29 January 2010

The Fight for D-GTMI

  For once circumstances lined up properly and I was able to participate in the CTA to protect D-GTMI yesterday.  Sadly it did not go as well as I had hoped; in the end we were not able to hold the system as we battled a superior force and incredible lag.

  As our forces gathered in the staging area spirits were generally high throughout the fleet.  We had large numbers and I found myself in a battlecruiser sub-fleet of more than 200 pilots.  I had hoped to get a battleship to the fight but timing was just not on my side with that.  After staging was prolonged by a server reboot we were able to titan-bridge into D-GTMI and I loaded the POS grid surprisingly quickly.  In forming up for battle I felt as if, by some miracle, the node would be able to do this; boy was I wrong. 

  As the battle began I got word from a corp-mate flying in the capital fleet that they were under attack.  It seems that the newer capital pilots were struggling to properly fly their ships and losses began to mount unnecessarily.  As the lag hit many in the capital fleet were disconnected; unable to login again most of them only learned about the fate of their ships through the killboards.

  We got the order to warp to the FSW gate and take out the anchored warp disruption bubbles before turning to the SBU.  As we arrived some pilots began to load the grid but during the whole fight I was never able to fully load all of the enemy pilots.  After removing some pilots from the field we focused on the warp disruption generators and took them out.  With our dreadnaughts still on the field we turned to the SBU but at this point the lag was truly becoming a problem.  Personally I was able to get off a grand total of 3 more shots over the next half hour, even with my settings designed strictly for lag reduction.  Despite the complete inability to actually fire at the SBU we continued our effort to destroy it untill Atlas reinforcements arrived and our own dreadnoughts were removed.  I finally loaded the enemy dreadnoughts as they were already warping away from the battle, then we got the heads up that 100-150 sniping battleships were jumping in.  As we began to load those battleships our fleet was ordered to retreat as the fight was largely lost by now.

  Our force was outnumbered and in some cases outflown.  In combination with the horrible lag we experienced there was little to be done but fight to the bitter end.  The combined enemy fleet did an excellent job in this engagement and won the day.  I did see Wensley of Rifter Drifter fame fighting in red fleet so I look forward to his report.

  As we received the after action update from command the station fell and I commited ritual suicide in my despair (actually just to get home but that sounds much more grand).

  I would like to note that our fleet commander (CVA Battlecruiser Fleet) did an exceptional job of managing a group that included many pilots participating in their first true fleet action.  I would like to commend his patience and leadership.

27 January 2010

Vita Perseverat

  Today brings very big news on the Alliance/Corp front in my EvE career.  Through the machinations of fate and of man the AU-F has found itself seperated from the our previous alliance and heading for a new home in Fatal Ascension.  After getting over the initial shock of this all happening in two days our member base is very excited about the opportunities that Fatal Ascension can provide us, as well as the chance to help them reach their own goals.  I believe we have found a great new home where we can prosper for a very long time.

  Needless to say, the seperation from our previous alliance brought with it some drama.  This came largely from within the corp as members scrambled to understand what this meant for them and their activities in the Providence region.  In the end though I believe the entirety of the AU-F is extremely thankful for our time in AOV and wishes each of them the best of luck as a sister alliance. 

  Without getting into too many details the breakup stems mostly from differing goals among many parties.  Recently the AU-F senate (of which I am a member) began to ask our leadership to make some changes.  The reason for this was almost exclusively burnout spreading throughout the corp.  Many corp members (even senators and directors) seemed to have stopped enjoying the game during the general low point in EvE leading up to Dominion and following its release.  Sensing this the senate asked for a change and the AU-F set off on our Northern Campaign.  This did serve to re-energize the corp, although we were saddened to lose some good members.  Following the general failure of the NC in the area of space we hoped to move into and CVA opening new battlegrounds around Providence we decided to return home to help.  Sadly our goals still did not align with AOV and the final result was a split from our good friends.

  In the end I believe we will remain good friends with AOV as well as enjoy forging new friendships in FA.  While many are sad to leave AOV growth cannot always come without growing pains.  I do hope that both sides will be able to grow in their preffered directions much more fluidly now.  Luckily we will still be fighting side-by-side with our old buddies to defend Providence and its occupants.

25 January 2010

Bombs Away

  I didn't get to log much time in EvE this weekend even though I had planned on a little R&R in New Eden.  Between the wife, the bars, and the hangovers; let's just say I wasn't making it online.

  Despite the lack of playtime I did manage to score my first "solo" kill ever.  I would like nothing more than to take the credit for expertly slamming a Taranis head on with a bomb.  However it was a team kill, even if the great pilots who set us up for the kill aren't on the killmail.  Thanks to the great flying of an alliance mate (harry) and an old chum (ajax) our foe came out of warp right on top of an already deployed bomb and took it on the chin.  I have to say that this was one of the more beautiful kills I have ever been a part of as the whole thing went off as if it were plotted for months.  Here's hoping I don't see the other side of this situation any time soon.

20 January 2010

Dominion 1.1

  Of course it will be covered everywhere but Dominion 1.1 lands tomorrow, bringing with it the full array of capital ship changes that were slated for the main release (and some new ones).

  Looks like those supercarriers are here meaning no more motherships; we'll be looking at some serious damage from these new ships.  The new design is much, much more closely aligned to what I envision when I think "carrier in space."  The new fighter bombers are designed to lay a serious blow and the new ship is meant to be a true offensive weapon instead of simply a supporting vessel.  Just like any current carrier these ships are designed to be a major part of a serious fleet.  I'm not sure when I will see one as the current mothership design has caused them to be a bit rarer than one would expect, a situation I hope this patch will change.

Patch Notes

  *Note the change to siege modules: they now add mass in an effort to stop bumping of ships in siege mode (or triage or industrial if you prefer that).

19 January 2010

Ships Of EvE 4

  For those of you into in game events T'Amber has some fun lined up this saturday.  The Ships of EvE lottery kicks of with a full day of activity including prizes and a little hisec action.  Head on over to the big post for all the details, but if you win don't be afraid to throw a Thanatos or a Rattlesnake my way.

FanFest Video Wallpaper

The video wallpapers used by CCP during fanfest have been a heavily requested item on the EvE Forums.  It looks like they have gotten the work done and released them to the public.  If you want to put a little flashy EvE action in front of your eyeballs head on over: http://www.eveonline.com/download/videos/Default.asp?type=8&order=0

ForumTopic - some discussion and tips on getting it to work for you...

Original Forum Post - very long...

18 January 2010

Directional Scanner

  Catching up on my reading this morning I found a quick introduction to using your directional scanner in WH space over at K162space.  If you are venturing into wormholes then this is one of the most imortant things to get right.  Keep in mind that the whole post is referring to using your directional scanner at maximum range and at 360 degrees.  This gives you the best chance to see scan probes that have been launched to find you.  When missioning (or running plexes) in lo-sec or 0.0 a watchful eye on the d-scanner could also help you avoid any unknown pilots you see in local.  If you see these pilots drop combat probes you will probably want to make ready for your escape.

  For those of you simply using your directional scanners in PvP combat where you are trying to determine where your target just warped off to (for instance) there are some slight differences.  The key difference here is that you will want to narrow the beam so you don't get every ship in the system.  When doing this it is important to keep in mind that the scanner is based off of your camera view and not the direction of your ship.  That means it is very important to align your camera properly if you hope to sniff out that scum you are hoping to kill.  This can take a bit of practice and a little calm in the heat of battle.

15 January 2010

Combat Mechanics: Tracking

  As I talked about in my last post Angular Velocity is one of the major factors in hitting your targets.  We will revisit angular velocity in the future but today I would like to talk about something even more important.

  Turret tracking seems like a simple concept but there are a lot of subtleties to this game mechanic that can be overlooked by the casual player.  I admit that untill a short time ago I overlooked many of the intricacies of EvE combat myself. 

  The first thing to remember about tracking is that a turret's resolution is the number that compares with the signature radius of the target.  Ignoring speed, this is the reason a battleship has trouble hitting a frigate.  Speaking in generalities this means that a larger gun is meant to shoot at a ship with a larger signature radius.  It's a bit like moving up from a rifle to a bazooka, then to a cannon.  With each iteration you get more power and range but you lose some finesse.

  The next key point in tracking is tracking speed.  Tracking speed is basically the ability of your gun to move within it's own axis.  What this means for combat is that even if your large gun could hit a frigate that was not moving you just could not rotate it fast enough to hit one that is moving around you.  Going back to the analogy; imagine trying to move a cannon compared to repositioning that rifle.  When it comes to speed, larger turrets generally suffer and those intended for long range are slower than those intended for up close combat.

  The last, and simplest key is also the most overlooked in my opinion.  Too many pilots focus on optimal range without knowing what that means to their turret's effectiveness.  When it comes to optimal range you want to fight inside of your optimal if at all possible.  It is best to fight as close to the optimal range as you can.  If you can avoid it you should never engage a target beyond you falloff range as you will never hit it; and the area between your optimal and falloff ranges is going to be less effective than within optimal. Basically as you extend beyond the optimal range of a turret the chance to hit gradually reduces and reaches zero just beyond the falloff range.  This is one of those mathmatical curves so there is always a slim chance of a hit but I would not bet on this!

Combat Mechanics

  Nyphur over at Massively has posted a helpful little article on EvE combat ideas.  While the terminology and ideas in the article have been discussed plenty on the forums I think they do a very nice job of breaking it down to simple bits.  The idea of angular velocity is the first topic and one I think every player should read about.  Angular velocity is one of the more important factors in how your guns work and one of the reasons you can't hit an interceptor in a battleship.  A solid understanding of this game mechanic can make a profound difference on your combat effectiveness and how you handle your ship in many cases.

  I will try to post some more detailed information on combat mechanics in the coming days if time permits.

  The Massively article can be found at: http://www.massively.com/2010/01/10/eve-evolved-five-interesting-combat-tactics/

14 January 2010

New Player: Burnout and Specialization

  If you have read my short primer (So... You're New to EvE?!?) for the new player or one of the many others out there, then you probably have a good start on the possibilities in EvE.  At some point every new player reaches a plateau in EvE and it is here that many people burn out.  Often this point comes when you have been grinding missions for some time and have already reached a few early goals.  Perhaps you have been flying that shiny battlecruiser for a while now and the shine has worn off, yet battleships seem so far away.

  If you begin to wonder what you can do next you are not alone.  I took a break from EvE at this point because the possibilities seemed endless and I wasn't sure where I wanted to spend my energy.  Now, I wish I had stuck with it through that period but hindsight is 20/20, as they say.  If I could give some advice to a new player at this stage I would tell them to take it slowly and pick a specialty.  If you want to continue your EvE career then this is a good time to step back and regroup.

  This specialty does not need to be the one thing you do for the rest of your EvE career but it should be something you are interested in.  If you want to build ships for a while then work on the skills needed while you mine your butt off to get a nice cache of minerals to use for production.  If you feel tired of mission running and want to experience some PvP then choose a role you can fill with your current skills.  As I mentioned in Battle Hardened, or Soon to Be... one of the best roles for a newer player is fast tackler.  If you can fly a cruiser (or even better a battlecruiser) well then you will also very a valuable addtion to many fleets.

  The key here is to pick something you would like to do and focus on that for a while.  Take advantage of the time to just relax with your corp-mates; or if you are not in a quality corp then use the time to find one.  Focusing on one area will help because it is a good way to overcome that overwhelming feeling when looking at all the possibilities for your EvE persona.  Connecting with your corp mates just makes the game much more fun.  Even for those who enjoy being a "lone wolf" it's much easier to get though a boring stint when you can chat with friends. 

  While you are taking this time continue to train your skills for your next big goal and before you know it you will be there with a re-newed energy and fresh perspective.

13 January 2010

I'm Stealing This Post

  Poking around the web today I noticed that Wensley over at Rifter Drifter has posted a nice primer on current 0.0 politics.  If you are new to 0.0 or getting back into it after an absence I would give it a read.  He has promised to add an update on the conflicts which seem to be taking place all over New Eden these days, which I look forward to.  With CVA, the Goons, and AAA (and friends) fighting in the south and NC and others fighting in the north it is clear that Dominion has stirred the embers of 0.0.  It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out in the coming weeks (or months).

12 January 2010

It's always sunny in Venal

  Last night saw my first participation in our effort to make headway into the north. Right now we are operating under very strict engagement parameters because we are hunting reds/neutrals while the pilots we have set to "blue" would be happy to give us a free ride out of their space. Therefore we must be very careful to keep an eye on local and listen to the FC. Thankfully we have some very good FC's as well as capable fleet participants.

  In light of the fleet makeup I decided this would be a perfect time to let the new character sprout his wings and fly. So I undocked him for the first time, set a course for one of our offices, and signed up for the corp. Barely two hours after his first undocking exercise the new fella had scored himself the kill-mail on a pod kill; good start.

08 January 2010

Sorry: Hulkageddon Post

I knew it was a matter of time before I made a Hulkageddon post.  As much as I want to keep my little mining ship alive, this is a great thing.  Player events like this are too rare a sight.  Hats off to Helicity and Hulkageddon.

In what I like to consider a small jab at the gankers the AU-F miners took the roid fields on the inaugural night of Hulkageddon.  I would like to give a big thanks to our tactical guys for providing a combat presence just in case.  Thankfully it wasn't needed as either the combat pilots scared off the gankers or they didn't want to bother with us.  Either way I'm happy to report that we were able to have a nice op and get some new players experienced in a mixed fleet.  The threat of danger made this a very nice practice op for null-sec mining for the new members.

Good luck to the Hulkageddon crew, but I am keeping my mining lasers safely tucked away for a little while.

Edit:  For crying out loud people, at least don't make it this easy: http://hulkageddon2.griefwatch.net/?p=engagement&kill=659

05 January 2010

Making the Blogrolls

Escape Velocity has made the list covered by EvE Bloggers and I'm excited about that.  There are a lot of good bloggers I read on that list and I hope to do as well as them.

Word of the Day

No, I'm doing a word of the day.  However, this morning when I got to work (half an hour late) I popped open my email and my friendly word of the day from the folks at Merriam-Webster is "myrmidon." 

 I've always enjoyed CCP's effort in coming up with names; ship names in particular.  It turns out that myrmidon means :
a loyal follower; especially : a subordinate who executes orders unquestioningly or unscrupulously
 I hope I don't look like an idiot here but I didn't know that one.

 This is a clearly a perfect name for one of my favorite ships.  It's no secret that this baby loves drones and most Myrmidon pilots will use them religiously.  Of course I don't think my drones always get the "unquestioningly" part as they often take off on their own, but I still love them.