(OOC) The Vloging Experiment

•04/11/2013 • Leave a Comment

I decided, since I’m vlogging these days, I may as well make this blog more interesting by doing some of the posts in vlog form!



(OOC) Look Who’s Back!

•01/27/2013 • 3 Comments

OK here’s the thing. I know I said I would not be coming back, but that was actually my evil twin talking, so let’s just forget about all that and move on, alright?

Seriously, I had no idea how adamant some people would be about me returning to EvE. It’s always nice to know I’ve left a mark on things. And while I still love EvE more as a concept than an actually minute-to-minute game, I’m willing to take another shot at it from a different angle and see how it goes. To that, I’ve joined an small, all-local (Toronto) semi-pirate corp not attached to an alliance. We’re casual and intent on doing what’s fun first and foremost. So far the energy has been completely different and quite enjoyable. Not at all like it was in the Ushra’Khan.

Let me mention something about the U’K. I’ve always thought that the proper place for the U’K and CVA was Faction Warfare. Why the two most prominent RP alliances were not the ones leading the charge when FW began will always confuse me. It’s sad to see that it took internal strife to get them to this point, but ultimately I think it’s for the best. All the best to them.

Currently I’ve opened a new account and have begun training a mining/refining alt. She’ll get into some sort of production at some point, but the specifics are issues for a later date. You may be asking yourself what ever happened to my main, Gigaer. From what I understand, Project Halibut didn’t last long due to some interpersonal issues (says the rumor-mill), but he was used after that to continue helping new players in various forms until recently. I’ve asked for him back and the transaction should be completed sometime this week. In what condition he’ll be in is still a mystery.

What does this all mean for this blog? Well, I aim to continue writing about the same things I did in the past and hopefully I still have some readers still watching me. If not, that’s cool. Out-of-character, in-character, scientific and other types of posts will be coming your way soon. I’m not going to beat myself up over consistently posting, but they should come out on a regular enough basis. Also, I need to reconnect with the EvE blogosphere and Tweetfleet, as I’m told by one Roc Wieler (whom I saw two nights ago and failed to crush my ribcage despite an honest effort) as both alive and well. I’ll begin to seek out blogs to link to and read (suggestions are VERY welcome) and you’ll find me on Twitter as @PsycheDiver.

Plenty of posts coming while I get back into the swing of things, so stay tuned. In the meanwhile, I’d love to hear about what you all have been up to since I took my sabbatical!

Happy to be back!


Fly safe! o7

(OOC) Retiring.

•06/27/2011 • 4 Comments

Some of you may have noticed I have been absent from the #Tweetfleet as well as my blog and the game itself for some time. The reasons being I have been mulling over a decision, one that I have recently come to a concensus about.

I am leaving EvE Online, and I won’t be coming back.

Most of you may be thinking that is has to do with the recent troubles, of which I will not go into because everything that needs to be said is being said by many others. I will say I was fine with it all (even the standings buying since it fit the RP) until they started talking about non-vanity items. I want to make it clear that while this was an element to my decision, it was only the final nail in the coffin.

My main reasoning lay within what my life has become as of late. I have two jobs, a podcast project that is demanding more and more of my attention, an important spiritual pilgrimage coming up that will change my life considerably, no time to date, a new (old and used) car, no time to date (as if anyone would have me) as well as other issues all across the board.

I have been wholly unable to find time to play EvE the way it is meant to be played since before Fanfest, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Fanfest was a tipping point for me. I had an amazing time but it helped me start to see how I am more in love with EvE as a concept than as a game. Fitting, as that love-from-afar dynamic is how it all started and how it will rightfully end. I love EvE, but I don’t love EvE Online enough to drastically change my life so I can play it.

To my brothers and sisters in the Ushra’Khan, I love you dearly. There was not a single moment during all my capsuleer years that I did not want to fly with you. It was a privilege that I fear I never lived up to the way many of you thought I should have. I wish you all the best of luck and thank you so much for the opportunities you all offered me.

To the #Tweetfleet, you have no idea how much I will miss being one of you. You truly are the voice of a nation. You can all expect for me to be following you on my geek-centric Twitter account, @GeekEdge. Even though I may not be playing EvE anymore, I hope I can still be part of the discussion.

There are specific people who have touched me in a singular way, but I will be reaching out to them individually. I don’t wish to embarrass them.

To those who have come to enjoy my blog, I will be leaving it up, but I sadly can’t promise I’ll be writing any more IC posts. If the drive to do so ever strikes, I will. The blog will remain up. I have put too much work into these words to just delete them. If anyone would like to use my characters in any way, please let me know. Thank you all for reading. You made delving into the life and times of my characters worthwhile.

So what happens now? One of my major issues with leaving was what to do with my account. Gigaer was a highly-trained character and deserved to not be mothballed or biomassed. I have spent too many nights grinding, too many days pondering skillplans and too much money on subs to just do away with him. While I am trying to embrace a buddhist sense of impermanence, there is a point of waste I wish to avoid. Therefore, I will be transfering my character to the wonderful people at Project Halibut, so that all my work can go towards helping others. If you don’t know about PH yet, check it out. I feel this option is the best way to make an exit.

This is not the end of my connection to EvE. I will be continuing via a new partnership between the Complete Geek Network and the EvE Commune podcast. As my podcasting persona from the Complete Geek Network (Edge) I will be continuing my EvE science analysis in an audio format within it’s own monthly segment, as well as popping in from time to time for the show itself. I want to thank the good and honest crew at EvE Commune for arranging this all with me, even though they have been perhaps the most vocal about having me reconsider.

This choice was not easy. It took me months to get to this point. This is not an emoragequit. It is, however, the right thing to do for me.

To all of my immortal brothers and sisters, fly well.

(SCI) Tractor Beams, Salvagers and Mining Lasers

•06/05/2011 • 3 Comments

Tractor beams, mining lasers and salvagers are common pieces of equipment for capsuleers and other spacefarers. They allow us to efficiently manipulate matter outside of the ships without physical contact. Mechanical manipulators are still used, but are comparitavely limited and prone to all sorts of difficulty.

Even though these three devices differ substantially in application, they are nearly identical in how they do what they do.

The simpliest are tractor beams. All ships have teather-based manipulators that use myomer teathers with simple manipulators on their ends to interact with objects at extremely close range, but objects that are further out can be “tractored” closer using this device. It operates by focusing a graviton column at the target, which pulls it in. More sophisticated systems can pull in objects faster and from further away because they can create a stronger and better attenuated column. This technology is at work in mining lasers and salvagers as well.

Mining lasers create a similar graviton column to a tractor beam, but it is modulated in a way that breaks up targets in a controled manner via micro-occilation of the gravitons. This literally shakes the matter being manipulated apart, Usually in the form of asteroids. Specific crystals can be used to ossilate the beam in a way that will more efficiently vibrate specific materials to the shattering point.

Salvagers are the most sophisticated of the three. Instead of using physical manipulators to remotely deconstruct an object near your ship, it uses a very complex suite of attracting and repelling graviton columns to manipulate objects to push, pull and hold components. The emmiters are similar to those of a tractor beam, but are much smaller and precise. This is more efficient but is currently not as delicate as myomer teathers, and therefore novice pilots find it difficult at first to free their target from wreckage without destroying it.

Tracking the path of advancement in these technologies over the past few decades is a good way of mapping how quickly pure science becomes various applications in New Eden. Capsuleers truly do drive industry.

(SCI) FTL At A Glance

•05/23/2011 • 3 Comments

FTL is critical to New Eden civilizations because at conventional speeds, it would take months or years to get around within a single star system, and far longer to get to a neighboring system. Commercial travel would be completely unfeasible. Even traveling at the speed of light would not be sufficient, even it it were physically possible. Why is it not possible? Let’s say you have a ship that needs to burn hard enough to accelerate to the speed of light. That ship has mass, which requires a certain amount of energy to get it to that speed. The larger the ship, the more fuel would be needed, which increases the mass, which increases the needed fuel, and so on. Using available technology, no known fuel is powerful enough to accelerate a ship to the speed of light using conventional means.

There are three major ways to achieve faster-than-light (FTL) travel in EvE. Warp, stargates and cynosural-based jumps. Even though each of mode of FTL accomplishes more or less the same thing, they do it in ways that differ right down to the base physics involved. Indeed, one of them can barely be considered travel at all. So, let’s detail how each of these work, shall we?

Warp is the most common, as well as the slowest of the options. Every modern spaceship is equipped with a warp drive, and uses it for intra-system travel (point-to-point within a star system). Warp speeds are commonly measured in astronomical units, or AUs. An astronomical unit is a unit of length equal to about 149,597,870.7 kilometers (92,955,807.27 miles) or approximately the mean EarthSol distance.

The average spaceship travels at 3 AUs/sec at full field integrity.

Have you ever noticed how when traveling at warp, light ahead of the ship takes on a blue shift and light behind the ship takes on a red one? That is called a Doppler shift. The Doppler effect, named after Austrian physicist Christian Doppler who proposed it in 1842 in Prague, is the change in frequency of a wave for an observer moving relative to the source of the wave. It is commonly heard when a vehicle sounding a siren or horn approaches, passes, and recedes from an observer. The received frequency is higher (compared to the emitted frequency) during the approach, it is identical at the instant of passing by, and it is lower during the recession.

The relative increase in frequency can be explained as follows. When the source of the waves is moving toward the observer, each successive wave crest is emitted from a position closer to the observer than the previous wave. Therefore each wave takes slightly less time to reach the observer than the previous wave. Therefore the time between the arrival of successive wave crests at the observer is reduced, causing an increase in the frequency. While they are travelling, the distance between successive wavefronts is reduced; so the waves “bunch together”. Conversely, if the source of waves is moving away from the observer, each wave is emitted from a position farther from the observer than the previous wave, so the arrival time between successive waves is increased, reducing the frequency. The distance between successive wavefronts is increased, so the waves “spread out”.

For waves which do not require a medium, such as light or gravity in general relativity, only the relative difference in velocity between the observer and the source needs to be considered.

A warp drive actively compresses space ahead of the ship, and expands it behind it, thereby reducing the relative space the ship needs to travel within the common dimensions of the universe, as well as the energy needed to transverse that space and bypassing the universal speed limit. This is done through artificial gravitational lensing, using graviton fields to create and control the famous virtual particles that mediate gravity between all things in the universe. The same technology that simulates gravity in a naturally zero-g environment is what allows ships to bypass the universal speed limit. Creating a Doppler shift (known as redshift and blueshift) in the surrounding light is a side-effect of this process. The subject ship controls speed by controlling field strength. It is common practice for ships to remain at full burn during transit. Also, variance in ship direction is kept to a minimum in order to eliminate stresses on the hull.

Warp is the only used FTL mode that allows subjects to travel within the main four dimensions of this universe.

Let’s say you want to use warp technology to reach other star systems. As odd as it may seem today, that was how it was done prior to the establishment of the stargate network. Even today, deep-space probes spend months or years traveling at warp velocities.

If you are traveling to an inhabited system today, you will most probably be using a stargate. However, stargates don’t work the way most people think. The common misconception is that stargates create huge wormholes for ships to pass through. A wormhole is a hypothetical topological feature of spacetime that would be, fundamentally, a “shortcut” through spacetime.

Take a piece of paper and draw two points on it with a pen. The paper represents spacetime along the four major dimensions of our physical universe (height, length, width and time). Shortest distance between two points is obviously a straight line, but if you can bend the universe, as all gravity does, then you can connect the two points along a new plane. Poke a hole through the paper connecting the two points. That is your wormhole or cyno. then when the paper is unfolded, you’ve not traveled at all, but arrived at your destination. The effort isn’t in moving through the universe, but folding the universe around you.

Creating and sustaining a wormhole large enough for a ship to casually fly through would create such a disturbance that the orbit of nearby planets and other celestial bodies would be catastrophically affected. For this reason, stargates must be anchored in a very specific manner and utilize a complex form of anti-graviton jamming (basically the opposite of artificial gravity) around the quantum singularity at its core.

Even though stargates are unidirectional, ships only need to approach it in order to make use of it. The same system which allows for the singularity to be contained is used to control the entrance aperture’s vector. The aperture is funneled out to focus at the position of the target ship, which is enveloped. The ship is routed through the temporary extension into the main bridge, and the anti-graviton buffering field is restored. This is all computed and done in less than a second and can be done in rapid succession. The opposite is done at the exit aperture, and the ship is released at a position that minimizes gate traffic.

The difference between a stargate and a jump bridge is two-fold. Firstly, as jump bridge devices are smaller, they do not indefinitely sustain the bridge between apertures (which also means there are less stringent placement protocols). Also, as jump bridges project much of their functions into open space, they often do not resemble a gate-like construct.

In recent years, emerging technologies in quantum entanglement, as well as a rise in nullsec hostilities, has given rise to a third method of FTL travel. Cynosural fields.

A cynosural field is a kind of quantum broadcasting system, creating a quantum space-time event that does not strictly exist. The nature of this field allows a ship equipped with a “jump drive” to lock on to that unique signature instantly from anywhere in the universe, as quantum information does not obey the universal speed limit. That drive then creates a singularity very similar to the kind used in stargates and jump bridges, but allows the entrance aperture to expand explosively and collapse within a second. Anything caught in this effect is “teleported” directly to cynosural field.

Due to technological limitations, the range of this mode of travel, however is is important to note that the physics involved to not take space-time into account, and therefore do not have a range limitation of any kind. Theoretically, this technology could move an object from one end of the universe to the other, instantly. It is also important to note that the ships involved do not move, and therefore is not strictly considered a mode of locomotion. This is the least conventional mode of FTL to date.

I hope this explanation serves you well on your journey.

(OOC) Science Peeves

•05/16/2011 • 6 Comments

Decades ago, Gene Roddenberry used the relatively new concept of matter-energy teleportation in Star Trek, purely to get around the fact that having a shuttlecraft appear to land on every planet in every episode would bankrupt the show.

Now, quantum teleportation is becoming a reality because science geeks demanded specifics, and later desired to make such things reality.

Good science makes for good science fiction through forward thought and inspiration.

Recently at Fanfest, CCP Tony G said at a panel that it peeved him that a ship can utilize seemingly unidirectional device like a stargate in an omnidirectional fashion, without there being an explination of how or why.

This was given as an example, and I am sure that he and those like him feel strongly that such things should be properly addressed in canon. It shows a lack of inspiration on behalf of CCP, who continually say they want to create the ultimate science-fiction simulator.

We barely have the fiction for that, much less the science.

I have been pondering joining the Mercury team since talking to Tony that day, and that conversation is ongoing. What I would like now is for my readers to point out the science holes in EvE that most annoy them, and challenge me to patch them up. Each hole presented will be given its own post as to allow for a proper explination and debate.

Those post will be given the header (SCI).

As for the issue that Tony himself brought up, that will be my first challenge.

(IC) The New Ride

•05/06/2011 • Leave a Comment


Ghaya prided herself on mining where most feared to tread. Where pirates or worse called home, there were untapped resources so vast that they became stuff of legend. It was a common understanding that to get at these riches, small fleets were necessary, complete with dedicated combat wings ready to intercept and eliminate opposition long enough for the miners to do their work.

Ghaya did not work well with others. The few times she ventured out with a fleet, she invariably did what she wanted, when she wanted. Her FCs either denounced her publicly, or labeled her a target in the field. Neither was very fun. This caused her to form unsafe habits like mining solo in nullsec, going dark among the rocks and rubble when trouble came sniffing around. Drifting there without nav shielding or any way to know if the pirates were right on top of her would be enough to crack the will of even the toughest industrialist, but Ghaya just bitched for hours about how she needed a new ship.

Fast-forward to present day, and after pulling more strings and selling more roids than should be necessary in a lifetime, she was finally getting her wish.

She had begun designing this ship a while back (if “designing” meant doodling randomly for hours in her pod using a paint application).

A girl loves to shop, and in day one of this project she bought:

– Two Orcas.

– A Raven battleship.

– A Sin Black Ops battleship.

– A Skiff.

– A Mackinaw.

– A Hulk.

– More modules and rigging equipment than you can shake a Stabber at.

She began by gutting the first Orca, and dismantling all the other ships. The idea was to utilize all these ships as a gestalt in order to create to perfect solo mining ship. The hull sections of the second Orca were installed on the first, The main body pylons being linked to the bottom and angled diagonally. The upper secondary hulls were linked together and now ran the length of the ship. The forward bridge was removed for added electronics. The engines were centered on a new brace and were held in an elongated X formation.

The Sin provided the new capacitor, powergrid and electronics systems, as well as a cynosural field-capable jump drive and cloak. The drone control systems were also utilized, and a sizable dronebay was created using portions of the lower forward body pylons. The bays were large enough to hold a healthy compliment of combat drones of varied types. These would (hopefully) provide all the offensive capability Ghaya would need.

One turret hardpoint was placed at the centre of each body pylon, and installed on it would be the best strip mining lasers ISK could buy. The reason she bought the Skiff, Mackinaw and Hulk were mainly to get at the computer systems and their hard-coded laser attenuation algorithms. Each ship specialized in a specific kind of ore because of these advances, and the only way to get a copy of them was to buy the whole damned ship around it. Mind you, the three exhumers made for some useful parts, but their real beauty lay in their computer cores. It was a simple enough task to cross-link all three cores together.

The armour was replaced with 1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates with an interwoven N-Type Adaptive Nano Membrane and N-Type Regenerative Membrane. Finally, the Raven provided new shields, to which was added a battleship-class F-S9 Regolith Shield Inductor and a Dread Guristas Invulnerability Field emitter. Varied damage control systems were also installed.

All of it was more or less rigged together with pieces from the deconstructed vessels, providing an ample supply of conduits and bulkheads and whatever else was needed to make it all work to its full potential. All this was made all the more difficult by Ghaya’s insistence for a minimal crew.

It took a few false starts before she flew to spec. Maneuvering thrusters needed to be added and several more thrusters were added to the main assembly (from the Sin) to bring the top speed up to a healthy 89 m/sec. The ship would never be entirely legal, but after greasing the palms of an ORE VP, some fake paperwork was cooked up to make it seem like Ghaya’s new toy was a failed Orca II prototype. As far as anyone was concerned, it was safe to fly but too costly to produce, and Ghaya owned the only one.

As she looked at her creation from her quarters through cameras on its docking cradle, she wondered what she would christen it, and what people would think when they saw it undocking and setting course for nullsec.

((OK, I’m looking for a name and a GOOD ARTIST RENDERING of Ghaya’s new ship. I’ll offer up 100m isk to anyone who really blows me away.))