Throwing down the Gauntlet

I’ve had a couple multi-regional sessions searching for Blood Raider Gauntlet sites, both with 40+ Hi-Sec jumps, and both only resulting in a few sites found. I’ve had more luck just finding them in my home system when I happen to undock.

Almost every site I’ve run has ended up being contested, which is not really the way I like to do PVE. The Zealot I set up a week ago however has worked out well. It has no problem tanking, no problem quickly taking down the rats, and so far, no problem beating the drone boats (mainly Gila and Ishtar) to the Blood Battlecruiser kill for the loot. Lasers for the win.

While it has been running the normal sites haven’t been hammered as much, so I’ve been able to run more of those than usual.

I expect CCP’s statistics should show this PVE event has been a success.

I’ll get back to the Caldari Epic Arc once the event wraps up.

Meanwhile I plonked an Alt down into another low sec area, to make bookmarks and flag the local pirates as negative contacts. On and off I’ve tried finding some quiet low-sec backwater where I can do a little mining or run sites for something different. I’ve only spent a few hours there but I suspect it will be too busy. In fact – Low-Sec as a whole has been much busier over the last year or so. I only need a semi reliable 10 minutes here and there of peace to get something done, but that doesn’t look promising.

I’ve even done some half AFK mining this week.

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I continue to keep myself amused.

I am not crying

Generally, this blog has an unashamed emphasis on Solo Carebear play. With CCP’s recent and ongoing focus on EVE Null Sec, I am going to be regularly remarking about the lack of impact various Dev blogs will have on how I play the game.

Do not mistake this for melancholy or bitterness. They are just observations. I am not crying; I don’t have an inflated sense of self-importance or entitlement when it comes to EVE.

I will also be remarking on how I am not entirely enamoured with some of their directions and changes. I am ok with that. My overriding feeling is that I am pleased CCP has the fortitude to continually try and improve their game. Making a mistake with the best of intention is better for the game than stagnating impotence.

Building your new homes

There is quite a detailed blog about the manufacturing of the new Citadel structures, including their ingredients and BPO costs.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/building-your-citadel-one-block-at-a-time/

To get an Extra Large Citadel BPO will cost an eye watering 700B ISK. Yes, seven, zero, zero. Even the 6B ISK for a Medium Citadel BPO is a noteworthy investment for smaller groups, and that does not include costs for the structure components, new rigs, fuel bocks, service and structure modules.

I assume some of the costs will be allayed if the POS and Outpost related BPO’s are refunded for ISK.

I had kind of forgotten about the huge impact this change would have on all the industrialists, and just how much content it will add to their games.

The costs however suggest that we won’t be seeing an initial glut of X-Large Citadels being planted around New Eden. Or maybe I will be wrong – I could be underestimating the wealth of Alliances outside of the top tiers.

Capital Rework Goals and Concepts

Goodness – three posts today.  Lots of things to think about with EVE at the moment.

The first Dev Blog giving a high level overview of the Capital Ship rework has been released. It will be the first of many.

http://community.eveonline.com/news/dev-blogs/reworking-capital-ships-and-thus-it-begins/

I am not going to summarise the Blog – it is best if you have any interest in EVE Capitals that you go read it yourself, or check out one of the many summaries already available elsewhere (such as those at https://www.themittani.com/ ). I am just going to contemplate how it impacts my solo play.

I have two Carriers and a Rorqual. They exist to allow me to move assets around Low Sec or maybe NPC Null. I haven’t considered using them however since the Jump Range nerf. It was dangerous enough moving capitals solo before that change.

I was hoping that there would be new interesting and unexpected game play options with the capital rebalance. I wanted an excuse to undock in them again – even as a solo player. While the changes are wide ranging, they are mostly around combat, tactics, fleet compositions and such.

My carriers will certainly be less useful. I’ll have to wait for the stats to be released. Now that all the capital hulls will get Fleet and Ship Hangers, I’ll have to check if there is a better one to use as my go to moving van.

I can understand the change to limiting capital remote repairs to only work properly while the Force Auxiliary Capitals are in Triage. It is an interesting tactic to put a limit on the effectiveness of capital remote repairs to how well those new ships can self tank. It should in theory result in more ships dying in big fleet combat. I’m not sure how that will play out. In some cases, those on the losing side of a battle might come away happier if having at least bloodied the opponents nose. If you are almost always guaranteed to loose ships however, some might be less enamored with the idea of large scale fights.

I can understand the idea behind not allowing refits when you have a weapons timer. It does seem to punish smaller groups more than the larger ones, who can simply bring more ships to cover more scenarios. But then I realised with all the weapon changes CCP is bringing, the very best of those small groups will soon find the next killer Meta, which the big groups will then copy, and then CCP will nerf it. So the cycle should continue.

Having Supercarriers and Titans have an innate warp strength of around 2o to 50 is a very interesting idea, although with the ability to hit sub capitals harder, the end result might be less supers destroyed. Then again being able to be jammed on occasion might offset that. Again it will be interesting to see how that pans out.

Overall if you use capitals regularly now, there should be a wide range of new fitting choices, tactics, and unique combat related special abilities to keep you interested. If you don’t currently have a use for them, you probably still won’t.

EVE Vegas 2015 Keynote

I linked to this below, but it warrants repeating.  The official video of the Keynote at 2015 EVE Vegas is available here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-M1iB0ffxc

It is just under an hour long and is worth watching.  CCP did a pretty good job of giving an overall summary and context to the next EVE expansion.

34 minutes in, Torfi Frans Olafsson (the EVE Universe Creative Director) remarked on how awesome he thought the direction was that EVE took with these changes.  They follow the core design philosophy of player driven emergent gameplay, with totally unknown outcomes for both the players and the developers.

I’m not so sure the outcome is unknown. There are still only a very small number of groups in the game that can reliably defend their citadels from the likes of PL.

I foresee a version of the Wildebeest migrations in Africa, feeding Lions and Crocodiles. I suspect the only protection most Carebears can hope for is that there are so many of these anchored that the carnivores simply can’t gorge themselves on an appreciably high enough percentage of them.

I hope I’m wrong.

It was also somewhat expensive to watch – I ended up putting in an order in for a hardcopy of Andrew Groen’s Empire’s of EVE book.

BB68 – The Hermit Cave

BB 68 – How do you play your important internet spaceships game? On a laptop, 12 monitor setup, 50” TV, amongst the family or locked away?

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I live in Melbourne, Australia.  Unsurprisingly I play EVE in a Hermit Cave. My study door is kept closed to dull the noise from the family and keep the cats out. When I play I hunker down behind a couple large screens and attempt to hide from my reality and responsibilities.

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My desk is positioned to allow me to watch TV while playing EVE, and to split my attention between the screen and my wife when she pops her head through the door. Well – that was the intention. It sometimes works if she is just asking if I would like a cup of tea. More often however she appears to order me to do something out of my study, or she comes and stands next to my desk, forcing me to turn the chair to face her. In both scenarios I can’t watch my EVE session. If it is not her, it is the kids. As such I generally prefer to play EVE when I am the only one home, or everyone else has gone to bed.

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I run EVE on a custom built i7-3770, with 32GB Ram, SSD, Dual GTX 680, Dual Samsung 28” 4K Monitors and Windows 10. I generally use Logitech game keyboards – currently the mechanical G710+, and Steelseries Mouse.

When travelling or as a backup, I run EVE on a MSI GS60 3K Ghost Pro laptop, which has an i7-4710HQ, 16GB Ram, SSD, GTX870M, 15.6” 3K Screen and Windows 10. I can use my desktop keyboard and mouse to control the laptop via Stardock’s Multiplicity, so can use that as a third screen.

Neither are cutting edge anymore, but can run both my accounts (on the desktop in a 3000×1800 window) without issue.

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I find EVE a frustrating game to play if I get interruptions. It is much more immersive when I can cocoon myself away, open my clients, open my EVE tools such as Excel, EFT and DOTLAN, and just lose myself in it. I suspect if I had more social interactions through the game that this sort of setup might be less important, but as it is, it seems to help me enjoy my solo style of play.

My study is my equivalent of a man cave. While I don’t spend as much on technology as I did before kids, the room is set up relatively nicely.  My wife generally takes the view that as I work from home and can spend 12+ hours a day in the room, it is appropriate to spend money setting it up properly.  I don’t go crazy with my purchases, but over the space of 15 odd years it has slowly been upgraded and improved to the point where it is a nice place to spend time.

Other Blog Banter posts  on this topic can be found here.

Blood Zealot

Given the competition in Blood Raider Gauntlet sites I wanted to swap to something not drone based. Just to fly something different, I put together a Zealot to use in the sites.

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[Zealot, Blood Raider Gauntlet]
Damage Control II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Corpum C-Type Medium Armor Repairer

10MN Afterburner II
Stasis Webifier II
Tracking Computer II, Tracking Speed Script

Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II

I tested it against some standard anomalies, including Drones which can be troublesome for Medium turrets to hit. It handled everything without issue, aside the lock times being a little long.

I then set out to find some Blood Raider Gauntlet sites to run. I aimed for quieter systems off trade routes, and spent more than 90 minutes travelling across Domain and Tash-Murkon, in the end finding only 3!

One was uncontested, and the Zealot cleared the site and collected the loot in exactly 5 minutes. The second site was contested, with a Dominix Battleship sitting at 15km from the gate but with the Frigates cleared. I could have easily flown past him and into the final room, but I left the pilot to it. I returned a few minutes later after checking out a couple dead end systems and noticed the site was still on overview and the Dominix wasn’t on scan. Not sure what happened there, but I looted the site anyway. The last site I started by myself, but had an Ishtar join me. I managed to win the race for the Blood Battlecruiser and collected the loot from that site. Lasers trumped drones.

So it is certainly a workable hull. I might keep it until the blood event finishes.