As of late there have been several days of considerable Eve playing. These nights have seen much diversification since my earlier posts of Eve Beginner Steps and Eve Mining for Beginners. This recent explosion of Eve playing has been caused primarily by a few more free evenings, a brand new GTX 960 graphics card… and mild game addiction.
Since those earlier posts I have now started salvaging, more complex mining, pirate hunting and cosmic anomaly scanning.
Below are a series of shots taken over the last few nights of gaming, showing the different situations I’ve ended up in.
Now we’ve got a Coercer destroyer and we know how to use it! Managing the capacitor has taken a while, but we’re getting there and its causing wakes across space. We’re now collecting rewards for ridding space of nasty pirates and scum…
It does however mean we’re taken some pretty heavy hits amongst what seems like fierce fighting.
Sometimes it pays to get up close and personal with your prey. 150 meters will probably do it
“Commander to chief weapons officer – fire at will!”
More battles mean more damage and scratches to our shiny ship. This means we visit a lot more space stations for quick repairs and capacitor charging.
In this image above we’re flying about in our new Magnate class ship. This one is specifically fitted out for searching space for any cosmic anomalies or strange signatures. We have a probe launcher, some salvaging units, as well as a data and a relic analyser.
So far we’ve cracked quite a few relic ships and found a moderate level of income from it, but nothing yet compelling to keep at it for much longer.
The crazziness of scanning for anomalies. Lots of circles and symbols.
Slowly getting the hang of it I think.
One thing I have learnt is to use the comparison tool extensively when buying components.
I found I had a shield re-charger, but whenever I had it on it was bleeding my capacitor dry within 20 seconds. This unfortunately means my Coercer guns also go offline as they’re all energy turrets.
However after using the comparison tool to find one with less draw on the capacitor, I found a similar shield re-charger to the one I had but with an added 20-30% more re-charge for the same capacitor consumption. Using this means I need it on less than beforehand (as its recharging the shield quicker).
Which in turn means I need to use it less, therefore depleting the capacitor less frequently.
Needless to say though, it is a constant arms race.
You buy better modules, laser units and hull upgrades.
You take on bigger threats.
You’re no longer as strong as you need to be.
You buy more modules, more laser units and even more hull upgrades.
I’ve also learnt the very important part of Eve Online combat, that is warping-the-hell-outta-there!
This screenshot was from a time I cut it a little bit finer than usual. 57% hull remaining after my shields and armour had been blown away.
A simple re-fit and we were back in the fray, shooting more lasers and killing more reds.
Maybe its time for some more modules, laser units and hull upgrades.
I knew my graphics card wasn’t brilliant, it was a relic you’re more likely to find in a drifting hulk in Eve Online than available at any shop. It wasn’t until I benchmarked it and compared it to others that I found out how bad it was.
One benchmarking site gave it a 3D benchmark of 250. After a bit of research I finally settled upon a new GeForce GTX 960 as a replacement, this one has a benchmark of 6600!
Thats over a 25x improvement!
Now Eve Online, which is what I predominately bought it for, plays like a dream. Everything is so smooth and crisp. On top of that it’s visually stunning. Below is a series of comparisons; left is the old Radeon, the right hand side my new GTX 960. Click to see the extra detail.
Here are just a few screenshots I thought were worthy of a capture as well.
So my time with Aura has come to a quick end, however I feel like she’ll be around again at some point. Her last action directed me over to the Royal Amarr Institute in Pasha VII, where I had a selection of agents ready to train me up.
I’ve chosen the rather scary looking Zidah Arvo to teach me the ways of industry.
Our first mission was easy enough, equip a new mining laser and head out to a specific way point to mine some veldspar. This seems to be the common ‘metal’ used in Eve, so I’m guessing I’m going to be mining a lot of this in my time here.
Her second mission she gave me was practically the same, but with less guidance as before, and with the added challenge of processing the ore into tritanium afterwards.
Needless to say, with my comment about being disorientated in my last post, without proper (read; easy) navigational guidance I couldn’t find the blasted asteroids. I had found my way to an asteroid belt, but no asteroids were showing up. Surely the classification of an asteroid belt is that it contains big lumps of rocks. Alas on my third jump to a asteroid belt I stumbled across a huge collection of them.
Not only was I able to find veldspar, but the asteroids I’d discovered were highly concentrated veldspar… whatever that means.
I passed the few minutes waiting time, while my lasers did their mining bit, visually exploring the system I was in. A much bigger ship, with a few smaller ones alongside, were hammering several other asteroids nearby. Even with my PC running Eve Online at fairly basic graphics, it was still visually stunning.
On return to the Institute, I quickly reprocessed my new ore into the more useful material tritanium. Scary ol’ Zidah was very happy with this; giving me a bunch of spacey credits and even a new ship. A Venture. In industrial yellow!
I fit out the new ship with my mining laser, my gatlin pulse laser and my small repair module… before heading back out on my own to mine me some more ore.
10 minutes or so later, with a belly half full (or thereabouts) of ore, I come back for some re-processing and to cash my first paycheck. What Zidah doesn’t know wont hurt her.
The reprocessing screen shows me something interesting…
The 9K units of ore on the left can be converted into the 2K units of tritanium on the right, however the sale price of both stashes is 161,000 and 116,000ISK respectively.
So by reprocessing my ore I actually manage to devalue my cargo. Why, because I’m rubbish and I’m being taxed basically!
The station looks like its taking about a 4.5% cut for tax purposes, so I’m only converting the goods at 47% efficiency. If I were a bit more trained up I’d hopefully get a better conversion rate, and therefore a higher ROI.
I decide to hang onto the ore.
Zidah then gets me to use some blue prints, enabling me to make some civilian afterburners. Nothing too difficult about this, but it begins my journey into manufacturing goods and items.
I notice the afterburners sell for 140K, for only a handful of tritanium. This could be an easy way to make a fortune I naively think. Sadly though, after the training mission is over I lose the ability to make any more after burners.
Can’t be destabilising the economy just yet I suppose
Never being one to invest time in something that might not catch on, I think it’s fair to say 13 years into Eve Online’s existence I can take my first crash course as a beginner with a fair amount of confidence.
I’d like to say my first day will be in charge of a leviathan-esque battle-ready super capitol ship; with myself in battle attire, sipping on a brandy and smoking a cigar as I point to the distant stars.
In reality it’s more like pint of cider and dressing gown… but still lets rock ever onwards.
First off, we seem to be playing Sim’s in space. I spend way too long creating my avatar, one Ves’ron Yeldi. My name, losely, is based on the 40k Tau codex, meaning Robotic ‘Winged One’.
After we get chatting to some AI bot we flung out into space where we pilot our capsule over to our awaiting ship. Inside we hit the big red button and speed off to warp
“Make it so Captain!”
Out current mission, after picking up our ship, it to carry back an item from a local Amarr Cargo Rig. We manage to fly over no problems, grab some loot and then head back to the Royal Amarr Institute to dock.
A few more words of wisdom from Aura, our friendly AI unit, we mark our mission completed and receive a book. A book?! Who uses books. Well it turns out we do, skill books.
With our new book somehow being absorbed into our head, we’re learning ship repairs don’t ya know, we head out and destroy a fuel dump.
I try to be clever and loot from the wreckage, but alas there is nothing but twisted metal. Activting one of the jump gates I easily dispatch two pirate ships, taking only minimal damage myself.
I can’t help but feel the feel within Eve is a bit clunky, perhaps I’ll learn how to auto-rotate, or look at target automatically. Hey ho, the learning curve has begun.
Getting our docking request accepted back at the Amarr Institute, we complete our second training mission and get a boosted armour repair unit to substitute our older one with.
The multiple windows, within the game is going to take a bit of getting used to, but it shouldn’t be too hard. I’m sure there’s short cuts for window management too.
We continue our next training mission by trying to get some documents, but for the life of me I can’t get my head around the navigation. After jumping, or is it warping, between 2 locations several times, I finally find the helpful AI bot tells me a bit more info than the mission.
Amarr Academy Offices looted and documents received.
I keep making the rookie mistake of travelling to places and having the jump finish 100KM away from the target, which then means you have to approach it using the steam-powered engines (aka slow)… which takes literally MINUTES! Eughhh.
Who has minutes to spare?!
Now it looks like the first stage of basic training with the helpful Aura bot is coming to a close; she’s hinting of multiple seperate training ventures coming up with other agents. I have a feeling I’d dabble in a bit of mining to begin with, then onto some sort of military combat.
I’ve heard the learning curve for Eve Online is pretty steep, however I seem to be hanging on just enough at the moment. I would say my biggest problem at the moment is disorientation. I obviously don’t know what the ‘layout of the land’ is like, but I struggle to tell if I’m in the correct area, or one gate away, or even which area I should be heading to.
Oh well, who said captaining a ship would be easy.
Now I’m back and safely docked, I think it’s time to put the whisky and cigar down.
As many readers are probably aware, I’m a keen Minecraft player. I think its a great creative game and works really well for multiplayer. By the end of this short article you’ll be able to place ‘command blocks’ and get them to give you riches beyond your wildest dreams as well as engage you in deep and meaningful conversation. (Slight exaggeration may be present in that previous sentence).
Recently after a dry spell of not playing it I decided to get back into the Mining scene and dragged along my friend and fellow Minecrafter AdsWhite.
From then I have decided to craft a little PvP (Player VS Player) match arena but knew I lacked the knowledge of how to use the Minecraft logic / programming systems to put together a neat little map.
I can do simple redstone circuits, but how do you teleport people into maps, get them specific weapons, keep track of scores etc.
So time to don the learner’s goggles and dive straight experimenting with Command Blocks and OP Commands!
1) What are Minecraft Command Blocks
A good question that I knew you were going to ask! +10 points for you
These little blocks enable you, the world creator, to specify a single command at a specific time. This command may give or take away a certain item, change a player’s game mode or even make it rain.
Basically any command you can enter into the Minecraft console can be saved into a command block to run at a later time. Great for creating adventure maps or PvP maps!
They store a command and fire it when they are powered. So if you know about redstone circuitry you’re halfway to controlling the game.
Shown here to the right, they look quite distinct yet are placed and interacted with in the same way any other block is. You wont have come across them in normal survival maps as they simply don’t exist.
2) Being creative and placing command blocks
I’ll assume that as you’re still reading you know that Minecraft has a survival mode as well as a ‘creative’ mode. The latter allows you to place any block anywhere in the game. Without restrictions and effort to acquire blocks you can create some architectural masterpieces, as well as just plain old fun maps!
To begin with the map you’re working on must have ‘cheats enabled’. What this really means is that the console window can be opened by pressing the forward slash key, “/”.
Once you’ve got cheats enabled, you can enter creative mode by typing the following into the console:
Pretty self-explanatory right 😉
If you open your inventory you should see its now filled with dozens of different blocks and tabs. Here you can drag blocks into the bottom row and then place them as normal.
The third tab along the top, the pile of redstone dust, not surprisingly is where you’ll find the redstone circuitry and other logical components. However, you’ll notice that there is no command block. I’m not entirely sure why it isn’t in the panel yet.
Obtaining a Command Block in creative mode is simple however, just type the following into the console:
give <yourname> 137
This should then place a command block in your inventory which you can put down as normal. Boom!
3) Learning your first command… already done!
Now you’ve placed your command block its time to get it doing something. You may think you don’t know any useful Minecraft commands, but you just used one.
The way you got your first command block, by typing give <yourname> 137 told the game to give your character the block with the ID of #137.
If you right-click on the command block you’ll see the GUI (Graphical User Interface) where you can enter the command you want to run. Type in the following:
give <yourname> 266
Put a switch on a block next to your new programmed command block… then give it a flick!
You should be rewarded with a fine gold bar. Sweet!
4) Improving the GIVE command
It’s all well and good going around giving yourself gold, or even diamonds, but what happens when you want to give someone else a gift. Unless you know in advance, you can’t program in their name.
For example if you’ve got a maze with a treasure room at the end, you want the winner to be the one who gets the prize, not the 3 other players still lost in the cobblestone.
Thankfully the Minecraft wizards have thought of this problem and have given us 3 variables to use instead of the player’s name. So in our previous examples, take out your name and use…
“@a” to give a gold bar to everyone on the map!
“@r” to give a gold bar to a random player,
“@p” to give a gold bar to the closest player.
On top of using a variable like @p in your give command, you can also specify a quantity.
46 - TNT
137 - The Command Block
264 - Diamonds!
266 - Gold Ingot
272 - Iron Sword
297 - Bread
322 - Golden Apple
5) Lets talk a second…
Obviously one of the most primitive interactions on Minecraft is the ability to communicate with other players. Command blocks are also able to talk to players, or more accurately, at players.
Going back to our maze example mentioned above, once one player enters the winning centre and claims their prize, a message could be broadcast to everyone to let them know the race is over.
Add another command block onto the ground and type the following command into its GUI:
say Hello World
Needless to say that when it triggers, it will send that to everyone’s screen.
If you wanted to send a message to a specific player, for example our maze winner, you would use the discreet and private communication method:
tell @p Well done on winning this simple maze, have a cookie!
This method will only appear to the closest player, which if placed correctly, will be the maze winner.
6) Finally: easy comes, easy goes…
We learnt in the first few sections of this tutorial how to give items to players. How about doing the opposite? Taking objects from people.
This method could be useful in making sure no one enters a certain area with any objects (such as a PvP or Hunger Games style map), or taking a payment in exchange for a new object.
To completely strip a player of everything in their inventory, enter:
If you wanted a melee combat server, you could periodically run the following to remove all bows (Item #261) from all players:
clear @a 261
Summary of Command Block Tutorial #1
You should now be able to use individual command blocks to give and take away various items from a player, as well as sending them messages. Where specified in the examples above, you should also be able to use the command block to apply the command to the nearest player, all the players, or one at random.
If it’s helped, which it probably has if you’re still reading, please give it a share or mention it in a Minecraft YouTube video you produce using this information.
There are lots more to cover about command blocks but we’ll start exploring them in another article.