My Eve Online experience so far

At this point, I have been playing for a few months. Enough to get me up to about 7 million skill points if that clears anything up for you. I have seen many of the memes, browsed many of the blogs, and followed the advice of many. Still, I feel a bit lost. But I have had fun most of the time. As I mentioned in a previous post, my in-game name is Spectre Imperium in case you feel like saying hi, putting a bounty on my head, or trying to scam me, or whatever other nefarious activity you have planned.

Me, in all my glory

Me, in all my glory

Like most people, I started a new character and did the training missions. I have since then found out that most people do one or two of the career training paths. I did them all. I wanted to try everything. That way I could see why people choose one path over another. I actually enjoyed all of them. Well, maybe not the probing one. I admire people that can probe well. I sure can’t. And mining, while a bit tedious and dull, is for me a necessary evil. And it can be a decent time waster while I am doing homework or some other real-life task.

So I started out as Gallente. Knowing what I know now, I would likely have chosen a different race. Gallente are a bit too reliant upon drones for killing other ships. And while drones offer some nice help, I have always liked playing the brawler character in games. Not to say that the Gallente can’t brawl. Far from it. They just seem more limited on their choices for brawling machines than say the Caldari.

PvP

PvP is nearly pointless for a character less than 6 months old. And from my experience it seems maybe even longer. Now you can fleet up and have some fun in a group. But solo, you will get worked every time. So my first couple months I spent doing NPC security missions. I tried some hauler missions and some mining missions and such, but Security seemed to be where all the action was. I got to the point I was doing level 4 missions. Most of the time solo. I would have to bail out mid-mission a few times to repair and buy more drones. But I finished the missions. Sometimes I would get a friend to help out. This made the missions pretty easy and I was starting to feel like a bad-ass. So I joined a player corp that was involved in FW. FW stands for Faction Warfare. This is basically joining a military in the big war between the 4 factions. My corp fought for the Minmitar which are allied with the Gallente.

 

Wow. My character is way too new for this. First off, as a FW participant, you live in what is called “Low-Sec” or Low Security. In low security, anyone can shoot you without much repercussion. Sure, gate guns will shoot at you if you attack someone you aren’t supposed to. But away from gates, you are free to kill or die. Therefore, everyone you come across is to be considered an enemy unless they are a member of the same military. And it seems everyone there has years of experience under their belt. Also, as a member of the military, anyone fighting for the other side is free to shoot you. Even when close to gates. And not only are they free to shoot you, they are usually actively hunting your people.

 

At this point I had spent a couple months in high-sec doing missions and felt almost indestructible. Well, when I joined this FW corp, it turns out I was DEEP in enemy territory prior to joining. Even though I was in high-sec I was an enemy of the state and therefore open game. Talk about stress. I was trying to relocate 22 jumps away, 16 or so of those through enemy territory. Well it was at this point I lost my first ship, other than the one a training mission requires you to lose. Not only did I lose my first ship, I lost my favorite battle cruiser, the Brutix, that I had been dominating missions in. Then I lost my Iteron full of all my goodies. I lost both of them to gate camps. One I lost because I went AFK for a second. The other I lost because it was just too slow and outnumbered. I ended up losing about $180 million, which at this point seemed like a fortune to me. Plus I lost another $100 million when I got podded during the whole ordeal. Podded is basically when your escape pod is destroyed. You lose whatever brain implants you have purchased to make training faster. This was my first time being podded. My heart raced, I was pissed. At the same time I was stoked because I felt like this meant the game was finally afoot. “OK, you want it that way? I’m gonna fuck you up.” I soon realized that the thought was nice, but no, I was not going to be fucking up anyone any time soon.

My Brutix. She was a Brute, and she served me well.

My Brutix. She was a Brute, and she served me well.

My Iteron. What an ugly, slow, weak POS. But she sure had room for junk in her trunk.

My Iteron. What an ugly, slow, weak POS. But she sure had room for junk in her trunk.

I got hosed by a little frigate. So I decided to put one together built specifically for PvP. I spared no expense, which didn’t hurt badly since my skills were too low for almost anything tech II. I had heard of some people loving PvP in a ship called the Incursus. So that is what I built. This time, I am the aggressor, therefore I have the advantage, and I will score a kill. Yeah. Nope. First gate I jump through I get dog-piled by like 6 little bitch frigates. I can’t move, every shot I fire misses. It seems their hits are doing more damage than mine were when in missions with my much bigger more powerful ship. WTF is going on? Ship goes boom. Pod goes boom. Here I am again rebuilding. OK, those little frigates seemed to pack a punch. Why did they seem so strong? How can my ship that is the same class be so out gunned? After looking into it a bit more, I find that with my stupid low skills, I am doing half the DPS (damage per second) that I would with the same fit with all skills maxed out. And that’s not even counting the added damage I could be doing with the better fit the maxed out skills would allow me. What the hell? What am I supposed to do? I can’t compete with this crap.

The Incursus. My disposable, nearly useless ship.

The Incursus. My disposable, nearly useless ship.

I talk to others in my corp. Turns out, solo is almost always suicide. They happen to have a fleet going out soon to clear out some plexers. OK, sounds fun. I am told to build up a frigate. So I do. I am ready. We fly around as a group finding smaller groups of bad guys to kill. I have a ton of fun. And it turns out I wasn’t even listed on a single kill-mail because I didn’t deliver any damage. So essentially I was flying around accomplishing nothing. I sure felt like I was doing some good at the time. Oh well, I will keep trying. I will eventually figure it out.

Well, after 3 weeks of so of having my ships blown up, I decide FW just isn’t for me yet. I only had one almost successful PvP experience. I jumped a guy plexing. I had him webbed and scrammed, I was pounding on him. Got him down to almost dead then all of a sudden a message popped up saying the target was invincible and he was no longer anywhere to be seen. Still now, months later, I have no clue what happened. So then, I leave the corp and go back to high-sec with my tail between my legs. I am still constantly paranoid that I am being hunted. Everywhere I go I expect a fight. FW messed with my head. It took quite a while to calm down and get to a normal level of paranoia. I finally get there and neutral people all around me start getting killed. Right here in high sec. WTF is going on? Ah, suicide ganking I find out is what it is called. Why did I not see any of this until now? Now I am super paranoid again, even though in high-sec since leaving FW, I have yet to be targeted. So again, I start to calm down.

At this point I came across a blog where the guy writes about how he got rich in the first 30 days of playing Eve Online. You can find it here http://marketsforisk.blogspot.com/ I have a little over $500 million. I figure I have a nice nest egg to start with so getting really rich should be cake. I fly my pod to Jita. Pick 3 high profit items that I know most PvP guys require every time they lose a ship. I buy a new Iteron Mark V which is the shipping barge of choice since the latest game update. And I pack it with about $350 million worth of goods. I stick to a high-sec route to avoid gate camps. I make my last jump home into Rens. The scanner looks clear. I tell my ship to dock at Rens. Before I even come all the way out of cloak, my ship is blown up and my pod is warping toward the base. I see a message from the game saying the Concord (NPC police) is going to kill him. That does little to console me. I just lost almost my entire nest egg. I was stupid. I tried following the advice of that marketforisk guy, but tried to do it better. I failed miserably. I put my Megathron up for sale back near Jita where it was still based as I was afraid to touch it anymore as it is a big juicy target. It sold in under a day. Guess I should have asked for more money. Oh well. At this point I just need some money. Guess I will go back to doing missions and salvaging them. After about an hour of this, I start getting the itch. I need PvP. But FW was just too stressful. I can’t imagine the stress of null-sec.

Prior to this I had applied to a new corp that is a huge one with a big long admission process. But they are centered on teaching people how to be awesome. A few days after submitting my application, I finally got my in-game mail telling me to join their rush queue. I joined that as soon as I got home from work. After a couple hours I gave up waiting for my name to be called. I tried again the next night. Same result; A couple hours of sitting there accomplishing nothing. Meanwhile I am just running level 3 missions in my Vexor. The Vexor is a ship I had not tried until recently, and I am finding I really enjoy it. Provided I can keep it a decent distance away from the enemy. It has big drone bonuses and a ton of space for them. However, it does not have very thick skin. Even on simple NPC missions, once I have moved in too close to the bigger ships, it doesn’t take long to lose a ship. Hopefully by the time I spend a few weeks with this new corp, provided I ever actually get in, I can at least attempt to solo PvP. Losing ships doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s losing expensive cargo and implants. But hey, some day I may be able to be the cause of stress rather than the receiver of it.

Holy crap, another super long rambling post. I need to update more often so I can avoid these uncomfortable situations 🙂 There is more to come. I am sure. Happy hunting…

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Weds Sport SA-15R 18×9.5 on GR Sedan Subaru STi

All I have done to the Subaru lately is get some new wheels for it. The wheels are Weds Sport SA-15R 18×9.5 +38 offset. The tires are 265/35-18 Bridgestone Potenza RE-11’s. I looked online soooo many times for pictures of these wheels on a Subaru but never found them prior to getting mine. So for those of you wondering what they look like. Here it is:

Weds Sport SA-15R 18x9.5 +38 on GR Sedan

Weds Sport SA-15R
18×9.5 +38 on GR Sedan

And here is what the offset looks like. Both of these pictures are on totally stock suspension with stock alignment settings.

Weds Sport SA-15R front view

Weds Sport SA-15R front view

The offset is a bit too aggressive for stock suspension and alignment. And the rear definitely requires a lot of roll. I have not done anything to remedy these issues yet, so the wheels are pulled back off the car waiting for me to take care of business.

Impressions of the wheels:

Finish on them is top notch. They are super light. Like 19.5 lbs or so. Like pounds per corner lighter than stock even though they are 1″ wider than stock. They have a TON of clearance to the STi caliper in this offset, so no worries there. And finally, they are much darker than I expected. All of Weds’ pictures online must have had a bunch of lighting on the bronze part. In person, the bronze is very difficult to see at all. It just looks like a machined surface with a clear coat over it that has a whole bunch of smoke in it.

 

What happened? Where did I go?

So it has been 6 months since I posted to my blog. So much has happened in that time, yet my only excuse for not posting is laziness. I keep getting the feeling like I need to post something, and when I head over to my computer to do so, I get sidetracked. So first of all, to get this baby restarted, I will give a brief update on my life. My plan is to follow it up with more detailed updates.

#1- The puppies are both doing great. Odie is getting more and more scars from Heidi playing rough with him. But he doesn’t seem to notice or care. He loves her no matter how rough she is with him. I will post some more recent pics of both of them in the more detailed update. BTW, we are now able to let them stay out roaming the house during the day which not only makes me happy because they aren’t stuck in their kennels while I work, but also makes me feel better about the safety of the house. They are big dogs and someone would be crazy to want to mess with them.

#2- The STi is still here. And still a pretty fun car. I wish it was 500 lbs lighter. But it’s a pretty nice car. I bought some new wheels for it, and it finally got its first oil change. I will update more about the STi on its own detailed update.

#3- I finished another semester of school. They decided to throw all economics classes at me this semester. 14 credit hours worth. I was able to finish them well ahead of time to enable me to spend more time with #4.

#4- My babies are here for the summer. It’s crazy how much I missed them. They stayed with their mom during the school year because the schools in rural areas are able to teach kids a little better as they don’t spend half their resources teaching little Mexican and African kids how to speak English rather than teaching grade appropriate material. BTW, I picked o0n African and Mexican because that is what my area is spending all resources on. I am sure other areas have similar issue with other imports, but this happens to my area’s issue. Around my house, it is very tough for a student to excel. No kid left behind seems to mean no kid is allowed ahead. But once you get out of the city and into the country that changes. My boy is doing well. He is winning awards for intelligence and service. And he seems to be well ahead of the curve in math, science, and reading. And my little girl starts school next year and is so excited to do so. She definitely is more art-centric than the boy.

#5- I got the kart back together and ready to go for this season. But I have been so busy with kids and school and vacations I honestly don’t even know when I am going to be able to go out and use it. I was dealing with a weird issue last year that would never let it rev as high as it should have. And while still fast, it was frustrating. Well, over the winter, I found the issue and fixed it. So the kart should be a whole new animal this year. As the issue was something that not only affected the revving, but was most likely affecting a whole lot more in the way it runs.

#6- The S13 I bought back turned out to be a lot of work to fix up, and it is almost done. I guess it deserves its own detailed update. Can’t wait to get that thing on the road again. And it is oh so close.

#7- Fishing, I haven’t done it for decades. But together, the kids and I are going to figure it out again. For me, it is reliving my youth days of fishing with my grandpa; the one my boy is named after. For the kids, it is just outside fun with dad. And they can never get enough of that.

#8- The camp chef. I got Cara a Camp Chef with (3) 15,0000 BTU burners. We have yet to take it camping, but have used it a ton at the house. The griddle is amazing. It makes by far the best breakfast that can be had in this world. It will see a bunch of use this summer as well. The only reason this item gets its own number is because it makes food SOOOOOO yummy.

#9- Still playing racquetball at least twice a week, sometimes more. Still mostly winning. Still not to the point I feel comfortable taking on the best guys at the gym, but probably good enough now I could hold my own if I could get past my intimidation of the situation. Funny I would suffer from that as I am usually the one doing the intimidating.

#10- Eve Online. I played this when it first came out like 10 years ago. I played through the 1 week trial or whatever it was back then. At the time I didn’t make enough money to play games I had to pay for monthly unless they meant a lot to me. And not many people played back then, so it was hard to find people you cared to talk to. And PvP action was actually not that common. But it has had a decade to evolve. And evolve it has. Wow, it is a totally different game. So many people, so much action, politics, commerce, and options. And there is such a huge online metaverse for it. There are a ton of blogs and reference sites and applications for the game now. It is truly an amazing thing. So I have stuck with it for about 4 months now. And I will likely continue with it. My level of participation may vary from time to time. But it is a good time waster when not busy with life. If I only have an hour, I can go run a couple NPC missions then salvage all the loot. If I have a bit more time than that I can join a fleet (although I am currently between corps right now) and go hunt for some PvP action. Or if I am doing school work I can just send my Retriever out mining in high sec where it is safe, even if less profitable. BTW, my in game name is Spectre Imperium, so if you feel like blabbing or putting a bounty on my head, there you go… BTW, I will likely do more detailed updates on Eve as well as there is so much to learn and I am doing my best to soak it all in. Yes, even after 4 months, I feel rather clueless. And as I said, I am currently between corps in the game, and there of course is a little bit of story to be told behind that.

#11- Biking. I have not even pulled the bike off the ceiling yet this season. Any available outside time has had the S13 being the top priority. Now that it is able to be started with its newish engine, that is no longer the case. So maybe I will at least be able to get some time in biking with my boy. Speaking of the boy, I taught him to ride without training wheels just last weekend. He was so proud of himself. And he has been riding a whole bunch now. Last time out he wrecked pretty hard. So he took a day off. Hopefully he isn’t too discouraged now.

#12- Fixing up the house. New flooring in living room and bathroom. Painted kitchen cabinets. New light fixtures in the entire basement. No longer have a friend living in the basement. Textured and painted three of the bedrooms. Began the basement living room transformation into a man cave. Mounted a TV to the wall on a full motion mount. Installed the all important pool table and dart board. Brought in a bar table. Rearranged furniture to make the room more open. Installed art spotlight lighting on one end with pool table chandelier lighting on the other end. Moved kids rooms around. Luckily Cara did most of that work. I changed lighting and mounted TV’s and shelves and such while she did texture and painting and flooring. She definitely had the hard part of that mess. We also mounted nice IKEA wall mount desks in the kid’s rooms for doing homework on.

#13- Sorry for slacking for so long. As you can see, it has been a full six months. But my only excuse is laziness. I recently saw a quote graphic type thing that reminded me of why I post on here. And reminded me that just because I am so busy with so many things, it doesn’t mean it is OK to be lazy at other things, especially things that make me happy or reduce my stress. In the end, I enjoy writing on here. Not just because of the 100 or so people that visit every day. But because I enjoy it. It’s a release for me, much the way driving or playing racquetball or designing things is. I like knowing that over 14,000 people have enjoyed my pictures enough to at least click on them to see them in full size. I like knowing that I sent over 100 people to a guy’s business that makes triggers for my pellet gun. I’m sure he likes that even more than I do. And that makes it all that much better. I like knowing I have sent nearly that many people to a friend’s business website. All just by sharing my thoughts on things that happen in my life. It’s nice knowing I have even just a small influence on the world that I have no direct contact with. And it was kind of irking me that my visitor count is less than half of what it was at one point and that is 100% my own fault for not posting more often. BTW, here is a link to that quote http://maxcdn.zenpencils.com/comics/2013-06-11-johngreen.jpg