Friday, January 31, 2014

Cabin Fever

I am somewhat fusturatedly stuck in the station. Normally, this is not a big deal. I spin my ships, I chat, I do market and logistics work with other characters. However, I'm caught in the AMD camera crashing situation and it is frustrating. I'm going to wait to see if it is addressed at all. The downgrading and such hasn't secured a thing and I am one of a handful of my corporation in the exact same spot. DirectX 9 stutters on full resolution, meaning I went from being able to run five clients on full resolution with DirectX 11 to performance grade DirectX 9. Sigh.

Let's move beyond that.

So, I play Minecraft instead... twitter and skim the forums and chat about Eve as if I am actively playing it. This forced state of complete idleness is rather unpleasant. But, I can't legitimately figure out a reason to take the risks I'd have to take right now to move stuff. I also wonder if the war target in my chat room will ever talk to me. I keep saying hi to him so maybe, one day, I'll cross that gulf one day (maybe).

Curled up, chatting with Kaeda as we sculpt amazing (hopefully) things he looked at my twitter profile and asked how long had it been since I changed it. I figured that I had some terrible misspelling in it. That is normally the case. Instead he said, "a little bit of a pirate?" with a bit of a chuckle.

I did write that back when I started my twitter account. That was back when I was more Chella than Sugar. The legacy can be seen in my twitter handle (I may change it since I understand you can change it without losing everything.. must look into that) and my e-mail address and hence, Google account. I had always planned to be Chella and Sugar was going to be my PvP alt to use occasionally in low sec. While that now makes me smile a bit I also, very much still feel like the person that I was then.

I write upon the topic of pirate quite often. At those times I drift back and forth about what it means, who is defined as one and am I or am I not one. Someone was ticked off that I challenged them a few weeks ago and called me wishy washy for not having one opinion but functioning on the concept that many opinions are fully valid for a topic. Perhaps I am and if I exert that tendency anywhere it is when the topic of piracy comes up.

Sugar's security status is currently -9.5. I do not actively work to bring it down or keep it down. I'll happily shoot NPCs on a gate when they irritate me or just because they are there. Because of the math that I cannot explain, every NPC that I shoot when closest to -10 has a larger sec gain than if I was up in the -6 or -7 area. If I cared about -10 I'd be hurting my approach towards it. I don't care about it nor do I care in general what my sec status is. I am not -9.5 because it is a matter of pride or a way to define myself. I am -9.5 because I don't want to rat my sec up (I used to and I don't want that anymore) and I don't want to spend ISK on it (did it once cuz it was new and it lasted 3 days because Altaen).

I was telling someone the other day that my PvP goal is 1 kill a month. When I reach that, I'm happy with myself. I just don't see myself as a compliant, murderous PvPer. I'm rather sure that until I learn to solo or move past the place where it constantly comes up as a mesure to define people by I will never have any confidence in my flying abilities because I judge myself by something that is not within my reach. The side effect is that I seek self justification in other activities. Perhaps, due to its nature, my world is to rigidly defined by PvP. I'd not say my personal, social group, but the bit beyond that, where one picks something up to compare it to the rest of the world to see what it is... well solo PvP is a unicorn that everyone says they have ridden into battle.

It is my personal demon. Until I slay it, I believe that I'll always be 'a little bit of a pirate' while still being the industrialist that lived in Derelik and stared into the depths of low sec with something of both fear and longing. But, I'm not fully that person. I've lived outside of high sec to long. I don't understand it. I read endless mission discussions and advice in Eve Uni chat and they might as well be speaking the most indecipherable language. I don't even understand the fits. None of that is part of my day to day and reminds me that I am not a high sec resident anymore. It is like wincing when you warp to a gate and know you are going to die before your mind catches up with you and you remember that it is high sec and it is normal for there to be a dozen ships around.

But maybe... just maybe... I'll add something else to that line. I'm a bit more than just 'a little bit pirate' I think.

Something to ponder.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Origin of a Spaceship: Omen

Excerpt from: Origin of a Spaceship


Perhaps the most exhaustively explored and inventoried area of space, the Golden Nebula, known simply as Amarr is home to the Omen. One of the most common and easily tamed cruisers, Omen's were domesticated early in the Nebula's settlement. This led to exhaustive breeding programs and fossil records as well as early diagrams and sketches show that the current Omen does not quite look like its ancestors.  Enough similarities exist to solidly document the spaceships move from the wild to domestication.

Like many ships native to the Amarr Nebula the Omen is a deep, rich gold that it uses for camouflage. The natural, heavy armor protects it from the particle heavy aspect of this particular, vivid part of the cluster. A fast paced predator, the Omen is not always a heavy hitter but tends to be conscious and steady with the natural tendency of Amarr ships to suffer pure exhaustion and energy loss. This is believed to be why they were so easy to domesticate due to easy capture after exhaustive attempts to hunt the surveyors many specimens were fed rods of condensed energy and became tame, following the surveyors around and associating mankind with nourishment and companionship.


Omen are one of several spaceship species that are no longer found in the wild. Easy breeders and prolific, they have been developed into individual strains, identified as doctrines that do not crossbreed well. This leads to a tendency for each corporation to focus their Omen training and have trained, narrowly focused spaceships.

Highly social, Omen do best in fleets. Singular specimens can be found but often they are lame or deranged. Singular Omen are well known to bond with other spaceship types, leading to the general understanding that the fleet is gregarious in nature and habit. If not properly trained an Omen will pick up the habits of those around it, using unsuitable weaponry and attempting to support a shield focus.

Other Points of Note

While easy tempered and manageable by even the youngest pilot, the Omen is a fierce predator prone to striking with its berrylike projection on its brow. This often leads the Omen into heavy combat a situation that not all sub-species (also known as doctrines by breeders) are suited for. However, the steadfast temperament and hard hitting power of the Omen often causes the spaceship to push past its expected potential.

They are a prolific if underrated breed Omen's consume a large amount of energy making them unsuited for nomadic groups without energy capture substructure. They are attracted to golden suns when in deep space. Researchers believe that back in the Omen's origin they soaked up solar rays to recharge themselves leading to many territorial battles on the sun.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Patch Day: My Life and Times with Rubicon 1.1

"If you pour water on a patch gremlin does it turn into bogus code?"

Such was Kaeda's question to Vanderie as I fanned myself from my near faint as I recovered from my second client crash while warping my jump freighter to the high sec gate. It is the day after the patch with the first hotfix landing this morning and causing its own cascade of problems.

Yesterday, we logged out and played DayZ and Minecraft. Then, James found a Paladin in a wormhole so they went and killed that. I was fixing dinner and dedicated to restocking Bosena. It had already taken me two and a half hours to download the patch so I was massively behind. I have these little internal schedules that I make and when I get to far knocked off of them I start to fret. It is the closest to an OCD habit that I have but it is one that I've managed to conquer by telling myself it doesn't matter because normally, they don't.

That is why I didn't stock Bosena last night.

I wake up today and decide that I will get Bosena working. I log everyone in and start moving people. I work on my POS and cycle my boosters and reactions. I get my cynos in place, have TCS write contracts to my Jump Freighter alt to move the items from high sec to low sec and take a minute to check the new dock radius of the stations.

With the stations all changed they are shaped a bit different. Reports are coming in that some have had a lot of change to their kick out and dock radius. I came in from several angles and saw that the stations dock is a bit smaller then it used to be but still large. I'm going to have to readjust my cyno spot some because I warp into it with a big of the edge into the station structure now where it used to have a 3k gap around it.

That reminds me. Everyone tells me that cynos come in a 5k sphere. I've been watching ships cyno in an 8k cylinder. Anywhere inside that pillar they will pop into being but it is a cylinder, not a sphere and while it might have once been 5k it is most certainly 8k now because I watch my ships pop in at that distance. But whatever. I'm all set.

And I do my jumps. I undock my JF, warp her to the high sec gate, switch over to move things, look back and notice she is frozen in space. I click to her because, "Am I in high sec?" I realize that my system information windows have minimized again into just the icons, showing me no system name or any information. I didn't log her off that way. But, the window crashes. Crashes. On my JF. In space. In low sec.

I cover my eyes.

Actually, I piteously cried out on coms in distress. Kaeda responded to check dscan, my cyno alt had a Legion staring at her, and I'm logging back in my JF alt. She gets in and she is in emergency warp. Warp, warp, warp, by the way its slow. So far, we're still aligning before entering warp upon landing. I guess the change is just for logging back in. What happened is I logged back in while she was in warp from disconnecting. She landed, aligned back, and emergency warped back. I have zero control during this entire time as I watch my ship just do its thing.

She lands on the gate and I jump her through, spamming it and moaning, "Why can't I select the gate!" as Kaeda, calmly, tells me, "You are not yet out of warp." "Buralllllreeaaamoooaaannnn" is the incoherent sound of distress I make in response.

Back in high sec I dock up. That takes the normal 2 hours to do anything because freighter. I finally make it to the station and dock, load more things, undock, and watch my cyno go down.


Next cyno.

Wash rinse and repeat. To my cyno bookmark, light, discover I'm not in fleet because disconnect, re-invite myself, broadcast, jump, dock, dump, warp, crash. Again. Again. A.G.A.I.N. My life is over. Stress consumes me. The world shimmers with dark edges. I fan myself. Kaeda consoles me. I whine on twitter. I get logged in and my JF safe.

Next cyno. I still have more stuff to move. This time I stay docked. Local has gone up and a Typhoon Fleet Issue pops my cyno. Distress! Distress! Local bounces up and there are a lot of ships in space now. Do I want to do this? Do I want to risk another crash? We know it is going to happen. I've been recommended to drop to Direct X 9 but still...

I log off my JF.

I'll handle this later. I need lunch now. But, I'm going to chew on this bar of dark chocolate my husband handed me the other day and unwind. Naoru is having the same problem. Kaeda mentioned that it may be AMD cards. I have an AMD Radeon HD 7800.

I think I'll go to Fudruckers for lunch.

Patch day.


Atop the Curve

"Eve is complicated."
“No. Eve is not complicated. It is easy.”

I see this comment a lot. A lot a lot. People tell me that Eve is not complicated at all and is an easy game. They say that Eve Is complex, but not complicated. Okay. I decided to start my blog post with a lot of defined words.
  1. composed of elaborately interconnected parts; complex (complicated apparatus for measuring brain functions.)
  2. difficult to analyze, understand, explain, etc. (a complicated problem.)
  1. composed of many interconnected parts; compound; composite (a complex highway system.)
  2. characterized by a very complicated or involved arrangement of parts, units, etc. (complex machinery.)
  3. so complicated or intricate as to be hard to understand or deal with (a complex problem.)
  1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc. (a simple matter; simple tools.)
  2. not elaborate or artificial; plain: (a simple style.)
  3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned (a simple gown.)
  4. unaffected; unassuming; modest (a simple manner.)
  5. not complicated (a simple design.)
  1. not hard or difficult; requiring no great labor or effort: a book that is easy to read; an easy victory.
  2. free from pain, discomfort, worry, or care: He led an easy life.
  3. providing or conducive to ease or comfort; comfortable: an easy stance; an easy relationship.
  4. fond of or given to ease; easygoing: an easy disposition.
  5. not harsh or strict; lenient: an easy master.
One of the side effects of learning to do something is that it becomes easy because you know it. Putting up a POS, calculating POS fuel, loading it all up, and starting my booster reactions is something that I would call time consuming but easy enough to do. However, the first time I did it, it was none of those things. It was not easy until I learned how to do it and began to regularly manage things.

Just because someone can do something with the comfort and speed of familiarity and knowledge does not invalidate the complexity of what they are doing.

It is similar to IRL where you screw yourself at work by getting so good at what you do that it looks as if it takes no effort. The end product just materializes. Why do they even need you there to do it when it just happens? If it is a hard task why does it seem so easy, simple, and quickly done?

It is a trap that we sink to often into in life and in games. People (sometimes) have hidden talents. In a game like Eve players find out that they are great FCs, amazing leaders, capable marketeers, organized industrialists, scouts of note, and everything else under the sun. Yet, learning something or naturally having an aptitude to it does not cancel out its inherent complexities.

Eve is a complicated game. Even if it is a complex shell around a simple concept that does not mean it is not complicated. However, complicated does not mean insurmountable. It does not mean unlearnable. It does not mean that it cannot be mastered. It does not mean that only a select few golden children will ever be able to figure it out. Savants will always occur. But one cannot stand upon the hill of experience, knowledge, and time and scream that it is easy just because it is now easy or because one aspect has always been east to you.

I cannot wrap my mind around a proper PI setup that produces anything in any meaningful way. I have failed over and over again. I'm frustrated enough that I'm about to ask someone to hold my hand and walk me through it. My eyes glaze about it when I read or listen to another related to it. I find PI to be complex. Yet, I know some people who grasp it from the moment they glance over the rules and produce with nary a hair disturbed on their coiffed head. While my bulb may not be the brightest it is not out. I refuse to accept that someone is just stupid if they don't catch onto something that another considers easy. Or that the subject is automatically easy and simple because it is to someone else.

The argument about complexity in the game and accessibility is separate from the descriptive discussion that asks if the game is complicated. By the definition of the words, yes. Eve is complicated. But no part of that definition means that it is  unconquerable. And there is a certain amount of arrogance attached to it as well. Perhaps... a rather weighty bit.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mile Marker V

I have completed the longest train I have ever done, followed by the previous longest train. I feel pretty good about it. A bit proud. There are always those that will say, "Oh you are only just getting that, come back when you've trained Titan Five for the 23rd time."


I'm happy.

Lately there has been idea tossing about getting rid of this skill and shortening that skill. I tend to disagree with them because I don't dislike the skill training program as it currently stands. It can be frustrating and fretful. And there is always the want of now, now, now. But, if we get it all now what happens to the warm, rich satiation of finishing a huge skill train?

This isn't the only one I am on.

My link alt is on her last specialization link, completing that training program. Chella has a 11 days left on Gallente Carrier V. I'll then start her on Amarr Carrier. My dreadnought alt is almost ready to take delivery of her ship. Even Sugar is chewing through level five skills at a steady enough pace.

I don't know what to do with all of myself. I say that in truth, not jest. On one side I have all of these abilities. On the other, I've not used them. I can technically tout myself as a capital pilot. I could market myself that way. "I fly things. Lots of things. Lots of really, really slow things!" But I am an unblooded one. I don't feel like a capital pilot. I just feel like me. Unsure and prone to over thinking things.

The capital training is all part of my toolbox. Chella can move my stuff. My JF alt employs most of my time. My dread alt will soon be able to burn in our monthly capital welp. It is a lot like my battleship abilities. When the FCs call for 'whateverthefuckcat' which is some battleship fleet or another that I can't keep straight and always check the forums to make sure I've undocked the proper thing, I can and do undock it and do what needs to be done with it. My enjoyment comes from filling that niche not being in the niche. The capital ships are like that too..

I also want a Rorqual. I don't need a Rorqual but along the way of all that training it wasn't hard to have my JF alt cross train into a Rorqual and give her a clone bay. Now I want one. Badly. With zero need to have it. But shiny.

Maybe toooooo shiny...

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Draw

…And while asking why someone totaled up something to celebrate when in my opinion the thing they were calibrating was using a skewed statistics I realized I had, yet again, fallen into the trap of defining other peoples actions by my own terms.

It is a common question and many people can come up with dozens of answers. Today, instead of thinking about work I was skimming the jabber conversation focused around the latest massive Sov fight. We’re spectators and sometimes participants but none of us want to participate on the level of being one of the sov blocks.

And we’re there, getting results, watching streams, updating those of us (like me) who cannot connect during the day. Everyone is rooting for their own sides. Everyone has a favorite team. We’re reading tweets, skimming news stories, seeking inside information and in general delighted, enthralled, enraptured, and engaged as these super battles go down.

I’m reminded of my co-workers with sports. They spout teams and names and who their secondary and third preference is. For me with (American) football, its men in tights touching each other. Indecipherable. It is something I remember, as we rabidly chew over information and make guesses and put down strategic opinion while others see colored squares on the field.

Eve is a conceptually large game. One can sit back and start to discuss the structure of it. That discussion won’t stay at the basics of big ship shot big ship and it was amazingly done. It will go into the time and effort to create, maintain, and fly those ships. It will be about the support of those ships. And then it will wander down into all of the people who have nothing to do with those ships but still interact in the world. The living game concept is there. My corporation is a low sec entity and we sit here, fascinated, and watch the battle. Not because we want to be there but because it is interesting.

There are a few authors that I read who I find the word for word effort of reading to be tedious. Yet, after I've taken in an entire chapter or a book the world unfolds around me. It ripples out and the greater design splays about and it is beautiful. Its conceptual and Eve has a lot of principles like that. It is one of the reasons that it is hard to just 'define' the game. And it is the point where someone understands what calls to the person who comes to like Eve.

I was listening to a newbie in Eve Uni Chat say that they find Eve's PvP to be slow and sluggish. I repeated this to my corporation who said, "wut?" And yes, to those who play a lot of FPS it is very different. But PvP in Eve is broader than what you are doing to that ship targeted at the moment. "Cyno up!" Every time that is called the entire thing changes. Mix that in with the three dimensional space in Eve and the nugget that is PvP grows into a complex, road map of options and possibilities with many, many grim futures.

Water is hard to hold in your hand. It drips out between your fingers and is soaked up by your skin. Some evaporates as well, even if you don't notice it at the time. Such are ideas and concepts and the reasons behind why some of these things are as interesting as they are.

I'm a spectator and occasionally an actor in these things. But I do enjoy sitting back, and watching the show like dawn sweeping the horizon. Bold. Intricate. Beautiful. And different every time.

Feign Disorder has Declared War against...



We declared war on the people that live in and around the area we deployed to. It is for the normal reasons. Gateguns and station guns when dealing with targets who out number and upship while falconing. It evens the playing field. Using game mechanics and all.

Some will say, "If you want that you shouldn't be in low sec."  As long as we can declare war on people I don't see why we shouldn't use a perfectly valid game mechanic to aid us while fighting. When you see sentry guns doing the bulk of the damage on kill after kill and have people who cannot ignore the lure of things sitting on stations and gates one makes choices.

The thing is that war seems to br super personal. Maybe there is this vision of us around an illuminated tabel planning destruction. It would be mote awesome than reality. Right after we declared war we got distracted. We got called back to Molden Heath for a few things. We had our normally scheduled roaming fleets. We, basically, ignored our war targets and most of us were not even in system. They keep asking when we are going to undock. I even have one in my chat-room although he has not said anything and the poor dear will probably be bored all to hell. Maybe he will enjoy our random, occasional discussions about cooking, ship fitting, Siuil draining knowledge from Vov, and market chatter. I'm sure that people will look at the war stats with some win and loss reasoning and miss the point that we did it just to disable the sentry guns.

Today, we were busy. The boys crashed a public event. There were some other calls for our attention. In general, we were not present at all and the war targets keep going, "Feign Disorder, when are you going to undock and fight us?" I ignored them. For one, I don't really recognize the alliance name. For two, saying anything is just going to be a ridiculous mess of insults and accusations of tears. Someone joined one of the groups as an alley. Who they are? I don't know. I'll chuckle if/when Jita campers add themselves. We almost never send mains to Jita. For one, most are outlaw and for two, wardecs are a thing so most of us have out of corp logistics and support alts for the getting of stuff. And if someone did go and get podded on the Jita undock it'd be "Really?" as a response.

When THC2 was in Capital Punishment. TEXN would war dec carebear corps for high sec PvP. I can understand where the teeth gnashing and general anger comes from in that situation. However, war decs of low sec corp to other corp living in low sec is pretty much a removal of gate and station guns. For some groups there may be personal aspects to it. People certainly respond personally. But the words, "have declared war against you" does come across as super aggressive.

I don't think it is out thing to hunt one party down. I don't think we have that much negative emotion invested in PvP. PvP is what the corporation does but rarely do I hear the boys get a personal edge to it. And even then, it is normally smugness over killing someone who does their best not to die. I've always, said, with fair comfort, that we do not 'hate' anyone. We don't get obsessed over any particular group. Whenever I hear that so and so dislikes 7-2 or the occasions that plots to destroy us and evict us from an area have fallen across my lap, I'm a bit amazed at the ire involved. But then, PvP is approached differently by different groups. I can stand here all day and say that it is casual and 'fun' and we're not involved but I cannot dictate the response of the other party involved.

I won't try to explain to our war targets why they are war deced. It doesn't matter. When we did a weekend deployment back over the summer we declared war on the corporation that lived there because they liked to do the station thing. We then, mostly, roamed and ignored them. We then left halfway through the war dec and we never arranged a 'fight' day.

It is also hard to say 'we don't care' even if 'we don't care' because we are the ones that made the war declaration in the first place. That boils down to the concept of winning and losing and the reasons that people do the things that they do. I can't define the entire game by my personal household. It is one of those things that I have to remember.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Internal Structure

I've always wondered if the name of Eve's social groups, Corporations, subconsciously sways people as to their behavior about the corporation. Unlike a clan which is a family group, or a guild, which is as group of people who have the same interest or abilities or similar trait, a corporation is a colder thing. It is a place where people seek employment. They seek work. Also, in Eve you apply to a corporation. Corporations do not invite you directly although a recruiter might try. And, I wonder, if that is why some people soak in the power of the situation or other's believe that the corporation is some god like power to dictate to its membership what may or may not be.

I believe most have heard of tyrannical corporations. However, in the end, players leave. Without the members the corporation, even with the most egotistical CEO, dies. CEO does not mean god. The membership may give the CEO that privilege but it is not an assumed right.

And it isn't just the CEO. The corporation needs a greater cohesion in its people. big or small, one person can only carry a group for so long before they collapse. We call this burnout. Often, that charismatic person that has pushed so hard to make everything happen has carried things. People want to be with them and near them. They, in a way, bask in the energy that persons puts out. But adoration is not support. Even to the most egotistical. And again, the corporation dies.

Kinda sad thoughts. Fortunately, when things go well they go very well. The load gets distributed across a group of people who are in positions that they are in because they want to be there. The call of personal power is not the loudest sound in the room. In fact, at the end of the day, it means very little for day to day operations. The outside and the inside may be very different places depending on who is looking through the window.

Such have been my thoughts of late. We are thinking of opening recruiting soon. Without people, the corporation cannot thrive. While we'd love to believe that everyone is always going to play at every moment that doesn't work. Life, family, work, responsibilities, and the realities of the fact that Eve is a game intrude.

Yet, even recruitment is stressful. We're one of those 'we're a family' corporations. People use the forums, play other games (coughminecraftcough) with each other, chat on Jabber while at work and in general develop real, warm friendships. Titus has been slinking about trying to convince people to go to Eve Vegas this fall so that we can meet each other. Some people don't want to take their gaming into the dimension of meeting others. Some do. I'm pretty neutral about that. I love meeting people that I know and like but I have terrible social skills for normal socialization so I cannot criticize someone who does not want such a thing.

And although Altaen suggested people showing examples of piracy and such dark, kill all the thingsness, I dunno. I hate hoops myself. They make me not go for things that I should. Besides, our killboard is red and we've been called cowards. Who'd want to join scrubs?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Pew, Pop, Pew

Kaeda has weekend ops up for frigate roams into faction warfare. These interest me a lot because I am not well versed in non assault frigates. Plus, I enjoy Kaeda and there is a lot to learn from what he does and how he roams. I'm an observer when it comes to learning and having FCs I am comfortable with to watch and ask question for improve the day for me.

I was voicing the fact that I feel I have odd gaps in my flying ability. I spend a lot of time in an assault frigate but that is not the same as flying in a frigate. I spend a lot of time in T2 ships in general and my T1 frigate gap is very lacking. When I first started, gates aggressed you for the full 15 minutes, invalidating smaller ships from fighting in low sec. Even cruisers were hit or miss if they'd survive.

That means I learned to fly in battlecruisers and by the time I could fly frigates I stuck to assault frigates since gateguns are still a thing. Time in frigates, in fleets, isn't common. I could go try to solo but I don't want to solo. Therefore, I jump for these T1 frigate gangs and try to access some of the blissful abandonment of worry that I see others have when they scream T1 frigates.

Off we went with Kaeda dropping the reminder not to warp to zero on the Faction Warfare complexes.

I think we were in Caldari space. I don't know. We kept running into cruiser and T2 cruiser gangs. We were a handful of Firetails and a Merlin. I even had an afterburner because I stole Kaeda's fit. I complained about being slow and Roigon wanted to know how a Firetail was slow. To men, it is slow compared to a microwarp drive. I understand all of the technical reasons to fly with afterburners for frigate fights but I can't escape the feeling of being stuck in mud when wanting to run something down.

I may not be cut out for frigate fighting like this. I know lots and lots and lots of people adore it, worship it, and scream from the rooftops that it is the best thing ever. Me, I miss my old battlecruiser fights still. The past is always beautiful and tinted with lovely shades of remembrance. I've never been in a frigate corp or done RvB or anything like that and maybe it isn't something I can go back to... I don't know... it just seems that it is something I should keep at since so many people seem to enjoy it so damn much.

For now, we chased things around and eventually killed a T1 fit Rupture. They also killed something else in a complex. I'm so busy trying to remember to warp to the gate at x range and enter the gate and wait for commands that I'm much, much slower then everyone else. This runs a bit differently and faster and everyone else seems to have a clue...

Oh well. Eventually, we wound up... somewhere... surrounded by T2 cruiser fleets chasing each other and chasing us kinda as we ran from a heavier (is there such a  thing?) frigate group that had instalock and stuff. I wound up utterly lost. The home field advantage is well overlooked in this game. Not recognizing any system names and finding myself at a gate called out at another moment after something was changed I jumped to find the fleet, discovered I was in the wrong place, jumped back in and wound up tackled by said frigate gang.

I just alt tabbed and went to get some water while they killed and podded me. Being lost frustrates me and I was completely lost, separated from the group, and just in a bad position.

Firetail down.

I spent some time doing something I'm actually capable of doing without drooling on myself. I was asked by Suleiman to light some cynos in Bosena for him. My heart was warmed. I could light a cyno and not get lost in Bosena. Plus, trust! Yay! Off I went to be a good little cynoboat until my little frustration meter had drained.

I had just finished making dinner and getting everyone fed when an evening fleet was called out. Omens. Again. I had one named, "spare" sitting in my hangar. I loaded up the cap boosters and renamed it. More activity right? I said I would and if anyone hasn't noticed, the lasers on an Omen, when retracted for warp look like cattle skulls.

There I was, back in Omen fleet and out to null, again. Hmm. Let's see how it goes this time. I had a taco and a half left to eat but I wasn't running tackle and I wasn't in an Interceptor so I managed to finish eating within the first two systems. I did opt to chew although Titus suggested that I do the python maneuver with them for efficiency.

This time I thought about tacticals. Of course, we didn't meet any bubbled, bombed gates when I was paying attention. Again, I wound up moving slowly. Some of it is that my hearing is terrible. My right ear has been clogged since last Friday when I got really sick. Mix that in with being super cautious not to miss system names and my general attempt not to lemming through gates and I just seem slower than everyone else. It is probably checking the gate names over and over again.

We wandered around without meeting much for a bit until we bumped into a Firetail fleet. That was interesting. There was a lot of kiting and a lot of warping and we were picking off Firetails who were trying to land good warpins on us. While uncomfrotable in the Omen from lack of familiarty I felt good. It's agile, its fast, and stuff seemed to be dying. I maybe spend to much time paying attention to keeping at the edge of my kiting range but it seems that if I'm kiting I want to do that. Things went well until whomever was in the station started to undock things. The Machariel was a bit... painful... and then some tackle landed and the Firetail fleet left (I think, we saw a Firetail on the sun when we were extracting) and we started losing ships.

We decided to bail. Logi down. Supports down. Retreat is not a bad idea in these situations. I guess our entire fleet could have just gone all in and died in a fire to all the things we had no chance of killing. I'm not sure why that would make any sense or be a viable tactic. Extracting is harder at some times than others. This was a time to leave. We'd poked and poked and now we were getting stung for our honey.

 We got chased a few systems and Titus got tackled. He did manage to take the Ares down with him and the rest of us burned back home. I managed to get my Omen and pod all the way back to Nalvula. I have to admit, I was surprised. I was also the last one to make it back but at least I made it.

Out kiting Omen doctrine is a lot of fun. I'm still getting used to lasers in general. The feel of them is different. The ranges are a lot of checking and double checking and do they ever drink cap. Its strength is both in its agility and in the fleet itself. Once we drop below a certain level of ships we are just not effective enough to break things.

I also had to abandon my drones. Poor things, out in the darkness, off a gate, in null...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Public Couriers

I learned a few new things over the last few days.

I learned that when a contract is failed you get back the collateral, the reward, and the 10k deposit to make it. I wasn’t expecting that 10k back for some reason and it surprised me. Also, while inconvenienced that my package did not arrive because it was important, making forty million ISK made me glow a bit.

You see, I had tried private courier contracts and wound up inconvenienced, richer, and puzzled as to what had happen.

The story transpires like this:

I am often reminded that I should use public courier contracts instead of using Red Frog. They are cheaper and just as fast, I am assured. I have used them in the past for moving blueprints and other  small items around where I wasn’t worried about when they made it to where I wanted them. However, the ebb and flow of TCS is such that Red Frog almost always moves my stuff within hours. I tend to write a contract, go out to the gym or store, and come back to find it in progress or done. I’ve not wanted to fly my freighter much since Rubicon’s release and have leaned more heavily on other methods to move my items. Plus, TCS is moving fast enough that I often have more than a billion ISK in items to move at a time.

This time, however, I was moving something personal. I needed it moved by Tursday night. To my embarrassment, somehow, I had forgotten to fuel my POS. I fueled it before I went away at the start of the month. I then went on vacation and enjoyed myself and in the back of my mind I have been thinking, “I just fueled my POS.”

Well no. Not quite. On Monday, I logged on to find my POS crying about fuel. Startled, I discovered that I was out of fuel blocks. That is abnormal. I normally have several weeks supply handy. I’m not smart enough to figure out how to do PI and make them on my own so I am stuck buying it from those who can figure out the PI process (an incomprehensible process to me). Yet, I found myself quite without POS fuel and a POS weeping tears of hungry agony with an almost empty fuel bay.

Of course, we are deployed. This makes it that much more inconvenient. I sent my POS manager back to Istodard and searched my assets for fuel blocks. Perhaps, I had just traded them to the wrong account? Alas, it was not to be and I undocked a Prorator and headed to Rens to buy a bit of fuel to hold me over until my supplies could arrive. If only I could blush.

I dumped two days worth of fuel in my POS and promptly forgot to buy more fuel because I was busy discovering that our deployment home is a .04 and I cannot produce boosters there. Fustrated, irritated, I played Minecraft instead and started to build a fantastic project that I am quite pleased with. Anyway, I forgot to buy the fuel and to make matters worse I purchased fuel for the deployment POS so somewhere in my head I had purchased fuel.

The shame.

Well, on Wednesday, like a good girl I woke up for work and promptly realized that my POS might be running out of fuel and I’d be helpless during my twelve hour shift to know or do anything. I checked and discovered via the in game calendar that I was good until Friday. Pleased, I took a moment to buy some fuel and create a private contract to send it to Teon. I needed to restock TCS and I could just take care of everything at once. It would be magical when I got home from work.

I got home from work and joined a fleet. I then flew like shit and died. On the way to bed I remembered about my contract and stopped to check on it. I didn't see it in Teon. I had assumed that it would be done so I doubled back to check if it had been picked up yet. Teon is, after all, only a few jumps off of the route to Rens. That was when I saw that it had failed which also explained the unexpected boost of ISK in my wallet. Puzzled, I looked up the pilot and did not see a wreck. I had sent around 360 mil in POS fuel with a collateral of 400 million. Worried that I had screwed up and accidentally contracted one of my expensive things I checked but it seems that I had not managed to accidentally hand over billions of ISK (my Rhea, Provi, Orca, container of Plex and random goodies). It seems that I had not lost anything of value.

I had purchased POS fuel for the deployment system. I sent that back to Jita, added some more to it, and shipped it all down to Teon via Red Frog. I had planned to stock tonight but my cold is fighting back and I will take care of it tomorrow when I hopefully, feel better. Or, at least, I will have the entire day to get it done.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

CIMM: From the Ground Up

The Calamitous-Intent Mobile Market (CIMM) goes online today. I love how I write that out. It should have fireworks and sparkles as well.

I've started with a clean slate. TCS is completely split from the CIMM. I moved a buy alt for TCS to Jita and she will now handle the purchases. I will move items (or red frog them) still but the markets and wallets are separate. I took the time to do a bit better with corporate management and set up the buy order alt to have her own wallet to pull from. The same with the listing alts. The goal is to decrease the amount of typos I make and the ISK the broker fees and taxes burn up when I miss-list or miss-buy. As well as the fact that everything purchased and sold are all within TCS now.

For the mobile market I decided to liquidate six of the PLEX from the writing competition. That gave me a start of 3.7 billion ISK to create the mobile market. Chella and Sugar sell my boosters which keeps that ISK separate.

The mobile market, unlike the Cougar Store is a somewhat different market project. What I am doing is creating a market that moves with my corporation. It is put up and pulled down and jumped in with the goal of still making a profit. The main reason is that it interests me. The second is about spreading my cult of reasonable prices and in general documenting this type of activity for those that wish to venture into it.

It is to easy to limit yourself in this game. Limit yourself in activities, access, and options. I became very bitter about the way corporation and alliance members treated each other on the market. I may be overly attacked and to in love with the concept of blue and purple and the ideas of loyalty. However, my idealistic sense was deeply outraged at the market PvP corp members did to each other. Hence my boosters, my market, my logistics goals for others. It is just a matter of doing things how I want them to be done.

As for the results, people can take from it what they may. Instead of telling people what is and is not worth their time I'd prefer for them to come to their own conclusions. The casusal vs hardcore gamer argument has come close to home the more I try these projects. I'd consider myself a serious gamer, creating a subclass to define myself properly. I'm not hardcore and never will be but I'm more than casual. Thus, serious because everything must be labeled.

We are close to Jita. Six jumps close. We are also in Caldari space. It makes things interesting.

Caldari Space is populated. The most populated part of the game. That means the high sec market pressure is much greater than over in Molden Heath. My listings are sometimes the lowest and sometimes not. The biggest area of contrast is in mutually needed PvE items compared to PvP items.

Consider rockets. Rockets are an item I find that are chronically overpriced by relisters such as myself. However, light missiles, a much more commonly used item by the PvE players (especially the newest ones working through their first ships) make mine purchased in Jita and relisted seem obscenely high in comparison. The rig market is chronically over priced away from the hubs as always.

So, I purchased, and purchased, and some 200 orders later started to list.

In the first few hours my fears that nothing would move vanished. I have that worry every time. That my items will just sit and sit and sit. Over the last few days since we moved in, my corporation represents roughly 50% of my sales. From what I'm moving currently, I could set up a TCS style store here and have it flourish. But, I'll not. TCS requires a lot of attention to maintain and for two I need to spend some time doing the me things. Fleets, PvE, all the silly fun stuff it seems that I don't do as much anymore.

More gas frigates. Etc.

And in 30 days, we will see how this project prospers at reasonable prices. Along the way, I'll have to think about having less ISK for these ventures. Three billion plus is pennies to some and hoards to others. To me, its a lot of ISK. i'm happy to have it to wave around but I won't be saying, "I wouldn't notice that ISK being gone anyway."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

And... so.... why?

Hmm. I'm about to go to bed but decided to empty my mind because I am annoyed. I'm annoyed because I died because I'm stupid and forgot that null sec means we have to behave in this way and that way. I'm rusty at it. And I'm amused, because I'm so hard headed.

Mechanics in game will always be a bane. Whenever I find myself hissing through my teeth disliking the mechanics of a type of space (I really, abjectly, hate bubbles) I remind myself that someone else likes it. It reminds me of the high sec arguments that I hear all the time. High sec doesn't suck. Some people love it. Other's may not enjoy it but I don't understand what they enjoy about wormholes and null sec ether.

And so, not understanding other people is again the fate of humanity.

That's what talking is for. I wound up asking the FC why we took a fight tonight after we realized we were not going to make much of a dent. Asking that kind of question is hard. It is hard to approach someone after a strategy does not work and ask them why they did it and not sound aggressive or accusatory. I want to know. After all, to learn, I have to see how they see. I can't follow a lot of the recommended methods (such as the video of said fight that will probably appear) so I have to seek information where I can. I don't FC. I don't solo. I want to do more than blindly shoot at things when told to (my FCs are awesome and I'll blindly shoot as told everyday) and it seems, to me, as if I never understand the situation. And that may just mean I don't have the ability for it. Which, is something that needs to be accepted as well.

Still... Sometimes it feels like "Why?" is the only question that I ask. Maybe it is. And then, when I question things I wonder if maybe I just don't get it. Maybe I just don't get Eve. Maybe I'm not aggressive enough. Maybe I'm utterly weird that I loathe watching videos. Maybe, maybe maybe...

Maybe, I will remember to use tactical bookmarks in null sec. I'm trying to stay out of interceptors a bit this time around. It is obvious that I have skills that need to become more ingrained habits. So, I'll struggle through picking the correct system name and try to be a good girl and get out in space some more. And participate. And improve. And ask some more questions because it seems that I have so many...

Ahh well. Another Omen. Another day. Maybe I need to enroll in OUCH.

Rambling: The Price of Work

I've never had my own loss mail waved in my face while someone crowed in local that I/we were mad about it. For a moment, just a brief moment, I thought about responding to say "No. Reshipping and coming back is what we do." I then realized that would just be regarded as tears and encourage local smack.

I refrained. After all, I had just lost a Vagabond and full set of +4 to a hotdrop. Explaining that the Vagabond was purchased after the heavy Odyssey rebalance and the Pod +4's two years old and the other implants a random selection for Altaen's birthday roam last year (so that my pod would be expensive if/when I lost it) would not get me anywhere but an accusation of tears, 'you mad' or 'didn't want that anyway'. Sure. I'd prefer to have both my Vagabond and my Pod safe and sound but that isn't how things go sometimes. After all, I had responded to a call for additional help and grabbed the first thing that made sense to support the boys two systems away from our staging system. One never knows how that will go and as Altaen so often says, "That's the price of getting work done."

We have deployed. We are dying a lot. We are killing some things but deaths are racking in at a higher rate then when we live in the Heath. It is the way of things. We have to meet everyone and everything. The lay of the land has to be learned. The tactics and habits of everyone is going to be different and it will take a bit to get our feet under us. I can understand more why some people stay in their home systems. It is nice being top of the food chain all of the time. It also makes you lazy, arrogant, and soft if challenge is removed.

So we are dying. We are reshipping. We are dying some more. Along the way other things are dying. Other things are reshipping and we're settling in. It is hard to explain, perhaps, that while losing ships steadily is frustrating it is also motivating. Not the "losing everything is so much fun!" mantra that I so loathe. More along the push to improve and do better that new situations bring to a PvP corporation. The boys go out to fight constantly and it is what they thrive on. Even the days when the killboard is read and frustration is heavy on coms the general burn and drive is still bright. I cannot think that it would be the same if we were to scold people or hold anyone to some standard of killboard numbers.

Sometimes, it's going to be red.
The other day I sounded snarkier than I meant to sound to Fuzzy Steve (who I actually like a lot) over a comment on ISK Efficiency. I've commented more than once that I hate the constant push and pull over it. If it didn't mean anything to people I don't think ti would come up in conversation as much as it does. Since it comes up as a reference constantly it does mean something to people. And I dislike it because I feel that it is a cloudy measurement if there is any as well as the fact that it is an inhibitor more than anything else. People decide not to take on fights and opportunities because if they die and their efficiency is low someone will point to that, smirk, and/or berate them about it.

In the non-ending discussion of 'how do we treat people' and 'how do we keep people engaged' and all of that it is often said that players in Eve treat each other poorly. Players in Eve treat each other very well at the oddest of times. The community support is amazing. Fuzzy Steve, for instance picked up the Eve Bloggers domain and restarted it without anyone asking him to do it or any other motivation than being a community member and caring. The forums are full of people who help others as much as it is a cesspit of negativity. Any search pulls up dozens if not hundreds of links that give advice and help. The community is not only a negative pit of terrible thing.

However, it is a competitive place in a game with a central focus around engaging other players. Without a preset standard of winning one has been created and things like efficiency and value of a kill are those things. Working out how the defined 'loser' in that case feels isn't really on the table. People want hard numbers that they can point at and criticize and a kill mail is that thing. I can and will continue to dislike it but I'm in a dark corner yelling into the sky.

I'm not sure if it does or does not matter that I am okay with losing my ship. That my corporation is okay with the loss of the ships in our fights. That being okay with losing ships is not the same as welping a fleet or suiciding into anything and everything that happens. To take engagements, to push, to fight, to improve, to make mistakes and recover from them is not a clean process.

We won't always win. And while we'd love to always win we're not so silly as to think that we will. When we don't win we try to learn from it. When we lose things through the process of playing the game we shrug and reship. There is a price to everything. In PvP if is loss. Some attempt to mitigate that more than others but it is a price paid to those who participate in it. And, as with any price, the cost and value of it will range differently for each individual. What is waste. What is value. A hundred different answers for the same group of words.

Such is my cult of opinion on this. It will not be everyone's. It will not even reflect all of my corporations. But, it is my viewpoint on a topic that is important enough that it deserves to be spoken about with honesty. The weight of social opinion is crushing to some. And it is no different than the group in our new, temporary home who called us poor for not raising our security status with tags. They don't know us. They do not know our culture. They can only reflect their own and often times it is a poor, blurred reflection indeed.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Best Gas Frigate Ever

I said that this deployment I was going to make ISK. Making active ISK in game is something that I miss. While I love my market and logistics I really enjoy the video game part of Eve. I'm a resource gatherer at heart and while it is wrong and evil and should never be spoken about, I've always enjoyed those aspects of Eve.

One thing that sprung to mind that I completely missed out on in Syndicate was gas harvesting. If you think mining is boring, gas harvesting is even worse. However, it is something very close to my heart as a booster manufacturer. I've never been able to thin down prices on boosters using the 'my time is free' model because Molden Heath only makes Sooth and Sooth is not commonly used.

When I learned that the local gas would be Golden Cytoscerocin and other such goodies, I was excited. The boosters that I make are made with these gases. Plus, simply, ISK making is ISK making.

The Venture is a wonderful gas boat. People comment on this now and then and I will add to it. Gas goes into the ore hold. It is bulky as is ore. It used to be that one would use a cruiser or battlecruiser with as many high slots as possible to scoop gas. While useful still, the natural agility, ore hold, and bright yellowness of the Venture makes it the best thing for the job. Plus, it is cheap. It costs a fifth of the gas harvesters installed upon it.

So, when I was about to start the first stocking run for the market, Altaen handed me a bookmark for a gas site in our local system. This is when you know they love you.  I was super excited and totally doped up on cough suppressants. Mining gas was the best thing I had ever heard of at that time.

Of course, I was not yet set up for it. The Venture is so ridiculously cheap that I decided it would be a waste to move any from Molden Heath when I could just buy a new one. I just had not gotten to that point yet and with the bookmark burning a ISK shaped hole in my hand I undocked Chella and darted off to high sec to secure myself a Venture and some gas harvesters. About that point I decided that screaming in alliance chat that I was the best gas mining frigate "EVAH". Somehow, all caps and pure joy at gas harvesting made complete and total sense. Damay was kind enough to indulge my bout of insanity in alliance chat. With only 7-2 in the alliance we don't actually use the channel so it was fantastic for my... uhh.. issue.

It took me an hour to harvest the two gas clouds. I harvested 4,020 m3 of gas which was 402 units and my cargo estimates it at 32 million. So, 32 million for an hour of gas harvesting that I wasn't paying attention to with 200k invested for the Venture and 5 mil for the harvesters. Not bad.

Of course, full of freshly harvested gas and joy I realized that the system chosen as our temporary home is a .04. Huh. Well. If I am to put a POS up it will have to be in a neighboring system. Bleh. My entire POS idea is crumbling around me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Guest Blog: The Traveling Wilburys aka the Great Northern Trek

Sugar is getting a day off. If you heard her on comms you would swear that death is on her doorstep. She must have caught some sort of new SARS virus. That hasn't stopped her, barely slowed her down actually. As 7-2 begins its new deployment she was logging in cyno's, passing around fuel and moving her mobile market to our new home. Those of us who know her, love her and if you don't know her, it's definately your loss.

Calamitous Intent has depolyed once again. We've kicked the cobwebs and drunken haze off the holiday season and jumped to a new home. We jumped last night into Lonetrek with Wagners Flight of the Valkeries playing over comms. A poetic and funny bit of dramatic license by Vanderie. I've never lived in Caldari space in my three plus years in the game. I'm looking forward to getting to know the area, meet new and interesting people and kill them.

No sooner had we gotten our bearings that Altaen, not being one to stay docked for long, landed on a weird named high sec gate. It was camped by a group of locals. The locals started shooting him without delay. Most of us had gone afk after the jump into system to get food or take bio breaks. Altaen's sacrilegious slave ship was taking a pounding on the gate. His only choice, and not his first, was to jump into high sec. Altaen's lifestyle choices (usually rawdog) has made him a very unpopular person with any of the authorities. The locals had placed one of those modular caldari ships on the high sec side of the gate to catch evil people like Altaen, and it worked. Altaen now had to make another choice he really didn't want to make, as the police were now on the way. He offlined his armor plate and burned back to gate. I returned to comms to hear Vanderie calmly organizing a little response fleet. We undocked and warped as Altaen decloaked his little slave ship. The quick thinking of off-lining the plate had saved him from the police in high sec was going to doom him to the locals. The sacrilege exploded from underneath him as our fleet was getting shaky on
the gate. The locals seemed happy with that little victory and warped away. We circled around Altaen's wreck, cracked a bottle of Cristal and poured one over the remains.

We followed the locals to their home system hoping they were still in the mood to shoot their neighbors. This hope faded as they undocked capital after capital on their home station. We obliged them by testing their tanks but became quickly bored. As more people were returning from being away from the keyboard a scout  reported a large t1 cruiser fleet with logistics nearby. We had seen this fleet earlier and now it was returning to the area. We caught up with them on another funny named gate. We started shooting and they warped off. The next few minutes we bounced back and forth between the sun and the gate. We had a couple Ishtars and a couple faction cruisers.

We were outnumbered but confident that the quality of our ships would counter the quantity of their cruisers. Our light tackle began to point things at the sun on our second trip back and we started brawling. The t1 cruisers were well fit rail Thorax. Our light tackle developed hull breaches pinning down the cruiser fleet. For about five minutes we  picked apart the cruiser fleet at the sun. They fought bravely. A nice little fight for our
first few hours in Lonetrek.

So we're unpacking and looking forward to a nice stay in Lonetrek. Sugar is on the mend. I've purchased a wonderful mixed case of beer from Philadelphia Brewing Company, and hopefully with a beer in hand and a little luck we'll get hot dropped by Pandemic Legion.

Get better Sugar.


Dave Lash
Recruiter, Corp Drunk, Gay Pornstar

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Rambling: For Want and Need

There is a survey up from Team Game of Drones who want to ask the players questions about the Science and Industry field of the game. They want to know how we use it. What we want out of it. As someone who has been managing a POS for the last year and a half I will answer this. I manufacture boosters constantly and it is a true pain in the ass. I know that the more complex production lines are worse. Nightmares made into living clicks.

I will answer this survey. I will do my best to present my ideas and opinions in a productive, consumable manner. I will send it off to CCP and hope that they read it and look at what the players ask and want. The fat that CCP has come to the players and asked for information for their base structure is a neat trap. To not give information is removing any chance of getting opinions and thoughts placed into potential, concrete changes. To enter into the exchange is to become something I often hear lamented at great, bitter lengths, Q&A.

“I will not be CCP’s unpaid Q&A.” 

I hear that a lot. I also understand where it comes from. After all, CCP is a company and players are paying for a product. In a way, we are paying CCP to do their Q&A and that comes off poorly to some. They should take care of that before the product reaches us. Well, yes, but there comes the problem that Eve flexes and evolves. The meta of the game is something that even the employees of the company that makes the game cannot fully predict.

CCP does not know what the results of their changes will do to Eve. They make solid guesses based off of their plans and intents. The players add feedback. It is all mixed up and released and then we see what will actually happen. A factor that cannot be taken into account is the non-contributors. While that sounds harsh it is not meant to be so. They do not contribute to the talks and the discussions for whatever reason they may have. However, they still play the game and their actions may have a startling consequence simply because no one else thought up that particular use.

I find myself torn on the argument. While there is a bout of validity to the statement of not wishing to be CCPs Q&A I also find myself approaching Eve as a hobby. Being an openly admitted fan-girl who goes to Eve events, I have to admit that Eve is a bit more than casual for me. It makes me look at the game in the same way I would any hobby that I have. When I was showing dogs I contributed to a genetics study that was attempting to decipher a particular color trait in my breed of dogs. I sent lots of DNA samples to a researcher in Canada simply because I love genetics and helping was a lot of fun to me. Similarly, in every hobby I have had I devote a lot of time and energy into it beyond the basics. I ride Motorcycles and I read technical manuals and learned to do most of my own maintenance and build work on my bikes. So when CCP says we want player input, if I have it, I give it because I am invested in Eve and whatever changes happen will have an effect on my future game play.

Eve has three central strands. There is CCP, Eve Online, and the Players. The three braid together to create the game that is Eve.

I started writing while thinking about the meta game. Right now CCP is rebalancing ships, modules, skills, and basically our day to day life. Their balancing is based off of what we are doing with items in the game. That is slightly different from what those items do in the game. The word 'metrics' (which makes one wish to spit when heard) speaks to the usage of various things. If we are using more of one thing than aother the metrics say something needs to be nerfed to make us find some type of balance. It is a direct assault against he min/max habits and stagnation attempts. CCP wants to make a well rounded game and that will involve a constant war with the players against changes.

Mostly, I think about the RLML thread. CCP Rise had swallowed his Hubrius and admitted that the changed, so spat upon, are not working as he intended. The changes came into affect for a module that was already in the game for years. That module rose in popularity when other, more used and more better modules were nerfed. For ten years (or however long they have been in game) RLML were fine. Then, when HAMs were nerfed and RLML rose into being they are now under scrutiny because Eve functions on a greater, global meta game instead of each individual or each entity having a complete separate fitting religion from scratch.

That also means that CCP has to take imput from the players outside of the basic usage stats. If null sec is doing something that does not mean the rest of Eve is doing it even if thousands are dying each day in some massive war. The current ranting and screaming over drones is the next thing that comes to mind. Whatever the opinion is about drone assist and sentry drones and drones in general there was a time, not long ago, that these discussions did not exist and people were not screaming from the pulpit of drone assist nerf to nerf a mechanic that has been in existence.

We are going to test the changes one way or another. It is each persons decision to enter into the debate when and where they will. Nor all will follow the forums or abhor it as a communication tool. Many will not see twitter and there are always the thousands that will not read a patch note and stumble upon the changes by chance. It is why I inject where and when I can. I understand why people burn out over their endless arguments. I'm still one that hates the magical probes and automatic aspects of the discovery scanner as well as the irrational bits like my freighters and shuttles getting scans.

I'll fill out this survey. I'll keep commenting where and when I can. It is incredibly, painfully frustrating. Sometimes, it is deeply disappointing. At other times, it is an overwhelming font of joy as a change, so pushed for and fought for enters the game.  I once wrote about having a cup of bitter. Mine is still not full. And one day it may be. It is ignorant to say that it will never happen. I don't know that. I may one day join those that I know that say it is for CCP to figure out on their own. I cannot fault them for their cup is full. For now, I have plenty of room to keep going. I don't believe it will be perfect. I won't always get what I want. But what I really want, beyond my immediate needs, hopes, and dreams, is Eve.

Disclaimer: This post fueled by Nyquil

Friday, January 17, 2014

Layers and Patterns

Changes are coming down from on high. I've not spent a lot of time looking at things for several reasons. The most important is that people who are much more capable at running and comparing numbers are looking at them and commenting.

One of the first things that I saw when the newest list of changes came out was that CCP is working on nerfing ISK and ISK making here and there. Vov often discusses how he wants a flat 25% cut of ISK in high sec. I argue with him a lot about it. His grasp of economic and exact numbers are better but he also works in the world of min/max. Even when he comes down to more rational levels I can't see eye to eye with him. I float around and sometimes make money and sometimes do not. I never go out to grind cash like many people do. My lack of grind means that I try to leave those figures to those that actually do and understand the grind. Yet, even though I do not grasp the fine details of ISK per hour I still argue with Vov and Detta as they state the average player can make X amount of ISK in a month and afford X amount of income nerf or account cost because when I look around me I don't see that. The line seems to be very clearly marked between struggling to make ends meat and comfortable with rich people somewhere off into the distance where I don't worry about them.

Now, the new Encounter Surveillance System is an obvious 5% ISK nerf. It is what started our chat where Vov called for a flat 25% ISK cut. He has his reasons and like most of his reasons they make sense. I just don't agree that announcing, "Tomorrow, ISK is cut by 25% enjoy!" and seeing it go over well. CCP has to nickle and dime us down. The player base has proben, time and time again that they will rise up in a frothing rage if and when CCP gets heavy handed in balancing not only their ships and their game.

That is why, when I read the drone shield recharge changes, it took me a moment to realize what those changes meant. My mind flickered to my own daily life first. In PvP I normally deploy drones and that is that. They do or they die or I die or I do but I don't worry about their recharge rates. I am both human and selfish. I did not see what the point of the changes where because meh to my life. And then, somewhere between a dose of Dayquill and a cup of tea I went, "Ohh. It is a PvE nerf. Another one."

After all, the ones who send and recall their drones the most and use large drones the most are the ones out doing PvE. Instead of setting them out to tank all day while the owner AFKs away at the anom or mission, the drones will not regenerate as fast meaning they will absorb greater damage over time if left alone. The light drone buff will be interesting if it means they don't automatically get consumed. I expect that they still will but they will be able to get back out on the field faster for an aware player.

Perhaps, a in the hangar drone shield/armor/structure status is in the works? I can only hope and dream, can I not? It would be a lovely compliment to the changes now that the player will have another thing to manage. Which also makes me wonder at where the line is to complexity and reasonable complexity. With the changes per type, more drone management will have to happen. Fozzie also announced a stack of new modules that will require overheating to reach their full potential. This is what he was saying he wanted to happen at Eve Vegas. I didn't expect to see it this soon. It means more micromanagement per module. Does it mean fits where the owner seeks to avoid overheating will start to come into play for the line soldiers of the biggest alliances or will it force people to do more than 'press F1'. Except, that micromanagement makes life that much harder for the small gang and soloists. While many are upset, I expect that we will survive. PvP will become more exhausting .

Of course I may be very, very off with all of my thoughts considering how bad I am at guessing things.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Third Time is a Charm

There would be no story to tell if not for one of the most basic humans flaws.

The boys were out, as they always are. I was awake, which I should not have been. But, my sleep schedule is still a bit ridiculous and I had reached that point where you are tired but no longer feel it and start to make bad decisions like staying awake and playing Minecraft more. It was probably the early stages of the cold that I now have.

But then, I was a bit buzzed. I had gotten in on a little brawl earlier which involved a Vagabond, Navy Ex, and a Thorax. The frigates on the battle-report came from a later 1v1. And I remember how to fly although the dregs of my semi-hiatus dragged at me some and I found myself sneezing off dust as I flew. It was good though, because I slipped back into my groove a bit when Silver found an Orca trying to slip out of the Istodard pocket to high sec space.

A quick check showed that it might be a wormhole corporation slipping into high sec. They had frigate scouts out and about. Silver went in for the suicide tackle and the rest of us came rolling in at full speed in fast things.

It seems that the pilot had already made several trips. Our pocket does appear to be quiet. It is a short jump to high sec as well. The only problem is that the random pilots floating about doing exploration are probably the reason that the pocket is as quiet as it is. That isn't something that a quick scan of activity is going to show anyone. Nor the speed of a response fleet at the announcement of an Orca on scan and heading to the Isto gate.

We bolted for it as it was tackled. He did a good job. He aligned, neuted out one of the tackle frigates, and managed to warp off when we were bouncing around shaking gateguns. It warped before we could land and we turned and sprinted for the gate it would need to clear to reach high sec. I remember that we landed and I said, "i guess we picked wrong." But no, we had just warped that much faster than it. I'm still not adjusted to the warp speed changes. I've spent little time out in space these past few months and my old habits show clearly in this.

The Orca landed and decided to try to bail. We pointed it but I messed up my distance and lost my scram. I thought I had it only to have it warp away, again. Damn. We cashed it and tackled it on a planet. I had warped to the POCO and my only complaint about our fleet occurred at this time. I couldn't join the fleet that had the Orca tackled because the fleet commander was not in corp and did not have the fleet open to our corp. This meant that I attempted to warp to someone else and went the wrong way, correcting and landing only as the Orca made it off. I was frustrated. Fleet cohesion is incredibly important in these frantic scrabbles where everyone is acting independently. I had also been unable to join in a fleet earlier for similar reasons. When everything is hitting the fan and people and duel and triboxing sending a fleet invite is almost frightening in its inconvenience. I doubt it was a deal breaker but I find that my greatest weakness is that I am easily frustrated when my fleet structure is not clear and organized.

Two tackles and he had escaped. Sigh. We checked the station that he warped to and to our surprise, he was not docked. Yet, he was still in system. And we said, "Is he cloaked?" with a, "Why doesn't he dock?"

And that is where we realized he was impatient. He wanted to get to high sec with a seriousness. Serious enough to not dock and walk away from his computer after we had failed to pin him down twice. This meant that we did the sensible thing. We all left the system, switched out scouts, and got some more sturdy tackle ships into position.

Dave cloaked in a broadsword on the Isto gate in Oddelulf. It was the only place he could go if he wanted to leave. Diz switched into an Arazu. Silver called in a scout, and the rest of us bailed to hover on the Oddelulf gate in Bosena and wait to see if our trap was sprung. Because, if he was impatient... if he had to get to high sec... if he was willing to tempt fate again... and who would do that...

This Orca would. Not even ten minutes passed before he was back on scan and heading to the gate. He jumped, the Broadsword dsecloaked before he jumped and pointed him. We jumped in system as he jumped and I landed on grid right after he was pointed. After that, it was short work and an Orca kill as a reward.

And to me, it was a reward. I love hunts like this. Perhaps that is where my PvP flavor lives more than the honorable brawl of men or the 'hilarious' dunking of 'scrubs'. Ether way, I was extremely pleased when it was done. And, as a bonus, I was rewarded for staying up late to ridiculous lateness by flying with Diz.

The problem with third time being a charm is that who it may be a charm for is not always who one wishes for it to be a charm too.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pretty Boy, Pretty Boy

Ahh.. Hello there. Come and settle down by my side. Sip a glass of mint tea spiked with synthetic sooth. After all, there are no laws to break today. So curl up. Is the sooth good? It is the best pulled from the clouds created by the reddest of nebula. You came here to listen. You came here to see. What tales lay out beyond that gate? What happens in the dark spaces of low sec?

A tale I do have. Come settle down. Have a biscuit.

Now understand that this is Floydes story. Stoic being that he is. He is one of the ex-anti pirates. Seduced by the sweetness of explosions and naked of all fetters. And today, Floyde is in an Ishtar. That dirtiest of sexy drone boats is being piloted around Bosena with its cool hearted Captain at its helm.

Bosena. Roll that name across your tongue. The flow of it is exquisite. A seemingly simple .4 sec system tucked up against the besom of the empire. It is an unpresumptuous place where mission agents gaily send their contractors to do work.

The empire has enemies and there are dangers in space. Places in the void where the darkness cones from more than the sub-zero chill of the void. And there, doing CONCORDs work was a Scorpion.

Oh noble battleship how do they tremble as you enter the field with missiles and drones a whirl about the edges of thy being great creature of the depths, a true behemoth in its own right and scared by hundreds if battles did on this night enter Bosena.

But what of Floyde's Ishtar? A sleek shape that is almost unassuming. Coated in deep blue grays with a hint of green it sinks against the red sheen of the nebula. And upon this occasion, it slipped into the center of an anomaly with stealth. Green-blue engines flared and a flight of sentry drones flicked out their mounts as pure fire rained down upon the Scorpion who was so, so, so very unaware.

But, was that unexpected? While the words may be spoken from a hardened heart, the facts are as simple as a day old babes dreams. There was no contest in this. The scorpion was in its own way innocent. Aware, but not aware of danger. Sadly, comprehension came too late.

It was at this point that I found them. The Scorpion pilot calm as he spoke. For that was his only way to feed himself and his family. That ship that even now was vanishing particles dissipating upon a solar wind. And his words were a sigh. He needed to salvage and his only option was his Noctis. "Not the best idea," whisphered the winds of local but a good idea and an idea are different things.

Thus was it demonstrated when he warped his Noctis to the anomaly to Floyde's bemused horror.

Thus was the creation of a moment. A moment where Floyde made a decision. A decision made not to snuff out the last vistage of life and ability but to help one that was not able to help themselves. He did not shoot the Noctis. He, instead, talked to the pilot. Suggestions were made. Don't duel tank. Avoid missioning in a Scorpion in low sec. And a gift was given. Another Scorpion. One to be cherished and used. Loved and relied upon.

Catch and release. Is that not the way of things? If they are not big enough or strong enough or to young to breed one released them back intot he wild. And this was a moment when Floyde, perhaps, found the words, "Baby seal" flicker across his lips with the barest taste of new life as he, this one time, put the seal club away.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Beauty of Preparation

I'm coming home... coming home.. tell the world that I'm coming home...

Islands are nice but I'm done.

"Who am I? What am I?" These words have been swirling around me. And today, I laugh at them as I dance in the wind for I am a goddess of logistics and market power. It is moving time. Deployment ahead. For in a weeks time we shall depart the sweet bosom of the Heath for a month. I am activated. Across my desk lay my plans, maps and lists spread as far as the eye can see. Upon them are the marks of my hands. Numbers, lists, movements, values...

In my pondering of the who and what and why of Eve they often focus around the fact that I cannot swallow the bullshit story that the only thing to do in Eve is PvP. I enjoy the other things that I am not supposed to enjoy too much for me to accept that narrative. When I'm feeling down and not 'PvP' enough my boys often, without meaning to, revitalize me. And such was the case when, while planing the next deployment system, I was asked a few questions about how some aspects of the location would work for me. That little act will probably keep me happy for the next six months or more. And I shall dance, as a goddess dances, because I am happy and proud of myself and what I have made of things.

But! For now there is a deployment to plan. For me, the least detail is Sugar's life. Sugar is a warrior even if she is piloted by me and all of my concerns and thoughts. For her, it is simply carrier jump after carrier jump full of of spaceships and modules. The picking up and putting down of which are unexciting at best.

It is all of my  other selves that are most exciting. For Chella needs a few new logistics ships. For my scouting alt needs her first link ships. And my logistics alt and TCS are finally, fully separating their finances, so that I can document the success or failure of my mobile market a bit better than I normally do. (but not to serious. Goodness.)

What does separation mean? It just means I will not be quite as lazy. At the moment I have a market/logistics alt who buys stuff from Jita. TCS transfers a wad of ISK to her wallet, she buys, moves the items, hands them to TCS, and TCS lists the stuff. Her wallet balance is part of TCS. What I will do is move a buying alt to Jita and she will buy from a TCS wallet. I will still move the stuff and hand it over but the buy and sell orders will all be inside of TCS. That will leave my alts wallet free to start with the seed money for the mobile market so that I can see how well it does while we are deployed.

Having learned from my previous deployment, the next task is boosters. My corpmates are drug addicts and this is supported by the fact that I make boosters. Making my corpies junkies has been a very productive thing for them. Way back, when I started making boosters I did it because Diz was always having to do these complex buy orders from someone and wait for his stuff and I wanted to fix that. Fast forward  a year and a half and I've carved a solid niche as a booster supplier for the people around me that has seen increased consumption due to availability.

It is similar to the market. Before there was a market everything had to be more preplanned. With the market there is less preplanning because I've already done a bulk preplan. The same is for boosters. If they use their boosters there will be more tomorrow (or maybe the next day but I have a pretty good turn around). Therefore there is no more hoarding and any situation where they should be used they are used.

Which led me to my decision to create a secondary booster POS. Now, I hate putting up a POS as much as anyone that has put up a POS. My god its miserable. Still, I can do it and a medium POS will go up quickly and the effectiveness of not having to run across space allows me to manage some accounts with their varied skills. In a way, I am working towards becoming more mobile completely, which means mobility of my industry due to its inter-connectivity with the corp.

The biggest question was, "Am I wasting ISK?" I don't think so. I can have both of my POS running and the one I am putting up will only be going for about a month. I have all of the pieces I just have to buy the fuel. Using the same POS type means spare fuel comes back home and is poured into the maw of my main POS. The cost of the fuel should be worth the increase in productivity. I hope. Not having to jump my carrier across space to move a handful of boosters, or load down a ship with a few bil and run a gauntlet of jumps and gates is worth the cost. Things always seem easy until you realize that a few runs of boosters is several billion ISK and several weeks of time that you are trusting to the great god of the stars and a hope for no instalocking gatecamps.

And that is why today, I am a goddess of logistics and planning. Spaceships don't blow up by themselves. While it may not be quite as glamorous as the times when I am a Pirate Queen, I quite like this part of my gameplay. Later will come the battle reports.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"When you are playing Eve..."

Evel posted a question in jabber the other day where he asked, "When you are playing Eve, which moments of your own play do you enjoy the most?"

Where Evel plans to take the information gathered, I don't know. He likes to think and muse on things and wander of with ideas and concepts. I'm a dreamer stuck in reality. My answer was, "I don't break it down that way and can't answer you."

This is a regular type of response from me. I like to look at small pieces of a whole without losing the understanding that the entire thing matters. It may be why I have an issue with doing things that are fun now but may have nasty consequences later. How can you ignore the probable future for the exciting now? Similarly, how can I define what I enjoy the most when I enjoy so many things and dislike just as many but cannot take one without the other.

So what do I enjoy? I enjoy playing. If I don't, I log off. If I didn't I'd not write and think about it. I don't have a most. Some moments are brighter than others and some darker but each moment is an individual thing. Maybe, if I approached the game in a more linear and focused fashion I'd have an actual, tangible answer. Yet the "who am I?" of my game play and my constant excursions to one thing or another leave me a bit adrift sometimes. What am I? Where is my value?

Diz and Naoru trying to absorb link boat fits and needs because my link alt is finally ready to settle into the position I made her for. And my link alt isn't for me it is for the fleet, so I did what I do best, I filled in a weak area.

Link ships come in flavors and the least used flavor is info links. Most of our link pilots are very experienced and have link ships for their personal needs. This means most of our link boats are armor and skirmish with the occasional siege. For us to have info links we are probably sacrificing something else. I noticed this some months ago and decided that when I skilled into my link alt I'd skill into info links first so that I could shore up our weakest area because that is my special skill.

So... I was looking at link boats, and fits. That means buying a lot of spaceship stuff for this one particular need. But, that is something I am good at. Plus, honestly, I have the ISK. In fact, I'm sitting on a stack of PLEX that I won from the fiction contest as well as my personal liquidity and I don't even know what TCS is valued at. That also reminds me that a project I started with TCS is being fruitful and I decided that I was looking at the wrong factors to define my play style.

I've never walked the normal paths well. Not in life. Not in games. I don't do it in Eve. Not in game. Not in blogging. If I'm happiest anywhere in game it is playing the game in a way that makes me happy. As redundant as that sounds, it's not. For example, in the earlier discussion about link boats I made it crystal clear that I do not want to fly a Tengu. And that was respected. No one tried to talk me out of it. No one told me I was dumb for using a Legion instead of whatever is considered more better. They know me rather well now and there are no arguments that will make me move from some positions.

My game and what I like to do isn't defined by any one thing. While people may pigeonhole me, I do not pigeonhole myself. I've always been disappointed in myself for not being a more better vicious focused PvPer. It is a weight that I drag around with me because I feel as if I should care more about it than I do.  I feel as if it should define me. I listen to the talks about kill boards and rankings and how many kills people have and ht good natured competition that I have no interest in joining in and I feel like a bit of a fake. The constant vitriol over things that are not PvP get to me. I've always just enjoyed doing things in Eve. It may be a vague, unformed statement but it is what I have. I do a lot of stuff because that is where I have my fun

And in a way, that is where I am happiest. Doing my own thing and doing it successfully. Maybe not the most successful. I don't have enough competitive spirit or ladder climbing interest to focus on being the best at things in the game. I enjoy PvP in my own way but I don't live for it. Sometimes, I look around me at what is required to be at the top of various things and decide that the thin line of fun and not fun will be crossed.

I'm happiest playing my own game. It isn't always as easy as it should be. But, the frustrations are worth it. I don't fit well in improperly sized boxes. And along the way respect has been gained from those who matter. For what I have gained and what I bring to the table. It is one of the harder things for me to accept. Some people seem to like me just as I am. And figuring that out, as slow as I am about it, improves my day.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Eve Maps

I don't have an actual Saturday post. I only wrote five before vacation. Oh well.

I did take time out to donate to EveMaps Dotlan's owner who is buying new server gear.

I am not one that will run around pushing charities or suggesting people give their money to a cause because I want them to. Maybe I am a terrible person for that. Instead, I'l putting it up there for people who may be interested and don't know about it.

I tossed over 10 pounds which was about 13 bucks USD. I did it because I use his service and I use it a lot and he doesn't throw it in my face to send him money every five minutes. I also donate upkeep money to a community forum and I toss wikipedia five dollars whenever their donation drive goes up.

I've always been big into paying for what you use. I download books from authors, read them, and buy the book. I don't feel as if I am doing anything different from going to the library. If I like the book, which I often do, I buy it. This has caused me to buy more books than I would if I put my money first. Once the author has my trust to write a good story I buy blind because I believe in supporting them for the enjoyment that I gain.

Not everyone has to have my beliefs. We all do different things with our discretionary income. Some people don't have it and there is no shame in that. If things like this were meant to be paid for they'd come with a subscription first. However, sometimes you can do things to help something that you use and its a bigger thing than helping yourself or just paying someone else for a service. Or, at least that is how I look at these things.

I'm not a donation angel. Nothing makes me angrier than the donation drives at work that come around at the end of the year where they cheer lead and drown me in 'our goals' and how 'we haven't met our goals' as if I am part of their drive and have some obligation to help them meet an arbitrary number that they promised they would gain.

So, for those that care, go read. For those that don't, don't.