Saturday 26 May 2012

BB36: Expanding Realities.

Anabaric came into the game just before Apocrypha , I'd barely learnt my way around new eden, when suddenly wormholes, everywhere. This was my first expansion and it really was a big one. A whole new story, sleepers awakening, planets dying, I was hooked!
Since then everything has been a little so so, some pretty cool stuff, but they didn't really follow up on anything. This for me was a little sad, the recent Sansha update I thought would be a return to awesome, but really it just generated a new cash cow for the highsec dwellers, it didn't bring people out into wider universe, if anything it brought more people back to highsec away from the more risky lowsec & nullsec paths. I have friends in nullsec alliances, they're still told to go make isk in highsec, what's with that!?

I have read a lot of the back story to New Eden, it makes interesting reading and I recommend everyone takes a few hours to learn some of the lore. It's a real shame that more of it isn't actually used to create dynamic content. The NPC/PVE side of New Eden is very static, when was the last time one of the NPC corporations went bust and had their stations sold to another company. When was the last new company to put up a station? The intrigue and murders of NPC CEO's mean nothing...

There always needs to be a move to more player driven and dynamic content, old stuff needs looking at, balanced with new features, this current expansion where faction warfare has finally be looked at really gives me hope, the factions are finally doing something about each other, the rules of warfare are changing and improving...

Maybe if people don't run missions for a NPC corporation it could start to struggle, if stations aren't used actively they could close, or reopen as space brothels and charity shops like the highstreets in our local towns. Mission rewards could be based around the profitability of the company offering them, if too many people use one agent maybe he reduces his payouts... maybe once in a while he goes on holiday.
"I'm sorry Virr Honn can't speak to you right now as he's planetside drinking quafe and chasing that cute girl from admin"
There are loads of systems with too many stations, and some systems with none... If I was CEO of Quafe there's a couple of systems I'd be tempted to start a factory in.

But my main gripe is that the PVE content is so easily farmed, wormhole's were deadly and dangerous places to live when they first appeared, the sleepers far harder than anything before. But within a few months the wormholes had been pacified with instruction booklets on how to run the sites, what to shoot when to shoot. The sleepers might as well not have woken up... because we're in their sites, stealing their shit, and the only time we're even remotely at risk is when another player shows up in our hole, yes we own that hole not the sleepers.

Incursions lasted a few weeks longer than wormholes, but they too are farmed, more people die to Sansha than to the sleepers, but it's not a war he's winning. Level 4 missions are a joke, totally static, down to each wave and position. How difficult is it to randomise the spawns or the triggers, make the missions harder. Yes I do think people should die doing missions. Risk vs Reward.
Oops I accidently the whole room...
This latest expansion fills me with hope, Faction warfare has finally been looked at, I won't say fixed, as I don't believe that any part of New Eden should be ever be "fixed", but in a dynamic world, faction warfare just caught up. I look forward to seeing a few new faces in Local, and less dock monkeys.

Maybe on the next patch Sansha will actually start doing something new, he's gathered so many resources already, how much more does he need before he starts the next phase of his master plan. Seriously... for an evil mastermind he's more Dr Evil than Dr No, his "incursions" are farmed, and controlled by the very people he wants to enslave... Incursions could easily be more random, ie stop for a week, then suddenly 10 systems all within 2 jumps are attacked at once!! A true mastermind wouldn't be quite so predictable, and would maximise impact to weaken his targets. I'd like to see him using his power and doing some real damage. He could easily destroy a few stations, maybe breaking a few stargates making people take different routes whilst the damage was repaired.

And the sleepers, well they didn't really wake up now did they, we've been poking about in their systems, breaking their stuff, taking their technologies, but they just lie down and take it. They should actually wake up and smell the Quafe. I'd like to see what would happen if they decided to go on the offensive and remove some of the POS's from their systems. I've seen their battleships, I know they have the fire-power.

What keeps me hooked is always the player driven side of things, I don't enjoy farmable NPC content, despite my alt living in a WH where he logs on farms sites, and logs back off again. I would love to log on and find the POS under attack, the guns destroyed and the tower reinforced, even if they didn't come back to finish the tower off, least I'd know the sleepers cared I was stealing their stuff.

I like living on the borderlands feeding on both nullsec and highsec dwellers. I like to see any content that pushes people out further into New Eden, makes people want to explore, and expand their universe. How many of you live and spend all your time within the same 10 or 20 systems. How many of you never leave your home system? Lowsec shouldn't be the best place to live, but I hope it should always be one of the more interesting places, the melting pot, the true crucible of New Eden.

So in answer the the original question about which has been the best expansion?

I think the next one will be the best.

I still believe in New Eden.



For more Blog Banter:

Thursday 24 May 2012

Kids today...

Kids of today, just have too much isk to spend. When I got my first clone in New Eden, I jumped out in my second hand Atron, fitted with whatever junky old stuff I could find just to make it fly. On the first outing the afterburner fell off as I was leaving the hanger, I got into soo much trouble with the Scotty the docking manager that day!

Unlike these little rich boys today, met a guy last night in Goinard only had his license for 15days and he's out in lowsec, fair enough the guys got balls. But not in any old crate, but flying a brand new top of the line faction fitted Incursus, the new one's with the fancy 4 slots in the lows!

Shame for him he didn't know how to fly it... 

And you know the thing that makes me wonder more than anything about that kill?

Which of the modules was offline...
As he's over on CPU by about 10% at maximum skills.

Friday 18 May 2012

Oh look a myrmidon.... lets kill it.

So there I was minding my own business when suddenly on D-scan appears a Myrmidon apparently in a belt, so I warp my little slicer in for a look, hmmm T1 drones.. lets have some fun.

A few seconds later....

[21:15:30] EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Aeschee
[21:17:47] PiRaTesTaNk Lennelluc > fuck you godamn faggots ill have your head
[21:18:21] PiRaTesTaNk Lennelluc > di promise baby
[21:18:31] Dism0 > whoa
[21:18:32] PiRaTesTaNk Lennelluc > ill be back
[21:18:34] Dism0 > u mad?
[21:18:34] Anabaric > him mad
[21:18:38] Templar Nato > Sweet!
[21:18:39] Dism0 > he wont be back
[21:18:40] Templar Nato > Bring friends
[21:18:44] PiRaTesTaNk Lennelluc > no im intreaged
[21:18:48] Dism0 > they always say that
>>> One less Myrm in Aeshee <<<
[21:18:50] PiRaTesTaNk Lennelluc > yea
[21:18:53] PiRaTesTaNk Lennelluc > lol
>>> One less person in local <<<
[21:19:36] Anabaric > he took the short ride home :)

A few mins later.
Sent: 2012.05.18 21:21
PiRaTesTaNk Lennelluc has added you as contact with Terrible Standing

Awww I made a friend.

Helpful Hints
From: PiRaTesTaNk Lennelluc
Sent: 2012.05.18 21:36
To: Anabaric, 

Gues what baby... you got a sexy mouth.. and gues what... your little excepaid will just pay off for you hope you are incorperated into a large alliance cause thats what you will need. gues what baby next time im in that region and better belive ill be there i hope to see you and your little friends all together cause you will need them not that will do you much good to run and try to jump cause when i come for you baby your the one getting fucked i promise i book marked my death erea hope to see uyou there tomorrow bring your corp and aliiance ill bring mine or better yet BITCH wage war against my corperation war deck me i bet i own all your fuckin ships and items fuck you bastards just play the fuckin game and stop trying to scavange cause your broke ass cant pay for monthly

And he even sent me fan mail. I like fanmail!

Slicing and dying (the aftermath)

I love the Navy Slicer, its one of the, I've spent the last week soloing round in lowsec engaging pretty much everything, and dying alot than I would have liked. Here are a few brief battle reports about the fails from the last week of flying the Slicer. I'd decided that I'd unless I really couldn't break them that I'd fight to the end and not let anyone go. Thus whilst most of the these could have been avoided if I was more risk adverse, I learned as much from the losses as I did from the kills.

The losses:
Vs Manticore + Thorax + Thorax
Landed at zero on the gate about to jump through when the bomber decloaked and started to shoot, was expecting friends as local was bumping, so started to move out, and bumped straight into the decloaking thorax, that ended well...

Vs Jaguar
Fight went on for too long, ended up getting low on cap not enough to keep running the mwd, made the "fatal" choice to come in close drop mwd and hope to burn through his armour/structure before I died. Was close anyway, he was bleeding structure, so not that disappointed. If I'd have burned away and let him go then I'd still have a slicer.

Vs Retribution
I'd already killed his slicer, and he'd refit and come back in the retribution with MWD and long point.
Fight was taking too long, I'd been keeping range but in another derpy moment I managed to burn out my mwd. I then moved into a tight 1km orbit and realised he was not hitting me anywhere near as hard... dammit if only I'd done that from the start. It was a structure race again and until the little insurance notification came up I really wasn't sure who'd won.

Great fight with a tusker, both of us ending in structure, which is a patten for most slicer fights. I entered the fight with multi loaded, which was a mistake, by the time I was in range to fire I'd already taken alot of damage. Unlike most ammo you can instantly switch crystals I should have started with scorch, then switched to multi, as I was doing much more damage at the end than he was.

Other fights not ending in mails.

Vs Pilgrim, caught him running a plex and warped in just as he'd completed the last wave, sitting out at 20km I proceded to kill all his light drones then was settling down to the slow and painful job of not being able to break his armour tank :( dammit! with no friendly pilots in the area to assist. Oh well.

Vs Tengu - Yeah really! Again caught a young char (too young) in a plexing tengu in lowsec but was forced off when the next spawn decided that I should be aggro'd.

Vs Comet - Killed his first wave of drones was happily breaking him, when the single ecm drone he had left got a jam and --==== he gone!! :(

Round up:
The slicer is a great ship to fly but it's damm fragile and unforgiving.
It's also not overly scary, unlike running round in dramiels and the current trend for assult ships people seem willing to engage, and won't instantly run the moment they see you. I found it quite easy to get fights running round a few faction warfare systems, against a wide variety of targets. The extreme nano ability of the slicer means you really should be able to fight only the people you want, and avoid any fights where the odds just aren't any good.
Whilst I was flying (&dying) I was working on new fittings, seeing where I'd gone wrong and trying to improve both my flying style and the fitting itself. The final fit I decided on traded some of the agility for more damage.

[Imperial Navy Slicer, Anabarics Revenge]
Heat Sink II
Tracking Enhancer II
Internal Force Field Array I
Co-Processor II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

Gistii B-Type 1MN MicroWarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II

Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S
[empty high slot]
Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency S

Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Small Energy Burst Aerator I
Small Energy Locus Coordinator I

151(171)dps with scorch at 22km +3.3km falloff
189(217)dps IN Multifrequency

EHP: 4650

3166ms(4531) Speed,
The gistii mwd really helps with cap, you can usually pick them up for 10-12m, CPU is incredibly tight on the slicer, so the co-pro and IFFA allow you to add the extra damage. You do trade agility and speed over my early losses, but you're still faster and more agile than 90% of the ships in EvE but get really good applied damage.

Battleclinic fitting review.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Slicing and Dicing

As Anabaric pulled the slicer round for another pass, he marvelled at the agility of the little craft, so unlike most Amar ships, it was fast and agile. Made from the finest panels of  spun tritanium and gold then polished and engraved with various mystic runes and prayers as favoured by the devoultly religious Amar engineers. When he'd first brought it into the hanger his own engineers had laughed, it was too pretty to fight they said, it wouldn't last 30 seconds in a brawl. It doens't even have any armour!
They were definately right about that! He was reminded all too clearly by a blaster round penetrating the front armour and luckily missing any vital systems on its way out the other side.
The engravings in the hull were actually done to save weight, the engineers had deliberately etched the armour so thin in places that if you walked over them it flexed the panels.

The ultra violet lasers scorched another hit on the sluggish destroyer, its returning fire falling far behind the slicer. The pilots lack of skill was showing badly. The destroyers friend in the Tristan was actually proving to be more of a threat, and was trying to get on an intercept between the two ships. All the time the two drones chewed off little bits of his armour, something he really didn't have much of.

The destroyer was buckling badly in armour smoke and flames had started to pour from various holes the slicer had poked in it, but still it refused to die. Anabaric weighed the odds and switched target to the Tristan, purple fire encased the frigate and its shields and armour quickly evaporated, Throttling back, he pulled the Tristan pilot out further away from his destroyer buddy, when the seperation hit 30km, he slammed the slicer into full approach, and instantly cycled the crystals in his lasers to navy issue multifrequency, as he closed into scram range of the tristan, the web and scram took effect on the fragile slicer, there was a distinct groan from the chassis as it decelerated rapidly. The momentum of the two ships carried them directly towards each other, at point blank range the full force of the lasers seared straight into the heart of the badly damaged ship and the reactor exploded sending debries across the asteroid belt.
Activating his mwd again as he smashed through the broken wreckage, and re-engaged the destroyer. At this point the fight was already won, the stricken destroyer would go down, was just a matter of time.

Anabaric was aware that their corp mate was still in system in her steath bomber, probably in this very belt watching the fight, but never did he expect that the bomber would decloak at 40km and open fire. The torpedo's locked on and flashed towards the slicer, the bomber pilot oblivious to the mistake she had just made.

The slicer's engines ports glowed white hot, Anabaric deactivated the safety measures and sent the tiny craft directly into the path of the torpedo's at over 6,0000ms. The explosions flashed brightly over the view screen, but the torpedo's were set for much larger craft and detonated ineffectively in the slicers wake. The bomber pilot realising her mistake turned to run, but it was already too late the slicer was on her, and the close range lasers made light work of the fragile bomber.

Seeing his chance the destroyer pilot had made good his escape, so Anabaric decided ransom to the bomber pilot.

[Edit: Convo log missing]

Saturday 5 May 2012

Pilgrim - The choice for the Patient Hunter

So this is the culmination of several months of flying and learning about the Pilgrim.

One of the biggest issues with soloing in a pilgrim is getting inital tackle, as in order to apply your neuts you have to be inside of 12km, basically inside of scram range, this means you'll be getting scrammed back likely as not, and quite probably webbed. You also want a scam, and a web, and ideally the tracking disruptor to maintain control of the fight.

A pilgrim is very much unlike a curse. Whilst the curse can easily land at zero in a belt, and using its relatively high speed, can quicky apply a long point to a target who's just off the warp in, immediately one shotting their cap, thus preventing even any frigates from MWD away. The pilgrim is a diffrent breed of ship. It has no range bonus to neuts, thus with mediums your range is only 12km. You can faction fit to gain a few km, but is it worth it? 
Being a natural armour tanker it's got a fat ass and isn't going to win a race with most things, unlike the shield tanked and very often Nano'd Curse.

So you have to overcome certain key issues:
(1)Slow, cloaked you are slower than most ships you would plan to engage.
(2)De-Cloaking delay, even at maximum skills you still have to wait 5seconds to BEGIN to target someone.
(3)Short Range neuts, 12km, 14km with faction items.

You need to stay within 10km for those vital first few seconds until you can target them and apply your scram. 

[Pilgrim, Anabaric's Solo Pilgrim]
Damage Control II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Armor Thermic Hardener II

Warp Scrambler II
Stasis Webifier II
Tracking Disruptor II, Tracking Speed Disruption
Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive
10MN Afterburner II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Medium Nosferatu II
Medium Energy Neutralizer II
Medium Energy Neutralizer II

Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Egress Port Maximizer I

EHP: 21.8k not huge, but this isn't about absorbing damage.
Resist 68.1em  80.5them 64.1kin 74.5exp
You can overheat for 85.3% thermal, do this against everything but Caldari, who will be throwing Kinetic damage more than anything.

Armour tank - With your MARII you get 145dps omni, which will overheat for 186
That's actually 184 non heated against RF Phased plasma, and 141 against Navy Antimatter.

This fit is stable with all your EWAR and AB, you have to Pulse/micromanage everything else as required. It's a case of keeping them as neuted as much possible whilst tanking any drones, you should be able to tank most unbonused drones quite easily, if your struggling you can always use your warrior II's to make short work of anyone's drones.

My Notes:
The Pilgrim is almost always best used in known systems, it's use is more for the careful and patient hunter rather than the balls to the wall Curse pilot who can just warp in at 10km and immediately burn to get point. Its well worth taking the time setting up pounce points above all the belts you plan to hunt in, this gives you the ability to use roids and wrecks as warp-to points within the belt to get you as close as possible, and you will want to be as close as possible. You can of course try to warp to the belt in front of your target, and decloak immediately you see him on short scan.

Once your in the belt with your target you need to try and get in front of them, ideally within 10km before you decloak. The MWD on this fit gives you a burst of speed upto 1700ms, this is ramming speed! In order to prevent larger targets from warping out of the belt before you can decloak and tackle them, you actually try to ram them off alignment, also once you have got tackle on leave your MWD on a cycle or two, this heavily depletes your own cap, and makes your NOS act like a third Neut, which in turn helps bring your targets cap to zero. At this point you need to convert back to Afterburner, this drops your signature and orbit speed. You should aim to settle into a medium orbit 3000-4000 is usually about right, as this gives you a relatively tight orbit maintaining high traversal. If you try to get any closer you will actually reduce your traversal as your ship slows down to turn. Going too far out lowers traversal too much and ables your target to shoot you. You should now be able to pulse your armour repper to negate any minor damage, but reallt by this point you shouldn't really be taking much. Don't leave your neuts on, you'll just cap yourself out as well, keep your NOS on the whole time, and pulse the neuts as often as you have safely enough cap to do so.

Now its just a case of sitting back and waiting for your drones to finish him off.

So what can you tackle, what should you try for...

First what you should probably avoid, anything really kitey, really fast nano ships with good damage.

Basically if it can consistantly hit you from 20+ km with more than 200dps, and if its much faster than you, like a Vaga it's probably a bad choice of target. If you can frighten it off with a flight of warriors it's not so bad. So any frigate or  ceptor will not like your damaged bonus'd Warrior II's chasing them. Likewise the T1 Stabber shouldn't be an issue.

Being cloaky you should have freedom to avoid taking on fights you can't win.. however if you do get tackled in a belt move into the roids, this will cause the orbiting ship to crash off the roids changing its orbit hopefully you can either get your scram onto it, or run away. Also remember you don't have huge DPS so anything with a strong active tank can be a long time killing as you basically have to wait for them to run out of capboosters, and hope their friends aren't close enough to support them.

Other than that most other ships are valid targets, just accept that any good frigate pilot will usually get away before you can get a lock on him so don't get too mad when you can't catch them.
Any T1 cruiser should be an easy kill, as are most PVE mission based setups. I personally prefer taking on turret based ships due to the tracking disruption bonus, but you can signature tank a cookie cutter drake, and they do go down quite quickly once the hardners go off.

As always be situation aware, keep an eye on local, and short scan to make sure you don't suddenly become the hunted.

As with any ship, gang links can make all the difference, adding a command link loki makes this ship incredible, the three skimish links make this ship totally relatively agile and help with the signature tanking, and if you've got space passive defence is the best armour link to run to compliment the ships natural resists.