Back in the Sadae, I Mean, Saddle

Posted in Combat, Duffers on March 21, 2013 by paul

So, I’m back, after about eight months away. As a small business owner, I get to decide when I work. As a small business owner with a crushing inferiority complex and a massive fear of bankruptcy, I had been deciding to basically work all the time, despite the business doing very, very well. When my wife told me that I needed to find a hobby or I was probably going to die, I took the hint and dove back into Eve.

Reading Aiden’s blog convinced me to try to connect with a large hisec/griefing corporation ASAP. My first thought was to hook up with Quality Assurance in the Marmite Collective, being largely made up of former Suddenly Ninjas members and having access to thousands of war targets. Sadly, it was an odd time of the week and nobody from Marmites was on to talk to me, so I got snapped up by Psychotic Monk (for CSM!) and placed in Skunkworks. Skunkworks is a very small, but very focused group of griefers, and while I made friends there who I’m sure I’ll work with on stuff again, there just weren’t enough targets and fleetmates around. With a stream of apologies and rationalizations stringing behind me, I departed Skunkworks and joined Quality Assurance.

On my first day in the Marmite Collective, I thought I’d made a huge mistake. I was sitting in the Standing Fleet channel of the Teamspeak server, looking at the heading which read, “PVP Channel. Keep chat to a minimum. Listen to the FC!” As I read this, I was listening to a member with an annoying drawl (maybe intoxicated?) brag about how his multi-box mining setup was making him space-rich. He wasn’t joking, and when I pointed out that mining is awful, another pilot in channel spoke up and pointed out that it’s a great way to make money. Face. Palm.

Shaking my head but tempted by all the War Targets out in space, I undocked and began hunting on gates. There! Three war-targets with a history of battleship losses in a dead-end system, and not docked. I let the others on Teamspeak know what I’d found, and asked for folks to x up in chat so I could get fleet invites out. I expected everyone to be chomping at the bit as I was. Instead, the response was “Eh. I’m having an OK time sitting on the Amarr undock.” I… OK. What?

The system with my war targets was three jumps from Amarr. When I went in to try to find them, they all slipped out the gate and got away. I shook my fist, re-subscribed my scanning alt account, and bitterly complained in the Skunkworks channel about what a horrible mistake I’d made. I’d stick it out for a while because of the war target selection, but dayum. It was gonna get lonely here, fast.

I saw a fellow Quality Assurance member bouncing among the voice channels, and when he eventually settled into the channel for the Ghost Headquarters corp, I rudely hopped in uninvited and had a listen to a pilot I’d never met before named BodyMassageMachine.

“OK, I’ve got eyes on (pilot name) in local, and he’s not docked. Warp to the (system) gate and hold, since this is the most likely return path for him.”

Success! I immediately imposed on them and asked to join up. Before long I was in a gang of patient, rational hunters, looking for carebears to violence. I wasn’t being terribly useful in my Incursus, but I was having fun, and my scanning alt came in handy a couple of times. We looked around a bit, almost caught a few targets, and decided to head back home for the night.

You know how that goes. You always get the best kills after you’ve decided to wrap it up for the day. While headed back to Amarr, BodyMassageMachine reported that his scout saw a war target in the next system, so we should hold on gate while he figured out what’s up.

“There she is on the gate. Crane! Hold on the other side!”

“She’s waiting a bit to uncloak. Overheat those mids. We’ll probably miss her.”

“There….pointed?!”

210077179_128And so she was. Cranes and other cloaky haulers are VERY safe in hisec, but you have to use them properly. As soon as you move after a gate jump, you lose your cloak. The animation on your screen shows you slowly rippling into visibility, but in reality you pop right out and can be locked the instant you start moving. Our quarry apparently didn’t know this, and paid the price. The Loot Fairy was kind to us, dispensing 2 billion of the 2.5billion that Sadae’s Crane was hauling.

As I mentioned to my new friends, being there in an Incursus made me feel like the guy who agreed to help move the piano and rushed to grab the stool. I’ll probably be trading it for Steam Cat’s Enyo fit called “Dubstep Kitty”, a 500-DPS monster of a frigate.

And so Marmite Collective redeemed itself to its newest member. The conclusion I’ve reached is that Marmite casts a *very* wide net, catching both hardened hunters and misfit carebears just ill-tempered enough to not fit in elsewhere. If you hang out in the regular channels, you’re going to have a bad time. Dig just a little bit, however, and you can find both like-minded comrades AND lots of targets.

Oh yes. We are going to make some people sad.

Finding stations with multiple locator agents

Posted in Developers! Developers! Developers! on March 12, 2013 by paul

So uh, been a while, eh? I’m back and stirring up trouble, but the details on that are for another post.

While engaging in wardec shenanigans with Skunkworks (whose Fearless Leader, Psychotic Monk, should totally get your CSM vote, despite him being Canadian and terrible), I had need of locator agents. Not having used them before, I was pointed to Zedrik Cayne’s excellent locator finder. This was very handy, but not quite what I needed for just posting an alt on a station to run locates. What I wanted was a pointer toward a station that had multiple agents, so I could take a look at those agents and direct any standings-grinding or character-buying most efficiently. The advice I was given was to go to the locator tool, enter 6.0 for all factions, and scroll. This is doable, but since there are 500+ L3 and L4 locators in New Eden, my attention was going to be strained to find just ONE such locator-rich station, much less ALL of them.

(Skip to the next paragraph if you aren’t interested in the technical details.) So I brushed off my Python not-skills and wrote a quick script which you can find on Pastebin. It’s designed to be used with this CSV list of all L3 and L4 agents, shamelessly lifted from Zedrik’s site. It spits out a list of every station containing more than one locator.

There’s 46 stations in New Eden with two locators inside. Sadly, I wasn’t able to find any stations that have more than two locators. This list doesn’t tell you the names of agents or their faction, but it should get you started, and maybe someone else will do a little more work. For me, this is just enough to be useful with only a small amount of effort.

I make no claims to competence or correctness. If I somehow didn’t start with the right data, it’s possible that this may be incorrect. If that’s the case, I hope that someone else will correct my shoddy work and post their results. There’s definitely room for improving the file by adding factions or levels in each station. Maybe there’s systems with more than two locators, but no more than one locator per station?

Convince Me To Start Playing Again

Posted in Uncategorized on September 24, 2012 by khalia

Ok EVE players, my internet woes from a while ago *may* be solved.

But I’ve stopping caring about the game, except for the sad yet interesting story of Sean Smith.

Can anyone give me a compelling reason to play again? All ideas welcomed!

I Didn’t Want To Play EVE Anyways

Posted in Come On!, When RL Invades on July 25, 2012 by khalia

My connection issues – which prevented me from participating in the Thukk You, Frill Me events – have gotten so bad that I can barely log on long enough to change skills. Sometimes the client doesn’t get past the “Loading …. ” bar. Sometimes I get a socket reset after logging in. Sometimes it just plain hangs.

This has been going on for about two weeks now, and it sucks. It’s not my local internet connection, as everything runs spiffy, and none of my network hardware or configuration has changed in months.

My best guess is that some hop between me and CCP’s data farm is screwed up. Anyone else having problems like this?

Bigotry and Hate Speech in Eve Online

Posted in RL Bad People on July 18, 2012 by paul

Julius Maagnus > anyone named Paul Clavet must fail at every game he plays.
Shamus O’Reilly > and your character portrays a gay guy. so are you by chance gay paul?
Paul Clavet > uh huh
Julius Maagnus > ^^ that would be a yes
Paul Clavet > Would you judge me if I was?
Julius Maagnus > yes
Lord Maagnus > yes
Paul Clavet > Then that makes you a bigot then, doesn’t it?
DonCorleone7854 > si senor
Julius Maagnus > yes
Lord Maagnus > If you were, i’d categorize you with pedophiles. both are equaly disgusting.
Shamus O’Reilly > hahaha i just stirred a hornets nest
Julius Maagnus > you use the word bigot like its a bad thing
Keven Morin > well if you are can you please push in Lethian Dream’s shit in for us?
Julius Maagnus > I like lethian dream
Lord Maagnus > Is a person who hates child molesters a bigot?
Julius Maagnus > I like the salty attitude. Leave lethian dream alone
Julius Maagnus > however, Paul Clavet just popped up on my shit list
Paul Clavet > oh noes
Julius Maagnus > ya think
Lethian Dream > finallu some courtesy for a pretty girl.
Lord Maagnus > Because, being gay is as productive to the human species as banging 8 year old girls.
Lord Maagnus > The behaviour is disgusting.
Julius Maagnus > ^^
Shamus O’Reilly > kinky
Lord Maagnus > And should be punishable by a slow death.
Lord Maagnus > I think suffocation.
Lord Maagnus > the revival
Lord Maagnus > then suffocation.
Lord Maagnus > then revival.
Lord Maagnus > until the body completely gives out

What say you, Eve community? Where is the line between smacktalk and… whatever this is?

I Wanna Be Where the Victims Are

Posted in Combat, Faction Warfare on July 17, 2012 by paul

Soooo, Minmatar FW is still a thing. The Goons may have pushed the balance of power to the breaking point, but the Minmatar were the dominant force before the exploit, and remain dominant after. I cashed out last night at reward level T5, which still happens once a week or so. I do most of my LP farming with alts late at night.

During the day there’s too many people competing for sites.

Which means that I log on my main to kill them.

I’ve been killing mostly Incursus frigates, most of them wearing the no-gun, no fun fit from Khalia’s post. There’s not really any money in killing cheap frigates with inattentive pilots, but I’m frustrating my competition and lowering the number of LP Store items entering the economy, so I feel that I’m doing a public service.

Today, I spotted a new pilot, BCEX K CTEHKE, running sites in a Dramiel. Hmmm.

I warped to the site he was running in my speed/DPS cheapfit Firetail. As I burned toward him, he warped away. When I didn’t go anywhere, he went to the next system over and started running a minor site there. When I followed, he warped to a safe again. I’ve got to get a probing alt into system, since by the nature of the FW mechanics, pilots attempting to capture sites won’t be able to dock anywhere in-system. I get the feeling that “warp to a safe and go make a sandwich” is a common escape tactic.

My problem with this BCEX fellow seemed to be that he was actually paying attention to his D-scan. Someone who pays perfect attention can always escape in this situation, but nobody pays perfect attention. I warped into his site, burned to the button, and logged off. My intention was to wait a few minutes, then log-on trap him.

I passed about seven minutes browsing the Steam Summer Sale. Like I have time for lots of new games.

When saw space again, I discovered something I should have known by now: If you log off in deadspace, you’re going to log on in warp back to the gate. Cursing my ignorance, I hit the gate and warped into the site. BCEX was a good 70km off, orbiting the button at high speed. I approached and engaged my MWD, tearing across space at over 3,000 meters a second. BCEX’s orbit actually turned him straight into my teeth. I expected him to warp out at any moment, but he didn’t, and I pointed him.

He had two Warp Core Stabilizers fitted. That’s great, but I had two scrams fitted, for a total of 4 points against his -2. With scrams holding him down and a web giving the rats and my guns a nice slow target, he dropped like a rock.  Faction loot. No guns. He dropped about 70M of faction modules, but got his pod away before I could lock it.

Among any population in Eve that makes too much money, there will always be a sizeable portion who uses that money to fly an expensive ship to do what a cheap ship would do equally well. I’ve seen it among mission-runners, wormholers, and incursioners. I’m now starting to notice it among Minmatar FW pilots.

I had the startling realization the other day that my main has become a dirty stinky lowsec pirate. I’ve always sneered at lowsec folks for calling themselves pirates, because it seemed that all they ever did was fight other pirates and engage in e-honour 1v1s. That’s not piracy. Piracy is victimization. If your primary goal is not to victimize unwilling combatants, I stand by the  statement that the designation “pirate” is a little silly.

But I’ll wear it, for now. I once said on Fly Reckless that I was like the Little Mermaid: I wanna be where the people are. Specifically, victims. Until CCP fixes FW, the bears will follow the money, and the money right now is in flying unarmed frigates around beacons until a timer runs out. I doubt I’ll have lots more expensive kills like this one, but at least I’m hunting again.

CANCELED: Suicide-gank Contest (Blame CCP)

Posted in Uncategorized on July 15, 2012 by khalia

Sadly, I have to cancel today’s suicide-gank because CCP’s servers are so unstable I have been unable to stay logged in for more than ten minutes without a client disconnect. This seems to be happening to a number of people, and you can see the threads about this here and here.

Sorry folks!

Check out my ping to the EVE servers today:

Pinging 87.237.38.20 with 32 bytes of data:
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
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Thukk You, Frill Me: Sucide Gank Raffle Details

Posted in Incredible Offers!, The More You Know on July 15, 2012 by khalia

The Thukk You, Frill Me: The Vagabond Protest event is today!

As my part of this event, I will be holding a suicide gank raffle at 1800 EVE time (that’s 2pm EST / 1pm Central / noon MST / 11am PST).

Go to Jatate III – Moon 9 and bring your Stabber, Stabber Fleet Issue or Vagabond and be ready to blow up a Vagabond! Winner of the raffle will take home:

1 x Vagabond
2 x Stabber Fleet Issue
1 x Stabber BPO

See you there!

Faction Warfare and Bad Ideas

Posted in Faction Warfare on July 11, 2012 by khalia

Over on his blog, Poetic Stanziel has called for a reset of the Minmatar/Amarr warzone.

I think this is a terrible idea, and I’m reposting here the comment I left on his blog, for wider discussion.

Here’s the problem with calling a ‘reset’. Let’s say that a reset happens and then the Amarr do really well, holding versus the Minmatar and even sometimes doing better. Then another factional warfare change rolls out, a big one. With good reason, suddenly the Minmatar pilots are calling for a reset…

You can’t just press a button and change everything because of a change to game mechanics; it invalidates the work of players. It also gives sides a good reason to call for a reset on whatever grounds they want. If CCP changes tech moons, you’re sure not as hell going to see them reset sov all over null to give all the alliances a ‘fair chance’.

If Amarr is doing badly, it’s their own damn problem. Their militia can aggressively recruit new players. They can make a deal with the Caldari to run supporting operations to seize and hold systems. They can try all sorts of other things. What they can’t do is complain they have fewer pilots and the mechanics are against them, so they should get a magic return to the beginning.

I think the imbalance is from players that don’t want to be Amarr or fight for the Amarr. The Amarr are the slave-keeping religious zealots of EVE, and who likes that? Minmatar are the rebels, the underdogs, the oppressed, and people like to feel they’re being a hero against the villain. The Minmatar also arguably have cooler-looking ships. When was the last time you heard someone talk about how good an Amarr ship looked? On the other hand, the Rifter is the iconic ship of EVE.

The Amarr militia haven’t lost the war due to bad mechanics. They’ve lost it due to bad public relations.

Jita Lag Still Sucks

Posted in Come On! on July 10, 2012 by khalia

Here’s what happens when I try to open up market details in Jita, after a few hours of having the client open:

Usually a client reboot fixes this, but come on CCP. Fix this crap. =)