Mittwoch, 22. April 2015

A Loveletter to the Stratios

The Stratios is one of my eternal favourites. Weren't it for my eternally empty wallets and it's eternally high price, I'd probably fly around in it a lot.

It looks good, it can warp cloaked and it has decent DPS. The ability to tank more than a couple wet blankets lazily drifting towards you is a nice bonus.

There aren't many ships like the Stratios in EVE. For me, it's mostly either form or function, never both. The Stratios is one of the few ships were good looks and abilities I actually need meet.

Thanks to having a cruise-missile Raven lying around when the Stratios and her little sister, the Astero-frigate, was added to the game, I was able to grind down loyalty points and lay my hands on a Stratios-BPC. That blueprint copy was then transformed into the real deal.

For a while, I went mad and simply flew around everywhere with my Stratios.

My love for the ship even temporarily neutralized my hate for the strange loot spew system and I went around looking for interesting stuff. Which in EVE-terms means I collected a lot of garbage.

Since back in loot-spew days exploration was a horrid mess, I went into W-Space again. With decent DPS I thought "What's the worst that can happen?"

Something not immediately obvious if aren't experienced enough, the laser-bonus the Stratios has is utterly useless. 50% more range sounds like a lot, but even if you cram everything full with modules trying to get the damage-output higher, it still falls flat on it's face.

If you want to fly the Stratios, better que up some drone skills. Drones are the main weapon the Stratios has. If you want to use the ship in PVP, you can either try energy-neutralizer or blaster weapons to give you an edge. A PVP-fit isn't even preventing you from doing exploration-content on the side, since you can refit with a mobile depot.

The ship after my first warp-out. Lasers alone didn't help, fancy that.

At the time I still was stubbornly refusing to use the Stratios as a drone ship. A combination of lasers and T2-medium drones was what I was going with. Even in a C1-wormhole system, using only medium drones and three medium lasers without damage bonus was a chore. Sleeper-drones are quite hardy.

After a while, this thing showed up and my badly fit Stratios couldn't do anything about it.

Some fancy usage of my covert-cloak and creative warping around allowed me to collect some sleeper-loot under the nose of that sleeper-battleship. All in all, this little day trip wasn't that bad.

So I went home. Which in turn gives me today the excuse to post this picture. I just can't get enough from screenshotting the Stratios! (This one ended somewhere close to the border of Stain. Running gatecamps at 3am in the morning is not recommended.)

For some reason I could never get into the Astero, by the way. I really tried to love this little frigate, but writing this post made me realize I love cruisers far too much, so that Astero I lost a while ago is probably the last one I'll ever fly. Sad, isn't it?

Mittwoch, 8. April 2015

EVE Easter Extravaganza III: The Finishing Line

Yeah, technically it's not Easter anymore. But I got annoyed enough today, so I declare today to be Easter Wednesday and finish this. (Seriously, someone pushed my doorbell so hard it broke and the fucker let himself into the building. We're lucky that guy was no stranger trying to rob us. Now I hear the faint buzzsound of the door being permanently kept open. I can only hope our property management can repair our doorbell soon, it's ridiculous otherwise. And pretty damn unsafe, I'll bet.)

And now that I've typed this, our door luckily has locked itself shut again and the buzzing sound is a lot fainter now. My doorbell and opener are still broken, though.

Welp, let's get on with this.

The Odyssey Odyssey III: The Last Great Run

Mysterious station-ruins in Lonetrek. Another scary little stage of our odyssey through New Eden.

The Traumark-Ruins. Once a mighty Amarrian fortress, now fallen into the hands of Sansha-pirates.

One of the more bizzare requests from CCP was a screenshot of Prime Arkonor. And here it is.

Not really one of the requests, I think. But I travelled through a lot of wormholes anyway during this long journey.

Another weird request: A screenshot of dead people. (Other people, that was specified for some reason.)

The next screenshot on our list was a burning capsule. Normally that's kind of hard to get, since capsules are quite flimsy and tend to explode too fast for a screenshot. Like this picture shows, I was willing to try it the real way first.

My plan was simple: Taunt pirates in Rancer, famous for being a (real player) pirate stronghole. Then when blown up, make a few snapshots of my crumbling capsule just before the final explosion, done. So here I am, pretending to be an ice miner while being in a frigate.

Yeah, I really didn't think that one through.

In hindsight, the entire idea was stupid. I hope those poor pirates can forgive me for this. I must have had a very, very low opinion of their intelligence to even try this stunt. Claiming to be in a Hulk? What the hell was I thinking here? Apparently I just kind of hoped the bloodthirsty pirates would warp to me without ever looking at d-scan and wondering why this little frigate was pretending to mine chunks of ice larger than the ship itself.

After a while I actually got some guys to bite on my bait. They bit down so hard my reflexes couldn't keep up.

Here is my second attempt in a Crucifier-frigate. (Interestingly, this weird misshapen lump of metal is what the Crucifier looked like before the redesign.)

But again I die too fast to get the picture I need, so I finally see reason and order one of my alts to fire on my capsule in a sanctioned HighSec-duel.

This is what success looks like.

I went a bit overboard and made enough screenshots of my burning pod I could re-arrange the pictures for a short animated film. Seriously, those two shots are just the highlight-reel.

Poitot. One of the few named places outside of High- and LowSec. It's always a funny joke to see if a newbie actually tries travelling to Poitot before noticing Poitot isn't in HighSec.

A black hole system in W-Space. What CCP wanted was a screenshot of a Wolf-Rayet, the rarest of the rare systems with special effects in W-Space. Finding that one took the most time, so I made most of the other screenshots I needed by wildly teleporting around New Eden via Wormhole-Express.

Did you know Fountain belonged to Test once? That mighty player alliance has fallen on hard times again and again, but they're still going strong in some other region today. By coincidence I landed in Fountain just days before the last battle against the CFC and the fall of Fountain. Kind of funny how at the time, I was annoyed at all those people forcing me to be extra-careful and didn't think twice about what was happening.

A Pulsar-system. Still not what I need, but I'll take it.

Here I got excited, but this W-Space system turned out to have a red giant in it. Still a false positive.

Inbetween trying to find one of the elusive Wolf-Rayet systems, I made some pretty pictures of nebulae.

Either we needed two different nebulae, or I just made two screenshots just because. Honestly, I forgot. And who cares? The pictures are still nice enough.

Shintaht in Providence: Another named system in a sea of weird number/letter salads.

Finally! On my way to the last stage of the odyssey, I lucked out and found a Wolf-Rayet.

And after a last chain of wormholes, I reached the very last screenshot CCP demanded from us: Steve.

This is Steve. The first player-Titan ever destroyed. Now his wreck forever roams the starways.

And with this last screenshot, the Odyssey Odyssey was over. All screenshots were collected. Soon afterwards we collected our prizes and the contest was over.

Today I wish CCP would try something like this again, it was really fun! Sadly, in CCP's mind exploration is a niché so small, we don't even deserve a small line of exploration cruisers. Frigates, a faction pirate cruiser and whatever T3 or other ship we can rebuild to be a exploration vessel. That's all we get.

Now excuse me, I have to go back to my Pilgrim for another long-range voyage.

Montag, 6. April 2015

EVE Easter Extravaganza: The Great Odyssey Odyssey II

So, family matters decended upon me and waylaid this post, but we still have a couple hours left on Easter monday here, so technically it's still Easter!

Let's continue!

The Great Odyssey Rolls On

A Madman's Folly
The next stage of our journey was the legendary City of God, build by a crazed Amarrian emperor. Today only a ruin, thanks to not even faithful Amarrians taking his dumb shit anymore.

Sorry for my Stabber stumbling through the picture here
Next up: Choonka's Diner. Another weird landmark in Amarr-space. Apparently you can go there and get a mission. Choonka's Diner was part of a weird chain of missions, ending in nothing because the rest was never implemented.

A remnant of one of many battles in New Eden
Visiting the Mekinos-Graveyard made me sad. So much death and destruction...

Spacepolice Building Status: Demolished
On my list it was now time for the broken CONCORD-station in Yulai. May or may not be related to the events creating the Mekinos-Graveyard.

A tribute to players rising up against CCP
In a moment of selfdepricating humour, CCP decided to damage the monument they had created for the winners of some old, long forgotten contest in honour of players rising up against the evils of CCP. See also Monocle Gate.

Today the repairs have finally begun
This station suffered a lot of damage in some lore-related event. A large ship crashed into the station and killed some space-important NPCs. The station was left with parts of it still on fire until today. A few months ago the fire was supposed to have been stopped and the repairs have finally begun. (Note to self: Go visit it again to see if that's actually true.)

Not all pictures we had to made were related to sites in space. This picture was me politely answering questions in the in-game help channel.

This is one of many wormhole-screenshots I made. I forgot if we were supposed to do this, but I have several of them, so I guess the answer is yes?

The Myridian Strip. In LowSec and we were supposed to have our ship visible and uncloaked in the shot. Danger Level: Rising.

The Golgothian Fields. Same like the last pick, with additional angry NPCs added in.

One of many tries to catch a sunrise over a specific type of planet.

My best try.

Yes, you're seeing this right.
And forward, to more exciting adventures: The strange Black Monolith is deep into LowSec, close to the New Eden star system itself. The same star system which gave the name for the entire cluster we're living in.

Closeby was the ancient wormhole. It is said it leads to the realm of the dreaded Sansha.

Whatever happened over there, it sure was not good.
Another important pic: The remnants of the collapsed New Eden Stargate. On the other side of the gate was Earth. Our ancestors came from there. I stayed a bit in this system, just looking at the dead gate and thinking about this.

After the super-mysterious series of pictures, we're back to good old ruins in space. Here the Serpent's Coil.

Woah, looks like we need another part, this post is getting a bit long and I still have a ton of screenshots left. Let's finish this up in part 3!

Sonntag, 5. April 2015

EVE Easter Extravaganza: The Great Odyssey Odyssey I

It's Easter! Some guy was killed and revived like a character in a video game and we're celebrating his revival! (At least this is what I remember about Easter.)

Since our characters in EVE are also people who die and get revived all the time, this made me sit down and write up another blog post. EVE-related blog post, I mean.

Back in Summer '2013, I was playing for just about half a year and the changes made by the Odyssey-expansion set me ablaze again with the wish to explore! Kind of fitting for an exploration-themed expansion, if you ask me.

When the expansion hit, CCP came up with a contest for explorers: Travel around New Eden, make interesting screenshots from things CCP had given us as targets and get fabulous prizes. OK I lied, the prices were kind of shitty, but a lot of the targets were things I didn't even knew about at the time, so visiting them was a prize in itself.

In EVE it's kind of easy to forget, but real explorers are neither garbage collectors nor conquistadors only out for a quick buck. Sure, fame and money are a thing, but no explorer ever said to himself "Sure, I'll go risk my life and fortune on something which may or may not be turn out to be a complete dud. Also if someone is faster then me, I get fucked over royally. Sounds like fun!"

Because real explorers don't think like that. Getting fame and fortune takes only a second place to whatever goal we have set for ourselves. Remember the people who climbed up the Mount Everest? Yeah, me neither. But my point is, they didn't climb up because they thought money and fame would rain down upon them as soon as they reached the peak, they climbed up because the peak was there.

Likewise I'm drawn to all the weird and mysterious stuff CCP has sprinkled all over EVE. Sometimes it's stuff only a small group knows about, sometimes it's stuff even CCP has forgotten now. New Eden is full of mysteries, and a real explorer isn't travelling through New Eden to make money, he or she is travelling around to find and record those mysteries. Because they are there.

The Great Odyssey Begins

It was time for Odyssey. Loot spew was the shit (literally, and I'm not using the positive meaning here), but probe-changes made using the probing-UI less retardedly stupid, so all was well in my book.

One day, while playing around with Planetary Interaction, I accidentally noticed a new event by CCP: Targets were given out and a call went out to explorers to travel around making screenshots of the targets. Three waves of targets, easy, medium and hard, then exploration-related prizes were given out. Intrigued, I signed up immediately.

Honestly, this had gotten boring already.

Since the first wave was kind of easy, I outfitted one of my favourite T1-cruisers, the mighty Stabber, and flew off.

First target: Luminaire
The first screenshot was incredibly easy, just a picture of a planet in HighSec, interesting for lore-related reasons, but not really dangerous.

One of the first screenshots was supposed to be a screenshot of your ship in warp. This was even easier then my first picture, for obvious reasons.

Something bad happened here...
Goal three was related to the Seyllin-incident. In LowSec and with some spooky lore attached, it was just so cool.

Some ruins I forgot the first time, so I had to go back.
Next time, I'll continue posting about the Odyssey of Odyssey.