Tag Archives: Basilisk

The EVE September Update Strikes Another Blow for Symmetry

The September update for EVE Online doesn’t have much in the way of cornerstone features.  The changes were largely drawn from the “little things” thread, which are small improvements to our daily life in New Eden.

A few changes in the patch notes worth noting.  For example:

It is no longer possible to add items to a mobile depot, while it is reinforced. It is still possible to remove items from a reinforced mobile depot or scoop the mobile depot itself.

This will likely lead to more dead excavator drones as it is the general practice of Rorqual pilots, when caught by attackers, to drop a mobile depot and dump their expensive excavator drones in it.  That saves them for another day as killing a mobile depot requires you to reinforce it, then come back later to kill it.  Now however the Rorqual pilot needs to be quick as the attackers will likely reinforce any depot they drop right away.

Then there is another key item:

Upwell Cargo Deposit is now available at all Upwell Structures. This feature allows players flying outside an Upwell Structure to place items from their ship cargo directly into their personal hangar in the structure.

This should close off the courier scam where pilots get sent to a citadel only to find that they have no access.  They can’t deliver so lose the usually inflated collateral.  There was a thread about this change in the forums.

And there were also a series of changes to how ship fittings are managed.  One big item is that you can save cargo items as part of the fit.  This will be a boon for Reavers, as Asher does like us to haul around a pile of refits.

If we could strap things to our ships, we would

There is a long list of minor updates, enough that there is likely something there to make you happy.

But the big change in the September releases is the graphical update to the line of ships based on the Caldari Osprey.  It was one of the few remaining asymmetrical designs.

The Osprey in its final form

Once the Caldari cruiser with mining bonuses, it eventually got fully focused on the logistics (space healer) role once CCP was done revamping the mining ship lineup.

Space was different back in 2007

There was a joke about Caldari ships back when I started playing EVE Online.  It was said that when it came to Caldari ship design, there was a designer for the left half of ships and a designer for the right half of ships, and that these two people had never met.

Over the years since CCP has been regularly changing the sometimes wildly asymmetrical designs with ships that have bilateral symmetry.  Some of these have been good.  I think the Scorpion and Moa ship lines look better for the change.  Others I have been less enthusiastic about.  The Cormorant got an odd treatment, while the Griffin went from a sleek lined frigate to a space pig.  All a matter of opinion I suppose.

This time the came from the Osprey, which now has matching appendages on either side.

The new Osprey

These side bits also now fold back while the ship is in warp.

Side thingies down!

The central body remains similar to the old model, with a frilled snout and the long, tapering engine housing in the back.

The Osprey Navy Issue got its own new set of wings with the change.

Osprey Navy Issue

And the tech II variation, the Basilisk, got wings that are somewhat reminiscent of Dumbo.

Flying with both doors open?

Those doors fold down a bit when the Basi is in warp.

Folded down a bit

I am not particularly enamored with the change.  As with the Oneiros, I think they managed to remove all the grace from the design with this change.  But I have been told that symmetry makes SKIN development easier, and SKINs sell.

Anyway, that is what we are getting for September.  The patch notes are available to read through, if you want to see all the little changes, while the updates page only mentions the Osprey changes.  The update has been declared live, so everything mentioned is now a thing.

Coincident with this update CCP also announced a special SKIN release as a fundraising effort for the family of a member of the team, CCP Mankiller, who passed away in July at the age of 44.

Cordite Blossom Sabre

These SKINs, called Cordite Blossom, will be available from the New Eden store for a limited time and, once removed, will be retired and never sold again.  Proceeds from the sales will go to help the family of the late CCP Mankiller.

The SKINs are available for the following hulls:

  • 60 PLEX – Punisher
  • 60 PLEX – Slasher
  • 60 PLEX – Sabre
  • 60 PLEX – Zealot
  • 60 PLEX – Eagle
  • 60 PLEX – Ferox
  • 60 PLEX – Brutix
  • 60 PLEX – Hurricane

Buy a SKIN or two if you can.

Addendum: The fundraising goal was reached and the Cordite Blossom SKINs are now off the market.

Have Basilisk, Will Travel

And how I will travel.

As I mentioned in my “wait, where am I” new year’s post about EVE Online, I left things strewn about space after the last deployment.  And, with a new deployment promised for this week, I figured I had better get myself together.

Oddly, the new deployment, which was slated as a general admission operation, was going to use the same ships and fits as the Reavers, right down to mobile depots and cloaks and such.  But it was not going to be a Reaver op.

Still, that made things handy.  I had a couple of Reaver fit ships, I just had to get them to the jump off point for the operation.  The not-so-handy part was where they were.  The ship I wanted to fly, a Basilisk logistics cruiser, was way down in the southwest corner of Amarr space, not too far from a jump gate to HED-GP, while the staging point was back up in Deklein.  And I didn’t even have a jump clone in the system where the ship was, because we ended the deployment down there by flying Crucifiers back home as part of a potential DBRB trap that didn’t quite work out.

Also, I left a crucifier parked somewhere...

Also, I left a crucifier parked somewhere…

So I had some flying to do.

And, yes, I could have just bought a new ship.  But I am not exactly overflowing with ISK, being pretty lazy on the income front for the last year or so, and the Basilisk down in Amarr space was still insured.  Waste not, want not, and all that.  So the evening before the deployment I set out to get my Basilisk back home, because there is no minute like the last minute.

The first step was to get jump to the clone nearest the ship.  I was up in YAO and the nearest clone was one jump out of Amarr in Bhizheba.  I have sufficient standing with the Amarr Navy to install jump clones with them in stations that have medical facilities, and Bhizheba is the nearest such facility to the trade hub of Amarr itself.

I jumped there, bought the cheapest shuttle in the station, a Minmatar model, and flew down to Badivefi, where the Basilisk was docked, a quick 19 jump run.

Shuttle run... and Caroline's Star

Shuttle run… and Caroline’s Star

Once there I repackaged the shuttle and listed it on the market for more than I paid for it (and it sold in a couple of hours) and boarded the Basilisk, making sure it was fit for travel, which includes having a cloak, for the journey back to Deklein.  The most direct route back to YA0-XJ is 47 jumps, and pretty much avoids low sec, making the transition to null sec at EC-P8R.

Unfortunately, that is kind of a hot location.  Always a lot of camps, and then the route goes through NPC null in Pure Blind, where lots of not-blue strangers wander about.  That is a bad part of town and you are likely to get mugged.

I chose instead to use my old standby route and slip into Cloud Ring via Black Rise, a 33 jump journey that would get me into null sec, but leave me a long way from my destination.  However, it would put me on the jump bridge route between Deklein and Fountain.  I could take just two jump bridges and land just four jumps from YA0-XJ.  Granted, I would have to wait out the jump timer before I could use the second jump bridge, a 10 minute count down, but I had my cloak so I could just disappear for a bit and go do something else while that problem took care of itself.

The journey itself was uneventful.  The usual Marmite camp in Niarja was looking for fatter targets than I, and while low sec Black Rise is always full of people, they are usually off doing Factional Warfare stuff and have almost no interest in somebody just passing through.  Entering Cloud Ring I found myself pretty much alone.  It is kind of a “fly over” region in CFC space, or so it seems to me, so I used the first jump bridge, traveled to the second, cloaked up for a bit, then used it, landing back amongst the blue where I was able to dock up in YA0-XJ without incident.  I had a bit of jump fatigue, but that would wear off soon enough.

The next evening I got on a little bit before the form-up and took gates from YA0 to the start system, QPO-WI.  I joined the fleet, led by Lazarus Telraven, as soon as it went up.  I got in the logi channel and then the cap chain channel, where Arrendis was running the show, so we were in good hands on that front.  Our ball of Ishtars and Basilisks and assorted other support ships eventually undocked, and the first thing we did was fly back to YA0.

This has happened before.  Sometimes I wonder why I leave the system.

From there we headed west, following approximately the wagon trail to Fountain.  Our final destination had not been given for operational security reasons and every time somebody asked on coms, a new objective was named.  Fountain, Delve, Stain, Catch, Thera, and Providence were all mentioned at various times as we plodded through space, one full fleet of 255 plus a second fleet with another 30 or so traveling along.

Things were, of course, slow.  Travel ops are slow, pushing 280 people through jump gates causes time dilation to kick in, and the FC is hooked into the intel channel and talking to his scouts about the route ahead, so isn’t always sending us to the next system right away.  Plus Laz was also streaming and trying to get a covops past the Marmite camp in Amarr or some such.

Holding up on another gate

Holding up on another gate

We stumbled along for a while, going maybe 20 or so jumps before we were finally pulled up short and told to warp to an individual.  We had reached our wormhole.  This was how we were going to get across space, closer to our eventual destination.

Into the wormhole

Into the wormhole

There seemed to be a question as to whether all 280 of us would make it through the wormhole before it collapsed.  The logi went through first, so in we went.  And on the other side we found ourselves in Thera!

Not much to show for it...

Not much to show for it…

I was actually pretty excited about this.  Thera was the new special wormhole space that was added with the Rhea expansion.  Maybe Thera was our destination?  Maybe we were going to set up shop in here for a while a shoot things.  That seemed like something new and different.

And then we warped to the exit hole.  We were just passing through Thera on our way elsewhere.  But at least I had been there for a visit, even if I only saw the stations on my overview.

Things in Thera

Things in Thera

We passed through the exit wormhole, logi first again, and it went critical as the final ships passed through, and found ourselves in Wicked Creek.  There was a hostile, bubbles were deployed, not much happened.  Par for the course.

You don't get this stuff in low sec

You don’t get this stuff in low sec

From there we continued the slow gate crawl from one destination to another.  At one point Laz got some intel that the way ahead was camped so wanted us to stop a few jumps shy of the original destination he had broadcast.  However, there were two potential paths to where we were headed, and the in-game route finder changed its mind on which path we should take, so that those who set the destination to the new broadcast got one route while those who kept the original destination and just planned to stop at the broadcasted system were set to travel another route.  This meant stopping everything for a while as Laz tried to get us all back in the same location.

The fleet slowly moves forward

The fleet slowly moves forward

Meanwhile, the discussion on coms had turned to exactly what equipment a eunuch has left after he becomes a eunuch.  The no chatter channel, where you can only hear the fleet commander, was starting to sound like a good idea, but I stayed on the main coms because Baby Lemba was doing voices again, which I find funny, but which isn’t always conducive to coms discipline.  And then Laz lost another covops while trying to get us organized and I thought his head was going to fall off.  I had the stream up so I could see the look on his face.

Eventually this was sorted out and we were able to move forward.  We hit no camp and eventually arrived at our destination, which was XS-K1O.  We are bunking with The Initiative, which owns the system.  That is just three gates from B-R5RB, site of the giant titan battle almost a year ago and not too far from where we were based in Immensea last year at this time.  I still have a Dominix in B-R5RB and a couple more ships in AF0-V5, our old staging system.

I tried to put all my travels this week on the influence map, but the arrows got a bit confusing.  If I  haven’t been to the four corners of New Eden, I have certainly been beyond the four corners of empire space.  And I am not sure how I would even draw the two hour trip from Deklein to Immensea.  Two hours is about par for the course for such things, unless it turns into a trail of tears.

Estimated locations of key points in my move

Estimated locations of key points in my move

And that is where we are set up.  There is a write up over at Crossing Zebras about the situation in the area, which is both confused and very Russian.  There is also a write up over at The Mittani which includes our staging system, so I am not violating operation security by mentioning it.  And my Basilisk made it down there in one piece.

Cap chaining in Immensea... Caroline's Star visible

Cap chaining in Immensea… Caroline’s Star visible

We are down there to get fights or, if no fights come up, help tear down Northern Coalition’s rental empire.  So far, fights are not happening, so it is structure shoots.

Looking for trouble in Immensea

Looking for trouble in Immensea

We don’t want the space, we just don’t want NC to have it any more.  We will see what happens this weekend as we start setting timers.

Another infrastructure hub reinforced

Another infrastructure hub reinforced

Now should I nip over and pick up my long lost Dominix, or just leave it in B-R5RB where it had its big moment?  Meanwhile, I am still more than 20 jumps away from all those ships I left in Curse back in

Returned from Omist

While my weekend… and, really, the last week… was spent mostly focused on World of Warcraft, I did find some time to drop into EVE Online.  I sort of had to, or end up stranded.

Shortly after the Phoebe expansion hit the game, as in the very next day, we deployed south again.  Our pre-Phoebe warm up deployments had been down in Insmother and Feythabolis.  We continued out our pattern of hitting the south by showing up in Omist.  Clearly we are out to annoy the N3 coalition and their vast tracts of renter space.

Deployments so far...

Deployments so far…

The deployment started with operations during European prime time and continued during the early US times, during all of which I was as work.  When I finally arrived home on the west coast another group was headed down, led by Baby Lemba, the FC of a thousand voices.  While I had initially planned to go south in an Ishtar again and actually shoot things, there was a call out for more space priests.  There is always a call for more.  So I swapped out the Ishtar for my Basilisk so I could keep the fleet in good repair.

The Basilisk, as a choice, seems odd to me, though I don’t pretend to understand the intricacies of these sorts of decisions.  Up until this point, the Scimitar had been the shield logistics ship of choice, being both fast and cap stable.  Having taken up the Basilisk, we gained a bit more shield repping power and a bit more effective hit points, but our logi are no longer cap stable.  Instead we have to cap chain.

Cap chaining is where CCP gave up on any last pretense of realism, kicked the laws of thermodynamics to the curb, and embraced a “sum greater than the total of the parts” solution because… they could, I guess.  The capacitor of the Basilisk, as fit for our doctrine, with modules running, runs dry in about 45 seconds, at which point all the modules shut down.  But if we mount remote capacitor transfer modules, lock up the next ship down the line and start sending them capacitor juice, the problem is solved.  The output of the cap transfer modules is greater than the amount needed to keep us cap stable and we can run all our modules all day so long as we stay within range of each other.

Logistics cap chaining

Cap chaining Basilisks

Which is fine.  Cap chaining isn’t tough, so there is a net benefit… until you’re the only logi in fleet, which happened to me a couple of times.  And then you are pretty much useless and wishing you had disobeyed orders and brought a scimitar.  But I am good and always bring the right ship with the doctrine fit, so when Lemba had us undock for the trip south I was in a Basilisk.

That Stratios though... that is not doctrine...

That Stratios though… that is not doctrine…

The wormholes were not being as kind as they sometimes are, and we actually had to travel for a bit to get to our end of the pipe down south, and at the far end we were a good 16 jumps away from the planned staging system.  The trip had its moments, as we caught a carrier along the way (though I didn’t have my combat drone loaded, so couldn’t whore on the kill mail), but a sense of urgency was on us as well.  Lemba changed our destination along the way as there was a fight already in progress.

Somehow, over in XGH-SH, we had gotten in and were with in a hair’s breadth of taking the station and perhaps even flipping the system.  We were unlikely to hold it, but it would be an annoyance if we made N3 retake it.  We dropped our larger ships, especially the industrials, from the fleet and started slow boating through gates in hopes of being able to make this happen.

However, by the time we had gotten there the hostiles had also thrown in reinforcements, including carriers.  We were told to safe up, use our mobile depots to mount our cloaks if they were not already on, and cloak up.  I made a couple of safe spots, got myself cloaked, and then waited.  After some time Asher told us that nothing more was likely to happen, the system was too hot for us at that point, so we should safe log off if we could.  Extraction ops would come later when things quieted down.

Safe log off in XGH-SH

Safe log off in XGH-SH

I remained stranded there for a couple days.  I missed the extraction operations, so started slowly working myself back to our staging system.  There were a couple of times when I was in fleet and trying to make my way to them, only to be waved off by the FC as there were camps between us.  So I lingered alone in hostile space, where at least I could provide some intel and be an annoyance.  I got locked up on one gate by Sholto Douglas of the Methodical Alliance, but he either didn’t have a point or his heart wasn’t in it, as I managed to warp off and safe up.  I chatted with him a bit in local, because this is EVE and line members of the various groups rarely seem to harbor the hostility that the leadership sometimes attempts to instill.

Eventually though, I decided to make a run for it.  I got online and into fleet to hear that they had a Nyx super carrier tackled just a few jumps from where I was safed up.  I had my combat drone in my bay, so I decided to get in on that kill mail.  I crashed gates, including one that was camped, until I joined the fleet.  The Nyx was deep into structure when I launched my drone.  My drone got there and managed to get at least a shot off, so when it blew I was on the kill mail.  I was the lowest damage contributor of those who did any damage at all, but I made it.

21 out of 3 million hit points!

21 out of 3 million hit points!

A super capital kill is always good.  I posted a few pictures of the wreck shortly after that fight.

After that though, it was back to shooting structures.  I do not mind those ops, even if being logistics on a structure shoot is the only thing more boring than being DPS on a structure shoot, if only because you have to pay attention just in case somebody starts taking damage.  And when you are the only logistics ship with a fit that requires a cap chain you can barely help with that.  I could save somebody for long enough for them to warp off, but then I would be running low on cap.  You need at least two in order to have a cap chain.

We did see the occasional amusing bits or pieces of space history, like an Atlas Alliance infrastructure hub.  Atlas Alliance closed down back in 2010.

Abandoned ihub

Abandoned ihub

But after a number of those ops, the allure of World of Warcraft and getting in some last minute achievements and prep for the expansion took over.  So I dropped out of space for a while.  I still watched the broadcasts and, judging from them I missed a couple of fights.  I also missed getting piped bombed at one point as well, which meant moving people back down to Omist again.  Being on the third such deployment in approximately a month, I was getting a bit tired.  The pace of activity is constant but can be wearing.  So I rested, parked down in Omist, waiting for the recall to sound.

The recall came in the form of a broadcast this past weekend which announced, in case we hadn’t heard, that we were headed home.  I hadn’t heard and was keen to get on the train back to Deklein.

Getting home turned out to be fairly easy.  What I guess I would call a “do it yourself” fleet was up, with instructions in the MOTD about how to proceed.  A wormhole had been found just a few jumps from our staging system in Omist.

Landing on the wormhole

Landing on the wormhole

From there it was in and out of a wormhole that deposited me in Pure Blind and on our jump bridge network, where I accrued my first bit of jump fatigue.   Boy, that is annoying.  I only had to take two jump bridges to get home, but there short wait while my jump timer counted down before I could take the second.  A comprehensive, pre-Phoebe jump bridge highway now seems like a complete waste of resources.  Better to place them strategically to lop off jumps from routes that would otherwise require many gate jumps.  But I don’t run GSOL, so I just take them were I find them.

But I was back home in Deklein.  And the first thing I did was clone jump to my implant clone in high sec to speed up my training queue a bit.  Since I was going to be focused on WoW for a while, it was probably the best place to be.  Meanwhile, we will hopefully have a bit of a break before the next deployment.  I think three such high tempo deployments, one after another, started to wear people down a bit.  Clearly the numbers responding to pings was declining a bit before I got involved else where.

As for how things went, I am not sure.  There were clearly some high points, and the hostiles had to pull forces into the area to counter our activities and clean up after us.  But I haven’t seen any numbers on how much actual damage we did.  If nothing else, we livened up what was a relatively quiet area of space.