Man down

I dislocated the little finger on my right hand yesterday playing Aussie rules football with my son. I first dislocated that finger in a friendly football match while at University, more than 20 years ago. Since then the finger hasn’t quite moved in sync with the rest of the hand, and I’ve dislocated it more than a dozen times since – playing basketball, washing the car, just catching it on something as I walk past.

I pulled it back into place (a somewhat unpleasant task), iced it, and will leave it strapped for a week or three until it feels stronger. Having it strapped is – as always, playing havoc with my touch typing. More noticeably this time it is also impacting my EVE sessions. Running your EVE client at 4K resolution means you have to be extra precise with your mouse input, and I am now constantly miss-clicking. I am also catching my fingers on the mouse as I go to move my hand to the keyboard, sending it flying.

I’m sure I have your heartfelt sympathy.

My dalliance with the Guristas Pirates is hampered by the injury, but continues. I managed a solid 45 minute exploration session, only running into one other explorer. The incoming DPS is more noticeable with this faction – I hit half armor a number of times in a certain site before I can kill off enough destroyers. The Confessor still chews though these sites very quickly, with some cursory examples during later sites suggesting I could do some twice as fast as some of the cruiser sized competition.

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Running a Relic, or was it a Data site?

Unfortunately that earlier exploration session was an aberration. Since then there has been heavy competition for sites. While I have found other pilots to be surprisingly courteous so far – warping out of sites you have started, getting to a site first can be very problematic. I’ve had 40 minute sessions where I did not find a single system without at least one other pilot actively doing exploration; with even up to half a dozen pilots sometimes. I am going to have to work out the quiet times, but so far it hasn’t been particularly enjoyable.

To keep myself amused during the busier times I’ve run some Cosmos missions. I can’t really afford to mess up my Gallente or Minmatar standings any further, so I am contemplating moving to one of their Cosmos constellations and run those for a while in conjunction with exploration. I’ll need to shuffle my ships around in the Orca though.

Live Fire

There was a live event in game recently which was well reported here

http://ceo.starexplorers.net/blog/amarr-live-event-725

And here

http://www.lowseclifestyle.com/2015/07/the-empress-speaks.html

On initial view it seemed more sedate than the usual live event fare, but it might have been more world shaking than it first appeared. One of the actors used an Entosis link on a Titan. While it might just be poetic license, could you imagine the impact if this became a game mechanic? Using an Entosis link to gather intel, or control some small aspect of a ship? Turn off a hardener, slow a repairer, shutdown a propulsion mode, eject a pilot from his Titan? (That last one was just a troll.) Some disturbing ideas there.

Edit – another view, this one CCP linked to on their Facebook account

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1wOqVWg1wI

Snakes along the shore

I’ve completed my 100 Serpentis anomalies and signatures, packed the Orca caravan and moved out of Everyshore.

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A rest stop mid trip

In the end from the 100 sites I had 5 Hi-Sec escalations, 2 Low-Sec escalations (not run), 7 Anomaly Faction spawns, and about 100M ISK in total from loot and bounties. (Yes, only 10M ISK gained from the last 20 sites.)

I took a short break today to fly back to my home system to ingest a Ship Skin. While there I noticed a Covert Research Facility site was in the system. I took 5 minutes to run it, earning 25M ISK. That is just the way exploration works out some times.

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The new skin

I left most of my collected loot in a GSC. I’ll return to pick it up in a Transport ship later. While the value wasn’t a gank risk, someone scanning my cargo might not have realised how worthless the collection of faction mods was. Such precautions can be advisable in EVE – as I was reminded when I flew through Uedama which was being hammered by Goonswam Catalyst pilots today.

The Confessor proved itself more than a match for the Hi-Sec Serpentis, now to spend some time with the Guristas. (Another faction I have had little to do with.) It is already apparent it might take me much longer to find 100 uncontested sites to run.

Obstacles to death

I was lowering my IQ earlier today reading the Eve Online forums when I noticed a question from Cpt Buckshot.

“So why can missiles fly through asteroids”

What an interesting idea if structures in space provided cover from weapons fire? Keep it simple, ignore other players and most objects, but allow you to use asteroids or stations to hide behind or fly around to mitigate damage.

I don’t imagine it would be easy to do, but you already collide with such objects in space so the client is aware of them.

It probably makes it easier for people to escape death, so might not be liked from that point of view. You would want to allow EW to bend around the objects, but lasers and projectiles are blocked in line of sight, and missiles would be blocked depending on their spread / trajectory. It does make drones more powerful though.

Anyway, probably lots of holes in the idea, but it stood out to me.

That will do it

A follow up on my son’s hacked Roblox account.

In response to my support email, Roblox sent a list of 8 common ways players lose access to their account. I watched my son’s face and listened to the tone of his voice as I read through them. I got a definite “Ohh” when covering in game phishing. Apparently it is common for compromised games to be scripted to pop up a pretend login dialog, or to offer surveys with free Robux rewards. I could imagine he might have been swayed by something like that.

Roblox offers a once only manual review of an account and an attempt to recover stolen assets. Given the loss was minimal, I declined. It was worth the price of entry for the lesson it – hopefully – provided my son.

The support I got from Roblox was admirably quick. It was however overly scripted, and I had to repeat a number of my questions over and over, such as how best to clear the compromised games the hacker had created on the account.

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I’m up to about 80 sites run in Serpentis space, triggering 5 hi-sec escalations, 2 low-sec escalations (not run), and 4 anomaly faction spawn. Total income has been a fairly paltry 90M ISK. As I said though, the loot gods have not been kind.

The Confessor has been brilliant, and is quite a fun little zerg ship.  It would be my favourite combat orientated high sec exploration hull.  The probe sensor strength of 75 has been enough to scan down all signatures but one so far (a particular relic site). I have noticed however that with a proper scanning ship I can normally down size my probes in steps of 2 or 3 during the scanning process, but with this confessor even a step down of 2 size grades can throw me off the trail.

As I have remarked, there seems to be constant competition for sites in the area I am operating, no matter what time of day I play. Some of that competition is, well unusual. One of the pilots I see regularly runs anomalies in a Kronos. Yes I am sure of it – I’ve warped in on him several times now over a number of sessions. Another uses a Raven. Yesterday I came across a Blackbird, although I have flown one of those before in PVE for the fun of it.

I’ll try to run another 20 odd sites before moving on to try the Confessor against a different faction.

2026 days

I lost my first ship on my Main in 2,026 days **. Not to another player – but to NPCs.

I had known what I was doing was risky, and the loss of my ship was probable, but I was in an experimenting sort of mood.

As I warped away in my pod, then salvaged my wreck, then headed off to Jita to replace the ship, I can’t say I felt particularly liberated by my actions. More slightly bemused, slightly annoyed.

I ran a Lesser Serpentis Covert Research Facility, or ghost site, in my Astero. I had the opportunity to warp away, but deliberately hung around to check how my fit handled the damage output. It didn’t.

I tanked the Secure Depot explosion ok. It did 1,773 points of damage, which was a little higher than expected given my main tank – armor, had 70% explosive resists. It was not however high enough to get into hull. What I had not expected was the high damage output from the sites Serpentis Cruiser Guardians. After the Can exploded I was hit with several wrecking blows of 200-300+ points of damage each. I only had enough time to overheat my armor repairer and zoom out my overview so as to try and pick a better transversal before it was all over.

The frigate had an EHP of 9.1K. If I had flown a little better and had a little more luck on the wrecking hits, I might have been ok. “Might have been ok” however isn’t a viable fit.

The hull and faction fittings cost just shy of 300M ISK. The salvage was about 12M ISK. That was an expensive experiment.

So my next move?

I have a new fit to try. Next time I try the site I will swap out the expensive faction modules and go for a dual armor and shield buffer tank. I know you are not meant to, but this is for this specific site. The new version has 14.2K EHP. Its loss should also only be around 100M ISK.  Should be worth a try.

 

** Checking across my Alts, I have two cyno ship loses (at 1,011 and 1,897 days ago), and one loss from NPC’s (at 577 days ago – although this was part of the new player experience and you had no choice but to die).  I don’t really count those as proper losses.

 

Out of control

My son and daughter both play Roblox. It is a sort of easy development framework that allows people to build multiplayer games, which they can share with other players. It caters for both kids and adults.

I only allow my 6 year old daughter to play as a guest. My son has an account, but has strict rules on friend requests and chatting.

While we were sleeping this morning someone accessed his account, and the following occurred:

. His password was reset
. His birthdate was changed to make him older
. The account email was changed, although this did not stick
. Any active games he had created were inactivated
. A new game was created
. 50 random people were sent messages from his account, inviting them to the new game
. Advertising for the new game was created and paid for
. A small level of resource trading was done

A couple hours later when I woke up I noticed the Roblox account warning emails, and was able to force another password change. After gaining access to the account I ensured all other session logins were invalidated, and set about reversing everything I could. I then sent a message to Roblox, and to my complete surprised had responses within a couple of hours.

I am not sure how his account was hacked / exploited. In this case his most recent password had only been used for the last 10 days. I expect he has played some compromised game – like whatever was created on his account. He might also have been tricked into clicking on a link or something in one of the game chats. He assured me he didn’t, but the reason the password had been changed recently was I had locked him out of the game for a month after catching him chatting. (While he was only trying to help someone, the rule is he isn’t allowed to unless my wife or I are watching.)

(The virus scan on his laptop was also clear. I can’t imagine anyone would directly hack / compromise his laptop over a game like that, but checked anyway.)

The whole thing has taken a couple hours out of my day and was drama I could do without. It was a reminder though on just how easy this sort of thing can happen.

One of my RL friends clicked on a link in EVE (it was in a series of joke images), and within 24 hours had lost access to his account, had everything sold off, and the ISK transferred away. He removed the key logger which had been installed on his desktop, got the account back after a week or so of emails to support, and got part of his wealth returned. It was the beginning of the end though. He lost that level of trust needed to invest in EVE, knowing how easy it was to have it stolen from him. He now no longer plays.

This sort of account hacking causes all sorts of hurt.