Sunday, June 19, 2016

Drifter Mining…

~or “Wake Me When the Drifter is Dead…”

OK, yes I’m still alive, yes I still logon, yes I still play EVE… just haven’t had a lot to SAY is all.

But a thing did come to mind a few days ago when running the “New Improved ™ Sleeper Sites w/ Added Drifter Fun!” You see we, well, my Corp leaders worked out a very smooth and highly effective Drifter comp over on Sisi in the days leading up to the roll out of the “New Improved ™ Sleeper Sites w/ Added Drifter Fun!”. This comp is a tad on the expensive side, but not too much and it is very sweet for small to medium gangs.

OK, we live in a C4 and primarily run C5 sites for ISK and in the process we scan & roll looking for sites and the occasional PVP op. We don’t run caps so we aren’t running any escalations. We run a site… drop MTUs, kill all the shooty things, snag the MTUs and salvage all the left over burnt up things.

Small Note here:
I have never been FC, probably never will be FC… I’m that guy over there who, during a site run (and sometimes during PVP) occasionally turns off his overviews so he can take pix and Ooooh and Ahhhh over the deep and awe inspiring beauty that is EVE… No, you do NOT want me FCing anything… even a mining op in Hisec… That said I will possibly, hell probably get details such as DPS numbers, ranges, speeds, etc. etc. … you know the DETAILS all wrong… so sue me.

We run with anywhere from 4 guys to upwards of 8 or so and we had gotten good at using pretty std. Ishtar/ Guardian / Whatever-you-can-fly fleets for the Pre Change Sleepers. We run a x2Geko/Hammer-II/x2Hob-II drone mix for all ships so DPS is decent and our ISK/hr was good, 30ish minutes a site.

So… the change drops and now instead of massive waves of mixed Sleeper frigs/cruisers/BSs now we get a few paltry token waves before the Main Show… the decloaking of some dumb artifact and… once you aggro the artifact and one second not before… a Drifter Response BS spawns and off we go! 4000ms and Holeee Sheet Batman DPS! So how do we counter it’s initial approach speed reaching over 4k, and orbit range of 15k at approx 2500m/s and normal attacks dealing approx 1K DPS (5k approx every 5 seconds)?

Well, I can tell you that Ishtars supported by Guardians doesn’t do it. So what do we use? The Kobayashi Maru Comp. Nestors with a link Eos supporting Ishtars. A minimum 3 Nestors cap chained as armor Logi, supporting a Linked Eos boosted Ishtar drone DPS wing. The Nestor’s of course add a full X2Geko/Hammer-II/x2Hob-II drone flight each and all drones are assisted under one member’s control.

The Nestors have a very short Cap range so they are always flying grouped tightly together. Their rep range allows the Eos and Ishtars to range a bit further but as DPS is, of course, all drones all we have to do is mitigate the incoming DPS and work the drones down the NPCs spawning each wave in turn until we uncloak the Unknown Structure.

Now we run two fits for the Nestors, the first is our Standard Sleeper Fit:
in the Highs, X3 Lrg Armr Repper IIs / 3 Lrg Cap Trans IIs / Drone Link II;
in the Mids, x2 speed scripted Omnidirectional Tracking Link IIs / x2 Lrg Cap Battery IIs / Drone Nav Comp II / Lrg MJD;
in the Lows, 1600mmSteel Plate / x2Imperial Navy EANMs / DCU II / x2Drone Dmg Amp IIs;
Rigged with Lrg Anti-Exp Pump I / x2 Lrg Egress Port Max IIs.

The second is our Drifter Fit: 
Swap out the Hi Drone Link for a 4th Lrg Cap Trans II;
Swap the x2 Omni’s for a T2 Web and a Grappler and the Drone Nav Comp II for a 100MN AB.

For std Sleepers, we cap chain all up (or down) so 3 Cap Trans in series. Rep as needed, all drones assisted to one guy... Nom Nom Nom...

For Drifters... swap Cap Chain to x2 up x2 down. EVERYONE webs the Drifter. The Drifter 'normally' targets just one of the Nestor's and tends to stay on him, but occasionally will aggro switch (we've lost a few Gekos that way) allowing the others to focus reps as needed.

A bit a go Fozzie made a change whereby you can decide whether or not to spawn the Drifter. If you shoot the Structure, he spawns, if not you take your measly ~30m ISK per wave (x3) and head home. We put a pea shooter (any gun/laser/whatever will do) on one Ish and after we have run the std. Sleepers, we refit, pull drones, the guy with the gun plinks the structure… the drifter spawns, everyone fires up the Abs, launched drones and we all burn hard for the Drifter.

First the Instars get webs on him, that allows the Nestor's to get in web and then Grapple range and then things really get good. Once we get him slowed down enough to get the Grapplers inside their 1km optimal range (-80% speed reduction within that 1km) it’s all over… The Drifter is, for all intents and purposes gangwedgied to death. He is slowed to 29m/s and this is when the drone ball really gets its licks in. Everyone simply hangs on to the Drifter (the Nestors comically staying within 1k of the Drifter... basically a really slow gangbang) while the drone ball eats its way through the Drifters rather impressive omnitank.

Now we have found that the Drifter seems to have some slight resist holes. Not big one’s but enough that we now initially field Ogre IIs (or faction) for the shields and swap over to Praetor IIs (or faction) when we burn through to his armor. We have found this takes them down noticeably faster, not greatly, but a percentage faster than our std. drone flights. We pop the Drifter, refit for Sleepers and warp off to the next site.

Now as to the title of this piece? It seems that the change to Drifters as the End Boss in Anoikis sites, or maybe our comps ability to deal with them has… well… running sites is now, if anything, more lucrative than before… but it is also far, far, far more… boring.

Don’t get me wrong, if the feces impacts the rotary cooling unit during a Drifter run then things get interesting, deadly and with 3 to 4 Nestors on the line, very expensive very quickly, but, so far so good. We have not lost any ships to the Drifters, and we run sites basically at the same rate we did before but, we believe, with a slightly higher ISK/hr. Plus we have been getting some Pew Pew… not a lot by some standards but enough to keep things fun for us.

Two of my recent favs were, one, a group we engaged, after the fight, asked how many ships we had lost to the Drifters... We were like... "Uh none." They said they had lost 6 Domi's in the last few weeks and could we maybe help them with theirs?... seemed they had a Drifter loose in their system... LOL.

So we fleeted up and formed up on their hole (yes knowing full well it could be a trap, but we just fought them and if they went into a fight with their 'C' Game just to get a crack at our Drifter comp with their A Game, then they deserved that crack for the long and impossible con it would have HAD to have been).

They had eyes on the Drifter, we jumped, warped and did that thing we do. We got the schweet lewts and salvage for our troubles and headed home... Sov told us that when we landed and started in on Drifter, the guy on convo said... "Holy Geko." reverently...  LOL

My second fav was when this random 600m ISK Occator kill followed by this 1.8bil ISK pod kill… followed by this in local…

Scooter Tazinas > o/ hey guys there is a guy in a proteus that should be coming thru here later…

I love Anoikis… =]

Fly reckless and see you in the Sky =/|)=

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The YC118 Upwell Keynote...

~or “Finding What I Liked and Ignoring What I Didn’t…”

Fair Warning to Readers: LOTS O PIX ahead... 46 to be exact.

Finally got to watch the EVE Fanfest 2016 Keynote last night… I really hate to say it but like Neville, I was not overly impressed. There was a lackluster feel to the presentation. Like Seagull, Fozzie and the rest would pause for applause… and there was only a smattering, a half-hearted clapping of hands because it was expected, not a sudden response to something exciting, something… good.

Started with a SCOPE News Broadcast on the Final Rounds of the Amarr Succession Trials… While I LOVE the Lore and I do love that CCP is trying to include us in the NPC Lore story… it felt… I dunno, kinda thin as a way to kick off the Fanfest Keynote.

CCP Seagull kicked it off… bla bla bla…

Then CCP Quant and some Graph Porn!!! Let’s just say THIS was worth watching… but when is graph porn NOT worth watching? This was as usual a very informative and fun presentation, google it, well worth the time.

This was fun...

The Battle of Asakao vs The Bloodbath of B-R5B... (each blue square = 1 PLEX) cool.

And this...

Daily Trade Value pre Skill Trading... (each blue square = 100 PLEX, a Titan = 110 PLEX) interesting...

I was pleased and a bit surprised to find that 67.1 Trillion ISK is tucked away in Anoikis… Please keep in mind dear reader, there are NO invulnerable stations in Anoikis… ONLY POS’es, destructible POSes… and of that only 9% is in Thera, the only Wormhole to actually have (indestructible) NPC Stations.

I went through the whole presentation and here are the totals…

Anoikis            67.1 T ISK
Lowsec            518.5 T ISK
Nullsec            785.1 T ISK
Hisec               1,699.3 T ISK
Total                3,070 Trillion ISK… Total player holdings in game, 3.07 Quadrillion ISK.

And just for fun, Hisec’s top 5 trade hubs…
Hek 8-12          18 T ISK
Rens 6-8           25 T ISK
Dodixie 9-20    48 T ISK
Amarr 7            104 T ISK… more than ALL of Anoikis.
Jita 4-4              467 T ISK… almost as much as all of Lowsec.

Total ISK cash in EVE… 978 T ISK… less than one trillion. And then Quant made a funny… 3,070 / 978 = 3.1415… yes, dear reader… we have PI. Pie in the Sky...  LOL

Back to CCP Seagull… and CSM11… My overall take, Yuch. Voter turnout was just barely above 2014 numbers… and the end result?

If you’re in nullsuc, you might care… because that’s all we got. I believe Steve Ronuken is the ONLY non-nullsec player on the council… so the vast majority of the players… all those in Hisec, Lowsec and Negsec are going to be all but ignored by the current council. Oh joy. All I can tell you is I voted… and this shit aint what I voted for.

Next up was A HUGE plus for me personally… I am a big bookworm. I actually am usually actively reading 2 to 3 books at the same time. IE I have several with bookmarks and can pick up anyone and fall right back into the story or any one of them anytime. I was one of the 3116 backers of the Andy Groen’s “History of the Great Empires of EVE” and got my promised paperback version which I avidly read… but I also have bought the EVE Source and EVE Universe books and just yesterday received my hardbound copy of the “History of the Great Empires of EVE” for my collection.

CCP TOriFrans came out and announced a book for summer 2017… and book of ship plans… cutaway views of the Frigates of EVE. O M G. You see the only thing I ever went to college for was drafting and mechanical design. One of the reasons I did was my deep love of the pictorial isometric cut away views of WWII ships, subs, fighters and bombers I fell in love with as a boy in a large number of books I have collected down the years.

I myself when I first saw the cut away view of a Comet in the EVE Universe book…

I was, as so many were, a little upset that CCP hadn’t spent more time on cut away views and on the ships themselves. Well… it seems CCP heard us. We are now getting that book. I just hope CCP realized it cannot end there… you do the frigates, you damn well better do EVERY CLASS and EVERY HULL CCP!!!  YOU HEAR ME!?!?!

Breacher (full view)

Breacher (detail)

Executioner (full view)

Condor (full view)

Condor (thruster detail)

Condor (cockpit detail)
There will be artwork to go with the stories of the various hulls design, manufacture, use and support.

Condor under construction
Tormentor (full view with pull out)

Tormentor (cockpit detail)
Tormentor (approximate page) 
Enyo (full view)

Enyo (reactor detail)
 Amarr Priest Engineers and Overseers directing repairs.

Kestrel (full view)
Kestrel (cargo bay detail)

Frigates of EVE Online... coming Summer 2017
Charles White is a Knowledge Management professional with NASA’s JPL in Pasadena. Charles, also known as Max Singularity the 6th, First of His Name, is also going to be a guest writer for this book on the subject of propulsion.

CCP Seagull presented a CCP created Cell App for iOS and Android. It looks cool, I have used a few over time… but I’m not a big “phone” guy… not one of those who spends every waking moment staring in some form of tech rapture into a 2x4 in. or even a 4x8 in. screen when I’m not doing something more important… or like so many who stare into the damn thing even when it puts my life, and others, at risk.

Biggest thing I liked about it was EVE Mail finally outside of the client, and POS notifications… other than that, meh.

So on to the Roadmap. We’ve all seen it, CCP Seagull’s Roadmap for EVE Online. She rolls it out and says, “With the Citadel expansion, I would place us about here on the big picture Roadmap." This does kinda jibe with my feeling of how CCP has been doing.

Then came CCP Fozzie and CCP Larrikin who presented us with a series of Upwell Consortium Commercials. I liked em… A nice lore’ish feel with real ‘verse impact. First up, the Citadels… nice visuals showing off features and gameplay.

Astrahaus (medium)
Fortizar (large)
Keepstar (xlarge)

Citadel Doomsday AOE Weapon

Fighter Squadrons
Palantine Keepstar... There can be only One!
They announced that this summer Contracts will be made available in Citadels, we will get more new Citadel modules like a Ship Tractor Beam (something my crew has long joked about and wished for) and a Ship Repulsar AOE weapon to push ships away.

Then another Upwell Commercial, this one for the industrialists…

Venture Command Deck (as I have always seen it in my mind...)
A Bright Future for us All
Medium Industrial Array Design
Med Industrial Array concept
The first BPO/Cs for the New Industrial Arrays will be available this fall. The next will be Drilling Platforms (to be available this winter).

Drilling Platform concept
The plan seems to be to offer these replacements for POS uses until they reach parity with POSes, then POSes will be going away. By Fanfest YC119 CCP will have begun the POS buy-back program.

Next up, The Rorqual is getting the love… Free upgrades from ORE, powerful medium range Mining Foreman bonuses, and a weapon… a Defensive Super Weapon that will make you and your mining fleet invulnerable… for short periods of time.

Plus a new mining drone… an Excavator Class Mining Super Drone… created from Rouge Drone tech… what could possibly go wrong? These require rouge drone salvage… from the outer regions… from nullsuc.

Excavator Class Mining Drone (careful with these...)
There are planned Upgrades and improvements for all the mining barges.

Upgraded Covetor

Upgraded Procuror and Skif
At 46:05 (here) Fozzie was giving an Upwell Mining Pep talk when the Angels and Serpentis broke into the stream with an announcement about their new Capitol ships…

After the stream cleared up, CCP Larrikin announced that the pirate factions were so scared by the battle of B-R and have, as a result, decided to get into the capitol business themselves. Check out the stats!!!  OMGLOL!

The Vanqusher Pirate Faction Titan
The Vehement Pirate Faction Dreadnought
Warefare Links are getting iterated… plus the usual ongoing iterations, changes and additions.

Back to CCP Seagull… some talk on NPE and bringing new players into the game. More control over the risks of bringing in new players to a corp (IE less effective corp thefting/spying in the future). She introduced CCP Ghost, a new producer who will be solely focused on NPE.

CCP Ghost
Very weird talk at first… he kinda rambled around (a lot) about him and his brain to get around to how he met Hilmar. He quit his job at the Iceland Prosecutors office to work on why we have only approx. 300k active accounts when last year alone 1.5mil trialed it… half of them, approx. 750k players dropped out within a few hours of trying EVE.

Imagine if we hooked only half of those… every year. Just imagine.

So we have approx. 2 hours to ‘hook’ a new player… if they don’t get it by then, they just move on. I liked his answer to how we might do this… “Immersive experiences that provide meaningful gameplay plateau.” IE We need to get new players emotionally involved in the game quickly… very quickly, in less than 2 hours quickly. He then asked for our help. I liked him.

Back to Seagull… More stuff like Operation Frostline, Bloody Omar, and other Events and story arcs will be coming along these lines.

Then… the Upwell Citadel Commercial… pretty sweet actually.

Fly reckless and see you around the Citadel =/|)=

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Not Dead Yet...

~or, “RL >EVE…  sux."

I’m still out there… even loggin’ on occasionally, runnin sites, getting jumped, lost ships, even killed a few… just not a lot to talk about really. Personal life stuff is working out better, which is good for me, bad for ya’ll…

And I know all ‘bout the Goon War, The Casino War, World War Bee, whateverwar… I even sorta brought up that mebbe we, my gang, might wanna consider mebbe leaving th’ hole for a bit to… you know, join in the GoonStomp and mebbe get to say “We were there” n shit… my guys weren’t really going for it though. We’re wormholers, Anoikis is our home and the space we love best and the goings on in Empire… well, we just don’t care that much really.

So, I’m still here… and I am just not doing anything much that’s prompting my muse is all. Still love the game, still play it more than any other, still care… just not motivated blathering wise ATM is all.

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

Sunday, March 13, 2016

So This Happened…

I was one of the 3116… the total of us who contributed to Andrew Groen’s Kickstarter campaign to write a History of the Great Wars of EVE Online. This history covers the early years of the settling of New Eden’s null sec regions from Alpha and Beta to initial release in 2003 to 2009.

I received this mid last week and was going to post this that night… but I started reading it and, well… so you’re getting the news as ‘twere now.  =P

Anyhoo SOOOOO damn much win in Andrew’s effort!!!! Did you know that Steve the Titan, the very first Titan in New Eden was built by Ascendant Frontier in 2006 annnnd… the day it was first completed… the day, the very hour, the very minute the very first Titan in EVE was completed… CCP was not ready. And I quote… (hopefully Andrew won’t sue me) pg 102… (Italics mine)

“Ascendant Frontier had actually been so efficient that it had finished building the Titan before CCP Games had finished all of the code to implement Titans into the game. These ships were such colossal undertakings that CCP assumed they had time to complete the code before anybody could actually build one. The bit of code that allowed Titans to be launched from a capitol shipyard hadn’t been written yet.

Within two minutes (after the ship had supposedly completed) CCP developers were on the scene and privately met with CYVOK (CEO of Ascendant Frontier). They audited the build operations, verified that everything needed for the construction was present, and manually materialized an Avatar titan next to the shipyard.”

For me, as a veteran of 5+ years ingame it is not the great sweep of event’s, not the naming of names that grabs my interest… those of you who know me know I have no love lost for nullsec its denizens or gameplay… I am a wormholer, a resident for nearly all of my EVE life of the greatest space in EVE… Wormholes, AKA Anoikis. So I care little for much that takes place on the other side of the sky from my beloved home.

No, nullsec itself means little to me… BUT, the GAME means everything. And stuff like the above little tid-bit… well, that shit just thrills me and Andrew’s book was WELL worth the money invested… plus, I sent in $25… and the MSRP? $24.99…  LOL

Fly reckless and see you in the Sky =/|)=

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Only Constant in the Verse… is Change

~or “I Been Busy…"

You may have picked up a tad from somewhere that I may have been a wee bit busy lately… You’d be right.

Now the problem gentle reader is that I have not been busy in EVE… nope, it’s RL that’s takin’ up all my time. Hence I have not posted lately because of this and the ‘reasons’ I have been busy… well, they have naught to do with EVE and are not exactly what one would call… fun. Or even really much fun to talk about. As serious as Spaceships are… there are things that are more serious.

As I have been going through these last weeks, and months I have kept thinking about Rixx Javix’s take on blogging about EVE which is really just blogging about Rixx the same way my blog is really just all about Tur and his adventures in EVE… but I have, upon occasion as Rixx and we (bloggers) all tend to do, talked not just about our toons and EVE… but about our real life selves. And Rixx, AKA Brian Ward, has from time to time shared quite a lot about himself and his life with us all.

I have, I will admit, occasionally felt he was doing a wee bit too much of that as, well, people don’t read EVE blogs for stories of divorce and court and RL money troubles. But we are all real people here, those of us who take up pen and paper (ok, metaphorically…) and try to put our thoughts down in words… and for some strange reason think anyone would want to share any of our thoughts and feelings.

And yet… dear reader, you do. So we write and think and write some more.

So. Here it is… I am getting divorced. Again.

Yeah… sucks. But then again it has been a long time coming as these things almost always are. We have been through the gauntlet of breaking up and making up and therapy and and getting along and… well really not getting along. Anyone who has been through it knows, anyone who hasn’t… you don’t want to.

But here we are at the end of all that now in what I call, the acceptance and paperwork phase. We are no longer fighting or angry or any of that because we have both let it go. We are still parents and will be for life, and we were once really good friends… and we both want that back because, kids. Kids who love us both and whom we love more than anything. We are in agreement on almost everything, and the financial split will be fairly easy as we already did part of that when I moved into the spare room more than a year ago.

She gets the house, I get my lands on the bay, I get the sailboat she bought me for my 50th… the Jeeps are not jointly owned and all the rest is little stuff.

We are not getting lawyers, we are filing jointly, we are… in a word, copacetic. This has helped the kids (teens now) who have, of course, seen it coming. They both are relieved that we are getting along and all in all, as so many say, it’s for the best. Which of course it isn’t… the “best” being a mother and father who are together into grandparenthood for the rest of their lives… so this is, IMHO, just the least worst of the possible bad outcomes. But I’ll take the least worst… not much choice at this point.

I do want to say, that I really feel for Rixx and the miles of sewage he has crawled face first though with his divorce, but I am glad mine is not adversarial. It is a blessing and a relief to not face that. I do wish he didn’t have to.

So now you know where I have been. My life has taken a turn I was hoping it wouldn’t but is, at least, one I can roll with. I am moving out soon and will not be leaving EVE as I see a bright future… or at least a light at the end of the tunnel there up ahead…

Hope it’s not another godsdamned train.  =]

Fly reckless and see you in the Sky =/|)=