Freitag, 25. Dezember 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry christmas to all of you form my corp and my humble self. The pic below was done for the corp homepage:


The middle part with the ice is there to fit the season. The other smaller pics are telling a bit of our corp-story. We do cater to beginners mining Ospreys (upper right-hand corner) in fleet with the other miners (lower left-hand corner). We happily run missions in fleet as well (poor Golem get’s “eaten” by a Maelstrom (upper left-hand corner) and do build capital ships (lower right-hand corner).

As Maeve posted quite a lot nice camera drone pictures, I would like to follow suit and show you some of mine from my recent travel through New Eden.

Sarum Prime, my desktop background atm. I really like the design of those Amarr stations (and that as a Minmatar – shame on me, but I guess I can’t help it).


Followed by the nicest station of all (well as far as dark scenery goes):

(Sadly it got a bottom undock so it’s “just” looks).

Scooting by one of those incredible plasma planets:


Be that as it may: I wish you all relaxing holidays!

Dienstag, 24. November 2009

Dominion and its incredible planets




I have to admit it: I just had to look at the new planets for Dominion myself and they indeed look great!





A friend from corp though got even better pictures made as he went much closer than I. It was nice to see the UI improvements as well. Especially the fleet finder and the mail system look great! As I don’t use the in-game browser anyway, I am not too frilled by it, but it was high-time for an update of both (mail and browser).
 

The new Asset window is nice as well! Finally we get a bit more help to search through all the stuff strewn all over New Eden (I especially like the tabs that let you e.g. show only modules or ore).

So I am quite looking forward to Dominion. Only sad thing is the Mothership affair which sent those behemoths back onto the drawing board. The affair - in addition to quite an outcry among the players that actually hope to use those ships - probably only got so big because it was a bit badly handled by the responsible developers. Just found an article about it on a German MMO news site called Buffed titled: “EVE Online: Full speed back captain.” (Which sound's a bit too drastic though).

Scholarly pursuits

Since first hearing about our history in New Eden during a presentation at University (it was actually the first presentation I saw there) I was interested in our origin and the mythology surrounding the EVE gate. It took me quite a while but after quite a bit of preparation I was finally able to fulfill my wish to see the fabled system of New Eden that not only gives this part of the galaxy its name, but also is the fabled point of origin for all of our people.

In my trusty Z1 Ranger the trip was quite uneventful and I only encountered one gate camp in Antem. The camping force had a Broadsword with them no less, but as they were aggressing a Hyperion class battleship, I slipped by unmolested. I did feel sorry for the crew and pilot of the Hyperion though.

When I finally reached the system of New Eden I was taken aback by the beauty of the spectrum stemming from the EVE Gate!



What kind of collapsed wormhole creates a phenomena like that? One that can be seen throughout a whole star system no less? The energies involved are astonishing and probably more than those released by a sun! There has to be some leakage still from the connecting point of the wormhole as the energy released into the visible spectrum has to come from somewhere! So even though it is collapsed it still looks very much .. felt very much alive.

And then there is the emergence of wormholes into Sleeper space .. are those two events connected somehow?

What do you - my esteemed readers - think about that?

Montag, 16. November 2009

EVE Blog Banter #13: Exploration mission


Welcome to the thirteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of this 2nd year of EVE Blog Banters comes to us from Zargyl from A Sebiestor Scholar, who asked the following: On the EVE Fanfest 2009 page are pictures of prizes for the Silent Auction that was held during the event. One of these photos was entitled “Design your own EVE mission”. My question now would be what kind of mission would you write if you got that prize? What would the mission be about? Would it be one using the new system of epic mission arks? What would be the story told by it? Feel free to expand upon his questions and put together your very own mission!


My first blog banter!! That does make me a proud Scholar I guess. And then I am probably the last one to post on it .. not so proud anymore but I can blame my missing game-time to that. Anyway here it goes:

The reason for my idea as well as a few quite general ideas for missions as well can be seen in my previous blog post but there are quite a few others as well. As the actual question does aim for a more specific mission below is a short possible plot for an exploration mission I would try to create if I’d get that cool price mentioned:

The investigation

Dear friend. I hope I can already speak to you thus? After all the other missions you did for me and my company? I would ask one more of you which I wouldn’t trust to anyone else. Please just don’t tell the media, but we have lost all communications with a research starbase in a deadspace pocket in . We don’t know what happened, but we do fear the worst. We would ask you to investigate the research center and find out what happened.

I have one further piece of information for you, which is to be kept between you and me. I am only divulging it in case it might be vital for your investigation: The research team there was investigating the eruption of wormholes and a possible connection between them and the EVE gate.

Fly safe!


The mission site itself would show a ruined research POS in a glittering cloud of debris within a ring of telescopes - some wrecked and in pieces and one intact. Around the site there are a few clues strewn about that get drawn from a pool of clues by chance (so that even if a pilot should get this mission twice or thrice, the actual subject studies by the company and the actual dilemma that happened is different).
This is the vital part as I am not a fan of repeating missions. One of the first missions I got myself was Rancorous Researcher, which was great the first time I went through it! (As it wasn’t just about blowing some npc ships up). But it felt a bit strained after I got it the fourth time from the same agent.

Ideas for clues for the missioner to find (and how to get them) are (not a complete list, just 3 ideas to see what type of clues I would like to put into the list of possible hints that are chosen randomly):

The intact telescope houses a container that can be hacked open revealing a document that gives the hint in its description:
Datalog day 38: Finally our long-range telescopes scanning the Genesis region found something worth mentioning: There does seem to be a correlation between the energy spectrum of the anomaly called the EVE gate and the anomalies called wormholes. We will investigate further.
Datalog day 42: Our investigation into the spectra is going well; we hope to be able to send our data soon.
Datalog day 43: Our scanners are showing the same energy lines emitting quite near us. Could this be a wormhole opening in this very system?
Datalog day 43 part 2: It is confirmed, we are getting a spectra that has an incredible correlation with the ones we are investigating!
Datalog day 43 part 3: We have located the source of the newest emergence: Its growing stronger as well. It seems we have found a way to find wormholes before they open up! But this one it’s opening … oh no it is opening right here … *transmission lost*

Aside from the wrecked POS there are also industrial shipwrecks and among those a small wreck that can get salvaged (like in a salvaging site). Only this time you don’t get normal salvage but a piece of “mysterious salvage” that gives a hint to its origin and the fate of the station in its description (and that has an icon similar or even identical to a piece of sleeper salvage):
Unknown damaged drone processor block: This piece of hardware shows it has to come from a drone, but it looks like it has been modified by some unknown source.

A third hint / or option for a random hint would be a lone surviving scientist in a cargo/escape-pod that hopes to get rescued. His pod is hidden between two other wrecks and when flying near the passenger send’s a tight-beam message to the player’s ship (which gets displayed in local): Mayday, mayday I am in an escape pod near you, please help!
A few seconds after that the local chat says: But please be careful THEY are still near ..
When rescued (when the can is opened and the scientist transferred to the player’s ship) the scientist says via local chat: Thank you very very much . I owe you my life! But please let’s go away fast before THEY find out that we are here.
Gathering the hints the randomly chosen hints completes the mission (getting the data core with the log, getting the mysterious salvage or getting the scientist – at least those three would be my first ideas for a list of hints). But the mission doesn’t end there. When aligning to warp away, rogue drones de-cloak/warp-in/spawn (mostly frigs that do have warp scramblers and immediately try to use them) blabbering in binary in local: No information shall escape.

When the player returns after the fight to the agent he would be highly interesting in the findings and perhaps mumbling to himself about them (in the text message when ending the mission). The text itself would be dependent on what clue was gathered and would hint (perhaps at a still further mission).
Examples for that might be:
- Who would have thought that? Sleeper tech modified drones? Was it the Sleepers themselves …
- So something form the EVE gate is messing with space continuum and creates the wormholes? But why just now? Has the EVE gate been modified? If so, who was it? Perhaps Jovians?
- Interesting report from that scientist, rogue drones overwhelmed the facility, rogue drones being directed by a Sleeper drone?

So much to that mission of mine. Which could hint at quite a bit storyline stuff, or even provide a hint to contact some other agent (like the certificate missions do) who might start the PC on an epic arc or that does reveal a bit of the EVE backstory through missioning (which would be a nice way to involve players with it). It also might be the first of a new type (encounter, courier) of mission: the exploration type.

List of Participants:

1. CrazyKinux's Musing - Your Mission, should you decide to accept it...
2. Zen and the Art of Internet Spaceship Maintenance - First Blood
3. The Elitist - Guristas Invasion
4. The Wandering Druid of Tranquility - ...It's another episode of Design Star: EVE Style...
5. Level Cap - Epic Battles
6. Roc's Ramblings - The Cave of Time
7. Aether - Teach a man to fish...
8. Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah - Mission: Tangled Webs
9. Adventures in Mission Running - I can haz spaceship?
10. Nuke Thoughts - EVE Blog Banter 13
11. Diary of a Pod Pilot - Distressing The Damsel
12. Guns Ablaze - Dynamic Missions
13. Achernar - Confidential Report
14. Escoce - EVE Trader - Missions with player adversaries
15. Hands Off, My Loot! - Blog Banter #13, no witty title
16. Inanity and Doom - A question of impact
17. Cle Demaari: Citizen in EVE - See the Universe
18. A Starry Eyed Pod-Pusher - Wormhole Extreme!
19. Mike Azariah - Missioneer, not mouseketeer
20. Casiella - EVE Blog Banter 13: FW Epic Arcs

Donnerstag, 15. Oktober 2009

Epic ideas for epic missions, part 1

Apocrypha's addition of Epic mission arks using a new mission technology that provides more ways for us to interact with agents was great! For that it does merit the "epic" in its name. The possibilities with those new type of agents are endless and as of yet not fully realised. That is why I am starting a brainstorming list of my own with ideas for these kinds of missions:
These epic missions would be quite an interesting way to introduce new elements of the EVE storyline to players. Don’t get me wrong: Novels and Chronicles are all great and hugely appreciated (especially for the scholarly types like myself) but actually being involved yourself in one of the events would be even greater still!

Signature Characters


One vital element of the EVE storyline are EVE’s signature characters. So it was only fitting that my start into dreaming about possible epic arc missions began with these by posting an article about "Meeting Signature Characters in missions?" on the eve-o forum:

First of all I was quite happy to read the rediscovered scrolls dev blog and am really looking forward to see more epic mission arcs. In regard to players interacting stronger with the core storyline elements of the EVE universe I guess a highlight of some such arc might surely be the meeting of an EVE signature character (like as a mission "agent"). Examples might be:

For an Amarr character e.g. it surely would be epic to be able bring a report on sleeper activity to Jamyl Sarum herself.

For a Minmatar it might be as epic to step onto an Eldar Titan and get a nod from one of the legendary elders e.g. for helping in the survival of a forgotten Minmatar tribe.

A Caldari might be honored to get an interview with a megacorp CEO upon getting a report from Heth to deliver (with the choice of either helping the CEO or Heth).

A Gallente would surely be honored to get a letter from his President for a secretive meeting with and advisor who might propose a secretive mission.

And so on and so forth. Even if this interaction is more like PC-agent interaction (well cut-scene would also be HUGE but probably much more time-intensive to implement) I guess such an interaction with the EVE signature characters would help a lot immersing players in the interesting backstory of the universe they are playing in.


I do agree with Sep’Shoni (who replied to the post) that it would be overkill if used too often. It would just be a nice reward on its own to be able to meet an important character.

Storyline Events

The ideas for epic missions don’t end with signature characters though. Events in the storyline could also be integrated into these quite nicely to strengthen the bonds the players feel with the EVE universe and to make the story feel more lively.

This already has been realized as both the Empyrean Age novel and certain chronicles mesh quite well together with the events of the Blood Stained Stars epic arc which is great! Sadly we as of yet haven’t seen its continuation.

Further ideas would be:

Sleepers

All the vital questions about them and over ancient ones haven’t been answered yet. It would be really cool if we as players could discover a bit more info on that for ourselves (even before that said information gets released in a chronicle or novel)!
What about finding a mission item at a sleeper site that gives a clue as to what these mysterious beings are up to? It could even be the start of a mission (like the clues were a start to head to Sister Alitura)?

Jovians

Same as Sleepers I guess. We even had a bit involvement of these enigmatic evil beings already and they even got a cool mention during Torfi’s breathtaking Fanfest presentation.

Pirate Factions

We will also probably soon see these speed-boat missions for pirate factions which sound really cool. The possibilities for these are great as well - especially if it involves choices like to either try to enter a pirate fraction for real or just to try to infiltrate it. In that regard I btw liked the Caldari starter mission that does tempt you with flying with the Guristas.

So far a few first ideas. What would be your ideas for epic missions?

Dienstag, 13. Oktober 2009

Recruitment: Black Thorne Corporation

Having found Ombey's U'K's recruitment post and Wotlankor's recruitment post at his blog I am hereby trying to do my own for the nice corp I am in. So here it goes:


Who we are
Ultimately BTC is a corp of no pressure. Pressure was the one thing Calsak (http://www.eve-search.com/search/Calsak) or founder hated about the 'old life'. BTC its members will never be forced to do anything they do not wish to do. Whether this is to move into low sec, PvP or mine for no return. BTC will always attempt to give members a choice.
Unlike some other corps BTC is not a dictatorship, opinions and polls are always at the front. We want the member's opinions and questions are always welcome. All we ask is they are polite and constructive, we will always listen to suggestions and reply with thoughts whether for or against it.
Jastra sums up nicely what we are: We are a mature empire based corp offering you a relaxed and friendly environment to do whatever you want to do (well as long as it is not against our policy of course).

Our Policy
Speaking of our policy the vital part of it is summed up quite nicely by this:
We are an anti-pirate, anti-griefer corporation. We operate a NRDS (Not Red Don’t Shoot) policy within the low sec systems in our home region.
We do not condone or support theft (ore or loot), can flipping or any form of scanning. Anyone found carrying out any of these activities or breaching the engagement policy will be removed from the corporation.
For a full version of our policy please consult the policy on our forum.

What are our aims and goals?
Black Thorne is primarily a Production and Trading corporation. We specialize in Mining, Production and the trading of Trade Goods and Player Produced goods. We already have an extensive library of blueprints and a healthy corp wallet while also boosting the income of its members. We currently build and sell Freighters, ORCAs and Capital ships to order and are in the process to expand that.
If asked for a motto for BTC (Ticker: BTCL) I would probably answer with something like "A corp should be there for the players and not for the corp", meaning that we aim to provide a friendly atmosphere for members to grow and have fun in and to help them in their (your!) endeavors.
This means in effect almost all income generated by the corp is filtered back to members using various schemes and to provide services (A concept I personally like very much).

The schemes and division are:
Mineral Purchase Scheme (we also do fleet mining ops)
Top Mission runner awards (with lots of mission nights in fleet)
Logistics (Freighters, Jump Freighters, Carriers)
Production Division (capital production, rig production and salvage, ..)
Jump Clone Service
Research POS
We by the way also do Fun Events and PvP roams and do operate a voice server 0:-)

How does that work?
Well take for example the mineral purchase scheme and the capital production division: The corp does purchase ore mined by members to build ships and the isk then is invested back buy minerals mined by the players (and so on and so forth).
Or take the salvage and rig production division: Members can sell salvage to the corp and from that salvage rigs of all sizes are built to order for members.

Like more info?
More information about us can be found at our recruitment thread or our webpage and forum. Or just visit BTC Public for a friendly chat.


Mallinthas our friendly - even though you wouldn't see that from his looks alone ;-) - CEO

Donnerstag, 8. Oktober 2009

Maelstrom unleashed

Sadly my time within a capsule was quite limited recently with lots of pressing businesses planet-side. Well I guess such endeavours do help one not to forget the lives of those having to live that life all the time with no chance to steer a starship by thoughts alone.
I did manage something though: I mined once in a while and used the ore reaped from the roids to build me the ASS Gilgalad a Maelstrom class Minmatar battleship (ASS stands for A Sebiestor Scholar’s btw). With the short time on hand it took me over three weeks to get the ore, but it felt doubly as nice to finally undock a ship I can proudly say I produced on my own.


Maiden Flight of the ASS Gilgalad

That was already a few weeks ago and I am happy to say that I already was able to help my agent a few times with that ship and my corp mates even more often with the missions their agents sent them to do. Finally I can play a more vital part in corp ops when we try to quell the advances of Serpentis pirates near our home!



My ship side by side a crop mate's Paladin with the fleet commander’s Domi taking the brunt of the attack.

Dienstag, 18. August 2009

Planetary control

This is my entry for the EVE blogsphere project by CrazyKinux dubbed planetary conquest:

The small arrowhead-shaped craft that is the Aeglos doesn't disturb the currents of light. It just creates a small ripple of light as it comes cloaked out of warp. Like the ripples on the surface of a pool, where a fish swims not too far below, the light from the nearby stars only gets refracted for seconds before growing still again as the craft descends into orbit around the small planetoid.

In the tiny crew-pit of the Cheetah-Type frigate the small crew is bathed in the dim red of the emergency lightning. Their agitation can be seen as their shadows seem to flicker over the bare power cables and rusty engineering tubes that seem to cover the cabin like a spider’s web. Fingers hastily scramble over adjustment knobs making sure all power outputs are in passive mode. All eyes are on the sensor reading displays checking to see if the cloak is holding even with slightly flickering power readings. The planetoid seems to sit peacefully in the darkness of space. A collective sigh of relief can be heard as the readings seem to indicate that the cloak is holding.
That sigh is shattered by a blinking alarm-light: Collision Alert!

"We have a collision warning!" screams Talkyn the lanky Matari crewman responsible for the senor readings. Taryn her brother at the pilot console turns around "Captain! Evasive maneuvers?"
"No it might break our cloak if we go start maneuvering too fast!" Talkyn responds.
A bit of panic can be heard in Taryn voice as he replies to that "I’m not sure about that, but not firing up our maneuvering thrusters will decloak us for sure if we get too near to that ..." his fingers scramble over the sensor adjustments trying to find out what doom might await them so close by. "... that wreck."
"Captain?" Taryn asks not directing that question to anyone in the room in particular but seemingly to the surroundings in general. "Arw captain this is not the time to sleep in the goo of your capsule forgetting about this whole ..."
"Stop bickering and just stop the ship brother," Talkyn interrupts.
Taryn fires up a bit reverse thrust and the frigate slowly begins decreasing its forward velocity with its cloak flickering but holding.

***

Zargyl would have been nearly totally blind suspended by cables in the viscous liquid that fills the tiny capsule near the main ships cpu were it not for the direct input from all the ships sensors as well as its camera drones fed via implants directly to the neural pathways stimulating sensory input into his brain. Suspended there the Aeglos seems like an extension of his body and he relishes that sensation. It is just as if one could glide on one’s own power freely through the vastness of space with its shining nebulae and glittering stars.

He was just scanning through a Roden Shipyard’s terraforming document - a thesis sponsored by the Jacus Roden fund for advances in terraforming - when the Aeglos came out of warp. Before the crew even registered that they were out of warp he was already recalibrating sensor modules for passive intrusion into the planets cybersphere. The ship might look old, but its scanners, analyzers and codebreakers were not and he was browsing through the planetary newsfeeds before his crew had even established orbit. The news was abuzz with articles about the attack on the planets defenses. The floating cities dotting its surface were still protected by immense shields but the exosphere was full of wrecks from the first attack regardless. Anxiety was high that the satellites forming the defense grid might not be up to the task of repelling a secondary invasion fleet on their own.

Before he could reflect on that he saw the wrecks strewn around with their always decaying orbits. As his faith in his crew was quite high and he felt the crew would just stop the Aeglos and stay in orbit he didn’t initiate any thruster commands himself but instead concentrated on gathering as much data as possible on the planet’s status for later review and hopefully insights into the mood of the populace. As warfare is not all about fleets but information as well he then proceeds to upload a few video clips to a reporter showing the latest inroads his corp had with stemming local Serpentis incursions.

One can only hope that those would help steer the media away from the resent terror. Coverage of things done and small battles one might help alleviate at least a bit of the terror the successfully repelled attack might have instilled in the population.

___________

The word planetary conquest paints quite a vivid picture in my mind. On one hand one full of devastation wrought by battles over supremacy in orbit or battles over who can exploit planetary resources by strip mining and flying off from skyhooks faster. On the other hand there are huge super capital projects like terraforming and colonization, of building skyhooks and whole cities in orbit or on the surface and of setting up defensive satellites to form a defense grid as an added security layer to orbital defense platforms and planetary shields.

I am eagerly looking forward to all of this, especially in the form of player made satellites, defense platforms and skyhooks. Perhaps with skyhooks sprouting various modules from those for docking mining barges and transports to those needed to set up terraforming projects up to those needed to install and build station-like orbital facilities. Skyhooks are probably the "cheaper" way for trade, resource exploitation and exploration. For capital-scale projects like overseeing terraforming endeavors, colonization and governing said planets orbital stations are probably the way to go (they surely can incorporate a splendid view of the planet as well as overviews regarding the various projects).

Planets should as well play a vital part in sovereignty and here (aside from who controls the planets, or who has space superiority in the form of POS’) I would also like to see another, perhaps less epic but still viable variable added as well: the mood of the population: Their preference who should hold sovereignty. Especially when planets boast a huge population their views should and could have an impact as well and thus factor into the formula as well. The above story features someone trying to gauge ("scan") the mood of said planet.

This preference could include many variables and one of those might be capsuleer activity in the surrounding space. E.g. if the population sees capsuleers trying to help them with stemming threats from the various pirate factions or from drones (by ratting and missioning for example) chances are that the population will see them and their alliance in a more positive light. If the population sees capsuleers involved in building infrastructure fro them to use that as well might help. In effect the impact of these activities might help with sov for populations of planets and therefore with system-wide sov itself.

At least it would be a way as well that capsuleers actually living in a system could help/impact on the sov-system.

Donnerstag, 30. Juli 2009

EVE Blog Banter #10: Butterfly Effect

Welcome to the tenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's banter leans a little, OK a lot, on the academic side. It comes to us from xiphos83 of A Misguided Adventurer, who asks the following: " Victor Davis Hanson argues that western culture, comprising of ideals such as freedom, debate, capitalism, and consensual government, are what make western society so successful at waging war. These ideologies create a warrior who's direct participation in government, ability to think freely, and desire to remain free, fights harder and is willing to suffer more than his conscripted foe. Though a military must remain a structured oligarchy to fight a war effectively, why in a world where military conflict is as familiar as breathing are there so few alliances that embrace these ideologies when governing their members?"

A scholary banter, just the thing for Zargyl I guess, will try to stay IC this time as well:

Capsuleer culture is probably not the most traditional culture as it has only recently emerged with the technological breakthroughs possible through Jovian "seeding" of their Capsuleer technology to Caldari scientists and the adaption of said technology in all four empires.

This tech makes us capsuleers effectively immortal while flying in a capsule-equipped vessel. With the threat of violent death looming at us taken away, quite a lot of things do change. One of those things that change is motivation. The most vital human motivation changes from survival to something else. That something can be as varied as we as humans are varied. Examples would be: duty, honor, friendship and fun. These new motivations supersede survival.

Another thing that must be taken into account that for those planet-bound cultures and governments are much more ingrained into society than for those that can travel near instantly between stars. This makes it easier as well to just fly to the place/culture that is most appealing to us capsuleers.

Alliances as well are for the most part "just" the sum of their member corporations. Meaning a capsuleer can become a member of a corporation. And corporations are probably not the culture or government that the above mentioned Victor Davis Hanson mentioned in his theory. So the question is probably: How do capsuleers choose their corporation? That depends on 3 factors:

Firstly it depends on their personality. For the most part capsuleers will just chose a corporation that fits their style of living (be that industry minded or more combat orientated, be that more peaceful or more aggressive).

Secondly it depends on their friends. Friendship is always a powerful motivation and friends do like to spend their time together and therefore will quite likely join the same corporation.

And thirdly it depends on their motivation. And only in this – last – part does the actual style of government in said corporation fit in at all. One such motivation is Fun. And if the corporation-culture can supply that to its specific capsuleers it will prosper.

So for capsuleers standard ideologies are not as vital as in planet-bound culture and their governments therefore have to provide different necessities than for planet-bound cultures. Hanson's argument therefore is applicable only in a different way. Those capsuleer corporations or alliances that do bring forth warriors who fight harder and are willing to suffer more are those that hold true and support their member's motivation (like Fun and Friendship).

One thing I would like to mention as well that can also make quite a difference is: Luck/Fate. Just watch the cool Butterfly video. The hero of which most likely found himself a corp. He did so not by anything as complex as trying to find the corporation/alliance with a corporate-culture that fits him the best, but found his by pure and simple luck/fate:

Butterfly Effect in EVE - YouTube Video

PS: Allow me two questions please: Any ideas how best to post that long list of other bloggers and not having to link to all those pages manually? And with what code do I embed that video directly?

If you like to see how others have answered that (quite a few not too dissimilar to my answer I saw, just go to CK's bookmarks.

Mittwoch, 22. Juli 2009

Rogue drones



Yesterday evening I was able to fly together with corp mates and for a few missions. The most memorable part there for me was the fight against the drones of a quite huge and awesome-looking hive. What a sight! I was quite awed by it and felt really tiny in my small Cane.

I was happy not to be there alone but with friends. Below you can see our stalwart mission commander approaching the hive quite fearlessly in his Vulture.



After that frontal assault another corp member flew a bombing run in his Caracal against the drone bunkers flying dangerously close to the gigantic structure.



One sight especially gave me the creeps: The use of a pilfered Domi hull which probably got invaded by drones, got its crew annihilated and got converted into a horrific and somehow shadow-like [1] looking huge drone body.



*shudders*

These drones really are a danger to civilized Gallente space. I hope to soon be able to help my corp mates again safeguarding civilians from such a threat.

[OOC] 1) As quite a fan of TV-Series Bablyon 5 I especially like the look of those invested ships. They do look quite similar to the shadow-invested ships from that series. (BTW if you haven't seen B5 already: watch it! Its the best sci-fi series there is that tells an epic, compelling story spanning all five seasons!)

Donnerstag, 16. Juli 2009

My first travel into 0.0

As mentioned previously I am a peaceful scholar and not really interested in aggressive actions against fellow capsuleers. I do wish to help friends and civilians alike against aggression and possible criminal activities by other capsuleers. To do that it has become quite clear that I have to get to know more about ship to ship combat against possible aggressors. As the Agony Unleashed University came highly recommended for just that I applied for a course there. It wasn’t easy to get a free place in those sought-after trainings, but I managed to get my first (and likely not my last) training course (a basic training one) last Saturday.

It was quite an experience! Agony Lt. Commander TeaDaze was our instructor for the first part that involved a bit theory coupled nicely with examples and tips. And this was "just" his first time as primary instructor! I am quite looking forward to hear from him as a commentator during the next Alliance Tournaments.

After that part we were handed over to Agony Commander Caldak for a roam into the fast reaches of lawless space. It was the first time I was in such a huge fleet. Even though the ships flown by us students were “just” frigates it was quite a sight.



Under the quiet but assuring and commanding aegis of the FC Caldak I felt quite safe even though it was my first travel into the lawless reaches of space. I was quite happy that this first trip was into the Great Wildlands. As a Minmatar I already have heard a lot said by our nomadic breathen the Thukkers and I was eager to visit their lands. Sadly though I didn’t see any of their nomadic caravans. Instead we had contact with other capsuleers who weren’t seemingly not too happy to see us being lead to their territory (though that is actually Thukker territory) for training.

Well to be fair I have to mention that we did get a friendly wave in local communication channels saying: welcome newbies - which was quite nice. When our brave scouts reported seeing an Avatar Class Titan though, excitement grew. Sadly that epic monstrosity of a ship was piloted away and I had to leave the class to head for a station to catch up on sleep. Adrenaline alone can only get a poor scholar so far. It was only later that I heard that the same Avatar made an appearance. Looks like it used its colossal array of weapons against the frigate fleet (in the process though also damaging his own support fleet quite severely). I have to admit that I am a bit sorry that I haven’t seen this sight – even though on the receiving side. I would really have liked to see this ship and have made a few measurements during the activation of its weapons.

T'was quite a night!

For more information you might consult the Agony University student communication system boards.

Mittwoch, 8. Juli 2009

My first death

I was hoping I could stay in my original body a bit longer, but sadly that wasn’t the case. Well I have to admit that first death didn’t feel too bad – strangely so. I was thinking that the feeling of dying would be an experience that would alter me forever. But it was over quite fast and I am not much changed. Quite intriguing this Jovian cloning tech. You might ask how did I die? Well it was my own fault and my inexperience as it was my first real combat fight as well. I ordered my tiny Rifter off to help a corp mate whose Chimera carrier was under attack. I went to take point against a Falcon that was jamming him. I guess we were hoping to take that ship down with the help of two Dominixes so that the carrier might be able to get out. The opposition was too tough though and it was over quite fast (not too much chance against 2 Redeemers, a Hurricane , 2 Thanatos’, a Chimera, a Falcon and later on a Moroes as well).

Being me I also was more oogly eyed looking at all those huge ships and not paying too much attention to the status reports my crew gave me. I feel quite ashamed because of that. I couldn’t even escape in my Capsule as I tried to warp to the wrong stargate (the near one were we fought and not the other one farther away). Anyway I should have better tried to warp to a planet.
Still quite a loss for the corp but also quite an interesting experience for me seeing so many colossal ships!


Above the evidence that I was more engrossed in collecting data on the other ships instead of watching the combat.

In conclusion I would like to say that I am atm preparing to participate in a PvP Basic course from Agony University soon so that – even though I am no combat pilot – might help defending my corp better in the future. I am quite looking forward to the training course :-)

Sonntag, 5. Juli 2009

[OOC] EVE Blog Banter #9: Slaves

Welcome to the ninth installment of the EVE Blog Banter and its first contest, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

"Last month Ga'len asked us which game mechanic we would most like to see added to EVE. This month Keith "WebMandrill" Nielson proposes to reverse the question and ask what may be a controversial question: Which game mechanic would you most like to see removed completely from EVE and why? I can see this getting quite heated so lets keep it civil eh?"

__

Being quite a newbie I am not yet too engrossed in many of the game mechanics, so this is quite a difficult question for me. Lately I was able to destroy the ships of Amarrian Slavers in a mission. As slaves are illegal (and quite rightly so) where I live, I couldn’t take them with me and set them free at a station, which I found quite unfair (especially to the poor slaves). So I would propose to take away the game mechanic that makes them effectively un-freeable. Instead I would like to propose that it should be possible to free them. As most of these poor souls are probably addicted to Vitoc, a mission where you could get a possible antidote would be nice (could be a storyline/epic arc even as the Vitoc antidote ties in quite nicely to the events described in the Empyrean Age novel). When said antidote is applied to the unfortunate slaves, they could be changed to “Freed Slaves” (that are legal in Minmatar and Gallente space but perhaps not anymore in Amarr space).
Well just a though.

If I were to judge I would btw vote for the idea set forth by Morphisat about taking away the randomness of T2 blueprint invention.

__

A list of all the participants can be seen in CrazyKinux's post about the banter.

The Blood Stained Stars

It was quite an experience to set out for such a huge undertaking as to help Sister Alitura up in Arnon with her investigation. I would try to persuade everyone to try it out, as the mystery unfolds quite nicely. It also starts with quite a bang.



Above the explosive start can be seen.

Such a start did get me hooked immediately. But first things first: If you do happen to do combat missions for the agent of your choice and that agent is rated by the authorities as level 2, your chances are quite high that you might get the mission named: Humble Beginnings. This is the start as the evidence found in it points you directly to Sister Alitura of the Sisters of EVE Bureau in Arnon.

Quit early a connection between unknown and quite mysterious rogue drones and these events are made.



Only much later do you get to know more what happened, as the search for an eye witness gets quite complicated. To read more about the events immediately prior to your involvement I would suggest reading the report called Depth of Field (but only after the missions and better in the right order: starting with chapter 1 and reading up towards chapter 4).

The investigations lead to quite interesting sites which I – your humble Scholar – found quite fascinating and breathtaking. Below you can see my stout Thrashy exploring one of those.



One of the highlights of those investigations was the breathtaking site of a proud Minmatar Carrier, that somehow got stolen.



I have to admit that I didn’t engage as that isn’t needed. But it was quite a sight nevertheless.

Even though just a humble explorer I still had to captain Thrashy and its crew into combat, which went quite well (even it got tight in a few cases). The site of the most difficult battle can be seen below.



When I was able to finally corner the villain the fight against him was also a fitting conclusion to my trobles.



Dagan disembarks the station heading to his last engagement.

I don't want to spoil your investigation, but I can reveal that this is not the end. The meeting afterwards as well as quite an interesting revelation regarding Dagan and Alitura "concludes" the mission with quite a cliffhanger.

So I conclude in full hopes to see the story advance and to find more clues in the future!

If you like to know more and get tips for each step in the investigation I would recommend the writings of Keith Neilson.

Montag, 22. Juni 2009

My first op: Lonely Roids



See all those huge roids tumbling in space, always alone and without company? I am sure I would feel lonely if left alone for so long with no one to talk to 0:-)
What about visiting them for a nice chat?


Those were the words with which I advertised my first corp mining event (together with the banner I made for it). I have to admit that my try to get the roids in our home a bit more company was a bit spontaneous, so I was doubly surprised when actually a few corp mates did participate. The op actually lasted a lot longer than planned as well. We normally do quite a few corp mining ops for fun (and profit) but my op fell into a time where no new mining-op was announced when at the same time quite a few new people joining the corp. And as a mining op (with a lot of relaxed chatting) is the best way to get to know each other, I tried to improvise one. And it worked! :-)
Lots of new people made for a more varied "mining"-ship approach, which I liked as well. Below a new member in his miner/hauler Wreath

and here we could even witness the maiden voyage of a Rokh

All in all a quite nice op (if I might say so) 0:-) Though I have to admit the official one we had the week after was much better (e.g. with more Hulks and Orca support).

Donnerstag, 4. Juni 2009

EVE Blog Banter #8: Signature Characters

OOC:
Welcome to the eighth installment of the EVE Blog Banter , the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here . Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month's topic comes to us from me, Ga'len at The Wandering Druid of Tranquility. He asks: "What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums."

Well I guess there exists a universe of ideas already that all do have their positive and negative sides. Among others it would be really nice to see more of planets, to perhaps see more about our crews (who they are, if they are happy or if they are slaves, if they could be freed – if slaves – or cared for better I am sure the performance of the ship would increase as well). There are ideas about planetary rings, and comets as well ideas about fleet maneuvers. All of those look very promising and sound quite nice! My addition to these cool thoughts would be a better integration of the rich background story into the game itself. One way to do that would perhaps be to create missions where it might be possible to meet EVE's signature characters.

I spelled out the idea already on the EVE-O forums in this thread:

First of all I was quite happy to read the new rediscovered scrolls dev blog and am really looking forward to see more epic mission arcs. In regard to players interacting stronger with the core storyline elements of the EVE universe I guess a highlight of some such arc might surely be the meeting of an EVE signature character (like as a mission "agent"). Examples might be:

For an Amarr character e.g. it surely would be epic to be able bring a report on sleeper activity to Jamyl Sarum herself.

For a Minmatar it might be as epic to step onto an Eldar Titan and get a nod from one of the legendary elders e.g. for helping in the survival of a forgotten Minmatar tribe.

A Caldari might be honored to get an interview with a megacorp CEO upon getting a report from Heth to deliver (with the choice of either helping the CEO or Heth).

A Gallente would surely be honored to get a letter from his President for a secretive meeting with and advisor who might propose a secretive mission.

And so on and so forth. Even if this interaction is more like PC-agent interaction (well cut-scence would also be HUGE but probably much more time-intensive to implement) I guess such an interaction with the EVE signature characters would help a lot immersing players in the interesting backstory of the universe they are playing in.

A scholar goes exploring

Things are progressing quite well! Not only corp-wise but also personally. I still have to find a hacking site yet, but my first expeditions in my rusty but trusty Probe frigate went quite well. Actually I could pilot a Cheetah as well, but I guess I first will practice with that ship.

Above my trusty rusty Probe: Z Ranger 1 above an interesting planet that does look quite habitable.

I already found a small site with a few Omber asteroids that went on to help me get the Isogen needed for a building project (made me a Vexor that I sadly can’t yet fly). There you also see my new pride: the Covetor. Said ship is atm in the process of being redesigned into a Hulk. For this I’d like to thank Zino (quite some corpmate)!

Z Curufinwe in action before she went into Zino’s factory.

Probes launched from Ranger 1 also managed to find me my first salvaging site which can be seen below:

But this was not everything. I got lucky as well and found a Serpentis Hideout and a Serpentis Lookout and – just yesterday – I got lucky to find a Serpentis-Phi Outpost! The latter I was too cautious to try alone. But a nice and helpful corpmate (Swisstuck) helped me. Together with him it was quite a breeze.

Above shot of both Swisstuck’s vessel as well as my Cane at the Serpentis Outpost and below the spectacular fight against my first Serpentis Faction Battelship (the explosions wrought by Swiss’ ship were quite spectacular).

Dienstag, 19. Mai 2009

Capsuleer: The datapad app for pilots

I do use my portable datapad for easy reference and lookup about the status of the cybernetically injected skillbook dataware from which I try to learn in my spare time. The code I used for that was actually once the one called "EVE Tracker", but I did start using Capsuleer as well. At first the plus side of Capsuleer was the nice graphics as well as the date and time information when a certain skill would be finished and fully absorbed into my brain. Especially the information when that was scheduled to be by date and time (as compared to just giving an ETA in days/hours) was nice. The plus side of the EVE Tracker was still that I also got more information about all the skills.

But since the Capsuleer code got updated to revision 2.0 it really shines and is quite some nifty peace of software! Especially as it now also has integrated a lot of skill information. It even allows me to get connected to over pilot's public logbooks - a feature that I use quite a lot now.

As I am quite a happy user of this code I was quite happy as well to see that a lot of other people are using it as well (which is kind of a thank-you for the huge work the authors Pyjamasam and Roc Wielder put into it). But instead of us happy users thanking them - as should be the time honoured fashion to do things - they did thank us for using it (some strange world we are living in ;-) ). The thank you involved quite a nice collage with the capsuleer logo made up of pictures of pilots who make use of the programm. And look what I found:



A picture of myself made it into that collage as well! 0:-)

Freitag, 8. Mai 2009

EVE Blog Banter #7

OOC:
Here we go: my first try at participating in Crazykinux's blog banter. His question to us players was:
"What 3 things haven't you done in EVE and why? Would you be willing to try one day? Why so? Why not?"

As I am quite new to the game, there are a lot of things I haven't done. A few of those are things I will never consider doing and other things I am looking forward to do someday. I'd like to begin with one from the first category:

Griefing/can-flipping/pirating
This I will never do. I do play this kind of online game to be able to interact with other players and to do things together with them, to help them to have a fun time with them and to find friends among them. I am quite sure others are also playing this game to have a fun time, to relax and have a nice time. So I do find it quite wrong that some players seem to find it fun to ruin the fun for others. Sorry but ruining other ppl's time is not among my definition of having a nice time. Just the same as hurting others is not my definition of having a nice time either. I do guess it is too easy to say that destroying other ppls ships/play-goods is nothing personal if you don’t see/know the person on the other side, but one shouldn’t forget that there are other persons on the receiving end of this kind of "fun".
e.g. take can-flipping (which did happen to me already): Imagine the time it takes for a poor frigate to get a can full of ore. Even in my Retriever it takes about 1 hour for me to fill a can solo. Now along comes someone who just "flips" the can so that I am no longer safe to get the goods I mined back. I just have to cut my losses and warp away. I do hope that was fun for those ppl to ruin my (about 1 hour) game time in the evening where I was hoping to relax a bit from work. It sure wasn't fun for me. Sure I got over it, but sure as well I don't have any love left for any type of greifer. May that greifing come from can-flipping or pirating or ganking transports or what have you.

I am sure most in-game griefers who like to ruin other ppls spare time are much nicer in real life, but I am sure as well that being a greifer in a game shows also a bit where your real attitudes lie. Either that or they are are too dumb to know that the ppl whose time he ruins are real people as well.

After this rant off to 2 things I would like to do sometime in the future:

I would like to explore a wormhole together with others (e.g. my nice corp mates) and secondly I would like to be more of a help to them when doing missions. Well actually both of this goes in the same direction so I do hope it might count as only one of my 3 available points 0:-) because as a third thing I would like to do is be more the scholar that I am and exploring the universe.
One project in that regard is surely going to be a visit to the EVE gate in a Covert-ops ship :-)

Donnerstag, 30. April 2009

Corp mission night: One report of many

I am still training up and preparing myself to help my corporation with clearing criminal influences near our offices. But even though I am yet not much help I was still invited to join and could watch with awe what my corp-mates were doing. Here is a report of one of these endeavours that my sensors picked up while I watched the battle:

>>> Data connection opening
>>> Subject: Battleship fleet sighted in Sol
>>> Sender: Serpine Sol Inquestor 389
>>> To: Serpentis 3 HQ
>>> Transmitting data


Around 2000 hours a battleship fleet has been sighted prowling the nebulae of the Sol region. It was quite an ominous sight.



Due to electrostatic interferences of these particle clouds my team had trouble localizing them. Our cov-ops sensors were to weak to penetrate too far into the clouds. When we finally found out were they were haeding, we immediately alerted the local station to scramble their fighters and followed the fleet invading our territory.
Finally free of those clouds we could make out their signatures: The fleet arrayed against us was made up exclusively of ships of the Black Thorne Corporation. Intel suggest they are mostly miners, so we didn't investigate them. That was quite a mistake of intel as it turns out!

Following is an inquestor probe feed of the invading BTC fleet facing our ships.


Sadly the fight didn't fare too well. Here you can see one of your battelships being hammered quite heavily by incoming fire.


They didn't suffer any losses and our ships were smashed. It was terrible to behold! And they didn't stop there but did advance on our Station in system as well, smashing the stations defences with ease.


Our station sits undefended! I am awaiting your instructions how to proceed! What? Looks like I was discovered! There was a rupture hiding between those battleships. It is targeting me ...

>>> Transmission closed

Samstag, 25. April 2009

Ruin

I just read through the new chronicle called "All These Lives are Fit to Ruin". I have to admit it was quite a read and one that made me thoughtful as well. Are we Capsuleers really that unthinking of other lives? I do fear so. But I guess it's always better to look first before your own door (or however that saying goes): I do think that I so far only shot at those things that really matter to the outcome of a mission. But I fear that there might have still been a bit collateral damage that could have been avoided. That story at least opened my eyes to these matters. I hope now to be much more sensitive to such issues (concerning not-military structures). And regarding my crew ... well I guess most of us don't think about their crew too much. I guess I will try to get to know them better. Capsuleers don't have to be monsters, they are human still. I am human still. Or better: I want to be human.
What do you thin about that esteemed reader?

Tepet's Pride my first T2 ship whose crew sadly died when I was doing a mission versues Mercs that warp scrambled me.

All these Habitation Models survived my visit btw 0:-) And here is also the first picture of my new pride (my first BC which is self-made as well) :o)

Mittwoch, 22. April 2009

Mining ops Part II: A Miner's Life

A Miner's life is not bleak but can be quite fun when in the right group. I guess that is why I am such a fan of corp mining operations.
Here a few excerpts from things happening:

Hulk of Fire!

In the peaceful reclusion tht is Solitude the roid belts don’t have to fear loneliness. To the contrary! They had to fear for their life! For the BTC mining fleet does descend upon them. Even though mining is quite peaceful it can bet stressy as well. Especially for the haulers who have to hurry to keep up with the output of the many Hulks in attendance.

Those same Hulks must have put their processing facilities in overdrive to eat away at those roids as fast as they were. One of them was actually too enthusiastic and one could see fire shooting out of his Hulk.

Mal valiantly tried to put out those flames with a blanket, but just before he would have had to evacuate the ship reprogrammed drones were able to put out the flames.
Aside from that incident the operation went quite well and the miners even found the time to reprogram a few drones to serve tea. 0:-)

Newbie Hauler

On one of those mining operations I was honored to try to be the one to haule all the ore off to the safety of the nearest station. That was quite a night! It began when our master-miner Greg called all of us (those that were willing at least) to attack the roids of Solitude. And attacked they were with a lot of ferocity so much that your humble reporter who for the first time tried to haul was hard pressed to keep up but was never able to.
Here you can see the beginning of the end of said asteroid field with the miners sitting like a dark spider in the middle building their net of destructive mining laser energies.

It was quite difficult to manoeuvre through that net safely (and that was before certain Warrior drones were ordered to attack said poor hauler to entice him to haul faster ;-) ).

Here you can see the hauler trying to exit the mining HQ as fast as possible.

It was nice that Mrex brought his Orca as well one to clear away the most hauling-heat btw.
And here you see 3 Hulks huddling conspicuously close together.. what plans might they have hatched? Perhaps we will see during the next mining mission .. ;-)



Apocrypha – Life goes on

Even though the beginnings of Apocrypha were quite disastrous – not only for the poor people of Seylinn – even with the emergence of the anomalies called wormholes life has to go on. And life did go on! One way to show that was by doing something relaxing – like mining.
Below you can see the BTC miners diligently destroying roids and looking at their new awesomeness as well as the nice new technical effects. 0:-)

Here the most valiant miners of that night. Even as they came under attack by Serpentis Frigates they did just continued their mining exercise undisturbed.

The Serpentis spying upon the miners before it got surrounded by drones.

Mining ops Part I

One of the first things I could participate in the Black Thorne Corporation were the nice mining ops. Below is the report of the first one were I could participate. It was held in early February:

The dark of space, glittering stars, softly glowing nebulae and peacefully flying roids huddling together in a belt. I do guess being in Solitude they hope they might survive the aeons. But the solitude is scattered by the arrival of the master miner of the Black Thorne: Greg.
Unafraid of those huge roids he flies really close and starts his job.

I am really happy he didn’t get crushed between those huge roids!
He isn’t left alone though for long. Others do come: One of these is a huge lumbering demon-whale of a ship to collect the remains of the first roids to fall. The mining force grows more and more and majestic ships, like the one below, unleash their barrage of destruction against the roids - all for the glory of the Black Thorne.

The fleet is steadily increasing on and on. Here you see a powerful Gallentean workforce arriving as well.

To judge the size of that ship, just take a look of the tiny can trying to eke out an existence near the huge ship.

But the true deathbringers to roids are the immense hulks the epitome of nightmares for them. Here you see two of them flying back to back defending the can resting between them.

From the bridge of this huge orca the whole op is being coordinated.


The formerly huge belt is diminishing fast - as can be seen in the background. But as the stalwart miners are not black-hearted, they do decide to leave a tiny rest of small roids alive and head for another site where they might bring destruction for roids.

It is a hidden place which was found only due to Swiss’ diligence. Some might wonder why the operation was shifted to this site. One might think it could have been to stay on the move to better hide the operation from environmentalists who might protest against this crass destruction of natural resources.

The setting sun in the background of this drone-cam picture completes this news-feed.