Saturday, March 1, 2008

Been framed...

...and cleared my name.

Lost? I'll start from the beginning.

An old... "aquaintance" just showed up to "torment" me with his childish attempts of "getting revenge" on me. Sad kid has a screw or two loose to be frank.

The first time this happened, he tried scamming me on a deal for a fully-fitted + rigs Drake meant for missioning. I didnt bite after asking probing questions about what rigs were onboard (he changed his story like 4 times the entire time I was conversing with him). The sad bit here is that I found out he was a local of the parts where I lived and we started talking about that.

Then I poked some more about the supposed rigged Drake. Then saw through his attempt at scamming me for it and promptly closed the chat window.

This is where I made my first mistake, and broke on of my Laws of the Internet: never tell people any real-life information about you. Suffice to say, this proved to come back and haunt me the next couple of days.

Next thing I know I get phone calls from a whiny 12yr old calling me names and stuff. Thank God for caller ID. I immediately got his number, and looked it up, then called back to talk to someone who was actually of legal age.

Luckily enough, I caught his dad of all people. Of course he wouldnt believe me till I told him to go check his "redial" button on his phone. It went back to me. So I said if his kid didnt stop bothering me, I'd have to take action. Naturally he was still skeptical, so I set up a trap for the kid.

Next day, on the hour, he calls, and now he threatened to hurt my family and my baby nephew/niece.

This set off alarm bells for me, since I didnt give him any hint that I had a baby nephew and niece under the same roof, not to mention details of where I lived, only a phone number.

As I said, I set up a trap in the form of a complete phone audio recording of the entire thing, and promptly went over to his place (when he was at school) to talk to his parents, recording in tow.

Now I didnt want the kid in trouble with the law, which is why I went to his parents first. They apparently sorted him out because the next day I didnt get any more whiny 12yr old pre-pubescent voice on my phone calls.

Christmas passes by, New Years, and fast-forward to 2 days ago, after I made my post regarding "lemonade"...

I came home tired, was a hard day, then next thing I know on a final turn into our street, I see the kid, along with some burly-looking guy. He spots me, and next thing I know, I'm getting stones thrown at me from them.

Now dear reader, probably by this point you'd have gotten out of the car and beat the living daylights out of Kid Neurotic and Sidekick Burly Bob, but at the time I had baby duo in my car with their mother (my sister).

My sister calls the cops, while I made a phone call to his parents. Kid Neurotic runs off laughing like he was on crack.

Whilst this was going on, and after a talk with both the parents (who came over) and the cop, I finally settled down to log into EVE and change a skill before I have to babysit as I usually did after work.

enter username
enter password
"Banned. Reason: None"

Suffice to say, I screamed something I shouldnt have screamed considering that there were kids within earshot.

I immediately contacted CCP about it, and lo and behold, I'm under "investigation" for "selling and buying isk" and "sharing of one's username and password".

It didnt take me 3 seconds to figure out who told them this.

(First off, I may not be an expert as to how CCP handles investigative cases like this, but a reason stating I'm under investigation would have helped instead of a "Reason: None"...)

I had it escalated, and got cleared.

I've had it.

If shit like this got to the only bastion of relaxation and venting of steam I've ever had, I dont want any part of it.

Yes, dear readers, I'm quitting EVE. And no, you cant have my stuff. I've given them away already.

I've just made this post to set the record straight, and will most likely be the last EVE-related blog entry I'll ever make.

I was angry at CCP (or whoever braindead intern with the GM account) for badly handling my case before I had it escalated, but whatever, its out of my hands and I'm done with it.

Kid Neurotic's getting the beating of his life, and I intend to make sure he doesnt attempt to hurt me or my family ever again.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Trying to make lemonade...

I'm currently trying to make the best out of my mistaken training Large Hybrid 5 by running some skills that were meant to come after finishing Large Energy 5, like Evasive Maneuvering 5, and maybe run up the T2 Railgun line.

As I've blogged before, I've finished Caldari Battleship 5 when I left EVE the first time (financially induced), and as such, my former goal of being a sniper-based railgun podpilot could be attainable alongside my plans of being a T2 laser user.

And on a different note:

Good friends of mine in EVE have just suffered what most corps meet their death with: a wardec by a larger/more skilled/more "for the lulz" corp/alliance. This is a sticking issue with EVE's current empire mechanics when it comes to combat PvP: security standings.

For example, a known pirate is flying through empire space and into the waiting guns of an anti-pirate. Provided the pirate keeps his sec status above -5 and there isnt a current wardec on, the anti-pirate gets a sec hit (and maybe even a visit from CONCORD). Sound fair?

Some would argue its fair, many others would say "wait, what about us anti pirates? Dont we get a break?". It all depends on what side of the fence you are on this discussion.

My personal opinion is that it's a blatant abuse of a game mechanic, one that CCP hasnt done anything about for, I dont know, forever apparently.

One big excuse is that its a take on "vigilante" justice not being looked kindly upon by anyone. By that definition the empires of EVE should have more power over its capsuleer population. Ingame and via Prime Fiction, thats completely the opposite. Fair? Think not.


Fix is in "Factional Warfare", amirite CCP? <_<

As it currently stands, and as my comment to the discussion that was the fruit of the incident:
A wardec is a wardec, reason notwithstanding. Reason goes out the window once the first shot is fired. Win or lose, its how you take it that counts.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

20 in' days...

I come to you now a model of complete failure.

Yes, indeed, a complete failure.

I fail at EVE.

Lost? Well remember my previous entry about training Large Energy Turret lvl5? It seems I've done a major misclick somewhere in the past, and was training Large Hybrid Turret lvl5 instead.

I've even petitioned it to really make sure that the entry in my skill history wasnt faked or bugged.

I had 20 bleedin' days to go and check what the I was training to begin with, and I didnt even make the time, or even bothered, to go in and have a look-see with the myriad number of tools at my disposal to go check.

This, dear readers, is why I indeed, fail at EVE.

Looks like it'll be another long 2 month wait for those T2 guns...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Trust is a weakness, prt2

I've talked quite a bit regarding trust in EVE Online, and how easily it can be abused just for the sake of laughs on either end, or for actual ingame gain, or for something more sinister.

As I've said, trust can be both a weakness, and a strength. If you trust the right people to do the right thing at the right time, you can come out on top easily, and maybe with bragging rights to top it off.

Recently, a forum thread caught my eye, which quickly references a rather new innovation in character development, management, and otherwise quick way of getting info on someone: the API key.

Info about what the API key thing is is on the main website, as well as what it does, and what it can be.

As this is still rather new for some old-timers to grasp, the API key (two versions, 1 limited, 1 full) allows other people to view your character statistics like skills, and for the full key, wallet, assets, corporation, and other such info regarding your character/s on that account. Some recruiters nowadays ask for your API key to look you up, when during the old days, they'd request a screenshot of your character selection screen (to check for possible alts on the same account).

Since spying, corp theft, and sabotage are part and parcel of this game, its best not to take any chances. In fact, some of the actions some recruiters ask potential recruits border on giving RL information over the internet.

You NEVER give any personal real-life information to ANYONE on the internet. Identity theft is a serious crime, and one that can ruin lives forever. I know so, because I'm related to one who was a victim of it. Its been 10 years and still my relative cant completely fix the damage the thief has done.

Besides, why give real-life information over the internet when you could just fake it. Faking RL info is smart, as it throws off not only potential internet thieves ready to pounce on someone's bank history and drain it dry/ruin it, but to those who would use it to just make your life a living hell "for the lulz".

Of course, my real name isnt my character name, and also are my emails, even my work and school one (used for "serious business" even though my professors and boss/es look at my funny when I gave it to them).

Sure it wont be easy when you have to use actual credentials over the internet for some real work, but if you get to that point, IMHO, you're getting screwed. Avoiding the use of an unsecure medium for your personal information is the smartest thing you can do to keep off anyone's target-radar for victimization.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Amarr Oomph

Any EVE Online player who's spent more than a month in this game will tell you that Amarr, in its current game-state, is on a losing stage compared to other races' ships. Cant blame them really, Amarr have been traditionally left out in the cold in terms of adjustment, as the game around Amarr gets stronger, faster, and all in all better, Amarr havent been adjusted that much.

This leaves a lot of mid-game Amarr fliers out in the cold, and scares off beginners into the fold.

High-SP Amarr-centric players have found ways around Amarr's many problems, mostly by pushing highly-used skills like energy-based ones all the way to lvl5. A whole lot of time and SP required, indeed.

Unfortunately, this is not feasable for any normal player, forced to train very long skills just to stay competitive, when the same amount of SP in other races will make you excel in them. EVE is a game, and as a game, it should be fair, at least in terms of the tools of the trade. Amarr is not balanced.

Till now.

Behold, finally CCP have realized the 3-year long problem that is Amarr and have spoken!

Dont believe me?

Really? You think I'm talking out of my arse?

Read those two links again. Its official, CCP are going to do something about it.

Perfect timing that I have had to use my GTC money in buying a couple of 120mm fans for my case too :/

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Heat (and no, not EVE Online's Heat mechanic)

After faithful service for 2.5 years, my old 7600GST has given up its ghost and died.

Considering the insane amount of abuse Crysis can give I can understand why.

So, I went ahead and got myself a replacement: an 8600GT (berate me later on the choice, I was short on cash and needed a replacement ASAP for school+work).

So I'm using it as usual, and decided to poke around on how "hot" it runs idling around with the basic non-3d stuff I do.

Its idling at 64 degrees Celsius.

Any techie person will tell you this is quite warm for a GPU core to run idling around, doing low-load work like desktop stuff and surfing.

Then again my ambient room temps are in the range of 30-37 degrees Celsius, so I can understand. Blame the iron works next door and the fact that I live in a tropical country. Yes, horrible.

I've given Nvidia a call and they say that normally the 8600GT should idle around 50, and load at 80. Rated maxing out at 127 before damage appears.

I'm not even going close to 127, but I'm still worried. Reason:

When I booted up Crysis on medium settings (autodetected settings as Crysis set, with a tweak here and there to match my aspect ratio for my widescreen), I'm getting load temperatures in excess of 85+ degrees Celsius (my alarm is set for 84 C).

I immediately closed Crysis and check my temperature logs.

I peaked at 88 C.

This is cause for concern. I've never had a videocard that ran this hot. In comparison my old 7600GST (factory overclocked) idled at 55, load at 75, and ran beautifully (albeit a bit slow with current-generation games), and even with Nvidia's support email saying otherwise, this is quite hot.

Installing Rivatuner and cranking the otherwise low-running fan (which oddly idles at 20% even under some load, WTF) up to 100% does help a bit, but still, I peak up to 90 if I dont listen to the audio warning.

I'm giving half my mind into returning the card to the shop for a no-questions-asked replacement (as I'm still within their month return-policy). Who knows, maybe I should return the card anyway. Who knows, could be just a bad card/badly seated HSF. I'd fix it myself provided that 1. I'm not hemostatic (aka, static magnet. I kill PC components by just touching them) and 2. I had some spare heat paste to put onto the GPU...

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Long Haul: Large Turret lvl5

For veterans of EVE-Online familiar with this, skip this blog entry.

For newbies who have yet to touch up on a lvl5 skillup, read on...

I'm on the running end of a large, 20-day-long skill train which is Large Energy Turret lvl5, a prerequisite for T2 lasers (both beam and pulse).

Yes, its been a long time coming, and to save myself the horror of waiting, I took the time out to fix RL 1.0 for myself.

Family, significant other, and friends come first, after all.

If all goes well, I'll be back in the game with a fresh T2-capable (yet Amarr, OHNOES) skillset to practice with.

On the side, I have been catching up on old times with a good friend of mine during my DnD-tabletop days (though not as a player, more like watching wtf they were on about.) and got deep into thinking up about RPing again. I miss the good old days of playing a character with a story and having a nice (if fictional) excuse to pewpew in EVE.

Expect an update sooner or later down the line. Till then, enjoy Febuary :D