Tuesday, 14 April 2015

War and Peace

The corp had another hisec wardec. From my perspective it is inconsequential and not surprising. For the kill-board farmers however, a corp like ours looks too good to be true. Our Credo dictates we are a peaceful corp so in ISK efficiency terms our stats are terrible. In principle it is not an issue but to a new corp member a trade hub is like a flame to a moth. It is a hard lesson to learn. 

This in turn sparks a lively internal debate. It is natural for people to want to fight back. It is natural for people to take a wardec personally. The clinical gaming of the mechanic for easy content and kill-board padding isn't readily understood by some of the newer players. The Credo comes under scrutiny. In truth, there is no comfortable resolution and the debate will continue. But for me it is straight forward once you distinguish the difference between being peaceful and being a pacifist. Being peaceful is a behavioural choice. Being a pacifist is more of an ideology. One is a pragmatic approach the other is a dogmatic approach. I interpret the Credo as being pragmatic. I choose not to shoot. I choose to find alternative ways to interact with Eve and its players. Ways which doesn't involve them exploding.

Which leads me onto last night's fleet operation. It has become a tradition before a wardec becomes active to give some "hugs" to our adversaries. Hugs in the form of fireworks and snowballs. It was only my second experience of being in a fleet. Weapon of choice was a gratuitously equipped Corax with 7 festival launchers, a couple of hardeners for that glow in the dark effect and an afterburner. The cargo bay was full of pyrotechnics. Our targets were shy to say the least. But being explorers means it is quite natural for us to track something down. The downside is FC'ing a group of explorers is like herding cats. Kudos to the FC for maintaining his sanity. Anyway, the pursuit began and hugs were forthrightly delivered. The impression I get from both operations I have been on is the victims seem pretty embarrassed by the attention. Being a sneaky dock or gate camper is not entirely consistent with being lit up like the 4th July for 90 minutes. It certainly disturbed their gameplay and they often warped off or docked up. Their ISK efficiency spoiled for the night I retired secure in the knowledge you can conduct war peacefully.

Cuddle Wagon action

Keeping the peace

Friday, 10 April 2015


Being an explorer involves a lot of scanning with probes. I doubt you will find this to be earth shattering news. You also need right skills to do this effectively. Again not news. These can be enhanced with implants, ship fittings and the hull bonus itself. This we know. Unfortunately for me, my skills are underwhelming. So despite the Astero Hull bonus it takes a long time for me to scan a site down and some things I just can't pinpoint at all. My core skills are not brilliant either. So much as I love the Astero, I am pretty much constrained to using it for a while for without the bonus I would be an even more hopeless explorer. Now the plan was to train for Interceptors because bubbles in Wormholes ad Null are such an irritation and you can make a decent exploration fit. The logic being less travel time as you can simply go from A to B rather than bouncing off celestials to get round bubbles or going via Wormholes (more scanning!) to get your loot home. 

However a dose of cold reality kicked in last night. I found a deserted Wormhole brimming with with signatures and a static to lowsec. I started scanning and finally found a relic site. This took me about 20 minutes. I warped off to the site and withdrew my probes... and then noticed some combat probes which I had assumed were my scanner probes on DScan. No ship was on DScan even after hopping to a couple of safes but the combat probes were moving. If I had't of recalled my probes - and often I don't, then I wouldn't have noticed the hunter closing in on me. The time it takes me to scan and hack means I am pretty easy to locate - or at least predict where I go be before I even get there. A ninja I aint. I made my escape empty handed. 

So lesson learned. The skill queue has been revised, the number of probes in DScan will now be counted and Interceptors will just have to wait.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Signal Received

I am in a Corp. You might find that strange. I was for many years a solo player. I still regard myself as an independent player. But it is always good to inhabit a community that shares your interest and Signal Cartel is certainly provides that community. Signal Cartel is no ordinary Corp. It has a credo that prohibits aggression and promotes exploration as an activity. So in some ways it is more of a professional body or perhaps a Trade Union than a Corp in the traditional Eve sense. I would hesitate to use the word 'Guild' because of the WoW connection but that is sort of what it is if you think of the original usage of the word.  However, it seems to have caught the imagination of quite a few people and the membership continues to grow. Signal Cartel is part of the Eve Scout Enclave Alliance. If you have ever traveled to, or via Thera you will have likely used their services. So it is nice to part of a player driven activity that contributes to the larger Eve story. The set of circumstances that led me to send in the recruitment application were somewhat interesting. Something I will no doubt talk about in later posts.

Having joined the corp, I have enjoyed the participation and the joint sense of purpose. It houses an eclectic group of people ranging from newbros to former CSM members and Eve blogging aristocracy. All in all it has certainly enhanced what was already a good game experience. It also inspired me to indulge my musical urges such as they are. Taking the Corp motto - Can't Stop The Signal, I translated it into Morse Code and used it as the basis for a two minute soundtrack. The response from my corp mates has been pretty positive so thought I would share.

Now it just needs someone to put a video together

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Balance and Disruption

What do we mean by balance? A recent trip to Istanbul made me ponder that. A beautiful city born out of centuries of disruption, but basically a balanced modern metropolis largely at ease with its heritage.

The 1483 year old Hagia Soffia is a case in point. Built on the ashes caused by a failed insurrection, it survived the Byzantines, The Great Schism the Ottomans, and earthquakes. It witnessed the crowning of Emperors, genocide and the Sultans. Now a museum, its purpose is still a point of contention and its history is still reflected in the tensions of the region today. The story isn't over. Disruption continues. Yet when you see it as a tourist you can only get the sense of its natural presence and permanence. OK where is this going.

Perspective is all is what I am saying. What to me as a tourist seemed balanced beautiful building is actually a product of some pretty fundamental disruption. A disruption that is an ever-present. 

More mundanely, in Eve, put a Dev and a Null Sec emperor or more simply a miner and ganker in a room and try to get them to agree about game balance. It won't happen. Each are naturally seeking to influence the game's direction to defend their interests. But balance really isn't the objective. Normally, you would expect a change to be introduced with the intention of disrupting the current balance to address some perceived problem. All of which makes me wonder about the Sov changes incoming. It seems from my narrow perspective that precisely the opposite is going on here. As it stands and as an independent player, I can see no discernible change that would effect my play. I still won't be able to build or lose structures. The capture the flag game is still there. The mechanism to capture the flag may be different but it is still just as irrelevant to me as the current system. So at least from my perspective there is no consequential change or disruption. So with balance maintained, that leaves us with Blue Doughnut 2.0 as a thing doesn't it? Or is it Byzantium 2.0? It will be interesting to see.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


The first post is always a tough one so let us get this over with quickly. You will have probably have guessed I play Eve Online and this blog will occasionally reflect that experience... probably. To set the scene I had better briefly describe my relationship with the game. I am not a full on Eve player. I just happen to casually play Eve. Eve for me is a virtual extension of my man-cave or garden shed. A place to retreat and undertake bizarre projects that defy a real life purpose or explanation. In essence it is a hobby. Some people collect postage stamps. I play EVE. 

So why start writing about it? I have played it for some years now. Most of the time has been a journey of toil because of the objectives I set myself. Firstly, I like playing solo. I prefer following my own agenda however flawed, rather than having to compromise on a shared one. Secondly avoid shooting people. Explosions are fine and are essential for Eve. So I am not against it and I may even get into it at some point. But as a solo player without SRP it would be a distraction from my final key objective. Specifically, with only one account I wanted all three toons to be self sufficient and profitable. 

To cut the preamble short, I have now achieved my initial goals by doing a variety of activities. Although not rolling in ISK I have enough to prove a point (at least to me). I don't plex my account but I could if I put in extra time. But then of course it would cease to be a hobby. But this is a good time to reflect on the journey so far and to provide a bit of a commentary on the new journey ahead. Perhaps not the greatest justification for a blog but perhaps not the worst either.