Overkill isn’t fast enough!

When I first started Eve, after struggling through the tutorial, giving up halfway through, getting lost twice, losing a cruiser in nullsec, lowsec and to some very prepared rats with a warp scrambler(Still have no idea how that happened), I started mining in, in order, rookie ship, navitas, two navitas’, an exequror, a brutix, a retriever, a covetor, a borrowed mawkinaw and my first hulk, followed soon after by my second, third, fourth and fifth hulk.

With highsec mining, you can practically fall asleep at the laser with no problems (Only practically, lost hulk #3 that way), and with WH mining you need to constantly be aware, but with good returns promised. Grinding level one missions, however, is the most annoying thing I’ve done in Eve since I got into an argument with some Dead Terrorist gate campers on whether or not they were simply stargazing. After they blew up my industrial

“We thought it was a comet about to hit us and took preemptive measures”

With what I would laughably call my combat alt, a month old character able to fly up to Caldari BS and baseline missile skills, L1 missions have that special combination of arduousness and simplicity that leaves me irritated out of my mind. This ironically coming from the person who mines for five hours straight often and doesn’t complain about the monotony.

Even with my inhuman tolerance for boredom, these things are irritating. My alt is compitent enough that her caracal eliminates frigate threats before they even know they’re threats, which was fun for the first ten-odd missions, but every other mission, the frigates take three to four missiles before they’re blown ta smithereens, and when you can’t tell which kind of frigate is going to take three missiles, I usually assign two assault launchers to my first two targets and a heavy missile launcher n target painter to the third and hope my missile find some sort of exhaust port.

And, even with the mission type I’m running (Internal security), I’ll eventually get chain missions with courier requirements, which are similarly samey while different enough it takes conscious thought to work out where to go.

Here’s my problem: with mining, you can unfocus your brain to the point that every three minutes, you drag the ore to the can then unfocus your brain again, hence the name “miningzen”. WH mining isn’t too different. You click the mouse every ten seconds, if your directional doesn’t scream at you, you get to live another ten seconds. The excitement and terror wears off about three days after your last ganking encounter and it’s back to monotonous clicking over and over.

With l1 missions, you have to click the mouse all over the place, finding where to go for the mission, who to shoot/not shoot/look at until you get a complete flashy journal, warp back, ask for a new mission. It’s so mind-numbingly boring while at the same time requiring enough thought that I can’t fall into a stupor while doing it.

While missions are the way they are, I’m afraid to ask CCP to change them or for people to rally behind me for more excitement, since if I do they’ll probably make mining more exciting in a completely horrible way, like make you keep your ship pointed at the asteroid or something silly. What I’m asking from the missioners who read this blog to laugh at miners or for something to do as their t2 fitted domi’s slice through L4 missions, is what Caldari ship n fit should I be using to make this task easier? I’m currently running w/ 4 assault launchers w/ random missiles, one heavy missile launcher, two ballistic controls, a medium shield booster, target painter and afterburner. Suggestions?

P.S. Anyone else find it silly that “prototype exploration ship”, the Zephyr, is one of the ship types acceptable for combat missions?

Fly to the warp-point and wait for your serpantis contact to show up.

It’s where they keep the nuclear wessels

At first, when I heard that eve was worldwide in its player base, I thought nothing of it. There were corps that didn’t speak English well, there were language channels for people that spoke other languages, there was some huge russian alliance I didn’t want to mess with, etc, etc.

It’s been a few months since then, and in three years, four weeks of which were spent on an exchange trip in Germany, the language barrier has never been more of an irritant.

Months ago, I logged onto the WH pos to find a bunch of interceptors flying around our guns, exhausting our missile ammo. I politely asked why they were doing this, and they replied that they were showing us why we needed webbers. After a few more minutes, they started talking amounst eachother in German, and me, with my year and a half of high school German, tried to join. Predictably, I was laughed at in ways that I couldn’t understand.

A few weeks before that, I was able to hold a pleasant conversation for a few minutes with Cold Steel alliance for a few verbal rounds before they defaulted to eve-german and totally lost me.

Ad of course, there was the whole Black Wing incident with the carrier bounce and whatnot, but they knew enough English to be confused for a native speaker. Anyway, language isn’t too much of a problem because in WH space, you rarely see anyone and even rarer see anyone who isn’t trying to kill you before you can say “Wie stehts du?”. So, I’ve attributed the four to five encounters with Russian players in the WH to be entire coincidence.

First, we scanned down a nullsec WH that went to the middle of shadow of xxdeathxx territory. We weakened the WH considerably, so all they could send in was a few frigates. They buzzed us, we ran to the pos, they left, we found one of the wrecks in a sleeper site later on. In hindsight, leaving cans named with insults clumsily translated with an online translator wasn’t the most mature response, especially since we couldn’t find them after I launched them…..

Well, if anyone finds an empty C5 with several cans in clumsy Russian questioning your ancestry, you don’t have to care.

Then, we scanned a neighboring WH with a tower called “cool breese” or something, in Russian. Since we hadn’t yet found a way to dislodge the cans, we left a secure can at the WH exit saying “Please ignore insults” with some spirits and tobacco in it. We checked back in an hour with the can untouched and the WH closed.

Anyway, getting to the actual language portion, I was hauling 500 blocks of compressed ABC out a WH in my trusty itty V when I ran into another Itty V doing presumably the same thing.  I opened a convo to say, essentially, “Hi, don’t shoot me, I’ve got 3 cloaked BSs defending me” while simultaneously asking in corp if there was anyone who could guard me as I moved the last hundred blocks out. After the second paragraph of threats and assurances, the dude informed me that he couldn’t speak english and to please type slower. Immediately switching gears out of embarrassment, I pulled up an online translator and through his two years of english and my typing, we managed to say hi. I friended him, in case I needed his advice or translation.

Only two more russky encounters, stand firm.

First, the time I lost my covops in a covops fight was against two russian dudes, one of which linked a video of a person laughing at me and the other said

“Понятно, это как старый русский говорили в советские дорога Россия вилки вы”

If anyone would mind translating that, it’d be appreciated. Anyway, the last and latest encounter was earlier in the week, when, trying to find an exit, I ran into a c6. Subsequently, I ran into another C6. On the third C6, I was getting irritated but found a dark blood medium POS on the scanner. Taking a quick look, the 1.2 bil tower had a webber array, four large laser turrets and four small laser turrets, several biochemical, polymer reactor arrays, ect. I noticed sister scan probes on the directional and went back to the first c6, jettisoning the can w/ the neighboring WH BMs, figuring that he’d find them eventually and if I saved him some trouble, he might tell us, say, an exit he’d found. Eventually, the same number of scan probes he had been using appeared, and I tried drawing him out in local. No luck was too be had, but as I sat 50km off our WH, I watched as a Minmatar covops uncloaked briefly and jumped to our C5. Convoing the pilot, I said hi, explained that our WH had no exits, and asked if he had found any.

He replied that he didn’t speak english.

After a few short sentences he told me that he was russian, so, with the handy-dandy in game browser I opened a free translation software and translated “Can you understand this?”.

He replied with “your talk crazi”.

At this point, he closed out of the convo and presumably closed the WH. I say presumably because I closed out after him and made a turkey sandwich.

It seems to me that people in an international game are going to need translators at some point, and xxdeath is definitely going to need them come Dust, since I can probably count the number of native russian consolers on one hand with four fingers missing (hyperbole).

It looks to me that there’s a niche for people who speak two languages, with a possibility of a “translators channel”, or maybe it’s the foreign corps duty for them to have an English speaker. Or is it just me, and everyone else never has to talk with someone who can’t talk to them? I mean, I’d pay for someone to help me explain a problem to a dude in Deutschland. Not very much, but I’m sure Entity would trade several ships for a translator if he was trying to buy officer mods from a lucky 10/10 plex runner.

Disclaimer: I in no way resemble, know or otherwise interact with Entity. Also, I tried asking in the Russian language channel for translation services and they ignored me >.>

сейф мухи

Ooooo, shiny. Heere, shiny shiny shiny

Don’t propel footwear at me, but I’m gonna reference another MMO. Most if not all of you were young at some point.

For those of you who have suddenly been transported to the hippie era, catch up to me when you can.

When I was in middle school, a friend told me about a new, free, exciting online game called Runescape. By Eve standards, a terrifyingly simple game where in your dps was determined by your strength and attack stats, your tank was your defense stat and whatever armor you happened to be wearing at the time, and that was it. The market would sell items and buy items from players at a price set by GMs, it was infested by L33tspeakers, ect, ect.

The reason I cornered you and started rambling about how online games stunted my childhood is because of one specific item in Runescape, called the Party hat. Way back in 2000 or some year before I started playing, Jagex (the makers of Runescape) released party crackers on new years eve. These things, when pulled, would make a small sparkle animation give one of the pullers a party hat, an equippable, tradable item that had no effect on anything at all, except to make the players around you think “Hey, that guy knows how to pull a party cracker”.

At time of last checking (six months ago), party hats are worth 30 million gold pieces. In Eve terms, that’s about two to three bil, and in comparison, the last thing I did before quitting Runescape was utilize the game’s only passive income mechanic and, after four or five months, buy a set of the best, coolest-looking armor there was, with a matching scimitar, battleaxe, longsword, 2-hander, and boots for 10 mil.

Anyway, the point I was trying to make somewhere was that, even in a carefully-controlled market, people want what can no longer be found. The Zephyr is an example of this, since the moment people got their hands on them for the first time, they were going for 50 mil in dodixie. The big difference from Runescape, tho, is that resentful people who want the Zephyr and don’t want to pay for it are going to blow you out of the sky faster than you can say “Hai guyz lookit mai cul ship”.

Functionality wise, it’s a scan ship without bonuses, slower than a shuttle. It’s only saving feature, that Sleepers won’t try to kill it, will lead to some nice screenshots but that’s about it. The lack of defensive, offensive, or cloaking capabilities means that you had best know how to avoid combat probes should someone else be in the WH with you, with an actual scan ship which, from past experience, has enough offensive capabilities to kill a frigate sized ship. Since the average new eve online player as of a few months ago doesn’t know what combat probes are, I’d say that as soon as killmails start accepting the new ship data, we’re gonna see lots of wrecks in wormholes.

Actually, it’s other saving feature, the fact that you can fly around pretending to be Count Dooku for a few brief, wonderful moments until the aforementioned blowing out of the sky shenanigans, makes it a nice ship IMO. The unique model and jerks(read again: players) destroying everyone else’s Zephyr will ensure that four to five years from now; you’ll probably be able to trade one for a Mothership. Sorry, super-carrier.

Hulkamania running wiiiiiild!

Please don’t throw  something at me, but I’m going to draw a comparison to WoW and Eve. In WoW, each server has about 2-3 thousand people. The equivalent of our market is an auction house, of which there are three of. There is no “Want to buy” option, and you can only post auctions, with buyouts.

Here’s where I’m going with this: cornering the market is fairly easy. For those who enjoy shooting things instead of making spreadsheets, let me explain: cornering the market is basically where you feel like increasing your wealth by 30% or so, by making other people complain. The only requirement to do this is to have so much ISK or gold pieces or whatever that a new player would sell a kidney to get as much as you have. In Eve, by comparison, with fifty thousand players online on a good day, you need so much cash a new player would murder a small town for their organs before you can think about cornering. Add to that that the issue I’m griping about today cost 100 mil before the cornering, don’t wonder if you see 3-4 towns go off the map soon.

Where were all these rich players when I was mining in a navitas?

The base concept is simple: pick something that everybody wants, say, hulks, or something, and buy all of them on the market, and relist them at 120% of the price you paid. As regular people see your sell orders for 120 mil, they will either undercut you by a little or a lot. If it’s a lot, like, say, 105 mil, then buy their order and relist it at 120 mil. If it’s around 119.5 mil, either buy it or ignore it if you’re low on funds and might need to buy more of the ships at 100 mil. Anyway, what this does is make all the miners very upset because they still really, really badly want hulks but they have to pay more, and since you have all the hulks, they have to buy from you. eventually, your strategy makes critical mass and you either run out of money and the price goes back down, or the new price becomes the norm and you get rich and everyone poorer than you whines when you pour that money into cornering the exotic dancer market or whatever.

Anyway, according to marketeers who enjoy making spreadsheets and some normal people, the cost of hulks first rose to 140 mil because the moon rebalance made some new goo expensive and the old expensive goo cheap, but no-one wants to sell the old goo cheap, so the prices now include twice as many expensive components as before. The fact that hulks are now at 190 mil is because jerks (read: players) with lots and lots of isk want more isk for some reason so they are all cornering the market AT THE SAME TIME. As such, hulks are spiraling high.

Way, way back in my life, my dad told me a story about the zebra… tulip? I forget. Anyway, the story was that people sold the tulip to other people, and the other people would sell it to other people for more, and on and on and on until one dude said “Why the hell am I trading my house for a case of flowers”. And the price went back down, to the sadness of all the flower sellers.

Since I mine in WH space with several friends, all in hulks, we’re being more careful than usual with our scanning tomfoolery, since 200 mil to replace a hulk doesn’t sit well with any of us. A quick check of EFT shows hulk max yield at 1360, and my yield at 1166. Covetor max is 1234, and 1019 for me.

So, according to that, first:

My mining yield is really sub par, so I should stop training drone interfacing and get back to ABC IV refining skills.

and second:

A Covetor isn’t that big of a step back, and I can certainly weather using one until hulk prices balance back out. God, I hope they balance out. WH mining is stressful as it is without feeling like you’re flying a ming vase.

As a parting note, why the heck can’t I moon mine in WH space? Seems reasonable to me. I suppose the counter argument would be that no-one can attack your PoS without a goodly time investment and luck, but considering we’re limited to one system before the logistics increases exponentially while tied to a fuggin rocket ship, woudn’t that balance things out a bit?

Fly… very carefully.

Dec 18 advent entry

It was another cold, black day.

That’s what he would be saying, if the tachyon lasers of an Amarrian dreadnought weren’t trying to crack their shields like an egg.
The lasers pulsed again and he heard muffled cursing from below him as the mechanic added more duct tape or repair paste to their flickering shield emitters. How the dread had found them, he’d never know.
The gigantic asteroid they had been mining for the better part of a week had finally collapsed, its infrastructure ruined, and they had been celebrating the occasion with ice cold quafe when the first warning lights started blinking and we were informed that our temporary little hideaway was under fire from a ship bigger and more expensive than anything they owned, excluding the station itself.
The Amarrian ship had come out of nowhere, with no escort, raising the question on how the bastard had survived this long, but an unescorted Dreadnought was still more than enough damage for five miners huddled in a small station. The pilot cursed again at the financial backer for this expedition, lamenting their meager funds that only allowed for two cruise missile launchers, both of which were easily subdued by the punishing force being brought to bear.
Suddenly, the mechanic’s cursing stopped, a fact which somehow worried the miner more than the cursing. He glanced out the viewport and couldn’t help but notice a distinct lack of lasery death spewing at them. In confusion, he looked around the bleak void beyond the shield bubble, wondering what had caused the zealot bastard to cease his crusade for the beautification of the wormhole or whatever the hell the bastard had been talking about before they jammed his radio, an act that had probably not improved the circumstances.
His eyes suddenly caught a flash of black on black, a shadow moving within a shadow. Squinting, the shadow’s frame came into view from the light of the firey planet they had anchored the station at.
It was cruiser class, that much he was certain of, but all the ships he had heard about as a kid looked nothing like this one. It looked almost… insectual, with a curved back of layered metal and a design that made any viewer feel uneased.
The dreadnought pilot certainly seemed uneased, although it was hard to tell, seeing as the thing hadn’t moved in the last seven minutes. The shadow that was not a shadow suddenly lit its engines, accelerating to speeds that seemed god-like to the veteran pilots of mining barges, settling into a tight orbit around the Amarr ship.
Autocannons and missiles rained down on the behemoth, and more ships appeared around it as ships of Minmatar design swarmed in and around the golden monster. The Amarr bastard gave a dying scream, or would have if the jamming signal the mechanic had rigged hadn’t completly shut down his outward brosdcasts. The Dreadnought exploded, a blinding white light against the black darkness of space, and when the pilot could see again, each ship, each one looking like the result of an explosion in various girder factories, had aligned themselves to the station.
A blinking light on a console near him indicated that one of their rescuers wanted a talk. Hastily screaming at the mechanic to shut the jam off, just in case, he shakily opened an audio link. A gravely tone came forward.
“This is Colonel Roc Wieler, current leader of the Tribal Liberation Force’s Wormhole Exploration Squad. You have five minutes EXACTLY before we leave this system and by that time I expect every Quafe can and cigarette you have in that floating pile of Caldari crap in a canister outside your shields. Some of us have been in this dead-end corner of space for a very, very long time and the cigs ran dry weeks ago, leaving us with very, very twitchy fingers over our fire controls. Do I make myself PERFECTLY clear?”.
After a very hasty “sir yessir”, said faster than the miner had ever heard himself speak, their remaining cans of Quafe and month supply of cigarettes was loaded into their shuttle and left at the metaphorical feet of the fleet that still looked like a floating junkyard to the miner. The comms crackled to life again.
“Ahhhhh….. that’s the stuff. Civvies, I don’t know how the hell you got here, how the hell you’ve survived this long, but I sure as hell don’t care. Now, before we take our leave, is there anything else you’d like to say to us? Perhaps along the lines of a ‘Thank you’?”.
The words flew past his lips, and at the time it seemed customary to utter the phrase “Merry Christmas”. The sudden silence of the comms seemed to speak differently, though. after an eternity all of thirty seconds, the comms cracked to life for a third time.
“The only, I repeat, ONLY reason that I’m not going to order the good men and women with me to burn through your shields and explain to you how much of a pile of shit that belief is is because fully half of those men and women are enjoying the first smoke they’ve had in weeks. Now, if you and your little deity wouldn’t MIND, we will take our leave. Unless you’ve got some sort of cross you’d like to throw at us?”
After fifteen seconds of shaking his head, the miner remembered that the chat was audio only, and a stuttery “Sir, nosir”, was beamed across the void as the ships vanished in all directions as quickly as they had come.