Category Archives: Other Games

Saturday

I don’t know why, but blogging for me comes in fits and starts. I know I’ll never be one of those who writes a novella every day about their life – mine is just too boring – or have a lot of insight into what’s going on behind the scenes of Second Life™. I suppose that my life is just boring. Sometimes though, I wish I had more to say. I mean I get up, I go to work, I come home and sit in Second Life™ or EVE-Online™, I plurk and I go to bed.

The thing is, of course that it’s not quite that simple. If I were a better writer, then I could talk about my journey, or how my day went. I could talk about what I cooked, things I saw, even clothes. I could talk about what I did in world. But, it’s mostly boring stuff. Only occasionally do I do something that would grab someone’s interest and run with it. And worse, when I do, I forget to take photos.

Recently in EVE, for instance, I’ve met and tried to help fellow Second Lifer and Plurker, Ramonna, showing her the ropes as it were, and offering advice when it’s needed. Mostly though it’s been mining – and however you paint it, shooting lumps of rock isn’t exciting. Last night I did a couple of missions with the corp. That was more fun, but I wasn’t making notes and again, no screenshots. To bee honest though, they were missions any of us could have done alone. With three of us in big ships, they were almost over before we knew what was happening. Hardly worth the time to write.

So anyway, I woke this morning to a delivery of books. One from the series I have been reading, Look to Windward by Iain M Banks is one of the couple of Culture novels I’ve never read, and will be fun. The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is one I’ve been recommended many times, and The Dreaming Void just looked cool. Once I’ve read them, perhaps I’ll blog them or something. No idea yet.

A mad week

We’ve all had insane weeks, I know. This week for me has passed so quickly and in such a rush that I think I missed most of it. I guess having All Fools Day in the middle of it didn’t help much in that respect, just increasing the general asshattedness of the time and screwing up what sense there was of it… Anyway, let’s recap.

[Runs to bathroom, cleanser. Grab laundry from bedroom, put in machine]

Sunday was RL craziness. I was up uearly and out of the house to update my motorcycle cert. An easy task since I’ve done it before, and really should be doing a full test by now, except that just after last time, I broke a leg and it put the brakes on that for a while. Maybe this year… Anyway, due to road closures, getting there took longer than expected (diversions), the other trainee was a green newbie and couldn’t get over 20mph for most of it, and I was almost out of fuel getting home. Still, SL was fun, it usually is on Sunday night…

[Back to bathroom, toner. Get dressed. Coffee]

Monday and Tuesday are insane in work (RL) and this week was no exception what with month end panic to cope with too. I also went to see my GP about hormones on Tuesday morning, to review information I gave him over a week ago. Typically NHS, he’d not got round to doing anything about it, so I am still sitting here waiting. [Grrr] We were still busy at work Wednesday and Thursday too, but my evenings were fun. Had wine and play in SL.

I can’t remember which evening it was, probably Tuesday. I was in a club dancing as I do, when an avatar with a dubious grasp of english asked me if I liked dancing… What she meant I later discovered was “would I like to dance with her”. Well, I said yes and we started, but within a minute she was asking me about Xcites and asking whether I liked using them. It didn’t last long. I left her for someone less sexually aggressive.

Yesterday, I heard that a close trans friend of mine was offered SRS finally by her GP (as one of a number of options). I am so jealous, but she’s had a long journey to come this far and I am happy for her. [Now to annoy my own GP.] We chatted a while in SL, but I was too sleepy for more, which is a shame as I would have loved to take her shopping or dancing to celebrate. Maybe tonight!

[Moisturiser, brush hair]

Well, Friday’s going to be much the same. Where I work, they don’t count Poetsday and I am working til late anyway. Probably not home til about 8pm, but with luck it won’t be busy. I’ll have my Smartphone/PDA for IMs, Plurks and even Blog updates, and I have my books to read.

I’ll update this as and when, either through the day, when I get home, or during hawt pixel sex in SL. Unless I decide to kill stuff in Eve that is, reading Culture books makes me want to do that.

Wednesday update

Another rainy Wednesday. By this time I got into work I was soaked to the skin, cold and miserable. Which more or less lead to an uncomfortable day… and added to the fact that I really hate the job, has not made work a great prospect. There have been some other things at work too, which I’m not really prepared to talk about here.

Which brings me home, and into Second Life and Plurk. I have friends here and life is a lot better than in RealLife™. Thank you to all who try to make me feel better. It does work!

I’m still not sure about Eve. I think over the next couple of weeks, a corporation change is in order. Even Freya is talking about it, so if we get a couple of people together, it might be time to form one of our own. I don’t know yet, but VV is falling apart, and I no longer have the incentive to fight to keep it together.

We’ll see… for now I have something way more important… a hot bath…

Back in a little bit with more, maybe…

Weekend Away

And so, here we are again. Away from home. My parents are away for the weekend, and they asked me to look after the dog. So I’m away, at their place, with a stack of DVDs, a laptop, and a small dog… oh, and access to the wine cellar. It’s a nice enough day, good weather and so on. It was a pleasant ride down today too, so I can’t complain about that, and since Freya’s away, I needed something to do. Pity the connection’s not stable enough for Second Life, though I could play Eve if I were tempted.

I looked at the date. Eleven days to go. Eleven days to my fifth birthday. I’ve not been in Second Life for a while, at least not regularly. I spend a lot of time playing Eve, which is more fun I suppose, but it’s also painful when you lose.

I lost a ship this week, an Arazu class Force-Recon ship. I had uncloaked to attack in a belt, and was clearing up the remnents of the NPCs. I was attacked by a PC pirate in an interceptor. Must have been using an exploit. He scrambled me and hit me with blasters from 60km, and kept lock under 3 heavy dampeners (which is impossible for that ship at a fraction of that range). When my ship died, he was fast enough to lock my pod… at which point, he was joined by 2 friends who finished me off.

Eve is no fun for me right now.

Empyrian Age, Faction Wars and Ship Design

This week, Eve was updated again… another big expansion. Faction Warfare between the big four is now a reality. Not that it affects me much directly since the corp has elected to remain neutral, at least for now (we are multi-racial), except in that there are a couple of interface changes and Concord have ramped up their activity.

What I really dislike is the model change of the Helios from Maulus class to Imicus class. The Imicus is agood ship for it’s size, but it’s about the ugliest ship in space… well, at least the Helios is a cloaker, so people don’t have to see.

Anyway, just a few thoughts. I haven’t played much since the patch, and I am at work now..

Virtual Emotion

After last night, I need to put some thoughts down about this, perhaps mainly to get them sorted out in my own mind. Hopefully it will help in the future. This is not about anyone in particular, I guess, apart from me, so please don’t think it’s about you – it’s probably not, though if you recognise the feelings, it’s good. Maybe you can help me too.

Last evening, I was flying in Eve. It was a medium tough mission, where, though I was able to resist the enemies’ damage easily, I couldn’t do much to them either, due to their sensor dampeners. I had managed to work out a system for doing it though, and slow work or not, I was making progress. Of course it’s never fun having nearly a dozen battleships shooting lumps out of one’s ship, but I was getting there.

It was about then that I noticed that someone else had arrived, flashing bright read on my scanners, indicating an enemy of some kind. Only a small ship, and when I looked, noticed it was just there, taking the results of my work. I left… leaving it to the tender ministrations of those I was fighting, and came back a few minutes later to find it gone… but no sooner had I hot back into it, the thief was back again. I warped, completed the mission with no more kills, and went home.

The thing is, it upset me. I was feeling all twisted up inside for the rest of the night, and wasn’t at my best even in the morning. Why do I let myself get like this? I mean, it’s not as if I lost anything substantial, there was no fight, but still it got to me and ruined my day. I just don’t understand why it hurts so much.

The Score

In the past, some of you have enjoyed my Eve narratives, and have asked for more. I hope this one doesn’t disappoint.

It’s Thursday, and I’m lying in my bed, listening to some ancient music, as I like to do sometimes, having just returned to dock from an abortive rescue mission. It’s been a tough day! I’d been out in space with the Nightingale, having heard a distress call on the Corporate frequency from a captain in trouble. In the end, he got out ok, crew intact, give or take a few sickbay cases, and Nightingale wasn’t needed… fortunately.

For those of you who don’t know, Nightingale is my newest ship. She’s an Oneiros class logistics support vessel, set up as a repair and hospital ship. She can hold her own in a crisis, but since she’s unarmed, it’s not somewhere I like to be if you know what I mean. Anyway, fun to fly, but not really a ship for taking into enemy territory alone.

So, where were we… ah yes, the communication. Well, I hit the answer switch to see the semi-familiar face of Kueres Malayme on the screen. Not expected! I mean, I’ve worked for her before, but I’m not one of her regulars, so I wondered instantly what was up. Something nasty must have gone down. I mean, I work for IntSec, not international relations… she asked me to see her in her office asap.

I hurried over to FedNav HQ. It’s the biggest complex on the station – unsurprising since FedNav owns it – stopping only for a small Quafe on the way. After making myself presentable, I made my way through the numerous security checkpoints to her office, where she sat me down.

“So”, I said, “you have a job for me?”

“Aye I do.”, she replied, “We got reports of a Serpentis patrol in this sector.  Our surveillance patrol reports they are scouts providing intel back to their leaders for a much larger raiding party. We cannot have them discover our weak points or gather any intel on our convoy travel routes. Teach them a lesson for us.”

“Of course, but why me?”, I asked… “This isn’t the sort of work I usually do.”

“There’s a million in it”, she said, “and another million if you’re quick about it. Just keep this quiet, please.”

I nodded. As I said, I work for IntSec a lot, so I know the value of secrecy. I asked for, and got, the scout reports, and, signing the contract, took a shuttle down to the hanger levels. En route, I called in my best crew, telling them to prepare Vengeance for immediate launch.

Now Vengeance, or more properly Esprit de Vengeance is an Astarté class field command ship – which is to say she’s a heavily modified Battle Cruiser based on the old Brutix class. The third to bear the name, she’s seen me through a few hard times lately. I get aboard and feed the data into the navicomp. Apart from the crew brief, we’re ready to go.

I sit in my command pod, one with the ship. My own senses dulled, numbed by the nanite infested goop that surrounds me, protecting me, and keeping my body alive. My eyes and ears become the ships sensors, my arms, her weapons, my legs, her drives. I feel her come alive around me as the drives start up, and once more, the feeling of awesome power courses through me as I and this massive megatonnage of battle armour become one being in space. The crew, scurrying around my arteries and veins, manning backup systems and local controls, loading weapons, keeping me alive and sane.

I blink once, and a screen opens in my vision. I see my entire crew, and I know throughout the ship, everyone can see my face on screens, on holos and where needed, directly in their minds. I brief them…

“It’s time to settle a score. We are to go to Auvergne, to an asteroid mining post. There to destroy the ships of the Serpentis who have occupied the area. We are to leave none alive.”

And so, in the pseudo-reality of hyperspace, Vengeance warps towards the distant stargate that will catapult us to the Auvergne system, and into battle.

Minutes later, we have made the gate jump and again are warping into the region of deadspace that the scouts reported. “Surely, this will be fast”, I thought, “and I will be claiming my reward.”, but I was wrong. The co-ordinates were jammed, partly by the deadspace region itself, and partly by Serpentis E/W. I had to use an acceleration gate that the miners had used. Sure, it seemed convenient, but I knew, as my enemies surely would, where I’d arrive. We’d be warping into an ambush.

It was bad. I knew it, and the crew knew it, but we had a job to do. I activated the gate, and we were heading into the mouth of the dragon.

As we came out of warp, by awareness turned red. The ships here were countless. We were swarmed, this was surely too much… but I let my head clear, focused, watched and separated the haze of red into separate targeting icons. I gave them a priority and within not much more than a millisecond, kicked the drives into combat speed, and was heading for my first victim.

There weren’t that many, maybe 30 or so ships, and half of them destroyers and frigates. I calculated the risk as low, and while we closed, I looked around for the outpost… it was not here!

As we entered attack range, I opened fire. All 7 of my 250mm railguns opened onto a catalyst class destroyer, and before even it’s captain knew what was happening, it was a ball of expanding vapour in the inky blackness of space. The next were not quite so easy, for the death of their colleague warned them. I pity them more though. They were aware of their deaths, as one by one I focused on them and wiped them from this universe.

The screen gone, I started in on the real warships, thorax class cruisers and a few brutixes too. They lived longer, due to their size, but not by much. A more one sided battle I’ve not been in for an age. This was not a fight, this was slaughter, and I began to suspect that Kueres had known it from the start.

The region clear, I headed towards the one clue I could see, another gate. I gave orders to reload all guns, and prepared for the next jump.

Again we arrived, but no ambush. There were enemies here, but they seemed complaisant. Three groups, one to port, one to starboard, and one, more distant, ahead, orbiting another gate. I picked the group to port, more numerous, but the smallest ships, and went to carry out my gruesome task.

As we approached, nothing seemed to stir, it was as if we’d not been noticed. Now, I know Serpentis pilots are not known for their vast intelligence, but this was crazy, they did nothing… I closed on the nearest destroyer and spat my thorium death from 50km out. He never knew what hit him.

And then the world went mad. Detectors registered radar, lidar, gravitics and all sorts of targeting sensors as I was locked up by half the fleet, the rest being for now, at least, out of range. The hits started raining down on my shields as Vengeance twisted and bucked in the vortex, trying to keep a lock on the enemy. We, no I, I take the blame, aimed for the smallest and the weakest, the ships that would die from a single broadside volley, to reduce the incoming fire as fast as possible, because in among the countless heavy cruisers were at least 6 brutix class Battle Cruisers, and worse… there were 5 Battleships closing on us fast.

A megathron class battleship can throw out a LOT of damage. I know, I own one. Right at this moment, I wished I was sitting inside her, rather than this Astarté, a fraction of the size… I watched my shields drop to 75%, to 50%… to 40%… The drop slowing as I killed off the smaller ships, one by one by one. And we launched drones, fighter planes to attack anything that could avoid the thorium death of my railguns, until all the cruisers and battlecruisers were gone. The capital ships faced me. 5-1 odds if we were in the same class, but my shields were recovering, and I was not yet ready to quit.

The first megathron died, railguns and drones in a fury of fire as I concentrated everything on the one ship. It was followed by a second, and then the first of the three dominix class. Vengeance writhed and bucked, screaming as her afterburners tried to keep her out of the fire, her shields dropping 30%, 20%…

And then there was space…

We floated, letting the shields recharge while my gunners reloaded the weapons. I recalled the drones, ordering them into an orbit pattern ans we raced the 100km to the reserve fleet that had missed us. One more dominix, and 4 thoraxes… easy meat now my blood was up… There would be no mercy.

There wasn’t. During the cruise toward them, I was distracted by a call from corporate command. I was within gunnery range before I realised, and before I could pull away to orbit, I was under heavy fire. It didn’t matter. One by one they dropped, and the fire lessened. Until at last, under the fire of the final Core Admiral, my shields failed me.

My guns and drones were focusing fire, but this one was bright, and had done the same. The sheer weight crushed my shields, but his were gone too, and then his armour, and finally, his hull collapsed. I had won. Damage control reported minor damage to my armour. It wasn’t worth activating repair systems. The ship could, I suppose, run them all the time… it has the power, but for 2% damage? a waste. We reloaded and headed for the gate.

When we came out, it was oddly quiet. Sure, we were being locked up and hard… this was the real ambush, but the weight of numbers wasn’t there, and I’d taken my time getting here so my shields had all but recharged. I left the armour as a badge to those who could see, that it no longer mattered. And it didn’t. We took our time, picking our range, and letting the drones finish off the weak. Slaughter yes, we slaughtered them. They never got through our shield again. One by one they fell, disintegrating into iridescent explosions of starlight until all that was left was Vengeance, her drones and there, looking small and helpless, a mining outpost.

Kueres called it a score to be settled, revenge, justice. The mining outpost was manned by 120 souls, and though, none of them were members of my crew, the “rescue” mission must have killed 100 times that many. It was not justice, this was vengeance.

And the politicians wonder why war is coming to Eve…

I completed my mission. I earned my money. My brave crew will live to fight another day. I pray there will be no repercussions.

Thank Crunchie…

… it’s Friday!

And being on an early shift means that (Tesco permitting), I’ll be home well before 5pm… and that is a bonus!

So much to do, both in Second Life and in Eve, not to mention RealLife™. I still haven’t finished fitting out the shop in Zazi for a start. Hopefully this weekend will let me get on with some of that, at least. I want to do some socialising and shopping too… something I’ve been neglecting recently.

Eve is doing well. I’m a bit low on cash, but that should be just a temporary setback, which a few Lvl4 missions and/or some mining will fix. I might need it when the new faction war upgrade is released soon.

In other news, Darcie is back from her trip, and when I spoke to her yesterday was happy and well. I know that all who know her will be proud of her.

Anyway, back to work…

Missing In Action?

Seems that I’ve not spent much time in Second Life… My first life hasn’t tempted me away quite yet though. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Eve, which has been a lot of fun, though I do miss all you who aren’t there.

I’ve been busy at work too, which if nothing else keeps me from getting bored. I think…

I still haven’t got the new shops set up either. They’ve been sitting empty for weeks now, instead of making L$. It’s ok though, SL’s not my job… just entertainment.

Anyways, that’s me… I’m still here…

Newness

It’s been one of those weeks where everything is shiny and new. Firstly, a shiny new Windlight client in SL (though at the moment we are getting one of these every few days). Even so, shiny newness is fun.

Wednesday, we had some new Eve shininess too, of which I’ll post picturewise later on. It is indeed pretty if spectacularly bugridden. CCP are competing with Linden for the world’s worst QA after the patch file deleted the win xp boot file!

And lastly, I start a shiny new job on Monday. So I guess that as of 5:30 GMT today, I am unemployed. Wish me luck.