In the aftermath of war, Gareth Harmer starts planning for the future.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. In EVE Online, that truism still holds, even among the politics, plots and machinations that gyre within CCP’s sandbox. But while trust can be earned in New Eden, it is also malleable, flashing from strong iron to intangible vapors in an instant.
Last week, I talked about declarations of war. With the corporation in lockdown for most of the week, I decided to spin up a reckless alt in search of trigger-happy adventure. But while mission running was making me braver and bolder than ever before, my PvP escapades had a little less luck. After burning through five destroyers and a handful of clones, I needed a change of tack.
With the war over, my stir-crazy industrialist moved back to his old tricks of gradually turning asteroids into ISK. As Mister Business chewed through floating boulders of Veldspar and Scordite, it became apparent to me that Mister Reckless needed some training before he’d be even remotely dangerous. Sure, he could go chasing after mining frigates in low security asteroid belts, but he wouldn’t exactly be named pirate of the year.
In the end, I fed Reckless a plan: master everything possible about Destroyers, from ship command to weapon choices. They can be deadly if used well, but they’re cheap enough to replace easily. And with Business raking in the cash, I’d be able to fund my own losses comfortably. I even hoped that, in time, Business would earn enough ISK to pay for Reckless’ subscription.
So, like some spacefaring Batman, I sent Reckless to train with the local equivalent of Tibetan monks, updating his training queue whenever the Neocom iPhone app reminded me. At some time in the future he would be unleashed on an unsuspecting universe, but for now he needed to learn the ancient art of Pwn-Zhu.
I find it both fascinating and amusing how EVE’s sandbox creates butterfly effects. It was one example that introduced me to my current corporation; it would be another that introduced the corporation to an alliance.
For a while, we’d been discussing about becoming more than mineral merchants, instead feeding the industrial pipelines of more militaristic corporations. But to do that, we’d need to venture into low-security space where all the precious ores are. That wouldn’t be happening without some serious firepower to back us up.
This pipeline pipe-dream might yet happen. It seems that our week-long enemy was throwing out war declarations like candy, much to the displeasure of a neighboring PvP corporation. Words were exchanged, proposals were made and an Alliance was formed. Our strength has doubled in size and width, covering all aspects of spaceship creation and destruction. We could finally start making plans about moving into the lawless edges of space.
But while Mister Reckless would ride around on a soapbox and baseball pitch missiles at you, Mr Business would need a bit of extra protection in order to mine successfully in low security space. To pull this off, I’d need to upgrade from the mining barges I was currently flying to the armor-clad Exhumers. Buying just one of these would cost my entire savings so far, but the training would also take a month to complete. This was starting to look pretty expensive.
In order to get my hands on that kind of cash, I’d need to increase my mining income. But without being able to free up more time, I was in a bit of a bind. Luckily there’s a solution: multitasking.
Anyone will tell you that mining while away from your desk or alt-tabbed in another application is a bad idea. My plan was slightly different – use an old 2007 iMac as a 2nd computer to run EVE while I worked away on my main one. I could check what was going on regularly, listen for alerts and all while being productive. The great news is that there’s a native EVE client available for Mac without all that messy Bootcamp business and, because the game’s been around for ten years, it’s very flexible about supporting older hardware.
While it’s possible to download the EVE client direct from CCP’s website, my advice for the Mac is to grab it from Steam (incidentally, it’s half price until July 22nd in the Summer Sale). Be sure to grab the shortcut for the actual game and add it to your dock, so you can launch it without needing to log into Valve’s service.
That done, the game actually ran surprisingly well once I dropped most of the graphics options down to low, clipping on at an acceptable 30fps. For the hardware, and considering that I was only mining, this was a perfect result. It also means that I can have Reckless and Business logged in at the same time on separate machines, should I ever need to.
As the week drew on, I began to think about further plans. What ships would Reckless move on to once his mastery of Destroyers was complete? Should Business move into refining or manufacturing (or both?). And once my characters had all the skills necessary, where would I find someone to teach me as a player?
My attention drifting, the speakers suddenly flared up with an alarm. It sounded like I was about to have my first lesson…
Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer, Senior Contributing Editor
Follow me on Twitter @Gazimoff