Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's New?

I’ve noticed (and so have you if there is anyone else reading this blog) that things have been a bit slow lately.  Here’s what’s up...

I was doing some level 3 missions with my main character last week and discovered a mission that was just too tough for the usually reliable Vexor.  I gated to the mission location in deadspace (no chance to set a bookmark and come back later at a reasonable distance) and was clobbered by a bunch of Very Bad Rats™.  I did my usual turn and run so that I could send out the drones to deal with them – but they were too tough for my armor repper and I eventually was down to no armor and starting on structure on both attempts to flee.  I didn’t even get a chance to send in the drones!

Time to move up to a Myrmidon. 

So I switched my training from Jack Dancer’s pirate skills and trained the battlecruiser skill on my main character, I also canceled a couple 14 million ISK buy orders for Helios hulls (I hope to do some low-sec exploring sometime in the near future when I get a chance to boost those skills on my main) and purchased a 33 million ISK Myrmidon hull.  I was able to use the modules from my two mission-fit Vexors to fill up the Myrmidon and managed to tank that pesky level 3 mission and give those rats their comeuppance!  But that took a day or two away from Jack Dancer’s skill training and play.

I also took a couple days to train up the market skills for my other alt character who is parked in Jita doing station trading.  That’s been fun as I buy massive numbers of cheap modules and then sell them for 30% (or more) profit.  It hasn’t really been a money font – but the 6 million ISK seed money has more than doubled in a couple weeks.  Adding some market skills will cut down on his expenses and allow him more trades at any given time.

So, after those side trips I’m back to Jack Dancer. 

Jack is currently training Energy Management IV (to boost his cap - he currently has just 30 seconds of cap capacity – so when he gets in a fight he’ll have 30 seconds to win or he loses…) and then will be training Small Projectile Turret V to allow T2 autocannons and then Electronics V.  Engineering V was completed the other day - Jack Dancer's first V!  (To give a sense of perspective, Jack Dancer is just 20 days old today and has about 750k skillpoints - a virtual babe in arms at this point...).

And I put up a bunch of buy orders for named modules for my fleet of Rifters (currently 19 of them) – and purchased several items at good prices.  Plus I ferried some cheap Rifters from the markets where I purchased them to my home base.  Half a dozen of them were only 7 hops away – so those were relatively easy.  But I have another half a dozen about 29(!) hops across high-sec space (the Rifters were very cheap!  140k).  I’ve made that trip a couple times (out in my pod and back in a Rifter) – about an hour on autopilot each way – and have several more trips ahead of me.

Since I'm not a 10 hour a day player (more like a 2 hour a day player on a busy day and a 40 minute a day player on an average day) the progress is generally slow but (hopefully) steady.  And now that I'm doing level 3 missions with my main character I'm happy - the challenge and rewards for Myrmidon level 3 missioning makes for lots of fun.  Things are going well.

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Wandered around a bit looking for easy opponents, but still coming up empty.  But I'm working on skills and Jack Dancer is only 2 1/2 weeks old, so no rush...

Joined Dr. Ogres in a noob fleet.  I set up a Reaper with a couple guns and headed off to 0.0 space with 29 other crazies.  Uneventful for more than an hour until finally we found a Dominix and an Armageddon.  We almost took down the Armageddon before it jumped through the gate with structural damage.  The Domi held out until the rest of their fleet arrived and then I was quickly reduced to pod (by the Hobgoblin II's on the Dominix) and then clone...

High point for me was discovering that I had set up the Reaper with equipment but forgot about ammunition...  YOW!  I asked for some to be jettisoned at one of our pauses at a gate and a kind soul took pity on me and left me some.

Great fun though.  I would definitely do it again.  Video of all the excitement is here (my ship is the reaper named "Death Angel"...).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rifter mk1.02 - Another ramble with no results

Cruised to a couple lo-sec systems (that I didn't visit yesterday) that are isolated from the rest of lo-sec by high-sec systems.  I had heard that people wanting to mine in lo-sec might choose these because hardened pirates (of which I am not...  yet...) often can't travel through high-sec and these isolated lo-sec pockets feel safer.

I looked around but saw no one in space (several people were hanging around inside stations).  I docked and will look again tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rifter mk1.01 - First Roam - No Results...

I headed out with evil intent and cruised through half a dozen lo-sec systems looking for trouble.  Trouble didn't find me.  I would move into a system, check the local to see how many people were around and do a quick d-scan to see if they were nearby.  Then I'd hop to one of the safe spots that I had previously set up on my "Tourist Bus" tour to more leisurely review the situation. 

I came across a few cruisers and battle cruisers piloted by people with years of experience.  Some T2 frigates and special navy frigates.  Nothing that screamed - I'm the one!  So I would move on to the next system on the list.  Several were empty.  Some had two or three ships of the same corp who were obviously working together.

In the end, I had an interesting couple hours, didn't get killed, and returned to hi-sec in one piece.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rifter Fitting

OK, I just got back from the fitting area and Rifter mk1 is set up.  Here's what I selected:

150mm Light AutoCannon I
150mm Light AutoCannon I
150mm Light AutoCannon I
Small Nosferatu I

Warp Scrambler I
1mn Afterburner I
Stasis Webifier I
Damage Control I
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Small Armor Repairer I

The basic "cookie cutter" Rifter.  As my skills improve I will be able to equip it with better (and more costly) modules - but for now I figure that I'll probably be losing a few so might as well make them inexpensive!  Most of these modules were loot from missioning expeditions by my main character - so other than the cost of the Rifter hull (I've bought hulls at prices that ranged from 150k-240k - most of which will be recovered through insurance when they go bang...) I have nothing much really invested.

Friday, May 20, 2011


I've been working on my skill training using the Rifter Guide's list of essential Rifter skills as my guide.  Things are going well and in a couple more weeks I should (at least skill-wise) be a below average Rifter capsuleer.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tourist Bus!

I took out a rookie ship - the Minmatar Reaper - on a tour of the nearby lo-sec systems.  I figured that in a ship that's provided absolutely free I would be safe enough (who's going to shoot it?) and not worry about loses.

I christened the ship "Tourist Bus" and started visiting the lo-sec systems in the neighborhood to set up various bookmarks to be used in the future when I have evil intentions.  The tour went fine and I continued for several evenings laying out bookmarks for safe spots. 

Only once did I get blown up and I'm still not exactly sure what happened...  I had warped to within 100k of something (a moon?  a base?) and dropped a couple bookmarks on the trip.  I was sitting there trying to decide where to go next when POW! WOOT! WOOT! WOOT! RED! RED! RED! and I was in my pod.  My guess is that I somehow got too close to a POS (Player Owned Structure) and the defense guns automatically took advantage of my sitting target to blow me up.  It did give me a chance to practice the "point at a celestial and spam warp" to get the pod to safety.  That seemed to work fine.

So back home in the pod to pick up a new Reaper provided by the friendly insurance company.  (In hindsight I could have stopped at any station where I didn't have a ship to get that free one).

Eventually I ended up with multiple safe bookmarks at most of the nearby lo-sec systems.  I still need to drop a few more in systems that I haven't visited yet, but it's been a very good start.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hit the books!

Next stop - the library.  One of the great things about Eve Online is the amount of resource material that’s available.  Piles and piles of it!  I did a google search for “pirate” “PvP” and “Rifter” in various combinations and found some excellent help.  I also searched on eve-search.com for the same words.  I found weeks worth of reading!

I especially recommend:

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Details, details, details...

    Now that I have created a character, next up is to flesh out the character a bit (and get him trained - but more about that later).  I worked on the photo to give it a jaunty pirate look.  And changed the bio to “Would you care to dance?” which seems appropriate for Jack Dancer. 

    I remember a hockey story about a player new to the junior league.  At a faceoff where he was lined up (not taking the faceoff) with another player the other player asked him if he liked to dance.  The player, being a kid and a dancer said sure.  Next thing he knew, POW!  Turns out asking to dance is asking to fight.  Yes, it seems appropriate for Jack Dancer!

    A little information about the person behind Jack Dancer.  I've been playing computer games since seeing the sun come up while playing Zork I on a Commodore 64 and recently (incredibly!) turned 60.  Not a lot of experience in these massive online games but I generally understand the game mechanics and have a relaxed attitude to gaming.  You won't find me trash talking or throwing keyboards or smashing monitors... 

    And with real-life responsibilities I'll probably not be playing any 12 hour marathons.  An hour here, and maybe two hours there...

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Welcome to the World Pirate Jack Dancer!

    Blame it on Taurean Eltanin – at least I’m blaming this crazy idea on him.  I somehow stumbled across his blog - http://flight-of-dragons.blogspot.com/ – and the idea hit a chord.  I had been playing Eve Online for a couple months and was up to level 3 missions and doing a bunch of exploring in hi-sec space.  Both are activities that I find fun and amusing.  But I’d always wondered about PvP and the pirating life…

    I read on Taurean's blog that he bought 20 Punishers (an Amarr frigate) with the intention of losing them all while engaging in PvP – I thought it sounded like a great way to get some new experiences in the game.So I created an alt character, Jack Dancer (named after a pirate from a series of books apparently – thank you google.com) and set him on a path of mayhem and plunder.

    And I came up with my own plan – I’ll buy an infinite number of Rifters (a Minmatar frigate) and proceed to lose them one at a time pirating and PvPing.  The Rifter is often named the best of all the frigates for this sort of activity – so it seems like a good choice. 

    To start off I purchased 20 Rifters (at a cost of 140-230k each) and I seem to have loot enough from my other character’s missioning to equipment them with appropriate T1 modules.  A pretty inexpensive start to the enterprise.

    I intend to train the appropriate skills to the point that Jack Dancer can fly the Rifter as well as possible and then I’ll go back to my other character and work on his skills and career path again.

    Welcome to the world Pirate Jack Dancer!