Shooting and looting

EVE’s Forsaken Fortress update from May 26 made unfueled structures go abandoned after a week, and more importantly also drop their contents when shot. And you can shoot them in one not very long sitting.

r/EVE and the greater EVE community is divided. Some find it awesome and some say it’s a bad idea because returning players might ragequit instantly when their stuff which they had deemed safe is gone.

I’m torn on this. Yes, of course it sucks if your stuff is gone. I also think CCP should’ve provided a longer warning period and not just a few weeks between the announcement and the patch going live. But I also think that’s no reason to have the other people have all the juicy loot and so I’ve been in a fleet of 40-70 people for the second night in a row the moment I stopped working. I don’t have a tally, but we’ve popped quite a few structures and between some duds we also had some awesome loot. Let’s see how many days this will continue and how much it will yield. You can probably beat the ISK/hour (been at this for ~16h now) but it’s fun. It’s probably a once-in-a-lifetime event to just go from structure to structure, shoot it, loot it, and continue. Big thanks to our scouts and main organizer.

First thoughts about Shadowlands

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about Shadowlands and my future in the game. Yes, right now I’d rather play more EVE but I’ve not put WoW away yet. So when I just saw Telwyn’s post… might as well write it down.

I may have written about this at length but from 2005 – 2014 I was mostly a Horde player, usually with a guild full of people and only had a single high-level Alliance Rogue in a guild that I had joined because 2 of my ex-Horde guildies originally came from there (same server) and also went back there. That was in 2009 and I’ve sometimes reached the level cap on that Rogue, sometimes not. When I stepped away completely from WoW in 2014 (end of MoP) and then came back to have a brief look at WoD, I was still 100% Horde. When I came back to play Legion, for the first time ever I set my focus on the Alliance, leveling a Demon Hunter and having a lot of fun, then adding some alts – all in the Alliance guild because the Horde guild has been completely dead for a few years. Again in BfA I leveled Alliance first (Dwarf Retri Paladin this time) and now I have nearly as many max-level Alliance toons as I have Horde. Still did all my rep grinds on my old Horde Rogue Main.

So, what about Shadowlands? Right now I really plan to raid again, at least the first tier. The expansion is supposed to launch in the winter, which absolutely suits me well (but I guess this year it wouldn’t have mattered anyway…), but what will I play?

The only I thing I absolutely hated about my Rogue was that it’s a pure DPS and I can’t have a tank or healing off-spec. So this time I also really want to focus on one main character, and still have an off-spec, so this eliminates every pure DPS class. On the Alliance side this is no problem for me, as my Orc Rogue isn’t available anyway, so I can just level him casually at some point.

What do I have available? I guess my raid main-spec will still be DPS. It’s what I do best and restarting raiding after all these years I am absolutely fine in not having the pressure of tanking or healing. Unless we’ll be short on either, of course, then I’m probably up for stepping up.

  • Dwarf Paladin – Not sure I like Holy, but I’ve had fun tanking in the past, a possibility
  • Night Elf Daemon Hunter – played both specs in Legion and loved them, likely
  • Night Elf Warrior – didn’t Prot tank since MoP, but I loved it, likely
  • Worgen Druid – didn’t Bear tank since TBC and didn’t heal since… WotLK I guess, unlikely
  • Dwarf Shaman – while I like Resto a lot, I’m not sure I want to main this shammy, undecided
  • Dark Iron Dwarf Monk – I haven’t tried tanking or healing on this, but I don’t enjoy Monks, very unlikely
  • Worgen Priest – I don’t like Shadow and have never tried Holy, didn’t Disc heal since WotLK, unlikely

So this doesn’t sound like I’m about to use one of the three DPS+Heal classes, and I’m not sure about one of the DPS+Heal+Tank classes, but I’m in favor of both DPS+Tank classes. So right now it looks like a decision between Warrior and Daemon Hunter, with Paladin on 3rd place and Druid still possible. Sadly I don’t have a lot of attachment to this Druid, as I boosted her at the start of BfA and only played her this expansion. I at least “mained” the Paladin and also leveled her up properly (with a little help from the invasions before Legion though). I think I’ve actually raided once and did quite some dungeons on the Warrior and the Demon Hunter was my Legion main.

Similarly I don’t feel real attachment to the Priest and the Monk. The Shaman is different because it’s the one I killed Algalon with, so I’d say that’s proper raiding 😛

Also this means these toons are out, with the current plan:

  • Human Rogue, the aforementioned original Alliance alt
  • Dwarf Hunter
  • Draenei Death Knight
  • Kul Tiran Human Mage, I don’t like playing Mages anyway
  • Void Elf Rogue, just leveling because Rogue and Heritage Armor
  • Mechagnome Warlock, just leveling because of the Heritage Armor and because I don’t have an Alliance Warlock
  • Gnome Rogue, would have to be transferred from a different server anyway

Also I didn’t really touch on the possibility of a Horde comeback, because I simply don’t believe in it. I’d need to find a guild whereas I have a perfectly fine and functioning one on the Alliance side. Also all the years have disconnected me enough that I’m ready to switch mains for good. Took a while, and I am still kind of determined to at least do the reps on my Horde Rogue, but maybe not all the other “important” Horde chars.

How to kill your time playing by not playing

Did some industry stuff today and produced 15 T1 Cruisers on demand, made a bit of ISK with a few clicks. Still couldn’t play for real, so I tried ratting in a Vexor, semi-afk. 20 million ISK in 80 minutes. Not great, not bad, definitely thinking about stepping it up a notch to an Ishtar, Gila, or Dominix – but that means a 300m investment and “just” twice the returns, so would have to rat for 10h to make the ship back, and not lose it in that time. Hmm.

Also the 1 week wardec timer was finally up and I could rejoin the corp and undock a few minutes for Planetary Interaction. Running with 6 chars now and only having to spend a few minutes every few days is good.

Also actually properly played for a short while last night and went on a stratop in the Eagle I bought this week. It’s not much (400m incl refits) but it’s the most expensive ship I’ve ever used in all the time I was active in EVE since summer 2013. It survived, and we didn’t get a fight because the other fleet we were chasing (after grabbing that one ihub) ran away.

Sightseeing in New Eden

Due not being able to properly play at the moment and being bored at home I decided to do a little sightseeing tour. Hopped into an Interceptor, set destination and waypoints and just had to click and not use my left hand. (Spoiler: It’s a bit boring.)

I stuck to blue space but I managed to see a few things and made a few screenshots.

Steve, the first Titan that died in C9N-CC, Esoteria
Minecore, K-X5AX, Feythabolis
Fatimar Outpost, MY-W1V, Catch
Amarr Military Brigade, HY-RWO, Catch
Titanomachy, B-R5RB, Immensea – at the time (2014) the biggest battle in EVE’s history – this was still fresh in my memory when I first went to NullSec in May 2014

Professionalizing EVE

So I actually followed on the plan I hatched last week, which means I now have 2 Omega accounts for the time being

  • Account A, Omega
    • Main, 53m SP, going for a few Level V Gunnery Skills
    • Ex-Hauler alt, 5.3mSP, doing PI, using MCT to get into an Interceptor for the next 2 weeks
    • just started a new alt for PI and not much more, 350k of skill injectors I still have should be enough
  • Account B, Omega
    • my old NullSec main, 15m SP, going for Interdictors and then Cyno Force Recon
    • my general purpose ex-Alpha 6.5m char, doing PI, going for an Interceptor as well
    • a fresh alt just for PI, 1 o r6 days left on the skill plan
  • Account C, Alpha
    • an older Combat Alpha char, still had just enough SP left for our Alpha Corp skill plan, so this has taken over the ship and skillplan from the “ex-Alpha” char.
    • One last alt in HighSec/Jita, in possession of all my HighSec assets
    • training up the Magic 14 on one more, just because it’s free.

Sounds very complicated but it’s actually just about these things:

  • dual-boxing ratting
  • having a scout alt
  • 4 chars are just for PI for now, I need ISK really badly

Also paying attention when reading helps. You only get the 15d of Omega from Recruit-a-friend (or 2nd account) if you buy Omega AT THE EVE WEBSITE, not any “pack”. But it’s fine, I half expected this and I wanted that pack, but it means I am kind of committed to 2 months of dual-accounting now.

So overall, again EVE it decidedly different than other MMOs, but I mean I knew what I signed up for and right now it’s absolutely the most fun per hour I can get. Going on fun fleets, doing some stratop things and trying to get better at Exploration. So far I’m failing too many mini games and taking too long to scan, but my skills aren’t great either. But I like the Buzzard, it’s a very nice ship for this.

Overthinking EVE

People sometimes say you spend more time in spreadsheets than actually playing the game and it might be true.

A few days ago I was a little unsure how to continue with my journey in New Eden and so I actually wrote down some plans and played around with EVEMon to plan out skills.

So my current subscription runs into July and I have Multi-Character training for another month from now on. So my plan is, if nothing changes in a month, to transfer my NullSec alt (14.6m SP) to my Alpha account (which is on a referral from my main) and buy a month of Omega (or three) as soon as the MCT runs out. This will give me 15d of Omega on my main account and I can try multiboxing, or at least scouting in an Interceptor/Recon. I also started another alt on that Alpha account where I have 1 month now to train some basic stuff, mostly PI and Frigs I guess. The third character on the second account is actually in our Alpha Corp right now, with Omega it might make sense to move him to NullSec for PI. Also there will be a spot open on the main account, so maybe it’s time for another PI toon there, I won’t be training anything else I guess.

So much for accounts and the major changes, I think 2 accounts isn’t outrageous, especially as I can let the second one lapse to Alpha any time because it’s not worse than it is now.

Regarding ingame plans: On my main I can already fly a lot of our Doctrine ships, so I’m filling up the blank spaces now, mostly getting some of the T2 weapon prerequisite skills to Level V (Rockets, Energy Pulse Weapons, Medium Energy Turret, etc.) and then some of the “general” skills to V, like Surgical Strike, Trajectory Analysis, Thermodynamics, all 10+ day trains. The next step is still a little unclear. But what I just mentioned will keep me busy for 1-3 months.

If I had too much ingame money I’d try Black Ops, but that’s roughly 68 days, so maybe I’ll go for a month to sit in a Links Drake instead. There’s also the possibility to go to Capitals, but again I don’t really have the money and a quick estimation to sit in a Dread… 130 days, not fun. The ISK topic comes up again, I can actually fly all the T1 Battleships but I’ve never owned one, so maybe I should try to focus on Battlecruiser and smaller, with the exception of a Dominix for ratting, I’d love to try that.

With my alt going to the second account (or even if that plan falls through) I can fly an Interdictor in a week, then I’ll go for Light Missiles V and a few supporting skills (another week) to be able to sit in a Jackdaw and then it’s a few skills to Level V for some prerequisites, that’s another 2 weeks. Then I could either go in the direction of a Heavy Interdiction Cruiser (25d) or a Cyno Falcon (35d) and that’s 2 months with concrete goals planned out. This char is specialized into Frigates and Destroyers, so maybe some Racial Cruiser skills to V wouldn’t hurt then. Definitely no plans right now to be able to fly Battlecruisers and bigger, so that’s also a good scope.

I thought I didn’t like 4X

When I saw that Stellaris was on sale on Steam (and GoG) I remembered that I loved to play Ascendancy back in the 90s, but I’ve never been a fan of Civ and others. Someone even linked me an online abandonware version and I played around for a few minutes.

So I asked the Blaugust Discord if anyone knew Ascendancy or had any recommendations for this. Rakuno mentioned Master of Orion, but I somehow got them on GoG and without the nostalgia I didn’t really find my way into it back when I tried. Naithin mentioned Crusader Kings II, which seems to be free now, but I wanted space. Overall I was just told to try out Stellaris (it’s the free weekend after all) despite having watched a Let’s Play and finding it very boring. Totally unrelated Magi mentioned Endless Legend, and only after researching 4X games I noticed it is one, but it didn’t look enticing to me.

So I installed it last night and went to bed and what can I say, I played a little this morning and it absolutely scratches the same itch that Ascendancy did, I’ll buy it. Thanks for the recommendations, Blaugust Discord 🙂

Trying out The Cycle

I hadn’t heard about The Cycle before yesterday but it’s free, it’s on the Epic Store and someone wanted to try co-op, so I downloaded it and we played a few rounds.

In short, they call it a PvEvP game, it’s a shooter with co-op and PvP.

The tutorial is good, it explained most of the stuff in a concise manner, only missing one essential thing (‘c’ to melee). You run around doing small objectives “click 3 terminals”, “find 5 drones in the vicinity”, “defend a little mining drill for a minute and collect the mined resources” and if you have a little money, you can buy weapons and other upgrades (for this match) which you keep when you die. You can respawn once per game.

It’s pretty. It totally reminds me of WildStar with it’s bright and colorful world (but not garish). The soundtrack also seems nice. The voiceovers… no, not so good. You can choose between 5-6 (cosmetic) archetypes and even just as a free to play starter I liked the variety. Nothing fancy, but enough options for a shooter (not an RPG) to make me happy.

The gameplay is fine. I thought it was too easy (even as a total noob FPS player), and you need to reload very often, but bullets seem to be unlimited.

Once we got the gist of what we were supposed to do, we had a lot of fun with the PvE part but most of the other teams made short work of us in the final minutes of Battle Royale PvP. More like this “oh, I see someo… I’m dead” – that’s maybe normal if you just play your first 3 games, but why waste 10 minutes on meaningless PvE content if you just die on sight from another player?

The crafting system seems nice. You somehow gather mats while playing and between matches you can upgrade/mod the guns you would buy during a match to have better/other stats.

We might try Deep Rock Galactic (on Steam) instead. Yes, that’s a bit damning. Played 3 rounds, loved the first half of the game play (but not sure how long the fun would last) and be kinda meh on the last, defining half of the game play. But maybe it’s just two old casual gamers not wanting to take part in this, but our third regularly plays Quake Champions and Battlefield and whatnot and he kinda agreed. PvE and PvP maybe just don’t mix well for us in this game. I’d still encourage you to try it out, if it’s your thing it gave a really good first impression.

EVE: April 2020 in review

I didn’t write as many posts about EVE as I had imagined, but it’s a lot harder to write about an MMO that I have actively played for only a few months, compared to one that I played actively for over 10 years, hardly surprising.

As I wrote at the start of the month I joined Brave Newbies in NullSec again and so far it was a very good decision. People are nice and helpful, I’m learning a lot and having a ton of fun. They’re not annoyed by my noob questions that don’t sound like a 50m SP player, but I did play the offline skilling game for quite a few months of my ~2 paid years. And the rest of the time I was a poster child casual in highsec…

Anywyay, it’s been a great month and I went on a ton of fleets, often a few days in a row and sometimes with 2 things on the same day. I dove into PI (again) and tried to sell of all my remaining stuff in HighSec.

Now here’s a list of ships I have lost. As I’ve been flying a lot of Logi I don’t think my killmail ratio is painting such a realistic picture, but then again with BRAVE mostly flying cheap ships with a little bigger numbers, what kind of picture *does* it actually paint?

  • 3 Osprey
  • 1 Caracal
  • 1 Crucifier
  • 1 Catalyst
  • 1 Scythe
  • 2 Velator
  • 2 Thrasher
  • 2 Dragoon
  • 1 Atron
  • 1 Epithal
  • 4 Pods

Also while it could’ve been more posts, there at least were some:

Also some “milestones” I reached:

  • can basically fly all our ships in our “Novice” doctrine, which means mostly T1
  • can fly a Basilisk now (with Logi V) which used up all of the extracted skills I got
  • I can fly Bombers now (well, one racial, but it counts)
  • finished the “Estaplished Player Skillplan” with the exception of Biology V for Drugs
  • close to flying a Dictor

Unfortunately I couldn’t play the last days, I would have loved to go on a stratop with a Basilisk, but I’m in high hopes that it will work out soon.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 19.

MMOs and being involved

I just watched a few videos about a casual (one night per week) approach to MMOs and was reminded about Kanter’s recent posts (I think Syp would also fall into that category for the sake of my argument, playing so many different games).

This has made me realize that I can’t remember ever approaching an MMO like this. Neither having a dedicated day of the week for this, or being so strapped for time for a prolonged period that I could only make room for one sitting of 2-3h per week for an MMO. Maybe I should consider myself lucky here, but with no kids and a job that’s usually not too demanding in terms of overtime, I’d say it’s not too unique, as we’re not the types to spend several nights out, every week.

So either I’m in the mood for an MMO, then I go full blast (and often enough I have 2 MMO subs running, so I can either split my evenings with gaming time or take turns) or I am not at all in the mood for MMOs or games in general, then I don’t play at all, but not one evening.

Not a really substantial thought, but nevertheless it got me thinking. Apparently I can only take shooters in moderation, but not MMOs.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 18.