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.

My Raiding History, Part 3: Wrath of the Lich King

The last post ended on a more positive note than it had started. Raiding was going fine and in November 2008 Wrath of the Lich King, WoW’s second expansion launched after 22 months and we were really eager for the new stuff. It’s a bit of a shame that I didn’t blog already back then (this doesn’t count). As with the launch of The Burning Crusade, I was still studying and working at the same time.

I faintly remember that it was supposed to launch at midnight and I’m also pretty sure I started to level my Warrior in Borean Tundra and was quite ahead of the curve, but not really rushing it, so I went to bed after a few hours and not pulling an all-nighter. This would be the first expansion where I was leveling 2 characters at the same time, the warrior and my Rogue Main. Anyway, back to raiding. We cleared Naxxramas, The Obsidian Sanctum, The Eye, Ulduar and Trial of the Crusader, at least as far as I remember. Heroic raids weren’t a thing yet, but there were hard modes. While I’d say WotLK was raiding at a high level for me there are not a lot of distinct memories of the early raids. I know we struggled a bit with 10man vs 25man because we were more than 10 but not exactly 25, I think we ran 2 10man groups at times, sometimes with well-geared alts standing in. It was also the time where I nearly managed to get one of each class to max level (2 missing at 73+78). It was also a time where I managed to raid on all 3 roles, DPS, Tank, and Healer. Naxxramas was ok, Ulduar was really fun (except Yogg-Saron) and Trial of the Crusader wasn’t so great.

So far I left out the grand finale of WotLK raiding, Ice Crown Citadel, which came into the game roughly a year after the expansion had launched, in December 2009. This coincides with another guild change, but I’m also a little hazy on the details. Again it was a re-form of most of the old folks of the guild we had raided with since TBC. It might be that was some disagreement, it might be that we wanted to focus on a mostly static 10 man group in the upcoming instance. The only thing I can tell for certain is that all my characters went to the new guild in January 2010.

I loved Ice Crown Citadel, I think it might be my favorite raid instance ever. I DPSed, I tanked, I healed. All the fights were kinda fun and doable. Well, ok, Sindragosa was hard, but we did it. Also there was the final fight, The Lich King himself. We had chased him all over Northrend, seen him in cutscenes in quests, 5mans, and raids, taunting us. And boy did we take long to take him down on 10man. It was the classic “no single mistake allowed” fight. When one person died we could as well wipe if we didn’t need to practice this exact phase anyway. I don’t know how long we wiped, or how often. I just know that up until that day that was the biggest achievement we got.

In early 2014 I would come back to level a Dwarf Shaman on a German server to do a locked-xp-at-80 Algalon run, I wrote about it: one, two, three.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 17.

Favorite Game Series

It’s rare that a topic that’s making the rounds in our Blaugust-centric gaming blog circle applies to this blog, most often I’m an interested bystander who can’t really take part. The “Five Favorite Game Series” (started by Krikket) might be just another one of those.

My first thought was “Favorite Game Series? That’s hard.” Then it was “Five of them? Even harder.” So let’s have a look at some of the commonly nominated ones, the default picks for many people maybe.

  • The Elder Scrolls – TESO was cool, but the other one I played I didn’t like. Can never remember if it was Morrowind or Oblivion.
  • Civilization – nope, not my cup of tea
  • StarCraft – only loved #1, didn’t play #2
  • WarCraft – Oh yeah, this might fly. I loved 2, I liked 1+3, I play WoW
  • The Witcher – started with 2, it was ok.
  • Age of Empires – 1 was fun, didn’t play 2
  • Torchlight – 1 was fun, 2 was meh
  • Final Fantasy – I only played XIV. It’s good!
  • Zelda – the SNES one was ok, not great. That’s when I lost interest
  • Pokémon – the one I tried (Red? Ruby? on GBA) was ok, but a little boring
  • Guild Wars – I didn’t like 1 at all, 2 was fun
  • The Settlers – 2 was awesome, then.. mhm

See how hard this is? Even when I liked or loved it, maybe part 2 took so long to come out that I had lost interest already, but thinking very hard there’s really a few series I actually liked.

  • Anno – I played 1602 a lot, 1503 a bit, I recently bought 1404 – yeah.
  • Assassin’s Creed – I think I overdid it at some point, but I’m generally a fan
  • Quake – I played 1 and 2 for many years and 3 for years, so I guess: yes.
  • Super Mario Land (GB) + Bros (NES) + World (SNES) – I actually played 5 of these, yay

So in the loosest of definitions where I could say “I liked at least half of the titles, up to, or from a certain point”, then I can name these 4. Plus WarCraft.

Intermission, one day later:

Awesome, that’s what happens when your brain doesn’t work for a day. I originally wanted to write this post because of the Mass Effect trilogy, because it absolutely needs to be in the top five, although I didn’t play the fourth game, Andromeda. Also I totally forgot Diablo, where I actually played 1, 2, and 3. Also maybe Super Mario should be discounted because I ignored the last 25 years. And finally another series I forgot, was “The Dark Eye Trilogy”, Blade of Destiny, Star Trail, and Shadows over Riva, (Realms of Arkania in English) which came out in 1992, 1994, and 1997 (originally in German). The Dark Eye is the German D&D, there’s no way around it. No idea how the pen & paper landscape looks today, but from the late 80s to at least the 00s, German roleplayers were more likely to play this system over D&D. The games were good and if you liked the world, that’s how you could dive in. So yeah, I blame it on my headache that I kinda forget not one but three of my favorite series. Sometimes you should sleep instead of blog.

Old post resumes here:

And still this kind of misses the point. There are only 5 series I played as a series. And if I didn’t like a game as much, why would I continue to play the series? And is Mario even a series? I know, I’m overcomplicating it, but if you don’t go out to buy games left and right this is really hard.

Finally, the interesting question that came up on Discord is whether 2 games can be a series of there need to be 3 of them 🙂

It’s Blapril and this is post number 16.

The great speedup

Yeah, the +100% Rep buff (for certain stuff) is live and the +100% XP buff is also live.

I managed to get the Zandalari Retri Pally from 60 to 85 in record time, Outland this time – first Zangarmarsh, then a little bit of Garadar, Terrokar, and Shadowmoon. Now Hyjal from 80 to 85, maybe till 90.

Because of the rep buff I also started doing emissary quests again, ~25 from Sunday till Tuesday, and 4 Legion ones. My Alliance Pally and Horde Rogue have nearly everything from BfA up until Nazjatar/Mechagon at Exalted, but there’s a few things I really want to get done, just for completeness.

  • BfA prio 1: 12k Rustbolt on the Orc Rogue (to Exalted)
  • BfA prio 2: 7k Tortollan on Night Elf Warrior (to Exalted) (last one)
  • BfA prio 3: 4k Order of Embers on Night Elf Demon Hunter (to Exalted)
  • BfA prio 3: 7k Tortollan on Night Elf Demon Hunter (to Exalted) (last one)
  • Legion prio 3: 11k Court of Farondis on Orc Shammy (to Exalted) (last one)
  • Legion maybe: an emissary or two per Legion faction on the Night Elf Demon Hunter (to Exalted)
  • BfA maybe: doing an emissary here or there on Troll Warrior and Orc Shammy (to Exalted)
  • BfA maybe: the 2-3 missing ones on Alliance Rogue
  • BfA maybe: some Uldum Accord + the other new faction on Orc Rogue
  • unlikely: 50k rep on Worgen Druid
  • likely: 2x from Honored to Revered on Dwarf Shammy
  • likely: 6k Zandalari + 3k Voldunai on Blood Elf Warlock
  • likely: 1k Honorbound on the Undead Mage
  • likely: 3k Voldunai on the Blood Elf Paladin
  • unlikely: playing the Pandaren Monk
  • unlikely: playing the Blood Elf Priest
  • unlikely: playing the Undead Death Knight
  • unlikely: playing the Orc Hunter
  • unlikely: playing the Tauren Druid
  • unlikely: playing the Blood Elf Demon Hunter
  • unlikely: playing the Mag’har Orc Rogue
  • unlikely: playing the Dwarf Hunter
  • unlikely: playing or equipping the Kul Tiran Mage

Also leveling priorities have shifted a bit:

  • Draenei DK to 120 because I want her to reach max level
  • Zandalari Pally to 90 because it’s fun
  • Dark Iron Dwarf Monk to 110 for Heritage firt and foremost
  • burn some rested XP on Nightborne Priest + Highmountain Warrior to not waste it
  • Void Elf Rogue is a bit lower prio for now
  • still not playing the Worgen Priest, ugh Priests…
  • still waiting for Mechagnomes to unlock for a Warlock
  • at the very end is starting a Vulpera or Lightforged Draenei

Does that sound a bit much? Maybe, between all the EVE, but it’s not like I have anything better to do…

It’s Blapril and this is post number 15.

What’s up for 2020?

Posts about the future are rare on this blog, but there are actually a few things I am looking forward to this year, not necessarily releases:

  • WoW Shadowlands
    • I’ve been playing a lot of WoW recently and while I’m happy to take advantage of the XP (and rep) buff to reach my goals, I’m looking forward to a new expansion.
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn on PC
    • When I bought my new PC last year I stuck with my 2016 RX470 and told myself I’d upgrade it when HZD came out. I was really looking forward to it. Now I’m already a bit meh again, I really hate stuff being announced more than half a year in advance, I can never keep momentum. But we’ll see, maybe I am lucky and not totally busy with other things. I WANT to play it.
  • more of EVE Online
    • Not looking forward to a specific release, but I’m in full swing right now and having a blast.
  • Final Fantasy XIV – Shadowlands
    • The grind of the MSQ got to me and I never reached it. Good job, SE, someone gets converted from a “ah let’s try” to buying all 3 expansions, but then burning out 4 levels shy of the last expansion…
  • Cyberpunk 2077
    • Not sure I’ll play it, but I love the fact that it exists and maybe reading and seeing more will tempt me.

Of course there’s also a list of unrealistic expectations:

  • Guild Wars 2 – finish Heart of Thorns and Path of Fire
  • have a look at TESO again, maybe properly this time

And finally a single player TODO list:

  • Finish Forgotten Anne, it’s awesome and should only be a few hours
  • Get to Level 50 in Borderlands 3

It’s Blapril and this is post number 14.

That was… fast

Until today I had thought that the +100% XP buff in WoW Retail would last until Sunday/Monday, but this morning I read it will stay until Shadowlands launches. Interesting development.

I tried to speedrun a bit today and I’m really amazed. 3h for 80-90 in Pandaria and then a little over 3h for 90-100 in Draenor.

Also I dinged 120 on the Kul Tiran Mage on Friday or Thursday. And I got Stormsong Valley done on the DK, making her 113. The goal is coming closer, but this buff is a little too much. Yes, I wanted to get some toons to max level before the next expansion comes out, but this is a bit of a joke now. Apparently I had gimped myself by running mostly dungeons and not doing quests, this is *so* fast with War Mode on.

  • Draenei Death Knight – 113
  • Dark Iron Dwarf Monk – 100
  • Void Elf Rogue – 49
  • Worgen Priest – still 73

Didn’t touch the 3 Horde this time.

On Monday we’re supposed to be getting a huge buff to reputation gains, maybe that will motivate me to finish the Mechagon grind and unlock the Mechagnomes so I can finally start an Alliance Warlock. 5 toons left, 119 + 7 + 10 + 47 levels. And when I get bored I have the Rogue and the 3 Horde chars.

It’s Blapril and this is post number 13.