Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Land mines... in space! [OOP]

Sorry for the massive lack of posts, been dealing with lots of IRL BS the past few months but I think things are straightened out. Anyways, I've come up with an idea that I think could be integrated into the game in a decent fashion.

I find it incredibly odd that we don't see these in-game already. I am, of course, talking about minefields.

Landmines (spacemines) could be deployed around strategic 0.0 locations like gates and POSs. They would provide a sort of passive defense against incursions as well as a tool to set traps in enemy space. Pirates could deploy small minefields around asteroid belts to harass enemy operations or use them to blockade a POS with a much smaller gang than would usually be necessary. If implemented correctly, they could bolster the effectiveness of the 'roaming gangs' CCP wants to make important in 0.0.

The Mines
I would look to an existing weapon for inspiration. Bombs (fired from Stealth Bombers) come in a variety of flavors and deliver a massive punch. Mines would include the full damage type range as well as Lockbreaker and Void and deal similar damage upon detonation. They would be fired one at a time from a specialized Mine Layer module and would anchor close by. Upon anchoring, they would enter a cloaked state, ready to detonate. Similar to ship cloaks, anything within 2000 meters (2km) of a mine would uncloak it. Mines will recloak if the offending object leaves the 2000 meter zone to prevent friendly ships from accidently decloaking a whole field of mines.  Once the mine is anchored the pilot who deploys it can set some guidelines for how it will function. The proximity trigger can be set for anything between 2-4kms, and the blast radius up to 10km. Similar to stealth bombs, mines would run the possibility of destroying each other. As such, they would either have to be spaced apart with larger blast radii or packed together with smaller radii. Mines would decay after a certain amount of time, preventing a Vietnam effect.

Now, designing a method for deploying the mines presents several opportunities. As an aspiring Stealth Bomber pilot, I wouldn't protest to scrapping a Mine Layer module altogether and making the mines deployable only from Bomb Launchers, if only to provide SBs with another function. On the other hand, I'd really like to see Destroyer hulls get some love, and it would be interesting to see a TII destroyer hull based around the concept of mine warfare. These would be able to function as both minesweepers and minelayers, depending on whether they fit a Mine Layer module or a Mine Sweeper/tractor combo. The biggest problem this would pose is it's opposition to CCPs philosophy of "Don't make ships just to make ships." Such roles could likely be sidelined to normal destroyers just as effectively with some small changes.

If it turned out to be better for design that mines should only be used as a defensive tool, they could require a module to be onlined with the big shiny new SOV system in the system they are deployed in.

There has to be a way to counter minefields, should they serve an offensive role at all. Either a dedicated minesweeper (see above) or a destroyer would likely fit two things. A Mine Sweeper module allowing the pilot to detect mines from +5km away depending on the quality of the module (T2 > T1 etcs) and then disable the proximity triggers of a targetted mine. Common sense would dictate that the minesweeper would also fit a tractorbeam to pull them in without coming into range of other mines.

and ugh falling asleep but will finish tomorrow ASAP

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Heads Up [OOP]

I'm not dead, but every computer on my block got fried during a storm. Posting from my phone is painful so normal posting will resume when I fix my computer. If anyone from TBRA reads this, let everyonreveryone know I will return ASAP. Corp site won't load on my phone.

Friday, October 9, 2009

WARPATH: Purgatory

Gravel crunched under the armored boots of the Kaalakiota Home Guard as they fanned across the artificial park. Intended to serve as a hub for the station's residential area, various synthetic plants poked out of the rocks. Ryushi's visor HUD picked out each individual leaf and pebble, giving them a faint blue outline. The residential section's lights had been shut off to disorient the Gallente citizens and the black-clad Home Guard were essentially invisible in the pitch black of the station's interior.

The Kaalakiota sergeant took a knee behind a polycrete bench and motioned for the others to assume firing positions. Ryushi dropped prone along a path leading to a corridor of hab modules and flipped out his the bipod on his plasma rifle and disengaged the safety. Somewhere to his left, the sergeant was priming his CMTAC exoskeleton's weapons. All around the park the Home Guard were establishing firing lines and kill zones into every hab corridor and positioning themselves between the residences and the park exit.

When all the troopers had confirmed their readiness, the sergeant issued a subvocal command to the station computer and the fire alarms in every hab module triggered simultaneously, illuminating flashing strips along the wall directing residents to the exit. The panicked Gallenteans poured out of their hab-modules and a loudspeaker urged them towards the park exit. They saw nothing of the Home Guard crouching just meters away as a 'safety officer' across the hub beckoned them over.

The Gallenteans made it about halfway across the park when the firing started. The Home Guard emerged from their cover and showed no restraint. Bolts of blue plasma scorched holes in dozens of bodies and the stench of burnt flesh began to spread, only to be dispersed by the station's air scrubbers. The dual repeating railguns on CMTAC belched out bolts of metal death, ripping apart any unfortunate enough to be subject to their wrath.

Ryushi swiveled his sights back and forth across the corridor, cutting down any who dared emerge from their hab modules. It was ridiculously easy. Like shooting feral slaver hounds in hunting exercises. These weren't people. They were monsters. Each and every one of them was individually responsible for every bad thing that had ever happened to the Caldari people. Even now, they were trying to find ways to steal back Caldari Prime, a world they had no right to.

After what seemed like an hour but in reality was no more than a few minutes, the order came to cease fire. The Home Guard stood and spread out to examine their handiwork. A short Achuran man entered the park followed by a retinue of security officers. His uniform labeled him an officer of the Provist Directive. The security team began to set up recording equipment and the Home Guard sergeant ordered the survivors brought out. Ryushi clipped his rifle to his back helped the other troopers drag the few screaming survivors out of their hab-modules, and into the center of the park.

For one man, the carnage was too much. The second Ryushi relaxed his grip on the man's shoulder, he collapsed to the ground and assumed a fetal position, his body quivering and strange wailing noises coming from his mouth. The Provist officer strode over and pulled a disproportionately large pistol from his hip and put two slugs into the man's head with no more effort than one would exert to stomp a bothersome bug. He gave Ryushi a curt nod before returning to the 'camera crew'.

The survivors were bound with zipcuffs and assembled in the middle of the room. One of the security officers had tied cloth armbands to their shoulders, each bearing the emblem of the Templis Dragonaurs, a super-radical Caldari militant group responsible for a large number of terrorist attacks on Gallentean citizens both inside and outside Gallente space. Several black market Minmatar assault rifles were laid at their feet. Behind them stood the Home Guard, completing the picture.

"Are we ready?" asked the Provist officer, "We still have another station to sanitize before the day is up."

"Aye, sir." came the reply, the security team 'camera man'.

"Then begin."


"Citizens of the Caldari State, Gallentean neighbors, it grieves me -- and rightly all of the Caldari people -- to deliver this news. It is with a heavy heart that I must announce an attack by the terrorists known as the Templis Dragonaurs on the Deep Core Mining Medical Station in a system that cannot be disclosed until investigations are completed. The terrorists first assassinated the Sukuuvestaa Peace and Order officers assigned to protect the Gallenteans, and then massacred the helpless citizens in their homes.

"Fortunately, a Home Guard unit was able to intervene before the militants could escape, and a number of the Templis Dragonaurs were apprehended."

The Provist officer motioned with his hand and the camera cut to the scene in the middle of the park, Gallente prisoners on their knees while the Home Guard firing squad prepared to eliminate their 'terrorist' prisoners.

"All of New Eden must rest assured that the Caldari State will not tolerate disunity, unlawfulness, and dishonour. Threats to any citizens within Directive-controlled space will be found and eliminated with extreme prejudice. For every action against our nation, there will be an opposing reaction of infinitely more force and fury! Let it not be said that the Caldari shy away from justice, for justice is swift! Justice is unforgiving! And justice will be exacted!"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Couple updates [OOP]

Light news!
  • I've added ISKsense to the site, down on the bottom right. I'm a naturally lazy person, so I figured it'd give me more motivation to write. All the links are approved by CCP, so if you're feeling generous and want to help fatten my wallet, feel free to click some of them. (For those that don't know, ISKsense is like AdSense, except I get 30,000 ISK for every link that someone clicks.)
  • Working on a story post that will provide more background on my character and why he joined the Guristas.
  • CrazyKinux has just put up a speedlinking post with some links you should definitely check out if you haven't already, namely the Eurogamer article on DUST 514 that I mentioned earlier. Also, TECH THREE FRIGATES.
  • Nashh Kadavr needs to hurry up and announce his super secret CDM before I die of suspense. I'm personally hoping to see Nashh versus Alia Xi.

I'm out!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

MCC taking fire! Fall back! [OOP]

Looks like Eurogamer got a preview of the upcoming DUST 514 at Fanfest, and boy am I jealous. Hopefully CCP will release the gameplay footage they showed off after Fanfest. The article goes over some interesting points that I figured I'd share my opinion on.

If CCP is different from other developers in one way above all others - and CCP is definitely different from other developers in more than one way - it's philosophical.
This is so true. In addition to EVE, I'm an avid World of Warcraft player. So what. Bite me. Anyway, CCP and Blizzard have such radically different policies that would need multiple posts to list. The most obvious one though, is public relations. Blizzard is incredibly secretive about what they're doing when you compare them to CCP. It'll be a cold day in hell when Blizzard announces their ETA for an upcoming major patch (the equivalent of an EVE expansion).

One other thing to touch on: CCP has the CSM, which has proven to be incredibly successful for bettering the game. Although it's not widely known, Blizzard actually has something along these lines too. They've basically recruited the best players to come out and play the game ahead of everyone else and provide feedback. This little internal testing team provides insight on class changes and content balance etc etc.

Initially, EVE players will be able to hire DUST players to attack planets or districts of planets for them, and players of both games will be able to join the same Corps and Alliances. 
The first thing that came to mind when I read this was a small squad of Amarr paladins bunkered behind blockades and trenches, laser rifles at the ready, as a vast but poorly equipped and undertrained army numbering in the thousands swarms their position. Goonswarm has landed.

Goons aside, the opportunity to fight for your EVE corp on the ground in DUST is going to be interesting when applied to carebear corps as well as over here at the Guristas Associates. I don't really think we can 'pirate' planets but it would be interesting to see CCP include a mechanic where during the course of a major battle small 3rd-party raiding groups could come and wreak havoc on both sides of the conflict. Alternatively, the DUST side of TGA and other corps/alliances that don't focus on PvP in EVE could simply serve as another moneymaker.

There will be a command structure, with infantry and squadron leaders on each side led by a player-commander on board the hulking Mobile Command Centre airship.
I think this is going to be an important part of how well DUST succeeds. For casual players who aren't really interested in the politics and ramifications of alliance battles, CCP is going to need to find a way to make sure some impatient kid doesn't end up with control of the MCC. But I'm sure the Goons will show everyone how that works anyway.

Here, things get a little muddy, because money comes into it - both real and virtual. Naturally for EVE's ruthlessly capitalist universe, you'll be amassing wealth - in the same ISK currency as the PC players - and there will be a player-driven economy feeding into this customisation system. But you'll also be buying items for real money, through micro-transactions - because DUST will not charge a subscription fee, but CCP needs a steady source of income from the game because "we need to run servers and so on", says Sveinsson.
Not much to say on this since I'm not market player but CCP is gonna need to be careful about monetary balance. Because the cash flow is EVE -> DUST, people who are already in possession of large amounts of ISK are going to start with a massive advantage. The same goes for Micro-transactions. They'll need to make sure that the only way to win isn't spending lots and lots of real-world money. I'm amazing that they aren't requiring a subscription though. Awesome news!

But a couple of districts on each planet are reserved for DUST's mercenaries - and these have special value as staging posts for War Barges, the giant orbital craft that house the MCCs and act as optional social areas for DUST players, with apartments, hangars, promenades and trophy rooms.
This is awesome. It means DUST players will have something to fight for beyond ISK to get better at more fighting. You'll pay me to shoot some Gallente and then I can go buy a warehouse to show off my Warthogs- I mean Caldari-mobiles? Yes please.

"DUST is a catalyst for EVE players, one of many that you can subscribe to if you're trying to capture system," he says. "DUST mercs will just be more points. If the incentive is great enough they will use them; if you don't want to use them and your enemy does, you'll have to."
Looks like the primary effect of DUST 514 in EVE will be in relation to the new sov system in Dominion, but I'm hopeful that they find a way to incorporate DUST into low-sec and even empire space. On the other hand, maybe TGA will be drawn into 0.0 either as mercs or sov-holders with all these new mechanics!

And that's all I've really got. If you didn't do it already, scroll back up and click the link and read the whole article. I'm out.

Friday, October 2, 2009

All's fair in love and war... except everything.

Short update (not really). I met a nice girl in the Guristas bar in Ishomilken by the name of Viella. Civire, like me. Hell, we even had matching tattoos. Weird coincidence. Turns out she'd dropped out of the State War Academy to try and make a living hauling between Jita and lowsec for the Guristas. It sounded boring, but she technically didn't have friendly status with us so even I could get away with shooting her up.

I bought Viella more than a few drinks and she was ordering another when I decided to ask her for help. The music blasting out of strategically placed speaker drones was all encompassing, some weird fusion of Caldari parade music and Minmatar mindfuck percussion. I swear I picked out a few notes from Icharugi's Sixteenth Odyssey for Kalaakiota. Anyways, I managed to drag Viella out of the bar and into the corridor where she was just barely retaining enough sobriety to speak. I wasn't much of a drinker myself, and had to speak slowly and simply for her. I asked her if she could acquire some Rifter hulls as well as weapons modules and ammunition back in empire space. I offered to pay her of course, but for whatever reason, alcohol or something else, she said she'd do it for free. All I had to do was cover station tariffs. Not bad.

We returned to the bar for a few hours, back to the eternal party of the Guristas, and I considered trying to coax Viella back to my bunk but she was already sobering up. Stupid capsuleer metabolism. When I reminded her of our agreement as we parted ways, the rather angry look in her eyes told me she likely wouldn't have made the same agreement fully sober.


Viella got back with the hulls today. I threw a couple million ISK her way despite previous arrangements and at this her eyes lit up. I tagged her in my NEOCOM for future business and she hurried off. Something about a shipment a Manticore that needed to be in Providence soon. I watched through the station windows as her Iteron III ripped open a warp tunnel and disappeared. Something about a girl with her character flying the giant space phallus that was an Iteron amused me.


I had the hangar crew fit one of my new Rifters and I stripped down and slipped into my pod. The hangar cranes lowered it into the ship and I initiated the undock sequence. Seconds later I realized I had neither insured nor named the ship, and I scrambled to do both. I shot a line to the station's insurance office and Aura connected me to the automated systems. Probably better than dealing with the seedy businessmen that ran it. Not feeling particularly creative, I designated the Rifter as Misericorde like every other Rifter I fly, and undocked for real.

Jumping through several systems, I spotted no potential targets. Mara was well populated, by scanning revealed that most pilots in the system were piloting battlecruisers and were engaged with a Pithi fleet somewhere in deadspace. I moved on, eventually ending up in Aurohunen. A number of the battlecruisers appeared behind me on the gate as I uncloaked and I asked in local comms why they were going after a lone rifter with so much firepower.

The Drake pilots explained that a Gallente battleship had engaged them and they were fleeing. I felt some sympathy towards them, they were Caldari afterall, victims of Gallente hypocrisy and double standards just like me, but they were still loyal to the State. Oh well. Their loss.

Just as I was about to head back to Isho, I identified another Rifter pilot and following my usual strategy, initiated a fleet link with him. To my surprise for a pilot of his age, he accepted. I forced a fleet warp to the system's star but his ship was nowhere to be found on the overview. I ordered Aura to locate and warp to his ship, and my warp tunnel collapsed in an asteroid belt, revealing his rifter firing on a number of Gurista 'Wreckers'. Apparently he couldn't compete with them, and was burning away with his afterburners. I locked him and began my pursuit.

The Wreckers returned to their patrols near the asteroids as I took matters into my own hands and proceeded to engage all modules when I had spiraled into range. But hold on a second... He'd dropped fleet and tried to scramble me first. Weird. Okay. No big deal.

We orbited each other at speed, autocannon slugs and rockets filling the space between us as we danced in the name of death. I noticed my shields were dropping significantly faster than his, but a lucky rocket strike near his pod evened things out and as our shields failed and armor began to strip away, I saw myself pulling into the lead. I tried to engage my armor repairer but the adrenaline coursing through my body made it difficult to formulate coherent commands for my ship. As the last of his armor melted into the void I managed to initiate the repper, and it looked like the fight was mine.

It wasn't.

Another pilot appeared in local comms and seconds later a Cylone dropped into the belt. Shit. Shit. Shit.

It crossed my mind that I might have time to finish off the rifter before the cyclone manages to get a lock on me. Experiene with my drake had taught me that battlecruisers took ages to target frigates.

Not so, in this case.

Just seconds after he arrived a number of drones spilled out of the belly of his ship and began racing towards us. I tried to warp out but even as the other rifter exploded and I began to accelerate towards a safespot, the Cyclone scrambled me. His drones made short work of my rifter, and lag with my control systems prevented me from escaping with my pod.

I woke up seconds later, feeling a strange absence of something as my new body had not been exposed to high levels of adrenaline for several consecutive minutes. I don't even know how to describe it. The emptiness was quickly filled however, as I seethed with rage.

Not at the loss of a ship, no. I overcame the sense of despair at losing a ship long ago. But I was angry at the Cyclone pilot. The first equal fight I've been in where I matched my opponent in both skill and firepower is interrupted so close to it's finish. It doesn't really have anything to do with fairness. I mean, camping the gates into Jan is hardly fair for our victims, and half of the pirate spirit in a fight is ensuring you have some sort of advantage (Unless your some crazy bastard like Kane Rizzel ) but I can't help it. It's embarrassing to listen to battle stories in the bar while the only kills listed under my name on the corp charts are some unfortunate novices in ships hardly fit for combat.

Updates! [OOP]*

*For future reference, [OOP] in the title of a post will designate it as an Out-of-Pod (out of character) post.

Not to much to talk about right now, but I submitted Fury and Fire for addition to the EVE Online Blogroll setup by CrazyKinux and just in time! He's updated it with all recent submissions, including me. Hopefully that'll garner some more attention for Fury and Fire.

You can check out the entire EVE blogroll here and the navigation links at the top of his page have lots of other useful information.

Some other blogs I follow closely:

  • Roc's Ramblings - Roc is a champion of the anti-pirate cause in New Eden, but he's an awesome writer and the creator of the wonderful Capsuleer application for the Apple iPhone/iPod Touch. Anyone with access to the AppStore should definitely download his app. Best of all, it's free.
  • Rifter Drifter - Wensley's blog is great for aspiring pirates and pvpers with a particular interest in the Rifter. He's a shining example of how far one can go in frigates with dedication and skill. Not to mention, following links on his site got me into my current corp.
  • Nashh Kadavr's Eve Blog - Nashh is both a corpmate in TBRA and an aspiring member of the Bastards . You might recognize him from his Celebrity Death Matches (CDMs) with popular members of the EVE blogging community.

There are a couple of others I plan to link in the future but I'm in a bit of a hurry. Zombieland is out tonight!

Also some shameless corp promotion here.  The Black Rabbits Academy is currently recruiting aspiring pirates. Anyone who already knows what they're doing and isn't applying for the Bastards (all two of you) can check out The Black Rabbits as opposed to the Academy.