Posts Tagged ‘Guest post’

[Guest Post] A Blog Widows experience as a Sister of Eve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may have heard me mentioned in a couple of Harks post, but let me introduce myself. I am Harks non-gaming girlfriend who has been known to ask questions that inspire him to discuss certain topics in the blog. Over the past couple of years, I have learnt that the EvE universe exists and have been exposed to much more of the complexities of the game than I could ever possibly need (except perhaps for helping me write this post). So when Hark decided to attend FanFest for the first time this year and asked me to come along, I have to admit my first thought was “do I really want to go hang out with a ton of geeks talking about EvE for 4 days?” But I do love spending time with Hark and his friends and the idea that I could share his first FanFest experience tempted me to go. The deal maker was when he explained there was Sister of EvE (SOE) excursion and that I’d get to go 4x4ing on a glacier. I was in and after the event, I do not regret it. In this article I hope to capture the essence of the SOE excursion for those SOE you may be trying to persuade to come with you to FanFest next year and for those of you just wondering what it was like. It also touches on my thoughts on being a SOE, what is a SOE and my non-gaming impressions of EvE.  Enjoy.

I am sure I was not alone in feeling excitement as I reached the Harpa on the SOE day to see a long line of stretch 4×4 cars out front. That pretty much set the scene for the day – excitement and fun.
We embarked in a convoy heading to the South west of Iceland. With a car full of 8 women and 2 men, the radio feed of the guide from the first car was often impossible to hear over the discussions of parents’ desperation for grandchildren, LARPing and penises. One thing that was not mentioned in the conversation was EvE. Luckily for us, our driver acted as a very good guide, as did the only other man in the car (yes there were also about 5 male ‘Sisters’ of EvE on the tour), who had previously lived in Iceland. Our first stop was Thingvellir – UNESCO world heritage site. Here we stood on the edge of the North American tectonic plate and stared across valley to the Eurasian plate. Driving through the valley, the rift was more evident in the cavernous clefts in the lava fields, where whole sections appeared to have just dropped away.
Next stop was Geysir hot spring area. Sadly Geysir, the original geyser that all others were named after, was not erupting; but the nearby geyser Strokkhur was sending up massive gushes of water about every 10 minutes. It must have known we were there, because at one point it erupted twice in a couple of minutes. Many photographs taken (it was amazing how many photography buffs there were on the tour), we retired to the nearby Geysir hotel for a fantastic all you can eat buffer lunch, with roast pork so delicious that I just had to go for seconds. The room was filled with laughter and chatter with even an occasional mention of EvE. Typical of any event with lots of women, there was a queue for the desserts and the loos.
We then headed out towards the glacier. This gave the drivers the chance to go a bit crazy off road, which was exhilarating if a little scary at times: Competing against each other to get to the front of the convoy, our car dived down a rocky slope, accompanied by AC/ DCs Highway to Hell on the radio, darted under a bridge and mounted a bank so steep, I ended up parallel to the ground in the front passengers seat.  Once the freestyle rollercoaster race was over, we set out onto what we thought was the glacier, a mass of snow in between snow covered mountains. After we’d been going for a while, the driver informed us that we weren’t even on the glacier yet, this was just a road, demarked by the yellow posts almost buried in the snow. eventually we reached the edge of the actual glacier and could get out and walk around. This was not like the ice and crevice filled glacier I had hiked on during my last trip to Iceland, or if it was, it was covered by at least 2 feet of untouched snow, which extended as far as the eye could see. It felt so peaceful to be in a place of such unspoilt beauty. Everyone seemed to have a smile on their faces, even the ones who ended up on their backsides in the snow. The cars moved forward onto the glacier, so we had to walk to reach them. Not a problem for most of the girls, but I did observe one girl in a pair of stilettoes out there: Well I suppose they would have worked as makeshift crampons. Getting the cars turned around and off the glacier was to prove more challenging than getting on. The drivers were very skilled in getting such big vehicles moving in the snow. Unfortunately for our car however, not quite quickly enough when black smoke started billowing from the engine. The drivers did not show any concern, but set about trying to work out what the problem was to get the car going again. Meanwhile we entertained ourselves by debating if we’d fit in the other cars and who we would eat first if we were stranded. My eyes started to scan the horizon for the Skidoo School we had seen earlier, with visions of pulling a James Bond like move; knocking the driver off and taking the skidoo to safety. Luckily it was not necessary as we shortly got going again and headed to Guilfoss. The dual layer waterfall looked stunning, with a rainbow above it, giving the top of the falls a yellow green hue, that perhaps explains its name, the Golden falls. After a short hold up (as we lost a SOE), we then headed to Fontana spa. I think for many this was the highlight of the day, while for me it was just the perfect finish. First we tasted the rye bread, which we were shown was baked in the ground using the geothermal heat. Then we were let loose in the spa which had multiple warm pools, a jacuzzi and three steam rooms filled directly from hot mud below. It was wonderful to lay in the warm water and look out across the stunning view of the nearby lake, special SOE cocktail in hand.

Finally it was time to head back to the Harpa. The mood in the car was very relaxed and relatively quiet as people reflected on the day.  I got the impression from the smiles on all the faces that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day. I definitely did and wouldn’t hesitate to join another SOE excursion in future.

I don’t know what I expected the sisters of EvE to be like prior to this trip. They couldn’t easily be grouped into a stereotype: coming from all over the world, with different careers, opinions of the game and differing relationships to their respective EvE players. There were even SOEs who played EvE themselves or worked for CCP. What surprised me was the abundance of strong confident women. Perhaps it was just that only the stronger personalities were willing to go on a trip like this. But I wonder whether this is because it takes that strength and self-confidence to compete with EvE (which some felt was the other woman in their partner’s life) or that with strength and confidence, a relationship develops the space for the individuals to dedicate themselves to a hobby or interest guilt-free. In my case, I believe the latter is applicable. I was surprised by how many of the EvE players were waiting to see their significant others off and were there to collect them, full of smiles and hugs at the end of the tour, a sign of the softer side of these space warriors. Clearly CCP in organising the SOE excursion understand the contribution / sacrifice we significant others make for the sake of the EvE universe and ensured that throughout the day, we were made to feel very special and have the experience of a lifetime.
So am I happy to consider myself a SOE? Well from a selfish point of view, I love Iceland and my favorite restaurant of all time is in Reykjavik, so having an excuse to return there for FanFest was excellent (and delicious). But more importantly as a non-gamer, I find the idea of this alternate universe with all the politics, economics, conflict, races, classes and careers fascinating. The idea that so many people out there have alternate careers in this universe which they dedicate real time to in order to succeed, is amazing to a workaholic like me. But I can clearly see that there are benefits to the players: Belonging to such a large community creates bonds and friendships all over the world. It brought a tear to my eye in the CCP keynote, when Hilmar choked up after players requested Vile Rat/Sean Smith’s name be included on the statue, evidence that one person has the ability to touch thousands by their actions in and surrounding the game. I recognise that EvE can be used to develop abilities useful in real life such as communication, planning, tactics and organisational skills. It requires intelligence. EvE is not merely for those who can shoot fast or learn the cheats / patterns to win, it is constantly changing; challenging its players and requires dedication and commitment. The fact that CCP appreciate the input of their players into how the game should progress, also make it stand out. Where else could you get a say in shaping a universe? Being the partner of someone so interested in EvE that he chooses to write a blog about it, has meant the past two and a half years have been a second hand journey into EvE for me too. A journey I have been fascinated by. I am by no means going to start playing, but I am happy to be a SOE.

[Guest Post] The Executioner: Post and Pre Patch

Pre Patch
With the recent frigate changes I was asked to help out with some change testing Executioner and sum up my thoughts and reactions to how the ship has changed for this blog.

As these are low-end ships I have been doing the testing on a low skillpoint alt (about 2 million SP at time of writing); so as to fly the ship as a new player would with all limitations this entails*.

As you will or should know the Executioners original slot layout was 2 high (2 turret slots), 2 mid, 2 low and 3 rig slots. I found that this doesn’t leave you with a lot of fitting choices. Of course with the low CPU and PG available mixed with the lack of fitting skills I found my options even more reduced.

So after much umm’ing and agg’ing over the lack of fitting options I settled on to the following fitting: –

High slots
2x Dual Anode Pulse Particle Stream I (Multifrequency S)

Mid slots
Limited 1MN MicroWarp drive I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Low slots
Damage Control I
Overdrive Injector System I

The guns (with this low skill point char) have the enviable damage output of ~38DPS, but that doesn’t really matter as this ship is the precursor to the interceptors, its job is to go fast and tackle ships so that your fleet can kill them, and fast it does go; even with my mere 2 million skill points I was getting up to about 3,300 m/s. Fast to the point where your problem then becomes “I must not overshoot my target and stay in scramble range”, you may laugh at that comment but as this ship doesn’t have a tank or even any kind of buffer if someone looks at you funny you can go pop. So you want to stay in scramble range but only just so you can try and run / coast out of their scramble range (if they have one fitted) as your only defence is your speed and it you get scrambled your dead.

So to summarise my pre patch feelings:
Frustratingly few fitting Options
Does its job (fast tackling) but does it in a fragile manor

Post Patch
Then came the frigate changes, the Executioner as well as the other interceptor precursors have received quite a significant buff. Importantly including; more power and CPU, and a slot layout changed to 4 high (3 turret slots), 3 mid, 3 low and 3 rig slots, This give so many more fitting options as well as the possibility of fitting a small tank or at least some sort of buffer so that you don’t explode when someone sneezes on the same grid.

After some time trying to be a fitting warrior (not sure if I was successful) I came up with the following two basic fittings one armour and one shield: –

High slots
3x Dual Anode Pulse Particle Stream I (Multifrequency S)
E5 Prototype Energy Vampire

Mid slots
Limited 1MN Microwarp drive I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Patterned Stasis Web I

Low slots
Damage Control I
Prototype Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

Rig slots
3x Small Trimark Armour Pump I

And

High slots
3x Dual Anode Pulse Particle Stream I (Multifrequency S)
E5 Prototype Energy Vampire

Mid slots
Limited 1MN Microwarp drive I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

Low slots
Damage Control I
Overdrive Injector System I
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

Rig Slots
2x Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

I haven’t ever flown the armour version as the 200mm plate reduces the speed of the ship by about 1000 m/s bringing its top speed to about 2300 m/s and being a fast tackler I didn’t think this was acceptable.

Both of the above fittings have an effective HP of ~4300hp compared to the ~2000hp of the pre-patch Executioner which gives it much better survivability when in a fight, the extra turret slot does increase the DPS of the ship to ~57DPS but as I said earlier this ship is designed to tackle enemy ships for their fiends to kill.

Again summarising my post patch feelings:
Far more fitting options
More tank while still for filling its role

The full changes can be found below (with the adjustment in brackets credit in part to Callic Veratar):

Frigate skill bonuses: -10% to small energy turret capacitor need and +5% small energy turret damage per level
Role bonus: 80% reduction in Propulsion Jamming systems activation cost (new)
Slot layout: 4 H (+2), 3 M (+1), 3 L (+1), 3 turrets (+1), 0 launchers
Fittings: 45 PWG (+20), 140 CPU (+40)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 250 (+15) / 400 (+95) / 350 (+76)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / cap per second): 360 (+173) / 180 s (+39.37) / 2 (+0.67)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 410 (+6) / 2.85 (+0.04) / 1090000 (-34000) / 2.91s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 27.5km (+7.5) / 920 (+220) / 4
Sensor strength: 8 Radar (+2)
Signature radius: 31 (-2)
Cargo capacity: 115 (-20)

As with Hark’s earlier post on the Atron (http://extravehicular.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/new-frigate-changes.html) I think CCP did a very good job with these changes and have given the Executioner a new lease of life other than just being built to be upgraded in to an interceptor. I am now hoping they will do as good a job with the new destroyers.

*Such as no advanced weapon upgrades trained to level 5 making ship fitting that much easier (aaggg damn you power-grid I only need 0.5 more to get this to fit..)

Harks Foot Note
This was a great write up and an interesting incites in the difference in treatment between the Atron/Incursus and the Tormentor/Executioner. When I looked into The fittings (using my main Char which can fly all the races/weapons) I found that the Tormentor/Executioner were getting significantly less DPS than the Atron/Incursus (around 20DPS difference), in addition the tracking difference between the two sets is also bias towards Gallente with them tracking 0.2 radians faster than the pulse lasers. Of course you could argue that the Amarr get a longer range (7km to 5km) but considering the increase doesn’t bring them outside of Scram/web range is 2km really enough to justify the lesser DPS & tracking? I believe that these changes (as they currently stand) has effectively nerfed the Amarr… which would you fly given the choice? This could of course all come out as a rock paper scissors change with the Amarr doing better with the Bombardment frigates when their changes come along, but right now the Punisher is still the best Amarr frigate. If CCP stick with the current changes we could even see the Punisher getting a nerf of around 40DPS. Prehaps that is alarmist, but lets see how things go.

My special thanks to Lore (who I am hoping to convince to become a regular author) for this post and his time testing. I am expecting a draft soon from Arian with his impressions of the Condor and the Slasher shortly. Looking forwards to how well they match up.