Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Risk in Eve

Something I've been planning for a while is to write about risk taking in the Universe of New Eden. Every game involves a certain risk while playing, maybe it's game money, stats or special items but almost always there's a risk of losing assets while you try to gain assets or complete mission objectives.
Eve online is no exception, in fact it involves the highest risk a player can put himself into. Almost every action you preform is risk-linked and the game punishes you hard for every bad decision you make and it's not simple to collect wealth. Not even to mention the player base griefers, scammers, thief's, spies, etc.

Because of this New Eden has become known for being a big bad world where you can trust no one or anything. Of course these are all ingredients for a great sandbox MMO experience but it also created this weird mindset into the brain of many high sec. residents.

I've lived in high sec for almost a year getting to know the basics and reading up and learning all kinds of stuff game related. It was all good, being a resident of a small mining corp I always had friends to mine with or do missions.

Still I wanted to explore and walk the line of what was possible and experience New Eden fully. Venturing through low sec wasn't something my corp mates endorsed and they would avoid every fight they could, even when we outnumbered our opponents 3-1. In a way I understood as every ship lost is a step back from your goal so every risk is being avoided.  But what's the purpose of making isk just for the sake of making isk? Veteran high sec residents (care bears) have the tendency to scare off the new players from doing anything outside of high sec as they predict a certain loss with every kind of venture out in the unknown. Only skilling up for a long time in combination with a T2 ship would get you out alive so staying safely in high sec is the best option. At least that's what they want you to believe or maybe that's what they believe themselves.  That's the impression high sec life left on me and I'm still trying to get rid of that false mindset. One time too many I've been sitting bored in my high sec station, scared of exploring my surroundings because of a false myth. Finally I left for null sec, never to look back.

I know Eve is still a sandbox game and everyone is free to choose the way they want to play, but the experience I got since I moved out of care bear land was way more satisfying for me personally and I kinda wished I made the move a few months earlier. So some advice for the new players, don't listen too much to al the scary stories you hear floating around New Eden and find out for yourself what's true and what's not. You will probably lose some ships but the learning process and experience is worth a lot more than a few million of isk.

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. 
~Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Keep on bumping

Being excited isn't that bad but being too excited is. Moving to null sec and the prospect of battle made me the latter one. I just finished my last hauling trip moving all my assets to my new home when a final call for a roam in chat corp chat drew my attention. I signed up, ready to plunge into pvp headfirst. Immediatly after, I realised I had no fitted ships ready and starting throwing modules in a rifter as fast as I could. As my first time out with my new corp, making a good impression was essentia so the last thing I wanted was to keep them waiting. Everything looked okay, the frig had some dps and decent hp so I undocked  as as the others were already waiting for me in a nearby Pos. Not even nearly unodcked I noticed my empty inventory... No roam can start without being able to reload so I redocked again cursing in silence. A few seconds later I was on my way to the fleet. The fc already inquired what took me so long, so I was really pressured to join the group asap. Finally the pos came in my sight and dreams of future adventures in null began to form. I was excited when we jumped to the first gate. Then I noticed another fatal error in my fitting. In my haste I managed to forget to fit points and/or webs while being in a tackle frigate. The feeling that came over me was indescribable, how could I be so stupid. (Insert face palm here.) I decided to keep quiet and tag along. Besides our fleet consisted of 2 other tacklers and 4 cruisers meaning plenty of webs and scrams. So we roamed around for a while and scouted ourselves some juicy targets sitting about 20 km of gate. Our scout went in first while we warped to him at the moment he landed on top of them. Of course one of the first orders i got was to point and web the targets while they started to face us. The group consisted of 6 battlecruisers and with no other options I started to bump the primary targets. A few of the battlecruisers were transformed to dust and the enemy started to burn towards the gate. I bumped as many as I could and the emergency solution was working pretty good. I even became the enemy's primary for a sec, what finished me off pretty quickly but was also their final mistake as our cruisers had more time to move in and do damage. The fight ended with 6 battlecruiser kills vs 2 frigs and one cruiser lost which is a nice result in my book. Pretty satisfied I returned home. And still a bit embarrassed about my derp fit I immediately started getting a few pvp ships fitted the correct way and ready to go so this could never happen again.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Don't fly around in your house

After an extensive period of mining I started getting more and more interested in the market. I wanted to keep progressing in making Isk so this seemed the logical next step. With a few hundred million in my wallet I started station trading like a nutcase in and around Rens. Hours were spent in front of market and wallet windows trying to keep maximum orders out. Slowly but fairly I started making my own little bit of profit but the buy orders didn't get filled in fast enough. Having wandered mostly in and around Heimatar I decided to take my trading to the next level and left rens for the infamous system Jita.

I didn't really know what to expect. I've been there before on two brief occasions but only for picking up some stuff and I hauled ass out of there as fast as I could. But to my surprise nothing happened on the way there. I started setting up my buy orders again and put my alt into the dodixie trading hub to sell the imported stuff. The pace was picking up and the profits rolled in. I noticed Jita wasn't that big of a deal as they made of it in all those stories I've read. Countless of hauling runs went spotless with almost never anything significant to report. The few times I was targeted I managed to warp away in time before the lock on. Starting to feel comfortable in my runs, I thought I could outrun any encounter as long as I stayed on keyboard. So the money train rode on and I accumulated some various contacts of traders and manufacturers.

On a certain day I received different contracts of modules in bulk amount at a very low price. I couldn't be more excited, especially when I calculated an estimated profit of half of my wallet. But first I had to scrape every Isk I worked for to complete the contract. That wasn't that big of a deal, all the modules were T2's and in high demand so I should make my money back pretty fast. The only thing left to do was to transport it all from Jita to Dodixie. I managed to put it all into a wreathe with nothing fitted besides 3 cargo hold expanders. After all, I managed to do numerous hauling trips with this setup so why change a winning formula. Without thinking about it much I undocked and headed for Dodixie. I pressed Alt Tab after increasing the audio volume so I was still able to hear the targeting sound if anything should occur. I kept switching between screens every time I jumped so I felt pretty secure.

After a while, almost half into the trip, I entered a new system and started to initiate the warpdrive to warp to the next gate. I was checking some market prices and my screen was cluttered with windows but I was still able to focus on the overview and local. As soon as I decloaked came the targeting warning. No problem I'll warp away in time. But then a few things happened all at once.

I had engaged in warp but there was a bang a tenth of a second before I jumped. "Hm…", starting to close a few of my windows I saw my mail symbol blinking. I received a notification that I had acquired kill rights on someone. I still didn't fully realize what had happened. At first I thought concord killed him and I got kill rights because he tried to target me. Guess that illustrates my knowledge of the crimewatch at the time.
Just to be sure I closed all my windows interrupting a clear view of my ship and started to zoom in. And there it was, a shiny green pod still in warp and more than a third of my total assets or 780 million isk blown to dust.

How could this be? No way I was targeted this quick. All the different feelings I experienced at that moment left me in shock. I didn't know what to feel, anger or just amazement that a game can leave such an impression on its players. When I woke up from being paralyzed I contacted my previous attacker to inquire about what,just had happened. He kindly explained to me that he received buffs from a friend to be able to target that fast. He also scanned me a few jumps earlier with a passive targeting system fitted so I couldn't notice him.

I thanked him for the information and crawled back to my home station in Dodixie, face-palming the whole trip.
So kids, don't transport all of your assets at once in a T1 industrial buy at least a Prowler.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Launcher problems

Yes, my launcher didn't work either yesterday. To be honest I too was pretty mad about it like so many other players were. I came home from work an hour early, excited to play Eve but wasn't able to log in. After a mad post on the forum, I started reading up on various fixes and after some fiddling I finally got in. In total it took me about 30min. Of course this shouldn't have happened at all if the launcher was tested extensively. But after cooling down for a while recollecting my thoughts, I started putting it all into perspective. Is it truly possible to make your updates work on every single setup these days? I'm no system specialist, but after all it was pretty simple to bypass the launcher. This was probably not the case for everyone, but reading all the enraged comments on the forum thread made me start to wonder why people used the words they did. There were some pretty offensive posts with accusations towards CCP and even some threats so I was a bit baffled about the sheer amount of anger on that thread. Starting to put it all into perspective I wondered if the previous negative events like the summer of rage and other malfunctioning updates made the players act the way they were acting. Including the fact that the Dev. team and CCP in general have a pretty close relationship with the player base, I got the impression people dared to accuse and insult the developers in a huge wave of resentfulness. To make a long story short, I had the impression that when you create a close relationship with your player base as a developer, it's harder to keep them satisfied and with any hiccup you get a shit storm over you because the players feel they know the developers. I believe some players even think CCP owns them in some way of another. Personally I think we should give CCP some slack as they aren't a huge multi billion corporation like Blizzard or the likes. Then again maybe I have grown a bit too forgiving after playing all the bugged out Elder Scroll games for years.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Music to fly spaceships to

When I started playing EVE, music to accompany me on my first steps in New Eden was very important. The extra dimension it gave to the game was amazing. From the start me and my RL friend turned off the standard Eve music and put on classic albums like "The 2001 space odyssey soundtrack, Star trek soundtracks or Floyd's "Dark side of the moon". The latter was a rediscovery for me in a way as I had not listened to the album for years. For weeks I played Dark side and Meddle back to back over and over while mining, missioning and getting to know Eve in general. These were both so amazing albums that fitted nicely into the Eve universe (at least for me they did) and they enhanced my gaming experience for a great deal. I've been thinking about music and Eve lately because I tend to play without any music as I'm on comms as soon as I log on to the game and started missing it in a way. I just think it isn't that handy to have music blasting while getting orders from your FC. So once in a while when I have to do some hauling in high sec or other solo stuff, I turn up the graphics and put on the Floyd, crank it up and just enjoy the beauty of both worlds!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Abbath's backstory pt 2: Grinding them rocks

At last it was done, the final log entry of today's extracted ore had been filled in. Abbath let out a deep satisfied yawn while he leaned back in his chair.
Mining wasn't a particular hard job, but it consisted of many man hours a day and he was feeling it. Glancing out of his little office window he could see his hoarder being loaded for the transport trip tomorrow. The station workers just started their shift, but for Abbath, the working day was over. Heaving himself out of his chair he checked the time and cursed silently. "Damn, late again. Hope Raek is still hanging out in the bar"! He quickly put on his jacket and started to stroll towards the exit of the office.
"Man, 30 million isk profit divided by two, in just over a week, that's quite the sum!".
Just thinking about so much isk made Abbath feel like he was walking on air. Still he had to keep his feet firmly on the gound, after all the cargo had not been delivered yet. He almost forgot about his first hauling run and it made him feel anxious. 4 jumps in total from Reset to Hek wasn't something to be taken lightly and he had to do that route three times to complete the contract.
There haven't been any incidents yet, but Hek housed people of all sorts and like all the main trading hubs also many scammers and gankers. The fact that Hek is located in  0.5 sec. made his anxciety even worse. Not to mention he had to explain himself to his partner and friend Raek if anything happened.
Buried in thought he entered the station's bar. The place was buzzing, conversations, arguments, shady deals and laughs in all kinds of different dialects and languages pulled Abbath out of his bubble. "Finally! There you are! Out of nowhere came Raek, already with two drinks in hand. "I was just thinking about leaving if you didn't show up soon"! "Many numbers to fill in, ey"? He smiled and poked Abbath in his side. “Come, I've kept a free seat for ya!” When no reply came he laughed even louder. “Haha come on my friend, I can't believe you're so wound up about this hauling trip. Thing's will end up fine, I'm confident that I'll have my share of the profits by tomorrow evening.”

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Code blue

Ever since I started doing some pvp and roaming in low sec, I acquired a new kind of hobby: collecting frozen corpses. It's been only recently that I noticed them floating around mostly because of my overview setup and I was intrigued to say the least. With no real purpose or value they still have something about them. Every corpse can tell a story of their own and can be quite interesting when you search the character on the killboards. And just the fact that you can keep and collect players dead bodies appeals to me in some weird sense. As my station container was getting filled with frozen corpses, I started to wonder if there isn't anything you could do with them. When I started looking around the internet for some kind of use for these meat popsicles I came across different articles about frozen corpses and it became clear that I wasn't the only one interested in those stiffs floating around. First I came across the Evelopedia page called Body mining. It was mostly a storyline and background explanation about the industry of biomass, but still interesting to find out about. Also the chronicle "Lost stars" about the shocking truth of quafe+ was quite entertaining.

The second link I found on the subject was the capsuleer cemetery on one of my favorite sites Eve travel.  For you who don't know this one, it's about (as the title already explains) traveling around New Eden, best to be described as a guided tour doing all kinds of sightseeing and giving a lot of background info. Combine all of this with some nice pictures and you've got an amazing site! Props to Mark726!  Now back on topic, The capsuleer cemetery, painstakingly maintained by Azia Burgi, is a POS dedicated to the fallen clones, each with their own casket and custom epitaph. Today it sports ECM and gun batteries to protect the graves after a couple desecrations of different groups. It's located at Molea II, Moon 1 in the Khanid region.
Go and pay your respects! I surely will!

The third thing I came across was the story about Eve's own corpse bride. An engaged couple with a rather peculiar wedding proposition. I won't elaborate to much on this as it would spoil the story a bit.

But still I had no real purpose for my little army of dead flesh. There was nothing to be found besides some old posts about ideas of being able to biomass the corpses but that never saw the light of day.
I guess I'll be filling my freezers with dead flesh till that day comes.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reflection on my first mining days

I haven't mined in quite a long time, but when I stumbled on this rock, it made me smile and think back of all the hours I've spent in asteroid belts. Mining while watching our favourite Tv-shows seemed the only right way to do it. I remember me and a mining buddy watching the same Episodes of Louie Louie at the same time while being on skype laughing our asses off!

Oh how little did we know about New Eden, sitting for days on end in 0.9 highsec space mining and barely seeing any other players coming by. It was all so naive and peacefull, it's amazing how my surroundings and the understanding of it have evolved so much.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The first blow

Intro: My adventures in EVE are primarily dealing with losing ships as I'm still quite a new player with a little less than a year of experience playing this wonderful scifi game. When reading all of the amazing adventures other players had I started to think of my own memorable moments and I noticed that the ones that popped into my mind dealt with mainly losing ships in the most stupid and idiotic way. I think they are pretty funny now, although at the time I was pretty devastated, even if it was my own dumb fault. I do not think my adventures are special in any way, still I wanted to show to mostly the new players, that you can have exciting moments in Eve without being at huge battles like the one in asakai or having skills that would take a newb ages to train for, just losing a ship can be an awesome experience too!

One of my earliest memories in the game, goes back to my first months of playing EVE. I joined a small mining corp and mined for days on end with my newly acquired friends. Everything went quite ok without any bumps in the road. I never experienced any can flippers, griefers or any other evil I was so heavily warned about so after a while I got the mindset that all the stories i read and heard were exaggerated in a way - in other words, I started to get cocky. I joined up with my friends doing my first lvl 4 missions in a hurricane with just enough skills to fly it and barely enough knowledge to survive. I managed to almost destroy my newly acquired vessel on it's first run when i charged head first into quite a big group of npc's like some space terminator leaving my more experienced friends behind me. Of course all the npcs started to focus fire on me and soon enough I was being targeted by about 30 rats at the same time. I managed to warp out with my hull at 50%, my heart beating like a pneumatic drill and sweating like I just ran a marathon. The hurricane with fittings was a present from my CEO and I managed to almost blow it up in the first few minutes on its first run. I never quite experienced this kind of feeling while playing a game. The experience reminded me about the excitement I had many years ago when I played my first fps games over a LAN-network.

Realizing I needed more experience doing PVE and fighting in general, I started going for the Sisters of Eve epic Arc missions which were quite a difference from the lvl4's I experienced earlier. Everything seemed to be way easier and I felt I was overpowered in my trusty cane. I started to get bored and didn't even read the mission briefings. After all, you just had to warp to the deadspace area, stop your engines and start shooting everything you encountered right? This wasn't quite the case as I was about to learn the hard way soon after.

So another boring mission came along and cocky as I still was, I didn't read the mission log and jumped right in a new deadspace area. This time there were a lot of npcs on my overview at about 100k distance, but I was sure my cane could take on these easy noob missions so I turned on my mwd and charged them. I also remember to wonder why some of the red icons in my overview were bigger that the others but thought "meh I'll just kill them all". As I started to get into range it dawned on me that something was wrong. The first enemy volleys started to hit and I was staring at my pod in just a few seconds of battle.

I felt like I was nailed to the floor or better, sinking in my chair. Because of my arrogance I lost an approx. 60mil isk present in a record time of just two days. Turns out I charged into a massive npc fleet which I just had to scout and report back because I had no chance of winning. That would've been obvious if I just read the mission log prior but as you all know by now that didn't happen.

My pride got dented severely as I had my first ship lost and not even to a real player! After that I made the promise to myself to think before I acted, as this wasn't a game where you can make mistakes and not get punished.
But of course there were still many hard lessons to come...