Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Reverse Butterfly Effect

I think everyone has seen the CCP video called "The Butterfly Effect", so I'm not going to go into it in detail here. What I am going to talk about is something that happened to my corporation that was sort of a reverse Butterfly Effect.

As you know, the butterfly effect is when a seemingly small incident can cause a cascade of knock-on effects that have a major impact on events. There are many examples of the butterfly effect in Eve Online. However, I'd like to recount a little example of a reverse butterfly effect.

As you may know, Goonswarm was at war with BOB (or KenZoku, their new name) for ages. While this war was going on, it kept both alliances busy, leaving small corporations like PPL to get on with their business. Not long ago, because of the boring and painful nature of POS warfare, KenZoku basically gave up and let Goonswarm "win" the war.

Shortly after that, Goonswarm showed up in our low sec systems, with eyes on some moons that we owned. Apparently, with their enormous war over, Goonswarm needed to find something else to do to keep themselves busy, and taking our stuff was one of those activities. We battled valiantly, but when Goonswarm showed up with 60 capitals, it is way more than a little indy corp like ours can handle. You can imagine the results. They put two of our POSs into reinforced mode, then came back later to destroy them when then came back out. In light of our little portion of space suddenly being of interest to Goonswarm, we decided that the better part of valor was to take down the rest of our POSs and vacate the area rather than risk having them destroyed.

Thus, a little bit of reverse butterfly effect: the end of a huge war between two giant alliances resulted in PPL having to tear down all our POSs and move to a different part of the universe.

And that's another thing I love about Eve...

Skills: what's next?

In about 20 hours or so, I will have trained all the skills I need to be qualified by my corporation to fly all Amarr battleships. This is a goal I've had for quite some time as it means I will be able to comfortably run Level 3 missions and be a reasonably useful addition to any wormhole operations that the corp undertakes.

However, the end of one thing is the beginning of another, and now that this I've reached this goal, I have to start thinking about where to go next. The first thing I need to do is get right with my corporation which has mandatory skills that they've let me slide on a bit. I have to finish Anchoring 5 and then Starbase Defense Management 3 to be have all my mandatory skills done. That will take a bit over 2 weeks.

After that, the question is do I get qualified for another ship type or something else (research, production, refining, etc.). As I am in an indy corp, it feels like it is time to "choose my profession". Moving on toward being qualified to fly even larger ships really doesn't help the corporation that much. Therefore, I am going to start focusing on production skills. Our corporation makes its money building and selling, so I want to get firmly into the revenue side of the corporation.

So that's it: starting in about 2 weeks I will be focusing on production skills, first on being able to produce Tech 1 ships and equipment, then moving on to Tech 2. I'm guessing I will deviate a bit from this plan (I'm getting the impression that remote repping and cap transfer is going to be needed for wormhole ops, so I'll probably train that real quick along the way), but in general I will be learning how to build stuff.

Who knows: the next time you buy a destroyer or cruiser, it might have been built by me!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Alliance Tournament VII Final Day

I've been watching the Alliance Tournament VII since 8:00 this morning and it has not disappointed. There have been some incredible matches, and this is coming from someone who has never really done PvP.

The star of the show so far has been Pandemic Legion who have torn apart two of their opponents today. In one match they smartbombed their opponent into armor within the first 10 seconds of the match starting. That's a hell of a handicap to start off with.

In their semifinal match, they lulled Manifest Destiny into coming with a setup that was targeted to counter PL's previous setup. Unfortunately, PL came in with a setup designed to counter the counter! It was an absolute blood bath.

If you aren't watching the AT7, get over there for the last few matches at http://www.eveonline.com/events/alliances/tournament/t7.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New blood

PPL is on a bit of a recruiting binge, and we've recently had 3 or 4 new members join. I don't know what it is about new members, but it always makes me happy when we get new blood. It was the same in my old guild in WoW. I guess part of it is just more people to chat with in corp chat. It is also nice to have more people available to group with if you need a hand. Corp ops are always more impressive when you have more people involved. Finally, new players joining your corp means it's not stagnating, that it's moving forward.

I don't advocate recruiting anyone and everyone just for the numbers, but I do think that, just like in business, if you aren't growing you are losing, and PPL is growing.

If you are interested in learning more about PPL, check out our web site or get in touch with me in game. My character is Radd Trigon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The worst thing in the world

The worst thing in the world happened to me last weekend. In short, I wasn't training anything for almost 3 full days. I know, you're saying to yourself "How did he let this happen?". Well, let me tell how a bunch of different factors combined to make me do one of the most unforgivable things in Eve: waste training time.

So it all started last Friday when I was contemplating a clone jump back to my corp's primary base of operation. I had jumped a few days before to one of our low sec bases to do some mining with the corp, and was thinking about heading back to high sec to grind some standing.

In preparing for my clone jump, I paused my training queue and left my ship, but then I reconsidered the jump. I contemplated using a shuttle to get back instead, and after a while I just decided to stay where I was. I got out of Eve and did some real life stuff. Notice the step that I left out: unpausing my skill training.

Under normal circumstances, I would have logged in a few hours later and noticed my paused training, but last weekend I was out of town and while I took my laptop, I could not find usable Internet access. Net result: over 2 days wasted training time.

I discovered the problem on Sunday night when I got back home and logged in. I expected to be done with Amarr Cruiser 4, a 5 day training skill, and instead I still had 4 days training left. Ugh...

Anyway, long story short: if you are going to be away from the game for a while, make sure that you are actively training a skill with a long training time. Don't do the worst thing in the world like I did.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Non-Eve Weekend

Sorry for not posting over the weekend; I was doing something more important than flying Internet spaceships. Instead, I participated in the Bike MS 150 bike ride in Mt. Vernon, Washington. I rode 160 miles over two days, and helped raise a bunch of money to fight multiple sclerosis.

If you would like to donate, please let me know and I will provide a link.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Low-sec mining...

We recently had to move our base of operations, but last night the corp was back mining ore in our old stomping grounds. Since we were in low-sec and didn't want to risk them, we left our big boys in the hangar and instead did some good old jet can mining, tearing through one huge belt and one regular belt last night. It was good to have a bunch of people on Ventrilo just chatting and mining. Scheduled events like that are one of the things I really like about Eve...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No more exclamation points!

I just reviewed my last few posts and I'm averaging 1.5 exclamation points per blog posting title. I think I need to tone it down a little...

Martha Stewart went to prison for the same thing!

A member of the CSM resigned yesterday for using information he gained during the CSM meeting in Iceland to do a little insider trading. It's not clear exactly what he was speculating on, but according to the story (found here), he purchased 5 billion ISK worth of certain items he had reason to believe (based on NDA information) would increase in value a lot, apparently with a future patch or upgrade.

In Eve, scamming inside the game is all well and good. In fact, I heard stories of alliances in the AT7 offering to throw matches for ISK, and I guess even this is not considered cheating as there is no specific rule against it (although this could change next tournament!) However, insider trading of this sort is apparently beyond the pale.

Oh, well. One good thing I can say for the perp: he had already gotten his all expense paid trip to Iceland by the time he resigned!

Hooray! Level 3 missions: here I come!

Yesterday, I finally got my standing up to 3.15 (with Connections) with one of the local corporations, which unlocks some Level 3 agents. Last time I had a Level 3 agent available, I was flying a cruiser, and was not hugely successful. Now I'm in a battle cruiser and have better skills, so I am hopeful I'll do better. I'm also getting closer and closer to being ready to fly a battleship which should really help.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hot player on player action!!!

Okay, it's really "Player versus Player action", but that doesn't make as good a headline. If you haven't checked it out yet, there are tons of great high definition videos of the Alliance Tournement VII up at www.youtube.com/ccpgames. I've never been involved in much PvP. I've been on some roams with the Eve University Uniblob and killed an AFK mission runner with a 5 man gang, but other than that I'm a PvP virgin. I really don't know much about it, but if it is anything like the videos up on YouTube, it looks pretty freaking awesome.

Scoot on over to YouTube and check out the action, and then tune in the next two weekends for more PvP.

Training Level 5 skills

If you are anything like me, you have some skills out there that you have no choice but to train up to Level 5. Most recently, I had to train Drones to Level 5. This skill has a 1x training time multiplier, and it took me a bit over 5 days. The worst I've trained is Mining Barge which has a 4x multiplier and took over 20 days. I've browse through EveMon and noticed skills that have a training time multiplier of 12x. One example is Fighters. The Level 5 skill for that (with my current implants which quite honestly are terrible) takes 65 days to train!

I understand that Level 5 skills are the creme de la creme and that they shouldn't come easy. But I've got to admit, it is hard to put those suckers on your skill queue knowing that they're going to be there for so long. A case in point for me is Anchoring. It has a 3x multiplier and is about a 15 day training slog for the Level 5 skill. I need this not because I do a lot of anchoring and want it to go faster. No, I need this so I can train Starbase Defense Management so I can shoot you guys if you try to attack our POSes. I keep procrastinating on this skill because I have skills that I can get done faster that I want, when I know that I just need to drop this thing on the queue and get it over with. If there's anything worse than taking 15 days to train a skill you need to level 5, try training a skill to level 5 that you don't need!

Here's an idea! Perhaps CCP should create a super skill injector system that speeds up the skill learning process dramatically. Perhaps this device could be used to increase the training speed of 1 skill by a factor or 10 for a single level, and could sold it for real money like PLEX. How much would you pay to speed up training for a skill? I know I would seriously consider it for certain skills...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mining like a banshee (Well, not really, but still mining!)

Tonight we got some corp members together to tear apart a couple belts back in our old stomping grounds. We are loading up on materials to build new ships for corp members rather than for selling, so this requires a bit of additional ore and salvage than normal.

One interesting tidbit: the head of our corp's mining operation always tells us to leave one asteroid in the belt rather than clearing every asteroid. She says it helps make the respawn better. It sounds like a load of hooey to me, but who knows. Anyway, it's just one asteroid so it's no big deal, but has anyone else heard of this?


I've learned something recently: drones rock! If you haven't trained Drones and crammed as many as possible into your ship, you should stop everything and do it immediately. Go ahead and log in now and get that started. I'll wait....

Okay, now that you have Drones on your training queue, I'll tell you why they are important. Drones really add a lot of DPS when running missions, PvPing, etc. In addition, when you are fighting small, fast ships and they get in close, I've found it difficult for my larger guns to track them as they whiz around my ship. My drones, on the other hand, have no difficulty keeping up with them and firing away. I've had fights where I could not hit with my guns at all and my drones had to do all the DPS while I sat and armor repped.

For miners, if you stick combat drones in your drone bay, you won't be helpless when rats arrive in the belt. Clearly, you will have to bug out if something big jumps in, but for most situations, have 3-5 combat drones available will take care of business.

One other suggestion: I strongly recommend getting cheap drones. If you are anything like me, you have about a 30 to 50% chance that you'll forget to grab your drones as you leave, and going back to get them is a pain in the butt.

Moving to ISKSense

You may have noticed that the Google ads are gone. Bombarding readers with ads for character and ISK sellers just didn't feel right. Bye bye, AdSense! We hardly knew ya!

On the other hand, I imagine there are readers out there like me that are interested in new services, etc. that don't mind seeing a few reasonably unobtrusive advertisements that are well targeted. I received a comment regarding my previous Google ads post that recommended ISKSense, an Eve specific advertising service that work entirely on ISK rather than real dollars.

You will notice that I have replaced the Google ads with ISKSense ads. If you see something interesting down there, feel free to click on it or not.

If you are interested in advertising your Eve-related services or corporation on Eve-focused sites, you should check out www.isksense.com.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

My first near gank

Well, I almost got ganked today in low sec. I had accepted a mission that required me to courier some goods to a station in low sec. I successfully made it to the station to drop off the cargo, and was heading back to the original station.

When I undocked, I was immediately targeted by two ships lurking outside the station. I started to try to warp off to the gate when I noticed that one of the dudes was trying to warp scramble me while both were wailing away with their guns. I went through shields pretty quickly, and started into armor. I flipped on my armor repper while I waited to get aligned. Since it was taking a long time to get aligned so I tried to dock again, which thankfully I did instantly. It was all over in about 20 or 30 seconds, but it really scared me. I was afraid that I was going to lose my ship and my implants.

I guess I learned a little bit about Eve tonight: always pay attention, but especially when in low sec.

My new battle cruiser and L2 missions...

I've been running Level 2 missions for standing for the past week or two in my battle cruiser. Having run missions in my frigate or destroyer that were very challenging for me, using my Prophecy to run these missions is a breath of fresh air. I don't know if it's me (it probably is), but I've run missions where I had to warp out 3 and 4 times to repair or restore cap, and that makes running missions even less fun than it already is.

Anyway, I don't mind being over powered. Let's face it: I'm not running these missions for fun, I'm running them because I have to for standing. Anything that gets them over sooner is a plus!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Woot! I'm part of CK's Blog Pack!

Well, I got the word today that I'm now a part of CrazyKinux Eve Blog Pack! Now the pressure is on to keep the blogging going!

Thanks to CK for the honor! And you should definitely visit his site at www.crazykinux.com and see what he's talking about over there...

Damn you, ISK sellers!

Well, as you may have noticed, I turned on Google ads on this blog. As you probably know, Blogspot.com is owned by Google, and turning on the ads was really easy, so I figured "what the heck, I'll put them up but put them in an out of the way location, and if anyone clicks on something, I'll make a few cents."

Well, thanks to the ISK sellers and their paying Google for ad placement on Eve-related web sites, basically every ad ever shown is a freaking ISK seller ad, and I know that no self-respecting reader of my blog is going to click on one of those things. So basically, there is little to no chance for anyone using Google's AdSense service on an Eve-related site to ever make any money because of the ISK sellers. I know that that is not a big deal for me since I'm just blogging for fun, but other folks out there are trying to run a business and the ISK sellers are damaging that as well.

I'm going to go ahead and keep the ads up for a bit longer to see if Google will realize that the ISK ads aren't working and show something else. I hope you don't mind...

Alliance Tournament VII Thread

I will be posting comments on this thread regarding the Alliance Tournament VII. Feel free to chime in as well...

Wow! The Alliance Tourney is just about to kick off!

Turns out I'm really bad at reading a calendar! The AT starts today in about 15 minutes, not yesterday as I posted. Duh!

Anyway, people are getting pretty excited as the battles get set to begin. I'm listening on the Eve Voice channel which is actually less troublesome than New Eden Radio or Eve Radio at the moment. Oh, and grinding standing too!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Alliance Tournament begins today!

The 7th Alliance Tournament begins today at 11:00am Eastern/8:00am Pacific. You can listen at www.eve-radio.com. I believe that they will also be posting videos on YouTube the next day. Learn more at http://www.eveonline.com/events/alliances/tournament/t7/.