Monday, October 31, 2016

FC Lessons: My First Roam, Gallente-Strong

A few weeks ago, I ran my first full, pre-planned corp fleet with a defined doctrine. Compared to my first roam, this was a wholly different kettle of fish. In the first place, we had about three times the number of pilots, but beyond that, we weren’t doing a kitchen sink fleet.

Instead, we were flying armor Comets with Navitas logi. It took me a long time to come up with exactly the right doctrine to use. I knew I wanted to keep our options open, and a lot of our Friday night roams involved novice FW complexes. It wouldn’t due to fly anything but T1 frigates; a mixed fleet would work for nullsec, but we’d more often than not find ourselves unable to field our full strength and be easily prone to being split up.

But, my ships needed some survivability. A Comet is ideally suited to hull-tanking, but one of my corpmates shared a nice armor fit that benefited from logi. So, I quickly added a logi to the doctrine. The Navitas could field a decent tank for a T1 frigate logi. Gotta love those Gallente for survivability.

At first, I considered bringing a tackler ship as well, but quickly discarded the idea. Any T1 tackle ship I considered performed less effectively at the task than the Comets. Why overcomplicate things?

It ended up being a good decision, and a good night.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ascension Delayed

The Ascension expansion – there’s so much in this update that it certainly deserves the title, compared to “update” – as been delayed by a week to November 15. From those who have been testing out some of the new features on Sisi, it sounds like there are still plenty of bugs to work out, but I’m not certain which yet.

So, alpha clones won’t hit for an extra week. An extra week for corporations to prepare, PLEX prices to rise, the injector market to get ready for a sudden increase in demand, and CCP marketing to fret over the level of success they can expect.

Will alpha clones cause an influx of players? Even two weeks before launch, I still can’t say. To read Reddit, a lot of players are intrigued by the possibilities. Will that translate into an actual increase of players in game? And if so, how many?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

When Should You Let Your Kids Play Eve?

I try to stay connected with Eve when I travel and can’t actually log in. I’ll check my alliance forums, our corp Discord, update Evenova, read through Reddit, and check zkill for activity. We all have a few minutes here or there to stay informed, and when you’re unable to log in, those snippets of info are like water to a man in the desert.

This week, I read a comment on Reddit about how a man and his son would use Eve lingo in the real world. That got me thinking about the background of that kind of situation.

At first, I thought about how very few people are really suited to playing Eve. It’s an unforgiving game that doesn’t protect you either from the wickedness of other people or the consequences of your actions. Rather, it rubs your face in both. Most people aren’t made with stern enough stuff to endure that for entertainment. On the one hand, I’d deem it a sign of good parenting that his son enjoys Eve enough to not only play it, but internalize the lingo. To me, that reflects well on his parenting.

On the other hand, he lets his son play Eve. That’s just not right on so many levels. This really is a twisted game, with the full display of humanity on display.

So, is he a great or a terrible dad? At what age is it okay to let your kids play Eve?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Searching for Salvation in All The Wrong Places

I am an American. This background influences my perspective on events. This is going to be important later on, so I wanted to lay this fact down right from the get-go.

You see, a lot of things need to be said regarding some of the very concerning commentary emerging out of the Eve casino ban. Frankly, I’m somewhat disgusted by some of the attitudes I’m seeing.

I debated on whether I should post this article, but in the end, I decided I had to, because it isn’t as much about an American perspective as it is about how we perceive Eve. And that most assuredly relates to the game we all love.

There are two kind of people in the world: those who meet resistance and choose to strengthen themselves, and those who run to others to save them.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Meet and Greet with Rixx Javix

There are no Eve players who live near me. My brother-in-law played just long enough to spark my interest in the game, but he quit quite a few years ago, leaving me all on my own. I keep tossing out "o/" and "stay frosty" on the chance that someone might recognize it, but so far, I haven't had anyone bite.

I don't enjoy work travel, but when my schedule does require it, I always try to see if I'm heading somewhere with Eve friends to meet up. So far, I've been able to do this once, with Aetius and kamaroune from RP. Good fun was had by all, and the bar owners had to kick us out at the end of the night.

I really want to make my way to Fanfest or Eve Vegas, though, as soon as my girls are old enough to endure us being potentially stuck several hours (or another country) away and unable to come home immediately. But regional meet-ups are definitely a possibility.

Earlier this year, Rixx and his wife hosted Steel City Eve in Pittsburgh, my old hometown. I wasn't able to swing it, and I was really disappointed. This weekend, we were in for some family visits, and Rixx and I met up over drinks last night.

It's easy for Eve players to assume a certain persona when they play. For many, Eve is an escape from real life.l I've known more than one player who expressed that while real life forces him to be polite, he can release it all in Eve. The vast majority of Eve players - even the scammers, pirates, and awoxers - are completely normal, well-adjusted people. The reverse can also be true - seemingly normal folks can be downright frightening in person.

It's always interesting to meet another writer. Our material is text, and generally speaking, a person's writing style and speaking style differ quite a bit. I, for instance, tend to think in a cloud, not a straight line, so I tend to be all over the place as I talk. But when I sit down and write, it's much more linear (most of the time).

Yet, I'm happy to report that not only are Rixx Javix and his wife completely normal people, but they seem to be exactly as their online personas suggest. Quite the pair of genuine, friendly people! At the end of a long, tiring day, they were good people to spend some time with having drinks.

Suffice it to say, I encourage you folks to try to meet as many fellow players as possible. It's always interesting to see that these other players aren't just real people with real personalities, but also pretty cool people to hang out with. I think I'm going to try to do this again.

And, I'm looking forward to Steel City Eve last year.

Rixx Javix and Talvorian Dex

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Eve Gambling Is Gone, But It Isn't Evil

The announcement of changes to the Eve end-user licensing agreement came down today, and the big story is the banning of isk gambling sites. Eve-bet, IWantIsk, etc. are all going to be going away as of Ascension.

Well, not quite, IWI and another group I've honestly never heard of are being fully banned as of today, with all assets confiscated. Both of them were involved in widespread RMT operations, apparently.

For the rest, though, finish up your bets and cash out. It's over, folks.

This has sparked a lot of discussion already among the blogging community, and I have to say I'm disturbed by the turn of some of these arguments. For instance, Wilhelm Arcturus of The Ancient Gaming Noob and member of former CFC alliance TNT referred to Eve gambling site revenue as "ill-gotten gains".

In considering it, you've got to separate the way isk is generated from how it's spent. I'm not sure I understand how a house cut of isk gambling is ill-gotten in and of itself.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Jump Ranges to 7 ly, Boys!

As of a few minutes ago, CCP Larkin announced a pretty badly needed change to jump ranges that will be hitting in the November Ascension expansion. With this change, carriers will have a maximum range of 7 ly (two more than currently) and supers will be able to travel to 6 ly. While that doesn't seem like a particularly big deal to non-capital pilots, try plugging a few routes into jumpplanner and you'll see how important it is. Quite often on long routes, you can end up with the response, "No route is possible" taking only cyno jumps.

Within the post, CCP Larkin stated that the company's goals are to:

  • Reintroduce a natural path for capital combat to escalate.
  • Differentiate the power projection of Capitals and Sub-Capitals.
  • Allow alternative logistics and force projection paths into space that is currently very difficult to access.
  • Open up chokepoints and allow jump paths to be a little less predictable.

While this change will be almost universally praised by capital-capable pilots, will it achieve those goals, and are those goals even worthy?

Friday, October 7, 2016

Am I Starting to Like PvE?

In my last post, I talked about taking a few moderate risks to get a ratting carrier into the dronelands. My goal wasn’t just to earn isk, though that is a nice side effect. Rather, I wanted to become more comfortable with flying a carrier and comfortable with the fighter controls. While I’ve been able to fly capitals for a few years now, I really haven’t used them often in combat. Most of my experience with them came in the form of POS repairing.

But now that I’m in system and settling down to actually use the carrier, it’s quite profitable, in more ways than one. In some ways, it’s a bit different than I expected.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Wormholes, Gates, and Risking It All

Recently, I shared some musings about the constant risk/reward decisions occurring inside the heads of every Eve player every day. While sometimes it's not worth the risk to try to go through the Nourvukaiken/Tama gate in a hauler, other times, you just need to take that risk.

A week ago, I moved a character into a dedicated ratting corp, with the intention of doing a little carrier ratting to generate isk. My reasons for this weren't purely economic, though. I tend to be very nervous about cosmic anomalies; the fact that anyone can warp to them makes me a bit skittish. While carriers are capable of holding their own against subcaps now - something not true in the days between carriers being able to field light drones and the new squadron fighter mechanics - I've grown up on stories and experiences killing ratting carriers, and that kind of lesson doesn't quickly go away.

One of my corpmates, Alice Karjovic, won me over by suggesting that carrier ratting is quite different than it used to be. No longer is it the afk activity it used to be. In fact, he was pretty adamant that it's a good way to become familiar with the new fighter control mechanics, and actually serves as good training for carrier PvP. I'm very inexperienced with using capitals, so it sounded like a good thing to try to gain a little practice in a safer (yet still exposed) way.

But, first, I needed to get a carrier in the ratting system.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Propaganda: Basic Reactions

Balancing equations has never been easier, thanks to the Reddit comments of our friends in Circle of Two!

When balancing equations, don't skimp on the salt.

Enjoy the war, and study for Chem 101 at the same time.