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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.