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Kicking ass and making games.

The Goings On, June 11th

Sadly I started this post nearly a week ago. It really is that tough to get time in front of the computer lately. Ah well.

A Weekend for Gaming

Back at the end of March I managed a marathon gaming weekend (well, for me it was pretty epic). Frustrated by the lack of gaming I’ve been able to accomplish I focused on some quick-play three-hours-or-less games to tackle…

I started with the second episode of The Wolf Among Us (just in time for the third episode to be released, btw). For anyone that hasn’t played this series, it’s based in the amazing comic that I used to follow, Fables. It’s dark and gritty and a ton of fun. The level of polish and writing is a big step up from TellTale’s The Walking Dead series, which is pretty impressive in its own right. Taking on the role of Sheriff Bigby in his efforts to solve a series of murders provides an engaging backdrop, accented by some pretty rewarding action sequences. I really need to get back to that and continue with episodes 3 and 4 now that they’re available.

This was also the weekend I played through both Year Walk and Brothers, both of which I’ve already written about (and still highly recommend!).

Lastly for this weekend, I started up Double Fine’s Broken Age, which takes me back to the classic point-and-click adventure games Tim Schafer is known for. I’m sad to say I just wasn’t feeling it, however. The game is made up of two separate stories, and during the weekend I completed Shay’s first act, set on a space station, and proceeded partway through the counterpoint tale following Vella’s experience at her town’s sacrificial Maiden Feast. Now, to be honest, the game looks adorable and the stories are full of the fun you’d expect from Double Fine. What got me was the lack of patience I had for the puzzle solving and backtracking, partially due to my hurry to get as much gaming completed before the weekend was up and partly because I just don’t have a lot of patience anymore. It’s quite sad, I know. I will eventually return to the game to complete Vella’s story and continue onto the second and final act when it’s released next year, and hopefully I’ll have the patience to avoid GameFAQs.

Out Like a Lamb

April was a somewhat quiet month, as I prepared for and eventually rejoiced in the birth of my daughter. I did spend some time continuing my slow slow slow journey through Batman and I played through the tutorials of Reus, which seems to be a pretty promising little city-builder strategy title.

The bigger gaming accomplishment for the month was playing through Thomas Was Alone, a game that’s been recommended by a number of friends. It’d been a while since I’d played a platformer for fun, and this game did the job. The mechanics feel bare bone while providing a good range in gameplay scenarios, and the art while similarly simplified avoided distraction while creating immersion. The unique characters, abilities, and even story (with narration!) helped to carry the gameplay across the focused levels, each of which could be beaten in a handful of minutes, or less. For me, this fell apart in the final third of the game’s progression, where mechanics and characters felt too scattered and haphazard, forcing me to forget the impact the preceding gameplay had had on me. Overall a nice game, and a short play, but one that could have been trimmed a bit for a more cohesive and impactful experience.

The other new title I had a chance to try was Ghost Recon Phantoms, a free-to-play squad-based shooter. I have always had a soft spot for the Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six series, but wasn’t expecting much here. First off, free-to-play is more often done poorly than properly in my opinion. Secondly, I’m not a big FPS player, nor a big competitive gamer (I haven’t touched Call of Duty in forever. I can safely say that I was pretty wow’d by Phantoms. The gameplay became immediately addicting, and the strategic elements to the level designs and classes fit seamlessly into the experience. Even with my lack of FPS hardcore-ness I found myself quickly learning the ropes and balancing my kill and death counts. It felt rewarding and empowering – here was a game that I could play against others and succeed at. The unlocks and challenges kept me going long enough to earn a range of new gear, before I decided to get back to something with a story; something I could “beat”. I haven’t played Phantoms in a while now, but I’m definitely keeping it installed and look forward to playing a few more rounds as I have time.

All the Little Things

I touched a bunch of additional games, without really playing much, over the past three months. Some I just wanted to check out briefly and come back to, while others I just didn’t have enough time for, and the rest may possibly be the casualties of a Steam sale. In the interest of completeness, these included:

Wrapping it All Up

I also managed to finish up a few long-standing games that were floating around. Yeah, these few quiet months are starting to sound like they were actually full of quite a bit of gaming, weren’t they…? Sadly these were all console games and I got no snazzy screenshots of the gameplay.

The first big accomplishment was settling down to finish up the second half of Heavy Rain, a game which I’d been playing off and on (whilst looking for good rainy days) for over a year now. I really enjoy David Cage’s work, and am eagerly awaiting a chance to play through Beyond: Two Souls. The atmosphere of this title does just what I’d want from a mystery thriller, and the story backs it up quite well, though the controls (I didn’t play with a Move, for those wondering) can be a bit clumsy. Towards the end the game started losing me a bit, and I’m not really happy with how the story ended up, but I’m pretty sure that’s just one of several endings. This one I might actually return to for the additional content.

Sort of the opposite experience, The Last of Us was a game that had me on the edge of my seat for the first ten minutes, then really let me down as I bypassed the prologue. Similarly opposite to Heavy Rain, I’ve never been a big fan of Naughty Dog’s games, though I do recognize the experience and craft they put into them. I have yet to play their Drake games past the first, as it was one of the very very few games I had to rip from the console and retire to the shelf while praying I could somehow get my wasted minutes back. However, when I returned to this one and started playing into the later two-thirds, I found myself becoming quite invested in the gameplay and story. It definitely had some rougher bits, like the combat (which overall felt very “Playstation” to me – probably a simile for feeling like it came from Naughty Dog), but the presentation and characters made up for these shortcomings. I still wish the entirety of the game were set in the prologue timeframe though, surrounded by chaos, caught by surprise, and using every last breath just to survive. If you have a chance, at least play those first ten minutes. They. Are. Epic.

I played through the first half of Space Marine on a day I was home sick from work. That was three and a half years ago. I’ve been a big fan of the Warhammer stuff for over twenty years now, and Space Marine is no exception. In fact, all of Relic’s titles were (and are) outstanding, and I’m sad to see them go. I don’t recall this one releasing to much fanfare, but not only is it a solid and fun game, steeped in the lore (spoiler: there’s a titan!!!), but it’s also held up well over the years. At least three and a half of them. If I had to gripe about something, I guess it would be the camera FOV, especially when taking big destructive swings with a Thunder Hammer. On the other hand, it does justice to how unwieldy something like that must be in a suit of Power Armor. I even tried the multiplayer briefly after completing the story campaign to find that there is still an active community of players and, though I’m not a huge fan of competitive multiplayer like this, it was reasonably fun. I ended up picking it up in a Steam sale as well, to replay after I retire – for now I’m just going to get back to waiting on Homeworld 3.

Finally, after an even longer seven years, I revisited The Darkness. This one was mostly because I wanted to try the sequel, which I’ve heard good things about. And because I enjoyed the comics back in the day, despite the game being just “okay”. And I’m a huge Mike Patton fan. The game had its moments, but I had a tough time believing the protagonist’s motivation, which made it difficult to take on the role of the protagonist. The Darkness’ powers were pretty impressive though, and some of the weird twisted Hell environments were pretty fun to explore. We’ll see what the sequel brings.

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Music is Dead

Recently, as I grew tired of listening to the same stuff over and over again from my phone, I tossed my big CD book into the truck and have been revisiting some albums I hadn’t heard in a while. This got me to reminisce over the feeling of discovering a new band, or picking up the latest album from an old favorite — things that just don’t happen anymore. And, for most of those in their teens (20’s probably) and below, an experience they sadly may never have.

I grew up primarily as part of the Tape Generation, though did make some of my earliest music purchases on vinyl (and again much later in college). I remember the joy of opening and exploring the deluxe tri-fold packaging of The Cult‘s Electric, and how much fun it was to toss on a 7″ of “Parents Just Don’t Understand” or “Nightmare on My Street” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. I can tell you the first tape (Beastie Boys‘ License to Ill) and the first CD (Bolt Thrower‘s War Master) I purchased for myself. I remember the anxiety over purchasing Slayer‘s Decade of Aggression, complete with my first PARENTAL ADVISORY tag (and the scolding I received from my dad when I brought it home).

And you know what? I still have these!!! Because they’re things you can actually have and hold onto.

Bolt Thrower - War Master

More than anything, there was the sense of music existing as something physical. Something you feel as you turn up the volume, sure, but also something you hold in your hand. Together, your music was a collection you pick and choose, and continuously maintain, that defines you in a way unique and more personal than any other representation I’ve known. It was something you shared proudly with your closest friends, rejoiced in overlapping tastes and found a quiet comfort in those that didn’t.

Going to the record store (yes, those still existed, and yes that’s what they were called) would yield new discoveries for those who were looking. However, because of the physical aspect of music this exploration was also a physical search, which made it much more of an adventure. Flipping through genres, or alphabetically-sorted racks, with maybe thousands of albums available (often less), one could be rewarded with a much-sought-after classic hard-to-find early album or something entirely unknown that speaks to the would-be listener through the album artwork and presentation. Hell, that’s what got me into almost all of my death and black metal back in the day. That’s just not something you can do in the iTunes Store, currently boasting more than 37,000,000 songs (roughly what you and your 3 closest friends would be able to listen to if you did nothing but listen to music from the day you were born to the day you died). Kids these days don’t have any sense of what it means to really find something new. In fact, it seems they’re mostly listening to singles without a sense of the greater album it belongs to.

To be honest, most of my music purchases these days are digital. I also pretty much still listen to all the same music I was listening to 20 years ago. I have yet to find a good replacement for the record store, so what I purchase tends to be stuff I saw on the shelves back in the day but didn’t have the cash for at the time. Alternatively, I have been able to find some good suggestions from Last.fm (as opposed to more “mainstream” services like Pandora, which just seem to care about what’s getting radio play).

These days music has no physical nature. It lives on a computer, or even worse on the cloud, as a digital something that doesn’t require a shelf to organize and maintain. There’s no sense of placing your favorite albums right up front, or grouping by the mood that’s likely to inspire you to play one song over another (High Fidelity anyone?). And no, playlists do not count. Furthermore, music is now most often enjoyed via headphones or tiny little earbuds. There’s no feeling the rhythm in your feet, or the bass in your chest, or becoming overwhelmed to the point that you pelt out the lyrics yelling as loud as you can. There’s just no physicality.

The Tape Deck

Now, as a quick side note, I was never one to spend much time at concerts. I don’t like big groups of people. However, when I was a teen we had a number of amazing local bands that would play at a few venues around town, mostly peers of mine, and I would do anything I could to attend these events. I don’t honestly know if that’s still a thing these days, but I certainly don’t see it where I’m living now.

Maybe what bugs/scares me more than everything I’ve just written is that kids growing up today, who don’t have this close personal experience with music, don’t seem to have anything with which it may be replaced. It’s creating a hole in the process of “growing up”, and I’m fairly certain that’s going to lead to less full individuals in the end.

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Winter Delays

I’ve been sitting here staring at this front page, and the nearly two-month stretch of time since my last post, trying to figure out the best approach to “catching up” here. I suppose the best course of action, and the one that’s always at the top of my mind, is to take a step away from games and mention what else I’ve been up to.

And give myself a chance for a little self-directed pat on the back.

Back in mid-April my baby girl, Winter, was born and she has been (pleasantly) occupying all of my time since.

After the birth I took some time from work. Initially I was thinking it would be pretty busy with family stuff and diaper duty, sure, but I was also convinced it would provide some time for catching up on games, comics, movies, and reading during baby/mama downtime. I still say that was a reasonable expectation – certainly not as bad as the guy who secretly planned his paternity leave to be his chance to “get the band back together“…

Anyway, I ended up spending nearly all of my time (happily) supporting my wife. I did sneak in a few short gaming sessions, including a notable moment likely caused by lack of sleep, rusty gaming sensibility, and baby bliss:

I bet I can get some mining done while everyone is downstairs relaxing.

Naturally this was quickly interrupted by a quick run to answer the door – UPS delivering the (super) stroller I had ordered two days prior. That immediately gave way to an hour or so of putting it together and trying out all the cool gadgets and accessories. Anyway, by the time I realized I had left Eve running, and my Mackinaw floating out in space, I found my toon sitting comfy in a station located approximately 30 jumps away, warming up her brand new clone. Ah well, I don’t mind a little bit of ISK loss to time spent with such a (wonderfully) beautiful daughter. Not one bit.

 

Since then, and actually a bit before then, I have spent (some) time in (some) games that I’ll get back to writing about soon enough. Likely with my new little baby princess in tow.

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Oh Brother

I finally sat down to play through Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons which, despite the somewhat clunky/innovative controls, was quite a fun experience.

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For those that haven’t seen, Brothers is a sort of single-player coop game, where you control two brothers using an analog stick/trigger combo for each. I takes a while to get used to, and after completing the game in around three hours I felt I was still quite some ways from mastering the technique. However, the game’s concept and controls allowed the team to develop some pretty unique environmental puzzles that left me feeling surprised and even wowed as I played through the duo’s adventure.

The story does not immediately feel like a big component of the game other than defining the overarching goal at the onset, at least in the traditional sense. In fact, there really isn’t any dialogue or text within the game to speak of. That being said, the game had a fairly significant emotional impact on me as I worked towards the goal of saving the life of the brothers’ father while weaving my path with those of numerous other characters in the game. Each location and character met begs me to start wondering where they came from, what they’re doing here, and where they are going. It breathes life into the world without having to really give any answers. Eventually the narrative comes full circle as I return home, my adventure complete, with an unexpected twist of events and an amazing incorporation of them back into the gameplay.

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Brothers is a great example of narrative storytelling through visuals and interaction. The environments are detailed vibrant, using scale, lighting, camerawork, and color to increase immersion and provide constant variety. Though the story is broken into chapters it flows freely, emphasizing the sense of a singular adventure. The epic feel, mirroring the folklore and fantasy references within the game, reaches into every aspect of the experience. I can see this one being a good candidate for my wife to watch me play through, as it has a movie-like quality and excellent storytelling.

And if that still doesn’t do it for you, you can ride goats!

Year Walk

This weekend I’ve had a bit of time to play some of the shorter titles sitting in my Steam queue, including the fabulous Year Walk. The best word I can come up with to describe the game is charming. Its story is based in Scandinavian folklore, and it does a great job of transporting the player into this world. The imagery and audio compliment the story, allowing for an exploratory experience without being hindered by invasive gameplay mechanics or time pressures.

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At its core, Year Walk is a puzzle game. And it does this well. I was reminded of the point-and-click adventure games I had played long ago, such as The 7th Guest, Myst, and even King’s Quest, though Year Walk provides a very different setting. The use of puzzles within the game world requires players to explore the environments and take note as they do, as many of the puzzle pieces required late in the game are available immediately, for those that have a watchful eye. I found myself scribbling notes and clues on a sheet of paper as I played — something I hadn’t done since playing those classic titles, back when it was okay not to provide the player with an immediate answer; when it was okay to challenge the player to the point that they became stuck and would go hours, or days, away from the game as they thought about the puzzle that stumped them, returning once they had worked out what surely must be a solution.

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The game includes a small encyclopedia of the folklore key to its purpose, which is both fascinating to read and well-presented. Even more, however, the encyclopedia becomes an essential tool in solving some of the game’s puzzles, and actually becomes a component of the game itself at one point, blurring the line between the game world and the user interface making up the portal into the game world.

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All together, Year Walk is a superb atmospheric experience that doesn’t require much investment, either on your finances or time. Highly recommended.

The Eve Tutorial Tutorial, Part 3

Taking advantage of some free time today to wrap up the initial tutorial, before moving on to the career agents. If you haven’t already, I recommend reading parts 1 and 2, as well as this Eve for Noobs post, which this post builds upon.

It’s now March 23rd, Rubicon 1.3.2, and our poor Theila has been greatly neglected over the past month.

17: Queuing Skills

Before we accept our next mission, let’s tie up some loose ends. First of all, now that we’ve fitted our Small Armor Repairer I to our ship, we can get rid of that Civilian Armor Repairer seeing as it is of no use outside of the tutorial missions. Basically, what we want to do, is to sell the module, and to do that we have a few options:

  1. We can sell it outright. To do this we simply right-click the module and choose “Sell this item”, right? Almost. If you try that you’ll receive a warning that the item must be repackaged first (basically we want to box it up). Right-click the module, choose “Repackage”, and confirm. Then you’ll be ready to sell. More on that below.
  2. We can reprocess it into minerals, and either sell the minerals or hold onto them for our own future purposes (such as manufacturing other modules). To do so, right-click the module and choose “Reprocess”. You’ll receive a quote for the amount of minerals received, based on the current station’s facilities, your standings, and various other minutia. In Theila’s case I would be receiving 4 Pyerite and 39 Tritanium, while the station takes 2 Tritanium as tax. To commit, simply click the “Reprocess” button at the bottom of the window.

Regardless of which method you chose, you’ll likely be eager to make some profit by selling the module or minerals. This can be a straightforward process, but with a bit of extra time investment you can reap a greater reward. To illustrate, let’s look at the two options proposed and see how they compare…

Selling the Repackaged Module

Before selling the repackaged module I want to see what it is selling for. By selecting “Sell this item” on the right-click menu I’m presented with a window asking me to confirm the sale of my Civilian Armor Repairer at my current station for 7,000.03 ISK. Two things to immediately note here are that I’m informed that this selling price is at “-85.87% below the Regional average”, which basically means I’m selling short, and that the sales tax at 1.5% comes to 105 ISK, leaving me with 6,895.03 ISK in my pocket. That nearly doubles my money, but I can do better.

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To better our income, let’s first click the “Advanced” button to see more details on the sale. Here I can see that the average price for the region right now is sitting at 49,542.38 ISK, about seven times what I would have made by simply clicking the “Sell” button. I also see that there is a 100 ISK broker’s fee being applied to the sale at 1%. Both the broker’s fee and the sales tax can be reduced with particular skills, but I’m not going to worry about them for now as it’s a small amount of ISK.

So now that I know what price I should be selling at, let’s figure out how I can do that by clicking the magnifying lens button to view the market details for the module. If you haven’t already, go ahead and sort the market data so that the Sellers pane is listed with the lowest cost at the top, and the Buyers pane is listed with the highest cost at the top. Investigating the Buyers pane I immediately see that my default sale was headed to a station 4 jumps away, where an enterprising player is looking to buy many of these modules on the cheap, likely with the intent to resell them at a profit elsewhere. More interestingly, I spot that only 2 jumps from here someone is looking to buy a Civilian Armor Repairer for 44,638.82 ISK, a much better prospect for me. If you’re curious why my sale defaulted to the cheaper option it’s because that buy order is set to a range of 10 jumps – meaning anyone within 10 jumps of that station can sell to the order – while the higher buy order is limited to the specific station it is at.

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Looking at the Sellers pane shows that a number of players are actually looking to sell these modules for prices starting over three times the current best buy order. This is tempting, but before we commit to a higher-priced sell order which would not be filled immediately (i.e. there are comparable buy orders) I want to see how these modules have been moving on the market. To do so, click the “Price History” tab. Looking at the past month of data it appears the average selling price is a bit over 60,000 ISK, but has been steadily dropping the past week. Looking at the green bars along the bottom of the graph it looks like around 20-30 of the modules are sold each day. I could probably place a sell order for around 55,000 ISK, possibly a bit higher, with a 2-week duration, and make the sale. However, as a brand new player I want the money in my wallet now, so I would set my destination to the Astral Mining Inc. Mining Outpost in Oursulaert and sell there (remember to bring the module with you!), adding 43,522.85 ISK to my wallet.

Selling the Reprocessed Module

I can use a similar tactic to estimate the cost of selling the minerals earned by reprocessing the module by simply viewing the market details for each of the minerals gained. Right-clicking each mineral allows for quick access to the market details.

Because minerals are used in the construction of nearly everything in the game, their prices tend to be relatively stable, and there’s usually no problem finding a buyer. Looking at the available Buyers, I could immediately sell my 4 Pyerite for 11 ISK each and the Tritanium for 4.38 ISK each. Though there is the chance to earn a bit more ISK with some travel to higher buy orders, it’s pretty clear that it won’t make a huge difference right now, especially when I’m looking at a total sale of 214.82 ISK for all of my minerals, and that’s before taxes and broker’s fees.

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Moving On to Skills

There’s no question which is the better deal, so I travel two jumps (twice, since I forgot to bring it with me the first time…) and sell the repackaged module, then head back to continue the tutorial, now with a whopping 51,022.85 ISK in my wallet.

(For those that are curious, not all modules are going to result in such a low value of reprocessed minerals. This specific situation is mostly due to this being a civilian module.)

Well looky here! After all that discussion last time of how important it is to keep skills training at all times to avoid lost time, I’ve let my new character sit idle for a month with nothing training (don’t worry though, I’ve had another character training instead). Let’s open up the Character Sheet and see what can be done about this at once!

Personally I like to keep the windows I use the most open at all times, stacked together towards the middle of the screen, so that I can double-click on the title bar to hide/show the window group. The Character Sheet happens to be one of those windows, so I’m going to start setting this up now.

Following the instructions I begin training Gallente Frigate to level 3, which will take a tad over 7 hours, and I queue up level 4 to immediately follow. I should be set for the next 2 days or so. For more fine control of your skill training, click the “Open Training Queue” button to display the Training Queue. Here you can the skills queued up for training, how long they’ll take to train, and adjust the plan using a drag-and-drop interface to reorder and add skill training. To remove an item from the queue you can right-click it, or simply click to select and then click the “Remove” button at the bottom. Be sure to “Apply” all of your changes before clicking “Next” to continue the tutorial.

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18: Interstellar Travel

This is mostly old news by now, so go ahead and accept the mission and click through the tutorial for a brief refresher.

19: Inside the Academy

Once you arrive at your mission destination follow the tutorial’s instructions to loot the Pilot Certification Documents from the Academy Office. The office should be pretty clearly highlighted for you by the tutorial, but if you have a tough time finding it check your Overview – the Academy Office will have a small diamond icon. Click “Loot All” to grab the documents and then continue reading through the tutorial and taking some time to check out the variety of ships nearby.

When you’re done looking around, you can find the Camera Controls button along the left of your HUD, to the left of the “A” autopilot button. Clicking it will display a radial menu, with the option at the bottom used to “Look At My Ship”. Basically, it will reset your camera.

We’ve already become pretty comfortable with the Show Info options throughout the game, so continue through the tutorial to ISIS. While the tutorial isn’t going to say much on this topic, it is worth touching on.

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ISIS is an amazing (and relatively new) tool within the game that allows players to view the pilotable ships within the game in a “tech tree” like presentation. ISIS is best understood by exploring with it first-hand, but here are some general pointers:

  • Specify the ship faction/race you wish to view using the buttons in the top-left.
  • Zoom with the mouse wheel.
  • Grey ships represent those you do not have the skills to fly, while white ships indicate those you do.
  • Ships are grouped by class, with more specialized and advanced versions of each class branching off vertically.
  • Combat ships are shown along the top tree, while industrial ships are shown along the bottom.
  • Hovering the mouse over a ship group’s icon displays a description and characteristics of that ship group, as well as the core skill used to pilot those ships along with your level in that skill.
  • Hovering the mouse over a specific ship displays the characteristics of the ship, including bonuses the ship gains from its core skill, other skills, and any static role bonuses.
  • Clicking a ship will display its information window.

ISIS can be extremely useful in identifying ships that interest you, modules that work well with these ships, and skills that allow you to pilot, and pilot well, your choices.

20: The Mission Journal

The Journal is another window I like to keep up on-screen, so I dock it into the Character Sheet and proceed with the tutorial. Set your destination using the mission details or the Agent Missions menu at the top-left and fly back. If you are having a tough time finding the stargate with all of the ships nearby, try switching to your Travel tab (that’ll be the first tab, assuming you’ve installed Sarah’s Overview Pack), which will remove all of the ships from the Overview. Complete the mission, complete the tutorial, and click “Next”.

21: Further Training

It’s time to move on, which means that this basic tutorial is nearly at an end. Accept the mission and continue.

22: Long-Distance Travel

Before we go, make sure you have the Clearance Papers on-board. Your Inventory is a nice way to see everything that you have immediate access to right now. So for instance, while docked, you can access your current ship, your Item Hangar, and your Ship Hangar. Locate the Clearance Papers within your Item Hangar and drag them to your ship, to move them to your cargo hold.

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As the tutorial points out, your ship name is somewhat bland at the moment. Not only that, but it’s also a bit tactically compromising as any other player who sees your ship by name will know exactly what type of ship it is. You can change you ship’s name by right-clicking it and selecting “Change Name…”.

Set your destination, undock, and read a bit about the Autopilot system. Some important notes concerning autopilot which aren’t clearly explained in the tutorial:

  • Autopilot will take you to your destination. If that destination is a station your ship with automatically dock there.
  • Selecting the gate and choosing the “Jump” option will force your ship to warp to the gate at 0k – right on top of it – and then immediately jump through. Autopilot will instead warp the ship somewhere around 15k off of the gate, and then “slow-boat” its way to the gate before warping. Depending on the ship this can take 30 seconds, or significantly longer (several minutes), and will accrue additional travel time for each system you are traveling through. It can quickly add up to a much longer journey than if you were to travel manually.
  • Similarly, autopilot will warp the ship in at a distance from the final station before flying closer and docking.
  • Because of the added travel time approaching stargates and stations, autopilot should never be used when traveling across low-security or null-security space, while enlisted in Faction Warfare or otherwise war-decced/flagged, or when flying or hauling anything you can’t afford to lose. You never know when some jerk might take advantage of your ship slowly approaching a stargate to get a quick suicide kill.

With that in mind, go ahead and activate autopilot anyway.

23: Additional Reading

Read through the additional info provided. Though it doesn’t provide much depth, all topics presented are valuable to keep in mind. You can find more about death and clones in some of my prior posts. If you are eager to start playing with others, you may want to check out Eve University or Brave Newbies, Inc., both of which exist to provide training and a home for new players, though I strongly recommend completing all of the Career Agent mission arcs, as well as the Sisters of Eve epic arc as soon as possible.

24: Career Agents

Go ahead and complete the mission and continue to discover the Career Agents that are now available. Each Career Agent will provide a series of missions focused on their area of expertise. By completing the missions you will gain some great experience in the game – along with new skills, ships, modules, loot, and a fair amount of ISK. I highly recommend completing all of the career mission arcs.

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Congratulations! You’ve completed the beginner tutorial and taken your first (big) steps into the Eve universe. What you do now is entirely up to you, though the Career Agents will help provide some pointers and direction should any of them sound interesting to you. I’ll be continuing the tutorial posts here as I work through each Career Agent, and hope to see you in space soon!

Fly safe.

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The Goings On, March 18th (ish)

Super late on this, but that’s okay because the past six weeks have been super busy, but not in a gamey way. At the office we’ve been prepping proposals, launching apps, and pushing full speed into production on various project. On the other hand, at home we’ve starting to nest for the little baby girl that should be arriving any day/week now. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to game.

Let’s do a recap…

Spent some time in Neverwinter, which was a ton of fun and I want to dedicate some posts specifically to it, but I’m going to need a refresher at this point. However, as a quick preview, I definitely recommend it.

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Also got to delve deeper into Batman, but only in short spurts. Still enjoying the game quite a bit, but have been missing the original.

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With Eve I really didn’t get much time to play, but did invest a chunk of hours on the tutorial posts, which was good fun, and some AFK mining.

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I grabbed a copy of Strider when that came out, and found some fun but am having a rough time getting motivated to return to it. It’s a refreshing play, however.

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And I failed at Titanfall. To the point that I returned it.

On the Wii U I actually got sucked into Skylanders SWAP Force, which is something I swore would never happen. The game is actually surprisingly fun, and the toys are extremely well integrated. Levels are a nice solid length, and the content unlocks have kept me engaged. Following that I started playing DK, which is really great but I have a few gripes with it. I need some more time with it to better familiarize myself though.

On top of that, I picked up a ton of games on sale that I haven’t been able to touch yet. My current plan moving forward is to identify the shorter plays and tackle those to clear them out of the queue. And I need to wrap up the Eve tutorials.

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Titanfall Video Review

Wasn’t quite sure where to start with this, since I’ve had the game for about a week now and have yet to be able to play it. From dropped connections to lost audio, stuttered and halted video, and the eventual crash to desktop, the game has offered me a wide range of play styles. I hear there is a somewhat cool shooter mode hidden in there somewhere as well, though I’ve yet to unlock it.

An Inside Look at your Pod

Around the start of February I logged in to find my character spawning offset within the hangar bay at the station in which I was docked. Just one of those funny things I guess (unless you want to read into where I’m standing and make the assumption that collision planes were created there with plans that one day players would be able to walk around more freely…) but it did let me grab a few up-close-and-personal shots of my pod.

For your viewing enjoyment:

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Winter Captured

I haven’t had much time for gaming lately, and even less time to devote to site posts, but I’ve had some photos I’ve been wanting to post for a while and am claiming my opportunity to do so. These are from about a month ago, a few days after one of or our bigger snowfalls this season.

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