A beginner gets lost in EVE online

Posts tagged “EVE beginner

One Hundred Light Years of Solitude

MineDear Maximus Foyle esq.,

I hope this note finds you well.  I have some exciting news I wish to share with you in person, please contact me directly to arrange a time and place to meet.

Yours Gratefully,

Dave, the Alt

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Dave,

Go away.

MF

—————————————————————————————————————–

Dear Maximus Foyle esq.,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my last message.  As I stated I have news I really feel you would like to hear in person.  I have tried calling the number you left me but it disconnects saying “the ship you are trying to contact is no longer operational”, I pray nothing has happened to your beloved Retriever?  Please contact me as soon as you get this message I have news of the utmost importance and urgency.  Please Maximus, call me.

Yours patiently,

Dave, the Alt

—————————————————————————————————————–

Dave,

1. My name is Maxi.

2. I told you not to contact me until you have a earned a billion ISK.

3. GO AWAY

MF

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Dearest Maxi,

Once again I must thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to respond to my message.  I had hoped to share this news with you in person but you have rather beaten me to it:  We HAVE earned a billion ISK.  You are a billionaire:

Estimated worth (Balance+stock+escrow) = 1,057,129,022 ISK

Yours excitedly,

Dave, the Alt

—————————————————————————————————————–

Dave,

Send champagne, then make it 2 billion.

MF

P.S. 🙂

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Lasers!A long standing theme to this blog, and probably most EVE player’s thoughts, is what we want to achieve.  Achieve today, achieve next week, achieve this year.  Is there an ultimate goal?  Do you need one?  Certainly, Maxi’s goal is to survive in null-sec and I know he’s a long way from doing that yet but I don’t yet know how to judge when he’s made it.  I’m hoping I’ll just know.  How we turn Maxi into an all conquering null-sec survivor is equally unclear at times, yes there are many skills to learn both from ingame skill books and actual old fashioned learning the ins and outs of EVE Online.  But what do we do in the meantime?  Other players seem to have very set roles, people fall into Industrial endeavours judging success by profit and loss, others live for PvP and draw satisfaction from their killsheets.  What do I do?  I still don’t know, I’m basically roleplaying Maxi Foyle, and Maxi Foyle is a bumbling idiot with the attention span of a space goldfish.  Over our few months of game time we have become a jack of mining, planetary interaction, trading, exploring, missioning, PvPing.  We are master of absolutely none.

One overriding concern for all players, as in real life, is how to keep the ISK flowing.  Without ISK no lifestyle can be pursued but through Dave the Alt’s trading Maxi now has an ever growing pile of ISK to draw from that far outweighs anything he can earn through more proactive ventures.  In fact, Dave’s total would be a few hundred million above 1billion ISK if he wasn’t forever sending Maxi pocket money for new ships and their inevitable replacements.  And the total is growing exponentially, the more Dave has to invest the quicker he earns more ISK.  It will peak at some point, there are only so many players to buy from and sell to, but so far the total is only heading in one direction and it’s getting quicker all the time.

This all sounds marvellous, I know, but it’s actually hit Maxi in a funny way.  One of his primary drives, earning ISK, has been taken away.  Like a pauper winning the lottery he has been a bit lost.  Initially he threw money at ships to blow up and random donations to anyone who sounded remotely like they needed it.  All before a restless ennui set in where none of the more industrial pursuits he enjoyed seemed worthwhile.

2014.01.02.21.29.04Luckily Maxi’s amazing new Corporation has come to the rescue.  Tucked away in the remote Solitude campus of EVE University, Maxi has stumbled across a real frontier-town-like community on the edge of hi-sec/low-sec space.  The only real constant here is the industrial goals of a few current and ex-Unistas who’ve set up their own Corporations or manufacturing enterprises within the Uni, life is then loosely focused on supporting them through mining, processing and manufacturing with and for them plus dealing with the issues having such a community on the edge of low-sec space cut-off from Empire (the largest region of his-sec space) brings.  For instance, last time I logged on to update Maxi’s skill queue we were urgently rushed to the Standing Fleet and informed a corpmates POS was under attack and a quick reaction force was being assembled to shoo the attackers away.  Throwing together a tackle frigate Maxi rushed to catch up with the fleet orbiting the stargate to the low-sec system where the POS was located.  He kept an eye on the gate ready to tackle anything that came through whilst the fleet commander made use of local for gathering intelligence from a local corporation and recruiting their help in defending the POS, despite the fact we have (and continue) to fight each other in normal circumstances.  It turns out in low-sec your enemy’s enemy can be your friend at times.  We jumped to the system when a small enemy force was reported to have jumped in via another gate and we managed to blow up a Tornado in the battle for territory and successfully scared the rest of them away.  For that evening at least.

Equally, life isn’t all industry, even manufacturers have to let their hair down, and there’s a few lost souls like Maxi who have just drifted to this part of EVE space all of whom enjoy blowing up ships as much as the next man.  One of the great things the Solitude campus has is a Free For All (FFA) bookmark in their home system for players to meet up and brawl.  There are all kinds of rules in the Uni about who and where you can fight other corporations, but blowing up fellow Unistas in consenting duels is very much allowed and an awful lot of fun.  In the 4 tussles we’ve had so far Maxi has gained 2 killsheets and learned a lot.  In fact after writing this we’re going to log on and see if anyone can be talked into another duel or 2 to keep practising our PvP skills.

Another key element of life here is keeping contact with the wider universe by scanning down wormholes that provide direct, safe links back to hi-sec space and the valuable trade hubs we rely on to buy reasonably priced ships and the manufacturers need to make a fair profit from their creations.  To that end Maxi’s skill queue has once again changed direction, learning how to fly T2 frigates like his shiny new Helios covert ops frigate, plus a basic understanding of the scanning and probing required to find wormholes and war targets should we get to scout for any future fleet operations.

Any left over time has been spent grinding missions for the Federal Intelligence Office corporation as they have conveniently local lvl 3 and 4 mission agents, but with no lvl 2 agents around we’re having to endlessly repeat lvl1 missions to get there.  The skill queue is now back on drones as well, finally learning how to deploy sentry guns happened last night, T2 drones will follow in the next couple of days, all of which is in preparation for flying a Dominix into those level 4s when we finally grind enough standing.  Because of course it doesn’t matter how much money Dave the Alt makes, there are always bigger ships to buy and fly, and if that ain’t a good enough goal to keep us going for the meantime, I don’t know what is.

Can asteroids really orbit a planet like that without crashing into the sea?This is now the longest single EVE session I’ve enjoyed and I was thinking about it the other day, I’ve really GOT IT this time, I’ve really settled in to the groove.  I think previously I’ve either gone too full on into EVE, feeling the pressure of a small corporation needing me logged on every night, or not delved deep enough, staying corporation and low-sec free and generally running out of interest.  This time I’ve found a corporation/community that’s big enough to not notice the few nights a week I can’t log on, but small enough that I am getting to know everyone and feel a genuinely useful extra head to bring to fleets and projects and general life on the frontier of hi-sec space.  The Solitude community is transitory, the old hands have mostly only been here a matter of months rather than years and a number of them are openly trying to earn the ‘Graduate’ title from the Uni before going on to bigger things.  There are new capsuleers arriving every week as well and I can see Maxi is going to have to take a more active role in training and supporting new players to move on to the ‘Sophomore’ and ‘Graduate’ Uni titles himself.  The aim was to move on to the null-sec campus but the longer we spend in Solitude, the more Maxi wants to stay.  At least until we’ve made a difference here.  Hmm, something to think about before the next update.

It’s taken me 2 days to write this post and Dave’s estimated worth, according to the excellent N.E.A.T. app has grown to 1,185,082,722ISK.  Ironically after so many hundreds of hours of playtime and months of skill queuing it’s Maxi’s alt Dave who has mastered a skill, not Maxi himself.  If anyone was interested in learning how Dave make’s hundreds of millions of ISK a week without leaving a station do get in touch here or in game, happy to talk people through it or maybe dedicate a blog post if there’s enough interest.

In the meantime, fly safe o7

Solitude home

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In Solitude and friendship

Myrmidon sneaks through a blue wormholeSo a couple of weeks have passed since we last caught up with Maxi Foyle, Space Null Prober, but an awful lot has changed in that short time.  Despite a week away doing the whole Christmas thing Maxi’s found time for an eventful 2 weeks involving, in no particular order: finding a new Corporation; moving house; losing his much adored mining barge, followed by his brave null-sec proof cloaking Atron; getting on a killsheet; and accidentally (read: drunkenly) spending 40 million+ on a Cruiser with fittings.  I say no particular order but that happens to be the exact chronological order in which those things happened.  So without further ado, let me explain:

Emerging from an asteroid1. Corporation

So you may remember Maxi was looking for a patient null-sec corporation to take him under their wing and show him the bright lights of null-sec and how not to blow up too much in it.  Well, yeah, about that…  Initial searches on the web and the in game Corporation adverts only found null-sec Corps expecting certain levels of Skill Points, Experience or ISK that Maxi just couldn’t match.  One Corporation’s name kept coming up though, and not for the first time, it rang bells from when we first started playing many eons ago.  EVE University.  EVE University is the go-to newbie corporation, they willingly take on new players, give them free ships, free skill books, tutor led lessons in everything from trade to fitting to PvP dogfighting.  It’s a great idea and another testament to EVE that this sort of player run faction exists, acting like an extension of the in game tutorials and an argument against the assumption that EVE is just a place for crooks, scammers and gankers.

Maxi had always steered clear of EVE University because he’d been to University once before and there are only so many Asda price Gins and Tesco Value beans on toasts one man can endure in a lifetime.  Plus it sounded too basic, too much like redoing the tutorials from the start of the game.  What he needed to learn he could get from the (really excellent) UniWiki instead.  What he didn’t realise was the Uni doesn’t just cater for day old capsuleers, it also has low-sec and null-sec campuses that teach more experienced players how things are done out there.  In fact they won’t even allow new Unistas into low and null campuses until they’ve cut their teeth in the rest of the Uni for a couple of weeks.

And so, as you may be guessing, Maxi Foyle, Space UnderGraduate, has joined EVE University and spent the last couple of weeks cutting his teeth!  It seemed inevitable given all Corp searches and local conversations led to EVE Uni, that Maxi would have to graduate from it before he could even hope to one day call himself an EVE Veteran and now finally, following the really quite epic application process (they interview you and everything!) he is a Unista, as we Uni goers are known.

LASERS!2. Moving House

Because he likes to do things differently and is keen to get to grips with low and null sec life as soon as possible Maxi headed out to the Solitude campus which we now call home.  Project Solitude was apparently born from what was once a potential Uni home that became a separate endeavour entirely (the main campus is now in Aldrat, on the other side of the universe) .  Solitude is an island of hi-sec space sandwiched between swathes of low-sec and null-sec areas and the Uni set up a campus here as a staging post for more adventurous Unistas to experience living in a remote part of the universe cut-off from the rest of hi-sec.  It also makes it a great place to go into low security areas for high paying missions, lucrative mining, PvP fighting and just generally get your ships blown up.

The first obstacle to moving house to Solitude is its remoteness.  In fact that is it’s second third and fourth obstacle as well.  Getting there required 40 jumps through low and null sec space, something we nervously managed using Maxi’s Atron and cloak trick from the last blog post.  We made it through unscathed thanks to some very paranoid warping via celestials and hammering the directional scan button to look for lurking gate camps.  Having arrived we quickly realised what they meant by remote.  There is nothing resembling a trade hub in Solitude so purchasing useful items like ships, skills and modifications is a lot harder (and more expensive!) than the hi-sec space we were used to.  Baulking at the prices of Vexors and Retrievers, Maxi decided to risk sneaking his own through low sec as well, seeing as the first trip hadn’t gone so bad.  

There's a point when there's nothing you can do but press screenshotYou can probably guess what happened next.  In true comedy style we first tried to fit a Retriever with a cloaking device to do the cloak trick, not banking on the fact that it is both far too slow to reach warp speed in one microwarpdrive cycle and has such a small capacitor it can’t warp between most stargates without stopping to recharge, let alone run microwarpdrives, cloaking devices and warp all at the same time.  Maxi being Maxi, he didn’t let this stand in the way of his brazen attempt to sneak one of the largest, clumsiest and weakest vessels in the game through low-sec space.  As with all great tragedies fate let us get 37 jumps along our 40 jump route before a big red pirate appeared on our overview at a gate.  We jumped through in time, but then noticed the pirate reappear the other side as we accelerated to warp speed and leapt across the next system (in 2 short hops, thanks to the Retriever’s rubbish capacitor).  And of course after jumping through the next gate (2 jumps from our destination!) we were locked, scrambled and stuck on the other side of the gate, torn apart by T2 Heavy Pulse Lasers.  Hopefully the combat drones we launched at least gave them a surprise.  Maxi escaped in his pod to fight another day having learned a valuable lesson: low-sec is as dangerous as everyone says it is, and your new home is surrounded by it.

Mining again3. New beginnnings

It’s great to be back in a corporation again, the game changes fundamentally when you have a group of like minded individuals on your chat channel discussing plans, projects and general news every time you log in.  The Solitude campus has it’s own separate chat channel, Uni forum and everything so it feels like a nice little community within the grander (2000+ members) University itself.  Life in Solitude mainly revolves around:

  • scanning for wormholes and letting everyone know when a connection to hi-sec space is found (someone found one last night, finally allowing Maxi to move the rest of his stuff to Solitude without incident)
  • mining, manufacturing and generally being industrial.  There seem to be periodic projects to manufacture some massive item, like a Capital Ship, which gets everyone on board contributing materials and manufacturing time and skills to meet the greater objective.  It sounds exciting but they’re still in discussions as to what to do next.
  • watching out for nasty gankers.  This seems to be a part of life on the edge of low-sec space, corporations will try and extort ISK from miners and blow up anyone who doesn’t pay (and some of those that do pay).  It was mildly amusing at first but been a bit annoying now I’ve logged in a couple of times to mine and had to find something else to do as they were in system.
  • Tackling like a proand finally, going on roams into low security space to find somebody kind enough to blow our ships up for us.  I went along on one of these last week when an impromptu message popped up on chat asking if anyone wanted to go on a roam.  I kitted my only frigate at the time, the plucky Atron that got us to Solitude in the first place, with a warp scrambler and set out to be the fast tackle in our little fleet.  It was exciting, so so exciting, I’ll probably go into more detail in another post as this one’s getting on a bit but my word PvP in EVE is so much fun.  And I’m getting better at it.  Our Fleet Commander gave really clear instructions so I was just about able to do my job despite nerves literally causing sweat to pour down my brow.  We managed to pop the Oracle Battlecrusier of an infamous PvP corp before his Corp mates finished us off, and I am there on the killsheet!  I cannot describe how bloodthirstily pleased Maxi is about this.

In his excitement following the aftermath of our first taste of PvP since rejoining EVE Maxi went about putting together a PvP Cruiser fit he found on the internet, replacing T1 suggestions with the shiniest T2 mods he could fit, and accidentally spent the 50 million ISK Dave the Alt had given him to replace his Retriever on a beefy Thorax.  Luckily the Uni has lent us a Retriever for the time being so hopefully Maxi can mine enough to replace it before he gets ganked.

And that, I think, will do for the latest update.  There was a lot to get through!  Coming up, Maxi is currently working on the last couple of skills to fly a Covert Ops frigate, his very first T2 ship, which he can use to properly sneak around low-sec on his own and do some scanning to find useful wormholes and such like to aid the campus’ cause.  We’ve also got some nice, cheap, T1 tackle frigates built up and ready to fly if more PvP opportunities arise.  Finally Maxi is trying his damndest to be self-sufficient in Solitude without relying on Dave the Alt for handouts when he loses a ship so mining has been back on the agenda and it’s actually not that boring when you have a corporation to chat with whilst you mine, plus the local thugs keep you on your toes.  All good fun.

Thanks for reading, until next time, fly safe o7


Null / Void

Spacedust

We’re going.  We’re going, we’re going, we’re going.

But…

We’re going!

2 and half years after starting his great EVE adventure (ignoring some galaxy-sized time gaps) Maxi Foyle, Space Null Avoider, is finally going to null-sec and he’s going right now.  We have no Corporation to meet, no mission to run, no trade to haul, we’re just going because we can.  Months of mining, trading, ratting and missioning were nought but procrastination really, let’s be honest.  It was the first goal on Maxi’s list, but the last to get done.  It’s time he went.

A wee null-sec recap for the uninitiated: EVE Online’s universe is split into hundreds of solar systems connected by stargates.  As capsuleers pootle from one system to the next each one has a security rating from 0.0, 0.1, 0.2…up to 1.0.  In high security (hi-sec) space (0.6-1.0) systems are patrolled by CONCORD, the galactic police force.  Attack another player here without permission and CONCORD will come rushing in and pop your shiny spaceship before you can say “Arrrr” (because I’m assuming you’re a pirate if you’re doing this) thus keeping a vague level of safety and security in an otherwise hostile universe (this doesn’t stop the suicide gankers, mind).

Lo-sec (0.1-0.5) has greatly reduced CONCORD presence, only visible around stargates and stations, who will stand idly by whilst players blast chunks out of each other as long as you are out of turret range.

Me, My Myrmidon and IAnd finally null-sec (0.0) has no security presence at all.  No security presence means players can do whatever the hell they like and no one (no non-players, anyway) can do anything to stop them.  This, brilliantly, makes null-sec far and away the most dangerous place in the EVE universe.  It is its wild west.  It’s the scene of sweeping gang warfare as Alliances battle for control over systems, resources and stations (which are almost all owned by player run corporations, so even docking can be impossible in most systems).  This perpetual state of warfare means anyone unknown, regardless of standings, will be podded without question.  Any tourists caught up in the collateral damage shouldn’t have been there in the first place.  And this is why Maxi has never been.  To get a handle on what to expect I’ve read articles and forum posts like this, this and this.  It sounds like a whole other game.

Null-sec is the thing that is always there, always baiting you and waiting for you when you’re playing EVE.  “You haven’t been to null-sec yet” is the thought I’ve had most when playing and writing about this game.  Null-sec was why I wanted to get into EVE in the first place, but it’s become this incredibly scary thing in the time I’ve been enjoying the easy hi-sec life.  It’s turned Maxi Foyle soft, and we need to put it right.

So.

Here’s the plan: We’ve got a cheap frigate, so as not to be too disappointed if it gets destroyed.  Nothing fancy but it needed to be fast.  Gallente’s fastest (standard) frigate?  The mighty Atron of course.  That’ll do nicely.  Next, I need a way to not die the moment I arrive, and maybe, just maybe, I’ve found the very key: The Cloak Trick.  It’s not a party trick involving people’s medieval clothing, it’s a supposedly fool-proof method of aligning to a destination whilst cloaked and then almost instantaneously jump to that destination when you de-cloak (which you have to do to activate warp).  This is essential because it only takes a moment for someone to lock and warp-scramble you, disabling your ability to jump away from the danger they pose.  I’m not worried about Maxi defending himself, fighting is for another day, we just want to get in, look around and get out.  All being well we can do that without anyone locking on to our fragile little ship.

The Moldy ApronMaxi has been practising the cloak trick jumping around hi-sec in our trusty Atron, the Moldy Apron, kitted out with speed enhancing rigs, a cloak device and a micro-warpdrive (giving us a top speed of 3560 m/s).  Think he’s got the hang of it now.  Next we need a route.  Using the maps handy statistics options I’ve started scouring for systems with no ships destroyed in the last hour, as few active players as possible and as few ships destroyed in the last 24 hours as well.  Systems on the border of null and hi-sec seem to be the worst, probably due to gate campers waiting for unsuspecting carebears to jump through to null, or try and jump out with precious loot.  Checking again now one system has 18 kills in an hour.  In an HOUR!  Think we’ll avoid that one.

OK.  Here’s a promising one.  Ten jumps, a gentle curve through low-sec systems before the final jump to null.  No kills in the last hour.  6 active capsuleers in the entry system.  That’s the route.  Now’s the time.

Maxi!  Unto the breach, dear friend!

The route

Undocked our first task is getting to lo-sec.  We practice cloak-tricking out way from stargate to stargate, probably much to the bemusement of anyone who notices our overly cautious commute.

En route

Now things get interesting.  We’re into low-sec, getting off the beaten track.  Stargates are no longer ringed by CONCORD Battleships and the steady flow of haulers and missioners dies down to a trickle.  The chatter on local ends.  The sky looks blacker.

Onwards Maxi, onwards.

Null gate

And so we reach the threshold.  Here’s our entrance to null-sec.  One last jump.  There’s a mere 4 other people on local, a tiny amount compared to the hustle and bustle of the Amarr trading hub I’ve called home for the last week.  The scanner doesn’t pick up any of them near the gate.  That’s good, they’re not sat here scouting for anyone entering null-sec and reporting back to a Corp of gate campers on the other side.  Or if they are they’re not being so blatant as to sit at the gate, anyway.  Oh god.  Here goes.  Jump.

Null-sec

There it is.  The sky is darker, isn’t it?  Or am I going mad.  No time to ponder.  We hit the scanner, nothing nearby.  We check local, there’s 6 people here.  Too many.  Too risky.  Let’s go deeper.  This time Maxi traverses the system by cloak-trick jumping to a random asteroid field, and following more scanning and checking, jumping again to the next gate.  Making a straight jump from gate to gate is apparently the perfect way to get caught in warp bubbles and picked off by waiting pirates lurking by their trap.  We make it the next gate.  It’s all going well.  Jump.

Warp-bubbles

Oh, hello!  Speak of the devil, what do we have here?  Jumping into the next system the gate is surrounded by warp bubbles.  Easily avoided when you can see them, but jumping to this gate from the other side of the system could prove tricky.  There’s 7 local residents showing.  Possibly lurking just out of sight of these bubbles.  Let’s keep moving.  We carefully skip across the system via a couple of planets to avoid the bubbles and jump again.  How deep can we go?

Can you see me?

This is better.  1 other pilot in this system, who promptly disappears from local when we arrive.  Did we scare them off?  Can they hide from local?  Better keep scanning.  We jump around to see some sights, I don’t like hanging around the gates too long.  Even tucked away behind a random planet I feel the need to cloak, in case someone is looking for us.  You can just about make out the cloaked Moldy Apron in the shot above.

Big ratsMade itThat other capsuleer reappears on local.  Perhaps they did run and feel it’s safer to return now.  Perhaps they’ve come back tooled up for a fight.  Better tread carefully.  We hop to a couple of asteroid belts (making sure we warp 100k from them so we’re not warping into the middle of any potential hornet’s nests).  EVERY belt has rats in it.  Big rats at that.  Schools of Battlecruisers and Battleships patrol, ready for a fight.  Their bounty’s are a million ISK and rising.  No wonder people say null-sec ratting is so profitable.  Could I sneak my Myrmidon in to take these guys on?  Time to stop daydreaming, that pilot could be hunting us as we speak, it’s time to go.  We jump to the gate and are through.  Still no sign of anything on scanner the otherside.  Lets just go, the sooner we’re out the better.  Jump straight to the gate, Maxi.

Oh, balls.

Blowing bubbles

Balls.  Balls.  Balls.  Forgot about the warp bubbles surrounding that gate.  We’re ripped out of warp on our way across system.  We’re 200k from the gate, a huge gap if those 6 pilots are sat here waiting for me.  Too late to cloak, we hit the microwarpdrive and watch our approach to the precious stargate tease up to our top speed 3500+ m/s.  There’s no lock yet, and we’re eating up the space but my god this is tense, any moment we could be locked.  Stupid idiot, why didn’t we jump via some planets again.  Come on!  I start hammering the jump button long before we’re in range, as if it might push the ship that little bit faster.  A quick scan, there’s some stuff here but I’m too paniked to even register whether it’s ships or just those warp-bubbles.  COME ON!

Jumping.  Those beautiful words appear.  The screen swings out to look down the apex of the gate and WOOOSH we’re through the gate.  No locks.  No shots.  No need to panic.  My heart returns to a mere double it’s resting rate.  One more system to (relative) low-sec safety.

Fisticuffs

We make a very cautious hop across the system, there’s more pilots here than last time, and as we warp to our exit gate it becomes clear why.  A full blown scrap is taking place around the gate, green lasers spew out of wibbly, warp-scrambled ships.  We leap through the middle, like a mouse scuttling through the legs of warring cats, and jump through the gate scar free.  That was a stroke of luck, that fight might have been started by some unwitting traveller jumping to the gate moments before me.  If I’d left any earlier that could have been Maxi scrambled on the edge of null-sec.

Phew, that was fun.  Maxi’s alive but no more fond of null-sec than he was before.  I think a few more visits are needed to settle into the heightened level of tension it brings.  In the meantime we dock at the nearest station for a well earned drink.  See you when the hangover’s warn off.

The end

Fly safe o7


Space Jaunting 2.5 – A little application is what you need

Hello!

Our new Vexor, and some Space Party RingsWe’re going to make a slight change of tack with this post.  I do sometimes try and make this a sort of beginner’s guide to EVE along with all the stories and silliness, and although I’m sure you could pick up maybe 2 tips if you sifted through all the wandering prose and poorly transcribed dialogue (everyone just speaks too fast for me to write it down!), today let’s take a moment to talk about the helpful apps, gadgets, bits and bobs that aid EVE playing no end.  Partly as an aid to newer players like myself, but also so all you experienced know-it-alls can point out I should be using other gadgets instead.

My favourite discovery of the last few weeks has been all the EVE based Android apps I never knew existed.  They’ve probably been there for ages but I didn’t have an android phone last time I played. Best of the bunch is Aura, a character monitor, skill queue reminder, market order watcher and all round database of EVE goodies making it ideal for checking up on your characters when you’re far away from your computer.  The majority of train journeys, lunch breaks and boring conversations in the last few weeks have had me reaching for Aura to check whether we’ve made any money off our trade orders or how many skills Maxi needs to fly a Covert Ops frigate.  Of course the main setback is you can’t tinker with your skill queues or orders (that’s not a complaint, that would be cheating) so you just have to watch stoney faced as every other trader beats your order price by 0.01 ISK and wait until home time to set your orders straight, but it’s still addictive as hell to check up on all things EVE related.

Talking of cheating, EVE Trade Finder searches EVE Central for profitable trades and, err, tells you where they are.  Cheating!  Luckily EVE Central always seems to be slightly but crucially out of date so any cheating haulers hopefully miss out on any good routes.

So, um, yeah that’s all the useful android apps I’ve found.  Have I missed any?  I’ve seen there’s a few like Aura but I can’t see if they’re any better or not.  If anyone knows feel free to comment.

There’s also one very useful PC based application I’ve become reacquainted with since my return: EveMon, BattleClinic’s ever useful skill planner.  Now Dave the Alt is (relatively) up to speed with all the useful trade skills there are, Maxi’s skill training as begun again in earnest.  He’s training everything Myrmidon related at the moment, he’s got the essentials to fly one now but there’s about a month’s worth of ‘recommended’ skills according to EveMon that sound like a good idea to get trained in as well.  It’s great how easy it is to formulate a training plan on EveMon, but just a bit galling when in the space of 10 minutes you’ve planned the next year’s worth of training.  The planning is fun, the actual implementation slightly tedious, just another way that EVE reflects real life.

And the one thing I still struggle with a bit is ship fitting.  I mean, I am in the luxurious position of having my own fittings expert in the shape of Serpentine Logic who is always quick to advise on a good setup whenever I mention a new ship I’m getting.  But to plan my own I still struggle.  Battleclinic is good, sure, but it doesn’t know what skills I do and don’t have so won’t know what fittings I can actually equip.  Plus a couple of times I’ve bought the ingredients I can for a new fit only to find the one thing I can’t equip makes the difference between having enough CPU to equip everything or not.  I have yet to find an app that can work out a fit based on your current skills, but I guess that would be cheating too.  I just need to get the hang of working out DPS before I’ve bought everything, not after.

Ouch!Oh, and after all Maxi’s refusals to fly another Vexor, EVE only went and gifted us one in their 9 year celebrations.  Thanks EVE!  Vexor acquisition solved.  While I’ve been tinkering with apps and Dave the Alt has been trade training, Maxi Foyle has been running level 2 missions in his new Vexor, Queen Maggie, to earn enough standing to try a Myrmidon on some level 3s.  Now he’s back on training and their combined wealth is over 200 million ISK I think now’s the time to send that Corp application to RPS Holdings and get some nullsec PvP action under his belt.  I’ll let you know how he gets on next time.

Fly safe o7

That's Maxi, right in the centre there


Space Jaunting: Part 2 – Last Day – Resigned to failure

Hello, you join us today on a sad day in Maxi Foyle’s EVE life.  It’s a sad day because it is his last day with his current corporation and perhaps his last day in EVE.  You see, Maxi Foyle, Space Resigner, feels he’s reached the Event Horizon of EVE Online.  The new gameplay mechanics, the exploration and adventure, the excitement of working with (and against) other humans all had Maxi tumbling into the EVE online lifestyle in a big way, but recently things have become a bit stale.  The time required to learn each new skill, to get each new ship, to do each new money making industrial enterprise gets longer and longer, and more and more expensive.  Over the last week or so Maxi’s started feeling he has seen all he’s likely to see from EVE for the near future, and with each goal he acheives each new goal seems further and further to grind before reaching it.

What does this all mean?  I’m afraid it means, for the time being, there will be no more Space Jaunting blog.  The time and effort required to play this amazing, deep, all encompassing game is more than I can afford at the moment.  So rather than force my way through and write less and less exciting posts I’m going to draw a line under it here and keep this blog as it was intended: as a slightly silly journey of a total beginner in the world of EVE online.

It’s been incredibly fun, certainly some of my all-time favourite gaming moments have occured in this game.  The stupid thing about me saying it’s getting less fun is that I’m forgetting some of the greatest escapades have happened when I least expected them to.  So often I’ve signed on just for 10 minutes to say hello to the corp and update my skill queue, and then 3 hours and a PvP skirmish, or a stupidly difficult mission later I’m only just logging off.  If I get the time back I will continue with EVE and I will make sure you all hear about Maxi Foyle’s new adventures, but for now this is goodbye.

o7 fly safe

P.S. I’ve enjoyed writing about EVE so much I’m going to keep posting about other games in the form of reviews and articles over on http://asreviewedelsewhereontheinternet.wordpress.com/, including a proper review of EVE Online very soon, so please check it out if you enjoyed this.


Space Jaunting: Part 2 – Day 1 – A Private Individual

Hello.  As I mentioned Maxi was invited to test his mettle at PvP last week as the final part of his Basic Training for his (now previous) Corp.  Maxi was told to fit out a Tristan with a particular fitting set-up and warp out to a deserted asteroid field in the Mehatoor system for some Karate Kid style training and sparring.

The trick, it seems, to 1 on 1, or ‘solo’, PvP is all about keeping your enemy where you want them, and making sure you’re not where they want you.  This is achieved through the use of Warp Disruptors and Stasis Webifiers which, once you’re in range to use them, lock down the target’s warp drive so they can’t warp away, and then slows their speed making it a lot easier to hit them and keep them within the range of your warp disruptor.

So the first part of Maxi’s training was to practice warping in to the asteroid belt, locking his trainer and getting the warp disruptor and stasis webifier on and keeping them on him whilst he wriggled and squirmed and tried every way he could to escape the range of the warp disruptor and warp out.  The lesson Maxi learnt?  That his trainer can indeed escape his warp disruptor and get out, but this was only achievable because his trainer was using a Micro-Warp drive to speed away from Maxi.  Now a Micro-Warp drive uses up a ship’s capacitor incredibly quickly so the good news is an enemy target using one to get away isn’t going to be able to waste capacitor energy on firing weapons, plus if they don’t get away quickly enough they may empty their capacitor altogether before they’re out of range and be stranded powerless to resist your attack.  And of course not everybody has a micro warp drive fitted.  Lesson 1 complete!

Lesson 2 was the tables reversed: Maxi’s trainer would warp in from elsewhere in the system and lock down Maxi’s systems, Maxi then had to try to escape the disruptor’s range and warp out.  This was great fun, and it took a few goes before Maxi worked out how to do it.  Again Maxi’s trainer had a faster ship thanks to the Micro-Warp drive so Maxi just couldn’t get far enough away from him to lose the warp disruption, but as mentioned the Micro-Warp drive ate up his trainer’s capacitor which when empty could no longer sustain the Warp Disruptor.  The trick, Maxi learned, was to keep an eye on the overview which marks little symbols for any effects players are having on you, i.e. Warp Disrupting.  As soon as the disruption symbol disappeared from the overview Maxi slammed warp and shot out before his trainer’s capacitor was back.  It was thrilling and he wasn’t even shooting at me.  Lesson 2 complete!

Lesson 3: As his trainer explained “I’m going to warp in and start shooting, I’ll try to stop when I reach your hull but apologies if I blow you up!  Now try to pop me before I do.”  And with that Maxi was expected to take part in his first PvP.  His trainer warped in in an Atron, an amazingly crap frigate, but he was far more skilled in PvP skills, it was going to be a close match.  It’s fair to say I can now see the appeal of PvP combat.  As with much of the game you’re not really involved in the action, in fact your overview will be set up to look something like this:

That shot’s from a mission not actually of the PvP battle, I was too involved to take photos, but that is the vantage point you watch it from, with an eye on the distance circles to make sure your target’s in the right range for your weapons.  After locking and webbing his target there was little Maxi could do beyond hitting ‘orbit at 630m’ and ‘fire missiles’ and ‘fire guns’ and watch with biting nails as the two sets of shields, armours and hulls slowly lit red as we blasted chunks out of each other.  It’s brilliant, exciting and nerve-racking, the only thing I can compare it to is watching a penalty shoot out involving a much loved football team.  It’s unlike combat in other games because it’s taken so long to get to this point: Weeks of skill training, millions of ISK invested in the ship and loadout, all boiling down to 30 seconds of tension, fear and then…

Elation as the trainer’s ship exploded!  It happened just as Maxi’s hull had been breached, it was that close.  What a rush!  I can see why people spend their whole EVE lives skulking around looking for fights now.  After gathering up his trainer’s lost loot and handing it back at the nearest station, training was complete.  Maxi was rewarded the rank of Private in the corporation, little knowing that days later the corporation would be no more.

So Maxi now has one kill on his killsheet, but it would be unfair to claim that when his opponent would have easily bested him if he hadn’t chosen such a useless frigate.  I think we might have to add another goal to Maxi’s list:

7. Get some proper PvP kills on his killsheet

In fact these goals are getting all over the place, I feel it might be time to review them and see where we are and where we want to be by the end of Part 2.

Until next time, fly safe o7


Space Jaunting: Part 1 – Final Day – Political Incorrectness

Hi.  Welcome back to the ‘new look’ Space Jaunting blog.  I finally clicked on the ‘appearance’ button and took the chance to spacify everything a bit.  Hope you like it?  We’ve been gone for a while, apologies about that, but Maxi Foyle has been gagged by a Super-Space-Injunction from revealing any of the following information until this point.  (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)

Basically there’s been a bit of corporation politics going on over the last week or so, and it would have been very foolish of Maxi to divulge his thoughts and actions during that period on a blog that all his corpmates could easily view.  The long, short and round of it is that Maxi Foyle is no longer a member of the LPT corporation who took him in in his first week of EVE playing.  Sad as that sounds he has instead jumped ship to a new corp that contains the majority of his best mates from the previous corp, and it seems a generally much better corp to be a part of.  How?  Why?  What?  Let me explain.

I’m going to tell a story now, and whilst it is Maxi’s understanding of events surrounding his corp’s recent collapse it is very much a story told with the story in mind, so it’s true to the best of his knowledge but it involves some assumptions about people’s motives which may be more evil and malicious than they really were, but they make for a better story so that’s what we’re going with.

We’re going to tell the story of a player, we’ll call him Dil, who was CEO of the LPT corporation that had been running for quite a long time, it had a tight group of lieutenants adept at mining, PvPing and missioning.  It had recently recovered from an alliance war which had left it battered and bruised and it was looking to consolidate and rebuild by getting new players in to build its numbers and use them to build a POS from which to launch its future operations.  And so Dil’s lieutenants were sent out into the galaxy to gather as many new corp members as possible, no requirements were stipulated, new players, experienced players, everyone was welcome in.  Dil had a plan to exploit these new recruits, and the trick was to keep even his closest lieutenants out of the loop, so they were all off praising the worth of the corp to anyone who would listen, genuinely believing their own words, and recruiting tens of people over the course of a few weeks.  It was during that time that the titular Maxi Foyle, Space Crumpet, was recruited to their militaristic cause and was quickly involved in the training schedule and mining operations, as we’ve discussed at length in previous posts.

Something I didn’t really mention in previous posts was the payment structure for the mining operations.  It was fairly, err, random.  After Maxi’s first op he was offered payment in the form of a Retriever, however having already got one himself he asked for cash instead and sure enough 5 million ISK was deposited there and then by the corp’s mining officer.  Future payments were promised in a similar way and Maxi merrily continued going to mining ops and not really thinking about it when a couple of ops came and went without payment, and didn’t pay much more attention when some of his fellow miners started questioning how it was worked out who got paid what and when we were going to get paid.  He just carried on oblivious to the vague and changing answers and it was only after a couple of private conversations a week ago that he started to smell a rat.  The word from the top was we had an order to fill, and until we got all the ore needed to fill the order the corp wasn’t going to get paid, and so the miners weren’t going to get paid until then either.  About a week ago it became apparent that wasn’t strictly true, and a few days later the corp was all but disbanded.

Of course, what had happened was Maxi had fallen for the oldest EVE trick in the book:  Working for free under the lie that “we could pay you a bit now, but if we crack on we could all get paid a lot more money in the future” when in fact, the CEO had no intention of paying anyone at all.  Even the mining officer, a long term lieutenant in the corp who had known the CEO for months, believed the lie and had made the few payments we had seen out of his own pocket, awaiting the big pay cheque from the CEO at a later date.

Last weekend, whilst Maxi was offline, a couple of his fellow corp members twigged what was going on and Renge, Maxi’s recruiter, trainer, and all time EVE role-model used his powers as a corp lieutenant to access and empty the corp’s (limited) bank accounts to spread the ISK out amongst the unpaid miners (it didn’t nearly cover the amount of ore we had mined but it was better than nothing) and then promptly resigned.  As soon as Maxi logged on the following day and found out what happened he resigned too but was immediately able to join a new corp a defecting LPT member had created and that was quickly swelling in rank due to the number of old corp mates jumping ship from LPT.

And so Maxi Foyle, Space Scam Victim, is no longer a member of LPT corporation, but instead is now part of LP Manufacturing ltd.  A new, tight-knit, slightly industry focused corporation who are trying their very best to prove they’re not trying to scam everyone like the last corp!  We have voice chats and everything!  It’s quite exciting.

What has Maxi been up to for his new corp then?  So far mostly moving house to the new headquarters, doing a bit of mining (no operations yet to speak of, but the corp conveniently buys ore from you directly if you have mined some, which benefits everyone), finally setting up a PI planet, with another coming this afternoon, and joining in some more level 4 missions, this time in Crimples which is still massively underpowered to take on level 4 missions, but with some help from his fleetmates he’s not had too many scrapes and been able to earn loads more ISK from the mission rewards and dropped loot than his standard level 1 missions provide.

That’s it for this post, otherwise it’s going to go on forever, but there are a couple of things I want to tell you about from the last week so expect more posts very soon.  First up will be how Maxi got in that PvP he mentioned at the end of the last post.

One final note is regarding the totally non-sensical titles I’ve been using for the blog.  I’m sure many (myself included) have wondered what ‘Part 1’ is meant to entail, and why I keep calling the posts ‘day something’ when in fact whole weeks may have passed between ‘day 9’ and ‘day 10’, for instance.  I don’t know either!  But it’s the system I’ve accidently set up now, so I’m going to stick with it.  With that in mind I think the moving to Maxi’s second corporation in his EVE life is a big enough event to warrant bringing an end to this opening ‘Part 1’ segment, and start the next post as Part 2, in which Maxi is no longer such a newcomer to these parts, has a steady flow of ISK coming in well in advance of his initial aim, and maybe even makes his way into null-sec space.

It’s good to be back.  Fly safe o7