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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Back from the travels

The Christmas travel season is now over.  The week long "what was that all about?" annoyance wardec is almost over.  I've got some new hulls coming out of the oven.  Things are good.  We'll see if this trend can continue.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Anatomy of a failed Incursion Fleet

Well it was bound to happen, My first fail incursion fleet.  Only one ship was lost, no sites were finished and the fleet was disbanded.  So, here's an AAR so that others may recognize when this happens and react accordingly.  Personally I learned a lot since it was my first attempt at an Assault.

The fleet started out well enough.  Trying to get 21 random people to work together is always a bit if a crap shoot.  I was the 3rd logistic ship to join so I knew I was in for a bit of a wait while the fleet firmed up.  But as we approached being ready, there were signs things could potentially head south.  The original FC had to change computers and then could not get on voice coms so another pilot volunteered to be FC.  Then there was backseat coaching from fleet chat which the new FC ignored and/or didn't pay attention to.  Not to mention certain people did not look like they were on voice comms (never a good thing).

Things started off with a we bit of a Leroy since there was cross talk on comms and we got in and the anchor was saved.  That's when things went a little south.  As the FC was trying to sort out targeting info and what not, one of the Basilisks made the cardinal sin of not broadcasting when he was getting yellow boxed.  Which means that the rest of us were slow off the mark to getting reps on him and he went down rather quickly (this can happen when one gets alphaed).  Then in the recriminating confusion that followed most of the DPS squadron warped off while one of the Logistics ships was tackled.  The rest of us stayed on the field while the remaining DPS killed the tackle and then we all warped off, so the only killed ship was a Basilisk (it could have been worse).

Needless to say the fleet fail-cascaded at this point.  A few observations:

1) I think I'm going to want a sebo with a scan script when I'm in Assault/HQ fleets instead of the tracking link.  In Vanguards it's not a problem as I can lock everyone up while in there. 

2) If you're in a cruiser, MOVE!!!.  For fuck sake, I don't care if you have 31k (or what ever) buffer tank, moving with an afterburner on makes that tank MORE EFFECTIVE by REDUCING INCOMING DPS...  How the hell do you think Scimitars survive?  It bloody well isn't our massive tanks...

3) GET ON BLEEDING COMMS.  Most FCs are too fucking busy to pay attention to fleet chat except for responses to questions they are asking.  If you need the FC's attention for something important, use voice - don't expect him to even notice that you're typed something.

Incidentally if you notice an FC that lets point 3 get out of hand (i.e. letting too many people in who ware not on voice comms - both ways) it's time to plan your bail out maneuver.

That's it for now.  It does not look like I'll be able to get together a fleet of 0.0 ships prior to January at this rate.  My presence online is going to go down over the holidays...  It being xmass and RL being RL.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lots of things with the alts

This weekend was a "too much shit going on with real life" type of weekend.  So not enough time in single blocks to really get into incursions (their one problem).  I did finally get things sorted out with the character transfer of the last character over to my research account.  Oh that reminds me - I need to close off that petition.  About the only thing left to do at the moment alt wise is setup the head researcher's PI.  I've got the 3 BPOs that still need ME cooking away, and the PE stuff fully maxed out.

I probably should do a run of scimitar invention while I'm still in high sec.  I think I may be going thru a lot of them in the future and "rolling my own" is probably going to save me some iskies in the long run.  I'll need to do a datacore run but I do believe I haven't done one in quite a while so that should give me enough to rock on with.  One thing I'm going to need to do with the PI thing is concentrating the materials needed for fuels.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Well, I managed to get the research POS fueled for the next two weeks.  In about a week I'll fuel it up to last until January 24 with some switch over fuel in there.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Fair warning: Between preparations for getting a new car, a concert, an office xmass party and sundry other items, this week is not looking good for my presence in EVE.  This will have it's impact on blog posts of course.  Ah well such is life, there's always the weekend...

Monday, December 12, 2011

In the name of science

Since I over-converted my stocks of matari fuel (for my research POS), I was curious if my skills and standings were such that I could re-convert back to the raw components.  Without loss.  The answer is yes.  If you as a refiner use a "no tax" station and your BPOs are researched to ME:40 you can do round trip for only the manufacturing costs.  This should simplify the lives of those, like myself, who over-did the "prepare for the fuel block switch over".

Now all you need to do is grab however many fuel block you would have been be shoving in your towers, and simply reprocess them back into raw fuels and ship that off to your towers (with extra robotics for the smaller towers, of course).  I no longer need to go crazy buying new fuels to make it to January 24th.

CCP and their communications issues

Most of CCP seems to be learning.  Some are not.  Case in point: CCP Soundwave.  Remember this is the guy who was pushing the "greed is good" position within CCP's internal "get with the program" document.  We've all seen where that led (20% layoffs for the short attention span set).  His most recent pronouncement of wisdom? Fuel blocks! (and CCP Soundwaves wildlife safety advice)...

CCP Grayscale redeems CCP later on with a concise post about the real reasons for the delay.  But seriously man Someone needs to sit on CCP Soundwave.  Or at least restrict him to flying in space things where he's marginally competent.

CCP may be trying to improve communications but yeeeeesh.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Between the Saturday incursions and the sale of the CO gantry (and attendant upgrade parts), I was able to scrape together enough isk to afford a carrier.  Now I need to build up my sable of "Fleet Doctrine Approved" ships in order to finally be ready to head back to 0.0  Should only take me another 1 bil or so worth of running incursions.

At least it will give me time to fit out what I can on the carrier and skill up a few things for more mods ans what not.  The idea is not necessarily to fly it in combat - but I've at least got the remote repairers and what not.

Friday, December 9, 2011

All over the place

So, I actually had some time to get in game last night.  Started off with the PI to get it out of the way.  Then went on to Pop the gantry out of the oven.  While it cools in my stockroom container, I only have to wait until tonight to get the last of the P4's to upgrade it, at which point it's time to hock it to the alliance, corp, friends or if none of the above, put it up on contract.  I'll need to get a price check in Jita before I decide what to sell it for.

Then later on I went and did some incursions.  Got in an average fleet.  Made about 85mil or so.  Poor FC had a bit of a scare on the last site as he got seriously alpha'ed.  Bit of armor patching after that fight and all was well.

Then it was back to my high sec base in order to continue the preparations for eventual return to 0.0.  In the event I decided to slap together some Imicus cyno boats for my alt.  So a bunch of manufacturing jobs were arranged.  For some reason I like to have a prototype cloak on a cyno boat, so a matching bunch of those are "in process".

Once all the hulls baked, it'll be time to start staging them.  Hopefully by the end of this weekend I'll have that suitcase carrier as well.  Time will tell.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Restricted game time issues

I did managed to get some PI done and actually trucked over to the only high sec Incursion for a few sites.  Much too much competition when there's only one high sec site but oh well.  In other news things have progressed to the point where I'm cooking the first gantry and in 2 days I should have the rest of the T4's for upgrading the gantry.  At that point I'll put the whole lot up for sale on contract.  Goons and a few (only 2 to 3 gantry packs in high sec on contract) enterprising Jita residents seem to be doing the same, but since that's in Deklin for the most part, it doesn't really count as competition for the high sec market.

We'll see how that works out.  A gantry pack seems to be running between 250 (Deklin price) and 300~ish (Jita/HS price).  I'm actually surprised there's not more as there's no reason to buy a gantry alone since it can't do jack until you upgrade it...  The supply of BPC's on the other hand is quite sufficient.  Un-surprisingly.

Oh, and please don't ask about the 131000 chickens incident...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I think that's a word.  Not totally sure...  I know, "To the internets batman!"... prognostication... what do you know, it IS a word.

Anyways, As the astute can guess I'm going to prognosticate on the impact SWTOR will have on EVE online.  And I'm going to say it's limited.  If anything all it should do is slow EVE's recovery from the 18months of madness.  The initial indications are good, and if CCP can keep up and do a few good patches post Crucible (like oh, say get out the assault frigate's 4th bonus in Crucible 1.1 for example), then follow it up with a above par patch in the summer 2012 (like say some rather engaging interaction with the dust bunnies along with some continuation of the revamp of older EVE systems).  I'll say they have gone a good long way to repairing their relationship with their customers (it's like any long term relationship - there's going to be spats along the way - sometime serious - sometimes not).  Takes communications.

Why I think EVE will not be greatly impacted by SWTOR:  In a word, WoW.  From all reports SWTOR is an arch standard, diku mud derivative MMO very similar in overall features to World of Warcraft and it's ilk.  The thing to remember about EVE is that it's a VERY different beast from a traditional themepark MMO.  It's community is different.  It's feel is different.  It's core demographics are rather different.  EVE appeals to the griefer and/or the older gamer interested in a complex social game with just about limitless possibilities where you are responsible for your destiny in game.  There are a sub-set of both of those who are probably also SW fanboys who are just marking time until the next SW MMO appears, but I think they will be found to be the minority.

WoW on the other hand may see serious subscriber flow, due to the similarities in mechanism and the fact that their core demographics probably have more of an overlap.  The big question I have is "How bit and bad will the rebound be?  Time will tell.


A rather short amount of time was available to me to go online last night.  PI.  That is all.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Humm, is it DUSTy in here?

Oh, and by the way, I noticed this following artifact in the overview settings over the weekend:  


Is it me or are we seeing the first inklings of DUST 514.  Discuss the fact that there are BOTH types of bases!?!

Fuel Block BPO

The fuel block BPOs are cooking nicely.  They should be ready by the end of the night Tuesday.  I finally got all my researchers able to remote research properly so I can sit them on the planets where they do PI (well in the stations in said systems anyways) and simply so the research remotely x numbers of jumps away.  Rather convenient the system with the tower didn't have a good mix of planets.

One of the issues I'm going to have is that to get a "right mix" of planets to do long term gantry production, I'll need 4 characters doing PI.  With that I can pump out a gantry and it's upgrade parts in about 8-9 days.  Another option would be to go to full on production planets and buy the P1's off the market.  But that would take some serious isk investment on anything I have on the market on sale.  Then I figure I could get a gantry done every 2 days on a single character.  If I had a spare 500mil or so I might consider it if it was profitable (it probably is at this point).

The good thing is that I'm effectively self sufficient as far as gantry BPCs go.  the cheap first day BPCs seem to have disappeared from the market and they are climbing up in price as the mineral market recovers from the tornado that was the Tier 3 BC storm (bad pun, I know, bad Let, bad!).

Meanwhile I re-stocked up my mineral bunker (depleted from the BC manufacturing runs) and still need to get 400mil to get to the 1bil price point I set myself as an objective before buying my carrier.  Once I get that I'll want to stoke it up above 1bil before buying a pile of PvP ships.  And then one more time before before I consider myself ready to head back to 0.0.  If I'm still in corp by then.  I'm not entirely sure that I will be.  My CEO seems to be ok with my rebuild and prepare in empire plan.  The alliance leadership may be less so.  But it's the difference between being effective and not so...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Friday and Saturday

Well, I get in an excellent incursion fleet on Friday.  I managed to nail the not so mythical 100mil an hour.  Props to the FC.  Ran with that fleet for 3h before it disbanded - very nice.

That and some PI pretty much took care of my Friday night.  I also re-activated my 3rd account which initiated some character shuffling.  Got the cyno alt over to the 3rd account, going to get the research ceo back on the 2nd account.  That'll have all 3 of my research chars on a single account which means I can un-sub them as a unit  when I don't need research and can work on getting the main research character cleared for T2 invention and stuff.  I also need to do some corp movements.  Make sure all the 3 characters on the research account are in the same corp and all that.

The other high sec capable corp I've got I'll be selling to friends (can anchor in gal 0.7 and min 0.7).  So by the end of the weekend, my fuel pellet bpos will be cooking.  They should be done by mid week at which point it's going to be a matter of converting most of my existing fuel stocks into pellets (keeping just enough to fuel that research tower through the switch over.  We'll see.

Didn't get a lot of incursions done until really late Saturday night.

Shuffle shuffle shuffle...

Friday, December 2, 2011

More Incursions

I started the evening getting my PI plans firmed up and working on my main and my #1 alt's planets.  This got them knocked into shape.  My main's Barren planet got turned into a pure manufacturing planet with 21 advanced and 1 high tech factories.  This allows me to manufacture eve the most complex P4s straight from P1's with only the High tech factory being used at 50% capacity.  Takes a while to set up but once it's up and running I should be able to get a gantry and it's constituent parts pumped out in about 8 days.  I've just got to do some massaging of some of my other PI alts to make the materials input streams more consistent (especially from the Lava planet) and we'll be good to go.

Then I managed to get some incursions done and followed by some long distance hauling in my Freighter to round off the evening.  The hauling was in support of some more long term plans for the weekend.  Which is mostly going to be incursions for my main.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tidying up

After logging in, I was able to get my 4 fuel cube BPOs.  Researching at a tower it should only take 3 days to get those to ME:40 which is "perfect" for the cubes.  Then it'll be a matter of laying in a 2 week reserve while waiting for the exact date of the change over and plan on converting all existing pos fuel stocks to the new cube format after the switch over.

I wasn't really prepared for the new tornado BPO (not to mention my work hours conspire against me being able to truly take advantage of it).  But I did manage to do some flip and profit on Mexallon as well as sell 2 Tornados at a profit (one at over 200% of mineral value) so basically I was able to get my own tornado for free.  I'm not worried about the investment in the BPO since it simply goes into the collection and can be pulled out for use at any future moment in time.  Sometime in the next 3-5 days I should really make sure it goes into the research slots.

Otherwise it was a quiet Wednesday.  I fitted out an AC Thrasher last night and an AC Tornado tonight.  Should be interesting to use em one day.  In the meanwhile I plan on heading back to incursions to make back the isk I just used to secure that long term investment that is the tornado.  Being independent of the whims of the market is rather nice.  If I've got the time I can analyze whether it's worth making my own or buying off the market.

But on to incursions for the weekend.

The PI tax whine fest

The thin of skin may want to avoid the Science and Industry channel on the EVE-O forums for a bit.  We need some cheese and crackers to go with that whine.

Some observations:

1) this game needed some more isk sinks and reduced faucets.

     1a) The high sec tax increases on PI are part of the more isk sinks,

     1b) The removal of insurance payout on concord ganking is part of the reduced faucet.

2) There needs to be a balance between risk and reward.

     2a) you are taking little to no risk doing PI in high sec. - you shouldn't get as much reward as 0.0 or low sec.

     2b) there are 3 choices for more risk:  work with a 0.0 alliance, work with a low sec corp/alliance, work with a wormhole corp/alliance.  The people putting up the gantries get to control the tax rates.  Find one you can work with or create a corp that can do so and you can control that.  That's the reward for the risk of putting out the gantry and getting a customs office in place.

someone's going to need to run a detailed break even analysis on the amount of time it takes for a gantry/CO to make back it's investment cost in high sec tax equivalent.

Let's do some back of the envelope calculations:

a gantry takes a bpc (25mil)  71 P4's (using the 1350000 average that works out to 95.85mil (some are used for the gantry and some are used for the upgrade) and a capital construction part (say 5 mil to be safe with current mineral volatility) that works out to a CO costing you 125.85 mil (or probably slightly higher).  Say you arrange a P1 producing planet to make you on average 8-10k P1's a day.  Exporting that each day will cost you 400k to 500k in taxes (More - much more for a production planet where you have to import most stuff and export the end product).  based on some calcualtions I did for production planets they effectively earn twice the taxes (import materials followed by export finished goods - the volumes are such that it effectively doubles the taxes or close enough not to matter) so, let's say 800k to 1mil per day (as a conservative number). 

so if you have a virgin planet in 0.0 space you're effectively "breaking even" on your investment in about 4 months for a production planet and 8 month for an extraction planet.  If you need to replace the 17% interbus ones a production planet CO only has to survive 2 months and an extraction planet CO only 4 months IF only one character is using it.  Remember a gantry benefits EACH character that uses it.

Say you have a planet where your corp as between 5-10 characters doing PI on it? well you "break even" on your costs about 5-10 times faster .  Let's take an example of what I mean:  The gantry benefits say 5 characters and you slap it on a production planet in 0.0.  3 of the dudes use the planet as a production planet, 2 use it as an extraction planet.  That means that you should break even on that planet in about 7-8 days and that's low long the gantry has to survive to pay for itself.

Moral of the story: if you like to work alone you're screwed.  A corp with enough characters doing PI on the planets they slap gantries on should be able to justify the purchase and installation of the gantries in about a week to two weeks depending on the use of the planet involved.

Personally, if I was a CEO in a corp that has enough characters doing PI, I'd use corp cash to slap gantries up, put an 8% tax until the initial investment is payed off then reduce it down to 2-4% to pile up cash for replacement gantries (for those lost to ganking and what not)

This is hardly the end of the world people.

The first night of Crucible

So, I picked up the new Tornado BPO.  Just as I expected it was around 600mil.  650mil to be exact.  But that was hardly surprising based on the prices of existing BPOs  Baked my first one and flew it to market.  Put it up for over 200% mineral costs and it went in seconds.  Those who were more prepared are making a first day killing as these things are selling like hotcakes.  Holly cow.  Does anyone remember the short term impact of the Noctis on mineral prices?  You ain't seen nothing yet.  It was almost like there was a major war or something and the fleet replacement purchase orders had come through.

Yep that new font is going to take a bit of getting used to but it'll work.  Being able to tell the difference between certain letters like D and 0 is a nice feature to have (only took you like 7 years...).

They still messed up my plans to make fuel pellets but apparently this morning's patch to the patch will fix that.  Yay!

The Economic side is still reeling from the changes to the taxing structure.  I'm not surprised they did the change. The previous taxes were based just about strictly on the volume of the goods.  Now they are based on values pinned to market prices in November 2011.  Honestly they just cut into profit margins.  This is definitely by design.  Need for those new gantries to have value.  This shocked the less observant.  Big surprise there.  I think this is more of a case of the grognards being grognards than anything else.  It's the sort of bitching that CCP can safely ignore.  And it does introduce more isk sinks into the game.  Well played.

Production planets will need to plan their production out much more carefully.  You'll want to minimize the amount of import and export you're doing.  I suspect that P2 extraction planets will come in vogue again.  Interestingly if you look at the import export rates compared to the previous level's import export rates you'll see that once you get the product you want you're stuck using it's export tax.  P2's can be manufactured on single planets (there isn't one that can't be as I recall).  for P3's and above SOMETHING must change planets prior to manufacturing.  if you look at taxes on an item and compare those to taxes on the next lower level's item going into it, you'll notice that the lower down on the PI scale an item is the less taxes you will have payed overall if that's the item you ended up moving.  EXCEPT P0's.  Those are never worth getting out of the gravity well tax wise.

What this means.  I suspect there will be 2 types of extraction planets.  P1 types destined for the direct market of a P3/P4 manufacturing planet.  P2 planets are probably more inefficient total goods wise compared to P1 extraction planets but the end product will pay less taxes than if you'd moved the P1's from another planet to a production planet.  Expect end use P2's (those not destined to be made into P3's and P4's) to come from those planets.  For P3's and P4's you're probably better off shipping in all P1's to take advantage of the break in taxes afforded at the P1 level and then have a mix of processing nodes such that the end product you desire is attainable on planet.  I suspect this will concentrate the serious volume trade on the P1's and that PI goods that are not also end use goods will stay on planet as part of a manufacturing chain to keep import/export costs down.

You're going to say AHAH! what about Integrity Response Drones or Wetware Mainframes???  It still applies since you would have needed to move P3's and P3's can't be manufactured full chain on a single planet, so some thing (either P2 or P1) would have needed to pay taxes to make the P3.  Tough luck there.

The old gun icons are back.  Surprisingly it applied to all turrets including salvager and tractor beams.

One thing about the new nebula that is rather glaring.  You don't see any changes until you actually jump regions.  Since they are not preternaturally generated I can understand the need to do it this way.  But damn the region jumps are jarring.  Otherwise they are gloriously glorious.

As a mainly Minmatar pilot, I'm not getting the full effect of the V3'ing of the ships yet but I assume that will be on it's way for the next expansion (poor overworked art department - but they do excellent work).

It's too early to judge but so far this rather small expansion (they got this done in only 6-8 weeks for crying out loud, there were what? 20+ weeks between the summer and now?) seems like it will be judged as a mildly successful one.  We'll need to see if they can actually deliver an expansion worthy of the name for the next summer's expansion.

edit: gah! typos... sorry about that for any early readers

pps: if it looks like I spent a lot of time with a spreadsheet while flying around - the answer is yes I did.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ah, THERE's the CCP I remember

"Fuel block blueprints will not be seeded on tranquility today"

"The new blueprints for fuel blocks, as featured in the blog Starbase happy fun time blog by CCP Greyscale, will not be seeded immediately after the release of Crucible. We are expecting that these blueprints will be seeded on the market in the next couple of days."

Thank you so kindly for messing up my travel plans.   It wouldn't be a CCP expansion without delayed features any more.

A relaxing break before the shiney

So, I did some PI (of course) and then navigated out to an ice belt over in matari space.  My alt had already been sent on afk ahead in the Orca with the Mak in it's cargo hold.  I know I know you're going to go "Let, dude, wtf are you doing mining ice?  You're making gobs of iskies doing Incursions, just buy the ice".  This is true but the incursions were down to 1 incursion last night and I wanted to pre-position myself for post-patch activities (BPO acquisition) and lay in a supply of matari ice for my alt corp's research tower when the time comes (I've pilled up quite a bit of BPOs that need research).  So I decided a relaxing evening of filling up the Orca with ice was called for.

I figure a 2-3 month run of research should get things slapped back into shape.  Need to research the bombs and a 2 BS BPOs and what not.  Getting my alt corp to do that (they're all T1 researchers) should make it easy. 

So by the end of the evening my Alt was back at my high sec base and the ice had been contracted back to my main.  My main was in place ready to rock once the patch lands.  And my other alts had done some PI work.  Fun fun.

Now I just have to survive the day at work...

Monday, November 28, 2011

I just realized

I'm a stealth blog again!  After getting dragged kicking and screaming (well no, not really, I just never asked to be put in a blog roll or a blog pack - that was never why I blogged) into the blog pack.  Twice.  I have finally regained my status as a stealth EVE blog.  I just noticed that EVEOGANDA doesn't have me listed in either the pack or the sites list.


/me cloaks up and slinks away.

p.s., is Rixx the new blogfather?  Did he actually kill off CK?  Where are the bodies buried?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Crucible Patch Notes

For your TL;DR needs:  The Crucible patch notes are here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not bad

After 3 sessions of Incursion and having run 34 vanguard sites, I'm up 310mil isk over the weekend.  Unless I'm totally mistaken that should make 45k ish Concord LP when those incursions finish up (if they do - no clue how that works).

This meshes very well with my 149mil isk investment in my Scimitar.  So overall I'm ahead 160mil which is rather good considering am now over 1b again and on the 22nd of November I was at 209mil...  Ah yes, EVE is like getting on a bicycle.  Just takes a while to knock the rust off is all.

I must admit I like incursions - going in with a fleet reminds me of other MMOs where you do things as a group. People from other MMOs are going to find it rather familiar territory (with of course eve specific idiocyracies - like the danger of suicide ECM boats breaking up your rep chains).  Out of all the activities in EVE Incursions are probably the activity that bears the most resemblance to other MMOs.  The only problem is that with a requirement of having 3 logistics pilots for the first tier that actually pulls in isk, it's pretty much strictly for the veterans instead of something that could be used to ease other MMO players into EVE.  Ah well.  Another lost design opportunity in EVE.  We should be used to those by now.

As I look forward to a more relaxing evening than concentrating on keeping fellow pilots alive in incursions I'm feeling pretty good about returning to EVE.  At this point my plans post-patch are pretty set.

1) Get the fuel pellet BPOs
2) Get the Tornado BPO.
3) Convert existing fuel reserves into the new format
4) Get the 3rd account re-activated and that pile of un-researched BPOs researched (I need to consider some character moves so that the corp/research characters are all on the same account - gah)
5) Get a suitcase carrier
6) Get an isk reserve buffer
7) Head back to 0.0

On the skills front, I'm doing some emergency shoring up of drone skills (What? I can't fly T2 logi drones??? Damn it! - not to mention the T2 mining drones for that vanguard site -.-;).  I'll get back to the carrier skills once that shoring up is done.  I may slip in Command ships soon though as I killed off all the pre-requisites.

That should keep me going for a bit.

I will point out the irony of wanting to be in 0.0 but being unable to generate the income necessary to progress there in 0.0.  Good design CCP.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

First serious Incursion

So I log on this morning and "head to the sound of the drums".  I.e. get in my Scimitar and open my Journal and pick a likely incursion in high sec.  So off I go to the Amarr one.

All in all a rather buys time but we hit 9 sites and got the rewards for 7 of them, so this prety much brought me about half way to pay for the Scimitar I just purchased for this endeavor.  I got lucky and there was a good FC on hand.  A Black Legion pilot - I remember those guys from the days I was in Rage back in Vale of the Silent.  They hung in nearby Geminate at the time.  At any rate, as soon as he had his 3 logi pilots, namely to other Scimitars and myself and the knowledge that we had 4 tracking links between us, he got 4 faction battleships and 2 T3 to go with his Sleipnir.

All in all it was a very good first run.  I can tell that part of the job is going to be being able to know what the spawn patterns are for each site as in this case with solid logi and dps the FC was able to burn the sites as fast as possible and we were able to keep everyone alive.  Less logi support and we would probably have been better clearing out the waves although that would have taken longer.  So taking notes for when I get my own pilots together for this one day.

So for the afternoon:  Make the rest of the isk spent on the Scimitar up and start making forward progress toward more isk for Tornado BPO and a Nidhogur.  Not to mention all the skill books for capital modules I need to acquire and command ship skill as well.

Looks like I'm back.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Preparing for Incursions

As I got home from work, I did the usual PI (now planning on manufacturing a medium minmatar control tower) run and then proceeded to grab an incursion fit for the Scimitar.  Noticed that what looks like a canonical fit is acr based instead of ccc based like my current 0.0 fit scimi.  So I decided to simply buy a new one and fit it out as indicated.

So off to jita and 150mil isk later I'm tooling back to my high sec base in my brand new scimi - 4 large repers and an ab and it's all cap stable - woot.  Noticed I can't use T2 logi drones and immediately slapped some skills in to begin addressing that.  Carrier 3 should finish as I sleep.

The idea is to see if I can get in on some Incursion action over the weekend.  Time will tell.

Off to bed for now.

Oh right, the two alts also had PI going...

PI is low-ish maintenance once it's up and running.  But getting it up and running?  Yeesh.  Have the alts on a 4 day cycle.  I'll see how that works out when I have both toons contract their PI goods to my main and simply use the main to either do the further processing or selling on market.

Also did a run to Jita to get rid of more trash.

Not much else to say, everyone seems to be in the "get ready for the patch on Tuesday" mode.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

More carebearing... And some rust... Lost of rust...

And I just reactivated one of my alt accounts.  In celebration I went and found a grav site.  Well more like I found it and then decided to celebrate my alt's re-activation with some light mining.  For those who are just stumbling onto my site for the first time and might be newbies (or PvP pilots - same thing as far as mining goes).  Gravimetric sites are exploration sites that contain mine-able asteroids.  The particular site I found was supposed to contain Kernite as well as the Omber, but obviously someone else wiped the Kernite before I found it.  Well waste not want not.  I killed the Omber to de-spawn the site.

I will note that once again DA RUST is showing.  Talk about embarrassing.  So I get to the site.  Start mining.  Damn!, a Myrmidon is on grid.  Ok, switch to my combat ship.  Face palm.  Oh right.  Need to offline the lasers and empty the cargo hold before the switch will happen cleanly.  so there's my hulk, sitting empty in space floating serenely when the rats come on in and wouldn't you know it target my hulk!


Well THIS is most embarrassing.  So I get my alt to launch drones and take care of the rats while I shove the Loki back in the Orca my alt is flying and scramble madly to get back in my Hulk.  Good thing Low SP Myrm pilots are not likely to have hulk skills or someone would have been justified in sneaking off with my Hulk.

It's the little things.

The earlier part of the evening was spent finishing the setup of PI on some nearby planets and getting a T1 hauler of the appropriate cargo space/maneuverability setup so that I could finish off the work started yesterday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Datacore run and some PI

So, last night I worked on my datacore situation.  It hadn't been as long as last time so the isk was less.  But it did allow me to setup another level 4 R&D agent which is the max there is with core complexion in high sec.  The 5th slot was occupied by a level 3 agent.  This brings my total of agents up to 5.  This should help out on the passive income stream, while I get to work on more active methods.

I also finished "bunkering up" for some T1 manufacturing runs.  This means having a mix ratio on hand that is good for most manufacturing tasks.  I like to run an inventory of 4000 Megacite at "bunker full" state with each mineral below that x4 the one above (so 16k Zydrine, 64k Nocxium, and so on down to 16mil~ish Tritanium).  Although the ratios are off for any specific faction manufacturing run, in the aggregate it works out quite well as a good "bunker" ratio.  What runs out first depends entirely on what I've been building and it allows me to pump out at least 2 BS without having to calculate "do I have enough materials on hand".  The idea is to build what you want then put up buy orders to re-fill the bunker, taking advantage of the buy/sell difference instead of simply deciding to build something and buying the minerals at the `sell` price.

Last but not least I got 2 planets of PI going to get some PI materials going as well (might as well, I`ll be in high sec for a bit after all.  I just setup a cheap high cycle (20h) one extractor setup.  Going to work on some math to figure out "at what point is it worth destroying the extraction head and buying a new one else where".  We'll see. 

I'm also starting to organize things among some pilots I know to get a core Logistical group together to go run some incursions after the patch.  The idea being that so long as 3-4 of us have Logi 5 and we have some DPS we trust, it is relatively easy to get DPS to run vanguard sites.

We'll see how those plans go.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Inter bus shuttles are going for HOW MUCH?!?

As I was cleaning up my inventory of "stuffs" I decided to look at the value of some of the one off stuff I've collected over the years.  Most of it are not worth moving for the moment.  But then I saw the Interbus Shuttle - only difference is a 20m³ cargo bay vs a 10m³ cargo bay.  It's going for over 200mil on contracts!.  Load up the Prowler with a bunch of meta 4's and that shuttle and haul ass to Jita.  Do the usual "cloak thru Uedama" on the way and there we go, iskies to replace the iskies spent getting the Minmatar Carrier skill.

A bit of light exploration and some Noctis work later and I hit the sack.  Going to have to do a datacore run soon as well.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nothing knocks the rust off like...

Well no, I didn't get a kill mail or loose a ship.  I did manage to brown streak a Pilgrim.  Here's the story of how a neutral Mammoth pilot got a really good laugh:

So, I decide to do a bit of exploration in the area I'm hanging in high sec.  Hummm, 2 wormholes in the same system.  Must be a Saturday.  So I switch to my cloaky Loki.  Warp to and take a look at the first one.  Nope running out of time.  Probably not a good idea.  So I warp to the next one.  Humm, time left but the hole is abused.  As I sit there cloaked about 3500m off the wormhole, a Mammoth warps up and jumps!

Decloak.  Jump!

And this is where the predictible script departs into keystone cops land.  I spot only one ship on the overview and I: aproach->target->point->f1.  Then I notice it's targeting me back?  That's when the ship type registers: Pilgrim.  Then my initial volley slams into it.  Bang no more shields!  While my artillery are cycling, he jumps out.  I do believe I managed to panic him quite effectively.  Unfortunately he took the wormhole with him.


So now I'm sitting dumb and vulnerable without a quick exit.  My wormhole reactions kick in.  Cloak and move off the spot in case he has friends on the way.  While my brain is still in "evasive action" mode, the Mammoth uncloaks and warps to his tower.  This is where my time away from EVE shows.  I did not react fast enough to lock and tackle the Mammoth.

Stupid rust!

So then the conversation in local starts up.  The Mammoth pilot thought I was with the Pilgrim.  And I thought the Pilgrim was with the Mammoth pilot.  Lord knows what the Pilgrim pilot thought.  So we had a good chuckle at the keystone cops routine and I inquired whether that wormhole that just went poof was the static.

"Um... please tell me that was your high sec static..."

"yea it was"

"Oh good"

Of course now my course of action is clear:  Scan my way back out to high sec.  Shouldn't be too much of a challenge.  While I was scanning the center of the system, my friendly Mammoth pilot mentions some combat probes and a Buzzard on scan.  I comment that he probably had a good laugh at what happened, then settle in to find my way out while the Mammoth pilot logs out at his POS.

The scanning down of the exit (of course, it's the last one I check), got my scanning skills knocked back in shape rather quickly.  Getting the old D-scan habits back in shape and what not.

So eventually I get myself back to k-space and start chugging back to base, with little to show except for that all important experience and no ship losses to show for my mistakes (bonus!). 

Later on in the weekend I managed to get out all the way to Vale of the Silent in order to un-snafu a manufacturing slot that was stuck in F-D49D.  Kind of quiet there.  Only ran into 1 bubble camp with no campers and another gate that had a sling bubble that didn't interfere with my travel plans as I approached the gate from a different celestial than was intended.  Manufacturing slot un-stuck. 
BPC and stuff trashed (just 35 x 10mn Afterburner I's so don't freak out - just not worth the hassle of selling to the Russians or Raiden.) so it doesn't clutter up my assets.

I also had a quick convo with my CEO about future plans and the fact I would not be coming back down to 0.0 until I built up the isk and got myself a suitcase carrier.  Not to mention I need to get at least one alt account re-subbed for the cyno alt.

Slowly waking up after a summer's break.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Pardon the dusting

Hey all (or hey the 3 who still have links to this blog)!  As those paying attention to my comings and goings know, I've been logging in quite a bit for very short stays lately.  And although there's not much in the way of industrial changes in EVE, there are quite a few new fixes and what not coming in the next patch.  This leaves me with an important decision coming up.  Do I get active in EVE again or not?

As you all (or the 3 of you as the case may be) know I un-subbed my alts and moved all my assets back to high sec in order to skill flip wait out the fall and see what the winter brought.  As my post about destroyers indicates, I am still paying attention to what goes on development wise.  I still say CCP is in full blown panic, knee jerk reaction mode, but it looks like some long standing issues are getting some love.  I feel sorry for the CCP employes who got the axe over the summer but "Pride goeth before the fall".  And the little guys pay the price.

I will point out that the dev production since REALLY pointed out how much EVE development has suffered with CCP's concentration split between the two other games.  I hope for their sakes they can get DUST out the door without an entire year's delay (Me has PS3, me want BETA).  While I'm on the subject.  Allow me to point out something to the absolute IDIOTS in charge of the Nex store.  It is not that Incarna will eventually be useful to EVE.  It can be.  The way you introduced it and marketed it, however...  What drugs were you on?  I also fail to see why you guys were so attached to introducing a horribly flawed secondary micro transaction system when you already had possibly one of the best micro transaction systems in gaming (talking about PLEX here - would someone please explain to Hilmar that PLEX IS Micro transactions even without the NeX).  Your players are far from stupid and they WILL call your bluff.  8% reduction in subscriptions (the number I've heard somewhere) since the high point should point out the true cost of these miss steps to your game and hence your company.

Meanwhile let's get back to the decision point. Here's my current situation:  RHI basically imploded and left Cascade Imminent [FAIL].  Yaxi is rebuilding it and has joined Cascade Probable while he does this.  I'm still in RHI, but my previous experience with 0.0 life has left me with the issues that unless a corp/alliance is prepared to support non-cap pilots properly, living in 0.0 is not only rather difficult but actually costs more than it brings in.  Definitely compared to life in wormhole space.  So, I'm currently rather leery of that since I still don't have even a suitcase carrier.

So the question is: has CCP done enough with it's winter patch to address things and justify coming back.  And if I do, my choices are:  Stay with RHI and give another crack to 0.0 where my options are severely restricted or go and do something else that will build up my isk total as opposed to drain it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The destroyer pilot in me acquired a shark-like grin

Don't know how FUD this one is but if it turns out to be true...

EVE NEWS24 had an article called "Raw Intel: Coming Soon".  In it there was the following little gem:

- Destroyers (T1 and T2) lost their ROF penalty. And the horrible cruiser-sized sig radius has dropped to a frigate-sized radius. Like it should be.

Lord, the grin I got was downright terrifying...  I hope this comes true.

If this comes true, expect a resurgence of Thrasher wolf packs in low sec.

If this turns out to be on the books for winter for real, color me interested for this winter's patch.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The cynical in me

Well now, CCP's latest moves are filling me with concern.  Rumblings from various reporting sources like Massively, fill me with trepidation for the future of EVE online.  This is having all the hallmarks of a knee-jerk reaction.  Which can best be described by removing the word "knee".

With the burn rate issues and what not, I can see why CCP needed to cut employees.  This was one of those "Get shit under control" where their burn rate HAD to start matching their income from EVE rate.  Sucky though this is it HAD to be done or CCP goes under.

As distressing as it is for the employees, I can see why WoD got put on the back burner and CCP is concentrating on pushing out DUST and re-focusing on EVE.  They had lost sight of where their bread was buttered.  They are paying the price.  The problem is now what?  If, as Brendan reports there were no changes at the executive level and the entirety of the critical decisions came directly from Hilmar, then fine, he wants to fix things, he deserves a chance.  However if Hilmar was not personally 100% responsible for those decisions, then some of the executives below Hilmar should have also gotten the axe.  This has not happened.  I suspect that this means that the same guys who have LOST what the player base considers the vision of EVE online to be are still in control of the decision making levers.

Combine this with the squeeky wheels in 0.0 and you have a recipe for some very dangerous changes coming up.  I suspect that CCP could easily break high sec to the point where there is a mass exodus of carebears from the game.  The sad/amusing thing is that since these executives don't understand the thought processes of carebears they could easily do this by accident thinking they were improving things.  We'll need to pay close attention to subscriber numbers.  Theoretically, by addressing the FiS issues and working on some FiS content, CCP could turn things around since there is still no real competition in their Space Sandbox segment of MMOdom.  If players regain confidence in CCP, it should at least stem the outflow of players.  Oh! and incidentally, 8% of your subscriber base is not "just a few disgruntled players" - you idiot, it's the start of a mass exodus.  You need to start treating it as such.  Then there are all the carebears who weren't really affected by this summer's fun.  Fuck that up and you'll see a silent bleed and welcome to the NGE incident you're currently trying to avoid.

Oh, incidentally, congratulations on finally introducing battlecruiser to the game for the first time (at best all existing "battlecruiser" class vessels are simply what most people would call "heavy cruisers").  That still feels like a panicky "fuck, what can we deliver for the winter expansion to pander to the players?", but at least we're getting real battlecruisers out of it.

CCP needs to start thinking less in 6 month cycles and more with proper long term planning with staged deliveries matching up with those 6 month cycles.  I have a suspicion that all the good work CCP Greyscale did over the summer ruminating on long term changes to the FiS side of thing just got thrown out with the bath water and the rush to show something for the winter expansion.  This does not augur well for thought out changes.

Still waiting for the winter patch itself before making any decisions about coming getting active or un-subbing my main.

Monday, October 3, 2011

And I pass 70mil SP

Apparently (according to EVE gate) I passed the 70mil SP mark over the weekend.  I'm currently skilling through Drone Interfacing 5.  It's one of the pre-requisites for Carriers.  Once all the pre-requisites are done, I'm probably not going to pick up Capital Ships and Minmatar Carrier right away (pricy), and once all the pre-requisites are done, I'll probably finish off Frigate Construction 5 (want to be able to build my own Wolves/Jaguars) and then work on all the Amarr tree (get Lazorz skillz and then make sure frigate/cruiser/BS are at 5) followed by the Caldari tree. 

I thought about command ships, but since I already have T3 unlocked (and fairly well skilled up) the price difference between a T2 equiped T3 and a T2 equipped Command ship is not that much, I figured it can wait until I get my leadership skills in place first.  As a grunt in a 0.0 alliance (well the corp isn't at this moment in time, but it will be again in the future), the flexibility to fly the "flavor of the month" fleet fits is probably a higher priority than getting in command ships.  So getting Amarr/Caldari up to snuff on the sub-cap arena is called for.

Bombers seem to be cyclically popular so I'll probably max out some skills in that arena at some time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Mittani searches for meaning.

Still on break here.  But I still follow the perambulations of EVE Online.  In this vein I like to read The Mittani's column in Ten Ton Hammer.  Issue 65, we find Mittens waxing philosophical.  When you start comparing EVE to Orwell and Huxley, it's time to step back and take a deep breath.  And although EVE is certainly a lesson in the darker side of human nature, it is, in the end, entertainment.  Admittedly, stronger entertainment than you will find just about anywhere else once you play it at the level alliance leaders play it.  But theoretically entertainment none the less.

But like strong drugs, liquor or any other generator of strong emotions, you would be well served by the old saw: "Everything in moderation and moderation in everything".  Turning to philosophy to "find the meaning of it all" is a surefire sign that the deep end is approaching.

Instead of Orwell or Huxley, Mittens may want to look up Nietzsche instead.

""He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you"

Dude, once your CSM term is up, or earlier if necessary - take a break.  Preferably before we're reading about you in the newspaper.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Just in case you guys didn't clue in

I've decide to take a pretty significant break from EVE.  I will still skill flip my main account and work on my alt accounts until their subscriptions run out.  But for all intents and purposes I'm not active.

My reasons are, naturally, complex after 4 years in game.  But a good part of it is the dis-enchantment due to the supposed direction CCP has been hinting EVE will be going.  The problem with EVE is that because of it's support of greifing (I'm not talking about PvP - I'm talking pure griefing here) mechanics, most players develop a love hate relationship with EVE.  The problem CCP has got is that it is very easy through miss-management, to tip the balance from love to hate causing all sorts of problems.  There are features of EVE that make it totally unique.  These are very desirable features amongst the player base.  There are aslo plenty of features that detract from the game.  These we put up with in order to play a game with those desirable features.  A lot of these are also the reason that as popular as EVE is it will always remain a niche game and probably never crack the 1mil subscriber mark.  The desirable features are such that it could easily do so with if wasn't saddled down with the irritants.

For me personally it was the "out of touch with reality" indicators that the price of stuff on the noble exchange imply.  Also the evident desire to cut out EVE's industralists from new content.  As well as rublings that wormhole space is not considered 0.0 enough to allow for the ABC's to be located there (whut?).  All of this combined leads me to believe there's a chance EVE will start evolving in a direction I don't want to follow.  Which gets me down.  Which makes me dis-inclined to play EVE for now.

Don't get me wrong - the technical side of EVE keeps getting better and better.  But the game design side of things is looking more and more like it's going to be making some fundamental game breaking changes (from my point of view) down the road. 

We'll see.  For now I'm putting my main into a skill flipping mode and going to play some other games to clear my mind.  I'll probably re-examine the issue after the winter expansion and make a decision of whether it's worth continuing to skill flip or weather it'll be simply better to unsubscribe altogether.  The development timeline however indicate that it might only be worth coming back in a year or two.

In advance to any meme queries: No, you can't have my stuff or my characters (everyone I've met who sold off his main lived to regret it later).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Yep, going thru the EVE blah's at the moment.  Further discussion after I tidy some things up.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So, I've checked my accounts, they all seem to renew in the month of august at different points in time.  Basically this gives me until mid August to make a decision.  That's fine, I don't really want to make a snap decision.  But with the way CCP is going (their wording on what they are doing is damning) it looks likely that at a mininum, my alts will be un-subbing and probably also my main.  They seem intent on ridiculous prices and eventually instituting pay to win (above and beyond the current pay to win philosophy of PLEX itself).

Like I stated yesterday, the fallout from the CSM meeting will be significant.  If it at all looks like they are being manipulated by CCP as a PR move it could very seriously backfire.  And the minute a CSM representative un-subs after the meeting?...

Either way, just waiting to find out which way it's all going to go.  But either way I'll be voting with my wallet.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wow... Clusterfuck of epic proportions

CCP has, in the past, managed to piss off the player base, fairly significantly even.  But this time they may just have crossed that line in the sand.  I've been holding off on posting about the shit storm because the iRabble (internet rabble - coining it if it's not been coined yet) is doing a great job of it.  Pitchforks and torches are being waved about and what not.  I suspect that CCP having had such a long string of success has finally lost touch with it's player base.  Reports of Perpetuum receiving a major influx of players could be rather telling.  Up until now you haven't seen people un-sub en-mass from EVE due to changes.  EVE has not yet reached an NGE moment.  But it's definitely walked up to the edge of the precipice.  We'll have to see if CCP can pull back from the precipice.  Or not.  The upcoming (this weekend) CSM meeting will be crucial.  If any of the CSM members un-subs and says they can't tell us why due to the NDA, THAT will definitely precipitate an exodus out of New Eden. 

Personally I haven't been on EVE much lately.  I'm still cogitating about sticking around or not.  Keeping the alts subbed in or not.  I've got time to make my decision before their subscriptions come up for renewal so if I quit it wont' be a rage quit - it'll be a much more calmly considered change of gaming venue.

The most amusing thing is that they could have so easily avoided touching match to powder keg.  This has been a game design/marketing failure of epic proportions.  Think about it.  There's a price/volume curve to goods.  Places like Walmart pander to the masses looking for cheap affordable goods.  Gucci, to the rich and the rich-wannabes.  Both have a place in the market place.  I suspect that Walmart's  net profits are higher than Gucci's though (quantity has a quality all it's own).  Due to the number of students and other "not rich" types who play EVE you'd guess that their mentality vis-a-vis price would be closer to the Walmart end of the curve rather than the Gucci end of the curve.  Then you need to realize that your average non-vet looks at the value of anything in game from the metric of their IN GAME income (which is level 3 missions or mining in a Retriever once they graduate out of newbiedom).  Until you've been playing this game for over a year or two anything in the price range of 400 million to 1.5 billion is "forget about it - it's one day in the distant future, not for now".

All CCP had to do to avoid the current crisis of confidence was make sure that the NEX (Nobel Exchange) was stocked with a mix of items ranging from relatively in-expensive to very expensive.  They could have kept the monacle at it's current price if they'd stocked the store with cheaper items.  The impression that they were pandering to the ultra-rich veterans and/or bot/rmt users was what pissed off most of their players (the ones it didn't piss off, have a firmer rooting in reality or were themselves ultra-rich - in game).  Admittedly they were impressive when they went for the jugular and broke the 25$ psychological barrier on virtual goods that seems to have been established by World of Warcraft.  But the way they did it just about guaranteed a shit storm.  This primed the powder keg.

Then they touched off the match.  Leaks showing that the direction they wanted to take the noble exchange were explicitly in the direction that the player base clearly stated they didn't want it to go.  CSM5 with Mynxee at it's helm was rather clear on this.  Nevertheless here we are.  Leaked documents showing senior developers arguing the position of greed vs junior statistician arguing that it would be a bad idea.  CCP Zulu can argue it was a document that was used internally to incite debate.  Who is saying what is damning in the extreme.  This was not two senior developers debating the pros and cons.  This was a senior developer (and CCP Soundwave is by now) exposing the game design point of view.  And a statistician saying "this may not be a good idea".  The subtext there is that "but I can't prove anything until after it hits the fan and we analyze the loss in the player base".  And we know from other sources that CCP is very much a "Clique" driven shop.  EVE's player base is not stupid (far from it - EVE is self selecting away from that).  They can read between the lines and can by now spot a scam at 1000 yards with their Eyeball Mk I's.

Then to add icing to the cake we've got more leaked information CCP Hilmar (the president) basically saying "don't worry about it, we've seen this before, it'll all blow over".  He even goes on to boast that they sold 52 monacles in the first 40h.  Um... Hilmar... you realize that's a pittance compared to what you should have made sales wise during that period if you'd set up the store properly with a range of goods instead of just the "high end"?  Such dismal performance should be embarrassing - not something to be proud of.  The tone of the e-mail indicates that he fully expected the player reaction to happen.  So the newly clarified direction EVE is taking is driven from the top.  The interesting thing is that the reaction CCP foot soldiers have taken basically seem to reinforce the position that these leaks represent the true position and direction CCP wants to take the game.  I have to tell you that should this turn out to be true, I won't long be in this game.  Which is a shame.

There is nothing else quite like EVE out there.  Should something come along that provides a modicum of similar sandbox features while pandering less to the griefers and botters, I'd be there in a minute.  There still isn't, so I'm loathe to abandon EVE just yet.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


15 bucks for a pixel skirt!?!


Technology Injection

Today is the day Incarna 1.0 (and it's subsequent immediate client patch #1) goes live on TQ.  The thing to remember amongst the disappointment of the spareness of the features being introduced is that this is mainly a technology injection into the EVE online universe.  The next 2 years will show if it's a success or not.  The canvas of EVE just got bigger.  There, however, is still much more to do.  What is good to see is that there are serious low level work going on in parallel. 

Please take the time to check out CCP Curt's new dev blog:  carbonio and bluenet: next level network technology.  This is something no other MMO company out there does.  They talk about their tech.  It's one of the reasons that come hell or high water CCP will probably be there down the road.  They push the tech as hard as they can.  In all probability they are a generation or 3 ahead of the competition as far as their server tech goes.  It will be interesting to see what happens once they have 3 games running on their server technology.

I must admit I'm amused by the bitter vet syndrome a lot of players have been voicing lately.  They should know by now that the status quo is never safe in EVE.  It always evolves.  Heck remember when blockade runners could not warp cloaked?  The speed nerf.  The graphics engine upgrades.  The days when a 200 man fleet was considered lag.  So EVE changes.  Adapt or quit, your choice. 

As a side note I'm amused by the idiots in fleet who think they are experiencing "lag" in a 100-150 man fleet.  Be part of a 250 man sub-cap fleet being ordered to jump into 600 in system already?  Been there, done that.  That was "LAG".  The minor hesitation we get when jumping gates as part of a 100 man fleet just doesn't count.  And for the idiots who insist they are getting DC'ed because of it, I've got news for you - I've never gotten DC'ed under the conditions you're describing so it's you, your connection or your computer that's the problem, not tranquility or the node we're running on.  Heck I've never gotten DC'ed even with an 800-1200 man fight either.  Lagged the fuck out, yes.  DC'ed no.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More testing out of the CQ

Ok, not quite as bad as I thought but note to all future users: the behavior of holding the right mouse button down is different from the behavior of holding the left mouse button down.  Still say that the lack of being able to change the point of view to the the point of view OF the avatar is a serious fuck up - especially once we start getting multi-user environments.  It also precludes doing things where you click on something that you are focusing on (because to focus on it you need to depress the mouse button to move the focus).  I still say it feels awkward compared to 80% of the other avatar interfaces out there in PC land.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Captain's Quarters

Well I finally broke down and installed the Sisi client on my home comp... And the server was down when I finished...

Later on I did manage to get on however and check out the parts of Incarna.

Looks: 9/10
  • Possibly the best looking avatars in MMOs going.
  • Stations appropriate to the setting.
Interface: 2/10
  • Hyper realistic avatars without a first person perspective? fail
  • Constant need to lift off the mouse button to change direction? fail
  • Context menus showing up when you can't click them? fail
  • Inability to choose which planet you're looking at when focusing on the PI screen? fail
  • I'll have to check again but I think there were some problems with looking up and down - more fail.
  • Head does not follow the view screen focus? fail
Ok seriously here you need your developers to go play something like FFXI for a few weeks switching between first and 3rd person perspective to see how smooth the interface should transition, and how smooth and natural the controls should be.  Achieving less than that (which came out about the same time EVE did) is abject failure 7-8 years later.  Seriously didn't you guys play any other of the good MMOs as far as 3d movement/interface schemes go?  The interface felt like it was designed by the guy who did the original resident evil interface.  Which made that game unplayable for me.  Someone needs a clue by four upside the head.  I mean seriously, one of the major immersion inducing aspects of playing FFXI was that when you were in first person perspective the other avatar's heads would look to what ever that person's field of view was looking at so if I was talking to someone and they turned to look at something else I could see their avatar's head move (withing it's limits of movement).  It's a small thing that gives a MASSIVE feeling of immersion.  Very few other games had that level of feel.  Your graphics are advanced - your immersion sucks due to some bad decisions at the interface and control scheme level.

Functionality: 3/10
  • Not much to do in the quarters - and we can no longer spin ships to distract ourselves.
  • It feels like a hotel room.  Appropriate, so that is the reason the functionality score is higher.
Turrets: 7/10
  • Nice upgrade looks wise (for the few times I'll be zoomed in enough to actually see the turrets)
  • Some bugs on turret and effect synchronization (Unless these are fixed internally already, they'll make it onto tranquility - look forward to a bit of bitching)
  • Some questionable turret placements (WTF are those turrets doing on top & bottom of the tempest!?! - expect MORE bitching)
  • Not enough gun flash on artillery (Please see Youtube videos of an Iowa class battleship firing it's main guns (406mm/50's) - personal complaint)
Aurum Store: 5/10
  • Works.
  • Nothing special.
  • Not going to have a lot of content at start, is it?
 Now I realize that this update is mostly to get the technology in place so that it can be iterated upon and improved, and multi-player interaction added (getting meeting rooms in place WILL BE WORTH IT - huff - puff).  But you really really need to get your heads out of your asses as far as the control scheme goes.  And apparently the current control scheme is an improvement over the original one - that makes me shudder.

Looks like the verdict will be "meh expansion" with potential to be realized over the next few expansions.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Oh, lookie there, Morsus is red

As you all know, I'm down with Cascade Imminent these days.  I've actually been able to get in fleets now that my ship situation is firming up a bit.  Got in on a carrier save, got a shinny new Saber (I don't expect it to last long - note to self - investigate making Sabers as the price seems a little high compared to other interdictors), missed some major kill fleets, but did go on ops.

One of the new surprises in the south was spotting a lot of Morsus Mihi guys floating around and finding out they hot-dropped one of our carriers and are now considered solidly red.  This should make their attempt to move into the area nice and welcoming.  Looks like they want back in the 0.0 club after getting their asses handed to them up north.  After throwing Magesta and Rage under the bus that is PL (and my oh my does Shadoo look smug whenever the conversation turns to supercapitals), they are in the process of loosing their own space.  Looks like they are putting feelers out in the south.  Bumbling ones.  Either they've already decided who they want as enemies down here or they've cut a deal with PL/DRF, we'll need to see.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Some reflection on 0.0 life - and kills (yay)!

Been a bit of a blah week the last week has.  Been mostly on my alts doing PI in high sec.  Strangely enough this has been most of my char's income lately.  I think I'm still suffering from the shock of my first fail cascade.  I've gotten to FAIL space, did a bit of "get ships ready for operations" and then just hit a "blah" patch.  I'm loathe to setup PVE ships even though I know I need to do it to get some income generating.  Mainly it's the "Since I'll just need to evac them anyways" feeling left over from the R.A.G.E cascade.  That cascade really brought home the "keep your footprint light" necessity of 0.0 life.  Especially since I currently lack significant integral strategic mobility (read: I don't yet have a suitcase carrier or jump freighter).

This also has to do with the nature of FAIL itself.  It espouses a much more nomadic lifestyle for it's combat operations that I was used to when we were with R.A.G.E.  Again I'm feeling the lack of strategic mobility inherent in being a non-carrier capable pilot.  I am discovering that this is more of a major barrier to entry into null sec life than I had previously supposed.

It works like this:  Industrial presence in null sec consists of mainly 2 things:  Extraction and supercap construction with their associated infrastructures.  The only reason some of those are there is that they can't be done anywhere else.  That's it.  I'd estimate that 90% of null sec industrial presence consists of elements to support those two activities.  Except for some minor manufacture, just about everything else comes in from Empire.  The reason is simple:  High sec stability.  So long as it's relatively easy to ship stuff to 0.0, there's no reason to get serious about building stuff locally.  This is especially relevant with the vast shakeup that most of EVE is going thru (the "dodge the PL stomp" game the rest of us are playing currently).

So operationally and strategically I have to maintain my main character and the main alt's mobility.  This precludes getting into lucrative stuff like PI since starting and abandoning planets gets tiresome after a while.  Not to mention the lack of personal/corporate/alliance logistics for industrial purposes.  I may get my alt into PI pending the finishing off of his recon skills, but my main will be away too much to make it worth while.

My frustrations with this lack of logistics is a major part of the reason I haven't been posting much.  Or logging in for long periods of time for that matter.  The truth is my characters are about 2-3 months away from being logistically independent.  And then there's the "skill up for the flavor of the month".  Another barrier to entry in 0.0.  Once I get my logistics in place there will be a month or three of skilling up other faction ships and weapon systems.  In order to make things consistent for their FCs and simply the "buy kits in high sec and sell them in 0.0" style of logistics, most 0.0 alliances maintain "standard fleet fits" of a limited number of ships.  Again it's frustrating when you don't have the skills to fly the main fleet ships.  You marry this with the 0.0 attitude of "our way or the high way" and you have the reason 0.0 is so sparsely populated.  Frankly wormhole logistics were easier that being in 0.0 without a carrier.  I've now done both and I stand by that statement.

Regardless of the above, I finally got on when a decent roam was starting last night and managed to get in on the action.  Yay, got in on 6 kill mails. 

I'll stick it out for the nonce, but stay tuned to see if I say "fuck it" and head back to wormhole space while I wait for my skills to get to the point where they will make life workable in k-space 0.0.

Man over 4 years in game and I still don't have the skills to make life in 0.0 workable.  Crazy game.  (currently training Matari BS 5 - slog slog slog).  Ah well, such is EVE.  Although I can see why a lot of otherwise potential pilots say "fuck it" and never play or just dabble and then seeing the 4+ years it takes to become "useful" in 0.0 simply play another game where it only takes them 3-9 months to get to the end game.  CCP has made some rather bad design decisions from the point of view of attracting new pilots, but especially for moving those pilots from high/low sec to 0.0.  Or even retaining those that hit the 6 month slump.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Technology Update

The 1.6 incursion patch is something I've been waiting for a long time.  A patch where CCP vissibly removes old defunct code and assets from the client.  Things have evolved since CCP first made EVE online.  Various parts of the artwork have been addressed over time (the Trinity series of updates).  But the framework on which it all hung together was written back in the day (I suspect certain programmers have been horrified when they refactored some of it to discover that parts were "prof of concept" code (with all the shortcuts that entails) pressed into service as production code.  This update is finally replacing a lot of that older code with a much more thought out structure.  We can see this by the fact that the download is about 550 megs but the client won't appreciably increase in size.  Putting in the new but cleaning out the old at the same time.

There's no shiny doodad to show off the new code this time.  But framework changes are rarely flashy in and of themselves, it's the future stuff that makes them good.  Hopefully now the UI designers have the tools to upgrade the interface to something we can be proud of that's intuitive and powerful.  This is the kind of update that can keep a game going indefinitely.

Mind you it's not always the best time to do such things just as you have MAJOR content upgrade barreling down the pipes, but it had to be done.  I suspect CCP will be rather glad when both DUST 514 and INCARNA are out the door and we're back to more regular expansion territory.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Clear Skies 3

Clear Skies 3 the movie is out.... What are you still doing here? Go, go.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Holding patern released

Looks like we're headed for Cascade Imminent.

Also looks like we have a release date for the summer expansion - Incarna. June 21st.

Apart from that - not much happening...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Holding patern

So... Back up in empire space (hopefully not for too long). I find myself in a bit of a holding pattern. Log in. There anything happening? If no log off and go do something more productive. Apparently PvP'ers find this exciting. But I digress.

I think CCP is in a bit of a holding pattern update-wise as well. On one hand we are getting a bunch of quality of life updates finally. I can only applaud. Some streamlining and balancing changes (here I think we've got some issues). I sat back and thought about the latest changes and the latest implementations of features coming out of CCP. I think the problem is that there's a lack of a long term development plan. We get a lot of "I can't go into the details because the meeting to even consider the development direction for that won't happen until 2013" sort of responses recently.

I think CCP is sloooooooowwwwwwllllllyyyyyyy realizing this since it looks like there is a fairly straightforward development plan for Incarna after Incarna drops. And we DID see a 2nd iteration on a feature (bye bye click fest - althought we didn't get the ability to nuke things from orbit yet). However with it's emphasis on supporting a ganker/griefer style of play, CCP regularly misses development opportunities. Admittedly this allows the better organized corporations/alliances to get around various problems or using self discipline to compensate for the lack of scalability of the constructs established by CCP.

Major issues still need to be resolved of course. The current "Supercap-I-Win Button" needs to be addressed. As much as the supercap pilots like CCP Abathur (sp?) I think we can all agree that the current issues are directly the result of his design. Not to mention 0.0 sov warfare. The current system SERIOUSLY advantages the supercap fleet owners. Which is fine, but not in any way helpful if you want 0.0 populated by anything other than bitter vets and their serfs. We'll see how this all works out as far as those changes go. I think CCP is going to fail on the design front there. I also think the current CSM has a very good chance of making things MUCH worse in 0.0.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

*cough* *cough* - scuse me while I dust

Been a while. Sorry for the lack of posting. There's a lot of ground to cover. Since I last posted there have been a lot of changes in my EVE playing. Things I need to cover:

On the personal front:
- PL being hired by the DRF to attack NC space
- Having an idiot FC "welp" a fleet
- R.A.G.E getting curb-stomped
- The view from the front lines of the NC situation
- RHI leaving R.A.G.E

On the generic EVE front:
- Various patches and communication issues and 0.0 nerfs.


It's no secret that PL joined in the fight turning the Geminate war into something much more serious for the north. PL basically totally ignored the Geminate battleground and just jumped straight into Vale of the Silent and specifically concentrated on eliminating Rage from the equation first. From the point of view of the foot soldier in Rage we definitely suffered a failure in leadership. From the minute PL entered the fight, it no longer felt like a proper campaign but like a chicken with it's head cut off. Although I only have hearsay regarding what was really going on, I suspect that there was some political friction at the leadership level resulting in the rest of the NC basically throwing PL under the bus.

The issue was straight forward. Once PL started operating with their SC fleet and the NC fleets being unable to keep the PL sub-cap fleet from downing cyno-jammers, the writing was basically on the wall. If the NC super cap fleet did not show, we were going to get steamrollered. This is effectively what happened. At no time did the NC supercap fleet take to the field while vale was burning. I do not know the political reasons for this, but the effect is clearly visible to anyone who can check dotlan.

Basically while PL was curb-stomping RAGE I was doing mostly logistics moves of ships from staging are to staging area. I literally spent more time moving my ships from station to station than in fleets during this period. This has taught me some hard lessons about 0.0 life.

1) Keep the ship count small unless you're a carrier pilot.

2) Do not stock ships in a "rally/staging" system. The convenience is outweighed by the fact that they rapidly become the next target for PL's next attack.

3) Ye gods, does leadership need to pay attention to logistics for campaigns like this. If the logistics underpinning of the alliance is not in place prior to a start of a campaign (defensive or offensive) things will go pear shaped rather quickly once things start and a percentage of the fleet runs out of ships and can not quickly re-ship. The longer this drags on the harder it gets.

4) BAD FCs KILL PARTICIPATION IN FLEETS. I'm not talking about FCs who loose fights but actual BAD FCs. Military lead should kick these fuckers out fast. They are a much worse threat than FC burnout in all honesty.

I had a birds eye view for the debacle in F-D when PL started their invasion. After serving notice of their intention to attack the system. Anchoring a POS and putting the station into first reinforced, we (rage and the rest of the NC that showed up) were in a tactically strong position. We managed to get a strong fleet in system with bridges up to bring in caps/super caps to deal with the supercaps that PL had logged off in system (there were not that many initially). Everything was going well UNTIL the shield fleet FC warped his entire fleet using a fleet warp into a bomber trap at the gate. I still have my suspicions about that FC and that particular trap - we'd never flown with him before and that trap was way to precise - especially since bombers had been reported. At that point the fight as a whole was still salvageable. But psychologically shocked by the loss of a significant part of the shield fleet and some good multi-system attacks by PL that battle was lost at that point.

It was very clear to the rank and file though that there was a lack of commitment by the NC as a whole to the defense of Vale by the lack of the supercap fleet's presence since day 1 of the campaign. Using 10-30 supercaps during the entire campaign, PL managed to keep the entire north's supercap fleet at bay while they leisurely went about capturing station system after station system. In this day and age if you don't defend station systems you loose period. During this period the alliance leadership made itself scarce as far as the rank and file could see.

Subsequent events shed some light on what was happening. R.A.G.E lost its leader and from rumors he had been planing to leave the alliance and take certain corps with him as he left from day 1 of the PL spearhead. This goes a long way to explaining the lack of plan for both defending and retreating from vale in good order. Not to mention coordination with the rest of the NC.

For all intents and purposes Vale was lost from day 1 of the campaign, it just had to play itself out. In retrospect I must salute PL for demonstrating how a proper regional conquest should be handled. I pulled some good lessons from the experience. Watching the invasion of F-D and ZLZ showed much of how PL operated tactically. I can't fault their strategic decisions to hit one alliance at a time. Especially if they know the reasons why he north's supercap fleet wasn't being committed (which I suspect they do).

But I'll have to watch the rest from the sidelines. RHI has now been out of R.A.G.E since the end of last week. I've contracted off most of what remaining assets were trapped in Vale. I'll be sticking with RHI for the time being and see where we end up.

The fallout from this personally is that although I lost a bit of value in all the retreats and what not, the real opener was how dependent ship logistical moves were on carriers. This has changed my plans for personal development. I'm now going to slowly skill up for at least a suitcase carrier before going into command ships. I've now got jump freighters covered anyways. Piece of advice: if the 0.0 corp/alliance does not have a solid logistical backbone and you yourself do not have access to at least a suitcase carrier and a cyno alt, you may be better off waiting before going to 0.0. The preponderance of older characters means they don't always worry about the logistical issues of other players who do not yet have carriers. Jump bridge networks can alleviate some of the issues of not having a carrier of your own, and they're getting a nerf.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Last night was just some high sec logistics while my jump clone timer was running. Nothing interesting there at all. However, the relaxing piloting in high sec allowed my mind to wander. This is probably dangerous.

Crap. Started working on an evil idea for making life hard for passive moon holders and realized that even though I don't personally own a moon-goo moon, my alliance might not like me giving CCP ideas along those lines (Honest guys, it would have ended up being worse for the Russians than for us).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

/me dusts off the blog

*cough* *cough*

Sorry about that, a combination of things made it so that getting into the game recently has been a bit of a chore. RL can be like that some times. Combine that with Having to move ships from station to station constantly recently (note to self: from now on in when leadership says: move to station x - move somewhere else since PL will be hitting that station next), and it all adds up to "not in game a lot recently".

Also at the rate things are going I'm probably going to be bounced up to empire soon since a good portion of my ships got trapped in one of the stations that is no longer available to us. We'll see how it all goes in the weeks and months to follow, but I definitely need to work on having a personal logistics train (read carrier and jump freighter).

Note to self for future endeavors: Should I ever become alliance leader of a null sec alliance: Making sure that the sub-cap pilots have an available logistics backbone at reasonable prices IS important to pilot participation in ops. The lack of it has resulted in my non-presence in a lot of ops recently even outside of the lack of logging in. Amateurs talk about tactics, professionals talk about logistics. I've just had a serious lesson in that truism.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Charge of the sub-caps

One hundred kilometers, one hundred kilometers,
One hundred kilometers onward,
All at the grid of death
Warped the six hundred:
Forward the sub-cap fleets!
Bubbles on the titans he said!
Into the grid of death
Warped the six hundred.

Forward the NC fleets!
Was there a pilot dismay'd?
Not tho' the crewmen knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not the voice reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die,
Into the grid of death
Warped the six hundred.

Abbaddons to the right of them
Bombers to the left of them
Titans to the front of them
Primary'd and Secondary'd
Storm'd at with Tremor and Scorch
Boldly they warped and pointed,
Into the jaws of death,
Into the mouth of hell
Warped the six hundred.

Flash'd all their lazors bare
Flash'd as they cycled fair
Bubbling the capitals there
Charging the DRF while
All of EVE wonder'd:
Plunged into the drone cloud
Right thro' the support they broke
Intrepid Crossing and Raiden.
Reel'd from the saber-stroke
Shatter'd and Sunder'd
Then they warped back
But not the six hundred

Bombers to the right of them
Abbaddons to the left of them
Titans to the rear of them
Primary'd and Secondary'd
Storm'd at with Tremor and Scorch
While Maelstrom and Guardian fell
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the sub-cap fleets,
Noble six hundred!

(Paraphrased from the poem Charge of the light brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in honor of my 600th' post)


Well wow, I made it to 600 posts.... go me!

In other news last night was a great break from the constant CTAs.  We had a corp roam out to various DRF regions.  I was a little late to the party and we kept running into small blue roams.  Comment of the night:  "WTF, is half of Vale in Insmother?!?".  Since I was late I decided to take something a little more "evasive and survivable" and brought my cloaky Loki to the party.  Even if I didn't personally get on any kill mails the rest of the roam got a couple and we almost got a Maelstrom and a Basilisk.  Those survived by letting the Crow scout die and logging off.  Russians, they love their logoffski tactics.

We stuck around for the Basilisk logging back in but no luck.  The roam ended back in vale and there are plenty of things that need attention tomorrow night.  We'll see if it's the usual: form big blog, rep things while PL avoids us then watch PL incap thing right after we leave starting the whole cycle over again.  Meh.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Although PL did mess around with our reinforcement lines, they didn't really make a major push into F-D49D last night.  I came, I got on a kill mail, I left disappointed.  The one problem with being on the defensive is that you cede the initiative to the enemy and need to wait for them to make a move so you can follow with a counter attack (if they haven't wipe the floor with you already of course).

In a way I was glad, since we did not have what I consider to be the better FCs on hand last night.  Not that I consider myself to be a great FC, but I've FC'ed enough myself when I was running AMC and I've flown under enough FCs that I will form an opinion on them.  Not that he's made my list of "never fly with again" FCs.  Only one made that list so far.  However, we're now flying against PL in our time zone.  Average may not just cut it.  Of course with the NC being as big as it is, if you see an FC you really can't stomach, just switch ships and join the other fleet.  There's always another fleet.

One of the big differences I'm noticing right away is that PL operates more like a mobile strike force backed up by solid supercap fleet for heavy hitting instead of the more usual alpha BS fleet of a true space holding alliance.  This means that nailing them is going to be rather hard since the NC's more militia like military is not setup for raider/counter-raider operations.  For those of us just arriving in Vale, we no longer have the option of building up ISK in order to have a stable of ship types in order to form more specialized fleets.  So we'll see how it goes.  Should be a tough war from now on in since we'll have PL roaming gangs every night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Getting ready for the hammer blow

This evening as I get back from work, things should be heating up in F-D49D as we see the DRF/PL/Raiden. make a Major push into Vale of the Silent.  I can't predict what will happen but it has the potential to be a major battle.  Expect 1000+ in system by the time the station comes out of reinforced.  CCP better have that system and some of the surrounding ones on some servers running with steroid fed hamsters.  After last night's action (I had a ring side seat to PL busting the I-Hub 4 Aeons, 13 Nyxes, an Avatar and an Erebus, with an other Erebus at the PL POS for A-HAC fleet extraction) where the I-Hub went down rather quickly.

The equation is rather clear though.  Station comes out of 2nd reinforced - both sides know the timer.  I-Hub is gone.  So, if the reds flips the station tonight they can immediately go for the TCU and start claiming the system.  The timing of this works out such that they will be able to babysit most of their TCU on-lining during the dead time followed by Russian prime time.  The next 36 hours should determine how the opening stages of the war for Vale of the Silent goes.  Stay tuned.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rought weekend

Between PL being hired by the DRF, a serious offensive into Vale and real life keeping me busy - it was a rough weekend.  About as rough as CCP's seems to have been.  We'll see if I can post something interesting tomorrow but can't think of anything today.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shout out to brick

This is just a shout out to our brosefs down in Geminate in Brick Squad.  Congrats on getting sov in TDE.  You deserve it (it also made more sense than R.A.G.E having that system).  They've been there in every battle down in Geminate good or bad and have proven to be solid.  Go guys!

One of these days I'm going to have to update the fit of that tempest I keep bringing out to these fights.  It's still the original fit I designed up in high sec/wormhole space before joining R.A.G.E.  One of my Maelstroms did not last very long due to some bad FC'ing not too long ago.  But this one just keeps trucking along between Infrastructure Reinforcement Ops and fleet battles.  And I just haven't had the time to refit a few modules that should be changed out.  On the other hand I was in on 6 kills in TDE two nights ago and 7 kills in K25/O2O last night, so I really can't complain about it too much.  Especially since I got another kill mail.  At least this time the DRF didn't just stay away during the US timezone.  Great job by the rest of the time zones making sure the DRF didn't get TDE while brick was getting the (what 3rd?) TCU up.

Of course this being Thursday I expect a big DRF offensive while I'm at work with plenty of reinforcement and repair ops for us tonight and Friday.  They are rather predictable in that pattern.  Incidentally, PI is proving to be a godsend with all the CTA's going on.  At this point I'd say that 90% of my income is coming from there.  This is probably why I'm more sanguine about the loss of the high end anomalies.  When you're on constant war ops you don't have the time to run them anyways.  And the DRF have been active enough that the only people who have the time to complain are those not coming on ops.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Do you want some cheese with that whine?

The whine

First some background, from the patch notes to Incursion 1.4:
The type of anomalies spawned by sovereignty upgrades now will be affected by the security status of the system. See CCP Greyscale's blog ( for more information. Please note that these changes will take effect within the first week after deployment and will not all be updated immediately after the patch is deployed.
For those of you who have had your head in the sand, this is CCP's answer to the isk fire hydrant that they let loose with Dominion.  The only surprise is the rapidity and steadfastness that CCP is approaching this change.  I approve.  I know this will be an unpopular position with the rest of my 0.0 confederates but unlike them, I have been expecting this for quite some time now.  Basically since the Dominion patch came out.  There was talk on CCPs part about increasing the sinks but obviously that fell thru.

 Possible Cheese

The problem CCP's game designers have is that they consistently design low npc cost mechanics.  Making more and more of the economy "player driven" does not necessarily imply you need to make it isolated from the NPCs.  One of the things CCP (grayscale, chronotis and other indy related devs) should look at when designing new systems or re-designing old ones is to look at where the npc interaction happens in their designs and make sure that there are appropriate sinks along the way.

For example, there are two ways to make a module:  You can make it in an NPC station (Installation costs and production time charged by the NPCs), or you can make it at an equipment manufacturing array.  Here the isk sink is represented by the PI component of the fuel used to keep the tower online.  The actual sink is the import/export taxes and the prorated planetary installation costs necessary to extract and process the materials resulting in the PI fuels.  Most of the costs in manufacturing a module at a POS are neither a sink nor a faucet.  Just a lateral transfer of isk from one player to another.  We can marry this with the fact that the PE development of a blueprint has very little impact on the total cost of a manufactured product.  So although there are sinks there they are rather small compared to the total amount of isk coming into the game through bounties.

I would seriously like to redesign the manufacturing mechanisms to be a little less abstract.  Setting up a production line should cost 5-10 times as much as a single example of the final product.  I'd change the way that manufacturing slots are setup and handled.  I would give a "size" to manufacturing lines (probalby in m3 heck why not use the m3 of the final product) and the running costs should be proportional to the length of time of the run times the "size" of the production line.  This would provide for a much more substantial "isk sink" that the current production.  Also the pvpers wouldn't bitch about it since they don't see a reduction in their "income" and manufacturers would simply adjust our spreadsheets and pass the cost on to the clients.

Doing changes along these lines would also allow us to consolidate various POS maufacturing modules to fewer modules but that the total amout of m3 of "manufacturing space" be the limit and not the number of slots.  Also reducing/elminating the setup costs if an previous "shop floor" for the same object was available and un-used.

Other thoughts

Another change I would like to see is the removal of "compression items" by changing the mineral mix of those items so that they can't be used for compression.  But I still see the need for "compression shippable items" for efficient shipping.  What I'd like to do here is have an intermediary step for hull manufacture.  I.e. instead of the current: mineral->ship hull, what I'd like to see is mineral->t1 component->ship hull where the t1 component is "compressed" compared to the mineral content.  I'd also like to re-ballance the current capital components and t2 components for this paradigm as well.  so you'd get materials->component->hull where the components are compressed vs the minerals.  This would mean it would be advantageous to ship components around vs the minerals or the final hulls.  This would spur a solid and viable market for components since they would be the "compression" item for long distance shipping.

Call me crazy but putting in some sinks instead of turning off the faucets would have probably gone over better.