Expectations are met

My last post was about my move to NOMEX and what my expectations were.  I had hoped for a low-class WH PvP-centric corporation with minimal (asymptotically approaching zero) drama and lots of lots pew-pew.  I am delighted to report that all my expectations were met.  Just a look at yesterday’s killboard and you get a feeling that this is a corporation that’s going out and shoots “all the things”.

There was (still is) a time of adjustment.  I am just used to do things a certain way, having flown with my old crew for so many years, there is a form of muscle memory that I have developed.  When in wormholes, I feel most comfortable in a cloaked Proteus backed up by my Alt watching my rear exit.  I am really not used to be “one of the scouts”.  Other changes are the ship types.  In real life and in game, I am anything but a hoarder.  I don’t have many ships, I really don’t.  At most I would have 20 across both of my toons in a given hole, this includes Epithals, Viators etc..  1 ratting ship, fleet support boats like Recons and the rest either DPS or maybe another cloaky ship.  I don’t even have a stash of ships in K-space, I just don’t need them.  But this frugal mentality will have to change.  Yesterday, within short notice, FC calls for Shield fleet, shield kiting fleet, armor fleet, guardians and DPS for both shield and armor.  Of course, I can fly everything (subcap) but I don’t own the sheer variety of boats that this crew needs.

Lots of ships need lots of ISK and for the first time in my EVE career I find myself slightly impoverished.  My play time is limited and I don’t really enjoy running PvE content, don’t know anything about industry and market trading and generally relied on PI income for ISK making.  PI is nice, passive but  capped ultimately by the number of planets one can own and run.  So, in desperation, I set up PI again on my alt crew in High Sec, hoping to eek out a little bit of money.  I also consolidated my carebear stuff and am starting to sell it.  Who needs 100 data cores?  I had them stockpiled if I ever go into industry, not happening: Sold.  However, I can already tell that this is not enough money to stock up on doctrine ships and replace the losses.  Until recently, I had a few Plex salted away but donated all of it to the recent charity drive.  Maybe I can sell those skins?

But back to PvP.  Last night, I log in and see my fleet moving around the map, asking for armor DPS.  I don’t yet have any DPS at all in the hole and opt to take an Arazu out – Damps are always welcome, right?  Well, maybe.  Hostiles jump in, our fleet engages and I focus my range damps on the hostile Logistics cruisers.  Skirmish is a draw, FC asks for “shield” and everyone reships.  Except me, I don’t have shield.  I stay in my Arazu for Round-2 and while my fleet maneuvers swiftly around the battlefield, I try to be clever, damping hostile Logi.  It sort of works, until hostiles are aware of my existence and en masse drop their drones on me.  I had screwed up, I drifted too close to the hostile fleet, I was too focused on getting into optimal range of the hostile logistics.  When I get yellowboxed, I am maybe 25km away from the nearest hostile Vexor Navy Issue and I am not aligned properly to warp off (I had done the warp-off maneuver before and it had worked).  Also, since I am not used to having friendly Logistics nearby, I simply forgot to call for reps, would have not helped much anyway since I am the one guy in a armor ship inside a shield fleet.  So, bad ship choice, dumb flying and generally not a good show from my side cost me my boat and dented my reputation.

The fight continues, I am literally out of ships now but I can’t just pack it in.  Instead, I am spooling up my Alt and get the Falcon going. This time, I am much more careful picking targets and am successfully jamming both hostile Logi and the FC-designated primary.  With drone boats, ECM isn’t all that useful but I felt that I needed to hone my skill in Recon flying after my Arazu had been toasted.

The fight peters out, my crew rolls the hole and I am licking my wounds. I feel thoroughly stupid after this unnecessary and totally self-inflicted loss but nobody openly blames me for killboard efficiency etc.  A new hole is found and eager to be useful, I do what I do best, jump into my Proteus and start scouting.

I am one of three or four experienced scouts and we quickly create a massive and meandering map of connections when find evidence of activity, various small PvP boats and probes on D-scan.  Normally, I’d take my time finding out what the story is but inside a 20 man fleet, I abandon caution and just scan the place down, finding the hole where activity happened.  I am not quite sure where my own guys are when hostile battleships start landing on and jumping through the hole I am watching.  At this point it is just me and another scout in our Proteus cloakies.  FC call for tackle on “all the things” and we do.  My scout buddy gets neuted nearly instantly and I get volleyed by something deep into Armor.  Since the T3C re-balance, Proteus Strategic cruisers are not the heavy tackle they used to be and while my DPS is decent, I am am no match against three battleships. I am bleeding deep armor and am literally out of cap, resigned to lose my second boat this night when all of a sudden my armor is restored and my cap is full.  My fleet arrived with Guardians saving my ass.  I surge forward with MWD overheated and grab the hostile ships again, close orbit and keep holding with scram and web until my fleet mates end them.  My crew had dispatched more ships on the other side of the hole, making this engagement a complete success for our team.  Nobody says anything, but I feel my pride is a little bit restored.  In the meantime, other scouts report activity elsewhere and the fleet races to new adventures.  I would have loved to stay but real life intervenes and I really need to log off so I bid my farewell to my crew and shut down for the night.

Lesson learned:

  1. Bring many more ships to the hole, don’t improvise, even with FC’s “consent”.
  2. Fly what is asked for or don’t fly.
  3. Do what I am good at, scouting, tackling, bulldog-style.
  4. Fly far more Recons since its fun and I feel I can become good at it.  Get ready to lose many.

Am loving it.

 

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A short, sharp kick in the ass

Most of my remaining two readers will have realized that had the EVE Blues.  It was a combination of three things:

  • Z3ro Return Mining, my ancestral home in EVE, the corp that I joined as a pod-pole 7 years ago, where I learned Wormhole flying and in which I found true friends is slowing down.  People age, families grow, recruitment is hard work and attrition has shrunk the corp to a few good friends with limited time online.  It just “happens”, there is no drama but as a game it wasn’t enjoyable for me.
  • CCP made some wild design decisions that in fore- and hindsight have been disastrous and bit them in the ass. Rather than focusing on the diversity of players using the multitude of things to do in New Eden as their driver, they channeled all development and marketing activity into one thing and one thing only, Sov Nullsec.  It worked, thousands now log in only to experience a big fight with the entirely predictable result that the servers crash and people are disappointed.  I grew tired of being treated as third class paying customer and unsubbed 2 of my 3 accounts.
  • I personally had changes in my life, good or bad but they didn’t allow for “regular” play.  Long, boring story, everyone has those phases, mine started in summer 2017.  Its only now that I have more of a balance and can re-engage in things that are not absolutely necessary to life (like computer games).

But sometimes, all it needs is a short, sharp kick in the ass to get motivation back.  I suddenly realized that I truly missed EVE and that I don’t have to stay with Z3ro.  I am allowed to leave. But where should I go? Continue reading

Goodbye 2017

It is customary to recap the year past before the ball drops allowing a little bit of reflection what was good and what can be improved in the next year.  I won’t disappoint my last remaining reader but before I start, a fair word of warning: 2017 was not my “EVE year”.  In fact, it was the year I came closest to walking away from this game since 2009. Continue reading

The capacitor is empty

As my remaining two readers may have noticed, the frequency and energy of my posts have declined over the last few months.  I tried to keep a “2 posts / month” schedule and while I have largely been able to do this, I am not happy with the content – its sloppy, thin, not funny, badly edited and overall I am not satisfied.  In part this is due to time constraints, I had changes in my real (work) life that were in some ways awesome (I get to run my own startup) in other words scary as hell (I get to run my own startup).  Gaming in general isn’t in my head at the moment.

Add to this my disappointment with EVE, my only game of choice.  I am not going to lament that EVE is dying, considering that the entire market for PC-based games is declining by 4% / year (too lazy to look up the reference), EVE is holding up pretty well. New players join up as alphas and within days sit fat and happy in Rorquals in Delve – EVE as CCP wants it to be.   No, EVE isn’t dying, “my” EVE is dying.  The game I enjoyed with friends, where owning a Wormhole was a team sport and not the case of one guy (me) with an alt corp (mine) just dump some Citadels down without worrying too much about fuel or evictions.  That EVE is gone and gone for good.  CCP decided a few years ago that nullsec is the only driver for revenue and have basically stopped all development anywhere else.

Blaming CCP for me not wanting to log in is a cheap and unfair way of describing whats going on. CCP makes a product and arguably has a marketing department that carefully analyzes the retention of new, paying customers. Maybe I am simply not in the core customer base right now, this happened to me before, in 2009 World of Warcraft changed from a multiplayer game to a single player game where all human interactions were superfluous.  I had enough of the gear-score-driven LFG system and one day logged off and walked off.  I feel like I am close to this situation in EVE right now.

Instead of throwing the towel and biomassing, I am taking a semi-official break until December (ish).  I am not having any expectations that EVE Vegas will bring any features that would excite me to log back in but I will certainly watch where I can. I truly, honestly, hope that something will be announced where I can get my mojo back.

Until then, enjoy, blow stuff up and have fun without me!

Gently brushing fame

Well, its been one of those weeks where you wake up on Sunday and can’t remember a thing that happened since the last time you sat down and wrote and not for good (alcohol, drugs) reasons but because the week was filled with a thousand little things, each absorbing, none really noteworthy.

I did have a brush with fame though, a very light touch to be fair.  I was contacted by famed The Mittani.com Space Pravda Imperium News author Vulxanis Viceroy.   Vulxanis wanted to schedule an interview with me due to my last blog post in which I had made some critical comments about the state of wormholes and the usefulness of Alphas. So, Vulx and I agreed to a few times and I was sweatily anticipating my 15minutes of fame.  I double checked my post in expectations of the hundreds of thousands of hits that this would surely evoke.  Did I insult Noobman?  Will HK evict me? Continue reading

Immortality

Lets face it, all SciFi boils down to the eternal question of “what if”. What if we could ascend to the stars, what if we had unlimited energy, what if our ability to shape our environment was only limited by our imagination? What if we were immortal?

We all recognize these themes from countless SciFi novels and movies, they make us dream of the possibilities that would open up if when the starting conditions change.  The starting conditions being our current existence, of course.  That’s what makes gives it the “Fi”.  However, as a formally trained scientist, I always ask the “Sci” when I watch a movie or read a novel.  “How” can we beat this pesky “FTL” issue. How can we harness unlimited energy to benefit us all?

Over time, I came to a rather sobering realization, namely that there is one constant in these thoughts: immortality.  Yes, eternal life, a literal fountain of youth.  This is the ultimate goal of all human endeavor but it isn’t limited to humans, we are just the only ones who are self aware of it (as far as we know).  The quest for immortality is the literal essence of life, sustaining its own self while striving for propagation which is nothing but copying of self with improvements where possible. Continue reading

[MAGA] Make Anoikis Great Again

I recently opinioned on the Wormhole Townhall meeting set up by notable CSM member and Hard Knocks leader Noobman.  My concern was that the meeting itself had gone a very predictable path where individuals from Wormhole PvP alliances desperately tried to out-chest-beat each other while leaving many topics that really affect us all entirely unsaid.  So far, so predictable but my comments and post spawned a ping from a HK line member effectively telling me to speak up or shut up.  Either I make my concerns heard to Noobman / CSM or CCP or I am just another one of those /r/eve whiners.

That man had a point.  While I ran this blog since 2009, I rarely go into the specifics what CCP should do to make the game a better place.  I have no professional game development experience and also can only see a sliver of the game itself.  EVE’s strength and weakness are the same, its massive, differentiated and highly integrated structure where one small tweak here causes a massive effect elsewhere.  However its true that some areas in the game are in a pitiful state and maybe CCP doesn’t see it. Continue reading