Thursday, October 29, 2009

So WTF were you thinking Coz ?!

I’m pretty sure that this question has popped up in the minds of some of the people I know in EVE, and to put this already beaten horse to rest I’ll do my best to explain myself here. It will also be easier for me to explain to someone asking me questions about my decision by giving a link to this blog post than going into the big convo that I’ve already been through a few times.

Before I start, and to keep from repeating myself, please read the last post I wrote because this is where it all begins. EVE had lost a lot of its flavor for me, so did BOZO, I wanted to do other things both in and out of EVE, add on a stupid noobish ratting death followed by a well-criticized interceptor death, and all of a sudden I felt like I just had to do something to justify me paying 15$ USD a month for a game that was starting to taste like an over-chewed stick of Beeman’s gum; bye-bye Curse, bye-bye BOZO, so long and thanks for all the frags.

Minutes before I turned in my roles I did something that everybody gets asked when they feel like qutting and that nobody thinks about doing because they are too attached to their pixel-powered spaceships earned with much effort and tons of virtual money. I opened the corp hangar and dumped in everything but my Vagabond loaded with a full tank of Barrage M. Curious to see the ship list? I feel no shame in that. Here goes : Tempest, Broadsword, Deimos, Myrmidon, Sabre, Nemesis, Taranis x2, Claw x2-3, Stiletto x2-3, Thorax x-many, Rupture x-many, Rifter x-many, and an obscene amount of modules, drones and ammo. Am I flat-broke after this? Not at all, but then again ships don’t die as fast anymore, even with some PvP. Look at it this way, I saved the logistics pilots a lot of jump fuel! And why did I do this? For a few reasons : first, those ships were meant to die in combat, and were already close to various battlefields, and second, I wanted to make a point that I was truly leaving BOZO. I see a lot of people that seem to leave and rejoin corps 3, 4 and 5 times and I would not be labeled as one of those indecisive pilots. « But you could have sold ‘em! » you say. Fuck it. I hope BOZO uses ‘em well.

« But why did you leave a well-established PvP corp? » do you ask. Simple : because to me it wasn’t fun anymore. On the opposite of the funny side of BOZO we all get to hear in the BOZOKasts, there’s a very serious drive to succeed in this corp, and pilots who perform sub-par will be expected to get better reasonably quick, leave, or get booted out. Don’t get me wrong though. When you strive to be one of the best PvP entities in EVE you need to do this; I have no idea how Pandemic Legion does business but I’m pretty sure they’re very tight on discipline to have won those tournaments. But as a casual player who wants to have fun in the time that I can log on, this is not for me. PvP can and will go wrong from time to time, but if even winning is not fun anymore because so-and-so did something wrong then what’s the point. Yes, this is where all BOZOs can call me a faggot, tell me to catch A(H1N1) and die, tell me that they gang-banged my sister and planted their seed in my mother’s womb, but that’s all good. I even expect it! To PL, just watch yourselves if these well-endowed crazies ever make it to the Alliance Tournament because they may smoke up your bombs like cheap weed and fold you up like a nice little cock-shaped origami!

« So what are you gonna do now? » is usually the next question. Well, as my blog header mentions I have formed my own 1-man/3-char corp called Dock 94 (remember, huge Star Wars fanboy here) which will probably recruit one other member if my noob buddy Si Gong can manage to subscribe and reactivate his account. D94’s RoE can be described as NBSIYFLI : Not Blue Shoot If You Feel Like It. And my new killboard can attest that I have been putting this RoE to effect with some success. The first PvP op to blood Si Gong was a bust as an old A4D buddy Bullmastiff managed to single-handedly destroy our 3-man gang, but after this it’s been 3 kills in a row with my first Low-Sec solo kill (DED complex in Olfeim : do NOT go there solo in a Thrasher!), a second-hand Caracal (we engaged in Low-Sec, I warped off wounded, but a Triumvirate Vaga finished him off), and a Remedy Claw in 0.0 Syndicate as I was blooding yet another pilot to PvP in a 2-man EWAR-inty gang, which we both came out alive from. GJ to Carbon Freezer who did a great job flying his Kitsune :) I’ve also received invites from one pirate corp and one 0.0 corp, but right now I’m in no hurry to join a pre-established entity. There has been some talk of forming an alliance with nothing but solo corps but there’s nothing official yet.

I’ve also started doing some non-PvP related activities. I’ve always been interested in exploration so those related skills will be polished. With Dominion just around the corner there will be the Speed Boat missions, and because I’m a speed freak I want to do those, but to make sure I can I need standings. So off missioning I go; I know, scary shit! And finally I’ve been looking into the EVE racing leagues. I have even had an offer of sponsorship for the ships I will use to race with the only catch that the sponsor gets to name my ship… now THIS is scary shit !!!

And finally, out of EVE, I have reconnected with my love of flying after re-installing Flight Simulator 2004, my Saitek X52 FCS, and downloading an ungodly amount of aircraft of all sizes and speeds, sceneries, terrain meshes, tools, etc. One thing I need to do in the short term is to drill some holes in my desk so I can bolt on the FCS, but what I’d really like to do once my basement is cleared up of toys, furniture and debris, is build myself a sim cockpit… I haz blueprint :)) It’s a very simple design that’s portable, customizable, and can also be used as a car racing and battlemech piloting cockpit. As CCP says so well, soon™ :) This cockpit will also be very useful if/when I start playing Black Prophecy or Jumpgate. I need to re-install Combat Flight Simulator 3 and some good old space sims because I haven’t been in a dogfight in ages. But at least I can confirm that I can still land planes !!!

Phew! That was a lengthy one :))

Fly safe, fly dangerous, but fly for yourselves first!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rethinking this whole EVE thing

I'll get right to the point: I'm starting to wonder where my EVE career will take me. Don't get me wrong, I love EVE, even if once in a while I have to pay dearly for a mistake or flying dangerously. These days I seem to be losing ships way too fast, and one Hurricane in a show of pure noobish carelessness that's likely to get me booted out of BOZO. Add to that the fact that my new ships don't come exactly cheap and that living the PvP lifestyle means more ISK goes out than it comes in, and things start getting less interesting.

About the ship losses (the regular ones... not the stupid ass-clown ratting loss), I summed it up in our Alliance chat after an interceptor loss: I don't play enough and I stay rusty. Maybe a different fit could have helped, but I guess I'll find out on another roam. But my “not playing enough” factor seems to be getting more important as time goes by. Not only does my Real-Life situation have a nasty habit of getting in the way (one of my boys screaming out at 10PM because he had a nightmare while I'm flying the fleet's interdictor is a good example), but unlike a lot of serious PvPers I have interests in other games than EVE like race sims, flight sims, shooters, the occasional RPG, etc. And where some of those games may not have the depth or complexity of EVE, they at least have a Pause button, or leaving the game doesn't cause an entire fleet to be angry at you. Also, the other games I'm interested in are mostly played in the first-person view; I'm very much a twitch gamer and having to think too much does cause me to either make big mistakes and/or lose interest. I've been in EVE for close to 2 years now and even after all this time I still don't get a lot of little things that come only with non-stop practice and a very deep pocket book.

This leads me to the second subject, ISK. If you're a PvPer who doesn't do any of the important money-making activities in EVE because, frankly, mining asteroids is right up there with painting and doing the dishes as far as excitement goes, and missioning/exploration requires a lot of time away from PvP, the only way to get the necessary ISK for ship replacement is by spending real money on GTC's and converting them into ISK. While some may say that 35$ USD is not much to get 600 million ISK (once you've sold 2 30-day PLEXes) it's still something that will need to be done regularly because even if your alliance's ship replacement program is great, you will still lose ISK when you lose a ship. Now, EVE is currently my only subscription MMO with only one account active, and I really don't see myself shelling out more real money for a game that, interesting as it is, I barely have time to play.

So it comes to this. Playing EVE and doing the only thing I find really fun in the game is getting painful, I don't have the patience to do the money-making strategems nor do I want to bleed myself of real Canadian Dollars because a hangar full of T2-fit battlecruisers, HACs, Recons, interdictors and interceptors is not exactly cheap. Add to that the fact that I want to keep my driving and flying skills honed (I'm wondering if I can still land an SR-71... I miss flight!) and that I need to shut off my brain and swim in blood sprays once in a while, virtually of course, and EVE loses some of its shine. And then you see a video like Incarna and you see all the possibilities with EVE. But there are two up-coming Space-sim MMO's that are in the works that while I don't think they'll get even near EVE in depth, they look like they'll deliver more accessible action, and they are actually flown in the good-ol' traditional space-sim fashion, using throttle and stick controls. Black Prophecy or Jumpgate Evolution, whichever comes out first, will most likely spell the retirement of Cozmik R5 as a capsuleer. In the meantime, I'll do my best to give BOZO what help I can give, but I understand how serious about PvP these guys are and I may find myself lacking. My future in EVE may lie somewhere else, but as I write this I truly do not know.

Fly your best


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Some screenies from Supercap Fest

The Supercap testing is now over and done, and I consider myself lucky to have been able to log on to Sisi on Friday when it started. To say Sisi got overloaded is an understatement. So I found out that my theory on capital ships is still totally correct: unless I've trained up everything else in the game (including mining, industry, trade, social, and other oddity skills), which would be in about 25-30 years apparently, there is no way in Hell I'm putting my pod into one of those fat lazy bitches. Sorry if I offend any carrier, dread, mom ot titan pilot; your ships are big and bad and do a world of damage, but they are exceedingly boring to fly. Aligning to a point in space for 30 seconds is just not for me.

That said though I did use the opportunity to try supercaps, and yes, the complete mess in FD-MLJ was a quite a sight, if a bit laggy. The downer was there wasn't any graphics to the new Doomsdays; quite disappointing because i really wanted to see an Anime-style rush of mad missiles pouring out of my Ragnarok. The new fighter-bombers are pretty cool though, even though the chances of me seeing them are very slim unless we find a stray supercarrier to kill. Here are some screenies:

Ever wanted to know why Titans don't dock? This is why.

'Scuse me... 'scuse me...

One of the stars of Dominion...

...and each dot is a mini XL torpedo that they shoot...

...and I don't care what universe you're from, THAT FUCKING HURTS !!!

But in the end, the only good titan is a dead titan :))

A few words about those three Wyverns that popped me: these three guys knew what they were doing. They were set up as Remote-repping and cap-transfering and they were easily tanking the DDs, and not just from my Ragnarok. Usually camp tactics on Sisi gets boring, but what they were doing was really impressive. They're obviously more into cap ships than I'll ever be :))

I also took the opportunity to try my F1 ship with max skills, and screw the speed nerf and fit a full set of Snake implants; fitting implants was a first for me. I also squeezed in a T2 rig in there, loaded up a cargo hold full of nanite paste, undocked (got bumped 60 km off the station), warped to a planet, aligned to another celestial, and floored it:

It's gone plaid !!! 10842 m/s !!!!1!!1!

Yes, I know all about the stacking penalty, and in this particular case I DO NOT CARE !!! It's like when I'm driving in rFactor, I'm not happy until I break something spectacularly, and the only way to do it is by going Ludicrous Speed. And yes, there is room for improvement because I didn't have a Gistii A-type 1mn microwarp drive and Domination overdrives. I would really love to try that, and I'm probably crazy enough to do it.

Of course, I couldn't leave the lagfest without trying a Nyx:

Joe's Garage

Yes the new fighter-bomber's are nice, yes you can field a crap-ton of 'em, but with the 3 Wyverns around it didn't last long. I wanted to try a whole bunch of other ships with my set of perfect skills (426 million SP if you're wondering) but the lag was extremely horrible in the combat areas and even the client itself was flaky. There were 2 other systems where people could be moved to but i'm pretty sure the lag was just the same there. I had to go help out my noob buddy anyway so off Sisi I went.

And that's it. I can say I've tried capital ships now. Thanks very much, I'll pass.

Fly Ludicrous... it's better for your cardio


PS: BOZOKast Ep. 11 is out. Drink it in.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ragnarok !!!!

Ragnarok = Great Battle @ End of Time

Yes, apparently CCP moved up the date of Supercapital Bashfest to RIGHT NOW !!! I'm just over 110th in Queue, and there are over 550 people on Sisi. I expect FD-MLJ to be a complete mess when I finally get in :)

From student to teacher

Earlier this week I got a phone call from a friend of mine who I don't see enough of, and as we were shooting the shit I told him that these days my game of predilection was EVE Online, this monster of a game that can take over your life and gives meaning to the phrase "Internet spaceships is serious business". So of course, knowing my buddy is also a gamer I told him to check it out and to brace himself for information overload because EVE has been described as "hardcore for the hardcore" in a review. Apparently that didn't scare him too much.

The very next day, as I was getting ready to go out on a roam with the BOZOs I get another phone call, and the gist of it was "Hey Ben, I'm in the game... and WTF ?!?!?!!111" Of course when you have to listen to your FC you don't exactly have time to give the EVE 101 course to someone who just installed the client, so I told him that I'd join up with him in Hi-sec the following day to shower him with yet more information, and I kept an open convo with him during my roam to help him out as time allowed and threw him a few helpful links to go visit, stuff to read, apps to download, fly only what you can afford to lose... the whole spiel. About the BOZO op: a 35 man Jihad fleet managed to hurt our 15 man HAC gang a bit too much, so we went in their pursuit after re-shipping to BCs and they ran tuck-tailed all the way to their home so they could up-ship to BCs themselves. The result was a 39 vs 15 that barely ended in their favor. Nice job running, Forrest... I don't care what the numbers say, we won.

Back to my noob buddy, on Wednesday night I log into Hek and get the convo going with si Gong, my buddy's character, and start doing the pointers on navigation, checking skills (he had trained up totally useles ones of course!), checking the market, checking "Show Info" on pretty much anything I could think of, show him various ship classes from interceptor to Titan, showed him the awesomeness of Officer mods (showed him Gotan's Warp Disruptor;2 point scram at 35 km... 2 of those in my Arazu plz...3.25 bil each? OK forget it!), and even did some combat in Low-sec where I totally forgot about station sentry guns as I tried to dock up with the criminal timer going. Never fear, I was in a fully T1 fit Rifter and not in the Firetail I showed him moments before :)

And now it seems that si Gong is starting to feel the lure. Tomorrow I'm going to his place to do the EVE 102 course in person, and we'll see if he takes the Drake-sized bait.

So if you see a Jin Mei character by the name of si Gong in Gallente space these days try to go easy on him, but I did advise him on the system's sec rating so Spectre, Mynxee, and all you other yarrin' people, do teach him your type of lesson if you see him in Local. And yes, he's more interested in combat than carebearing so that would actually be a good thing !!!

Fly dangerous and train dangerous noobs!


PS: I'm taking the opportunity to thank Letrange, Arancia, Queb, Teister, Cerui, and all the others who have had a hand in training me when I was an itsy-bitsy noob trying to survive in Curse. I couldn't be here without you!

Saturday, October 3, 2009



I still call it "Duke Nukem Forever" because this is unbelievably ambitious, but EVE as a whole is one ambitious project so they may just pull it off. CCP Torfi did mention that they want EVE to be the ultimate Sci-Fi experience, from fragging and doing deals in a back alley, to running full tilt to the space station to get to your pod that's sitting in a station with your ships, getting that pod in a chosen ship (and I thought I hated the docking delays... it'll be longer if we get to actually see it!), and flying said ship to the ends of the universe and participating in fleet battles.

If they ever pull it off I'm gonna have to quit my job and live in New Eden full time !!!