As our small fleet warped to Heydieles, I was feeling much better about my ability to perform. I wasn’t going to be a rock star but I should be able to keep up. Earlier in the evening, I’d taken the Atron out to do a few missions. The agents available to me weren’t great and it’s not really what the corporation advises – doing missions flagged as a Faction Warfare target. However, I needed combat practice that wasn’t sitting back as a drone boat, which is what I’m used to as a PVE Gallente pilot.
Cat Meet Mouse
Faction Warfare thus far has been a cat-and-mouse affair. We scurry around the system looking for targets and I assume the enemy is doing the same. We encounter a single ship here and there, as they’re warping through. A warning blip on the screen for a nanosecond. We land near a pilot mid task. He detects us and warps off like a comet. We send Inceptors forth on recon. They relay intell of any possible encounters. Often times, by the time we arrive the opportunity is gone. As a result, I haven't seen many multiple ship encounters.
I was fine as we roamed low sec. I felt on top of things and aware. I was occasionally sent off to check gates and returned without incident. As luck would have it, we had just missed a scuffle in Tama. When we arrived the participants were still talking shit to each other in local chat. Damn! We’d been roaming for a while and had come up empty handed. Oh well, we continued looking for a fight. I was sent to check for targets at another outpost and zipped off.
My complete kerfuffle on deciding which corporation to join aside, the one thing I validated was the corporation’s stance on taking PVP noobs. If their bio didn’t state clearly they were ‘PVP Noob Friendly’, it was closed without further consideration.
I have an ‘old’ EVE account if you go by the birth of my character. However, I’ve never played more than a few months consecutively and 99.9% of that has been in high security space, running missions and salvaging. Transitioning to an aware, proactive and proficient PVP pilot isn’t going to happen overnight. And certainly won’t come about because I clicked the ‘join’ button for a PVP corp.
Sucking from a Fire Hose
The day after I officially joined Aideron Robotics, I participated in my first FW fleet. It was my first FW fleet - EVER. It was only my second formal fleet in the entirety of my EVE gaming career. To say it was like sucking from a fire hose would not be an exaggeration. It was organized but in my opinion, could have done a better job at accounting for the presence of noob PVP pilots.
There are things I know about EVE from reading other bloggers and having played the game. Things I know in theory but not in practice. I knew that I should have an overview specifically customized for PVP. I found a recommended package on the corporate forums and installed it. I knew that I should be aware of the benefits and disadvantages of the ship I was given to fly as a new inductee, so I did some reading on the Atron. I knew where we tended to launch PVP fleets from so I looked at a local map. I did the things I knew to do, to avoid being a complete liability. Unfortunately, none of my preparation helped very much.
Our corp members only fleets, use a standard setup/team composition, where the Atron is pretty much the forerunner to combat. We advance into combat to tackle and scramble targets. In normal speak, that means slow a ship down and prevent its ability to warp away. Other participants will be our heavier DPS ships and logistical support, such as remote repairing (healing). I’m sure this works very well when the pilots flying the Atron have a clue. We did not.
75% through with moving to my assets to Caldari space from Hek, I get an email from Aideron Robotics. Their webiste was still having issues processing my API Key, which is what was preventing the completion of my application. We worked back and forth via IM to get it resolved. No matter what we tried and the fact the key worked in othe apps, the AR application wasn't having it. In the end, it had to be added programmatically by the site admin who then sent me a link with the key already embeded in it to conclude the process.
Really?? Crap I was mostly settled into Caldari space BUT would much rather do Gallente side FW given that I am Gallente. When I explained my delimma and all the assets I'd just hauled out there, it was suggested that I liquidate my assets to give me more PVP funds. Aidoron runs very specific fleet roles/fits and I'd need the cash to replace ships after I ran through my initial corp funded allotment. Did I really want to change my mind again?
I thought it over for a few hours before deciding it made more sense for me to do Gallente FW. This way if things didn't work out, I could uninlist and continue with my mission running within my faction, while I decided what to do next, such as possibly joining a straight-up PVP corp.
The morning after I’d made my decision to join Project Kairos Corporation, I received two recommendations for corps to join. The first was from Stabbed, a courteous and helpful reader of this blog and blogger in his own right recommended Aideron Robotics. The other came via email from an ex EVE Player / ex-blogger who suggested Chaotic Tranquility Corporation. Damn it to hell, both suggestions were for Gallente based outfits. Both of them know more about the game than I do, so I went about applying to each. Mind you, I’m half way through shuttling my shit across the galaxy.
EVE partially thwarted my attempt at soliciting membership in the suggested corps. There’s a new bug related to new or edited API Keys preventing programs from accessing the information. I recently edited mine to make the key not expire. On top of which, the prime candidate’s website, public chat and corporation bio all link to defunct locations for applying. I get “no access” or “file not found” messages. Grrr!
With the decision to wade into the deep end of New Eden made, it was time to find a corporation to call home. To find a good match, I needed to know what I wanted out of the experience and what would be expected in return. For my part, small gang and medium size fleet activity were at the top of my list. Having read good things about the changes to Faction Warfare I want to test those waters and have some time to continue my pursuit to unlock Level 3 Missions.
My goals in mind, I grab something to drink and join the Recruitment channel. Trying to make heads-or-tails of the chat is an eye-watering experience. One-line messages visible for a nanosecond, are gobbled up by the constantly scrolling text chatter. Neatly formatted multi-line adverts warp by. I focus on the larger adverts – the ones taking the time to tell me something about what they offer as a corporation.
I read the corporation bios. I check to see if they have a presence in low and null security sectors. Do they mention that they are PVP noob friendly? If so, that scores more points. It also doesn’t hurt to see that they have mission running and help with gaining reputation. The right side of my screen is cluttered with the corporation bios I’ve set aside for further consideration.
Well boys and girls, it’s time for my semi-annual return to EVE Online. I've resubscribed to take part in the game's 18th free expansion, Rubicon. I’ve been playing EVE off and on since December of 2005. Damn, that's a hell of a long time to play a game without achieving a long term goal. Ouch. This is my second account and I've been on it since 2007. I gave my mining character away to an old guild master after declaring I wouldn't be returning to that game! Who knew?
Over the years I've invested the vast majority of my skill training in combat areas with a slant toward PVP as a precaution. I have a decent stable of ships both PVP and PVE, and a bit of funds to play with right now. Instead of picking up where I left off in my pursuit of unlocking level 3 missions, I'm going to roll the dice on PVP.
My first objective is to join a Corporation. I'd sworn off player Corps after my last noob in space adventure with one. That was enough drama, grins and giggles to last me the past few years. But I'm going back for more. Specifically, I’m looking for a Corp with a presence in low sec, null sec, does PVE and is PVP noob friendly. This combination will hopefully let me see PVP action while sustaining my bank account via mission running and salvaging.
The last time I popped into EVE I only stayed a month. I spent most of that time moving my assets to Hek, a moderately low security region. I was vaguely familiar with the area from that nightmare corporation membership a few years ago. I like that Hek is only 1 gate away from high security and not too from Jita, the game’s major trading outpost.
This time I’m subscribed for 3 months and plan to get jiggy with it. What’s the point of sitting on pile of PVP fitted ships?? Losing them doesn’t affect my ability to continue with PVE, as those are a different set of ships in my hanger. I’ve got the skill training and equipment, let's get down to some practical application. If this all goes belly up, I can take a break and when I come back next time, join an industry focused corporation and put my Viator to more use than hauling my own crap from location to location.
Holding down the accelerator key and bracing for mass drama...
I’ve had a few careers in my life – developer, instructional designer and performance analyst. I’ve been fortunate enough co-author three books that were published back in my technical hay-day. I’ve been a wife. I am a mother. I am a grandmother, aunt and entrepreneur. I still aspire to be a published fiction author. And I’m a gamer.
Gamer – of all the monikers I’ve worn over the years, this is the one that was kept in the closest the longest. It’s not something you speak of loudly when talking to co-workers. You definitely don’t strike up a conversation about it with strangers unless you’re at a geek event. For many years, even family members outside of our household had no clue. And yet, gaming is such a huge part of my personality and lifestyle. Gamer is the moniker that identifies me best outside of family oriented titles. Gaming has been present from an early age for all of my children - they are gamers too.
I haven’t blogged much in recent months. Between work and my entrepreneurial adventures, I started feeling guilty about spending the time. Isn’t it bad enough that I occasionally squeeze in gaming when I could be doing any number of other more productive things? To turn around and spend more time on the subject blogging about it, seemed excessive. *smile* I’m not Catholic but I do self-guilt really well.
I’ve decided to throw the gaming guilt hat out the window. I can’t work 24/7 and even if I could, it sure as hell wouldn’t be healthy. I game. I enjoy gaming. DAMMIT, I AM A GAMER. So what if I like blogging about gaming too. Games, MMORPGs in particular, have provided me with a lifetime of precious memories. I’ve forged real life relationships with people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.
MMO Love Affair
I’ve been a serious MMO player since Asheron’s Call. I wasn’t blogging back then however. Blogging didn’t start until Asheron’s Call 2 but I didn’t keep that blog alive after AC2 was shut down. Consequently, I only have a few pictures from AC2, my first MMO love affair.
A couple of weeks ago I was watching my daughter make personalized monogram name plates for a customer’s nursery when an idea hit me. Wouldn’t it be cool to do something similar using my game characters?? I raced through my blog’s archive and picked out a few favorites and asked her to do a full word collage of them.
GAMER - Loud and Proud
I gave her pictures from the MMOs I’ve played. AC2 to GW2, minus the minor forays into F2P games, my most beloved characters are represented. Knowing that I’ve played just about, it not every, AAA subscription-based MMO that’s hit NA, it’s telling which games didn’t make the cut. Notably missing from the line up – Vanguard, Age of Conan, Star Wars, Pirates of the Burning Sea and Lord of the Rings Online.
Of the ones I selected, every picture has a story. Every image brings a smile to my face. I can recall exactly what I was doing and why for every pose. It’s easy to tell which games I preferred by the number of pictures I selected versus other games represented. I LOVE how it turned out!
I can’t wait to hang this in my home office. When I look up and see it, I’ll be transported to happy thoughts. I’ll breathe a little easier and exhale a sweet sigh. I don’t know about you, but I could use more moments like that in my day. If you or someone you know might be interested in having one done, I’ve posted buying options on our Etsy shop.
I'm stil taking things rather slow. I knew the holiday season would be very difficult with my mother having passed so recently. We did what we could for the little ones in our immediate family to enjoy themselves.
Duoing Rift with a Buddy
I've been back in Rift for a few weeks leveling the content with a gaming friend who hadn't played before. Kudos to Trion and how well the content stands up for the 4th time around. I'd leveled several characters up to Perspice and it's almost as much fun now as the first jaunt. There were still so many quests I'd not done before. With the options of questing, doing rifts, PVP, instances and grinding, I tended to out level zones without doing many of the quests which is a good thing! It really makes replayability rather stellar. We're a stone's throw from level 50 and I never felt like OMG, I've done all this before. SWTOR needs to take a queue from that and make it possible for players to mix up how they level without missing "required" quest chains. More on that in a minute.
The only thing missing from Rifts are the big crowds. That intense level of heightened excitment is missing from the zones unless there's a zone wide event. I wish my friend had been there to see the meyhem and madness of the earlier days. He really enjoys rift chasing and doing the events. Regardless, we've had fun and are looking forward to doing the new level 50 content that I haven't seen yet myself.
Dabbling in SWTOR
Star Wars isn't a favorite IP of mine. I've seen all the movies but I don't own a single one. I wasn't excited about the game. My only intent was to check it out and play for the first free month. So far it's okay. The settings aren't my thing being a die hard fantasy fan. The questing is rather meh for me since I don't really care about the story and I'm not a huge questing fan. I tend to mix it up with grinding mobs which isn't grinding to me.
What I do enjoy are the class quest lines, group quests and instance content (Flash Points). For me, that's where the game really shines. The story in those feel more compelling. It's like playing out a part in a movie - it's fun! My class is also diverse and interesting to play. I've chosen Inquisitor > Sorcerer for ranged DPS, utility and healing. She feels pretty bad ass in a group. I've only clocked a few hours. It's something I log into as a late night diversion.
My Son Digs SWTOR
After watching me play for a bit my son decided to get a copy too. He's also more of a fantasy person but is rather bored with Rfit. After a few days, he came to the same conclusion - love the class quests, PVP and instances, wishes he could skip the rest. Unfortunately, you can't. There are necessary quest chains for picking your advanced class and getting the ship you'll need to access the higher level Flash Points. Moreover, there's nothing that overtly leads you to these NPCs to get the quest chains. You run across them if you're doing all the quests. Both of us initially missed the quest to choose the advanced class.
I had to search on the web to figure out why I was level 12 but couldn't purchase the level 10 spells I could clearly see on the Class Trainer. We weren't alone. I found many threads and links where people were asking the same question. My son ended up having to back track through content to get his ship for the very same reason. I think that needs some tweaking. Other than that, he's really enjoying it now that he's 20-something. For me, it's still just something to do if I'm in the mood. My money is waiting on GW2.
Still Crafting in Real Life
I'm still crafting in real life. In fact, I had a nice little jump in activity the couple of weeks before Christmas. It tickles me when people purchase or "favorite" the two rings inspired by my love of fantasy. The ring called Rose of New Eden, inspired by EVE Online has done well. The Inara Serra III ring has sold nicely when seen in person - flea market and jewelry showings.
I recently revamped my Nomadic Eclectic website to be more of a showcase. With Etsy picking up steam for me, I couldn't see implementing the disabled ecommerce features that were part of that original theme. I moved to something designed to just give people a taste of what I'm doing before hushering them over to my Esty Shop.
That's all I've been up to the past couple of months. Hanging in there as best I can. I have my good days and my bad days over my mother's passing. I've found making jewelry to be much more relaxing than sewing so I've sidelined that for the most part. I lost the tip of a finger, sewed through another one and was accumulating more cuts and gashes that necessary. My mind wanders a bit too much at the moment for the intense concentration needed to sew safely. Plus I feel more creative freedom and contentment making jewelry so am sticking with it.
I have good days and bad days since my mother's unexpected passing. The "immediate must do activity" is over and it's back to picking up your life. I try not to think too far ahead. Like to the other dreadful things to follow, like dealing with her house and personal possessions.
I haven't been motivated to play anything since re-subscribing to EQ2. I think about playing and am excited about building my Wizards' Sactum. At the end of the day when it comes down to it, I'm just too drained. It would take me longer to log in and get started than my current attention span. I've also slacked off lots on sewing for the same reason. Well that and the fact of using a sewing machine with your mind wondering leads to lots of nasty little injuries like the couple I'm sporting now.
What has wrangled more of my attention recently is creating wire wrapped rings. I'd already experimented with button rings as part of crafting in real life. Expanding into wire wrapped has revealed even more avenues of creativity. The real boon is that a ring can be started and completed in an hour or less, which is about all the enthusiasm I can muster some evenings. In a small burst of crafting expression I created two rings based on sci-fi fictional settings - one MMO and one television series.
Rose of New Eden Rose of New Eden is based on EVE Online and the characteristics that draw me back to that game in cycles. I miss the striking contracts of its stark beauty, darkness, serenity and lurking danger. EVE is as simple as or as complex as, its beholder. Finishing this ring reminded me of the serial fiction I'd started here, "Shadows of New Eden". More than adding to the storyline, I've become intrigued by the idea of creating a ring named, Red Alice.
Inara Serra III, Firefly Inspired I worship Firefly and Serenity. This is an upgrade to an earlier ring I created. This version uses a Swarovski pearl and includes an insert band for more impact. I could totally see this as her wedding ring.
Am I crazy to be fashioning rings after sci-fi settings and/or characters? I certainly could be insane. But it was fun and in the end, I have two real-life items to appreciate.
Incoming shameless plug… You can purchase your own copy from my Etsy Shop. *smile*