Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Trials and Tribulations of the Cyno Alt

"Diz, please shoot this Executioner if he shoots my cyno. He has me yellow boxed."

"Okay." Diz undocks in a Sleipnir since he goes for subtle.

I was doing my normal cyno duties. I had stuff to drop off for the corporation, stuff to drop off for other people, and my store to manage. It was a multiple cyno type of day. I love my cyno ships and unlike many I don't log them off or self destruct them. I believe in the beauty of a reusable cyno. "He's shooting me." I whined. "Half shield. Quarter shield." The executioner turns into a wreck.

"He popped before I could shoot him," said Diz.

"Well, that's fine too."

My cyno went down. I switched to a faster, more nimble ship and looted his wreck. I found the wreck name ironic.


First a Algos the other week and now an Executioner and I think there was an Slasher that managed to warp away... So much death. All of these things are dying to my mighty cyno frigate. I am like a phantom of destruction. A dark abyss that the hapless fall into.

Behold the fit of doom.


Now, there is one difference to my cyno frigate from many cyno frigates. That is the fact that the character lighting the cyno has 40 million skill points and maxed support skills for her shields, armor, and hull. It means that she can take a tiny bit more damage then normal and when faced with an unskilled frigate her rookie cyno ships are holding out longer then a lot of the frigates that come to harm me.

Learning not to aggress on neutrals in low sec is something most people learn the hard way. They hear about it. Yet, everyone also says go to low sec and attack anything. Cyno rookie ships are tempting targets. The first time the station guns activate that lesson comes home with a particular clairy brought on by real world experience.

Ultimately, it is hysterical to watch people die trying to kill my cyno. Cynos are supposed to be easy kills and a quick way to inconvenience someone. Attacking them myself, getting the boys to guard, or having them die to low sec mechanics is just a brilliant way to spend that ten minute cycle.

Friday, November 29, 2013

What Was and What Will Be

There is something blissful about the end of a long train. It is almost as pleasurable as the first long, body arching stretch in the morning. When Aura for Android chimed that Sugar's skill queue had dropped under twenty four hours, I could have burst into song for the joy of it. However, I will leave the bursting into song for Kaeda and just burn in satisfaction.

Sugar is finishing Sentry Drone Interfacing V. This gives access to T2 Sentry Drones. It is an important skill for many reasons. Some will cry drone assist but I'll roll my eyes. Sentry drones are necessary for several of our battleship doctrines and for our Ishtar fleets. They give me access to another large weapon option as well. Heavy drones have their place but their slow speed is a hindrance in fast paced small gang PvP. Although static, sentries provide a wide range of options. It also moves me that much closer to my goal of being well rounded.

Learning T2 skills is a pain. I will plug in Heavy Assault Cruisers V next. I've been flying the Vagabond a lot and until they nerf Ishtars, I see them as a staple in our fleet comps. So, while it is a pain, it is a rewarding pain.

To celebrate my accomplishment (for I consider it such even if it is but waiting) I shall look at my past. Each time I finish a T2 weapons system, I am reminded of my first few weeks in the game. That time when nothing makes sense, one is standing at the edge of the learning cliff, and the need to learn is a desperate burn. Like most, I had latched onto more experienced and I hung off their every word. It was before low sec and before I even thought I might do more than build spaceships in high sec.

Welcome to the Ghost of Bad Fits Past.

This is one of my first bad fits. I don't count the normal bad fits of starting. There is a time in most players lives where mixing guns and ammunition sounds brilliant. Who knew you should have a rack of the exact same guns. How will you kill all the things? What sense does that make? It is also, I think, the start of my becoming terrified of fitting things and learning that I knew nothing about what it meant to be successful in Eve.

Back when I was first starting and learning to do missions, I needed a ship. Chella was Gallente because I thought that they fitted my personality best. I picked drones because I had always done well with pet races and castors. I had a natural affinity to kiting because I've always been the distance damage dealer. But, in Eve, I adored flying my spaceships to death and slowly I worked through a various assortment of things.

This was back when Vexors were mining cruisers with mining bonuses. My first screenshot of Eve is me mining in a Vexor. I had moved up from a Thorax and it had been recommended to me that I get a battlecruiser to venture into level 3 missions. My trusty Catalyst which I flew everywhere was put aside and I aspired to a Brutix. I was told that my method of flying with my Thorax was very aggressive and I should get a Brutix because it would fit me best.

I knew nothing. I both laugh and cry as I think about my sweet ignorance. The mutated fish look of the Brutix appealed to me. I aspired to level 3 missions for level 4 were beyond my scope of reason. Battleships.... why a Dominx was eighty million ISK. Unaffordable to my Vexor mining budget. The Brutix was going to be over forty and how I scraped, saved, mined, and salvaged to afford it.

When I finally got it, I asked my mentor at the time to help me with a fit. He had a taste for spaceships and had a rack of expensive battleships. I remember how he was worried about flying them because he was terrified of being ganked. None of them were bling fitted but he left the impression that high sec was full of people who did nothing but gank expensive ships because they were there. He was always extremely paranoid of this and I knew that we had to protect him to the best of our abilities.

Remember, I was about three weeks old. In a battlecruiser trying to do level three missions. Along the way to this goal I met Lue and he did some light missioning with our absolutely shit fit kitchen sink high sec industrialist corp. His tolerance and easy going attitude was one of the foundations of my game and a mind set that I hope I replicate. He never insulted or belittled us for what we were doing. He just gently helped and kept us company because he liked us. How I appreciate that.

My fit recommendation... I still have the notepad where I carefully cut and pasted the modules.
Lows
Medium Armor Repairer I
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
Damage Control I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer I
Mids
10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Stasis Webifier I
Medium Capacitor Booster I
Highs
Heavy Electron Blaster I or Heavy Icon Blaster I (whichever I could fit)
And the end result:


It took me all day to put together. He told me to buy the best named modules. I had no idea what he meant. Many of the named modules were also expensive. I was quite poor at the time and fitting that ship took me hours and stretched my finances. I had basic skills in everything. I doubt I knew Medium Hybrid Turrets beyond level 2. I remember that I was training my mining skills up. Yet, I was proud of it. I had many adventures for the month that I flew it (Like the time I fit a cloak on it for Low Sec and hid from Ueberlisk when he came into my mission). That was before I learned about fitting things properly and flying things well. It was back when I was barely able to stand up in a level 3 missions and found myself weeping bitter tears of frustration as I was told, "It's not hard. I don't know why you can't do it." How I hate words such as that.

I sold the Brutix in the end because I could not do what I was supposed to be able to do, easily. A lot of my failure was ignorance and the rest this fit.

Ignore is something that can be cured and bad fits can be improved. I realized the other day that I dislike flying Brutix because they trigger an unpleasant feeling. One, that is directly related to this phase of my life. It is a time past. My Brutix is a much more scary machine these days.

It would be easy to slide this part of my life under a rug. I never PvPed in that boat. Instead, I find it interesting to air out. It brings the ridicule of some but also a touch of humanity for others. It is easy to ridicule a bad fit, especially by a new player, and forget that at one time that bad fit might have been what you were working out of. Some fits are truly senseless and I do wonder what they were thinking. But when I find myself feeling the scorn and ridicule wash up, I sometimes look at things like this. I may not fit like this anymore but at one time I did.

After two years I am acutely aware that I am no longer the new player that I was. Sometimes I even want to argue tactics. Time moves on and we gain experience. But in the gaining one does not need to lose the start. These days I'm comfortable with what I fly and I am steadily accumulating a wide and solid base of PvP. Revisiting the past keeps me humble and reminds me of how far I have come. Both are positive things in my book.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Coin's Other Side

PvP. PvP. Hear it. Smell it. Breath it. It is the hunt. The hunter. The tales of stalking the darkness for the sweet burst of the kill. It sprawls out of the game onto the forums and the blogs. The prey is discussed. Their actions dissented. Suggestions are made. Come play. Come fight. Come die.

It is nice to look on the other side. The ones that got away. I was presented with a forum post from the Eve Online Forums that was not the tears of the victim but the tears of the hunter. They were sweet. Succulent. Almost too rich for digestion. They had to be savored. Post after post. Comment after comment. A threadnought rose in monolithic tear soaked glory from general discussion.

Rubicon has introduced personal, mobile structures. Space houses. On Twitter, various developers have been trickling stacks, information, and comments about the use of these new features. As a player, I can say that they have entered into my conscious and strategies are being built around them. They have interesting uses and vast potential.

Such as spamming the Jita undock with MORE stuff.



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Space Parables

"Don't fly what you can't afford to lose."
-said every Eve warning ever
Afford
  •  To be able to do, manage, or bear without serious consequence or adverse effect: The country can't afford another drought.
There is age old wisdom in Eve online. In the wide, arched hallways of the Rookie Academies grizzled veterans stand before classes of bright eyed pilots. The air crackles with excitement. Beyond the room is space. A vast stretch of distance filled with an improbable level of options. The future is there, spread away from the undock of the station. The moment to experience it is now.

Within each of those pilots is a series of plans. Some are nebulous things created of particles and energy with no true form other than the beauty of random existence. Many are formed even if that form is soft and unstructured. They know their goals, their wants, and their desires. All they wait for is experience and time...

I was chatting in OUCH's chatroom and the statement that "don't fly what you can't afford to lose" was pointed out to be rather vague. I was thrilled that the player had noticed that. He does not have a lot of ISK or a lot of experience but he saw that the concept is flexible over time. Many people take it for its face value and that is a very good thing for a player entering Eve and learning about the game.

Over extension is easy when one starts Eve. New players enter with dreams and preconceived ideas about what they can and will do. Ships become goal points. It makes sense to the new player to forge ahead for a battlecruiser or battleship. Games draw us in and dangle glory and power before our eyes of we achieve it. No one tells them that a well fit frigate will kill them one day due to the gulf of ignorance.

Not flying what one does not have the literal ISK to replace is one of the best safety blankets in the game. It eases the devastation of loss. There is frustration of course. Irritation is also natural. But to know that, "I can buy another one," with a sigh will stop the rage quitting.

Later, however, the concept loses its literal qualities. Assets are obtained. Methods of ISK earning are achieved. Some follow the path of ship to explosion while others spend times creating investments and future profits. Many live ship to ISK and follow a cycle of feast and famine of work and play to fund their game.

As time passes the concept becomes more elastic. What is affordable? Is it the direct correlation to the price of the hull and the ISK in the wallet? Is it the acceptance of loss or the ability to rebound and acquire more? Is it the twenty fit ships in the hangar? Is it the ability to seamlessly switch over activities?

I have always worked to have a reasonable amount of ISK. Yet, when I obtained my Jump Freighter I, for the first time, was in a position where I could not easily replace what I had from my liquid ISK. I don't count my assets as personal wealth for purchase power and I have always looked at my ship hull cost in comparison to what was in my wallet. Yet, my Jump Freighter I could not immediately replace when I undocked with it. Yet, I could afford to lose it.

I did not want to lose it. It would have sucked if I lost it. But I had backup plans. I knew how I would deal with the situation if it came. I had created options for myself. None of the options would have been what I wanted but they would have been doable and a way for me to recover, immediately, from my loss. And that meant that I could afford to lose my jump freighter.

Affordability will be different for each person. As one cringes from a blinged out assault frigate another will only fight in the most expensive of tech 3 ships to balance their odds. Each person has to decide what they can afford to lose at each level of their game. For a while, that may cover a frigate or a cruiser and later it may mean an entire alliance. But a static concept it is not.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Social Engagement

... and that is how we wound up shooting an offline tower voluntarily. The End.

Now for the beginning.

There are many reasons to join a corporation in Eve Online. The structure of the game is not kind to the solo player. The game it also very, very lonely. I've argued in my defense for local that the simple ability to see other people and know that you are not alone is more important than any number of information gathering or strategic reasons to remove local chat. Nor is local chat only a place of smack talk, scams, and negativity. I had a lovely chat with some boys from Northern Associates. who were camping Bosena's gate for some reason and asked me to write about them (wink).

Loneliness kills off new players. Communities invest them in the game. This is demonstrated by groups that create a social environment to bring the player in and give them a home. It is one reason why many have a hard time leaving the warm comfort of Eve University despite the corporation's goal to train and move on. I often speak to people who are in corporations because "they are good guys" but there is nothing else there and they find themselves bored and disengaged.

This particular day, I was listening to some high sec denizens be bitter in Eve Uni chat. They are people who have decided not to leave high sec and spend their time doing missions or incursions. Everything is terrible about the game. They are bored and the game is so bad that they have to have other stimulus to play. I made the mistake of piping up and telling them that I was riveted by what I was doing. I was beaten back by choking waves of negativity and retreated to the comfort of my corp chat. I happen to know none of them had that particular escape. You see, while they were doing endless incursions and complaining that Eve was not interesting I was finding one of the most boring activities incredibly fascinating.

This is my story:

On coms Kaeda sighed. "This is is going to take forever."
"What are you doing, Kaeda?"
"Shooting an offline tower."
"It valuable?"
"Not really but I can use the material for my reactions."
"I'll be right over with an Oracle."
"This will take all day, Sugar."
"I know. Undocking."

As I found my Oracle, put some T1 crystals in it, Naoru who was in coms with us asks, "Want a dread?"
"It would be nice..." says Kaeda.
"Okay."
"I'll get you a cyno," I told Naoru.

And that is how Kaeda wound up with help. Quickly and voluntarily. No CTAs. No demands. He warned everyone that it was a large tower.

Now, shooting an offline tower is not in itself fun. But Kaeda is my friend and he has always helped me and others out. Why are we in a corporation if we don't help each other? I know some corporations and alliances function just fine as a cesspit of personal selfishness. I'm not interested in that.

 I find the fun in the teamwork side of it. After I jumped in and Naoru jumped in we started logging in alts. I got the cyno in for the dreadnought. Then we had to sort some ammo. Naoru was duel boxing at the time and not paying attention to his dread until he died. That conversation was amusing in itself. I said that he trusted us to watch his back. He said that he must not care enough about the loss. I decided that my version sounded better.

What are these ships to be if not used? Our discussion wandered around that. Naoru needed more stront at one point. I had a cloaky hauler buzzing around to help with supplying runs. Capital ships require upkeep. Jump fuel, cyno fuel, cyno accounts, stront, big awkward to move ammunition. With his dreadnought resorted I went to settle above the modules we would need to unanchor with my cloaky hauler. Other people had eyes scattered around the surrounding systems and everytime neutrals came in the dreads decycled and prepared to leave.

Allo wandered in and donated a Dreadnought to the cause and Wex also bounced over to assist. Suddenly, we had a nice tower bashing fleet (2x Moros, Megathron, 3x Oracle, something else random) and a large tower going from laughing at us while we raged and wept to rapidly dying.

And we talked. Subjects wandered all over the place. We talked because we like each other and enjoy each others company. Over the course of our conversation it often wandered back to how bad the mechanics for removing off-lined towers was.

Now, I do agree with Kaeda that some better system for offline towers should be established. From them no longer having shields (maybe?) or a decreased amount of hit points for an offlined tower to the suggestion of a hacking module or hacking deployable that we came up with on coms. I think that CCP is ignoring the tower issue because they are trying to solve it with the deployables. Eventually, these towers will be gone with only memories of a terrible piece of code.

For now we suffer.

At half structure we warped the dreadnoughts off the field. Structure bashing is dangerous at any time. This is also where the new deployable cyno jammers will come into play. They will be worth the cost just for the protection that they will provide. The ships can still warp in but that is time and time is what we are always short on when PvP happens.

As it was, we were left alone. The tower came down and we unanchored and scooped the modules. One of the nice things about towers is that once the tower is gone all undamaged modules can be unanchored and reused or removed. Damaging the modules means they cannot be unanchored. The modules do not have the hit points of the tower but they are still irritating to kill. While a few damaged modules were destroyed I cleaned up the structures, Kaeda planted a new tower, and we were done.

While not classically, 'fun' as in adrenaline rush and blood pounding, I find problem solving to be engaging. I take helping others personally. I've often needed help with things in my Eve career. As much as I try to be self sufficient, sometimes I simply need other people. I've been turned down for POS help before and it sucked. I will not become angry at someones decision to use their free time but it does leave me disappointed. Kaeda has always stepped forward to help me with things. He lit endless cynos for me during the solitude deployment. Cynos are not "yay weee, I'm a stationary beacon for 10 minutes! It's what I always wanted to be when I grew up!" type of fun but they are integral to our activities. I cannot imagine seeing him needing a few more bodies and not tossing mine onto that pile.

This is all me, however. Everyone takes their relationships differently. I take my corporation interaction seriously. Would I want to clear structures every day? No. And I am not being asked to clear them every day. I wasn't even asked to help with this one. I volunteered. Because I wanted to. Because helping my corpmates is as engrossing and satisfying a part of my game experience as anything else that I do.

Now back to the top.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rambling: Closing Ones Eyes Does Not Help

They say that any publicity is good publicity. I've never been fond of the concept. I'm also not a marketing expert or a publicity lord. Still, when Vov tossed me a link for a Quitting Eve post I was fascinated when I realized that my boys were the mechanism of this particular posters post about his decision to leave Eve.

The TL;DR is that he died in a Stratios to my boys in Bosena. He had returned to Eve to try the expansion, sold enough stuff to buy a Stratios and died while out exploring.

I do like to find out why people decide they are quitting the game, especially when they point out not only my piece of space but my corpmates as the reason.

I hunted down one of people on the killmail to find out what happened. With two interceptors I was interested in how he had died. The post pointed at gatecamps. I know that two of the people on that killmail do not have the interest or attention span to camp a gate. It is one of those assumptions about 'low sec gates' are all camped. I look around at my corpmates and shake my head. I know that people will never see them as I do and hear them as I hear.

Vania, who secured the intital tackle, told me the story.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Origin of a Spaceship: Typhoon

Excerpt from: Origin of a Spaceship

Typhoon


Background
The domestication of the Typhoon was undertaken early into the settlement of the Minmatar Republic. These massive beasts flourished all through the area, floursing under the rich red nebula. However, Typhoons often form loose social groups accross vast territories. For all of their size and bulk they slip away into the depths of space with surprising speed and grace.

Early domestication efforts proved fustrating. The few beasts that domesticated were notoriously hard to train. Often, a trainer could not get them to focus and had to split their knowledge accross multiple weapons systems. This led to the belief that they were unintellegent and while powerful in battle to high maintaince to invest in. For the few souls that spent the time and energy they were often rewarded with beasts of war of the like few could place upon the field. By the time a Typhoon was fully trained for combat the pilot was often no longer a front line soldier but an officer. This caused many of the beasts to become assortment to their owners stables, brought out for fanfare and parades but rarely seen in combat.

Over the decades, the domestication led to a gradual culling of projectile Typhoons. For years, breeding programs were unable to directly focus on missiles and it was only a recent breakthrough in the blueprint that allowed this new strain to come to light. It was a stunning injection of Cyclone DNA into the Typhoon blueprint after the Cyclone breeders achieved a pure breeding missile specimen. With the singular focus the training of Typhoons became easier and breeding programs began to surge back from where they had become more a hobbyist pastime.

Observations
Typhoons are believed to be closely related to the Cyclone. Breeding programs have proven that the two do not produce sterile offspring. The closeness of the two genus is still under investigation as both breed true to their own lineage.

The original Typhoon was a creature of many talents. Many specialized in projectile and missile offenses for hunting in the wild. However, those beasts have become rare indeed and it is thought that enough domesticated stock has entered the wild bloodlines to remove any predisposition to projectiles.

One reason many pursued a reasonable strain of domesticated Typhoon is due to the beasts great agility. For such a lumbering battleship with no grace to its form, it is remarkably agile and swift It hoovers up a steady supply of microscopic particles into its maw that it processes deep in its core along with its normal diet of other spaceships. This supplementary energy source is thought to be the key to the unexpected abilities of this battleship.

Other points of note

Minimal fossil records of Typhoons have been unearthed. It is believed that their deep space habitat mixed with the cylindrical structure and vicious fighting habits leaves few, fully preserved specimens. Typhoons are well known to reach old age in a domestic situation, often becoming a mainstay of their owners back systems.

During the focus on domesticating the Typhoon as a front line, fleet warrior, the Typhoon Fleet Issue was created. Breeding true, this particular breed of Typhoon is known to be easier to work with and have a more trainable personality.  However, Typhoon Fleet Issues do not breed true and obtaining one with a certified blueprint copy can be a pricy endeavor.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

TCS: Keeping That Slope Sloped


Every now and then I get excited and pretend that I can make graphs and such things. In truth I'm terrible at it. That is why I stick to writing about my market stuff. But, returning to Bosena and sinking back into the market as well as being almost nine months into the project of running a market seemed like a good time to look at some of the charts.


This is a very good example of what happened when I left Bosena for a month and a half. We deployed during the first days of October and returned halfway through November. The steady push upward after the steady pull down. is obvious. Large Shield Extender II's are a staple module.


The year view is also very interesting. The high arch in February of 2013 is one of the things that drove me to start Bosena's market. Prices in the general area were just going up and up and up at this point after downward pressure from Sard's running Bosena.


This is one item that has a nice, clear graph for my topic. Other items show the same reflections. Some have weirder spikes and things like Odyssey have to be taken into account. Changes in the structure of the game raise and lower prices at an almost alarming rate before they settle. There isn't anything I can do about it but ride the waves and try to buy in moderate amounts as not to be stuck with overpriced stock.

However, I do point to the graph as an example of what one single market, and a low sec market at that, can do to an entire region. People will go to the reasonable prices even when it means jumping into the scary world of low sec. Right now, 70% of my stuff is being purchased from people I do not know and that is with us in the area.

I am no longer consistently the lowest in the region. I'm now being undercut in high sec and finding myself settling near the lower prices but often not there. The various high sec systems are pushing themselves down by 50k under me and such things. This thrills me. It means that all of this time and effort, the listing and learning, has made a difference. A noticable, marked difference that I can point at. "Look here! Look here! Look at the steady downward spiral of market prices!"

But the market prices do not reflect less ISK for people. It could be seen as such. That I should also list high and then if everyone lists high everyone makes money! YAY! It is just like the terrible eve-mails I keep seeing from .01 ISKers to people 'tanking' the market when they could just .01 ISK all day! It makes me roll my eyes. That is an unhealthy region not a healthy one. Rens is only five jumps away from Teon. That is not so far that someone, steaming over wallet abuse, will not go and buy what they need and return to their mission hub. Instead, they are staying locally, even coming into low sec to shop. That means people are making more ISK not less. Immediate greed is a shallow pool to splash in during a hot day.

I'm not losing any momentum with my market. I really, truly enjoy this stuff more than I could have conceived that I would enjoy it back in march. I really, really enjoy doing this. You should see me glow when I go all gamer geek on someone and gush about running a market on a spaceship video game. But, the additional encouragement from seeing my efforts help. I know I'm not a station trader or wallowing in trillions of ISK. But if anything the fruits of my labor are a faster selling market which means that I do earn more ISK. My boys say, "I'm heading to Bosena to get fit," and I smile. I smile every damn time.

For those that have told me, in chats and in mails that they have started a market, this will hopefully be added encouragement. As is par the course, I try to lay out what I do openly and honestly. I don't think that it is anything super special ability wise outside of patience and the ability to hold on for the long run. I've enjoyed the stories I've heard of others venturing into this. I don't think that I have a unique vision about markets in Eve but I am glad that people have gleaned information from my journey.

The Cougar Store, Bosena's place to be.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Becoming Both Gear and Cog

I crouch upon a fork in the road and two paths lay before me.
One is wide and clean and straight with all the things I know.
The other vanishes into the unknown.
Both roads hold my attention. 
One is safe and sane. 
The unknown path is now swept in rain.
At my feet are equal choices. 
Nether is right. Nether is wrong.
And in my soul there are choices. Dozens upon hundreds. 


Thursday, November 21, 2013

File Folders

When I was in high school part of my grade was 'notebook organization'. Basically, there was a way that
they wanted your notebook to be structured. Warm Up exercises, handouts, notes, homework assignments were all to be placed and labeled correctly as per the instructions given at the start of the year. Any deviation was marked off. This was 30% of the grade in the classes it was assigned to. Let us say that I was never a straight A student.

One of the things that I hated about the organization grades was that it was forced organization. Having all of my items, being able to get to access and use my items, was unimportant. In the formal structure of public education they had to be done in a particular order each time. Heaven forbid individuality. Being terrible at conforming and stubborn about things that are stupid and pointless, I was not able to comply. I believed that I was terribly disorganized because I could never get everything and keep everything how they wanted.

When I finally escaped formal school I discovered that I am a very organized person. That is because organization is an individual things. I'm not speaking of Hoarder level belief that they are organized when they are not. I'm speaking of the flow that an individual develops with their own things if they are organized. I am a highly organized person when allowed to structure it in a way that makes sense to me. It may not make sense to anyone else. Force me into someone elses standards and I fall apart.

"But I shouldn't have to be organized in a video game!" Sure. You don't have to be. But really, when I play Diablo I damn well have my crystals organized by color and size. Stacking is seen as a gift from the gods of Blizzard. I spend massive amounts of money to have more container space and selecting my house in Skyrim and Fallout were based upon their layouts for my own internal organization methods.

It is almost ridiculously easy to lose stuff in Eve. Even when you know exactly where it is you can still lose it. Most of us are hoarders as well. After leaving Syndicate most of the corporation realized that they never consolidated their loot from all the stations out there. Oh well. Messy asset list.

I found the moving operation on Monday to be stressful. Part of that was the fact that I was running four clients. Each client had a task to do during the move. One was moving ships for people, two were making jumps in different directions for different reasons, and one was one of the cynos along the chain. I felt like jelly when it was over from exhaustion and at the same time I was wound up in a tight knot.

I take my logistics movements seriously. What I found myself doing was checking each window, double checking the character, going through fuel checks, and making sure of my jumps. I'd very cautiously double check what account was doing what each time. When I went to bed that night I was thinking, "I need to have a better system to recognize my individual characters.

I decided to color code all of my accounts based around what they do. The Eve UI may not be the most customizable but there are lots of little, fun things that can be done with it. I tend to keep my screen on a black and grey theme. I like dark colors. Yet, I realized that changing the colors of my alts might relax me a bit more when it came to making sure who is who with the docking and undocking thing.

It will take a bit of getting used to the different colors. I want to revert to my normal but I'm going to push through until I get used to it. That sounds as if I am somehow suffering. I'm not. It is an interesting experiment in organization. I already have my hangars in my corporations set up and containers set up. While in Solitude I brought extra containers and managed to secure a piece of Titus' love by handing him a stack of containers one day when he asked. Organization makes some of us happy in this game. I'm one of them.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

TCS: If you make it, they will come

Last weekend, as we planned to return to Molden Heath, I started to turn the full focus of my market effort back to Bosena. I had dropped down to about a sixty percent attention span while deployed. I'd love to say that I managed both markets at full productivity but that would be a complete lie. I learned that one, steady market occupied the bulk of my free game time. I am not going to miss fleets for my market for instance and as such my own activities limit me to a certain extent.

Now, I am back to take Bosena in my steely grip. The people who were living in Bosena while we were gone had settled in nicely. They were doing a fine, quick business. However, rumor is that they moved out the weekend we were returning home because they didn't want to share a station with my boys who base out of Bosena.

After running a split market I saw a true need for even more market orders. I think the biggest pit of running this thing is the sheer number of market orders. It seems that every time I turn around I am rolling near my upper limits. Unlike station trading I need to hold a greater volume of things. Ship fitting is not an straight forward science. Some modules are simple and others, like Damage Controls involve each meta type needing to be available.

I took my third TCS market alt and plugged in Tycoon. I then went through my hangars and started to relist everything bit by bit including the various odds and ends. Now that I will be running two markets, regularly, I had to drop all of the lazyness and fully convert TCS onto the shoulders of my alts. The good news is that I did discover a way to vicariously watch my market at work through Aura. It involves having all three alts plugged into Aura but I can watch the things that sell even if I cannot see who buys them.

However, mixed with my time in Solitude (we deployed to Syndicate but based in Solitude) I am completely comfortable in saying if one makes a sold, well fleshed market, people will come to it. A few weeks of patience are needed. I have now started two markets where there were not any with nearly identical results.

In Bosena, several other groups moved into the area once we deployed. I tracked their basic buying habits and kept them supplied in what they needed which was different from what the boys need. As the supplies were on the market so did they shift more buying power to their home system. At the same time people started to list some basic things. Jump Fuel is rather heavily stocked. I also had to deal with some relisters over the weekend but I may have stomped their enthusiasm into the ground already.

There is always the worry, as I share what I do, that Bosena is only functional because my boys live there and support me. They do support me and they support me consciously. When they buy things from people that are not me they report it to me. I remind them that they are buying the item in the price range that I've drawn the line at as, "good". But, while we were gone, another group moved in and discovered that our bed was very, very comfortable.

The mirror to this was Solitude. In Solitude I waged a quiet, market focused war against relisters. I beat them down through tenacity. Someone(s) has that entire market on lock down with the prices for many basic commodities sky high. My push into Solitude made a dent, if a small one, in that market. At the same time, by the third week in I was selling more things to people who were not in my corporation then I was to people who were. There was a high sec system next door that was reasonably stocked. The out of corp market purchases were so large that I went from my original plan of around a hundred market orders to about two hundred with three billion on the market. I wound up trading off stocking days with Bosena to keep both of them going due to demand.

The very presence of a market will bring people in. Our location in Solitude was not the best place to stick a market in my opinion. It was okay due to the entry point structure of the area, but not great. Yet, people will travel to save ISK. They will travel to reasonable places. In a market as abused as Solitudes, they will most definitely travel. The relisters and those who control the market do nothing but abuse the potential clientele. If they joined my market religion I'd preach that treating that captive audience better would generate more ISK over the same period. But people are often greedy vicious beings with a short or no view of the future. The lack of attention to Bosena shows in the regional charts with many items having upward slopes that abruptly dip down the weekend I started to restock.

It may just be my bad market habits and poor economic decisions that cause me endless confusion about this. I know that the market will bear its burden. However, people can just leave and buy elsewhere. The constant push of prices to go up confuses me. Picking up the occasional sale at an obscene price does not seem worth the effort when one could sell everything at a more reasonable level, quicker. I've noticed that many of the relisters in Molden Heath swing through, buy a stack, relist, and vanish from the market.

For all the discussions that I have with people who come to me to ask my opinion, what I notice the most is that it takes a while to develop the further forward look. Once you list something you want it to sell. It may take a few days. The small hub run by one person is not like Jita or any other frantic hub. But once that trickle starts it turns into a steady stream and the ISK will start to accumulate.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Snapshot: Impressions

The world has changed. Instead of writing a long review or something I just had a bunch of little points that have been nosing about my mind. Some flared into existence today. Others I've been thinking about. None of it is comprehensive or in order.
  • "God it feels like I'm driving a dead, drunk cow," was heard on coms. That was the general reaction to anything larger than a cruiser with the warp speed changes.
  • I refuse to touch any of my freighters for the next few weeks. I will take the hit of contracting my stuff out to others. The BPC frenzy is in full swing and I do not want to dip my toes in those waters.
  • Vov is debating selling his Machariel. The warp speed changes are slow enough to make it no longer worth flying. His escape route of getting out has been severely compromised. The agility of the ship will no longer allow it to be the bad ass skirmish boat that it was, he feels.
  • I had a little speech on coms about why the Stratios isn't useless. The general feeling was that there are other things that will work better. I pointed out that yes, at the skill point level of the average 7-2 pilot that is true. However, the world doesn't rotate around bittervets. Crack ones crust and feel the sweet breeze of a hysterically excited newbie as they slip into their first, useful pirate cruiser that has functionality at that low a skill point level. Not everything is about us killing things. Remember that first ship you wanted more than anything? Yeah, there are people experiencing that every day and this ship is going to be one of them. As a note, I have no interest in the new Sisters of Eve ships.
  • I foresee Red Frogs and other freight service prices going up shortly.
  • In a way I feel as if the warp speed changes are creating a false demand for the new warp speed pirate implants. Instead of deciding on a special set they are going to become a life saving must for space truckers. We to value our time and we've received a hefty kick in it.
  • The Jaguar's lights have been dimmed back down. I'm rather disappointed by that.
  • I wonder if some of the changes are part of a focus to sway PvP into greater lands of accessibility by putting more options into the hands of smaller ships.
  • The mastery system is disappointing. I expected it to be a bit more focused towards the individual ships that it represents. Instead, people are going, "Why do I need Weapons Upgrade V" for my Iteron and "Why drones for my Tengu?" While the system is geared towards newer players I feel that it is a bit of a disappointment to older players who were looking for a relevant list that they could get on board with.
  • I did a 2/10 site with Vov in Jaguars. In low sec. It was amazing. We got nothing but it was tons of fun killing things in our frigates.
  • Interceptors are amazing but they will burn in a fire in low sec except for preplanned operations off of gates and stations. Otherwise gateguns will rip them apart if they attack a large target and take aggression, thus limiting their use.
  • I may see a true use for a mobile depot with link alts, allowing them to refit in a safe for probing and refitting back for links.
  • Prices are going to go crazy through the winter with new modules, new ships, siphons, and high sec corporation owned customs offices. This makes me shudder as someone running a market.
  • The Canenir shows the old Cyclone model in its mini window still.
  • Corpmates took out the new rapid light missile launchers, killed many things, and in general hate the feel of them and docked their ships. This was after a successful use.
  • I like the new login screen more then I thought I would. I wish they'd move away from all the red. There are more colors out there for expansion themes.
  • I guess the theme of the expansion is catchy for people. I've seen it repeated a lot with a lot of excitement.
  • People have not read patch notes or reviews of anything. The constant surprise I keep seeing surprises me when it should not because I know better.


Pull of Remembrance

Engaging : very attractive or pleasing in a way that holds your attention
Often Eve is defined as immersive. That is a staple of any successful MMO. Time is lost as the player sinks into the game world. That is part of the draw. The daily world is shed for one of difference. But is that world also engaging? Does it capture the mind and wrap it up in a tight cocoon of interest and focus? Eve seems to do that quite well.

While Eve is immersive it may be the engagement factor that draws people back. There are times when I lean back, watching my ship spin about the screen and wonder what catches me so. But then, I will read stories of day to day life or write my own and I am reminded of what draws the players in. For players without stories often become bored because they never captured the engagement of Eve.

I was reading a forum post as someone discussed cloaking up to capture someone that was going to a Faction Warfare complex. As he explained what he was doing, which was cloaking beside the gate, he describes it as hiding behind the bushes. While amusing, that little phrase also captured me. In a few words he defined the engagement of the game. Instead of "my spaceship had a module that cloaks its from other players and I waited" it was a small discussion into hiding, guerrilla warfare, and crafted the image of pounce and grab.

If Eve was not engaging, those visualizations would not happen. While moment to moment, step by step, aspects of the game may be dull it is the conclusion that brings satisfaction. When one steps back and looks upon what happens. It can bring so much joy and it can bring so much rage. The twirling fingers of the meta game as EFT fits are posted and discussed as the future situational uses are envisioned behind the eyes of the player. There is a lot of the game that exists outside of the game. It exists in our interpretation. Memories are left behind. They are the rich, textured type that can be told around campfires or while lounging with friends.

On patch day, everyone talks about the patch. On the days leading up to the patch the anticipation roams high. After the patch there will be a pause and then rage will burn across the surface of things as those who do not pay attention are forced into a state of unwelcome knowledge. It will be exhausting by the end of the day.

But even those players are engaged in the game. Stories are not limited to great wars and heroic frigates that drive into battle. They cover the full range and all aspects of the game. From the triumphant joy of a new players first handful of ISK to the most brittle, bitter veteran as he scornfully slips through a camp each player experiences their own little story. They have a moment when they are caught in the game, enthralled by the events that play out around them. It may be passing through the shattered mists of gank fleet or a successful run through low sec with an accidental mission.

I find Eve to be an engaging game. I suspect that much of the player base feels the same way. Often, I hear people say that they have nothing to write about and no story to tell. I ask them to look around themselves at their day and tell me that they have no story. While the words may not fall from the fingertips of each person, the stories are caught by the individual. What happened? Where? Why? How did it go? We all have our stories from this game. We've been engaged and captured by it. It is one of those things that make it a good game, no matter how terrible some may find it to be.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Red Space is Best Space


[20:07:27] Puskarich > aren't you supposed to be gone?

Well not quite yet. Roigon ran a hangar clearing fleet. A chunk of the corporation has already moved back to Molden Heath. That fight earlier in the week was a beacon and the irresistible cry of red space has sucked in a few. We cleared contracts and started to undock things. I managed to die a few jumps out. I missed a jump command at one point and sat on a gate as the other fleet landed. Oh well. Omen down.

I switched into a Thorax and we spun through the area. I've never learned the layout of Syndicate. Everyone else just rattles off system names and who lives where. For me, each time is a mystery. The random jumble of letters and numbers with occasional dashes does nothing for me but irritate.

I've become used to bubbles. I have no love for them yet. I know that some are greatly successful with bubble traps and using them to snare ships. It may be my lack of interest in gate camping or soloing but it brings a very "meh" response. I will say that it has improved my flying habits. Tacticals and safes in every system are much more important. I guess the good part is that I am no longer, "scared" of null. I feel rather indifferent. Not dying terribly every time I enter has helped a lot.

Do I like it? No. I miss low sec. I still do not ever see myself as wanting to become null sec focused. However, I can't find the fear and trepidation that I used to have. I've been bombed, bubbled, and blobbed out of any fucks I had.

Why did we choose Syndicate?

Our deployment was to Syndicate. We chose to settle in Pertnineere because it is low sec. On one side is the high sec island of Solitude. On the other is Syndicate. We chose it because it was away from the temptation of Faction Warfare low sec. The goal was to get us into null and get our engagements in null. The early discussions debated picking a null sec station but there was a lot of dug in heels. At our core we are a low sec group and prying us completely out of low sec is not the easiest task. 

But, we wanted a place that was populated, into gang PvP and would allow us to step up into our other ships. It is very easy to over ship in low sec. It is not productive to our skills as pilots to just overship and blob everyone. Faction Warfare space also does not have the engagement profile that many of the fleet comps that we rolled out in Syndicate, need.  With their advertisement of smaller gang PvP we headed that way. We can go anywhere and get blobbed by 90 man response fleets. While those have their advantages they are not going to give us the engagement profile to work on these fleet comps and work on our skills as individuals and as a corporation.
[05:44:43] Robinton Jax > If you whisper "Vanderie, Vanderie, Vanderie" in local an Ishtar fleet will appear.
The Ishtar fleet became one of our staples. It is Vanderie's brainchild. He already had the ship and did good showing with it. A few more people ordered them and suddenly Ishtar. It has proven to be a formidable beast when managed correctly. I do not yet have T2 sentries and spent most of my time in a tackle ship for this fleet comp when I was able to participate. Like the artillery Rupture fleet it is one that does not show its potential in Faction Warfare.

Did we pick the Ishtar fleet for drone assist? The answer is no. We've been accused of it. One says Ishtar and people respond, "drone assist." While it is a current hot button in Eve it is not why we fly Ishtar or something that we have been doing. The main reason is that no one wants to. We are a low sec corporation at the core full of individual pilots. Sometimes, keeping them with the fleet and not engaging in fights on another station or a system or five away is hard and frustrating. To say, "give me your drones so I can blap things," isn't going to go over well. Beyond that, what does it teach the individual pilots about their drones and their management of such drones. Mayhaps that is how some groups play but not this one.

What's Next?

It is time to go back to Mother Molden. We have some business to take care of and a new expansion to sort ourselves into. Right now, everything about Rubicon is speculation. While we have a good idea of how we will deal with changes how we actually will deal with them is another question. Patch speculation is no different from being an EFT warrior. Concepts are fantastic but once they are put into space how they will work comes out. I've often discussed how I hate the fall on your face until you figure it out learning method. I do not feel that this falls under that classification.

Then we will deploy somewhere else. I've discussed stagnation from the point of the individual player. That also qualifies for a corporation. Few corporations can handle doing the exact same thing in the same place forever and retain interest. New ideas, concepts, attempts, good and bad, are all important. Sometimes it does not work. Sometimes it does but stretching out and being challenged is healthy.

As much as I'd like to bash null sec and whine, I find myself puzzled by a bit of personal change during this deployment. I've had a lot of personal growth. I'm calmer. I'm more confident. I've been kicked out of my comfort zone and I responded well. From stocking the market and becoming more engaged with cynos and the logistics of jumping to diving into a fleet of nine Oracles in my Stiletto and knowing that I would be fine, something changed.

It is good. Maybe I can now start writing about what an elite PvP machine I am. Heh. Doubtful. I'm. in truth, puzzled by it. Some of it is settling down into myself as a player I guess. And when I say calm I do not mean I do not get the shakes. I was high as a kite after that Oracle fight on adrenaline. But while I knew the chances of my dying were high I didn't have that feeling that I'd instantly explode the moment that I engaged.

Beyond that, the future is always on the horizon. I don't have any rage posts or angry, bitter words. I've not enjoyed every moment of the deployment. I wish, for instance, I had taken PvE stuff with me. Other things were stressful, such as the logistics. I will not miss what a pain it is to get things to this area. I am not sure that the locals will miss us when we are gone. To bad. :(

And as for Molden Heath... why hi there! Missed you.  *kisses*

P.S. We forgot to gather all our loot out of the stations in the region. Oh lord our assets windows. We have stuff in every station. Oh well. If I ignore it it isn't there.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rawr Cats: All Good Things Must Come Again

With steely eyes and razor smiles the Jaguar lays above its prize.
-Sugar Kyle


Dave asked for a Jaguar roam two weeks ago. Of course, I choose a day that he had to go to work. However, the idea seemed good. We would be headed back to Molden Heath soon. A few organized fleets at the end would help us leave on a positive, productive note. It is easy for deployments to drag out and start to go stale. That leaves a bad taste at the end and creates resistance the next time.

I posted the op for a Jaguar fleet. I corralled my fleet commander and I then promptly forgot about it. After the fight back in Molden Heath on Wednesday, the boys were scattered to the winds and getting them back to Syndicate seemed futile. On Friday, however, I was asked what time the fleet would be. I peered at the forums and saw that people wanted to fly. Oh. I picked a time and sat down in Jita to take care of the serious business of buying the fleet.

For some reason people kept asking me if I was going to FC the fleet. The answer was no. I feel that I don't know shit every time I undock. I'm terrible at so many things. Why people would want to place their trust and free time to my inept hands, I do not know. I feel warm and loved but I do not have the sense that god gave little green apples to lead anyone anywhere in this game. Or so I feel. Being a FC is a huge responsibility and not one I'd want to take on casually.

2000 came around and team speak started to spike. I received many, "I told you so" messages from people. Yes, I had worried that no one would come to the Jaguar fleet. I always do. The ship is my personal obsession. I wound up with a lovely fleet of 15 Jaguars, a Celestis, a Blackbird, and 3 Scythes with minimal bitching about the fits. I think we went up to 16 Jaguars. I was tossing contracts at a few late comers. Also we had links as well. All set, we headed off to see what we could see. I then remembered to ping Jabber! Whoops, I should have done that sooner.

Some of the soloists had taken their ships, undocked, and gone out fight hunting. Every time I watch the solo pilots do their thing I know that I will never be much of a pilot. I'm always uncomfortable at doing vastly independent things of the fleet without prior communication with the fleet. At the same time, I expect to do my own thing. One of the joys of the Jaguar fleet is that it is all about independent piloting while working together. The ships are tanky and fast and the DPS reasonable when I skimmed down the speed some. Because of the Scythes we had a mix of webs, target damps, long points and short points. It creates a lot of flexibility.

Our first attempt to poke the locals didn't create much. We buzzed around for a bit before we went off to poke at another place. I got selected as part of the bait fleet. We wound up stumbling upon Ev0ke. They undocked a few things. Then some more things. Then all the things. We bolted back to the gate and waited. When they didn't appear we were told to warp to the sun. As we left gate they landed. We turned around as they jumped into the body of the Jag fleet. On the way back we got hooked by a catch bubble. There was an Ares on our side so I stayed with our bait Scythe until the Ares jumped and he made the gate. Once that was done we joined into the fight.


But one does not have to believe me about how amazing this was. Roigon captured it all and built a video.


We lost two Jaguar's pretty close to the start. Once our links went up we stabilized under the DPS of their Battlecruisers and started to work through the fleet. Points were spread, disruptors and webs were spread, it went very, very well. We also had fantastic communication and used that to pick off the neuts and nab their tackle.


Here is the killmail summery. http://seventwo.killmail.org/?a=kill_related&kll_id=20502609 It still isn't complete because we did kill one drake.

We lost a Jaguar, our Blackbird, and the Celestis to bait on a gate for bombers. People tell me bombing is great fun and I guess worth the wait. We have that dude in Great Wildlands who sits on a gate in a tanked Rapier baiting gangs for his bomber fleet to bomb. I just chalk it up as something that doesn't work for me but works for others and move on.

There were other choices and some heavy gangs moving through at many, many times our numbers. The Jaguar fleet is a swarm not an Alpha fleet. We rely on speed and awareness to take down targets. Jumping into an anti-Jaguar blob is not smart. Therefore we avoided some groups. I don't put together Suicide fleets. The goal is not to go and lose everything. The goal is to have a good time and find some good fights, such as the one with Ev0ke. If we die securing those goals, so be it. However, never, ever is the goal 'let us go and do something stupid and lose our ships. Maybe we will kill a Condor on the way out." Not my fleets.

Thus, I rolled my eyes when someone from Eve Uni's null sec group said, "But you ran away." I do wish Syndicates residents would decide on if we are running away, over shipping, comps to hard to counter, camping people, blobbing, being kiting sexual slurs, or whatever else. There is no cohesion to the insults. And why exactly is is bad to not step into a meat grinder? Insinuating that "all we do is run away" isn't going to suddenly make us go, "Oh yeah! We'll run this fleet of Jaguars into hard counter and see what you say then!" I know that it is a tactics. It is just a stupid one. Let me jump into Hurricane x10, Talwar x7, Scythe x3, Saber, Slasher Xmany and some Griffin and Malus for flavor.


Normally, I don't speak in local. However, I have a particular attachment to Eve Uni (considering I've never been in it) and I hate to see ridiculous things in local from their memberships. I let my sarcasm flow. It isn't going to make a difference. It is stupid to do. But, I have my tolerance levels. We also left and decided to shut down the fleet for the night. It was a solid threeish hours out. The EU peeps were tired and the US peeps were ready for a break before the evening called.

And such is the first part of the night. The Jaguar part.

Eject From Your Ship Day

Bounty payment
From: CONCORD
Sent: 2013.11.17 03:24
For your termination of Sugar Kyle we have paid you 0.09 ISK from their bounty pool.
The question is, how did I come across this massive bounty on myself? For this Bounty mail came to my own mail box. Let me explain.

First, you have to go back about forty minutes. Then, understand that this was the second fleet of the day. See that, I was snuggled down in the logistics and market channel exchanging violin music with Wex as I finished cleaning up Bosena's neglected corners. My productivity was amazing when Jabber pings started going off and people appeared in the quiet depths to tell me to get in a Stiletto and be sociable.

I went and got some hot chocolate (candycane hot chocolate), stepped into my Stiletto and undocked with the fleet. Ishtar fleet it was and I was tackle. I'm still two weeks off of T2 sentries. I didn't mind. I was the only tackle and the FC sent me forward. Not a big deal. I jumped and my overview filled with ships. About fifty km off the gate there was an Oracle fleet with a Cerberus and two logis. I held cloak, called the field for the FC and warped off. I sat in a pounce while they decided to take the fleet which was 8 or 9 oracles.

The FC wanted me to land and try to tackle anything. Then they'd come in.  He goes, "large guns, you'll be fine." Yah, still, eight is uncomfortable but they were in a blob. I bounced to a planet, decided to warp to the gate at 30 and see what that did.

What that did was land me 20 off the gang. I frantically locked up all the things and pointed as soon as I got locks. I wound up with an Oracle tackled with one point and the Cerberus with the other. The Ishtar fleet jumped in and started mowing down ships. I was taking some damage. Transversal against that many things wanting to hurt me is rather hard and the damage was peeling away at me.

One Oracle down and they warp the fleet off and I have the Cerberus. I was in armor, structure, as they chewed the Cerberus. Another hit and I'll die. Tilar has appeared and the FC tells me, "I don't care if you go down." That's fine. It means he wants me to hold on to the end to ensure the Cerberus kill. One more hit, one more, I'm read to warp my pod and the Cerberus pops and I'm out.


Tilar nabs another Oracle. Their Rapier decloaks and wounds up pointed by someone and its done.

We loot the field and our Celestis lemmings through the gate as we regroup to drop loot. He sees a Proteus so one Ishtar jumps through to push said Proteus through. Only, he is off the gate and not moving. We get webs in as well and the fleet goes in. The Proteus pilot then promptly ejects from his ship. We are in happy shock. A quick conversation has me eject from my Stiletto and I now have a new Proteus.


With no prop mod I trundle away. It turns out that is a neutral alt hot drop bait ship for the other fleet from that pilots history. Altaen stopped in to thank them for the ship as I ran it the two jumps home. A quick switch into a rookie ship and I was back to my Stiletto. We killed my rookie ship and collected the .09 bounty and the fleet was on its way out.

We bumbled around for the rest of the evening. We poked into Moon Warriors systems and had some chats. We said bye, since we're going home on Monday and thanked them for the fights. Someone told us to go away and with no one undocked we left. Then, a few jumps out they appeared and we had a little spar and the most interesting Scimitar died.


We flew around and killed random stuff. We shot at Agony in a battleship fleet but that was unproductive. One group told us that Brave Newbies was out in a sixty man rail Throax fleet. We didn't believe them and had the feeling they wanted us to go away. Somewhere around there we managed to bubble a Merlin and tackle him with three interceptors. He chose to eject from his Merlin.


We killed the pod and then the Merlin. Eject from your ship day?

Back through we caught that same group nailed their Armageddon. We were going home but the FC wanted to go to their station and see what they were doing. Razor managed to get himself killed on the station. But, they aggressed and started to undock on our no logistics Ishtar fleet. Then they warped a Nyx to the station which we promptly bubbled. Sadly, they were able to pop our bubbles with a bomber before we could dig up a bat phone.


They then said we were bad at bubbles and smacked some in local. After a Nyx warped to the station for an Ishtar fleet. Okay. Cuz yes, he did aggrees, as Altaen was running from Templars. We'd have tossed the entire fleet if we needed to but once they got the bubbles off and all we had was the Heretic. Once the Nyx was free they docked. We scooped loot, popped wrecks, and left. I was super tired and I do hate station games even when they are productive.


Finally, back home after two and a half hours. I need to name my new Proteus.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Market Needs: To Jump Freighter or Not to Jump Freighter

" I know you are not in the teaching noobs business and so on, I just had to ask since I am looking to build a market and JF seems a really important tool, do you know of any online guides or resources I could look at before investing in one?"
-Questions from Eve Mail 
I actually love teaching when I have something to teach. I hang out in Eve Uni Public Help chat for this very reason. I also like a lot of the people there. But really, I am there to answer the endless questions that are asked time and time again. Someone has to. I believe in investing in the future. For me to have Eve to play I need to have other people also playing Eve. A bit of time when I'm idle scanning the window and answering questions is valuable time spent, in my opinion. I have what I have to give and I give of it freely.

But jump freighters. I have opinions in lieu of guides or resources and hopefully that will do.  Most of the resources available are about planning your jumps. Jump Freighter's are not unlimited travel options. They have a distance that they can travel.

The ICSC Jump Planner is an invaluable tool.
Dotlan also has a Jump Planner.

As I wrote about over the spring and summer, I put a lot of time and effort into earning the ISK to buy one of these puppies. I've trained the skills to fly them and I find mine to be an invaluable tool. My jump freighter alt will be finishing Caldari Freighter V which is a month long train. I am putting in a month just to gather the last 5% bonus to cargo space that skill will give me because it is that important to what I do.

For many who have talked to me about starting a market, getting the items from point A to point B is the biggest challenge. The easiest answer is "pay someone else." While that is a true answer and a real piece of advice it does not give people what they need. What they need is options and a way to do it themselves. I don't always make people happy with the advice that I give but then I am not a perfect person.

I am going to start with the most interesting method I've been told about. Tavi is a man who decided to bring a market to the ass end of null sec where his corporation rents. His alliance has a jump freighter service but it is expensive. Tavi is not rich but he is motivated. His solution is beautiful.

He uses wormholes.

I felt a bit dumb that I'd not thought of that. I think of wormholes are things to go and do things in and be irritated by. Also, scanner clutter. However, Tavi uses them to get from Empire into null sec. He scans down a wormhole, checks its mass, jumps his freighter into the system, does his shopping, returns, and jumps back in. While that sounds super simple its a bit more complicated but not overly so. It is not stable or 100% guarantied but eve is riddled with wormholes. Some go to wormhole space but lots just go from point A to point B.

Next we have T2 haulers. These come in two flavors. Blockade Runners and Deep Space Transports. For someone who is on the edge of high sec or well scouted/blue null sec these are both reasonable choices. If you are not carring hulls a lot of stuff fits into a Blockade Runner. If hulls a Deep Space Transport is going to be a better choice. With proper fits and scouting both of these ships are invaluable tools, especially in low sec. My Blockade Runners are one of my most used ships. I move things around for myself, supply my POS, do my drugs, and sometimes fill my market if I don't have a massive bulk to bring.

The down side of Blockade Runners is their size. Fully expanded they can fit one cruiser. This is a mind numbing pain when moving large amounts of hulls for a market.  Deep Space Transports have considerably more room. Also, they have a natural warp strength against points. With proper fitting you can slide through lots of the most basic of gatecamps. Remember, Heavy Interdictors with infinity scripts will ruin your day and some people use them to camp.

Shallow Low Sec can be defeated with good timing and good scouting. Some may not admit it but freighters are jumped into low sec every day. A support fleet can be very helpful. A second ship applying webs can also give a freighter amazing speed to bounce through gates in quiet low sec at off peak hours. An Orca is even faster.

To move back to paying someone else: With planning one can limit the need to pay a service to do jumps. A jump freighter costs six billion ISK. Currently Black Frog costs seventy five million ISK. Doing math that equates to eighty Black Frog payments to equal one Jump Freighter purchase.

Now, the Jump Freighter has convenience and convenience is amazing. But, convenience comes with cons.

Jump Freighters mean two accounts. I'm not going to be a hero. There is a significant amount of my time invested in my jump freighter. I mean to secure it as well as I can. That means I am my own cyno most of the time. I have corporation members who I trust to light cynos for me but someone with a jump capable ship should never (in my opinion) not have a way to move their own capital.

A jump freighter is expensive. Replacing it is not in everyones budget. The risk vs reward of this ship has to be considered. People do kill them just because they are expensive. Does it happen all of the time? No. But I belong to a group that ganks for the joy of ganking. There are many others who do the same. The cost and ease of the jump freighter is to be balanced by the actual need for it. Many people find themselves with a jump freighter that they never use. Now, someone running a market outside of high sec will need this ship very much but I would also say that they should make sure they want to continue to run the market before this particular investment is considered.

How often do you need to use it? I fill my jump freighter up multiple times a week moving hulls. Other large volume things such as isotopes, stront, and ozone will also pack on the weight. In the end the work workarounds are just inconvenient and the cost of that inconvenience should be considered. Some will say that the cost is not worth the price but I believe that is a personal decision. The level of market run is very personal and while new market and small wallet friendly it means that time has to be spent instead of ISK to create what one wants created.

Doing lots of leg work logistics will also give an idea if that type of game is even enjoyed. It is very easy to over invest at the start. While enthusiasm is great I also believe that it can be an unintentional trap. Jump Freighters are beautiful ISK sinks that should be considered thoroughly before purchase.

And don't forget the character. A lot of skill points go into a jump freighter pilot. Mine happens to be a market + jump freighter + industry + rorqual + mining pilot who is currently at 28 million skill points and training. They can be purchased off of the market or trained into but one way or another a jump freighter is a considerable investment. Plus, the amount of buckets to hold the tears when you plug in Jump Freighter V (as I just did today) and realize that it is a 68 day skill will break you if you are not prepared.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Gizoogle - Patch notes For EVE Online: Rubicon 1.0

I have not Gizoogled patch notes in a while.

Warning for those who have never seen me do this. I run the patch note page through a translation site aka Gizoogle and paste the results here. If you don't find it amusing, skip this post. Its obnoxious and it is hilarious.

The real patch notes are here. I suggest everyone give them a read. For those who want the 'real' version as I call the gizoogled ones they are below the cut.

Bro Price

I like to buy things from people that I know.

Sometimes, the person needs the ISK and selling it will allow them to avoid the market. The sale is also immediate. At the same time the buyer received the discounted item. They know that their ISK is going to their friend/acquaintance instead of a random player on the market. In a game where passions run high, sometimes seeing who you brought from on the market can cause an irritated curl of the lip.

I purchased a Vindicator from Kaeda the other day. The Syndicate exploration content has rained Vindicators down upon the corporation. I didn't bring any PvE ships with me. I didn't realize we'd have such a fertile ground to PvE. Kaeda decided to cook and sell the Vindicators with first dips to corpmates. The price was good and I picked one up. Like my Machariel, it will just hang around until one day I might use it. But, I like it. Next I need a Bhaalgorn and I'll be happy when it comes to pirate Battleships.

Kaeda sold the ships to us for, what would be called, bro price. Bro price is often something around cost. It is that time when you sell things to your friends or acquaintances without the market values. It can be from cashing out your own loyalty points, selling a piece of loot from a kill, or transferring a massive savings found in a contract. Bro price can even be transferred from individual to individual. I buy X at bro price and sell it to my corpmate for that same price.

There is one thing about bro price that should be respected in my opinion. That is not taking advantage of the generosity of others for resale. I know that it is not Eve like. It is, however, how I run my personal game. If I am buying something for myself, I will accept bro price every time I can. When I decided that I wanted to fly Cynabals, I went to Ender and harassed him to crack open his stack of cynabal blueprint copies and sell me some. He asked me, "Are these for you or resale?" I was honest. "For me."

Running TCS means I attempt to source my supplies locally whenever I can. I've received mails from people offering to sell me things. I try to keep up with them when I can. I'm terrible at it with all honesty. But, when I do remember, I will directly buy. I always, always make sure its clear that I am buying for sale at my store. The reason is because people are offering me a reduced price due to their relationship with me. If they were not doing so they would sell at market value and take their mark up. I do not wish to abuse that privilege that has been extended to me.

Bro price is not the same as, "my time is free." Bro price is about doing something for someone else because you wish to. If Kaeda had sold me that ship for market price, and I wanted it, I'd have purchased it from him before the Market because of our relationship. However, without bro price I may not have casually picked up the Vindicator.

Learning about opportunity costs and doing things for yourself to save ISK is a different path then extending an opportunity to another. It also brings in the unprofessional thought of what something costs, personally. When discussing ISK and efficiency one is never allowed to insert fun, wants, or ideals into the equation. However, they exist anyway.

My time is not free but it is easily paid for by appreciation for those that benefit from it. Many parts of Eve can be defined in ISK, opportunity, and what can this do for me and mine. Yet, all of those things have to stand upon the bases of interaction and the willingness someone has to interact with you. In this game we cannot force anything and that always has to be remembered. Treating people well, on every level, is a foundation for stability that few things can shake.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Winter Project

Back in August, right after we first got Jabber, DP posted a link to a personality test. Personality tests are always amusing. This particular one was, "What Kind of D&D Character Would You Be?" And of course, it was not a short test and takes about forty minutes.

Lots of us ran off and took it. It was a pretty interesting mix of results but almost everyone was some form of Wizard/magic users that charted towards some form of good. Me? I was a true neutral ranger. I doubt that is how many would imagine us. The low sec, PvP corporation. I leave pirate off of our label. Many of us consider ourselves, at the core, pirates but our corporation is PvP small to medium gang oriented.

The concept of "who" and "what" one is comes up a lot in Eve. The other day I babbled a lot about ISK and mentioned Rhavas'. Rhavas decided to make categories for the members of low sec and Kaeda and I demanded that he make one that we truly fit into. Very few people fit into one category. You can chase them into a box but that does not mean they fit. It also does not mean that they continue to fit where they once did.

One of the things that Rhavas's post told me is that Eve is growing up. The inevitable fact of a game going on for ten years is that the player base will grow up. Just as supercapital saturation has reached the point where they are starting to kill each other. So will low sec change, high sec twist, and null sec do whatever it does.

7-2 is an interesting mix of anti-pirates and pirates turned into a low sec PvP corporation. What the players were and what they are now, are different. Ranks, roles, interests, and abilities have all changed and grown over the years. The worst choice a player can make is to allow themselves to stagnate just because it is familiar and comfortable. And the cure to stagnation does not have to be something dramatic. It just needs to be change.

That includes me.

I came up with a little idea while I was at work. A personal operation that will push my knowledge and improve some of my skills. Now, I may never get it off the ground and I still need to make some plans and do some training. I figure I will be ready once the first excited expansion wave is done. What I am thinking about engaging in is operation Siphon.

I'd like to take two alts, one in an Orca into null sec and start stealing moogoo and reactions. Once my Orca is full I will scout it back out through wormholes. The Orca will carry a blockade runner, some siphons, and some scanning ships. The entire goal is just to creep in, steal, dump my siphons and move when I need to. I don't know if it will work, be successful, be boring, or what. I may never get it off the ground due to other, more pressing obligations. But, if it does happen it may provide some interesting stories and maybe a bit of ISK along the way.

The First Taste of Winter

There is so much to vacuum after the party.


The end of the story is that we lost five dreds and two carriers to a trap that we stepped into with our eyes wide open. It turned out to be as much fun as we were hoping it would be. We'll need to buy a few new carriers and dreadnoughts.

http://seventwo.killmail.org/?a=kill_related&kll_id=20467426

Oh Molden Heath, how we missed you. Red space is the best space. Splashing the blood of our capital fleet around will hopefully lead to fertile fields later.

The fight was over a POCO. Sometimes, I forget that they are there to do more than bait fights. It seemed like a good idea. A dozen were already logged into the system. A fight, a fight, a fight. That is what led back to the frantic jumps back to Molden Heath. It seemed like a guarantied fight. While we moved everyone we started inviting people. Last night, Late Night invited us. It seemed as if we could do the same thing. Pings went out and chats were opened. We're not a large corporation. We never forget that. It doesn't stop us from giving things a go.

They formed up in high sec. That is rather sensible. We kept watch and once they undocked it was simple enough to select our fleet. It goes back to having a lot of things. We decided to dress up. T3s with triage support. Why not. We never fly this. How shiny. I purchased an entire second Loki for poor Damay who just joined corp and didn't have a T3 to fly. If it made it through the night I had my backup armor fleet Loki. That one is different from my Blops Proteus and my shield, cloaky nullified Loki.

The fleet we were jumping into was an armor fleet of mixed battleships, random battlecruisers, and a cruiser or two. We were in a snuggly T3 ball with some heavy assault cruisers for taste. We had seen their five blackbirds jump into the system earlier. We refit for ECCM and headed out.

We landed, they were waiting for us. They had local reps on field. We didn't. We dropped triage. They dropped triage. They started to die one after another. We dropped dreads. They dropped dreads. We kept shooting their stuff. They dropped more dreads. We killed some cynos. And some more dreads came in. And a few more. We killed some of theirs. They killed some of ours. Our carriers at one point decided to re-triage instead of bailing. We managed to get two of our dreads out and our carriers started to bail but didn't make it. 99 people in local for a random low sec POCO fight.

Once our last carrier was down and not a single one of our fleet was tackled, we left. They warped their capitals off the field. Our dead capital and triage fleet had reshipped to Guardians and were headed back to us. We went back onto the field to try to nab a late dreadnought but failed. We killed a few more things as they quit the field, leaving us alone with the wrecks, abandoned drones, and general adrenaline high. Three of us logged in blockade runners and we looted the field. All loot will be spread among those who lost things.

Mistakes were made. We only brought one cyno. Whoops. We could have used a second because we lost Wex due to him being outside of Triage range early in the fight. We all motored out at one point and had to scuttle back. Fortunately, they made mistakes as well. One of their dread groups came in way out of range and couldn't apply their DPS. This gave us a lot of time on the field to keep working at their dreads.

Playing with capitals in a group our size is always up in the air. We use them enough and are willing enough to bring them into the game that it is easy to counter. While we would have loved to have killed everything on the field and walked away, it was not to be. We got kicked nicely in our capitals. I believe at this point I am supposed to say, "Didn't want that anyway." Of course that is not the truth. We absolutely would have prefered not to lose our capitals. However, we also would prefer to lose them then to never bring them to the field in case we lose them. We play with expensive toys and that means that sometimes we are going to lose them.

We often chose to step into bad fights. Most of the time we do much better than we are supposed to. This time, not so much. I'm pleased that we took down 3 dreadnoughts in the middle of that. Our subcap to subcap fight went very well, too. But so many dreadnoughts. This is rather similar to when we jumped on Solar's friends/blues/whatever at a Poco over the summer and they stomped us into the ground.

Poor Van. He was refitting when he died and of course the eve-killboard trolls jumped right on that. I might have the wrong hobby. It seems that skimming peoples killboard and commenting based off of the mail must be quite the popular hobby.

Titus gave a moral speech at the end:
"Sometimes you have to go into a trap without a bat phone and get fucked so you're not so smug next time."
I love these guys.

Oh. We killed the POCO ourselves on the way out for the night. Peace out. We'll be back to Molden next week. With new capitals. *wink*