31 March 2009

Empty Space

Throughout the past week or two, my corpmates who have already made the move to this wormhole system and been mining the gas clouds as well as asteroid belts have begun to take notice of what they began to think a potential problem. As time went on, and they continued to mine out the various sites found via probing, the amount of "dots" found with the probes were lessening. Blame it on a lack of forethought on our part as well as the simple fact none of us really pay much attention to the forum discussions, we never really considered that a w-system could depleted of all it's resources. It was simply assumed that more would be consistently found with each day's passing.

It seems however, we were wrong.

I don't have the link at the current moment while I write this but a discussion was brought up in the forum by a member of another corporation who stated the same thing we were just beginning to discover. Just like the mechanics of the exploration sites in k-space, once the harvestable sites in a system have been depleted, that's it. There is no more. At least not until they, by chance, cycle back around to our system after they've been depleted elsewhere in another w-space system. Given the number of w-systems, and ultimately, the true lack of people willing to venture into systems of the same class as the one we're currently in, I think it's acceptable to say that we may have and been fighting for what will soon be in essence, an empty pocket of w-space.

So we're starting to contemplate the question, "What do we do now?" Do we maintain our POS in this system and simply use it as a base of operations for the other endeavors we intended to use the system for? Do we maintain the POS and harvest any other w-systems that randomly link up to our own? (Which by the way does seem to happen quite regularly in this system. In fact, one of our latest exits involved probing/traveling through 2 other w-systems just to get back to k-space.) Do we pack up, leave and give up on the whole w-space harvesting and instead return to our previous medial tasks of mission running and high sec mining? Or do we gather together the isk we've made from this initial endeavor and invest it in the ships and gear to become basically a roaming nomadic corporation. Moving from one w-system to the next, depleting the resources as we go.

In theory, this last option is a very good possibility. We have the capabilities, equipment and means to make this possible, it's just a question of should we. In fact, I'd be curious to know what other people's thoughts are on what it would take to become such a corporation.

At present, my corporation currently maintains a few carriers, a few Orcas, and a Rorqual as well as having the ability to utilize dreadnoughts, though I don't believe we own any at present as we've never seen the need for them....and I doubt will ever see the need for it in w-space. So with those ships and the necessary support vessels in mind, I think it's feasibly possible. The most difficult aspect would be getting the harvested materials out of the wormhole as we would have no real loading platform to dump all the stuff in a freighter with us. However, I'm still learning about the capabilities of cap ships so feel free to correct me on anything I say here. The other larger aspect would be having these ships in a null security space with little in the way of protection. There would be no POS shield for the Rorqual or Orcas to hide behind when faced with venturous pirates. We could theoretically bring a small POS tower along with us as we go, but the time it takes to set up and break down might nullify the logistical use of such a venture.

So with that in mind, it does seem to be perhaps a lot of effort....nearly too much. But such a critic would have to take into account the amount of isk that can be made from one good quality system such as the one we've nearly depleted. I mean, seriously, I'm talking in the billions here. However, other systems may only net perhaps a couple hundred mil.

Some other people would argue, "the risk is too great versus the rewards." I can't disagree on that more. Though "smarter", these sleepers are still just "rats". They're not invincible. It just takes the right setups and the right tactics as it would with any other mission targets offered by the numerous agents out there. It's just a bit different than what most have become accustomed to after so many years of dealing with the same crap over and over again. Basically, it's the PVE'ers turn to adapt or die.

So anyways, as we come close to the end of all harvestable resources within the w-system, our time to make a decision comes nearer as well. Being the low man on the totem pole, I really can only wait and see.


30 March 2009

Politics and War

In light of the war my corporation is undergoing over the wormhole system and the continuously ongoing war between the nullsec alliances, the empire faction wars and any other current corporate wars in Eve, at any given time, one can't help but think about the political arena that surrounds the Eve universe.

I've always been one that takes little interest in politics. The aspect of coalitions, alliances, and such were never something I thought I'd be all that interested in when I first became a pod pilot. All I wanted to do was make lots of isk and blow stuff up. As long as there was a place for me to do that, I thought I would be content to just live my life out in Eve, caring little for what transpired beyond my own personal concerns. For the first few months, I was completely naive to just how much politics plays a role in Eve. However, that mentality at some nonspecific point, did a complete 180.

I've now realized that in Eve, there really is no real possibility of ignoring politics. Even if you make no attempt to be actively involved in such things, it will eventually force you to be so. I suppose one way to avoid such things is by staying within the empire corporations, never joining one of the hundreds of independent corporations that attempt to stake there claim in the universe but the possibility of truly getting ahead in anything will be seriously hindered. It's almost a necessity to become involved if one is wanting to survive and thrive in this universe.

Since my "enlightenment", I've begun to take more and more notice in what's happening beyond the borders of empire space. The battles over sovereignty in nullsec, the espionage and corporate infiltrations, all the offensive and defensive moves on the chessboard....it's all really begun to intrigue me to no end. My corporation at one point talked about eventually staking their own claim in nullsec. Whether it be aligning with one of the major alliances or attempting to make our own name was still in the air of unsureties but it was a goal either way. Now, with the appearance of wormholes and the possibility of basically "owning" a wormhole system, the corporate directives have changed.

So why am I bringing this up? Well to be honest, this wormhole move has left me wondering. Is this something I really want to get involved in? Is this the direction where I want my career in Eve to go? For awhile now, from when I first really started getting interested in nullsec politics, I started to sort of dream of getting involved. I figured best method was to find a good corporation that would eventually make the move as a whole to nullsec and find myself riding along with, ready and willing to join in on the action and entertainment.

My first corporation was, and forgive me for saying this to any that read this and were in it, but we were a complete noob corporation. Every single one of us, from the CEO and down, were fresh out of the academy. We knew little about what it took to make a good, strong corporation and were far from having the resources to do it. So we joined an alliance. At first I thought this was great but as time went on, I began to see the holes the alliance had, the too soft mentality, and the lack of real skill in combat ops. And then some events happened from which the alliance started falling apart. By then, if you've followed my writings, I had become the XO of my corporation which put me in a better position to see just how things were working....and it was then I realized they weren't working at all. So when a fellow alliance mate told me of another corporation he was intending to join and what they offered, what their abilities were and all....well..I was quick to hop on the bus and join up.

So now I'm in my second real corporation and things have been great. We were growing steadily, were running numerous ops that would impress most empire based corporations, and showed a lot of promise for what I was beginning to make my ultimate goal. Living in nullsec. However, the appearance of wormholes changed all that.

In a few ways, w-space isn't all that different than nullsec. There is no Concord. There is lots of minerals and gases to be harvested with big rats to go up against. Though there is no actual sovereignty by the books, corporations and alliances can still basically stake their claim. Take for instance my current corporation who has placed a POS at nearly every moon in system (excluding of course the moon where our intruding POS owners set up at). We have in essence, secured the system as our own and have the ability to maintain that. Only thing lacking is some sort of beacon or something to make that aspect known to any who randomly venture in.

The question is, is this what I really want? Do I really want to live in a place that is essentially cut off from the rest of Eve? A place where, once the intruders are eradicated, there will likely be no politics, no real war, little chance of ever experiencing the grand, epic battles between capitol ships? Possibly never having the chance of seeing my first Titan? (A sight I've been craving to see since nearly day one...though hopefully not right before I die. hehe)

The other question is, if I were to decide to leave this corp, to continue on with my journey to eventually live in nullsec, at what level should I be before I consider myself ready? What level should I be before others would consider me? How do I find a corporation that is already based in nullsec without actually venturing out into their territories unannounced? A lot of people say, "check the forums." Well I don't think those people have been on the forums lately. Most of what you see is Empire corporations claiming to have 0.0 access. 0.0 access?? I don't even need to be in a corporation to "access" nullsec. And I don't want just "access". I want to live in nullsec. The other corporations I see demand you to have at least like 10mil skillpoints (which I don't have even after like 5 or 6 months of being a pod pilot) or know somebody personally from outside of the pod (aka, real life, of which i don't know anybody). So is there no place for me there yet?

For now, I'll just keep trudging on. Pulling my agent missions, hacking and salvaging the hidden sights, mining the high sec ores, maybe venture into the wormhole space my corporation has claimed and make a few iskies. But someday....hopefully sooner than later....someday the local channels of nullsec will see a new face flying around...and that face will bear the name of Mikolan Lutrova.


Giving 'em The Squeeze

The battle over the wormhole system has been a rather quiet one. It appears there is still one other pilot, their corporate CEO, left in system and as of now, he seems fixated on remaining. Understandable I suppose since they have a fairly decent sized POS still in system. But with our continued efforts, at this point I'd say he'd be better off just cutting his losses and if able to find a way out that we haven't found already, get out...otherwise, the other, quicker method would suffice too. >:) What ships he flies is still not entirely sure as all we ever see him in is a Falcon.

I'm not sure why he doesn't just leave though. I mean, they obviously don't have any sort of substantial force to even come and aid them. They obviously are pure carebears through and through given when attacked, all they did was beg to befriend us and work together with us. With our presence in system and them not having the capability of dealing with us, as well as having the knowledge by now that we will attack them at any given chance, they have no ability to harvest any of the system's gases, asteroids, or Sleeper sites. With us constantly camping the wormholes as well, they have effectively cut off any ability for them to bring in or out goods as well. So as time goes on, we slowly pick them apart, bit by bit. And it won't be much longer before they'll be totally eradicated.

In fact, yesterday, we actually attacked the POS. It seems this intruding corporation is lacking a bit in proper POS management. Although the POS appeared to be online, not once did it shoot back at us or even target. By the end of the evening yesterday, we had destroyed a few of the web stasis towers, all the warp scramblers, and all of the missile and weapons turrets. We've already sent word to them to leave the w-system or else but as of yet had not received any word back in return. We've also noticed a number of their pilots leaving their corp. Glancing at the public sections of their forums, seems they're going through some internal corporate turmoil. Not sure exactly what's going on with that but it's obviously poor timing when they're POS is being slowly eradicated.

From this point, we're considering whether or not blast our way through the POS shield or just leave it till it runs out of fuel. Problem with waiting is that we have no idea how much fuel the damn thing has so it could be months upon months before it finally runs out. So we're considering just bringing in more cap ships to deal with it. We'll see..

So I think at this point, anybody following this might be curious as to why this system seems to be so important. I think we pretty much have all the stats on this system accounted for and will do a posting of it either later tonight or tomorrow. Let's just say that the resists and targeting systems of our ships are so unbelievably effected, with the right setups, just a few handful of battleships could easily protect this system against any force not properly prepared to come in. Yes, the sleeper's here are top of the line. We've already lost a few good ships to their immense strength. However, the rewards are phenomenal. Already the amount of goods we've harvested from this system is somewhere in the billions and it continuously replenishes itself. For instance, a few guys ran a magnometric site Saturday and from that site alone, raked in nearly one billion. (Although in the process, I believe they lost two Nighthawks. Like I said...the Sleepers here are vicious)

Oh, and yes, I am actually speaking of this from outside the wormhole. I did some thinking and came to the conclusion that I'm not really financially prepared enough yet to make the move myself. Yes, I'll be making a ton as well once I get there myself....but moving into w-space isn't the cheapest endeavor. One of those situations where it takes money to make money. For instance, I need to build a small fleet of ships to bring with me in the event of losing one here and there whether from Sleepers or from intruders. This includes all the riggings, the modules (including gas cloud harvesters which aren't cheap), and the ammo. Also need to help pay for the fuel for the jump freighter to get from Jita to wherever the wormhole entrance happens to be. So I've decided to wait a bit more before going in myself to build up my wallet and assets. Hopefully it won't take me too long.


27 March 2009

Is There Honor In War?

Back in 1998, I joined the United States Marine Corps where I served four years serving my country in defending it's right, freedoms, and beliefs....and well as fighting for the freedom of others (i.e., Iraq). The core values, a part of their creed, is honor, courage, and commitment. Those things are ingraned in you from the moment you put your feet on the yellow footprints when you arrive at basic training. To break any one of those three values can bring drastic punishment.

The reason I say all this is to sort of convince you that I truly know a thing or two about war. I know the tactics, the horrors, the order amongst the chaos. I know what it's like to make difficult decisions that on any other day, in any other place, you would be appalled to even consider the possibility of doing such a thing.

Let me also say that I don't give a damn what anybody says. War is war. There is no rules. There's no such thing as fighting honorably. There are certain rules of engagement, created by lofty beauricratics in there comfy little homes far from the frontlines. Far from the blood and horrors and sweat. But these rules must be abided by and so we do....but in the areas the rules don't prevent us, it's open game.

As it is in life, so it is in Eve.

Last nights events I was unfortunately not a part of as I had some business to attend to back in Solitude. My plan was not to head out to the wormhole until probably this weekend. Now I almost wish I hadn't just so I could get in on the "fun" that transpired last night. So without seeing it first hand, forgive me if I error in a few of the details.

Basically, a number of corp mates were in the process of moving gear into the wormhole space. Seems an entrance had opened up only 10 jumps away from Jita. I'd like to pause a moment here and tell you that although it was a low sec system, the low sec system connected to the high sec systems surrounding Jita. Why does that matter? Because this same wormhole space can and does open fairly regularly deep in 0.0 space. So it was an opportunity that definitly needed to be taken advantage of.

Seems our unwanted neighbors felt the same. However, it seems the intelligence level of their corporation is a bit lacking.

As we're moving gear through, a Buzzard class covert ops appears at the wormhole. It sort of catches the group unawares but with the Buzzard now in k-space, his wereabouts become a bit easier to track. Quickly the w-space team scrambles their pilots.

This isn't just any buzzard. This Buzzard just happens to be piloted by what we believe to be their strongest and most skilled prober. It was this pilot who showed up in the w-space first and this very same pilot who'd been there pretty much ever since. The possibility of him being out and about, and even better outside of the wormhole, was an opportunity that just couldn't be missed.

So quickly a cov-ops killer was thrown together along with a few other ships piloted by the various members in the wormhole space, to include a drone boat and the freighter being forced to rush back from a nearby station in k-space where he was offloading salvage and ore while loading needed supplies and gear for our w-space operation. For awhile, the pilot stayed in the k-system that contained the wormhole but after a bit, left system headed to other parts of space. From there on, it became a sort of race to see who would arrive first, the buzzard pilot in attempt to return back to the w-system or our freighter pilot.

Unfortunately, our freighter pilot was far from being ready and even once he was under way.....well....I'm sure most are aware how getting anywhere quickly, just doesn't happen in a freighter. So as expected, it was the buzzard pilot who returned first. Unfortunate for him...we we're ready. Cloaked just outside the wormhole, our scout gave the news the pilot had arrived just as he passed through the wormhole. On the other side, he found his worse nightmare.

Drones swarmed everywhere. A giant warp disruption bubble in place. And even worse, a ship yielding smart bombs. Obviously the pilot couldn't stay in one place for long as the smartbombing ship orbited the area. So far he'd remained unscathed, sitting here cloaked, but if he waited too long, the bombs might be in range.. So with little thought and like a scared rabbit, he bolted, throwing his afterburners in full gear and jamming the cloak command only to be alerted of drones within the safe 2000m distance. Like angry bees, the drones swarmed his ship and made very short work of it. And to solidify the matter, and perhaps slow any attempt at returning, we were quick to dispatch the pod as well, sending him on his merry way back to the clone vat.

*Note: At this point I'd like to make note that wormhole space seems to cause a few anomolies in the killboards. One, the KB is unable to recognize the wormhole system, thus the mail having to be changed to a known system, in this case we just chose Jita. Second, the buzzard was fitted with sisters probe launchers and a large amount of sister core probes which do not appear as it seems they are not registered in the killboards inventory and thus does not show up when viewed*

Finally the freighter arrived. It was surprisingly able to jump through the wormhole without collapsing it. Quickly the goods were offloaded, more ore and salvaged loaded up to be taken and sold and off it went. Just as expected, as it exited, the wormhole immediantly collapsed behind it. Now it was just a matter of seeing how many were still left in system...and more specifically, how many probers they had in system. And as the night played out, we've learned it might very likely be possible we have already successfully broken their operations.

About an hour had gone by when scanners picked up movement within the enemy POS. A pod was moving about though what he was up to it wasn't sure until suddenly, one of our members received a communication request. Seems the pilot was requesting assistance from one of our members to leave the w-space. Claimed he wanted no part in the affairs but was incapable of finding a way out himself. Several offers were made to him including him offlining their POS but all offers by our member were for the most part ignored. After some time had passed, it was decided that one of our pilots open a line with the stranded pilot and see if he could tempt him instead.

[ 2009.03.27 01:15:57 ] Lambda Minion > sorry
[ 2009.03.27 01:15:59 ] Promephius > hi again
[ 2009.03.27 01:16:00 ] Lambda Minion > desinc
[ 2009.03.27 01:16:14 ] Lambda Minion > desync to be right
[ 2009.03.27 01:16:37 ] Promephius > Well I have a offer......... I have a exit for you
[ 2009.03.27 01:16:55 ] Promephius > 25 million isk and Ill fleet you and get you out... if you dont mind going through low sec
[ 2009.03.27 01:17:47 ] Lambda Minion > I do not mind.
[ 2009.03.27 01:18:04 ] Promephius > you do not mind?
[ 2009.03.27 01:18:20 ] Lambda Minion > minute
[ 2009.03.27 01:18:44 ] Promephius > i feel sorry for you but it has to cost you
[ 2009.03.27 01:18:44 ] Lambda Minion > exit to tush murcone is gone?
[ 2009.03.27 01:19:07 ] Promephius > I have another exit .... I cannot tell you where
[ 2009.03.27 01:19:20 ] Lambda Minion > sure. I understand
[ 2009.03.27 01:19:34 ] Promephius > so do we have a deal?
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:04 ] Promephius > I do sympathise
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:13 ] Promephius > I think its a bit hard what my guys have done to you
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:25 ] Lambda Minion > no really
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:38 ] Lambda Minion > I understand this rush of... what?
[ 2009.03.27 01:20:48 ] Lambda Minion > money, feeling you won?
[ 2009.03.27 01:21:07 ] Promephius > if you want out of the worm hole I want isk to give you the location
[ 2009.03.27 01:21:26 ] Lambda Minion > I allready sent them
[ 2009.03.27 01:21:29 ] Lambda Minion > check
[ 2009.03.27 01:22:03 ] Promephius > one second
[ 2009.03.27 01:22:56 ] Promephius > safe to warp to me
[ 2009.03.27 01:23:07 ] Lambda Minion > 0km?
[ 2009.03.27 01:23:11 ] Promephius > yes
[ 2009.03.27 01:23:19 ] Lambda Minion > in warp

Little did this pilot realize until it was too late....but he had just voluntarily warped to our own POS. Needless to say, he didn't last long. Now, we are a so-called carebear corporation, so we couldn't be totally evil, so yes, we did provide him a way out. Via the clone vat express! Hey...Prom never said that the way out wasn't a wormhole...

Now some of you may be screaming "Foul! He paid the ransom! You give a bad name to piracy with what you did!" However, before you get your feathers ruffled too much, I want you consider a few points on this.

One, we are not pirates. We do not fly around killing anything that moves and attempting to make our isk over the loss of other's. The only time you should be concerned with our presence is if you are a neutral and we meet you in nullsec, we do live by the common NBSI rule. As for lowsec, we live by the NRDS rules of engagement unless of course engaged first.

Two, though no official war was declared, we were in essence at war with this group. Yes, they have tried to open diplomatic relations with us and attempt to get blue settings between us, but this was one particular occasion when the request was quickly denied. He knew this. I mean....come'on. We just killed one of his corp mates!

Three, if we had simply offered to show him the way out, would he have been so willing to be tricked into thinking we'd safely escort him out? By demanding payment, it was a method of getting him to believe our intentions, though harsh, were to help him leave. Yes, consideration has been made to give him back the money...but looking at his ship fittings and the stuff in his cargo hold, we're lead to believe he wasn't in any serious need of the isk. Plus the entire incident will be a good lesson for him for future endeavors.

Fourth and final point. We could not truly show him the way out. What if his intentions were of trickery as well? What if, after we showed him a pathway in and out, he relayed this to his corpmates and we would quickly find ourselves back to square one. Sure, we could have theoretically closed that one behind him as well, but that would require a lot of danger and time we were not willing to spare.

So is the war over? Have we completely cleared the area of their corporation? Only time will tell as we can not be sure yet that someone isn't still present, just offline. Hopefully in the next few days we'll know and we'll also continue keeping an eye on their POS. An entire POS going offline when the fuel runs out? Yummy!


26 March 2009


"Mik....what'cha doin?"

"Nothing really. Just pokin my nose around in the cov-ops, seein what hidden treats I can find," I replied to Promephius's message.

"You interested in going on a roam? Got a small fleet together looking to go get some action."

"Yeah. Sure. Where y'all headin?"

"Not sure yet. We're just forming up. Thinking of going and taking a peek in Sarline to see what UFO is up to and then possibly 0.0 or just a local security roam throughout Solitude."

"Sounds good. What ship type you need me to bring?"

"Bring the Buzzard. We could use a scout. In fact, why don't you head over now to Sarline and poke your nose in there, see if UFO is up and about."

"Not a problem, mate. Already en route," I smiled as my ship entered warp.

I haven't really had any real experience or time in the buzzard frigate when it comes to combat but with the up-coming war, I was more than willing to gain some experience before it became truly necessary. Unfortunately, on the roam, I learned one very noticeable lack in my skills. I've gotten pretty proficient at tracking down the various exploration sights with the new probing system but it seems I still require a LOT of skill training to effectively use recon probes.

As an example, I had narrowed down to a 15 degree radius with my directional scanner a ship sitting in a safe spot somewhere between one and two AU away from me. Given that information, I launched recon probes in that direction to try and get a lock on his location. However, even with him never seeming to move, I still couldn't even pick up his signature with my probes. Oye vay, definitely something I need to work on and fast.

On the other hand, I got a lot of time in yesterday practicing sneaking up on targets that I did find. (without the aid of the probes.) This is something I definitely wanted a bit of practice on before the war really got started as its been discussed me assisting in keeping watch on all known wormholes in the w-space region we intend to secure.

As most can imagine, securing a w-space system is a bit different than securing a piece of nullsec. With the constantly shifting entrances and exits, getting the proper ships in to neutralize the intruders and their POS is proving to be quite a task. It's being done, but it's a slow process. For obvious reasons, at this time I can not disclose to public knowledge how we intend to do this or what we're using to do it but again I refer back to my previously written statement, the invaders are in for a very harsh lesson...

The other aspect is that with the entrances also constantly shifting, it can be a chore to keep an eye on what's coming in and out of the system. It's not like your normal nullsec system where you might have one or a few known gates that you could easily camp. And given no subspace communications beacons telling you who and how many are in system, intel gathering is a tad more difficult. Instead your forced to completely rely on your directional scanners.

But either way, right now, it's almost like a race. They know we're there. They know about our POS just as we know about theirs. I'm sure they also understand the rarity of this particular system and they already know from a couple small skirmishes some of our guys already in system had with them, that we mean business. So now it's a matter of who can get their stuff properly secured before the other. As of right now, all we've seen is a few industrials, a couple falcons, a few battleships and some other small toys. Let's just say, for a system of this value, they'd better have something else up their sleeve or be willing to lose a lot.

It'll most likely be this weekend or so that I begin moving some of my own gear into the system. Come the following week, it'll be more preparations. However, for myself it will mostly be taking pleasure in harassing them. Camping any discovered entrances/exits. Attempting to cut off their supplies by destroying any industrial haulers. Making hit and run attacks on any of their ships attempting to mine the belts or gas clouds. POSSIBLY aiding the sleepers during any combat activities they attempt.

Basically, the system and its resources aren't going anywhere. So until the other corporation is obliterated or at least withdrawn, it's to be our number one priority.

For now though, it's just a matter of winning the race.

25 March 2009

There Will Be Blood

I've yet to read about it from any other place so who knows. Perhaps we'll be the first?

Basically what I'm talking about is declaring war on another corporation/alliance over a particular w-space we've set up shop in. Whether we have this war officially sanctioned by Concord or not is still up in the air but likely we won't as this is over W-space. Not K-space. Let them do what they want in K-space. And Concord has no jurisdiction here so why should we care about that aspect. All wormhole passages lead to seriously under managed systems so engaging them outside the W-space will likely not be too much of a problem either if it comes to that.

The reason for this war is simple. This particular w-space has shown lots of potential since its discovery as we've been able to mine nearly every type of asteroid known to the eve universe as well as some of the most elite and rarest of gas clouds. Sleepers there are very tough admittedly but the ship bonuses from the nearby spatial anomalies have been astronomical. This could be perhaps a very rare find and we intend to protect it. However, it seems a Russian corporation has found the w-space as well and has already started setting up shop with their own POS.

Needless to say, when your talking a wormhole that could easily rake in billions for the corporation, someone else setting up there just isn't acceptable. So war it is. And as of right now, from what we're seeing....the intruders are in for a very harsh lesson.


P.S. Before you say it, yes i do still feel bad for the Sleepers but at the same time....money talks. :)

24 March 2009

Solitude Isn't So Solitary Since Apocs Systems Start

Haha, I made a tongue twister! Say that 5 times fast! :)

Anyways, there is a point to my journal entry title. Ever since the appearance of wormholes, and the system wide changes to the probe and scanning computers on board all of Eve, traffic in solitude has really begun to pick up. I've been hearing news from other pilots across New Eden about how their areas, once busy have now started to grow quiet. They may wonder why when network wide systems report 40 to over 50 thousand pilots online quite regularly now.

Well I'll tell you why.

Ever since the appearance of wormholes, yes, pilots have been spending more and more time in them. I almost feel sorry for this sleeper race as it seems not just one or two factions have turned their eyes towards them, declaring war and mercilessly slaughtering them. Instead, it's nearly the entire population of Eve! Every race, every corporation nearly, from Solitude to Molden Heathe and the systems between and beyond, have been rushing head first into wormhole space. Some to mass murder the once nearly unknown Sleeper race, others to strip their systems of all it's ore, minerals, and gases. It's the human population at its prime. Like locusts, they swarm. Consuming every valuable resource in their path before moving on to fresh grounds and doing it all over again. Again, my heart goes out to these "Sleepers". Maybe someday someone will step up to defend them.

On that note, the appearance of wormholes forced the aura network to make some changes to the original scanning/probing system. And since then, the term explorer has begun to lose it's meaning. Now, nearly everyone is capable of becoming one in a very short period of time. For this reason, finding a radar site or a magnetrometric site that hasn't already been pillaged and looted is becoming more and more difficult. Especially in Empire. So where do all these people go once they realize how immense their competition is?

Perhaps you guessed it. Solitude.

Okay, perhaps not just Solitude but basically any pockets of generally untraveled space, like Solitude, has become awash with immigrants. When my corporation first moved to Solitude, there were systems where I could (and did) sit and mine for hours without ever seeing a single soul. I could travel through areas of space, often 5 or 6 jumps or more before seeing more than one other person on the local communications network.

Now....well now I might as well be living in Empire again. Low sec is still not quite as active as many of the Empire systems but I think that's only because the low sec denizens haven't caught on yet to whats happening just beyond their normal prowling grounds. I couldn't begin to describe the number of times now I've passed through the low sec systems with 3 or 4 mining barges or exhumers on scan, doing a mining operation in some hidden asteroid belt. Or ships running around in the belts with setups purely designed to take down the local "rats", not too worried about other capsuleer ships. The only real threat is the United For Order alliance which is really just a nuisance than a threat. At least to my corporation. Many other corporations I see in the area have little to no combat skills and run at the first sight of a UFO pilot in low sec local. But UFO has perhaps pushed a few too many buttons.....

So anyways, yes, I have appeared to have hopped on the exploration bandwagon myself. I've gone in wormhole space a number of times now, solo even, but mostly just to look around, take photos, that sort of thing. I've also been mining, salvaging, and very shortly hacking various other sites I'm able to scan down. Unfortunately, to say I was seriously considering turning explorer before news of the scanner changes started spreading would only fall on deaf ears now. Mining was just becoming so mind numbing and now that I'm in the Hulk with most high sec ore t2 crystals, all I need is transports and freighter skills and I'll be done as far as I'm concerned with my mining skills. After that I intended to turn explorer and start finding the hidden sites. You know, be the "prospector" that I was trained to be by the academy!

Oye...I think I'm done ranting now.


12 March 2009

I Found One! ...wha....Damnit!

So yesterday evening, things were rather slow around the home base. A lot of the corp mates were just finishing up with some corp ops and although I generally mine every Wednesday evening as a part of my own contribution to the corp, I just didn't have it in me. I'd spent so much time at the desk earlier that day, doing paperwork and other menial tasks that I just needed to do something entertaining. So in my pondering, I overheard a few people talking on the blogger channel about probing and so that got me thinking. Here I am with a few decent probing skills, a launcher, and a hefty load of probes.....and I have yet to even track me down one of these elusive wormholes that have been appearing as of late all over New Eden. I currently have the skill to fly a covert ops ship but still have a couple days before I'm able to actually fit the cloaking device. Because of that, I haven't actually purchased a covert ops frig so instead just headed out in a Probe frigate. Sides, I wasn't actually planning on going in....I just wanted to find one.

The new probing system I must say can be a bit confusing. In some ways its exciting and I love the fact that scanning is SOOO much faster as well as being able to recall my probes. I'm going to have to do some research into the skills though because currently, I'm not clear on what use it would be to train any skills further in terms of probing. I did have some difficulty tracking things down but it was more of just learning how to manipulate and comprehend the results from the scans. As well as figuring out the best method to narrow things down.

It seems that as long as you recall your probes, they can be used over and over again. They don't appear to be like the mining crystals where after some use, they eventually expire completely. With this in mind, I generally was sending out about 4 or 5 probes. And recalling them when needed. And yes, I did have to recall them a couple times as it took me more then the roughly hour long time period to scan things down.

Reality is I should have just gone and read up on what my fellow writers have written about the new probe system but was determined to figure it out on my own. Sometimes its just the best way I learn things. (Plus it keeps my hyperactive mind occupied)

So after a few rather unsuccessful attempts, I finally managed to figure out how narrow down the scan to give me the accuracy of 100%. Unfortunately, it landed me at a ladar sight being called a Glass Nebula. Really it was nothing more than an abandon research facility. Okay, possibly useful to others but not to me. So moving on.

Next item I scanned down ended up being some ruins of...well...something. Drones had ravaged the place and it was really nothing more than a pile of floating space debris. There was a lone rogue drone hanging about that attempted to attack me but I restrained myself from ending his seemingly lonesome misery, as something in my gut was just screaming bait. Besides, I really wasn't carrying any serious offensive systems anyways.

So moving on again. I'm now in my third system. I send out a single probe with full scan range set. Bam! Four unknown hits. Certainly one of these has to be a wormhole! With this in mind, I now launch three other probes and send them out in various directions, with mediocre scan ranges, but close enough to each other to overlap. I did this until eventually I narrowed down one of the signatures. Lost it a few times but would easily reacquire it and try again. I couldn't begin to describe how excited I was when it popped up on my scanner "Unstable Wormhole".

Quickly, I warped to it and immediately sent out word to my fellow corpmates. Seems I'm the first within the corp to have actually found one. Quickly a couple other guys hop in their ships and as soon as we're fleeted up and sitting near to the wormhole, we give the signal to enter.

I know...I know... I wasn't planning on actually going through it but I could almost see temptation in the depths of that wormhole, motioning with her finger to come to her. Sides, we were just too excited by the possibilities...as well as being the first in our corp to say we were in w-space. So...with an immense feeling of both excitement and nervousness, in we went!

*Wormhole cleared. Checking navigation systems......*

*Region: Aridia*
*Solar system: Pahineh*
*Security Level: 0.7*


Yep. That's right. We travelled through a wormhole from a high security system in Solitude to a small pocket of high security in the Aridia region. Basically right next door to Solitude! I honestly didn't even realize the wormholes would do that. But guess that proved that wrong. So with a slight damper to our excitement we jumped back through the wormhole and headed home. So it wasn't to w-space....but hell, I still found and had my first wormhole experience and I can definitely say, they look wicked as hell. (although my corp mate said it looked like the butt hole of the universe......hmm......)


11 March 2009

A Whole New World

So I got home yesterday and logged on Vent. A lot of my corp mates were on and told me they were already logged into Eve. Cheers to CCP for actually being on time! On the downside, it was then I learned how enormous the download was for the patch. However, taking me back to the upside, my computer downloaded it faster than I've ever seen it go, averaging about 1.5mb/s. Go speedracer! Go! :) I think the actually installation of that patch took longer than it did to download. But finally, perhaps no more than 30 minutes after getting home, I was logging in.

At this point, after having gotten my first impressions of this new update, I have to say wow! The whole aspect of flying Tech 3 ships doesn't really interest me at this point, and the travels into wormhole space will come soon enough (still got a few more days of training on covert ops) but all in all this was a real visual desert. The planets, the asteroids, the various ship module effects, the warp bubble, the stargate jumps....I could keep going on and on. In some ways I really did feel like I was playing an entirely new game. All of the visual upgrades being absolutely a huge step up from previous graphics.

The new fitting screen - absolutely gorgeous. The ability to save fittings is a huge plus for the game as well as the skill queue which I think everybody is in agreement on. Seems if you have the role within the corp, you can save the fittings as well to share with the corp which is great when preparing for fleet ops. It would often take us forever to get everyone setup so the fleets are well structured, having to read off and wait for the other person to fit it.

Also, they made some changes to the way the notifications appear on your screen. Changes I feel make it SO much easier to track. I'm specifically referring to the weapon damage taken and given out. It's much easier to read as well as once I get used to the colors, I won't have to watch it so closely to know roughly how much damage I inflicted.

Okay, so negatives.

First, I honestly wasn't that entirely impressed with the visual look of the warp tunnel. The squiggly lines to me look a bit cartoonish. It's not really bad, just think it could have been made to look just a little better.

Second, whatever happened to all the stuff I'd been hearing about being able to readjust your attributes every 6 months? Seems either I was hearing it wrong or they made a last minute change and its now set to where you can only change them every 12 months. To me that renders that tool almost completely worthless. I mean seriously, 12 months of game time really is an extensively long period. I don't see it as a complete fail, but fairly close to it. Yes, I still used it of course. When I'd joined Eve, I knew absolutely nothing about what the attributes meant, what good where they and which ones would be more important to me than the others. So my attribute points where spread out almost completely even between all the attributes. By the time I'd gotten it all figured out, I'd gotten far enough into the game with this character, I just didn't feel like starting over completely. With the skill points readjusted, this will open up a whole new world of possibilities. It made a drastic change on my evemon plan times! Now it might actually be more feasible for me to train up a few decent combat skills with this character whereas before, doing so meant incredible amounts of time that seriously take away from training industrial skills. Also, industrial skills have gotten significant improvements in training time as well. That Orca and freighter I've been wanting to trained for? By readjusting attributes, I've cut so much time off it was astounding.

That's all I have for now but I truly look forward to getting home from work again this evening and seeing what else I can discover. Might just take the probes out and see if I can track down myself one of these wormholes. (not that i have any intention of going in yet but still curious to see one plus see how well my character can probe with what skills I have.)


05 March 2009

Home Sweet Home?

In writing my last posting, I came up with a thought.

Figured I'd just throw out a topic for the journalistic pilots of New Eden. I think it'd be interesting to hear people tell about the region they live in and more specifically why they and/or their corp have chosen to live there. I realize some may not be able to go into much detail for security purposes on an open journal like this, but I'm sure telling of what region you live in won't hurt. We have pilots from all over Eve, and as I've learned even in my short time as a pod pilot, life can be quite different from one region to the next.

So fire away! :)

A Life of Solitude

So I apologize for not having wrote anything in what could be construed as a rather lengthy bit of time. Things within the corp have been quite busy and I've been spending a lot of evenings in the belts around Solitude, pulling in the ore to raise money for various goals in regards to wanted/needed ships and modules. To add in on top of that, the corp itself has been quite active in running a lot of mining ops, low sec (and even 0.0) ops, and mission ops. We're currently seeking out other corporations and alliances around the Solitude region to create a sort of larger network both for shared intel as well as to create a strong group that will both help and back each other in actually putting the region of Solitude on the map. The corp directors really have some brilliant ideas that are starting to see light of day and may well create a viable market in the region.

Up until now, the purchasing of many goods was as nearly as expensive as buying goods in nullsec. We hope to change that. No, things will not nor never will be as cheap as you would find them in Jita or perhaps even some of the other major trade hubs but that's just something that isn't logistically possible. Jita is for the most part surrounded by high sec empire space. You can travel to and from most places in empire without ever crossing into unsecured low sec or even worse nullsec. With the thousands upon thousands of pilots located and operating in empire, the supply of goods is always there. However, with so many being scared to traverse long distances through lowsec, places like Solitude will never become heavily populated until something can be done to make lowsec passage less intimidating. And we both know that of course will never happen. In addition to that, the academies are all in empire, constantly spitting out new pilots nearly every day. So basically, empire will never be the empty void that Solitude is.

Let me give you a brief description of Solitude.

Solitude is its own little set of high sec systems surrounded by a turbulent area of space. Within only a couple jumps, one could easily find themselves in Syndicate even, a very dangerous section of nullsec filled with gate camps from numerous alliances and corporations. Due to its sovereignty being held by none other than The Syndicate, it is not exactly a place of interest for the larger nullsec alliances like Goonswarm and the former BoB alliance (now known as Kenny or something like that I believe). So instead, its left to the smaller groups to set up shop and perhaps get some nullsec practice in or just reap the benefits of being able to kill anything that moves, without taking hits on their empire security status.

However, even if one is to avoid nullsec, getting to Solitude can still be a very dangerous journey. Although you won't have to worry about a gate camp involving warp bubbles like you would in nullsec, gate camps along the route are still a major problem. The journey to Solitude without traveling through nullsec takes you down a lengthy pipeline of about 15 to 20 jumps I believe with numerous choke points. Fortunately at this time the pirate population is relatively minimal but in lowsec, every individual whose path you cross is a potential pirate, even if they aren't tagged by Concord as such. So flying your standard freighter or hauler through is definitely dangerous, if not utterly suicidal.

Now yes, a lot of the combat pilots in my corp do go hunting in the lowsec areas surrounding Solitude. And yes, they often come back saying they didn't find a damn thing to kill... but at the same time, unless they're in a decent sized fleet, they still for the most part avoid certain systems in the route to empire. (unless of course they're feeling rather frisky....or really bored...)

Either way, my point is that logistically, if you're a corporation made up of "younger" pilots, or pilots with only a small amount of experience, then like nullsec, Solitude is not for you. If your like our corporation with a varied mix of younger and older pilots than it becomes possible as the older pilots can form the basis for the logistics of living in Solitude, supplying or helping the younger pilots get their gear and ships from empire to the high security space of Solitude safely. Though in truth its still slightly uncommon to find a fresh pilot out of the academy in Solitude.....definitely not in the mass numbers you'd see flying around the space lanes of Empire.

What all this is saying is that I like Solitude. I like the fact that I can sit in a high security system for hours and never see another pod pilot. Not even on the local system comms. I like the fact that here, we can actually make use of the standings system much like you would in lowsec or nullsec but it not actually being either of those. I like being able to easily glance at the people in system and know whether they are a friendly or known enemy, for as time goes on, the list of neutrals to in the region goes down....unless of course a new alliance or corp moves into the area. Basically for the corps objectives, its a great place to make home and stage our operations out of.