Tuesday 23 October 2012

Days 101 - 128 : A Month in the Wilderness

Look! I’ve abandoned the daily format!  Sometimes a Noob just has to fly. In fact I have hardly any time to fly because of RL commitments and cleaning up the blog backlog. Following that, a long holiday of doing pretty much fuck all which did a lot of good for the soul. I’ll spare you most of the RL details of what London has come to know as a “staycation” and instead scribble down a summary of EVE activities, boring though they may be.

1. Industry. After waiting for a month with a rig blueprint in a research queue I finally go and get it and try a build out. It’s profitable enough but all it seems to do is set in concrete the need for a research POS as part of my industry plans. The real target here was to force me to build from buy orders alone. Sure, I could go out and salvage the materials but it would take forever. With Buy Orders slowing gathering in the materials I can wander off and do all kinds of other things.

2. Fame. I’m featured on minerbumper.com after commenting about his mittani.com post! I’ve  still been reading minerbumper and laughing at the miner responses despite taking some slow time in EVE. I recommend it, it has saved me several times during grim days at work. Thankfully it seems to be mainly based in Caldari space and won’t suffer from the Goons Ice Interdiction, unless they get involved to save said miners from the Interdiction. Thanks to the New Order of Hisec for bumping my blog stats a bit!


3. Corporation. A conversation with a blog reader results in me thinking about a public channel for the corporation.  I’m happy with the corp at the size it is now until I get round to planning it better. If you’ve seen the amount of stuff you can do in the corp management window you know what I mean, so I may just open a noob friendly channel instead. Stay tuned.

4. Live Events. A live event happened. It was live. Apparently. I missed it all due to spending the entire time rewatching old favourite films for a few days. I’m hoping they become a regular occurrence. The Live Events. Not the films. I’ll watch Goonies, Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark any time I can.

5. Blogging. I finished 100 days blogging. Only at the end did I realise it was becoming a grind to document what I’d done daily. I was enjoying it a lot but it ate into everything else, including actual EVE time. I needed to take a break and that is coming to an end but I doubt I’ll ever take up the daily format again. I’m a sucker for getting too into something too much and burning out fast. I need to pace myself.
6.  Week off. I have a week off work. It’s an annual thing where around the time of my birthday I like to be able to sit and contemplate the year, weighing up my successes and failures, planning for the next and taking a good long look at how I feel. Wait. No. That’s not right. It’s an annual thing where I avoid doing anything much other than getting drunk at inappropriate times, reading, watching films, enjoying not bothering to get dressed all day and generally behaving like a tramp with a room full of consumer electronics. I’m a birthday hater. This annual week of honing my ability to do bugger all is my way of giving the pace of life the single finger salute. Not many could do this, it’s a talent. I’m a valiant anti-hero fighting on the side of the sin of Sloth. For a week. Then I get bored of being boring.

 Since my birthday falls in the week I get a couple of presents in the post. On the morning itself an Amazon package turns up that looks like a book. Unfortunate since I’ve just bought myself a Kindle, looks as if I’ll be dual bagging the reading material for a couple of weeks. Lying in bed I rip open the cardboard package and a glossy package falls out. It’s not a book. It’s the latest Warcraft expansion that I’ve avoided buying. The much derided Mists of Panderia. The PandaPokemon Experience. I know who sent me this without looking. This is good because I spend the next ten minutes laughing so hard that I couldn’t read through the tears.

Several (many) years ago a friend visiting me saw me playing Warcraft and moaned at me to turn it off and get down the pub. I did turn it off and go down to the pub (it doesn’t take much with me) but revenge is a dish best served cold. Through the post. I mailed a copy of Wacraft up to her in Sheffield as soon as she had a PC that could run it. As it was a present she couldn’t not have a go at it. Then her boyfriend did. Then they bought a second PC so they could play at the same time. Then they bought better PC’s. It snowballed from there. I’ve written elsewhere how the three of us played a lot of Warcraft, drawing in other friends with us and making new ones along the way. The only thing I miss about playing Warcraft is hanging out with them all. So me receiving a copy of the new expansion is both a heartwarming “come back and play” message and also a “ha ha, just returning the favour” joke. I’m going to play it a bit. It’ll take me all year to get through it with the amount I’m planning to play but at least I’ll be able to catch up with them a bit more. I do log on once to take a look around but get scared by seeing Panda characters that are already at the maximum level, seeing the amount of crap I need to clear out of the bank before I begin, the amount I’ve forgotten about said crap, accidentally getting into a pokemon fight within five minutes of being in the game, and because I attempt to right click and select “Show Info” on EVERYTHING. EVE has crept into my subconscious. It’s only so long before I start doing this in real life.

Here I need to salute my two friends who got me this present. Not for sending me the Warcraft expansion but because the ten minutes I spent laughing about it is probably the best birthday present anyone ever sent me. C+G - love ya both. See you in the world.

7. Second account. I got one. I began listing the reasons to get a second account in the last five posts but I missed one and underestimated another. The missed reason was experimentation. Frigate combat is FAST, you’ll be lucky if you learn something in a fight though I try to take something from every loss. While I know I should just throw endless T1 frigates into the fray and learn from exploding many, many times there are some effects that would still be hard to learn. With a second account I can find a quiet, out of the way system and try out all kinds of experiments and judge their effects from both perspectives. I’ll see the effect of ECM and be able to judge it better. I’ll see the effect of range dictation on short range weapons and slow tracking. I can experiment with flight strategies for escaping from propulsion disruption. That’s just for a start, experimentation isn’t just limited to combat. I can experiment with fleet mechanics on a small scale without annoying anyone or losing their ships. It should give me a better understanding of what’s going on when/if I end up in some larger fleets.

I underestimated the focus benefit of the second account. The simple fact of knowing that I had a second account in training to take up the slack in the grunt work areas of mining and hauling made it a lot easier to plan the future of the main. It wasn’t that I could already replace its mining and hauling skills, it was the fact that I no longer had to worry about planning for them. The main account wasn’t going to end the first year with skills spread across categories like butter scraped over too much bread. The depressing thing about this focus is that it then took me less than five minutes to work up a six month skill plan in EVEMon. Six months planned out ahead of me. Sigh.
A minor side effect of choosing a Caldari background for the second account was the discovery that I actually like some of the Caldari ships. I’d previously avoided them but, as ever, I am all about the shiny new ships. The plan to fly all the racial frigates is back on the cards. Currently I’m admiring the steel space sailor that is the Heron, and the resting raptor that is the Merlin.

8. Fail Day. I have one of those days. One of those days you occasionally have where nothing goes right. It started with a missing bit of knowledge. I was cheerfully grinding standings up to POS anchoring levels when a friend informed me that it was Corporation standings that counted for anchoring a POS, not personal standings. This puts the POS back by months, unless I throw caution to the wind and anchor the first in 0.2 space. This isn’t going to happen for a while either. Back to the drawing board.

Continuing with the chain of missions I was already on for standings I then nearly lost my Ishkur to a set of elite scram and web frigates in the Yan Jung ruins somewhere in Sinq Laison. I got out intact but it was the second defeat of the day and made me completely abandon the standings chase for the day.

Returning home, I got a shout from a corp mate in trouble running a 5/10 site. I jumped into a fail fit Myrmidon without thinking and headed out to lend a hand. A fail fit and poor BC skills, a 5/10 site in a busy low sec. I’ll give you three guesses what happened. You won’t need all three. The only plus point was tanking nearly 22K damage in a badly thought out, and badly skilled Battlecruiser. http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=14804638 I really must draw up a pre flight checklist that includes the final item “Are you sure you are not being a complete idiot?”. Who am I kidding? A corpmate was in trouble. I’d have gone anyway. Kudos to the two guys that scanned me down and jumped me!

9. London Meet Up. I turned up at the London meet up around 3pm expecting things to be quiet. In truth I sort of expected a few geeks sat around a table or two and that I would be fine fitting in. I walked into the pub and saw nobody. This was because they were all around the corner in the side of the pub. Loads of people! Men in black clothes were pretty much in the majority but otherwise geek stereotypes were not really that evident. Maybe the quiet geeks had drowned in the amount of alcohol flowing through the place.

I found myself oddly nervous all of a sudden so headed for my usual social gateway. The smokers. I was involved in conversations within seconds. I met a lot of great people and heard a lot of stories. I appeared to the biggest noob in any conversation which occasionally caused bouts of hilarity. I’d remember more but the piece of paper I was using as external memory was destroyed in a lager spillage. Among the things I do remember:

Various members of the now defunct REPO who I spent ages swapping stories with while standing outside smoking. All good blokes whose names were sadly lost in the lager incident, if you remember talking to me and are reading this then comment below!

Meeting a character whose sole income was training up alt accounts and selling them on through the forum. Billions worth of them. Billions! He was 17 years old.

Meeting  Mangala Solaris and the RvB crew. I was quite drunk by this point and the single clearest thought I have of the incident is not believing a famous FC could come from Preston. I will make that RvB ganked roam one day. I just need a jump clone and some artillery skills. I was serious about that RvB ganked roam in the new mining frigates by the way.

Meeting Heimdallofasgard (@Heimdall_EVEO). I had thought his promise to badge us all up was a joke. Nope. I still can’t believe he turned up with hundreds of these things even though mine has pride of place above my monitors these days:


Finally catching up with Tgl3 of http://throughnewbeyes.wordpress.com/ I found him stood at the bar next to another player I’d wanted to meet, Azual Skoll, The Altruist http://www.evealtruist.com/. By this point I was quite drunk and their advice didn’t really sink in. I do remember thinking that I must have been as old as their ages combined. They were young in real life (well, compared to me) and I was young in EVE. Ha. I win. Ok, no, not really. Good chaps both. Great to meet them both and apologies if I exclaimed about your youth too much. Lets face it, I wasn’t the first. Someone had already told me Azual was younger than some and had a photo on his phone to prove it, and I walked past when Mangala Solaris was claiming Tgl3 wasn’t old enough to drink.

POS fuel. This was some blue stuff in a bucket (not a cube), with a straw in it, that people regularly made me drink for some reason. I am not sure what was in it. It did taste like fruity fuel. Did I mention it was in a bucket of some kind? A communal EVE bucket of fuel. It can still make me feel slightly ill just thinking about it.

In fact there were only three bad things about the event:

1. I left too early. For reasons I don’t understand but must have made drunken sense at the time, probably avoiding a London taxi fare by getting a late tube home.

2. Missing meeting pjharvey of http://www.tigerears.org/ She turned up, presumably saw the results of POS fuel on a room full of EVE fans and then wisely ran away before I could say hi. I wanted to thank her for the exploration inspiration!

3. The way I felt the next day when I woke up, which at least makes bad thing #1 easier to bear.


  1. Yeah, I get that a lot!

    If I remember right, most of our advice was about scamming people and how *everything* in Eve is a trap.

    1. Ah yes! I was already there with the EVE paranoia. I was mainly thinking "WTF was in that POS fuel" though.

    2. TGL is a trap if you like that sort of thing.

  2. Glad to see you have returned to the EVE life. Still waiting on that public channel as well. :P
    Tried moving bpo research to nullsec with its free research slots but in my station a slot costs 50k isk per hour while in higsec you see slots for rent for 8-8000 isk per hour. So will have to grind faction standings as bit more as well for a possible high sec research pos.

  3. Regarding the standing to put up the POS.

    The corp standing is just the average of the standing of all the members in the corp. You have two options, either get everyone to grind up the standing required, or grind up the standing on one character, kick everyone else from the corp. In about a week when the corp standing settles back to the average of the one guy left in corp, setup the POS. Invite the other guys back into corp again.

    You only need the standing to actually put the POS up. Once it's up you don't need the standings.

    1. Hmmm this could be a plan, bit of a faff for everyone though. Since I'm attempting to grind to jump clone levels we should be able to cover it. I'll see what happens.

  4. Consider me thanked. I had actually planned to arrive sooner and stay longer, but a spontaneous invitation to a gig when I was already on my way to London, along with an existing plan to see Looper, had me rearranging things on-the-fly.

    There certainly were a lot of people there. I have no idea how anyone met anyone, to be honest, but it looked like everyone was having a good time.

  5. Good to have you back dood… A couple'a things struck a note with me...

    “The New Order of Hisec”
    Is just effin weird… and a bit scary actually. Kinda guy you expect see standing on an actual, by the gods, soapbox and proclaiming the world to come…

    “…honing my ability to do bugger all…”
    I read this and had an epiphany… I now know my role in this world. Thank you… =]

    “I attempt to right click and select “Show Info” on EVERYTHING. EVE has crept into my subconscious. It’s only so long before I start doing this in real life.”

    Guess what?
    I have found myself tappin' my leg with my left hand middle finger during conversations IRL… many times… (middle left finger is “Z” talk key in TS);

    I have found myself telling people, “I’ll be AFK for five.” And then heading to the bathroom… only to realize, later, why they were looking at me funny. =\

    I have found myself saying “zomygod” (ZOMG), “dubbleyou-tee-eeff” (WTF) etc. as if they were real words… and getting that same weird look.

    I have, so far, resisted the strong urge to explain these eccentricities, knowing it would only make matters far far worse…

    “Frigate combat is FAST…” “…I know I should just throw endless T1 frigates into the fray and learn from exploding many, many times…” & “Meeting Mangala Solaris and the RvB crew”

    Come pew with us!!! If you join RvB, tap Tur’s shoulder and ask if Hirilendur in Blue Rep can come out and play!

    “The standings chase”

    Anon-09:26 is dead on and…
    JIC you don’t already know about these; train up the Social skill, “Diplomacy” and run some of the “Data Center” mishes which give direct Faction Standings bumps.

    Skill at interacting with hostile Agents. 4% Modifier per level to effective standing towards hostile Agents. Not cumulative with Connections or Criminal Connections.


    “Data Center”
    Event Agents located at Data Centers offer a one-time agent mission that will give Faction standing for a number of pirate tags. Data Centers are deadspace locations found at beacons in high-security 'Empire' space. There are twelve Data Centers total with three Data Centers for each of the four major Empire factions, Caldari, Minmatar, Gallente and Amarr. (Amarr share theirs with the Ammatar and have more agents total.)


    Look forward to more noobishness... =]

    1. Good to be back! More noobishness on the way. Should be up now in fact!

      Re the above

      1. Welcome to the super sloth brigade!
      2. I've done that AFK thing. Worst thing about it is the number of people who have understood enough to know what it means
      3. RvB is on the alts list of things to do since getting the main out of the corp CEO role is just too much hassle to think about. Till then - seen the Tuskers event that's on Saturday night? I am going to chuck a few frigates in there.

      4. Data centers : I've done the Gallente ones where the tags are cheap, need to do the Winmatar ones. I've been doing some of the COSMOS missions too.

  6. If you want to practice, have a go on the test server (which is currently Buckingham). NPC's have everything at 100 ISK (so no risk).

    It's where the hardcore PvP'ers go to train for Alliance Tournaments and it's no non-consensual PvP anywhere, even in NullSec. Also it's incredibly quiet.