Friday, April 24, 2015

Sisters of Eve - On the Gate

On the Gate
Running errands for the Sisters of Eve

A Busy Week

Work this week was at another level entirely. At least two nights I started the client with the notion that I could at least log in, and then remembered something else I had to do. I had even jump cloned back to Deklein to make sure that my jump timer would be clear if any important fleets came up. And they did, my phone was blasting me with great sounding fleet alerts. I wish I could have been there.

I did get my trade alt moved to Arnon for the quarterly dispensation of faction standing called the Sisters of Eve Epic Arc. Its pretty easy to blow through it, frankly, even though that character has very little combat sp. Like a lot of EVE PVE, its down to knowing how things work and what's going to happen next. It doesn't hurt that I have no interest in loot or salvage, have a fitted ship pre-positioned in Arnon and a cargo expander at that one station where you have to move supplies(1), and have insta-dock bookmarks for every station in the whole circumnavigation.

So that will probably take about six hours of clock time this weekend, if not full attention. Maybe I'll rat on the other screen? If I do, that would pay (net) about fifty times better, assuming a normal rate of neuts wandering by, and I pay 15% tax on ratting and nothing on these missions. Incursions may be the best essentially risk-free ISK in the game, but I'm not complaining at these numbers sitting in a fit that was 100M out the door.

Sometime I should blog about how much time I've spent on this trading alt and how little value it has provided. I am surely missing something basic about trading.

1 edit Agent Immuri Asaka at Hatakani VI - Moon 4 - Hyasyoda Corporation Refinery asks you to move 150 m3 of Farming Supplies.

Monday, April 20, 2015

1-SMEB Station Hellcamp - Bubble Station

1-SMEB Station Hellcamp Bubbles

Hellcamp Day

Yesterday from downtime to about 20:30 UTC, I was in the hellcamp fleet in 1-SMEB. That's a little over nine hours. I was afk for about twenty-five minutes in there to get some food, and of course there were occasions where I was not at the computer for a few minutes at a time.

Several FCs rotated through command, each of whom brought a different personality to the job. So at one point we had a rather active and piratical tone, being warped about as various parties moved through nearby systems. During another, we had long stretches of silence on comms as people attended to whatever else one is doing in such a fleet. For a while we had a division of labor, and I was in a wing that remained on station.

Very little occurred, and I would say nothing of consequence. The sole exception might be the escape of an enemy Archon when we had poor bubble coverage at a weak point. I didn't even see it happen. 

The rest of the time was trying to lock the occasional interceptor or capsule, or an infrequent visitor to a neighboring system. I did happen to be watching when system sovereignty switched over to GSF, so that was cool.

I was attending to other business as well. I had some software work to do, and I've also been trying to learn more about Data Science and R. I've been planning to set up a standing desk, so I spent some time looking at ways to try that out cheaply and researching a new monitor to put on it. (The page I started with is here. I found in the comments that there is a Lack coffee table that's much the same but twice as long, so I made 8:1 scale flat paper cutouts to try different configurations.) My early 2013 rMBP won't drive a 4K display with doubled pixels since it lacks ThunderBolt 2, so I'm thinking the BenQ BL3200PT QHP 32" would be a good compromise to last me until I upgrade the laptop. I can then migrate the monitor over to the gaming PC, where higher resolution is very much a mixed blessing, and go with something 4K in a similar size for the new work machine. 

Overall, it was a good fleet. We accomplished the goal of making it very difficult for the enemy to evac assets from their former staging station. Many things are available at fire-sale prices. As long as we are a coalition of people willing to do this exact sort of thing when needed, we will always defeat groups who stop showing up once the action dies down. 

The PAP thing is pretty funny. In part, it's us gamifying ourselves, hooking into that just-one-more competitive pathway. No one wants to leave a fleet right after a PAP is given out, and then you're a chunk of the way towards the next one and don't want to "waste" the time. But in a real way, tracking participation adds a lot of value even discounting any effects it has on participation. (Which may also be negative, there are real effects where rewarding behavior disincentives it.) Knowing who is doing what, when helps measure morale, the effects of communication, the different types of engagement of different groups, or of the whole group at different times of day or of the year, etc. Having the ability to predict that a AUTZ cap fleet at 04:00 UTC on a Saturday in June will likely be well-attended has to be invaluable. It's helping you understand what your capabilities actually are, at any given moment in time.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Lightning-fast Ship Reimbursement

Quick note, my first experience with GSF SRP, or ship reimbursement. There's a special application for it. You log in, paste your fleet ping and the CREST API link to your loss. I submitted my Harpy and got paid in less than 36 hours.

I'm not even going to tell you about trying to get Atrons reimbursed in Sendaya. Let's just say that this is great. The faster SRP turns over, the fewer doctrine fits I need to float. That's more time I can spend in the war zone and less making up ISK to fund the fighting.

Also, even when we got to Sakht there were already doctrine ships up on contracts. There were more when I lost my first one. So I don't need to grab up a bunch as soon as they come available. Since people don't have to horde, the availability stays good - it's the old vicious cycle that the perception of scarcity causes behavior patterns that amplify scarcity.

Everything is so much better with proper organization. I'm glad to contribute. Thanks to all the players who do things to make this machine run.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Scratch One Harpy

The day's business concluded, I had some time to spend in EVE. I was already sat in a Harpy one station from our current hellcamp, so naturally I thought I'd try to chip in. Pidgin revealed a ping had gone out for HarpyFleet only a short while before, so I got into the fleet comms and asked if I could still join. Sure! was the word, so I undocked and warped to gate.

As the computer voice told me that the warp drive was engaged, a human voice was telling me that there was a large red fleet now on the gate. Ctrl-space ctrl-space ctrl-space ... warp animation.

Sakht is in lowsec, so there are no bubbles, and I was thus free to fly right through the red camp and jump into 1-S. I couldn't help but notice Elo Knight in my overview.
Elo Knight and BL on 1-SMEB gate in Sakht
BoodaBooda and Capri Sun KraftFoods in local too!

Perhaps understandably, this sequence of events left me slightly flustered. I had watchlisted the FC while still in station, and I just warped to him.

Now, we're hellcamping the station, so it's going be bubbled up if things are going well. And they were, so I immediately found myself in a bubble, one of several, while comms started to light up with the news that BL were now in system. We were directed to align to a couple of different places. I was burning out of the bubble. We were ordered to warp. I was still burning. BL started to land on grid, around 70km off of me. I finally cleared the bubble and warped away to a celestial with shots starting to fall nearby. 

There was some confusion about how best to proceed at this point, involving the consultation with command authority. I'll omit the specifics of that and my own actions, and say that I fell back on techniques I've developed in wormhole and foreign nullsec exploration. Because I had been briefly engaged just as I was escaping the bubble, I had a combat timer, so I couldn't safe log for some time. 

By the time my timer was ending, we had a report that the Sakht gate was clear. It had been bubbled earlier, which cost several fleetmates their ships when they warped to it rather than a perch. I was tempted to safe log anyway. But then, what a pain in the ass to have to log back into to this system in space! It would take some trouble to find out if I could even log in safely. A fleetmate said he was going for it, so I did too.

And, landed directly in a bubble. Not too bad, only a little ways in, only a couple of enemies. Burn away, spam warp... oh, I spammed warp on the main tab of my overview, not the warpout. Where I am I going? It says right by the capacitor. I'm going back to the station. My third time alone on grid with BL in less than 10 minutes. I wonder if they thought I was stupid or trying something new. (Hint: I wasn't trying something new.)

It was quite a party at the station, and I almost got clear of the bubble. I know it was close because I was able to warp off my pod. I must have been pointed before I got clear, all I was looking at was the edge of that bubble, so I don't know. I got to a celestial, then within 100 of the out gate, then to another celestial and through the gate to Sakht and station.

I guess all that's left is to attend to the quotidian nullsec formality of requesting SRP. And it comes to me that I named my ship "Insure Me" to remind myself... to buy insurance before undocking. 

I used to keep a small card under the monitor that listed upgrade your clone, insure your ship, set your deathclone, check your cargo hold, There might have been something else. I lost track of it when I was off of EVE at the end of the year. That's why people like me make cards like that.