Category Archives: Through Newb Eyes

Closing the blog.

EDIT – Just to clear up misconceptions, I am not quitting EVE itself. Yet. Just the blogging is being stopped.

The blog’s been pretty quiet for a few months now. I’ve essentially lost all enthusiasm for writing about EVE and pretty much for EVE as a whole. I’m putting the blog into indefinite stasis for now. It’s almost been as such for a couple months, but consider this the official word. The blog will stay up and renewed (since I still get a few hits to my wormhole guide) but don’t expect any more posts for a long time. Likely permanently.

With regards to EVE, I intend to keep both accounts active despite my waning enthusiasm. This may well change in the future.

The reasoning for my drop in willingness to write & play is twofold;

  1. RL work is becoming more demanding and I am struggling to find the playtime
  2. CCP continues to leave me uninterested with expansion after expansion

Point 1 is self-explanatory. Point 2 requires some explaining. I live in wspace. Want to know what CCP have done for wspace in the past few expansions?

  • Taken out 90% of the mystery via the discovery scanner
  • Made probing laughably easy
    • Flat out broke probing several times (which took days/weeks to fix at a time)
  • Broke SMA drops for over a year
  • Broke wormholes themselves. Twice. Both cases took a couple of weeks to fix.
  • Made Relics/Datas even more worthless. The new hacking system is completely shite in wspace.
  • Constantly delayed T3 subsystem swapping (this is finally in the game, an expansion or two late)
  • Backtracked the much anticipated modular POS revamp with the reasoning that “noone uses POSs lol”.

That’s just wormholes. CCP have also not introduced anything elsewhere that even starts to gain my interest. Ship balancing is something I consider to be routine and not expansion worthy in itself. The “exploration” from Odyssey and Rubicon is crap. The new hacking system is entirely luck based in both the hacking and the “loot spew”. Ghost sites are far too random, far between and luck based to be worth it. Bounties are as pointless as ever. DUST remains irrelevant. Rubicon did nothing. Nothing. Some mobile structures (3) and warp speed changes.

I’m still playing but rather intermittently. Unless CCP introduces something good and not a fix or balance update in the summer, I’ll likely not last through 2014.

As an extra note, I am attending neither the Veto London meets nor Fanfest 2014. Half due to monetary costs, half because I can’t be arsed.

EDIT – If you’re looking for replacement blogs, I recommend (as always) Tiger Ears. Another favourite lately? Interstellar Privateer. Check them out.

Through Newb Eyes – 2 Years of wormhole space

I’ve been in Wormhole Space for a little under 2 years of playtime. About time we get down to having a look into those two years!

I left RvB in 2011 to join up with the Wormhole Engineers – a corp I had been recommended by someone or other. I was coming in from 6 months of solid PvP, with basic scan skills and little to no knowledge of wormhole space mechanics. Fortunately, my new corpmates and the internet had my back covered. What followed was one of the most intense learning periods I’ve undertaken in a video game.

The learning of  wormhole space

Scanning. Signature sizes. Wormhole effects. Mass limits. Anomalies and sleepers. Hunting & directional scan. It was all a bit much. The twitch reactions and FC’ing skills I had gained in RvB were nothing compared to the game mechanics I had to learn. Add in needing to adjust to POS life (which at the time included copying bookmarks every time I logged in) and my mind almost imploded.

I never really covered the learning period in my blog at the time, choosing to focus on the hunting and killing aspects. Fortunately, the learning process never actually ended. Every other day I learn something new about wormhole space mechanics, or have to re-learn what was finely tuned thanks to CCP making changes to the probing systems in Odyssey. In order to help better my understanding, I actually started a wormhole guide (which is, for various reasons, on an indefinite hiatus). The writing of the first two parts of the guide allowed me to research further into some of the more confusing mechanics in order to lay them out in a way which was, hopefully, easier to understand for the newer explorers.

So the learning process was all well and good, but little compares to actually using the knowledge you have attained. For example, my first major test of using my d-scan knowledge came when trying to jump a pair of miners. I am fortunate to report it went well, and was my first actual application of probing from d-scan usage. Likewise, a similar event had me manage an industrial kill. These kills are not shiny, nor an example of elite piloting, but the two events were my first kills in wormhole space using the new mechanics and skills available to me and for this reason they’ll always be important.

The growing into wormhole space

As time goes on, your skills improve. This is not just true of your actual pilot skill (although some people are an exception to this rule) but also true of your character skills. As a result after 3 months of wspace I was soon in the Covert Ops Tengu which vastly increased my operational abilities during normal scouting. In addition, my corp was growing with their combat experience and willingness to engage. A push from me had us finally adopt voice communications (Ventrilo) which gave us much better reactions in combat. I was also able to start running C4 anomalies in our static, thanks to a second Tengu I had purchased, which allowed me to build a small buffer in ISK. My knowledge of mechanics had finally grown to a point where I no longer needed to ask in corp chat “how do I check a system effect” but as always, there was room for improvement.

The good news is my corpmates (and the alliance) were getting easier to fly with by the day. Constant banter, jokes and impromptu duels were cementing my faith in Wormhole Engineers and living in wormholes in general. Some new recruits had joined us as well, a couple of which would stay with us in the long haul (hello Firefly). The addition of Corp Bookmarks made our lives a lot easier to boot.

So it was all looking good. We were scoring kills and I was generally having a blast. My fun peaked after the Winter patch replaced the fuel for POS towers with the new Fuel Blocks. Many of you will have seen this story – Within hours after the new patch went live, I logged on and checked out our new wormhole chain. The resulting find netted me a carrier kill and a few billion in general loot. Easily one of the highlights of my EVE career.

Shortly after this though, my EVE life came to an abrupt pause. I moved country and with it my ability to play spaceships disappeared. I was off the grid for close to 6 months.

Ramping up the kills

After managing to return to Wormhole Engineers after my break, I found myself promoted from the evaluation corp into the main corp. Score. I now had access to the corp bookmarks which made my life a lot easier too.

The usual wormhole stuff continues,  with my first few months back giving us some very interesting kills. It was time to amp the PvP skills up a bit. Killing 2 industrials in a group of three, with no ability to warp scramble them. We counter-baited a hostile gang in their home system, netting a Rattlesnake kill. A whole bunch of kills and other oddities occurred in August, including finding our Sister Wormhole (A Class 4 with several corpmates living there). We even opened a wormhole behind a hostile pilot we were trying to hunt. To add to this, we finally killed our first Capital ship in wormhole space.

Following the month of excitement, I finally got myself an upgrade in ships, trading my covops Tengu for a covops Proteus. Whilst much shorter range, it traded speed for a massively improved Tank with more DPS at 3km, which is where I would be when cloaked anyway. A flight of drones provided me with ECM capabilities which has, to date, saved my Proteus 3 times in the face of danger.

Later in the year, our shenanigans upped a notch by claiming a nullsec system (I think it lasted a week). We also fought off our first couple of attempted corp thefts, but our security was more than enough to stop anything more than a couple of ships being stolen. More notable kills came in the form of managing to decloak a Drake in nullsec and scoring another capital kill – this time in saving our own carrier, tackled when rolling a wormhole. One of my favourite fights in wormhole space to date!

My own skills were to a point where I was now satisfied. I knew the wormhole mechanics inside out. My probing was more than adequate, and we even popped a 10mn Slicer thanks to my probing.

Then it gets a bit worse.

The slow decline

It’s no secret that Wormhole Engineers has been suffering a slight activity issue. Most of our members had been struck by various real-life issues (myself included, hence the lack of posts here) so our EU timezone was looking a bit grim. We fired up recruitment and got a couple of new members along with our veteran members returning slowly, so our EU timezone is now up to what it was last August. So thank god for that.

However, there have been two very major changes to wormhole space that has caused me to start to fall out with it. Both brought on by CCP. You probably know what these are.

First off, CCP changed probing. They made it a lot easier, whilst removing some of the skill and the fidelity needed previously. Now this one is a bit of a mixed bag – I like the extra abilities (default formations, launch several probes at once) but simultaneously dislike other things. The reduced launch time makes it nigh-on impossible to catch ships when launching probes, for example. To be honest, I’m neither happy nor unhappy at the changes, but did prefer the older system.

Secondly, we have the new scanning overlay thing. I love it… in k-space. In wormhole space it’s a goddamn pain in the arse. Gone are the days when you could catch a ratting fleet unawares with a new wormhole. Before they had to have a probe up, with someone hitting “probe” and checking it for new signatures. You get lazy and forget to probe, you possibly die. Now the game does it for you, you just have to keep the window open. We have not had a single kill against a sleeper-ratting ship from a new wormhole since the expansion. We’ve jumped others of course, but those situations are independent of this change. There’s a lot more that annoys me with this auto-scanner in wormhole space, and my corpmate Penny has a brilliant post here which sums it up nicely.

So all of that brings us to today. I’ve had a blas so far and hope to continue doing so. I feel I’ve reached the peak in my actual wormhole knowledge, but still plenty to improve on in combat (don’t warp to bubbled gates in a Guardian, dammit). My interest in w-space has declined lately thanks to the issues above, but it’s turning around. My overall playtime has dropped like a rock thanks to recent events out of game, but there’s not a lot I can do there.

So that’s 2 years. Onto the next one.

Tusker FFA results in explosions and hilarity.

Saturday night played host to the Tusker Frigate FFA. Over 120 pilots gathered for a massive brawl, resulting in over 2000 ships being destroyed over the course of a few hours – nearly all of them actually frigates!

The action kicked off at 2000 EVE time, with nearly all of us on the Tusker’s mumble server to chat away. Once the “go” was given, most people warped to the top belt to begin the brawl.

The Battle begins

I had chosen a Rail Atron as my ship of choice, and had about 5 tucked a couple of jumps away in High Security space. Having never flown this fit before, I was unsure what it could do. Not a lot, as it turns out. The poor DPS was, however, mitigated by the fact it was fast as hell.

Belt 1 was quick turning into a graveyard – pilot after pilot went GCC and exploded against each other. The sound of autocannons and blasters filled the liquidy space of EVE.

Half an hour into the fight!

Many e-famous EVE players graced us with their presence. Miura Bull of  Brutor Bullfighter, Mangala Solaris of RvB, Rixx Javix of EVEOGANDA and Cheradenine Harper of Diaries of a Space Noob all showed up to prove that they were the best out there. We even had EVE’s famous singer, Sindel Pellion appear!

The Tuskers were providing free tech1 fitted frigates from the station,  so even the poorest among us were able to reship time and time again. My first Atron died to a Firetail, but I avenged it by scoring a bunch of kills across the board with the second Atron. I even saw Sindel sitting, at 0, in a Velator.

I did the only thing I could do.

I’M SORRY SINDEL

The night raged on, with the battles spilling into every belt and onto every custom’s office in the whole system. Each warpin was a battleground and wrecks clogged the overview.

I engaged Cheradenine briefly here, but he warped in Structure.

The Tusker’s did their part in spicing up the  night – they dropped cans with various loot (PLEX, Faction items) at planets and Faction Warfare complexes, followed by an announcement in local. That chosen spot soon become a new battlefield.

I may have dropped on and killed a Mangala.

I soon swapped my Atrons for a Merlin and Incursus, loving the massively increased DPS.

One of the Tusker organisers even warped a Megathron out for us to try to kill, which we obviously did.

My personal favourite kill was a Daredevil who decided to GCC against me in a belt – whilst at 0. Scram, web, dead. K.

At 2200 EVE, the field opened up to allow Tech 2 and Faction frigates to take part – normally ending in the T1 pilots ganging up on their more powerful brethren!

WOOP WOOP THIS IS THE SOUND OF THE POLICE

One of the asteroid belts during the brawl – quite a lot of wrecks!

I, uh, enjoy killing Mangala

Finally, as they said they would, Fweddit showed up 15 minutes before the end in Blackbirds, Thrashers and Hurricanes – by this point there was only about 50 of us remaining. Good going, guys.

The Tuskers ended the night by launching a Faction Fit Smartbomb Navy Typhoon at the star, which we had a bit of trouble killing!

Smartbombs, how do they work?

We had to bail the field as the Typhoon entered structure since Fweddit finally showed their faces, alpha’d a few frigs (and the Phoon!) and warped off again. Oh well!

We’ve posted all the kills we can on the RvB Ganked Killboard HERE.

Easily one of the best nights I’ve had in EVE so far – the combat was fun, the setup was excellent and the comms were hilarious. Many thanks to the pilots involved in setting it all up.

If the Tuskers do another FFA, you should all attend. It’s worth every ship.

Veto London Meet – Booze and spaceship nerds

Last weekend saw my first entrance into a real-life EVE event – the EVE Veto London meet, to be precise.

I wasn’t entirely sure who was going – I knew a few old mates from RvB were showing, as well as Azual Skoll, Kaeda Maxwell and Seismic Stan – all names I actually recognized. The rest remained a mystery. I took the train all the way down from Newcastle, arriving into London at about 1pm. I then proceeded to get completely lost, causing taunting texts from Mangala and Calistai whilst Siuil actually sent me directions.

Calistai is not a subtle man IRL.

It was fortunate I did, since I eventually managed to find the bar where us spaceship nerds were supposed to meet. A good 40+ were already here, but fortunately  I ran straight into Siuil, followed shortly by Mangala and Calistai, who promptly called me “about 12”.  Gits.

A wave of RvB’ers arrived, including Combat Mink and a bunch of random EVE guys and about this point it all ran together, so here’s my highlights:

  • Siuil managing to fall over, into a table.
  • Chatting with a couple of guys from the Black Rebel Rifter Club – they even brought along a replacement for Kaeda, since Kaeda was ill and couldn’t show

Myself and the two guys from RIFTA

  • Arguing with DJWiggles over local changes (he didn’t get the joke when I yelled “fix local” at CCP Unifex, apparently…
  • Giving (bad) advice to to Cheradenine of Diaries of a Space Noob alongside Azual of EVE Altruist. He had a shirt with his blog on it.

  • The Magician Guy who won a beer off CCP Soundwave via card-tricks.
  • The CCP Devs announcing the name of the new expansion; EVE Online Retribution, including the new Bounty System!
  • The Goonswarm member who said “matematemate” to be at the bar.
  • Cali showing his oddly placed tattoo to everyone in the pub.
  • I only met Seismic Stan briefly, and Penny (of TigerEars) showed to the meet but never actually met me!

Want pictures? Of course you do.

Mangala’s Pictures.

Penelope Star’s pictures.

Penelope Star, Combat Mink, Azual Skoll, Calistai Huranu

Mangala Solaris, CCP Unifex, Combat Mink

Soundwave getting magick’d

Cali doing… something

Nerdz

10/10 would go to a spaceship meet again. I think I ended up back in my hotel room at 2am.

A milestone of views

Just a quick post to show you this;

It’s not much compared to some bloggers, but I’m happy as hell with hitting 100k views last week.

Thanks for reading!

(Also, EVE London meet this Saturday. BE THERE.)