Monthly Archives: December 2010

Project Halibut

Chainer Cygnus of the Eve Commune podcast is starting up a new project which has captivated my interest. Project Halibut is aimed at helping new players with ships, fittings and advice. Think of it like Eve University but less “formal”.

I’ll be leaving BTEK to help out, but not forever. Don’t worry BTEK, I’ll still be around. Keep an eye out.

More Incursion testing and first FC

Bam! My 2 million free skillpoints arrives on Sisi, along with 2million carried over. What to spend it on…

“Incursion fleet in FD needing logi”

Ah, that’ll do. Up goes Caldari Cruiser 5, Gallante Cruiser 5 and the other necessary skills. Into the market I go and a few minutes later I am the proud owner of a Basilisk and Oneiros! Minus fits. Ah.

A few minutes later I have something workable despite only having logistics to level 2, so I undock and link up with a fleet.

FD-MLJ on the test server is currently a Vanguard-class incursion, meaning the sites are 5-10 people. In my previous attempts, we approached with overwhelming numbers. This time we kept to a few ships – 2 logistics with 8 DPS.

I’ve never flown logistics, but I know about capchains from my research and observations during mass-tests, other incursion runs and sitting on the FD station. Up goes a cap-pair, the DPS assembles and in we went.

Long story short; we won; no losses.

After the first site the FC logs and leaves me in charge, courtesy of me having the highest fleet skills (wing command 3) and I quickly establish a uniform tank across the fleet (we had a couple with armor), reorganise for bonuses and go again. We win – but faster.

We took the fleet to a couple more sites with equal success untill it was time for me to log for the time being.

Come this evening, I log in to find a fleet heading out to a nearby system which is an Assault-class – 15-20 men. I x up as a basi pilot and find myself in command of one of two wing, and then further command of the logistics squad. 21 men in all, 10 of which under my command. I’m in command of positioning and logistics and the other WC (the actual FC) is in command of targets.

We head out to MHC, losing a couple to Sansha gatecamps, and form up for the “Sansha Commander” site. The logistics consist of 3 basilisks, 3 guardians and a scimitar.

Gogo capchain!

As we’re preparing to go in, the FC (all leadership skills to 5) sits his command ship at a

planet and we use his alt in a Golem as the anchor for our capchain. Rather then pairing the

logistics off, we use a circular system due to the jamming Sansha.

We get the fleet through the acceleration gate and it seems to be going well at first. The capchain is established quickl- oh wait, one of the guardian pilots is cap chaining the wrong people! We yell a bit in the logistics channel but no response. We have no choice but to drop him and reform the chain slightly. -1 guardian for now.

The sansha hit hard, taking a lot of our ships to armor. About 1/4 of the fleet are not on comms so they don’t hear half the orders, and a bunch of people don’t understand what “broadcasting for reps” is, even after being told the step-by-step instructions. Argh!

I swap my watchlist to include those not broadcasting, and we start to make progress. The sansha cannot punch through our reps, and we are slowly eating away at them.

One of our Basilisks starts taking fire and we keep him at full shields but he panics and warps! What? We desperately attempt to reform the chain but I’m taken out by jammers while doing so and the logistics flounders for a precious few seconds. In this time, a new wave spawns right on top of a tengu and alphas it. The tengu pilot leaves fleet. Bah!

The jammers stop and I rejoin the cap chain, ordering the fleet to get their asses back in rep range as a few of them have burned to engage the Sansha snipers. Our missing basilisk warps back and rejoins the chain, and the original guardian pilot perks up and we get him back in too. Cap is good and the fleet is in good health. Finally, the last wave appears with the Sansha Commander.

Slave Heavenbound02 – currently a CCP actor in the TQ live events. Now an NPC.

We primary the commander, ignoring the rest of the massive spawn. The logistics are pressed to keep everyone alive – I burn out a shield module doing so, but Heavenbound dies under the concentrated fire and the remaining Sansha warp out.

Ka-ching. 26 million and 5k Concord LP.

All in all, a much more enjoyable experience compared to before. We knew what we were doing, we had it planned and we had the logistics to back it up. Best of all, we did it with the right numbers.

That’s it for now. I will try to record some footage next time!

Fly safe!

P.S. The tengu that exploded dropped faction modules – a rare sight on sisi. Strangely, the shield boosters were small. Explains why he got alpha’d I guess.

Singularity Test server – How to access and what goes on.

Singularity is a wonderful place. The items in-station are all seeded at a wonderful 100ISK each –  a fantastic place to brush up on combat skills and fittings.

But not everyone knows how to get there, or how to behave once there. So here we go.

Getting onto Singularity (or Sisi, as it’s often called) used to be a pain in the ass – you had to copy your original EVE folder, find the manual patch and change shortcut links. But NO MORE!

This forum thread contains a download for the Singularity launcher tool. Go download that. From there, it is a simple case of picking an install path, locating your normal eve client and putting all this into the install wizard.

The tool will then install Singularity and update it as necessary. You must use the tool to play!

How does Singularity work skill-wise? Well every so often CCP take the normal Tranquility (TQ) server and copy (or mirror) it onto the test server. This happens every few weeks. As such, if you just trained Interceptors on TQ you may not yet have them on the test server!

“But TG” I hear you say, “I want my uber l33t ships!” Well no fear! There is a solution. Once a week, CCP do mass-tests. These usually involve taking two large (100-200) fleets, jumping round and then meeting to fight. In return for participating, you get 2 million skillpoints to allocate the next day.

That’s right. 2 million skillpoints.

You can get more every mass-test (I hit 10million once before a mirror) and CCP will carry over a portion  (4 – 6 million max) after every mirror! A perfect chance to climb into big expensive ships and try them out!

Once you log into Singularity, you will probably be quite alone. This is because everyone who is everyone goes to the allocated “test system” – FD-MLJ. Here the market is guaranteed to be seeded at 100ISK, including faction ships, and there are beacons in-system for Free-for-alls – ranging in class from “Frigates only” to “Capital Ships”. There are also Beacons for Consensual combat only – anyone breaking that rule can be reported and may be banned from the test server.

Other important rules include;

1. No podding. Ever.

2. No bombs in FFAs!

3. No hoarding all the items and/or selling them back for a massive boost. You want ISK, you commit insurance fraud. (Seriously, self destructing 100ISK ships makes mountains of ISK)

4. NO FIGHTING ON STATION!

“But TG, FD-MLJ is x jumps away!” Well, there is a channel called “moveme” which, once joined, can teleport you to the system. Be warned this channel is not always active, and it can sometimes be best just to shuttle your way there.

Other things going on on Singularity right now include;

  • New character creator – improved from the last test build!
  • New Neocom is available to test – you must opt-in through your “esc” options
  • Incursions – Some systems, including FD-MLJ, are currently under the effects of an incursion. Go test ships against Sansha!
  • New Group Weapons button – One click, insta-groups.

Got any questions? Post a comment! I will add any extra  information to this main section!

Incursion site mass-tests

Here on the good old Singularity server, we do mass-tests. Usually this involves forming 2 fleets of 150+ people and jumping round and eventually fighting in order to test server performance.

Yesterday and today we tried incursion sites.

What. The. Fuck. CCP.

tl;dr here: Rewards too low, expected fleets too low, difficulty too high, fucking Sansha.

The first day (Friday) was a play-test organised by CCP devs for the Headquarters Sansha site. This involves the Revenent Sansha super-cap.

Suddenly Logistics!

We spent about 30 minutes forming a fleet, resulting in about 50 people and then about 10 logistics and in we went.

The DPS ships land on field, targets are called and we start to hammer into the Sansha ships. We lose a couple ships as the logistics set-up from jumping in, and a few more as the Sansha concentrate fire beyond the RR capabilities of our fleet.

The sansha are smart. Kiting logistics ships hurt down our DPS, ECM is hurting our logistical capabilities badly and snipers are hitting us from 100km or so. We’re taking losses but slowly clearing the field.

Then more spawn. Not the “50 MOAR BS” spawns of the Live Events, but 4 BS with a couple cruisers and frigates. Which is pretty much equal to the old “50 MOAR BS”. We falter but the logi pilots do an excellent job. My fail-tank goes down a couple times but I am quickly saved following an armor broadcast. Through the explosions, a Sansha Revenant appears on field.

I hate fighter-bombers

“Does the Sansha Capital use fighter-bombers?” I hear you ask. Well, it does. But they don’t appear as normal drones.

A group of new ships appear. I assume they are frigates, but a call on comms puts me in the wrong. These are the Sansha fighter-bombers and they hurt.

I haven’t got the logs, but these things are hitting for 1000 a hit with resists. They start tearing through some of the lesser-tanked ships with ease and it turns out they are damn hard to kill as well. The Revenant is slowly going down and we eventually make it, the Revenant destruction causing the other Sansha to warp off.

Not bad. Reward? 45mil? What? Some people lost 100mil+ ships in seconds. T3 cruisers went down before they could even broadcast. This is top-end and we get 45mil? 10k Concord LP negates it a bit though.

Today we had a normal Sisi mass-test and we then fragmented the two fleets into smaller fleets to test incursions. Well, I say “we then fragmented” but I really mean “some of us fragmented, and the rest took 70 people to a 40-man incursion”.

We didn’t have CCP, but we had numbers. We didn’t know the site (this one wasn’t Headquarters, some other one) and the Sansha had 100% control of the system, meaning we’d suffer heavy damage and resist penalties. We have about 11 logistic ships to help counter that.

Right, fleet ready. In we go.

It’s as mental as before but there is no Revenant. Good. We start taking heavy damage. Not-so-good. Targets are called and reps are broadcasted. One by one we take out the Sansha ships. Once they reach about 6 ships, more spawn. We attack them.

After 40 minutes, we deduce that in order to complete this incursion, we need to move an item (size 7,500m3) from one container (90km from warp-in) to another one (10km from first container) in order to allow us to attack a Sansha Battletower (100km from warp-in).

Super-awesome diagram!

See my handy paint diagram for more.

Anyway, once we figure that out we encounter another problem. How the fuck do we move a 7,500m3 object? Anyone bring an iteron? How about a tractor beam? Nope? Thought so.

To add to the issues, getting a hauler 90km across a battlefield where the enemy enjoy target switching is no small feat. Thankfully, a pilot in the fleet, Calando, has the idea of a jet-can bridge. Hurray! The items start getting moved.

Battle-wise it’s not looking great. We’ve lost a few logistics and we estimate our total losses at about 20 ships – 1/4 of what we brought in. People re-fit and come back but it’s valuable time gone.

Eventually we can attack the tower. Tough shields make our job hard; we can’t crack its repairs, so we pull ALL DPS onto it. It starts falling but the Sansha keep spawning.

Some half-hour later and we’re in the shit. The tower has hit structure but doing so spawned more Sansha on top of the already spawning ones. Quick estimates puts the fleet at 1/3 total despite our valient logistics. Speaking of which, we have 3 left; ECM killing off most. My attention is diverted by my 59k hp buffer armor tank dropping from 100% to 50% within a few seconds and the logistics can’t rep that fast. I watch my structure fall, waiting for the insurance notification. Then the damage stopped. The Sansha had switched targets. Ignoring the fire and the “14%” structure notification, I overheat my railguns at the tower. 90% Structure. 85%. 80%. We’re losing ships.

SUDDENLY REPAIRS.

I still don’t know if its a bug or intended (test server and all) but the station was suddenly at full shields, armor and structure. Our “item-mover” says there’s still 5 of the items in the necessary container. WTF. We are down 3/4 of our fleet. That’s it. We’re done.

Call is put out to align. 2 minutes later, we warp.

Estimated losses; 3-4 billion ISK. Even if we had won, our 60-70 man fleet is above the 40-man recommendation so our reward would have been about 20mil each.

What the fuck CCP. I had fun and all, but on the test server it’s fine to die since everything is 100ISK.

You put that on the main server and heads are going to roll. Likely ours. A loosely-organised fleet essentially got slaughtered. Imagine the completely disorganised mobs of high-sec.

BTEK – Not for me?

I’ve been with Brightstar Technologies for a while now (2 months) but the corp always seems a bit dead to me. I always get the impression the other pilots (mainly industry or mission runners) tend to shun me due to my divergent tactics; “one minute ninja, next mission runner” as one put it. One particular corpmate (an excellent pilot, by the way) expressed extreme dissatisfaction at my decision to cross train to Minmatar and Caldari ships as well as Gallente, viewing it as a “waste of time” which could be spent training for something like T2 guns or perhaps a mining barge.
Perhaps someone who shuns mining doesn’t belong in a primarily industry corp eh?
So today I am considering leaving this corp. The pilots are good and the corp is good but we seem out of sync.
It’s just that searching for a new corp is never an easy task.
After todays DT, I shall be entering corp stasis and will make my decision tomorrow. I have an old corpmate from when I started the game who keeps inviting me to nul-sec. Maybe. We shall see.
Fly safe.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 852 other followers