Monday, December 29, 2008

Mending pastimes

EVE has provided a nice diversion from pain and immobility after my surgery.  Since the ancient computer here is too slow to run EVE properly, I have been limited to playing around with trading within a station.  I am experimenting with buying and selling orders, and have trained some basic Trade skills.  So far, I haven't found any ultra-profitable trades, but it has been fun to start learning about the complex EVE economy by jumping into it!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Surprise!

My plan while hanging out at the family ranch in Texas over the holidays was to relax, spend time with family, and catch up on blogging about old ideas while exploring some new ideas in a quiet reflective space.  Away from my gaming computer, I would not be able to actually do any gaming, but it is always nice to read other's blogs and write about my own thoughts.

My body had another plan.   On Christmas night, I found myself in the emergency room experiencing the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced.  After days in the hospital following emergency surgery, I am glad to be alive, glad to be with family, and excited about my gaming possibilities in 2009!  While I can't move much yet, I am at least out of the hospital and on the mend.

As an aside, I managed to get EVE running on my parent's ancient video-cardless Dell.  Being logged in at a station is choppy and laggy, and you can't leave the station without triggering a crash.  However, it is possible to log in and change skills and place buy and sell orders.  This has been a nice development that has provided some welcome distraction to a painful and challenging vacation! 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Survey says!

Thanks to a bit of advice from Letrange, I am currently training up Survey and have bought the Salvaging skill which I will train next.  This investment (Salvaging isn't cheap!) should help me finance further progress in gaining ISK.  

I am also going to train for a Catalyst, which I can be in very quickly, and which should be better for a dedicated salvaging ship.  Since I already enjoy ratting and missions, this may help increase my returns while I am still only running L1's (and soon L2's).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Having a blast!

LOTRO Mines of Moria has been great fun so far. The mine interiors are really well done! Turbine knows how to create beautiful atmospheres, and the LOTRO lore provides plenty of fodder for virtual world creation.

I am amazed at how well it has worked to play both LOTRO and EVE. Even though I am spending more time in EVE, I have also really enjoyed the different ambiance in LOTRO. When I need a warm, lush interlude, I can hang out in middle earth. When I feel industrial and hardcore, I fly around in spaceships in bleak but beautiful New Eden.

It is very amazing to think about the variety and quality of virtual worlds available to us through pixelated screens. The best part of MMO's is the ability to play concurrently with friends and real people in a living, evolving world. Even solo players interact through the markets and chance encounters. For me, playing static non-massive games just doesn't hold the same kick. I like cooperating towards a goal with other people in a massive world. Whether running quest lines on rails or finding a path in an open sandbox, the enjoyment of virtual living is a great bonus to living in the 21st century!

I can only imagine where things will go in the MMO sphere. I am sure we will see alternate interface methods tried in the next decade, as there are
MMM, electrons! already several "brain wave" controllers hitting the market. The eventual target will be some sort of fully immersive virtual experience. Whether it is from Kurzweil's brain colonizing nano-bots, Matrix style brain jack interfaces, or some other fantastical technology of virtuality, we are in for an amazing ride!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Budding mogul, or the pains of EVE newbishness

Diving into EVE is very challenging due to the way CCP designed the skill progression.  While I am slogging away at my learning skills, I have also learned enough about the game to now have a sense of what I NEED to be able to play more efficiently.

I have realized the possibilities of trading on the markets as a way to maximize profits.  Of course, now I need to train new skills so I can have more than 5 open trades at once.  I also need new skills so I can pilot my frigates more effectively.

I am holding my edge on a slippery slope.  If I give in and keep cheating on skills at the expense of learning skills, I will be less effective in the long run.  It would, however, be much more instantly gratifying to work on more of these support skills.  My immediate compromise has been to train some of the needed skills to 1 or 2, while returning to the Learning skills for the bulk of my current development.

LOTRO MoM was supposed to save me from this issue, as I was planning to be playing it as my main game while I trained up the basics in EVE.  While MoM is very awesome, I have been finding EVE irresistible lately.  I think this is mainly because I have always played LOTRO with Sedona, who is currently binging on DDO and not available to hang out with me in Middle Earth.  

As the strength of MMO's lies in the social aspect for me, without my favorite gaming buddy even an excellent game may be less captivating. It is amazing how much the "regular crowd" impacts the fun level of an MMO.  Since I have less expectation of playing EVE with Sedona, it has been a good place to spend time on my own.  Hopefully, I will establish corp membership in the next few weeks as well and start making some new online friends!  I hear that corp life opens up new dimensions in EVE's gameplay.


I am a true NEWB, and have taken this license to experiment with awful fits. In this spirit, I present the Iteronator which I have dubbed "GetRichSlowly!!!"

This is an Itty I with a mining turret, a civilian shield, a named survey scanner, and a power diagnostics unit. I also had an extra damage control module that I added, but it cannot run and keep the Iteronator cap stable with my current skills.

This terrible construction is highly inefficient but highly effective in my current use. I noticed with a Navitas that I was constantly having to run back to the station to empty the hold, and I didn't want to go to the trouble to jet-can and pick up with an Itty, or use a GSC.

My current system involves identifying a big asteroid, orbiting, and munching on the minerals. I leave the civilian shield running, which is able to tank 2 Serpentis rats at once. I can see my computer screen from the living room while hanging out with my wife, and so I just leave the Iteronator "GetRichSlowly!!!" chomping on an asteroid while I do other things. I do have to keep an eye out for times when more than 2 rats decide to ruin my profits!

I am sure that I could soon upgrade to a better mining method, but this is helping turn downtime into profits with minimal attention! (My inspiration for this method came from hearing about Chribba's Veldnaught.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


So I bought a Navitas and equipped some named mining turrets I looted off Serpentis rats along with 2 cargo expander I's. While I would not pin myself as a dedicated mining type, I have found that mining can be nice while bouncing a baby and chatting in-game. It also brings in a bit of ISK, which is never a bad thing!

My Eve time currently is revolving between ratting/mining and running Lvl 1 missions while I train up Learning skills. The other big news is that I am in the process of applying to my first corp!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blogger Tagfest

Thanks to 2 of my favorite EVE bloggers, Dee Carson from Miner with Fangs and Sarah Barah from Super Gamer Housewife for tagging me in the EVE blogger tagfest 2008!

Here are the rules:
- Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
- Share 7 facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
- Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
- Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

Here are the facts:

1. I have branded over 1000 cattle in my lifetime.

2. I love brains, psychopharmacology, cognitive neuroscience, and psychotherapy.

3. My favorite sport is cruising through 3 feet of dry powder on my snowboard.

4. I am constantly learning guitar and fiddling with synthesizers.

5. I practice mindfulness.

6. I have jumped out of an airplane.

7. Nothing compares to my love for my 8 month old gremlin and his super mama!

Tag, You're it!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Still Alive

Between Holiday busy times and getting a new job, I have not budgeted much time for writing.  It doesn't help that I am sucked into both LOTRO MOM and EVE at the present time!  Things settle down for me considerably next week, so I should be back into the posting game soon.  (Sedone is also not posting, largely because in addition to EVE and LOTRO, he has gotten re-addicted to the new and improved DDO!)  Good times!