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Friday, August 26, 2011

Chivalry, not cage fights.

Kirith Kodachi (Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah) sent a tweet today asking for blog posts on how to conduct an "arena" fight in EVE. Though I don't PvP much, the idea of testing myself against another opponent on even terms intrigues me. I've read a couple of things about it recently.

It was quickly pointed out by Rixx Javix that he'd already done it. He "borrowed" the concept from the 3rd Mad Max film, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, (BTW, the worst of the 3 IMHO,) but his application of that idea to EVE Online was well done if not a tad regulatory.

There was also a mention made by Seismic Stan over on Freebooted about having a virtual combat simulator in the upcoming expansions to Incarna. This too is a worthy solution. I am just not certain if it will allow for spectators which I believe is a must. Otherwise, what's the point?

I envision a system with no physical boundaries. If a contestant cuts and runs, well, that will follow him/her all the days of his/her capsuleer life as outlined below. It would be a stain no amount of blood or loyalty could wash clean. No feat of heroics could disprove it; there'd be no feather to return.

Matches should also be evenly... well, matched. Sure, I could fly out in a T1 frigate and fight another similarly armed T1 frigate but my skills are maxed. If the other pilot is a rookie, where's the honor? Not only do ships have to be matched, capsuleers must also be evenly matched.

That would be the hardest part. Perhaps it would be the impossible part. That is where the idea of virtual combat would excel. All avatars could have equal training. The only skill that would affect the outcome of the battle is the cunning of the pilot. But with no one there as witness, the deed dies with the simulation's electrical feed.

No, this should not be a "game." Like Bushido, it must be a way of life. Like chivalry, there should be a code. Only those who follow the code can enforce it. I envision a guild: something like militia but cutting across the racial boundaries. Capsuleers would declare themselves as members and would be wholly judged by the other members.

After each combat, those who witnessed it could award favor or disfavor to the combatants. Rankings would exist and the most favored might not even be those who always win. Even a loser, who fights well and with honor, could earn favor from his/her peers. Both could win! And, just as easily, both could lose. Those who acted despicably would receive disfavor. Only those present could decide.

This favor/disfavor voting could be used for many things. If your favor standing was high, more ship types would be available to you to fight in. If your disfavor rating got too low, you would be turned red to all the other members of the arena guild. You would be cast out (guild membership revoked,) and the guild would hunt you down forever for being the degenerate and dishonorable naive you'd proven yourself to be. Yes, that's high stakes but necessary. There must be consequences for betrayal of the code.

For sure, this might be gamed. However, capsuleers have a long memory, and those who game the system would ultimately reap disfavor. Like a people tired of a tyrant, they would cast him down in ashes when they'd had enough.

This is not a road map as some would want. If you want a road map visit the local gas station. It is at best a vision and perhaps a hazy one. But we live in a world full of rules and regulations. Even those outside Empire space must abide by some form of them. What I dream of is a system where our character is considered more important than our skills. Where our equals in character sit in judgment of our deeds. Where those who make the stars their own, and ensure the wealth of Empires through their toil, are given their just due by the only ones suitable to judge them - those who have also risen to the challenge of the code.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I sign off with, "Fly carefully."

Yes, we've all done really stupid things in New Eden (nod to Rixx Javix.) I thought I'd confessed mine before, but I guess not. My stupendous blunder happened on my 1st birthday as a capsuleer - to the day. It went like this:

------------------------------------------------------------
Gamelog
Listener: Mabrick
Session started: 2009.03.22 00:12:11
------------------------------------------------------------
[ 2009.03.22 00:14:25 ] (None) Undocking from Jufvitte IV - Federal Defence Union Logistic Support to Jufvitte solar system.
[ 2009.03.22 00:14:39 ] (notify) Warping to Stargate (Ouelletta)
[ 2009.03.22 00:15:56 ] (question) The destination system is 0.4 security status. This is extremely dangerous and Concord police can not guarantee your safety there. Do you want to proceed?
Second mistake - I ignored the warning
[ 2009.03.22 00:15:59 ] (None) Jumping to Stargate (Jufvitte) in Ouelletta solarsystem
[ 2009.03.22 00:16:20 ] (notify) Warping to Ouelletta V - Moon 5 - Federal Navy Academy School prior to making docking attempt
[ 2009.03.22 00:17:12 ] (notify) Requested to dock at Ouelletta V - Moon 5 - Federal Navy Academy School station
[ 2009.03.22 00:17:12 ] (notify) Setting course to docking perimeter
[ 2009.03.22 00:17:25 ] (notify) Requested to dock at Ouelletta V - Moon 5 - Federal Navy Academy School station
[ 2009.03.22 00:17:25 ] (notify) Your docking request has been accepted. Your ship will be towed into station.
[ 2009.03.22 00:18:28 ] (notify) The training queue has not been uploaded yet
[ 2009.03.22 00:23:48 ] (None) Undocking from Ouelletta V - Moon 5 - Federal Navy Academy School to
[ 2009.03.22 00:23:59 ] (notify) Warping to Stargate (Jufvitte)
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:02 ] (notify) Sir Quentin: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:03 ] (combat) Sir Quentin [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 184 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:03 ] (notify) Petout: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:04 ] (notify) Sir Quentin [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) has started trying to warp scramble you!
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:04 ] (combat) Petout [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 134 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:05 ] (notify) Petout [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) has started trying to warp scramble you!
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:05 ] (combat) Sir Quentin [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 185 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:06 ] (combat) Petout [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 138 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:06 ] (notify) Thor75: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:07 ] (combat) Thor75 [.YARR]<SCUM>(Thorax) hits you for 243 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:08 ] (notify) Thor75 [.YARR]<SCUM>(Thorax) has started trying to warp scramble you!
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:08 ] (combat) Sir Quentin [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 179 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:09 ] (combat) Thor75 [.YARR]<SCUM>(Thorax) hits you for 222 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:09 ] (combat) Petout [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 148 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:10 ] (combat) Sir Quentin [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 205 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:11 ] (combat) Thor75 [.YARR]<SCUM>(Thorax) hits you for 193 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:12 ] (combat) Petout [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 322 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:13 ] (combat) Thor75 [.YARR]<SCUM>(Thorax) hits you for 416 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:13 ] (combat) Sir Quentin [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 399 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:13 ] (notify) Spoon3r: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:14 ] (combat) Petout [.YARR]<SCUM>(Broadsword) hits you for 518 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:14 ] (notify) Petout: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:14 ] (notify) Sir Quentin: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:15 ] (combat) Spoon3r (Scourge Fury Heavy Missile) hits you for 1474

Third mistake - I hesitated to warp my pod out.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:28 ] (notify) Spoon3r [.YARR](Drake) has started trying to warp scramble you!
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:28 ] (notify) Sir Quentin [.YARR](Broadsword) has started trying to warp scramble you!
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:30 ] (notify) Petout [.YARR](Broadsword) has started trying to warp scramble you!
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:31 ] (notify) Thor75 [.YARR](Thorax) has started trying to warp scramble you!
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:34 ] (combat) Petout [.YARR](Broadsword) hits you for 266 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:34 ] (notify) Petout: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:34 ] (notify) Spoon3r: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:34 ] (notify) Thor75: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:34 ] (notify) Sir Quentin: You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.
[ 2009.03.22 00:24:36 ] (combat) Spoon3r (Scourge Fury Heavy Missile) hits you for 165 damage
[ 2009.03.22 00:35:20 ] (question) Do you authorize payment for the change of clone type selected? The payment required is 1,340,000.00 ISK.
The last thing I remember hearing before opening my eyes in a clone vat was,

[ 2009.03.22 00:24:31 ] Sir Quentin > happy bday you are 1 year old
The vertigo of having my essence yanked several systems away and integrated into a new pile of meat made me nauseous. Almost as nauseous as having my first ship shot out from around me.

What? I forgot something? Oh, right! You want to know what my FIRST mistake was. Does this kill mail help answer that question?
2009.03.22 00:24:00
Victim: Mabrick
Corp: Center for Advanced Studies
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Hulk
System: Ouelletta
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 2535
Involved parties:
Name: Spoon3r (laid the final blow)
Security: -8.9
Corp: Back to Yarrr
Alliance: SCUM.
Faction: NONE
Ship: Drake
Weapon: Scourge Fury Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 1473
Name: Sir Quentin
Security: -9.9
Corp: Back to Yarrr
Alliance: SCUM.
Faction: NONE
Ship: Broadsword
Weapon: 220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 548
Name: Petout
Security: -8.4
Corp: Back to Yarrr
Alliance: SCUM.
Faction: NONE
Ship: Broadsword
Weapon: Warp Disruption Field Generator I
Damage Done: 272
Name: Thor75
Security: -8.7
Corp: Back to Yarrr
Alliance: SCUM.
Faction: NONE
Ship: Thorax
Weapon: Heavy Electron Blaster II
Damage Done: 242
Destroyed items:
Omber Mining Crystal II
Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2
Scordite Mining Crystal II, Qty: 6 (Cargo)
Veldspar Mining Crystal II, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Plagioclase Mining Crystal II (Cargo)
Shield Recharger II
Modulated Strip Miner II, Qty: 2
Hammerhead I, Qty: 5 (Cargo)
Dropped items:
Omber Mining Crystal II, Qty: 2
Scordite Mining Crystal II (Cargo)
Magnetic Scattering Amplifier II
Survey Scanner II
Heat Dissipation Amplifier II
Veldspar Mining Crystal II (Cargo)
Plagioclase Mining Crystal II, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
Modulated Strip Miner II
Yeah, I was running courier missions into low-sec in a Hulk. Color me stupid, but it was the largest cargo hold I had at the time and the best tank (sad but true.) Still, it took me a month to earn enough ISK to buy a replacement. Fortunately, I always have a backup ship. My old Covetor was still in the hanger. Heck, it still is, if for no other reason than to remind me to not be stupid. 

It was a very expensive lesson. It drove home the mantra, "Don't fly it unless you can afford to lose it." Those words echo in my pod to this day. If there are any rookies reading this post, especially carebear rookies, understand that this mantra refers to much more than just the value of the ship. 

It took a month of my TIME - to replace a ship I had no business taking into low-sec - no matter how often I'd made the run safely. During that time, I had no increased mining profits the ship could have made me. Those days I spent 4 to 5 hours a day mining. That's a lot of lost revenue. In addition, I could not use the 130 mil ISK I had to spend to replace the ship on other profit making enterprises. Who knows how much I could have made from the 130 mil. It certainly would have been more than the nothing I ended up with.

Yes, it was a very expensive blunder due to imprudent actions. I didn't think. I didn't consider the full ramifications of my actions and not just in the immediate future but long term. That's why I now sign off with the best advice I can give a rookie carebear.

Fly carefully.




Saturday, August 20, 2011

Time away from the toil of making ISK... except I ended up making some anyway.

First off, I'd like to say congrats to Drackarn over at Sand, Cider and Spaceships for proving he can pirate with the best of them. I give the link blood-red for your being -10.0 sec status. Don't let me catch you in my neck of the woods or I'll have to hunt you down for your bounty. Don't worry though, I don't pod kill so you'll get home safe.

Back to the regularly scheduled goings on. Yesterday I checked the Incursion listings provided by Concord and discovered there was one happening only 4 jumps from home. I've been working really hard of late and needed a break from managing the company so I set an out of office message and jumped in my Drake, the Prinz Eugen. I left dock with a cargo hold full of missiles and the intent to find some action.

Four short jumps later I was in Yashunen x-ing up in local. Prinz Eugen is buffer fit and though my skills aren't nearly what they are in Brutus he sports an EHP of over 30k. It works. I immediately got 2 invites. I'd already decided who I was going to form up with as I was watching the local chat and a Vanguard site was just were I wanted to be.

We formed up in Tennen. It was an odd collection of ships to my way of thinking. A couple Ravens, a few Basilisks, an Abbadon (who had to leave before the fight even began because... wait for it... a GIRL was coming over - LOL,) a Phantasm. Now that was just eerie. The fleet named it the U.S.S. Phantasmic. That didn't help really but it let us exercise a little nervous laughter. Before we fleet warped, I took a group shot.


Once we landed, no one had time for much chat. Drones launched, missiles flew and all hell generally broke loose. You all know how it goes. Here we are getting it done.



We make it look easy don't we? We cleared out the first site with no losses. The logistics pilots were on the ball and highl;y efficient. Good job guys! However, I didn't even get targeted once. It seems the Sansha were far more interested in the Ravens. That suited my just fine. We warped to the second site and took it down even faster. Our perfect score of all wins and no losses stayed in place. It was turning out to be a good day.

Then I got a priority message from the office. Sansha shit. Well, at least I got some action and the fleet had replacements inbound before I even dropped off the channel. I even made a little profit. Now that's my kind of incursion!

Friday, August 19, 2011

REEEeeeally?

I've been reading EVE blogs about as long as I've been playing EVE - including EVOGANDA. This made me laugh out loud.

While I am familiar with many, many blogs I feel like I am missing out on some of the more "carebear" types, Industry, Wormholes, Mining, things like that.

REEEeeeally? I wouldn't have guessed. *dead pan*

BTW, I like making videos. Editing them is a lot of work. It takes a lot longer than writing a page of silly words and far more technical skills. But, to each their own. I'll continue doing both - and anything else I feel like doing. My blog - my rules. I love that about blogs!

Fly careful.

The nature of time, the universe and Industrialists.

Time in space passes differently for capsuleers than other humans. Time for a capsuleer is a relationship between energy, mass and distance that knows no planetary cycle. There is no day. There is no night. Consider this:


As you can see, time depends only on mass, energy and distance. The science is irrefutable.

Industrialists don't fly the most massive ships. However, we do move the most cargo and I'd argue we log the longest aggregate distances. Think of all those freighters making those 25 jump hauls to Jita and back. Then there are all the Orcas, the transport ships and the other enumerable  industrial ships and mining barges.

What it really boils down to, if we are completely honest with ourselves, is that the universe favors  Industrialists more so than other capsuleers. A position that is validated by science and proven every time you fit a new ship.

Fly careful.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My MWD has failed (AKA the impeller - she no spin.)

I'm going to break with tradition and do a little RL self-commiseration.

This past spring I took my tax return and a performance bonus I earned and bought myself the first new gaming desktop I've purchased in over 5 years. I had Cyperpower build it for me and it's a real screamer:

  • 2nd generation i7-2600k 3.4 Ghz CPU
  • 8GB Crusader DDR3 1866 Mhz memory
  • Dual 1.5 GB Superclocked EVGA Nvidia 580 video cards
  • Dual Dell 2007FP DVI monitors.
  • 80GB X25-M fast SSD system drive
  • 500GB SATA III data drive
  • All of this on an ASUS P8P67 Pro with revised Sandy Bridge chip set motherboard.
Needless to say, I've been enjoying the hell out of this system. It's so damn fast that water cooling is the only way to keep peak performance. So, I opted for a 240mm setup with a dual-fan radiator in the top of the AzzA Hurricane  case with its two 240mm fans on the side as well as the standard front and back case fans.

All the airflow devices are redundant. Dual fans on the radiator. Dual fans on the side of the case. Dual fans front and back. The only thing it really doesn't have two of is the water chamber.

And there in lies the weakness of the system. Tonight I got home from a 12 hour work day and was looking forward to a bit of exploration or perhaps an Incursion. Instead I logged in to find a CPU temperature warning showing 85 degrees C. It had been as high as 97 C. Crap.

It took about 15 minutes to determine that the impeller in the water chamber wasn't moving. I've yet to find out if it is stuck (it happens!) or if it is really dead. Still, the system looks really cool just sitting there - pun intended.

Fortunately I am not without a secondary gaming system. Last year I bought an Alienware 11X with my tax return. I am typing this blog post on it now. Though it doesn't run EVE as effortlessly as my main system, it does run everything in high graphics. In other words, it does not suck.

Hopefully the impeller is just recalcitrant. Worst case, I have someone overnight a new reservoir to me. One way or another though, I'll be back up to full speed in no time.

Fly careful.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to fight an Incursion beacon site solo.

Mission running never really appealed to me. To be honest, I'd rather spend my time chewing 'roids. But that's just me. And yes, I know it's... a rare preference.

Then the Sansha Nation began raiding capsuleer space. This is not your run of the mill mission. These ships have "teeth" and brains to run them! It isn't another capsuleer by any stretch but it's better than Serpentis.

I managed to get into a shield fleet during one of the very early Incursions. I spent 3 hours drifting in space and waiting for the FC to get the fleet together and find an incursion point to land on. The 20 minutes after landing was filled with wave after wave of Sansha battleships and the like. Though it was a great christening for my Drake, the Prinz Eugen, the fun to frustration level was easily 1 to 10 that evening.

That's when I decided to try the beacon sites in the Incursion staging system. They're basically a free for all with the top 5 DPS givers taking home the prize so to speak. I took the Prinz Eugen into a few and did okay. Sitting back and lobbing missiles at Sansha frigates though is a bad match. My drones did most of the work and I lost many of them.

I needed to get some turrets on these slaves. So I took out June Bug. He's a stud for sure. However, Assault Frigates are not up to running beacon sites. They have the DPS but just don't have the staying power needed. I needed something bigger and loaded with turrets.

I settled on a Brutix, which I named Brutus - what else. He's no frigate speedster. He turns like a grease-less wheel. But he can run beacon sites solo and hardly get his armor scratched doing it. Here's how.


Fly careful.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

At some point you have to fish or cut bait.

At some point you have to fish or cut bait. After watching prices back off tens of millions of ISK from their peak; after having made up the difference from the price I would have been willing to spend with a highly successful exploration run last night; after having a hole burned in my proverbial pocket, I finally broke down and bought it.

Meet Keiko.


The latest addition to the MABMM fleet. New banner to follow.

Fly careful.

I love radar anomalies.

I took Peeping Tom out last night to see what I could find. It was my first chance to relax in awhile. My planet side complexes have been usurping all my time lately.

My scanning revealed a radar anomaly. I love radar anomalies. They are often very profitable!


This anomaly was one of the best I've encountered in my back yard lately. It yielded over 35 mil ISK for less work than restarting a planet's worth of extractors. Time will spent in my book.

Fly Careful.