Now THAT’s what we play EVE Online for

An op was posted for 18:45 yesterday. As usual the announcement didn’t specify what we were going to do exactly, only that Ryzak Freemoon would be FCing and that getting a fight was deemed likely – they almost always promise the latter though.

Form up began on time and Ryzak told us that in order to further increase our chances of actually seeing some action we’d leave our shiny Tech II ships at home and go with Feroxes and Ospreys. As we didn’t get many good fights lately in part because the opposition couldn’t match our fleet’s strenght and thus didn’t engage us at all more often than not this seemed like a sensible choice.

Unlike myself Lakisa actually likes to fly logistics, so she quickly bought an Osprey and fittings from the market and joined the logi squad. I had a Ferox ready to go, so I jumped into that.

Fill her up stat, and also wipe the windshield while you’re at it

First we took a couple of south bound jump bridges, then we gathered at a titan waiting to bridge us even further.

I’m still amazed by how small normal ships seem next to those things

On the far side of that bridge Ryzak linked a destination system for a bit of old-school stargate travel. And then, once we got there, another one. Battlecruisers aren’t exactly fast, so our trip all the way down to Scalding Pass took quite a while. When some more minutes passed upon arrival while we waited for things to unfold people started to wonder if we had made a long trip for nothing yet again.

But the fleet warp finally came, we jumped into the target system and warped to our objective, a reinforced Brave Collective jump bridge, to finish it off.

Our fleet and swarms of drones shooting the Ansiblex class jump bridge

At first it looked like the locals would just sit tethered on their citadel and watch. They undocked a couple more carriers, but didn’t actually try anything. We pulled in our drones in anticipation of a bombing run, but other than that we just kept shooting.

Inside the orange glow of a HIC bubble to prevent them from warping on top of us

However, just before before we finished the thing off an Eagle fleet of Brave and friends landed right at the edge of our bubble and the fight began.

The fleets started to trade blows right away. We fired a few more shots at the Ansiblex to destroy it, then killed two Ospreys and focused on their Basilisks next. Meanwhile they killed our Claymore and one Vulture, thus wiping some of our fleet boosters off the field. Not a very good start for us. That our logi wing had some problems with keeping their capacitor chain up and running for some reason didn’t help matters.

We then managed to turn the tide somewhat though. We killed six Basilisks and a Scimitar within two minutes. They managed to destroy ten Feroxes during that time, but that was an acceptable tradeoff since they were now running pretty low on logi while we still had a lot of DPS left.

Alas, at that point a TEST Muninn fleet appeared on grid, and we knew full well that it wasn’t us they came to support. Now we had to GTFO, as it were, if any one of us was to survive.

Burning out of the bubbles while praying that the capacitor won’t run dry early

Despite all odds quite a lot of us managed to get out, and Ryzak warped us off. But some, myself included, didn’t have enough cap left to make the full warp distance, so we didn’t land with him and the others, but in the middle of nowhere where we were safe for the moment, but couldn’t help our comrades either.

I could hear on Mumble that there was already fighting going on again, so I bookmarked my current position – you never know when you might need such a safespot – and warped to Ryzak. Big mistake!

While I was already in warp he gave command to our booshers to use their micro jump fields and move our fleet out of harm’s way, so I knew that I’d be nowhere near them once I came out of warp. Sure enough, when I landed I was right at the edge of a bubble and the nearest ships were all hostile.

Panic!! As soon as I could control my ship again I immediately aligned away from the bubble, kicked my microwarpdrive into full gear and started looking for something to warp to roughly in the direction I was going. I can’t tell you how extremely lucky I was to spot an asteroid belt almost right in front of me, what with space being infinitely vast and all that. I selected it and hit the warp button as hard as I could. Meanwhile quite a few enemy ships were blinking yellow on my overview, which means that they had me locked but didn’t shoot yet. I was still too far away for them to use their tackling modules on me, but that was only a matter of seconds now.

And then I was in warp. The blinking stopped and I zipped off grid. Holy crap, that was close. I wasn’t safe yet though. They’d surely seen where I warped to and might give chase, so I initiated warp to my safespot – told you it would come in handy – as soon as I landed. Shortly after the rest of our fleet gathered at a safespot too, so I warped to Ryzak and was finally with my mates again moments later.

At a safespot, aligned and ready to warp should someone pay us a visit

Our FC wasn’t quite done shooting stuff yet. Apparently TEST had called it quits by then, fully expecting us to cut our losses and run home I assume, so only the Eagle fleet was still hunting us.

Once we knew that the outgate wasn’t bubbled Ryzak warped us there and then had our own dictor bubble it. You see, a bubble that has been activated when you were already in warp can’t catch you, so we just zipped through while anyone chasing us would get stuck and have to slowboat almost 20km in order to use the gate.

And chase us they did. We jumped through right as they landed and started pulling range on the other side, ready to lock and shoot.

Finally they came through, and the carnage began once more. In terms of firepower they had the clear advantage, and they knew it. Their dictors kept chasing after us, making sure we were always bubbled. We killed stuff, but were losing Feroxes fast in the process. At that point Ryzak declared on comms that we’d stay and fight to the end. Hell yeah!

I had my MWD and even hardeners turned off, conserving all remaining cap for my guns

And then, all of a sudden, they warped off. We couldn’t believe our eyes.

Turns out a Fraternity Muninn fleet had arrived on grid to save what was left of us. Pretty late to the party, but the funny thing is, who knows if we had gotten a fight at all had they been with us from the beginning. Anyway, thanks guys.

And thus the battle was over and the survivors headed home, Lakisa and myself, quite incredibly, both among them.

We lost about two thirds of our Feroxes, half of our Ospreys and pretty much all tackle and support though. Still, the battle report is slightly in our favor ISK-wise, we achieved our objective by destroying the jump bridge, and, most importantly, we had a hell of a fight. This is what we play EVE for indeed!


The curious consequences of a header

Blaugust 2019 is in full swing, and according to Belghast’s schedule it’s Topic Brainstorming Week right now.


I’ve not signed up to Blaugust as a mentor since I don’t feel experienced enough yet to give advice to other bloggers. There is one thing I have put some thought into lately though, and that is the art of choosing a good header for your posts. That’s what I’ll talk about today, and maybe it’s an interesting topic for you too.

To be honest, I’ve never put much thought into choosing a title for my blog posts other than what’s a servicable header for the post’s contents and also suits my overall style of writing?

In my opinion that’s a good approach, but it has its drawbacks, as I’ve had to realize. More on that later.

The first of those two intents is a no-brainer. A post’s header should give readers at least a broad idea of what the post is about. It doesn’t need to outline its whole contents though, after all it shouldn’t be too long. If the post is about one specific game, for example, I often exclude its name from the title and introduce it in the post’s first paragraph instead.

It’s also totally ok when a header doesn’t give away too much and instead tries to provoke curiosity, as long as the post itself does actually satisfy that curiosity.

The second bit, infusing the header with your personal style, is also an approach I highly recommend, at least if it’s your personal blog and you’re not writing for a site where your style might not be appropriate for some reason.

Pretty much all bloggers I follow do exactly that. Bhagpuss, for example, likes to use musical references in his headers, which I really like (although I admittedly don’t get many of them).

Personally, I like alliterations. I don’t forcibly try to think of one every time, as that would most likely get old pretty soon, but if one comes to mind naturally I’ll gladly use it.

In hindsight this one might have been a bit too much

However little or much thought you put into a post’s header, it can have entirely unforseen consequences. One of my own posts made me realize this, which is why I’ve started to think about the topic at all.

Moon mining for fun and profit

This post of mine, published on January 22nd, 2018, has had by far the most views of all my posts, more than twice the amount of the next highest. I’d noticed its appearance in daily statistics every now and then, but didn’t think much of it. Only when I had a look at my overall statistics a while back I grasped the scope of it.

The thing is, the post is nothing special. Just a little recap of my first experience with moon mining in EVE Online. Hence I didn’t understand why it had so many klicks at first.

Thinking about it I then realized that the reason for the unusually high amount of views is without a doubt the post’s header. Not because it’s particularly witty or anything, but because it contains a combination of words that I’m sure many an EVE player has googled at some point: “moon mining” and “profit”.

To all EVE players who came here in hopes to find specific instructions for making lots of ISK by mining moon goo: I apologize.

Now, I have to admit that I still don’t always scrutinize my headers for Google-misunderstanding-safety – Is that a thing? I think it should be – but if I intend to use words like profit, money, rich or something along those lines I’ll at the very least think it through one more time before actually using it from now on.

So yeah, a post’s header can have more to it than meets the eye on first glance, more even than the author themselves realizes. One more reason to put some thought into it before hitting the publish-button, isn’t it?

Why I don’t play a ‘healer’ in EVE Online

You can’t really say out loud that you don’t want to fill the logistics role in an EVE Online fleet. If you do you’re immediately identified and called out as a killboard whore. Mostly by people who don’t want to fly logi either, naturally.

That the folks at CCP still haven’t found a way to make logi pilots appear on killmails is one deterrent to do it, yes. People like green entries on their killboards, and I’m as guilty of that as (almost) anyone.

That’s far from being my main, let alone only reason for not wanting to be a space healer though.

So many targets…which I need to completely ignore

I don’t mind playing a healer in most MMOs. I’ve actually very much enjoyed playing one in Everquest II, SWTOR and FFXIV, among others. While I never had one as my main character – that position was mostly held by a tank – I usually prefer playing a healer over a DPS class. So I’m obviously not averse to filling group-beneficial roles, nor to actively keeping my teammates alive.

Healing people by shooting them with a big-ass cannon? Count me in!

In EVE it’s different. To me flying a logistics ship is extremely unfun, probably the most unpleasant kind of activity I’ve ever experienced in the game. So what are the differences to playing a healer in other MMORPGs?

One major aspect for me is the way targeting is handled in EVE: there’s no distinction between friendly and hostile targets. A target is a target is a target.


The tiny symbol at the bottom of each circle is all to tell someone who’s in your fleet from someone who isn’t – and someone not in your fleet isn’t necessarily a foe either.

So should you happen to have both friendlies and hostiles locked you need to be extremely careful as to not accidentally repair the hostiles or shoot the good guys. As you can only target so many ships at the same time anyway – and usually don’t have any weapons either – you mostly end up locking only friendlies when you’re logi.

Problem solved, right? In my opinion, no. The thing is, this makes me feel like I’m not really participating in the battle at all. Oh sure, I’m doing my part – and an important one at that – by keeping my mates alive, but doing that and absolutely nothing else doesn’t feel right to me.

When playing a healer in the aforementioned games I at least contributed a mixture of damage, debuffs, buffs and cures in addition to pure healing. I felt very much in the fight, just as much as when playing any other role.

FFXIV’s Astrologian being a good, very fun to play example

Another problem in EVE is that you often find yourself in situations where you just can’t save people no matter how good or fast you are. If the enemy fleet has enough alpha (i.e. first-volley damage) and their pilots are disciplined enough to lock and shoot the same target all at the same time, it dies. That’s just disheartening. Now sure, if your fleet is the stronger one it’s the other way around, but that doesn’t comfort me when I’m sitting in a ship with no weaponry whatsoever because literally all I can do is sit there and watch.

In SWTOR’s Voidstar PvP battleground a tank player and I once held a door against waves and waves of attackers for I believe almost five minutes (don’t ask me what our team’s other six players were doing). They couldn’t take the tank down while I was healing him, and they couldn’t kill me either when they tried, while our combined DPS brought them down one by one. I’m still proud of that match, and the tank player even commended me afterwards although he contributed just as much as I did.

He’s impressed and I’m pleased as punch

Of course I’m comparing a big fleetfight to 8vs8 battleground PvP here, but even in small scale PvP something like this just couldn’t happen in EVE. Because you know what? You usually can’t repair yourself as a logi, and even if you can it’s with much less efficiency. Hence a single logi doesn’t do you much good, so if you’re going to use them at all you need at least two. Better make that three or four. Damn, now we need a couple more DPS ships; we can’t heal the enemy to death, can we? Oh, and boosts would be great too. And just like that you’re not really talking about small scale PvP anymore because your fleet is suddenly 12+ strong.

So let’s recap. As a logi pilot in EVE…

I don’t feel like I’m actually participating in the fight because I have to pretty much ignore everything but locking my mates and activating my reppers in time. Incoming damage aside the enemy fleet might as well not even be there.

I contribute absolutely nothing else to the fight, I just make bars go up.

When my fleet isn’t being shot at I’m not even doing that, essentially turning me into dead weight.

When I’m being shot at I can’t even repair myself, I’m completely at the mercy of others.

And, yes, I also don’t get much recognition in terms of killboard stats for my efforts.

This is why I’m not flying logi in EVE. I don’t even have the Logistics Cruiser and -Frigate skills trained to 5, and I sure as hell won’t train a FAX alt. Let me fly booster, boosher, scout, whatever, but I will. not. fly. logi! Life’s too short for something as unfun (to me) as that.

Officially not a bad egg anymore

In March last year I talked about how I “achieved” getting to a security status of -10 in EVE Online, the worst you can have. Turns out shooting at people in low sec – a lot – makes other people as well as the NPC empires not like you very much.

Once you’re at -2 or below police ships of the corresponding NPC faction will attack you on sight in certain high sec systems. From -5 downward this applies to all of high sec, additionally other players can attack you anywhere with impunity.

All of that we already knew before we started the life of a pirate. One thing we didn’t know, though, is that the police doesn’t just attack you when you go near them – say, at a stargate, where a bunch of them always keeps watch – they also actively hunt you down wherever you go in their space. We learned that the hard way when I had the glorious idea to run Abyssal sites in high sec despite our sec status.

Oopsie, my bad

When we joined NC Dot last May, Lakisa and I acquired a bunch of clone soldier tags to buy ourselves amnesty from CONCORD, EVE’s almighty uber-space-police. In null sec your sec status doesn’t matter, but unlike pirate corps, who just never enter high sec with anything but a very fast ship or their pod, null alliances take any shortcut they can get when moving around, especially when flying slow ships. We’ve been in that situation a couple of times since then, so it was the wise thing to do indeed.

Of course we only spent just as much as necessary to get to above -2. It gets more expensive the higher you want to go, and this was enough to move freely anywhere in New Eden again.

Where does this gate lead? Doesn’t matter, I’ll take it. Because I can!

There’s a catch of course. Sometimes we shoot stuff in low sec too, so if you stay in the negative there’s always the danger of hitting -2 again.

Fortunately all that blasting NPCs to bits I talked about yesterday isn’t only lucrative, it also has a very positive effect on your sec status. You’re getting rid of pirates – or in my case rogue drones – for the greater good of the galaxy after all.

A couple of hours was all it took…

Finally one of the good guys again

And thus the last trace of my pirating days has pretty much vanished from the history books. Whether you look me up ingame or on the killboard, as long as you don’t bother to examine closely whom I killed and where you’ll never know that I was a bad egg once.


Some good deeds don’t rectify a lot of bad ones? In EVE they obviously do.

Good things come to those who wait

The first capital ship I bought in EVE Online was a Thanatos class carrier, a bit over ten years ago. I still own it today.

Somewhere in Period Basis, July 2009

This is remarkable because, rare exceptions aside, you buy or build every ship in EVE fully expecting to lose it sooner rather than later. Don’t undock what you can’t afford to lose isn’t the most important advice given to new players for nothing.

I did undock my carrier all right, but until very recently I didn’t actually utilize it the way I had intended when I bought it – namely combat. Instead I mostly used it to haul my assets whenever I needed ship replacements or my respective corporation moved their base of operations. I basically had what the community refers to as a suitcase carrier.

This limited and, frankly, quite lame usage of the ship wasn’t by choice though. My dream and main reason for buying it had been to send swarms of fighters to blot out the sun and bring destruction to my enemies.

I wonder where I got that idea from…

Unfortunately carriers were in a pretty bad place in that regard for a long time. They just weren’t that effective, mainly because you couldn’t control your fighters very well. Also, since carriers had additional bonuses for remote repair modules and the ability to fit a Triage module, carrier pilots were basically always relegated to the logistics role. I hate flying logi (I’ll save my reasons for that for another post), so I didn’t use the carrier at all most of the time.

Topping up POS shields, oh what fun

In 2016 capital ships were finally reworked quite heavily, and two results of that were the creation of Force Auxiliaries, aka FAXes, which inherited the carriers’ remote repairing capabilities and thus assumed the role of capital sized logistics ships, and a complete revamp of how fighters work.

The consequence of those changes is that carriers are now purely offensive ships, and fighters got a whole new control scheme and even some new abilities.

Alas, the ship class is still not used in PvP very often compared to all other capitals. I think this is mainly because everyone and their mother seems to own a supercarrier these days (incidentally known as mothership back in the day), which pretty much does everything a carrier does, just better. When we take out caps in NC. there’s usually a fleet of titans, supers and FAXes, and a second one for dreadnoughts and a couple more FAXes. Poor old carrier.

Titans check, supers check, FAXes check, dreads check…carriers: zero

But! Alliance leadership is adamant that we all krab a lot whenever there are no fleets going on, which in EVE terms means earning lots of ISK by engaging in PvE activities. To give us more ‘incentive’ to do so our SRP (ship replacement program) doesn’t cover pure DPS ships anymore, so if you lose your Eagle or Muninn in a fleet fight you need to earn the 400+ mil to replace it yourself.

So after all this time I finally started to use my carrier for combat. It’s only against NPCs, but it makes me pretty happy nonetheless.

Watching from afar as fighters make stuff go boom

It’s also freaking profitable.

For a very long time my main means to earn ISK in EVE has been running level 4 missions in high sec. Hence I have a lot of experience with it, and I know pretty well how much I can earn by doing it. Spoiler: it’s not all that much.

The measuring stick for how effective you are when shooting NPCs is ticks. The game pays out accumulated NPC bounties every 20 minutes, which is called a tick. When mission running I was lucky to break the 10 million mark every now and then, 15 when I got one of the really good missions.

The other day, after running a couple anomalies in my carrier, I got this:


Now, this doesn’t quite tell the whole story. While doing missions I also looted and salvaged most of the wrecks, which a Marauder class battleship can do pretty much without slowing down mission progress itself. In null, since we’re living in a drone region and most drones don’t drop any loot, the ISK is all you get. Technically I could salvage those wrecks, but the time investment isn’t worth it. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that I now earn much, much more per hour.

And it’s quite fun too, believe it or not, because wih the new fighter controls it actually feels a bit like I’d hoped when I bought the carrier all those years ago.

Rogue drone battleship under concentrated fighter squadron fire

The irony is of course that of all points in time I could have chosen to start doing PvE content in null sec I’m doing it now, mere weeks after CCP has decided to make such things more dangerous by giving us delayed local chat in null. Some timing, eh?

I’m pretty confident that it’ll work out all right though. We always have a response-fleet up, intel channels are used religiously and I have my own cloaky scout to give me some additional intel too. To be honest, I don’t quite get why so many folks have managed to lose their ratting ships in null sec before the blackout at all. You just need to be aligned and the moment you see someone you don’t know appear in local you warp off. Doing that cuts into your ticks though, and we can’t have that, can we?

Warping to safety after a hard day’s work

Anyway, I’m really happy that I finally use the carrier to actually blast stuff to bits. If all goes well I might even have the ISK to buy its big brother and use that for PvP someday. It’s always good to have goals, isn’t it?

R.I.P. Marvel Heroes

I know, I know, it’s been almost two years since Marvel Heroes was shut down unceremoniously by our cruel overlords at Disney. What’s more, I’ve never actually talked about the game here before. So why now?

Well, since I’m currently quite hyped for Lost Ark but can’t play it yet – Naithin’s glowing tales about the game don’t make it any easier either – I was looking for a somewhat similar substitute (an accidental alliteration, awesome). That’s when I realized that of all games I’ve ever played Marvel Heroes might have been the one with the most similarities to Lost Ark, at least in some regards.

Of course I can’t play MH either, what with it having been shut down and all. Sucks to be me I guess.

Anyway, what I can do is give the game a proper, if belated, fairwell. It’s the least it deserves because it was a really great game, and whatever reasons they had for pulling the plug, the gaming world is the poorer for it.


By all accounts the game wasn’t actually that good when it released in 2013. I wouldn’t know because I only started to play in July 2015, and it had been heavily improved upon by then. I picked Iron Man as my first hero and had a blast from the get-go.

Of course the MCU train had accelerated to full speed at that time and I was eager to play my favourite heroes, so the game obviously got bonus points for that. But to give credit where it’s due, they got the look and feel of characters like Captain America, The Punisher and the aforementioned Iron Man just right in my opinion.

Cap’s shield attacks, for example, felt really strong and impactful. Of all ARPG melee characters I’ve tried he was the most satisfying.

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about

The ranged characters also had some cool tricks up their sleeves, my favourite being ‘beam weaving’. The term was invented by the community and referred to skills you channeled by holding down the corresponding hotkey and aimed with the mouse. You basically weaved the beam/bullets/whatever over the enemies until they were all dead, like Iron Man does here. Fun stuff.

Basically like this, just more effective

What really set the game apart from pretty much every other game I’ve ever played was how much mayhem was going on at all times.

This is actually a rather tame example, unfortunately I don’t have a better one

So many enemies, so many effects, so much loot. The game almost felt like a bullet hell shooter, except that you usually didn’t die from just one hit. ‘Patrol zones’ were the most intense in this regard because those weren’t instanced just for you or your group. Consequently, whenever you spotted a boss spawn on the map you could be sure that at least half a dozen other players were already there, throwing everything and the kitchen sink at it. Of course those encounters’ difficulty was tuned accordingly, so you had to be quick on your feet to dodge telegraphs, take care of countless adds and burn down the boss at the same time.

MH_Boss down
And here I thought Path of Exile showers players with boots…err…loot

It could be almost stressful at times, frantically zipping from one bossfight or ring event to the next (noticed that Next Event timer on the screenshot above?), hoovering up tons of loot and reward-containers with even more loot, until the inventory was completely full and you had to take a break to manage all that stuff. But it was a lot of fun and felt pretty epic.

I quite liked the graphics too. The style was, unsurprisingly, somewhat comic-like, but not too colourful for my taste. Most heroes’ default costumes were modeled after their classic (read: old) looks from the comics though. If you wanted them to resemble their MCU counterparts or more modern comic versions you needed to be extremely lucky with costume drops or buy them in the cash shop.

Default Cap and Rocket on the left, Avengers-The-Movie Cap on the right

I was ok with that though because the payment model was pretty fair overall. As far as I remember there were no P2W aspects, and many shop items could also be earned by playing a reasonable amount of time, additional heroes being a good example. Of which there were 63 towards the end, so there was something for everyone, and you could level every single one of them up to level 10 before deciding whether to unlock them or not.

One of these in-engine cinematic moments that remind me of Lost Ark

Another unique feature the game had – unique among ARPGs that is – were raids. I didn’t experience these myself, but from what I’ve seen they provided series of bossfights for groups of ten people, much akin to raids in MMORPGs. As per usual for such types of content the gear requirements were pretty high, which is why my rather casual way of playing the game didn’t get me there in time, but I would have loved to smack those bosses with a big round chunk of vibranium in the face.

Overall I didn’t spend a huge amount of time with the game despite all its virtues, at least when compared to the countless hours I’ve sunk into Path of Exile and Diablo II. I think the main reason for that is the aforementioned stress level the game tended to induce, which was a bit too much for me at times. Still, it was a great game and I miss it a lot.

Blaugust 2019 kicks off

The game, as Sherlock Holmes likes to say, is on.


This year’s festival of blogging is now officially underway. I’m pretty excited to be a part of it even though it’s my second time already. Time flies.

Fortunately it’s not mandatory for participants to publish a post each and every day because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to this time around.

We’ll be on vacation from 20th to 30th and have no internet connection most of the time, so there’s that.

What’s more though, writing feels…kinda hard at the moment. There’s no particular reason for it – at least none that I’m consciously aware of – but for the last couple of months I’ve needed substantially more time to finish each piece. Some I’ve tinkered with for a whole week until I was finally satisfied enough to publish them.

On the occasion of this blog’s first birthday I talked about my rather high threshold for topics I deem ‘worthy’ to write about, which hasn’t really changed. After many a fleet op in EVE or playing any other game I wonder if I want or should write a post about it, and very often I’m like nah, too boring.

Right now there’s something else though. Even if I have a topic that I really want to talk about I can’t just sit down, start to type whatever comes to mind, and boom, a couple hundred or even a thousand words have appeared just like that. For a while it worked like this, at the moment not so much.


I don’t really think it’s something serious like writer’s block, I guess sometimes my mind is just too occupied with other stuff lately.

Anyhow, until we board the train to offline-land I’ll at least try to indulge you all with something new to read every day.

Should you find yourself wondering what is this Blaugust everyone’s talking about anyway, here’s everything you need to know. You can still sign up, too. The more the merrier.