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

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

WH Townhall – I am content

CSM delegate Noobman and member of the most powerful wormhole alliance in the game kindly organized a townhall to update the wormhole community and ask a few questions.  For my remaining two readers I provide a heavily biased summary below.

The full recording is here, at 2h, its manageable, there is so much repetition and group hugs (circle*** for some) that one can easily fast forward. Actual content maybe 10 minutes.

tl/dr  Townhall meeting (real life or game) give the floor to those who take it and in general those are the ones with the most aggressive agenda.  Extremism will always win in a debate as categorical statements are easier to digest and remember.  There is no fighting it and hence I rarely, if ever participate in these events.  Basically, the townhall confirmed what we all expected, Noobman and his friends in C5/C6 space have nothing to do with the wormhole space that I experience.  Large-fleet, capital supported evictions, dozens of farming holes to make money, PvE as the necessary evil are literally a different game from mine.  My purpose in their world is to be “content”, i.e. I serve the role as dumb prey.  To that end, they want me to live in Wormhole space and throw me a few bones so that it becomes worth it.  And when I get too visible, it should be easy to evict me.  Actually, this is fine by me.  I like gnawing on bones.

Here are some cliffnotes.  Sorry if I missed anything, I tuned out a few times when the echo chamber reverberated too much.  My comments in italics.

  • Apparently, CCP has not forgotten about wormholes and fact many (shitloads) of CCP devs reside in low class wormhole space.  Guess even CCP devs need PI.
  • Noobman asked how the T3C changes had affected wormholers and the audience collectively went into EFT/Pyfa mode, started extolling the virtues of one ship over the other.  Consensus emerged after a few minutes:
    • Proteus, Tengu and Legion are useless.  Loki is the only T3C worth flying.
    • The halving of their tank and an increase in signature and DPS means that their role has changed from heavy tackle with staying power to tackle that needs a serious fleet to bail them out.
    • The whole point that T3Cs are more flexible is irrelevant.  Anyone basing out of a citadel has the ability to re-fit or take a specialized ship.
    • I had always flown a Proteus in “bulldog” mode, holding on to the target and tried to kill it with my other character.  I think these days are over.  I have an active-tank fit with good DPS but it is very sensitive to neuting (and has no cap injector).  I expect to move to Stratios soon. At least I won’t lose SP when it dies.  
  • Scanning changes
    • We like it.  A few glitches but overall its an improvement.  Took CCP 3 (?) fixes but its workable now.
  • Big discussion on spawn times of anomalies and signatures.
    • I was surprised about how much HK and the rest of audience cared about PvE sites but its obvious, each chest-beating PvP player has a private farming hole where they run sites to make money.  
    • The spawn rates of anomalies apparently is “class wide”, i.e. a site only spawns if another dies in a same class Wormhole.  With many, many holes being abandoned and accumulating sites (see my discussion about our C2 when we moved in), active holes are empty.  The audience wanted a timer on each site that a newly spawned site despawns after a few days with a chance to conveniently respawn within the safety of their farming hole. Basically, they want Nullsec mechanics
  • Suggestion that sleeper should scram more so that Player battleships can’t use their microjump drive to escape from PvP.
    • The consensus was its too hard to find idiots like myself to kill.  We are called “content” and we are tolerated in WH space for this purpose only.  It should not be so hard to find, tackle and kill us.    
    • CCP is considering that change to add more scrams into sleeper sites.
  • Drone aggro
    • Apparently there is a bug that sleepers attack Drones more than they should.
    • I have not seen it but if I had seen it I would have assumed that it was a new mechanic.  For C2, I stopped using Gallente drone ships and went back to Caldari since drone micromanagement was just too tedious.  If this had been intentional, I would have not cared.  Sleepers are smarter NPC, so why wouldn’t they shoot at drones?
    • I assume this mechanic eats into the AFK money making of their farming holes so it has to get fixed.
  • Drifters.  They are the Battleship-sized sleepers that infest C5 and C6 space when you kill a structure.  They are hard to kill, persist and attack citadels.  (and can be killed with a citadel).
    • Consensus seemed to be that they should spawn if you have a Capital ship on grid or shooting the structure.  This of course removes them as a game mechanic to teams like ours coming with Battleships from a C4 and kill them because (gasp!) its a fun game mechanic but this is obviously of no importance.  ISK/hour is the only thing that counts
    • The idea behind it is of course that the hardcore PvP-ers want more capital ships flown by incompetent fools in sites where they can be tackled.
  • Industry and moons mining.
    • CCP is thinking about it.  Come back in 2018 maybe.
  • Smaller temporary structures to help evictions.
    • Without POS, eviction teams don’t have a safe space to log off.  This makes evictions too hard and the suggestion was to develop a new structure that has a docking ring or something
    • I personally wanted a smaller structure for temporary wormhole camping trips and if it is making evictions easier, so be it.  If anyone wants to evict me, they can do it anyway so what do I care what they need to bring?  
  • Some conversation on using capital ships, cap chargers, dreads etc.  I lost track what the discussion was about.

 

 

 

Hunting Blind

Its been 3 weeks since my last post and by now my hopes of attracting a 3rd reader are likely dashed.  I don’t think I will be space famous any time soon.

Well, to be honest, I haven’t been all that active in EVE for a variety of reasons. none have to do with the game itself.  Its just life, I am somehow experiencing a chain of “little things” that together keep me busy.

In EVE, I am shuttling between our home C4 with our “real” crew and our new C2 which we will use as a hunting blind when things are slow in C4 land.  One of the issues we encountered in our C4 is that we either find nobody, we find a single exploration frigate (though these kills cost me since I tend to send more money to the victim than they lost) or we are “found” by a 20 +  man gang who could wipe the floor with us when they sneeze.  Not ideal currently and while we all hope that people resettle wormhole space in the fall, my concern is that the emphasis on nullsec has damaged our life style.  Nullsec promises unlimited ISK making potential, scheduled fights with known neighbors and of course with no risk at all to the line pilot due to generous reimbursement programs.  All for no work whatsoever. Continue reading