Overheard in Jita Local

Last Friday night, I managed to get in a Harpy fleet. Once in fleet, I found we were going to killmail whore on a POS shoot. In English, that means that someone else (a bunch of stealth bombers in this case) was shooting the Player Owned Station, and we were going to go shoot at it too to make it die faster so that they were exposed for a shorter period of time.

Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.

The good news is that I have something on the TNT killboard, and it included one final blow. The bad news is that that was the only fleet I was able to get on.

Most of my EVE time this weekend was spent trading PI materials in highsec with alts. The new deployable modules required some P3 and P4 components for construction, and demand was through the roof.

My spreadsheet that identifies profitable P4 manufacturing stupidly used sell price instead of buy price. A huge gap developed between these with the people running buy orders being pretty stubborn for a while, but the sell orders got very heavy trade. Eventually, I figured out what was what and was able to make a few profitable trades.

The planet I use in Perimeter (one jump from Jita, where Planetary Interaction is not allowed), has seen its customs office change ownership three times already, I think.

Anyway, during all this, I saw the following discussion of bitcoins in Jita local:

Capsuleer Abel When I finish my bitcoin I’m just going to sell it.

Capsuleer Baker Yeah, you can’t make any money at it now unless you have the new ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circult). You can get them on a USB.

Capsuleer Abel I have the USB ASIC, but the rest of my system is cheapass.

Capsuleer Charlie Yeah, bitcoin farming is just for rich people now.

Capsuleer Baker You have to spend money to make money.

I think it’s entirely fitting for this conversation to have taken place in Jita Local, which is very likely the highest concentration of scams and scammers in the known universe.

Tolly Goes To War

Friday afternoon (ish) an announcement came across Jabber from The Mittani. It was pretty heavy with Goonspeak, or maybe it’s SA-speak, since Goons and Something Awful are tightly connected. Anyway, it said something about deploying in Curse and meddling in wars there that involved NCDOT and other major players in the South.

There was nothing from our alliance leadership about this, so I asked Dear Leader Meclin about it on Saturday when I logged in. He said he was waiting for something more definitive. This appeared to me to be the green light to ignore it for the time being and rat my little heart out. Which is what I did on Friday night, teaming up my new Ishtar with Bob TheExcavators’ Tengu to very good effect.

In the meantime, my alliance, TNT (for Tactical Narcotics Team), demonstrated that a few of its members had difficulty with the concept “chain of command”. There were some scolding-ish posts on the TNT forums about how we should get our butts down to G-0 and support our brothers. They were not from Alliance people with titles, however. Not as far as I know. I’m not going to call anyone out, but this was a head-scratcher.

We are not defending our turf, or the turf or our allies in Curse. We are not even the aggressors – we stand to gain no territory from this fight. Why are we even there? The story is more or less that this is payback for people who interfered with the CFC’s long fight in Fountain as “honorable third parties”. So we are there as Honorable Third Parties bent on making things as difficult as possible for everyone else. In short, payback.

Don’t get me wrong, if my corpmates are going, then I’m going. I’ll get in fleets, get myself blown up, and probably get mocked for not having the right skills for something better. I might even get a few kills on my killboard, who knows?

However, I don’t think of the Goons as my brothers. I do not think that every fight that they start is my fight. That privilege is reserved for the people of my corp, Black Sheep Squadron. And if the Alliance leadership says go, I will go. That’s the price of living in null with sov. It’s all very feudal, your rent is paid both in coin and in bodies to fight. However, I do hope that they would respect us enough to give us clear orders from people in command positions.

Anyway, by Sunday it was clear. We were going. So I jumped to my pvp clone, the one with no implants. Then I moved his respawn point to a station nearby G-0, undocked and started the self-destruct sequence. (This is new by the way, isn’t it? I could swear that I could self-destruct instantaneously before.) Two minutes later I woke up in a station with nobody else in local.

That can’t be right, I thought. So I checked the region. I’m in Pure Blind. I picked the wrong station to JC to. Well dang. Fortunately, this one has a medical station, so I buy a new clone (so I won’t lose skills when I die) for 3.5 million and do it again, confirming on TeamSpeak that it’s the right one.

It is the right one. It’s getting pretty late now, into EVE’s quiet time, where it’s prime time only if you live in Hawaii. Bob scouts ahead for me, and I pilot my Velator the two jumps over to G-0. I manage to buy a new clone, and get into the staging station, ready for action.

Of course, I have no ships. I am told they will be up on contract. I’m fully qualified to fly a Harpy, and almost fully qualified for a Baltec Megathron. (I don’t have the skills for the ECM drones that are part of the fit.) I can fly the Dominix, but I can’t use the Tech 2 Garde’s yet. I’m not sure whether I would be welcome in a Domi fleet or not. In fact, I have Gallente Battleship V (which applies to both of those ships). I can also fly a Talos, I don’t know whether that will be needed.

As every soldier does, I have worries on the brink of battle, but my worries are a little different. I wonder if I will actually get a fleet. It’s difficult on the West Coast, and doubly difficult since I often don’t get online until 9pm or so my time. So there will be few fleets posted, and some of them will require ships that I can’t fly, or maybe won’t be available. We shall see.

Another Reason I Like EVE Online

Last night I was talking with another member of the corp. We chatted about recent movies – he had seen Elysium, and wanted to know if I’d seen it. I hadn’t but I had seen Gravity, had he seen that?

Typhoon Haiyan Smashes the Phillipines and Brushes Malaysia

Also, he mentioned that he lived in Malaysia, and that their president had gone on TV to say that Typhoon Haiyan wasn’t a hurricane in Malaysia, though it was one in the Phillipines. He said it did get pretty nuts for a while though.

He also mentioned, to my surprise, that Christmas was sort of a thing in Malaysia, because there are so many European and American expats in retirement there. I did not know that.

In my corp are people from California, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Kansas, England, Wales and Malaysia. And almost certainly more places than that. My prior corp was full of people from Latvia. There’s a corp full of Danes in the alliance, some of whom come on our Teamspeak to chat sometimes. There is a very strong Russian presence in the game. Oddly, there appear to be very few Japanese or Chinese or Koreans. I wonder if the intensively textual nature of the EVE UI gives them more problems, given how different the written languages are.

When we have an ice-mining corp day, it’s kind of like going fishing. You just sort of hang out in the belt, shooting the breeze. I enjoy listening to all the different voices. Last Sunday, it included a woman’s voice, which was a welcome surprise.

We had this exchange then:

Wilhelm Arcturus: Hey, we have all the Californians on this side of the belt! (This was me and him and Potshot.)

Me: Well, yeah. The sun rises later on this side of the belt. That’s as it should be.

Alex: So where are the Welshmen?

Me: Don’t we have a POS named “sheep farm” or something? [Actually, that's only what I wish I had said. I said something less funny, like "they're on the sheep farm"]

I note that hitherto, Alex had not sounded Welsh to me, just some form of British. Other corp members, though, definitely sounded Welsh to me, but my ear isn’t all that good, as you can see.

In point of fact, my corp, Black Sheep Down, has sort of a sheep theme to it. Our corp ticker is BAAW (I expect BAA was taken). This, I am told, is due to the influence of the Welshmen. Such is EVE.

Anyway, I am sure there are EVE players in the Phillipines as well, but they might not be logging in for a while. Godspeed.

The Effect of TiDi on Man-in-the-Moon Megathrons

Wilhelm Arcturus (now my EVE corpmate) has a great post up recounting his attempt to get into a battle in the far expanses of EVE. (One reason I’m telling you this is because he quotes me! Squee! I made a funny!)

The fight didn’t come to any conclusion because the node died from too much strain. This is after a stretch at 10% time dilation, and then a period where, in spite of time dilation, the game just couldn’t keep up with the 1500-ish people in the system.

In a sense, I kind of love that EVE has this problem. That is, I love that there’s something going on in the game, and that CCP is doing its best (which on this night wasn’t good enough) to allow everyone that wants to be a part of it do exactly that. CCP has a team working on server performance that is very, very good. I’ve read some of their white papers, these people know something. That’s really cool.

And that’s where we get to an unintended consequence of time dilation:

But thanks to the magic of time dilation, while we spent more than 150 minutes getting to the fight, the fight system was running at 10% speed, so a mere 15 minutes of game measured time had gone by for the fight. That is one of the side effects of TiDi. Those in the fight slog along at slow speed while reinforcements are moving ten times as fast.

So in this sense, time dilation makes the problem worse. If the game had been able to proceed at full speed, the fight would most likely be over before all those people got to it.

****

As far as getting into fleets myself, I’m still working on skilling up to doctrine fits. I can fly (and also posess) a doctrine Harpy at this point. I just discovered that I can fly a doctrine Talos (I don’t think the Talos existed when I played before, so I didn’t recognize the name before). However, there are no Talos’ to be had at any price in Deklein.

Until just yesterday, my front-line ratting ship was a Megathron, so I can fly them, but between me and a doctrine Megathron stands Sentry Drones V. I’m currently training Caldari Cruiser V so I can fly a doctrine Eagle, though. Then I will train Sentry Drones V which will give me both Megathrons and Dominixes in CFC doctrine. (I used to fly a Domi as my primary ratter, but I switched to a Mega).

This is all very surprising to me. Three Gallente ships as doctrine fits, and the Ishtar (also known as the Isktar) as a favored ratting ship. When did Gallente ships get cool? When I last played EVE, the favored weapon system was the projectile line, and Minmatar ships. I remember when the Alphafleet doctrine first came out. It was kind of depressing, really, because I couldn’t fly any of the doctrine ships, and I wasn’t even really close.

Apparently, something about hybrid weapon damage was changed.

Anyway, I am still a scrub until I can launch Garde II’s, but that won’t be much longer.