Monday, July 4, 2016

Chasing Shadows

I didn't get off to a very good start with the July update last week. I didn't really get settled in until I discovered I needed to stay logged into the Captain's Quarters. Once I figured that out, I was good to go, right?

Not really. The next step involved participating in the new event, The Shadow of the Serpent. The concept seemed simple. Just log into the game and see the available events on the character select screen. Of course, since the game is EVE Online, not everything is so straightforward.

On Wednesday, I decided to give the event a try. First, I looked at the four activities on the character select screen. Three kill missions and a mining mission. Okay, maybe mission isn't the correct word, but that's how I think of them. Only, the mining mission disappeared by the time I logged my main into the game. Then came the confusion. Where do I find the events? I had heard that in previous events the sites appeared in the probe scanner, so I flew around high sec and low looking for one to appear. After about 45 minutes of fruitlessly looking, someone in a chat channel told me the sites appear on the overview. I just flew to a station, docked up, and logged out.

My next opportunity to play video games was Friday. Due to the 4th of July holiday, I only had to work a half-day. So what did I do Friday afternoon? Play EVE. Instead of logging into my main account, I logged into my industrial account. I may define industrial differently than others. My main industrial alt can't fly battleships, but can fly everything up to and including command ships. But I didn't have to worry about that, because one of the event options included mining 500,000 units of scordite.

I know where to find scordite! I decided I would do the events in high sec, so I flew to a system in which I had set up a cache of ships to do some mining. So I hopped in a Skiff and headed out to a belt.

Now, I did have a couple of concerns. Did I have to only mine scordite, or could I mine any type of scordite, like condensed scordite? Also, would I need to transport the mined ore to a station? The event description didn't say. If I needed to transport the ore, I could always multibox and use both my Orca and the Mastodon. As for the types of scordite, mining condensed scordite for a minute wouldn't really hurt matters in the long run.

To my surprise, not only could I mine all types of scordite to meet the requirement, but I got to keep what I mined. So for about 80 minutes of effort, I got 500,000 units of scordite and 1000 of the event points. Well, I actually got a small bonus. Another of the events required killing Angel Cartel ships in belts. So while I mined, I also received 50 event points for defending myself against the NPCs trying to kill my poor Skiff. Not too bad.

After finishing the first two activities, two more popped up. The first involved destroying 20 Angel Sortie sites. Destroying that many sites seemed like a lot of effort, so I chose another one that required killing Angel Cartel ships. I figured the easiest way to finish the event was to clean out one of the combat anomalies in the system. Rummaging around the station, I found an autocannon Vagabond I used to run the level 1 Sisters of EVE epic arc when I needed to improve my standings. The Vagabond is really fun to fly. I took the ship out to a site and killed the ten rats in a couple of minutes.

The next event was a touch of fun. I needed to kill Angel ships, but in a frigate. What type of frigate? Did the term frigate mean tech 1 frigates only? I decided to take a chance and fit up a Jaguar, one of the Minmatar tech 2 assault frigates. I opened up pyfa and came up with a passive shield regeneration, 200mm autocannon PvE fit. I had most of the modules in my hanger, so I just needed to fly to Rens to pick up a couple of modules and rigs.

Once again, I headed out to a combat site and once again took out the guarding NPCs in a few minutes. Not so surprisingly by this point, I received credit for the kills. But that all for the quick events. Now to face destroying 20 Angel Sortie sites.

The Angel Sorties are designed for even a solo cruiser to do quickly. The standard composition awaiting players is one battlecruiser, two cruisers, and four frigates. The frigates do not attempt to tackle players, at least for now. My solo Vagabond chewed through the sites with ease. The biggest problem involved finding 20 sites. I only completed 16 by the time I logged out for the night.

Those familiar with The Shadow of the Serpent event will realize I have not talked about the bread and butter activity, "Keep Up the Pressure". I think the destruction of the Serpentis Shipyard and Research Facility sites deserves a stand-alone post plus screenshots. I also have a couple of other observations to make that won't make sense without writing about Keep Up The Pressure. So one more post about The Shadow of the Serpent is coming before I move on to another subject.

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