Archive for March, 2013

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?