Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Day 86 : Music To Mine By

It turns out that I like the same books as The Mittani! I’ve been reading, trying to preserve a healthy equalising bias in my mind as I do so, it is a CFC sourced operation after all. That doesn’t stop it being a good read though. I admit that, at first, I thought it was somewhere between a scam, a joke, and a CFC loudhailer. Generally well written, entertaining, and, importantly, has moderated comments. It is still my go to source for the stories pouring out of the war in the north. Anyway, the book,, reminds me of Richard Morgans Altered Carbon. I’ll have to try this one out. I might have to start putting a reading list page together of all the stuff I’ve read that led me down the geeky road to MMOs, through Warcraft, and on to EVE. I’ve done a little bit of this before and got into a good discussion of Neal Stephenson books. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone has more suggestions and opinions. I’ll have to clear the backlog of entries for the blog first but lets face it, there are plenty of opportunities for reading a book while playing so I should do it.

In game I find an email from Jax. A Serpentis site he ran escalated to the equivalent of a  5/10 site. We’ll get beaten bloody in there with no chance of victory. As usual I am well up for this. I’ve chosen a Vexor that I nickname the Failboat. We warp into the first room and it doesn’t go well for me at first but then I get the distance/cap/repair balance right and manage to get some fighting done while hovering in mid armour. Near the end of clearing the room I over aggro a battleship and end up having to warp out on half hull but I get back for the finale when Jax and his Myrm finish them off. The second room would be a stretch to say the least but Jax has to log off anyway. I go back and use the tractor beam salvaging techniques that I worked on earlier in the week to clear up. I dump the result into the corp hangars. Even though I now know that all this stuff is used in manufacturing I can’t stop thinking of it as the EVE equivalent of “vendor trash” or “greys”, the stuff that in other MMO’s you routinely sold to NPC vendors.  

Later I look into some more mining missions. I’m going to run some Level IIIs to boost my standings and see what kind of loot the level III’s reward. The procurer is perfect for these missions apart from the fact that I can’t stretch its power grid to support a suitably sized Afterburner or MicroWarp Drive. I faff with the tank and get a small MWD fitted to it, almost doubling the top speed and making the run in towards mission ore a little shorter. The tank is still way too high for rats to make much of a dent in it and there is nothing that a flight of five drones can’t handle. I suspect I wouldn’t even have to attack the rats to finish the mission. I quickly learn to time the single Strip Miner against the amount of ore in a particular rock. There is no point running it for a three minute cycle when one of the rocks takes it less than ten seconds to mine.

It’s all too easy so I head to low sec to compare the result. I’m surprised that the mission reward isn’t much higher. I guess that 0.4 isn’t that much different from 0.6 systems. I’ll try some lower security status ones in future. Despite in system traffic no pilots come and bother me. Either they are busy finding good fights, fighting Factional Warfare, or can’t be bothered with a Procurer which might have a 45K tank on it.

There was a moment where I thought the mission might get a little busy. Some rats spawned far out from the rocks and one of them was a battleship. The Procurer is big enough and slow enough to allow stupid rat battleship commanders able to hit it. As it turns out stupid rat battleship commanders would rather concentrate on five drones zooming round them, drones they have no chance of hitting. So aside from an amusing firework show and something for the lads to play with the battleship adds nothing to the mission. It’s a shame my T1 drones don’t have the power to break its armour tank. I’ll have to get that sorted out. I recalled my drones, docked, grabbed my million in ISK reward and the 1000+ LP reward. I think the LP rewards may be raised due to low sec after all. I’ll have to run a proper comparison at some point. More things to add to the todo list.

Somewhere during these missions I started referring to my own drones as “the lads”. Disturbing.

I’m feeling oddly low by the evening, no doubt incoming salvos by Monday which has extra tracking speed mods on this week. I cheer myself up by listening to classical music while rolling through space. It’s an end of Sunday thing. Moonlight Sonata fits mining, Sarabande reminds me of watching the Goonies (which always cheers me up of a blue Sunday), and Ave Maria, well, because there is something sacrilegiously soothing about listening to it while blowing shit up. Lets not even talk about flying around New Eden to The Blue Danube or Also Sprach Zarathustra which are in the Spotify playlist somewhere.

EDIT: Todays entry is for the 9th September. Struggling with the backlog as usual, I was editing it on the 12th September. As I started this and caught up with various new sources I saw the news about the CFC pilot, and ex CSM member, Vile Rat being a casualty of the attack on the US embassy in Benghazi. I never knew the guy, I’m new to the game and the greatest players are far from this Noobs country. Nevertheless it hit me harder than I expected, even harder when I saw all the tributes as the EVE community rallied to remember its own, instantly forgetting any mutual in game animosity, commiserating with those who knew him. I’m proud to be making my way into a community like this. To Sean Smiths family, to all Vile Rats friends and colleagues in the EVE community and out of it, my condolences, such as they are worth. It sounds like he was a well loved guy who was great at what he did. RIP Sean Smith. I wish I’d got to mail you after an “accident” with a blue. o7.


  1. if you have a sci-fi bent (and most eve players do), I'm certain that you would enjoy the book 'this alien shore,' one of my long-time favorites.

  2. Thanks for picking up the book; I hope you like it. I was pretty pleased that Mittens liked it as much as he did. As for VR...well, what can be said that hasn't already been? Shoot blues more than ever, I guess. RIP.

    1. I haven't picked it up just yet because I think you may be the person that finally kicks me over the line into buying an e-reader!

      I've been meaning to get one for a while and I'm basically down to finding someone with a Kindle Touch that will let me have a go before I buy. I've scared at least a couple of people by staring at them on the Underground because I thought they were using one...

      If the Kindle plan fails then I'll pick up the hardcopy for the start of October (a week off work, I'll need books), so if you see me mining in October - no ganking, I'm reading!

      PS - does buying hardcopy over e-copy affect the writer?

    2. Hey, sorry about the slow reply. E-readers are great, and I love them - but if you're not sure if you want to make the plunge on a portable unit, don't forget that you can give some titles a try through the PC/MAC-installable version of the Kindle reader. As per hardcopy over e-copy, well, that can depend. My contract gives me a really good percentage on print copies, but to be honest e-copies sell better and faster than print does outside of a bookseller. I'd rather you buy the ebook, love it, and tell all your friends - who would then go and pick it up due to the very decent price, and hopefully love it enough to keep spreading the word about it. It's a perilous mixture of volume and price that makes the indie author (yes, I'm still indie even though I've got a publisher) and I'd rather have more people buy cheaper than a smaller number buy expensively.

      Mind you, if you like enough in digital format to pick it up in print format too, I certainly won't complain!

    3. I've tried the e-book format on my Android phone. I figure that if I can manage to enjoy that I should get a real one. I used the phone to read some of Cory Doctorows stuff. Really enjoyed Makers.

    4. Kindle Touch obtained. Within a few days it has turned into my favourite tech gadget. Not only is it good to read on, it is BETTER to read on sometimes.

      Bone Wires in the Kindle lined up after Stonemouth, then onto one other, and Hydrogen Sonata pre-ordered for the 4th.

  3. Hey Man.. Was going to reply and suggest a whole slew of books, then I read about Vile Rat and have been sitting in a haze for the past two days. Haven't even wanted to think about EVE. Somewhat oddly, I never had the chance to chat with him.. but he has effected every aspect pretty much of my EVE life. It is a complete shock to lose him like that. I actually read about it here first.

    Anyhow.. Good books for EVE Players. Can't say I like Stephenson. Crytonomicon made my eyes water and Snow Crash was not a book I enjoyed (lost me when he tried to get into linguistics and failed hard), so you might want to take these with a grain of salt. Some are also going to be nearly impossible, or impossible to find. The easiest to get and some of my favourites are David Brin and the Uplift "series". Start with Sundiver as it is the "first" of the books. Hard to call it a series when all the characters are separated by relativistic distances so events do not necessarily occur in chronological order. Next, check out Varley and the Gai series. If that floats your boat, he has a whole series of books such as Steel Beech which would tickle an EVE player's fancy. Now to some hard and impossible to get stuff. If you are a serious reader, I would suggested Neverness by David Zindell and the series that comes after it (here we have impossible to get. Series is out of print and I have managed to find ONE of the books. Good luck!). Of course there is Heinlein. We would be here all day if I were to recommend his books individually. For something with the same feeling of scope as EVE check out Hyperion by Dan Simmons.

    I am a bit of a reader (can't you tell?), so you can never go wrong talking about books with me!

    1. I never really caught onto Brin's Uplift series. I read Sundiver and never got any further for some reason. It's not him, I did like The Postman but I have a liking for post apocalyptica for some reason. Heinlen goes without saying. I really liked Dan Simmons Ilium but never got around to Hyperion and its sequels.

      Currently back re-reading Excession and its probably going to make me re-read Look to Windward, Player of Games and Use of Weapons again before picking up Bone Wires