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Mika Hirvonen
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Mika Hirvonen

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#eveonline is going free to play.. kind of. Like how World of Warcraft is playable for free until level 20, players will be able to train for and use a basic set of racial skills up to cruisers. If you subscribe, you can train past that. And if the subscription expires, you lose access to those extra skills until you resubscribe. But you'll always be able to log on.
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Mika Hirvonen

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While the war isn't over, enemy activity has quieted down to the point that I've resumed doing industry. I brought down some T1 ship blueprints, some drone blueprints and some ammo blueprints for my Naglfar. So far my trusty Prowler has had more than enough capacity to haul all those freshly-mined minerals around to the factory.

Entosis operations are also ongoing, although constellation-wide sieges where we capture everything at once have been rare. I really enjoy flying the Rapier. Unlike a Nereus, it can orbit the command node at a comfortable 150+ km radius at around 2500 m/s. Only interceptors could hope to catch it, and those I can keep at a distance with my stasis webifier, which can reach up to 60 km. Anything else it can most likely outrun, sometimes even without breaking the Entosis lock on the command node.

There have also been more POS shoots, usually in South Delve. While these POSes are more heavily armed than the ones in North Delve, none have been actively gunned, so the FAXes accompanying the fleet have had very little to do. I've also started manufacturing some of my own ammo to get myself used to the various ranges and damage types available. POS shoots usually have overwhelming firepower anyways, but using the right damage type might net me a kill mark on the Naglfar one of these days.

Finally, there was a new type of combat event: Reinforcing an enemy Citadel. We were a bit early, so the fleet commander passed the time by clearing up a Blood Raiders combat anomaly. Those Amarrian beams sure are a lot prettier than the railgun traces and missile trails of Guristas.

The actual battle against the Astrahus was disappointing to say the least. We had a small Confessor fleet accompanied by a single Oracle battlecruiser, and that was more than enough to reach the damage cap on a structure that utterly dwarfs our fleet. The manager of the station was present, but once we shot down his fighters he pretty much gave up. With the citadel's armor down (not that you could tell from the model), it's due for demolition next weekend.

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Michael Birke's profile photoMika Hirvonen's profile photo
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You may have noticed that the common theme in these pictures is that I'm in no danger whatsoever, so I have some time to think about angles and shot composition.

I do have Shadowplay running when I'm in combat, but I usually decide against posting anything from the recording; Most of the time it's just not visually interesting; Unless it involves capital ships, 99% of combat in Eve looks like a swarm of flyspecks surrounded by brackets. It's hard enough to make sense of it while playing, and I'm able to rotate the camera to get a better spatial sense of the enemy's location. And if I use the tracking camera, the ships aren't any more visible and it only costs me all situational awareness.
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#minecraft for Oculus Rift is out. I had completely forgotten that Mojang promised back in the day that everyone who bought the beta version of Minecraft would receive perpetual updates, so the Windows 10 version of Minecraft and the Rift addon were completely free for me.

It looks like.. well.. Minecraft. The only surprise was that how big everything looks like in immersive mode. Minecraft blocks have always been cubic meters, but that fact becomes really apparent in VR. Sense of height is also amplified, so I would hazard a guess that buildings made in Minecraft VR would use stairs a lot more than ladders. Climbs look more imposing, and drops way more dangerous.

However, it's also clear that Minecraft VR isn't for everyone. The major issue is that the visuals convince your brain that you should be moving, while your real body is still. This is less of an issue in flying simulators, because the virtual you is sitting in a cockpit. So the Rift version comes with a toggleable virtual theatre mode, where you're sitting still and looking at a virtual screen. Everything in the screen is still 3D, of course. You can also toggle 90-degree turns to mitigate the possible nausea caused by turning slowly.

Controls are mostly the standard console Minecraft controls. Left stick moves, right stick turns. Left trigger uses, right trigger attacks, the shoulder buttons switch the item at hand and the regular buttons are for opening the inventory, grabbing and dropping items and splitting stacks. Head tracking is used to aim and as a replacement for the mouse when in inventory mode. One useful change is that when you start breaking a block, the cursor locks on to it and you can look elsewhere in the meantime. Combat also allows free aiming, which makes it a bit easier to track faster enemies like spiders. Looking straight up or down is a bit harder. You should never mine straight down anyway, but finishing off those last few trunk blocks off trees is a bit annoying. I'm also not sure how to type; The regular version probably pops up a virtual keyboard for console, but it was not visible in VR. Nor did the real keyboard work either.
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Nice. I played regular Minecraft with a SBS video converter, Trinius, and google cardboard, and it was actually pretty cool. I imagine with a proper headset is be awesome (and have better controls, though I had no problem using mouse and keyboard with a headset)
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Yesterday was pretty eventful. The sovereignty campaign websites didn't promise multiple constellation-wide simultaneous campaigns, but there were a few isolated ones.

The first one was just an excuse to brawl. Our fleet didn't form until we received reports that the enemy was bringing Machariels, and our numbers and firepower were not quite enough. Of course, that was the intention. The enemy fleet commander was mocked for his previous loss, so he was eager to engage. Of course, that was the cue to escalate and bring in the big guns. They tried to kill our fleet commander, but even our relatively unorganized logistics ships kept him alive. A few of the lighter Proteus were not as lucky as the commander's Machariel. We chased the enemy for a bit, but they retreated in disarray. Afterwards, the fleet blew up some enemy towers and installed our own.

Next up was a brief territorial control unit campaign. Instead of the usual logistics, I brought my hacking Nereus. Because I had not learnt my last lesson of never being the first or the last, the enemy found me even before the fleet was in position to strike. I held out against the first attacker for a while, but the enemy kept bringing in more random ships in order to break my tank. By that time the combat fleet had caught up, and the two fleets jockeyed for a good warp-in on each other while I resumed hacking. The enemy eventually retreated, but they weren't done. The fleet commander's plan was to lull them into a false sense of security by leaving the system. Sure enough, the enemy came back with even more firepower. I accidentally reported their arrival on the wrong channel, so the fleet commander could not catch up in time before my Nereus was blown up. Oh well, they were meant to be disposable.

Fortunately, the enemy's fixation on me let our other hackers finish their work, so we succeeded in blowing up the enemy's Territorial Control Unit and installing our own. Unfortunately there were no other Nereus for sale, so I had to grab a Deacon logistics frigate instead to rejoin the fleet. But with the strategic objective lost, the enemy lost interest and I didn't get a chance to try out the Deacon in combat.

Finally, I dropped by on the test server. A few Amarr, Caldari and Minmatar frigate hulls had gotten significant revamps. The Crusader, the Probe and the Bantam received fairly minor changes, while the Slasher and the Griffin received major revamps. Not only is the Slasher even more insect-like with an integrated cockpit and vastly enlarged wings, but the wings also fold together and swivel forward while in warp. The Griffin was redesigned to be similar to the Jackdaw T3 destroyer with antennas in a cross-shaped formation.

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Since most of my stuff are now safely in our new staging area, I've had some time to explore. The primary purpose is to find wormholes that can be used for smuggling in trade goods, but if an occasional data or relic sites pop up, I've been clearing those too. It took a bit to get reacquainted with the hacking minigame, but especially relic sites can easily yield about 100 million ISK in salvage for a few minutes of work. Even the data site yielded a couple of blueprints; An implant, a mobile depot and a tractor beam unit. I'm not sure whether I should import a Myrmidon for PvE use yet. I've been itching to use one, but it is an another ship I would need to move. And it would be much more vulnerable than my Cheetah, which can just cloak up whenever a random hostile arrives.

The third-party tools haven't been caught up with the fact that citadels can be used to store assets, have markets of their own or be used for contracts, so I haven't been importing that much stuff so far. The current staging system is temporary, so I try to keep things that I can't haul myself to a minimum.

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Yeah, most of the exploration sites are empty. The one where I found the blueprints was a Ghost site. When the hidden timer expires, enemies will spawn and warp disrupt you. Shortly afterwards, the entire site self-destructs. So when the enemies arrived, I peeled away from it with the microwarpdrive. I had lost a Magnate a few months ago in a highsec Ghost site, so I knew what to expect.

There are also Sleeper sites, which are much more complicated. There are dangerous enemies, traps, minefields and puzzles in addition to the hacking minigames. I would probably need a Stratios for those.
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After the initial cleanup of the first few constellations in Delve, the fighting has quieted down somewhat, and opportunities to undock in a capital ship have become more rare. But occasionally we get the chance to do something silly, like camping an enemy staging station.

Why is it silly? Because as soon as the enemy knows we're there, they won't undock in anything that can't dock back up or warp off by the time the carriers finish locking onto them. Of course, because the enemy won't undock in anything that can be caught, they also cannot undock in ships that could prevent us from securing several outposts. So while there were only a few kills, the mission was accomplished.

I also did a bit of hauling myself. Because jump freighters have to travel considerably longer to reach friendly space from Jita than before, most of our shopping has moved to a closer trade hub: Amarr. But the downside is that competition in Amarr is not as cutthroat as in Jita, so the prices are higher. So if I buy stuff in Jita, ship it to Amarr and then ship it to friendly space, I spend some effort in exchange for lower shipping costs and a more comfortable profit margin.

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Mika Hirvonen

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Yesterday was a long day.

Despite equivalent enemy presence, our small Confessor fleet had no incidents capturing a a freeported station. But just as we were about to leave, the fleet commander received word that there was an enemy fleet out and about, and we would have to wait for reinforcements before we could leave the border constellation and head home to our staging system. But by the time the reinforcements got there, an another freeport station contest started, and this time there was an actual enemy hacker in the constellation. I saw the enemy Arazu a few times, but he fled, wisely anticipating that I would report his position to the main fleet. And sure enough, he eventually got caught.

While we were busy capturing the station, the main fleet danced around with an enemy Rupture fleet, and eventually managed to pick off the few logistics ships they had left, forcing the enemy to retreat to avoid losing any more ships in a rapid succession.

Time to head home, right? Wrong. While we captured the two stations, the enemy managed to destroy a Territorial Control Unit of ours in an another, low-value system. When the call came to re-hoist the proverbial flag, I was already back to our staging system, and had to burn back in my Rapier. With the reinforced fleet still present, there were no more incidents. Of course, that was an another half-hour delay to a fleet operation that had already lasted several hours.

And right when we finished re-establishing the Territorial Control Unit, a notification popped up about a capital ship fleet. So I hurried back and just barely managed to get to my Chimera as the fleet was departing from the staging system. We first stood guard for a while next to a dead-end system where an enemy fleet had been trapped several days ago, just in case there were anyone left trying to sneak out. But there was nobody around, so the fleet commander pulled the fleet back and hot dropped us right into a small enemy Hurricane fleet outside their staging station. That small skirmish netted me an another kill mark on my Chimera, so I'm not complaining.

Speaking of Chimeras.. with the introduction of Force Auxiliaries, existing carriers have started to look a bit too small. The Force Auxiliaries could be described as flying stations, but they shouldn't dwarf super carriers like the Wyvern. And my Chimera looks positively tiny next to a Minokawa. And when compared to subcapital ships like the Machariel, it becomes implausible that a Chimera could fit a battleship or two into it's ship maintenance bay.

But if CCP ever gets around to fixing the scale, this is what it would be:

http://imgur.com/a/lAxZ6

From left to right, the pictures include a Machariel battleship, a Chimera in-game right now, a larger model for the Chimera, a Minokawa, a larger model for the Wyvern and a Leviathan.

In terms of volume, the new Chimera is at least eight times as big as the old one, so I'm happy. Likewise, the Wyvern actually looks like it's the second-largest ship type in the game. And even when compared to the new Chimera, it's twice as long. Curiously, the new Wyvern model is not the model used in Valkyrie; It doesn't have those wide fighter launch tubes, and of course it lacks the point defense guns. I hope that they touch up the details and the textures on the Chimera and the Wyvern while they're at it.

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Yes yes, I know that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was released on Tuesday. But I didn't get to try it until now.

Performance-wise it's really odd. With a 4k resolution, Geforce 980 Ti and Intel Core i7 4790, it barely reaches 5 FPS. But here's the curious thing: While the 6GB of GPU memory is fully used, the GPU itself runs at less than 10% load. CPU is at <30%. Main memory use is around 5GB. So 4k is a no-go. A regular 1080p resulution benchmark results in roughly same figures, with the exception of GPU memory use being slightly over 4GB. According to the benchmark, FPS is around 30-40.

Clearly the GPU memory is the bottleneck in 4k, but what the hell is the problem with 1080p?
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Mika Hirvonen's profile photoDerrick Whittet (Wintersdark)'s profile photo
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Couldn't say, not familiar with Process Explorer or how it works. 95% seems a lot more reasonable given the results, though.
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Last Saturday the north had a big battle over one of those legacy structures, a Supercapital Ship Assembly Array, where our enemies and our former friends shot each other for about 1.5 trillion ISK worth. When you have a Titan being built on the battlefield, you're very tempted to throw everything at it. But it if is isn't yours or your enemies', there's always the temptation to hold back a bit. The battle also sparked a discussion on how less glamorous more modern structures are to fight over. Even Citadels are safest to destroy with subcapital fleets, not with hundreds of super carriers and dozens of Titans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8erbR8HnQ8#t=5m10s
https://www.twitch.tv/themittanidotcom/v/84730111

Speaking of less noteworthy fighting, the war in the south goes on. The northern parts of the region have quieted down, but there's still stuff that requires you to sit in space, half hoping and dreading that something happens. I also took out the Deacon for an another spin, but so far I haven't been able to use it in combat against a comparable foe.

The Rapier is pretty fun, though. It does have that "explosion in the girder factory" look of Minmatar ships, but it is a cruiser that can cloak for travel and be fast enough to outrun enemies. It doesn't even lose it's Entosis lock while doing so.

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Sovereignty warfare in the age of Aegis mechanics seems to follow three general patterns. First, there's the uncontested campaign, where absolutely nothing happens. Then there's the harassment campaign, where relatively small numbers of enemy ships try to pick off hackers. And then there's the battle of wills, where the big fleets clash and the loser limps home. Of course, even if you win that initial fight, there's still the issue of actually hacking the nodes.

After a few tower reinforcement fleets, I was in the mood for some subcapital ship action. So I joined the fleet as a Guardian logistics ship, and after a bit of quiet time, the fight started escalating in the usual fashion. Both fleets skimmed off ships from each other, but never really committed to the fight. But then the fleets ended up on the opposite sides of a stargate. After a small delay, the fleet commander ordered us through.

There is an old adage that you never should be the first or the last one to obey a command. I didn't remember it at the time. When you use a stargate, you are initially cloaked, so you can survey the situation and decide on the best course of action. My fleet mates did go through the gate moments later, but the 60 seconds of cloak that you get are always relative. So when they were up, the commander told us to assume combat formations and start fighting. But because I was the first one to obey the command to go through, my ship was the first one that the enemy saw. My fellow logistics pilots did try to save me, but the firepower of the enemy fleet swept me off the battlefield.

From what I hear, the fight actually went quite well after my demise. The enemy fleet was twice as big as ours, but we had the home field advantage by now, and could use our capital ships together with the subcapital fleet. The enemy fleet was unable to move away from their own ambush and were destroyed.

Afterwards, I got into my own Chimera and waited for an opportunity to rejoin the fight. But the enemy lost their morale, so the call for capital reinforcements never came; We had more than enough hardware on the battlefield already. So I switched to an Entosis hacking ship, which in our doctrine is the Gallente Nereus industrial ship. While Gallente ships are usually armor tanked, this one has a large shield buffer tank, so it in theory could survive until reinforcements arrive. But it seems like the enemy only had scouts left in the field, and no fighting happened afterwards. But hacking all nodes for the remaining sovereignty structures still took a long while.

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That Legion didn't just randomly wander into the shot. I initially planned to train for an Archon instead of the Chimera, and I even bought the skill book. But I think I should first finish off training supplemental skills for the Naglfar and the Minokawa (Caldari Force Auxiliary) before I diversify into armor capitals. From what I heard, the T2 triage module makes at least as a big of a difference as the T2 siege module I'm using with the Naglfar.
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The war continues in Delve. While the gate to Aridia still continues to be frequented by fast enemy fleets picking off targets of opportunity, the fighting for system control has moved inland. Proverbially speaking, of course.

So far the strategy seems to be to capture everything in a single constellation at once. While the subcapital fleet plays the Aegis sovereignty whack-a-mole with command nodes, the capital fleet stays at one of the Fortizars and goes AFK until the fleet commander starts speaking in a military volume. Because the fatigue from using jump drives scales with distance travelled, the fatigue from jumping from one system to another in the same constellation is minimal. This allows the fleet commander to drop the proverbial hammer several times in a quick succession.

However, it has become clear that a carrier is not the swiss army knife of warfare it used to be. It can still take a beating, it can lock onto almost anything it sees in a matter of seconds and it can project firepower to several hundreds of kilometers. It can even tackle at any range due to the availability of support fighters. But it can still be evaded.

While fighters are relatively swift and can even close the gap to a target with microwarpdrives, they cannot consistently keep up with ships built for speed. They catch up, fire and fall behind. It's not a problem if you have someone else in a subcapital ship to handle tackling duties, but a single wing of support fighters cannot keep them from escaping. But I guess quantity has a quality of it's own, so I ended up with two more kill marks on my Chimera.

The enemy eventually gave up, so we started forming up conga lines on our Fortizar until the subcapital fleet was done hacking. Immediately afterwards, the coalition leadership announced that we were going to move further into Delve, with the eventual objective of making the constellation we just acquired our main staging area. So I stuck around for a bit, gathered all of my own things to my Chimera, which left the Naglfar mostly empty for other people's ships. Sadly, I failed to take a screenshot of two Titans moving 500 people at once to the new intermediate staging system.

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Mika Hirvonen

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There's a rumor that Warner Bros got so spooked by the negative reviews of Batman vs Superman that they ordered reshoots for Suicide Squad to add more comedy. Those reshoots were implemented so haphazardly that it feels like they stitched together two completely different movies. And the cruel joke is that the apocalyptic parts were the better ones.

Still, that tonal shift could have been the glue that held the movie together, if they had planned it to be there from the beginning. The trailers gave the impression that the titular squad was sent against the Joker, so the reveal that there's actual supernatural creepy crawlies that liquify humans on touch building a hell machine in a high-population city would have been pretty sweet. Hell, Guardians of the Galaxy managed to fit in a joke in the final confrontation against a similarly omnicidal villain, but that's because the rest of the movie successfully sold the idea of wacky hijinx with really high stakes. Suicide Squad falls way short of accomplishing that.

But hey, at least Amanda Waller was cool. And the Doctor Strange trailer.
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Mika's Collections
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Kaksi suurta salia on varattu efektipläjäyksille ja muille suuren budjetin leffoille, ja neljässä pienemmässä salissa pyöritetään tarpeeksi pienemmänkin profiilin elokuvia.
Atmosphere: Very GoodDecor: Very GoodService: Very Good
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