Friday, April 29, 2011

The Ballad of TurAmarth ElRandir

(to the tune of the Ballad of Jed Clampett)
[scroll to bottom for link to vid & music]

Come and listen to a story 'bout a guy named Tur,
A poor Minmatar, barely kept his ship astir,
Then one day he was shootin at some Noob,
When up came a CTA, the Sansha bein rude.

Incursion that is, RED gold in the Eden sky.

Well the first thing you know ol Tur he aint so poor,
He looted up an Implant worth "One ninety Mil or more"

Now his corpies said "Jita's the place you needa be!"
So he loaded up the Noctis and moved to Dodixie...

Agents there are, missions to run, REDs to kill.

Well now it’s time to say good bye, to Tur and all his frens,
They’d like to thank you noobs, fer kindly flippin cans.
You're all invited back again, to test our tank you see,
Then have a heapin helpin of our DPS for free.

EVE Pirates that is. Flip that can, I swear I won't shoot back...

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Flyin the Deadly Skies on the Friends & Family Plan

Yesterday was a very good day... My RL Bro-in-law joined us in EVE.

You see me, my son, (a RL Marine and yes I am PROUD AS HELL), and an RL jarhead friend of his started our corp together. AI and SL had been ingame bout a year or so when I joined... and after I had a month or so solo under my belt, running the tutorials and just in general kicking around by myself... and yes, getting killed and podded a few times... I got together with them and we started our own Corp.

We spent a few months shaking down, doing basically just the 3M's... Missioning, Mining and Mucking about. We had a couple of noober-than-us-noobs join, and some leave... basically we were running along the lines of what I believe is best described as the "Bunch of Boobs Method" in Arcdragon's Absolutely Most Excellant Wormhole Guide, "Everything Wormhole"... as far as I am concerned, a "Must Read" for anyone, even if you never intend to go into WSpace.

My Bro-in-law Rus, is a cool guy who I am incredibly lucky to say is also my friend, and there are far too many of us out there who know how often that is not the case with in laws. We are both very much into wrenching, wheeling, and then fixing, our Jeeps. Rus is a RL mechanic and a damn good one and I have been a jack-leg shade tree wrench most all of my life, plus there is that we sorta just 'click' and just kinda get each other thing that you so rarely get in RL.

Now Rus is not as huge a Sci-Fi fan as I am, and while into computers, he is not quite the Geek I am, so I never really thought EVE would be something he might cotton to in a big way. But I had showed it to his older son and him once over the holidays and Rus emailed me and asked for a Buddy 21 day trial so he could try it out... Well HELL Yea! Anyhoo, he loads it up and while his sys does meet the minimum specs, it is a bit closer to min than max. So it turns out he can't open Incarna and make his toon... He petitions and CCP support does try, but it just can't handle the video output from Incarna and so he gave up on it.

Well sometime later I was up @ his place on what turned out to be day 20 of the original 21, and we logged him onto my CAD Box and low and behold, he was able to create his toon and get setup in EVE. After we got him ingame on his system, he petitioned and CCP reset him back to day 1 of his 21 day trail, schweet.

So he gets ingame and I get him in our corps public channel, intro him around and then I did 2 things right off the bat...
(1) send him 10M I$K as a grub stake and
(b) told him to DO THE TUTORIALS. And if he didn't get it the 1st time, do em again.

As all of us who fly the deadly skies of New Eden know. the learning curve in EVE is, well more of a Learning Cliff, looks kinda like this.... And if you don't know... well, go back and look at the link again (I'm the guy driving the bulldozer!).  =]

Anyhoo... that was a week ago and I have not seen or heard from him until last night. He has been runnin the tutorials and starting to get the hang of it, at least a weeks worth of the hang of it... I asked if he wanted me to join him and he said yes, so I exited the hole stage left and swung by my home station to drop off  my Drake "ShitFit". I then sat there... tapping my foot while staring into my Ship Hangar Bay trying to decide what the hell to wear.

Should I take "ShitFit" my PvE Drake and throw my PvP mods in a can in the hold? Maybe I should take "Sensei", one of my PvP Rifters and show him what to  train up for... Or should I dress to impress and take my 'Cane, "PoisonCandy" to show him what he has to look forward to? Or I could go stylin in one of my Faction Frigs... "Orcrist" my Rep Flt Firetail or "Glamdring" my Rep Flt Hookbill...  or the...  or...  ahhhh, decisions decisions...

I ended up choosing "Orcrist" as, (1) I had yet to actually DO anything with her and I really wanted to try her out, and as (b) I knew Rus was getting into his 1st Dessie, a Thrasher, that day, I felt he might like being in the 'bigger' ship... plus if we ran any L1 mishes together I could protect him better in a fast tackle frig while allowing him to do more of the DPS as the Thrasher is such a glasscannon.

So I set course for his station, 15 hops, and send "OMW" in chat. While I MAP... I must digress here for a sec here and 'esplain...

MAP is my acronym for Manually-Auto-Pilot. You see in EVE you set a destination and you can set your ship to Auto-Pilot to that destination. But there is a catch... AP drops you out of warp approx 15Km from each gate on your course. You then have to cross that 15 Km at your ships normal speed. If you are in an Indy, or a BS your std unmodified best top speed is usually something around 100 to 200m/s... it can take quite a while to cover that 15 Km which can now be written not as Kilometers but as "Kill-o-meters"... Many, many ships are lost to gank attacks in that 15 Km no-man's land. The way to avoid this is to manually pilot your ship from gate to gate and not use the AP at all.

If you manually select the gate and warp to it, you will drop out of warp 'inside' the warp range for that gate allowing you to immediately warp through thereby giving no one enough, or at least a bare minimum of time to target and gank you, plus you get where you are going MUCH faster obviously... The issue is this that doing all of this manually is a major pain in the arse when doing long flights.

So what I do "if" I am in a fast enough ship... something that can hit say, at least 900m/s or better, like my speedy little Firetail. A fast ship will almost always have either an AB or MWD fitted, so I set my destination, select the 1st gate and manually warp to it... once in flight I engage the AP, then upon reaching the gate, as I manually warped to it the AP immediately warps me through the gate and immediately aligns and warps to the next gate... now here is the "manual" part of MAP comes in... I still do have to be attentive and take a hand in the trip but it is just one click at each gate... once AP drops me out of warp @ 15 Km, I simply engage the AB or MWD and, in the case of my Firetail, I cross that 15 Km at 1200m/s... and you can cover 15 Km in less time than most ships can complete a lockup at 1200m/s...  but, as I said.... I digress...

So I set course for his station, 15 hops, and send "OMW" in chat. While I MAP to him we chat about what he's been learning and such... found he had been killed in a mission or 2, not news, happens to all noobs, part of the Learning Cliff. He said he was minutes away from completing his Dessie skills and was going to go buy his 1st Thrasher... Shweet. I arrived and waited for him outside at his home station. He shows up a bit later and immediately starts bumpin me all over the place... Yea... I think he just might fit in here just fine.  =]

So I get him to show me his fit... Oh dear god. He had taken the civ and noob mods from his Reaper, the Minmatar noobship, and fitted them on his Thrasher... Oh dear god.

OK... now, I know I am typing here... and yes I work on PC's for a living so I spend all day in front of a keyboard... and I game and blog at night... but you can have no idea how very, very deeply I hate typing. When EVER I can ingame I use either eve-voice or TeamSpeak. So, as he does not have a onboard mic on his laptop we are forced to do everything in chat... let just say it is not the same. Getting a point across in chat can sometimes leave out important stuff.

We get into the Market and I tried helping him understand the market screen and how skills affect what he can and can't use... well, he says he has found the guns he wants, 200mm autocannons. Cool, perfect for the Thrasher and don't need hi skills. He says "I'm off to pick em up." WAIT!!!!!  Where are they?? He gives me the system and thank god it is (1) in hi-sec and (b) only 2 hops away. "OK, then lets go there and get the rest of yer mods" I tell him and off we go.

We get there, dock and I explain how to get into the hangar bay, he has only 1 gun, get him to buy 6 more.... they won't go on... cause he doesn't have the skills for em... OK, OK... I link him the lowest skill 125mm guns there and tell him to buy 7.

I can't... Why?.... Out of money... WHAT!!!!???? ... I gave you 10 MILLION I$K.... Yea, ship and guns ate it up.... Oh dear god. OK, ok... find the "strip" button and strip everything off the ship...  OK.... select all....  OK.... r-click and repackage all....  OK...  Now sell everything for whatever price comes up....  OK.... I am giving you 10M more I$K. We were able to get 7 guns, he can actually use, fitted before we both finally packed it in for the night.

After Rus had logged off I took "Orcrist" out and did a little solo ratting in the 'Roid Belts of a nearby system. There was a Rifter who was working them also, there were a lot of bananas (yellow wrecks) but if you hang around long enough you will usually get a small spawn at least.

To explain what happened next, I dual screen, I have the game on a  22" flat panel to my right and have my laptop screen open at the same time for Google, PYFA, this, etc., etc. ... While waiting for a RAT spawn I started writng this post on the laptop screen and noobishly had my inmail open covering most of the 22" when I realized my ship was getting attacked...  lol... so I quickly cleanup the screen and get to work. Needless to say I was very happy w/ Orcrist's abilities, both in taking down the RATS but in speed/shield tanking their DPS. I ratted a few belts for a bit, went back to the barn and converted all the loot to minerals... made a clean 150K I$K for about 30 mins fun... not much but it at least paid for the Faction Ammo...

I am still a noob in this great game... only a wee, what, 5 months ingame... but Rus's fit, the noobship mods on a Thrasher, brought a great huge grin to my face...   =]    It brought back STRONG memories of my 1st days ingame. I have been here less than 1/2 a year... and I have learned so very, very much...

I have been killed and killed others...
I have been podded, and I have podkilled...
I looted a ship after an Incursion and found an implant worth 168 Million I$K... and I played the market for 2 weeks and ended up getting over 191 Million I$K for it...
I can look over a ship's fit and understand (mostly) what's right and what's wrong, and more importantly, why...
I have lived in a wormhole...
One of the very 1st people who killed me, killed me 'twice' in the same fight.... and podded me after the 2nd kill... now he is one of my very best friends. And through it all... the very best part... the part that makes the Learning Cliff sooo very worthwhile... is the people...

Flyin the Deadly Skies of New Eden with your Real Life Friends and Family.... man, there's absolutely nuthin better.   =]

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky....  =/|)=

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"The Backstory Of TurAmarth""
or "How TurAmarth Came to EVE", Part the First

OK... I am a geek. 15+ years as a PC tech vastly qualifies me for that title, actually I believe I deserve the longed for capital "G". My turning to the dark side took the oh so familiar route... I ended up in a job where the use of a computer was required, began to learn about word processing and Corel Draw 3.0 as I was an artist for a screen printing factory at the time. This led... just as that 1st cold beer inevitably leads to crack... to PC Gaming.

The day came when a good and trusted friend (isn't the evil always spread by a good and trusted friend??) told me of a game he had been given by a 'good and trusted friend' (See!?!?!) called "Wolfenstien 3D"... he said it was really cool and he could copy it to floppy for me. Now, anyone who knows of this insidious game went through exactly the same thing I did... I found myself desperately wanting to freely move through the game and not be confined to absolute 90° turns.

Then came the day... that same good and trusted friend called and told me of a game named, quite simply "Doom". Well... now THIS was a VAST improvement! And in Doom 1, "TurAmarth ElRandir" was 1st created, and has been my prime character in every game I have played in since.

Then came the day... that same good and trusted friend called and told me we could connect via a modem, to each other’s games... we could 'see' each other... we could explore the world of Doom 'together'... we could "KILL" each other...  over and over and over and over and...  oh yes dear Virginia, there is a God!

Needless to say my world went to crap. I was up till 2, 3, 4 sometimes 5 AM MOST nights...  weekdays, weekends, holidays, birthdays... there were the inevitable half-serious jokes about setting up a PC in the bathroom... with a small fridge close to hand. Now, at the time I was in my early 20's married to a young woman of uncommon generosity and patience... which I was finally able to wear thin.

Needless to say after a few months of this, I sat back one... um, morning... rubbing the kinks out of my neck with my severely carpal'ed up mousehand... when I spied my young wife's wedding band, and no, she did not have her slender hand resting gently upon my shoulder... it was sitting on top of my monitor. "Hmmm" says I, "This cannae be good."

I went to the bedroom and she woke as I entered. She rolled over and the thin sheet slipped down <skip forward past things not ostensibly of import to this blog> and then she, with a fine sheen of sweat glistening on her heaving <skip forward past more things not ostensibly of import to this blog> sighed and, leaning back and looking down at me said, "Well... OK, 'now' I don't think you are 'more' married to that game than me." Where upon she allowed me to place the ring back upon her finger.

Suffice it to say this was my 1st experience with gaming addiction and wifeaggro, two things that seem to be strongly related... though wifeaggro seems to have a myriad of connections to many, many other things in my life.

Fly safe and see you in the Sky =/|)=

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wormhole Rules & Wormholes Rule

Asleep at the Gun

2011.04.24 04:43:11
Today I 'woke' to a lovely day in the Alliance C1 Wormhole (WH). The sun was shining, the forcefield was shimmering, the wifeaggro was at Condition Green and I had a valid bookmark (BM) out if needed... not a bad start to any day for me in EVE.

Now as an Alliance member while I have access to the POS, I don't have corp access to the Hangar Bay so when in the hole I and my corpies "live" in our ships. So, I check the temp settings in my POD, opened comms and 07'ed them as what were on, but no corp or Alliance members were online who are currently in the hole w/ me.

I was in "ShitFit" my PvE Drake. Started spammin dscan, SOP, nuthing out of the ordinary w/i 2 bla,bla,bla million KM so I decided to head out and (1) swing by a number of old BM's I had to clean up off my BM list then head out of the hole and run some L3's out of my home station to re-raise me Security Status (secstat) from the hits I had taken in our last few lowsec roams, I am not an outlaw at -0.03, but if you don't stay on top of it you could easily find gates and stations in hisec showing you their Dislike Per Second afore you know it. I been hopin to put together some low-to-null sec rattin runs with my corpies and allies (avoiding the avoidable PvP) cause the higher the bounty on the RATS the higher, and quicker, your secstats go up, just haven't gotten OL times in sync yet.

So I pop out to the 1st BM, a Grav site I "thought" was an old one we had already cleared.... and, of course, it wasn't. Crap... Crap, crap, crap, crap... You see Tif, the ally who is basically in charge of PI and Mining ops in the Alliance WH has been handling all of that really well and I simply didn't like having just popped a mining site w/o his OK or knowledge. While sitting there waffling over whether to in-mail him and keep on w/ my BM clean up, or what... Tif appears on scan, fly's up in his Covetor and asks me "Tur, WTF you doin in my Grav site?"  =]

Well, I esplain my mistake and he sends out his mining minions, and starts in on a nice juicy rock... I figger I'll fly CAP (Combat Air Patrol) so I go 20KM vertical and settle in to overwaatch as he mines. Well as anyone who mines knows, mining is the single most boring I$K faucet in all of EVE... at least I am one of those that feel this way and I am not even mining... I am WATCHING someone ELSE mine. Needless to say I was, well.... bored to deth. I was spammin dscan and such but I also ended up deep into an audio chat with a noob, Alri, not new just to EVE but also a new Ally and a new good friend.

2011.04.24 04:43:11
Well to unnecessarily drag out a relatively short story, needless to say I was really very surprised (though I am sure many of you are not by this point in the narrative) when I realized Tif's Covetor had become a white triangle inside of a cloud of smoke and there was a Arazu popping it's drones out and another ship (I didn't catch what the 2nd one was) but my attention was on the Arazu... I immediately fired up the MWD, approached, activated all 3 Invulnerability Field IIs, the DCU II, locked, fired missiles and released drones on the Arazu.

Now, as usual in PvP things were happenin really, really fast. As I 'begin' my approach I watched my shields go down to 75% faster than I had ever seen em go in ANY L4 or Sleeper site OR PvP I had been in yet with "ShitFit"... I made that snap decision you make when you realize you are simply going to be the 2nd wreck on the field and not the Sword Of Truth and Vengance you had originally set out to be ... I aligned to the POS relay point and began spammin the warp button.

I made it back to the POS and Tif was there, he had got away and was ok aside from the lost of the Covertor... and bein somewhat pissed at me... I was all riled up ans wanted to go find the Arazu and actually see if I would lose to it, my earlier decision being a snap decision made during battle and mainly based on the fact that I knew I was PvE fit and not PvP. Anyhoo... my corpies and Allys all agreed I should stay in POS as I had no back up available ATM, so I bowed to peer pressure and stayed in the POS... but I will wonder to my last day if I could have taken him, "ShitFit" tanks like a brick.

Fly Safe & see you in the sky... =/|)=

Enforcing the Rules

2011.04.24 14:40:40
Woke today, as is not uncommon, alone in the POS. Per pavlovian response to being IN the WH, started spammin dscan... nuthin out of the ordinary in range, 'nother lovely day in the hole. It is so strange that I am in -1.0 space, and yet... everytime I wake in the POS... I feel 'safer' here than anywhere in Empire. The rules are so clear. You are a corpie or an Ally, or you are a target... period. And the neighborhood is so very exclusive. "If" you have neighbors, THEY are corpies or Allies, or targets, clean and clear and simple.

So, I still hadn't cleaned up my excess BMs due to the incident the night afore where I'm still feelin deep guilt over the "ganking of my friend Tif's Covetor while I was on overwatch", thing... so I head back out to try once more to clear off the old BMs and "...what to my wondering eyes doth appear? But a Hurricane running a Sleeper site in our WH.

Mmmm... OK
(1) is he alone? I narrow dscan to 30° and localize him to near Planet VI Moon 1. Warp there and set scan to 'system' and immediately get a 'Green' Perimeter Ambush site, Ah HAH! While doing this I have been watchin him and it will be him and 1 wreck, then just him, then him and 1 wreck, then just him.... so he is site running, which means PvE fitted and unless he is "Bait", which is very possible as we had a gank in the hole just last night... it is also possible he is a loner running sites. The immediate Loot & Salvage if each wreck leads me to feel he is more likely alone than bait.

(B) I am in "ShitFit", my PvE fit Drake I have no Ewar, no webbers, no scrammers & no neuts... can I take a PvE fit 'Cane? Ain't but one way to find out as I saw it... I immediately warped to the site at '0'...   =]

2011.04.24 14:40:34 ] (notify) The Hurricane is too far away, you need to be within 69000 meters of it but are actually 116687 meters away.

I am however within 20KM of an Awakened Escort Sleeper who, of course, immediately starts in on me... screw him, I fire up the MWD and burn hard @ 800M/s towards the site ninja 'Cane, as soon as I get in range I lock him up and it's "Missiles AWAY!" I free my Drones... but before they can even start to warp to the Cane, he choose the better part of valor, and...

14:42:24 (notify) XR-3200 Heavy Missile Bay deactivates because its target, Hurricane, is not locked... he runs away to fight another day.

So now of course I go ahead and complete the site, Loot & Salvage and, as RL calls, I settle back at the POS happy that I have, to some small degree, recovered a modicum of self respect for running off a site thief, even though w/o tackle mods there was no real chance of me killing him if he decided, as he did, to exit stage left.

Fly Safe & see you in the sky... =/|)=