Lag and salting the earth

Somehow I get to do the kids morning routines and then watch them every weekend morning while my wife sleeps in. This might sound like I’m nice – but it is closer to being foolish given I watch the kids most mornings on work days, public holidays, when my wife has a day off, or when I have a day off. From what I understand when I dare raise this inequity, she has forevermore got the right to sleep in because she breastfed the kids overnight or something.

Anyway – on the weekend I will log into EVE, but I don’t tend to undock or do much until my wife finally gets up. Today was no different.

When I logged into my Null home there was another pilot in system who soon docked up.

They remained docked up for quite some time, but I paid them no attention while I busied myself with real life interjected with a quick check of contracts here, and shuffling some supplies there.

At some random point I decided I would undock in an Astero and sit cloaked in space, ready for when I could do something (which was to check for wormholes). The other pilot was still in station at the time. After clicking undock there was an abnormally long blank screen, during which I could hear some odd client noises then the low shield warning. The client finally returned to me and I was scrammed and quickly heading towards death. I clicked on dock, damage control and overheated my repairer, and was accepted back into the station with a slither of hull left.


I’m not sure if the guy was just lucky, or had sat there with his finger over the undock button for a considerable amount of time – but he had managed to undock his Svipul, lock and start shooting me, between the time I hit undock and saw space.

I had my Alt logged off in space in a Falcon and plenty of PVP ships in the station, however I was mindful of my son downloading a 6GB game off Steam – which I assume caused my long undock delay – so I remained in station.

Again – at some random and fairly long time later once my family had left for Church, I logged my Falcon Alt in. Within 30 seconds the other pilot had undocked in a Cynabal to sniff around.

Very lucky indeed.

I looked at his killboard and checked out the ships he usually flew. Most were actively tanked. I checked the motely mix of ships I had collected so far, but they were only stock standard buffer fits. I am not very good in PVP situations, especially if I am trying to dual box. My Alt is a get out of Jail Card, not a part of a hunting team. I could probably undock in one of my cruisers and drag him off station – then uncloak the Falcon. Given the speed of his ship (which he had kindly showed my Alt when flying around) and the fact he actively tanks, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that I could both tank and then kill him before he docked or managed to kill both of us off.

So I gave the guy game content – by leaving my accounts logged in while I started to wrap Christmas presents. He remained docked.

Later still I had to go Christmas shopping, so I logged my Alt off and left my main docked. Many hours later I returned and when I remembered I was still logged in, I found he was too. I left my account there and headed off to do housework. Now I am watching the cricket and running around on another Alt. My account is still logged in, as is his.

I can imagine some of the bloggers I read jumping up and down and saying here was a golden opportunity – someone willing to fight! I should have taken it – especially as I wouldn’t have known the outcome.  Instead I’ve gone the passive aggressive path.

I expect this is not the pilots normal pattern – and I assume like me, he is AFK thinking he might be impacting my play while – like me towards him, not doing so.  I suspect we will both still be docked when downtime comes around.

In the meanwhile I re-checked each of the carrier options and then  picked up a full set of BPC’s to make an Archon Carrier.  I’ll move them down to Null and very slowly over time make the bits and pieces as I get the materials.  I am not too convinced that I’ll succeed, but we shall see.


I finished bookmarking the entire Null Sec constellation, aside the belts outside of my home system. The place is quieter than expected, and I’ve had plenty of opportunity to be out in space doing things.

I grabbed a 6th Hull off contract – a PVE fit Cerberus. After the task of collecting it was done, I did some initial belt ratting. I don’t do that to earn billions, but just as something extra to fill time. I’m not sure how the Cerberus will handle the combat sites – I will have to experiment. I just need more appropriate ammo first.


Looks kind of cool with all its launchers

The system I grabbed it from housed a lot of pilots from one of the three main alliances I see moving around. It would appear to be their main constellation. It was a reminder again about how my position in my new home is tenuous. All it would take is some 500-man alliance to move in, and my fun will be over.

I should probably get a carrier down there – so that if forced to move, I can do so easier. I actually think the region should always hold quiet pockets, but I might at times have to move between constellations. I think Dotlan said my carriers are currently 8 or 9 jumps distance, including moving through some well-known choke points. I might buy something more local – or maybe even try to build one for myself.  I’ll have to think about it – that would keep me busy for a while.

After a recent comment I’ve taken to monitor the Thera Wormhole connections in case something opens up in the area. EVE Scout maintain a rather cool list and map here:

So far there has been nothing. I wonder if it is camped as much as it was in the early days, or if it is “relative safe”.

I’m not sure what I will be able to get up to this weekend. I scanned down the entire constellation last night but only found 2 Wormholes (a c5 and a c6) and 2 combat sites. Not much to initially play with.

There were some locals actively out hunting the area last night – although not apparently aligned with the main groups. They (although it probably was one person) were flying a Daredevil and a Kitsune. That would be a frustrating combination!


A ship I am using in the pocket which will also frustrate some

There has been a hell of a lot of interesting things to link to or report on, but I’m not getting those posts finished. I’m spending more time playing than writing at the moment. CCP released another Scope video which advances the citadel storyline and was cool:

There was another one the other day about the new destroyers:

They also outlined how the ships will get dirty and how you can clean them (plus the killmarks, which isn’t likely to inpact me, aside appearing on other player’s hulls). I think the technology is pretty cool.

The last o7 Episode (11) is also available here:

It was an odd episode which said a lot but little at the same time. Best go over to the EVE Update sites for the quite substantial list of changes coming in December:

13 new hulls alone is notable, along with plenty of visual updates such hit and module effects, the kill marks and hull wear and rust as mentioned above, missile disruptors and more. The next iteration of the Crimson Harvest will also start – called Operation Frostline with new twists, more variety, and loot drops never seen before.

I read someone seriously complaining the other day about the lack of changes CCP is making to the game.

Power of the mind

A first cousin once removed of mine has gone into Hospital for the last week or three of her life.

I don’t recall meeting her in person, but I was aware of her cancer diagnosis and battle through news passed on by my father.

I certainly feel empathy for the young lady, her daughter, immediate family and friends, but I am not close enough to that part of the family to carry painful grief.

My father is quite depressed about it – but he wallows in how unfair life can be. I try to follow my Mother’s lead – the pragmatic view that life isn’t fair, and you just deal with what you are dealt to the best of your ability. She has practiced that mantra all her life. I don’t recall her ever complaining about her lot, even when she had her own battle with Breast Cancer. She just accepted and moved forward.

I was speaking to my father earlier on the phone and he gave me the latest update. The young lady in the final stages of her life has an intellectual disability, and has struggled to really comprehend the futile path her treatments had taken or her impending death. The view is that the only thing keeping her alive right now is her unadulterated fear of dying.

I’ve known terminally ill people who lived for special birthdays or events, then slipped away quickly afterwards. I’ve known a few elderly people who have simply decided they had had enough, gave up on life, and slip away after varying lengths of time. The power of the mind is amazing.

At the moment the lady is suffering lots of mini-strokes as her blood breaks down and clots. If one of these impacts the part of her brain linked to the fear she is gripped by, she will likely quickly die as her spirit relaxes.

Each time I’ve read something on the Goon / Endie / Xander / Truth or Troll topic, I keep coming back to thinking about that young lady. The noise of the EVE megalomaniacs is interesting and amusing, but it is just not important enough in life to get worked up over.

Double Clones

I ended up purchasing 5 hulls off contract, all in the same location 3 jumps from my Null Home. A couple Recon’s I collected the other day, a couple Cruisers, and a Mining Barge. I collected the two Cruisers a day or two later without mishap. The Barge will have to wait for me to be in the mood for such a move.

I then went about the task of getting the important second clone down into Null for my Main Toon. I clone jumped out to Hi-Sec. I had initially planned to use a Covert Ops, but instead decided to use a Viator. I worked out the fitting changes I would use for the 5 contract hulls, and threw in some extra ammo and such, and set about flying it all back to Null.

As I made my way through Hi-Sec I used Dotlan to check the statistics for the Low and Null Sec areas I would be passing through. Snuffed Out had a recent Black Ops drop in the pipe, and Rote Kapelle was noticeably active, although not specifically in the systems I would be using.

Feeling a little uneasy, I forged ahead anyway. While I have only completely bookmarked around a third of the route, most of the other systems had rough safes setup between the gates. Using these I was able to pause where required and D-Scan out-gates before warping on top of them, including for one system which was unexpectedly housing the Rote Kapelle gang I had noticed on the Killboard via Dotlan. It took longer than my previous trips, but in the end I managed to dock up safely.

I still need to grab that Barge. I also need a couple Covert Ops, an extra scouting interceptor, plus a handful of small PVP hulls, a PVE ship (probably two) capable of handling the local combat sites, some more supplies, and I also need to consider if it is worth getting a Carrier down here to help move stuff around. Should keep me busy for a while.


I forgot how much work trying to do anything in Null-Sec is when you only have yourself to rely on.

I picked up a number of hulls off contract, including a couple recons. (After a conversation request from the seller, it turned out he was redeploying and not wanting to move all his assets.) They were not perfectly fit, but gave me options in how I might respond to hostility. They were located only 3 jumps away.

In High-Sec I would just undock in my Pod and fly over and collect them, or I might take an Orca to move them all in one go. I would then refit them from my spares or run over to the nearest trade hub and pick up what supplies I needed. The whole process would be quickly over and done with.

Flying around Null Sec in a Pod is not ideal so I figured I would use shuttles to reach the other station. There were no shuttles however for sale nearby. I managed to remotely buy some blueprints and a stock of Tritanium, and kick off manufacturing some in a neighbouring system.

While those jobs were running I went off in a cloaky ship to bookmark the route between my system and the purchased hull’s location. This involved at minimum a perch bookmark 200+km away from each inbound and outbound gate, and a safe or two carefully placed to cover as many of the gates in D-Scan as possible. This process took a while but allowed me to get a feel for what pilots were moving around the pipe, what they were flying, what their Killboard looked like, and so on. I don’t have an Intel channel to monitor and I can’t rely on pre-existing standings to tell friend from foe, so this sort of reconnaissance is important.

Finally, when all that was done and I was comfortable with how quiet the area was, I collected a shuttle then went and picked up one of the hulls. I rinsed and repeated the process to collect the second hull, but still have a few more to grab when I have time. (I actually needed to wait for more shuttles to come off the assembly line.)

Now I need to carefully consider their fittings, see if I can scrounge anything on the local markets, and then make a shopping list for what I need to bring down from Hi-Sec. Bringing those spares down will likely be an even bigger job.

Of course I could have just flown my pod over to pick up the ships, and I could just settle with how they are fitted. But that will mean I will be playing EVE relying on luck instead of skill, which frankly doesn’t sound appealing.

Something else I have noticed – aside the need to concentrate more, is that I now generally have both my accounts logged in at the same time again, and my Alts are getting a work out. I guess I don’t just have myself to rely on – I have some imaginary friends too.


I finished bookmarking the Null Sec constellation I am basing out of, and started to make use of some of its resources, primarily (given the ships I have available) running Data and Relic sites


The Null Sec mini game requires a bit more concentration

The vibe of the place remains good. There are three main groups I’ve observed, none with strong PVP stats. I haven’t noticed any hunting for me yet, although from their Killboard histories they would take an easy kill if I offered one up to them. I don’t plan to “shit in my own backyard”, so to speak – so at this point any aggression from me will only be retaliatory.

I’ve seen a handful of traditional pirates checking the area over, but not many. I’ve also seen various enemies of the CFC / Imperium active in one of the pipes, and a few different pilots moving capitals through. Overall however it looks promising as being the quiet little corner of unsafe EVE I’ve been looking for.

I have been surprised at the number of Interceptors flying around. It means I am more likely going to get caught on a gate at some point or another, but it also means I’ll more likely be able to fend one of those off.

It may sound dumb – but I did find an issue with how I had set up the various windows on my EVE client. The Overview was on the far right side of the window, and the local chat channel on the far left. Running at 3000×1800, I found watch the overview closely meant I wasn’t seeing changes to local out of the corner of my eye.  That is dangerous in Null.  I’ve experimented with moving all the windows to the same side of my client. I’ll see how that works in practice.



Yet another change to my client layout

A short mad rush

The game client selects a route of 25 jumps from my Home system to the new Null Station I am basing out of. 17 jumps through Hi-Sec, and 8 jumps through Null.

Instead I’ve been taking a 34 jump route, with 21 jumps through Hi-sec, 6 through Low, and 7 through Null.

The longer route is – in theory, the somewhat safer option. It trades a couple dangerous bottle necks for statistically somewhat less dangerous bottlenecks, and has more systems with multiple entrance gates, making them somewhat less likely to be camped.

For as much as I might carefully consider these options, in the end the success of my travels comes down to a not insignificant proportion of luck. What other players are in the pipe, what are they flying, what are they doing, and where and how exactly our paths cross.

After getting my Alt into the new system in a scouting Interceptor, I poked around for a day or three getting a feel for the location. It appears that during certain time frames I will often have the place to myself. Even on weekends, with more care, I should be able to get out and about and do stuff. Deciding it looked good, I jump cloned back to Hi-Sec.

Next I grabbed a Probe Launcher fitted Stealth Bomber and flew it through the pipe to the new Station. This gave me the all-important second clone in the location.


Heading towards the pipe

I scanned down the signatures in the local system across a couple of days. On my third session I happened across a wormhole to a low sec system, only 10 jumps from my Home system, 2 Low-Sec and 8 Hi-Sec. This was a golden opportunity to move a few ships in.

First came my Main with an Asteo, then my Alt grabbed a Falcon (sorry ECM detesters, but when you only have yourself to rely on, ECM gives me bang for my Alt buck), and finally my Main returned with his Wormhole Loki. By this time, it was already well past my normally late bedtime, so I called it quits.

I don’t have proper PVE or Mining ships yet, and I need a cloaky hauler, but the variety of scouting and scanning ships I now have is a good start.

As with my travels up and down the pipe, my time in this location will very much be at the whim of other players. If a large corporation or alliance decided to move into the area there is nothing I can do about it. I was forced out of the home I tried to make for myself in Low Sec Genesis when a large pirate group active in my time zone relocated to the same systems. This new area is at the arse end of Null value, so with patience I think most groups of note will move onto better areas. I will just have to wait them out.