Friday, December 23, 2011

Deklien: BSCL joins the Clusterfuck

After a week of downtime in our staging/evac system BSCL joined the Tactical Narcotics Team Alliance. TNT is based in Deklien, Goon Country. So we made the journey across the map in caps and sub-caps to our new staging system to move into our new home in CU9-T0.

Once situated we began to work our way through the arduous task of registering for various services.
All CFC voice comms are API verified as are access to forums, Jabber servers and the TNT and Goon wikis. This took about 3 days for most of our corp mates to iron out.

Once this was out of the way it was time to join all those intel channels the coalition has. There were at least 5 I remember joining (I'm sure there were more.) It seems a little much, but when you have that much territory it's kind of essential.

BSCL was certainly not anything special in TNT, they were just another schmuck corp and we were in constant competition with other corps as well as goons for resources, and trying to get anything at a decent price was impossible thanks to our neighbors buying out our station orders and resisting them at higher prices.

It was in light of these problems, with the recent departure of Asander that I decided my time in nullsec at the behest of a corporation was over. If I came back it would be my way on my terms.

Teneriffis: Split Infinity unravels

After the DRF retook their sovereignty in Detorid they began a campaign in the south assaulting Against ALL Authorities and their neighboring alliances. In addition, our alliance lead Quivering Palm lost his job. He lives in Greece. (eek) This, in addition to mounting pressure put him out of action for a time and Hallan Turrek was put in charge in his absence.

Unfortunately some key issues were not taken care of prior to QP's departure, namely roles in the holding corp. Noir. came down to assist the alliance in the end, but by that point S1. was a demoralized shadow of it's former self. I was able to assist on one op with them before I ended up in the hospital for two and a half days with a severe case of dehydration. I came back to find the orders given to pull out. Many members were getting the summer doldrums, some were apathetic due to the events of the Summer of Rage. Others were in a holding pattern until QP returned (by this time he was a week overdue).

BSCL led the charge and focused on getting player and alliance assets out of 0.0 as quickly as possible. For this they were rewarded with several new members from the smaller corporations of the alliance. I returned to KW-OAM for the last time to extract the BSCL Orca from it's hangar in the station and using wormholes scouted by Andish Libby, then CEO of GLA Armaments, convoyed with 2 other Orcas, ending up in a lowsec system in Placid.

Once everything was extracted there was some debate about the fate of the Alliance. BSCL decided it was time to move on and began putting out feelers. We had gained strength and purpose as a part of S1, but with no clear leadership and an alliance lead who needed to sort things in the real world, we felt it best to leave. Little did I know just where we'd end up.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blog Banter 31: Reviewing Eve Online

The game of Eve is small in the eyes of most MMO players. Most people see this as a detriment, however it is in reality one of it's greatest strengths. The community is on one shard and the actions of one group can affect all other groups. Getting started can be a bit harrowing but the rewards are worth the risk.

Starting out

The game itself can be very unforgiving to those who don't know what they are doing. (Do the bloody tutorials ya noob!) Unlike getting killed in World of Warcraft where the penalty is some repair costs getting a ship blown up will cost you that ship and anything in it. If you get destroyed in your capsule (pod-killed) any implants you have will also be lost. Failure has real consequences, so caution and paranoia are handy skills to have. Eventually you will want to join a player corporation. Never, EVER pay anyone money to join a corporation, no matter who they are or what they say. They are scamming you.

Scamming and other forms of inanity

Eve is very much hands-off when it comes to scamming, ganking and other forms of asshattery that are used against a new, inexperienced player. Many scams and cons exist and unlike World of Warcraft, CCP Games doesn't police this at all. A player in WoW who rips off a guild bank will have the items taken from them and risks a ban. Eve has no such system. Only one rule works in Eve: Trust No One.


For having a very dark and completely ruthless backdrop the Eve community is easily one of the strongest of any MMO past or present. The metagame within Eve is the stuff of legend, cataloging the exploits of various luminary people and organizations in their rise to power. Blogs and podcasts cover the news and happenings of various players from all over New Eden.

Depth of substance

One of the greatest and most attractive features in Eve is it's non-linear game play. Want to mine asteroids and make the ships, weapons, and modules to drive the economy? Train to fly a Hulk and invest in industry skills. Want to blow up computer controlled ships? Missions are a great start eventually leading up to participating in Incursion fleets. Want to prey upon other hapless players? There are plenty of corporations that do just that.

Eve is not for the faint of heart or the easily discouraged. Those who have the stomach for taking risks will be rewarded for their success. Those with a cautious nature and a paranoid mindset will be able to measure risk and avoid scams. Those who have a open mind can find tons of things to do.

Challenge 10/10
Variety of Content 8/10
Graphics 8/10
Complexity 10/10
Overall score 9/10

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crucible: Day 1

I booted up Crucible as soon as I got home from work last night and all I can say is wow. Before even leaving the station the game felt completely different. This was only enhanced when I did a few system hops and saw the new features in the space side of the game. Well played CCP. Well played indeed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Naming an expansion

[kroo-suh-buhl]         noun
1. a container of metal or refractory material employed for heating substances to high temperatures.
2. Metallurgy . a hollow area at the bottom of a furnace in which the metal collects. 
3. a severe, searching test or trial.

Well, I guess that answers that. CCP has endured the Incarna release, the Emergency Summit, The Summit Minutes scandal, Forumgate, Monoclegate, and who all knows what else. They've gone back to basics and started actually listening to their customers. 

For the first time in a while I actually have high hopes for the future of the game. See you out there.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Everything that has a begining has an end, and that end is a new beginning.

I have recently decided to leave BSC Legion, the corp I have been in since almost the day I started playing. It wasn't based on drama of any sort, and there was no massive theft to herald my exit. In fact I sold a rigged Drake to one of my corp-mates for 30 mil and donated a rigged Iteron Mk V to the corp.

The null-sec life can at times be more of a hassle than it's worth. And the only reason I was there was because my friend Asander was there. He has since gone quiet due to personal issues, and while I don't blame him for that, it's not exactly fun when you barely know anyone else in your corp, most of whom are EU timezone anyway.

While I bear the Legion no ill will, and may still do things in high-sec to help them, I'm not interested in being tied down and enduring the vagaries of a game play style that for me at least, is not fun. One of the great things about EVE is that it is so open and undefined. While most people see sov holding null-sec as EVE's "end game" I consider that little more than chest thumping. Some will argue w-space is EVE's true endgame given the greater limitations imposed by the environment (no local, stations, ice, moon mining, belts, and the overall tougher rats (sleepers) who offer no bounties.) And while I appreciate those difficulties, they are ultimately self-imposed.

EVE's endgame is, in the end, whatever you make of it. 

Like null-sec kill mail whoring to a fault? NCdot would love to hear from you.
Like the thought of hot-dropping a Merlin with a titan fleet. Pandemic Legion is calling your name.
Think camping outside Jita 4-4 with wardecs on random alliances is the pinnacle of PvP? The Orphanage has you covered.
Have a good combat record and like the thought of working for the highest bidder? Noir. Mercenary Group is the place for you. Tell Alekseyev Karrde or Nidia Masters I sent you, then wait for the riotous laughter.

For me at least, this is a time to go try my hand at some things I've always wanted to try. Perhaps some RP? Maybe some Incursions? What ever it is, it will be me choosing what to do and on who's terms.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blog Banter 30: Finishing the job

With the changes in the upcoming expansion surrounding high-sec wars many people (read griefers) will complain about them. It's hilarious in a way considering their actions whether they be neutral R.R. of a ship that is at war with another corp, or the suicide ganking of a ship. Both of these actions are a direct violation of the Treaty of Yulai that created Concord in the first place.

And now they are mad that insurance isn't being paid out on those gank ships? Hello? Does your homeowners insurance pay your policy out if you burn your own house down? No, because Arson is a criminal act. So is ganking a ship you aren't in a declared war with.

Now we just need CCP to finish the job. Don't allow anyone to use the gates into a highsec system if their security status would see their destroyed in that system. Even if they are in a pod. If they jump clone into highsec and leave the station, have the sentry guns pod them. A true criminal would be shot first and questions asked later. It should be no different in New Eden.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The growing quiet.

I have been listening to the various Eve podcasts for quite some time now. I remember becoming engaged shortly after meeting Hallan Turrek, then a member of SI Radio, when BSCL left Geminate and joined the Split Infinity Alliance.

Being that my real life job involves driving from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Amarillo, Texas and back I had plenty of time on my hands to listen. And boy did I hit the jackpot. Lost in Eve, Eve Commune, Voices from the Void, Fly Reckless, Notalotofnews News Hour, Pod Goo, ISK.  I listened to them all. I was struck by just how large and connected Eve's community really was.

Sadly however, there has been a decline in podcasts from the community recently. Eve Commune's last podcast was on August 20th 2011. Teg Rhind from ISK has been on hiatus since July 14th. Lost in Eve, one of the premier podcasts in this group announced it was closing it's doors as well. Even PK and Angus McDecoy from Fly Reckless seem to be falling under the malaise that many in the community are feeling.

There has been much hubbub surrounding the launch of Incarna, Monoclegate and the CSM's emergency meetings in Iceland. Since then there has been a growing sense of apathy and lack of drive in many aspects of New Eden's community. It shows up greatest amongst the blogs and podcasts. These avenues serve to bring the community together, if for nothing else than to talk about Internet Spaceships.

There is some hope, however. New podcasts are appearing, the Angry Monkey Podcast, for example. And with a little luck our fellow pilots will be able to shake off this malaise of apathy, and continue their efforts.

Uziphel99, Urizel99, Teneriffis and Split Infinity

With the fall of Geminate and our return to Empire, I went back to doing what I do best. Mining. Some people Just about everyone finds mining to be about as exciting as watching paint dry. I personally find it relaxing and it gives me time to talk to corpmates on comms. It was also a good chance to learn more about New Eden, it's people, it's politics, and it's complexity.

For this reason I created Uziphel and Urizel to be miners primarily. They ran a dedicated skill queue to fly Hulks, later picking up the additional skills needed to be competent ice miners as well. They sat in empire, while their training progressed. Meanwhile, BSCL had joined Split Infinity Alliance and I sent Urziel and Uziel to their station system in Teneriffis.

It was in S1. that I was first able to really get involved in operations at an Alliance level. The culture we found was more open and accommodating. The Alliance leader, Quivering Palm was an amiable sort and we felt like we were having more of an impact than we had as a "guest" of the NC. We were welcomed, and valued as a corp and as individuals. Which for me atleast, was a welcome change of pace.

I learned then that the station was under the ownership of the mercenary alliance, Noir Mercenary Group. While I didn't know at the time why such a group would allow a comparatively small alliance such as ourselves to control the station. It made sense that they would not be able to safeguard it while on contracts and thus needed someone else to hold sovereignty and repel attackers. With the majority of the DRF up north dismantling the NC piecemeal and being blue with most, if not all our neighbors, including the powerful southern alliance Against ALL Authorities, it seemed that aside from the occasional roam that the home front was largely secure.

Then things changed.

Teneriffis and Detorid. Sov Warfare 101

After about two months with our new alliance the decision was made to make a land grab on the unoccupied lands claimed by the DRF in Teneriffis and Detorid. The Drone Russians were busy hastening to collapse the last regions of the NC's holdings and we were confident they would not come back to reclaim the much lower value systems they were losing in favor of establishing their new prize land in the north (the only source of the valuable moon mineral Technetium). Initially there was no response during the Teneriffis campaign, systems were taken with impunity with SI getting a constellation a few jumps from our home system. Detorid however, was a different story.

We took sovereignty easy enough initially. The system's PoS structures were long ago abandoned and there was little if any resistance. When we took the station system in 3-LJW3 however, there was resistance and an epic battle that is dutifully retold by QP himself here.

Sadly it wasn't to last. By this time the DRF had eviscerated what was left of the once great Northern Coalition. They then turned to look back on us. And they were more than a little pissed. Apparently that part of 0.0 was special to them. I personally think they just want all of it at any cost. Needless to say they were able to turn back us and our Imperial Order and Dirt Nap Squad allies with little effort. Within a month S1. held no sov in Detorid.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Uziel99 and the fall of Geminate

Shortly after arriving in Geminate, as a guest of Brick Squad, I created Uziel99 to be my primary combat pilot. He began humbly enough, using a variant of the ten-hour hero trick I bought him several Merlin frigates with a MWD, point, web and two cheap railguns. It wasn't much to look at, especially in a fleet of battlecruisers and battleships but it was something.

I was sadly unable to participate in the major battles of the Geminate campaign, but I learned a few fun lessons about null-sec and sovereignty. I also started realizing just how much money these large coalitions threw around. I remember looking at the battle reports from Uemon's "Valentine's Day Massacre" and wincing. It was then I realized I would need something much bigger than a Merlin or Caracal. And that meant getting more ISK and a lot more experience.

As SOLAR FLEET began moving in, we left our guest alliance and briefly returned to Empire before setting out on our next nullsec excursion.

Monday, September 26, 2011

OK, who the heck is this guy?

I am Urziel99 and I welcome you to my blog. Here I will chronicle my experiences in Eve Online. Both in-game and in the metagame.

I came to Eve in January of this year by way of a different MMO, Fallen Earth. I had just left WoW after having spent two years there as a raid leader and guild officer and was ready for a change. What first struck me about Eve was that it was incredibly non-linear. After being in a game where the "end-game" was clearly defined as either high-end PvE, (25-man Raids) or high-end PvP, (Arena Teams) the thought of being able to go out and make your own fun appealed to me.

In my time in Fallen Earth I meet a fellow by the name of Asander. He was a member of a multi-game clan (Wolves of War) that I had recently joined. I would see him occasionally in the Eve Ventrillo channel alone. Being the curious type I decided to see what the game was really all about.

He gave me a 21-day trial, along with a couple of other members of the Wolves. I eagerly signed up and downloaded the client. I completed my first few missions with no difficulty. Then that I encountered the infamous Learning Cliff. But I had an ace in the hole. Asander (who uses different names in this game) had 3 accounts that were several years old. He was a vast fountain of knowledge and was able to break it down to essentials quite well.

After a few weeks I was mining with my mentor and our two other pups in high-sec watching his 2 Hulks and Orca in jealous awe as they made asteroids vanish. Meanwhile, I was relegated to a Tormentor class mining frigate. During that time I learned more about the game, it's mechanics, and it's politics. About that time the other two pups gave up and I had joined the corp Asander was part of, BSC Legion. The Legion was at that time based in Kador low-sec and would shortly thereafter be moving to Geminate. At the time I was not aware of the existence of the Drone Russians or the Northern Coalition, to say nothing of their conflict. I would find out on the battlefield.