Preparation

A few weeks ago, I went duck hunting. It was a 12-hour effort to pack, drive, hunt, drive and unpack. I went mid-week – which is not ideal if you want other hunters to be around to push up a few birds. I went out at the wrong time of day – starting around lunch when birds are not likely to be moving and coming back in before sunset, where there is a window of opportunity of catching birds moving to roost. I went out in the wrong weather – a clear windless day, which reduces the chances of birds moving. Last of all I just walked the relatively open swamp I was hunting – out in the open with minimal chance of success. I had everything stacked against me – and was rewarded with an empty bag.

As I wearily got back to my car the Warden of the private hunting property I was on drove by and tactfully pointed out I was doing it all wrong. I agreed – but said I had a very small window of opportunity to get out of the city, and a bad hunt was better than no hunt at all. He remarked that I might have had more luck if I hadn’t come in so early. I agreed – but said I had to be home to take one of my children to an activity. I then said what I was really doing was scouting for a future hunt, watching the flight paths the birds took, working out where I would setup. I recounted what I had observed, and he was able to confirm what I had thought and gave additional information about where other hunters often went, adjacent wetlands that birds travelled between, and the different behaviour of some of the common species on the swamp.

A couple days ago, I went duck hunting. It was a 12-hour effort to pack, drive, hunt, drive and unpack. I had planned to go earlier but the weather was too calm, so I delayed the trip. This delay also increased the chance other hunters would be about. I was on the road at 3:30am to ensure I arrived and was setup well before sunset. Instead of finding some random spot, I waded straight to the location I wanted to hunt in the dark, under the intersection of two flight paths I had earlier observed. I put out a small set of decoys. At this point in the season birds were weary of landing in anything but larger decoy spreads, so this small grouping was more about confidence and explaining my calls. As the sun rose the wind picked up noticeably and other hunters started to shoot. In very tricky conditions I had an enjoyable and successful hunt and came home with a good feed.

When you hunt solo like I have been the last couple of years you can sometimes stumble into a very successful hunt by chance, but mostly, it requires a lot of preparation and effort to have some semblance of success.

This playing EVE analogy was brought to you by the wild duck stew I will be eating tonight.

Failure to maintain

I was asked the other day via Eve mail how you maintain interest in EVE while playing solo. I gave the same advice I’ve rolled out on this blog over the years. The importance of setting goals, sourcing new goals, and engaging (even from afar) with the community. As I hit send on my reply I was suddenly tinged with guilt. Here was I giving advice when I no longer maintain much interest in playing EVE myself.

At the moment I am mainly playing a game of skin collecting. (What a creepy sentence.) As the Dev Blogs arrive I pay attention to the old skins being retired, the new skins being added, and the event skins that become available. I carefully go through them all looking for any to purchase.

https://www.eveonline.com/article/p9v3nb/caldari-ghostbird-skins-now-available

The latest new skins from CCP are the Ghostbird series for the Caldari hulls. I can’t say I think much of them – but that is obviously a personal view. The Crow and Raptor look ok, but not interesting enough to buy. The Manticore was to me the pick of the bunch – but I already have the Raata Sunset and Wiyrkomi skins for that hull, which I like much more.

The Bloody Hands skins do look very nice, particularly the Nidhoggur and Panther, but they come at a premium price. As they are for hulls that I rarely if ever fly, I won’t be purchasing any of them either.

Often however, I have ended up undocking and taking a trip to Jita to spend ISK on my Skin Collection.

The EVE Faction Citadels are here:

https://www.eveonline.com/article/p9usoa/the-outpost-retirement-release-is-now-live-faction-citadels-are-here

The process seemed to have gone relatively smoothly. The Asset recovery rules mean this won’t be the ruination of the game, but it was a reminder about who in EVE has power (the few), and who doesn’t (the vast majority).

I remarked a few times when this was all announced that I expected Providence to lose all its stations before the transformation, so the groups with actual power in the game could profit from them. That came to pass – although with a last-minute change of owners from Pandemic Legion (who had taken them from CVA) to a TEST based coalition. I hope at least a handful were kept by CVA aligned groups.

As a solo player I don’t expect to have any influence on anything or anyone in the game. I also don’t begrudge the success of those who through skill and effort lead the groups that are at the pinnacle of EVE. However – this reinforced what I have said before – my sense that there is a level of impotence, even futility to what most people might try to do in Null, unless it is at the bidding or permission of one of the few Elite player groups.

The “Into the Abyss” expansion is now live (just in case you were living under a rock):

https://www.eveonline.com/article/p9hn2k/eve-online-into-the-abyss-is-now-live

I read earlier (a reference I now can’t find, maybe on Facebook) that the player losses within the Abyss Dead spaces were already into the Trillions of ISK. So much so that we might see the impact on the EVE Monthly Economic reports.

I didn’t have much interest in these sites as I had initially read when you exited them you would have a suspect flag, making you attack-able by other players. CCP changed that a little – so that the Suspect Flag only occurs on harder levels of the sites (4 and 5 – if I remember correctly). This change however was offset by learning there was a hard 20-minute time limit on which to run and exit the sites via the final gate, else the site, your ship and pod, would all be destroyed. (Unsalvageable I assume.)

Not ideal for this little Hermit, who likes to take their time and enjoy the scenery, making a point of doing and exploring everything. I’ll run some lower level sites down the track, when things quieten down. It will be interesting to see in the long run what percentage of the player base use them regularly. Is this going to be yet another niche addition to the game?

My lackluster reaction is not a dummy spit in CCP’s direction. They have done what they said they would, with a mindset that has stayed consistent. I have not been enamored by where they were going but appreciate they have delivered.

The biggest drain on my EVE enthusiasm has been my wife.

In one example of this, she has managed to add even more to our family schedule, then became busy with a project at work and left most of the extra running around to me. Our current schedule for the kid’s activities is – 2 on Monday, 1 or 2 on Tuesday, 1 on Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, 1 on Friday, 2 or 3 on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday. My wife suffers working mother’s guilt – and this seems to be her solution. The time I eked out for reliable EVE play has long since been stolen.

New Fireworks

For those interested in what the new Capsuleer Dawn Fireworks (structure based) look like –

I’ve also picked up some Wings of Victory Fireworks in the current event sites, which I haven’t seen before.  (I never think to use them.)  They kind of look impressive.

Operation Conscious Interruption

Another new Event kicked off in EVE the other day – Operation Conscious Interruption.  I’ve mostly been ignoring these Events as they are too similar and generally require logging in daily to get up enough points.

This time I happened to listen in to a couple players trying to run one of the sites, but having great difficulty holding down the Loot Cruiser.  Apparently it was very fast.

This sparked a little interest, so I started up Pyfa to look at what ship I might put together to combat this.  I looked at the Cruiser hulls with Stasis Webifier bonuses – the Vigilant, Huginn, Ashimmu and Loki (with an Immobility Driver Subsystem).  In the end I flew to Jita and fitted out a dual web Loki with Autocannons and quite a beefy shield tank.

I’ve ran half a dozen sites now and the Loki has worked fine.  With 29km bonus-ed Caldari Web’s it was able to grab and slow down the Loot Cruiser.  I was also able to take it down ok with 600DPS, but to be honest I could do with a bit more.  I found I tended to overheat to get it down quicker.

Once again however I found every site I ran was contested – often by a couple people.  While I am by default courteous and warp out of active sites, I find those same people rarely return the same favour.  I know it is (a very much encouraged) part of the game, but it tends to quickly give me a case of the “can’t be farked”.

There is apparently a battleship version of the site (that maybe has to be scanned down), and I also noticed when I killed one of the frigate rats in the site that it also dropped loot.  In addition – you get negative standings with the Vigilant Tyrannos Corp, which I believe will result in more hostile reactions from Drifters.

I might try some more of the sites later – possibly by moving to quieter areas.

Neat

I finished the course I was doing.  It took up on average 25 hours a week for 6 months.  Needless to say given how busy I was before, I’ve watched very little TV and have not done much online gaming over that time.

I’ve had a week or so now with no more study to do.  Aside trying to catch up on some chores, I have binge watched half of Season One of both The Strain and Dark Matter.  I haven’t however stepped up my gaming time yet.

Rixx Javix posted on Twitter the other day an image of his EVE “Junk” container, filled with various trade goods and collectables.  In a reply to me he remarked on wishing he had the tenacity to go around and collecting everything he had laying around space.  I’m not sure tenacity is the word for it, but I thought I would throw up some relate screen captures.  I get a perverse pleasure out of seeing how people organise their EVE Assets.

Here is my Personal Assets list.  Yes – everything in the one station.

My Assets are fairly neatly sorted.

I have containers for:

  • BPOs – Researched
  • BPOs – To be Researched
  • Build Materials
  • Build Materials – Astrahus Project
  • COSMOS – BPC, Materials and Goods
  • Consume – All Spare Ammo / Drones / Drugs / Fuel etc
  • Goods – All Tags / Trade Loot / Mission Drops etc
  • Memorabilia – Game collectiables
  • Mining – Anything to do with mining
  • Sell – Loot and Spares etc to be sold
  • Spares – All Spare Modules

 

My Ship Hanger at the moment:

 

The ships and their primary function:

  • Malediction (Hauling)
  • Exequror (Hauling)
  • Occator (Hauling)
  • Orca (Hauling)
  • Astero (Exploration)
  • Confessor (Exploration)
  • Statios (Exploration)
  • Skiff (Mining)
  • Porpoise (Mining)
  • Noctis (Salvaging)
  • Gila (PVE)
  • Cerberus (PVE)
  • Zealot (PVE)
  • A Nestor (PVE)
  • A Rattlesnake (PVE)
  • Loki (PVP)

About half of those ships are rarely used.

I currently have about 25B ISK on my main – half in ISK, half in assets.

 

My Corporation has One Office.  It has no assets currently stored in it.  I used the hanger layout below when I had multiple accounts / was sharing resources.  At the moment since I am only using One character, I store everything on that Character.

 

The Corporation has four items in space – my original four Customs Offices.  These earn just enough to cover the monthly Alliance fee.  Yes – that little.

Mostly I use my Corporation to keep my ISK sorted and stored separately, to reduce the chance through a market or contract error of losing everything in one go.

Total worth across the character and its corporation and alliance is a bit over 300B ISK.

Last of all – some in container screen captures for those who like such things (they link to full images)

Memorabilia:

Part of my Spares Container:

Part of my Consume Container:

The one area I would really love to be able to sort into one location are jump clones.  I have moved most of them around my home station, but I would really love to be able to put them all in the one spot (without using a destroy-able structure).

I Suspect Not

Real life has hit hard the last month, and I haven’t had a chance to look at all the Fanfest sessions I wanted to. I did read an article on EVENews24 the other day which had a couple things about the Triglavian sites I had not noticed or been clear on.

http://evenews24.com/2018/04/21/the-triglavian-collective-and-you/

The extra bits:

. You can use T1 Cruisers, not just Faction and T2 cruisers. I suspected so.

. Warping, cloaking, refitting and invulnerable timers are all disabled within pockets. Missed one or two of those.

. If a player dies there will be no way to get the dropped modules back – so no bookmarks and warping back after the site de-spawns. I suspect that is a feature of consequence instead of a game decision. It might be a side effect of whatever they did to ensure no warping directly in or out of the sites.

. Pilots exiting an Abyssal Pocket will emerge with a Suspect time.

Ahhhh… and now the penny drops. A normal suspect timer lasts 15 minutes. It allows any player to attack you without penalty or consequence in any area of space. Given local disappears when you enter these sites, if you don’t have an Alt or friend watching the beacon point, your exit could be blindly into the waiting arms of ambush.

You can tell it is the same people pulling the design strings at CCP.

(** I have not as  yet found the source of the Suspect Flag detail to check for myself.  Black Pedro helpfully commented that it was apparently not as yet set in stone.)

There is still information required to assess the risk of these sites. What sort of ship / bling fit do you need to fly them? Can you run them in cheap throw away hulls that you don’t care if you lose? How do players know there is a beacon in space? Does it come up on the Probe Scanner window as a cosmic signature? Does it come up on the Directional Scanner? Do players looking to gank runners just have to scan down whole systems just in case someone is running one?

I’ll await the answers, but I suspect at this point I won’t bother with the feature. As a solo character there doesn’t seem to be much you can do to mitigate or lower the risk. Funny enough – the least safe place to run these will be in High Sec.  They will be safe enough to run in your null sec pockets with intel channels and friends around.

Fanfest 2018 from afar – Structures

I was glancing through EVENews24’s live blog of the Structure Presentation this morning.

http://evenews24.com/2018/04/14/live-blog-structures-presentation/

I was hoping to avoid watching this presentation when it is made available – because, well, not really Hermit topics.

The summary followed the path I was expecting – what’s been done, some statistics, the road map, what’s coming, the faction outpost conversion, fireworks for structures. None of it particularly relevant to me.

Then there was a slide shown called “Potential Future: Player Forward Operating Bases”. The suggestion was players getting their hands-on pirate-modified Upwell tech for smaller, cheaper, faster deploying structures. They would be considered for short-term use, Wormhole day tripping, expeditions into Low and Null – the sort of thing I’ve been looking for. The “Potential” bit in the title chokes off any real excitement, but this is something I would really like to see and would use. It was something I was doing with Small POS in the past, and felt the current available Structures failed to provide a similar function.

There was also a cryptic slide / comment about the possibility of the Observatory Structure impacting Local Chat. Something a roving Hermit needs to be aware of. And there was also something about what would be happening to the POS related BPO, which I have a collection of.

*Sigh* Looks like I will have to watch the presentation after all.