Thursday, October 31, 2013

Some Love for Low Sec in Rubicon

I am beaming from ear to ear. It is too bad that I am at work and cannot explain to my co-workers that I achieved something and I am thrilled about it.
Today, CCP Fozzie put up a new post about a change coming to Rubicon.

At Fanfest this year a player chatting with CCP Masterplan mentioned that there was a lack of good exploration content for new players who decide to go pirate early in their EVE careers. Being locked out of high sec means being locked out of most new player friendly combat exploration. It's something the team has been thinking about since.
So for Rubicon we're making a fairly simple change that will expand most of the highsec combat exploration content (combat anoms, DED complexes and unrated complexes) into lowsec as well. This content will exist alongside the existing lowsec stuff. The new sites will not replace any existing lowsec content or reduce the spawn rate of any existing sites. They will be in addition to the existing spawns.
That was me. I was that person. From the blog post that I wrote after the Low Sec Round Table and my conversation with CCP Masterplan Written on April 27th, 2013:
Saturday, April 27, 2013 Eve Online Fanfest 2013: Low Sec Chats

I discussed some of my thoughts that have started to develop for Tags 4 Sec. I can see fleets like mine scattering through the belts as we roam to try to scoop up these NPCs. I think that they have a potential to be a good payout for a newer player but I don't think they will give that newer player sec gain accessibility.
And that spread to a comment about losing the 1/10 and 2/10. I said, "they don't spawn in low sec" and Masterplan agreed with me. "That is the problem," I added.
My basic outline was that all of the eyes look at the vets and not at the new players that are an important part of life infusion in low sec. We encourage new players to not be restricted to high sec. They also want to be pirates. They want to come to low sec. They cheer as they lose their security standings. But once they are out they cannot go back. With low sec only spawning 4/10 and 5/10 they don't have anywhere to feed. Are we really expecting anyone to live off of level 1 missions? Mission payouts in low sec suck. They are not improved. Anoms in low sec suck. They are often not worth doing.
Someone who has moved to low sec early already embrace a greater risk to just do their daily game play. They also, when they join a corp have a responsibility to properly train their character into the combat they will be doing. Yet, they have no way to live and thrive. They are the people that need 1/10 and 2/10 complexes but they cannot even scan the sites down to do them because they do not spawn in low security space. They have little to no food that is not high sec or charity social things While that is nice low sec is also a very lonely place. You have to be able to make ISK on your own. You are engaging in a large amount of social gameplay with your corp teaching you Eve and learning how to PvP but you need to be able to replace your losses. You need to be able to pay for your fits. A side effect of the improved combat speed is that it causes an increased loss speed as well and the ISK gain has not improved.
What are we feeding our new players? Sending them to static complexes was a thing and they can't do that anymore. They cannot even access the 'low level' content that is in place for them because it does not spawn where they live. The cliff to earn a living in low sec is quite steep already and now it is even steeper. If Eve is not going to be a series of stepped progression then something needs to be in place for low level players to even make an equivalent income in low sec as they do in high sec. They don't have that now. The difference in rewards for missions is not worth the ammo it is going to take them to do it. They can't blitz missions for isk at two weeks old but they can tackle a ship and lose a tackle frigate or cruiser. Ships are only getting more expensive and the ways for them to replace those ships are not keeping up.


All I can say is fuck yes and hell yeah! I am thrilled. Low Sec is my passion and I'm glowing that this happened. This is the type of content that helps and supports low sec. It follows my often wandering thoughts on PvE and Low Sec being sustainable for its population.
So yes. I am jumping up and down saying, "I said this! I helped this happen!" I will have to beg for numbers in a few months and watch the module market prices for the drops from these complexes to see how it looks.
Note to self: Pay attention to the future.






Eve is a...

I've never been to an Eve event if one discounts the random live event that happened in Oddelulf one day that I just happened to bump into. I've never been to a player event. They tend to be free for alls and that has never been an environment I have wanted to indulge in. I'm also to shy to randomly join a fleet of strangers. However, tonight, I joined the fleet that was going to the Nightmare in New Eden event. I had debated avoiding it but I decided that it had been too long since I had flown so I would give it a try.
Altaen called for a pure, Aurgoror rep fleet to go and participate in the event. I died four jumps out of a Shadow Cartel Hac fleet. I managed to decloak early. One click. Two... whoops. Aurgoror down. I made my way back to our Solitude base and docked up. After all, it was a work night. The boys went off to kill things with some people Altaen picked up in local as we moved through.
In other games, with holidays or events they tend to be run by the games management  CCP has their own live events that they do but they are not what moves the game. One is more prone to see a PLEX sale in Eve instead of a 3x skill training weekend or whatever would be on another game to promote special occasions. Instead players put together, advertise, find support, and cooperate to create content inside of the game that goes beyond the normal daily interactions of a MMO.
It is a game of huge concepts.
That is how I explained Eve to a co-worker. He was trying to get me to play World of Tanks and I was telling him that I was too busy playing Eve. He knows of Eve but he has never had the time to play it. I explained that the game itself is not, for the most part, fast.  But what we do is build huge things out of our own effort and creativity and then release them into the wild to see what happens.
It is easy for the greater game of Eve to be swallowed up in the flashy, visual meta games of Eve. It is not all about the Sov Wars and the major battles  It is not the massive scams and the people who list each in game loss with a real world dollar amount. All of them are a piece of the game world and the game world is composed of every event that happens.
Those events include the new players who jump into low sec for the first time and feel fear as they see their first flashy red player who is not a friend. I remember clearly the first time that Ueberlisk hunted my fleet down in a mission. I was terrified. (I also had a cloak on my Brutix which makes me giggle now but back then cloaks seemed magical and sensible.)
It is a game of stories.
An event can not seem exciting while you live it. It is because one experiences all of the individual pieces at different times and over a period of time. It is later, when the story is retold that all of the energy, complexity, and excitment rushes in.
It is a game of consequences.
When I speak about anything I say, we, us, our, and my corporation. My story is not just what I do. It is what I do with everyone else. When we speak of consequences in Eve we often speak of the true loss that happens. Our ship is destroyed and that is that. It doesn't bounce up after a two minute stun phase and come assist us in battle again. But the ship is a consumable, virtual item. The real consequences in Eve ripple through the interactions of player vs player. From the ganker to the AWOXer Eve is defined by the consequences of human to human interaction.
It is not a fast game.
"Is Eve a game for me?" so many ask. Can they catch up? Can they get into it ten years in. Can they play it in their free time. Yes to all of it. Not having that speed can frustrate people but things happen. I can spend a day burning through tasks and duties. It took twenty jumps and an hour after form up for the boys to make it to their Event with half the fleet dead along the way. Yet, the pay off was the fun that they had. For some, having to work towards that pay off be it travelling, planning is what they hate most about the game.

Whenever I talk to people about Eve I get excited. I have to tone down my level of creepy excited gamer. But I gush about it and I tell stories about it. When people ask about the big events I will tell them about them. but I will also tell them about he small events as well. I'll talk about players creating content to do what they want to do. I wind up in discussions about the market as often as I do about null sec.

I'm not embarrassed to talk about games. The other day, a co-worker discovered I was a gamer, and was shocked. I've never understood why it surprises people. I'm not shy about it but I am also not chatty in general. Another co-worker made a comment about being to busy because she has a life. I smiled as she walked away and said to my other co-worker, "I'm amused at how travelling around America, wandering to Iceland, meeting people from dozens of countries to discuss a hobby is not a life."

Eve is a hobby, a pastime, an obsession, an interest. It is more to some and less to others. Its hard to define, but after two long conversations with non-players of late, I've given up defining and started just explaining.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Season of Change

7-2 is absorbing a lot of the active THC2 and THC2 is going to sleep. It is an odd time. There isn't drama involved. There is very little change involved. We have all flown together so much and for so long that it makes sense. We work well together. We like each other. I doubt that I should be surprised by it, but I am. Not in a bad way. It does prove that I am terrible at predicting the future. Yet, the deep selfish part of me is pleased. Having my boys under one roof is always pleasant.

I've leaned forward and asked someone in a gentle voice, "Do you even like your corporation or alliance?" This comes after long discussions with never a single positive. It isn't the same thing as when you like them but disagree. Some people are with a group of people and I cannot figure out why they spend their time together.

Not finding a home is not an uncommon end for people in this game. Sometimes the corporate history is a long story of a lack of a place to call home. They make friends have have a social group but they never dive into the potential depths that can come from having a good corp at your back. It isn't a trust issue. Trust is not linked to corporations. It is when one says "we" and means it.

Several months ago 7-2 got a Jabber Server. Under the care of our tech lord Vandarie we recently upgraded and got things situated with a technical correctness. Jabber immediately seeped into our lives. Already, we spent most of our computer recreational time on Eve and off together. With Jabber we dragged each other to work and on road trips. It has been a lot of fun. I look forward to the idle chats that happen during the day. If anything I believe that it has brought us closer together and improved our general relationship as a group. I forget that liking each other can be optional for some.

I was doing a jump freighter run to restock people. Diz sent me the most amazing shopping list. I purchased his stuff, and flipped between Jabber and Eve to see if anyone else needed things moved. I wound up with four courier contracts along with Diz's stuff and stuff to stock my secondary market. No one gave me collateral. Diz sent me a list and not money. Kaeda opened my midpoint cyno. When I arrived, everyones stuff was delivered. I contracted Diz his items. He then eve-mailed me to remind me that I forgot to actually... you know... charge him for his stuff. As I did all of that I commented to Kaeda, "It is nice to be able to just do things for people."

I was told that low sec corporations are full of Drama. It confused me. While life is never completely smooth when people work together I don't consider that drama. But I've not been in a corp outside of my Molden Heath bubble. Maybe we are dramatic and I am missing it? Things seem pretty damn calm and reasonable to me. But as with anything milage may vary.

This weekend I hope to be back on track in Eve. Maybe even remember what PvP is. My stores are resituated. LR has been moved. But I think I may put the logistics mantle down, let the stores auto pilot, and spend some time in actual spaceships, with my boys, out in space, doing that pewpew thing.

And writing. Still two more stories to finish.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fiction Days Ahead

It is fiction day. That is a warning for those who don't like such things. There will be a few more over the next two weeks.

At the moment I am writing for the Pod and Planet Fiction Contest. I'm very excited about this contest but slightly miffed that it came in the middle of Eve Vegas and my Vacation. Thankfully, my main serious entry was completed before I left for Vegas. I have a few more up my sleeve and about two weeks to produce them. That may mean a few skipped blog days. Gasp. Will it burst into flames from neglect?

This particular entry is going into the humor category which is also labeled, "Other Things Just Make You Swear and Curse". It is a fun story and very short. It bubbled up thanks to Altaen being silly in Jabber, composed itself and I spat it out. Because it is simple and short I decided to start with it. I feel that my writing and storytelling abilities are more solid this year. Last year was a learning experience. This year I am trying to bring new and better things to the table. I have an entry for each category with two complete and two in the works. That will decrease my story spam down to four from the six last year. However, I am very pleased with all four of my ideas and I'm not going to push to create more than I did last year. Instead, I hope show a general improvement while keeping my writing style interesting for readers of Eve Fiction.

I also have editors.

This is also when I get to pimp my Fiction page. It's all obsessed Eve Fan Fiction. I have my entries from last year, my more lore focused attempts, and various projects such as my Epic Poem of Ueberlisk to my taking the Damsel in Distress mission and turning it into a 3 part 10k word serious story. I've even been writing Dust 514 fiction because... why not? It is a good story to work from and I like the source material.

Fiction stories are completely different from Origin of a Spaceship which is an ongoing project to document all the flora and fauna of New Eden into the Encyclopedia Spaceshiptanica.


Fiction: 2013 Pod and Planet Entry - ECM Nightmare

Written for the YC115 Pod and Planet Fiction Contest
Category: Other Things Just Make You Swear and Curse

ECM Nightmare

 “I had a dream last night.”

“Did you write it down as we have discussed?”

“Yeah. But it was so clear. I can still see it.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“You’ll think I’m crazy.”

“I’ve told you before that I don’t think you are crazy. The mind is only capable of handling but so much emotional stress. The trauma of what you have been through has to heal. Dreams are how they heal.”

“But this nightmare. It was real. I can't escape it. When I walk down the hallway I remember it. When I dream I remember it. Sometimes its okay. Like, when I eat. I take blue pill you know, to get through the work day in the asteroid fields. I get the shakes when I pass the low sec gate. I lived there. I would dive into that gate without a second thought and now just seeing it on scan gets me shaking.”

“Tell me your dream.”

“Okay. It went like this.”

***

There are times when you know you shouldn’t take a fight. Everything feels wrong. Scans don’t make sense. The scouts have noticed a Nemesis following for the last hour gate after gate. But, you don’t care. You’re going to live forever. Death doesn’t matter now or later. You live in the moment.

That was my life. That was who I was as my fleet turned to burn back to the gate to take the fight that had been stalking us.

“Deploy drones,” snapped the fleet commander. My warriors shot out of my Myrmidon’s drone bay in a wash of ozone. Their engine flares vanished into the night as they spread out around the ship. I was the center of the atom and they were my electrons and oh would they collide.

I’m sure they thought we were running. Six battlecruisers, two assault frigates, and a scythe was our crew. Our last view of them they were running at ten strong with two scythes. We could deal with that. They wanted to have fun. We could give them fun.

The gate energies flared. Sparks danced down the length of the gate as spaceships were flung and caught across vast distances. Gates are strange abnormalities. They make space small and suddenly, you find yourself face to face with someone else in the void.

Those are the moments I lived for. As their ships faded into view I was already cycling through their target list. The assault frigates burned with my drones directly behind them. Everything illuminated in waves of energy as fire met fire and our ships slammed into each other. They were here to fight too but it wasn’t going to be their day. We were good at what we did. Too good. Their first Osprey exploded as our Enyo streaked towards the second to join his fellow assault frigate.

That was when the Falcon decloaked. I hate Falcons. Who doesn't? In moments, half the fleet found themselves blind and offenseless. Our Scythe was suddenly under pressure and the Osprey rebounded. One of the Enyo’s streaked towards the Falcon.

We may hate it but we've been here before. Weapons systems offline and only our experience keeping us calm. Pass went down first. His Brutix exploded into a swirling ball of flame. Then Ioto called that he had the Falcon locked down at the same time Byree’s sensors cleared and his Talos moved to put an end to the Falcon.

It was going well. I had two reps burning and a third waiting. My cap was full and it was good.

Until the Scorpions.

I don't remember the fight this way. But we killed the first Scorpions from a hundred clicks away. I don’t know how but it died. And then it was replaced by two more. And they died to. And then there was four. Annst died and then Tolliver’s Enyo puffed out of existence. My reps were overheated. Eight scorpions. Sixteen. They died and they multiplied until we were surrounded by a net of them.

Until I was alone. My last drone had died. I was out of nanite paste and cap charges. I died, surrounded by a glittering ring of Scorpions while the Falcon laughed in my face. I felt...

***

“You felt what?” The doctor was leaned forward in his chair.

It was all there in front of my eyes. “I felt nothing. I broke inside.” My hands were shaking as I remembered the nightmare.

“Nothing at all?”

I closed my eyes. “Fear. I guess. The shakes. But they don’t feel like anything. I’m empty.”

“Deep breaths. You are in control here.  Now open your eyes and tell me what you feel?”

A Scorpion sat in the Doctor’s chair, its target spectrum jammers directed at me.

-Sugar Kyle, Published October 28th, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Skip Day

I've hated everything I've written today so I am working on my Pod and Planet entries.  However, my Battleships arrived from Vegas (I shipped them home.)  Everyone can stare at my somewhat blurred cellphone picture of the bookshelves behind my desk and play find the battleships.

Some people might call me a gamer.

Enjoy!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Golden Pod is not Golden

I must announce that the emperor has no clothes.

I hate to bring this to the forefront of thought and communication but it appears that CCP has mislabeled the Golden Pod also known as Capsule - Genolution 'Auroral' 197-variant.


If CCP had come forward and labeled the so called Golden Pod as Capsule - Genolution 'Auroral' 197-variant, I'd not be writing this today. Instead, I stand before you feeling a bit hurt. Has CCP foisted a Bronze pod upon us and labeled it a Golden Pod?


The evidence suggests that this may be so. Of course, the title Golden is but a marketing term. The real name, above, does not state that the pod is gold. Nor does the implant description or the casual description itself contain the word 'gold'.
This hydrostatic capsule is a unique variant on the standard model. Its golden sheen is nominally decorative material, whose role and purpose are highly classified and which dissipates entirely upon reprocessing. It is known that the capsule's regular building materials are intermixed with traces of another matter, the exact nature of which remains unknown to everyone outside Genolution's research facilities, even the capsuleers themselves. 
Theories on the subject include Fullerene Intercalated Graphite polymer for better function of internal parts without the added heat of internal friction; a meld of Fullerite-C320 and Fullerite-C540 for an extra-strengh shell that can better withstand the rigors of continued operation under stress (albeit not, sadly, withstand a few direct hits from another vessel's weapon), or just a thin coating of some newly invented sheen compound.
The capsule's primary function remains to keep the capsuleer alive - even to the point of sending their consciousness to a nearby cloning vat, in the event of imminent obliteration - and allowing for the operation of the massive interstellar vessels in which the capsule is usually encased. This variant can only be operated by those capsuleers wearing the Genolution 'Auroral' AU-79 implant, and will be automatically replaced upon destruction.
Is this just a terrible marketing ploy? Is the bronze pod but an accident? A mistake of labeling and nothing else? Should my lonely Velator not shoot the monument while I spam Jita with demands to make the pod more gold? Shiny glittery gold. Bling that will blind gankers and cause sunspots when I zoom in too close.


"But Sugar, no one else cares! You brought the stupid thing and plugged in the implant. Why the hell are you flying around in a pod anyway? This is a rather idiotic complaint. Space is dark too. Maybe it just needs headlights."

Sure, sure, sure. There are such words as that and perhaps thoughts too on this subject. But none of them invalidate the bronzeness of the so called 'golden' pod. Nor the not harm that has occurred to me as I long for it to be super shiny and glittery like the picture. Woe is me. Woe is thee! Is it the end of times already?

Can such a thing be so completely ignored?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

POS Day

Sometimes the world must spin down and one must address their industrial focus.

My POS is a slow pay off. In the world of comparing one activity to another for ISK making POS stuff has to rank rather low. It is enjoyable to accomplish it but I would not call it fun. There is a lot of puttering involved with the POS.

I try to keep my POS reacting constantly. This builds up a backlog of the material that I react into boosters. I had built up a huge supply and started letting that chew down while I spent some time entering into the synth booster market as a potential future income source. I've also been quite irritated with the blueprint prices. People tend to control that particular market and often times I will see ridiculous fluctuations in the prices of things. Earlier this year Vov pointed out that I was whining and suggested that I stop whining and buy a pack of 10 BPCs when my normal habit was to buy one or two. I have to thank him for that because they came in use later.

Today, I sat down with my booster alt in the station she builds her boosters at and looked at what she needed and put out the ISK to resupply her with blueprint copies. A lot of my booster goals have failed. I never found some big group to supply. Some of the people who were using types heavily stopped. I floundered under a lot of product for a long time that was not moving. Now, sales are steady due to my boys. But it is a long, slow pay off. I can easily drop a few billion ISK up front and I will slowly recoup that over the next few months.

That invest now pay out later thing crosses the board with what activities I do with my POS. My secondary activity used to be moon mining. I really should reanchor my POS on a cheap moon again. It puts a small dent in the bills. I've been thinking of changing my alt corporation name. This may be a good time to do that.

I assume most people have a chatroom that all of their alts sit in. In mine, I have created a list (with links!) to what booster needs what gas. This gives me a quick flow chart to search the market for what I need. I am incredibly proud of this tiny, sensible thing that I did.


While looking through blueprints I remembered that I purchased a stack of copies from someone about six months ago. I went looking for them and low and behold I had 17 standard X-Instinct BPCs. I was over joyed. The contract market had exactly 1 contract that was a bundle of standard and improved BPCs for 180 million. I also had six Exile Blueprints. I had never gotten around to retrieving them but that will be done promptly and save me much stress.

I also have blueprints cooking. The extra space in my tower handles that. My first batches of blue prints have sold over the last few weeks. I figured out some 'good' ME and PE values and have slowly cooked them. To my delight they sell rather steadily. That means I need to invest and buy some more and start the process again.

If I was good at this stuff I'd have numbers that say how long I cooked the blueprints for vs what I sold them for. I look at it this way. I sold them for four times what I purchased them for. I cooked them with spare processing power. I doubt it is a very good reinvestment but it is a very interesting one and functions on the basis that I sold it for more then I purchased it.

I'm not sure if I will advance my production abilities. My POS is rather tight because of the Drug Lab. It leaves little room for other goodies. With my market and PvE adventures not to mention the fact that technically I am a PvP pilot in a PvP corporation I don't think I have the time to do more.

Forgot to add: I notice that people often sell their boosters for a bit less then I. I can only feel they are harvesting their gas and/or popping their blue prints. My first attempt at recording and pricing things were for boosters. They are not cheap to make. I may be missing something or maybe there are that many people cutting themselves in build costs. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Six Degrees From?

Forward: I wrote this in March and never posted it. I don't know why. I may have forgotten or lost it in draft spam or some other topic that captured my attention. I'm super tired today and decided to pour my limited energy into finishing some of the sixty some drafts I have half built in this here pool of writing. I decided to leave it as is. I rather startled at the number of almost finished posts I have.

The single shard nature of Eve is fantastic.  The game is large enough that not knowing people is normal but the possibility of bumping into them still exists.   I have had a few such situations of late.

Cynide Jester wrote a blog post about being ransomed.  The following day, Druur comments that associates of his ransomed someone for a song.  He found Cynide Jester's blog and connected the dots.  For me, it was amusing because I know them both.

A second was when Lain soloed (good job there!) someone from another corp.  That corp happens to be an associate corp of someone that I know and hang out with.  It turns a random kill into a 'Oh I know them or I know of them' which makes the entire situation more interesting.

Those types of connections are all over Eve.  It has filled Eve with e-celebrities.  It also adds to the rise and fall of people across the game. Someone may know you but someone else may know you but people may always be an unnoticeably close distance from someone else. Not everyone looks beyond the game for their information and interaction so many people do not recognize the famous people.  It grows even more amusing in a fleet when some people do things like listen to Eve Radio or Pod Casts and others have never taken an interest in such things.  Then, one person recognizes someone that died and says how they are an “e-celebrety” and other people are like, “So?  Dunno who they are.”

Some names are larger than others.  Some people have cults around them.  Some have grown organically (buzz word extra points!) and others have grown them by sheer force of personality or will.

James315 is someone people may or may not recognize.  People that follow blogs, forums and news may recognize him.  He started off with long winded but excellently written posts on the forums about how miners were killing Eve and advanced to creating his New Order where he uses the non-combat action of bumping spaceships against each other to fight against AFK miners and botters.

I don’t have an opinion one way or another on his goals and motives.  I’m glad hes out playing the game in such a way that engages others and himself.  He pisses a lot of people off but their anger is a deep burn that causes them to wish retaliation on him.  Such as Eve should be and such is the actual topic of my thoughts.

A few weeks ago someone told me that the Miners that inhabit the systems that James315 has claimed as his own were going to retaliate and stop him finally.  How they were going to do this was unsure.  It seems that the simplest way to make a point to someone, blowing up their spaceship, was unacceptable.

I had to ask why?

“Because we will not lower ourselves to his level.”

I will admit, as simple and clear as that sounds I don’t understand it. All the methods that they have attempted to change their situation have failed.  A stack of methods have been looked at and put aside because they would be lowering themselves.  Those methods are PvP focused.

Now, if someone does not wish to PvP I will not force them.  I expect them to accept the fact that they can not avoid PvP if others bring it to the table.  If they wish to have a no pewpew policy that is their choice just as much as it is mine to have a pewpew policy.

This would be an interesting place for a charismatic and competent high sec leader to arise.  The game is crying out in need for it.  If anything would create one the situation and pressure he has made might or could.  It will be interesting to see where his butterfly effects falls.  I

But we're all inter connected in these things.  The Butterfly Efect trailer is so popular for these reasons.  Or, we can play X degrees from whomever.

Minor Trivia:  I'm 2 degrees from Kevin Bacon.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Squeezing Sand

I have always found market trading to be exhausting. The push and pull of the various sides as they shift and maneuver their prices made my eyes glaze. I'd watch Detta sweep in and sweep out hundred of millions of ISK richer as we talked while I stared at my deadspace modules that I needed to sell. With caution I'd place them on the market only to watch myself instantly undercut and my items sit for weeks while I leaked tears and rarely remembered to adjust the prices.

Over in Solitude, I've been fighting a market battle. The market is manipulated over there by a few (one?) individuals. I found myself saying, "the entire market" but that is a frustrated over exaggeration. As with any area not attached to the major, populated regions of high sec Empire, there are a selection of semi-common goods missing from the market. Most of these items are what I consider more specialized T2 items such as long range T2 ammunition which one would most commonly use in the Naga.

Persistence does win me a foothold. The person buying and relisting all of my cynosural field generator I's finally stopped after they had purchased almost a hundred of them. Mine are now sitting at a reasonable price in the station for the boys. I've also re-listed any items purchased and re-listed like that.

It set me to thinking about my little concept of greater game health vs personal wealth. On one hand I want to say, "It would be better for the game for people not to be greedy." However that is not a realistic outlook. It is rather stupid and naive and it is not what people pay for. But watching the manipulation of a market in an area like Solitude makes me rub my chin a bit and ponder the health of transactions. Capitalism?

On one side the fact that someone is bringing the stuff in and listing it and providing for people is good. If people chose not to do the work themselves to bring the prices down they chose to do what they chose to do. Laziness is punished by an emptier wallet. I'm not bothered by this at all.

What I am irritated with is the buyout and re-list. And that irritation is because it is not my way and it is in my way. That person isn't wrong. They are just maintaining their market superiority. I dislike it and wish to change it. Therefore I re-list and push the prices at the lower point that I ant them to be at. This is the game of market PvP. No one is wrong on ether side. My irritation comes from me wanting things my way and wanting people to fold and bow to my view of how things should be. On the flip side I am annoying them because I'm trouncing all over what they work at and maintain due to my disapproval of their pricing strategies. I'm sure they'd like for me not to be in their way as much as I'd like them not to be in mine.

But in the world of wide eyed socialism I wonder how destructive is some of our ISK making habits to the community we supply. I was talking with one person who avoids his alliances jump freighter service do to the high prices. He has started to run a market to combat prices and fill in gaps and is doing quite well in just the basics. It is more work for him and he enjoys it but would the benefit be better if the alliance prices were such that they'd encourage more over all use.

Do I start a cult of reasonable priced markets? Where the market owner will make plenty of ISK without cinching down on every ISK. I have my philosophy of course which I liberally slather all over my blog. I don't expect everyone to find salvation in it. I don't think people who do things their own way are evil and need to be burned as witches and demonic forces. I'm not even into cults nor am I often interested in changing peoples mind as my goal.

I find myself struggling with these thoughts. The separation of idyllic reason and gritty reality makes me feel the fool. I cannot doubt that they are born of my own frustration and personal need more than anything else which makes them suspect.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Movers or U-Haul?

A few weeks ago Kaeda dragged me into a twitter discussion about my enjoyment of logistics and taking care of "my boys" as I label the inclusive circle of 7-2, THC2, and most of the pirate circle that I am social with in Molden Heath. 7-2 recently moved the entire house across the game and we managed to forget everything that we needed while we moved everything. There has been a lot of logistics activity from the membership getting ourselves up to 100% speed. However, we did it and got the machine that is our corporation up and running with very little true interruption in service. That was a very satisfying accomplishment to me.

For one person I do a lot of logistics. Or so it feels to me. I may not be doing much in the scale of those that do logistics. I know that there are people with massive fleets of haulers moving huge hoards of supplies around. They are more amazing than I am. But, I feel rather amazing most of the time. I do a lot of supply for people and I get a lot of satisfaction from doing so. 

While my scope of logistics may be small in the big picture it is big in the small picture. It also opens perspective about things. I love the fact that things are a bit of a pain to move in Eve. I absolutely adore it. I love that there are hauling corporations. I write space trucker stories because I have no shame. However, it has taught me a lot about Eve. Buying, organizing, sorting, delivering, moving, planning, and just doing the logistics can be an exhausting situation. And, when you arrive at station and hand everyone their packages and they go, "yay!" and rip them open like children at christmas, ship in and take off I feel pride about their enjoyment and my place in it. I then also go to bed because I used all of my time doing logistics.

I don't mind using that time to do logistics. I get plenty of satisfaction from it. Also, someone has to do it. One of the positive factors of having multiple people that handle logistics is that they split the load. My joining 7-2 helped to ease the life of other logistics pilots which increases the overall health of the corporation. The obvious impact is small but the actual impact is large. I'm not complaining about the time and effort that goes into logistics.

What I am thinking about is game balance and game improvement and where logistics is on that table. One of the comments in the twitter discussion was that with jump freighters logistics is now risk free. I'd say no to that but I also live next door to Ueberlisk most of the time. I understand how vulnerable jump freighters are to mistakes or laziness. As a PvPer the idea of caravans of freighters appeals to me. Looking at the game the idea of caravans and guards appeals to me. In actuality the idea horrifies me to the core.

"You don't understand if you don't do it." That is thrown at all sorts of people. Miners at PvPers. PvPers at miners. The same goes for logistics. Where I once might have agreed now I look at my current workload and shudder. "But Sugar, shouldn't you have less workload than or are not you doing to much and people should be willing to help?"

I am not suggesting that my boys are not willing to help. They have guarded gates for me numerous times, watched cynos, opened cynos, and in general they will help when I ask. If they were not willing to help I'd not be so interested in helping. But there is a difference in offering assistance and that becoming the focus of gameplay in general. Doing logistics is also about creating content. Do we want players to have what they need to get out into the game and make things happen? If the answer is yes, how hard do we want this to be? A game can be killed by balance because part of that balance is fun. Already I listen to people complain that they cannot just log into Eve and do things without committing time to set up and prepare. That small amount of prework burns people out and player retention is a very, very important thing.

I spend a lot of time in a cyno ship. I am cheap so I refuse to self destruct or kill my own cynos. That is ten minutes each time that I sit and watch the little green line go around the cyno. It is one of the many things that I have to deal with to move my ships around. I also spend a lot of time flying a freighter. One reason I cannot do full Jita trips on my work nights is that it is pretty much a three hour round trip. Plus, jump time and store stocking time. And that is just Bosena. And it is actively flying and managing myself. It takes three accounts acting together to stock Bosena in a time efficient manner.

Logistics is a lot of math. I manage to forget things constantly. I have to go back or get them later. I have to write people bills for what they are buying. I have to manage my own items as well. Jump fuel. Time to travel from one place to another. It all adds up. Time is our commodity in Eve. Skill training time. Movement time. preparation time. Timers. Pos fuel. Research time. We barter with time in anything we do. Each time sink that is created has to be looked at for its overall value and not just its immediate value.

I know what life without a jump freighter is like. I decided to start my booster corporation last year. I did not have a freighter, an Orca, or a jump freighter. I flew things down in Blockade Runners. I paid Red Frog and later Black Frog. I have made twenty jumps duel boxing Blockade Runners in a twenty jump round trip to fully fuel a tower. While my tales of woe are not living in a wormhole they are speaking of the inconvenience of travelling from high sec to low sec. This inconvenience multiplies like falcons and link ships.

I know that force projection is a hot topic. Being able to fuel and resupply oneself with the ease of a jump freighter seems unreasonable. Yet, I have to ask, if CCP looked at the handful of logistics people that each group has and told them that they were making their life harder by a tenfold, how productive would that be? Where is the actual good for the game in general as it pertains to player activity and interest? Sure, it puts more assets on the line for people to shoot and possibly steal. But, will those assets go out or will it create a problem that is large enough that the repercussions of the balance of risk vs reward creates another negative that has to be overcome?

Living on the edge of Solitude has brought this to the forefront of my thoughts. Moving things in there is rather miserable. Moving freighters will suck even more next month. Removing Jump Freighters would mean that I'd have to set up an industrial powerhouse in Solitude with reams of T2 reactions to supply my corporation.  In a way that sounds very cool. It would force the merging of industrial groups and PvP groups. Codependence would be the flavor of the game and any successful and productive corporation would have to have a more varied base of things that it did. And while it sounds lovely and magical and "as it should be" I cannot see the reality doing that. Instead I see people hovering close to the edges of high sec if they don't already live in an area of Sov Null sec.

It seems that it would hurt more than it would help but I may be absolutely biased by the horror story my logistics activities would become.

Of course, the optimal answer is to pay someone else to do it.

TCS: Plaster and Lathe

I was looking at my Aura app and my market alt had to much cash in her wallet. Much, to much cash. I needed to restock our little home in solitude with a seriousness. The only problem is that I didn't take the time to load up all of my tools and set up my accounts on my laptop to manage and monitor the store. Nor did I want to desync my home system to badly.

The only answer was to wing it and randomly buy what I thought I needed.

That made complete sense to me. I carry around a general idea of what my store needs in my mind. It is thanks to the icons. I'm a fairly visual person in some ways. I also know what is needed and I can look over the market history to see what is selling. This gives me a general goal of restocking highly used things.

The first thing is that I have not been stocking everything that I have. The other people who are not 'us' in Solitude have a bad habit of buying out my stacks of reasonably priced modules and restocking them for a higher price on the same market. As always, I fight it in the same, predictable way. I relist more at the price I want them at. Over and over and over again.

Normally, I don't like holding back stock. However, Solitude is a tremendous pain in the butt for me to supply. I need a cyno chain and I have functioned without a cyno chain for most of the year. It is making me pull my hair out some. If not a cyno chain I just need time. Time is not something that I have had much of these last two weeks. Life should go back to normal on Monday, but until then, time is not on my side.

Thankfully, Vand has been doing jump freighter runs. I logged in, purchased a bunch of stuff before breakfast, contracted to him, and he told me he jumped it later. I also forgot to pay him because I had not read his forum post on how he handles being a jump freighter pilot. I don't charge people for stuff so it didn't occur to me that anyone else would charge for stuff. Whoops. I'll calculate it up and pay him later.

I then logged in to list and realized that my market alt was in Jita. No problem. I'd take the fee hit and use Chella to list. Chella, it seems, only has 21 orders available because she is not a trained market alt. Sigh. That meant I had to move my Market alt down and work her through low sec and get her to the station to list things.

While I traveled someone decided to buy out and relist my Damage Control IIs. To bad for the I had plenty let. I split my stack and relisted them at the price I wish my corpmates to buy them at. With that done I started to list things and discovered I'd done a terrible job with the buying. Well, not terribly but I'll say I scored a 60%.

Oh well. Consumables restocked (mostly) if I ignore the stack of isotopes sold under buy costs cuz I was tired. I'll get it cleaned up soon enough. Taking time off of a market is not a smooth task.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ramblings: Exterior Perspectives of Self

I was driving back to Vegas from the Grand Canyon last night and I had a little moment where I wondered, "Where are my battleships?" I felt as if I was driving home, as I sped through that inky darkness. I had somehow not packed my stuff from Eve Vegas. I got over it and was laughed at but my little moment of panic was amusing. After all, my battleships are my stuff and I will soon be returning back to the game and my stuff there.

I have a list of topics to (maybe) write about now that things are back to normal. As I skimmed the edges of crowds and talked to people or just ease dropped on conversations I saw a lot of fascinating interaction. I met a lot of different in game cultures. Some that I cannot understand. I was also presented with the complex and unanswered question of "What is a pirate?" and "What is low sec."

It is easy for me, and I often do, fall into the comfortable mold that Eve is what you make on it. Each person will play the same game and receive a different experience based upon their choices and actions. In that, Eve succeeds where every RPG single person game fails because other humans are endless in their decision making. If one were to step back and look at the crowd that attends the convention as a whole the rich, thick layers of vicious interaction that actually tie us together are invisible. Invisible to the eye only.

"Who are you?" If you are a member of one of the larger groups this answer is easy. On its back it carries a heavy history that fills in the blanks. But if you are like me, a member of a small group in a system one step off the path, there is a lot of, "Who?" going on. I can say that I am a member of Calamitous-Intent and that I was formally of The humbleless Crew. None of these things mean much to people but if I said, "I am a low sec pirate," the lights go on. I gain a history and a depth and texture by defining myself by how I am understood in the game.

But that understanding is incomplete. What is a pirate? For some I learned it is those who hunt in Faction Warfare. "Oh, but I am not that," I explained. "I live in non faction warfare low sec." There is such a thing as non-faction warfare low sec? Their responses say to me. And for those that know of non faction warfare low sec their was another opinion expressed as to 'true' piracy.

Of course none of that fits. The topic is not answered in a yes or no true or false. Are we individuals? Are we our corporation? Alliance? Coalition? Or our tasks that we do? While the answer is some mixture of all of these things the definition goes beyond that.

I am not a true pirate to some. I make ISK. I live comfortably. I have billions in hull in my hangars and billions of ISK in my wallet. I suffer loss but I don't suffer a removal of my game play ability when I suffer loss because I have built up my resources. Some feel that pirates are poor and only fly cheap ships with no income and struggle to make it out into space for the next fight. Others would say that my logistics chains and lowering myself to fly a freighter would disqualify me.

I am a true pirate to others. I live in low sec. I have a negative security status. I shoot things with out a care as to my security loss. I do not have a high maintenance social setup full of politics. In fact, I free wheels through the game, doing as I want when I want making my every action pointless to others. But I live in low sec. I kill in low sec. I pod in low sec. They would call me a pirate.

Of course, DP would say that we are small gang PvP and not pirates. That causes the question, "What does small gang PvP mean?" Is it the high sec warlords who work with duels and war declarations? Is it 3 ships? 7? 20? I often have talks with Vov who I would easily say is a peer, yet we often define the same thing differently due to our different habits in the game. None of the defines are wrong they are after all formed from personal experience. This happened to me. I did this. They are valid ways to define something to the self.

It was an interesting reminder to me that my view is not everyone's. My lifestyle does not seem to be as common as I so casually assume that it is.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Eve Vegas 2013 - The Conclusion

Yes, Eve Vegas is worth it. Even for quiet wall flowers like myself. The last thing I did was check to see what the plans are for next year. The same time frame of the third week of October is already on the table. Hotels are not yet decided but he hopes to have stuff up by January. If you want to come and didn't come, do some planning. Come if you can. It is a lot of fun and worth the time.

Mark726 and the NASA speaker (I have to figure out what his name) were both amazing presentations today. CCP Rise did a PvP thing but he used poker to relate to PvP. I have no idea about poker or any card game. The topic went over my head. I sat in on the Community Round Table and did some of the UI Round Table. I then secured an extra battleship to send to a corpmate and chatted with Zapawork over next years plans.

Although I am in Vegas until Wednesday, I'll be returning the blog to its regularly scheduled, less desert focused, schedule. If I have something to write about.

I'd like to say thanks for those that took the time to read all of this. I am not a member of any of the Eve News sites. I'm not a member of any of the Eve powers. I'm not Eve Famous. I do these write ups because they are what I would like to have access to if I couldn't attend these events. I try to keep my opinion out or separate it so that it is easy to see where my thoughts separate from what is actually going on. I'm not here to soak people in propaganda and agendas. I just want to share the information as I'd want it shared.

It's been a lot of fun writing it all down. I advise checking in on the Twitch streams. I know most people love recordings. If you can't watch try to listen if you want the information. I focused my time and energy on the Rubicon stuff and the Round Tables with the Devs which are not recorded. I hope this was informative and that the format was better than last years when it comes to readability.

Thanks again. I'll be back for 2014.

Eve Vegas 2013 - Day Two

Today, up and down to lunch with my husband before I abandoned him to do more Eve stuff.

Mark726 started off with a fantastic presentation about Eve's Lore. He has written a major lore guide that players follow. I'm using it for my fiction contest entries. His presentation is very interesting and he is a good speaker with a lot of passion about what he is doing. The Gentleman from NASA was spectacular and if you enjoy a good science program watch him.

Off I went to the Community Round Table with CCP Guard, CCP Saberwing and CCP Gargant. They really wanted to talk about the community. However, players will wander off topic and have to be dragged back on topic. It was funny at the start even if it was busy at the end. Guard started off with a bit of a chat about:

How they want to work on giving Fansites more support. They want to give Fan projects more support. They have been doing traditional support for years now but they want to open that up to things that do not fall under traditional fansites but still provide content such as the streams.

They are still working on an official system to structure things under so that people don't go wild in one spot and nothing in another. Also they don't want to reach a point where they don't want to give players thing. The most current thought is a type of pyramid system with big events like Eve Vegas receiving large amounts of resources due to its size and its stability. They want to recognize people and make resources available to them as well as recognize what they are adding to the community. Things like how much work goes into the project, how many users does the site have/bring, and such things.

Once they have the outline together they will bring it before the CSM for discussion and ideas. After that they will bring it to the community for feedback.

They want more organization in how they do things. They want more live vents. They want to continue the rookie training session.

(Back from my show. Penn and Teller were quote good)

They like the casual entertainment method of PvP tournament that they used this time around. They don't want every event to have a five hour serious business find your team type of tournament like they have at Fanfest. They are playing with this but like how it went.

They feel that the new certificate program will help new players and mixed with the new player sessions they are running help people get a deeper grip, sooner, into Eve. They like the idea of newbie help places. Grabbing and profiling Brave Newbies so early was just something that evolved and they liked how it went.

Gargant wants to break the mold on how you have fun. He liked how Brave Newbies said, "We're going to have fun our way" outside of Eve's habit of telling people how to have Fun. Having fun your way is something they want to impress on the new players. Also they get true new player feedback on things.

They want to look at employing varied ways to bring information to people. Pod casts. Videos. Etc.

They want a gauge of what people want to see with the Dust communications when it comes to videos and podcasts and community round ups.

They will try to up the cadence of production in development videos. Also they want to feature more of the teams who do things behind the scenes and not just the ones on the expansion cycle. (My handwriting was terrible there).

Saberwing is trying to tie in the CPM more with Dust's development. He wants to push more social media interaction.

From Agony Unleashed - More in game tools for corps to promote and manage in game events. There are people who don't know the resources are there and not that many ways to reach them.

Per Guard, CCP Seagull has talked about the true social network of the game and the technical social network of the game. This discussion broke down into how we have our social groups and then things like our corps and alliances and how you want to interact and give interactive abilities to the various people in your Eve life.

Player suggestion - An expansion of the corp advert system
Player suggestion - A button or menu that 'shows corp events' on the show info for the corp.

Guard - Maybe a way to subscribe to things. He likes to subscribe to things. They keep talking about a website for out of game events. Its a resource thing.

Players point out that in game resources are better at this point. Many people don't want to leave the game to find stuff and they should be able to find it in game. Guard notes that its hard to advertise and that people don't pick up on the info. He said that many people were surprised that they were getting a battleship after all the promotion that they did for Eve Vegas.

Discussion about a better system that allows for player recommendations or something. Of course one worries about abuse.

Suggestion - Diplomacy button - Auto Channel creation for a corp. People can show info on the corp and click on the corps public chat channel and be in it. No more guessing and figuring it out.

Eve Gate does not auto link. It is annoying. This brought up by Agony. How the in game mail and the out of game mail don't sync. Also that when you make a link in an Eve mail in game you have to remove the http:// which is dumb. Better Eve Gate functionality in general. We want to use this thing but its terrible.

On functionality - How the forums have to be logged into even when you are logged into the game and using the in game browser.

Guard asks: Do we like the in game browser?
General answer is yes. Explained that we, as players, have built a lot of out of game tools that use the in game browser to improve our functionality. A lot of people use it to improve their intel gathering.

Things went off a bit and Guard dragged the conversation back to the Community and what it can do.

They'd like a fansite hub website. They are working to improve this and when its solidified they'd like something that maybe lets people know what CCP does for fansites.

They hate the current Fansite listing page. They are going to do work on it. Adding things like "like" buttons but they don't want this gamed. Better categories. Maybe tags for easier searches. They feel like the out of game tools that we consider special like Eve Mon and Pfya should be listed and accessible here.

From players - The issue of a Fansite Website is that it is still out of game. In general people seem to have a hard time learning that there are tools. Once they do they are great but that step is hard to take.
(I had an idea but I wasn't able to break into the conversation. I figured we just needed a neo-com button that created a window with the links. Something we can remove easily but new players can explore).

The corp ad tool who uses it, asked Hong. Someone (from Agony?) goes "its a good way to get a spy!" (I admit to some eye rolling at this point. Sigh. Eve.)

The most recent iteration of the tutorials no longer guide you to the recruitment chat or suggest you join a player corporation. This is bad.

Can they sit on legal for the SSO site needs?

In game browser defaults to Eve Gate. Why not a list of useful places instead?

I popped in and suggested my Eve to Dust link for Planetary Conquest Information Sharing initiative.

Live Event Plannings - How they deal with the number of people that go. They are trying to figure out how to advertise as not to get so many people that the event goes poorly. They are thinking more simultaneous events. More time zones. More, more more, in general.

Complaints about the Mac freeze bug.

Tag Dev Blogs for easier searchability.

That was pretty much it and off to the UI Round Table.

CCP Arrow is very nice. To nice. I wound up using a command bellow to grab some guys attention. I hate being forceful outside of work but sometimes it has to happen.

CCP Arrow wants to push defining the identity of the UI at the Round Table. Unlike other devs he came in with a goal. He wanted to discuss what the UI was. How it was represented. How it functions in the lore. Customization.

Player Suggestion - Tool Tip like things. What do all of these things do? Eve punishes mistakes and it makes people click shy. Industry is an example of complex and confusing for just being complex and confusing. All the clicking drives everyone crazy.

Best Industry job is entered with 7 clicks and 4 windows.
Best T2 reaction is 12 clicks and 5 windows.

How Evelopedia is not updated and it is an educational tool that is neglected.

The tool tips are good and more for more things would help.

Something akin to the contract system of copying contracts to copy research jobs.

More master lists for efficiency.

Maybe thing that is more natural to putting things together. The Indy guys (who had taken over the discussion) started to argue at this point over what would be a good way of showing or integrate or creating industry jobs.

Why doesn't Eve have 3rd party add on tools? This response was about it being hard to support and maintain a continuous 'Eve' look and feel to Eve outside of Eve such as screen shots. They want to maintain Eve's identity with its UI.

The session started arguing again.

Maybe efficiency is a better word, said CCP Arrow. Eve is a sci-fi game and people expect it to have a sci-fi smartness to its interface. He went into how the original builders approved of high density information for things. Now we are approaching it from the other side of usability and effective and efficient things and they don't want to give us something new and leave us feeling as if we have lost functionality.

The radial menu is good said CCP Arrow. He went on to add that a right click revamp might have some similar usability.

How the UI is just a front for the games stuff. It is changeable they just want to change it properly to let us interface better. I think this went to the presentation a bit and I didn't see that.

Request - Being able to scale more things in the UI. Such as the HUD. Making the e-war Icons over the HUD larger if you want them larger. Can we assign sounds to affects?

Can the Eve UI become detached multi-windows? Maybe? The new Twitch interface with Direct X 11 is allowing them to create a shadow client for twitch that hides information. It may be a first step to that.

The station services pannel is to damn big. Also we'd like to shrink the fleet info windows more, and market, wallet, people and places to whatever damn size we want.

Discussion on how browsers have smart scaling and its something to look into.

Suggestion - A speed for the tracking camera that we can decide how fast/slow we want it to move?

After this I rolled out to the next part and that is the last of my Eve Vegas 2013 notes.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Eve Vegas - Fleshing out a Dust Community Idea

I will leave this here.

The following post is my fleshing out an idea I presented at the Community Round Table at Fanfest to CCP Saberwing. I am still writing a summary of that and the UI round table chats and will have that up later tonight.

A question that Saberwing, who is the Dust head community manager, asked was what does the Dust community want from their community team? For the most part there was silence. After all, this was a room of Eve players. They had been bombarding them with "things we want" questions and the topic was having a hard time staying on community focused events.

I am terrible about interrupting. At one point Guard said,  "I'm a terrible moderator" as I waited for a turn. I could have spoken up but, meh, its not my thing in most forums. Plus, I was taking notes. However, this particular thing struck a cord with me and I had one of those moments when something is very obvious but it seems that no one else notices it.

For anyone that has read through my blog over the last two years they know that I live in Molden Heath. Also, that we suspected we'd be picked for Planetary Conquest when it came to Dust. There was some irritation in our community over that announcement. THC2 wound up fully moving out of Klingt when ROFL moved in. Faction Warfare focused Dust corporations appeared everywhere and after Fanfest Molden Heath changed.

Noir. ROFL. The others that I don't remember. For a few months Molden Heath was ridiculously busy and full of blobs. It also became a target rich environment and instead of complaining about Dust we embraced it and started to kill all of the things. Eventually planetary conquest died down some and we don't see the action that we did for that time period. ROFL moved out of Klingt but THC2 is rather established in Bosena now.

For months we fought people attempting to do planetary conquest. We killed fleets. We blopsed them. We chased them. We learned how to hunt for cloaked destroyers. We paid attention to the Dust tools to find out where the fights are. We adapted to our new situation and life was business as normal. Killing all of the things, erryday.

However, there has been no feedback from this. I've found myself very interested in the Eve to Dust connection because of my writing. I wrote Fallen Immortal which is a Dust themed bit of Fan Fiction because I may not enjoy playing Dust (or any FPS) but I love the lore. I'm a fan of solider focused science fiction and Dust fits that to a T. That is why I started to write about it. I love the feel of it. As an aspiring fiction writer Dust has all of the pieces fo create fantastic stories. Mix that with Spaceship Eve and you have a stew of concepts.

Why haven't we heard about anything? I know stuff is happening. I know that we stop bombardments. Yet there is no connection or Focus.

I told CCP Saberwing to give us numbers. We kill Dust ships in Districts. We kill Dust Corps. Why not show us what we are doing. Give us some graphs, a chart,a dev blog. Show how fights in Molden Heath appear to be related to Dust. Show us how many bombardments we have potentially stopped. Show us how Dust and Eve are related to each other in the very material that CCP has put into the game and then walked away from.

At the same time I realize that CCP Saberwing is sixweekss into working at CCP. Planetary Conquest is six months old. I can see why this particular link might not have hit his Radar yet. He has focuses on the Dust side of things. But there is an Eve side too.

Most than once I have heard milita folk say that they have had problems taking systems because of the Dust presence. Show them their numbers. Show them what they are pushing against. Give comparisons. Don't look for interest. Create interest. Create teh information that people can flip through and go, "huh. Interesting." That is going to draw more eyes than trying to wave Dust at a disinterested player base.

Because we are disinterested. We want to fly spaceships and fight spaceships. Dust is over on my PS3 and I play all of my non-eve games with my corp through Steam. As long as Dust is on the PS3 the pool of potential Dust players is smaller. Often I hear the, "It isn't on the PC so I am not going to care". Beyond that there is the negative outlooks and the general anti-dust movement that has to be overcome.

So approach from the other side. Don't expect the Eve players to come running to Dust. Bring Dust to them by how they are affecting the Dust world. Give them something to catch their interest in the medium that they are already are in. We love information. Feed it to us.

Eve Vegas 2013 - Day Two - Round Table Rehash

I am in general bad at wandering. After my lunch I went back and and sat through some presentations waiting for the Keynote at 1600. It was presented by David Reid who is also CCP Pokethulhu (hope I got that right).

The Keynote I am sure will be available on YouTube so I won't wander into details. It was a vague murmur of a possible future with a lot of hope. Like the CCP Seagull thing at Fanfest but better done. CCP is trying to sell the player base on the idea of a far reaching goal that will span several years of development instead of six month spurts.

The general goal is consistency within the Eve universe as they integrate Dust and Valkyrie into it and even maybe more stuff in the future. The door isn't closed on the Captains Quarters but that is not their direction. It is just another way to cleanly link the various things together.

The most interesting bit to me was the note of "Death is a serious Concept" (I may be misquoting it a bit) which was the first line written down for Eve Online and still a very focal statement that they have. Then he promoted the collectors edition for a bit and I lost interest and didn't stay for the Q&A. CCP Fozzie and CCP Rise had a round table next and I assumed it would be packed full of people. It wound up full but not packed to sweaty hot mess like Fanfest.

There is no agenda to Round Tables. It went on for an hour and a half. I will attempt to decipher my own notes. I have 5 pages front and back of notes.

Then I went to the Party thing and sat with Ender and his Wife for a few hours chatting. Lots of drunk people. Lots of smoking. Amazing how bad smoke can be outside. My eyes burn and my hair and skin and clothing reek. At one point a dude sat on Ender's wife and another dude head locked him and it was a mess. However, at 1000 they told us the couches become 'bottle service' whatever that is. I was tired anyway so took my leave. I think this will be the last time I try one of these social parties. They are well done but just not my thing.

Round Table Q and A - This is as they questions came in.

Deployables should have bounties and kill rights that are attached to their owners. The Depot will last the longest in space. Right now it is about a month but that is still changing.

Siphons and Cyno Jammers will explode when they expire. They have the shortest life spans.

Auto tractor should have about a day or so. All of these things are still up for tweaks and changes.

The depot should have the capacity of a Giant Secure Container or so for holding stuff. There are two more that will be available. Their BPCs are found in the new Ghost Sites. One will be common. One rare. Their stats are related to how hard they are to probe down.

They should be about 50 m3 in size. Very small so everyone can take one somewhere. Once they are scooped they will spit their contents out into a can that is then scooped. They are reusable.

CCP seems to like the disposable structure idea. Fozzie said that he sees this as something that more various disposable and single use deployables may come out each expansion.

There was a discussion about the Siphons from someone from a wormhole. He was unhappy that the siphons cannot be dropped and drain a tower and scooped before a wormhole despawns. He feels that it stops wormhole people from doing attacks in sov. Fozzie said that they don't want it to always work all of the time for anyone that uses it. That it won't work well for some situations is a good balance. The cost has not yet been fully decided but the 10 million ISK per silo number is tossed around. He said that they have been out of the loop for the last few days.

The mobile homes will be super cheap to the tune of 500 to 600k ISK cheap. The tractors around five million or so. Cyno jammers maybe 20ish million or so. None of these numbers are in stone.

They are still working with the anchoring time when deployed but its about 45 seconds.

They cannot be placed in shields. They cannot be placed before the POS and then the POS put up with them inside. They think they closed all of these loopholes. The loot drop will probably be 50% but the loot drop on the Siphon and Tractor units may be a higher roll.

Siphon does not belong to the POS or the POS code.

Fozzie called the new SOE cruiser "one of his new cruisers" about Rise. I guess that is his baby.

People also kept asking if there was a limit to how many siphons you can deploy. The answer is no. But the question was asked three times in about 15 minutes by different people.

Are the deployables the next evolution of the POS? They don't want to say that but they feel that it is the first steps. They want to get rid of the POS code completely by the end of the future POS vision.

Will the other deployables found in the new Ghost sites allow others to refit off of your deployable? No.

What about a decoy ship? They have a huge list of ideas of deployable things. They have brainstormed with CSM over this as well. Fozzie seemed to like the decoy ship deployable idea.

What is the time frame for implementing the reasonable things list? Fozzie pointed out that several things have already been implemented. They will keep looking to pull stuff in as resources allow.

Switching characters without logging off and out of the client has turned out to be a much more difficult thing than expected. It will take a lot of resources to do and they have limited resources. They look at what they have and they have shelved it not because it is a bad idea but there are so many more quality of life improvements they can make in the time it would take to fix that one thing. It is being looked at but it is a bigger problem then it seems.

They have discussed mines before. They are a serious lag issue and messy. It is not a forgotten idea.

They were asked about integration into Eve for Valkery. Fozzie explained that he and Rise are dedicated to Eve Online and not involved in the other projects.

Will SMA's start dropping ships again? They do want them to drop ships again. No promises. They do know how important it is to wormhole dwellers especially.

The personal SMA were discussed that didn't get implemented from Odyssey. They are hoping that this happens.

Do they have plans to improve the non ECM E-War drones? Vague aspirations to do a comprehensive drone rework. When is up in the air. Drones need to be ripped out and redone from the bottom up with the interface and such.

Drone assist? No plans to do away with drone assist. No plans in Rubicon. They have many ideas bouncing around. Part of it is that they are an aspect of a larger discussion over how much control someone should have of someone elses ship. This covers the various fleet commands and even fleet warp.

This turned into a mild argument by one person who says that the future is nice but we are playing now. Fozzie tried to elegantly explain resource management and development paths and how quick fixes can't just happen considering the fact that someone has to do them.

Plans to let players impact local? This is a big personal thing for CCP Greyscale who wants better intel and less intel in local. Fozzie said that local changes come up a lot. A suggestion/question was why do people popping out of wormholes show up in local since they did not enter through a stargate. Fozzie believes that is mostly a technical problem.

Logistics ships on kill mails? This is CCP Masterplans baby. He wants to bring this to us (<3 CCP Masterplan) and it is his personal project he is dedicated to per Fozzie.

Ghost Sites - They are different from the current sites. That is all they can say when someone asked if they were just a return to the old data/relic sites. They can't say how different but they are different. Live events and the Rubicon trailer are focused around these in the near future.

Better d-scan interface? Fozzie says that is his per project and something he is working towards.

Are there plans to have an integrated FRAPS? They went through it before and realized they'd do a lot of work building something that wasn't better than fraps.  So they are not going to build something. The goal with the integrated twitch is to focus on more privacy controls for the streamer.

Rise wants a complete rework of ECM. That is his pet project but he has no finished plan laid out to present yet.

Client side battle reports? This was attempted two years ago. The server side stuff works but the way things go making it client side is a big problem. It is a possibility with CREST but no promises.

Reworking the in game map? This hasn't been discussed recently. Rise would like it but it seems that no one owns the map as a project and its kinda sitting there working but needing to be better and updated.

What is next on the short rebalance list? Recons, the entire pirate faction lineup, Blops, past them T3s and Capitals... capitals will not be in Rubicon. I get the feeling that T3s will not be as well but I didn't hear it explicitly said for Rubicon or a Rubicon 1.1.1.1.1

How do they feel about the ship rebalance? It has had the effect that they want to see. They are pretty happy with how the changes in ship usage looks.

There are many possibilities to the Blops lineup. They were touched but they are due for a comprehensive look.

A complaint that the Amarr T2 ship weapons systems are not consistent with the T1 versions. He feels you have to learn three weapons types with Amarr unlike the other races. Fozzie said he wants interesting mixups in the T2 ships and that the Amarr are a poster child for how he wants it to be. He wants more fun flavors for T2 ships.

The technical stuff for changing how links work is going well. Fozzie wants it to be something like an area effect bubble and when the ship leaves that bubble they will retain their effect but the command ship is on grid.

Are they done with mining changes? No. They want to do another pass of the barges. The Procurer and Skiff are not as useful as they want. The Retriever and the Mackinaw are to strong with being good in two out of three areas.

How about the ore belts moving to anoms? Maybe? Maybe super belts? They are always looking at things. The asteroid belt spawn is old archaic crazy code and works weird. They know that the ice anoms spawn with down time. It is something they are looking at to break the schedule to be consistent through downtime.

Making the Orca more interesting: They will look at mining links in the POS after they find the spot for the Orca and Rorqual in game play. The Rorqual was created from the ground up to work inside of POS shields. They want to make these ships more interesting in the belts and the Rorqual able to defend itself. CCP Bittek has idea for them.

At this point a little fleet of Devs came in.

There was some discussion about clone bays and a desire to revamp them.

Have they thought about other sizes of Microjump drive? They like it being a battleship only thing and would prefer to give smaller ships something else unique and interesting for tehm.

Some discussion about fixing ship sizes to build costs of minerals. This is an art team thing and a maybe. The art team is fixated on scale it seems.

The art department is thinking about/looking at having more control over the way the ship looks. Things like if you add armor palates to your ship the ship looks like it has more armor added. I found this a simple but sensible idea that you see in other games when it comes to how equipment looks.

Corpse locator agents so people can kill people who have their corpses or something? Rise wanted to know WTF was wrong with people and their corpse obsession. Fozzie is a corpse collector. It seems that 2/3 of the game design department is obsessed with corpse collections and have discussions about how corpses can be more important. Fozzie has suggested a corpse launcher. Rise stared at him as if he was insane.

The corpse discussion led into harvesting corpses for implants. Fozzie called Eve a surgeon simulator. While funny I wondered to myself if this had mini-game potential when it came time to implement this feature if it ever happens.

In general they suggested improving the account management system. It has ridiculous credit card handling habits now.

Can we get a warning when we jump into high sec like the warning when we jump into low sec?

Slave sets for shields, crystals for armor, etc? They are not fans of everything having a pirate implant available for everything. It would also be ridiculously OP.

How are bounties doing? They are in a better place. Not sure how to make bounty hunting a viable profession without breaking the game and causing exploits. They'd still like to have bounties that are claimable by an individual group.

Improve multi client login? This group is working on it. They don't have to release with the expansions. They are working to make it a better experience.

When are they bringing mother ships back as a new ship class that is a mother ship? Maybe one day.

Mac Client bugs. It hasn't been touched in forever on the forums. This is because it is not something owned by anyone since they out source their mac client and resources are distributed elsewhere.

Corp Management is a huge, important thing that they want and need to fix. Getting to CCP Seagulls vision requires a rework of the corp role management system. No time for it. It is a priority. Not an if it is a when.

Chat Channel system having a search feature for people's chat rooms. The chat stuff has not been touched in a long time and it is due for a make over and that type of utility would be good.

CREST legal stuff? Legal stuff still happening.

SOE going to get a battleship? Rise says "yes, probably."

Plans to introduce a ship int eh near future that is of interest to freighter pilots.

How long to do art turn around for ships? Around four months or so.

How about the cashe scraping stuff? They won't replace it until they can give the same functionality in another way to places like Eve-Central. They only broke it accidentally and while they want it gone they absolutely do not want to take away the way we use it with those third party sites.

FW is heavy on beacons and not PvP. Problem is exploiting PvP LP awards.

T3's get more subsystems? First priority is to make all of the current subsystems useful.

Eve on a cellphone? Sky is the limit with crest but PvP would suck, says Fozzie.

I had a vision of eve on a cellphone that I drew in MS paint as I wrote this.

And that is it for this post.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Eve Vegas 2013 - Day Two - Morning Session and Pho

First of all CCP is streaming everything on their twitch stream. It looks a bit more chaotic there because they are able to switch between their two rooms to do interviews with their own developers during the down time between talks. I am sure that it will eventually go up on YouTube. Right now I am taking a lunch break and getting caught up with my words.

I was up early, put myself together and went to meet Hong for breakfast. There is a Cafe right in the convention hall area. It was interesting to watch the wave of people start to arrive super early. Around 0900 when registration started we meandered down only to find lines and the organizers laughing at the massive early morning turnout. I felt like a slacker.

In line we got our choice of a Tempest or an Apocalypse. Then the pass and a core came in. I don't know what is in the code. I'll check tonight. I know it is at least the Eve Vegas shirt which had some fucked up looking spaceship on it that I'm told is the Gallante Yacht of some type.

Next was t-shirts. The dev helping turned to Hong and asked him his shirt size. He then looked past me and asked the next guy his shirt size. Seeing that I was suffering from another case of  "not really being there" I waved at him. He smiled and waved a bit puzzled. I asked, "may I have a shirt?"

My shirt in hand and with forty minutes before start we trundled back to the rooms to drop off the goodies. Once settled into the convention area, Ender found me and I got to meet his wife as well. Then off to the presentations. They had coffee, an expresso bar up, teas, water, cookies and chocolates and biscotti. I stole some hot chocolate and tea for later :D  Ender and Hong got Awake Chocolate Bars.

This year it is a Dev -> Player -> Dev -> Player cycle.

CCP Guard started off introducing the CCP community dev who is working out of Shanghi. They discussed how Eve Vegas is rapidly growing into a huge Event. in 2010 there were 37 attendees. In 2011150. In 2012 211 and now in 2013 350. He went on to discuss the growth of the community and the general goal to have more CCP interaction at meets. Canada is on that list with the regular Toronto meets having good attendance and they just want to spread that effort.

When they did their Q&A someone brought up Blink. I called it and it took not but two questions for that to pop right up.

Someone did ask about the new CCP traiing objectives. They explained that not everyone is comfortable going to player corporations and they are trying to reach those that fall out of the cracks. People can also help they are piloting this thing and want it to work.

Someone else wanted to know if we'd give some type of immunity measures to newbies. The answer was no. They are going to educate them but they never want them to be fully safe.

Someone asked about how non FW low sec is dead. My eyes about fell out of my head. Some areas of space area dead, yes. That does not make non-FW low sec dead. Gah. They wanted to know if Guard had a plan for just that.

Another question was about the DUST link to FW. It seems the Gallente militia had a rough fight because of the Dust influence? In general, Dust is being worked on and integrated more and more into Eve.

Adding more systems? It is always open to the future.

The next presentation was how to PvE in hostile space. It was interesting and for those who want to get into more high end exploration worth their time. I went off to find Ender trying out Valkyrie and floated around hte PvP tables some.

The jucy bit was Fozzie and Rise's presentation for Rubicon features.

Deployables are their own new code. They are laying the foundation for crucial features coming in the future. Fozzie mentioned how "working up to player built stargates."

The new deployable structures are shootable in all areas of space with just a suspect flag. They are scan downable and these are only the start of what they will eventually work up to. To deploy them it is drag from your cargo and drop in space. Bam. Very nice that.

The Depot is a mobile home. It is small and made for item storage and will allow you to change your fits. This means refitting in stationless systems is now a go. It is a small structure with the hit points of a frigate or lightly tanked cruiser. Once shot they have a 48 hour reinforcement timer. However the owner can come during that time and scoup and run with it. If destroyed they will drop loot. It is reusable.

Tractor Unit: It will only tractor one thing at a time and loot it. When you scoup it a can with the loot drops. It  will only tractor legal wrecks. The tractor is slower than a dedicated tractor/salvage ship. They don't want to remove the Noctis or the tractoring bonuses on ships but want to give another looting ability. They will be reusable.

The cyno jammers are one time use. They have hte HP of a heavily tanked battleship. They cannot be deployed within 200km of each other but multiple ones can be deployed to make a cynoless grid. Covert cynos will still work. You can still jump out just not in. They are going to let people use these and see what happens with them.

Siphons have their own dev blog now.

NPCs don't shoot at any of these deployables. War decs and kill rights on the owner fall over to the deployable.

HS POCOS they are hoping that they are profitable corp objectives with goals. They are hoping that they will cause lots of wars and conflict. HS Pocos also have a dev blog.

They are going to work on overheating. They want to overheat more modules that currently don't overheat but should. They want to make overheating easier to get into. They want to improve its interface.

Exclusive features?

Ghost Sites - These are hacking/combat mixed sites. They will be in all areas of space including wormholes with wormholeness. They will also be dropping the first player manufactured pirate implant set. These sites will be more rare then current data/relic sites.

The new pirate implant set is also by sisters of Eve. They are called the Ascension Set (may have that wrong). They are the warp speed implants we've seen picked up by the scrapers. They are a high grade implant set and will be found in these new exploration sites.

You no longer have to pause training to plug in implants.

On to the preview of the Chaos server which is their latest and greatest build.

We got to see the SOE ships. I will upload photos tonight. They may suck. Also warp speed with the implants is insane. They showed us the new modules. They all have amazing pretty looks to them. Just lovely stuff.

Q & A

The new depots will allow mother ships and titans to refit? The answer is yes. Only the ship that dropped it can refit from it. So no fleets refitting from one dropped depot. Everyone has to take their own.

Dictors are to fast now and a fleet can't even enter warp before they are on grid bubbling. CCP knows this and is going to see how it goes and tweak it if it needs tweaking.

Hull repper drones please!

Siphons - Maybe some how allow them to notify the owner for fights? Fozzie said that these are only the start and more are coming with different abilities.

The new ship tree - comparison abilities? CCP would like that ti eventually happen it is still an on going new project

Rubicon Trailer? Coming soon

Public certificates still? This was removed because people didn't make them public. It was an unused feature.

New Deployable DPS? Deployable structures are super easy to shoot with Depots being easiest and Cyno Jammers being hardest.

Some discussion about the damage control unit happened and maybe moving it to a passive mod which is basically already is.

Siphon unit that steals fuel cubes or makes a pos burn fuel faster? Maybe. Good idea.

AFK Cloaking - Timer or something so its not AFK?  If they touch cloaking they'd like to make it more interactive.

Both HG and LG warp implants? Only High Grade at the moment.

------

I then ran off to get lunch (pho) and write this up before I headed down for the afternoon.