Showing posts with label Ship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ship. Show all posts

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Ups and Downs

As in life, in Eve you have good days and bad days. This is how it should be. If everything was perfect all of the time it would be like living in "The Truman Show". It would get stale quickly. This post should be considered in that context. Not every day has to be a good day and I have been lucky to have had an extended run of the good. But lately, I seem to have that feeling where I am the only sober person at the party. You could argue the opposite could be true and it is me that is drunk and everyone else is sober I suppose. Either way, I feel somewhat disconnected from Eve lately.

This isn't a whine about CCP specifically. Other tiresome and disappointing Eve related factors that I won't bore with you play a part. However, it is fair to say the Skill Point trading fest we have been through over the last couple of days hasn't helped if only because it has given me cause to reflect. But first to cover off the introduction of Skill Point trading. It has  has clearly been popular. If I had needed the ISK there was a killing to be made. It was astonishing what people were paying for Skill Extractors and the Plex volumes to fund this binge were not trivial if other peoples estimates are correct.

I don't know the exact Plex figures and I don't know how long the party will continue, so I can only speculate on the potential long term impact on the Eve economy. The price of Plex will be interesting though. There will be more PLEX in the economy which should in theory lead to a downward trend in price. But there is another aspect to PLEX's intrinsic value that has irrevocably changed. PLEX at its more basic level provided game time. In the past, game time was the only way to acquire skill points other than buying a character from the Bazaar. Not now though. So assuming the maths work out, you could choose to buy just one months game time plus 2 months worth of skills from the market instead. Those who Plexed just to train alts might not be doing so in the future. So possibly a reduced demand for PLEX in addition to surplus introduced by this weeks rush to get/sell skills. To be honest, I don't know how the maths actually do work out, but even if it is only notional, the intrinsic value of a PLEX has been debased by this change. If that has any real value effect at all, it wont be a positive one assuming CCP don't intervene into the market.

Meanwhile, in a bittersweet moment my two characters in training both reached level V on the respective skills they had been training for three weeks. In the past, it was a significant moment. Now it is just a notch on the bedpost that can be simply resolved by throwing ISK at the problem. It is a de-motivational feeling but I accept this is probably a minority view.

As to the future, we were given another citadels dev blog by CCP. This talked about rigs and modules for the most part but also went into details around fuelling the beasts. I am excited about these in general. But what really grates is that the medium citadels won't have market services. So essentially solo players and small corps are being explicitly excluded from this game-play aspect for reasons unknown. CCP have never justified it and the CSM member I spoke to about it never got back to me. Either they don't know, aren't allowed to say, choose not to say or are being ignored by CCP.

Sort of related to this was a translation of an interview given by CCP Seagul on Reddit. It was a very good interview and she is a fascinating person. But when she says "My role is much more making sure the players have the tools to make what they want with" well the aspiration is being selective when it comes to citadel markets. Some players will have a better toolset than others. And that is perhaps that is why I have this hopefully temporary lack of engagement. I am beginning to feel I am playing Eve despite the game and not because of it. I don't want it to be easier or harder. But I don't want to be forced or at least constrained into a particular play-style just like every other game either.

Anyway, enough of the negative, more positively I have found a new ship to play with! Vets will of course scorn it as they did my love affair with the Echelon. If you have been following, a week or so back after my ganking misfortune I ended up buying a heap of Prowlers. The more I think about it the more I think it was a buy sale put up as a sell sale. But no one has ever contacted me about it. Anyway, I am still selling these things selectively at different markets. That means ferrying them from Jita and then flying back. On the return leg I can buy something I can fly and make a quick profit in Jita. This has included things like Astero's, Zephyr's, Leopards and so on. It was then I came across a Primae.

Originally issued exclusively in 2010 way before my time. It is bonkers like the Echelon but actually useful. Well a little bit useful. But it only cost 7m ISK. I was going to sell it but since I am still perfecting my PI colony knowledge before I head into a wormhole. I thought I could use it for its intended purpose such as it is. It has a PI hold and a Command Centre Hold as well as a cargo hold. It only has four low slots. Because some opportunist is bound to think of it as a killboard trophy due to its rarity I put hardeners and tungsten plates on it so that it might hold out until Concord arrives. But it is not worth much and won't carry much, so if it explodes it won't be the worst that ever happened. In its favour, it is quite nippy and saves me dragging out the Orca. As long as I keep finding little gems like the Primea hidden away in Eve there is a good chance I will keep on playing it.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Every cloud...

I like to pretend I know what I am doing. That I have a plan and an objective. But sometimes I do wonder. The key thing I was planning on this weekend was to make some ISK. In an earlier post I described why and how I was going to do that. But then Eve happened. 

Flying my alt hauler/trader I was dipping into Lowsec from Hisec I got ganked by a gate camp. Lowsec has seemed more populated recently so perhaps I could have chosen my route with more care. But I would like to think it was them getting smarter rather than an error on my part. I've lost count of the number of gate camps I have cruised past in a blockade runner. For some reason, I wasn't able to cloak, I got instalocked and proceeded to die. PvP is a binary thing with a blockade runner. You slip past or you don't. The truth is actually I don't know why I failed this time but until there is a pattern I don't intend to put too much thought into it. I can improve the align time though so for you shipfitters out there I am now going to be running with this fit:

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Damage Control II

50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints II

Feel free to laugh. According to EFT, this gives me an align time of about 3.3 seconds which is a slight improvement on what I had before plus has the option of the MWD Cloak trick if I come across a Null/Wormhole bubble. There are a lot less hit points with this fit but if you are in the position of relying on hitpoints you are likely already dead as I found out. The Damage Contol unit is there for any smartbomb damage which has happened to me a couple of times in the past. There is scope to add a core probe scanner or festival launcher as appropriate.

All of this however is minor detail and inconvenience. The big picture was I was supposed to be making ISK and now I was down one blockade runner. Fortunately, I hadn't been entirely stupid and had unloaded the cargo before going to Lowsec but it still wasn't an auspicious start. 

So I need to buy a BR and originally aim to go to Jita to buy one thinking it would be the cheapest. It isn't. Not by a long way. But Amarr is. Too cheap infact. Someone is dumping them it seems. I need to get there fast. I really don't why but I decide too look at local Leopard prices because I heard they were fast somewhere. They are cheap too compared to Jita. I buy one. So now I am down some more ISK and still don't have a blockade runner. 

The journey to Amarr was quick and uneventful and I buy a lot of Prowlers. Mainly because they are cheap but I also need to have more in hand if I get ganked again. I then contracted Red Frog to carry them to Jita for 17million ISK (more expense!) and flew to Jita in the Leopard. I am beginning to think this could all go horribly wrong at this point so while waiting for the cargo to be delivered, I reluctantly sell the Leopard for a very good profit. The Prowlers duly arrive and I sell 4 of them in quick succession making a profit of nearly 50 million on each sale - basically the cost of 2 Prowlers I continued to sell more for a few hours and I ended up well ahead of where I planned to be.

All good things come to an end  and eventually, other traders caught on and the price dived. Having made the profit I needed I helped the price crash. It would be rude not to, So all in all a strange weekend, I got the right result I needed but it is hard to be smug because I couldn't have imagined I would have achieved it the way that I did. 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Yay Orca

This is not my comfort zone. I am going to actually talk about a spaceship for once. So for balance:
“Nearly one-quarter of all orcas captured for display during the late sixties and early seventies showed signs of bullet wounds. Royal Canadian fighter pilots used to bomb orcas during practice runs, and in 1960, private fishing lodges on Vancouver Island persuaded the Canadian government to install a machine gun at Campbell River to cull the orca population.” ― David Kirby, Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity
It was something like this sentence I had in the back of my mind when way back god knows when I started training to be a Orca pilot. Basic training only takes 2 or 3 weeks. This by all accounts allows you to become a black and yellow pinata ripe for the beating by those Hisec bad boys and girls. Its an expensive pinata too. 700 million ISK expensive. So to narrow the odds I have done a whole load more training.  This allows me to fly the following fit for travelling:

[Orca, Travel]
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Damage Control II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
500MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Improved Cloaking Device II
[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]

Large Transverse Bulkhead II
Large Transverse Bulkhead II
Large Transverse Bulkhead II

This is basically Gevlon Goblin's hauler fit plus the addition of an Improved Cloaking Device II. The cloakiness is something I will need in the future and having that skill will allow the pilot to fly other things if required. If you discount the Gallente Target Management Skills and the Medium Drone Skills then I am at Mastery III and about 20 days away from Mastery IV. I am never sure that means much but the Shield Tanking and Navigation Skills are good.

Of course if I was solely intending on using the Orca as a hauler then there are probably better alternatives. Although for now that is precisely what it will be doing, in the future I am hoping it will have a more fruitful role in wormholes (hence the cloak). For the moment it will be doing the short  paper round collecting bits and pieces from my fulfilled orders around Hisec for example. I will avoid the interhub and low/nullsec runs and use either Prowlers or Tengus for that, or Redfrog for the bulky stuff.

Well I said I would avoid the inter trade hub runs... but first I had to get it out of Jita. Jita was of course being Jita. That was fun. Remember this was a new character so I hadn't set up the overview or anything. Being bombarded with achieved opportunities, windows all over the place, camera shudder, explosions and no insta warp was a tad distracting and possibly not the best idea I ever had. Once I had loaded SaraShawa while on the hoof and remembered to turn on the Adaptive Invulnerability Field and then remembered to pulse the Microwarp Drive, my heartbeat returned to clinically responsible levels. The Orca aligns and warps in around 10 seconds if you use the MWD trick - much better than the 50 seconds which seem an eternity without the MWD.

Anyway, I somehow managed to arrive at my destination without completely embarrassing myself so another step on the journey. Hopefully I can avoid the Royal Canadian Air Force as I travel in future.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Bits of This and That

Just grabbing a couple of minutes. The Christmas tree is now installed and Kong family members have been ordered to try an not make it look like a triffid this year. We shall see.

In Eve, I took a bit of a right turn. Then a left. Now I am turning right again. I had a minor flirtation with embracing PvP as I described on Crossing Zebra's. The whole experience made me think about what I wanted to do and the ISK I would need to do it. So I was looking at some ships to trade since I just sold a Dramiel I noticed a couple of cheap Stratios hulls nearby so I bought them. It was then I realised I was only a day away from being able to fly them in skill terms so this weekend I took the decision to train for them. I'll give it a go, but whether the Stratios will take over from the Astero or the Explorocepter as my go to ship will have to be considered. It is nice to have the decision though.

On that point, we have the new Frostbite release. Ive not tried the PVE stuff. It is not really my thing for reasons I may drone on and on about in the future (think Free to Play). However, the release still has plenty on things for me to digest. Exploration sites are better balanced so Data Sites will be worth the effort hopefully. The probe scanner window is iterating in the right direction but the probe spheres still  burn my retinas as they did on SISI.

The other big thing is the change to grid size. I have spent some time checking and changing instawarp bookmarks in various places over the weekend. That has allowed me to enjoy the graphical changes. Eve is looking so beautiful right now. Doing that made me a feel little nostalgic about Caroline's Star.

Caroline's Star one year one

Anyway, got to dash, The Christmas tree has just attacked someone.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Testing of Solace

For those of you using the new launcher, you may have noticed a new server on the list of test servers - Solace. Solace is or will be a major hardware upgrade for Eve Online. If you want any proof that Eve isn't being left to wither on the vine then look no further than this investment CCP is making. 

Full details, and only CCP would provide such details to its player base can be found here and here. Anyway, tonight (Friday) CCP announced a mass test of the hardware that is currently located in Iceland. As I write there are 900+ logged on the server and for good reason. It isn't like a normal mass test. You don't even have to have a live subbed account to take part. So what is the big deal.

When you log on, take a look at your character. The first thing you will notice are your skill points.

Yes they are maxed out. Every skill is trained to level V. There is nothing you cannot fly. Suddenly I feel a little underdressed in my little Astero. Fortunately, there is a dev hack that allows you to teleport to a few key systems in New Eden which was just as well because I was mired in a wormhole. One click of the link and I find myself outside Jita 4-4. But not the Jita 4-4 we all know and love. More like a post apocalyptic version of Jita. A Jita that looked like this:

Yes that is a lot of dead Titans. It was carnage. There was only one thing to do. Buy myself a Titan and join in. In Solace world, an Avatar costs 999999 ISK. The festival launchers, snowballs and fireworks cost more than the ship. I like this world.

So shipped and armed, I set forth:

It was a blast although the size of the ships made the snowballs and fireworks look inconsequential with doomsdays blasting right, left and centre. Bigger fireworks and snowballs needed CCP. I travelled back to Thera after a bit before finally being melted back in Jita. 

So I have flown a Titan. But the truth is it is slow and ponderous. If you added TIDI onto the mix it would be a frustrating experience. Flying a Titan was an ambition of sorts but I actually prefer the Astero. At least I now know and I enjoyed the experience of being a kid in a candy store. 

I understand CCP will be running another test like this when they move the hardware to London. For more details see this dev post

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Joy of the Mundane

So laptop returned and the Signal Cartel project done. Now I can actually play Eve. Apart from a couple of lore events and Signal's 500 celebration roam, I hadn't done much in Eve itself. My trader's orders tell the tale. 60 days since I last updated them. I was shocked. So first task was to update them and renew the ones that had been fulfilled. One hour gone. My orders are regional so the next task was to collect the results of my orders. These were scattered across high and lowsec so as usual I set off in my Prowler to collect the goods. The lowsec areas are quite active where I travel so it can feel a little tense at times. This time was without incident. A rough estimate of the final haul was about 500 million for which I had paid a pittance. In fact, I had recovered my initial outlay within a couple of hours of putting the goods back on the market.

The next task for my main was to recover my favourite Astero. I had left it in Thera after the Signal roam and I don't have a clone there. I decided to travel in something cheap. No point in having 2 Asteros stuck in Thera was the reasoning. I discovered I had an Imicus in Jita. This was intriguing in itself as my natural choice of T1 Exploration Frigate would be a Heron. So I went to Jita to try and remember how I ended up with one. Looking at the fit was excruciatingly embarrassing. No cloak. NO CLOAK! no drones, and only one core probe. The memories came flooding back. My first attempt at being an explorer. I was hopelessly new. It was emotional and it was in an Imicus. I had mined and mined to afford that ship and it had taken me forever to find a wormhole. The interface was much different then. Having found the wormhole I dived straight in. While I was figuring out what had just happened, my ship exploded. I hadn't bookmarked the entrance so I was doomed. Fortunately my potential assassin had taken pity on me and showed me the way out. I bought a second Imicus but never flew it as I moved onto hauling and trading instead

I didn't go to a wormhole again for ages after that and I didn't fly a T1 Explorer - a Heron until after I could fly the Astero. So now I had an objective. Fly the Imicus to Thera, dock there and don't die. But this time with a cloak and some probes. I found a nearby connection to Thera. Amazing the difference having the right level skills has. I cloaked outside the station because it was being camped. Amazing the difference a cloak makes. I docked once it was clear without incident. I noticed a lot of TEST guys are in Thera now and the place seemed a lot more livelier. It seems that people are beginning to get Thera finally which can only be a good thing. I really enjoyed flying the Imicus. I will fly it again.

Final activity of the day was a complete about face of what I have been saying in earlier posts. I subbed a new account. I have been badgering various CSM's about my concerns and one replied. No details were given, nor did I expect any because of NDA. But I was told to wait for the Structures Dev blog from CCP because that would address a lot of my concerns. 

So new character created - I went full on Amarr this time. The Avatar was created and photos taken. I wish it meant more. maybe one day. I then drove off to Jita because the skill-books would be cheaper there. The plan is to make an Orca pilot. I like the idea of former Amarr nobility having to wrangle an Orca. In theory, this would take 18 days but there are a whole load of other skills needed to be able to fit it sensibly and operate it. So that will take time. One unexpected benefit was I was exposed to the Rookie channel. Questions like "I lost my ship! What can I do to get another one?" were bouncing around. Bearing in mind you now start in the middle of space as a new player and not docked you can see why this might be stressful. I tried to be helpful.

So a very mundane but thoroughly enjoyable time in Eve. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

Lore Ambulance Chaser

The plan was to give some love to my trader and not do any exploration. The market seems slow though so there wasn't as much to do as I thought. I relocated the hoard of blueprint copies I seem to have amassed to a central location. At some point I will do something with them even if it is only to sell them. With the chores done I decided to try a little project.
A poor man's/woman's Interceptor. Why would I want such a thing? Simple answer is my Interceptor skills are still a way off and core skill training is more of a priority. But I still want to be able to fizz around Hi and Low-Sec at high velocity. The Drifter attack in Yulai brought it home. I was many jumps away at the time so could have missed it. As it turned out, I was at work at the time so it was so academic problem. Still a problem to be solved though. I need a Lore ambulance chaser. So I bought a Vigil for 300k ISK, put some basic stuff on it and bolted on a cloak (the most expensive component at around 3 mill ISK). I put the cloak on because... well Drifters might not appreciate the rusty patina of the Vigil was my thinking. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I am not sure if the Drifters behold much if the autopsy is to be believed.

Looking good. The Vigil that is. Eve Gate doesn't look bad either.

Of course I had to try it out, so set sail for the New Eden system to see the Eve Gate on a twenty jump journey through Hi and Low-Sec. The Vigil goes through space like a hot knife through butter so very pleased with the result. It got past a gate camp without incident but even if it explodes it is no big deal. So another crucial problem solved.