Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Oceanus Nerf to Beauty

I finished my minutes. I am free! Free to write clever things. Deep, meaningful, clever things.

The problem is, my mind is blank. Maybe tomorrow, when I get over minute fatigue, I'll be better.

For now, I will whine about the Ishtar.

I'm not whining about any of the silly reasons people normally do. Who cares about that? There is a deeper issue. Ishtar are no longer blue.

Behold. This is exhibit one. This is an Ishtar photographed in its corral in six months ago. Note the luscious, rich, dark blue hide. Note the darker, navy accents and the sleek cyan detailing. Exquisite.


On September 30th, 2014, the Eve Online Release Oceanus v8.48 was released. There is a notice about the adjustment of the CreoDron ships to give them back their green tint. The Gallente are well known to enjoy the color green for their spaceships. That is fine but it is not unheard of for a T2 ship to be far away from the base color of its parent. Thus, the Ishtar as I have known it has always been blue.

Until today. One would think that a release named Oceanus would understand a blue blue.


Even if Oceanus is a Titan, come on.... he still liked water so like.. Oceans?

Let me move on.

Exhibit two. The same Ishtar only it seems to have been infected by some type of metallic insectiod color pallet.


The horror.

With this change, Eve has been lost a line of gorgeous blue spaceships. It is a horrific thing and the repercussions are only just starting to be seen. Awful. Just awful.  What an unnecessary nerf to beauty. What a nerf to blue.

What about the blue spaceships? Where is their CSM representation? My plate is full but I am always ready to stand behind a worthy cause. More blue spaceships, CCP! Let not this unjust harm to a primary color go unnoticed. Let not us accept this shimmering green with its yellow accents. Cyan lights are not enough to compensate for this.

Oh no. I will not forget. Do you remember when the Rhea was blue water camo? Well I do. I have not forgotten.


Eve must have blue ships.

Omph! My poor future wallet....

In twenty two days days Chella finishes Amarr Carrier V. I think that it is a good time to build her a carrier. I moved one of my main cyno alts, who also happens to be my secondary capital ship building alt, to my capital ship corporation's headquarters and blew the dust off of our blueprints.

I'm sitting on my last session of minutes to write. It will be my eighth and with what everyone else has done we should be finished before the weekend. That gives us time for our internal review where we try to catch typos and errors as well as double checking what others wrote (for we are all individuals and there are variances of style) and then we should have them to CCP on schedule.

I am quite happy about this. For one, I'm tired of writing these things. For the second, I can get back into my Eve life and building a few capitals seems to be a fine way to go about doing it. I do not think that I have the time for large scale work. However, with ore compression I believe that I will be able to move the materials I need to build what I want in my home station.

I started some blueprint copies. It will take a little bit to get all of the copies I want to make made. That isn't such a big thing. I'm not in a rush. It is just a side project. I've not taken Chella into combat as a carrier pilot yet.

While I was at it, I've also decided that I might as well get stuff together to build a Moros and train Pixie into that. Plus, she finished Amarr Battleship V, so I need a Redeemer.

Ugh.

I need to start making ISK again.

Monday, September 29, 2014

TCS: Expansion and Contraction

Before I settled in to start my Eve Work day off with working on the minutes, I decided to take a moment to do something in game that I have been thinking about. My adventures, of late, have been quite limited. I'm not undocking. Not because I am unhappy or upset but because if I have time to undock and kill things I have time to work on the Summit minutes. They will be done by the weekend and this short period of exile from space will be over. I consider it a fair trade off.

However, logging in and doing things is important to me. I've always advocated having more than one pastime in the game. One may find themselves with short periods of time to play or perhaps on the CSM writing meetings instead of flying around. These things just happen.

What I decided to do, over my breakfast of tea and coconut shrimp, was to move my third TCS alt out of Bosena and send them to Sujarento. The reason behind this came from the fact that TCS sits upon 5 billion ISK in unlisted stock. Some of this is recently delisted. A lot of it however is things that barely move in Molden Heath. Things that I have tried out or things that have been asked for that have not sold since the winter.

I have accepted that I cannot keep my markets at top top as I'd like. But, I can keep them healthy and productive. That means I'm keeping what does move listed and what is needed listed. This means faction ammo instead of T1 ammo. The T1 ammo barely moves if ever. Sujarento has the distinction of being in Faction Warfare space and I think these items will sell in those areas.

It is not a liquidation or a quitting its a maturation of the market. I've spent a long time working on Molden and I feel that I have a good understanding of how its market circulatory system. There is something depressing about items not selling for six months at a time.

I am using Galactic Hauling Solutions to move my stuff from Bosena to Sujarento. They have a flat, low sec fee and I can get about three billion ISK moved while I write. Then I will move my third TCS alt. This simply means that Bosena will only be able to carry 600 orders. Right now I'm floundering around 400-550 and that still occupied nearly thirty billion ISK in items.

Once that sells, I can move the TCS alt back to Bosena. My scanning alt's market training is going well and she will be able to step up and pick up the extra order load in Sujarento. This is not some announcement of breaking down Bosena. I'm more, refreshing TCS's coffers by liquidating static stock so that I can provide more to Molden in the future.

I also learned that you can only enter 200 items into a contract. I had entered 201.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

CSM9 - Day 147

Tuesday, September 30th will be the next release. This one is known as Oceanus. Here is a list of the associated Dev Blogs. They are also extending downtime on September 29th and the 30th.

Please keep giving me this lovely POS and team feedback. I appreciate what I have. I’m composing it into a condensed list, but more is better.

This news post went out back in May asking for comms and/or comms + footage. They’d like everything including mining ops. If you have a bit of fraps and the urge to record yourself do so and submit it.

I had some argument over the cyno displacement zone around starbases change where I was told I was wrong to approve of the edited version. Basically, I didn’t like the magical extra 25k of safety range that it gave. I disliked it becoming a mechanism that needed an overheated point or T3s on field to nab something playing shield games. I do not support things becoming a game of ‘even more people’ to do things. I was asked if I thought a frigate should be able to tackle a carrier. I absolutely think that a carrier should be able to be tackled by a frigate. I also think said carrier should have some means of support to deal with said tackling frigate if it is going to be floating around outside of the shields.

The module rebalancing thread is up. I'd suggest giving it a read and giving feedback. CCP Fozzie outlines how this is being approached. On one side I agree that the huge collection of meta modules that exist only for their mineral value is meh. Yet, most games have lots of 'trash' items in them. The goal of making modules all useful or interesting options is a good one. I've been listening to and reading arguments that worry about homogenization and a general blandness in the future for modules. It will be an over-arcing point to watch as these changes start to enter the game.

A Disturbance in the Force

CCP Veritas has created Dojos. These are arena fighting system on Duality. It was a project he put together in his last days.  I am not a fan of Arenas and I admit that I fear their implementation. This, however, is a prototype. An item that has been created and where the players are given access to it to use and poke about outside of Tranquility. It is not on Sisi. And yes it is a very contentious item ranging from, “How could you let this happen?” to “Finally, it took long enough for something to happen.”.

The concerns are about instanced fights and structured fights. As I understand it the ‘dojo’ is destroyable and the fight can be interrupted. The fight itself is somewhere out in space and not in an invulnerable instance of its own. The Dojo can be damaged and the fight interrupted and the process of the fights interrupted. That is different from third partying on the fight itself and that is the area that I struggle the most with. I am not comfortable with it.

What swayed my opinion the most and stopped me from standing up and denouncing this as true and pure evil, is the fact that structured fights do exist in Eve. That groups have created casual PvP. RvB is an example of this. There are currently various competitive leagues that have sprung up who could use an item such as this, outside of Tranquility, to create content for those who wish for this type of content. There are people who simply want to fight other people who want to fight them. Can we fling the idea of an unlimited sandbox and then reject tools to build in the sand?

There are positives. There are negatives. I am someone who has never had a dollop of interest in structured Player vs Player combat. I enjoy the unstructured unpredictability of living in the game world of Eve. I’m not every Eve player. So, I’ve sat down with people who do like this and talked to them. I need to understand what they enjoy and the potential that they see. This will take some thought.

Language 

French localization is coming. That is good. At the same time CCP is removing their supported language channels.

“With most of these languages having no official support from CCP, this means that investigating and answering tickets of this nature from these channels is sometimes not possible due to a significant language barrier. This is contrary to our policy of moderating and enforcing our terms of service (in particular the sections on player conduct) in persistent CCP hosted channels within the EVE client.”

The reason is clear and frankly, it makes sense. They cannot moderate their own channels and these channels are the ones that CCP lists as places for players to go. The problem is that the current chat channel UI does not have the ability to search for channels. Players can create new channels and advertise these channels on various language forums but that is not the same as having a searchable channel in the channel listing window.

We need a  channel searching and/or list functions or something so that the global population of the game is properly reflected.

The CSM9 Summer Summit Minutes

CCP Leeloo announced the timetable that we have planned for the minutes. It involves them being released by the end of October. It also involves the CSM getting them written in about two weeks. This seemed reasonable to me. Technically, with fourteen members and twenty four sessions we each only need to do less than two. But, life never works that smoothly and I found myself excited about writing the minutes.

What are the minutes? They are an account of the meetings that we had in something between a transcript and a more technical meeting minute. The ones I write contain the conversation. What CCP said. What the CSM said. Who asked what. My goal is to let you see what each CSM member said and did.

With this being my work week that includes a weekend I decided to dive into the Minutes and make sure I had my fair share on the table in case the rest were finished over the weekend. On Wednesday I completed three sessions and submitted them for other CSM members to look over in case they felt that I had missed something or to wait for CCP to start the NDA check. I got two more done on Thursday. I picked up my sixth session, which is the longest session. It was originally two sessions back to back which merged into one larger. At two hours long I’ve been working on it in the evenings and should finish it Monday. I’ve been working on it in chunks over my work weekend. I'll see what is left on Monday and keep going. After listening to myself for hours I'm a bit horrified to hear that I quite often have a self conscious laugh.

I’ll say that a hour long session is taking me about 2-3 hours to write. I’ve picked sessions with a lot of discussion and that takes a bit longer to make sure everyone is credited with what they said in the correct order and typing out all of the names. We were reasonably good at not talking over each other but sometimes it is hard to hear what is being said. It has left the uncanny situation where what we type in Skype we can now hear in the author's voice.

Right now we have 16 of the 20 some sessions finished or owned by someone who is writing them up. I’m quite pleased.

Outreach

We may slip a Town Hall in before Eve Vegas. However, maybe we should wait till after the minutes are released. Or, maybe we should do both.

I need to get another Eve Uni session done. I had hoped to have one for last Wednesday but writing the Summit Minutes has become my all encompassing project.

Friday, September 26, 2014

I am mean


I've spent a bit thinking about this tweet. I've decided that it probably came from my somewhat frequent arguments with people in Eve Uni chat and my tendency not to back down. I also had no problem with nipping some people in the bud who tended to become abusive or vicious. It makes me sad that I have not had the time to spend just chatting in Eve Uni chat that I used to but that does not mean I am not there and do not engage in conversation as I can.

Still, I was tickled to be called mean. This is now my favorite tweet ever. It also has no relationship to the second part of this post.

I had an anonymous commentor say:
I would like to make this blog a one stop shopping site with links to some of the more popular Eve news sites - I notice that you don't have any linked here. For that reason I still visit Ripard Tegs blog - just for the links. I promise that if you'll link some of those sites here I'll make your blog my home page:-) 
Color me flattered. It did make me think about about the layout. I change it every so often. Of late, I've been wondering if my permanent pages along the top get used. I've been wondering if I should just do all my links on one side of the screen. I've been wondering if I should just flip over to a more website like feel with a front page. But, really, I wonder if anyone cares one way or another.

I try to lay out the blog clearly but the fact that I write daily gets drowned sometimes. I don't know if I should page break every page at the first paragraph... I don't know. I'm artsy but not a web designer for this type of information consumption. It may very much not be a thing.

As for adding the news sites, I've thought about it. Do I add them to be the aboves one stop shop? I've taken to avoiding Eve Media. I don't like the chase for the scoop and the .... uhh.... mmm... tendencies for stories to be very... err... focused. At the same time I understand that these sites are popular to others and often contain valuable interactions.

It's something to think about. But, not to hard tonight. I'm working at my sixth summit session which is a two and a half hour one that should last me through the weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

TCS: 13 Days of Neglect

I get to see what neglect looks like for TCS. I opened Eve Mentat and found, to my shock that it had been thirteen days since I last updated it. I thought back, wondering how it had been so long and I remembered that my days before the Summit Week were composed of working on my document and going to work.

Oh.

I felt somewhat horrified, ashamed, and tired. This would be the longest stretch that I had neglected TCS. It was for good reason and valid reason. I nevertheless stared at the updating data with a bit of fret.

Thirty two expired orders. Forty three fulfilled orders. About five billion liquid waiting to be restocked. Not so bad. In some ways I have guilt over not keeping the profit rolling. I'm a bit ashamed that I've let so much flounder around. I also know that I don't have the time to put it back into perfect orders.

It is probably good that I am not a perfectionist.

Sujarento is not as densely populated with items compared to Bosena. When I refreshed I saw that it was also sitting at a two week point and that its had sixty one fulfilled orders. It made me chuckle in an overwhelmed tearful type of way. "People won't buy from Snuff's home station," I had been told.

Seems that they will.

So far, I have managed to get a chunk of Bosena back up and rolling. I see that I have a lot of competition on the market these days. I'm both pleased and irritated. The irritation is nothing more then selfishness and my sense of 'mine'. At the end of the day it is good that people are still getting what they need. I shored TCS back up and went to go work on Sujarento for a bit.

It is going to take me a while to get the stores back to where they need to go. Then, I will be off to Eve Vegas and I'm sure they will suffer from that as well. The good news is that my Minute writing is going well. I am on my fifth session!



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So... I have a Theory...

I have a theory when thinking about Eve game play. I consider human error to be a balancing point.

I didn't coalesce this into a theory until an argument about the medium micro jump drive happened where I felt it should have a distance of less than 100k and the other party said that breaking the distances down would make everything harder for the pilot. This was further exasperated by recent discussions about 'head shotting' fleet commanders and the subsequent end to the fight that it brings.

For anyone who does not know what head shotting a fleet commander (FC) means it is when the fleet commander is known or suspected and taken out at the start of the fight. The goal is to end the fight. Eve fleets are often controlled by one singular person. It is one of the many, many reasons that being a FC is stressful and being a good FC gives one a somewhat worshiped status. Some consider it poor sportsmanship while others point out that it is just another tactic when one is fighting a war to win vs fighting for fun.

My reaction when people suggest that something is introduced to stop or heavily discourage this mechanic tends to be incredulity. I understand the idea that when the FC goes down the fight is over and that is not fun but I put more than a little bit of the weight on the fleet. There should be more than one competent person in the fleet and if there is only one competent person then the FC is the fleets Achilles heel.

I'm a big believer in independent thought and action. Fleetwarp is a convenience not a necessity. I expect orders to be given and those orders followed. Is not that why we are in the fleet? If one chooses to not have independent abilities then one chooses to have that Achilles heel. If the desire is to have someone make the choices, think the thoughts, tell you what to do, with no input than simple button presses then one should also accept that if that person dies the entire operation goes down in flames.

I believe it to be an interesting balance measure. That if human interaction is required for an option to be used then automatically a certain amount of the time that interaction will fail and that option will not be used.

How many times have you forgotten to overheat? Or, a simpler case, forgotten to turn on a a damage control unit? How many times have we forgotten to turn off automation of Ancillary Armor or Shield boosters or undocked with the wrong modules fitted?

In many ways this wraps around my arguments over balancing for min/maxers when the majority of people will never be ether of these things. To stop Vov from Minmaxing would be to leave no content that I enjoy. There is another balance point outside of simple, raw numbers and that point is the nature of mankind.

Or so, my theory goes.