North Again

 

 

So my travels took me North and looped around the Eastern edge of the map before a long overdue pit stop in my PI system to conduct maintenance. I was careful to avoid Co2’s  known systems after the last little adventure but it seems that Co2 were not finished with me.

The interesting thing is that to date, Circle of Two are the only alliance that seems to actively defend their space and, in my travels, they are the only alliance I have seen that roam in force outside their domain. I had another brush with them right on the edge of their space at QFF-06 and this time I took the prudent option of not being herded into a corner and killed.

I need to qualify the above with two disclaimers:
Firstly, I haven’t been East or West to any great extent and so there may be savage guardians over there.
Secondly, Eve is time zone based. There are a greater portion of players on-line when I am off-line. It might just be the Co2 have a strong contingent that cover my time zone.

The process of choosing a new sector to roam in generally begins before I log off. I find a quiet system and safe up before plotting a course, using the Eve map and Dotlan, then set 20 or so jumps for the next log in. That way I have a planned path and don’t have to spend valuable time looking for a way out. Most times this is not necessary as I log into empty systems, but sometimes it can be quite a challenge, especially down in Delve at the moment.

As you can see from the above the bright line of Empire travel is darkening and my recent travels North and West have been highlighted.

The point is to see more, not to visit every system, but most importantly it is about igniting my love of Eve and it is doing just that.
I am looking forward to logging in.

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad

West

New Claw fitted for a bit of harmless travel – headed out west.

Spent some time looking around Fountain before heading into Delve. The idea was to look at the Southern reaches of the Universe before heading back up North.

Fountain was empty.

PNQY
PNQY

Things started to get a bit more interesting as I headed off to Y-2ANO and into Delve. The plan was to go through D-W7FO and off to Blood Raider Territory but there was a massive amount of Goon activity at D-W so I decided to head back to Fountain.

Gate agents in Fountain took me by surprise, I guess they shouldn’t as there are some in Syndicate but the idea of them being in Deep null was new to me and just another reason that this little exploration trip is worth the effort.

agent
My standings are not that good

Standings aside, I am not set up to do missions out here even if the locals are nowhere to be seen. These event agents might go some way to repairing my standings but that will have to wait for another day.

I am off North.

Fly Safe as always,
Yad

Travels

Given my pathetic lack of coverage of the Eve universe, and the absence of anything better to do, I set a goal to explore as much as I could before the next shiny thing came along and distracted me.

The map function that shows ‘systems you have visited’ updates approximately every second downtime, although it isn’t quite that precise and tends to leave a few systems off which makes the task of tracking them quite difficult. No doubt people developed massive spreadsheets that plotted optimum routes when this type of exploration became the rage back in 2006, but that doesn’t interest me. I just want to go and have a look, I am not fixated on seeing everything.

The Roden Shipyard at Heluene.

Heluene_2
A quick fly past

I am fairly cautious about what I look at. I didn’t have to worry about Citadel traps because the Interceptor flew right through them, and yes – systems were lousy with them as Talvorian Dex pointed out recently. But there was one that nearly got me, quite ingenious really. It combined a Caldari Encounter Surveillance System which was bubbled behind a Citadel. Since I was looking for interesting things I warped to 100 and saw the trap. Didn’t get a screenie unfortunately because I was wondering how long it took a Citadel to lock and wasn’t going to stick around to find out.

I got a fair bit done up North before I went pop.  The stuff in the hold was just rubbish I picked up along the way, people leave the strangest things in space.

Why did I lose my ship? I forgot golden rule of Eve – never warp directly to the gate. I had become complacent and was happily transiting various systems without drawing the slightest interest from the locals. Then I entered the space held by Circle of Two and they took an interest. The plan was to go deep and log out safe then wait for the map to update and proceed from there. I was being chased by a frigate which was nothing new, but the hackles rose and I had a feeling that I was being herded, I failed to act on gut instinct and took one gate too many.

All props to the killers, they executed a block and stopped me from going deeper into their territory. No idea how my capsule survived but now I am left with a minor problem, self destruct or try to get out? (Solved, they got that on the Taisy gate )

Not to be discouraged I jumped in another Claw, stripped it down for fast flight and took off once again, this time minus implants. I am hard pressed coming up with a training plan as it is – so why speed up the process with costly chips? This way I have no burden that could cause me to hesitate at the wrong moment.

Hope to bring you a few more interesting screen shots from my travels.

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad

 

Exploring

I found myself in High Sec wondering what to do next. On a whim I boarded a Claw and headed off to a system that I had heard of but never visited. The reason for the trip was two fold, first was to enjoy Eve on full noise thanks to a new Graphics card, the second because I just felt it was time to go to places I had heard so much about and yet never been to.

Just to clarify, I am not going to write about what happened at each of these sites, there is plenty of information available and it is written by people who were there. I remember both quite clearly, but I wasn’t actually there when it happened.

The first visit was to the Historic Location: the remains of Steve.

steve2s
Steve Wreck complete with Sansha Guards

C9N-CC, in Esoteria, is about 51 jumps from my High Sec lair. In true Yadot style I didn’t take the easy route and headed off via Amarr and Khanid which added another 30 or so jumps. It also meant that I entered Deep Null Sec via Sakht and into Delve. For those of you that followed the news about the ‘end of Goon’ I am sorry to say that it doesn’t look anything like the ‘end of ASCN’ or the ‘end of BoB’. Goonswarm seem to be alive and thriving in Delve. I guess no one wanted that bit of space anyway.

C9N is currently controlled by The Afterlife and in keeping with their name they were ghostly indeed. Never saw a single pilot after jumping out of Stain. The Historic Location (not to be confused with a monument) has a beacon and is clearly visible. The Avatar Class Titan, once called Steve, rests in all it’s broken glory. From memory it didn’t survive downtime and the wreck disappeared. Player base lobbying saw CCP resurrect it and eventually place a beacon.

I jumped back into Stain for the long journey back to Syndicate. After about 10 jumps I had a change of heart. There was another place in Eve that I had heard about and never visited. I turned right and headed to Curse. 12 minutes later I had arrived at the site of one of the largest fleet battle to date.

The second visit was to B-R5RB and the Titanomachy Monument.

tit1s
Titanomachy Monument

B-R5RB, in Immensea, is currently controlled by Infamous. Once again no one was home so I was free to get a couple of shots from different angles. The shots don’t do the site justice. It is one enormous debris field full of Titans, Supers and Caps. Not sure why CCP place a bizarre structure at the site, when a beacon would be sufficient, but I have given up trying to figure out why CCP do the things they do.

The easiest way home for me from here was to run up through Catch and Curse and enter High Sec via Litom.

A Bubble Trap

bubbles
A nice bubble tarp complete with de-cloakers

Looking at the Utopia gate made me smile, if I had taken a Cov Ops ship I would be de-cloaked and in a bubble. Ingenious little trap.

That isn’t the end of my travels. The map has a function to show all the systems you have visited. I was surprised to look at mine and see that I really haven’t travelled that far out of Empire Space and there are great voids. The way systems highlighted are a bit hit and miss. I have been in systems that don’t show, however systems I visited in 2006 are visible. Maybe I just thought I had been to places, who knows.

My Information – Systems Visited

visited
Plenty of places to go

 

The above shows my travels in the last 10 years. And at first glance it seems a bit empty but I have never had a reason to travel outside my operations area. Yellow dots indicate travel this year and late last year. Red is pretty much everything else. Highlighted clearly is the recent run down through Delve, Period Basis, Stain, Catch and Curse and then back up through Derelik.

I was located in Syndicate when the shot was taken and the highlighted circle on the right of the map, with a couple of other red dots that seem random, are wormhole exits I have taken.

This map says a lot about where I have been and what I have done in Eve.
The journey is far from over.

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad

 

 

All is Forgiven

My recent posts haven’t been all that positive so I stepped outside and gave myself a very solid uppercut and am pleased to say that I love Eve again.

I went out and purchased some new hardware. Some of the issue/ problems/ bugs that I experienced recently have disappeared. PI scanning is back to normal and so is black screen on station exit. This was something I hadn’t written about but was annoying all the same.

One of the more unexpected ‘fixes’ was the slight time lag I was experiencing between clicking a module and its activation. I just thought it was a bad connection to the Eve Servers. I had run traces a few times, even using the new launcher trace tool, but they had been inconclusive. The problem no longer exists.

I downloaded the full client and installed it fresh.

There is something truly wonderful about the intro-movie when you log in. It captures the essence of Eve and provides the back story. I had forgotten about the movie being default on a new install, it has been that long, but I let it run through on both characters.

Next was to tweak the settings and I didn’t have to do anything, graphics were maxed out which is also something I haven’t seen for a very long time. I really was excited to get in a ship and go flying, to see the universe in all its intended glory and, for the first time in a long time, hear everything.

Claw1
Claw in all its magnificence

My ship, the simple Claw, was a thing of beauty. I don’t remember the wings shimmering they always looked like black blobs. There were highlights, colours, shadows and life.

I came upon a gate where a player in a Demios was dealing with Serpentis Guards and heard the battle before I saw it. The Serpentis Battle Cruiser was boosting, the Demios was blasting away. The show was spectacular.

The jump gate was majestic and the system was alive with stars and light. Concord were ever present and for once I could see that they were not all silver blobs. The Amarr were not just phallic gold members, there was bone white, greys and shades of gold with definition.

I think the last time I played Eve and truly saw it was about 5 years ago.

A stark reminder that the wife may be a bit aged and dusty but if you get a new set of glasses you can see the beauty that has always been there.

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad

 

 

 

Broken things

I was going to wax lyrical, and somewhat incomprehensibly, about Planetary Interaction’s direct link to repetitive strain injury, but got sidetracked. I started thinking about what PI was meant to be and what it used to be like. The process is broken. There are so many little bugs with it that I have stopped writing them down. So why is it that the players persist and continue to use a faulty system to achieve their goals? (a somewhat rhetorical question)

The reason I started PI was to fuel my own little research POS. My main High Sec system had the right combination of planets to allow me to harvest almost all the fuel needs. A bit of Ice Mining, in a system not too far away, allowed me to fuel the POS with minimal expenditure from the wallet. The true cost was the time it took to put it all together and maintain the supply chains and manufacturing process.

There is no doubt that I probably could have done something else to create the funds needed to buy the fuel on the open market and whatever that ‘something else’ was I am sure it would have been less of a time sink. Creating the components and materials required to fuel the POS was the goal, doing it with time and cost efficiency wasn’t and that is a vital component in the way I play Eve.

I have moved on from generating PI for Fuel, these days it is done simply to provide some spare Isk flow for what seems to be very little in the way of time and effort. I concentrate on two processed materials that are combined into a Tier 2 Refined Commodity that has a realistic value. The whole process over two characters takes about 10 minutes and a bit more on the day the materials have to be gathered. The only drawback is the click count.

PI

So back to broken things – the picture above shows a simple chain with a Command Centre, Launchpad, Storage units, Extractor Head and several basic Processors. The storage unit accepts the material from the processors and they are transferred manually to the Launchpad. This allows flexibility in the time between visits as the capacity of the Storage unit is greater than the Launchpad. It is my own set and forget system. I can access it every day or leave it for a week. Either way there are materials that can be shipped to  a separate planet for processing.

So what is broken?
A close look at the picture shows several Extractor heads in red areas. These are low yield compared to the white areas. When I conduct a survey I have a predicted output with the heads in the position shown. If I move the heads to the white (High Yield) areas then the production figure decreases. There is a disconnect between the survey view and what is actually going on. Not a huge thing really, no reason to rage quit and self destruct that Freighter on the Jita undock but annoying all the same.

The ‘Show Others networks’ is hit and miss. I have two PI characters who can’t seem to see each others networks even when I am looking at them on two screens side by side. This functionality was meant to allow players to call in their DUST buddies to overthrow the oppositions reactors… remember that? Some of you are now thinking ‘oh yeah, that’s right’. Just another in-game function that wasn’t implemented and what is left behind doesn’t work. PI wasn’t meant to be a sub-game all of its own. It was meant to be interactive with DUST.

Planet view shows materials in Heads, Storage Units and Launchpad’s that don’t exist which makes it difficult if you are trying to finish off a cycle before reconfiguration and even more frustrating when shipping stuff down from the Customs Office.

The entire Build and Install process is click hell. If a planet isn’t performing I tend to wait a month before moving the Extractor head because it is just painful, almost as painful as the mini game in a Relic Site. Over 50 routing clicks alone in a simple setup. A minimum of 6 clicks just to reset production on each planet each day.

Command Launch is totally ineffective. The amount you can launch is miniscule and the cost is prohibitive. I am sure I read that the original idea was to allow launch in hostile areas without having to pick up from the Customs Office. This in itself is a great idea, the thought of bypassing player owned structures and the taxes imposed and sinking a little Isk back into the game would be great, but the idea seems to have been lost in translation and the net effect is a redundant system. When Interbus owned all the POCO’s it was still prohibitive to launch from a Command Centre.

None of the above are game breakers, they are quirky working as intended things that people conducting PI put up with on a daily basis, but every single one of them has been mentioned at some stage and the issues have not been addressed. PI seems to be something that was introduced in haste to fill a gap and is now largely forgotten, which is strange as it has as much relevance now as it ever has.

Citadels need Fuel. The only reason I can think of for leaving PI alone is that the raw data indicates that production has not decreased.

Everyone who embarks on the Planetary Interaction journey does so for their own reasons.

Be that profit, enjoyment or just a simple need – I feel your pain.

Fly Safe as Always,
Yad.

 

BB77 – The Malaise

Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 77th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.

Blog Banter 77 – The Malaise

Is there a malaise affecting Eve currently? Blogs and podcasts are going dark and space just feels that little bit emptier. One suggestion is that there may be a general problem with the vets, especially those pre-Incarna and older, leaving and being replaced by newer players who are not as invested in the game. The colonists versus immigrants? Is this a problem? Are there others? Or is everything just fine and it’s just another bout of summer “ZOMG EVE IZ DYING!”

Banter on…..

More of a ramble than a banter but here goes:
Anyone that has read any of the piffle I have written will realise that there is an underlying tone of doom. Right from the start of this blog I was predicting the demise of Eve.

The numbers show it, every day that I log in the ‘players in-game figure’ is less than it was a month ago.
The amount of players represented in the graphs from Eve-Offline confirm it, just look at newborns and player peaks and watch the downward spiral.
The game itself screams it, a major event release in Shadow of the Serpent is panned as being too difficult to and tedious to keep even the mega enthusiast active. An Eve player I know said that it was almost worse than mining and we all know that nothing in the Eve universe is worse than mining.
The general vacuum left after WWB makes it feel inevitable. No one is really talking about anything. There is no buzz there is no story.
Could a Palantine Keepstar ignite the passion? That story went dead back in March with many predicting the first would go up in a wormhole.

But, and there always is one but…

I think I talked myself into finally understanding my own lack of engagement with the game. My malaise can be tracked back to the lack of a goal. I don’t have anything set and therefore I am adrift like a corpsicle in the emptiness of space. And that’s the way I feel about the game right now.

As I write this I am moving a freighter up the pipe to Jita. There isn’t much in the ship and I am flying what I can afford to lose. This trip is not necessary, I could have avoided it, but I wanted to get it out of the way. I will spend about two hours in-game moving some trade goods to market and adding to my wallet.

The excitement I used to feel when I couldn’t afford to fly the ship was addictive. I kind of miss that. I made my fortune gambling all my isk on a single blueprint and then moving that original print 40 something jumps through Null Sec and hostile space to the relative safety of my home system. From that point on I had goals, I had a reason to log in.

Somewhere along the Eve journey I forgot to revisit where I was headed. I lost sight of what I wanted to achieve.

I am not looking for the ‘old eve’ I am not looking to relive the game I knew, because in a twisted way I love the game I am in, I just lost sight of the goal or more importantly I think I failed to set one. That kind of leaves me as a sad old pilot unable to biomass his account and keeping up the payments just in case something happens. I did have an idea once of filling my freighter full of shuttles and blowing it up outside the Jita undock, but I ran it on test and the result wasn’t what I expected.
Maybe I should use a Bowhead?

There are a lot of things that still make me smile. Pilot names in local and not just pilots, flying through Du Annes and you come across a Citadel named – unicorns and rainbows. Or things like Stekarn’s Capsule is sitting 15k off the Renyn Gate at zero m/s making him a prime target for pod poppers. Every system in the pipe has at least 5 people in it and we are an hour before down time and outside the big TZ. There is a CODE. pilot sitting in Hatakani and a corpse on the gate. Most systems have a Citadel or two, Perimeter has 11 and I am docked at one now. There are 981 players still in Jita 15 minutes before DT and still a wealth of scams in local, I like reading them.
The 4-4 undock is strangely quiet.

Is Eve dead to these players?  Is there a malaise invading their game? I don’t think so, I think Eve is alive and vibrant. Each and every one of them, like me, is on-line right now flying something, going somewhere, doing whatever it is that they logged into do. It isn’t what it used to be but which game ever is?

Are new players any different to the old one’s? Is it that those of us that joined before the Incarna release are leaving and being replaced with those that are not as invested as we were? I don’t think so, I can assure you I wasn’t all that invested when I started. I spent the first 6 months on 30 day top ups and then moved to 90 day. I didn’t drop an entire years subscription on the game until I had been playing for several..

So where does that leave us, those players still paying our subs and logging in?

I am not really sure.
I do know I have talked myself in a circle and failed to make a solid argument for or against the topic. It has however been a learning experience and more importantly for me, as a player, it has finally dawned on me that to make this game worth playing again I have to do something, I have to set a goal, I have to get off my backside and make it exciting.

No one else is going to do it for me.

Fly Safe as Always
Yad