Last week this blog and my other sites were down for most of the week. It turns out that some Chinese hacker brute forced my FTP server. They apparently had begun uploading a bunch of fake Bank of America phishing sites. I patched up the holes pretty quickly but some stuff still got messed up so I decided to migrate over to a Linux server from my existing Server 2003 machine. The Windows server will remain but just as my file/media server and living room TV machine. I happen to work for a computer company so I had access to all the parts I needed including a chassis like the one pictured below which was a bit scratched up but otherwise perfectly functional.
I had been sitting on this case a while waiting for just this kind of use to come around. It really works well because it so damn small. A hundred bucks for an Intel Atom board and a notebook hard drive and I was in business. Well maybe not right away. This chassis was made before mini-ITX was completely nailed down so I wound up having cut off half the hard drive bracket and a bit of the I/O shield to make it fit. I also added in a small fan to bring the temp down a touch.
The next step would be the OS install. I chose to go with 64bit Ubuntu 10.4 since its one that we use most often at work and I’m therefore a bit more familiar with the commands and syntax it wants. After burning 6 coasters I managed to get it installed and running and began the process of setting up Apache and moving sites over. Since my old server was running Apache on Windows much of the stuff could be moved over with little fuss. One of the most common issues was just that Windows had been a bit more lenient about being case sensitive so some stuff had to be edited but not much.
At this point I have my personal killboard, screenshots and blog all moved over including all my kills and posts. I have also set up a new forum and killboard for the corp. Unfortunately our KB is nothing to be too proud of. Its just a couple kills we managed to get then a bunch of people getting caught with their pants down. Fortunately I’m not one of those people but I need to start getting those statistics improved.
As for recent events, Session changes have been around a bit but they pretty much cruise through looking for an easy kill and when they don’t find one they move on. Unfortunately they did manage to get a couple of our less experienced pilots a couple times by using a mix of black ops BS hot drops and more standard BC based gangs. Things have generally slowed down. Some of our newer guys have been spending some time in high sec and some of our older players have been logging on less but 3 of us core players have been truckin along nicely. The corp wallet has been growing steadily as has my personal wallet. We have also been doing a lot of production for other locals. Mostly BCs and BSs as well as some ammo and other items.
As the for the political landscape in Stain things are a little more active. Brick squad have apparently been perusing acquisition of territory in Geminate region. How this will effect their Stain presence is yet to be seen. Since we are now blue with Brick I’d prefer them to stock around but I guess we’ll see. On top of that Stain Empire RF’d 2 POSs belonging to a brick member yesterday. I’m hoping this does not indicate any renewed interest from Stain Empire to com down to our little pocket more regularly.
That’s all for now!
Last night shortly after logging in one of my corp mates drew my attention to the frantically flashing tab for our local intel channel. When I switched over to the channel I saw this message from one of my new Croatian buddies.
“Beo there is something in your system that will give you much hapynes”
And boy was Cinon right. There are few things that excite a small corp living in deep nullsec like a wormhole leading to highsec. To top it off this one lead to a system only 4 jumps from Jita. With my recent luck with officer spawns I had some 2 billion Isk worth of loot to sell on top of my (in my terms anyway) rather fat wallet. I had been thinking about getting a Tengu for a while and now was the time. After flying out my mods for sale I picked up a fit Tengu from contracts and grabbed a few spare subsystems along with about 25 T2 heavy launchers.
I made my way back to the WH and docked up in our home system but the itch was still there. I needed to buy more. I did just finish Caldari cruiser 5 not long ago, lets get a Falcon. Ooh and I have wanted a Rapier for a while now. By the time I was done with this it was getting a bit late and the booze had been flowing for a while. Result? – Dramiel
In addition to my shipgasm the wormhole allowed us to get a couple more members from highsec into our system. Rav and Futebant are now ready fully part of the crew and ready for some money making and pew pew.
But enough of that. Ahh there you are my children!
Rixx Javix over at Evoganda, most famous for creating some really excellent EvE propaganda posters, is celebrating 6 months of his blog. To commemorate the event he will be holding a race through nullsec. The details can be found here. I’m not sure if I’ll be in attendance this time but I really love the concept. Events like these always amuse me as they seem very unique to EvE. If you are interested in participating go sign up maybe I’ll see you on the starting line.
As I mentioned Rixx is responsible for creating some fantastic eve related artwork. You can check out his Flickr photostream here.
Stain was pretty quiet most of the weekend. We did some mission running and Blue’d a new alliance which has moved a couple people into the area. This comes at the same time as another blue alliance from the area has decided to move out and apparently take up residence in Syndicate. It seems this should keep th area about the same population. This is something that we are always keeping an eye on as our little corner of Stain isn’t the most belt rich in nullsec. Fortunately missions has been coming along nicely and we now have another corp member able to access our lvl4 Sansha agent. This will reduce our reliance on belt ratting even more and reduce friction with any local friendlies who are also trying to rat.
As an added bonus for all this missioning I decided to buy a Succubus BPC with some of my LP. Wtih the ammount of LP we get out here in 0.0 for a lvl4 mission I think it took about one mission’s worth to cover the 10k LP for the BPC. I decided to fit her out somewhat like this, and so far I have to say it flies pretty well considering the low price tag. Shortly after this I decided to drop another 80k LP on a Phantasm BPC. I fitted it out mostly like this although I don’t quite have T2 lasers yet. They are the last cruiser class weapons I need to train before I can use all of them. I see a lot of fits for these Phantasms using cap boosters and that probably is the better play but I just can’t stand them. Never could. The EHP and DPS are pretty damned decent again considering the low cost of this hull. It costs me less than any HAC on the market and gives pretty reasonable results. I’m looking forward to taking the Succubus out for a little hunting sometime soon. The Phant will have to wait for those T2 guns before I risk it. This really reminds me of how much I wish we had Angels around instead of Sansha. Some Angel faction ships would be much more fun and profit.
On the social front we have 2 old friends from Initrode coming over soon. Knife11 has been reading this blog and decided to come check it out so we’re looking forward to seeing him out here in the deep dark soon. Rav has also recentl returned to EvE and seems to be playing his usual game of logging in and saying nothing for the whole day. Hopefully he’ll decide to come join us soon. If you see him around Dodixie (I did do a locator agent on him for fun) lock him up and tell him to get out to Stain.
EDIT: I bought Transformers – War for Cybertron this weekend too and though I finished it in 2 days I still really had fun and found it to be more satisfying than either of the Michael Bay catastrophes. I’m not sure it’s worth the full $40 but if you see it on a Steam sale down the line I’d say go for it.
I was still in Hydro at this time but people seemed to be trickling out of corp to other corps or just not logging in as much. I took the down time to bring my main alt Salvor Harddin into Stain and I used him to scout out a couple potential new homes. After I found one that I liked I left Salvor logged in there 23hours a day for a couple days just to see what the traffic was like and get to know some of the locals. Things were looking good so I jumped Beo there in the Thanatos along with the BPOs, a ratting drake, a hauler and a couple PVP cruisers/frigs. One of the reasons I chose the location was that the station had research slots in it and though there were some jobs installed I was able to begin getting the collection researched so I could use it for production down the line.
Over the next week or so I got to know the area and some of the locals. I was really surprised how welcoming most of the my new neighbors were. If you are not familiar with Stain there are only a few really large entities in the area. There’s Brick Squad that has a home there but spends most of their time elsewhere getting the PVP. The others are mainly Stain Empire and Stainless which are pretty heavily populated by Russian pilots. There are also a few other smaller Russian groups in the area like Red Eyed Corporation. It seems like if you aren’t Russian then you have a good shot of making some friends among the other non-Russian groups. Safety in numbers and all that.
I continued pottering around making money ratting and exploring and making friends. As this was going one a couple more RL buddies took the time to come out and join in on the fun. I had set up a new corporation, “McKendrick Merchantile Cooperative” in the mean time. The name comes from the free audiobooks from Nathan Lowell. If you like audiobooks and sci-fi at all I’d suggest checking them out.
That brings us about up to date. I have jockeyed some cyno alts into position so I can make regular supply runs when we need them. I have also taken advantage of worm holes to find quick routes to high or lowsec to grab skill books or BPOs I may have over looked. There are now 6 of us out here, all RL friends but for one of us and we have formed an informal coalition with a few neighboring corps and solo pilots.
Some of these corps are living in the same system and have largely similar plans to our own. Since our little cul-de-sac is somewhat poor in belts, a couple weeks ago I began the task of building standings with True Power corp which is part of the Sansha’s Nation pirate faction. This weekend I finally completed this task as Salvor is able to use the level 4 agent in our home system. This really helps with the congestion in our local belts and I’m now sharing standings with some corp members in order to get them access. I was surprised to see how fast the corp gained standings with the agent rather than just the faction so we may all be able to access him in much shorter order than I thought. For those of you unfamiliar with using pirate agents and living in 0.0 I would strongly suggest using an alt to hold the standings and accept the missions. This way you can continue to rat with your main without compromising your faction standings, just make sure to train criminal connections on the alt to at least level 3 or 4. You can just have the alt warp to a mission in a pod. Since rats do not engage pods you can have a fleet advert up for corp members and when someone wants to run a mission they join fleet and warp to the pod and run the mission. When done just warp the pod to station and complete the mission sharing standings and rewards when desirable.
Along with running missions we have been very lucky with both faction and hauler spawns in the area. The large amount of minerals from the hauler spawns combined with some exploration ABC mining sites which have spawned have kept us flush enough with minerals to cover all of our internal needs with enough to spare to build ships, and ammo for members of our little coalition.
Our next step will be to get into some PVP. Though I have a few hundred kills under my belt my corp mates have relatively little pvp experience and I have almost no experience fleet commanding. With this in mind I have built and fitted out a dozen or so T1 cruisers and thrown them in the corp hangar. This way people can get some experience with little Isk risked. Now that this has begun we’ll likely be running some roaming gangs around the area with some of our new friends. This happens to be reasonable timing as one of the most persistent hassle’s in the area is a smallish Russian corp named Red Eyed Corporation. Interestingly they have been beseiged by Brick Squad lately even to the lengths of losing at least one carrier, half a dozen small moon mining POSs and a plethora of other combat ships.
To bring this back around to some kind of closure I’d like to reflect on the failure of Aaron’s Hub Zero concept. It has been completely shut down now from what I have heard and read. As I said after leaving UF-KKH I stayed in touch with the HZ crew hoping to maybe work with them in the future. During this time I was booted by Aaron from the channel twice. Once for discussing the virtues of NBSI policy versus those of an NRDS policy and once for apparently not being chatty enough. So be it. No hard feelings. But it is just the smallest example of what I see as a pattern of irrationality and unpredictability which I personally think is the true reason for the failure of Hub Zero. In the wake of this I have continued to consider the NBSI vs NRDS debate, how it relates to the 0.0 market hub concept and I think that we have found our happy medium. I call it NBUYB or Not Blue Use Your Brain. While we haven’t been out there podding everything in the region MKMC has developed a reasonable niche with very few losses(I’m looking at you Remy!). We have done this by both being cautious and by not instantly labeling anyone we don’t know as a spy or hostile. In conclusion I think a 0.0 market hub is a possibility on a limited basis given that those running things keep a cool head.
It has been a while since I have posted anything and this has been so mostly for good reasons. Chiefly that I have been having a lot of fun in EvE. I’d like to get back into the swing of posting somewhat regularly but I’d like to give some background on what I have been doing so those posts will actually make some kind of sense. Wall of text incoming. BRACE FOR IMPACT!!!
My last posts were around the time I left BOZO. Not long after this the leaders of BOZO decided to throw in the towel and take their special brand of foul mouthed ass kicking out of EvE and into the real world. I decided to go back to empire for a bit and I ran some level 4 missions and even bought myself a Kronos marauder to run them with. That kept me interested for a good week or so. I did a bit of faction warfare as well but was looking for something different.
Right around this time I was perusing the forums a bit and I came All this threadnought. The thread starts out innocently enough. A rather seasoned player who has made a home for himself in somewhat deep NPC 0.0. Over the course of a few years he has been stocking up the market in his system and is inviting highsec residents to come get a taste of 0.0. He dubs this experiment and the community surrounding it Hub Zero. It all seemed promising enough and over the next couple weeks some people take him up on it and post some of their experiences which are mostly positive. Here’s where it goes down hill. After this begins a series of drama bombs which kept me on the edge of my seat (Ok, maybe not but I kept reading). It seems that the player who originally posted the thread is at times not the easiest to get along with and can be fairly easy to troll and get riled up. There was intrigue, threats, insults, comments on RL girlfriends, allegations of racism and of course WAR! All the makings of a great thread. I decided the idea sounded interesting enough to check out for a bit. I had about 60mil in my wallet and a clone in a nearby 0.0 region so I jumped, grabbed a t1 frig, MWD and a couple warp stabs and made my way to UF-KKH in Stain region. I made the trip late at night and as a result it was largely uneventful. When I arrived the locals were fairly friendly after I announced my intentions not to be a dick and I proceeded to buy and fit out a ratting drake.
I got to know Aaron the leader of this rag tag bunch among others and made a pretty decent amount of money in fairly short order more than making up for my initial investment in the drake and mods. I even invited one of my RL buddies to come out which he did. It was good fun for a week or so, then things started to go sour. This was right about the time of the last few pages of the thread I linked above. About this time relations between the Hub Zero denizens and a local alliance Apotheosis of Virtue fell apart arguably due to actions of both sides. I managed to get myself set set temporarily blue to AoV and before I got around to making any more long term plans for living in the system I discovered that several former BOZOs were now hanging out in a nearby constellation as members of Hydro Chronic corporation which was part of the Brick Squad alliance. Hydro had been somewhat friendly with BOZO back when we lived in Syndicate and I was invited to join. I packed up my drake, sold off some of the junk I had accumulated and headed over. I stayed in touch with the Hub Zero guys thinking I might return one day.
Hydro had a very laid back atmosphere. I continued to rat and make cash and I occasionally participated in Brick Squad’s camping ops in HED. I didn’t really enjoy it though as I was used to a much more structured fleet and FC style. The Brick HED camps seemed to me to be more of a group of really good solo pilots rather than a real fleet. There’s nothing wrong with that I’m just not that good of a solo pilot so I need a bit more direction. On one op I drunkenly protested about this and was sharply cut down and so ended my participation in these ops. I was more interested in small gang stuff roaming around Stain. Fortunately this was just what the rest of Hydro was looking for. It was decided that Hydro would move to another less crowded constellation in Stain to help with making some Isk and provide more roaming targets. This whole time I had begun to really enjoy the Stain region and decided that no matter what I would be staying here for a long time so I had taken the step of liquidating a lot of assets and moving my JF and carrier into the region. The assets I brought to Stain included pretty much all my remaining assets including the BPO collection from my former corp Initrode which had been largely hibernating at the time. Since I had the JF out there I helped out with moving peoples’ assets to our new home. When we arrived it became apparent that another Brick corporation had the same idea so the next day we had to pull stakes again and move to yet another location within Stain.We got settled over the next couple days and I proceeded to make a decent amount of money mostly from running some exploration sites, while still having some fun in occasional corp roams.
This whole time I had been mulling over the concept of Hub Zero. The idea really appealed to me and from my time spent in the area and in chats with the members it became apparent to me that the primary reason for the issues with it had been due to the leader rather than a basic flaw in the premise. In my down time I began looking around Stain for a quiet corner to start building something like it.
Right about this time an old Initrode member returned to the game after being absent for well over half a year. I invited him to come join me in Stain which he did but after only a day and a half he decided it wasn’t for him. To be honest I don’t really know why. Sure there were some neuts around but I was making good money so I saw no reason why he couldn’t. In any case Lor decided he wanted to go back to empire and get back to doing some T2 invention and production, etc. We still had a tower anchored in Gallente high sec which needed only to be re-fueled, onlined and fitted to be put to work. The sticking point was that Lor wanted the BPOS back in empire for his uses and I wanted them out in 0.0 to be used for production as part of my mini Hub Zero concept. Having been nearly the sole active member in Initrode for quite a long time (and of course the CEO) I felt that I had both the right and the greater need. I decided that the fairest option would be to take what I needed and entrust everything else to Lor. This meant that he would get all the assets of the corp save for the most of the BPOs. A couple were specifically his so I returned them of course including his Drake BPO. I also passed over the CEO position as well as control of the public channel etc. In total I believe that Lor actually got the lion’s share of assets Isk-wise considering all the POS equipment T2 MFG goods etc, but it didn’t go over well at least at first. I understood Lor’s perspective but I simply wasn’t willing to give up on the 0.0 haven I had constructed in my mind. After a day or two we patched things up but I don’t think he has been online more than a few times since then. If you are reading this Lor, come out to Stain and give it another shot. You may like what you see. Read on for more on that.
A well known WoW blogger, Tobold has recently decided to give EvE a shot. I have been following his articles about the experience and even made some suggestions here and there. I will say I from his posts it seems that Tobold’s purpose here is more to give him some credence when comparing EvE to WoW in the future rather than a genuine interest in exploring the game. I could be wrong and I sincerely hope that he enjoys EvE and finds ways to enjoy the game. In one post he posits that “if I can train skills while I’m logged off why even play the game?” and the subsequent comments deal with the concepts of progression within MMOs and various approaches to it. They seem to me to reveal how radically different the play styles are between those who play games like WoW and those who play EvE.
I illustrate these differences here.
I remember when I was skilling up for my driver’s license. I don’t recall feeling like I was spinning my wheels until then. Passing the test and acquiring that license was not the goal. I found that after I had that skill I was able to pilot a car and that greatly increased my options for entertainment, occupation, income, etc. and it also added an element of risk. I had certain activities I participated in before that and afterwards I had those still and then some. I then trained for a motorcycle. This too increased my options for entertainment and added risk. Again the actual passing of the test was not the goal. I didn’t sit back and bask in the glory of my class M license. These milestones were not my life’s progression. They were simply points at which my options in life expanded. Thats how skills in EvE work.
In EvE my progression has not been the steady trickling in of skill points or Isk. My progression has been, striking out on my own after 2 months, setting a course for the deepest darkest parts of 0.0 and learning to survive there on my own. Later it was learning to be part of a corp, learning about and participating in massive capital warfare involving hundreds of pilots and defending or taking over vast swaths of space. It was starting and growing a corporation of my own and eventually running an alliance of over a hundred people (and then kinda screwing it up and losing it). It was escaping engagements with a sliver of hull remaining and negotiating aleigences with massive entities, operating my own POS and once talking my way out of losing a 5 Billion Isk ship simply by charm. It was choosing to learn small scale skirmish warfare and working my way up to be a competent solo and small gang combat pilot. One of my next progressions will be to become a skilled and competent fleet commander. None of these things are training skills or making Isk. They are related but one is a means to the other. I don’t play EvE to train a skill or make Isk. I play EvE to create and take part in an adventure of whatever type may catch my fancy today. People buying Isk or trading characters or being logged off while their skills train somehow has not had any effect on these accomplishments or my enjoyment of them at all.
As a child I would sometimes complain to my mom that I was bored. She would always respond that “only boring people get bored”. EvE exemplifies this. EvE is a game that does not require but greatly benefits from a bit of creativity and a sense of adventure. If you sit and wait for CCP to point you in a certain direction and say “that’s where the fun is”, you will be waiting forever. The fun comes from within each player and their interactions with one another.
EvE is about accomplishments and damn good stories not steady guaranteed progression.
Maybe next year I will. For now just some updates.
First off thanks to those who voted here to help me pick which screenshot to submit to CK’s contest. I really appreciate that the option to have me commit suicide only came in third in the voting. Anyway my submission has been accepted. Wish me luck. I need the Isk since I broke down and bought this marauder last night.
On another more sad note, Clown Punchers [BOZO] will be closing their doors. It is a real pity to see this corp go. I had more fun flying with them than any other corp I have been with and I was planning on returning after some time. I’m still not yet convinced this isn’t just an April Fools joke even though T posted it a couple days early but if it is not then EvE is losing the most foul mouthed, unrelenting and entertaining corp it ever had.
As a last little detail I have been collecting the various signatures I have for various games and put them together in a side page here. Check it out.
Welcome to the sixteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to email@example.com. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
The third Blog Banter of 2010 comes to us from ChainTrap of the Into the unknown with gun and camera EVE Blog. He asks us: “Eve University turns six years old on March 15th; six years spent helping the new pilots of New Eden gain experience and understanding in a supportive environment. Eve is clearly a complicated game, with a ton to learn, so much that you never stop learning. So, the question is; What do you wish that someone had taken the time to tell you when you were first starting out? Or what have you learned in the interim that you’d like to share with the wider Eve community?”
For me this is pretty easy.
TRUST NO ONE!
I once made the mistake of lending my jump freighter to a corp mate. Draw your own conclusions. Yeah I really should have known better especially considering how I had been drawn into the game mostly by stories of corp theft and betrayal but having spent about a year flying people I knew from RL almost exclusively had given me a false sense of security and I fell for it. Hopefully others aren’t as trusting as I was.
- CrazyKinux: The Three Pillars of Wisdom
- The Elitist: Helping the new guy/gal
- Hands Off, My Loots: Nothing Needed
- Rantuket: Blog Banter 16
- EVE Opportunist: Nooby Cluey
- Into the Unknown With Gun and Camera: EVE University
- Zero Kelvin: We’re the young ones!
- I am Keith Neilson: Set Your Destination
- Prano’s Journey: Just Like the Very First Time
- A Merry Life and a Short One: No Seriously
- Yarrbear Tales: Nublet 101
- A Mule In EVE: If I only knew
- The Planet Risk Show: Dared to be Bold
- Diary of a Space Jockey: WTH did I get myself into?!
- EVOGANDA: Why?
- A Memoir From Space: 16th Blog Banter
- Death’s Sweetest Kiss: Who What When Where Why How??
- Freebooted: Beyond the Shortcuts
- Learning to Fly: Noobing
- Caldari Outcast: My First Blog Banter Post!
- Zen and The Art of Internet Spaceship Maintenance: Trust No One
- Roc’s Ramblings: Financial Survival
- Diary of a Pod Pilot: Free Knowledge Inside
- Nullsec Carebear: I could’ve been less of an idiot
- Facepalm’s Ramblings: Something Smells Fishy
- Kirith Darkblade: Do you wish to know more?
- Autopilot Disabled: I’m still starting…
- Finders & Keepers: Relax
- onfounded Capsuleer: What have you got to loose?
- Clan Oriana: Sixteen
- Flashfresh: EVE Blog Banter #16
- Rettic’s The Chronofile: You Make EVE
- Diary of a Bored Spaceman: Past Imperfect
- Chocolate Heaven: Known Unknowns
- More to come soon…
CrazyKinux the self styled EvE Blogfather has a new contest running. I normally don’t participate in this kind of stuff but as it is a screenshot contest I was intrigued. I have a nice collection of screens from EvE which you may have seen before. This combined with the fairly large ISK prize (ok maybe it’s really just about the money) persuaded me to pitch in. BUT…I need your help. I have picked five of my favorite screenshots and linked them below. I just need you all to vote for your favorite and I’ll submit the winner to CK’s contest. As an alternative if you don’t like CK or have some other gripe I would be willing to forgo participating as long as you provide me with equal prize money.