CNR vs Golem

So my skills on Noork and Yannie have been chugging along while they sit at their desks in Venilen studying away like good little bookworms.

Noork’s skills have been all over the place as I managed to round out most of my gunnery skills as well as get T2 small autocannons for my Rifters. Then I finished off Shield Operation V as part of my Tengu plan, leaving only Caldari Cruiser V and the subsystem skills (and T2 heavy missiles, musn’t forget that…). Now I’m training Heavy Drone Operation V so that my Rattlesnake can fly proudly knowing she’s not carrying a bunch of noobie Ogre I’s in her drone bay.

Yannie on the other hand, as befitting her simple ambition in life to be the bestiest missile lobbing mission runner in the universe, has been concentrating furiously on anything shield and missile related. Her capacitor and shield skills are now comparable to Noork’s, and she has all missile skills up to at least 4 and most impressive of all, has finished Cruise Missiles V to get T2 cruise launchers.

However, the other night I mentioned to my wife that I sort of felt like playing EVE again and she blithely asked “so can I fly a new ship now?”. To which I could only go “er… no?” She didn’t seem all that excited to simply fly her Raven a bit better, so I went to look into what else there was available. Seems like the only upgrades are either a CNR or the T2 Marauder version of the Raven, the Golem.

Most information I’ve read seem to consider the CNR and the Golem a wash in terms of mission running, in fact the majority seem to prefer the CNR. But anyway I went ahead and put together a couple of fits in EFT to compare what they would look like with full skills.

Caldari Navy Raven

Golem

Going with cruise CNR and torpedo Golem because torpedo CNR and cruise Golem are just stupid. They both have similar drone bays and bandwidth so we can safely ignore those.

Looking at simple T2 fits, it’s clear that the Golem has quite a large advantage in terms of DPS and volley damage. Not sure if the double target painters plus ship bonus to target painters are enough to be able to effectively hit cruisers with torpedoes though. Defense-wise the Golem has the advantage again due to the ship bonus to shield boost amount, so it can mount 1 less resistance module and still out-tank the CNR. The Golem also seems to have slightly better shield thermal resists, as well as better armor thermal and kinetic resists (whoopdeedoo). It can lock on to 10 targets compared to the CNR’s 7. And the cargohold is huge, almost double the CNRs.

On the other hand, the CNR can hit much much further than the Golem with ridiculous cruise missile ranges boosted by the useless ship bonus. Kind of ironic that the CNR can hit further but has a lower targeting range than the Golem, which can only hit to 60 km but can target out to 112.5 km. The CNR has a much bigger EHP buffer and slightly more capacitor. And it’s very very slightly faster and has faster lock times.

Price wise the hulls themselves go for similar amounts (around 600 million ISK). However, if you intend to splurge on faction modules the Golem may turn out to be cheaper due to only having 4 launchers compared to having to buy 7 for the CNR.

So on paper at least it looks to me like the Golem has a clear advantage. I’m not sure if the 60 km range on the torpedoes is really going to be an issue though. Of course the trade-off is that the Golem requires A LOT of skill training, 151 days more to be precise. Weapon Upgrades V, Caldari Battleship V, Advanced Weapon Upgrades V, Torpedoes V…. ouch. And it would mean that training for T2 cruise launchers was a bit of a mistake. But the CNR fit is really really tight though, I can’t even fit a T2 shield boost amplifier due to the CPU being overloaded from the 7 T2 cruise launchers. Again it seems like the CNR doesn’t really reach its prime until you go all-out pimping it with faction gear, which I’m not really a fan of. Even with all faction modules the CNR doesn’t break 800 dps either.

Oh well. She’s not in a rush to train anything else, so I guess she’s going on the Golem plan for now…

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Nostalgia

So I haven’t really been keeping track of WoW for a long while, short of casually reading a couple of blogs here and there.

Today I browsed over to Blessing of Kings which I kind of use as a link hub to a bunch of other blogs, and a glance at the plethora of new posts from other bloggers made me realise that today was the launch date of Cataclysm, the next WoW expansion.

It was kind of a bolt from the blue since I really wasn’t expecting it, aside from a vague impression that yes there was an expansion coming sometime soon. I hadn’t played WoW for over a year (not counting that time I got hacked and logged in to restore my items) but still I immediately felt a wave of nostalgia and a tiny voice inside my head went “hey remember all that fun you had… why don’t you check it out”.

The good old days

WoW still stands out as probably the game I played exclusively for the longest time (about 3 years?). During that time I hardly played anything else, so I was really monogamous (hur hur hur OK OK I promise I’ll stop). It was also my first MMO, scratch that my first online game of any sort other than MUDs. Even now my wife and I sometimes get reminded of something and we would go “remember when that happened haha”. It was really a great ride and I have no doubts that WoW itself remains a great game.

The reality

Unfortunately the human brain always looks at the past through rose-tinted glasses and after some deliberation I would probably get annoyed and quit WoW again after a few months if I resubscribed. The fundamental reasons why we quit are still there; namely, it’s a multiplayer game and most people are idiots.

You need a guild

I think one of the reasons why Wrath was a bit of a letdown for us was that we didn’t find a guild that was a good fit for us, and in WoW you really really need a guild. There are people who play solo but frankly there’s only so much you can do. Wrath made pugging a lot of things possible, but “possible” and “enjoyable” are two really different animals. If you only solo the only left to do at level cap is running 5-mans over and over again and signing up for nightmare trade pugs.

We left our old guild at the start of Wrath because of the guild drama at the end of TBC that made us quit in the first place, and tried to join a more casual Singaporean guild. However, it really wasn’t the right fit for us either because while my wife and I were trying to be casual in our playtime, we weren’t casual in our performance. The rest of the guild however…. I mean there was a pally rolling on a spirit trinket “for mana regen” and one of the warrior tanks took DPS talents over 5% dodge and other survival talents because he “needed threat”. I really wanted to be more laid back after the stress of being the warlock officer in TBC and dealing with all sorts of guild crap, but seeing stuff like that just makes me facepalm and get annoyed.

What made it worse in a sense is that Wrath was so easy. And when the game is ridiculously easy, you can succeed even while playing like utter morons. So poor players never learn and never improve, because they are never slapped in the face with the consequences of their afk-tv-raiding behaviour. Plus in a casual(social) guild everyone goes out of their way to be nice and friendly instead of actually addressing issues like… you know… don’t be an idiot and actually put in some effort.

So it would be difficult to find a guild that suits me, leaving 5-mans and PVP as the main end-game activity. This might not be so bad for me, since I’m a grade AAA altoholic and love leveling and gearing up new characters. As an aside, no you don’t “roll” characters or even worse “role” them. Sheesh. Although most people do seem to play by rolling their face on the keyboard so maybe it’s appropriate for them. I’ve never experienced the new dungeon-finder system so getting groups for 5-mans may not be the unholy time-waster it used to be… but then I also haven’t experienced the GearScore era and the legions of “gogogo” retards either. I don’t think joining group after group of incompetents is an ideal way to relax at night. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad but I really don’t know.

Cataclysm is harder, we promise!

Ghostcrawler, one of the better Community Managers that Blizzard has, put up a devblog on why they are making things harder for healers. The game being too easy was the reason I gave when I quit, and I guess I was not alone since one of the major points made about Cataclysm was that it’s not that easy anymore.

Tanks no longer have crazy AOE generating moves like bears being able to just spam swipe all day long. Pulls are supposed to require some form of crowd-control. Healers can’t just spam AOE heals while running along after the tank pulling the whole room.

Except I don’t think you can really put the elephant back in the cage once it has been out and rampaging around for the past year or so. I’m highly doubtful that the average Joe will be able to accept being shown that he is a sub-par player after being able to chain-run 15 minute heroics with his welfare badge epics for the entire previous expansion. Instead of one-shotting new bosses, will casual groups be able to take wiping on a single boss for more than a night (or even weeks like our Vashj + Kael’Thas kills)? I really don’t know how long it will be before there is a backlash from the average and sub-par player population, who after all pay the exact same $15 a month.

The price is not right

At the end of the day though, I would probably have no issues giving Cataclysm a spin with or without my wife if it did not require a subscription or a box price. With my current playtime of 1.5-2 hours a night, raiding would be a very difficult proposition and it just doesn’t make sense to pay a monthly subscription for a game where the best parts are not accessible to me. It’s not that the savings of $15 every month is keeping me above the poverty line, but I’m not getting equal value for my money with a fixed subscription. I might even be tempted to resubscribe for a couple of months, like I’m sure a lot of people do with each expansion, except that I have to pay the box price just for those few months which again doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Be strong

So I have to silence that little voice in my head. Maybe it would be fun. Probably it wouldn’t. But I will try to remind myself that fond memories of the good old days may be best if they are just left where they are. Great to visit once in a while, but maybe not something I want to go back to.

What’s your alignment

I love the latest edition of Dark Legacy Comics

I always thought of myself as Neutral Good in past RPGs. Or more like Lazy Good, in that I’m slightly predisposed towards being nice but most of the time can’t be bothered to do anything good or evil.

However, I think as I got older and more jaded, I think I’ve migrated over to Lawful Evil. I would totally use that picture of Krom as my avatar and all the officers in my old WoW guild would know it was me.

And my wife is most definitely Neutral Evil… without the naked part.

Turns out Margin Trading isn’t completely useless

Interesting series of articles pushed out by CCP lately, detailing some of the scams that can be found in EVE. I’ve never even heard of some of these and I think the Margin Trading fake buy order scam is actually quite clever and is likely to catch many pilots since there’s no way to tell that the buy order is fake until you try to fill it. Personally I don’t think the skill should work that way and should impose a penalty if there are insufficient funds in the wallet, perhaps by cancelling other orders/selling assets in order to cough up the funds. The ability of the human race to come up with creative ways to cheat others never ceases to amaze me *cough cough subprime loans cough*.

Even though I haven’t been actively playing EVE much at all the past few weeks, I still log on once daily to adjust my orders and so still get some chuckles at what goes on in the markets.

More money for the same thing? No thanks...

Saw this gem while checking out my contracts. Not only did he undercut by a massive amount since other sellers were pricing at 70 million ISK, he even undercut the Want to Buy contracts that were already existing. In other words, he could have gotten a whole 55 million ISK by filling the existing contracts, but instead preferred to get 52 million ISK minus a broker fee and sales tax. Maybe it was his Good Deed Of The Day, but I certainly appreciate his giving me a cheap faction afterburner to resell for 18 million ISK profit. Yummy!

The next example is actually pretty common, but this is such a perfect illustration that I couldn’t pass it up. It’s called “lolnoob everyone knows undercutting massively makes your items sell faster duh” syndrome:

Note the sell order for 41 Large Autocannon Specialisation books at 9,000,000 ISK. These have been selling for more than 11 million, but some bright spark obviously was too cool to undercut by 1 ISK and decided to show what a daring entrepreneur he was. Obviously his tactic would protect his order from dirty 0.01 undercutters right? Yeah, guess not.

It obviously didn’t help that his sell order was gigantic relative to the market volume for this item. Looking at the past month’s regional volume:

We can see that the daily volume in the entire region is on the order of 20-40 items. So this is not a fast-moving market. No trader is going to wait weeks for his order to slowly clear out of there, no matter how steep his undercut. So now his 41 books will sit there for months because he has crashed the market and everyone is going to trade below 9 million ISK now. And again note the average prices over the past few days… plenty of sales were going on at 11-12 million ISK, so it’s not like no one was buying at current prices.

That said, I’m not completely condemning him. If he is unable to check his order frequently, this may have been his only recourse since putting a high price would still result in his order being undercut anyway and this way he has a chance of selling some each time the price rises and falls past his 9 million threshold. However, I’ll check this order the next time I log on and if he has modified his price, then he is a Class 1A Idiot since all he would have accomplished is to destroy his own profits for the same volume of sales.

*Update* As suspected, he is an idiot. He updated his order by undercutting by another million and sold… a grand total of 1 book. And now he has been undercut again.

My Rifter skill plan is almost complete, with almost every Gunnery skill now at level IV. However, I still haven’t had any time (or inclination) to go out hunting with them. My wife and I have actually started playing Diablo 2 again, which we last played… er… 8 years ago? Wow. But amazingly it’s still fun, especially since we can play together which makes any game fun. I don’t know if its the grumpy old man in me speaking, but I still feel that many old games were so much better than the stuff that comes out nowadays, which is all about snazzy graphics disguising brainless gameplay. We’ve just finished Act I Hell with my sorceress and her lightning amazon, but damn it’s painful without good gear (my resists are all less than -20). Can’t wait for Diablo 3 to be released, but Diablo 2 is still managing to satisfy my collector’s itch.