Silent here, space still goes boom

Since my last post here, I’ve seen some interesting evolutions in my gameplay. Let me take you through them one by one.

First, my regional trader became more and more successful; and at this point I am making more than enough money on this trading venture to cover all my main’s PvP needs. Still not enough to PLEX my account, but instead of pushing towards this goal, I decided to let it slip a bit and just enjoy the fact that I make hundreds of millions a month with just half an hour a week or so of effort. Can’t be beat, I would say.

Second, I started exploring more aspects of the game on my main, Lynx. He’s moved on to Null Sec first, and to my surprise it turned out to be not quite as scary as I thought at first. Bubbles, sure, but you learn to live with them. And not having gate and station guns really makes the game a lot more… “free”, if you will. You get a lot more options in null for PvP, lots more options on the tactical level as well… But for some reason, just a few weeks later I moved on to Eve University’s Wormhole Campus – the next level, so to speak. Why? Just because I could. I finally had the skills for a Covert Ops and a Battlecruiser, so no reason to wait, right? And I had never spent any time learning about exploration and wormholes.

So that’s my current challenge: figuring out how to live in wormhole space efficiently, getting the hang of scanning quickly and living without local, flying bigger and more blingy ships, and even running sites (imagine that, me doing PvE… that is a first).

In the meantime, lots of people in my old lowsec haunt have stepped up to start FCing and I have to say, I want to head over there again to join some of their roams, just to see how they are doing. One day I may want to do one myself, I think. But not just yet. A little while longer.

Can I Bring My Jag?

Been a while since my last update on my very own This is Eve moments, my little online diary as it were. The previous post, of course, was not a diary update as such, but rather a fictionalized account of one of my first forays in my Stabber, in which I try to express the excitement and joy of undocking a new ship.

I’m sure you’ve all felt it. You’ve trained the skills, scoured the web for fits, played with them so you can fit a variant of what you’ve concluded is The Best Fit Out There (for whatever purpose you have in mind for the ship, of course). You’ve bought the hull, collected the mods, paid for the insurance and waited for the right opportunity to take it out, and there you are, watching it from every angle as you admire the newest addition to your personal fleet.

That’s the kind of feeling I was trying to convey in that story. But also how it makes you sloppy, how it makes you make the wrong choices. As for the end of the story, I was not the one who got left behind when the hole popped, luckily, but it made an impression on my young mind.

Anyway, so how have I been doing? I have rediscovered the joy of being in a bigger fleet – all too often I find them massively boring, as we spend hours looking for a good fight, and I find it much less of a problem if there is not much action if I am calling the shots on a solo roam. However, of late I have been lucky enough to take part in some really cool fleets, one of them a blingy farewell kind of show, in which some recently departed ex-unistas took us out for one last roam in T2 and faction cruisers. This obviously attracted some attention, and I really enjoyed the fight we had with BNI in a plex, even though I could not shoot any targets myself (I was flying a heavy tackle Jaguar and we were kiting the enemy assault frigates, so going into range of their blob so I could shoot at them would have been a pretty daft idea). But seeing a bigger engagement with an FC (and other people) who knew what they were doing unfold like this was, like, wow. Just like the trailer!

Which kind of brings me to my Jaguar. For some reason I really enjoy flying it, even though it can hardly hit anything. And if it hits, you won’t feel it. Just like a Slasher, really. But it’s so damn fast and pretty tanky.
I can’t wait to take it on some more fleets and throw it at targets that are tough to catch. I have been flying a scram/web version as well as a scram and dual MSE flavor. Still not sure which one will be most useful. Scram/web will be more lethal to whatever I tackle (and could work solo with Barrage against brawlers), whereas the dual MSE will help me hang until the main fleet arrives. I guess I will have to check with the FC whatever they think will be most useful on a particular fleet…

So, do you have any ships you love for no rational reason?

Whatsoever A Man Soweth

The following is my submission for the Pod and Planet Fiction Competition – it is a fictionalized account of an operation I took part in a few months ago. I hope you enjoy it, and if you, please let me know!

It was an awesome sight and no doubt about it. It was perhaps five times the size of his familiar Breacher, and many times heavier, but looking at it head-on from the platform, its silhouette was as sleek as any frigate’s. The bow of the cruiser resembled a snake-head the most, he thought, though he was aware of other, less flattering comparisons. Towards the rear end of the ship, its hull widened to accommodate its powerful drives, and the large ventral fin brought balance to its overall profile.

Everything about its elongated, bullet-like shape screamed speed, danger, attack. He had loved it since he had first laid eyes on it back in the Academy. And now here he was, standing right in front of his very own Stabber.

He smiled as he saw his crew – hand-picked from the best in the whole Placid region – swarm about the Stabber in the station hangar. They were working through the pre-flight checklist with obvious professionalism. He was proud of them, and of himself. The months of hard studying and attending countless classes, the endless hours in simulations, and of course long days scouring Uphallant’s belts for Clone Soldier Transporter ships, which had been essential in funding the purchase of the hull on the Stacmon market… it had all led up to this moment. And it had been worth it.

His hands clenched the platform railing as a mild adrenaline rush flooded over him. Just imagining what it would feel like to link up with such a powerful ship did that to him: the desire to be out in space in this new hull was very strong. Physical even.

“Hey Lynx. Space ace, why don’t you come back here,” she called from inside his quarters. Her voice was slightly hoarse and she spoke with a slight drawl that he found strangely exciting. “My crew knows what they are doing. No need for you to oversee things personally…”
She was right, of course. Since they had become involved, following on that all-night pub crawl in Ostingele’s top station a few months ago, she had proven to be a very experienced captain as well as an insatiable lover. She had been quite vague about where she got her experience, and most of the crew members that she had brought on board had turned out to be very experienced.
“I guess you are right, Skye. At this rate we will be ready to undock in less than an hour,” he replied.
“Mmm. Come back to bed, then. You’ll be on your own in your pod soon enough…”
Grinning, Lynx turned around and walked back to his quarters, a lewd grin on his face. Things could not be going any better.

* * *

The data that came flooding into his mind was so much richer than anything he had experienced before. He toyed with the targeting systems, locking up random asteroids over 40 clicks away, just for the fun of it. They had been hunting Serpentis drug runners for a few hours now – they had not posed any problems at all, and now their home system was cleared of all illicit activity.
The E-UNI comms channel had been mostly quiet for a while now, as many of his corp mates were out of system on a fleet operation. His mind was wandering, pondering what his next move could be, how best to put his Stabber to use. He wanted to make a difference – to be an honorable low sec capsuleer, a good pirate who honored the unwritten rules of piracy and brought good fights only…
Suddenly, ship comms crackled into life and pulled him back into the present.
“What’s up, captain? You still with us, or asleep at the helm?” Her throaty chuckle filled his pod, and he noticed he had been burning straight off into empty space for minutes while he was daydreaming.
“Still here. I was just deciding on our next move, Lieutenant Skye,” Lynx responded, just a little irritation in his voice. He did not want her to start challenging his authority on board.
“Roger that, captain. Standing by.” Her reply was a little terse. She had obviously detected the anger in his voice.
Annoyed, he flicked back to corp comms. Maybe it was not realistic to think that he could keep their intimacy confined to downtime in station… All the manuals forbade this kind of relationship, but he had never been one for following regulations to the letter. And to be honest, he did not think he could break up with her even if he wanted to. There was something irresistible about her, it was all the small things combined – the way she cradled his head in her hands before she kissed him, or the perfect fit of their bodies when she pulled him close. Losing her, he admitted, would be more than he could bear.

Then, as he tuned back in to the Low Sec Campus comms, the excited voices of capsuleers preparing for an operation filled his mind. Something big was afoot, and he pushed his worries about Skye to the back of his mind.
“… we need fast shield cruisers, and we need them now. X up now if you want in. We will be departing from Uphallant in ten minutes.” He recognized the calm, quietly confident voice of one of his mentors, Aren Dar.
“Lynx here. Can bring a shield tanked, autocannon Stabber, ready to go right now. What’s up?”
“I have eyes on a single Stratios running a Sleeper site in the wormhole that just appeared in system this morning. Feel free to come along. Meet us at the coordinates I’m sending you now – that’s the wormhole we will be heading into.”
“I’ve never ventured into a hole before. That a problem?”
“Shouldn’t be. Just stay close, and follow the FC’s commands to the letter. Can you do that?”
“Can do, Aren. On my way. Lynx out.”

His heart racing, he quickly started checking and activating modules and subsystems on his ship. Best to let the crew know we’re heading out, he thought.
“Crew, break break. Battle stations, now. Prepare for warp in thirty seconds.” The internal channels filled up with acknowledgements. Professional, as always, he noticed with satisfaction. No chatter. Just straight to action, the way he liked it. He started aligning towards the coordinates Aren had sent, and prepared to warp.
“Lynx. What are we heading out for?” she whispered in his ear.
“Ganking a lone Stratios. In the hole that opened in system today. Aren is the FC. This should be good. Might get some nice loot from the site he was running…”
“Awesome. Crew is ready. All systems are go.”
“Good. Thanks, Skye.” A few seconds of silence as the Stabber straightened out its course, the wormhole now dead ahead.
“… and you know I’m always ready for you, Lynx,” she added seductively.
He grinned and engaged the warp drive. What a day.

* * *

Slipping into the wormhole was an exhilarating experience, similar to the sudden rush of jumping a stargate, yet completely different at the same time. To his augmented senses, drinking the raw data from his direct link to the ship’s multitude of sensor arrays, it was almost like diving into a pool without a bottom, where you just kept sinking at breakneck speed into the depths of an ocean.
He vaguely felt the presence of his fleetmates ahead of him, Tylenos in another Stabber, Instigo in a Thorax and Aren in a Vexor. The four of them should be able to make short work of the Stratios, but you never knew if he was truly alone out there. The stories he had heard about wormhole all had one thing in common: things were rarely what they seemed to be on the surface. He focused on the wormhole exit, prepping his directional scanner.
All was clear as they came out of the wormhole and entered an unfamiliar system. He shivered despite his efforts to control his nerves, and activated his defensive systems.
“Arrived in the hole. Battle comms, no chatter please,” he whispered on the internal channel. A second later, his E-UNI comms channel crackled to life.
“Transmitting coordinates of the Sleeper site now,” said Aren.
“Received,” acknowledged Tylenos.
Lynx watched the coordinates roll in. Only a short warp, by the looks of it. He started aligning.
“Warp on my signal, to zero. In four, three, two, one… warp!” commanded Aren. Lynx took a deep breath to ease the tension a little, and engaged the warp drive.

* * *

The battle was short but brutal. They landed on grid in tight formation, with Lynx pulling up the rear. He did not have the same piloting expertise as his more experienced fleet mates, and at times like these it showed. By the time he was burning towards the gleaming white shape of the Stratios, it was surrounded by the constant fireworks of railgun and autocannon projectiles smashing into its hardened armor plating. Swarms of drones were streaking between the five ships in their deadly dance.

“Targeting systems ready, captain.”
Oh crap. He was so focused on closing range to the unfortunate Stratios that he had completely forgotten to open fire.
“Thank you, lieutenant Skye,” he muttered, and set to work. One portion of his mind engaged the targeting systems, another pre-heated the autocannons, and two seconds later he cried out gleefully as he watched his rounds plow into the enemy cruiser’s hull.
“My tank is holding,” cried Tylenos over comms, “and he is going into structure. We have him!”
“Pull range if you need to, Tylenos,” replied Aren. “We only need a few more seconds.”
By the time his Stabber had reached the optimal range of its autocannons, escape pods were ejecting from all over the now ruptured hull of the Stratios. Small blasts rocked its frame for a drawn-out second, sending long streamers of fire and debris into space, and then the spaceship disappeared in a blinding ball of white light as its warp cores imploded.

“Status report,” said Lynx in a shaky voice.
“All systems nominal, captain. Sleeper drones are aggressing, but our shields can take them. Well done.”
“Grab loot and warp back to the wormhole exit,” said Aren calmly.
“Roger that, FC.” Lynx started burning towards the Stratios wreck and instructed the crew to prepare a boarding party for some rapid looting. As they approached the wreck, he saw his fleet mates align back out. He would have to hurry. Overstaying your welcome in an unknown wormhole was not a great idea.
He could hardly believe it, though. On his first idea piloting a Stabber, he had been lucky enough to take his ship and crew into a wormhole for the first time, and to take part in a gank that might turn out to be very profitable…
As the exit team swarmed the hull to loot the Stratios, he allowed himself to dream on a little. One day, he would be piloting even bigger ships, maybe even a Loki, into sites such as these. He would not make mistakes, though, like the hapless Stratios. No, together, they would strike it rich, the crew, Skye and himself. His mind wandered off again, thinking of how they would be celebrating their victory back in station, first with the crew, and later on, just Skye and himself.

“Looks like we got lucky, Aren,” he reported as they warped back to the exit coordinates a few minutes later. “Over a hundred million in loot, I would estimate. The Stratios was carrying a nice load of nanoribbons – he must have been running sites for a while before we showed up.”
“Excellent work, team,” replied their leader. “Now, to get back, turn off prop mods and take the hole. On my mark, enter the hole. Four, three, two, one, mark!”
Lynx switched off his microwarpdrive, and felt his ship float slowly towards the hole. For moment, he watched as the other ships were swallowed by its hungry, swirling mouth, then fired the engines to dive after them, back to known space.
And then, nothing.
“Oh shit,” whispered Skye in a private channel. She must also be watching the external feed, he realized. Which meant she was watching the same horrible sight that had him frozen with shock.

The hole, in a mass of flashing, roiling energy, had closed.

* * *

It took a little while before he fully understood what had happened. Or rather, he understood what had happened – the hole had been unstable, and perhaps one of his fleetmates had forgotten to switch of their microwarpdrive when they took the hole, collapsing it – but not what it meant. For the better part of an hour, they ran through scenario’s, tried to establish comms with the fleet, even warped back to the Sleeper site. But there was no denying it.
They were lost.
Utterly, irrevocably lost.
Without scanning equipment, without the coordinates of other wormhole exits, there was nothing they could do.

He had trouble breathing – he felt as though a great weight was crushing all the breath out of his body. He had never felt guilt of this magnitude before. This was on him. There was no denying it. He had not thought to bring scanning gear, or even to check the stability of the exit before following Aren into the wormhole. He had been so smug, so proud, and now he had condemned them all to a slow death. His crew would starve, Skye would die here, and the ship, his beautiful ship that even now hummed with barely contained power, even the ship would go quiet, dark and cold over time.

* * *

“Lynx,” she said. “This is it, isn’t it?” Her voice, even now, was calm and soothing. Not a hint of panic. He squeezed his eyes shut. Tears would not be helpful, not now.
“I guess,” he muttered.
“It was good, you know. You, me, us. Damn good. We made a great team.”
“We did.” He wanted to say so much more, but no words would come.
“You could stay,” Skye whispered. “We have supplies for a long time yet to come. Someone might pass this way, and with a little luck we can follow them out of the hole.” For the first time ever, he thought he heard her wavering.
“You know I can’t,” he said, cursing himself even as he knew it was true. “I’ve put too much effort into this. I can’t afford to wait for days, weeks, months, Bob knows how long it will take before you run into another ship. I just can’t.”
“I know.” She cut the channel, but not before he heard a soft sobbing noise.

He took another deep breath, then shouted with all the anger left in him, until there was nothing left but loss, defeat and self-loathing. All emptied out, he slammed the eject button, and watched through tearful eyes as his pod pulled away from the shimmering hull. A soothing voice started counting down the seconds to self-destruction.
Lynx back, motionless, recalling the feel of Skye’s body against his.

And he knew that no matter how many times his consciousness would be transferred into a brand new clone, he would never be truly whole again.

The Good, The Bad, and The Beautiful This is Eve Trailer

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!

Lessons Learned, And Soon Forgotten

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!

(Not Yet) Mastering the Art of Solo

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…

Eve Uni On Deployment

So I just went through a first deployment. A real full-scale deployment into a high-sec system full of war targets. But wait, you might say, wasn’t this dude Lynx in Eve Uni?

And you would be right, my friend, but the truth of the matter is that the Uni has gone and set up a deployment in an attempt to end a constant war with a high sec wardec corps. Pretty unusual for the Uni, true… However, The Pursuit of Happiness has had a war dec on the Uni for ages, with the occasional little lull in between, and they cause no end of trouble to new unistas. And given the fact that the Uni is all about the new unistas, there was a growing resentment of the situation.
Basically, there were two camps – those who said, live with it, there’s no way we can end this because PoH does not want to fight, they just run as soon as a decent fight is offered; and there were those who said, come on, with our numbers we should be able to do something, right? The two camps held each other in balance for a looong time, until…

About a week ago, a senior member of the Uni stepped up and called out for volunteers to take action. The reaction was overwhelming – the will to do something was clearly there, and if someone with that kind of pedigree had a plan… we were all for it.

So, plans were drawn up, the propaganda engines fired up, ships moved to the deployment system in Anttiri, and we basically tried to take the fun out of the war deccer’s game. I guess we succeeded, too, because The Pursuit of Happiness dropped the war after just three days. Of course, they might cough up the millions to continue the war next week or the week after, but for now – victory.

My part? Pretty small. I hopped into a Stiletto and a Griffin, joined the crowd sitting on the hostile undock and scouted around for a bit. I really did not have much playtime these past days, so I kind of wish I could have done more (in the EU timezone, we could have done with more unties, I gathered). At least I did get to hear lots of veteran unistas together in comms for the first time. Some of them I had flown with in Low Sec Campus fleets, some were names I only knew from the AARs written by the FCs in the Wormhole and Null Sec Campuses.

Anyway. An interesting if somewhat dull experience. In the meantime, I did take the opportunity to get a jump clone (finally!) and to train Small Energy Weapons to V, so I will be trying out the Coercer pretty soon… Let’s see if I have more luck flying that than the Incursus and the Breacher!

Miner Mayhem

So. Been a bit quiet on this blog lately, for a variety or reasons. It’s been pretty busy IRL at work, for one, and that has taken up most of my free cpu cycles, and at home with the kids and all that. But I shall try and remedy that in the coming days.

What have I been up to? More trading, mostly, because I find it endlessly fascinating to see what sells and what does not sell, who comes into the market for items that I am working with and how they try to force things one way or another, but step out quite quickly once they notice that the profits won’t be huge or instantaneous, and how my operation just keeps growing day after day.
I don’t actually use spreadsheets. I do have EveMentat that I update every once I while, just to check whether my profit rates are healthy enough, but not on a daily basis. I live by my gut feeling and of course the constant market data streams from and similar sites. Can’t do business without them, really.

Lynx, my main in the Uni, has been out and about looking for solo fights. I find solo roams to be much more exciting than bigger fleets under an FC. There is always quite a bit of waiting on gates involved and in the end you are just pushing buttons, aren’t you?
Also, there are not that many fleets going out in the small timeslot that I have available for playing on most days. I know all it takes is asking whether anyone wants to join in on a small roam, but I don’t think I am really ready for that yet. I still get surprised by the capabilities of many ships, and I constantly have to Get Info to check the specifics of all those myriad ships that fly about in Placid.

So solo it is for me, these days. Still without a kill and that irks me no end. I played some games with a Procurer a couple of days ago, but my Incursus could not really break his tank (a quick Pyfa check showed me he may have had as much as 60K EHP) and I was late in targeting his drones.
Still, we were about the same age, the Procurer pilot and myself, and we had a good laugh in local at our ineptitude – my failure to kill a miner and his failing to get out in time even though he knew I was hunting him.

I shall just continue to roam Placid and Black Rise, looking for those elusive Good Fights(tm). Say hi if you run into me – either before or after my ship goes boom, that’s all the same to me!

Popped (Twice)

So I got popped – and podded – on a gate in Placid low sec yesterday night. All part of a regular night out in Eve, you might say, but I have the niggling feeling that I did something wrong. Also, I was really eager to try out Iddo Cohaagen’s scram kiting Rail Incursus fit (excellent video tutorial here), and they popped me before I could get a single fight out of the shiny new Incursus I had fitted out in Stacmon. Finally, the gate campers consisted of just two or three ships – only two cruisers on my killmail, although I seem to recollect a third ship on grid.

In any case, I logged off for the night. Or at least, I wanted to but I could not due to the combat timer. Smart move, that, on the part of CCP – now that I was forced to sit out another 15 minutes, I chatted about my loss with my corpmates, started looking at some more fits, and generally lost most of my bad feelings towards the game and the campers by the time I could log off. There are probably other reasons for that logoff timer, but this was one powerful way in which it worked for me.

Other than that, it’s been a fairly quiet week in Eve for me.

I did not get that much playing time, and the time I had mostly went into one evening in which I got my first non-losing solo PvP fight (a draw – my kiting Tristan could not break the tank of one of the Amarr AFs, but he could not catch me either) and lost my Tristan a bit later while being bait for a small gang fight against the good sports in What Could Go Wrong. I was the only loss so op success, there, and Slate made sure I got the loss back in the form of some loot. A very fun night.

Other than that, my trading operation grew from 1.1 bil to 1.3 bil this week, which is nice, but I am seeing some slowdown in the growth. I seem to be levelling out at about 20 million profit per day, which is not bad given the very small amount of time needed to keep things running, but it is still not enough to reliably plex my account, which is of course the End Goal of this whole trading thing. So that leaves me pondering whether I should branch out into more trade items (rigs? faction cruisers?) or whether I should think about setting up an additional trading post in another station… I will try diversifying into more items first, I think. Less effort!

Link salad, drama llama edition

So, been browsing the blogosphere and tweetfleet a bit lately, and here is some of the good stuff:

  • CSM members have been swapping alliances, resigning, throwing up dramas and whatnot. It’s all over Twitter and some blogs. Xander moves to PL. Lots of twitter stuff follows. Major Silva promptly switches to CFC. Then resigns less than a day later. Drama guaranteed!
  • Rixx Javix is creating superb art poster-style graphics of his favorite (I assume) ships. Love them, and my personal favorite is the Slicer. I am feeling kind of inspired to do something in this vein myself. Stay posted…
  • On his blog, he’s listed his Top 10 T1 Combat Frigates. A good read.
  • I missed the Titan free for all on Singularity, even though it was tweeted and another one of my favorite bloggers, Sugar Kyle, wrote about it. Oh well. It’s frigates, dessies and cruisers for me for a while yet, I guess.

Tales of pew pew in #eveonline