Thursday, December 30, 2010

POS bash-o-rama

It's not every day that you find fruit as ripe for the picking as my alliance mates found on Christmas day. While flying around in low-sec, one of my alliance mates found that a corporation had set up two POSs on valuable moons. Of course, they had anchored dozens of modules around the POSs in an arrangement that definitely made it look like they knew what they were doing. Numerous guns and other defensive modules deployed to keep out bad guys.

Unfortunately, there was one problem. Apparently, whoever was setting these up ran out of time when they got to onlining the modules. I'm guessing that the missus was calling from the front hall that it was time to go to a Christmas get-together or something. Whatever it was, there they sat: 2 faction large towers worth billions, surrounded by a bristling array of various turrets that could defend neither the towers nor themselves because they were offline.

If this strikes you a bit like the Maginot Line prior to WWII, you'd be right on target, and the call went out on Christmas day that we needed to put together our own little opportunistic Blitzkrieg attack. While turnout was understandably sparse on Christmas, we got the word out to start bringing battleships and other support vessels out to low-sec in preparation for the assault.

That assault came on Boxing Day, as we formed our fleet and headed out. We'd kept eyes on the targets pretty much around the clock, and since nothing had changed by the time our fleet formed up, out we went for a little POS bashing. There were a few moments when we thought we might be getting set up for an ambush, but in general things went very smoothly. No owners showed up that day, and no white knights flew in to the rescue which meant we were able to put the towers into reinforced mode in about 2 hours each. After reinforcing each tower, we incapacitated the guns just to make it harder for the owners to make the tower defensible when we came back.

Two days later it was time for the towers to come out of reinforced mode, and we formed up our fleet once again to go take them down once and for all. As you can imagine, we had a lot more concern about encountering resistance this time around as the corp had almost two days to get word of the attack and pull together a defence. In addition, we were concerned that a larger fleet might drop by to kick us out and take over the operation.

With scouts watching all the necessary gates, our fleet moved out and approached the first tower. After aligning to a safe location to help ensure a speedy getaway in case of emergency, the command went out to open up on the tower. Those first few moments were pretty tense, but after a while it became clear that we would not meet resistance that day either. After about another 2 hours per tower, they were gone, and we received two lovely kill mails with the details. We then popped all the silos and offlined and scooped up all the modules that we could. After that, we had to send out the repair crew to fix all the guns we had incapacitated so we could put them to use. All in all, a very successful operation.

As I've said many times, the things I really enjoy about Eve involve groups of people coming together to accomplish something, and this was a really big operation for me. It was lots of fun, and has really given me a taste for getting more involved in PvP. I know it's just Internet spaceships, but because Eve is such a merciless environment where all your actions have "real" consequences, it really gets your blood pumping when you are out there in space knowing that at any second a capital fleet could hot drop on you and really ruin your day. World of Warcraft can give you a similar sense of accomplishment when your raid finally downs a tough boss, but you will never get the fear in WoW that you get in Eve. How worked up can you get about wasting a flask or having to spend an extra 25G for a repair bill?

Anyway, it was great fun and I look forward to more alliance operations in the future. And to the owner of the POSs we took down, I'm really sorry if we ruined your Christmas holiday. I hope the party was fun though!

Monday, December 6, 2010

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm launches tonight

That's right, I'm excited about a WOW expansion, have already bought the digital download and will be playing it starting tonight at midnight PST. Feel free to abuse me as much as you like. Note: I will be playing Eve until that time though, so do I get some real MMO gamer points for that?!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My new toon

As I mentioned a little while ago, I started a new character. His name is Tel Radic, and he's a Caldari capsuleer. He's joined my corporation, Phoenix Propulsion Labs, and has finished all the starter profession missions, plus part of the Epic storyline.

I was wondering what I should do with this character, and even got some suggestions from readers (Thanks, folks!). Now that I've been tasked with POS maintenance for my corp, I've decided what he will be learning first. His first order of business will be to get qualified to fly an Iteron V. Right now my main toon, Radd Trigon, is tending POSs using a Bestower. Only being able to carry 14.6k m3 of cargo makes moving fuel and materials around very inefficient.

Getting an alt out there the skills to fly the Itty 5 will make a big difference. In addition, this will also free up my main to spend more time doing things that are more useful for the corporation, like running missions, doing builds, and mining.

After I get him set up for POS tending, I think I'm going to train him to fly an Orca, complete with all the leadership skills to give mad mining bonuses. This will allow me to do some efficient mining solo. Mining is something that I enjoy, especially since high sec mining is pretty low stress.

After Itty V and Orca, I'm still not sure. Fortunately, the Orca training should keep me busy for at least 6 months, so I've got some time to think about it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wow, this is really amazing...

I am fairly certain that if you are reading this blog post, you've already read the official Eve Online Dev Blog (surely I'm well down toward the bottom of the pile of Eve blogs!). However, if for some reason you have not seen the Dev Blog post entitled Celebrating the Creative Player II, go check it out here:

The character creator demo videos are amazing, and I expect a lot of new players might spend a good while playing with their character before saving and jumping into the actual game. In addition, the "Raise the Flag" videos are unbelievably good. Watch all four, as they give you a bit of a feel of the mentality and character of each race. They are actually quite stirring, and I found myself getting patriotic watching the Amarr video (which is strange because a) being Amarr has almost no impact on me except that I use lasers and run out of cap, and b) the Amarr are a bunch of bastards!)

Do youself a favor and click all the links.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

POS tending for fun and profit (but mostly profit...)

Okay, I spent my first night tending the POSs for my corporation. It took considerably longer than I expected and I'm still not quite done, but we do have quite a few POSs to take care of so maybe I'm not surprised. In addition, my character can't fly the Itty V, so moving stuff takes longer than I would like.

Anyway, I did manage to accomplish the following last night:
  • Visit each POS and document in a Google Docs spreadsheet (I would have done it Office Web Apps document, but it wasn't my choice!) how much of each fuel type was loaded into the tower.
  • Inventory all the fuel at each of the stations we have in the area to make sure we are ready when refueling time comes around.
  • Checked the status of the moon mining and reaction silos to make sure the output silos were not full and the input silos where not empty. Turns out that several of the harvesters and reactors were sitting idle because of a full or empty silo.
  • Checked the Corporate Hangar Array (if there is one) at each POS to determine if there is anything in there that needs to be moved to the main stations.
Anyway, we have quite a few POSs in the system and I am not the fastest person, so this several hours to get done. I still have a few POSs to check the silos on as well.

I would like to do a bit of analysis on these things so I could figure out roughly how long each POS can go before I need to visit it. I even checked the API documentation to see if there was a way for me to see information about a corporation's POSs from outside Eve but unfortunately this info is not available.

Anyway, I have a bit more POS checking and straightening up tonight and I will be in good shape. Oh, and I think I found a good job for my alt!