Tuesday, December 23, 2008

RL Issues and Questions Answered


My father-in-law suffered a stroke on Saturday, so I will be back playing cowboy and driving my mother-in-law to the hospital some 20 miles away. His long term prognosis is fine. He is not physically impaired, but his comprehension and communication skills are very limited at the moment.

My own RL situation is such that I can spend whatever time is required to support them and I accept that task gladly.

If you've followed my comments here in the past, you've seen hints of my faith. I've kept them to hints only because my opinion was that my faith has nothing to do with internet spaceships and had no place being front and center.

I'll only take a short time out from that editorial policy to just say that it is no accident that I had been led to step down from my post at Eve University, even though there was no overwhelming event or reason in front of me.

Perhaps, He looks after internet spaceships, after all. ;)

I won't be stopping my Eve activities, in many ways, I'll need the stress relieve more than ever. But bit of solo work fits perfectly for now.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Now what?

To be honest, I'm not entirely sure. I want to explore the portions of Eve that my duties at Eve University precluded.

In the short term, I'm going to put up a POS somewhere in Caldari space. Kaye has some research and production skills, but I've never taken full advantage of those. A passive income stream would be nice, too. I'm considering writing a beginner's guide to POS activities. There are several technical POS guides available, but I haven't found the 'tactical to practical' bridge, just yet. If you know of such a guide, drop a comment. I'd appreciate it!

While I'm waiting for the standings reset in my corp, I'll be mining and missioning some. One of the downsides to leaving Uni is that I no longer have access to a shared freighter from Uni hangars. To fill that slot in my TOE, I need about 70M units of trit. I have sufficient quantities of everything else in my mineral stocks to do a minerals + build fee deal for an Obelisk.

Kaye finished Cloaking IV yesterday, and immediately fitted a Helios and refitted a Viator, adding a CovOps cloak. A road trip may be in order. I understand that Evati has seen some interesting events of late. ;)

I did receive this by email:

Along with this "You know you want to."

I lol'ed!

But didn't delete it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Turn The Page...

[Wall of Text Warning!]

Six months ago, I accepted Morning Maniac's request to assume the chair of Director of Operations of Eve University. I was honored to be trusted with the task of serving his vision of selflessness, the most human of qualities, in such an unexpected venue as internet spaceships and flattered that a bunch of 'kids' would consider listening to an old man.

The place of Eve University in the Eve-verse is interesting. By design, it is only a starting point. A place to gain an understanding of the game, in all it's complexity and to establish the knowledge base that allows a new pilot to choose a more focused experience and leave with our blessing and support as they go.

The guidelines that we place on our students invariably begin to chafe more and more as new pilots gain experience. They enjoy the camaraderie and experience so much that they don't want to leave, but the pinch they feel leads to frustration and efforts to transform the Uni into something it can never be as long as it remains true to MM's vision.

In speaking with many such students, I tried to stress that leaving the Uni was an expected event, something to be viewed with excitement and happiness, rather than dread and disappointment.

Really sucks when your own words come back to haunt you, but sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

The past few weeks have found me increasingly restless and frustrated with my game time. Being the Head Cat Wrangler put me in the position of attempting (wrongly) to be available for any question, crisis or dispute that needed attention. I had anticipated that danger and we implemented a distributed org chart and pushed down authority and responsibility as far as possible, but DirOps is responsible for all.

Rather than go postal, I determined that the time had arrived for me to heed my own advice and launch forth on my own. There was no single trigger. No one event or person that caused me to make this choice. It was just time.

News of my departure was initially interpreted as some kind of date challenged 'April Fool's Day' joke, but rapidly turned to an expression of gratitude and appreciation that validated my timing was correct. Always leave before you wear out your welcome!

My new tunic doesn't seem to fit quite right yet, but the medal from Eve University looks nice. I'm quite proud to receive the first medal awarded by the Uni and will always have it on public display.

To the students and faculty of Eve University, I wish for you:

A fast ship and a star to steer her by.
Fair winds and following seas.
A target rich environment.


Your servant,
Dee Carson

[End Wall of Text]

tl;dr version:

So Long, My Brothers In Arms

Thanks for all the fish!


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CSAR and "One order of fried eyeballs, to go!"

I logged in to finish my hangar cleanup at HQ. From Corp Chat, I learned that we had a member stranded in Urlen with WT in local and there was discussion of forming a fleet to get him out.

Determining that the member in question was flying a Merlin, it was clear that I could get him out and back to HQ before an effective combat fleet could be formed. Gathered up some ninja types (you guys rock!), positioned eyes on 4-4, the Urlen gate in Perimeter and outside the station where our corpmate was docked. Successfully got our guy in space an on the move to Korsiki.

Just as he was about to jump into Korsiki, reports of Pilgrippa (WT) in Korsiki local in a Zealot. Our guy docks up in Osmon while I jump into Korsiki & check the gate. WT leaves Korsiki, but not into Osmon. Our guy undocks, jumps through and safely docks up. CSAR evolution complete with no losses and one lost sheep returned to Korsiki.

With local clear, I was about to log when our WT popped back into system and shows up at HQ. An adhoc squad forms up and we begin playing dock/undock games. Manuvering to provide a warp in point, Jax got caught on the station and was popped before I could relocate & get WT jammed. My bad, Jax, I'll get you a new ship today sometime. We have a couple of instances where WT goes deep into structure before docking (in fact, I thought we had popped him once).

WT warps to a spot off the Osmon gate (mistake! He knew we had cloaking ships active!) and Hiroyuki Fujita positions to provide both the tackle and the warp in point. I go to warp and issue standby to the fleet. My concern is to not get small ships arriving too soon, getting popped before I can jam, so I wait until I'm 15 secs from landing before I call Hiroyuki to uncloak and engage and direct everyone else to warp to Hiroyuki and to engage on contact.

What happened next was a _perfectly_ delivered headshot.

I land 115km away from WT just as he and Hiroyuki execute the mutual tackle. 3 secs later, WT is permajammed. 20 secs later, our DPS starts to arrive. 1 minute later, "Boom Goes the Dynamite!".

Pod got away, though.

Good job by all concerned. The only hic-up was Jax's loss. Stations & cloakers are not friends!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tagged?? Oh dear!

It seems that I have been the victim of a drive by tagging from Karox.

So the way the game works is:
- Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
- Share 7 facts about myself in the post - some random, some weird.
- Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
- Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

Ok, here we go...

1. I'm a speed freak. I've driven a NASCAR stock car at 165MPH and _loved_ it!

2. I'm also a sailor, but cat's only, thank you. Hull flying ftw!

3. My musical taste has been described as "either prima fascia evidence of schizophrenia or the most eclectic rack mankind has ever seen". Nat King Cole? Check. Jamie Foxx? Check. Chet Atkins? Check. Mark Knoffler Check. Pavarotti to PDiddy, I got ya covered.

4. I've taught adult Bible study in the Baptist Church for 20+ years.

5. My home town has only 3 traffic lights. All 3 blink only.

6. Keeping with Eve University tradition, there is no 6. Here's why.

7. I remember both the Cuban Missile Crisis and the band that Paul McCartney was in before Wings.

Seven to tag:

Galaxy Voyager
Vive Virtual
Ironfleet Towing
Misguided Adventurer

I'll be leaving these folks comments to let them know they've been tagged in a bit..

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another War Dec....

This will put us over a month of near constant war decs.

A dec every now and then is fun for us, but, because we close recruiting during wars, it means that we are unable to act on our main purpose, getting new pilots quickly immersed in the game. The frustration level among leadership rises because we know that the fewer people we help, the fewer new trial accounts convert to subscriptions. And no matter what your play style, fewer new pilots is bad.

So, our pilots continue to fight the way we always do. Tight discipline, combined arms fleets, lots of little ships with low skillpoint pilots and a few vets who bring the heat.

Trading cruisers for battleships. ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Orcas in Action

The end of our last war has allowed Eve University to return to our primary purpose of taking new pilots and helping them scale the vertical learning cliff that is EVE Online. One of our traditions is that new members are greeted in Corp Chat with a chorus of "Welcomes!", a few Bunny Gank Tanks and a rouge Beer Truck. Over the weekend, Corp Chat never stopped scrolling!

I had the opportunity to roll out the Orca (USS New York LPD-21) for a little solo work Saturday and a Corp common can op on Sunday afternoon, where we ended up with two Orca's for the last hour.

For solo work, this ship is everything I had hoped it would be. Kaye pilots the Orca, with salvaging Dessie and Hulk in the ship bay. Dee flys a Raptor to web sling the Orca. Jump into system, use the Raptor to do a quick fly by of the belts and pick a spot. Kaye warps the Orca to Dee in the belt, Dee swaps to Hulk and the work shift begins. Takes about an hour to fill the ~135k m3 available. Dock, unload. Rinse & repeat. No can ever outside, much to the chagrin of the Rifter pilot who sat beside me for 15 minutes, popping off in local that he was a "can flippin' mofo, cum 2 steal yur rocks!" That earned him a pat on the head in local in return. ;)

For group ops, the real issue is going to be co-ordinating the haulers so they can keep up. Many of the belts required no repositioning to take down completely and only 1 move was required for the largest belt (22KM range for strips!). At peak, we were generating the equivalent of a full can every 2 minutes (134 sec strip cycle time!). The second Orca as hauler was a good solution. The hauler Orca stood off about 25km and we tractored a can back and forth to transfer. The can Orca has enough buffer storage to cover the trip by the hauler to the station. If you know that you are going to have 2 Orca's you can use 1 with mining links and the other with a different set (say shield links), too.

Some wierd GUI and stacking issues, but nothing too distracting. Kaye is only at Industrial Command Ship 3, so there's still 6% topside available.

Here's a pic:

On my absence...

I've been absent for a few days. The LT's leaving has been tough for all of us, another non-war war for Uni and a general sense of meh all dampened my enthusiasm a bit.

I can't tell you how much your comments in local (particularly the "Hey Dee: For the LT - O7") have pulled me back.

Well... That and Kaye's Orca was delivered! More on that in a few...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just an aside.... Not EVE related...

The LT's leave is up today. My wife & I drove from Dallas to Norman yesterday afternoon and then I went to the OKC airport at Zero Dark Thirty to start him on his way back to Iraq.

Wasn't any easier the second time.

If my emotions were soup, Emeril would call the flavor complex. Savory pride in this young man. Sweet because of the love he has for my daughter. A touch of acid regret that the life they have chosen demands such self sacrifice.

Salt from my own tears.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

QFT: Roc's Rule #67

"Swearing is but a crutch upon which uneducated people lean to express themselves." Roc's Rule #67

One of my pet peeves, as well.

There's nothing wrong with a little profanity every now and then. Linguistic salt & pepper, if you will.

But if you are using various derivations of "F" as noun, verb, adverb, adjective and imperative, all in the same sentence, then get a thesaurus and have some alone time.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Today's Lesson: Dark Plans and Thunderbolts

“Let your plans be dark and as impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” - Sun Tzu

The Uni normally flies in large fleets. We do that for many good reasons that have been clearly communicated before.

But sometimes, hidden amongst the fleet of 40 or 50, is a smaller strike team with a different agenda.

Here's the After Action Report:

Channelling H. Cosell : "Down Goes Sabre! Down Goes Saber!

(If you are of a certain age, you'll get the pop culture reference. If not, try ESPN Classic and catch Foreman/Frazier.)

The main fleet was forming up to head to Amarr & chase the Mercs. I had RL issues to deal with shortly, so I declined. WT AD had been in system for hours, not in station & not on scans or probes, so the conclusion was she was cloaked, probably observing HQ.

Just in case, I swapped my Falcon for a Scorp, fitted with less jamming than usual, but more tank & tackle. I undocked at HQ to provide cover for our guys joining the fleet.

A few minutes later, S logs in. I gang up Oli in his CovOp Scanner of Doom and Eyedoll slinging pure Amarr laser light love for DPS.

S plays snipe games for a bit. We almost have him a couple of times, but give the Devil his due, S is a slippery rascal & never quite stayed in one place long enough for us to get the drop on him.

S warps away from HQ toward the Osmon gate. Oli follows & call contact behind the gate (paying attention, here students? Behind the gate meant that there was no celestial for us to bounce off of and come in at range to our prober). Oil warped off grid to drop a probe and I move to safespot 16au from the Osmon gate.

Oli calls a hit & 'warp to me at zero'.

I'm on the way, Eyedoll is 80au out (Oh dear!).

I land basically on top of S's Cerb. Scram, web, 2x Neut 4X cruise and 2X Caldari jammers go to work.... I know I'm not going to take him down without Eyedoll and I'm wondering where A is....

A shows up first in a Rapier and engages me. No worries, drones out & last jammer on A.

Eyedoll drops on to grid and that pretty much is all she wrote. S down. A disengages. Oli docks up to repair (S was slinging FOF's). We loot the wreck and I'm getting ready to have it salvaged, when first A returns for a look (but doesn't stick) and then S comes back at range in a Raven. Having accomplished our goal, we left the wreck and retired from the field.

GF's exchanged in local.

Bravo Zulu to Oli, the Probe Master!

Melissa Dawn added her perspective on this engagement here.

Just for emphasis, let me quote just a small section of my reply to her:

However, this was not a solo action, but rather the co-ordinated effort of a small team that required the capabilities of three pilots of three different races, flying ships with three different roles. It should serve notice to our enemies that we have the capability and the willingness to engage in small unit fights. When they see three Uni pilots, they won’t know if our guys are scouts for a 30 man fleet, recons probing for weakness or a strike team prepared to take out the unwary. That uncertainty leads to hesitation and ‘he who hesitates, is lost”.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Today's Lesson: Lack of Movement = Getting Set Up

When my RL ex-attack pilot buddies talk about combat tactics, they never fail to include one of their truisms : "One pass, haul ass!". In context, they mean that sticking around for an extended period of time in an area where there are people who are trying to kill you is generally a bad idea.

The EVE corollary is that sitting in one place allowing your OPFOR time to setup and bust you, even if you can see part of it happening, is not an optimal tactical solution.

One of our rising star FC's had a smallish fleet of about 15 next door to OPFOR's home system. In addition, we had a couple of Recon pilots keping an eye on OPFOR's home station. Couple of WT's in interceptors and a Rokh. One of the other Directors and I are in Korsiki, 15 jumps away. He & I discuss & decide that by the time we got there, anything that was going to happen would be history.

But... 5 minutes pass and no engagement.

So, Silent's alt grabs a Rapier & I roll out my trusty Falcon and we sprint down the pipe.

As we leave Korsiki, scouts report that one 'ceptor logged, but the other ' ceptor and the Rokh had warped to the the gate opposite of our fleet. The 'ceptor jumps through and heads out to an observation point 220+ KM from the gate with a clear view of our fleet sitting on the gate.

And they just sat there. Rokh about 20km off the gate, 'ceptor on the other side staring at our fleet.

They sat there long enough for a Rapier and 2 Falcons to make a 15 jump sprint and get set up with the two other Recons on the Rokh. Five recons? Overkill, you say? Psh. There is no such thing as overkill. There is only "Target!" and "Reloading!".

Rapier uncloaks & tackles. As soon as the Rokh aggresses, the rest of the recon gang uncloaks & starts frying eyeballs. FC jumps the fleet through and, as Grandpa would say, "It was all over, 'cept the shoutin'!".

So today's lesson is:

Sticking around the same spot, even if you are not technically 'still' is a bad idea. Someone is probably looking at you co-ordinating a party with you as the guest of honor. It's not paranoia if they're really out to get you...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Today's Lesson: Logoffsky = fail , m'kay?

The mercs that were hired to dec us have rapidly devolved to mostly staying docked up many jumps away from Korsiki. Understandable.

Yesterday, an OPFOR cruiser pilot made this mistake of warping to the same spot 100km off a Uni gate camp twice. After his cruiser goes pop, he immediately logged off. No prober was available, so it worked. This time.

Later, this same pilot returned to his home station in Amarr. I was in system providing overwatch and early warning as one of our student FC's formed a fleet in Korsiki, planning to travel to Amarr & at least show the flag. Other scouts were out and about in the area as well.

The OPFOR pilot in question undocks in a Harpy and proceeds to putter around the undock point. As some point, he must have flipped a can or somehow aggro'ed another corp, because about 1/2 dozen ships unloaded a can of industrial strength whup ass on the lone Harpy. I report this on our TS channel for the entertainment of the fleet forming.

The Harpy goes 'pop' and, lo and behold, the Harpy pilot logs in space and his pod warps away from the station. I report this in TS and one of our probers says that he is 4 jumps out, armed with a single Hobgoblin II and already inbound.

Seconds later "Probe Launched".... "Pod hit, warping".... "Drone Launched!"

I warped to our prober and arrived just in time to hear the 'squish' of a pod & "Tower, Ghostrider requesting a flyby!" from a solitary 'goblin II that was doing victory rolls!

So, boys & girls, today's lesson is about logging off with aggro:

- You are visible to all, not just those that you were aggro'ed with.
- Logging off in space with an aggro timer in a system with WT's who have demonstrated that they can and will probe you down is not going to get you a seat on the stage at graduation.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Uni gets some Massive love!

EVE Evolved: Beating the Learning Curve of EVE Online

It's always gratifying to see the efforts of the staff and students of Eve University recognized.

Be sure you click the graphic inside the story that shows the learning curve of various MMO's. The section presented doesn't do the artist's creation justice. I had a good laugh when I saw the whole thing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

And they say romance is dead...


Just read it. If you don't laugh, send me Eve Mail & I'll send you 100 isk.

Friday, November 14, 2008

War dec and today's lesson...

We have been war dec'ed. It's a paid job for some mercenaries, which is really interesting...

In any event, we continue to do what we always do. :)

Ref: This morning

I logged on to check a couple of administrative matters & saw that only one WT was online. Intel report of him moving up the pipe in a frigate, so I grabbed my tackling Scorp & headed to the Osmon gate.

WT jumped into Korsiki & began to move from safespot to safespot... I swapped to Raptor.

Today's lesson, boys & girls: If you are deep safespotted in the OPFOR's home system with 40+ WT's online and an interceptor drops on grid, you can be sure of the following:

1. Your safespot has been probed out.
2. The 'ceptor is not going to be alone very long.
3. Now is a good time to either leave or swap to pod saver overview tab.

I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Patch Day Ponderings

While we are all waiting (you did set a 48 hr skill, right?), our recent corp theft launched a flurry of internal discussion far out of proportion to the deed itself.

The basic underlying question : "Is it reasonable to assume that the trustworthiness of a game character mirrors the trustworthiness of the RL person behind the keyboard?"

Now, before you go all emo on me, read the question carefully. It deals with trustworthiness, not morality. Many of my carebear brothers & sisters fail to make the distinction and start the flow of tears in situations where they are not warranted.

In the game, a pirate who catches you in low sec trying to ninja mine, offers or accepts an offer to ransom your ship and honors the ransom has demonstrated trustworthiness, just as a corpmate who hauls the ore from a co-op mining op and turns it all over at the conclusion of the op has done.

In a like manner, the pirate who neither gives nor asks quarter or ransom demonstrates trustworthiness, in that you can count on a certain course of action.

The disconnect is the person who tells you one thing, but does another. The person who drops a can in front of a starter station named "Free stuff. Take some!" and then pops the unsuspecting noob that does so. The pirate that offers ransom, takes the isk and blows you up anyway.

In my Eve time, I've found such disingenuous folks to be rare. Not unknown, just rare. I'm hopeful that is because Eve does mirror real life.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Corp hangar theft

Every now and then, some super sekret spiez haxxor wannabe decides to launch his 'career' by infiltrating Eve University, stealing the contents of the student hangars with a disposable alt and then flushing the alt as soon as the swag is traded to an accomplice.

This isn't really much of an accomplishment. Our mission leads us to be very open in recruitment. Our internal philosophy in dealing with new students is filled with generosity, logistical support and lots of free stuff. Free stuff is self service. Access is based on time in corp.

But management and staff aren't dimwits. Cans are logged. The logs are reviewed. Stock levels in the cans are managed to levels that balance the need to have things readily available vs the minimization of the inherent risk. The free stuff provided is valuable to a young character, but cheap to vets. Most of the time, our budding producers manufacture the items, using minerals that the mining students produce. We don't sell the stuff on the market, so it's not even an income stream hit.

The bottom line is that someone placed an alt inside Eve University for nine months in order to steal a sack of T1 frigates, meta 1/2 modules and starter skillbooks. The total value of the stack could have been earned in a weekend of team running missions or mining.

(slow golf clap) Whoopdee doopee doo. To the person who was at the keyboard behind Ambassador Maleth, I hope you are proud. I hope you tell all your Eve friends so that you will see how valued your activities are.

To our students I said:

Eve is a harsh and cold place. People will take advantage of those that try and help others. Get used to it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Orca Updates...

Some changes to the Orca on the test server. All of them make sense and there are only a few more adjustments that I'd like to see, but all & all, I'd buy one with these stats right away.

The changes:

Added a 4th mid-slot. Allows for a 3 slot shield tank and a sensor booster. Swap tank for scanner, if you prefer.

Added 25 m3 to the drone bay and 25 to bandwidth. A flight of mediums and a flight of lights or 2 sentries and a flight of lights. More than enough, I think.

Added 10k m3 to the Corp hangar. 30k m3 was ok with me, so this is just gravy.

Mining Foreman III skill requirement changed to Mining Director I. Makes perfect sense.

BOM adjusted to include Corp Hangar Bay. The only component required that is not also used for carrier production is Cap Cargo Bays. Carrier producers will be able to shift production for the earlu adopters.

Can use 3 command links concurrently. This was bug fix, not a tweak.

In Action:

I've got some time on the test server with an Orca and a Hulk. So far, my initial thoughts about how the ship will be useful for me personally and for Uni have been confirmed.

With reasonable skills, you'll be able to fit/rig for more than 135k m3 in total cargo space (cargo + corp hangar). Solo mining in my Hulk, I can fill that in less than an hour and that fits my style of mining for about an hour at a time. No can flipper worries. Command links give me plenty of range so I should never have to move during that hour. If I want to mine in a system where I don't have good standings, it's much more convenient now. I can fly an interceptor to escort/web sling Kaye in the Orca with Hulk, salvage dessie & HAC or HIC in the ship hangar. When my mining session is over, a quick swap to the dessie allows for wreck clean up. Nasties can be discouraged by the cruiser size hulls, if need be.

In gang situations, the Orca will act as the warp in point for the haulers. Buffer space provided in the cargo bay and the haulers can access the corp hangar (with appropriate rights and with the hangar configured to allow it). Orca pilot tractors the cans and keeps the corp hangar full. Ship hangar holds support ships as required.

What I'd Change:

I don't think most folks are going to run 3 command links. Range & cycle time links plus tractor will be the default hi-slot fit, I think. A 4th hi-slot would allow a 2nd tractor or a salvager.

I still think that requiring Mining Barge V on a ship that can't fit any kind of mining laser is a bit odd. The Mining Director requirement is logical, as would be a requirement for Command Ships. I'm sorry, but the "It's a T1 ship! You can't have a T2 skill requirement!" holds no water with me. It's. A. Command.Ship. A T1 ship doesn't have the inherent ability to use 3 command links concurrently. Command ships do. Accept the fact that the Orca is a hybrid. It's T1.5 and get over it.

Just an aside...

Look at the ship model closely. Notice how the main hull is made of three modular sections with the superstructure sitting on top of the aft two sections. Now look at the ship models for an Ity III, Ity IV and Ity V. I'm just sayin'.... :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I/O Overload!

Quantum Rise Release date set for 11 Nov

QR Feature Set

CCP Zulupark's Ask Anything Responses

Also changes on the test server to Orca that I'll discuss separately....

Zulupark's Live Dev Blog answers were very, very interesting. Lots of nuggets of info and hints about things to be released at Fanfest.

Looks like we will shortly see:

- T3 ships
- non-static 'roid belts
- fuel bay added to Black Op ships
- Stealth local (at least in 0.0)

Of all of the comments/observations that Zulupark made the one that sparked the most volume and heat was this:

eKuivocal wrote:

5.) In short will hi-sec ever be nerfed? It seems crazy to me that you can chill in hi-sec and make just as much money running level 4's as risking your nuts in 0.0 ratting. Risk and reward between security systems should be rebalanced IMHO.

CCP Zulupark wrote:
High-sec nerfed:
Personally I'd like to see more lvl4 agents move more to low-sec, but that's just my personal opinion. This is a very delicate system and any kind of interference with it needs careful consideration. So far we haven't looked at it in any seriousness.

Our internal forums are alive with the debate about the desirability/implications of moving most/all L4 agents to low-sec, despite the huge disclaimer at the end of Zulupack's comment.

The argument for moving most/all L4 agents to low-sec goes like this:
  • Eve is predicated on non-consensual combat (Risk)
  • For a greater level of risk, there should be a greater level of reward
  • Therefore, the greatest isk rewards should be available to those players that play in the riskiest areas
  • Running L4 agents in Empire removes players from high levels of risk, but provides very high levels of rewards
  • Therefore, moving L4 agents to low-sec is desirable because it balances the risk/reward equation
The response runs like this:
  • Eve is a sandbox game. Forcing players to choose between lowering their standard of living or adopting a PvP playstyle is fundamentally inconstant with that design philosophy.
  • This is the latest whine from pirates who feel that target density is too low and the existing targets are too skilled to be profitably engaged.
  • Moving L4 agents to lowsec will only result in mission runners concentrating on high quality L3 agents. Mission runners understand that their PvE optimized ships are not viable for PvP.
  • What about other professions? Trading/production/invention all can earn significant isk, with low/no risk. Will you also propose moving all of these professions to low/null sec?
At least on the Uni boards, this issue has stirred up pages of comments.

But, there's nothing coming soon, m'kay?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thoughts on The Orca

The Orca has been available on the test server for a few days and I’ve spent some time getting to know the preliminary version of the latest ship in the Eve Universe. I’ve looked forward to getting my hands on this ship since it was first rumored to be on the way. Having flown it, I’m even more excited!


My comments about the Orca will be made in this context. I’m primarily a miner. My second character, Kaye Carson, was originally cast as a hauler and can fly Gallente industrials, transports and freighters. Recently, Kaye has moved up to fly command ships with 2 mining command links and a shield link. Both of us can salvage.

A typical scenario when we are flying alone is for Kaye to be in a fully rigged Ity V sitting next to my Hulk. I like to mine for about an hour at a time while I deal with my corp email box, then I’ll run missions with students or Kaye will shift to Eos & provide mining bonuses to a student fleet. Often, we’ll work with students to mine mission ore. Most of our mining is in Empire and in systems with refining capabilities.

Selected Orca Characteristics

• Approximately 78k m3 cargo (2x T2 Expanders, 3X T1 Cargo rigs

• 30k m3 Corporate hangar
o Configurable by pilot to allow/deny access to pilots in the fleet
o Carries same divisions/structure/access as Corp station hangars
o Can not be accessed by freighters in space

• 400k m3 Ship Maintenance hangar
o Carries only assembled ships
o Ships may have only ammo/scripts/crystals in their cargo holds
o Allows refits in space

• 3/3/2 Hi/Med/Low slot layout

• 50 m3 drone bay with 25 bandwidth

• 75km tractor

Skill Requirements

• Industrial Command Ships I (new skill)
• Mining Barge V
• Spaceship Command V
• Mining Foreman III (Per devs, will be changed to Mining Director I)
• Industry V

Overall Impressions

I like the ship model, but I’m not sure of the scale. It appears to be about the same volume as a Domi, about 6-8 times bigger than a Catalyst and about 25% the size of an Obelisk. This seems to be a bit small. It could use some Hulk-like moving parts and perhaps a lighter main color, but those are just nits.

Ship flight is sluggish, but appears reasonable and in line with other ships. Warp initiation is about 10-12 seconds slower than a plated Dominix and about 10-12 seconds faster than an Obelisk.

The Ship Maintenance hangar can carry 2 Hulks. Since I don’t rig my Hulks, I’m more likely to carry a Hulk disassembled in the Corp Hangar and fill the Ship Hangar with an Ity V, a CovOps, an interceptor, a salvage destroyer and an assault frigate (all rigged) when I go on expeditions.

Currently, only one command link can be used, but the devs have acknowledged this bug & indicated that the design spec is for three. This implies the need for one additional high slot to allow the fit of 3 command links and a tractor. I think the additional top slot is a necessary change and support the call for it. I'll probably run 2 mining command links, a tractor and a salvager.

You can follow the debate on the Eve Online forums about the specifics of the ship stats. There are those that feel that it needs to compress ore (I disagree), that it needs an additional mid slot and an additional low slot (I’ll never turn them down, but I don’t think the ship is broken because of the current mid/low layout), that the ship is a jack of all trades, but master of none and therefore useless (I disagree) and many other opinions.

Required Skills

Most of the forum debate on the skill subject revolves around the requirement for Mining Barge V to fly a ship that can’t fit mining lasers. I think this argument has merit. The devs have indicated that skill requirement will be adjusted to Mining Director I.

My recommended required skills would be:
• Industrial Command Ship I (new skill)
• Industry V
• Command Ship II
• Transports IV
• Mining Director I

At first, that appears to be a reduction of the skills required, but imbedded in the requirements are Battlecruiser V, Spaceship Command V, Leadership V and Mining Foreman V. The skillset that I’m suggesting appears appropriate for a ship designed to be a hybrid of a command ship, a transport and an upsized industrial. And before the post is made, yes, I realize that I’m suggesting a T2 ship skill (Command Ships) for a T1 ship. So? Orca is a mining command ship. It will run multiple command links. It gives bonuses for each of those multiple command links. Why shouldn’t a ship whose primary purpose is a command ship require command ship skills?

Using the Orca

When I’m mining alone, the Orca will allow Dee to get Kaye’s command ship bonuses without jet can mining. The capacity is appropriate for the amount of time that I generally spend mining with just my characters. Launch Hulk, launch Orca, fleet warp to belt, mine until full & then warp back to the station. Minimal threat from can flippers. Adequate drone capacity for rat defense. Just about perfect for individual and small group miners!

In support of larger Uni mining ops (particularly mining mission space with 40km+ distance from the warp in point to the rocks), the Orca will serve as the logistical nexus in the belt. Cans will be tractored to one location that doubles as the warp in point for the haulers. No more tractor relays or hauler slow boating. Centralized rat looting & salvage. Surge storage capacity if haulers are scarce or if the haul requires a system jump. What’s not to like?

Others can comment on the Orca’s use as a ship transport or mini-freighter or any other such role. I’m looking at it as “a vessel to help meet the demands of New Eden's industry and provide a flexible platform from which mining operations can be more easily managed.”

It looks pretty good, too!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Profile on CrazyKinux

My profile was released on CrazyKinux's site today:

Dee Carson's Profile

Crazy's blog pack is a great idea and the synergies are already being seen, with many of the items in the blog pack being picked up at http://www.massively.com/ providing additional exposure. (Shout out to James Egan!)

Keep those cards & letters coming! :p

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I couldn't help myself....

The current war was retracted a few hours ago, which means I probably won't have any more fun like last night...

I was generally just casting about in my Falcon, running down contact reports. We have a medium sized fleet (50+) out but they were not having any luck either...

I'll let Silentbrick's after action report pick up from there:

AAR - 10/25/08 "Battle for Josameto Gate"
There was no fleet for this one. Basically Dee Carson (falcon) and Saphion (Crow) spotted a WT hanging around Josameto and New Caldari. I undocked and started up the pipe as the fleet was off in Amarr space, but when I got two jumps out they said he was gone. So back to station. I dock up, 2 minutes later, they say he's back so I undock and begin racing up the pipe ( I use the term 'race' loosely as Ravens do not exactly leave a dust cloud in their wake).

The target was hiding a bit, but as chance would have it, reappeared on the Josameto gate in New Caldari right as I landed on the other side. Saphion announced he was engaged, Dee uncloaked and jammed him as Saphion called a point and I hopped through the gate and uncloaked within 15km of him.

As I engaged with cruises and heavy neuts, the target tried to crawl to the gate and de-aggro to jump through, however his Ishtar was nano-tanked and nano tanks while sitting still tend to be eggshells. (I've never seen someone's armor vanish like that. It didn't go down, it was simply gone and he was 40% into structure. (Yay, Caldari Navy Devastators!) Poor Ishtar vanished under the hammering explosions of our missiles and then Saphion called a point on the pod and killed it just as my first cruise missile launched.

So, tally is 1 dead poly'd, nano'd Ishtar and his pod. And we lost some missiles.


Though why Dee jammed the pod....I dunno. Maybe to ensure he'd have 3 headed kids.

Excellent Teamwork, as any one of us couldn't have done it alone. Saphion and Dee couldn't have killed him and since he'd of run from me, I couldn't have killed him without their holding him down and jamming him. Fast response and good teamwork over solo flying any day!


My response?

Multiple choice:

A. His left eyeball wasn't done yet.
B. It was a reflex action. See flashy, jam flashy.
C. I'm a killmail whore
D. All of the above



We have a saying in the Uni... Real Life > EVE and that was the case for me this past week. My wife's 83 year old father cracked a rib working cattle on their farm in Central Texas, so I spent several days there playing ranch hand. He's mending well and most of my soreness is gone! Returning to my rural roots was interesting, and there is much to be said for that life style, but a fast internet connection is not one of those characteristics!

I did conclude that yearling bulls & Uni nOObs have a lot in common. In small groups, they are pretty cute, but if you put 50 or so of them together in a confined space, they can be a force to be wary of!

War, again...
Merc corp with no current contracts seeks "fun". Finds opportunity to inventory station lights when Uni fleet of 50+ makes 25 jump trip to camp them in station.

Silent, Saphion & I did have a fun kill last night that I'll share more about later. Rapid response, tactical flexibility and teamwork ftw!

Free Willie! AKA Orca Released!
The long rumored Orca has been released on Sisi. I'm flying one now and will publish a full report in a couple of days. I want to have some hands on with it before I publish anything substantial, but first impressions are that it will be a valuable addition to my mining fleet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eve Blog Pack Profiles

Members of the EVE Blog Pack are going to be coordinating and posting profiles of the members over the course of the coming weeks and months, as part of an effort to cross-polinate between our blogs!

Here is the first profile.

Name/Handle: Colonel Roc Wieler

Blog URL: Roc's Ramblings at http://everamblings.wordpress.com

Faction: Minmatar Republic

Started EVE: 2006

What brought me here:
My love for science fiction has been something inspired in me since I first Star Wars at the theatre as a kid. I loved the richness of the mythology, the vastness of the universe; the true sense of wonder. So naturally, I played Star Wars Galaxies the day it came out. Played dedicated for five years. The last two years though, I noticed the game was continually being dumbed down. I hate dumbed down. I enjoy depth. Someone mentioned EVE Online to me, and well, been here ever since. Even gave up Star Wars for it, my childhood love.

I am a Fleet Commander for the Tribal Liberation Force, as well as recently promoted to Fleet Commander in my corp, Freeform Industries. I do missions every now and then, but my real passion is the market. Both my alts are out of the box traders, and I really enjoy the cutthroat nature of doing business. I've never mined, never even opened research or industry, and have never managed a corp. One step at a time.

What keeps me playing:
Ironically, there are two things. The first is that you don't need to be here 23/7 for fear of missing out on some huge event. That flexibility combined with real time skill training (as opposed to mindless grinding) makes it great for me. During the week, I'm a casual player, and that's just fine. The second reason I've already mentioned indirectly. Depth. Vastness. Mythology. EVE Online is so comprehensive that I am STILL catching up on my reading, just to absorb myself deeper into this universe we call home.

What I write:
My personal blog is all in character (with occasional exception). My approach to writing is a little different than most I am told. I tend to merge real life happenings with ingame happenings, with a bit of complete fantasy mixed in to throw you off. So far, it's been fun. I am also a columnist over athttp://www.eve-mag.com and hope to also get an article or two into EON Magazine. That would be something.

Other Interests:
I am also a co-developer for Capsuleer, the definitive iPhone application for EVE Online. I enjoy making 3D wallpapers as well, and have contributed some to the EVE Online galleries.

What you should know about EVE:
It's intimidating when you start; overwhelming actually. It's like learning a new Operating System and learning how to live in a completely new universe all at the same time. But stick with it, seriously. The rewards are worth it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Co-Operative Mining Guide

One of the new students who was participating in a quick & dirty little mining op with me Thursday night has been reading through the mining information on our internal forums and asked why the Co-Operative Mining Guide that I authored for Eve University was not on my blog....

Erm... Well... MetaDog ate my only copy? I'm working on a Sanskrit translation? It was in my alt's cargo hold when she was ganked in BWF?

Not buying any of that, are you...

The simple reason is that I didn't think about it until asked.

So, here it is:

Eve University Co-Operative Mining Guide

This version is more than a year old and needs to be tweaked just a bit, but 99% of the information conveyed is still valid.

The purpose of the document is to show how to take all of the wonderful theory in Halada's Guide and put it into practice. More hands on & less numbers. As such, it is not intended to stand alone, but to be viewed in concert with the other more technical resources available.

I'll put updating this on my To Do list. If I can find the last page...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"Have a rest! Sit a spell!"

Growing up in the Panhandle of Texas and spending summers at my grandparents, I heard that phrase often uttered by Granny to friends, family and strangers who appeared at the door. It was an expression of welcome and hospitality designed to reassure the listener that their visit was a highpoint of the day and not an interruption.

So, to those of you who may find your way here today through the Eve Blog Pack mention in the Eve Online newsletter, "Have a rest! Sit a spell!"

The collection of blogs that CrazyKinux has assembled is a cross-section of Eve. Some of us wear 'white hats'. Some wear various shades of gray. Some only demonstrably black.

Some of us freely cross the line between talking about Eve as a player to looking at it from an external perspective. Others speak only in the voice of the character that lives inside the Eve Universe because, after all, interwebs spaceships are serious business!

Whatever your Eve profession, perspective or preference, I think you'll find at least one member of the Eve Blog Pack that provides information, entertainment or commentary that suits you. I know I have!

So, as Granny would say, "Don't be a stranger! Come see us soon!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Haiduken War Video

I started playing around with Fraps before the war, aiming toward a new recruiting video.

Although I did get lots of footage, frapsing has not become second nature, as I missed lots of opportunities. I need to update my pre-combat check list to include loading Fraps and my firing point procedures to include F9 right after F1-F8!

In any event, here is my first effort:

http://eve-files.com/dl/175539 This version is much higher quality than the YouTube one.



Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits
The Bug - Mary Chapin-Carpenter
Fast as You - Dwight Yoakam
We'll Meet Again - Johnny Cash
Beer For My Horses - Toby Keith / Willie Nelson

Tools used:

Video Studio 9
Free MP3 WMA converter
Paint Shop Pro

The Poster at the end is a prototype that I stole... erm.. borrowed from Melissa Dawn. It's obvious that Melissa is a professional and I am just a rank amateur.

For a first effort, I'm pretty pleased. Take a look & let me know what you think!

Haiduken War Ends

Our war ended as Haiduken withdrew the war dec a few days into the second week.

Lately, Uni wars had a very discernible pattern. Our opponents generally don't do any research before they engage us. As a result, when they discover that they will be outmanned 23/7 by large fleets of fearless students in cheap ships, they turn the war into a demonstration of their interceptor flying abilities, refusing to engage and turning local into a smack fest. No fun for Uni staff, no fun for the students and the students don't learn anything.

This war was totally different. Props to Broadcast & the Haiduken pilots. They continued to engage with ships of all sizes, our students had lots of fun, new FC's and new combat pilots emerged. Local smack was minimial and after almost every engagement, "GF" was exchanged in local.

And at the end, Haiduken joined us in a conga line outside a Poinen station. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Butt-kickings = Learning Opportunities

Our current war is generally going well for Eve University. We have more than held our own and both new pilots and new FC's have been blooded.

Sometimes, the best lessons are learned from getting an old fashioned butt-kicking. Case in point:

The Battle In Obanen

Our opponents had been fielding lots of 'ceptors, nano'ed cruisers and other slippery ships. These present challenges for Uni fleets and new FC's because they allow the OPFOR to control the engagement. Difficult to lock and engage in Empire, such flight demonstration teams are not significant threats as long as pilots pay attention, stay with the fleet and have the dicispline to not get drawn away from support. Our pilots adapted by choosing smaller, specialized ships with gang support to capture and engage.

No matter the venue, combat is about the constant dance of action and reaction. Seeing our changes, our opponents chose to bring the big shiny ships this time. One of our new FC's had the fleet in Obanen when our opponents surged spider repping battleships into our force. What's more they supported this force with out of corp, neutral remote repping logisitics ships. Our FC fought well, but you can't send kittens against wildcats and expect them to win everytime. Our fleet was rocked:


What was interesting, was seeing how the students learned from the encounter. Moving from questioning "Can they do that? They can use an out of corp, neutral to rep them during battle?" to acceptance "Wow, I didn't know that! So that's why the logistics ship turned flashy...." to internalization of the lesson "So, when the logistics ship goes flashy, we should just kill it, too."

Payback in Korsiki

It's really great to see learning put into action, isn't it?


The logistics ship and the primary Dominix went down within seconds of each other.

And that, ladies & gentlemen, is what Eve University is all about. Learning. The pilots involved will forever be on the lookout for 'neutral' logistics ships and ready to deal with their intervention. Mission accomplished!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Uni Goes To War!

War decs are interesting for Eve University.

On the one hand, they disrupt normal class schedules, teaching activities, mining & missioning, trading and all of our intramural events.

On the other hand, our students get to learn how to FC (Anyone who wants the chair and can raise a fleet is welcome to try their hand. Many times, senior members fly as ordinary squad members, allowing budding FC's full control.), participate in real combat ops and raise a tall, frosty mug of warbeer in salute to fallen comrades & foes.

We fly the same way in every war. Our fleets are large (How can they not be? All those who don't want to fly combat leave Uni during wars as we prohibit all other activities. These folks are welcomed back as soon as hostilities cease.) We fly lots of cheap frigates & cruisers with tons of EW. We teach our pilots to fly and fight as a team, not as a collection of individuals.

Every group that decs us has spies inside the Uni. Our open recruiting policy assures this. It doesn't bother us. To be restrictive in our recruiting policies would be at odds with our purpose.

And, we generally hold up our end of the bargin. http://killboard.eve-ivy.com/


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"How old are you?"

One of our members posed that question on our internal forums and added a poll to allow folks to both respond and to display the results.

With nearly 200 responses, the results are not only interesting, they are statistically valid for Eve University and close to being statistically valid for the Eve Universe as a whole. The results as of this morning:

How old are the Unistas?
8 - 12
1% [ 2 ]
13 - 18
3% [ 7 ]
19 - 23
12% [ 25 ]
24 - 29
22% [ 44 ]
30 - 37
26% [ 52 ]
38 - 44
23% [ 46 ]
45 - 51
5% [ 11 ]
52 - 60
3% [ 6 ]
0% [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 194

What interests me is the almost perfect distribution curve around the mid-thirty age group.

First of all, I was surprised to see how old the central band was. I really expected to see more players in their mid 20's than in their mid 30's. That younger expectation seems to be the general consensus of other estimates of the average age of Eve players.

Secondly, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I'm not as much of an anomaly as I thought. There is a decent proportion of us that listened to Paul McCartney before Wings and actually dialed a telephone, rather than punching numbers!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On hardwiring....

Most folks immediately understand the value of implants to speed skill learning. Far fewer seem to have a handle on the value of hardwiring.

Think of hardwiring as "mind-rigs".

The hardwire modules impact a specific attribute of the ship that you are currently flying in the same manner as rigs installed on that ship. If you need more cap, you can install a Semiconductor Memory cell rig on a particular ship. Or you could plug in a Squire CC series hardwiring to give you additional cap on every ship that you fly!

Like rigs, hardwirings are lost if they are removed, so you do need to think about what you plug into the clone head that you are inhabiting.

If you have multiple clones (you _do_ have multiple clones, right?), this gives you the opportunity to design a set of harwires to compliment your personal style & ship choices.

Like most of Eve, there is no single _right_ answer. There are simply choices.

Here is a spreadsheet to help you examine the various hardwirings and their impacts. THe organization will be obvious when you look at it.


I've also included a few suggestions for typical harwire sets for those kinds of characters that I am most familiar with (Caldari railgunners who mine), but I'm not suggesting that these are optimal. You should use them as a starting point for your own exploration of the benefits and costs of using hardwirings.

Oh, and the disclaimer:

Use at your own risk. No warranties are provided, either expressed or implied. Your mileage may vary. Side effects are generally mild and include bloodshoot eyes, flat wallets and bruised foreheads from contact with desktop. In some instances, may result in a significant improvement in the capabilites of the character in question, leading to combat losses by those shooting at you. Do not use in connection with the ingestion of alcohol, perscription drugs or other mind altering substances, regardless of their legality. Do not operate heavy machinery for 12 hours after first exampination. If you experience epeen tumessence for more than 4 hours after plugging in your first hardwire, please consult a physician.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

On training....

Many of the questions we see often asked on the Eve University forums and in various convos relate to skill training. New pilots want to get the 'right' answer. They seek a roadmap of specific steps to allow them to reach an undetermined future goal in the minimum amount of time.

Eve doesn't work that way.

Certainly, if you have a specific ship and fit in mind, EveMon will help you optimize the time that it takes to get there. But there are a couple of human problems with that approach.

First of all, rarely does the initial ship/fit goal of a brand new player survive more than a few days. As you gain a deeper understanding of how Eve works and what you find enjoyable, that initial ship will be shelved more often than not. So any initial plan that aims for a specific goal is quite likely to result in a mishmash of unco-ordinated, disjointed skills and some wasted time.

The alternative approach is to train nothing but learning skills in the beginning so that when you turn your attention to 'real' skills, your pumped up mind will minimize the training time required. That approach is clearly mathimatically valid. It's also no fun! While those that join the game at the same time as you did are off flying cruisers, you are still poking around in a low level frigate doing mental pushups. Bah!

For most people who want to balance long term efficiency with short term fun, a middle ground must be found.

Here are a few personal suggestions:

- Push a standard learning skill up quickly so that the next level takes 18-24 hrs.
- Train that skill when you are not in the game. When you get that one up to L4, pick another standard learning skill & do the same thing.
- While you are in game, train lots of different L1 skills. They train quickly and let you get into new ships and modules so that you can have some fun.
- A couple of weeks of this will help you settle on a realistic short term skill plan (say 3 to 4 weeks). Use EveMon to help you plan, but balance efficiency with fun!
- Never buy a skill book until you can train it.
- Never fly with a purchased skill book in your cargo hold. Start training it as soon as you buy it, even if you only train it for 30 seconds. A skill book in your head cannot be mislaid, lost, sold by accident, destroyed or dropped as loot if you should have a close encounter of the pod kind while returning home from the store.

Generic skillplans are just that. Generic. The right skill plan for you is the one that provides your personal balance between having fun now and having more fun later!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New ship = new fun

Part of the appeal of Eve for me is rolling out a new ship. All of the planning, the futzing in EFT and EVEMON, the time spent researching fits and considering how to best incorporate a new shiny into your game play culminates when you undock and go for a spin.

Most times, the first few flights are uneventful. A few times, there can be excitement!

I've been working on a 6 week program to get my second character into an Eos with mining gang modules. Looking at all that extra mining capability makes me smile (and Sabre cry that I would 'misuse' a command ship that way!). Monday night, with our 'war' over, it was time to roll out Mom's Little Helper. The results were.... well, let's just say that it's no accident that there were a couple of missing belts when our little gang finished up. :)

Last night was different.

I was pulling missions next door, really after a mission 'roid spawn where I could get a feel for how the Eos would impact my solo work. Couple of students in local who were also mining, along with our most recent can flipper pest. I set the Eos up with an eye toward being effective as anti-can flipper, so it had full tackle, plus an assortment of damage, web and ECM drones. Our frigate-flying Can Flipper struck once as we were organizing the fleet and then left the belt to wait out his timer.

I warped the Eos to the belt and saw a couple of Can Flipper's wrecks and cans sitting around. A few more students joined our little party and a couple of us re-flipped the cans, flagging us to our little pest.

He warps to the belt a couple of times. Each time I lock him up with the Eos and he immediately leaves. Then, just as my timer is about to expire, he warps in, moves to 1500 meters from the Eos while I'm locking him and flips a can!

Scram, web, neut, guns, launch mixed flight of drones. Pop!

No idea what this guy was thinking, but it didn't work out for him. He made several more trips to the belt in his pod. Against policy, one of the students podkilled him, bringing a Concord swarm and leaving behind a frozen corpse. The student said that the sec status hit was worth it to get rid of the gnat. I just laughed.

So, boys & girls, today's lesson is: Don't flip cans in front of a command ship, m'kay?

Monday, August 25, 2008

War (?) Ends... So we go on a fieldtrip!

Our latest war dec ends in a few hours. A 1 man corp dec'ed us, lost the ship for which his corp is named (demonstrating a total lack of understanding of one of the easiest fitting ships in the game) and then went to Plan B. Plan B involved logging on in space in a nano'ed Crow, warping from deep safespot to deep safespot, going 9k mps toward some distant celestial object & then proclaiming in local how uber he was, even as he refused all opportunities to engage.

Plan C involved self-posting to C&P on EO and asking for others to join him in his 'winning campaign'. Plan C must not have worked out so well either as his member count never moved from one.

Plan D involved just logging in on his alt.

So, since the warbeer supply was still adequate, we took the students on a little fieldtrip to 0.0. We take these on occasion and all the participants are clearly instructed to fly something they can afford to lose ('cause the odds are about 10 to 1 that they will) and to fly an empty headed clone (for the same reason).

Every time we do this, three things happen:

1. We have a great time, mostly going bloooie at some point!
2. A student forgets to check and loses a nice set of implants (Snakes? ouch!)
3. Somebody flies a ship they _really_ didn't want to lose.

As for our trip Sunday? Check. Check. And check.

Our 40+ fleet was holding the gate quite nicely. Big bubble up. Showing the students where to position tacklers to grab people that bounce off the bubble. Talking about the importance of positioning & scouting. Hostile count in local was about 10. We had popped a few of the curious and the unwary. Hostile count increased a bit... Our scouts were reporting what was jumping in system. Nothing to be concerned about so far. Then, in a set of clearly coordinated moves, a hostile Sabre jumps through the gate and a hostile Domi warps in at the edge of the bubble. No big deal... FC calls targets for the various squads, we start taking them both down. Then... Well, then, the Hammer arrived. :)

"A Ragnarok just warped in..."
"WTF is a Ragnarok?"
"Momma? Look at all the pretty lights!"
"Momma? Why am I in a pod?"

That's right, sports fans! The Eve Uni fleet had just been Doomsdayed! Frigate wrecks littered the field. A few of the battleships survived and escaped, but the student ships were toast. It was epic!

A good time was had by almost all (the pilot with the Snakes was understandably not too pleased, but, hey, whadda ya gonna do?) and the students got some valuable lessons about how much 0.0 is different from Empire. I'm sure the Ragnarok pilot had fun, too!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Just scattershooting while I wait for our single war target to log in... (I know, I know... I'll have more to say after the dec is over.)

This is a great set of info to get new pilots up to speed in a hurry:

If you haven't added Crazy Kinux to your RSS feed, you need to fix that immediately. Lot's of good stuff there.

CCP is obviously re-thinking the nano-nerf.
Some of the changes were rolled back on the test server. Trit bar prices have recovered somewhat. The economy of Eve fascinates me. Almost pure capitalism at work. Pure supply and demand markets. CCP announces nano-nerf, players anticipate that certain rigs which use salvaged trit bars will no longer be popular. Players look in their hangars & see stacks of trit bars. Players start putting up sell orders and prices start going down. CCP rolls back changes & the price rebounds. Lots of isk made & lost as a result of crowd psychology, speculation & luck. I'll not speak too much about the whole nano thing. As in most situations in RL, there is a kernel of truth is the positions of both sides.

Unorthodox Mission Running
From my list of 50 Things I Know: "If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid.

I've been experimenting with mission running in HAC's & HDIC's. Why? Because I love the tank. The DPS is a little low, but having a second account with a support Domi available solves that issue when it arises. It is really interesting to hear the 'Professional' mission runners get offended. If I'm having fun, what difference can it make to them if I choose to run missions in an Onyx, mine in a Rokh or autopilot through Jita at peak time? Choices have consequences, but if they are my choices and my consequences, then get your underthings untwisted & run along.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Here's to a broader audience....

I had a note from a Uni Alumni suggesting that I check out this blog for lots of Eve content:


I did and really enjoyed seeing some familiar faces and finding some new nuggets, too.

I'll be figuring our how to add the Blog Pack to the links, too. So make the jump & see what you find that's interesting!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

War Ends

Although, it really never was much of a war.

We lost 3 frigates & a destroyer in exchange for 2 battleships & a HAC. Great exchange ratio!

We had some new FC's step up to lead fleet ops and when they didn't find WT's they went to low-sec & vented their frustration on some pirates. SOPs were followed from the outset and were relaxed as it became clear the OPFOR wasn't a huge threat.

I'll close with this bit from a Uni member:

How EVE University fights their wars
by Patri Allin

How we fight a war -
We form a Grand Fleet with 3 people who have been to lots of wars, 20 people who have just taken the tackling class, 5 people who are wondering what a "TS" is, and 1 person who is so new they think this is part of the tutorial. It takes us 10 minutes to figure out if we are a "tackler" or an "EW", and we haven't even left the station yet.

We find the enemy. As Leader #1 "calls a primary" 4 people put their vote in gang chat, then Leader #2 says "Jam that guy" and somewhere someone stands up from their computer and starts to do the "Hammer", And although nobody ever quite realizes this is what happened, Leader #3 has already been podded by 5 of our own guys who are now super excited they killed an enemy Battleship.

After the dust clears we've got 5 people left - shot 5 of the enemy (net loss 45) and for us this is a MASSIVE FREAKIN VICTORY! It is too cause our ships cost 1mil each and thiers about 200. We try to remember which way is home and then fly off in the wrong direction as somewhere nearby, sitting in their pod in a station, someone is thinking this is the best tutorial in an MMO ever."

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Quick RL Update...

I've received a number of requests for an update on The LT's status, so I'm going to do it here so all can find it & I don't have to repeat myself!

The LT made it to Kuwait fine and spent a week acclimatising. Movement from Kuwait to Tallil was accomplished in the early hours of 01 Aug, via Japanese C-130 w/ full Japanese crew, featuring combat departures & approaches. Bet that was fun!

He has received his assignment as FSO of one of the companies of 2nd Battalion 12th Regiment, which is great because that's the billet he's trained for (as opposed to a slot in S4, where they tried to put him at first!).

Creature comforts are fine. He will live in a trailer with one other soldier. Getting his net connection sorted is high on his priority list. Skype > calling cards, mkay?

Daughter has returned to school for her last semester. Classes don't start for a couple of weeks, so things are a bit slow for her & that is stressful (<3 you, girl!), but should improve as the level of activity on campus goes up.

Thanks for all your comments and support. Both The LT and my daughter 'creep' this blog (took me a few moments to figure that reference when she first made it! lol), so know that support is seen by those that need it most and appreciated by She Who Must Be Obeyed and me.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

I did & it was. :)

"Maybe I'll fit tackle gear on my Scorp. That would be ebil, though, wouldn't it..."

An OPFOR Vagabond was harassing a lone Uni student when I logged in yesterday. One of the students was forming a reaction fleet so I grabbed by Scorp, replaced two jammers with T2 web & scram and headed out to join the party.

WT stayed in system with our lone pilot for a long time as we transited the pipe. We took up a position with the WT in the next system on the gate to Jita there. Our scout put eyes on WT, who followed him to a station so our scout warped to a planet and lost him. Given the WT's aggressive nature, our FC determined to use the scout to bait the WT into an ambush at our gate.

Unfortunately, our scout was tackled & popped on the Jita gate in the next system when he went to start the bait activity. As soon as I heard the scout call on TS that he was engaged, I solo jumped & warped to the Jita gate, figuring that I could tackle the Vaga & hold him until FC got the rest of the fleet through & to the gate. In warp, others were encouraging FC to jump the fleet & engage. I informed FC that I was on the way to the gate already.

I landed within 1200 meters of the Vaga and immediately scrammed & webbed him. The Vaga agressed (renewing timer!) so I hit him with 2 jammers, F1-F6, launch drones and wait for the rest of the fleet to arrive.

The purple cloud appears and envelopes the Vaga. 15 secs later, it pops, followed by the pod before I could lock it.

Killmail shows that is was indeed nanofitted, as you would expect for a solo Vaga.

Lessons to be learned:

1. Appropriate aggressiveness wins. Experience teaches when aggressiveness is appropriate.
2. If you are solo PvPing against a much larger (therefor more likely to have lots of people online) Corp, the last thing you want to do is become stationary. The longer you sit still, the longer you give your enemy to form a reaction force, gather intel about you, travel to you and kick your ass.
3. Having an aggro timer and sitting on a gate or station is bad, mkay?. Loot & scoot!
4. Nano ships can be killed. Nano pilots usually have to make a mistake or be unlucky, but they can be killed and those losses are expensive. This loss was in excess of 140M isk. About 10M isk per second! ;)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Speed Gank in Osmon AAR 2008-07-31 23:18:00

I was pulling picket duty in WT's home system 30+ jumps from Korsiki. No WT's online for more than an hour. I'm BSing with another director (Let's call him Warbeer) on TS.

Then at 23:02 buddylist notification of a WT logging in was received. Quick scan of local revealed that WT was not in local. Our intel dept locates WT seconds later in Osmon in Typhoon, where WT had logged off after the earlier engagement where Uni popped a Mega.

Warbeer is in Korsiki & heads to the gate. I dock & jump clone to Korsiki and grab my favorite Scorp. No fleet is up & no one is in ops channel on TS, so I drag Warbeer & myself to the Bar & Grill. Warbeer starts issuing orders and engages the WT jumping into Korsiki from Osmon. I get a fleet started.

WT reapproaches the gate & jumps back to Osmon before anyone else gets to the Osmon gate. Warbeer waits out the aggression time & jumps into Osmon & finds WT still in local & on scan. Our prober locates WT sitting outside a station.

Warbeer warps to the station & engages, WT returns the favor.

The rest of us jump in, warp to the station & engage. One of our frigates goes pop. WT de-agresses to wait out the timer & dock, but we put enough DPS on the Typhon to pop it before the timer expires. WT immediately docks the pod & logs out seconds later. 16 minutes from log in to ship loss. Smile

What we did right:
- Rapid response
- DPS on target

What I could have done better:
- I only set up 1 squad as I formed the fleet. I got the self-invite sorted and the invitation in Alliance chat, but because I only left room for 1 squad, it maxed out. I was too busy to do anything about it until it was too late. My bad guys & I'll do better next time!

Bottom line: Great response, great kill!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I wish I was as talented as Mos....


Mos makes _great_ sigs for Uni members and displays a wonderful sense of humor about Eve & happenings in the Eve Universe.

After a discussion about age, here's his latest effort for me:

I didn't blow coffee on my keyboard like I have in the past with some of his efforts, but I did laugh out loud.

And then, suitably inspired, I created this in response:

I'm not nearly as professional as Mos. I just try to make a clear, cogent point. :)

Love ya, Mos!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

War Dec'ed... By a 5 man Corp??? By a 5 man Corp!!!

This should be.... interesting.

I can jam their entire Corp & have slots left over...

Maybe I'll fit tackle gear on my Scorp. That would be ebil, though, wouldn't it...


Friday, July 25, 2008

Milestones, Millstones & Rolling Stones

It has been an eventful few weeks since I last posted.

Inside the Uni, we have completed our structural reorganization. There were a few surprises (seriously, who would have thought Sabre would ask to be DirLog!) and a few challenges, but all in all, we are already beginning to see the benefits of the new more streamlined structure. More classes, more new students, more new events. It's all good!

In RL, things are full of angst at the moment. My job situation is in flux and I'll most likely be looking for something new shortly.

We put my new son-in-law on an airplane headed to Iraq at Zero Dark Thirty this morning. It was the hardest thing I've been involved in since my Father's death 30+ years ago. It was a surreal event. The 25 or so Soldiers that were part of this movement were all so young. I've always thought it was trite to read comments about units heading out where the observer remarks "They were all just kids..." Changed my mind. It's not trite, it's the truth.