Tuesday, November 23, 2010

EVE Thanksgiving!

It's that time of year where most Americans be they resident or citizen of all religions (for the most part) prepare for the annual Thanksgiving day feast. I was not born here and hence not educated via the US schools. So at first this holiday appeared to me as a practice run for Christmas dinner with some elements of "Boxing day" thrown in. I still joke with my family back in Australia about it being a dressed rehearsal for Christmas dinner.

I've lived in the US now for over a decade and even sadly speak Bostralian now over pure Australian. Over the years my views on thanksgiving have altered slightly. I've come to understand the holiday more as a time to lay aside our differences and give thanks for all the things in our life that defines it. Thanking the good people for loving us and sharing their life with us in happiness. Thanking the Jerks in our life for defining what we dislike in others (someone has to do it). Thanking the dog for being a brainless stomach and chewing up our socks. Thanking our co-workers for various things both good and bad they do throughout the year. It's a time of settling our differences and being grateful for being above ground. The rest of the year we can stomp around miserably and curse it all, but this day everyone should get over them self and give thanks. Kind of a cool idea I think even if we should aspire to do this more than once a year. Oh and we get to eat Silly amounts of roast turkey , veggies, and 2-3 different kinds of pie!

So thanksgiving week on this blog I'd like to thank a few folks in the EVE community:

1: I'd like to thank HellGodofWar for reminding me that Hulks explode when you do stupid things with them. Like flying the through lowsec entry systems without a scout. Thanks Buddy. However trade the drake in for some DPS, that was painfully long. Cudos on the pro-bump when I tried to reproach. Kill mail here

2: I'd like to thank the 5 new pilots who have joined HCSH. Wish I saw you all on more and did not have to think you were ALL waiting to steal my stuff. If you need anything let me know (except all my stuff).

3: I'd like to thank all pirates, ninjas, suicide gankers, and colorful local smack talkers for the entertainment value they bring to EVE every single damn day.

4: I'd like to thank Logan, Kirth, Rixx, and all the other bloggers who have always given me good advice. Hope your RL lets you get your PvP one more. Special thanks to Astral Domnix for being a himself and recommending I join his corp. moments before he left it. I've had some fun and made some great friends as a result.

5: I'd like to thank "The Sarj" for being himself. He may never read this but thanks all the same you Twat!

6: I'd like to sincerely thank Paul a real life friend who convinced me to play EVE. He emo rage quit the game 3 months later over Ninjas in his missions, but with out his suggestion. I'd be out there some palce else finding reasons to quit WoW. That is truly something to be thankful for.

7: I'd like to thank Mom and the other souls who choose to read this blog. I truly don't understand why you read about my EVE life. It's not THAT awesome compared to the high rollers who shoot people in the face. Thanks all the same as it gives me something other than myself to write for. Love you Mom!

What are you thankful for in the EVE sense?



Monday, November 22, 2010

Nevermore #1

Well after flying both passive and active shield tanked ravens solo in Caldari navy Level 4's. The verdict is pretty easy to deliver. See there are a lot of Active Shield tanked ravens for a reason. Why!? because they kick the snot out of passive shield tanked ravens when it comes to incoming RAT DPS. They also deliver more outbound DPS as well because all the low slots are not jammed with shield mods to get the thing enough buffer to have a sustainable passive regen.

In the end I fit my PvE Raven thus:

Name: Nevermore #1


6 x 'Arbalest' Cruise Launcher I, Paradise Cruise Missile w\ Mission specific Cruise missiles
1 x Drone Link Augmenter I
Empty Slot (my skills don't leave enough CPU for a NOS)


1 x XL-Shield Booster II
1 x Shield boost amplifier II
1 x Heavy Electrochemical capacitor Booster I
2 x Invulnerability Field IIs
1 x Cap recharger II (or a mission specific hardener if I am not being lazy)


3 x Ballistic Control System II
2 x Power Diagnostic System II


3 x Large Capacitor Control Circuit I


5 x hobgoblin II
5 x Hammerhead II

So far it's not too much of an adjustment over the Drake. Does more damage and tanks well enough that I can slow boat my way around most level 4's solo. So all in all my very first Battleship hull is doing what I wanted it to do. Of course now I am looking for a cheap Navy issue Scorpion ;P



Friday, November 19, 2010

The Raven: the next evolution of the Caldari carebear ships

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door
Only this, and nothing more."
-Edger Allen Poe: The raven

I was going to substitute some EVE like meaning to the first paragraph of this classic poem, but as I did so it just felt wrong. So I decided to go with the original text. AS really this post is about my new Battleship hull for ZombiNutz and the fit I’ll be putting to the test in Caldari navy level 4 and 5 missions here shortly.

Yes before all you die hard PvP people start into me about training my fits Battle ship hull on my PvP pilot as the classic Carebear battleship stepping block. There is an ulterior motive here in longer terms a sniper Rokh is all ready sitting in my hanger. While sniper BS fleets are all but a thing of the past, I still think it’s good to be able to field one someday. However for now we are here to talk Raven and more specifically PvE mission boat Raven.

Question one: Passive or Active shield tank?

OK so I’ve flown a drake for most of my mission running career with the Caldari navy. That Drake has ALWAYS been a passive shield tank. As such and due to the somewhat limited variety and script like nature of missions. I have a very good understanding of when the Drake will hold and when I need to pop the scramming rats and bail. Yet I see and read a lot of thought about the Raven being better as an Active shield tank. Active shield tanks typically have more challenges in cap stability and hence become reliant on cap boosters. Honestly the less I need to remember to have in my cargo hold when I undock them better. So I’ll be heading out in a passive shield tank raven for now. I might die a flaming death sitting in my pod with a huge “WTF!?!” surrounded by mocking scram frigate rats and battleships. Yet this is my choice of preference and I need to go with it. (Yes more like a PvP extender fit :) )

Question Two: Torps or Cruise pointy bits?

Easy enough to answer for me, Cruise all the way. More range is NEVER a bad thing in PvE. I’ve all ready bought and researched the 4 Cruise BPOs. Making one’s own ammo is a good thing, but it’s very cost effective with Cruise missiles. I also have decent drone skills, so range is good and the drones pick off the stuff that gets too close.

Question three: target painters, salvages, drone link augmenters?

All right, you might be guessing I’ll be flying a hacked up twisted buffer PvP ish fit for my PvE raven. Right or wrong that’s what I plan to do for at least the first one. Screw salvagers as any chump worth his ISK has a dedicated salvage boat/alt to do that kind of work. Target painters = bigger sig radius = the whole fleet hits more (simple, not factoring in every last chunk of math). Drone link augmenters = drones can fly out where the missiles are hitting. I said it before; Range is NEVER a bad thing in PvE.

OK So the fit:

Honestly at this point I have ideas, and well I don’t like to post “dream” fits until I’ve actually fit them and flown them and can comment on how they do. Sure I could pull an EFT fit out with my skills and post it here, but there are enough EFT gurus out there that do this. I’ll stick to posting what I fly after I bolt it all together over the weekend and get some dents on the paint. Chances are come next week I’ll be fitting an active tank, with Cruise missiles, and salvages. ;)

What do you think?

So this is my take on fitting a raven based on flying a drake in Level 4’s and flying smaller stuff about. I like the ease of use of Passive tanks, I like more range when fighting rats, and I prefer fits for the job at hand and hence bring a second boat along for the cleanup.

However I am speaking as a pure pedant at the moment and well tend to try my ideas either way. Yet only a fool does not listen to the man who has lived the adventure and survived because of a fit. So chances are what I end up flying will will change a few times. Must like when I clued in that an Inv II was a good thing to have on a passive drake over a single resistance mod.



P.S. If you have a PvE OR PvP fit you like for the Raven. Feel free to drop it in the comments.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Milestones and an idea.

I was sitting here just now reflecting on where my blog is at. It seems some folks read it other than Mum and I which is a good thing. It also seems that 50 posts and 100 posts have come and gone quietly. I have 19 followers registered with the site and a few folks comment now and then. My indy pilot ticked past 15M SP sometime last week and I did not raise a fuss as I did when it was 10M. My combat pilot will hit the same mark this week.

My point here is milestones and the amount of fuss one might give them tends to change. I dedicated a whole post to each of my pilots who hit 10M SP milestones. I would have though my centennial post would have sparked some sort of event or something. Honestly it was another post in the life of me in EVE. Nothing extraordinary about it or special, it was just another entry not a celebration of achievement. Why? I am not sure to be honest. I enjoy reading others when they do special things for milestone posts. I guess in the regard of mile stone posts I am not that inwardly focused. I certainly am focused on me and can be a downright prissy jerk at times. Yet my 100th and 50th posts did not register. Such is life I guess.

In other news I had this idea of doing a frigate cage match. Where I’d have all the folks show up into a system in T1 frigates and fight it out for the cash prizes. It had limits to fits and all that and this required me to spend a lot of the time I don’t have to make it work. It’s not dead but in part of the “being a man” about it mentality. It’s not going to happen this year. What will happen is an organized frigate event called “T1 Frigate 11s”. I’ll be posting about it but the slant of it is something like this:

-20 Pilots buy in at 5M ISK each and choose a T1 frigate type.
-HCSH provides them with 5 of that frigate type to fit as they like.
-HCSH then sends the list of all 20 pilots to each other and sets a 2 week END date.
-First pilot to post kill mails for 11 valid 1v1 victories against unique pilots from the list of 20 with the ships involved being just the frigate types purchased on both sides (and not a blob) gets 100M ISK

The fits are up to the pilots with no restrictions. I don’t care if you want to fly high grade implants and boosters. I don’t care if you pod each other. All I care about is 11 unique 1v1 kills in the frigate type you purchased against other pilots from the list of competitors in the frigate they chose. Simple, easy, and it promotes solo PvP and well because you get 5 frigates for the 5M ISK. Even a new player can dive in, fit it with T1 stuff and have 5 good fights to learn from.

That’s the idea. I might add a best video contest to it. I might add a bonus prize for the pilot who dies the most and another for the one who dies the least. Either way it’s something I can run and perhaps fly in for grins. I’ll officially pitch it in its own post shortly.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Where in the universe is EVE SOB –November 2010 – late Edition

It is time for this month’s “Where in the Universe is EVE SOB” post where every month I summarize where I am at in EVE. I also throw in some real world stuff and the top CNN headline of the day for a historical WTF was the world doing back then element.

Standards change:

So it seems like I am a little late in my first of the month, every month segment on what I am up too. Honestly EVE right now is in a kind of auto pilot. Once I pulled back from Null and folded all my pilots back into healthcare for Space hermits. It all slowed down and making ISK became organic not active. Even in recruiting new pilots for my actions are passive and semi automated. This all leaves me in a state of normality and regularity that does not change all that much. So as a result the blog has slowed as well I don’t have much riveting news. I’ve never been one to write for the sake of making a post.

Likewise the format of this segment has evolved into less of a split personality between Indy and PvP. Merging more into a carebear like blog even if it was never really the battle report hardcore PvP type log. This does not mean that I have no interest in PvP and that I will not continue training ZombiNutz down that path. It just means I am not going to focus some much on the division between one area and another. It should keep it more together and well my readers (I think there might be my Mum and five more by now) should hopefully find it flows a little better we shall see.

So what am I doing:

These days I have settled into a routine where I spend 30-45 mins a day (depending on hauling) keeping 20 P.I. planets chugging away which in turn drop about 350-375M ISK into my wallet a month. Sometimes I do this while I am chatting with old former corp. mates to set up some social mission running for fun. Other times this is while sitting in an Ice belt in a Mackinaw. It might be while I am fixing a real life work issue while a script is running or a log is parsing. I could be doing it while spamming a recruitment channel or yabbering on about nothing with folks in HCSH-Tavern. The bottom line is restarting my planets takes about 30-45 mins of time mixed in with other things I am doing making it a very care free source of ISK. It’s paid for itself, my R&D, Blockade runner, T2 production, PvE, and PvE skill book costs. Likewise it’s paid for a Mackinaw, Viator, Raven, Imicus, and soon an ORCA. So there is some merit in this new feature that arrived with the last expansion at least for me.

Things I am training:

Honestly if you were to look at Octobers section you might get a feel for where this is about to go.

SonOfBraben: Well the viator is trained and the Crane is inside of 18 days but I am taking a few detours back to T2 construction skills. Specifically the skills needed to invent T2 BPCs build Viator and Crane class blockade runners. This also includes the sub components as well and the Data cores required inventing. Long term goals are to continue funding the data cores via R&D agents over ISK for said data cores. All of this takes time and ISK. In turn it means I can build what I can fly and more so sell them for profits

ZombiNutz: So back up here in Highsec there is no immediate need for a ‘dictor as well you cannot warp bubble in these parts. So I did take a breather from that road of dedicated tackle skills to train my first Battleship hulls. So a PvE fit Raven with cruise missiles is where I am training for. In about 10 days with the completion of Caldari BS IV and Cruise Missiles IV I’ll be done with that. After that I am not sure if I’ll go back to ‘dictors or work on T2 launchers for the raven. I have been looking at a hurricane too and a few HACs with stars in my eyes. I really should sure up my drake fit fits, as I am still shooting Named HM launchers.

The Sisters: With the main toons on both accounts pretty busy skill wise and these two filling the spots they were created to do. They both remain paused and dormant. As corp. Standings with R&D agents expand the next area I see them being trained is in research project management to run multiple R&D agent tasks for the ever growing variety of data cores needed for SOBs work.

Real Life Stuffs:

It is the start of winter in my parts. I’ve all ready woken to show on the ground and had our trusty pellet stove running. Temperatures are below freezing at night and critters are super busy stocking up on food for the winter. This leads to squirrels raiding the bird feeders, raccoons in the trash, foxes digging at the bunny hutch, and field mice trying to invade my basement (and a happy cat). My dog has shot nerves from all the action and has barked himself horse. I grew up on a farm in Australia before we lost most of our guns. So for me there is a clear solution to all these problems. The down side is my wife grew up in burbs of Boston and while hates the critters does not have the stomach for dirty work. Also small town Massachusetts is not fond of gun shots in town and I cannot legally own a gun all the same. Furthermore it appears that it’s not legal to trap and relocate certain animals as it’s stressful for the little darlings. Either way this annual loot rioting from Mother Nature will be over soon. So my famer’s way urges to cull the need will soon subdue. I still am not sure why I have not moved the family to the more rural and open minded state of New Hampshire or down to the warmer Carolinas or Texas.

CNN Headline for Today:




Friday, November 5, 2010

Trust and Recruiting.

So after coming back to highsec my focus shifted hard towards growing my indy corp. I cannot say I am out there blitzing the recruitment channels but I've pulled in a few new members who are easy going and fit the bill. I've also turned a few folks away and hired some folks who left in very short order.

One such individual who I will not name because that is just cheap. Joined the corp. and then bailed 5 minutes later. I thought to myself he was fishing for member information for a war dec so I sent him the following in game mail:

"Safe travels then
From: SonOfBraben
Sent: 2010.11.03 20:45
To: Corp. Spy type

Guess we are not for you.



Simple and to the point way to fish a little. Some time passed and this came back:

"Re: Safe travels then
From: Corp. spy type
Sent: 2010.11.03 20:49
To: SonOfBraben,

Sorry, I lied.
I'm a pure indy alt and was curious how hard it would be to scam a corp. I don't have the heart nor the effort prorbably required. Thanks for letting me in and sory that I deceived you.

Fly safe -"

Nice that the dude was man enough to realize espionage was not for him and fess up. I took a moment to send the following reply:

"Re: Re: Safe travels then
From: SonOfBraben
Sent: 2010.11.03 20:54
To: Corp. Spy Type,

No worries! It's part of the game. I am an easy target as I don't require API keys. The other side is I don't grant access to any corp. members and keep most of the assets buried elsewhere. SO worst you can do is get a member list for a war dec or gank a pilot before you get booted.
We all have to try the dark side now and then...

Fly safe.



It's not hard for my current efforts to fall victim to corp. infiltrators as I don't ask for API keys AND I am actively looking for brand new pilots. Heck half the guys I have recruited might be trying to infiltrate my corp. and take all my stuff. That's fine with me as I have NO intentions of giving any of them access to my hangers or wallets. I'll give them free stuff like a ship in the hanger now and then. I'll fly with them until they shoot at me and I tell them all I'll shoot back if they do.

The bottom line is if you want to grow a corp. you need to give folks the benefit of the doubt. EVE tends to make you paranoid and untrusting and with all the current media and power of two marketing being around exploring your dark side. It's not hard to want to shut the doors and chain a starved Fenris by the locks.

I have chosen to grow my corp. and well if every last one of the new recruits are there with a long term goal of robbing me blind. I wish them luck and will fly with 'em and offer answers to their questions until they try to drive the shank in my spine. Then I'll wish them well, boot them from the corp. and replace them with the next new recruit.

I do however hope that the benefit of the doubt pays off and I end up with a solid core of people who all have fun flying together.

A Toast: Here is hoping it all pans out for the best.



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cloaky Hauling goodness Part 1: The Viator

A little while back I asked the smart people who read my blog to post up their opinions between the transport ships. I asked what was better the blockade runner or the deep space transport and got a solid answer back that blockade runners were the way to go. So I trained me up a Viator with SonOfBraben to get my good to market through LowSec and supply stuff to pilots in less favorable places.


So first of all let's talk about skill plans for these handy and sneaky little haulers. Since we are talking about the Viator this means Gallente Industrial V, industry V, and Transport ships I(at least). To fit it worth a damn I'd add at least Cloaking IV. Tactical shield manipulation IV, High Speed Maneuvering IV, and Astronautics rigging IV. You might want to throw some EWAR on there are well but that's up to you. It's a hefty plan for a new pilot and not that trivial for a 12 month old pilot but for hauling stuff in harm's way it's time well spent.


There are a few ways to fit the Viator. Skill bonus are:
Gallente Industrial Skill Bonus:
+5% cargo capacity per level
+5% velocity per level
Transport Ships Skill Bonus:
-5% armor repairer duration per level.
-98.5% to -99.25% bonus to cpu need of covert ops cloaks

The odd thing about it though is not many folks seem fit this one for bonus. Rather most fit it for agility and speed for the most past with a splattering of "OH shit" EWAR and shield resistance to get them free if they get bumped from cloak. I'll be honest I cannot see a Viator armor tanking it's way through a gate camp. So it's along the speed and agility lines that I have fit the Viator for the LowSec hauling work I use it for. Here is how mine is bolted together.

FIT: Viator - Nothing to See (Cost ~80M ISK)

-Covert Ops Cloaking device II
-ECM Burst II
-Invulnerability Field II
-Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I MWD
-Nanofiber Internal Structure II
-Local Hull Conversion Inertial Stabilizers I
-Expanded Cargohold II
-Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
-Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I

It aligns and warps at near frigate speed and is similar to fly through LowSec camps to my Helios without the top speed and probes. It's got tons of cap for the MWD, INV II, and MWD but is a 50 second wonder if you turn on the ECM (set to not auto cycle) but we only use that if we are locked to try and break point and GTFO. If you fly it right in LowSec you should not get a lock on you. I've flown it through a number of camps all ready without so much as a yellow box (knocks on wood). I'd imagine bubbles might be a bit of fun in this guy if they have supporting fast tackle or insta-lock ships. In Null I'd recommend dropping the expanded cargohold II for another stabilizer and ponying for the T2 rigs for a little more speed and agility. THE best tank for a blockade runner is not being seen and being somewhere else fast if you are.

Either way I enjoy this ship a ton and it's allowed me many hassle free trips to market through Lowsec that have all ready paid for it many times over. It really is like flying a Helios with a ~4500m3 cargo hold!

I am training for the Crane at the moment and have some BPO's in for ME research before I start to build both the Viator and the Crane. I plan to do a comparison to the Viator to the Crane in terms of fit, flying, and cost. Then I'll most likely compare how they are to build as well.