Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Checking for life signs...

Am I breathing? Do I have a pulse? Is that a flashy-red I see on the overview? Oh damn I guess am I alive.... POINT !!!

Yes yes, I'm still here. I haven't double-clicked that evil file called "uninstall.exe"! It's just that playing at a much slower pace makes for less experiences to write down in my "diary", not to mention that every other week I have absolutely no access to EVE because the old computer at my ex and kids' place doesn't meet the new requirements for Apocrypha. I'm sort of looking for a solution to this problem but I also have other much bigger things on my plate like my own box about to need a new power supply, my Subaru Outback needing a new set of head gaskets, another move at the end of May... yep, life is anything but boring !!!

So what has been going on in the times that I do get to play EVE? Well, our alliance is doing its best to gather the ressources for the production of the Tech 3 hulls and sub-systems so that means the occasional foray into W-space. Those can be full of surprises ranging from PvP encounters to Sleeper rats being so tough that if your fleet is too small they will eat you alive. I also try to get a few PvP roams going to make sure our combat pilots (me included) don't get too rusty at what we're supposed to do best, which is kill stuff. I have only attempted a couple of entries into 0.0 Syndicate space; the first attempt could have worked if I had called the right primary (a Basilisk if you want to know) but an off-grid Chimera cut our Jihad way short with assigned fighters. Oh well! The second attempt failed for 2 reasons: a very small fleet and a pilot jumping into a system before the order was given and engaging a Stabber on the other side. As I got the fleet to jump through to hopefully get our evening's first kill it turned out that the Stabber had buddies and/or enemies (it died and we didn't get the mail so it had to get shot by someone) and as we came out of cloak a gang landed on us and decimated us. Oh well again! But we do have another source of The PvP... enter the AMC Police Department :)

As we were getting the alliance organized a few our less-than-PvP-experienced pilots lost ships to some pirates in the low-sec systems around our HQ, to the point where at least one of them wanted revenge badly enough to learn the trade of The PvP, from ship fitting to actual combat tactics. The best example is the roam we did a few minutes following the Jihad/Chimera debacle. It was then decided that we were to go against flashy-red pirates, and whoever it was clear were on their side (sorry Mynxee, Shae, Spectre, and all you other yarrin' types!). We are 2 systems next to our HQ when we spot a local well-known pirate, LoganFire, self-proclaimed "Lord of Mya" (!), with Bladedddevil (with 3 D's... very important), a known griefer, happily chatting away in space while DDD was at an anomaly in his Hurricane and His Lordship in his Navy Megathron. The odd thing was seeing the flashy Mega NOT shooting the neutral 'Cane. When the Mega warped out to leave the other one to his business we decided we had seen enough and our scout Letrange and prime witness of all the antics so far got in position to have our waiting fleet land right on top of the 'Cane. What followed was later described as "Poetry in Tackling" :) My Claw was of course the first to arrive on the scene and with the warp-in Let gave us I was EXACTLY in optimal range at 4000 meters, and a new pilot and his Vexor actually landed at 800 meters! When the dust cleared and the 'Cane nothing but cosmic debris people found out that my Claw setup is quite dangerous as I out-damaged 3 cruisers :))

Out of this whole "getting back at the pirates" and police work business we actually have some new allies so even if we are primarily an industrial alliance, the combat pilots are never out of action. The Black Sun guys are great to fly with, and I would burn another interceptor for a couple BCs and a Domi any time of the week :)

So that's pretty much it for now. C ya somewhere out there in space... in the middle of my targetting reticle maybe >:)

Fly dangerous,


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Training decisions

Dad Week is almost over, this weekend I got pretty much nothing planned, I’m off on Monday (except in the morning I have to be at work for the day’s new batch of low-lives… Municipal Court work is so awesome…), so that means I can actually spend time on some much-needed pew-pew action. And this time I’ll be a lot more active about it so instead of being part of wormhole ops I’m actually going to go out and look for it >:)

This will also give me the chance to do something I haven’t done in a while which is act as FC. In my time in Clown Punchers I was one of the least experienced pilots in the entire alliance, and though I did get some FC experience there I never took command of a big battlecruiser or battleship gang, though I admit I was all ears on those ops, and was usually one of the main scouts. But this time around I am one of the most experienced PvP pilots AMC has; a few others have as much or more experience than I have but me being born to PvP, so to speak, makes me one of the hungriest guys in the bunch. So in between ganking some Sleepers for their tasty loot and salvage I will try to find my own wormholes and try to find others in W-space who are after its goods and put some breaks on their operations!

But to come back on the title of my current article, I will soon have to make some long term decisions on where I want to take Cozmik on his skill training. As of now Coz can now fly and equip a Broadsword, though I still need some skill buffing to make sure he flies it right; I’m still a few levels away from the T2 shield hardeners which are mandatory on the setup I want, and some support shield skills would be more than worth it if I want to call my Heavy Interdictor « a tank ». This should give me the time needed to amass the funds required to purchase and fully fit and rig my first Broadsword, and also make preparations for the eventual loss when some gang will have the better of mine and I’ll become Primary.

So having acheived this benchmark it will be time to make some decisions. Sure some support skills will get some love but I mean longer term. Here are the ones I’m thinking about :

The HAC path

Before Quantum Rise was announced I was heading squarely towards flying a Vagabond; not because I knew it was an awesome and feared ship, but because even before I knew what the ships were like in EVE I had described what I wanted in a ship to my great buddy Letrange and apparently I gave him the description of the Vaga. But with QR came the dreaded Speed Rebalance, and the Vaga pilots were screaming for CCP blood. I decided not to panic because I was too young SP-wise anyway so I could redirect my career pretty easily. And being a tackler at heart I went the Interdictor way. But that’s done and not only am I now close to the Vagabond and Muninn, I have done some good Gallente cross-training so I wouldn’t be too far from the Ishtar and Deimos either.

The Recon path

When I was finally done training for the Covert Op frigate I did a quick check on my EVEmon plans and they told me I was 3 weeks away from a particular Rapier fit. Rapier anyone? The Huginn can be a pretty nasty surprise too, and following what I covered in the HAC paragraph you can slap in the Arazu; I’m not so sure about the Lachesis though... I’ve almost never encountered them and there must be a reason.

The Battleship path

This is a big step I could have taken a while ago but I’ve always held back. Had I stayed with Bozo I would probably be well on my way to an RRBS by now instead of the HIC, but the latter is also almost always welcome in any gang. Well, the time could be soon arriving. It will eventually open the door to the Capital Ships but I’m in absolutely no hurry to get into those.

The Command Ship path

Now THAT is also a big one. Before I can effectively fly a Sleipnir, a Claymore, an Eos or an Astarte (yes I could get into all four at once) it will take a short part of Forever before everything is up to snuff to make this worthwhile.

The Industrial path

Yes, you’ve read correctly! The PvPer talking about industry. Not industry the way my alliance mates are into it though, that is just nuts (sorry guys!). But I do like the abiblity to make my own cheap stuff either for myself or to sell on the market when the profit margin is good. Getting some efficiency and material use skills would make it better, but I’ve always put it off because there was, and still is, always something I had to train for The PvP.

So this is where I’d really like some input from the Veterans of EVE. What do you think is a good long term path? What was your own path to get to where you are? I know some players who have been in EVE pretty much since Day One but what I don’t know is what meandering path they took to end up where they’re at, either in capital ship warfare, mass T2 production and uber industrialism, piracy, or litterally bored of the former three and now strictly into skirmish warfare.

I’ll be waiting for your suggestions and until then, fly dangerous and watch out for sentry guns when popping cyno ships (see blog header) :)))


Edit: I've changed the comments settings so anyone who reads this can post. Flame away !!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dad Week

Yep, I'm at the beginning of one of those weeks when I have absolutely no access to EVE since Apocrypha came out because the second computer is short on memory, and the GeForce 4200Ti is very 2003 and will just not cut it; something in me wants to try the Lite version but typing this blog is activity enough while the boys watch "Go Diego Go" *shudder* Maybe tonight after they've gone to bed I'll try just to get the "Fail!" message.

So, what to do on a cold and rainy weekend with two young boys happily playing with their armada of toys? Here's a few ideas:

  • Spend copious amounts of time on my alliance's forums and try to get news of what's happening in game, from awesome battleship kills to OMFGWTF battleship losses. I also try to get news from ops that may have happened, succesful or not, and make cunning plans (the kind you put tails on and call weasels) for future ops to keep the pilots on their toes and to look forward to my return in-game.
  • Spend some time fiddling with EFT even though the app is now outdated. It's always fun to come up with a setup that's suddenly more tanky or more ganky or faster. In my Bozo days I was exposed to a bunch of guys who kept out-EFT-ing each other and coming up with extremely refined fits so I'm doing my best to keep up the good work. Can't wait for the Apocrypha version to come out!
  • Read the EVE-O forums; this is about the only time that I really get up to date with what's going on in the Big Picture. Reading CAOD can be extremely funny at times (or a complete facepalm) . I also check out Alliance recruitment threads to bump some old friendlies, who may get to shoot at me now of course (!), and have a good laugh at some other ones, mostly from my knowledge of them in past encounters :)
  • Watch videos and listen to podcasts; I do have to tell my boys to cover their ears at times, especially when listening to BOZOKast, which can now be considered the steadiest podcast in all of EVE... scary thought isn't it?! The boys and I really enjoy the videos found on YouTube. We spend pretty much the entire Alliance Tournament watching the 'puter screen and yesterday I showed 'em Day of Darkness II which they found really impressive, even if they call it "Star Wars"... I train my Padawans well !!! :)
  • And of course read up on the various blogs from all my buddy bloggers! Special thanks go to Letrange for showing the industrial pilots' bad influence on a pure PvPer like me! Like Let said, have no fear, the Taranis is back to its normal painful configuration:

[Taranis, Rapist]
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I

1MN MicroWarpdrive II
Fleeting Progressive Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator

Light Ion Blaster II, Void S
Light Ion Blaster II, Void S
Light Ion Blaster II, Void S
[empty high slot]

[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]

Warrior II x2

And there you go. A small sample of the things I do in between preparing meals, doing dishes, changing diapers, settling fights, and mending bruises. I have no clue if the Lite version will run even if this box is a little below the required specs. It would be way sweet if it does run because I'll be able to make ISK with the trade alt and I won't have to bug Letrange with skill changing; yes it does go against the EULA, but CCP thinks 24 hours is enough for a skill queue... my situation is the reason why I think it's not enough.

So until I can join up a gang in game, you guys fly hard and deadly...