EvE Online - a world, a home, amongst the stars. These are the voyages of an EvE 'noob' from day one. I hope we have an enjoyable trip...

Friday, 25 February 2011

How did you get into EvE?

That was the question from Laria Raven when I touted on the Tweetfleet for suggestions as to my next post.

The answer is a simple one in a way.  I'd been playing WoW for a year and used to download a Podcast called 'The Instance'.  As Cataclysm was due the hosts were talking about how they were filling their time in the run up to the new expansion.  They mentioned a game called 'EvE Online' and chatted about how they were filling their training queues.  I've been into MMOs for years having played Terris on AOL (text based) where I made it to be a sysops eventually.  Then EQ I for a while then a break for a few years.  I then finished a college course and fancied getting into gaming again.  That's when I found WoW.  Loved it really but when I reached 80 it ran out of steam for me.  Work commitments meaning that I couldn't commit to regular raids which seem to be the lifeblood of endgame - there were only so many times I wanted to kill the same zombies in the same snowy fields.

So - I thought I'd look at this 'EvE Online'.  I downloaded the client and started a trial account.  I was only a few days into it when I bought in.  When I first appeared in space I had no clue whatsoever.  I can honestly say that it's only through the efforts of friends whom I have met in New Eden that I know what I know now.  I also know that friends I have still to meet will teach me more.  A day spent without learning is a day wasted and never was this more true than in New Eden!

All these 'modules' and ships were mind blowing.  I've mentioned before about how seeing a mining barge open up on an asteroid field fueled my interest in the art of mining.  I had already begun listening to EvE podcasts and EvE Uni was mentioned as an excellent corp for a new player to get into.  I joined the queue and within a few weeks was a member.  From that point I did not look back.  I started some mining operations which, to my surprise, proved quite successful and I learnt much from those who came along such as Jen Loo and Cecilia.  It was mining which I put all my time and skills into for the first five months until I achieved my goal of an Orca and two Hulks.  This enabled me to be of some little use to Eve Uni and their operations. 

Then came Hulkageddon and a Tweetfleet conversation with Helicity Boson.  It was then that I decided that there was some truth in their words and that really there was more to be gained from experiencing new aspects of the game than whinging about them.  So I decided to go to the 'darkside' of PvP.  I'd always laughed at pew pew as I couldn't see the fun. OMG! 

Today I went one step further.  I knew this would mean absolute certain death but I fitted up a Rifter, headed into Empire Space and lit up a Retriever.  Now, it wasn't long before I was sailing my pod back to a station and I saw that I only made it through half of his shield but you know what?  The buzz was tremendous!  Later the same day I was scanning a 0.3 system and located a Velator - warped to it and my heart was thumping as I hit approach / Orbit and waited to get into Scram range.  The distance was closing then seemed to slow down, 'damn' I thought 'it's running'.  I made it into range and hit the Scram then lit up the auto cannons and nos - finally the web then watched as the shields, armour and structure evaporated.  Now, I know, it's a rookie ship.  My point is this though.  If killing that can give a player such a buzz what's it going to be like when I can go up against bigger and better ships and test my skills and fits against them?  I know I know nothing about PvP but I want to learn and I want to get better.  You lose a ship?  so what?  I've lost many already to some ridiculous fates (see below) but it's fantastic fun.

So what got me into EvE?  Mining and the friends I made on that path but also the depth and variety of the game.  Hopefully my experience may make some others reading this yearn to fit up a Rifter (or frig of their choice) and poke their nose into lowsec.  Go on - yes, it can be scary but damn it's fun! Likewise if you've never tried mining - give it a go - there are some great rock chippers out there.

Until next time - fly safe o7 and watch those timers!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

'You're so bad!'

Doing my rounds the other night I landed on a belt to find a Cormorant and Hurricane. Being a little lilly livered still I bounced straight back out and called it in Corp.  I was joined by a battle seasoned compadre and we jumped back in.  My partner pointed the Cormorant.  They were the same corp we I fully expected the 'Cane to open up in defence but ranges probably were not in it's favour and it warped straight out.  Love to have been a fly on the wall in the post fight debrief there!

Anyway - now the lonely Cormorant was in structure and went 'BOOM!' leaving the pod.  Well, having just trained Prop Jamming to three I couldn't resist and pointed the pod.  Orbiting and keeping an eye on my overview for any returning 'Canes, other help or long distance damage if it was fitted for longer range battle I tried to open some conversation to broker a deal.

'Want to keep the pod?' - silence.

Corp Comms struck up - 'You're so bad man!' - I smiled.  Still no reply

Well, I couldn't wait all day could I?  I pressed the trigger.

Three 200mm Auto II's ripped into the pod and spat the pilot out of his goo into the frozen void of space.  Pausing only to pick up the corpse (I've decided to collect them) I warped out to a safe spot to sit out the GCC.  That's when my Corpie shouted up, 'Check you're Sec Status man!'  I was down to -2.8  Going to have to be careful soon as to where I fly.  Either that or just go for the red flashy and hang the consequences.

Did I feel any remorse?  Truthfully - No.  I wondered why a Corm' and 'Cane were in the system yes - what I did feel was disappointment to have missed the point on the 'Cane.  Still maybe next time.

So - I wonder now how it took me so long to wake up to the beauty that is PvP - that said I'm no Thug - I'll always offer a way out if I think I have the chance.  The path of the combatant is honourable not one of arrogance or pomposity.  So, with that, I go once again to die - I'll just be happy if it's under someone's guns and not a gate... again!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

70 Mil down the proverbial drain...

I felt like I’d arrived.  The Dram’ was fitted out and even though my skills were sadly lacking I was cruising in Low-sec looking for targets.  It’s not fair to say that I was getting desperate for a kill but I was definitely looking forward to it with enthusiasm.  Being new to the lark I was jumping between safe spots and the gates and spamming the directional scanner just like I’d begun to pick up from speaking with others who, unlike me, were used to shooting at things that shoot back.  After quite some time of lonely bouncing I got a Badger on scan – then I could see it!  Now – being new to this I didn’t get that sense of ‘Hmm this is unusual – why would he warp to me in an Indy?’  No No – I was pretty sure I was sitting on a safe spot and just assumed he’d hit the same bookmark – now we all know that the odds on that are slight in the extreme but hey, I’m new to this.  So – adrenaline pumping I thought about how silly the Badger pilot would feel and began to lock him up – then opened up with auto-cannons and drones.  THAT’S when it became clear that I was NOT in fact at a safe spot at all.  Nope, I was sitting on the gate and, for the second time this week, I lost a ship to gate guns.  This time though it was 80mil worth of Dram’ not just a Rifter.  So, another lesson learnt on my quest to experience something new.  At this rate I’ll need to mine non-stop for a month to replace my losses!!!!

The following night I was sorting out fittings and wishing skills would advance just that little bit more swiftly whilst sitting in the station.  Other corpies were out on patrol when the shout came up that a target was locked in the system.  I jumped in my Rifter (note I no longer fly the Dram’ as I am NOT feeling flush anymore!) and undocked.  I admired the sun glinting off the T2 200mm auto-cannons and fired up the DCII.  I plotted a course for the gate and jumped into the system.  Already fleeted up I warped to the point and locked up the target – it was nothing less than a Rupture with drones out.  It was already into structure as I opened up from well over my optimal range.  Within a few rounds it was exploding in a cloud of shrapnel and I began to clear up the drones.  I had made it onto a kill-mail!  Ok only for a very small amount of damage but there I was in black and white as an involved party.  Finally I had achieved my first step in the world of PvP.  Now I need to aspire to a final blow and a solo kill.  Those are some way away looking at my skills but I’m getting there.  I’ve got Mechanic 5 in the tubes now which will help along with maxing Electronics to up my cap time (from a matter of seconds!). 

This experimental sortie into PvP though has every potential to go horribly wrong.  By that I mean that the anticipation and adrenaline experienced during the hunt are really quite addictive.  I’m not sure that shooting rocks will ever feel the same again.  Once I get my skills up, who knows?  Perhaps I’ll step over the line and go outlaw…

On a serious note though I’ve heard much about ‘what’s wrong with low-sec’.  I think I understand in some small way now as traffic through the systems is extremely slow (where I am anyway) and for an aspiring true pirate (who would certainly honour ransoms) there are very sparse pickings.  I have wondered as have many others about how to make it more attractive to newer players and industrialists (I would certainly think twice about taking my mining boats into low-sec).  All I can think of is greed.  Make the ore you can find in there much more valuable than the high-sec cousins.  Match reward to risk.  I’m sure there are other more eloquent options which in my inexperience I’m not yet aware of but that’s just my first thought.

On another note again FlashFresh from that well know pirate corp has mooted the idea of a drunken roam with Tweetfleeters.  I’m up for that if they need gate gun fodder!

Until next time – fly safe!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Yarrrrrrr..... oops.

An excerpt from the diary of a trainee pirate - so wet behind the ears they have to wear a towel as a scarf...

The warning flashed up on the HUD - Concord can't protect you in here.  I chuckled, 'great!' and jumped.  Adrenaline pumping I checked local. Two pilots.  Checking their history I saw they were over three years old and began to lose my enthusiasm.  Time means skills.  Something I am desperately short on.  Still, here I was in lowsec and actually enjoying the feeling.  So, what to do?  Some old habits die hard and I thought I'd head to the asteroid belts to see what goodies there were there.  Two Angel frigs warped in behind me so I thought I'd try my guns out - I do so enjoy the rattle of projectile weapons in the morning - sounds like 'victory!' - so much more satisfying that the whine of lasers.  Anyways so busy was I listening to the guns that I assumed the targeting warning was from the Angels... WRONG.

Hmm shields vanishing... finally a quick check on the OV shows me a Dramiel. Bugger.  Warp Warp Warp.... 'External factors are preventing...' Double bugger... POP.  Well,  I'm a great believer in learning from experience so actually enjoy being in a scrap as I learn something new each time.  I thanked my attacker kindly for the fight (again no point being other than sociable - it's a game after all) and flew back to pick up a new ship.  Glad was I that in anticipation of many deaths I'd rigged a few Rifters for just this eventuality so no time wasted.

Being killed by something makes me want to own it - so, freighter dispatched to Hek and a Dram picked up.  I fitted it up (with a secret ingredient) and flew back to the system.  Again I headed out to the belts to see what would happen.  Lo and behold in pops the Dram.  Here's another newb error - I'd learnt Drones to take advantage of the bay and bearing in mind all my toons can use tech two drones I'd forgotten I needed to learn it up to four to use the capacity of the bay.  So one lonely drone launches into space... bother.  Anyways my shields were again vanishing and, bearing in mind that this ship cost me 70 mil and not just 250k I thought discretion was indeed the better part of valor - cue my secret weapon...

'Warp Drive Active' hehehe I waved in local as my space dust spat up in the face of my attacker.  Now, some may say that this was a cowardly act (fitting a stab).  Personally I was pleased to have saved my cash and also that I'd learnt from my previous encounter that my skills we such that I needed to have an option B.  On this occasion I used it and it felt good.

What still seems to be eluding me is my first kill.  I can now use T2 guns so things are improving. 

The hunt goes on...

In other news I have just found out that I've been added to the Player Blog Roll by Crazykinux.  This is a great honour - I wasn't sure anyone but me read this! Thanks to him for putting me up there.  I look forward to a long and happy association wherever the game takes me.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Just a quickie...

This one is aimed at all those pew pew vets out there from a noob used to shooting at rocks which don't shoot back.

So - there I was in low sec with my top secret soon to be I hope perhaps pirate.  I was bored so I thought as mischief I'd take a few pot shots at a GSC secured in the roid belt.

There is was - a global criminal cool down!  At last I had the yellowy orangy thing I'd dreamt of showing on the OV.  Then I got bored again because the thing just wouldn't blow up.  So, I decided to move on.  Now, I know what you'll all be screaming at your monitors... but, no.  Of course I didn't think of it, I've never had to.  So I rolled up at the jump gate ready to hop back into high sec when 'Boom Boom - Pop'  I just smiled.  Always best for me to learn from experience.  Always has been, always will be.

The moral?  Only a buffoon tries to jump out before waiting for their Global Criminal Cool down (GCC) to expire.

So endeth this lesson...

Sunday, 6 February 2011

It finally happened...

I'd made one trip with no incident.  I was watching local and checking each pilot who dropped in.  Yes, I was finally in low sec.  Lasers ripping into some Kernite and planning what to do with the profits.

The scanners were showing an excellent deposit of the stuff and I'd rigged for cargo so could manage a few cycles before hauling back.

There were only three of us in local - one was what I considered to be an ally.  I missed the pilot appearing.  The first I knew they were on my overview, the next I was scrambled and their drones were out. Hmm ok - so I'd been told not to take a Hulk into Low sec and now I was kicking myself that I'd not even bothered fitting a core stabiliser which, right now, may be making the difference between life and death.  Ah well, all part of the rich tapestry which is life I thought.  So, deploy the Hobgob IIs - at best they may distract the pirate and at least not die in the blast without having the chance to fight.  So, off they went to their certain deaths and sure enough five pops later they'd gone.  The Dramiel still there with their drones chipping away now at my armour.

Still trying to spam the warp button it became clear that I was going nowhere at which point I became concerned for my pod.  So, in my newbness I self destructed - thinking that this way it wouldn't be obvious when my pod was appearing and I warped out to a celestial then back to the gate and away - minus one Hulk and fittings.  So, now I knew that what I'd been told was correct.  Take a mining vessel into lowsec and you've a good chance of being attacked.  The sad thing?  It was a thrill.  The pilot was most friendly and didn't rub salt in my stupidity at all, even offering links to PvP guides.  So now I'm saving again.

However, do you believe in fate?  The following day I went back to the same belt and happened upon a player's wreck.  Clearly a victim themselves.  The cargo was nicely full of goodies of which I availed myself and returned to Hi-Sec to sell them - at least making some of my loss back.

In relation to the above I should again point out that E-Uni does NOT condone any form of piracy and any such action is not done on my Uni account.  I'm not going 'bad' just following Helicity Boson's advice to experience something new and make something out of Hulkageddon.  A little bit of something different does us all good :)

Saturday, 5 February 2011

'A bottle of rum to fill my tum...'

SO a quick update on progress.

I have created the avatar and they are holed up in High Sec learning some basic skills.  With the time given I can't expect to be an Uber damage dealer so I'm going to have to hope that I can find some eggshells to crack - to be fair even dying lots (which I certainly anticipate) will bring some learning which is what this is all about for me.  I'm not saying I'm going to have a career change or even put much time into this alt following Hulkageddon but this is a chance to try another facet of Eve for me which I intend to grab whilst still clearly completing my admin tasks for the Uni.

So - no surprises that I went for Mim as a race.  I've got myself a Rifter and have fitted it with basic autocannons.  I've got a disruptor, webifier and afterburner all of the lowest type (they're very rusty and the disruptor sparks when I fire it up!) but they're all I'm going to be able to fit for now.  Just waiting on the skills to put something into the low slots.  I'm thinking a DC I - I need a co-processor - then some tank?  Any suggestions most happily received - Haxxi - you reading this? :-)

Once I think I can fire everything I have and spark up the modules I'll make a move into low sec.  I really have never done this so am at a loss as to know where to start - should I perhaps try some can flipping first to see if I get a reaction or just hunt out an Indy or something to web and pop?  Again - set me a task and I'll see what I can do :-)


On a more civilised note - I'm now a few days into my job as Mining Manager at the Uni.  If I thought people gave their time to help others before on staff I now know that the staff really do give up a lot of their own time to help out and run the Corp.  It's fantastic to be part of that team and in time I'm looking forward to feeling like I'm pulling my weight.  At present I'm still getting to grips with process.  I've managed to sort out some loaner ships - for those that don't know we have a scheme where we supply mining or hauling ships to members to enable them to save up the cash to purchase their own.  This is a free service.  All we ask is that the ships and modules are returned in good order at the end of the loan period.  This scheme has helped countless new miners get into their barges and exhumers more quickly than they may have managed on their own. 

Ultimately that's also the goal of our mining operations which apportion a share of the profits based on the time you spent on the operation not on what you are flying so those in frigs and cruisers get the same share as the Hulk pilots.  Again this is aimed at helping those newer to the noble art find their feet and get into the better ships.

With the approach of Hulkageddon I think official ops may well be wound down this week to allow for the more 'premature' gankers.  So we'll look forward to getting back on the fields later this month.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

'Money Money Money, Must be funny...' Of Iskies and Piracy in Space...

Ok - it's out and you can download it here - http://www.isktheguide.com/

Now having had a quick look there would appear to be a veritable flood of information aimed at stemming your Isk drought.  I'm a new player and will certainly be looking to download a copy onto the old 'e-reader'.

The latest ep of 'Lost in Conversation' is up on the usual sites for download.  The chat this week centred on the views of those present (all bloggers) on new developments in Eve.  Namely what to expect from 'Incarna' and the pros and cons of developing new material when compared to polishing that which is already in the public domain - the Eve we love.  The panel also got to talking about Low and Null Sec space and the similarities and differences between them.  This all got me to thinking about my experience in Eve so far. 

Almost since day one I've been told that PvP 'rocks' and that it's one of the 'mainstays' of the game.  I've been content to fire on rocks safe in the knowledge that that they don't shoot back and I genuinely enjoy the social aspect of mining not to mention the Iskies it generates.  That said I have been interested recently to hear of the adventures of 'Jade' from LiE who has taken up the gauntlet and, for now, abandoned his Orcas for Rifters and his 'roid fields for gate camps.  I've found his tales of piracy most intriguing and it got me to thinking that there may well be something in this PvP hype.  Now I need to make it clear that Zraltori would never consider such nefariousness and both his brothers of course are far too busy to dabble in such things.  There was a need therefore to expand the family which has been done.  Another driver to this was a 'Twitter' convo between myself and Helicity Boson in which it was suggested that 'victim' was a state of mind and how she couldn't understand why people didn't 'do' more with the experience of 'Hulkageddon'.  So, this year I will do something.... and this is the plan...

I shall for part of the period of Miner's Holiday this year do just that - take a break from mining (of course I will continue to fulfill the duties of my role on staff within the Uni - I'm just speaking about the actual act of mining itself)  During this time I shall fly out the newest member of the family into lowsec.  By this time I'm hoping that I can work them up to basic Frig skills with some support (but not a lot!!) So I'll be eggshell thin - but with nothing to lose :-)  I shall use the enforced holiday to experience something new - do something different and see how it goes.  After all, as has been mentioned, Eve is a game and, like life, I now believe, 'Quod Potes Tenta' - Try all that you are able to.

Now I'm not sure if anyone actually reads this but here's my request.  If you are a member of a pirate corp and are in need of cannon fodder then by all means Evemail Zraltori in game and he can put you in touch with his nefarious kin.  After all - I think I'll need all the help I can get!!

As the time approaches I will outline my training and how the first flights go.  I have to say I'm quite excited at the prospect which must mean it's a good thing... or does it?

Fly safe.