Daily Archives: July 6, 2017

A Fortizar in the Great Wildlands

A Fortizar belonging to Silent Infinity waited for us in the formerly desolate region of the Great Wildlands.

Not AFK that night…

The Great Wildlands, a region of NPC null sec space with only three stations, used to be very empty.  I remember flying through the region for a deployment to Curse back in the day and hitting empty system after empty system.  I mean, a lot of null sec is empty at any given time, but usually not in such great strips.  A lot of space with no place to dock up and hide.

Then came citadels.  You don’t even need fuel for a basic Astrahus, and it is much more annoying to kill one of those, with the vulnerability window and three timers, than a POS.

Suddenly you could make a home amongst the Thukkar Tribe space in the Great Wildlands.  It is still crap space, since you can’t upgrade it with an ihub since it is NPC space, but it is null sec all the same.  There is some value to be found there ratting and mining.  Value enough for somebody to drop a Fortizar out there in the system H-8F5Q along a dead end path, no doubt hoping to escape notice.

It did not escape notice, and while I cannot speak to who did the groundwork for the first two timers, Shadow Cartel invited us out to join in the final battle over the citadel.  We are deployed not too far away and were even given some help getting out to the fight via a titan jump bridge.  It is always a bit dicey letting people you might otherwise shoot sit on your titan, but we were good and just took the bridge.

We showed up in Typhoons with a pair of Apostles to supplement logi support.

Typhoons on the way out, with the yellow Hazard Control SKIN stripes on a pair

I had the second monitor hooked up to dual box for the fleet.  I was in a Typhoon on my alt while flying a Damnation command ship for boosts on my main.

We arrived on grid after the repair timer for the Fortizar was already running, landing and anchoring up to open fire at considerable range.  The idea of the Typhoons is to have max missile skills and boosts so as to be able to hit targets with cruise missiles from beyond the 250km mark.

However we could not quite achieve that mark as the pilot running the relevant boost only had command ships trained up to level 4, and every level you train adds 3% to the effectiveness of the boost.  As it turned out, that last 3% was necessary, so we had to settle in and shoot at closer range, inviting the citadel, gunned and manned, to fire back on us.

We spread out around the Apostles to stay clear of the capacitor emptying void bombs the Fortizar was throwing our way.

The citadel was concentrating on the Apostle flown by Izalis.

Apostle under attack

The Fortizar was able to overwhelm any support we were able to muster for Izalis and her Apostle went down with what I would consider disconcerting speed.

The explosion fades on the wreck of her Apostle

In one of those twists of fate, the kill mail for the fax went to one of us.  RatKnight1, who has achieved fame/notoriety on past deployments, had run his smart bomb with the rest of us to shake some small ships.  He happened to have been in range of the Apostle when he did, applying some damage.  When the Fortizar killed it, due to how EVE Online accounts for these things, he ended up getting credit for the final blow… and top damage.  I thought that the person gunning the citadel would get credit, but I guess not.  And, in a testament to the dysfunction of the system, zKillboard even credits RatKnight1 with a solo kill.

So he was hearing about that for the rest of the fleet, letting Thomas Lear off the hook from hearing about how he jumped his titan rather than bridging earlier in the week.

Losing a fax so soon in the fight was something of a blow, but we carried on, re-positioning to shoot the citadel, leaving Izalis’ first capital wreck behind.

Arrendis in our remaining fax did not get hit and was moved out of range.

We remained focused on the citadel for a while until the defenders undocked a Vexor/Vexor Navy Issue fleet with Basilisk logi support to assist in the defense of the Fortizar.

Asher took the opportunity to warp in on them and we ended up wrecking quite a few of their ships.  At one point a command destroyer from the enemy fleet slipped in and used its area affect micro jump drive to boosh a few of us 100km off the fight.  However, the jump was not well planned as it dropped us on top of the bulk of the sentry drones that the Vexor fleet had deployed.  It was easy enough for us to activate the aforementioned smart bombs on our ships to clear away a great chunk of their supporting fire.

I was slow boating back in my Typhoon when we decided to move again and resume shooting the citadel.  We warped off and got ourselves pointed towards the dying citadel.

Timer still paused

It was at this point that we discovered the whole lock 250km lock range issue.  So we left Arrendis in his Apostle and warped into range of the Fortizar again more to make sure we got on the kill mail than because our DPS was needed.  With the enemy cleared from the field and some more firepower having arrived, the end was now a foregone conclusion.

We warped in, took some shots, then warped off.  Asher turned us around and warped us in again, but accidentally warped at zero, landing us in the the midst of the point defense system.  We left again in a hurry then warped back in at a more prudent range to get in a last few shots before the Fortizar started coming apart.

Explosions begin to erupt

You can see the ball that is our fleet hanging there in front of the citadel.  From that point we were about done.  There were some MTUs on the field, and Asher has declared war on all MTUs, friendly or not, so they got blown up.  Then we were off for home, Arrendis tagging along until he got within range to make a jump to cut a decent number of gates off of his trip.  That also allowed us to speed along.

The kill mail shows 141 capsuleers involved.  I tried to do a battle report, however there were so many groups represented on the field… often by just one or two pilots… that in many cases I couldn’t declare somebody for, against, or a third party.  The main thing that it showed was that there were fewer than 300 pilots recorded as involved in the battle.

Basically, a battle of an objective where the forces were not totally lopsided and both sides drew blood.  EVE Online working pretty well.

Pictures from the battle.

Blogger Fantasy Movie League – Week Five

In which a perfect storm occurs.

Coming off of last week there was no doubt that Despicable Me 3 would rule the box office.  Nothing else huge was opening against it and the champions of the past weeks were worn out, still earning millions but no longer the dominate players.  And so it goes as the weeks of summer progress.

This summer league has made me pay more attention that usual to the movies and what is releasing when.  I like the movies, but aside from a few well promoted productions, I do tend to only know what is playing when I look up what is playing at the local cinema.  Now I am keeping an eye on what is opening every week and have the Variety film section in my RSS feed.

The week five options for the league were:

 Despicable Me 3           $840
 The House                 $198
 Transformers              $175
 Wonder Woman              $131
 Baby Driver               $110
 Cars 3                    $102
 47 Meters Down            $36
 Beguiled                  $32
 The Mummy                 $26
 Pirates of the Caribbean  $26
 Rough Night               $23
 All Eyez on Me            $19
 Captain Underpants        $19
 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $15
 Beatriz At Dinner         $12

Despicable Me 3, expected to earn over $90 million in its opening weekend was priced to match that goal.  Theoretically, if the Monday box estimates are correct, the pricing should reflect what the movie should do.  Or, to put it another way, if the estimates are dead on, spending your full budget should get you the same result no matter which movies you pick.  Given the list above, eight screens of Baby Driver ought to be worth just a bit more than one screen of DM3.

Of course, the estimates are just that.  They are industry guesses.

So DM3 was up at the top.  The House was expected to be in second place, slated to pull in about $20 million.  Then, in the $10-20 million range were the past champs, Transformers, Wonder Woman, and Cars 3.  Then there were the spent forces and lower earners, the movies that you would need to pad out your eight screens if you picked DM3.  From this lower end often comes the surprise pick of the week, the best price to earning champion that yields a $2 million per screen bonus in the game.

And in the middle was Baby Driver.  Pegged at $10-12 million at the start of last week, it looked like a movie you might consider for your mix because you couldn’t get eight screens of Wonder Woman or Transformers.

The week went on, reviews started to come in, early opening revenues started to be counted, and the field began to shift.  Estimates for DM3 started to soften some, but it was The House that got hit hard, with poor reviews.  Estimates dropped in half.  Meanwhile, Baby Driver was looking strong, with high marks on Meta Critic and a strong opening night.  It went from possibly the best performance pick to almost a sure thing.  The question was how many screens do you run it on.  If it was going to end up being the number two movie of the week, which looked like a distinct possibility, the answer had to be “all of them.”

All Baby Driver all the time

Thursday afternoon I was pestering my daughter to go do her picks.  As she looked at the choices she asked me what I chose.  I generally stay mum on that, but this time around I figured I would share.  I told her I decided to go with all Baby Driver.  She gave me that, “Old man, are you crazy?” look, but when I explained how the week had progressed, she had to admit I had something to back up my decision.   Still, she couldn’t bring herself to go all in on Baby Driver, and led with Transformers and seven screens of my pick.

And then Baby Driver pulled in a little more than $20 million over the weekend while DM3 “only” managed $72 million, both results quite a bit off from the view of the world at the beginning of the week… although it appears that the studios took a four day weekend like a lot of people in the US, so rather than getting the final numbers on Monday night for a Tuesday post, here I am on Wednesday night putting together a post just to make sure it is up before the week six deadline hits on Friday morning.

Anyway, that much pull in the US box office made going all Baby Driver the “perfect pick” of the week.  The perfect pick is the one that results in the highest score, and this week almost two thousand of the over sixteen thousand active player went with it, including both Liore and I.

Page after page after page of this…

So the scores for the week had the two of us at the top.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $185,426,560
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $185,426,560
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $167,005,690
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $146,190,015
  5. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $129,149,255
  6. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $120,144,635
  7. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $110,805,100
  8. Bel’s House of Horrors – $108,193,142
  9. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $89,165,906
  10. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $83,798,882

(Clockwork appears to have stopped playing, failing to update picks over the last two weeks, so has been removed from the list for now.)

The win for the week went to Liore because… I don’t know, it looks like a tie to me, but she got the credit.

If you are mathematically inclined you might look at the score Liore and I ended up with, subtract the amount earned by eight screens of Baby Driver, and find us with $21 million extra in our total.  That is because you get $2 million per screen for picking the best price/performer for the week, so eight screens gives you $16 million, plus $5 million overall for having the perfect pick for the week.

On the overall score front I managed to not fall further behind, but sharing the picks with Liore meant not gaining any ground on her lead either. The rest of the pack however saw the gap between them and first place grow by quite a bit, leaving the standings at the end of week five looking like this.

  1. Dr Liore’s Evil House of Pancakes – $601,699,181
  2. Wilhelm’s Clockwork Lemon Multiplex – $576,012,223
  3. Ocho’s Octoplex – $531,959,640
  4. Void’s Awesomeplex – $510,920,719
  5. Moderate Peril’s Sleazy Porno Theatre – $481,943,596
  6. Pasduil’s Popcorn Picturehouse – $471,472,045
  7. Murf’s Matinee Mania – $454,458,439
  8. Bel’s House of Horrors – $450,265,922
  9. Braxwolf’s Waffleplex – $441,965,254
  10. Syl’s Fantasy Galore Panopticum – $404,391,260

The main pack looks to be vying for fourth or fifth place now with Liore way out in front, while Ocho, Void, and myself bridge the gap, ahead of the pack but still way behind Liore as we go into week six.

For week six the line up looks like this.

 Spider-Man FRIDAY         $501
 Spider-Man SATURDAY       $448
 Despicable Me 3           $404
 Spider-Man SUNDAY         $339
 Baby Driver               $143
 Wonder Woman              $104
 Transformers              $70
 Cars 3                    $47
 The House                 $46
 47 Meters Down            $30
 The Big Sick              $28
 The Beguiled              $21
 The Mummy                 $14
 Pirates                   $13
 Guardians of the Galaxy 2 $8

As you can see, Spider-Man has been broken up into three entries.  FML sometimes does this on weeks when there is only one big contender for the week’s box office, splitting the big movie into Friday, Saturday, and Sunday box office results.  So when picking one would likely want to anchor their screens on Spider-Man, but which one?  You can’t get all three days, and if you go with two of the days your other picks are strictly limited.  Do you go with two days and hope for a big run or pick just one and fill out your line up with pictures on the decline hoping for an optimum pick bonus?

Another thing to note is that, in an unusual yet expected turn, the screen price for Baby Drive went up compared to last week.  Since it far exceeded initial expectations it went up from $110 per screen to $143.

That is where things stand going into week six.