Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fit of the Week

One of the first type of fits that new bros joining our corporation frequently seek and use are for T1 Exploration frigates.  These are the Heron, Magnate, Imicus and Probe.

These hulls are immediately available for any pilot based on their racial choice when rolling their character.  However, there are benefits to certain hulls which we will discuss here in this post.

Heron - My personal choice for a new pilot looking to get into exploration and avoid refitting with a Mobile Depot.  5 mid slots allow you to go with MWD and the remaining slots for hacking modules and scanning upgrades.

Imicus - Tied with the Probe for 2nd best exploration frigate.  However, due to the Astero requiring Gallente Frigate III and the T2 variant Helios having a drone bay, I give a slight nod to the Imicus over the Probe.

Probe - Gets 3rd place in the listing of exploration frigates, but that is only due to the Astero requirements for the Gallente hull and the T2 variant of the Imicus.  A probe is a very solid choice if you are not going the Caldari or Gallente route.

Magnate - Ewww.  4th place.  I wish I could place this in 10th place.  Only 3 mid slots, so you will constantly find a need to refit with a Mobile Depot, especially if you are low skilled which many new bros are.  The scanning upgrades will almost be a necessity to scan down certain sites in an efficient manner.  The only benefit of the Amarr route is getting Amarr Frigate III which also is necessary for the Astero.

All of the fits have a Sisters Core Probe Launcher.  It is the only bling on the ship and may be a bit on the expensive side.  But, the benefit to scanning with use of the launcher and the core probes will help you to scan faster, get to sites faster, and get back to cloaking faster.

Each of the 4 fits here can be completely fit in 11 days (excluding the drones).  By the time you get to day 11 you should be able to dive into wormholes and null sec systems and explore very well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Product Placement and Advertising within EVE

One of the things that you will frequently find in EVE is someone looking to either buy or sell something.  Sometimes, these are valid, and others (Jita Local chat) are scams.

There is an entire section on the eve-o forums related to Buy and Auction threads.  Another example of this is the Alliance/Corporation recruitment section.  Yes, you will frequently find individual pilots looking for a corporation (buyer) but the largest percentage of threads in the alliance/corporation recruitment section are from corporations and alliances seeking new members (another form of a buyer).

We at New Jovian Exploration Department are looking to increase membership, but that is not the focus of this thread.  The focus instead is on a unique tactic we are looking to employ in order to increase our membership, streaming of EVE game play via

There have been three things which have occurred recently that have lead us to considering employing this tactic:

  • EVE is Real Video - when CCP released this video, there was an immediate bump in the new individuals signing up for EVE, even to kick the tires via a trial.
  • Changes to scanning and exploration - CCP has made changes in the scanning and exploration endgame which has made it easier for pilots to get into, even as a starter profession.
  • Twitch - there have been an increase in the number of streamers as well as the quality of the streams which are being broadcast.

When we factor each of these things together, it is clear that if you had an individual who was streaming their exploration in the game it is reasonable to expect a certain number of the viewers will want more information, will look to do the same type of game play, and will have a better overall experience with that dreaded learning curve in EVE.  One of the challenges that CCP have discussed previously is the falloff when you compare number of individuals who are attempting to start EVE via a trial in comparison to the individuals who end up subscribing to the game.  There is a large number of pilots who give EVE a try via trial but do not subscribe to the game.

Unfortunately, my ability to stream exploration is very limited.  I am running a corporation and handling logistical work related to POS's, SRP, manufacturing and invention.  Other members of the corporation are relatively new to the game, so their comfort level of streaming the exploration they do is very low.  So, I had this epiphany of employing someone else to handle the streaming for us.

There are pilots in EVE who are experienced at exploration.  There are pilots in EVE who are experienced at twitch.  Our hope is to find one individual who can marry these two functions into one, and be compensated for their work.

We see this as a form of advertising.  Similar to a commercial you might see on television or an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine.  By employing a contractor to conduct a twitch stream while exploring as a brand new account we seek to increase our membership, provide a better learning experience for many new bros to the game, and bring a higher sense of the exploration end game to many new pilots in EVE.

Detailed information of job.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Full Disclosure

Late Monday evening brought about a series of e-mails between my CEO character and a recent new member to the corporation. 

This member had joined us on Saturday after he had popped into our public channel on Friday evening, but before any of the recruiters had a chance to speak with him. 

He represented himself as a 95 million skill point pilot who had millions of SP in the Science and Production areas.  Basically here was someone who had at least skilled for invention and manufacturing.  We have been seeking members like this, as you are limited in slots available to your character(s) at 11 maximum.  The more pilots involved in the process, the greater quantity that can be produced or invented at any given time. 

Needless to say, we were impressed with his skills.  He chatted with a recruiter and completed our questionnaire.  One of the requirements on our questionnaire is for a full API.  Some individuals provide it with no issues, some with a brief exchange as to the "why is this needed?" 

Our recruiter threw his API information into jackknife (api screening tool).  This confirmed the skills that he had, ships and modules he can use.  But, there also is one additional feature that it provides; the ability to search eve-o forums for character trade posts.  Our recruiter noticed this, but we kept it in our back pocket for use at a later time if necessary. 

Now, a bit of information on our corporation and security.  We take this very seriously.  There is literally two other individuals in corp who have the access to Take an item from 2 corp hangar sections.  And, the directorship control what is ever placed into those sections. As to manufacturing and invention, we have a similar setup.  The members who eventually get that role will have the ability to Query the hangar with the inputs for their jobs.  But, they never will have the ability to Take. 

The new member was not online Sunday, so we fast forward to Monday.  It is 4:30 am local time and I am auto-piloting one of my director characters back through hi-sec. While going about this, the new member keeps posting in corp chat that he needs the roles to build things.  My spidey senses start to queue up at this time.  Yes, a builder or inventor joining a new corp would be interested in getting up to speed on these things.  But, he would not be moaning about his inability to do so in corp chat or rage quitting for hours at a time when no one is hearing his whining.  Poor baby. :(

I decided to give him an assignment and posted it via or forums.  I thought everything was moving along well until I returned home late at night and one of the members in the Leadership circle mentioned that the new member had posted on the eve-o forums looking for a mining corporation.  I reviewed the post and noticed some liberties had been taken with the post which were outside of his assigned task.  I decided to start pushing buttons to see where things went. 

I inquired as to his association with the character who ultimately ended up with the buyout offer for this character.  He claimed to not know who it was. 

I then linked the sale forum to him, and he now decided it was a good time to disclose that he purchased the character.  A little too late there. 

I then proceeded to inquire as to how we actually knew who he was.  He represented himself as a 95 million SP industry character.  Technically he has the skills for those functions, but has he ever done those things?   How can we sure?   How can it be validated?   Even with the security me smashers we have in place, you still do not want to expose billions of ISK in inputs to someone who you have no idea whether they know what they are doing or even who they are. 

Needless to say I had made the decision that it would be best for all parties if we were to go our separate ways.  But, before I even had the chance he pulled the handle on his ejection seat, but not before who fired off a wonderful gem of a corp mail to the entire membership. 

A lot of this drama could have been avoided if he had just disclosed that this character was not his originally and that he had only purchased it recently.  Yes, we may have still had issues with him in the future, but we cannot even cross that bridge if there is zero to little trust in the first few opportunities between member and corporation. 

Full disclosure would have helped him. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

You are doing it wrong...

During the past twenty-four hours, I had a very interesting interaction with a potential applicant to our corporation.  This has gotten me to think a lot today about EVE the game, the people to are behind the pilots you interact with in this game.

The applicant (shall remain nameless) started out by explaining that he was looking for a brand new corp, the standard stuff we see on a daily basis.  What was unique was the fact that he wanted to be up front and disclose that he has an issue, before we got too far down the path of an interview.

You see, he has a physical challenge which precludes him from being able to speak over voice communications.  He wanted to make sure that this was not a problem, as if it was he felt that we should not go any further.  I did not pay much attention at all to this last night, but started to reflect on that statement quite a bit this morning.  What has happened to this individual over his past game time to make him disclose this challenge and state that he wanted to make sure it was not an issue?

I know that there are alliances and corporations in this game that require/mandate the use of voice communications.  I have been in some of them over my life (Majesta Empire, Gentleman's Agreement, Waffles, Fatal Ascencion).  Yet, unless you are a scout, the logistics anchor, or a skirmish fleet commander, the fleet commander usually does not want to hear your voice.  They are way too busy processing channel command, the battle in front of them, and all of the other data coming in to make decisions on a second to second basis.  So, honestly what are we speaking about here?  Is the mandate that you be available to chat up with other members during the general grab ass that takes place at a gate camp?  While you are ship spinning in station?  I have been there enough to know that the need to SPEAK over voice communications is not a hard and fast rule.

I proceeded to mention to the applicant that speaking over comms was not a requirement.  What was required was for him to be on Teamspeak, and to be able to listen to us.  So, I confirmed he was only mute and not deaf.  He stated yes, that was correct.  I again stated that his inability to speak over communications would not be a problem.

Once we had proceeded past that, the story took an interesting turn which related to that original statement he had made regarding "whether this would be an issue".  It seems that he previously was a member of ArK Alliance along with a good friend of his.  It seems that ArK had an issue with his inability to speak over comms.  Clearly ArK is an elite PVP alliance, as their 70% efficiency shows.

I realize that it would be spectacular if every member of your organization were able to speak and listen over voice communications.  However, at the core of decent human behavior, to discriminate against someone due to a physical challenge that they have is horrible.  Seeing as how there are alternative options available (Jabber, IRC, Slack) where members can communicate back and forth without the need for voice communications.

ArK and your leadership, you are doing it wrong.  Sorry that you lost a member who has joined our merry band of explorers.  If this is how you treat all of your elite PVPers, good luck with your training regime for life in Providence.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The New Eden Store Just Became Useful

During the o7 show on Thursday, January 15, CCP FoxFour made an appearance with CCP Mimic and discussed some upcoming changes to the skinning/painting abilities within EVE.  Forward to the 9:30 mark to see the update from CCP_FoxFour

When this functionality was originally released in Rubicon (March 2014), the process was a response to many pilots in the game who have frequently asked for the ability to paint their ship. 

The current version of this process involves a pilot going to the New Eden Store and redeeming Aurum for a blueprint.  The prices are not too bad, and for the ability of painting your ship a worthy trade of that Aurum that is sitting on your account. Let's be honest, there are many of you still with 5,500 Aurum on your account(s).  I have never been that interested in purchasing clothing or accessories for my pilots.  But, painting my ship, I can get on board with that. 

Now, ever since the feature was released in 2014, there have been two complaints from the player base.  One has been addressed, the other has not been clarified as of today. 

Super Kerr-Induced Nanocoating, it was cute watching CCP Mimic try to say that like 5 times fast.

First, players have looked for the ability to apply the paint scheme to a ship multiple times.  The current functionality only allows you to apply the paint to a single hull.  Once that ship blows up the paint scheme is gone forever, until you purchase a new blueprint.  The process discussed by CCP FoxFour yesterday will change this from a single use blueprint to an unlimited use license.  And, if you happen to have multiple license for a hill you can switch between them via the fitting process. 

Second, players who have assembled ships with rigs applied cannot currently paint their ships.  The process today requires a packaged ship for the industry interface.  Since the new process will take place via the fitting window this "should" now be available.  We will need to wait for the Dev Blog when we are closer to the release of this feature. 

I for one have never really saw a use for me personal to spend my Aurum on anything within the New Eden store, until the original paint program was released last year. However, due to the single use application I have only used this once and that was on a hill which I felt had a strong chance of night dying:



Naglfar FTW

Again, CCP Seagull and the entire Development team continues to show a vision and plan to continually improve this wonderful game.  Now, there is finally a reason to empty my Aurum wallet!

Update: Edited as YouTube video of this episode is now available.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fit of the Week

Deep Space Transports

With the Kronos release of EVE on June 3, 2014 there were two changes in the game which made it possible, and really preferable to use Deep Space Transports for hauling medium sized cargo, especially in low sec, null sec and wormhole space.

The two changes were buffs to the hulls with some changes to base defense, but the biggest changes were +100% bonus to overheating Afterburners, Microwarpdrives, Local Repair Modules and Resistance Modules.  The other large change was the introduction of a Fleet Hangar for the ships which now allows you to carry cargo of larger than 50k m3 size of cargo within the Fleet Hangar.  Each level of Tranport Ship skill will increase this size by 5%.

There are fits out there which will provide a significant tank, some of them greater than 140k EHP.  These are not those fits.  These fits will provide a decent tank 30-40k EHP prior to overheating.  The biggest inclusion in each of these fits is the Medium Micro Jump Drive.  This module provides a few benefits to the hauler pilot.

First, when jumping into a gate camp, there is a strong possibility of escaping the camp by using the MMJD.  The process is to decloak, activate hardeners, align to out gate, activate MMJD.   As long as you are not warp scrambeled, once the module has finished it's spool cycle, you are 100km away from the hostile gang.

This was recently proven during a trip from Amarr back to our low sec static entrance:

[ 2015.01.12 01:40:02 ] EVE System > Channel changed to Local : Ami
[ 2015.01.12 01:40:49 ] Aurra Jol > \o
[ 2015.01.12 01:40:57 ] SpankerOfAnkle > nice tank on there :)
[ 2015.01.12 01:41:04 ] Aurra Jol > thx
[ 2015.01.12 01:41:13 ] Aurra Jol > o7

Ami usually has a camp present on the Amdonen gate HS > LS.  This camp is usually very active and will kill nearly everything coming through that gate, including this Prowler later in the day.

Enough about the details, let me see the fits....

[Bustard, DST]
Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II
'Halcyon' Core Equalizer I

Medium Micro Jump Drive
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I /OFFLINE
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II
EM Ward Field II

Improved Cloaking Device II
[empty high slot]

Medium Cargohold Optimization I
Medium Cargohold Optimization I

Tank of 47k EHP without heat.  With heat, EHP rises to 72k.  MWD is offline and is only necessary for null sec when you need to motor to a gate when there is a gate covering it.

[Impel, DST]
Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
'Halcyon' Core Equalizer I
Armor EM Hardener II
Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II

Medium Micro Jump Drive
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I /OFFLINE

Improved Cloaking Device II
[empty high slot]

Medium Cargohold Optimization I
Medium Cargohold Optimization I

Unfortunately, with the Impel you need to use your low slots for tank, so there is very little opportunity to increase your cargo capacity with expanders.  Without heat, tank is 39k EHP.  With heat, this jumps to 69k EHP.

[Mastodon, DST]
'Halcyon' Core Equalizer I
'Halcyon' Core Equalizer I
Expanded Cargohold II
Expanded Cargohold II

Medium Micro Jump Drive
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I /OFFLINE
Kinetic Deflection Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Improved Cloaking Device II
[empty high slot]

Medium Cargohold Optimization I
Medium Cargohold Optimization I

The tank without heat is 41k EHP, and with heat rises to 59k EHP.

[Occator, DST]
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor Explosive Hardener II
'Halcyon' Core Equalizer I
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Expanded Cargohold II

Medium Micro Jump Drive
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I /OFFLINE
ECM Burst II

Improved Cloaking Device II
[empty high slot]

Medium Cargohold Optimization I
Medium Cargohold Optimization I

The Occator is a unique ship.  It has the extra 3rd mid slot that the Impel did not, and as it is armor tanked, there is no shield module you would want to use.  I elected to go with an ECM Burst to clear off any ships who happen to be scrambling you (may not work if they are using a faction scram, due to the distance they gain in being able to apply the scram).

Tank without heat is 41k EHP and with heat rises to 64k EHP.

Overall, I usually fly either the Mastodon or the Bustard.  However, after reviewing the fits above and the tanks possible I will be looking to train any future pilots into the Bustard.  The unheated EHP is the largest out of all 4 and the heated EHP also the largest.  Outside of the Bustard, if you are looking at armor tanking, I would suggest the Occator.  The EHP is in the same ballpark as the Impel, and I am giving the Occator the advantage as that 3rd mid slot is nice especially to attempt to break locks.

Based on personal preference, please feel free to go with other rigs to suit your needs.  Possibly rigs for warp speed increase, better EHP.  These ships do not truly benefit from cargo expanders or cargo rigs as traditional industrial ships or even the Blockade Runners do.

Disclaimer: All fits are using an All V character via EFT.  No implants were in use to conjure up these fits.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Stay the Course

There recently has been some increased chatter among the EVE community regarding an old subject that has never truly died, yet also is sort of on life support; Walking In Stations.

Originally, Walking In Stations (WIS) was designed to allow capsuleers the ability to walk around inside of a station.  This was a lofty idea when it was originally announced, and CCP put in some significant hours towards the development of WIS.  However, it did not go as smoothly as proposed, and we are left with a half developed product.

Rixx Javix posted to his blog earlier this week and Drackarn posted earlier today.  Both of them address the chatter that is being circulated in regards to possibly resurrecting the development of WIS to be a much larger part of the game.

I have a very similar opinion to both of these pilots.  I agree with Rixx that WIS is in my mind dead.  Yes, I can stand in the station and see a few things, but that has no benefit to me, and there is no improved game play or advantages that WIS provide over the standard functionality of the User Interface.  Drackarn brings up the concepts of possibly some additional areas that your character can actual go to and stand.  The one that jumps out the most would be the corp office/corp hangar concept.  I could see this as being nice, but other than that anything to do with WIS is a bad idea.

Now, on to the serious side of this post.  CCP Development and the change in the development cycle has been a breath of fresh air.  Development is now coming out with releases "roughly" every 6 weeks which do not offer the same amount of changes or new content as the old model.  However, there is consistently new stuff in these releases and they are clearly showing a model of being light, agile, able to react, in tune with player requests (sorry CFC, you cannot ask for supers to get nerfed, then cry about jump capable changes).  The re-booted version of CCP Development is very similar to the United States Military post Cold War.

You see, the United States Army was a much larger force in 1992 having just finished the first conflict with Iraq in the Persian Gulf.  As the Soviet bloc countries were now beginning to move away from communism and being puppets of the Soviet Union, there was no big bully across the ocean for the United States to face in a knockdown drag out conflict.  Instead, the United States would be faced with much smaller regional conflicts.  This would require a much smaller force, able to deploy rapidly, possibly alter their TOE (Table of Organization and Equipment) based on the conflict and react as necessary.

I see very similar traits in how CCP has performed a makeover on Development and we now have the type of department which clearly is on a path which has a specific goal.  So far, they have stayed true to the path and are releasing content in small bit sized pieces.  These changes are slowly altering the EVE universe and creating content, yet they also are addressing years old issues which have made many an old bittervet come back to the game and re-subscribe.

I realize that the opportunity seems very interesting.  "What if we were to go back and look at the Walking In Stations aspect of EVE?" With all of the new bros joining EVE and many new subscribers to the game, I understand that this can be a very tantilizing prospect, but if I could I would scream STAY THE COURSE.

Do not stray from your path.  Do not consider re-allocating any development resources towards WIS.  Build towards the eventual end product you are looking for when you started this three year project.  Continue to build subscriptions to the game and increase the player base.  If you want to come back and re-visit this concept in 2017, I would have no complaints.  But do not now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Red Haired Stepchild No Longer

Proteus was released today by CCP which marks the latest release in the rapid cycle of development and deployment.

This release was lighter than previous ones mostly due to the holiday period occurring prior to the deployment.  However, there is one wrinkle in this release that seems to have generated the most amount of chatter on forums and blogs, the tiericide of Combat Recons.

See, for many years the Combat Recon class of ships has been a red haired step child.  They really cannot be used as scouts like their little brother, Force Recon ships which can warp cloaked and light covert cynos.  They even are really not preferred in fleet doctrines, as use of Strategic Cruisers is preferred as they have the ability to fit a bigger tank than the Combat Recon.  No, for many years the Combat Recon has been mostly devoted to a role of small roaming gang ewar platform or possibly solo PVPers.  Myself, I have kept 3-4 of them in a hangar in Jita collecting dust.  That all changed today.

The part about the tiericide which has generated the largest amount of tears is the buff for the class of ships in relation to directional scanning.  For everyone living outside of High Security space (Low, Null and Wormhole) the directional scanner is your best friend.  The scanner will inform you of things like probes on scan, other ships, and items in space like containers, control towers and force fields.  As of today, these ships no longer show up on directional scanner, ever.  There is no module you can fit to help with that, nor is there any skill which would allow it.  Sure, there were some other changes to the ships to improve their usability in EVE, but the one change which should drive an increased use of these ships is the immunity to appearance of the ship on directional scanner.

Rixx Javix posted a new post this morning which was a great read.  Go ahead and have a read over there, then come back here.  Some very excellent points in Rixx's post and I tend to agree that the changes to Combat Recons will upset the apple cart for many people in EVE.  I feel that the changes will be mostly felt in Wormhole space, where there is no local for you to appear in.  You are actually far better off in a Combat Recon compared to a Strategic Cruiser or Stealth Bomber in wormhole space.  Those ships will at least appear on directional scanner when they jump through a wormhole and decloak.  The Combat Recon will not.

The other part about Rixx's post that I feel strongly about is the fact that they still are Combat Recons.  The do not bring overwhelming DPS to the engagement.  They usually are not brick fit as that would compromise their DPS or e-war capabilities.  The tank of a Combat Recon usually will hover in the 30-40k DPS tank area if they are also fit to take advantage of their e-war bonuses.  What this all means is that you still "should" be able to survive an engagement with these ships, well maybe.

Your survival odds will increase if the engagement is with a Rook or Huginn.  The Rook is an ECM platform, so he will be jamming you.  The Huginn's bonuses are to it's webs, so they will slow down your speed.  Where you are screwed is the Lachesis or Curse.

Lets talk about the Lachesis first.  Bonuses to warp disruption/scrambling optimal range and sensor dampener effectiveness.  With the 7 mid slots of this ship, I would fit a faction scram and point along with 1-2 dampeners.  If a lachesis is the combat recon which appears on grid with you, it is very doubtful that you are escaping.  It is not uncommon to see unbonused points of 70km with a faction point and if fit with a +3 scram, even though you are stabbed you will not be going anywhere.

That brings us to the Curse.  This nasty ship is getting bonuses for drone hitpoints and damge, tracking disruptor effectiveness, energy vampire/neutralizer transfer range and energy vampire/neutralizer transfer amount.  If you see a curse appear magically on grid with you, start aligning to that celestial with your pod.  His high slots will almost all be energy vamps/neuts.  He will have a scram fit, and drone damage amplifiers in his lows.  His DPS are the drones.  Within one cycle of his vamps and neuts your capacitor is bone dry.  Scotty will inform you that warping is not possible.

Even though these ships have been provided with some very positive changes in the game, I do not feel that they are overpowered.  Yes, they will be the FOTM for the foreseeable future, until there is some type of buff due to wormhole corporations who get stupid and run sites without zipping up their holes.

I applaud you CCP for continuing to make EVE better and I can now rename all of my Curse's to non-red haired children's names.

Monday, January 12, 2015

High Sec New Bros Need Some Love

So, while watching a twitch stream earlier today, I hopped into a stream with a few dudes who were mining.  The title of their stream was Noob Hype - Give me good advice please!!

I like to jump into streams like this, as these type of pilots frequently are coming back to this game that I have learner to love.

I gave them some advice regarding exploration.  Informed them of some of the types of ISK that were available via exploration, but I also tried to make sure to paint a realistic picture for them in regards to surviving.  Basically, I stated that you are going to die in EVE.  You need to face the fact that you will lose your ship.  However, there are measures you can take in trying to minimize your potential loss and attempting to remain alive.

I gave them the link to our corporation information and told them that I thought they were a good fit for exploration and they should talk to us.

Unfortunately, the guys on the stream were very apprehensive about the prospects of joining our corporation.  Seems that they have been burned or ganked by one too many individuals previously (totally sounds like Goons), and they stated that I most likely was only interested in having them join us, getting them to bring their gear and ships out to our wormhole, and then we will kill them, pod them and steal all their stuff.  :ohdear:

I can only surmise that they have been burned one or more times by some of the nastier sides of EVE.  At this time, I hope that they at least take the opportunity to chat with us and get some advice on exploration and increasing their survival odds.

Fly safe new bros!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Spidey Sense Was Tingling

Yesterday was an interesting day in our C1.  One of the newer members of the corporation was out exploring a chain of systems off of the C1.  The C4 next door was occupied and the corporation was working on closing some holes.

One of our newer members (in corp less than a day) decided it would be a good idea for him to sit in their hole, launch his probes, and in his words "continue to probe down the chain".  I think for the purposes of our story, we will call him Gandolf.

Now, most pilots in EVE when probing down sites such as wormholes will use Core Probes.  Not Gandolf.  He likes to use Combat probes to conduct all of his probing activities.  Now, I will acknowledge that you can use Combat Probes to probe down sites, this is not the standard method.  See, Core Probes double the sensor strength (40 vs. 20) over the Combat Probes, are able to narrow down to 0.25 AU for scanning (0.5 AU) for Combat Probes, and finally have a Maximum Deviation of 0.125 vs. 0.25.  For all purpose scanning of sites (wormholes, gas, combat, relic, data) nearly everyone in game will use Core Probes as you can scan faster with their use.

The other wrinkle in this episode was how most pilots in EVE react when someone drops Combat Probes that appear on their directional scanner.  See, the Core Probes are much better to use for general probing, but as their name implies, Combat Probes are really good for one specific action; probing down ships.  As you can guess, the wormhole corporation was not very pleased that Gandolf was probing in their hole using Combat Probes.  It got to the point where one of their members jumped into our public channel, called out Gandolf for being in their hole and basically said "get out of our hole".

At this time, I actually was in a convo with our primary recruiter and I mentioned that things were beginning to look rather bleak for Gandolf on the prospects of him remaining in the corporation long term.

The final nail in the coffin for Gandolf came late in the even when the other director and I were on Teamspeak.  He mentioned that he was having some issues with Gandolf.  The director stated that he had been convo'd not once, but on two separate occasions in basically 24 hours over Gandolf.  I then proceeded to tell the story of what occurred earlier in the day.  It turns out that Gandolf was convo'ing members of neutral corporations he would encounter in wormhole space.  One of the key parts about living in wormholes is reducing your presence and avoiding getting found and possibly killed.  This is one of the reasons why we do not talk in local.

We both basically decided that it probably was best for Gandolf to leave our corporation.  I attempted to remove him from corporation, but he was in space.  Sigh, I guess we will need to wait for him to either dock up or log off.

In corporation chat, I started to ask Gandolf to give me his perspective on his activities earlier in the day.  He then proceeded to give me the details as he saw them.  He totally saw no issue with convo'ing neutral pilots in wormholes, he likes to sit on hostile holes and observe enemy fleets, he routinely uses combat probes for general probing.

About 30 minutes later, when I came back to my computer after being AFK, I noticed a convo request from Gandolf.  I checked corporation chat and he was not there.  I thought, now we can kick him from the corporation.  Funny, the game would not let me kick him.  Turns out he left of his on accord.  When I mentioned this to the other director, he seemed slightly disappointed.  See, we were hoping he might log off in our POS, we boot him from corp, and when he logs on the next time he is bumped out of the shields, scramed and killed.  Now, there was no opportunity for the tower to get it's first taste of blood.

All-in-all something about this member did not feel right all day yesterday.  Whether it was the use of combat probes for basic probing, the refusal to comply with naming conventions for corporation bookmarks, or the fact that he was actually convo'ing neutral wormhole pilots when he encountered them.  Overall, his behavior was not the type of behavior we were looking for in a corporation member.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

85th Percentile Checking In

Just yesterday, Neville Smit posted to his blog regarding a new video CCP had released.  The article was a very well written one and I find myself drawn to the post due to my age as well.

I am currently 45 years old and began playing EVE when I was 37.  In corporations and alliances I have been in during the course of my career, I always knew that I was older than many of my peers.  But, I never felt that being older gave me any real disadvantage in the game.

While watching the video I kept watching the year of my birth (1970).  Most of the video showed it hovering evenly between 75% and 95%.  There was a point about 2010 when I moved closer to 75%, but by the end had returned to 85%.

The part about Neville's post which I loved the most was his statement about the next 15 years.  I agree that EVE is a stress reliever, it helps to foster relationships with others and breeds a culture which is very similar to a family.  I have made more friends over the past 7 years playing EVE than I have outside of the game.  If the next 15 years can be anything like the past 7, I will be a happy camper.

Thanks Neville and a huge thanks to CCP for such a wonderful game!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Sad Day

Yesterday was a day that I had been thinking about for about the past 6 weeks or so.  This was the day that I ended up pulling all of my combat capable pilots out of Fountain and had them leave Fatal Ascension.

I have been playing EVE since 2007 on my main and since 2009 I have been living in null security sov.  All of this time in null sec sov has been in the North and Southwest.  First this was part of the original Northern Coalition which was the precursor to the Clusterfuck Coalition.  As you may gather, I am well versed in jump bridge routes, gate routes as well as capital routes for nearly 50% of null sec space.

Three times over the course of my EVE career I have decided to take a sabbatical from the game.  Whether this was due to real life pressures, financial challenges, or the most recent one which was just a general malaise with the game and a dissatisfied direction of development by CCP.  The last pause in the game occurred between October 2013 and ended in October 2014.

Like all of the pauses in the game, I never truly left the game.  Yes, I unsubscribed from all 9 of my accounts.  I let the training queues go inactive, and deleted some of my logs from the computer.  However, like Revileushin Eyri mentioned in this post from December 13, no one truly burns out of EVE.  She truly is a cruel drug that one cannot simply drop at any time.  I did not really view the forums so much as I would monitor the EVE news sites almost on a daily basis.  I watched the streams of the New Eden Open and the Alliance Tournament this year.  Finally, the one piece that truly kept me hooked into the game was Twitch.  Twitch allowed a bittervet to enjoy a nice pause in the game, but still get enjoyment in watching space violence being inflicted on poor souls.

Over the past two weeks, I started to chat more and more with one of my very close friends in game who I have known since 2009 and told him that I was getting dissatisfied with FA.  Funny part is that previously I was attempting to convince him to leave The Bastion and join me in FA.  He actual pulled the rip cord a few weeks prior to me.

I think the part of process that finally convinced me to make a change was the amount of activity I have been seeing on my alt corp characters.  The alt corp runs reaction towers in low sec with moon mining taking place.  I moved my component manufacturing down to the low sec system as well and finally they are now manufacturing the Tech II products as well.  I literally did not log on my main character for nearly the entire two week holiday.

When I take the increased activity of my alt characters, combine it with nearly zero activity in null sec and finally add onto this the huge bump in new accounts being created and pilots struggling to deal with the EVE learning curve, I made the decision to start this corporation.

I started to gather all of my gear in Fountain.  Good lord, that was a lot of stuff.  I ended up packaging all of the subcapital ships.  Unfortunately, with the jump changes of Phoebe, there was no way I was going to make 10-15 carrier jumps over 5-6 midpoints just to save ISK on rigs.  The amount of time was the biggest factor for me.  So, with all the ships packaged and modules gathered I ended up with 4.3 million m3 of cargo.  Hmm, good thing I did not swap the Rhea for the Nomad yet.  Still ended up taking me 12 trips in the Jump Freighter just to evacuate the goods.

As the last combat pilot was jumping out of Fountain into Aridia yesterday, I actually mentioned on Teamspeak that I was a little sad.  Unfortunately, I do not ever see myself jumping into sov related null sec.  Instead, I am excited and gleeful of the new opportunities for the future.  I am very happy with the direction that development is taking us in.  I look forward to changes which will open more and more systems to pilots.  And finally, I am looking forward to trying to assist new bros learn this game that I love.

Sometimes Newbies Can Be Challenging

Just a short post this morning on an interaction in our hole this morning:

[ 2015.01.06 13:30:46 ] Midori Musashi > \o
[ 2015.01.06 13:30:56 ] Jormungand Andven > hi
[ 2015.01.06 13:31:09 ] Midori Musashi > you are probing in  Jxxxxxx atm?
[ 2015.01.06 13:32:16 ] Jormungand Andven > yes
[ 2015.01.06 13:32:28 ] Midori Musashi > just wanted to pass along some advice.
[ 2015.01.06 13:32:57 ] Midori Musashi > first, always rename your ship when you sit in it.  be default, the game names each of your ships your name, which told me you were in our system
[ 2015.01.06 13:33:13 ] Midori Musashi > second, always fit a cloak and turn cloak on when probing
[ 2015.01.06 13:33:50 ] Jormungand Andven > I myself a novice in these matters
[ 2015.01.06 13:34:18 ] Midori Musashi > oh, i understand
[ 2015.01.06 13:34:43 ] Midori Musashi > we recruit pilots exactly like you to our corp.  we are an exploration corp and specifically look to help new pilots in game
[ 2015.01.06 13:35:57 ] Jormungand Andven > I am a member of the corporation
[ 2015.01.06 13:36:07 ] Midori Musashi > i know
[ 2015.01.06 13:36:42 ] Midori Musashi > just trying to pass along advice to a new member.  if you would like assistance, tips and help in the future, we welcome providing advice to members, even if they are in a different corp
[ 2015.01.06 13:37:12 ] Jormungand Andven > I have no desire to change

I realize that with new bros joining the game, there is a conflict if they wish to become an explorer.  They was high skill levels in scanning, so that they can scan down those juicy fat loot sites in null sec or wormhole space.  Yet, they also need to balance that with skills which would help them dfend their ship, keep it safe, and possibly extract themselves from a hostile situation.  Choices are hard.

This pilot literally stayed in system for 20+ minutes scanning down every system uncloaked the ENTIRE 20 minutes.  My failure today was not having a point available.  I burned an alt down from low sec only to see him disappear finally as my alt was 1 jump out of our static.  :sigh:

The other perplexing moment during this interaction was that I wanted to extend advice to him in the future in helping him try to stay alive.  Yet, he thought that I was trying only to poach him from his current corporation.  I guess the part where I said even if they are in a different corp, totally sailed over his head.  Reading is hard sometimes.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Lessons Learned

There are many parts of EVE which are difficult to grasp.  For veteran pilots in the game, who are especially used to PVP you can move on to the next post, as this will not really impact any of you.

Our corporation has made a point of taking on brand new pilots in game, either brand new accounts or individuals who have spent their formative years in EVE being bound to High Security space running missions or mining.  We even seek trial account players, as we want to provide assistance and training to them as they evaluate whether to commit to this game long term.

Some things in EVE you can teach by having someone read an article, a wiki post, a forum post.  Some things you can teach by having someone watch a video.  A video is is much better than having them read an article.  However, there is one part of the learning experience which is missing by having a member solely watch a video.  Return demonstration.

My real life job deals with clinical informatics for a large healthcare organization.  We teach physicians, nurses and ancillary staff on aspects of use of an Electronic Medical Record.  We frequently teach new concepts that are introduced or provide training to new staff to the organization.  A key aspect to our training is return demonstration of the concepts being taught.

In EVE, sometimes the best type of training for individuals is the type which is conducted real time, especially when conducted over voice communications.  Whether this training is conducted on Sisi or Tranquility (TQ) does not matter, but for brand new pilots in the game it is very doubtful they have setup Sisi or even know how to, so for today's lesson, lets just face it that they will be training on TQ.

Our lesson that triggered this post was a recent loss of a corporation exploration ship on Sunday.  The pilot in game mentioned that he had lost his ship, and when we asked what the circumstances were, he stated he lost it to a gate camp.  The gate came he referred to was a one man gate camp, but we will not focus on that little hiccup.  For those of you wondering, generally a gate camp will consist of 3 or more ships and "usually" is far larger in size.  Tama is a good example of a system with an active gate camp at most times.

Now, if providing the lesson in real time on TQ over voice communications, I would have explained to this pilot that a gate camp will happen frequently in game.  This will happen far more in null security space and wormhole space.  When jumping into any system, your ship is always cloaked.  This is the session change cloak.  DO NOT MOVE.  Yes, there are 6 ships surrounding the gate, and they are all flashy red.  These pilots mean to inflict space violence upon your ship and pod as well.

Survey the system, by moving the camera around in  space.  Where are their ships in relation to the gate?  How far away from the gate are you?  Do they have any unique ships which mean that you will not be warping away (interdictor or heavy interdictor).

Ok, they are 15-20 kilometers away from you.  You are 8km away from the gate upon spawning.  When you decloak, you will immediately spam the jump button on your in gate (the gate you just came through), while at the same time activating your microwarpdrive.  You did fit one, right?  This will be dicey, but you should be able to get one cycle off and get back to the gate.  This is called gate crashing.

You made it back?  Great, this was your first lesson in survival in EVE.  It is not always about doing what is logical.  In this case, it would be trying to warp to your out gate.  That is what tutorials teach us and what the autopilot has set for us.  There is no manual in the game or tutorial which will ever cover crashing a gate.  As far as I know of, there is no course taught by Eve-Uni on this topic.

This is why our corporation really requires use of Teamspeak and for pilots to be on it when they are in space.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Offer to Join an Alliance

Things have progressed very nicely for the corporation.

Saturday saw the most activity by corporation members as well as some very heavy duty activity in our public channel with potential pilots who are looking to join.

The corporation now stands at 18 members with 5 joining on Saturday.  One of the members joining is an old friend going back to 2010.  He and I have been in a few corporations and alliance previously, and we both had bored of living in sov  null sec.

Multiple corporation members were active yesterday.  Some were probing in systems close the Headquarters area.  Most were in a wormhole that we are currently "visiting".  Finally, one of the corp members is starting to probe moons for potential passive ISK for the corporation.

Late in the day, I received a conversation request from an anonymous pilot.  When I entered the conversation, this pilot indicated that he wanted to extend an invitation to join their alliance.  This was the 3rd such request that I had received this week.  Yet, for some reason I felt intrigued and continued the dialogue with him.  It seems as though they are a medium sized alliance and have access to C2-C6 wormholes.  I continued to chat with him for nearly an hour.

At this point, I had not planned on joining an alliance, but with the relative young age and skillset of our corporation members, we will have a very difficult time defending ourselves (POS mostly).  Joining an alliance provides access to multiple systems, intelligence networks, and content.  These are excellent benefits for joining an alliance especially as we are just starting down the path of having a foothold in wormhole space.

I told them that we will chat on Sunday in their Teamspeak to see if this would be a good fit for the corporation.

Sunday looks like this will be a very good day.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Trial Accounts

Yesterday upon returning home, I logged into the game and found a brand new pilot in our public channel.  I asked him if he needed assistance, and he stated no.  He stated that he was aware of the corp's issue with trial accounts and he would soon be deciding on whether to pay for the game and dedicate to it fully.  I asked if he had spoken to a member of the corp, and he stated yes, but before I could inquire who he spoke to I had a small emergency with one of the dogs which required me to go AFK.  When I returned, he had logged off.

This got me to thinking about trial accounts in general, and what CCP as well as NJED are trying to do.  CCP with the release of the "This is EVE" video was looking to increase exposure to non-EVE players in the hope of getting them to try the game, and most importantly getting them to commit to not just a single month of the game, but beyond that.

NJED is looking to help out in that second part by trying to fill an area that is sort of lacking in the game today.

There are corporations that take on brand new players to game and provide training.  Eve University is the most famous and Brand Newbies is a newer version.  These two corporations are very good for the roles that the play in the game, but they are much different than what we are attempting to do in New Jovian Exploration Department (NJED).  Eve University is great for members looking to learn about the game, but it is a large organization which is not necessarily focused on exploration.  They do have classes on exploration, but they literally cover all aspects of the game.  Brand Newbies is more inline with combat and null sec warfare now that they have decided to take part in those activities.

There are exploration corporations in the game, but these corps do not generally accept brand new pilots in game, or ones who would require some level of  "hand holding" or assistance with general aspects of the game.

We are trying to fill both of those roles.

NJED is focused on trying to be an exploration based corporation, but also to be strong in relation to providing assistance, tips, advice to new pilots starting to learn the game or veterans returning to EVE who are interested in learning the exploration side of the game.

Having said that, I wanted to clarify our corporations stance on trial accounts.  We welcome trial accounts.  These are the exact type of pilots who are just starting the game and who are looking for a particular niche to latch onto.  People have spoken of the learning curve in EVE, and I have to admit that it is very steep and dangerous.

But, I love this game and the learning curve is part of that love.

Our corporation really does not face very much risk at all from trial accounts.  If a pilot starts an account, and tries the game but gives up after 14 days, the only thing our corporation has lost is about 50 million ISK in the skillbooks, ship and implants that we have given to the member.  However, if we can get one pilot to commit to the game even through the trial process, I chalk that up as a win for NJED and a win for CCP.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Reading is Hard

So, over the past few days in our public channel, we have a few inquiries regarding our situation and wormholes.

Initially, the concept behind the corporation was to eventually get a presence in wormhole space, but this would be best case about 30 days after the corporation opened.  More likely it would be about 3-4 months from inception.  However, after chatting with corporation members and seeing how frequently they were going exploring in wormhole space, I thought that we could accelerate that plan.

So, we spent a fair amount of time on New Years Day exploring for empty wormholes where we potentially plant a POS.  After a few hours of looking, we found one.  J143202

Now, I had plans with my wives family, and I headed out for most of the day.  I asked the corporation members online to watch over the hole, and get a good feel for the hole (number of pilots coming through, levels of sites appearing, etc).

I returned home in the early evening and got the intel report from our member.  I was located in a High Security trade hub, so I purchased a tower and fuel, and headed out the 9 jumps to the entrance hole.  I jumped into J143202 and warped to a moon.  I decloaked, launched the tower and told the tower to anchor.

"You cannot anchor control tower as your corporation is not 7 days old."

Grrrr.  I then remembered that I had read about this change in patch notes, but that was like 6 months ago.

So, I guess we need to wait now for another 48 hours for the 7 day limit to expire.

In retrospect, this was a good thing, as this particular hole is not the original type we were looking for.  This gives us some additional time to scout out a hole and potentially find one which will work for us.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Day #3

Day #3 of our blog finds the corp continuing to grow with us now having 8 members and 2 potential pilots who seemed interested in our public chat.

Corp members continue to explore and build up skills for exploration.

Last night, one of our members was having a difficult time probing down a Limited Sleeper Site in High Security space.  I headed over to the system and assisted him in probing it down.  Only to find a neutral Buzzard already in the site and clearing it.  Sigh...

I also made my way to Thera for the first time.  Overall, it seems as though the shiny factor of the system has worn off.  I did not find any pilots outside any of the 4 stations, and good lord those warps were horribad.  I attempted to rent an office in one of the 4 stations.  Unfortunately, as you can imagine, all of the offices were already taken.  However, what I found interesting is that the name of the corporations who rented the offices were virtually identical in each of the 4 stations.

It seems to me that if CCP wants to have a unique wormhole system where normal conventions are not allowed (no moons, no anchorable bubbles, etc), it would be reasonable that a corporation should be able to rent AN office.  Not four offices.  Come on CCP, you can do better than this.

Finally, we have had a lot of chatter in our public channel about whether or not we have a presence in wormhole space.  Up to now, corp members have simply been diving into wormholes and heading back out into empire space.  That is now changing.  We have scouted out a decent system to use as our initially foray into wormhole space.

More to come.