Archive for the 'Ironfleet Info' Category

After two years of neglect, a lot of links in the Ironfleet.com sidebar have gone stale. No surprise there. But the ones that still exist online, I’m mostly not deleting; instead, I’m slowly moving them into a “Stale Links” section. A lot of old friends and familiar voices will wind up in that category.

But as I am now proving for the half-dozenth time, it’s hard to remain truly gone from EVE. If one of the links in “Stale Links” is yours, and you start writing there again? Please let me know! Likewise if anybody notices a “Stale Link” that’s not so stale due to a recent history of updates, let me know so I can restore it to the regular link lists. Thank you all.

Whoa. Marlenus here, just back from a more than two-year vacation in the clone vats. New Eden is almost unrecognizable. The laws of have changed and everybody shoots at me now when I salvage those hazard-to-navigation jet cans. Lots of new boats, and none of my old boats work right, all kinds of the wrong gear duct-taped to the hull where there used to be open equipment bays. But change is good, right?

Jim Bridger is back, too, and he’s returned to Ironfleet after many years away. He has a complaint about the inevitable memory loss that results from too long a sleep in the vats. Specifically, he’d like to know WHY IN HELL he has a Thrasher in dock in Adacyne named “Return of Tubgirl.” Anybody?

Not playing Eve. Astonishingly, not missing it.

However, I am playing some World of Tanks. And I’ve got a problem.

The in-game chat feature sucks and is hard to use while driving a tank. I want a few chat macros, so I can say funny things with low effort. “Hey all you woodchucks, stop chucking my wood!”

I downloaded AutoHotKey, and it sort of works. I can get it to send an {enter} keypress that opens the chat window, enter my text, and send another {enter} to say that to my team.

However, I am failing utterly at sending a {Control}{Enter} that will say the same thing to friend and enemy teams alike. I’ve tried “Send ^{Enter}”, “SendPlay ^{Enter}” and dozens of variations on that theme, with key delays, delays between events, lots of different stuff. None of them work.

There’s also a button you can click with your mouse that will send your text chat to all. I’ve gotten its location, I’ve trained AutoHotKey to put my mouse over the button, but the button press? It fails. Not always — I’ve got a macro that will successfully press it about 10% of the time — but it’s not repeatable with any reliability. Something is eating the mouse clicks. Again, I’ve tried both “Click” and “MouseClick” in various variations, I’ve tinkered with the key timing, I’ve tinkered with the Send modes. If it totally didn’t work, I’d have given up … but, rarely, the keypress takes. So, I feel like there must be a setting that would work.

So, if you have had any success at getting AutoHotKey to work reliably in WorldofTanks, I’d love to hear from you. Ideally what I want is a sample of code that successfully and reliably sends either a control-enter or a mouse click at a location. Which basically means, if you’ve ever written a successful Macro for WoT, you must have what I need. And I’d be very grateful. This is one of those nerd frustrations that doesn’t stem from any real need, I just *want* and have gotten frustrated.

I do know that using macro programs in games can be tricky and difficult. Could be, I can’t get there from here. But I suspect I’m just inept with AutoHotKeys.

Finally, for the rules lawyers among you, the WoT devs have stated that macros of this sort do not violate their EULA. In case you were worried.

I’ll do a big post later on all the reasons, if I ever decide I care enough to take the time. But as of today, I’ve canceled all three EVE subscriptions. Here’s what I posted in the reasons box:

5 year veteran, unsubscribing 3 accounts because:

1) Persistent failure to balance, update, and iterate on old content.

2) Cannot operate multiple clients without turning off new Captains Quarters station environment.

3) No new game functionality in recent patch to replace the functionality lost.

5) Complete pants-on-headedness of new micro(mega)transaction store.

6) Utter loss of faith that the old EVE, the spaceship game, will every get the attention it needs to survive and thrive.

7) I am beginning to believe that CCP/EVE had now committed itself to an unretrievable failcascade.

It was a good five years. I used to think I’d play EVE forever. I’m sad that won’t be happening. But thanks for all the fish.

Right now I’m playing World of Tanks, but that’s not going to last more than weeks, or maybe months. Battlefield 3 is coming.

Will I be back to EVE? Dunno. Right now it looks like they are going to gut the game in pursuit of microtransaction riches. There might be a party on the way down, with tons of goodies flying around in the possession of rich newbie idiots — and I can see a role for Ironfleet in that decline.

Or, they might come to their senses and start fixing all the stuff that’s been neglected over the last few years…

Yeah. Me neither.

While reading more Tiger Ears, I found a sentence that perfectly encapsulates the Ironfleet attitude toward ransoms. I’ve never sought one, though I couldn’t have said precisely why. Now I can, just read the bold letters:

My Onyx lands almost on top of the Iteron, the warp bubble inflating to prevent its escape. The hauler is not built to withstand missile fire, and the Terror assault missiles wreck the ship frighteningly quickly. The pod is captured by the warp bubble too, but I don’t even consider a ransom. I’m not a social person and don’t like awkward conversations with strangers.

Nope! I don’t either.

Hey, everybody.

This can flipping business, it’s fun, but it’s kinda limiting. The worst part is, you can’t shoot at anybody who doesn’t screw up somehow. And sometimes I just want to, you know, shoot people.

But, I’m sort of a misanthrope. Every time I try to play in a big corp or an alliance, I get pissed off during the “group activities” and end up not logging in for months on end. No good.

I got to thinking about my PvP strengths, such as they are. I’m able to be very patient, I have excellent missile skills, and I love to scan. During this most recent away-from-EVE hiatus, I finished maxing most of the skills pertinent to flying a bomber.

Obvious solution: go hunting in wormhole space. A lot.

My thoughts were trending that way anyway, and then I found this blog: Confessions of a Wormhole Killer. It’s moribund at the moment, but it’s chock full of anecdotes about hunting with a bomber, with the aid of a confederate in a covert ops ship to do the scanning. I was inspired. I had to read the whole thing.

Then I spent much of yesterday figuring out where I left my bombers, and updating their fits. These are old bombers, dating from my time in TEARS; all the ones I found had large rigs in them, if that gives you an idea. I also had to find a scanning confederate. So I called up my old buddy, the lady I used to call The Empress of Greater Mars. It turns out she used most of her skill points from the learning skills refund to get Level V on all the probing skills. Perfect!

Last night we found a wormhole, an inhabited Class 3, just a bit before downtime. We deployed into the hole, did a little preliminary surveying, and went to bed.

Today, when I logged in, I found some Germans active in there. I only had about half an hour to play this morning, but there was a Mammoth on scan…

Long story short, I’m still a noob, and rusty on the wormhole jump mechanics. I didn’t blow anything up. But there came this moment when I was sitting on a wormhole, cloaked, in my bomber, and a battleship jumped in…

Now, if he jumps in, he can jump right back out. I knew this. But I got buck fever. I wanted to shoot something. It had been too long. So, I decloaked, locked him, started shooting, painted him, orbited him… and my salvos started hitting him for almost 3,000 (!) damage a salvo. (I gave my bomber some nice, if spendy, upgrades in this latest refit, based on hints and tips from the Wormhole Confessions guy.) So my battleship punching bag? His shields were gone in two shots. And then, of course, he jumped back out, doubtless to go buy a new set of clean underpants in Jita.

I’d forgotten how much fun bombers in wormholes can be. I’ll do better, next time.

Guy was mining in a Vexor. I took what I could, put the rest in an Ironfleet can.

He docked. I moved on.

He (presumably) went back for some of the ore. I dunno. But his icon in local went crazy-skull.

Next time I see him, he’s in a flashy red Iteron III. Just launching two giant secure cans. Natural result is this, plus two more GSCs in my hangar:

2010.06.24 23:21:00

Victim: Cmdr Sisko
Corp: School of Applied Knowledge
Alliance: Unknown
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Iteron Mark III
System: [redacted]
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 2153

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.3
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Crane
Weapon: Thunderbolt Fury Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 2153

Name: Guristas Arrogator / Guristas
Damage Done: 0

Destroyed items:

Expanded Cargohold II, Qty: 2
Expanded Cargohold I
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)

Dropped items:

10MN Afterburner I
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)
Giant Secure Container (Cargo)

Hey everybody, Jim Bridger here. My apologies for the lack of good salvage tales here lately; I can’t speak for Marlenus, but as for me, I’ve been too busy in 0.0 to develop any good salvage exploit tales. Down there it’s all brute force and no finesse … you don’t have to outwit anybody, you just need to blow their shit up. And in a weird sort of reverse incentive program, the fleets I’ve been flying with tend to give all the loot to the people who get blown up, which takes much of the fun out of looting and salvaging, even if it is the brotherly thing to do.

But tonight, see, I was passing through Ironfleet’s home system, with time to kill while I wait for a jump clone timer. I docked up and what did I find but an ancient and creaky Thrasher, fit with meta four guns and so old it still has at least one large rig on it. And a hauler named “Ore Relocation”, parked right beside it. Par-tay time!

So, I had to go out and prowl the belts for some ore.

Found some, too. First potential victim was a three day old in a mining destroyer, who jetted a can right in front of me. I ate his Scordite, found it bland and insufficient. Was feeling preemptively bad about taking candy from babies, when he called me a fat fuck in local. That made me feel good again, warm and fuzzy even. But, sadly, he warped away without attempting to teach me a lesson.

Next potential victim was jet can mining in an Osprey cruiser. Lots of lasers going, two Hobgoblin I drones out. Too much scordite to eat, so I flipped it. Hobgoblin me, baby!

Sadly, no. He warped away in silence.

I waited. He came back in a Badger. Really? Oh, please oh please.

No. Prudence prevailed. Badger docked up without reclaiming “his” ore.

It felt really *weird* prowling the belts looking for cans to flip. When I left here, I was a PvP noob — I had some ability to fight in the limited can-flipping situations I created for myself, and I’d learned some fleet combat during faction warfare, but I had only the most limited ability to judge a fight in advance, and I didn’t really know what fights I could hope to win in the ships I was flying. Now, a year later, after constant 0.0 craziness, I still don’t consider myself a serious PvP guy, but I’ve got a totally different outlook on combat. Patrolling the belts in .7 space, I feel dangerous in a way that I never did before, and confident that I’ll be able to assess potential fights as they develop. I hadn’t really noticed the change until I dropped back into old familiar ground.

So, no suicidal noobs got harmed tonight, and I had a few moments of hopeful fun, plus cussing in local. Tomorrow I’ll be back down in Providence again, shooting at Amarrian roleplayers, those slaving bastard fucks. Nice shot of nostalgia for me this evening.

So, late last night the hyperspace telephone rang. “Marlenus, this is Jim. Sorry I’ve been too busy to write! No, I’m doing good. Hey, can you do me a favor? Can you bring me a Prowler full of Nitrogen Oxides? No, no, just part way, you don’t even have to leave high sec. Just twenty jumps, yeah, I’ll meet you there, I know a guy with a covert jump bridge who is taking me the rest of the way. When? Well, he’s waiting now, how quick can you get going?”

It turns out he and his boys have been using bombers to drive ice miners out of the ice belts, then going in and scooping the mined ice in blockade runners. The scooping part, of course, was Jim’s idea. Talk about “in the best traditions of Ironfleet!” How could I refuse?

I couldn’t. Not even when he said “…oh, and by the way, would you pick me up a couple of bomb blueprints on your way? We’re running short down here, but we’ve got minerals coming out our ears from all the hauler spawns and rat loot.” 180M ISK, Jim? Sure, no problem. You can owe me.

I’m glad he’s having fun down there…

Long-time readers will remember Ironfleet member Jim Bridger, our small-ships guy who flies Thrashers like he stole them. (Which, truth be told, he usually did — or at least, he had me build them out of minerals he did not mine himself.) Given the propensity of destroyers to pop like balloons at a porcupine convention, Ironfleet has standing market orders for high-meta 250mm and 280mm artilleries, which Jim hoards, in gleaming stacks of seven, in carefully labeled Medium Secure Containers with names like “destroyer gunsets — 280 TII”.

The other day, Jim got recruiting EVEmail from a CEO who was our favorite fleet commander back in Ironfleet’s faction warfare days. It’s the usual story, there’s a beachhead being established in 0.0, and aggressive interceptor pilots are needed. Jim’s got a hangar full of inties and a load of maxed-out skills, but there isn’t much call for interceptors in our usual high-sec shenanigans, so he’s got damn little real experience flying the things. This seemed like a good opportunity to get some.

So, somewhat sheepishly, he asked for leave from Ironfleet, and I gave it to him. He has promised to send postcards from the front lines. I can predict the first one: “Dear Marlenus, having a great time. Please send me six more Claws and a big bucket of Nanite Paste. Sincerely, Jim Bridger.”