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Mika Hirvonen
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Mika Hirvonen

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Having played Eve Online for several years, it's unusual that I never really got into PvP, the main draw of the entire game. Sure, I've gotten killed, but I usually avoided combat whenever I could. Until now.

Eve Online has been called Spreadsheets in Space, and that instrument sport aspect reaches far beyond the game itself. In this case, there was an announcement on Jabber that there was an impromptu fleet operation being organized, so I logged on, got one of my Jaguars and joined the fleet. Sure, the ship was fitted according to specific instructions, but I really did not have a proper clue on how to use it. I can get it into the correct range from the opponent, activate guns and other modules and.. hope for the best.

I could afford bigger ships, even the Navy Apocalypses mandated for Serious Internet Spaceship Business, but I really ought to get some experience with ships that I could buy in bulk first. Which is why it was really fortunate that the fleet was a frigate fleet. The biggest ship was the fleet commander's Svipul.

I remembered the basics of fleet movement; Do what the commander says and nothing more. It's the space equivalent of a close-order military drill. You need to know how to walk as an unit long before you can try to fight as an unit. Aside from being a just bit slower to warp in the first few systems, I think I didn't attract too much attention.

Eventually we did run into some actual human opponents. The first one was a hauler, who really didn't have any chance against us, even though he had fitted his hauler with guns, armor and even warp scramblers and stasis webs.

I'm not sure how much I should obfuscate in these screenshots; Every single kill in Eve Online is technically public information, but I suppose it's bad form to show everyone who was present, even if they might not have been that involved in the actual shooting. Or any communications or private chats. I guess I'll tone down the blurring in the future.

The second encounter was against a Rattlesnake, the Guristas pirate version of the Caldari Scorpion battleship. The pilot boasted that our fleet would be unable to get through his shield, but he did eventually have to run once his capacitor started running low. Then we spent some time camping a station, and managed to catch someone in a Helios and a head full of expensive implants. I think the total value was over 800 million. Even though I did never get a shot on the capsule, I somehow got into the killmail. So I technically have redeemed most of my previous losses in the game with a single kill. But really, I'm deep in red when it comes to ISK efficiency. And I really didn't understand at first what fleet commander meant when he told us to switch ammo. I did switch into longer-range ammo, but I forgot to switch my sensor booster to boost targeting range instead of targeting speed. So I had to get closer than what he had intended.

Finally, someone else did come out an play in a Cerberus fitted for killing frigates like ours. We fought a bit at the station, but then he started running away. We caught him at a customs office orbiting a planet and  wore him down. We did lose some ships, but the loot was scooped up and given to the interceptor pilots as an additional reimbursement for filling the riskiest role in any fleet operation. And even with multiple ships down on our side, he lost more in terms of ISK.

On the way back we caught an another combat hauler, and it didn't fare any better than the first one. And again, I didn't manage to kill the pod. Oh well. I contributed to four kills with no losses.
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The Executioner has three slots, just enough for the essentials: a microwarpdrive, a warp scrambler and web. The first gets you close to the target, the second shuts down their warp drive and the third prevents them from trying to outrun you (usually back to the warpgate). The fitting is not the problem.

The problem is knowing by heart what to do with your target when you've caught it. They need to kill you if they want to escape, so you need to survive until the target is destroyed. And I can't do what I usually do (flee), because that would negate the entire reason to fly a tackler.
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Mika Hirvonen

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Eve Online is really due for a texture upgrade. Faction emblems and reflections on the golden parts really clash with the painted-on floodlights and the visible pixels on the actual textures.
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Mika Hirvonen

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NPCs in #eveonline  have been derisively called rats for longer than I have played the game. They're as ubiquitous and easily killable as their namesake. But the Circadian Seekers are getting a bit uppity, even invading the very heart of the Amarr Empire. Oris, the planet on the background, hosts their main trade hub, the Emperor Family Academy on it's orbit. But business goes on nevertheless.
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Mika Hirvonen

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So far, it's been a bit tough finding stuff to manufacture. I have blueprints for most of the T1 ships and even some of the battleships, but the vast majority of them are being sold for way below their mineral price.

Apparently T1 ships are no longer needed for manufacturing T2 ships, so there may be a surplus of ships out there. In addition, items (including ships) can no longer be reprocessed perfectly into the exact same amount of minerals used in building them, so the surplus cannot be reprocessed either without losses.

Still, there are a few backwater places in the galaxy where ships are still being sold at seemingly reasonable prices. Combat ship prices are still low, but haulers seem to be in demand. Especially Gallente's specialty haulers.

Back in the day, the Gallente had a rather unimaginative series of Iterons from mark I to V. Mark V is still around, but the others have been renamed and repurposed for speciality roles. Some have a specialized hold for materials from planets. Some haul ore. Some haul minerals. And even the old Iteron mark I got a drone bay to make it distinct. I have no idea what a hauler could even hope to defeat in combat, but the option is there.

While ship equipment and even ammo usually take very little space, ships, even in their unusable packaged form, still take a lot. I had to fit my Fenrir for maximum hauling and the ships still almost filled it to the brim. Back in the day it would have taken several trips, which is not what you want to do in one of the slowest ships in the game.

I guess I should look into T2 ship production next, because the current T1 production runs do not take up enough capital nor provide a suitable return on investment on said capital.

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Usually, the Sleepers are only found in wormholes. I've never fought them, but supposedly they have advanced AI (which isn't saying much) that can use electronic warfare on opponents, focus fire and choose targets. But these ones don't seem to attack unless provoked. They just hang out and scan stuff.

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It's been a few days, so now I have some raw data on how my Planetary Interaction bases perform. I have five bases, of which three produce Precious Metals from Noble Metals, and two produce Toxic Metals from Heavy Metals. The Toxic Metal is then combined with the Noble Metals to produce Enriched Uranium, which currently sells for around 10200 ISK per unit. Optimally, my setup produces 2160 units every three days. That's roughly 22 million in revenue. Taxes from importing/exporting take around two million, so daily profit is around 6,66 million.

For a starting player that's plenty, and would allow them to buy a T1 cruiser every few days. But it's nowhere near the point where one could turn Eve Online into Farmville and pay for game time with money from Planetary Interaction. No doubt higher-grade products could yield more revenue, but they would probably need more upkeep too. These require resetting every three days and some minor hauling extract the Enriched Uranium and to move the Noble Metals to the main processing bases.

I also did a level 4 mission. One reason was that I really didn't remember that much about Eve combat, and the other was to gauge the expected income. One of the new additions in the UI is the approximate sell price for the items you select. The mission I completed was roughly worth four million in bounties and mission rewards and an another four in loot and salvage. It was a relatively simple one, and longer missions can yield a lot more. If I wasn't so rusty, it would have only taken 10-15 minutes.

One of the interesting balancing acts in Eve involves ship sizes. Cruisers can take more raw damage and have bigger guns than frigates, and battleships are even tougher and have bigger guns still. In any other game, there would be no meaningful choice in here. Bigger is better.

But in Eve, while bigger combat ships can shrug off attacks from smaller ships, the opposite is also true: Smaller ships are also harder to hit. This also applies to cruise missiles, the Raven's primary armament. They might not have trouble tracking targets, but the explosions trigger too far away from the enemy ships and cause minimal damage. So while my Raven had no problems whatsoever in destroying cruisers or the enemy battleships, the last two frigates were a different story altogether. While I was gone, even standard issue NPCs that you fight in missions had learnt to target the drones I was using to chase down the frigates. I started out with five, but they kept destroying them even if I was paying attention and recalling them when they started to take damage. Eventually I just gave up, fetched my own frigate and blasted them out of the sky in a few seconds.
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Mika Hirvonen

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I've been slowly getting back to the nullsec mindset. Most of the fleet operations have been on US time so far, but I did manage to get myself shot while gathering all of my stuff.

Since the beginning, Eve Online has had a very limited number of slots available on stations for various industry tasks. If it was a busy station, you might need to wait for months before a slot freed up. Alternatively, you could find more remote stations with free slots, which usually meant low security systems and having to dodge pirates. That system has changed since I quit playing a few years back. A specific station can have any number of industry jobs running now, but the system is balanced with a system cost index. The more jobs there are, the higher is the demand for the personnel and therefore the employment costs. So while you can build or research on any station you want at any time, it might not be cost-effective. So once again, I had some blueprints being researched in low security stations. What I forgot was that while blockade runners and covert ops frigates are hard to catch, they're not impossible to catch.

As soon as I arrived from the warpgate, by ship was decloaked and the pirates around the warpgate started scrambling my warp drive and shooting. I really didn't have time to wonder why my ship was decloaked, so I burnt back to the warpgate and found an another route. The pirates were still in position when I got through the detour. Apparently they had left the wrecks and corpses of their previous victims all around the warp gate, which served as a minefield of sorts; Any cloaked ship next to these obstructions would be decloaked and fired upon. And because the corpses are not displayed by default, the pirates had a very profitable advantage.

I also founded a few new planetary colonies to see what kind of a passive income one could get in the boonies. It'll take a while to get large enough stocks of intermediate materials to keep the operations running 24/7, but at least I can look at the pretty planets in the meantime.

#eveonline  
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It seems that CCP has refreshed their test server data, because I could finally log on. I don't have the skills to try out the tactical destroyers yet, so I started tinkering with some of the ships that I've had my eye on for a while. Everything on the test server costs 100 ISK, so you can try out anything that you have the skills for.

IMHO, one of the best-looking Amarr ships out there is the Zealot. It may not be completely symmetrical or have neat skins like it's T1 cousin the Omen, but it's a sleek ship nevertheless. Heavy Assault Cruisers are pretty much what it says on the tin: They're fast and have high damage, but they don't have as much staying power as the battlecruisers. Not that it matters against enemies like these Angel Cartel belt rats; There's only a handful of enemies at any time, and anything smaller than a battleship is vaporized on the first hit.

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One signifier of "tough but fair" games is the ability to do a no-damage run. It means that everything (in theory) can be anticipated, prepared for and evaded. La-Mulana doesn't quite let you do that, but you can get pretty close.
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Mika Hirvonen

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There have been a lot of new additions to Eve Online's ship roster since I last played. When I quit, every faction had just gotten their third battlecruisers, all with the specialty of being able to equip battleship-sized guns. Of course, said damage-dealing potential came at the cost of being able to sustain damage.

Some time after that, each faction got their second destroyer hulls. Because all of the original destroyers focused on that faction's guns, the new ones focus on other ways of dealing damage. So both the Gallente and the Amarr got drone boats, while the Caldari and the Minmatar got missiles.

But even with a additional hull types, the destroyers were still one of the smallest ship classes out there. Their T2 variants, the interdictors, are highly useful in stopping people, but you usually don't need to bring more than a few for any given fleet. So CCP is now in the process of adding T3 destroyers for each faction. While the T3 cruisers were modular, the T3 destroyer's specialty is transforming_. They can switch between defense, speed and damage modes on the fly, with the hulls reconfiguring themselves with proper animations. The Amarr and the Minmatar got theirs already, with the Caldari and the Gallente being next in line.

I'm not sure whether I would need that kind of adaptability in a frigate hull; PVE encounters usually give you ample time to refit your ship when needed. Like with the T3 cruisers, I probably will eventually train the skills required but never actually buy one.

What I did buy was the blueprints for all of the new T1 destroyers. They were only around 7-8 million each, and improving their material efficiency to the optimal level will take more time than money. The battlecruiser blueprints cost around 600-700M each, so I need to get my industrial pipeline up to speed before I can afford all of them.

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Previously I had thought the paid Skyrim mods controversy to be a hopelessly naive idea badly implemented. I didn't think it was this bad. When you have a free resource and a paid marketplace, someone's gonna stripmine it.
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Had a watch.

I hadn't considered the implications of stolen content etc, and wasn't aware that Valve's implementation was entirely uncurated.

What a huge mess that was.  Wow.  
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Eve Online is 12 years old, so in their old tradition they're dishing out one-of-a-kind items to all active accounts. This time it's two Mordu's Legion jackets (one for each gender) and two pretty nice implants. The implants sell for around 300 million (total) right now, so if you are afraid to fly with those in your head, you could buy yourself a new ship with those. Or you can hoard them and hope that enough people die with them to thin out the supply and drive up the price.

I also found my mining ship, the Hulk. It is an elegant ship from a more civilized age, so of course it doesn't have any tanking to speak of. Hulks were the prime target of gankers in the olden days too, but nowadays it's isn't supposed to be the only choice when it comes to mining. It's formerly lesser cousins, the Mackinaw and the Skiff have been rebalanced too. The Hulk has the highest mining yield, but no defenses to speak of. The Mackinaw has the biggest ore hold and some shields, so it requires less attention than the others. The Skiff is the toughest mining ship, but it pays for the durability with the lowest mining yield. There's also a frigate-sized mining ship out there, and it's T2 version seems to be specialized in stealth mining. It's harder to scan down than other mining ships, and it can fit a covert ops cloak, which allows it to hide if someone comes looking for it.
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Kaksi suurta salia on varattu efektipläjäyksille ja muille suuren budjetin leffoille, ja neljässä pienemmässä salissa pyöritetään tarpeeksi pienemmänkin profiilin elokuvia.
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