Monday, June 7, 2010

The Great Unblocking

Alright, I think I'm cured. Let the electronic ink flow and let's talk about stuff! A few things have been happening lately and much fun was had so here goes, in no particular order.

Chaos Central

As my great buddy and corpmate Letrange has mentioned, ChaosStorm has colonized a W-space system and after the necessary hauling of ships and setting up of POS modules, we can now call this place home. And yes as Letrange has posted on his blog our tower is a sight to behold. This is actually my second stint as a W-space resident. The first time I had left the PvP-hungry Clown Punchers to go help my real-life buddy at the start of Apocrypha, and also to play EVE at a slower rate because I was on a bit of a burn-out. Well burn-out or not, the switch from all-out PvP action to a much quieter alliance proved to be a bit too radical and I was still too interested by The PvP to get settled in W-space to make ISK by the freighter load. It took me getting back to BOZO and a second burn-out to start seeing EVE under a different light. When I left BOZO the second time I started making ISK at a much faster rate because of missioning and exploration, but I still did some PvP, mostly solo roaming in either Low-sec or 0.0, and of course I didn't answer to can-flippers the way most mission runners do by crying and whining in Local; I answered by cramming a Vaga down their throat!

So now here I am back in W-space and I see the experience much differently this time. Doing Sleeper sites is much MUCH more interesting than doing missions not only because of the ISK involved but because it is much more exciting. With the right ship (more on that later) C1 and C2 sites aren't really hard but you have to remember that W-space is a 0.0 environment, and anything can and will happen. To someone like me who thrives on flying dangerously, there is great fun to be had in doing sites in another inhabited system, under the nose of the owners sometimes. Of course flying dangerous does not mean flying stupid, so when enemy probes appear on scan we drop what we're doing and try our best to snuff the prober out of existence. Letrange documented this weekend's kill of a Probe frigate. The funny thing was the cry in Local: "Dude, why?". My answer was short: "Cuz." I don't care if the intruder, or landlord if we're the ones intruding, is a noob or completely peaceful, but I'm NBSI to the core in 0.0 space and if I see it on my overview it goes down or I go down trying.

Inca Roads

No, I'm not talking about the awesome song by maestro Frank Zappa. The song did inspire me for the name of my second Sleipnir. As most people know, spending an appreciable amount of time in W-space gets you rich. Fast. I didn't have quite enough money or skills after only one week to get myself a Loki but I was easily able to buy and fit a second Sleipnir for Sleeper extermination. The first one is still in its mission hub and is basically my trophy for acheivements in EVE, therefore it is fit accordingly with all sorts of faction modules. The new one is much cheaper (OK... a Domination AB and a T2 CCC rig are not!) but let's take the C1 site "Perimeter Camp" for example: by using the Sleipnir I can get the site AND the salvaging done in less time than just killing the Sleepers using the dual-repping Hurricane. Tank is even less of an issue because of the resists, and I use a lot less bullets to get the job done. If I can buy and fit a new command ship after only one week, I guess ISK will no longer be an issue for the foreseeable future.

The tournament

This past weekend was the start of Alliance Tournament VIII, and it's clear that this year the stars of the show are the Pirate Factions' ships. Many teams have fielded a Dramiel or two, some Daredevils, some Gilas (pronounced "Hila" apprently; I did not know that!), some Rattlesnakes, etc. This year the teams also had to make a flagship whose fit would be made public, and the most popular choice by far is the Bhaalgorn, the Blood Raider battleship. And yes the flagships are ridiculously expensive. So far only three teams have fielded their flagships, one of which in a losing cause so ouch wallet! But THE most impressive match so far was the last match of Day One opposing Erebus Alliance and Red Overlord. Erebus was fielding a PL-type bomber squad while ROL brought The Angel Fleet, in the form of 3 Machariels, 3 Dramiels, 3 Daredevils and a Scimitar. The match started and then all Hell broke loose. The bombs shot at the Angel tacklers blew up in empty space because the frigates were too fast, and 137 seconds later it was all over. Pandemic Legion's Minmatar fleet last year was impressive, but ROL's Angel fleet was far beyond impressive.

This is the fourth tournament I have the chance of witnessing and it seems that CCP are getting better and better at delivering a quality event, both in sportsmanship and in media coverage. At one point on Day Two over 20000 people were watching the tournament video stream, and during the North American afternoon the PCU record got shattered when at one point 60453 accounts were logged in. To think that when I started playing anything over 35000 was considered a Big Deal... EVE has really come a long way!

So that's pretty much it with the update. I can't wait for the tournament to pick up again, and for once the finals will be happening while I'm not on parental duty. Maybe we should make it an event with the other Montreal players!

Fly like you own the place, even when you don't


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