Tag Archives: Daleks

Probing and Hacking for Fun and Profit in the EVE Online Doctor Who Interstellar Convergence Event

Executive summary:  If you enjoy the probing and hacking mini games in EVE Online, the Interstellar Convergence is the event for you.  If, however, that gets old after a you’ve done it a couple dozen times… welcome to the reality of EVE Online PvE.  But there are some alternatives.

The event kicked off on Thursday and I went far enough into the Interstellar Convergence to blow up some Daleks, collect a few screen shots, and say that I had given the whole thing a shot.  But I have now probed down more cosmic signatures in a couple of days than I probably have done in quite a stretch and I have easily done the hacking mini game more times during the first two days of the event than I have done over all of my previous career in New Eden.

I did, however, see a Dalek.  You can too if you have the patience to probe and hack until you cannot stand it anymore.

Dalek spotted in New Eden

There are a few different paths you can take through the event.  The first is, of course, to do it all yourself.  Be the rugged individualist capsuleer and experience the full breadth of the event.  That flow looks a bit like this:

1 – Fit out a probing ship

I went with a Heron due to using a low skill point high sec alt.  This probably would have gone a bit faster with my max probing skills main in a Buzzard or Astero, but it wasn’t a lot worse in the Heron.  The community fitting example Heron worked for me, but you can roll your own so long as you can launch probes and have a Relic Analyzer fit.

Actually, first, make sure you have the skill training they recommend.  I covered that in a previous post.

2 – Probe down cosmic signatures in search of Warp Matrix Convergence Relic Sites

They are somewhat rare and often already in progress in high sec.

A site found

They are reported to be more plentiful in low sec, but you have to weigh the likelihood of being blown up.  The sites seem like a place pirates would haunt in search of easy prey.

3 – Hack the Peculiar Debris Fragments

On the bright side, you get 6 to 12 fragments per site, so even if somebody else shows up, you can still grab a few.  Out in regular space they come in small, medium, and large sizes, which represent the complexity of the hack.  There are also huge fragments, but those come later.

In one of the sites

The hacking game is random, sometimes unwinnable, but at least you get two shots at each fragment.  And sometimes it is an easy win.

Straight to the System Core this time

But either way you want the relevant skills as trained up as possible, as they influence your success quite heavily.

Just keep hacking until you are done.

4 – Loot the Fragments and Pray for Blueprints

The fragments contain a variety of items including collectible trash (I got my sonic screwdriver), things that can be sold to NPCs for ISK (the February MER will show this no doubt), filament blueprints, and components for building the filaments.

The blueprints seemed fairly rare on day one, though a little easier to find over the weekend after CCP adjusted things a bit.

5 – Build some Filaments

Go back to a station, preferably Jita, and use the blueprints you have found to build filaments.  I say Jita because you probably won’t have all the components you need and at Jita 4-4 they will be for sale at likely the lowest price you will find.

Also, you need to have some minimal industry skills to do this part.  The blueprint you have is likely for a Curious Warp Matrix Filament.

6 – Use the Filament

Undock in your probing ship and use the filament.  There are no Daleks or other hostiles at this point.

Ready to activate

This will send you into a single Abyssal pocket with an exit gate.  The pocket has a 30 minute timer before it collapses and destroys you and your ship.

7 – Gawk at the Scenery

It is pretty.  Congrats to the art team.

Dude, colors

Be sure to SKIN you ship for the maximum color effects.  The Biosecurity Responders SKINs are awesome, but not the only option.

The orange burst highlights my orange stripe

But don’t hang about doing that for too long.

8 – Hack Some More!

The main point of the pocket is yet more things to hack.  These will yield things that you don’t get out in regular space, including blueprints for more advanced filaments.

9 – Make Some More Filaments

If you’re like me you probably didn’t get much on your first try.  I did get a blueprint for another filament, built it, went back, and got a couple more blueprints, including one for a level 2 filament.

10 – Use More Filaments

The level 2 filament will put you in a 30 minute pocket with medium, large, and huge relics to hack.

Level 2 must be better

The scenery is a little different, so gawk some more, then get working on hacking.  The level 2 pocket has enough stuff that you might feel the time limit weighing on you.

11 – Eventually Build a Combat Filament

I received a combat filament on the first night, but one of the components for it wasn’t dropping, so I had to postpone any fighting for a bit.

But by the evening of the second day I had enough stuff that I wasn’t going to break the bank buying the items I was short on.  I built the filament and got my ship ready for combat.

12 – Enter the Precarious Warp Matrix

The level 1 combat filament sends you off into a single Abyssal pocket for a fight.  Once again, the pocket will last for 30 minutes, giving you time to fight and gawk a bit.

Ticket to Dalek City

You will note that the ship restrictions limit you to a set of T1 cruisers, though two people can fly together into the pocket, so you can bring along a friend.

I used the T1 Abyssal Caracal fit from the community fittings, which use heavy assault missiles.  I went with Caldari Navy Scourge missiles because back in the day the Caracal was damage locked to kinetic.  It no longer is, but I saw that after I bought the missiles.

Also, buy extra missiles and put them in your cargo hold.  The community fit only has enough for one full weapons load and it would be embarrassing to run out of them.  Also, your drones are going to die.  Accept that and move on.

13 – Blow Up Some Motherfucking Daleks

There are Daleks on the other side, including the quite recognizable to me saucer shaped Dalek combat ship.

Missiles Away!

In addition there were a couple of Daleks in their armored suits flying about as well.  I don’t recall from the Whovian lore if them flying about is a thing or if the event wanted you to see the classic Dalek form, but there they were.

Space Dalek One

I did need to run my shield booster a bit, but otherwise wasn’t in much danger.  They shot at me and were draining my capacitor, but I was never close to being low on power.  I blew up all three targets, looted the one wreck left after the fight, and went on my way.

14 – Do It All Again and Again

After all of that over the course of two days I earned a total of 110 points towards the event, leaving me 790 to go to claim all the prizes.

Such Progress

Something was borked with the event though and on the second day it wasn’t counting my actions, so that was all from the first day’s progress.  Welcome to EVE Online.  But they might have fixed that issue today.  I am not sure I care enough, having spent about 10 hours on the event so far, to carry on.

Alternate Paths

You naturally don’t have to do it all yourself.  You can just buy the components or the blueprints or the finished filaments.  There are entrepreneurs in Jita willing to sell them to you.  You can go straight to Dalek bashing right away if you have the ISK handy.

And, of course, you can make some money off of the event by being one of those entrepreneurs.  That is a bit more work, but there is ISK to be made, though the most lucrative point in the event in the first day or two when demand is high and supply is low.  Sell now while you have the chance.

Likewise, if you want to just buy filaments, waiting until next weekend when the market is saturated might be a cheaper path forward.

The team over at the New Eden Post has done a more detailed look into the mechanics and the fits if you are seeking more detailed information.

Doctor Who and Daleks Invade EVE Online with the Interstellar Convergence

The Doctor Who/EVE Online cross-over event, the Interstellar Convergence, begins today.

When galaxies collide

I went over some of the problematic aspects of the event last week, ranging from small items like lore problems, to the pernicious sense that CCP is like a cell phone company from 20 years back and only cares about new customers, to the as yet unproven drawing power of Doctor Who as an incentive to come and play EVE Online.

But that is all water under the bridge at this point as the event is live as of this morning, Daleks are in New Eden, and we will just have to see how it all plays out.

As with any EVE Online event there are the usual list of included items.  There are daily login rewards.

Skills are a good start to the event

There are also a few special SKINs in the New Eden Store.

SKINs only for expensive ships

And there is, of course, a set of special packs from the web store that range from $5 to $60 in price and offer up cosmetics, PLEX, skill points, SKINs, and event filaments that you might otherwise be scrounging around to find in game.  These are prominently displayed on the launcher.

Since the announcement CCP has started to take more seriously the new player aspects of the event.  CCP Swift stated earlier in the week that new players would have some access to it:

Great news! There will be elements of the event open to players who are just starting, as well as the option to join a more seasoned player in the more difficult areas.

This was reiterated at the top of the patch notes for the event:

  • The Interstellar Convergence event has begun! This limited time Doctor Who crossover event runs until downtime on February 1st.
    • This event includes significant elements designed to be accessible for new players, as well as advanced challenges for veterans. The main focus of the event is exploration, with significant elements of combat and industry gameplay.
    • The “Warp Matrix Convergence” relic signature is appearing all over New Eden, and probing it down is the starting point for this event.
    • Use a relic analyzer module to collect materials and blueprints to build new limited time jump filaments capable of bridging realities.
    • Explore peaceful and bountiful relic fields with the Curious, Enigmatic, and Mysterious Warp Matrix Filaments.
    • Face off against deadly biomechanoid adversaries with the Precarious, Hazardous, Dangerous, and Perilous Warp Matrix Filaments.
    • Special agency challenges and daily login gifts are available during this event.
    • Rewards include items that can be sold for ISK, new SKINs, unique character clothing, boosters and cerebral accelerators, fireworks, and special Doctor Who easter egg trinket items for collectors.

Saying it over and over doesn’t make it so however, and new players are still going to have to get through the intro story invested enough in what is, by all accounts, a complex and often unintuitive MMORPG.

On Tuesday of this week CCP put up a dev blog about how to prepare for the event, something clearly aimed at newer players.  It brings together some of the past informational videos along with suggestions as to what ships a new player might aspire to and training plans available in the new training UI.  I suppose this will be a real test of the latter.

Because this event is going to be so high profile, I figured I ought to at least give it a shot.  I only have one account subscribed right now and am not really sure about the viability of Alpha clones, so that gives me three characters to play with.  Two of the character on my account, my main and a combat alt, are in the Imperium and, as such, subject to enough war decs in high sec as to not be useful for the event.

That left me with a third, a character I created back in 2008 on a whim and did nothing with for over a decade.  I eventually trained him up to do some hauling and PI in high sec and to be able to fly a couple doctrine frigates that we use.  He had close to 6 million skill points trained and I was able to throw another million skill points at him from login rewards and such I had hanging around.

CCP’s post recommends finishing the explorer and enforcer skill plans.  Those will get you scanning skills, which are required for the event, and a jump on combat skills for one of the tier 1 abyssal cruiser fits that are in the community fitting selection that they are recommending for the event.  There is one for each faction:

  • Rupture: T1 Abyssal Rupture
  • Omen: T1 Abyssal Omen
  • Caracal: T1 Abyssal Caracal
  • Vexor: T1 Abyssal Vexor

My pilot is Caldari, so the Caracal will be my goal.  Getting there, however…

I realize that as a character rolled up in 2008, my pilot started out somewhat behind the curve when it came to skills available when created.  I ran him through the previous NPE and had to stop and buy a couple skills because the tutorial wasn’t built for characters with that old build.  He probably had to spend more ISK on skills to get rolling on these plans.

But I still ended up spending a fit cruiser’s worth of ISK on skills, and the plans as laid out end to end would have put me well into next week… and I have an Omega clone, so I train at double the speed of an Alpha.

As I said, I had the advantage of having a million skill points laying around, so I sped him up a bit with an eye to being able to dig into the event this weekend.  I got the enforcer plans run through and most of the explorer skills done.

The skill planning window

Then I looked at the recommended Caracal fit and realized that the skill plans suggested were not enough to get me there.  So I bought some more skills threw them on the queue, including a couple just to deal with the CPU needs of the fit.  And then I added a few more to the end of the list just to make the fit a little more viable.  I could technically fly it with only Caldari Cruiser I trained, but I figured I ought to follow the old rule and get it to at least III before undocking in it.

At some point I will be done, at some point we all have to undock or give up.  It is always strange for me, with my main sitting at 230 million skill points, having to try to make things work on a new character.  I just have it all in the bag already on Wilhelm.  Rare is the subcap skill he doesn’t have at V already.

Leaving aside the knowledge aspect of all of this, I do wonder where a new player is going to come up with the ISK to acquire skills and buy a ship.  The Caracal fit runs 24 million ISK in Jita as I write this on Tuesday night which, while not an insurmountable amount of currency, is still a chunk for a new play.

A more cynical person than myself might suggest that the company is setting this up to sell some PLEX to eager newbies wanting to shoot Daleks.

At least the scanning ship is free if know to go run the career agent for exploration.  I won’t have the Magnet they recommend, but a Heron will suffice I hope.

Addendum:  Now that the event is live, CCP has put it up the, their solution to all PvE questions, though it doesn’t even begin to tell you how to accomplish the tasks.

It is in the Agency, so no further info is needed

I remain quite interested to see how brand new players in their rookie ships will participate in the event when it isn’t clear to somebody who has been around for 15 years.  I’ve been at it for over an hour and have yet to find a single “Warp Matrix Convergence” signature.

Related:

Meanwhile, Over in Britain…

I cannot tell if this is the greatest thing ever, the worst travesty ever foisted on the viewing public, or just another day for the Doctor.

Besides which, I always picture the Daleks playing for the other side in this sort of thing.  Or maybe for Stalin.

Still, they look cool in that flat British Army green with little Union Jacks painted on.  But what is with that Spitfires cum Battlestar Galactica scene?

And while pondering that, I read that the UK online retailer GameStation slipped a clause in their terms of service granting them the option to claim their customers immortal soul.

Okay, it was put in there for April Fools, but it once again proved that most of us do not read the legalese that clutter up these sorts of thing.

Customers that did spot this clause were able to opt out and were rewarded with a 5 Pound coupon.

Those who rushed past the terms of service will no doubt be surprised when when the six foot high letters of fire appear allowing GameStation to claim what became theirs through the fine print.