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2003-2004 by the Alien Assault Traders developers. All rights reserved.

Back again?

Who knows.
Whenever I seem to start playing something seems to happen that prevents it.

Ah well, some reading first to catch up and who knows, I might try to make your life a little bit more difficult again shortly ;-)

Post Date: Jul 5, 2007 - 6:24 am

Time goes by.... nothing changes ... part II

As  I said before, time goes by... nothing changes.
Some people will never learn that they shouldn't be floating around in open space (especially without an escape pod), I'll never learn that I'm not as good as multi tasking as I always think I am.

Here I was happily going along, slowly making my way up the rankings.
I was chatting to Big, doing a conference call at work and having some fun attacking a sector.
All went well until I clicked on fight instead of A&R.
In itself not the worst thing in the world except that there was about 20 times more SD than I could take on.
Ah well, it was only a small voy so I replaced it and played on.
Then I scouted a bit in my good ship, found a nice sector, got the new voy out and... hit a huge minefield destroying my second a&r ship of the day.
Again, not a big deal except... I forgot to buy a pod
Got to love the irony of that.

Like I always say... first thing you should do is buy a pod. Time I start listening to myself  

Post Date: Nov 16, 2006 - 3:09 pm

time goes by.. nothing changes

As the title says... time goes by... nothing changes.

That is to say, people still don't cover their tracks and people still don't carry pods.

Just playing for a couple of days gave me a kill count of seven which puts me 5th in main for kills.
Granted, I had to destroy 2 of my own ships to do it (people kept floating out of my range when I was about to shoot them) but still.. 7 kills in only a few days, 2 of them fatal (i.e. no pod)?
You have to agree that's a lot and something that those players could have (in most cases) avoided.
(btw, if your score is 10 times mine and you're sector defenses are about 80 times what I can take on... I'm not attacking you, I just need to get rid of a ship ;-)

On to the things at hand.
It took me a while to get used to the changes. I'm still not sure what I think about the shipyards on the planets. Part of me thinks it's great, part of me thinks it's not so great. For now I'll decide to remain undecided.

Sector missile... I love it !
Honestly, I do.
Yes, you're very right. When people start using it against me I might feel different but for now I think it's the best thing since... well, since the last best thing that somebody came up with :-)
That said, I think PJ may be right. They may be too unbalanced for the price they come at.
I can't wait to play with them in a tourney though as I see a nice roll for them there.

That's all for now folks. Who knows, maybe I'll manage to free up enough time to stick around for a while... if not... watch this space for another update several months down the line ;-)

Oh and hello everybody. Long time no see :-)

*waves hello*

Post Date: Nov 1, 2006 - 8:15 am


There's a good thing about being away for a while, people forget who you are.
You get called everything from n00b to Crash&burn (no offense crash) but nobody seems to be able to guess it.

Yep, I've been playing .21 again
Funilly enough, I don't like it as much anymore after playing .30
It's too much like running on autopilot and that tends to get boring after a while.
Ah well, like Big I guess I'll be done playing .21 from now on (although I may finish the current game).

That said, I think .21 is a good environment for new players to learn as it's a bit more easy to play so I hope people will keep running .21 servers for a while.

Besides, I guess I would be game for .21 tourneys if I have time.
Who knows, the future will tell.

Post Date: Jan 14, 2006 - 12:46 pm

Ok, one last try . . . .

If you don't want to get slaughtered. . . .


Don't ever go directly to your sector, whipe your trail first.
Don't ever go from sector to sector, whipe your trail in between
Carry deflectors. Hold on... carry a shitload of deflectors. When you think you've got too many deflectors that's when you're getting close to the minimum you need.
Put up SD. Put up lots of SD. If for no other reason then to have fun watching other people trying to take it down when they're breaking into worthless sectors

I am still amazed by the amount of people that don't erase their tracks. Now this has always been an important think but I think it will be even more important once 0.30 is running on every server.
Think about it. Now you can do sequential scans and you'll eventually find sectors. That will no longer be an option. Scouting will become much harder unless.... yep, unless you don't erase your tracks.
Leave them in place and we'll just follow you into your lair. Erase them and somebody will actually have to go into every sector to find you (unless (s)he happens to stumble over your entrance tracks before it deteriorates)

Oh, and keep in mind.... lvl 39 cloak can still lose out to planets with sensors below lvl 30 if you get a bad role of the dice

Post Date: Jan 5, 2006 - 10:55 am

Lucky's strategy

Lucky set a (couple?) of planets up for attack hoping to get a spy on board of the ship that attacked him.

In itself this is a great strategy. I have done it countless times as have most of the players that I consider to be good players. It is often worth sacrificing a planet for the information that a spy can get you.
Just a word of warning to those that have never tried this before... you always run the risk that you lose your spy before he's able to do anything at all (planet blown up, etc).

If you can take that risk by all means, go for it.

Best of luck in the game Lucky and keep up mr Long's updates. They give me a bit of distraction at work ;-)

Post Date: Dec 1, 2005 - 2:44 am

Back again

Yes I'm back and I'm giving 3.0 a try.
So far I like it. It annoys the hell out of me but, I like it.
I haven't been able to do things like I'm used to doing them when I start out a new game but, I like it.
Or maybe, just maybe, it's because it annoys me and because I haven't been able to just cruise on autopilot that I like it.
The game has changed and it needs me to adapt which I think is a good thing. It keeps things from becoming too boring.

Do I think the changes have made it easier for beginners to get of to a good start?
Hell no ! No more than ever I'd advise everybody to read the blogs and the faq.
And yes, I realised that I just said the game had changed so why do I think people should still read the 'old' advise ?
Because a lot of that advise still holds true.  
I also said that I can't do things 'just' like I was used to doing them. Not that I can't do them at all.
Just take the advise given and adapt it so you can use it in the new version. After all, the main objectives of the gaim haven't changed.

Enough rambling, back to the game to check on my 2 pathetic planets :-)

PS Lucky Star... it sounded like Mr. Long was bored so I figured I'd spice up his life a bit hoping maybe I could brighten one or two of the dreadful days of his eternal life

Post Date: Nov 30, 2005 - 12:11 pm

Has phaser disappeared again?

Well, yes and no.

As I don't have much to do at the moment anyway I decided to do some volunteering for a non profit organisation that works with derailed kids and drug addicts.
At the moment I'm an activities leader for outdoor camps (canooing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing) and I've found that most trees don't come equiped with an internet connections. As I'm gone for periods of 5 or 6 days that leaves 1 or 2 days at home.
Theoretically I could spend lots of time online during those days (after all, you can be online while doing laundry) but the dial up connection has finally pissed me off completely.
The phone bills for 3 months of dial up actually amounted to more than 4 years of 4 Mb/sec broadband so I'm cutting down on my online time.

Hope y'all are still around when I come back again.

Post Date: Aug 1, 2005 - 3:58 am


After having made some silly mistakes on my own I had some bad luck in main as well.

As I was putting out SD I lost my connection and couldn't get it back. This meant I was in stranded in my front sector. In itself not too bad as I was still behind a team mate's sector so I didn't worry about it too much and went to bed.
Things didn't go as planned however and the sector in front of me was taken. After that, my sector was nova-ed, including me in my big ship so now I'm facing some substantial repairs.

Post Date: Jun 6, 2005 - 2:29 am

Getting smarter?

After having had my ship shot twice I decided to build/tend for a while. At least until I have broadband again. It seems to be paying off as I've increased my score by more then 60% today and have climbed back into second place.

That said, main has just started and it's too early to say anything. Especially as some of the regulars have only just started playing I expect a lot of changes in the top 10 over the next couple of weeks (if you're not defending your sectors expect to lose them to 'unknown' players that rapidly climb the ranks).

Post Date: Jun 2, 2005 - 2:18 pm

will I ever learn?

And yet another time I lose a ship in main because I want to play war on Dial Up.
I keep forgetting that by the time I've refreshed my page everybody else has had the chance to shoot me 6 times already.

Ah well, back to tending for a while again.

Post Date: Jun 1, 2005 - 7:42 am

Again ?!?

You'd think that by now I'd have learned not to play war on dial up but noooo, of course not.

Ah well, now I get to be aggressive again as there more players in my range

Nice shooting Crash. Do expect me to come gunning for you later on though

Post Date: May 29, 2005 - 3:08 pm


Main is going without too many surprises.

Big is on top, I'm catching up by building and tending a lot. I guess I'm decent when it comes to this but.... it's boring as hell and I'm starting to get fed up.
This will probably mean that I'll get over excited and start attacking things that I shouldn't (indies that are too big, players with bigger ships) and my score will plummet again.

The worst thing about tending though is the waiting. Especially with only a few planets I spend more time making sure I get the maximum out of them which means endless refreshes and not much to do. This makes me think that I was the player that Big was talking about in which case... no script, just boring tending. You should know me well enough to know that by now Big :-P

For now I'm the only player in the top 3 that isn't part of a team (for the second time cause Slim kicked me down when I made it there before). Makes me wonder what the others are doing, especially the team players.
Come on guys (and girls obviously) if I can do it so can you so what are you waiting for.

Aside from main I've been playing on 2 other servers as well (Alf's and some OZ server) but I think I'm just going to abandon those. I only started there cause main was down and I don't particularly like the settings of the servers. Aside from that there are no real challenges there either. On Alf's I could try to catch up with DuronSK or try to take him out but I'm not sure if I can be bothered at all. Time will tell.

On a sidenote, if your a player that happens to read this entry but doesn't normally read blogs... Start reading them.
I ran into a player on Alf's server that has been playing for a while now yet there were so many things he didn't seem to know about (A&R, IGB usage, etc) that it was child's play to take over his sectors even though he is no newbie.
The blogs are full of valuable tips (well, not all of them but you'll just have to figure out which ones are ). Just reading them will increase your chances in the game.

Edit: guess I'm second now. Didn't expect Big to leave already.

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on May 27, 2005 - 10:52 am

Post Date: May 27, 2005 - 7:51 am


Like Big I'll give my fews on the changes that Tarnus anouncd:


1 - Optional Time limits.   Limits players for so much omline time per day so they will have to maneage thier time or find themselves not able to login when they are in real trouble.

I agree with Big on this: It will make things more equal for those that don't have as much time to play. On the other hand, like big also mentioned, you don't have to worry about certain people attacking you once their time has maxed out. This will make them prime targets to be attacked.
On a personal level I'd find it annoying as I often have AAT running in the background with me checking in a lot and making small adjustments when I notice something.


2 - SG's will be named by the players that create them.  No longer will a player be able to pull up a galaxy map and know what the number of an SG is so they can nav for it.

This does make the game a lot harder for the attackers it would still be possible for somebody to find other people in a short game or a game with a set number of sectors.
I worry a bit about the ever lasting ever expending games like main.
Create an SG early in the game of one of those and you'll never have to come out again. Sure you can win games like that but where's the fun ?


3 - Sequential seraches ... say bye bye...   A hunter will have to explore the univers to find theier prey.  New version will have an X Y grid for navigatiom, all templates that use sector nubers will be gone, in fact sector numbers will become alpha numeric

Great. Would be even better though if there is a way to keep track of which sectors you've already visited (different colour link?).
It also may be a good way to make things a bit easier on the attackers by only allowing certain combinations for SG''s that are different from regular sectors (XX11X for SG, anything else for regular sectors).


4 - Smarter Sector Defences ....  No longer will y9ou be able to cloak a sector defence and just take the planet, Oh no!  The pain of it all, ya cloak SD and decide to attack a planet, you will find your self scraping your carcass off the floor when that SD turns on you.

Like Big I can only see the positie side to this. I love it.


5 - Galaxy map will only show what sectors you have scanned or visted.  other than that you have to use warp links or the nav grid to exploe the univers.

This makes sense to me after all, how could you go anywhere you don't know? (except maybe for the sectors adjecent to the one your in).

That's all for now folks.


Ps, enjoy your holiday TH and make sure the missus doesn't spot you when you sneak into that internet cafe

Post Date: May 20, 2005 - 7:25 am

Happy birthday Langel

It appears that my favourite player from Singapore has her birthday today (and is sharing it with one of my best friends so that probably explains why she's my fave singaporean player ;-) ) so let me start by saying:

Harteliijk gefeliciteerd Langel!
I'm not sure if main and tourney are birthday activities (tourney, of course. Main.... it's slow anyway so it can wait while you party <:-) but I hope you'll have a wonderful day.

Ok, back to business.
I was talking to another player yesterday amd it seems like new players are dropping like flies on his minefields in main so here is a bit of advice.

As soon as you've made some money and upgraded your hull, get some deflectors.
Try to get as many as you can.
This may mean you'll have to 'waste' credits (I usually use the credits I make from 50 runs between good ports) but at least it will keep your ship safe so you won't have to start building a ship from scratch.
If you think 'it won't happen to me', you're probably wrong. We all fly into minefields at one time or another and trust me, it's no fun losing a ship that you've been building for days/weeks.

When I heard the names of the new players that had flown into minefield I realized those names had all been on the news as well so I guess I'll say it once more:"ALWAYS get an escape pod".
It's like insurance. You may never need it but when you do you'll be happy you've got it.

Have fun and good luck,

Post Date: May 13, 2005 - 4:06 am

A change of plans

It looks like I won't be moving back to the Netherlands after all. At least, not yet.
Unfortunately this means that I'll be without a decent internet connection longer so I won't be playing any tourneys or fast paced games for a while.
On the other hand, it's a great excuse to start playing main again.
Even if you get shot down during a prolongued period of absence there is always a chance to get back into the game again.
We'll see how far I can get there with very irregular attendance.
Given the fact that despise everything that's always said in the blogs people still insist on leaving their planets unguarded it should be possible to end up in the top 20

And now for something completely different, While I was catching up on reading blogs (well, my favourite ones anyway) I came across Moonrakers entry on keeping track of planets that go indy.
If you haven't read it yet I suggest you rush over there and do it now. It's definitely worth your time.
Had I not been so used to my own system I would have adopted it instantly.

Post Date: May 12, 2005 - 4:13 pm

Guess some things never change

I just don't get it.
The one thing that's been said over and over again (not 'always get a pod' although I do recommend you keep that one in mind as well) is 'always defend your sectors'.

If you are going to rely on a planet to make you money then you'd better make sure there is enough SD there to keep it safe for a while.
Sure you can try to find all links leading to your sector and remove them (and you should) but that alone will not be enough to protect your planets. First of all, especially in the beginning, your nav computer may not be strong enough so you are likely to miss a couple.
Aside from that, people will start doing sequential scans (going through sectors in a row) and will eventually stumble on your planets.
Third, people will follow you unless you cover up your trail (as I don't feel like typing a lot today I suggest looking at some of the other blogs to learn how to do that ;-).

Nothing hurts you more (or helps the other player more) than having your planets being taken away from you when they are just about to max out. You'll see your score plummeting while another player leaps forward. Trust me, unless your doing the leaping it'll probably not make you too happy.

All that said, I'd like to thank all players that don't/didn't bother putting up SD for helping me get ahead in the game.

Have fun,

Post Date: Apr 4, 2005 - 6:37 am

Another update

So what is happening? Is Phaser turning into the prodigal son yet again?
Not quite. Broadband internet availability for the apt building I live in kept being postponed and postponed and was postponed once more. Luckily it doesn't matter anymore as I'm moving back to the Netherlands.
Half my stuff has been moved (I really need to get rid of some DVDs and books) and I'm going back this weekend to get the rest of it.
After that I can get another broadband connection sorted out and that should get me back online before the next release so fingers crossed.

Have fun,

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Mar 31, 2005 - 9:32 am

Post Date: Mar 31, 2005 - 9:30 am

Still alive

That's right, I'm still alive.
Haven't disappeared just yet but... am still without an internet connection (am abusing mom's dial up at the moment and trying to decide whether it's better than no connection at all or not).

I just dropped by to wish you all a merry christmas and all the best for 2005!
May it be your best year yet.

Take care y'all.


Post Date: Dec 25, 2004 - 6:05 am


Unfortunately I have to agree with Big.
My faith in the fairness of games on DE servers is not what it used to be. Somebody who shouldn't have access to the database server apparently did have access after all and abused it.

I have to admit, it has ruined the tourney even more for me.

Sure I'm currently in first but I don't care anymore whether I finish first, last or at all.

It all started when Big SDed.
I was so far behind him that I probably wouldn't have been able to catch up so I don't feel I've earned 1st place.

Then a couple of mystery hits took place. I lost my ship because the planet I was on was hit. At the time it happened it seemed a bit fishy as I had only had that planet for a couple of hours and none of my other planets were hit.
Still, it could just be a coincidence.
Shortly after that 2 players lost their banks to the same player that hit me. Again, it could be a coincidence but only their banks were hit. Planets in the subs were left alone.
Now it turns out that the player that hit us cheated so it's likely he abused the system for those hits as well.

While this was happening a lot of good players wasted turns trying to find Raven. After all, finding him would have meant an instant boost in score.
Had they used those turns differently the ranking might have looked completely different right now.

To top it all off Bov SDed after Tarnus hit him. Personally I think it's a shame. Bovine is a great player and I wouldn't have been surprised at all if he had made it into the top 3, even after losing his ship.

Looking back on how things went I can only say I had a lot of fun in the beginning of the tournament. It had been a long time since I played this agressive and it was good fun again. As the tournament started to progress my fun was spoiled though and I actually thought about SDing myself as I suspected cheating. I'm glad I didn't because it goes against my principles but at the same time I'm playing a tournament I don't care about anymore.

Cheaters suck.

To end on a positive note....
I'd like to thank all the players that stuck around even though were beaten down. Especially the ones that suspected foul play but fought on anyway. I'll quote Bovine as he says it best; respect!

Post Date: Oct 20, 2004 - 6:13 am

It's been a while

I didn't have much to write about thus... no updates

Tourney is going well for me so far. That is, it's going good for me so far. We're still a long way from the finish.
Bovine predicted I might win this one but I'm not convinced yet. Tarnus usually doesn't get going till the second half of the tourney so next week should still prove interesting.
I managed to pass Raven who had a great start but he hasn't been online for a while so there's no telling what will happen when he logs on again.
For now I'm in first place though.

Even though it's the first time this has happened in a tourney I can't say I'm too proud of it though as 3 good players drop out early in the game and, like Bovine said, that leaves us shorter of strong players than we expected.

Some random thoughts from the game mainly aimed at the less experienced players:

- Sector 1 covers your tracks. Sector 2, 3 and 4 don't
- Just because your sensors aren't high  enough to track other players does not mean other players can't track you yet.
- Sector defense is your friend. It keeps you safe. However, try to put up as much as you can. 33k may keep an endy out of your sector but just because you chose to get an endy and trade does not mean other people did the same thing.

More later as it's time for beer now.
Bovine had me running to chase him all over the galaxy today and because of that I've been online a lot longer than I had planned. Friday nights should be pub nights, not AAT nights

Ps, sorry about your voy Max but a good ship in an undefended sector was just too good to resist

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Oct 15, 2004 - 7:16 pm

Post Date: Oct 15, 2004 - 7:15 pm


hmmm, after reading Langel's latest blog entry I've decided I won't be moving to Asia any time soon. I have to date the girl for 3-4 months first?

Back to AAT

I finally made it into the top 20.
It took me about 2 days longer than it should have because I've made more stupid mistakes than I did the first time I played this game.
A few examples:
- Flew a SC into mines.
- Forgot to update the SD notifaction screen while flying into a sector. SD turned out to be a lot higher than the original notification and tore my Voy to pieces.
- While attacking a planet I refreshed the page instead of going back to the previous screen. This resulted in another attack before I could scan the planet. Got me a bounty.
- I attacked another planet after I thought I'd locked a player out of the sector. Turned out he was just cloaked and took it right before me. Another bounty.

Worst thing is, these weren't the only mistakes. Just the biggest ones. You'd think I'd know better.

Main is an interesting game to play though. The top 10 looks pretty solid but outside of that anything is still possible.
Planets seem to change owner faster and more often than money in a casino does and it feels like nobody is building anymore.
Then again, with so many undefended (or hardly defended) planets out there you don't really have to.

That brings me back to SD.
Sure you can upgrade the defenses of your planet but (until the next release anyway) you'll never be able to keep up with the upgrades on ships. This means your planet with 40M fighters on it will be no match for most of the voys and excels out there.

Now SD may be useless against the big players as they'll cloak by it easily anyway but, on main there are bounties.
This means that the players that can cloak by can't attack you.
Other players might be able to cloak by as well but who really wants to take that risk with a freshly upgraded ship? I've had the roll of the dice work against me and I will think twice before cloaking in.
Would you risk a X Tril ship to get to a 100B planet? To get to 2 ?

Compare it to everyday life. You don't have to turn on the alarm or even lock the door when you leave your house. If a burglar wants to get in he will. However, given the option between a locked house with an alarm system and the house next to it that doesn't even have a door chances are the burglar will check out the other house first.

Keep in mind, this is just my opinion though. Other people may think differently

Ps, Langel... I disagree on your 1st/2nd date = impatient = won't experiment / thinks that one angle of thrusting works with one woman, it'll work with others theory.
Personally I feel that deciding to wait for x number of days/weeks/months depends on a lot of other things as well.
Mutual attraction, experience of both people and circumstances  come to mind.

That's just my opinion based on my experienc though. As I can't (nor would I want to) judge other men I'll follow it up with a disclaimer:

This is phaser's personal opinion based on situations where phaser was one of the parties involved.
Your mileage may vary

Pps... 3-4 months seems like a very long time to wait but then again, I live in Europe. Not in Asia.

Entry Edited 2 times - Edited on Sep 7, 2004 - 6:34 am

Post Date: Sep 7, 2004 - 6:23 am

A stupid mistake

Here I am flying around, minding my own business (well, maybe somebody elses business as I was tracking somebody) when I get a notification that there are fighters (1M +change) in the sector I'm about to enter.

1M, no problem at all so I go on.
The next screen shows me a lovely battle report except that there is a slight difference.
1M fighters has turned into 25+ and they tear my ship apart.
Thank you planet jammers.

I have no idea why I didn't refresh the screen after the first notification. That's what I normally do to see if the number changes (always a bad sign). No sir. Today I just decided to fly straight in.

Another day's work down the drain. I really do deserve that 'experienced n00b' title.

Post Date: Sep 4, 2004 - 10:41 am


Just when I had finished writing a nice scroller that explained why I think sector defenses are important my browser crashed.
I guess the AAT gods did not want me to share this information with the world so, as I don't want to anger said gods, I've decided not to write it all down again.
For now I'll just leave it at: "I think it is a good idea to use SD".
(No, I'm not just being lazy... ok... I am.... sue me).

In other news...
I like the lists other people are making.
Not because I'm mentioned on a couple of them (although I am very flattered) but because it shows me how other people view some of the players.
Obviously there are many that I agree on but sometimes there are also some players that I looked at from a different point of view.
Now why would I care about that when I can just sit here thinking 'I agree' or I disagree'?

Mastering the game mechanisms can only get you to a certain point in AAT.
As soon as you know exactly how the game works you are at the same level as any other good player.
Fast reflexes won't help you like they do in FPS games.
Training every day can't help you improve like it can in sports.
The game mechanisms won't magically open up and show you things that are hidden from other players just because you've figured out how the game works.
This means that you can't hope to win a game just by understanding how the game works.
Don't get me wrong, knowing how the game works is important. It's just not going to give you the edge you need to win.

Some people may wonder why, if what I have just said is true, there are players that consistently perform better than the others.
Again, easy.

They don't just rely on the game mechanism to win.
Aside from knowing the game they analyse the other players.
They take time to figure out what player A's habits/quirks are and come up with ways to exploit these.
This gains them a slight advantage over that particular player.
Given enough advantages over all the players in the game you'll have a better chance of winning.
It's that easy to win this game.
Or at least it would be if the other players weren't coming up with ways to use your habits and quirks against using you ;-)

Good luck and have fun.

Post Date: Sep 1, 2004 - 7:18 am

A late tourney report

I want to start by thanking the team.
As most of you know by now the team has been plagued by RL from the start and if it hadn't been for the amazing job that was done by members of the team we never would have made it this far.
In no particular order:

Thunder, great job as usual.

Lucy, another one that will never give up. Chapeau

Count, great building. Too bad your planets maxed out. I think you could have ended higher in the ranking but hey, there's always next time.

Diablo, great building as usual.

Tricia, what happened? All of a sudden you were gone.

Noormees, sorry I couldn't help you more. Maybe next time.

Nam, glad to hear you are feeling better again and a good job during the last 2 days. You definitely helped us out.

Big, always a pleasure. Too bad RL interfered.

Great job people.
You got us into 1st place without losing 1 member of our team.
I am impressed and am glad I had the chance to play with all of you.

Some random memories regarding the players that made it into the top 10 but were not on my team:

KZ, great shooting. Can't believe I didn't get out of there on time.

Tempest, I for one am glad you didn't stick to building. Given the fact that I made up 4M points just building after KZ shot me I don't want to know what you could have done.

TD, anybody you didn't have a truce with? Seemed to be a good strategy for this particular game though.

Satman, great job. Your score says it all

Bovine, great job as well. Where the hell were you hiding ?

Moon, as usual an amazing player that I respect a lot. Good thing (for us) you had some bad luck early on. Not sure what things would have looked like had you not taken those hits.

C, great job... :awe:

So what do I think about the tourney?
Well, it sucked.
Don't get me wrong. The players were great. The teams were balanced (I think so anyway) and although I didn't like all the settings it seems to have made for a pretty balanced game.
The reasons this tourney wasn't great are personal.
My grandmother's death put a bit of a shadow over the tourney.
It made me completely unfit to be captain as I was distracted by it all during the tournament which made the game less enjoyable for me.
Sure, the end result was great and yes, I learned something I didn't know yet (thanks Big, the razor thing will surely not happen again) but I felt I had little to do with it aside from getting some great players.

Ah well, there is always next time.

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Aug 23, 2004 - 5:14 am

Post Date: Aug 23, 2004 - 5:11 am


As Tarnus already explained our team has been plagued by problems from the start.

I didn't want to start playing (aside from a bit of tending maybe) for another day as I'm still very distracted but it looks like that's not an option if we want to stay in the running.
Time to get going and get going fast.

True, I am probably far behind the leaders by now (I haven't checked yet) but what else is new? There have hardly been any games where I did not start at a disadvantage so it's worth a try.
Like TH you will not see me give up. I may go down but I'll go down trying or as Chumbawumba sang:

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You're never going to keep me down

We may lose the tournament but it will not be because we gave up.

Post Date: Aug 12, 2004 - 4:01 am


Sit back, this is a long one.

I can honestly say, this was the first and the last time I want to be captain in a tourney.
Then again, I didn't really want to be captain in the first place. I just offered as it seemed nobody wanted to take the responsibility.
Actually, this is true for most of the captains. We prefered a roll in the background but it wasn't meant to be.

Then came the actual draft.
It turned out to be somewhat of a nightmare with a lot of things happening. I'll spare you all the details but will say that we managed to overcome everything that happened.
All I will say is that there were emergencies in real life and problems in game life.
In the midst of this Tempest generously offered to help Csimplex out. Now most of you probably don't know this but Tempest specifically did not want to be captain. He was very clear about this. Yet, when it was needed, he offered his help.
So what is happening now?
Apparently some of the people that didn't want to take the responsibility of captaining a team are now giving Tempest shit and are doing so anonimously.
WTF ?!?!?
We didn't hear you when they were looking for captains.
We didn't hear you when there were problems to be solved yet now you start whining?
I only hope you're not on my team and if you are you'd better hope I don't find out. I'd rather kick you off the team and lose the tournament than keep you on and win. In my book you are all pathetic and all I can say is:"Grow up and get a life".

ok, on to the next point... Big.

By now we all know that Big signed up under a fake profile.
The captains decided not to stand for stunts like that so we decided to have a new draft.
This redraft included the same players as the first draft.
Some people feel Big should have been kicked out but I disagree.
We need to keep in mind that this is not the first time he has done this.
As nobody warned him not to this again (afaik) he should have received a warning this time.
I think a warning was definitely called for and if he would do it again in another tourney even though he has been warned then yes, by all means kick him out of that tourney.
Either way, it doesn't seem to be relevant right now as Big decided not to play in this tourney.
Do I support that decision? No.
I think it takes a lot of guts to stand up and say:"right, I fucked up. I'll withdraw" but that isn't relevant right now.
What is relevant is that he signed up, was picked and is now hurting the team that picked him.
What's even worse is that he is hurting a team that already lost out because of the redraft as one of the team's key picks in the first draft was picked by somebody else in the second draft.
I've tried to convince Big to play in spite of what has happened (and is happening now) but have unfortunately been unsuccesful so far.

Now there is some speculation as to the reason why Big decided not to play.
Let's all keep in mind that's all it is, speculation.
It wasn't too long ago that we had to go through another mudslinging afair where Tarnus was accused of cheating.
These accusations turned out to be unfounded and... false. Let's not go through the same thing again.

Some of things I've heard are:

"He's not playing because he doesn't like the team he is on"
"He only signed up under an alias so he could play with Tarnus"

Now let's stop and think about it for a second. The first one might be true. Note that I say *might* as we don't know.
This is one of the reasons I think Big should play this tournament. At least he'll prove people that said that wrong.

The second one cracked me up though. "He ony signed up under an alias so he could play with Tarnus". That's fucking hilarious.
I talk to him on messenger or in chat almost every day and I had no idea as to who he was.
Yet somehow, I assume through telepathy as I can't think of another explanation, this trick was going to get him on the same team as Tarnus.
Come on guys, let's stay grounded in reality. There was no way anybody, including Big, could predict the team he was going to be on nor the players that would be on that team as well.

To end this entry I want to ask Big once more to reconsider his withdrawal.
Play this tourney. Hell, play it better than you have ever played any tourney if only to prove the accusations wrong.

That's all for now. Phaser out.

oops... almost forgot.
Good luck everybody and enjoy the tourney. I hope you'll have more fun playing than we had drafting.

Post Date: Aug 6, 2004 - 4:13 am

Dream team time !

Tempest challenged Big's 'dream team'.
Sounds great to me. Obviously this has nothing to do with me being on one of those teams .

Seriously though. It sounds like it would be good fun and although both teams look strong I think the power balance is slightly more in Big's favour which makes sense as he made his dream team first, taking some of the players Tempest would have picked as well.
Tempest does seems to have a time zone advantage but as both Big and myself usually have AAT running in the background at work I think we would be able to compensate for that.

Both Big and Tempest have done what I consider the most important things while building a team (I'm still upset about losing my notes for the current tourney draft and having had to wing it).
They made sure their teams are spread out over several continents and have picked people they know/think will work well together instead of picking players who might be more skilled.
For all of you that watch football (no, I don't mean that sport where they run around with the ball in their hands, why do you think it was called *foot*ball in the first place?) there is a great example of how important this is.
If you look at the dutch national team you'll find it's got an amazing number of great players (last year the dutch national team was the most expensive team around) yet they lose all the time to countries you didn't even know played the game.
Why? Because the entire team consists of stars. They are all amazing players that seem to miss but one skill.
They can't play as a team.
Being able to work as a team, sacrifice your own position in lieu of the team and not caring about being the star (personally I don't care much whether I finish first or last as long as my team wins) seems to be more important than wanting to be 1st all the time.

Now I'm not saying that some of the other great AAT players are primadonnas (I'm just saying that about the dutch national team) but I think Big and Tempest did a great job combining people that they know can work together.

It will be interesting to see who'll win. I know where I'd be putting my money but then, I'm obviously biased .

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Aug 5, 2004 - 4:21 am

Post Date: Aug 5, 2004 - 4:20 am


As most of you probably know by now we decided to declare yesterday's dras for the tourney invalid and are doing a new draw today.

It should be more interesting for me this time.
Yesterday I had to bail out a friend who was stranded without transportation right when I was going to start my profiling of players. When I came back we had to start drafting immediately so I tried a different strategy.
I got first pick and obviously picked my favourite player (top 4 was clear in my mind) and after that I started gambling to get Big. I knew he was hiding under an alias but wasn't sure which one it was.
Eventually I ended up picking him but I also picked up a lot of players I knew absolutely nothing about.

Today I've actually had time to do my homework and think I've got a pretty good idea about most of the players that signed up so I'll do some more calculated picking opposed to yesterday. It will be interesting to see if the teams change a lot because of this or will still turn out pretty much the same way as most people have their favourite picks anyway.

And obviously today my HDD crashed leaving me without my notes so I am almost in the same position as I was yesterday.

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Aug 2, 2004 - 5:36 pm

Post Date: Aug 2, 2004 - 5:16 am


Queen A. has made a nice run up the ranking on Darkelves.
Unfortunately most people seem to care anymore. I guess everybody is preparing for tourney.

For anybody not signed up yet, sign ups will close tomorrow so this is your last chance.
Don't forget to link to your profile or you will be purged and you won't be able to play.

I'm looking forward to the tourney. It should be good fun and I'll keep you, more or less, updated here.

Post Date: Jul 30, 2004 - 9:23 am

On ships

Something interesting came up in chat today.
That is, something I've been wondering about for a long time.
Often I see people getting into a 'big' ship and flying around thinking nobody can touch them. After all, they've got the only Voy/Excel in the game so they must be safe, right?

Wrong !
You may have the biggest ship class out there but that doesn't mean you immediately have more firepower than other people.
A level 31 Excel is no match for a level 34 Voy. Just like a level 25 voy is no match for a maxed out razor.
Granted, in the last comparison you've got the advantage of bigger engines on the voyager and you should be able to get away safe but keep in mind that it all comes down to a roll of the dice. You can get unlucky (read my previous blog if you want to know how that roll can work against you )

So next time you're out driving that brand new shiny toy you just bought stop for a minute to think about this. Is it big enough to survive out there? If it's not then it may be a better idea to keep it parked in the garage for a while until you've done some more tuning.

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Jul 18, 2004 - 1:20 pm

Post Date: Jul 18, 2004 - 1:19 pm

More Darkelves adventures

I was doing a bit of searching in the wonderful universe that is Darkelves when I came across a link to a SG.
Obviously I went in and explored and after a while I arrived at a 3 planet Upgrades sector (owned by KZ)that held about 200M SD.
The SD seemed a bit low to me but as KZ had just gone offline I figured I had enough time to go in and see if there was anything interesting inside after all.

I got my razor out of storage and started bombing (does anybody else seem to suffer from an outrageous amount of backfires this game?) until the SD was low enough to get in.
The planets were quickly taken over and I went deeper into the SGs. It seemed very empty (decoy?) but two layers down I found another Upgrades sector, this one with even less SD.
By now I was starting to get more convinced that this was indeed nothing but a decoy sector but, as I'm curious by nature, I decided to bomb my way in again.
Once inside I found the same thing as before.
The subs were all empty except for 1 that had yet another Upgrades port.
This sector only had 1 planet so I decided that it wasn't worth bombing the SD.
As the planets I had found so far didn't have very high sensors (I think 32 was the highest) I decided to upgrade my  my cloak to level 37 instead.
As soon as I had done that I went in and . . . saw a beautiful screen telling me the attack stats of me vs. the SD.
Not a good sign.
I scrolled down the page and there it was. My ship has been destroyed and an escape pod has been launched.
For a minute I was annoyed because it had been a fairly expensive upgrade. Then I look at the score and realised something else.
Not only did I lose a ship trying to sneak in but it got worse.
I had lost lost about 8 million points. That couldn't have possibly been caused by the loss of my stealth.
It turned out that I had not been paying any attention at all and I had upgraded the cloak on my Excel, not on my stealth.

Luckily the irony of the situation wasn't lost on me (in the past I've always told team mates that they should never try to do something like this with their best ship but that they should use their stealth) so I had a good chuckle at my own expense and crawled back into one of my holes.
Guess I'll be hiding here while I'm building my new ship up which may take a bit longer than I'd like as I had just upgraded the excel a couple of levels (not counting the cloak upgrade) so I was basically left with empty planets.

I guess it will be another slow week coming up for me

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Jul 18, 2004 - 8:46 am

Post Date: Jul 18, 2004 - 8:42 am

Darkelves again

Darkelves has been slow and boring the last couple of days..
Like KZ already said, everything settled down after Tempest's rampage and I didn't know what to do anymore.
I tried building a bit more but that soon got boring (although it does seem to help my score out nicely) so I decided to start exploring the universe a bit.
It's amazing that after all the warnings that have been given in several blogs  (including Diablo's latest entry)  people still continue to leave warp tracks all over the place that lead straight to their planets.
Yesterday it took me less than 30 minutes to find sectors belonging to 4 different players. Some of them were even kind enough to hop from one of their sectors to the other saving me the trouble of  having to search for it.

Luckily for most of them though I was in a good mood and decided not too hit anybody yet.
Then, just a couple of minutes  after I had decided not to attack,  I stumbled across one of Stone's sectors.
Stone had taken Tempest up on his offer and had followed him around to clean up the planets that Tempest left  when he was trampling around the universe.
Somewhere during this process  Stone warped  (EWD or fed space warp, I suspect the latter)  and landed deep in a lair I had just started building that day.
A quick scan told me I'd get a bounty for attacking him so I had to sit back and watch him create a backdoor. Bye bye new lair. Something I was not at all pleased about as I had just spent 3T and a couple of hours building it.
He shared  the location of this lair with Tempest (his way of saying thank you?) and before  long  both Tempest and Big  where there and they have been running around in it since.
Luckily  for me I hadn't really had time to build any planets yet so I didn't have to give up much aside from the time and credits it took to build.
However, when I found those planets that belonged to Stone I decided it would be a good opportunity to even that score  a bit so I went in and took out the planets there.
All of a sudden I see a bounty notification pop up on the news.  
Wondering what the hell I did to get a bounty (I'd made sure to scan everything before I attacked after the not2go bounty incident) I took a second look and saw that it was Diablo who was messing around a bit and had decided to put a 3 credit bounty on me.
The initial shock wore off and I scouted a bit more trying to figure out what to do.
Alas, I was not creative enough to come up with anything funny so I decided that I  might as well go out and  give Diablo a reason for putting that bounty  on me .
Granted, the timeline would look a bit weird (bounty first, attacks after that) but at least things would seem to make more sense in the universe again.

As Diablo  was one of the players who's sector I had found  earlier all I could  immediately start attacking him.
The 2B in SD looked impressive but as I knew Tempest had already gotten past that amount during the weekend I figured I'd give it a try as well.
Now if the base  had looked stronger I would  probalby have waited longer because I was relatively low on terms.
The base however looked simple in it's layout and the setup of the frontsector gave me the impression there probably wouldn't be any additional layers of  SD that I would have to make my way through.
I went out and I bought myself a new  razor, upgraded it and started bombing the sector.  
A couple of minutes ( ok, more like 30 minutes ) and a lot of trips to the spacedock  (I've never had so many novas backfire)  later I cloaked past the remains of the SD and had a look around.  

Things were exactly like I expected them, a strong front sector and undefended sectors behind it.  
It looked like it would be easy enough  to take so I went back to the front door, took out the remainder of the SD and put up  1T of my own SD.
That way I wouldn't have to worry about anybody sneaking up on  there.
As soon as the sector was secure I went in and  started cleaning out the planets .
For a second I thought about keeping them but the  layout of the base made it hard to defend so I decided against that and blasted them.

The attack seems to have severely crippled Diablo's credit production and  it has set him back a fair bit in points as well . It could however have easily been averted (or at least postponed)  or even stopped had he used a different layout for the base. Something I think we should all keep in mind.  
Now I'll be the first to admit that often I should do better at that front as well.
Too often I try to gamble on security through obscurity (hey, I am an MCSE. It comes with the teritory :-P) but especially if you  have already been hit hard you need to make sure it doesn't happen again . If it does you will most likely fall behind in the game  and it will be harder to catch up again.

So to finish this off I'll I urge all of you one more time  to go out and read blogs.
Obviously you don't have to but they are  true treasure troves when it comes to AAT.
No, you won't find everything in there . Players will keep some things to themself.
However,  they will provide you with you 2 things.
1) A lot of solid information to get your game going  or improve it and  
2) something even more valuable. You get a glimps of the the writer's mind.  What makes him tick and why.
Take this info and use it to your advantage.

Ps, sorry about that last attack Diablo but after you just wrote a long entry about scanners and covering your tracks I couldn't just let you float there.
After all, by not covering your trail you were contradicting your blog entry ;-)

Entry Edited 3 times - Edited on Jul 16, 2004 - 10:59 am

Post Date: Jul 16, 2004 - 6:57 am

Update on C's

Darksoul got his wish, he's in second.
Both Big and myself decided to step out of the game.
I will return in a couple of days to see if I can make it back to the top of the rankings when the others are actually a fair bit ahead of me.

I'm not sure if Big will do the same as the bounties seem to frustrate him too much.

Post Date: Jul 15, 2004 - 7:10 am


I can't get on to Darkelves! AAARGGGHH ! ! !

I had planned for my planets to max out a bit before I came into the office this morning (I still haven't gotten the timing down. Something I will have to work on) but now it looks like they'll be maxed out for most of the day.
What annoys me more though is not knowing what's been going on.
Some of my bases are known to others and I have no idea whether one (or more) have been hit yesterday.
And even though there are hardly any credits in those sectors (no use sponsoring other players unless you choose to do so ) I would like to know what's going on.
Guess this will be a good opportunity to practise being patient as that's not one of my stronger points anyway.

The good thing is that it gave me a chance to spend some more time on Csimplex's server ( again.
Darkelves always seems to distract me from C's and that causes me to max out on turns, credits and colonists.
In itself this is not as big a problem as it might seem because C's server doesn't seem to like me very much. It strikes me with planetary disasters every other turn (no, it's not really that bad but it does often feel like it ) or, I guess it gets fed up with those disasters after a while, it makes my biggest planets go indy.
A planet going indy actually helps me out a bit as I won't have to worry about it maxing out and upgrades will be taken care of by the indy population until I remind them I am the supreme ruler and they should do my bidding.
The only downside is that the indy population seems to have different ideas when it comes to upgrading planets than I do. This causes me to have to spend the next days tweaking the settings to get it back the way I like it.
Again not a huge problem but... C's server has turned into my 'sandbox'.

Whenever I get an idea and I'm not sure whether it will work or not (or even when I think it's probably a very, very bad idea but I'm curious to see what happens anyway) C's server is where I'll start testing.
The game isn't as fast paced as Darkelves and I can mess things up without being taken to the slaughter house.

So what's been happening over at C's?
Nothing much actually. The game only recently started and most people are still busy trading their way up to 'proper' ships.

Big is currently in the lead. He's using the game to improve his tending skills and seems to be doing a good job.

I'm hanging on to second. I've been trying to figure out a better way to build planets at the beginning of a game but haven't been doing to well. I do have a lot of planets but half of them are still unpopulated and the other half doesn't seem to be doing nearly as well as they should.

Currently in 3rd is Darksoul.
He had started his ascend through the ranks at an impressive pace and decided that he was going to try to take 2nd place away from me today.
While I was offline he did indeed manage to come within range and I have to admit, I wasn't too comfortable felt a bit threatened.
So what was the solution? I took out his base.
Granted, it might not have been the most elegant solution but I knew the location and didn't feel like trading so this seemed to be a nice 'quick fix'.

Bottom Gun is still in 4th but she's gaining on Darksoul at the moment. As she too was doing a great job trading yesterday she may overtake him before the day is over.

Anything is still possible though. Big only has 503K points at the moment so even players that just now sign up still have a chance to catch up (yes, that's a hint ).

Ok, this was more than enough rambling from my side.
Enjoy what's left of your day

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Jul 14, 2004 - 6:57 am

Post Date: Jul 14, 2004 - 6:54 am

A Darkelves weekend

It looks like I got lucky this time.
Tempest went on his rampage and hit both Diablo and KZ but let me be this time.
I can only assume RL was more interesting than my empty planets would have been.
Mind you, I'm not complaining. I wasn't looking forward to taking a beating.

But, because Tempest was kind enough to announce his intentions, I took some precautions anyway.
Obviously I increased the SD for my front doors (the bases that I cared about anyway) to over 2B.
However, like I already said, I wasn't convinced that would be enough to keep Tempest out (he later proved it wouldn't be when he attacked KZ).
My biggest fear was that he would nova the sector and cloak past whatever was left of the SD.
That wouldn't have been too bad as long as I was online so I could start nova-ing his ship. That was not going to happen though. I was expecting a visitor on Sunday and knew I wouldn't have any time to play.
Another thing that bothered me was his spy and nav comp data. I had no idea which of my bases he had found and which one were still safe.
So in an effort to save my credits I made a somewhat unconventional move.
I created a heavily cloaked planet in the middle of nowhere, removed all the warp links to it that I could find, cleared out all my planets and put all the credits on that new planet.

Now obviously there was some risk involved in this but I figured it was a calculated risk.
To find it somebody would have to stumble across the sector it was in and see it.
Chances of that happening where very small as there were most likely only 4 players that had sensors high enough to have a reasonable chance of seeing it if they knew where the planet was and refreshed the screen a couple of times.
As those players (Tempest, Diablo, KZ and myself) would be busy enough either attacking or trying to fend off attacks I figured the chances of somebody actually finding the planet could be neglected.

This morning I took the cash from the planet again and started spreading it out across the base I was in.
This way at least I've managed to save some of my credit production bonuses. We'll have to see whether it pays off or not.

Forgot to say:

Don't miss Langel's comparison of blog entries and, to quote Langel, *ahem*.
Bet you'll work on your blogging afterwards :-P

Entry Edited 2 times - Edited on Jul 12, 2004 - 8:06 am

Post Date: Jul 12, 2004 - 7:29 am


Another Darkelves update.

Things are progressing steadily on Darkelves. I've paid off my bounty (caused me to drop about 500k points) and I'm slowly gaining on KZ.
He said he doesn't think my planets are outproducing his and I'm pretty sure he's right. A lot of mine aren't even at 50% of their max so they're not producing as much as they could yet.
You may wonder why so many of my planets are that low. Well, basically because I didn't know how to use the consolidate function so I abused it instead (thanks for explaining Tempest). I just consolidated 100%. It seems it takes a while for my planets to recover from that
Sure, I could have gone back and seeded them with credits again but that would mean leaving warp trails and I didn't want to do that.

While I had the bounty on me I've been busy. I've been creating fake bases. Beautiful bases actually that do nothing but have you waste your time trying to look for anything in there.
I've also laid the foundation for a new base (still expecting to lose one to Tempest when he goes out on his rampage this weekend) and pulled a Kwae Zar... I got lost in my own base.
Here I was, happily building, generally having a great time (well, as good a time as you can have creating subs anyway) when I ran out of SG torps (who'd have thougth 150 of them isn't enough for 1 base?).
Not a problem in itself as a couple of the subs already had Devices but, I had no idea where I was nor where the nearest devices port was. After stumbling around for a bit I decided it was probably easier to EWD out of there and go to sector 2 to pick up some more SG torps so that's what I ended up doing. Not the most elegant way but it worked.
mental note to self: start mapping elaborate bases while you're building them.

In other news, Tempest seems to have gotten everybody running when he announced he was going on a rampage again this weekend.
KZ is building up defenses and I'm trying to figure out what to do. My defenses are solid enough in numbers (2b+) but I'm worried Tempest may cloak past them.
Guess we'll know on monday. Either way it should be an interesting weekend and could stir up the rankings a bit.

Entry Edited 2 times - Edited on Jul 10, 2004 - 10:32 am

Post Date: Jul 10, 2004 - 5:40 am

Another Darkelves day

It had to happen some day. I got bored tending so I decided to go out and raid a base.
As not2go hadn't logged on for a couple of days I decided that he probably didn't want to play anymore so I took his base (no use letting it go to waste).

I cloaked by his SD, took his planets and after I had taken all the planet I followed his trail, he EWD-ed off a planet) and shot him.
Easy kill except that... I should have scanned first.
Turns out his score had dropped enough and I received an 8 Tril bounty.
Luckily that's only a couple of hours worth of credit production but it's annoying either way.
It will give Kwae Zar a chance to extend his lead again so he'll be happy about that.

We'll see what happens to my score when Tempest takes out one of my grottos.
Even thought there is no money left there I will probably drop a fair bit in points again and I'm curious to see just how much of a difference those planets make in my score.

Post Date: Jul 7, 2004 - 10:54 am

Experienced n00bs

If you have read Tempest's blog you already know he confused 2 ships and died during tourney because of that.

Now at that point I didn't exactly know what had happened. What I had heard was that he got himself blown to bits while attacking a planet, using a ship that didn't have an escape pod.
Too be honest, I thought it was a dumb mistake. A mistake a player like Tempest should be able to avoid.
After all, it's the first thing we always tell people. Buy a ship? Get a pod!
I couldn't believe a player of his caliber made this mistake.
Then, a couple of hours later, it happened.
I made the exact same mistake.
Here's what happened and how it happened:

Big started to grow faster and faster and seemed to be getting bored with planet tending.
Now if you know Big a little bit... it's not a good thing if he's bored unless you're on his team. What he does to relieve boredom is go out and find some other players to blast.
As I figured I'd better be prepared I went and bought a razor. I was keeping it small to save some credits but I wanted to have it ready so all I had to was boost the levels if/when he found our lair.
Then I received a phone call from a friend who happened to see me online (it was around 1am) and we chatted for a while.
When I returned to the game I had completely forgotten (like Tempest I hadn't slept much) that I was flying around in a brand new baby razor with no EWDs and no pod.

As Murphy's law will have it, that's when Big found me so the next time I refreshed my screen it was kind enough to tell me I died.
At first I didn't even understand what had happened and how it had happened. After all, all my ships have 3 EWDs and an escape pod. Even ones I'll only use deep within my own lair.
Then I realised what I had done.

Guess there's only one thing to do just like Tarnus said:
Back to n00b school.

oh, and get some sleep. I really should know that by now as I always make stupid mistakes when I'm tired.

Post Date: Jul 1, 2004 - 3:19 am


Hmm, tourney got off to a great start and I managed to wiggle myself into 2nd place, gaining on first pretty fast and then what I was hoping to do to somebody else happened to me.
I got hit. Had no choice but to take the money and run.
I tried an attack (gambling on my opponent being out of ammo because he had just attacked my planet) and gambled wrong.
The set back was significant but luckily I had been tending for neongreen so we're still in the race.

If the sector I'm hiding in now is not discovered today we'll have a good chance of making a decent come back.
Time will tell.
The only problem is that this has made the tourney incredibly boring as there's nothing for me to do right now but tend.
Guess that's better than not playing at all though

Post Date: Jun 27, 2004 - 7:47 am


I just realised someting.
Tourney start coincides with Netherlands vs Sweden tonight.
Too be honest I'm a bit worried about the result of that game.
The swedish team, and Larsson especially, seems to be on fire so although theoretically we've got a team that's strong enough to beat them in reality we may not.
Because of this I may not actually want to see the match.
If I go with the non dutch people in Lux I'll have to take the abuse afterwards. If I go with the dutch I'll have to deal with the whining if they lose which is even worse.

If I go out and watch the game I obviously won't be able to start when tourney starts, or even at all today if we win as I'd probably become absolutely pissed/hammered/smashed/wasted when we celebrate.
If I decide to just follow it on the net I will get to start and can always go out and celebrate afterwards. We'll see.

In other news... w00t. We made it on Big's list. Albeit as a dark horse but still. I feel honoured
I think it's my scouting he's most worried about which in a way makes sense.
If I do manage to find one of the favourites early in the game there is a good chance we'll hit them instantly. No use in giving them the time to grow strong.
A relatively minor setback like that is easy enough to overcome in a regular game.
In a fast paced tourney where there are a couple of teams that we know are going to be strong it may prove a lot harder.
With 10K+ sectors though it will prove hard to find somebody early in the game and it will depend on luck more than anything else if we find somebody early in the game.
Then again, according to Big luck=skills so who knows, I might do some skillful scouting after all

I hope that everybody has fun at the tourney so let me give this last bit of advice:
So you got shot. It's only a game.

oh, as we seem to have followed Tarnus quoting movies....
Ladies and gentleman please keep in mind:

Post Date: Jun 26, 2004 - 9:37 am

It had to happen eventually :-D

Just a little while ago Tempest hit my sector on Darkelves.
He nova-ed the SD and moved in with his voyager afterwards.

Luckily for me I had just come back from the supermarket so I could save my ship and some of my credits so I only fell to 5th place.

It's funny because I only used this game to see if I could my tending skills. As I managed to get into 2nd place with just 9 planets I guess that worked.
However, I was I was still somewhat annoyed and started wondering whether I should have played it like a 'real' game (i.e. base with a strong front sector). Guess I'm more competitive than I thought after all.
Ah well, too late to worry about that now anyway :-)

This game will serve one more purpose. I'm going to see if I can build at least 1 planet up to level 18 before the tourney starts.
It should be interesting, for me anyway, as I used my credits to buy a razor and upgrade it to the highest offensive levels I could afford. The plan was to make an all out attack on Tempest's voy with it until I picked up a -1 all levels debris. After that it didn't seem like such a good idea anymore.
Time to try and build that planet in 1 day, if Tempest doesn't find me first that is ;-D

Oops, almost forgot.
Chapeau to Tempest.
He is friendly enough (when he's playing games for fun anyway) to give advice as to what one could have done to prevent being wiped out.
Most people wouldn't bother whether it's a serious game or just for fun.
That said, I will blast him first chance I get

Post Date: Jun 25, 2004 - 2:50 pm


Tourney is still a couple of days away and everything seems quiet. It looks like everybody is just killing time and/or chillin' out.

Big and Bovine removed themselves from Darkelves and I have no idea what happened to not2go but because of this I found myself in 3rd position when I woke up this morning.
(update: while chatting instead of tending planets I've dropped back to 4th again)
Maybe if I had taken better care of my planets I could have found myself in 2nd but my calculations were completely off so my planets maxed out during the night.

Over on CSimplex' server ( ) things are too quiet. Langel seems to have stopped playing (I'm guessing oddball is taking up too much of her time) just like most of the others.
I can't believe that I'm still in first place after trying something that failed miserably.
If that's not an indication of how slow things are I don't know what is. Btw, yes that was a hint so run over and sign up

Tourney related stuff.
I found myself a team mate, neongreen, so I'm good to go.
We seem to be on one line about a lot of things so that should make it easier to work as a team. It will still be interesting though as I think this is the first time we're on the same team (*mental note to self: don't shoot neongreen, he is not the enemy this time* ).

Tarnus is warning everybody (yes, you should read his blog if you want to be kept up to date )that he's coming for us and he's bringing hell. All I have to say to that is... Great. That way you won't have to travel to far after you've been blasted :-P
Seriously though, good luck to everyone. Watch your back because there are some strong teams out there (tarnus/moon, Big/tempest and Satman/queen instantly come to mind).
Have fun!

Entry Edited 2 times - Edited on Jun 24, 2004 - 8:10 am

Post Date: Jun 24, 2004 - 8:07 am


Looks like Darkelves had a reset during the weekend and if the player information in my profile is correct I finished in 4th place. Not too bad for a late start especially as the first 3 places go to thunder, moon and big.
In this case I have no trouble accepting I came in 4th

Guess it's time for me to find a partner for the tourney as well. There are some strong teams out there but that doesn't mean we can't give them a run for their money.
Let me know if you're still looking for a partner.

Tempest had another very good entry in his blog even though I don't entirely agree with everything he says.
I think he's left something out but but that's all I'll say about it for now. Saying more might give away the one advantage I have, being virtually unknown, and it looks like the tourney looks iss going to be hard enough anyway. No need to make things even tougher for myself.

I'm not from Luxembourg nor from any country where English is the native language. I'm dutch.
That said, I work for an american based company so I do get to practise my english a fair bit. Now if only I can learn to proofread I won't have to keep going back to correct spelling and grammar errors all the time.

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Jun 21, 2004 - 1:39 pm

Post Date: Jun 21, 2004 - 4:42 am

Why sleep is important.

Yesterday we had a little bit of action on Darkelves. It was about time as well because, even though I found I can be pretty good at tending planets when I want to, it was getting pretty boring.

Early on I spotted Rocketman's (fakecajun) trail.
It didn't take me long to track him down. He's in my sights, I get ready to strike and . . . damn, the little mouse has noticed the hawk come swooping down and jumped into the safe cover of sector 1.

As I was somewhat disappointed because he got away I decided that I might as well search the galaxy to see if I could find another of his trails. It wasn't long before I got lucky again.
This time I saw one of his trails that lead straight into his cave.
Not wanting to be disappointed again, I decided to wait until he went offline before I hit it.

At one point I thought he was off so I went in.
I must have been really tired (mental note to self:"get more sleep") because there was no way he could possibly be offline as he was actually attacking my sectors at that time.
Anyway, I went in.
His first sector that held any planets had 14M fighters that I cloaked by.
No problems there.
First planet that I lock on to seems easy enough to take and I go for it.
No credits there which I expected. After all, the planet was most likely used to produce energy to keep the SD up, not too build credits.
I do a quick scan on the subs in there and see another sector with 10M SD. I cloak by it and immediately take a planet. Again, no credits. This is when it hits me. Rocketman must still be online and has by now used IGB to clean out his planets.
A stupid mistake that could have been avoided through something as simple as sleep.
At this point I realise something else. The 10M SD that I thought I saw was actually 100M. I was just lucky my cloak was much higher than his sensors were.
Now it also finaly registers that he is hitting my sectors so I go out and decide to chase him.
He's started nova-ing so is most likely in a smaller ship. I should be able to take that out easily even though I am tired.
About a minute later I find him and indeed, he's flying an endy. I lock, shoot and... Emergency warp. I chase him but when I arrive in the sector he warped to he has once more run for the shelter of sector 1.

Rocket calls it a day (it's 3AM his time by now) but promises to hit my planets when he's online again and we, Big came to help me, cleaned out his sector and I spent the rest of the day tending planets as I had cleaned a number of them out to do some upgrades.

Today I log on and ... there are 2 newsitems saying Rocketman attacked a planet. Looks like he's wasn't making idle threats after all. I take a closer look and realise the gravity of the situation . . . Rocketman attacked 1 planet owned by Havik and defeated the planetary defense forces!
Not sure if I can recover from this terrible assault

It turned out Rocketman wasn't going to just take my planets but he's working on a masterplan  that is going to whipe me out and build his excel to nice levels.
Sounds great to me except that I see a tiny flaw in the plan... As he by now must realise our team is spread out over different time zones which means there's almost always somebody online. I think he'll need those nice levels on his excel before he attacks unless he wants to sit there and see it go up in smoke. Then again, I could obviously be wrong

Regardless of whether I'm right or wrong though, it looks like there will finally be some action again on Darkelves.
Great. Even though I realised I apparently can be prety good at tending planets when I want, we need some action from time to time or things get boring.

Now a plea for fresh blood. I believe anybody can still make it on Darkelves. It may not be easy but it will be good fun.
So if you're not signed up already go ahead and do so now.
Just keep one thing in mind. Never sleep on your big ship as there are no bounties and people will shoot you on sight. It's no fun waking up in a Pio in sector one when you've just been upgrading your ship.

Post Date: Jun 17, 2004 - 6:08 am

How lovely

I'm battling it out with Rocketman when all of a sudden my connection freezes up and I can't connect anymore. All I'm getting are Gateway Timeout errors.
I can only hope he is having the same problems or I think I may lose my Excel.

looks like I got lucky and my ship is still floating around. I don't think there is anything worse than losing your connection when you're in somebody else's sector

Entry Edited 2 times - Edited on Jun 16, 2004 - 7:05 am

Post Date: Jun 16, 2004 - 5:10 am


Max has made an amazing comeback a couple of times on Darkelves but it seems like he's going to call it quits.

Too bad as I think he's a player with a lot of potential and seems to be stopping for all the wrong reasons.

What can I say about the current situation . . .

I've played both with an against Tarnus and I can vouch for his integrity.

I've seen him crack down hard on cheating in the past and have no reason to suspect this has changed.

Yes, he might have a bit more knowledge about the game than other players. That is, about the upcoming game.
Like Tempest already explained, he doesn not have more knowledge than anybody that have been playing for a couple of months.
He doesn't really have more knowledge than players that have gone through all the code (yes, those players exist although I am not sure they are still active) nor does he have more knowledge than people who have read the forum and all the blog entries.

Now let's for a moment assume there is something that isn't mentioned anywhere.
In cases where something is 'undocumented' I've always found that if you ask Tarnus he'll explain things to you whether you are on his team or not.
Never to my knowledge has he withheld information.
I don't think I know anybody who has helped me more when I just started than Tarnus.

I know that sometimes, in the heat of the moment, we say things that we don't really mean. It's a response we see IRL and online, in game play or just everyday situations.
I truly hope that it turns out that this is what happened here as well and that everything works out eventually.

Ps Bovine, it wasn't meant as an attack. Just an observation from my point of view. And no, I didn't single you out. It was just something I noticed as during that one day of gameplay I saw 3 or 4 people self destruct. The only reason you were mentioned was because I was analysing what was happening to DOA. Sorry if you took offense.

* edited cause my grammar and spelling still suck *

Entry Edited 2 times - Edited on Jun 15, 2004 - 4:47 pm

Post Date: Jun 15, 2004 - 8:10 am

Another slow day on DarkElves

Not that I really mind though.
Because I started late I was seriously lacking planets and have had some time to tend those. That leaves me without an update on the game.

In other news however, Tempest did a great job analyzing the game. If anybody doesn't read his blog they are missing out on a lot of great info.
He looks at the game in general and uses individual players as examples to show in what part of the game their skills are strongest.
Just a tip on my side, you can use the info he gives about their style of playing to your advantage in more than one way.
You can copy and learn from it and you can use it against them when you're playing these players.
After all, showing their strength also exposes their weakness.

Ann=S=Thesia is apparently a web design company that provided this blog template (I had no idea eiter so I looked it up ).
As for your question . . .
yes, spies can enter your ship from picking up debris. I have no idea how it is decided who's spies they are (PJ/tarnus, care to explain?) but Diablo is right, always clean your ship after playing with debris.

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Jun 15, 2004 - 7:32 am

Post Date: Jun 15, 2004 - 7:29 am

Too bad

It seems DOA is giving up.
First (or first since I started anyway) Bovine self destructed.
Then Fiveyes stops logging in (he could be out there in the real world and return after the weekend though) and this morning Lee said he was going to stop as he promised Bovine he would come play on another server.
Too bad as he seemed to be coming up strong.

And to give credit where it is due, respect to Rocketman.
He got blasted 2 times earlier on in the game but is making a good comeback. He never even whined about it but just started over again. To use his own words, he's a cool cat ;-)
And obviously props to Assassin as well. In second place now. Very impressive. I'm guessing a couple of lucky debris picks helped but that's not really relevant.

Good luck guys, I hope you can find some fresh blood to replace your old team members. Hell, you need to get fresh blood or my skywalking friend might go hungry and I'd hate to see 'Starvation, Drakula died because there was no one left to feed on'  ;-)

Entry Edited 1 time - Edited on Jun 13, 2004 - 6:30 am

Post Date: Jun 13, 2004 - 6:28 am

An interesting day

Yesterday started out pretty slow.
I had decided to build a couple of planets and nurture them a bit when Big told me he'd found Fiveyes' frontsector.

We decided to wait until Fiveyes went offline but when he came out after a couple of minutes Big decided to board up his frontsector instead.

Now whether that is a good idea or not is debatable.
On one hand it might keep somebody out giving you a lot of time in their sector. On the other hand however it means you let them know they have been found.
This is the reason I'm not a fan of it.
I don't like letting other players know anything more than they have too.

Yesterday however it was not my decision to make as it was Big that found fiveyes, not me.

Unfortunately it didn't work out this time.
Fiveyes cloaked by the SD that Big put up, started clearing out his planets and threw up a bunch of extra SD in his subs.

As soon as Big saw Fiveyes go back intpo his sector we started bombing the place.
No use waiting for him till he was all done boarding up his subs.
Sure, he'd probably cleaned them out by now but we could still take his planets and blast them. If nothing else that would seriously hurt his ability to produce credits.

After we broke through the first sector we started hitting the sub Fiveyes was putting SD in. While we were doing this his (Fiveyes) ship took a couple of hits as well (it's amazing what that will do to somebody's score) until he decided to warp out.
With him gone we could slow down a bit and we started exploring his subs.

Now when playing around in somebody else's subs allways be careful as they may have made a backdoor and are hanging around waiting for you.
As it turned out this is exactly what Fiveyes did.
I saw him, ran a quick scan and knew that I had to get the hell out of there.
Immediately I hit "E" and... nothing happened. I was still there (update: keyboard shortcuts don't seem to work in Avant. Guess I'll have to try another browser).
I ran through the menu to find my EWD but by the time I did all had ended and I found myself floating around sector 1 in a Pio.

Now I'm still not sure whether I had just ran out of EWDs earlier or if my EWD malfunctioned but the result was the same.
Bye bye ship.

Unfortunately I had also lost a lot of turns bombing so it was back to tending planets for a while. No fun but it has to be done anyway.

So today's lesson is:
Make sure you have enough EWDs at all time, especially when you are suffering from sleep deprivation.

You'd think by now I would have learned not to play when I'm tired.

*yup, edited because I spotted some more mistakes (don't worry, more are likey to follow, plus I had an update on the key shortcut*

Entry Edited 4 times - Edited on Jun 13, 2004 - 5:23 am

Post Date: Jun 12, 2004 - 7:40 am

Games reflect life

It's amazing how they do.
Some people get knocked down but get back up, learn from their mistakes and try harder.
Others just self destruct.

Now I know it sucks when you keep getting blasted but if you give up you're not going to get better either.
Sure you can tell yourself:"Next time I'll do better." but what if next time you get blasted again?
The people that get up again and try once more gain so much experience because the odds are against them that they will most likely be the ones blasting you next time.
As you keep quitting they keep getting more and more experience and it will only be harder for you to play.

We all know falling down isn't fun but that's how you learn in life.
When you first tried to stand up, you fell down.
When you first tried to walk, you fell down.
When you first tried to ride a bycicle, you fell down.

This is no different. You fall down, you get up and try again.
rinse & repeat until success.
Trust me, it won't be long before you'll be giving us a run for our money if you only hang in there and don't give up.

Post Date: Jun 10, 2004 - 7:14 pm

The prodigal son returns

After many months of abstinence phaser has finally found his way home.
No wait, that's not correct. Abstinence means I chose not too play and nothing could be further from the truth.
I was blocked! Somehow my employer decided that too much time was spent on gameplay (or so I assume) so the blocked all access to anything aatraders related.
After suffering through withdrawal symptoms for the first couple of months I eventually resigned to the idea of not being able to play anymore and got on with life.

Last week however, while cleaning out my links, I realised that when our proxy servers where replaced they seem to have unrestricted so I'm back.
And back in full force it seems as even though I've had a late start I've manage to worm my way into the top 5 again.
Now either I'm a brilliant player or there is another explanation for this.
Let's face it, I'm no better than any other player out there and probably a lot worse than most of them but . . . they've made several changes to the game while I was gone so I had to read the faq, etc. again.
Now I'm willing to bet that this is something a lot of the other players haven't done and this is what gave me a headstart. I seriously recommend this to anybody else out there.

As I'm on the subject of reading anyway . . . I learned trading back in the days from Captain Future and he knew what he was doing.
Now I haven't seen him around yet (unless of course he's playing under another name in which case:"Hi Pops") but everything he taught me about trading, and more, is amazingly explained in fiveyes blog.
I definitely recommend reading that to anybody who is serious about this game. You can't afford not to read it.
Now I'm tempted to point anybody that hasn't been there yet in Tempest's direction as well but I'm afraid you're all going to kick my ass badly in the next game if I do.

That's all folks, maybe more entries will follow. Then again, maybe they won't. I just thought that I should make at least one entry while activating my profile.

That reminds me... thanks again Lee for helping me find myself ;-)

Post Date: Jun 10, 2004 - 4:23 pm
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