Tag Archives: Incursion

Starting My First Incursion with the Final Boss

Running a Mom, Easy 90m, Logi Losses will be SRP’ed by incursion sig

-Jabber ping, Jan. 1

On coms the other night somebody mentioned that there is clearly a skill in being able to read a jabber ping and being able to divine what it really means.  For example, time has shown that multi-day hurfs to get max numbers for a guaranteed fight almost never results in a fight.  And joining a reinforcement fleet for a fight gives you about a 50% chance of sitting on a titan or staying docked up for 45 minutes before being given a participation link and being told that you are excused.

And who is running the fleet also often an indicator as to what to expect.  Asher casually pinging for some people to go do something generally means he has a well thought out plan, and disappointment is rare.

This particular ping was for a fleet under Clay Hakaari.  My experience with him has been good so far, having gone out on a couple of his short Harpy fleets to clear out local space.  He turns MOA into kill mails fairly well.  So why not?  It was a call for the Maze Fleet doctrine, which is Rattlesnakes with Scimitars for logi, so I jumped from my high sec clone to the staging system where we were starting off, got in a Scimi, and joined the fleet.  Who doesn’t want an easy 90 million ISK?

Of course, one has to be careful one does not conflate “easy” with “quick.”  If I had gotten on coms and listened for a bit, I would have heard that we were heading back to YA0-XJ first and then to the incursion from there.  I could have jumped straight to YA0, where I have several Scimitars stored, and waited for everybody to arrive.  Instead I joined the trek to the first waypoint, warping along at battleship speeds.

When we arrived at YA0 we were given a five minute break to do whatever before setting out for the incursion.  It was also a chance for people with shield doctrine ships to join in.  I considered throwing my alt into a Drake, but then realized I had stripped the one Drake I had left in YA0 and didn’t want to spend the time fitting it back up again.  Also, dual boxing has never been a good thing for me, as I have mentioned in the past.

Then there was the call to get under way again, complicated by the fact that there was a MOA gang wandering around.  Well made it to the out gate and jumped through when Clay called out that he’d been snatched.  He was dual boxing and while focused on one screen apparently failed to notice that MOA did a command destroyer snatch on his Tengu on the gate.  We jumped back through to try and help him, but being 100km off the gate made him too close to warp to and too far to burn to, so it was buh-bye Tengu.  MOA got some of their own back on that one, though they got hosed by the loot fairy, as almost none of Clay’s faction modules dropped from the kill.

It took a little while to recover from that and get everybody settled and pointed in the right direction, but after a bit we did start the march to the back end of Venal and the incursion at the seeming crawling warp speed of 2 AU/sec, eventually arriving in the area.

I have never done an incursion before, but I know all this slider and all these little symbols mean things.

Incursion Status

Incursion Status

For us, I was told, the important item was the little skull appended like a footnote to the end of the word “headquarters,” as that indicated that the final event for the incursion was ready to go.  That what what we had been assembled to do, to kill the Mom, which was the common short hand term for Mothership, which was what super carriers used to be called back… well… a while back.  But I guess “Mom” is still in use.

This is, effectively, the EVE Online version of a raid in games like WoW.  It is a PvE event meant for a large group (though it is limited to 120 ships if I heard right) and has a variety of aspects and complications to it that I have no doubt would take a good deal of time to learn.  However, when we arrived in the area we were joined by a group from the Incursions SIG who would be leading the charge and telling us what to do.   Plaid Rabbit had taken over running the fleet for this part and our Rattlesnake and Drakes (which a group of SMA pilots brought along from YA0) were joined by the more specialized Nightmares, Vindicators, and Machariels that are the hallmark of their SIG.

They understand the whole dynamic and we were going to simply ignore and tank through most of the side events and concentrate on simply killing the boss, the Kundalini Manifest.  The only thing DPS would switch to were the Lirsautton Parichaya fighter bombers that would appear at regular intervals and which, if left unchecked, could alpha logi ships off the field.

We formed up, warps out to the acceleration gate that controls access to the final event, and got ourselves lined up to go.

Main event greeting...

Main event greeting…

In we went.  The main ship, the Sansha’s Nation flagship, the Kundalini Manifest uses the Revenant super carrier model though, somewhat ironically, the blue print copy for the Revenant doesn’t drop for null sec incursions, only low sec. (We blew up a Revenant in an event last year.)  You can see the ship, but you cannot get it here.

The Kundalini Manifest under fire

The Kundalini Manifest under fire

The fight went smoothly enough.  The fighter bombers did catch a couple of the logi, but I survived.  We got through the occasional ECM burst attacks that break target lock and managed to keep most everybody alive as fire was focused time and again on the main objective.  I lived and eventually the boss went boom

Kundalini Manifest explodes

Kundalini Manifest explodes

That got me 90 million ISK and 20,000 CONCORD loyalty points that I need to figure out how to use.  I still have a couple hundred thousand LP from various Amarr factions, but I am never in high sec at a station where I can redeem them.

Anyway, that isn’t much detail about the fight.  There is a listing of NPCs involved (or here) and a guide to the fight that I found if you are interested.

Of course, the fight was done… but we still had to travel back to where we started.  That took a while as we once again trudged at battleship speeds back to YA0 and then our staging at D2-HOS.  Overall the whole thing took more than three hours, so as a time vs. ISK proposition, I could have done better.  Conservatively, I can run two Guristas Havens an hour for 30 million ISK a piece (not counting loot), so I could have done better. (I did get two strategic participation links for the whole thing, so half my monthly quota taken care of there.)

But it was a new experience, and the whole thing appeared to be a bit of a recruiting drive to get people to join the Incursions SIG.  Everybody who came along could apply and got accepted immediately.  So I joined up.  While that particular op was not ISK efficient, the claim in the SIG is that, when an incursion is running, you can earn 90+ million ISK an hour and, if you fly logi, and I generally do, you get reimbursed if your ship gets popped by NPCs.

As we saw with that sinks and faucets chart from EVE Vegas, incursions pay out a lot of ISK and ISK value (in terms of loyalty points) relative to the percentage of the population that actually engages in incursions.

So there, I saw my first incursion… only five years after they were introduced to the game with the Incursion expansion.

Incursion - November 2010

Yeah, that’s the ship we blew up!

We shall see if this ends up paying off or not.  Meanwhile, a gallery from the event.

Obligatory EVE Online New Avatar Post

I swear, I went into this thinking I was going to create a completely different look.  Meclin managed to get a Caldari model that looked a bit like Harrison Ford and another with a hint of Jim Carrey.  I thought I could manage something equally noble.  I certainly wasn’t going to end up with another avatar like my first experiment.

And then I tried on the sunglasses.

Once those were on, the techno beat started going in my brain and I ended up with this.

Wilhelm Arcturus... wait, it says that already

And the halo effect background… suddenly I was St. Diggler, patron saint of the Caldari disco mix.  Or something.

Well, I’ll only have to live with that choice… forever.   At least there wasn’t an eyeliner malfunction.

And it is better than my original avatar.

Somebody set up us the bomb!

I did find out, however, that you cannot create an avatar without pants.


That tidbit just in case you were thinking about going for the… um… news anchor look.

How soon until we get an ISK shop or a clothing manufacturing skill in the game to give us some better clothing choices?

Five Minutes with the New EVE Character Creator

The big drop for Incursion went live at last, and there is a ton of stuff in it.  Really, look at all that stuff in the patch notes.

That is about a 1.2 GB download, which is about double the payload of your typical EVE Online expansion.

And while the Sansha Nation incursion is the big deal, the namesake of the expansion, the new character creator is the first new thing people will likely run into.

Of course, the MMO tradition… and especially the EVE Online tradition… is that you make your character and then you are stuck with it for freakin’ ever.

So, remembering how I rushed through the avatar portrait creation back when I first started playing EVE, and how I have had to look at the same crappy avatar ever since, I thought I had better have a practice run before I went for my main character.

So I jumped in with the second character on my account, Percy Dovetonsils, and within moments I had created… gay porn.

Percy has the most muscular legs...

I mean, Tom of Finland look out, we’ve got the character generator dedicated to your memory.  It really looks like some unholy merger of Gary Gannon, Ryan Verniere, and Brad Pitt.

Eventually I did figure out how to put some clothes on him.  But then I clicked next and went to portrait selection, where I chose this.

Percy Styling

And then I accepted my portrait, not having read the key paragraph in the patch notes:

Current characters will have a grace period before having to commit to a new character avatar and portrait. During this grace period you can take your time before finalizing your new avatar and portrait to suit your tastes. NOTE: Once you accept your portrait design, you are committed to it!

Whoops!  I guess I won’t be able to go back and change anything.  Or even prove that I put clothes on him.

Fortunately, I was doing this with a test character and not my main.

The full body avatar creation tool is interesting. You can grab and tweak features pretty readily, though how visible these adjustments are with you in-game avatar I couldn’t say.

I am surprised at the limited options for clothing.  Maybe the Caldari are just boring dressers or something, but the selection was pretty limited.

Not that it matters that much I suppose.  Once you’ve created your full clothed (or unclothed if you prefer) body, I am not sure you can even see it again as things stand at the moment.

But now I know, when I make Wilhelm’s body, don’t accept the portrait design until I am ready.  Grace period.  Grace period.

I have already seen people in local who accepted their portraits not knowing they would be stuck with what they chose.

With Incursion, The Noctis

Incursion kicked off this past week in EVE Online.  There is the new splash screen and all.

Incursion

Sort of olive green with a spiky Sansha Nation ship gliding by darkly in the lower left hand corner.

The Sansha do love their spikes.

Given how spread out this expansion is, I think they should have changed the name to “Incursions,” but that is probably just me.

The one item of interest to me so far is the new salvage ship, the Noctis.

The stats on it are impressive… if you salvage a lot.

ORE Industrial skill bonus: 5% bonus to Tractor Beam and Salvager cycle time and 60% bonus to Tractor Beam range and velocity per level

You can reach out and grab stuff for sure.  The Noctis will be more handy for salvage than my Cormorant.

A new skill is required to fly it, ORE Industrial, which runs a little over 1.4 million ISK.  You skill level in that determines the bonuses you get.

And then there is the ship itself, which in my region is priced anywhere between 56 and 300 million ISK, with about 60 million appearing to be the median (not average) price.

And then there are the original blueprints (BPOs), which are running anywhere from 430 to 700 million ISK.

What it takes to make a Noctis

Interesting.  I could afford to buy a set.  I would have to do some research on them, always a time consuming and expensive effort, to reduce the materials needed to build one.  If I were going to go into the Noctis building business.

Or I could go into the blueprint copy business, though it seems that is already booming.  Single run blueprint copies are going for around 10 million ISK.  But none of those have any material research done to them.  I would kind of like to wait for that.

In fact, as with most new ships in EVE Online, it pays to wait until the price settles down.  The people who are selling now are trying to pay for their BPOs and get as much money as they can from a fresh market.  Later the real industrialists who compete on price will come to dominate the market and the price will be a reflection of the materials needed to produce the ship.

I can afford to wait.

Sixty Million Skill Points

Another 7-8 month window of time has elapsed and another 10 million skill points has accumulated on my main EVE Online character, Wilhelm Arcturus.

Since our wormhole space station expedition went bust for lack of an unoccupied wormhole, training is about all I have really been doing.  I have no other account active and I have been riding on PLEX purchased with ISK.  My biggest EVE event of late has been the Screenshot Contest.

I actually crossed the 60 million milestone a ways back (I’m at about 62.5 million at the moment), but haven’t gotten around to writing about it until now.  I did take a snap shot of EVE Mon at the magic moment, so I know where I stood at the time.

Tracking my skill points every 10 million interval has been a tradition and there are posts on the site for 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 million skill points.

Here is where I stand, or stood, at the 60 million skill point mark:

Spaceship Command: 9,806,622*
Engineering:       6,583,849*
Science:           6,331,167*
Gunnery:           6,300,315*
Missiles:          5,566,701
Learning:          4,805,843*
Drones:            4,753,666*
Trade:             3,271,765
Industry:          2,941,576
Leadership:        2,307,163*
Electronics:       1,853,203*
Navigation:        1,777,805*
Mechanic:          1,426,568*
Corp Management:   1,108,784*
Social:            1,015,932
Subsystems:          151,765

Total:           ~60,000,000

Asterisks indicate areas that changed since the last post.

The changes since the last post reflect an attempt to round out my skills to be able to fly all of the ships in my hanger effectively.  With my alt in cold storage, I transferred all his ships to Wilhelm who then had to learn how to fly a few.  So, for example, the Dominix is primarily a drone platform, and enjoyable one at that, so drone related skills saw a huge boost.

The total number of known skills went up by three, from 206 to 209.  Those three were in Spaceship Command.  I think I can now fly the battleships of the four player factions in the game.  The total skill distribution changed to:

Level 1:  1 skill
Level 2: 31 skills
Level 3: 34 skills
Level 4: 62 skills
Level 5: 81 skills

Level 5 skills took a big leap, going from 67 to 81.  When you are not playing actively and have a pretty loose agenda, you can find time for those 8-22 day skills.

And, of course, there is the Titan benchmark.  How many training days remain between me and flying the Caldari Titan?

This time around I am down to 68 days, a pretty big drop from the 92 days I stood at before, and 100 days down from the first time I calculated what it would take for me to buy and fly a Titan.

Of the 68 days remaining, 56 and a half of them are Capital Ships V.

Since there are only three remaining skills, Capital Ships, Jump Drive Operation, and Caldari Titan, I am going to guess I won’t be getting much closer to getting my license for one.  None of those skills figure in my immediate plans, whatever those might be.

And with Incursion coming along some time this month… maybe… there might be something new and interesting to try out in New Eden.

[It looks like Incursion now has a date… or several dates it seems.  The November release will be in January, essentially.]

Incursion and Public Fleets

Just as I was eying the exits in New Eden, CCP announced their latest expansion, Incursion, which is due out in November of this year, about the time when my last ISK purchased PLEX will expire.

Will there be something in this next expansion to tempt me?

There is the now usual round of technology upgrades promised with this expansion. Faster is always better, but in my little corner of space, performance generally isn’t much of an issue. I think the biggest fleet I’ve even been in had seven ships total.

There is a new Sansha Mothership in the works. I’ll be looking for screen shots of that. Sansha ship models are always interesting… and pointy.

And they will be giving us a dedicated salvaging vessel, the Noctis, which will use the same ship model as the Primae. I am far more likely to buy and fly the latter… once the price comes down… but that isn’t really a reason to stay in space… or in station, where I have been for most of the last few months.

There will apparently be an update to the character creator. I hope that will allow everybody to redo their pilot portrait for free. I rushed through the character creator in my desire to get into space and have been living with the same uninspired pilot picture since then.

No, the big deal for me is at the top of the press release, the new additions to PvE play.

Incursion will feature the escalating attacks of the deadly Sansha’s Nation which is bent on instituting its own utopia and exacting vengeance against the pilots who stand in its way. Pilots can join public fleets and co-operate to destroy the Sansha incursions and return the universe to normal, receiving wealthy bounties, earning loyalty rewards and high commendation.

Public fleets? That sounds vaguely familiar.

The public quest thing was an idea that worked pretty well in Warhammer Online, though the schizophrenic nature of the game (how many experience bars should a game be allowed?) diluted its impact.  And the huge drop off in subscribers after the first couple months did not help.

And a similar idea worked well enough in Star Trek Online. There was always the problem of “the fleet that refused to communicate” in those group quest instances though. I spent a good deal of time trying to guess where my temporary fleet mates were headed in STO.

But in STO the death penalty was pretty mild to say the least.  There is very little pain associated with getting yourself in trouble.

Of course, we know that the death penalty is a little bit different in EVE Online.  That is something that could drive cooperation.  A ship loss in EVE… if you’re insured it won’t cost you much in ISK, but the time it takes to get another ship assembled and ready to go… that is often the biggest loss.  Time has value.

It would be great if this turns out to be a good way to get players to group up and cooperate and maybe even teach people how to work together in a fleet.  Maybe people could even use some of those modules that generally only get equipped for PvP.  The current PvE missions do not train players for PvP at all.

Of course, CCP tried to get people to band together in ad hoc fleets for PvE-ish objectives when it introduced factional warfare back in the Empyrean Age expansion.  How did that turn out for you?  It was something of a non-starter for me.

Still, I look forward to more information on this new tack in EVE PvE play.  Maybe it will give me a reason to get back into space.

And at least I’ll get a new in-game portrait.

Is there anything in Incursion for you?