Rubicon : Marauder changes

So ok, I’m a little bit slow. I had heard that Marauders were going to be rebalanced, which was one of the reasons I started training Minmatar Battleship 5 for the Vargur. Also, there are rumblings of the pirate battleships being nerfed. It has already started with the change to tracking enhancers, which kinda annoyed my Machariel because now it only has a falloff range of 54 which is slightly under what I prefer (around 65 seems to be about my comfort zone). I could refit it with an armor tank and get back a 64km falloff but I’m getting used to the ease of salvaging with a Marauder, hence my buying a Vargur in Jita. At the time I thought I was being clever and wanted to pick up a Vargur before any price changes due to an assumed Marauder buff, but little did I realise that the Marauder changes had already been announced on 22 August so the price had already spiked and was declining. Might have overpaid slightly on that but honestly a 20-30 million difference on a 900 million hull isn’t really a big deal. And of course now my post about the Golem vs CNR vs CNS is outdated…again.

At this point it seems like the main gist of the Marauder changes, Bastion Mode, has pretty much already been locked in since they have already done the corresponding transformation animations. CCP’s notes on Bastion mode are reproduced here.

Summary:
– 2 modes, regular and Bastion mode

    – Regular mode has reduced Micro Jump Drive (MJD) cooldown of under 1 minute
    – Bastion mode (insert Transformers Devastator combining sound) is a fortress, can’t move (including MJD) but has the following bonuses:

    – Increases shield and armor repair amount by 100%
    – Extends all large turret falloff and optimal by 25%
    – Increases all large missile max velocity by 25%
    – Has a cycle time of 60 seconds.
    – When in bastion mode, Marauder is immune to EW but cannot be remote assisted in any way

    – Bastion mode may require new skill, does not use any fuel/cap. Requires a new high slot module (10 CPU and 100 PG) and all Marauders are getting an extra utility high slot

Bad stuff
– Slightly slower and increased mass to compensate for MJD bonus
– Severely nerfed drone bays and bandwidth
– Still extremely vulnerable to jamming…
– Lost tanking bonuses (sad panda… I liked this part of Marauders…)

Good stuff
– Increased fittings, especially powergrid
– Increased max targeting range and scan resolution (OH YES)
– Decreased signature radius
– T2 resists (mmmmmm drooool…)
– All Marauders now get stasis webifier velocity factor bonus
– Target painter cycle time reduced from 10 to 5 seconds (always welcome)

So here are the proposed new ship stats:

PALADIN

Role Bonus: 100% bonus to large energy weapon damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams, 70% reduction in Micro Jump Drive reactivation delay

Amarr Battleship Skill Bonus:
5% bonus to capacitor capacity
7.5% bonus to Large Energy Turret optimal range (instead of 10% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level)

Marauder Skill Bonus:
7.5% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
5% bonus to large energy turret damage per level

Slot layout: 8H(+1), 4M, 7L; 4 turrets, 0 launchers
Fittings: 16500 PWG (+3000), 530 CPU (+30)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 6300(-500) / 8000(-200) / 7700(+400)
Shield resists: 0% EM / 87.5% EX / 70% KIN / 20% THERM
Armor resists: 50% EM / 80% EX / 62.5% KIN / 35% THERM
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 8000(+2375) / 1000s (+76.1s) / 8 cap/s (+2)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 85 m/s(-20) / .119(-0.009) / 111665000(+6465000) / 18.42s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25(-50) / 50(-25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 91km(+10km) / 120(+39) / 10
Sensor strength: 12 Radar
Signature radius: 420(-80)


GOLEM

Role Bonus: 100% bonus to cruise missile and torpedo damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams, 70% reduction in Micro Jump Drive reactivation delay

Caldari Battleship Skill Bonus:
10% bonus to cruise missile and torpedo velocity
5% bonus to cruise missile and torpedo explosion velocity per level

Marauders Skill Bonus:
7.5% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
10% bonus to effectiveness of target painters per level

Slot layout: 8H(+1), 7M, 4L; 0 turrets, 4 launchers
Fittings: 8500 PWG (+2000), 715 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 8000(-200) / 6100(-1200) / 7000(+300)
Shield resists: 0% EM / 50% EX / 70% KIN / 80% THERM
Armor resists: 50% EM / 10% EX / 62.5% KIN / 86.25% THERM
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 6325(+700) / 1150s (+226.1s) / 5.5 cap/s (-0.5)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 85 m/s(-20) / .12 / 114195000(+8995000) / 19s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 25(-50) / 50(-25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 95km(+5km) / 105(+32) / 10
Sensor strength: 14 Gravimetric
Signature radius: 450(-125)

KRONOS

Role Bonus: 100% bonus to large hybrid weapon damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams, 70% reduction in Micro Jump Drive reactivation delay

Gallente Battleship Skill Bonus:
5% bonus to large hybrid weapon damage
10% bonus to large Hybrid Turret Falloff per level (instead of 10% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level)

Marauder Skill Bonus:
7.5% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
7.5% bonus to large hybrid weapon tracking per level

Slot layout: 8H(+1), 4M, 7L; 4 turrets, 0 launchers
Fittings: 14000 PWG (+2000), 580 CPU (+30)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 6600(-200) / 7200(-100) / 8600(+400)
Shield resists: 0% EM / 50% EX / 85% KIN / 60% THERM
Armor resists: 50% EM / 10% EX / 83.75% KIN / 67.5% THERM
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 6900(+1275) / 1150s (+226.1s) / 6 cap/s
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 92 m/s(-28) / .114(-0.0038) / 113160000(+11360000) / 17.8s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50(-25) / 50(-75)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 90km(+3km) / 120(+39) / 10
Sensor strength: 13 Magnetometric
Signature radius: 420(-80)

VARGUR

Role Bonus: 100% bonus to large projectile weapon damage, 100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams, 70% reduction in Micro Jump Drive reactivation delay

Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus:
5% bonus to large projectile turret rate of fire
10% bonus to large projectile turret falloff per level

Marauder Skill Bonus:
7.5% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level
7.5% bonus to large projectile turret tracking per level

Slot layout: 8H(+1), 6M, 5L; 4 turrets, 0 launchers
Fittings: 12900 PWG(+5000), 625 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 7500(-100) / 6600(-200) / 6300 (-1000)
Shield resists: 75% EM / 50% EX / 40% KIN / 60% THERM
Armor resists: 90% EM / 10% EX / 25% KIN / 67.5% THERM
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap/s) : 6200(+575) / 1100s(+176.1s) / 5.6 cap/s (-0.4)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 100 m/s(-30) / .112(-0.004) / 116840000(+10740000) / 18.1s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 50(-25) / 50(-25)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 81km(+6km) / 145(+60) / 10
Sensor strength: 11 Ladar
Signature radius: 360(-65)

My take:

First off it’s pretty clear that the new Marauders are being balanced under the assumption that everyone is going to use Bastion mode, which may or may not be a valid one. While the ships are getting T2 resists, it’s not clear how that’s going to pan out in light of the removal of the local rep bonuses. In the case of my Paladin, it gets amazing explosive and kinetic resists… which doesn’t help me one bit since I use it to mission in Amarr space, you know, since it’s a laser boat and all? I get that it’s plugging the armor tank resist hole, but at least buff the em and thermal slightly? The Golem on the other hand will have wtf thermal resists, so that suits me fine. Vargur resists also look pretty drool-worthy and it should have a decent tank even with the removal of the shield boost bonus. In any case, for PVE I don’t really see a reason why people wouldn’t use Bastion mode since Marauders are already slow. I’m not super hot on the range bonuses on Bastion mode though, especially on the Golem. It’s too short to allow torpedoes to be used easily (still has the 20 round launcher annoyance and requires Javelins) and with cruises… seriously, who in their right mind thinks cruises need even more range? Any more and I could shoot rats from the neighboring system… But it could help the turreted ships drop a targeting computer and would tie in nicely with the Paladin’s new optimal range bonus. The e-war immunity is nice though, no more tracking disruption and jamming, mmmmm… poor rats just lost their only real weapon.

Transform - Fortress Maximus!

Transform – Fortress Maximus!

The real question then is the MJD. CCP seems to think that the MJD and Bastion mode should be utilised together, but I have my doubts. MJD use will negate the traditional Marauder salvaging role (unless they suddenly give me 100km tractors as well). The range bonuses on Bastion mode will be underutilised if you don’t use MJD, but oh well. I was initially concerned about how I would survive if web/scrambling frigates get in close when in Bastion mode, especially with the reduced drone bays. But apparently NPCs only point, and don’t actually use warp scramblers so MJD supposedly works even when pointed (never tested this). If this is true then if frigates get too close you can just MJD out and pop them from range again, so MJD does seem attractive since you should never ever die to scrambling NPCs ever again. However, with the nerf to the already slow speed of Marauders you’d have to be pretty good at doing MJD jumps to get close to gates that are 20-30 km away. Get out your calculators and revise your sine/cosine rules to determine what angle you need to jump away from so you can jump back to the gate at 0. The other option is to mount a MJD as well as a prop mod. This would be my preference, but I’d have to play around with a fitting tool to see if the tank is viable enough to sacrifice a slot this way. Maybe I just need to learn how to MJD properly, it would open up a lot of options. Of course, it would solve all my problems if the MJD was changed to allow variable jump ranges but I’m not very hopeful on this one.

If not, I’m perfectly happy just using Bastion mode to tank everything instead of jumping away. Even with the massive drone bay nerf, 5 light drones should be enough to kill pesky frigates gradually while you super-tank incoming DPS. Instead of using 5 salvage drones and 5 Hammerhead II’s, I’ll just drop the Hammerheads to Hobgoblins or Warriors. I could also drop one of my tractors for a smartbomb and use that in Bastion mode against frigates.

MJD? Pwah, destroy the Rebel scum!

MJD? Pwah, destroy the Rebel scum!

As for the ship fitting and bonus changes, I’m generally positive about them. I mean who can complain about more powergrid? I’m looking forward to trying out artillery on the Vargur 🙂 A lot of people are upset about the nerfing of super webs, but I currently don’t use webs on my Paladin anyway… And a decrease from 50% web bonus to 37.5% web bonus feels acceptable. Personally I’d prefer if the different factions got different bonuses though, instead of a bland web bonus to all of them. This is what you get when PVP idiots rave all day long about balance… you get ships that are all the same. The scan resolution changes are just icing on the cake, no more super long lock times will definitely be an improvement.

I’m initially quite excited by this. It’s something quite different and since I don’t have and probably never will own a dreadnought, I like the idea of a mini-dread in high-sec. Unlike a lot of complainers, I’m indifferent as to whether the skill is a new skill or tied to Tactical Weapons Reconfiguration since I would have to train it up in any case. I really hope CCP doesn’t listen to the idiots suggesting that it should use some type of fuel for Bastion mode to tie in with the dreadnought skill, because that would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Just because they don’t want to train for a new skill they’d rather cart around a shit ton of crappy fuel items all over the place? Ok…

If the result of these changes is that the salvaging-as-I-go idea is totally broken… well… I suppose I can live with that, although then I might change out my dual-box pair to Marauder + Command ship. That would allow me to cart both the Noctis and the Command ship in my Orca, but it’s still not ideal because some missions require travel up to 2 jumps away and it’s a pain bookmarking multiple rooms and travelling 8 jumps instead of 4 per mission. Hmm. Not very appealing. I think I’d probably just fit a Bastion module and continue with my prop mods then, unless they remove the “useless” tractor beam bonus that a lot of people seem to want to get rid of 😦

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Odyssey : Navy Raven vs Navy Scorpion vs Golem

Clash of the Caldari Cruises!

Seems like I get a fair bit of hits from people looking at the various combinations of CNR vs CNS vs Golem, and my old posts are woefully out of date so I thought it would be a good idea to do an updated comparison in light of the ship rebalancing changes.

Turns out that all 3 of them have very similar fits now, so I threw together fits for the Navy Raven and Navy Scorpion that are very comparable to my current Golem fit. And here they are…

Cruise Golem:
Golem - Yannie Faction Cruise Ex

Cruise Navy Raven:
Raven Navy Issue - Faction

Cruise Navy Scorpion:
Scorpion Navy Issue - Cruise Faction TP

Again, these fits aren’t tailored for each ship but rather intentionally chosen to be very similar so that I can compare each ship’s strengths and weaknesses. Frankly I don’t think there really is that much room for variation left anyway.

First of all, the biggest change in Odyssey is that all three ships do the exact same DPS (edit: I’ve since learned that the Navy Raven is still very slightly better in terms of damage application). The Navy Raven and the Golem have higher volley damage but the Navy Scorpion has a rate of fire bonus that makes it equivalent. It used to be that the Navy Raven had the higher damage of the three, but this is no longer the case. All three ships also have the same drone bay and bandwidth, so I’m going to ignore drones.

Second of all, you’ll notice that the Navy Scorpion is like a midway point between the Navy Raven and the Golem. It’s tank is better than a Navy Raven but worse than a Golem, it’s slow like a Golem and has poor scan resolution like a Golem but targets out to 112.5 km just like a Golem (compared to a Navy Raven’s 93.75 km), but has pretty good sensor strength like the Navy Raven.

So what does it all mean? I’ll break down the pros and cons by ship, and then examine how I’d personally choose among the three.

Golem
Pros:
– Amazing tank
– Huge cargohold
– 3 utility slots with double tractor beam range (48km) and speed
– 4 doubled launchers means half the ammo cost (also cheaper to buy faction launchers but this is offset by increased price of the hull)

Cons:
– Need to train Marauders…
– Very low scan resolution and sensor strength means long lock times and extreme vulnerability to jamming
– Lowest EHP by far at <70k
– Vulnerable to defender missiles at long ranges as each missile lost is 25% of damage

Navy Raven
Pros:
– Most agile, 20% more speed and aligns 1 sec faster
– Good scan resolution and good sensor strength (targets frigates about 6 secs faster than Golem/Navy Scorpion)
– Can drop a CCC rig for something like targeting range rig or shield rig to help the tank
– Has better damage application to smaller targets due to better ship bonus

Cons:
– NO UTILITY HIGH SLOT (have to fly to every mission container…)
– Shorter targeting range (not normally a problem anyway, and can be bumped up to similar levels with Large Ionic Field Projector rig as noted above)
– Chomps through cruise missiles, can get expensive if you want to use faction or T2 ammo
– Weaker tank means you need to spend more to get adequate defense, other 2 can get by with T2 boosters.

Navy Scorpion
Pros:
– Looks way better than any recolored Raven model
– Very good tank
– Utility high slot
– Naturally high EHP at >120k

Cons:
– Not as vulnerable to jamming, but still has Golem lock times
– Slighter better with ammo than Navy Raven, but not much
– Slowest of the three ships
– Needs rigor rigs vs small targets

How I would choose

My first consideration would be whether I could live without a tractor beam, or whether I intend to salvage at all. If I don’t intend to salvage anything (or am ok with coming back later with a Noctis) then a Navy Raven would be the best. You just warp in, shoot everything that needs to be shot, warp out and come back with another ship to pick up mission loot. If you want to salvage as you go then obviously the Golem is the best choice now that it can pack salvage drones too.

My second consideration would be whether I would primarily be fighting Guristas. Doing so solo in a Golem can be a bit aggravating due to the jamming. You’ll still get jammed no matter which ship you use, but the combination of easily jammed and long lock times is exceptionally bad.

And lastly, it would depend on the skills you currently have. A Navy Scorpion is easier for a newer pilot because it does the same damage as the Navy Raven but combines that with a stronger tank, meaning you’re less likely to lose it in those OH SHIT moments. With low skills and not much ISK a Navy Raven is dangerously thin-skinned, so you really need to know the missions pretty well. On the other end of the skill spectrum is the Golem. If you’re willing to train for Marauders, then a Golem is flat out better than a Navy Scorpion in almost every department except sensor strength. It combines the strongest tank with the same DPS, and if you’re not being jammed then it just locks stuff up a few seconds slower than the Navy Raven, while being able to provide a lot more utility.

Rise of the Marauders

More than a year ago, I wrote about my mixed impressions of the Golem. I actually trained my alt for 151 days to fly one, which even now sounds pretty mind-boggling to me. However, eventually I shelved my torpedo Golem and spent most of my time using a Tengu. Of course that meant more skill training, during which I bitterly cursed my folly in even training for Marauders in the first place, but at least the training for a strategic cruiser isn’t as bad.

So obviously, when I was looking at training my main in something new I chose to train him in Marauders too!

Marauder Too! Get it? ... No?

Marauder Too! Get it? … No?

Ok, wrong game. However, to my credit the thought process that went into this wasn’t just “lets spin the skill wheel and see where it lands”. You see, my corp had a capital construction project in which members would sell their minerals to the corp, which then used corp BPOs to build capital ships which would be sold to corp members at a slight discount to market prices. So it was a win-win-win for both the miners to readily dispose of minerals (and for a good cause), prospective capital ship owners and the corp (which took a slight cut of the profits). I had been very impressed with Rooks and Kings triage carrier videos, so like a raving Iphone fanboy I went and signed myself up to get an Amarr Archon carrier for 1 billion ISK. So now I finally get to say “Carrier has arrived!” in my best Protoss voice while looking at my assets tab.

Obviously not mine

Obviously not mine

Flying a carrier was one of those far-off things that I wanted to do when I first started playing EVE. I always loved drone boats and a carrier is like a mega-Dominix and jump-capable Orca rolled into one. Too bad they can’t be used in high-sec… le sigh. Anyway, the reason why I could only look at it in my assets tab is because I didn’t have Amarr Battleship V, which WAS required for the Amarr Carrier skill before the skill changes in Odyssey.

So then I reasoned that hey since I’m going to be training for Amarr Battleship V anyway, why not look at the Amarr Marauder and see if it’s any good. I had large T2 lasers from training up for my Nightmare already, so that wasn’t a problem. I was mightily impressed by the firepower of the Nightmare from the few missions that I used it in, but the tank was slightly lacking by my admittedly lofty standards. At that time lasers used a bit more cap, and it takes a bit more effort to shield tank against EM/Thermal which is what I faced in Amarr space. Of course I didn’t want to re-rig the ship either since it was supposed to be my Incursion ship… yeah yeah it’s my own fault.

So enter the Paladin. Same Blood Raider melting power, but… aha! Armor tanked, which has naturally high EM/Thermal resists. Paladin - T2 Pulse Faction MWD And yes, I did end up splurging a bit on the fittings, especially the deadspace armor repairer and T2 cap rig but at least the performance boost was significant. I fit a MWD instead of an afterburner because I wanted to spend as little time as possible flying to far-off wrecks to salvage, it IS a Marauder after all and if I’m not going to salvage as I go then I might as well fly something else.

Part of it was also an experiment to see if it was just the Golem that I found annoying, or was it Marauders in general. The fact that I was previously running the Golem in Gurista space was also particularly annoying, since one of the weaknesses of Marauders is low sensor strength and those Guristas really love their bread and jamjamjamjam. At least in Amarr space you seldom encounter missions with jamming ships, so the Marauder might actually get to shoot once in a while instead of going through an endless cycle of “long locking time cos of low sensor strength…. oh hey jammed again”.

The result of the experiment was that yes, it was the Golem that was particularly annoying. I loved the Paladin, lovingly named Bubble Hearth in a tribute to my WoW days. I can imagine those Blood Raiders feeling particularly impotent wailing on a 750 dps tank that holds for 18 minutes. Even though the listed dps is only 709 without drones, much lower than the Machariel’s 865, in practice the Paladin definitely wins the damage trophy (obviously only in Amarr space) due to much better optimal vs falloff (58/16 vs 4/51 respectively).

However one thing that remained unsatisfactory, however, was the salvaging time. With only 2 tractor beams and 1 salvager, it still took way longer to salvage than to kill and it was still much more efficient to come back later with a Noctis, which kinda obviates the major selling point of Marauders. And so things remained through the dark days of Subscription Lapse… until…

Marauder salvation!

Marauder salvation!

With the Odyssey patch came Salvage drones, light drones that will automatically salvage any wrecks within drone control range and deposit the materials in your cargo hold. Of course, they don’t do any damage, although you’d think that being cut open with a welding torch would be detrimental to an enemy ship’s health. But in practice the loss in actual dps is not a big deal, since most of the time drones just spend their time flying willy-nilly through space anyway. Also if I’m not mistaken there was an update some time ago that gave Sleeper-like A.I to most enemies causing them to switch targets more = instant death to any drone except sentries. For some reason though the salvage drones tend to get left alone, maybe because they don’t attract any aggro? So I could just fit 3 tractor beams (that go out to 48km) and deploy drones at the start of a mission, and by the time I finish a room normally 90% of the wrecks have already been salvaged and I just have to spend time during the mission tractoring in the occasional loot can.

Of course, what’s better than 3 tractor beams and 5 salvage drones? The answer is : 6 tractor beams and 10 salvage drones!

Arise, Golemus Prime

Arise, Golemus Prime

The nerf to heavy missiles and the buff to cruise missiles now makes the cruise Golem, once the subject of cruel jokes in Caldari shipyards, a pretty deadly mission ship. The dps is inferior to a torpedo Golem of course, but at least it’s not Drake-level dps anymore. Compared to my old Tengu, the cruise Golem can lock 6 more targets at a further range, shoot further and does about 200 more dps (with fully selectable damage type compared to the Tengu’s kinetic-only missiles). PLUS, it comes with it’s own drone bay and 3 more tractor beams. Each launcher carries 30 shots instead of 20 like a torpedo launcher, and obviously range is of zero consequence with cruise missiles.

Overall I’m really happy with my double Marauder setup now. My Noctis has yet to be used (except for a particularly unfortunate voyage which shall be chronicled later). I almost never have to wait for drones to salvage anything and missions are really fun now, without a lot of the logistical hassle that I had to go through previously with bookmarking rooms and worrying about ninja-salvagers or dipshits ganking my Noctis. I did Angel Extravanganza plus bonus room a few nights ago with my Golem and Machariel (because lasers don’t do explosive damage…) and took exactly 1 hour 15 minutes from undocking to mission completion, with a side stop to pick up more explosive cruise missiles and salvaging every single thing in every room. Not bad for 44 million ISK in bounties, 50 million ISK in salvage and 4 million from the agent. Not including LPs (since I never spend them :|) that’s 78.4 million ISK per hour which is almost Incursion level income.

In fact, guess what I’m training for right now? Mmmm… Minmatar Battleship V is on the way…

Flying cannons ahoy

Flying cannons ahoy

Wow… anyone in here?

Ahem. Well. Hiya blog, it’s been a long time. Hope you’re not mad at me for bailing out for like…oh… more than a year. I’m sure it went by in a flash, no hard feelings?

Anyway… I’m still alive, unless the blog evolved A.I. while waiting for me to log back in. And strangely enough, in the great big migratory cycle of Currently Played Games, I find myself back in EVE, which is where I left off last time.

What’s been happening

In real life, I’m still trucking along in my PhD studies. Right now I’m coming up on my third year and have mostly finished my classes and will be concentrating on research and writing that pesky formality known as a thesis. In fact that’s part of the reason why I’m here, I thought it would be a good idea to get used to doing a bit more writing again to try to get the brain cells working.

Spaceships

Dakka dakka dakka

Dakka dakka dakka

Shiny gold space tick

Shiny gold space tick

During the hiatus I stopped playing EVE for a while, for a couple of reasons. I was in a great corp, but unfortunately corp operations were not really very regular and a lot of them were in an awkward time zone (since they are mostly Aussies). I kinda really feel bad about not telling them though, since I basically just stopped logging in. As a matter of fact I think they demonstrated enormous patience by only just kicking me from the corp in July (one month before I resubscribed…) I’m going to try to reapply but they have a rule saying even returning players need to play EVE for a month before reapplying, which understandably helps to cut down on the number of applications from people who just want to come in and see what’s new (*cough* not like me at all, uh huh). Part of it was also that I got ganked moving 1.5 billion ISK worth of modules from Jita to Amarr in a T1 hauler. First time I’ve been ganked, and probably a story I will tell later. The monetary loss wasn’t a big deal, but I felt bad about it nonetheless especially as it greatly impacted the corp’s killboards. Lastly, a large part of the fun in EVE is based on having some kind of goal or plan. I felt kinda aimless at the time and was basically just spending time updating orders and training skills again, and so eventually I just let my sub lapse.

Tanks

I started playing World of Tanks again for a period of time, but ultimately stopped as well. I ground up the German heavy line to the Tier 9 E-75, expecting to be a bulletproof monster romping on the battlefields (based on my own experience from the other end of the 128mm cannon). I also ground up to the Tier 9 Russian tank destroyer Object 704, a.k.a Boomstick. Unfortunately, I came to the realization that I mostly just suck at higher tier matches. Also, I got into a streak of incredible losses where my win rate just plummeted drastically and I felt that I was just spending my evenings grinding out my daily doubles while getting aggravated. Part of it could be that I got too caught up in my stats, but at the same time I didn’t want to be one of the facerollers that present a bigger obstacle to their own team than the enemies.

Cute rabbit-eared things with big swords

Ferociously cute

Ferociously cute

I believe it was around December 2012 that I bought Guild Wars 2, after hearing so much hype about it. Some delicate negotiation had to be handled with the wife, the tight-fisted Scrooge McDuck in charge of finances. Mostly she just wanted me to concentrate on my work and stop playing so much, but eventually my devastating charm (or maybe the pathetic puppy dog eyes) managed to secure the go-ahead.

Guild Wars 2 is pretty fun, especially for a title which only requires a box purchase. I think I tend to have pretty positive impressions of any cash-shop game which allows you to trade cash shop currency for game currency. This is probably no surprise to any reader (hah!) who has read some of my earlier posts, especially since Scrooge McDuck also got interested in the game and predictably proceeded to amass a gold stockpile to fill her swimming pool with. I’ve converted gold into diamonds to buy 2 more character slots and a pack of miniatures. I’m generally pretty indifferent to any sort of cosmetic upgrade, so most of our gold just sits there looking sparkly. It does make me snigger whenever I see anyone in chat talking about how they earned 2 GOLD OMG I’M RICH, but at the same time I’m pretty sure that there are people out there with tens of thousands of gold so yeah best not to feel too snide. So far we have a level 80 warrior, necro, ranger, mesmer, a mid-level (and abandoned) elementalist and now I’m leveling a guardian. We participated in World vs World quite a bit early on, but nowadays I just PVE and my wife has stopped playing.

Mining and crafting

Wow, I did a lot of things didn’t I. I also started (and stopped) playing Minecraft for quite a bit. Maybe it’s a sign of my old age that my interests tend to drift around a lot more nowadays, at least compared to when I played WoW for what, 6 years? Minecraft has grown quite a lot since I first tried it out, and the modding community is amazing. Mods really add so much more to the game. I tried out quite a few of them and had quite a lot of fun, even going to the Nether this time and building a base inside a stronghold I found there. Ultimately though, I’m not a very creative type and most of the fun I had was in setting up a home in a new place. Once it was actually set up though I start feeling aimless, and eventually I felt that there was no point exploring for resources to obtain if I never build anything with those resources.

Back to spaceships

Which brings me back to EVE… again. Even though I wasn’t playing EVE, I still maintained a distant interest through reading blogs like Jester’s Trek or The Ancient Gaming Noob who basically is 80% of the reason I even started to play EVE anyway. After the Odyssey patch, I realised that there was a bunch of new stuff in EVE (ship rebalancing, hacking mini-game, salvage drones) and decided to resubscribe to check it out (hope my corp doesn’t read this…). So far I’m pretty happy in space, getting back in the flow of things and blowing stuff up with my two accounts, which shall be detailed in further posts since this is getting way too long. And of course, part of the joy of EVE is new shinies.

Slayer of evil pirates everywhere

Slayer of evil pirates everywhere