Tangible Metaphors About New Jersey

Pretty much…

This past week I have been shipped out to New Jersey for work. Not just office work mind you. Back breaking labor. I honestly don’t know why we don’t subcontract this crap out except that we make money by having one of us out there doing it. For those of you not from ‘MURICA! I’ll try to accurately describe for you this glorious state of the union. New Jersey sits along the eastern seaboard nestled cozily up against New York’s Staten Island. While a good portion of the state is made up of picturesque farmlands, most of the northern half of the state is industrial wasteland. It’s been a great 5 days, let me tell you.

Anyway since we start fieldwork so early I got out at about 2:00 pm yesterday and finally had some Eve time coming my way. With no one from the corp online, and nothing but our static wormhole active, I decided I would pop out and do a little ratting before hunting for a lo-sec kill. Our static wormhole dropped me off in a system called Shach. I had never been in the constellation before, but it was glorious. A whole string of lo-sec systems outside of factional warfare, with no stations to be seen. I couldn’t believe it! At least four systems in a row, no station in any of them, and nothing but cruisers and frigates on d-scan! It was a cloaked hunter’s dream and I made sure to make a special note of the system for the future. This was quickly becoming one of my favorite new hunting grounds.

Hunting grounds

Hunting grounds

With almost no one around I decided I would take some time and rat a little. The only thing I hate about hunting in lo-sec is the security status penalty. Might as well try to buffer the damage ahead of time. Plus those new security tags are worth some pretty good loot, never hurts to look for a few of those if you have the time. My Oracle jumps from belt to belt, picking apart pirate ships with ease. In under 10 minutes I manage to find one of the new security rats and promptly destroy it. The tag inside was worth 68 million isk. Not bad for 10 minutes of flying! I continue to warp around the area, increasingly impressed with the offerings, until I start to run into some pilots. Now is as good a time as any to switch over to the Pilgrim and see what I can catch. I start making my way back to my wormhole home, only mildly aware that there are core probes in our static system.

Once in the Pilgrim it’s out to hunt! The probes are still in system but I ignore them for now. One pilot in a Buzzard isn’t going to be much of a threat to me getting back home, even if he does find my wormhole. I warp around the lo-sec chain. A Rifter and a Thorax lead me on a good chase for a while. I end up on a gate with the Thorax for a moment, but hesitate to engage him with the gate guns nearby. He ends up jumping back the way I just came, and I can’t be bothered to try to catch him. I move on, continuing to rat in systems that don’t seem to offer any other amusement.


Unwelcoming party

Finally the time comes for me to start heading home. I’m exhausted and need to get some sleep soon. An uneventful trip back home is rudely interrupted by a notification in my inbox. “Your corporation’s base is under attack.” Double-U tee to the F. Who the fuck is attacking our system?! There were no other wormholes in there half an hour ago, I find it hard to believe one just happened to pop up with an aggressive corp on the other side. I race back to my wormhole assuming our attackers are from w-space. I get to the hole without incident but am greeted by an unwelcome sight after jumping through our static connection. A Cynabal, Broadsword, and Scythe are on the hole, drones out, looking for trouble. Luckily I seemed to catch them on break, because I’m able to immediately jump back through the hole and warp to the star. I accidentally warp to 0 though, and curse myself for my foolishness as the Cynabal shows up on my overview. By some divine act of Bob, the Cynabal warped to 100km, the distance I generally warp to when trying to evade someone. If I had not accidentally warped to 0km, there is a very good chance he would have had me.

But Bob is on my side today. He warps back to the hole and I follow at a respectable 70km. I then watch his whole crew jump back Shech from my home system and warp away. I decide now is my chance and burn towards the hole. Once safe at home I scan the system and find no new signatures. The attackers apparently were from my new favorite constellation. Perhaps my new favorite hunting area isn’t as perfect as I had originally thought.

Faithful Are The Wounds of a Friend; But the Kisses of An Enemy Are Deceitful – Aesop

In the spring of 2006, I downloaded a computer game called Eve Online. I watched the introduction trailer from beginning to end with the excitement of a 5-year old waiting to open gifts on Christmas morning. I digested volumes of text from the web about the New Eden universe and its inhabitants. I literally spent weeks thinking of my character and how they would interact with this immerse galaxy. The first thing my character did, was give himself over to God.

amarrI love good role playing (not the bedroom kind of stuff, although that can be fun to). The Amarr race of Eve is intoxicating to me. An ancient powerful empire who is now struggling to keep itself together after wars and rebellions have raged for decades. The fluff to draw on for role playing was so good, I just couldn’t pass it up. I’ve loved every minute of playing as an Amarrian. I’ve spent time in the militia battling the rebellious scum of the MinMatar and the freedom loving anarchists of the Gallente Federation. It’s been an absolute blast, and long ago I vowed to never betray the Amarr empire or lose my faith in its leadership.

But I stand before you today a conflicted man.

I live in wormhole space. Probing and space exploration are how I fund all of my Eve based adventures. But as I browsed through the Amarrian arsenal last night I came to a realization that had been lingering just on the fringe of my conciseness for a long time now. Amarr has no ship worthy of wormhole space operations. It kills me to admit it publicly, and I hope that you the public can prove me wrong, but as I see it we just do not possess a ship that can perform to a sufficient degree in worm space.

Rebellious scrap heap

Rebellious scrap heap

Well how about some justification for such a statement. Living in w-space requires one thing above all else. The ability to probe cosmic signatures. Sure there are plenty of Amarr ships that can do this, but none that can do so, cloak, and still possess some kind of military strength. The answer for other races is simple. Their respective strategic cruisers can be configured to deal respectable amounts of damage, have a modest tank, cloak, and still probe a system down. The Legion cannot. A covert fit Legion is made of paper thin armor and has no offensive potential to brag about.

Up until now I’ve used my Pilgrim to do the combat in w-space for me. I generally scan our w-space constellation and find a target worth killing. Then I’ll head back to HQ, swap into the Pilgrim and return to the target’s system to engage it. But this all takes a long time and the prey never stays still for long. No one in w-space does. It’s a matter of survival, I don’t sit still for very long either. But what is an Amarrian loyalist to do?

Gallente vomit barge

Gallente vomit barge

I’ve started looking at training for another race’s ship. I really really don’t want to but I’m not sure if there is any other way. The Proteus and the Loki are such potent killers and can cloak and probe as well. It’s hard to pass them up for the sake of staying true to my role playing roots. I am still resistant, if for no other reason than it would take a long time to train the skills to sit in either ship, and I don’t feel like doing it. So I am here to beg the citizens of New Eden to bless me with their wisdom. What is an old war horse to do? Train for a Loki? Commit the ultimate sin and fly a Gallente ship (it’s bad enough I use their drones now)? Or does someone know of a ship that can fill this role within the Amarr arsenal?

New Look For The Site

Hey everyone!

I’m getting tired of the old layout for the site, so you might see some new variations come through in the next few weeks. I’m currently working through WordPress and love it, but I’m not really sure how to customize everything with CSS yet. I know CSS but how to apply it to all that PHP is a little beyond me. For now I’ll probably just be trying out different themes from their free selection, but depending on how much it costs I might get the domain and start tinkering with the look myself.

In any case sorry for any ugly sites and pardon the mess while I try to update the look! Thanks for your patience.


Anything For An Easy Isk

I ended up getting out of bed super early this morning. As I not so patiently wait for the server to come back online, I guess it’s as good a time as any to write another post!

Around lunch time the other day, while sitting at my desk in my office, my phone started buzzing with the ferocity of an angry hornet’s nest. The corp was off of work already, those damn Europeans, and gabbing away about what to do on Eve or other group computer games we play from time to time. This obviously did not bode well for my productivity as I immediately began to scour my favorite Eve blogs and other websites to satisfy my Eve lust.

Two frigates looking for a fight!

Two frigates looking for a fight!

Azx then sends me a message saying he has two friends who are thinking of joining the corp and want to get into some more pvp. They were thinking of putting together a small lo-sec roam and look for trouble that night. My mouth practically started watering. This of course made the rest of my workday drag on impossibly long. Five more hours until I can log in and pew pew!? How am I to survive?

But survive I did and I raced home on the not so cooperative subway to meet up with the gang. Sadly by the time I did get home, Azx’s friends were asleep. Luckily for me Azx is a bit of an insomniac and he was down for getting into trouble. So I grabbed a pvp fit Punisher and off we went. We spent hours looking for targets, and we found quite a few. The Chej and Fensi chain of lo-sec systems offers pretty good 1v1 or small gang pvp to those that are patient enough to look for it. Just watch out for Ami. The system is a chokepoint between Amarr and the rest of that chain and gets camped A LOT!

We spent a lot of time trying to scan down lone targets, but the prey was too wary and we never managed to nab one. We also found the most terrifying corp name to date (see image below). We did manage to kill a new rate who dropped a recruiter tag worth 25 million, which I won’t lie, was pretty sweet. During our flight though the conversation turned to a dark subject. Azx had recently heard of a pilot who was using a Scythe to gank mission runners. He was interested in giving it a try, and I told him I would be more than happy to help him scan down the mission sites while he engages the targets. It’s a profession almost as old as Eve itself and it works a little like this…

Basically it operates under a few assumptions. The first, that mission runners typically fly pimped out ships often with deadspace or faction modules fitted to them. You’re flying level 4 missions after all, you need to be able to tank a good amount of damage. The second assumption is that mission running ships are slow as shit and use big ass fucking guns. All of this leads to a ship that is very vulnerable against nueting speed tank ships.

Do not mess with this guy...

Do not mess with this guy…

But Vult, how can you attack a ship that’s in hi-sec without getting CONCORD’s attention? That’s easy, you get the mission running ship to fire the first shot. There is a huge number of characters in the game that do nothing but fly missions int he relative safety of hi-sec. A lot of these players don’t even understand how pvp works, or how kill rights work. As a result you can easily trick a lot of players, in very expensive ships mind you, into attacking you thus giving you the CONCORD seal of approval to blast them to tiny bits.

Little known fact in New Eden, IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO SALVAGE A WRECK. If you loot it, if you open the container inside it and take something, that is illegal and the player who owns that wreck can fire on you. But salvaging the wreck itself is perfectly fine. I don’t understand the distinction from CONCORD’s perspective but whatever, it works to my advantage. So basically the idea is warp into a mission someone else is running. Target and salvage a wreck or even steal something from the wreck so you start blinking with a suspect timer. This WILL piss off the guy who just spent all that time killing the mission rats. He then shoots at you, which means you can shoot back. So long as you’re in a speed tanked ship with missiles or drones for damage, you’re going to be in good shape against that slow ass battleship. The rewards are you get enormous amounts of faction modules to sell!

So Azx and I are currently planning on giving this a shot to see what happens. It’s a relatively small investment and the rewards could be absurd. It’s not the most honest form of work, but honestly with the loot we could get from this, we just can’t pass it up. Damn! I’m done writing, but looks like it’s an extended downtime today so no early morning spaceships for me. Off to another long day at the office dreaming of Eve 😦

Now For Something Completely Different…

So I realize I haven’t posted anything in a while. Part of it is me being busy, part of it is me not doing anything too exciting in Eve lately. But a lot of it has to do with me being lazy. Either way I actually did write out a post today about all the things I love so far about the Odyssey expansion, but due to a fluke accident of the interwebs (damn you NSA!) I lost the post. I then had a brilliant idea. I would interview one of my best friends about Eve and the new expansion and share her opinions with the community!

*DISCLAIMER: This person has never played a computer game in her life and is only vaguely aware of what Eve is*

Vult: Hi! This is going to be great, I’m so excited!
[Censored]: Hi!
Vult: Let’s start from the beginning. If you had to come up with a name for yourself in the far distant future, what would it be?
[Censored]: Oh, we’re going to the far distant future?
[Censored]: Smurpha the hut
[Censored]: MURPHASAUR!
Vult: This has already proven to be a great idea.
Vult: Alright, so what do you know about Eve online?
MURPHASAUR: It’s online. It’s a game, and you write a blog about it.
MURPHASAUR: I always think it involves a woman named eve, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.
Vult: You would be correct.
Vult: The first thing any player does in Eve is create a character and decide which of the 4 races they would be, either MinMatar, Amarr, Gallente, or Caldari. Which race do you think best captures your personality?
MURPHASAUR: I think it would definitely be the Caldari. Sounds pretty Italian to me.
MURPHASAUR: I don’t need a race with two names like MinMatar, Amarr definitely does not need that second ‘R,’ and Gallente sounds gallant but seems kind of quiet.
MURPHASAUR: I bet the Caldari can fuck some shit up.
MURPHASAUR: Am I allowed to swear in this blog?
MURPHASAUR: But they probably do it in a nice way that makes them respected.
Vult: You think someone can fuck shit up in a respectful sort of way?
MURPHASAUR: For sure. They are tough but fair.
Vult: You know the Caldari were almost completely conquered by the Gallente and are now ruled by mega-capitalist corporations right?
Vult: And yes, I swear all the fucking time in this blog.
MURPHASAUR: You neglected to mention that.
Vult: As I’m sure you know, CCP recently released the Odyssey expansion of Eve Online. What are your thoughts on how it’s improved the game if at all?
MURPHASAUR: Well, typically people get excited about a game expansion. Especially one from CCP.
MURPHASAUR: But I have to say that I’m not convinced that it’s improved the game at all. They might need a double-expansion pack instead.
MURPHASAUR: Things seem faster. More RAM, probably.
MURPHASAUR: And more “pew pew” shooting power.
MURPHASAUR: The colors are wild, man.
MURPHASAUR: But otherwise I didn’t see evidence of an expanded storyline, which is really what I was looking for.
MURPHASAUR: I was especially hoping for some extra romance storylines.
Vult:  You and me both.
Vult: As a female gamer, how do you feel the eve community treats the female denizens of Eve?
MURPHASAUR: As a prolific female gamer, I don’t think the female denizens of Eve get enough respect.
MURPHASAUR: First of all, why is it all about big boobs, curvy bodies, and tight-ass clothes?
MURPHASAUR: It’s unrealistic to expect the female denizens to fight wars in such attire.
MURPHASAUR: Second of all, why don’t the women get more glory? We are tired of being reduced to side-kick roles.
Vult: Well actually everyone in Eve is naked in a capsule that is connected to the space ships.
MURPHASAUR: Third…wait, what?
Vult: Yeah all the pilots of Eve kind of float in this fluid filled capsule and pilot the ships using the mind links they have grafted to their brains. Kind of like the Matrix.
Vult: But it’s still assumed they’re all big breasted and curvy.
MURPHASAUR: But…do you still get to see the matrix-style action, or do you just imagine it while floating in fluid capsules?
MURPHASAUR: I don’t get it, but either way the ratio of male to female Eve pilots is pitiful.
MURPHASAUR: Naked or clothed, the female denizens deserve an equal chance to float nudey in fluid capsules and pilot shit with their brains.
Vult: You just like saying denizens whenever you get the chance don’t you?
MURPHASAUR: Denizens is a great word.
Vult: There is a small chance that you could become an “Eve personality” once this gets published. Would you be willing to create a character in game to receive/respond to fan mail if that were to occur?
MURPHASAUR: Fan mail?! DEFINITELY! Bring it on, denizens!
Vult: Great, I’ll start picking out tight clothes for you when I get back to my computer.
MURPHASAUR: That’s not funny. I shall bring the force of the Gallente down on your liquid capsule!
Vult: I thought you were Caldari.
MURPHASAUR: I converted.
Vult: Fair enough. Thanks MURPHASAUR, this has been enlightening.
MURPHASAUR: I do my best, denizen.
MURPHASAUR: Thanks for the chance to talk about Eve!

And there you have it. The first Capsule in the Void interview. I think this is going to have to become a somewhat regular thing.


Vult: This might be the best blog I’ve ever written.
MURPHASAUR: Well that’s because I helped you write it.
MURPHASAUR: Denizens unite!