Category Archives: EVE Online

And Sometimes You Sit on a Keepstar While Things Go Wrong

I managed to get into a fleet last night that went out into low sec where we blew up a tower belonging to Darwinism.

One of the modules exploding for effect

One of the modules exploding for effect

The tower had been reinforced previously, so it was a quick shoot.

We also went about reinforcing one of their Raitaru engineering complexes.

Fleet getting boosts near the complex

Fleet getting boosts near the complex

That one will have to wait as it has to go through the three stage process required to destroy an operational citadel or complex.

If I understand correctly this operation, and a number of other ones that went out yesterday to hit Darwinism structures, was in response to Darwinism hitting Merch Industrial structures.  Merch is a long time Goonswarm Federation corporation probably best know for being the home of DBRB.  It even got a MiniTru video.

Basically, the usual order of things in New Eden; somebody pokes us, we poke them back.  The highlight of the op were managing to kill a 2.6 billion ISK pod and my running an Oneiros with the Guardian’s Gala SKIN, which may be the first skin for the ship that is worth having.

Oneiros orbiting near the fleet

Oneiros orbiting near the fleet

A fine day’s work in New Eden, and I logged off after that and had dinner, watched a bit of television, and let the night roll on.  As it got later I went back to my computer to tinker with an alt I rolled for an upcoming event which I will write about later.  As I was running him through the new player experience, a ping came in.

This has meme potential

This aspect of the NPE has meme potential

It was one of those ping, sent to, and in, ALL CAPS, with an urgent call to get in fleet NOW!

This was followed by a similar ping for a subcap fleet, but I figured “what the hell!” and logged in, got in my Apostle, and joined the fleet.  Then it was pointed out to me that the ping only called for carriers and dreads, so I swapped to my Archon and undocked.  Then I saw that lots of people were bringing faxes, so I docked back up again swapped back to my Apostle, and undocked once more to sit tethered at the Keepstar.

Sitting on the Keepstar

Sitting on the Keepstar

As we sat there, the story unfolded… rather loudly at times… as to what was going on.

A group of Peoples Liberation Army corporation Rorquals had been dropped on by Pandemic Legion in NIDJ-K, which just happens to one of the TNT vanity sovereignty system, so we can say we do hold sov.

The PL fleet tackled them and then put up a cyno inhibitor.  We sat there listening as one of the PLA guys tried to light us a cyno so we could jump in and help.  He managed to get a cyno up, but in the wrong fleet before the inhibitor went up.  He also did not speak English very well… PLA is a Chinese corp… and was apparently playing inside of a wind tunnel judging from the background noise, which did not help the cross-lingual communications.

A titan bridged a few subcaps out with cynos to try and get somebody in close enough to be a jump target for us.  The subcap fleet itself took a jump bridge to the vicinity of the fight and set up to block egress.

An Avatar bridging out some scouts and interdictors

An Avatar bridging out some scouts and interdictors

In the end though, the PL fleet killed all seven Rorquals that PLA had in a mining anomaly along with a Hulk, some mobile depots, and several ships that warps in to assist.  We eventually killed the cyno inhibitor.  The battle report shows it to be a lopsided victory in favor of PL.

That Viziam guy was in a Revelation

That Viziam guy was in a Revelation

I got an alt out to help search and scan, but the PL fleet looked to have logged off to wait for another day.

As we sat there on the Keepstar, I came to an important decision.  I decided that, while the Purity white SKIN looks pretty good on the Apostle, the Cold Iron SKIN is the one to have.  So I bought one.

Cold Iron Apostle

Cold Iron Apostle

I still can’t remember which way the Apostle is facing, but at least it looks a bit more menacing with a dark SKIN.

So that was New Eden for me yesterday.

In summary:  Some things got blown up and I got new SKINs for two of my ships.

 

Some Days You Just Sit on the Titan

I haven’t written much about operations in EVE Online of late for a couple of reasons.

First has been because I have been busy with other things.  Life will get in the way.  And, second, there has also been a drawn down in the number of ops I am likely to join.

The so-called Winter War between Stainwagon and the refugees from the north ended up in a Stainwagon collapse, with the defenders now mostly pushed off the sovereignty map as TEST, Circle-of-Two, and the Drone Walkers… soon to be joined by Brave Newbies… moved in. (Images grabbed from the usual source.)

Just six weeks passed...

Just six weeks passed…

That has put and end to that for us.

Which isn’t to say there haven’t been ops running.  There is always some op forming up to go do something; roam, homeland defense, poke a bear, or some such.  But I have become a picky bitter vet of sorts.  I want strat ops and concrete objectives or, barring that, an FC I trust.

Last week it was Thomas Lear who took us out in Sleipnirs.  Earlier this week it was Asher, who called us out for one of his plans.  He had some bait planned and moved us out to sit on a titan and wait for the right moment to spring the trap.

We even brought the titan with us

We even brought the titan with us

Sometimes that sort of things pays off, sometimes it goes badly awry, and some nights nothing at all happens.  This time around it was the last item.  The bait was out but nobody seemed interested in taking it.  So we sat there at a POS… at least a change from sitting on a citadel, which is the new normal… staring at the titan and wondering if we would go or not.

My Guardian floating there behind the Ragnarok

My Guardian floating there behind the Ragnarok

This is the nature of sandbox PvP.  Sometimes nobody shows up at your party.  We sat there for a while before Asher eventually called it a night and bridges us back home.  At least we took one bridge.

It wasn’t all that bad.  Being on-call let me tab out and work on other things.  I have screen shots lined up for my other blog into next month now.  And with a wireless headset I was able to get up and do things around the house, like put something in the oven for dinner, get a package from UPS off the door step, and use the bathroom.  My thoughts about broadcasting the latter over coms were held back by the fact that my push to talk button is mapped to the keyboard, which was still sitting on my desk.  Probably better for all concerned.

But other than getting what might be my last peak at a moon mining operation before it is changed to drilling rigs in the fall, there wasn’t much going on.

Moon mining modules running

Moon mining modules running

At least it yielded as strategic participation link, a strat PAP, the collection of which is one of the few reasons I think my corp keeps me around.  It certainly isn’t for my deep involvement in alliance activities.

Later I ran a couple of anomalies and actually netted an escalation finally.  It has been months since I got the last one.

It was the Dark Blood Fleet Staging Point escalation, which is a three part project, only our local escalation running service will only do the third part.  That isn’t bad.  The first two parts are doable, it just means I have to pack up the Ishtar and take it on the road.

The first part was in a nice dead-end pocket and I was able to complete it and drop off the resulting loot in a citadel to pick up later.  We have citadels… usually multiple citadels… in every system in Delve at this point.

The second part however was in one of the heavily traveled pipe systems, which meant I spend about two hours running what is maybe a 20 minute encounter.  Every time I would get settled in intel would announce some roaming gang was in an adjacent system and I would get myself lined up.  Then they would jump in the system and I would pull drones and warp off to a citadel, only to have them just pass through.   Then it was back to the start point, motor to the acceleration gate, and back into the encounter only to have intel ringing the bell yet again.

Somebody finally put up a homeland defense fleet to chase off one gang that had been roaming the area for a while and I was able to wrap things up at last.

Then I got the third part alert, which was in a nice quiet system as well, so it looked like I was in luck to get it run for me.  The last two… the only two… escalations I have had in the region both ended up in NPC Delve, and Lucky Runners doesn’t go there.  Too many hostiles buzzing about.

I went to the escalation, bookmarked the beacon, names it correctly, contracted it, and waited for the ISK to show up.  And then, many hours later, I got a note saying the contract had been rejected due to a contract bug.  But there was still about six hours left on the third stage.  You only get 24 hours from when each part appears in which to run it.  So I contracted it again and actually got paid this time.

So that is life in Delve at the moment.  I’ve been able to build up my ISK reserves, but I haven’t gone on many fleets.

The YC119.2 Update Brings Insurance to Citadels

It is time for the monthly update patch for EVE Online, which this month falls on St. Valentine’s Day.  I wonder if I should read any meaning into that or not?

CCP continues making TAGN quality graphics for updates!

CCP continues making TAGN quality graphics for updates!

The update brings a number of things to the table.  It heralds the opening of the Guardian’s Gala event in New Eden, which runs from today through the end of the month and includes SKINs for Gallente hulls as drops. (A video from The Scope to bring up up to speed on the lore around the event.)

Running in a system near you this month

Running in a system near you this month

It also brings some fixes for recent performance issues that have been bothersome since the troubled YC119.1 patch went live last month, along with updates for the New Player Experience, new SKINs, UI fixes, and improvements to the much loved multi-buy window.

There are many additional small fixes in this month’s patch.  But the one item that will likely have the most impact on me… as noted in the headline… is the ability to insure your ships in a citadel.

Live from the Thetastar, insurance!

Live from the Thetastar, insurance!

Citadels are supposed to eventually replace the no-longer-deployable as of the December update null sec stations eventually, with the latter slated to go away completely at some future date. (EN24 had a good retrospective on stations.)  However, while we have had citadels around since last April and the Citadel expansion, getting them up to par with stations has taken some time.  This brings CCP one step closer to that goal… and I should no longer have to go find a station to insure my ship.

That aside, I do like this line item from the patch notes:

An underlying and far reaching EVE code issue has been identified and fixed. This should resolve various issues across New Eden, including the drone window becoming unresponsive, overview entries not updating/removing, ship HUD issues (including a ship’s speed not updating correctly) and more.

I have run into all of those situations over the years, to the point that they have become “oh yeah, that happens sometimes” sorts of events in fleets, especially when time dilation is in play.  If true, this fix might be the second best thing in the update. [Addendum: A Dev Blog about it here.]

So those are the items of note for me.  You can read the patch notes and the updates page to see if there is something else hidden in there for you.  There was also a development update video that went out yesterday, and Neville Smit returned to blogging with a summary of all sorts of things going on, but mostly the CSM and the video.

And, as with every update, there is some music attached.

Top 25 EVE Online Corporations Graph – The End Number

CCP Quant put up the monthly economic report for January 2017 yesterday.  I always go peruse the numbers and to see what has changed.  Cobalt Edge, for example, passed Delve as the regional mining champion.  Who is mining away up there?  Anyway, it is a treasure and not the sort of thing other MMO devs put out there.  EVE is its own special thing.

At the end of the report there was a bonus graph tracking the growth and changes of the “top 25” corporations, so ranked due to their peak membership.  It is a nice chart to look at:

Development of the top 25 corporations in EVE Online since 2012

Development of the top 25 corporations in EVE Online since 2012

It shows the ebb and flow of some of the long standing corporations as well as the rise of the new player friendly corporations in Null sec, starting with Brave Newbies Inc. then followed by KarmaFleet and Pandemic Horde Inc.

However, the chart was missing one detail in my opinion.  The left edge of the chart indicates the starting scale indicating how wide the flow would be at 8,000 members.  However, there is no gradation and no further measure, so it is hard to tell how big the combined mass of capsuleers in these corps really is.  So I went to DOTLAN and searched up each of the corporations and added up their current membership to get a number.

The right side of the graph represents about 45,000 pilots spread across 21 corporations, with the individual counts as follows, listed out top to bottom as they appear on the graph:

  1. Pandemic Horde – 12,054
  2. KarmaFleet – 4,848
  3. Red Federation – 2,312
  4. Blue Republic – 3,580
  5. EVE University – 1,944
  6. Fusion Enterprises Ltd. – 488
  7. Ascendance – 1,130
  8. Imperial Guardians – 530
  9. Sniggerdly – 477
  10. health clinic – 523
  11. Wildly Inappropriate – 1,052
  12. The Graduates – 416
  13. Conoco. – 1,187
  14. Mission Ready Mining – 1,735
  15. Peoples Liberation Army – 894
  16. 30plus – 374
  17. Signal Cartel – 822
  18. BOVRIL bOREers Mining CO-OP – 221
  19. GoonWaffe – 3,349
  20. Dreddit – 4,026
  21. Brave Newbies Inc. – 3,123

That is a snapshot of course, the count for a brief  moment in time as the numbers are constantly changing.  But it helps set the scale of the change over the time frame of the graph.

Moving Day Again

If there is one bad habit I have had in New Eden, it is my propensity to collect crap.  The “All Items” tab in the Assets window is a scary place for me.  Once it took so long to load I thought I had crashed the server by opening it.

Just a snippet out of the long, long list of places

Just a snippet out of the long, long list of places

I have a recurring nightmare about having to go out in a ship and haul everything back to Jita or Amarr.  Some of that stuff has been out there for a long time too.  I don’t think I have spent time in Hageken for nearly a decade.  And then there was that unfortunate region-wide buy order in Domain.

So when it was announced yesterday that the coalition was moving to a new staging system, I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the thought of moving my stuff yet again.  We were not moving too far, just a couple gates, but there was still the prospect of a lot of hauling in my future.

Dead pods mark move ops

Dead pods mark move ops

However, things didn’t turn out as bad as I thought they might.  I managed to stuff my Mastadon full of stuff and moved most of the loose modules and other items in three runs under the protective eyes of the local standing fleet.

After that, it was time to move all the ships I had stored up.  That is usually the tough part.  But as it so happens, I haven’t been collecting quite so many ships lately.  I used to buy a couple ships for every doctrine, but the coalition has been trying to keep logi stable between doctrines, so I have been able to re-use the same ships.  That, plus the fact that I now have an Archon and an Apostle, both of which have hangars capable of hauling assembled ships, meant I was able to carry almost everything over to the new staging rather than flying each ship.

Apostle ready to jump

Apostle ready to jump

So having two capital ships finally pays off.

The only downside to the whole thing is that the ships you are carrying in the hangar can only have ammunition and other charges for modules in their cargo.  So I had to pull out all the refits and mobile depots and nanite repair paste and what not and shove them in the cargo hold to be sorted out later.

So move op completed for me more quickly than usual.  Everything I had in the old staging Keepstar is now in the new one.  However, it still feels like I have a ton of stuff rolling around in my inventory bin.  Also, I have to go through all the fits and figure out which ships need modules in their holds.  I might save that task for the start of an actual op.  There is always some lag time while we assemble.

EVE Online Multiple Character Training Deal

Weren’t we just talking about deals and things for veterans versus things for new players?

Anyway, here is something for both new players and bitter vets, CCP is offering multiple character training with any multi-month subscription. [Offer expires Feb. 8, 2017!]

freemctheadline

While there have been other subscription incentives in the past… price breaks, special SKINs, and the recurring second account deal… this is the first time I think they have offered up a second training queue as part of an offer.

I am a bit surprised it took this long to get that sort of offer (unless I missed one from the past) as multiple character training has been around for a few years now. (It came it with the Odyssey expansion as Dual Character Training in June 2013 and then got its own in-game token and became Multiple Character Training with the Hyperion expansion in August 2014.)

And this offer does appeal to me.  On every account I have ever had for EVE Online, there has always been a “main” character who gets all the training, and then an alt character or two that linger, hoping for the day when that main character has enough skill points.  But as we all know, there is never enough.  Well, I haven’t gotten to “enough” on my main yet, and he’s past 170 million skill points.

Of course, my perception of what this offer was clashed a bit with the details.

You get SOME multiple character training time

You get SOME multiple character training time

This is not CCP’s fault, but my brain jumped from the initial banner/statement straight to thinking one would get multiple character training… MCT… for the duration of the subscription.  But you do not.  You get some MCT time… which is better than no MCT time… but it is equivalent to one third of the subscription length you choose.

Not what my brain wanted, but still better than no incentive at all.

And while we’re on the subject of where my brain leaped relative to the reality of the situation, there are a some additional notes on this offer.

The fine print

The fine print

You don’t, as you might have expected, get the token for MCT, which you could squirrel away for later or sell on the market.  Instead the second queue starts right up the moment you take the offer.  So be ready before you buy.

And, finally, there was some griping about the deal showing up without any preamble, so that people who had just done their subscription were feeling left out.  CCP rolled the offer back so that if you subscribed within three days of the start of the offer, you get the deal. (Though I hope you noticed that you got it!  And what happens with auto-renewals?)

That still left some people grumpy, because you know somebody hit the button four days ahead of the offer and now feels cheated because the people who did so three days got a break and they did not.

But here is the thing.  You can subscribe again and add more time to your account.  That might not seem like a good plan if you like to subscribe for a year at a time to get the best discount, but if you’re in for the every three months offer, kicking in for another three months early to get something that has the value of one PLEX won’t kill you.

My own second account isn’t due to renew until April… there was some deal last year that got me to renew it for a full year… but I am thinking about adding on another three months to get 30 days of MCT.  There is another cyno alt in that.

You can find all of this right now on the Add Game Time page of the EVE Online site.  This is, of course, a limited time offer, so act soon or lose out.  I am not sure when it actually ends.

And since item has ballooned from what was going to be a single entry on a bullet points submission to a full on post of its own… any item that passes 500 words can stand on its own in my book… I am going to ask a general follow on question.

Does any other MMO with a subscription option throw out as many incentive offers as CCP does for EVE Online?  CCP has something running… a special SKIN, a bonus item, a special discount, a two for one deal… about every couple months is seems.  It used to been more frequent, but they now have PLEX and Aurum deals going when they aren’t doing subscription deals.

The one similar event I recall was the World of Warcraft offer that got you a free copy of Diablo III if you subscribed for a full year.  And Daybreak recently had a special “subscribe for a full year” deal that offered a serious price break.  But I don’t remember any others quite like that off hand.

Then again, I don’t subscribe to that many MMOs any more, so I likely missed them if they were out there.  So what compares?

CSM 12 Application Process Opens, CSM Reduced to 10 Seats

As expected CCP opened up the application process for people wishing to run for a seat on CSM 12.  CCP Guard and CCP Logibro have put up a dev blog with details about the process of applying.

Ready for round 12!

Ready for round 12!

Along with the application process, the dev blog also covers some history of the CSM, the meeting minutes for second CSM 11 summit, and how many members have been attending the live sessions in Iceland.  For CSM 11 all members have been attending these summits at CCP headquarters in Reykjavik, Iceland.  It has been decided that this will continue with CSM 12.

To facilitate this however, the size of the CSM is being reduced from 14 to 10 members.

We shall see how this affects the single transferable vote system in place.  At a minimum, I expect we will allowed to vote for just 10 people this time around.

I expect some analysis will come out to show who would have been on past CSM groups had there only been 10 seats available. [Addendum: Oh, there it is.]