Monday, November 30, 2009

Damn Pod. (Chainer Inspired Fiction Contest #1)

  • Artist: David Bowie
  • Song: Space Oddity

Damn Pod.

These things get pretty gross when you are floating for days at a time, despite the best nano-bot grooming scripts. I could blame the wormhole. I could blame the deadly Loki-Proteus combination. I could blame my chicken shit corp-mate for doing the sensible thing and getting out of dodge when the Proteus opened fire with some hardcore blasters while we were scouting new anomalies. Being caught in a daydream before the warning klaxons signaled the rapid demise of my shields certainly didn't help.

Most of all, I blame the implants. They are the harbingers of my mediocrity, the sirens of my insufficient self worth. I may not have been graced with amazing smarts or reaction times, but technology now offers a seductive chance at augmentation. A push towards self-realization. One may now rise above the mean and attain great advantages that can give a useful edge in this immortal life.

Of course, the edge does not come without a price. Getting ahead on a personal level requires parting with some serious cold, hard ISK. Finding the goods without paying Jita sucker prices is also an adventure. Dealing with the Serpentis is always potentially unpleasant as they are nothing if not opportunistic thieves. The booster trade likely helps lead to such a grim perspective. My Syndicate agent was able to negotiate a marginally decent price when I decided to go down the cybernetic road of Snake augmentation to complement my already maximally boosted brain.

That ISK and trouble has led me to be stranded in this forsaken wormhole for two mind-numbing weeks. Once the Loki gave up trying to scan down my pod pinging back and forth between safes, I have been alone in this dark place. With thoughts and pod goo as my only companions. Yes, I could self destruct and get back to Empire in a fresh clone. Sadly, due to some recent smuggling mishaps I cannot afford to replace my implants at this juncture. I am stuck.

I formulate a plan. I will bribe the next wormhole visitor I can find on my directional for a link out of this nasty Sleeper infested space. I will not mention the great value of hardware in my body. I will act stupid. "Gosh, I just got podded by a Sleeper drone earlier today! Can you help me out of here. I have some ISK saved up. I'll pay you 20 million now and 20 in K-space. Wow, those Sleepers are mean!" Hopefully my sanity will remain intact long enough to retain some of the intuition and guile that have served me well all these years of piloting to find a suitable mark and weasel my way out of here in one piece.


I just know someone will come through soon. Just one more day. Surely I can last one more day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oracle of EVE (EON contest)

Late in 2010, after the changes in Dominion and Dominion 1.5 have led to the collapse of the biggest old 0.0 power blocs, Mynxee of the Hellcats decides that a true warrior queen requires a Kingdom. The Hellcats conquer a constellation in 0.0 with help from a unified pirate alliance. The pirates enlist subjugated carebears to farm and develop the pirate controlled constellation. To force carebears into submission, project Hulkageddon is intensified and it becomes safer and more profitable to rent protected space from the pirate occupiers than to risk suicide attacks in Empire. From their protected 0.0 base, the pirates wreak havoc in neighboring low-sec systems. 0.0 neighbors, intimidated by the pirate boldness and constant small gang attacks, strike non-aggression pacts with the pirates which allows them to consolidate their power. The pirates' increased wealth and projected power leads to low-sec domination. Moving goods into 0.0 becomes much more difficult unless one has paid for favorable standings with the pirates. The graft and bribery provide a strong positive feedback loop, encouraging the Hellcats to expand their alliance and lock down more and more space.

The organized crime approach to government works surprisingly well. Pirates enjoy a passive income from the renters which keeps them in ships and modules for pew and yarr. Renters enjoy upgraded Industrial space with coherent protection and access to the increased 0.0 rewards implemented in Dominion 1.5. This innovative model begins to catch on, and the last old-school empty space holding Alliances begin to be out-competed by synergistic Industrial/Muscle arrangements. Things are not totally settled, however. There are grumblings amongst carebears about tax rates and oppression. These new 0.0 denizens are becoming tougher and more skilled with each month. It is only a matter of time before some of these Industrialists join forces in rebellion and attempt to form capitalistic Industrial kingdoms, providing their own muscle from the legions of hardening carebears who have flocked to null-sec's seductive draw. Small regional conflict is often influenced by mercenary forces made up of the expert PVP players from the collapsed empty space moon-goo alliances. These players now make huge profits as elite capital ship warfare specialists for hire. As always, the traders smile as war and destruction inevitably bring increased profits and opportunities for the intelligent to exploit!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CSM Voting

I dissed on Twitter for launching the site ages ago, and then not being available to actually use.  This was a bit of fail on the admin, as you can't count on people returning to your site if it doesn't work at launch.
The Massively feature on the CSM triggered me to check out the match site today.  I was actually blown away by how useful the info was.  It prompted me to change my two votes to people who will better represent my views.  I was surprised to see that my previous choices had voted on "deal-breaker" topics in ways that I would not support.  If you haven't already voted, check out EVE Vote Match and find out who will have your back in the upcoming CSM!
I hope this tool becomes standard for future elections.  Hopefully the CSM members can help with adding pertinent questions for issues that develop prior to the next election.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I am grinding out missions to get lvl 4 Research agents. Until today, this process has been brainless. I could practically AFK every Lvl 2 mission I ran, and the first 5 Level 3s were likewise simple.

Today The Blockade kicked my butt. Twice.

I managed to lose not one, but TWO Myrmidons on this mission. Yes, I am probably a moron. I was certainly hubristic about mission running! I know the general consensus is that missions are mind numbing and boring. I agree with that idea mostly, but today I got pwned. Twice.

I am still not sure what caused all the waves to spawn at once, but I can vouch that it really sucks when that happens! I really hope my current round of invention is highly profitable as I need to recharge the ISK!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pirate Bases

1. It is annoying that some pirate factions are located in null sec, where only the holding alliance can easily interact with their agents. 
2.  Low Sec needs love.
I have an idea for secret pirate stations in 0.1 systems.  The idea is that the Pirate factions have managed to create thriving outposts on the borders of Empire space, taking advantage of space that is not heavily contested by capsuleer alliances, nor heavily patrolled by Concord or the Empires.
These stations would not show up on the overview.  You would have to scan them down, or be given the location by someone in the know.  The location could either remain fixed, or periodically relocate to a new secret location requiring probes to scan down.  In station there would be a (black) market that would only be available locally.  These stations would be welcoming to pirates on a criminal timer, and might even shoot those without appropriate pirate faction standing. 
In station, you have the usual repair facilities, clone facilities, faction store, etc.  Some of the factions might even have research labs.  Each station would have several pirate agents.  I am thinking about a density of about one pirate station per low-sec region, as the ability to dock while on a criminal timer could be unbalancing if too available.
These stations could become very interesting with Incarna.  (I could see the Hellcats Pub in one, for example!)  They would also be attractive market hubs for contraband, which will hopefully be expanded with the "Corruption" changes that have been hinted to come.
Any thoughts on the idea? 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Sleepers have gone back to bed

I am enjoying a breather from W-space as I work on accessing Lvl 4 research agents for my Industrial plans.  The thing that most strikes me is how easy it is to live in high sec.  No need to spam the directional, I can drone boat my missions with impunity, and I can use autopilot when working on logistics.  The lack of need for constant scanning is also nice, hopefully the corp UI will be updated with shared corp bookmarks soon!  I wouldn't want to stay here indefinitely, but a breather in High Sec can be refreshing!
My training continues toward flying a Drake, as the Myrmidon is too much trouble for Sleepers.  After losing too many drones even with close management, I am selling out for a passive shield tanked missile boat.  It is unfortunate that CCP gimped Gallente boats so severely towards Sleepers, but that is why we pod pilots can always benefit from cross training as the winds of Nerf change our course.  I am splitting the Drake plan with Science skills related to my invention schemes.
Given my preference for non-high sec living, I am hoping that Dominion seriously opens opportunities for Industrialists with teeth to move in and exploit the new system development environment in 0.0.  For the time being, I can function well with the small industrial base we have set up in W Space.  If we need more than 2 Large POS, we can always grab another moon in the system!  I think the upcoming treaty system will be very helpful for increasing 0.0 occupation.  Until then, I am guardedly optimistic that the Dominion changes will be helpful. 
With POS no longer tied to sovereignty, access to POS for corps moving into 0.0 may increase.  If the holding Alliance can benefit from increased population in a system, why not invite in Industrial corps and set them blue to the main Alliance?  Even if this happens, there are still problems with exploiting POS for industry.  Part of the challenge is the permissions limitations that POS currently have.  We need MUCH more control over POS settings...  For example, a corp should be able to give a player control over 1 POS, without risking blueprints in all the other active POS by having to give out general permissions.  There should also be more control over anchoring and accessing storage.  The POS "owner" should also be able to "lock" all anchorings and settings with a password, to decrease the ease of corp theft that limits utilization of POS in large corps...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween fun!

In a brief non-gaming digression, here are the Halloween pics for this year!

Wild Things!

Trick or Treating!
My super talented wife made the rocking costumes! Even though she won't play video games with me, I think I'll keep her around.