Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Back Soon!

With the previous post I sort of hit the nail on the head for my life focus these days. I am 100% a father who is busy guiding two growing lads along the path to a life of their own. I work and commute like most of us 5 days a week and the weekends are 100% family focused.  As such EvE has slipped into a sad cycle of updating training and vaporizing liquid ISK for plex.

It’s SUMMER and with summer comes a time for vacations and getting out side. Summer is exploring new avenues while unplugging from the digital world of life and leisure. Its days at the lake and nights by the campfire with the smart phone tucked away.

As such I am un-subbing 100% for a while until the fire and drive to log in and actually do something in EvE returns. There is no other GAME or major life event here rather 4 years in and time to unplug for a bit. So as I vacation from EvE I wish you all well and leave you with this. I will be back when the time is right with no hint of a maybe.



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Corrupting the next Generation.

For as long as I've played EvE my two sons have been enamored with the sparkling stars and ships I fly about them. They have watched me play over the years and they ALWAYS want me to blow something up. They are older now ages 8 and 10, and while still technically too young to play the game alone. I started to let them play with me on one of my accounts this past weekend. Of course the first thing they wanted to do was blow things up.

Like any good corrupter of children (aka father) I started with a nice 21 Jump journey through highsec in a deep space transport just to set the mood. In EvE nothing is right there for you to just log in and start. Yes I know, a shuttle would have been faster, but I told them to package that up and put it in the cargo hold. I have to say basic overview and navigation came easy to my son. He asked lots of questions. Asked why he could not open that yellow cargo container on the gate. Asked what the flashy red guy meant. Asked why this ship was slower than daddy’s stiletto. Asked where the guns were on the Bustard. I answered them all, showed them the fitting screen, talked a bit about agro and griefers. It was a social father son chat while we made the jumps to a mission system. It all seemed to settle in.

When we got to the system where I keep my mission ships I told my son to open up his inventory. He knew where it was and made “mega-flop” active before I could ask him to. He pulled up the fitting and said “Nice!” out loud when he saw the T2 rails. Asked lots of questions about each module and what they did. Then he knew what was next and excitedly said “We are going to blow stuff up now!” He did his cute little 8 year old happy jumping and clapping thing. I felt like a good father. So we found a level 3 mission agent and off we went. I was in a PvP fit Drake just because.

Mission went well and my son got to range and use of the rails well. He turned on his tracking computer and tank automatically and locked and obliterated any cruiser and above between 45-60KM. He complained a bit about it being too easy and asked if I could change his guns to something more exciting. I explained that he was the DPS and my drake was the bait. He still wanted missiles as they looked “cooler”. He was also curious about the drones I was ripping frigate rats apart with as well.

We played for a few hours and ran a number of classic level 3 missions. Towards the end all I needed to do was drop system and station links into the fleet chat. He would warp out to the system and wait for me warp us into the mission. He would dictate his range from the rats and spawns all while talking to some of my old EvE mates in chat.

The following day my 10 year old, who had watched his younger brother quietly for 2 hours the day before, was at the controls of Mega-flop. I spared him the 21 jump overview training and we dove into level 3’s. After watching his brother he knew just what to do down to activating his tank. I showed him how to control drones. This time I flew a hurricane (225mm shield PvP fit) so I could tear up frigates faster than the drake. Another 2 hours passed and again it was fun and effortless. The only major difference was my 10 year old talked smack with me in fleet over politely talking to others.

I have to say it will be a long time before I can take them on a lowsec roam. However it was a super fun way to spend a few hours on the weekend blasting some rats with my sons. Next perhaps I’ll break out my Navy Scorp. and run some level 4’s with them. Heck if I activate my other accounts we could prob’ recruit a few stragglers and start incursions. I did show my eldest scanning and he was BORED out of his wits. So blowing stuff up seems to be the way forward.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

New home – Genesis

Last post I chatted about lonetrek being a long term home for me for many of my years. I am still deciding what to do next, but I was drawn to Genesis as a new base of operations. Perhaps it’s the whole 10 year anniversary calling me back to the “roots” of New Eden. Perhaps it’s the quiet systems and need for change. All the same I’ve trucked a large subset of my stuff 20j away from familiar (again) to see what trouble I can get into.

Sure I have to grind Amarr standings to put up a POS again. Then again you have to almost wardec someone now to stand up a POS in 0.5 Caldari space. So some senseless courier missions while I watch TV for a while and I’ll be done with all that.

Odyssey so far has not affected me much. I can still fly pretty much any ship I could before. The new gate animations and moved undock button don’t bother me at all. I did find an anomaly warping around asteroid belts in my jaguar with-out so much of a single click of a scan button. So I ran it for grins. I’ve not really played enough to comment past this.

I still plan to do a journey of sorts. I’ve got to rebuild my ISK a little before I can begin but I opened up the full map of eve the other day trying to plot jump ranges from Genesis to the market hubs (not awesome). When I did I was kind of shamed at how little of EVE space I have seen. When a man feels shame he is biologically driven to take action to atone.

I really should fly lowsec more looking for fights. Perhaps I’ll troll around the EVE Gate systems for grins. Little historical camp ground violence.



Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where to live next?

I’ve lived in many parts of New Eden. However for the most part I have lived in Caldari space, more specifically Lonetrek. I always seem to gravitate back to this region after each adventure winds down and I need to return to a stable base before moving forward again. I’ve had sufficient time to regroup after stepping out of Wormholes a few months back. Now I need to decide where to live next or more so what to do for my next adventure.

I don’t think of myself as a well-traveled EvE player and I am sure there are many things I have still to add to my list of “stuff done”. Yet I’ve done a little more than plod around in highsec as well. So here is a short list of the things I’ve done over the last 4 years or so:

1: Null - miner, PvP, and dweller (providence)
2: Lowsec  - PvP pilot, Moon Miner, T2 production, and POS farm feeder (blackrise, khanid, and others)
4: Highsec- carebear – indy, missions, trade, PI, POS bashing, and wars (Amarr, Caldari, Gallente highsec)
5: WH – CEO -  PvP, indy, miner, and POS feeder (Corp. C1, alliance C6)
6: Carrier and Jump Freighter pilot (I can fly dreads too)

I’ve yet to do much in Minmatar space except fly down there for skill books etc. I’ve been pondering faction war for a bit and well might cut loose and burn some frigate hulls. I’ve been pondering  lowsec/NPC Null sec exploration but well that has its ups and downs. I’ve been pondering a tengu joy ride trying to hit the middle system in each of the region maps on Dotlan.

Ultimately I play less these days but find when I do play the things I find myself doing are things I find fun. Highsec has limited fun and solo PvP in lowsec wise I always seem to find a Cyno alt or a small gang with no in between. So perhaps some kind of pilgrimage is in order.

Hmm…perhaps I will see how many regions I can visit in a T3. Worst case I blow 1BN isk at the first good gate camp…Either way more fun than building orcas.



Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quitters and Survivors – reflecting on my first death in EvE

TL;DR: When I was a noob I got kilt by a corp. mole and learned to meta game EvE. My friend rage quit and I got his Stuff. It's sorta a MEME for this eveoganda post

So I was reading this post at eveoganda where Rixx was relating a RL experience to the harshness of EvE. It has some colorful comments that are also a good read, and well Rixx danced around a delicate subject in the real world to prove his point in EvE. I've read eveoganda for as long as there has been an eveoganda so I knew what Rixx was getting at. It got me thinking about my first death(s) in EvE and well I felt it warranted a post.

I am sure I have talked about it at some point in a past blog post. I certainly know I have told this story in game as a CEO many times. It was one of those incidents that makes or breaks you in a game. One of those moments where you dig in and fight or you cry and quit. To truly set the stage one must go back to fall of 2009 when a mate I had played WoW with told me of this magical game called EvE online.

I remember logging into EvE and instantly having NO clue what I was doing whilst being totally enthralled with the images on my screen. Shit I was in a station and there was this ship in front of me. About my screen there was all this stuff. Stuff I had no idea what it all meant. Then some popup appears with an android chick telling me what I should do. 12 hours of tutorials later (yeah I did them all) I was hooked. I did what most do at first and flounder around for 2-3 weeks on my own.

Week later at work my mate and I are talking about EvE. He starts telling me how awesome his corp. is and that the CEO and members are nice fellows who all were old hands at EvE (CEO was 6 months old, and the oldest corp. player was 14 months). So I moved what at the time was an eternity. 21 jumps over to Caldari space from Gallente.  I joined this corp. and started to help them mine towards corp. “goals” (making the CEO’s ISK increase). I started mining in a frigate, then a Cruiser, and after a month or two getting my “cut” and training I got this amazing mining barge thingy called a retriever. I also added my second account and trained my “PvP’ pilot to fly a badger II so he could haul my ore (FAIL). Right about this time the corp. had a recruitment drive and some “new” (oh old enough to fly a destroyer) members joined the corp.

So I was out in a belt with my retriever and badger II sitting inside 2500m of an anchored GSC. I was mining on my time and making my ISK today. It was the 2nd time I had undocked the retriever since dropping my entire wallet on it and the fit. 3 cycles into it and the “new” corp. guy comes online and says “Hello. What’s up?” to which I reply “mining in belt 2”. No further comments in chat but few moments later a thrasher lands in belt. It’s the “new” guy 20KM away heading over to me. I figured he was gonna kill rats and hang out. Chat about this or that perhaps. However that’s not what happened at all.

I remember sitting there in my chair as he locked my retriever wondering how it was I was being locked when there were no rats in the belt. Then I was taking damage and had no clue who was shooting me. I remember the light bulb going off before I was in my pod and asking the “new” guy to stop as it was not funny. I remember being in my pod next. I remember the anger as he locked my badger II and the whole process repeated. I remember being confused and angry. I felt deflated and betrayed. I just lost everything to a friendly who next typed some message about a jihad and gods of the asteroid belts being angry before looting my wrecks and warping off. That day was the day I learned about EvE reality and dark cold center under the eye candy outer layer. 

The next 24 hours was interesting as an EvE noob. Once the rest of the corp. including the CEO came online there was a period of panic. Little did I know the same dude ganked my friend earlier that day. Who emailed the CEO rage quit and was now nowhere to be found in game. The CEO wanted blood but had no ISK to help me out replacing my ships. The other members wanted blood and also had no ISK to help me replace my ships. Everyone was freaking out that the corp. infiltrator could kill them too or steal the stuff from their personal hangers. I was freaking out too because everyone was freaking out. Then the CEO called for us all to get in our best PvP ship and form up, the plan being to hunt this guy down and murder him. The witch hunt lasted about an hour. The New guy had logged off long ago and we were all too dumb to know you cannot kill someone not logged in. The CEO finally figured out how to boot the dude from the corp. and told us that he was shoot on site for the next 24 hours until his roles dropped.

All this happened on a Friday night. I remember spending hours that weekend researching all manner of EvE things. Vexor PvP fits, corporation management options, aggression game mechanics, and corp. moles. Each topic uncovered a new topic and as I fell into the rabbit hole of meta game information. The hook set deeper into my jaw. I now wanted to get a point on that thrasher with my Vexor and have my hobgoblins I and ION blasters rip it apart. I knew how to set up my overview. I knew how to add the bad guy as a contact and set standings. I knew I could lock and fire upon any corp. member with out concord getting in the way. I also knew that there was a good chance that bad guy no longer existed as a character because it was most likely an alt built for corp. infiltration.

When Monday came around my friend had no logged in over the weekend. I sat next cube over from him at work. I was full of all this wonderful EvE knowledge and enthusiasm. So I stuck my head over the cubicle walls and said good morning. We exchanged pleasantries for a bit before I started to ask about how he got ganked. I expected an eager conversation about EvE to spark up. Instead I got “I don’t want to talk about that shitty game man!” Apparently my friend had already un-subbed from EvE and rejoined WoW. He rage quit for good as a result of that one negative event and only once logged back in to give me his stuff before his time ran out. I use the 50M to replace my ships and left the corp. to found my own. The rest they say is history

Since that day I've lived in NullSec, LowSec, highSec and Wormholes. I've founded and ran 3 different corporations. Killed things in fleets, killed things alone, and built pretty much everything from a frigate to a jump freighter. I have a modest net worth somewhere in the 40 Billion ISK range and enjoy my EvE time as life allows. I've had many fun experiences and made a few good friends along the way. Why? Because I chose to be a Survivor not a quitter that fall day in 2009.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

Days drift by – I make ISK – EvE has become another hobby!

Last post I talked about rightsizing my EvE footprint. Well I did that and since then have been plodding away building Orcas for the most part. Sure I have some PI going in highsec, I have my R&D agents stacking up datacores for me, and a little trade here and there. I’ve got BPOs in ME/PE or copy slots in my little POS in highsec too. Yet the biggest thing I am doing to make ISK is building Orcas from buying minerals cheap, building Orcas, and flogging said Orcas for x% more than the rocks cost. OH I ran a single level 4 mission in there somewhere too and smartly was reminded how much that game content needs a refresh.

So really EvE for me has become a hobby with a social side. Kind of like Friday night poker games with a group of dudes from work. You show up and play a limited bank game of Poker, talk some BS with the dudes, and consume beer and wings. See at first that sounds like a great thing and you typically find out some interesting stuff about the dudes from work and form some kind of friendship. Yet over time often the whole thing becomes mundane. In one way or another “Dave” is clearly the best poker player and by default goes home with the loot, “Bob’s” stories start to repeat themselves, and well “Sam’s” beer selection and wings tend to lose the flair and spice they once had. My fear is that like the Friday night poker game, EvE will become a hobby I feel obliged to do. 

Yet over the years and reading through my blog if you cut out my constant bitching about real life getting in the way of my EvE time. The whole damn thing reads like a diary of a social poker player. I clearly go through phases of excitement at a new area of EvE I am exploring (I win the poker night), and then fall into a funk when I return to highsec (I loose for weeks on end). It’s a funk yes but a comfortable kind of funk where I can make ISK and chat with mates with out distraction (I double my money and chat with mates). So I’ve come to a realization that perhaps EvE IS the ULTIMATE hobby. It’s there when I have time for it. It changes enough that I find new things to try periodically. Yet if I walk away from it for a week or a month the biggest loss for me is losing touch with the mates. Heaven forbid I might build one less Orca, but that’s about it.

In the end of it all I do continue to log in and tinker. I do keep in touch with mates. I do occasionally try some new facet of the game. So be it a Hobby or a MMO EvE still draws me in and brings me joy

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rightsizing my EvE Footprint.

With my recent departure from WH living coupled with my long time struggle for time commitment for EvE. It’s kind of time to be real about the 4 EvE accounts I run. Sure it’s handy to have 4 concurrent versions of “me” in space filling 4 different fleet roles. Being the scout, bait, and gankers was fun indeed. Being a 1 man asteroid stripping fiend was profitable too. Not to mention having 25 R&D agents RP jobs and 50 concurrent manufacturing slots made it super easy to build stuff and invent. Having 3 concurrent Cynos to jump at with my rhea/carrier was super handy too. Yet with 2-8 hours a week of EvE time these days 4 accounts is overkill.

Along these lines I've been looking to spend my hours less involved with trucking the endless amount of stuff around the gates of New Eden  With a WH you need a tower. With a tower comes fuel. Fuel means tracking crap around. To build capitals you need minerals. Minerals means trucking crap around. I really don’t like trucking crap around EvE. Over the years I have spent concurrent days/weeks of  play time doing so and honestly it’s dull. So I've been spending a lot of time preparing 6 pilots for deep sleep plus hauling all my stuffs to a single location, downsizing my indy network, and generally simplifying my EvE foot print. Why? So I can spend more time blowing up stuff and having fun.

With the subject of blowing stuff up it is twofold between PvE and PvP. The missions in EvE are very dry after 6 days let alone years of doing it on and off. Incursions are pretty easy to find a public fleet for as a logistics pilot or a dude who can fly a high DPS Battle ship. So that’s on my bucket list for my remaining pilots. I've never really wanted to be a pirate but I have enjoyed the few scraps I have had in lowsec over the years. So I might spend some time solo soul searching in the orange areas of the map. Mates tell me faction war is a blast too. So there are options for quick 2-4 hour bites of EvE explosions. I plan to make that a greater focus again.

The fun part is watching and partaking in the social study of human nature that is EvE. I am more than happy to spend a few hours in an ice belt in highsec. My orca and skiff hovering in mediocre amounts of ISK an hour while gankers and miners entertain me with their endless struggle between right and wrong. I love watching Pirates fight each other on lowsec gates too. Loot ninjas and missions runners comic gold. It’s all entertaining stuff that is worth me keeping a few monthly subscriptions. I've been chatting to the gankers more, seeking out the fights between the “bad guys”, and well I've always found ninjas to be hilarious folks to chat with. In fact some of the best times had running missions are playing games with Ninjas and chatting to them after about the day they have had.

Either way still out here doing my thing in my own space hermit way. Enjoying EvE as time allows but soon I’ll be doing it with just 2 accounts.