Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Who you gonna vote for?

I wasn't going to vote in this year's CSM elections, as I didn't care enough about having a representative. I'm quite happy with the game, and satisfied that any changes in the game will work themselves out.

"The world will be what it wants to be."
- Tao

I had the same view about the game - it will be what it wants to be. And what it wants to be will be a result of player-driven hysteria (along with some valid game-testing and suggestions) and the vision of the game developers. Who am I to think that a lone voice crying out in the wilderness can influence that juggernaut called evolution?

But a lone voice can, by calling out to other lone voices in the wilderness, and together they can perform miracles.

Or they can use the CSM Vote Matching Tool.

I did, out of interest in how it would work, and I was pleasantly surprised. It helps you match your interests in the game with a CSM who is in alignment with what you want. And it links to where you can place a vote for the candidate of your choice.

So I did it, and I found there were two candidates who most closely matched my needs - 67%. The candidates were Mrs Trzzbk and Song Li. I was a little disappointed that no one got any closer than 67% of what I thought was appropriate for the game, but so be it...

Now, I'd never heard of Mrs Trzzbk, but I have heard of Song Li. And he's a fellow blogger. So guess who I voted for? That's right, Song Li.

I hope he wins!

And you can have a say too. Go to the site, answer the poll to provide your thoughts on the game and its future, and see who matches your own beliefs. Check out their websites, see what they're saying, and make an informed vote.

You're a lone voice in the wilderness, but together with other voices, you can make a difference.

Do it today. You don't have much time left!

PS. Who thinks I should run for next year's CSM? It's a thought I've had lately....

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Share Eve blogs on Reddit

Just to make it a bit easier for you, I've added a button to the bottom of every post. If you think it's worth sharing, please click on the button and it will allow you to submit the post to Eve Bloggers on Reddit.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

5 Tips to Make Your Blog More Successful

If you write a blog, you're probably doing it for a number of reasons. You're doing it because you want to share your adventures with others, you want to learn how to write better, you want to be noticed, you want to share what you learn, you want to help others to play the game better, you want to be a part of the community, or you want to help build or promote the community. And I'm sure there's many more reasons you're blogging that I haven't mentioned.

Being a blogger, you're putting yourself out there, and you're likely to guage your success or even failure by how many people visit your blog, how many people leave comments, and how many people try to promote your blog.

If you get more people visiting your blog and leaving comments, it makes you feel good. It encourages you to write more and to participate more. What some people have a challenge with is truly understanding how to get more of all of the above, or how to make their blog successful.

Now, I know that some bloggers truly don't care about 'success'. They're blogging for themselves, and they really don't care about getting more visitors to their blog. If that's you, maybe you won't care about this post. But if you want to make your blog to get more visitors and comments than what it currently is, then you might find something useful in the following tips.

1. Post regularly

If you try to keep up a schedule of posting either every day, every few days, or every week, people will see you're active. They'll be more interested in engaging with your blog if it's active. If you haven't posted in a few months, they're going to wonder why they should bother leaving a comment or even promoting your blog. If you're not posting, they're going to assume you're not around and they'll leave. So post regularly and keep them coming back for more.

2. Have conversations

When people leave a comment on your blog, they're connecting with you. If you ignore them and don't reply, they're going to wonder why they bothered. If you reply to their comments, you make their effort worthwhile, and you encourage them to do more of it. People like to connect with others and have conversations. They like to be heard. Listen to your readers, and communicate with them.

3. Be yourself

Write as if you're talking. It makes it easier for people to read as it becomes a 'conversational style', but it also makes it easier to write. You can imagine talking about a topic in your head… write that down, word for word. You should find it easier to just write what you think.

Of course, if you're writing 'in character', then you need to put yourself into the mind of your character, and do the same thing. Write as if they're the ones thinking, rather than you. Translate it to text, and voila! You have a blog post.

4. Communicate with others

One of the best ways of getting visitors to your site and spreading the word about your blog is to visit other people's blogs of a similar nature and leave comments in their posts. As you communicate your thoughts with them about what they've written, they - and their readers - will click on the link to your blog (make sure you leave a link to your blog in the website field available when you post a comment) to see what else you have to say. This engages a community by bringing together like-minded blogs and bloggers as they leave comments on each other's blogs, increasing their exposure.

5. Help them, entertain them, or anger them

If you just drone on about nothing interesting, people might get pretty bored. No one wants to be bored, so you're likely to see very few visitors or communication on your blog. Even though you're doing the blog for yourself, if you're interested in 'being successful' you have to make sure you give the readers what they want to read. Present your content in such a way that it either helps them, entertains them, or angers them. Any of those 3 methodologies will get more people coming to your blog and leaving comments.

If you follow all the above tips, you're going to see an increase in visitors to your blog. You're going to have people commenting on your blog. And you're going to find your blog will be just that bit more successful than it used to be.

Where am I?

I'm deep behind enemy lines, screwing with the locals' heads.

That's all for now on this topic.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eve Player Profiles - Kirith Darkblade

Please tell us about the person behind the character, we'd really love to know a bit more about you - What do you do outside of Eve?

In the meantime, here's Kirith Darkblade!

Your character name:
Kirirth Darkblade, blog: http://kirithdarkblade.blogspot.com/

Your real name:
Sean (would be grateful to keep surname private)

The country you're living in:
UK, Cornwall

How old are you:

What kind of work do you do:
I'm an Accountant. I work in a Leisure Centre that is run as a Charitable Trust. Being a Charitable Trust we solely rely on the income coming through the door and from our members, unlike local authority run centres we do not receive any funding or subsidy. This makes times challenging especially in times of recession like we are currently in. Were it not for a small and strong management team and capable staff with them the centre would have closed long ago. Whilst I am an accountant I find that I am drawn into many different areas of the business where you would not imagine that skillset is appropriate, but it keeps my life varied and interesting.

What other hobbies or interests do you have:
I have several hobbies & interests outside of EvE, though I do tend to get very absorbed into MMO's (though my wife is very tolerant of this). Here's a selection of my other time-sinks:
  • Radio Control Cars
  • Kite flying
  • Driving (See attached Pic)
  • Cooking
  • Films
Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:

Monday, November 16, 2009

My first time as fleet commander

Ok, I've been involved in a few alliance fleet operations now, and I've come to appreciate some parts of them, and dislike other parts. Everyone who commands a fleet deserves the utmost respect, in my opinion, but we all know that some are better than others, and that's fine.

But instead of whinging about what others do that I don't like, I decided to just do it myself. Then, when it goes wrong, not only do I have no one to blame but myself, but I can learn very, very quickly about what not to do...

So on the weekend I organised a fleet operation, with me commanding.

Now, I've led small fleet operations before, but it was always in low-sec. It seemed a little safer there... Out here in null-sec, it feels quite different.

I didn't want the op to be too extreme, nor did I want it to be too official, so I asked a real-life friend and a friend of hers if they wanted to be in my fleet to help me learn. It just so happened they're both in Ushra'Khan, so that made it all the better. And then a corp mate (Autumnn) logged in and wanted to be involved too, so there were 4 of us.

I advised everyone that this was my first fleet op, so they should all expect to die, and to bring only ships that they were ok with losing. My friend (Zyeth) bought a Rifter, while her friend (Nukelear Storm) bought a Vagabond. Autumnn ended up choosing a Rupture, and I was scout in my Rapier (this was because no one else had a cloaked ship or interceptor...).

And so we set off on our roam. My objective was simply to fly along a circular route through a large loop of systems in the northern are of Catch, and see if we could find any targets to kill. While everyone knew we might (and probably would) die, I wanted to do my best to keep everyone alive.

So I was somewhat cautious. I wasn't using the Rifter as a scout as Zyeth was new to all this pvp/scouting business, and I believe this was her first real operational experience. I couldn't use the Rupture or the Vagabond as scouts either, so it was up to me in the cloaked Rapier. I also decided, for the same reasons, that I couldn't use any of them as rear scouts either, but now I think Autumnn in the Rupture might have been a suitable choice for that.

So we roamed and rambled our way around Catch. I managed to keep us safe from about 3 or 4 different red fleets, comprising over 10 ships each. Keeping an eye on the intel channels and scouting worked well, with my little fleet being able to keep one system ahead of the larger fleets before they broke off on a different path, or successfully hiding out in safe spots.

We did this for about an hour, but we were unable to find a solo target to pin down and attack. We had a go at a Destroyer once, but it was able to evade us and slip away.

Eventually it was time to return home and call it quits. Nukelear wanted to continue on into Providence by himself, so we parted ways. Just as he left the system, the gate the rest of us had just entered (and were sitting around) began firing and local began spiking with a number of reds. I know now that a rear scout would have been helpful here....

"Get away from the gate - now!" I said over comms, and immediately began the warp process to the next gate. However, an interdictor appeared on the overview and a bubble went up, and the warp drive disengaged before it could complete activation. Already having my cloak activated was helpful, and I turned the Rapier around to head back to the gate to jump through it. I did this because a number of other ships began appearing, releasing drones. I figured it would be safer to get back to the gate than to slowboat through the bubble.

I heard Zyeth over the comms, "Oh wow, a bubble... I think I'm dead." I tried to tell her to quickly make her way back to the gate, but then she said, "Ummm... everything's frozen on me..." Lag. I didn't bother telling her anything, as it wasn't going to matter.

As I jumped through the gate I heard her say, "Great, I'm in a new clone..."

I was in the next system, and I quickly checked local to see that Autumnn had made it through as well. I told him to get away from the gate and make some safe spots in this system.

While cloaked, I warped to a planet and made a safe spot to hide at, as local started spiking again with the reds coming back through the gate. A few seconds later I heard Autumnn on the comms say something like, "They got me." I asked him what happened, and he said that he warped to a planet but there was a red already there within range, and he was scrambled. Then another 5 or so reds arrived, and it was all over for Autumnn's rupture. So Autumnn took the fast ride back to a new clone too...

With a sigh, I sat there in my cloaked Rapier. I knew we had all expected to die anyway, but it was still disappointing that some of us did.

Over the next hour I made my way slowly back home, successfully dodging a number of other red fleets before finally docking. I spent that time thinking about my first fleet commander experience, trying to work out how I could have improved it, and getting some feedback from Zyeth and Nukelear.

With what I learned from the experience, and tips I've gotten from feedback and other sources out there on the internet, my next op will be quite different...

Eve Player Profiles - Psia

Please tell us about the person behind the character, we'd really love to know a bit more about you - What do you do outside of Eve?

In the meantime, here's Psia!

Your character name:

Psia (though in blogging circles I'm often known as ChainTrap - when I'm known)

Your real name:

The country you're living in:
England (in lovely rural Warwickshire)

How old are you:
36 - though often I feel much older

What kind of work do you do:
I write policy and advice for the UK government on the use of IT in schools. It is both rewarding and interesting.

My background is in networks and IT support, although I have in my time written for traditional tabletop RPG systems (and been paid for it); been employed to make gaming miniatures and been a sound engineer (during which time I worked on tracks by David Bowie and Take That amongst others).

What other hobbies or interests do you have:
It's natural with my professional background that I'd be into music, and that's still the case. Although I hung up my drumsticks a while ago, I keep meaning to get myself back into drumming - though it seems that my circumstances keep getting in the way. In the meantime, I continue to seek out new bands, and accumulate albums and attend gigs.

Cars and motor sport are also an interest. As well as spectating, both from an armchair and in person at the events, the wife and I also marshal. Rallying (WRC, IRC, clubman); F1; Touring Cars (BTCC, WTCC); Hill climbs: we're into anything as long as it has wheels and an engine. We also compete at a very basic local club level in road rallies, 12 cars, and the like. My (current) pride and joy is a 1988 Porsche 944. Not the fastest car on the planet, but point to point across the countryside it is a close match for anything out there. And besides, I can always borrow my wife's Subaru Impreza for those "knock your nuts off" acceleration moments.

It's not just motor sport though. I'm a fan of the mighty Nottingham Forest FC (twice European football champions); both the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders american football teams (I have attended the NFL international Series games for the past couple of years) and follow international rugby union (supporting England, of course).

The majority of my time at the moment is spent with my family. My wife and I were blessed with a delightful baby girl in July. Spending time with her is a complete joy - which is just as well cos she does require a lot of attention.

Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:
Not really - but I would like throw out a plug for Eve University (http://www.eve-ivy.com/index.php) - my current home, and an admirable endeavour. Props to Morning Maniac and the directors of the Uni.

Bekka's Punishment

Over here, Bekka discusses how piracy needs to be made harder.
In my opinion, low-sec piracy should carry significantly more risk for pirates than it actually does.
By 'significantly more risk', she wants CCP to implement CONCORD appearing in lowsec at random intervals to punish pirates for their actions if detected at that time.

She also says:
CCP needs to address this problem, and they need to do it now, before it gets worse than it already is.
Since when was it a problem for pirates to engage in low-sec piracy? But wait, she also adds:
Unless CCP is comfortable with the idea of low-sec and 0.0 becoming the virtually exclusive domain of the most wealthy and powerful corps and pirates, it's high time they do what they have to in order to open up these areas to the rest of the player base. No doubt much bitching and moaning will ensue, but it's really the only way to ensure that EvE will be able to not only gain but also hold on to new players over the long term. Regardless of whether you're a pirate, a noob victim, or anything in-between, encouraging more new and middle-range players to participate in and stay with EvE should be a goal every player can get behind. It's good for the game, it's good for CCP, and it's good for the players.
This is a perfect example of not just a Carebear that plays the game, but a Carebear that whinges about how the game disadvantages them. They spend all their time in Empire space but then, when a mission sends them into the more dangerous areas of low-sec where they can get killed by pirates, they have a cry and whinge about how CCP needs to fix this problem.

They did fix the problem - it's called Empire space. If you don't like low-sec, don't bloody go there!

Don't ask for the game to be changed because you don't like how pirates can 'kill people so easily'. Just stay away from low-sec and you won't be killed.

I had to add a comment on their post. I said:
It's real simple. Piracy is 'easy' only because most people are not organised enough to create fleets to push the pirates away. Piracy is easy because so many people ignore what they COULD be doing to prevent it.

It's not the fault of the game or of the pirates. They're doing what the game allows them to do. The game also allows people to form fleets and fight the pirates.
The real simple solution to low-sec piracy is to form fleets of your own and take ownership of police actions. People already do this - they're called 'anti-pirates'. They form fleets, corporations, alliances. They sign up to take the fight to the pirates, to kick them out of systems, to force them out of the region.

They do their part to fight piracy. You can join them if you so choose. Or you can do nothing but whinge and cry about how CCP should do something to 'fix this problem'.

Your choice. The anti-pirates out there are doing what they can to 'fix the problem', which is part of the game experience!

This game is open. You can do whatever you want in it. CCP have created protected space for Carebears like yourself, semi-protected space (eg. CONCORD-like gate and station guns to punish hostile actions) for pirates to have fun in, and unprotected space (0.0 space) for the serious players. You can go wherever you want, to do anything you want.

But don't bloody cry and want the game changed because you don't like dying.

This game has something for everyone. But you want it changed so it has less for everyone, and more for you.

How selfish! You've now been Punished.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What do you enjoy about evebloggers.com

I'd like you to give me some feedback.
  • Do you visit www.evebloggers.com for the screenshots and videos as well as the blogs?
  • Or do you visit only for the blogs?
The reason I'm asking is because I'm wondering if I should just get rid of the screenshots and videos so as to improve the loading time of the page.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Share Eve blogs via Reddit

I'd just like to remind everyone (or notify those who didn't know) that you can share Eve Online blogs via Reddit. Instructions on how to easily do it are here:
Please join in the community effort to get those Eve blogs and related sites shared out to the world, and to each other.

Join up and be part of it! :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fleet Battles

Since I joined the Ushra'Khan I've been spending most of my time initially 'getting my feet'. This has involved mostly ratting in U'K space to get some money to fund my upcoming PVP adventures. At the same time, I spent a lot of time observing the alliance and intel channels and seeing how things are done around here, and what people talk about.

I've gone on a few 'roams' into Providence space, and discovered the major difference between CVA-friendly pilots and U'K pilots is that those in CVA space hide, and no defences occur to repel U'K incursions. Even if there's just 1 or 3 of us. However, when a large CVA fleet tries to make its way into U'K territory, dozens of pilots form up and kick them out immediately, and then go on retaliation strikes into CVA territory, where the locals all hide.

Anyway, in the first 2 weeks, I think I went on about 3 small roams into CVA space. It all changed on the weekend just gone. I spent a few hours on Saturday at first flying my Rifter, but then when it was declared primary by the enemy - or it seemed like it, since it was destroyed by a Nighthawk, Flycatcher, Cormorant and Harbinger... I think I was the only Rifter in a fleet of cruisers, interceptors, battlecruisers and battleships... And the enemy took out my frigate...

I suspect they knew they were screwed, so they attacked the easiest target, which just happened to be me. Damn 'kill' mail whores...

So I decided to take my brand new Rapier for a test flight, it's maiden voyage. Excitingly enough, I was involved in the kill of an Abaddon.

I got up early on Sunday to join in on a corp op. Except the CEO didn't turn up. :p (Yes, that's me poking my tongue at you!) So I joined in on an alliance fleet op. And another one. And another one. And another one. And then I had something to eat around 7pm. Then I joined another one...

Overall, I was involved in 3 kills throughout the day in my Rapier: a Myrmidon and its pod, and a Guardian.

All in all, a good weekend.

However, what I REALLY want to do is take my Rapier out and get some solo kills with it, rather than as a 'hanger on' in fleet battles.

I bought and fitted a Typhoon this morning, and then tested it ratting. It just wasn't as good as the Raven, so I think I'll turn it into a PVP battleship instead. It'll give me a bit more variety in fleet battles, rather than just with a Rifter or Rapier.

Exciting times!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The lessons we learn

I roamed and rambled into Providence tonight, with my corpmate Kellnir. We found lots of reds but they hid from us. Except for this one red I found on a gate.

Tip: when you encounter an Ishtar in your frigate, don't mistakenly think it's an Ishkur and you might be able to hold it until the rest of the fleet arrive. You won't.

Oh look, a nice new clone for me...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Eve Player Profiles

Thank you to those who have sent me your personal profiles. I will publish them on a daily basis rather than all at once. Please send in yours if you haven't done so already, we'd love to know more about the people behind the characters.

Your character name:
Zalorria (in training)

Your real name:

The country you're living in:
Wellington, New Zealand

How old are you:

What kind of work do you do:
Was an IT Manager, have now changed industry and purchased a fast food shop. I am also the landlord for a couple of properties.

What other hobbies or interests do you have:
Did play World of Warcraft for a long time, currently don't have alot of time for hobbies. I do like to listen to music, read and ski. Recently have been doing a couple of half marathons (walking)

Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:

Character Name:
Siddh Siitem

Real Name:
David Michael Spencer



Payroll/Benefits for Government employees.

Philosophy, psychology, political science (have a degree in that last one) and RPGs (pen and paper, computer, console, whatever). Also reading, and video games in general.

Personal blog:
I sort of have a LiveJournal I don't use anymore. Mostly I'm on twitter as davethebrave371, and tumblr as davethebrave (or davthbrv, if you will).

A couple of people have done their profiles on their own blogs. You can find them here:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some thoughts about clones

Vol has a discussion about PVP and suicide ganking:
"Put on the cheapest high-damage, suicide fit that you can and find your hub of choice, or your 0.5-system-with-good-traffic of choice. I hypothesize that one could nearly strike at random and at least break even. I hypothesize that if one were to sack a good sample rate of suicide ships in this manner, one would find that they aren't losing nearly as much money as one would fear, if in deed they were to lose money at all.

To me, that is what is broken. One should have to think about it. One should have to lay in wait and strike targets carefully, with some thought, and with some great risk."
You know what? Even though he's crying, I actually agree with him.

The reason why we have 'rampant ganking' going on throughout the galaxy is because of clones. There's no actual risk involved, apart from financial. Everyone updates their clones and ensures their continued lifestyle choice.

I know that clones were a game mechanic implemented by CCP to guarantee people were able to continue playing their character even after dying. However, death is non-existent, and all pod pilots are immortal. Immortality creates recklessness.

Maybe it's time to change the game mechanics.

Now, please understand I'm not discussing this to support the crying carebears. Nor am I discussing this because I've been hard-done by. Instead, I have an idea on how gameplay can be made more interesting...

If character death had stronger repercussions, entire methods of gameplay would change. There would be less suicides occurring, because the repercussions would be more severe. Combat would be more strategic and tactical, rather than 'blob combat'. Pilots would care more about survival than the financial cost of losing a ship. (Finances would still have a major influence, but survival would outweigh it.)

I know that implants go some way towards providing repercussions to losing a clone. But that is avoided by using jump clones, or just not using implants. The problem is still there.

What if we didn't have clones any more?

How do you think gameplay would change if cloning facilities were no longer able to be used, or there were some major issues with using them?

People don't want to permanently die and lose all their hard-earned skill points. I agree with that.

So I have another idea that I thought I'd present for discussion. I'll present it according to in-game reasons, but with the mechanics of how it would work being very obvious.
  • Current technology allows us to access up to 3 different people, available as clones, but we can only have one of them training at a time. New technological advances would allow all characters to train simultaneously. However, we decide which character is our main character, and skill training for this is at 100%. The clones not being consciously controlled are in 'storage' until activated, but they're still able to receive training at 25% of normal.
  • When an inactive character's skill has completed, the system advises your active character with an evemail, allowing you to change characters and set more training.
  • When you change characters to one of the 2 alts, their training speed increases to 50%, while the main drops to 50%. This encourages continued use of the main instead of the alts, which are mainly 'backup characters'.
  • When you die in any of your characters, you cannot activate another clone of that particular character for 24 hours. You have to either sit there and watch a blank screen while still having the chat windows available, or you can log out and activate a new character.
  • You can only control 1 character at a time, so you can't login with multiple clients.
  • If you have up to 3 characters and they all end up dead within the 24 hours of the first character dying, you'll have to wait until you can access a new clone of that character before you can inhabit a new clone again. During this time, however, you can look at your blank screen while still being able to access the chat windows. You can not engage in any active manipulation of the market, fittings, etc, as all your clones are still waiting to be reactivated.
  • The reason it takes so long to reactivate a new clone of a dead character is because the multiple clone training takes up system resources all across the galaxy. You can't have all clones training throughout the galaxy without some disadvantages...
How would your style of gameplay change under such conditions?

Do you think you'd love the increased options for character advancement and multiple career paths? You could have a main for combat, and an alt for trade, etc.

If you had to wait 24 hours before your character is restored, how would that change what you currently do?

Please discuss your thoughts.

What do you do outside of Eve?

I got an idea for a new series of blog posts that I thought I'd experiment with (thanks to an email discussion with Ga'len). The last time I did something like this I asked a series of questions about what you did in the game, and how long you've been playing it, etc. This time I thought I'd try something different.

If you'd like to submit answers to the following questions, I'd be very grateful. Your answers will be submitted as new blog posts, with the intent to help everyone out there understand a bit more about the person behind the character.

Please note that this is for anyone - players and bloggers alike. If you want to let us know about the person behind the character, send me your answers:

Your character name:

Your real name:

The country you're living in:

How old are you:

What kind of work do you do:

What other hobbies or interests do you have:

Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:

I'll start the ball rolling with a few details about me.

Your character name: Alexia Morgan

Your real name: Alan Howard

The country you're living in: Australia (city: Canberra)

How old are you: I'm 43 this month.

What kind of work do you do:

I'm a Business Analyst (BA). What that means is that I do the following:
  • understand the practices and processes of the business or government department that contracts my services
  • understand what their objectives are (eg. what do they want me to achieve)
  • analyse where they are now, in relation to where they want to be, and present a 'gap analysis'. This shows them where they are, and where they want to be, and what they need to do to implement changes that will result in them getting to where they want to be
  • and finally, help them implement those changes
What I love about it is that I am directly responsible for change. I love change. I embrace it. And it excites me to be responsible for changing some business or government department so that the way they do things is improved.

I've spent about 13 years in the IT industry, most of it in tech support. The experience I gained helped me move forward as a BA, with a forte in IT Operations and Support. I'm excellent at helping service desks, for example, improve their practices and processes around Service Delivery and Management.

What other hobbies or interests do you have:

When I finish work, I'm usually braindead from some element of mental exhaustion, so I jump onto Eve and wind down ingame. Being in Australia, I have about 3-4 hours of gametime after work and before Downtime, so I try to make the most of it. Occasionally I go out with a friend for a mid-evening coffee.

On weekends I usually catch up with some friends for brunch/lunch, or go out for dinner somewhere. If the weather is nice and/or I'm inspired, I love going out taking photos. Photography is a passion of mine, but one which I pursue only as a hobby. I recently bought a Nikon D90 DSLR, which is my very first semi-professional camera, and I'm loving the quality of shots it takes. I'm hoping that one day I'll become good enough to take it up as a semi/professional photographer.

Driving is another passion. I have a Ford XR6 Turbo which keeps me very happy. It's an Aussie performance vehicle, and you can't get it outside of Australia or New Zealand (maybe you could import it, I dunno). I've had it a couple years, and I love playing with it. A friend of mine has a turbo-charged Nissan Pulsar, and we're often going out on Friday nights to find others to 'play with', if you get my drift. :) So far, I haven't found anything that is faster than mine off the lights. Lots of fun.

Travel. That's something else I love doing. I've seen probably half of Australia in my lifetime so far, and intend seeing so much more. In 2000 I went to New Zealand for a holiday and ended up staying there. Beautiful country. I saw most of it in my time there, and came back to Australia in 2007. There's a lot more traveling I want to do, like China and Japan and Europe. Shame I can't take my car with me, but at least the camera will come...

Do you have a personal blog or non-Eve website you want to share:

I've been blogging since 1998, back when it was called 'online journaling'. I've changed domains and formats over the years, but all the content has been maintained. It's now at www.alanzeyes.com It's a reflection of my life and adventures.

Right, your turn. Send me your information, and I'll throw it up as a new format of Blogger Profiles.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My first taste of combat in Ushra'Khan

Yesterday was a good day... a public holiday here in Australia for the Melbourne Cup, so I spent the morning on Eve. I joined a fleet op into CVA territory, and there were 25 of us. Since I've been focused on battleships for ratting, and I'm yet to fully complete my Recon training, I jumped into a Rifter for the fleet op.

At first, the FC didn't want frigates. Then someone suggested to the FC that we'd need tacklers. So he said ok, but he didn't want Rifters. So I said "the Rifter is a frigate...", so then he agreed to having Rifters.

I wasn't completely inspired, but so be it... off we flew!

Earthwynd, a corpmate who came across to Phaze-9 with me, was also in a Rifter. We were the only 2 frigates in a 25-man fleet.

Then the FC made someone a scout. But they didn't have any tackling mods. That didn't matter, apparently... until the scout engaged someone and the fleet made their way to the scene of combat. Except that the target warped away before we got there. So someone else was made scout.

What the hell, I thought. Being part of a fleet is good experience. That's what I was telling myself, anyway.

And I was right. At the end of a roam through CVA territory, including their base system where they were all huddled in a station, hiding (watching us all waving as we went through the system, unhindered), we ended up with a few kills. I managed to get in on the death of a Rupture and then I was one of 2 who podkilled the pilot (although I didn't do any damage... I think I was involved 'cause I was web/scramming him).

But after a couple of hours, it was lunchtime. I had to go out to lunch with some friends, so I left the fleet while in the very centre of CVA space. I logged off, looking forward to the lone flight back home when I logged back on later in the day.

So when I logged back in with 8 reds in the system, I immediately set off back home, confident that I would be able to get home without any issues.

Based on my experiences so far of being in CVA space as a neutral member of Providence and watching the Ushra'Khan roaming around relatively unhindered and having to hide from them, and then being in the Ushra'Khan and wandering around unhindered, laughing at all the locals in Providence hiding from me, I've learnt something quite interesting.

When CVA form a fleet to go attack U'K space, entire defence fleets of U'K warriors form and repel them before they get very far. But when the U'K go roaming around CVA space, everyone there hides. The defence fleet is... well, I don't know where it is, 'cause it's rarely where the U'K are.

Of course, this is just my experience. I'm sure others might have different experiences, and you're welcome to tell me about them in the Comments below. :)

So, back to my solo trek back home...

It didn't happen.

Instead, I joined up with an in-game friend (Nukelear Storm) of a real life friend, both of whom are also in U'K. He was nearby and planning a solo venture into Providence. I joined him.

So together we went back into Providence, the 2 of us. We roamed and rambled our way around. Him in a Stabber, me in my Rifter. Wherever we went, the reds hid in their stations or safe spots, or cloaked up, waiting for us to leave.

Another U'K member, sw33t lips, joined us in his Rapier. So then there were 3. And still the locals hid.

I was scout, and at one point, as I was scouting around a particular system, I flew to a planet at 100km. I was surprised to find the system's station right near me, at 102km. There were 2 reds just leaving the station - a Drake and a Kestrel.

I sat there, watching them, reporting this to the small fleet I was a part of. I told them that the Kestrel was starting to make his way to me, while the Drake had warped away. I suspected that the Drake would warp to his Kestrel buddy once an engagement occurred, but I decided to stick around.

My fleet started to make their way to me, but they were 2 jumps away. The Kestrel got to about 30k away when she started firing her rockets, and I jumped into action. Initiating an orbit of 750m, I approached her at about 800m/s. Her rockets impacted against my shields, and they quickly dropped to about 30%. I activated the armour repairer, followed by my weapons at about 8km.

I was constantly aware that the Drake pilot could warp in on us at any second, and I was hoping to kill the Kestrel before I died myself. I saw 2 MORE Drake pilots exit the station 100km away, with 1 of them warping away while the other stayed there and watched the combat from 100km.

My shields were repairing themselves, and I was taking no more damage from the Kestrel's rockets, being so close and all. I switched off the armor repairer. Suddenly there was an explosion, and there was the Kestrel's pilot sitting there in a pod. I chuckled to myself when my web and scrambler engaged, preventing them from warping away. However, I was very surprised when it was taking so long for my weapons to do any real damage to the pod...

Range? Check. All weapons firing? Check. Weird. So I started to align for warp, expecting someone to arrive any second. As range was increasing on the pod, I decided I didn't want to wait any further and I activated warp - just as the pod exploded behind me.


And none of her CVA buddies turned up to help. There was no coordinated defence, no assistance...

Lex Lacey, if you're reading this, I applaud you for seeking a fight with the Ushra'Khan. I applaud you for trying to do what you can for the territory you're residing in. However, you might want to consider abandoning those who abandoned you.

Back to me... my fleet was disappointed I got a kill without them, but hey, it was a Kestrel.

We continued our roam, but wherever we went, the locals hid. Eventually we got bored, and went back home. I returned to doing some ratting.

It was a good day indeed.