Shopping time

Decided to head over to Jita and put together my Rifters. Bought 8 Rifters and associated modules, and set up 2 buy orders for Republic Fleet Fusion S and Republic Fleet EMP S. I also bought and fitted another Iteron Mark V in which to cart my disposable Horde of Boos around in. I could have fitted the Iteron with 3 medium cargohold optimization rigs, which would let me cart around 13 ships plus fittings, but figured 8 was a good enough start. After I find a good target system in which to send my Rifters to flaming death, I will ship them over to the nearest high-sec system in the Iteron so I don’t have to travel very far to get a replacement ship.

All in all, the cost was a bit higher than expected. 67,105,897 ISK for the lot, not including the Iteron since I don’t intend to lose that if at all possible. That means my Rifters work out to be 8,388,237 ISK each. I also dropped down from the Arbalest rocket launcher to the next best OE-5200 since the difference in DPS was negligible but the cost was significant. The vast majority of the cost comes from the warp scramblers at close to 3 million each, followed by the T2 autocannons at 1.9 million per set of 3.

I decided on the afterburner + scrambler combination as opposed to the mwd + disruptor which a lot of pilots like since I’m too noob to be able to properly control the range, which is necessary with the mwd + disruptor since you want to be out of range of scramblers while still keeping the disruptor on them, otherwise you lose your own mwd. With the afterburner my “strategy” will simply be to orbit as close as possible and turn on scrambler, afterburner, web and overheat guns.

I predict losing at least 4 Rifters before even finding any targets 😛

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Rabid Attack Rifters

Still training Minmatar Frigate V as of now, with about 6 days to go. Looking at my skill plan in EVEMon puts me at about 19 days to get most of the important gunnery skills up to 4, including T2 autocannons. Actually I could just go out right now and start blowing things up (most likely myself) but there’s no real rush.

I plan to do something similar to Nashh’s Project Rifter and put together a few Rifter packages to use up while hopefully learning something about low-sec PvP. My planned Rifter fit looks very similar to his, except with 150mm autocannons since I can’t fit the 200’s on without blowing the powergrid. Although one possibility is to mount a mix of 150s and 200s but I don’t think that’s a good idea. Another possibility is a powergrid implant, but I’m hesitant to use those since I foresee a lot of violent flaming clone death in my future.

I originally intended to get into Faction Warfare, but now I’m having second thoughts since Noork is my freighter pilot. I don’t want to have to worry about meeting a Gallente Militia blob somewhere when I’m piloting my huge defenceless Obelisk shipping valuable stuff around. Besides, it seems most of the fighting in faction warfare occurs in low-sec anyway so I can just hang around in those systems and try to find targets without being in the Caldari Militia. I plan on naming all my Rifters “Boo”, in honour of the miniature giant space hamster that accompanies the insane ranger Minsc in Baldur’s Gate 2. My battle cry shall be “Go for the eyes, Boo!!!” as I recklessly attack anything cruiser-sized and below.

On the trading side, I think I’m up to 10 billion ISK now in assets and orders but it’s hard to tell with a fair amount of ISK tied up in contracts. These can really be lucrative, it’s a shame I didn’t try it out sooner. Although it does take up additional time to check the market which can sometimes be a bit of a pain. I’ll probably be losing some ISK in the future with my Rifter shenanigans, and my 2x PLEXes per month will cost me 660 million ISK which is not to be sneezed at. But I think I’m still in the black so that’s not a problem.

Sometimes I wonder why people seem to have this disdain for the 0.01 bidding wars in Jita. When people comment about it on blog posts, I always seem to hear this undertone of “I’m above participating in such activity”. There’s no other way to explain why so many people like to change their bids by totally ridiculous amounts. Like… 5 ISK. Wow. Or 10 ISK. Really… that’s soooo different from 0.01 ISK. Do these people really feel happier about themselves? In practical terms it doesn’t really affect the market; while changing the price by 1 ISK instead of 0.01 ISK does represent a 100-fold increase in the rate of change of the price, in absolute terms it’s pretty negligible. However it just makes me shake my head and wonder why people have to do such silly pointless things just to feel like a special snowflake.

I also saw another trader put up 5 items for sale… in 5 batches of 1 item each, for the exact same price. I wonder if it’s someone who hasn’t figured out that you can post items in stacks, or someone who genuinely thinks it gives him some kind of advantage rather than just wasting their order slots.

Quiet time

Crickets in space

It’s been a very quiet time in EVE for me. I haven’t really logged in more than a couple of times to run some missions. Of course I still do my usual twice a day updating of trade orders (once for the morning peak and once for the evening before downtime) and to check on the skill training queues.

Part of the reason is that our kid has been extra fussy recently and takes a really long time to fall asleep. Another reason is that both my characters are old enough now that most of the skills they have to train are of the really really long variety. I used to think 4 days was OMG SO LONG but now I barely blink at 8 day timers for level 5s. Without the incentive of getting new skills to play with, I feel less of an urge to log in.

Noork is finishing up Electronic Upgrades V as a prerequisite for Covert Ops ships. He still doesn’t have the racial Frigate skill up to V yet either, so that’s another 8 days. I was originally planning on doing Caldari, but now I’m having second thoughts since most Caldari frigates aren’t that awesome with the exception of the Manticore stealth bomber. I read a great guide by Hallan Turek covering all the various stealth bombers and the differences between them. Turns out that the Minmatar Hound isn’t that bad either, and Minmatar Frigate V is much more useful since I will probably try out PVP in Rifters or the T2 versions at some point in time. The other account continues to train up all the skills to make her a better missile spewing battleship pilot, and is currently doing Caldari Battleship IV, which will probably be followed by more support skills.

I’ll still do Caldari Cruiser V though since I want to try out the Tengu. I started buying some of the parts on buy orders, but now I’m holding off since it looks to be a fairly long time before I commit to training those skills and the prices might drop in the meantime. So now I have a Tengu hull, a Accelerated Ejection Bay offensive subsystem, and a Amplification Node defensive subsystem sitting in my hangar gathering dust.

One of the things I’m thinking about is to get into Faction Warfare to try out PVP in the kiddie pool, or so I hope. But I need to read up more on Faction Warfare first to see what it involves, any tips from readers are welcome. I don’t even know whether I should join with my main or specifically roll up a alt for the purpose, although I hesitate to take skill training time away from my other characters. I think my standings with the opposing factions will take a hit, which I’m not too hot on but what the heck the Gallente are Frenchies anyway.

EverQuest 2 Extended

Since EVE is a bit on the backburner, I decided to try out the new Free-to-play version of EverQuest 2. I’ve never played EQ2 before and was curious to see how it stacked up against it’s more famous sibling WoW. First off it was a major pain to even get it installed. I can’t stand all the new fancy ways that developers are coming up with to download their client. I mean geez just give me the option to download the thing in a chunk, I don’t care if it’s 13 gigs. That’s much better than screwing around with streaming launchers that don’t work or generate weird error codes or get stuck at random screens with no indication that it’s still alive. I understand that the vast majority of gamers nowadays are completely clueless and don’t even know how to navigate past their “My Documents” folder but come on how hard is it to provide competent people with a means to download patches manually.

I have to admit that part of the problem could be the fact that our operating system is like… 10 years old. I am reluctant to spend hundreds of dollars installing a new OS from Microsoft unless something really important gets broken. Windows Vista is just utter, complete rubbish and I’m not impressed with Windows 7 either. There’s no reason why Win XP can’t run this streaming client, but there’s no other explanation since I’ve tried everything in the tech support forums.

In the end I managed to download it by streaming it on a laptop (also running XP…) and then transferring all 13 gigs over to my desktop. Seems to work decently now though I have to run the executable directly rather than using that bloody streaming launcher. Although how long this will last is anyone’s guess… maybe the next patch will break it and I’ll give up in frustration.

On the bright side EQ2X is quite fun, once I got past the technical issues. Not as polished as WoW, but there’s a lot of character in their quest texts and there’s quite a lot of depth to the crafting system. The restrictions for Bronze players are slightly annoying, with the worst being the lack of broker access. Storage space isn’t a huge issue so far and I’m way way below the coin cap, but I’m only level 23 so that may change in the future.

I didn’t pay to unlock any of the other races or classes, so I’m playing a Half-elf Inquisitor which is one of the best free race/class combinations I think. EQ2 is really solo friendly now, so I haven’t had any problems so far. I think they’ve learnt a lot from WoW’s design… previously I believe you could hardly kill anything without a group.

Amazingly even though the game is still in beta I’ve seen countless numbers of players who obviously paid for a lot of stuff like mounts or races. Guess it shows that the F2P model really does have a lot of supporters, although personally I’m not a big fan. I suppose if it’s done well and the item shop isn’t blatantly required to experience the content it’s not a big deal. I’ve never believed that players really NEED the best gear anyway, any benefit from items is marginal compared to being an intelligent player who’s not watching TV while randomly pressing buttons. While Lord of the Rings Online has also gone F2P this week, I’m not that keen to try it out because you have to buy quest packs or be restricted to purely grinding. Whereas the vast majority of the content in EQ2X is accessible to Bronze players right from the start.