Friday, 30 January 2009

Blog Banter 4: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Heres me hoping that i'm the first one to think of the corny music based title, so lets hope :)

January's Blog banter was submitted by Manasi:

"How do we, EVE bloggers, adapt to changes as they are thrust upon us (speed changes, no more ghost training, all the dev blogs, etc), or as our lives make playing the game different (more time, less time)?".

Personally speaking, I've been playing MMO's for a fair few years now from all things relating to Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, and of course, Eve. In that time I've seen plenty of 'nerf' patches - at least to the point where to the general populous, the sky appears to be falling in.

With all of these, I tend to play some sort of adaptable 'class type' where I can so if there are any major changes I can learn to adapt and overcome them, learning the new methods of doing things to suit my own personal playstyle - in other words, I tend to just go with the flow and live with most of the changes.

Of course, I'm more than happy to lend support to those voices that ask to get some of the 'harsher' changes dialled down a bit, I would be a fool to simply allow anything to go through uncontested if it reduced my ability to do the things I do in the game world, but I dont threaten to quit and run off in a huff if my personal way of playing is changed drastically, I tend to just take a step back and work out how much time it would take to start a new character if necessary (or in the case of Eve, train something new) and if its not worth my time, I will quite simply just give it a few goes to see how the changes impact me, and if I'm not happy, ill wander off into the sunset and never be seen again (depending of course if friends are also considering the same action, since I tend to just congregate where friends are at/going to)

As for changes in your personal life, I cant say I've got any kids or any of the major time-sappers (demanding wife ;) ) that many people start to get around their thirties, but I have noticed that my available time has changed over these years as well - when I was at University, I could quite happily come in at 2pm from lectures, stick around to midnight and other days spend all day just messing around online.

As time went on, I got a job and started noticing my free time eroding more and more, and now between work and keeping up with my social life, I may find I spend only 2-3 nights playing on the computer.

For that, I have found Eve to be the perfect game - the offline, time-based training doesnt rely on me being online, and when I was playing a xp grinding game, such as WoW I found that I could only really support 1 character with the time I had available (after all, MMO's are made to be time sinks in their own right) so going back to the first point - if I had some major change that affected my character, I was more likely to want to leave if it made the game unplayable, as I didnt want to start again from scratch, and didn't have the time for training 2-3 characters simultaneously.

Couple that with my method of money making (industry/selling stuff in general) being fairly compatible with short online sessions, I have been able to continue to maintain my presence in the game even when I can't log in.

So there we go, another insight into my mind, as crazy and mixed up as it can be at times. Hope you enjoyed it.


Wednesday, 28 January 2009

An old guide updated, and something new

As promised in my earlier post, I have updated and re-uploaded the Tanking guide to incorporate some Quantum Rise info and add a few bits / clear up some ambiguity, as well as adding a new guide for Capital Ship Production.

I'm not sure if the Capital Ship guide can be describes as either 'too little information' or 'concise' but it seems to be a bit too short for my likes, however I seem to have covered everything that I need to do for the guide as far as I can think.

This is where you, humble reader, step in. If theres anything that you need more information on, let me know as the guide doesnt go into detailed information on exactly how the production system works in Eve as that was already covered in my Eon article, but I appreciate that many people may not read that, but on the other hand I have to respect the request that was made to me to keep the guide exclusive. As well as that more obvious omission, there could be other isses that I have just forgot about since I do this sort of thing day to day now and the commonality of it all seems to mean that I forget some obvious things that others may need to know.

So let me know if you need any more information.

And after that bit of rambling on, on to the guides:

Tanking, Version 2

Capital Ship Production

Monday, 26 January 2009

The Boring Update (TM)

I know, not really the sort of title that will make you jump to read the post, but to be fair, theres nothing much happened to any great deal over the past week or so since I made my last post.

I find it really hard to actually want to undock at the moment, instead i'm treating Eve as a monthly paid chatroom to keep in touch with friends, in between maybe doing 3-4 round trip jumps to go grab materials and blueprints whilst doing research/manufacturing jobs.

Truth be told, I find the stage I'm at in a game the worst bit to get over - I know everyones talked about the 7 month itch many times before, and it might just be that it's come around again (i'm not sure I'll have to check my records since I came back to Eve) but i'm now fairly wealthy (enough to keep me in ships for a while, at least until I start PVPing with them, which is hard to find fleet mates, so never happens) and a decent income from manufacturing in the meantime.

I hate running missions, they're boring and repetative, and aside from grinding standings to work with other factions, there's no real point of them at the moment since my monetary needs are more than covered.

I may go out and do some exploring, since thats what everyone seems to be doing to get ready for tech 3/wormholes but most of the work involved will be skill based, and many people are training up skills on the off chance they will be needed, whereas I dont really have that luxury with a 160 ish day skill plan still in the works.

I'm finally getting back into doing some guides though - I've already amended the tanking guide based on Sumerio's comments from the Eve Uni boards and added a few more updates myself based on Quantum Rise changes, so I hope to post that later today or tomorrow. I'm also going to work on a Capital Ship production guide since I can't produce a Tech 1/Tech 2 production guide on here due to the agreement I have with EON - but I hope everyone who read the Tech 1 guide featured in the latest issue have enjoyed it, and if you have any comments, feel free to message me, im only an Eve-Mail or E-Mail away.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Phew, im glad thats over.

Not much of an update today, but best post to just say that I've finally gotten Caldari Cruiser 5, my first rank 5 cruiser skill.

Unfortunately the ships I can access with it at the moment are fairly pitiful at best (OK, maybe I can spring for a Cerberus to give it a go, but its hardly a world changing ship) but its working towards my skills for the Nighthawk I've been aiming for.

I'm now working on Battlecruisers 5, which is another long, boring skill, and then after that, going to work more on Heavy missiles which have been left behind a bit for Cruise training when I moved into my CNR.

Then maybe get back to working on Gallente Frigates, Gallente Cruisers and Gunnery Skills which could end up actually being useful for something in PVP, and maybe also getting back to training up industrial stuff as well, since I've been meaning to get Refining 5 and Refinery Efficiency up a few levels for about oh, 3 months now.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

iClone - Really useful little tool

Over Christmas, I got my hands on an iPod Touch, which for anyone who doesnt yet know, combines both the functionality of an iPod's music player, with a fully functional PDA style component, which can load external applications from the iTunes store. Its sort of like an iPhone in that regard, it just can't dial out, but it does have wireless functionality if you can find a hotspot.

Theres a few Eve character monitors available on there, such as the excellent Capsuleer - produced, I believe by a blogging colleague, Roc Wielder (apologies if I've misspelled your name) but I have been personally using iClone, which combines a character skill monitor, with a data dump of the latest Eve Database, to include a full market browser, skill browser and other useful tools which I normally can't access when away from the screen.

It's great when I want to quickly check up the base components of any blueprints, and what modules are available for my ships or other items, as well as the requirements they need and so on.

Importing the character data in the first place is a bit complicated, you need to create your character as a 'contact' in a mail programme and synch this contact to your iPod / iPhone via iTunes but it worked first time for me, so I'm not going to complain, reading the forums seems to indicate that a lot of people struggle to get past that stage. I can only presume they arent following the instructions properly, or I've just been very lucky that the import worked fine.

Now all I need is a decent build monitor that works on the iPod (I'm presuming that this can be monitored from the API since EveMEEP does something similar) and i'll be set for all remote checking I could ever need.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Estiah - Card/Turn based online gamey thing

I've just recently signed up to Estiah which is a "Magic the Gathering" type of deal where you design your card deck based around your combat strategy and play off against computer or player controlled opponents with similar decks.

This has a bit of a MMORPG/levelling element to it however, and because of the way the game is designed (you get a certain amount of action points every 2 hour session which you can spend or store to do several small sessions, or do one large playthough) makes it perfect to catch up with during your lunch break.

The game is very basic, no real graphics to talk about, its mainly text based, but theres some quite humerous descriptions of things as they happen.

Its entirely free to play, so if anyone is interested in it, feel free to give it a go as well, ideally using my friends code which subsequently helps me level up a bit faster by giving me a portion of XP whenever the people I invite level up themselves.

It might not be the best idea to ask me too many questions about how it all works at the moment, im still learning myself, only been playing with it an hour and used up my initial full day worth of action points really quickly, but the tutorials and FAQ/Wiki seem to give a good bit of insight.

Anyway, if anyone is interested, please feel free to join up using my friends link

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

Suffice to say, i've had a bit too much to drink, and this post has taken me 4 times to double check to make sure things are spelled right since drink has taken over my main functions, but hope 2009 brings more to you this year than 2008 brought me.

I really need to speak to a certain someone who didnt show up tonight, since she said she was really intrested in coming along to see the new year in....