Saturday, December 11, 2004

Eventful Evening

Well that was a rather eventful Friday evening. Before the Exodus deployment the Gallente Federation presidential elections were bubbling along in the background of EvE. Gallentean pilots like myself were able to vote whether or not to allow the standing president the opportunity to run for a third term. He won the vote and now a presidential election is on the cards. Last night the NPC starter Corp I'm part of was contacted by one of CCP's ingame helpers, in the guise of a Gallentean official. A convoy of fake votes was on its way somewhere and we had to intercept. I decided I'd have a shot at stopping them and headed to their destination at the time. Long time EvE player Farjung made first contact and was promptly demolished as it turned out the "four escort frigates" were in fact dangerous Assault Frigates! I was left to merely shadow the convoy as they journeyed onwards, whilst joining up with the growing gang of Gallente players ready to stop them.

Four or five of us made contact with the fleet by a jump gate but disaster ensued. One player targeted & attacked another member of our group and got taken out by Concord police officials. Another player opened fire on the targets but the rest of us did not. I attempted to target the hauler carrying the votes but it jumped before my drones could reach it. With two players lost we followed the convoy some more, picking up players on the way. When they stopped for supplies we attempted to ambush them, with a few of our gang succeeding and taking out the hauler and two of the escorts. The remaining two escorts ran into the bulk of our small force as they tried to leave the system via a different gate. I was in amongst this force but repeated warnings of Concord retribution dissuaded me from opening fire on the target (an irrelevance I realised afterwards, but I'd just watched Elliott Manchild get torn apart by the police and didn't fancy it myself). The final two escort ships were soon taken down, however, and the players who had engaged returned to the Gallentean official with ballot papers and the corpses of the renegade pilots for rewards.

Feeling rather stupid, I made a note to damn the consequences in future and just wade straight in to these things. I made the three jumps back to my current base of operations and decided to try some agent missions. Working for a level 2 surveillance agent I engaged in my first since the Exodus upgrade. They're still not firmed up (for deadspace missions the rewards are generally too little and for all missions there's a tendency to flood the pilot with immovable station containers and vaults) but I fancied some fun. I hunted down a Serpentis convoy, retrieved some important papers from the middle of one Serpentis hideout and rescued slaves from another. I also had my first Deadspace mission, the purpose of which escapes me but involved hunting down various pirates whilst sustaining heavy laser fire from two turrets! Fun but rather poorly rewarded. Hunting down the Serpentis convoy proved to be the most enjoyable, as when my drones took the hauler down and my turrets had finished off the escorts, wave after wave of eight Serpentis craft at once jumped in. I think I may put mining on hold this evening and run more of these missions.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Dust Is Slowly Settling

Ahh, the real world. It's a shame real chaos has prevented me from journaling EvE post-Exodus, but no matter. Onwards and upwards. So it's been about two and a half weeks since the EvE universe was shot in the chest with the large (and free) Exodus expansion. As is the way with large software projects there are still bugs aplenty for the developers to repair over the coming weeks, but EvE is still there and still playable. Perhaps the most gameplay affecting problem has been the bugged and unbalanced agent missions (I'm holding off returning to visit my agents until after they're confirmed as fixed). The damage to agent running has led to a mining explosion across Empire (0.5 to 1.0 security safe space). Asteroid belts are barren, if still present at all. Wealthier players prevented from engaging in missions have instead purchased the freshly introduced Mining Barges. Mineral prices have fallen and belts have become busier.

With Exodus comes the glorius planetary rings.

As I returned to EvE after the Exodus upgrade I began religiously watching the market for the prices of the Gallente Battlecruiser, the "Brutix". After a week and a half of price watching I decided to build my own, forsaking my plans to build a Battleship for the time being. It took me a few days to mine all the minerals available in safe space before then spending my hard earned millions on buying the rarer stuff. Construction was left going overnight and by the next morning I had myself a wondrous Brutix to christen the Channon II.

More of the beautiful Brutix, deep in 0.3 security space.

After the mineral buying and some extra skill & equipment purchasing I was bereft of Isk, with a paltry 600,000 to my name. So here I was able to experience the first full benefit of the larger Brutix as I fitted it out with six Miner II lasers and did two evenings sparse mining. Those two evenings (with only an hour actually spent mining on each) netted me seven million or so, giving me plenty of money to insure my pride and joy. With my leftover minerals I've set one hundred shuttles building, to be followed by a huge stack of Antimatter Medium rounds for the six medium hybrid turrets I mount on the Channon II. Now I just need to start amassing funds once more...

Destroyers are new, and this is the neat Caldari model.

The Gallente Destroyer, a Catalyst. No B-Wings here, Star Wars fans...

The huge Medium Mining Barge, to be mine in a week or two.