Tag Archives: Crimson Harvest

Operation Frostblind

It might be just me, but it feels like CCP cannot do two good player events in a row in EVE Online.  If they get one that is popular and gets a lot of response, the next one will be… less well received.

That is probably my memory being faulty.  I don’t run every event.  I know the Federation Grand Prix was a bust.  CCP said as much at EVE Vegas.  I am not sure how the Dawn of Liberation event went, but the Secrets of the Abyss event seemed to do well, rewarding people for running Abyssal pockets.

I think the contrast here for me is with the Crimson Harvest event we had a while back and the Operation Permafrost event, which kicked off on Monday.

Now Blinding Capsuleers in New Eden

As I wrote previously, I enjoyed the Crimson Harvest event.  It wasn’t a complete walk over, but if you fit yourself for it you could mine or zap NPCs to your hearts content, earning points towards rewards and collecting items from wrecks.  While I went in for just one SKIN reward, I rediscovered the serenity of mining while listening to a podcast or audio book and ended up going the distance on one character and continuing on with a couple more.

There were a couple of highlights for me when it came to the Crimson Harvest event.

First was the lack of scarcity.  When CCP does events based on sites spawning, they tend to be competitive.  You race around looking for sites.  Then when you find one, you warp in hoping it isn’t in progress yet.  And even if you get there first you have to hope somebody won’t warp in and get the last kill and loot the rewards.  All of that becomes frustrating if you play during peak hours, and even off peak there always seems to be somebody warping into your site to try and take the big prize.  That their bio is always in Russian is probably just a coincidence.

So for Crimson Harvest CCP put two sites in almost every system in New Eden.  I think they skipped Jita, though I saw the two in Amarr.  So if the site in your system was overrun, you could just move over one and find another.  One site in each system was for mining, the other was for fighting NPCs.  Each was fairly clearly marked.  And, when either site had been run out it would disappear off of the overview and a new one would spawn.

This meant that I could move a half a dozen systems out of Amarr and find a quiet site to mine.  The lack of competitiveness also seemed to make people relax and even cooperate on occasion.  Other players would mine happily or would chat as they dropped in to knock off any NPCs that happened to be hanging around.  It was quite pleasant in a way that events in EVE Online often are not.

The other was how nice the sites looked.  CCP, fresh from making all that pretty Abyssal space, went all out to make an autumnal space wonderland, with pumpkin-esque asteroids and bright orange nebulae.  I took way too many screen shots.

A Venture in the Crimson Harvest event

So the Crimson Harvest event set a quality baseline for me which carried over to the Operation Permafrost event.  That was probably my mistake.

But CCP did make it seem like the events would be similar.  There was to be the usual tasks to accumulate in The Agency for some prizes.  There was a promise of mining… both gas and ore this time… as well as NPCs to tackle and sites to hack.  And it was all going in another wonderfully done up skybox with a holiday theme.

The first sign of trouble was how the sites would be distributed.  This time around there wouldn’t be one per system, but just on per constellation.  Constellations vary in size, but they are rarely smaller than four star systems, so calling it five to be generous, you end up with only 20% of the sites to run that Crimson Harvest had.

Fine, whatever.  Crimson Harvest probably had too many sites.  One per constellation wasn’t going to be that bad, right?

I got together my Procurer, still knocking about in Amarr space after the Crimson Harvest event, and updated its fit a bit.

I even found an Amarr skin for it for cheap… screen shot taken later in Jita

Since the NPCs were from Mordus Legion, I made sure I was good versus thermal and kinetic damage and traded out my Acolyte drones for Hornets, the latter dealing kinetic damage.  Setup for things, I headed out to find a place to mine.

Once I found a site… The Agency tells me many things, but which system in a constellation has the event site is not one of those things… I warped to it and found three gates.

Hanging around the gates

The gates were labeled North, East, and West.  I knew that they aligned to mining, hacking, and combat focused areas, but which was which wasn’t clear to me and, once again, The Agency wasn’t helping me out.  So I chose a gate… the North gate, since it was closest, and took it.

I was accelerated into warp, through a white out of my screen, and into a very bright white atmospheric setting.

And while I am not going to complain about that as much as people were on the forums, it is a bit of a change for those were are used to the dark of space.  It is not the mellow black and orange of the Crimson Harvest.

On arriving after the north gate I found my overview loaded with NPCs.  This was clearly the PvE slaughter house.

A Mordu’s Legion ship laying in wait

I warped back to the marker and took the East gate.  That dropped me in the midst of a bunch of hackable structures.  There were also some NPCs to keep people on their toes, but the theme here was clear.

Back to the marker once more and then into the West gate.  That took me to what appeared to be mostly empty space.  There were a few NPCs around that immediately sent some missiles my way, but the site was otherwise empty.

Procurer in the bright empty sky

I sent my drones off to take them out, which wasn’t too tough.  The Procurer was able to tank the incoming damage well enough.

But I hadn’t come out to zap NPCs with my drones.  I didn’t mind doing that as a side task, but I came out to get in some meditative mining time.  So I left that constellation and moved on to the next.  There I found pretty much the same situation.  So I moved on again… and then again… and once more before I finally found a single unmined asteroid in an event site.  It was hanging in space about 300km from my warp in and my heavy tanked Procurer didn’t have a propulsion module to help scoot it along.

At that point I started looking online to see what was up with the mining aspect of the event.  Was I trailing behind some fleet of locusts?  Should I look elsewhere or just hang about hoping for a respawn.

As it turned out, the mining segment of the event only respawns at downtime.  That mean that while I am still asleep the server repopulates all the mining sites.  Then I get up, go to work, have lunch, work some more, come home, talk with my wife, listen to my daughter complain about school, have dinner, maybe watch a bit of TV, all before finally logging in about 18 hours after downtime.  During that interval pretty much everybody living in time zones to the east of me has had the opportunity to mine out all the sites, so that by the time I show up there are just the leftover asteroid or two, too far away from the warp in to even bother with.

So I set a course back to Jita.  I didn’t have any combat ships out in Amarr space for my alt so I figured I would head back there to put something together.  That Drake I use for events sometimes was there.

Hinging the event, or at least the mining aspect of the event, on downtime feels like a bit of a mistake to me.  That gave me a flavor of my old high sec mining days when several European corps used to mine out several whole systems every day before I got home, so I ended up having to move out to the hinterlands in order to find a ready supply of rocks.

I might try the combat aspect of the whole thing, but the mining portion of the event turned out to be a bust for me.  And I know I’ll be able to pick up the SKINs on the market soon enough anyway, so I might just leave it at that.

Further early opinions about the event are available over at The Nosy Gamer.

Mining My Way Through the Crimson Harvest

Basically, I wanted the Gila SKIN.

Actually, I didn’t even want that to start with.  What I started out wanting to is just to see the sky boxes.  At EVE Vegas, at the presentation about The Agency & Events, one of the bits of info was that Crimson Harvest would be using the new graphics tech that had previously been introduced in Abyssal deadspace.

I had to go see that, so I grabbed a high sec alt and put her in a Venture and headed off to see what was what.

I chose a venture because the presentation also said that the event had mining as well as combat and it was just easier to grab the mining ship, which I had to hand.

A Venture in the Crimson Harvest event

The Venture, however, was a little light for the task.  It could mine away, but the rats that spawned in the harvest sites were a little too tough for it, so I upgraded to a Procurer.  I used the hardened null sect semi-bait fit that the coalition was pushing back when we moved into Delve.  It was already proof against Blood Raiders.  I brought that out to mine and shoot the rats.

Procuerer out in the Crimson Harvest

This worked out pretty well, and I mined and shot my way along for a while.  I got the cerebral accelerator at 50 points pretty quickly, and then started in towards the Astero SKIN, since that was only 150 points.

The points roll in pretty fast.  Or fast enough, anyway.  You get 10 points for every 500 units you mine, and another 10 points for every Blood Raider event ship you blow up, and 10 more points if you blow up a boss Blood Raider.  The Procurer could hold three and half loads of ore before having to unload and could handle most of what the Blood Raiders could throw at it.  I did learn to be careful flying too close the banana of doom.

The Banana of Doom in the background

Straying too close to the banana spawns a double helping of Blood Raiders, more than my little Procurer could handle right off.

This got a little hairy by the banana

Fortunately there was a citadel in most systems where I ran the event, so I would just warp off, tether up, and repair.  And, on warping back, I was generally far enough away from the remaining crowd of Blood Raiders that I was able to pick them off as they hove into range.

The Gila SKIN became my goal, though it required 350 points, which seemed a long way off from the 150 mark.  But I kept going.  I wanted the SKIN primarily because I have this idea that I am going to skill up this alt to run higher level Abyssal deadspace sites.  Right now she runs level one sites in a Caracal, but I would like to be able to run at least level three sites and the Gila is favored for that and high.  And I can’t fly a ship without a SKIN.  Well, except for the Procurer I guess, but SKINs don’t apply very well to ORE ships.

So I plodded along, mining, shooting up Blood Raiders, and looting their wrecks.  They drop a lot of Agency drugs, which should serve me well later.  Some of them are on the list for Reavers.

Soon than I would have thought I ended up with the Gila SKIN.  I didn’t do it all in one go, but over a couple of sessions it went by fast.  Then there was the Machaeriel SKIN at 650 points, but that seemed so far away.  But I was getting lots of nice loot from the wrecks, so I kept going.

650 didn’t take that long at all.  I had a nice run where somebody dropped in with an Orca and invited me to a fleet and boosted for me.  That sped up mining and extended my the range of my strip miners.

I hit 650 points and it didn’t feel like it took all that long.  After that there was only the Avatar SKIN at 1,000 points, which seemed a long way away.  But I wasn’t doing much else… actually I was only half paying attention to the mining and able to do other things on the computer… so I carried on, eventually capping out and earning the final SKIN.

A thousand points wasn’t all that hard

I don’t have an Avatar, and I doubt I ever will, but I can give that SKIN to somebody or hold onto it until it goes up in value.

Overall I found the event pretty mellow.  I did like how they setup the sites for this event.  Rather than the random sites in this system and that there were just two sites in every system.  One was Crimson Harvest Fields, which was where you went to mine but could also shoot up some structures to trigger a Blood Raider spawn.  And then there was the proximity spawn from the banana.

The other site in each system was the Crimson Gauntlet, which was a combat oriented site.  I got out another character and ran through those for a bit just to try them.  I used my heavy missile event Drake.

Ghostbird SKIN Drake in a Crimson Gauntlet site

The first time I went out I realized I was hardened against totally the wrong damage types, which led to a moment of drama and a heavily scarred Drake.  But once I went back and fixed my resists the Drake was pretty solid with the usual tactic of putting drones on the frigates and missiles on cruisers and up.

The fact that there was one of each site in every system meant that if one site got crowded or was worn out, I could just move over a system or two and find a fresh site.  There also seemed to be multiple instances of the Crimson Harvest Fields sites running in the same system at times.  Access was via an acceleration gate, so that was completely possible.  I would leave to unload then come back and find the situation different.  Then go for an unload run again and find wrecks or people who were there the first time but missing the second.

And the art of the event was very nice.  I took a lot of screen shots, some of which I have piled on to the end of this post.  Click on some them to see them full size.  They are intense.

Overall, a decent event.  I actually got a second Gila SKIN with the second character, it being easy enough to just get that done.

Anyway, while the event doesn’t have much time left to run, you could easily pick up the Avatar SKIN over the weekend without feeling like the event burned you out.

Friday Bullet Points Before EVE Vegas

Today is the start of EVE Vegas and when this post, scheduled in advance, goes live I will probably be on a plane for the short flight from Silicon Valley to whatever euphemism you care to use for Las Vegas.  Though, given the actual layout of the boundaries in the area, it is debatable whether or not I will spend even a moment in what is actually Las Vegas while I am in Las Vegas.  Call it a trip to Paradise instead I guess.

So while I am traveling I have some bullet points to post about.  This is good for current me, as these posts are easy to put together.  Future me, writing the month in review post in October 2019, will hate this because it is a pain to reference multiple topics in a single link in my usual format.  Current me is always burdened by the actions of past me and generally seems unconcerned about sticking it to future me.

  • One Week and No Cash Shop Apocalypse

The Pearl Abyss acquisition of CCP closed a week ago, on October 12th.

Together for reals now

So far the new owners have managed not to burn down New Eden with horrible game-breaking pay to win schemes.  Yes, they haven’t had much time, and they have an opportunity this weekend to spring that sort of stuff on us at EVE Vegas, but if you read some of the panicked threads on /r/eve after the acquisition announcement you might be surprised that New Eden isn’t already a cash shop dumpster fire.

  • No Commerce War in Perimeter

Back on Monday it looked like there would be something interesting going on in high sec with war decs sprouting between null sec groups looking to battle over the trade citadels in Perimeter, a system just one jump from Jita.  TEST even dropped a Keepstar in the system, a first for high sec space.

A Keepstar in Perimeter

However, Pandemic Horde, who previously held the Perimeter PLEX and Skill Injector market, announced to their pilots that they would be punting on defending this source of income, as well as any income from their home in Geminate, in order to concentrate on attacking the Branch region.  Branch is where GotG had to send the ratters and miners during the war in the north when Imperium forces were working to suppress such income generation in Fade, Deklein, and Pure Blind.

So TEST will be taking over the Pandemic Horde markets in high sec without a fight.  The TEST citadels are online and offering a very low tax rate, while the PH citadels look to be headed to destruction.  Hail to the new boss, same as the old boss, only at a slightly discounted rate.

  • 64-bit EVE Client on the Road Map

CCP has been bringing up the idea of a 64-bit client for over a year now.  It was part of the justification for shutting down the captain’s quarters and the built-in Twitch integration.  But I noticed earlier this week that the idea has made it to the Updates site, along with some other items we’ve been expecting, as part of the Winter update.

A 64-bit client would help players during large null sec fleet battles as it would be able to access more memory.  The current 32-bit client dies at just past 3GB.  And anything that would make those battles more viable would be good for CCP, since they are pretty much the only things that gets the company publicity lately, barring being acquired by yet another company.

When will we see this and the other things planned for winter?  I am sure we will hear more about that at EVE Vegas.  But, while winter may be coming, it doesn’t actually start until December 21 and runs until March 20 in the northern hemisphere, though emotionally I would accept any date in December as counting as winter.

  • No Monthly Economic Report for September… so far

The usual MER for EVE Online is running late this month.  Posting about the changes and economic imbalances has become a monthly staple here, so I hope they haven’t given up on it.  I suspect that prep for EVE Vegas has gotten in the way, but maybe we will hear something about that at the event.  With my luck it will probably get posted while I am driving to the airport rendering this bullet point moot.  But that is why I hid it in the middle.

  • Crimson Harvest Event Returns Soon

Holiday events are always a bid odd in New Eden since playing the game mostly amounts to being in outer space.  And, in any case, CCP has been sporadic in its acknowledgement of holidays for most of the life of the game, save for maybe the time around Christmas.  But they seem to be settling into a routine, with the Crimson Harvest event, a pseudo-Halloween thing, coming again to the game.

2018 Edition

As has become the norm, this event comes to you as part of The Agency interface where you will get tasks to earn points to collect prizes.  This year there is a mention of mining as an option in addition to combat as well as being able to construct your own cerebral accelerators.

I don’t know what that really means other than CCP is trying to make these events appeal to a broader range of players.

  • Days of Summer Ending in Norrath

And, as a “screw you” to future me of next year, I can’t even keep the whole post focused on EVE Online.

The Days of Summer event in EverQuest II which, among other things, yielded a comically overpowers armor set for my recently turned level 100 character, is coming to an end.

I’m here for the event please

As with baseball, summer seems to run well into October in Norrath but comes to an end eventually.  So if you want to get the last quest, which takes you on a tour of Lavastorm, it is time to head to the Sundered Frontier zone and pick it up from Yun Zi.  If you don’t pick it up now… well… I really don’t know.  Does Yun Zi and his vendor Pas Yu go away at the end of the event, or do they just sit there handing out quests and updates until next summer?  I don’t know if Days of Summer, despite having a seasonal name, is treated like a seasonal event akin to holidays or if it is different.  Welcome to Norrath.

  • Sinnoh Comes to Pokemon Go

It is like I don’t even care about future me.

In the land of Pokemon Go Niantic has unleashed the fourth generation Pokemon, the ones introduced with the first titles on the then fairly new Ninetndo DS handheld, Pokemon Diamond & Pearl.  So I now have the first starter Pokemon I ever chose, Piplup.

Best penguin ever

I realize that Niantic has only released some of the fourth gen Pokemon, and some are only available in certain regions, but the fact that I have Piplup makes me pretty happy.  I hate to evolve him, as I do almost all of the starter Pokemon, but at least his later forms aren’t as crazy bad as some of the starter Pokemon.

I think if I catch a Shinx and show it to my daughter she’ll start playing Pokemon Go again.  That was her favorite Pokemon ever.  Time to test that theory.

So that is it for bullet points.  Monday’s post will likely be some sort of news round up from EVE Vegas.  I don’t care enough to lug a laptop with me to post live updates, so my scribbled notes and vague recollections will have to do.

YC118.9 Release Arrives in New Eden

We are all waiting in anticipation for the November release, a full on, old-school, EVE Online expansion, which even has a name now: AscensionNo doubt much of EVE Vegas will be devoted to reveals and discussions around that.

But Ascension is almost a month away, so we’ll have to wait for the goodies, which will apparently include an increase in capital jump range.  In the mean time there is the monthly-ish update for October hitting today.  No special name, no real glory, but still a few items worth note are being delivered.

The Crimson Harvest event is set to return to New Eden next week.  While the details are sparse, it is probably safe to assume that it is akin to last year’s event, with Blood Raider sites appearing in game, dropping a special skin and cerebral accelerators. In anticipation of this, CCP is setting up to peddle some additional skins and PLEX offers.  Or so I gather.  The information on the updates page is pretty vague.

Dark SKIN is Dark

Dark SKIN is Dark and possibly available to you in some unspecified context

Coming into the game with this update will be updated graphs for the market.

Using the new graphic library

Using the new graphic library

What is not to love about better, more detailed graph porn in-game?

Also arriving in New Eden will be the blueprints to create the charges that will be used with the much anticipated revamped fleet boosting mechanic that is coming with the Ascension release.  People can now start producing the charges and stocking the market in anticipation of their coming need.

Coming out of the game is the in-game browser.  This change, announced back in June, but appearing in the patch notes at the last minute, was due to the work needed to keep such a browser secure and up to date.

While an understandable motive in a time when CCP is devoting more resources to its VR games at the expense of EVE Online, it will be missed by people who play full screen or on a single monitor or who have third party utilities that take advantage of the browsers access to in-game data.

The Imperium’s participation link system used to use the in-game browser, but has been modified to use CREST to grab fleet members to note their attendance.  Now the FCs just have to remember to use it.  I used the in-game browser for the last time on Sunday for a fleet.

Other updates to the game include performance improvements to graphics post-processing, which seems aimed primarily at AMD users (so let’s hope it doesn’t kill nVidia performance in the grand CCP tradition of every change creating a new problem or three),  something about balancing the hard points on mining ships to match their appearance, and the usual round of bug fixes, including solving the wandering stargate issue that has come up on Reddit a few times of late.  From the patch notes:

Stargates would occasionally express their envy of dynamic objects by moving to a different position in their solar system after downtime. They have now been properly anchored and should remain firmly in their intended positions. “Pity the poor stargate, destined to remain forever immobile whilst faithfully sending ships towards locations that it can never know.”

And so it goes.

There are a host of other small items in the patch notes, plus the rather shallow entries on the updates page regarding today’s release, which has been deployed successfully.

As always though, there is a song for the release.