Tag Archives: Rubicon

Hull Tanking – My Most Elite Certificate Preserved

Let it never be said that CCP does not have a sense of humor.

I noted a while back that, as a bit of a laugh, that I have managed to earn the coveted “Hull Tanking Elite” certificate.

However, with Rubicon, the whole certificate system went through a revamp, in an attempt to give it more focus.  So now we have mastery system that comes up with each ship… which is different, though I am not sure it is any more accurate.  Under the old system, I was pretty sure I was elite with the Drake.  Now I am not so sure.

Level III overall? *cry*

Level III overall? *cry*

So the old certificates were washed away with the excess bits once Rubicon came out… except for one.

I was claiming my items from the EVE 2013 Advent Calendar… which you should go do as well because… free stuff!  And you can claim prizes from the days that have passed, so you can still catch up.

CCP Staff as they really are...

CCP Staff as they really are…

Anyway, amongst the items that I claimed was a special edition commodity… a copy of the now obsolete hull tanking certificate to keep as a reminder that I once achieved such a silly thing.

Hull Tanking FTW!

Hull Tanking FTW!

That has CCP written all over it.

I Haven’t Quite Crossed the Rubicon Yet

CCP managed to deploy the Rubicon expansion on Tuesday without much in the way of issues.

We all have that same splash screen image

Is that the actual splash screen?

And while I patched up all 1.21 Gigabytes, I have not really had much opportunity to get into the game.  Work, events at my daughter’s school, and perhaps some excessive focus on another game has kept me away.  Fortunately CCP Fozzie had some tweets about what was going on during the first 24 hours after the expansion dropped.

Yeah, I feel that one.  Like Kirithi Kodachi, I logged in expecting to find that I had level V mastery on at least a couple of ships, outside of shuttles.  Or at least a few ships at IV.  But no, for combat ships my highest rating is level III.  Even on my beloved Drake, which I would likely tell you in an off-hand way that I have max skills for, comes in at level III mastery.

Drake Fleet in action in Tenal

Am I just another Drake in the pack?

You see, under the new certificates system, level V mastery requires that all relevant skills be trained to level V as well.  So the fact that I do not have gravametric sensor compensation and the specialization skills for assault and heavy missiles trained up to V will keep me from the top mastery slot.  But what is really holding me back, what is keeping me at level III is my meager training in Caldari Drone Specialization.  For the Drake.  That notorious drone boat.  Deploying those kick-ass Caldari drones.

(Those last two sentences should show up dripping with sarcasm once HTML XX gets approved and implemented.)

What a waste of weeks of training time to work on some of those skills.  But unless I do, every time I see the info page for a Drake, it will give me that sardonic look and display that level III mastery badge.  “Max skills? My ass!” it will say.  It is like a gun to that OCD completionist part of my brain.

So I will have to work on that drone skill, getting it up to IV at a minimum.  At least it will apply to the mastery rating of all the Caldari ships.

As expected.  The interceptor change, making them invulnerable to warp disruption bubbles, plus the warp speed change, means we will be seeing a lot more interceptors running about.  I nearly put off my move back to Curse until after the expansion hit so I could fly out in one.  I expect this alone will lead to fleet doctrine changes.

And my mastery for all interceptors is III, just like the Drake.  Does that really tell me anything?

The great high sec customs office rampage begins!

And people are figuring out another new feature.  As these has been pegged as a source of materials for a future expansion that will allow players to build jump gates to new regions, I expect they will get a lot of focus.  Jove space of bust, baby!

The changes/upgrades to marauders in EVE has made level IV mission running fractionally easier for those already wealthy enough to have a marauder.  But they still are not invincible.  And the economy of New Eden keeps on rolling.

The new rapid heavy missile launcher module, nerfed down a bit to deliver high burst damage at the expense of a long reload time in order to keep heavy missiles (and the Caldari) down, is getting a workout.  As originally proposed, they looked like a game changer, an organ grinder battleship module spewing out heavy missiles at a hellish rate.  They were too much of a “good” thing I will admit, but I still endorse anything that validates my heavy investment in missile skills.

And then the deployable structures.  In the long run I expect scanning these down and blowing them up will become a new sport.  An out in null sec, the mobile siphons will likely become more of a focus.  In the short term, nothing I do warrants my looking into them.

Anyway, for those wondering what I am talking about, CCP has a page up dedicated to the Rubicon expansion and all of its features.  I hope to actually get stuck into some of this over the weekend.  The first thing I will probably get up close and personal with is the changes to the fleet interface.  We’re deployed to fight and all that, and fleet ops seem to go up every time I walk away from my computer.  Given how awkward it has been in the past, I am looking forward to seeing what changed, though given CCP’s sometimes odd sensibilities, I won’t be surprised if I hate some aspect of it right away.

Always something fresh to bitch about.

Returning Home from Curse and Waiting for Rubicon

The deployment to Curse is over.  Whatever we were sent down south to do has been done.  I think Wibla sent us down there to keep us out of trouble while he was off in Singapore for a stretch.  Anyway, the mission was declared “accomplished.” I managed to get a couple of kills while we were down there camping gates.and playing at ~elite PvP~.  My alt even got his first kill mail.  Meanwhile, our coalition friends a couple systems over managed to chase TEST out of null sec and into factional warfare.  So we were done, it was time to head home.

And I was all set.

I had my new Archon ready to take the cyno chain down to Curse, pick up my ships (and maybe Potshot’s as well, if I had room) and fly them all back up to Deklein.

Unfortunately, I had not been paying attention.  When we deployed to Curse, the cyno chain only went one direction.  People flew their carriers down, loaded with ships, and parked them.  They did not fly them back up to the relative safety of Deklein it seems.  Which meant that, when the time came to come back home, the cyno chain was only going to be lit in the order to bring people back north.

My Archon was not going to be any help at all.  Next deployment I guess.

But I still wanted to extract some of my ships from our deployment, so it looked like I was going to have to do it the hard way.  Again.

So it was back the way I came in. (Map courtesy of DOTLAN EVE Maps.)

Curse to Deklein

Curse to Deklein

I was also bringing out the same ships I brought in, neither of which activated their guns even once during the deployment.  I had my alt in a Manticore stealth bomber scouting ahead.

Manticore warping off again

Manticore warping off again

And I had my Eagle heavy assault cruiser following on behind.

Eagle hitting another gate

Eagle hitting another gate

Fortunately, at around 03:00 EVE time on a week night, things are relatively quiet.  Only the most die hard Europeans are still up and online and even those with day jobs on the East coast of the United States are hitting their limits.  I managed to exit Curse and get into the quiet pipe through the Great Wildlands without seeing another ship.

That was about the point that I remember that I forgot to install a jump clone back in XX9-WV.  Again.  I only left a single Harpy behind, but it is nice to have a jump clone in places like that should you need to travel.  I don’t think I have the standings to install a jump clone in Angel Cartel stations.  It was just that I did not even think about doing it, which happens to me all too often.  Fortunately, my alt has made a couple of trip into Curse so has a jump clone still down there should we need to head south again.  Or if I feel the burning need to try and fly that lone Harpy out.

As with Curse, the pipe through the Great Wildlands was pretty quiet.  I ran into a couple of systems where there were one or two people in local which, in a stretch of systems that has absolutely no stations, meant they were up to something.  But they were not camping the gates.  So aside from a guy who was either following me or traveling the same route (there aren’t a lot of other places to go once you are in the pipe, hence the term “pipe”) things were clear.  And I never saw the follower, I just noted that he kept popping into local just about the time I was jumping out of each system.

Things moved quickly until I hit the last null sec system on the route.  That is always the system that gets camped, the transition point from low sec to null.  In this case it was 7Q-8Z2, which the past 24 hour kill stats show tends to be hotter than most of the systems on the way to it.  And, sure enough, I warped the Manticore to the out gate and found a set of six bubbles about 60km off the gate arrayed to catch people attempting to warp to zero.  The looked like they were spread out to catch people trying to bounce off celestials even.

There were only two people in system and nobody was visible on grid around the gate so, with my follower still coming up, I decided to just warp the Eagle into the bubble blockade straight on and then turn on the microwarp drive and head for the gate ASAP.

Zipping past the bubbles

Zipping past the bubbles

I don’t know if the bubbles were left over from a more serious camp or if the pair in system decided that they weren’t up to a heavy assault cruiser, but nobody showed up.  Aside from uncloaking my alt’s stealth bomber by flying too close, the run to the gate went quietly and I jumped out of the land of bubbles and into low sec space.  From there I was only two systems out from high sec.  Nobody was present in the low sec systems, so I didn’t even have to worry about crashing gates and warping past anybody.

Then it was time for the 38 jumps to Onnamon through high sec space.  That took time and was mildly stressful.  I got used to local being full of strangers who I could accept were not there specifically to blow me up.  But I swear that at every other gate there was some doofus just sitting there doing nothing, and seeing a ship on a gate in your overview sets off a trained panic response.  I swear, I ask myself every time I go back to high sec, “Did I used to live like that?  Just hanging on a gate at a destination, probably after AFK autopiloting across space?”

I am sure I did, but my habits have changed and I see space through different eyes now.  Long strange trip and all that.

Finally I made it to Black Rise where I could at least assume people were ready to shoot me.  But the factional warfare people seemed to be invested in their own missions.  I only saw one person on a gate before I managed to slip into low sec again, and he warped off, probably as paranoid as I was.

Then in null sec I was back on the jump bridge network and home in Deklein in a few more jumps.  Home again, home again. It is sort of like EverQuest back in the day, running from Qeynos to Freeport or Butcherblock.  It took all evening, I didn’t really gain anything besides a change of location, but it still felt like an accomplishment.

Now it is just the waiting period for the next thing to happen.  In the post Fountain/Delve time, various members of the CFC have moved around.  LAWN is down Delve now.  The SpaceMonkey’s Alliance has moved out of Banch and taken up positions in Pure Blind astride the route into the Sisters of EVE owned bit of null sec, which might prove an interesting place to be when Rubicon drops and people want  blueprints for those new ships.

Sisters of EVE Frigate

Sisters of EVE Frigate

TNT likewise holds some sovereignty in Pure Blind along another route into Sisters of EVE space, so I expect we might be camping that when November 19th rolls around and Rubicon goes live.

And the Greater Western Co-Prosperity Sphere has expanded to include some systems way down in Period Basis, bringing the total number of rental systems available up to 87.  The current count shows there are about 50 corporations renting at this time, so clearly renting from Goons isn’t a barrier for some.

Otherwise we are in something of a quiet period I imagine while the bright minds in the coalition plan for the changes that Rubicon brings.

Time perhaps to make a bit of ISK and train some new skills.

Or I could spend some time trying to care about why people were upset (or were not upset) about what SOMERblink was (or wasn’t) doing, how CCP was clearly (or not at all) implicated in it, and how CCP eventually responded.  Given I cannot even find the strength to tie links to each of those statements, despite knowing where they are, I am not sure I can get there.  Anyway, CCP took action, are we done yet?

Maybe I’ll just fly my new USB Rifter around the house or shoot up a nightmare in Tama. (Many of the prizes provided by SOMERblink, of course.)

If Your Friends Crossed the Rubicon, Would You Cross it Too?

-Why do certificates have what is essentially their own tool?
-Why do I have to open the tool in order to “claim” certificates?
-Why do I have to claim certificates at all?
-Why is the display of certificates chopped up into both type (defenses, gunnery, harvesting, etc.) AND rating (none, basic, standard, improved, and elite)?

Me, in a comment to a post about a silly certificate

My post a couple weeks back looking at the lack of expansion excitement appears to be getting a little more out of date.  Companies have been stirring.  Details have been leaking.  Announcements have been made.  Promises have been broken.

Yesterday’s big thing… for me and my fellow internet spaceship pilots at least… was the announcement of Rubicon, the next EVE Online expansion.

We all have that same splash screen image

We all have that same splash screen image

As is the case with EVE Online expansions, Rubicon doesn’t look like typical MMO expansion.  You can’t just add a new region of space, a new race or class or some such, thread it together with a story line and call it a day in EVE.

Sure, looking at the Rubicon site or watching the replay of the announcement (which is on that page), or looking at the summaries at The Mittani or EVE News 24 if you want more details and clarity (I think EN24 wins on the clarity front), it sounds like we are going to get some new stuff.

There are going to be some new ships and some new deployable structures and a new battleship missile module.

But a lot of what was announced sounds suspiciously like, “Yeah, we’re going to fix a bunch of stuff, some of which you have been complaining about for years.”  Welcome to New Eden.

This is why EVE Online “expansions” are free.

And while fixing stuff sounds like a “well duh!” level of effort, it can also a perilous journey.

EVE is, like no other MMO I have played, an ecosystem where unintended consequences can seem more the rule than the exception.  Who could foresee, for example, that the Orca would become the high sec suicide ganker supply ship?

And CCP has learned to tread carefully… for the most part… when making changes.  CCP can influence behavior.  They made tech moons valuable null sec property, which lead to a null sec cartel being set up, where enemies agreed to not fight over these moons.  Then CCP changed moons and redistributed them with Odyssey, and the war in Fountain was on, leading to the largest battle in the history of the game and the shattering of one of the biggest null sec alliances, which subsequently retreated to low sec.

So CCP has to show some care.

And some of the changes and updates for Rubicon seem pretty safe.  Revamping the current certificate system seems pretty non-controversial.  It fit a pattern I referred to as:

…a random, half-baked, over-complicated feature tossed into the game and left to stew for  a few years… that sounds like the standard CCP process.

The new Interbus Ship ID system, which will help players figure out where they are on the ship training tree and where they can go next, seems like a good idea as well.  EVE has a reputation with being miserly at doling out useful information to new players.  There is the steep learning curve, which maybe they can sort of explain away, but then there is the sheer bloody minded refusal to display simple data, like how many rounds of ammunition a given weapon can hold in its magazine and how fast it will shoot that ammo.  Moving away from that, even a little bit, is good in my mind.

And I suppose an integration with Twitch for streaming isn’t necessarily bad.  We’ll see how many more people end up disclosing vital intel by streaming their fleet ops I suppose.

But the rest of Rubicon… well, things will happen.

Ship rebalancing always changes up what ships people use and how they used them.  And throwing in a couple of new ships is always a crap shoot.  Will they be over-powered and suddenly dominate every gate camp operation?  Or will they fill no solid role and end up as something for ship collectors, role players, and the occasional eccentric?  And will it make that TIE fighter sound when you fly it?

Sisters of EVE Frigate

Sisters of EVE (SOE) Frigate

But it is some of the other items that I think will really spice things up, and not necessarily in the way CCP envisions.

Being able to control customs offices in high sec space… actually making them player owned customs offices… is clearly going to lead to conflicts over control of them.  But how far and wide will that go?  Will the struggle be limited to high sec entities looking for a bit of passive income?  Or will The Mittani be announcing “POCO-geddon” when things get quiet in null sec, leading to an all-out invasion for control of that aspect of the game?  You may say that the ISK wouldn’t be worth it, but that leaves out the value assigned to tears in some quarters.

And then there are the new personal deployable structures.  They sound interesting on paper.  I bet the siphon unit, which will steal resources from mining stations, will get deployed all over in hopes of picking up some resources from unwatched operations.

On the other hand, I suspect that we will see a such personal deployable structures become priority targets.  During the live presentation it was stated that for these structures, CONCORD won’t be getting involved.  You will be able to shoot them up in high sec without your ship being automatically destroyed by the NPC cops.

And, in EVE, when you say, “You may shoot another player’s things in high sec space,” you have to expect the response is going to be “SHOOT ALL THE THINGS!”

Rendered in internet standard language

Rendered in internet standard language

I expect scanning for these structures will become a new sport and hilarity to ensue.

So while I do not see anything in Rubicon that will mean much to me at this point, I do see lots of possibilities for changes to how people play the game.  That is excitement enough for me.

Unintended consequences; coming to you on November 19, 2013.