schedule from 4days a week, 50% from home, to 7days a week, with no increase to my work-at-home time.

So keep an eye on this space, and I'll be bothering you with excessive posting soon!

Fly straight!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Adventure Continues...

As promised, here's the remainder of the story.

Leilani was stuck in W-Space. Fortunately, we'd taken the precaution of fitting her ship, not one we usually used for wormhole popping, with a scan-probe launcher and a prototype cloaking device. Any time you're leaving your wormhole for anything but known space, a core-probe launcher is not a luxury item, but a necessity. The prototype cloaking device isn't technically a 'necessity' but if you don't fit one, then while you're scanning things down you have to also manage long warps between safe-points so that you never stop moving.

Having both those items, I warped off into space, created a safe-point, dropped probes at a planet, warped back to my safe-spot and hunkered down in cloak for some scanning.

I hate scanning down other people's wormholes that I'm not going to do anything with.

Seriously, it's kind of depressing to see dozens of signatures and know that all you want is a bloody exit to K-Space.

Some time later, I found the only exits in system were to other wormholes. Great. 1 Class 4+, 1 Class 3. Statistically, the lower the class of the wormhole, the greater its chance of a good exit. Class 3 it is.

I popped through, and held cloak as someone flew past me in a Viator.... Yeah, honest to gosh.

Then I got to start scanning again. Sigh.

The rest of the process was fairly uneventful, scan, scan, scan some more, find an exit to low-sec, pop through to see if it's worth it, do a happy-dance. Right next door to high-sec, no-one in system, and the high-sec system in question is my Empire home-base. You really can't get much better service than that. Especially not when Our Slice of Heaven has a destabilized wormhole not 8 jumps away, with hours left on it's timer.

Leilani's adventure was far less impressive and exciting than Minuit's, but it was more stressful, by and large because I almost never have both of my characters out of the hole at the same time and fate had forced it upon me. The other folk in our wormhole took care of matters beautifully, of course, led by Kattra in destabilizing the remaining holes, and soon enough everyone was back where they belonged.

That night, given my earlier 'success', I decided it was time to install Minuit's Jump-Clone out in ORDR's portion of 0.0. This blog-post needed something a bit more exciting than scanning, after all!

Picking up my interceptor, The Dirk, I shot off like a rocket into the black, 4700mps is a beautiful thing, and I enjoyed every minute of my 16 jumps through low and null sec space. I had been hearing the horror stories of my fellow pilots throughout the week previous about gate-camps and bubbles and the like, so I was fully intent upon my navigation, warping to celestials to avoid Stargate-to-Stargate drag bubbles, scanning in a tight radius or angle to check for people just off grid, or waiting at the end of a long warp.

Not a soul. That's right, I didn't see a single neutral or hostile target the entire way down. I'll admit I was a little disappointed, I docked up, set my medical clone for future use and went to check out our constellation and set up some safe-spots, insta-warps and off-grid locations for various tasks. I discovered that, yes, I can outrun the local rat population without too many worries, and that it was downright RELAXING out here in 0.0.

That's right, 0.0 is relaxing compared to WH space. Every time I clicked my D-Scan out in 0.0, I snickered to myself at the habit, because a glance at local showed everything was clear.

In case you didn't catch it previously, ORDR is settling Syndicate space for the moment. We're excited about the incoming goon targets just like the rest of Syndicate, but we're not actually planning on sticking around in NPC space forever. REAL 0.0 is just too tempting. IT itself (the corp, not BoB) has had a long history in 0.0 space, and the old-timers want to get back to their roots, while the young-bloods like myself just want to see what all the fuss is about. We're currently looking for some partners in this grand endeavor.

So, Syndicate space has its own unique challenges, like the ability for all and sundry to dock up at 'our' stations.

We discourage this practice wherever possible, and during my brief stay yesterday I managed to join in the hunt for an interceptor. Never an easy task. We had him on the run in our home-system, so I ducked next door to sit on gate, MWD burning, point, scram, ewar, all overheated and primed for a target.

Unfortunately, when the interceptor, predictably, jumped through to me, so did one of our other pilots, and my time in WH space showed. I was on the wrong overview tab.

That's right, I locked the heck out of my pal, and pinned him down like nobodies business, while the interceptor ran like he had 5 pilots on his tail.

Oh, that's right, he did.

Once he reached the edges of our borders, we let it go and drew back into our territory. I apologized profusely to my fellow pilot, and gang, and reset my overview settings, adjusting my PvP and a few other tabs settings while I was at it to clean the overview up a bit.

So, to summarize; 0.0 seems like a very relaxing place to be, with the edge of excitement looming on the horizon. I'm looking forward to getting more time out there.

Fly straight, and keep your E-War on the enemy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

An Unintentional Adventure

So this morning has been a little crazy in Our Slice of Heaven.

Katt and I logged in, frowning grimly when we realized someone had come into our wormhole. (For those of you who don't live in WH space, you may not know that WH systems do not 'load' onto the server unless someone is inside. Therefore, if you log in W-Space you'll get a 'this system is still loading, please try again soon' message if you're the first person after downtime to try and enter).

We immediately hopped into our battleships and scanners, calling on additional ships to ensure a nice smooth popping of the offending wormholes.

I found the problem. Our usual exit was still weak and in place, as expected, but we had another opening into 0.0 and someone had obviously poked their nose in.

So we started the not-so-exciting process of weakening the wormhole. Our calculations were running smooth, until I stepped through for the last jump.

The sucking sound that a wormhole makes when it collapses around you is usually a bit exhilerating. When it drops you in Q0OH-V, the butt end of no-where, 30-odd jumps from Empire, in a Typhoon sporting 7 reinforced steel 1600mm's, it's not really all that awesome.

Nope, really not.

So hey, what the heck, I buy these things knowing they're likely to end up on the wrong end of a blaster eventually, I set destination for Keberz and start warping.

20 or so rather boring jumps go by, and I'm starting to wonder if I have a chance of ACTUALLY making it out alive... Nawww....

So I arrive at the gate into GE-8JV to see a Crusader and another sitting on gate. My odds of survival plumet, but I warp through immediately on landing, hoping that the Crusader pilot is a little slow. When my systems come back online in GE, I see a Stiletto. "Ok, I'm toast."

I'm locked up faster than a dog with rabies. I let loose the local message I had prepared 8 or 9 systems earlier, explaining that I was just trying to make it back to Empire, and 'gank if you must, but I'd LOVE a free pass *hopeful smile*'.

I was informed that I could get back to Empire really fast if I warped to the local station.

I played around with my drones a bit while they chewed on my shield-tank. Drove off the nemesis that was torping me and bombing my poor drones. I DID forget to use the 3 guns on my ship, cos I was pretty certain of my demise and having a nice chat with the boys who were doing the demising.

They got through shields and I thanked em for a good fight and asked their corps, offering a mention on my Blog for their hard work... The 7 x 1600mm plates held out longer than I thought they would, under the circumstances. I warped my pod out before the two interceptors could catch it, told em all to 'Fly Straight' and continued on my merry way.

I don't think they tried to follow, though I kept my warping as fast as I could to avoid any hassles. I ducked to a planet to avoid the drag bubbles on the Keberz gate and slipped back into High-Sec, kissing space-dust and thinking about what a journey it had been.

Little did I know that adventure number 2 was about to start...

Another wormhole popped up, and in the process of damaging it, our alt, Leilani, got stuck in a Class 4 Wormhole... *sigh*

But you can read about that tomorrow...

Fly Straight!

Monday, January 25, 2010

EVE Blog Banter: Special Edition - Why We Love EVE

Why They Hate EVE Online

Welcome to this special installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by myself, 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 me. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The Contest

Write an article letting us know why you love this game so much and get a chance to win one of these 10 amazing prizes courtesy of CCP Games!

•1st Place: $100 in EVE Store merchandise
•2nd Place: $50 in EVE Store merchandise
•3rd and 4th Place: $25 in EVE Store merchandise each
•5th through 10th Place: a 14-day EVE time pass each

The Prizes
$200 in EVE Online Store merchandise and six 2-week EVE time codes

The Rules
I'll be judging your articles based on their quality, structure, approach, originality. Other criteria are as follows:
•Contest is open from now until Sunday January 31st 11:59 PM EDT, 2010
•Submit your article (title and URL) in the comments below, before the contest expires. I will be using the date and time of your comment as the time stamp for the contest.
•No offensive or racist language will be allowed.
•You will need to link back to this post in your article introduction, as in typical EVE Blog Banter fashion.
•The winners will be announced on February 5th, 2010.

  1. It takes so much time to get anything done right.
  2. The game is so complicated.
  3. There's no 'best ship' to learn to fly.
  4. People can kill them wherever they go and if they do they lose all their stuff.
  5. They can't possibly ever learn all the skills
  6. It costs heaps of ISK to play the game for free.
  7. There's nothing telling them what to do next.
  8. The Universe is too big, they can't find anyone they know.

Why We Love EVE Online

1. This is not your casual throw-away-a-few-minutes MMO. This is an MMO you can breath, eat and sleep, and wake up in the morning without regrets. (Except for that one time with the Rapier....)

You can spend hours planning out your next steps, whether it be researching your manufacturing to make sure you make the most money or playing the EFT Warrior to ensure your next fight has the best chance of victory. This is an MMO you can IMMERSE yourself into, as opposed to a video game that sucks up a few minutes here and there and eventually leaves you bored.

2. As I may have mentioned before, studying the component charts and pricing out T3 production is a great example of how EVE is complicated. That very complexity means that I'm constantly learning something new in this game. Every day I log in, it seems, I find something I didn't know the day before. I have yet to encounter a pilot of any worth who has said they 'know it all' in EVE, and, in fact, have taught 'new' things to some 6-year Veterans. The day I know everything about EVE is the day I stop paying my accounts.

3. EVERY ship is a 'best ship' for something! From the humble Rifter, King of T1 Frigate Tackles, to the mightiest of Titans, every ship has it's strengths and its weaknesses. On top of that, the options that EVE allows you mean that YOUR Rifter doesn't have to be like everyone else's Rifter. The diversity of ships and roles and options means that every ship is a surprise and a delight.
I will never see a 'Best in Slot' list for an EVE Ship that doesn't have comments on it saying 'That's not BiS, this is!

4. Anywhere I go, I have to watch my back.

There is no 'non-agression city' where we all mingle with no consequences for our actions or words. There is no 'safe zone' where we can make our money without the constant possibility, however remote, of someone making us pay for our smacktalk the other night. CCP covers the griefers so that we don't have to deal with anything out of line, but they leave free reign for us to suffer our consequences, whether it's a consequence of our own actions, or a consequence of not being vigilant enough against others' choices. No holds barred in this game.

When I lose my ship, I LOSE my ship, and so does the other guy. PvP is not some mindless activity to kill time, it's something that gets your blood rushing and your hands shaking as you pit yourself against the other guy, who might be a friend tomorrow, or a deadly enemy 6 years from now.

5. I'll never have EVERY skill, and neither will anyone else. That seems like the most persistant of the 'oh but this sucks' of the EVE complaints above, but you know what, it's one of the BEST things about the game.

Do I want to 'hit level cap' and have nothing left to strive for? Heck no. On EVE I will always have another ship, another project, another support skill that I want to train up, and I'll never have enough time to do it, but each one will eventually fall before my implants and learning skills and I will exult and do my little dance, and start on the next one!

6. I CAN PLAY THIS GAME FOR FREE. Holy crap, how many quality MMO's out there can you imagine would offer you the chance to play the game for in-game currency? You think Blizzard is ever going to adopt that feature? HAH! So quit whining that it's expensive and you can't do it until you've got some experience under your belt and make it happen.

7. There's no-one telling me what to do. I can become a horrible Pirate, a frontier-settler, an explorer, a mercenary, a trader, a scammer, or anything else. The sandbox is open kids, and we can go play wherever we want in it, and build whatever kind of castle we feel like

8. There's only 1 'Universe'. Try finding your friends in WoW if they're on a different server, which is likely, given how many of them there are. The stories of what happens in one area of the game are things that can affect the markets where I am at, and ALL the stories pertain to the universe that I'm playing in. I read the Blogs of my fellow pilots and know that I could easily run into them one day or another, because they're all on 'my server'.

We love EVE Online, for all the reasons that people who don't get it, hate it. That's what makes EVE one of the few MMO's that continues to grow in popularity after its release, because it isn't like its competitors. The many things that attract us to EVE are things that we literally CANNOT get elsewhere.

Fly Straight, pilots, there's more to see and do.

Some other posts on this banter:
Manasi ~
Astral Dominix ~
Mail Lite ~
Jager Da ~
Logan Fyreite ~
Sered Woollahra ~
Mithrandir Stormcrow ~