Thursday, 18 April 2013

Day 307: Diamond in the rough

I voted in the CSM elections, did you? If you didn't then why not? You've effectively lost your right to complain about anything to do with CCP not listening to the player base. Well you will have in about six hours.

With fourteen voting slots available I had to do some more research than I would have thought I'd be doing but it was made easy with the forum posts and the community projects. The community projects in particular were eye openers. I used Vote Match and vote0matic and the excellent series of interviews over at Crossing Zebras. Sadly I missed out on other podcasts where there were some free ranging discussions between candidates as I simply didn't have time.

Being a Noob I voted for the new player experience, general eve knowledge, small scale pvp, and even a nod towards the future and specialised expertise with a vote for a couple of null sec bloc candidates though it was lower down my list. I'd have endorsed for Ripard Teg and Marc Scaurus but the latter pulled out and I endorsed Mangala Solaris instead (even if he does primary bloggers every time....). The big discovery though was Ali Aras. I hadn't heard of her before in any way beforehand and then all of  a sudden we have a null sec living, new player friendly, eloquent, enthusiasic, EVE player appearing out of no where.

and the interview at

Her forum post in Jita Park

Now ideally I'd have jumped in and tried some lobby blogging before the point was moot. Three things stopped me. Firstly my lack of time recently to even play EVE, let alone blog. Secondly, I'm a Noob and a mainly hi-sec one at that. This isn't a bad thing but I'd like a little more experience and to have seen the entire CSM process before I start lobbying for a particular candidate. Third, I have no idea what direction I'll take in the next year but I'm considering breaking free of hi-sec once Odyssey arrives.

If you haven't already voted then go vote. You have about six hours left. EVE University has a good summary of articles and voting tools

My tip : if you have a small screen then use the zoom feature of your browser to get all the candidates on screen then you can drag/drop easily without scrolling around.

EVE Track of the Day

Fight For Your Right - Beastie Boys

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Day 304 : EVE Wanking

I've mainly been playing EVE Offline. It started last month when my home internet connection went down for six days thanks to either some cable thieves or some muppetry at the local exchange, depending on who you believe. I tethered my phone and managed to play anyway. The bandwidth was fine but the latency pretty much ruled out any flying. I was reduced to updating jobs and doing things other than EVE in order not to be driven out of my mind by the delays. By the time my internet connection had been restored I'd fallen out of a pattern of EVE playing in the evening. I was locked into the behaviour of some kind of mindless morning  industry drone. Not much of interest got done, and nothing of interest enough to write about.

Real life proceeded to throw a further spanner in the works with a series of busy weekends where there was no chance to log on at all. I became a fully EVE Offline player: reading blogs; watching #tweetfleet; reading the EVE Reddit; fitting ships in EFT; staring at EVEMon and willing the skill training to speed up; staring at EVEMon willing sales to happen; making ridiculous alterations to the skill plan in EVEMon in order to satisfy  every sudden "plan" for my character. EVE Offline is great. It's so full of potential, so full of plots and plans and schemes, so full of news covered drama, so full of banter. It's not full of actually flying spaceships and as a result I decided to cut down on it and give it a more accurate name: EVE Wanking.

In order to escape it's clutches and prevent apocryphal blindness I briefly started another couple of blog type projects to play around with, one EVE and one very much not EVE. Then Iain Banks announced he had cancer. I was crushed by this news. I've met him briefly. Even with a hangover at a book signing he had time for a chat and a laugh. He is a great guy as well as the author of some of my favourite books. An ex Civilization playing addict (it delayed Player of Games) who writes science fiction. Thank god he never picked up EVE.

 I thought the awful news would spur me to finally write some fiction. It's a good job I write into the PC because otherwise I'd be buried in screwed up pieces of paper by now. I just don't seem to have the skill to translate an idea into a story. Either the story turns out to be shallow and boring or I race through it and somehow exhaust the idea in writing a rather poor abstract of it. Then something happened.

A little frazzled from a few busy weeks I took a Monday off in order to recover and found myself with nothing to do and an itchy EVE trigger finger that was vibrating with the potential generated by EVE Offline Wanking ideas.

I jumped into my only pre fit PVP ship, scribbling a reminder in my ever present notebook to "Fit PVP shps b4 nd 2 use em". Fortunately the ship was my T1 go to ship, the Incursus. Fit with dual rep and the rigs to back it up (though I have further investigation to do here) I headed out into the northern Essence lowsec borders to see what I could see. Mostly things were quiet or too tasty for a solo pilot with no off grid boosting (which we'll not talk about as I'll start to rant).

I'm in a novice plex watching someone run away and beginning to reconsider EVE Wanking when another Incursus drops out of warp. I've become a lot better at DScan but spamming 360 scans in dangerous places is still a weakness. Nevertheless I didn't lose out and gleefully headed into a scrap.

It quickly became clear that I was up against another dual rep Incursus. My longest frigate fight ever ensued. Subjectively it felt like about an hour. I think it was actually around two minutes. I popped, my cap booster unable to keep up with the continual drain, and got my pod out. My opponent offered a 'gf' and some advice about cap booster charge choices. It turns out I'd flown out with the smallest available when I should have gone for something larger for a full cap boost, taking my chances on the reload. I've got some research to do into the trade off between reload and booster charge size but at least I met someone who passed along some advice. Cheers to Rhino Styx for the fight and for the advice.

Having enjoyed that fight so much I jumped into another as fast as possible. This time a hastily fit Tristan, a ship I continually look to fly, a ship I keep messing with that always feels badly compromised whatever fit I try. Being a little giddy from the earlier fight I leapt straight into the first thing I could find without thinking and was promptly exploded by a Thrasher/Hawk team. I now fear Thrashers like Chief Brody fears Great Whites. I'm gonna need some bigger boats.

Another two ship losses and another two pod escapes complete. A couple more lessons learned the hard but only way. Exploding. It's the only way to fly.

Having been woefully understocked in actual EVE as opposed to mental dreamland EVE, I spent the rest of the day marshalling resources in an attempt to get some kind of fitting program together. Along the way I discovered possibly the most Noob mistake I've made in a long time. I discovered the the export format of EFT can be imported from the clipboard. I'd subconsciously registered the ordered nature of the format but shamefully, perhaps purposefully, not thought any more about it. I see a lot of data in plaintext delimited formats at work. I don't need more in my life.

You'll see a lot of EVE posts with fitting formats along the lines of

[Incursus, Dual Repper, T2]
Light Ion Blaster II
Light Ion Blaster II
Light Ion Blaster II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Small Capacitor Booster II

Damage Control II
Small Armor Repairer II
Small Armor Repairer II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Nanobot Accelerator I

Hobgoblin II x1

Get the entire thing onto your clipboard (select and Copy) and then open up or maximise EFT and you'll be asked if you want to import the fit. It takes 90% off the time of investigating fits. Import one, delete stuff you can't use and replace those mods with ones you can. It's one of those things that is so obvious that everyone knows it. Everyone apart from me. Somewhere down the line I'd skipped this lesson, so I'm passing it on to any fellow ignorant idiots that might also have missed the fact that it's an import/export format and not just export.

EVE Track of the Day Month

One Of These Things First - Nick Drake