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...