Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category


A public service announcement


Oh yeah, a blog…

Things have been quite hectic in RL recently – and by ‘hectic’, think ‘sweet baby Jesus, I wish I could pod my colleagues’ – so I haven’t really done much that’s interesting in EVE. Mostly, I get back from work after eleven hours of chaos, log on, say hi to people, think about doing something other than grinding L3 missions, decide that doing something other than grinding L3 missions would require a degree of brainpower I do not currently possess, accept a kill mission, warp in to the mission site, and spend a while blinking at the screen all “huh. Red crosses. I should do something with the red crosses. Do I orbit that one? No. Wait. Orbit <i>that</i> one, then guns on him, missiles on the frigates, send drones after the frigates… right?”, by which time my shields are gone and I’m half into armour. By this point I think even the Angel Cartel is feeling sort of sorry for me.

I did take a suicide shuttle run to nullsec with a friend, though, and that was awesome. We died! It was fun!

Currently my mining alt is sat in a station training up skills. She can fly a Mackinaw and a Hulk right now, but she’s not getting either until Hulkageddon is long long over, by which time I might even be able to afford one. My main is still in a Hurricane (I wub my Hurricane), and actually could afford a battleship at this point, but meh… I get the impression L4 missions would kill me very fast and very painfully right now, especially since I can hardly stay awake long enough to finish the longer L3s. Soon, though! Soon!


The trouble with courier missions

I’ve been spending a bit of time playing my pretty-much-zero-skills-but-dammit-she-has-a-Bestower hauler character recently, trying to get enough standing with one of the bigger corporations to get level 4 courier missions. Courier missions are fairly boring, with the advantage that you can do them semi-afk while reading a book, and the lower-level ones don’t pay very well in either LP or isk, but they are alas a necessary evil, because otherwise the L4 agents just don’t trust you with those 250 units of Frozen Seeds.

There are advantages to courier missions. They’re good money, standing and LP for low-skilled characters; since they’re shorter they speed up the frequency of getting storyline missions, which are good things; they’re fairly low-stress, if you need a break from blowing things up.

And they also have problems. To wit:

1) Any time you mention grinding courier missions this way with the ultimate goal of even more courier missions, there will be someone responding with “omg why would you do that just get the alt some decent implants and transfer a few hundred million isk to her and get her in battleships and start doing L4 kill missions tomorrow!”, which would I’m sure be a great plan if it was remotely feasible, but alas it is not. My main character isn’t even in battleships yet, and won’t be until she’s flying battlecruisers pretty damn well first. Also also: when everything I’ve been doing on my main character recently has involved shooting, it’s sort of nice to do the kind of gameplay that lets you read a book. Can you do L4 kill missions while reading a book? No, no you cannot. And you also cannot navigate via trackpad with your toes, a subject on which I am pleased to report moderate success during courier missions.

2) They’re, uh, sort of boring. A little bit. Well, a moderate bit. Well… yes.

3) You can’t guarantee that a given agent will give you a courier mission. You can pick the category of agent that gives a high percentage of courier missions, and you can cross your fingers, but it is written in the stars that any time you find a high-quality agent and really need just that little bit more LP, you’ll get assigned a kill mission followed by another kill mission followed by, when you come back in four hours so you don’t lose standing by declining too frequently, that sodding banidine mining mission.

4) (Real actual screenshot, seriously.) Look what they did to this agent:




In time for Tyrannis

Do you want to know how this whole ‘planetary interaction’ thing? Then behold! Eve University is here to help, with the following handy short video tutorial:

(I will admit to being a bit biased here, because a) that’s my corp and b) that’s me and my best Aura impersonation doing the narration. But it actually is a really well-done video, so there you go :) )


Some screenshots

It might be true that EVE is just a nice GUI on a spreadsheet, but on the plus side, at least it’s a nice GUI on a spreadsheet. I’m playing with graphics turned way down at the moment to reduce the odds of the client crashing during big fleet ops (nothing like waking up all alone in a system full of hostiles and frantically sprinting for a safespot while typing “fleet reinvite please? also, um, guys, um… where the hell are you?” in squad chat), so here’s a few screen captures from before that.

Warping to a stargate on the way to a mission. You’d think that after seeing this multiple times a day, you’d get tired of the warp visual effects, but, nope.

Stabber, tech 1 Minmatar cruiser, at a planet. Stabbers are really agile and great fun to fly, and even though I’ve given up on them in favour of the (slower, tougher, uglier) Rupture, I still find myself wistfully trying to fit as many speed and agility mods to the Rupture as I can just for old times’ sake.

Speaking of Ruptures, here’s mine on the left, facing down a friend’s Rifter (T1 Minmatar frigate, much loved). I love flying Minmatar, but it cannot be denied that they build ships by stapling four shotguns to a rusty lawnmower and throwing it into space. There are asteroids in this game that look more graceful than the Rupture.

Sometimes the game gives you nice reminders that this galaxy really is inhabited. Here’s the night side of a planet, showing city lights.

Grabbed this while passing through Hek, my friendly local trade hub. Spaceship drama of some sort; probably war-related, since CONCORD never showed up. Whoever lives in that tower on the top of Boundless Creation station must get some fantastic views of stuff blowing up on a regular basis.

Rogue drones are amazingly creepy things. Its little legs were moving as it flew, as well.

Making stuff go boom during a mission.

A wartime fleet heading out to find some fun. This is either the fleet that went out to nullsec and zoomed around sightseeing (“Is it just me or does space actually start looking more evil the closer you get to 0.0?”) or the one that got as far as Hek before getting slaughtered, but hey! Both were learning experiences.


This week in Local

I never used to pay much attention to local chat. I had it in the same window as every other chat channel, for one thing, and it seemed to alternate between silence and angry people yelling at each other, so mostly I just left it alone.

Since spending more time in lowsec, and finding out (the hard way, NOBODY TALK ABOUT THAT FIT ALL RIGHT I TOTALLY HAD A PLAN THERE) why it’s a good idea to keep local in its own window so you know exactly who else is in the system with you, I’ve come round to thinking that local might have its moments.

There are the reactions you get to the arrival of a huge Eve Uni (Ivy League) fleet:

“holy blobbalicious”

And the reactions you get to being a lone member in a shuttle, heading through lowsec to pick up some goodies:

“\o/ Ivy League, how many are behind you, 20ish?”

There are the conversations you only catch a glimpse of:
“*even more generalised response to generalised smack talk… with an American accent*”
And the ones you’re lucky enough to see all the way through:

Pilot 1: anyone in E Uni want to let us know where the fun is happening? or is it super secret
Pilot 1: wouldnt want to blow up your battle plans, etc
Pilot 2: This war is like Visa or American Express.  It’s everywhere you want to be.
Pilot 1: hm. i must have a mastercard then
Pilot 1: cause it aint here
Pilot 2: We do Mastercard too.  Leyla just found that out:   1 Month Eve Subscription, 15 dollars.  1 Tech 2 fitted rifter, 8.3 mil isk.   Getting blown up by a fleet of “newbies”:  Priceless.

And finally, among the constant rain of contract and double-your-isk scams that litter up local in the trade hubs, some still stand out – the ones that didn’t work:

Pilot 1: [Hulk+Fittings]
Pilot 2: nice scam
Pilot 3: Kind of missing the hulk there aren’t you?
Pilot 3: Don’t even have a ship, suppose I could get into my space suit and hold the mining lasers…

And the ones that really should have done (Jita local, but of course):



How it started

Lo these many years ago, back when I was young and broadband was exotic, I used to play a Mac game called Escape Velocity. The basic principles of EV went like this:

  1. Here is your spaceship.
  2. Here is a large, complex universe full of piracy, interstellar trade, warring factions and distant uncharted regions.
  3. On you go.

EV was addictive, hilarious and awesome. You could side with the Confederation of United Planets (slogan on all their stations: “Back in the Confederacy! You don’t know how lucky you be!”), or the Rebellion against them, or one of various other groups and coalitions big and small; you could be a trader, or a pirate, or an asteroid miner, or you could make money running missions for planetside aliens. Shareware was enforced by a pilot called Captain Hector, who came and shot you if you kept playing past the demo period without coughing up. But of course you did cough up, because it was that good. I had trade routes memorised, bits of paper listing mineral prices stuck to my computer, and oh, the fury when I came home once to find out that my boyfriend (playing on my account) had pissed off one of the major empires to the point where their ships were shooting at me.

I loved it. I loved it even more for the absence of big bosses and ultimate goals. I loved my funky Vell-os ship and my fleet of captured ships, now serving as escorts. I loved watching pirates go boom. I loved it.

And then I read a Metafilter thread or two about EVE, in which some people grumbled fondly at its massive complexity, and some people grumbled less-than-fondly about its impossibly steep learning curve, and there were people saying all this stuff about trade and mineral prices made it sound like space accountancy and people saying that nothing involving mining asteroids should ever be so addictive, and then someone said it sounded just like an MMO version of Escape Velocity… and I thought, hell, I have a lot of free time these days. That sounds fun.

It is.

Pretty much everything you’ve ever heard about EVE – the learning cliff, the complexity, the 0.0 craziness, the really-it’s-just-a-nice-GUI-on-a-spreadsheet bitching, the sociopathic viciousness (not for nothing does it get described as ‘Everyone Versus Everyone’) – is true. And all those things? They just make it better.

Me, I’m a new pilot. I stay in the relative safety of Empire space, where CONCORD, your friendly space police, will show up and blast anyone who shoots you to smithereens. (In other games, this might mean you wouldn’t get shot; in EVE, it means people just weigh up the risk calculations of shooting you a little differently.) I make things; I sell things; I move things; I mine things; I learn. I’m not too interested in PvP, the shooting-other-people aspects of the game, but I’m getting awesomely good at running away.

And long may that continue.


A new EVE Online player comes to term with spreadsheets, spaceships and the steepest learning curve in MMO history. (SPACESHIPS, you guys!)


On Twitter

  • Okay, we still have a wormhole. Phew. 4 years ago
  • I don’t even know if we still have a wormhole. Do we still have a wormhole? 4 years ago
  • Been playing Skill Training Online for the past few months. Pregnant, sick, too sick even to watch station spinning, bah. 4 years ago
  • Away on a work trip for the next ten days. Passport, check… boarding pass, check… Torpedos V in skill queue, check… 4 years ago
  • That guy in the pod set me as contact with terrible standing as I warped off with his stuff, too. It’s ok, guy! It went to a good home! 4 years ago