Hammering for others

This one is a mix, it starts with ESO and then goes into more generic games stuff, including a reference or two to Eve.

I continue with my unmagical character in Elder scrolls Online.  Hammer and now a bit of Bow work for when you want to reach out and hit things like dragons.  Because Elsewyr has dragons and going toe to toe has not worked out well for me.  Each bit of the story-line leads to others and then people will even flag me down in the wilderness, begging for help.

One thing lead to another and suddenly I was in Auridon and who do I meet up with but my old friend Raz.  The sly cat is still working for the queen and asks me to help.  (Why does helping Raz always involve me waking up in a cell?  Ah well, he always helps me get out of it so . . . )

And this chaining of stories without feeling that I am on a rail is kind of what I want to talk about for a moment.  I am not even sure if I have started the main quest line for this game or if there IS one.  Anchors drop from the sky but I have not triggered the explanation for why, yet.  Yes I have run that story-line with other characters but Hammer?  For him they are like the weather, something that happens . . . bring an umbrella and a maul.

Other games, like Eve, have agents you have to go to and only the epic arcs have chains to them (That and the ever hilarious ‘dolls missions’)  What mission you get are randomly pulled from the central pool.  PvE is not a big thing in Eve, it is the other players that are the true challenges.  The one thing that drives me crazy in the game is the insistence of the agents to only deal with people who are docked in their station, even if they are sending me elsewhere.  We have all this high tech comms but Noooo, you need to be face to face as it were.

Secret World and Black Desert online and others have mission hubs, stay in this region till level x, then move on to that region to do mission there.  Going back to earlier regions means that you can blast the low level critters like the hand of god (In secret World I spent way waaaay to much time in the foggy Kingsmouth.  I enjoyed experimenting with weapons and setups in an area where I could practically KICK the baddies if I had to.)  I honestly have not played WoW and so I do not know for sure but I suspect it is of a similar ilk.

But back to Elder scrolls for a moment.  I could probably download an addon that would walk me from one mission to the next but I like being surprised, running into side missions in the middle of no where.  A blocked aquaduct that leads to regrets of a healer making very hard decisions years earlier coming back to haunt him.   Explorers who want your help to find a lost boy in a mine.

When I am lazy I go to my wife and ask what she would like done.  The honey-do list, some call it.  She, now and again, gets angry at this because this is our house and I should be able to see the jobs that need doing just as well as she can.  She does not like being a mission hub.  So I poke about and find a job and that leads to another . . .

Bottom line?  I enjoy having things to do in a game.  How I want to be given the jobs depends upon my mood, more than anything.  I occasionally take on challenges of my own making . . . .Hammer in ESO or Operation Magic School Bus in Eve Online.  Other tasks may swirl around me but I am occupied and entertained and that IS what games are about, right?

hit it like it was a nail.



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Hull Bonuses

This post by Rixx got me thinking.  Hull bonuses are, in Eve, an indicator of best use for a ship. They also are the reason for training the skills beyond the minimum needed.  This one likes shields, that one likes missiles.  But what about things other than skill set? Having already set the precedent with Concord ships like the the Marshal

10% bonus to security status gains from destruction of non-capsuleer pirates while flying this ship

Shield Booster effectiveness increased by a percentage equal to 10x pilot security status, with a floor of 0% and ceiling of 50%

This is a ship bonus tied not to a pilots skill but to his standings.  Rixx asked if a negative version of this could be added.  A Pirate one, as it were, that would bet better the closer you got to -10 standings.  Personally?  I think it is a fair and equitable proposal.  So what would you expect a pirate ship to be better at?

Offensive bonuses leap to mind.  Faster lock, better scrams and disruption.  Things that would help a pilot get his Yarr on.  Perhaps it should come with a skin pre-applied if -10, the Jolly Roger?  Skin is lost if you are so goody two shoes as to get to -3 or higher and you will have pay to get it re-applied.

So, thinks I.  What about those who are neither good nor bad?  Logi?  Neutral logi is a thing, you know.  It would be a reason to NOT want in on piracy kills as it would lessen your effectiveness.

Then I go for a bigger think.  Aside from skills and standings what other pilot aspect could have an influence on a ship?  Attributes.  A set of ships that are better for a pilot who is specced to fly them.  Ah?  Whats that?  You have used all your remaps?  Well not all ships are for all people.  I am +5 standings but I still would like to see the pirate ships exist.  You might not be specced for that ship, well them perhaps the NEX store sells remaps (isk sink).  Or maybe that ship style is just not for you, this year.

That may be the hardest thing to do and it was tough when I was in the CSM.  See a change that does not benefit you and yours but might be good for the game or for some other play style.

fly it like you won it


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Hammering continues

Second in my ESO posts, if you are an Eve player?  Move along or expand your gaming repertoire.

Last time I left off Hammer had made it through the basics and was committed to avoiding that flashy magic stuff.  Since then I have found another quirk for this character.  He does not like taking the shrine travel network.  As a result he has gotten to know the landscape of Northern Elsewyr very well.  I do not know if he will continue to avoid that transport but for now, it is a thing.  Now at level 15 and not using any experience scrolls, just following the stories of the area and see where his horse takes him.

Finished off the battle of the Two Queens story-line and frustrated that only occasionally does anyone think to give him a hammer as opposed to some stupid staff that you magic with.  He understands why Abner keeps handing off items to him, ones bag does get cluttered.  I am currently a VIP player so the crafting things I pick up along the way are nice and don’t fill my pockets.

So there is a house in the Elsewyr storyline and slowly it grows as the story progresses.  Having finished the first chapter game me access to a portal that . . . well damn look at the view from part of my house.

With a waterfall to the left and a pool down below (slaughterfish I do not recommend the high dive more than once) it actually is a peaceful sanctuary.

That brings me around to todays thing.  Sound.  In Eve I keep the sound on (yes, smart asses, eve has sound) but mainly as a warning system, more than anything else.  In ESO I keep the sound on for that but also for the ambience.  The sound changes as I ride across a bridge, hooves on wood.  The birds singing or the music in the Sugar Bowl.  Just waves on the beach or the waterfall on my left.

Sound in a game means something . . .gives an added depth.  With Eve it was not environment but the music, for a long time I listened to it to the point of truly regretting missing Fanfest 2013 when the Icelandic Symphony did a live performance of the Eve soundtrack at the time.  Sound effects, ambience, music can make one emotional as can just the peace of a shore sounds with seagulls in the distance, waves lapping nearby.

Games take me away.  They come with me when I am not playing them and become part of my life, not in a weird way but occasionally I see a plant and realise that the crafting of ESO used some real world models.  Or I look at my recipes and wonder if I should enter one into the Eve Recipe contest.

For that?  I am thankful, I am mentally occupied.

hit it like it was a nail









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Modified 14 (3rd and last bit)

Mike looked to his comm reminders and swore softly. “OK gang, I have to wrap this up quick because there are some things I need to do in Yulai with Concord.”

“You work for Concord now?”  The admin could not keep himself from asking.

Looking to the side Mike smiled.  “No, but they are going to give us Capsuleers a chance to fight our worst enemy . . . Bots.”  He looked back to the class.  “So, we talked about what you can do, what you should do, lets look at all your choices for a moment and discuss how YOU decide.”

The list that scrolled across their comms was long . . . very long


“Now unless you plan on injecting A LOT yo are going to spend years and probably will never know it all, though you are welcome to act like you do.  Some of the methods people use to decide what to train next is to get a fit and then train towards it.  Others try to perfect the ship and fit that they are currently in, to fly it well before moving on to something new.”

“Which is better?”  Asked a student.

“Honestly?  I have no idea which probably means that it depends on you and not some strangers concept of what is the ‘right way’ ta do somethin.  That right there is my bottom line, folks.  I can recommend that you train, I can point you to some fave lists but in the end?  The choice be yours and yours alone.  You can yell about how outdated the Magic 14 is until you be blue in the face.  It still has some validity and if you don’t know any better?  It be a place to start.  Once you learn a bit more about what you like, what you want then you can use or throw out other folks opinions and start forming your own.”

Mike checked his comm again.  “And on that note I has to be going if I wants to make it to Yulai on time.  Remember folks. You live and die with your choices.  Make them your own.”  He did not sprint from the stage (well not quite)



Way back when I was young and graduating high school I found the University Catalogues almost magical to read.  All these things I could learn and do.  I found the Spell lists in D&D to be the same.  I wanted to be all the mages, all the classes, in fact.  So I usually wound up DM’ing.


The Skills list in Eve brought back that same magic, more so than the more limited lists of some MMO’s.  All the things, I want to do them and that is the one thing that Eve has . . . no character classes.  You are what you choose to be and fly (with varying levels 0f success)

Oh and Yulai?

Aside from the numbnuts who spammed the local a LOT, as in scrolling so fast I could not read it at all, it was a bigger event this time.  A few blocks brought the local into readable and I manage to get into a fleet in time to get in on an Avatar and a Hel kill.

I honestly was hoping the GM’s would channel Mod so we could enjoy the event a bit.  But it was impressive just the same.

Still managing a post a day for Blaugaust

I know.  too much for me to write and you to read, right?

fly it like you won it



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Modified 14 (part 2)

“Ok.”  Mike said bringing up three skills on the display.

CPU Management – Default Skill Level: 4 – Alpha Limit: 5
-Basic understanding of spaceship sensory and computer systems. 5% Bonus to ship CPU output per skill level.
Gives us more CPU to fit more/better modules.

Power Grid Management – Default Skill Level: 4 – Alpha Limit: 5
-Basic understanding of spaceship energy grid systems. 5% Bonus to ship’s power grid output per skill level.
Gives us more PG to fit more/better modules.

Capacitor Management – Default Skill Level: 3 – Alpha Limit: 4
-Skill at regulating your ship’s overall energy capacity. 5% bonus to capacitor capacity per skill level.
Gives us more Capacitor that allows our modules to run longer.

“These are the big three.  Each affects every ship you fly every module you want to put into a ship.  I am not saying they are ABSOLUTE musts but they come in handy for almost any career choice.”

Mike paused and looked out at the room.  “I knows you have some basic levels in these skill but if at any time you start looking at a co-processor or a micro-auxillary power core?  Consider the skills over the mechanical replacement.  Now for the next three, the defensive set.

Mechanics – Default Skill Level: 2 – Alpha Limit: 5
-Skill at maintaining the mechanical components and structural integrity of a spaceship. 5% bonus to structure hit points per skill level.
Gives us more base Hull hit points to help us survive.

Hull Upgrades – Default Skill Level: 2 – Alpha Limit: 5
-Skill at maintaining your ship’s armor and installing hull upgrades like expanded cargoholds and inertial stabilizers. Grants a 5% bonus to armor hit points per skill level.
Gives us more base Armor hit points to help us survive.

Shield Management – Default Skill Level: 2 – Alpha Limit: 4
-Skill at regulating a spaceship’s shield systems. 5% bonus to shield capacity per skill level.
Gives us more base Shield hit points to help us survive

“Hull, armor, and shield are what keep you from trying to breath vacuum.  Adding to those three via skills is one of those cases of ‘every little bit helps’.  You will be shot at and being able to take it is part of being a pilot.”

“What if I plan on being a miner?  I won’t be shot at then, right?”

It took a minute for Mike to stop laughing.  “What ever gave you that idea?  Tank is the only thing a miner can have and they damn well better have enough to convince gankers to go find easier prey.  Take a moment in zkill and compare retrievers killed to procurers in any given week and get back to me on that one.  Bottom line?  You WILL be shot at so it is in your best interest to be as solid as possible.”

Mike changed the comm image to two new skills.  “Now you will use up resources so it is nice for them to come back, quickly.  That is where these two come in.”

Capacitor Systems Operations – Default Skill Level: 3 – Alpha Limit: 3
-Skill at operator you ship’s capacitor, including the use of capacitor boosters and other basic energy modules. 5% reduction in capacitor recharge time per skill level.
Makes our Capacitor regenerate faster to help compensate how much we use.

Shield Operation – Default Skill Level: 3 – Alpha Limit: 4
-Skill at operating a spaceship’s shield systems, including the use of shield boosters and other basic shield modules. 5% reduction in shield recharge time per skill level.
Allows our Shields to regenerate faster to help mitigate incoming damage and/or recover after a fight.

“NOW we are getting in the territory of ‘not for everybody’.  If you fly Amarr you may not care as much about shield performance.  Some ships and styles do just fine with what capacitor replenishment that they already have.  So this is where the Magic 14 is not as magical.  But sooner or later you will fly other types of ships and have other needs.  At that point it might be a good idea to come back and revisit these skills iffen you didn’t train then early.”

A new list of four skills appeared

Navigation – Default Skill Level: 3 – Alpha Limit: 5
-Skill at regulating the power output of ship thrusters. 5% bonus to sub-warp ship velocity per skill level.
Increases our base maximum speed to make us go faster.

Evasive Maneuvering – Default Skill Level: 1 – Alpha Limit: 3
-Improved skill at efficiently turning and accelerating a spaceship. 5% improved ship agility for all ships per skill level.
Improves our Inertia Modifier to allow us to reach our top speed faster and turn tighter at higher speeds.

Warp Drive Operation – Default Skill Level: 1 – Alpha Limit: 3
-Skill at managing warp drive efficiency. Each skill level reduces the capacitor need of initiating warp by 10%.
Lets us warp away using a minimal amount of our capacitor.

Spaceship Command – Default Skill Level: 3 – Alpha Limit: 4
-The basic operation of spaceships. 2% improved ship agility for all ships per skill level.
Improves our Inertia Modifier to allow us to reach our top speed faster and turn tighter at higher speeds.

“These here?  Are the go faster skills.  They may be prerequisites for other skills, down the line but basically they allow you to go and go faster, better.  Even miners . . . ”  Mike smiled at the one who had asked questions earlier. ” . . . like to have the ability to leave quickly should the need arise or the gankers are seen incoming on D-scan.  Speed is life is especially true for the Minmatar as their ships live to go fast but any ship assigned as tackle wants to get right on top  of the target as soon as possible.  These skills let you have that extra little edge in chasing or running away.”  The image changed one more time and Mike smiled.

“Almost done folks, stay with me.”

Long Range Targeting – Default Skill Level: 1 – Alpha Limit: 3
-Skill at long range targeting. 5% bonus to targeting range per skill level.
Allows us to lock onto targets that are farther away.

Signature Analysis – Default Skill Level: 1 – Alpha Limit: 3
-Skill at operating Targeting Systems. 5% improved targeting speed per skill level.
Allows us to lock on to targets faster.

“These two actually, in my opinion need Target Management added in.  I like to lock all the things and lock them quickly.  If you fly combat they are needed.  You want to shoot first even if your name is not Han and for that you need to lock them no matter how far out they are and how tiny a target they are.”

Mike smiled and stepped back from the podium.  “That is the Magic 14 but there are other skills that could be on the list, other things you need to consider.  We will get to those after we have a small break.”



Of course your opinion may differ from mine, that is fine.  It should.  But you, if starting out, need to consider the basics and at least know they are there before deciding to skip them or ‘save them for later’.

fly it like you won it


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Hammer O’Clock

So I went throught the skills sets of the various classes in Elder scrolls online trying to find the one that might be most conducive to running a straight warrior.  Non of them really fit my purposes since i did not want to make another Nightblade.  So I settled on Dragonknight.  Not that it was the best choice but it was a choice.  Breton, short and firebearded approaching a dwarf in stature and attitude and straight to Hammer and Heavy Armor.

Just what the Doctor ordered.

I chose to not skip the tutorial and I am glad that I went with that decision because you now start in a different way than you used to.  Waking up I am greeted and told that I am one of the survivors of a dragon attack on a caravan.  OHHHH, I know which one . . . .

Cool, I feel like I am in the story right from the start, connected to the trailers. One mission leads to another with a side distraction from Razum-Dar and suddenly I am having a blast with both the concept and the game.  Working with a cat and a battle-mage to meet a dual plague of Dragons and undead and I am not really worried about levelling up though I would like a few more skills to fill out my bar. (this no magic, no flashy stuff self imposed condition makes life interesting)









See that is what it is all about, for starting out a game.  Catch them, hold them, teach them as they go but make them feel a part of the Universe.

I am looking at you, Eve Online.

Part 2 of the Magic 14 is next

hammer it like it was a nail.


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Modified 14 (part 1)

“If y’all have been paying attention as new folks to the rookie chat you most likely have seen a link to the Magic 14 skills list that is a common recommendation.”  Mike adjusted his noted on the lectern and looked off stage at the admin who kept rooking him into giving these talks.

“Now not everybody agrees with them being a go to and some get quite irate if you send someone that way at all saying that the list is outmoded or too general for usage.  So we are going to take a bit of time to discuss what your skill queue should be holding.”  Mike paused and looked out at the class.  “Ya see the thing is?  Not all of you are gonna do the same thing once you hit space.  Some will mine, some will mission, some will head to null.  Some like shields and some like armor.  Some like Missiles and others drones . . . so many choices.  Know what I am saying?”

Blank stares of students overwhelmed with information looked back at him.

Mike sighed.  “No of course you don’t.  So let us start with the basics.  Before you hit any generic list of skills look at your own here and now as well as your tomorrows. Guns and hulls that you are using or are about to use are ALWAYS a good thing to have in your queue.  Support skills for the guns might modify tracking, damage, or rate of fire.  Support skills for the ship might include shield skills or armor skills but that depends on you and what you are flying.  If you are mining or doing industry other skills may also present themselves.”

“So what is the Magic 14 then?”  Someone asked.

“Well a lot of them might cross  over on the skills I already mentioned but the rest are what we call ‘fitting skills’ .  The skills that give you a better chance to cram all of those modules on to your hull in the first place.  A bit more cap or powergrid or processing power is nice to have and makes the difference for a lot of fits.”  Mike looked about.  “Now I know there are things like the co-processor unit and the micro-aux power source but do you really want to give up a module slot for that extra bit or train and have it as an inate skill?”

The students muttered amongst themselves for a moment and Mike took the opportunity to take a drink and then he tossed up an image of the list.



What you are doing needs training, what you want to do tomorrow needs training.  May you some day reach, in Eve, the point where you cannot decide what to train because you are satisfied with where you are at.  Only 10+ years in so I am not there, yet.

Magic 14 is from Eve Uni a very good resource for a lot of Eve online

and this is in NO WAY meant to be taken as an attack on them by me.

This will be at least a 2 part piece because I want to do it carefully.

fly it like you won it.


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Elder Scrolls

As some of you know, this is pretty much my ‘other game’.  The one I play when at my computer and not in Eve Online.  I have been an avid supporter of Bethesda and the Alder scroll franchise right from the start.  Arena?  Played the hell out of it.

So I enjoy the Lore and I enjoy the world they made.  Most of all?  I enjoy the choices.  Not just the storyline ones ‘kill or let live’ but the character ones that I made for myself.  I have played a lot of Skyrim where you do not kill the first dragon and, as a result, wander a world that is pretty dragon free.  I have tried to play where sleeping matters and you don’t just keep going.  You do eat, not just 50 Cheese wheels in the middle of combat but on a daily basis.

These days it is Elder Scrolls Online and I try this and that type of character and curse the limits of the number of character slots I have.  I want to be all the things.

That brings me to here.  I am going to occasionally bore you with other gaming stories or mentions.  Why?  As I said a long time ago this is as much for me as it is for you.

In my tradition of playing games wrong I am going to try to run a character who, in day to day life does NOT use magic or flashy powers.  A straight classic warrior.  Hammer  and shield or Maul.  He takes pride in just hitting them harder than they hits him.  Oh he will work for mages and such but sneer while doing so.

The funny thing is?  The game does not really allow for that.  Every damn class has a magic/mystic skill.  So I have to choose one and pick and choose what skills I want from within its lists.

Those of you who play ESO, suggestions?  I have played Nightblade a LOT so I really do not want to do another sneaky dual bladed master (or mistress) of the night.

Comment below and I will make the character in the next day or two.

hammer it like it was a nail.


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Free spent the transport time checking her weapons.  The tech swept all of the electronic devices, twice.  His feed was now set to Gallente preference but they both knew that he would probably be on the move.

“Do we chase him or wait on the path for him to come to us?”  The tech asked, throwing up the normal Bus route.

“There is a third choice.”  Free said.  “We call him and ask for a pickup.”

“Gonna do that?”  Tech said, testing each listening device in his kit, individually and scuffing a few that were too shiny.

“Path.  Put us ahead of him, for now.  Gives us time to make sure things are just so.”


Scotty eyed the small group in front of him and wished he was better at public speaking.  “So there it is.  Someone or something is making changes to his ships.  I want to know who, what, when, everything.  You go over every item that comes in or out and I want all his hanger queens double checked.  Take your time, do it right.  If anyone asks?  You are doing standard maintenance.”


Mike sighed and looked at the local inventory.  “I needs to restock here somethin awful.”  He tapped a note to himself for the next time he was in the local trade hub.  He then returned to reviewing fits and trying to decide which ones needed updating or revisions.



For those of you who do not know?  I am retired.  So that means a lot of the day, when not gaming, is spent on maintenance of house and home.  Grass to mow, weeding of the garden.

If you do not keep up maintenance then things tend to get away from you.  Become tasks almost too big to tackle (How long since I last did the laundry?)

Games have the same cycle, for me.  maintenance of dailies?  keeping up with the latest news?  latest big thing or announcement?

Hell, even this blog is, now and again, maintenance.

I am halfway through the Blogaust challenge and I have not missed a day yet.  I don’t know about you but 15 days in a row?  That is some serious consistency for one such as I.

now for another 16 . . .

fly it like you won it


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Mike chuckled as he followed the morning comms.  The news was about changes coming to nullsec and cynosaural fields in particular.  “Don’t change much for me except I is gonna have to bring a proper ship to commemorate John next time around.  But to hear the reactions on both sides of the issue was . . . interesting.  Half the pilots were threatening to quit forever and the other half were overjoyed.  He thought about his old lessons in statistics and grinned.

Why it’s probably biased: People who take the time to respond tend to have similarly strong opinions compared to the rest of the population.

“Yeah, the folks chiming in do seem to have ‘strong opinions’ I’d say.”

He flipped past that to an announcement about Ventures but then seeing that it was in reference to faction warfare he shrugged and moved on.  “Makes sense, hell if they really really wanted to piss the pilots off they would band the complex flipping from any ship mounting or carrying a warp core stab at all.  Iffen you are in there?  You better be in there to fight.”  Nodding to himself in a self satisfied way he closed the comms for the day and stretched.  The plans for  Gallente delivery run were later in the day so he had the rest of the morning free with no specific plans.

He knew better than to even think that sort of thing.  It was like saying ‘the worst is behind us now’.



While teaching I did do a lesson on self selected samples and the implicit bias in it and yes the forums are a great example of that lesson in action.

I tossed the line about Warp core stabs in just for Rixx.

I know that CCP has tools to measure player reaction to announcements and it is NOT just reading the forums or reddit.  The question is how reliable the tools actually are.

how would YOU measure true customer satisfaction in an mmo?

fly it like you won it



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