Category Archives: EVE Online

The Day of No Downtime

Today is a strange day in New Eden as something that usually happens every single day did not happen.  There was no downtime at 11:00 UTC.  The game was not offline for the usual time, but persisted on through its regular break to keep running.

Celebrating no downtime

This lack of a downtime was cause to write up a whole Dev Blog about downtime, why they do it every day, and even how they picked the time.  It is another one of those posts that are worth the read just for the insight into the considerations.

Downtime generally isn’t an issue for me as, being on the Pacific coast, it is a very rare day when I am up and online when it happens.  But I am sure there are people for whom it is just the most annoying thing about EVE Online, this daily break in the action.  Then again, some people are probably relieved.  Some battles, like B-R5RB, didn’t end until downtime logged everybody off. (I went to bed and left my Dominix just drifting in game.  It made it to downtime.)

Of course, somebody always has the difficult questions:

No resetting of high sec asteroid belts?

Nosy Gamer, Twitter

So, as has been noted, it is a bit of a non-event.  It is literally something not happening.  But downtime is such a feature of the game that it seems worth noting.  And, of course, downtime will be back tomorrow.  But for one day there was no downtime, allowing almost 48 hours of continuous play… or idleness.  EVE Online is also one of those games without an inactivity timer so, among other things, downtime kicks all those people who just left the game client running and walked off.  There is also the possibility that maybe a downtime every single day will at some point no longer be a necessity.

Others on this:

November in Review

The Site

Another quiet month when it came to traffic.  There was a spike at the start, because writing about Blizzard and BlizzCon will get you some attention.  But then writing about EVE Online or Daybreak games… that is pure death for traffic.  But I write about what I am interested in and what I am playing.

It was apparently also “internet picture posting month” or “inpipomo” or some such.  People were posting screen shots and keep count and that sort of thing.  I thought about joining in, but every month is picture posting month around here.  I am well past 100 for the month I am sure, but I’ll post one more just for luck.

SIEGED!

I’ll leave you to figure out what that even means.

One Year Ago

It was the end of days for WildStar.

I commemorated TorilMUD for having survived for 25 years, and did a post about the Castle Drulak zone on Evermeet.

I was looking back at the decade old VirginWorlds podcast dedicated to the Star Wars: The Old Republic announcement.

BlizzCon was on its way and I was projecting what we might see.  What we actually got… well, Diablo Immortal didn’t play well with fans, but we heard a lot about WoW Classic.  I went over why I felt fan expectations for Blizz are hopeless, but nobody listens.

I had finally schlepped my way to level 120 in Battle for Azeroth and collected my WoW 14th anniversary gifts.

In EVE Online, there was the very pretty Crimson Harvest event.  I was also showing off the swag I got from EVE Vegas. There was also an op out to Geminate to tangle with Pandemic Horde.

But mostly there was the Onslaught expansion, which landed mid-month and reduced the once mighty POS to just so many bubbles in space, though they still haven’t pulled them from the game a year later.  There were also daily login rewards and the activity tracker.

Project Nova, shown at EVE Vegas, had been postponed.

Daybreak was announcing The Burning Lands expansion for EverQuest while the Chaos Descending expansion launched for EverQuest II on my anniversary with the game, though I bid the game farewell for a while.

But the month was really focused on Lord of the Rings Online and its Legendary Server.  I wondered what we might see on the eve of its launch.  The server itself was overwhelmed pretty quickly and there were problems with its login queue.  A second server was announced almost right away.

After fiddling around with ways to beat the queue I was able to get in and start a new character.  There were some quirks of the game to come to grips with, like the lack of tin.  But I made it to the Lone Lands before the month was out, working on the many deeds there.

Five Years Ago

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire Launched.

There was BlizzCon, about which I made the usual predictions.  I found the event itself vaguely dissatisfying.  But those who were bitching about lack of focus on WoW at BlizzCon 2015, go back and look at how little attention it got in 2014!  Otherwise we were in Azeroth collecting achievements and waiting for the expansion to hit.

Oh, yeah, the expansion hit… Warlords of Draenor and server queues and all that.   Blizz was trying to fix that while I had to figure out who to play.  Blizz eventually gave everybody 5 days free for the problems.  But hey, they had 10 million subscribers on the hook again, up from the 7.4 million low point during the summer.  Remember when subscriber numbers were a thing?

In EVE Online the Phoebe expansion arrived, bringing with it Jump Fatigue and the 10 year/50 skill long training queue.  Then they were on about removing other annoyances with the upcoming Rhea expansion.

In game the Reavers had finished up in Feythabolis with a bang and were off into Omist next, hunting the unwary before returning home again.

Rixx Javix was drawing spaceships.  He’s still at it.

And there was the This is EVE video that became wildly popular.

I reflected on EverQuest II at its 10 year anniversary.  Veterans of the game even got their own island.  Over on the EverQuest side of the house, The Darkened Sea, the 21st expansion for the game, went live.

And, finally, the power supply on my computer blew out, taking the motherboard and drives with it.  I had to rebuild, but was up and running again in a couple of days.

Ten Years Ago

I was writing about how I had not changed the blog format since I started.  I have since changed it, though mostly due to the fact that WordPress.com broke the old theme.

Our Thanksgiving entertainment was Rock Band 2.  While I was really bad at it, it was a lot of fun.  The next year we played Super Mario Bros. Wii, which I was also really bad at, but which isn’t nearly as much fun.  However, the kids liked it.  I rode along in a bubble most of the time.

And while Tech Crunch was exposing the odious practices favored by Mark Pinkus to get FarmVille and Mafia Wars profitable, the New York Times was gushing over this wonderful new virtual goods market, which I summarized and provided links to here.

I managed to get some playtime in with the original Torchlight, though there were some problems.  It turns out that if you bought the game from the wrong vendor, you could be a while waiting for patches.

The first LEGO Harry Potter game was announced, which I had anticipated would come to pass almost two years before it was announced.

Warhammer Online announced that levels 1-10 were going to be free, making me wonder if they were just going to breed a mass of level 1 twinks.  I think that is what the end result was.  Well, there were twinks, but I don’t think the amounted to much of a “mass” in any way.

In EVE OnlinePLEX was off to a booming start.  The price of a PLEX has risen some since then (~300 million then, well over a billion ISK now in new PLEX).  Meanwhile, the first Hulkageddon was on and even I noticed something was amiss.  Eventually somebody pointed me in the right direction in the comments.

I wondered if fishing was really the secret ingredient for MMO success.

I got all nostalgic for Star Trek because of Star Trek Online’s impending release.

World of Warcraft and EverQuest II both hit their five year anniversaries.  Then I had the temerity to say that there were things that EQII didn’t do very well in my opinion.  Odd how some of those things from a decade back have changed… or how I have changed… or both.

On the WoW end of things, somebody was suing because they felt the game wasn’t easy enough.

Then there were Mr. T Mohawk grenades and a 24 slot Portable Hole, outrages both along with the $10 vanity pets.  And I was complaining about not getting the Headless Horseman’s mount during Hallow’s End.  Again, sound familiar?

I wrote a very short post about Pilgrim’s Bounty which went on to become the most viewed post on the site November of five years ago.

And the instance group started in with Ragefire ChasmWailing Caverns and Deadmines on the RP-PVP server.  Actual PVP occurred since we had to walk to the Deadmines.  We get called griefers for daring to engage in PVP on a PVP server.

Fifteen Years Ago

As may have been mentioned, World of Warcraft launched fifteen years ago this month.

Also celebrating a fifteenth birthday this month was EverQuest II.  It launched a few weeks earlier, but has ever remained in WoW‘s shadow.

EVE Online got its second free expansion, Exodus, which introduced player owned starbases… the POS of yore… one of the uses of which was to claim territory in untamed null sec space.  And thus the race to for empires began.

Twenty Years Ago

Asheron’s Call, the third of the big three break out MMORPGs of the late 90s, launched.  Never as big as its rivals (it peaked at 120K players to Ultima Online’s 250K and EverQuest’s 550K) it blazed its own trail in trying to define what an MMORPG ought to be.  Neglect, a mis-handled sequel, and a studio that made some dubious and costly moves, left the game without a home when Standing Stone Games was split off to support Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings OnlineAsheron’s Call was officially shut down in January 2017.

Most Viewed Posts in November

  1. Alamo teechs u 2 play DURID!
  2. How Many People Play EVE Online?
  3. The Apology
  4. CCP Falcon Leaves CCP
  5. Looking Back at BlizzCon 2019
  6. End of a Vision
  7. Minecraft and the Search for a Warm Ocean
  8. Visions of a Sunken Temple
  9. No. I’d Rather Kill Rats.
  10. Quote of the Day for WoW Classic Fans
  11. Gambling Returns to New Eden
  12. BlizzCon 2019 and The Big Four Announcements

Search Terms of the Month

how to like raspberries
[to my mind they can only be tolerated]

new everquest game
[Maybe some day]

meeting stones dont summon in classic
[no they do not]

mau wow
[poppa oom mau wow]

why did ccp change the cyno rules in eve online
[If I could answer that…]

Game Time from ManicTime

World of Warcraft gets dethroned from the top spot after three months in a row, as I spent some time in EverQuest II for the 15th anniversary.  I did play less WoW Classic than I did in October.  However, EQII got a big boost thanks to my being off from work most of Thanksgiving week, giving me the time to indulge in its long, side track questing.  It was well behind in time spent until this past week.

  1. EverQuest II – 49.47%
  2. World of Warcraft – 42.94%
  3. EVE Online – 5.53%
  4. EVE Aether Wars – 1.69%
  5. LOTRO – 0.37%

EVE Online

Not a lot happened in New Eden for me.  I went on a total of two ops.  I’m not terribly interested in a lot of the game at the moment and a good chunk of my time was simply spent moving all my junk from one Keepstar to another since our staging station changed.

EverQuest II

Went back for the 15th anniversary and managed to find a goal that seemed obtainable, getting my alleged main to the level cap of 110.  Getting to 108 was quick, but then there was a few days of distraction as I went off on what was something of a wild goose chase, at least when it came to the task at hand.  However, there were some other things unlocked that may do me well later.

Pokemon Go

Still lingering around level 37, though 38 is getting closer.  My wife asked me what we were going to do when we hit level 40.  I said we’d probably quit and go play the Harry Potter version of the game for a change.  That seemed to be okay, since she is much more of a fan of that than Pokemon.

Level: 37 (+0… but very close to 38)
Pokedex status: 470 (+7) caught, 495 (+7) seen
Pokemon I want: I need more Sinnoh stones…
Current buddy: Tepig

World of Warcraft

I logged in for Darkmoon Faire, which is what I do every month.  I will level up my trade skills that way eventually.  I also logged in for the 15th anniversary, though really only to get the achievement and whatever they were handing out directly.  I did not do any of the events nor the LFR for the mount.  I might regret that if mounts were rare, but when you have more than 400, it just isn’t that big of a deal I suppose.

WoW Classic

I slowed down a bit in WoW Classic in November.  I didn’t stop, but as you can see from the play time break down, I didn’t spent more than 90% of my time playing it to the exclusion of all else.  It isn’t a sprint but a marathon to get to level 60 and through all those instances.

Coming Up

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, according to some.  I like that the production servers at work will be locked down for most of the month so no worry about pushing updates or changes.  Just don’t let anything go wrong.

Game companies though… there will be expansion for EverQuest and EverQuest II and EVE Online next month.  We’ll also be getting battlegrounds in WoW Classic.  Then there will be holiday events and the Steam Winter Sale and all of that.

As for me, expect the usual end of the year nonsense I suppose.  There is of series of annual posts I have accumulated over the years that I will no doubt get to again.  Reviews of predictions, a look at what I played, highs and lows, maybe even something about books, all culminating in predictions for the new year.

Gambling Returns to New Eden

I was sitting in bed this morning looking at Twitter on my iPad and saw that CCP had announced something called the HyperNet Relay.  I read through the post, but I was pretty sure I didn’t understand what it was or why anybody would want this, because it sure seemed like gambling, something CCP banned from the game in all forms back in 2016.

The New Face of Gambling in New Eden

Fortunately Twitter was there to help me out as not one but two CSM members responded to my sleep addled inquiries making clear that this was, in fact, a gambling scheme being introduced into EVE Online by CCP.

The CSM had clearly been briefed about the HyperNet Relay by CCP and had given it their approval, because a few of them were out fronting the feature for CCP on a variety of channels.

When explaining HyperNet Relay, the humble raffle seems to be the preferred metaphor.

That is a nice word, raffle, because it gets used by charities and other good causes which get an exception to gambling laws in some jurisdictions when using it as a mechanism for raising funds.  But make no mistake, a raffle is straight up gambling by any definition I have ever read.

So, gambling.  To say it is anything else is just a lie.

Basically, it sounds like CCP plans to let players set up their own raffles.  The player running the raffle basically buys the permit and the tickets from CCP through the New Eden Store with PLEX, the cash shop currency, and then lists their item.  Players then buy the tickets with ISK.  When all the tickets have been sold, RNG picks the winner.  Everybody else who bought a ticket is out the ISK they spent.

Checking in on the test server, where HyperNet Relay is now live, the tips for what it is show the usual level of CCP clarity…

How to gamble… I mean raffle… I mean HyperNet!

That gets you to the offers window, which has some sample raffles.

Welcome to wealth creation… not your wealth, but somebody’s

As far as bidding goes, the interface seems similar to a mob numbers racket, where you pick a ticket from an array.

Which one is the luck one?

On the creation side, once you get a HyperCore (this terminology has to be an attempt to stay as far away from gambling terms as possible) you drag an item into the interface and set the parameters of the raffle.

Time to generate wealth!

You can set the number of tickets in your raffle… erm, HyperNodes in your… raffle… which can be between 8 and 512, the price per ticket… node… whatever, or the total amount you want to make, which will set the per ticket price.

Looking at some of the raffles people have created, there is still some fuzziness on the idea.  I saw a Nyx listed with the per ticket price about the same as the price of a brand new, fully fit Nyx… only there were 48 tickets, so somebody wanted to sell for 48x the market price.

And, just looking at this, I can see how it will facilitate RMT ISK sales.

CCP’s justification, aside from the usual claim of gambling being fun and enjoyable, is that this will allow players to obtain otherwise very expensive items like rare officer modules without having to blow their budget.  Again, as always with gambling, the emphasis is put on the benefit of the lone winner and not the losses incurred by the losers.

Leaving aside the high ground CCP claimed when they banned gambling previously, I spent some time at EVE Vegas watching CCP Larrikin do his presentation which dwelt for quite a bit on income inequality in New Eden.  You can watch it here if you like.  As with the real world, no matter what happens, the rich seem to get richer.

And HyperNet Relay will be no different.  Despite claims about ISK velocity and redistribution of assets, this will simply make the rich even more wealthy.  Who has these rare and valuable items in their hangars?  Who has the ISK to buy PLEX in order to get their HyperNet Relay Gambling Kit from the New Eden store without spending any real world cash?  And who will collect the ISK from these raffles, where the combined value of all the tickets will more then compensate for the price of the HyperNet Relay and the value of the item being raffled off?

And, on the flip side, who has to use real world cash to buy PLEX to  get ISK?  And who cannot afford these expensive items?  And who will lose their ISK far more often than not?

Same shit, different day.

But it is already live on the test server, which means CCP is committed and the CSM has been briefed and approved of the plan.  The expected go live date is December 10, 2019.

CCP is still eliciting feedback in a comment thread on the forums.  The tide there is running very much against the idea.  But this is an obvious money maker, so I’ll be interested to see if the usual claim that “your voice matters” will ring hollow yet again.  On Reddit things are even more brutal.

And all of this is being dropped into an environment where legislators in various countries are eyeing gambling in video games ever more closely.  At least lock boxes have the fig leaf of everybody getting some prize out of them as cover.  I thought CCP was being smart back in 2016, covering themselves from possible legal trouble.  Now we have this.  We’ll see if EVE Online has a high enough profile to get called out for this.

No matter what, I suspect that this story will run for a while.

Other reactions:

 

EVE Online Gets Rapid Fire and Triglavians in its Third November Update

I thought EVE Online going to updates every five weeks was a bit of a fast pace, but now we’re into our third update for November.  We had the new player login campaign update first, a tiny update yes, but it got its own release notes, so I covered it.  Then we got the Beat Around the Boosh update two weeks back.  And now we’re getting an update to the Triglavian event and the Team Talos Rapid Fire update, which was mentioned back at EVE Vegas.

The invasion continues

On the Triglavian front, the event has been updated, with CONCORD observatories being deployed around New Eden to study the Triglavian stellar accelerators.  But, as always, CONCORD needs your help.  In this case, they want you to defend these observatories from Triglavian attack.

Also coming with this update is the Triglavian dreadnought, the Zirnitra, which was previewed at EVE Vegas.

Very big Triglavian ships arrive

With it comes a new capital ship class entropic disintigrator weapon along with the X-large ammo to go with it and the skills you’ll need to train up in order to use the ship and its weapons.  And, of course, there are BPCs out there.  This dreadnought is supposed to be less expensive to build than past faction dreads have been.  CCP wants people flying this beast.

Then there is the Team Talos project, the Rapid Fire update, which brings good news to a number of Minmatar hulls and auto cannons.

Stabber Fleet Issue, Tempest Fleet Issue, Typhoon, Bellicose and Rifter are all getting a bit of a buff, while medium autocannons are getting a bit of stat increase as well.

On the flip side, the over-used Muninn is getting a bit of a nerf (no wonder Elo Knight is taking a break now) as are Angel Cartel ships.

Then there is Team Five-0 and the shareable bookmarks update.  This brings the long sought after Alliance Bookmarks feature by creating a way that bookmarks can be shared via the Access Control List interface.  There is a cost however, in that there are limits to the number of bookmarks than can be saved.  There are 102 individuals that currently exceed the 20,000 bookmark hard cap that the system will enforce, but with 248 million saved locations in New Eden, some effort to keep system performance viable had to be made.

There is a dev blog that covers this in detail and the forum thread where problems with the change are brought up.  No matter what CCP does at this point, somebody will be unhappy.  Of course, I only have a few hundred bookmarks, so I am nowhere close to the problem zone.  And I know people who are very happy with the change as well.  I’ll personally be glad to have wormhole bookmarks that can be set to expire and go away on their own.

Then there is the Black Friday login campaign which will reward capsuleers who login daily between Nov 27th (tomorrow) and Dec 3rd.

Further details for these changes are in the updated November patch notes, with some additional information on the updates page. The update has been reported live, so it is our reality now.

In addition, as part of EVE London CCP released a new trailer for items coming to the game this winter.

However, a good portion of them are available as part of today’s update, which is dropping nearly a month ahead of the calendar maker determined first day of winter in the northern hemisphere.  But I’ve always maintained that seasons are more a state of mind… though November still feels like autumn in my book.

Addendum: Probes are now optional in Thera thanks to the bookmarks change.

Friday Bullet Points About Aether Wars, Stadia, and Other Things

It is Friday and, as often happens, I have a few items which I want to note but which I do not really want to create whole blog posts about.

  • Aether Wars

Tomorrow is the day, the time for the big attempt at the world record for most players together in an online battle… or so CCP and Hadean keep telling me.  They have had a count down all week on Twitter.  But it is tomorrow, Sat 23 Nov 2019 at 20:00 UTC.

Aether Wars Tech Demo

As I mentioned in my previous post, the client is available on Steam.  It is a quick and easy download and you don’t have to register or sign up or anything, just launch the game when the time for the event comes up.  The event itself has not changed much since the summer version, which I wrote about here.

See you there tomorrow?  What if I told you there was a Steam achievement for joining it?  Because there is.

You could also win an all expenses paid trip to Fanfest 2020 in Iceland by just showing up, but I am betting the achievement will have more influence on who plays.

  • Stadia Launches

Google’s cloud gaming service, Google Stadia, went live this week.  Reports were that the phone app required to configure the service and buy games was downloaded 175,000 times, which doesn’t exactly put the launch into the realm of unqualified successes.  However, the launch was only for people who pre-ordered the $129 Chromecast Ultra package.  Numbers will no doubt go up when the free version is released next year, but the press has not been kind to it and data usage could still be a problem for some.

Like some others, I don’t really get why Stadia is even worth considering relative to any of the possible alternatives, which might just mean I am not the target audience.  Still, there was an excellent long Twitter thread comparing Stadia to a similar product design from the past that stirred up my own lingering feeling that Google was doing this more because they can than because they believed there was a market.

But the real pessimists have started a countdown clock to Stadia’s expected demise, a number reached based on the average life of Google products.  And they do have a point.

  • Minecraft Plans

I was going to mention this previously… and then forgot.  Such is my life.  But back at Minecon it was announced that the next update for Minecraft will focus on the Nether, adding new biomes and structures and mobs.  There are some basic details here  However, if you put a bed down in the Nether and try to sleep in it, it will still explode.

As usual, the update will only affect new worlds or areas explored after the update drops.

  • Pokemon Sword & Shield Sells Big

I mentioned last Friday that Pokemon Sword & Shield was launching.

The core RPG line continues

While I wasn’t buying a copy… we don’t own a Switch… it turns out a lot of people were on board with the new game as it sold around six million copies in the first week, making it the fastest selling Nintendo Switch title so far.

Announce you’re making a real core Pokemon RPG game and people will line up.

  • Mobile WoW When?

Bobby Kotick was up talking about the idea of perpetual franchises, which I guess is the line you take when you cannot make anything new that outsells the stuff you already have.  Seriously, the Activision Blizzard big money makers remain World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush Saga.

As part of that he said that the growth would be staggering once they brought all of these to phones.  That makes me want to ask where Diablo Immortal is, but never mind.  However it sure sounds like we’re going to get some flavor of Warcraft on mobile.  Maybe.  Some day.

Defending Distant Sovereignty

The ping was later in the evening on Saturday night.  It was a call for a Jackdaw fleet with Oxygen as the FC.  Jackdaws are usually quick to get places so I figured I might as well get my duty to the state validated yet again.  I logged in, got in a Scalpel I had to hand, and joined the fleet, settling into the logi channel.

When it was announced over comms that there was a need for a few entosis Drakes as part of the fleet I was tempted to just log off then.  Entosis ops are often quite dull.  At least I was smart enough not to volunteer for one of the Drakes again.  And I figured we couldn’t be going very far.  The requirement specified GSF pilots for the enotsis Drakes, which meant defending GSF sovereignty specifically, and that is pretty much limited to Delve, Period Basis, and a bit of Querious.  Somebody must have set a timer on us and now we had to go out and make sure nothing was turned.

So it still seemed like it might be a short op.  We hung about a bit as things got put together, but even with the entosis ships it was a small fleet, with about 30 of us rolling out when Oxygen finally called for us to undock and get on the titan.  At least we would be getting a ride to where we were going.

A grinning Avatar sends us on our way

We were sent off to ZXB-VC, which is the boarder system with Fountain.  We jumped into that region and took the Ansiblex jump gates to the boarder with Cloud Ring in J5A-IX.

Taking the Eye of Terror

From there it was into Cloud Ring and a couple systems over to get the Ansiblex that would take us to 6RCQ-V, the staging system for the past wars in the north.

But we were not done yet.  From there it was into Fade then Pure Blind, where it turns out GSF still holds the sovereignty in KQK1-2, the staging system setup for the “glassing of Tribute” campaign back in the Spring.  That is kind of a long way from home.  Sure, the Aniblex network, the “Eye of Terror Mk III,” makes the trip fairly quick.  But that is still a distant point to be holding relative to our home.

On the map from DOTLAN

And we were out there because somebody set the timer for the territorial control unit, or TCU, for the system.  In the age of Fozzie Sov, the TCU just marks ownership on the map but otherwise does not come with any benefits.  It is the infrastructure hub that is the important one.  But the rules of power are that if you let somebody get away with little things like taking your TCU then they will just be encouraged to move on to bigger things.

So the bulk of the fleet, such that it was, sat in the middle of the constellation where the entosis event was running while interceptors fanned out to scout and Drakes turned on their magic sov wands.  As we hung around the gate some Sleepers rolled up and scanned us.  We had the sense not to shoot at them and nobody had any corpses in their cargo to set them off.

It is just what Sleepers are into

If you go orbit them they will scan you.  I got a couple scanning me at one point.

Scanning my Scalpel

But even they got bored hanging around the gate and warped off to find something else to scan.  The NPCs of New Eden have their own lives.

We did managed to catch and kill one of a group of ships that passed by our little camp, a Tempest that was tackled and dispatched.

Not so fast Mr. Tempest

Of course, with a drone bay large enough for a single light drone on my Scalpel I chose to put a combat drone in it.  Sure, I could have gone with the doctrine specified armor repair drone, but then I wouldn’t have gotten on the kill mail, the proof of life assignment I have for myself every month.

Of course, I wasn’t the only Scalpel so armed.  Three of us each had a different drone too.  If only a fourth had shown up with a Hornet we would have had the light drones from each empire.

That kept us busy for a little bit, but we were soon back to orbiting the gate and waiting for things to wrap up.  Fortunately nobody showed up to contest things… a sizable fleet might have just brushed us away… and the whole thing was wrapped up with the minimum number of entosis operations.

Of course, after that we had the schlep all the way back home, which would have been quick in frigates, but we had those Drakes to carry along.  And then, back in Delve, I found out why we got a titan bridge on the way out.  It looks like GSOL was in the process of taking a bunch of Ansiblex jump gates offline to move them due to the changes that went in last week that require them to be at least 500km off the nearest Upwell structure.  So there were a few more gates to take, though it is still pretty quick to get from Cloud Ring to Delve.

And so it goes.  I have seen a few sovereignty defense fleets going on this month, so apparently we’ll saddle up and ride out every time somebody trolls us by hitting a TCU on the other side of New Eden.  It keeps us busy I suppose.

Two Hundred and Ten Million Skill Points

I thought I was done with these skill point progress posts.  I said at 200 million skill points that I probably had enough skills trained on my main and that I should start working up an alt because you become completely spoiled after a while by having every primary and secondary skill trained up to at least IV and usually V for any fit you want to fly.

And I stood by that for maybe seven months, turning off training on Wilhelm and running up skills on an alt I could leave behind in Delve for things like homeland defense fleets while otherwise deployed.

And then CCP added more ships to the game and my goal of being able to fly all the subcaps reared its head yet again and now I am another ten million skill points up on my main.

As I do with these posts, here is my skill point journey so far, broken out in ten million skill point increments.

And here is where I stand on skill point distribution.

Spaceship Cmd  70,558,541 (66 of 81)*
Gunnery        19,565,141 (36 of 52)*
Drones         17,036,708 (22 of 26)
Fleet Support  13,351,107 (14 of 15)*
Missiles       11,111,853 (22 of 26)
Navigation      9,660,314 (13 of 13)
Engineering     8,939,855 (15 of 15)*
Electronic Sys  8,159,689 (15 of 15)*
Scanning        7,168,000 (7 of 7)*
Armor           6,131,137 (13 of 13)
Shields         6,074,039 (12 of 13)
Science         5,714,282 (21 of 39)
Resc Processing 4,756,183 (22 of 37)
Subsystems      4,096,000 (16 of 16)
Trade           3,821,020 (10 of 14)
Neural Enhance  3,810,275 (7 of 8)
Targeting       3,207,765 (8 of 8)
Rigging         1,944,630 (10 of 10)*
Planet Mgmt     1,612,315 (5 of 5)
Structure Mgmt  1,446,824 (6 of 6)
Production      1,157,986 (5 of 12)
Social          1,130,040 (5 of 9)
Corp Mgmt          24,000 (2 of 5)

~Total 210,477,704

Items with an asterisk changed from last time I checked in.

My skills broken out by levels.  Lots of level V skills now.

 Level 1 - 1
 Level 2 - 3
 Level 3 - 38
 Level 4 - 90
 Level 5 - 224

As usual, Spaceship Command got the bulk of the last ten million points, rising by about 7.5 million points since last check in.  The Triglavian menace drove quite a bit of that.  I can now fly all of the Triglavian ships from Damavik to Leshak, including the Tech II models in the middle.

A Damavik and a Vedmak in warp

A Damavik and a Vedmak

I’ve only flow the Damavik in combat so far, back when DBRB had his Triglavian roam, but I have a Leshak sitting in my hangar for structure shoot ops.

I just make a “bzzzzzzz” sound in my head when I see a Leshak burning something down

I also made sure I could fly the Monitor… not that I plan to be an FC, but just as a completionist skill.  I want to be able to fly ALL the subcaps dammit!

Likewise, the coming of the Triglavians and their new weapon systems meant that gunnery also got a boost in skill points.  I didn’t go tech II across the board there, just where I thought it might be required.  Again, Leshak is ready on that front.

In the other areas… I guess I tuned up a few skills to level V.  The only other one I remember clearly is Armor Rigging V, which I trained out of my reserve of unspent skill points, when I realized that my Guardian would go slightly faster if I had that trained.  We were on an op with Asher and listing out all the skills that might make ships go faster for the armor Ishtar doctrine we were flying and that was the only one I did not have maxed out.  I will spend skill points freely for a bit more speed.

That all got me pretty far along for the ten million skill point milestone, but I was still short.  So I trained up one silly skill.  I trained up Capital Ships V.  So, when it comes to the age old question… or at least as old as I have been writing this series of post… of how far I am from flying a titan, the answer is now “under two hours.”

It only took me a dozen years to get from about 168 days to under two hours.  That is real government project level efficiency there.

And now I am back to training up that alt.  He is nearly done with tech II logi skills.