Pushing It

The Phantasm is working out well, although the drops from the faction spawns I’ve managed to find have been universally poor. The hull however is definitely going to be a keeper.

I’ve finally got around to starting the process of offloading some of the spares generated from my hull consolidation efforts. I was running goods from my home station into the nearby trade hub in a T1 hauler, and frankly got lax. I followed a repetitive pattern and let the value of what I hauled in each run increase to the point where it exceeded 300M ISK. I landed on the station and had a longer pause than usual while my docking request was processed, which allowed a Tornado to lock me up.

I don’t know whether or not they would have rolled the dice on getting a profit out of the gank. The character I was using has a reasonable bounty on it, which might have skewed the equation against me. As it was the hauler probably docked before they had enough time to decide. I chastised myself for my lack of caution.

Out of the game I took an opportunity during the Boxing Day sales to replace the laptop I use as a backup to my desktop and while travelling. The new toy has a 15.6” screen with a 2880×1620 resolution. EVE looks nice on it, but I am going to have to play around with scaling and font sizes to make it more useable.

Spikey

(Merry Christmas everyone. I wrote this the other day, and am just using a quiet moment as the kids are busy with their new toys to polish and post it. Hope you are all having a great day.)

I did something unwise. I spent several hours ignoring the wife and kids and undock in EVE.

Attempts were made to interrupt me regularly, but I pointedly ignore them. My son took that in his stride; with some give and take my daughter adjusted her usual routine to mostly accommodate, and my wife – well she starts with glaring and moves on towards seething.

Bugger the consequences, I had hit a brick wall hard and was in desperate need of some downtime.

I looked through my EVE To Try list, and settled on trying to use the new in game map to purposefully navigate, and play around with a Phantasm fit. I wanted to try using it to zerg High-Sec Anomalies. The idea is simple enough, you clear each site as quickly as possible looking for escalations and faction spawns before moving on to the next one.

My first fit I played with is this one:

[Phantasm, Play 01]
Damage Control II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II

Federation Navy 10MN Afterburner
Federation Navy Stasis Webifier
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution Script
Large Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 150
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Focused Medium Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Radio M
Focused Medium Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Radio M
Focused Medium Beam Laser II, Imperial Navy Radio M
Salvager II

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer II
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer II

Hobgoblin II x3

The Phantasm did a stellar job chewing quickly through the sites and was quite fun. I would just warp in, remain unmoving and single shot most things between 5 and 55km. Lock times were fine and I did not have to use the shield boost once.

While I don’t usually run them, I did test the ship against a drone site and found that was a bad idea. Even with the web the medium turrets could not hit the drone frigates without having to resort to manual flying and moving away from the spawn points. I’ll go back to ignoring those sites while flying this ship.

I went through 10 odd systems and ran 25+ sites in quick succession, getting two faction spawn and two Sansha Command Relay Outpost escalations into Low sec. I ran one of the escalations but the 1M ISK loot barely covered the cost of the drone I lost doing it, and I decided against doing the second one which was deeper into Low Sec. I also came across one of those “Unidentified Structures” which was half interesting to see for the first time. Overall ISK wasn’t great, a bit over 20M for my efforts – but this sort of thing is hit and miss on the rewards, and is more of a side line distraction.

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The Phastasm in the Unidentified Structures site

I might keep that ship in my hanger.

While the new map looks great, in the end I had to resort to a Dotlan printout. I headed off in a direction I had not been before, and I just couldn’t get a wide and clear enough situational awareness at the constellation and regional level. It was however good for the immediate one or two jumps.

Overall it was a successful session. Now it is time to work out what it cost me with annoying my wife.

Select All

There was a security blog released a few days ago.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/holiday-greetings-team-security/

Reading through it I had a double take at this:

“You may not use your own or any third-party software, macros or other stored rapid keystrokes or other patterns of play that facilitate acquisition of items, currency, objects, character attributes, rank or status at an accelerated rate when compared with ordinary Game play”

I have used Gaming Keyboards with special programmable keys for many years, and am currently using a Logitech G710. I have used them in the past to active a rack of weapons (before you could group them) and turn on active tank modules. CCP had in effect said this was ok in various places, but from January 1st that changes.

I checked and there are (only) two keyboard macros I use all the time in EVE. One for [CNTL][A] (select all), and one for [CNTL][W] (close). These are functions I use for my day to day computing, and were not set up for EVE. They are so entrenched in my mind that I touch type the G5 and G6 function keys on my keyboard to enact them. From the 1st, when I tap G5 to select all the objects in a container, technically I can be banned.

NoizyGamer did his usual more in depth look at the Security Blog here, which is worth a read. It seems I am right in my thinking:

http://nosygamer.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/team-securitys-final-blog-of-2014.html

I am not going to remove those macros, and I am not going to try and remember to turn my function keys off and on every time I play EVE. I seriously doubt it would ever be an issue – so why am I mentioning it? I can understand why CCP has taken this approach – it is easier and provides less of an opening for those who try to flex, bend and twist the rules. That approach however comes at a cost – it burns away a little bit of the good will in their customer base, and I never like seeing CCP do that.

Traffic and Beetles

Clearing a few short notes from my blog folder.

While this is a niche site with corresponding traffic volumes, I thought other bloggers might find the following half interesting.

I’ve been writing this blog for just shy of 4 years, and have made 620 posts. I don’t go out of my way to chase traffic for this site, but I have noticed some repeated patterns.

Averaged out I make 3 posts a week. I’d say the ideal number of posts a week for this site to maximise consistent traffic is 4, maybe 5.

I see a spike of around 50-100% in traffic for a day or so from:

. References to a post from another niche EVE blog
. Linking a new post on Twitter

I see a spike of around 100-200% in traffic for a day or so from:

. References to a post from a mainstream EVE blog
. References to a post on EN24
. Linking a new post on Twitter which someone of note favourites or retweets
. Posting a Blog Banter

I have seen a spike of around 1000% in traffic for a day or so from when someone linked to a post on reddit.

I see almost no increase in followers or average daily traffic after any spike. That has just happened over time.

 

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The new blackbird model reminds me a lot of a flying Australian Christmas Beetle.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_beetle

We used to have thousands of them arrive each year around Christmas and decimate a number of Gum trees in our front yard. You could actually hear a humming munching sound if you stood quietly under one of the trees. I would spend hours in a deck chair shooting them out of the trees with an air rifle, or out of the air with water pistols, or one of us would climb a tree and shake a limb while the rest of the kids ran around belting the beetles out of the air with tennis rackets when they became dislodged. Between the kids and the effort of our dogs, our lawns would end up covered in half consumed leaves and dismembered beetle bodies. In hindsight it was rather macabre, but I guess my parents were just glad to have their 4 kids kept amused for so long during the school holidays.

Speaking of Recons, the initial suggestion of the Recon rebalancing is now available:

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=392798

I love Recons, but I am not quite sure those changes make them interesting enough.

EVE-O Preview

Nosy Gamer posted about the EVE-O Preview software earlier today:

http://nosygamer.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/playing-with-eve-o-preview.html

I hadn’t heard of the tool before. Its main function is to provide you resizable preview windows of your EVE clients. This can be useful if you log in more EVE Accounts at the same time than you have screens. With careful positioning and sizing of the preview windows, it can allow you to maintain situational awareness across all of your logged in characters. It could also work very well for static scouts, keeping half an eye on autopilot trips, mining on secondary characters and so on.

A secondary function is that it can reposition your EVE client on the screen based on who you log in with. It took a little effort to log in every character and position their screens just right, but I set mine up so that my Secondary Alts are automatically moved to the secondary monitor.

It works surprisingly well, and I have the sudden urge to reactivate a third account just to give me the excuse to use it. I will certainly use it on my laptop. There are a few niggles, such as it would be nice if the preview could be used to both return and minimise client windows, and the system tray icon places an icon on the task bar for the properties window, but doesn’t open it.

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Impressively the application is a tiny standalone executable of only 208 KB (as at version 1.16.0.0). It doesn’t seem to use much in the name of system resources, and hovers at around 12-13MB of memory use.

The EVE Forum thread for the application is here:

https://forums.eveonline.com/default.aspx?g=posts&m=5283579

The download page is here:

github.com/MakariAeron/eve-o-preview/releases

https://bitbucket.org/ulph/eve-o-preview-git/downloads

Thanks for the tip Nosy Gamer.

(This is not the sort of tool CCP is looking to ban in the new year.)

Xmas Gifts

CCP has released this year’s Xmas Gifts.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/happy-holidays-from-ccp-1/

Mostly just fluff, with nice recognition given to some players and events. I hope they will be added to the market shortly. It can be interesting to see the value players put on the various bits and bobs.

The most useful gift is 20 days of free multiple character training, which you need to activate separately from the redeeming system. (It also looks like it might be possible to use this to extend your subscription by 20 days, but I did not test it.)

I spent 15 minutes this morning creating and activating a training plan for that Cyno Alt / Scout I recently found couldn’t actually use the Cyno module. That small issue should be solved in about 5 days.  Now to work out how to use those 20 days on the other account.

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* EDIT – MoxNix confirmed you can not add time.

Slammed

I had a good session in EVE yesterday. It was the first day I had some reasonable downtime in a month.

It is not ideal only playing EVE infrequently, but I had already battened down the hatches so to speak and my activities are fairly well contained. I am still following various blogs and social media to try and keep up to date.

As I have remarked a few times over the second half of this year, Real Life has been extremely busy for me. It has been the sort of busy where you surprise yourself with just how much you can juggle and cope with.

A few weeks ago life got even busier. I was dumped in an impossible situation at work, and have been forced to find an extra 10 to 15 hours a week to keep a client and colleagues from drowning. On the plus side I’ve lost some weight, on the down side it has been from the frenetic pace and stress!

Now back to real life – time to wrap a present and take my son off to a birthday party.