Archive for March, 2010

30
Mar
10

EvE – The WANT LIST!!

Wants, needs, wants, needs….wants are more fun to talk about and people do it all day. I want a new house, I want a new prime minister, I want this disease to leave me. EvE makes everything a bit more simple due to it’s awesome shopping feature. You didn’t relise EvE had a shopping feature? try it out, open the market and scroll through the ships and modules then open the contracts and look at the ships and modules not in the market, pretty soon you will have a totally unrealistc want list made up of things you can’t use, won’t be able to use for a year even if you started training right now and even then probably couldn’t afford if you COULD use it. (If you can afford, and can infact use them..then this point is invalid, you may leave your desk and go outside to play.)

Shopping is like that. Food shopping is not so much like that, I’m sure you all agree with me when I say, “grocery shopping is not exciting”. I want milk, I want bacon, I want cereal with a toy in the box. This is much easier to control and achieve. I want a house, I want a HD monitor, I want a butler. These are much harder to obtain. In EvE terms a house would be say the equivalent of a SUPERcarrier (Mothership ffs), a new monitor might be a pirate battleship, a butler might be…your own, slave…miner??Food shopping would be Ammo, mining crystals and cap charges, things you NEED to get everything done.

My want list is fairly simple. Having put the wheels in motion allready and having thought about it for the last week I have decided that this list is my most likely way to spend the ISK. The plan might just take a little while to execute. It’s not so grand and unachiveable but like I keep saying, in EvE it is important to have goals.

1) Chimera and Phoenix. I can fly the Phoenix and have the all required skills to IV, I’ve never flown one, I know nothing about them but I want one. I can’t fly the Chimera..yet. Having a carrier is great for logistics and by the time we are done with our wormhole we will need that function. They are on the list for WANT Purposes but also for some practical reasons they might serve down the line if we join an alliance.

Caldari capital class ships...I had no interesting screenshots but the text makes up for it 😀 ...right? 😦

2) Thrashers, Ruptures and Rifters. I know what you are thinking, “oooh wow exotic choices”, let me explain. The blueprints are being researched as I write this and are on their second wash through the lab. Again, when we are ready to leave the WH they will be really well researched and ready to manufacture. The plan is to mine lot’s of WH rocks to get the higher end minerals needed, buying the cheaper ones in high sec. Then making a fuckload of these ships to go and lose in low sec. The old PvP edge seems to be slipping and this is my answer for some retraining and the most fun I had PVP wise was in Faction Warfare where the T1 range of Minmatar ships really kick ass. Good times and I can’t wait.

To make these screenshots more interesting I chose specific angles. 1) Thrasher IT HAS A COOL HEADLIGHT!1! 2) The Rupture has a galleon style cabin where ya keeps tha booty YARR!! 3) The Rifter...it looks vaguely like an X-wing...

This last want is a cheat because, I allready fulfilled it BUT it’s here anyway because it is relevant to this topic. 3) Widow. The patch that will make this ship look freaking awesome is soon here and it was the final reason I needed to buy one. I love being a sneaky dishonorable git and this ship adds to my repotoire of covert style ships. Having ran around low sec with the old cruise-missile Manticore, upgrading to the Rapier and Rook, to my current T3 ships. The black op’s, specifically the Widow represents the last in the line of stealth related EvE gameplay. It might not be great, it might be “fucking stupid dumbass waste of time and ISK” to you but it’s a want, it doesn’t have to be practical. And have you seen how badass it will look? it’s prettier than your mom!…ok sorry for that. At the moment they are REALLY cheap for some reason (if you have the answer as to why, do tell).

In the words of Bono from U2, "Widow Widowt youuuuu, Widow Widowt you ahhhh, I can't liiiiiive, Widow Widowt youuuu"... OK bad pun

So what is the cost of all this? lot’s of ISK is my best guess but if I don’t want to break my 3bil blanket I have to save up and work for all of it. I think the hardest one to achive as if it isn’t obvious are the capital ships. Investing in the skills and the time to train for them is a pain in the ass, I know because I have recently trained up for a dread and I have no purpose for flying one, but the training is complete and I feel that it would be a complete waste of time if I didn’t buy these ships at some point in my EvE game so I should do it now while the ISK is plentiful.

Lastly, a  want list is meant to be selfish and stupid and unreasonable. A want list doesn’t have to be about assest gain, it can also comprise of actual goals like “I want to be number one on my corp killboard”, “I want to have mined the most for this month”, “I want to have trained up for battlecruisers for level III missions”. Set yourself a want list and keep raising the bar when you achieve them so your game will naturally improve.

29
Mar
10

EvE – How much is enough?

Oooh more ISK talk, well EvE is run on this one thing so it is a worthy subject. How much ISK do you have? Is it enough to buy that upgrade? Have you got everything you need? everything you want is probably more important as it sets you a goal. Everything in EvE runs on the simple fact that people play EvE and centre their entire game around having the cash to play with.

If you disagree think about it this way. Even if you NEVER grind missions or belt rats, even if you NEVER market trade, even if you NEVER do any Industry what so ever, even if you NEVER contract scam or pirate, even if you NEVER pay with real cash you still bought that GTC with ISK. We all centre our games around ISK because that is how the game works and nothing in game is free, you simply need ISK.

What I want to know is, how much is enough? 100 million? 1 billion? 10 billion? 50 billion? more?

I started thinking about this more seriously after I reached a personal goal in game. When it happened the question struck me like a lightning bolt of clarity, “WTF am I going to do with 3 billion ISK?”. All of a sudden my liquid ISK turned from a constant fluctuation of 400-500 mil over my first one and a half years to a sum of 3 bil over the last 4 months. Stupid rich, stupidly fast. And like all lottery winners you goa  bit crazy bying up crap you don’t need but improves your current situation somewhat. Now I have calmed down a bit and I can clearly think this through. All the ships I am using to make this ISK are sexily pimped out and earned while in this wormhole, so now it’s just ISK grinding for the sake of ISK.

A habit I picked up from other games, noteably RPG’s, is the practice and fine art of stashing stuff. Hamstering away everything “Incase shit happens”. I have a back up mission Raven and a mission Rokh both with enough ammo to level a small moon, a spare Hulk and POS modules for a mining base. If things go wrong at least I can start again but I don’t want to start again, I want to increase my ISK growth over a worthwhile endeavour that is fun and has a point, rather than expand like say…the belt on an American diabetic. Unhealthy.

These thoughts are on my mind when I think about my game. 3 Bil is a nice cushion, a safety net of ISK to cover any unexpected losses that give game breaking results. We had one recently, it wasn’t pretty but even though it was a set back we recovered in record time. The point is the 3 bil is my blanket and now I have to get a bit more isk to fund the things I want, everything is now a question of WANT over NEED. I don’t need anything else, everything I have allready gets me the things I want, thus I need nothing.

So my want list. I will have a think, and get back to you on that.

"Well Tarquin the wife and I made our first and it was so splendid we just went right on ahead and made a second and third ahh har har har...har har har"

27
Mar
10

EvE – Scanning hell (minor post)

10 Gravi' 8 Ladar 1 Radar 1 Mag' 2 WH

Probed this system out this morning and found all of these, all I can say is thank fuck for youtube.

27
Mar
10

EvE – Sacrifices must be made

Superstitious gameplay, that is something I never thought would happen to me. A rule that everybody inside and out of EvE knows is this, ‘Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong’. A corp mate of ours knows this better than anybody, he is a bad luck magnet, a collector of misfortune, the first port of call if something isn’t working. He is that guy. Some people are just unlucky and though sad for them it makes matters worse when the bad luck starts rubbing off onto others. In EvE supersition and luck rarely come into the equation, unless you refer to loot drops and then yes, a certain element of luck is always involved.

Everything in EvE is run on strict formulas and spreadsheets that don’t factor in outside influences such as luck. Everybody can see how things work and there are rational reasons for why things happen the way they happen in EvE. I’m not convinced by this “mathmatical” wizardy, something else is responsible for what has happened of late and it didn’t require “maths” or “excel”. The only explanation is that strange forces conspired against us.

In short. Our Wormhole had run dry.

It is no global catastrophy of biblical proportions but our industry wing has suffered somewhat and our travelling has increased to moving everything into neighbouring systems. All this means really is we risk the industrial ships, some of which are very large and if we are careless…could close the exit behind them. Further more it seems every neighbouring WH for the last week has had some negative game breaking bonuses, such as armor bonuses and shield penalties. We can’t run combat sites in these with our shield tanked Tengu armada. EvE got a little more claustrophobic for our small corp sitting around bitching at our misfortunes so we have had to take measures, desperate measures.

A few weeks ago as a joke Mr.unlucky suggested we make a sacrifice to the loot gods, it was vaguely funny at the time, I seem to remember 1 persons “heh” over comms and it wasn’t a James Brown “HEH!” it was that…yea ok it was amusing, let’s move on. the subject was brought up again and we decided for a “joke” to try it out. The results were staggering, shocking and now scientific minds are utterly baffled.

The sacrifice would consist of items we felt the gods would signify as our needs and wants in the system or at least, the neighbouring system. So the sacrifice consisted of ammunition for more combat sites and pvp prowess, a drone for industrial growth (we had lots spare from killing some poor bastard so it went in), a mining drone for some Gravimetric sites and the Exotic dancer because you MUST include a scantily clad pretty women or it’s just not an official sacrifice.

THE GODS ARE ANGRY THEY REQUIRE GITS OF APPEASEMENT! (loot, ammo n shit)

Nobody else does this right? or nobody does this but admits it, and why would you? it’s utterly irrational and delusional. “Of course there are loot gods in the game TooNu”, “Yea you SHOULD definetly do a sacrifice”, “No no no it’s not strange at all”, yea well FUCK YOU ALL! it worked.

The results of our tribute yeilded 2 ladars plus 2 combat sites in our system the very next day. And then the following day we got a neighbouring Pulsar with 8 combat sites in and an asortment of other sites. Just over a week has passed of having no sites, nothing much to do besides the odd Grav or Ladar spawn, a multitude of combat sites in the low-pay grade…then we made the sacrifice and bishboshbash we are back in business. I say it worked, we all agree things changed after the sacrifice…so naturally we did it again because we are selfish greedy ISK whores and the GODS DEMAND IT!

What ever works to bring prosperity right? It worked in the Wicker man...Christopher Lee's hair did not work however...weirdo

26
Mar
10

EvE – Drugs are cool…in a game.

Drugs ARE cool, in games. The horrible social aftermath of real life drugs is not so cool but in games, drugs can be cool. The Grand Theft Auto series has more drugs than Columbia, Agent 57 in Hitman kills more wealthy drug barons than the combined forces of Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren and Steven Seagal ever did, Deus Ex shows us what drugs can do in poverty stricken areas of New York and has a close aproximation of what drugs could look like in the future. Small vials of weird shit.

These small vials of weird shit are what we in EvE call “boosters” because they boost a certain skill with the possibility of negative side effects. We are going to call them drugs because essentially that is what they are. You have a major increase of something good, with possible side effects (such as addiction, money problems, bad health and hygiene, lack of social awarness etc etc). EvE not only lets you use drugs, it allows you to manufacture, traffik and control your own little drug cartel while it has NPC police forces who scan your cargohold looking for contraband. Smuggling narcotics through High sec with special Snake implants in your skull for that extra % smuggling bonus is awesome. It’s all awesome. Another awesome game within the game and that is why I want to talk about it.

This is no “how to”, it would be a piss poor job if i meant it to be. I could do one at some stage, but not today.

It appears that at the moment it is a fairly small market by which I mean not many people produce them and not many people buy them. I could be completly wrong, I don’t care if I am but the market prices fluctuate pretty wildly for it to be overly competitive like nearly everything else. There are no small incriments in prices, they can vary between millions of ISK to hundreds of thousands. There is no bullshit .01 ISK games with these products.

This is how my Columbian “Banana” producing operation is setup with a nice ‘warp to’ so that everything is in reach.

L to R: 1. Drug Lab 2. Medium Biochemical Reactor array 3. Research Lab 4. Biochemical Storage 5. Hazardous Storage 6. General Storage...or the trash bin.

Your expenses are going to be pretty high to begin with because everything at the banana factory POS is specialized and has very few other ways of using them. The blueprints cost a small fortune if you buy them from players in pirate null sec, you NEVER find them on contracts (free market tip) and the reactions require you to explore and clean up Radar sites in certain low sec areas whilst being lucky on the drop rate. (Well you can buy these reactions on the market but they are pretty expensive also, and rightly so!). Then there is the gas needed and so on and so on.

Everything you need allready cost you something in the region of a couple hundred mil and you haven’t yet produced a single booster. Here is a reaction showing what is needed to produce the Synth Crash boosters needed to make the drug later on. the entire production chain is a two stage process, thankfully you can produce the boosters while making drugs in the drug lab, you will end up with a nice production chain at the end.

Garbage, a key ingredient. They don't call it "junk" for no reason LOL!!!...ok bad pun.

Now here is a BPC for Synth Crash, all BPCs are 1000 runs expect this one which I have used, also the material levels are likely to be different depending on your manufacturing skills. Incidently the Synth blueprints used to be contraband up until recently, so now you don’t have to worry about them being nicked by the fuzz. Lucky you.

Kids, heed the warning!

The gases required are found in specific regions and then mostly in low sec space of said region, so again yes very dull and very dangerous to harvest the gas but you can find the Ladar sites in high sec to. Either harvest it yourself or let somebody else do it and buy the gas from them via the market.

The BPC’s and reaction have been obtained, the gas has been harvested, you have your POS setup. Put the ingredients into your space blenders and see how it goes.

Wormhole moons = no moon goo 😦 but free reign on the booster front 🙂

So why do all of this in the first place? well if the tagline “Drugs are cool” isn’t enough for you then here is a more detailed reason. I started making easy bake boosters because I had the time and ISK to invest. I researched where the BPCs come from, where to obtain the gas and how to find a reaction. All of this information is key to making boosters, and it was fun finding all of this out for myself. Sure somebody found all of this info’ out before I did but I still researched how to do it.

Not only did I step into an area of industry most don’t even bother with, I stepped into the dangerous waters of 0.0 making friends with the locals sorting out small deals for various flavours of booster BPCs. that alone took a bit of sorting out, where do I go? who should I speak to? Ontop of all of this, I had no POS at the time. I had to learn everything about setting up a POS, grinding the faction standings up so I could set one up in high sec, purchasing and hauling fuel on endless freighter trips.

Something that I read awhile back on some gaming site was about the drug cartels in EvE. How the secrets for producing and controlling these products was a viciously gaurded secret. Tales of smuggling runs through gate-camps and ambushers giving most pilots cause for using the drugs they were trying to ship out. The article stayed with me for a couple of years and I can tell you that as an outsider to these cartels my experiences have been vastly different. Calm and casual to be honest but then, I am not making the high end boosters.

All in all it is quite a bit of work to get set up and the ISK needed is only a part of the problem. Logistics and learning all come down to how much time you want to put in to your game. Like everything else in EvE, learning something new every day…as in life. (How much reflective bollocks is that for one paragraph eh??)

24
Mar
10

EvE – The never ending probing…story.

The activity of probing is ever constant and ever there and will never go away and will forever be a part of my corp’s repertoire. We are gods at probing, we do it more than we do anything else which is unfortunate because as of this moment it bores the living shit out of me. However it is a necessary requirement of our chosen way of life.

If you are unfamiliar with probing and exploration then count your lucky stars!..no I mean it is a great game mechanic and everything, just I do it so often that the repetition and scanning cycles are just mind numbingly irratating to me. Without it I know that I can’t play EvE and if I don’t do it one of my corp mates has to do it and at the moment I am the best suited due to having more play time. So here we go, probing.

The mechanic is another EvE minigame, this one is a puzzle game and it is pretty well designed and fun to learn. I won’t go into details but to those people unaware of wtf probing is basically it involves you dropping these space probes in your current system, moving them around a bit, scanning, waiting, repositioning the probes repeat as required until you get a 100% hit on a signature which allows you to then warp directly ontop of it. It is easy to do, anybody can do it. You just need a bit of patience and as much time as you are willing to give to it. More time meaning that you can probe down more signatures if so desired. Here is how I set my probes up and I am certain it is a common theme..if it’s not then you people should be ashamed of yourselves and I laugh at your incompetence.

1) 4 equally positioned probes with 1 probe covering the centre, 2) as you reduce your probe range bring them in closer together and always keep your centre probe directly ontop of your desired signature, 3) remember to adjust for height to pinpoint one of the sites at a time.

When I am doing this mini-game i’m more often than not trying to find an ‘unknown’ signature which means I am looking for another Wormhole which has the possibility of leading us out back to high sec to sell some of our salvage. What tends to happen is you don’t find that initial WH until you’ve scanned EVERY other bastard signature down. Frequently this means wading through 15-30 signatures and even after you’ve probed that exit down, in the following wormhole you will find another 15-30 signatures of shit to wade through, then possibly another wormhole, and yet another wormhole. As you can tell, this can take hours to do and I’ve wasted days of my life in this pursuit for riches…sad I know but in my defence I generally give up after WH number 4. To give you a better picture I had this sort of scenario happen today…

Sad face for there are too many Ladar sites on this occasion...I'm never happy, ignore my despondent ways.

“23.18% almost got a reading, just one more scan…Ladar, ok ignoring and moving on.”

“26.94% and we have another Ladar…right let’s go again.”

“25.16% annnd… oh fuck off….”

That’s EXACTLY the sort of conversation I’m having with myself…in my own wee world…to myself, in my head.. ok so let’s change the mood a little.

The idea of being a space explorer feels quite exciting, none of this is real but as a part of my gaming life it has a sense of the old wild west about it. Being a frontiersman discovering new unseen places and getting rich on the back of it all is something that appeals to me within EvE. The same behaviour can be said of the Oil and Gold rush types who upon hearing of “gold in them there hills” pursued what they thought would bring change into their lives. I would like to think that the majority of EvE’s players don’t do or think about this sort of thing, instead preffering PvP based gaming or industry based gaming or perhaps just high sec mission based gaming. If that is indeed the case then it makes the choice we made as corp to do this even more adventurous and it is a choice I can rightly say was best for us.

Living in a wormhole might seem like the new frontier of EvE and our motives are purly selfish in that we are only out here to make money, but within an RP element I am sure that many characters feel like they are a Davy Crocket, Buffolo Bill or Daniel Boone. All of this probing “fun” is just the work in the way of becoming vastly wealthy, never having to worry about ISK again so you can do more fun activities and bigger projects later on.

That doesn’t mean I suddenly feel probing is now fun and exciting.

23
Mar
10

EvE – Concord party, good or bad?

As yet I am not a victim of such “gameplay”, I believe it will happen because i’ve been told it is like being shat on from a bird, it happens to everyone at some point. So high-sec ganking, are you for or against?

I saw the below scene while travelling with large quantities of ISK in my hold and though it has never happened to me it has happened to friends in game and they assure me that it is not a pleasant experience but it taught them a valuable lesson. Never fly a small ship with expensive stuff in it.

Not being the sort to grief other players personally it always amuses me how these chumps get their kicks from high sec ganking. Waiting like some salivating Hyena to get a bite out of somebody elses hard work and efforts just so the possibility of getting some ultra expensive module/ship drops when you check the wreckage. No I don’t advocate the practice of it and yes I think these people are chumps.

The possibility of that one X-type module dropping is so random you can’t work out the percentage of it happening. It is certainly not a 100% measure on what will happen, “don’t worry, something good will have dropped from that guy”, perhaps not. Scan a transport ship down to see it has some deadspace modules in the cargo and then upon destroying said transport ship your chances of anything worthwhile dropping are pretty slim. The loot gods can and will deny you the good stuff every 3 times, but it’s that 1 out of 4 chance that keeps these open mouthed drool pirates trying over and over.

For some players this practice is an industry and a way to have fun, for everyone else it is a role undertaken by underacheiving Mountain Dew addicts who only leave their victims one recourse…TO THE FORUMS!. The EvE forums are awash with crying types and trolling types split into 2 almost even cams. In this example, those demanding changes to the high-sec gank mechanic (keep dreaming) with the other sides ever present list of ever so amusing “jump onboard the failbus” style remarks (oh you trolls are hilarious! I bet you are just the same in real life and not socially inept or anything) . Killing your mercilessly weak hauling spaceships is easy for these mutants so instead, fit a good tank or with an escort of scouts or fly a bigger ship with less “insta-pop” action. Just remember, don’t feed the trolls with your tears there’s a good helpless victim.

Press the following in a roll like manner on your joypad for instant high sec gratification. Down, down-forward, forward+ Punch = Concordoken




March 2010
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