Playing EVE… differently

The last few days I’ve spent quite a bit of time in HighSec, doing some missions, some mining, trying to (finally) fill out the AIR reward thingies, and also to see some things I’ve not really seen for many years.

One thing I did was doing 20 “Distribution Missions” from Agents, basically ferrying stuff from A to B, with the very, very occasional shooting or mining. So I’ll get 100 points for doing those 20 missions, and also get some 2-3 others done on the way, for example by grabbing 375 LP to spend, or raising standing with some NPC corp.
But mostly I’m kinda shocked how different you’re fitting your ships here, or at least what you could do.

I am using a Sunesis with some Hyperspatial Rigs and some Inertial Stabilizers, so it aligns in under 2s and warps faster, because I’m doing a lot of travel. It basically has no tank (I had some room for a single Multispectrum Shield Hardener and it has an MWD and an Afterburner. I am carrying a refit of 3 Mining Lasers and 3 Light Missile Launchers. If I was in NullSec this would be a completely unfocused shitfit, but in HighSec where there are no bubbles, no one who will aggress my 20m Destroyer (as I never have valuable) cargo, it’s perfect.

It’s like I’m playing a completely different game. Just some chill space trucking, no worries to be shot. But on the other hand I’m making less than 1m ISK per hour, so Level 1 missions are really just for beginners and to learn the game. Still weird how NullSec is a complete sandbox and the missions in HighSec (or grinding out standing) is so, so different.

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Rediscovering Destiny 2

For no particular reason except someone mentioning it, I reinstalled Destiny 2 and put quite a few hours in it. Quite a few hours for me… playing a shooter, that is.

If you thought coming back to an MMO after a couple of years (in my case it seems I last played in autumn of 2019), this feels worse.

But anyway, I’ve had fun, and I’ve reached Rank 20 of the Season and was working on Guardian Rank 6 until just now, everything reminds me of the Season Journey in Diablo III. Some of those Bounties where I have to do 8 for a Vendor Weekly (and where I need two) are a bit weird, but ok.

My main problem right now are solo quests with real bosses. The public events and the parts leading up to the bosses are ok. Anyway, some goal reached, maybe I’ll rewatch one of these “things you need to do this season” videos and try to understand more.

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Quick wins when training

When playing EVE for a long time and having “higher” SP characters (more so if they are somehow specialized and not general combat pilots) and they have training plans weeks and months long for special skills, one can easily lose track of the quick wins and multiple unlocks, easily seen by having a good look at the skills window and the ship tree (one of my favourite UI parts in EVE).

So I have this alt at around 30m SP, can do a few things, and is not a terrible combat pilot, deployed to somewhere on a special mission. Recently learned to fly HACs and Logi Cruisers, but after unlocking something else I needed I did this good look at the skills window and have now paused training on my main for a couple of days, because I identified these quick wins:

  • Caldari Strategic Cruiser + 4 subsystems = 1h (not combat effective, but I can move it)
  • Amarr Destroyer II+III + Amarr Cruiser I+II = 8.75h to unlock 8 Cruisers
  • Gallente Destroyer II+III + Gallente Cruiser I+II = 8.75h to unlock another 11 Cruiser (now all Pirate Factions)
  • Battlecruiser I – 0.5h if you’re at Cruiser III anyway. I guess I just stopped at Cruiser I at some point when buying skill books, then over the years added II+III and never even thought about BC.
  • Medium x Turret II+III + Large x Turret I = 9.5h

So yeah, of course it’s basic math – but it’s less than 2d of training to unlock (even if just to sit, move, and for the cruisers, maybe actually use the T1 variant) 20 hulls. Also if you’re going to shuttle to an NPC station that sells skill books anyway, might as well buy 10 more and inject them “empty” for future use, or for right now.

Also for an alt character that’s older than 5 years, maybe you never checked if they can fly all the new skills. Pretty sure either Signal Dispersion or Resistance Phasing (or both) are new. And then some 0.5-2h gaps in certain Rigging skills or Repair Systems. Yeah, I might not need a lot of this, but my main is stuck on a 17d Weapon Skill V train for a weapon system I don’t even own right now (afaik), a really good decision for a quick pause and giving this alt some love, even if just for a couple of days.

Overall maybe I was just cherry-picking a couple really good bang-for-the-buck skills (and the boring Magic 14 are trained already for the most part) but I was still surprised what I can achieve in such a short term, and I suppose I should’ve done this sooner. Everyone usually focused on training all skills to IV or V for the T2 ships and weapons but sometimes shallow and wide may be better than focused. Which is funny, because my main was originally too shallow and wide and not focused enough, so maybe I overcorrected on a couple of alts. Then again this alt could originally only fly Shield doctrines decently and of course by adding Amarr and Gallente there’s probably some Armor lacking, but I guess if you’re not operating inside of a NullSec alliance with NullSec doctrines and skillplans, better being able to fly that kitchen sink Omen with Cruiser III and T1 Guns III than not having one more cheap combat ship available.

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That MoP thing

I’d completely missed this MoP “Timerunners” thing until some friends told me about it when I met them. It sounded kinda fun (especially the “leveling quick” part) and I’ve given it a spin. 3 hours, Level 20 (not that quick, but ok) and fun enough. Very Diablo-like, to be honest.

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One hundred fifty million

Nearly missed it, also basically missed it by 2m or so, that would be Cybernetics V and Graviton Physics V
Last post in December.

Skill category             Points     No. of skills
Spaceship Command         50,984,980  69 *
Gunnery                   23,499,131  48 *
Missiles                  13,599,659  25 *
Drones                    11,904,316  22
Navigation                 9,660,314  13 *
Engineering                7,474,275  15
Fleet Support              5,532,130  13
Shields                    4,760,628  12 *
Armor                      4,509,010  12 *
Subsystems                 4,096,000  16
Targeting                  3,840,000   8 *
Electronic Systems         2,863,220  14
Neural Enhancement         1,913,570   7 *
Scanning                   1,899,374   7
Science                    1,599,255  19 *
Trade                      1,066,275   8
Resource Processing          976,960  10
Rigging                      679,060  10
Social                       434,510   6
Planet Management            394,040   4
Production                   276,743   4
Structure Management         135,765   1
Corporation Management           250   1

* = changes since last time

Skills at Level 5:   163 (+14)
Skills at Level 4:   115 (-8)
Skills at Level 3:    36 (-1)
Skills at Level 2:     2 (0)
Skills at Level 1:    28 (+4)
Skills at Level 0:     0 (-1)

The main alt is at 90m now, so here it goes:

Skill category             Points     No. of skills
Spaceship Command         26,277,811  53 *
Gunnery                   13,975,963  40 *
Missiles                   9,532,944  22 *
Engineering                6,762,040  14
Drones                     6,705,425  18 *
Navigation                 4,548,550   9
Armor                      4,442,510  10 *
Subsystems                 4,096,000  16
Shields                    3,524,550  10 *
Electronic Systems         2,985,495  13
Science                    1,544,000   3 *
Targeting                  1,521,805   8
Neural Enhancement         1,055,060   6 *
Scanning                   1,006,354   7
Fleet Support                889,570   6
Rigging                      790,825  10 *
Planet Management            394,040   4
Resource Processing           33,000   3
Structure Management          24,000   1
Social                        23,072   4
Trade                         12,244   3
Production                       250   1 *

* = changes since last time

Skills at Level 5:   117 (+10)
Skills at Level 4:    99 (-4)
Skills at Level 3:    28 (+4)
Skills at Level 2:     7 (-1)
Skills at Level 1:    10 (0)
Skills at Level 0:     4 (-2)

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SoD Phase 3 is weird

After starting with the incursions like everyone else I really quickly lost interest. SoD to me was mostly: Experiencing Vanilla again, with a new twist, and especially faster leveling that was not completely braindead and too quick like in Retail, but… just a nice leisurely pace.

Incursions were 100% the “ignore the way, get to max level and so endgame” and in this case, even if the endgame is just a single raid. I’ve not logged in for days, just did a bit of duoing to get to 50 (not me, I’m 43, or 44, I don’t even know) and it’s been kinda miserable.

Maybe I’ll get back to it but I kinda let the sweaty nerds on Reddit get to me this time “You’d have to basically been offline since launch to not be 50 already” – that was on like day 5. Yeah, no. I had played for a few hours but did not minmax doing just incursions in a group of 5 or do 40 runs of Zul’Gurub. I usually don’t really care how easy or hard other people judge the content I am doing, but in this case it was not even fun and I objectively didn’t do it the correct way, because I was neither fast nor was I having fun.

Bit of a letdown though. Yes, high engagement as everyone races to 50, but for the game is done for. Why play out in the open world if the majority of people managed to skip the leveling with a broken system? I’m writing it like this because in every expansion there will be a handful of people who manage to get to max level in the first night, or first 48h – that’s fine. But not 50%.

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SoD Phase 2 ends

We did it! The Hunter/Warlock duo made it to 40 just in time, one day before the new phase hits.
To be quite honest it was a bit of “oof, finally” after pushing so hard, not even sure I’m excited to continue tomorrow, on the weekend maybe.
Also that Warlock mount quest. Instead of paying 45 gold I got 38 silver for collecting my mount. Not bad!

Orc Warlock on Felsteed. Level 40 and still with Robe and Staff from Shadowfang Keep

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Itemization in SoD is broken

So first of all, yes I know that everyone has too much gold compared to vanilla but boy are prices broken.

I just visited the AH on my 34 Warlock. With my spec I’d take any of the following stats: +Fire/Shadow/Spell damage, Int, Spirit, Stamina.

The only sensible but meaningful upgrade I found were pants for 70s, for most slots I’d pay 1-3g to get 2 more intellect.

This is simply not fun. Some friends were kind enough to take me through Shadowfang Keep at Level 22ish and there are several items I’ve been wearing for 10-12 levels now, and nothing I can buy is better. Or affordable if it’s just a small upgrade.

So because I know it doesn’t make *that* big of a difference I’ve been mostly buying cheap options, spending more on solo melee chars (esp. weapons) and less on this caster that is leveling with a hunter, but you might as well rely mostly on quest rewards.

It sucks. In Retail on the other hand gearing has become so unimportant that you still do 10 or 20 levels with the same gear, but mostly because it’s not worth visiting an AH instead of continuing to quest. How about a middle ground where you can sometimes upgrade stuff a little? As I wrote, my Warrior dinged in mostly 24-27 gear, I did have time to visit an AH and I did search for a bit, how about I could have spent a little on upgrading a couple pieces instead of going “+6 Strength to +8 Strength is not worth it”.

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SoD again

Not as much progress as I’d hoped with the Warlock but my SoD Warrior just dinged 40 after 1d 19h of mostly soloing. Was fun up until 39, then I tried to kill Level 37 mobs instead of 34 😛

Had just enough money for the mount, now let’s see how much I’m doing before phase 3 hits, probably just grabbing a few easy quest rewards so my gear is not like 14 levels behind. Last shopping trip gave me 27 greens, still wearing a couple 24 greens, and I bought 3 blue weapons in total, at 21, 24ish, and 31.

Funny that even with the artificially capped Level at 40 you can still do quests and get gold instead of XP, at least I think so. Time to earn back that mount money.

SoD again Read More »