So, some good news and some bad news for my Eve Diary, but before I dive into that: holy cow, what an unbelievably brilliant trailer. If you haven’t seen it (which I doubt, since it got over a million views in the first 48 hours after it was posted on Youtube), you *must* stop reading this and watch it first. So – you saw it. Good. Now we can go on. It completely blew me away, and I thought to myself, *finally* I have something I can show to my friends and family who are wondering why a thirty-something with a cool job, great wife and kids, lots of friends and basically everything you could want, would choose to spend so much time in a virtual world… It just captures the essence of Eve Online: the beauty of it, the thrill of PvP, the intricate complexity of it all, and above all, the people who play it and make it such an awesome place to live. Thank you, CCP. Thank you. It hope this trailer draws thousands of new players. You deserve it. Then, the bad news: my solo fights keep ending in a bright ball of fire (on my end). I do feel like I am coming closer and to being in control, but I have been saying that for a while now… In any case, I keep learning and I keep going out. Switched from the dual-web, brawly Incursus that I really enjoyed to a Coercer for a little while, just for the fun of flying one of those sleek and gorgeuous looking Amarr ships. The good news for the diary is that my trading operations (on my alts) are really taking off. I have passed the 2 billion mark; I now have more than a billion in Sell orders at all times, and the other billion is usually being hauled around by Push Industries or Red Frog. As my capital has grown, I have been moving into higher-profit, lower-volume items. I have a limited number of orders available on my trader alt (I did not spend more than two or three weeks training him, I think) and I need to make the most of that. Also, no need to update orders five times a day in those less competitive areas of the market. Some days I hardly sell anything, of course, because of the lower volume in something like the Ishtar market, but when I do sell stuff the ISK comes rolling in, huge waves of it. Very satisfying… Fly safe-ish – see you in space!
Some days have passed, and I’ve spent most of my time roaming around Black Rise in search of solo action. I have made some progress on my PvP skills, I think, but my billboard does not really show it yet. Not that that actually matters – I feel it every day when I undock, and that’s what is important. It shows in small things. I am much, much quicker to locate ships in space using my trusty directional scanner; I am beginning to know who roams which systems and what types of ships I can expect to find in which plexes. I understand the fits I fly and know how to fly them in combat.
The one skill I have not mastered is patience. With the fits that I fly (and I guess with most fits, except perhaps with some all-purpose fits for “overpowered” ships such as Hookbills or Comets) I have a pretty narrow target selection, and finding a target in a relatively quiet system who a) does not warp away as soon as I go in and b) does not bring in half a dozen friends after 30 seconds, well that’s just plain difficult. As a result, you easily spend an hour, maybe two, just hopping through systems, scanning, checking out plexes and belts, rinse and repeat.
After a while, I get jittery. I want to shoot something. And so I take fights that I know I will lose.
Such as this Tristan fight in a Firetail. If I had focused a hundred percent on the Tristan itself I might even have won it, but I tried to take out some Drones first – and of course my artillery could not track them. So I broke two of my Laws of PvP for this arty fit: Do Not Fight Drone Boats with Artillery and Do Not Try To Shoot Stuff With High Transversal with Artillery. Sigh.
Or this one, once again fighting a Tristan, but now in a Gutsy Incursus. I should have won by all rights, looking back. It was mighty close as it was and a really fun fight to be honest, my opponent had just 20% structure left, and we had a chat afterwards in which we exchanged all our mistakes.
In this fight I violated an entirely different one of my Laws of PvP: Though Shalt Not Engage in Drunken Solo PvP… Because in this fight, the drunkenness led to a first deactivated-by-accident AB, then a burned out AB, a burned out Web while we were at 5K range throughout the fight, and more random silliness.
And last night, my brand new Coercer (just finished training those lasers!) got popped by an instalocking gate camp that even got my pod. Grumble grumble. I know I’m supposed to respect everyone’s playstyle, but these guys… what’s the sense of achievement, I wonder. Oh well.
Better luck tonight, I hope. Get some green on that solo killboard!
So. Phoebe is here, and as far as I can tell, the sky has yet to fall down (or up, I guess, as there is no such thing as up or down in space, right?). I will spare you my views on the whole jump changes history, since I don’t really have any worth sharing. I have never used a cyno, jump bridge, or other part of the game that is affected. My trading activities use regular freighters on a high-sec trade route only, so no worries there. All good.
So what do I think about Phoebe? There’s some small but significant quality of life changes that I like a lot.
Bookmarks in space is one. I understand some people have so many bookmarks that they need to set up some filtering, but for me this is a non-issue (although I did learn, from the E-Uni forum debate, that there is a soft limit of about 13,000 personal bookmarks per character – I just love little facts like that).
Another Awesome Thing(tm) is the unlimited skill queue. For someone like me, who has a life outside the game, sometimes has to travel for work with no internet access, or generally has not-so-great control over when they can access the game, this is a biggie. No more lost training time! Yay. My current training queue is only 47 days long, but then I only plugged in some essentials I really want. Gunnery V, Amarr and Minmatar Destroyer 5, that kind of thing.
Enough about the new release. I have been spending most of my game time looking for solo fights. I’ve always felt that this was what I wanted to do in Eve, what I was aiming for in the long run, but now there is an extra incentive: one of the Uni’s in-house solo experts, Kelon Darklight, is hosting a Solo Pvp Competition in November.
Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity and started looking for solo fights with more audacity that I would normally have applied. Fit a ship, roam Placid and Black Rise and just go for it…
I have only netted a single solo kill so far (but it was my first, so yay!), and a pretty sad one at that. It was an unfitted Atron who was plexing LP (and/or collecting kill rights for resale?). But a kill is a kill, so I was pretty happy. Especially since I won a hundred million ISK as part of the competition. Thanks Kelon!
Now, even though I only have one kill to show for the past four nights or so, I have had a number of additional Gud Fightz!
I lost an old Breacher to a Caracal – kind of silly, that, I consciously YOLO’d into him out of curiosity (how long can I survive against a missile cruiser?).
I also lost a Rail Incursus that I had sitting in station to a blaster Merlin that had an awesome tank – but I probably did not apply my full dps against this one because I forgot to launch my drone and I kept the AB on while orbiting at a quite close range. And last night, I took out a dual web arty Thrasher, and almost blapped a Tristan… but in the end had to bail out because I burned out all of my guns (duh).
So, onwards to the next fight…