Friday, May 29, 2009
As you can see mostly carebear space with some FW and some 0.0 (mostly in Geminate). I suspect that the missing wormhole data would make it more interesting. As you can see the wormhole chasing is making me go all over high sec in the last two months.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
So after rounding up a fleet that could go after a Golem and two BC, probably under sleeper fire, we did what we're slowly getting better at: One ex-Golem
Incidentally I suspect our timing got lucky as hell, I'm not sure I spotted a single rep-cycle in. I think we caught him on a piss-break at a safe spot. His two buddies were no where to be found and bugged out right quickly afterward.
Oh well. Pay attention when you smack someone. Waving Golems in front of any PvP'ers only serves two purposes: chum, and keeping the PvP'res happy. Nothing motivates PvPers quite like a potential Golem kill 30 jumps away. Ah well, live and learn, since there were no losses on our side that were part of that op, the loot (including about 100mil in blue loot oh and thanks for clearing out some of the sites, they really do clutter up the scans) goes to the end of the month prize.
For PvP ops, we've got a policy that any loot on a specific op goes to people who lost ships on that op. If there were no losses on a specific op, they go into the end of the month pool for the guy with the highest kill total. This month's prize is looking rather nice so far.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Welcome to the eighth 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 here . Check out otherEVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!
This month's topic comes to us from me, Ga'len at The Wandering Druid of Tranquility. He asks: "What new game mechanic or mechanics would you like to see created and brought into the EVE Online universe and how would this be incorporated into the current game universe? Be specific and give details, this is not meant to be a 'nerf this, boost my game play' post like we see on the EVE forums."
Well I'm going to suggest a twofer:
1) What I would like to see is something fairly simple. I'd like to see diminishing returns as far as focused fire goes. One of the biggest advantages EVE has is that it supports some rather large PvP battles. The problem is that tactically these battles are only interesting in their run-up and post phases. Pas a certain point they become pure slugging matches with little tactical finesse.
The way to implement this would be fairly simple: Have incoming fire degrade the more target locks are slapped on a target. Ideally this would start kicking in above the squadron level. In other words up to 10 target locks and in coming fire is un-affected. Over 100 and there is so much sensor interference that effective fire on the target is effectively neutralized (guns and missiles miss 99% of the time. This would mitigate the blobbing effect we currently see, and cause battles to become more tactically interesting. It would also foster true squadron tactics.
In case anyone wonders whether I'm pulling this effect out of the top of my head, I'm not actually. During world war 1 there was a similar effect when a bunch of ships tried to target the same vessel at the same time. In those days, the distances were so large compared to the accuracy of the guns that they tended to watch for the fall of the previous salvos and use the results to correct the next salvos. The problem being that when multiple ships fired on the same target, it was very hard to determine which splashes were your own salvos and without correction you were always firing by pure chance.
2) Rats need to learn to run away. This is one of the biggest problems I have with the current PvE in EVE. PvE in eve will never teach anyone tactics close to PvP until this is resolved. Due to the "death" penalty of EVE, most PvP encounters are between pilots with well developed senses of preservation (or lack thereof). When outnumbered and not expecting reinforcements, most people try and get away. This is why tackle plays such an important part of any and all PvP encounters. You can total ignore this in any and all PvE encounters. They always stay till the bitter end. There is no attempt to do a tactical warp off (warping away to a safe spot and warping back to the battle) for the targets of focused fire, nor is there plain old running away.
The rewards would have to be adjusted to simulate the increased difficulty involved. Missions could be fail-able if key targets were allowed to escape, and so on. But this would do two things. It would make bringing friends along to PvE encounters much more enticing (more tackle = less NPCs getting away = more rewards). It would also teach newbies tactics that would be much more like PvP.
That's my 2 suggestions. Probably never get implemented but oh well.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
So here I was, I'd just spent a good part of the day mining Arkonor and a bit of Bistot, when I decide to check out the un-inhabited class 5 system connected to the grotto (nickname for one of the systems my alliance has colonized). I'm doing this because I'm trying to get a good map of all the types of encounters we can have and what people can expect to run into when they get them. I'm also trying to see if sites of the same name have different spawns depending on wormhole system class.
So I'm busy scanning down all the sites and I start going into them to document the initial spawns and what not. Every so often checking my d-scanner for any one in system. I'm in a cloaky Probe. So a) if I loose it it's not much and b) It gets the job done. Suddenly I have a Obelisk on scan...
I scan some more and nothing else on scan of interest except a GSC. So I decide what the hell, launch some combat probes and cloak up. The ship filter is borked by the way. Ah well CCP and their new systems - the bugs can take a year or so to make their way out of the system. I proceed to scan it down, all the while assuming someone is goign to come along and interrupt the party. One of my CEOs that can pilot an Obie is praying hard that it's abandoned like the carrier. I figure it can't be and I'll be finding a horde of ships suddenly appearing to defend their Obie soon enough.
So, I scan it down to 100.0%. Warp to 100km...
Check the d-scan...
Still no one. I call in my CEO and soon enough he gets in it. Now I'd scaned down a wormhole as part of my survey and after looking it up knew that it had enough mass to handle an Obie. So I go and check it out. Low sec, with a station 2 jumps from high sec. 1 jump from Old Man Star!!!. Well the station is nice but Old Man Star may prove problematic. Ah well, step 1 is take possession of the Obie.
My CEO gets into it and hits warp to Letrange at 0 when I'm at the wormhole...
Problem: "It says the ship is Overloaded... OH MY GOD!!! (and silence for a bit)"
Turns out the Obie was full and he didn't have enough skills to move it. So we get another pilot over. He has Gallente Freighter 3. After launching for corp a bunch of POS stuff and the other two of us hauling those back like squirrels to our own system he's still 5200m3 short of being able to fly away.
We settle in for the night and a possible 10 day wait for the skill to hit level 4. We get lucky and towards the end of the night a pilot with Gallente Freighter 5 logs on. Soon, and using a pod to scout our Obie is in high sec and on it's way to our headquarters. For the 20min that took we gave the pilot the Sleipnir that was in the cargohold.
It's going to take a bit to figure out the split on the rest but:
Man I love wormhole space!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
- This is a vast improvement over the previous system, as much as it simpler on the manufacturing side, player skill in usage is much higher and there is a much higher through put of modules and core probes since they end up on a lot more ships.
- There are still some issues with it. When they introduced hit ID's they broke the dual point results.
- We really really need probes as an overview setting (they are there on the d-scanner but not available as an overview setting item.
- Interesting differences between the ranges and jump mechanics of gates and wormholes make their tactical environments very different. One really wants to make sling bubbles on the w-space side but they are rather easy to defeat. bubbles on the holes themselves are easy to defeat. Coolest looking wormhole representations anywhere.
Lack of ice and moon minerals
- Impediment to wormhole colonization. I understand why they did it, but with the survival advantage of large POS's in wormhole space the attraction is going to be there. The logistics although travel tedious are not insurmountable. Deep colonies are going to need their pilots to wean themselves of their attachment to T2 if they want staying power or have really competent logistics officers.
- The ability of codebreakers and analyzers to work in the face of sleeper presence (unlike the high sec sites) make these rather easier to crack than they should be. Most competant fleets will still go for the ships anyways since the isk from the blue loot is on the same order as level 3-4 missions (depending on dificulty and fleet size).
- Easy to find, while still full of sleepers make for "interesting" battle sites.
- Now that the T3 salvage market is stabilizing, the main profit is from the blue loot.
- Nothing special - kill the spawn, bring gas harvesters. Keep an eye out for scan probes
- Pottentialy the most profitable sites in wormhole space
- The absolute biggest reason to colonize wormhole space.
- Only problem with them is the lack of respawn rate and randomness of their apearance.
- Much better AI than the normal rats - get this in the normal rats post haste.
- Portable bounty makes for an interesting concept - you need to get to high sec to get the reward.
- Salvage supply is stabilizing and the trends have apeared.
- Neurovisual Input Matrix is the isk maker salvage wise.
- These suckers can hit. Hard.
- The AI still has trouble with some tactics though, it is possible to draw the small fry out of range of the larger sleepers thereby making them easier to pick off.
- Once you have a site type dialed in they can be handled quite easily.
- Oh yes
- Interesting cross between small gang warfare and 0.0 tactics
- Makes for better training of carebears for PvP than faction warfare does.
- Allows for a much wider range of PvP possibilities than low sec normaly does.
Overall this has been a great addition to EVE. The new systems provide for a wide variety of experiences to pilots of all facets of EVE. It is particularely valueable for high sec residence as it provides much needed high reward level for the risks encured without the blobling of 0.0.
As much as CCP has stated they didn't want to see colonization, it was inevitable once the they populated the 0.0 ores in wormhole space. However the border systems and shallow systems are getting rather crowded. I can forsee small wormhole wars erupting over choice systems sometimes within the next few months. Overall this should make things rather interesting.
Some new concepts to fly by:
- If you can use a exploration probes, all ships you fly into wormhole space should be at least ecquiped with a core probe launcher. Always. (except possibly barges due to the massive reduction in capability incured and then you should either - operate in a system with a POS
- If you log off in a POS, always log off in a ship with at minimum a core probe launcher.
For the rest, most of the 0.0 sayings apply to wormhole space.
As we've been observing wormhole and wormhole system behaviour I've come to notice a few things:
All systems have AT LEAST 1 guaranteed exit (hereafter refered to as an exit wormhole). This wormhole will always be of the same class. This provides for predictable behaviour in wormhole connections. Not necessarely to specific systems but at lest to the TYPE of system that wormhole system will always connect to. Some systems can have more than one exit wormhole.
Systems that have only known space exits are "Shallow" wormhole systems (I'm coining the phrase if no one else has already used it). Systems that have only exits to wormhole space are "Deep" wormhole systems. Systems that have more than one exit, at least one of which is known space and at least one of which is wormhole space are "Border" systems.
These are the only 'static' wormholes. All wormhole systems will also get occasional random wormholes. This allows deep systems to connect up to known space, and shallow systems to occasionaly connect up to deeper systems. However these random wormholes can never be counted on. It can take a few days of observations to determine what pattern of system a wormhole system realy is. What looks initialy to be a border system may turn out to be a deep system after extended observation for example. This can cause some rather amusing situations.
Armed with this knowledge, go forth and explore young capsuleer, the universe awaits.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
The hauling is excessive though. Thank god for a a few stops near our base. One of the advantages of setting up a base in wormhole space is that your tower is much safer even than in high security space. There are two main reasons for that. First is it's much harder for a truly large fleet to drop in on your tower. It's doable but takes considerable planing and patience. The other is that because it's 0.0 you don't get lazy and forget to death star it.
One of the dis-advantages is that if it needs to wander around a lot you'll do a lot of wormhole chasing. Ah well it provides for un-predictable routes. You're always going somewhere different.
The mixed strategy I'm having my alliance pursue payed off this weekend. Due to the fact that the site regen rate is proving to be a little bit on the low side, I've got my pilots pursuing different gathering strategies. One of them is simply to have a large portion of the pilots operate near our main base in known space and form a hunting group to randomly go into wormholes and exploit what's there. This is providing us with most of the resources currently. The settled systems are providing us with stable places to react and manufacture stuff.
Another defensive advantage to a settled system: Lack of sites. Since we clean out sites as fast as they appear anyone poping in our settled systems tends to leave quite quickly. CCP may have missed an opportunity there. I know they intentionaly reduced the spawn rate of T3 stuff to reduce the attraction of settleing in wormhole space. Doing so however is causing settled systems to be highly un-attractive places to venture into as they are depleted of resources making them safer than known space to a large extent. The other effect is actualy to provide a breaking effect on the influx of T3 resources into the market place. This should seriously slow down the ramping up of the T3 manufacturing engine thereby extending the period of very high prices for quite a while. Which is good for T3 manufacturers.
And so far we've managed to manufacture 33 subsystems, we now have the resources for 3 Tengu and 3 Proteus and a further 18 subsystems, Just waiting on skills for the hulls and reactions for the subsystems.
On the personal front, I can now manufacture all 5 Loki subsystem types and in 42 days or so will be able to manufacture a Loki hull. Lucky for the alliance that other pilots will hit the hulls faster than that. The good thing of course with all this is that I'm filling in massive amounts of the T2 invention and manufacturing tree. I'll also be able to invent/manufacture most T2 Minmatar frigates and all T2 Minmatar cruisers by the end of this.
I've also identified good skill sets for 2nd account alts that are used in wormhole space:
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Now that we've got a real reserve of T3 blueprints to burn thru I'm hoping that things will steady out into a constant rate of supply. We'll have to see if that materializes. This will however burn thru most of my hoarded supply of T3 components. After the first two weeks I established a reserve objective of 3 hulls and 45 subsystems (i.e. 1 hull BPC worth of T3 components and 3 of each type of Subsystem component). With 2 hulls and 17 subsystem bpcs so far (and more subsystem tries to be done some time next weekend) it looks like I got the proportions about right, but the quantity needs to be worked on. Good thing I've got some raw materials stockpiles as well.
Over the next week I'll see about leveling the stockpiles (I.e. dumping the real surplus on the market) and focusing the alliance's efforts resource gathering wise. We'll see how that works out in the long run, but this week should see the reactors in constant use and the T3 manufacturing machinery firing on all cylinders. Finally.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I wish it luck in re-building after the corp losses it has suffered as a result of it's decision to retreat to empire.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Although the ensuing battle was nothing to write home about for denizens of 0.0, rather fewer of us High Sec residents have experience with POS warfare. So our initial forces left a little to be desired as it was still early in the evening for North America (where most of our pilots are based). Some early investigations of the repair job the oposing corporation had some "issues". But I'll assume the pilots involved have learned their lessons. (as Mike Holmes would say "Do it right").
We eventual got enough forces to make a go of it and proceeded to learn why it's a bad idea to ignore the guns when there is a POS gunner in place. A few battleships later (including my own - idiotically not insured - ouch) and a tactical retreat was called. Conveniently the wormhole connection at this time was 6 jumps from Jita.
Having learned from our mistakes - and with more pilots online - and less on the opposing side, we proceeded to regroup and a change in tactics was called for. I resisted the call of impatient more experienced pilots and ordered all the guns to be sanitized. The ensuing 2nd phase of the battle went much better. It was still an opposed POS assault. But even with a Basilisk they had not yet gotten the POS above 50% shields. There was some smack in local saying they would leave the shields at 47% to tease us (brilliant move that). Whether true or not was irrelevant since if all we could accomplish was put their POS into reinforced a 2nd time, we would do that.
As per their successful tactic in the first phase of using the shield to their advantage and only scraming when they managed to find a weaker ship they managed to kill two more battleships. However the Scimitar had outstayed it's welcome on the last battleship kill and it went down just about simultaneously. With no crow this time round and their Myrm evidently unable to tackle anything we were able to concentrate on the guns (with occasional distractions of the basilisk and other ships sticking their noses out and getting primaried before heading back in to heal up). The falcon was a little annoying while he was around but with a POS gunner it was prety pointless to send light tackle after it since they would simply alpha any tackle we send after it (I was probably making inefficient use of the two HIC in our fleet - in fact I know I was - but like I said - I was learning).
Once the last remaining tackle was taken out of the equation it was just a matter of time before we killed all the guns and settled in to take out the tower itself. Sure enough once we silenced the last gun the enemy abandoned the fight and fled the wormhole (note to self: have pilots work on proper tactics to catch fleeing enemies). Finally, just before 04:00 eve time, the end of the POS happened.
All in all an expensive victory. On the isk front it was probably a pyrrhic victory at best. From my point of view it got a whole bunch of alliance pilots without POS warfare know how some valuable experience. Including myself. I learned a lot on how NOT to setup a pos for wormhole POS warfare. I learned a lot about FC'ing a pos bash. I learned a lot about the constraints and limits of an opposed POS assault.
I will also note that as far as POS setups goes, even my in-experienced eyes could tell that it was a fail setup of first order:
Minmatar Control Tower Small
2 x Warp Scrambling Batteries
1 x Stasis Webification Battery
1 x Spacial Destabilization Battery
1 x Medium Artillery Battery
2 x Medium Autocannon Battery
2 x Small Artillery Battery
1 x Small Autocannon Battery
1 x Corp Hangar Array
Now they setup in our system so one would think they would have thought this through and realize that with a large and a medium POS in system we'd be going after them. Even if all they wanted was to cause some PvP in the system this is, even to my own newbie to POS warfare eyes, a fail setup. At least they stronted it.
Now our battleship losses to take out such a fail POS would normally not be acceptable. For a corp/alliance with POS warfare experience this is true. It must be observed that I expected to have the losses we did since this was our first time as an alliance doing this sort of combat. For the losses of the smaller craft, my only observation is that sometimes newbies have to learn the hard way that even battlecruisers are iffy in POS warfare.
Some notes on POS warfare in wormhole systems (at least those without a carrier - dread available):
- There is no excuse for a lack of hardeners.
- POS gunners in combination with a solid fleet are very important for effective defense
- Taking out the guns and EWAR batteries is crucial on offense - do no be swayed by "we can tank it" arguments - there's always someone who can't.
- Small POS'es are still vulnerable to a concerted effort in wormhole space. Medium and Large are where it's at if you don't want to be dislodged.
Now having provided our opponents with a large batch of BS kill mails it remains to be seen if they intend to come back in our wormhole and continue operations against us or whether they intend to go elsewhere. In all honesty I'm ambivalent about it - on one hand more PvP experience is never bad, on the other it does interfere with industrial operations. *shrug* time will tell.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Well, after getting some easy hulk kills (these guys were smart and had scanned down the grav sites before the miners onlined - knew that was eventually going to happen), a corp that seems to be based in Germany seems to have decided the wanted to setup shop in one of our wormholes. Regardless of the fact that we'll eventually be abandoning this particular hole (want to concentrate the alliance in a better one), this was a little precocious. Ah well, exit plans delayed.
Anyways, last night, with most of my BS PVP'ers stuck in wormhole space, we assembled a BS heavy bash fleet and went to POS bash. Some of my newbies learned that frigates and cruisers are not the best things to bring to one of these parties, but what can you do? Some newbies learn the hard way.
A prety un-eventful POS bash as such things go. Timezone differential and what not. Not the best designed small POS setup I'd ever seen (no hardeners and the gun layout left a wee bit to be desired). But far be it for me to point it out to the enemy before the fight. It's never polite to interupt an enemy in the middle of making a big mistake. 4h later the POS was in reinforced (I do hope the rest of the BS pilots can make it out of those class 5 wormholes before the Friday evening).
Well once again wormholes are providing more 0.0 style experience for everyone. This was my first POS bash and although I can see why it would become a little teedious with BS fleets, small POS's are not exactly the toughest targets there are. Still good fun on coms.
Monday, May 4, 2009
And then there are those of us who have so much to do it sometimes feels like "They were drinking life from a fountain that was pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain"The last week and weekend resembled that remark. Lets take a short look at some of the alliance's activities over the last week.
- Minor drama as I shook things up a bit at the inter-corp level (things seem to be functioning much more smoothly now - we'll see how it goes but I'm much happier on that front).
- Various incursion into our wormhole systems (we've got 2 bases atm) the more established system seems to be getting the intrusion response down to a science. My more carebear like pilots are starting to get proper 0.0 habits and responses. So much so that the KB overall efficiency jumped to 60% from the 30's. There is still much to improve but that is along the line of proper ship fittings and tactics. I'm already seeing the attitude change from "whine, bitch, moan, griefers messing with my game" to "they come in here, they better expect to die" which is much much more important.
- We got a free carrier (wormhole space is full of surprises). No I will not state who originaly owned it. Yes it's now safely in known space. A hearty congratulations to the two pilots who were patient enough to wait for a random hole that was big enough to get it out. Also good work with the Orca pilot to refit the carrier with a scan probe launcher. Yes it was a minor miracle that it actually came out in "blue-ish" space since we really only have 1 other alliance set blue.
- As previously reported - we are now a T3 manufacturing alliance so we can make full use of all wormhole resources we find.
- One of my pilots managed to get a solo Golem kill somewhere in the drone regions.
- Mmmmmm Mercoxit. Nuff said.
- I haven't' had to buy the high ends off the high sec market in the last 2 weeks.
EVE is a weird game. It's definitly on the hardcore side of things. Of that there is no doubt. But it's industry and market attract a lot of people that they might otherwise not get in such a PvP centric game. This does however leave us with a bit of a conundrum as alliance leaders. How to integrate these two types of playstyles withing a working alliance. It's less problematic with the larger alliances, but with the smaller ones that don't yet have the inherent numbers to play the 0.0 game its a big issue.
There's also the issues with the types of pilots you have available in high sec. A large percentage of the "mid life" pilots get sucked down to 0.0. So we're left with a lot of newbies and burnout cases and griefers in high sec. The burnout cases aren't so bad. And you learn to start recognizing and tossing the griefers. But this still leaves a wide gap in the experience base.
There is also a case that there is a willfull blindness to a lot of the carebears (not necessarely all carebears but certain of them). They so much want EVE to be the type of space game they see in their own minds that they fail to see that they are trying to play some other game in EVE instead of playing EVE.
It must be admited that for the longest time there were no tools in high sec to combat griefing. I've personally come to the conclusion that certain aspects of the high/low sec game are broken/miss-designed and lead to a much lower retension rate than the game should have. When the gankers/griefers have all the advantages it just leads to fustration on the part of a lot of newbies. I'm not sure how to fix high sec. It's only when we start operating in wormhole space with hidden sites that a truly workable defense mechanism for the more industrial minded really came to the fore.
The key here is that situational awareness can make a difference. Unlike in high sec where if someone steals your ore it takes 3 minutes to re-ship to a combat ship during which time he's either gone to get a bigger buddy or gone away. And you can't war-dec them either since they are in noob corps. In wormhole space. First of all you can see them coming. The D-scanner is your friend (note: we're NOT looking for ships). This allows you to get to a different ship BEFORE they do something. Then you can go and hunt them down. It's 0.0 - no annoying concord stopping you from preemptive retribution. The wormholes themselves keep you from being totally out-blobbed (slam an Orca through a wormhole to low sec a time or two and leave it weakened - you can leave just enough mass to get a pirate gang caught in your space and get a good laugh out of the intrusion). Reacting like this is also good for keeping griefers out since they realize pretty quick that people reacting to them like this means no more easy bully kills. Griefers are all about the easy risk-less indy kill.
One of the things that you need to realize is that you can't play EVE on 'automatic mode' when you're in wormhole space. As one of my pilots once commented: "Man I'm even flying paranoid through high sec". Yes my young padwan you are learning EVE the right way. You must be paying attention and you must be ready to react appropriately to a given situation. But once you adapt your operations it's very nice. I've also figured out why the pirates in low sec are finding so little targets in the wormhole space they have access to. You'll have to excuse me while I go laugh my ass off on that one.
Anyways, back to surfing the avalanche...
Friday, May 1, 2009
So one month and about 20 days after the start of Apocrypha, AMC has officially joined the ranks of T3 Manufacturing alliances/corps with it's first 6 T3 Subsystems. Over the next month or two we'll be filling out the manufacturing capacity until we have all the factions and all the subsystems/hulls covered. I would like to thank all the pilots of AMC who contributed to this. Well done guys.