Posts Tagged ‘SoE’

[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.

Back Track Part 2

The first part of this article can be found here

Well in just two short days I have now completed the SoE Epic Arc “Blood Stained Stars” and I have some final thoughts on it.

Lets talk about how I think the Arc stands up to new players. First and foremost, I don’t know how well advertised this arc is to new players now, but I do know this: its not enough. I cant begin to think how awesome I would have found this when I first stared mission running, and furthermore to a “Theme Park” MMO player, this kind of structured sequential mission might help bring them further into the eve mindset. Its rewards are also great for the newer player, giving some good cash, and a vital boost to empire standings which are oh so important to the early career mission runner.

However there is a problem using the epic arcs to bring theme park players into eve. Its that of progression; like many things in eve the learning curve is more of a wall. A theme park player would run this, and love it, then be faced with grinding for months (and train into Battleships) to get enough standing to run a level 4 epic arc. As they stand (assuming players are pushed into them forcibly) they are a great way of getting players into eve, with some more at the in-between levels, they could be amazing.

And not onto my impressions as an older player. I really enjoyed it, sure the missions were ridiculously easy, and there was a lot of running around high-sec (see the picture at the end). But I really liked the story (yeah I’ve never actually read mission requests before), and actually the reward wasn’t exactly chicken feed. Ok so the money was (I think I made about 5 mill without salving across 5 hours), but at the end of the arc, the ability to pick any of the three factions to gain a chunk of standings towards, is priceless. I picked the Amarr (as I can already run the Caldari Epic Arc “Penumbra”) and gained around 0.4 standing to the faction (8.4% increase with Connections 5, ans Social 4 from a start of 5.4) meaning I can now run theirs as well.

So the (5)million isk question: Would I run it again? yes.
Further more I intend to also run both the Caldari and Amarr arcs very soon. I hope these might provide some more challenge (and reward). Ill add some posts on them when I get to them.

Final notes from my log:

If you happen to have a good battleship in Hek there are two missions there which actually have battleships in. With total bounties worth around 10m isk each, you might be tempted to run these. If you do, the missions are back to back and, in the second one you should refrain from destroying the power source untill you have moped up the BS’s, as killing this (as per mission objective) will destroy the ships with no bounty for you.

My final set up was as follows:

[Hurricane, Sisters]

6x 220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II (Phased Plasma M)
2x Small Tractor Beam II

Large Shield Extender II
2x Tracking Computer II (Tracking Speed Script)
10MN Microwarpdrive II

Damage Control II
3x Tracking Enhancer II
2x Gyrostabilizer II

3x Medium Core Defense Field Purger I

6x Warrior II

I grouped my weapons in sets of two and one shot’d most rats, although I did still have a few tracking issues, never had to deploy the drones though.

For the newer player here is an idea of what ship types you can use:

  • Battleship: to big, wont track anything
  • Battlecruiser: Very Easy mode
  • Cruiser: Easy mode
  • Destroyer: Medium
  • Frigate: Hard but doable with good skills/modules

Here is the rough area you will travel in:

Back Tracking

Its been kicking around in the back of my head for a while now that I still haven’t actually experienced any of the Epic Arcs, and this weekend, I decided to being rectifying this issue.

My plan is to begin with the Sisters of Eve Epic Arc: The Blood Stained Stars, which is generally referred to as the extended tutorial roughly equivalent to a level 1 mission. This said my research found mixed responses as to which ship was best to bring, responses varing from Battlecruiser all the way down to, “ah just a rifter’ll do it”.

Of course being a nullsec pilot, and thus master of the blob, I elected to bring the biggest recommended ship,  the Battlecruiser. Of course typically for me this meant that on my alt (who flys mostly Minmatar in combat), that I am about to embark on an epic arc with ship due to be nerfed in 2 days. I guess I could pretend this is a last Huzar for the Hurricane of old. As the missions seem to mostly involve fighting frigates with a few BC thrown in for good measure (or so the wiki’s say), I opted for a tracking fit ‘cane with 220mm AC’s. Fitting bellow:

Note: I changed this as I went to a more efficiently scroll to the end for my recommended fitting

[Hurricane, SoE]
6x 220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II
2x Small Tractor Beam II

Medium Shield Extender II
2x Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
10MN Microwarpdrive II

Damage Control II
3x Tracking Enhancer II
2x Gyrostabilizer II

3x Medium Core Defense Field Purger I

6x Warrior II
And promptly set off for the starter system Arnon ( IX – Moon 3 to be precise). I’ll admit now that the main reason for this fun little jaunt is purely personal interest (and information gathering for my future plans to run the Caldari Arc Penumbra), but I also think there is a lack of publicity and information about these missions out there for newer players, so I intend to give some feedback, and publicity to this arc for any new players who might happen upon this blog.
So without further ado, I shall alt tab away from this text, and accept the first mission…
Ok, so first mission done, and they say that first impressions are always important so: it makes you jump 2 jumps to fly to a site, kinda boring, but I can understand that to a new player, seeing destroyed Dreadnoughts and Battleships might be worth the trip (the visuals are pretty stunning).
I’ll run a few more and report back when I have enough thoughts…
First 10 missions done now, pretty fun so far although very very easy. the ‘Cane has been one hitting everything so far (all frigates). It started out with quite a bit of travel although later started to settle down to just one system. This said, the later missions were very repetitive (go to x, kill y, rescue z). flying to the next chapter now, wondering if an assault frigate might be a better ship just for the faster warp speed!
Another few done now, further adjusting the can fitting, not quite suggesting a full downsize yet as I’m not one hitting every ship I see (although its still tempting as I think that’s due to my gun size). However I am adjusting my fitting by removing a load of tank to add-in some Tracking Computers (see my final fitting). 
Its also worth noting that for some of the missions you can remote accept/complete missions, one set in Hererget I managed to complete only docking twice (start and end of the chain) saving me a lot of time (If only mission running always worked like this…)
Anyway that’s about all for my playtime now so ill finish this arc up later and give some final thoughts on it.

[Hurricane, Sisters]
6x 220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II (Phased Plasma M)
2x Small Tractor Beam II

Large Shield Extender II
2x Tracking Computer II (Tracking Speed Script)
10MN Microwarpdrive II

Damage Control II
3x Tracking Enhancer II
2x Gyrostabilizer II

3x Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
6x Warrior II

Fly halfway across the galaxy
Hark¬

The second half of this article can be found here