November 30, 2022

Report: First Fleet Experience

 Apparently I spoke too soon. Despite thinking that I had left my mercenary ways behind, I've been sucked back in - as they say. I knew that I wanted to get into faction warfare this time around, that's what I had been sold on by my former Noir. friend Greif Haken after all. So when I received an invitation to Noir. from Alekseyev Karrde who told me they were neck-deep in faction warfare, I decided the best move was to just come home.

Noir. had just finished a contract for the Gallente faction and, after seeing how much fun faction warfare was, decided to stick around. I wish I could do a Contract Recap post for that contract. I came back too late for that, but I wanted to write a little about my first experience back. It was really fun, and it reminded me what I truly enjoy about EVE. 

Alek formed a fleet on a Monday night. After we all gathered, he laid out a plan (which I won't divulge most of). Part of the plan was just doing some testing on Propaganda Broadcast Structures and Listening Outposts. I'm assuming these are new items in the game. I'm pretty sure they are, anyway. Or maybe the mechanics of them had just changed, I don't know. But regardless, we wanted to test some interactions with them.

So we headed to a backline Caldari system, out of the way of traffic. We were mainly flying frigates. I was in a Tormentor, we had a few logi frigates. Maybe one cruiser, I forget. 

Give me some time to get back into the swing of things and I'll be able to remember the smaller details better! I'm struggling to recall ships by name at the moment. In space, I'm focusing on finding the right UI element and not dying. When I see a ship, I have to wrack my brain to recall what it does and place it in my Mental Threat Matrix. It's not second nature anymore, not by a long shot.

We discovered a few things in our testing which will be really valuable. For one, afterburners have a hard time keeping up with the NPC ships that come in after dropping these items. It's also not a great idea to drop two unless you can drop them simultaneously. When alternating the deployments of the structures, even by as little as 30 seconds, you create a situation where the NPCs are warping in almost constantly, which stops the timer. We may have been able to kill them quick enough in larger ships, but I think it's still probably better just to drop them either at the exact same time, or just do one at a time.

The Loyalty Point payout on dropping one of these is pretty good, too. 10,000 LP once the 10 minute timer is over. Once that timer expires, you get your LP, and you get either a bonus to your own faction's advantage or you reduce the enemy faction's advantage. 

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November 27, 2022

Once a Mercenary...

 As I've been contemplating my return to EVE Online, I have to believe my mercenary past is gone. If that's true, I need to determine a new path forward. EVE has always been a game about creating your own destiny, forging your own path. The fun of the game is what you make of it. It's not a coincidence that Dwarf Fortress and EVE share that infamous graph of difficulty.

What originally drew me into EVE was the idea that I could be a mercenary. That other players would pay money for me and my corpmates to do a job. That thread connected all of my activities for nearly a decade. You could string together all my memories and hang it on that gossamer of an idea: to be a mercenary.

So I know that if I'm going to give EVE the good 'ole college try again, I have to find another thread that can bind my game-time together. It's not enough for me to just play for the hell of it - I want my play to be meaningful (as meaningful as any game can be). EVE is unique in that it does seem to offer meaning. Your actions have consequences, and all that.

It's probably no surprise to anyone who has been playing EVE, or at least keeping up with it, that I'm returning partly because of what I'm hearing about Faction Warfare. So naturally it's where I'm going to try and focus my playtime and activity. I like fun as much as the next guy. But I'm going to have to create my own narrative out of that, which may be harder for me than the next guy. I've realized that I need to make stories out of my games, not only of the funny "you had to be there" moments but also stories that are pieces of an epic tale, piecemeal bits of a larger tapestry.

I don't want to be the king, but I want to be able to talk about how my role in the battle shaped the kingdom.

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November 26, 2022

Wow, SP Ain't Cheap

I haven't logged into EVE since 2017 when I finally realized that the game just wasn't what I wanted any longer. I always dreamed of regional, localized wars between smaller organizations. I dreamed of some silver bullet mechanic that would make it more arduous to maintain than it was worthwhile, but that certainly wasn't the direction EVE headed.

So, now I'm - for whatever reason - looking at playing again. And when I logged into my account I saw this image, offering me nearly 13m SP for approximately $300. Seems steep to me, but maybe it's worth it?

It would let me train a lot of skills I ripped out of my head before leaving...

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