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Showing posts from April, 2012

EVE Jita reopens for (burning) business. Mbp drops the camera.

The good news is that the gates to Jita were open again last night with well over 2,000 pilots in local. It looks like I was just unfortunate the night before to pick a time when numbers were being restricted. Jita IV, IV was the usual mess of trash frigates but the Jita side of the perimeter gate was encased in a solid blob of Tornado and Thrasher gank ships. By the time I got there they were clearly picking and choosing targets because I saw a few industrial ships slip through while a freighter that was silly enough to poke it's nose in was ganked. The bad news is that I clearly do not know how to take screenshots in EVE. I was sure I got a few nice shots of the blob from a Tornado's eye view but this morning I can find no trace.

EVE Online: The best place to see Jita burning is NOT Jita.

It is the 28th of April and today is the big day when Jita is set to burn under the assault of Goons and assorted followers. Syncaine , Cyndre and Wilhelm Arcturus have been posting about the preliminary thinks that have been going on since the 26th apparently. Well not to be outdone I got myself into a noobie frigate and set my course for Jita last night to see some splosions. Sadly it turned out I had already missed the good stuff. At Eurozone prime time all the gates to Jita were locked and I couldn't fly in. I did manage to clone jump in (by dying) and parked my self in an Ibis just off Jita IV, IV dock. Lots of pilots in space and plenty of shooting going on but it was almost entirely trash frigates like my noobie Ibis.  It seems that the more valuable stuff was either staying away or was unable to get into Jita because of the locked gates.  Wilhelm from Ancient Gaming Noob writes about a pile up of ships in the gateway system of Perimeter being bombed  so I reckon t

Conflicted about my new Kindle

After more than a year of purchasing and reading ebooks on the small screen of my phone I have finally acquired a proper Kindle reader with a 6" e-ink display. In a previous post I concluded that the books you can read are far more important the the device you read them on but my middle aged eyes are grateful for the larger screen while e-ink's excellent battery life and ability to be read in direct sunlight make reading a bit more convenient.   I was and still am quite conflicted about choosing a Kindle rather than one of the competing (mainly epub based) readers. Don't get me wrong I like Amazon, I have bought many things from them and I will readily admit they are the World's best book store. I just don't want them to become the World's only book store. By buying a Kindle I am re-enforcing Amazon's dominance of the ebook market and probably hastening the demise of other competing booksellers. I know that you can still download free books to the Kind

Frozen Synapse shows me up.

Finding myself at a bit of a loose end I trawled through my collection of unplayed games and decided to give Frozen Synapse another go. Frozen synapse is a highly regarded turn based tactical game using the "We-Go" system. You plan the moves of your small team while your opponent (human or AI) plans theirs. Then you press a button called Prime and both sets of moves are simultaneously executed. Frozen Synapse scores over previous "We-Go" games in allowing you to predict your opponents moves and play out the resulting scenarios in full before pressing the Prime. It removes all elements of chance and allows you to accurately predict what will happen if: "Will he get caught in the splash from my rocket if he walks towards that room?"   / "Will I be able to shoot him first if he tries to come around that corner?" and questions like that.  The game is very well made has a good single player campaign and excellent multi-player support. I like puzz

Eve - ready for another long break

Two months ago when I was contemplating a return to EVE I said that "I generally don't have the patience to hang around long enough to achieve substantial in game goals." History is repeating itself and I find that my urge to play the game has once more subsided. My sub is still active and I still log in to update my skill queue but that is about it. There just isn't anything else I want to do in the game as solo player. For various reasons I am not in the mood to join with others and engage more fully in the social side of EVE at this point in time although I wouldn't rule that out in the future. I am still keeping up with EVE blogs and forums and I have decided to keep up the sub up for a few months to pad out my "core skill sets" which should give me a better platform the next time I come back to the game. If I do come back what will I do next? I am a carebear at heart and I am not particularly competitive so I am probably not a grea

Legend of Grimrock

Perhaps I am very bad at Legend of Grimrock. Even playing on normal difficulty my party of adventurers is tragically incapable of taking on any monster in the game in a straight up toe to toe fight. Hordes of spiders decimate my party with poison. Fiery undead warriors roast them and giant's squash them with one blow from  their mighty hammer.  Yet despite my party's manifest lack of combat prowess we have managed to struggle on down to the eighth floor of the dungeon leaving a trail of dead monsters in our wake. My heroes may not be able to win a toe to toe fight but I have learned many ways to abuse the game mechanics to ensure that they never have one. Doors can be used to split up groups of mobs. Hiding behind a corner gives you a free hit at a mob who is chasing. Any open space may be used to perform the two step shuffle. The shuffle relies on the fact that players can strafe sideways on the games playing grid while monsters cannot.If you step sideways a monster must ta

Dropbox - check and fix inelligible referrals in order to maximise your free allowance

Have you invited friends and family to use Dropbox so you can increase your free allowance? If so there is a  chance that you aren't getting the allowance you expect. Here is how to check and fix it.  Like many others I have become heavily dependent on Dropbox for allowing me to access my stuff from anywhere. It has become so important to me that I am almost tempted to pay for a subscription but unfortunately they don't have a sub at a price point I am comfortable with. A sub of  €20/year  for 10Gb would suit me very well but the minimum spend is €99 for 50 Gb which is more space than I need and more than I am prepared to pay. That leaves me dependent on the free allowance and in particular on the increased allowance you get for inviting friends to join Dropbox. The good news is that they have just increased the award for attracting a new user to 500Mb (from 250Mb) per new user up to  a maximum of 16Gb. Unfortunately Dropbox has now become so popular that you may have a ha

New Eden Vacation #6: Scanning the old fashioned way

In a trip back to the ancient history of EVE I spent four hours yesterday pinpointing these three containers without the aid of scan probes. The cans were quite well hidden. They weren't on a direct warp line between any two celestial objects and they were more than 14.3AU from anything else which put them outside the range of the directional scanners on board ships in the normal traffic lanes.  I only spotted them by accident when I was making my own safe spot , similarly distant from normal lines of communication. I thought I was quite well hidden so I was surprised when three containers popped up on my scanner almost 13 AU away from me in empty space. Miners regularly anchor secure containers at asteroid belts but there were no asteroids around and these containers were unsecured meaning anyone could access them and take whatever was inside. I was intrigued and decided to investigate. I know that the right way to do this is via scan probes and that the process takes a f

Bill Harris I hate you

Bill Harris is a busy parent , who plays video games and writes a popular blog about gaming and other interesting stuff. His regular "Friday Links" post is an essential guide to the best stuff on the internet. Somehow Bill managed in his spare time (???) to teach himself programming and write a video game from scratch: Gridiron Solitaire . The time for namby pamby congratulations and feigned admiration is way past. Bill Harris you are making the rest of us look bad and we all hate you!

EVE: Jump Clone Jujutsu

Jump clones are wonderful things, spare bodies that allow you to zip around the universe and keep different sets of implants for different applications. Their use is subject to a number of number of restrictions however and I am coming to realise that I need to rethink my ideas about being able to jump around at will. The first restriction is that you can only jump between clones once every 24 hours. That time delay is proving more frustrating that I thought it would be. If I need to jump back to my high sec clone then I am stuck there for at least a day. The next restriction which I completely overlooked is that clones can only be stored in stations meaning you need a friendly station to dock in before you can clone jump out (some of the bigger ships can carry clone bays apparently but that is way out of my league at the moment). I had naively assumed I could hide my cloaky frigate in a remote region of space and then jump out but that is not so. This wasn't really a problem

New Eden Vacation #5: Welcome to 0.0

I crossed into 0.0 space at a system bearing the name 93PI-4 and this is the first thing I stumbled across: The system has only one entrance and one exit and that mobile warp bubble was placed squarely on the line between them. Happily there were  no hostiles around to shoot at the flies trapped in this bubble. Instead I met another tourist who like me came for a look see.  I believe that placing the bubble away from the gate like this is preferred because it minimises the chance of a visitor running back through the gate. It also has the advantage of catching folk going both ways.  It is quite easy to bypass though by approaching the gate from an indirect angle. Notice the cans at the edge of the bubble. I think they are strategically placed to de-cloak any stealthy ships who come along. I was lucky this time, there was no one at home but this is un-likely to last much longer. Expect my New Eden Vacation to draw to a close shortly with an unplanned visit to the clone bank.

EVE: It's hard to get information without giving information

Sometimes sending in a scout gives more information to your enemies than it gives to you. For reasons that I cannot really explain I accepted another of those suicidal low security courier missions . Once again the mission required me to lug a T1 hauler across several pirate infested low security systems  to make the drop. I guess I was looking to live a little dangerously but I still didn't want to get killed so I took what I thought was the sensible precaution of sending an alt  ahead in a noob frigate to scout the route.  Seemed like a good plan - the alt in the noobship would suss out any nasty gate camps that might be waiting for me. My scout's journey was uneventful - The low sec systems along the pipe I had to travel were deserted. When I reached the final destination I did spot one flashy red pirate sitting 150km off the station in  a Thrasher destroyer but I couldn't see what danger he posed. 150km is well beyond the range of any weapon a Thrasher can fit and

New Eden Vacation #4: Jita the Heart of New Eden

Welcome to Jita IV, Moon IV, Caldari Navy Assembly plant: the busiest station in EVE and by far the biggest trade hub. If it exists in the game then you can buy it or sell it in Jita. More than any other system Jita deserves the title of "Heart of EVE". It is a shining star of capitalism and purest manifestation of the thriving economy for which EVE is so rightly famous. So ... it's a nice place then? Eh... no. If you ask any veteran of the game they will talk about Jita in a tone contempt tinged with horror. They will  complain about the crowds, they will complain about the lag, they will complain about the gankers and scammers and two bit con artists who infest the place. They will either avoid Jita completely or go only when it is absolutely necessary. It is true that despite its high security status Jita is one of the more dangerous systems in EVE. Legions of suicide gankers queue up to pick off richly laden haulers on their way to market. Corps who engage