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

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Three’s a Crowd

September 12, 2007

I have been rethinking the need for actual players in my MMO experience.  Yes, I am working on negating the “Massive” part of the MMO equation.  Instead of moping about and joining a new guild to help my recent virtual depression, I have focused on inventing new ‘toons to fill the void.  Two-boxing has become second nature, with my right hand often warding and healing with little thought to the left hand’s taunts and shield bashing.  What next?  A mezzer/damage toon.

I started playing a third toon, using my gaming rig to tank/chant with, and the laptop on my right hand side to ward/heal/buff.  The setup is best when I use my second 21″ flatscreen display for the illusionist, playing the tank on my main display, and the mystic on the laptop as usual.  Switching back and forth with the taskbar is also manageable, and allows me to still entertain the kids with movies and TV on the second screen.  While not optimal, the configuration is playable if one pays attention.  I should state that I do not use any software to run the three toons, except for ThorUI and the stock EQ2 macro system.  The only macros I use directly connected to the three toons is a /target gaff, /follow gaff button.  It makes autofollowing and retargeting for heals/wards, and attacks much easier.  I have been told there is software available that allows you to control multiple computers from one mouse/keyboard, but I find the hotkeys work well enough if you map them effectively.  I put the single target wards, group wards, heals, bolster, etc. in order down the numbers and just reach over and tap keys to keep the tank in the green.

Advantages of the three account experience:

  • For most content with green/blue heroic encounters I do not need anyone else in my party.  This may be due to the raid gear both my tank and mystic are wearing, or the nature of encounters in the game.
  • Experience grinding is no longer an issue.  I can go out and wade through blue/green/white heroic encounters with relative ease, providing I am paying attention.  This includes named mobs.
  • Mezzing–now that I have the damage (berserker) and the healing covered (mystic), I can add a mezzer to do a little crowd control.  This was tricky at first, since I was learning a new class while trying to play two other toons.
  • Family fun–once I set up the third account, I was able to send my son up to the old Viao I formerly  gamed on and talk to him via Skype.  Not only did he have a great time playing in another room, but he got to use the headset like Dad, and he has no “geek” value attached to that experience.  In fact, he has watched me raid enough that he will call out “Incoming in five!” when I assign him to pull a particular mob.  I plan to continue molding my homegrown farmer in the coming months–results will be posted.
  • Another account gives me the fulfillment I’m always looking for–the need to level!  I also have brought my guardian, Meclin, out of retirement to tank and to max out the leveling ladder.

Drawbacks:

  • Money is an issue–well not really, but justifying $45 a month for EQ2 to the wife has been a bit tricky.  I had to cancel WoW (yet again) and EVE Online (not so bad). I used the “look how much money we are saving by not playing these other games, dear” argument.  You may want to try this, but results will vary.
  • Manuevering three toons:  the autofollow feature not withstanding, it is a pain sometimes to get all the toons to where you want to be, especially with zoning.  Autofollow does not pick up after you zone, and it is easy to forget to refollow.
  • Pathing in tight spots–I wrote about this some time ago.  Pathing is never fail safe, and you have to constantly check your toons to see that they have followed.  I am dreading KoS.
  • Equipment and in game funds–with three (or more) toons running the same time, you have to keep them equipped.  My cash flow was going well until some knucklehead decided to do the old one silver undercut game.  I have dropped the price down almost a full gold on my xegonberry byproducts just to spite him.
  • Mezzing causes aggro.  If I am not careful, I forget that I mezzed something and the enchanter is quickly in trouble.  A group ward, which I tend to spam, helps but it is no replacement for a single person playing a single mezzer.  I am still learning in this area.
  • To really give due attention to the new toon, I have to put the second EQ2 client on my second display, stopping me from watching TV.  This is a real drawback when your not used to it.

So far I have only tackled fairly easy content.  I hope with some levels and some practice to begin farming bigger instances for some AA and loot.  I have also started a second three toon team, consisting of a warlock, inquisitor, and bruiser.  They are on standby for the moment building vitality while the illusionist gets the call.


Flow

May 2, 2007

Before I make my point, a brief timeline is necessary.  I started playing in the role playing/fantasy gaming genre modestly– Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in the early 1980s–I dabbled with Middle Earth Role Playing when it came out, bought several of the Battlemech roleplaying books, and read a lot of the sci/fi and fantasy genre.  When I first got hooked into the internet, around 1991, it was through an IBMVM machine that was roughly the size of my living room.  With that connection, and a telnet client, I found the world of MUDs MOOs and MUSHs, my first experience with online MMOs.  I played that game online, almost exclusively, until switching to Neverwinter Nights, Everquest (briefly), Everquest II, and World of Warcraft.

I have made many friends, a few enemies, and had a good time playing each of the above titles–the term “flow” comes to mind, which has become popular in recent times amongst pyschologists.  In short, it is the part of your life where you feel most fulfilled.  Where you feel active, alert, using as many of your physical and/or mental facilities as possible to accomplish a goal you deem important.

Which brings up one of my two points:  the first grew from a post on Dwarven Runes concerning relationships between people in an online enviornment, entitled “More Than Just a Game?” If playing an MMO, whatever title you perfer, fills the above defintion of “flow,” then isn’t that justification enough for playing?  Is there a reason, providing your enjoyment of gaming is not detrimental to yourself or your family, you should feel pressure to not admit your pasttime to others?  Is it fear of being labeled?

Secondly, and more to specific to me, why do I not enjoy PvP (player versus player) servers?  I think the best experiences I ever had with PvP were in World of Warcraft.  The battlegrounds were fun, at least for a time, despite the inherient imbalance between the two factions–please don’t argue this point–with a random sampling of some 8 million, the horde tends to dominate certain BGs, the Alliance others.  I think across the board this points to game mechanics, and not the more oft heard argument, “Hordz r l33t.”

Recently, Wilhelm asked if I would like to try a PvP EQII server, as the hosts of the EQ2-Daily.com folks do.  I responded with a negative, and then tried to figure out why I didn’t like the idea.  Another friend, who used to work with me and still breezes through my current building, left the WoW raiding guild and server where we both played to begin anew on a PvP server.  I had tried the same thing, and leveled as far as 30 on a Tauren Druid, then decided being griefed and ganked by level 60s all day wasn’t for me.  It reeked of something called “pkill.”  The term may not of originated on Toril MUD, but it is the first place I remember seeing it. 

Pkilling is literally “player killing” and was illegal on Toril, as on a number of other MUDs, while some servers were dedicated to the practice.  I am unsure if being indoctrinated for so many years with the idea that pkilling was wrong or if just being harrassed by higher levels quenched my desire to play against other players.  It has no draw for me, and probably never will.

Or, I am just not experiencing “flow” when engaged in PvP.  It isn’t the best use of my time or resources, at least in my own mind.


Art for Art’s Sake

April 21, 2007

The small things in games are what get your attention.  The ability to construct a world that seems seemless is what we don’t look for, but notice if it is lacking.  Realism is not a given, nor necessarily a needed attribute in a game for it to succeed, to cite World of Warcraft’s highly stylized graphics.

Which leads me to my favorite piece of art in all of Everquest II.  It has a plaque, but I have not been able to get a title from the game, so I invented my own.  “Triumph of the Valkerie.”  The use of a fountain to reflect the moment, so to speak, and the artist’s capture of motion is wonderful.  Now I know you may be reading this thinking, “What the hell?  It’s a statue in a video game.”  But does that detract from the artistic and aesthetic appeal of the work?  Did the programmer/graphic artist not give the image some emotion and humanist characteristics?  My answer is yes, and because of the great sense movement, a snapshot of a moment, I absolutely love it.  I also didn’t want to shrink it to post here, so you will have to click to see it.


Trash Pickup is on Wednesdays

April 20, 2007

Trash?  Are you kidding me?  I am so upset with this younger generation of gamers.  They come to EQII and leave there crap all over the place, even in our national game reserves, like Antonica.  Apparently the Mage Tower types are participating in the “Adopt a Highway” program throughout the region, and are sending some diversion canidates there to clean up the road.  I happen to be one of the lucky few who was forced to clean up your mess.

After my day of service on the road was finished, I was forced to donate to the Bayles’ favorite charity in Nettleville, confirming my belief their rule of compassion is a sham.  Fresh from this official “shakedown,” I went back to the Mage tower for my final task–apparently an Inquisitor of some stature, named Te’Lex, was living the good life inside Qeynos and it was time to show him the door.  I didn’t see the door, because when I clicked the “accept” button I was immediately zoned in to confront the menace.  His worst offences were related to hair and denistry, in my opinion.  Perhaps he had spoken out about the two sets of accounting books the Bayles’ keep.

After slaying the actual Te’Lex, his incrementally more powerful undead spirits sprouted to do battle.  They fell like so many dark elf dominoes and I was soon back to Vishra the Qeynosian citizenship czar.  I had completed my journey and was now rewarded!

The Vishra sent me on to the berserker trainer over in North Qeynos.  Here I had a decision, which in fact was a no brainer;  I could remain a berserker or switch to a guardian.  As I have a high level guardian and rolled the ‘zerker for that very reason, it wasn’t much of a choice.

Actually, as the above image shows, SOE did a great job of warning you when you were doing something that you could not undo, in the course of the Betrayal quest.  In Freeport I had to type in my character name when I took the final step to exile and was told to empty my bank and house.  I appreciated the effort they put into this part of the quest chain. 

After visiting the berserker trainer and confirming my choice, all my skills, AA selections, racial abilities, master II choices, and everything else was reset.  Skills to apprentice one, though I did get to reselect my master II skills.  This has taken some time to update.  I did not have many higher level skills (over adept I) so there wasn’t too much of a loss.  I’m level 60 so a number of my endgame skills are still to come.

 

A big thank you to Stargrace, who writes the blog MmoQuests.com.  Her advice about the faction quests (sabotage portion) of the quest line saved me some very scarce time this week.  I think I could do the entire betrayal again in under three hours.  I also used the EQ2i.com guide for the quest.  It is easy to follow and quite accurate.  I am now ready to begin selling out of Qeynos on two accounts, doing eight of the same writs at a time, and generally saving a huge amount of time running two toons around two cities, which is why I started this quest in the first place, although I felt like I was selling out already.  Oh, and I still have four writs for Freeport in my book, and my Zek familiar!

Next quest–to catch up with Blintz and finish the Nek Forest heritage lines.


Betrayal

April 17, 2007

Last night I had a math moment.  After getting home from work, eating dinner, helping my kids with homework, and other assorted jobs around the house, I realized I had about an hour to play, and I needed to load up on writs to help pull my alt guild up to level 30.  Once my two toons hit level 60, the tier 7 writs opened and I set to work.  The problem is time–I have to run one toon around Qeynos, and one around Freeport to get the requisite writs.  Between getting the kids a snack, updating web stuff, and putting my two toons where they need to be, time evaporated quickly.

I have dealt with running the two toons around different cities for 60 levels, so why not betray earlier?  I just never crunched the numbers.  I think I can sell with two accounts out of the same inn room in Qeynos–a savings in rent.  When I was moving down the steps in South Freeport, there was my ogre of freedom, promising me a new life.  I decided to take him up on it, and went off to plant listening devices. I will be able to run the two toons to tradeskill instances, the mender, brokers, etc. together.  Writs will be the same.  The only down side is the time it takes to betray.  I do not have a good fix on this part of the equation.

I hope the process will be complete this weekend, if I use Saturday to work on the betray stuff.  Last night I gave up working on it during the second step because it had to be night time–night time was too far away and bed time too close.  I am using EQ2i to walk-through the process.  If there is a better guide out there, post a link please.

I probably won’t stop hating the Bayles, but I am curious what will happen to my Claymore process.  I completed the Coin Operator quest, and have not picked up the next step.  I also am a worshipper of Rallos Zek the Unmerciful, and wonder if he will hate me for leaving Freeport; well, hate me more than he does most people.  I have not found the answers to these questions, though a guildie advised me to clean out my house and shared bank slots.


Double 60s–Level Breakdown

April 16, 2007

Yesterday I took both my toons to Silent City to farm named mobs and to grind the last 20% experience to level 60.  I was successful on both accounts, though only a few of the named mobs spawned.  The fights were easy enough with my two toons, and it was rather nostalgic to return to the zone I farmed during the heyday of DoF.

The zone was dead, pun intended, as I made the requisite laps around the “track,” slaying reapers along the way.  The zone has one of the best atmospheres in the game, in my opinion, though Unrest certainly has raised the expectations for immersive content.  The multiple levels and connecting drains in Silent City are a must-see.

I ran a comparison of AAs and stat’s when my mystic and berserker were close to the level 50.  That was on March 22–making it 10 levels in 24 days.  I think that makes me relatively medium-core, for those of you keeping track of such things.  Here is the breakdown, as it stands today.

Gaff—Level 60 Ratonga Berserker
Level 52 Carpenter
67 AA points
Items: 42
Named NPCs killed: 110
Quests Completed: 137
Exploration Events: 346
Collections 39

Time Played: 19 days 11 hours

Lurk—Level 60 Froglok Mystic
Level 70 Provisioner
60 AA points
Items: 21
Named NPCs killed: 107
Quests Completed: 117
Exploration Events: 269
Collections: 19

Time Played: 26 days, 1 hour

Some general conclusions, based on the numbers from the two toons at level 50—first, I have no clue where my “time played” numbers went from the level event. I remember writing them down when I leveled at 50, and thought I put them in the article—mea culpa. As I recall Gaff was at 12 days played, and some change, and Lurk was around 21 days.   Roughly 7 full days played for 10 levels seems like decent progress, considering much of that time was spent traveling, harvesting, questing, and in other activities which do not net experience.  I also avoided straight grinding, for the most part (yesterday excluded).  Much of the XP was gained in Lesser Faydark, which has a great scope of quests for the tier 6 character.

In regards to AA experience, Lurk still seems to be suffering from the inability to gain AA on collections and quests. Gaff was created post-EoF/KoS, and has had the full opportunity to apply all these categories towards his AA points. Lurk had already done many of the “standard” collection quests when those expansions launched, i.e. shards, bones, etc.

It seems like the two toons have finally reached virtual parity in levels. Considering that Lurk was level 38 when Gaff was created, it is a wonder it happened. I used Lurk in “mentor” mode almost exclusively until the two toons reached the upper 40s. Lurk is currently about 10 percent ahead of Gaff.  I think, though I did not crunch it, that the collections later in Gaff’s history helped close the gap as well.

The amount of real time elapsed for ten levels is encouraging. I play in the evenings, and a considerable amount on the weekends normally, but have had several weeks during this span I was unable to do much during the week. I also started an inquisitor/warlock duo, and played those toons some as well.

Can I reach level 70 in less than a month? I doubt it. I also plan on going back to do some HQs and other content I passed by once both Gaff and Lurk are 65—then I will be able to attend some raids, and the pressure to level won’t be so pronounced.