Friday, December 9, 2011

I Can Live with Dyin, I Just Can’t Mine for a Livin…

or, The Mind Melting Drone of The Minin Lazers…

I have never been, nor shall I ever be, a miner. Tried it, got the T-shirt balled the T-shirt up, stuffed it into an ore compression unit, jetcanned it and the ore is was compressed into, target locked it, sent 5 Warrior IIs to attack it and fired 2 Heavy Caldari Navy Scourge missiles at it for good measure. Fuk that T-shirt
Take that stoopid T-shirt
OK, so you mebbe get the idea I am not into mining much… all I can say is that the complete inactivity one experiences once one has begun mining ops combined with the endless mind numbing sound of the mining lazers… just makes me wanna podlkill myself. I really feel that this HAS to be the absolute worst way to “enjoy” making ISK in all of EVE, and yet… there are those who do naught else, and while I dunt know the percentages, not all of them are BOT miners.

Bastards Over There Mining Corp… 
BOT Miners are the ultimate “I dunt wanna mine” crowd… cause THEY dunt mine, their BOTS do, and they are, to me (and MANY others including CCP) not “players” in the game. They use software roBOTs and Macros to run their mining ships and fleets so they can make ISK while being permaAFK. 

EVE is a Shared Virtual Reality… 
Shared = we all do whatever we do together in real time in the same ‘verse; 
Virtual = this ‘verse exists inside a computer matrix; (howdya like them mixed metaphors huh!?) 
Reality = collective subjective experiences from moment to moment in real time. 

BOT Miners break this Shared Virtual Reality in two ways by… 
(1) NOT being there with all the rest of us in real time, in doing so they… 
(b) opt out of the shared ‘reality’ we all experience.
 When a BOT Miner has ships attacked and destroyed, he may not find out for hours or even days afterwards. He is not THERE on scene when things happen, WITH the rest of us sharing the experience that is EVE  and so you end up with things like Hulkageddon.

The Mittani & Helicity Boson – HAG V
Hulkageddon was started originally as a campaign against BOT Miners when Macro mining and BOT mining had started to become wide spread and there were those in the community who took great umbrage at this. Of course people, being the cussed and depraved things we can be, quickly spread this to attacking any miner and the justification was… they were there.  Well that’s ‘nough bout automated mining, what I started talkin about was ME mining… or, er, well… not.

To mine, ORE not to refine? 
Anyhoo… my whole corp, small as ‘tis, is basically of one mind on this. None of us really “like” mining as compared to PvP or PvE or even, say… hittin ones self in da face with a nail studded Louisville Slugger… OK, mebbe I am a bit moar averse to mining than the rest, but it aint their first (or second or thirtyseventh) pick on the list of Things To Do in EVE either. 

But back when we setup Serenity Station we turned our shining faces to the sun with high hopes and aspirations of being Industrial Tycoons and having tha ability to expend massive amounts of ammo and missiles AND SHIPS at a fraction of the cost of others cause we made em ourselves!!  Uh huh… but no matter how many ammo and droan and ship assembly arrays you have… you aint makin shit one till you got ores… and we dunt like to mine… Hmmm. 

So here we have this very nice POS, all dethstarry with its massive Rings of Deth defensive arrays and all cluttered and hard to move around in inside due to the number of assembly arrays… and we dunt make shit. We spent months using it for almost nothing but ship and mod storage so we can run Sleepers and have our own home in the sky. The ONLY thing we did do, which I will say is no “small” thing, is our industry corpmate was able to do the required training and buy or mfg the required parts and our first Capitol Ship, a Nidhoggur Class carrier, rolled out the Lrg Ship Assembly Array several weeks ago.
Theyre sooooo cute when theyre newborn!!
Understand I am very proud of our corpmate for his achievement and I am extremely proud to be part of a corp, as small as we are, that has joined the ranks of the corps and alliances in EVE who have fielded Capitol Class vessels. It is an achievement of note… but it is still the only thing of any real value we have built in the POS since we set it up. So, we finally decided we needed a someone who has whatever it takes to actually enjoy sitting for hours as his(her) brain liquefies to the drone of the mining lazers, we needed to hire us a miner, which means we need to get active about recruiting… Hmmmm.

NBDR = Not Blue Dunt Recruit… 
I hate recruiting. Scares me worse than a Flashy RED Tengu poppin up on grid while I am in my Noctis all alone in the hole… You see, I read constantly. I read Sci-fi books, history (mainly war histories), and EVERYTHING I can find about EVE. I read “voraciously” to quote a friend when he realized that I read several books at the same time. I will have one by my bedside, one (or two) in my backpack, and usually one I carry around with me so I have something to read in those brief quiet moments waiting on whatever to start, finish, reboot, load, break, set or… 

My reading as regards EVE has shown me that there is, in my mind, the distinct possibility that, moar ISK has been lost to spais and corporate intrigue than has ever been lost to PvP or any form of aggro. We are a small tight corp. We are RL friends and family. I TRUST these guys… and I have trusted them in RL with the life and safety of my children. I think I can trust them with everything I have in a game. But to trust a toon? Some char with I dunt care what stats? “Oh look, he’s a noob, only 4 weeks ingame…” Uh huh… the CHAR may be 4 weeks old… the GUY behind the keyboard may have been playing EVE since the second day it was online and can kill us ALL with a Rifter HULL. 

But he does not WANT to kill us… Oh Noes!! He wants a Directorship or at least full “take” access to ALL of our stuff. So when we log on one fine EVEning we find the POS and everything in it is GONE or destroyed because while we were all sleeping or spending our workday secure in the knowledge that all would be as it should be ingame cause we have only TRUSTWORTHY guys in our corp… he brought in his REAL corp and they looted and destroyed everything…  LOLing all the while. Oh and we all get a nice ingame mail with a link to a vid on Youtoob showing the whole effin WORLD the whole thing… starting with the last one of us online that night saying ‘o7’ and a good night to our trusted friend as we logged off while he stayed up late working on something “…for the corp”.

Grand Theft Tengu(s)...
And there we are, with just the ships we logged off in, the ISK in our personal wallets, and a smattering of personal stuff here and there throughout New Eden. Billions in ISK gone, and months, possibly years of TIME and effort… stolen from us. It has happened, (watch link above, read post here) It will happen again. I DO NOT want it to happen to us. Ever. The ONLY way to ensure that (as best you can) is…
(1) only have RL people you personally know and trust at the Director level;
(2) stay small and controllable;
(3) read: Corp Security.

We have a very good friend, a guy I have written about before (linky) who is a war griefer by trade. He is a Master of Spais and in the art of infiltrating noob corps. It is probably the primary reason he is successful. If he can get an alt in your corp, no matter at what level, he will learn about you… your real membership, primes & alts, the ships and fits you fly, how skilled you all are, both in game and in piloting skills, he will find out your locations your patterns, your playstyle… he will learn YOUR WEAKNESSES…and exploit them.

Personally I believe that Oz made a strategic error with us. He saw us as too new and too small and probably too easy a target to spend a lot of recon time on… so he started the war dec THEN had his alt request membership. While we did initially accept his alt I grew increasingly nervous about him and finally pushed for us to kick him JIC. And I was proved correct later. He did not take the time to really get to recon us well. If he had he may have then seen that though small and very new…
(1) some of us were on the right track with ship fitting and skills and that we,
(2) were RL friends who are very dedicated to each other and that we,
(3) would not ever give in to a protection racket and that we,
(4) would fight back no matter the cost...
because several of our members were (are) bloodthirsty to the point of recklessness (a sumtimes useful trait) and we also know, it’s just a game. As it turned out, the fact that we did undock and we did fight valiantly, with one of us (me) undocking TWICE and dying in a horrible fire… even though we lost, this earned us his respect and his friendship.

So you can see that recruiting from the pool of ALL EVE chars out “there”…. Freakin scares the shit outta me. I know, I know… not ALL of em are bad, heck MOST of em are exactly who they portray themselves as… it’s that unknown percentage that aren’t that spoils the whole basket of apples for me. I just CANNOT trust a toon. It is Soooo easy to lie here. Soooo easy to disinform… so easy to deceive, and the cost, in game time and effort, can be very, very real. OK, so just don’t make anyone else a Director right? Yes, there is that and we have agreed not to unless it is a RL person and it has to be a unanimous yea vote to get it in, one nay vote and it’s off the table. Plus there are ways to allow access and still provide corp security in a POS.

I Hear the Drone of Mining Lazers in the Distance…
So yes, we finally did ‘hire’ a  miner… and one I, and we all, can live with. I’ll call him Vic. Vic is first off absolutely crazy…  stark   raving   mad. The mining lazers liquefied his brain many many years ago and left, sloshing around inside his skull, a goo similar to moon goo, but a self-aware goo… we think. At least he acts self aware, most of the time… Oh, and one moar thing… Vic is a mining GOD. He has lost moar ISK and ships than my whole corp in our whole history… and still he makes moar ISK than my whole corp in our whole history. He is simply amazing. He is a guy we met many months ago while we were in DemSal Alliance. Everybody got along with Vic. We all liked him and loved chattin with him on TS… he is a real character not just a char. And I am proud to consider him a friend.  =]

He had been outta the game for quite a spell but a week or so ago he logged back in and got back in touch with us and he got all caught up on current events etc. Turns out he was looking for something newish to do… he was still gonna mine, where ever he was, but he was looking for a new venue to do it in. My CEO and he got to talkin, Vic has prior WH experience and felt mebbe some time in th hole might be just th thing for ol Vic. Well HELL YES!!!! We started drooling at the wallet thinkin of the kind a rock rapin Vic could do in a WH resource site… Arkonor, Bistot, Crokite, Scordite, Veldspar… Vic knows moar about mining and refining ORE that ANY of us… and he LOVES it.
From my Early Days A 3 Hulk mining Op w/ Orca Support
Getting Vic incorp would be like hiring 4 or 5 miners who have several months experience… it would be like hiring 10 mining noobs and focus training them. But Vic doesn’t want to change corps which we completely understand as our corp means far moar to us than just a convenience as it is for so many out there. So… Vic's corp joins the Alliance, and due to the fact that we heavily overbought Arrays for the POS we are able to basically give him Alliance access to a Ship Maint Bay (to store his ships in) and a Ship Assy Array (to store everything else of his in) and they are basically for his corps use only. We retain control and Director access. NOW we’re cooking with GAS baby!!! 

Now Refining Arrays in POSes are not nearly as efficient as the ones in NPC Stations throughout EVE, they are capped at 75% efficiency for all but Ice products, all Ice Products refine at 100% efficiency in POS Refineries. Go figure as there are NO ice fields in W-Space… ever. The unwritten but commonly accepted reason being that CCP wants you to “want” to do your refining in a station badly enough for you to risk transporting your ore around, thereby increasing the chance for “Player Interaction” (PvP, ganking, etc.).

We dunt care… with Vic minin for us, we will have moar than enough ore to choke the Refineries we have… in detail a 25% loss for each batch is not “efficient”… who cares when you have moar ore than you can process? And we will finally start running batches of our own ammo, our own droanes and our own ships… that, I can’t wait for. So another chapter begins for HBHI as we finally get down to business and put our POS to work for us, not as just a home, but as a tool for generating income all on its own merit. 

And as for me… I get to fly CAP, Combat Air Patrol… PvP security of the mining ops (YEA!), and switch off as hauler ever now an then now that I am finally flying the Mammoth… but that’s another story…   =]

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

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Out of the fire and into the Crusible…

Well, we are in the Crusible now, and for me, getting there got me boiling… though once in, I kinda liked it…  =]

OK, I am a PC Tech IRL, and my notebook, the one I use for EVE, is technically the best one I have… but a few months ago the HD failed SMART. Not a “gonna die in 5 mins” kinda fail, the far more bothersome “probably gonna fail sometime soonish” kinda fail… fukme. 

So I took a bunch of spare (and lower capacity) NB drives cleaned em up, moved backup data around and picked the 2 best… The 2 best as my wife’s notebook had also started giving HD errors. I had ONE, just one drive with NO SMART errors at all and it was the larger drive too… and as you might guess, that one went in ‘her’ system. The slightly smaller drive with minor SMART issues went in mine. No prob, both more than large enough for XP SP3 and the std apps for hers… std apps plus EVE and the gigs of associated pix, vids, apps that I have for mine.

OK, so I get both systems reloaded, apps & settings configed and all ‘seems’ to be working OK. Until a few weeks ago… the minor SMART errors on the drive in my sys are creeping into the failzone… not there yet, but closer than I like. And then came Crusible…

Initially Everything was going ok then the system simply stopped. No errors, no BSOD, mouse still responded but the screen is wallpaper… no input, mouse or keyboard has any effect. I give it 30 mins and hold the power button for the required 10 seconds… crap. 

To make a long, painful yet unpleasant story a bit shorter…
I first double clicked on the EVE icon to upgrade to Crucible at around 17:00 EVE… I ended up reinstalling the client, from scratch (THANK GOD I saved the Incarna install files!) then redownloading the Crusible update, rerunning the setup… it crapped AGAIN, but I was able to rekickoff the update without downloading again… and THIS time it completed… JEZUZ. 

When I FINALLY logged into our POS in the C2 wormhole we call home (no new pretty paintings in the sky for those who dwell in holes…  =[   ) it was 04:45 EVE… that’s 11 hours 45 mins to get Crucible up and running… sheesh. 

Was it worth it? Well…
Keep in mind we live in W-space and the biggest impact on us so far is the corp bookmarks (Oh HELL YEA!!!), POS fueling changes, we wait to see, and we are talkin about the POCOs… 

As ervybody is doing careful metareports, write ups, and comparisons of ALL of the new Crucible features I thought I do sumthin different.  Here are my PERSONAL thoughts on the changes I have ‘seen’ or experienced and their impact on me personally… in no particular order they are: 

Interface Text Changes/Scaling… Kudos. Period, ‘nuff said. 

Correctly Oriented Gates… Kudos!! Nice and far better for immersion and game “feel”, the ‘science geek’ and ‘SF buff’ in me are both pleased, TY VM. 

Ship Contrails… The contrails are effin NICE! One wonders why they went away in the 1st place… you get so much moar a FEEL for your ships movement and flight with them… and they just look damn cool as shit!  ~and~  Some Ships got the Love…  The Hookbill was one of the ships that got a ‘make-over’… Grey Urban Digital Camo!!! SCHWEET!!!!

Urban Grey Digitoflage AND Contrails,   oooooo… ahhhhhh…   =]

“Loot All ™”… TY TY TY TY… As the corp Salvage Ops Director I thank you from the bottom of my skeevy licentious heart… but… can you now make the cans POP a wee bit faster after “Loot All ™” is used?? You see, now with the New and Improved “Loot All ™” there is this ungodly, several 10th of a second, boring wait for the can to pop as looting is now SOOOOO easy…[we will NEVER be fully happy!!!] 

Newbulea... I am of 2 minds and 1 dissenting opinion about the New Nebula…

(1) [RP & Lore] “Where in hell did they come from!??? It’s just fukkin SCARY to wake up one morning and the “eternal” sky is DIFFERENT!!!”  “What in hell do these NEW stars portend???” and “OH fuk!! Now ALL the star charts will have to be COMPLETELY resurveyed AND every goddamn ship in New Eden is gonna need a Garminverse Update immediately!” 

(B) [OOC] Incredibly VERY visually stunning and beautiful AND they do seem to maintain a cogent placement as you move through the EVE cluster… nice and accurate, the ‘science geek’ and ‘SF buff’ in me are again both pleased..  Also… they also make it far harder to ‘see’ a cloaked ship in… This is/may be both good and bad.
Good, I dunt know if others can ‘see’ my cloaky the same as I do on screen, if not then NP. But if they can and they’re close enough, well you know?? So the newbulea will help hide cloakies even better…
Bad, they make it harder for ME to see my cloaky and determine where I am oriented to etc. so hmmmm… 

(2c) Nobulea… We in W-space woke up to the same ol same ol space… no love for us…  =[ 

Corp Bookmarks… One of the single best changes CCP could have given WH dwellers… BMs are our life out here. Ervyday we have to scan down the ‘daily holes, sigs & anoms’… My corp had been using a standardized Daily Hole Report email in which whoever did the days scanning, wrote up data on everything scanned down… And we have long had a corp hangar bay where we also store BM copies in order to ‘share’ the BMs, all of which is probably SOP in all WH corps… the Corp Bookmarks will simply remove ALL of the above work… scan em down, BM ‘em for corp and ta da, yer done. Though in our case we share the W-space we live in with another corp in our alliance… and we will still have to use the old methods to share with them… ah well. 

POCOs…  [Privately Operated Customs Offices]… so far I have no idea if this is good or bad… ALL I know is (1) my CEO got ganked and lost a stoopidly large amount of ISK value transportin POCO stuff to th hole… <sadface>  OH! he was ganked by the newest and baddest of the gankset… the Tornado!!, and (B) I have already started practicing my bombing runs on the local COs in our hole… Wayyy too much fun! LOL! 

New T3 Battlecruisers… are, as far as I am concerned, Battlecrusier Class Dessies…think about it. I have a Tornado over on Sisi and as intimated above, I feel the ‘Nado will become the baddest Alpha Gank boat EVE has seen yet… the ultimate GlassCannon (see: Thrasher)… A Sebo(?) & 1400mm howitzer fit ‘Nado 2 shotted my CEO’s Indie… Hello!

My 'Nado the "HDF =Bukfutter=" w/ 1200mm Arty locked and tracking...
Two of my corpmates have brought in a Naga and a Talos… the Naga nommed the Talos without breaking a sweat. Neither are ANY good at Sleepers (surprise surprise) and the Naga has been refit as a MINER (which it seems to do well at… just like most dessies, go figger)… I’ll will prolly get a ‘Nado or several… as POS Defense and/or Lowsec Gankers.

We dunt do Amarrrgh so no tactical/strategic opinion on that one… its gold colored, funny lookin and flown by God Cursed Slavers…. meh.

POS fuel “bloks”… we are still on standard fuels as are most and we will be researching and seeing what needs to be done to implement this… will update as we learn moar. 

So far that is really all the impact of note I have experienced. I do want to add though...  Damn Good Job CCP. PLEASE keep it UP!  (…that’s what she said!) 

One thought... If CCP wants to make a Vampire Avatar MMORPG I say Great! But do it AFTER you keep your dollar/euro/yen faucet in good working order! Then you could mebbe AFFORD to hire (back) staff just for that. 

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