Monday, May 6, 2013

The End Of The First Decade

Today is the 10th anniversary of the launch of EVE Online.  I could document the activities that occurred yesterday to celebrate the event, but I won't.  EVE is a sandbox game and centering the story around what CCP is doing in-game seems wrong.  The stories of the New Eden universe are popular among people who don't even play EVE because of the players.  Even with the proliferation of players with multiple accounts EVE is made up of the stories of over 100,000 people.  So here's my story of the final weekend of the first decade of the age of the Empyreans.
I began the weekend determined to begin the adaptation process to the upcoming changes in Odyssey.  A lot of players are looking forward to the changes but for me I see the need for change.  Whether that change is good or bad in large part depends on the work I do to investigate other activities that fit in with my carebear play style.  One of the assumptions I'm making is that most pilots will eschew fitting probe launchers as CCP is making asteroid belts and ore sites attractive places to find targets.

As part of that effort I brought in a Cyclone, my largest ship to date, into my low sec area of operations and began running security missions.  Fit with heavy missile launchers and an X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster I've had no problem running level 3 missions.  I even ran my first low sec plex, the unrated Minor Angel Annex, on Saturday.  I succeeded in running the complex solo in the Cyclone but the effort took a long time and a lot of missiles.  Fortunately as long as I can slip into the asteroid belts for short periods of time I don't have to worry about my ammunition supply running out.   I may want to start improving standings with a Caldari corporation or two in order to get Caldari Navy missiles though.

One welcome piece of political news came out of null sec Saturday night as TEST announced it was leaving the HBC.  Between the breakup of one of the major power blocs in null sec and the addition of 227 new R64 moons, the situation is perhaps fluid enough that New Eden's powers will concentrate on null sec instead of attempting to extend their reach into Empire.  The null sec powers already reach into low sec in their thirst for tech so perhaps the residents of low will receive the benefits of some of the new moons, at least for a little while.

I woke up early on Sunday, headed out to the belts to pick up some ore and scanned the news.  A big item of interest was a contest CCP was running on 5 May.  The prize: the winning alliance would see its flag flown over CCP's headquarters in Reykjavik for a month.  The contest: who could get the most kills in low sec.  That's right, low sec would turn into a hunting ground for the null sec alliances for a day.  I'm crazy, but I'm not stupid, and decided that leaving low sec for the day was the best move.

Of course, I couldn't just not play as everyone celebrated the 10th anniversary of EVE.  I did have a task that needed doing before I could really begin serious manufacturing in low sec.  I needed to improve my standings with Thukker Mix.  While I had perfect refining at Trust Partners stations, I had neglected to run any missions for the other Thukker Tribe corporation, so I started out with 0.  But due to my previous work I could start the standings grind with level 3 missions.  So I hopped into my Prowler, slapped a Festival Launcher into the second high slot, and headed off to Ammatar-controlled Derelik.

First, let me just point out how oppressed those in Derelik seem.  The Amarr-controlled puppet state, while lavishing an opulent lifestyle upon its ruling class, apparently just brings misery to its citizens.  So in an effort to bring some of the joy of the occasion to its set-upon pilots I started targeting ships during my journeys and firing off a volley or five of fireworks to brighten their days.  Many seemed to not know what fireworks are and warped off before they could explode.  Not knowing what fireworks are?  Just another evil deed performed by the Amarr and their Ammatar puppets.

But I did have business to conduct, namely aiding my efforts to produce the weapons and materials of war at the lowest possible cost.  So I began doing level 3 distribution missions in order to get my Thukker Tribe standings above 5.  That only took 16 missions plus a story line mission, with me looking for targets of opportunity for my Festival Launcher the entire time.  I think the Festival Launcher has some hidden properties as the time passed faster than expected.  But with the first goal achieved I then turned to the serious business of running level 4 distribution missions.

I received a pleasant surprise in the region of despair as I received a story line mission after completing the first level 4 mission.  So I looked at the mission, bought the needed ore, and completed the mission.  Hand over ore and receive a nice standings bump and some bacon, if by bacon you mean a Cybernetic Subprocessor - Standard implant.  Some not-so-kind people might think I needed the +4 bump to intelligence, but I already have one implanted.

Then of course came the grind of doing 16 more level 4 distribution missions.  After awhile even the Festival Launcher lost its magical properties and the level of drudgery matched the environment.  But I persevered until I reached the next story line mission.  I hit the jackpot!  I don't know the name but I was asked to move 40,000 cubic meters of cargo into a low sec station 4 jumps away.  Sure, that was seven trips in my Prowler since I am not rigged for maximum cargo capacity, but I knew the payoff was huge in standings.  Oh, and a 5 million ISK bonus for completing the task in 2 hours wasn't bad either.

I didn't realize how big the rewards were until I finished the task 75 minutes later.  My Thukker Mix standings went from 5.02 to 7.38.  My goal at the end of the day was to achieve 6.67 standings.  OP success!  The final statistics for the effort were:
  • 16 level 3 distribution missions completed
  • 17 level 4 distribution missions completed
  • 1 level 3 story line mission completed
  • 2 level 4 story line missions completed
  • 177,501 cubic meters of cargo hauled
  • 18,034 loyalty points earned
  • 13,547,500 ISK received in rewards
One thing I should add is that during the grind Tranquility broke the PCU record set back in January 2011.  The new record is 65,303.  And before people ask, that number does not include people playing DUST 514.  Apparently DUST will have its own metrics, if the new server entry for DUST 514 on Chribba's is any indication.  That would go far to put to rest everyone who wishes to ridicule the number.

I'm sure that others have much more glorious or fun stories concerning the weekend.  But I had fun.  More importantly, I helped set myself up for success as EVE Online begins its second decade of operations.  The future promises some exciting times and I want to include my story in that future.


  1. "... if the new server entry for DUST 514 on Chribba's is any indication."

    I hope that isn't correct, because the numbers on are far lower than what other people have been claiming - ie. that there are as many, or more, DUST players now than EVE players.

    At the time I write this, Tranquility has 46K players, while DUST514 only has 3K players. And, if the last week graph is correct, it indicates a peak of only 12K players for DUST514.

    1. If I have a choice on who to trust between Chribba or David Reid, guess who I'm trusting? Hint: he uses a dreadnaught to mine in Amarr.

  2. Why not run level 3 security missions? I had a character I was working on increasing standings with a corp the other week, while studying for a major test. I tried running distribution missions to do it but the standings increase was 8-9 times less than running a security mission. I ended up just waiting till I was to tired to study anymore and running one mission before bed a night which got me to 8.0 standings in less than 16 missions. from level 3-4 missions. You already had a Cyclone fitted for lowsec.