Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An Evening (Mostly) in Empire

Before I joined Skyforger, I had a little business going in the heart of Gallente space in a system named Eglennaert, just a couple jumps away from the biggest Gallente trade hub of Dodixie. This is a long, long way away from our home space in Deklein. It would probably take me about an hour to fly from one place to another. Assuming I didn't get blown up by the mercenary corps that have currently declared war on our alliance and are hunting us all along the highsec bottleneck between us and Jita, the trade hub that's close to us.

That's what makes jump clones really handy. Once I was able to make one, I flew it back to Egglennaert, but that means I only had to make the trip once. Now, as long as I have clone jumped in the last 24 hours, I can go to empire and do the things there that I can't do all that well in our nullsec space, and isn't convenient to do while there are war targets hanging around the Torrinos-Jita axis.

But before I did that, I logged into Singularity and peeked around. I was in Deklein and flew to Torrinos. It took longer than usual, because the jump bridges that were there were inoperable. So I had to do it system by system, often waiting for the next system I needed to jump to to be created. That's how empty the space was.

Once in Torrinos, I started poking around for stuff related to the new Planetary Interaction feature. I'm hoping that maybe with this new feature, I won't be as hopelessly behind everyone else as I seem to be in the rest of the game. All the stations in Lonetrek there were planetary command centers for sale, but I couldn't seem to be able to scan any planets. I'd read something on a dev blog about them only seeding resources on a few planets as yet, so I took advantage of the moveme channel and got myself moved to the main testing system, FD-MLJ. Once I was there, I was able to get the planetary scan system to work, at least as far as it's currently implemented (Hey, Look, there's a planet! And you clicked on the button that says "Scan"! Good for you!). Curiously, there were no command centers for sale there, though. So that was enough for me, time for dinner, and afterwards, an evening in highsec with my jump clone.

I started by picking up my research jobs. Two fails and two successes with light drone blueprints. I just got Industry V, so I tried to manufacture some Tech 2 drones. The blueprints that I had created had some confusing information on them, they both said "Number of licensed production runs remaining: 1" "Maximum number of runs per blueprint copy: 100". So what does that mean? I thought it meant that I could make up to 100 drones in exactly one run and then the blueprint was used up. But no.

I was able to make ONE lousy Hobgoblin II. One!

Granted that this isn't entirely inconsistent with the prices of Hob II's on the market, but still. One????! And what's the point of the "Max runs per bpc" number being higher? Possibly I will be able to do better at a Player-owned-station(POS)-based manufacturing facility, if I had one? Meh.

Since I was thinking about POSes, I tried visiting moons in Eglennaert, figuring to find out about potential sites for my own POS one day. And I'm interested in learning how moon mining and reactions work, as well. I discover, to my surprise, that none of the moons in the Eglennaert system are occupied by POSes. About 10 moons into the survey I realize that POSes aren't allowed in systems with security ratings higher than 0.7, and Eglennaert is 0.8. Doh!

So I picked up an Imicus, slapped on a probe launcher and set off for a system where I could buy a survey probe or two. There are three kinds of such probes, the Quest, the Discovery and the Gaze probe. It turns out that blueprints for each of these are items that are defined within the game, but don't exist anywhere on the market. I wonder what's up with that? Maybe they are sold via contract? The distribution of sales for the survey probes made me think that they were NPC sold, as well. Strangeness.

I conducted an initial survey in my pod, since POS defenses won't shoot pods, and I'm not yet covops capable. I found a couple of online POSes, and a few lonely offline towers with nothing else around them. It makes me wonder, what happened to the other facilities that had to have been there? There's no point in putting up a tower unless you are going to put something else there, a refining facility, research lab, moon miner, something. Can these items be stolen? Were they blown up once the tower ran out of fuel?

And then I went back and got my Imicus, named "Cabeza de Vaca" for a little known explorer of the American Southeast and Southwest. (Go ahead and read about him now, it's a great story. I don't know why we never learned about this guy in school.)

Anyway, I launched my survey probe and then went to brush my teeth, since it takes the Discovery Probe I was using about 10 minutes to complete its survey. I came back and there it was, the scan was completed, and the moon in question had "Atmospheric gases" available.

So, we call that a successful trial of all capabilities. I have no idea what other kinds of things are available on moons, but I think I get how to do all this stuff. I have almost enough cash to buy and deploy a small POS on my own, though I'm not sure a once-a-week trip to highsec is enough to really make it profitable.

With that done, I spent the last time of the evening running a couple of missions for Duvolle industries, more for the faction gain than for the money, since I want access to better researchers. Honestly, I'm not sure it's all that worthwhile, it might be better to just buy the datacores on the market, they aren't that expensive. But it's something to do. Some of the datacores sell very nicely, though, and I have to climb the faction ladder to get access to them.

I reached one other milestone last night. I bought the books and trained both Medium Hybrid Blaster Specialization and Medium Hybrid Railgun Specialization. So I'm qualified to fit Tech 2 guns on every ship I can fly now. The current plan is to now push for battleships and T2 guns on them. Then maybe turn to more industrial skills, or branch out to covops or something. And maybe train my Navigation and Engineering skills a bit more.



Blogger Rita said...

My most recent exciting development has been my acquisition of a Hoarder (mid-level Minmatar industrial ship). With 3 Expanded Cargohold IIs fitted, it carries over 11k m^3, which is enough to carry all my worldly possessions (minus ships of course).
So lately, I dock my Stabber at whatever mission hub I'm currently working. I do my manufacturing there, and I amass salvaged parts and commodities from deadspace. And now and then I take the Hoarder for a spin around Metropolis and Heimatar as a traveling merchant. I follow the buy order trail to the highest bidders and make a pretty penny on doorstep delivery.
That, to me, is a totally fascinating aspect of Eve that I can't get from EQ2 - travel for the purpose of moving goods between players. Be it a junk merchant like myself, or a courier contract, or a big time manufacturer moving goods from her factory to the regional trade hub. Stuff actually needs to be moved from point A to point B, and there's money to be made in the process. So even as I do the simple task of warping & jumping system to system, I feel productive. I'm moving the goods!
Compare that to most MMOs, where the main purpose of travel is to get somewhere that there's something to do. i.e. There's *nothing* to do at point A, and there's *something* to do at point B, and that's your reason for going from A to B.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Toldain said...

@Rita, you are so right. And if you have better things to do than travel, you put up buy orders, sell orders and courier contracts, and use a jump clone.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Brian 'Psychochild' Green ( said...

"Cabeza de Vaca" literally translates to "Cow's Head".

I guess that's an intimidating name... ;)

10:29 AM  
Blogger Toldain said...

Brian, you are so right. That fact helps me remember the name. And it kind of goes with Alvar Nunez (his given names), who made his explorations by being a sort of anti-Cortez, not through conquest, but by surviving imprisonment and slavery, learning the language and mastering the culture he found himself in. Not the path of intimidation in the least.

8:58 AM  

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