Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Mr. Bean Goes to Stanton.

~or “When the Game is More Dangerous than the Players...”

“When the Verse gives you Lemons...”
You have a few responses you can try. There is the standard old “Then make Lemonade!” response... but I'm fresh out of sugar and I fly in Star Citizen so... I'll just peel those Lemons, and RUB THEM IN MY EYES!

THAT will show that old verse who's who...

You see Star Citizen is in Alpha, it is “in development”, not yet ready for Prime Time as twere. It is a project that is a awful lot like a Mindbogglingly Massive Interstellar Cloverleaf that has been busily under construction for 10 YEARS... and a quite large number of people have said, “Hey, we'll pay you for the privilege of using that MMIC before it is completed.” and the Construction Boss said... “Sure! As a matter of fact you can help us by letting us know if you encounter any problems.”

So those of us who believe in the MMIC Project have been giddily taking that on-ramp for 12 years now and... blindly crashing headlong into unmarked barricades... skidding off the edges of bridges... smashing into piles of equipment... falling through the cracks into eternity... and sailing off the end of unfinished overpasses at 1000 kph... all the while grinning and laughing and screaming and crying... it's Life in Alpha.

And no, I am not at all sure what was happening here either...

And yes, there are days when I cuss like a sailor... (well, I am one) bitterly log off and grumph away in utter disgust... and not a few TBH. But then there are...

The Days of Capt. Kirk and Mr. Bean.

So the Alpha 3.15.0 patch has dropped to the PTU, not to the PU... wait, 'lemme 'splain. The PU is the “Persistent Universe” which is like EVE's Tranquility server farm. The PU runs ALL the time and is therefore Persistent... but it is also a Test Universe as the game is still under development which makes us, the current playerbase, all Alpha Game Testers. But SC also has a PTU, a Public Test Universe... Uh huh. That's right, we have a Test Universe for our Test Universe. And if you think things are buggy in the PU, LOL just you wait my child.  =]

Alpha 3.15.0 is... well, damned interesting to say the least. The ambitious changes and upgrades are quite simply stunning. The Healing System is the first real underpinning for “Death of A Spaceman”, encompassing all of the medical gameplay that is envisioned around health, injury, longevity and yes, perma-death in a verse simply chock full of dismemberment, assplosion and a multitude of horribad ways to die... well, at least we hope so.

So, let's see just what is slated in 3.15 Q3 for us in the PTU...

- Ingame    Five New Locations Hospitals & Clinics
                  (New Babbage, Orison, GrimHex & R&R)
- Ingame    Orison V2
- Ingame    Healing T0
- Ingame    NPC Healing T0
- Ingame    Crusader A2 Hercules Starlifter
- Ingame    Physical/Local Inventory
- Ingame    Asset Manager mobiGlas App, NIK-NAX
- Ingame    Curelife Medical Tool (& assoc. equipment)
- Ingame    Greycat Multi-tool Healing Attachment
- Ingame    Dr & Nurse and Vendor AI behaviors
- Checking  Infiltrate and Defend Missions
- Checking  Loot Generation T0
- Checking  FPS Radar & Scanning
- Checking  Bombs
- Not Yet    Aegis Redeemer
- Not Yet    Crusader Ares Starfighter Ion
- Not Yet    Crusader Ares Starfighter Inferno
- Not Yet    Behring S7 Ballistic Gatling, ship weapon
- Not Yet    Behring S7 Laser Cannon, ship weapon

That's what the Roadmap shows, “ingame” means I have seen or used it in the PTU and “checking” means just that... still more pokin' around to be done.

And it's about the above pokin' around that I've been doing that I want to chat about you see.


Beeep... Beeep... Beeep... Beeep... Beeep... <smack!>

Wakee, wakee... Eggs and Bac'ee!

Turamarth Elrandir, CMDR, UEE RET
Apt 14B, Greencircle Habs
Cloudview Center, Orison
Stanton, UEE  6514-UEEP-65A

I woke up really looking forward to my day. There had been a lot of chatter about this newest round of sweeping upgrades to the Civic, Medical & Emergency Services of the UEE with the advent of the “United Empire of Earth Alpha Civic, Medical & Emergency Services Upgrade Version 3.15.0j PTU.7812585”... whew, whatta a mouthful. This of course gets acronymed down to “UEE-ACME-SUV3.15.0”, but everyone actually just calls it “Alpha 3.15”. Which happened last night, 00:00:05 UEEST, adjusted to local time.

A few quick things here...

First 3.15 login, You have to select a Primary Residence
Select your Primary Residence System and Planet
Choose server location and Set as Primary Residence

This is my home in Stanton.
Persistence. Say it with me, Per-sis-tence. You now has a HOME.

A permanent... well it's an 'until you decide to move' kinda impermanent permanence but still, you have an ADDRESS! And much more importantly, a place for ALL YOUR STUFF! Which is what this is all about anyway. We all know that you are not nearly as important as your STUFF.

This was HUGE for me in EVE. I played that game for 10 years, and for approx 9.5 of those I lived and died in Anoikis, Wormhole Space, Negative Sec... where we had to buy and build our OWN stations and feed them and arm them and keep them warm and safe and dry... so we could be safe... well OK, so our STUFF could be safe... ish.

It's the same thing for me in Stanton and this is the very first step to an actual Home in Star Citizen... and I like it I do I do!

The view from the balcony right outside of my apartment.

So I wake up ready for the day, or so I thought. You see in Stanton, some days you wake up and discover you are Captain James T. Kirk! and some days you might be Mal Reynolds and some days you could even be Khan. But some days you are Mr. Bean... and some days you are Gilligan... I wonder which it will be today...

I decide to head out and see if I could complete a few basic trade runs. I wasn't even looping, just the ol' back-n-forth. Fly out to the Rayari Cantwell Research Outpost on Clio 'round Microtech. Buy Agricium for ~22.5 cr/cSCU and sell it at the TDD in New Babbage for ~27.5 cr/cSCU then rinse and repeat. It'sa really short but decently profitable one sided route and it's relatively safe.

Relatively Safe you ask? Yes safe I say... but not from players or gankers or even the Nine Tails... No, you see I don't fear none a' them at all because I has my own Personal Implacable Foe. My Terminator, my Khan Noonien Singh, my Arch Nemesis is...

The Game Itself.

So I take out my new Reliant Kore, SV Mollitia, and head out to Clio. The Reliant is a small cargo hopper, only 6 CSU, but she is cheap and fun to fly and if lost, won't ruin me. The landing goes well, no one around as far as eye could see... <I chuckle to myself> Shut engines down, exit, head back, drop the ramp and... damn, as I walk down I'm bowled over and down the ramp. I hear no wind yet my body reacted like I was caught in a blast of wind or in the concussion from an explosion or a rocket blast. Weird.

I ended up on my back, shaking off the knock down. I rolled over, stood up and BAM! I'm blown over again. WTF!? I roll over and stand facing away from my ship and... OK, I'm good. I turn and head down to the Storage Facility but when I turn to go up the steps... yup, BAM! I'm blown over again.

There I go... ass over teakettle... over and over and over and...

OK, this could get a little tiring I thought, little did I know. Every time I got up, I got blown over and eventually I was blown quite a ways past the steps and I spent literally, and I really mean this, I spent literally over an HOUR of real time getting back to my ship.

I tried EVERYTHING I could think of. I finally figured out that one, the “wind” was blowing more or less in direction from my ship to the Storage Fac., and two, that if I knelt and crab walked I could sorta 'tack' up wind. I could not walk or even crabwalk directly into the wind. When I did I had at best a few seconds and BAM! Over I go.

So I tried crabwalking to the Storage Fac., I still wanted to buy that Agricium and try and make a profit out of this miserable day. I actually did get onto the steps at the airlock a few times and once even made it to the airlock door... only to be struck by whatever was causing the force reactions and blowing me out across the cold, bleak and airless prairie.

Yes I said “airless” prairie... I mean I was on a moon you know... I didn't hear any wind cause there ain't none. I have NO idea what was knocking me down. Pissed-off Space Poltergeists I guess...

So I kept trying to get into the Storage Fac. until I felt things might be getting worse then I abandoned that tack and set myself to getting back on my ship. No small feat this as the Splenetic Space Spooks didn't want me to get back to my ship and it was a helluva LONG way away...  <sigh>

I ended up crawling the whole damn way.

One, inch, at, a, time...
Finally... oh my road-rashed frozen fukkin BALLS!

I got back on my ship... Hm. OK, I took off and tried landing with the ramp literally ON the bottom steps of the Storage Fac.

Made it in at last!! MAN was that exciting and IRRITATING

I got really close and then I was able to cross between the ship and the Fac. And get the airlock open. But the Wrathful Space Wraiths still tried to knock me down when I crossed over, both times.

But I did it... I got my cargo! well, sorta. They were out of Agricium so I bought 6 SCU of Med Supplies instead. I just could NOT fly away empty-holded after all I had been through.

Cargo Porn...

Ah... a full cargo hold was just what I needed!! Well, that and a cuppa kaffe and Ruum. As I warmed up I double checked everything, all set, good to go. I took off and headed back to New Babbage. Easy peasy nice and easy...

My ship blew up on landing... I don't know why.

Mmm Mmmmm


This Game has taken from me more in credits and and real-time effort and caused me more game-pain and virtual-suffering than ANY player or even ANY group of players could ever equal.

But This Game also gives me more fulfilling and satisfying and FUN gameplay than ANY game I have EVER played. So yes I do login and yes I will login because Immersion, Persistence, Hope and...

The Glory Days of Capt. Kirk and Mr. Bean.

Fly it like you BELIEVE

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

If Lovin' This Game is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right...

~or “Bet Your Game Can't do This!”

Me, in my Prospy perched onna rock like a fly onna turd... =]
(Bet you can't do THAT in your game)

So, I play this gods awful scam of a game called Star Citizen. Actually I can only assume insanity runs rampant in my family because if you listen to just a fraction the nay-sayers out there, Star Citizen is nothing but a fancy fleecing machine, a huge scam, a reprehensible cheat, a fancy go-nowhere tech-demonstrator that has been running for over 10 years now.

A scam involving at the very least the 617
hard working employees (per CIG's LinkedIn page), ALL of whom have to be in-on-the-take with Chris Roberts as the Capo di Tutti i Capi of this Gang of Scammers.

And the ONLY reason they are working so very hard is... to separate us poor fools from our money by selling us a game that will never be finished and VERY expensive pixel spaceships.
The Aegis Dynamics Javelin-class Destroyer Pixel Ship
(standalone price, $3,000 US)

I call bull shit.

I have been actively playing this AMAZING game for nearly a year now. I even left EVE Online and Elite (not so) Dangerous after 10 years to focus solely on playing this game. Why? I'll fukkin tell you why...

Immersion, in depth in breadth in detail and in scope that's why. And to make my point, here is what happened to me just today.


Beeep... Beeep... Beeep... Beeep... Beeep...<smack!>
I wake in my new digs in Greencircle, Cloudview Center, Orison.

The view from my rack each morning...
(Bet you don't have THAT in your game)

The night before I'd been watching some bootleg after action reps from a para-military outfit called the Skunk Works Militia. Good group, solid and very strack. This one trooper, Kate, is quite focused with a good story telling quality to her field reports.

This led me to consider looking into similar contracts myself. I went to AcrCorp and accepted one from Tecia "Twitch" Pacheco, a mid level drug dealer out of Area18. It was a contract to take out all BlacJac Security personnel in a bunker on an ArcCorp moon as a diversion for other of her “activities”... Twitch has a chip on her shoulder for BlacJac too, so it'sa two birds, one stone kinda thing for her.

I decided to take out Huston's Comm Array ST1-61 first, that's just a trespassing charge. Then I'll go down and whack the rent-a-cops. The cops deal lightly with the trespass, but they really frown on multiple murders.

Comm Array ST1-61, the UEE Eye-in-the-Sky over Hurston
So, things of course went ass up almost immediately. Flew out in my Herald. Parked her in defilade from the array's auto-guns, powered down, went EVA and made it safely inside... only to find out I could not “use” the Tigerclaw cryptokey I had on my belt. Damn tech glitches... Just goes to show that even after hundreds of years of civilization and development, tech can still be buggy as hell and really screw up your day.

I was warping back to Area18 to acquire other crypkeys when Twitch messaged me that the contract was blown...  Fuckmerunnin. So now I'm depressed, made no credits, and have a Lev2 C-Stat to boot. Well Shit.

I drop out of warp, kill the engines, go in the back, get comfortable, mix a double shot Ruum & Kwafe then sit quietly at comms and contemplate my poor life choices and the never ending vagaries of tech.

Sittin' at comms sippin' tea in my underwear... out in th' black
(Bet you can't do THAT in your game)
Fuck it. With a CS-2 I can't legally land at any station or port of call. Well, you can land outside of the ATC's range at most ports and walk in, but that's damn tedious and I am not up for any tedium. So I decide to go to Grim Hex, anyone can land there... if you're lucky, and can make it past the dock jumpers.

I keep an old Prospector there. I'll go mining out in th' Belt and drown my chagrin with the monotonous sound of the mining laser... and, of course, a drop or two of that sweet Ruum.

So I headed out deep into the Aaron Halo asteroid belt. The belt, right now, is safe as houses. Deep scanning is still in development so no one can, at this moment, scan you down when you  are millions of klicks out. And th' Belt is HUGE... mindbogglingly huge in fact.

To get into the belt you jump from one warpable location to another, then in-flight you manually kill your warp at the right distance (you can't do THAT in EVE!) to drop you inside the belt.

The graphic above shows the distances between CRU-L1 and ARC-L5. So, warping from CRU-L1 to ARC-L5 you want to drop warp between 13.543 Mk and 11.158 Mk. That give you over 2,385,000 kilometers to drop out randomly and you will find yourself surrounded by an actual, fully realized asteroid belt. Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom safely for DAYS.

I usually mine only Quantanium as it is the highest priced ore available, at the time of this post, around 83.64cr per cSCU at Loreville. But it is DAMN dangerous to mine as it is somewhat explody and I am just not down for tedious or explody stuff right now. I need a nice relatively safe, easy way to generate some credits.

The mind numbing thrum of the mining lasers and tractor beam

I take my time and fill my ore bags with Borease @ 17.6cr/cSCU, Hephaestanite @ 7.92cr/cSCU and Titanium @ 4.4cr/cSCU. It was what I found and it was safe & easy mining compared to Quant, relaxing actually.

I powered down the engines, stretched and yawned... went in the back, ate, washed, did the necessaries. Then I changed into an old comfy pair of sweat pants and an old hole ridden, stained and beloved sweater and hit the rack. I slept like a baby in my ship out deep in the belt.

On waking many hours later I shit, showered, shaved, ate, dressed in my undersuit and armor and sat down to plan my day. I still had that buggered CS-2... what to do, what to do... I decided to take a shot at fixing that by, well, fighting my way into a SecDepo and hacking the Imperial Criminal Database. So, off to Security Depot Hurston-1 on Huston.

SecDepo Hurston-1
It's a bit easier to do this planetside as one, one, you can land three or so klicks out to avoid the AA turrets and two, you can breath the air and just walk in. The guards however, would be another thing. If you do this at Security Post Kareah, or any orbital station, well you can't breath in space and there is no way to avoid the AA guns on your way in. So meh.

I get to Hurston and fly down to about 2 klicks out and land. I did get shot at, but my shields held until I was down... I left the flood lights on, a mistake... I'll explain later.

I walked in easy peasy... took the elevator down and... and well, I killed all six of the guards ok? Of course this took me to a CS-5, wanted with a bounty and a beacon on my fukkin head but... I was in and I got to work. I was finally able to use the Tigerclaw crypkey and started the hack. As there were now six murder charges in addition to the two trespassing charges to discharge... it took a while.

Check screen, sweep 12 to 9... Check screen, sweep 12 to 9...
(Bet you can't do THAT in your game)
I was on pins and needles the whole damn time. You have to watch the progress and make sure the hack doesn't abort, then, once in, you have to dismiss each charge... and the whole time I had my head on a swivel, watching and waiting for the bullet... or plasma charge... or grenade from a local bounty hunter to spoil my day.

Please select reason for charge dismissal...
I DID IT!! Hack completed, criminal records cleared and done! Yessiree! I was in the clear. Just a humble old law abiding citizen me! I left the building in high spirits thinking on the credits I was gonna make off of that sweet load of ore. As I jogged back to my ship I noticed the red tracers... wait, what the fuck! red tracers?? Then I saw the explosion just over the next hill as my humble Prospy and all that ore was blown sky high...

I can only assume some bounty hunter got pissed when he saw my wanted beacon go dark, meaning I was no longer a bounty and now he was all depressed and made no credits for his effort so fuck my ship. And leaving the lights on, a nice beacon for him to aim at... boom.

Crap fuck damn shit piss. Now I am marooned on Hurston. I found a way to climb up on top of the SecDepo and I sat for a while scanning the horizon hoping that bounty hunter might come for me anyway. Then maybe I could whack him and take his ship.
Marooned, well armed and a little pissed...
No go. I clearly heard the far off and falling whine of his engines as he pulled up out of atmo. Crap. Well what now bright boy I asked myself. Let's see, I have two, no, make that one bottle of water and... huh, six food bars. Hurston has a breathable atmo, so I am looking at a long slow death from dehydration... great.

And, of course, as I am not shipboard, I have no access to mapping or location finding, course setting, or anything that could help me to find my way to the nearest post or station where I might find deliverance from my predicament. I could, of course wander blindly in the desert until I die miserably of lack of water... but that does not appeal to me at all.

So, I decide to create a Service Beacon, for 5000cr mind you, in the hope that  some kindhearted soul will come and save me... keeping in mind that not all who come to collect the offered payment are kindhearted or there to actually help you. Some come for the fun of shootzing you anyway. There are a LOT of asshats in Stanton.

About here will do
I make my way uphill from the SecDepo and select a location where I have some shelter and a defensible position to watch for whomsoever might come to my dubious ”rescue”. I create the beacon about 50 meters out and get back under cover to wait. The whole time mumbling the prayer for the lost just as my grandmum taught me.

“Oh god get me outta here... Oh god get me outta here... Oh god get me outta here...“

The beacon fails. Or, well I canceled it, nerves you know. The second one fails also... for the same reason. The third one I leave up, it works and is accepted.

Here we go.

I hear him on approach
I wait and eventually get his marker on my hud. He comes in and hovers at like three meters, of course right behind a huge panel of debris. Crap. I edge carefully around the panel and find my self facing a Origin 100i...

I have my trusty FS-9 LMG... of course, and he has two M4A laser cannons and two Strikeforce II missile racks... um, ok... I sling my LMG and wave... what else can I do?

A few seconds later he lands... well, he bumps along the ground until he comes to a stop as he didn't have his landing gear down... sigh.

He pops the door and I hop in... Whoosh! We take off burn hard and warp out. A few minutes later he lands at Everus Harbor Station, landing gear down this time. He pops the door and I exit the 100i out onto the landing pad.
We take the elevator down to the main concourse and part ways.

I look around at the hubbub of the space port, people busily going about thier lives, working, traveling, meeting... all trying to get ahead and get along. I walk slowly over to the concourse windowall and gaze down on the planet Hurston.

As I contemplate the Central Tower in Loreville rising two and a half kilometers into the sky... I also contemplate my life,
my ways of trying to get ahead and get along... and my future.
Safe and sound...


A side note here, with the upcoming release of Alpha 3.15.0 we will get the first iteration of the “Death of a Spaceman” mechanic, see links below for more detailed info. But, basically, eventually, you die, for good.

Yes, for good and forever. No more immortality. Your character, ie YOU, can only live for but so long, repaired, resuscitated even recreated through the miracle of modern medicine. So your one and only life can be lengthened, even greatly lengthened, but eventually one day you will perma-die and pass on your entire estate to your named heir.  No way around it, just like real life.

So, in the spirit of getting out ahead of the game, I have reset my “Bkspc” key to nothing. I can no longer backspace my way out of a sticky situation, well at least not with a single keypress. And I am playing the game as though suicide is not a viable option. Because one day soon... it won't be.

On a side side note, I have been Turamarth Elrandir in ALL of my gaming days since 1981 when I first created Tur as the namesake of my DOOM toon. I have been lucky to have created Turamarth Elrandir in EVE, Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen and a number of other games over the years, but those first three are by far the most important to me.

And now, now one day I will have to make a new toon in Star Citizen... and I really don't want to. I have been Turamarth Elrandir for FORTY godsdamned YEARS... that's only 21 years less than my whole real life FFS!

Chris Roberts.... This fukkin BETTER be worth it man.

02/05/2013 – Original DOAS post.
10/30/2020 - Calling All Devs - Death of a Spaceman Youtube

I think back on all of the things I saw, did, experienced and took part in during my TEN years in Anoikis and New Eden, in EVE Online... and Nothing, Not One Thing that happened in that game in all those amazing years comes anywhere near Depth, Breadth, Scale and sheer Personal First Person Immersion that I experience everyday in Star Citizen. Not One Damn Thing.

Fly it, ride it, walk it and shoot it like it's REAL

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

First Person Beats No Person

~or "When Inside is as Amazing as Outside"

As I wake & work, fly & die, eat & sleep through the days of my life in Stanton, I find I am drawn in more and more, deeper and deeper into the immersion, captivated by the detail and the scale of what Star Citizen actually IS...

A true Virtuality.

Burning hard towards the rising sun

I'm serious. My relationship with Turamarth in EVE was... a bit removed. Not just the your Avatar is a Ship third person aspect, but it more like someone you read about, or hear about, and yet I was him, sortof...

When I tried to imagine Tur inside his ships I always went through a certain discord, a certain 'disquiet' in my soul over the "lore" of the Capsuleers (a name for us in EVE that I truly dislike and very rarely used).

That we are clones and we do the whole "wavy-hands-instantaneous-consciousness-ego-mind-soul-etc.-transfer-across-lightyears-in-seconds (without data loss or corruption)(riiiiight) thing" is actually ok with me, I don't wanna actually be dead.

No, it's the whole you are naked, drugged & defenseless with cables and umbilicals plugged into ports all over your body, which is then cocooned away in a lightless, pressurized, goo filled "POD"... which is plugged into the ship... meaning YOU are plugged into the ship... meaning YOU are the ship.

I know this is a re-occurring theme in SciFi and I even truly love some of the stories set in this particular sub-genre, but I don't wanna BE ONE. I want to be ME, I want to be Tur... me in the world, my boots on the ground, wind in my hair, rain on my face, gun in my hand.

So I always dreamed, inside my mind, that Tur actually eschewed the POD, that he preferred to stay in the Real World, to be "in" his ships and "with" his crew (and yes, in EVE we do have crew, we just don't talk about them as we kill them off by the millions).

As long as Tur was in his Captain's Chair on the bridge, all was good. Upon hull breach, the ship's AI would raise and slam the clamshell halves of his modified POD around him and eject the POD all in an instant (...so I could have my cake and eat it too).

But this is not Lore, it is not Cannon and therefore it was... wrong. I mean the lore is The Lore, right? Anything Else is just wishy thinking, even in a game. Because History is History, and Facts are Facts, even in a game world, especially in one you really care about, as I do the Lore of EVE and now, the Lore of Star Citizen.

But in Star Citizen I AM Me/Tur and I always will be... well, until Death of a Spaceman that is, but that's a whole 'nother blog post.

So In Star Citizen, I am finally me. First Person, my POV, my view of the verse. And I am as happy as a man can be with this virtual version of Me as Spaceman Spiff in Wonderland!

========== BREAK ==========

OK, that was written back in April 2021 and never got posted.

Some Real Life Stuff Happened...
My lady came to quarantine with me down here in Virginia from Chicagoland back when the World Caught Fire and Lost It's Mind. She then retired from a 30 year career teaching HS Spanish in June of The Year That Shall Not Be Named.

In due course in April of 2021, I retired from a 30 year career as an IT Consultant.

And most recently we just returned home after spending all of July up in Chicago prepping her Townhouse for sale and so we are starting the hunt for our liveaboard bluewater sailboat in earnest now... please wish us luck!

As for Star Citizen... well, I do still play fear not, though just not nearly as much as before cause I'm just busier IRL now is all.

Star Citizen Alpha 3.13 went live August 6, 2021.

Bringing us a new Space Port... This time floating in the strange and wonderful skies of the gas giant Crusader, comes The City in the Clouds, Orison.

Another very long awaited, age old Sci-Fi standard, brought beautifully and incredibly to virtual life by CR & CIG. Space whales man... we got SPACE WHALES!!!

Anyhoo... I'm still around, just livin' my best life, well, lives actually... both Real and Virtual.

Fly, and Live, like there is no tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The Calm After the Storm

~or "All quiet in Stanton."
A remote location on Hurston...  (OK, no, I did not know where I was)
Just an update. All is well, just been busy is all really and, well... I'm comfortable in Stanton. Not a lot of drama lately. Oh there are 30Ks' and client crashes and just the plain ol weirdness one comes to expect when the game itself is out to get you. You get kinda used to it and in the doing you learn a certain perspective, a certain calm regard for your fate in the verse.

We went through the XenoThreat event. It was really quite a thing. I only joined in once, put my DPS on the Idris and watched it explode... simply the BEST Space SciFi SpaceWar immersive simulation I have ever seen, much less experienced directly. I did not get involved in the cargo/logistics aspect... I desired to but I was late getting off my ass and making the effort to get into an instance, my bad, no one's fault but my own.
The moment the Idris Warp Core goes Critcal
But I have had a feeling ever since the Event closed that all of Stanton was, sortof, taking a communal deep breath and exhale. We all do hope for more events if they can equal or top this one. But it's been nice, for me at least, to settle down and get back to the peacetime grind... Scanning for Quantanium, mining, hopefully not dying... hauling and refining and then off the the bright lights of the Big Cities to sell our wares.

I have been finally getting into running Combat Contracts. Not doing anything shady (yet), I am civic-mindedly focusing on supporting the Law-n-Order types for the 'nonce. I am also finally getting some practice in with all forms of combat in SC (which is a FAR CRY from combat in EVE). For Fighters, I have acquired a Hawk and a Buccaneer. I am very pleased with both. Still have not used my Cutty Black for Combat, though I do hear from everyone that the Black holds her own in combat.

So far in my time in Stanton, The Quest for Quant is still the best solo creditprinter IMHO. Plus I like it. That is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO weird to me after 10 years of intense dislike of everything mining related in EVE Online. But I DO like it in SC. I really do.

The mechanics are interesting and consequential and I feel the risk/reward is balanced, well... maybe it's a little safer than it should be when you go out deep in The Belt. But that's more a function of server cap, IE lack of players than any lack of players with the desire to search out, scan down and mess with miners.
Two runs of Refined Quant, 2748cSCU and 3131cSCU worth ~500,000aUEC
I have also been getting involved in Cobra's Twitch streams. Not in a big way, but I'm there and involved and it is...  very interesting, to say the least. But the biggest thing is actually out here in The Real...

I have finally really completed my Gaming Rig.

When I switched over to SC I had to massively upgrade my gear. I got a Dell G7 7700 Gaming Laptop, since then I have added:

R.A.T. 6+ Gaming Mouse
Ipad running GameGlass
Tobii v5 Eye and Head Tracker

And finally I got a HOTAS set (Hands On Throttle And Stick)... and it is a set I had never even heard of before. The Cobra V5 HOTAS by FlashFire.
It is a budget HOTAS set, not a Warthog (those who know, know... those who don't... don't) but for a plastic budget priced (~$150 US) gaming HOTAS it is quite good. Just don't treat it like it's made of steel and you will be fine.

I did have one issue and it was a deal breaker... the joystick "Twist", the "rotational-axis" in the stick itself, was not recognized in SC as the "YAW" axis... it wasn't recognized at all. And, well, without "Twist" in the stick, I do not have "YAW" in flight... and that is that, refundme.

However, I am a geek. So I fixed it.

Actually I did as we all do, I Made My Offerings to The Gods and I Sent My Prayers On High and Awaited The Answers... for all of 0.01 ms... ie I googled it... a lot.

So I found the fix is complex, interesting and actually kinda geeky fun. You download 2 small programs. "vJoy" and "UCR". vJoy is a Programmable Virtual Joystick Driver and UCR is a Universal Controller Remapper.

With vJoy you create and configure a Virtual Joystick, or in my case a "Virtual HOTAS" actually, and make it a button for button copy of the Stick (or HOTAS or HOSAS) you have. Then you Map that "vJoy" as a button for button copy of your Stick/Set/etc.
vJoy                                      Cobra V5 HOTAS
Configure all vJoy controls to mimic your Stick, HOTAS, HOSAS, etc.
MAP ALL vJoy controls to mimic your Stick, HOTAS, HOSAS, etc.
The UCR did recognize the stick's "Twist" (rot-axis) and I was able to map it to a rot-axis the game sees. So the HOTAS send it's inputs to the vJoy... and the vJoy sends it's inputs to the game... and you cannot tell the difference. See: "Stick2_A2_(Twist)_to_YAW" above.

So, I am finding in SC at least, unless you are saving up for that next big shiney ship... and I'm not, I have my little fleet and it does what I want and need, but unless you are grinding and saving... it looks like keeping your wallet balance between 1 and 2 mil aUEC is just about right.

You see at this time in the game, your daily operating, or running costs are... Food & Water for you, Hydro, Quant, Ammo, Missiles and Mining Consumables for the ship and the Occasional and far too common Insurance Claim "Expidite" fees.

On an avg. day I spend something like a low of 2,000 to a high of maybe 10,000 aUEC. With 1 mil in the bank you are actually good for a couple of hundred days of (no-income or ship purchases) game play.

With the ability to net upwards of 1 mil aUEC with as few as 4 "really good" to 6 or so "decent" Quant runs... I lazily hunt Quant out in th' Belt a few nights a week or two... or three. Rinse & repeat until I break 2 mil and then I put the Prospy away, take some time off to run with the Cobros... and lose ships... and lose equipment... and go to prison... sigh.

Those are the over 10,000 aUEC nights...   =\

That said, it is a wonder in this age to me to sit in my ship, knowing I am actually millions of miles deep inside the Aaron Halo Asteroid Belt, aka, The Belt... As cut off from the rest of Stanton's population as one can be. Safe in the deep endless black of interplanetary space.

I split my off-watch hours and sleep cycles between my Mercury Star Runner, SV SERENITATEM (we can name our ships in v3.13!!) and my Drake Herald (not nameable yet)... running silent and on the float deep in Th' Belt... and I am happy.

Will update here as and if things happen worth writing about. Hang in there, I fly with Cobra, stuff ALWAYS happens.

Fly safe my friends