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Friday, April 30, 2010

Isk Sink

Planetary Interaction

It's second hand but I think I'm slowly getting a feel for how Planetary Interaction (PI) is going to work out. It looks like as I suspected there IS an isk sink that will establish a floor value on all the products that are extracted and processed using PI. From the comments on mechanics and whines on the various threads, it looks like the deposits you plunk an extractor down on are limited and once they run out they run out and you need to de-commission the extractor and plunk a new one down.

This implies that extractors will be an ongoing expense for your PI operations. So the "cost" of the raw materials will be the volume of the resource you were able to extract from the specific site divided by the cost of the extractor. Plus any pro-rated portion of the rest of your operation. Plus the hassle of moving the end product to market.

The interesting thing is whether the population density in high sec will cut the potential RATE of resource extraction or the total VOLUME available to extract (so if 6 guys go after the same concentration, then they each get 1/6 of the available material.

I'm also assuming that concentrations will change over time, so areas that have resources will deplete, then other areas without will increase and then over time old areas will get "good" again. This leads us to possible long term strategies: leave the extractor "fallow" for a while and it will eventually start producing again or keep recycling the extractors always going for the best concentration. The first technique will eventually get you very "cheap" materials, the second qill get you larger quantities in shorter periods of time, but much more expensive materials. Not to mention much more micromanagement.

As much as the whiny pirates are going to whine about how this does not help low sec, IT DOES. Look it's simple: The guys in high sec are going to discover that their extraction costs per material are probably going to be higher than low sec or 0.0 (which includes w-space in this case). CCP has stated that the concentrations of materials is going to go up as you go down in sec status. So High sec will have the "worse" planets and 0.0 the "best" with low sec somewhere in between. Then there is the "population concentration" issue. 75% of pilots (as I recall) log off in high sec. There are what about 1000 systems in high sec vs 4000 for low and 0.0? Something like that (rough estimate) Not to mention the systems in w-space. It is entirely possible that the "extraction cost" will get prohibitive in high sec. This means people wanting to get MORE isk out of PI will want to go to riskier space. And when you want to get the stuff you need to fly TO the planets. This means more haulers and what not in low sec. And the less frequented the system, the more likely that PI guys will want to setup in there.

It will be interesting to see what strategies evolve. But I can definitely see that we're going to have the "patient but low cost" vs the "impatient but expensive" playing out here. Then there are the people who are speculating with NPC goods atm in preparation for the supply shutting down and the players taking up the slack. The situation price wise should be in flux for the next few months as both the PI supply stabilizes (people get into it then move out of it as they find it "boring").

Also it looks like CCP is going to shuffle the planets on May 18th. This means that people trying to stake out systems before the 18th may end up with crap instead of the gold mine they were expecting. I will be laughing my ass off if this turns out to be the case. Expect more conflict starting the 18th if the planets get shuffled.


Based on the timing and the incoming 3 new skills I've decided to change up my plans a little. Once I finish Energy Management V I'm going to do Shield Management 5 (which will give me tech 2 shield boost amplifiers finally). This should finish right up around the 18th, so I'll be perfectly placed to skill up the incoming 3 new skills, then once they are in a "usable" state it'll be off to re-spec and into the massive T2 BS weapons plan (250days+)... What fun...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

There's a Loki in there somewhere

Picture from the previous entry's mission:

I think there's a Loki there...

As you can see, almost everything is firing at me... As I recall this was taken right after the last spawn.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Busy weekend. I was only able to get on from time to time. Still I think it was a good weekend overall. Some major assets changed hands between corporations in the alliance (nope - sorry no details on that one - comes under operational security). The parties involved were all happy. Cozmik is back in the alliance, and his arrival coincided with the PvP wing getting it's feet back under itself. Multiple roams into low sec were had to knock the rust off and get some experience for those who had no rust to knock off. Had one of our other old pilots come back as well after trying some moon mining in low sec with another alliance.

I did try to get some missioning in. Atm I'm at 6.36 net standing with the current NPC corp I'm missioning for. Almost there. However last night I got: Smash the Shipyard...



I am now officially even more impressed with the Loki that I was (if that seems possible). Bear in mind that I've lost two of these to sleepers. I think that it says something about being dumb enough to try to solo class 4 combat sites in a Loki that skewed my impression of the ship. However there's nothing like having 20 battleships, 20 battlecruisers/cruisers and assorted frigate (started out at 20 but I killed some off before everything was spawned) to change your mind. Once I had killed the last frigate though all 40 remaining ships were definitely spawned. Piece of advice: DO NOT SLOW DOWN!!!.

The only reason I was able to withstand the pounding was that I use an AB subsystem with a tech 2 AB. The minute you slow down and in comes the pain. Once speed was up, back come the shields. It made the switch to the next target an "iffy" proposition, I think I was down to 16 battleships left when they started getting spread out enough that even at speed hits were getting thru. I did hear the warning warble of 25% shields a time or two in this mission. Nerve racking even when you know you're going to claw it back in 10 seconds. Also having enough faith in my resistance tank to occasionally turn off the booster and let the cap recover. Don't get me wrong the cap is stable on my fit, but the nos/newt that certain Amarr ships do can be an issue. My cap was down around 10% at one point.

Still all in all, at one point I was killing frigates with 20 cruisers and 20 battleships pounding on my 730 m/s Loki. "Impressive". I've heard of other pilots having to bail on this mission when in battleships due to the DPS. In the end I had Cozmik come and help me with the last 8 or so BS (well after the danger point but he had been busy) just to speed things up.

Rules for Loki PvE:
1 - The afterburner is your friend. Use the AB subsystem
2 - Kill frigates first. No exceptions.
3 - Getting webbed is bad - see rule 2.
4 - Move. A high speed and a low sig are everything.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Monthly Datacore Run

Once again it was time last night for the monthly Datacore run. One flaw in the "living deep in wormhole space" paradigm (not that I am atm) is that it makes it slightly harder to do the monthly Datacore run. Why monthly? Ideally you probably want to do a Datacore run once every two weeks due to the 1 month penalty on offered R&D missions, but I find once a month is enough disruption.

Incidentally, I am aware of the nice little kerfuffle in the forums with the "lack of local exploit". I love how the posters go from zero to internet rage in 10min under the assumption that any development house can respond that fast to the situation. Twits.

The only question I have is whether this also affects d-scan. If it affects both local and d-scan then it's even more worrisome. If not, it's effectively an exposed exploit that will get hammered in due course. Ah the fireworks.

Linky for those who are curious.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Epiphany

Eve has instances....

They are called "Stations"...

Blog Banter #17

Welcome to the seventeenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

What could CCP Games do to attract and maintain a higher percentage of women to the game. Will Incarna do the trick? Can anything else be done in the mean time? Can we the players do our part to share the game we love with our counterparts, with our sisters or daughters, with the Ladies in our lives? What could be added to the game to make it more attractive to them? Should anything be changed? Is the game at fault, or its player base to blame?

What do you know, I'm going to pile into a bog banter. Sorta. Because in all honesty I have no clue what would work and what would not. I think this is mostly a problem that will solve itself with time. The truth is that EVE attracts an older demographic (on average). The lack of immediate rewards and the need to plan really disadvantage the younger less mature players. Not to say that this is bad. But the fact is that the older you go, the less acceptable it was for girls to be considered "gamers". And let's face it if you play MMOs you're a GAMER. We're all other things as well (human beings that is) but you can't dodge that label if you play MMOs. The more mainstream gaming gets the more acceptable it is, but it remains that the proportions of women comfortable with that label gets smaller the older you go.

To a certain extent this is something that will solve itself with time. But EVE is probably fishing in a smaller pool of potential (female) recruits than it would be if it was accessible to a younger audience. Also there seems to be something about the "hardcore" edge of things that seems to be less attractive to the distaff side of the population. Try and find a female board wargamer - they exist but they are MUCH rarer than women in EVE.

As for how to attract more women to eve? Apart from the obvious "Finish Incarna" there's probably not much. Part of EVE that slows it's growth in general is the hazing new players get having to deal with griefers in high sec. CCP's attitude is that it's part of keeping the feel of a dark and dangerous place. Personally I feel low sec and null sec do a great deal to keep that feel without the need for a hazing mechanism to filter out the newbies. I'm always astonished that few people can spot that for what it is (and figure out ways around the issues). Even the military has finally recognized that it's counter productive in the long run and simply brutalizes the troops instead of making them better at their job. But hey, I'm not a game designer. It does keep out a lot of people who can't handle it or figure a way around it, but you have to ask yourself "is this necessary?". I can't help but think this is also one of the main reasons we have less women in EVE.

For the rest, I'd pay particular attention to post by Mynxee and Shae Tian and any other female blogger. They would certainly have a better idea than I would (even if they protest that their opinions only apply to themselves).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

OMG - those vikings are listening...

Well the latest developer blog had a most interesting quote come out of it:

So we’re going to try and give this feature the attention we feel it deserves, dedicating a full development team to continue working on planetary interaction after its release. As Team Pi has primarily been working on planetary infrastructure, they will take on the challenge of improving the feature in the next release as well. So when Team BFF waves goodbye to planetary interaction and moves on, Team Pi will continue to make improvements.

- CCP Soundwave

As much as other pundits will be saying "they promised us this before", I have been following the dev blogs and what not since early 2007 and can honestly say I've never seen CCP promise anything of the sort. They may go and revisit stuff... eventually... a few years later, but they have never committed to keep the development going on a feature. They also are acknowledging that they have a reputation for leaving features "half finished". Although this is on the order of "great big honking elephant in the living room" observation wise, at least they are admitting it.

The only danger of this admission is the tsunami of posts demanding that CCP addresses feature x. Where x is some poster's personal nit to pick. Ah well... As I observed in a prior post, CCP even with it's increased workforce is stretched pretty tight for the next 2 years. Even if there was a commitment (there isn't so don't put words into my or CCP's mouth) to go over older content and, shall we say, the slightly less than polished aspects of the game, it will be a while before they can spare the resources to address the "issues".

Still this may be the most telling aspect of the influence of the CSM is having on keeping CCP aware of the irritants in their game. I would like to thank all the prior CSM participants (even Larkonis) for their constant nagging. It may be starting to have an effect.

Monday, April 19, 2010

POS Fuel Update

And someone posted the current planets necessary:

Looks like most of it is available at ice planets (good). We will need a lava planet (only source of Non-CS Crystals) and either a gas or a storm planet for the Noble Gases.

POS Fuel

Ok, the weekend was a weeee bit of a write off EVE wise. Our one man wardec guy is back... Oh well all he does is make it more expensive for others to wardec us. Doesn't cost us an isk.

Even though I've not installed the development version of EVE and been to Sisi, I have been following the work and intel coming out of the people testing planetary interaction. Of course one of the first things I will want to worry about is "what will it take to make the POS fuels???". A bit of perusal of the forums comes up with the answers (note: italic = starting resources, bold = pos fuel):

The first item is easy:

Noble Gases -> Oxygen

Then there were the next 3:

Ionic Solutions -> Electrolytes
Aqueous Liquids-> Water
Water + Electrolytes -> Coolant

Heavy Metals -> Toxic Metals
Noble Metals -> Precious Metals
Toxic Metals + Precious Metals -> Enriched Euranium

Base Metals -> Reaction Metals
Noble Metals -> Precious Metals
Reaction Metals + Precious Metals -> Mechanical Parts

And the last item was a wee bit more complex:

Base Metals -> Reaction Metals
Noble Metals -> Precious Metals
Reaction Metals + Precious Metals -> Mechanical Parts
Non-CS Crystals -> Chiral Structures
Heavy Metals -> Toxic Metals
Chiral Structures + Toxic Metals -> Consumer Electronics
Mechanical Parts + Consumer Electronics -> Robotics

So if we look at the raw ratios we need to find the following on the planets:
  • Ionics Solutions x 1
  • Aqueous Liquids x 1
  • Noble Gases x 1
  • Non-CS Crystals x 1
  • Heavy Metals x 2
  • Base Metals x 2
  • Noble Metals x 3
The interesting thing in all this is that we only need 7 input items in order to make all 5 NPC goods needed for POS fuel (the rest are from ice or LP stores). The bad news is we'll really be needing the metals. Of course there is the fact that Oxygen is needed in the highest quantity and coolant in the next highest, which should help balance the needed quantities but still the amounts of this stuff that will be needed EVE wide is "interesting". I'll need to dig a bit further in order to find out which planet types will have which resources in which ratios to find out if our alliance's two wormhole systems will be self sufficient in NPC goods for fuel.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Puts on missioning hat

Lokis are overkill.


The Assault

At some point in the 2nd pocket of "The Assault" mission I noticed that most of the battleships were bunched up and decided to take a snapshot. There are also 2 more Dominixes at range that did not make it into the picture (although their railgun fire did). That's 3 Battlecruisers and 8 battleships in that picture. Current state of my shields?: 100%...

I chewed through a lot of ammo in that mission.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Crystal ball time

And the EVE-O forums take off in an unusual amount of nerd-rage. CCP just announced the next fanfest. Looks like there may not be a 2010 fanfest but the 2011 fanfest is going to be in March. Admittedly this will come as a possible shock to some people. Not to mention the possible PR implications of not having a full blown fanfest in 2010.

The above announcement definitely has the tea leaf readers going into overdrive. Mind you I can see how CCP is between a rock and a hard place on this one. Lets look at what CCP wants to do:

- Put out DUST 514 (for consoles initially)
- Connect up DUST 514 to EVE in a meaningful way
- Put some more new things in EVE (formations, T3 frigates, T3 modules)
- Finally get Incarna out the door so people will stop bitching about it's absence.
- Continue development on on some WOD property (still nothing "official" on this one but perusing the CCP Job pages one can do a little reading between the lines and figure out at some point there will be an announcement).

Add to this the gleamings of the previous fanfest presentations and one can see that CCP has a lot on their plate. You also have the situation that they are transitioning from a single title development house to a multi-title development house, they are also still in the throws of dealing with the constant company growth over the last few years.

I think their vision outstripped their ability to schedule everything and they are now in the mode where they need to deal mountain they want to deliver. This also impacts their ability to actively fix the issues that are irritants to their players. This is because they suddenly realize just how much they've put on their plate, and if they want to deliver a decent product they need to throw developers at said new stuff. Which lowers the pool of developers available for existing issues.

Throw into this mix the fact that everyone and his/her 90 year old grandmother knows that Tyrannis is a "put some support structure in place so that we can hang DUST 514 onto it", and the PR side of CCP has it's work cut out for it. Don't get me wrong, I can very much see this expansion being one of the bigger industrial expansions of EVE. It's ability to put more of the market action under player control is something I can only be for, not against (the indy side feels a bit neglected at time thanks to the louder PvP guys). It does remain that the average EVE player may get the impression that this particular expansion is a "placeholder" expansion. Which leaves them looking for other nice little goodies they feel should be there to placate them for the rest of the expansion being "aimed at DUST". Not to mention the higher ups tendency to want to keep things close to their vests until much closer to delivering so the KNOW they will be delivering.

Slight side track: CCP, Even with agile development, where there is no guarantee that you'll get exactly what you're planning (see the whole mothership/supercarrier issue), letting the players know the general priority plan would make things a little smoother. Updating the "in development/future development" page would be a nice thing too. It should be updated after every major announcement and it would be nice if it got updated when related items suddenly have dev blogs...

So with all of that, what do I think of the announcement. I think it will hurt a little that there is no fanfest in 2010 (at least that's what it's looking like). I don't particularly mind that Tyrannis will be laying the foundation for the DUST Tie-in. It has to happen and they are giving us control of the NPC goods markets. Can't complain there. Not knowing the general plan for DUST and Incarna yet just leads to Internet driven FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt), which IS hurting things a bit. The timing of the next fanfest is, I think, telling, since we'll have Tyrannis, then the un-named (yet) winter expansion, followed by the fanfest and the 2011 summer expansion. Somewhere in all of this they also have to get DUST out there.

One big un-answered question is whether the rolling out of DUST will correspond to one of the "twice a year" expansions or one of the "smaller patches". I think it will depend on how much foundation they are able to lay down in Tyrannis. We'll see.

What I think we'll see:
May 18, 2010: Tyrannis (the DUST foundation expansion with EVE Gate).
Winter 2010: T3 frigates and modules and formations and other stuff that is more EVE centric.
Summer 2011: Incarna OR DUST
Winter 2011: DUST OR Incarna

What I'm assuming is that the expansion around the time of the DUST release will simply contain a lot of DUST related changes to EVE. We'll probably have to wait until 2012 before any concrete news on any WOD stuff. I'm also assuming it'll take at least until the 2nd product is out for CCP to solidify it's internal structure to handle things efficiently.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The great deep safe nerf of 2010

First go read this: here. Back? Good.

Now some notes: Depending on the system it will still be possible to make "deep space" bookmarks. Just not EXTREME deep space bookmarks. Basically a deep space bookmark is defined as any location you can warp to that's over 14 au from any other celestial object. Now people have in the past taken this to extremes using various techniques in order to get very very far from a star in order to place a deep safe that required minutes in warp to get to and from (and that's if you had the cap).

These can make invasions much safer since for example if you know there's "super deep safe", you can have a cyno cov-ops get to it then light the cyno well out of the solar system. This will allow your cap fleet time to all jump in, and load grid before any defenders can warp to the grid they are now on. Which in theory allows the attacker to become the defender due to the defenders now having to load the grid while the attackers are already loaded. We all know how the current asymmetrical lag advantages the side that already has the grid loaded.

So that covers the generic use of the super deep safe - not to mention it's just about un-probable since you have no way of knowing (short of spies) about where it's located if there's no cyno up even when there's an un-cloaked ship at it (insert "space is big" reference here).

Now a normal deep safe is simply one that is outside of d-scan range of all celestial bodies. We'll still be able to make those depending on system geometry. But they will be probe-able. 64 au (for combat probes) from both ends of a line between two celestial bodies is 128 au. Very few systems have bodies more than that far apart. And the spots that are - good probers will make sure to place a deep space probe in likely spots.

So overall this removes a technique that is very close to being an exploit (constantly logging on and off for the emergency warp trick is an exploit any way you slice it). So closing down these exploits is good. The only people who are going to whine about this one are people using these exploits anyways. Talk about crocodile tears...

If you want safe - fly a cloaked ship (and I'm sure that CCP is working on some underhanded module that will be like active sonar and be useful for detecting cloaked ships one day).

Monday, April 12, 2010


Now that both my Vagabonds are outfitted and ready I'm feeling a little better about things. I really need to get back to making iskies though.

Saturday was a little lost for me with on one hand open bed surgery on a Murphy Bed. Replaced the walls of the box which involved removing all the hardware on the box part of the bed in order to replace the melamine covered crap that was there before with birch. Got to play with plenty of power tools. It's all back together. I'll be staining it next weekend.

Then there was the EVE meet in the evening. This was a nice little meet. Got to plan things out for getting the PvP wing back up to snuff. On Sunday we managed to get a little frigate roam going and scouted out part of our new operations area. No fights but it was late Sunday night, so not a lot going on except neutrals and macros.

Got to play in my Stiletto though. That was nice.

Need to get my missioning hat on for the isk flow, that and some exploration to get some plexes (the sites not the ones in the market) and what not.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Yes that's a brick wall

I know it's late and it's not showing much in the way of the surroundings (this is not a bad thing as I don't necessarily maintain the neatest of work areas), but here is a pic of my rig. Or at least the interface parts of it:

Yes that is a real brick wall behind the oak desk. Yep, that's an oak desk. Yes I know I need to sand it down and re-surface it one year. Yes that's a CCP Abraxas novel.

As for EVE, my alts have been busy as hell getting things running again. Not to mention running logistics (not the ship class but the endeavor).

The war: Well I missed most of it. The only comment I'll make is: wardecing an small alliance who's pilots have lives outside of eve just prior to Easter weekend was not the brightest move if you wanted action. Most of our operations were not impacted (much slaughter of sleepers was had during this war). These guys liked to gate camp. Hope they had fun, but except for the interceptors (Dramiels and Hookbills are T1 interceptor equivalents) they tended to hug the gates and stations pretty closely from what I saw for the first two days (before life took over).

The Burning Life: Bear in mind that I have read an GIGANORMOUS amount of sci-fi and fantasy over the last 35+ years - counting from when I started buying my own books. I have 7 bookcases at my place - ask Cozmik. This is definitely a good novel for a first novel. I've seen much worse. It's more character driven than the Tony Gonzales one. The interesting thing I found is that it's less cryptic than some of Hjalti's short stories. So this is much more aproachable than I was expecting. In a certain way it was interesting to contrast this with other dark military bend books I've read (Passage at Arms by Glen Cook comes to mind). On one hand the tone in The Burning Life is more matter of fact. On the other that makes it possibly more chilling when one reads the conversation between the Blood Raider main character and a True Sansha character.

There is also the fact that I'm not coming to this book blind. All players are capsuleers and that taints our perception when we read this book. I really need to have someone who does not play in the EVE universe read this book and get his impressions (or hers) one day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And I end up missing 4 days

Well that was the longest non-vacation break from eve I've had in 3 years... Unintentional but I missed the end of the war.

I blame real life and the coming out of the 2010 version of dwarf fortress...

Leme get back into the swing of things.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This should be an amusing war

Prepare yourselves for some cryptic posts over the next few days. Since one of the wardec pilots confirmed that they read the blog, It should provide for some amusing comments on the previous days actions from my point of view.

And the first day ended with not a lot of action. As per usual, we went into scouting mode as they went into a loose patrol/gate camp. Most annoying feature of this war? Remember that logistical move? Friggen had to truck back to the old base since that's where they want to hunt us. Inconsiderate sots.

The ships they fly are juicy targets. Zealots, a Dramiel, a Hookbill, and a Ferox? (seriously, what's with the Ferox?) and two other pilots I didn't get eyeballs on.

So the first evening concluded in just the way I wanted it to. Inconclusive engagement wise while we continued to scout and gather intel.