Friday, January 29, 2010

Ever not follow your own advice?

Some days I really can pull some serious scatter brain moments. If you have read my blogging to date you may have seen me scratching my head over the loss of LOLLYPOP! Just as you might have seen me advise new players to FOCUS DAMN IT!

Well I figured out why my Myrmidon sucks next to my Drake. It's not so much T1 Vs T2. It's not so much passive Shield tanking Vs Active Armor tanking. What it boils down too is I don't follow my own damn advice.

Drifting back a few weeks. I had decided to run missions with my mining account while Hulkageddon II was in full force. So I threw some quick and dirty skills towards a battle cruiser and I started the "grind" that is getting caldari navy from level 1 agents to level 3 agents. I could fit T1 active armor hardeners and Armor reps. I had T2 drone skills. The Myrmidon was a sure winner and should kick rat ass like my drake. Wrong...

See on my combat/hauler account I have all my shield compensation skills to level 4. On my mining account I have not one lick of time invested into the same resistance boosting skills for armor tanking. What this means is you can throw a wet rock soaked in any of the 4 damage types at my Myrmidon and little to none of that damage is mitigated. Even with T2 reppers and hardeners I am still flying around a wet paper bag with "resistance" written on it with crayon.

So basically in my haste to get out there and earn me some Caldari Navy LP. I neglected to stop and follow my own advice kids. FOCUS! The 14 million ISK reminder has EVEMON set to a skill plan to bring LOLLYPOP II up to speed.

You may all point and laugh now.



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why fly a hulk in highsec?

It's funny to see so many HULKs parked in a asteroid belt in a Highsec system. I mean sure they do have more mining bonus than say a covetor. Sure they do have more slots for fitting tanks and cargo expanders than a covetor. Sure they have twice the cargo hold of a covetor.

However for 10x the price these are not HUGE difference for highsec mining. I've had the skills and ISK to fly a hulk for a while now. I just cannot click on the buy button when my covetor can mine rocks almost as good.

So why people do you mine in a hulk in HighSec? Is it for the e-peen status of it? Is it because you bought one so cheap why not fly it? Am I missing some benfit of the hulk over the covetor? Is it simply because you like the extra Shields and not having to worry about the rats at all (afk miners)?

Anyhow, just some thing that makes me scratch my head.



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue. For all your online jerks, EVE I LOVE YOU!

So as I am new to blogging about EVE (or anything) perhaps now is a good time to take a crack at the Blog Banter topic. We have a special installment with prizes. The topic from CrazyKinux this round is "Why do you love EVE Online so much?"

Why do I love EVE?

As the title suggests EVE is a diversity of players and play styles. As a community even the most loathsome bugger who would loot his own mothers wreck after alpha striking her during birth bring color and inspiration to the world of EVE. So the first reason I love EVE is the people who play it. They are passionate, educated, open minded and most of all even a JERK will help you.

As I am really young by EVE terms (~4months) I cannot tell you that I love capital ship fleet war in LowSec. I love to read about it, I have EFT fits for super carriers etc. I love that it is an option I can take on some day. There is a huge source of the <3 factor. I mean the "grind" is what you make of it, not what the game dictates of you. There as SO many ways to achieve stuff that it's not really a grind, more a how does one achieve a goal. To think of all the HOURS I spent getting purple crap only to see it given out next patch. EVE would never cheat me so of her love.

EVE is the Mistress that does not pout over how often you call. Rather she is always delighted to see you and deliver the sugar. I have a busy real life (like most in the year 2010) and it's not realistic for me to plonk myself down in front of a computer for hours on end (even if I do some times). EVE allows me to play around my life and take a break from it. Even when I am not actively online I am training and making ISK. Which I can check from my PC or my iPhone. LOVE IT!

EVE is one dead sexy beast! The game just looks awesome. Even on a busted up 5 year old DELL laptop it looks awesome. The universe looks AWESOME! The way you die looks awesome. The bloody asteroids and the multiple streams of a fleet of strip miners looks awesome (might it bore you to tears)! It makes my eyes feel all perdy inside!

EVE is exciting! Yes I said it, it's down right exciting and I don't only mean when your locked in combat with T3 ships over a chunk of rock called "THE SH!T". It's exciting all the time. I get bloody excited when I scan down a grav site at 2am and face hours of forced 3 min cycles and hauler runs. I get excited when every single Merlin in a batch of 50 sells. I get excited when I undock. Christ I practically blow a gasket when some one locks me (rat or human) even if I intend to run. I might be still green, but I know folks who have beta accounts who still get pumped about the game. That Sir is a lot of LOVE!

So in all I do LOVE EVE online. I chat to it with friends who have tried it and quit (and asked me to stop talking about it). I check it all day on my iPhone. I have scheduled meetings around it. My wife for the longest time believed EVE was a cover name for a real Mistress (and I believe she is still jealous).

You don't play EVE. You court her in the evening hours. You ask her back to your house for some late night fun. In the morning she is there with you at breakfast. You call on her when life needs a lift. She is there always in your mind like a ray of sunlight on a dark winters day. EVE is not a game, but a companion. This is why I love EVE!



Monday, January 25, 2010

Someone took my lollypop!

Well more to the point, I got too bold (complacent) and it blew up. However this does require a little explanation.

Lollypop! was the name of my mission fitted myrmidon. I have not ran missions for a while with SonofBraben (my mining account) and during hulkageddon II decided to take a break from the rocks and run some Caldari navy missions. The experience went like this:

-Running level 1 missions in a battle cruiser requires as much attention as drying paint.
-Running level 2 missions in a Battle cruiser requires as much attention as rolling on paint.
-Running level 3 missions in a Battle cruiser required as much attention as jumping 20 systems.
*insert record scratch sound*

That is until I warped out to buy more ammo and came back into a mission with 40+ nasties, 15 of which were cruisers. Sure a t1 fit active armor tank Battlecruiser should hold. My passive shield tank drake sure did when I ran this mission (and it did when I brought it in as a t2 passive shield tank to finish off the mission).

BLUE FLASH! LAG! POP! Hey look rats don't pod people! W T F!

*insert head scratching sound*

Needless to say I learned ANOTHER lesson about loosing a ship yesterday. Sure insurance got me back a good chunk, sure insurance costs a chunk as well. I mean all in all I only lost 14M ISK to run a mission that with rewards and bounty nets about 1.2M ISK.

What this boils down to for me was the stark difference between a Caldari t2 fitted drake with a very generic passive shield tank and Heavy missiles fit Vs a Gallente t1 fitted myrmidon with an equally generic fitted active armor tank with T2 drones and Blasters fit.

After lollypop! went well POP! I grabbed the drake and warped to my wreck to do a "Snatch and Grab" of what ever was on the wreck. I got the majority of my T2 drones and some cap recharger II back (WOOT!) and started to warp out when I noticed that these fools were doing very little damage to my drake. So I set to full speed (a blistering 168m/s) away from the Pack O' rats and started to lock up the Cruisers and let loose some scourge heavy missiles. On my second system (I box 2 accounts). I had bought a new myrmidon and was fitting it out to get back to the action. basically there were only 10 ships left for the drones when I got Lollypop II back to the point her predecessor had flashed the final blue. The drake had never seen less that 50% shields and I had wrecks to loot all over the place.

Either way it seems that there is a huge difference between the two battle cruisers tank wise that I feel goes well beyond the T1 over T2 fittings. Perhaps it's skills. I sure have spent a lot of time on Zombinutz (my combat/hauler account) to fit and fly a drake (and other things) with some confidence. Sonofbraben can fly anything that has mining gear on it and has a solid base in refining and manufacturing (and can scan down stuff while cloaked). His armor skills don;t seem so bad either, and he has T2 drones to heavies. However his gunnery and defensive skills are lacking.

I'll add the Fits later on. For now I'll bring the Drake along to tank for missions with the Myrmidon (at least until I get trained for T2 armor reps and resistance boosters).



Friday, January 22, 2010

Hey where did all the newbies go?

I bumped into a wise fellow I've known for a bit in EVE today who has always been a great resource for me as a new player. We chatted a bit about what was going on in our respective EVE lives and the topic of new players quitting far too much came up.

I pondered this a moment in all my EVE experience (4 months! But I’ve been playing online games since there was an internet) and came up with 2 VERY general types of players who quit inside 1 month:

Type 1: This player is the kind who wants instant gratification but is unwilling to do any form of work to get there. (Good riddance to them and their mooching ways I say! They should by an XBOX and play a first person shooter and stay OUT of MY universe!)

Type 2: This player is willing to do the work. Enjoys a good challenge but get to the end of the tutorials and quits after drifting about for a while with no guidance. (These folks can be saved and should. They are what most “Middle aged” EVE players were once until someone showed them the light)


(Here we go down the rabbit hole. For those with short attention spans. Skip the BLUE)

I joined EVE after tutorials were introduced. I did the tutorials for both my current accounts and found them an excellent way to kick start a green player into EVE. At first I had just one account and after I had ran out of tutorials. I found myself in a Tristan in Gallente space with no clue what I was going to do next. Thus I began to drift.

I got me a vexor next and I began to mine. As I mined I ventured out to 0.5 space seeking omber. The vexor got T2 mining lasers and expanded cargo holds and mining laser upgrades. Eventually I could fly a retriever and strip miners. Then T2 strip miners with ore specific crystals. Right around here I joined a player corp. and ended up in Caldari space. I started a second account to haul for my miner and BOOM! The corp. was suddenly at WAR. W T F! I cannot PvP in a retriever and a Hauler. So the hauling account became dedicated to combat. Of course the second I could fly anything with enough teeth to think about taking on a “red” the war was over. Back to mining…

I soon grew tired of the fractured focus off the corp. and ventured out into the world alone. This time I was not drifting. I had a direction. I founded my own corp. shortly after and began manufacturing T1 gear and starting down the road to greater things.

/END STORY (PHEW, So who’s still awake?)

OK now that I’ve told my little story here are the three biggest things I can advise a new player to do to get past the drift:

1: JOIN A BLOODY CORP! NPC corps are not going to do more for you than have you run “take 500 cubic meters of CRAP 6 hops for 20000 ISK!” mission and tax you 10%. Pick a corp. that has a focus you are interested in and apply to join. Look for happy people who you find pleasing to chat with.

2: GET A CLUE! Eve is a HUGE game with so many things you can do that no one can possibly do them all well without some serious time invested. So get googling and reading (The
blog pack
are a great source of EVE intel) and choose a “SKILL” to learn. Tools like EVEMON and EFT can greatly help you set training plans for these skills and fit ships for the tasks before you spend one ISK.

3: FOCUS DAMN IT! Like I said (jackass) EVE is HUGE. Stick with something until it brings you JOY over frustration. Train the “beginner” stage of a skill and the T1 version of the ship to do that task. Then go do it and start to learn that trade! Enjoy that trade! Learn the lessons to make you stronger and faster while you train for the ultimate ship and skills for that trade. I hated scanning, until I actually took the time to do nothing but scan. Now it makes me ISK, I find it fun.

Once you have done the above you should be past the “drift” and heading down the long road to glory. Your time on EVE should be fun (IT’S A BLOODY GAME) and there is no reason that virtually anybody with the desire to invest the time cannot have fun in EVE.

I will add one (well 3) thing(s) to the end, a few suggestions for the developers and influential folks. These two things MIGHT help speed people through the drift and away from the cancel subscription button:

1: Write some more level 1-3 missions and release them every quarter. Heck have a contest for the people who PLAY the game to write a mission line for you. Throw them a few ISK and/or a T-Shirt for their time and we all win.

2: Consider region based jump gates for a fee. If folks have to fly 20 hops and it takes them 30 mins. I bet they would pay ISK to do it in one jump. Perhaps allow folks to build Empire jump gates and make a living. Lord knows I have logged out early when I’ve had to make a 14 jump trip to the next agent in the NPC corp. because my eyes are blood shot from waiting for the flicker of my engines before hitting "JUMP". And don't tell me to use the bloody auto pilot!!!

3: Perhaps introduce a “blood sport” for high sec pilots looking to fight without fear of losing their hard earned ship and there implants. Some kind of arena based deal where folks can take their main account, jump in a clone and “rent” a ship to fight in. Get some combat experience before they hit a warp bubble and get blobbed by ships they have no chance to learning anything from other than “Don’t play in lowsec NOOB!" and the flash of blue. I mean you could even have a whole other side deal with folks being able to bet on the fights. Give Pirates an alternative to ratting to raise their security status but fighting up through the gladiator pits. Which adds some real world charm to the sport for new pilots looking for combat training.



Friday, January 15, 2010

Hulkageddon II

So everyone has posted on this thing but to be honest it's a big enough event that you kind of have to blog about it.

What is Hulkageddon II you ask. It's an organized piracy event that brings all those pirates you don't want to encounter in lowsec and sends them into highsec (well anywhere) to target HULKS (well any kind of mining related craft). Said pirates (and anyone who has an alt with ~12 hours of skill training) try to pop mining vessels before concord serves them justice. This year prizes were given out for all kinds of achievement based forms of miner gankage for a week long event.

So how did this fair on a highsec mining newbie? I support the event to be honest and posted such (with a small bit about miners being like fat cows) on the site this year. However you look at it, there is good to come from it.

First good I see revolves around bot miners. Honestly I have toyed with starting an Alt JUST to rid my frequented roid belts of them. They are cheating bastards, provide no in game social value and are lousy at googling good information. Hence they deserve to die!

Second good I see revolves around raising awareness of new miners (and old complacent ones) to the fact that there is no safe place in EVE. At any time (other than in a station) you can be blown to shreds and loose your ship. Now there are things you can do to help yourself survive. Fit a tank to the mining barge. Sure a T1 barge is not going to offer much options, but there are plenty of examples on how to fit a hulk with a decent tank while still being able to vaporize veldspar and make tons of cash. Some even boast 300+ DPS. Oh yeah, and align to your warp out point please. Some might argue it's folly, but to be honest every second counts when some one with blasters is trying to shoot you. If they had rubber chickens, bah who needs to align.

Third good I see revoles around the market. How so you might ask. So ore prices for starters. Before the event I was selling tritanium at 4% under market (unless I wanted to haul it 10 hops), now I sell it for 2% over market. WOOT 6% gain baby! I also made a ton (well 40) destroyers out of mined goods and reprocessed goods that made me ~28M ISK while I did some thing else for a week. (TIP: Don't gouge the crap out of the gankers by doubling the price of destroyers. Price them well for a modest profit and make a ton of 'em. They will all sell that week.)

Fourth good I see revolves around me actually taking a break from mining and doing some thing fun. That week I got my mining account into a battle cruiser and up to level 4 missions. That week I scanned down 20+ hacking and 20+ salvage sites and made ~20M ISK worth in sold rigs. That week I took a walk (well I flew a ship...) into W space and killed my first sleepers and started a T3 (long way off for me) salvage stockpile. I could have mined and made more ISK perhaps, but man the energy drinks I would have needed to mine for the play time I logged that week (actually I played more that week than normal.).

So take a moment to take off your blinders and look around you. Look past the system you are in, the bookmarked secure cans, and the industrial jobs you have running. Look past your rage when you get ganked by 4 destroyers in your "safe" 0.5-1.0 system. Look beyond the ISK you could have made. Look to the horizons (all be them filled with folks with your ill fortune at hand) and step into the unknown for a week. Most of all, send Helicity Boson a little thank you. If 1% of us EVE players took the time to organize some thing of this scale. Oh how much more fun we would all have.

Oh and if you are still filled with rage from that hulk you lost or clutching your chest with stress over the Orca that is no more. I suggest you pour a bucket of water into the power supply of your computer and take up yoga or something. It be a game and games are supposed to be FUN people, mkaaay!



let's see how this goes...

For many years I have been involved with online activities. I've done everything from late 90's chat rooms to MMOGs. I am yet to BLOG and while I have spent a good number of hours reading blogs for both work and play. This is my first venture into what today is a increasingly common web past time.

This blog for the most part will follow the fun and games inside of EVE online. I recently set aside almost half a decade of WoW to join the pirates, carebears, scammers, shipbuilders, and salvage Ninjas in EVE (and many other flavors of capsuleers).

I bought into the game 26 hours into my first trial. I was amazed that you could mine rocks AND shoot things in the same ship. The tutorials had me do things that gave me free STUFF. Skills were trained in minutes to allow me to fly a different ship, or have a module that repaired my ships hull FOR FREE!!! I was hooked and this game was the best.

Reality hit about a week later when I realized that one ship could not really do everything. Skills took hours and then days and then weeks to roll by. At this point I ditched my NPC corp for a player corp. I was focusing on mining more as it seemed like a good way to make cash. I mined in a fleet with a hauler taking our rocks back to be refined. Life seemed good and ISK started to roll. I tried an alt in the same account. This led to frustration in only one active training queue at a time per account. That frustration led to a second account focused on combat skills and such.

I got a lesson in EVE principals when a mole inside the player corp locked up both my retriever and my hauler one day. Sent both my accounts to their pods and made off with all my T2 strip miners, cargo expanders, and all. At first I was shocked. Then I was angry. Then I was calm and actually found the event some what cleansing. Shortly after this I left the corp to find my own corner of space in highsec and found my own corp. I've also donated about 20M ISK to scammers to educate myself in how NOT to trade in EVE. Ah the life of a noob.

Today my two accounts sit in highsec in a corp. by them self. I mine and manufacture t1 ships and mods. I run level 4 missions and I salvage. I scan for hacking, salvage, and grav sites. I've found myself poking my little T1 scanning frig. into W space. I plan to start taking jump clones and t1 frigates into lowsec to start my schooling in PvP.

What remains in place the most after 3 months in EVE is that I still have a "kid in a candy store" like enthusiasm towards the game.

I know many folks blog about EVE, and all of what I am typing has been laid into text many times before. However, if you find interest in what I write leave a comment. I plan to blog for a while for my own records of what I do in EVE, but it's always nice to share.