Okay, back to what was slated to be yesterday’s post before the big news dropped and I pushed this out to write a very quick… and perhaps a bit too smug… nod to a big change in New Eden. Back to me being more like me, long winded and meandering. At least that post has lots of links out to other posts on the topic, with varying points of view, perhaps its one redeeming point.
In the backwards way I sometimes look at the world, I tend to approach guilds and in-game organizations with the question, “What can I do for them?” rather than “What can they do for me?” There is probably some self-esteem issue manifest in that, when my first thought is trying to figure out why a guild would want me. Or maybe it is ego, thinking I might matter.
Or maybe I just know how my varied my interest and schedule can be. Some weeks I have the time and I am all in, other times things are busy or I just can’t build up the interest.
So I often end up in little guilds or corps with a few friends, eschewing larger guilds and the greater opportunities they can sometimes afford. Check out a post I did a few years back about guilds I’ve been in. Never going to be a raider with those credentials.
Which sort of makes my time in the CFC/Imperium a bit of an oddity. The corp I am in started on the usual path, with Gaff already in it and getting me to come along for the ride. (Potshot was even in there for a bit during the Fountain War.) The corp itself wasn’t big and largely flew in EUTZ, so I was sort of free to pursue whatever I wanted.
That didn’t leave me with a strong sense of corp identity… my corp CEO is going to read this too, sorry Hir… but there was a war going on at the time, which ended up making me identify more with the coalition than my corp. It was the Winter war against White Noise and Raiden and I wanted to be useful to the coalition.
You can, of course, be useful just showing up to fill out the fleet numbers. I was able to do that, especially when the main doctrine changed to Drake Fleet, a ship I had skilled up for long before I came to null sec. And being counted in the fleet helped my corp and alliance.
But I felt like I needed to do more, and so began what is now an almost five year search for how best to be useful balanced with finding things I can actually build up some enthusiasm for doing.
The first and longest standing of those things I have gone after is being a logi pilot. Since I didn’t need to train anything for Drake Fleet, I went after Logistics V and the ability to strap on all of the ships the accomplished space priest might choose to fly. And flying logi remains my stock in trade for being useful. I keep one for each fleet doctrine on hand… fortunately the coalition has tried to keep logi fits somewhat unified lately, so I don’t have too many in my hangar… and whenever logi comes up short or Arrendis pings for more logi, I try to fill that position.
Though some days I do just want to shoot something. Especially when we fly a laser doctrine. I rarely flew logi when we had an Apoc doctrine because I just enjoyed being part of the light show too much. But I am mostly ready to fly logi in any fleet. I have never quite gotten myself to the point of being the logi anchor… but I’ll play the healer most days of the week. And I think I am reasonably good at it.
After I had logi trained up I started thinking about other roles I might take up. There were times when I had to work on training for the main fleet doctrine… when Megathrons were the mainstay, I found I was lacking in gunnery skills, while a switch to armor doctrines showed up my long focus on shield skills. But I found time to train towards new goals and side projects along the way.
One I went after a while back was fleet booster. Aside from Fleet Command V, I have all the fleet boosting leadership skills trained all the way up. And then I actually realized what being the booster actually meant… sitting alone, away from the battle, running links and hitting dscan to see if anybody is trying to probe you down. I appreciate those who actually take on this task, but it sounds like the dullest assignment in the world and not the way I want to spend any fight. (I do have hope for the boost changes coming with Ascension. Maybe I will end up using those skill.)
I also trained up to fly interdictors, heavy interdictors, the Archon, the Naglfar, and probably a few other specialty ships that I never ended up flying. I did buy the Archon, but I have never flown it in action, just using it to haul stuff now and again. It was very handy in getting my stuff out of Tribute the day before the word went out to evacuate. And, of course, it made the long trip down to Delve carrying a lot of my stuff.
Wars came and went. The Fountain War was probably the peak of my fun being a line member in the main fleet. After that my participation tapered off somewhat. I logged on to make sure I was still showing the flag and being useful, but no more than that. By sheer luck I happened to pick some of the more memorable battles to attend, including the last part of B-R5RB.
As my interest fell off I tried flying with the USTZ SIG called Freedom Squad. That gave me something to do, but it tailed off itself, eventually being replaced with Reavers. Reavers was new and interesting, flying in much smaller groups and living out of a POS in the middle of enemy space. That meant new things for me to learn and new skills to train as Reavers quickly became my home in the game. I haven’t been on every op, but I believe I have been on every deployment.
That went on until the great war in the north, the Casino War or World War Bee, the beginning of which are just about a year old at this point, as things began to heat up in Cloud Ring in what Noizy dubbed “The Kickstarter War” last November. From that point until our retreat south in July was a time of almost continuous fighting for us. Reaver deployments tapered off as we fought in the north in a wearing campaign that saw, among other things, a constant series of doctrine changes on our side as we sought a way to come to grips with the foe.
After that, there was the road south to Delve, the conquest of the region, and setting up a new home. At first one could help out by just ratting or mining to help raise ADMs. My trusty Ishtar, refit from fighting the Guristas menace in the north to the Blood Raider menace in the south, could engage in that.
Easy enough once the region was a bit secure and lucrative as well.
That ushered in a somewhat more normal rhythm to life in the coalition. Reavers deployed again to our old stomping ground in Querious… now very close to hand… a staging system was set, jump bridges starting going up, a home defense system started working, with capitals ready to drop on any interlopers, and Delve became our new home
But more was needed and the word went out asking people to help out if they could. The first involved scanning for wormholes. We have a third party tracking system that lets you log in and uses CREST to map where you are so you can scan down wormholes, you just enter them and the connection gets recorded.
Having done scanning for a bit way back when wormholes were a new thing, I decided I could go after that. I had trained up all the skills to at least four and in some cases five. And I still had the ship I used to scan in back in… 2009. It has been a while.
So I got out the ship, flew it to Amarr, stripped it, found a fit online I could use (here), bought the additional modules I needed along with probes, and set about trying to figure out how to scan again.
Fortunately, I found a video that got me back up to speed.
Soon I was scanning down cosmic signatures again… if not like a champ, than at least well enough to actually get the job done.
So now I have something to do when there is a bit of free time and no fleet ops going up.
There was also a request to start helping build up our own supply of raw materials in the region. While Delve has its upsides, proximity to the Jita market is not one of them. It is a long way to New Eden’s space WalMart, so there was a promise that if people went out and mined and such, various organizations would make sure that buy orders existed at decent rates so we wouldn’t have to ship stuff back to Jita to sell and industrialist wouldn’t have to ship stuff from Jita to make things.
Like SynCaine, I decided to give Planetary Interaction a try. This was alleged to be low effort if done right, and I had trained all the skills up to four at some point in the past.
Of course, doing it “right” is an exercise left to the student to figure out. I still haven’t found a decent tutorial that tells you exactly how to make things work. I suspect that this is largely due to the usual abominable CCP UI choices. Once you figure it out, it becomes natural and you forget you have to tell people how many clicks it really takes to setup a link and then a functioning route between two structures.
Eventually though, I did get something working. As there were many barren planets to hand, several warnings about not working with gas planets, and encouragement to make parts used to create fuel blocks, I went into mechanical parts production.
So I just setup to harvest base metals and noble metals, refine them into reactive metals and precious metals, and then combine those into mechanical parts. Every couple of days I check to make sure harvesting is running, and then when I am in the system I stop at each customs office, grab the output, and sell them to the buy order which also happens to be in our system.
It isn’t a huge amount of ISK, but it very low effort and the output is used locally to keep us running.
And so it goes. I try to do my bit for the team. All of which is a lot of words for a post that was originally just going to be “hey, I’m doing scanning and PI now.” Like I said at the top, back to my rambling style.