Friday, 31 October 2008

n00b notes on the Defensive Triumvirate

Shields/Armor/Structure. They're what keep you alive. Deep Space is cold and lacks the amenities of the average spa or cafe/bar. So the canny capsuleer does all s/he can to fly through it, not in it.

[These notes are meant for the PvE field, -- in PvP, if you're a n00b, you have to face the fact that you'll be blown away, and probably podded too :: it's what PvPers do, and it's what I gather that a sub-class of them live for :: killing n00bs asap, because they aren't allowed to taunt n00bs anymore in the starter systems]

Shields are your active defence: they are the first thing that gets hit usually (unless your opponent is using something that cuts through them), and they regenerate slowly. You can boost regeneration, either by repairing them by converting cap power, or with a passive unit that raises the regen rate. They also have the peculiarity that they regenerate best when they're halfway down -- high shield and you only get a trickle back, low shield and unless you're already getting o-u-t they're, frankly, not going to survive.
Which means that one tactic is to let your shields drop to around 50% and save the cap, and then just use the shield repper to keep them in the 50-70% range. Other people argue that, if you have the cap to rep, you should use it because, as you know, cap also recharges (and can be boosted if you go that way) .

When your shields are gone, it's your armor that takes the punishment. You can buy thicker armor, you can fit an armor repper, but it's going to go and, short of repping it, it won't come back. That said, it's tough stuff (and if you don't mind having the manoeuvering of a hippo in a bath chair, you can fit as thick as you can take within reason). Some people rely on tanking armor. To them shields are the freebie throwaway you get anyway, and armor is what it is really about. They have a point (one point) in that, if they can avoid a round of damage by some means, their shields will regenerate a point or two, and any hostile attack has to grind that away before it can get to their armor again. Armor repping is a straight n units per cycle thing -- no advantage here, then, in letting damage mount up, and my preference is to start the rep cycle when shields are at 2% and switch the shield repper off till I'm sure I can tank the armor damage.

After armor, all you have left is structure. You don't want damage to that -- there are hull reppers, but frankly they're meant for using at a station to save on repair bills. I recommend that as soon as you get into structure, if not before, you warp the hell out. Even if there's only one enemy left and he's also in structure.
Why ? Because you might miss him, and he might critical you, and because the pirate who's been lurking 100km off, waiting to loot your wrecks is also just waiting for you to finish, so that he can kill off the winner and get that wreck as well.
Jump out, get repped, and come back, in another ship if you're in a hurry.

Especially if you have a heavier ship on stand-by. There's nothing like the feeling you get when you've flown a mission in a destroyer, got away in the nick of time, and are then able to go back in a cruiser, knowing what's there, and ready to blow chunks off your NME.

Other defences:
Speed -- which they're about to nerf: basically you go so fast that the missiles can't catch you, or so that you get out of range of your enemies' guns, whilst staying in range with yours. or (Minmatar secret here) you get close in, and orbit very very fast, so that their turrets can't track where you are. You also get cross eyed and somewhat dizzy unless you break off every now and again.
Speed #2 -- Go in, stay as long as you can, and then warp out. To speed up the "warp out" phase, you can align to an object (stargate or station) first, while you're still fighting, and then you go to warp nearly straight away. This tactic also requires that you're ready for a quick turnround, otherwise the rats will have regenerated all their damage. But even so, you know what you're facing and you can make Plans.
Priorities -- There'll come a day when you suddenly find you're flying in treacle, with a wibbly effect round your ship. Welcome to the world of webbers. One of your enemy ships is using a device to slow you down. Unless you like being the number-one target for every ship in range (and the ones coming into range at top speed), make that ship your priority.
Similarly work out whether you want to attack Big Ships, who will be capable of doing more damage to you, ahead of the fast and nimble frigates who will swarm you and be more capable of keeping up if you run. Either way, pick a target and concentrate on it. Till a ship's blown away it can still fire on you, even if it's at 2% structure. And if you use drones, make sure they follow your priorities: mine have a habit of sneaking off to shoot ships they fancy, rather than concentrating on the ones I want dead.

I've probably said things you don't agree with in this, and if you survive and I don't, you're probably right. But two cents is two cents, and buys two penny chews, so there you have it. Or them. Or not.
Clear Skies.

Edited 27-4-09 for mis-spellings (but there are probably some left)

And Then

(or then again)

Mining Mission
Took on another of these, on the grounds that, if they're looking for the perosn who killed a few of their ships, they mightn't look too closely at a 'umble miner. of course, they might blow me away on principle, but so might any pirate with a suicide fetish.
Met more of those sentent drones. Got a look at a couple, while my drones were with them. Nasty b*ggers, with guns on the end of extendable limbs. Somewhat worrying, what with the rumours that some idiot's been looking into how to blend a human brain and nerve-stem into a cybernetic body. Fine for the bloke who gets quadrapleged in an accident, but what about if it's your local psycho ... ?
Anyway, it netted me another 7-figure fee, because I beat the agent's time estimate, so the poniez can eat tonite.

Also been thinking about tanks -- which I will put in another entry, so that folks don't get confused.

And I built another Cargo Optimiser, now that prices seem to have settled again. So I put one on the market and we'll see if anyone buys it. Might also put out a "buy" offer for Trit bars and see if anyone bites on that.

The new vanilla pod-goo seems to be working out, and the cabin scent is giving me good nights' sleep, now I don't have Welung.
I considered hiring him on as a body-servant, but he's happier at the resort, and he says he's allergic to poniez anyway.
And it wouldn't work too well if I go back to a new Jaguar -- there isn't really room for 2 on one of those, not after I've fitted all the T2 stuff. They say it's new-and-improved, but I can't help noticing that it always takes up more space that the T1 versions (especially the named-and-branded).

Talking of branded, I can hear a beefie-burger calling my name.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Ambulation -- some Metagaming thoughts for the EvE Blog Banter

Ambulation -- walking about on/in a station.

Three thoughts:
1. I'm looking forward to seeing myself, and to being able to be seen, especially if we can buy outfits. I already have an idea of the four I want: a Jet O'Conor ship suit (one or two piece comfortable thing for on-board), a set of tough overalls, for going to buy Stuff, and for repairing the ship when I don't think the station crew will do it well enough (or for bolting on slightly illegal gear, like the Rogue Ponie Scanner), a smart business suit for going to see agents, and a party outfit. Really, I have no preconceptions as to what I'd like to do -- that will depend on what the programming allows. Looking out at deep space (or at stellar phenomena) would be nice. So would a bar/restaurant, and a holo-cinema, to watch Star Trek #149 (the one with the ambiguous scene involving the Ferengi harem and the pangolin).

2. PvPers won't like it. Unless there's combat involved. In which case the carebears will never use it. Which means that, sooner or later, there's going to be combat -- probably planetside. It makes sense -- you spend hours learning to fly a spaceship (or several), you become very good at it, so good you can shoot down enemy battleships, so next thing you want to do is go ground-side and take on someone whose entire back-life has been playing 1-on-1 shooters. I'll pass on that bit, thank you.

3. It'll be optional. They're hardly going to disassemble all the market they've spent years (and an economist) building up. We'll still be able to buy and sell and use station services, but now we'll be able to do some of it avatar-to-avatar if we want. Which, in counterpoint, will mean that those people who didn't really want to fly spaceships, but did want to do research or build things, or {so forth} can spend most of their time in-station, in ambulation mode, interacting, and will only need to go out to fly to another station (which in high-sec isn't that bad a grind), or to spend a while mining, or fetching stuff, or going to see specific agents. So, we could well see a rise in overall population, as well as some of those jaded by being blown away (yes, I'm looking at you, Mal Garamite) deciding to come back and try the New Experience.

And there are all sorts of other possibilities :: one forum thread talked about three-D strategy sessions for gangs and alliances, to plan engagements in detail. If it happens, more power to their elbows.
And to what extent will the stations fit their billing ? Will we see beautiful Promenades, with scintillating light shows outside the casinos ? Will we actually *see* the workshops where NPCs glue our ships back together (or in the case of mine, add 3/4 of a mile of new baling wire) ? What will waking up in a clone mean ?

Three things are certain :: it's coming (CCP are being paid to develop the tech for another game, and Eve will act as the test-bed), it won't (we are assured) cause lag (now, where have I heard that before ?), and someone somewhere will find a way to exploit it.

Looking forward,
Jenni C

Monday, 27 October 2008

Postcard from .... well, never mind

Hi -- having a wonderful time and wish that you were here.

Actualy, I don't. Not that I begrudge any of you as wonderful a time as I'm having, but I'd rather not share mine.

And my pleasure is tinged with regret :: I've had to sell two of my poniez. Miss Genevieve was getting old, and the vet said that the last hip implant hadn't really taken, and that the artificial gravity on the station wasn't helping. So she's gone to the Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Poniez, who have devoted their entire lives to looking after our four-legged friendz when they get older. Coincidentally it's next to the glue factory, but I'm sure there's nothing sinister in that.
And Mattie I've had to let go because he's taken to Leaking in Inappropriate Places. He always did prefer the planetside life and he used to shiver so before we went into combat. So he's joined a null-g polo club and all being well, if he passes their training regime, he'll be on the team and on holovision this fall. The Naberri Knights, if you follow the games.

As for me, I'm still looking over my shoulder for people I don't know trying to find things out about me. Though at present, all they'd find is how many mango smoothies I'm eating, and when I'm due for my next BaiDo session. But I'm still in positive balance, and I don't plan on going back until I know it's safe.

Meanwhile, I'm making one or two impulse purchases: they do a vanilla-essenced pod-goo here, with integrated dermal-regeneratives, so I've bought two big barrels of that and they threw in a sample size of their lime and leomongrass cabin scent -- supposed to promote peaceful sleep and harmonious thought-waves when you're out of pod.
And a girl in the atrium yesterday works for one of the Minmatar drone works, so she's done me a deal on some T2 Warriors, so I'll try flying one of those for a week or two.

The nice thing is, the service they give you here. A room bigger than the postage stamp size they give you in the stations; meals tailored to the capsuleer, rather than the dock-side cargo-humper; twenty-seven hour spa, and a pool the size of Barbados (wherever that is).
And pool-boys. Mine's very attentive: sees that anything I want is brought at once, and keeps checking up that I'm happy and relaxed.

And here he comes now :: nine o'clock BaiDo; today I try to get to level 3.

All right, I'll be coming, Welung !!

See you all soon. Keep the skies clear for me !!

Friday, 24 October 2008

'nother note for n00bs.

A lot of the missions that you will get sent on follow sort-of patterns. They look like one another and tend to run similarly.

So, to help each other, pilots tend to take notes of points that occur to them, and share the information. It's all stored at a site called (quite sensibly) Eve Survival, which you can reach on the InterWeb, and also on your IGB (In Game Browser -- you can get to it from a button on your Head-Up Display.

So, when you need to know if a mission is safe, or has exploding ferrets in it, or anything, go there and look it up.

I'm going to be away

... for a few days.

I think it's safest.

My gov'mint agent (the one I don't visit too often) called me in and said I had to go do something for him. It would have been more accurate to ask me to go do someone. Or several someones.

Not the Angels, though. Not this time. Some other lot of bloodthirsty b*t*rds, who had apparently started to colonise a deadspace pocket. And word on the street (well, in the bar, down on level 12, by the gasket storage) was that these guys were ... seriously heavy.

SO I looked them up, on Eve Survival, and it said they had Cruisers, in numbers, as well as Interceptors with web. I don't like Web. I'm Minmatar. I like to fly free ... and be able to Run Away(!!TM).

But they were offering medium six figures for the mission and another medium six for doing it fast, so I thought I'd go look-see.

Took the Ourenaris, which is my ship with Big Guns (and some smaller ones for close-in), and jumped to the first deadspace pocket. That wasn't too bad -- they were in groups of two frigs and a cruiser, so I could agress one and deal with it and then come back (they don't seem to have high esprit de corps -- whatever frequency they use ('cause it's not Local) and whatever calls for help they make, they only seem to get back-up if I actually get stroppy with their mates). Except for one group where tow lots came after me, I cleaend their clocks, and then set about salvaging. Had to go back to empty my hold, but I got it done. Quite a few co-Processors, and some weird Shield Rechargers. Then I headed for the gate to the second pocket, aware that that was where the webbers were.

For once my strategy paid off. No-one agressed me when I arrived, and I targeted both Interceptors, and ran close orbits emptying everything, including drones, into them. By then I had around ten Cruisers and as many frigs opening up on me, but I still manasegd to get the drones back, and warp out, and do some serious repping at a station.

The plan was to go back, agress one or two, and lead them off. It didn't work. They must have had an alarm on the gate because every time I warped in, they were waiting. Thankfully the frigs were quite crumply, and I tanked the cruiser fire, while I pulled the frigs off. But when I went back planning on drawing one or two cruisers, I found they were ganging me. All I could do was hammer one at a time, and talk the others, and then warp out and repair.

Killed them all eventually, and got the "Mission Accomplished" signal. So I salvaged them (more Co-Pros, and some odd bits of heavy missilery), and went home.

And then I got the bounties figure -- which was 7 figures in itself. So, overall, the one run netted me over 2 mill.

It also seems to have netted me too much attention -- I'd barely got back, and the Landing Crew chief is tipping me the wink that people have asked him for a list of my salvage ... with serial numbers.

So, if you're looking for me for the next couple of days, I'll be ponie-riding.
Not hiding, ponie-riding.


Thursday, 23 October 2008

Out and In

I didn't have much time to fly today -- the poniez were restive (I think they wanted to go back planetside and play in the long grass) and I had to get them settled and make sure they weren't getting hoof-rot or any such.

So I only had time to do 2 runs -- first one delivering some reports (I get the feeling the guv'mint has some undercover people in some of the corps), and then, when I got there, I was "asked" if I'd mind doing a favour. It seemed the Angels were causing trouble (again) and would I go deal with it? I would have said no, but the base fee was six figures and the bonus as much, and then there were the bounties to think of.

I really ought to find out if there's a Widows and Orphans' Fund for the Angel Cartel :: I certainly seem to be contributing towards the numbers of widows and orphans.

One bunch round a gate, who all turned on me at once, but who then obligingly queued up in my Minmatar wake to be blown up one by one (or two by two, if you count the drones). Then through that gate to find another lot camping out round a radar station. They were heavier, and I had to bleed one group off and go back for some more, and then the last three suddenly triple-teamed me and I was taking damage despite my shield reppers, which had been coping up to then. Grabbed the drones, and issued the order to warp, and then had to wait forever till the ship-puter found somewhere to warp *to*.

Anyway, there was a station in-system, so I docked and hooked the cap to the station power supply for a recharge, then got out again, before the Customs man came to ask about the loot I might have been carrying.

Warped back, through the gates, and found that my three enemy had split up, obviously thinking I'd warp back direct and one of them would get me and call the others in. So I crept up and took them out one by one -- in fact I left the last and biggest alone and went salvaging until he noticed me. The odd thing was, once he did, he hardly got a shot off: we had artillery, missiles, the dawgs ... he died.

Loot wasn't too bad: even a couple of named doofrieys. But when I got back and saw the totals I realised that, with the bounties added to the fees, this was over 1.5M, which will pay for the sweetest sparkly nosebands I've seen for my poniez. Just need one or two more days like this, and I can have another holiday -- or buy a new Jag. One or the other.


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Short note addressed to other n00bs like me

Salvage salvage salvage.

Mining op -- not even a mission, just an "oh, look -- dense Veldspar".
30 minutes in, 3 rats appear. Pull in mining drones; put out the dogs.
Woof bite; woof bite; woof bite -- three wrecks.

Then see 4th red cross. Ask doggies to investigate. After three tries they lock on and eat it. Turns out to have been a Harvester.

Eventually pack up mining; go get hauler.
Empty jet-can; start salvaging wrecks. Come to the Harvester (which I'd forgotten what it was) and find Tritanium -- quite a lot. However (and this is the point) also find Mining Laser Upgrade. Something which, till now, I'd always had to buy.

Moral: unless you're so rich it doesn't matter, always salvage your wrecks.
Of course, someone else may salvage them for you -- but then, you'll never know what was in there, just waiting.

Need to go feed poniez. Wonder if there's a Ponie Upgrade ....

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Is this working? Unit: translate from Yuen-Ho to Standard. Output as [text-by-four]. Acknowledge.

Oh -- text. [Vocalisation] is operative.

Hai! Honorable Capsuleer Jenni have allowed me to introduce myself: I am Baihua, daughter of Heng; [commonly calling] myself White Carnation. I am graduate of School of Applied Knowledge, but by the kindness of Honble Jenni and DrDrDr Ursus I have relocated myself away from the bustle of Jita-sector, to the peace and quiet of Minmatar Metropolis, here to pursue a career in Science and Technology.
But at present I am dependent upon the charity and kindness of my friends, as none of the noble academies within my reach will speak to me, as they know nothing of me. So I am running missions for the Minmatar State to evidence my [willingness to serve].

So far I have worked for three agents,who give me missions to do. My first agent was a big man, and often asked me to fetch things for him, and do other things several of which were [borderline honest] but then Jenni introduced me to one of her old agents (I am living in the area where she first started off) who offers me things that I feel capable of (heretofore Honble Jenni have kindly flown wing with me on combat missions and without her I could not have survived). But with what I have earned, I have now bought a slightly-used Caldari Cormorant on the market, so that I can fight and then salvage. Now I am learning to fly an Industrial so that I no longer need to depend on others for transportation.
Then I must "get my head down" (a lovely expression Jenni have taught me) and start to learn my advanced science courses so that I can look up agents with whom to work.

May I thank all those who has helped me in my voyage so far, not least the various [pirates] who have not shot down my weak and unimpressive ships. Long may it continue.

And may the [Great bird of the Galaxy] nest on your [rooftop]

Monday, 20 October 2008

Mood: Intrigued/Fwightened

I just woke up and my commchannel is full of
which appears to be about Genetically Enhanced, Tech-2, cows.

Also sheep.

No poniez. Yet.

One thing is certain: when the Tech-2 cow is revealed, I don't want to be the one behind it.
Just in case.


And now also

"Eroticleatherwear" !!
"The Cows are cyborgs"!
All from the B.S. Radioactive Sheep Farm. Yes, it says "B.S."

Any takers ?


The answer

to the query at the end of my last post
appears to have been mining.

They're obviously gearing up for war :: every time I logged in, they smiled and said things like "You're the one with the mining ship, aren't you ?" and then "I know a deadspace you're just going to love."

In fact I secure myself by running three ships (fortunately I own three ships, at the same time, and have the skills to fly them all) --
first there's the gun-ship I use to check the site out and clear off the initial bandits (mostly drones this time, for some strange reason :: are they about to declare war on us?);
then there's my miner, which has 2 Miner IIs and some other gouging laser (I took the spitball gun off a month ago, and can't find it again) for digging, a drone (Tech I -- I keep meaning to upgrade, but you know how things are) and a missile launcher thing that goes Whoosh if you ask it nicely;
finally there's a hauler (which at the moment is the DigBunny, 'cause of its shields, and the fact that I don't need above 9K of m3. And in case of incursions all three of them have salvage modules fitted, which means those kind gentlemen who go round cleaning space up by salvaging Other People's wrecks aren't needed on a Jenni Concarnadine site.

The poniez are well, though the stabling bill was a bit higher than I'd expected -- something about Snoball eating a stableboy for lunch. I've smacked her and told that eating people is bad, but she's cute and she has a pink mane (courtesy of some gene-splicing ... which I suppose might have made her the tiniest bit carniverous).
I wonder if that Circus is still on tour in Metropolis -- maybe they'd like a part-pink ponie ....
Does anyone have their number ?

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Laying back and ...

I think "my work here is done" -- WhiteC seems to be set up nicely. Bought her own destroyer, whjich I've helped her rig (tho' not by much since she wants it rigged Caldari-style (naturally) and I don't exactly hoard Cald-rig gear).

I hung around in case she needed some more help, while she ran some missions, and did some mining. Now a guy by the name of Dense Valdspar synchronistically (I know: must be hanging around the sci-geek this last few days) posted on his (or her) blog about mining [here] saying how valuable it is getting th'ore and so on, and taking 'bout the diff'rent ships you can use.

I may have mentioned Babylon Bear, who built me the DigBunny -- it's a Mammoth with a mining laser and she says she tested it down to 0.6 rats, so I thought I'd try a prolonged run in her. Turns out she's right :: one rat and shield never falls below 96point; even with three all I need's the small booster now and again. And all the time I'm packing ore into the hold, and from there into 2 GSCs I have aboard,and so back, eventually, to base. Plus I've a Salvager on top, so when WhiteC went past and fragged the rats, on her way somewhere else, I could salvage spare parts from them.

But now I feel th'urge to get back to my poniez -- so I'm going to get some food, take a sleep, and then load up, bid WhiteC a fond adieu, and go back down the slope to business.
Wonder what my agent has lined up ?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Show Time

I'm getting proud of White Carnation. She turned down a mission from the agent because she'd decided it wasn't fair to ask me to run it effectively solo for her, and when he happened to start his next conversation the same way, she also told him where to stuff *that* job. So we flew two jumps to another Government station (one I now remember I used myself many months ago), and she took a hauling job for an agent there, and obviously impressed her.

Next thing is "Go down to [CENSORED] and pick yourself up a pilot's ticket for the Air Show". So I laid back and waited (in the bar) and she went off, got the ticket, jumped into the Gallente shuttle that she was loaned (bear in mind: she's Caldari -- she'd never seen a Gallente control board before, and yes, I know shuttles are easy-peasy, but even so ... ) and took off to do her bit.

She called me in at one point, when she had some drones to handle, but apparently she only had to take out one lot. Even so, there was salvaging to do, and her in a ship not rigged for it. Other than that, most of it was display flying -- ducking in and out of an asteroid at one point.

Several people sent her drinks creds in appreciation, so when she'd done we called it an evening, and sank a few. Even got her nose out of the Science books for an hour or two.

Don't know if she's flying tonight, and I'm starting to wonder whether I oughtn't to get back to my own agents, before they forget who I am.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

The Next Leap Forward (OOC)

Metagaming is using out-of-game knowledge in-game. In this regard, if you’re playing a game which develops, it could be seen as metagaming if you try to predict those developments based on forces and influences which don’t exist within the game.

Every so often, CCP announce their plans for future “expansions” of the EVE universe. Every so often (and in fact frequently), players of the game offer, vociferously and with energy, their suggestions as to what the next expansion should include. Simply glancing at the forum thread for “Commonly Proposed Ideas” brings up a plethora of golden standards (Salvaging Drones, Player-made Ship Skins, Skill Queues (I say “queues” because there is an entire sub-culture devoted to different “flavors” of queueing), Yachts, dedicated Command Ships), and the Features and Ideas board throws up the issues of the moment (not least tweaks – or total workovers – to the UI, distinctions between BPOs and BPCs, or ways and means to rescue Ghost Training).

But EVE is a game, and it will, naturally, tend towards mirroring other games with which it competes, on the basis that all the best ideas ought not to be concentrated on the one game. Thus the FPS-ishness of Ambulation, the possibility of planet-side warfare, the Factional Warfare to allow P-v-P for carebears.

What, then, can be (vaguely) prognosticated for the farther future ? If a stealth-hound’s entrails are read, to what will the Pontifex Maximus point as the way forward ?

Three areas (from my viewpoint) cry out.

At some point, bigger and flashier ships are going to be wanted (”much bigger” -- Wormhole X-treme). This could be by way of (and probably would be a mixture of) new big ships, new better weapons, and new specialist ships. Big ships have the problems of game balance (Were Titans meant to be quite so common ?), and of the time needed to skill up in them. New weapons have the problem that people mount them on ships they weren’t meant for (Battle-Badger, anyone ?) and, for a while, cause major confusions. New specialist ships imply a further descent/retreat/concentration into niche developments: this again throws up issues regarding skills needed, as well as the tendency for fleets to need to be bigger to accommodate the specialisms. And big fleets mean big lag.
On the other hand, new big ships would distract the ardent PvPers into skilling for them (and paying for them, and for the bps for when they get bl*wn up), which would give some breathing time for those who prefer the Old School appraoch; and new weapopns and specialist ships would afford the opportunity for the development of new tactics, and would simulate the tendency of science to leap ahead (usually propelled by a good kick from the rear) in times of military conflict.

PvPers see no reason why they should be anything other than people-who-kill-people. Perhaps they’re all postal workers – I don’t know (sorry – unfair typecasting there).
Other people (again, it's typecasting, but I've heard the females of the species mentioned in this regard) want increased non-violent interaction. Which is probably one reason for Ambulation, the Great New Hope under development. If what we've seen, put together with what's talked about, comes to pass ...
Strategy meetings in stations, where three-D maps could be used to plan attacks; face to face contract negotiations; real-time shops, and bars to meet the lonely spacer's needs (at last there's a reason for the dancing girls we keep shipping round for our agents' bachelor nights).
This is also where the desire to personalise one's ship comes in -- the Hello Kitty Kessie is a well-known icon in this field :: the more individual it is, the more people associate with their ship, and the more people associate a pilot with a partcilar ship or ships. Liveries on freighter/haulers would also help people know which ships are and aren't worth fragging.

Sooner or later, Tech-3 is going to come along. In my opinion, very quietly, with someone idly trying, for the thousandth time (or a N00b, for the first), to run research on a T-2 bp, and suddenly finding that it works. From that, of course, would arise the issue of the new components needed, from among the "rubbish" that pilots have gathered (and, in most cases, recycled) over previous months. All the station's research lines suddenly get swamped with people trying for T-3 things and what was yesterday's rubbish becomes today's HOT commodity, with people desperately trying to remember which ship it was that carried that particular piece of cargo, and where that otherwsie useless bit of salvage came from.
More than that -- imagine some T-3 frigates that address the issues of the existing ones -- basically replacement ships for some of what we have, but refined that way the devs now think they always ought to have been. This would allow players the option to stay with the old, established model (cheaper and BPO-able) or upgrade to the T-3 version, with the extra features but probbaly dearer, only available in BPCs, and possibly not insurable at the outset (until Pend work out the fair return formula).

The Jovians will be behind it all, but I don't think they'll emerge from their sanctuary yet. Some of the T-3 will be better versions of what we have (though, once again, there will probably need to be skills learned to use them -- Advanced Rigging, race-specific tech knowledge); others will open up new fields (perhaps even new careers, given that careers in EVE are what people make of them :: there are "healers", but that is because they chose to train those skills and buy and install those modules; in theory the ship that heals today could pod you tomorrow and you wouldn't spot the difference without a ship scan that you won't have time to make).
But even without the Jovians, there should be nothing to prevent the coding in of additional stations, expanding some corps and perhaps establishing new ones, with agents who would offer "different" missions (i.e. missions which previously had been limited to certain areas). If the "price" were right, how many people would be willing to fly 20 or 25 jumps for an agent? Especially if you factor in the existence of new agents at the other end.
The other "There should be nothing to prevent", which would allow in-game refinements, is the existance of the "Worthless" ores. Currently they get used for mining missions where there is no point in doing anything but taking the ore back to the agent. Suppose, however, the T-3 stuff required new refined product available from those ores -- which would obviusly, require specialist refining (new skill, limited station refineries that would be able to) :: suddenly these ores would have a second reason to exist (as well as there being a reason why agents want these ores).

None of this will appear this year, but metagaming isn't about so much the reality of the game, but of how it might be if this force or that motive were to influence it.

Jenni Concarnadine

Oopsie -- I forgot

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Another day; Another dolly (it seems)

I think I remember why I gave up on this agent. Frankly, he's borderline-revolting. And he's out here on the edge of nothing, so you have to go 6 jumps to get anywhere interesting. On the other hand,that's why he's (sort of) ideal for White Carnation to run up some standings, without people messing with her.

She was up before me (hasn't yet learned the virtue of resting while you have chance) and did a couple of courier runs while I was getting breakfast and getting my pod organised. I'm trying lime-jello ooze this week -- someone said it smells better, but I think I'll go back to the aloe: it's definitely better for my skin. I also need to go get some missions run: the man mailed to say that my rental for planet-side ponie stables is nearly up and will I please arrange to take them back.

So we met up in the lounge and WhiteC showed me the new catalog she'd got :: apparently the Caldari scientific instrument manufacturers won't guarantee delivery to Minmater space, so she's going to have to build her labs with home-grown stuff. I would have thought that one retort is very like another (let alone solid-state thingamabob) but she assures me that ....

Getting back to the Real Stuff, she went to see the agent, who spun her some tale about losing a bet and would she go collect a package for a station a jump away. She went off, bravely, on her own, (while I watched pool-boys) and it turned out to be a dolly. Looked a bit like one of those Andorandy dolls they push at Hogmastide but a bit ... weirder ... on the face.

So, she brings it back, and he asks her to step out of the office for a second and when she's called back in, a minute later, he's got a slip of paper and some co-ordinates. For a drop off in deep space.

I wanted to go wth, in case it was a trap, but she insisted, promising me that she'd have an align out live at all times. From what she said when she got back, some doofus in a pirate-type ship kept appearing and disappearing (I must start training for an Invisibility Cloak), and finally chucked a jet-can to her. Needless to say: another dolly.

Next mission there's four of them, dotted over space. She found all but one, but by backtracking she found that one, too. Devious people, these dolly manufacturers.
All the time I'm expecting the boom to drop and half a dozen pirates to pop up, but, no -- all peachy. (Peach jello -- now there's a thought)

At some point he went ger-bonk, frothy at the mouth -- the agent, I mean :: the dollys just lay there, all plasticky and grinning -- and announced that no-one was to know about any of this, and would she go kill a man. To be fair, he was offering a large reward. So we did. Never found out the whole story -- just blew him away, collected the corpse and brung it back.

Would have been the end of it, but someone eve-mailed WhiteC offering her one of those signiificant missions. So we flew over to look into it and it was supposed just to be a simple kidnap -- go get the victims back. I insisted and flew wing for her and we went after.
And I never want to do that again: the shooting of the rogue ships wasn't too bad -- once you got used to the fact that as soon as one lot died, the next ones turned up (and sometimes during), but the salvage was immense. At one point, I was dead in space while she made two trips back to drop stuff off.

So, after that, I was definitely for my bunk, even if WhiteC did say she was going to look at some tech stuff in the station's labs. Anyway, they had the new episodes of CSI -- Rens on, and I wanted to know if they'd moved on with the "Android Assassin" plotline.

And tomorrow -- who knows ?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

First Flowerings

SO, White Carnation (my Cald boffin-friend) managed to work her way out to our portion of [####### -- CENSORED] and found the station (or one of them) that 3D uses. Except that, when they tried to team up, local control wouldn't allow it.

I'd foreseen the possibility, and so I saddled up my Big Guns and went to meet them. It's in the back of beyond, but that's good because there aren't as many pirates there. And the station is Min Gov'mint, so she'd be building up status with the Right People for the Republic.

She'd apparently tried a couple of missions (mostly fags and booze runs) and then had been asked to get a POS book. Apparently the agent fancies running his own station on the side. She'd brought that, and some other stuff, but her guns had zeroed out against a transport (which he'd assured her she could attack and he'd keep CONCORDE away).
So we fleeted and up I gave the transport some TLC with my drones and artillery, and she did the same with some missiles and it died. Mind you, we didn't find the cargo we were told would be there, nor any salvage (wise girl: she had a salvager ready to fit dockside). But the agent seemed happy enough.

Then his half-built POS came under attack and when we went to defend it, the vorschict gate wouldn't let me through. So I left her to guard the gate while I went and got my Dramiel. It's a good ship, and I misuse her badly: next to no guns and major salvage/tractor rig. But she was good enough for what was there, and between us we cleared the field of rats --- but not before Mr.POS, he go ka-bloom !!
Not that the agent seeemd too troubled -- he blamed some old geezer for it, gave us the co-ords of where he was (a pleasure yacht -- in a system best known for asteroids) and sent us to square the account. Which we did, in a way, and reported back.

Then I took a nap while WhiteC ran some errands for him. But soon enough he had bad/worse news -- we had an Amarr spy in the area. I don't know if I will ever *like* Amar -- slavery and I don't get on. I was glad to saddle up and do the necessary and since the b*ard undoubtedly had friends, I organised that I would go through any gates ahead of WhiteC, and clean up, and she could follow and do the tidying with her salvage mod. Which worked well, right up to when we also bagged a snotty little sympathiser, cuddled in to an escape pod in Mr.Spy's cruiser. (I was actually quite proud that we took down a Cruiser in 2 frigs, but in retrospect I don't think he was firing on all cylinders: it was too easy, and I suspect this was a decoy and the Real Spy is still in place).

And after that it was nap-time. We were both worn out and 3D was off mining, so we split a bottle of Ol'Junx Spirit and hit the bunks.
More later

Monday, 13 October 2008

And we're back (for now)

The poniez and I have had a little falling-out (a matter of stains on the deck-plates), so they're having a Quiet Moment in the stables, and I'm flying again.

Still got some of my lovely ISKies left but ...

It seems to be dig-it-up season. Apart from a couple of "nip out and fetch me smokes/oil / dump these reports/layabouts" missions, all I'm getting seems to be mining related. I do have a digging machine (2, actually, but one of them is a Mammoth that Babylon Bear rigged for me, that has a miner strapped on top, so that I cna mine without jet-canning -- slow but *safe*) and the pod now smells of Jenni again. One job involved large gentlemen of the pew-pew persuasion and I'm sorry to say that, since I couldn't get my BC in there to play with them, I just mined and ran. But the other one was a bit more complicated, involving mining some ore I'd never heard of, while being "observed" by drones. This time the BC was allowed, so basically I scoped the space out and BC'd in, played with the drones (none of whom seemed exactly bright, even if they were advertising that they were "sentient" or some such) and then put the Lesser Goronwy in for the digs. In the end, because the ore was so bulky and the drones didn't seem to be respawning, I even jet-canned the end of the mission.

And why, you'll ask, did Jenni put up with this tedium ? Simple: they woz offering ISKies in a lump -- 2mill, in all (since I always try for the time bonus). SO, I'm flush again for a day or two.
There was also some interesting salavge from these "sentient" drones. As soon as White Carnation is settled in, I'm going to pass them on to her, for analysis.

And that was going to be it, except that I had an EVE-Mail :: "Call on me urgently: your kin need you". Turned out my kin didn't need me as much as ombar. Which is a pleasant enough ore, but I wasn't in an ombar-rich zone.
But my miner buddy 3D is, so I phoned him and did a deal -- he mined the ombar, and I paid him some now and some later. An hour later his Badger was delivering ore to the mission site and all I had to do was go over, accept the mission, turn round and say "Oh, look what I just found down the back of the sofa" (Joke TM to John Rourke -- borrowed and now returned), and take the ISK reward. Which didn't cover what I'd paid 3D (or will in the future), but saved me hunting for the omb, and then digging it out while being ratted. 3D has drones for rats; the Goronwy has one small one and really needs her 3rd laser replacing by a turret gun (which I can find a nice one).

And now it's nap time for Jenni. and I'll see you all on the flip-side.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008


in a station while thinking over my inadvertent mislaying of a Jag.

I know where it *is*, but I'm disinclined to let Mr.Flashy-Red kill me again.

My fault for going lo-sec, but that's where the bps were. Still, they weren't on-board at the time, and Mr.Flashy-Red has to go to sleep sometime. Then I'll head back up to hi-sec and find something with Artillery cannon.

Best wishes to all poniez everywhere. I'm curiously tired -- perhaps that third PanGalactic was a mistake ... or were they Panther Sweats ?

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Be Vevvy vevvy quiet

... I don't want my agent to know I'm back.

The vacation was all very well – and the poniez and I got plenty of exercise — but I still had the research, and I knew it was due to finish.

So eventually I warped home, to find another memo on my PersCom -- I was due to collect some stuff right down in Forge for a new friend. She's Cald, like the 3-doctorates, but she's a sweet little girl, and she's willing to team with me to do Hard Science, if I do a little bankrolling till she's going.

So, instead of fetching bps in lo-sec (the only place that had research labs available in under a month), I had to haul ass (or a donkey at least) in Mal's Hathi, which was a gift from Mal Garamite, fully fitted, and is my primary hauler. It took a while, but I met White Carnation just over the border in Lonetrek, and we packed up her ships, and gear (and then unpacked enough so that she can keep basic gear down there), and set off back.

We maybe should have done some research of the strategic sort, because I'm not sure she can find an agent now she's here, so we dropped her off in Sinq Liason and I'll go back in a week or so and see how she's doing.

So, now, I just have to go get those bps, and then see about what I can build with them.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Didn't Mean To ...

I only came back to see if some Research was over (it wasn't, yet) and my agent asked me to take some electrical parts to a reactor engineer five jumps away. So, since I didn't really want a cloud of radioactive gas replacing a small planet, I took the job, and by the time I got back (after a bit ratting in a system that's far too occupied) I docked at home base and dropped in on another agent I sometimes work for.

He said that there'd been a kidnapping, with some sort of Diplomatic Consequences, and could I please look into it ?

Flew eight jumps, dropped into a system, followed the bookmark, and found a Caldari mini-fleet. Now Calds I normally get on well with -- my miner buddy 3D (he *says* he has 3 doctorates --- and I believe him ?) is one, and he's a good friend -- but these guys get stroppy as soon as I warp in, and start for me.
SO I returned some fire and blew one away, which seems to enrage the others, and I'm watching my shield repper just so *not cope*, and find I'm another drone down (Lou-Ella -- the one with the assymetric microwarp cowling), and then we're heading towards armor, and I'm thinking Time to align out of here.

Jumped out, to a station, pulled a drone out of the hold and told him he'd get a name if he came back alive, checked my shield was up again, and warped back (remembering to reload as I did). Turned up on top of 3 "escort" ships, with a fourth barrelling in. He was the tricksy one -- near as I could tell, he was getting remote repped, so I left him be, and took the other three first. Hey, they can't remote-rep you if they're in their pods and m-warping home.

Finally found the kidnappees -- dead and floating in space -- and also found a deal of heavy-weight salvage -- I think those "escorts" may have been full-strength cruisers -- and some Caldari tags. So, come the next Collectors' Market, I might have to talk to Dai the Dip, and see if he knows anyone who wants "Genuine Souvenirs" of the Caldari Faction Force ... well, they're not going to know the difference, are they ?

Drone came back, so I've called him Emo.