Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rogue Convicts Step Up!

Some notes I made while preparing for and in combat with elements of the NC recently.

Connected after DT.
Many C0nvicted online.
Op already running.
Busy comms but no panic, calm, business like.
Undocked in BC to hear it was BS fleet, reshipped.
News from RAGE comms that C0nvicted have gone rogue.
Engaged fleet on YN3 gate in LR.
They ran to YN3 where a Solar fleet was waiting.
No battle between Solar and RAGE seemed to occur.
Docked up again to re-ammo and re-drone, undocked.
Fleet being re-organised for second skirmish.
Approx 100 ships on both sides destroyed so far.
Some pilots asking basic questions like how to move in fleet.
Lone enemy Prophecy warped to station, it died.
Sitting in safe spot - nobody to move - some still do.
TZL and 4KON now has no DH sov.
Article on front page of Evenews24.com
Shot some POS modules.
60+ fleet of reds in YN3.
Emergency warp back to YN3 to engage.
Enemy fleet composition unknown at the moment.
Various chatter while waiting.
New Friends! Support on the way!
Combat and cyno, enemy numbers rising.
Multiple red bubbles.
Frantic combat, warp in, move, move, move, pulse MWD one, two, three times, multiple bubbles landing amongst us.  Still MWD'ing, some ships being webbed and trapped.  I'm sure my cap is being drained.  Endless bubbles being dropped on us.  Finally escape the bubbles and the bulk of the fleet escapes to a safe.
Still alive and flying.
Smaller fleet aligning to gate again.
Engaged near YN3 gate in LR, some reds warp to us, we warp away.
We are destroying some ships but the numbers are against us now.
They catch a straggler or two.
Warp in again - too far out - warp away.
Finding a better spot.
Outnumbered 3 to 1.
Sitting in safe while figuring out next move.
Standing down - victory claimed.
Guerrilla tactics until our next main TZ.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry That Time of Year Again

So here we are at the end of December once again, and soon to be a new year, once again.

Enjoy.

What will the new year bring us in Eve Online?

We will see the final installment of the Incursion expansion which should include the new character creator and the proper Sansha invasion.

Later on in the year the Fanfest will occur and possibly an announcement about the release of either Walking In Stations (WIS) or DUST514.

After that I don't know.

I cannot decide which of those means more to me.  WIS would introduce a whole new group of players to the game (The Sims, Second Life, etc) but DUST514 will add a new dimension.

It will be illuminating to see what happens.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Blue with Blue equals Red!

Read carefully as their may be a test.

Our alliance is called c0nvicted (yes with a zero instead of the letter o).

We were invited into our current area in Geminate by RAGE alliance to help rid the area of the various Russian corps and alliances.  This was done and the Russians moved on and all was good.

Then the leadership in RAGE alliance changed and they decided to state that we were pets of their alliance and we had better be good pets or look out!

Somewhere along the line it was decided by RAGE alliance that we had not been good pets, it was quite the surprise to us, but we had not shown the proper respect towards them and thus we should move out.

Of course this has nothing to do with the station we have in LR-2XT and all the money we've spent on it, nothing at all, I don't know why we even keep on mentioning it.

Quickly moving along.

So three days ago they gave us 24 hours to drop sovereignty and being really nice guys they would even help us move our stuff in their ships if we need them too.  It was not made clear where this stuff would be moved to and who the new owners of that stuff would be after the move however.

Just to make it even more interesting the Russians are once again on the surge having pushed the NC out of the Drone Regions.

The deadline came and went with a whooshing sound that DNA used to love.

Since then the discussions have been many and long between the various higher ups in our alliance, happily I'm not involved with that.

However the mood of the 700+ alliance members is pretty ugly.  Since the news was announced the local markets have dried up of nearly all PVP related items like ships, ammo and modules.  If you had to pick a decision based on the purchases of the alliance members I'd say everybody wants to close the jump gates and hunker down for a siege.

Or if we wish to use a Dark Ages analogy.

We are not quite to the stage of standing on the hills banging our shields with a sword and yelling out "We're gonna cut your todgers orf!" but it cannot be far away.  I'd say at the moment we are sharpening our swords and talking in quiet voices using a tone that describes the near future better than any poet could.

Very soon we may be living in "Interesting Times".

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Boring!

So we hit a large offline POS in low sec yesterday afternoon, and evening.

Every time I'm involved in a POS bash I say to myself I'll never do another one.  However enough time elapses and the pain fades then lo and behold I'm once again plinking away at some poor bastards tower.

Uuurghghg!

Anyway on a slightly brighter side the alt corp has been war decced by a corp it was at war with previously, though for reasons I forget.  It must not have been very memorable as the other people involved at the time also don't remember exactly what happened.

So I have no idea why the dec was made though it hardly effects the running of the corp or activities of the remaining members.  The only purpose I can think of at the moment is some sort of economic reason, stopping the market or PI activities?

Not wanting to enter into specifics at the moment but it has done no damage so far.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Hanger Queen

Yes it is that time of year again so Christmas Greetings, Holiday Greetings or Meh as the case may be.

In our stocking from CCP this year is a ship called the Echelon which is designed to be used with a supplied special codebreaker for scanning locked containers found in sites etc.

The name of the item is Purloined Sansha Codebreaker.  Who says purloined these days?

Plus the description says they were salvaged from the wrecks of Sansha ships, hardly purloined at all.

However if you reprocess the item it turns into a Mangled Sansha Codebreaker.

Then you reprocess that and something interesting happens.

You should receive:
1 x Badly Mangled Components
1 x Codebreaker 1
1 x True Slave Decryption Node

Now the interesting part is the True Slave Decryption Node as it's difficult to ignore the fact it's also a head in a jar - particularly when it opens its eyes briefly, looks around, and frowns!

Now we know where some of the kidnapped citizens ended up, in your new ship!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Meta Gaming and Possibly You!

Eve Online gaming also occurs outside the game.  Recently in the Northern Coalition (NC) against Pandemic Legion (PL) war their have been accusations of "Meta Gaming".

According to comments on www.evenews24.com both sides are accusing the other of hacking their web sites, kill boards and attacking the Team Speak chat servers with DDOS attacks to try and disrupt communications and reduce the alliance fleet effectiveness.

As this is Eve Online it would be supported in game but outside of the game, in the real world, this is probably an illegal act that could in theory get people into serious trouble.

Will this actually happen?  Probably not as the targets are not classed as important in the scheme of things.

However should somebody from the NC or PL decide to place a complaint with the RL authorities what would happen and how much would it rock the Eve universe?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Noctis

The Noctis as mentioned previously is the new salvaging ship to replace your Catalyst or Hurricane salvage setups.

If you mission and you salvage you must have a Noctis, it is that awesome.

I've only trained the skill to level 3 so my tractor range is approx 56km and it pulls the wrecks in fast.

The actual salvage modules are also quick and many wrecks are torn apart for their salvage in no time at all.

However this is a salvage ship and especially in low or null sec it will be a screaming beacon to those who probe or direction scan that a mission is being cleaned up.  This could be an issue as in the past if you used a Hurricane as you might be a combat ship and their attack might not be as automatic.

I would like to find out if anybody is using the Noctis for non salvage use, how they are fitting it and what it is being used for.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Money, it's a gas!

Recently I had an account issue and CCP could not bill my card for the alt account.  They had sent me an email about this so I replied with a question as to the reason as I didn't want to make a duplicate payment.

The alt's offline time was good, it let him shower, have something to eat and give the wife the pickle tickle.

However about 8 hours later the response came back from CCP saying they were sorry but they didn't know what the issue was and I should just try and make the payment myself and see how it goes.

So I did and it was fine, logged back in and watched the alt wave goodbye to his family again for at least three months.

Each payment in your My Account settings on the Eve Online web site has a PaymentID which should be a unique number for payments given the description.

So using my latest PaymentID number 12835063 (intentionally changed in a minor way to avoid giving away my actual latest PaymentID number for information or paranoia reasons) and multiply that by the smallest amount per PaymentID which is $14.95 we come up with a dollar figure of nearly 192 million dollars since the beginning.


This assumes that payments started from 1 and not some arbitrary number later on but also the figure should/could be higher than this as some folks will pay more than $14.95 per PaymentID.


Another interesting figure is from now until the creation of the alts account which was approx August 2008, using the same method CCP have accepted 85.3 million dollars in two and a bit years.


Some questions.


Are these figure correct?  I don't know and they assume quite a bit.


Could I prove these figures?  No and I'm sure CCP would not tell you either.


Why do they make so much money?  They are a business and costs for Eve, World of Darkness, DUST514, and others would substantially eat into this.


I could argue X & Y & Z against this!  Go ahead.  So could I, it could probably never be proven one way or another but I find it interesting and therefore it is here.


I've run out of questions.  Good as I've run out of answers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It began here....maybe

This is the history of Eve Online, Elite.  Here is the wiki page for all the information so I don't need to replicate everything there.

Elite on the Commodore 64 (C64) came on a single floppy disk but had a huge playing area due to the way it  created solar systems from mathematical data.  As you can see from the image on the left the graphics were also basic compared to todays standards but pretty good for the day.  Mostly in wire frame the only filled in graphics I can remember was the Sun, which you could re fuel your ship from if you flew close enough.

The starter system was Lave and from there you could branch out in your own galaxy or several others.  Unlike Eve you flew the ship with a joystick but the game used something closer to proper Newtonian physics so the ship flew more like a real one would in space.  Early in the game when you are money poor you even have to dock your ship manually by match your ships rotation with the small entry point on the space station and then slowly move forward while correcting for errors as the station approached.

This was wonderful encouragement to make money by trading until you could afford a docking computer.

When using the docking computer it would play a music track, The Blue Danube by Strauss.  To this day if I hear that piece of music Elite is all I can think of.

You started off with a rating of Harmless and worked your way towards the Elite rating.  Shooting pirates, trading etc would move you towards this goal.  Shoot the wrong ship or heaven forbid a Station and then the police Vipers would undock and proceed to ruin your whole day, they were feared.

So when I'm playing Eve Online a part of me is always playing Elite.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Undercurrents

alliance in local system

one enemy red in the local system

supposedly friendly banter between the local blues and the red

underneath is a murderous undercurrent

the threat of discovery and death

moving from system to system exchanging companionship for desolation

wanting both

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Terran Trade Authority

Released from 1978 the Terran Trade Authority (TTA) books were a major source of inspiration for me.  The illustrations were gorgeous and accompanying text described events as if they were part of history.

Some of the ships pictured were given little explanation as they were unknowns, strange ships that were found out in the void, often there for a very long time and nothing was known about them.

The books had a sense of wonder.

My school library had all four of these books, I now know the original print run of these books are fairly rare to find so they are probably more valuable than they realise, if the library still has them.  I used to loan them out and marvel at the images and the descriptions of the "events".  At the same time I was playing a game on the Commodore 64 called Elite by David Braben and Ian Bell.  Given the limited technology of the time the game had wire frame graphics so an amount of imagination was required to make the leap from Elite imagery to the TTA's.

Quite a few space based computer games have borrowed from the TTA universe, either consciously or not.  I believe Eve Online has, Homeworld certainly did.  This is not a bad thing as this work deserves to live on.

My favourite illustrator was Peter Elson whose attention to detail always amazed me.

Unfortunately Peter passed away in 1998.

Many other images exist from Peter Elson and others, if you are interested you can find more information here and here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm in love with Cherenkov Radiation

Cherenkov radiation, more information can be found here is awesome.  If I can ever view the engine room on one of my ships at least part of it has to look like this.

Stunning.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Finally!

finally

At about the time when this post is published I’ll have reached 50 million skill points!

Woo Hoo!

With the dumping of the learning grind I will also be able to re-deploy approx 1.1 million skill points on or about the 15th of December.  I’m not sure where those points are going to go at this stage, I was thinking about a boost towards the Gallente Sin or something similar.

I will look into it some more over the next week or so.

However right now, as this post is being published I’m at a “fancy” dress party, should be interesting.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Incursion Expansion Part One Thoughts

I've been able to play with the expansion for a couple of days now and a couple of things have caught my eye.

The Noctis, some folks already have one and are epeening outside stations or sitting on gates showing all and sundry their new ship.

However the Noctis started in Jita at 160 million ISK and then dropped to about 55 million ISK today, my estimate is it should settle at about 35 million ISK eventually.  So for the early adopters that epeen cost them at least 120 million they could have saved.

While the Noctis will be a solid savaging ship I don't think the humble Catalyst destroyer will be without use as it's a cheap salvaging ship and those starting out would be well advised to use it until their wallet can withstand the Noctis outlay.

Warping!

Warping is smooth, really smooth, smooth with lots of oh's as in oh my god is it smooth. As smooth as teflon, as smooth as your first girlfriend.

That smooth!

This creates a problem, well at least for me, as when I approached a gate and left warp it would shudder and that would be my cue to engage jump on the gate and continue the journey.  That shudder was useful to break me from the trance on long journeys.  Now when you leave warp the ship just glides from warp to normal space with an elegance that I did not realise was missing.

The change of the microwarpdrive icon is awesome!  Such a small change but it really helps with identifying between those and the afterburner modules.

Finally once again I have to say how nice the game looks with native Anti Aliasing, I have just spent some time flying around looking at things again.

So this expansion is a small one but with a surprising amount of quality, looking forward to expansion part 2 in two weeks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Incursion Expansion


So the expansion has arrived, well the patch has as to call this an expansion would be very, very generous.  In CCP's defense this is only the first of the multiple roll out for the Incursion expansion so we will not see the complete picture until about February 2011.

To read about the total changes have a look here www.eveonline.com/updates/patchnotes.asp?patchlodID= but I'll go through a few items that interested me.

The Noctis, a dedicated salvage ship.  At the very least this will replace my salvage Hurricane, mostly so I don't have to visually search all the combat Hurricanes to find the salvage one.  It will be a solid salvage ship but it also doesn't really add anything to the game, just replaces what was being used previously.

The war against lag continues, one of the changes here are to drones, it appears they will hurt the servers less in the future.  Other changes under the Need For Speed heading should help also.

Rockets have been fixed, assuming they were ever broken.  With luck this will make the forums whiners happy for a while.

Some graphics changes are pretty good, they now make it easier to run a dual monitor setup and Anti Aliasing now works from in game and we no longer need some external voodoo magic setup.

A new icon for the microwarpdrives is very good, makes them easy to pick in the list of items.

That is about it for me.  Is this an expansion?  No certainly not but when the end of January arrives and all the patches/expansion parts have been rolled out we can look back and judge Incursion on its merits.