Friday, 28 November 2008



Hai! I greet you from temporary [quarters]. My last missions did not [go] very-well, [wherefor] I have taken up residence here for the moment.

My agent, who up until now had been calm and [rational] (and generous), asked me to seek out a research assistant of hers. Being [desiring] of advancing in scientific field I viewed this as an unequalled opportunity to make my [mark]. In the [event], however, this proved the beginning of a very precipitous descent. First the assistant ran away; then I had to test a data-gathering device, finally doing the gathering that the assistant should have done, both of data and of [samples], and then my agent suddenly announces that she wants a scientific conference blown up, using a tub of high explosives she had fortuitously happened to have anchored just off the space station at which they were meeting.

So I am taking [shelter] here, to watch the news for a few days and see if there are any [repercussions]. If anyone reading this, could kindly be sending me study texts suitable to my needs

... [TRANSMISSION LOST DUE TO STATIC INTERFERENCE]

Thursday, 27 November 2008

The Grind continues

But in an interesting way.

[Although for some reason, I'm getting *no* standings rises no matter how hard I mission]

It's agonising but I'm not getting the bonus missions, because I have to keep turning down missions into lo-sec (unless I have a throwaway Reaper available, and even then I'm risking all my implants). SO I'm rotating round a series of 60 LP courier missions, with the occasional combat -- but this time it was a 400 LP one, which got me well over target for the day, and (at last, and even though it was only L2) a seven-figure one once I'd added in the bounties. And I don't believe I ever went below 50% shield.

The "nerf" on missiles doesn't seem too bad yet -- I'm still using artillery first, and then the missiles, and they still seem to kill things. Finally choked off the 2nd chattergun, and switched in another arty, and I'm relying on one gun and the rocket launcher for close-up, along with drones, when they're not straying all over the back-field, attacking thigs 40K away when I could do with them Here And Now.

If only the drones were as good as my poniez at staying close -- mind you, I feed my poniez, so maybe that's where I'm going wrong. What do drones eat ? Does anybody know ?

J

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Grind day#2

Same mission 3 times -- once into lo-sec. A fetch-and-carry so I used a throwaway ship, and made it out without seeing another ship (Just 2 guys in local exchanging "gf"s).

Add to those a couple more run-and-get jobs, a quick fight with the Angel Cartel (who by now *hate* my inner organs with a vengeance), and a mining job. None of them hi-ISK, but made my LP quota for the night.

And I've nearly used up another learning tape -- BCs to #5.
May cross-train next, to try to be able to fly some of Mal's old ships.
Or could try for Animal Husbandry: Large Mammal to Level #4, but that takes ages, because of all the prereqs you have to get an extra level in.
Something Pator Tech doesn't advertise about its "non-standard" courses.

CU

Monday, 24 November 2008

Left the Building

Mal has quit. he said he was thinking seriously about it, and patched me a bundle of ISK to show how serious. And 2 days back he EvE_mailed me to say "Come get it". And since he wasn't going to be talked out of it ...

So (temporarily) I have custody of a hangar full of mixed ships (motsly BS/BC if I read the names right), and a pile of GSCs and Station Containers, including more BPs than I've ever seen before, and bits of tech that I don't think has been seen on the open market since Ghu knows when.

And I miss him.. When I came out of School, he gave me a Dramiel as a graduation present (and held my hand while I learned to fly it), and he gave me my first Mammoth, and he was always there for advice. He even flew 20 jumps to help me out on a mission, in his no#1 ship, a Machariel (which is why, since having seen his, I want one myself).


In other news, I've decided (for now) that my soul belongs to the Sisters. Apparently they engineer a probe launcher to die for (and which, according to Chiana, goes for 40mill on the market). And since I've learned CovOps and bought a CovOp, and now find that you're apparently supposed to fit CovOps with probe launchers, I have to get one. And grinding for 2 months to get one on LPs seems the best way. Still, the agents are in a good ratting area, so I can chill when I like. It's also got a couple of "bitching" deadpsaces which seem to be infested with BC/BS-level rats. So I may try a little salvaging, if I can put together a Rifter.

And one of Mal's ships (when I can learn the skills to fly it) is big enough to hold all my poniez at once, with room to run up and down, so, if my elite slaves aren't bought free in the next week, that's where they're going to be living.

And now I need to sleep.
J.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Lately

I've mostly been ratting, while I rounded up some skills. And, to my disappointment, neither any good loot nor salvage -- perhaps 6 trit bars for 18 or 20 fights, and nothing in the loot that I thought "Hey: must put that to one side".
And the one mission I thought I'd take, turned out to be a run into 0.3 space, which this girl doesn't do (especially as it was dumping off surplus miners in a system with minimal belts).

So, I'm thinking of going back and getting my Jaguar and trying her out. Except that the 2 dungeons I've found look like they have BSs in, which I fear would fray my ship and my nerves. Of course, I could try CovOps -- if I had a cloak, which I don't. So my expensive CovOp sits still in its plastic bubble-wrap.

Mal probably has a Cloak. Mal's planning on Giving Up and living planet-side -- this from the man whose name (or his ship's -- the Archbold) put fear in the heart of small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri -- and he says I kan haz hiz stuf. But I'd rather have Mal, who gave me my first Mammoth, Mal's Hathi, and my beloved Dramiel (another ship that hasn't had its fair share of flying lately).

So tonight it'll probably be roast frigate with a side order of salvaged nanite juice again.

Monday, 17 November 2008

What do you think ?

So -- the new gates --

Managed to arrange to meet up with DDD and White Carnation -- they're only 2 systems apart most of the time, and it was only a ten-jump to get there -- and we had a long chat and a number of beverages.

And we were talking about the new gates and DDD said that it was to do with the coherent focussing of the jump beams, and how the Scientists had finally worked out a way to do more with less -- which is why the *big* gates are now for the region rumps, and the system and local jumps can be handled by these smaller gates, because they don't need the full wrap-round to generate a coherent beam. And White said as how there was a design stream going to evolve new micro-jumps, that might mean you'd jump shorter distances to anchored deep-space locations -- a bit like safe-spots only out between the stars -- and so these could act like junctions that would connect nearby systems even if they weren't able to generate a stable jump from star to star.
I though that would just be a recipe for gankers, hovering round these anchor-points, picking off whover went through, but she said that the micro-gates would be controlled through tags that CONCORD would only give to people with good reputations -- so as soon as you gank someone, you can't use them any more, which would be like leaving people 1M AU from any star with just an AFB to push them along.

I don't know.

It does explain why everything was shut down last week -- it must have been one hell of a job moving all those new gates into position in one day, and calibrating them and everything. So props to Them (whoever They were) who organised it all.

Then we tried playing Presidents and Interns for a while, because I was hoping, if they liked it, they'd join in, and I could recruit them to my election committee, but they didn't understand all the game mechanics, so we decided to call it a night. DDD said he had to get home, when I offered him my psare bunk, and then Baihua said she was allergic to ponie hair so ...


I'd have flown some missions yesterday, when I got back, but Dappled Barney was pining, so we snuck back down to the service levels on the station and did 4K before the security droids spotted us, and another 2K galloping home before they could cut us off. A pity about the giant cake, but they oughtn't to have left it there, all smelling of sugar and madiera wine.

And now I have to nap, before I go and see the man about the cleaning-up bill.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Baby Steps in QR

Went out, did some non-combat missions, to get used to the new systems.

Like the dinky new gates -- as far as I can see, you can now work out how far you're jumping by what sort of gate you get. Of course, I've only seen the 'matar ones so far.

Otherwise (so far) much like before.

Except that, according to the Bear, I need to boost my missile skills, because apparently the changes have meant that even with Missiles V, her missiles just don't damage things. Apparently we need now to learn the Advanced skills to have any chance of doing damage. Which, since I'd started to rely on missiles for mid-range. is a worry.

And the certificates still look like something designed to "reward" the weapon-happy but leave the carebears looking like n00bs. Where are the certificates for "Knows how to run away when Big Rats arrive" or "Has 90% resistances against ISK sellers" ?

More another day

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Do I like it ?

(QR that is)

I'm not sure.
I ventured out yesterday (hi ! to the AKFT who were romping round like there was no tomorrow) and tried out some things.

The certificates make me look a dunce. Certainly no respectable corp would take me on with those sort of quals -- it makes me look like I'm in the kiddy-pool with water-wings on. So semi-fail there.

The module-clock, on the other hand, will be useful, not least to know what my salvagers are doing. DDD will also find it useful on his Hulk :: now he'll be better able to gauge when to switch off the Strip Miners.

Didn't *see* any new gates, but, then, I didn't go near any gates, just in case of a crash. Found 4 wrecks -- 1 fat, 3 skeletal -- so my hopes that the loot tables had been upped didn't come through.

Probably look at the Market tonight -- see if my sells have gone through. And might take a ponie planetside. Maria's started quivering, and I think she misses the g-force. They say it's 1-G on station, but I think they're trimming the generators a bit :: 0.9 and people feel lighter and happier. Plus I think Maria may be a tiny bit ... you know ... and you need G for that, elsewise ...

Overheard a good misprunt too, when someone referring to "weapon module groping". No rest for the doubly entendred.

Bless you all
J

Translation Protocol Four -- execute!



Hai! I greet you all once more, in spirit of joyous [activeness]. Have now settled into new quarters in Minmatar Government station. Am now seriously considering moving my possessions out of previous station as it is 16 jumps away, in next region. Studies not going too well, as short of the ISKs to buy advanced study texts. But am finding missioning very hard without Honble Jenni to back up my meagre efforts.

Am also disappointed in new certificate system -- my efforts [will?] go unrecognised :: all [of the] certificates appear directed towards skills in killing people and not being killed -- [there is] no professional route to recognise scientists (although [I] have seen reference to "researchers").

But am hopeful that I may be able to sell some of my salvage and make small money that way. May I repeat my thanks to all the pirates who have not shot down my humble and insignificant ship, and to my agent who has given me missions when asked, but otherwsie has left me alone.

May the [cherry]-blossom [avalanche] down upon you all.

Baihua, daughter of Heng, [commonly calling] herself White Carnation.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Quiet day(s)

Not much to do -- all the agents have closed shop for the day, and most of the station services are in lo-mode. It must be some obscure holiday (someone said it's in memory of those who died in the two Great Wars -- I wasn't born then, so I can't comment).

Did mean that most of the corridors were empty, so I took the poniez out for a run. We did the whole of Level Nine, stopped for water at the Temple Bar, and came back along the service duct that usually holds the mag-lev shuttle. Dappled Barney got a bit frightened by the mag-lev, but a few sugar lumps and a shovel solved that.

Won three games of 4-dimensional reversi on the station web, and then switched to an RPG called Presidents and Interns :: they're announcing an expansion in the New Year that supposed to wipe out some of the Bad Stuff that people have complained about, so I'm trying to get to a level break in case the rejig means I'd lose unbanked skill points, or unattached aides.

May go out tonight, but probably only in a Reaper, in case the stations are still in lo-mode.

CU
J

Monday, 10 November 2008

n00b notes on ... mining missions

Good opportunity to do nothing.

No, seriously.

It seems like, at present, a lot of the missions I'm being offered are mining rare minerals for one or another corp, all to do with the "war effort". And I know mining missions have a bad press among "older and more experienced" capsuleers. They're supposed to be boring, and inadequately paid. And, then again, they're also supposed to be very hazardous 1% of the time. Which is probably true.


So, there you are, in your agent's office, and you're offered one. What do you do ?

My advice is, first look at the volume they want, against the capacity of 1) your mining ship, and 2) any big-*ssed industrial or the like you happen to own. What you want is either a ship that can transport all the ore in one lump (or at most 2), or else a ship that can cope with shuttling back and forth every time you get full. Then look at the time allowed for the bonus payment. In that time, you have to excavate the ore, and get it to your agent's station. (If you're not going to be able to get the bonus, then I'd suggest not even thinking about the mission). So, shuttling back and forth will eat into that time, like a rust monster on unprotected plating.

Then look at the basic pay, at where the ore is, as against where you have to deliver it, and at any clue your agent offers as to possible hazards (like rats, drones, or anything else that doesn't sound like a walk in the park).


If you think you'll take the job on, get organised first. Your agent will hold the job offer open :: you'll have time. So, get your mining ship into the same system as the ore, and your hauler, if you're using one, similarly. Park them at a station. Then get a gun-ship, loaded for lion (not bear -- carebears hate being shooted at), and go and accept the mission. That will give you the bookmark to where the ore is expected to be, and that's where you go to. Your default mining scan (your UI has one already set up) will let even a combat ship see where the ore is, even if not how much in each asteroid. If you're lucky, it will all be in one; if not, try to head for somewhere where as many 'roids will be in range of your lasers at once.
At the same time, watch for local inhabitants -- generally, if there is going to be more than belt rats, they'll show up as you head for the ore. What do you do when you see them ? That's why you're in a gun-ship: you blow them away.

Bookmark a suitable 'roid, so that you've something to jump back to, then warp to station and power up the miner. You should then be able to jump back to the roids and start mining. A scanner will tell you whcih 'roid has mosty of what you want, and I'd recommend keeping an eye on them as they empty, and switch your lasers round to minimise wasted cycles -- the last thing you want is to be sitting mining fresh lack-of-air when you could be pulling in the Good Stuff.

At some point you'll get a full hold. If you're doing the shuttle dance, you then fly back to your agent and deposit the first installment. Rinse and repeat.
If you're going to use a hauler, you jet-can the first load and carry on. This is the risk: that someone will can-flip you. But many of these missions end up in deadspace corners with nothing else to attract pirates, and so long as you're in High-Sec, the danger of you being suicide ganked ... Besides, you can always jump out if you reckon you're being oevr-matched.
Soon as you've mined enough, you swap to the hauler, and haul it away.


In the meantime, watch for "visitors" -- my miner can generally handle belt-rats, and since you have your bookmark, if anything comes along that looks too heavy, you just swap back to the gun-ship.

The other thing to do is to equip at least one ship with a salvager: gut and salvage anything you shoot, and that is your bonus on your bonus. Sometimes I can round up a quarter-million between the pay, the bonus, and the bounties, before I've added in selling the salvage.


Or, if you prefer the pew-pew life, just ignore mining missions, and stick with agents that only offer kill missions. It's your life, live it like you'd like to.

Clear Skies
J

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Spent the day

... kicking back with 3D. I think one of his doctorates may be in recreational substances.
I was interested in finding out what industrial mining was like, so he slipped my pod into the back-up slot on his Hulk and we went out to dig the fields.
Apparently where he is used to be mine-intensive, with fields stripped down in hours, but we found good fields of dense veld, and the occasional Gold Ombar (my favourite -- it polishes up nicely, and in an emergency it refines for lots of lovely things).
We got the occasional rat, but nothing that his drone-pak couldn't handle (Apparently ORE don't fit weapon mounts on their ships, so we couldn't fire back -- I almost wished I'd brought a Reaper, just for the exercise) and he has a BadgerBadgerBadger (Sorry -- got overhwelmed there !!) to collect up the salvage.
Have no idea how much we hauled in -- it was just go out, fire up the lasers, listen to the whine and collect the stuff into a can.
Today, once I'm awake again, I'll fly back home and review my training schedule.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Change of Subject

I was going to blog about what seems to be a major issue (although not so much for me) -- the starter corps. "People" seem to want people out of these and into "proper" (i.e. player-run) corps as soon as possible. I was going (partly tongue in cheek) to suggest the radical solution of moving graduates of starter corps into the FW corps.

But then I fitted out my new Jag and took it for a spin. No T2 stuff (yet) -- just basic T1.

Early on in my career I found (it didn't take long) a L1 "dungeon" round the corner from where I was based, and I used to grind it to keep my l33ting skills up. It gives a small ISK sink, some salvage, and a chance to test yourself against known opponents. So that's where I went. Blew away the usual 1 rat within short range, and waited to be attacked. No-one did (out of the remaining 22 of them), so I pointed the Jag at a group and tried "Approach". About thirty seconds in, someone else agressed me, and I got ready for the fight. And somehow, from there, I scythed through 18 of them without really needing to look for fights. Lock on, set "Orbit at 1000", then look for anyone else within 3K, shoot everything I can, find another target and lock on again.
Nothing special in the loot, but ooooh the feeling!!!
So, I redocked, salvaged, and then put her to bed again, ready for the next time I want the adrenalin.


Then I set off to drop in on White Carnation and split some bottles of trop I happen to have found.
Later. J.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Passengers

I'm not sure whether I like passengers or not.

Context: Trying still to maintain a low profile (but needing the ISKies for ponie-maintenance), I've been doing odd jobs for various agents, many of which have involved moving passengers. Which has led to some ... contre-temps.

Most of them over the quality of the quarters they're being given. "Filthy dirty" and "Not fit for a pig" were a couple of the most pointed. Also "Nowhere to hang our weapons" (though, in reply to that, I'd just like to say that most Marines I've come across don't list dancing girls among their weapon proficiencies.

Anyway ...
Since there have also been a couple of cargo runs, I've been using Ourenaris. Ourenaris is a battle-cruiser. It can take out frigates and dessies, and it can tank cruisers (even 4 at once so long as I can Run Away!(TM) ). It's like that to protect you. Accordingly it isn't spiffy clean, because it has to fight. If you want to travel in style, make sure your agent gets someone with a girly-ship that doesn't go into combat, and therefore has room for special passenger modules.

Plus I have the poniez to think about -- so I don't really have space for passenger modules when I've a ponie-stable in my main cargo-hold.

One of the passengers also complained about a ponie. I told him that it was his fault, but he didn't believe me. Miss Elizabeth has a thing about carrots -- espacially she has a thing about people who have acrrots and hide them from her. And his pants were a little tight and she got the wrong idea. I offered him bruise ointment, but he wasn't imnpressed.
Nor, frankly, was Miss Elizabeth -- no carrot and several smacks on the muzzle. I've let her off at a station, for a few days' down-time. Which makes for more complications, because she likes to be In Charge of the others. I may have to rotate a couple of the others out ahead of when she gets back, so that she deosn't feel threatened.


In other news, the agents are certainly gearing up for war -- every day I get offered at least one mission to go and mine rare and officially-worthless minerals ... which makes me think that these minerals actually have a military use.

And I'm still looking over my shoulder, before I take any more major Kill missions. But I did sell a Cargo Optim mod, so I can afford a day or two more off, and perhaps even replace my dead Jag.

Naptime for Jenni -- see you all later