Building

It seems everyone has a different way of fitting out a ship, for whatever purpose it may be for.
EFT and various other very commendable tools are extremely popular and for many, doing it any other way is doing it wrong.
Well, if that’s the case, I do it wrong.
I always have on hand all the standard modules I might need, from damage controls to guns and ammo of all types and sizes.
Then I sit there, sometimes for hours, happily fiddling away; quite content in my wrongness and inferiority.
Eventually, I’ll un-dock and go and hammer some rats with it and see what it’s like.
It’s clumsy, time-consuming and wasteful, but it’s just the way I like to do it.
Recently, I had cause to fit out a new ratting ship. This was caused by me needing to reconsider my situation re my ships on hand.
I had a good ratting setup in our home area, the same venerable old Machariel I’ve had for a couple of years now.
Then someone was flicking the market in Jita a few days ago and happened to mention the current price for a Mach.
“Sorry mate”, says I, “could you repeat that?”
No, I hadn’t misheard him.
I hastily logged in my trade alt in Jita to see for myself.
Wow, just … wow!
I then priced up the shield booster, … gulp!
Then the shield boost amp … holy ****!!
Not to mention the hardeners, gyro’s, rigs and … well, I decided to move it back to high sec and store it until the insanity calms down a bit.
A quick favour from a corp mate with a jump freighter and it’s now parked up for the time being.
Some corpies argued that it is a waste not to use it, but I like to avoid needless silly loss-mails and while I have always happily accepted the inherent risk of undocking that much bling, it makes more sense to use something a little less pricey for now.
Funny thing is, the fit I rat with always used to be considered a balanced fit that was practical without being silly.
That is no longer the case, I think it’s sad that prices are so high that newer players will simply not have access to the really good modules and ships for basic income earning.
Still, the question now remained; what was I going to rat in?
I recently sold a Sleipnir which I had enjoyed playing with and remembered it had quite decent DPS output and very impressive resists.
I checked the ships bonuses and my skills:
Command ships was at level 5.
All gun skills that had any impact on AC’s was at level 5.
Shield tanking skills pretty much 5’s across the board.
I found one on contract in Jita that was fitted with two T2 CCC rigs at a very good price.
I fitted it up with all T2 gear and flew it to the low sec staging system where, as luck would have it, a corp carrier was being prepped to jump to our home system.
Less than half an hour later I was sitting in the Sleipnir in my favourite ratting system – fiddling.
I started with a safe fit, as I always do, cap stable with both 10mn AB and medium shield booster running. Two racial hardeners (Serpentis, so 1 kinetic 1 thermal)
DC and damage mods in the lows.
About 850 DPS from guns and drones, if memory serves me correctly.
Nothing to write home about, but a good start.
One Forsaken hub down, no real problems but some areas for improvement identified.
It seems I use this ship in the same way Tengu’s are used; signature tank which works fine as long as you keep moving.
With one big difference, range.
About a 20km range before good DPS kicks in and about 10km to hit hard.
Rats all spawn at the same point in Forsaken hubs, so it’s simply a matter of orbiting around the one spot.
So, a bit of practice and I see the money start coming in.
I always play this self-imposed mini game when fitting up a ratting ship; I can only spend money on the ship as it earns it.
A few days down the track now, DPS is now at 1,022.6.
The shield booster is gone as better hardeners made it redundant. One of the rigs is now a damage one and there is both a web and a target painter in the mids.
I am terrible at self-control when it comes to spending money, consequently all the mods are deadspace or faction.
Having said that, while the fit is expensive, it is still a fraction of the value of the Machariel.
Also, with command ship resists, a web, target painter and a range of faction and T2 ammo in the hold I think any neut without a cyno who manages to get hold of me may get a nasty surprise.
Not that any neut has ever managed to get hold of me while ratting in over two years, but you never know.

It’s all in the mind, you know

Future

It’s always the way, isn’t it?

Some innovator comes up with a new idea; let’s say a persistent computer generated universe where every action you make matters, a sandbox game to the fullest degree.

That idea becomes a monster, which takes its creators down roads that even they never envisioned; getting bigger, better, stronger and ever more popular.

Eve Online has its limitations, though. Many have mourned the lack of a true flight sim experience; while full computer control outside of decision-making is the most likely way that space travel will evolve, it just aint as much FUN.

There are carriers and even super-carriers in the New Eden space lanes, but you can’t fly your frigate off them. You can’t wander about inside them, or man the guns, or be one of the thousands of crew members; you can only imagine it.

You can’t design a space ship and then sell your designs for in-game currency to those who like it; ship design is for devs.

The ship mechanics and flight physics require us to imagine the plethora of thrusters that would be required to make a spaceship in a vacuum behave as though it were underwater.

The Eve universe is currently the only one out there, the idea is still unique to its owners – for now.

CCP has had this idea to itself for ten years, but the day was always coming when someone else would come along and want to stretch it further.

That day is here.

Most will already know all about this, it’s not something that’s being done in a corner.

I just wanted to ensure as many as possible are aware that the day is fast approaching when the joysticks and secondary controllers will need to be dusted off.

I can’t wait, it looks epic …

It’s all in the mind, you know.

Instruction

So it seems the Vikings are finally getting the idea.

I have to say that Retribution certainly seems to address a vast amount of things that badly needed rectification work. I shall refrain from listing off all the changes or going into any deep analysis of the why’s, wherefore’s or WTF’s.

Instead, I would like to commend CCP for a very encouraging finish to 2012.

Why? Because they are starting to understand the difference between a game being complex and deep as opposed to a game being difficult to learn and play.

Rather than simplifying the game itself, removing things that have kept Eve Online unique and different from the plethora of other MMO’s out there; they are simplifying the LEARNING and ACCESSIBILITY processes instead.

So many little tweaks have been made in this latest expansion that it’s going to take some time to even discover them all.

However, they all seem to have one thing in common, they make things easier to understand.

I have written many times about my concern for the immense attrition rate Eve Online has among new players and I am not alone in that. The blogging community has continued to highlight the desperate need for an easier transition into the Eve universe for newer players.

It would seem CCP are getting the message.

Simple graphical touches to module icons which, once learned, highlight which damage type the module is effective against. No more trying to comprehend the convoluted names of each individual module and its variations before being able to tank your ship.

The safeties on weapon and combat modules which help the player to understand the mechanics behind the aggression and combat mechanics.

The game mechanics have not been interfered with overly much, Eve is still a mind bending and complex universe. There is still plenty of depth in the game play, the sand-box is still full of sand and there are still plenty of opportunities present for ebil piwates to do a little Darwinistic weeding.

Anyone who would argue that isn’t the case should consider this little incident we had yesterday:

A corp-mate was in a 0.7 highsec system, having a bit of a wander about to see what was up. Imagine his delighted surprise upon warping to the ice belt to see eighteen, yes, you heard me, eighteen Mackinaws sitting at zero on the warp in point. Sitting right next to them was an Obelisk freighter, taking full advantage of the new feature which now allows freighters to pick up cargo containers in space.

Yes folks, these guys sat at that belt, with my corp-mate watching, while they brimmed the Obelisk with ice blocks.

I ask you, is it not true that as soon as CCP introduces a feature, someone comes up with a way to do something incredibly stupid with it.

Sooner or later that group of ice miners is going to find out the hard way that not all suicide ganking is done for a profit. Disco is about to make a comeback, I think.

However, the accessibility of Eve for new players just got an immense buff.

Job well done CCP.

Congratulations and thank you.

It’s all in the mind, you know.