Stuff To Read

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ho Ho Ho!

So I woke up and realized that we got our Christmas presents from CCP today.  I currently only have one account so my list is rather limited, but eventually I'm sure I'll collect it all, especially the ships, I love ships, I need collectors ships.

Sukuuvestaa Heron x 1
Public Portrait: How To x 1
NEO YC 114: Much Crying Old Experts x 1
NEO YC 114: Oxygen Isonopes x 1
Snowball CXIV x 300
Concordokken x 1
NEO YC 114: My Little Nulli x 1
Genolution Core Augmentation CA-1 x 1
Carbon x 1
Boots.ini x 1

I would like to say how much I love how CCP did it this year.  The problem with giving out collectable items to all the players is that they immediately become worthless because everyone has it.  Seriously, go look at the value of a Zephyr, or Apotheosis, pennies.  Everyone active at the time got one.  Yes their limited edition, yes their cool, but their basically worthless.  Does anyone who calls themselves a collector not have one? 

The way CCP did it this year was perfect.  Everyone gets some cool collectors stuff, yet they all keep some intrinsic collectors value because the market isn't going to be flooded with them for eternity.  No, they aren't a Silver Magnate or Malice, but you also can't pick everything up for pennies either.  Well done. 

As a side note the only two things I really wanted was the boots.ini and the Concordokken, and I got them, so it's been a great Christmas so far!

You Can Take The Player Out Of Eve...

Well that was a little awkward, putting up a return to blogging post and following it with nothing for another couple of months.  I honestly thought I would continue, but truthfully, my interest in Eve basically fell to nothing and my desire to blog went with it.  Personal issues in real life have a tendency to do that I guess.

Anyway I actually am going to return this time.  I find I love writing, hell I've even started writing a book!  Don't worry, it won't end up being any good (probably), but I recently read an article that shamed me to do more with my life than watch TV.  Writing is something I enjoy, and it's always been a dream of mine to write a novel.  So we'll see what happens with it.  If I get it published (HA!) I'll be thrilled, but if not, at least I created something instead of just devouring the creations of others.

And in the end my love of writing is why I'm back to blogging, for real this time.  Eve is a passion of mine, the nuance of the meta-game, the skill required to fly your ship, or fit it, or trade, everything.  And writing about it is enjoyable to me, even if I don't have many readers yet.  So I'll have some thoughts over the next couple of days, then I'm heading off to Chicago for Christmas with the family. Maybe I'll even write some Eve fiction stories.

So assuming the world doesn't end tomorrow, expect more from me.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Back To The Grindstone

Just a heads up that I'm finally back to the game, what has it been?  2 Months?  That thing called real life can sure get in the way of video games.  I'll probably start posting again this week, I just have to see if I remember how to play Eve...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

AFG

For the two or three of you that actually read this, don't expect many updates over the next month.  I'm currently in the process of moving and as such I won't have much time for gaming.  I'll be sure to pick up activity after everything has settled down. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

WTFB: Be Careful With Drunk Forum Posting

You know those great ideas you have when you're drunk?  Like jumping off the roof of your house; yeah guess what, they usually aren't great ideas.  This continues to forum posting.  I've had a few instances where I posted something and the next day I just scratched my head and wondered why I was possessed with such stupidity.  It makes you look like you need to go back in the womb for a while and cook some more.  Those brilliant ideas that will fix the game forever, like completely removing CONCORD, usually aren't fully vetted in your mind when you've been drinking.

If you've got something important to say, and you're drunk, think about it long and hard.  Remember, the people reading it don't know your drunk, but they do know that you're an idiot.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fit Of The Week - Battle Burst!

This won't be you're average Fit Of The Week that many bloggers do; i.e. something I know works or a cool fit I found on a killboard somewhere.

Instead, each week I will fit out a ship in a way I've never done before and go out and see how it does.  Some will be serious, some lol, some off-the-wall, and some will probably make you think that I should probably stop playing this game and go suck on a pacifier.  When I am finished with my test I'll post the fit here and give you an AAR to tell you how it went.  Most of these fits will be solo, but there will be a few fleet fits as well.  Expect lots of failures and embarrassing loss-mails in my future.

To start it off, and in honor of the upcoming mining frigate changes I give you:

[Burst, Battle Burst!]
Damage Control II

Warp Scrambler II
1MN Afterburner II
Stasis Webifier II

150mm Light AutoCannon II , Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
150mm Light AutoCannon II , Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S

Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I
Small Projectile Burst Aerator I

-AAR-


The battle Burst is not a viable fleet tactic! :D  

I knew this ship wouldn't actually do anything worthwhile (duh...) but it was fun to fly around non-the-less.  I roamed around a bit throughout Syndicate, but due to my limited envelope of targets I wasn't able to find anything to kill.  At one point I did find myself caught in a bubble camp though, but I was able to successfully evade destruction, and to be completely honest, I consider that a win. :D  

After a bit of roaming, chasing an Itty III at one point, and not having any success, one of my corp-mates, Alistone Malkite, said he'd kill me with a Velator.  He succeeded.  3 Times.

It was a pretty simple engagement where in he sent his drones on me and proceed to kill me before I was able to kill him.  We tried two more times (because I had two more ships in my hanger) and the result was the same.  The last time I tried killing his drones before I went after him, but I was only able to get one drone to about 75% structure before I was killed. 

The slow speed of the Burst prevented me from closing the distance and inflicting the damage on his ship before the drones had done their work.  Combine that with the lack of a damage bonus (which the Velator recieves) and I was simply out-matched in a fight where he had the range advantage to start.  Had I been able to land at 0 on him (he clearly warped to 10 on each engagement) I might have been able to defeat him before the drones took me out.  

Just a bit of fun to see how I would do trying to fit out a mining frigate for combat.  It was a pretty worthless learning experience, even more so due to the upcoming changes, but in the end we both had a bit of fun on a slow night right before downtime.  Next time, I warp to 10.  >:)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

CSM Summit Minutes - Part 2

Page 105 -The Launcher- 
"We may also be able to do something like let people buy more slots in an account."

Interesting, as I would assume this would end up costing CCP some subscription money in the long run.  If you have 12 Industry alts spread over 4 accounts, wouldn't it be cheaper in the long run for you to move them all to a single account?  

Page 125 -Logistics Frigate-
The topic quickly bounced over to the idea of having a Frigate logistics class.
Elise rather bluntly stated that Frigate logistics would “be bad no matter what”.
CCP Soundwave countered that he liked the idea and didn’t think a balanced solution was impossible to find.
CCP Greyscale chimed in saying that extreme range would be a good solution for a Frigate logistics class.
At this point Hans interjected and stated that Frigate logistics would finally give people a reason to use all the faction small remote reps they get. On this like, Two step suggested there should be faction large remote reps, to which CCP Ytterbium was apathetic.

I like this idea, there are so many T1 frigates in the game that this could provide a useful beginneres mark for that play-style.

Pages 121-134 -Balancing-
I literally loved every single thing in here.  Only time will tell if it all pans out, and as I'm no game designer or ship expert I'm probably not the one to ask about it, but it still all sounded good to me.

Page 129 -Sniping-
On the subject of sniping, Greyscale tossed out a high-level idea for a fix to sniping. He asked for CSM input on one such idea, an interdiction probe that would be launched a certain range before the bubble would deploy. In essence it would work as a drag-bubble to protect the sniping fleet, or at least give it ample time to react and reposition.

This is an interesting mechanic.  It would totally re-work combat strategies.  Though it's difficult to tell if this would work, I like the idea in its general sense. 

Page 133 -Off grid boosting-
CCP Ytterbium addressed the concern of off grid links and simply stated “off grid boosting should not exist”

Truth spoken here.

Pages 135-140 -Player to Player Contracts-
I liked most of what they said here, but one question kept coming to mind, which I think Elise summed up nicely:

Elise Randolph added that the backstabbing element is fun as well, and should be considered.

All these changes seem like they would limit the scamming opportunities in the game, and let's be clear here, there should always be ways to scam stupid people out of their isk.


Page 145 -Cocktease-
With only a few minutes left in the session, CCP Affinity brought up a very high-level thought for the CSM to ‘sniff test’. While no specifics can be provided the general reaction from the CSM was that the intent was good but it had to be done incrementally and carefully. CCP will confer further with the CSM should the idea make it past the stage of just being an idea.

This is just mean and unfair.

I'm torn about the usefulness of the long wait for these minutes.  In my opinion a ballance needs to be found.  It's wonderful to see who said what, but frankly I don't care about all the jokes being said, and most of the information was completely outdated.  It was a good read, but in the future they need to be able to pump most of this information out in a couple weeks at the latest, this took far too long.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

CSM Summit Minutes: Worth The Wait? - Part 1

I am currently reading all 165 pages of the CSM Summit Minutes. I'm about halfway through and there have been a lot of great things to read.  I personally feel like the wait was worth it.  I like being able to see who said what in so much detail.  I'll talk briefly here about what stood out to me from the first half.

Page 49 -Arenas-
Discussion then turned to Arenas, which were envisioned as a tool to promote some sort of organized PvP without ruining the game.

Terrible, terrible, terrible, horrible, very bad, no good idea!  The last thing that Eve needs is an arena!  This will destroy all casual small scale PvP in the game, leaving only the large fleet fights for territory left.  I'm actually amazed that they would even consider this.

Page 51 -Incarna-
Alekseyev Karrde (via Lync): Would like to see station establishments with war rooms and poker tables first as a stepping stone. Players need to have confidence in CCP’s ability to deliver WiS content before such an ambitious feature is launched. Otherwise buy-in will not happen."

I highlighted the part that stood out to me, will all Incarna features be MT based?  It could just be an innocent phrase, or it could be an indication of their payment scheme.  I don't really care either way, but it could be interesting.

Page 54 -Live Events-
CCP Goliath was happy with the response of the CSM and presented an idea that the Live Events team came up with, which is that there would be hidden event triggers and, if met, would cause a certain event to take place – or not take place. The players would then choose the outcome of the event and it would be written into EVE lore.

This would be a lot of fun.  Being able to affect the outcome of the lore would be a blast.

Pages 59-63 -Industry & Mining-

Everything they said about the new industry UI, automation, and mechanics I loved.  They mentioned "unicorn manure" and special resources to build more advanced ships (their example is a Titan vs. a Frigate), but I'd consider taking this a step further.  Say you find some of your "unicorn manure" and want to apply it to a batch of Rifters.  Why not have those Rifters be slightly faster than normal, or with a slightly higher tank, or maybe longer targeting range, or something improved over the sock ship?  Nothing game-breaking of course, but if someone wants to make a slightly better ship and charge a little extra, why not?  Don't know how this would work, but I think it's worth considering.

Ring mining was all interesting, but "best case...Winter expansion 2013," is kind of disappointing. 

Page 63 -Starbases-

We've heard just about everything that they want to do with this already, modular, customizable, ectt..., but one quote really stood out

Seleene said, "I want to cloak my secret pirate starbase." Greyscale said that might be a possibility, then shocked the entire room by mentioning offhand, "I really, really, really want to let you put a jump drive on them." The whole room erupted into smiles. He then continued, "Not just right click cyno jump, but you put a beacon down and it takes something like 48 hours before you jump." He wanted to do this to allow small gangs to have a roaming base.

Seleene declared that, "This is a hero move! This is amazing!"

Agreed!

Everything else in that section was just epic as well, can't wait until it's fully developed and deployed!

So there's my wrap-up of the first half.  As my brain is about to melt I'll leave the second half for another day, but so far so good.

Blog Banter 38: Small improvements make a difference

 "In his recent "That's just the way it is" post on Jester's Trek, blogger Ripard Teg posits that the established EVE player-base has come to accept many of EVE's design idiosyncrasies, rarely questioning their purpose or benefit. Conversely, he also suggests that new players might not be so forgiving of these "quirks". In an interview with Gamasutra, Senior Producer CCP Unifex describes EVE Online's developers as "relatively hands-off janitors of the virtual world", underlining that he has only four content developers but "a lot" of programmers and engineers.

Has a culture developed where CCP has started to take player effort for granted - expecting the "social engine" to fulfil tasks that might otherwise be CCP's responsibility? Or should this culture be embraced as part of "emergent gameplay" with these quirks accepted as the catalyst for interaction?"

This is an interesting question, which is why I've waited a few days to blog about it.  The TL/DR of it is, yes, I believe that CCP does take player generated content for granted.

As we look at this though, it's not as simple as saying CCP needs to start pouring content into the game.  A sandbox, by its very nature, walks a fine line between the developers pushing their agenda and allowing the players to pursue theirs.

Imagine for a moment what would happen if CCP started focusing their development on storyline missions.  I'm sure we would get some great "quests," some great "raids," and everything else that every theme park MMO has to keep its player-base entertained.  Wouldn't it be fun if we could take part in this video:

Honestly, the story lover in me would love that.  We fly our ship and discover something, then we debark and explore it, get something valuable, and all of this within a well written narrative that keeps us engrossed throughout the end.  Honestly, in my opinion, this would be amazingly fun if done properly.

The problem with doing this lies in the amount of resources that CCP would need to put into it.  We wouldn't get PvP balancing nearly as often, probably no new ships (or one per new "raid" every year or so).  We probably wouldn't see mining, POS, and all industrial mechanics iteriated on for a much longer period of time.  CCP isn't EA or Blizzard, they don't have the resources to do it all.

So where is the razors edge in this?  Clearly putting content of that level is out of realistic reach of CCP (if they can even do it all at).

I ask you this question, what is the single most important thing to keeping players in the game?  It sure isn't the tutorial, nor is it the wonderful UI.  It could be the spaceships and the visuals, but honestly that will only take you so far.  I'm willing to bet big money that Eve University (and other noob-friendly corps) is probably the most important part of Eve's growth.  I know for a fact that I wouldn't still be playing this game had I not joined E-Uni when I started playing.

And there in lies the problem.  The single most important thing for Eve's continued success isn't anything CCP is doing at all, it's all with us, the players.  Simple things like convincing new players  to keep playing are completely abandoned by CCP and, in my opinion, that is a very telling sign.

So what should CCP do?  Again, they can't go WoWish with the content, but simple things they can do.  Create more engrossing epic mission arcs, infuse the Eve lore more into the daily game play (for example put more of the lore into ship descriptions, with links to further reading).  Voice acting.  Create a great NPC villain that everyone from day 1 can recognize (Sansha is a pretty poor villain from a game standpoint in all honesty).  Why not let the factions duke it out in highsec?  See faction navies fighting each other, and swapping territory (why can't Jita sometimes be in Gallente space?).  Do live events that span large areas and further the Eve story instead of just putting it in the expansion notes.

There are literally thousands of simple things that CCP can do to provide content on their end without destroying their core game philosophy.  Eve would be better for it.

How to begin FCing

If you're anything like me, you want to FC but you're terrified to do it.  You might be new to the game and not have the knowledge you need; you might be shy and afraid to make mistakes; you might be completely overwhelmed by all the information; or it could be any number of other reasons.  Hopefully this little guide can help you understand how I was able to do it, and can help you achieve it as well.

What this guide is:
  • A way to show you how to lead your first fleet out.
  • A way to overcome all the difficulties of starting.
  • A way to cope with failure.
  • A plan to improve once you've popped your cherry.
What this guide is not:
  • A guide on how to be a good FC.
  • An overarching treatise on tactics.
  • Something for those who regularly lead fleets already.
So you want to FC, but don't know where or how to start.  First off figure out what is holding you back?  Most people probably don't pick it up because they are either afraid of criticism, afraid of looking bad, don't know enough about the game to make sound tactical decisions, or most likely a combination of all of that.

Let me let you in on a couple of facts.
  1. If you tell people you are brand new to FCing, no one will make fun of you.  No one will be unduly harsh in their criticism.  People won't avoid you because you are new.
  2. Every single person who has ever FC'd sucked when they began.  They didn't understand tactics.  They didn't know how to bait properly.  They all got their fleets wiped.
When you keep these two things in mind, any fear you have of looking bad and being made fun of should go away.  People know this is a game and won't be an ass when you give them fair warning that you're new.  Now if you come across people who are assholes to you, ask this question:  "Do they lead fleets?"  If the answer is no, then remember that you are already ahead of them at FCing, as they can't summon the courage to try it.  If they do FC and they still do this, find another corp because those guys are beyond assholes.

A few tricks I used to get over the fear of leading my first fleet:
  • Know for a fact that you're going to make bad decisions and everyone will probably die.
  • Know that even a bad FC is better than station spinning.
  • Have something to eat.
  • Make sure you don't have to go to the bathroom.
  • Have a drink.  Don't get drunk, but a shot or two can help calm your nerves down just enough to be able to get over the hump.
  • Remember that you're playing a game, and everyone will have fun regardless of the outcome.
  • Lead a T1 frigate or cruiser gang, this will keep it cheap.
Now remember when I said you are going be terrible at it?  That doesn't mean you will fail.  Failure is not taking the fleet out in the first place; by simply taking everyone out on a roam you have already succeeded, I'd wager that 90% of Eve players never even reach that point.  So keep that in mind as you learn.

So now you're out there.  What in gods name are you supposed to do?  You surely don't want to go out and suck on purpose, but you have no idea what the next step is.  There are few things as debilitating to a fleet as inaction.  Inaction gets you killed and it's boring.  So for your first few roams follow these two simple rules:
  • When in doubt, warp the fleet to the next gate.
  • If you think you can take something on, go for it.
It's very simple, as long as you are moving and getting into fights people will enjoy themselves; and that's all you can ask for on your first few roams.

The next step should be a pretty obvious one; continue to lead fleets.  If you continue to FC you will improve your abilities and lessen the nerves.  I set a goal for myself after my first fleet that I would lead a fleet every Saturday.  In my first 5 weeks of FCing I lead 4 fleets.  Now unfortunately real life has severely limited my play time since then, so I've been unable to commit to any more.  I do fully plan on continuing with my commitment though once life has settled down.  The reason I set this goal is I've found that if I set a goal like this it helps me stay accountable to improving.  I'd recommend you do the same, though it doesn't have to be weekly, find a schedule that works for you.

If you do these things, I know from personal experience that you'll get better.  It takes a while, and at times you'll regress (my last roam was a disaster), but the nerves will die down and you'll begin to see yourself improving bit-by-bit.  Make sure to ask for constructive criticism so you are able to correct things you do wrong.  Often times you will know exactly where you fucked up, but other times you won't even notice.  Asking your fleet mates after the roam what you could have done better is something you should do every time, either in AAR format or by just straight up asking over coms.

Anyway, I hope this guide is able to help someone who's sitting on the fence about FCing.  Good luck and may your enemies cower in fear!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Making Core

Just a quick one here.  I was promoted to CORE member in Agony today!  I was fairly confidant that I would be promoted but there was still a fear that I wouldn't make it.  I now have a place to call home!  So stoked I can't explain it.  Thanks go out to every member of Agony for accepting me as one of your own.

WTFB: Don't Mine

We all need to make isk, but mining is about the worst way to do it.  It's boring, low isk/hour, and any skills you train are useless for anything else.  If you truly enjoy mining, you're a weirdo.  If you like to make things, do something worth more isk/hour and buy the minerals.

I trained Mining to 3, Mining Upgrades to 1, Industry to 2, and Refining to 2 in a period of warped logic that I would build up some "isk making skills" when I started the game.  That's like 10,500 wasted skill points!  Don't do it, you can't get it back!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Alliance Tournament X

Edit:  Well that worked out :D.  Congratulations to Verge.

The final day is upon us, all 16 surviving teams are now only 4 victories away from being crowned champion.  Here are my predictions.



I'll be sure to brag when I'm right.



Friday, July 13, 2012

Eve Parodies

I love parodies Eve players make of popular music, I actually wish I could sing so I could make some myself, but I digress.  I will be keeping a list of every (good) parody I can find on this page.  I'm omitting some that are either terrible quality or where the singer is so bad it detracts from the song; everything else I find I will post here, so if you know of one I haven't found please let me know so I can add it to the list.  Enjoy.

By Suas
Little Bees
I Robbed A Goon
Seleene Transvestite
109 Stupid Goons
Fuck Goons
Blackbird

By Cearul 
How To Stay Aligned

By Poetic Stanziel
SoCo

By Nitro G
Cynos Down

By Naburi NasNaburi
Eve, Oh Eve
Yesterday
My Guns Were Made For Shooting

By BendigoXana
Gate Camp Strut
Six Days On The Road

By Alekseyev Karrde & Jimer Lin
Pandemic Phone
Clik Lok

By Starstream
I'm Not Moving
Changed The Way You FC
Who's Gonna Save The Fleet Tonight?
Mad Eve World
I Dream Of Paradise, Everytime A Carebear Dies
Reship, Carry On (Blame CCP)
Eve Uprising
The Brightside Of PvP
Eve Players
Batphone

By DavidKMagnus
Pandemic Legion
Elect Elise
Winter Update
Fight Us Maybe?
SuperCaps
Dreads

By Asa Shaddix
I'm In A Rokh
Nyx In A POS

By DJ  Doby
Hey Yaa (So Sacked)
Dear CCP
Dude Your Alt Is A Woman
The Real Slim Doby
Downtime
Carebear Rhapsody
Whatever
Riny XXX
E-R Army
Born To Play Eve

By Dreddit
I Love New Eden

By Sindel Pellion
Titan
Makalu Cries
Good Fight (featuring DJ Starstream)
Dock Game

By Vis Nyliss
(Internet) Starships

By Curzon Dax
Tribute To Sabre A
Romance In Eve
Battle Of The ePeens
Noob, You'll Have An ePeen Soon
ISK ISK Baby
Dax Is Back
Eve-O Logic
Rats Got Loot
Behind Carebear Eyes
Runaway Inflation
Dreaming Of Eve
Flashing Red
Forum Whiners Unite!
Silver Death Bots
M.I.N.E.R.
I Need a New Home!
I'm A Racketeer!
I'm A Big Big Noob!
Because I Got High
Random Pwnage
Amarrian Pie
Flavor Of The Month
We Be Pirates
Carebear Blues
Ballad Of CCP
Eve Online Is For BOB

Monday, July 9, 2012

WTFB: Don't Corp Hop

I've been involved in the recruiting process a little bit in my Eve time and one of the first things that is looked at is employment history.  Having the list littered with dozens of different corps sends a huge red flag up to any recruiter and will make your chances of being accepted much harder.  This information says that either you are impossible to get along with, you're a scammer, you're flaky, you go inactive for long periods of time for no reason, or a combination of all of the above.

That's not to say you shouldn't leave a corp if it isn't working for you, or that it's terrible if you have some trouble finding your way when you're new to the game, just don't make a habit of it.  Understand that if you have a large number of corps you've been a member of, you are going to be asked questions about them and why you left.  This is especially true if the time spent in those corps is very short.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Noobs don't beware!

I had an interesting fight tonight.  First let me prefase this with the fact that I was very drunk (and still am as I write this, so forgive my writing on this one, I'm about 20 drinks deep currently).

In my drunken meandering I had a Wolf land on the gate with me as I was flying a Rifter.  I decided to engage and he obliged.  Quickly he had me in mid structure and I went to my pod-saver tab to attempt to warp out and save my pod.  To my surprise I saw my ship warp out of the area completely alive.  I asked him how he didn't kill me and this is the conversation that followed.

[ 2012.07.08 10:53:39 ] Virto Nex > ...how didn't you kill me?
[ 2012.07.08 10:53:50 ] Neveen inglorious > lost point
[ 2012.07.08 10:53:51 ] Neveen inglorious > ...
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:10 ] Neveen inglorious > GF
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:15 ] Virto Nex > i'm so drunk thought it would be a good idea to engage a wolf
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:16 ] Virto Nex > lol
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:17 ] Virto Nex > fg
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:20 ] Virto Nex > *gf
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:24 ] Neveen inglorious > HAHA
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:34 ] Neveen inglorious > my first time solo frig
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:35 ] Virto Nex > Meh only a rifter, who cares
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:38 ] Neveen inglorious > so you had a chance
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:38 ] Virto Nex > right on man
[ 2012.07.08 10:54:56 ] Virto Nex > i was preparing to warp my pod out
[ 2012.07.08 10:55:01 ] Neveen inglorious > haha
[ 2012.07.08 10:55:09 ] Neveen inglorious > i dont know i just lost point
[ 2012.07.08 10:55:12 ] EVE System > Channel changed to Local : PVH8-0

At this point I started a private convo to continue the conversation.

[ 2012.07.08 10:55:38 ] Virto Nex > you had me in 52% structure
[ 2012.07.08 10:55:41 ] Neveen inglorious > y
[ 2012.07.08 10:55:46 ] Neveen inglorious > one or 2 more shots
[ 2012.07.08 10:55:50 ] Virto Nex > yup
[ 2012.07.08 10:56:06 ] Virto Nex > no one flys the wolf, props for flying something different
[ 2012.07.08 10:56:07 ] Neveen inglorious > ah well good practice
[ 2012.07.08 10:56:15 ] Virto Nex > exactly
[ 2012.07.08 10:56:19 ] Neveen inglorious > hit its fun
[ 2012.07.08 10:56:20 ] Virto Nex > i suck too
[ 2012.07.08 10:56:47 ] Virto Nex > thats why i don't fly the wolf, a web and you would have had me
[ 2012.07.08 10:57:07 ] Neveen inglorious > if you would have had scram i would have been gone
[ 2012.07.08 10:57:44 ] Virto Nex > nah you get too much bonus to weapons, you have to be damn good to take a t2 frig in a rifter
[ 2012.07.08 10:58:03 ] Virto Nex > of o were upi. o
[ 2012.07.08 10:58:06 ] Neveen inglorious > i have no tank and arty guns, if you get close real close
[ 2012.07.08 10:58:23 ] Neveen inglorious > well gf mate, cya around
[ 2012.07.08 10:58:24 ] Virto Nex > wft did i just send? ingore me
[ 2012.07.08 10:58:25 ] Virto Nex > lol
[ 2012.07.08 10:58:29 ] Virto Nex > yeah gf, take care and gl
[ 2012.07.08 10:58:30 ] Neveen inglorious > ;)
[ 2012.07.08 10:58:35 ] Neveen inglorious > cya

If either of us had been more experienced we probably would have won the fight.  We both sucked and in the end neither of us won.  My point with this is, don't be afraid to come out to null, you just might meet people as terribad as we are. :D

Friday, July 6, 2012

Blog Banter 37: Don't cross the line

"EVE Online sits on the frontier of social gaming, providing an entertainment environment like no other. The vibrant society of interacting and conflicting communities, both within the EVE client and without, is the driving force behind EVE's success. However, the anonymity of internet culture combined with a competitive gaming environment encourages in-game behaviour to spread beyond the confines of the sandbox. Where is the line?"

Eve is real they say, but how real can we allow it to be? There are people in this video game I will freely admit I can't stand; but what would happen if I met them in real life, or found their real facebook page, or anything outside of the game?  The answer to that is simple, nothing.

Let's back up a little bit though, at first look this is a very simple question with a very simple answer.  Would you physically harm someone in real life over a video game?  Would you attack them in their social circle?  Taunt, ridicule, harass them?  Of course you wouldn't; and if you would, it's probably time you stepped away from the computer for a while.  There's more to this simple question than would first appear though.

As we delve deeper into this line of thought a few truths arise.  First, we all think we're way smarter and more important than we really are.  Second, the internet allows us, via it's anonymity, to be someone other than our true selves.  In an of themselves these aren't bad things.  It can be a great relief to come home from your menial job and enter a world where you're a bad ass and incredibly important.  All games do this for you, frankly that's why we play them.  TV does this, movies, books, they all allow you to take away the stresses of life while enjoying another reality.

MMO's take this escape, and put you into a world filled with thousands of others trying to do the same thing.  Just like in real life though, in Eve you can be unsuccessful.  You can be unimportant.  But it allows us to take out our frustrations on other people.  You can be a jerk, you can be a criminal, you can be the lowest society has to offer, and have fun doing all of it.

Thirdly, there is no true governance online.  You can do what you want, say what you want, lie, be a dick, whatever.

Let me ask you a question.  If you knew, for a fact, that you could rob a bank for billions of dollars and would never get caught, would you do it?  I'd wager that 90+% of the world would say yes.  I know I would, we don't do it though because we know for a fact that we will get caught.  The problem with the internet is, we won't get caught for being a douche-bag.  Our parents/girlfriends/wives will never know what we watch late at night.  Your friends won't know that you love My Little Pony (shame on all of you btw).

What happens when you combine people being their natural dick selves with no repercussions trying to fight a bigger dick, all in a world that encourages it?  Lines get crossed.  People say racist, homophobic, sexual, and all around stupid things.

The way I see it, the line is truly crossed when you bring up someones personal life into the mix.  I know we've all used the word "fag" to describe another pilot we've met.  The problem arises when we use that word to attack the person behind the pilot who is in fact truly gay in real life.  The line for acceptable online interaction is much further back than what it is in day to day life, and you need to be prepared for that.  What you can not allow yourself to do though, is get involved in other players real lives in a negative way.  That can range from physical violence all the way to personal attacks on the forums and in chat.  The moment you bring up the person, you've crossed the line.

Remember, they're just like you, trying to escape from reality for a bit.  So be nice, don't attack their personal lives.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

WTFB: Alochol And Expensive Things

I know you've had that moment.  You get back from the bars, or after a party, and all you want is to see some shit explode.  We've all been there.  When you are at that point, don't grab your multi-billion isk, officer fit, Macherial.  Leave the Titan toon alone.  Don't so solo PvPing in your Tengu.  Grab something cheap and go fly.  You will lose it.

Fact:  Every single time I've PvPed while drunk, I've lost my ship.  Luckily I've never taken anything expensive out, but the fact remains.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

100 Rifters

If you've been involved in PvP much you were probably given a bit of advice when you first started.  Grab as many T1 frigs as you can afford and go out to low or null and lose them.  As you lose them, you'll gain lots of experience and improve your abilities more effectively than any other thing you can do.  We all suck when we start, and some of us still suck (cough-me-cough), so this is a great way to improve.  I never did it myself,  though I wasn't shy about trying to find fights when I first started, I was (and still am) a little too cautious when I'm out PvPing.  My ship and tactic knowledge is limited at best as well, though I have improved exponentially since I've joined Agony.

So that brings me to my Rifters.  I recently just bought 100 of them with the requisite fittings, and I'm going out to lose them.  I've been pretty isk poor for a while so buying anything more powerful just isn't feasible right now. I'm not going to use them for fleet action, this is all for my solo work.  I won't care about KB stats, I won't care about losing them (though I won't be stupid in my engagements), all I'll care about is getting myself into good fights that I can learn from.  If I have a chance at killing something I'll go for it, period.  All frigates, T1 Destroyers, and T1 cruisers will probably be the main ships I engage, though I might try killing other things as well if I'm feeling adventurous.

Like I said, this is a learning experience.  I will be trying to win every fight of course, but realistically I'll lose most of them.  When I'm fresh out of Rifters, I expect my knowledge and ability in solo PvP to be greatly improved.  This will probably take a couple months to finish completely because my playtime probably won't allow me to do it any sooner than that.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

WTFB: Ask For Intel

So you've spent some time in highsec and you need to come back to the fold.  You know the routes in are often camped.  This is when it behooves you do ask if there's anything in your path.  It will save you from a stupid loss.

A month or so ago I lost a Stiletto because I didn't do this exact thing.  I was in an interceptor, I'll be fine I thought.  I came through the gate into PVH, Bubble went up, ship went down.  Had I simply asked on coms if the way was clear, or if there was any activity in the area I would have been prepared and probably not lost my ship.  Not an expensive lesson thankfully, but a lesson non-the-less.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Player Experience Part 2

In part 1 I talked about how terrible the NPE in Eve is, and in part 2 I will be talking about my solution to the problem.

The first thing we need to ask ourselves when designing a new player experience is what is the game about?  What are the vitals that every player should know?  And, how can we best teach those new to the game this information?

So what is Eve?  Eve is a PvP game with deep social and technical complexity.  Everything in Eve is a form of PvP; even if you are just a miner you are competing against other miners to sell your minerals.  This truth, first and foremost, is what needs to be shown to new players.

The first thing I would do is create a new player region or constellation.  I personally don't know how large it would need to be (it would need to be large enough that new players are around each other, but not so small as to be cramped), but all new players should spawn here, regardless of race and noob-corp they are a part of.  For reasons I will explain later, there should be an age limit of some sort on who can enter this region, be that skill points, character/account age, or something else. 

The first and easiest thing for CCP to fix are the missions.  The noob missions need to explain how the game works in an easy to understand format.  They need to keep it simple, avoiding unnecessary complexity for the new player, while still providing the information needed to survive in the game.

The first of these new player missions should focus on game play basics such as:
  • Fitting your ship to it's bonuses.
  • Optimal, falloff, traversal/tracking.
  • Different tanking types (shield, armor, speed, signature, and distance).
  • Strengths and weaknesses of different ship classes (bigger is not always better).
  • The Overview.
  • Mining.
  • Buy and sell orders.
  • The UI.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of different weapon systems.
  • The skill queue.
  • Manufacturing.
These missions need to show the player, not tell them.  For example have the player orbit a large NPC battleship and show how even though the large guns of the battleship do lots of damage, they are unable to track the players fast moving frigate.  Overall these missions should take a couple of hours to go through.

After the player goes through the above missions their real education will begin.  Remember above when I said a new player region should be created, and that it should have an age limit?  The reason for that is this region will be null security space.  Yes, put noobs in 0.0 right from the start!  The age limit is simply to prevent griefing by older players.  While in this 0.0 environment new players will receive the above missions, and graduate onto more advanced missions such as:
  • Find and kill another player.
  • Pod another player.
  • How to use your D-scan.
  • Go fight until you lose a ship.
  • Go fight until you lose your pod with an implant in it.
  • Travel to highsec (outside of the noob area) and suicide gank a ship (show the sec status loss and being Concorded, refund the sec status loss on completion of the mission).
  • Join a fleet and kill another player (teach about Eve Voice).
  • Probe usage and scanning.
Many other missions could be created to demonstrate what the game is like.  This will start players off with a full understanding of what they are getting into.  At any point during the first set of missions these new players may come across slightly older players looking to kill them.  Explain before it all that at any moment after undocking any other player may try and attack them. Ideally these missions will take several more hours to complete.

By doing this you accomplish a few things.  First you give players a fair understanding of what the game is about before they make a decision on weather or not to continue playing.  Second, you have explained the mechanics in a logical and useful way so players are able to survive in the world.  Next, it takes its time to teach these things, and does so in a manner, so you can understand them and will be able to remember.

And that brings me to the "hook."  What should Eve's hook be?  What would make someone want to continue playing after these events they've been through?  Simple, the players.  At the end of the tutorial, CCP should highlight some of the great accomplishments Eve players have reached over the years, making special mention of recent events.

Talk about how The Guiding Hand Social Club stole a fortune.  Talk about how The Mittani runs a corporation of 8000+ players, an alliance and coalition even larger, and how half of Eve hates him as a villain.  Talk about how Morning Maniac created a University, and how Kelduum Revaan runs it now.  Talk about Burn Jita (or whatever the big news event of the day is).  Talk about the fall of an alliance.  Talk about the CSM.  Talk about Chribba.  Whatever it is, talk about the players and their great accomplishments and failures.  After all, that's what makes Eve great, the players.

Then challenge the player to go make their mark on the galaxy.

New Player Experience Part 1

It's pretty well documented that the NPE in Eve is terrible.  It does absolutely nothing to familiarize the new Eve player to what Eve actually is.  I have a somewhat radical idea on how to fix that, so bear with me here.

This first post will talk about NPEs in general, what makes a good one, and what makes a bad one.  It will talk about specific games and how they succeed in those first few vital minutes, and about how Eve does none of this.  The second part of this post, which I hope to deliver tomorrow, will detail my plan to fix this.

For a start let me go through a few games I have played recently (MMO or otherwise) that have a great NPE.  Then we will talk about what makes a good NPE, why these games have it, and why Eve does not

Call of Duty
Halo
SW:TOR
Skyrim
Mass Effect
Angry Birds
Star Craft

What do they all have in common in regards to their NPE?  First, the first mission/level in each and every one of these games is simple, and they graduatly increase in difficulty to provide you with an interesting challenge.  They all have learning curves and you can't learn all there is to do in one sitting (granted not to the level of Eve, but it's there regardless).

Second, within 10 minutes of playing these games you know what it's about.  You can get an idea if you would enjoy it or not, because it shows enough of the basics to get the point across.

Next, they all have a "hook,"  something that draws you in and makes you want to continue playing beyond that 10 minutes.

Lastly, they all teach you, in simple and easy to understand terms, how to play the game within a reasonable time frame in comparison to the learning curve (Angry Birds takes less that a minute, Skyrim about a half hour).  Basically, they give you the tools to succeed in the world they have created. 

Now let's compare this to Eve.

Beginning missions are easy, and scale at a rate that will keep you challenged?  Nope, all the noob missions are notoriously easy, except for the scanning tutorial which throws you to the wolves with no idea with what you're doing. 

Within a short time frame you understand what the game is about, and can make a rational decision on weather or not you would enjoy it?  Nope.  The noob missions do very little to familiarize a new player with what Eve actually is.  It does teach you some basic mechanics, and a few things to do, but in reality you have no idea what this game is truly about.  Therefore, you can't make an educated decision about it.

Does Eve have a hook?  Nope!  You finish the tutorial missions and are dropped off at the nearest gas station with $20 in your pocket and told "good luck."  This in my opinion is the single greatest fault Eve has with retaining new players.  The learning curve isn't the reason, there are lots of smart gamers out there.  It's not the fear of loss, though that is a problem that needs to be addressed.  My first time playing Eve I quit because of the simple fact that I had no idea what to do next.  How many of you that have quit and come back can say the same thing?

Does Eve, in a proper time frame, teach you how to survive in the world?  NO!  In the space of a half hour to an hour you are expected to remember 50 missions (all teaching you something different), as they cram in down your throat.  They also cram this information down your throat without any context, and compound the problem with providing incredibly useless information right from the start.  Seriously, does a 1 hour old noob need to know what the difference between a Radar, Magnetometric, Gravimetric , and Ladar site is?  Save it for later.  They also miss out on important teaching opportunities with ship fitting, PvP, defense, and a host of other things.

Now that I have detailed the failures of the Eve NPE, in my next post I will outline my plan to fix this

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Miner's Paradise

The recent explosion of "Fight Us Maybe?"  has inspired me to create my own Eve parody.  I have no voice talent so I won't sing it for you though, deal with it. 

Miner's Paradise - Parody of Gangster's Paradise (closer to Weird Al's Amish Paradise truthfully)

As I fly through the belt where I harvest my ore
I take a look at my game and realize it's quite a bore.
But that's just perfect for a miner like me,
you know I shun dangerous things like that Artillery.

At 6 O'Clock in the morning I'm bottin' ore
Orca does the boostin' while I look for more, fool.
And I've been minin', refinin', so long that,
even Chribba thinks that my mind is gone.

I'm a man of the trit, I'm into building see
If I mine all my of ore, then I get it for free!
And if I refine all of my ore, and you refine thine
Then tonight we're gonna hotdrop like its 2000 and 9.

We've been spending most our lives livin' in a Miner's Paradise.
Mine Arknor once or twice, livin' in a Miner's Paradise.
Free minerals sure are nice, livin' in a Miner's Paradise.
We sell ore below cost price, livin' in a Miner's Paradise.

A local Goon ganked me in a belt last week
I just went to the forums and I gave him my critique
I really don't care, in fact it's really cool beans
'Cause I'll laughing my ass off, when CCP intervenes.

But I ain't ever ganked a man, even if he deserved it
Me PvP? You know that's unheard of
I never cause trouble, but I got a cool eye
$70 for this? Of course, I'll take five!

So if you come to mine you'll be bored to tears
Haven't even shot a rat in all these decade long years
But we not really weak, so please don't point and stare
We just want the game to be fair.

There's no tank, no speed, no artillery, not a single explosion
whenever local goes up, we just turn tail and run.

We've been spending most our lives livin' in a Miners Paradise.
Mine Bistot once or twice, livin' in a Miners Paradise.
No gankings sure are nice, livin' in a Miners Paradise.
Isk per hour is our vise, livin' in a Miners Paradise.

Fitting out the barge, haulin' lots of ore,
Bought a Hulk on Monday, soon I'll buy another!
Think you're really special?  Think you're really cool?
We'll I'm about a million times a wealthy as you!

I'm the richest miner all the miners want to be like,
On my comp day and night running bots 'till the afterlife!
So don't be ganky, and don't be whiney,
Or else, my brother, I might have to get some merc corps on your hiney!

We've been spending most our lives livin' in a Miners Paradise.
Mine Crokite once or twice, livin' in a Miners Paradise.
We sell ore below cost price, livin' in a Miners Paradise.
But you'd probably think it bites, livin' in a Miners Paradise.

Monday, June 18, 2012

WTFB: "Keep up to date with Eve events."

The people who should read this piece of advice probably won't.  Remember Burn Jita?  Remember how everyone knew it was happening a month or two in advance?  Remember the splash screen CCP put up warning people about it?  Remember how everyone was smart and no one brought freighters to Jita and the Goons didn't get any kills?  ...Oh wait, I guess that last part didn't happen.

If you keep up to date with events like Burn Jita you can save yourself a lot of frustration.  If you stay on top of what's going on you can make a lot of isk, or take advantage of someone else's misfortune.  Even if all you do is mine all by your self, it's good to know the basics of what's going on in the galaxy.  This is a social game after all.

Stepping Up In The Chain Of Command

There I was.  Terrified, sweating, a little shaky, a little sick to my stomach, with no idea on how to proceed.  I was surrounded by veteran members of a very good, and well renown, PvP corp, people who have been playing for two or three times as long as I have.  And these people, people who I respect and admire for their knowledge and experience, were going to follow me into battle.

As I promised in my last post I took my first fleet out on a roam yesterday.  I had never FC'd anything before in my life.  My knowledge of ship strengths and weaknesses are limited at best, yet there I was, about to embark on the most interesting and fun two hours of my Eve career.

I decided as this was my first attempt to keep it cheap and only fly T1 frigates.  This proved to be a wise decision.  The roam itself, by all measurable accounts, wasn't very successful; we lost 7 T1 frigates, and only killed a Thrasher and a Jaguar.  Having done the math on the isk war, we lost that slightly as well, though not by much.  I'm not going to be talking much about the specifics of the roam much as honestly that would just bore you; instead I'm going to be talking about my feelings and experiences as a first time FC.

Nerves can be a good thing as long as they don't get the best of you.  A little amount of nervousness keeps you on your toes, but too much can cripple you.  With this in mind, I asked my girlfriend to make me a drink to help calm myself down a bit.  She obliged with a Rockstar energy drink and vodka cocktail.  This helped me remember everyone knew it was my first time, that it was a video game, and to just go out and have fun.

I started moving the fleet around a few systems looking for targets while our skirmisher scouted for us.  Before the fleet started I decided two things that greatly helped me through the experience.  Know that your fleet is going to die, a lot; and keep the fleet moving; if you don't know what to do, just warp to the next gate.  The first helped me cope when people lost ships because of my mistakes, and the second helped to avoid stagnation.  In the end I think the most important of the two was to just keep moving.  Inactivity is the surest way to kill any enjoyment, and a great way to get yourself killed.  The other good thing that my decision to keep moving provided was a huge reduction in nerves.  FCing is like a lot of things, once you get into a groove you stop realizing that you're scared.

Our first kill came shortly after I got us caught by a -FA- gang who outnumbered and out shipped us by about 2 or 3 to 1.  On our way back to reship we found a Thrasher, but as we were trickling in he managed to take out a few of us basically solo (including me) before we were able to kill him.  Though not the most successful of attacks it was one of the most exciting moments I've had in Eve.  To actually be leading a fleet and order an attack and have something die was a feeling I couldn't explain.  I'm sure many of you would just laugh at that, but it was a major right of passage for me.  Sometimes the simple things are the most rewarding.

On our way back at the end of the roam we got our second kill.  We found a solo -FA- Jaguar who had friends on the other side of the system.  I decided we might as well go out in a blaze of glory.  We managed to kill the Jag just as his friends showed up.  Again, it was a great feeling to be in charge of something and have it work out.  This particular engagement was much more successful than the first kill.  We killed something worth more than what we lost, and that was my goal when deciding to engage.  Though we all lost our ships (I think we had 3 left at the time), and two pods, it was a fine way to end the evening.

Something I really enjoyed (and was actually surprised at) was being in charge.  I'm not one to second guess other FCs, Just about everyone is more experienced than me.  I don't sit there thinking, "what a stupid move," and I'd never say it out loud if I didn't think it.  That being said, I never new how much fun it would be to actually be the one making the decisions.  We lost ships, and killed ships, directly because of my decisions.  I wasn't just another DPS ship in a group of 20, 50, or 500.  I wasn't the quiet one in the background trying my best to do my job properly, only speaking up when it's needed.  My decisions didn't affect just myself and my target.  It was my call; something I truly enjoyed, even if my calls weren't usually very good.

My last post talked about getting out of your comfort zone, and nothing I've done in years has been more outside of mine.  For a long time I truly thought I wouldn't be able to do it, and as it was a requirement for me to make Core in Agony, something that genuinely worried me. I'd like to thank everyone who went on the roam for all your helpful advice as well as your understanding with my mistakes.  I will definitely be doing it again.  I still have a lot to learn, but over time I'm sure I'll learn them.

Mistakes were made, recon reports lost between ear and brain, potential targets passed up, lessons learned, then forgotten, then learned again, and a lot of fun was had.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Reaching Greatness

Have you ever seen that guy at the gym with biceps as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger, but with the legs of a 10 year old girl?  Why does he look like this?  Why doesn't he work out his lower body?  What about that friend who is too scared to talk to a girl?  If he talks to her, he might get a date and he might not; but if he doesn't, he won't get anything.  How about that friend of yours who always dips into drugs when times are bad?

All of these people have something in common, they've reached a comfort zone that they don't want to break out of.  It's easier to work our your already strong and good looking arms than it is to go through the pain all over again on your legs.  It's easier to just wish you could get a date than it is to face the possible embarrassment of a rejection.  It's easier to get away from it all.

One of my coaches once said a phrase that has stuck with me, "Become comfortable with being uncomfortable."  It's a phrase that I'm sure many of you have heard in different forms before, but I'd like to expound on it a bit.

Every one of us have this nasty little habit where we don't like to change things away from their status quo.  I have friends who are in serious long term relationships but wish they could go play the field; I have friends who play the field and wish they were in a serious long term relationship.  Both sides of the position could change it if they would only get outside of their comfort zone.

Have you ever had a friend or family member who constantly complained about how life was so unfair?  "Why wasn't I blessed to be a trust fund baby?"  This attitude ties into our inability to get uncomfortable.  That same coach once said, "You are exactly where you are in life because of the decisions you have made.  It's not someone else's fault, they aren't more lucky than you, and no one is keeping you from reaching their level."  Now obviously, this isn't true 100% of the time (a lotto winner is pretty lucky), but if you think about, almost every successful person in the world (in any endeavor) are successful because of their choices; and every unsuccessful person is unsuccessful because of their choices as well.

 So how do we reach greatness?  It's simple, do things that make you uncomfortable.  Are you terrified to approach girls at the bar?  Go find the hottest girls you can find and go for it!  Do you hate to run?  Too bad, go run!  Can't stomach to lose ships?  Get 100 of them and lose every single one!  Terrified to look like an idiot FCing?  Take a fleet out this weekend!

Eve is very similar to real life in many ways.  We all get into our comfort zone and don't want to leave.  Maybe you're a miner and want to tr PvP, but you're nervous.  Maybe you want to try a big scam, but are afraid of being caught up.  Whatever if it, if you want to reach the levels you dream of within Eve, get comfortable being uncomfortable.

My challenge to you is this.  Find something that you are terrified or hate doing, and go do it at least once this upcoming week.  Myself?  I'll be FCing my first fleet, I'll tell you how it goes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Words To Fly By

So every week on Monday I will be giving you a piece of random advice that can help you in the game.  I know this is Wednesday, but from now on it'll be posted on Monday.  These aren't going to be the normal rules like "Don't fly what you can't afford to lose,"  what they will be are little things that you might not have thought about before.  Some will be serious, some tongue-in-cheek, some probably useless, but hopefully all with be entertaining.

WTFB: "If you have an excited pet, keep it out of the room while PvPing."

 

If you have an over aggressive dog, cat, Boa Constrictor, Gazelle, or Elephant, it is probably best if you don't let it in the room with you while you're trying to be "leet.

True Story:  About three weeks ago I was skirmishing with Agony and probably doing a pretty terrible job at it.  This wasn't my dogs fault.  I have a five month old Siberian Husky, and it is an amazing dog, but if you know anything about Huskys, you know that they are very very active and energetic.

I have my computer hooked up to my HDTV and I sit on the couch when I play, putting my keyboard in my lap and the mouse on the armrest while I play.  It doesn't sound like it would work, but it works perfectly for me.  Aurora (my dogs name) was pretty active and every now and then I would throw a toy for it to chase whenever it was too close to me.

I hooked back up with our fleet and another skirmisher found a fleet a little to big for us to take on in a straight up flight, so our FC ordered everyone to burn away from the gate so we could try and snipe one or two of them before we escaped, a fine plan.  This is when Aurora decided to go Kujo on me.

At about the exact time the order was given to burn away (and right before the other fleet came through the gate), Aurora jumped over the back of my couch and landed right on my head.  She slid down on top of my lap covering my keyboard and began licking and nipping at my face and hands as I desperately tried to align and get away from the gate.  The other fleet came through.  I was targeted, scrammed, destroyed, and podded before I was able to free myself from Auroras loving attack. 

Frustrated that I was just killed by my dog, I logged for the night and went about playing with her for a while.  Lesson to be learned?  I now keep my dog upstairs whenever I PvP.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Eve Is Real

I really wish CCP would finish their slogan.  Seriously, who puts a slogan out to the world half finished?  Is it a tease?  If so it's been a long one.  I'm super serial, Eve Is Real what? 

  • Eve is real hard?
  • Eve is real(ly) bad at teaching you how to play when you start?
  • Eve is real(ly) where the geeks hang out?

Or maybe they're referring to the art department.
  • Eve is real(ly) beautiful.
  • Eve is real serious about making phallic shaped ships.
  • Eve is real(ly) using the most worthless character creator of all time.

No, those aren't what they're going for.
  • Eve is real bad at accurate physics.
  • Eve is real intense.
  • Eve is real(ly) pumping money into the Icelandic economy.

I don't know what they're going for.  Eve is real(ly) unlike the real world, but I still love it. :D

If you come up with a funny Eve is real, let me know.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eve Stragetic Maps - Review

I recently bought and received the Eve Strategic Maps, and I've been playing around with it for a few days.  If you've been thinking of buying it I hope this review can shed some light.

Shipping: 8/10
I ordered it on May 7th and received it on the 14th.  Considering I live in The United States and it shipped from England this is more than satisfactory.  It seemed like it took forever, but that was just because of my excitement.

Packaging: 6/10
The packaging was adequate.  It came in a folder like cardboard box.  My only concern with this is if it had been raining and left outside all day it is very possible that the contents could have been damaged by the water.  The book itself was not wrapped in any plastic protection to prevent this.  A small issue probably, and it didn't affect me, but I would have been very upset had it been warped because of a rainy day.

Presentation/Artwork: 9/10
The cover photo is well done, though I would have liked something other than a Noctis.  The main bulk of the maps are well organized with clean lines and grids.  The color scheme is perfect for easy reading.

Useability: 10/10
Each region is given its own page and is listed alphabetically, so it's very easy to find.  It also has a table of contents with what page number the specific regions are located on.   The legend is very detailed, covering what each color, line, bar, circle, arrow, ect... means.  Each region has a listing of the NPC rat that lives there with what damage type to use against them, as well as the controlling faction in empire space.  It clearly shows resources, security level, complexes, station services, outposts, COSMOS, and everything you could want to know about the system.  It does all this without cluttering up the map as well, which with that much info is an accomplishment.  I find it does it more cleanly than both the Dotlan and Ombey maps.  Trade hub system names are also clearly shown in orange to make them stand out from every other system.  There is also an index with every system name in the game at the back of the map so you can quickly find what page and grid it is located at.

Quality: 8/10
The book is spiral bound and before I ordered it this concerned me a little bit.  Everything I have ever used that's been spiral bound has torn apart in a matter of weeks.  I have no fear of this happening with the maps.  It is printed on thick enough paper that, as long as you're careful and not an idiot, won't tear from day to day use.  If it was laminated I would have given this a 10/10 because it is still possible to ruin it by spilling liquid on it, and lamination would prevent it from being torn even if you are an idiot.  Short of full on lamination though, this is as good as you can ask for.

Extras: 6/10
It comes with a big poster of all the lowsec regions for you to hang on your wall.  I don't think this will be useful to most people because the systems are printed so small that by hanging it on the wall you won't be able to easily see it while sitting at your computer.  It is also printed on standard poster paper so its longevity is in doubt.  It does look cool though, sort of like an old map you might hang on your wall.

It also comes with some small yellow stickers you can put on the maps for when new outposts are built.  If you live in sov null this might come in handy, but as I don't I'll have no use for them. 

Overall: 10/10
When you take everything into consideration there isn't much more that you could ask for.  I had a high expectation for it and have kind of nit-picked at it, and I'm still impressed.  If you have multiple monitors you might not need them as you can have Dotlan open next to you while you fly, but for anyone who doesn't, which includes me, the Eve Strategic Maps are worth every penny.  I highly recommend them to anyone who is wanting an atlas for eve.

Here I've posted some pictures to give you an idea of what you'll be getting.  Sorry about the quality, my phones camera is terrible.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Best looking Eve Ships

I find I often forget to care what the ships in the game look like.  We fly ships based on their abilities, and anyone who really knows what they're doing won't fly a ship based purely on looks.  They all have their advantages and disadvantages for different roles, and while some are completely worthless (I'm looking at you EAFs), most have a time and a place for their use.  That being said, there are some truly beautiful ship designs in Eve and I thought I'd share my top 10 list.  When the ship has a T2 hull I picked the one with my favorite paint scheme.  I also didn't take into consideration Alliance Tournament Prize ships, NPC ships, Jove Ships, or Strategic Cruisers.

10. Naglfar 
I personally love the Nag.  There's something to be said about flying a vertical ship, and in my opinion this one does it the best.








   



9. Maelstrom
The Maelstrom is sleek and deadly.  It reminds me of an old war battleship, where speed and firepower were both important. 

8. Nyx 
If you had asked me to describe a Mothership I would come up with something very similar to the Nyx.  It harkens to old space movies and flying saucers.  It also brings to mind Independence Day and the swarms of fighters that poured out of the attacking ships.

7. Abaddon
Mean and powerful.  This ship screams tank right off the bat.  Big, slow, and unleashing devastation everywhere it goes.  The image this ship brings to mind is entire planets being subjugated by pure fear of this one ship.

6. Wolf
I love the Rifter and anything based on its hull.  It makes me think of the Lone Ranger type of star pilot, something that Han Solo would fly into battle.  You immediately think of speed and guns when you see this ship.

5. Malediction
Speed, speed, and more speed is what think of when I see this ship.  It reminds me of an A-Wing from Star Wars.  Terribly weak when it comes to weapons and defenses, but blistering speed.  Considering the ship is an Interceptor, I think they got their point across.

4. Nighthawk
The Nighthawk is the kind of ship you'd picture if you wanted to picture death.  Aggressive, dark, poisonous, and full of terror.  I would imagine that if the Nazis could have produced a spaceship, they would have given something that looks like a Nighthawk to the SS. 

3. Charon
This is what a space freighter is supposed to look like.  When I was a kid drawing pictures of fighters shooting spaceships, I probably drew something that looks like a Charon a million times.  This ship fits its role perfectly.

2. Rokh
A clear flagship if there ever was one.  This ship just flat out tells you by looking at it that the Admiral is directing the fight from the bridge of this perfectly designed ship.

1. Nemesis (Upcoming Inferno Model)
It's probably because it's brand new that I love it so much, but damn what a good looking ship.  When I first started playing Eve and I heard about the stealth bombers I immediately thought of the real life Stealth Bomber, and was very disappointed when the truth was shown to me.  This ship brings back those same feelings.

As a bonus here's my top 10 Ugliest Ships In Eve, in no particular older:
Obelisk
Dominix
Hyperion
Revenant
Bantam
Griffin
Imiscus
Maulus
Navitas
Moa

Well, there you have it.  My top 10 best looking (and ugliest) ships in Eve.   This is of course just my opinion and I'm sure you all could pick out a very different list.  So tell me, what are your favorite, or least favorite, ships?

Monday, May 7, 2012

D-Scan

So I've finally figured out how to "quickly" pinpoint someones location via D-Scan.  If you've been unlucky enough to help me practice you know that it was an exercise in futility, 20, 30 minutes later I might find you.  For those of you who don't know Agony requires you to pass a 3 minute scan test to gain Core level, and for a while there I was truthfully worried that I wouldn't be able to do it.  Now, I am by no means perfect, but I thought I'd share how I've improved my scanning ability to respectable levels.

D-Scan

I'll start with the basics.  The D-Scan is brought up by pressing Alt-D, or the little button to the left of your HUD that looks like a radar sweep.  If you are ever in a potential hostile environment it should be up at all times so you can be aware of who and what is around you.  You'll see a check box labeled "Use Active Overview Settings", a range box, an angle slider, scan button, and a big empty space below it all.  The range can go up to approximately 14.33 AU and the angles for scanning are 360, 180, 90, 60, 30, 15, and 5.  The empty box below is where your scan results will show, and the use active overview settings box will do exactly what it says, that is only show things that would appear on your overview if you were on grid with it.

Use Active Overview

The first step in performing a successful D-Scan is having your overview set up properly.  Some things you need to have on it.  All ships, stargates, warpgates, wormholes, planets, the sun, wrecks, mobile warp disruptor.  Some people also put POCOs, moons, and asteroid belts, on it as well, but I find that they just clutter up the D-Scan results and I personally just use the onscreen brackets when scanning those.  Warpgates and wrecks are useful for determining if the person is running a mission or ratting.

Click the "Use Active Overview" check box to make sure that you can only see the things that you want, otherwise you'll often get hundreds of meaningless results.

The Process

I've practiced my D-Scanning by warping to a random celestial with an alt, then trying to scan him down.  Create an overview setting which shows the sun, all planets, moons, POCOs, asteroid belts, stargates, and stations.  Pick one at random without looking at your overview and press S (the keyboard shortcut for warp).  Your ship will then warp to a location that you don't know.

When you enter the system with the one doing the scanning first analyze the system with the system scanner.  This will tell you if any anomalies are in the system that your target could be at.  For the purpose of our practice you don't need to do that but its good to get into the habit.  Run a 360 scan, if you're target isn't on the scan then warp to a celestial in the middle of a bunch of other celestials, repeat until you find your target on the 360 scan.

When they are on the 360 scan, drop it down to 180 or 90 and scan in quadrants until you find them.  At this point you can probably drop your angle down to the 15 or 5 degree mark and start to scan the individual celestials.  If you press and hold the Alt key you will see a little box around your ship.  Align this box with the celestial when doing the shorter angle scans as this is the point where the angle starts at.  When your target shows up, warp to the celestial.

I find using the 5 degree mark a little twitchy, so if you're having problems pinpointing the location you can use the F10 map and use it to look around.  It is far easier to manipulate the camera while in the map view and it can help shave some time off your search.

Make It Quicker

If your target isn't on the initial 360 scan set your angle to 180 and spam the scan while in warp.  When your target appears on the scan continue to spam the button.  If your target disappears at some point you will know you passed the location and can then focus on the celestials that you passed, this can save you a ton of time you would have spent scanning areas where your target isn't located.  Bringing up the F11 map can help a lot with this.

I find that I don't use the 60 or 30 degree settings much.  By the time I narrow it down via the 90 degree scan there are usually only a handful of celestials to scan and I find it's quicker if I just go straight into scanning them individually. 

I never change the range and always leave it at the maximum.  I find that if I try and do both it just confuses me and I fail terribly.

One last thing is if you show all brackets it will still not show moons in space.  You need to enable this by pressing a shortcut key.  I don't remember what the default is as I've remapped it, but you can find the setting in Esc -> Shortcuts -> Navigation -> Toggle Special Bracket Display.  I have this on all the time, and since I've figured this out my scanning ability has drastically improved as I can now find targets that are at those locations.

Best Time Ever

The shortest time I've ever been able to D-Scan something down is 0:46.  I got very lucky with this though, as my target was on the first 360 scan, and at the first celestial I scanned at 5 degrees.  I'm normally in the 2-3.5 minute range when they aren't on the initial scan.  Clearly there is still room for improvement, but as I practice the time it takes me will continue to go down.  I now have confidence that I can pass the dreaded 3 minute scan test.

Whats the procedure you use for scanning?  What could I do better to shorten my time?  What's your best, or average, time to scan something down?  Any input is greatly encouraged and appreciated, that is if anyone actually reads this silly little attempt at a blog.  :D

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Jita Is Burning

The goons pulled a fast one on all of us.  We all knew that Jita was going to burn in celebration of The Mittani getting 10,000 votes in the CSM elections.  It then kind of quasi changed to be as a way to get back at care bears for Mittens getting banned for his drunken comments (It doesn't have to make sense, their Goons).

What they did though was in my opinion brilliant.  This is just information I read so it might not be true, but if it is, well done Goons, well done.  The Goons knew that the smart care bear would make his final freighter runs a day or two before the official start date and then steer clear of Jita.  The CFC then leaked that they would start a day early to catch these bears that were smarter than the average ones; they then proceeded to give the entire care bear population a giant phallic middle finger and did it a day earlier than that.

Love the Goons, hate the Goons, care bears, PvP gods.  It doesn't matter who you are, this is why we play Eve.  I've seen a few people in certain chats and on forums saying that the CFC are ruining the game and CCP should step in and make this kind of activity against the EULA.  To those of you saying that, I say, grow a pair, understand the game you're playing, and stop bitching.

THIS is why I play Eve, not to suicide gake, but because people can organize something of this scale.  If CCP stepped in and said "no more", there game would lose its interest and die overnight.  In a game where your actions matter, things like this are going to happen and I say bring on more of it.

So don't be a baby and don't be stupid and fly your freighter into Jita this weekend.  Instead, why not join the fight against the Goons and try to save those helpless care bears?  Or join the side of the Goons and help suicide all those evil little bears.  Or go make an alliance and take over the CFC's sovereignty while they're distracted.  Or go into one of the other thousands of systems the game offers.  Point it, stop bitching and go play eve.

A quick guide on how to Killmail Whore

Is your K:D ratio on BattleClinic suffering?  Does this make you sad?  Do you think of suicide...for others...so murder (all in spaceships of course)?  Well come on over to Jita and my 8 step program is sure to ease your woes.

  1. Get into a clean clone.
  2. Get the highest Scan Resolution you can (Sensor Boosters, Interceptor or cheap T1 Frig)
  3. Put a couple guns on.
  4. When ships go flashy due to GCC, target and shoot.
  5. Repeat
  6. There is no 6.
  7. ????
  8. Profit
A couple notes.  I'd keep the ship cheap in case you get ganked (a 200m isk Tornado ganked my 2 million isk Slasher), same reasoning behind the clean clone.  There is also a bug where if you shoot at a GCC player you will also get a GCC and get Concorded, if this happens (which it did to me), just petition and hope they answer and fix it in a timely manner.