That’s a Big Spodumain

March 17, 2010

I’ve seen this a couple times before, as I’m guessing most miners in 0.0 systems have by now.  The industry upgrade on systems introduced with Dominion spawn “hidden” asteroid belts after level 1.  This particular belt boasts a spodumain roid the size of several titans.  I don’t have a good fix on the yield of the rock, but I know it took quite a few hulks to mine one out..and it took four hours or more.  Not a bad rock–spodumain does net some megacyte for your trouble.

Doesn't get much creepier than that.

 With any luck there will be Arkanor tomorrow, and the requisite bistot,  crokite, and on down the line.  Skyforger  continues to grub for minerals to build our new station and needs every rock we can find in our home systems.


Skyforger History

March 16, 2010

One of the great things about EVE is the dynamic nature of the player corporations, alliances, economy, and virtually all aspects of the game.  I have been in a nullsec corp for about a year now.  There are a large number of Latvian’s in the corporation who have taken me in and helped teach me to survive and thrive in 0.0 space.

We are recruiting–check the post on the EVE boards  for more info or join the REC_LVSKY channel in game.  There are also contacts listed in the EVE forum post.  If your particularly nerdy, I have posted the corporation history below.  It fell to me to rewrite it as we moved out of Sylph alliance in Catch, and I thought it should get aired out somewhere.

Skyforger [LVSKY]

An EVE-Online PVP/Industrial Corporation

Founded: 16 September 2006

Corporation History 

Skyforger began in September 2006 when Defft created the corporation to provide camaradrie for a small group of players in high-security space.  They corporation hovered around 8-15 members for the first year of its exsistence, with activity centering on mission running, mining, and some rudimentary item production.  Defft ran the corporation for the first few months, until Kita Hoshi took over.  In April, 2007 a new member came into the corporation, named Eperor.  After three months in the corporation, he originated a plan which would help launch Skyforger to success.  Simply, the corporation would be handled by directors, each of which was responsible for their various divisions.  The goal was to begin serious and dedicated industry production, build logistical resources, and to expand the membership of the corporation.

The adoption of Eperor’s new structure, coupled with a desire to increase both corporation resources and membership, led to a new and successful period in corporation history.  However, this did not come without some struggle.  Because of the changes in corporation structure, and the need for members to contribute to corporation activities through taxes on missions and dedicated mining, some members left, leaving only 8 active members.  The corporation was able to build their first research POS in Caldari space during this time, and Eperor began actively recruiting, raising the membership to 24 after a few short months.  The corporation began to build its first freighter to help alleviate and expediate the movement of member and corporation resources.

In November, 2007, despite the early successes of the new rank structure, Kita Hoshi decided to leave the corporation and Eperor became the new CEO.  Within a month of this change the corporation grew from 24 to 50 members.  The first freighter was completed at this time and the corporation decided it wanted to move to 0.0 space.  Kita’s last act as CEO was to find 0.0 space for the corporation, and under Eperor’s new leadership the corporation moved to the Vale of Silence region of space, becoming part of the Impure Alliance, which rented space from Pure Alliance.

The move to 0.0 space occured in early November, 2007.  The 0.0 experience became difficult for Skyforger very quickly.  Standings amongst the alliance corporations was confused at best, resulting in Skyforger being targeted by not only red pilots, but neutrals and blues as well.  Despite valiant attempts by Skyforger to fight back, the sheer numbers facing the corporation made resistance costly.  From November 12, 2007 until February of 2008 the corporation stayed with Impure Alliance, but the NBSI rules the corporation was living under were unworkable and the corporation began looking for a NRDS alliance in 0.0.

Kra Ra, a member of Aegis Militia was actively recruiting corporations at that time for a NRDS alliance and Skyforger joined Aegis on 12 February 2008, relocating to the Providence region.  Within a month of joing Aegis Milita, the Alliance began a war with the terrorist alliance Ushra’khan.  With the successful conclusion of the war the corporation began working towards building its own station, with the expressed goal of locating the future station in a NRDS area of 0.0 space.  However, internal political problems within the Aegis Militia Alliance began to drive away some of that alliance’s key members, and these disgruntled former members began to cause sovereignty issues for the Alliance.  Skyforger had grown to 120 members and was becoming quite strong.  The corporation volunteered to help solidify and bulwark the Alliance by taking control of 6 large systems.  The corporation began to build POSs with the resources obtained over the previous months with this intention.  Through hard work and the dediction of Skyforger’s members, peace was maintained for a time.  The corporation honed its PVP skills and pursued its industrial goals as well.  Internal alliance politics became an issue once again as many new corporations came into Aegis Alliance and vied for control over the direction of Aegis.  Skyforger left the alliance because of the increasing hostility and factional fighting within alliance.  Skyforger set out to find a new alliance in 0.0 with a NRDS policy, a strong and organized leadership, plentiful PVP opportunities, and conditions where industry could continue to be devoloped.

After actively searching for a new alliance, Skyforger was offered positions within the Paxton Federation, the Sylph Alliance, and Libertatus Fidelatus Alliance.  The corporation chose Sylph, moving to their space in early April 2009.  After two months, Skyforger constructed a station “egg” and was negotiating with Sylph for an acceptable location for its installation.  The system A-VILQ was chosen by mutual decision and negotiations between Eperor, Drakmor (Sylph CEO), and Mazzdreg (Sylph Co-CEO) in June, 2009.  The station was installed in the early morning hours.  Both Skyforger and the alliance were pleased with the installation of this new station, and the future looked promising for both entities. 

The Skyforger PVP pilots were representing themselves well in the fleet and individual actions against roaming red pilots, and were scoring increasingly impressive victories during this time.  The red activity of Ushra’khan and AAA increased dramatically after the station was installed, giving the corporation and alliance more opportunities for ship to ship combat.  Unfortunately, in the middle of this successful period of corporation and Sylph history, Drakmor announced he would be stepping down as CEO of the alliance and leaving.  The turmoil after his departure cost the corporation members, dropping the member count to 48.  The alliance itself took serious hits as corporations left and members dropped from the remaining corporations.  Ushra’khan tried to take advantage of the chaos, and declared war, as did a number of other entities in New Eden.  In the months following Drakmor’s departure the corporation continued to fight as Ushra’khan attacked POSs and other targets.

The corporation members and leadership became increasingly distraught about the conditions of the Sylph alliance.  However, because of corporation members reservations concerning the direction of the Alliance, the membership of Skyforger met in November, 2009 and decided to leave Sylph.  After one month in Empire, the corporation found a new alliance and coalition, moving far to the north of Catch and Providence.

Current Corporation Status

On December 8, 2009 Skyforger joined Total Narcotics Team [TNT] in the Deklein region of 0.0 space.  The corporation moved its assets through Lonetrek and began installing itself into the new region.  This move brought the corporation into the Northern Alliance, along with Tau Ceti Federation, Mostly Harmless, Morhus Mihi, and various other groups.  Due to this greatly expanded player base in the new space. Skyforger members were involved in large scale sovereignty battles throughout the Pure Blind region for much of January and February 2010.  Further, the corporation began work on a new station to be installed in [TNT] space with all due speed and began anew its T3 and capital ship production.

Corporation Goals

13 February 2010 

The membership of Skyforger Corporation have met and agreed upon the following goals to ensure the future success of the corporation:

Overall Corporation Goals

  • Continue to support and fight with the member corporations of the [TNT] alliance.
  • Reach 100 active members and maintain that level of membership.

Industry Goals

  • Continue and expand both T2 and T3 production
  • Create T1 and T2 fleet reserve ships for supporting PVP fleets
  • Develop capital and super-capital ship production
  • Construct a new station in 0.0 space
  • Further devolop and expand our mining/production assets

PVP Goals

  • Develop Elite-Class PVP fleet
  • Train and develop our fleet commanders and pilots under the tutelage of CVA personnel.
  • Develop capital ship fleet commanders
  • Use capital ships in fleet engagements
  • Expand and develop the use of specialized PVP ships (logistics, EWAR, etc.)
  • Continue to develop a stable and lethal PVP division within the corporation

 Current corporation and directors:

CEO:  Eperor

Co-CEO:  Disease U

Director at Large–Meclin

Tech 3 Director: Cometeer

Corp. Information Manger/Webmaster:  Hen Jin

Fleet Commander:  FlamingOgre

Making it in the Big Time

March 15, 2010

I have had my first big time link and I’m stoked.  Everquest 2 mentioning my old articles is nothing compared to this.  My How to Trotline article was mentioned over at The Survival Podcast.  I have been waiting for armaggeddon for quite some time myself. and have hence been learning to fly internet spaceships and practicing feral druidism.  I have not got up the balls to listen to the podcast yet, but I’m sure I will.  I guess if the end times are up0n us I can break out my fresh water long line and live high on the catfish.

Return of the EQ2 Armor Quest

November 3, 2008

With a surfeit of pent up sword and sorcery angst, I have waded into EQ2 with an eye towards progression, master chests, and AA advancement, in that order.  In a little over a week, I’m sitting at level 28 on my three toons, and have started my old master chest farming circuit–Stormhold, Varsoon, Runneye, and on to Cazic Thule and other T5 dungeons.  I chose a bit different setup than my old Crushbone trio this time–a sarnak guardian tank, a sarnak defiler for heals, and a ratonga dirge for the dps/utility spot.

I think I completed all the Timorous Deep quests along the standard progression track and moved back to Norrath before the weekend.  My weekend goal was to finish the class-specific armor quests for the three toons.  This was the first time I had worked on the Freeport version of the armor quests, and the first serious attempt I had made to complete them at all since the launch of the game in ’04.  Once you have an armorer and access to steel, the quest rewards just don’t compare.

There has been somewhat of a revamp to the quest line.  For my dirge and guardian, they worked the Custom Fitted Armor quest starting in the bowyer shop of East Freeport.  The defiler quest originates in the inn of North Freeport, Vassi’s Orders.  Reading what posts are still in tact under each step, I think these quests must have originally required a lot of grinding in Fallen Gate.  However, now all the quests were coordinated.  It is a huge improvement.  Despite different quest names and instructions, each toon needed basically the same mobs for all six steps.  It was a huge time saver.  I went from the Commonlands, into Edgewater Drains, and to Nek Forest for the last two steps.  No Fallen Gate or Stormhold, although I don’t know if or how the Qeynos versions of the quests pan out now.  In the course of working the quest I went from 23 to 27 and earned several AA points, bringing me to my Dungeons of Norrath circuit.  I only wish they had a weapon and helmet step to the quest line.

Ready for Stormhold!

Ready for Stormhold!

The armor looks great, which to me has always been a strongpoint of EQ2.  Unfortunately, I can’t play my three toons at the above resolution, but it sure is impressive in a screenshot.  Now I need to work the named mobs and the tradeskill instances.  Tier 4 will be here soon, and the equipment will be obsolete.

A Bundled Little Ball of Contradiction

October 31, 2008

Does the destination matter to me anymore?  Is the journey to a level cap, or endgame the important part of a game or does my enjoyment start when I am maxed out on levels?  I think I have finally answered that question for myself.  I don’t know how, after 15 years of online gaming,  I didn’t know the answer, but self-reflection isn’t my strong point.  Some relevant cases:

  • On Toril, upon getting my ranger to the cap of 50, I switched to the warrior I was playing (Rarik) and capped him.  Then there was an elementalist (Nerral), who hit 50, whereupon I began moving the bard, Meclin, towards 50, hitting 46 when EQ2 launched and I left.
  • Which brings me to EQ2.  On Crushbone, playing off and on between other titles, I capped 3 or 4 toons, and all of the tradeskills but 2.  Those toons are over 60.  I don’t think I really played any of the capped toons once they got there, except to raid sporadically.
  • WoW–same as above, various servers between PVP and PVE.
  • EVE–doesn’t fit because there is no end I can find.  There are some deadend systems though.

After I wrote about the end of WAR for me, I wanted to figure out why I didn’t “fit” into the game.  I was excited about the Casualties of War guild.  I like PVP.  I have played PvP extensively in other games, from FPS to MMO.  So what was missing?  I think it must have to do with my desire to progress.  I want tangible progression towards some greater stature, but I also need variety.  It was taking me an inordinate amount of time, or an inordinate amount of PVE quests, to see any semblence of advancement.  It was suggested elsewhere that we could have ran PQs to 40 if we wanted a group experience–in my opinion this is only a group version of the PVE side of WAR experience.  The rewards of the progression bar and chance at marginal loot, coupled with the same slow experience grind just did not rise to the level I need in a game.  The favored path of advancement seems to be scenarios.   If I enjoyed the scenario grind I think I would still be in WoW, which I’m not.

There is a contradiction here, however.  I will park my Hulk and Retriever in a belt and mine for hours.  I spent eight hours the other day laying in kernite.  Why can I grind out the most mundane task and take some enjoyment from it?  In EQ2, one of my favorite activities is harvesting.  I typically have about 30 minutes before I go to work where I watch the news.  Call it a professional obligation, but I need to know what the issues of the day are before I go to work.  Since I’ve been back in EQ2 I have picked up an old habit.  I am getting up  a bit earlier, firing the TV up on the second monitor, and harvesting with my guardian on Guk–and enjoying the hell out of it. 

I have come to the conclusion that the scenarios in WAR and the PQs just didn’t payoff for me in a way that I found meaningful.  The loot in PQs was marginally better, if at all, than the quest equipment I received.  The random roll, when I scored in the top 5 invariably colored me a loser as well.  A couple experiences like that and I was done with PQs.  The massive lag in scenarios and chunky operation altogether made it seem unfair as well–the flag carrier was halfway across scenario before they appeared many times.  And of course, I have LotrO, EQ2, EVE, and a number of other games to compare performance with–and it’s not me or my machine.

So in a sequel to my last post, I think I have figured out finally what drove me from not just WAR, but a number of other games as well.  I had a few things going for me in WAR–a set group, a set guild, and a decent gaming rig.  The game itself defeated my will to play–it just doesn’t satisfy what I’m looking for in a game, for the reasons listed above.  Succinctly, I felt like I was on the WoW honor/arena grind except I was going to have to do it for 40 levels.  That grind is why I left WoW, so WAR is in good company.

As others have pointed out, I have the gaming attention of a fruitfly, but going back to EQ2 with a fresh set of toons has been a great experience, though I have only been at it for a week.  The guild is there–I actually found out one of them only lives a few miles from me–and they have helped me with bags/boxes without being asked.  That is a good sign, and I hope portends well for the future.  I have hit the sweet spot for farming named mobs, normally the bane of my AA point climb.  Fabled loot and master chests are just as addictive as rare harvestables.

So this is my last WAR post, I wish the players and Mythic the best.  I don’t intend this as an endorsement or condemnation of the game, but instead a bit of self-exploration.

Happy Halloween!

Back in EQ2 or Why I am Bored With WAR

October 27, 2008

So with some anticipation and excitement, I slipped into WAR a few weeks back.  I participated in the open beta with the CoWs, and was up and running on launch day.  In fact, I powered through to rank 16 with my black orc, staying ahead of most of the curve.  That is where things got a bit wierd.

First, on the Destruction server there were huge waits for scenarios–scenarios being the preferred leveling tool, and 16 levels of mostly PVE quests–led me to try the Order server for playability.  And off I went.  I leveled through to 16 again, but the second time through, even with the new quests and much more frequent scenarios, it was already becoming a grind.  In fact, so much so that I only log in to play with the Wilhelm/Potshot instance group anymore, and the last two weeks I have left a bit early.  I really like playing with a steady group, but the inability to progress except by “grinding” whether it be scenarios or pve quests, has led me to find excitment elsewhere.

EVE has been going well during this time–I’m mining away and skilling up for the big move to 0.0  My corp is there and I’m just trying to tuck away a few million isk and some supplies before I load up the jump freighter and head to nulsec.  And while there is plenty to do in EVE, there aren’t any swords.

Enter the old standby and perhaps the most diverse play experience out there, Everquest 2.  I started toying with the idea of finding Darren, who I don’t know very well and playing on a new server.  Of course, this being the cult of celebrity if you hear someone’s voice on a podcast they must know who you are, right? 

Start over I did.  Reactivating three EQ2 accounts and quickly rolling up a sarnak guard, defiler, and a ratonga dirge, I was off and running on a new server.  I am tempted to load up an unused, high level crafter from Crushbone and move him over–bags, boxes, plat, and everything else is missing.  But that would defeat the experiment.  I am trying to experience the game fresh, and that means leveling myself–currently to fourteen!  I think i will go provisioner and armorer for sure–laying down a steady coin flow this far into the game’s life may be difficult.  I am curious if i can make money outside the eng game tiers.

It’s been said, but bears repeating–the sarnak starting area of Timourous (sp?) Deep is well done–I’m enjoying swinging my sword once again, though it will probably be at the expense of my WAR account.

Drake Escape

October 20, 2008

While I still have a Warhammer account (thanks for asking) I have not found much to write about concerning the game which hasn’t already been said.  In fact, aside from the Wilhelm/Potshot instance group, I have not been able to play much during the week.   Mining in EVE, with the new Hulk/Retriever setup is sufficiently mindless and allows me to be a dad, do work for school, etc.

Mindless mission running is what I was engaged in last night, as I worked through a 10 part storyline mission for the Amarr Navy.  Every other one is a courier mission, and I break out the Drake for those out of impatience–they Rokh turns slow, warps slow, and is generally just a big DPS machine, not a decent mode of transport.  The decision to run with the Drake saved a full set of implants last night.

I headed to the first gate, intent on finishing up this last courier mission before turning in for the night–I had been mining and running missions most of the evening and was a bit fatigued.  My lethargy led to a moments hesitation, when warping into the first gate I was greeted with a highlighted-yellow pilot icon, sporting a large red star.  I don’t think it even registered what that meant as he began to flash red.  I am still not brave enough to use autopilot so I was within jump distance.  Hitting the gate I quickly set up to warp to my next waypoint.

Revisiting the gate--notice the addition of a cloak.

Revisiting the gate--notice the addition of a cloak.

Too late–he was on me, and I was scrambled.  My velocity began to bottom out and his drones were already on the way.  Denied another gate, I turned towards the one I just came through–12 klicks away.  In the meantime I opened up with seven heavy launchers and five Hobgoblin IIs.  This was almost a fatal mistake.  My booster kept the shield relatively in tact for 10 km, as I spammed the jump button, only noticing on the fifth or sixth click a message:  “Due to your recent acts of aggression, you are not allowed to jump” or something to that effect.

I pulled in the drones, shut down the missiles, more in an attempt to save cap and the hope to warp out at some point.  There was a barely discernable sliver of red damage on his shield–not even an annoyance for him.  I was still being scrambled periodically, and apparently webbed as well, judging from the wild swings in velocity.  The cap failed, and in perhaps half a second my shield was gone and my armor dropped in half.  And the gate worked.  I was through, and headed back into the station I had just left.  Either he didn’t realize what I was doing headed back towards the gate, or he thought I would die before I got through.  The enemy ship was a good 12 km from the gate when I left, giving me time to escape with my implants still in my head.

The rest of the night I spent looking over my shoulder, fitting a cloak on my ships, and generally worrying that when I get to 0.0 I’m going to be killed a lot.  Potshot reminded me it was my idea to join a corp that operated in 0.0–I guess this is my just reward.  A bit of Shakespeare popped into my head when I limped into my home station.  Battered and damaged, I had survived a pretty lopsided encounter.

What though the mast be now blown overboard,
The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
And half our sailors swallow’d in the flood?
Yet lives our pilot still.

Henry VI, Scene IV Act V