Doh scammed

Ugh just got scammed out of a ME 1 PE 1 Naglfar BPO. My fault for being stupid and greedy.

I’ve been researching a couple of Naglfar BPOs thinking I might as well get some use out of my research slots as well as make use of my ISK that’s just sitting around. So finally I decide to sell them off because I didn’t want to hold on to them for too long. Put up a contract for 2.7 billion and while I was sitting around, I got a convo request from someone called Yummy Yummy Yummy.

Normally I don’t even open up Jita local and ignore all chat requests, but for some reason I decided to open this one. He offered me 5 PLEX for the BPO, which obviously was worth more than 2.7 billion. My first (and correct) instinct was to tell him to just sell the PLEX and buy the contract. However I guess my greed got the better of my brain and I said sure. I thought I checked the trade carefully, but long story short I ended up with 5 plastic wraps renamed as PLEX.

Sigh, not a good day. Looks like my Naglfar BPO investment will end up as a loss.

Moral of the story : never ever ever ever accept any trade unless it’s in a contract, and even then check very carefully. Another lesson relearned.

Random Schadenfreude

I’ve joined my new (old) corp with both Noork and Yannie, only to find that the alliance has been war-decced by Marmite, Gevlon’s Jita-camping friends. At the same time, some Goons are attacking some alliance assets in Syndicate, resulting in the Syndicate players also having a hard time undocking. The corp policy is not to undock for any kind of PVE activity while under a high-sec wardec, which I have no problems with as it makes a whole lot of sense. So I’m basically just updating orders and skill training and watching people complain in corp chat that they can’t mission to make their subscription due to the wardec. Kek.

A couple of days ago I was driving home from grocery shopping with the wife and kid. As I was moving off from a 4-way intersection after the light turned green, a grey BMW suddenly cut around in front of me and sped off. Within 10 seconds I heard police sirens and made way for a police car which magically materialized from nowhere and promptly pulled the grey BMW over at a side lot. My only thought? CONCORDOKKEN’ED!

Last week in Marvel Puzzle Quest, there was a week-long event called Thick as Thieves which consisted of a main event and a sub-event every day. You could do repeatable PVE missions in both the main and sub-event with points that reset every 8 hours, with the winners in each sub-event getting covers for Wolverine (Patch) and the winners in the main-event getting covers for a new character, Daredevil. This event was also the first time the developers introduced a scaling system for enemy levels. As players completed missions, the levels of enemy NPCs would increase, from level 17 up to a maximum of 230. The scaling affected all sub-events and the main event as well and did not reset with a new sub-event. So a lot of players wound up facing all level 230 enemies after the first sub-event because they grinded the repeatable missions like crazy. However, it was discovered and even posted in the forums that “tanking”, or intentionally losing missions, would decrease the levels of the enemies. So my wife and I would just do the PVE missions every 8 hours, and in between use our characters to enter battle, retreat, etc. This way our opponents stayed at minimum level all the time and it was really easy for us to finish all the missions. We managed to place either 1 or 2 for almost all the sub-events and in the end my wife finished 1st in the main event, while I placed top 10 because I ran out of time (wasted it doing the sub-event even though I was clearly already in 1st place).

The funniest part was the shit-storm that hit the forums after that where so many players complained about losing to scrubs with low-level characters (you can see the rosters of other players). There were rampant accusations of cheating and unbalanced missions, normally also accompanied by the comment “and I refuse to tank missions”. The best part was when the player who eventually ended up number 2, losing to my wife, posted about how he was overtaken in the last minute by “someone who was probably using money to buy boosts because otherwise it’s impossible they could have gained points so fast”. When my wife read that she literally danced a jig of joy in the middle of the room. We had already maxed out our Wolverine covers and didn’t particularly want Daredevil, but decided in the end to reach top placement just to annoy all the people who were too dumb to tank. Seriously why in the world would you fight level 230 enemies when you can keep them down at <30 just by taking a half hour during the day when you're not playing to just enter battle, retreat repeatedly.

How to lose more than 450 million in an instant

A few days ago the market for one of the mindlinks I trade in went a bit bonkers. The average price reported in the market seemed to have tanked to ridiculous levels, causing warnings whenever I updated my orders. Being a bit curious, I looked at the historical prices to see what happened.

The bio says it all

The bio says it all

On 12th Nov, it looks like someone sold about 10-15 mindlinks for 45,000 ISK instead of 45,000,000. Looking at my journal history it appears I was the beneficiary of 2 of these free mindlinks. A quick glance at the bio page of the “victim” provides insight into how this could have happened. Typing is still a valuable skill, train it to at least level 4… although this guy must not have even injected the skill book if he could fat-finger three 0s.

Welcome change

CCP Ytterbium just posted that High Energy Physivs IV has been dropped from the skill requirements for the Bastion module. Instead, being able to fly Marauders will let you use the Bastion module as well.

This is something that I asked for in the Marauder threadnaught as well, because High Energy Physics IV simply made no sense and served no purpose other than being an arbitrary skill that needed to be trained. It did not benefit the performance of the ship in any way. Furthermore, one of the major downsides of Marauders has always been the extremely lengthy skill training times. In fact, some people have noted that a new player can get into a carrier faster than they can get into a Marauder. Since Bastion mode is being made an integral part of Marauders, in effect leaving High Energy Physics in would just mean adding yet another skill to the list of Marauder pre-reqs.

Of course, this being the Internet and all a couple of retarded pilots were quick to defend the inclusion of HEP 4 when I mentioned this in the Marauder feedback thread. One German idiot even went so far as to say he agreed that HEP 4 made no sense and was an arbitrary choice, but still it should be the skill requirement for Bastion. Say what? It makes no sense, but it should still be there? Impeccable reasoning on display right there. His rational was “you can always undock and fly a Marauder without Bastion”. I can also undock and fly a stealth bomber without a Cov Ops cloak, guess how good an idea that is.

My guess is, despite CCP’s clear-cut warning that Bastion skills could be changed, he was one of the many silly people that went ahead and trained HEP 4 early on. Guess reading is still a helpful skill in life. One person even posted that he can’t stand it when CCP “gives warnings that only serve to cover their asses later on”. Poor CCP, it really reminds me of those appliance manufacturers that have to make warning labels saying “Do not stick tongue in socket” because otherwise they’ll get sued by some idiot.

Much ado about nothing

Honestly, when I first started posting again I told myself that I should try to stay clear of rants about stupid people. But sometimes the stupid is just overwhelming and I can’t help myself so here goes.

Over the weekend, it was found out that CCP had secretly given 30 Ishukone Scorpion hulls to employees of the EVE gambling site Somer Blink as a reward for working with CCP on an event ran by Somer Blink. That event also created a ragestorm but I digress…

In any case the EVE playerbase (or at least the noisy and belligerent portion of it, which is probably 80%) is up in arms about it. Again.

    Rabble rabble!

I wonder if it’s because EVE tends to attract people who have an anarchist, anti-authority streak. Or maybe it’s because the EVE playerbase has been basically static for many years, leading to this “bitter-vet” relationship with CCP where it seems cool to take any opportunity to shout in CCP’s ear “YOU GUYS SCREWED UP AGAIN YOU SUCK” all while dutifully buying another 6 months of PLEX.

As usual Jester has written a very level-headed piece explaining his take on the affair. And also as usual the munchkins have descended on him with flaming pitchforks in the comments section for daring to actually defend CCP (obviously because he’s a member of the CSM, not because… you know… he’s right).

The basic arguments against CCP can be broken down into 1) CCP should not give anything to in-game entities 2) it is favoritism 3) it shouldn’t be done in secret.

1) YOU NO GIVE STUFF

For the first part, the Ishukone Scorpion is inferior in every way to a regular T1 Scorpion (and no one claims a regular Scorpion is awesomesauce). It refines to 1 tritanium, so it doesn’t even have a baseline price. It’s only value is to collectors, and apparently the ship sells for 10-20 billion. Why? God only knows. So basically CCP gave each employee of Somer Blink some ISK. Well guess what, every time CCP changes anything in the game it’s giving some in-game entity some ISK. Up the veldspar requirements for ships? Everyone who held on to stocks of veldspar got some ISK. Buffed interceptors? Everyone who makes interceptors got some ISK. Someone commented in Jester’s post that it could be compared to CCP giving TEST 600B ISK just when they needed it to fight Goonswarm. And my reply to that is that sure they could, but why would they? I mean seriously why are people saying that CCP is not accountable when there is already the best reason for being accountable there is: CCP obviously will not as a company intentionally destroy their own livelihood. Gevlon claims that EVE markets are a zero-sum game where giving some people ISK automatically makes all others lose. Yes, this is theoretically true. In practice, do you think there is going to be any noticeable effect? (other than on the price of the Ishukone Scorpion, which if you were speculating on it then it sucks to be you because there is no rational price point for the item meaning there is always a tremendous risk of the price crashing) 600 billion is pretty much chump change in the context of the entire in-game economy, I don’t cry because my assets are devalued by 0.0002%.

2) CCP has a crush on Somer Blink

As usual people are mistaking equal opportunity for equality. As Jester notes, it’s not the first time CCP has given the Ishukone Scorpion to players for community work. You want an Ishukone Scorpion too? Go ahead and put a ton of effort into developing a well-run community site that’s used by a huge number of players. It’s not like the opportunity isn’t there. And for the people claiming that there were numerous other entities that do community work that didn’t receive gifts, well gee I guess that means CCP didn’t think they were important enough, tough luck. Not everyone gets a gold star just for writing a random EVE blog that no one reads (like me).

If CCP gave gifts to random pilots because they were high-school classmates of some developer and took Online Spaceships 101 together then you would have a case for favoritism. Saying Somer Blink didn’t “deserve” anything is just sour grapes, because no one other than CCP has any relevant say in what is deserving or not.

3) THE PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW!

This part cracks me up the most. It’s amazing how well-suited many EVE players are to be middle-management personnel. Picture a committee meeting where 2 departments are discussing something, and a whining voice pipes up “I wasn’t informed of this!” “Well Dave, it didn’t have anything to do with you, Office Supplies isn’t involved in the project…” “Well we are an important part of the company, and I DEMAND that we be KEPT IN THE LOOP!” “Ok Dave, we’ll include you in the emails next time, do you have any input to the project now?” “Erm.. yes… it looks good, carry on.”

Honestly, what would be the difference? It was an event run by CCP and Somer Blink. If they had told everyone, there could only be 2 possible reactions from anyone not involved. 1) Raise a shitstorm. 2) “Erm, ok. Carry on.” How is this different from not telling everyone? The people demanding transparency are just asking for information for information’s sake, not because it’s actually important. What’s stopping CCP from doing under-the-table deals (that are actually significant)? The fact that if it gets out they face a public relations disaster, which is exactly what stops (some) companies in real life from shady deals, not the reams and reams of accounting policies and rules. Look at how much those regulations have stopped banks from having scandals…

New WoW gets thumbs up… for now

Well it’s been quite a long while since my last post. It’s been hard to find time to write something since I’ve been busy at work on a bunch of stuff. And at night, if I’m not taking care of our son (who has been sick for quite a while, the poor bear) I’m busy having fun in WoW.

Thankfully I have no regrets on resubscribing and I’m loving Cataclysm so far. Since starting on Christmas day last year, my goblin shaman has hit 84 and has just a few bars to go to 85. That sounds like I leveled pretty fast, and according to the in-game time played its just under 8 days. In fact I spent a large amount of time afk idling in game as well during times when I get called off to attend to a bawling little carebear, so I suspect the actual time spent would be about a week to go from 1-85. That’s a testament to how fast and easy levelling is now, especially with the dungeon finder.

New old stuff

In fact, just as many have said it’s almost too fast. I love doing the new revamped zones, but I also love the opportunity to run all the old dungeons that I never got to do in classic because it was such a pain putting a group together. Me and my wife used to run each other’s characters through some of them once we had high level characters, but it’s not as much fun as doing it at the level it’s meant to be done at. However, doing all the dungeons made me very quickly outlevel every zone I was questing in. 95% of the time I never managed to see the later half of each zone before the quests became grey. Personally I would have continued on finishing up the grey quests, but my wife was playing my shaman as well before she started work again and she’s the type who just tosses quests as soon as a next zone becomes available (not a completionist like me…). So I levelled though half of Azshara, half of Ashenvale, half of Stonetalon, half of Un’goro, half of Blasted Lands… you get the drift. The new quests are a blast, especially in the zones that received complete revamps like Azshara and Thousand Needles. Instances were fast, with the longest ones like Maraudon and Scarlet Monastery all split up into wings, and quest-givers are conveniently located at the start. No more running all over the world to pick up 4 quests! The goodie bag for doing a random also gives good blue gear for quite a few slots such as neck and rings that are otherwise normally hard to get. Plus there are in-game maps now for the dungeons, with bosses conveniently labelled. Man that’s so much better… Wilhelm from the Ancient Gaming Noob talks about needing 3 hours to do Wailing Caverns in the past, which isn’t an exaggeration since it was so easy to get lost in that darned place. Now it only took me 45 minutes!

Overall 1-60 went by like lightning, so much so that I really want to roll alts to see all the stuff I missed. I hardly even stepped foot on to the Eastern Kingdoms before I was heading through the Dark Portal… again.

Time warp to Outlands

A lot of people have said that there is such a strange disconnect between the Shattering and Burning Crusade. It’s really like going back in time, because everything in Outlands is supposed to be in the past from levels 1-60. Oh well, even if it doesn’t make sense I’m perfectly happy to kill 20 fel orcs for nice clown gear that has double the stats of my old Azeroth gear. Plus now that you can train flying at 60 (with a buff to normal flying speed from 60% to 150%), the quests in Outlands are really a breeze. They were obviously not designed with flying players in mind. Case in point, the quest in Nagrand which requires you to bounce on a trampoline on to a big bird nest to smash a giant egg. Previously I used to use the “epic mount with carrot on a stick” trick to jump onto the nest, since it was really tricky to time the trampoline correctly. Now you just summon flying mount and fly up there… Trampoline? What trampoline?

The quests in Outlands are unchanged, and unfortunately so are the dungeons. This means you have to do the prequests and pick them up from the usual NPCs outside the instances… boohoohoo no more bevy of questgivers awaiting the rabid click-fest at the entrance. This meant that I wasn’t particularly encouraged to do that many instances, especially since we had played a lot during BC and therefore were very very familiar with them. So I mainly quested through Hellfire Peninsula, parts of Zangarmarsh until 65, then headed to my favourite Nagrand where I hit 68. Sadly Outlands has been reduced to 3 zones, since there’s no reason to grind any of the old factions or try to get any gear once Northrend becomes available. I had never played Horde past 60 before, so I was looking forward to some unique quests but sadly they didn’t seem any much different from the Alliance versions.

Snowing again

Once I reached 68, it was time to train cold weather flying and head to Northrend. Again, flying really makes things a breeze, especially with the fact that you can mount up in water. Makes the shaman water walking spell almost redundant actually, unless you really want to fish in the middle of the ocean or something. The Horde quests in Northrend are actually quite different, so it was kind of refreshing and I mostly quested all the way with a few instances done here and there since once again you have to do all the pre-quests first before the instance quests become available. The Outlands clown suit thankfully was replaced pretty quickly with Northrend stuff. At this point I dropped mining for alchemy since I wanted the alchemy trinket for healing at 85 and figured it was a good time to start training up. Plus alchemy should be a decent money maker too, better than flying around mining at least.

I went from Borean Tundra to Dragonblight, some Grizzly Hills, Sholazar Basin and then finally on to Icecrown where I hit 80. Also finally saw a few Alliance players, which were like an extinct breed up till now since Thaurissan is heavily Horde dominated. Even though it is a PvP server, it plays almost exactly like a PvE server. I encountered a gnome DK at a quest giver at Icecrown, but just spent a few moments staring at each other before going our way. I later met him again fighting an elite mob as part of the same quest I was on, and killed him while the mob was on him. I got quest credit for the mob kill too… but I felt kinda bad about it later since he hadn’t done anything to me. I don’t know why but being on a PvP server initially made me crazily try to kill every Alliance I saw for no reason but now I’m much more inclined to just leave them alone.

After hitting 80, I was initially tempted to try to do the new ICC instances which I had never done before such as Halls of Origination and Halls of Reflection. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to because my gear level was too low, plus I needed to do some quest to unlock the instances. So too bad, it was off to Cataclysm!

New shinies

I started in Vashj’ir, after first doing some frantic googling to find out how the hell to actually get there. I really enjoyed the whole zone, not sure how much of it was due to it being totally new. But all the quests flow nicely together and tell a nice story, plus the seahorse mount is so cute. The zone design is amazing and makes me think of Nemo or One Piece, especially all the random sea monsters swimming around like a giant boss whale shark that blots out the sun and some huge elite shark boss too. I wonder if they drop any loot…

Since it’s a new zone my wife was pretty keen to play too, so I think she actually did most of the quests. I felt a bit lost sometimes when logging in because I would be in a totally different place, but that’s ok I’m sure I’ll get to do the quests with one of my numerous alts. The gear is amazing, especially considering I went in with lousy Northrend greens. It was pretty hard to kill mobs initially and I had to heal myself like 3 or 4 times just to kill a single crab, but after getting a few gear upgrades which had like triple the stats of what I was wearing my shaman started WINDFURYing things to death in 2 seconds again. I mean really… some mace dropped with 871 spellpower on it wtf. I think my previous caster mace from Northrend had 303 spellpower… I guess most people were decked out in the free epics from facerolling the later half of WotLK and probably wouldn’t have been as impressed but I still feel shocked seeing gear with like 400 stamina on it. Can’t help but recall the times when I was raiding Molten Core and people would drool all over the Azuresong Magebladewhich had… gasp! 50 spellpower!!!! Funny how the game has changed…

The end of the quest line leads to the new Throne of the Tides instance. I tried it out as DPS first, since I hadn’t done any healing till now and didn’t want to go into an instance totally unfamiliar with my bars and spells. On that topic, respeccing seems to have changed a lot now. I was expecting the usual 10 silver cost to respec for the first time from my elemental dual-spec to resto, but it cost 29 gold instead… seems to be related to how many talent points have already been spent. Not only that, but the dust to change glyphs cost 10 gold per glyph change for characters above 80! Ouch… Anyway, back to Throne of the Tides. Was quite an interesting instance and not too long. A bit confusing since I had no idea what was going on, but that’s why I went in as DPS. Spam buttons and piakpiakpiak!!! The boss fights are quite interesting and much better than the Wrath-style fights which all boil down to “hit boss, move out of bad stuff kill, adds when they come”. I especially liked the squid-headsucker boss, he reminded me of a Justice League episode I had randomly watched about Starro the facehugger starfish. I’m sure someone at Blizzard must have watched that too, the similarities are uncanny. Anyway a dps shaman makes Starro cry, since his Lava Bursts instantly got interrupted and his Absorb Magic buff gets immediately purged. Ahh I love my shaman…

After finishing Vashj’ir, I went to Hyjal even though it was the same level as Vashj’ir. I need to get Hyjal rep eventually anyway, so might as well. I think the Blackrock Caverns instance is unlocked here, but I never managed to run it (although my wife did) and now I can’t go back using the dungeon finder since I’m too high level. Hyjal quests were fun but nothing really much to say about them, although I did like the final battle against Ragnaros. Seems strange to fight him until he retreats and Cenarius says “We can only defeat him in his own elemental plane” when I very obviously killed Ragnaros dozens of times in Molten Core 🙂 It’s not like he retreats there either, I mean he obviously drops down dead in front of the raid and gives you his hand.

Now I’m 84 and questing in Deepholm. I’ve since also done Stonecore and Vortex Pinnacle as resto. Stonecore isn’t very enjoyable to heal and feels very long, even on normal. Plus I once had to heal a 4 melee group in back-to-back runs. Talk about ouch… Vortex Pinnacle is much easier to heal although the bosses are a bit more boring since they are almost tank and spank. I can’t access the other dungeons yet because I haven’t discovered the entrance yet, so I’m going to be holding off on instancing for a while until I hit 85 and unlock the other dungeons. After 85 I still intend to go through Uldum and Twilight Highlands, not to mention Tol Barad and the new BGs.

So far there’s still tons of content left for me to enjoy, so I’m looking forward to seeing lots of new stuff. Even though I haven’t done any heroics yet, I really hope Blizzard doesn’t listen to all the whiners out there and revert back to Wrath-style stupidly easy dungeons. I love the new instances so far, especially when done with proper CC and nice pulling. During my first Stonecore run, some idiot rogue started chafing that the tank was too slow and pulled the first pack by himself (“gogogo!”) while the tank was marking the kill order. I was still setting up my bars when suddenly the whole group started taking massive damage. The next 5 minutes were filled with me spamming my buttons like a blind monkey trying to find the “open” button in front of a peanut dispensing machine. Greater Healing Wave! No wait that’s too slow, Riptide! What’s this Unleash Elements thing, mash it mash it! Oh wait I don’t have earthliving weapon on… I’m running out of mana?!? Doh water shield fell off… chain heal! Bugger that only 1 guy in range??? Mummy!

Somehow we got through that without anyone dying and after being berated by the tank for pulling, the idiot rogue initiated a vote kick against the tank for being “too slow”. Well guess what, he gets 1 strike for being a rogue (therefore useless by definition). 2nd strike for being from Jubei’thos, and I hate the name Jubei (there was an annoying griefer in Duris who went by that name). This was the 3rd strike since I like tanks who mark kill orders instead of charging in like stupid Wrath babies. So I rejected his vote kick and vote kicked the rogue instead for being annoying. Guess I wasn’t alone in my sentiments since he instantly got booted and no one was surprised when a replacement DPS got in immediately. Kek I like this kick feature.

Hopefully the tougher instances will actually teach players how to play properly, or at least encourage the stupider portion of the player-base to quit. That would instantly raise the quality of WoW drastically and make Cataclysm a resounding success in my opinion.

Shooting myself in the foot

Doh. Sometimes you do things that really make you wonder if you forgot to turn on the brain in the morning.

Well at least I hope it’s not just me.

I just got podded for the first time since playing EVE. Lost a full set of +4 implants, plus another set of missile skill hardwiring implants that I put in for missioning a while back that cost about 320 million ISK.

Did I get ganked by an evil army of ninja salvagers in my awesome Rattlesnake? Unfortunately it’s not as dramatic as that…

It all started due to my new hobby of ship collecting. I am currently building up a collection of all T1 combat ships, from frigates all the way up to battleships. I’ve already got a fair number of them, but I’ll elaborate more in a future post.

Anyway I was looking through the list of frigates when I remembered, “Hey, I’ve got a bunch of old Gallente ships back in Couster from doing the tutorials! Might as well haul them back to add to the collection instead of buying new hulls!” Plus I get to tidy up my assets tab, I’m a neat freak like that. Couster was 11 jumps away, which was why I had left them there instead of flying them with me way back when I moved over to Caldari space.

Each hull took about 2,500 m3 worth of space though, so I needed a big hauler. Fortunately as part of training up for my freighter, I had trained Gallente Industrial V so my Iteron V had a whopping 25,000 m3 cargohold with full cargo expanders (without cargohold rigs). Plenty of space… Hopped in, fitted 3 medium shield extenders, an invulnerability field and a medium shield booster just because they happened to be lying around.

And then I made the fateful mistake of all newbie pilots… autopilot. I figured I’d be pretty safe anyway since most pilots would scan their targets before suicide ganking, amirite??? I mean why gank an empty industrial just for kicks… plus I had some sort of tank right? So off I go, slowly trucking along, while I went downstairs for some breakfast and to play with my kid.

Came back and found myself in a station… looking at an Ibis. “Hmm, that’s weird, could have sworn I didn’t dock….” Then saw that I was in Jita…. wtf. Sinking feeling… damn I was podded!

At first I couldn’t believe that anybody would have bothered suicide ganking an empty Iteron V… until I remembered a tiny little detail. Like joining the Caldari Militia. Which made me enemies to the Gallente, and attackable by the Gallente Navy in Gallente high-security space…. such as Couster.

Geez. Those frenchies must have wondered wtf this Caldari noob was smoking, jumping into their turf in a little Iteron V and idling at the jump gate. NPCs don’t pod players though, so some Gallente pilot must have come across my pod spinning in space and gleefully crushed it. Blaaaaaargh.

So, just to pick up a bunch of ships worth less than 1 million in total, I jumped 11 systems to get my Iteron V destroyed (worth more than all the other ships combined), then lost half-a-billion ISK worth of implants. Sigh yai yai. I’ve replaced the +4 implants, but will probably wait until I’m really going missioning before replacing the skill hardwiring implants. In case I pull another dumb one…