Monday, October 31, 2022

Dying Sucks... But it'sa Living

~or  The Strange Case of Me and My Many Corpses

Yup...  that's me...  (sigh)

I have settled down into a simple, sweet, very lucrative and yet decidedly deadly pattern of late.

But First...
"Location, location, location!" Where you live is important so I have moved. I finally took a hard look and realized that Hurston is the closest planet to the sun... ie the most "central" world... therefore it has the shortest flight times to ANYWHERE in Stanton... duh.

Hurston Flight Times to planets in Stanton

So I moved there and I did not reset my toon to do so, this is important. A Character Reset (done outside of the client via your RSI Account) allows you to change your Home location.

Your Home location is where all your "stuff" goes by default. All of your ships, subflair (Subscriber Flair items are permanent because "real-world money") and any ingame items that you have purchased (with aUEC) that have survived to date are spawned there after a wipe or after a Toon Reset. And as I decided not to do a reset, I had to MOVE all of my ships and ALL of my stuff... by hand, so to speak.

This is actually really easy as far as the ships go... I went to Everus Harbor, the main space station in geosync orbit over Loreville, Hurston's main, well, only city... then I simply worked my way down my fleet, "claiming" every ship to EvHarbor... boom done. But the rest of my stuff, not so easy.

I warp back to Bajini Point, New Babbage's geosync station over Acrcorp, pull out my trusty Freelancer and start in the laborious, tedious, mind and mouse finger numbing task of draggin' and droppin' EACH and EVERY single damn item... by hand, into my ship's cargo (inventory)... dear gods.

The Future of Stuff...

We are still waiting on the "Cargo Refactor" (Alpha 3.18.0 we hope), whereby we will have REAL Cargo Containers we can actually fill with "stuff" and use to move large amounts of "stuff" around in... you know, like IRL, like in EVE (Yes, I said it!)... and MAN do we NEED those Uhaul Boxes!

But until we get them... Imagine moving from one house to another by walking into your house, picking up EACH THING, no matter how small, walking that one thing out to your truck, placing just that one thing into the truck... then walking back
into the house, picking up the next "thing" (no matter how small) and walking that one thing out to your truck, placing it into the truck then... Oh My Gods.

But, in the end and after a massive, nay near fatal case of carpal tunnel had set in... I got it done. I then warped out to EvHarbor and yup... UNLOADED each and every single damn item from my Freelancer into my Local Inventory... and I was home.  =]

Everus Harbor Station, view from the Concourse
As for why, well logistically Hurston is the most central location so flight times are optimum and... I have been splitting my time (6 to 8 hours a day on avg!) really enjoying the amazing content available at Hurston!

OH! Wait! I mean I WOULD enjoy it if we only HAD "real content" in Star Citizen... (that's a nod to all you SC haters out there)  =]


"Combat Assist Service Beacons", or CASBs are FPF missions.  CASBs are broadcast by NPC 's who are under attack by random pirates. You accept the mission, warp to the marker, engage and take out all "reds".

There are 4 levels of difficulty (Alpha 3.17.3):
I  Combat Assistance - LOW THREAT
-Reward - 1,500 - 9,000 aUEC
-Complete x8 for higher tier
II Combat Assistance - MODERATE THREAT
-Reward - 15,000 - 25,000 aUEC
-Complete x2 for higher tier
III  Combat Assistance - HIGH THREAT
-Reward - 45,000 - 95,000 aUEC
-IV  Combat Assistance - CRITICAL THREAT
333,000 aUEC Reward

"Assist in Defending Site", or
ADS are FPS "Bunker" missions. As I am now based out of EvHarbor, the merc work is mainly offered by Hurston Security.

Mission Brief:
"A HurSec bunker and personnel are under attack by Nine Tails. HurSec has an open mercenary contract to respond to the location and eliminate any hostiles.

You are cleared to engage with hostiles ONLY. Assault on any HurSec personnel at the site will result in breach of contract, loss of compensation and potentially a Crime Stat."

-HurSec personnel are in Yellow Armor
-HurSec personnel (should) have a "triangle" marker
-Nine Tails personnel are in Purple Gear
-15,000 aUEC Reward

Generally speaking, I wake up and armor up with this basic setup:
Basic FPS/FPF Kit
-Stoneskin Undersuit
-Morozov Heavy Armor
-Gemini "C45" 10mm SMG
(fav of Nine Tails, easy to re-ammo and re-gun)
-Behring BR-2 12 ga., pump action, drum fed Shotgun (also a Nine Tails fav)
-Kastak Arms "Coda" .50 cal revolver (my Fav!)

I fit silencers on everything, grab 4 grenades, 4 magazines for the S45, 4 drums for the BR-2 and 2 reloads for the Coda hand-cannon.

I also take 4 medpens (I don't use a Medgun. It takes too many actions to use, the Medpen takes just 2... "C" + Mouse Click).

Then I pull out whichever ship is not currently needing to be "claimed"... In order of preference,

(1) Anvil, F7C-M Super Hornet
(2) RSI, Scorpius
(3) Drake, Buccaneer

I undock and...

Ok, I gotta digress here for a minute.

Sittin' at "0" at Everus Harbor, waitin' on a mish.  I LOVE THIS SHIT!

I played EVE online for 10 years... 10 YEARS.. and I spent that whole time wishing I could undock and just sit in my ship gazing out of the cockpit canopy, watching the goings on around the space port just as if "I" was actually there.

In EVE you cannot leave your ship. YOU are Canned Space SPAM, A Pressure Packed Pod Pilot... tucked away in a lightless, airless, goo filled, pressurized armored POD, buried deep in the guts of your ship...  sigh.

I hated that, I really did... but SC is THE SHIT!!!!

Chillin' watching the dock from INSIDE... (can't do this in EVE or ED)
Being "there" as "yourself", In Person as 'twere. To walk out onto a station's Concourse and gaze out the armored window-wall. Enjoying the amazing view of the planet, watching the ships come and go... and it all LOOKS and FEELS REAL in every aspect. Amazing!

And none of that damn magical being "Teleported" into the station, like in EVE... And no, SC's physics are not completely and fully "real world"... but they are close enough, and they are a DAMN sight closer to the real than EVE or ED will EVER BE.

This shit ROCKS... 'nough said, back to my irregularly unscheduled rambling...

So... while I am hanging out at "0" outside of EvHarbor I peruse the open contracts. I have been hammering away at the Low Threat CASB's and raised my HurSec Rep enough to unlocked the Med Threat CASB's... moar Pew-Pew FUN and a nice credit bump.

I saved him!  I'm such a giver!
But if I don't see any CASB's (1) close enough and (2) high priced enough (I don't take ANY that are over 100km away and many are around Crusader, too much flight time), so then I check the ADS "Bunker" missions for HurSec and if one is open I take it, warp to the marker, land and do the pew-pew.

This is where the many corpses of Tur come in. You see you don't often leave a body behind when you lose a CASB... it IS Space Combat after all... pretty much if things go BOOM... that's usually it, that first mistake is all you get.

But FPS "boots on the ground" missions are different... you very often DO leave a bloody and slowly cooling and yet well attired and kitted out corpse behind as "you" are re3Dprinted at your re-spawn location... Ev Harbor is mine... remember, where all my ships and stuff is...  =]
Uh huh... me again. Caught from behind...  again... (sigh)
So, I re-suit, re-arm, re-gear, re-ship and re-turn to the site and now I have a serious reason to do it right, to kill them all... I want my STUFF BACK!!

And as long as you don't log out or crash the client your mission should remain active... I mean you only died you know, it's not like you perma-died for reals... (GASP! SHOCK! HORROR!)

Of course all this dying, gettin re3Dprinted, and Leroying back in causes another issue I had not forseen... abandoned ships...  sigh.
Yup... all are mine.   Well, they say the third time is a charm.

But all in all my gaming in SC had been very full and fun and overall quite lucrative seeing as I am basically playing solo... (also something not really supported in EVE).

At an average of 20K to 40K aUEC per Med Threat CASB and 15K aUEC per ADS I can pull down an easy ~100K to 500K creds per night... definitely covers my running costs... Suits, Armor, guns, gear, food, fuel, repairs and ammo with a decent profit left over.

"I got a bad feeling about this..."

All in all I am very satisfied with Star Citizen and the gameplay we have right now in Alpha... and if this is that good now... I cannot begin to imagine what the future and CR and CIG will bring to us in the years to come...

One other thing... I don't just fly missions and run bunkers... oh no. I will often just take off and explore... low-fly at high-speed "Nap of the Earth" style... or I will break out a ground vehicle and roam far and wide.

Recently I took a day off, flew out to Arccorp and found a really beautiful, secluded spot... Man would I LOVE to build a base, or a cabin! here.
A really lovely valley, remote and unspoiled.
I'd build my cabin right here...
Later, on Hurston, I found a lake... and went swimming...  let's see you do THAT in EVE or ED!
I wonder...
Oh yea!!!  The water is FINE!

Swim like it's your own Private Lake
I hope to see YOU in the 'verse!


Friday, August 5, 2022

By Space, Atmo or... Sea?

~or "How You Get There is Important."
Tur, contemplating traveling...

Hi there. Been a while. Been Busy.   =]

You see my wife and "sold it all" to buy a 53' sailboat to liveaboard and travel the world in our retirement. She may not be a Drake or an Origin, but she's good enough for us.

She is a 1995 Gozzard 44 MK 1 "A". She is 53' long, 14'6" wide, a Cutter rigged Clipper, a true bluewater, ocean-going Sailing Vessel... currently named "Black Beauty".

She is, in all actuality, my real world Cutty Black   =]
In the middle of May we sailed her 100nm (nautical miles) south down the Chesapeake bay from Annapolis MD to her new home port on the Corrotoman river in VA.

She is now what we call "on the hard", meaning out of the water, on stands on the ground for a few minor repairs, to sand and paint the bottom, etc., etc. We spend our weekdays on the boat, and keep our weekends free for Fam & Frens and sailing and such.
CJ & I on the bow of Black Beauty
OK, on to Star Citizen stuff...   =]

Needless to say my free time for SC has been somewhat hampered since May. But I have been loggin' in when I can, and it's been so worth while!

Not only worth while in that a few hours in space are just the break I need after
the hot & sweaty grind of working on the boat outside... all day... for a week... (gods).
BUT all the amazing changes and additions to the game!!
Spent over an hour just 6-wheelin all over Celin
And for me personally the way the games stability and play-ability have shown steady improvement as CIG bug-stomps it's way from patch to patch has been very satisfying. Alpha 3.17.2 has been really fun just spending my time boofing around the verse... seein' the sights, shootin' the baddies and deliverin' them boxes!!

I even upgraded to a Scorpius (WOW!), then flew out to Port Ollie and started running the newly upgraded Service Beacons. Sticking with the Low and Med Beacons I have been hammering down some pretty good cred. They pay from ~1,800cr. to my personal best of ~65,000cr. for one, two-tango mission.

The Scorp in Warp!
Flying the Scorp and running Low & Med Beacons is almost a waffle-stomp... almost. You still really do need to know how to fly in SC, and while I'm no Maverick, I do hold my own quite well thank you very much.

Spaceman Spliff, to the Rescue!!

I set myself a goal of 1mil credits. After the wipe I had over 6mil cr., schweet!! ...Then after CIG "fixed" that little faux pax, I was left with only 20,000cr. (sigh) But it took me only 3 really fun nights of flying to make it back to 1mil. I died a few times of course, to the usual suspects... my own stupidity and the game itself killed me the most of course... it's SC in Alpha... but yes, I also had a few losses to the NPCs.

I have been to the Ghost Hollow Reclaimer homeless shelter... WOW... I was so totally blown away that I forgot to take any pix... then I got shot... deserved it too, just wandering around the site with my pie hole wide open.

I even went to prison again... and once again, I do NOT know why. Oh I have been to prison for things I did, I have no problem owning up to my bad deeds. This was different. I ran a Beacon, killed the bad guys, saved the dude and POP! Crime stat, Level 2, crap.

But what was really weird was that when I died and re-spawned in Kleshcher, my dead body spawned in with me... in my cell... in my BED!! Gross and weird like you don't wanna know... Yuch.

All I know is waking up with your own dead body can lead to some really weird conversations with the guards.
Then I realized... I had ALL MY GEAR!!! INSIDE Kleshcher!! Spacesuit, Armor and GUNS!! Fat lot of good it did me, could not "equip" to save my life.
Oh well... I decided (IRL) to get a bite while Tur took a nap and waited out his sentence.

ZZZ Zzzz ZZzzz zZZzzzZZ...
After I got out of the joint... I decided to take a break so I got out my Conny Taurus, the most comfortable of my small fleet of ships.
I requested clearance, took off and warped out deep into the black...

After I dropped out of warp and shut down the engines I changed into something comfy and had a bite to eat while I looked out into the cold harsh unforgiving eternal night...
contemplating the twists and turns life, and death, can take, both in the verse and IRL.
All I want, is a ship all my own, and a star to guide her by...

Fly it like it is your HOME.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

An Undramatic Life

~or "Money or Immersion?"

What do I fear...

Fear Factor...

I have found my niche, my place in the UEE and in Stanton. I am a freelancer, not the ship but the title of an independent man of many trades. One who works solely for himself, or takes contracts for his various services, a man beholden to none.

I do as I please. I mine a little, I trade a little, I do a little "security work" and a little "wet work" from time to time... It all adds up and I like it all and I am happy and happy is... well, it can be a little dull. Seriously, being "Happy" is dull. Not so much the living of it, but the telling of it can be.

Oh there are still the occasional 30Ks, though those have been getting quite rare in the last 2 months. And yes, there are still the noticeably more occasional glitches, to some of which you can still lose ships and gear and while you can still lose cargo, that is extremely rare now.

30K Protection Works! Thank your local RSI Rep Today!
No, nowadays our collective fears have changed from "Unexpected Loss of Everything to The Game" to "Unexpected Loss of My Stuff to..." well, that's the hard part for many players, you see...

In Star Citizen as it was in EVE, Loss is REAL... Different in detail, but still real.

We now fear that when we lose a ship, whether we "pledged" for it or bought it ingame, we also lose all the gear we are wearing and/or carrying and all that was stored inside our ships. It does not matter if it is to a pirate or a griefer or a glitch... or the worst, to a stupid mistake.

Add to this that your body & gear does "persist" for a while, and it can be looted by other's or by you if you get there in time. Plus your ship will drop the stuff that was stored inside, again lootable to all. Because of this many players now eschew any extraneous gear at all.

Of course I "might" lose this stuff. So? I'll still play my way.
No expensive undersuits, the cheapest armor, or no armor at all... the noob pistol and the one mag it comes with, and maybe a few Med Pens but that's it... They are all too scared of losing those "precious things" they bought... to use... in the game. Huh. I guess they are waiting for the game to get "safer" or something.

It's like the VPTSD we all share about the next time... and there WILL BE a "next time"... that you die to Breathing Vacuum. IE, forgetting your helmet. These are the "logistics" and the "costs" of Death and Loss that we now live with in Stanton. The same ones I have lived with in New Eden for 10 years... I say bring it ON! I was regenerated for this!!

So it has been very interesting to me as I watched the players switch from wearing cool undersuits and using the the whole range of available Armors... from the perfectly matched sets to wild, and oft really horrid, mix-and-match armor suits.

But nowadays a lot of players live in a noobsuit all the time because... "Don't wear (or carry) what you don't want to lose."  The SC variant of the age old EVE, "Don't fly what you can't afford to lose." mantra.

Is it Safe? Is is Secret?
Fear of Gear Loss controls player reactions and actions. I'm different that way. With every wipe and every ship-loss I still carry a full set of gear on all my ships. I STILL wear undersuits and armor ONLY when appropriate. Meaning when I am going to need to deal with vacuum or a inhospitable environment I wear an undersuit and at least Med Armor. I also gear up with guns and meds if the expected situation warrants it.

But if I am going to be landing at Area18 or New Babbage to sell cargo or refined ores, I change into civvies, "civilian wear" meaning T-shirts, pants, jackets, etc. Whatever I feel is appropriate for the business and the climate I will be in then.

As I pull each ship out after a claim, I stock each with a BSL, a "Basic Ship Loadout" including 2 undersuits, 1 to 2 sets of Med or Hvy armor (depending on the ships storage capacity), a basic set of guns & ammo, Med supplies, several days of food & water and a selection of civvies.

Basic Ship Loadout

I do this for EVERY SHIP I own. And yes every time I have to claim a ship I have to resupply that "new" ship with another BSL of gear because you do loose all your gear every time you lose a ship... so what?

You want IMMERSION right? Well, that's the cost. You are welcome to play the game and enjoy ALL the amazing immersive aspects of a virtual life... you are also welcome to run around in a noobsuit forever because you fear losing a few credits. Take your pick.

And yes it is "a few credits", I spend around 5K to 10K aUEC for each Basic Ship Loadout. I bank enough cred from trading and mining to buy SPACESHIPS so I barely notice the cost of a BSL for each ship.

Basically when I buy anything on the BSL list I buy 10 of each every time and I have yet to run out of anything and I really LIKE having the choice of a suit, helmet, armor and guns when needed, or street clothes when not. I like playing ALL of the game.

It feels real... and I like that.

Recent Events...

I have been living in my Andromeda mostly. I always bedlog out deep in the black, powered down and on the float and it's been working great, bedlogging and the game as a whole lately. Yes I have seen a few 30Ks, but like 2 in 2 months... and yes, I have lost stuff to a few glitches... but again fewer, much fewer than I am used to. Bed-logging and living full time aboard ship has been rock solid for me at least, and that is HUGE to me.

I have been trying something different in mining. Everyone, including me, mines Quant because it's the highest profit ore. I wondered what simply mining whatever I found, regardless of what it was, would bring in. Turns out, it's ain't Quant, but it ain't crap either.
I have been seeing what kind of ores are available right off the door step of ARC-L1. I literally am mining basic ores just barely out side of the Armistice Zone... and making way more than I'm spending. It's easy, simple and very fast. No warping, thrusters alone and you can do a LOT of trips out and back lemme tell you! To me personally the ease, simplicity and yes, the safety of this method more than make up for the difference in ROI over Quant.
Down to 892cr, but once I sell my refined ores...
New Balance, 28,495cr, a profit of 27,703cr
The Inventory System has seen some love because I no longer have to move everything three times to get it from a Loot Crate to Local... YEAH!! But you do still have to move Each Damn Item one-at-a-time... but it's better, much better and headed in the right direction.

So, I am happy. I wake in my rack in my ship. I go about my day, usually with a few trade runs. I love the short quick moon runs. Buy Agricium or Laranite on Lyria or Wala, sell at the TDD at Area 18. Later, if I have any completed refining jobs, I might run the refined products to market. Sometimes I switch over to my Prospector and either head out to th' Belt for Quant or fly lazily out into the local rock garden and munch on whatever is closest... both are enjoyable and profitable.

Oh, and I moved from Orison to Area 18. That 10 to 15 minute climb up out of atmo from Riker is a killer. I could have moved my Image to Port Olisar, but who would want to live at Port Ollie?

So Area18 is now my home of record and I moved my Image to Everus Station. But, as I said, I live in my ships... on the float out in the black... where I am safe, happy and at peace.
Nude Mining anyone??  =]

Fly it like it has a Mortgage!

My take on the recent Spectrum Drama over Changes to the Release View.

Seems CR/CIG decided to roll back the Release View to ONLY those things that were ACTUALLY close enough to actually be released to Evocati, the first actual step in bringing any feature to the PTU and hence to the PU.

The Progress Tracker is what we should be looking at anyway as it tracks actual progress. Meaning work that IS actually being done now.

The Release View DID just "get in the way" because so many saw the Release View as "Written In Blood on a Stone that Feature "X" WILL BE DONE BY..."

It was seen as a Promise... but it wasn't and no one wanted to accept that it wasn't so yes, taking it down a notch was a good move.

As for how it was said... well, if we are all honest here much of the things CIG and CR and the Devs have been called have been WAYYYY beyond the pale for years now. That they hit back a little, if they did... 

Good on them I say.