100 Million Ways To Be Awesome

•April 30, 2014 • 3 Comments

Hey look! Over there, sneaking out from the shadows; why, its a post!

I unfortunately dont have a tale of woe today, although I did steal two Orcas and a hanger full of about 4 bil in POS stuff the other day. Unfortunately, thats really the whole story, which makes for a seriously lackluster blog post. I woke up one day and logged into a character to discover I had hanger access to a crapload of stuff, so I took it; still not kicked from that corp actually…

But again, thats the whole story. Today, instead, I’m going to talk about something that I’ve been waiting a long, long time to gleefully and smugly lord over anyone younger in the game than me, and its finally here: the eve of my centennial. Thats right, as you read this (or perhaps more as I write this), Aiden stands on the brink of 100 million skillpoints at roughly 99.6 million, to be exact. In the past, I’ve tended to eschew “these are mah skillz” type posts, because they’re usually more self-congratulatory than really informative or even that interesting to anyone else. But see, thats how I felt before I was an awesome baddass veteran on the brink of 100 million skillpoints, so goddamnit you lesser beta plebes, I’m going to talk about all 100million of them, and you can sit there and listen (or, you know, you can totally leave. Really, I mean, its a webpage, it really is super easy to leave if you want to).

 

“100 Million Ways To Be Awesome” or “What I Can Fly and Shoot Better Than You Can”:

* Every sub-cap ship in the game; really. I think I bullshitted about this a few times before, only to realize, wait, no, I couldn’t fly Amarr electronic attack ships or something equally un-useful, but now, I really can. With over 36 million SPs in Spaceship Command, every single frigate-class through battleship-class ship is within my grasp, and yes, that includes industrials. I even found myself particularly bored a year or so ago and somewhat shamefully training into Macks and Hulks; hey, you never know when you’ll need to steal something. Actually, thats the impetus for most of the weird shit I’ve learned to, but don’t ever, fly over the last few years; “if its not nailed down, take it” as the old ninja adage goes, and I’ve gone out of my way to make sure theres never a ship I can’t steal. Fake edit: can’t fly T2 Transports; I’m ok with that. Also, alts.

* Level 5 all the things: I can currently perfectly fly (at least on paper) all Battlecruisers, Minmatar, Amarr, and Gallente Battleships, Marauders, all Logistics ships, all Command Ships, all Cruisers, Destroyers, and Frigates, All Heavy Assault Cruisers, and all Recons; all to level 5. /boast

* 17 million gunnery skills: every small, medium, and large T2 turret in the game with every gunnery support skill to 5, with another 6-7mil in missile skillpoints with t2s of the ones that actually matter (t2 defenders aren’t really part of my immediate plans…), and most missile support skills to 5. The Minmatar and Gallente variety of T2 scout, combat, heavy, and sentry drones, with drone supports to 5 (minus durability it appears).

* Perfect Armor skills, and perfect Shield skills with the exception of Tactical Shield Manipulation due this ridiculously archaic belief that people used to have about not training that past 4 that I somehow still cling to for some stupid reason. Quick, someone tell my I’m an idiot and to just go ahead and bring that to 5.

* Perfect Navigation skills, including Jump Drive skills, even though I don’t fly caps; go figure.

* In the older days of yester-year, I had Elite Core skills. I suppose I still have them, minus the meaningless paperwork. Similarly:

* Hull Tanking Elite. Suck it.

 

The trouble now is, I’m not exactly sure where to go from here. I’ve always said I’d never fly Capital ships, and I’m still not totally sure what I’d do with one, being a highsec guy. But I could currently jump into any non-Caldari Dread in about 2 days, and any non-Caldari Carrier or Super in about 18 days. So, I suppose I could just train into one, but again, I don’t know why I would. I’m currently taking all my sensor comps to 5, but after that, I’m kind of at a loss. There are a few things I could polish off here and there- drone durability to 5, that pesky tactical shield skill, etc, but what I need is a new “project” of sorts; now taking suggestions on that by the way. Or, you know, convince me why I need a Dread or something.

 

-Aiden

 

 

Ghost of Victims Past

•March 10, 2014 • 4 Comments

I meet a lot a people in Eve.

Regardless of the circumstances and/or violent tendencies and/or morally ambiguous nature of our introductions, there are names and faces that stick out to me at times. For instance, when they appear in something newsworthy, or maybe say hello in local, or, in some truly “oh yeah that guy!” instances, on things like the Alliance Tournament or the New Eden Open. GreenYoshi, for example, who’s flown in I believe two ATs, was once a partner in crime in stealing offlined POSs in my early days of Suddenly Ninjas. There was a guy (who’s name escapes me) who lost a particularly wincingly expensive Bhaalgorn flagship in one tournament, who’d previously lost something like 30 billion isk in repeated ganks and infiltration awoxs I’d participated in in earlier times.

I’ve been watching the recent New Eden Open these past two weekends, and today, noticed yet another familiar, and this time quite important face from my checkered past:

Flying for 8 CAT, in one of the Navy Ravens (are we calling them RNIs now? Am I the old out-of-touch dude now for calling them CNRs?), is someone quite important from my past: a reluctant benefactor, an unsung hero; the ill-fated Vic Steeleyes.

Long ago, in the infancy of this blog (can you tell I’ve also been watching Cosmos?) and just starting into my new-found career of pilfering and skullduggery, I had the awesome luck of finding and absconding with an unpiloted Orca, filled to the brim with middle-of-the-road faction loot. Orcas were a new commodity, and as I began to see more and more brainless miners practicing the incredibly daft art of mining in a barge while using their Orca, unpiloted, as a giant containter, I decided the time was ripe for the picking. I trained my first Orca alt, and spent the next few weeks after he was done training scouring belts and dropping probes rather than going after mission runners.

Again, in the infancy of this blog, I documented this here, here and here way back in 2009, but as a quick round-up: I basically scanned down an Orca in a safe spot, un-piloted, in the perfect timing of its owner and pilot having a disconnect issue while sitting outside his Orca. Cackling like an idiot, I brought in the Orca alt, jumped in, and shakingly docked at station. Loot for this early foray into grand theft spaceship for a young Aiden amounted to something like 2.5 billion, which at the time, inflated my ego to unimagined proportions. I advertised my fortune on this blog, and even made a “fire-sale” post on the Eve-O forums, hinting at my awesomeness as I hawked my faction loot booty.

I eventually sold the Orca back to its owner, or rather his alt, who vehemently denied being his alt (to save face I suppose? In any case, I’ve had both of them on my watch list for 5 years now – if two toons log in and off simultaneously for five years straight and they aren’t the same person, then I’m Cribba). That small fortune, however paltry looking to some, or in comparison to my later wealth, took me to the next level at the time, as well as opening my eyes to the magical world of taking shiny expensive spaceships, rather than merely destroying them.

So though I’m sure he’d rather I’d never mentioned it again, I’d like to give a huge thanks to Vic Steeleyes, for his inadvertent generosity and spotty internet connection. Well played in the NEO thus far, sorry about the loss this weekend, and I’m rooting for you in the losers bracket – just maybe stay in your ship this time.

 

-Aiden

Confessions of an AFK Mind

•January 31, 2014 • 6 Comments

So, confession time.

For the better part of the past 6 months, when it comes to Eve and this blog, I’ve been totally and utterly mailing it in.

I could give the usual excuses of having a new wife, new job, and more responsibilities, and all of these are completely legitimate reasons, but they’re also excuses meant to sugarcoat and gloss over the real issue which was this:

The real deal is, I just stopped caring.

I have no idea when or really how this started, or what happened, though in hindsight I think the beginning of my downfall was the changes to Crimewatch more than a year ago, and the drifting apart of the old guard of Suddenly Ninjas. Some of us went on to do merc/gate camping nonsense, and tried to stay as a group doing something new together, but it never stuck. I took Psychotic Monk up on a generous offer to join his war dec corp, as well as Rixx Javix willingly and knowingly allowing me (yes, me) to put a suicide alt into his pirate corp, and I’m ashamed to say my participation in both was beyond abysmal. There was a certain degree of disillusionment, a bored sense of “been there, done that”, and I guess as much as I always swore it would never hit me, I had full-blown bitter-vet syndrome.

In the end, it just became easier to not log in at all, which is the mindset I’ve sort of held on to for the better part of the last 6 to even 9 months; for lack of a better term, I stopped giving a shit about Eve.

At the end of the day, I am a very different person today than I was six freaking years ago when I started playing Eve; and while that’s probably ultimately a good thing, its left me with a different mindset when it comes to Eve.

Now, am I saying all this as a precursor to a “bon voyage, thanks for everything Eve” post?

Hell no.

A day may come when I forsake my sneaky ninja ways, but it is not this day. A day may come when I shutter this truly fantastic and downright Hemmingway-inspired blog, but it is not this day. And there may come a day when I stop sending more money than I probably ought to electronically to Iceland on a tri-monthly basis, but it is NOT this day.

The purpose of this post is to say plainly, “hi, I’m here now; its all going to be ok”. To those who have for reasons beyond my understandings, continued to navigate to this blog and continued to feed it hits over the last 2-3 months of zero/bullshit mailed in posts, thank you, truly. I am an unabashed attention whore, and your hits to this blog sustain me.

I’m not going to promise you the world, and I certainly don’t have space in the life I lead today as a married 30 year old with a full time job that I did as a single 23 year old with no job prospects, but for some reason, somethings has clicked inside, and for the first time in probably a year, I find myself giddy leaving work, ready to come home and dive into New Eden. I have a new home, a new corp (more on that later), and a new outlook on having fun in this game, and though part of me cringes at the realization that I’m a 30 year old with a regular blog about pixelated internet spaceships, I can’t wait to share some new stories with you all.

Thanks again for reading.

-Aiden

Tales from the Hanger

•November 30, 2013 • 6 Comments

Or “Where I’ve Been”

I guess I never really mentioned it here on the blog, but in case you were wondering where I’d gone off too this past month (“Aiden, you don’t call, you don’t write” “you promised me forever” “he has your eyes” etc), I’d decided a little while ago to take the month of November off from Internet Spaceships.

This post has really nothing to do with Eve, but I thought it’d be fair to explain my MIA status to you all. Instead of murdering, robbing, cheating, swindling, scheming, and rabble-rousing around in New Eden this past month, what have I possibly been doing with my time? Great question; lets begin.

Firstly, almost a year ago, and at least 75% motivated by Roc Wieler, I decided it was time for me to get in shape. I’ve never been a horribly out of shape guy or anything, I’ve just never been anything more than “not in bad shape” which doesn’t exactly equal “being in good shape”. I wanted this for me, I wanted this for my wife (strong motivator being that the woman I married is a former fitness model /smug ), and I wanted this for my general health going forward in life. I started eating healthy and really putting thought into what I ate, and I started running, knocking out a 1/2 marathon in 1 hour and forty-two minutes before deciding that long-distance running was absolutely murder on the old soccer injury to my knee and started hitting the gym more instead. I’ve been aggressively doing StrongLifts and Marine body-weight workouts since this summer, and as of this month, I can say without hesitation that at almost 30 years old, I’m in the most outstanding shape of my life. I feel great, I’m lookin tough, I have a six-pack; smugging like an asshole over here by the way.

Secondly, prompted by a good friend from in-game actually, I spent the month of November participating in National Novel Writing Month, the goal of which is to complete a 50,000 word draft of a novel within the 30 days of the month. Let me just say, that shit is hard. The goal might not be to have a well crafted manuscript, or even a perfect draft, but rather 50k words that you can at least work with and mold into something resembling a first draft. Today’s the last day, and I’m at 47,000 words, and I’m definitely writing this blog post as a means of procrastination. I have absolutely no idea how this thing is going to turn out, as part of the deal is you don’t read or edit your stuff until the month is over, but I’m cautiously optimistic that it isn’t complete garbage.

Oh and lastly, I grew an EPIC beard this past month; its been an awesome November around here.

This self imposed hiatus has really been just that, a self-imposed one, to see what I can get up to when I’m not spending all my free time in Eve, and I have to say, I like the results. Of course, this was just for this month, and with it ending tomorrow, I’m pretty excited to jump back in and check out this Rubicon nonsense (all I’ve seen so far is that log in screen, but DAT LOG IN SCREEN).

This is the part where, if I was Roc or Rixx Javix, I’d have some sort of awesomely bad-ass and motivational sign-off, but alas, I’m coming up short. So, uh, yeah, go and…um, do good; and stuff.

 

-Aiden

Serious Business Overload

•October 29, 2013 • 3 Comments

I’ve said it before before on this blog (ok who am I kidding, I say it entirely too often), but I’ve always felt that when it comes to Eve, if you aren’t having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

Lately, I’ve found that Eve isn’t fun, which leads me to believe something is wrong.

Whats wrong is the recent community meltdown over the SomerBlink-gate or whatever we’re calling it; the tl;dr being: CCP endorses an in-game lottery which receives huge in-game, yet more importantly, real-world monetary kickbacks through the sale of game time codes as a result of this endorsement.

Now, first off; do I have some strong opinions about what comes across as CCP favoritism towards whats looking more and more like a roundabout RMT venture? Certainly; especially when that favoritism towards an in-game entity is apparently garnering an out-of-game business close to $90,000 USD a year. When Roc Wieler and PyjamaSam wanted to charge something nominal like 99 cents for their incredible and hugely popular Capsuleer app, they were shut down by CCP. The lack of support or ability to earn, purportedly for proprietary reasons, off their creation resulted in the shutdown of the app. But do I think really anything CCP does is malicious or part of a nefarious plot? Not at all; they’ve got a company to run and internet spaceships to make fly right, so when things like this crop up, its without a doubt probably a matter of opinion and viewpoint that no one realized was appearing as biased.

CCP fucks up sometime; it happens. Luckily, post summer-of-rage/monocle-gate, we have a far more transparent dialogue with them via a far more involved and informed CSM. Again, yes, I think CCP goofed up hard here, and yes, I think the company implicitly showing favoritism towards a for-profit company that happens to play Eve is absurd.

During the summer of rage, when tensions were high, players revolted both in and out of the game. IN Eve, a demonstration so popular and industry-changing that it garnered some fairly heavy publication news rocked Jita, and on the other side of the screen, players unsubdued their accounts in protest; at the end of the day, money talks. CCP is a for-profit company, and subscriptions are their lifeblood. Players deciding that their $14 a month could go elsewhere besides Iceland turned heads, and an agreement was reached.

This time around though, things seem a little bit darker. Instead of just leaving the game, we now have players who want to burn down the system on their way out. They’re mad, their emotions are running high, and instead of just quitting, they decide to have a EULA-breaking meltdown trying to RMT their characters in grey-area ways as a form of public protests against SomerBlink, effectively setting fire to the sandbox on their way out. To me, all this says is “I’m not having fun and neither should you“. Its as if we finally ran out of ideas on how to game and meta each other and started doing it to the system.

Is SomerBlink the evil empire? Of course not; they have an incredible business model that nets them ludicrous isk in-game (bonus points, it preys off people’s naivete and foolishness; I certainly can’t be mad at that), and a healthy, and most importantly, CCP endorsed affiliate program out of game that allegedly nets Somerset Mahm $90,000 a year. Can you honestly tell me you wouldn’t ride that train into the ground if you were in his shoes?

And on the same thought, is CCP a malicious, cheating, nepotistic corporate entity, playing favorites towards a certain in-game entity since that entity happens to help their bottom dollar through GTC/PLEX sales? Well, ok, a teeny bit, but again, this is a for-profit company. Should CCP have seen the writing on the wall with that out? Certainly, but again, CCP fucks up sometimes. Look at it from their perspective: an in-game, player-run group becomes wildly popular, hugely philanthropic, outwardly takes no sides in either in-game or out-of-game politicking or issues, and as a result of that, starts helping to sell a ton more PLEX, effectively becoming a charitable financial donor to both players and company. Again, put yourself in CCP’s shoes and see how that looks objectively; even though we know its not, it sure seems like a win-win doesn’t it?

So sadly, I’ve found that even when I do find some time to set aside for some mindless gaming, I’ve regrettably been unwilling to log into Eve. Heck, the past week or so, I’ve been passing over spaceships in favor of freaking Age of Empires 3; thats how much this has been bumming me out. Now thats not to say I haven’t been playing at all, and no, I’m not quitting/taking a break/quietly disappearing/etc, but when I do jump into Eve I’m working on a lot more back-burner type stuff rather than high-stakes adventure. I play internet spaceships to have fun, and while I certainly enjoy some drama here and there, this current round of it is just over-kill.

The upside to all of this is that Poetic Stanziel has decided to officially stop shitting out poorly conceived thought-diarrhea about Eve and calling them posts. In my mind, this is like Bill O’Reilly and the Fox News of Eve closing down so, you know, score one for the good guys (edit: wait no I lied, he’s just expanded to shitting out rage-posts about things besides Eve at a new address. Oh well.). Also, literally as I was proof-reading this post, it appears that CCP just unilaterally shut down giving isk incentives for buying ETCs/GTCs; way to go guys.

Now, can we just all agree that favoritism looks terrible, RMTing even in roundabout ways, is bad, that the house always wins when it comes to gambling, and that we’d all be having way more fun right now if we could get back to blowing up space pixels?

 

-Aiden

 

Because I Could

•October 11, 2013 • 2 Comments

Hi, my name is Aiden, and you might remember me from such blogs as, uh, this one! Real life continues to take up most of my time, though rather than get into the long-winded version of it, lets just do a tl;dr-style list, shall we?

A.) Married life is awesome. Probably ultimately more awesome than internet spaceships.

B.) Work, though not as awesome as spaceships, keeps the lights on, and certainly keeps me busy.

C.) I’m actually working on an Eve-related project that will hopefully be done soon(ish) I hope to be revealed to the masses. More details to come.

In light of the above, I actually don’t have a ton of Aiden-related stories to report in on. When I do squeeze in some Eve time, I’ve been using a 2-man alt corp to wardec offline POSs for “roll-the-dice”-style pinata prizes from hangers and labs, which I think so far has netted me a few hundred mil, but not really anything in the way of great blog-post material.

Instead, I’m going to be posting a guest story from someone who eve-mailed me a little while ago, curious if I’d be interested in hearing his tale of his first heist, which involved hitting up a wormhole corp to the tune of 35 billion iskies. He honestly had me at “heist”, and after reading it through, I thought it belonged here. For anonymity’s sake, our Danny Ocean will go as “Agent Awesome” here; read on.

*****

From: Agent Awesome
Sent: 2013.10.10 06:19
To: Aiden Mourn,

It did fit into one EVE Mail.  Hope you enjoy it, would like any pointers if you happen to notice a missed opportunity or just to comment.

Because I could.

I’ve tried to remember if I have ever done anything dishonorable in EVE.  To this point, a couple of weeks after the time this story takes place, I cannot remember one.  It just isn’t something that ever appealed to me.  Of course, I had read stories of piracy and corporate thefts, espionage, all of it.  They were cool to read, but nothing that just reached out and made me want to do it.

Until that day that I realized “I could.”  That is the only reason this happened, because I realized that “I could.”  That was part of the beauty of EVE Online.

Background:  The corporation I speak of, I had been in it off and on for a year.  I left once thinking I would go to EUni, I left again join my holding corp, and once to join a null pvp corp for some training.  At one time I had several friends in the corp, and there was lots of chatting and some mining ops, some missioning.  We moved into a WH for a while, had some fun.  Then, RL aggro was on several of us.  By the time this story takes place, there were on avg 1-2 people in the corp online, and even then for guesstimates of only about 4-6 hours max a day.  I was usually on the longest.  Immediately before I put the plan into action, I checked the member list.  More than half the corp had not logged on in over a month, another quarter had not in the last week.

I had asked to rejoin the corp so that I could do some PI in their WH, maybe do some sleeper sites, and huff some gas.  When I got accepted I was given roles for the research POS in case I wanted to put some stuff in.  I was organizing some personal hangars and happened to click on the corp hangars….and realized that I had access to all but one division in each hangar.  Just curious at what was in there I started checking each division out.  There were t1/2 modules, some P2 and P3 components, items for reactions, the precursors to tower fuel blocks.  There were several that were empty, couple that had a container with a PW on it.  Then I came upon one that had some t3 and subsystem bpcs.  Those were nice, I remember thinking.  I then found some nicely researched ship BPOs for an orca, tornado, several frigs and cruisers, Retriever/Procurer/Covetor BPOs.  There were multiple hulk and mack bpcs.   There were easily over 200 researched BPOs for modules, fuel blocks, rigs, capital components.  Then I found about 500m in fuel blocks and another 350m worth of minerals.  I was kinda amazed that the corp had all these nice assets.  At this point I did some numbers and came up with about 20B in assets, that I could see.

Next day, all I could think about was all the shit I had access to, and this didn’t even include what I could fly in the WH SMA.  Or anything that was in the research POSs.  When I got off work I performed my normal routine, checking PI, mfg jobs, and moving some assets around.  On these trips I made sure to stop by the two research POSs to check out what was there.  Each tower had around 300m in fuel blocks, along with materials for another 150-160m more, best I could tell by quick glance.  In the WH, there were about 800m in ships that I and my alt could pilot, who just happened to also be in the corp, with the same privileges.  I had my alt start removing ships from the WH.  If asked why I was, I needed it to “run some L4 missions” or mine a decent Ore site that popped near.

Later that evening, after the other player that is online regularly logged off, I began.  My alt started by moving ships out of the wh that he could pilot.  On my main, in a matter of 3 seconds I had over 10B in BPOs.  Then I went through every hanger, dragging all the loot to my personal treasure chests.   I then immediately started making runs on the POSs (there were two in the HQ system).  I relieved the towers of all the fuel blocks and fuel components that were there.  If it was in the research POSs and I could see it, I took it.  I even took the stront (seemed like a dickish move, and I liked it!).  By this time, which was maybe 90 minutes into it, the alt had moved all the ships he could, then went back and emptied out all the modules, minerals, sleeper salvage (oh god the sleeper loot, piles of it, everywhere), and anything that wasn’t nailed down.

About the time the alt was finishing his job, my main finished the eleven jumps to the entrance to the WH.  My main went in and started grabbing anything he could fly.  I left about 3B in ships in t3 and t2s that I didnt have the skills to fly, but did manage to grab several fitted retrievers, a BR, a SB, and some haulers.

My heart was racing, worrying that someone might finally decide to log in that hadnt in 2 weeks or a director that would see what I was doing.  It was such easy ISK, lots of powertripping, and winning EVE.  I had the opportunity and I took it.  I wrote a corp email to send out, then decided to wait till I was gone from the corp.  I dropped roles and logged off.  Next day I sent out a corp evemail that said the reason I took it all was because “I could.”  And that it could have been more.  I finally had to log off to get some sleep for work the next morning.

Now, despite all that I took, I did not unachor any of the towers.  Although, I did put one offline and tried to figure out the mechanics more with some live action training.  I did leave most of the fuel in the WH tower, and all the ships I couldnt fly.

Day after had commited a corporate heist, I finally got the chance to sit and really look at all I had acquired.  My initial estimate of 20B was way off.  All told, with only about half the researched BPOs checked in contracts for comparison, the total was about 35B.  Not bad at all.  And that third account training the mfg/research toon was going to have some goodies.

Some things I learned from the experience:
1.  EVE is amazing
2.  Taking just an hour or so to research the mechanics of unanchoring a POS and I could have had three towers and any of the modules I wanted.
3.  Taking another 36 hours and I could have gotten another 2 t3s from the WH once the skills finished.
4.  I should have taken more time to plan.
5.  Having multiple accounts, specifically one that can fly multiple races’ higher level ships, can increase your haul dramatically in corps with WH.

*****

There was some talk the other day on /r/eve about Star Citizen being healthy competition to Eve Online, and I have to say, as immersive and intense of a world SC looks to be building, its things like this that will always put Eve on top. Its the emergent and unscripted player-run game-play that no other game touches that, whether you giggle at or despise the above story, makes Eve what it is. We do what we do in Eve because we can.

Agent Awesome, you are well deserving of the title. Congrats on the fantastic haul (especially on your first heist!), and thanks for the story.

-Aiden

Good Guy Griefer

•September 18, 2013 • 2 Comments

 

The other day, when a newer explorer to the dark side of Eve was worried about his ability to grief/ninja/murder people due to not being able to afford another account (and not wanting to burn a clean one he’d worked hard for), a vet of the ninjaing and scamming game stepped up to the plate big time. For the record, its things like this – utterly evil, scamming, scheming, backstabbing bad guys being magnanimously generous to help each other out – that make this my favorite community in Eve.

In related news, I’ve decided its time to get back to my roots, and so I’ve dusted off the ninjaing boats, gotten my Orca out of storage, and put on my sneaking shoes; tears inbound.

 

-Aiden

 
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