Thursday, August 8, 2013

Four Years In EVE

Time flies when you’re having fun.  Today marks the four year anniversary of creating my first EVE Online character.  Time to look back at the past year, what I did and didn’t accomplish, and make plans for the future.

In game, I didn’t do much.  I just became a low sec carebear.  I still have the bulk of my ships stored in high sec, but the ships I fly the most are all stationed in low.  I killed a Thrasher, lost a Procurer and somewhere along the way reached 5.0 security status on my main combat character.  I performed an experiment on the impact that the changes in Odyssey brought to my play in low sec and that examination itself changed the way I play.  But as I said, not much.

Outside the client the game continued.  I no longer earn ISK with my writing, ending my relationship with EVE News 24 in December and only writing two articles for  Who knows, maybe I’ll expand my writing outside the blog again, but I doubt I’ll do so for space cash.  But if I can step up the quality of my writing and get more spare time, who knows?

I did make the pilgrimage back to Iceland, braces and all.  I got to have a beer with CCP Stillman, met CCP Peligro, CCP Guard and CCP Unifex, and talked low sec with CCP Manifest and Sugar Kyle.  If I make it back to Iceland next year I’ll stay at the Hilton again but this time go on a whale watching tour or something else impressive.  I have to admit that my happiness level with some of the changes announced at Fanfest was a little low.  But I attended my first symphony concert and witnessed a very good event overall.

Now that I got some of the highlights out of the way, how did I do with the goals I set last year?  I thought I was a little too ambitious.  Was I right?

Ships - Oh, did I fail this one.  I wanted a Loki in order to do serious exploration, but for some reason just never bought one.  This didn’t matter too much because in Odyssey exploration changed and my Cheetah is more than enough ship to do all the low sec exploration I desire.  Quite frankly, I’m not sure I want a strategic cruiser anymore.  I need to become more comfortable flying cheaper ships into dangerous places.

I also had a goal of taking the time to learn how to fit my ships properly.  I wrote about fitting combat ships for missions.  Instead, I experimented with both ice and asteroid mining fits.  One of these days I’ll get around to working on them.  I think I have a couple of fairly decent PvE fits for the Hurricane and Cyclone and I actually posted my Maelstrom PvE fit.  I think I’m learning, but I didn’t do as much work in this area as I hoped.

Skills - I’m pretty happy with my skill progression at this point.  I managed to get Archaelogy, Hacking, and Salvaging all up to 5, but with the changes to scanning I left all the Astrometric skills at 4.  I needed the time to train Destroyers V and Battlecruisers V before Odyssey launched.  That I managed to do, which will come in handy when I finally stop training for Minmatar ships.

Industry - I think I’m mostly on track for this goal.  I wanted to do some building and selling in low sec and I’ve definitely done that.  Right now I’m into selling ammunition although I have a lot of module and ship BPOs researched.  So I did change my plan to start with something smaller than ships, which was probably a good idea.

One part where I failed was obtaining the 2-run BPC for the Tempest Fleet Issue.  Raising my standings with the Minmatar Republic along with all the other things I want to do just wasn’t possible.  I did manage to raise the standings from 8.3 up to 9.18.  The last bit looks like a very long slog.

Exploration - The lack of a Loki aside, I think I did pretty well with this goal.  I got the LP from the Sisters of EVE to get the Sisters’ scanning equipment as well as getting the faction probes from completing the Wildfire level 4 epic arc.  I also think I learned the quirks of the new exploration sites (i.e. the can spew) and do fairly well in my exploration endeavors.  Now I just need to turn all those drops into ISK.

Blitzing missions - Total flop.  If I could learn how to blitz missions I’d probably do better selling faction ammo.  I even have a Vagabond set up that supposedly should do well as long as I can keep from getting tackled by the rats.  But this goal was one bridge too far.

Having looked back, what do I want to accomplish in the year ahead?

9.9 or Bust! - I originally set getting my Minmatar faction standings up to 9.9 as a two-year goal in 2011.  I can accept taking 3 years to get there, but more than 3?  Unacceptable.  That 2-run Tempest Fleet Issue BPC will be mine!

This does mean leaving the safety of low sec to do things in the scary world of high sec.  I plan on finishing the rest of the COSMOS missions in the Ani constellation along with tag turn-ins at data centers.  I may even do the Gallente COSMOS missions since gaining Gallente faction usually results in Minmatar faction gain also.  I don’t know if I want to go into the COSMOS sites in Molden Heath or not.  I may prefer low sec, but I do try to keep my ship in one piece.

One other thing I’ll do is the Wildfire level 4 epic mission arc.  I can do the arc once every three months so I figure I can do that 3 times by next August for a 10% faction boost for completing each time.  I may even do the Sisters’ level 1 epic mission arc as it gives a 7% faction boost and I can do that three times as well.

Industry - I want to expand my industrial activity a bit and start selling modules and weapons.  I don’t know if I’ll just stick with the BPCs I find from exploration or if I’ll try to jump in the Tech 2 market.  I also might try to sell one or two of the revamped Tech 1 industrials when the revamp comes out.  As part of the effort I will train Wandering Rose to have all the trade skills to 5.

As a bonus activity, I want to set up a good amount of planetary interaction colonies in low sec.  Right now I only have two.  Besides the potential passive income the PI products could support a Tech 2 building program if I manage to get that far advanced.  In the past I’ve shied away from exposing my ships at the customs offices but I feel a little more comfortable in low sec now.

Ships - Every year I have a ship-related goal and every year I fail.  This year I want to get both of the Minmatar command ships.  I’ve trained both my main characters to fly them and this year is the year to do so.  If I only get one, I’ll get the Claymore just because of the missiles.

And in a related note, this coming year I aim to learn the skills so I no longer just fly Minmatar and ORE ships.  I plan on having Rosewalker learn how to fly all the Caldari sub-capital ships except Marauder and get the proper gunnery skills.  He already has the missile skills.

Low Sec - In addition to the low sec activities listed above, I want to finally get up the nerve to do a level 4 combat mission.  I’ve done level 3s, but not a level 4.  If the rebalanced HACs can do them, I’ll try using one.  Taking a battleship into low sec to carebear still seems a bit sketchy to me.

So that’s a review of my life in EVE over the past year and what I hope to accomplish in the upcoming one.  Hopefully this year I’ve set some realistic goals that I can meet.  Probably not, but I can always try.

NOTE:  Edited to fix font issue.  Google Docs is not my friend.  Thanks Sugar!

EDIT:  That was CCP Masterplan, not CCP Manifest.  Fixed.