Author Archives: Smee

Slack!

Blame is just a lazy person’s way of making sense of chaos.
Doug Coupland

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If you’ve noticed a distinct slack in new posts arriving recently then woo – I have readers! Ahem. And yes, sorry.

No great excuses for it, as the title suggests I’ve just been slack. I can’t even blame lack of things to talk about because the corp has been up to some quite ridiculous things this month. Everything from our first Capital kills, baiting hulks into duels, and spectacular cloaky hunts, to some bitter victims giving up POS passwords so we could sneak in, steal all-the-shit, and then blow up the unsuspecting enemy CEO doing a site with his own stolen ships!

We’ve batphoned, we’ve been batphoned, the EOL name is reaching out there and making itself heard. Helped with a spiffy new killboard banner I whipped up last night. Not quite as British biased this time!

banner

The influx of newbies is bedding down nicely and merging into the core group such that several times now we’ve had numbers to field logi on our hunts. Baiting and then breaking a lo-sec gate camp was particularly enjoyable. Logging on each day to half a dozen corp mails details various ops both pvp and pve with loot to be shared is wonderful to see. The corp is thriving!

And with such success comes decisions to be made.

The big one at the moment. When to move!

3 months ago, when I first approached this corp the plan was a move to a C5/C5 just as soon as all the timezones could be covered with enough members to stave off boredom and mount a decent defence.

The theft and a large influx of new recruits put a hold on those plans whilst we re-evaluated the position. We realised general pvp skills were rather lacking, as well as more basic corp info like fleet doctrines and fits.

Fast forward a few weeks and things are massively improved in those areas and the question shifted slightly to not just when, but also where! A thirst for PVP has been awoken that may or may not be saited in quite the same way within a C5/C5. Other options emerge. C5/C4, C5/C3, C5/C2?

All come with their good and bad points, and for me so long as wherever we move we don’t move again for a long time so I can feel properly settled, I don’t really mind what is chosen.

However to side with one, my vote goes for C5/C4. This gives us access to the escalation sites we really want to try, and therefore the occassional influx of very good money. It maintains a reasonably close link to K-space entrances by the shortest route Home>C4>C3> Out. But also will drive bigger chains much more often. Home>C4>C5>C4>C5>C6>C5>C4 etc etc Thus giving nice opportunities for hunts. And finally, the quiet C4s will also offer sites that can be done in much smaller groups of 3-4 for the quieter times – and still for good money.

To me it’s a nice combination, but the debate rumbles on and as I said, there’s good and bad points for all.

In the meantime I’m working on cutting out the slack!

Happy Flying o7

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To fluff or not to fluff.

Kirith Kodachi has launched the latest (and what will be my first) blog banter :

How important is “fluff” in Eve online? Would eve online be the same if it were purely numbers and mechanics, or are the fictional elements important to the enjoyment of the game? Would a pure text, no reference to sci-fi or fancy names still be an engaging game? Should CCP put more or less emphasis on immersion?

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“If this is empty space, why does my ship stop when I cut the engines?”

An age old question asked by new players, tittered over by older players and met with rolled eyes by bitter vets. I encountered this question recently in teamspeak, and without hesitation I offered an answer as per the lore laid down by CCP.

No it’s not because we’re playing Submarines Online in a giant space ocean! Obviously it’s because the sophisticated, space-bending nature of our warp engines creates a drag effect when inactive, thus slowing your ship!

My brazen, unashamed lore spouting was met with a mixture of amusement and horror. A conversation ensued encompassing many other topics of lore and revealed just how much our Average-Joe 20-30 million SP players actual knew of the lore. It seems many of us have been unconciously absorbing it even whilst simultaneously professing to not care (or even openly mock those that do; “Lol-RP”).

The pervasiveness of such fluff strikes me as an indication of its importance to the game. If as gamers all we really cared about was facts, numbers, mechanics then why do so many people get so worked up about the fact EvE has an ‘up’ and ships have ‘top speeds’ rather than acceleration levels and other trivia?

I was lucky enough to go to Fanfest this year, and everywhere I looked were corp logos and gurista skull bunny tatoos. I doubt there’d be anything like the passion and enthusiasm necessary for tatoos if the only choices were between Asteriod-type-01, and Pirate-faction-003.

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But would it still be an engaging game? And that’s a specific wording. If it were to instead ask : “Would it be ‘as’ engaging a game?” it would be a clear and resounding no. However is there enough left in the core game to still be considered engaging when competing against other games? The pure theorycrafting and tactics of pvp without any fluff.

I’m not convinced it would. Think about it. Ship fits with no sci-fi names would become a confusing jumble of meaningless and generic numbers. Can you remember the difference between Weapon Rate of Fire boost 003, and Weapon Rate of Fire boost 007? Knowing one is the tech I version and the other is a faction adds much needed context.

The fluff turns the numbers into something a human can latch on to, provide context with, and ultimate use to engage with the game. Regardless of how little you think you care about it the moment you use some acroynm like DCU, the very second you wished more Null systems had names rather than all the letters and numbers*, or admire the sleek lines of a favoured ship design – you are a fluff-lover!

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All that said – should CCP put more emphasis on immersion?

As a fan of the lore, and of RP in general, I’m never going to be one to turn down more immersion. However – with a more practical and less biased hat on. No, I think they have the balance at a pretty good level. Those who want to RP have a rich and interesting prime fiction to play with. Those who barely give a damn have plenty of numbers to spreadsheet. Those that simply want to blow stuff up can do so. It’s a great mix.

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Good topic.

Happy Flying o7

* Or convert the letters and numbers into a psudo-word in your head! πŸ˜‰

Death of the week

Death of the week was almost very tricky.

Originally, the half-welping of this kitchen fleet through a combination of bad luck and miscommuniation opened the week off nicely. Good write ups of what happened (from both sides!) are available. That’s last month though, and it’s August now! A minor blip at the end of a great month.

This Rook seemingly stole the show right at the start of a new month – I don’t have the story but the rest of the week’s kills barely covered costs. Not that it mattered…

Super Scae to the rescue – a spectacular 1.2 billion crash straight into the red. Get the story over there, and the gory details here. Safe to say August won’t be breaking any records for kills vs 0 deaths!

Kill of the week.

Kill of the week snuck in just last night. A nice 300 million highlight in a week of small kills.

http://endofline.eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=19063711

None of our bloggers involved with this kill, so I’m not sure of the details. But a very nice one all the same!

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Honourable mention goes to the 4+ Tengus who all escaped us last week. One caught in a bubble, but interdiction fit. One caught by a point but warp stab fit (!). One caught twice by a wormhole, and escaped the third time, and yet another thought to be aggressed on a gate in lo-sec only to actually not be, and jumped.

Damn them all πŸ™‚

Death of the week coming up – it’s a doozy.

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It is fairly common practice, for serious wormholers, to follow the will of Bob – the one true God of Wormholes.

Concise references containing the teachings or commandments from Bob are rare, so it can be tricky to ensure one is flying on the right path.

For those who feel they are lacking in direction there are many self-styled Prophets amongst wormhole corps who profess to know Bob’s Will in intimate detail. They can often guide you toward appropriate acts to help appease him.

In general terms he’s quite the blood thirsty god – kill other players, actively defend yourself and provide good fights, don’t dwell on losses, and don’t be a carebear.

Being quite into RP, and playing an Amarr whom is well in-tune with yet another one-true-God, Bob presents him with something of a crisis of faith. Evidence of the Amarr God is few and far between but its clergy are powerful and vicious. Meanwhile, demonstrations of Bob’s wrath or benevolence can be seen on an almost daily basis. I feel the longer Targh stays in wormhole space the more his old God will dwindle in his thoughts. A move to a C5, deep within Bob’s realm, is likely to seal the deal.

Until then, Targh continues to try to do right by both Gods. Afterall, Bob is perfectly happy for Minmatar scum to die in glorious fires.

On a personal level, as July draws to a close, I offer up OOC thanks to Bob for a most productive month of PVP, both for me personally, and in general for the Corp. It’s been quite spectacular.

Prayers are offered that August might be as good (or better!).

Happy Flying.

Our Bob, who art in Wormholes.
Famous be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on New Eden as it is in J-space.
Give us this day our daily isk,
and forgive us our war targets,
as we forgive those who gank against us,
and lead us not into negative isk efficiency,
but deliver us from evul.
For thine is the w-space,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.

Friday drinking.

An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.
Ernest Hemingway

The weekend draws near, and that can mean only one thing. Friday night drinking!

The drink of kings.

I’m a big fan of drinking games. Ever since my university days and the infamous ‘Ring of fire’ game it has been the source of plenty of amusement and horror. Over the years I’ve turned nearly any activity into a drinking game – from way back when playing ‘drinking Golden Eye’ on the N64, to more recently ‘drinking ARAM’ in League of Legends.

Thinking about the post I wrote last week, I think there could be scope for a pretty good POS bashing game*.

– Module incapacited : 2 drinks
– Jammed : 1 drink
– Porn linked : 1 drink
– Wrecking shot log posted : 1 drink
– General alpha damage log posted : 1 drink
– Someone sings in TS : 1 drink
– Ammo reload : 1 drink (nominated ammo boat should shout out and all laser boats drink too :p)
– Bomber death : 3 drinks
– Tower reinforced : 1 drink for every 5 hours of stront, rounded up to nearest 5.

So who fancies a Friday night tower bash?

Happy Flying.

*… bah I’ve just lost the game.

Death of the Week

Well this is rather nice to see. Only 5 to choose from and mostly inconsequential.

Which leaves one rather clear and obvious choice for this week’s winnner!

Congratulations Grim-dog – you knew this was coming. For the story in his own words, have a chuckle as you learn why “Kill rights suck!

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Lets keep up the good work fellas!*

Happy Flying.

* Looking at the killboard for the first few hours of this new week, it may already be too late to say this!

Kill of the Week

A new Monday dawns and we have last week to reflect back on.

Starting with the kills :

30 to choose from this week, although half of those are POS modules after an impromptu burning.

I think the undisputed winner is this Navy mega. Congrats to the boys for this one. The kill itself is fun enough, but the subsequent bile in local, followed by calls of a 1vs1 against Scae by the pilot, and the hilarity following that all adds up to something special. Read more details about the event here.

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I’m going to give an honourable mention to this Apoc though. Not a hugely expensive kill, but a rather odd choice of hauler, and the Thorax BPO padded the isk value nicely. A good catch. I’m using the battleclinic link to show the proper breakdown between the BPCs and BPOs.

Happy Flying.

Newbros

β€œIf you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.”
– Betty Reese

Not a particularly new EVE term, but one I only came across relatively recently. Certainly a lot more flattering than noob*, newb, newbie or nub. Indeed quite the culture seems to have clung to this term, and a philsophy grown that one needs to seriously look after their Newbros. Stories of 3-day old Goons hero-tackling in their Rifters and dying gloriously melts the hearts of the apparently ‘evul trolls’ and the result is showers of gifts and isk for the ‘adorable newbro’.

And this is very sensible. Newbros are the life blood of any game. Especially for a game that – at the one end – struggles so hard to get people up to speed and – at the other end – has such a well developed ‘Bittervet’ syndrome. EVE desperately needs to entice, enrapture, educate, encourage, motivate and ultimately captivate a constant supply of newbros to keep generating the player-driven dynamic content it exists on.

I personally love introducing people to the game, and fielding their questions during those first few weeks. Their enthusiasm is infectious, their awe; heartwarming. The right newbro, in the right dose can be quite the effective antidote to Bittervetism. I spent a few hours last weekend sat in the Rookie Help chat (on a random trial account) answering questions. A general point of interest was the >4000 people in there. That is a good amount of newbros!

newbro vs bittervet

Despite all the above, I recently made the decision to not recruit (relatively speaking) Newbros in the corp’s EU time-zone. But I believe I made it for the right reasons.

1) We recently recruited quite a few already!
2) We can only realistically train a certain amount at a time.
3) Wormhole space is different. We need to rely more heavily on everyone. Too many Newbros, unsure what they are doing, dilutes the knowledge base and can cause problems!
4) A planned move soon will be a serious logistical challenge, where time for hand-holding will be severely limited.
4) The wrong kind of Newbro can be quite damaging to a corp.

That last one deserves a little more explanation. A newbro with too much entitlement for example can quickly demotivate wouldbe mentors. Rather than looking to learn they just want things handed to them – skill plans, isk donations, what ship to fly, what to do, ‘quick’ tip for getting to X as soon as possible with the least amount of effort. This is particularly obnoxious in wormhole space where self-reliance is a very important commodity. Only a careful interview process can weed these out early.

Once the current newbros are all ‘growed up’, I’ll eagerly reverse this, but for now I’ll leave the Newbro-training to the big boys out in K-space.

Happy Flying.

* Yes, I know a noob is quite a different creature than a newb.

Irritant vs Deterrent

β€œTo sit patiently with a yearning that has not yet been fulfilled, and to trust that, that fulfillment will come, is quite possibly one of the most powerful “magic skills” that human beings are capable of. It has been noted by almost every ancient wisdom tradition.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

And sit patiently we did last night during my first proper POS bash. The fulfilment we awaited for so humanly? A floating orca, the pride in following Bob’s Will, the satisfaction of cleaning WH-space of something dirty… I think we all had our reasons.

Grim was certainly hoping to claim a prize that might obscure some of his own misadventures earlier in the day. Tasiv seemed to take genuine delight in the logistics and enactment of such a structured process. A shiny killmail? A sense of corp duty? Or simply to be a part of the group – a midweek EU TZ, evening social gathering the like of which EOL hasn’t seen in my brief tenure so far – with members from litterally around the globe joining in and taking part.

Once the EWAR was taken care of I was free to ponder my own reasons – occassionally broken from my thoughts by the banter on teamspeak, a particular ‘clapping’ picture cracking me up – if you were there you know which I mean.

Of course, in the grand scheme of EvE Structure grinds I am but the merest of amatuers compared with those great structure grinders in the null-sec blobs. This was only a medium tower too. It did give me opportunity and reason to finally buy both Large Tachyons, (which I’d recently opened up access to Tech II versions of) and an Oracle. Both proved to be very nice – even if the Oracle did remind me of a squashed-in Avatar ‘head’.

Oracle

So what were my reasons for spending 3.5 precious mid-week evening hours semi-afk firing pewpew beams at a tower of golden space pixels? The PvP equivilent of mining an asteroid!

I could have gone on a roam instead. Played some League of Legends or World of Tanks – instant gratification handed on a plate. The question of pick-up-and-play games was raised recently, discussing with someone about how they had become disillussioned with EvE. There are so many other distractions out there, all designed down to the minute detail to entice us to play – competing with our busy schedules, family commitments and shrinking game time.

I think I joined for a multitude of reasons. Initially because the call went out – corp duty. Some excitement at a potential nice acquisition for the corp. An activity in EvE I hadn’t done before. Flying a ship I had wanted to try out. A relatively calm evening, after a lengthy day at work.

It was also an interesting insight into the effectiveness of POS defences – or maybe lack thereof. Sure this particular POS was very undergunned, but fundamentally everything around the bubble was simply an irritation. When does an irritant become a deterrant? The million isk question. Perhaps I’m being unfair. POS gunnery at least helps force the attackers to gather numbers. Without sufficent numbers the irritation of being perma capped out, or jammed could quickly dampen the motivation of a small group.

If nothing else, when next I set up my POS (probably after the move into the C5) I’ll be putting some serious thought into just what is going to piss people off the most!

Happy Flying