Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blog Banter 36: The Expansion of EVE

or~  “The Future’s so Bright, I Gotta Wear… a Ray-Banicle…”

"With the Inferno expansion upon us, new seeds have been planted in the ongoing evolution of EVE Online. With every expansion comes new trials and challenges, game-changing mechanics and fresh ideas. After nine years and seventeen expansions, EVE has grown far more than most other MMOGs can hope for. Which expansions have brought the highs and lows, which have been the best and the worst for EVE Online?"


I joined EVE on November 23 of 2010, just 7 days before the 1st Incursion Release. I have been ingame 1 year 6 months as of this writing, so I have experienced Incursion, Incarna, Crucible and now Inferno. I began my EVE blog, (shameless plug -> “A CARBON Based Life”) after 6 months ingame in April of 2011. This was prompted by my home corp's discovery of wormholes and a strong shared interest in the W-space lifestyle. Up until then we had been sorta bouncing around, as so many do in the early days and months in New Eden, trying to find our ‘game’… in W-space we had found not only our game, but our homespace in EVE.

My main take on the EVE expansions I have lived through has been overall fantastic. My rankings are based on a personal and subjective 10 out of 10 rating, not on features but an overall feeling of how they affected me ingame.

Incursion: RANKING 10/10 - Incursion was a wonderful intro to EVE for me as very shortly after I finished noob-skool, got my wings, bought and badly fitted a Destroyer, the Minmawin Thrasher (still a fav of mine) and ventured out on-my-own as ‘twere… I was on a buyin spree and inadvertently ran across one of the earliest (as best I understand it now, possibly the very first) Sansha Incursion. A better introduction to a SciFi Spaceship MMO for me could not have been scripted.

I was enthralled. I warped to the moon nearest to the Incursion… it was visible from there. I warped to the battle and just sat and watched… mesmerized. (I posted the story here… skip down to, “I have seen…”) I was totally hooked.

Incarna: RANKING 4/10 – Then came Incarna and I never looked so good. Yea, the Char Creator was graphics heavy and it took forever to do my makeover… but the end product was worth it as far as I am concerned, the comparison between old and new is cartoon and near-photo IMHO. The CQ was (and is) a waste of code until we can OPEN THE FRAKKIN DOOR. Arum is wasted on me as I will never be using ANY MT system. I dunt even buy PLEX as tis. The rest of it was background to us in our hole. I really did enjoy the riots though… (hence the '4' out of 10)  =]

Crucible: RANKING 10/10 - Crucible was next and I was well pleased. T3 BCs, Newbula, Corp BMs, etc., etc. all to the good.

Inferno: RANKING 10/10 - Last but nae least we have Inferno… MISSILES!!!!!!!!!!! YAE!! (and the new Hound still gives me inappropriate reactions…) New graphics almost always a win.... new UI, no so happy with, but no desire to forumwhine ‘bout it either… WarDec / FacWar changes and Mercs 0% impact seen on W-space so meh… so, so-far-so-good.

My fav so far, Inferno by a mile and that is JUST for the new missile effects…  though, I did notice one thing I am not happy with… what happened to Probe Launchers? Aren’t probes just a weird missile with a sciencehead instead of a warhead? Come on… no love for probes??

So what’s all this mean?

For me, EVE is a Virtual Reality moar than anything else. To me, therefore, as time has gone by each time there is a question or an argument or a discussion (with or without Missile and Lazors) I ask myself, “Self?” I say, “Yes?” Self answers, “In this particular case, in this specific postulated circumstance, what happened/happens/might happen In Real Life?” “Hmmmm…” responds Self… The answers I get are complex and hairy… like RL. They should be the same in EVE.

We have, I believe we all can agree, two basic differing philosophies in EVE. The Carebear and the Griefer. Oh there are a million shades of grey betwixt these two and I personally believe many moar Carebears have Griefer alts, and many moar Griefers have Carebear alts than fess up to it. But everyone seems to take a stand with their main char siding with whichever playstyle they prefer best. Carebear or Griefer. PvE’er or PvP’er.

Jester writ in a way I will use sorta sideways in his recent post, “QOTW: Taking EVE too seriously” as regards the Carebear Oddball’s gank loss to the Griefer Kaeda Maxwell.

Oddball goes to some length to make his case to… “…suggest a system of natural Consequences which may be of use in curbing such competitions like 'hulkageddon' - or at least limit them to the low- and null-sec systems where they belong.” The age old cry for a (Non-Consensual PvP) NCPvP Free EVE, or at the least an NCPvP free Hisec in EVE.

This is set against Kaeda Maxwell’s lengthy response justifying the gank… “You don't however see me going onto the forums and writing some wall of text quoting the EULA to try and get CCP to remove mining from the sandbox because I don't consider it fun or entertaining…

My point? CCP has set themselves a hard, hard task. That of creating and maintaining a Sandbox Based MMO(RP)G that creates and maintains a delicate balance of strong adversarial emotional and cerebral forces on its players.

So, for each expansion CCP has to plan how to alter, tweak and adjust the forces of Carebear vs Griefer or, dare we say it?… Good vs Evil? Yes… Good vs Evil… the age old drama mama that in prehistory kept ‘em enthralled at the feet of the Travelling Storyteller, brought em in in droves to see Shakespeare’s plays and keeps em lined up outside theaters today to see “Star Wars” and “Battleship”… and drama is what keeps us logging on and undocking our well fitted ships carrying much needed fuels for our POS in a place where we can virtually LOSE that ship and mods and cargo. We dunt wanna lose OUR ships, but we do love the stories of them as do.

Those of us who undock and die and undock and kill and rage quit and gloat and log back on day after day are PASSIONATE about EVE. Why? Because it is COMPLEX, because it is HARD, because it is DANGEROUS… because all of that makes it cerebrally satisfying and emotionally fulfilling. This is not to say that all those who prefer the carebear life are enamored of NCPvP and the danger, see Oddball… but if he really hated it THAT much, why does he log back on? Why forumwhine? Why waste his time and effort on such a blatantly unfair pastime? Perhaps because, whether he recognizes it or not, EVE is WORTH playing not just because of its complexity and depth, but also due to its inherent danger… I personally believe that without NCPvP, the complexity and depth would not be enough for most of us.

So, CCP has to listen to us… but not to do what we WANT… but to do what we NEED. And what we need is to be entertained and interested and challenged and enthralled. They have to create and recreate and balance and rebalance on a razor edge, the forces of Good Vs Evil, Carebear vs Griefer… they can never ever make the mistake of making one side happier than the other… they need to keep us ALL INTERESTED in “What will they do next?”

So far, with only one really bad fail (stand up Incarna and take a bow), out of 9 years and 17 expansions… I’d say they are doing better at a very, very difficult task than any other MMO out there… and I include WoW as it does not have the grit of reality, the complexity and harshness that casts such a bright light on the simple pleasures and the very real satisfaction found in the acts of friendship and community that far, far out numbers the amount of drama in EVE… but can be so very boring to read about.  =]

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

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Null is Dull, Lo is... (well it’s Lo) and Hi is too Dangewuss...

or~ Ima go Stick My Head inna Hole…

Cloaked in my Cheetah scouting a POS
One or two of ya may have noticed I have not updated me blog in a while…Well, I been busy with some RL stuff and… TBH, I got bored. I am not sure when bittervet disease normally strikes… I had doubted it could strike one so young as I ingame… but it did. At least that’s what it feels like.

My last musings here on my time in nullsec were about my personal take on the the big shakeup with Raiden losing the bulk of its systems and corps (including us)… meh. After that I bloodjumped out to Hisec to join in the “Sack of Jita Experience”… was funnish, but again, meh. After that I did two pieces on an “Incidental Blog Blather” started by Rixx and a short on the new Hound and missiles over on Sisi…haven’t posted anything since.

You see… I was having a lot of trouble those last few weeks coming up with things to say. I had plenty I wanted to post about, but none of it was stuff I was comfortable writing up as it had to do with my ever increasing and very real lack of interest in loggin in due to… conditions… beyond my control.

The corp I had joined in null is a group of guys I really like and respect and I/we have known them like forever(ish)… and they are this really great Indy corp and have done, and are doing, some really amazing stuff… but I am not an Indy guy. However one of my fav PvP’ers was already a part of them and two others were going to join and the two other Dirs in my corp wanted to go try null, so as I have already written ‘bout, I went too.

But as spring started to unfold outside the window, attendance started its usual summer decline as is normal in the MMOG world… the problem was as the PvE (site running) branch is the smallest division and the guys I wanted to fly with most were on less and less… until I was loggin on to find a just few guys on and flying, but ALL were mining… no one for me to to run sites with almost ever and I dunt have the mad skills and blinged out ships that would allow me to get up to the 15 to 30M ISK Bounty Cycle our top site runners are capable of… When we all flew together our shares would get upwards of 15 or moar a Bnty Cycle… but solo I rarely saw over 5 to 8M a cycle…

Now 5 to 8 Million ISK every 20 minutes is still a very decent amount of ISK… but I simply dunt like “grinding” alone…and if yer not grinding at it, you dunt see even 3 or 4 M ISK per cycle… again, why am I complaining? Cause I found I really dunt wanna do ‘this’, play EVE, alone no matter how much ISK I can make.
This to me seems weird cause when we lived in the hole, for over nine months, there were many, many times I would be logged on solo and while I really preferred to have guys to fly with, living in the hole there is so much moar you have to DO… Scanning the daily sigs, fuelling the POS, I could solo the C2 sites so well I could AFK them a bit and blog or work on the Fuel or Loot & Salvage Spreadsheets, plus as I was a Director, I had access to everything and could be involved in it all… and all of that would keep me INTERESTED and busy until someone else did log on… In null I had nothing... as I was not a Director, I had NO responsibilities… and therefore nothing to DO except run sites or… or… or… M I N E... ye gods… just effin kill me please.

So I found myself loggin on less and less and staying on when I did, for shorter and shorter times. In the last few weeks I often dint even undock at all. So I wrote up and Letter of Resignation, contracted all my ships and mods out and bloodjumped out to Hisec. My ships were delivered and… I found I had even less reason to log on than in null. My CEO (and son) had stayed in null to grind up ISK for a move back to W-space and the other Dir in our little corp had actually left before me… though I knew not where he was or what he was doing as I rarely saw him on at all… less than me as far as I could tell.

Tonight was the first time I had logged on in over a week. Both my guys were on and we talked a bit about things… I was dithering over whether or not to go back to null, seems our leaving had stimulated some discussion in Helix on the subject of PvE/P players and what did Helix have to offer etc., etc. so now they are (somewhat) moar actively getting involved in PvP… at least trying to… go figger huh?

Anyhoo… As I said I was dithering over going back or…? Or what else could I would I wanna do? Well, I had thought back when I moved back up to Hisec to scan down and do some W-space exploring. AI said he had not seen any holes for sale lately so I thought I’d take a look. I jumped in my Cheetah and scanned down the local sigs in Eitu… Ah ha! Two holes, schweet… off I went.

Found a C3 and a C1. The C3 has a Losec and a Hisec holes; is occupado with a Lrg Minnie Spike well defended. A Hoarder was floating unmanned in the POS and two Drakes were running sites. It’s a large system and I was not on Dscan when I popped in so I had cloaked and made some safes, scouted their POS and then popped probes to scan down their holes. They rousted out a CovOps frig and a Noccy and quickly cleaned up their wrecks when they saw my probes. They have a stat Lo and Hi which I scouted out.

Popped back out to Eitu and then checked out the C1. Also Occupado with Two Towers but only one Forcefield… one tower was DEAD with some incapped mods. The other, another Cal Lrg Spike, was all quiet, no one awake. I made some safes, one out of scan range of the live spike, popped probes but found no holes other than the one I came in through.

By then I realized something… I was happy. I was ENJOYING MYSELF... I was back scanning and cloakin and flyin around in the deadliest space in EVE, solo, and I felt... satisfied… go figger huh.

So I popped back out, docked up and refitted my Loki for W-space
and headed back out, popped back into the C3, settled in at SS4, a safe that was way off tangent from anything and off Dscan range of the holes and the POS, ordered the Night Watch to Cloaked Stationkeeping. I settled back in my command chair and ordered a kauffee. It was a real pleasure to see the whole crew once again happy at their work. I could hear the offwatch gathered in the forward lounge singing an old Matarii homecoming song…

No, this is not “our” W-space… but all we have to do if find a hole to call our own. We’re back in W-Space and I have no intention of ever leaving again.

The HDF =Lochotic= back n the space she was made for...
Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today was a GOOD day!!

OK, I am a Matarii… a gunboat guy. I LOVE Minmawin ships and I LOVE GUNS… but, they have one real downside… they aren’t a lotta fun to watch. Oh I do enjoy clearing my HUD and zoomin in real close… the muzzle blasts are a real blast... especially with the changes Crusibble brought. Out of sync firing order is vurra cool… and when lazors miss, OOOooo  AAAhhhh…  when guns miss though, not so much.

But, the first off-race ship I ever trained up on was the Drake as ervybody said the Duck is the Wormhole King due to its massive tank, and dey was right. Granted its Heavy Missile DPS was lacking in comparison, but balancing is balancing…

However, I fell in love with missiles when I was runnin C1 Sleepers.. vurra nice to have SOME kinda amination… and so one of my very fav Winmatar ships quickly became the Hound. I was at first put off by its styling… but, like a sore tooth it kinda grows on ya… and you find you just can’t stop fiddling with it. Of course I have hated as much as anyone the missile launch ‘fartcloud’ effect… all you needed was a nice “Blattt!” to go along with it… cripes.

But… that has all changed (soon)!! I caught wind (LOL) of a hint and dropped by Sisi today and By The Gods they dids it!! The new Hound  is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO much bettah!!! Still a gangly thing but DAYUM do I like it!! And the Torpedo launchers!!!  WOO HOO!!! And the Bomb launcher!! Whoo boy! All in all I am one very well pleased Matarii…

OK, so I am in nullsec and alone on Sisi which is not at all unusual. I undock and spend some time just taking a good long look at her… Ahhhh… =]

Then I want to see the animations so I warp out to the planet and yea buddy! They look GOOD. I warp back to the station and I’m gonna pop out a few cans to shoot when I realize… I can shootz the station!!!  LOL  I lock it up, go to orbit @ 30Km and start poppin Torpedoes… Man oh man!! What a nice feeling to SEE your torps pop out, then fire off their rockets and swing away in a loverly tangent and disappear into the dock trailing smoke…  Ahhhhhhh…

If you get te impression I am pleased… you dunt know the half of it! Oh and I ‘frapsed’ the whole thing and edited and uploaded it to YouTube and linked it above… I hope you enjoy as this is my first ‘frapsing’…

I ‘fraps’ with CamStudio (not Fraps, lol) from and edited with nuthin moar ‘en Win Movie Maker. Again, hope you enjoy watchin… I sure enjoyed makin it.  =]

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What’s in YOUR Hangar?...

or~  …Rixx’s Accidental Blog Blather #1.   =]

Picked up this “Accidental Blog Banter” from Drackarn over at Sand Cider and Spaceships, He gots it from Rixx Javix over on Eveoganda... Rixx lists what ships he has in his hanger, all 55 of them. At the end he asks "So, what's in your hanger?"

Drackarn weighs in with a grand total of 59 in his home hangar alone.

Ima add my acounting but just know this... afore I went down to null, I sold off a buncha ships in a fit of House Cleaning Gone Wrong...  so my total is down a wee bit from normal… so I am addin em ALL up… (except shuttles… I gots lots ‘o them all over New Eden)

whe I am:
x1 Hound-bumber
x1 Vigil-Ninja Salver
= 02

Staged out from Null:
x1 Cheetah-Cloaky W-Spaceboat
x1 Hookbill-RokketBoat (just plain old FUN!!)
x1 Jaguar-FAF (for fun)
x1 Wolf-HAF (for fun)
x1 Maelstrom-PvE T2 null Guristas anom runner
x1 Hurricane-PvP T2 null Guristas Belt runner
x1 Tornado-PvE null Guristas Belt runner
x1 Blackbird-Max Jammer (experiment)
x1 Loki-PvE T2 null Guristas anom runner
x1 Noctis-null salver
= 10

At home sys:
x1 Vigil-Ninja Salver
x1 Cheetah-Cloaky W-Spaceboat
x1 Firetail-PvP std. T2 (for fun)
x1 Thrasher-Throwaway Salver
x1 Typhoon-top wingy bit for true
x1 Macharial-a GIFT… fit for ‘cursions (never used LOL)
x1 Noctis-shmoctis
x1 Hoarder-POS fueler
x2 Mammoth-Hisec trashtruck
x1 Mastodon-lo/null/hole trashtruck
= 11

At mining sys:
x1 Rifter-PvP std T2
x1 Scythe-Mining Cruiser (yuch!)
x1 Vexor Navy Issue-PvP T2 for WarDeccin…
= 03


"What's in YOUR hanger?"

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