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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Moros Dead

Yay for corp-wide text messages telling me to get in game. I got to whore a kill on a Moros. 5 billion isk kill is a great way to increase my efficiency rating!

The highs are high

But the lows are low.

Some days, you’re darting between sites, killing enemy targets with impunity. Other days, you make 19 jumps to catch the tail end of the action, hearing about it the whole way, only to find the k-space entrance was rolled 3 minutes before you showed up, and the new one is literally 2 jumps from where you started.

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.

I did the unthinkable

I mined ore.

I did it poorly by any and all measures.

  • I used Miner 1’s.
  • In an Osprey.
  • With no skills for it except Mining III

There’s something to be said about the oppressive and pervasive boredom that bears down on you inside a wormhole that leads you to try new things. My previous endeavor to learn PI and suck the life juices from a planet has succeeded and the task seems old-hat now. A 10 minute chore to re-do extractor positioning every-day and then maybe 20 minutes to go out and retrieve the results every other day.

I’ve also started to explore the world of scanning. That’s something I’m trying to get faster at. It’s difficult to improve speed in an environment where speed isn’t important, but when it is, you want the speed. A catch-22 situation. It also doesn’t help (me) that we have a crew who are able to scan down sites basically first thing after the server comes back up. It is very helpful to the corporation though, and I’m thankful for their efforts. Still, I’m learning the interface and at least using the corp bookmarks to verify that I’m finding the same things they are at times.

I keep saying it, but you learn more about EVE every day. Yesterday’s lesson: the term “Static Wormhole” is used because as soon as you destabilize it and cause it to collapse, a new one immediately spawns. There’s only one static per WH as far as I know, but others can spawn that lead to other WH’s (maybe other K-space as well – not sure). As a group, we’ve been pretty good so far at “rolling” wormholes to the critical collapse point, and trying to maintain control of our own private space bubble.

Humorously, a corporation who are a self-proclaimed “High-Sec Nemesis Group” war-dec’d us. A mostly WH space corporation. Pretty humorous.

Sooner than soon

Soon turned into right-fucking-now.

We had a fortuitous worhmhole open up that made moving stuff in extremely simple. So last night I dived head first into the physics-bending reality of wormhole life. I made a little rat-next of things in K(known)-space, and then blitz-rushed it all in. It went smooth as butter, but the potential for a cluster-fuck was high. Traveling through lo-sec to get into W-space where anyone could be waiting on the other side was pretty thrilling. Turning what would be a dull transport run anywhere else, into an enjoyable experience. Amazing what can happen when you allow genuine emergent behavior in a game.

So after settling in, I start to peek into the depths of this particular rabbit hole in EVE. Your base of operations is your POS. That is surrounded by a big bubble of a force-field keeping your shit safe. Within the bubble are lots of various structures, most of which I don’t know what they do. Two important ones though are the hangar and an items bay. One for ships, and the other for stuffs™. There is no more ship-spinning or captain’s quarters in W-space that I can tell, you swap ships in the cold vastness of space, with only your pod to give you comfort. Outside of the bubble are lots of things with symbols I’m not really sure of, but I’m guessing are guns to keep would-be interlopers off your spot.

So, my near future includes spartan living in a bubble of sequestered space, dealing with intruders and finding ways to optimize profitability under the sickle and hammer of communist rule, while learning new facets of a deeply complex game-system.

What are you doing?

Enter wormhole, stop learning pewpew

Shamelessly pilfered image.

Recently, I joined the corporation of the evil one. I’ve been in for about a week now and I can tell the taint is spreading…

If you read his blog, you’ll know that the corporation has recently made the jump into wormhole space. This is what is known to most people as a “pretty big deal”. It requires an entire adjustment to the way you approach the game, and a monumental amount of work. For the unfamiliar, these are areas or “zones” that are tied off from any other area of space, except by random “zone lines” that connect to random areas. Inside physics can go haywire and cause strange effects on the properties of, well, anything. Choosing to live in one of these means having physical stations to dock/fit/basic life functions of a person. Planets need to be consumed, and clouds/asteroids need to be harvested to maintain a function space-structure. There are a lot of other activities that require a slew of different skill sets as well. For example: scanning.

When I first started playing this game (nigh three years back), I did do some scanning. Just enough to finish the tutorial. It was neat, but, meh, I wanted to blow stuff up. I never pursued it more, probably to my detriment. Turns out, it’s kinda useful. Lets you find other players in space, and super secret locations in dead space that haz phat lewts.

See, when I first heard about moving into a wormhole, my immediate thought was of epic battles to fight off invaders and maintain our hold on space. Turns out the invaders part is kinda true, but it’s more…tactical a situation. So, I’m finding that there are a number of things I need to learn, both in terms of skill queue and personal game ability, so that I can be an asset to the corporation. Scanning being one of those things.

I hope to actually move into the wormhole in the near future, but beyond the skill barrier, there are logistics I need to sort. Like how to get my important shit there with enough supplies to last a while. Seeing as it’s an island in the ocean perpetually cut-off from outside shipments.

Too cool

Ever want to discover a worm-hole? Yeah, that’s one more reason why EVE is so freaking cool. On a plus side, it works out well that I chose exploration as my first career type, and CCP releases a new video on how to better explore with probes the day after. Someone up there must love me.