Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hacking in Odyssey

The day Odyssey came out, my wspace system got a highsec static via its static C3.  I went down looking for a radar site (now a "data" site), or a mag (now "relic").  And on the first try, I found one!  I had a little more scanning and bookmarking to do.  Came back and.... nothing there but some asteroids.  Someone had run it in few minutes it took me to get back in a Heron.

I'm going in!
Last night our kspace static plopped down in lowsec, in Black Rise.  So again I scanned from my Tengu and found a data site.  This time, I came back in a Buzzard (wanted the cloak), and I got to it first.  Indeed it appears factional warfare space is a great place for a Odyssey hacker.  Lots of people moving around but none of them were interested in me.  I never saw any probes but my own in ~2 hours of scanning and hacking.  I suppose they were all too busy looking for buttons to spin or PVP in small ships.

Anyway, after the first site I jumped one hop and found a system with 4 data sites and 1 relic site.  Since each site had 5 cans or so (8 IIRC in the relic), I got a substantial number of hacking minigame attempts in.  Ali Aras wrote up a very good overview on how the new game works at TheMittani.  Go read that if you are interested in learning.

I rather enjoyed the minigame.  It is a normal EVE window and does not take over your screen -- you can still dscan fine, although you need to remember to do that.  The game itself is not that hard and the strategy seems pretty basic.  Try to expand your network of explored nodes.  Grab utilities ASAP.  Hold off on exploring Data Caches until you've explored around them (in case they turn out to be firewall nodes, although I found a lot more of them were utilities than nasties.)  Don't attack any nasty nodes (firewalls, antivirus) until you have to.  (The one exception is Restoration Nodes, which you should almost always attack immediately.)  My success rate was pretty high; I'd guess I succeeded on about 80% of the cans.  This was with mediocre skills on my part -- Hacking III, but in a Buzzard w/ Covert Ops IV, and the Buzzard had two rigs Small Memetic Algorithm rigs.

I disliked the loot spew pretty strongly.  Just like 98% of all other players.  It is very "unrealistic" -- I complained about that to CCP on the forums last week (based on info from sisi).  As released, it is still clicky and fussy.  You have to be zoomed in near enough to differentiate items from each other (since you are looking for only some of the can types).  But zoom in too much and they move so fast they are hard to click on.  Also it appears to be the case that being close to the cans matters, since the "tractor" effect (which is not a tractor beam!  Just a tractor beam!) takes longer for distant cans and time is short.  So this means you also have to fly your ship to stay near cans.  This also was fussy and annoying.

The sense of losing my loot was pretty strong.  I was getting maybe half of it.  About halfway through the night I was joined by an alliance mate.  He just scooped loot, and this helped.  With two of us we got probably 90% of the loot.  Partly this is because I think he was better than me at piloting, flying around towards the loot.  Incidentally, my friend also had a codebreaker and he did one can.  I found this out by trying the same can, and it turns out that only one analyzer at a time can be activated on a can.  That's right -- if someone beats you to a can, you can't hack until he gives up.

I think that I could improve my play a lot on loot-spew gathering.  In particular I noted that when you mouse over some cans, you sometimes get a little preview of what is in it shown near your HUD.  (Maybe the ones I did not get this for were empty?  Or I just did not hover long enough on a moving object?  (Arghh!!)  Dunno.)  So it may be possible to mouse over and ignore a good part of the spew.  OTOH it may just be that I was not doing it right somehow.  The time was very short and I was frantically busy trying to control the UI.

I was disappointed when I got to the last site, which was the one relic site.  I had an analyzer (oops -- "relic analyzer"), and was eager to open the minigame and see something different.  But it was not different, practically at all.  Other than having less coherency (due to the fact that I had rigged by Buzzard with the rigs that are for data hacking), the game was identical.  There were "firewalls", etc., in my relic.  The loot was different (and at least for me, crap -- this is after all Gurista space and Guristas have crap salvage).  That was about the extent of the difference.  I expect CCP will iterate on this.  At least make some different themed art and give the firewalls different names.

I am going to try to explore some with a cargo scanner to attempt to make the spew more tractable.

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