Archive for the ‘Updates’ Category

*tap* *tap*

Is this thing on?

Anybody there?


Thought not.

Well, talking to oneself is a sign of madness. Casting one’s thoughts into an uncaring  internet is situation normal for bloggers.  So, an update.

It’s been 3 1/2 months since my last optimism filled post. Things didn’t work out quite as planned. Real life yet again intervened, and crippled my play time. Since then, the real-life concerns have slackened somewhat – but the desire to play Eve has not returned. I had three fun filled weeks settling in with Agony Unleashed before the break. I enjoyed them a lot. As ever with MMOs, it’s the people that make the game, and AU (like Eve-Uni) has some of the best. But, since my enforced break, I’ve not had the desire to log in, and I figure that when that’s the case, it’s probably time to move on, for now at least.

Luckily, for the undecided online gamer, this is a boom time. More and more games are offering free trials, and free-to-play. I’ve since tried Global Agenda, APB, LOTRO and DDO. None of them particularly grabbed me. They were all fun in their own way for a little, but there wasn’t that instant hook that kept me engaged and online for more time than I had, and made me want to keep coming back for more.

Then I read this article over at Massively. Like the author,  Anarchy Online was my first MMO. And I loved it. Really, only the gated content and the lack of easy assistance to progress in the Shadowlands caused me to quit in the first place. That was 6 years ago. So, why not, I thought. Why not give it another go?

You can now create a “froob” account. Free-to-play the basic game and its first booster pack, Notum Wars, but with still a massive amount of content to experience. So, I joined the ranks of the froobs.

The game was immediately familiar, and yet simultaneously confusing. It felt like returning to a city in which you used to live. The streets are in the same places, the buildings look the same – but the shops, bars, people and fashions are all entirely different. I remembered much of what I was seeing. But I had definitely forgotten quite how confusing the game can be. The help screens are minimal but annoyingly persistent (you seem able to turn them all off, but not tell one of them to never re-appear). The interface is cluttered and complicated. The game certainly isn’t inclined to hold your hand. It’s massively complicated, and makes no apology for this. Oh, and it’s looking pretty ugly. The graphics are those of a 2001 game, and boy does it show. Especially the character models.

But… it’s still as compelling as it once was. The community, though it must be smaller, is still vibrant and friendly. After you get the hang of it, the complexity is a boon not a badness. There’s always something to do, somewhere to see. And the world is gloriously well realised. Everyone always mentions the music, and with good reason. AO’s soundtrack is not just a superb piece of game music, it’s a superb piece of cinematic composition. I’d rate the soundtrack alongside anything that Williams, Elfman or Zimmer have produced. After a little while playing the game, you cease to notice the dated visuals, and become immersed in all that Rubi-ka has to offer.

One thing, though. The camera. Dear God, I hate that camera. It’s rubbish.

A few days into my return, and I was hankering to see some of the stuff that I couldn’t access. Not that I’d run out of things to do, far from it, but I hate missing out. So, an upgrade to the expansions that I was missing. And, well, if I was going to do that, well why not reactivate my old account. Once that was done, I couldn’t really go without re-joining the clan that I created – a clan that has prospered over the last 6 years.

So, I’m back in AO. The adventures of “Ailish”, “Psia” and “Chart” (amongst others) will continue. First Light is a truly wonderful home to have returned to, with a leadership team who have retained (and developed) the family feel that the clan was originally designed to engender. It feels good to be back.

And you never know… I might even get back to regular blogging!


The battle against ennui

Posted: July 13, 2010 in Eve Uni, Psia, PvP, Updates

It’s been a while hasn’t it?

My lack of activity here is somewhat analogous with my lack of activity in game.  There’s a bunch of reasons for my absence. My real life work has been very busy over the past few months, culminating in the announcement that I’m to be made redundant (along with all my colleagues) near the end of the year.  My family life plays an increasingly large part, my daughter sleeps less, and requires more looking after than she did before. And coming to the end of her first year of life, we’re getting out and about more and my social life is showing signs of recovery.

Eve-wise, I found that what little time I spent in game was becoming filed with firefighting to try and keep up to date with my Uni jobs. Eve mails to be replied to, Events to be organised and diplomatic convos to be had; the MMObligation was becoming too much for me. So, I resigned my posts in the Uni, and have taken some time to use Eve as a break from the pressures of everyday life. The trouble is, I’m goal driven, and without a firm goal my Eve time has become a little aimless (and not much fun). I’ve been logging on, spending some hours chatting to friends outside the Uni, perhaps running a few missions on my alt, and then logging off again. Nice enough, but not exactly exciting.

So, it was time for a change.

I have applied to join a PvP corp based in 0.0 and been accepted as a trial member. This is a step into the unknown for me. I’ve been to 0.0 a couple of times as a tourist; but the idea of living there is entirely alien to me. It’s not entirely outside my comfort zone; I’ve PvPed a fair amount, and the corp in question has a number of old uni friends within their ranks. But from the safe confines of empire and the uni, it’s very much into the unknown.

So, now there are the logistics to sort. I’ve posted my goodbyes to the Uni forums, dropped roles, and sometime this afternoon or evening, I’ll drop corp and apply in game for my new corp. Then there’s the great move – getting all my ships over to my new home; making a ton of bookmarks; and getting to know my new corpmates.

I feel a new optimism and enthusiasm for the game, and am looking forward to the new challenges that it will offer. After all, a change is most definitely as good as a rest.

Welcome to the fourteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of 2010 comes to us from the EVE Blog Father, CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following:
As we begin another year in New Eden, ask yourselves “What Now?” What will I attempt next? What haven’t I done so far in EVE? Was it out fear, funds, or knowledge? Have I always wanted to start my own corporation, but have never dared doing so? Is there a fledging mercenary waiting to come out of its shell? Or maybe an Industrialist? What steps and objectives will I set myself to accomplish in order to reach my ultimate goal for this year? EVE is what you make of it. So, what is it going to be for you?

So… what now? What next?

Well, the big things are not in doubt, nor in need of a change. I continue to have lots of fun with Eve University, I’ve found the right blend of responsibility and relaxation to fit with my play time and commitment levels. My duties with the Ivy League Navy, and as a Diplomat, continue to give me the organisational role that I seem to need to truly enjoy social games; but are light enough time commitments to enable a decent game/life balance. I’m making new friends all the time, and solidifying older friendships into something worthwhile. Honestly, to move on from the uni this year would mean that my attitude or circumstance has changed considerably from where I am now.

There is an area where I have a goal, however. An area where I have been a slacker, not taken my opportunities and have resolved to do something about it.


Yup, iskies. moolah. dosh.

Thus far i have taken a relaxed approach to the matter of making money. I’ve breezed through my Eve career, bought a couple of plex to fund myself and not worried too much about making vast quantities of isk. But, I’m paying for 2 accounts, and I’m not sure that this is sustainable, or desirable. So, my goal for this year is to fund at least one account through the use of isk to buy plex. My alt can now fly a decently fitted Raven, and has access to L4 missions. I have a second alt who is training trade skills, hauler skills and transport skills, who will sell on the loot. The intent is to get Psia into something to support my raven alt in missions, and make them go a lot faster. Whether that should be more DD, or RR in a logistics boat, I’m not sure.

By the middle of this year, say the beginning of July, I’d like to be making more than I’m spending, consistently week on week. By the third quarter, say the beginning of October, I want to be funding my alt account with plex.

So that’s it. My aim for the year. Make money. Easy, huh? Well, we’ll see… but certainly it’s a new aspect of Eve for me to experiment with, and I’m quite looking forward to it.

If you enjoyed this post, or even if you didn’t, be sure to check out the other participants in Blog Banter XIV!

It’s an update!

Posted: January 11, 2010 in Eve Uni, Psia, Updates

Ooh, an update! See!

It’s been a while, my lovely blogfriends. I’ve been away, visiting family on a grand tour, celebrating Christmas and the New Year. And during that time, I’m sorry to say, I’ve neglected you all again. Yes I have. No chunterings nor wurblings have I shared. I’m sorry. Truly. Let me try to make it up to you with a little update.

So… where are we? Well, Psia seems to have settled, ship wise, comfortably into cruisers. The trade off between toughness and agility suits her, and so she’s gradually been filling out the required skills to fly them well. She’s got herself into Recons and loves both her curse and her pilgrim. T2 medium guns are trained, and she’s days off a HAC; and she’s trained to fly logistics cruiser, and plans to run a Guardian with a couple of other uni pilots. Of course, the support skills have been trained too, and she can use T2 reppers and transfers, and the like. Post-HAC, it’s HIC time, and then… strategic cruiser. The legion is going to cost her a complete fortune, but will be worth it. Endless hours of EFT fun trying to work out the ideal fits for plexes, fleet support in WH and the like. It’ll be almost like a whole new minigame.

Her university roles continue to develop. She’s Ops officer for an Ivy League Navy Battlegroup (the wing of the uni dedicated to the defence of the alliance); which means she’s in charge of organising events for the BG and the wider uni. From races through scouting competitions, I’m enjoying this quite a lot. It’s hard work at times, but then I’ve never been scared of that when I’m enthusiastic. Her role as Diplomat for the uni varies wildly from the not hugely interesting, to the utterly absorbing. I’m getting to meet lots of new people, and gain a really broad understanding of the diverse alliances out there. Very enjoyable indeed. Feel free to contact her if there is any diplomacy needing doing, and remember that the Uni offers open non-aggression pacts (mutual blues) to any corp or alliance that would like it.

My alt continues to gain skills too, of course, and is now flying a Raven with a basic mission fit. This seems to work ok for the level 4 missions that he can do. He’s a taken a little break tho, for the past few days, as I develop a specific trade/hauling alt.

All in all, I’m thoroughly enjoying Eve still. The uni is a fantastic home, and the people are mostly great. Think I’ll be here for a while yet.

Fly safe, or fly victorious.

That’s the way to do it…

Posted: September 15, 2009 in Dominion, Updates

I’m planning a post with some thoughts and analysis around this sometime soon; but in the meantime it’s well worth taking a read of CCP Greyscale’s dev blog post around sovereignty. I don’t play in null sec, and probably won’t for a long while; but this post was a great read nonetheless. It really gives me faith that not only are CCP headed in the right direction with Eve, but that their dev process is intelligently driven. Great stuff.

Read it here.

So, it’s been quiet around here, hasn’t it? Well, that’s because real life continues to be busy, our little daughter takes up not only a lot of time, but also a lot of my headspace – leaving less time for reflecting on all things Eve. Still, she’s well worth it, and my life is so much better than it was before her arrival.

The very lovely Curse (From Evelopedia)

The very lovely Curse (From Evelopedia)

Time constraints meant that I missed the opportunity to participate in the most recent blog banter; a shame as I had a few thoughts on the possibilities opened by the idea of extending the T3 range to more than just cruisers. In brief, I wanted to avoid the concept of “strategic BS” or “strategic frigs” and instead was looking at a set of ships to offer strategic options to those who would rather mine than fight, or industrialise over fight. Ships with R&D options, kinda solo mobile mini POS… but anyway – I missed the window of opportunity.

Enough with things that I have not done… how about what I have done? Well, Psia has spent her past few concentrating on becoming a leader.  I know, I know… leaders aren’t made, they are born. But, Eve offers the opportunity to train for leadership, and soon P will be able to x up with L5 3/3/3/3. This has the added bonus of allowing her to proudly display the “SC” title on her character sheet. And speaking of titles, she’s graduated! As a graduate of Eve University she gets a neato medal to show everyone what a clever girl she is, and can make her way in New Eden with the acknowledgement that she’s no longer a n00b.

She’s not going anywhere for the time being though. The university provides the ideal place to further develop her skills and my understanding. Frequent wars are giving her fleet, small gang and pvp experience; and the university’s support network is set up to offer all the expert opinion and knowledge base that she could wish for. There’s also an amount of recompense owed to the Uni for their help and generosity in offering her a home, and so she’ll stick around and try to give something back. At 6.5 mil SP, she’s starting to get to be a competant pilot – but some more experience is always welcome, and to be able to continue to learn whilst offering something back to the corp is win/win.

After she’s done with leadership skills, it’ll be time to move on to those elusive T2 medium guns, and from there cruiser V (ye gods that feels like a long haul) and thereafter Recons. Curse and Pilgrim, here she comes!

My alt taught me a valuable lesson the other evening. After a long night of trying to get my daughter to sleep, I figured that I’d log onto my alt and do a couple of quick missions. His L2 agent offered Recon to him, and I duly set out in my Moa. Being tired, and not having read the mission text, or paid any attention to the Eve-survival text, I proceeded to attack one of the three pirates – who spawned a ton of bad guys, who blew me to pieces. Boom went my Moa. Then boom went the speedy frig that I tried the mission with. And the shuttle. And the n00b frig. In the end, I quit. Abandoned the mission, and was several million isk out of pocket. Which is completely sucky, having wiped out a ton of profit. On the upside, this might be the impetus needed to buy and fit a Drake for missioning. He’s a few hours off the T2 shield skills, and so can probably offer decent dps and a good tank. It should enable him to blitz the L2s and get onto L3s as fast as possible.

Outside Eve, I have been toying with some other games. I played a bit of the Champions Online open beta, and whilst I enjoyed it, it didn’t get me excited enough to actually spend actual real money. I have downloaded and installed the Gatheryn beta test client, but have thus far been unable to make it further than a very buggy character creation screen, so I’m waiting for another patch or two before going back to it (having submitted my bug report). As evidenced by the previous post, I am pretty excited by the potential of The Secret World, an MMO by my favourite developers, Funcom (Anarchy online was my first MMO love, for all its faults). It looks, from the little I’ve seen of it, like a cross between Call of Cthulhu, Anton Wilson-ism, and White Wolf’s Hunter. Incidentally, Hunter is a game for which I have a deep and abiding love, driven by my days playtesting it for my good friend Leafshine, who was one of it’s key authors. That WW are now owned by CCP is a neat synchronicity. I know that Funcom do not have the best reputation for quality product at release, but I shall be following this like a frothing fanboi. Do not expect unbiased coverage.

I see that CCP have announced their next expansion, Dominion, whioch will focus on the sovereignty mechanics.  doubt that I’ll be hanging in 0.0 by then, but I look forward to seeing the changes nonetheless. I’m not so sure about their own social networking platform. Being Facebooked, Livejournaled, Tweeted and LinkedIn – I’m not sure that I can stomach yet another niche social network – but we’ll see.

That’s all for now – I hope to have something a bit more substantive to talk about soon.


Posted: August 18, 2009 in Updates

Albeit slightly stale and out of date, I’d be remiss in my duty as an Eve blogger if i didn’t make a post discussing the two hottest pieces of news to grace the game for a while. I speak, of course, of Unholy Rage and Dust 514.

Unholy Rage is nothing but good news. The loss of the isk farming parasites is no loss at all, and should hopefully see slight adjustments in the player economy, allowing the more entrepreneurial players to have more of an impact on the markets. Whilst I’m not one of these, more real player power is always good. I also look forward to less gold selling spam in local and the rookie channel. I was surprised and intrigued to see the graphs showing a cpu usage drop when the bans hit. Server impact wasn’t something i’d have asociated with RMT farmers.

Dust 514, on the other hand, leaves me with mixed feelings. I used to play a lot of FPS in the days of Unreal Tournament and Quake, and still have a fondness for them. A planetside FPS set in the Eve universe sounds like a real laugh. But… and it’s a big but… console only?! I only own a Wii (and even then just as a mechanism to provide exercise), and so will not get a chance to play any game that is console only. I have a long standing agreement with my wife that I will never purchase a games console to play games on (the Wii was only agreed to on the basis of no games). So, whilst I’d like to be excited about Dust 514, unless it comes to PC, I won’t be playing it.

Elsewhere, thursday sees the release of patch 1.5, which I’m looking forward to for its multi sized rigs and changes to probing. I’m also pretty excited by the announcements around Moondoggie – the IGB is in serious need of help and this could be just the tonic. Let’s hope it doesn’t end up as a boondoggle.