Pathfinder Narrative – The Seven’s Sawmill

On the Road Garus was preparing to leave Sandpoint and begin the ride to Magnimar.  He’d decided to wait a day after Raoul, Vinder and Oggrash left.  Partly this was to spend some time in wild spaces around Sandpoint rooting out any remnants of the ghouls from Aldern Foxglove, but mostly it was to get away from the overly optimistic paladin and the dour half-orc.  They were good companions in a fight, but a bit tedious around town.  Garus was not overly fond of most creatures that walked on two legs.  The implications of Foxglove Manor pointed toward a longer journey with a group, so a day off was a welcome opportunity for the druid to find the patience to deal with people once he got to Magnimar.   After a day spent roaming the nearby farmlands and dealing with the occasional stray ghoul, Garus spent the night in the Tickwood, east of Sandpoint.  The druid had returned to the outskirts of Sandpoint and was saddling his horse in preparation to head south-west on the Lost Coast Road when a large, slightly green tinged man in a dusty traveling coat rounded the corner of stable and made for Garus himself.  Garus Continue Reading →

Pathfinder Narrative

Note:  I’ve been playing a Pathfinder game for a few months and decided to start writing up the play sessions.  This is my first attempt.   Putting the Dead to Rest A weary band of adventurers rode in to the gates of Sandpoint as the lowering sun lit the sky with fire.  The red light highlighted the dried blood and sunken eyes of the party.  Foxglove Manor and the caverns below had presented an ordeal not only of steel and spell fire, but also of the mind.   A barbarous orc, a dusty jacketed man, a druid, his bonded gorilla, and a rogue bristling with tiny hilts retreated to their lodgings at the Rusty Dragon to rest.  A paladin strode off to his rooms at the Savah’s armory.  Guards went to alert the sheriff that the bedraggled Heroes of Sandpoint were back, all alive, but looking worse for the wear they had endured. The paladin arrived first in the Dragon’s dining room some time after sunset.  Sherriff Hemlock was already there, anxiously waiting for the others to rise from rest or prayers.  Not long after the paladin settle in to wait with Hemlock the rest of the band made their way Continue Reading →

Eve Gone Wild, Freemium Style

​CCP announced the biggest of all bombshells in MMOs today:  Eve is going free-to-play.  Well, not really, but kind of.  Go read the dev blog if you haven’t.  The short version is you can now start a new account or stop paying for a current account and retain access to your character’s racial ships up to cruisers and many “basic” skills, up to 5m skillpoints.  This is pretty freaking huge. As a player that recently passed 100m skillpoints, and who has unsubbed a few times on the way to getting there, being able to not go silent is a boon.  If you get busy with life, need to save a few bucks for a few months, or just want to scale back?  You can, and still derp in your T1 ships and stay in touch with people.  This is great for older players. For prospective players, you can train up through that hump of starter stuff and get your feet wet in Eve at your pace.  For those that care for the long game, the hook will be bitten and the subs will follow.  I honestly see no negatives here.  Adding bodies, even if they end up not paying or Continue Reading →

Making a Book: The Empyrean Chronicles

Making a book is a process of craftsmanship.  I’m not writing about the content, but the physical act of taking paper, boards, cloth and glue and turning those parts into an object that an observer would call a book.  It is also a very old tradition.  While printed books are about 500 years old, actual books and binding techniques have existed for at least 2000 years or more.  From clay tablets to bound wooden slats to scrolls to vellum to parchment to paper, with exposed or cased bindings, using thread, leather, or more exotic posts, books have been around for a long time.  I’ve been learning this craft off and on for the last few years.  Today is a short history of one book being created.  This is how I turned “The Empyrean Chronicles” from a data file to a casebound edition.  I’ll go through the process first.  At the end I’ll include information about equipment and supplies. In a Nutshell Making a book, in brief, consists of:  Find some content, then format and print the content.  Once printed, in the case of a sewn book, take the printed leaves (spreads of pages to be folded) and fold them into Continue Reading →

Blog Banter 77 – Hey guys, Eve is Dying! Again!

Blog Banter 77 – The Malaise   Is there a malaise affecting Eve currently? Blogs and podcasts are going dark and space just feels that little bit emptier. One suggestion is that there may be a general problem with the vets, especially those pre-Incarna and older, leaving and being replaced by newer players who are not as invested in the game. The colonists versus immigrants? Is this a problem? Are there others? Or is everything just fine and it’s just another bout of summer “ZOMG EVE IZ DYING!” Another “Is Eve dying?” debate. Yeah, in some ways Eve is dying.  It is an old game.  Ancient, really, when you look at online games.  Player count in unambiguously down.  New player retention is poor, and it always has been.  But I think simply looking at those metrics ignores some aspects of Eve. Mechanically, Eve is in the best place it has been since I started playing about five and a half years ago.  It isn’t perfect.  No MMO is perfect.  But the devs continue to refine, improve and update all aspects of the game.  This work appears to be ongoing with little sign of stopping in the near future.  Structures are Continue Reading →

Death of A Fortizar

[UPDATE: I have added a few updates to the article, in brackets like this one. These updates are clarifications from readers where I had incorrect information or understanding of events.] To those who are watching this sort of thing, Citadels and Wormholes are in the midst of an interesting relationship.  That relationship, as best I can tell, is that if you try to put up a Fortizar in a wormhole, a few groups will do whatever they can to come knock it down in the fifteen minute vulnerability window following the anchoring timer.  As of writing, 13 Fortizars have been destroyed in wormhole space.  Some combination of Hard Knocks, Of Sound Mind, and Lazerhawks have been involved in most of these kills. This article recounts the birth and death of my corp’s first Fortizar. To those unaware, any citadel is completely vulnerable and unable to have modules fit or fighters loaded for a minimum of fifteen minutes after the anchoring timer ends.  At the end of the fifteen minutes the citadel fully regenerates the hull, armor and shield, and you can fit and load your modules, weapons, and fighters.  This is why you see so many citadel kills where the Continue Reading →

Blog Banter 76: Whither Flagships?

Per Drackarn: At fanfest CCP Fozzie proposed a potential new ship class. Lets call it the fleet commander’s flagship for now. This is to try and prevent “FC Headshotting” where the opposing fleet knows who the FC is and alpha’s them off the field leaving the rest of the fleet in confusion and disarray. Fozzie mentioned a ship with a great tank but no offensive abilities. Is this a good idea? Is FC head-shotting a legitimate tactic? If CCP do go down the route of a “flagship” how might this work? Also is a new ship the answer or is there another way of giving an FC the ability not to be assassinated 12 seconds into the fight without letting players exploit it? To start this piece off, a few notes about how I play Eve.  I live in wormholes, which means my fights usually involve 3-15 people on a side, unless there is a particularly large fight happening around an eviction or a timer.  This is a vastly different scale than null sec or even some low sec battles where fleets are often an order of magnitude larger.  I also tend to fly in fleets where doctrine goes about Continue Reading →

Carrier Blues

A very nicely written article over on CZ had a negative take on making carriers more active and skill based to use. This may be an oversimplification, but when the article talks about going from AFKtars to 4b isk carriers to combat ratter hunters, it sounds a little bit like whining about being unable to AFK to me. The article does bring up the idea of how changes to the game can impact players wanting to play the game. I don’t agree with one of the underlying pretenses of the article: Isk making should be an activity that by and large should be low risk. By low risk, I mean the article implies that in most cases, a player should be able to make isk without losing more isk than they make in the process. The comments about the progression of nullsec home defense and escalating cost of ships needed make this pretty clear in my assessment. The writer is worried that making carriers more like RTS games (higher APM makes a better pilot) will push out some older players or players that do not want to devote full attention to the game. Each player in Eve should be free Continue Reading →

Trading Traps

I flew an Onyx in combat for the first time last night. So I might as well type it up. The corp was running around, one group out searching and scanning, the other running sites to feed our insatiable hungry for isk. The call comes out over comms: “I’ve got two Dominixes in the C3 off lowsec. Running a site. Looks like they are repping each other.” Carebear fleet slams on the brakes, reships into things with pointy sticks and tackle, and we get in position on the LS>C3. I am sitting in my Onyx, trying to pretend I know how to bubble. We notice an Anathema jump through into the C3, but it is a third party so we don’t pay too much attention. The Domis are being annoying, warping around and being spread out. In the time it took us to stage they finished the wave they were on. We have two cloakies in the site, manuevering for initial tackle. The our FC says “All tackle jump and warp to site”. My braind someone decides that an Onyx is tackle, and I jump and warp. Then FC says “Hold cloaks”. Well crap, I just entered warp. “Ah shit, Continue Reading →

Blog Banter 72 – This is the Road (map) to…..

This month’s suggestion comes from Jakob Anedalle. “What do you think about using Sugar’s recent blog post as a kickoff for a Blog Banter. I think it’s a great open-ended topic: http://www.lowseclifestyle.com/2016/02/your-ideal-roadmap.html“ You know what? That’s all it needs. A great open ended topic! Banter on! I think a lot of intelligent folks are going to write about citadels, capitals, and the tantalizing new space CCP Seagull has teased, so I’ll focus on two other things: Immersion and Growing Eve. Immersion I play a lot of games, from silly throw-away titles to super-nerd-fest time sinks like Dwarf Fortress or Aurora. One thing that really drives my ability to get lost in a game is how far you can get lost in the setting, and the simple joy of being in the world the game offers. A few years ago, I would have said Eve was doing very well at providing an immersive space. But times change. Games like Elite: Dangerous are out, Star Citizen may be coming, and a host of smaller games like Rebel Galaxy have been trickling out. The spaceship genre is no longer just Eve. Eve is no longer providing a compelling, butt-in-chair experience, at least af far Continue Reading →