Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2010/10/29

Halloween Special suggestions:

Type O Negative - Black Sabbath
Marilyn Manson - This is Halloween
Black Sabbath w/Dio - Heaven and Hell
Slayer - anything! (Angel of Death actually)
Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast
Fantomas - Rosemary's Baby
Fantomas - The Omen
Alice Cooper - Welcome to my Nightmare
The Big 4 of Thrash Metal - Am I Evil?
Corrosion of Conformity - Dance of the Dead


Gorgoroth - Carving a Giant (recreation of their Krakow 2004 performance)

This being Halloween weekend of course I had to post somethings with monsters, demons and all-around evilness. And for once I include my tunage brainstorm that I usually edit out of my text once I've made up my mind. Being a fan of rock and metal there is plenty of Halloweenish stuff to go around, from all eras of music, from "Monster Mash" all the way up to the blackest Norwegian Black Metal. Ultimately though the choice wasn't too hard for my first Halloween Friday Lunch Hour. There may be some debate as to which band is the first to be tagged "heavy metal", but out of those first metal bands there is no debate as to which one had the darkest lyrics and soundscapes. Black Sabbath, by Black Sabbath, from the Black Sabbath album. If you want an example of what makes a piece of music sound dark and menacing, the tritone chord progression, this tune is probably the best example. Yes, the version by Type O Negative is probably darker, but the original is the original. I invite you to check out the other tunes of course, but do heed the warning about Gorgoroth; if you are in any way sensitive to blood, satanic rituals, fake crucifixions, or go to church every sunday, this band is not for you. If you want to see a metal band serious about what they sing(!) about, and to what extremes they go to get their point across, then put on your selt belt and hang on for the ride!

On the EVE front: Last weekend having turned out to be a complete bust I took it very quiet this week, so apart from a few missions and the pirate podding I described in the last post, nothing much as happened. One thing that IS happening is that I'm well on the way to replacing the Loki I lost a while ago. This one won't be flying as dangerously so I should be able to hang onto it a little longer... at least more than 2 weeks :) This means that I will have 2 Sleipnirs to play with. One will probably stay fit for 'plexing and W-space operations, but I will turn the other one into a PvP machine... anyone has a good fit? And that's pretty much it.

Fly scary


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Profession wanted: Bounty Hunter

So yesterday I start my EVE session pretty quietly, especially after being stuck away from the game for so long. My eldest boy now back with his mom and his brother, who finally came out of the hospital on Monday evening, I crack open a bottle of La Fin du Monde (one of the best beers in the history of beer), fit Stinkfoot the Sleipnir with the proper modules and ammo to take on the Mordus Headhunters, and proceed to rape 'em senseless. You can't go more carebear without pointing mining lazors on floating rocks. So with a steady flow of awesome beer and ISK, life is good. I had time to do a couple more missions before corpmate, and newly crowned CEO Havegun logs in and starts looking for trouble in Everyshore Low-sec, a perfect place for solo or very small gang The PvP. It didn't take him too long to find some.

For once, the Mya-Gerper dead-end constellation has people looking for action. Havegun is flying his Ishtar and all of a sudden I look at the alliance chat window and see things like "...something something Cyclone", "...something something Drake", "...something something bait", "yay, got the Cyclone!", "...something something Sleipnir", "...something something 'down'". I answer right away with "Should I be clone-jumping somewhere?". After getting informed of Gun's location I clone-jump to Azer, restart the client to enable my USB headset, get in one of my numerous Rifters (Gun had just re-shipped into an Incursus) and we start a tiny 2-man fleet, with me heading to Gerper at best speed. I barely have time to take a breath on the Gerper gate that Gun gives me the "jump in, WTM" order. One of Gun's previous assaillants had just tackled him again with a Rifter of his own, and I land on both frigates which are locked in a dance of death. The next order I got did make me raise my eyebrows: "Coz, don't put your point on him, keep it for the pod". Hmmm, this dude must have a tasty bounty, but I'm a bit too busy all of a sudden to check the pilot's character sheet. The outlaw's Rifter finally explodes and as this happens I start locking the capsule, which I scram and kill a second later. Just as I had predicted, my mailbox and wallet start blinking:

Sent: 2010.10.27 02:17
For your termination of Unknown Taker we have paid you the bounty that was set to his head: 10,000,000.00 ISK

*eye blink*

Of course I give Havegun his half of the bounty, but still, not bad for about 2 minute's work! Later attempts at The PvP only resulted in both our ships' death, but when I logged out I kept thinking about the nice bounty payment. Of all the career paths that one can take in New Eden, the path of Bounty Hunter sure could need some looking into.

As it is right now, outlaws with fat bounties on their heads are almost nothing but flying piggy banks for themselves; they wait for the bounty to get big enough, have themselves podded by an alt or a buddy trustworthy enough to give them back the ISK, and voilà, instant free money. Sure NPC pirate factions have bounties, but mission running or ratting is a far cry from PvP bounty hunting. I'm almost convinced that the addition of a better bounty system, and maybe even the addition of a new class of NPC that would act almost as deathmatch bots do in Quake and other FPS games would help give a new life to Low-sec, giving it its own special flavor. W-space has Sleepers and T3 production, Null-sec has fat 'roids and rats and Sovereignty warfare, and Hi-sec has carebears... Low-sec has pirates and Faction Warfare. It's easy to see that out of four distinct regions of space, one region is the clear loser in ISK making opportunities. "Oh but I have a mission alt", one pilot would say. "I have a mining alt" would say another. Wouldn't it be more fun to be able to make ISK doing something fun instead of making ISK in ways so boring that it feels like a second job? Some players may be into carebearism, but some others, like me, are not.

The way I see it, instead of just plowing ISK on someone's head in the hopes that maybe someone pods him, Bounty Hunting should work more like some kind of miniaturized Wardec, where contracts can be made by players or corporations (not quite sure about alliances... that's stepping into Wardec territory) to put a price on a certain player's head. Just like bounties work right now, a player would need to have a certain amount of negative security status to have a bounty contract applied, and I'm sure that crafty multi-alt players would play this game too; if an outlaw player became aware that someone is willing to pay a bounty to have him podded, he could have an alt take the contract and collect the ISK, but at least it would be a bit more work compared to what is today dead easy. Plus, by the time the outlaw is aware of the price on his head, a true bounty hunter could have already taken the contract to pod him. The bounty hunter would then have a set period of time to complete the contract. When complete, the hunter gets his ISK. If time runs out, the contract dies and the ISK returns to the contractor.

The Bounty Hunter career path would also give some renewed importance to locator agents, which I'm pretty sure do not see as much use as they could. Also, the bounties could also receive some bonuses depending on the ships used in the fight, the system's true security rating (+1.0 to -0.99), distance from the contract's source station, etc.

So that's what a single outlaw kill made me think of. Let's hope I can find more outlaws with fat bounties ready to pop :)

Fly dangerous, which ever side of the fence you are


Monday, October 25, 2010

One bad weekend

No, this has nothing to do with EVE, even though the weekend started weird when I found an Angel deadspace complex called Angel Vigil that was tougher than any L4 mission I had done before. 6 warp-outs later I finally finished it, and all I got out of the complex boss was some Arch Angel ammo, a Domination tag, and a meta4 nanofiber module. Whoopty fuckin' doo. I didn't bother to salvage the thing because I was too pissed off. And that's pretty much where my EVE weekend ended. Read on.

On Saturday morning I get up on the late side as this is my weekend without my boys. My eyeballs are still not aligned with the sockets when the phone rings. It's my ex, with grim news. At 4AM my ex and my boys had rushed to the hospital because my youngest boy, Timothée, was having a nasty asthma attack. So of course I have to go pick up Léandre who is not sick to make sure he doesn't catch something nasty; hospitals tend to have sick people. So as the saying goes, there goes my weekend. I also had to miss the Montreal EVE Pilots Meet which for once was visited by a few of ASMIC's uber industrials, the Wyldfyre family. Yep, the stars were extremely out of wack this weekend.

Yesterday night I did get on EVE if only to jump back to my implants because I don't know when the situation will resolve itself. So if I do get on it will be for a mission or two because I may have to stop at any instant. And starting Thursday is the official parental weekend, but with a break on Saturday night because I've been invited to go see Experience Hendrix. This should lighten things up quite nicely!

Get well soon Tim, I want to see you tear my place apart again :)


Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2010/10/22

I discovered Archive after seeing the video for "Again", and rushed out to get the CD to hear the rest, and fell in love with this little known band with Pink Floyd-ish inspiration. The tune "Fool" puts me in the mindset of driving on empty roads at early morning hours.

On the EVE front: things have been a tad slow at MAPU this past week, and maybe in all of AMC as well. Bad timing I guess. I did go out on a long solo roam on Wednesday night where I went from Heimatar Low-sec to Forge Low-sec, and then to Russian space in Etherium Reach, then back to Forge towards Metropolis, then into Molden Heath, with a side trip in Great Wildlands. I was first flying a Taranis but not far from home I met a -10 Rifter pilot. He had just docked up but he has seen me. He undocked right away and a fight ensued. I lost the Taranis, but it came down to the last bits of structure. Being late on pulling out drones against a character 2 years older than Coz was a mistake. Oh well :)

I then reshipped into a Rifter of my own and went on the long roam. I was very quiet. I did steal a shuttle kill from an artillery fit Hurricane. I had seen him previously and had landed one shot that had halfed my shields. I jumped out and saw the shuttle jump in just as my session timer had ended. Knowing that all the gates were bubbled I followed it in warp hoping to snag it, and now that I knew how the Cane was fit maybe get myself a juicy kill. I got the shuttle which got me a "WTF dude?!?!" in Russian, and as I started arcing towards the Cane at high transversal speed, he couldn't hit me and obviously didn't have drones. Unfortunately for my juicy kill project he warped off before I got into scram range. Ah well

So here's to more of this over the weekend. Fly dangerous!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Praise to the Rifter Drifter

Wensley of Rifter Drifter has made his Rifter guide better, and it is a must-read !!!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Waiting for rockets to finally work

Lately I've been polishing up some training I had left behind when I decided I had had enough of getting killed by Taranis pilots and wanted to get in on the action. This was followed by intense training for the Broadsword and the Vagabond, sprinkled with a smidge of Cheetah and Rapier, and finally with good battleship skills, followed by Field Command Ships. All of this had the effect of putting a serious hole in my training: missile skills. Until recently the damage I was doing with missiles was just a little extra over the awesome output of my guns. I can fly a nicely tanked bait Drake but even for this particular battlecruiser my damage output would be anemic enough to pass it up. But among the things that are coming with the Incursion expansion is the long awaited rocket fix... ABOUT GOD DAMNED TIME !!!!

One ship that I have the feeling will receive some love because of this is the Republic Fleet Firetail. Having already suffered a lot at the time of the Quantum Rise speed rebalance, it received a quasi death blow when the Dramiel was raised to Uber Tackling King status. I don't know (and seriously doubt) if the Firetail will de-throne the Angel frigate, but with rockets being a lot more effective I suspect that the 2 gun/ 2 launcher setup will make the Firetail a great assault frigate. Other ships will also feel the love given to the rockets: the Flycatcher and Heretic interdictors, the Malediction, Crow and Claw interceptors, the Hawk assault frigate, the Gurista Worm frigate... those are a few ships which will surely become very popular once Incursion hits. I have already patched up missile training to the point that I can finally use T2 rocket launchers, and after a bit more support skill polishing I'll be training up Caldari Frigate V, followed by Amarr Frigate V. This will allow me to fly all of the ships named here with T2 setups.

Once all that is done I will come at yet another crossroads in my EVE career. Do I go the Caldari or the Amarr way? Do I get my Gallente Battleship IV and T2 weapons? Or do I keep deepening my Minmatar skills? Some of the minnie ships are really nice and useful like the Scimitar and Claymore, but I see myself more of a loner even in a fleet setting. E-war frigates... never been interested, plus if I want to play that type of game I have access to Huginns and Rapiers now. Marauders? Meh, I'm not enough of a mission runner, and my Sleipnir kills L4 missions quite quickly; the only things that would make missioning more fun would be a Loki or a Machariel, but my EVE play style makes me a poor guy so I'll be in the Slippy for a good while. Besides, I want to keep the Machariel as a gift celebrating Minnie BS V and Gal BS V... still have a while to go!

And finally, do I want to have a couple of big ships if only as haulers? Of course I'm talking Orca and Nidhoggur here; whenever I have lots of ships and stuff to move to an area I hate feeling dependant on other players. I know the Nid is the ugly duckling of the carriers, but because I have no intentions of taking a carrier into combat that makes it the perfect hauler for me, especially if I ever decide to go back to Null-sec. If I do such a move it will be after some careful corporation shopping though because I have zero interest in Sovereignty or Capital Ship warfare, and I'm quite happy here at MAPU. The Orca is an awesome asset in Hi-sec space, but over a month of industrial skill training makes me shy away from it. But having "borrowed" one I've seen how useful it is. Of course if I get one it has to stay docked up when (not if) Helicity Boson throws on Hulkageddon IV; I'll be too busy losing sec status anyway :))

My parental weekend is over, and I'm done with POS bashes for a while so I can see only one thing in my EVE future: FUN! :))

Fly safe? Why should I ?!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2010/10/15

One of my favorite tunes from Megadeth. The lyrics are a collage of many of the band's song titles, and the guitar duel between Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman is just perfect. Enjoy!

EVE Front: not much really. After last weekend's POS bashing activities I needed to step away from the keyboard and enjoy my vacation. The highlight of the week was on Tuesday when I went to Mont Tremblant to do a bit of hiking, followed by a short visit at Micro-brasserie La Diable, to enjoy what is probably the finest beer in existence, L'Extreme Onction. If you're into beers brewed by trappist monk recipes, this is The Shit. And this weekend I have my boys so I'll stay quiet (sort of) until I have to go back to Reality.

Fly it like you stole it


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Warning: tear duct squishing ahead

Pure hardcore carebears will never cease to amaze me:

Willbur's awesome Kronos gank thread

Yeah. An opening post dipped in heavy layers of Role Playing, and crowned by a killmail of a marauder that's as expensive as a super-carrier, or a fleet of regular capitals. I've already posted my reply on the thread, and anyway I think anyone who reads this blog has an idea of how I feel about this.



Monday, October 11, 2010

When you gotta, you gotta...

What a crazy vacation start it has been. A few weeks ago, one of the AMC wormhole-based corporations discovered a very desirable C4 Pulsar system with a C4 static and other goodies. There was a slight problem: the system was inhabited. Well, sort of. A Russian corporation called MEHP was the owner of a Large Caldari Control Tower, but after some observation it was clear that this corp didn't have a big active roster in the system. So preparations were made for the invasion. But it wasn't going to be easy to get a fleet in there; the C4 system is pretty deep into wormhole space, and sometimes finding the road to Empire can be... interesting.

After some logistics headaches, Black Line Inc. anchored a temporary tower away from prying eyes, which allowed the alliance to bring in the ships which would do the bashing. Things got slowed down a bit when last Thursday night it was near impossible to get a path that lead to Empire; the closest K-space exit landed in Cobalt Edge, on the very North-Eastern tip of New Eden. Things got better on Friday with exits in Amarr and Minmatar space so I was finally able to fly my specialty fit Shield Tempest into the system code-named GND. Because of various real-life activities like drum lessons (I'm on the giving end... scary thought!), the Montreal EVE Pilots Meet, and another party, I missed the opening ceremonies of what will be known as the 10-10-10 POS Bash. But my late arrival didn't matter much because as you probably know, everything with shields in a Pulsar gets tanky. In a C4, it gets worse. On Saturday morning not too long before down time, we finished incapaciting the defenses. Proof of the Russians' ineptitude: who needs Warp Disruptors or Webs on a tower?! Or Medium Guns? Yes there was some ECM and Neutralizers but they just made the defense neutering merely annoying. At 0515 Eastern time, I shut down the Tempest and went to bed.

At 1100 Eastern I got up and logged in before I even started making coffee. A few other pilots logged in around the same time so a quick check for activity at the enemy POS later (there was none), I formed the fleet that would get rid of this fail-tower. At 1610 evetime, 10-10-10, The true POS Bash started. Thankfully some pilots had stayed up right until Down Time to start denting the tower's humongous shields, which shortened the job slightly. It was still very long; at around 2100 evetime, the tower went into reinforced mode. And surprise surprise, moar fail! The reinforced timer shows 3h15. The tower being now clearly abandoned (with one Russian guy ejecting from a Badger containing T3 BPCs and building materials; how awesome!) and no time for anything to get repaired, everyone took a short break right on time for supper, and some additional forces were able to make it into GND, replacing some of the European pilots who had to bail. At 0015, 10-11-10, the bashing resumed as I opened the final ceremonies with volleys kind of like this one:

18:30:27 Combat Your group of 1400mm Howitzer Artillery II places an excellent hit on Велком! [MEHP](Caldari Control Tower), inflicting 12531.4 damage.

Once again the operation was most uneventful but the Pulsar-boosted shields took what seemed like forever to fail. But once that was done, the armor penalties made things a lot faster, and at 0331 evetime, the tower finally disappeared from existence. Let the looting and unanchoring commence !!!

Mmmm, pretty 'splosions !!!

Not wanting to travel more jumps than absolutely necessary, I left my specialty Tempest in the system and I asked the owner of the POS killmail (his first ever killmail by the way) to gracefully pod me to my HQ. It was funny because he was very reluctant at first, not wanting to fire on friendlies. But with a bit of good-natured insults he finally complied. Notice the nice killmail whorage :))

So all in all it was a good operation, if a bit too long for my taste. I am seriously thinking of training Amarr battleships just for occasions like this; these would be stupidly fail-tanked of course, but if all I have to do is shoot at least I don't have to press the F1 button repeatedly for hours on end. I will do my best to stay away from POS Bashing altogether :)

Thank you Black Line Inc. for this special weekend, even if it was excruciatingly long.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2010/10/08

There was nothing else to post for today. Happy birthday Mr. Lennon, wherever you are.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2010/10/01

This week's video is a big change of pace. It shows that I'm not only into destroying mine and everyone else's ear drums. I've had an extremely rough time in personal matters this week and I'm in need of much relaxation, among other things. This tune is one of Trent Reznor's very best. I hope is southes your aches as much as it does mine.

For once, fly safe