I’m a pretty sedentary person, and it always feels good coming back home after a long trip. 10 days in San Fransisco was definitely fun but also very tiring, especially as we had to spend time taking care of my sister’s daughter as well as our son. The weather there is definitely much better, but the people aren’t as friendly either. It was only there that I realised how much I like the friendly, laid-back southern atmosphere here. The roads were full of scowling aggressive drivers, while here people will patiently wait and smile at you while you slowly cross pedestrian crossings with a wandering 4 year old.

Being around my sister’s family also made me feel very thankful for my own family. Now I can really see what a great job my wife does with our family and how well she takes care of her two boys, one big and one small. Also dealing with my sister’s daughter reinforced how much I dislike small girls (pink, princesses, dress up… ugh) and how lucky I am to have a relatively very well-behaved boy who runs around pretending to be a robot that transforms into a car. He got a ton of loot from Christmas which just filled up the house even more, but most of it is stuff that we can play with him like Legos and my old Lasy set so I get to enjoy them too.

While I was at my sister’s place I didn’t have any time for EVE except updating orders once or twice. However, a look at the market shows that I’m not alone in this (unsurprisingly). There’s very little liquidity resulting in crazy high prices. Amazingly even with the 2 weeks spent traveling I’ve still managed to pull in 3.1 billion ISK so far just from trading, so that easily pays for the skill training. My alt is learning T2 sentries for the Stratios, while my main is on Trajectory Analysis 5 just because it was kinda the right length of time.


Christmas break

This December is a pretty busy time for us. Just after returning from a 4 day trip to Washington, I’ll soon be flying to my sister’s place in San Francisco for Christmas. So it looks like nothing much is going to happen EVE-wise for this whole month.

However, before leaving I did manage to finish my side project…

Look what the Sisters gave me!

Look what the Sisters gave me!

Well maybe “gave” is not the right word, but 120,000 LP on 2 characters went by a bit faster than I expected. Yannie also almost has 8.0 standing with SOE by now, which may come in handy to install jump clones all over the universe. In order to bring the BPCs to my manufacturing station, I bought a Raptor interceptor. Man the thing is ugly, but it sure is fast. With two inertia stabilizers it warps in 2 seconds and turns on a dime. Of course I still didn’t use autopilot with 2 Stratios BPCs in my hold going through Niarja. A few hours later, I could finally pop into my space whambulance.

Squid + hot rod

Squid + hot rod

Not a big fan of the circle thing but I like the little radar thing on the hood that spins around. Haven’t fitted it yet, that’ll have to wait till I get back.

Heart attack

After returning from a conference in Washington, I finally got some time to do a level 4 mission. I had Worlds Collide on offer from my agent, so I was pretty keen to try it out for the first time in Rubicon. After checking over ammo and drones, the Golem and Vargur undocked to mercilessly harvest Sansha and Angel Cartel wreckage.

First up was the Angel Cartel gate. No issues there, although I didn’t MJD jump away to avoid the frigates. Doing so would put the Vargur way out of autocannon falloff, and I wanted to keep on salvaging while shooting to speed up the run. So I deployed Hobgoblin IIs and used the Golem to help nuke the frigates as well with cruise missiles and dual target painters. The final room went swimmingly as well and the Angel Cartel was soon safely reprocessed into salvage and tucked into my cargohold.

After picking up the crew members for mission completion, it was time to finish up the Sansha room. A bit mindful of the annoying Angel frigates, I sent the Golem in first, bastioned up and started shooting. Next the Vargur warped in and immediately started MWDing away to pull range on the frigates and hopefully blap them while they orbit the Golem.

The plan worked initially, however soon I noticed that the Vargur was taking fire from the Sansha battleships. Repper on… ok looks like incoming damage is too high, BASTION ACTIVATED. Check on the Golem to make sure it’s still firing…

Go back to the Vargur… wait shields are at 80% and falling. Is Bastion on? Hmm it’s green… shields are at 70% and falling. Er… hardeners on? Yes they are… shields are at 50%. Umm… mind blanked out. Shields are at 30%.

Ok time to get serious here with these Sansha fools, OVERLOAD BOOSTER! OVERLOAD HARDENER! OVERLOAD DAMAGE CONTROL wait I can’t. Grr stupid Sansha giving me a repair bill, the audacity… shields still falling. Mummy? The first few shots bite chunks into the Vargur’s armor.

At this point I tell my wife who’s sitting beside me “Oh shit I’m going to lose this ship”. I’m also a bit amazed that the incoming damage is so high that even while Bastioned my overloaded tank is failing. Granted it’s only 2 slots and weakest against Sansha, but even then it’s a 975 dps tank. I shudder to think about those people who put a medium repper on their Marauder because “you only need a 400 dps tank”. Maybe if they MJD away from everything and do weaksauce damage…

While I was preparing to buy a new Vargur, suddenly the clouds of despair parted and hope flashed like the journal informing me of yummy bounty ticks. MJD! Bastion was 3/4 of the way through a cycle, so I turned it off and began preparing to engage in a mad clickfest. And…. go! Bastion off, MJDMJDMJDMJDMJDMJDMJDMJD and the Vargur squirted 100 km away from the perplexed Sansha frigates and their puny points with 30% armor and 20% capacitor left. A few seconds later and the Vargur warped off to a random asteroid belt to lick its wounds, leaving behind 5 valiant Hobgoblin IIs.

All this while however the Golem has been sitting there idly lobbing cruise missiles. I prepared myself to gtfo again, but somehow the incoming damage didn’t spike like it did with the Vargur and I could easily keep it at 100% shields. After a couple of minutes the Vargur reentered the fray, eager for revenge, and in short order there was only the looting and salvaging left. Oh and the pickup of 3 surviving Hobgobs! You did well, little drones.

Shortly after returning to base, the missioneers around the station were treated to the sight of a sheepish looking Vargur undocking and Bastioning up at the undock with an odd assortment of armor reppers…

Tidying up

I’ve been enjoying running missions in the new Marauders. Despite my initial reservations, I have to thank CCP for these changes. The synergy with the mobile tractor unit, mobile depot and Bastion is pretty amazing. I’m even making more and more use of the MJD, although I still don’t use it for triangle jumping because that’s a lot of hassle. My fits are dual prop with MWD anyway for anything that’s not in convenient MJD range. The immunity to e-war is very nice, and the super tank lets me do things in even more stupid ways. I pulled Damsel in Distress, which normally has pretty high incoming damage if you warp to 0 into the mission. This time I warped in 20 km off and double Bastioned and tanked every single thing, which was pretty hilarious.

Hi guys, wassup!

Hi guys, wassup!

The Golem got surrounded by these Machariel-lookalikes spewing autocannon rounds. Unfortunately it had about the same effect as a gentle summer shower on my 1000-plus dps tank. Unfortunately I still managed to lose all 10 salvage drones to the explosion when I took out the Pleasure Garden. Guess that’s why I bought a stack of 200 of them, sigh.

Got another interesting moment while doing Massive Attack. The Paladin was Bastioned exactly 100km away after a MJD, and I aligned the Golem to the Paladin and MJDed too in order to assist in the salvage. Resulting in the following situation.

They started out as friends

They started out as friends

Maybe I should be expecting a baby Nightmare soon.

I finally also got my act together and decided to tidy up my mission base and sell off all the stuff I had accumulated there. It took a long long time to go through every thing, recycling anything under 25k ISK in value. Finally I loaded up my Orca and realised that I had 2 billion ISK in loot from missions and exploration. Even more amazing was that 450M ISK was in salvaged materials. I had only started playing EVE again on August 22, and I’m pretty sure somewhere between then and now I had already dumped a bunch of salvaged stuff to my factory station. So that means that, as infrequently as I run missions, I still managed to get half a billion in salvage in a couple of months. Wow.

Since I was going to Amarr, I also went on a PI pickup run. Someone had put up new POCOs at all my planets and put a 17% tax on them. I’m not too sure how all this stuff works, but I just launched my goods into space from the launchpad (which is what I’ve always been doing) and picked it up from the customs office. Do they get the tax that way? I loaded up an Epithal with as much coolant as it could handle and jumped that together with the Orca.

Man, after flying a Cheetah that Orca sure does feel slow. I was a bit worried about getting ganked with 2 billion in my Orca and 350 million in my Epithal, but the gates into Amarr are usually pretty quiet. On a related note, I just found out that I’ve been flying around with overviews that did not show “Attack Battlecruisers”. If I’m not mistaken that means I’ve been checking for Tornado camps without actually being able to see them. Very intelligent…

Fortunately there were no incidents and I docked into Amarr safely and offloaded my loot. All the PI goods sold off relatively fast but it will still take some time to clear all the various modules. I sold as many as I could to buy orders that I felt were reasonable, but there are still more than 100 items left that my trade alt will slowly sell off when his order slots get freed up (he only has 45). I’ll probably get a little less than 2 billion, maybe 1.7.

Of course, I immediately went shopping. I’ve been missioning for a long time with level 3 implants, mostly because I didn’t feel that the 1-2% improvements were worth the cost for +5 implants. However, as part of an upcoming plan I would need to set up some empty jump clones and put some implants into them from scratch. So I decided to splurge a bit with 2 sets of +4 attribute implants (never trained Cybernetics V…), +5s for cruise missile damage, target navigation prediction, guided missile precision and rapid launch, +5s for turret tracking, turret rate of fire, and large projectile turret damage, and some +3s to fill in the empty slots with stuff like capacitor recharge and shield hp. Total bill was around 1.3 billion, but hopefully they will last me for a long time.

Exploration diaries – Part 6 : Looking around

While perusing through some EVE maps, I found out that the low sec systems that I went to for an escalation a while back actually looped around and connected to another system 3 jumps from my main mission base. That got me curious to take a look through those systems to see if that’s a nice route to take on the days that I don’t feel like doing missions.

Poking around in my hangar reveals a little used Cheetah with a Covert Ops cloak and nothing else. I believe I bought this more than a year ago just to play with the cloak after I finished training Covert Ops. I fit it with a data and relic analyzer and some nanos in the lows as well as a plain old core probe launcher. Noork has pretty basic scanning skills but no harm taking a look.

After my last foray I find myself pretty inured to the thought of jumping into low sec. I used to pause and reconsider every time that warning popped up at the gate, to make sure I was prepared. Now it’s just like “yeah yeah get on with it”. As expected, the gate was clear. There were 2 others in system, but not in sight. I then proceeded with my routine of making a safe and a perch bookmark at each gate.

A few jumps in there was a dead-end system that I thought looked interesting. Unfortunately others had the same idea as there were 3 others in local. On a whim I decided to try to scan down the 3 signatures in system. The first one resolved into a data site so I warped in to see if anyone was there. Hmmm… looks empty. Cans are unopened. Might as well try this out… After locking the cans I flip my overview back to my main tab (loot cans only show up on my loot tab) just in case. It hadn’t occurred to me till now that while hacking I would be floating there uncloaked, and I can’t even align out because I need to stay close to the cans.

First can was hacked in 2 seconds as I got lucky and the system core was only a few nodes away. Even with hacking at 3 it went down with no problem and I got a few decryptors and random parts which I have no idea what they are used for. The second node took a little bit longer but still went down nice and quick, yielding more decryptors and a Amarr Encryption skillbook. The last node looked to contain more decryptors and a blueprint (forget what it was but not too interesting). I started hacking it when I glanced at my overview and noticed a Proteus landing on grid 45 km off.

Immediately I closed the hacking window and selected warp to the first thing that my mouse clicked on, which was ironically not the safe spot I had made (way to miss the point of a safe spot). Fortunately I didn’t get hung up on the container or anything stupid like that and I warped off before he got within 40 km. Well that was the end of my first “PVP encounter” that was not a prearranged RvB fight or a gank.

After that I warped to my safe spot and continued scanning down the other 2 signatures, which proved to be a combat site and a wormhole. Just as I scan down the second the Proteus pilot tells me in local what the other 2 signatures are. Welp, thanks I guess? Can’t do the combat site in an unarmed Cheetah so off I go.

The rest of the trip proves uneventful, with a lot of bookmarking and nothing else. With the warp speed changes in Rubicon, the Cheetah warps REALLY FAST. I don’t have an interceptor for comparison but in some systems I had a hard time making bookmarks before coming out of warp. I didn’t really bother scanning down any other signatures as I was a bit short of time. Mostly I was keeping an eye out for active pilots that had low sec status. I found a couple, but at least they did not seem to be part of any sort of active pirate corp. Most of the pilots I saw seemed to be industrialists, which makes this area seem somewhat promising for further exploration. Unfortunately some research online suggests that doing the combat anomalies in low-sec is a complete waste of time, which sorta nixes my plans to bring in 2 sentry cruisers. I was a bit worried about how safe I would be in those anomalies anyway since anyone can warp to them without even having to probe it out and there aren’t any gates to decloak people.