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[OOC] A Christmas message from E-ON magazine

The lovely people over at E-ON magazine have a message for you:
You may over-indulge at Christmas and think that’s it for presents this year but we have another one for you in the not-too-distant future.
As you may or may not know, Issue #022 publishes on the 7th January – a sneak peak for you and your readers can be found here. For all you subscribers, there is also an extra treat of the much-anticipated and long-awaited Minmatar Cruisers poster, so now you can complete your collection!

From all of us at EON, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’s EVE.

[OOC] How to set up your own killboard

As I’ve not had much time to play online games this past week (sunshine, football, drinking, BBQs), I have had no Eve tales to regale you with. As TQ is down at the moment, I’m not likely to anytime soon!

In the meantime, my mate Wotlankor has written a rather good blog entry on how to set up an Eve-Dev killboard for yourself. Of course you need some hosting space, but it’s pretty cheap these days and there’s loads you can do once you get one.

Anyway. Apart from having some installation screenshots to help the KB newb, it has some rather amusing comments and some links to ‘good’ (your mileage may vary)  music to help pass the time.

Enjoy!

Red tape…

I sighed and glared at my Neocom. I’d just received a rather terse message from the Minmatar Republic Administration section:

From:  Minmatar Republic 
Sent: 2010.06.16 11:23 

Intercision's standing towards the Minmatar Republic faction has dropped
to 0.473378563356 which is below the minimum of 0.5. If the standing has 
not improved within 24 hours, Intercision will be expelled from the Minmatar
Republic faction. 

Meh. Just as we’d begun to settle in. My standings with the Republic were excellent, around 6 or so, as I’d spent a long time working for their agent in Frarn some time ago.

Unfortunately, it seems the new arrivals to Intercision aren’t looked on quite as favourably. Wotlankor’s standing with them was in low -3 as were a few of the others. Worse, this wasn’t taking into account the ones with bad Republic standing that weren’t taken into consideration yet. Clearly their long service with Ushra’Khan counted for squat.

I sighed again. I hated stuff like this- admin, politics and red tape. I typed up a quick Corp message making it clear that people needed to sort out their standings, pronto.

Later on, Wotlankor became available for a roam, so we took out Thrashers. These ships were great, I hadn’t flown them in ages, but they were proving to be a mainstay of Faction Warfare activity- small enough to get into all of the areas that needed capturing, but enough firepower to put up a good fight with other frigs/ destroyers and the occasional badly flown cruiser.

We roamed down into Amarr space, scanning the hard way for plexes to capture (using ship scanner rather than probe launcher), when we saw on intel that Amamake had become contested and there was a minor plex there to be recaptured. Perfect. We started back, but as we landed on the out gate, local went up by five war targets (WT). Hmm. We held on the gate, scanning every other second…when…Cynabal appears on scan. We jump out and hightail it to Amamake- it’d tear us both a new one without breaking into a sweat.

As we near Amamake, Jason Marshall who has just joined us from U’K, said he was probably going to be in trouble- a WT Vengeance and Thrasher were chasing him. He was in Vard, on the Dal gate- in a Rifter. I quickly warped over to Vard gate, Wotlankor was a few seconds ahead of me. As we transited through Vard to the Dal gate, Jason was still in one piece and I followed Wotlankor into the attack. The Vengeance warped out (shame, would’ve been interesting to fight an Assault Frigate in a destroyer), and we quickly finished the armour tanked Thrasher.

We made our way back to Amamake, where we proceeded to capture the Minor plex. At about 2 minutes left to run, a pirate Thrasher appears at about 65km from us. After a moment’s indecision when he moved away from us, then back toward us, he lit his MWD and raced in. My first thought is that he was brave taking on two Thrashers and a Rifter in a Thrasher, then I thought perhaps he was arty fitted- in which case, he could sit at 40km and plink away at us.

I didn’t like the idea of that, so when he locked me at 22km, I raced after him. He burned away directly, but I was catching him slowly, and suddenly he slowed. I overshot, but turned off MWD, and applied autocannons and scrambler as I turned sharply to keep under 9km. At the same time, he opened up on me, and the space between us was rent with hot projectiles. Wotlankor had been on the other side of the capture point in an orbit, so had more distance to close and wasn’t quite in range.

As my shields fell, I started to cross my fingers, but his shields were falling slightly faster, although not fast enough! I made sure I had EMP loaded and not Barrage, and prayed he wasn’t armour tanked. A shrill alarm sounded as my shields collapsed, but he was well into armour now and was dropping faster than me. Suddenly, his armour peeled away and structure collapsed in a heartbeat. A blue explosion filled my viewscreen then cleared. His capsule warped away quickly.

His fit was similar to mine, but I had sacrificed a Gyrostab for a Damage Control- which probably saved me. I got a NeoCom message as we captured the plex, telling me I had been promoted to ‘Spear Lieutenant’, as did Wotklankor- which meant a nice standings increase.

We captured a larger plex with no further incident in our evening of trying to curry favour with the Republic. Not the most exciting, but apparently necessary. We’d see if we’d done enough to keep them happy for another 24 hours. Damn bureaucrats.

New arrivals

I cut the comm channel I’d had open with Wotlankor. He’d identified a much better system for us to base out of, so I needed to move Varuna again, this time for the last time hopefully.

I hired the trusty cyno pilot that had seen me safely into Metropolis, as he was both reliable and available (a very good combination) and gave him instructions.

Once he was in position, Wotlankor confirmed he was in position. He was with Qrell, another longtime friend who was coming to join Intercision. Qrell was setting up a mid-point cyno, Wotlankor was jumping to him, then to my cyno pilot. Cyno up, I jumped in momentarily before Wotlankor’s Thanatos. The bulk of the station was spread beneath me, and I was stationary. Another good jump.

Wotlankor dropped off some ships and modules, then jumped out. I locked the cyno pilot in case any nosey capsuleers decided a quick kill of the inert Probe was a good idea. I’d be repping him and keeping him alive in that event. The Thanatos of Wotlankor winked into existence nearby, as did Qrell’s Thanatos. We were done, except for waiting for the cynosural field to dissipate. No further incidents, and we docked.

We went out for a short roam to get to know the area. I was in a Wolf for the very first time, and Wot was in a Vaga. Qrell had business to take care of and didn’t join us. The Wolf is a very good looking ship!

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, it needs either another mid-slot or drones to make it truly an excellent ship. Anyway, the roam was mainly uneventful, we saw Amarrian Militia in local, but even though we captured a couple of plexes in their homeland, no-one bothered us. We’d seen reports of a large Amarrian fleet in the Amamake area, so perhaps they weren’t very spread out.

Anyway, getting to know the systems is an important part of any fight, and it was all coming back to me slowly as this area was where I started my capsuleer career. Ah, the heady days (clueless days, if I’m honest)- autopiloting a Mammoth through lowsec stuffed with goods I was taking from A to B to make a cpl mill each trip. I was only ever killed a couple of times, but there’s a lot more capsuleers now. It’d be a certain death penalty these days, although ironically most of us would consider an autopiloting industrial to be bait!!

Intercision

I was the CEO. Weird. I had been CEO before, starting a corporation was a very easy exercise in paperwork. Tick the right boxes, fill in the right details, pay the right people and hey presto, you were a CEO. The hardest part of it all was finding a unique name, as CONCORD wouldn’t let two corps exist with the same name.

It was different this time though, as the previous time i’d been CEO it was down to me wanting to escape being back in Brutor Tribe and I had no plans to expand the corp past just me. Now, I was planning to do just that. Wotlankor, my friend since my KIA days who had followed me to U’K was going to join me once again in Intercision, as well as a few other people who’d expressed an interest. After fighting CVA and friends in Providence, we’d fight Amarrians in the lowsec badlands of Metropolis, Heimatar, Devoid and The Bleak Lands. I’d heard a lot about the fight there, the constant ping-pong of the systems as factions competed to conquer them. The wars had been dubbed Factional Warfare by the media, and it had stuck.

Although technically we could fight for whoever we wanted, I wasn’t viewed very favourably by the Amarrians or Caldari due to a lot of Minmatar agent work I did many years ago (they don’t forget such things), and I didn’t see the need to fight for the Gallanteans, so the Minmatar Republic it would be. Enrolling Intercision into the Tribal Liberation Force alliance was easy enough, and I had 24 hours before the corp was allowed to fire upon the Amarrian  24th Imperial Crusade alliance. I quickly went to get my Mastodon from Agil stuffed to the brim with ships and mods.

Having an empty corp channel and no alliance channel was a bit weird, but also quite pleasing. I was charting my own course once more. I departed from my lowsec base in Metropolis in a Rupture cruiser to get to know the area. Cheap but also tough, it was a sensible choice when foraying into the unknown. Having operated in Providence at the height of the ProviBloc’s efforts to kill every red they could with huge gatecamps, lowsec didn’t really hold any fear for me. No bubbles in lowsec takes a lot of the hard work out of moving around.

Consulting the map, I saw a nearby system, Orfrold, was contested. So, I flew over there, and quickly found a complex that the Amarrian loyalists had captured. As soon as I warped to it, it appeared on the overview for everyone to see, which made me very twitchy. An acceleration gate pushed me into the plex, which was empty. So far, so good. I found the Bunker that I had to regain control of by interfacing with it’s electronics and hacking it. It would take 15 minutes, and I couldn’t stray outside of 15km during this time or it would all reset. I set orbit for 10km.

Directional scan showed nothing much, local had a few neutrals, but they were minding their own business. The timer counted down for 10 minutes with a monotony of checking my scanner and watching local. A pirate jumped in, and a new mark appeared on scan- a Crow. It would be able to access the plex, lets see if he pokes his nose in…

Sure enough, he appeared, 45km from me. His speed bloomed to approx 3.5km/s and he raced toward me- OK, it was going to be like that. He locked me, I locked him, launched my Warrior IIs and intended to wait until he aggressed me…but as soon as I had thought it, my HUD showed:

[ 2010.06.06 17:15:36 ] (notify) Denna Black [R-SYN](Crow) has started trying to warp
scramble you!

Good enough. I sent my drones into attack and opened up with my 425mm autocannons. His MWD was still on, so he was easy to hit as he settled into a 20km orbit

[ 2010.06.06 17:15:40 ] (combat) Your group of 425mm AutoCannon II barely scratches
Denna Black [R-SYN](Crow), causing 275.9 damage.

I was in untested territory here, I’d never used 425mm cannons much, the Vagabond was always better suited to 220mm, and I’d used them briefly on a Rapier with mixed results. However, every volley was landing on target, the Crow pilot tried to get away and put some range between us, but it was too late. With my Warriors chewing on him, and the long reach of the 425s, it was enough.

The remaining 5 minutes was uneventful, and the plex was captured.

I spent a while roaming around the systems around there, gauging the 24th Imperial Crusade numbers and activity, making mental notes and reading militia intel and chat. It was a very different world, but one I think I’d like, especially when I had some fleet mates.

[ 2010.06.06 17:15:36 ] (notify) Denna Black [R-SYN](Crow) has started
trying to warp scramble you!

[OOC] v3.64 of 2d EveMaps now released

I am pleased to announce v3.64 is now released and available for download. There are a couple of minor fixes, but the bulk of the changes are new outposts:

Typos:

Complexes:

Belts:

Outposts/ stations:
* Added outpost marker to Catch/ GJ0-OJ & CZK-ZQ
* Added outpost marker to Cobalt Edge/ DN58-U & E-BYOS
* Added outpost marker to Deklein/ 85-B52, K5F-Z2 & CU9-T0
* Added outpost marker to Delve/ 5-CQDA & JP4-AA
* Added outpost marker to Esoteria/ 6-TYRX, YAP-TN, F-UVBV & 2R-KLH
* Added outpost marker to Etherium Reach/ GTY-FW & LXQ2-T
* Added outpost marker to Fountain/ 6VDT-H, LIWW-P & XUW-3X
* Added outpost marker to Immensea/ Y-N4EF & X-6WC7
* Added outpost marker to Insmother/ TTP-2B
* Added outpost marker to The Kalevala Expanse/ R1O-GN
* Added outpost marker to Malpais/ V3P-AZ & FO9-FZ
* Added outpost marker to Oasa/ XKM-DE & H-MHWF
* Added outpost marker to Outer Passage/ 4AZV-W
* Added outpost marker to Querious/ F-NXLQ
* Added outpost marker to Perrigen Falls/ 0-U2M4
* Added outpost marker to Pure Blind/ EL8-4Q
* Added outpost marker to The Spire/ K-BBYU
* Added outpost marker to Tenal/ S-KSWL
* Added outpost marker to Vale of the Silent/ B-588R & AZBR-2

System links:
* Remapped some crossing links in Heimatar (no changes to navigation)
* Changed The Citadel’s OOR link to Niyabainen to 1.0 from 0.9
* Changed The Forge/ Uitra sec. status to 0.9 from 1.0
* Changed Tash Murkon/ Pasha sec. status to 0.9 from 1.0
* Connected DuAnnes and Grinacanne on Essence and Sinq Laison maps

Misc:
* Amended hi/low sec route inter-regional markers on Universe map to improve readability for red/green colour-blindness
* Amended Heimatar <> Devoid and Heimatar <> The Bleak Lands links on Universe Map page to be lowsec only

You can download them from my homepage.

[OOC] Planetary Interaction

There’s a buzz in Eve at the moment, as CCP are preparing to allow players to start mining planets directly. In case you’ve been under a rock or in jail, this is called Planetary Interaction (PI). In the latest patch, CCP seeded the blueprints for some of the previously NPC-only available items, such as POS modules (including control towers and fuel items) and some other bits and pieces, notably Nanite Repair Paste.

This meant that PI would be the only route to which enterprising (and patient) players could get these ex-NPC supplied items onto the market.

What is interesting, and will no doubt be a boon to wormhole (WH) dwellers, is that they can pretty much be self sufficient in WH, whereas before they’d have to dip out to buy fuel for their control towers. After June 8th, they can simply set up PI to make the fuel for them. Of course, they still need to get hold of isotopes, which comes from ice- I am not 100% sure that Ice Fields exist in WHs and if they did, what racial type would they be? I suspect this will also encourage more people into WHs as there is less demand on the planets and resources in there.

Another big question is what effect will making these items player made have on the market? Who can tell-  no-one knows how many people will bother with PI, and stick at it. What is for sure is that hi-sec will be a lousy place for PI, as the planets will have much less resources than in low or null-sec. This *may* have the effect of pushing some of the hi-sec dwellers into lowsec to make use of the better planets. As you can administer your PI from the safety of hisec once you’ve set it running, you only have to go back to pick up the manufactured items.

I really hope it does make more people venture into lowsec as it really isn’t that scary. Sure you have to be cautious at entrypoints, but more often than not they aren’t camped. And lets face it, you don’t HAVE to go into the notorious lowsec systems like Rancer and Amamake. Of course you are vulnerable when at customs stations collecting your hard earned items, but nothing is risk-free (nor should it be)

I have dabbled with it on Sisi, and I have to say, I really like it. Although I don’t intend to turn into a carebear, it’s potentially a nice trickle income that I’d be stupid to ignore. CCP have added a couple of really nice features to it- firstly, you can set the timers on your extractors (mining buildings that bring up resources from the planet), so they will deplete in 30 mins, a few hours, 24 hours or 96 hours. That way, you can customise it to minimise them sitting there doing nothing as you couldn’t log on. A couple of clicks, and they’re mining again.

The other nice thing, as mentioned earlier is that you can administer planets remotely, which takes the annoyance out of the process and makes it more immersive. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to  relay orders to your foremen on the planets in the advanced world of Eve, and CCP have made a good call with it.

Similarly, and this is skill based, you can also remotely scan planets in other systems for resources, up to 9 light years (LY) away. In case you are wondering, 9LY is a LONG way. Click this link for an approximate idea of how far you can see with 9LY (well, in this case 8.75LY as I have had to fudge it slightly) from Jita.

Although the skills for PI are available (five skills), the Control Centres (CCs) are not seeded, and so nothing can happen. I would imagine there is some eyeing up of systems and planets going on, and frantic skilling up. On June 8th, CCP seeds the CCs and it’s go-go-landgrab

There are some unanswered questions, such as how much will the four different types of CC be (Basic, Improved, Advanced and Elite), and can planets be exhausted of resources. Time will tell….EDIT- this thread and comment by dev helps to clarify this.

I would heartily recommend the Eve University guides on PI, they are excellent and also have some videos to backup the articles.

Time for a change…

With no small amount of regret, I gazed at the 9UY outpost as I undocked in Varuna, my Nidhoggur class carrier. No-one had truly expected Ushra’Khan to be back in the station so unexpectedly, but life is funny like that.

Varuna‘s hold was stuffed with ships and modules, and what wasn’t in there was already safely in Empire space in a Mastodon that I’d taken out earlier. I locked onto the very distant cynosural signature and with a last look at 9UY’s sun, I engaged the jump drive.

In a heartbeat, the huge ship arrived in a lowsec empire system, and to my relief was sat within docking range of the station there, and not too close either, which would’ve resulted in my ship being flung away at some speed. Not a very clever thing to happen. The pilot who created the cyno field was to be commended.

It was time for a change. Ushra’Khan had been an excellent 18 months, my brothers and sisters in the many corps that made up the alliance were solid fighters, but I had got the itch. Things in the alliance had been less than harmonious as of late, almost as if achieving their goal of ridding Providence (if only temporarily, who knows) of CVA had sown a seed of dischord. I wish them well in their path of keeping Providence clean of CVA and allies, but it’s time for me to try something else in New Eden. The universe is once again my oyster.

I docked Varuna after uneventfully babysitting the cyno pilot’s ship, and once I was clean again from pod fluid, I found a bar in the rather quiet station and sat down to make some plans and some calls…

[OOC- edit - I wanted to say thanks to everyone who's posted on a farewell thread I understand has been made on the U'K forums. My forum access has (quite rightly) been yanked so I can't read them, but most have been relayed to me. I hope to fly again with some of you <3 ]

iHub battle in MH9

We waited patiently, sat near the Titan in 9UY that would bridge us into another fight. This time, it was in Paxton Federation space, they were going to be evicted. An infrastructure hub was due to exit it’s first reinforced timer, and we were going to speed along the second timer.

I had long since been won over to the utility of Amarrian battleships in fleet battles, instant crystal change and ammo-less turrets were a boon. The alliance had a standard Armageddon setup, so I had procured one and fitted it accordingly. It was more cumbersome than it’s sister, the Apocalypse, but it was set up for Remote Repair and had a lot of armour plating.

The Titan finally bridged us all into 2-TEG and we jumped into MH9, our target system. We had a fight straightaway, as PXF/ CVA warped to the gate at range with their snipers, and their support landed amongst us. Bubbles from both sides went up, their shimmery veils obscuring vision.

The rest of the fight is a blur of small battles all over the system. We appeared to be winning the battles, but PXF/ CVA would simply reship and rejoin. We’d shoot the iHub for a bit, then break off to defend ourselves or warp to a distant fleet member who had a good warp in on their snipers.

Our support were going for it, and the enemy had brought a lot of Battlecruisers which were being shredded. When the BS had no targets, they would quickly primary a BC or two. They went down under a withering hale of munitions. During one such battle, I got lit up as a primary, and was in trouble until the Remote Reps of my comrades saved me. The enemy then withdrew, but in our next contact I was once again primaried. This time, my armour buckled quickly as my shields hadn’t had time to properly recharge themselves, and although I was being repped, I went down.

I slowboated my pod out of the many (oh so many) bubbles, expecting to be destroyed any second and wake up spluttering in a new clone, but I got out. Pend Insurance happily coughed up for the BS’s value and then some, so I recouped about 50% (those trimarks are pricey!)

The fight goes on- the iHub was reinforced for the second and final time and we finish the job tonight. Enough time for me to decide whether to bring another BS or go for a change of pace and fly support.

Last night’s ship tally, according to our killboard’s battle report was 181:26 in our favour, although accuracy of any single KB view is always prone to mis-interpretation.

A narrow escape

I was in my Vagabond, pootling around our space. It was quiet…too quiet. Our intel channel was as silent as a sulky child. I was beginning to get bored, so headed to HED where there was normally something going on.

The Jump Bridge link spat me out in the HED system by the paired JB there. I aligned and selected one of my Keberz gate nav bookmarks and entered warp. Local was about 50% red, around 25 ships in total. As usual, it was mainly BricK sQuAD, who seemed to love HED and the combat it offered. Indeed, over the past month they had put up many Sov Blockade Units, which had all been shot down, but they were keeping up pressure on -A- and AAAC with SBUs and kills.

As I landed on the gate, it was camped by BricK, so I aligned out at speed and cloaked to observe….and to my horror, saw a Hurricane and Dramiel warp to my position. Oh crap. At the time, I thought they got lucky with one of their bookmarks, but now I realise they likely had a covops near with probes ready to go, and scanned me very quickly.

I held my breath to see where they’d land and if it would cause my cloak to fail… they landed on top of me and it did (I usually pulse MWD before I cloak as a matter of course, just didn’t this time, bah!). I lit my MWD to get me out of range of the Hurricane which was likely to be scram fitted and immediately overheated it. I was taking damage from a Drake (I think) and the Hurri, and my shields were at 75% within seconds. However, I quickly burned out of range of most of the damage, but I knew I couldn’t outrun the Dramiel. It was disrupting my warp drives, but fortunately didn’t have a scram fitted.

My Warrior IIs were out but I wasn’t able to lock the Dramiel as they had a Falcon on the gate jamming me. I knew I wasn’t able to shake the Dram, and my only way out of this was get out of range of the Falcon. He was MWD’ing toward me at 1100m/s so I would outrun him eventually. Of course, the trouble with putting distance between myself and the Falcon is that once I was 150km away from the rest of the ships I had outrun, they could warp to the Dramiel again, and once again apply damage.

The Falcon missed a cycle, and I was able to lock and put drones on him before I got jammed again seconds later (drones were more important than guns at that point), so they’d attack him regardless. I was into 25% shields and my cap was dry so MWD dropped. The Falcon still wasn’t far enough away. A Tempest had warped to the Dramiel, and as my MWD was now off, landed within 7km. I really hoped he wasn’t neut fitted or I’d be sucked dry and have to rely on non MWD speed until I got out of his range which would be problematic if he ran his MWD.

I was thinking this wasn’t going to end well, and wondering how it would have gone had I not been jammed. I’d have had time to practice manoeuvring to lower the Dram’s transversal. I managed to get enough cap to pulse my MWD…

Suddenly, Lady Luck smiled, and we hit a spatial anomaly- our targetting systems were fried, his lock dropped, my warp drive became active and I quickly warped out [OOC- I had gone off grid. Not sure why the Dram didn't keep with me or why we became invisible to each other as we were within 5000m].

Lesson learned, and very good move by BricK sQuAD.