Monday, December 15, 2014

Catching Up



 The Christmas shopping was mostly done and I only had some wrapping to do, so this past weekend I pulled on some fuzzy socks, and spent some quality time in the wonderful virtual world of internet spaceships.


Now, I'm sure many are wondering what happened with the last post. Did I give the dude back his ISK, or not?

And the answer is, that no I did not give back the ISK.

The 'advice' I was given was pretty much 50/50. Some were quite emphatic that I should definitely not give the guy back his ISK. While many others said I should be a nice girl and give the guy a break. 

Maybe I'm not nice. Maybe, I really am a dirty, rotten, evil pirate after all. However, I decided that if I was going to be giving away ISK --no matter how it was acquired --it would be going to corpmates and not strangers.

If it had been a friend, or even someone I knew relatively well, I'd have probably given it back. But it was someone I didn't know. And thus, my corpmates can rejoice in the shiny new guardians that now grace our corp hangar.

End of story.


Over the weekend, I hit the milestone of acquiring my 8,000th kill on eve-kill.  Now, I'm not really the type to take a whole lot of stock in killboard stats. You can only learn so much about a person or a fight through those kinds of statistics.

However, killboard milestones DO make very good excuses for buying yourself more shiny things. And so, for my 8,000th kill, I think I may buy myself another shiny ship. I'm still deciding on which one....maybe one of those amarr destroyer thingies?


The new alliance is going well. For the first time in a very long time I feel like there are things I can learn --and even ships that I can train better skills for. I'm working on some capital skills, and will hopefully be adding some new caps to my inventory of shiny ships over the next few months.

Learning new styles of pvp is always the hardest part of joining a new group. I find that I have to be very careful about listening and paying attention when I'm in Snuff fleets. It's not like an IFW fleet where I practically know what to do without anyone actually saying it aloud. (Actually, I'm occasionally ADD in fleets, but I'd rather think of myself as 'proactive' than scatter brained...)

Not to mention that even though we all speak English, there's occasionally enough of an accent from our Europeans where I occasionally misunderstand things.

For example, in last night's fleet I could have sworn that Donnie kept telling us to 'warp to the Dalmatians.' I had no clue what he was talking about, so just kept following everyone else like a good little lemming. 

Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and I asked a corpmate what he was saying. Apparently, he was talking about fleet warping with our Damnation pilots who would otherwise be warping faster than us.

"Sorry, Susan. CCP have not yet implemented puppies in this game."

Boo.

Anyway, right now I'm trying to learn all the Snuff ways and not get anyone killed through any stupidity of my own.

I will say that there's nothing better to break a daydream than a stern, British voice loudly saying your name on coms in the midst of a very large, quiet fleet.

It's just that I was looking at the pretty Erebus...and mentally calculating what it would take for me to buy a super cap of my own....maybe a Nyx? Those 1,500 Firetails  could be sold, as well as pretty much the entire remains of the Huola market now that Huola has been abandoned...

hmm....I wonder how much stuff I actually still have in Huola. Maybe we could find a wormhole like we did last weekend to move a few things.

...wormholes...I really need to go take a look at Thera one of these days. I wonder how I'd get there....I bet there are bubbles...an interceptor maybe?

Why is everyone disappearing?  Is fleet over? 

"SUSAN BLACK YOU MISSED THE TITAN BRIDGE...ARE YOU THERE?!"

Ohhhh crap.







Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Predicament

I logged in this evening to find someone had made a rather large error in my favor, accidentally purchasing a Damage Control II from one of my market orders for the ripe sum of 641,000,000 ISK.
At first I giggled in glee, thinking of the new shiny battleship I would surely purchase, or perhaps the shiny mods I would acquire for my new Redeemer.


But, curiosity overcame me and I just had to see who it was that made such a mistake. It was, in fact, no one I have heard of or remember flying with. But, he is a long standing member of a corporation I have been friends with a long time, and allied with for years with in militia.


So, the question is, should I give the ISK back to him?


On one hand, I do not know him. He may associate with a corp I once knew, but for all I know he could be an Amarrian spy. So, perhaps I should simply be content in my good fortune. And go on a shopping spree...

On the other hand, I have many friends in this corporation. He could be an alt of a long time comrade, or someone who simply fought in another time zone for many of the same things I once fought for. After all, I can't pretend to need the ISK, and good friends are much harder to come by then money.



He wrote me a mail. Not really to ask for ISK back but to acknowledge that he probably would never see it again. This is EVE, after all. We are all cut throats and pirates.

Or are we? What would you do?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Corporations and Keeping People in EVE

A corporate experience can make or break your enjoyment of EVE. After seven or so ears of playing, I’ve witnessed this many times. Being in an inactive group, or being in a group with people you don’t really ‘click’ with can negatively impact your view of the game in general, in a big way.

And, I believe that it’s mostly common knowledge now that pilots who are involved in a corporation are a lot more likely to stick around and continue playing EVE.



I’ve heard of lots of ‘solutions’ and ways to get people to get more involved in corporations, for this reason. Most of these seem to be centered around making pilots (especially newer pilots) more safe in joining a corporation—from reducing risk of wardecs to removing the ability for corp members to shoot each other freely.



Right now, corporations server two primary functions in EVE:

The first ‘function’ is the sort of game-play stuff you can do as a corporate entity. You can setup structures, declare war, share assets. You have corporate wallets, and corporate market orders, and corporate contracts setup for the purpose of doing business and functioning as a corporation.

The second ‘function’ is as a way to organize a social group. It allows people easy ways to communicate with each other. It makes it easier to fly together, and socialize. And, it gives people an identity as part of ‘a group.’



It is my opinion that the inability to separate, or differentiate the two is an underlying problem in a lot of corp/high-sec stuff in EVE: 

The former ‘type’ of corporation is something that is (and should be) subject to various risks and responsibilities. You operate as a corporate entity, and therefore you run the risk of being wardecced, of being competed against, and all manner of other things.

However, the latter should not have the same strings attached. People who have no interest in actual corporate gameplay should not be discouraged from joining social groups because of the risks involved. In fact, it is my opinion that joining a ‘group’ for purely social reasons should have no risks involved at all…outside of social risks. (Annoying people, etc...lol)





Until CCP divides the two ideas, they will always have problems. They will make changes to make the social aspect of Corporations better to encourage people to join corporations and improve player retention. However, they do so at the risk of negatively impacting other corporate functions and disturbing the balance of risk and reward to operating as a corporate entity.

And, on the flip side they will have their hands tied, afraid to make changes to things like wardecs that could negatively impact the social aspect of corporations and drive down player retention.



So why not simply create a new non-corporate group that is primarily directed toward helping people create more social interaction in EVE? This would fall below a corporation and would have four primary functionalities:

-A group chat channel

-A group mailing list

-The ability to set standings to other groups, corporations, and alliances

-The ability to setup fleet adverts open to a group.

Players would be allowed to join more than one group, and the groups they are a member of would show on their character information similar to employment history, decorations, and etc.

You could have groups created for special ‘topics’ in EVE—perhaps a group where Traders do things and share information.

You could have political groups such as a player-made faction or coalitions –using a group as a way to manage standings, fleet adverts, and other things.

And you could have groups for people who just want to hang out, fly together occasionally, and chat –without all the stuff that is involved in committing to a corporation.





CCP would be free to do a lot of stuff to corporate game mechanics without running the risk of hurting player retention or impacting the 'social' aspect of corporations in the process. They could add new risks, new benefits, new gameplay, new tools.

And yet, the ‘social’ aspect of EVE would be allowed to thrive as well, hopefully giving newer players more opportunities to making friends and enjoy the game a little more.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Here and Now



I'm an evil pirate. I guess I have technically been one for several years now, but I was really feeling it a couple nights ago as we exploded some poor soul's Badger full of all of his worldy possessions from civilian modules to skillbooks.

"You probably just destroyed someone's EVE career." Someone said later. And, I tried to feel bad. But, it's hard to feel bad for someone who decided it was a good idea to load all their belongings into a paper-thin ship and jump it into some of the most pirate-infested low-sec in EVE, unscouted.


Lately, I've been playing EVE. The real kind of playing, not the kind where you're logged in but mostly checked out, if you know what I mean. We've been going at full throttle, moving ships, roaming, learning the area, and occasionally just chilling with new-alliance mates and camping a gate.

And if I can say one thing about people in Gallente space, it is that they sure do know how to camp a gate proper-like. You have your proper pirate camps where not much but interceptors and shuttles get through. And then you have your battleships going disco --turning pods into goo. 

We camped gates a bit and occasionally ran into them back in the Bleak Lands, but not like what you see here.


In addition to my piracy, and trading, I've taken up a wormhole-probing hobby. I don't really run sites, or do anything except satisfy my own curiosity in seeing what sorts of places I can connect our new home to. I've romped through all sorts of regions of low-sec, various wormhole places, and even a null-sec system or two. 

I'm not sure entirely what I plan to do with this new hobby, if anything. I admit, as a trader I occasionally dream of finding a wormhole to Jita. As a pirate, I hope for a direct line to some far off null-sec system where lazy ratters will let me steal from their ESS, will come protect it, and will die in glorious explosions of PVE scrap metal.

For now, I'm content with poking my nose into here and there. Perhaps I'll start bringing mobile structures and anchor them named "Susan Black was here!"


The new alliance with Snuff Box is going well, as far as I can tell. The contents of my new hangar in Gallente space makes me happy. Not just because it's full of shiny, pretty things. Though I really do like shiny, pretty things.

In militia, my hanger was full of thrashers, tech 1 frigates, and all manner of plex-ready ships. I'm not anti-tech 1 or turning into some sort of elite snob now. But, I've noticed a growing change in how I perceive spaceships in general.

In militia, spaceships were disposable things you fit cheaply in bulk. We leroyed them and trashed them and exploded them. Which can be fun...some of the time.

Now, many of the ships in my hanger serve specific purposes, or are specific toys I wanted. They aren't disposable, and I didn't slap any 'ol mediocre fit on them that would pass for serviceable. I invested in them, and each one is a tool. A fun, shiny, pretty tool.


It's kind of like going from a diet of frozen dinners, to homemade, bubbling lasagna with garlic bread. Not that I don't occasionally crave a frozen pizza now and again.



Monday, November 10, 2014

New Beginnings


Change is hard. We're ingrained with the idea that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. And, I think it becomes easier to deal with the things you don't like that are known to you, rather than risk the unknown.


But, change can also be very good. Since the announcement that we were moving out of the warzone and leaving Faction War, our corp has been buzzing with activity. Many left their one and two-man corporations to merge into the single corporation, so it has felt a little like people have been seeping out of the woodwork of what used to be Late Night Alliance.

Furthermore, people who I haven't seen logged on in months have resubbed to see what is going on. I think that many never believed we'd actually leave Faction War --and had to log on just to see for themselves that it was true.


The first days surrounding the move were not easy, to say the least. Primarily, because we started moving after Phoebe--probably the worst possible time to decide to move. A feat that would have been over in a few hours and a few round trips in our carriers and jump freighters now became a nightmarish beast of a project. One-way trips were made with capitals just to move the capitals themselves, and rigs were destroyed as people found alternative ways to move their sub caps half way across the universe.

I handed over both my capitals --an Archon and a Moros --to my CEO, Bahamut,  and he moved them for me,  having better Jump Drive Calibration skills than me. The next day, I logged on to find out he had lost two archons, and in looking at the lossmails...noticed one looked very familiar, complete with Spirits in the cargohold.

"Uhh....Susan?"

Uh oh.

"I kind of got your Archon blown up."

Whoops. 

And so, my first ship loss in our new alliance was a ship I wasn't even piloting at the time. However, the Nyx kill that accompanied our losses that day made up for it. Even though few of us USTZ were on that early, I think that killing a super capital within the first 48 hours of an alliance being born is a good omen, indeed.