back from the wilderness

My RL is still controlling my game time and while a forced break from EVE is cathartic, it is also frustrating.  Wormhole corporations rely on teamwork and I can not contribute in a meaningful way.  Fuel needs to be brought in, routes need to be scanned down and of course, sleepers need to be shot.   I know all this, see my buddies on jabber forming up and I can’t come.  Its annoying.

I had originally planned a real “hole vacation”, i.e. spend time in a high sec pocket, making it my own, running plexes when I chose, isolated from gankers and other asshats.  I scouted my way in / out via wormhole routes and therefore never had to deal with the low sec gates that were barring the entrance to my little realm.

Basically, I had turned EVE into a solo game to some extend and while that sort of worked, it was pretty clear that the game is not designed for that at all.  Even in my little high sec bubble, I encountered stiff competition for the more valuable sites.  Well, “valuable” is relative.  I had brought in a Vexor Navy Issue with a lot of sentry drones and a few hobgoblins.  That way I dont need to bring in ammunition and in principle, this idea was sound.   never ran anomalies, just signatures and in systems without stations, had mobile depots anchored at really deep space safe spots.  Btw, I learned a little trick how to make deep space bookmarks; just wait for an incursion.  Incursion sites are WAY off the normal map, far beyond the normal radius where anomalies spawn.  Someone needs to really scan with combat probes for you or your mobile depot, d-scan from anywhere will not work.

But that aside, I ran signatures, starting with Data and Relic sites since well, they seemed valuable.  In wormhole space, we have of course given up on them since the effort to hack the cans far outstrips running another site.  In nullsec, I actually made some ISK running a few of them back to back (I think 20mil or so) and my hypothesis was that the risk/reward scales down accordingly.  But I did not expect at the reward scales to nearly zero. If I made 200k out of a Relic site in a 0.5 system, that was a good outcome.

Similar returns for plexes.  I park my Vexor inside the plex, shoot all the rats and have a mobile tractor pulling the wrecks in.  Bounties? Well, 1 million or so / site, sometimes less.  No loot at all, or rarely at least.  I then refit the Vexor to salvage drones, bring him back on grid, put the drones on “automatic” and go away for 10 minutes.  I come back and have maybe 100k ISK in salvage.

I know, I know, I should just go to the adjacent low sec systems but the locals there have all the plexes scanned down and leave them as honeytraps.  I have done the same and running sites without the local’s permission is suicide.  Not an option, at least not during peak times.

And so, I got bored. The pathetic ISK, I don’t need.  I have 3+ years in WH, I really can live without a million here or there.  The game play is astoundingly boring and offers no challenge.  The “challenge” from the hacking mini game is in no way in relation to the pathetic payout.  In the end, I logged off and played Planet Side 2, my go-to-game for casual play.  With 20min or so to spare, I can have way more fun in PS2 than in EVE.

But I did not give up.  I decided that the quiet backwater makes for an interesting hunting ground, for some reason, tons of Wormholes spawned my realm and I had a Nemesis ready.  Just like in the good old days before I could fly T3 boats, I would meander through wormholes and look for industrials to take down.  Didn’t find any.  Most holes that connected to my pocket were C1 or C3, the C1 exclusively used as PI farms for alts since their Risk/reward does not warrant real permanent presence.  The C3s were mostly empty or if there was a tower, it was from a 10 man (i.e. 1 guy) corp who likely uses it to farm sleepers for ISK once a week.

One night last week, I actually have some game time and my team is running their signature fleet of battle-ventures.  Ventures are nominally mining frigates with 2 warp core stabilizers, i.e. they are really hard to catch.  They make excellent bait and we fitted several to look for trouble in Faction War land.  My team had already scored a few kills and lost a few boats when I came online, jumped to my Amarr clone and bought one of them, platinum insured.  No way, I was going to bring it back.

And I didn’t!  Opp success. We had a riot, my corp mates were playing a rather involved drinking game (every time anyone said “jump” or “warp”, a drink was to be taken) and the evening dissolved into lemming-like slaughter of our little ventures.  A Firetail on D-scan?  My fleet 3 jumps out?  What can possibly go wrong? Tora Tora Tora.  I think all pods got out and after I logged the team scored a few more kills.  Kill anything but a shuttle in a Venture and you won the ISK war 🙂

Well, so that got me back into the game, my colleagues coaxed me back into the wormhole and I am floating with exactly 2 toons and 2 ships inside our C4.  I scraped together a Tengu from bits I had laying around, I am holding off buying a new Proteus until they announce just how they will be nerfed.

And with this, a new week begins with zero chance of logging in, but I tend to read lots of blogs and stay in tune with the community when I travel.  My new workplace forbids gaming sites (and has blocked) but hey, I can read this on my phone.

Shame about Jester quitting his blog. I frequently disagreed with him but his blog was number 2 on my reading list and I will miss his insights.

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