My kind of weekend

Posted in General Ramblings on May 10, 2010 by tulirsramblings

Friday night started out well. We were able to get our first load of components needed for our Rorqual into the hold, finally. We’d been looking all week but were having NO luck with highsec despite a lot of scanning and ‘WH redialing’. All told we collapsed around 10 WH’s and scanned 20-30 down in the course of the week before we got lucky and were able to get the components in. Usually we have better luck with highsec access but this time around fate was not on our side.

Hauling in was an experience in and of itself. As I mentioned previously we had a squatter in system, and in addition highsec was 3 WH systems away (past a POS) through a WH that we could only push about a billion through before it collapsed. Getting an entire freighters full of stuff (in 10,000 m3 chunks) in that hole would be stressing it to the max. Regardless, T went out of the WH, went the 28 jumps to our home system, grabbed the Obelisk and got it filled up, and then started jumping it back. We had 2 escorts along for the ride as well to speed things up and provide support should it be attacked, however thankfully we got it there safe and sound. The other pilots were harvesting some gas in 1 jump while we were waiting for the freighter to finally get to the nearest highsec, but as soon as T got close we ended the harvesting op to get hauling.

Shortly afterwards…  our squatter logged on and started scanning. I’m sure they saw the hauling ships going in and out of our home system and knew we were hauling something, and sure enough they came through the WH to 1 jump shortly thereafter and started causing trouble.

Thankfully we’d noticed them log in, and the subsequent scanner probes, so while we weren’t completely ready (he did kill an empty Itty V and podded the pilot) we had decent CAP in the air and one of our Interceptors were able to get a lock on him. It looked like he may have just wanted to fight the Inty, but hard to say really, I didn’t get a clear view of the encounter. Thankfully we were able to purge Severice2 from our home system, though our pilot did lose his ship in the encounter as well so it was a pretty close thing. Talking to our pilot afterwards, he had a list of things to do better next time, as he felt there’s no way it should have been that close (Ex: Turning on his guns at the start of the fight probably would have helped. ;P). Regardless, well done to that pilot getting the point and then his first solo kill.

After that it was more or less smooth sailing getting the Rorqual components in. Had a brush in with a Falcon at one point (who had trouble defeating the shield tank on my armor tanked pvp harbinger) who ran away when I tried to chase him, eventually warping away when they saw I had backup arriving. There was also a Maelstrom later on which I decided not to lock down as I didn’t want to force them back through the WH we were hauling through. No real difficulties though. Once everything was safe and sound I brought Kor back into the hole to collapse the route to highsec completely as one of the intervening WH’s was WELL into critical. Something about 2 pilots forgetting their last loads of components in the station after the WH  first going critical and having to go back through… *innocent look*

And then, the coup de grace of the evening… after the rest of the corp had logged off, Kor was looking for a highsec access (we had a K162 in our home system he was exploring) and he came across a group that looked like they were hauling. Once he was done scanning and confirmed lowsec access, Kor got into his Manticore and went hunting. Nailed himself a Badger  II carring 30,000 Caldari Navy Lead Charge L and a Tengu hull, which I was able to snag shortly thereafter and get somewhere safe. Almost nagged a Cheetah pilot shortly thereafter (different corp/alliance) but they got out of disruptor range before I could kill them. If I’d done a couple things better I may have gotten the kill, but that is life. All in all a good end to a good evening.

Saturday was pretty quiet overall; did some scanning, closed some WH’s, but then had to run and was gone most of the afternoon and evening. Got back late fairly late so it was pretty much a wash. Sunday we redialed a couple times till we were no longer getting a busy signal (Blame J for than analogy, at least the last bit of it) and did a whole bunch of gas harvesting and mining. It was nice to break one of our new WH members into the WH life, as well as get enough gas and ore out of a system to critical the adjoining WH. Been a bit since we’ve done that.

All in all a great weekend; corp availability was high, we made a ton of isk and brought in a lot of components for the Rorqual, and overall had a blast.

We has a squatter

Posted in General Ramblings on May 6, 2010 by tulirsramblings

WH life has been fairly constant lately. One of our members has left the hole, some others have had more time, others have had less… standard crap. One thing we do feel more than larger corps due to our small size is when a couple folks don’t have time available in an evening. We lose 2-3 members for a night, and suddenly we can’t do anything, it’s unfortunate.

And the numbers in the corp are unlikely to change much, unless we change how the corp runs, in the short term. Our corp is fairly open to folks ripping us off of stuff if they wanted, permissions are fairly wide open, Ship Maintenance Arrays are accessible to anyone, etc. And frankly, I don’t want to change that unless there a need.

Anyways… We has a Squatter. Not quite sure who they are even though we have a good idea. Regardless we’ve seen a Nemesis in our local system off and on the past couple days, and probes out a number of times. We’ll see how it goes, but in general that’s bad mojo. Either they’re going to get more allies in to engage our POS’ (though that’s really not worth their time), or at the very least we’ll have to worry about raids and interference as we go about our regular daily stuff.  It definately means having more active CAP than usual, which when mixed with our lower pilot availability is going to impact profits. Thus is life though.

Speaking of life, hopefully mine will clear up some and I’ll get more ingame time. Between the hockey playoffs and other RL stuff I’ve been on less, and less attention has been ingame as well lately.

WH Space and RL Timing

Posted in General Ramblings on April 22, 2010 by tulirsramblings

One of the issues that arises in WH space is something that wasn’t completely obvious when we first started in there, but has continued to be an issue throughout our stay in WH land.

Sometimes there’s nothing to do. There are definite ‘dead’ times while in WH space, times when there’s nothing in local we can do (maybe not enough combat pilots for combat sites and no local grav/ladar, whatever) and the WH to next door is in a bad state and we don’t want to push it. Example if it’s critical or going to collapse soon or whatever. Typically these times are at most 2 hours or so, and generally they’re controllable such that they don’t interfere with daily operations much.

Sometimes though we can run into these issues, and they arrive at the exact worst time for one of our members. Some of our corp mates have shortish availability most evenings. They have kids or RL obligations or an early work shift or whatever and they only have 2-3 hours available to do much of anything, and when that availability is taken up by one of these ‘dead’ times… that sucks. Such was the case last night, D logged on just as we were wrapping up stuff next door, and that left him with nothing to do WH wise (which clearly irritated him a fair bit, given his reaction on Vent). Didn’t help that I was pretty frustrated myself by the time they logged on, so maybe wasn’t as helpful as I could have been.

But still, what to do about it? I’m not always sure about that one. A number of our corp mates do have folks in highsec, so they have things to do, even if they’re not what they want to be doing. And while there’s always a ton do to in Eve, they often involve other people, so when you’re the odd man out and arrive at the wrong time it blows. ‘Go do highsec missioning’ when you were keen on blowing up some sleepers and mining some ore is pretty crappy.

These are the things that cause folks to change corps. And while I don’t think this is the likely in this particular case (D and I are RL family), it’s definately something I’m looking at mitigating. Part of that will come with the reactions of those who end up in this situation, and some will come with a viable option in these times.

Oh, and the Golem is pretty snazzy. Though I’ve made some changes to the posted fits; on my solo fit the highs are 2 tractors and a salvager, and on my duo fit it’s 2 tractors (salvager alt). It’s proven more effective as I rarely needed the extra drone range, but the ability to loot stuff and the like has been a nice benefit. Especially since it doesn’t actually slow down the mission running at all. Go Marauders. Missioning itself is still it’s boring self mind you, but hey, it’s something to do when no one else is around.

Iron Golem

Posted in General Ramblings, Ships on April 19, 2010 by tulirsramblings

Yeah, my Golem is named ‘Iron’. At least till I get a better name. Bite me. You’d figure I’d have a good name lined up by now, but… guess not.

Golem in Action

Above is an ‘in action’ shot of the Golem, shooting things in a mission I was running last night. I’m being pretty cautious with the ship at the moment; getting used to the new hull and being careful while I get some skills under my belt (like Marauders IV for instance). I was going to wait to get into the hull till Mar IV was done, but it’s too smexy for that, and I’ve been pretty careful to get most of the skills done already so it’s fit to fly as is.

As for the fit, this is what I’m currently running while soloing:

Solo build

And here’s my build for when I run duo with a corp mate:

Duo'd Build

In general the plan is to primarily run the Golem in a duo with a corp mate who’ll be in an Arty Machariel. He takes the long range, I take the short, and we plow through missions; the duo’d build relies on a mutual large energy transfer to be cap stable and run its 3 target painters. The free high slots are pretty much to taste; sometimes I’ll want drone range, sometimes I’ll want tractors, etc.

I still have some skilling up to do before I’ll be satisfied with the beast. It’s a decent machine now or I wouldn’t be in the hull (in general, I don’t like getting into hulls before I’m really ready for them) but it could use improvement.

Let me know what you think of the build.

It’s so close I can taste it…

Posted in General Ramblings on April 16, 2010 by tulirsramblings

By Sunday, Kor will be able to fly the Marauder. This has been a long time coming; my original ‘long term plan’ for the Marauder predates reactivating my account just under a year ago. For a primarily PvE focused character (which he was for a long time) it represents, to at least a certain extent, the epitome of mission running goodness.

I have the isk put aside for the Golem, and as per the most universal of Eve rules (Don’t fly a ship unless you can afford to lose it) I have enough to put together another one should I need; if maybe not as well fit. Between the hull and the components (no officer pieces, but still…) it’ll be fairly pricey, but I already own a lot of the components I need from Kor’s last visit to highsec, and the rest will come. I’ll have to be careful a bit about suicide ganks as all Golem pilots should be, but it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. It’s not going to pop that easy, and if it’s in space I’m at the keyboard paying attention to folks around me. Hopefully that’ll be enough. :)

This does mean that Kor is going to leave the WH for a while. The Golem is going to primarily be a mission running beast, and while Kor is already up there in rep he could still use some more Caldari State rep for POS placement. I’ve also realized recently that there is another L V agent in the same sector of space as the 2 Caldari Navy ones I was planning on using, so I’m probably going to plow through that rep while I’m in highsec. Having never run a L V mission (though I hear they’re easier than the sleepers we fight regularly) it’s on my list of things to do in Eve, and if I’m doing them, I may as well have access to doing them right.

I’m not sure how long he’s going to be out there, but at least a little while. It’s going to be nice to have regular access to the market and lowsec roams and the like, and especially nice to be in the same area of space my Fiance’s combat pilot is so we can run missions together and maybe do get killed in PvP together. The Golem will eventually enter WH space when the corp is closer to being ready for C6 combat sites, but that’s a ways away yet.

As a note, this will mean I’ll be getting my ‘Elite Fitting Certificate’ in a week or two (I’m still missing Engineering V. Yeah, PWG hasn’t been much of a concern to date). After that, I’m still working on Kor’s plan. Either head towards a Widow just because it looks so cool (and the skills are on the way to a Dreadnaught anyways, which is one of Kor’s further goals) or just fortify my current skills some. I have at least a couple months of solid skills in the ‘just get me better at what I do now’ range.

Assuming I can figure out how to put up images in here, expect an image of the new Golem when she’s airborne. I’ll probably post the fit too when the time comes; not enough folks read this blog that I’m too concerned about marking myself a gank target. And really, the ship isn’t worth THAT much.

‘Deep Safe’ removal and other stuff

Posted in General Ramblings on April 13, 2010 by tulirsramblings

There has been a recent Dev Blog post regarding changes (removal basically) of deep safe’s in Tyrannus. About time; this is one of those things I’ve read a couple times here and there in my time in Eve (and even one of my own just to test the theory) and every time I come across it I couldn’t help but think ‘This is an exploit. They should fix this, it’s clearly not intended mechanics and gives a large advantage to folks who do this. It’s a cheat, a hack, and hopefully CCP will fix it.’ And lo and behold, years later, they actually do.

Historically I’ve had a open and recorded history with a strong stance against hacks, exploits, cheats… anything that creates an unfair advantage to one party in an manner unintended by game mechanics. Asheron’s Call was my first real MMO and I avoided PvP due to the slide casting crap, and in WoW I’ve made a couple stands on Silver Hand on the matter. WoW due to it’s nature has a lot of exposure to exploits; but thankfully I’ve always been in a position to prevent the groups I run with from using them. I started in WoW as a guild leader of a small corp that was formed with RL friends, and then moved on to a raiding organization of significant size (maybe the largest in all of WoW, we were never really sure) where there was support for similar habits.

Eve still has a couple ‘unfavourable’ actions that currently are used, though some of the ones I find most annoying I think are intentional by CCP these days (Neutral repping in highsec for instance. That should be a true aggression timer, yo) but in time I think CCP will close the most egregious ones. And good on them for removing this one (though I know null sec corps in general are going to lament their removal).

On another note entirely, my Eve time has been somewhat limited lately. Some RL things, I’m mucking around in Star Trek Online a bit, and there’s been ingame issues have made me a bit less interested in logging in. Shift happens though.

The corp did have a PvP runin in lowsec on the weekend while I was busy that went rather… less than optimal. We’ve done a fair bit of analysis on it (probably more than is healthy…) and have identified areas to improve. That all being said though, a lot of our PvP headaches are lack of experience doing it, and that will continue till we lose more ships, basically. In WH space we’re in decent shape, we know the flow of combat and how it runs and can hold our own, but outside the WH it’s a different beast, and it’s a beast we don’t know yet.

Time will tell that one. In the meantime, I’m working on skilling up my toons. Kor is almost done his truck to Marauder (and elite core fitting skills), Tul is done his spider tanking skills and working on Covert Ops for WH scanning, and Kah is well on his way to being done able to build Carriers/Rorqual for our current WH home. We’ve made the decision not to leave our current system in the foreseeable future, and having cap support if we’re engaged in there would be a nice advantage over any invading force.

Hybrid Reactions… good?

Posted in General Ramblings on March 31, 2010 by tulirsramblings

We’ve started doing some hybrid reactions in our WH system; I was running the numbers the other day on them and they looked pretty profitable even factoring in things like POS fuel and setup and the like. Given that we already have all the supplies in one of our POS to do the actual reactions, it seemed like the obvious ‘next step’ for our WH home; a bit more profit on a per op basis and should defray most of our fuel costs, assuming the numbers don’t change much. Also helps that the reactions compress the gas/minerals some as well, so there will be less loads to haul out when the time comes.

They’re a bit of a pita to keep up and running; can’t refill the silos unless you offline them, which both stops the current production and means you have to re-online the suckers, and you can only fit so many reactions in one of the silos. 20,000 m3 total space, so 2000 C540 is all that fits which works out to 20 reactions (20 hours) between refills which is a pita to arrange, RL and all that.

Between the hybrid reactions pulling in their bit more to the current op, and a fair bit of good luck with the high quality gas (Instrumentals and Vital LADAR sites) and generally good pilot availability, the current op should be fairly good assuming no bad luck on the way from the WH to sale. It’s always risky moving anything through WH space to empire, but with enough precautions (and we fall on the down right paranoid side of things some days) it can usually be done without issue.

One of the things I haven’t mentioned yet out the corp is our payout structure. Basically it works something like this:

An op starts immediately after we get everything to highsec, and goes till the next highsec run we actually use (usually in the range of a week). There may be highsecs in between we don’t haul out through, but basically we deliminate based on ‘getting stuff to highsec to sell’. Within an op we divide it into days, and for each day you can earn up to 1 share. Earning a share is pretty simple; show up during that day and do some stuff that helps the current WH op. That is all, and while yes it’s possible to game this system, it works for us due to the relatively small tight knit nature of the corp. In one way or another we’ve known each other for years now through prior games mostly, and can trust each other not to deliberately screw with the other folks.

Backed by the fact that I do watch actual productivity and time in hole, and will occasionally beat people with a stick if they show a tendancy to log on for 15 mins a night and game the system(not a literal stick, unfortunately).

Once we have the share total, we figure out how much we made, take POS fuel costs and ship reimbursements(*) off the top, the corp takes 10%, and then the rest is divided into shares and distributed accordingly. In general the system is pretty simple, and encourages people to work together to achieve our goals, and has done us pretty good so far. Occasionally folks have cause to complain about some situation that sucks and makes this system sub optimal, but that happens with pretty much any system.

Oh, and it looks like Crazy Kinux has linked my blog here; thanks for that. I’m not really going out of my way to advertise my ramblings, but some traffic wouldn’t hurt either.

* – While we officially reimburse for ‘any ship and implant lost during a corp op’ most of our members don’t ask for re-reimbursement for when they do silly things like attack enemy ships that were minding their own business, etc. We also don’t tend to ask for reimbursement for expensive things we’ve accepted as our own risk. Example: One of my toons has +5 Attribute implants, means a podding runs me about 3/4 bil isk between all my implants. I don’t ask for reimbursement for that, that’d be silly. :P