EVE – Ship Rescue

Last year when I was in Brave Newbies, we were fighting in Catch and staging out of GE-8JV. To participate, I flew out in a covert-ops frigate, a Buzzard, and over time bought a few ships that were available at the station.

My goal was to fly logistics and/or EWAR ships, and maybe even stealth bombers, but as it turned out, it was very tough for me to make any of the scheduled fleet activity.

I wound up unsubbing EVE, and in the year that has passed, GE-8JV is under new owners, Against All Authorities. Actually that was who owned GE-8JV before the Brave Collective took it over.

Now I’m back and while I looked over my various items spread out over New Eden, I noticed that stealth bomber I bought last year.

Hm… a stealth bomber, fitted with a covert ops cloak – this is a ship I actually have a chance of flying out of nullsec! If I could only get there in the first place – but as it also turned out, I had a jump clone at GE-8JV, established when I was in Brave and we owned the system.

So I decided, what the heck, let’s spend a little time getting my ship back. I plotted a course from GE-8JV to Jita, near where I’m currently staging out of. 30+ hops… well why not I think it would be fun to attempt.

I jumped to GE-8JV, got in the Manticore, and plotted a course to Jita.

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I noticed a few things weren’t available: insurance, fitting – all due to the current owning corporation (Rage and Terror) not getting along with my current corporation, Perkone, an NPC corporation. In fact even trying to undock gave a warning “the owner does not like you, you will be unable to redock”. But I had no choice if I wanted to get home.

So I clicked undock, clicked through the warning, and bugged out as fast as I could.

Travel in nullsec under possible hostile conditions is a bit different than hisec. Besides others being to open fire on you without CONCORD intervention, there is also the possibility of a warp disruption field, a.k.a bubble, which are used to trap ships.

I haven’t done this before but after reading up the general idea is to not autopilot (long period of being a sitting duck) and be careful of warping from one gate to another (players sometimes put bubbles in the way).

If I had the system to myself, I would just jump 0 km off the gate and then jump through ASAP. I figured the chances of a bubble being out when nobody was around was low. Of course, you can’t tell what’s on the other side without jumping so you have to do that, and be prepared to jump back through the gate if it looks ugly.

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If there were other players, I would first jump 100 km off a celestial object (typically a planet)

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then jump 100 km off the gate to do some recon first

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and then decide whether to wait a bit, approach from a different trajectory, etc. In the screenshot above, I warped 100 km off the gate and noticed a player orbiting with a bunch of drones out. I thought there was a fight between two players going on… but that didn’t look like what was happening. I waited and eventually backed off to another planet, then jump to the gate and through.

By going from gate to planet to gate, I hoped to avoid the direct route which was also easy to bubble. And in fact I did encounter one, in HED-GP, the nullsec border system with Keberz in Khanid.

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I’m coming to the gate from a planet and the bubble is quite visible. I zoomed out to show how close to the gate it was.

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Whew!

I decided to remain stealthed and slowly move to the gate, in order to watch and see if there was any activity around the bubble. Nothing happened and when I got close enough to the gate, I did not hang around.

The remainder of the 20+ jumps were uneventful and I was able to get my stealth bomber out of nullsec. I’ll have to abandon the rest of the ships I have in GE-8JV since I can’t dock in order to pilot them out. Also, my jump clone that was there is no longer available, probably due to the switch in station ownership, so I can’t just appear at the station anymore. That’s fine, this time around I’m planning to be an explorer so I just want ships that can fit covert ops cloaks, and the rest of the ships are logistics cruisers, EWAR ships, and so on.

Mini break

I had some out of town visitors last week, so I didn’t do much gaming. It is interesting to me what games I thought about and was eager to get back to, and which ones were bucketed into “eh, I can wait”.

BDO – I just can’t get into. It offers a lot to do, but it turns out I’m not all that interested in lifestyle skills, simulating a trade empire, fishing or raising horses. What it does have going for it is exploration…

…which brings me to EVE. One goal there is to wander the universe in a cloaked ship, exploring relic/data sites as I come across them. This playstyle doesn’t have a direct analogy to other games with exploration (GW2 for instance) so EVE bumped up on my interest list. Of course, while away with my visitors I kept my skill queue full and working on my behalf. 🙂 I probably still can’t reliable make corp/fleet activity, but I think I can get my monthly sub fee’s worth of a few hours on the weekends.

GW2 moved back into interest. I saw a giant patch containing tons of fixes, most of which probably don’t effect me. However, one thing did – a level 80 boost. Earlier I mentioned the one thing I’d change about my char is switching races Norn to Asura. Well, this is my chance! I have a level 80 elementalist, guardian, ranger, level 60 mesmer, and I’ve tried thief and necromancer and didn’t really like them. That’s fine, there isn’t a game out where EVERY class appeals to me. Closest would be GW1 where I did actually play all classes through all storylines except one… the elementalist. That’s because my GW1 elementalist was my mesmer, who freely swapped skills between professions, and had fast casting instead of energy storage.

I used some level 30 boosts on an engineer and revenant, and a level 20 boost on a warrior. So basically, I have a level 80 boost to use on either a ranger, which I know I like but would like to switch races on, or on an engineer, revenant, or warrior, which are fun but unknown. I’ll think about this and maybe play through the first chapter of the storyline on the engineer and revenant and see before going with another ranger.

LoTRO also moved back into interest. I’ve taken breaks from the game, none lasting too long. My guardian Naerys can level from 100 to 105 now, but I had another project in mind: starting a new minstrel. Which I did and puttered around a bit. I’ll post on that later.

ESO also remained of interest. Zenimax is adding some really interesting DLC (the recent Thieves Guild and upcoming Dark Brotherhood); the game is fun and has beautiful graphics; I like the skill system which lets every class train every weapon, armor, and crafting skills, while retaining 3 skill lines unique to the class.

TSW as well, I want to press along in the desert and not spend ~2 years wandering very slowly around before the next new zones, like I did with Kingsmouth – Blue Mountain.

What fell out of interest was FF14. It isn’t a bad game game at all; I’ve enjoyed all 5 mandatory dungeons I’ve done; the class system is the best. The playerbase seems friendly, the storyline is bizarre but fun to follow. It comes down to the sub fee – given my rather haphazard play schedule, it doesn’t make sense to sub to multiple subscription games. So in the contest between EVE and FF14, right now EVE wins since the play style EVE offers, that of the stealth explorer in dangerous territory, well that doesn’t exist elsewhere. The others are B2P or F2P, and I do support them by making store purchases from time to time. I like this model since whatever I buy doesn’t come with a time limit like game-time with a sub fee does, and I don’t feel as much pressure to play to a quota each month.

There is probably a “fantasy game overload” thing going on as well – EVE is a sci-fi universe while LoTRO/GW2/ESO are fantasy. So FF14 as a 4th direct fantasy game, let’s just put TSW into a different category, is maybe too much for me.

I’m subbed for another cycle under FF14 so I’m not vanishing instantly, but I’ll be thinking about whether or not I want to keep working on my summoner/monk versus exploring null sec in EVE.

Anyway, I’ll see how ESO, TSW, ramping back up in GW2 and LoTRO, and EVE go. 5 games is still 3 too many. 😉

EVE – Exploration

Last time I played Black Desert Online I was idly thinking about sandbox gameplay and comparing BDO with EVE Online. I wasn’t yet invested into BDO and had good memories of EVE… and right about then came the subscription renewal offer of $0.99 for 10 days. Well I couldn’t pass that up!

So I logged in and enabled my account and downloaded the game. Of course EVE requires some extra work – I also got the latest version of EVE Mon and EFT, setup my API keys and got ready to play.

I had a plan – exploration. What I always wanted to try out was fitting an exploration vessel and wandering low/null sec looking for data or relic sites. I came close when I joined a Foo’s Wormhole Corporation, but wound up doing Planetary Interaction. This made OK ISK but was a little boring and repetitive, especially the long hauls to market and back.

Exploration didn’t go that well in wormholes because the data/relic sites are guarded by Sleepers. But in low/null sec, that isn’t always the case.

So the plan was to explore in known space (k-space) rather than wormhole space (w-space), in my spiffy Heron or (preferably) Buzzard and perhaps see some of the sights of New Eden, for instance the Titanomachy monument in B-R5RB, for myself.

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It’s only 21 jumps away!

First I had to read up on exploration to help refresh my memory, and I found these pages to be useful:

Then I had to… wait because this overlapped the double AP event in TSW and I didn’t want to miss that. I figured I had been away from EVE for a year, it could wait a year and a day (I jumped on the 10 day special here and that time went to training up skills, so not entirely wasted).

Anyway, with some time to put into EVE, I logged in with the goal of purchasing ships and the needed modules and fitting the ships. I remember from before it sometimes takes a good hour or two to make the purchases – fly to various stations for better prices, collect everything in the same station, fit each ship, etc. Argh.

In another session I’ll practice scanning. This was something I had to do every time I wanted to leave the wormhole, but I’m way out of practice.

EVE – Missed Strat Op

We received email about a fleet forming up for the 3GD6-8 station defense, at 23:00 EVE time or 7pm Eastern.

StratOp email
StratOp email

Problem is, 23:00 EVE time is actually 6pm Eastern (standard time, currently), and I went off EST since that’s the timezone I live in. So when I showed up thinking I was 30 mins early, I was actually 30 mins late. Dammit. I was really looking forward to finally flying a doctrine EWAR frigate and joining in on some action for BRAVE. Defending our station – that’s cool!

Unfortunately, 30 mins in the fleets had already formed up, moved out, and were engaging the enemy, Pandemic Legion. I logged into Mumble and joined the Phi Main fleet channel, so I could listen in to what was happening.

It sounded interesting, a few players giving orders on what to do (interdictors – bubble target; warp out to bookmarks, stay at 300km, warp back in, etc; move away from PL’s Lokis and Proteuses (Proteii?); EWAR – disrupt a target; warp out to friendlies; dock up and repair; etc) and generally coordinating and managing the fleet/strat op.

I think, if I understood what was said on comms, that BRAVE was able to “win” by rolling over some kind of timer, meaning PL would have to restart their attack and wear down all the station’s regular defenses and do it again.

After listening for bit extra I decided to log off and do something else. It was interesting to listen to, but not that interesting to listen to over actually doing something.

Props to the folks that tirelessly guide what must be a herd of cats to pull major actions off. I hope to make it the next time and will pay more attention to the EVE time for fleet formation. I can’t really complain about the email sent out since it was probably just a typo and besides, 200 other players managed to fleet up at the actual time. I was in a small group of folks at GE-8JV asking about the fleet formation so I wasn’t the only one that missed it. 😉

EVE – Travel to GE-8JV

I finally had some time to travel out to Catch and in particular, the GE-8JV system where Brave Newbies is HQ’ed.

Before leaving, a friend reminded me that perhaps I should make use of my jump clones to store my implants elsewhere. Since I would most likely be podded (eventually) and lose them. My implants weren’t the super fancy ones, just +3’s, but all the same they totaled ~50 million ISK when I bought them.

I had forgotten where my installed jump clones, but after a quick look at the character sheet “Jump Clones” tab I remembered. Alentene was 24 jumps back to Agil, Stetille was also 24, Torrinos was 29, and Zemalu was 26. Good lord I guess I didn’t spread out as well as I thought or Khanid Prime and Agil are on the edge of nowhere.

Dang it, this is the thing I like the least about EVE, it just takes so long to get ready to play the game.

In the end I chose to use my jump clone in Stetile since it was the closest to Uitra, where for whatever reason I left a whole bunch of misc stuff. Including rookie ships and some +1 implants that the tutorial missions gave. I figured I might as well use those instead of my better +3 ones.

So I clicked on “Jump”… and got an error message “cannot jump while a skill is training”. Grrr, I guess it makes sense since the implants slightly lower how fast you learn. After stopping my skill queue, I jumped again and got another error message “can’t be in a ship”.

You can tell I’ve never used my jump clones before. 🙂

OK, after leaving my ship I finally was able to jump.

The first thing I did was restart my training queue. I bet a lot of players forget to do that and lose a few hours!

Then I bought some cheap ship because I didn’t want to travel from Stetile to Uitra in a pod. Since I was in a pod, I sort of had to buy whatever was available in the station – I suppose a better plan would be to leave items where the jump clones are. Oh well.

Naturally, there were no ships at the station, but there were in the system so I had to undock and zip over.

I undocked and fortunately there were no enemies in the system and I hopped over with no trouble. I bought a Griffin and departed for Uitra, manually navigating the entire way. After arriving at Uitra and plugging in a few +1 implants, I sold everything that I could. Might as well try to get rid of the junk I have spread around.

The trip back to Agil was uneventful. Even though I was low on time I decided to push my luck and try for GE-8JV. What the heck, I’ve got to get there eventually.

So I charted a new course, took a break (in the safety of the station), got a drink, and went to update my medical clone. It was set to Nourvukaiken which was kind of far away. I set it to GE-8JV so in case I got blown up on the way, I would reanimate there. I didn’t want to commit suicide in game and get the free trip – I wanted to fly out there and bring my Buzzard with me.

I undocked into multiple blinking red lines – enemies! Thank goodness I had practiced and setup the insta-undock bookmarks so just warped there immediately, and started the journey.

Danger in Agil
Danger in Agil

I arrived at the HED-GP jump gate and jumped through and saw tons of interdiction bubbles on the other side. I landed right in an unavoidable nest of them surrounding the next gate to SV5-8N. Good thing the other ships were allies.

Bubbles
Bubbles

Finally I approached GE-8JV; there was one corpmate sitting near the gate:

Final Jump
Final Jump

and I had my first view of corporate HQ.

Brave Newbies HQ
Brave Newbies HQ

It was a tense trip but I made it!

The next day, I logged in with the goal of answering a simple question: how do I get ships? I’m used to having stocked markets in hisec, or hauling everything I plan to use to a wormhole.

I searched the market and saw a lot of stuff for sale – awesome! – and around that time someone put links in chat for ship bundles: 3 frigates with associated fittings. That would be much nicer that having to buy every item individually. I bought one of the 3-packs, and then searched a bit more in the contracts section. I found even more ship bundles for sale, also 3-packs. Hovering over link didn’t reveal enough info about what was in the package (UI thing I’m sure others have complained about already) so I had to open a few. Eventually I found another 3-pack of a different ship type that I wanted to fly, and bought those as well.

Sorry about the vagueness but I’m not sure revealing the current doctrine ships and their fits is a good idea. Well, maybe the ship type since people can make some educated guesses; after all if a fleet brings EWAR frigates (for example) then there are 4 tech 1 choices, one for each race. The modules those ships are fit with might leak too much info so I won’t be going into that. Besides, I’m terrible at fitting ships – when I did solo stuff I would basically copy a fit from EVE University or some other place. There’s like a zillion modules and most require associated skills; it is just easier to work off a template with a few variations available.

Anyway, now I have my Buzzard in GE-8JV, 2 3-packs of ships to pilot, and voice comms authentication set up. I’m set to try out fleet maneuvers in EVE!

EVE – Brave Newbies

As you have probably guessed from the post title, I joined Brave Newbies on my main char, Aurora Tian.

My other two chars, Summer and Autumn, are still in Foo’s wormhole corporation, where I hope my sporadic (but hopefully more regular) planetary interaction provides a small income. I probably won’t post much about what’s going on there, since it is mostly the same: log in and reset extractors; fly goods to market. I’ll continue to avoid mentioning the locus signature of the wormhole we are in… I’m not sure that info is useful for locating us in anyway, but I’m not sure.

Anyway, there is a large amount of info to absorb, for multiple reasons. Being in a large corp that is in a large alliance, dealing with multiple wardecs and how that impacts getting around, reading up on doctrine ships and so much more. So I spent the first few hours as a BNI member… reading various emails, wikis, websites, watching videos, and making/trying out some techniques like insta-dock and insta-undock bookmarks.

I still need to setup “core authorization” so I can join some other private websites, setup mumble, and take care of various other things before flying out to GE-8JV to join up with the others. Before applying, I piloted to Agil which is the closest hisec system (with a station) to Catch and GE-8JV. Now I just have 13 hops to go. 😉

Route to GE-8JV
Route to GE-8JV

It’s exciting – I’ve been training electronic warfare, logistics, and combat (missile) skills for a while, so I’m looking forward to using them.

The EVEMon tool is proving to be even more indispensable – besides all the great stuff it does showing skill training and planning, it will let me read my in-game email. That’s fantastic because many of the links sent can be opened outside the game – some can’t and the tooltip will say “Link only works in IGB” (in-game browser) – but most are just regular websites. It is handy to look at stuff in game but I’ve got an extra computer and monitor and can pull stuff up there without covering my UI inside the game.

EVE – Moving out of the Wormhole

Okay so I’ve been a slacker the past few weeks in EVE and have barely maintained the Planetary Interaction I have going in the wormhole. To that end, I decided to take my main/combat pilot out of the Wormhole and go out to null sec somewhere and try my hand at Exploration. I still have two chars farming planets, but I figured I’d do something else with my main/combat pilot. Like pick out a null-sec system and go exploring to see what I find.

So I scanned for the exit and found it led to Arzanni, a system that is kind of out on the edge, not close to anything like a trade hub. OK, so this isn’t the time to have my PI farming alts load up and take good to market, obviously.

I looked around and saw that Arzanni was at least close to Khanid Prime, which appears to have reasonable services. So I flew Aurora there in the Buzzard, taking care to bookmark the K162 wormhole first.

Arzanni
Arzanni

Aurora left behind various supplies, and a Drake. I’m not rich enough to leave the Drake, so I wanted to go back to get it.

After getting to Khanid Prime, I looked to buy a cheap ship to fly back to the wormhole. I settled on a Caldari Shuttle for 25K ISK. Since I was really just making a one way trip (flying a different ship back) I just wanted cheap.

I spent another 9 mins (yes I timed it) getting back to the wormhole, switching to my Drake, and flying that back to Khanid Prime. Which took 22 mins because the Drake is slower.

At this point I also wanted to grab my other stuff, which meant buying a Badger and doing another round trip between Khanid Prime and the wormhole. As much as I like EVE, the time spent just setting up to do something else is crushing my will to play. I wanted to stop, but the wormhole would collapse and reappear in another system, possibly quite far away from Khanid Prime.

After I bought a Badger for 1.25 million ISK, I flew back to the K162. Time elapsed: 18 mins. In the wormhole I scooped up all of my stuff out of the Personal Hangar Array and flew back to Khanid Prime, also 18 mins.

Finally, I had Aurora’s stuff out of the wormhole and can gear up for null-sec exploration in the future. It just took me 68 mins plus the initial trip I forgot to time, and a bit extra for buying ships and loading gear. Makes the WoW Garrison upkeep look optimized in comparison. 🙂

Being back in known space has some other advantages too – I can do normal missions available from various agents for example. I don’t need all of my chars in the wormhole.

Anyway, you may ask – if you want to explore, why don’t you do that in the wormhole? Ah… great question, and the answer is that the relic/data sites in wormholes are guarded by Sleepers, who are too tough for me to fight in my exploration ship, since I don’t have a tech 3 cruiser. I’ve heard that out in regular null-sec, relic/data sites aren’t always guarded, making ninja-looting and sneaky exploration possible. I’ll have to dodge players, but there is a chance there won’t be any around. So I want to try that out, meaning I need to take my character and stuff out of the wormhole.