We lost David Bowie. And I never even knew he was ill. Just arrived at work for a nightshift and had the news broken to me. And I went from being happy to down in a heartbeat.
I saw the Glass Spider tour many years ago, and if I’m being totally honest about it, it didn’t do that much for me.
I missed his older music. I didn’t know quite how much. At least not until today. So much of it formed a soundscape to my younger days, and I grieve for that loss.
Heroes is probably my favorite track of his and it featured in the movie The Replacements. I heard an anecdote about the song some time ago, particularly how they managed to create such a unusual sound. Go read.
While the movie version didn’t have Bowie singing, it did have some lovely sentiments in the voiceover from Gene Hackman (skip to 3:30).
We all of us deserve a second chance, and we all have moments where there is just a locker to be cleared out at the end of the day. But we also live for those moments of greatness, no matter how brief.
For Mr David Bowie. Who never seemed to be scared to be different in a time when you were expected to conform. Who, by having the unmitigated gall to just be himself, helped change the world into something new and wondrous, and full of possibility.
Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever.
The capsuleer took stock of his ship. As the head of his Alliance, he was not used to having advice given to him. At least, not quite so bluntly.
There were a few things he had learned during his time as the head of the operation. Not the least of which was that the capsuleer giving the advice was almost always right. And, not the least, just quite how utterly frustrating that was.
While it was true that she had indeed built the hull and had called in favors within the Caldari State to upgrade it to full milspec, this did not reduce the sense of frustration at the impropriety of her behavior. At all.
She was, after all, as much an Achura as he was. And there were ways to do things and ways not to, as she would have very well been aware.
Quiet and restrained? He snorted. About as quiet and restrained as a 7 Gev quad laser.
Shaking his head, he sent the change orders though. The automated systems in the Sukuuvestaa station in conjunction with his own experienced engineering crew oversaw the installation of new equipment, hull modifications and twin missile guidance computers.
Despite his top tier predictive analysis software, it wasn’t until he sent the schematics to a trusted friend that he really sat up and took notice.
Singular comms response was this: “F#*k! That thing does more damage than a Marauder… and it can re purpose in flight to hit small targets too…”.
Assigning a considerable portion of available CPU cycles, the capsuleer prioritized a complete strategic and tactical breakdown of the new configuration, then sat back to consider the wider implications.
Yes, the defenses are a little thin. Yes, it is not as perhaps tactically as flexible as one might like, but, in non-technical terms, holy sh*t, what it hit tended to disintegrate.
It was about this point when his comm channel pinged. The very Achura he had received the information from was waiting for a response.
He’d have given real ISK to know how she always managed to ping at just the right (or wrong) time, but suspected her specialized implants were giving a slight edge in chaos theory and application, leaving him ever so slightly vulnerable in the social/communication engagement envelope.
That, or she knew him too damn well. Certainly she was dangerous, but her threat levels had remained consistent in all the years he had known her.
A quandary for another time, but one perhaps initiated more to his advantage he thought, and logged a mnemonic date stamp for review/action at an expected low point of biometric functionality of the capsuleer.
Comm channel opened.
“Well”? She enquired.
He paused for a moment regretting that he had not already assigned higher conscious control of his micro expressions.
“The configuration appears to be fit for purpose” he replied.
“Fit for purpose”? And she arched an eyebrow at him.
“Yes. Fit for purpose”.
There was a pause as she stared at him unblinking. Utterly in control, millimeter perfect.
“Oh, enough already” he growled. “It’s fucking brilliant”.
“Good” she replied as the corner of her mouth twitched slightly upwards.
“This ship represents a considerable investment in time and ISK. Please be careful where you point it”.
“Duly noted” he replied, as the twitch at the corner of her mouth threatened to evolve into an actual smile.
“It would also be appreciated if you stopped losing drones with such regularity. Four this week alone? That is… inefficient.
It is humbly suggested that you review your combat algorithms, most specifically flight patterns and threat analysis”.
The head of the alliance was about to splutter out a response when she bowed, said “Băozhòng” and cleared comms.
The capsuleer willed his blood pressure down the 30 point spike the conversation had brought on, sighed and initiated a meta search for the latest in combat programs.
He may the the head of the alliance he thought to himself, but he’d be damned if she’d catch him out with another of her unasked for, terrifyingly accurate, performance reviews.
Reviewing the progress of the build he sent a multicast.
“All crew be advised full recall. Repeat – full recall. Expected shakedown 25:53. Combat readiness by 26:30. On your way people”.
He gritted his teeth as he initiated the capsule entry sequence, and wondered if the pod goo would actually steam when it hit his skin.
It’s Christmas EvE here… OK that was unexpected… Christmas Eve here and have just exchanged holiday greetings with Hermit. Kind of putting off wrapping of presents coz there is a truck ton of them to do.
And a truck ton of wrapping necessitates a truck ton of procrastination imho. Especially given the carefully crafted wrapping gets annihilated within .5 of a second once in the grasp of its recipient…
Ahem. Anyways, and with procrastination dialled up to 11, I was thinking about the various people in game that I’d really like to meet in RL. If I’m very careful, and my employment situation remains stable, I have a chance to make Fanfest in 2018 in my 10th year of playing EvE.
These people in one way or another have been part of the community I’ve engaged with. Sometimes as a silent consumer to be fair. But still, interesting folks in any case imho, and it would be grand if RL conspired to allow it to happen at FF.
In no particular order:
EvE Hermit – at least we live in the same hemisphere :)
Mynxee – yes you, Great Lady. Enjoy the fireworks.
Ashterothi and the crew at Hydrostatic Podcast
Random McNally and the crew at High Drag
Apothne (hulll tinkerrrrrrrr!) and the rest of the AT commentary team.
Roc Wieler – The Colonel and I agree about many things, others that might require a considerable amount of discussion just to find out we agree about many things… :)
Neville Smit – a man whose brain I would love to pick. No not for the transneural skill packets… honestly…
CCP Seagull – if for no other reason than a chance to say Thank You.
Turamarth – Builder of soapboxes, holder of opinions, and a good man.
Now I know I’ve missed people and that it’s going to bug me. I have a fairly extensive subscription list, and while it would be wonderful to meet all of you, I just CBA typing everyone’s names out right now.
In any case, this is a small thanks from me for your contributions to the community as a whole, and a chance to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
So… a few days after posting the rattler fit, I was having a drink or two and thinking about logging in. Checked the blog and noticed a spike in hits from Germany.
Not that I have a huge readership by any means, but it was statistically significant enough for it to stick out by the proverbials.
Now I have one of those kind of brains that sucks up information that others don’t necessarily care to notice. It gets filed away somewhere, and when something else happens it gets instantly correlated against the random crapola stored up in there.
To give you an example, I notice pretty much instantly when a co-worker has had a haircut or shave. New glasses, etc. Have had comments in the past from people saying they’ve been walking around for a week and I’ve been the only one who has said anything.
Likewise with friends I haven’t seen in a while. Useful in the job I do, but that’s a story for another time perhaps. I don’t navigate by street names either and can recognize people at a distance by general shape and certainly by the way they walk.
I’m a visual creature I guess. Ironic given I was an short sighted and not diagnosed for many years as a child. Coping mechanism developed whatever this is at a guess.
So there is me going, OK Germany when I logged in. Even slightly on the tipsy side, the old spidey sense started tingling. Local was rather a bit higher than normal, and with a lot fewer regular names about.
So I started scrolling through. NPC corp. NPC corp. NPC corp. NPC corp. Hmmmm, said I. Lets check the bio. James315. James 315. James 315.
And the old brain did a rapid calculation:
Alcohol + expensive fit recently posted + unusual viewership pattern + local spike + NPC corps + James315 (who I have crossed paths with once before) = no sir, I really don’t think so.
Did I undock? Nope. Not today.
To be fair, I have been looking at other corps to throw an alt (or potentially all of them) in to, so spent my time talking in public channels to various peeps.
My time wasn’t wasted, and if the enemy was blueballed as part of that process, then who am I to complain :)
I’d not have thought faction warfare would provide some of the best video out there, but this is extremely well done.
I’ve watched a majority of the Viking Duffo series. Cool music, great production and balls of steel flying. Picked the Rattlesnake because of posting, but they’re all well worth a watch.
Keep your eyes open too, there are some seriously cool fits and ways to use them. Lets just say how effective the Gnosis was surprised the hell out of me :)
OK – I’m running around with the following fit. There are also two sets of stats, one live and one EFT warrior just to give the overall potential for this beastie. And believe you me, it is very much a beast…
5x Rapid Heavy Missile Launcher II
1x Utility High slot (drone link aug)
1x Gist-X MWD
2x Pith C-Type Invulnerability Fields
3x Caldari Navy Large Shield Extender
1x Mission specific hardener (or Pith C-Type EM Ward Amplifier for omni)
1x Damage Control
2x Sentient Drone Damage Amplifiers
3x CN Ballistic Controls
3x Large Core Defense Shield Extender IIs
2x Augmented Wasps, 5x light drones to taste, 2x Warden IIs
Resists in game 82 EM, 79 Therm, 84 Kin, 87 Explosive. 256k EHP. 45k shields with a passive recharge of 60 per second. DPS is 732 from the wasps and 805 from the RHML using cal navy scourge. 1537 DPS while not reloading.
As far as this fit goes, I am not using any specific implants that affect either shields or missile skills. If you want to use genolutions for example and the 5% skill implants you can easily push 1640 using cal navy ammo and almost 1800 using rage.
If you fit specifically for kinetic using a Pith-C hardener under these circumstances 520k EHP vs kin with a defense of 628 is possible.
While not gank proof, the cost for doing so is pretty prohibitive and you’ll notice that (apart from the MWD) most of the kit is high end, but not bleeding edge to dissuade attackers.
Use: well, warp in and start killing. The rattler has good damage application out to 62km with missiles and with an explosion velocity of 127 and an explosion radius of 100, it eats most frigates and cruisers for breakfast. Your missiles are your primary means of getting rid of them. BCs also melt fairly quickly. Battle ships really require the drones on them as well to take out fast.
The cycle time on the launchers is very quick (they’re not kidding when they say rapid), so don’t be surprised if you chew through the ammo or launch unnecessary volleys, but it isn’t overly expensive LP/Isk wise to convert to faction.
With a low alpha though it’s more like using a high pressure hose than whacking something with a baseball bat. The wardens are there to take out targets close to the edge of your targeting range, and where travel time for the wasps is excessive.
The MWD is really there to ensure quick travel time between gates and to get you close to target quickly. It’s so slow and ponderous that it takes a couple of cycles to get up to speed, but it’s OK for use at over 900m/s.
Now, I can hear people muttering about the cycle time for the launchers. Yep. 35 seconds. But as far as mission running goes, this isn’t much of an issue, especially when one reloads when traveling to gate or getting into range of different NPC groups. Manage it well, and it’s not a problem.
Your tank is sufficient that this fit is extraordinarily forgiving, and with the launchers being so good at taking out frigates, being webbed/scrammed is not a concern. The only issue I can really see with it is the fact that the hull has a bonus for kin and therm damage only. Not a major.
Right now, the price point makes this hull a bargain imho, and with the heavy missile skill being a great intermediary for low to mid skill level players, it is an easy step up from cruiser/BC hulls. Even T2 fit, this ship is extremely good for mission running.
Good range, great application, and with a really good tank to enable you to get out of dodge if you really muck it up, there is a lot to like. Butt ugly it may be, effective it undeniably is.
One addendum to all this, I have nearly max skills with only heavy missile skill spec V to complete (about 3 days away). Due to it requiring good skills in two racial battleship hulls and two weapon systems, I’d consider it fairly skill intensive to get the best performance out of it.
Forgive the rambling, but I’m going to touch on a number of points this post.
Had a squeaky moment this evening with my noctis pilot. Didn’t count the number of spawns in Enemies About (part 5) and had 3 Darkanas plus a bunch of frigates warp in at 20km.
Did they target my battleship? Oh no. I wouldn’t be so lucky. Instead, my poor noctis got hammered. They blasted through my shields, ripped off the amour, and with hull rapidly disappearing, warp finally kicked in.
3% structure left. All I’ll say is thank god for thermodynamics (and shield boosters). Phew…
So, and given my very casual play time at present, I have come to the conclusion that I’m really a missioneer. Oh, I’ve dabbled in a number of other things, mostly exploration. But until they stop fiddling around with the interface, I’m not going to spend the time relearning it. In all honesty, so far I prefer the old probe re-sizing/ re-positioning method.
So, missioning. One thing I really enjoy is figuring out what I consider to be optimal fits for the hulls I tend to fly, and test them against the NPCs.
So far it doesn’t seem to matter what I fly, about 10 million per tick is about what I can regularly achieve. Doesn’t matter if it’s guns, or missiles. 10 mil provided the mission rats have a high enough bounty.
Scarlet can pay out 16 to 20 mil per tick if you’re fast enough, but that is an exceptional mission as far as payout go. I’m just counting bounties by the way, not mission rewards or LP payouts.
Now, I have been playing around with two new hulls and have been very pleased with both. The Rattlesnake has a stupidly good tank and almost seems to be easy mode. I’m pushing a combined total of 1500 dps with this beastie… with no missile implants in whatsoever. 1800 may be doable. A buffer tank in the well over 200k area means I’ve never gone below half shields in any mission ever, despite mucking up now and again.
The Navy Raven is turning out to be a lot of fun. I love the alpha this thing puts out. Megathrons gone in two volleys. Navy Orions usually pop on about four, but with the right combination of kit and implants, this will also one shot cruiser and battlecruiser hulls.
I haven’t even tried T2 ammo with it yet, but EFT indicates a 10k volley is entirely possible. Oh yes. Torp ravens are a thing :)
If you like, I’ll post the fits being used. Drop a comment if you do.
PCU count. I saw the PCU hit 30k the other day. Very glad to see it. Couple that with the knowledge that 60% of players are single accounts, and that it is very rare for a person to have 4 or more subs, perhaps the doomsayers can have a wee rest for a bit?
Lastly, I have spent a little time lurking in recruitment channels for various corps and have some advice for any recruiters out there: wake your people up.
My experiences to date have really been a case of saying hi and then watching the tumble weeds go by. I’ll try maybe three or four times at different times of different days and then give it a way. It’s really not a good look.
Thats it for now. RL has been extraordinarily busy (moved and helped two others move house all in the space of three weeks – working full days after two consecutive nightshifts and about 6 hours sleep each day is NOT advisable).