The Reward Prophet and the 700 Club Blues

So I posted a while back speculating on what the WoWp reward planes were that I was desperately trying to get to 700 battles to ensure that I got them.

Well, Wargaming finally took the wraps off and revealed what those planes were. Oh, and they, incidentally, also revealed that you didn’t need 700 battles to receive them if you were an Alpha tester. Because your original battles count was not included (as I suspected) and because we had been so long in the testing process. Thanks for the head’s up WG! Seriously though, I can’t really complain. I’ve enjoyed the 800+ battles I’m at now immensely and that has accumulated XP for my starting pilots for launch, as well as helping me learn the game, so I’m fine with it.

And the planes? Well I was hit and miss.

Open Beta Reward Plane

First up was the ground attack plane. I picked the Pegas, thinking it would be the Open Beta reward since it was so low tier and that there is no way they would sell a tier 1 premium. And I was right, the Pegas it is!

WG has made some changes though. They added ordinance and beefed the planes HP a bit, and moved it to tier 2. Its a pretty versatile plane if you put rockets on it, and a nice fun change of pace in the lower tiers. Fun, different, not OP. Thumbs up Wargaming!

Closed Beta Reward Plane

Next up would be either a US or German plane. Turns out I was way off base here. The P-11C is being given as a code for live events in Russia. And Wargaming introduced a slew of US premium planes in their last update – the prototypes for the Wildcat, The Corsair, and two from the Hawk line. But the reward plane was none of those. Its the quirky and fun tier 5 XP-77. I never thought a tier 5 would pop for this, but in retrospect it makes sense – the reward tank for WoT was a tier 5 US. And the XP is a great fit – it was a prototype plane that was scrapped, and with premiums for the usual lines in place, its the odd duck out. I have played a couple of battles with it on the test server and its an interesting plane to dink around with. If anything its a little underpowered at the tier. But it looks funky and can hold its own at altitude since it does pack a bigger punch than the usual machinegun armed US planes (the XP has a hub mounted 20 on it which packs a nice accurate punch). Again, thumbs up for a nice plane for the CB testers.

Alpha Reward Plane

And then we got to the mothership announcement. I had expected the tier two carrier plane, but again, its a code for live events – this time for those in Germany like Gamescom. Last time I threw out the heavy fighter, thinking they would need a premium there for training and the line’s popularity. And they did. I just didn’t know they had two premiums lined up. In the next patch, the tier 4 Bf-110C6 dropped – the 110 classic, but with a giant 37mm cannon underslung on the fuselage. When it release I thought that might be one of the rewards – since it is a heavy, but unlike the rest of the line, can’t carry ordinance because of the gun. But I was wrong, Wargaming saved the best for last.

The Me 210. That beast of a heavy fighter with excellent rear guns, the ability to carry bombs, and serious forward firepower. Seriously, I love it. Particularly as someone who enjoyed the heavies but had no intention of climbing the line at launch, its a great change of pace. And again, not OP and quirky – the regular production 410 is a tier 6 heavy, so nobody can feel jilted – if it was an aircraft they wanted, there is an avenue to get an even better version through regular play.

And ultimately, that’s what reward planes are about – fun and quirky pieces you can show off a year or two from now and have people go “kewl” and ohh and ahh over.

And Wargaming, though prone to fails, also has some nice touches. The reward planes are one, but the second one was even better – if you didn’t make the 700 club, but had at least 100 battles played over the course of testing, then you got a special camouflage for your aircraft. So even those players who put a little bit of time in got something nice and unique as a result.

As for me – I will begin the game with a whopping six premium aircraft, the reward planes plus my preorder (XFL-1), the 15th anniversary byplany (I-15bis DM), and the earned with tokens F-2A1 Buffalo, ranging from tiers 2, 3, and 5. And my greedy nature is already trying to decide what tier 4 premium I want to use some gold on at lunch. What? I have to fill in the gap, right?

One week til launch. See you in the air!

Wandering in Metropolis

So I’ve had a few days to catch my bearings in EVE.  There are so many improvements in the game its making me spoiled.  First up, the new turrets…well, after taking a day or so to get used to them, and seeing the wide variety of graphics, including the “ZOMG I can see my missile launchers!” moment, I give it two thumbs up.


Looking deadly as ever.
Looking deadly as ever.


Mostly I’m impressed with the wide variety of improvements to mission running though.  The in game agent finder, coupled with the removal of the “agent quality” system, made life much easier on me.   Before I had a single corp that I could run some level 3 missions with that was 20 or so jumps from my home base.  Now I can do level 4’s with them, and 3’s with everyone else in that faction (Minmatar), and at least 2’s with everyone else – though I am within one storyline mission (or career tutorial, now that I think about it…hmmm) from hitting 3’s with Gallente as well.   In fact, I’m so likeable, the list of people who I’m on the bad side of is surprisingly slim:


bad standings


All the graphical updates are welcome as well.   But the trick in EVE, as always, is learning to set your own agenda.   And I think I am having a desire to play the game and success in that because I’ve learned to ask the question in a new way:


What would you have fun doing right now?


I’ve learned long ago, that being in large fleets and watching thousands of missiles fly just isn’t me.  A strong argument could be made for that being the meat and potatoes of what makes the EVE world go ’round (yeah, I just mixed some metaphors there, deal).    But I think what I have discovered is something I said, long, long about about Shadowbane – PvP games make the best sandbox spaces for non-PvP players.   Its a weird side effect but it is true.  In developers giving players the space they need to hit each other in a variety of ways, they inadvertently create wonderful sandboxes from non-PvP people to come along for the ride.


That’s not to say I’m anti-PvP.  I play World of Tanks for goodness sake.  And I’ve enjoyed my PvP experiences in EVE, limited as they have been.   But there is something to be said for living in the shadow of a richly detailed world.   And so when I ask that question above, the answer may not be the one that is fun for anyone but me.  And that is okay.


Right now I’m having fun training and fitting my interceptor with an eye towards doing some low sec roams for giggles.  And in trying my hand at farming microorganisms in planetary interaction.   And in trying to decide what to do with the almost 200 datacores I amassed (apparently Research Points accumulate even when you are offline).   And I found a few old friends to fly with, so I’m having fun doing whatever they have fun doing as well.


Not a bad start to what looks to be another lengthy stay in the world of New Eden.

I See a Prophecy in my Future

So I have a rare day off at home today, and I was catching up on some blog reading.  I dipped over to Kirith’s blog since I hadn’t been there in a while, since I left EVE by the wayside.  But he occasionally does World of Tanks updates, and beyond that KK is just good at what he does – one of those bloggers where you will read even about games and topics you might not otherwise have interest in.


And scrolling through a couple of articles, I find this one about updates to armor tanking and changes to battlecruisers (sorry, now called “combat battlecruisers”).  Some of the changes are minor tweaks – but some are pretty radical.  The Drake is getting the nerf-bat (finally…that only took like 3 years), and the Cyclone is getting re-purposed to join it as a missile boat.


Meanwhile, my favorite ship, my every-day mission running, gang roving, “I just wanna fly” battlecruiser, the Prophecy, is no longer a laser boat.  No, now it is a drone boat.  That can fit launchers or turrets.  And it got a buff to its already excellent armor tank.





Battlecruiser skill bonuses:
5% bonus to all Armor Resistances
10% bonus to drone damage and hitpoints

Fixed Bonus:
Can fit Warfare Link modules

Slot layout: 5 H (-2), 4 M (+1), 7 L (+1), 4 turrets (-2), 4 Launchers (+3)
Fittings: 1100 PWG (-200), 415 CPU (+75)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 3000(-419) / 5500(+617) / 4000(-395)
Capacitor (amount / recharge rate / average cap per second): 2850(+37.5) / 750s / 3.8 (+0.05)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 150 / 0.704 / 12900000 (-600,000) / 8.5s (-0.4)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 75 (+50) / 225 (+200)
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 50km / 210 / 6
Sensor strength: 17 Radar (+1)
Signature radius: 270 (+5)
Cargo capacity: 400 (+50)


In other words, its now the battlecruiser equivalent of my favorite cruiser, the Arbitrator.  I had long since traded my Arby in for a Pilgrim, as you’ll recall, for us in exploration.  And with that, since there were no gun and missile bonuses, I did something utterly illogical, but super fun – I put heavy artillery on it.  Though I didn’t highlight it above, the ship now also has more mid and low slots, for good flexibility.


But wait, like Ginsu knives…there’s more.  There are also new armor repair mechanics in place, the funnest of which now offer a powered repper that uses nanite repair paste as ammunition.  Which gives me a reason to get involved in planetary mechanics.  That’s pretty awesome as well.  Exploring in the Pilgrim, doing missions/faction warfare in the Prophecy, doing a little planetary governship in my downtime.   Sounds about right.


And just to put the final nail in the coffin…EVE has since integrated with Amazon – you can buy all sorts of things using your Amazon credit.  For example, 3 PLEX is just $12 more than a three month sub straight off the EVE site.  So, for $12 more, I can get 4 months of game time, and a nice cash bonus…which I will need since I quit the game with pretty much nothing left in the bank account.  :-p  Or for a few bucks more than a regular sub, you can get a nifty little custom Catalyst.  And I am always a sucker for a new ship.  And I have a little stockpile of Amazon credit.


Now then…which of the EVE fitting tools is king of the hill these days?   And are any of your corps hiring?


Late As Usual

I know I promised an aswer to the poll last night, but I had other things that took precedence.  But better late than never, right?

Anyway, I settled on a Battlecruiser that:

  • I already had prequisite training for
  • Gave me a versatility of loadouts
  • Good survivability
  • Looked awesome
  • And was cheap

And this is where I landed:


I chose it for alot of reasons really:

  • The Prophecy was easy to build – it requires no noxcium, so I only had to buy the megacyte and zydrine I was short.  I mined the rest here or there or during missions.  The end result cost me 6.2 million.  A pretty good bargain
  • Because the Prophecy has no inherent damage bonuses, it can fit just about any type of loadout.  I can continue to play around with artillery fits (I love the insane damage multiplier), or switch to energy weapons to solve my ammo issues.
  • The drone bay allows for a full spread of five drones.   I wish it was a little larger, but in truth, thats why I have the Arbitrator, and I’m a little tired of drones at the moment anyway.
  • There is a launcher hardpoint – this is really what kept me away from the Gallente ships – I wanted to be able to have some flexibility on damage or to fit an anti-frigate weapon if I switched to non-combat drones.
  • I prefer at this point to armor tank, and its where my skills lie.  The Prophecy’s built in bonus for this was nice, along with its full complement of low slots to play with.


Of course, there’s lots of other battlecruisers on the market, and probably a few that are just outright better (the Drake is insanely popular I noticed, along with the Myrmidon).  But this is where I landed, and we’ll see where it takes me.

On the poll – the Harbinger gathered the most number of votes!  Probably because of the name relationship – and I would have gone there, except – no launchers, and the thing is almost as ugly as the Caldari ships are.  Plus it was much more expensive.  Congrats to the one and only person who picked the Prophecy!  If I knew who you were, I’d give you a prize…