Moving the alliance

The Inception

A few weeks back, an idea was floated to the alliance:

What did we think about moving into a C6 wormhole?

With EVE, everything is about setting personal goals and continuing to move towards it. As you achieve goals and accomplish tasks, the need to set a new goal often arises. Somehow, I’ve gone from being a terrible spaceship pilot, to joining a corporation I mesh with, going into a C3 wormhole completely unprepared for it, then joining an alliance that LIVES in a C5, and now, invading a C6 wormhole to help its inhabitants realize we live there.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The idea was to move up to the greater profitability (and danger), of a C6 wormhole. As a corporation, we seem to be outgrowing our britches rapidly. In the C3, right when we were hitting a groove of complacency, we moved into a C5, which is a couple orders of magnitude more demanding than a C3 – both in terms of logistics, pilot skill, and player skill. Now, less than a month after that, we’re contemplating moving into the highest difficulty of wormhole life.

And critics say EVE is slow.

After the alliance as a whole decided that life in a C6 was the obvious and natural progression of the group, we set to finding out where to go. Spreadsheets ensued. Yes, actual spreadsheets are a common site in EVE life. Much like work, an alliance is often a conglomeration of up to hundreds of people, and organization is crucial. But this spreadsheet was different (sort of). Instead of containing columns of values for various items, and their relative price in Jita, then tallied up and tabulated using functions, THIS was a document used to examine the various qualities of C6 wormholes. As we  chain collapsed to find our way into one, we recorded the information of each potential relocation. All qualities were examined, and ranked as a result. With list in hand, we finally went shopping.

In a surprisingly short amount of time, a strongly ranked choice became available, and we pulled the trigger on the operation planning. By “became available”, I don’t mean to insinuate that it was empty, or we had some nice trade deal worked out to buy it from the current occupant. That’s not how we work. This is the alliance that declares jihad on others for pay. No, we planned on helping convince the resident Russians that their lease had come to an end. Forcefully.

Initiating Plan Alpha

That Thursday, we executed a trip out of our wormhole. A good number of characters left for their favorite trade hub to pick up their choice of the acceptable ship type for the fleet composition. We were to then wait around for the soon to be ex-homeowners to do their sleeper sites of Friday, jump in, flog them mercilessly, and blap some capitals to convince them home sweet home was not so safe anymore. What ended up happening was significantly different.

The plans of mice and men oft go awry, and ours was no different it seemed. Much to our frustration, it looked as if some outside source had run all the sites in our hopeful-home, ensuring a dearth of target capitals to turn into space dust. Then a slew of other potential scheduling problems, manpower limits (in both directions at one point), and late night almost ran this thing into the screeching halt of “we’ll do it later”. Thankfully, that did not happen. Domino’s fell, planets aligned, and a fleet entirely of our alliance worked our way into the new home.

After some a lot patient waiting around, we were FINALLY at a time to strike the enemy. Realizing that sites were gone, we decided the far less entertaining tower-bash would do to send a nice message. Our carefully constructed fleet of reppers and triage was put to excellent use against a derp of epic proportions on the part of the Ruskies (ProTip: You have to set any tower guns to attack people below a certain rating. The default is 0 (zero), so if someone is neutral, it will not attack them). So, what would have normally turned into a somewhat more entertaining experience of hitting guns, and paying attention, turned into a snore fest that was only mildly interrupted by a couple of Moros showing up at clockwork site-running time. It promptly logged off, with all of its comrades. Simultaneously.

Before too long, we had reinforced the tower and all guns, then blown up some small side tower that was sitting defenseless, and erected our own little safe haven in the skies to work from. The enemy tower would come out of reinforcement in 1 day and 8 hours (or something like that), which turned out to be around 8:00 AM EST on Sunday. Right when I would be leaving to go run the sound board for church.

What happened after is second hand information, but all seems to have gone well.

Things get Interesting and Plan Beta

The truth of EVE is that it’s exciting in two ways. Excitement is found in the aggregate of game play, and the political machinations inherent to such a socially dependent game. So, the above events were dreadfully boring in the specifics, but a neat and exciting experience over all. New things, new places, new conflicts and all that. The big-getters of attention in the EVE universe always stem from the political intrigue (and the resulting pew pew). Our corporations zeal to move ahead with our conquest blinded us to the reality of just how small space can really be, and into the quagmire of the political fax pas.

It turns out that the Russians on the receiving end of our forced extraction team were in reality a “sort-of” ally of ours. Yes, we were invading our quasi-friends. You don’t get pretty green arrows or name tags in EVE online, so the waters can be a bit murky at times. So, we felt a bit awkward, but mostly frustrated by our stymied plans. This meant we had to revisit our spreadsheet of glory and chain collapse holes again until we found our new NEW home. I spent the next few days spending time playing EVE by NOT playing EVE. I’d log in if needed to update my queue in the ruskie’s home, but that was it. Others who had the means and tools necessary to find what needed finding went about their job. In time a home was found, and the clarion call for a migration was given.

Our Bastion had been discovered.

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Movin’ on up

If you followed my link yesterday and read more than just the reply at Syncaine‘s site, you’ll see that INQ-E is moving into a new wormhole, with a new alliance, with what is supposed to be stupid profit potential. I was not trying to come out and talk about it yesterday, as I have some crazy security fear holding me back most of the time. I should know better considering the CEO is a blogger (extrovert) and another highly active member is also a blogger at KTR (Cyndre).

Syn detailed out a lot of what this means in general, and I’m pretty excited about, and a bit curious. Classes start again for me on June 11th. That’s real soon, and not the Soon™ gamers are used to dealing with. No, this is the measured in days and nearly hours soon of real life. What that means for my free time is that it will be crushed to a pulp, waking up at 5am getting home at 8:30-9:00pm for the remainder of the summer. So, I’m  happy I’ll be able to still move in, and participate on my own time without feeling like a mooch as I would have in our commune in the C3. Now, I get paid for what I do, as little or as much as I can. Which alleviates any feelings of regret or resentment amidst the corp members.

Something new every day

This one better fit.

Edit: You may notice a change in picture, the previous one resisted all attempts at editing, or formating, so I killed it.

I spent yesterday as an internet spaceship mover/liquidator. The null space area that my current corp resides in, is about 30 jumps away from the region I had been calling home before. The end of last week, and yesterday even more, saw me going about the grueling process of transporting my ships to my new home. The amount of stuff that you accumulate over time in EVE can be impressive, and I’m not the type who likes to horde – I stand over the garbage can when I go through my mail. Having a scroll bar on my assets list bugs my inherent sense of order, so last night I spent the beginning of my evening liquidating goods to cut down on transportation – going so far as to strip and sell one of my drakes. I’m sure I took a bit of a hit on my net worth – maybe 15-20% of the sold goods, but I got a Drake for free from the corps, so it’s a wash.

It’s taken me over a week to get this move wrapped up, because the travel aspect is torturous to me. 30 jumps isn’t a whole lot, but it’s still a good chunk of time just in going from point A to point B – at least 45 min, to an hour. Which is about half of a typical play session for me (one more reason I decided to sell the drake). However, my talking about this with my new corps, the clued me in on an aspect of the game I had no idea even existed: jump bridges.

The universe of New Eden is connected by stargates. Each solar system is connected by these technological wonders that were previously hauled there by explorers to connect different parts of space. Some regions, like Old Man Star, have interesting back-stories for the construction of the stargate. However, stargates are all NPC created and static objects. Which, on the whole, isn’t very interesting. Jump bridges are the player version of stargates – only better. From a pure function view, they jump longer distances, and the path to my corps home is one that would normally take about 40 jumps from the hi-sec access point, but with these jump bridges, it’s about ten. Additionally, it’s all player created content. They are created and placed by corporations. Their access is limited to those with the password, so usability is restricted. Having a network of jump bridges is tactically advantageous, as well as a huge relief to players making a long trip – for allowing them to avoid both the repetition of jump, warp, jump; but also because it makes them more safe by cutting down on total exposed time on a trip.

Travel in MMOs is a concept that, with the rest of the genre intricacies, been reduced to novel and simplistic tasks. Warping, flying, and recalls have all made most MMOs space a negligible issue. EVE, has some ways to relieve that (jump clones), but all of them are limited and restricted in some sort of significant manner (passwords, real-time limits). So, as much as I hate to do the travel myself, I appreciate it for what it means to the game, and what it creates as a by-product. A move should not be considered lightly, or something done on a whim – just as in real life, you set down roots and leaving a place you’ve become established in becomes more difficult as time goes on.