Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

by Edgar Guest

Gettin’ together to smile an’ rejoice,

An’ eatin’ an’ laughin’ with folks of your choice;

An’ kissin’ the girls an’ declarin’ that they

Are growin’ more beautiful day after day;

Chattin’ an’ braggin’ a bit with the men,

Buildin’ the old family circle again;

Livin’ the wholesome an’ old-fashioned cheer,

Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door

And under the old roof we gather once more

Just as we did when the youngsters were small;

Mother’s a little bit grayer, that’s all.

Father’s a little bit older, but still

Ready to romp an’ to laugh with a will.

Here we are back at the table again

Tellin’ our stories as women an’ men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;

Oh, but we’re grateful an’ glad to be there.

Home from the east land an’ home from the west,

Home with the folks that are dearest an’ best.

Out of the sham of the cities afar

We’ve come for a time to be just what we are.

Here we can talk of ourselves an’ be frank,

Forgettin’ position an’ station an’ rank.

Give me the end of the year an’ its fun

When most of the plannin’ an’ toilin’ is done;

Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,

Let me sit down with the ones I love best,

Hear the old voices still ringin’ with song,

See the old faces unblemished by wrong,

See the old table with all of its chairs

An’ I’ll put soul in my Thanksgivin’ prayers.

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Exploration Log 26-Nov-2013

Welcome to the Exploration Log. The semi-regular updates where I report actual exploration game time along with the results.

Game Time: Approx 2.5 hours

Location(s): Angels Low Sec; Serpentis Null Sec; Blood Raider Low Sec

System Count: 7 (Angels LS) + 1 (Serpentis NS) + 7 (Blood Raiders LS) = 15

Sites Run: Drug Lab 4, Relic 1

Ghost sites seen: 0

Ship(s) Used: Exploration Tengu, Drug Lab Tengu

Profit: ~215 million isk

Comments: Angels lowsec had an abundance of drug lab sites today.  I actually saw 6, but after scanning, I only ran 4 of them.  One of them had my favorite skillbook along with a handful of standard and improved Soothsayer BPC’s.  Sadly, those are worth very much.  I was probably wasting my time running the other sites, but who knows when you might want to give someone “The Little Pirate that Could“!

I dropped in a wormhole direct to Serpentis nullsec and found a data and relic site.  I scanned them both and was reminded of how badly Serpentis loot sucks.  One of the cans at the relic site did have 5 Power Circuits, so I hacked that can and then left.  Back in Angels space,  I chased around a Cheetah that I found hacking a data site, but sadly he got away.

I finished off the evening in Blood Raiders space, but didn’t run any sites.  I found a Blood Minor Annex, but I didn’t run it.  I am missing my stasis web module (must have left it at a station somewhere) and there were none for sale for a few jumps.  Killing the drones in BMA is a pain without a web so I decided to call it a night.

I still haven’t seen a Ghost site.

Johnny, Spike, Timmy & EVE

Warning: very long and possibly rambling post ahead.

First of all, I highly recommend that you read this:

http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtgcom/daily/mr220b

It is where game designer Mark Rosewater talks extensively about the psychographic profiles of players specific to the game Magic: The Gathering.  It is interesting stuff although much of the terminology is specific to MTG.

I have edited down the profiles and applied them to EVE.  This is a heavily derivative work and I am quoting extensively from the above article.

Keep in mind that these are all PVP profiles.  But since EVE is a PVP game, I think they apply quite nicely.  Also, players don’t always fit cleanly into a single category.  Probably, most players have a dominant category but recognize traits from the other categories as well.

So, on to the profiles…

For Timmy, the entire reason to play is having a good time

Timmy wants to experience something. Timmy plays because she enjoys the feeling she gets when she plays. What that feeling is will vary from Timmy to Timmy, but what all Timmies have in common is that they enjoy the visceral experience of playing. As you will see, Johnny and Spike have a destination in mind when they play. Timmy is in it for the journey.

Timmy plays with ships and fittings and methods that make him happy; things that create cool moments; fleets that make him laugh; ships that allow him to hang with his friends; ships that cause him to have fun. Winning and losing isn’t even really the point (although winning is fun – Timmy gets that).

For Timmy, the entire reason to play is having a good time. If Timmy loses 7 out of 10 matches, but wins 3 decisively then it was worth it.  Some Timmies LIVE for overkill.  When they win, they like to win big.  Gate campers and Hot Droppers are usually Timmies.  They may waste a lot of time waiting, but it is with friends and they are having fun on comms.  Sometimes a roaming fleet catches them and wipes them out.  Sometimes they catch a hauler or some blinged out ships.  If it made for a good story, then it was fun and it was worth it.

Timmies are also the ones that emphasize fun social interactions in a positive way.  They are the players that organize events like theme roams, frigate-free-for-alls, and other player events.  Another category of Timmies are the ones that always want to try new things.  They are the ones that move from Manufacturing to Wormholes to Nullsec to Faction Warfare to…whatever.  Finally, some Timmies just live for the adrenaline rush of the game.  They like to fly by the seat of their pants and be unpredictable.  They will engage in any battle – just to see what happens.  They are the true pirates of EVE -they get great fights and great kills, but are usually broke.

Let me end this section on Timmy by stressing that of the three profiles, Timmy has probably gotten the worst rap. Timmy isn’t an idiot. Timmy just chooses his ships and fittings for his own purposes. It’s not the reason Johnny and Spike choose theirs, but then that’s the entire point of psychographic profiles – to explain how different players are motivated by different criteria. I hope after this article, a lot of readers will realize that they themselves are Timmies.

Johnny wants to express something

So why does Johnny play? Because Johnny wants to express something. To Johnny, this is an opportunity to show the world something about himself, be it how creative she is or how clever she is or how offbeat she is. As such, Johnny is very focused on the customizability of the game. Your ship and your style becomes an extension of yourself. When your style wins, you win. When your ship fitting gets complimented, you get complimented. It is this principle that drives Johnnies.

They are the EFT Warriors and Fleet Comp builders.  They are the strategists that pore over tournament fleet combinations and build winning combinations.

They are also the creators of the theme fleets that are weird, but wildly effective.  The idea for RvB and Brave Newbies and EVE University may fall into this grouping.

Johnnies also see the game as a form of self-expression. Some of the talented role-players and artists and bloggers are Johnnies.

Some Johnnies build their ships based on sheer stubbornness. To them, no ship or module is too bad to find a use for. They thrive on doing the undoable like building Battle Badgers and Combat Covops ships.

Before I wrap up with Johnny, I feel obliged to point out that Johnnies aren’t restricted to just the in-game expression.  The common bond to all the Johnnies is that they are on a mission to show the world something about themselves. What they’re showing varies tremendously, but at the core of each Johnny is a similar motivation: “Look at me world! Look at me!”

Spike gets his greatest joy from proving something by winning

So why does Spike play? Spike plays to prove something, primarily to prove how good he is. You see, Spike sees the game as a mental challenge by which she can define and demonstrate her abilities. Spike gets her greatest joy from winning because her motivation is using the game to show what she is capable of. Anything less than success is a failure because that is the yardstick he is judging himself against.  If Spike wins 9 out of 10 times, but he knows he could have / should have won the 10th time then he is disappointed.  She wants to win.

Most Spikes are min/maxers.  They try to squeeze every advantage whether in pvp or trading or space domination.  They want to be the best.  Some Spikes focus on the metagame.  They win by understanding their opponents’ (or the game’s) weaknesses.  They win sovereignty battles before they start and make fortunes on patch speculation.

Some Spikes focus all their energies on perfecting their own gameplay.  They are the consummate pvp pilots who are always perfecting their craft.  They make videos, share tips, and dominate tournament play.  In industry they make trillions.

Finally, there are some Spikes that absolutely drive CCP crazy.  They pride themselves on their ability to find and exploit broken game mechanics.  They know how to make use of game mechanics for personal benefit in ways that CCP never dreamed of.

The most important thing to understand about Spikes is this: To them the game is a means to test themselves. As such, their enjoyment comes from marking their own progress. While that usually means winning (however defined), there are Spikes who measure their success in other ways. For example, some Spikes measure themselves not against winning or losing but by how perfect their play was.

The last thing I want to stress is that Spikes are neither limited to organized play nor are they necessarily good. There are Spikes who play casually. There are Spikes who are downright horrible. Being a Spike is measured against why you play not where or how well you play. (And the inverse is true for Timmy.)

Feel free to disagree, but so far, I would say that Rubicon was a Timmy/Johnny expansion.  It is an expansion that encourages alternative game play and makes proving-by-winning a bit more complex.  In fact, with the space exploration bit, it feels like perhaps CCP is embarking on a long Timmy/Johnny arc.  I think maybe Jester was alluding to this when he made this post a while back.  We shall see.

Logistics Weekend

This weekend was a mish-mash of activity.  I hunted for Ghost sites, but didn’t see any.  I think I have jumped through well over 100 lowec and nullsec systems without seeing a single Ghost site.   I ran a few profession sites, but it was in lowsec and the loot was mediocre.  Mostly, I was looking for combat sites since I had some uninterrupted play time, but they were never around when I needed them.  I did get to run one good drug site and picked up a Neurotoxin Control skillbook.  So that was nice.

I ended up back in my home system for PI so I emptied the customs offices of all their commodities and dropped them at my home station.  I have nearly a full Epithal load so I got in my Tengu and scouted for wormholes.  I found 3 in my system.  The first went to a C1 system with only another lowsec exit.  The second was a C3 with a C2 connection.  I hopped into the C2 and it had a highsec exit.  I probed it down and it opened into Lonetrek only a few jumps from Jita.  I bookmarked everything and returned home to grab the Epithal.  I filled the commodities hold with about 230m isk of PI and the standard hold with about 600m isk of loot.  Nothing like flying a T1 industrial with nearly 1 billion isk!

My trips through C3 and C2 were uneventful.  I docked up in the Lonetrek system put everything into the station and started to create the Red Frog contract to ship it to Jita.  Hmm, something is wrong.  What is this?  I am in Jotenen – a high-sec island.  Red Frog won’t pick-up from here.  I weigh my options and decide I will try again some other time.  I load up my Epithal and wormhole jump back to lowsec.  No loot cash-out for me today.

Back at my lowsec station, I finish up some invention jobs and get some nice Tech 2 rig blueprints.  I start to manufacture them only to find out that ALL of the manufacturing slots in this station are filled for the next 5 days.  I feel like I have been invaded.  I don’t know who has moved in, but they are clearly more of the industrialist than I am.  Looking around the system I see that another station has 20 plus open manufacturing slots.  Since I don’t feel like waiting 5 days to run my manufacturing, the Epithal gets refitted with cargohold expanders and I move all my stuff to the station next door.  It takes 4 trips, but the system is empty so the risk is low.  I get my manufacturing jobs started and set up another round of invention jobs.  Except this station doesn’t have any invention slots.  I really should check these things first!

Outside of moving things back and forth, I got to play with the new mobile depot.  It works pretty much as noted in the patch notes.  You deploy it and 60 seconds later you can refit your ship in space.  I tested it on my Tengu and was able to swap subsystems easily.  You have to drag and drop though.  I tried to right-click on a module in inventory and there was no option to “fit to ship”.  I also noticed that you can overload your ship.  I fit a cargohold expander, loaded the ship to full and then unfit the cargohold expander.  I couldn’t add anything else (like the mobile depot), but it let me fly away out of range of the depot while I was overloaded.  I didn’t try warping.  I would also like to try using “saved fittings” if all the equipment is in the mobile depot.  I know it doesn’t work if everything is in small container in my ship, but does it work otherwise?  I don’t know.  Trying to keep everything organized for refitting can be a little complicated.

I am looking forward to using these mobile depots on some longer roams.  Storage will always be an issue – especially for ammo, but I have a plan!

Windsong of the Marauder

Windsong of the Marauder

So dear mistress Space, again we must dance
Seize opportunity, cheat lady chance
Into this fray, man-made beasts of steel skin
To our lists we shall add, dozens more sins
By barrel, by blade, or any known means
To tear at their minds, and joy in their screams
To dine on the death, of our fallen foes
Delight in their torture, their angst, their woes
The wolves are baying, the devils do hide
Tonight proud kinsmen, Marauders must ride

Eve Player Alenia Swift

-Winner of the Gallentean Arts Council 2003 Multiracial Poetry Competition.  Grand Prize was 3 million isk which Alenia kindly donated back to the Council.