Time Capsule

I am part way through the process of re-reading my entire blog. There are more than 1,000 posts – many of them quite long. It is taking a while to get through them. I am checking how it holds up as an archive / time capsule for my experiences in EVE. The blog would win no literary awards, but I am happy how it has aged and read so far.

I am taking the opportunity to self-censor a small number of my more personal posts – primarily a few where I have complained about others in my life. With the passage of time their relevance to the narrative diminishes.

I am however seeing the same common threads repeated over and over.

. The game has an allure I cannot definitively describe or justify

. I think it requires consistent, uninterrupted and flexible time to play fully

. My real life does not allow me the privilege of having such time

. I feel CCP does not understand its Solo Carebear players

. I have been waiting an extraordinary amount of time for CCP to add meaty new content that I felt was relevant or exciting to me

. In recent years I have been irritated by much of the new content CCP has added to the game that is viable for solo play. It has often been directed at encouraging conflict, and getting people used to dying, PVP style fits and PVP style tactics. CCP hopes this will cause players to abandon their wrong style of game play for the lust for combat against other pilots.

. I have made many suggestions about what I would like to see in the game – most of which I still find valid today.

. I don’t think I’ve noticed CCP coming up with any similar ideas and implementing them. Tragic opportunities to improve the game lost, or crappy ill-informed dreams that would never have gained traction?

. CCP has made a lot of mistakes that they really should not have

. The player base has acted unreasonably and alike spoilt little children when CCP make mistakes

. There are some positively foul excuses for humans who play EVE

. The silent majority of players are nicer

IX or X Clones

To start with I would just like to say that the global search is fantastic.

Now – with peace returning my first order of business was ensuring I moved a T1 Logistics Cruiser into the vicinity of my POCO.

With that done I started the process of shifting all my scattered clones around into more optimal locations. My Main has 9 jump clones plus the active one, so it has been a multi-week process to move them one clone jump at a time. It is something I haven’t managed to complete in years.

I have 3 clones with +5 Implant Sets, worth around 700M ISK each. One sits in my current home in Citadel, one in my old home in Devoid, and the last in Jita.

I have 2 clones with +4 Implant Sets, worth around 150M ISK each. One was used when I roamed around High Sec living out of an Orca, the other for missioning in busier systems. Both are now in my current home (which has plenty of stations.)

I have 2 clones with +3 Implant Sets, worth around 70M ISK each. I used these when I lived in Low Sec or NPC Null Sec. Again, both are in my current home until I have use for them again.

I have 2 clones with +2 Implant Sets, worth around 30M ISK each. These are my PVP clones. One is in my current home, another with my POCO.

The last clone is my Capital one, worth around 500M ISK. That was left sitting in a Low Sec system.

A couple clones have mining implants, a couple have missile / shield implants, and most have the Exploration AP-602 / AQ-702 / AR-802 implants (or better versions) if they have nothing else.  Aside for training, I’ve never really made the most of implants. My Main has always been a Jack of all Trades type of Toon with no real consistent set of needs.

I also adjusted the Skill Training Queue on my Main

 

And I added a couple more ships to play with.

I am still in the process of testing the Vedmak for PVE. Thoughts to come.

Censored Pulse

CCP have released a couple videos now under the banner of EVE Pulse.  It seems to be like a much shorter and sharper version of the EVE Online Show merged with In Development.  Hopefully they will find it easier to produce.

The War Dec changes – that targets will need to have a structure in space to allow the declaration – is coming in December.  I hope they add a togged for Corporation / Alliance CEO’s to turn off this protection if they want to.  (Actually – does this cover Alliances?  I don’t recall hearing either way.)  A Dev Blog should be released within the next week providing more details.

CCP provided some statistics around the use of the new Navigation Structures.  While I have no doubt their use will become widespread, the numbers mentioned suggest the Null Sec Groups only managed to replace a small percentage of their infrastructure before the POS modules stopped working.  I had read warnings that the resources would simply not be available to complete the full replacement in such a short time frame.

The show also discussed how the Audio and Graphics team uses the Agile development methodology with 2 week segments.  At the end of each two weeks they gather for a presentation where they showcase their work.  During this clip they show the presentation subjects covered with a censored block.  At one point they deliberately move the censored block partially to one side so you get a glimpse of what was being presented.

I would guess at some new Abyssal Space or Mission Structure – or less likely some new anchoring structure.

The last tweaking of my Industry Alt continues.  An added bonus of living in a backwater – there is an acceptable level of risk to use a Retriever at certain times of day.

 

The old is new again

I have started the preliminary work on reviving and recreating Alts.

EVE’s Black Friday sale did not include subscription discounts, so I paid full price to upgrade one of my secondary Accounts to Omega Status again.

I had forgotten the feeling of running multiple accounts at the same time. I’m not sure how to explain – it is sort of empowering. As I remarked before – it opens more of the game to you, and gives you more options day to day.

The first to be worked on was my old Industry Alt. I had stripped her of SP – down to approximately 8M.  She had all the skillbooks I required already in her head – just mostly at low ranks.

Her role will be to live around my old home and make use of my POCO.

I spent 4.7B ISK on Skill Injectors for 2.4M SP.  I had to remind myself over and over this wasn’t an investment in making or recovering ISK, but in increasing the fun factor within the game.  The SP helped flesh a lot of skills back up to rank III and IV, but did not get many skills up to rank V. In hindsight I was far too optimistic about that. I covered:

. PI skills to a reasonable level
. Refining and mining Crystal Skills back to cover Hi-Sec Asteroids
. Restored Trade skills to lower taxes
. Rounded out some Shield, Armor and Spaceship Command skills

I also added 62 days to her Training Queue. I have some Multiple Pilot Training Certificates sitting around from some earlier deal, so I might make use of them when I get to adding additional Alts on that Account.

I purchased and fitted a Badger and Exequror and moved them into the system for hauling, and a Procurer for mining.

So aside PI, she can dabble in some trading and do some mining when the mood takes her.

(This is the first time I have flown a Badger for quite a while. I really like the updated hull graphics.)

I created a new Corporation for her. The corporation name was easy to find – the tricky bit was getting a Corporation Ticker that had not been taken.

Last of all I moved some clones around – and once I grab some extra supplies, my new/old Industry Alt will be done.

CCP Cyber Monday Sale – DLC Packs

CCP is again offering their DLC Packs at 50% off for the next 48 hours as part of their Cyber Monday Sale.  (Maybe 47hrs as I post this.)

https://www.eveonline.com/article/pin8c3/cyber-monday-sale

You can buy these only one time each per account.  At 50% off they are particularly good value.

The biggest one – the Galaxy Pack, is $50 USD and includes 1,100 PLEX, 90 Days Omega Time, 5 Skill Extractors, 2 Multi-Pilot Training Certificates and some skins and clothing.

 

Environmental Vandal Part 3

The POCO was to come out of reinforcement in line with a school music concert my son was playing in. The concert was meant to go for an hour, and I thought if we got out of there quickly, I might get home with time to spare. I warned the Ally of my predicament, suggesting I could be late.

The School’s auditorium is rather nice – but for some reason the air-conditioning wasn’t turned on for the first half of the concert. It was stiflingly uncomfortable. My Daughter didn’t cope well with this and was quickly squirming, fidgeting and complaining loudly. She was hard work. 120 odd kids between grade 5 and year 7 then took their turns on stage. It was fair to say there was a wide range of proficiencies, but almost all of them were loud. By the end of the concert – which went much closer to two hours instead of one, my head was sore, and it was very close to the time the POCO became vulnerable.

I tried to make a quick escape – but we got waylaid by one parent, then immediately after by another. I finally pushed us through the doors, but then was immediately called back by my wife. She had somehow found my son’s Trumpet tutor.

By the time I finally got home I had a nasty headache and had missed the start of any battle over the POCO. I felt very uncomfortable at the thought people (just trying to be nice) had been delayed by me – or worse, might have tried to intervene and lost assets.

I logged in to find no War targets in system. Amongst the handful of pilots there, one was an ally pilot and another was a pilot who had a flashing suspect tag. I warped over to the POCO to find the suspect pilot parked – repping its shields. To my embarrassment I had not actually prepared for the eventuality of repairing the POCO. I had assumed there would be a fight. It had only been that day that I had looked at what I had to do to get a POCO out of reinforcement (get the shields above 25%), and grabbed a token 5 (overpriced) T2 Medium Shield Transfer Drones for the PVP ship I was expecting to fight in.

The suspect pilot was a friend of the Ally pilot in system, who had come over to help. In the end there were some combat ships on the POCO and a couple logistic ships. The shield was repped back up over 25% and the POCO made safe without contest.

The following day the CEO of the attacking Corp initiated a short conversation. He had noticed the link to this blog on my characters bio. He questioned my environmental credentials with running my EVE client for so long each day, and my sanity for spending so much time protecting an unimportant POCO.

He remarked that the POCO had come out at 2am local time for him, and he hadn’t wished to be awake to contest it. He indicated there would be no further effort against the POCO and that he would get what he needed from an owner who had stopped playing.

I suspect he also thought a different owner who wasn’t so illogical in their behaviour.

While the War Dec ran its course I halted hostile actions, and saw none in return.

I’m aware this might well seem like an anti-climactic and boring encounter – but that is fine by me. I don’t play EVE for high drama. What makes it so interesting to me is both the impact real life has on the game, and the choices you have.

Do you do anything?

How much effort to you put into it?

If you defend, what ships do you risk?

How do you fit your ships?

How and when do you move them?

What tactics do you use?

How do you react emotionally to the situation?

How do you motivate yourself?

There is just this large myriad of decisions that you make. As a solo player, while you are reacting to other players, all these decisions and their consequences are on you.

An F1 Null Sec grunt will more than likely have the tactics and timings of the war decided by others, their asset logistics covered by someone else, their ship type and fit mandated and possibly available on contract, and their losses covered if they follow the rules. I don’t say this in a dismissive way – they can experience EVE on a grandiose level with thousands of other pilots in duels that matter in the EVE political sense. It is just that, while playing the same game, our experiences can be very different.

This diversion has helped spark a little more interest in the game, and I am motivated to make some changes to how I am currently playing. I cringe at the thought of CCP exclaiming how this proves their point about PVP keeping people interested. It is instead the myriad of choices you have in the game, and it is the interactions (of all types) you have with other pilots that keeps the game interesting.

Environmental Vandal Part 2

I did not have suitable combat ships in my hanger to fight a War Dec with. I had previously worked out fittings and tactics for POCO defence and take downs, but they assumed I had two or three active accounts.

Soon after getting the Dec, I headed over to Jita and put together several hulls, the fittings in part reflecting what I knew the aggressors had previously flown. I then moved them one by one across several regions to stage near my POCO.

During this effort I passed the CEO of the Aggressor Corp flying in an Orca, but I did not notice anyone else in the area.

I managed to shift in some supporting supplies, move an Alt, and swap into a more appropriate clone before finally logging off in space, all before the war went live.

I was only able to log in half a day after the war had become active. I was greeted with one War Target in system, evenly spaced notifications from hours earlier showing one of my POCO was under attack, then a message saying that it had been reinforced an hour or two earlier. Oddly the attack had taken a rather long amount of time – suggesting only one ship might have been involved. It seemed unlikely anyone would have the stamina to stay and watch the attack for that long. With DSCAN showing an interesting hit I warped over to have a look. There – idling next to the POCO, was a War Target’s Oracle. Shortly thereafter they had been podded while AFK.

I assume they hadn’t seen my movements earlier, expected from my lack of presence and killboard activity that I was an absent player, and took the calculated risk to do an AFK takedown of the POCO. I can’t say I blame them. Not long after the pilot reappeared in local, so it was likely they had been close to returning to their EVE client. A bit of bad luck on their behalf.

Nothing was said, and the system soon cleared.

My highly detailed plan was to stay logged into the system for most of each day during the War Dec. While I expected to be AFK most of the time, I would glance at the game client when I had the opportunity to. If attacks resumed or War Targets entered the system, I’d go see what mischief I could cause. I expected the likely answer would be none, but my targets were not to know if I was about to pounce or was away doing the school run.

(I was surprised at how often I did indeed interact with the game client – and wasn’t AFK as much as I expected.)

Not long into my camping I received an unexpected message. An old eagle-eyed friend passing by noticed the reinforced POCO and offered their help. (How the hell do people see these things!?) Shortly after I had an Ally join the war.

I found that both incredibly cool and somewhat awkward.

The awkward bit was that I could not logically or economically justify defending the POCO – yet they were willing to put their own ISK at risk to do it anyway.

The cool aspect was that people would come forward to offer to help in that way. EVE is such a contradiction. You see so many loud examples of poor behaviour, that you forget how many helpful and decent players there are.

I continued to camp the system while waiting through the day and a half reinforcement count down. I only noticed one quick visit from the War Dec Corp – an in and out of a Stiletto if I remember correctly. Otherwise I was left alone – literally at times – for hours.

I have thought – and I presume mentioned here – that EVE seems to have become less and less friendly over the years. That may not be as accurate as I thought.

I had a good opportunity to really watch the system I was camping.  The out of the way backwater had a surprising amount of banter in local between pilots who were obviously familiar with each other. There was the occasional visit from suspicious looking characters, but for the most part the system housed pilots with no interest in hassling others. It was very much like I remembered and was why I liked living there.

When I moved from this system, I settled in one much closer to Amarr. The local chat was noticeably quieter and less friendly, and the visits from suspicious looking characters was more frequent.

I then moved from that system to my current home. This is close to Jita and is very convenient. The local chat however is almost always quiet. (This is despite it carrying 3 to 6 times more pilots than my last two homes.) I don’t know any of the locals.  Questions and hails go unanswered. No one says a word – likely so as not to draw attention to themselves. There are also frequent visits from suspicious looking characters. If something is said in local it tends to be either malevolent or are the tears of a victim.

It is obvious in hindsight – but the convenience of having the trade hubs nearby has diminished the volume and quality of interactions I was having with other EVE players.

After this is over, I am going to move a PI Alt back into the area.  I will also get my Main further away from Jita more often.