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EVE Online Joining A Player Corp

EVE Online: Joining A Player Corp

Recently I decided to join a player corp (corporation) in EVE Online. After my post earlier this month I started to play again, at first it was just to recoup my recent losses and then to liquidate and consolidate assets. During this time I noticed there was some excitement around the latest Equinox expansion. This expansion promises to be the beginning of huge changes to null security space and features new upwell structures, resources and ships.

Having almost exclusively played in high security space, most of these features I would never see, let alone exploit. This is on top of many other features that are more or less exclusive to null security space, such as the ability to use capital ships. Flying capital ships in EVE Online is something I have always wanted to do and I even wrote about it more than 3 years ago when all I could do was risk a test flight.

I did join a player corp in October last year for 11 days which was as far as I am concerned a colossal disaster. Nobody seemed to know what they were doing. I don’t want to go into any details but I am amazed I lasted even 11 days with those clowns. Sadly this experience served to reinforce my view that joining a player corp and playing EVE Online in null security space was not for me. However after a lot of research and with new found confidence I decided to join a player corp called Silent Armada which is part of the alliance Game Theory which in turn is part of Phoenix Coalition and as of right now is not at war with anyone.

Compared to my last experience, these past 10 days have been amazing. Each time I play I learn something new about the game, everyone is friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Some of my corp mates have extensive knowledge about PVP (Player vs Player), capital ships, advanced industry and how to generally thrive in null security space. The leader of the corp has even given me 4 fully fitted and somewhat expensive ships and expects nothing in return. I have joined 2 fleet operations so far including this ice mining fleet screenshotted below.

EVE Online Ice Mining Fleet

I am not used to kindness and generosity, especially in EVE Online. I hope that it will continue and that I am able to repay them in kind. Usually alliances push for minimum requirements, full API access to your accounts and demand that you commit time to doing what they want at least several times a month. So far however that hasn’t been the case and the leadership has been exceptionally accessible and helpful.

EVE Online: Losing 250m ISK to Piracy 101

EVE Online: Losing 250m ISK to Piracy 101

For a short while on most days I log in to EVE Online to complete daily challenges and/or receive daily rewards from the login campaign. Usually that is the end of it because right now I don’t particularly want to play EVE Online but I believe someday I will and will appreciate the 10-15 minutes I spend each day obtaining the rewards on offer. Last Saturday however, as part of completing one of the daily challenges, I found a wormhole which connects the region of EVE I operate from to just 3 jumps away from Jita. This is a relatively rare and interesting opportunity to visit Jita (the main trade hub for EVE Online) and sell salvage and other miscellanies loot that I collected either when completing missions or combat sites. Ordinarily to do this I would need to make a more than 60 jump round trip rather than the 5 or 6 this wormhole gave me.

I loaded up my cargo ship (hauler), an Iteron Mark V with the salvage and loot which had some value and set off to jump through the wormhole and make my way to Jita. One jump away from Jita however I was targeted and destroyed by a player in Perimeter, a high security system with a 1.0 (the highest) security rating. Our corporations were not at war and I had done nothing to make myself a suspect (something which allows others to attack without penalty). The players ship, a Tornado, was therefore destroyed by CONCORD (sort of like the police of EVE Online). Now here’s the rub. I estimate that this players losses cost around 22-25 million ISK (Interstellar Kredits), the main currency of EVE Online. My losses on the other hand were around 250 – 260 million ISK, much of which was completely destroyed. However the player was able to collect what was left from the wreckage (maybe around half) which clearly far outweigh their losses. The player knew destroying me will very likely cover their losses because at some point a second player (or perhaps the same player with a second account) would have scanned my cargo hold without my knowledge by using a passive targeting module. It’s piracy 101 and on this occasion it worked out well for them. For some reason the kill isn’t on zKillboard yet, but here is a screenshot of the kill report.

EVE Online Kill Report

While I am disappointed I lost this amount of assets, I did learn a few lessons. I now know that even if my pilot has some relatively good skills and even if I invest in relatively good defense modules, a tech 1 hauler such as the Iteron Mark V can be 1 shot and destroyed by 1 player well within the 6 or so seconds a pirate has in high security space before CONCORD shows up. Another lesson is that on reflection I didn’t actually need to use a weak and slow cargo ship, I could have used a battleship which has a significantly smaller cargo hold but on this occasion was probably enough and if it wasn’t I could have done it in 2 trips with added relative safety. Finally I should have trusted my instinct. On the way I noticed the wreck of another cargo ship but decided to risk it anyway. I should have stopped and either turned back or docked up to re evaluate what I was doing.

I should add that this method of piracy is completely legit and it is a sound way of playing the game. I hold no ill will towards the player for choosing to play the game in this way. If anything they add content by reaffirming that nothing is off limits in EVE and if you undock your ship you could potentially lose it. It’s a reminder of the first lesson an EVE Online player should learn. If you can’t afford to lose your ship and/or the cargo or if losing it will truly upset you, don’t undock with it. Having said that, personally, I don’t think I could do what this player does. It’s not that they’re doing anything wrong, but for me the thought that I might upset someone who for some reason hasn’t learnt the first lesson of EVE kind of turns my stomach. I think I would be the worst pirate ever and would more than likely say sorry to my victims and give them back everything I took from them. Which isn’t the point at all.

EDIT: After speaking with other members of the EVE Online community over the weekend, and after further deliberations. It turns out that I am wrong about the losses this pirate incurred. It’s actually closer to 85-90 million ISK lost. Which means this person only gained a very small amount of profit and maybe took a small loss when you take into account taxes. It was a bit of gamble that the right loot wasn’t destroyed as well. Not a very smart pirate.

Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead

Each week before playing a different game, my friends Jamie, Shadey and I have been playing Left 4 Dead one or two levels at a time. Developed and published by Valve with their Source engine back in 2008 with a sequel the following year, the game is starting to show its age and become a bit of classic. Despite some initial misgivings, I found it a nice change of pace from the other games I am playing right now and as ever I enjoyed simply playing a game with friends. While I suppose you could play through the game single player, it’s designed to be a co-op first person shooter, supporting up to 4 people to play as one of the protagonists available.

As I was playing I remembered that there is a StarCraft 2 custom map published by Blizzard Entertainment back in 2011 called Left 2 Die which is a sort of RTS (Real Time Strategy) spin off of Left 4 Dead. The objective being to fight off waves of undead with special enemies which have similar names and abilities to the zombies in Left 4 Dead. It even has the similar title card below. The whole thing was to show off their latest custom map editor which, to be honest, is a great way to get into game development. It is after all how games like League of Legends and Dota 2 were born. Which in turn started the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game genre.

Left 2 Die

I am also reminded of when I played through Aliens: Fireteam Elite back in 2021. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part they’re completely different games. But they are both designed to be played cooperatively. It’s a shame that back then I wasn’t able to play through it with a friend or two, it could have been so much more fun.

After around a total of 17 hours play time, we completed Left 4 Dead on ‘normal’ difficulty last weekend. This means that the criteria has been met for it to go on my list of completed games. Technically speaking, we completed the the first Left 4 Dead game as well as Left 4 Dead 2, but I will feel better combining the two games. Especially as I should admit that there was an element of being carried, especially at the beginning. Towards the end however I would like to think I was holding my own, barely.



Yesterday I completed Hades, a roguelike game developed by Supergiant Games and was released in 2020. The objective is to escape the underworld with Zagreus (the son of Hades) by moving from room to room and defeating the enemies within which include several bosses and 4 zones with different characteristics. Along the way you collect rewards which will either make Zagreus stronger for your escape attempt or give you resources which you can spend to make Zagreus permanently stronger, unlock special rooms, weapons or cosmetics.

The game features a lot of Greek mythology for which I admit I know very little. There is dialog with most of the Gods which reside at Mount Olympus and in the Underworld plus many others such as the hero Achilles. I found this to be not exactly a unique but an interesting flavour to the game which I haven’t experienced before. Better still the dialog between Zagreus and the various characters in the game contains a lot of humour. It takes the somewhat deep and interesting subject of Greek mythology and puts a funny spin on it which I really like. The story and dialog is also continuous and not repetitive, even when you fail and Zagreus dies the story and the dialog continues which somehow makes your failure feel like not a bad thing and actively pats you on the back, encouraging you to try again. Much like how real life should be.

Hades Art

The artwork by Jen Zee is exceptional as featured above. The soundtrack by Darren Korb is also very good. The gameplay has a lot of hack and slash so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who is susceptible to an RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). But I would recommend using a decent mouse and keyboard, something every gamer should have if they can, it really is helpful with games such as this. I don’t know what my average APM (Actions Per Minute) was completing Hades, but I can say it is much higher than I am used to.

I felt a great sense of pride and accomplishment escaping the underworld for the first time and effectively completing the game, so much so that as well as adding Hades to my list of completed games, I also captured the moment I defeated the final boss for the first time and uploaded it to YouTube. I don’t know if my strategy of ‘going in all guns blazing’ was a good one, but I had such a good run that I hoped it would work.

Spoiler alert.

To be honest Hades isn’t the type of game I would normally play, it was given to me by my friends Jamie and Shadey as a birthday present just over 2 weeks ago. This is the second game they have given me, the first being Slay the Spire for Christmas. I feel so incredibly lucky to have such thoughtful and generous friends in my life who have helped me broaden my gaming horizons and perhaps more importantly my confidence. I can’t thank them enough.

It took me 40 attempts and over 25 hours of play time to escape the underworld, but there is a lot of end game content which could probably add another 30 or 40 hours of game play. This includes ‘hell mode’ which makes subsequent attempts harder and/or speed running the game with the different weapons available. For me though I am satisfied to leave Hades on a high and move on to the next game.

StarCraft Remastered Campaign

StarCraft Remastered Campaign

Over the last week or so I completed all of the StarCraft Remastered campaigns in full without cheating. I first played StarCraft when the Brood War expansion was released in 1998 and treated myself to the remastered version of the game in 2019 which I wrote about but never really invested too much time in playing.

To be honest I thought this was going to be a quick win for my list of completed games, but it turned out to be much more than that and it took me quite a bit of time to play through all 30 of the original missions (episodes 1, 2 and 3) and 26 brood war missions (episodes 4, 5 and 6). I remembered some of them, but most of the Protoss and Zerg missions I had completely forgotten about. Perhaps never really played through them properly back in the day because it felt completely new to me.

StarCraft Remastered Brood War Episodes

For the most part StarCraft is celebrated as probably the best RTS game ever made and one of the most competitive games of all time, bringing to life an entire industry of what we now know as eSports. But there is another side to StarCraft which is the lore and story behind the Terran, Protoss and Zerg with main characters Jim Raynor, Artanis, Sarah Kerrigan and some of the lesser known ones such as Duran, Tassadar and DuGalle. If any reader enjoyed playing through StarCraft II but doesn’t know the preluding story, I highly recommend you play through StarCraft Remastered.



Over the last 3 or 4 days I have played through Stay, a game which my friend Jamie recommended earlier in the year. As a cat lover I had my eye on Stray back in 2022 when it was first released, but for one reason or another I never got around to playing it. When Jamie said I could use her copy of the game in addition to a glowing recommendation, I couldn’t come up with any more reasons not to play.

Developed by BlueTwelve Studio using Unreal Engine 4, my first thought was that Stay is a graphically pleasing game giving modern triple-a games a run for their money. But Stay is much more than that. The protagonist, a cat, has been expertly developed by fellow cat lovers. Everything from the animations, behaviours and sounds are based off of real cats owned by the developers. There are even 23 cats named in the credits which I thought was really cool.

Stray Cats

Set in a sort of post apocalyptic, perhaps even post dystopian futuristic city filled with robots, the game has a pretty decent (albeit short) underlying story to it. I found most of the robots really funny and I liked interacting with them. I also enjoyed the somewhat oriental atmosphere to the city which is filled with neon lights. The cat has a drone companion, B-12 (see what they did there?) which translates what the robots say and starts to remember things which it had forgotten before you met it. I can’t say much more without potentially spoiling the game for any reader who hasn’t played it yet, but I highly recommend that you take your time and explore every aspect of the game.

The only criticism I have is that the game is short. If rushed I think most people could complete the game in 6 hours, but if you take your time you could probably stretch it out to 9 or 10. There isn’t much replay value but I think that’s OK. For me Stay is a game best played when you’re ‘between games’ or as a way to take a break from a game you’re investing a lot of time. The game isn’t particularly challenging but it has a few puzzles to solve. I really enjoyed this play through and have added Stray to my list of completed games, something I am relieved to see growing steadily.

Final Fantasy VIII

Final Fantasy VIII

For about 6 weeks or so I have been slowly playing through Final Fantasy VIII. Developed and published by Square Final Fantasy VIII was released in 1999 for the PlayStation. Back then I was already fan of the Final Fantasy franchise and was really excited to get the game, but first I needed to borrow it from someone I knew at my school because at age 14 or 15 I couldn’t easily afford a copy of my own. I was later given a copy by mother which I still have to this day as one of my prize possessions.

The opening cinematic is breathtaking. It is in my opinion one of the best cinematics of its era beaten only by World of Warcraft in 2004. The graphics are a marked improvement over its predecessor and the music is of a high standard but perhaps not Nobuo Uematsu’s finest. Despite this I must admit I was at first disappointed. I think as a teenager I was expecting a continuation of the story or the setting of Final Fantasy VII, but found that it is completely different as a stand alone game with an entirely different world. Most (but not all) of the mechanics are different, there is no materia which provide characters with powers when equipped but instead Guardian Forces (GF) which allow you to junction magic to improve your characters stats among other things. After a few days however I realized this is a good thing which only served to improve my gaming experience.

I actually prefer the GF system. By collecting, leveling and teaching skills and abilities to the 16 GF available makes them seem more personable. Each GF has its own unique set of abilities and feel more like part of the team. For this playthrough I only collected the 12 GF below but I might one day use my save to complete the set and enjoy the ‘end game’ content a little more.

Final Fantasy VIII GF

One cool feature is that Final Fantasy VIII has a collectable card mini game. It’s completely optional but you can challenge most NPCs (non-player characters) and some characters to a game of Triple Triad and can collect up to 111 unique cards. I am missing 12 cards in this playthrough but I am convinced I managed to complete the collection as a teenager. It’s not for everyone but as someone who generally speaking enjoys collectable card games, most notably Magic: The Gathering, this mini game really hits the spot.

Final Fantasy VIII Cards

It must be said that the best feature of Final Fantasy VIII and all other Final Fantasy games that I have played is the story. I don’t think the story is as good as its predecessor, it has a few too many sort of juvenile undertones and at times it made me feel too old to play. But it really is still an excellent story which made me laugh out loud and even brought a tear to my eye on a couple of occasions. For some reason I think this game is hugely underrated, perhaps because it is comparatively an easy game or because people didn’t find it to be as good as Final Fantasy VII.

I am really proud to add Final Fantasy VIII to my list of completed games. Sadly the remastered version allows people to effectively cheat and cut corners, but I played through the game as it was meant to be played which I think is better, more legitimate and gives a sense of pride that I don’t think I could get if I had cheated.

A Way Out

A Way Out

This week my friend Jamie and I have played through A Way Out and I have to say I found it an excellent story driven game. Developed by Hazelight Studios in 2018, A Way Out was a somewhat unique experience for me in that it’s a pure co-operative game experience designed to be played with a friend over something like 7 or 8 hours. This is achieved by presenting both players with a split screen as shown below. I am no stranger to split screen gaming, but I don’t recall ever doing this with a PC. Strangely however I think split screen works quite well for this game and only served to enhance my experience. I got a lot out of seeing what my friend was doing and could see what I was doing from their perspective which was cool because the main characters (Vincent and Leo) usually interact with objects and situations differently.

A Way Out Split Screen

Being pretty much completely story driven and linear there isn’t too much I can say without spoiling A Way Out. But I can say that both Jamie and I did not expect the story to pan out the way it did and I believe I can speak for both of us when I say the game is generally quite funny and made us laugh a lot. There are a bunch of minigames which were fun and it uses Unreal Engine 4 to make the graphics pretty good. At first I felt compelled to efficiently progress through the game but I later found that slowing down to take the time to explore some of the areas was more fun and a good way of savouring the overall experience. Having completely played through the game with Jamie I have added A Way Out to my list of completed games which I am relieved to see grow steadily in recent months.

The only downside for me is that this game is published by EA (Electronic Arts). Traditionally I haven’t enjoyed EA games so I tend to steer clear from anything they touch. On this occasion however the game is excellent and a credit to EA but in order to play it I was forced to use their game launcher. I suppose it’s not a big deal, I can uninstall the EA launcher if I want, but it feels wrong that I acquired a game through Steam which is in itself a game launcher only to then be required to use a different launcher to play it. Perhaps I am being grumpy.

Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire

My friends Jamie and Shadey were kind enough to buy Slay the Spire for me as a Christmas present which I have recently beaten on my 7th attempt after almost 13 hours of play time. While it is true that I have technically beaten the game with the ‘Ironclad’ character and have a Steam achievement to prove it, Slay the Spire is not the kind of game where you should beat it just once. There are 4 different characters, 3 different play modes, lots of content to unlock and high scores to beat, but for now I can say I have slain the spire so have added Slay the Spire to my list of completed games. Below is some statistical data on my first victory, I think the key piece of information is my score of 757, something I should aim at improving next time.

Slay the Spire victory statistics

Slay the Spire is a roguelike deck-building game which in short combines the elements of a deck building card game with RNG (random number generator) mechanics. While luck plays a big part in Slay the Spire and other roguelike games, the whole point is that players should try and ‘stack the deck’ to make their own luck. The goal is to climb the spire fighting enemies and their bosses along the way. The spire is broken down into 3 acts, each act has 16 floors which includes a boss at the end. As you progress the enemies get harder but with progression the player makes choices to improve their deck of cards (which are used to perform actions in each encounter), obtain and choose relics which typically improve your character for the remainder of your run and potions which are consumed when used.

Slay the Spire Combat

I think Slay the Spire is brilliant with limitless unplayability. It’s a cross between games such as FTL: Faster Than Light which I blogged about 3 years ago (almost to the day) and a card game such as Magic: The Gathering Arena. It’s very likely that I will continue to play Slay the Spire from time to time, even if only to try and beat my current high score. All that’s left to say is thank you Jamie and Shadey, this was really thoughtful and generous of you.

Fallout 4

Fallout 4

A few days ago I completed my first play through of Fallout 4 and have added it to my list of completed games. I should warn readers that if you read on there will be some potential spoilers, albeit they will be limited.

I realize that there are multiple endings and seemingly countless side quests, but having completed the main story line and getting the ‘prepared for the future’ achievement by deciding the fate of the commonwealth, I feel like I can say I beat the game. I spent some time doing side quests while trying to decide the fate of the commonwealth making my play through take just over 46 hours. In addition to this I have created a second character and have spent around 19 hours immersing myself in building settlements and completing optional objectives.

In my opinion Fallout 4 is an excellent game. Developed and published by Bethesda, Fallout 4 is a first person (or if you want 3rd person) open world story driven RPG (Role-playing game) where the actions and choices you make as the player define the outcome of the end and the events leading up to it. Much like other Bethesda titles such as Skyrim which is part of The Elder Scrolls series or the prequel, Fallout 3. Released in 2015, Fallout 4 still feels like a modern triple-a game which I paid just £3.99 for, which is superb value for money. I worked out that so far for each hour I have played Fallout 4 I have paid about 7p. The game is very atmospheric and packed full of action, I particularly liked it when the Brotherhood of Steel made an appearance with their Prydwen airship featured below.

Fallout 4 Prydwen

Fallout 4 Prydwen

While I can’t give Bethesda enough praise for Fallout 4 and many of their other games. I have to say that despite being about 8 years old the game still has a lot of bugs. Even when you take away the bad but funny NPC (Non Player Character) AI, there are some fundamental bugs which are thankfully usually resolved by exiting and re-loading the game. But I have heard from a friend that a bug has potentially blocked her from progressing through the main story, forcing her to either start over or move on without completing her play through.

Even with all the bugs Fallout 4 remains an excellent game and well worth playing. For me by far the best thing has to be that Tim Russ is the voice actor for Lancer Captain Kells (the Prydwen airship captain). For any reader who doesn’t know, Tim Russ played Lieutenant Commander Tuvok in the Star Trek: Voyager TV series of which I am a big fan. Friends who know me best would confirm that Tuvok is my favourite character in the Star Trek franchise. I knew immediately once I encountered Captain Kells that Tim Russ was the voice actor. It was a huge surprise and it blew me away, instantly making the game that much better.

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