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!