Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Snowstorm

Not only did my area of Canada get inundated with snow the past few days, my poor wife has been sick with a nasty virus so I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off around here lately. Hence my lack of posting.

I did get to command a fleet on Sunday night and has some fun scouring the warzone for some targets and kills including some battlecruiser kills against a roaming NCDot fleet, so I have that going for me.

I do want to talk a little about the end of the fleet though. The fleet had been running for over two hours and while at peak we were over 30 pilots of kitchen sink destroyers/frigates with a handful of frigate logi, at this time as we were heading home we had shrunk down to about 20 tired pilots with less logi and less coherent thinking.

That's when my scouts reported a fleet of 25-30 Templis pilots in catalysts in the system ahead.

Now I know the power of the massed attrition catalyst fleet, and even though we had some Tech 3 destroyers and a few logi pilots, I knew that was going to be a losing fight from the get go. Kill a few catalysts at 4 mil ISK a pop while losing multiple T3 and T2 ships? At best case scenario? Bad idea. Yeah, no thanks.

Since we were close to home I ordered the fleet to dock up and take a powder. I felt a little bad for the Templis pilots that formed to fight us, but I have a responsibility to my pilots to not make them throw their ships away needlessly. Too many times in the past I fought Templis when they brought the perfect counter to my ships after seeing what we were flying and I like to think I've finally learned that lesson ;)


Thursday, February 09, 2017

Structure Losses

Out of curiosity I went to Zkillboard and brought up the statistics for Citadels (which covers Astrahus, Fortizar, Keepstars, and Palatine Keepstar) and looked at the losses since they were introduced last year in May.


I suspect the initial surge was people getting the hang of the structures during the rush to deploy them, and the slow climb is the attrition of existing structures getting destroyed over time as their population grows and they figure more and more into wars in all parts of space. The latest spike seen in January could be due to the current Winter War down in the south.

As for Engineering Complexes, they have not been around long enough to derived any conclusions but included here for completeness:
It is interesting that the numbers are so low for December and January compared to citadels despite being less defensible than them. This could be due to them being used more cautiously than citadels which often get deployed as forward operating bases, or maybe there are far fewer of them deployed since they are more specific to industry and people just looking for homes use citadels instead.

Remember, purchase Ninveah Enterprises structures found in Dodixie, manufactured with care and love!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Nerve Wracking

Sunday night as fleet was forming there were reports of an Astrahus citadel being anchored in Ostingele in Placid and its 15 minute repair cycle would fall right in the middle of my fleet. For those unaware, a citadel or engineering complex take 24 hours to anchor, and then have a 15 minute repair cycle before coming fully online. That 15 minute window is the best opportunity to attack and destroy them before the full defenses come online and its only open to attack at certain vulnerability windows throughout the week. And Ostingele is of particular importance to us right now as its where we are clashing with Black Shark Cult of Caldari Militia for control.

Since it was Superbowl Sunday the fleet was smaller than normal, only 12 of us to start, swelling to 15 by the time we got underway. After an unproductive fight with a clever Nightmare pilot in Fliet, we arrived in Ostingele with 11 minutes left in the repair cycle. Not a problem; any shooting at the structure pauses the repair cycle so if we decided to attack, we had all the time we needed.

We arrived on grid with the structure at the Fedmart NPC station 3800 km off. There was no defense fleet. The structure was owned by a 4 man corporation, alts we figure. Rumours in intel put them as alts of Northern Coalition Dot however, so we figure attacking it will bring some attention.

But we're in tech 1 cruisers (except one snowflake in a tier 3 Legion) so what do we care? We engage and wait for the defenders to show up.

90% structure remaining - Haha this is funny, we're so gonna die.

70% - OK, this is weird.

50% - We're halfway through. We might actually do this?

30% - Cyno 24 AU away, is that them coming for us? Thanatos on grid! No wait, its on the Fedmart station... getting ready to launch fighters? No, it docked.

10% - This is so nerve wracking!!!! They are going to chase us off in the last few percent, I know it!

Then it counted down the last few percent counted down and it exploded in an extremely satisfying flash of light as it gave birth to a new sun. I got top damage in my humble Thorax and the whole effort took ~45 minutes for 15 of us, 3 in logistics cruisers.

Good to know.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Slice of Life

I don't get to play EVE enough.

Its a factor in my longevity in game; I'm always leaving the game wanting more and having to wait for it. The fact of the matter is that my life is so filled up with responsibilities that squeezing any game time for any game is a constant struggle.

Its not all bad. As the boys get older some activities cross over into my interests and I can *try* to relax and accomplish something in my hobbies. Podcasting is a good example: I do it because I enjoy it and it helps with my public speaking and my son Wilmick likes to help because he's doing something with me. Last night Wilmick's twin, Terjoe, was home (we usually record when he's at dance class) and he wanted to join in. So we recorded an episode and Terjoe demonstrated why he's often considered the talkative one.

During the podcast we were touring the structures in Fliet and saw some war targets. There was interested parties in corp chat about going after them so when we were done recording I decided to show off for the boys so I jumped on comms and in an Omen and went after the two Kestrels and Thorax. It was mostly a successful hunt.

At this point Mrs Kodachi calls down that the boys still have homework to do so I closed the game and chased the twins up the stairs because I had to do dishes as well. However, when I get upstairs I find my youngest, Arjay the Destroyer, sad. "What's up, buddy?" Well it turns out he was disappointed he didn't get to talk during the recording and was feeling left out. I understand so I offer to record a separate clip with just him (at which point Terjoe yells "That's not fair!" and I respond "This is the definition of fairness!") and he's not sure, after all, he doesn't play EVE, what would he talk about?

That's why the second half of my latest podcast episode is the two of us talking about his favourite World of Tanks tanks. No apologies.

With everyone back to happy I was able to finish my chore of the dishes, put the kids to bed, and then crash on the couch to socialize with Mrs Kodachi, all the while thinking about my two little Kestrel kills and eager for more.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

BB 79 - Congrats on Subscribing for a Long Time

The current Blog Banter from Sand, Cider, and Spaceships:

Blog Banter 79 - Rewarding the Vets?
Should CCP put more effort into rewards for loyal customers? The mystery code from the collector's edition hasn't seen much use and whilst veteran rewards have been mentioned by CCP several times at Fanfests, we have seen nothing. Wasn't there talk of a special station only 10-year vets could dock in at one point?
Is this lack of gratitude towards loyal customers alienating? Do people wish for a change here? Is it too self-righteous to expect small signs of gratitude for being a loyal customer? Is a customer purchasing half a year in advance more loyal than someone plexing every now and than probably missing out a few weeks or months a year? How do CCP place rewards in game without hurting the economy?
Or is it just a case of there is no need and HTFU snowflake?
Its no secret I'm not a fan of the current skill point system which unnecessarily punishes new players compared to veteran players. I like that skill point trading gives newer players a chance to overcome some of that deficit, but really it does not go far enough in the end.

Regardless, when we talk about rewards for veteran players I have issues because not only do the vets have the advantages of having accrued massive number of skill points over the years they have been subscribed, unlocking all manners of choices in terms of activity and ships and weapon systems, these vets have typically accrued an amount of material wealth dwarfing what a newer player has many times over. Unless you are very active and careless with your ships and assets, you will inevitably gain wealth through normal activities, and the amount you gain increases over time.

And as wealth increases, we find ways to compound the interest so to speak: corporate welfare programs ship as ship replacement programs, money making fleets (mining or PvE), free ships, etc.

Add to that the frequent rewards players get at holidays and EVE's birthday like skins, free ships, collectibles, and it quickly becomes apparent to me that veterans are rewarded handsomely for being veterans.

So yeah, I honestly don't think veterans need much more in the way of reward for basically being subscribed for a long period of time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Customers!

When I set up my Raitaru in high sec I decided to open it to public for offices and manufacturing for a small fee. Since its rigged for producing structures I didn't expect to gather much or any attention at my facility and pretty much forgot about that side of the business.

However, yesterday when I was looking at my wallet comparing facility tax costs between NPC station and a low sec Azbel I noticed some unexpected green transactions:
Names redacted.

Its not a huge amount of ISK and its only two or three pilots, but I'm insanely pleased nonetheless. Back when I heard about POS and setting prices for lab slots I wanted to run a public laboratory but when I subsequently heard that the mechanics for that purpose were incomplete I was disappointed. Now I can partially live out that old dream.

Build on, my customers!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Making Mistakes

One of the hardest things to learn as a new Fleet Commander (aka FC) is that you will constantly make mistakes.

Some mistakes will be due to inexperience. Some will be because your opponent is crafty or lucky and got the drop on you. Some will be because you were too confident or too eager for the kill. But the worst mistakes are the ones that happen because you just got careless.

Take last night for example. I logged in to form my usual Sunday Night Fleet in Fliet and I get on voice comms to hear about a RvB gang that was passing through. The fleet is not formed yet but I don't want this target of opportunity to pass us by because I know RvB came to fight and not just gank.

So I jump in my Abaddon and try to muster the people coming into fleet to get into a fight on the Heydieles gate where RvB has seemed to caught wind of us and might engage. The ensuing battle did not go our way; we killed an Armageddon, Scythe Fleet issue, a Stork, and a couple Mallers but lost my Abaddon, two Hecates, a Hurricane, a Falcon, Vexor, Algos, and a handful of frigates. All in all, not a good exchange.

The big problem was I didn't communicate clearly that for the most part sentry guns would not be working for us and we didn't have logistics to cover any missteps. I rushed in to try and get a fight and as a result, some of our losses had a considerable amount of sentry gun damage on their loss mails.

The good news is, we reshipped our losses, formed up a fleet and went on to have some really good fights and kills for the rest of the night, including getting some revenge on that RvB fleet later on in Nennamailia. To the pilots which quit the fleet after the first misstep, you missed out.


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