Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Day 641 : Check check

So I haven't been flying. Not what most of you would call flying anyway. I've been space mooching. Dawdling down the trade lanes on alts, mindlessly meandering though belts, constantly configuring my PI. Leaving my main characters skill quietly ticking away (it's a horrible twenty dayer).

I've mentioned it before and it has to end, my targets aren't targets I want any longer and so, happily, that phase is about to come to an end.

 (Don't talk to me about stupid ass subconscious plans to get 10 billion liquid ISK. I've done it but it's split across characters and my brain still won't shut up about it. I know it's stupid but good ol' neanderthal fish brain back there isn't having any of it. I've a plan in place to deal with it. At the weekend it all gets spent on a list of new targets and projects.)

I thought I had better get flying properly. Realistically I should be down in Catch with the rest of Brave Newbies but two things get in the way

  1. Lack of flight time. I'm rusty.
  2. Fear of the CTA. Time based Call To Arms. 

The former can be solved and so I've set about a plan to solve it. Somewhat amusingly, it involved even more logistics than my last couple of months of Space Farmville. At least I was well trained in surviving the boredom of long jump times. Thank god for warp speed mechanic changes on large ships. Everybody hates it. Me? I can get a page of a book read between gates. Bonus.

The latter, the fear of the CTA, is an old wound. I once swore, after a last pointless evening wasted hammering against some heroic level WoW boss with people that only half turned up, that I would never again run home for a particular time to game specific content. I would never not eat because I didn't have time before things started. I would never again consider not going out in the Real because of some organised content in the Virtual. It's a series of radical declarations that I mostly broke straight away. My friends in the Virtual are friends in the Real and sometimes I'm anxious to meet up with them. Still, the wariness of timing persists. I don't want a game to demand my time, I want it to demand my desire.

Brave Newbies are down on the border of Catch, causing trouble in null space and having all kinds of fun no doubt. For me, null sounds like too much trouble, too little fun per hour (not that I've been up to much of late myself). Too much requirement for large fleets. Less content available simply by undocking (unless by content you mean getting torched by a perma camp). All this might be, probably is, my rusty wariness and a lot of FUD. I'm probably just being a coward. Add to this though the logistic hassle of getting ships down there, or even buying down there while alliance level logistics is still hammered by demand and the market still in it's infancy. Add to this my disdain and contempt for what I shall call the "legendarily amoral vocal tendencies" of certain partners comms in the HERO coalition. Add to this the old fear of the CTA. The math adds up at a Space Noob stranded back in Placid, stalking semi abandoned space lanes and using too much alliteration. Someone talk me out of it.

Until someone does talk me out of this cowardly attitude then I need a project. That project is, as I said, solving the flight time problem. It's going really well. I've learned, or relearned, my first lesson in less than an hour. Good piloting begins before you undock. You should have a preflight checklist. Before today mine had somewhat degraded into a checklist resembling the following:

  • Clone check
  • Ammo check
  • Drone check
  • Repair check
  • Ridiculous expensive thing left in cargo hold check

After today I'm adding this list

  • Flight plan check
  • Response plan check

What are these?

The "Flight plan check" is to grasp where you are going, and more importantly who might be there. I neglected to remember that I'm (ironically given some of the above) in Brave. Space is littered with enemies who will gradually become aware that you are randomly flitting about and plot your demise. That's after you get unlucky and crash a camp or fleet that was sat there anyway. Hi Sec is often more dangerous than other space. I forgot.

The "Response plan check" is to have a mental plan of responses to various situations you might run into. What do you look for? What will you aim to do? How will your current ship support you in doing this? How will you fly it? Sprint back to the gate when you drop into space full of bads? Target the leader or the weak point and fight until your glorious demise? Sit there slightly dumbfounded, stare myopically at the screen and maybe launch the wrong drones? The latter isn't a plan. It's what I did.

I was casually setting up a project and thought that "one last ship" moved before retiring for the night would do it. I was reduced to hulls fit for an old set of implants so I could only fly one ship I had ready. I jumped into it. It looked interesting and I could look into using it after it was in position. WRONG. I should have slapped myself on thinking this and gone to bed instead.

A couple of jumps away from the station, half awake and paying less than half the attention I had available, I dropped into a cloud of flashy red. I sat there dumbfounded and with half a glance at a missorted Overview decided to run for the next gate on my route. I didn't check the layout in space. I didn't prep anything. I didn't have a strategy. I'm not even sure I had an IQ that registers on the scale.


Amusingly torched by a flock of Battle Ventures with a couple of backup ships. My apologies for the lack of a "gf" in local. Adrenaline reached my brain at around 50% hull and I managed to use it to bounce the pod off the sun and get the hell out. The Corax followed me to the sun and if I hadn't been an idiot and warped to zero then would have probably caught me. There's no planning for what an idiotic Space Noob will do next, especially since podding me would have resulted in me getting where I was going faster and going to bed sooner.

So. In future I will hold to my preflight checklist. To it I will add the flight and response plans. I may also add to it

  • Don't fly late on Monday evenings, you idiot.

7o to the Battle Venture roam, thanks for the reminder. Lesson learned.

Up next, people are answering my other questions so I had better have a go too.

EVE Track of the Day

Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult


  1. Hi Space Noob. I'm also a Space Noob with TEST, who are Brave's allies in HERO. We would love to have you in Catch with us. You make a few points about why you think this'd be a bad idea so please, let me clear them up for you.

    "Less content available simply by undocking (unless by content you mean getting torched by a perma camp)."

    There is more content in Catch right now than in the whole of the rest of nullsec put together. Every major alliance in the game is sending regular fleets down here. We are fighting Black Legion, NC., PL, the CFC, anyone you care to name. Yes, there are generally people sitting on the undock, but that's what insta-undock bookmarks are for. We're still based in lowsec, so there's no bubbles or anything.

    Granted most of the content is fleet content so if that isn't your thing then you might not find so much to do.

    "Add to this though the logistic hassle of getting ships down there, or even buying down there while alliance level logistics is still hammered by demand and the market still in it's infancy."

    I can't deny that prices are a bit weird right now, but they're a lot better than they were a week ago. The market is improving.

    I don't know much about Brave logistics but from what I understand it is literally as simple as putting up a contract and picking the stuff up when it gets there. Yeah, it costs a bit, but everything does. If you have 10 billion liquid you can easily afford it.

    "Add to this my disdain and contempt for what I shall call the "legendarily amoral vocal tendencies" of certain partners comms in the HERO coalition."

    You mean TEST.

    "legendary" is exactly the right word. BNI were terrified that we'd be absolutely horrible and the coalition was doomed from the get-go. There are soundcloud clips of their comms discussing Sperg Squad and how you could literally murder someone on our tinychat and we would cheer for you.

    Guess what? It was all a myth. Despite some internal conflict on private TEST forums, it turned out that we actually could refrain from calling people n***ers and f*****s when we were guests on BRAVE comms.

    Since BRAVE is the leader of the coalition 90% of shared fleets are hosted on their comms and are therefore completely classy. If you join the remaining 10%, yeah, you might hear someone call someone else a dumb f*g. If that's a problem for you we have no chatter channels where you can only hear the FC, or you can just not join fleets hosted on TEST comms. Seriously. Please do not let preconceptions about how awful TEST is prevent you from joining HERO. People in TEST are incredibly friendly and helpful and you only have to visit /r/bravenewbies to see how happy BNI is in this relationship.

    "Add to this the old fear of the CTA."

    We don't have CTAs. Seriously. TEST has never, ever had a CTA or any kind of enforced participation. BRAVE has never called a CTA. HERO has never and absolutely will never hold a CTA. CTAs are anathema to TEST and we would not stand for them. I'm pretty sure that Lychton deciding that HERO would hold CTAs would destroy the coalition.

    How joining fleets works: when an FC creates a fleet, he sends out a ping that is received by everyone who is logged into Jabber. The ping includes details about the fleet like what doctrine is being flown, where it's going, what the objective is, how long it's going to last. If you want to join the fleet, you log in and join it. If you don't, you don't. That's it.

    Nobody in HERO will ever, *ever* tell you when you have to log in and play.

    I think that's everything.

    Seriously though, you don't even have to commit to moving. You can podjump down here, buy a caracal or something and join the next fleet. If you don't like it, that's like 20 million ISK wasted and you can go do something else.

    1. holy shit that was way longer than I was expecting.

    2. This is the perfect response. Cheers! Already I'm being swayed (it helps that ISK isn't a factor in anything I consider). I might set my med clone down there and so end up there the next time I get podded. Should get me back flight ready and down there. I can always jump clone back.

      So - no CTAs eh? I need to get my Muad'dib moves on.

      Thanks for the response!