Archive for February, 2013

Peace in Our Time

Regular readers will already know that I both love and hate the Sovereignty system by which 0.0 alliances live and die by. On the one hand I hate the Imbalance of Money between the Alliance and the Pilot and I hate going on structure grinds. But at the same time, what draws me so deep into eve is a thirst for supermassivebattles between entities represented by us, its members in our Star ships.
But here is the clincher… of the last few large scale fights I have been involved in, all but one were generated by either Moon Mining or Structure Bashing. So if the things I hate generate the thing I love, surely I must love the things I hate? Or is it that because the thing I love defends and supports the things I hate I must hate the things I love? I don’t know about you, but I’m getting dizzy. The problem is that the good and bad of 0.0 are deeply intertwined together, and its about time that’s changed.
A lot of people, up to and including CCP have started talking about replacing the Sovereignty system with something new and one of the big crowd pleasers at the moment is that of the tug of war, also known as the Bottom Up Sov mechanic. The basic idea of this is that the individual actions of members of the alliance directly affect the alliances control of their sovereignty in the systems which those actions take place. For example, running an anomaly boosts your alliances control in that system. Now I agree with a lot of the goals this concept sets out to solve. Large sprawling alliance  couldn’t maintain hold over more systems than their members can actually use. Small Alliances could be pains in the royal proverbial of large alliances. Control of the Alliance would be placed more in the hands of its member than the elite select of its directors. And these are all great. Except for one big issue.
Glorious Space battles. The problem with the new system is that it has thrown the baby out with the bathwater. Yes the Sovereignty system sucked, and yes it caused more hassle that it did fights, but when the system did work, on that rare time when things slotted together in the right order; It was glorious. By emphasising the individual we would lose the drivers for alliance sized conflict. 500 on 500 man fights wont happen over an anomaly. Three opposing fleets wont vie for control of a magnometic site.  Who is going to hot drop a hauler spawn?
I’m sure some would argue that if CCP made some of the “control sites” large enough (say 500 pilots needed to complete) we would get these huge fights, but even then, we are talking about forcing PvP players to PvE, and that’s a bad thing in my books. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that individual contributions have no place in a new Sovereignty system, but I really disagree with using them as a basis to build our entire structure on.
My opinion is that any new Sovereignty should complete four main goals:
  1. Get more money to members (ether forcing the top to hand it down, or starting it at the bottom and forcing members to feed it upwards)
  2. Stop Blue-balling (in other words generate massive fights)
  3. Allow cross timezone combat
  4. Allow smaller alliances to be smaller pains in the side (amount of pain size relative)
Now I don’t have a magic answer to how we complete all of these, especially stopping blueballs in this current climate of risk aversion. But I do know what a good solution looks like, and I don’t think this is it. That’s said, I believe it could be a small part in a bigger solution.
Fly in big fleets
Hark

Ask the Jester not the King: Questions

[UPDATE 19/02 – 08:31]
Jester has replied to our questions in his campaign thread on the forums. I will re produce his answers here shortly.

The following open letter was sent to Ripard Teg of Jesters Trek earlier this month. The letter is unedited from its original composition. Ripard has since replied and his answers can be found here, and on his original campaign post here.

Fly politically,
Hark
Dear Jester,
My name is Harkconnan and I run a small eve blog called  www.extra-vehicular.com. As a long time 0.0 player, and reader of your blog, I am quite interested in your recently announced run for the next CSM.
I realise that it is very early in the your campaign, but I should like to ask you a series of questions on behalf of my blog regarding you candidacy because we are very interested in your stance on matters close our readers (and our own) hearts.
Ideally I would like to publish this letter (in an open letter format) on our blog in a week and would leave the format and medium of your answers down to you (of course I would like your permission to copy your answers to my blog as well). I also give you permission to publish this letter in anyway you see fit, provided I am given at least 1 days notice of your intent, and any edits are run past me first. I realise that you are a very considered writer, who will likely have his own campaign schedule and so of course any reasonable requests for a different schedule will be accepted.
Should you choose to answer the below questions or not, I would like to thank you on behalf of myself and my fellow writers for your contributions to the community so far, we hope this will continue through you campaign.
  • Can you list, in order of importance the key pillars on which you platform stands?
  • You are pretty outspoken on the lack of movement regarding Super Capitals and clearly this will be a big part of your platform. How will you deal with the possibility of being outnumbered by “Pro-Super Capital” members of the CSM?
  • As a prominent blogger in the eve community you have always been very outspoken and perhaps even confrontational on your views of certain subjects, often despite popular census. How will you gauge your opinions vs. the opinion of the masses? Further more how will you manage a situation where you realise you opinion does not match that of the majority of players?
  • Having followed your blog for a long while, I am aware that you have experience in several aspects of eve online. Do you intend to stand as a candidate for the whole community, or is there a sub-section of the community you intend to stand for in particular?
    • If you intend to stand for all, do you worry this might cause conflicts of interest where different groups of electorates desire different outcomes from a discussion?
    • If you have a particular sub group, can you tell me why you feel you represent them more than others?
  • If you could, right now, pick a single change which CCP would guarantee to work on during your potential term, what would it be? And can you defend why the change you have chosen is more important than others you base your candidacy on?
  • Previously you have been accused of not communicating very well with the large eve community. Specifically not interacting with twitter or the forums. However recently you have changed this and become much more visible (especially on twitter). Considering that the CSM to player communications should be a two way channel, how can you assure us that this will continue?
  • Without going into specifics, what do you think is the best method to ensure CCP tackles an issue which is important for the community?
  • A lot of people have discussed the concept of top down or bottom up economy within alliances. What is your opinion on this, and how (if at all) would you like CCP to change this?
  • What do you feel is that most important change made to eve in its recent history? accepting that ‘recent’ is very subjective.
  • In a single sentence summarise you opinions on the following in terms of your candidacy?
    • Safe high security space
    • The blue doughnut
    • Sov wars
    • Low sec
  • You have talked before on the subject of CCP’s need to cement its position in the gaming market. Could you as a CSM member advocate a change to our game which did this, but was against the community’s wishes?
Thank you,
Harkconnan of www.extra-vehicular.com

Faction Warfare, pvp for great profit?

So you may have read Hark’s feelings on Faction warfare and I agree with his findings but as has been mentioned in other blog posts I am notoriously bad at pve and earning isk, I have a terrible habit of loosing interest and…. oh something sparkly! Does it explode?

Anyway I had been looking at faction war from a distance for a while as a way I might actually be able to make use the potential risk of pvp (which I welcome) to help me spend more time isk making. In fact if i kill a ship from an opposing faction I get LP for it! This sounded as close to isk earning nirvana as I was likely to get, so with this in mind I jumped in two footed with my standard nullsec fits, you know the ones, MWD (no PVP without MWD) point and then tank and spank….. I got curb stomped……

I lost frigates and cruisers in rapid succession and when I had lost enough for relatively little gain I finally stopped and tried to analyze why. Looking into the mirror is never a kind experience. I realised I had made some pretty fundamental errors and had failed entirely to adapt to the new environment and its nuances. I had subconsciously bought with me a null sec mentality to combat. With this sobering thought I took a step back and looked at the mechanics of the battlefield I found myself in and started again.

The faction warfare “why-do-I-suck-so-bad!” soul search

Now the basic mechanics of plexing have been outlined by Hark in his previous post but I will outline the most important points again…

Different Plex sizes inhibit certain classes of ship from entering.

Another key mechanic of these plex’s is that in all but “large” plex’s they are only accessible via an acceleration gate that deposits you within 5km of a beacon within the plex. This is a choke point through which any ship entering the plex must pass. Large Plex’s operate diffirently and can be warped into at range but for the basis of my current combat this difference is not one I regularily use.

Now because of these key mechanics and your use of dscan (Which Hark did a guide to in his previous post) you can choose which fights you wish to take on. As a result if you are the person inside the plex you can also choose the range at which you wish to engage, this opportunity is often key to who will win the resulting engagement.

So with this re-evaluation of my battleground I went back to one of my favorite ships, the Merlin and decided how I wanted to fight. As there is nothing I like better than smashing things to pieces with overwhelming firepower, so blasters would be perfect. As I will be choosing the initial engagement range ( I would be sat slap bang on the warp in beacon waiting for people to come in)) I would not have the usual issue of having to get into range, YAY!

In fact my main issue would be keeping people where I want them (i,e, at my optimal), so I needed a fit that would allow me to control range as much as possible so I could effectively deliver my dps, as such my choices had to be very different from the usual null sec frigate fits that are mainly about being as quick as possible (MWD) so you can get the tackle (point) and wait for your friends to make them dead.

Now I realised I needed fits that reflected that my targets would be coming to me and I wanted to keep them there so I need a scram to turn off any mwd, a web to slow them down from running away and make them an easier tracked target, and an afterburner to help me dictate range. After these choices everything else has to be to maximize dps and survivability.

With this my redesigned brawling Merlin was created:

3x Light Neutron Blaster II
Experimental 1MN Afterburner
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Warp Scrambler II
Medium Shield Extender II

Damage Control II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

2 Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer

This ship also had the great side effect of having enough dps to kill the npc’s in medium sites meaning that if I found myself logged in at a quiet time, I could do the larger sites for those tasty bigger rewards. So long as it worked in the way I had theory crafted I might have the ship I was after, the only way to find out would be to try it.

Proof of the pudding….

And you know what happened? I didn’t get all that much combat. I think my choice of frigate may have contributed to this. You see in faction warfare circles the Merlin seems to be building up a pretty good reputation. In all honesty the Galente part of me is a little sad to realise that currently the premier T1 blaster frigate in eve is probably Caldari! That aside though, when combat did occur I noticed an immediate change in my fortunes; as long as I stuck to my game plan, I started winning; Incursus, Tristan, other Merlins, all began falling before my (overheated) guns. I have not won every fight, but I was finding that often even if the fight wasn’t going my way the range control of my fit allowed me to get away safely, in fact one escape was actually more fun than some of my fights just due to the angry tears displayed in local after I warped out. I don’t think the guy had thought his fit through, he had an amazing (for a frigate) tank but no ability to control range and thus had failed to make a efficient and effective PVP fit (i.e. stopping my escape).

So my faith in my fit and tactics started to increase and my wallet began to grow from the time I was spending in plex’s waiting for fights. I started taking more risks as my little ship had paid for itself many, many times over. Just as I started feeling this way, a Dramiel appeared on scan. I have flown these little beasts personally and I know just how nasty then can be, but my confidence was high and the plex I was in had only 1 minute 30 left to run so I thought “well he’s gonna be at 0, why not give it a go….”

So I overloaded my guns and waited for him to come in. When he arrives I lock him, scram and web on, start pounding on his shields, he doesn’t seem to be able to pull range…. I think I have him…. I think…. almost….Blammo!

I got him and still had my armour  But at this point I nearly made a fatal error, I had failed to notice another hostile had turned up in local, thankfully my brawl with Dramiel had carried me way off the warp in. While I was looting the wreck and linking the kill in militia chat a Talwar (which according to the dramiel pilot had warped to the wrong plex!) warped into the plex and opened fire on me. I entered warp after a few volleys from him with 28% structure left (I have no idea what his fit was but his missiles hurt). This near loss was a rude awakening but did not dim the elation. This one kill pretty much made the previous weeks plexing worth it too me, but the fact I am actually making good isk while getting these sorts of fights is the icing on the cake!

This kill is also a special one for me as it showed me I had finally adapted to my new circumstances, to create a “faction warfare” mentality. You see the Dramiel was set up very much like I would have done with a “null sec” mentality. The Dramiel’s fitting is all about closing range for initial tackle and then holding on long enough for supporting dps. This mindset is further supported by the presence of dps backup in the form of his friend in the talwar. Unfortunately his fitting had as a result sacrificed its own ability to effectively control range when webbed. As I had now specialized my fitting for Faction Warfare I was able to use the factors in the plex to kill one of the deadliest ships in New Eden one on one.

Since this fight I have even taken more risky fights…like this one.

but again due to the choke point/Early warning nature of the plex system; as long as I am paying attention I have the final say in which fights I am willing to take. As a result when t2 frigs or destroyers turn up I have plenty of time to leave and it is at this point that I found another nuance of faction warfare I was not expecting.

Maturity in eve?

The Majority of fights I have had so far have actually been with low sec neutrals, not other faction warfare pilots. When a fight has obviously not been winnable for me I have often said so in local and wished them good hunting and the amazing bit? Generally this isn’t greeted by smack! In fact more often than not I have been told “I wouldn’t take that fight either” and “good hunting to you too”, there have been exceptions but in the main I have found the locals to actually be quite friendly and even engage in fitting and tactics discussions  in local, occasionally even linking fits freely. For me this is quite the revelation and a great reflection on this sub section of the community.

So is this eve Nirvana?

Well its not far off and it is one of the better communities I have had the chance to try: it is not perfect however. I still feel the plex system while good needs more iteration: At the moment, if you are alone you can find yourself waiting for a 20 minute timer to wind down with little else to do than troll militia chat. Its a little to close to mining in that respect for me, but I can put up with that for the community and the fights! There are blobs, but these are an exception and generally only catch you if you not paying attention. I think the potential improvements are a topic for another post as this one is already a bit long, I may also post about kiting fits as well if there seems to be demand for it.

In summation.

Faction Warfare can be great fun with the opportunity to make good money, there are more lucrative revenue streams but none with the same potential for some quite excellent pvp. If your wondering about trying it go for it, really what have you got to loose? If you don’t get pvp you earn money, if you get a fight doesn’t matter: got pvp!

From <http://extra-vehicular.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=88&action=edit>

Elevation

Well its been an expensive month in my little corner of our universe. When I first joined my Current Alliance 3 months ago I was admitted on the condition that I immediately being a strict training course directly into their main ship of the line (take note and newbies, this is pretty normal out in 0.0 and you should embrace it!).

Thankfully I am a dedicated logi 5 pilot, with maxed out skills* so the past 3 months has been spent pretty much exclusively in Logistics ships keeping our dudes alive where I can. Usually I don’t have any problem slipping into most normal ships an alliance requests (all races all weapons systems trained to T2), in this case however our main doctrine is purely capital based, so even flying logistics, I’m missing out on a lot of fleets. But Hallelujah my training queue has almost completed. As of right now I can sit in my shiny new Archon (and do nothing but spin), with all its mods installed, and in just 19 days I will level 4 or higher in every skill which matters (at which point I will be combat ready). It’ll still be another 3 months until I have every skill required by the Corp to its proper level, but for now I am just looking forwards to getting involved in my first consensual capital combat action.
That said there is a LOT of organisation between now and my first Capital Op, but more on that later.
This will be my third capital ship trained out of the four available. My first capital train was into the wonderful Chimera, chosen simply because it was (and still is) without a doubt my favourite looking ship in the whole of eve online.  This is likely heavily influenced by the amazing Fan Video “Day Of Darkness II“, I’m no serious roll-player, but this vid always gets me going.
Then, when my Alt came to the age that it was an actual possibility, I realised that it would be amazingly useful for my alt and main to share a single carrier (or at least fly each others). As my alt was a dedicated Minmatar pilot, who already had Minmatar Battleship 5 trained (as did my main) it made an awful lot of sense for me to bite the bullet and trade in my pretty chimera for a Rough and Rusty Nidhoggure. Don’t get me wrong, the Niddy is a good looking ship in its own Minmatar way, but if were doing a looks contest, the Chimera is the gorgeous chiselled Young Sean Connery, the Nidhoggure is the rough tough bad boy Gerrard Butler (I like boobs, honest).

Sadly the latest trade in has been for the now aging Sylvester Stallone, the Archon. I mean seriously its tough as old blood boots, but the thing looks like its only half finished! I have enough cash that I may end up getting my alt a Niddy just so I can move my stuff around the universe in something better looking, its that or get the Ark (Daniel Radcliffe… Oh gods I’ll stop it now, I promise, boobs damn it).

Sadly the switchover hasn’t exactly been as easy either. When I swapped the Chimmy for the Niddy I was lucky enough to have a manufacture resident in my preferred low sec system who sold pre-fitted Carriers on contracts. I just jumped the Chimmy out, striped my travel fitting off, put the hull on contracts and waited 48 hours for it to sell. Then I bought the Niddy, tweaked the fitting (read fitted all cap mods), and jumped back home again. Easy. This time things haven’t been as smooth. First and foremost buying a combat fitting turns out to be a lot more expensive than 5 Cap Rechargers 6 Capacitor Power relays. I currently have 6 completely different fittings I need to purchase, as well as 20-30 modules which need to be stored in the ship encase we need to do the old switcher-roo mid-fight.
Between the cost of the fits (faction and dead space kit is standard where I live), the fact that carriers gained about 4-500 Million Isk in value since I last bought one, and “HOLY FUCKING SHIT STICK BATMAN, FIGHTERS COST A LOT”, its been a painful experience.  Don’t get me wrong I can afford to lose 5-6 of these before I’m bankrupt, I’m not about the break the golden rule of eve online here, but even having a fifth of your isk value invested in a single combat ship isnt something I’ve done since I was a fresh player in the game. As a result of seeing a large chunk of cash come out of my main wallet, I have done a little universal spring cleaning to generate some cash. Turns out I had a 4bn isk in assets I never fly anymore (Macharial, Orca, Hulks and Tengu). Which has generated enough instant cash to make me feel a bit better about the purchases.
Perhaps this is a good time to explain what an obsessive compulsive bastard I am? You see I have four main Characters I play:
  1. The Main (0.0 fighter extraordinaire)
  2. The Trader (main accountant and isk holder, also mines in a dire stretch)
  3. The Alt (Makes money through any shooty means, incursions, missions, FW etc)
  4. The hauler (no skills except for moving things and lighting cynos)
The Trader holds pretty much all of my liquid isk, and uses it as capital to invest in my many schemes. The Main char gets paid a salary of 300m isk per month to buy new ships and resupply old. But any additional outgoings from the Trader Char to any of my characters is placed in a debt spread sheet to be paid back into the trader account whenever another account makes some money. As result my trader keeps a steady level of isk in its wallet, slowly increasing as its investments mature and return. Every so often (generally when a wallet gets to fat on The Alt), I will deposit all the cash made across all the characters back into The Traders wallet to give it a little boost in investment cash.
For example with my current expenditure I had 600m saved up on the main for PvP ships. The Trader then lent the main 1bn to cover the purchase the Hull. The hauler already had 1bn saved up from FW exploits, and so was also lent an additional 500m from the trader to cover the Fitting costs. As a result the next 1.5bn made by any of my accounts (in this case by selling their old ships), will be paid directly to the Trader to nullify the debt.
I did mention was anal right? What can I say?

Hopefully the result of this will be something bigger than a Battle Cruiser to fly in combat. Quite a lot bigger in fact. Its been more than a year since I flew a Battleship into combat; sadly my old alliance was desperately short of logistics pilots. As a result I was always either in a Logi ship, or on the rare occasions I could fly combat, we didn’t have enough Logi to bring anything bigger the BC’s, but that’s a story for another time. Ah well, lets hope I don’t lose it to quickly!
Flying a little bit suspect I think,
Hark
*Seriously a tip for any pilot who hasn’t done it already, train into logistics ships. Max out the skills if you can (logistics Ships 5 is a bare minimum requirement btw), every alliance and every corporation wants more logistics pilots, you really wont waste you time.

Dusty Black Box: Dewi (Jaguar)

Even before I took my break from eve I was really slacking on the black box posts. Then, once I returned I began the process of changing corporations (and Alliances) which required me to either sell or move all of my ships. As a lazy bastard I opted for the sell and re-buy option. As a result I have a good few BB posts to put on here. So here are a series of staggered posts giving the final tally for all my sold ships.

Pilots notes:
No kills in this one, but its was a fun little ship in which I have a few close shaves.

###########################################################
#                   – Current Info –
###########################################################
#Ship Name: Dewi
#Ship Type: Jaguar Class Assault Frigate
#Location: 4DS-OI
#Fitting type: SOTL (neut, tank & tackel)
###########################################################
#                        – Log –
###########################################################

15/01/2012
– Purchased
– Jumped out to L-HV5C
20/01/2012
– Moved to FDZ
22/01/2012
– Carrier Jumped to D-I9HJ
23/01/2012
– Moved to NG-M8k
! Engaged in 995-3G by 2x Nemesis
! Engagement begun on POS where two bombs were fired
! Re-engaged on Planet 3, scrambled and torpedoed
! DAMAGE REPORT: ~33% shield lost due to single bomb (second bomb missed). Torpedo damage negligable
– sucessfully disengaged using MWD & Scramble
– Docked in Station
12/03/2012
– Moved to Z182-R to break up gate camps
– played bait with two drakes
– Enemy ran away
– Moved to EKPB-3
– SBU’s planted
– returned to C8H5-X
! Engaged by 2 hurricanes a crow and a stilletto
– returned to 4DS-OI
25/03/2012
– Moved to 28Y9-P
01/09/2012
#SOLD

###########################################################
#                     – End Log –
# Owned for: 8 Months
#Kills value[number]: 0[0]
###########################################################

Ctrl-Alt: The Splinter Cell

Money is a massive restriction on every Character in eve. Without money, we cannot do anything in this game, even skills (which you would think were the greatest limiter to what you can and cannot fly) require you to have ISK before you can purchase them. As a result most players, myself included, have at least one alt; The money maker.

Its always important in eve to have multiple sources of ISK generation funding whatever activity’s you want to enjoy. This is because in the eve sandbox, your income source, like your ships, are never safe. Miners never know when the next Hulkageddon/Ice Interdiction will be, traders don’t know when the market will crash, Mission runners cant tell what will happen next patch. In my recent history I have invested and profited from 6 other income streams, all of which have since been abandoned (and replaced) due to external pressures reducing my profits, a few more have stayed constant, but they are a minority. I have explored a further 3 possible sources, and either rejected them, or placed them as a backup plan should a current method begin to fail. My money maker has only very occasionally engaged in PvP because its just not profitable; Well, until now that is.

My alt, and its corporation (with my friends alts as members), have joined Factional Warfare; we missed the “Gold Rush” I know, since CCP have nerfed the ability to make money for nothing out of FW, but we were interested to see if FW could become at least a minor income source to fund our mains while simultaneously supplying frequent PvP. We didn’t exactly make it easy on ourselves either, joining the Caldari fight on pretty much the same day they lost their last system.

So the Golden Question: “can you make money doing PvP in FW?”. Short answer: Yes. Our corporation has been in FW for 18 days (at time of writing), and our least active member has made 480m ISK, our highest money maker (me) has made 1.2bn ISK. Lets look at some details. Firstly I should confess: I have not so far treated FW as a PvP activity. Lets take a look at my fitting:

 


Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
3x 200mm AutoCannon II (Hail S)
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster (Cap Booster 50)
Small Shield Extender II
2x Nanofiber Internal Structure II
2x Small Polycarbon Engine Housing ISmall Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

I made the early decision to begin my FW experience with the intent of seeing how much money I could make as quickly as possible and then, once I had built up a nest egg (and paid back the startup costs) I would start to be more aggressive in my plexing. I soon decided that the best way to do this, would be to run complexes and avoid combat. Step 1 was to take the fastest ship I could create (a 3900m/s variant of the above fitting) and make safes all around FW low sec; off gates, sun safes tactical points. With these spread around our hunting ground, I begun to farm everything and anything I could find. The process goes something like this: Find a small or novice plex in a system you feel safe entering (ideally empty!), trigger the plex, and kill the NPC inside. Fly to the edge of the activation sphere (furthest away from the entry point) and jettison a can to orbit. Watch local for 10-15 minuets. Doing this even at Teir 1 of FW control earns you 5,000-8,750 loyalty points (double this at Tier 2); and for reference 1000 loyalty point earns you roughly 1.2m ISK if you are smart about how you spend it. Now like I said, this isn’t really PvP money making, I have several layers of safety between me and non-consensual PvP.

 

Look I’m sorry FW players, but I wanted to make cash, is that really so bad? I expect people like me piss you off, but half the time the ship I am warping away from is a Navy Comet/Hookbill. Even if I was PvP fit, your just looking for a cheap kill, and I am just looking not to die, so that’s life. Now I’ve made a billion, I do intend to switch to a more PvP centric ship.

Before you get too angry with us as a collective, you should know that I am the anomaly in our little group. Arian, Lore and Minijack have all been PvPing. They have informed me that FW is a bit like a solo low sec roam, except that if you don’t find anyone to fight, you get paid, rather than going home empty handed, I believe that Arian at least intends to write about his PvP experience soon. They do (and I intend to start) FW in a different way. Flying to a plex, and using the same steps I use above to judge any potential opponent, and engage if they feel it’s a fair fight. If they win they get some LP, if they loose they fly home and start again. By my calculations at Teir 2, you need only do 1-2 novice sites (10 mins each) or 1 Small site (15 mins) to earn the value of a T1 frigate fully fitted and insured.

Strangely enough the fair fights happen more than you might expect as well! This is because Faction War has a tiny element which makes a world of difference. The plex sizes. By placing restrictions on what can enter certain plexes one major factor which makes for “bad fights” has been removed: Up-shipping. If I am in a novice the worst thing I have to fear, is a faction frigate (and I’ve heard talk of even restricting these), even better if I am in a faction frigate, there is nothing in a novice plex which I can at least attempt to engage. Of course unfortunately “blobbing” (can you really call 2-3 ships a blob?) can still happen, but as FW tends to be the realm of small 2-5 man gangs, so even that is a relatively minor issue.

Its not all sunshine and ponies though, FW, in my opinion does still need some tweaks. Mostly its around the concept for teamwork. Teamwork is required in FW, else you would never take and hold the space. However in the actual plex’s, very little is required at all. It has always amazed me that as a Massively multiplayer Game, eve have very little PvE content which requires you to group up. I was kind of hoping FW might be the exception to this. Sadly I don’t really think thats the case. As a solo player you are perfectly capable of doing FW sites, however, you will spend more time in-between plexs looking for a system where its safe to do one, you will also frequently be chased out of a PLEX (this happens more to me than some one in a PvP fit ship, because I am a yellow bellied bastard). The answer of course it to bring friends. Unfortunately plex rewards are split between every one within the sphere of influence at the time of completion. This means that if you do bring a friend to help dominate the plex and hopefully kill/scare and solo war targets, your only going to be getting half the profit.

This means that as a solo coward farmer you need to spend 50% of your time not in a plex, to be less profitable than having a friend join you, and that assumes your gang of two never gets chased away, and goes directly from plex to plex. This is unlikely but lets assume you might increase your efficacy occasionally by splitting up in a system to do two plexs at once. As a result its much more profitable to go it alone, and that disappoints me. In my ideal world, FW would be something that you could do solo, but at a far lesser profit rate as if you were to bring some friends along, but perhaps that is a pipe dream.

My only other complaint is that FW is only slightly more interesting than missioning running. It is true that killing lots of  red crosses is less interesting, than killing one and then doing nothing (with the fear of being killed). But any game activity which can require you to do literally nothing for 10-25 minutes, is going to bore you fast.

We are loving Faction Warfare, and its proving to be a very profitable source of income for my main account. Further more getting paid to PvP is a refreshing change in eve (even if I haven’t really being PvPing), and something I wish could be applied to nullsec. My final thought is that FW is a great way to introduce new players to PvP, in my opinions new characters should get the option to start in the FW corporations of their choses faction as their starter corp… It would need some extra tutorials, but my goodness could we bread a new line of combat hardened pilots fast.

Fly like a coward

Hark

 

From <http://extra-vehicular.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=91&action=edit>

Dusty Black Box: Syn I (Nemisis)

Even before I took my break from eve I was really slacking on the black box posts. Then, once I returned I began the process of changing corporations (and Alliances) which required me to either sell or move all of my ships. As a lazy bastard I opted for the sell and re-buy option. As a result I have a good few BB posts to put on here. So here are a series of staggered posts giving the final tally for all my sold ships.

###########################################################
#                   – Current Info –
###########################################################
#Ship Name: Syn I
#Ship Type: Nemisis Class Stealth Bomber
#Location: 995-3G
#Fitting type: Pure Bomber
###########################################################
#                        – Log –
###########################################################

06/03/2012
– Purchased and fitted for combat
– Moved to C-J8MT
– Local @ 1800~ all blue
– PL & NC. jump in super blob
– Local @ 2800~
! Bombing run on T3 Sniper Fleet
– Solar jump in capitals
! Bombing run on carriers (for drones)
– Solar jump in Super Capitals
– Station taken by -A-
– Logged off in system
08/03/2012
– returned to 995-3G
25/03/2012
– Moved to 28Y9-P
01/09/2012
– SOLD

###########################################################
# Owned for: 7 Months
# Kills value[Number]: 0[0]
###########################################################
#                     – End Log –
###########################################################