Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Eve

I was talking to someone instead of going to bed. During the conversation I gave him my version of Eve's Sandbox concept and in that moment I also gained my Bio.

**********************************
Everyone says that Eve is a sandbox.
I don't agree with that.
I believe that Eve is a beach.
On one side is the ocean. It is an ever changing, fluid environment... that's PvP.
On the other side is land. Its stable and solid and familiar and supports you. That's the life of a carebear. It's comfy and tempting to stay there.
But in between is the sand. And that's where worlds are created. It may be bordered by the two forces. But that is balance.
On the beach are trillions of grains of sand. Each one is a choice, a decision, a moment, and instance, a chance, to be used or discarded or bypassed or noticed. The ocean may pour over it and the land may shake it, but it is a flexible, fluctuating, ever changing world. It is the world that I mold.
That is my Eve.







Saturday, January 28, 2012

Salvage and I've had my feelings hurt today

It is interesting how much the human factor comes into our game play.

A social game is played for many reasons. Even if the individual does not wish the be social, there is a depth and texture to the game that is not there if the human environmental is pulled out. This covers everything from easy chatter over channels to the full scale wars between two groups.

Hatred happens. Emotions happen. It is a game, sure, but we invest a lot of time and energy into it.

I find that my feelings are not hurt by the game itself. I get frustrated, sure. I'm approaching the end of my second month. I feel that I have learned a lot. However, all my education has shown me what a massive gulf there still is for me to approach. I wonder if I have rushed into things and should I slow down or try another path? Does it even matter? After all, its my game play and as long as I am enjoying myself then I'm playing my game.

I make friends on the internet. I figure many people do. Sometimes you get to meet these people. I've been to gatherings for forums, for groups, and for games. My best friend I met on IRC when we were teenagers. Part of meeting people is you become friends with them and you hand them a handful of your emotions and trust. On Eve, it can be a bit dangerous to do. You give all sorts of things out, trust, loyalty, respect and friendship as well as caution, fear, dislike, distrust and distaste.

Therefore, when I was called a leech and told to stay in my Noctis if I don't want to go and learn to PvP, I got my feelings hurt. I was then told that it was okay to fly my Noctis and make my isk as a salvager. However, since I am not the one doing the missions I guess that makes me a leech.

I spent a bit debating this. I was upset for a bit, then angry, and then moved onto oh well. My game of Eve is developing and I've developed a talent for a niche skill. Salvage does not sound glorious. It brings up images of the junk yard, the junk man, and Sanford and Son.

I've posted pictures of my Noctis before. The Noctis is a large, industrial ship that is a specialized salvager. It has bonuses to its tractor beams. I can equip it with all sorts of cool shit to help me salvage more, faster. In fact, my one that I keep in high sec, I have done that. The +salvage mods I have added make it slow as shit. I mean, slow. Warping and moving it is almost painful. However, it salvages.

Part one of salvage is actual salvage. Things like melted capacters, broken microchips, armor plating, bars of tritaniam, etc come out of the physical wreck of the ship. This is what the salvager device does. It pulls these items out of the wreck and then I, the salvager turn around and sell them on the market. Builders, who are building rigs to help perm mod ships buy that salvage and use it to create the rigs that people then buy to put on their ships.

Remember, this is Eve and much of the market is player created.

The second part of salvage is the loot from the wrecks. This is the genuine, dropped items from killing NPCs. These can be anything from regular ship mods, to weapons, to ammo, to specialized tags that can be used in the faction stores in the stations.

A lot of players leave these items on the field. You have to be within a certain distance (2500 meters) to loot a wreck and within 5000 meters to salvage it. For the average person, that means that you have to move a lot. If you are in a battleship its not going to happen in anything that is considered a reasonable amount of time.

The Noctis has bonus to tractor beams and can support a handful. I sport 4 tractor beams and 4 salvagers most of the time. This means I am always pulling something in and/or salvaging something. Its fast and its efficient, however, its a lot of work. Its not work like tanking a battle and killing shit. However, there is a lot of time management. Speed matters. Normally the Noctis is called in after the fight is done and the salvager starts to salvage. The team may move on to the next map or hang around, it depends. The salvager tries to clear up the battlefield.

There are Ninja Salvagers who come into missions uninvited and salvage. The salvage of the wreck is not stealing. To take loot is stealing. However, there is a lot of value from those little pieces. Eve allows for this so don't think something strange is happening. Your mission is not your little personal safe room away from the rest of the game. It may spawn for you but strangers can come visit.

The people I play with have been playing for a long time. They burn through missions and they do it fast. They often can not be bothered to stop and salvage the field. So, they invite me along and I make my isk by taking what would be left behind. So yes, I guess I am a leech.

I am a leech that is making a lot of isk.

The Eve market is not a static thing. There are trade hubs in every sector of the universe. Some are large, some are small. Some are micro hubs and then there is Jita.

I don't live near Jita. I've been there once and well, its busy, laggy, and noisy. Not IRL noise but the local channel is full of an incredible amount of spam, most of it scams.

I live near Rens. It is about 4 jumps over. I load up my hauler with my salvage and head over there and unload it. Trade Hubs are good because there are a lot of buy orders and they are competitive. I have commented before that there is an entire game play in eve that involves playing the market. I supply these people their items to buy and sell and make their isk. So, I'm a piece in the bigger picture.

When I first started salvaging I just sold it where I was and reprocessed it. Since I have started salvaging more then I do anything else I have started to spend the time to use my calculator (there is one in game) to run numbers and make my isk.

I said before that I have two Noctis. I do. The second is sitting in a place not recommended by almost anyone. I have a Noctis in low sec and I break it out when my pirate is in the mood to have me salvage his level 5 missions. This Noctis does not have rigs that slow it down. In fact, I've been debating how to rig it to make it a bit faster and more durable. This Noctis is a big, shining beacon to the low sec residents. People want to kill it and kill it badly. Therefore, it sports a cloaking device. When I have to wait for a mission, leave a mission, or when someone is trying to find me I sit out in space under my cloak.

This particular ship has paid itself off about 5 times over already (I can say about 7 now as I write this post). I'm not displeased with that. If I loose it, I can get another. Flying a big, fat, slow, helpless, rather fragile industrial ship into the heart of pirate territory isn't the smartest thing in the world, but it works for me. I also have some salvage fit destroyers that I use for the same thing. However, they can not support the same amount of equipment as the Noctis can. So I take the risk. I then have to get the items out of low sec. I've developed a fleet of fast destroyers and their entire job is to slip in and out of low sec with my salvage to sell over at my trade hub.

It's profitable work for me. It's 'easy' because I don't have to kill the NPCs. In high sec its not as dangerous (at first I wrote not dangerous but then I realized that was a stupid thing to say) but I split the salvage with the group members since they killed everything for me. In low sec, my pirate lets me keep it all but I am risking my Noctis, my loads of salvage, and myself every time I run in and out with another load to sell.

I'm fortunate. My pirate likes my company. He teaches me things and I fly around and watch scan. I guess it makes me a parasite. Yet, he never salvages his field and lets me have it. Tonight, he actually wanted the tags for something he was buying and I was able to feel useful.

I also don't mind the isk. I want to be a rich player. Why? I don't know. I love having the isk. As I hang out in low sec and with pirates, I learn more about the game. My skills tick up some and I try to figure out where my in game future is. I have a fuzzy picture of it, but that picture is surrounded by isk.

I guess I feel like a disappointment that I can not yet run missions on my own. It seems that soloing missions is some type of measurement and I fail. I sold my battleship because I wasn't flying it and can not fly it well. I'm happy to move back to my battle cruiser and try to really fit into it properly. What is the point of a big ship if I can't do anything useful for it?

So, I'm playing my game of Eve. My pride is damaged. I guess we all want to be that bad ass and I have to admit that I am not and am far from it. Maybe eventually. I started my character as an industrial character so to turn her into an assault type is a big turn around and it has put me behind the curve I guess. I also don't want to rush but I feel that others are rushing me. I admit that I am new and uneducated to the game. I spend more time looking up acronyms and in game technical language then I wish to admit.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Level 5 Missions

Level 5 missions are impressive.

I hung out with my pirate a bit in low sec to salvage his missions. Since I am so young I get hunted a lot. In Eve, you can see when someone started playing under employment history. I have just under two months on me and I'm running around LowSec so I am prey. Plus, I'm puttering around in a Noctis. That is a carrier below me. I can dock my Noctis inside of it.



It is an interesting game of cat and mouse. I hang out and watch my pirate eat the rooms and we both watch the directional scan looking for combat probes. When he is by himself, no one bothers him.



Add me to the mix and we get maybe 15 minutes before someone tries to find and eat me. Cloaky, cloaky Noctis.


This day the guy spent a good 30 minutes looking for me and hoping I'd flush out I guess. Someone might wonder why I'm willing to go still for 30 minutes instead of playing. There are several reasons.

Number one is ISK. My Noctis re-buys itself every mission or so in salvage. If I lose it, I can buy another.
Number two, it's good practice. Eve is about being hunted.

Number three, its the game. Eve can be fast and it can be very slow. If you want everything in your face now, now, now you can play that game. It's not my game however.

Eve is a flexible game. It has PvE (Player vs Environment) as well as PvP (Player vs Player) but there is also PvPM (Player vs Player Market) where characters completely work on market and trade skills and never even leave the station. They are litterly business giants and can make billions buying and selling. However, there is exploration, you can be a courier, hell people even make Banks (and then rob said banks) and never do 'game play' as we often think of game play.

I have no interest in some of that but its fucking cool. Everyone goes 'its a sandbox' but really it is a beach with two major sides and the ability to create what you want in it if you take the time.

We also play. Making isk is is what you do in Eve. Isk gets you lovely ships. Lovely ships you fly and do stuff with. Yet, we play. You can ram ships and sometimes we get a bit distracted and play with each other. No damage happens to the ships. Bumping can be very useful in combat as well. Its also just fun to ram each other and see what the game physics decide to do.

This is my Noctis spinning after a nice nudge from the Machariel. It didn't stop me from salvaging. But lets say I was aligned to a spot to run away quickly. My Noctis is an industrial ship. It has no speed, it warps slow, and its rather fragile. So, strategy wise when sitting still with lots of salvage close by I should set myself up to not have to turn around, align and warp to a safer location. However, come and bump me off course and you are adding time to my escape and thats time to catch me and eat me with ketchup.



Buying the Noctis and getting into salvage was a crapshot. Its been super profitable for me. I could go in my own mission ship and help out. I do sometimes. But really, hes a badass and he eats the missions and rolls out. Its easier for me to clean the battlefield of the delicious salvage and turn it into cash while hanging out. It is an interesting pyramid of social gaming. He does not need the salvage. He burns through missions so fast that salvaging them is a waste of isk for him in the time he'd loose salvaging it he could have done 2 or 3 or 4 more missions.



Yet, that is one of the many fun parts about Eve. You don't have to be a bad ass mission ship. You can make your own place. Eventually, I'd love to be the bad ass mission ship. For now, I tag along and learn and clean the field and make my isk. Some of my friends who started the same time I did from my own corp asked me how I make the isk I do. I'm not doing to bad for two months in and I'm not selling Plex or being given isk. I'm invited to situations that can be profitable for me if I want to do the work to make it so.

It's not glamorous. One guy loves running missions and shooting stuff. That's great but to run missions you have to buy ammo and ships and mods to fit the ships with. On top of that you need to be able to replace your stuff. That is the first rule. Don't fly what you can't afford. Someone could give you a 500isk ship and you could lose it 5 minutes later. That ships gone and you can't afford it because you have 10mil isk to your name.

This risk vs reward is highly intoxicating to some of us. It makes others quit Eve. That's fine, we all play the game we want to play. Eve is a strategy game, a vast complex one filled with other people, but a strategy game non the less. I had someone ask in a help channel if he should salvage his missions. He's been playing for about 4 days and the answer is always yes. He then wondered if he should fit two salvaging devices to his ship to speed up salvaging. I suggested that he fit a tractor beam and a salvager.

He said that the salvager is so slow so two seemed better. Yes, it is slow, I agreed, but the tractor beam will bring the salvage to him faster. You sit in a cloud of wrecks and drag them to you and salvage them. The salvage beam has a distance of 5k meters while the tractor beam can easily do 30k meters. So, while you are waiting for the salvager to cycle and hopefully pull something from the wreck you can also tractor in other wrecks. If not, you have to fly within 5k of each wreck to salvage it and within 2.5k to get any loot that is in the wreck. I have found that this is going to be slower then dragging it to you while you do something else.

Why not skip it totally? Sure, you can. But when you start eve you are dirt poor. You have very few ways to make isk. Mission rewards are like 20k a pop. The training missions leave you with about 5 mil. You can get another 5-10 from the Sister's of Eve epic arc. Beyond that, isk is very thin and painful your first few weeks. I remembered when I topped 10mil the first time. I felt space rich. I wasn't. I still am not. But I can afford my ships now. Not that many, but if I lose something I can go and buy another one of anything that I fly.
Finical responsibility in game for the win.

And I need it. My space lust for the Machariel is enormous and it sells for 800-1bil isk. Plus you have to fit it. And afford it. Thank god it will take me months to be able to fly it and perhaps a year to be able to fly it properly. Someone could give me one now and all I'd be able to do is stare at it in its hanger.






















Changing it up a bit: Still mining

How does one change up pointing lasers at defenseless, non-moving asteroids?

Hell, why does one even mine?

I mine for simple cash when I don't feel like doing more complex things. Its pretty, its relaxing, and I can chat, read, and fit my ships while keeping an eye out on my scan. My barge only costs 5mil isk so if someone does pop me, it paid for itself the first 30 minutes I owned it. I'll buy another one.

One of the things about eve is that ore in lower sectors (aka more dangerous) is better. Now and then, some of that higher grade ore appears in specialized sites that can be found using probes and ship scanners. One of my prior corpies has gotten into scanning a bit and found a site full of Jaspet, an ore that is normally not available in higher sector areas.

Not having anything else to do, and wanting money, I offered to mine it and give him a finders fee. The end decision was 10% of the haul. Since we know each other and play together we have a basic trust system where he does not think I am going to screw him out of money and I do not plan to screw him out of money. However, I could have, easily. That is why, if its not someone you hang out with you might want to just have a flat upfront fee. Eve is not about a free lunch. You may do things with your friends and hang out, but when someone works you give them something. I'm fortunate that my pirate likes my company and enjoys teaching me to boot.

Anyway, this Gravimetric Sites was found. Inside the site were some small Jaspet asteroids. Since it was a high sector the payout on the rocks were not enormous. It was good enough however and something new to do.

The sites themselves are pretty. They are filled with derelict equipment that looks like it was abandoned a long time ago.

The ore is a bit of a pain the mine. There is a good bit of it but it is spread out all over the place.

So, I called my corpmate  and he dragged out a hulk and helped pull in the ore. His hulk has a much longer reach then my Retriever. Armed with two ships and a hauler we wandered around and cleared out the higher price stuff. It was not some miltimillion isk haul. After all, we are in a .08 or so system.

But watch this hulk fly through a rock formation without bumping!


That's why we play sometimes :P. In Eve you can not control your ship directly with the normal keyboard movements. I was endlessly confused at how to move in the first time out. However, with clicking and camera control you can move your ship just fine. They can be very agile and combat is fully three dimensional. I love it but it does take a bit to adjust. However, everything is much more agile then you xpect.











Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ice Mining

I first tried ice mining out of curiousity. I was a bit bored. I was tired of regular mining. I wanted something different. I wanted to see the solar system.I used Eve Maps DotLan to find an ice belt nearby and went and jumped into it. I stuck some ice miners on my Retriever and jumped into the ice field.

Ice fields are beautiful. The ice is enormous. Its incredible. They arch up.

Having done absolutely no research before hand, I stuck my lasers at the ice and clicked them on.

And they went on. And on... and on... and on.... for seven minutes. I was like, damn but okay, and I eagerly watched my cargo hold waiting to see how many thousands of pieces of Ice I gathered and then it happened!

Cycle completed, bam! ONE single piece of ice measuring 1000m3 appeared in my hold from each laser.

Damn.

Each one sells raw to a buy order for maybe a few thousand isk. Refined, just a tiny bit more.

No value. In the time I mined 6 pieces of ice I could have made 5mil isk in the regular belts.

Well, it was a new experience. I occasionally went back and picked up a piece here and a piece there to slowly grow a hoard for the future.

Well, not the future is here. I have retaken up ice mining in a better location with better logistics and for a better reason.

Last night, while hanging out with my pirate, I asked him if he was interested in me learning to create a cynosural field.

He eyed me and said yes.

So, I tacked on the few days of training that I would need. The goal, is more missions faster and in general assisting him with moving his carrier. I keep being told by people to stay out of low sec. Then I keep going there.

The thing about the field is that it needs Liquid Ozone to run. I can just buy it from the market. I'm sure, eventually that will be the better choice. But for now, I'm mining some ice and building up a little backlog of the stuff.

Still... I'm not making a dent on this stuff.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ahh Eve

Eve is just a lovely game. The background to my blog is a random planet and sun that I warped into one day travelling. I apprecaite the time they have taken to make things pretty. Now, for some reason they brain fart when it comes time to make the ships.

Today is about pictures. We had a nice sized fleet today for our missions so I took some close ups of other ships in Eve. I normally only feature mine and they are a very small fraction of ships in the game.

The Navy Raven

The Basilisk

Apocalypse

Maelstrom

Rattlesnake

Noctis

Our little fleet for the evenings ops.

Fighting, boom go torpedoes.

Maybe I am to honest. The picture I select, because it is great is the one where my gun misses its target. Rofl.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dominix

I purchased a Dominix a few weeks ago before I could fly it. Prices were low so I grabbed it.

Yesterday, I was able to start flying it. The Dominix is a drone boat and a battleship. I didn't buy it for its personal firepower, I got it as a drone boat for logistic support in the level 4 missions that I do with my corp and friends.

Being able to get into a ship and move it around on Eve does not mean that you can fly it or fly it well. A well skilled player in a much smaller ship will destroy a newbie like me in a big ass ship like the Domi. However, I'm not trying to kill other people and I use it for a particular type of group play right now. Therefore I am fine with my choice.

The nullsec players that I met scolded me for rushing. They said I need to stick with frigates and fly them until I can fly them perfectly (meaning tech 2 weapons and tech 3 ships) and then I can move up to the next class.

I can see the point of this opinion. However, I have several different styles of game play. I have my solo play, my play with my friends who are about the same game age as me, my play with my experienced corp mate and my game play in low sec with my pirate. I use different ships for all of these tasks. I am not a bad ass in any of these ships but they all have differences.

So, after I picked and chose and hoped for the best we set out to go and play a little and do some shake downs.

From

It is a nice ship.

My salvaging abilities as I duel box are getting a bit better. The Noctis is an amazing ship. I am salvaging my level 3's and the level 4's. When I work as a group it is split. When I work alone its all mine. Tasty, tasty salvage has really been doubling and tripling what I bring in. I rarely bring in less then a mill from a mission with a lot of things to shoot.

I also had a container full of salvage I had forgotten about. I got it off of my pirate's level 4's right before I went on vacation. He burns through the missions and I salvage them. It is a lovely combo and it brings me serious cash. He did about 4 or 5 missions that night. I salvaged most of them and wound up with about 27 million. For me, that is good money. Now, when I salvage his level 5 missions I wind up with that much off of one or two. However, those are in low sec and a bit more dangerous of an undertaking.

I do not use my Noctis. I use a Catalyst. It is fast, it is agile, and it is cheap to replace.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Better Marketing Habits

Last night I was reading the forums a bit. There was a big argument about how many minerals miners really bring into the game. The argument was that missioners bring in as much if not more by reprocessing low level salvage.

I know that most items can be reprocessed. I had done it a few times myself. However, I had not really thought about potential loss and gain of reprocessing my mission drop items vs reprocessing them and selling the minerals.

If items did not sell for a positive amount I just kept them around and tried later. Since my skills are not high, mission drop equipment fills a lot of my slots. My ships are basic things still and finding it saves me money over buying for now. Sometimes, I buy stuff. I don't have that many ships to equip as of yet. I shudder for the days when everything I buy will be what my net worth is now.

Salvaging my level 3 missions is tripling what I am making. I don't feel that I am making that much but I am starting to get into the grove of doing the missions. It was brought to my attention that I can buy and sell items from the LP (Loyalty Point) store as well and not to disregard that.

So I have started to reprocess things and run the numbers. It is always better when the item was not going to sell in the first place. If the item would sell the question becomes how much better would it be to sell it as just minerals.

The positive point of the entire thing is that I can make a few bits more change.

I attempted to run a mission before I went to work. I figured I had an hour.

An hour later I docked with 13% hull damage and barely anything accomplished. Whoops. I think this is a time to take a moment and try to fight smarter. :)

I will finish it tomorrow. I'll lose the time bonus but that is better then losing my entire ship as I almost did.

Time Bonus is 400k isk.

Ship cost is 54mil isk.

I did get to have something of a productive day as I helped a friend work on his mission earlier. I also got to test my repair skills for my new logistical profession I'm training into. As of today, I can fly my battleship. However, its a logistic ship for when I am running around after people in level 4 missions trying to be helpful. My gun skills are not up to par for me to fly it as a fighter itself.

Repair it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

If I Mission will I like it?

I didn't like doing missions way back during the tutorial. I waited to do them until last and they took me forever. I then went and tried the Sisters of Eve Arc and had my ass handed to me halfway through. I knew that I wasn't ready to fight things. I didn't know what I was doing or how I was doing it. I was pointing and shooting and not getting very far productively or enjoying it.

I truly enjoy missioning with others. The entire situation is different and a lot of fun. Yet, everyone seems to grind missions so well and so productively that I feel as if I am missing out. Hence, my faltering attempts to build myself into a better mission runner by sheer determination. Or, by the power of doing I can convince myself that I'm not so bad at it and not just a blob that doesn't give back on the battlefield. I have as bad an issue in game with wanting to pull my own weight as I do IRL. This is something I will have to manage better, methinkst.



I have been running missions all night. Halfway through the night I was scolded for not salvaging my stuff. Maybe I am super tired. Normally I am a fiend for it, but tonight, everything seems very complex. I don't have the self awareness to salvage after myself. Something is wrong with me today. Maybe its exhaustion.

I also managed to accidentally repair my ship for over a million ISK. I meant to repair a drone and selected repair all which also repaired the ship that I had modulus on doing that exact job. Then my drones got killed on a later mission and I started to mix and match because none were available nearby.

Now I'm kinda limping along on some type of sheer determination.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mining all Day

Yes, I mine. I mine a good bit. I know that it is not the best or most awesome way to make money but its productive.

I actively dislike Miami Flordia. The internet connection was crappy much of the time I was there. The hotel I was at had a connection so bad that it was unusable. I had a better connection to my phone. This, it turned out, was the good thing because later that day I would spend the entire day in a car, playing Eve off of my cellphones connection.

Basically, I was the passenger in a trip down to Key West. With a conversion device to charge my laptop and my cellphone giving me a decent 3G signal I happily played eve for about 8 hours of driving. However, I mined because my connection was not that great and prone to flaky patches.

My total haul for the day was about 15 mil. That is not counting what I did not sell.

I've taken to mining Ice. Mining Ice in a non ice mining specality ship is pretty horrible. Its very boring and the pieces of Ice are very large and require a lot of managment when your cargo space is not very big. I don't mine a lot of it. Its not rewarding like other mining because eventually you shave off a huge, heavy flake of ice and it counts as one piece.

However, Ice is useful when it comes to stations and those are in my future. I am building up a hoard of station fuel by doing a little bit when I have a free moment. I hope it pays off because I want to harm myself after I have done it for a while.

After about an hour of mining ice (which is about my limit) I got invited to come pillage a gravitational site. The site was full of Omber. Yay mining. With my alt in tow to haul for me I made the jumps and settled down to some productive, money mining.

My goal is to not let my bank account drop under 100mil anymore. So far, I keep buying expensive ships when my account hits those levels. My somewhat shaky vow is not to get distracted by shiny ships. I can't fly everything I have right now. I am sitting on one for another three days. I certainly can't fly them as well as they can be flown and I now have a battleship.... soo... I don't need to buy anymore expensive ships.
My omber mining came out to just over 7 mil in the end. I was pleased with myself. The drive was nice, Flordia, when it doesn't look blecahed and unloved is very pretty. My next task was to fit a tiny fleet of Atron's for myself and upgrade my clone.

I did my clone first since the station I live at has a med bay. All that hard training my charater did while I was vacationing had upped me a clone grade. Yay me.

My Atron's are my fast ships. I use them to buzz around from oen point to another. Eventually I will get their fancier versions. For now, basic/generic race ships are my thing. Right now I have two major play spots that are 12 jumps apart. I have the bulk of my ships and ship fit equipment streched between these two places. So, I need more then one jump back and forth ship. My ice belt is also 7 jumps away and I stuck a retriever there to live because jumping a barge should be illegal its so slow.

Therefor, I purchesed and fitted three atron's with some quickness devices and some cloaking devices. I like to hop around low sec and I like to do it without weapons for some reason. I do not have the sense to be a bad ass so I've gone for small and fast and ready to hide.

Each of my new little ships now has about 20 times their value in gear on them. I find this funny for some unknown reason.


Getting all of the stuff took quite a bit and a lot of jumps. I don't use auto pilot. Earlier, someone in my chat said that he had forgotten he was heading to low sec on auto pilot and went AFK for an IRL summons from one of his kids. He came back to find his ship destroyed and that he was podded.
Autopilot is an interesting thing on Eve. I use it, sometimes. Normally when I am going through all high sec jumps with an empty ship moving from one place to another. Auto pilot is convient but it is not fast. What it does is it automatically takes you to the system or station you have set as a destination. It, however, pulls you out of warp 15k from your destination and then slow boats to the gate and jumps you. This adds a lot of time over going gate to gate to gate manually.

What this also does is it makes you a gigantic, slow, probably unattended target. People sit at gates, waiting for people on auto pilot with a hold full of good expensive things. The goal is to kill you and have a friend or alt loot your corpse. The person who kills you expects to die. Its high sec and an unprovoked attack will have concord causing brilliant explosions of your ship bits. However, if you have say a billion isk in goodies and their ship costs 50 mil... the chances are huge that they are going to be able to look much more then 50 mill out of your ship. Gates that lead to major trading hubs are a great place to watch this in action.
Welcome to Suicide Ganking.

Now, autopilot in low sec is asking people to kill you. You can't just go AFK you have to check where you are going. If you do not watch where you have automatically been plotted, you may wind up with some jumps into low sec. Lowsec gateways are often heavily watched due to these exact situations. You might as well run out there, jettison all of your stuff and go AFK so that they can eat your ship and pod for target practice without wasting any of your goodies. Don't forget to announce your plans in local and maybe fleet them so they can jump right to you. It saves time.

And in low sec they will kill you just to kill you. You don't have to be worth it
.
Yet people will continue to go AFK on Auto Pilot into dangerious areas.

In fact, as I am popping he announces that he has died, a second time for the day, in low sec trying to help a ship that he thought was out gunned. The ship that he thought was being 'picked on' called in friends to back him up. The people that did the picking also called in friends. A massive battle errupted and he was unknown by either side, and decloaked in a cruiser.
They squashed him like a bug.

"Why did you decloak?" I asked.

"Because I thought he needed help..." he says. "But I was nothing to them. They didn't even notice when they destroyed me."

My eve selfishness must be very high. If I can't kill someone I'm not helping unless its my friend and then I'll do whatever I can to help them. I'd happily sacrifice my ship or go and try to assist someone that asked me to. However, I'd not just randomly enter a battle full of people that could destroy me. But then again, I fly around low sec in an Atron or a Catalyst without weapons.
That was interesting...

We stopped for dinner. That was a long, miserable expierence. The staff of the Outback in Key West, Flordia are very nice but the service is very slow and the food over cooked.

Anyway, back in the car I puttered around for a bit longer. I had spent a lot of what I made over fitting my new toys. I put them together, gave them names (my atron's have a Berry theme so I now have Strawberry, Rasberry, Blueberry and Blackberry). I theme name my ship types and it helps me keep track of what does what. Its not practical but my ship list looks like a desert tray and it makes me smile.

Then I went out to mine again. My connection was flaky for abit but it settled back down. My goal was to make a little bit of cash and do some reading and maybe make some new friends.

My first attempt failed as I was not responded to for an hour. However, a carebear type I had met my second week of playing asked me to mine with him a few systems over. He gives pretty crazy mining bonuses so I took the offer and made a few hops to hang out and mine Kernite. I worry that he will come to hate me later when I'm not so carebearish, but I'll hurdle that bridge when I come to it. (Carebear is the [derogatory{?}] term given to people who live in high sec and don't participate in PvP. Often given those who are full on mining and industrial with the most scorn). He even asked me if I wanted to join his corp. I said no. Tomorrow, I am corp changing again (although my corp will be fine and dandy as is just under my alt).

I've been trying to make some more Eve friends. I'm a pretty good natured girl. It can be tricky since lots of people on Eve just want to kill other people. Two people got into a spat on local over if the other was running a bot when they were not on. I love watching these types of argument. A third person starts picking at one of the others and I manage to slide into the conversation when it disginigrated into questions about cupcakes.

Eventually, I wind up chatting with the third party to convince him that I am really a girl and we wind up chatting for about two hours. New Eve friend, acheived. :) Then he gave me a BPC (Blue Print Copy) for a Noctis. This means I can now build the second Noctis I've been wanting for less then it would cost to build one, I think. I have to sit down and run all the numbers. Two types of ore needed I may have to buy from the market and that may make it a wash.

With all the kernite, on the belt I was in, mined, I was done. I decided to see if I could refine it and sell it. I could but I would have made more if I had sold the ore raw. My refine skills still suck. I need to not be so impatetnt. I have people who will do the refine for me. I probably lost 2-3 mil with that brilliant decision.
Oh well. Bed time. Three hours until I had to be up and at the airport. A productive day and I did miss Eve.































Saturday, January 14, 2012

Vacation: An Eve Addicts Survival Guide

While on vacation for a week I decided to write a post. I can't help myself. I do miss Eve. My vacation, for those who wonder why I had to give up Eve for a solid week, was a cruise. I occasionaly had internet access on my phone at ports but nothing that would let me log into the game and get a breath full of space flight.

I'm addicted and I'm not embarassed or upset about it. As I said to someone else, my hobby is as valid as anyone elses. People on the ship are sitting at the EA Sports bar watching games and gambling nonstop. I'm laid out on my balcony, soaking up the sun in a bikini and reading some guides for Eve and getting to know my Aura app some more. My money is in my pocket and I'm not screaming at a television full of millionares in spandex chasing each other around.

I can't help but feel that I win a bit in that situation.

So how did I surivive?

First, I have an amazing laptop. I picked up an Alienware M14X. It is a 14 inch gaming laptop. This means I can play eve at the hotel and the airport.

Second, I put my charaters on long training skills. These skills are a pain when you are playing every day but a gift when you are on vacation. Eve releaves you of the need to go out and level. Soemtimes when I am running missions and killing things, I have to remind myself that I'm doing missions to earn money and items (items to keep and items to sell) but I'm not earning experience and leveling in the classic senses that I am used to. Training happens regardless. Making sure that the skills training will take longer to complete then I will be out of contact with a computer helps. It is also a great way to get long skills out of the way without the temptation of starting something else.

Next: I downloaded some guides and read over them. I've commented on ISK the Guide as well. I also picked up another one called the Eve Guide that is older. Eve is a complex game. It is enjoyable but it is also fustrating becuse there are a lot of things that are not explained to you.

An example: Guns. You put guns on your ship. Guns are broken up into many types. There are projection turrets, and hybrid turrets, and lasers and missiles. The ship you choose to fly has what I call, likes. It may have bonuses to hybrid turrets or missiles. This makes picking the type of gun to equip your ship with easy.

What is not obvious is that you should not mix and match your guns. Having 7 different guns with 7 different ranges and ammo is not the most productive way to kill things. Yet, it seems like a fantastic solution. So much death and agony will be unleashed in seven styles! I mean, I often equip two different types of weapon for different damage types. But no. Nope. Bad idea. Inefficient way to fight. Newbie/Noob that you are! How can you miss something not obvious like that?

Could someoe share that? Argh! Hence the guides. Nice people obsessed with Eve take their time to explain simple basic things that are not obvious. The information blurb on equipment and items oftens sucks. SUCKS. Sure, there are so many pieces of stuff in the game its silly. But, but but but but, when the person coding the game builds the item can't they take the time to write a paragraph about it and maybe add things like, "You can not use this on your own ship" or "These items function best when combined with like items".

Bitch, bitch, bitch.

I also have my Aura app. Aura is an application avaliable on the android market. I have my two charaters loaded into the app and when I have a connection it updates me on what is going on with them.

If you have played Eve you may have heard mention of your API keys. Your API keys are an offline charater gateway. There are several levels of API key and the level dictates the access the key has. Corporations use these keys to verify that you are what you say you are. They can also be used to look at your contacts, eve-mail and other charater-personal details. Some corporations will not let you join without this access. Considering Eve's reputation for lies and backstabbing politics, I'm not surprise.

However, it is also useful for things like EveMon and Aura. The API key gives me access to my own things. I can use it to plot and plan. It access everytihng from my charater's skill list to my charater's wallet.

This way, when I sold one of the ships that I had put up for sale before I left, I could see the nice fattening of my wallet with ISK when the app updated. It also shows my transaction logs so I could see that a ship and an expensive skillbook I had put up for sale both sold.

The API does not give anyone account access. They also can not do anything to your charater. It is a view screen of details. Some of the details are highly personal depending on how you feel about them.

Again, someone could say its sad that I'm so addicted, but I'm happily addicted to my game. Why is it okay for someone to watch television for 4 to 6 hours a day and me not play my game, interact with other players, and enjoy myself becasue its a game?

Anyway, I spent some time exploring the app and found all sorts of useful things. For example, it has a skill training option that tells me what skills I *can* train. This is very nice. I may not want to learn the skills it is suggesting to me any time soon. However, I might not have known I could learn that skill without a good bit of effort. Skill books are not accessable everywhere on the market. I often use the market to see what is there and what I can train. This makes it a lot easier to plan what skill book to buy next to inject into my little space people.

I'd clap my hands and squeel but I'm too busy typing.

So, from me, these are a few things that I did to get by and keep my Eve cravings low.

I think I'll review the guides later.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A new ship

Last night I was in a pretty deep game funk. I've been playing for a month. Long enough to no longer be a raw newbie and long enough to realize how long it will be before I am not pathetic.

It was a very frustrating place to be. The experienced players that I have hooked up with are amazing people. They add depth and texture to my game. They are also amazing people. It rather solidifies how amazing I am not. I've been tagging along on missions and while I chew at the edges I am not overly productive. I've grown tired of that. I'm watching other players who started when I did do serious amounts of damage while I might as well throw myself into the void for the productivity of my actions.

So, I was sat down and a talk was had with me over the fact that my ship might not be a good fit for my skills and playing style combined. I had picked up this ship several weeks ago and I was determined to use it and not be wasteful and to learn and focus. Well, the ship was just not a good fit for me. But I had been hanging on and blaming my general inability to do things that I should have been able to do on my playing skills.

Well, it was my playing skills. I was not playing them properly more so then a complete and total lack of them.

For those who do not play Eve, skills are trained in real time. It says that it will take you 13 minutes to learn a skill to level 1. Then it may take an hour to level 2. It may take 17 hours to level 3. Level 4 may be a day and a half and level 5 might take 4 days. Each level is listed in real time. It is a cool aspect because your skills continue to learn, if you set them up, when you are logged off. This means your skill que has to be kept full and it can only be kept full with skills that start in a 24 hour period. So you can load up a 13 minute, 1 hour, 17 hour, and a 20 hour skill and you will finish in 28 hours and 13 minutes. You can load a 21 day skill and it will finish in 21 days. You can not load a 3 day skill and a 21 day skill because the 21 day skill does not start within 24 hours of when it was loaded. Now, if the 3 day skill has 23:59 left, you can add the 21 day skill and go away for 24 days.

I hope that babble makes sense.

Anyway, I was asked where had I been putting my skill points. There are lots of general categories and then there are the various skills under them. I looked and I realized that my three major areas where Space Ship Command (always useful) Industry (Not surprising, I have become a good littler miner and an okay refiner and one day I may build) and Drones (I like them and they are useful).

So, my gun skills were very low.

The ship I was flying is a gunboat.

So, we switched me over to a ship that is all about drones.

Suddenly, I could do the level appropriate missions.

My new ship is a Myrmidon. These names sometimes... anyway... it looks like a wing, turned on its own axis with a bird/lizard head attached to it. I can't say it find it attractive but frankly, a lot of the ships on eve look good but they are not attractive. I admit... I enjoy symmetry.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Today I got to experience Fear

Perspective in Eve is off. Your ship never seems that big until another ship is with you.

I'm not great at staying safe in Eve. I have a friend in low sec and when he offers to let me tag along on his missions, I go. Because of this, I have a bit of salvage in low sec that I am constantly sneaking back up into high sec to sell. I've learned to fit fast ships that slip through the systems quickly.

Today, we decided to go and do some of his level 5 missions. I love watching him in the level 5's. He has big ships and I have tiny ships and the world explodes around me. It is fantastic.

Anyway, I was flying my fish. My fish's technical name is Vanilla Extract A Brutix. To me, he looks like a fish.

Anyway, down in low sec, people hunt people for play. I feel like a psycopath but it is rather fun to play and know that people are out there with the intent to kill me. I don't want to lose my stuff. I work my little game character hard for it. Yet, knowing it is there does bring a rush to the game. We were playing, quite happily when the group leader needed to take off to help his friends kill someone. Unlike the higher security areas where you can hang out and wait, hanging out in the middle of space where people want to kill you is not always the best idea of the day.

However, being one to embrace ideas that are not fantastic I decided to stay and try out my cloaking device. After all, I had put the skill points into it and purchased it so I might as well use it.

That brought me an interesting situation that I did not get to take a picture of. As I'm trying to learn to scan properly and set my options so that I can figure out when people want to kill me, someone who wants to kill me appears. Only, I am cloaked and I have read enough to know to stay a bit off to the side so that someone will not easily come near enough to me to decloak me. At that moment, I knew fear. Not IRL fear where I would call the police and cry, but a true shudder of knowing that someone was bigger then me and more powerful then me and if they saw me I would be a bunch of glitter and a fading explosion. And that person was a predator and they were looking to kill.

It was cool.

And they passed right on by, assuming the group was gone from the room.

Teehee :)

Later, I switched ships into a catalyst to salvage missions. I'm not yet ready to sacrifice my 50mil ISK Noctis. I'm not a good enough pilot to work a ship that big and slow. This is my Catalyst all cloaky cloaky in low sec waiting to head to a mission.

I was watching a field go up for a carrier to jump through. Once the carrier is through the person who made the field has a down time where they are rather helpless. There is a lot of give and take balance. I like it. Of course, it makes me want to be able to make the damn fields which is rather funny because it also says I wan't to risk that five minute 'please kill me I'm helpless' time as well.

Masochistic tendencies?

Being a new player is frustrating. It takes a good amount of time to work you way up to being cool. I find that I feel like a tag along and not very useful most of the time. It is how you learn but it does not stop it from being tiring. I do some things on my own and normally have my ass so thoroughly handed to me that I am sent running. Maybe one day I'll be a badass? For now, I will admire the badassery of more experienced players.

I love a game that is as fun to watch as it is to play.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Level 2 to 4 Missions

My Brutix is my mission boat at the moment. I don't have a battle ship yet and it will be a while until I get one. Plus, I'm useful as I gnaw around the edges of the big ships and take out the frigates. I've commented before that big ships may kick ass but they are not the be all and end all of the world. Big ships have problems hitting small ships. This is where I come in.

While the big boys are doing damage, they get attacked by swarms of little frigates that are to small for them to easily track and lock. I go after these ships and chew them to pieces while moving fast enough that the big enemy ships have a hard time focusing on me.

Its a balance game and a fun one.

Today's fleet for level 4 missions is this.

I love these co-op missions. Its ridiculousness. Bangs, boom, space, its fantastic. The depth and the size is as big as it seems to be. Its space and you are a very, very, very, small speck.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hulkageddon

Eve is not a nice game.

I don't mean that it is not a fun, intense and addictive game. I mean that it is not nice. It is not a warm, snuggly place to live and play. The game does not coddle you and the rules do not coddle you. It is a very ruthless place.

Hence times like Hulkageddon. When there is a contest, with prizes to shoot down the massive mining barges that eat the asteroid belts.

As I explained to my husband earlier, Eve is not about buying the biggest ship and being the biggest badass. It just does not work that way. Hulks are a great example of this. They are enormous ships. They are also slow and defenseless. I keep a few drones in mine to eat the little NPC pirates that swarm the belt. However, think of a cow in a field and you have a hulk. They are fat, efficient things with a major place in the world. They are now however, badasses.

And its hunting season for cows. Sometimes the cows sharpen their horns and lay traps. Its a fascinating aspect of the game.

So, I will spend the next week missioning and working on other skills. I go on vacation the week after and hopefully the game will have settled down and it will not be as interesting to kill my barge.

I don't have a hulk, I have a retriever. It is a smaller, cheaper less efficient version. Training to fly a Hulk takes about 2 months of dedication on the part of the player. Like many things in Eve, it is not a casual decision. They are amazing at what they do and they repay their investments off quickly. But, for the peaceful folk of Eve (known as Carebears) they are hunted by the not so peaceful side.

This is what makes Eve interesting. Out of game the competition is organized. They will give out prizes and rewards and give insurance payouts for the ships lost.

Not the ships lost by the miners. The ships lost by the killers aka gankers.

Eve has security zones. The high-sec areas are from 1.0 to .05. In these areas, the NPC police, Concord patrols. If you attack a ship unprovoked Concord comes and kills you. As the sectors go down from 1.0 to .09 to .08 to etc the response time for the police slows down. This gives people more time to kill you and makes each area more dangerous.

The high-sec area of the game is large because the game is enormous. However, its a small part of the game.

Anyway, people kill still kill you and then get killed themselves. Then their alt or their friends will loot and salvage both wrecks. Its a game of numbers and the end is a win win for them. They lost a ship but they didn't buy an expensive one in the first place and the end reward is greater then what they put into it.

In this game, that is okay. No one is going to replace the lost ship for the miner and scold the pirate. It is part of the eve universe.

I like it.

Even if I mine a lot.

Its adds such depth and texture.

So I am not mining this week. I am running missions. Running level 4 missions with other people is great. I fly in a Brutix.

Gate waiting

Eve is a cooperative event a lot of the time. Sometimes, you sit and chill for a few minutes before the mission starts. Running in because you are impatient gets you a nice graphic of your ship exploding.

I took shots of the battle without the brackets and highlights and with. I then noticed that my over view window was in default and is showing everything useless in the world. I've been playing with the settings across two different machines and I don't have it all synced up yet. Customization of the interactive displays is pretty important.

Anyway, purple is my fleet, red is bad, the white triangles are what has been killed. The green things are my drones that I'm also controlling.

My ship isn't highlighted but its a spec in the middle of the screen since the camera is focused on it.

And then, the cleanup. All the white triangles are destroyed ships. The sold ones have equipment in them. But all of them can be salvaged for an attempt at broken ship parts which are used to create new ships so therefore valuable and useful in game. Everything can be used, sold, or reprocessed to its base components. Salvaging is a lot of work and can take quite a while. This probably took me 20 minutes because the character I used to do it is not actually very good at it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rookies and Penises

I miss rookie chat. It is the chat room that you have access to for the first 30 days that your account is activated. The other night, I hit day 30 and rookie was forever closed to me.

Eve's rookie and help channels are good. People answer your questions. I'm more of a reader then an asker but there is still a lot to learn.

Anyway, I decided to go and do some little missions in my Thorax. My penis ship named Sugar Cookie.

Penis shape you say? The words from my blog are offensive to you somehow?

Really... look at this...

Oh Chella, you just take pictures at random angles to make it look like the concept artists were using the toilet and looked down for inspiration...

Haiku to a Gallente

There is something about a man from a race,
That has put so many penis shaped ships in space,
That makes me want to have a taste...
Oh my, I love me a Gallente.

A space war

It is new years eve and I am mining. I ran some missions earlier but I have not yet developed a taste for them without company. Everyone is out having real life celebrating. Me, I don't leave the house on new years. A holiday where its okay to get drunk off your ass is not one where I want to be prowling the street.

Not that I ever prowl the street. I'm a boring soul... but enough about me.

I'm also reading. ISK the Guide is something I wish I had read a month ago.... I'm catching up.

So anyway...

I'm mining. I have my alt out hauling my ore. I have two hobgoblin drones orbiting me and eating up the NPC pirates that appear. I spent enough cash on her earlier today setting her up with basic skills to learn. Right now, I'm working her towards some long skills because I go on vacation in a week. Skill training is real time in eve and time not spent skill training is wasted.

Earlier, I looked at her holiday gift implant and debated if I wanted to sell it or not. I still have to think about it.

Enough of my rambling thoughts. The space battle was interesting.

I'm in a system that happens to be a mission hub. Its a pretty quiet place and normally has very low to no ship kills. As my alt hauls her slow ass basic barge out of the station I see two ships who look as if they are engaged in battle.

Interesting, but I'm in a 0.8 system so I don't care.

Later, as I haul load after load of ore in I see more and more ships.

So I tried to take some pictures.

I kept my displays up so that the ships are bracketed properly.

They had command ships out, battle ships out, the works. Ships are dying, people are running off and coming back. Drones are popping like popcorn and I just floated through the center because I was not involved.

Situations like these are part of the thick stack of reasons I like eve.

Space battles. This is not NPC. Each ship is a player. There was an entire little battle going on. When you lose your shit in Eve its gone. Go buy another one. Hope it wasn't to special.