Three Years of Reavers

I just want to point out that Iceland is going to the world cup and the USA isn’t. America has a shit soccer team and star citizen. Iceland: Better at football and space ship games.

~~~ This was a broadcast from asher_elias to reavers at 2017-10-11 02:06:32.634838 EVE ~~~

-Sample of what you get on the Reavers ping list

So we are here at the three years mark of the Reavers SIG.

Reavers forum bee

I remain a bit cloudy on the exact founding date for the group, but middle-ish October works as a general rule.  It isn’t like the hard launch date for a video game… back in the days before early access and whatnot… where there was a line between when you couldn’t do something and when you could.

Anyway, here we are at the third year.  Summaries of the past two years are available here:

As for the last year, the map of null sec has changed some since then.

October 14, 2016 and October 14, 2017 compared

Probably the largest change to note is the alliances that were pushed out of the north in the wake of the Casino War, many of whom landed in space to our east and led to a refactoring of various coalitions. (Also, as I mentioned on Monday, look at LowSechnaya Sholupen losing the same area of space in Fountain two years running.)

Those changes influenced what Reavers did over the last year.

The first Reaver operation I went on after the last anniversary was in December and involved us helping Volition Cult pop an Astrahus that had been dropped in the territory in Catch.  It was a temporary alliance with them against Honorable Third Party.  Thomas Lear led us in our new Sleipner doctrine, getting on the citadel kill, a carrier kill, and an ESS kill along the way home.

In February Thomas Lear again led us in our Sleipners, this time up north into Pandemic Horde space in Cloud Ring, again to contest an Astrahus being anchored.  That went less well as PL dropped some of the newly OP Rorquals and used sentry drones to hit us.  I lost my Sleipner there, but at least I didn’t have to fly all the way home.

Asher led us north later to join in on the fights going on around the Circle of Two Keepstar in M-0EE8.  I had to go back on my own for the kill though.

 

Once CO2 moved south we set up to camp their ratting and mining ops in their new home in Impass.  I killed a lot of MTUs while we were out there.  It was also my first time flying a Stratios and my real introduction to scanning things down to shoot, though mostly I shot MTUs.

In May we all deployed out to one of our favorite locations, H-ADOC in Curse to stir up some fights.  I lost a Cerberus almost right away.  We lingered out there for a time, setting up an Astrahus to work from so we could switch clones/implants at need.  We went home for a bit, but returned again in July.

From there we ranged out into the Great Wildlands with our new Typhoon doctrine to shoot a Silent Affinity Fortizar.  It cost an Apostle but we helped take it down.

I used my MTU scanning skills to blow up a bunch of Fraternity MTUs in the area.  They like to rat and run missions around there and have a habit of leaving their MTUs behind.

Eventually we were called home to Delve.  That run took two days and featured a heated discussion about BBQ sauce, pizza, and other aspects of cuisine.

We were back home to join in on the deployment north to Hakonen.  While that wasn’t a Reavers specific operation at all, it did see wide-spread use of the Reavers Typhoon doctrine.

Reavers however got the opportunity to fly a special doctrine during the fight.  Azure and Argent led a little fleet of us in Atrons fit for ECM Burst operations that we would fling into the midst of the enemy, after which we would hit the burst and warp back to our perches to cloak up. (Ops one, two, and three.)  An interesting new experience, but hell on your sec status.

After that it was time to come home.  I fixed my sec status and flew my Typhoon back to Delve, only to learn that we would no longer be using the doctrine, at least coalition-wide.  It might still be a Reavers thing.  Things were beginning to brew to the east of us… and then Judgement Day hit and the war was aborted.

All of which doesn’t sound like much activity from Reavers.  I know I missed a couple of Reaver adventures, like the flight of the armor tanked Drakes.  But it hasn’t been like the first year of Reavers when we seemed to spend a lot of time behind enemy lines.  Not only has the sovereignty map changed since then, the reality of holding sovereignty has changes as well.  And Asher led a lot more ops around the map over the last year (like this one), they just weren’t Reavers exclusives.

Overall though, that is about as many things as I posted for year two, so I suppose we’re steady.

Anyway, that was my view of year three of Reavers.  We shall see what the future brings.

Gallente Federation Endorses Fart Lighting

It pretty much said that the Gallente celebrate fart lighting in the launcher today.

Oh yeah, blue flames man!

Or maybe this is just a sign of my misspent youth, which occurred before we all had the internet to distract us.  Or encourage us.  I think farts get lit either way actually.

Still, “Blue Flames” brings a number of things to mind aside from flatulence ignition, including a rocket car  a Chevy engine, something half remembered about the temperature of flames, and Quafe ship SKINs.

When I think of the Gallente Federation itself, I tend to think of the color green.

Green, Steel, Rust, and the type of tacky Gold you see on Acura or Lexus emblems

But (heh, butt) if you want the Sapphire Sungazer SKINs despite this unfortunate association in the launcher, they are available now from the New Eden Store.  I’ll have to check them out, but somehow I doubt they’ll be better than the Quafe SKINs.

Fall Movie League – Foreign Domination

Week Seven of our Fall Fantasy Movie League is now in the rear view mirror, meaning we’re past the half way point of the 13 week season.

Way back at the beginning of week seven the picks available seemed to offer multiple possible avenues to success.

 Happy Death Day         $350
 Blade Runner 2049       $237
 The Foreigner           $143
 The Mountain Between Us $99
 It                      $95
 My Little Pony          $84
 Victoria & Abdul        $80
 Kingsmen                $71
 American Made           $71
 LEGO Ninjago Movie      $70
 Marshall                $62
 Flatliners              $34
 Battle of the Sexes     $24
 American Assassin       $9
 Til Death Do Us Part    $7

Happy Death Day, a murder mystery meets Groundhog Day film, seemed to be clear to top the box office and was priced accordingly.  Blade Runner 2049 was only in its second week, so still had potential to deliver at its lower price.  And then there was The Foreigner, a Jackie Chan vehicle that

Any of those three seemed possible anchors for a successful pick.

At its price, Happy Death Day seemed the least likely of the three to be the winning pick, even if it exceeded its estimate, which it did in spades, bringing in $26 million while only expected to hit about $20 million.

Blade Runner 2049 had been predicted to be a slow burn, a movie that wouldn’t be strong out of the gate, but which would sustain its box office over time rather than dropping 50% on the second week.  I calculated that if it could just keep the second week drop to 45% or less, it was a strong candidate.

Meanwhile The Foreigner felt a bit under priced.  At $143 a screen you could get six screens of it, plus a couple of fill ins, and if it exceeded its $10 million estimate by even a bit it would be a strong contender.

The good news, for me, is that I went with six screens of The Foreigner and two screens of American Made, which turned out to be the perfect pick of the week, shared with 415 other players, good for $106 million.

Fall Week Seven Perfect Pick

The bad news is that I picked it on my daughter’s account, my alt account, where I put the pick I didn’t take for my main account.  Wilhelm went with four screens of Blade Runner 2049, Battle of the Sexes, and three screens of American Assassin.

My Fall Week Seven Picks

This was me letting my gut out vote my brain.  I’ve beaten myself with my alt pick three weeks out of seven now.

I was down to the wire deciding which way to jump, and in the last moment I went for Blade Runner 2049 more because I wanted it to do well than because I really believed it was going to make my goal.

And it did not make my goal.  It dropped 53% over opening week, reinforcing the suspicion in the back of my brain that perhaps the cult classic status of the original Blade Runner didn’t mean it was as popular as I thought it was.  A basic projection problem.  I liked it, people who talk about it generally like it, but that did not translate into a mass audience.  RIP my Blade Runner 2049 plan and any hopes of a sequel.

Still, my picks were not the worst in the bunch though… not to be mean… I did worry a bit when I saw Isey and I had identical picks.  The scores for the week went down like this:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $101,436,978
  2. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $98,288,772
  3. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $97,984,090
  4. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $84,946,755
  5. Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $72,994,597
  6. Kraut Screens (T) – $72,607,820
  7. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $70,991,190
  8. Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $64,869,289
  9. The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $64,869,289
  10. I HAS MOVIES (T) – $64,869,289
  11. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $64,294,226
  12. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $66,533,492
  13. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $59,853,529

Meta League legend

  • TAGN Movie Obsession – players from it marked with a (T)
  • MCats Multiplex – players from it marked with an (M)

Ocho and Bel both stopped picking over the last few weeks, so Liore’s league has been dropped from the list since I am the only active player there now.

Those at the top went heavy on The Foreigner, which pulled in $13 million plus was the best price/performer, giving it a $2 million boost, making it worth $15 million per screen.  That is almost as much as Blade Runner 2049.

Past that are the people who anchored on Blade Runner 2049 or Happy Death Day, which came out to be about equally poor choices in the end.  That left the overall scores as follows:

  1. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex (M) – $597,259,405
  2. Aure’s Astonishingly Amateur Amphitheatre (M) – $585,837,180
  3. Ben’s X-Wing Express (M) – $552,625,270
  4. Elly’s Elemental E-Plex (M) – $537,907,722
  5. Wilhelm’s Films from New Eden – $523,575,221
  6. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights (T) – $522,053,084
  7. Dan’s Decadent Decaplex (M) – $521,039,080
  8. Logan’s Luxurious Thaumatrope (M) – $520,856,126
  9. Paks’ Pancakes & Pics (T) – $496,420,772
  10. The Filthy Fleapit (T) – $438,879,656
  11. I HAS MOVIES (T) – $425,994,240
  12. Kraut Screens (T) – $415,521,600
  13. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex (T) – $254,764,219

Week seven put me way at the back of the pack for the MCats league.  Catching Corr seems unlikely unless he forgets to pick.  Otherwise he generally picks as well as I do or better every week save the first.

However SynCaine and I remain neck and neck in the TAGN league, though both of us had best be wary of Pak who, despite starting a week late, is catching up to us.

And that leads us into Week Eight, which has the following options:

Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween    $411
Happy Death Day              $202
Only the Brave               $201
Geostorm                     $186
The Snowman                  $167
Blade Runner 2049            $128
The Foreigner                $105
It                           $57 
Same Kind of Different As Me $53
American Made                $50 
The Mountain Between Us      $49
Kingsmen                     $47
LEGO Ninjago Movie           $42
My Little Pony               $35
Victoria & Abdul             $31

New on the list are Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween, which doesn’t appeal to me, but I have long understood that there is no accounting for taste, Only the Brave, a wilderness firefighting tale that seems spot on given recent events, Geostorm, a natural disaster flick that seems maybe a bit too spot on given recent events, and Same Kind of Different As Me, for which a pithy summary eludes me.

The top six movies on the list are all potentially anchors.  (Going all-in on The Foreigner would leave $160 on the table, which is never a good plan.)  I am not sure which way to jump at this point.  Boo! is too expensive relative to current estimates while nobody is going to convince me that seven screens of Blade Runner 2049 are a good idea after the current results.  So my own anchor will likely be something in between those two.

Collecting Forgotten Data Cores

After playing EVE Online for this long I have left things laying about all over New Eden.  As I mentioned when we were deployed up to Hakonen, that was close to where I was doing a lot of buying and selling back in the day.  I found piles of unsold stock that had been sitting around since probably 2008, so I listed a bunch of it on the market and have watched it slowly sell.  That isn’t going to make me rich, but it will at least remove some stuff from my assets tally and maybe help some capsuleer.

Likewise, when I had my alt running the Warzone Extraction event I noticed he had some possible assets available.  Basically, the Journal button on the Neocom was blinking (which it seems to do for no good reason now and again) so I opened it up.  There wasn’t anything new there, but I did see that I had five research agents still toiling away for him, collecting points I could redeem for data cores.

Back in the day data cores used to be one of the go-to passive income options.  They’re used for the invention aspect of Tech II production and, I gather from the EVE Uni Wiki entry, are primarily obtained via loyalty points earned in Faction Warfare.  Before then however, you had to use research agents.  You would set up with an agent and then just let the research points pile up until it was worthwhile to go redeem them.  It used to be one of those things that wouldn’t stop if you unsubscribed, so you could come back to the game and have a tidy sum waiting for you from research.

Most of the agents were out in Amarr space, where my alt was running the Warzone sites.  So I sent him back to Amarr to grab a ship with some cargo space to haul data cores.  I wasn’t sure the Drake had the space.  However, he only had a Badger handy, which is a flimsy hauler on a good day.

But I remembered my entosis alt was still hanging around near Amarr in his Nereus, in which he did some of the Alpha Strikes event.  So I rolled him over to Amarr and traded the tanky hauler to my main alt.

Flying the Nereus to Amarr

I even bought the exoplanets SKIN because it looks so good on the Nereus.

Then it was off to collect data cores.  Most of the agents were close to Amarr, and level 2, but one was in low sec space, which is what made me think that the Badger might not be ideal.

There was also an optimum order in which to visit each agent, which I had completely forgotten.  I suppose I could have gone to DOTLAN and used the navigation option there to plot a round, but instead I decided to wing it.  There were five agents waiting for me, four in Amarr space and one in Caldari space, just a couple of jumps from Jita.  I saved the Caldari agent for last, since Jita would be the optimum place to sell.

The run itself was without incident, as 99.99% of high sec flights tend to be.  Even the dip into low sec was without incident despite somebody sitting on the gate when I landed and decloaked.  He let me warp off to the station unmolested.  He was probably going somewhere else.

Picking up data cores from a low sec station

Once I wrapped the last pickup… I had left stocks or tritanium in each station, since when you speak to the agents they want to send you on a mission to retrieve some, which is good for another data core’s worth of research points… I headed to Jita to list them all on the market.

So far the run has netted me about 400 million ISK and there are still some left to sell.  That didn’t exactly make me super space rich.  I won’t be buying a titan this week.  But for somebody whose main income is 15 million ISK ticks ratting in Delve and mechanical parts from PI, that will buy me a couple of doctrine ships.

And then it was back to Amarr to hand back the ship.

Heading into Amarr

I figured I would add that last screen shot because it had a moody, atmospheric feel to it, like something out of Blade Runner 2049.

Anyway, data cores remain a minor passive income activity.  I will have to go check to see how many research points Wilhelm has piled up.

An Azbel in Aridia

I had not been out on a coalition fleet op for almost a month, since the camp of the Keepstar in 68FT-6 that followed Judgement day and the demise of Circle of Two.

But my activity tends to be a reflection of the coalition’s activity.  I am not much for random PvP and gate camps and the like.  I enjoy operations that have an objective, and after the downfall of CO2 there wasn’t much going on with the strategic front.

And then The-Culture started falling apart in Fountain, stepping aside to let coalition allies The Initiative land in their space, which started to stir things up in the central-west of null sec in New Eden.  This also brought The Initiative into conflict with LowSechnaya Sholupen, which ended up losing their space in Fountain as a result.

Fountain as The Initiative moves in

Oddly enough, if you compare the current sov map (from which the above clip was taken) with the one from a year ago, LowSechnaya Sholupen was in the process of losing that very same chunk of space to The-Culture.  Some things never change… or always change… or however you sum that up.

We have had an opportunistic relationship with LowSechnaya Sholupen, or LSH, over time.  During the great retreat from Saranen to Delve they picked off… “sholuped” as it was termed… some careless Imperium capital ships attempting to make the run.   But we have also spent some time allied with the and helped them fend of The-Culture before, cooperating to bust towers and citadels that were encroaching on what they saw as their turf.

However, when things settled down we reset each other, it being more fun to hunt us than to be an ally when times were quiet.  LSH sat in Aridia and picked off people coming to Delve while we were up in Hakonen, and then picked off Imperium pilots attempting to return from the north when that deployment was done.  We shot them, they shot us, nobody thought too much about it.  And then we came into conflict over sovereignty in Fountain and we started hitting their assets.

Or that is my understanding of the situation.  I’ve spent most of the last couple of weeks either at EVE Vegas or playing RimWorld and derived most of that from what I heard on Saturday night.

A Saturday night ping.  A couple of hours in advance a ping went out announcing that there would be a strategic op forming up, with a guaranteed kill mail and a possible fight, at 05:00 UTC, which comes out to 10pm local time for me.    That isn’t all that late, or it used to not be that late.  I’ve become my grandfather, something or an early riser a lot of mornings, so I tend to be in bed at 10pm most nights.  Furthermore, a strat op like that can possibly run for hours and I’d been up since 5:30am local time as it was.  But I had taken a nap that afternoon and there were no plans for Sunday, so I decided to hang out and join in.

At the appointed time a ping went out for a Machariel fleet for the op.  I was already logged in and so joined fleet right away and hopped into my Mach.  I would normally fly logi for an op like this, but I bought a Machariel for a fleet a while back when they were short on DPS and now I am determined to fly it at every opportunity… and there aren’t that many… until I lose it.

Wilhelm Machariel

Our Mach doctrine has a large number of refits included so the first part of any op is getting everybody on board with the fit of the day.  Usually the FC has a link to the fit in the fleet chat MOTD.  Our FC, Dirk Stetille, was a bit behind on that.  Not that it mattered.  People will show up in a Mach fleet and immediately start asking on coms what the fit is without bothering to check the MOTD.  It is one of the annoyances of being in main fleet, people asking questions immediately without checking in the usual places.

Anyway, I got myself fit and undocked.  There I watched the capital fleet under Thomas Lear, which was going with us, undock and start heading out ahead of us.

Sitting on the Keepstar undock

As usual, the capital and sub-cap fleets were sharing voice coms, which adds its own element of confusion when one FC gives instructions that only apply to one fleet but fails to specify which fleet they mean.  Still, despite the usual amount of questions and people showing up late or being in the wrong ships or asking if they can catch up, we did get our act together and get under way in fairly short order.

We moved off to a nearby jump bridge that we would used to get us to 1-SMEB, and from there into Aridia, where we were told to hold and wait.  Of course, some people jumped anyway and the FC had a heavy interdictor put up a bubble around the jump bridge which prevents anybody from using it.  Well, anybody besides interceptors and interdiction nullfied ships that aren’t affected by bubbles.

Held in place on the jump bridge

We stayed there until the capitals got far enough ahead.  Then Dirk had the hictor pilot turn off the bubble and we jumped through and aligned for Sakht and the Aridia region where LSH lives.

We plodded along a bit with the capitals, then were warped to a perch off of an LSH tower that we proceeded to warp to and shoot.

Hitting an LSH tower

We successfully put the tower in a reinforced state.

Tower shoot finished

That immediately led to questions about the kill mail we were alleged to have been guaranteed.  At that point Dirk had to explain that we had indeed formed up more quickly than expected and were actually early for the timer we were planning to hit, so we stopped along the way to reinforce an LSH tower.

From there it was on to the main target of the night, the LSH Azbel in Yahyerer.

Arriving at the Azbel

We landed at a perch as carriers from the capital fleet jumped in with us.  We then warped into gun range of the engineering complex and opened fire.

The LSH Logo on the Azbel

The structure was being gunned by an LSH pilot, but the defenses were not much compared to what we brought.  We were fit for passive tanks and were using projectile weapons, so capacitor draining void bombs were of little use, and we spread out so that other bomb flavors were not much help.  Fighters were launched, but between our light drones and the carriers covering us, those were dispatched quickly.  The Point Defense System managed to catch a few support frigates that wandered too close to the structure in order to tag it and get on the kill mail, but other than that we just shot, reloaded, and shot again.

There was a minor bit of drama, as is usual, about people broadcasting for reps prematurely. (Or broadcasting for shield reps in an armor fleet.)  Dirk asked us not to broadcast until we were down to 60% armor.  That was more damage than anybody in a Mach was taking and so the logi discussion quieted down.

The Azbel itself was worn down until finally it exploded in the usual magnificent blaze, leaving a wreck behind.

Azbel Boom!

Then there was the question of looting the wreck.  The kill mail shows that a lot of capital ship building components dropped along with a pile of fuel blocks.  Thomas Lear brought a Rorqual to loot, but the sheer size of the loot… over 3 million m^3… meant that only a bit could be grabbed.  So we shot the wreck instead, terminating what was left of LSH’s dreadnought construction operation.

As we were heading out a Raven had the ill fortune to stumble upon us as we were heading to a gate.  He managed to jump just in time, but a few people ran him down and caught him, giving us our only non-structure kill for the night.

In the wrong place at the wrong time

You know that stumbling into 300 Goons in a system has to be a panic moment.

From there the capitals started back towards Delve while we hung about covering their departure.  At that point Dirk said that anybody under 60% could broadcast, and I think we all had some armor damage.  You could see some on almost every Mach.  Dirk said he was mildly impressed that so many of us could hold off.   We were then going to head back home ourselves, but first he had a couple more targets of opportunity for us along the way.

First was another tower to reinforce.  This went more quickly when another group of caps and supers showed up to add their firepower to the mix.  There was a moment of comedy when two Leviathan titans bumped on landing and went flying off.  It wasn’t a huge bump, but they went pretty far off from the rest of the caps.  But their firepower meant that the tower was reinforced in short order.

Second tower reinforced

The, finally, there was one last tower.  This one had been reinforced earlier in the day, but had so little stront in it that it came out that night.  So we headed to that with the capitals along as well and blew it up.

A True Sansha’s tower coming apart

With that second kill mail in hand, it was time to head home.  Fortunately Delve was only a few gates away.  We had gotten participation credit already, but Dirk gave us a second one as the three hour mark was upon us.  And that wrapped things up for the night.

We will see if there is more to do in Aridia or if LSH will come to some accommodation with us.

Meanwhile, screen shots from the op collected up in a gallery.

Honest Game Trailers – Pokemon Sun and Moon

Honest Game Trailers continues its journey to review every release generation of the core Pokemon RPG series.

More blunt that usual about Pokemon being essentially the same damn game over and over, but fans buy them over and over as well, so I guess repetition isn’t much to complain about given the success.  I know I’ll be buying Pokemon UltraSun & UltraMoon when it comes out next month.

For those dying to see previous entries in the series, here are the links:

Honest Trailers – Blade Runner

With Blade Runner 2049 out it was inevitable we would get an Honest Trailers response.

I have to admit that they aren’t exactly wrong on some of those points, but back in the 80s when I saw it in the theater (at the Varsity Theater, when it was the New Varsity and they used to play movies after their first run) a lot of the appeal was the strange, semi-familiar but futuristic atmosphere and cross-cultural melting pot of LA.

And then there was Spaceship Warlock that totally played on that vibe back in the day.

Of course, there is a Cinema Sins Everything Wrong with Blade Runner video on YouTube as well.  It is a bit brutal.  But I watched it myself this week and… I still like it.  So take that YouTube critics!