Summer project: Settle a C2

As the majority of my two handsome and intelligent readers may remember, I have been bumming around EVE for many years but my true love is Wormhole space.  It all started in 2009 when I was a nawt but a podpole flying in one of those high-sec corporations that people read about. You know, the ones that get wardeced constantly, awoxed and are the buttjoke of EVE.  Yep.  That was me.  Anyway.  My friend Oreamnos and I decided we had it and applied together to Z3r0 Return Mining of Jadecougar’s fame (lost in EVE, used to be one of the better podcasts).  At that time we owned “Fred”, a lovely C2 hole with a low sec and a C2 static.  I.e. easy to get in, easy to find people and not so easy (albeit not impossible at all) to get evicted from.  Many adventures happened in and around Fred and my old tales all start here.  But as Z3r0 grew up, we moved into “Shirley” (C4 with a static C4.  Puke) and then into our current home “Tim”, also a C4.  “Fred” stayed in the alliance for a while, first as an academy for new pilots and then later as a general hole.  But all good things must come to an end, Fred was abandoned when our last permanent residents fizzled out. As it is in Wormhole life, the connections closed and Fred floated away like a soap bubble into the sunset during a hurricane in the desert on Mars, never to be seen again.

Until last week…. Here follows the account of the great Settlement of Fred.

Summer is here and with it the doldrums, nothing much is going on in EVE other than massive ISK making in Goonland for the benefit of later wars.  Z3R0 is no exception, many of our numbers are busy taking their children on vacation or making new ones.  Either way, its quiet and I was contemplating what I could do as a solo project when a random ping came from one of my (unnamed, Opsec!) corp mates.  He had found Fred!  The C2 where everything had started, where we trained ourselves into the elite mercenary wormhole dominating fighting force that we are aspire to be.  A wave of nostalgia washed over me. Fred!  Of course, I logged in an alt from my useless highsec corp and placed him there. Just for sightseeing purposes. Surely.

Turns out, not only is Fred uninhabited, it has been for many weeks. There are literally 30+ signatures and only Bob knows how many anoms.

ISK waiting patiently for me

No POS, no ‘hus, no nottin’.  And then two days ago, my low sec access connected directly to a backwater in highsec.  One jump.  Dead quiet.

The temptation was too great.  I could Make Fred Great Again.  MFGA!

I raced to Jita, and did one of my completely nuts woman-inspired shopping sprees.  (I will go to hell for that comment).  Basically, I bought an entire “live in a Wormhole by yourself outfit” including a fully armed Astrahus, many defensive mods of which I had scant knowledge what they do, 2 site running drakes, many gas mining ventures, a few Covops and a Ghetto Noctis (i.e. Catalyst).  Oh, of course, an Occator to stuff it all in.  My credit card creaked, heated and then went up in flames, basically, I depleted my nest egg that I had set aside for – well I don’t actually know what for.  I jumped into the Occator, undocked the damn thing with billions of ISK worth of stuff in Jita 4/4 and raced to my entrance.  “Fortes Fortuna Juvat” as us old and decrepit classically trained Europeans say.

Fred greeted my hot entry with a warm, loving embrace (ok, ok, I’ll calm down).  I had scouted a nice planet (Lava) to set up my Astrahus but the asinine mechanic thwarted me.  I had no idea why I couldn’t anchor the ‘hus where I was and hanging out in a decloaked Occator with tons of gear in the hold fudzing with an incomprehensible game mechanic is not a good idea.  In desperation, I made a random safe spot somewhere and dropped the ‘hus in no particular direction.

Sorry, NPCs you won’t have a grand view.  I had never set up a Citadel, so I was surprised to see a 24 window to anchor.  I assume its vulnerable?  No clue.  But that means it is hanging there for everyone to see until Saturday night, prime time. Great.  Maybe I get evicted before I even finish anchoring?

Then Saturday rolls around and my timer counts down to zero.  I can not lie, I am excited.  I had occasionally monitored the progress and took screenshots; the nanites had been at work and the process of building a structure is eerily mesmerizing.  The small details, the lights that come on are are really beautiful.  However, if anyone had attacked it, I would have had any defense whatsoever (2 Stratios don’t count…).  But unlike some newb, I had made my peace with the old Wormhole wisdom that “if you bring it in, declare it lost”.  All things in Wormhole space will be killed.  They are not assets, they are consumables.  Including the ‘hus.

When the build ended, a 15 minute window opens where the thing “onlines”.  Through a fluke and a little bit of wormhole-fu, I had a very good idea that both static holes were still closed and the frigate hole to NS had not opened yet.  It was pretty safe but nothing in EVE is certain.

Well, now its the weekend and I am getting settled. I brought in yet another alt who knows how to hack the cans and managed to get ISK 70mil out of all the data and relic sites.  Next step is to formally scan the place down and start gassing it to make money and reducing the number of sites.  After that, I will bring my main characters back to our home C4 and leave Fred in the completely incompetent hands of my alts.

There will be updates…

 

PvE Musings

May my remaining two readers forgive the break in communication, I actually took a few days off to travel, take photos and ponder.  Its been an interesting summer so far, full of real-life changes and adjustments and it looks like to shape up as a year that I won’t forget soon.

In EVE, when I go exploring, most of my time is spent on scanning empty space.  Its now a little routine but I do query why I bother, other than the occasional T1 exploration frigate I virtually never see anyone I can tackle.  By evolution, the remaining wormholers in EVE have become smarter (shedding the dumb ones into nullsec, I presume) and ratters either crush their connection for safety or rat in doctrines that my 2-character team can not attack.  And thus grow my plans to do something different in EVE.  Maybe PvE?  I know curiously little about PvE in WH space. Continue reading

2nd Summer of Rage – You reap what you sow

I tend to abstain from EVE drama for the same reason that I abstain from real life politics, it rarely affects me and if so, I can’t do anything about it anyway.  But I feel compelled to add my voice to the chorus of screamers, may my two remaining loyal and intelligent readers forgive me. I’ll be quick.

So, background, this week, CCP announced several changes to carrier and Rorqual income generation that collectively aims to reduce income from NPC (carriers) and mining (Rorqs) significantly.  The only relevant forum for EVE players – r/eve is writhing in spastic convulsions, unsubbing en-masse and shooting monuments.  EVE is dying, dead and buried, a decaying corpse, Gevlon was right etc etc. Continue reading

EVE is unforgiving – and that’s why I love it

What follows is a cautionary tale that I want to impart to my remaining two readers.  It is a tale that starts with hubris, goes through stages of boredom, distraction and inattention and ends with a dead ship.  My dead ship.

But lets start at the beginning, a typical night in our small wormhole corporation had started with copious amount of scanning, Teamspeak banter and much hilarity.  The map is broad and wide and as usual has nobody in it.  Well, except for a group that is sitting in their force field (yes, POS-es are still a thing in WH space).  Its a nice C2 with a high sec static and we try to coerce our hosts into doing something, anything by baiting with a harmless Imicus hacking their sites.  No dice, the locals are not moving and our Imicus pilot is pulling 80mil ISK out of the site.  Opp success?  Anyway, we are not going anywhere with this baiting tactic and more exotic measures to provoke a reaction are being considered, including rolling holes, shooting the POCO or the POS, running their sites etc.  The majority of our corp is based in the UK and I have to tap out for a bit for real life things. Continue reading

Conflict is life

The May release has dropped and for virtually everyone outside of Delve nothing has changed.  In Delve some NPC raid content is happening and just like all PvE content in history of gaming, everyone expects it to be “on farm” within a few days.  But hey, I don’t live in nullsec, so I don’t expect anything new to happen until at least winter 2018.

Back to the topic.  With the publication of the roadmap out of the way, the EVE community ceased to focus on hypothetical and large scale solutions and hones in on features in the game that could be improved in order to make the game more playable and appealing.  Upfront at the moment is the War Dec system that allows a corporation to initiate a time period where legal conflict is allowed between them and another corporation or alliance.  The target does not have to agree and hence the term “non-consensual PvP” is used.  Generally, the receiving corporation laments that their gameplay is now effectively stopped while the aggressor finds ways to maximize his return by wardeccing multiple helpless targets and selectively culling the dumb ones.  For the vast majority of EVE players, wardecs are useless at best and a nuisance at worst; virtually nobody sees the current system as adding satisfying content to their gameplay. Continue reading

All quiet on the wormhole front

Its been quiet on these pages and I have to assume that both my remaining readers have defected to more content-rich pastures.  Of which there are many and with great variety.  Imperium.news which focuses on the great events in nullsec, Crossing Zebras doing excellent analysis of nullsec politics and of course the venerable EVE News 24 formerly a cesspool for pandemic legion and now a honorable news outlet for the whole of nullsec.   Lastly, the subreddit /r/eve is the de facto community hub of EVE online where all topics can and will be debated as long as they pertain to nullsec.   Continue reading

Fanfest Light

The EVE Online annual Fanfest came to a close yesterday and I presume the neckbeards are on their way home brimming with stories and headaches. Us unfortunate peasants who saw difficulties selling our significant others a trip to a windy rock in the North Atlantic as a romantic getaway vacation had to watch the gathering via Twitch.  And it was a good show.

First of all, CCP deserves credit for being very clear about the scope of the event.  A party was to be had, CSM was to be announced, information about the new refineries was to be shared and the new citizen science project was to be introduced.  Add to this the staple of graphics updates, some balancing announcement, the introduction of a few new capital ships and a new “incursion-like” PvE mechanic and we were done.  Lastly, CCP did announce the launch of a new VR game later this year, kind of like 3D tennis.  Looks neat.  I am sure if I had a VR headset I would look into it. I don’t and hence I won’t.

Famous curmudgeon Jester posted his concern that no new large-scale release was planned, the community shrugged and moved on.  For the nullsec teams that populate Reddit, just about enough content is released to keep them happy for a year.  However, the rest of us got exactly nothing.

Lets try a list of what I remember (please let me know if I missed anything):

  • New Player Experience: Continuous improvement.  All regions, obviously.
  • New PvE mechanic: Incursion-style raid mechanic with intelligent foes.  Likely only accessible for well organized, large teams. While the mechanic could be rolled out anywhere, the first iteration will be launched exclusively in Goon Space.
  • New faction captial ships.  Nullsec / Lowsec.
  • Citizen Science: Exoplanet hunting.  Why this is in the client and not on an App is not easy to understand.  But yes its for all regions, I guess.
  • Refineries and new moon-mining mechanic:  Nullsec / Lowsec only with no firm plans to do roll out anything to WH or High Sec
  • New shaders, new graphics.  Yes, a shiny Vexor, amazing graphics for the suns.  All regions.  EVE is really, really pretty.

Anything I forgot?  Oh yes, CSM 12.  A virtual sweep for the few Nullsec power blocs with a sprinkle of part-time wormholer Noobman and industrial generalist Steve Ronuken.  I wrote before about the CSM and am not too concerned about the lack of diversity.  The new delegates seem to be fairly experienced and hence will contribute to make the overall game better. However, the EVE community chooses their delegates based on their region and it is telling that true highsec / lowsec / WH representation could be achieved.

As usual, two items closed to my heart were entirely missing, a decent online fanstore that is realistic in its pricing and an integrated mobile App with its own development pipeline. Heck, I’d pay for that App.

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So, that was Fanfest 2017.  I am getting ready to play the exact same game until at least Summer of 2018 when maybe new things are released that affect my EVE.

Actually that reminds me, I’ll do a little Fallout 4 survival mode this morning.