January 2009 Archives

I had a few people comment on my last entry and say something to the effect of "that looks neat and all, but I have no idea what's going on."  I have to admit if you don't know anything about Eve combat, it doesn't really look all that exciting -- aside from how many ships are left, it's probably hard to tell who's winning or understand the complexities of what the teams are trying to pull off.

So, in an effort to shed some light and hopefully give people a bit more understanding of what's going on, I'm going to go over the basics of Eve combat.  This is going to be a bird's eye view, so it's not going to cover every nuance or go into detail on strategy and tactics.  However, it should give you enough of an idea to know what is going on in the tournament matches.

For the full spiel, take a look behind the cut here.
This weekend marked the beginning of the Sixth Alliance Tournament for Eve Online, returning after a year.  When I was at FanFest, the lack of any more tournaments after last year's was one of the big things people complained about during the Dev panel.  While I think a lot of people understood the problem of spending almost a million dollars on it, the tournaments have become one of the biggest in-game events over the last few years, and a lot of people really liked the EveTV coverage.

When they announced the new tournament just a few weeks after FanFest, a lot of people were surprised; however, I suspect a lot of the devs loved the tournaments just as much as we players did (well, especially since a lot of the new devs are former EveTV experts).  The new format is a bit lower budget, with only the last elimination round having live video coverage, but all the qualifying rounds are getting live audio commentary via a number of Eve internet radio stations (Eve Radio, Split Infinity Radio, and New Eden Radio among others), and video is being posted to CCP's Youtube channel the day after the matches.

We're pretty excited to be participating again this year, and I think we have a strong chance of getting to the elimination round at the very least.  We had our first match yesterday against Veni Vidi Vici, an alliance we (and I think most people) didn't know too much about.

The Fourth District vs. Veni Vidi Vici



The Fourth District: 4x Ishtar, 2x Cerberus, 2x Blackbird
Veni Vidi Vici: 2x Raven, Vulture, 3x Drake, 3x Vigil


We won quite handily, but the day (and the match) were not without their snafus; I was nervous as hell for most of this weekend, as Marc can attest to, and I spent about three hours Saturday just practicing my jamming on the test server since I haven't flown a Blackbird in ages.  Then, just prior to the match, Neco Furyan, who was supposed to pilot the other Blackbird, had to bow out due to problems with his connection.  While we got a very capable replacement, it wasn't really the sort of thing you want to be juggling 15 minutes before you need to be ready!  We also made a last minute decision to put sensor damps on our Ishtars and Cerberuses (Cerberi?) an hour or two before the match -- a decision that probably saved us a world of hurt.

When the match started, I was a little slow with the jams, and as you can tell, that didn't bode well for me -- the first missile volley hammered my shields away and my armor down to about 30% before I could lock the Drakes down while our Ishtars damped the Vulture and Ravens to hell.  By the time that happened though, I had a flight of light drones heading towards me.  With nothing to really defend myself with (my high slots were totally empty), it was only a matter of time before I was going down.  But considering I thought both Sarendra and I would be down within 30 seconds, the fact that I survived for over a minute and him for over four probably was a big contributor to our victory.

The only loss that was probably avoidable was Ayari's Ishtar loss; he resisted abandoning his sentry drones until too late, which meant the three Vigils and a handful of light drones were able to whittle him away.  If we had kept the medium armor repairers on the Ishtars as we had originally thought, he probably would have survived, likewise if he had abandoned his sentries and switched to lights earlier on.  Still, two Blackbirds and an Ishtar were a fair trade for a complete victory against our competitors.

Next week, we look to be fighting Pandemic Legion (despite a ranking snafu that originally had us going up against the Interbus Initiative), who will be very tough.  We've fought many of them before while we were in Pure Blind, as a number of them were formerly in Triumvirate., who beat us in the last tournament during the group round (and went on to be runners-up in the tournament overall).  If we can make a good showing, though, we should be able to make it through, and I have no doubt we'll do so.  The new rules that ban remote armor and shield repairer modules have really eliminated the all-or-nothing fights that were very common in previous tournaments.

If you want to see all the tournament fights, you can get them from CCP's Youtube channel; I especially recommend the Otherworld Empire Productions vs. Ushra'Khan fight and the 24th Imperial Crusade vs. The Interbus Initiative fight, both of which were really exciting to listen to (and see).  And be sure to tune in next week for the last round of qualifying matches!

It's been a long time.

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No, not since I blogged last, smartasses.

Today, we got our new president.  Finally.  Last October, I wrote this entry, shortly before Obama won the election.  Needless to say, I was pretty happy about that.  It's been a very long two and a half months waiting for him to take office, while Bush has lurched around and tried to shine the turd that has been the last eight years.  But frankly, I would have felt that about almost any of the candidates on the Democratic side, and that's not because I love the Democrats a lot -- let's face it, they've been pretty mediocre in the face of adversity the last eight years.

Today though, something else happened that showed just how different Obama is, or at the very least, has the potential to be.  It wasn't the massive crowds at the Inauguration.  It wasn't the fact that Obama rejected basically every disastrous, right-wing, anti-intellectual, anti-science policy that the Bush administration put forward to the man's very face (seriously -- if you haven't watched his inaugural address, go do it now).

No, the thing that really stood out at me is because he called us on our bullshit.

"Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age."

"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned."

Now, this might not seem like much, but contrast it with the last President, who, when confronted with the worst attack on the United States since Pearl Harbor, told people to go shopping, and gave the impression that forcing average Americans to make any sort of sacrifice was horrific.

It was pretty funny, actually, listening to the inaugural address, because the sort of things that Obama was saying were along the same lines as what my character has been saying in Eve about the way the Caldari State has been going (though obviously some of the details were slightly different).

Now, I know Obama isn't the first politician to give a speech like this.  And I would have been a lot more impressed if he had given this kind of a speech six months ago.  Think about it though -- when was the last time we had something like this?  I know this is the first time I listened to a present-day political speech and really felt something, and that includes Obama's speeches during the campaign.  People say Reagan was charismatic -- obviously I was too young to really take much from those years but I never saw him give anything like this.  It's been 45 years since JFK was in office -- has it been that long, almost two generations, since we've seen someone like this?

Obviously, the proof will be in the pudding, as they say -- he's only been president for about 10 hours, so let's not start canonizing him yet.  But for the first time in my life, I really do feel inspired by a politician (a living one, anyway).  I've been a cynic for a long time, especially about politics -- mostly, I think, because I want to be an idealist and just know better.  Maybe, just maybe, I don't know as well as I thought I did.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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