Category Archives: EVE Online

Rift Pet Peeves

Getting the obligatory “Love Rift and have canceled EQ2 and EVE for at least a month while I focus solely on Rift since it’s so much friggin’ fun!” out of the way.  And now that that’s said, there are several things that bug me — either features missing, features badly implemented, or things I just plain don’t like.  This isn’t a comprehensive list and the TL;DR version would probably be summed up as “Copied WoW when they should have copied EQ2.”  And then my personal conspiracy theory that since Hartsman came from SOE and EQ2 that to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest he avoided blatantly copying the better features from EQ2 so as to not be sued or something.

Oddly, this might end up more or less sorting out for myself why I’ve always loved EQ2 yet couldn’t really get into WoW.  So here we go:

Missing things are:

  • Appearance Slots — C’mon, how many games have these now?  I like my sets that I craft for myself and don’t want to break up the look.  The “level capped rainbow look” was a running joke in EQ2 before appearance slots we re added in.  Heck, even DDO has appearance armor anymore.  How could any game ship without them anymore is beyond me.
  • Shared Banks — You allow 6 toons per server, yet each has an individual-only bank and has to mail anything to an alt?  Really?  EQ2 shipped with a shared bank 6 years ago. . . I know the technology is out there. . . . .
  • Guild Banks — I’m still scratching my head at how such a polished game is missing this feature.  Especially since. . .you guessed it. . . EQ2 shipped with them.  Sorry to harp on this EQ2 thing, but um. . .Mr. Hartsman. . . you were THERE and saw how popular these features were and ARE in that game.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
  • In-combat sprint — Granted there’s really no death penalty at all, but it’s still nice to be able to sprint past a mob or 3 in a high density area after it’s aggro’d on you.

Badly implemented things are:

  • The UI  — It’s HUGE.  I’m told there’s someplace in the settings where I can scale it down, though, so I need to look for that.  Still… I’ve never cared for the WoW UI and this one is pretty much a straight copy across from it.  Your party window with its massive portraits and small health bars don’t help when I’m playing a healer either.
  • The mounts — for the love of god, stop making me recast it every damn time I do something.  You had it right in EQ2, Scottie — make me lose the runspeed when in combat, but don’t make the frakking thing go poof and need a 2s recast just becuz a grayed-out mob looked at me funny.  An option a la EQ2’s recently added “don’t show mounts just let me look like I’m running fast” wouldn’t be a bad thing to add either.
  • Player Faction on the PvE servers — EQ2 got this one right too, Scott.  It lets EVERYONE on the server play together.  We chose a PvE server becuz we don’t want to fight the other side.  If I want to play with my friends and I like my Eth while they like Dwarves, why can’t we play together?  Oh right, becuz you have your stupid PvP in my PvE server too.  Newsflash:  People who choose PvE servers don’t want PvP.  Even in “pure PvP games” like Eve and Darkfall something like 80% of all players never leave the non-PvP areas.  PvP is a *niche* and shouldn’t be on every damn server including the PvE ones.  And if you must keep it this way, at least let me add cross-faction friends so if someone logs on I can see that to know to switch to an alt in that faction so I can go play with them.  This whole “never the twain shall meet except across the point of a sword” is utterly ridiculous on a PvE server.

There’s more, but this is long enough and I’m actually itching to log in and play so. . yeah, the negatives really don’t outweigh the positives in any way shape or form, but. .. while I’m a fanboi, I can still say that it’s not “perfect” either 😛

My Obligatory “New Avatar” Post for EVE

The kicker for me on this is:  Only 1 of these took me longer than 5 minutes to make, and that’s the the new image of the female Sebiestor Minmatar Jita alt that I log in maybe once a year, if even that.  For her I was trying to achieve “innocent and demure.”  Not sure how well I did, but there it is.  The other 2, well… I just got it to where I thought they looked cool and called it a day.  For their original portraits. . .tbh, they’re pretty much the random faces that I was given when I hit the character screen.  I think I tweaked the hair on the main, but that’s it.

Old Main — Caldari Achura:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Main:

Old PI Alt — Caldari Deteis:

New PI Alt:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally the old trader alt:

And her supposedly “innocent and demure” new look:

And there you have it. . . . .

EVE to remove Learning Skills

CCP announced yesterday that they’re removing the Learning skills from EVE Online, hopefully by December 14th, though they do caveat that it might be pushed back.

They’re replacing the “lost skills” with a permanent 12 point bump to all attributes, plus any skill points allocated to the Learning section will now be in a pool and able to be re-allocated elsewhere.

I love it!  Personally, I have Learning to 5, Perception to 5/5, Intelligence, Memory, and Willpower to 5/4, and Charisma at 4/4, and I usually have a set of +5 implants in.  Even with that much trained, this change will still increase 4 of my 5 stats, and the loss from Perception is only 0.3, so it’s more than offset by the gains in the other attributes.

Add to it that I’ve got a little over 2.6 mill SP tied up in learning, and that’s suddenly a lot of training I can “skip past” on skills that I’ve been putting off due to having a longer training time on them due to lower attributes.  I haven’t planned it out yet, since I’m at work and don’t have EveMon here, but off the top of my head I could take 2 skill of Rank 5 from 4 to 5 and still have quite a bit left over to fill in some cracks.

I think this will help the game as a whole also since it will get rid of a fairly significant entry barrier for new players.  Kudos to CCP for this!

Variety of /played time

My gaming time has taken a nosedive lately, which is kinda sad for me since a couple of my IRL friends have recently re-subscribed to EQ2, so I’m hoping to be able to play that game a bit more with them in the near future.  Still and all, I finally managed to get a good chest armor piece for my SK from Vigilant: The Rescue (aka Vig3).  Sadly, it was due to being in a well-geared group that didn’t care about that piece as anything other than transmuter fodder, so they kindly let me snag it on a need roll to pass to the SK via the bank.

Still… considering how little I’ve actually played my SK as a tank since hitting 90, she’s actually rather decently geared.  I even went nuts a week or so ago and dropped a ton of plat on the level 88 adornments, so now when I’m in defense stance I have 63.5% mitigation, 63.8% avoidance, and over 18,000 HP.  I know that those numbers cane be pushed a lot higher too, though.  Even before the adornments, a friend had me tank the x2 in the Hole, and there was that level 86 x4 quest mob in there too, which I also tanked.  This friend is in a raid guild, so he and his guildies he brought along were very nicely geared up and thus when they buffed me up…. well, let’s just say I didn’t ever lose aggro, nor was I ever out of the green in my health.  In spite of the fact that we 1-grouped the x2, and we 9-manned the x4.  Mitigation was pushing 70% and avoidance was well over it.  I could actually have my Unholy Blessing reactive time out after 24 seconds and only have used 3 of its 5 procs up, so I wasn’t getting hit all that much, or that hard.  It was a fun time.

The x2 dropped a couple of healer pieces, that in spite of only being “Legendary” were still very nice.  The x4 dropped stuff we saw drop from trash mobs earlier.  It was a quest mob — the surprise was that it dropped anything, really.

I haven’t done much in EVE since the post about the big fleet prior to this one.  I actually went for a 2 week stretch where I didn’t log in at all, and this past week I’ve only logged in 3x, and then just to do my PI for the corp.  and I couldn’t even do that one of the times since Pandemic Legion has decided to start roaming the NC areas and so I had a couple of reds in-system with me.  They were reported as camping one of the gates, but I’m still not going to undock an unarmed industrial ship when 2 reds in T3 cruisers are in-system, even if it is just my PI alt with a with 1.5 million SP and no implants.  Why give out a free killmail?

I’ve actually started doing a bit more DDO.  I haven’t followed it all that closely, so I wasn’t “right on it” when the latest big patch was put out, but a corpmate in EVE (fellow blogger Toldain, actually) mentioned he’s got a guild on the Ghallanda server, and I actually hadn’t played on that server, so it was a good excuse to go work some favor for free Turbine Points.  Except they added the Half-Orc and Half-Elf races now, and even bundled they still were a lot more TP than I could get in any “reasonable” time frame, so I dropped a bit of cash in order to buy them.

The half-orc race itself isn’t any big deal on paper.  At the most shallow level it’s a dwarf with a bonus to STR instead of to CON.   It’s the enhancements for the race that really help it to shine.  The half-orc fury that grants a +2 STR when below 50% HP is fun, the aptitude with 2-handed weapons that adds a +2 to damage when using them….. it’s very nice on the Barbarian that I made.  I also made a cleric, since with no penalty to WIS a Half-Orc doesn’t have any trouble being one.  I haven’t spec’d him for 2H battle-cleric-ness though.  I can re-spec the enhancements easily enough if I need to, though.  I tried a bard, in spite of the CHA penalty, thinking it would make a nice “buffbot” but since I was already making a Half-Elf pure bard, I decided that a “horc” battle-buffer wasn’t going to be in the cards.

I also made a STR-based monk and am also going the Thief-Acrobat splash route to make it a 2H staff user to take advantage of the horc enhancement on that.  So far at level 4 (love that vet status) I’m doing a surprising amount of damage with the staff.  It helps that I was able to get a staff with the “stunning +4” attribute.  It’s only a 3% stun chance, but for now I’m using the wind stance for faster attacks, so with firing them off so often, I still get quite a few stuns in without even trying.  So overall… I VERY much like the race, in spite of its lack of “flair” on paper.

I’ve also been playing around with the Half-Elf race and their “dilettante” feat.  It’s kinda weirdly implemented.  For example, a non-caster that takes the dilettante feat of a caster class can use the wands that that class would use, but not their scrolls.  Or the fighter dilly feat says it grants all the martial weapon proficiencies, yet it doesn’t grant the ability to use a longbow — gotta take the ranger dilly feat for that (which only grants the ranged feats, as well as a lesser bow strength feat).

Still and all, I’ve wound up with 2 toons that I’m liking so far.  The 1st is a pure bard that’s going the Spellsinger route, due to a preponderance of casters in the guild.  I took the fighter dilly feat thinking I’d use a longbow from the back, and perhaps even try to work in the Arcane Archer enhancements, but… no go there.  Once the bug that doesn’t allow swapping of the dilettante feat is fixed I may swap it to ranger, but as it is, I do okay with a scimitar and light shield.  Yes, 5% arcane failure chance from the shield, but I’ve only seen 1 failure so far, and in the low levels that 4 AC from the +3 shield is huge.  I also have a 2H sword that I use as well and it doesn’t have spell failure.  If I swap to ranger dilly I won’t be able to use it anymore.  We’ll see how it goes.

The last toon is a sorcerer that took the favored soul dilettante feat.  This allows it the use of divine wands for self-healing.  Yes, a non-warforged sorcerer with self-heals that doesn’t need UMD.  how cool is that?  I’m taking UMD anyway, since in the higher levels I’ll want scrolls instead of wands, but in the lower levels, the wands are a godsend.

I’ve also been talked in to installing xfire.  Most of the people in the Ghallanda guild use it for their voice chat, so I’ve got it now as well.  I don’t intend to really track my gameplay stats or anything, but I have noted that in spite of how much this post is gushing over DDO and the new races and character builds possible with them, EQ2 is still the game with the most /played time since I installed the app.  Go figure.

What have y’all been playing?

POS Bashing in Cloud Ring

Yesterday I logged in to EVE to start my main character training again after doing a week of stuff on my same-account alt to help with my corp’s research projects (main does ME, alt does PE), and saw an email saying that the DC (Deklein Coalition — subset of the Northern Coalition using just the alliances in the Deklein region, see?) was having an operation against EV0KE in the Cloud Ring, and that my alliance was making it a “mandatory CTA.”  It was scheduled to start at 10:45 pm my time — a bit late, but not terribly so.  Details were sketchy, but it sounded like some POS’s had been reinforced the day before and we were planning to go actually kill them, so I didn’t think it’d take too long.

How wrong I was.  I went to bed at close to 5 am this morning — yeah, the op was about 6 hours long all told, and I’d logged in about 1.5 hours before that to do my PI and then jump clone to my pvp clone, which was a long way from home where I’d docked it after the last big op I was able to attend.  Fortunately a new jump bridge had been installed in the system that clone was in that connected quickly to another bridge system that took me within 5 jumps of home, so getting back was fairly quick.

The planned op was asking for logistics cruisers was pretty loudly.  I can fly a Basilisk so I decided that I would bring that along to help in that role.

I made it to the staging area about 15 minutes early, and so it was fun to watch local filling up and sub-caps ships warping and caps cyno’ing in.  I was in voice comms waiting for the fleet advert to go out, and once it did it filled we formed up a truly massive fleet.  According to the video posted below, it was the largest fleet in a long time.

We found out that we were forming up a bit early because we needed the time to be able to clear any defense fleet and to reinforce the I-Hub beforehand as well.  We titan-bridged out of the staging area, then had a bit of traveling to do.  But it was quiet, and there was no defense fleet waiting for us either.

 

The prior night’s op had dropped a “death star” tower in the target system to use as a staging area, so we formed up there.  A 4th POS had been scanned out, so we went and reinforced that.  It took a while, because even with a big fleet shooting, 45 million shield hit points takes a while.  Even so, we put it in reinforced in pretty short order. For funsies, system scanners were opened up and we found a few anomalies to kill a bit of time in and went and blew threw them in seconds.  I actually received 108,000 ISK in bounties for my share of it all.

 

The I-Hub became vulnerable, so we headed on over and we put it in to reinforced mode.  It had 75 million shield HP, but it seemed like it took less time to reinforce than the tower.  Go figure.

 

 

 

Once that was done, we took down the 1st tower.  This tower was doing moon mining on a dual Technetium/Promethium moon, so taking it out is a big hit to EV0KE’s income.

 

 

 

From there it was on to the 2nd POS, this one with 3 Capital Ship Assembly Arrays.  Intelligence had learned that a titan and 2 dreadnoughts were being built, so taking them out while under construction was a priority.  After this POS went down, it was on to the 3rd and last one for the night.  This one only had a single CSAA at it, but intel said that this one was also producing a titan.  This POS also had active guns and since it was so late and we’d been at it so long we didn’t take them out 1st, simply shot the POS.  As a result, I finally got to do logistics and repair people’s shields!  Finally got to do what I’d come along to do!  I just wish I’d thought to bring a sentry drone instead of my repper drones.  Then I could have been on the POS killmails.  Still… it’s known that I was there on logistics, so I’m not expected to actually show up on the mails.  And CSAA’s only have 50,000 hit points, so they popped *really* fast.  I honestly never managed to finish getting a target lock on any of them before they died.

All told, the FC’s estimated we did about 100 billion isk worth of damage in that system last night, and there’s still that tower and the I-Hub we reinforced that need to be destroyed, plus the loss of income from that moon.  I don’t know that I think we did quite that much — by my estimation it was more in the 50-60 billion range, but either way, that’s a lot of ISK.

Lag existed, but it honestly wasn’t bad.  We had some gate lag on the trip in when we were jumping 500 people through at a time.  Well, no.  The FC was good and had 1 fleet of 250 jump while the 2nd fleet was off at a planet, then had the 2nd fleet come in a minute later after everyone had made it through from the 1st fleet, and that helped a lot.  While we had 500 shooting at the 1st POS to reinforce it, I had a few seconds of targeting lag, and it was a toss-up as to whether my modules which I’d set to not auto-repeat would still do it anyway or not (though they almost always instantly accepted a manual command to turn off), and there was a few seconds of activation lag, but it was nothing at all like on my prior op where I was having several minutes of module lag in a smaller fleet.  I’d say that CCP’s lag improvements they’ve been working on (chronicled here, here, here, and here) have made a noticeable difference.  Still not perfect, but much better than it was.  WTG CCP and keep going more!

Anybody else up to anything in New Eden?

Update: Intel now says that we destroyed 3 titans in process as well as a supercarrier, plus destroyed storage holding the materials for 2 more titans to be built, so the damage estimate has been revised upward to the 200-300 billion ISK range.  Wowzers.  The Goonswarm has posted about this in the EVE Forums, and someone made a short video of one of the POS takedowns.  I can even see my ship in one of the clips in the video, but since y’all weren’t there I doubt you’d be able to tell one Basi from another.  Still, I was excited when I saw my ship!