Category Archives: EVE Online

I Survive My First Capital Op

While Burn Jita was still raging on Saturday afternoon, I was back in Delve and going out on my first real Cap Fleet operation.

I have formed up a couple of times for operations that never went anywhere, and I went on last week’s training on SiSi, the public test server, but those don’t really count.  But yesterday I happened to be sitting down at my computer just in time to see a ping from Thomas Lear for a CapSwarm form up.  I was already in our staging, so I hopped into my Apostle and got undocked to wait for instructions.

Cold Iron Apostle on the Keepstar

Cold Iron Apostle on the Keepstar

And then I docked back up because we were told to fit 500MN MWDs to aid in speeding up warping between gates.

I chose to go with the Apostle because I ran with my carrier during the training op on SiSi, which proved to me that I have no clue how to use fighters.  I have to find a guide somewhere about the basics of moving them, as everything I have seen so far seems to operate under the assumption that you have that part mastered and just need to hone your technique.

Anyway, I undocked with the MWD fit and waited for instructions again.  That was a bit difficult as we were sharing coms with Asher’s subcap fleet that was coming along to cover us.  There is an oft repeated joke that USTZ fleets are much more… talkative… on coms than EUTZ fleets.  I don’t buy it fully, as I have been on some EUTZ fleets that could sperg with the best of them, but this fleet seems set to prove the rule.  For the first time in a long time I had to go down to the “no chatter” channel, where you only hear people on the command channel.  And even that channel was a bit chatty as there seemed to be a bunch of people there across the two fleets.

We were first given a destination, then told to warp off to another citadel as the first gate we needed to take was on the back side of the Keepstar, so attempting to warp straight to it would end up with some of us just bumping off the face of the citadel.

I picked a nearby Astrahus and warped off, then turned about and headed for the gate.

Apostle warping off

Apostle warping off

While capitals have jump drives and can move 6 light years at a jump, jump fatigue keeps us from using those drives unless we have to.  So we went by gates to the first system in Fountain.  Once there we took off the MWDs and used our jump drives to put us close to our target, hopping over some hostile space, then took a few more gates to the target.

Caps and subcaps landing on a gate

Caps and subcaps landing on a gate

The subcap fleet did managed to bubble us on an in gate at one point due to the presence of hostiles, so we had to hang about for a short bit while that came down.  No hostiles were trapped.

Partially bubbled cap fleet

Partially bubbled cap fleet aligning out

The only tense moment for me during the trip either way was when I lost connection.  We were jumping through a gate and I was stuck in the warp tunnel for a long stretch, then got disconnected.  When I got back in game an rejoined the fleet, I had to go through the return from disconnect routine.  My ship had been warped off, so it had to go back to the spot it left from, which happened to be a few hundred km off the gate.  I had to warp to the gate again and jump.  Looking at local though, the fleet had left me behind, but there were half a dozen hostiles in system.  However, they didn’t show up and I was able to jump the gate and catch up with the fleet at the first target, a tower belonging to The Culture in G95F-H.

There wasn’t much for faxes to do during the first shoot.  I put out some Warrior drones and shot modules with the carriers, but other than that we were orbiting around Thomas Lear while the carriers and dreads did their work. (I even got on the kill mail for a couple of modules, though I didn’t think you could kill modules unless you killed the tower, only incapacitate them.)

We then went after a second tower, which was also reinforced.  This one had a jump bridge, which required the usual special treatment wherein you burn it down to half structure, then rep the armor back up to half again, so the owner has to either take the time to rep it back up or put damage on it to destroy it and replace it.  When it came time to apply reps the faxes were told to go into one cycle of triage.  The triage module greatly boosts the amount of repair a fax can put out, but you cannot recieve reps, move, or warp.  I lit mine for a cycle and started applying my reps.

The blue effect indicates Triage mode

The blue effect indicates Triage mode

And then, as I watched my capacitor drain away, I realized I did not bring and charges for my cap booster.  Well, something for the list.  So I turned off the repair modules after a bit and just let the triage timer run down.  Something to remember for next time.  Once we were done with that it was time to turn around and head for home.  Enough time had elapsed for our jump fatigue to wear off, so after a couple of gates we were able to jump to Y-2ANO and then gate back to our staging.  I managed to get through the op without screwing anything up too badly.

One thing I did notice was that, while the Cold Iron skin for the Apostle looks really good, in the darkness of space it can sometimes be too dark.  I ended up changing to the all white Purity skin every so often just so I could see myself.

Skin change in progress

Skin change in progress

But otherwise I was able to keep up with the fleet, jump when told, and find my way back when disconnected.  I just have to remember those cap boosters for next time.

Burn Jita Returns for 2017

It is that time again.

click to enlarge

The original CCP warning

The annual event, which vacationed in Amarr last year, has returned to its home in Caldari space.  Burn Jita went live just after down time today and by the time I got up this morning to check there were already a dozen freighters down. (The reported first victim of the event.)

The event was promised for February, some disinformation was sent out to confuse the issue.  While Reddit correctly detected the ruse, that did not stop Crossing Zebras and EN24 from reporting the event as having been delayed or even cancelled.

Just in case they decide to remove another post

Just in case they decide to remove another post

This morning there was a post over at INN describing what went on to setup the disinformation campaign.  But the net result was mostly this:

Old memes, best memes

Old memes, best memes

Another tale for the annuls of New Eden.  Meanwhile, the event is on!

This years Burn Jita poster

This years Burn Jita poster

Jita and its surrounding systems are now the hunting ground of hundreds of angry bees… bees, because another theme for this year was to create a new character with the first name “BJBee.”  Having that name isn’t a requirement, but a bunch of people ran with it and you can see them all in local.

Also new for this year is a ship change.  Gone is the trusty Catalyst of past years.  The Amarr Coercer is now the gank ship of choice for the event… preferably with the Blood Raiders SKIN.

Coming to get you!

Coming to get you!

Amarr is, of course, the home of lasers, so each gank will now be highlighted with mass of multi frequency beams.  Somebody is going to use another crystal just to stand out I bet.

Bees with bright stings hit a Rhea

Bees with bright stings hit a Rhea

The result though is the same.

Charon explodes in Jita

Charon explodes in Jita… CCP does such pretty explosions…

The event is set to run from today through to the 27th, though I wouldn’t bet against the event being extended a few days if there are still Coercers to burn.  There are reported to be more that 30K fitted hulls in place.

So you’ve been warned.  If you value your freighter and its cargo, it might be a good weekend to stand down.  If you undock and find a wing or two of Coercers landing on you, it will be too late to change your mind.  They only show up when you’ve already been bumped into position.

My Current Favorite New Eden Screen Shot

I take a lot of screen shots in EVE Online, which I suppose is natural enough for somebody who runs a blog devoted to screen shots taken in EVE Online. (Yet another shameless plug for my soon to be nine years old other site.)

When you are faced with a large quantity of something it can be easy to sort by general quality, but to pick out a favorite, even a transitory favorite of the moment, can be difficult.  And I tend to be indecisive on that sort of thing in any case.  It I have to fill out a security challenge question and it is something like, “Your favorite movie” all I can think is, “Are you kidding me?”

I have trouble limiting to a list of ten my favorite anything, and that can be very situational.

So it is odd when I do fixate on one thing, and when it comes to my EVE Online screen shots, this is the picture.

Doomed Vigil in the middle of things

Doomed Vigil in the middle of things

The screen shot was taken during the battle of the F4R2-Q Fortizars at the beginning of the year.

It features a Vigil, a modest Minmata frigate, in the midst of the battle.  My alt was flying it and it was setup as a target painter.  My alt had been disconnected and had logged back in eventually to find himself in the thick of things and far from our own fleet.

The ship show damage from having exchanged fire with some other small stuff, but isn’t completely wrecked.  And behind it, the battle rages.  There are two huge Apostle force auxiliaries In the near distance, both wearing the Cold Iron skins.  Beyond that you can see other carriers, the straight green beams from a fleet of battleships as well as the more wispy effects from capacitor transfer and remote repair modules.  If you look at the picture in its full size you can see other ships.  And the whole thing is lit up by an explosion at the bottom center of the picture and back dropped by a nebula.

I couldn’t have staged that shot if I had tried and it does reflect what you might see in a battle, provided you’ve left your graphics settings turned up.  That marks me as a tourist I am sure.

I only wish I had a large version of it.  My now ancient 1600×1200 monitor is starting to seem small.

Now to see if I can get some more screen shots this coming weekend.  There will likely be a bunch featuring this ship, the Coercer.

Coercer with a Blood Raiders Skin

Coercer with a Blood Raiders Skin… and CONCORD on patrol

You might see some of those swarming about if you’re in the right place after downtime.

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.