Monday, 13 May 2013

WoT in space?

I must confess I've become addicted to World of Tanks lately and mostly logged in to Eve only to switch skills.

However, news that CCP developers have presented a new game at Fanfest sounds very interesting because it sounds exactly like WoT in space and could give Eve fans something which is hard to find in Eve - instant action in a more or less balanced setting.

I wonder if I will be able to use Oculus Rift with my strong myopia.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Market reaction to Tier 1 battleship changes

I bought small stacks of all four Tier 1 battleships in February (from sell orders because I'm lazy) in an attempt to make some money on the inevitable tiericide.

Here is how the prices have changed (figures show percentage change against my average purchase price) as of today, now that the draft rebalancing proposals are out.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sieg Fail

Fon Revedhort, a Russian player infamous for his neo-Nazi views which he insists on promoting through his (otherwise very good) pvp videos, has been dropped from the CSM 8 race.

"While he is entitled to his personal opinions, CCP cannot allow someone with the views he has continued to express to represent the EVE player base, and CCP, as a member of the CSM," CCP Dolan said.

"The presence of a player with the views that Fon Revedhort has expressed having a seat on the Council of Stellar Management (CSM) would have the potential to create charged situations between Council members and developers they would work with both virtually and in-person at summits."

Fon and his backers are obviously throwing a tantrum on the Russian forums, blaming "spam from the Goons" for his removal and calling it unfair.

What they seem to ignore is that his views would have never become an issue had he not used the Eve-related media to promote them. His EVE-O forum signature used to be "14" at some point, which is a reference to a David Lane quote: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children." And his current signature on forums is a quote from Nazi writer Houston Chamberlain.

Finally, his video from the previous CSM campaign contained a string of Nazi references and its soundtrack included a song titled "Sieg Heil".

Mein Fuhrer, our candidate has been barred from running for CSM...

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The 5 billion kill I missed

Last night I saw a Scorpion Navy Issue fooling around in Kurniainen, mostly hanging out next to the station.

An eve-kill search showed that its pilot QOODROOQ, was a fan of blinged PVP fits. It also revealed that his buddy/alt was docked in the same station.

I plugged the SNI fit from his last loss into EFT to see he could tank over 4,000 DPS. There was no way I could break that, even triple-boxing, and he would probably only engage at a gate or station where he can deagress and retreat.

I pinged a channel frequented by Shadow Cartel pilots hoping that a potentially juicy kill would attract their interest. But they were busy preparing for another operation.

So I gave up the idea of killing that SNI. But he apparently kept looking for trouble and found it in the end.

Looks like he got caught away from gate/station (which means mistakes had been made) or was neuted to a point where he could not catch up with incoming damage.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

FW: not as bad as some people say

A few well-respected pilots have complained about faction warfare being completely dominated by risk aversion which leads to few, if any, real fights.

My experience, however, has been quite positive.

I started FW with a low-skill character last fall to take advantage of the loyalty point fountain coupled with low prices. Doing it casually, I think I made a few billion ISK from plexing and a few billion more from FW-related speculation - buying popular cashout items and reselling them once the plug was pulled on LP store discounts.

I kept training the character and he can now fly minmatar frigates with reasonable PVP setups so recently I started flying him again, looking for fights rather than loyalty points.

And it works. Playing, once again, rather casually, I still got into a number of fights, won some, lost some and gained some experience flying and fighting the updated T1 frigs.

While some people do indeed warp out the moment they see you on close-range d-scan, others are willing to fight, often coming back for a rematch. I'd say more than a half of Amarr pilots I've met were willing to fight.

In total, I've been in at least 16 fights since restarting FW on March 24, which, measured against my activity, is quite good. It's definitely more than I got with Nursultan. Oh, and the LP gain from kills and plexes (you sit there anyway as you wait for fights) is a nice bonus that could keep one in well-fitted ships indefinitely.

Right now my default ship is the Slasher:

[Slasher, AB-TD]
Damage Control II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer I

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I,Tracking Speed Disruption Script

150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Fusion S
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Fusion S
150mm Light AutoCannon II,Republic Fleet Fusion S
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I

Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Nanobot Accelerator I

EMP, Phased Plasma, nanite paste and optimal disruption script in the cargohold.

Works reasonably well against turret-based ships, especially if you are inside a plex and dictate the starting range of the engagement. You either stay at range while disrupting their optimal (works best against blaster ships) or orbit close while disrupting their tracking (poor slicers).

Dies when successfully kited by MWD frigs. Takes forever to chew through a cap-boosted dualrep Incursus. I have yet to fight a buffer-tank missile ship, but I think it's going to be tough as you have no buffer at all and no way to mitigate missile damage (other than speed, so overheat your afterburner).

I usually turn off the auto-reload on the rep because at that stage I am usually in control of range and need minor repairs for rare volleys that get through or drone attacks.

I should probably get an MWD version as well to deal with those pesky kiters.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Low-Hanging Fruit - A Better Character Market

The Character Bazaar on the official Eve forums is a terribly inefficient marketplace. One has to read multiple threads and follow multiple Eveboard links to look at and compare characters.

It would be much more convenient to have a market where characters can be filtered by skills. And since they are easily accessible through the API, I think it is just a matter of applying some programming and interface-building skills.

Unfortunately, I do not possess such skills but maybe someone will come up with a solution? It could even be fee-based, to recoup time invested, I think.

Not very informative, is it?

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Why Did CONCORD agent Christer Fuglesang Get Promoted?

Those who read the March 5 patchnotes might gave notices this line:

  • The CONCORD agent Christer Fuglesang has been promoted from level 2 to level 3.
 There was even a thread on the official forums asking about the reasons for his promotion but CCP Fozzie's answer - "CONCORD rewards dedicated and loyal service to the cause of Justice" - was as vague as possible.

So what did Christer Fuglesang (who is a Swedish astronaut in real life) do to earn this promotion?

According to Russian Eve forums he was very generous, perhaps too generous, with rookie pilots.

A new character with minimal training (Afterburner I, Weapon Upgrades I, Social II, Diplomacy III, the Russian guide says) and a cheap combat frigate fir for maximum DPS could get  the standings to access Christer by attacking a station in hisec - thanks to the way Diplomacy works.

Then, they would turn down mission offers until Christer offered them a good +5% implant and blitz the mission by killing a single structure.

The cycle could be repeated indefinitely by biomassing characters and starting new ones. People could even do that on trial accounts, apparently, and some made billions off the agent.

Christer's promotion means pilots need higher Concord standings now and trial accounts cannot access him at all. If you have the necessary standings, pay him a visit in Autaris.

Interestingly, another Concord agent, Jeremy Tacs, got suspended indefinitely some time ago for doing the same thing and allowing people to farm Machariel blueprints and deadspace modules. Concord really need to make sure their human resources policies are applied consistently.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Looking for Fights in Low and Null

I spent almost a week in Liparer trying to get some kills and failed. Every time I logged on, local pirates were either smacktalking each other while playing station games or camping a gate with too many ships for me to deal with.

On one occasion, I crossed blasters-and-lasers with one of locals in an empty neighboring system but had to retreat after my Talos took too much damage from his Oracle before we even were in point range.

Finally, last Saturday, I decided to just bait them and try to kill a tackler or two. Making myself seen to their gatecamp, I warped off to a belt and aligned to another celestial. After a while, a stealth bomber warped in and cloaked, indicating they had established my location.

No quick tackle warped in though as I kept moving away from the belt.

Then, a Pilgrim recon - who had obviously warped in to the bomber at range- decloaked some 7.5 kilometres away from me. Instinctively, I activated the MWD to burn further away before he could use a scram but he managed to put one on me anyway. Fortunately, I was at about full speed by that time and inertia carried me out of scram range.

More ships started landing next to the Pilgrim as I was burning away and, because I had held my mouse over the overview targeting them one by one, I missed an approaching Taranis. He was about 40 km away when I noticed him, too close for me to lock and shoot without ending up warp scrambled.

I warped off to my align target, closely followed by the Taranis, then to a safe to catch my breath, and then to another belt where the interceptor soon spotted me again.

This time I was position better and locked him from far away, opening fire as he was about 40 km away. The first round stripped his shield and half armour... but then my guns stopped applying any damage. He switched to manual piloting and started spiraling towards me rather than burning in a straight line. I hate when people do that to me.

The good thing was, this had slowed him down and I was able to warp off again, to a celestial where his fleetmates were still waiting for me.

Fortunately, I landed at range, got out and eventually docked.

The engagement, although anticlimactic, had my heart pumping and reminded me why I love Eve.

I still wanted blood, however, and decided to try nullsec. After positioning my cloaky Loki booster in KBP7-G and observing its three stargates for a while, I saw a lonely Coercer on the Dital gate and quickly bought and fitted a standard dualprop Taranis.

I jumped in and burned towards the destroyer who immediately aggressed me. By the end of my MWD cycle I was already in deep structure. Let's deploy drones, NO, I DON'T WANT TO SHOW INFO, I WANT THEM OUT AND FIGHTING!!! Expecting to die to the next volley, I turned on my overheated afterburner, mitigating most - but not all - of the incoming damage.

The Coercer was clawing back shield, although not quickly enough to keep up with my damage. Then his reps stopped and armour melted quickly. But I was already in 40 percent hull. Thirty, twenty, BOOM. The Coercer exploded and I warped out to a random belt, exchanging "gf's" with the pilot.

Turned out he had a medium ASB and an oversized afterburner, quite a deadly combo on a high-DPS boat such as the Coercer. I'm pretty sure I would have lost without the Loki boosts which allowed me to catch up with him quicker and them get under his tracking. Of course, I could have also tried just warping out since he had no scram but I suspect he would have fried my ship as it tried to align.

I left that Taranis in a highsec station close to KBP and came back to Kurniainen in a Talos, a decision I almost regretted last night when I probed out a Zealot in a deadspace pocket in Kurn. I was browsing my ship hangar looking for something small and fast and all I saw were cruisers and larger ships. Eventually, though,  I found a Comet which I had never used before but which was fitted and stocked with ammo.

As I came out of warp inside the deadspace pocket, I saw the Zealot about 50 km away and decided to burn straight for him, hoping to get tackle before he sniped me. I got hit by two volleys but then it was just a matter of orbiting the HAC and chewing through his defenses. I'm pretty sure the pilot had been aware of my plans and decided to gamble and see if he could snipe me.

Nice to see (non-FW) mission runners in lowsec again, such as the Zealot and the deadspace-AB Cane I killed earlier.