Change

I’ve started half a dozen blog posts recently but not been able to finish any of them. What seem to be simple ideas have morphed into complex novelettes that I can’t seem to wrestle into cohesiveness. The closest to being finished is one directed towards newer players, about where they can find EVE Ship Fitting examples. Hopefully I will get that done sooner rather than later.

In a follow up to my last post, the work colleague I mentioned has managed to resurrect his RAID array. After being quoted $2,500 by a specialist to try and fix it, he ended up using a borrowed device to perform low level disk clones, and managed to get the array to rebuild. Impressed with his tenacity I asked how many extra backups he had made of his photos. “None”, was his answer.

Over the last few days I have read a lot of EVE blogs, forum threads and news articles, trying to catch up a little on my reading. I’ve been thinking the EVE community seems to be back into its collective malaise – and that was reinforced by looking at page after page of angst, gloom and self-righteous indignation. There were some courageous efforts by the reasonable and rational, but they haven’t been able to drown out the vibe. I wonder if this is in part due to the constant change in EVE?

Speaking of change, my boss has left; leaving behind the battered remnants of the team and service he tried and ultimately failed to build over the last 7 years. The company and its sales force have given little focus on the team for a while now, and with customers going into receivership or being taken over, the death knell for my own position has sounded loudly for at least the last 9 months. At this point I am in the odd position of not understanding why I haven’t been made redundant.

I am not making light of my predicament. It creates a very weird sort of stress. To add to the uncertainty the job market for my skills has changed fundamentally. Much is now offshored, and the few jobs advertised are usually filled by visa holders taking salaries 40% lower than the going rate two years ago. It is likely a career change will be in order. Should I look at games design? How about becoming CCP Hermit?

Raided to death

This week I got a series of emails from a work colleague as he wrestled with a catastrophic failure of a RAID array. Like me he has two decades of experience with backups and disaster recovery, but I didn’t like his chances of salvaging anything. The tone of his correspondence became more despondent until he was forced to admit defeat. I asked what he had lost, and was told his only complete collection of family digital photos.

I’m not sure about you, but the thought of that was quite confronting.

While I have a regimented backup regime at home across 3 different devices, they are in the one location and at risk from damage or theft. I spent the time I would normally be playing EVE this weekend procuring somewhat robust USB keys, and copying the family photos, videos and music collection to them. I will leave them with my parents the next time I visit, and update them once or twice a year. I’ll have four backups now.

ehimg461

While RAID technology is a given in the business environments I support, I never use it at home. For the last 20 years I’ve seen it fail more often and more ruinously than just straight configured drives. Don’t even get me started on the privacy and reliability of Cloud services!

I have still been playing EVE – although as mentioned not so much this weekend. My loot container value is now up to 650M, which means I’ve earnt 100M a week since I last looked at its value at the end of May. All I am doing is logging in every day or two, poking my nose out of my home station, and probing down and running sites that happen to be there. If there is nothing I’ve gone and done some mining. It still amazes me how much you can amass over time with relatively little effort, just by clicking on that undock button.

CCP’s recent Drifter summary blog was worth a read:

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/an-update-on-the-drifters/

Mark726 from EVE Travel did a great post about the complexes now available within the Drifter wormholes, which is also worth a read.

https://evetravel.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/drifter-complexes-barbican-conflux-redoubt-sentinel-vidette/

It seems to be outside the capability of me to explore this solo – even using an Alt. I continue to enjoy this NPC arc in the game anyway.

I have found one quibble with the new icons. I find it difficult to work out what I have locked and what I haven’t in the overview. That is probably more a consequence of non-scaling the client on a 28” 4K screen than the design, but I am hoping the changes they are looking at for the 90% UI scaling players helps me too.

As Splatus (https://splatus.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/winning-eve/) points out, winning at EVE can just be finding an acceptable level of activity that fits in with real life.

Third one

I visited Jita the other day. I couldn’t remember the last time I was there – it had plausibly been months.

I picked up and fitted a Jackdaw, the new Caldari T3 Destroyer. I wanted to compare it against the Confessor as a High Sec Exploration vessel.

ehimg459

The initial quick fit I used and tested is below.

[Jackdaw, Play]
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

Coreli A-Type 1MN Afterburner
Gistii A-Type Small Shield Booster
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Domination EM Ward Amplifier
Domination EM Ward Amplifier
Scan Rangefinding Array II

Light Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Light Missile
Sisters Core Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe

Small Bay Loading Accelerator I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer II
Small Anti-Explosive Screen Reinforcer II

While the Jackdaw tanks better, in most other ways the Confessor is better for exploration. It is cheaper to fit, requires far less cargo space for ammunition, can fit a Salvager and probe launcher without impacting DPS, is quicker to change ammo, damage is applied immediately and so on.

I don’t mind the look of the Jackdaw, but I doubt it will find a permanent place in my hanger.

At least it was worth fitting and testing the hull. I still haven’t unpackaged the Svipul I purchased a while back. While in EFT that ship does a great deal more DPS and otherwise matches the Confessor, the short range of its weapons and the requirement to close up on targets means it will clearly be slower at the task of clearing sites.

During my ship testing I had time to get accustomed to the new icons. They can be a little hard to distinguish at the high resolution of my monitors, but the approach certainly provides a lot of extra information and I expect I will get used to them with time. I am not sure why some players are crying about the sky falling in on them.

Sunday Morning

The family was at church so I spent some of my Sunday morning taking photos of me playing EVE instead of actually playing EVE.  (4K screens and a 3K laptop since I’ve last done one of these.)

ehimg458

Lately I’ve been undocking in my Exploration Confessor and as the mood has taken me, cleared the sites from my local system. I throw all the collected loot into a station container to sort later. Without a notable effort, just 10 minutes here, 30 minutes there, the loot value has passed 350M ISK.

It is a reminder that – although it can be frustrating not being able to tackle anything meaty in game, small efforts can add up over time.

Passion

*Non-EVE Post*

A mate of mine asked about my plans over the next couple of weeks. I said I needed to try and fit in another Duck Hunt before the season ends, and that I had only gotten out twice this year. He said that was a pity, as he knew it was one of my passions in life.

I’d forgotten that it was.

I loved getting out into the country side hunting and fishing, but now it is something I can barely squeeze into my schedule. I was passionate about the modified car scene for years, but now I don’t even glance sideways at the note of a nice exhaust. I used to be an avid reader, but I looked at a decade old photo of my study the other day and realised my pile of books to read haven’t shifted in all that time. Photography, Role Playing Games, I’ve even been contemplating giving up EVE as I just can’t find the time to do anything worthwhile in it.

How did that happen?

I continually put effort into the relationship I have with my wife. I’m a reasonable father to a pair of somewhat difficult kids. I do more than my fair share around the house. I have become a better person than what I was 20 years ago. Why has the price of that turned out to be the things I was passionate about?

I guess the obvious answer is to be passionate about my wife and kids. I love them dearly, but frankly if I said to my wife I was going to be more passionate in our relationship her response would be “no you’re not”. The kids would also be most put out if I asked them to put aside their screens to spend more quality time with me. I guess I could turn into one of those obsessive compulsive house cleaners. My wife might agree with that option.

Alternatively maybe I should just stop chatting to my mate.

Scooped

I played around with probing using the new map the other week.  It looks nice and works reasonably well in window mode on a large resolution screen.  It was good to be able to see what was going on around you in space while scanning.  I did not like how it kept zooming out whenever I double clicked on a item to centre the map.  I haven’t checked if that behaviour has changed since.

One of the hits was a combat site whose initial rooms were all empty.  I ran through them to check if there was some trigger object left in the final room which needed to be popped to allow it to de-spawn.  To my surprise I found the faction spawn which netted me 55M ISK.  I presume a newer player had run the site but not been able to clear the final room.

Another of the sites I found during my testing was a Wormhole to Thera, which is the first one I have come across.  Nice that they are labelled that way.  I didn’t visit however as I had expensive implants in.

Finally today I pulled down my POS, which was relatively painless.  I have a few BPO which still need research, but I can just use NPC stations for that.  I am going 3 or 4 days between logging in at the moment, and am unlikely to have noticed if anyone had declared war on the alliance.  It will be the primary issue with the new structures as well – I just can’t log in regularly at the moment.

If just to reinforce how little spare time I have for myself, I just noticed my backlog of EVE blog posts to read is just about to reach 1,700.  I am just going to have to delete everything older than 3 months.

My home is my Citadel

CCP has released a little more information on their new structure direction.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/shake-my-citadel/

The first ones they are working on are Citadel class structures, which are Market and Office Hubs. The choice sounds a little strange at first, but their focus is on asset safety, protection, and a feeling of home. They are fortified bunkers equipped with weapons.

Within the Citadel group, they will begin with Medium (Solo / small groups) and Large (Corporation / Small alliances) versions first. They suggest what sort of armaments will be able to be fitted, and remark on what will be useable in Hi-Sec, and what won’t.

It is certainly an interesting concept, and I am guardedly enthused.