Thursday, 23 December 2010

astrals letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

Its me Astral Dominix. Now I know I haven’t really been very good this year, as there was rather a lot of piracy, but I think we can come to some understanding about putting me on the nice list.
Cos I recently trained slay jamming to v, and if I make it on to the naughty list im gonna set up a gate camp and pod ya , hohoho!
Now santa, aside form the little bit of piracy I have been a very good capsuleer, so I have asked for some big presents this year..
I want ….
A shiny new Absolution command ship.
Half a dozen pvp fit Abitrators.
A full set of snake implants
And several case’s of rum and a frisky exotic dancer.

Hope you and Rudolf are well…if you want to stay that way make sure the above is in my hanger in jel by the 25th. Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

10 tips for lowsec exploration

Ten tips for exploration in lowsec.

1- use 2 ships, a dedicated scan ship preferably a cov ops, the second ship should be CHEAP, you don’t need huge tank or DPS output to solo radar and mag sites, something like a arbitrator or vexor will easily do. You want something cheap because while you are in these sites is while you are vulnerable as you cant use cloaks while hacking or slavaging ect. I prefer drone boats as they allow you do decent damage plus fit a good tank and all the mids/highs for code breakers salvagers ect. Also the size of the cargo hold in cruisers will normally just fit the loot from these sites.

2- Pick half a dozen low population systems in lowsec close together (never a high sec or null entry point) and set up safe spots to scan from.. when you undock in your scan ship warp to these spots to launch your probes the fly off in a direction cloaked while you scan. NEVER launch probes next to a station , gate or from a asteroid belt. If you have a nippy cov ops you will be near impossible to catch if you follow this rule.

3- Fit for speed. The biggest advantage of using small-ish ships is their ability to align fast and move before people can lock them- use this! You want to be nippy to zip through most gate camps and GTFO, also helps if there are asshats station camping.

4- If you have a Jump Clones, dedicate one to exploration and fill his head with the CORRECT implants. Snake implants are good as the boost your speed and align times, and the prospector implants help a lot. And can make the difference finding some sites.

5- Never start a site if there is a fleet in system, be patient , move to the next system in you cluster to scan sites down and come back to will almost always still be there. If your already in a site and a fleet warps in, align out and watch d scan like a hawk, if you see incoming ships bail, but most fleets wont bother looking for a solo cruiser they hunt bigger game.

6- When you scan, use 5 probes, from a top down view laid out in a + formation with each of the 4 outer probes overlapping the centre probe. Start at 34 AU and work your way down, focus on one signal at a time. It takes practice. Line the centre probe up on the signal on the x,y AND z axis and keep reducing the scan size and pulling the outer probes closer until you get a 100% hit.

7- After each site haul you loot back to a station, this should be self explanatory, if you get caught with your pants down you don’t lose all your work. Also if you fill you ship up you may have to leave the site before you have looted everything and the site may despawn.

8- Don’t gets you killed. If you come through a gate into a camp or have someone warp in on you at the sites don’t lose your head, if you do you will always lose your ship stay calm, but act FAST, unless you have combat experience warp out ASAP. If at a gate align and warp quickly. If you have a cloak use it.

9- Deposit all you loot at 1 station, as close to high sec as you can get it. Then figure a way of getting the loot out..bear in mind hauls could be valued in the 100 mill mark, so have a plan to transport it, either with a blockade runner or some other means. If your like me you will prefer to do more runs at smaller value to avoid emo rage quit. When you get the loot out, it is a buzz.

10- If you become well know for exploration in a certain area, people may try to hunt you more often, counter this by every onw and again sitting at a site in a well tanked ship with several friends waiting nearby to warp in and lend a hand.. this tends to make people think twice before interrupting you in future.

If you follow these rules you can make lowsec exploration a fun and profitable experience, netting between 10 and 50 mill a site (the sites take around 10 15 min’s each once you find them). It breaks up the tedium of mission running and can get the blood pumping in a really good way. It also helps you become familiar with moving and living in lowsec. If you want to further increase profits, each time you ship a haul out of lowsec, import some ammo or other goods to sell in lowsec at a small mark up.

I hope this helps any budding explorers take their first steps into this sneaky fast paced world…and stay away from my sites ;)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Supercap debate?

Ok it seems to keep cropping up in blog’s, the super cap debate…except, its not much of a debate. Everyone seems to agree there are FAR too many super cap’s tooling about the place.
From my point of view it doesn’t make much difference, the largest ship I can see me flying is a carrier in lowsec one day, and that would be more for logistics than any desire to take it into a fight. But never say never, I may return to null sec one day so, I pay attention when people talk about this stuff.
Now im not sure why CCP hasn’t addressed this issue yet, as it seems to be a large bone of contention and every one is saying we need less super caps, and the current mechanics seems to lend itself to super cap blob fests, which is dull for everyone.
There has been some suggestions about how to lessen the number , most of which seems to incorporate linking the super caps to revenue, so it takes x amount of isk to maintain one super cap…a good idea but overly complicated.

Why not just out and out put a cap on super caps?
What I mean is impose a cap from now, that a ALLIANCE may only have 5 supercap’s/titans. Once you reach that limit you are unable to build/buy any more. And that individual corps outside of an alliance cannot own any.
Now before all the people say what about the 100’s already built, leave them there. But they can’t build/buy another to replace it when they go pop.
The result would be in a year or so alliances would have 5 super caps each and , if they lose them it will leave the whole alliance a super cap down for the build time of a new super cap…a BIG loss. People would think if it was really needed before using their “big stick”.
It would also make people stop and think before committing the super caps out there already as once its gone it is really gone.
This would also make sov fights Far more tactical rather than “we have more money, blob them with super caps until they leave!” it may also see a return of BS fleets which would be a good thing.

Any thoughts ?

Monday, 20 December 2010

back on the horse

Well desire to play eve properly kicked in again Sunday. I got up to quite a bit to make up for lost time. I started off logging on thinking I would work on some ratting, flying a rifter through low egghelende to ishomilkin and back.
This probably wasn’t my best idea on a Sunday as lowsec is quite active with piwates hunting belts, still only a rifter.
I got 3 jumps out in a system with 2 belts…warped in, and found a sansha cruiser and a sansha lord BS, too good to resist! Unfortunately one of the other gits in system had the same thought and came to relieve me of said rifter. Gf.

Slightly miffed, I podded back to jel and decided to run some missions, I got quite a nice lvl 3 (blockade) which I dragged out over a few hours to gain sec status, after 3 hours of : kill 5 ships- warp out – wait 20 mins- warp back – kill 5 ships- repeat. I gained about 0.2 sec status (which doesn’t sound like much but is almost half way to flying in a 0.7 system) and a few million.
I decided it was a good idea to use the cash from the mission to build a new arbitrator to do some exploration. That only takes about 10 mill, I keep them cheap so if I lose them I don’t care, I reason that I make 20-40 mill per site so if I can average a few sites before I get scanned down I’m well in front. After id built it I had some spare cash so I decided to build a “experimental” lowsec bestower for moving crap to and from my lowsec hub, again its cheap so I wont mind if I lose it and I shouldn’t be carrying more than 50 mill in good’s (in theory) if it doesn’t work I suppose I will invest the training to get a blockade runner. Anyway the bestower is fitted with a few warp stabs and nano fit loses cargo space but should be nippy and hard to catch.
While I was waiting for our CEO to move some bits for me through the highsec parts I cant enter I used vespa to move some mins I have been collecting about..I now have between a third and half what I need to build my abaddon..I’m in no big rush as I only use them on lvl 4s and I cant do them with fed navy until I can enter 0.8 systems.
While all this was going on I found out the OLD CEO of Btek has become active again (welcome back marv if your reading this) will be interesting to see what happens there as I know Reltso our current CEO is looking to join a alliance (yes we have one in mind now) .
I also heard one of our newer members saying he was grinding lvl1’s for fed navy, I decided id give him a leg up and invited him to run some lvl3s as everyone else seemed to be on a mining op. they were quite fun, had a interesting time dashing across egghelende a few times for 1 mission, but we both made it with out losses (despite the piss poor gate camps- lazy and disorganised) after he had to leave I jumped back to lowsec and did a little exploration, only managed to do 1 radar site before the wife demanded I watch some Christmas movies with her but as I had been playing for hours I didn’t complain. I logged off, happy with the days play and with a much better feeling about eve as a whole than I have had of late.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

eve on a mobile...soon?

Ok let me start by saying this post is more iphone and smart phone related than eve, if you have no interest in them skip this post.

Ok now its just us.. as some of you know I have an Iphone 3gs, 16gb, its nice. When I got it, it was a huge leap forward from the blackberry I had before. Then a few months ago I saw a post from our own blog father CK showing the eve client running on a over clocked android smart phone. It looked very cool
Since then I have been doing a lot of research on iphone vs android and some reading on how this was done.

The phones in question arnt really capable of running the eve client, what they are doing is using a app available on android that is similar to VNC to remote dial into their PC to play eve over the phone, this does come with some downsides as virtual keyboards pose a problem and apparently it suffers badly with FPS issues but is useable for market orders and mining ect. Also security of the connection is a issue, however the pros of being able to tap in from work school or trains ect would be massive. 8 hours a day mining would make a nice few isk for most people!

As a result I have been watching the development of android phones closely and with the upcoming release of a duel core mobile, I think the need for over clocking may be coming to an end..

On a side note the differences in android phones seem to be coming on in leaps and bounds and by the time I get offered a upgrade in 2012 I think I may well opt for the increased freedom of a android phone over the constrictions of apple.

It will mean however saying goodbye to a host of features available through apple, and part of me is hoping a similar sort of remote functionality becomes available on the iphone, or even better a CCP written “lite” client to be able to install and play from the iphone securely, that would be REALLY sweet.
I will have to keep dreaming for now but the day is coming where I can access eve from a mobile( while taking a crap at work) mwhahahaha

voice coms...its not all good.

I’ve been thinking a bit today (yes it hurt) about voice coms in eve…they are a wonderful tool, and a huge pain in the ass for many.
Im not looking to change corps or anything but I look through the recruitment forums now and again, and one of the most common requirements for corps (behind a limited API) is “must be able to use voice” …for PVP I totally understand I have tried to FC without voice and to be honest it doesn’t work. But for mining? Ratting? Its not needed.

Im not against voice in any way, I think it adds a very fun social side to eve that many enjoy as much or more than the game itself, but for a lot of us it bars us from the majority of the corps. If you have kids/wife/ overactive dog ect you may not WANT to be on voice all the time, if at all. Not because you cant or there is anything to hide but if your on the sofa with the wife lost in something like “strictly come celebrity factor” she isn’t gonna be amused when your aguing with your mates that piracy isn’t wrong…
Infact it will spur on a argument over the game she resents you playing because your “ignoring her” for several hours. ..however, as I have learned, if you spurn voice in favour of throwing the odd comment her way, and do things where you make her a drink and a snack now and again, all arguments are avoided and she appreciates the use of the TV. Much better.
The limiting thing is you wont meet the requirements for most corps and null sec is almost totally out of bounds ( I have never heard of a null corp that doesn’t insist on voice coms) lowsec becomes far more dangerous as you can only operate effectively solo, even large swaths of high sec think don’t want you.

There is hope however some corps, like btek, don’t require voice, we do still have the option but many don’t use it, it means you can pretty much play your way doing what you want. The voice is there if you wanna chat if not just type. Its very flexible, but can seem a little more distant.

There is no real solution to this problem and it exists across all games not just eve, but older players tend not to use voice as much, teenagers locked up in there rooms on there own playing have no such restrictions but they will understand in 10 years..
Some have an understanding partner or make deals for some “quality time with eve” but the fact is family comes first and it can seriously dent your prospects in eve.
Im sure there is pleanty of people who disagree with some of this but I know a LOT more casual eve players are in this boat ..maybe a lot more than people realise, but they tend not to be vocal or well known because of there assumed “lack of commitment”.

Musing over.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

im leaving...the blog pack

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately but I have been VERY lax with anything eve related..its weird because I’m not bored with it, I just cant seem to find the motivation at the moment to do very much. I log in run a few lvl3’s ( I can access lvl 4’s with fed navy, but only in 0.6 systems which is some what limiting) I normally log off after an hour or two, sometimes mid mission, my money is slowly building as is my stock pile of minerals from salvaged crap – I am planning on using the min’s to build a abbadon for running lvl 4’s, I could just buy one but building one seemed like a good way to use all the crap I salvage while I’m gaining sec status.
And on to sec status, my god is it ever slow. See I am now only really gaining sec status through mission running, which doesn’t go very fast as most rats don’t count and the ones that do, well they don’t give big frequent increases.
It’s a real pain because the corp tends to be running social lvl 4s in the evening id like to join in with but they all seem to be in 0.8 or 0.9 systems. CCP really needs a better system for gaining sec status than the one that is in place, and until you have to climb back you don’t see how broken it is. Still I’ll get there in time.
I did get a very generous donation the other day from a lovely woman reader of my blog who wished to remain anon, 100 mill contribution toward my plex funds for a alt, I have currently saved about 200 mill, I am aiming to get enough for 2 plex, which with the 21 friend code I will send myself should give me enough time with the alt that the second account will pay for its theory. I am currently sending all surplus money and donations to my piggy bank slot “sekrit banker” and its is building up quite nicely, I think I am gonna need about 800 mill so about quarter of the way there.
Lastly due the infrequent postings I am going to send a email to CK to remove me from the blog pack, I will still be active and posting, just less often, the blog pack has been a huge inspiration and help to me when I started blogging and gave me a nice steady reader base but I feel its time to let someone else have the limelight I was afforded. It would be my personal preference to give it to a new player with a new blog as I find reading about people as they begin there eve career more interesting than large fleet battles or the endless “I’m a uber pilot” blog’s. Reading about people’s mistakes and how they learn and overcome take me back to when I was new and making those mistakes, and recaptures the fun for me. But its CK’s baby and he will put whoever he thinks in there.
Please if you would like to continue reading, hit me with a follow or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Talk soon peeps.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The twilight zone

Good morning people!!
I apologize for the lack of postings recently, I have been consumed with other christmas…and rum.
Eve has become a quiet release from shopping for me over the last week or two. I have taken part in a corp ice mining op..dull but takes the weight off our CEO who works his socks off to meet our needs. It did point out how much work I need to put in with Vespa to make her a competent miner, trying to harvest ice alongside 3 mackinaws really highlights highlight’s my need to improve vespa’s mining ability. Need to get her into a hulk ASAP.

I said a post or two ago I was going to train vespa to run missions..I scrapped that. Trying to make her a combat pilot isn’t working she is a carebear. Killing things with her just feel's..wrong.

I have resigned myself of late to spending a night with the corp mining to buld the various ships I desire, the next night I wander aimlessly around lowsec with astral popping cruisers. I hope to be able to renter 0.7 systems by Christmas and resume mission running with him.

Long term I am planning on using astral as intend- a combat pilot/mission runner. Vespa as a miner, and on the accumulation of enough isk (god willing) I will start a second account for a orca/freighter pilot so assist vespa and in time take over her PI and building duties so she is a pure hulk pilot. Which I plan to funsd with plex so the wife doesnt kick off.
But this is all subject to change at a moments notice on a whim.

I have had a revelation of sorts recently.. I was kinda bummed since I left null about how slow gaining sec status was. Also how slow training 2 toon’s on 1 account was…about how I wasn’t doing the stuff I wanted to be doing.
Then it hit me like a shovel!
Whats the rush?
Im a carebear essentially at the moment..I have all the ships I need, I have all the isk I need, if it takes a month to raise sec status or 6 months in the long run it’s not that big a deal…taking 3 months to work on vespa..not that big a deal when im looking at 2-3 year skill plans. just sit back and smell the roses.
Everything seems more relaxed and sedate when you stop waiting for things and just, go with the flow. The down side to this I have become lax on my blogging too.

On a more interesting note-
I have been popped twice while doing some exploration, once by forgetting I couldn’t enter 0.6 space yet (and being a little drunk) and once when a corp mate came out to give it a go and brought a dominix with him…which drew the attention of the local pirates, who appeared just as I cop wife aggro of “are you gonna help me wrap these Christmas preasents or not!!”
I have however got about 60 mill in loot sitting in a station in lowsec, all small and moveable in my new pilgrim, I could have had twice that much in a few days if I dedicated myself a little more but casual is fun at the moment for me.

I will report more as life picks back up and I can get back to doing more interesting things, but for now im in a weird twilight zone of eve…