Saturday, 28 December 2013

Day 561 : How Do You EVE?

Tur over at put me onto a thing. Apparently Kane Rizzel posted his EVE set up and people started following suit. I'm late to the party but have reason to join. Until lately my computer desk was the same one I'd had since the nineties. It was getting cramped. The wheels had fallen off. Literally. It made it an inch and a half lower when they broke off.

My old man heard about this and being the kind of man he is, he decided to replace my old desk with a fitted corner desk. Now my old man is the kind of person that DIY aficionados look up to, possibly seeing a halo behind his head. I see no reason why he couldn't build a house from scratch. How he managed to raise an utter nerd with a fear of drills is mystifying. I still fix his computers and IT crap. I owe.

Onto the desk. This thing has no legs. The supports are 1x3 lengths drilled into the wall and cantilevered off a custom drawer/cupboard. The edges are moulded to fit the space. 3 inch drilled corner holes group the wires behind things. Not only is there lots of air for the PC unit but I can put a blanket over the front and make a den and regress by about 35 years. Bonus. I'm going under there to continue reading Red or Dead as soon as I finish this.

Counting running the phone and the Nexus 7 I've had five screens on it. Here you see EVE autopiloting down to buy a skillbook on an alt, Twitter, and EFT on the laptop. The can of lager caused the can of Irn Bru (ask a Scotsman) and my EON low sec map sits above the first, main, monitor. On the sub woofer sits my prized Star Wars cinema ticket from 1978.

To cap the whole thing off I bought a new chair, and "executive" office chair. It feels like heaven, if your heaven is the seat of a death dealing starship. They'll find me in this seat dead one day with a smile on my face and the EVE launcher in front of me. Thank god I'm going out for New Years.

Future plans involve upscaling both monitors and adding a fourth and also controlling global thermonuclear war.

EVE Track of the Day
Sittin on the Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Day 534 : The Lure of ISK

Tis the season of Scrooge. Be wary.

ISK. The measure, the rule, the validator. It's easy to get caught up in it. Whether it's the vets talking about the translation to real life money ( Oh Poe, why? why? ), the PVP purists talking about ISK efficiency, or my own bugbear: the score. Yes, that's right. Somewhere in my heart a pure carebear exists and I don't care. Over a year of playing EVE Farmville has left me with the compulsion to view ISK as a score. To build it up. I've beat Chunk's top score on Pole Position. And what is that worth?

Sometimes, just sometimes, being ill works for you. It can be the cold that saves you from a meeting, the mild accident that saves you from a wretched family do. Don't tut. You've felt it. This weekend I didn't. I was ill, again, and I really didn't wan't to be. I had plans. Serious plans. Not plans to sit in front of EFT for the day and watch random DVDs (although, frankly, For A Few Dollars More is more epic than I recall).

Today though, the day after, I feel moderately better. At first not well enough to chance low sec where response time and eagle eyes are king. Low sec is the kingdom of having your fingers glued to the keyboard. Fortunately  I couldn't have reached it if I had to. I was boxed into a hi sec station by the curious mix of an Onyx and a Devoter. Neither of which I'd seen in flight before. I suspect mainly because they're predominately Null tools. Tackling big shit, and all that. Null. See you on a rainy day next year.

Anyway.  I have two stock responses to illness denying me things I want.

1) Get drunk and be a whiny coward about it

2) Get drunk and get even

3) Realise my situation and consider the alternatives, thank my blessings and get on with life as best I can. Ha ha. This isn't an option. Try thinking like this when you know exactly what it feels like to be disembowelled bar the mess on the floor.

I chose the latter (realistic option, ie 2) this weekend. I looked at my balance of 1.3 billion and wondered what the hell it was doing. I retain the "I used to live in a rolled up newspaper in't middle o' road" sensibility where cash is concerned but ISK isn't really cash. ISK is just unspent fun. Unless you have a fun aim in mind for your savings then it's a negative score. The happiest man I heard today had just got his ship blown up and said he hadn't enough ISK for ammo anyway. 20K ISK balance. Since I can't be alone in pumping ISK his way I feel he may have been able to afford it later.

Biting my fingernails I spend, spend, spend. Yes. I set a limit of 300 million. I'm not made of money.

Most of my money goes on a triple rep' Myrmidon. I spend the morning, still ill, still unable to spend much time at the keyboard, popping out of a hi-sec station and annoying the Russian war targets camping the station undock. I can sit there for a while and amuse myself but I'm essentially stuck

Later I feel better. Now. You know I'm a player with a solo leaning. I hate it. One of the reasons I joined Brave was to get that out of my system. The bitter irony of a gaming introvert turned real life extrovert regressing to an online introvert is something that shadows this entire blog. I call out with a half formed plan. Brave answers. Enthusiastically . I learn more about forming fleets that I have done in the last 500 days.

My plan is this. I launch and repair on the undock and a secret Brave strike team hits the system once the war targets are engaged ( and so cannot dock unless they "de-agress", ie stop shooting shit, for a minute). The Brave strike team descend upon the war targets like raptors from hell with clown faces on. In a real world plan I would de-agress and dock up. Fuck that. I want to see the play.

Someone in the Brave channel takes charge of my hastily formed fleet and gets them down the Trail of Tears (Barleguet to Stacmon) in good order. I launch as they hit the last gate, reps on, pitiful T1 sentries out, and they jump and warp. It goes well. All hell breaks loose as reinforcements hit the grid. We primary the Onyx and bug out, not before the overheated, over-repped, Myrm bites the dust. Epic. The feeling that I was a miser turns into a 15 man fight on the hi-sec station undock. Kudos to everyone involved, including our scout who was ingloriously killed on the gate before hi-sec. 7o.

We're all left thinking "who flies an Onyx in hi sec" in much the same way as Austin Powers thinks "who throws a shoe?". It was a "good fite" however and this fat bird goes down

Suddenly I'm free of the ISK balance demon. A shout in comms goes out for Harpy pilots. I've never flown one, I don't have one, it's a 40 million ISK drop. I sort it out. Buy buy buy. Fleet fights happen. Among them

I realise, again, as I listen to the FC, that I know NOTHING about this game. There are skills which can only be learned by exposure. That exposure can only be obtained in combat, not in EFT. That combat brings with it a certain ISK loss. Hoard all you like, score it if you will. This game is scored in far, far more ephemeral ways than the long double of a bank balance. Don't get me wrong, I know there is a legitimate form of gaming that involves securing that high score in an economy underpinned by real world people. I still play it myself! It takes guile, skill, empathy and intelligence. Just think that you could use a fraction of that to feed a totally divorced Brave Newbies alt who makes things explode all the time.

EVE Track of the Day:

Gold - Spandau Ballet

EVE Bonus Track of the Day dedicated to heroically ace Logi pilots, a death defying Harpy fleet, and a fleet comms where anyone from old vets to someone hastily learning Caldari Destroyer I was welcome. Welcomed heartily. To the Brave:

Johnny Cash - (Ghost) Riders In The Sky