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My name is Hallan Turrek. This is my blog.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Non-Interview

So sometimes people contact me for interviews without any preparation. I've decided to troll anyone that does that to me again.

Hallan Turrek > Howdy.
Z0D > morning HAllan
Z0D > Eva told me i should talk to you
Hallan Turrek > About?
Hallan Turrek > Aha. I am indeed the person to talk to about interviews on that.
Z0D > its a first for me on that part :))
Hallan Turrek laughs
Hallan Turrek > I'll need a link to your platform.
Z0D > been more in the back of Take Care as an advisor
Z0D > a link to my platform?
Hallan Turrek nods
Hallan Turrek > What you're for, what you're against. What you plan to do.
Hallan Turrek > I don't do interviews unless you have a well defined platform posted somewhere.
Z0D > like what i stand for etc, the different points etc?
Hallan Turrek > Yes. That.
Z0D > k, will need to work on that and put it through the take care web site as well as prepare a campain thread for the Jita speak corner
Hallan Turrek > Well, lets cover some basics.
Z0D > kk
Hallan Turrek > Are reinforced bulkheads overpowered?
Hallan Turrek > If so, how would you fix them?
Z0D > well everything has been so tweaked compared to a few years via stacking and some more severely than others, but defitively it has removed the abiliuty as in the past to move ships at insane speeds to put more people whatever the ships are to a more
Z0D > similar speeds, i find and that smy opinion that like overdrive mods that a lot of those affect the stats in ways that i think don't totally rely to their initial module goal
Z0D > deftivrely by adding structure maximum velocity is reduced, but 11% in that sense should be different and more take longer to acheive the same maximum velocity rather than simply reduce the max speed
Z0D > on T2 mod for example
Hallan Turrek > I've heard alot of talk lately about the Bantam being boosted, are you in support of those changes?
Z0D > the real base stats of some of those basic ships could receivce a liltle help help new players starting a biut more when they are in their initial starting phase and in trials etc
Z0D > help help --> love...
Hallan Turrek > What do you plan to do in Iceland?
Z0D > well, that would be to help push ideas and players issues so they can actually become realities in the future, lots of things in the game are either not enough or too much or in other case simply don't make any senses
Hallan Turrek nods
Z0D > and an example on that the very CVA incident that just happened....
Z0D > how do we go as a CEO or Director go about taking 24 hours to expell a member from corp... but can instantly kick all corps out of alliance and close alliance with a single click with no votes of any kind.....
Hallan Turrek > Someone told me that they were going to give us more snowballs this Christmas, that's pretty cool right?
Z0D > hehe alwayts cool to do some cold damage :))
Z0D > i was at the last Fanfest (my first) was some great fun and met some people i did not know in game and made some new ones, was surprised at how cold it was for even just early October
Hallan Turrek nods
Z0D > Defitively want to go back through :))
Hallan Turrek > You get laid out there?
Z0D > with the beer lol! lots of it , first 3 days slept maybe 8 hours...
Z0D > was there 6 days, 3 days fanfest and 3 extra days to visit some of Iceland, felt for me when arriving like arriving on another planet literally
Hallan Turrek > Do you support the addition of beer to eve?
Z0D > well in station.. would be interesting to be able to fly around and run and do stuff while under the influence and get attributes modidied in a drunken way by it.....
Z0D > and also as items... with spiced wine and the likes, item wise...
Hallan Turrek > Are you the guy that brought down CVA?
Z0D > nope lol!
Hallan Turrek > Liar!
Hallan Turrek > How'd you do it?
Z0D > in a legal way, in long con, i would have been a good corp member, helping everyone and work the ladder until i get the right roles then with access plan asset transfer to maximise the possible gains to the max... then if in excecutor corp, kick every
Z0D > corp out then close the alliance as now, as well as kick as many players with no roles of any kind to cause the maximum damage possible
Hallan Turrek > I knew it was you!
Hallan Turrek > Why'd you do it?
Z0D > hehe i did not do it and out of many alliances out there, its the most unlikely deserving to have some like that especially in such a way done to yourself in such an easy way, its wrong the way it is now, and as a CEO myself and also head of my alliance
Z0D > i know the feeling of how easy it is to do, its way to easy to create such damage as a single person without any forced and mandatory voting system to stop it from happening
Hallan Turrek > Alright I'm gonna come clean with ya. This was a joke interview. If you'd like a real one, follow my instructions at the start of this conversation. Get a platform and contact me then. Thanks for the interest.
Z0D > np

To his credit, he took well.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CVA: Disbanded and Restored

Could turn out to be talking out my ass, but I'm hearing down the grapevine that CVA will be restored after downtime today. For those of you that missed it, CVA was disbanded today by a director of their executor alliance.

I maintain that if the person disbanding the alliance was the owner of the account, it should remain dead. However if the person that disbanded the alliance was not the owner of the account, and was instead some random person who figured out a password, then the Alliance should be restored. It's that simple.

You're going to hear a lot of people soon say that CCP has a double standard between BoB and CVA. That's wrong, as it's two different situations. We all know for damn sure if BoB had been disbanded by someone hacking an account, it would've been restored. It was instead disbanded under existing mechanics by a player who was unhappy with his place in the alliance. If CVA is restored, and it's because an account was hacked, I say good job CCP.

That being said, can someone, anyone really start really pushing CCP to fix this problem(the ease in which an alliance is disbanded)? It's not wrong to use the mechanics as they are currently, but god they're broken.

I leave you with this update from RIGHT NOW:

Boppi - CCP has reacted to CVAs petition, the official answer is in their internal forums.

CVA will be restored before downtime.

Hardin- While this is what we have been led to believe it would be unwise of us (or anyone) to count any chickens at this stage.

Whether the 'restore' happens or not I would from a personal perspective like to thank everyone who has expressed their support either in these forums, other forums or in game. It is sometimes hard to be enthused about RPing 'Amarrian space police' particularly when confronted with a never ending stream of diplomatic headaches and whinage, so it is really cool to see that some people actually appreciate what CVA has tried to build in Provi (even if from our perspective some of it is for the wrong reasons - 'you are good target practice'

Anyway, while I know this is CAOD (and as such this is kind of a stupid request), I would suggest people dial down the speculation for a bit. We will make another statement when we are 100% sure on what has happened and what CCP is (or isnt) doing to correct things.


Not gonna lie, they ARE good target practice.

Update: CVA is indeed restored. Kudos to CCP.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

EVE Blog Banter #13: Fatal Rabbit

Welcome to the thirteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed here. Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of this 2nd year of EVE Blog Banters comes to us fromZargyl from A Sebiestor Scholar, who asked the following: On the EVE Fanfest 2009 page are pictures of prizes for the Silent Auction that was held during the event. One of these photos was entitled “Design your own EVE mission”. My question now would be what kind of mission would you write if you got that prize? What would the mission be about? Would it be one using the new system of epic mission arks? What would be the story told by it? Feel free to expand upon his questions and put together your very own mission!

"Hallan! We were looking for you," Orvyllerier Allerande, Guristas Agent, said with a smile, "We've got a problem. The Cartel came for a visit a few days back," Hallan leaned onto Orvy's desk and grinned. Orvy continued to speak, "Yeah, don't smile, we had our fleet dealing with a fucking 0.0 alliance, and they managed to get some troops onto the station before we called the fleet back to deal with it,"

"Ok," Hallan started, "So what, you want advice on how not to get fucked in the ass now?"

"Shut the fuck up. They left us a message," Orvy rolled his eyes and picked up a datapad, "This mission comes straight from the Rabbit. You already know that fucking with the old man can be hard on your health, but Rabbit is a close second when he's angry," Orvy hit some keys on the datapad and handed it to Hallan.

Hallan tried to suppress a laugh as he looked at the image, "Not exactly subtle is it?"

"No it ain't," Orvy cleared his throat and continued to speak, "I've already uploaded the location of the nearest Cartel fleet. Go out and give them a message from us. Make sure it isn't subtle either,"

"They wasted a fleet and what I imagine was a fairly large boarding party just to leave this message?" Hallan said with a raised eyebrow.

"Hey, I never said they were smart. Get out there and don't come back until you've killed some members of the Cartel,"

"No problem,"

  • CrazyKinux's Musing - Your Mission, should you decide to accept it...
  • Zen and the Art of Internet Spaceship Maintenance - First Blood
  • The Elitist - Guristas Invasion
  • The Wandering Druid of Tranquility - ...It's another episode of Design Star: EVE Style...
  • Level Cap -Epic Battles
  • Roc's Ramblings - The Cave of Time
  • Aether - Teach a man to fish...
  • Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah - Mission: Tangled Webs
  • Adventures in Mission Running - I can haz spaceship?
  • Nuke Thoughts - EVE Blog Banter 13
  • Diary of a Pod Pilot - Distressing The Damsel
  • Guns Ablaze - Dynamic Missions
  • Achernar - Confidential Report
  • Monday, October 26, 2009

    CSM Election Interview Series: Alekseyev Karrde

    Hallan Turrek > My name is Hallan Turrek from A Merry Life and a Short One. Today, I'm interviewing Alekseyev Karrde.
    Hallan Turrek > Hello Aleks, how are you doing?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I am doing mighty well, thanks
    Alekseyev Karrde > yourself?
    Hallan Turrek > I'm good.
    Hallan Turrek > Lets get this out of the way:
    Hallan Turrek > Full disclosure, Alekseyev Karrde is my CEO.
    Hallan Turrek > And a real hardass, just FYI.
    Alekseyev Karrde > :)
    Hallan Turrek > What personal experience do you have that qualifies you for the CSM?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I have a degree in international relations and am currently getting a masters in information science. I have significant experience working in groups, traveling internationally, and working with groups made up of many nationalities. Coupled with my ingame experience I think this makes me a strong candidate
    Hallan Turrek > So then what ingame experience do you have that qualifies you for the CSM?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I've been part of an industrial/pvp antipirate corp as a grunt and as a leader, military director of a small landholding 0.0 alliance, and for over a year and I half I've been CEO, contract manager, and regular FC of Noir. one of EVE's top merc corps
    Hallan Turrek > Lets dip right into your platform shall we? What among the items you've chosen to give your attention to would you consider the most important?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I'd like to think it's the level of firmness people expect from their CSM reps
    Hallan Turrek > Could you expand on what you mean by firmness? Is that honesty?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I'd call it an unwillingness to compromise on ones principles
    Alekseyev Karrde > I hold myself and those in my corp to a high standard and I don't settle for less
    Hallan Turrek > Anyone in particular on the CSM you believe has compromised on their principles?
    Alekseyev Karrde > Can't compromise what you don't have I suppose
    Hallan Turrek > You're referring to Larkonis then?
    Alekseyev Karrde > Pretty much. I don't have any issue with Lark personally, we've been friends and foes. But I do disagree with how he conducted himself as a csm candidate both in the AT7 scamming incident and the eventual insider trading which spurred his resignation
    Hallan Turrek > So then you support CCP's recent decision to disallow his candidacy for CSM 4?
    Alekseyev Karrde > absolutely
    Hallan Turrek > Do you think he should've been permabanned?
    Alekseyev Karrde > Honestly no, I think permabanning would've been a little harsh
    Hallan Turrek > So you think you could bring something to the CSM that it currently lacks?
    Alekseyev Karrde > If elected, I'd be the only mercenary corp representative so bare minimum it'd be a fresh viewpoint
    Alekseyev Karrde > I also think that my role as a merc ceo gives me an insight into the many facets of EVE PVP and buisness competition concepts which can give me a more holistic view of changes to PVP, space, and the economy
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Hallan Turrek > So you're running as a Mercenary candidate then?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I won't hide from labels, especially if they aren't wrong, but I'm not the merc candidate or pvp candidate, I'm the best candidate
    Alekseyev Karrde > I consider improving the GM department, promoting relevance of small gang warfare post Dominion, removing price ceilings and floors, and improving corporate management tools to be the bulk of my platform.
    Alekseyev Karrde > I have something in my platform for CEOs of all stripes, PVPers of all sec levels, wormholers, and industrialists
    Hallan Turrek > More on the economy then. You've said you have a distaste for price floors and ceilings, how would you address the problem?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I want to identify and eliminate all npc sell orders which can be refined into minerals and I want to remove the insurance payouts for self destruction and CONCORD deaths
    Alekseyev Karrde > I know I won't get all of it, especially that first one, but I will try to make the market as free and open for competition as CCP is willing to allow
    Hallan Turrek > Would that solve the insurance problem? Can't people just have a corpmate kill them?
    Alekseyev Karrde > It won't solve it, no. But I'm hopeful it will help reduce the impact insurance currently has as a price floor
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Hallan Turrek > Lets talk about PvP then, what's the most important issue on your platform with regards to combat?
    Alekseyev Karrde > ensuring the changes to Dominion actually do empower small roaming gangs like CCP has advertised
    Alekseyev Karrde > and if they really don't give AF a 4th bonus, getting AFs their fourth bonus so they stop being the Pinocchio of T2
    Hallan Turrek > You believe then, that AF's are underpowered?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I believe that they are the only tech 2 ships in the game with 3 bonuses instead of 4 and that people still look to the Taranis over the Enyo when they want a frigate blaster boat
    Alekseyev Karrde > It doesn't have to be AB speed boost, but they clearly need something to compete or even better DIFFERENTIATE themselves from combat interceptors
    Hallan Turrek > How would you fix them then?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I'd add race appropriate bonuses to give each ship a little bit of a different flavor while fixing their shortcomings/giving them a new edge
    Hallan Turrek > Like that?
    Hallan Turrek > Give me a few examples.
    Alekseyev Karrde > k. Enyo: second damage bonus
    Alekseyev Karrde > Ishkur: 10% drone hitpoints and/or speed
    Hallan Turrek > Any concepts in mind for something that isn't Gallente?
    Alekseyev Karrde > heheh
    Alekseyev Karrde > Retri: 5% rof
    Alekseyev Karrde > Vengeance: 5% rocket rate of fire
    Alekseyev Karrde > I'm not a dev tho, these numbers will need testing
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Alekseyev Karrde > the AB boost was a great idea but it overpowered some ships and I knew it probably wouldnt make it through
    Hallan Turrek > Lets move on, you've talked a bit about changes you'd like to see to ECM, what's the main problem with it right now?
    Alekseyev Karrde > Because of the mechanic that one ECM module can completely disable an enemy ship for 20s it is overpowered vs other ECM and leads to a frustrating gameplay experience
    Hallan Turrek > You'd fix that how?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I'd bring them in line with the burst and ecm drone mechanic where it just breaks lock or I'd at least reduce the duration from 20seconds activation/lockprevention to 10s
    Alekseyev Karrde > 5s would also work ^^
    Hallan Turrek > So you'd like to see them with reduced time of jamming? Any compensation for it on the ECM pilot's side, or do you advocate a straight nerf?
    Alekseyev Karrde > Reduced jam time is partnered with reduced duration
    Alekseyev Karrde > the idea is to get more attempts in so instead of being blocked out of an enjoyable fight for a big chunk of time there's more chance for failure of not eccm'd and success from their side in terms of ships which are eccmd
    Hallan Turrek > Won't that have a seriously adverse affect on ships with slow lock times?
    Alekseyev Karrde > yeah, it may
    Hallan Turrek > And you're alright with that?
    Alekseyev Karrde > Small ships in large numbers backed up by EWAR should be an appropriate counter to large ships
    Alekseyev Karrde > 10s is a good compromise in my opinion
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Hallan Turrek > Do you have a problem with current cloaking mechanics?
    Alekseyev Karrde > I do. I do not think non cov ops/black ops/recons should be able to inficloak
    Hallan Turrek > Why not?
    Alekseyev Karrde > AFK cloaking a rifter alt in someone's 0.0 just to mess with them should have a counter besides taking the risk it's not a rifter alt
    Alekseyev Karrde > not to mention the stealth buff to macro hunting in 0.0
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Hallan Turrek > What changes could do that?
    Alekseyev Karrde > Add a cap drain, cool down timer, those two are my favorite
    Alekseyev Karrde > *cap drain or a cool down timer
    Hallan Turrek > Cool down timer?
    Alekseyev Karrde > aye, instead of infinitely repeating, extend the activation time to X minutes and then have a period of time during which it cant be activated
    Alekseyev Karrde > like they do with doomsdays
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Hallan Turrek > RR mechanics seem to be an issue that is important to you. Is it broken?
    Alekseyev Karrde > It's one of the two things ruining empire PVP
    Hallan Turrek > How so?
    Alekseyev Karrde > Neutral logistics ships or rr fit bs can be deployed to the field without your opponent being able to challenge their presence, they can then rep and turn the tide of the fight, and then instantly dock or jump (depending) the moment their tank is in
    Alekseyev Karrde > danger of being broken
    Hallan Turrek > You'd prefer an aggro timer then?
    Alekseyev Karrde > aye
    Hallan Turrek > Would that solve the problem?
    Alekseyev Karrde > It'd allow players to solve the problem. With guns.
    Alekseyev Karrde > There's little you can do about alts being on the field if they haven't revealed themselves to be helping your wartargets, but if you can make them pay for getting involved then that's good enough for me
    Hallan Turrek > So what's the other issue that's ruining empire pvp?
    Alekseyev Karrde > The unrealistic docking radius' of stations in EVE. This applies to lowsec and 0.0 as well
    Alekseyev Karrde > Some caldari stations permit you to be over 50km from the actual skin of the station model before you read 1m away or greater on overview
    Hallan Turrek > Can that be fixed?
    Alekseyev Karrde > CCP has altered the spatial displacement of stations before, they can do it again
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Hallan Turrek > I believe that wraps it up then.
    Hallan Turrek > Any links you'd like published with this interview?
    Alekseyev Karrde > My forum campaign thread with updated links to everything in my campaign blog.
    Hallan Turrek > Alright it was nice talking to you then.
    Alekseyev Karrde > I'd also like to plug where I'll be making an appearance with other csm candidates for a debate soon.

    Politician Caught Lying!

    Truth is not determined by majority vote.
    Doug Gwyn

    UPDATE Preface:

    Hey Hallan. That scam log is actually from days after my interview with you. Nothing I said at the time we talked was inaccurate. Previous to the other day I had never scammed more than a couple hundred million ISK. Thanks.

    As I'm trying my best to do good reporting here, and do proper investigations, this little problem seemed glaringly obvious from my interview with Spectre:

    Hallan Turrek > Have you ever participated in a scam before?
    Spectre3353 > Yes, I have on a couple occasions attempted using market scams to make money.
    Spectre3353 > I believe I actually have one post on my blog about that.
    Hallan Turrek > About how much money have you made, would you say?
    Spectre3353 > I don't currently partake in it though.
    Spectre3353 > At most, a couple hundred million.
    Hallan Turrek > You support the concept of scamming?
    Spectre3353 > I think it would make sense to continue to make scamming due to poor UI something that is less common.
    Spectre3353 > But
    Spectre3353 > If people make mistakes due to their own oversights or incompetence, not related to poor UI or mechanics, that is part of Eve and I support it fully.

    From Spectre's Blog Post:

    Scamming some random poor soul out of 650 million ISK and then rubbing it in via extreme sarcasm and taunting:

    Spectre > hey whats up... want to buy another ship?
    Figis > those are not navy issue
    Figis > u fucked me
    Spectre > what??!! seriously?
    Spectre > must have been a mistake by the guys in the warehouse
    Spectre > let me ask them and ill get right back to you
    Figis > i want my money back
    Spectre > i already spent it on a new house in the hamptons
    Spectre > sorry friend
    Figis > they are normal ships
    Spectre > yea if normal is AWESOME
    Spectre > theyre MEGATHRONS dude, that name is incredible
    Figis > i want my money back
    Spectre > better start mining i guess then
    Figis > so you wont trade back
    Spectre > no i will, im just talking to the guys in accounting to sort things out
    Spectre > we should be able to send you a rebate check within 6-8 weeks of this transaction
    Spectre > you can contact our claims department at 1-800-UR-SCRWD

    I don't care, and since Spectre is out of the running for CSM it doesn't matter. It should be pointed out however that he lied to me in my interview at least once.

    I've got a couple of other interviews ready to roll, and I may do a Wednsday update to catch up(since tommorrow won't be an interview post). Next up should be Alekseyev Karrde, who is currently my CEO.

    Edit: I'll just post that today as well.

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    ECM is Broken

    If I had a million dollars
    I'd build a treefort in our yard
    If I had a million dollars
    You could help it wouldn't be that hard
    If I had a million dollars
    Maybe we could put a little tiny fridge in there somewhere.
    The Barenaked Ladies - If I Had $1000000

    ECM is broken. There I said it. Thousands of others have been on the receiving end of an unlucky jam one time to many and have thought and said the same thing. Personally, the number of times I've been jammed out of a fight can be counted on one hand, and the last time someone tried to jam me it didn't work out so well for him. So why do I think ECM is broken if I've yet to be frustrated by it?

    I've seen ECM work for my side more often than not, and it works too well. Lets compare it to the other two defensive Ewar modules, Sensor Damps and Tracking Disruptors.

    Sensor Dampeners are effective on long range and short range boats. An inty has a short range to start with, and if you damp it down, it's gotta close in more than it might want. Missile boats trade damage for range, and with a range damp you take away some of it's advantage. The damps are next to useless alone when used on a recon. Most of them have high lock ranges but much shorter effective ranges, so dampening their lock range is a waste of time. There is also the added negative of being way beyond web range of what you damp. If he's fast enough, he'll just close the distance. Anyone can add a sensor booster to their ship as well, effectively canceling one of your damps.

    So how about tracking disruptors? They're extremely useful when used on any turret based ship, nearly crippling some if used correctly. But if the fleet has a missile or drone boat you're out of luck, and can guarantee you'll be primaried. These are useful for tacklers, but once again there are modules that will nullify most of the effect of these.

    Now lets look at ECM. Given absolute knowledge of the enemy gang's composition, you will always bring ECM if that's the option. Why? It's better across the board. If a ship you're facing doesn't carry an ECCM module, it will likely be permajammed. Even if he's using ECCM, there is still a good chance that it won't be able to affect the battle at all. ECCM merely lowers your chance of being jammed, instead of negating that chance completely.

    So what's the difference beyond the lack of a proper counter? Well ECM is like a sensor dampener that turns your targeting range to 0. So why use range damps if you have these? ECM is like a tracking disruptor that turns your tracking or optimal to 0 as well, so why use tracking disruptors? It stops missile boats, it stops turret boats, it stops drone boats. It works equally well on all ship types. It is broken.

    How do we fix it? You may've noticed the last time I did one of these I talked about how to fix cloaking. This time around I propose to fix ECM, but not by nerfing ECM itself. I want to provide a more direct counter.

    Introducing the Frequency Disruptor.

    The Frequency Disruptor would be a new midslot module that you can activate on any target you can lock. It should have an optimal and falloff similar to the Tracking Disruptor(with current skills affecting it as an ewar module). Decent skills will put that at around 70k optimal. It would come with a new base and specialization skill to improve it's cap usage and effectiveness, in line with the other defensive Ewar modules.

    It should be scriptable to provide either bonus doubled if desired or to run unscripted to use both bonuses at half. It would work on Sensor Dampeners, Tracking Disruptors, and finally ECM. It would reduce Optimal and Falloff, or the strength of the reductions the module gives(in the case of ECM, it would reduce the strength of the jam).

    Now if someone tries jam you, and you have one of these onboard, you can burn out of his effective range, and hit him with this. It is an actual counter, and will force ECM pilots to think harder about how they plan to fight. They still get an initial jam in on the ships they need too, but generally a fleet can make him run away or force him to close range to something a bit more uncomfortable.

    ECM stops being an easy button but isn't nerfed to hell and back.

    That's my idea. What's yours?

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Guide: Directional Scanning

    I need a sign to let me know you're here
    All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
    I need to know that things are gonna look up
    'Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup
    Train - Calling All Angels

    One of the most important skills for any PvPer to have is the correct use of the directional scanner to find targets. So lets get you started on the road to that. I'm going to assume two things here. One: You've read the Safe Spot and Overview guides. Two: You'll be setting up scanning safes just off of planets instead of on them.

    Lets begin. First, make sure your overview tab includes ships. You can later set up an overview tab just for scanning if you like. For now we're going to use a standard PvP overview setting(indicated by the yellow arrow). Click the scanner button, indicated by the white arrow.

    One you've done that, make sure you can see brackets in space. Most of the time they clutter up my page. In fact, you can turn them off if you know a huge fleet battle is about to take place. It will save your computer having to load hundreds of brackets when you land on grid. However, for scanning, we'll need to be able to see where objects are in space, so we'll need them on. Click on the small triangle in the upper left hand side of the overview window(indicated by the red arrow). Once you've done that, scroll down and make sure that "Show all Brackets"(indicated by the white arrow) is on.

    Next up, you may notice your directional scanner isn't set up for very long ranges. It can scan up to roughly 14 and a half AU. The exact number of kilometers is long and hard to remember so we'll cover that next. There are five items here of note:

    The Directional Scanner Tab: Indicated with the white arrow. You must be on this tab to use the directional scanner.

    Range: Indicated with a red arrow. The next step will tell you more about this.

    Use Active Overview Settings: Indicated by the yellow arrow. This should be checked, assuming you're using your PvP overview tab.

    Angle: Indicated by the blue arrow. Initially kick this to 360 by sliding the bar all the way to the right. We'll worry about narrowing it down later.

    Scan Button: Indicated by the green arrow. Click this when you're ready to scan.

    Rather than trying to figure out how many kilometers you'll need to input here, just put zero's in after a 1 until it won't take anymore. Then click on something else.

    It will automatically display the maximum range at that point. Now do a scan.

    A lot of stuff comes up, but we're going to take a trip to a planet with a lot of belts and take a look around for this exercise. It looks like planet five here fits the bill.

    Warp to planet five, but create a safe just before you land. Then warp to that safe. How to do so is covered in the safe spotting guide.

    Once you've done that, take a look around you with the scanner. If it's a highly populated high sec system, you'll likely see a lot of stuff. This is a good way to practice.

    Alright, we're close enough to the planet for the belts to be distinguishable in space, but we're going to have to narrow our angle down if we want to search each one separately. When you have stuff to look at in space, like belts, a 30 degree angle is almost always sufficient to locate your target. Seldomly will you need to switch to anything but a 30 or 360 degree scan. Use your own discretion to discover when you might need to use a different number.

    Belt two seems to be empty. Notice how my ship is pointing in a random direction. An often made rookie mistake is assuming your ship has to be facing the thing you want to scan. The D-scanner will make a scan in the direction your camera is pointing. This allows you to switch quickly to other objects and make a new scan.

    Belt one seems to be empty as well. Darn.

    Well, looks like belt eight's got a retriever in it. Lets narrow the search down a bit just for fun.

    He still shows up on a directional scan at 15 degrees. Sometimes it can be beneficial to uncheck the "use active overview settings" box once you have a target narrowed down to check for moons and PoS's. Just make sure to turn it right back on.

    If you warp in on the belt and the target is there, you've done it right. I suggest training on mining ships in high sec, as they likely won't warp out before you land. That can be frustrating when you're still learning, because you assume you did something wrong, when in reality the target just left before you got there. If worst comes to worst, try again till you get it right. Then keep doing it till you're confident.

    There are very few good PvP groups that will take a pilot that cannot use the directional scanner. If you're actually fast, and good with it, you can very quickly get a handle on the situation you're in. Those kinds of people are generally highly sought after by good PvP groups. Hopefully this gets you on your way.

    A bit of advanced info for those that want to know how far away something is:

    149,597,870.7Km = 1AU
    299,195,741.4Km = 2AU
    448,793,612.1Km = 3AU
    598,391,482.8Km = 4AU
    747,989,353.5Km = 5AU
    897,587,224.1Km = 6AU
    1,047,185,095Km = 7AU
    1,196,782,966Km = 8AU
    1,346,380,836Km = 9AU
    1,495,978,707Km = 10AU
    1,645,576,578Km = 11AU
    1,795,174,448Km = 12AU
    1,944,772,319Km = 13AU
    2,094,370,190Km = 14AU
    2,147,483,647Km = 14.355AU

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    CSM Election Interview Series: Spectre3353

    Welcome to the first of my CSM Election interview series for CSM 4. Hope you find them useful.

    Hallan Turrek > My name is Hallan Turrek from A Merry Life and a Short One. Today, I'm interviewing Spectre3353.
    Hallan Turrek > Hello Spectre!
    Hallan Turrek > How's it going?
    Spectre3353 > Very well, thanks.
    Hallan Turrek > Good to hear.
    Hallan Turrek > You know in the interest of full disclosure, I think it would be appropriate to mention that you and I have shared the same corp, fleets, and sometimes killmails.
    Spectre3353 > Sure have.
    Hallan Turrek > Also in the interest of full disclosure I must also mention that I totally kicked your ass a few months back in that duel.
    Hallan Turrek > Just sayin'.
    Spectre3353 > I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, I have never lost a fight ever.
    Hallan Turrek > Keep tellin' yourself that. I've got the killmails.
    Spectre3353 > No comment.
    Hallan Turrek > Fine. Spectre, tell me what personal experience you have out of the game that qualifies you to be in the CSM.
    Spectre3353 > Well honestly I'm not sure what out of game experience I would really want to bring up that would relate to being CSM. I do have experience working as a Software Developer using the Scrum methodology which would give me at least a bit of insight into
    Spectre3353 > the way that CCP develops functionality and the time it takes to complete and implement functionality.
    Spectre3353 > That being said...
    Hallan Turrek > So you don't believe any experience is necessary to be successful in the CSM?
    Spectre3353 > I have plenty of experience more directly related to Eve including a large amount of PvP experience as well as some industrial and other PvE experience. Additionally I have been writing an Eve related blog for nearly a year and a half and help to run a pirate corporation that is going very successfully.
    Spectre3353 > It's hard to really have experience at being CSM as it's only been around for a few session so far, not many people really know what it entails.
    Hallan Turrek > So you plan to learn on the go?
    Spectre3353 > I've read the CSM meeting notes and blog posts and read many posts on the forums but it's still a pretty new role that not many people have had the opportunity to experience.
    Spectre3353 > To an extent, sure. I would think that would be a desired trait of your CSM candidates is that they are quick on the uptake and not too easily flustered by taking on a lot of new things at once.
    Hallan Turrek > You take any breaks in your time in Eve?
    Spectre3353 > I have taken one extended break for a couple months which was near the end of last year.
    Hallan Turrek > Why?
    Spectre3353 > What I pretty learned is that there is no quitting Eve
    Spectre3353 > To play other games and MMO's with a number of my friends in real life.
    Spectre3353 > It got old fairly fast though.
    Hallan Turrek > Ahh, any games in particular?
    Spectre3353 > I see what you're doing :)
    Spectre3353 > Yes I did play the last WoW expansion and I played WoW for several years before I played Eve.
    Spectre3353 > I enjoyed it for a period but it became relatively stale beyond a certain point.
    Hallan Turrek > Interesting. Lets move back to your corporation and ingame EvE experience as relating to qualities desirable in a CSM candidate.
    Hallan Turrek > You're a pirate, correct?
    Spectre3353 > Sure.
    Spectre3353 > Among other things yes. My main character engages in lowsec PvP a majority of the time.
    Hallan Turrek > Your alts tend to do what?
    Spectre3353 > I have one alt that I use for probing for both combat and exploration purposes and he also just finished training to mine with a Retriever.
    Spectre3353 > I am currently training him to fly a Hulk.
    Spectre3353 > I also had an alt that ran Level 4 missions in a Raven for a while.
    Hallan Turrek > I did notice that your platform included a lengthy section on mining. Is it safe to call you a "mining candidate" in addition to the more traditional "pirate" and "pvp" monikers?
    Spectre3353 > Well I do not want to mislead people. I am primarily a candidate for lowsec and "piracy". That being said, I feel that the key to fixing/updating lowsec involves making it viable to players of all professions and security statuses.
    Hallan Turrek > Ok, but how would you "fix" lowsec then in regards to making it more viable to such persons?
    Spectre3353 > Well there are two paths I see really.
    Spectre3353 > One that I would really prefer to see is a large scale overhaul in which lowsec is given a unique resource or role that isn't found in nullsec or highsec. There are many suggested ideas on how this could be done. Some of the best I've seen revolve around fleshing out the role of boosters and drugs better and making lowsec the place where the materials for these are mined/found and the production is done.
    Spectre3353 > A more realistic and smaller scale path is to simply fix some of the outdated/unbalanced items related to timers, sentry guns, risk vs reward of mining/missions, etc
    Hallan Turrek > I did want to get into that a bit more, but lets talk about the boosters.
    Spectre3353 > Sure
    Hallan Turrek > You didn't mention that in your platform, is booster reform something that you're planning on making a priority?
    Spectre3353 > In general? Not really. As something that could be fleshed out further and made into something unique that distinguishes lowsec from other types of regions? Sure.
    Hallan Turrek > How would it do so? Specific manufacture locations? More gas clouds?
    Spectre3353 > I have lots of ideas but one thing I have not created a specific plan for is how that would be done.
    Spectre3353 > Honestly
    Hallan Turrek > Like?
    Spectre3353 > There are so many good ideas out there already, I would feel silly creating yet another about how to do it....
    Spectre3353 > As far as I see it, the main purpose of the CSM's is to choose topics that have been approved by the players and champion them.
    Spectre3353 > If I were to get the chance to play that role
    Spectre3353 > I would push for an examination and update to lowsec overall, much like Lark did during the last CSM
    Spectre3353 > While pushing for smaller and approachable improvements that could actually get implemented in reasonable amounts of time.
    Hallan Turrek > You mentioned the GCC earlier. You believe that's broken? Would you be supporting it's removal?
    Spectre3353 > Not removal
    Spectre3353 > But currently the length of 15 minutes is way longer than it really needs to be.
    Spectre3353 > Additionally.
    Spectre3353 > The whole issue of "buggy" (I don't know if it's technically considered a bug) sentries is a bit awful.
    Spectre3353 > I would love to push for the fixing of invisible timers.
    Hallan Turrek > Buggy in what way?
    Spectre3353 > Well anyone who is familiar with how timers work in lowsec knows about the wacky and unpredictable way that timers and sentries behave when related to docking at stations.
    Spectre3353 > Even if your timers run out, you will still get shot on undock and your NPC timers will be reset
    Hallan Turrek > Yes, generally I was to understand it was a feature whereas the stations don't like criminals to dock while being pursued by the police. You consider it to be a bug?
    Spectre3353 > Punishment for illegal engagements in empire space is understandable but making the punishment unpredictable and considerably longer than necessary is something I would like to be changed.
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Spectre3353 > Perhaps bug isn't the right word. Unpredictable and poorly expressed via the UI would probably make more sense.
    Hallan Turrek > Ok, so what about "blob" tactics.
    Hallan Turrek > You've expressed some disdain towards it and an intention to fix it, how so?
    Spectre3353 > This one is a really difficult topic.
    Spectre3353 > Well, currently due to several reasons, "blobbing" in lowsec has become pretty common
    Spectre3353 > To elaborate
    Spectre3353 > Blobbing = Gangs flying around in gangs of a size/power that is so large that they can't realistically expect to find an opponent who can fight back.
    Spectre3353 > And things like increased population and faction warfare has caused it to grow considerably
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Hallan Turrek > You think that's because of nerfs to agility and speed?
    Spectre3353 > The agility and speed issue is more related to the inability to fly in solo or small gangs as well as previously
    Spectre3353 > Part of it is just part of the nano-nerf which did have some good results
    Spectre3353 > But even past the nano-nerf they were making changes that nerfed ship align times.
    Hallan Turrek > Will the new assault ship changes help with small gang warfare?
    Spectre3353 > Assault ships, even after their buffs, are still overly expensive and niche ships
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Spectre3353 > I would rather see PvP overall balanced to still be viable for solo and small gangs rather than just for AF's or frigates.
    Hallan Turrek > Back to the blobbing problem. You support "fights" more than the search of "kills"?
    Spectre3353 > Yes. Not that I am innocent of ever fighting with overwhelming odds but I think a majority of pilots will tell you that they would rather have a fun engagement and lose than get a killmail in a 30 vs 3 fight
    Hallan Turrek > So you're of the mind that CCP should enforce fair fights somehow?
    Spectre3353 > I don't think they should try and force anything, but some tweaks to balance things back towards how they were prior to the nano-nerf might help.
    Spectre3353 > I like a lot of changes that came out of it.
    Spectre3353 > Especially the scrambler turning off MWD changes.
    Spectre3353 > That being said, I feel like ship agility and align time was hurt to a point that it is now almost impossible to roam lowsec in a ship larger than a frigate and expect to survive anything that sees you on a gate.
    Hallan Turrek > If you could revert one change right now, what would it be then?
    Spectre3353 > Well there was a change right after the nano changes to make ships easier to catch on gates, their align times were reduced
    Spectre3353 > specifically larger ships, not frigates
    Hallan Turrek > And that is what you'd revert?
    Spectre3353 > I would love to see that turned back at least somewhat
    Hallan Turrek > You've said on your blog that the UI is broken as well. Can you give me a couple of concrete examples?
    Spectre3353 > Wow I don't even know where to begin with that....
    Spectre3353 > To start there is sentries and timers.
    Spectre3353 > It can be extremely difficult to tell what timers you have and when you are going to get shot by sentries.
    Spectre3353 > I am all for consequences for your actions but at least make them predictable
    Spectre3353 > additionally
    Spectre3353 > Mynxee was recently pushing for some changes to the directional scanner to make the interface use buttons as opposed to sliders and numbers which I think is a simple but great idea.
    Spectre3353 > Probing still has some issues... arrows being almost invisible if you look at them from the wrong angle in certain systems.
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Spectre3353 > I have seen suggestions to put things like velocity and name next to targets in space as opposed to only on the overview, I like that idea as well.
    Spectre3353 > The corporation interface is just atrocious and unintuitive
    Hallan Turrek > How so?
    Spectre3353 > I could go on forever with this one :) There are a lot of changes that could really be made
    Spectre3353 > Well I can recall when I first became CEO
    Spectre3353 > it took me about an hour to figure out how to have my CEO skills become applied to my corporation
    Spectre3353 > Roles are very difficult to set up
    Spectre3353 > etc..
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Hallan Turrek > So in the end, why'd you decide to run for the CSM?
    Spectre3353 > Well before I decided to run I tried to ask around and talk to a lot of fellow pirates to see who else was running and what they were supporting.
    Spectre3353 > I felt I saw a lack of one person supporting lowsec and it's enhancement to catch up to highsec and nullsec (especially with their upgrade via the Dominion expansion)
    Spectre3353 > So i thought I would take a stab at it.
    Spectre3353 > Frankly if I don't win I won't be upset as long as pirates/lowsec has some representation in the CSM somewhere
    Hallan Turrek nods
    Hallan Turrek > So if another pirate runs, you'd think about supporting him?
    Spectre3353 > Well at this point I have thrown my hat in the ring and put significant effort into campaigning so I probably would not just suddenly back out.
    Spectre3353 > But depending on who it was, who knows.
    Hallan Turrek > Would you mind a hypothetical question Spectre?
    Spectre3353 > Sure.
    Hallan Turrek > Assume for a moment you've been given privileged information as part of your position as a CSM member. If you used it you could make yourself a lot of in game money. Tens of billions. If you could use that information and not be caught, if no one would ever know you did it but you, would you use it?
    Spectre3353 > Are you asking me if I would follow in the footsteps of Larkonis?
    Spectre3353 > No, i would not use that information for anything like that.
    Hallan Turrek > No, I'm asking if you knew you wouldn't be caught, would you do it?
    Spectre3353 > No.
    Hallan Turrek > Have you ever participated in a scam before?
    Spectre3353 > Yes, I have on a couple occasions attempted using market scams to make money.
    Spectre3353 > I believe I actually have one post on my blog about that.
    Hallan Turrek > About how much money have you made, would you say?
    Spectre3353 > I don't currently partake in it though.
    Spectre3353 > At most, a couple hundred million.
    Hallan Turrek > You support the concept of scamming?
    Spectre3353 > I think it would make sense to continue to make scamming due to poor UI something that is less common.
    Spectre3353 > But
    Spectre3353 > If people make mistakes due to their own oversights or incompetence, not related to poor UI or mechanics, that is part of Eve and I support it fully.
    Hallan Turrek > Ok.
    Hallan Turrek > Any links you'd like published with this interview?
    Spectre3353 > Just my blog post announcing my candidacy and some general ideas about my platform. It can be found here.
    Hallan Turrek > Alright then, it was nice talking to you, and good luck.
    Spectre3353 > Thanks for the interview :)

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Guide: Safespots

    A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.
    William Shedd

    Read this and this before using this guide. You will need to have set up your overview properly for this to be of use.

    So you jump into a system and you're just off a gate. Enemies are in hot pursuit, and you need to give yourself enough time to formulate a plan. You need a safe spot. It's alright, everyone gets into these situations sometimes. I don't blame you.

    First, warp to a planet at a distance that isn't 0:

    Then, open up your people and places window by clicking where I've put a white arrow.
    Click "Add Bookmark"
    Now, at this point, wait until you're in warp, preferably a few seconds in before you hit ok.
    You will be given a safespot somewhere between the points you've warped from and to:
    Once you land, immediately right click in space and warp to your newly created safe haven:
    You'll shortly be in warp to your new safe spot:
    Once you land, look around. Depending on where you've made it, you may see a lot or nothing at all. You may make as many safespots in a system as you so desire. Just be sure to keep them clearly labeled.
    To ensure a clear labeling, assuming you didn't have time to name it while you were warping, just open up your people and places again. Then right click on the bookmark you made. In this page, any bookmark that belongs to the system you're in is green. Once you right click on that bookmark, you can edit it or even delete it.
    Once you're done, take a look at it. Each bookmark has a row of identifying information. You can sort them by that information. That includes jump(distance from your current system), Sol(System it's located in) and more. The best organization I can imagine is to sort it by the names of the systems they're located in.
    Remember, any point to point safe is in what's called a "travel lane". That means people can sometimes see you while they're in warp. To keep them guessing, once in your new safe, pick a new celestial object and make a new bookmark between it and your current safe. Now you've got one out of the path of a celestial. You'll be much harder to find there. When warping to a celestial you can also create a bookmark just before you land, giving you a very close spot to use your directional scanner from. That'll be covered in the directional scanner guide.

    Finally, no safe spot is completely safe. Some are however, safer than others. Any spot more than 15 AU's from another object is not easily found directional scanners. Such a spot will give you even more safety. It will generally also require a bit more time to probe you out. That's another thing, in any safespot you can be probed down. It can happen quickly. Be on the lookout.

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Look at a Star

    Stay free, where no walls divide you
    You're free as the roaring tide
    So there's no need to hide
    Matt Monro - Born Free

    I don't know why, but I'm having trouble writing lately. My dad used to call it feeling "out of pocket,". Still not sure what in the hell that means, but I think my problem is focus. I'm doing a lot of killing these days, you know? I sometimes wonder if there's some peace in dying for those people. The fear melts away like snow on an outstretched hand.

    You know that fear right? You're flying through space in your ship, expensive or no. You want to get somewhere. You want to do something. You want to live. Down I swoop, down my friends come. You're stuck, there's nothing to do. We peel away the rinds, shields, armor, structure. We're just trying to get you out of there, but you don't want to come out.

    Away your consciousness goes into some forgotten clone far away. You sputter some curse as you climb out of the vats. But the fear's gone. It's uncomfortable as hell, but at least you're safe. I'm gone.

    Far away again, I reach out to someone, and I'm not even sure of what I want to find.

    But it's fucking cold out here.

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    Torpedos Reloaded

    This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
    Rifleman's Creed

    You probably saw last week I put together a pretty long fitting guide to stealth bombers. It was and is not comprehensive. It's meant to help people use them safely and effectively.

    There are people out there that think a stealth bomber is supposed to be a "solo pwnmobile" as someone put it in the comments. They advise you to fit a point, get in close and pray. Be advised that this will work. It just won't work all of the time, and you will die. My personal opinion is that when flying solo, a bomber is not the best option. When you know a gang is supporting you(tackles being most important), it's best to use the Bomber as a damage platform.

    So there are other people who will look at the thing and realize that it can pump out 950DPS with perfect skills, implants, and the right fitting. These people are morons. You must, at all costs protect yourself. You play an intregal role, and if that Beam fit Apoc, or that assault missile Caracal shoots you down, that's less DPS for the gang.

    I prefer to survive the encounter. I'm not flying a Rifter, I'm flying a highly specialized piece of equipment. The least I can do is be a highly specialized pilot.

    Thursday, October 8, 2009

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    Stealth Bombers

    Todays post isn't here. It's over on CrazyKinux's blog. Take a look.

    Monday, October 5, 2009

    Spoken Of

    I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
    Robert Oppenheimer

    When I was seven years old, my mother went to work for this Jovian Librarian on New Caldari Prime. I went to work with her a lot, and that man was full of stories. He'd talk about history, he'd tell me fairy tales. Sometimes he'd talk about space, and the joys of flying in it.

    Now I'd seen the holo's. And I though it was something I might want to do. After a few weeks of his stories I was sold. As soon as I was old enough, I enlisted in the Military, and I was one of the lucky ones. I was a capsuleer, and the holo's had prepared me. Money, Fame, Power... Only it wasn't like that. You grow up and it's not like that.

    I've been a capsuleer for years, I've got no fear of death. I'm rich beyond imagining. My name is feared. I am a capsuleer, a god among men. I'm exactly where I wanted to be when I was a child and looked from my home world to the stars.

    It's funny though, I pass by planets all the time. Some of them are as populated as New Caldari was, but I never give them a second glance. Concord put all these rules on us with regards to what we can do planet side. I prefer stations and ships.

    Then a couple of days ago, I saw this news story on the Scope. Apparently Concord is rescinding the ban on Capsuleer run Planetary Governments. There was a lot of talk after the announcement from the news people about the possible impact of such a change. Alliance warfare. Faction warfare. War. Everyone's going to be fighting for a piece of the pie, and millions of people will be caught between us and what we want.

    It reminded me of a fairy tale that old Jovian librarian told me once. There was this king and a god. and the god transformed into his true form to convince the king to do what he wanted. The god sprouted extra arms and grew tall. In each of his hands were instruments of war. The god looked down at the man and said, "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds,"

    I also recorded an audio version.

    Friday, October 2, 2009

    A Good Showing

    I thought I'd direct your attention to this contract we took this week. I didn't get to participate in the POS defense, but it looks like they did ok without me.

    Huge upside in owning a potential competitor in Stealthfield.