Monday, June 30, 2014

Trying Out This Industry Thingy

So with the industry revamp three weeks away I thought I'd give it a go.

Lets get one thing clear. I'm a PvP'r not an industrialist. I used to do industry.... a long time ago..... for a couple of weeks.... on an alt. I then found it was a PITA and I prefer shooting things in the face so promptly stopped. One of my alts does have some industry skills so lets give it a go with this new UI. First off I bought a freighter and filled it with compressed minerals and flew it to a station next-door with factory slots (OK so the slots are gone, I know that now!).

Reprocessing may have been nerfed, but the interface is so much easier now and much better. You don't even need to take things out of the cargo bay. Select and reprocess. Schimples!

Right, now I'll buy a BPO, lets take a Kestrel as I do fly those. Got that. Now to build some Kessies! Click on the industry button. Wow, that's different! So now I click and drag my BPO into the slot. Wait.... in all that ore I hauled, it didn't have any isogen? FFS! At least its clear what I'm missing!

Bugger, none for sale in station, and its not a SiSi seeded station. I'll have to got back.... Wait! Hey, there is that Obelisk!

Ooooo there are all those capital ship construction parts!

OK got some Isogen out of all that. Now start again, select the BPO.... hey WTF! I have the minerals! Where have all my minerals gone? I just reprocessed a fracking freighter too!!! WHY WON'T YOU WORK?

I then removed old Kestrel BPO from the queue that's actually located in a station in Villore, waaaaay back in high-sec and drop in the right one for this station. Doh!

And hey-presto! 5 baby Kessies in the oven!

The new UI is a massive improvement on the old system. Not sure if I'll ever use it, but it might be worth doing some T1 production on the things I use a lot of! Then again I think I said that 5-years ago and found it was cheaper and easier just to buy in Jita!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Games - Part 2

Fiction Friday! Escape pod here! Sorry in a bit of a rush this week!

The Games - Part 2

Samar and Zhilan walked briskly down the corridor trying to put some distance between themselves and the two corpses.

"So, what did you do to end up in here?" he asked.

"What do you mean? I was kidnapped for no reason!" she complained.

"I'm not buying that." he replied "I thought that at first but everyone here that we've met appears to have wronged someone in the past. I don't think we were grabbed at random, we were each targetted and our pasts are catching up with us. So I ask again what did you do?"

"Nothing!" Zhilan protested "What did you do?"

Samar looked down a side corridor, saw nothing of interest and continued on.

"I was in the Serpentis Syndicate. I ran drugs, enforced the Syndicates will. Basically I was a shit. In the end I was caught, sent for trial and spent 8 years in a penal colony. After I served my time I signed up to an ex-convict education project, got a qualification in starship mechanics and have led an honest life for years. However I guess someone I wronged before I straightened out wants payback. So why are you here? What did...."

Samar trailed off as he spotted a door with a datapad attached and a dead-bolt. Another bonus room. He went up to the door and read the message. It stated this was a level 5 bonus room. The previous one that had nearly cut him in half had only been level 1. The danger in that room would be much higher, but so would the reward. He placed his hand on the deadbolt. Zhilan placed her hand on top of his.

"Be careful" she whispered.

Samar nodded and entered the room. Again it was pitch black with the only light illuminating a pedistal at the back of the room. He took a step forward and there was a crash behind him, the room lights came on a second later. A metal grill had slammed down blocking his escape, a small keypad was located in the centre. He assumed he needed a code to raise the gate. A gutteral growl behind him made him spin back around. The thing in the corner made him step back in horror. It had once been human, that much was clear, but now it was more machine than human. Impants and cyborgnetic implants covered what was left of its biological body. A collar around its neck was fastened to the wall. It strained to move towards Samar, mindlessly choking itself. Samar noticed a small box hanging from the collar.

"The reward is in on the pedistal. The code to exit is around the neck of the friend of Mr Sansha. The low-grade slave will be released in five, four, three..." a robotic voice boomed over hidden speakers.

Samar grabbed his knife. The thing that faced him was something created by the evil genius of Sansha Kuvakei. Samar knew little about Sansha's Nation other than news stories and Gallente B horror movies.

"...two, one. Good luck!"

There was a clink and suddenly the creature rushed forward snarling. Samar side-stepped its charge and ran, looking for something better to use as a weapon than the puny flick knife he held. It would seem they had made sure it would be a fair fight and removed everything from the room that could be used as a weapon. The creature was slowly approaching now having learnt that charging wouldn't catch the fast moving Samar. Its one organic eye tracked his movements whilst the green glow of the mechanical one pulsed. Having backed him into a corner the creature lunged. Samar ducked and slammed his forearm into its belly. A sharp pain shot up his arm as it hit steel. The creature grabbed him by his belt and lifted him up, then threw him across the room. He slammed into the floor and skidded into the opposite corner, winded. The monster roared. Samar picked himself up as it advanced on him again. As it attacked he grabbed its head and plunged his finger into the creatures remaining original eye. The shriek it made hurt Samar's ears. It backhanded him and sent him flying. Samar picked himself up and backed off as the creature thrashed about, blood dripping from its ruined eye. Whatever purpose the artificial eye served it wasn't for vision. The creature was blinded and thrashing about wildly. Carefully Samar approach and in one quick motion he ripped the box from its collar and backed off. Sensing his presence the creature howled again and swung its metallic arm in a wide arc. Samar ducked and backed off towards the pedestal. He picked up the reward box and moved back to the gate and tapped in the pass-code. Out of breath, he ran from the room and slammed the door.

Zhilan looked at him concerned.

"Are you OK?"

"Yeah. The sick bastards put some form of Sansha creature in there."

"How the hell did they get one for them?" Zhilan asked.

Samar opened the box. "I don't know, but I'm not sure I want to see any bonus rooms higher than 5 again. That thing almost killed me!"

He took out a piece of paper, at the top there was the title "Intel". He scanned the list and handed it to Zhilan.

"What's this?" she asked.

"Us." he replied as he sorted the contents of the box. Zhilan looked at the list.

  • Murderer
  • Thief
  • Whore
  • Cheat
  • Rapist
  • Dealer
  • Vandal
  • Double-Crosser
  • Psychopath
  • Miser
  • Traitor
  • Abandoner

"Oh." is all she could say.

"I know what you are thinking. I could be the 'Dealer' or the 'Vandal'. To be honest I could even be the murderer, however to be factually correct it was judged as manslaughter."

Samar didn't look up as he pulled food and drink from the box. Zhilan gasped as he pulled out a pistol.

"They gave us a gun?" she exclaimed.

Samar ejected the magazine and checked the chamber.

"Yes, but only one bullet. Useful, but only once." he replied slamming the magazine back home and stuffing the gun in the back of his jeans.


Back in the cocktail room everyone was watching the action on the big screen intently. A woman was laying on her front as a man sat on her back garrotting her. Her hands grasped at the string digging deep into her flesh as she choked, her gasping face filling the screen. A few seconds later she was dead. A glass smashed at the back of the room.

"Dammit!" screamed a woman. Xarna excused herself and approached the woman.

"That is unfortunate. Would you like to buy in again?"

"I cannot believe it! You would think a woman who would leave her own daughter in a burning building to save her own skin would be better at self-preservation than that!" the woman gestured to the main screen which showed the lifeless body.

"She was 60 to 1 for a reason I'm afraid. Our analysists predicted she wouldn't last long."

"What's the odds on that, thing, that killed her?"

"They are poor. 3 to 5 as he is expected to do very well."

The woman looked back to the screen.

"Put me down for three hundred thousand credits on that animal."


"Why do you think you might be the murderer?" Zhilan asked as Samar led her down a flight of stairs.

"Why do you think I should tell you when you won't tell me which you are on that list." he replied casually.

"I'm none of those!" she protested "I've never hurt anyone, well not enough for them to put me through this!"

Samar stopped, the stairwell was blocked by a barricade. Furniture and crates had been dumped and then welded into position. The door to the next deck was clear. Samar did think it was too easy when they found the stairwell. The organisers of this little caper obviously wanted to force them to go deck by deck. He assumed he'd find a stairwell at the other end of this deck which would allow them to descend to the next deck. He pushed the door open a crack and peered out. It appeared clear. He opened the door and lef Zhilan out into the corridor.

"A shop in the district we controlled stopped paying their monthly protection fee. I went round to purswade them to start paying again. The owners son took a swing at me, I swung back and put him down. At that point the cops arrived, I guess the owner had seen us approaching and assumed things would get messy so and called the cops. Anyway I get booked in for assault. I think I'm in there for the night, no biggy. However, the shop owners son never wakes up in the morning. The punch I gave him ruptured something, I cannot remember what it was, the pathologist explained in great detail at my trial. Anyway, he died from this freak internal injury. Prosecutor went for murder but the jury convicted me of manslaughter. I spent the next few years in the pen telling myself every minute I'd not return to that life. So I might be the murderer, but I was with the Serps so the 'Dealer' is another possibility. I smashed up a few establishments that were behind on their payments too so 'Vandal' fits as well."

"But that's not you any more. You went to jail for your crimes, you paid for what you did."

"I don't think everyone is in agreement with that." he sighed and continued down the corridor.


"Is there anything I can do for you?" Xarna asked the young woman. She looked up from her chair, the left side of her face was horribly scarred.

"No. Is it normal to feel like this?" she whispered.

"It will pass." Xarna said in a comforting voice.

The young woman looked up at the screen that still contained the view of her dead mother. The huge man was removing the string from her lifeless neck.

"Thank you."

As she left Xarna looked at the other Clients. People who had paid for those who had wronged them in the past to be brought to justice. Of course they had no idea that in the next room, the rich and the powerful were betting on who would survive. One Games, two very profitable Client groups.


"I... I... I have money! Lots of money!" the shaky voice man's voice pleaded from the room ahead. Samar and Zhilan edged forward, backs pressed against the wall.

"What fracking use is money? I don't see no Caldari Provisions Megamart around here!" the other voice was deeper.

"Get me out of here and you'll be rich! Remember its a two-man escape pod!"

"Is that why you picked up MY gun? Tell me which you are on the list and I might think about it. And you need to tell me the story, I ain't trusting some of them. You got two seconds to talk otherwise I'm going to think you are making it up! You messed with my gun, if you're the traitor I ain't trusting you!"

"The miser! I think I'm the miser!" the voice shrieked.

"Go on" the other boomed.

"I told you I was rich. Years ago my son came to me. My grand-kid had a terminal disease. There was an experimental treatment but it was 800,000 credits. It was experimental so might not have worked. You cannot spend that money on something with no guarantee!"

"So you let the kid die? Your own flesh and blood!" the deep voice growled.

"It was experiential!" the other protested.

"So you think your son put you in here?"

"I... I've not spoken to him since the funeral. I heard he'd successfully sued the station that was to blame for the condition of his son. Faulty rad-shielding. He has money now!"

"So if I kill you I can expect a good payment when I find your son? You never asked me which I was on that list, I'm the murderer!"

"What? No! Wait!"

There was a crack and then silence.

Samar froze. If they had the list then they had done one of the bonus rooms. That meant he could have a weapon like his. Also it appeared he might not be the 'murderer'. He wondered which title applied to him.

A huge man walked out of the room, his hands dripping with blood. He turned and stopped when he saw Samar pointing a gun at him. He smiled.

"What you going to do with that little man?" the giant snarled.

"Shoot you in the face with it if you don't back off."

The huge man took a step forward and quickly drew his own gun.

"Given the other titles on that list I'm guessing you ain't got the balls. What are you? The traitor? The cheat? Looking at you, you could be the whore." he laughed taking another step forward. With surprising speed the huge man dropped to his knee brought the gun to bare and pulled the trigger. The gun simply clicked. The giant looked at the gun in his hand in confusion.

"To be honest, I thought I was the murderer. But if that's you I guess it must be another of the crimes I committed as an enforcer for the Serpentis" Samar growled.

The huge man's face dropped at the mention of the notorious crime syndicate. He had moved to a vulnerable position, he had two choices. Run or attack but given he was kneeling on one knee, both were unlikely to succeed.


"Well Ambassador, he certainly is doing better than expected." Xarna purred.

The Ambassador nodded, not taking his eyes of the large screen. The huge man lay on the floor, a hole in his face. Samar was searching the body.

"His companion. What where her odds?" he asked.

"Her? She was 50 to one to start with. A long-shot. But if he keeps her under his wing someone will be winning big tonight." Xarna replied.

"Ah yes I remember her file now. I disregard her. Didn't see her lasting."

"No, given the reason someone has put her in there our analysts gave her a short life expectancy. But your player is keeping her alive."

"Well we are in the final half. Six left in the game. The Thief, the Whore, the Dealer, the Double-Crosser, the Psychopath and the Traitor. Its going to get interesting!"

To be continued.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Faction War Plex Post Kronos

At the weekend mynnna made this post. TL:DR why not introduce a hacking-mini game into faction war:-

Part of the changes in Kronos were aimed at Faction Warfare. The NPCs found in the complex got a serious buff to their capabilities and actually respawn as they were (I believe) originally intended to. The point of the change was to put a damper on the heavily stabbed semi-AFK plex farming. Unfortunately – at least, going by what I’m hearing from regular participants – the new NPCs put a crimp on active players as well. Someone comes in and jumps you and having this annoying NPC glued to your ass is not helpful, right?

So we’ve swung back the other way, I guess. What about a third option?

What if, instead of a timer and NPC spawns, orbiting a FW plex button meant that you’d have to beat the hacking minigame a few times?


Personally I have no interest in hacking mini-games or other PvE content. I'm inside that plex to fight another player, if any grow a pair whilst I'm in there waiting. There are other ways to get around these issues without making me play hacking games when all I want is PvP. We need the NPC spawns to remove farmers as much as possible and make people fit their ships for combat. Yes things need to change but there are ways without turning Faction War from PvP to Archelology.

Firstly lets talk about that annoying NPC. By the look of it, they spawn every 3-4 minutes in a small plex. If you are running a decent fit ship you should be able to dispatch them with relative ease. The chance of a player, who is looking for a fight, entering your plex at the same time of you engaging a rat that just spawned are fairly small. The issue is if the rat spawns during such a fight, you'll have extra DPS to contend with.

This should be easy to solve. The "capture timer" ticks down as you are in there alone right?

And when there is an enemy pilot or rat there with you, it pauses.

So just link the "NPC rat respawn timer" to the "capture timer". If you are pew-pewing with an enemy militia member the rat will not spawn as the timer is paused. Once one of you is dead, the capture timer will start ticking and so will the rat respawn timer. Solved!

The next issue is the curse of the warp core stabs! CCP decided to hurt the stabbed and cloaky farmers by stopping cloaking within the capture radius and also to make the rats respawn and make them tougher. Unfortunatly the farmers are like the Borg. Not in a "Hur-Hur-Alriiiiiiiiight" Seven of Nine in that skin tight onesie type Borg but the standard drone that wants to assimilate you and nobody really likes. They have come up with two counters. The first one is even worse than what we had before. Damn Borg!

Basically the farmers have swapped to defensive plexing (and so do not need to shoot anything) and totally forgone weapons!

Now I don't know why they are doing this. Defensive plexing at tier 1 must pay even less than mining... in a 1.0 system.... in a noob ship. However, they are still doing it. The mind boggles!
The other way is that they have moved to using stabbed cruisers fitted for drone DPS. That way they don't need a lock!

CCP Fozzie would not be drawn into a discussion on warp core stabs at Fanfest when their use in FW LP farming was raised. He said that he had plans for them when they start the module rebalancing soon(tm). I propose a quick and easy solution to 'balance' WCS:-

Change it so that Warp Core Stabs nerf DPS like.....

The mechanics are already there for bonus to damage, just add a negative modifier for stabs. 50% reduction in DPS? Add one and your damage is severely nerfed. Add two and you are buggered.

Yes, there will be a few fits that will be adversely effected by this. Smart bombing battleships are the obvious ones. Also some fits that rely on drones. However, how many of these fits do people use on a very regular basis? I do not see a need for warp core stabs to be fitted to combat ships. This change does not effect your stabbed hauler. This change does not effect your stabbed travel fit battleship.

There are other ways this could be tackled. Another one would be to increase signature radius massively. I'm talking MWD style. However this would effect the haulers and travel fits. Increasing CPU to restrct other fittings is another. This again hurts haulers who might have to sacrifice tank to fit stabs. I think the DPS nerf is the best route all round.

The final way is reward those who are actually taking part in faction war and excluding farmers. Why not tie the LP rewards into system capture? Now this would require more work from CCP to impliment the mechanics but I think it would be worth it.

Defensive plexing stays the same. You defend a plex, you get LP.

With offensive plexing you are 'promised LP'. Basically as you capture enemy plex the LP you would be awarded is placed in a pool with a 30-day timer. If that system is captured then those LP will be transferred to you. If the system isn't captured then the LP are lost. Therefore those who are fighting to gain control of space will be rewarded and the farming is only rewarded if the bunker is flipped within 30-days.

Now in the past when I've suggested things like this a common response is "Moaning about stabbed farmers? Fit your ship to combat them!". Really? You put 3-point faction scrams on a T1 frigate do you? Have you tried flying a ship with triple long point against someone who is combat fit? Currently its a case of engage enemy, watch enemy run away, fly back to home station, swap to stabbed asshat catching ship, fly back to where stabbed asshat is, chase him, catch him, kill him, fly back to home system to swap out of stabbed asshat catching ship, get into combat ship, undock and go looking for another fight.

No, Faction War is about PvP. The clue is in the second word! WAR!!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

BB57 - Fitin Skilz, I Haz Dem

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 57th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are visit the Blog Banter page.

* * * * *

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ― Albert Einstein

Drackarn pointed this killmail to me recently and proposed the following for a blog banter:

Obviously that is a not just a bad fit, its horrific. But the guy might not know any better. We get these all the time circulating social media and corp/alliance chat. How do we educate players on fitting? This guy has been playing four months and can fly a BC, but has no idea how to fit one. What could be done to help bro's like this?

Furthermore, what (if any) responsibility do veterans players have in finding these players and instructing them on the finer arts of ship fitting? If it exists, does it extend beyond them into teaching PvP skills, ISK making skills, market skills, social skills, life skills...

And another question you can think about is this: do purposely wrong fits, aka comedy fits or experimental fits or off-meta fits, offend you or your corp? Would you, like Rixx Javix when he was in Tuskers, face expulsion for fitting your ships differently than the accepted standard?

"Its the difference between streaking and getting caught with your pants down." - Kirith Kodach


Ah my own topic!

I made my post on the original Navy Drake of Doom last week. Then a few days later TMDC posts this.

Two different fits, two very different fails. However, in the end it falls back to one thing. These guys had no idea how to fit a ship. At all. Not. Even. Close. OK we all fit comedy/YOLO fits from time to time. I myself lost a Maelstrom at the weekend I'd fitted like a massive Cockbag Thrasher to piss about with on the undock (I know, I'm bored and frustrated with Eve currently, more on that soon). However, these fits are just plain wrong.

Now the question I posed in my original post was how do we educate players on how to fit ships? The comments I got on that post were mostly "EFT!", the popular 3rd party fitting tool. My question is, how does your average player even know about EFT? Do WoW players have fitting tools? Do other games have fitting tools? Why would a new bro or someone who has played for 6 months who doesn't have anything to do with the community in-game or out, even known about fitting tools?

OK, lets say for the sake of arguement some how they find EFT. Then how do they know what's a good fit? Their Caracal has 75 DPS and 8k EHP (I don't know if this is possible! I'm just making a point OK). Is that a good fit? Of course not, but how do they know?

Lets have a look at The Mitanni dot Coms bingo sheet for their ALOD feature:-

Lots of lessons here players need to learn. However, the game does not teach any of these. How are they supposed to know that only real men hull-tank (yes, there is the in-game certificate, and yes, in a very few very limited cases hull-tanking can be a good idea). So how do we stop these fits?

I don't think CCP can point players in the direction of one single 3rd party application. It would be showing too much favouritism. If they listed every fitting website and app that would get silly as the list would have to be maintained to ensure any new ones are included and out of date ones removed.

Is there a fitting tutorial? Last time I did the tutorials was nearly 6 years ago and they have been seriously revamped since then. However, do new players go through the entire tutorial?

The only thing I can think of is a warning box like the one you get for rigs. If you try and fit unbonused guns, undersized launchers, a small shield booster on a battlecruiser or a civilian anything you get a pop up warning. Of course they will have a "Don't show this message again" option for those who know, but at least you can inform the player its probably a bad idea. Its the only way I can think that does it quick and easy. Something like this:-


OK the two 'examples' above are me just joking. But they could have a serious message!

Now onto the next bit Kirith asked. What is my responsibility to these guys?


I'm British. We're far too polite to mention anything like this.

On some occasions I've had the other player convo me and asked how I killed him so quickly/easily. In those cases I've spent a fair amount of time advising what I think they did wrong and how they might fit their ship differently. I've even pulled links from killboards into the private convo to help them understand .

However, there is no way I'm going to convo one of these guys and say "Mate..... your fit......"

Come on CCP it's your job ;)

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Games - Part 1

Fiction Friday! If Eve-O fiction is not your thing try, erm........this 'short video'.

This piece originally started out as an attempt to write a 500-word piece for Seismic Stans fiction competition. That didn't work out so well. However I thought the idea might have legs...

The Games

Samar woke with a splitting headache. He lay still not risking to move. He'd been out the night before, a bar and then he ended up in a Gallente club. He been drinking and... A woman! He'd met this smoking hot Matari woman who almost pounced on him. She had come onto him strong and... He couldn't remember. He opened his eyes, he was laying on the floor in an unfamiliar room. He sat up and saw nobody was there. The room looked like something from an old starship or station. However it hadn't been used in decades by the look of it. He rose unsteadily to his feet, using a rusted conduit as support.

"Don't say I blew it with that hot chick because I drank too much" he muttered to himself.

As he approached the door he noticed a small datapad on the floor. He picked it up and noted there were two countdown timers running. The first had only three minutes left, the second one was static at two hours. A flashing icon indicated there was message waiting. Samar pressed the icon and read.

Dear Contestant, welcome to The Games. The rules are very simple. You are confined to your room until the first timer completes. That gives you and everyone else time to wake up. At that point your door will unlock and you are free to wander around the orbital tower. The second countdown will start at this point. When that reaches zero the tower self-destructs. There is a single two-man escape pod hidden somewhere in the tower. The winner or winners, there can be two, will be who doesn't die. Good luck!

Samar look at the message in horror. What sick game was this? A whispered voice made him jump.


He turned to the direction the voice came from and saw a ventilation grill.

"Is someone there?" the female voice whispered.

Samar approached the grill he could see a dimly lit room the other side. A woman was crouched down. She was Caldari and wearing a short dress and heels. She looked like she had just been plucked from some high-class cocktail party.

"Who are you?" Samar whispered.

"I am Zhilan. Is this for real? I mean what the datapad says." the woman asked.

"I don't know, but for now we need to act like it is. How did you get here?"

"I was..... well, I was meeting a couple of people. I got handed a drink. Next thing I remember is... well I awoke here!" she replied.

"Was one of the people you met a Matari woman?"

"Yes. Dark complexion, long black hair. In her 30's I'd guess but very attractive."

Samar assumed it was the same woman who had captured him. She had been busy.

He jumped as a loud click indicated the door had unlocked. He stashed the datapad in his pocket and crashed out of the door into the dimly lit corridor. He looked both ways and froze when he saw another man looking back at him. The two men stared at each other for a few seconds before the stranger started sprinting at Samar howling in rage. The words on the datapad repeated in Samar’s head. One pod, only two winners. As the sprinting man neared, Samar grabbed a section of rusty pipe that was leaning against the wall and set it against the charging man. The charging man couldn't stop in time and crashed into Samar, the pipe skewering him through the chest. His momentum carried him until he was nose to nose with Samar, a look of horror was etched on the man's face. Samar dropped the pipe and the attacker collapsed to the ground gasping. A noise behind him made Samar spin around, the woman in the room next door has entered the corridor and looked in horror at the man on the floor.

"He decided to try and make less competition for that escape pod. I, on the other hand, think we need to work together. Up for an alliance?"

Zhilan just nodded still staring at the corpse.


Excited chatter spread through the assembled party as they watched on the big screen the Amarrian man being skewered by the pipe. On the wall one of the twelve portraits faded to a deep red.

The room was dimly lit. It was difficult to make out who the guests were, which was the point. Some sat in darkened booths, others stood in the shadows. A few were obviously not as bothered about their privacy and mingled in the centre of the room as waiters with trays of champagne flutes walked past.

A Matari woman in an elegant cocktail dress crossed the room to a smiling Caldari man.

“Congratulations Ambassador, you made a good choice. It appears your contestant will do well. You know, I recruited that one myself.”

“Thank you Madame Xarna. It looks like I could be celebrating tonight! I thought the odds on him of 5:1 looked good.”

The two turned back to the wall of screens as a smartly dressed waiter passed with a tray full of drinks. The larger main screen still tracked Samar as he walked down the corridor hand-in-hand with Zhilan, the surrounding screens showing his remaining competitors.


"Is that the first time you have killed someone?" Zhilan asked quietly as they walked briskly down the corridor.

Samar just kept going, his eyes scanning for threats.

"No, it wasn't." he replied at last, not looking at her.

"Were you in the armed forces then?" she asked, he voice becoming unsteady.

Samar paused, wondering how to answer. He decided there was no point lying.

"In another life I wasn't a very nice person. I was an angry young man. I did a lot of things I am not proud of. I did my time, paid for my crimes and started a new life. I am a starship mechanic now. I left a life of crime behind over a decade ago."

He felt the grip on his hand loosen as if she was about to let go. She then tightened it again.

They rounded a corner and Samar found what he was looking for. A sign on a door stated it was a server room. He opened the door, pulled Zhilan inside and closed the door. He released her hand and went over to the console. He started tapping away on the keyboard.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm trying to find out where we are and if I can get a signal to call for help. According to this we are on an old Matari orbital control tower. Looks like its been abandoned for a good few years. Comms are down, cannot access any of the dishes. I assume who ever put us here disabled them or cut the hard-lines. Same with internal sensors. Damn. No clue to where that damn pod is."

Samar tried a few more times before he gave up. He took Zhilan hand and opened the door a crack. When he was sure the corridor was still clear he led her out and continued.

"Looking at the deck numbers I think we're on the upper part of the tower. I'm guessing they put some of us up here and some in the bottom deck. The pod is probably in the middle. I'm only guessing though." he whispered as they walked.

After a few more metres Zhilan pointed to a door. "Look!"

A blinking datapad was attached to the door. A new shining silver deadbolt had been affixed to the door recently. Samar read the message on the datapad.

"Dear Contestant. This is a bonus room! The escape pod is not in here. What there is in here is something dangerous and also something very helpful. It is entirely your choice whether to enter this room. We promise the item in here is helpful but nothing here is for free. Good luck."

Samar stood and thought. He'd got lucky with that first guy, he doubted the others would be so stupid. If he could get an advantage it would certainly help. His hand hovered over the bolt securing the door and paused.

"Stand back." he told Zhilan.

Slowly he slid the bolt back and swung the door inwards. The room was dark. At the back of the room was a pedestal illuminated with a bright spotlight. On the top was a box. Samar glanced around but the room was too dark. He saw an old wrench laying near the door and picked it up. Slowly he entered the room. All he could hear was the rhythmic dripping of a leaking pipe and the thud of his own heartbeat in his ears. Slowly he moved through the room, holding the wrench ready. He progressed slowly towards the pedestal. By pure luck he was looking down as his leg crossed an almost invisible laser beam. He saw the bright green dot on his leg a second before there was a click. He stepped back just in time as a red laser swept in front of him. A crash of metal-on-metal resounded through the room. Samar looked in horror at the wrench that he had been holding in front of him. It had been sliced by the laser, a glowing end of molten metal on the handle was all he held now. A few inches more and he'd have lost his arm, or a foot. A few more inches and his body would have been sliced in two. He carefully stepped over the laser and retrieved the box. As he lifted the box the rooms lights came on. Even through the laser appeared to have been deactivated he took no chances when crossing that point and carefully stepped over the location. He rejoined Zhilan and opened the box. A piece of paper lay on top of a number of items.

"This is a level 1 reward. Higher levels give higher rewards but also the rooms contain deadlier threats. Good luck, you are on your way to resolving your past wrongs!".

Samar tossed the paper and removed the items. There was a bottle of water, some energy bars and a small flick knife. He opened the knife up and looked at the three inch blade.

"Well I suppose its better than nothing." he muttered and retracted the blade before sticking it in his pocket. He took a sip from the water bottle and passed it along with an energy bar to Zhilan.

"Lets keep moving."


"I'd like to buy in again. Half a million on the woman who is with the man who killed my first choice" the man said. Xarna simply nodded and tapped a few commands into her datapad. She handed the pad to the man and he pressed his thumb onto the sensor to confirm the translation.

"It is always a disappointment when your player goes out of the game so early your Eminence. I hope she does better."

The Cardinal nodded at Xarna and went quiet. She took this as a sign to move away. She glanced up at the monitors. With a few commands on her datapad she swapped the main screen so it focused on two of the other contestants. This was about to get interesting for her guests.


Samar and Zhilan heard the scream ahead. Whilst they picked up the pace they didn't run just in case they barrelled head-first into trouble. Samar glanced around the corner of the corridor holding Zhilan back. He saw two people struggling on the floor ahead. One man and one woman. He retrieved the knife and turned the corner. It was clear the man was trying to assault the woman.

"Hey, asshole!" Samar called. The man who was struggling to remove his pants looked around. He scampered to his feet.

"This is nothing to do with you. Move on friend." he snarled.

Samar could see the woman crawling away. Most of her clothing was ripped and she had a split lip which dripped a thin trail of blood down her chin. Samar turned his attention to the man. A crude 'R' had been carved into his right cheek in the distant past.

"Sorry, but I rarely take instructions from dick-less men whose only way to be with a woman is to force them."

The stranger started to advance, fists clenched. Samar widened his stance slightly and discretely moved the knife. The man started to jog which then turned into a sprint. Within a few seconds was on Samar. He swung a mighty punch at Samar's head which he easily dodged. The man continued his charge for a few more steps and stopped in the junction of the corridors.

He slowly turned to face Zhilan who looked at the half dressed man in horror. He looked confused, took a step forward towards her, trying to speak and fell face first to the deck plate. The small knife was buried in the back of his neck. Samar came back and rolled the man over after retrieving the knife to check his pockets. Zhilan stood over them.

"What happened to his face?" she asked as Samar searched the corpse.

"He's been in prison. Other inmates did that to him. The only thing a lag hates more than a nonce is a rapist."

After ensuring the man carried nothing of interest they went back to find the woman. She was hugging her knees behind a crate in the corridor.

"STAY AWAY!" she screamed as they approached.

"We aren't going to hurt you." Samar said in a soothing tone.

"Yes you will! You are with her! There are already two of you! No room for a third! You two want the escape pod together! No room for another." she ranted standing. "Yes I've done wrong to you Michael" she screamed in the air "But I don't deserve this! I know its because of you. It can only be you!"

With that she ran at Zhilan and tried to strike her. Samar grabbed her wrist as she swung it.

"Calm down!" he yelled and pushed her back.

She charged again and he pushed harder. She stumbled and fell backwards against the crate. There was a sickening crack has her head twisted. She fell lifelessly to the floor.

Samar grabbed Zhilan hand. "Come on, lets go." he said with a sadness.


The chatter in the room grew again as two more portraits faded to blood red. Xarna smiled and left the room via side door. The short corridor was lined with plush carpets and art on the walls. What you couldn't see was the state of the art sound dampening technology. The occupants of the next room could riot and once a few steps down the corridor you wouldn't hear them. This was imperative as the operation needed to keep the occupants of the next room in the dark about what was happening a few dozen metres away. The next room was quieter than the last but laid out similar. Several people were seated watching the screens. Xarna walked over to one of them.

"Would you like to depart now Mr Gegan or can I offer you some refreshments."

"I think I'll leave and I've told you before, call my Michael." replied the man.

"Are you satisfied with the service? I know it was an unexpected outcome."

The man called Michael hesitated as if in thought.

"To be honest I would have preferred it if that other man had taken my money-grabbing, cheating ex-wife by force and then killed her slowly. However in the end that bitch got what she deserved and I guess thats what I paid for. So thank you."

"As you will recall we cannot guarantee anything. All we can give you is that in The Games there is little chance of survival and a lot of terror."

The man nodded and left the room via another door.

Next Xarna walked over to an older woman. She was sobbing in a chair.

"Mrs Lieel. Can I get you anything?" she asked placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.

"No thank you." sniffled the old lady. "Are you sure that bastard is dead?"

Xarna retrieved a datapad from her pocket and passed it to the old lady.

"See. We have hi-tech bio-scanners so we can monitor all of our contestants. The knife he received in the neck penetrated his spine. He suffered a full-body paralysis. His mind was still functioning, but he couldn't breathe. He slowly suffocated, unable to move."

"Good!" said the old woman. "After what that animal did to my daughter that is the least he deservers. 6 years in jail for what he did? That wasn't justice, this is justice. Best 50,000 I've ever spent."

Xarna stood as the old woman rose.

"Thank you my dear. Thank you for serving proper justice." With that the old lady left via the same door as Michael.

Xarna surveyed the room. There were now three empty seats and nine people left. Nine people who wanted justice, or revenge. It was time to get the Game Maker to speed things up. The old Matari control tower had a lot more dangers carefully installed in it than just the other contestants.

To be continued....

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Defeating Nim - Preparing PvE'rs for PVP.

Who is Nim? He's a rather nasty Castathan intent of making a big boom in what is left of San Francisco. Lost you so far? Not even sure what a Castathan is? I'm not talking about Eve Online, I'm talking about Defiance.

Defiance is both a TV show (second season starts this month) and a MMO-FPS-RPG. I'm not going to make any real comparison between the game and Eve Online, because you cannot. They are very, very different. However there is a similarity I thought about with the final boss Nim from the original game (there has been expansions since then).

I played Defiance straight through following the storyline mission. It is technically a theme park game with some open world/sandbox concepts. There are lots of side-missions (staple MMO type quests), sieges (Domination style missions along with 30 other players as NPCs attack), arkfalls (bit of spaceship falls from sky, players arrive to loot it as NPC's try to kill you), time trials, etc for you to do as well as the main solo campaign. I ignored all of these and just did the storyline finishing one mission and then jumping straight to the next. I reached the last boss and got utterly slaughtered. I tried again, and died. And again, and again, and again. Not. Even. Close. I got kerbstomped every time. Its a traditional three-stage type boss fight and and I wasn't even close in completing the first stage. So I abandoned the mission in the end and went exploring the game world for another month or so.

Nothing I'd done in the game had prepared me for Nim. It was Defiance's own little learning cliff that slapped me in the face right at the end.

Eventually I went back to try and see if I complete the storyline arc. At that time I have a lot more experience points, higher skills and a couple of nice "rare-drop" guns. I royally screwed Nim on my first attempt. Didn't break a sweat never mind die once. It was easy!

Basically if you ran through the original game just doing the storyline missions you'll hit the wall. You needed to have the skills and the gear to take the end-boss and you'd not get them in time if you only run through the standard storyline missions. In this respect it is a lot like Eve when moving into PvP. All that playing you have done in the past against rats has not prepared you for the next stage of game-play.

This is an issue as I myself, like many players, started as a PvE carebear and moved over to PvP.

It is a common complaint with regard to PvE content in Eve Online. It does noting to prepare you for PvP. All the missions are detailed on the internet. The damage to tank and shoot is laid out for you on various sites. Many years ago when I was a carebear I'd grind level 4 missions in a Navy Raven. Each time I took a mission I'd go to one of the missioning websites and read what I needed. Rats shooting thermal and kinetic damage? Right I'll swap my three invulnerability fields for two thermal and one kinetic. The rats have lowest resist for kinetic damage? Right, I'll load up with Scourge cruise missiles. I don't really need to move? OK then I'll drop the prop mod for a shield boost amplifier or another resist mod. Lots of frigates? Oh in that case I'll use a target painter. Every level 4 I did, I took the perfect counter fit. I never had a problem with any level 4 mission and my one and only Navy Raven is still sat in a hanger in high sec somewhere. Probably the Fricoure Federation Navy base with this level 4 security agent. That ship has destroyed tens of thousands of rats and has never had its armour scratched!

It is rare in PvP that you can do that. Bringing the exact counter for your enemy, especailly when you are solo roaming. You never know what is out there.....

Now, what if NPC rats were as unpredictable as players?

Should there be variations in the statistics of the rat ships? Rather then knowing that you need to tank X and shoot Y, what if they varied? Rats would change ammo type based on your ship. Flying an Amarr ship? They'll go for Nova or Scourge. Flying Caldari? They go Mjolnir or Inferno. May be they could even change damage types mid-fight to exploit any hole in your tank.

What if they didn't have a massive hole in their resists? What if their tanks were like a normal player or plugs any holes the best they can?

What if the ultimate target on assassination type missions would try to escape when they reached low armour and you'd fail the mission if they got away?

You'd force players to start fitting their ships live PvP'rs. All-round omni-tanks, points, multiple types of ammo.

May be, just may be you'd prepare them better for a life of PvP and increase player retention. I assume PvP players stick around longer than mission grinders. There is only so many times you can save that bloody damsel before getting bored!

Monday, June 16, 2014


... or How NOT To Fit a Drake Navy Issue.

So, Stay Frosty pilot ChingShi Bonney bagged himself a Drake Navy Issue kill in Hasama yesterday. Nothing news worthy about that.  Whilst a Vagabond did 6.2% of the damage needed to kill it, ChingShi got the other 93.8%..... in a Atron! A bit of a laugh but then again Drakes aren't designed for killing frigates. Kill the drones and the heavies aren't going to do massive damage to you.

So why am I posting this. The way the Navy Drake was fit.

Now I'm no fitting guru. However, I don't think this is the best way.

High Slots:-
8 Arbalest Heavy Missile Launchers.

OK not as good as T2 but they are meta 4. So not that bad a choice if you don't have heavy missile specialisation in your skills. Pity he didn't use faction missiles.

Mid Slots:-
1MN Afterburner I - Yes, a meta 1, 1MN AB on a Drake
1MN Afterburner I - Drack, you already said that! No, this is the SECOND meta 1, 1MN AB on a Drake
Civilian Shield Booster - Yup. A healthy 2 DPS negated there!
Small Shield Booster I - Better! Slightly more at 13 DPS. On the bright side, capacitor won't be an issue.
Civilian Kinetic Deflection Field - 35% of win against Kinetic DPS.
Stasis Webifier I - Spiderman, Spiderman...

Low Slots:-
Low slots? We don't need no stinking low slots!

Rigs? We don't.... never mind, you get the idea.

OK, OK I'm having a bit of a laugh at this guys expense. However the real issue I'm raising this is why is this guy fitting his ship like this? It has to be a failure somewhere in the game to allow a player to have the skills to fly a battlecruiser but not the knowledge to fit it.

His fit, using level 5 skills in EFT, just to compare, gives:-

30k EHP. 50 DPS defence, 162 DPS, 216km/sec

If I just throw a T1 PvE (assuming thats what he was going for) fit together with same skills I get.

96k EHP. 131 DPS defence*, 284 DPS, 429km/sec

*No booster, just passive recharge on increased buffer.

The dude has been playing four months and this is his only loss. He took the Atron down eventually but his only other kill is a Merlin.... that he killed in Jita..... with a ROCKET Caracal! Yes, a Rocket Caracal!

So the big question is, how do we show these new bro's how to fit a ship? Especially if they are solo or lone-wolf type players.

How can we use the Client to educate them so they don't lose fits like this? Hang on....

OI! Kirith Kodachi I've got an idea for a Blog Banter!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

SCASSSS - The Ballad of SerenitEVE

I've decided to keep the Special Sunday Shorts and go back to my original idea of making them uber-short.

When I saw the new Moa model and its folding nacelles I thought of Voyager. I didn't see the resemblance to the Firefly class transport. One Eve player did though...

Manic Velocity, this is a work of pure genius!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fiction in 500 Words?

Fiction Friday! If Eve-O fiction is not your thing try this.

Seismic Stan has started a podcast! You can find it in the above link (see what I did there?) He is also running a fiction contest with the winning entry being turned into an audio thingy (It is early, I'm very hungover, 'thingy' is best you are going to get). Details are here on the Eve-O forums.

It is a maximum of 500 words. My fiction is usually 2,500 to 25,000 words. Can I manage something in only 500? Might as well have a dry-run today!

The Game
Samar woke with a splitting headache. He lay still not risking to move. He'd been out the night before, bar and then he ended up in a Gallente club. He been drinking and... A woman! He'd met this smoking hot Matari. She had come onto him strong and... He couldn't remember. He opened his eyes, he was laying on the floor in an unfamiliar room. He sat up and saw nobody was there. The room looked like something from an old starship or station. However it hadn't been used in decades by the look of it. He rose unsteadily to his feet, using a rusted conduit as support.

"Don't say I blew it with that hot chick because I drank too much" he muttered to himself.

As he approached the door he noticed a small datapad on the floor. He picked it up and noted there were two countdown timers running. The first had only three minutes left, the second one was static at two hours. A flashing icon indicated there was message waiting. Samar pressed the icon and read.

Dear Contestant, welcome to The Games. The rules are very simple. You are confined to your room until the first timer completes. That gives you and everyone else time to wake up. At that point your door will unlock and you are free to wander around the orbital tower. The second countdown will start at this point. When that reaches zero the tower self-destructs. There is a single one-man escape pod hidden somewhere. The winner will be the contestant who doesn't die. Good luck!

Samar look at the message in horror. He jumped as a loud click indicated the door had unlocked. He stashed the datapad in his pocket and crashed out of the door into the dimly lit corridor. He looked both ways and froze when he saw another man looking back at him. The two men stared at each other for a few seconds before the stranger started sprinting at Samar. The words on the datapad repeated in Samar’s head. One pod, one winner. As the sprinting man neared Samar grabbed a section of rusty pipe leaning against the wall and set it against the charging man.


Excited chatter spread through the assembled party as they watched on the big screen the Amarrian man being skewered by the pipe. On the wall one of the portraits faded to a deep red.

A Matari woman in an elegant cocktail dress crossed the room to a smiling Caldari man.

“Congratulations Ambassador, you made a good choice. It appears your contestant will do well. I recruited that one myself.”

“Thank you Madame Xarna. It looks like I could be celebrating tonight! I thought the odds on him of 5/1 looked good.”

The two turned back to the wall of screens as a waiter passed with a tray full of drinks. The larger main screen still tracked Samar as he ran down the corridor, the surrounding screens showing his remaining 10 competitors.

Experiment failed! OK, this is difficult. That is exactly 500. 500 words is not enough to get going never mind have a complete piece if trying to set a scene. Matt, you are a bar steward! This is going to take some real thinking about for my real entry. However, I think the above has got me started on normal short-story for next week! From Twitter it would appear that a dialogue heavy piece is the way to go.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

2 to 10

So no more two expansions a year now for Eve Online, now we have ten releases per year.

I get the reasoning. Rather than being committed to releasing a specific feature on a specific date, they always have the option of moving it six weeks back. I can see benefits doing it this way. But I can also see negatives.

The Good

NO MORE INCARNAS! I think CCP has admitted Incarna wasn't ready when they released it, but they were committed to that release date. They had to release something. So we got a dimly lit room that melted your graphics card. Now if its not ready, like the industry revamp, they can just slide it to the next release. So no more half finished features that only shipped because there was an arbitrary date set!

Seagull said that the new system allows them to work on bigger projects. With the old 'two per year' they had basically a six month window. The winter expansion had less than that as the summer holiday season was within that window. Obviously now they are not looking to work on one thing, release, work on the next as there is only so much you can get done in six weeks. Now teams can take a year or even 18 months to work on a feature. One example of this that I've heard whispers about which I blogged about on Monday is the POS revamp which is happening, we're just not being told about it. Originally suggested at Fanfest 2012 (modular POS and individual 'space houses'), shot down later that year when the Devs looked at the code and simply said "Nope!", thought to be dead by the majority of the player base. The code is slowly being rewritten. First the industry and science elements. Then the corp and alliance elements. Once these are done the birds-nest of code that is the POS code should be fairly de-tangled so that can be addressed and we'll get space houses finally! Not sure if this 100% true but the rumours I've heard seem to suggest it.

The Bad

Coming this September... Eve Online - Tweaked. This is a potential problem given that major expansions reinvigorate the game (Odyssey ect were not major expansions btw). When a proper Eve Online expansion hits then the bitter vets become 86.32% less bitter (Fact!). Those who have totally 'burnt out' suddenly find a hidden stash of fuel behind a red sofa. Those who are bored become significantly less bored. Quiters re-sub. Ragers calm down. Whilst every so often we'll get a true expansion under the new system, I foresee most of these releases being small stuff. The majority of the 10 each year will be balancing, fixes and 'little things' improvements. All good, all needed, but nothing to get the players excited about. Will this 'little and often' have the same effect on players or is going to be like not having any expansions and just patches all year?

A great example of this is long term players who live in Wormholes. Would you still be playing Eve if not for Apocrypha. I know that without the Empyrean Age expansion I may have quit years ago.

The Ugly

Coming this September... Eve Online - Tweaked. Hang on Drack, you already did that one! No, this is same reason, different audience. The press. Whilst events like B-R bring new players into the game, expansions are more consistent at advertising Eve. The gaming press will cover a major expansion launch. Gamers will get to hear about Eve Online, some might even try it. However, these small releases are unlikely to garner great interest from the gaming press. Whilst the "big ones" are like Kronos and also the next one (but only because the industry revamp slipped to the next one, what else is in July's release?) may catch the interest of the gaming press, but the others? At least with two expansions a year there was hype on the run up. Now? I don't know

I have no idea how the move to 10 releases per year will affect the game compared to the traditional two expansions per year. The above is simply some of my guesses. Time will tell.....

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Next Frontier

I spoke to a lot of people at Fanfest and I heard a lot about what they claimed to know about what is happening to Eve. I cannot say any of this is 100% fact but it sounds right. Here is what I think is happening and has absolutely no evidence to back it up. Tinfoil hat time or a logical guess, you decide!

Post-Fanfest has finished I've changed my mind. I don't think Jove space is the "new space" we are promised. I think it is more likely we'll get access to a new cluster of stars. Probably only a fraction the size of New Eden but unlike wormhole space, capsuleers will be able to build any infrastructure they want. This includes stargates and stations.

The path to get there is long. I'm also changed my view that this new space will be here this year. Its not going to be here next year either. CCP are slowly working through the code. Taking the tangled birds nest that is the Eve Online code and slowly unravelling it. Here is what I think has happened.
  • Modular POS and Space Houses, is this a great idea or what? - Fanfest 2012
  • I've had a look at the code for that.... NOPE! - CCP Programmer, late 2012.
  • RAGE!!!!!!1!!11!!1! - Eve Online Players 2012.
  • Don't tell them anything! - Fanfest 2013
  • Right, lets unravel the mess that is this POS code. What are the issues? Industry and Research are tangled up in there? Right, remove that code, rewrite it and lets fix this in 2014.
  • Next? Corporation roles and administration are also all tangled up in there? Right, remove that code, rewrite it and lets fix this in 2015.
  • Super, that's POS fixed and we can now implement module POS/Space homes. Whats next for the 'rip it out and start again? Ahhhh yes, 0.0 sov!
Slowly but surely CCP are rewriting huge chunks of the Eve Online code. Code that has been added to, rewritten, changed, had things bolted onto and hash jobs done to it for 13+ years! Once the code is 'de-tangled' then and only then will we see new space with new sov rules, player built stargates and the like.

You want to know how bad some of the code is? When you cash-in LP at faction war stores you are running a mission technically. Yes you, Mr PvP. Yes you, who only ever fights players in game and is proud of their -10 security status. You are a filthy carebear! This is because the code for cashing in faction war LP uses the missioning system. So when you click to buy that Federation Navy Warp Scrambler or those Navy Cap Booster 200's you are actually accepting, and instantly completing, a mission for an NPC corporation. CAREBEAR!

Now, exactly why CCP aren't actually shouting this from the rooftops I don't know. Most players would welcome this surely? I assume they are trying to avoid another " 18 months" scenario. The above is a long term plan. Remember in 2013 when we got F all detailed information on Eve? We were asked to "imagine" several times and got to see a picture of badgers building a stargate. Well we were also told that there was a five year plan. I think CCP do not want to say "New space coming.... in 2018.". However if thats what it takes to get it right, make it so CCP, make it so!

2014 - Science and Industry revamp
2015 - Corp and Alliances revamp
2016 - Proper POS revamp (Module POS, "Space homes")
2017 - 0.0 Sov revamp
2018 - Player owned stargates and the great unknown.....

Sunday, June 8, 2014

SCASSSS - What Next?

I started these Special Sunday Shorts in response to being put on Jesters Trek 'Must Read Blogs'. He stipulated that blogs on that list had to post every other day and I used to only post three times a week. Now with the sad news that Ripard's blog is going dark I need to think what to do with these Sunday posts. Do I continue them or go back to my Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule?

I could go back to the original idea and make these posts properly short. Screenshots, interesting links that sort of thing.

How about fits? One comment I received was could I do a fit of the week? Well I could do an awful fit of the week! I'm terribad at fitting and usually resort to stealing other peoples fits. However I could always post my stolen fits here so you can steal them too!

I'd love to be able to do something humorous. Sunday Sillys like this or Rixx's 1v1 comics each week but I know I wouldn't be able to maintain the content. I might be able to to do a featured "Animated GIF/Meme for local" type post! You know, amusing pictures you can post in local chat to insult your foes!

I don't know, suppose doing this post has giving me another week to think about it!

Friday, June 6, 2014


Fiction Friday! I had a bit of a blow-out yesterday and a rather long drinking session. When I started early afternoon everything was hunky-dory in the world of Eve Online. On the cab ride back home (technically the next day) this. WTF?


The deckplates above collapsed in front of them blocking the corridor. Fire spewed from the hole above as ruptured electrical conduits sparked and hissed. The group skidded to a halt in front of the burning barricade.

"No way through here. What now?" Josvis shouted.

Josvis was a technician working on the life-support systems of the starship. It was her first tour and at 25 she was the youngest of the group now running for their lives. She was Gallente by birth, born on the planet of Fricoure VI. Her mother was a lawyer and her father was an engineer. It was always thought she'd follow in her fathers footsteps. Her mother was murdered when Josvis was 14. A local gang thought it would help their friends case if they killed the woman prosecuting him. Whilst her father did his best at raising her, Josvis did go off the rails. By 18 she had straightened herself out. Then after completing her education she had worked on various transport ships in Empire space maintaining their LS systems. Six months ago her her circumstances changed and she needed money, a lot of money. There was only one option that paid that sort of money for someone of her skills and experience, Capsuleer crewing. It paid astronomically well, but everyone knew the massive risks. Immortal pilots did not fear death. They would fight on when they appeared to have no chance. If their ship was destroyed their conscientiousness was instantly transferred at the moment of death to a waiting clone light-years away. The crew, without a hydrostatic capsule, didn't have this luxury. They had to sprint to the escape pods and hope they made it off ship in time. The clever ones got in, made their money and got out quick. Life expectancy as an eggers crew was short. Josvis was now regretting the decision as the ship fell apart around them.

The Raven Class Battleship was huge, over 800 metres long and was the pride of the Caldari shipyards. A warship designed to hurl cruise missiles and torpedoes with devastating accuracy at their foes. Only this time those foes had the upper-hand. The captain had accepted a contract to rescue a crew of a starship that had become disabled due to an engine failure. However, they had dropped out of warp into an area where the pirate factions of the Serpentis Syndicate and the Guristas were fighting for control. So far the two pirate factions were too busy fighting each other to bother about a small private frigate with engine problems nearby.

When the capsuleer piloted Raven arrived at the scene the pirates did take notice of them. Immediately the pirate frigates had scrambled the Raven's warp drive and engaged stasis webifiers to slow them to a crawl. The pirates battleships had arrived shortly after. Their capsuleer had either underestimated the strength of the pirates, overestimated their own ship or both.

"This way!" Badik replied darting down a side corridor.

Badik was her immediate supervisor and headed the section she and the other three worked in. He had seen the writing on the wall and chosen to abandon their section which lay in the centre of the ship with no escape pods close. He had been leading them to the nearest escape pods when the roof collapse had blocked their way. He was Matari and a brilliant engineer. He had been her mentor since she arrived on the ship and was grateful he was looking out for her now.

Josvis jogged along the corridor with Badik and the other three crew from their section. There would be no need for the life-support team on this mission now, their ship was dead in the water and it would only be a matter of time before the doomed ship exploded. A mechanical thump followed by a hiss sounded close by.

"That was the cap booster ejecting empties. The egger is burning booster charges. We must be down to our last few. When they are gone there is no power to the shield booster and that is game over." Badik said breathlessly.

"How far to the escape pods?"

"We'd be at them now if it wasn't for that collapse back there. May be a few more...."

Badik was cut short as an explosion rocked the ship. A conduit near the group ruptured sending hot gas jetting into the corridor. Josvis screamed as it hit her arm. Josvis pulled her clear and looked at the damage.

"You'll live." he said seeing her arm was burnt but not too badly "move your ass. Come on you lot....." Badik fell silent and Josvis turned to see why he'd suddenly stopped talking. Their three colleagues were laying on the floor behind them, cooked by the gas.

"Come on. Lets go." Badik said quietly.

Within a few minutes they reached one of the escape pod areas. Six small hatches lined the wall ready for evacuees. Badik helped Josvis inside and strapped her in, trying to carefully avoid her burnt arm. Once she was secure he strapped himself into a seat and pressed a few buttons on the console.

"I've set it for auto-eject. As soon as structural integrity fails we'll launch, but it means we'll have more time for other crew to reach us."

Josvis nodded and looked at the eight empty seats in the pod. Five minutes later the hatch slammed shut and they were pushed back into their seats as the pod sped away from the Raven. After a couple of seconds the artifical gravity was lost. Josvis looked at the still empty seats. She wondered what had happened to the others.

A huge flash somewhere in space illuminated the pod through the small portholes. As suddenly as it came it died out, leaving only the black of deep space.

"So we've got a few hours before the Sisters come and get us. So why did you sign up?" Badik asked.

Josvis sighed. "My father."

"Your father? Was he a crewer?"

"No. He's sick. The meds he needs to survive cost a small fortune. I suppose we should count ourselves lucky. If we were in the State we'd simply not be able to afford them, in the Republic they just wouldn't be availible. I guess it would have been slightly better if we were Amarrian, apparently their medical care is the best. Anyway, we're in the Federation and whilst the meds are available they aren't cheap. Crewing for standard ships wasn't paying the bills. I knew capsuleer crewing was much more risky, hence the huge salaries, but never imagined this. Well at least I know now why they pay is so good!" she gestured to her burnt arm.

"Yes. Nothing like a bit of a risk of death to fatten the pay packet!" Badik chuckled.

"Well I'm going back to standard crewing" Josvis said. "No pay is worth this!"

Badik smiled at her.

"You say that now." he chuckled "Everyone says that in this situation. However I'm sure I'll see you on the next boat. Its the money you see, its always the money."

Josvis just closed her eyes slowly shaking her head, thinking her friend must be mad. There is no way she was going to go through this again.


Josvis woke in the medical bay. The escape pod had been drifting for hours until the Sisters of Eve had picked them up. They'd been taken to a nearby station and placed in medical care. A bright white bandage covered her burnt arm. The pain relief drugs were starting to wear off and she felt the dull throb returning. The door to her room opened and a small Caldari man in a suit entered. A small drone hovered by his side. He didn't look like a doctor.

"Who are you?" she asked cautiously.

"I am Mr Chojnacki." he replied "I am from the SSC and here to assess you."

Josvis looked at him in shock.

"Assess me? For what?"

"Compensation of course. All capsuleer crew are entitled to compensation following destruction of their ship." The strange man pulled out a datapad and started tapping away. The drone hovered over her menacingly. A variety of lights covering its black surface flickered.

"What is that thing doing?"

"Don't worry. It is simply scanning you. It needs to take readings for me to do my job."

She watched it carefully. A small hatch opened a probe extended. There was a flash of red light and Josvis  yelped in pain.

"It attacked me!" she cried rubbing her shoulder. The Caldari man looked at her puzzled.

"That was just a high frequency light burst to test your pain threshold. Surely you have had that before?" he asked questioningly.

"No!" she snapped.

"Oh. Well it is a standard procedure." he replied returning his interest to his datapad. "Mmmmmm an eight on a level six pulse. I'd advise you not to go for a natural childbirth with that score should you ever choose to have children."

Josvis looked at him opened mouthed, she couldn't believe what she was hearing. She was questioning the sanity of the suit stood beside her bed.

"3rd degree burns to right arm, 54% coverage. Factoring that for a eight stroke six..... I understand you saw three colleagues die?"

"Yes. The steam only hit my arm but the others...."

"Three colleagues killed by steam. OK got that." he cut her off.

"Well I'm afraid we cannot let you live to tell that tale so I'm afraid the drone will have to kill you now" the man replied casually.

Josvis screamed as the drone started to approach.

"OK. Thats a stress-level of 86 when faced with a possibility of death. That has been recorded on your permanent record. OK I think that is everything."

"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?" Josvis shouted as the drone backed off.

The suit just shook his head slightly and mutter something about 'destruction virgins'. He turned his datapad around and showed it to Josvis. She gasped. A sum equivalent to a years wages was ready to be transferred to her. He took her hand and pressed her thumb against the datapad.

"That is my assessment of the compensation due for your stress, injury and suffering in relation to the destruction of the capsuleer vessel The Kucharik. The compensation is subject to a non-disclosure agreement regarding these tests that you just signed. Should you disagree with the sum awarded you have 14 days to lodge an appeal with the SCC. Good day."

With that the suit just walked out with the drone following. Josvis sat in her bed stunned at the last three minutes. That money was nearly enough to pay for all of her fathers treatment. She started thinking, another tour like that one and she'd be able to pay to cure her father and still have a huge chunk left over. Thoughts of returning to standard crewing started to fade from her head, replaced by credit signs and the vision of a very early retirement.


Two months later......

The man sat at the table. His head in his hands. Tears splashed on the datapad that lay between his elbows on the table.

The message was from the SSC and informed him of a transfer of a massive sum of credits to his account. The letter was cold, business like, unfeeling.

"You have been named sole beneficiary of the policy and the below sum has been transferred to your account following the death of Technician Josvis Ciete following the destruction of the Capsuleer vessel The Kucharik in the system of Fricoure on date......"

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The 2014 Eve Online Noob Harvest

The term "noob harvest" is particularly popular with FPS console gamers. It generally refers to the time at Christmas when people have been given a new games console or individual game as a present. These people then try out their brand new game with some online PvP against the more seasoned players who may have been playing that game for a while. Obviously there is a clash of skills here which generally leaves the inexperienced players (the aforementioned noobs) a blood-soaked corpse in-game and the seasoned vets get a mad K/D ratio!

I myself used the term a few weeks ago with regard to the PC version of Titanfall. Titanfall was a very expensive game on release and a few weeks ago they had a sale with 40% off. Suddenly lots of gamers who were not prepared to pay the full price for the game bought it as at 40% off it was now seen as good value.

Titanfall has no single player mode. The only way a player learns is via the tutorials which everyone plays once, then it is straight into the PvP. Oh it was a fun weekend. I'm usually pretty bad at Titanfall, but I stick with it as I do enjoy the game. Reminds me of the original Unreal Tournament. The weekend of the 40% off sale? I KILLED ALL THE THINGS!

Seriously, I was top player several matches and getting a lot more kills than deaths. With a massive influx of new players (noobs) who didn't have a clue what was going on, I was a better than average player for that weekend!

So what has this got to do with Eve Online? Well I'm hearing there is a noob harvest going on right now!

Unfortunately I've not had time to really test Kronos yet on TQ. When the servers came up I was getting dinner ready before heading out for a few quiet drinks. By the time I got home from the nightclub I really needed my bed. However I did get on for a few minutes before I headed out and was amazed how busy Nisuwa was. I'm hearing it’s not just Nisuwa, low-sec is buzzing with lots of people trying to find Mordu's Legion spawns especially as Barghests are selling for FOUR BILLION ISK!

Apparently sitting in a low sec belt is suddenly a great way to get PvP. The only issue is that many of these fights are fairly one-sided with carebears and PvP inexperienced players venturing outside of their usual habitat to try and get rich quick. PvE fitted ships warping blindly to asteroid belts only to find a PvP fit pirate who has a lot of experience in killing important internet spaceships.

Will this last? Nope. First of all those Legion BPC's will vastly drop in price over the next week or so. The battleship is nice, but it’s no Vindicator! Why would you spend all that ISK when you could get a faction fit Windicator and still have money to spare? For a single Barghest hull you could buy FOUR Vindicator hulls and still have 300m ISK left to buy fittings! If you are buying Barghests today you have more ISK than sense (well done you btw).

As usual the first few days will see silly prices for these new ships. They'll then drop as supply ramps up leading to a stabilisation in prices. At that point its likely to become unproductive to spend your time hunting down BPC's in low-sec belts.

Secondly, is that those noobs who are being harvested today will either run back to where they came from and denounce low-sec as "scary" never to return, or will learn to PvP and come back for more.

I truly hope it is the later. I hope that those who are dying horribly today throughout low-sec, will be back tomorrow. Equipped with a new ship, new tactics, new skills and overall a new thirst for PvP.

Welcome to low-sec guys. Time to get rich or die trying!