Sunday, October 18, 2015

Never Safe in Eve...

It was my understanding (and experience) that having an align time of under 2 seconds makes me safe when I'm flying my interceptors.  Apparently not, or maybe I'm confused about how quick my ship really is (that might be more likely...).

I was moving a Stiletto back from high sec via a wormhole towards my base in Stain when I came on a Svipul sitting on a gate.  No problem.  I've been yellow boxed lots of times and never caught yet.  So I picked the next gate and hit warp.  Red Flashing Lights!  Sirens!  Explosions!


I chatted with Glorhs Semah afterwards and asked if I had done anything wrong.  Apparently not - he's just quick to lock.  Looking at his killboard, I see that I'm in good company (even another Signal Cartel corpmate right before me...).

Fortunately, it had been a good morning for relic sites, so the loss was covered several times over by the loot I had sold in Amarr an hour earlier.

Mr. Semah is now on my watchlist and I'll be more careful when I see he's around.

Postscript:  Noene Drops (the Signal Cartel pilot that was caught by Glorhs Semah an hour before me) pointed me to some interesting viewing and reading...  Thanks!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Hacking Mini-Game Tutorial

NOTE: As I've said before, WingspanTT's guide is excellent!  But I wrote this up and it might be a bit simpler if you are looking for a short overview for hacking relic and data sites.


Here's some advice to make the mini-game work a bit better for you.  Some of it might be very basic, so feel free to roll your eyes and move on to the next... 

Most of this advice is applicable to relic/data sites in null sec or in wormholes (where the null sec sites now spawn).  If you are doing high sec or low sec sites – they are much easier and you can take more of a whac-a-mole approach and not worry about tactics.

Here are the things you'll run up against (along with their proper names): 

I really don’t have a clue about the names when I’m playing - they’re just easily identifiable symbols to me.   But for the sake of clarity in these instructions I’ll use their actual authentic officially assigned names instead of “that wrench thing” and “the eagle beak thing” and “the wedge thing” and whatever other image comes to my mind when I’m in the mini-game.

Usually the System Core that you seek is located on the far side of the maze from where you start – head there as quickly as you can.  First off, go through the maze and don't mess with any of the defensive subsystems until you need to (except Restoration Nodes and Virus Supressors – see below).  Leave the Data Caches (the white dots) alone until all of the regular explorable nodes (the empty circles) are revealed.  And even then be careful of the Data Caches - they often contain bad things.  Go back to them if you're desperate to find a tool and you're facing defeat. 

As you go through the explorable nodes and reveal them – you will also be revealing a number for a short time on the revealed node.  That number is how far a Good Thing is from you.  It could be the System Core, or a tool, or a Data Cache (which in this case is classified as a “good thing” but probably isn’t).  With these numbers you can often eliminate a corner of the maze from the possibility of it having the System Core – if the numbers are 4s or 5s and there are only 3 nodes on the longest path towards the corner, then there’s nothing good in that neighborhood.  Head to the other corner of the diagram.

If you run into a Restoration Node - deal with it immediately.  Usually without using any of your tools (tools can are better used on other stuff - this might not be good advice, but it's the way I do things) - it's two or three clicks to get rid of the Restoration Node.  But if you don't - it'll make all the other bad things even more badder every time you take an action...

If you run into a Virus Suppressor - you are in for some very bad times unless you have a Secondary Vector handy.  Never use the Secondary Vector on anything other than the Virus Suppressor unless you are desperate.  The Virus Suppressor cuts your hacking strength in half - so don't try to do anything other than explore new nodes if you don't have a Secondary Vector handy.  If you do have a Secondary Vector - have it attack the Virus Suppressor as you explore more nodes - it does the work independently and simultaneously, you don't need to keep clicking on it.

When you get a Utility Subsystem - use it immediately.  There is no reason to not click on it and get those points and free up a spot for useful tools.

Eventually you’ll have no more routes to try without running into a Firewall or an Antivirus.  Attack an obstacle with low strength and in the direction of where you think the System Core might be and continue on.

You have two main tools to help against the obstacles.  The Kernel Rot cuts the strength of any Defensive Subsystem in half.  The Polymorphic Shield protects you for a couple rounds from getting any damage.  Try to figure out which would be most appropriate against whatever you are up against.  I don’t really make much distinction between them and use them randomly (I do pay more attention when my coherence is almost gone - then I tend to use the Polymorphic Shield for protection).

And remember that if you're getting close to the end of your coherence (your “hit points”) and finally stumble on the System Core - you can use these Utility Subsystems to help against it and maybe save enough to survive and get the loot.

Hope that helps!  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Dare You!

Here’s a personal challenge from Jack Dancer.

Listen to the nine minute  Episode Zero of the Learning Cliff podcast and then not listen to Episode One.  I don’t think it’s possible. 

Highly recommended!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Clever Graphics Adjustment

WingspannTT has a neat hint about improving the immersion factor of Eve Online.  Check it out here:

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Don't You Hate When That Happens...

Yesterday I punched the update button on my handy Eve Trader app and saw that I had a bunch of transactions and a total profit from them of 2.6 billion isk.  YOW!  2.6 BILLION?  That’s unexpected – I had checked a few days earlier and so expected to see a number much smaller. 

On closer examination, I saw that I had made a profit of 917.3% on a couple Zainou ‘Gypsy’ Signature Analysis SA-705 implants.  I bought them for 117,964,835 isk and sold them for 1,200,008,010 isk!  Obviously someone had mistakenly added a zero when placing a buy order (intending to offer 120 million, but with an extra zero offering 1.2 billion) – to which my two implants (being at the top of the list apparently) were immediately sold.  These two implants resulted in a profit of 2.1 billion isk!

I’ve done similar things in the past.  It’s a horrible feeling (even if it is just pixels in a computer game).  Stomach wrenching, adrenalin pumping, bile grabbing at the throat horrible…

While there are issues with the way things work on the market (if someone wants to sell an item for 5 and I offer 7 – shouldn’t I get it for the 5 that he’s willing to accept instead of him getting the full 7 from me?) – I’m fine with living with the way things work.

But now, what to do in this situation.  Eve is a rough place with lots of unsavory people.  But, that’s not me.  I’m generally a nice guy.  So, in order to Do the Right Thing™ and also to help teach the seller to be more careful with his fingers I decided to return to him 75% of the mistake.  I wrote a message to the seller pointing out the mistake (it possible that he hadn’t noticed it) and sent him about 1.6 billion isk.

My work was done and I slept very well last night… 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Paying My Way

I recently had a vacation in exotic Iowa visiting family and partaking of the fine cuisine (like the deep fried pork tenderloin sandwich in this photo…).  Very enjoyable all around.

When I returned to Eve after being being away I discovered that one of my two subscriptions had lapsed (I usually pay for my subs with a couple PLEX each month purchased with isk that my station trader and PI alts earn).  I also discovered that my default method of payment apparently was a year-long subscription (probably a leftover from when I first signed up for Eve).  CCP had dutifully charged my credit card the $131.40 for a year’s subscription with an email saying, “Subscription Renewal Success.

My first reaction was one of distress.  How could I not notice that my sub was about to expire?  Maybe I could ask that the payment be reversed and use one of the PLEX that I have sitting in a station somewhere to reactivate the account?  Would they do that?

But then, after considering it a bit, I decided to let CCP have the money.

My first Jack Dancer post was way back in 2011 (May 11th to be exact).  That meant that I’d been playing two (and for a while three) accounts for the past 4 years and previously had only sent a one year subscription ($131.40).  So this recent subscription made the total about $263 that I had paid for four years of fun.  About 18 cents a day…  A bargain.

And, now that one account is paid up until next summer, I’m a bit less tied to grinding for isk.  My station trader might not update the orders in the morning or the evening and I don’t worry about it anymore.  My two PI alts are moving to a 3-day schedule (instead of the previous daily updates).  I can do what I like to do and not worry about isk making as much.  And I’ll probably still be earning about the same amount of isk – so I’ll have an extra 900 million (that previously bought the second PLEX) each month for replacing ships and other projects.

It’s a nice feeling.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Travel Advisory - Stain Region

Be aware that the northwest corner of the Stain Region is currently a very dangerous area for explorers. Especially the JVJ2-N system and surrounding systems.

A character named Vihane Finnexus is making an excellent living out of killing explorers like me. He's using a battleship equipped with smartbombs. A quick check will show that Vihane Finnexus's killboard is littered with explorer ships, pods, and some very high value drops from the wrecks he creates (fortunately, I had just dropped my loot off in a station a couple jumps prior to meeting Mr. Finnexus).

Fast align time and even the ability to travel cloaked will not save a target from him. Smartbombs explode immediately with extreme prejudice to everything near the battleship. Targeting? Lock time? Speed? Fast to cloak? None of them matter. The attacker can sit near a gate and hits a button to destroy anything that lands at the gate or decloaks after passing through the gate.

Boom! Poof!

I would advise that if you frequent this neighborhood, you should add Vihane to your contacts list and check to see if he's active.

Good luck!