Blapril

Blapril Topic Brainstorming Week

I’m not exactly active in taking part in the theme weeks of Blaugust/Blapril, but for this week I actually have an opinion. You could call it an advice, if you like.

Not everyone writes a blog for the same reason. Sure, you seem to be keen on publishing something, otherwise you wouldn’t have started one or thought about starting one. Naturally if you did, you want to put something there, that’s the whole point, right? I’m not sure. In the early days blogs were ridiculed a bit for being “just a diary, but online”. I’ve never written a diary in the classical text form, and still most of my blog posts are just diary entries of what happened. Sorry, dear reader, I’m not actually writing this for you. I’m mostly writing this down because I have a bad memory when it comes to remembering specifics, but I’ve had enough positive comments to encourage me to make it available publicly. The upside of this is that I don’t have to post with a certain frequency, I post when I want something written down or when a milestone is reached, or sometimes just to let off steam because something didn’t work out.

You don’t need to brainstorm topics if you don’t feel the need to publish regularly, or often. Just write what you want to write, whenever you want to write. It’s your blog.

Obviously this doesn’t help you if you do want to publish regularly and attract a big readership, but then you shouldn’t be taking advice from me anyway 🙂

It’s Blapril and this is post number 8. And of course Blapril is motivating me to post more, but I’m not actively brainstorming, just reading other blogs and sometimes it’s better to create a blog post than a very long comment.

Fifty million

No new posts for 3 days? Something must have happened. Yeah, something happened.

As I had written I originally went to NullSec in a new char because I was still occupied with Mining and playing with friends in HighSec at the time, and I had a few bigger ships and didn’t really want to move away or sell my stuff. So I made a new char and tried to avoid some of my beginner mistakes of speccing all over, but just focus on combat. So a few days ago I actually sat down and compared the skills I had acquired on these 2 characters and how different they were. And apparently they weren’t very different at all. The ~15m SP char had only like 2m of skills that the 47m SP char didn’t have, basically 2x Racial Frigate 5 instead of 4 and like 3 other skills with 1 level more – for the rest the other char had a complete superset and could do the same things, just better in most ways. So maybe I should actually move him to NullSec and change mains? But wouldn’t my remaining 2.5 months of dual training be wasted then? Well first of all I kinda got them for free by subscribing for 3 months at the correct time and second, I remembered that Skill Extractors existed.

The game can be pretty if there aren’t any spreadsheets visible

Maybe it’s clear now where this is going. Skill Injectors have diminishing returns, you always extract 500k SP from one char, but you only get 500k if you inject below 5m SP, or 400k below 50m SP – and as I wrote, I was sitting at 47.5m SP, basically the last chance to use them with a non-newbie character without wasting too much money (you only get 300k below 80m and after that only 150k). So I hatched a plan to actually spend those 45 EUR to buy 10 skill injectors and boost my main. I could reasonably justify that to myself by having saved up a full month of restaurant/takeaway lunch money by working from home. Gladly I asked around and got told that a key point is that while you can extract SP from an Alpha char (if it has more then 5.5m SP), it only works if you spent those SP in Omega-only skills. For some reason the Alpha chars on my second account have over 6m SP (I guess mostly from shooting rats in events) but it had never been paid to be Omega, so those were out. Fortunately my hauler alt also had more than 6m and actually had a few useless SP. So in the end I bought 7 skill injectors for 36 EUR combined, used 2 on my Hauler alt und 5 on my original NullSec char. This got me 2.8m SP for my main and he’s now at 50.2m and I got him into the Alliance today and managed to fly safely to our staging system, with all expensive training implants intact. And I have a taxi Interceptor now, which wasn’t needed because I didn’t see a single non-blue on the way.

Now I just to get everything I didn’t contract to my Hauler for storage/selling shipped to our station, which will probably take a few days and cost me ~20m, but I think it’s worth it. But I guess I’m now fully a NullSec dweller in a fighting Alliance. And I can fly stuff bigger than a Destroyer. Fitting them is still kinda costly for my wallet, so I guess I’ll stick to Cruisers for now, but the official doctrine ships I can fly has now doubled I guess, just not sure yet how many I want to lose.

Wilhelm has often posted milestones and now from 50 on I’ll try to do that as well, because I find these kind of lists really interesting, and I would’ve reached this milestone in roughly a month or two anyway.

Skill category             Points     No. of skills
===================================================
Drones                     7,482,040  18
Spaceship Command          7,358,478  43
Gunnery                    6,433,121  25
Engineering                5,708,315  14
Navigation                 4,129,060  10
Armor                      2,545,805  10
Shields                    2,260,080  10
Missiles                   2,232,395  19
Targeting                  2,154,040   8
Electronic Systems         1,977,794  11
Resource Processing        1,015,545  15
Science                      491,025   4
Rigging                      455,530  10
Social                       434,510   6
Scanning                     335,765   7
Trade                        285,020   8
Production                   276,743   4
Neural Enhancement           167,765   4
Planet Management             96,000   4
Fleet Support                 10,500   6
Subsystems                     1,000   4
Structure Management             750   1
Corporation Management           250   1

Skills at Level 5: 59
Skills at Level 4: 82
Skills at Level 3: 66
Skills at Level 2: 9
Skills at Level 1: 22
Skills at Level 0: 4

It’s Blapril and this is post number 7.

WoW Classic dungeon group is alive

I didn’t have anything to say about WoW Classic since late October last year (wow, 5 and a half months have passed) because I didn’t play but recently the group wanted to continue (for the most part) and so we scheduled not one, but two runs. And we actually started and finished them, amazing!

First, on Saturday I think, we set out to go to Uldaman with our original group, yours truly as a Warrior tank, then a Resto Shaman, Frost Mage, and a Hunter. We grabbed a pickup Shadow Priest and went to the Badlands. Of course nobody had really looked up how the quests work or set foot into this instance in its Vanilla WoW form for 8-10 years, but at least I remembered the bosses from my alt leveling in retail.

So of course we promptly forgot to go to the Dwarves, but noticed at Ironaya, so we went back. Then we didn’t notice we already had the shaft and just skipped Ironaya. Then we went to the Ancient Stone Keeper as planned, then to Grimlok by accident, mistook it for the way to Archaedes. Then we wiped, ran back in, didn’t do Ironaya again because the Hunter had feigned near Grimlok. Then we did Stalgann, then we tried Archaedes and wiped. Then we ran in again, actually did Ironaya, and killed Archaedes on the second try. Not sure if I forgot a boss now, Revelosh doesn’t really count anyway. And then we noticed that we had hardly finished any quests because they’re nearly all outside. So we ran out and did the quests, here and there, left and right. Until we had the mushrooms for most people at least half an hour was gone and we called it a day. I don’t think we’ll be back for Necklace Recovery part 2. We haven’t decided yet how and when to continue, probably Zul’Farrak at 47-48.

On Sunday we grabbed the second group (Warrior Tank, Resto Druid, Affliction Warlock and another Warlock), needed quite a while to get a pickup (Hunter) and did Wailing Caverns. Everything went kind of fine, but it is one of the starter instances and in about an hour we had cleared it without any wipes or deaths. Just those quests again… We ran out of the instance because several people still needed Serpentbloom and a lot of Deviate Hides, and the grog. So we needed another hour until we had all the quests done, killing everything outside of the instance, going in circles. Most of us reached Level 22 and we’d be meeting again at Level 24+ for Shadowfang Keep, probably on Friday or on the weekend.

I had a lot of fun, but I kinda hate leveling in classic. It’s just SO slow and inconvenient compared to retail. Bags are too small, you have to run so far and it’s just not enjoyable. So in this group like in the other it will probably be more of “enjoy an instance or two and then slog through 2-3 levels as a duo until the fun starts again”.

Once again I suck at screenshots, I thought I had made some, but apparently I didn’t.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 6.

An exciting evening in New Eden

Today I saw a pre-ping for 19:00 EVE time that sounded interesting. A FUN fleet (which means nothing else than “not for complete beginners” and not “totally important strategical op”, so the majority of fleets. So I came on and was pleasantly surprised they were handing out ships (I got a Dragoon for ~8m ISK, I guess the Talwars were a little more each) and we were already around 50 people and were about to undock when shit got real really quick and everyone was told to get to the Coalition comms and in an important fleet. We all? kinda did and then some other newbros and I noticed we had no idea what to *exactly* do. And of course the other Mumble server hadn’t remembered my password, so I had to fiddle with the Password manager on one screen, with the route planner tool on the other and I’m kinda surprised I arrived in time…

At least I wasn’t the one being told to shut up in comms, but as I sat there at the staging undock, probably in a wrong ship (it’s cool that they announce “X fleet” but if you’ve never been on one of those because you can’t fly it you probably don’t know which Logi and Tackle are ok to bring) I missed the Titan jump bridge (actually no idea how you’d activate it, or if you need to be near the Titan and I didn’t even see the any Titan in the overview… as I said it was very hectic). So I just stayed on comms and listened and flew back to our staging in hopes that our original fleet would be reformed.

It seemed I was lucky because just 30mins later it indeed reformed and we undocked and went hunting for… something. Oh, of course I got lost before something big happened (I blame some people talking over the FC and I jumped a gate I shouldn’t have) and was killed, so I bought a second Dragoon, minus 2-3 fits that weren’t available and try to catch up to the fleet. That took a while, I avoided a few neutrals and actually managed to find them again. Not sure if there was a real plan but after a lot of jumping (definitely more than usual) we actually got into a fight and maybe we even won the ISK battle. I got on 5 kill mails as a Neut, and only spent like 7m of my own money, yay.

But there’s definitely some things I need to relearn:

  • Listen closely and get to know the damn NullSec system names in Catch
  • Not overlook broadcast for reps, and actually get into Logi again
  • Sort overview “better” so I can lock/align/jump quicker

Anyway, it’s 1 am and I was busy for roundabout 3h and had a lot of fun. As I write this some stratop ping goes out, I think I’d be kept more busy in USTZ or AUTZ, but such is life.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 5.

My Raiding History, Part 1: Vanilla WoW

Shintar wrote a really cool blog post about her raiding history and I thought that would be a good topic, so here it goes.

When I started playing WoW (which is a story for another day) I had only played Ragnarok Online, an MMORPG that doesn’t have the concept of Raids. So anyway, I leveled along with my girlfriend, starting in summer 2005 and finally reaching level 60 in late spring 2006. We didn’t know a lot of people on the server, basically just one friend from university, and he had stopped playing already by then, because he had already been 60 when we started and got bored. So we leveled as a duo (Rogue + Prot Warrior) and also did some PvP. On a PvE server that meant battlegrounds. So we played, and because we did that a lot in the 50-59 bracket at some point she was approached by a guild if she wanted to join. Apparently Prot Warriors made decent flag carriers in Warsong Gulch and were also kinda hard to take down when guarding a flag in Arathi Basin. So she joined and after a bit I joined as well. We got to 60 and did mostly battlegrounds, every day. At some point we got to rank 11, got our mounts… and then a few things happened. We’d been playing from my room and I moved out, and because of the horrible honor system in vanilla and this one week offline we stopped progressing and also didn’t want to continue to fight our way back up, so rank 12 was kinda not a goal anymore.

At the same time some people in the guild who had only ever done PvP, just like we did, wanted to have a look at the 20 man raids, and so our guild leader (who had raided before, either on another character or maybe even on Alliance) took us to Lower Blackrock Spire for “training”. Yes, some of us hadn’t even done all the 60s 5 man dungeons like Stratholme, Dire Maul, Scholomance. The result was kind of hilarious. I don’t remember everything, but I’m pretty sure you could still enter LBRS with 10 people, so were probably 8-10 and I think we made it through, but it wasn’t pretty. And yes, some of us probably hadn’t run a 5man in a while (I remember doing a few UBRS runs for the dagger that never dropped and one other Rogue in our guild had 2 of them…)

So because not everything was hopeless we started to do Zul’Gurub and AQ20. I don’t remember the specifics, but for some reason there was a falling out between the guild leader and nearly everyone else and because he didn’t step down, 90% of the people left and reformed the guild under another name, with the same officers, and a few more, including us two. We continued to raid weekly now together with another small guild whenever we got the numbers, but it wasn’t easy. At some point we had the luck (still feels a bit like cheating) that our (new) guild leader somehow got hold of a friend’s fully Tier 2 equipped Protection Warrior, and suddenly we had a really well-geared Main Tank and I’m pretty sure that helped us a lot. Although in the end, ZG gear wasn’t so much worse than Tier 1, so we had 1 person out of 20 who was a full gear tier ahead…

First kill of Hakkar in Zul’Gurub

We downed Hakkar after a while and that was the first of those moments where everyone’s just screaming on voice comms because you finally managed to clear the instance after working hard on the last boss. I don’t even remember if we cleared AQ20. We did 1 or 2 nights in MC, but as we were only 20 we needed some other folks and the overhead of keeping DKP for this made us stop very soon, also The Burning Crusade was drawing near… But we still clearly felt like the underdogs – we were late to the party, but it was basically still the same PvP guild that had decided to try PvE and it had worked out. I don’t care if Blackwing Lair was a lot harder (I really have no clue, I can only assume it was), but we were kinda happy the way it went.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 4.

Feeling like a pack mule

Phew, getting back into EVE isn’t as easy as getting back into a fantasy MMO where you run around and mash buttons, but it’s fun.

Last night we did another small fleet with a few Arty Thrashers and actually managed to get 2 good kills in before most of us died. (80m + 70m versus our combined ~20m). Yeah, I know, this is kinda ridiculous but it’s nice for total beginners and people who feel like total beginners.
Today I wanted to get rid of some Ore I had mined back in 2018 (I guess?) and as my main reprocessing contact doesn’t play right now and my HighSec alt only gets a ~68% yield out of 87% I was advised to not reprocess myself. I had totally forgotten how tedious hauling is though and so I first noticed that I didn’t even have a Miasmos handy (with the Ore hold) and that it would take like 30 trips to Jita, which is kinda ridiculous. So today I learnt about compressing ore, no idea how long it has been ingame, but I had never heard of it because I had always gotten my ore reprocessed directly in the system I reside in. So the only problem was that there was only 1 POS in the next system where I could do it, but 30x 1 system is a lot better than 30x a few into Jita. Fortunately I had to do some work-related reading to do today so I could (maybe for the first time in my life) do a few clicks in a game while reading on the second monitor, with a clear conscience. Awesome. Also I spent my lunch break doing just this. Oh, and did I mention that I found several tutorials that told you how compressing should work, but not how to do it?

Intermission: How to compress ore in EVE Online

Go to Utilities -> Structure Finder, uncheck Stations, see which POS are close, fly there, unload your Ore into the Item Hangar and then RIGHT CLICK the Ore and choose “Compress” and don’t try to use the “Reprocessing Plant” icon on the right side menu. Not all POS that have the “recycling” Reprocessing Icon in the Structure Finder allow you to compress, so if there’s no menu point when right clicking, load your ore and find another POS.

OK, back to the story:

Then I only had to take 3 trips to Jita. My old rule of thumb was only packing ~75m worth of goods in a badly tanked Industrial but I was told a better formula was 3k or 5k ISK per EHP, so with a 10k EHP ship that would be 50m worth of stuff. As I didn’t have the fits handy and didn’t waste any more time I just packed 70m worth of stuff, flew to Jita (it worked), and then bought some better stuff for my Nereus (compressing is awesome, didn’t need to use neither the Miasmos nor the Extended Cargoholds), so that it had 20k EHP. In the end I actually made ~250m but that’s about it now, no more old stuff and resources just idly sitting in a station that I can sell. Now I have roughly 1b to spend on NullSec fun and then I’m completely out of money as I don’t have any income except one (probably badly setup) PI thing. Might get a second one

It’s Blapril and this is post number 3.

Blapril 2020 – Keep up with the news via RSS

Back in 2018 when I participated, I created an OPML file (here’s the post) and because the topic came up on Discord, here’s the 2020 edition.

So if you have an RSS reader, this is for you. If you don’t, my recommendation is to at least check out what that is and why you might like it, if you read blogs, which you obviously do.

RSS (Rich Site Summary; originally RDF Site Summary; often called Really Simple Syndication) is a type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format.

Please note that these are not final and might (probably will) be updated and/or fixed if needed.

This is Blapril and I got a free post number 2 out of this 😉

Fly safe 7o

I’ve never actually written much about EVE Online, despite playing on and off. At the start of the year I forgot to cancel my 3-month sub, so it was supposed to end in April and I only flew around a bit in highsec, running missions, shooting rats, getting skill points. Wouldn’t say the money was wasted, but it wasn’t spent well either. So then I actually remembered to unsub in February or March, but then CCP had this offer of free 3 months of double character training with a 3 month sub… and because I’d probably spend most of March and April indoors anyway I gave in.

But this time I actually wanted to get back in action, so a little over a week ago I submitted my application and have been a member of Brave Newbies again for a few days and today I finally managed to undock and die in a bubble. Interesting how much you can forget in 2 or 3 years, but I only lost my fleet once. And found them again. Then we died in a gate camp and only 2 of us survived. And then I died while trying to reunite with the folks in new ships. Ah well, it was fun and I hope there will be a few more training runs with free handout Thrashers or something cheap, because I was actually i bit surprised that even the “total beginner” fits got to 10-20m easily. And I’m absolutely not space rich.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 1.

Bla Bla Blapril

There’s a thing going on and because I had a lot of with Blaugust in 2018 and been following this for a week in the Blaugust Discord I decided to join, on the last day of course 😛

I plan to not follow the schedule again, only count the posts made in April, and I plan to do more than 5 posts, 15 is a stretch goal.

Oh, and we’re Blaprilists now, not Blaugustans.