Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday lull

Just when things were getting interesting, here I am stuck out of game until at least December 31st. For the holidays my ex and I have devised a special schedule and because I have the boys for only a few days, and also because at the time of the switch I was slightly hung over (shout-out to Ouzag, Montreal's culinary god) and a nice coat of ice was covering the landscape, I didn't feel like switching the computers around the way I usually do. This means no EVE for the time being, and no game requiring more than 512mb of RAM or a GF6200. At least rFactor and FS9 run, barely, but I have to use keyboard controls because if I didn't move the computers, I moved my steering wheel and FCS even less.

So while I'm stuck here listening to gobs of holiday specials, as well as the boys' regular favorites like Cars, Go Diego, Star Wars and Men in Black, Cozmik is currently finishing up the Large projectile specialization skills, which will then be followed by the polishing of all the support skills, especially in the shield and rigging departments, in preparation of the next two big things: Command Ships and Strategic Cruisers. Coz can already put his pod in a Loki, but with all the ship-related skills at one he can barely make a note, let alone make the ship sing. Once the skills are up there I could probably do a Vaga/Rapier-ish fit, but the flexibility of a T3 ship means I need to have all the options available before I start plopping down huge amounts of ISK on subsystems. And let's not forget I'm only one set of skillbooks away from the Proteus. Being specialized in two races means twice the expense on ships, but as I can't have everything I'll start by my Minmatar roots. The Dominion projectile buff does help make the choice!

And as for the command ships, Coz cannot sit in one just yet but I'm getting really close. I already bought and injected the Warfare Link Specialist skill, which needs to be at IV, and then the big one, Battlecruiser V. This will give me plenty of time to buy the Command Ship skillbook, and of course the Sleipnir itself. As I mentionned above, I could also get an Astarte (yes, and Eos and Claymore, but I don't fly in big gangs much), but let's just have one to brace myself for replacement. Not to mention that all those serious ships are worth the extra fitting love so I fully expect to fit T2 rigs on them (they're actually affordable compared to what they used to be), and here and there a Faction or Complex module may find its way on the fitting screen. Just for the hell of it I've done some EFT warfare and I have a Loki fit that can tank a sustained 1200 DPS without breaking a sweat, but the amount of ISK involved must be a good down payment on a Titan! I don't plan on going that crazy on Tranquility but as I've said, this is the level when ships start getting serious, even more than just T1 battleships.

So here I am, stuck out of game and dreaming of awesome ships. At least it's good to know that I'm not as burnt out on the game as I thought I was. Will I join another PvP corp soon? Mmmm, maybe not right away. I really love the freedom I have these days, with only my one student who I'll admit is not too bad as a noob. He's going at it slower than I did because he did not try to learn the game before installing it, and did not immerse himself into a pool of sharks, but he's catching on pretty quick. I'm letting him make the mistakes we all need to make, but once he makes them he usually doesn't repeat them... that's better than his teacher !!! Now let's get to Thursday real quick so I can get back on :)

Fly hard, fast and deadly


PS: @Cutter Isaacson... I hope you made it out of J134323 in one piece and with your implants. I'll give you a few W-space pointers if you want when I get back.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Drama on EVE Radio

Well, this was an interesting afternoon! As I do most of the time when I play EVE I was listening to EVE Radio, and of course participating in the very active channel in-game, when someone by the name of Cutter Isaacson pipes up saying "I just found my first wormhole!", so of course, everyone is giving him the gratz and throwing tons of information and questions about what his situation: "What's the system?", "Are there any people in there?", "What ship are you in?", etc. But the first thing that popped in my mind from past experiences was "BOOKMARK BOTH SIDES OF THE HOLE!". Cutter said OK and then we told him how to find the cosmic anomalies; since he was in his Zephyr he would be able to warp into the sites without waking up the big bad Sleepers. All this is great but then Cutter asked "Now, how do I get back to the wormhole?"... dread lands in the channel and everyone is asking "You did bookmark it, right?". He thought he had bookmarked it but he only did so at the entrance; he had warped off the wormhole before doing the second side. The drama begins.

Now we all try to help him scanning down the wormhole again from the other side; it does help that in the system map there is an arrow saying "unstable wormhole" so scanning it down shouldn't be too hard, but Cutter has only minimal astrometric skills and he can only scan it down to 99% so he can't warp to anything. Just as panic is starting to set in, I give him the options he has: he can keep scanning until he finds either his wormhole or another one (hopefully leading out of W-space), he can self-destruct himself, losing both the ship and the set of +4 implants in his head, or we can scan the wormhole from the outside once we know his entrance system. I was the first to volunteer for the rescue mission (Kalcharr and some others, I salute you!) and as luck has it, his entrance was Eystur, 4 jumps away from my location. As soon as I have the system's name I undock my Vagabond and make best speed to it and then to one of the planets. The news isn't good though: there aren't any more wormholes in Eystur. The hole either died of old age or collapsed under the weight of a passing ship, which I find hard to believe because a Zephyr is tiny. What then followed was a frantic effort to find system J134323, a Class 2 Wolf-Rayet system with apparently nothing in it but a lost capsuleer. As 3 or 4 of us started looking for wormholes on the outside, on the off chance the hole had moved somewhere near, Cutter was doing his best to find a hole from inside the system, but I also know from experience how hard that can be when your astro skills are low, and when there's dozens of cosmic signatures cluttering up the scanner, not to mention double and triple hits.

As it is right now as I'm writing this Cutter has logged off at a safespot, and he's to try again with the scanning when he gets back on. I personnally have things to do tonight but when I get back I will try looking for wormholes now that I have the system to look for. I'll do what I can to help him with what has been a pretty traumatic first experience of W-space. Let's hope he can find his way intact.

This is the wonder of EVE. in a galaxy full of people ready to gank the next ship, there's always people ready to go through the trouble of helping out another capsuleer. I mean, one day I'm podding a newbie for being afk in W-space, and 2 days later I'm scanning down entire constellations in search of one wormhole, the proverbial "needle in a haystack", just to save a not-so newbie who just learned a very hard lesson: never forget to leave bread crumbs when flying off into the unknown!

Fly safer than he did


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Duel at Frarn I

And so this is Christmas, and what have I done...? Well, with my girlfriend on her way to her mom's place in Haute Gaspesie, Cap-Chat to be exact, and my boys being with their mom in her family, this was one of those very quiet Christmases where I didn't do much more than play EVE. I took things very easy by first doing some trade alt stuff, picking up the buy orders that had come in and magically sell them at a much higher price in a trade hub, therefore creating some very decent profit. This is all good but I quickly got on my main to see the universe in a better ship.

As I was busy with getting up to date with the various EVE podcasts, surfing here and there, and having my ex interrupt me a few times for help with Xmas gifts and getting the boys in the car I didn't want to do anything too serious like W-space ops (well, more on that later) or a roam to Low-sec or 0.0, so some missioning was in order. A bit more ISK is never bad! I did a couple ones and then realized I could now talk to the in-space agent giving away the Epic Arc missions. So I said to myself sure, why not. The first one was rather easy; well, I didn't go through the whole exploring part of it and simply bought what i needed to complete the mission and voila, mission complete. The second mission was a lot harder and I didn't complete it, but Epic Arc missions have this fun little feature: they don't expire. So I can get another shot at it whenever I want. Getting spanked in that mission meant I needed something else to do. In goes the Tempest and out goes the 'Cane of Exploration.

This was funny cuz the exploration trip was short yet successful, but had to be cut short just as fast. In the span of about 30 minutes I had scanned down a Class 2 wormhole right in Rens, got in to see a lone Probe (the ship) on scan, tried a site only to find out the second spawn was too heavy for a 'Cane, warped back to the exit wormhole only to see the Probe 10km away, with probes out, immobile. So I taught this day-old newbie the lesson of "never go afk in 0.0" by blowing him up and podding him. I didn't get a convo or eve-mail so he must still be wondering what the hell happened. I went back to Rens to re-ship to my Broadsword to see what I could catch, but when I saw a Muninn land at the edge of my bubble I decided I wanted to keep my HIC a bit longer. Maybe I could have out-tanked him, but maybe he had buddies. So I went back to Frarn to do another mission or two, and this is where the fun really started.

I was happily chewing away on some Angels when another Probe appears not too far from me, with the distintive yellow cross-bones tag, and not only that but he's clearly looking for a fight as he turns red. Fully knowing what may happen after I say "fuck it" and give him a volley that sends him in half armor and he warps off. All is quiet until a few minutes later a red Cyclone appears on my overview, and settles about 50km away from me. Just enough time to recall my drones and dock up for a PvP ship; good thing I came to Frarn in my Vagabond!

Right away I headed for Frarn I at a bit farther than zero and issued my challenge in Local. Sure enough the Cyclone came, but as I put the burn on to start my death spiral he noticed he wasn't dealing with the usual average mission runner and he made himself scarce. Hrmph... disappointed I was, and made him know in Local I did. I toured the planets looking for him but to no avail. I gave him another challenge at Frarn I and this time he commited himself and the Dance of Death started. He had arrived very close to me and I was afraid he might have a web fitted, but apparently not as I was able to get to my ranged orbit without any trouble. So out went the drones and the autocannons started to sing. As per a Cyclone's bonuses he had a shield-boosting setup that my guns and drones had a hard time to crack, but he was having just as hard a time because I was flying at the edge of Barrage and disruptor range. Next thing he did was to NOS and neut my Warrior IIs and set his own drones on killing 'em. Well, knowing that those drones would be on me once their task was done I switched my overview to my drones tab and started killing his more dangerous Hammerhead IIs from a safe distance. When he noticed that he set his drones on me at first, but then reconsidered and returned 'em to bay. He did have to deal with my own drones so he had to pull 'em out, and each time he did he popped a few of mine and I popped a few of his, until it came down to guns. And the only thing that allowed me to break his active tank was to overheat my guns. The good part was he wasn't hitting me as hard as I was hitting him so eventually something was going to have to break. And after some careful overheating to make sure the guns wouldn't just die, I finally got his armor and now my shots were really hurting him, while his couldn't get rid of my shields. After what seemed like an eternity (13 minutes in reality) the inevitable finally happened, and Packard Goose was victorious.

This epic duel left both of us drunk on excitement at the ups and downs and we had a good chat in the aftermath, and of course all the banter that preceded the battle was put aside. Yarr wanted to recruit me to his corp, as a PvP instructor of all things! I told him about my reluctance to join a corp just yet, plus he has a bit more piracy in mind than I do; I mean I'm not into can flipping to look for a fight. I also told him about my BOZO past and he seemed to be interested. I pointed him towards the website and the in-game recruitment channel but after that it's up to them.

So all in all, I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend Christmas Eve in EVE. I made some good money, did some exploration and got a kill out of it, picked up the glove someone had slapped me with and showed that I was the wrong pilot to flip a can on. An awesome boost of confidence this is!

Merry Christmas, fly safe, but become dangerous when the time comes


Monday, December 21, 2009

'Tis the season to be jolly

Even though I don't fly with 'em anymore, I still see it as a duty to pimp the craziest podcast ever...

Smack that link in local weather PvPing, buying stuff in Jita (no worries, I got Rens covered!), or mining a big fat chunk of veldspar.

PS: Dante, if by any chance you're reading this, you may want to stay away. I've been told that this podcast is a huge hentai tentacle sex monster.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Learning Cliff

OK, back to EVE Online now. Yesterday I gave myself some time to do some trade alt stuff as well as add a skill to Cozmik's skill queue. I have finally finished a lengthy PvE skill; Salvaging V was a bitch but it's out of the way forever. I know I didn't really have to push it that far because it is used only on Sleeper battleships in the deeper wormhole systems, but as there is a possibility that I may go back there I wanted it done. And now that it is done it's back to the meat and potatoes of a combat pilot, moar gunnery skills! Next in line is Sharpshooter V so I can get my T2 Large Artillery guns (already have autocannons), and then on to T2 Large Hybrids with a sprinkling of support skills; this will be followed by the purchase of a Megathron and/or Hyperion of course.

As I was mentionning in my latest post, and also telling my noob corpmate, I didn't feel like doing missions and I miss The PvP a little, so I said alright, let's do a basic PvP lesson. I'm not exactly great at lecturing and didn't have time to go too deep into the subject, but I wanted to cover some of the things that PvP veterans (which I still don't consider myself as) take for granted, like making bookmarks and safespots, high transversal speed approaches, scrambler vs disruptor, the effects of tracking, AB vs MWD, overview settings, that kind of stuff. In showing him the tackling approaches Si expressed the same wish I have and will always pray for even if it never makes it into the game: direct control over the ship instead of double-clicking all over the screen while turning the view. When I approached him from a 70 km distance to start a spiral that would end at my Taranis' optimal he overheard the clickfest I made over Skype and immediately asked me what the hell I was doing. When I told him what I did between the time I came out of warp to the time where the target is fucked, his only answer was "dude, I'm still learning the damn UI!". Yeah... I remember that feeling.

Not quite two years ago I was basically at the same point Si is in his career, but I had the advantage of a couple months of preparation for the monster that is EVE Online, and right off the bat I was thrown into a lion cage, and that cage got dumped into a pool of sharks, with frikkin' lazor beams I might add. The first roams I did I just couldn't shut up on Ventrilo because I had questions about everything, and at the same time receiving orders in broken english by some icelandic dude (hey Cerui!). When a target was called it was usually dead when I started approaching it, same thing with looting, and fleet engagements were usually a giant mess. But only two things helped me get better and that's time and practice.

But there's more than just practice to the learning cliff. A few days ago Si discovered the dangers of flying in Low-sec; he had bought a skillbook in a Pator Tech School, but the station wasn't in the system he thought. His brain was saying "Pator", but reality and the killmail say "Amamake"! For the record I will say that it was a pretty cheap kill though; a Harbinger was parked at the station undock point and was insta-popping frigs and destroyers coming out. Woo, big challenge there. I'm sure the pirate types reading this blog are better than this. But this lead into a discussion of fitting his next Thrasher... and OMFG that was scary. I know that Si is working towards my type of Minmatar/Gallente skill set, but this ship gave me the willies; when you hear "railgun", "heat sink", and "CPU usage rigs" while talking about the Minmatar destroyer, blood curdles and goosebumps appear. I'm happy to announce that this fit did not receive my approbation and the ship got the artillery treatment right away. But yes, I will need to have a beer with Si and do a good lecture on the wonderful tool that is EFT, and maybe show him Sisi so he can blow stuff up without consequence. Most probably this weekend.

Despite all the hardships of the learning cliff, Si Gong still has the will to go on and learn more about this great universe. I will keep on doing my best to keep him from hanging himself on that cliff, and avoiding that bulldozer pushing dead bodies off of it. When he started playing the game Si told me that he was never really big into reading forums and guides and stuff, but he's quickly discovering that EVE is not exactly like any other game he's played before. Let's hope I can make a scholar gamer out of him :)

Fly dangerous, and station games is for faggots.


PS: if you aren't familiar with the MMORPG Learning Curve, Google exactly those words.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Canyon Run

Yes I know, I've been out of EVE a lot lately. Like it always has, missioning does get to me and I have to stop doing it for a while, even if the ISK is good now. But this time I didn't get away from it by doing PvP or doing something else in EVE. I needed to get away from mouse-click space flight altogether, and turned back to flying real-life simulated aircraft through real-life simulated terrain. And when I say through, I really mean through:

I mentioned a few times before that I was a VWE Red Planet master pilot, and since that game is either dead or impossible to play (the closest Tesla pod to Montreal must be about 2000 miles away) the only way I could get the same kind of challenge was in flight simulators. The idea to go Ludicrous Speed at river level from Grand Canyon West airport to Page Municipal airport, with an obligatory victory roll over Glen Canyon Dam of course, came to me as I was reading some Flight Sim forums and some guy was posting shots of low flying in the canyon to show off some nice textures he had added along with a near perfect terrain mesh. All this was nice but he was flying something safe and carebearish like a Piper Cub or a Cessna 172 or something. Well shit... maybe I didn't have the fancy looking terrain but I decided that it sure wouldn't matter if I was whizzing by at Mach 1.2 in something a bit more ballsy than a prop plane.

The first part of the "canyon learning" process was to find the right aircraft for the job. This being a simulation I stayed away from safer and slower aircraft so I could get the feel of canyon wall evasion right away. The first plane that went down there was the Avro CF-105 Arrow; again, may John Diefenbaker roast in a nasty part of Hell for killing this plane in the egg. But as beautiful and powerful as the Arrow is, it is just too powerful for some of the more technical parts of the canyon; going over Mach 2 is way too easy in this plane and slowing down with precision with rock walls 100 feet away was almost impossible. I had to "chicken out" a few times and climb out of the canyon, and of course had a few nasty slams (for the record, the only unrealistic thing about my flying is fuel consumption... simulation is awesome!). I tried many other aircraft: the MiG-31 Firefox from the movie of the same name had potential, but I wanted something from Real Life so I ruled it out, as well as some Star Wars and BSG fighters. As I expected, the really fast aircraft such as MiGs 21 and 25, the F-104 Starfighter, the F-15 and F-22 had a fat turning radius and because I wanted to hug the river those couldn't work. The smaller jets pointed the right way though: my first successful complete run was in a BAE Hawk, but this plane is not supersonic. My first run with supersonic stretches was done in a Northrop F-5B but I couldn't stay over Mach 1 very long and had to slow way down for the tight meanders west of Grand Canyon Intl airport. but I was on to something.

At that point I knew the "road" so to speak and had narrowed down the choice of aircraft to 3 models: the F-16 Falcon, the experimental YF-23, and the EFA Typhoon. The Falcon was the first step into Ludicrous territory, but it was very tricky to fly; if I had to do a quick correction to avoid a crash I could send the plane into an unrecoverable wobble which would end in either a crash or a pull-out. The YF-23 showed a lot of promise but something is messed up with the freeware aircraft file; after a few hard maneuvers the engines go nuts and even when you cut the throttle the plane goes over Mach 4... ya, not gonna work. If I ever find a better modeled YF-23 I will give it another shot. But the Typhoon though... ZOMG! Having nothing in common with its far-future Minmatar namesake, the Real Life 'Phoon is sleek and agile, maneuverable yet controllable, and all the time blinding fast. The best part: this plane is a dream to fly. High-speed corrections do not turn the plane into a death trap, and it shines even in slow flight as it's super easy to land where other fighter jets have to be almost run into the ground (the Arrow also had that feature. Keep burning Johnny...).

And today, it all came together. I've done many runs both successful and not before today but this one was worth writing about. Hell, some parts of it will be worth Fraps-ing. It will take time to do the video editing job but I saved the flight in FS Recorder so I have all the time in the world. Some stats about the flight: the recorded time is 1375 seconds (just over 22 minutes) and that includes the take-off from Grand Canyon West to landing and taxiing at Page Municipal, a 252.46 mile trip from the point where I dive into the canyon to the Glen Canyon Dam. Yes, I'm forever a nanofag! The slowest part of the trip was around 550 KIAS (knots, indicated air speed), and the screenshot above is on the fastest leg, where I was able to reach and hold Mach 1.5. I came close to hitting the ground or the Colorado river a few times but never did; I'd like to see the effect of the sonic shock wave though :)

So if you're like me and are into Flight Sims and speed, do yourself a favor and try this. It's the only way to fly!

Fly most unsafe


Edit: This post had to be done three times... I don't know what Blogger.com did to break the posting of pictures but it sucks the bags.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Birthday BOZO!

I may have been struck with what you guys might call a terminal case of faggotry, but I'll never forget that I started playing this game seriously with you guys lighting the way.

I wish BOZO many more years of ass-kicking and face-raping.

Keep on flying deadly


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dominion has arrived!

What I love:

  • Awesome looking planets, moons and backgrounds.
  • The new in-game browser and all the people on the forums yelling "OMGOMGOMG I'm posting from the IGB!"
  • The new and improved Fleet interface.
  • The new and improved EVE-mail.
  • The new look of the UI which is a lot easier on the eyes, IMHO.
  • An arty-fit Tempest with meta3 guns hitting for over 10000 HP damage O_O
  • A faction-fit/rigged Dramiel going 9850 m/s.
  • Seeing tons of people in some of my usually quiet channels and actually chatting for a change.
  • The fact that as the new sovereignty system takes hold there will be more people out mining and ratting in 0.0 than ever before..... >:)

The only thing that bugs me:

The Jukebox. Yes you can now play your own playlists, but getting to them is a bitch (no browse button). And anyway, I'm sure CCP wasted a lot of time there that could have been spent elsewhere.

But all in all a very good expansion. Thanks CCP for your great work!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last days of Apocrypha


Here we are, only a few days to go before Dominion hits, with the brand-spankin' new planet graphics, the long awaited changes to the user interface, namely the new fleet finder, the much improved eve-mail window, and a completely new in-game web browser codenamed Moondoggie. No longer will surfing to in-game sites feel like being back in 1998 in the days of the 56kbps V90 fax-modem, and viewing external sites will work more often than not, as long as no pluggins are involved; at launch these will not be activated but only time will tell what will happen. Apparently the new browser allows for some new and improved in-game sites but as my web programming skills are about as good as my dad's drumming skills (ha!) I'll have to wait to see them.

The biggest change in Dominion will be the new sovereignty system which will put an end to the ridiculous POS warfare. This may be the most important change to the game mechanics in this patch but it will only directly affect the sov-holding alliances in deeper Null-sec. It may cause the roaming gangs to find more ratters and miners in the upgraded systems though, and I can think of a bunch of people who will be more than happy about that! But the changes that will affect me most as a Minmatar character will be the revamp of the projectile weapons. Something tells me I'll be flying Hurricanes a lot! Also, after I've finished polishing up my exploration skills I will be completing the training of the T2 Large Artillery, and some time in early 2010 I'll be able to field a true Sniper BS which will now possess a fearsome alpha-strike. I've heard somewhere that stationary ships don't react well to 1400's, well they will react even less well >:)

Speaking of flying Hurricanes, I've been flying one of mine a lot lately. It's based on a fit Letrange gave me when I was still in AMC and wanted to solo some of the lower class W-space anomalies, but now that rigs are almost given away I was able to improve on the design and it now has a faster rate of fire, better tracking on the 425mm AC's, and better repair amount from the twin repping modules. So effectively this Hurricane is a damage sponge. If it helps anyone, here's the fit from EFT:

[Hurricane, Damage sponge]
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Capacitor Power Relay II
Damage Control II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Medium Armor Repairer II

Y-S8 Hydrocarbon I Afterburners
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
Salvager I
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I

Medium Projectile Burst Aerator I
Medium Projectile Metastasis Adjuster I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Warrior II x5

Some people may see some improvements to be made (and if you do, by all means post a comment) but so far it's been working great for me. I guess you could say it's proof that I needed a bit of a PvP break if I've been flying it so much, and yes, the change of pace is good. Making ISK is good too! You see, I've been boosting standings for another new feature that will arrive in Dominion: enter the Pirate Speed Boat missions :)

In an effort to bring missions closer to actual PvP, there will now be some missions to be flown in fast frigates through some dangerous territory; Syndicate and Venal on one side of the map, Curse and Great Wildlands on the other. So in short, in order to complete some of the missions a pilot will have to fly through Cry Havoc blobs or systems filled with cock-swinging BOZOs, not to mention all the other alliances looking for ways to frag you! I already have one of my Claws sitting in Molden Heath; I debated bringing a Taranis for this (and I still might) but in the term "speed boat" is a word that the Taranis is not too familiar with. The Claw isn't a slouch on damage when used right, but anyway the goal seems to be to get from Point A to Point B fast and alive. If there's only a slight chance to get a PvP kill while in the middle of a mission, count me in!

On the corp front, I've apparently recruited a second newbie as my buddy Si Gong has convinced one of his friends to get a trial account. I wasn't around very long because all this happened as I was getting ready to log last night, but it was long enough to have him in Rens to drop his application, have his Velator take a few pot shots at my 'Cane (biggest shot was 4 hp :)), and then blowing the crap out of ship just to show him that it's no big deal. I also gave him the obligatory ISK boost, but it was Si Gong who was going to make sure the money got well spent on the correct skill books, and maybe a slightly better ship. Now that I can do them I may take 'em on an L4 mission or two.

So here we are, finally the last leg of the pre-patch slow-down, and next Tuesday will probably see a rush of action that hasn't been seen since last March. Just remember to set a long skill just in case CCP has to fight the computer gods. I'm on the longest of my exploration skills (Salvaging V) so I'm cool :)

Fly like Gilles Villeneuve


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The storm after the calm

After a relaxing trip in W-space, here's a slightly more action-filled trip in Branch space, courtesy of CCP. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Unknown Space

I'll say at least one thing positive about the Russians... they make awesome vids. Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Aggressing the aggressor

Yesterday I had something funny happen to me as I was "ratting" in Low-sec Derelik; you see what I tend to do from time to time is go into Low-sec and look for possible targets by baiting them to aggress my interceptor as I chew on rats. FYI, a Taranis makes mince meat of even the Low-sec battleship spawns, and yes, I'm one of those weirdos who actually enjoy ratting once in a while just to blow shit up. Doing it in an interceptor in potentially hostile space adds a little spice though. I have to watch the directionnal scanner constantly and pay attention to Local because surprises can be nasty, but I believe in flying dangerous so that's part of the game. If you can't handle that go back to your 50-man blob, but I digress.

So I'm happily munching away on some Sansha zombies in an unoccupied system with no one but me in Local, no stations, a single POS with no ships out, and barely any traffic when suddenly Local pipes up with one person entering the system. I start d-scanning like mad and quickly find out the new arrival is in an Iteron Mk III. Tasty target but he's out of the system before I have time to do anything about it, and I'm not exactly equiped to tank gate guns. Oh well, back to "ratting". Not too long after this though the same guy comes back in the system, in a Tristan this time. Hmm... maybe he wants to play now so I stay put at my belt after another dead Sansha spawn to make my position obvious. It could be a trap, he could have buddies... yeah I know all that but The Force was telling me he's solo. Turned out I had to wait to find out because he left again. But not for long.

A few spawns later he comes back into the system, and this time a few seconds later he lands about 30km from me, and just watches me salvage my wreck. As soon as that's done I flip on the MWD and start the inward spiral, but as soon as my 'Ranis move an inch the Tristan pilot aggresses. Good of him to protect my security status, and in the next instant he finds himself scrammed, webbed and inside my ship's pain zone. Sure he turns on neuts on me, but my Warriors are eating him alive and every time the cap goes up ever so slightly I get off a shot that delivers about 300 HP damage. Barely a minute into the fight the Tristan goes kablooey, and the pod high-tails it towards the gate.

My only comment: "Bad idea... GF!"

His reply: "I need bigger cap boosters"

My reply: "You need a better ship!"

I think he thought he could neut me to death, but I also think he forgot what 2 Warrior IIs could do to a slightly tanked T1 frigate if left unattended. And the funny thing is, when he agressed me I was below 50% shields from the previous Sansha encounter so he even had a head start. And the whole time I was 100% confident in my ship and what it could do. The structure got a very slight hit and I didn't even get to see it smoke! So all in all, even if it's only a T1 frigate kill with an interceptor, the whole thing was very exciting. Some time before that fight though I thought I was going to have a bigger challenge when some 3-month old player and his Myrmidon came into the system, but he never came within sight of me. He was very talkative though so we chatted about EVE, PvP, Life, The Universe, and Everything. I'm sure a good challenge will come :)

On other news, I have bought the first replacement of my big ships as I bought a new Tempest; as it will most likely be used more in PvE it will be fit accordingly, but after getting the ship and T2 pretty much everything on it my wallet is hurting so I'll wait a bit before the rigs go on. There have been a few occasions where I've missed the ships I left in Curse, but still, I don't regret my decision. Anyway, if I would've use my old Deimos for our little HAC roam the other day I would have lost it horribly to Cry Havoc. Better to lose a T2-fit Thorax :)) Next big replacement will be the Broadsword.

And on the training front things are moving along smoothly. Si Gong is learning more and more every day and is starting to really get into the universe. Because it's my parental week I haven't done much with him as far as PvP goes, but I did show him what a wormhole was, and even warped us to a Sleeper anomaly. We weren't equipped to take 'em on so we boogied out of there before they took their first coffees :)

And that's it until next post!

Fly your head off


Friday, November 13, 2009

OMG, corp expansion!

Well, it’s finally done. My corp is officially a 2-man affair now that my buddy Si Gong has embraced the Dark Side and subscribed to EVE Online. Now of course the fun part will be to set up some kind of curriculum to teach him the ropes now that we can think in the long term. The first thing he needs to do is get re-acquainted with the superb and flawless UI called the Neocom. Taking a 3-week long break after playing only 2 weeks of EVE… some things tend to get forgotten. I was happy to find out that he had kept his skill queue full of good stuff and it restarted as soon as the subscription came into effect. The learning bonus for newbies is a great thing because it allowed him to skip skills that can wait a little bit and doing the main category skills and of course the all-important learning skills. At 600k SP he can fly a decently fit destroyer for missions (though some tanking skills will be in order) and he can fit throw-away PvP frigs without a problem, tackle gear and all. And now that we’re in the same corp we can actually practice tactics without CONCORD dropping donuts on us, but being put into the teacher’s seat I notice that it’s simply impossible to learn to play EVE by oneself; yes the tutorials are better than when I got on over a year and a half ago, but some things are just never mentioned and the only way to find out about ‘em is either by reading tons of guides (and getting lucky) or being told about them. I really enjoy teaching the game though. It makes you appreciate everything you find great about it, and even though I do get to tell about the bad aspects of the game its depth never ceases to amaze.

The main lessons yesterday were some very basic ones, but very important ones at the same time. At some point during the evening Si Gong wondered about the ability to start training for bigger ships (ie : cruisers). Now there’s a double-edged sword and a half. Sure he has Gallente Frigate IV but at such an early age rushing into cruisers and bigger mods would be a recipe for financial disaster. And anyway, it’s much better to be able to field a nasty frigate than some half-assed cruiser any day of the week, and that got the point home. Add to that the fact that cruisers cost millions of ISK instead of a few hundred thousands, especially when the income is coming in very slowly… yep, he got the picture. The next lesson was also linked to ISK and the market : Si Gong was noticing that even after just 2 weeks of play his ships and items were starting to get pretty spread out across Gal space. At least he doesn’t have a fleet of 20 ships yet, but I did tell him that people usually don’t have stuff lying all over New Eden. Probably over this weekend we’ll go pick up some of his ships and bring them to D94 HQ in Rens. So even though we’re only two guys we’ll try to work as a corp should.

So now in the upcoming weeks I'll be doing my best to show what EVE has to offer in both PvP and PvE (I don't think we'll go mining though!), and even give some background story to remove some of the Greek I seem to speak sometimes as I explain things in more detail than someone new to EVE can handle. But I think I have a good student so one thing is sure: fun will be had :)

Fly dangerous, and recruit new players!


Democracy FTW

Vote now!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cozmik’s other games

It’s been a while since I’ve done an out-of-topic blog post, but with the recent events I’ve talked a few times about the fact that I play games that have absolutely nothing to do with EVE, so I decided to write about them.

I grew up next to a Canadian Air Force base so plane geek since Day One. I’ve been interested in video games pretty much since Pong came out (yes, I’m that old), and in 1977 a certain movie had about the same effect on me as a sledgehammer has on italian crystalware. So since then I’ve been a Sci-Fi geek. Around the same time we had a local hero tearing up tracks in F1, so I became a racing geek. Fast-forward a few years later to about 1984. I was in high school at the time and I got hit by two particular freight trains : Dungeons & Dragons and Lord of the Rings… thank you sirs Gygax and Tolkien, I’m a fantasy geek now! So over the years the games that interested me were always close to those 4 major interests. Here are the main ones I play and why I love ‘em. Enjoy!

Flight Simulator 2004

Ever since I’ve started this blog I’ve been preaching about flying dangerously, and where better to do it than in a real world setting! My love of flying doesn’t just come from proximity to an airport full of jet fighters. There’s a branch of my family that produced a few bush pilots based out of the St.Lawrence river’s North Coast region. Out of my father’s uncles and cousins to be bitten by the flying bug, one of them, Lucien, was known to be the barn-storming nutcase. On a dare, he once flew under the power lines near his home of Sept-Iles :) While I myself never took the full flying lessons, I do love the crazy stunts that are only possible on a simulator, like landing too big a plane on too small a runway, flying under bridges, and of course my favorite, flying at rock-scraping level in the Grand Canyon in nothing less than a Eurofighter Typhoon, never going below 500 knots. Yes, it’s doable. Yes, I’ve crashed a few times learning the canyon, and yes, my settings are set to full realism except for fuel; running out would just suck :) I haven’t updated to the newer FSX because at first my computer wasn’t strong enough to run it. Now I could but there’s still so much fun to be had with the older one. The amount of stuff you can download, such as aircraft, scenery, terrain, tools, etc, is just mindboggling. And if you’re really serious you could spend A LOT of money because the better downloads are not free. Examples : Ultimate Terrain, the best terrain replacement package for FS2004, is 30$ USD for Canada/Alaska, and 35$ USD for USA. Some of the more realistic aircraft are close to 100$ and are meant for those hardcore simmers who build the realistic cockpits. And from there, the sky’s the limit, litterally!

Dangerous: the only way to fly !!!


From the skies to the pavement. This racing simulator is probably the most bang for the buck you can find in any kind of game, any genre, single-player, multi-player or MMO. All you need to do is download the full game that’s locked in demo mode, register it for 40$ USD, and from there you can install almost any track you can think of, plus some you can only dream about, and any racing series you can think of. You like F1? Almost every year is there from the 1950’s to present time (GP79 is just nuts!) is available. You prefer endurance LeMans-style racing? Covered. Not so sure about that « turning right » thing? There be stock cars. Drifting sideways on a mountain gravel road? Of course! 5y-old friendly? Karting? Lawnmower racing? Yep, all there! This game has a very active community and there are racing leagues for anyone from day-old noobs to grizzled old veterans, some of which are actually race car drivers. Yes this is another one where you could go nuts with money and build a realistic cockpit, and the better racing leagues have actual entry fees and pro purses. But even just by myself alone on a track, say the 20 mile long Nordschleife, this simulator is all fun!

Somewhere in Switzerland... in an alternate dimension

Dungeon Runners

This one I’m a little bit sad to talk about. Before last Sunday I hadn’t logged in in a few weeks but it was long enough to get a really bad news : the game will die on New Year’s Eve, This is the second RPG to give me this surprise after I come back to it; Hellgate London was the first. But let’s do what the devs did and put sadness aside a minute; see, with the final update the devs put in a huge bomb in the middle of Townston (the game’s town of course) with a timer that’s set to go off at 23:59 on December 31st! This is the kind of dark humor Dungeon Runners was known for. It takes a little bit from Diablo, a little bit from WoW, and adds just enough goofiness to make it really funny. I mean, where else could you smite thine enemies with a Gargantuesque Pizza Cutter of the Malcontent Rhinoceros? I’m making the name up but I’ve seen even better ones… the Pizza Cutter IS a usable two-handed melee weapon though! The same thing goes for the armor, the quests, the universe, and everything. I haven’t been to Pwnston, the PvP town, yet, but I will have to pay a visit before that bomb goes off. The price was really good : I wanted an RPG just for the fun of running around and beating stuff up and came across this. It’s a free-to-play game with a monthly subscription of 5$ if you want premium membership. On the website they advertise the boxed game at 20$ which gives you 6 months of membership, but last July I found this box at an EB Games store for 5$. 5$, 6 months, the price was right so I jumped in. Too bad it’s gonna end soon because this game is a riot!

Me, my Bling Gnome, and the denizens of Townston


In 1995 I discovered the Battletech universe when I started hanging out at Montreal’s Virtual World center, and met someone you may know as Letrange. I went to his place and he showed me Mechwarrior II, and it was love at first sight… with the game of course! I’ve followed the franchise ever since, seen the ups and downs of FASA Industries and FASA Interactive, the Microsoft take-over, up to the current stuff being developped over at Mektek.com which is very promising. I have yet to re-install Mech4: Mercenaries with the Mektek 3 and Net Battletech mods since my hard drive failure last summer but this should be done fairly soon because last week’s announcement at Mektek was enough to make me yell « Seyla! » :) A few months ago Mektek took in the Assault Tech 1 devellopment team; AT1 is an effort to remake Mechwarrior II from scratch using modern-day graphics. On October 27th, the Open Beta for AT1 was released. Mektek also received the go-ahead to re-release Mechwarrior4: Mercenaries with the Mektek mod included, as a free game. And on Youtube there's a video of what would be the next Mechwarrior game, this time set in the 3025/Succession Wars timeline, and the graphics are just jaw-dropping with urban fighting, buildings collapsing, dangling wires from blown-off 'mech limbs, the works. Oh, and an Atlas :) Clearly, the Battletech universe is far from dead!

Quake Live

I couldn’t end this post without mentioning the game franchise that opened me the door to multiplayer gaming. I don’t log in very often so to say my Quaking is rusty would be the understatement of the century, but the fact that you can now play one of the best ever deathmatch games through your web browser is just amazing. Explaining this game to a neophyte couldn’t be simpler : point gun, find target to shoot. If it moves, shoot it. if it doesn’t move, shoot it some more. I don’t care how complex the newer games get, or how much prettier, there’s just nothing like pure deathmatch. Not even EVE PvP !!! Oh, did I offend someone? Wanna deathmatch? C ya on Q3DM6 >:)

Fly what you love


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 !!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Supercapital Appreciation Weekend

Yes, more Sisi stuff. Sorry if I haven't been really active on TQ this week; it's a Dad Week, I'm nursing a slight cold, the new job is fun but hard so I get to sleep early, and on top of it all a lot of my BOZO mates are having a ball in Mexico for the BOZO Extravaganza. Can't wait to see pics/vids of that!

Tomorrow on Singularity will be a very rare opportunity. We will log in to find all our skills maxed out and for 48 hours we will be able to fly EVERYTHING WE WANT. Not only that, but like last week with the faction ships, we will be able to redeem the Titans and Supercarriers (the new name for motherships) of all races and participate in a massive orgy of destruction. The point of this is to test the new Doomsday weapons, which are no longer area effect weapons à la Über Smartbomb, but instead a Death Star like focused weapon dealing 2 MILLION hit points of damage to its target. The only thing that can tank this is another Titan. The Supercarriers also have some new weapons in the form of fighter-bombers. I'm not really interested in carriers so I haven't really looked into those except when I saw a few out in space firing at an Avatar who was popping every capital ship being thrown at him. Quite funny that!

Having all the skills at 5 will also allow everyone to try every ship we've ever wanted to try, with any weapon, module, rig, implant, name it. In my previous posts I basically showed I'm now in love with the Dramiel (I did get one on TQ; it's sitting waiting for me in Lustrevik) and this weekend I'll be able not only to rig it with T2 rigs, but I'll also fly it with a full set of High Grade Snakes that will cost me a few hundred ISK. I'll also by tons of Nanite Repair Paste because I have a feeling I'll burn through my MWD all the time :))

And there you go. If your activities on Tranquility are pretty quiet this weekend, check out what you need to do to get on Singularity (link pending; work firewall blows chunks) and come join one of the most destructive party ever!

Fly phat


MAJOR EDIT: Well, it seems CCP pulled the plug on this for now... I guess the server crashes of last week, both on TQ and Sisi, didn't help.

Come on Vikings, make this thing happen !!!!!

MOAR EDITZ: October 15 is Supercap Fest. I have my names reserved for my Ragnarok and my Nyx >:)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Faction ships: Part Deux

Well, sorry if I've been busier on Sisi than on TQ, but believe me it's worth it. The Dominion changes to the faction ships are fully in effect, and things are getting ready for the Super Capital Ship testing, Sovereignty testing, and more. While I haven't been able to fly everything yet (we'll be able to next weekend ^_^) I'll cover some of the things I've noticed, and not just about the ships.

For starters, the first page after logging in. The characters are laid out differently, but more importantly is that you get more information than currently on TQ. In addition to what's already there, we will now know what ship we were last in, and Oh Coolness, it says how much time the skill queue has left to completion. This alone is awesome!

EVE + rFactor = bliss

Next up: the in-game browser. The current browser is basically a joke. Apart from some in-game information it is pretty much useless because most of the internet is inaccessible, and anyway the browser is slow at best. Well, not on Sisi! The new browser is loosely based on Google Chrome (details here) and can take pretty much whatever you throw at it. I started this blog post on it (till my virus scanner hated my switching windows and I had to reboot... gj!), and to really test it I watched some rFactor vidoes on Youtube. EVE and rFactor, together at last. Life will be perfect now :))

And now, the faction ships. My skills being somewhat limited there are a lot that I haven't tried yet (again, next weekend...) but a few of 'em caught my attention:

Angel Tackler Extraordinaire

Dramiel: Oh My GOD! This is one I'm getting. Think of it as a very expensive tackler, or the perfect racer. As I wrote in my comments in the last post, I got a pure speed fit to go 6671 m/s, and it can get better because I only have Acceleration Control IV and cannot use the T2 Polycarbs, and it had T2 Overdrives. Bump up the ODs to Dominations (nothing less) and rigs to Poly IIs and this thing becomes THE speed demon. Granted it warps like a normal frig, but I haven't flown this fast since the Quantum Rise speed re-balance. My tackler fit is a tad slower at 6125 m/s, but with a Medium Shield Extender, a Tracking Disruptor, a NOS, and FOUR (4) Warrior IIs, this ship is a tackler's dream. Therefore, I am getting one. Period.

Vigilant: Picture a Deimos that's high on Crash, and a Vigilant is what you get. This was especially fun to try because Sisi-Coz can fit the T2 Hybrids now. My ship died really quick because it was very gank-fit but the damage output was just awesome. Depending on how expensive it is I may consider getting one.

"Boy, is this a machine!"

Machariel: Into the ridiculously expensive now. This thing screams close-range RRBS. My plated-Trimarked fit goes about 1200 m/s, has 107k hit points, and even has 2 Gyrostabs for the 7 guns. Yes, seven guns on the Mach now :) For the hell of it I tried a full speed fit of 3 ODs, 3 Polys and nothing but capacitor regen stuff; I have never seen a battleship go 1986 m/s before :))

Vindicator: And this is where I whish I had better skills. This ship has one job in mind: damage dealing. It has 8 guns now instead of 7, and I'm dying to see the damage ouput from 8 T2 Large hybrids with Void L ammo and 5 Ogre IIs. I'll post next week and tell you all about it :)

And speaking of next week, apart from testing the Titans' new Doomsdays and Motherships with fighter-bombers, I will be itching to try some other factions' ships. I will finally be able to see what makes the Caldari ships tick, but I'm really anxious to try the Sansha and Blood Raider ships; I hear that the Bhaalgorn is one bad-ass motherfucker !!!

There you go, Sisi is an awesome place to be in these days!

Fly it to death if it's free


Friday, September 18, 2009

Faction ships !!!

It is Friday the 18th of September, and if you haven't done so yet this is the perfect time to get on Singularity. Here's why:

OMFG, faction shit !!!1!1!!

Now, copy that main EVE folder, name it Sisi, download the Sisi client update, and redeem those sweet sweet ships.

Bye now !!! :))


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pass the Advil please...

Just a short post to say that the move is really over now. The last part happened yesterday when I had to disassemble my computer desk which was on the first floor of the duplex, reassemble it on the second floor which is more my appartment, swap the computers so I can have access to EVE during Dad Week (my new schedule and the move allow that now; thanks to Cartboard Box for sowing the idea) and finally try to drill a hole to pass a CAT5 cable. As I did all this alone it was an excruciating day; I am never reassembling my desk alone again! And the whole drilling bit didn't go well either: my 2 foot long bit isn't wide enough for the fat end of a CAT5, and my bits that can make a bigger hole aren't long enough. So at pay day I have to check which is more expensive, a 30+ feet CAT5 cable or a foot and a half long, one inch drill bit. So the short term solution was to move my ex's desk from where she had it in the living room to where I had mine in the bed room. Did I say moving sucks?

To make matters worse I seem to be catching something the boys brought back from daycare so yesterday instead of logging in with the BOZOs I went to bed at like 8PM. The good thing is I'm feeling a bit better today, and tomorrow is Labor Day so I'll probably log in tonite and find a bit of action. The last time I was able to get on for a bit I had just got my internet connection back and we gave a wandering Drake what he wanted, a good fight! We lost a Hurricane to him, and came a bit too close to losing a Vagabond. When the Vaga was able to pull away I became the one to receive the love and my slightly tanked/heavily ganked Thorax was getting hit hard, but the Drake's shields were already gone and I was able to do a world of hurt. It came down to structure for both of us but I was able, barely, to stay on top and finish him off. After that we got to test the tank of a Legion (Amarr T3 cruiser if you're wondering) and he turned out to be a bait for a bigger gang. Oh well, it was worth losing a T1-fit Jihad Thorax; the one that killed the Drake was not :)

So now as I can only play on evenings after the boys are in bed I'll be seeing a bit less action than on a week off, but at least I'm not fully out of it for an entire week as I used to be. Plus there's the Alliance Tourney that's started. This should be an interesting weekend; I just hope it ends easier than it started.

Flying safe causes numbness of the brain,


Monday, August 31, 2009

The calm before the storm

Well here we are, I'm currently sitting in the middle of boxes, empty cupboards and drawers, and various appliances strewn all over the place. Tomorrow morning at 9AM the truck should arrive and the final part of my crazy Summer of Moving will be starting. It was something my ex and I had to do for our kids' sake, but doing two moves in the same summer is not something I want to do ever again. This means that starting tomorrow I'll be connection-less until Thursday evening, and as I start my next Dad Week on Friday I will not get much play time in this week. I have a feeling that I'll become a huge couch potato during the month of October!

In the little time I've had this weekend I got a in on a few kills, but not nearly as many as I would've liked because I've had to log in and out and get off early if I want to get anything done before tomorrow's moving storm. But still, fun was had. I also got back on Sisi for a bit to try various things both with and without my BOZO brothers and sisters. I really can't wait for all this moving stuff to be over and done with and do a really long roam in a big fleet. Now that summer is almost over action should be picking back up again, especially as we're approaching the Alliance Tournament and Fan Fest. The last tournament was when Tranquility got populated by over 50000 players for the first time, and with the player population slowly growing all the time I don't see why new records shouldn't be achieved.

Another event that's happening soon and that unfortunately I'll be missing is the 2nd annual BOZO Extravaganza. There may be a quiet weekend online for the BOZOs but I'm sure that Mexico will never be the same after BOZO's passage :)

So there ya go, a short update before I have to start unplugging stuff. Here's to an easy move, and good beer and pizza afterwards !!!

Fly safe if you're haulin'


Monday, August 24, 2009

Hello Circus Tent !!!

Well it is now done, all my stuff, except for my Firetail, has been moved to BOZO HQ somewhere in Syndicate. And even before the courrier contracts were handled I was out there as tackler on a mini roam with some old BOZO buddies, and some new ones too. Without wanting to denigrate the work done by my previous alliance, AMC, I have to admit that I had missed this much more than I thought I did. I have also noticed that I did get rusty at flying an interceptor in fleet; sure it's like riding a bike but the chain does need to be oiled up once in a while, and my chain had to be de-gunked and re-lubed. I didn't do bad per se but I admit I was a bit slow on tackles and hitting buttons I shouldn't have, and also getting lag-bombed on a gate didn't help things, but still, getting on 4-5 killmails on my first night out isn't so bad, and yesterday night I basically had an Omen to myself with minor help from a Rapier, which means my Taranis was starting to look sort of like the one seen on this very header. I've seen worse starts!

So the reasons of why the change? It's pretty simple. I'm a PvPer who doesn't have the patience (read: lazy) to go solo looking or scanning for potential targets, and the list of things I absolutely can't stand (read: bores me to tears) is getting quite long. It's pretty easy: if The PvP in EVE wasn't as good as it is, I'd uninstall this thing and delete my character without even blinking. But when The PvP goes right and everything falls into place, EVE is just pure magic. The one event that told me "OK, I've had enough!" was when I was trying to get to a Hurricane I had left over in one of the wormhole systems we had recently moved from, the lost-and-found-again Emo Town, and one of its residents scanned down the hi-sec system entry point for me. Unfortunately he didn't stay online so while I had the system, I didn't have the location in space, so I said "Cool, I'll just scan the wormhole from the hi-sec side". The good part was that the entrance system was only 5-6 jumps away from the then-current location of our wormhole. But the fun ended right there. What followed was a nightmarish hour and a half of playing with scan probes to lock down a wormhole I knew was there, and it took me everything and the kitchen sink to finally have it at 100%. And when I warped to it and jumped, horror. No black hole. That meant only one thing: I was in the wrong system. I had wasted close to two hours scanning down the stupid thing to be rewarded with a big "Ha Ha, you fail". So Blackline Corp, I hope the Hurricane is useful; I hear they make great salvagers !!!

And of course on the Clown front there are some usual cries of "Carebear" and "Faggot", or both used together, but it's all good, I feel like I'm home again. I didn't really get to go out with a bang but I did do my best to come back in with one. So now I'll do my best to play as good as I can, shut up when I have to, and smack the crap out of my victims, and hopefully when the 30 day trial period is done I can be voted back in and be a full-on Bozo again.

Fly dangerous,


Friday, August 21, 2009

Change in the air...

Notice the drum roll next to my little South Park avatar. Details are on the way once everything is official.

Some of you may guess where this is going... :)

Fly dangerous,


Monday, August 10, 2009

20 million SP; the post that never was

As I'm slowly closing in on twenty-ONE million SP, I realize that I did not post my "State of Cozmik" article that I wanted to post just as Clown Punchers announced their little banter contest. And of course with things being extremely busy in Real Life even blogging time is at a prime so I'll take a short break before I attack the packing of my boys' clothes and toys, as well as picking up the debris left by the hurricane they made in the living room. Yep, as I mentioned before, this is not quite vacation!

So yeah, a couple weeks ago Cozmik R5 finally achieved the 20 million skill point barrier, not too long after getting the Vagabond decently skilled and rightly fitted (well to my taste; some people may tank it more than I do but mine is still a speedster), and once again it will be time to set my sights on the future and decide where I want to take the training. Right now Coz is training Medium Hybrid Turrets V because I also have Gallente Cruiser V, so when I got the HAC skill I was automatically able to fly the Deimos and Ishtar. Being a big fan of guns I want to get a Deimos first, but there's no way I'm buying one unless I can fit it right. Same with the Ishtar; I'm not getting one of these babies until I have all T2 drones with support skills trained up. I know drones are effective but I prefer guns so call me weird! After I get the Medium T2 Hybrids I will go back to training the Large T2 Projectiles for my Minmatar battleships and once that's done, I have to take a break from training new ships because I have to bump up a lot of support skills in a lot of categories. In the rush to get a newer ship or system trained up there's always something that gets put on the back-burner and I think that over the past say 6 months I've gotten my back-burner a bit too crowded so this will get straightened out.

Now, let's recapitulate the ships I've trained either completely or almost completely:

T1 frigates (Minnie V, Gal V, Caldari IV, Amarr III)
  • Destroyer V (can fly Minnie and Gal interdictors)
  • Interceptors
  • Assault Ships
  • Covert Ops (scanning skills need to get better, so do missile/bomb skills for the bomber)

T1 Cruisers (Minnie, Gal and Caldari... Amarr soon-ish)
  • Heavy Interdictors
  • Heavy Assault Cruisers
  • Battlecruiser IV (again, Amarr soon-ish)

T1 Battleships (Minnie and Gal at III... yes I need IV before I can REALLY use them) with Remote-repair capability

When I cross-trained to Gallente I did make sure I had the T2 hybrid guns and T2 drones to go with the Taranis so from there I've tried to keep the hybrids up to par with my projectiles, but I did take the short-cut of skipping missile skills; it will be quite some time before I have decently fit Caldari ships or even a good Typhoon fit, but I don't mind because those ships are just so damn ugly that I don't even want to be seen in them; seriously, Caldari designers should be shot on sight and I would bet money that the 'Phoon designer was of Caldari blood! The Amarr ships are really interesting (got toasted by Absolutions enough on Sisi) but so far I have only very basic Lazer skills so it will be quite some time before I get a Scorch-firing Zealot Of The Pink Floyd.

So after I get my support skills sorted out, as well as some important ship skills to at least IV, here are the ships I'll have left to train up for before I decide (or not) to take the Capital Ship road:

  • Electronic Attack Frigates: I may be skipping this because I'm not a huge fan. Apart from the Kitsune, I'll pass.
  • Recon Ships: probably my next expensive ship after Cov Ops skills are straightened out.
  • Command Ships: now that HAC is done, these aren't too far off. Must brush off some Leadership skills first though.
  • Strategic Cruisers: testing on Sisi showed me I can fly one of those rather quickly, but they are quite a bit more than 600 ISK on Tranquility even if my alliance makes them. I can wait.
  • T2 Battleships: I'm not a mission runner so screw the Marauder, and Black Ops are not much used. And anyway both are way too expensive. I can wait.

With that last one I guess I'll be training Battleship V for only two reasons: to get absolutely kick-ass T1 BSes, and opening the door to Capitals, even though I don't think I'll actually own one unless I get some massive money-making scheme going. I've done just enough POS operations (exactly one) to know that I absolutely hate them, and my playing schedule isn't exactly good for receiving a call at 4AM saying "get in your Naglfar, we're killing a Large POS in XX-123!". Cuz yeah, being an EVE gun-freak (I'm not one in Real Life) means I'd go to a Dreadnought before a Carrier. But even if I only have one for station spinning, a dread would be a cool ship to have because it would mean that all the smaller ships below it are trained up to the max, and who knows, maybe I'd be lucky and have a Mothership to shoot at!

And the Supercaps? Don't even think about it. To me, a Mom or a Titan means you have just sold your soul to a massively big alliance that is into all the "politicaillerie" shit that I absolutely hate about EVE. It's even worse than selling it to the devil! The only thing that interests me about Supercaps would be tackling one with my Broadsword and seeing my gang tearing it apart. Sure Titans are cool for the jump bridge thing but yeah... politics... (/me pulls out barf bag).

So there you have it, the on-going training of Cozmik summed up in one blog post. Sorry about the wall-o-text :)

Fly it like it's already dead,