Monday, 30 September 2013

My History: Part Three - Recently

Note: Parts One and Two of this history can be found here and here

The fourth part of any large Alliance is the forums and social squads. I joined them all, and found people to vouch me in to the vouch only ones.  I made a lot of friends and a couple of enemies. The word "zulu" will forever spawn mixed emotions from me.

I eventually became fairly well known, and worked my way into several middle management positions. At some point or other I've held the following space jobs for Test Alliance:

  • Internal Diplomat
  • HR Drone
  • Reimbursement Drone
  • Skirmish FC
  • Mentor (I setup a mentor program)
  • Logistics Sub-Director

The last one was by far the highest position I held. There were a handful of us promoted when the position was created to deal with the additional pressures of sov warfare when Test invaded and took Delve, Querious and Period Basis. It was ALOT of work, and the sub-directors existed solely to co-ordinate SBUs, TCUs and IHUBs being dropped, as well as putting up (and tearing down) staging towers and money towers (towers that extract moon resources, the staple of Alliance income).

The everyday jobs invovled emptying silos for the moons we held, which were as far as 3 or 4 regions away. By this point I had my own Rorqual and could call upon the Recon department to light my cynos when I couldn't be bothered doing it myself.

To reward these tedious jobs, we were all paid a PLEX per month, and the top three silo-emptiers per month were paid a PLEX too.

Whilst we were taking Querious, we took a Neodymium moon. I, tongue in cheek, asked if I could take it as a personal moon, and to my surprise was told I could. I put a small tower on it and it lived for 3-4 months and made me a fortune. About a month before Test tried to compete with the CFC OTEC (a cartel controlling technetium), my moon died. A lot of people were mad that we had towered a valuable moon with a small tower and I wisely shut my mouth and didn't tell a sole. I had stockpiled some of my moon goo, and when the price spiked, I sold it all and made a very pretty penny.

Due to the size of Dreddit, personal moons were not allowed, as it involved giving out roles, which in turn could be used by spies. By being a Logistics Sub-director, I was trusted enough to have these roles permanently, and so when the opportunity presented itself, I took two vanadium moons and turned them into a reaction chain, making Fernite Carbide. In addition to the profits these 4 towers made (each reaction took two towers), I made my own POS fuel from local ice and PI, with further increased my profits. Some more pretty pennies.

The whole goon thing happened, for which I have a belated post planned, and we lost all our space. I tore down all my shit, and sold off most of my assets. With Test numbers declining, and activity waning, I decided I needed to do something else. I'd had a brief stint living in a C2 wormhole with some other Test people and our alts before our CEO (and the only person who could fly an orca) left to somewhere else.

Wormhole life was fun, I'd never done much small scale specialised PVP and wormhole life had it in abundance. 

About a week ago, I decided I would leave Test, and joined a PVP wormhole corp - 0ne Percent [.-1-.].

My History: Part Two - Please Ignore

Note: The first part of this story is here.

With my only Eve friend gone, his assets irretrievable and his account in deficit, I was on my own. I continued to dip my finger in the mission pie, but I really had no idea what I was doing. I would run a Level One mission, and run to the station everytime somebody with a yellow tag came into local. My activity dwindled until I was just logging in to update my skill queue.

In the world of real life, I had recently stumbled onto the site Reddit, and whilst perusing the various subreddits, stumbled across one dedicated to Eve. Further reading showed me that Reddit had it's own Eve clan! I read up and applied.

The HR guys there were so shocked that I'd been playing alone for 3 months, I think they only accepted me out of pity as I'm pretty sure my post count and voting history wouldn't have met the requirements.
My passion for the game rekindled almost immediately. These guys had a voice comms server, and IM service and they were giving me free ships!

Within hours of being accepted, I had podded myself to Fountain.

Over the next few months, all I did was absorb information and knowledge. The wiki page gleaned a huge amount of written information, and there was a huge established structure for teaching new people (newbros) how to play and providing answers to as many dumb questions we could think of.

I was quickly set up with a few people who I could follow around, salvaging their wrecks until I'd saved enough for my own Drake.

Drakes were good, I could fly them and shoot red crosses next door to our staging system, and then when the baddies came, I could fly it there too, all I had to do was swap a few modules around.

I was a bit of a carebear. I ran anomalies a lot, and still ran away when any baddies came into the system. But I went on as many strat ops as I could, and enjoyed them too. Like a lot of others, I remember my first titan bridge, and my first structure shoot. I also vaguely remember everyone being super duper excited because they were killing a super carrier or a titan, but I can't remember any details other than I went in a Rifter and I died without getting on the killmail.

Eventually, I'd skilled up enough to get into a Maelstrom, the next step in Test doctrine ships. A big shiny ship with massive sails that fired huge cannons and made things explode. That was pretty cool.

I'd also found a fit on the wiki that said I could rat in it too (thanks Fras Siabi), so off I went and bought one.
I warped it to the first anomaly, at range like the wiki told me to, and started shooting things. I was suddenly hit by a real urge to poo, something which happens when I get excited about something and neglect my bodily functions for a few hours (the time it took to buy, fit, name and move my new battleship.

Whilst I was liberating my waste, I heard a sound no one should hear. That horrible low shield sound. I had mine set at about 75% shield and I quickly scuttled back to my desk. (After the necessary sanitation had been quickly completed). Oh dear. There is a purifier orbiting me. He's killing me. I can't shoot him. He's killed my drones.

I suffered the long 5-10 minutes watching my shield, armor and finally hull dwindle until I exploded. Awesome.

I decided that going back to ratting with a Drake would be awful and so I applied to every internal group I could.

For those that have never been in a large alliance:

Most large Alliance are split up into various groups, each with their own responsibilities. Broadly speaking, these groups are FCs, Recon and Logistics.
  • FCs are the ones who provide the content, they lead the fleets and shoot the towers.
  • Recon are the ones that have the eyes, they find the enemy fleets, light the cynos and scout the towers.
  • Logistics are the ones that provide the framework, they maintain the sov, empty the silos and place the towers.
I applied to all 3. And was accepted.

I enjoyed FCing, despite not having a clue what I was doing. I FC'd quite a lot of frigate gangs, roaming around Fountain and the various deployments (Tenal and Venal were a blur and I slipped into "just log on to change skills" mode for a small time) catching things on gates and generally having a good time. I mostly did it for the social side. Being able to interact with all the people in my fleet, without feeling like I was interrupting someone was brilliant and was what i've always enjoyed most about leading fleets. Most fleets ended with us all dying, but a large majority of them came out with a green killboard.

I remember my first battlecruiser roam. We went out from 6VDT with Drakes and Hurricanes, and down into Delve. We got about 10 jumps and killed a ratting ship in a belt when a superior force was sighted and we ran like mother fuckers all the way home, with some amazing tactical manoeuvres where we tricked the enemy into thinking we'd take the short route home instead of the really long one...

I also enjoyed logistics. There's something soothing about knowing you are part of the machine that keeps a huge infrastructure greased, oiled and running smoothly. I fuelled POS and Jump Bridges with T1 industrials, and also set up dick stars for three hours (I have a long long post planned for that topic). I envied those with a Rorqual, and set it as a goal for my first capital ship.

The recon side was a bit less interesting, I didn't have the patience to sit in a given system for hours at a day, but I did my fair share of cynos in odd locations.

I have always considered myself a barely average FC. I'm not good at small gang, or even medium gang, but I can control 256 autists fairly well, and mostly achieve strategic objectives. I struggle when it comes to situations that I've never come across before, and I'm far too cautious, and unwilling to take chances. This has worked against me several times. I also get caught up with some things and forget the basics, like keep moving and be ready to warp if you get bombed. This also worked against me several times.

I quickly realised that less people got mad at me when I concentrated on Alliance Logistics so that's where I put my time and effort.

My History: Part One - Beginnings

Note: This particular blog post is rather long. Mostly as I didn't want to split it into too many posts, and also because it contains 3 years worth of information. The good parts are not highlighted.

I've been playing Eve Online since around 2009.

My friend and room-mate (also landlord - it's complicated) was playing a game for hours and hours on end, and in my efforts to be sociable and friendly, I enquired.

I'd heard of subscription MMOs before, mostly in the guide of WoW, but at the time I was a poor student and four extra pints and a kebab was much more important than a monthly subscription to a video game.
However, after watching him play for a number of hours, I decided to give the trial a go.

After a monumental amount of time downloading the client, and signing my life away to CCP Games, I logged in and created my character. I've long used Notmo as my gaming alias, and this was no different. I sculpted a dashing male character and clicked some random buttons that defined what race I was.

It's at this point, I should mention that I was not playing on a desktop machine. I was playing on a laptop. No, a netbook. A 13" netbook. That 13" includes the plastic around the actual screen.

Minutes later, I learned that my avatar was an appaling abonination when viewed on a reasonable sized screen.

I still remember the utter confusion of trying to work out what the fuck I was supposed to be doing, and the desperation of my voice as I begged my friend to tell me what skills to train, what ship to buy and how to warp it around. And also to lend me some ISK.

My memories of the next few weeks are rather hazy, but from what I can deduce, I was following my friend round in a Rifter, killing the frigates while he killed the other stuff, and then when he didn't want to play, running level one missions a few jumps away.

There is one distinct memory I have of the two of us, along with another one of his RL friends flying a small convoy of two Drakes and a Rifter, having to traverse lowsec in order to move to a different mission hub. That was a tense evening comprised of terms of did not understand. What were perches and safes? Who were these pirates? What do you mean they could just blow us up? Luckily, the move went without too much drama, but I think it was that evening that got me hooked to this game.

After another few weeks, my friend decided he wanted to upgrade his ship, from a Drake to a Tengu. Unfortunately, he lacked the ISK to do this, and so decided to buy it from a nice Chinese lady with his credit card. The evening the ISK arrived in his wallet, he immediately purchased a suitably blinged Tengu, gave me 500m and we went and shot a few red crosses. The next morning, his wallet balance was red and was preluded by the '-' symbol. Oh dear.

"It's OK" he stated, "We can just rat until I make the money back. I just have to NOT die, and you'll have to buy all my ammo, not get any of the rat bounties and sell all of the loot/salvage" (I was following in a Noctis rather than a Rifter at this point). I felt guilty that CCP had taken all his money, and yet the money he gave me still sat pretty in my own wallet.

We followed through on that plan for about a week, by which time he got very bored very quickly and went back to Borderlands.

I, however, carried on.

I upgraded my account (thanks Student Loan Company), worked out what EveMon was and slowly started to decipher what this game was about, and how all of the different things worked.

~~~~~wavy lines~~~~~~~

For your amusement, here's the Rifter I was flying - I recently found it whilst consolidating assets spread around HighSec.

The Introduction

My name is Notmo.

That's a lie, my persona and main character in Eve Online is Notmo.

You won't get my real name without buying me a drink first. I've recently started a new episode of my ongoing Eve career, and as such, thought this would be a good time to start a blog on the subject.

Too long have Greedy Goblin and Poetic Stanziel had all the glory, and yet that's the status I wish to aquire by writing these posts. There''ll be a new post every week day, and I'll try to keep them on topic as much as possible. There'll hopefully be much less autism and a much better grasp of English than the afore mentioned too. Maybe I'll get a job at CCP one day.

Lastly, please remember that these words are my own opinion, based on my experiences of this game, it's content and it's people. Much will be said in satire, and whilst I appreciate feedback in any form it comes, if you're mean to me, I'll call you a mouthbreather and move on with my life.

I also like to type in fairly short sentences. So, you'll have to get used to that...