Friday, 31 July 2015


A little over Five Years I've managed to last.

In that time I've NEVER flown a missile ship larger than a Battle Cruiser (a Drake, pre-nerf) but tonight I shall be getting into a Raven fitted with Cruise Missiles in order to pummel a POS. I'm looking forward to it and the group I'll be flying with will no doubt make the time pass with jokes, humour and wit.

Of course if Bex is there none of that will happen :)

I shall post a write up of the POS Bash over the weekend with the usual details of why but hopefully it shall pass without incident and I shall put my new Battleship to good use.


The (two) billion ISK whale

His Story

When I started playing it was the Arbitrator that I wanted to fly, I loved the look of the ship and the drone bay on the ship appealed to me, after all I could picture drones flying in/out of there.
Next it was the Orca, I can remember buying an Orca for 800m ISK in 2010 but having to leave it for two weeks because I had no characters who could fly it. The ship was a beautiful sight and really helped me when I started my mining empire and continues to serve me now as a short trip bulk hauler or a general support vessel.
Then in 2012 I was in need of a capital sized support vessel for my mining operations (now in Providence). There was only one choice and that was the Rorqual, instead of buying off the market I actually mined and produced ship myself in a low sec location and once finished I fit her and jumped to her new null sec home.

The Rorqual

The Rorqual was unique, at the time, in that she could compress ore and ice (using the Industrial Core) to make it smaller and thus easier to transport AND she transformed into a structure like ship. Fit out with Cargo rigs and cargo expanders you could fit 137,000m3 into the cargo hold, 50,000m3 into the Fleet Hanger and a truly massive 250,000m3 into the Ore/Ice hold.
The Rorqual could also fit the Clone Vat bay, a Titan is the only other ship that can fit this, and it allows pilots to create a clone in the Rorqual that can then be "jumped to" at any time, but only once. the clone would be removed from the Rorqual and put in space but you could not redock with the Rorqual and then use it again later.
The idea is solid, imagine being able to clone jump to a Rorqual, participate in a large scale mining operation and then clone jump back. No need to have clones near to the Rorqual, you just jump to it and then grab a ship from the massive Ship Maintenance Hanger and start mining.
Alas it never worked like this, the Rorqual was unfortunately relegated to being a off grid booster and Ore/Ice compression service. Rarely did they leave the safety of a POS and rarely were they fit to survive in space, let alone under attack. I do remember, during the invasion of KBP7-G by PL in ~2011 that a Rorqual was used by PL to setup a staging tower, supported by their sub-capital fleet.
Aside from that I've never seen a Rorqual outside of a POS that hasn't been picking up Ore/Ice or is moving back/forth to station. There have been "Battle Rorqual" fits and I recall there is a player who excels at using one, but it's very rare to see a Rorqual outside of a POS.

The Future

Since the introduction of the shorter development cycles for releases the Rorqual has found itself in limbo. Ore/Ice Compression has been made available to all via Station Services so you no longer need to do this, and consume Heavy Water, in the Rorqual. Clone Vat usage has been viable but the recent change to Jump Clones nerfs this as well now.
The Rorqual really is a ship without purpose, sure it can still be used for mining and the bonus you get for activating the Industrial Core when boosting is worth using the ship but having this as the ONLY benefit really puts a question to the viability to the Rorqual.
CCP did say, many months ago, in a post that the Rorqual was going to be "fixed" but they could not do anything until other changes in game and the "back-end" were complete. I can't remember where I read that, but I'm pretty sure it was on the official forums by CCP Fozzie... but I could be wrong about that but I know what the message said just not where I read it or who posted it.
Citadels are coming, other changes are happening but still word on the fate of the Rorqual is non-existent.
Come of CCP, please give us an update on the fate of the Rorqual.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

What good are standings now?

It's not a bug, it's a feature.

That used to be the muttering when a mistake in a program was used to make life better for the users and instead of being removed it was fought for and remained, often with additional work to make it "production quality".

Well it seems CCP have had this happen, I'm sure it's happened before and will again but they've admitted it was an error and feedback from users has influenced their decision to let it remain "as-is" rather than what they planned, which to change it back to the way it worked.

Ths is a great change, I'm very happy they have decided to leave it alone. Having had new alts have to grind or travel to null in order to use a Rorqual to create a fresh clone is a pain in the arse but no longer do I have to do this.

Estel Arador Corp Services (and other jump clone services) have long provided this service for free and have been the saviour of many a pilot. I agree wholeheartedly with Mike Azariah in the Reddit post that a statue or some kind of "official recognition" for the services that were provided is needed by CCP.

It does beg the question now though, aside from lowering Tax and increasing Refining/Reprocessing amounts what purpose do Standings have?

Monday, 27 July 2015

Feel the Burn

Niarja and Uedama, two 0.5 systems that see a large proportion of high value high sec losses. Gankers are very active here and they are systems I try to avoid, if at all possible.

Apparently the FC for MiniLove (Goonswarm ganking "arm") is stepping down so to "see him off" there has been an increase in ganking occurring.

It's being very profitable according to the killboard details for the past weekend. 

I wasn't aware this was happening and was told last night by a friend in the 'swarm. This meant I paid attention as I was travelling through high sec instead of using the autopilot and doing something else. So glad I did as last night I was scanned by SIX different ships in four different systems on my approach to Niarja.

I made it safely to station but I sent an alt through Niarja to see what was there and II'm so glad I did. Local spiked and a gank occurred when I would have been passing through, flashy red was Local.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Quote of the Day

I was lowering my IQ earlier today reading the Eve Online forums
                                                                       - EVE Hermit
I don't know any EVE Online player that does not admit that the EVE Online forums are a "hive of scum and villainy". There are far too many trollers, people who don't know how to search or those that just don't know when to shut up.

I do visit the forums but I rarely actually read any topics, a browse through the subjects is usually enough to make me shake my head and close the window. That said I do read the Features & Ideas sub-forum as it, occasionally, has well thought out and good ideas.

A better place to visit would be the r/Eve Reddit page, this usually has good links to funny images, good discussions and information for new players. 

A Death In The Family

The One That Was

She had been part of the family since 2010, I'd built her from scratch. Every component I'd chosen after extensive research and I was confident that I'd have a fast PC for at least 3 years. She had a corsair 80GB SSD that had cost me more than the graphics card, the graphics card was the latest top line AMD card (5970). 

The case was a first for me (and my supplier) instead of having the cables at the rear the motherboard was rotated 90 degrees so the cables came out the top. On the underside were three large fans that helped keep it cool.

The PC was designed to run multiple EVE clients at once and thanks to three monitors I could run ten clients easily without any noticeable lag, not to mention just about any game at high resolution. 

The End

I went to bed the Friday night not knowing the next day she would not wake up. Nothing untoward or indicative of what was to come had happened during the day or evening before.

Attempting to power up the next morning resulted in her appearing to start, the power light was on but no signal was transmitted to the monitors and I could not hear the normal start up noises of the non-SSD hard drives.

Investigation showed that there was an issue with both the graphics card and motherboard. A friend thought that the motherboard PCI-Express slot was most probably the cause of the death and that I would have to salvage what I could.

The One That Will Be

I needed a new PC, data was mostly backed up and the only stuff I needed to get off the hard drives I had could be extracted via a USB dock. Buying a new PC was not something I wanted to do, being unemployed meant I was being careful with money but luck reared its head and a nice tax refund this year gave me a decent budget and selling the bits that still worked raised that further.

Here is the new PC.

A Core i7-4790 @ 3.6Ghz, 32GB RAM and a Nvidia GTX 960 form the basis of this small beast. A 240GB SSD provides the home for Windows 10 with a 3Tb Seagate drive for data. She's small, fast and pretty.

The Cosrsair case is not what I would normally have gone for but I don't need a 20kg monster case any more, the smaller case fits nicely under my desk and is easy to access if I need to get instead to add/remove components in the future.

Data has already been transferred over, Windows 10 is very usable and the return of the Start Menu welcome. EVE runs very fast and even other games I play (World of Warships/Payday 2) are blisteringly fast.

I paid more than I wanted to but if I can get another 5 years out of this PC then it will have been worth every cent.

I guess I have no excuse for not posting blog posts now, time to edit those drafts I have had waiting for work for too long....

Seamless, Simple and Intuitive - Choose only two

Due to the issues following the deployment of FozzieSov on the 14th July all active accounts received a "gift" of 50,000 skill points. Excelent, I like free stuff and skill points are much wanted. The process should be simple, I've done it before so I just have to remember how. 

Simple? This is CCP and it isn't.

It took me about five minutes to realise that you don't do it in the skill queue but in the Character Information screen on the skill tab. You expand the skills, right click the skill you want to apply the points to and then enter the amount to apply (this is because you may want to spread it about over a few skills).

Just one small problem, you need to do a few extra steps if you're already training skills and more again if you happen to have the skill you want to apply the points to in your queue.

Ok, I'll pause my training queue whilst I apply the skill points to the skill I'm currently training.

BUZZZZZZZZ. No can't do that, I need to remove the skill from the queue, apply the changes and pause, again, the queue then apply the points.

I'm sure it was the way to do it when implemented in the "olden days" but the whole process is no longer intuitive and really needs changing. We should be able to apply skill points without having to pause the queue OR having to remove queued skills then adding them again.

Still, I've got 50,000 skill points that will give me about 20 hours off the currently training skill my characters are doing. That's reason to celebrate, just ignore the UI issues applying them :)