Monday, March 31, 2014

Hacking Sticks

Cheradenine Harper started, what I will now call, a crowd sourced idea and solution when he asked the eternal question:
"Anyone know if there's been any mention of being able to unanchor abandoned structures?"
In case one does not know what an abandoned structure is, in this conversation, we are speaking about abandoned player (corporate) owned starbases aka POS. A POS, when it runs out of fuel, goes offline. It does not anchor or vanish from space. It stays there, forever. In null sec, low sec, and wormholes they can be shot. In high sec the corporation must be war deced otherwise Concord says no. High Sec and Wormholes have huge numbers of what I called derelict POS.

Why is this a problem that needs to be solved? And, with any idea that has a lot of aspects of convenience one has to ask why we want it and if it will improve game play or is it just an idea to make my life easier.

In high sec people try out POS and get tired of them. They also put them up to stake a claim to a moon in a location. They will activate the POS when they want to do something. They let it go offline the rest of the time. In wormholes, people leave and the unancored, derelict POS grow. In low sec people forget to fuel their POS or abandon them when they move, cluttering up dscan. In null sec, I don't know, but I'm sure it's irritating to kill them.

At one point POS declared Sovereignty of a system. They where super important. That changed with the Dominion expansion. They became an important tool but in a different way. I'm fine with all of that. I'm just not fine with people using them to lock down moons in high sec. In fact, selling free moon locations is a thing that people do. All this is good. It is one of those little Eve careers that appears.

But, should someone be able to leave a POS on a moon for years and the only way to remove it is to shoot it an awful lot?

Rhevas, a wormholer, gives a good perspective of the irritations of derelict POS here.

I believe most understand how a wardec is irritating to do. They cost ISK. They take 24 hours to start. The owners get a warning. Then you have to shoot the thing. In other space you still have to shoot it and this is where shooting it isn't a simple solution. Offline POS still have their base stats. This means they take a long time to shoot in any space unless you are going to drop dreadnoughts on them. While dropping dreads is a delicious pastime it still has the whole situation of putting billions of ISK out on the field to destroy a single, unattended, abandoned structure.

It is also wasteful. If someone leaves something in space I should be able to steal it. If I scan down a ship someone has ejected from, I can take it. If I shoot a POS that has modules anchored, I can unanchor them and take them. I should be able to take the POS as well. It is just a structure and no one is looking after it. If they where, it would have shields up and I'd claw at them frantically whining and gnashing my teeth.

Hacking POS is not a new idea. I am not quite that amazing to have reinvented the wheel when no one noticed. But, the new deployables are, perhaps, a perfect area to allow us to do something about it. One problem with hacking POS is time. Well with our handy dandy new deployable we will be able to set it up to unanchor the modules and a time can be decided on for how long the unanchoring will take.

My first ideas where basic. Fly up, drop off the module, activate it, fly off, and come back later. Habit caused me to assume that it should have a timer. I was thinking about the mobile depot with its 48 hour timer. However, Rhavas came down from the wormholes and said, "NO!" and slapped my hands with a ruler. "Timers are bad, mkay?" he told me (to paraphrase). I sucked on my bleeding knuckles and nodded with wide eyes on the ruler. A better and more thoughtful approach must be taken. I learn quickly. Ow.

When someone says, "No" to an inconvenient feature, that no needs to be backed up. Rhavas made reasonable arguments about its viability in wormholes. I can respect that. He is the one that lives there. If I want people to listen to me about low sec when they don't live in low sec it seems that I can give others the same opportunity. What that time period while I tended my knuckles also made me think was time balance.
"How long does it take to kill an offline POS now? To damn long! Let that chant be preached in the streets! The offline POS takes to damn long to die! To damn long, am I right? Hear it brothers and sisters! Even with the dreadnought, even with the Nyx! Even when the Oracle fleet AFK! It takes to damn long for that offline POS to die! To damn long! Hear this cry! To damn long for that POS to die!" - Sugar from somewhere random after midnight when writing.
If we set up a hacking module that was roughly equivalent to that, it seems reasonable. I then expanded that thought into something simpler. The more I thought about it the more I realized that they had neglected to tend and fuel their POS. Why was I making massive concessions to allow them to come and take care of it? I'm in the middle of doing fuel runs for my own POS even as I write this. It is part of the responsibility of having it. I decided that I was adding needless complexity out of habit not valid gameplay. After all, I keep my POS fueled exactly because I don't want it to go offline and risk losing it. They hold fuel for thirty days after all. This wouldn;'t be a sudden thing. The in game calendar even marks your POS dates and shows them to you. The crowd sourcing on twitter agreed as Coffee Rocks chimed in wondering why we needed a timer.

Why indeed. Habits don't automatically make something good. Even with my own complaints about structure timers I've fallen into a terrible trap.

From: Aegea/Shantetha
"Put in a hacking mini game req hacking V & anchoring V. 3 failures 24h lockout timer/pilot + kill right. And yes I was thinking per pilot on the lockout so if joe fails frank, david, or lolimsoawesome20978 could each try."
Kill rights? I don't agree. Current deployables are suspect flag. Kill rights are also functional only in high sec. So, lets say Rhavas (who doesn't agree) cleans out a wormhole and goes to sell stuff in high sec. Why is he getting a kill right? They abandoned their stuff. I am keeping space clean. Tending to the servers needs. Helping the production machine that fuels Eve's underbelly!

At the start of the discussion I introduced the concept of having two skills to use the deployable. First anchoring. Anchoring is our basic module for putting anything in space (except mobile depots). Hacking would be used because this is a very serious, skill intensive task. This is a starbase after all, even an empty one. I figured Hacking V and Anchoring V. It is a very nifty deployable structure so let it require a reasonable skill investment. Otherwise we will have two week old alts running around unanchoring kingdom come and while amusing I think it could be done in a way that is sensible. This gives us some possible combo of the hacking game, a deployable, and skill requirements.

Orrrrr..... we can toss the idea of a deployable all together which Rhavas likes and introduce Coffee Rock's new Ore ship or a refurbished Primae and use it as an unanchoring/repo ship. We can keep the anchoring and hacking abilities and mix it with the ship for something interesting.

Complaining is easy but that does not make the complaints invalid. Often when we, as players, are complaining about something nonstop there is a problem somewhere in the complaint. The complaint is a symptom of said problem. Now, complaining will never stop because they are a force of nature of similar scope and consistency as... say... light. But, when the complaint is a symptom...

Maybe it is something that can be fixed! And according to Cheradenine Harper...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

To the Sky!

Tonight and the Rest of my Life - Nina Gordon (Lyrics)

This is how flying armor ships vs shield ships makes me feel, or so I told Wex as we discussed how I dislike Proteus (because armor) but like Proteus (because I find them interesting). I just don't like to fly them. When someone says fly a ship I think about flying it. In space, engine trails glorious against the darkness.

Down to the earth I fell 
With dripping wings
Heavy things won't fly 

And such was how I felt as Diz called for armor cruisers for a roam and I discovered that all of my armor cruisers where set up as armor heavy cruisers or kiting shield boats. I didn't even have one of the kiting armor Omens put together. Instead, I had a hangar of shield ships.

I know that armor is the meta but....

So.. I have a thing for shield ships...

Gleaming in the dark sea 
I'm as light as air
Floating there breathlessly 

I just can't get over the sheer pleasure of flying my ships and watching them twist and spun about in the three dimensional environment.

Rebellion!  I shall fly spaceships for the simple enjoyment of flying spaceships!

CSM: Running for Office: Week Six

Nine days untill  the polls open.

It is amazing how much effort can go into crafting thirteen hundred characters. When I first looked at my CSM application I thought that it would be easy to write the official words. Of course it was not. The limit was the largest hurdle. I had so much to say and so few words to say it in. But, I eventually worked through it and submitted everything last Sunday evening. I sent off my passport at the same time and now it is just a short, but long wait.

Tomorrow is the final day of application submissions. Then, on the 3rd, we should find out who actually submitted their applications and passports and passed their background checks. The polls open the following Tuesday. I’ve checked my submission a few times. If I try to fill out the form with Sugar again it tells me that she has already submitted one. I sent my e-mail to the correct place. How I wish for a confirmation email to stare at. For now, i just fret. When I started the run I was worried about my Fansite status being a problem (as happened in the past to Roc Wieler). However, that seems to no longer be a hurdle and it is covered in the white paper. I’m still on the edge of my seat.

The steps of this process have been a discovery. Six weeks since my first post and we are heading into the homestretch. Now I can tell people when voting starts and discuss voting with them.  I've talked with a lot of people about why people should vote. It also leads to the topic of the recommendation lists. After Thursday, the recommendation lists will start going out.

The STV system (assuming it is the same) has 14 spots for each person to list their order of preference. Groups give out their voting lists in the order and filled with the people they’d like to get onto the CSM. While a useful tool for a large group with similar interests it can also be a tool to attempt to direct the vote.

I told Cap Stable that in my ideal world everyone would look over the candidates and make decisions based off of what they wanted in a candidate. I find voting to be a very personal thing. I also find it to be a very polarizing thing. Like religion and ship fits, discussions can become heated and passionate. For whatever reason, perhaps my stance on personally researched decisions, I didn’t think about the entire recommendation list aspect of the CSM run until my chatroom asked me about it.

I don’t know. I’d like everyone to pick me. I’m here to work with whomever is voted in. I understand why people make recommendations. I was told that if people voted for me they’d want to know who I voted for and take my recommendation into consideration. I understand that as well. Yet, it is a topic I am still torn about and do not yet know how I will address it. It is something to solve by next week.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Running Away

Normally when I see this much structure I am in an interceptor. This time, I was in a Jaguar at the end of a roam with Wex. It was nice to get out in space after I've spent the last two days of Eve writing about Eve but not playing it. We jumped into a Thorax gang. Or, we where supposed to be jumping through them. I was confused about where we had a pilot third partying a fight. I decloaked and derped for a moment which got me pointed.

Realizing that it was a disruptor, not a scram (I love tool tips), I started to burn again. They where huddled on the gate. Maybe I should have burned back. Away was my first through so I overheated and stuck with it. Invul on and burn, burn, burn, as the DPS hit me.

Everyone consoled me on getting tackled as they warped off. I was consoling myself as well. Then, I realized that there was no DPS on me and no tackle. I warped off, managing to pick a celestial I was not aligned to because I forgot where I was aligned. I made some safe spots, went back to the fight, realized that was dumb as well with said Thorax gang landing on us, and warped off to a safe spot. The Burst logi frigate pilots where on the ball. When I landed they dropped reps on me immediately. It was about the third time that roam they saved my ship under incoming DPS and gateguns. When I ran away, again, I was in a much better state of health.

I'm slowly learning Caldari space. Or, I'll be honest and say I am slowly getting used to the system names. Kind of. Let's say that it is good I don't have to FC. I got to cross paths with Jakob Anedalle. I've followed his blog since its start but I have not had the pleasure of sharing the same system with him. Just saying hi and having a quick conversation is a pleasure when you cross someone in game that you feel you know in the out of game Eve game.

There where a lot of cruiser gangs out. Also, some frigate gangs. One cruiser gang had all of the Aurgorors. 15? What looked like bait was bait with a massive cruiser/logi ball on the other side. I want to think that it was battle logi. I'm going to think that.

I also managed to make it to Wex without getting killed this time thanks to the Leopard. I don't have the same smartbomb worries in high sec that I do out of it. I did get a shot out from Meg Yatolila who said hi and tried to nab my leapord at the same time. Not today. We shared a giggle through eve-mail and I landed, whole, in Sujarento.

It was a good night. The boys where out on a Birthday roam for Dave and we met up for a bit and combined the fleets. The oddest part of the entire situation was the scammers that kept posting scams in Sujarento local. I'm not used to seeing that in low sec. ISK doubling and "I lost my ship" money begging. I guess because of the faction warfare nature of the game and the proximity to Jita and high sec? I haven't seen this with my Faction Warfare alt. Perhaps this is random day or I do the Faction Warfare thing at the wrong time.

Time in space... flying with friends... it is always a pleasure.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Creating a Foundation

Niden writes a column entitled "Low Life" over at Crossing Zebras. He sent a question out to the low sec candidates reference an article that he is writing. I do not know what his entire article will be about, but his question struck home. It is a subject I've harped on a lot and one of the reasons that my path has taken me to the path of the CSM.
Q: You have stated that you think lowsec is in a sort of identity crisis. Being called the red-headed step child, the black sheep and the stepping stone to null. Many will point at BNI's recent move to null as proof, for instance. Why, in your words, is lowsec in this state and how does it get out of it?
My response becomes today's blog post.

I started writing about low sec needing an identity in October of 2012. In May of 2013, after going to Fanfest, I started to define some basics of the problem as the very old infrastructure that Eve was built upon. The concept that low sec is a middle ground between high sec and null sec can be found in many places. I disagree that low sec is a mid point leading the player to null sec. I have disagreed with that from my earliest days and I believe that the players have turned it into its own environment.

To fix this, low sec needs real attention. When I lobbied my idea to CCP Masterplan at least years Fanfest I wanted to convince him that low sec was stuck with mid level content. The removal of static complexes removed a lot of lower end PvE content. I decided not to open the argument about the farming of those complexes. After all, I am not the one with the metrics. Instead, I argued that if farming was the problem with the static sites why could we not have them back as regular exploration sites? That without these lower end complexes, low sec had sites that required mid level skills and ships to complete. Here we are encouraging new players to not stay in high sec but explore all of the options in the game and decreasing the methods that they had to thrive in that environment. That didn’t sit well with me. When CCP finally responded about the removal of the static complexes in low sec there was an admission that they did not know how we had used those sites.

While a simple thing, it showed that whatever idea CCP had for low sec was not aligned with the player life in low sec. There was also the chance that they did not have an idea for it due to the middle ground for a player to head off to null sec. There may be an assumption that every player will want to go to null sec when some will never head that way and others will leave once they experience it.

One thing that low sec is missing that the other three areas of space have (the other three defined as high sec, sov null sec, and wormholes) is newer player accessibility. Wormholes have low end wormholes. Sov Null has stations and tracts of controlled space filled with comrades.  Low sec is a middle ground where entering in the first few months tends to be frustrating and unrewarding. This was started with faction warfare but faction warfare is a complex system where a new player can unintentionally harm their game future trying to access the richness of its content in regards to standings, the high sec roll over of the war, and the high rate of loss. They may make a lot of loyalty points but often they do not have the liquid ISK or the game knowledge to make the most of what they earn. Frigate fights are low cost to get into but they are often high skill to compete in. It means that the easiest way to get fights are some of the hardest fights to take. 1v1s and small gang battles in Eve are contests of skill and strategy.

Similarly, faction warfare covers half of low security space leaving the other half without some type of similar accessibility. I believe that both Faction Warfare and Non-Faction Warfare low sec should be given more tools. Optimally at the same time. Tags4Sec were a wonderful addition and the combat flag changes have improved things tremendously. They are both examples of how a small addition or change can have large quality of life improvements.

This means playing on the fluid environment of low sec. The space teaches players to be highly mobile and acutely aware of their surroundings. Recently, I proposed an idea for mining opportunities that I feel work with the dynamic situation a player finds in low sec. With the addition of methods to gather resources that fit into the environment and PvE that is accessible and productive to lower skill point characters, I believe low sec will start to stand on its own feet.

Whatever CCP does for low sec I wish for them to do with an understanding of people who live in low sec. I don’t want them to ignore the player base who has devoted their game to low sec and make changes without taking the denizens into consideration. That is why I am running for CSM9. To help provide CCP insight on low sec and to help support the space that I love.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Let's Stake a Claim

Before the refining and reprocessing changes where released to the public my conversations about industry in low sec had come to equal, "We are going to have to do something new for industry to thrive." With the changes my belief is a bit stronger in that regard. What works for high sec and what works for null sec will not always work for low sec. Although we have the same basic things in regards to stations, asteroids, and accessibility, we do not have the same environment.

Often when trying to think of solutions or possibilities we try to work within the current game as we understand it. Some things are only going to be answered by change. The problem with change is that our access to it is limited. CCP does not have infinite developers and infinite developing time. Still, that should not completely discourage a player from venturing into the possible unknown to create a possibility. Sometimes, the ripples from that void are reasonable, feasible, and possible. Give us back some form of ore anomaly. This is the easiest solution to giving people some reaction time to mining in low sec. I don't know if it would happen. However, they are also looking over some of the changes Odyssey brought forward.  I do not mind suggesting it as a possibility. But, I will not focus my future on a removed mechanic even if it is an easy answer. 

Tackling the question of mining in low sec is tough. Mining, by its very nature, places the player in a vulnerable stance. On top of that for mining to pay off in a simple ISK equation it takes time. Low sec may have a small, sparse population but it is not depopulated. It is instead full of roaming gangs who swoop through an area. When a barge could sit in an anomaly they had a chance of getting out when local spiked. The Venture is an option but it is not a long term solution for the diligent miner who has a large amount of material to gather. The potential volume that can be gathered matters. CCP has added greater material requirements to ships. I will not be surprised if this starts to happen to modules. We need a lot of raw material to fuel the machine that is Eve.

There are general arguments of worth. Mining, as it currently stands involves long term, uninterrupted activity.  It will take X long to mine enough tritanium for a battleship. It will take X long to mind enough Veldspar to pay for a PLEX. This creates time oriented events. "I will need to mine for Y time." If the miner ventures to low sec they have to deal with a steady stream of people that want to kill them. On top of that if they are regularly in a system they will be visited by those that wish to kill them. While, my automatic reaction is to kill those that wish to kill you the feasibility of that is not always there. Eventually enough loss will negate the gain and excitement that low sec technically gives when it comes to mining.

Low sec is a very volatile area. There is a lot of fleet movement, pass through of randoms, scanning, slinking, and scouting. Mobility is what keeps a player alive. This is seen in the rise of the cruiser meta and is more enhanced with warp speed changes. There is a chaotic aspect to low sec's environment that does not support productive mining. Yet, I do not support just tossing the subject aside and saying, "No mining in low sec". Instead, it creates an opening for innovative approaches and potential new options to an important but static aspect of the game.

Thankfully I was at work doing online training programs to decrease my jobs liability of I slip and fall, burn something down, back into another vehicle, or consume another person's blood outside of a bout of vamperisem. In the desperation to escape a single word bubbled up into my mind. Prospectors.

Mayhap, I have an idea. Let's talk about prospecting.
  • Prospecting is the first stage of the territory geological analysis (second - exploration): physical search for minerals, fossils, precious metals or mineral specimens, and is also known as fossicking.
  • Prospecting is a small-scale form of mineral exploration which is an organised, large scale effort undertaken by commercial mineral companies to find commercially viable ore deposits.
  • Prospecting is physical labour, involving traversing (traditionally on foot or on horseback), panning, sifting and outcrop investigation, looking for signs of mineralisation. A prospector must also make claims, meaning they must erect posts with the appropriate placards on all four corners of a desired land they wish to prospect and register this claim before they may take samples.

Last week, in Seattle I did a lot of tourist stuff. Seattle was the staging city for many people heading north to the Klondike for the gold rush. These people were prospectors. For the most part men who were seeking their fortune in a dangerous land. They came from all places and walks of life. What brought them was a lure with an incredibly sweet payoff if they struck it rich.  But it contained danger and many would die, most would end up with nothing, and a few would succeed.

These all seem like fantastic concepts to bring into mining outside of high security space. They also fit into the theme of low sec space and into the concept of seeking riches in a more interactive way. This builds upon the ideas expressed in Rookie chat when my FW alt still had access to it. The assumption by those that start playing Eve is that they will have to go looking for materials to gather and fuel the consumptive machine that is the game. The reality is that they learn to warp to belts and sit there.

Have Venture, Will Travel...

There is the Venture and there is the mythical, uncreated imaginary new Ore ship that fits the exploration miner spot. It should be bright green. BRIGHT green. Kawasaki Green but without the name so that CCP can avoid royalties. Maybe teal. I like teal. The Venture could be repurposed due to its utility high spot. Otherwise, make way for the uncreated imaginary new Ore Prospector.
Let's go mine!

The idea of prospecting would be to find small, high value nodes. A hyper condensed mineral one might say. The idea can go several ways. 
  • Current belts could have these high value deposits that have to be scanned out. If a normal mining laser where used normal ore amounts are find. If a survey scanner is used across the rocks, deposits could be found and accessed with the Prospector (or a regular laser if I don't get my green ship).
  • It can be introduced into current ore anomalies.
  • A new ore anomaly can be created that has regular asteroids or current decorative asteroids could spawn that have these deposits inside of them, accessible with the right tools.
  • Some mix of it all.
It does not have to be a new mineral. It can be highly concentrated deposits of current minerals. The idea is that the prospector is out hunting for resources but instead of planting at the belt he is looking for that big find. It is a pay off such as a good drop in a DED Complex is. It is being out hunting and slipping through space such as Tags4Sec create. It causes people to be up and pay attention and it is interactive. Also, once the deposit is found it creates a pay off for the effort.

Gathering resources

Back when I was building my own Orca I'd often find myself on competitions for scraps of asteroids. To the point of creating one of my favorite blog posts ever. There where no spaceship explosions involved but the need for the materials to finish my plans turned my mining from an idle, side screen activity into something I had to pay attention to.  Mining is only boring because we have to sit in a static situation to do so. Those new players that I have been so enthralled with had ideas where mining would involve searching, adventure, and some danger. 

That danger is well represented in low sec. I do not care for the idea that we should just ignore industry and mining inside of the environment. Instead, let us create things that are sustainable inside of the environment. The prospector may not worry about wolves but he will have to worry about natives (and natives in Wolves).

There is also a rush related to finding something you are looking for. Last night my boys killed a drake in a 5/10 DED complex. They then finished the complex and where rewarded with a drop of about 800 million ISK. As they where checking the container everyone had a level of anticipation about them hoping for that big pay off. That is what we should play off of. There is an intensity when loot/reward is found after you've gone out to get it and risked yourself to earn it.  The bulk of the materials in my low sec hangars come from hauler spawns in the belt. Hauler spawns excite me and I rush to gather them up and sweat at the same time for putting an industrial in the belt.

My thoughts for the Prospector is not to create a combat ship. They are awareness related. We say over and over that if someone is aware they should not get caught in low sec. Let them be rewarded for their awareness. Small mistakes will mean their destruction. Plus, they will have to haul their goodies to wherever they wish to use them. The concept of a Prospector ship is that it has the mineral/ore hold to carry the contents of the deposit once they are discovered. 

The idea of Prospecting can easily expand outward. My concept of it is focused around being a solid choice for someone that lives in low sec. The fluctuating environment is one where static behaviors are punished. To mine in high sec may bring more ISK per hour across the board but to prospect in low sec will bring some equivalent in sports. Just as I explore and make a billion ISK over the course of a month and find myself satisfied with what I have pulled in. I don't have an exact ISK per hour. Instead, I have content that I have done and enjoyed and been rewarded for doing.

I think a prospector could have that same potential with a more resources oriented result. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Keeping Space Clean

Light a match tossed onto a pile of sawdust the Dev Blog announcing refining and reprocessing changes has been explosive. Information and numbers are flying through the air. This is a new methodology that I approve of. THe biggest numeric and production changes are hitting the Dev blogs first. That gives CCP time to change and work the numbers based off of player feedback. It also gives players a lot more time to absorb the future.

The numbers we have been running for producing capitals is ugly when with the changes factored in. Those numbers are based off of current numbers and the expansion will invalidate that. Before I panic I will wait. I will wait to see what actually happens with minerals and ore values and where our new point of irritation occurs to build in low. I don't want to gnash my teeth too soon. We thought that capital rigs would cost a half billion apiece but rig prices plummeted to unseen lows.

And that's what I want to talk about. Not rig prices per say but what the reprcessing changes mean to salvaging as a profession. To do this, I shall go back to my beginning.

When I first started I didn't understand the fine lines between meta modules. I didn't understand the reasons behind T2 and such. I had been told, "buy the best named items you ca," and I didn't really follow that because I was por and the best named items where expensive. I was prone to dying as well trying to run missions so I used cheap things that I could replace. I was also terrible with terrible fits and I developed a distaste for being the DPS ship because I was incredably bad at it.

What I did do was take to salvaging early. It made sense. I'm that person that loots everything and hoards in a game. My Noctis was my first real investment. My CEO at the time wanted me to have it as a corporation asset. i refused and kept it as a personal asset. While the rest of our kitchen sink fleet struggled through level 4 missions I would loot the field behind us. We brought in not only our mission rewards but normally a nice haul of salvage that I would go and sell piece by piece and split across the fleet.

I really liked it. I enhanced our rewards and the Noctis paid for itself. It became my money maker. I even tried some random salvaging of missions. Those did not go as well. The old mechanics left missions bugged and you would often take an aggression flag that allowed the person and their fleet to legally attack you. I was not trusting of other's and decided to stick with my corporation and eventually THC2 for my salvaging. I even got it in my head to learn how to hunt down mission runners to salvage what they abandoned.

Salvaging was a career. Between the salvage and the loot the salvage made ISK. The items sold on the market. i would sell anything that cost more than 50k and reprocess the stuff that cost more to sell in fees than it was worth. I never knew who needed all of the things that I sold but I did so happily and productively.

The first salvage nerf was the removal of meta 0 items from the loot table and the decrease in size of scrap metal. The hold size of the Noctis became less important. I started to use a destroyer at times and eventually retired my Noctis to high sec. The nerf was tehre but it wasn't overly painful. A reduction in what was for the betterment of the game.

Adding salvage drones didn't do all of that much. Although tractor units where a pretty solid hit. More people started to salvage their missions due to the ease. Add in the changes Odyssey brought and the saturation of the salvage market and suddenly, salvaging as a careeer for more than the very new started to deminish. Now, some situations call for it still. Salvaging is great for missions that drop lots of tags. Wormhole space needs to get the goods since they do not get ISK for their PvP. I've told more than one person that they are leaving ISK on the field by never salvaging a thing but at the same time I've been wondering about the career of a salvager.

It is one of the careers on CCP's website. Yet, Odyssey introduced so much salvage through exploration that the random roll from looting the field didn't match what I could bring from exploration sites. The crash of the rig market supported this. I have more T2 rigs than I know what to do with these days because their price is so low.

What was once a task for a player and the industrious had a Noctis Alt filtered down into extras for missions and things to improve exploration. The salvage boat now needed to land on a tractor unit, salvage everything, scoup and go. There is still a place for salvaging but the place for the salvager started to decrease.

Now the reprocessing changes have come into play. I did not know when I started, and in truth for a long time, that most NPC loot was reprocessed down to minerals. I didn't understand compression where items where built because they where physically smaller than the stack of items they would refine into. I just knew that some of the goodies I scooped sold for a lot of ISK.

The sweetness of innocence.

When drone minerals where nerfed I understood it. I did not think it was a bad change. Gun mining made little sense. The price of minerals went up and the side effect was that the Dronelands died. They touched them a bit the next expansion and they received another little pat with Rubicon's last piece. Still, they suffered for rebalancing and such seems that the life of the career salvager is being whittled away as the aspects of it are re-purposed to other things. I may be over dramatizing the situation. It is a small enough thing for the good of the whole but no longer do I suggest that new player look to salvage to make their way as they work on guns and tank. Once the calls where that salvagers where being nerfed but now I see that mission runners and industralists are taking the hit. Maybe I need to dig deeper into it or maybe the time has already come and gone.

I pull the dust cloth across Dark Chocolate Fondue's bulky form. While we all look at and break apart this Dev blog it is the ones that are coming after it that I am becoming curious about.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Today, So Shiny

Wex invited me to a fleet on Sunday afternoon. It seems that Gajin Sensei has been having carrier shoot events. Snuff Box was going to go and attend this. Live events are often at bad times for me during the day. However, with an invite I rearranged my schedule and arrived home to find out that the form up had been moved forward by fifteen minutes. I hate being late and I knew that I should have taken a Jaguar. However, I'd clone jumped into an empty clone because I was plugging implants in once I arrived. I'd managed to jump all over the place and in frustration, grabbed a Jaguar. This will be important later.

Twenty something jumps through high sec landed me on field with about three minutes to spare before form-up. I docked and accepted the contract Wex had gotten together for me earlier. The contract was for a low grade slave set. I happen not to have one and it seems a normal thing for Snuff. I figure, it may have uses in the future and why not. I'm a big girl. I can have fancy clones! I was already going to go out in an expensive T3. I might as well do the complete thing and glitter like a sun.

I docked, Wex contracted me the ship, I plugged in my new implants and we undocked to go to the Titan and wait for the event to start. It has been a long time since I have sat on a Titan. It's still the same. Don't bump it, keep range, and wait for the bridge. The only difference was that I was in a gigantic ball of Proteus and Guardians. The last time I was using a Titan regularly I was still flying Hurricanes.

Off we went to collect Balex and Shadow Cartel. The fleet puffed up to somewhere between 100 to 120. The only other time I've been in a fleet that large was for RvB Ganked 103. It reminds me of the comment of, "what is a large fleet?" and "what is a small fleet?" Combined into a machine we got to business and I found myself staring at my screen listening hard. Every group does things a bit differently. I hate being a liability and flying with a new fleet puts me on the edge. I managed to not get lost, not bump the Titan, ask Wex my questions privately when I was unsure, and somehow land on the field when we went into the fight.

50% TiDi. 800 in local? And I'm in the middle of a billion T3s and Guardians everywhere. We formed a ball of DPS. The logistics ships started to rep the Thanatos and the FC just broadcasted. Target, target, change ammo, target target. Half the time they vanished before the lock. Target, target, pew pew. Down the list with a free fire on frigates closer into the pack. I've not spent time in rail guns. Once I got a feel for where my ranges where I smoothed out and stopped worrying about what was going on and focused on shooting things. I've never done a free for all event such as this. There where people all over the place. Wex had reminded me to turn off brackets so I had to turn on brackets to see what I was missing.

Finally, they called for the Guardian's to stop repping the Thanatos and the fleet to shoot the Thanatos. That went quickly and "du du da!" Mr Wex Manchester got the final blow winning the 2.5 billion ISK prize!

Once the Thanatos was down things quieted. We free burned back to Snuff's home. They do function as a well oiled machine. I docked and traded Wex back his loner Proteus and headed home. I had chores to do. Responsibilities are irritating. Markets to stock in game, floors to mop out of game, busy busy busy.

There is that moment when you realize that you do not think about gatecamps and that you spend no time in high sec. Such was the realization when I jumped into Sivala and found myself pointed. "Ahh, this again," I thought. There is something about going to visit Wex that causes me to die on my high sec runs. I was dying again, very slowly as I waited to warp my pod out. There wasn't much I could do. Scrammed off of a gate in an assault frigate. I could only wait and warp out.

With my Jaguar down I warped out. As I warped I made myself a safespot and headed to the sun to warp back. Then, in the back of my mind I said, "Shit." I was in an expensive clone (not something I often do) and there where an awful lot of people on that gate. Pods don't warp very fast. Interceptors will land before me. And yes. I landed on grid with interceptors.

"There goes my pod," I thought as I spammed warp. "I knew these low grade slaves for a few hours." Spam, spam, spam, "Entering warp," Aura told me and I blink in surprise. How does that happen with two interceptors on grid? I hit my safe spot and debated my options. That meant pulling up the stations and deciding which one to dock in once my timer ran down and deciding how I was going to extract myself from the situation that I was in.

Wex came to the rescue with a Leapord. I've never flown one. It turned out to be a good choice and I buzzed my way back to Istodard.

Busy day.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

CSM: Running for Office: Week Five

CCP Dolan released the CSM9 election Dev Blog! The polls will open April 8th and close April 22nd. Two weeks! I’ll let Saftsuze express my desire for the election..

I like the image enough that I can forgive him for the use of pink

The election will be using the STV system again. Often, you hear people say that multiple people have their vote. STV stands for single transferable vote. Basically, you pick the people that you want to represent you. Your top pick gets #1 and your second gets #2. You don’t get 1 vote for each person. It is a cascading system so that votes are not lost for Candidates who do not gather enough to qualify. I’ve heard people say that they do not want to waste their vote by selecting someone who they don’t think will win. This system is supposed to help that and allow people to pick honestly. In my dream world everyone would sit down and pick the people that they feel represent them not who they think will win, who is the most popular, or who they are told to vote for.

Week five was busy for my campaign trail and an interesting study in timezones. My husband sprung a last minute trip idea on me. He had a business trip to Seattle, a city that he loves and one that I have never visited. I agreed to go and that put me out of my normal time zone by -3 hours. This normally would mean nothing but jet lag. However, I had CSM interviews to do and I wound up doing a series of secondary checks to make sure that I was at my hotel at the right time. I managed to forget my hairbrush at home but I had my laptop and headset. Priorities.

I had my interview with Cap Stable. I also got off the plane to find an unexpected message from Alekseyev Karrde for a Declarations of War's CSM9 Issue panel featuring industry. He selected Steve Ronuken, mynnna, and myself. I was flattered and very excited.

I’ve decided I’m mildly cursed with interviews. When I talked with the Capsuleer pod cast my connection went down an hour and a half in. With the Amarr tea party I had to get everyone in the house to shut up and stop doing dishes. With Legacy of a Capsuleer, again, suddenly my normally quiet house becomes a hive of activity the moment I start. My interviews this week were no different. My hotel connection which had been stable the first two days decided that it and my laptop where at war.

That made for two drops and breakups during the Declarations of War Panel. It was very frustrating. For some reason my laptop absolutely hated the hotel’s connection. Plus, the sound card in my laptop is different from my desktop and Altean told me that my voice didn’t sound like normal. Confidence inspiring.

Still, I got it done and you can listen to it here. Of course, the next morning CCP announces the new refining and reprocessing changes. Welp. That is an entire subject on its own.

For my  Cap Stable interview, in an attempt to combat my connectivity problems, I tried something else. I tried to connect to our wifi router in an effort to save my computer from the hotel. That didn’t work. In fact, I killed the router much to my husband’s disgust. When we started the Cap Stable interview I was still dropping. The day before, I did an hour test on Skype with someone and it was fine. Now, when I need it? Hell no. My backup plan was to use Skype through my cellphone. That seemed to work nice and clear. It was odd talking on the phone. I might have been able to reschedule things but I didn’t expect the connection to be that bad (and only when I was doing CSM9 things) and I don’t want to put anything off. Vacation will not stop me from doing Eve stuff.

My cellphone saved the day and I had my interview with Cap Stable.

Two big voice things in one day. Somehow I've gone from never thinking I'd do something like a podcast to doing five over five weeks. I also had a few more questions to answer on my CSM thread. When the announcement came out on Friday that meant I had to develop my blurbs about myself and my campaign in a very short summary. Also, on Saturday I had the VA/MD/DC meetup in Gaithersburg. That involved getting off my flight, passing out, getting up, and heading out to do more Eve things. I had a lot of fun and got to indulge in about four solid hours of Eve talk. Bliss!

It has been a fantastic week. Now I am back in my normal timezone, in my own home, with all of my normal equipment.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Parody Music - "Wolves Just Want To fly Fun"

I find myself in the Seattle airport about to go home. I'm logged into Eve and I remember the song that was played during the Duck Tour I took this morning. At the time, my mind started to blend it into an Eve parody. I love to abuse any type of music. The lyrics are below. The video is above so that you can get your groove on.

Song: "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper

"Wolves Just Want To fly Fun"

I undock in the middle of a fight
My buddy says when you gonna get your fit right?
Oh bear I told the CEO we're not the EFT ones!
And wolves they want to fly fun
Oh wolves just want to fly fun

The jabber pings in the middle of the night
My FC yells "nerd come get on and fight!"
Oh dramiel dear you know you're still number one
But wolves they want to fly fun
Oh wolves just want to fly fun

That's all fleets really want
Some fun
When the doctrine is done
Wolves - they want to fly fun
Oh wolves just want to fly fun

Some geeks take a beautiful fit
And hide it away from the rest of the forum
I want to be the one to fight on the sun
Oh wolves they want to fly fun
Oh wolves just want to fly fun

That's all fleets really want
Some fun
When the CTA is done
Wolves - they want to fly fun
Oh wolves just want to fly fun,
Oh wolves they want to fly fun
Oh wolves just want to fly fun...

Friday, March 21, 2014

Doing it Wrong; Happily

I checked Aura to see what skills need to be done. I've had some issues updating skill queues as my hotel connection has been a cruel mistress. I down graded to DirectX9 because I couldn't get my faction warfare pilot logged on without her client crashing. She was loading into the Captain's Quarters because she has never been activated on this laptop before. All of my accounts (almost) have needed skill changes. I've been running Sugar through rigs up to IV one after another. That led up to looking at my skills and seeing that my future Dread pilot was finishing Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration V.

Well damn. I was out of excuses. Out of excuses to buy expensive skill books. So, I logged her in, crawled off my ISK, and started plugging in the last pieces that she needs for her dreadnought.

Now it is time to do it wrong.

I'm getting a Revelation. I've been told to get a Moros. I don't want a Morors. I want a Revelation so I am getting a Revelation. I am rebelling against the proper, good girl task for following the meta. This happens to me sometimes. This is what I want. This is my dream of what I'd be flying. If someone wants to tell me to leave it at home that too is fine. Besides, it is an alt and Sugar will be as subcap combat capable as she needs to be.

I am not particularly excited to get a dreadnought. It is a large, expensive asset that does not move well. Yet, I have a strange fondness for capitals. My very first killmail ever was in a Rifter as the boys knocked over a tower someone had put up in Klingt. Ender likes space clean and there had been some towers placed in Klingt for some reason right before I started. I spent all of those months with Lue doing level 5's alongside his Chimera. Our time with TEXN meant that I got hot drops out of my system early on and somewhere along that winding path I grew up a bit.

The acquisition of a dreadnought is part of my primary goal to be an asset to my corporation. We are what I would consider a small group but we like our toys too. Small scale capital warfare is a lot of fun and many of the groups around engage on it with the full knowledge that it will take only one moment to be out shipped and overwhelmed. Yet, we do it anyway and it is fantastic. The frantic energy is intoxicating because it is often a do or die situation. "Siege red! Siege red!" and the whoop as a cyno goes up and you wait to see what is going to come through. Because you always bite the bait. Always.

Unlike battleships, I don't expect dreadnoughts to be agile or... well.. fly. The concept sits better with me of a large, immobilized dakka dakka machine than a battleship does. When I am in a battleship I still want to fly around. Therefore, as my ship ever so slowly happens to kind of bank through a possible suggestion of making a turn... I just sigh a bit inside. The dread does not come with any of the presumption of mobility that the battleship does.

But, why dreadnought? It's about support. For my entire time in the gang everyone else has brought dreads to the field. They've dropped them in battle, they've used them in support of corporation projects and even helped me with personal projects. It's time for me to shoulder some of that responsibility. But I'll do it how I want to. I've been productive in my waiting. I learned my jump skills and triage first. Now, when my flight lands back at home tomorrow morning, I'll be all set to step into the ship.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

TCS: The Problems of Independence

"Sugar, why are there no DCU on the market?" Dave asked.
"I'm on a trip and they didn't delist when I last checked on Saturday. But I have a whole cargo hold of stuff that needs to be listed that I haven't done since I'm out of town..."
Dave's question was not a complaint or a criticism. I have worked very hard to get people to say something to me when something is missing. That allows me to confirm, deny, or tell them that it is en route to relist. Eve Mentat misses some things on the market pull. It isn't a huge amount of things but it is enough that I've noticed it. I assume hiccups somewhere alone the line. I don't write raging posts about it because Eve Mentat is an amazing tool that allows me to do things I'd not be able to do without it. I also can't create it. Therefore, while I may acknowledge a glitch here and there I am thankful that someone took the time to make it. So, I use word of mouth or word of eve-mails to help make sure that everything is stocked.

Dave's question also represents the fact that Bosena is where people stop for their modules, first. Thunder made me smile all the way to bed the other day when he said, "Damn it Sugar, I am sick and tired of not having to go to Jita for things!" I have a lot of pleasure in how well Bosena runs and I am proud of it.

But I am also the weakest part of the link.

When things happen out of the ordinary my market tends to have hiccups. These are not huge, life shattering hiccups. Bosena may delist a few things but the bulk of it is still there. However, it is the moment when having someone else would be very nice. It is also a reminder that my market is linked to my mortality. Unless I change the world it will not persevere forever.

That means I need to change the world. I'm cool with that.

Bosena has reached a sustainable mass. I may need to invest more ISK into it to create a larger buffer than I currently have. I've avoided this because money tied up is money not growing. What I've done instead is constantly rolled the profits back into the store. Growth is dependent upon demand. However, it leaves little room for mortality issues such as I have had this weekend.

It is where a partner would come into place nicely. When I first started the market I shared with others, constantly. I also learned that I was a slave driver. My whip might create colored sprinkles but it was still a whip. I expect everyone around me to work to the standards I have imposed on myself and I am frustrated and puzzled when that doesn't happen. But the limiting factor of bringing someone else in is the complete trust involved.

I often discuss trust. It is a beloved topic of mine. I currently am sitting on sixteen billion ISK worth of construction materials for my capital ship corporation. As I'm writing this my alt in that corp is enroute to contract it over to the other member (it is in a container). I don't disbelieve in trust in Eve. But, something like the market as a corporation would mean bringing in people eager to do the market thing but who are not in my personal circle of trust.

Last night, on my Cap Stable interview, the topic of the corporation management came up. A better, more intuitive UI is important and also one that lets you do things with more transparency and greater flexibility. Corporations are entities in Eve and they have a lot of responsibilities and few ways to allocate said responsibilities. I'd love to see something that would allow me to bring someone into TCS without turning over the reigns of TCS at the same time. To change the world and spread my Cult the corporation management system moving to a useful, flexible utility from a horrific nightmare that causes night sweats, is going to be a key player.

Or so I think this early in the day. For now, the market is stocked and my alt is back in Jita to do the next supply run. Long live local markets.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Yesterday, frustrated with timers, Kaeda gifted me his POCO empire (and frustrations). Before I wrote about it I asked him if he minded my writing about it. He said go ahead and gleefully, I seized the topic. I was gleeful because sometimes people tell me no or ask me not to write about things. I don't write about everything but I'm somewhat unpredictable and anyone that has read for a while knows that interesting interactions will tend to bubble up to the blogs pages.

Part of gaining the POCOs was setting them up. My POCO rates are as such:
Corp/Alliance/+5/+10 all have a 0% tax rate.
Everyone else has a 3% tax rate.
I started taking POCOs in Bosena a few months ago. It is quite an irritating place to shoot POCOS due to it being so busy. My goal was to take all of them but that requires people helping me out and, well, it gets boring. I have some. I may get more. I did it as something of an advertisement for TCS and because it was something I had not yet done. I also got to play with some planning. I set up cyno inhibitors when people decided to put their dreadnoughts to the cause. I sent out an alt network to watch gates and generally had a lot of fun doing the support and intelligence work needed.

Over the months the POCOs have started to pay themselves off. It is not a huge stream of ISK. Often it is 20k here and 100k there. Still, I find the entire PI process fascinating. It is should I really wish that I was better at doing. My TCS alts would make great PI characters. Maybe, I'll give it a try again and figure out what I keep doing wrong.

CCP opened up player owned POCOs in high sec with Rubicon. As with many things we ask, "Is this a conflict driver?" the answer is yes. While various people may have had dreams of what would and would not happen with POCO they have indeed been conflict drivers. Beyond the drama happening in high sec as groups wage war against each other for ISK and morality, there are smaller ripples like my corporation mate who has shut down all of his high sec POCOs due to the tax rates.

I was reminded of groups that lock their POCOs down for corp/alliance/allies and up the rates for everyone else. In high sec, as players claw for ISK from their POCOs and reduce the ISK for themselves, they are creating a ripple that pushes people away from the populated areas and out of empire all together. It increases the possibility that a place like Bosena that sits just outside of high sec becomes more appealing. There is the 'safe' high sec 20% tax rate or a low sec 3% tax rate that requires a little bit of prior scouting and maybe the loss of an industrial now and then.

Raziel commented in chat that with the current state of taxes he believes that a C1 is the best PI choice. I do not disagree with him on that. However, there are more potential negatives and decisions for a wormhole then there will be for a low sec system. The PI will also be a lot better, as it should be considering the difference between toe dipping in low and wormhole diving. But, the two are both reasonable options that reflect the amount of risk the person is willing to take and how much gain they are willing to take that amount of risk for.

I'm reminded of a Plasma planet that is deeper into the Molden Heath loop that always had a steady stream of activity around it. The owner cut the tax rate low because if he didn't people would shoot the POCO. He ether had to add them as blues or decrease the tax rates if he wanted to keep it. While my POCOpire is not that networked to be the most amazing series of planets, I'm curious how the long term results of what I consider to be a reasonable tax rate will be. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

There are Only People Here - Blog Banter #54

Do classic heroes exist in EVE? Is such heroism even possible in EVE? How would you go about being one without opening yourself wide open to scams? Is the nature of the game so dark that heroes can't exist? How do you deal with that irony? What effect does this have on us and the psyche of new players coming in from other MMOs? Is it something special that we don't have classic heroes, or should we? Are our non classic heroes more genuine? - Cheradenine Harper 
And I would add to this, who have we elevated to the level of larger than life heroes ourselves in the game, and do they actually deserve it? - Kirth Kodachi
                                                                                                      Blog Banter #54 
I think that if you went into the mind of someone labeled a hero they'd not see themselves as such. Often, they are people who are doing what need to be done. Personal reasons, personal morals, personal wants, all of these things come into play. Is it heroic or selfish to do something because you cannot live with yourself if you did not do it? Because not doing it would hurt more than doing it. No one else lives inside of your mind with you and no one else understand what might bring a person to do the things that they do.

Heroic acts, heroism, and heroes are bright shiny things. People become heroes after death, when the stories trickle down from one hand to another. As people huddle around each other and listen to things that may change their very understanding of things. But more often than that heroes are confused with role models and used to create a foundation of behavior that society would call positive. For a hero will be defined differently in every culture. And what one group considers heroic another may consider horrific or scornful.

The topic asks about 'classic' heroes. I don't think that there are any classic heroes that are not stories. Stories that may have been based off of a real event at one point but an event that is now only a story. People over exaggerate. They do so greatly and freely. But, in a way a classic hero is something that fits into a video game nicely because it is a mythical thing.

But Eve is not a video game that follows the normal path of things. The players are all individuals who are in the world. When they start they are nothing more than whatever they are. The game gives us no direction, no guidance, no goals, nothing but a basic survival. It is an environment where video game heroes may form but the chances of them being villains is just as high.

Some may call someone who has courage a hero. The courage to stand up to someone or something. That is also something that happens in Eve. Someone will stand against a status quo or defend something or someone from something else. Other's will make choices for reasons beyond themselves because they have a larger view. But these people are not heroes. They are role models, leaders, friends, but there is nothing video game heroic in the classical view of heroes.

There is a particular type of story that I like to read. It is one that has come into popularity more in recent times. It is a story where both sides are shown. For each views the other a villain and themselves as good. Eve is a game that creates that type of dynamic. Everyone is a villain and everyone fighting for their own cause.

I do not believe that eve has heroes. I believe that Eve has people with great strength of personality, character, and drive. I believe that it has role models and that the rawness of the environment creates courageous individuals who defy preset norms. Courage can happy in any situation. It can be a small completely individual moment or it can sway the future for thousands of others. In Eve, courage is a reality and heroes are not. Mayhaps if Eve was a place of dragons and golden fleeced sheep where demons and dark gods held sway we'd find classic heroes. But, that is not Eve. Eve is a place where someone stands against something in defiance of those around them. It is a place where labels are slippery and those who do the most violence can also give the most care. It is a place where destruction must happen for all of us to exist. It is a place where success is ripped from the void for there is no god to grant anything to us that we did not enter into this existence without.

I do not find classic heroes in Eve Online.

I do not think that I wish for them.

Monday, March 17, 2014

That None are Lost

One day when I'm old will I remember this day?
This day of youth and innocence as the skill queue ticks away?
One day when I'm old what remembrances will hold sway?
What things will I say used to happen this way?

When the day comes that my skills are a solid wall of blue,
When level five isn't new and I don't remember another way.
That day when I'm old and expierence holds sway,
of my thoughts and my responses as I look at each day.

Will I remember the time when that first billion was made?
Will I remember the joy the first time I can fit,
Something for a ship that I've dreamed of taking a trip
To a part of space that was known but never seen before this day?

Will I remember the stars as they flicker in space?
Will I remember the day I didn't know of this place?
When my engines cool down to a sullen glow,
Will I remember all the things that I once did not know?

Will I scream, "Get off my lawn!" As the rookies zip by?
Or will I swat them from the sky with less thought than a fly?
And when my fleets goes by will I remember times I once flew,
Where I looked at the sky with awe?

Will I be able to savor anew the familiar and sweet?
Or will I be dulled by bitterness too deep,
To remember the joy of going to fly,
and of roaring through space without a care if I die?

One day when I'm old will I remember these things?
Will I remember the excitement that each new day brings?
And if I have one wish that I might ask of the future, be it what it may.
I will ask when I am old to remember this day.

(Cellphone poetry)

Not Quite the Right Spot

[Warning: There are curse words in yon post]

Somewhat loosely related to post about the Eve community is peoples use of words. Amy commented about being tired of the language that people use. Language, what we use to communicate can also be one of the biggest banes of existence where there is communication. I am not shy about admitting that I minimize local to ignore smack talk.

One thing CCP added in the Rubicon 1.3 patch is a word filter. I somehow missed it when I read the dev blog about it. I think that I was enthralled by some of the other things added in. However now you can replace your most hated words with something beautiful. For example 'mayonnaise' can become 'the condiment of evil'. This is how the world becomes a better place.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

CSM: Running for Office: Week Four

This was a week of waiting, making for a short post!

No official election rules are posted yet. I’ll admit that I am itching with anticipation. We have six weeks to Fanfest. People who are following the election cycle are very interested in the voting process. Some have voted before and some have not. This interest in the voting is good.

This week has held more interest on my forum thread. Ripard Teg laid out some questions to some candidates. I wound up writing a reply and a longer blog post in response. Questions directed to the CSM come in all forms and flavors. Questions such as Ripard’s, that focus on aspects of morality and culture are fascinating. It is also an understandable question to ask someone who is stepping forward to represent the community.

I will admit that I’m having fun meeting people. I’m trying to sync up with a few groups and my channel gets a steady trickle of people who want to check me out. It has lead to a lot of interesting conversations and debates about Eve and some fantastic recipe ideas for dinner. I’m a firm believer that chat is about chat and I like to cook. It turns out that a lot of other Eve players do as well so we share our menus and come up with suggestions. It has a side effect of relaxing some who venture in and don’t want to step into a fitting discussion. I’m not scary and I’d never send someone away who might have my next creative meal idea just waiting for me. Dinner PvP is a go!

Next week is both my interview with Cap Stable and the VA/MD/DC meetup. I’m also still waiting for the final word to trickle down about Eve Vegas.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Call to Pew

Things must be going well for the merc corps of the area. This is the second or third time someone has hired mercenaries to kill us in the last two months. This time, it seems that we where shooting someones tower as a side project.  Basically, someone has an op based around a personal goal. These are often POS or POCO bashes. The other day, Floyde made one to kill a mobile depot that was littering a gate and annoying him. 

Anyway, Razor had an op for earlier today. I was at work. It seems that he was mailed before the op and warned away from trying to finish off the POS.

From: -----
Sent: 2014.03.15 17:34
To: -------
Hi friends
I want to warn you.
Your share of the murder of the stick Alliance RUST will be a complete failure.
So you better turn around and walk away)
That was like a dinner bell. What might have just been a kitchen sink response turned into an organized operation. The boys had just been told that a fight was to be had. So they went and fought.

Op success. It is always pleasant to have a fight, no matter what the outcome.

Rambling: An Expanded Response

[TL;DR: In which Sugar responds to a morality question presented by Ripard Teg and breaks down the topic into pieces]
"And yet I am not convinced of it," I answered. "The cases which come to light in the papers are, as a rule, bald enough, and vulgar enough. We have in our police reports realism pushed to its extreme limits, and yet the result is, it must be confessed, nether fascinating nor artistic."
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - A Case of Identity, Page 1, Paragraph 2
About two months ago my mother looked up from a news article she was reading and commented about how terrible the news has become. I picked up my kindle and read that passage to her. One hundred years ago, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote that paragraph as Watson spoke to Holmes at the start of a short story. Sensationalism is something that people bring along with them. We are, in general willing spectators to terrible things as long as those terrible things are not happening to us. People are voyeurs.

Ripard Teg presented a series of questions in my CSM thread based off of a of blog post that introduces a series he is writing about the Eve community. That particular series is not yet complete and already it has caused a stir among people. Rarely do I wish to comment on a topic where the writer has not yet completed his thoughts. There is too much room for confusion and assumption. However, the topic was brought to my doorstep so to speak and I decided to expand from my thread response.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Stranger Trade

I like Jita a lot. It fascinates me. The hundreds of ships that pour out of the undock amaze me. The battles on the station used to frighten me. The entire organised that is Jita fascinates me enough that I write fiction stories that rotate around Jita. The amusing thing is that in real life, a place like Jita gives me the creeps. I love going to open markets when I explore new places but I loathe the barter that will come with those markets. In Eve, I don't have to deal with the barter aspect and I can enjoy the people watching.

But I am not the only one watching people. I am also being watched. Imagine my surprise when I received a conversation invite for my buy alt from someone who wanted to sell me booster gas. They wanted to sell me a lot of booster gas and hopefully regularly. I often feel a bit sad that I cannot oblige someone in that way. I still added their name as a contact and I will try to buy from them in the future.

A little bit later, I received another conversation request on another alt I had in Jita at the same time. I had put some researched blueprints up for sale. It has been a long term project that I am terrible at. I'm pretty sure if the numbers line up I'm not making anything off of my research. Still, it gives my POS something else to do. Every three to six months I make a few hundred million from it. It is slow to pay off but I find making myself a cog in the machine an interesting pastime.

This conversation request was interesting.

Basically, the person messaged me and offered to trade one of the blue prints I had just listed for a PLEX. The price of the PLEX was about five million less than I listed the blueprint for. Good deal right? I should leap on this screaming at my good fortune. Instead, I politely declined.  "Why not?" they asked, "Not enough?". "I don't do station trades with strangers in Jita," was my response. They closed the conversion.

I do not do trades in Jita from people I do not know. I do trades between my own alts and sometimes corpmates. I've had random trades opened with me. I always close them. I'm not fully sure how this one would have gone down. I don't know if they'd have pulled the PLEX from the window and hope that I did not see it or what? They never offered money. They did not offer to contract me the PLEX and use the normal plex scam of adding it as an item given during the contract. They did not buy my contract or attempt to get me to lower my prices. I know they where doing something but exactly what that was, I am unsure of.

I also saw real contracts offered in Jita local on patch day. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blue and Black

I do wicked things. I spent the evening buying Police Pursuit Comet skins for my corpmates that wanted them. The blueprints are selling for around 9-10 million at the moment. They cost three million ISK and three thousand Concord loyalty points. I have tons of Concord loyalty points from running incursions. Normally, I buy meta dread modules for people but everyone wanted the new skins so I handed them out. I didn't even do a LP conversion. I just handed them to whomever wanted one. I even sold my Comet hull that's been hanging around for a year to a corpmate at the price I purchased it at a year ago. For shame. For shame. I support the ability to get new skins and my corpmates don't pay high prices for making their toys shiny.

I finally stopped spinning in indecisive circles and settled on the second rig for my Ishtar. Unlike many of our doctrine fits, the Ishtar's tend to be more personalized. I found myself dithering. It is an expensive ship that I wanted to fit correctly but everyone had a different version of what was correct. In the end, I settled for some stuff related to speed. My achilles' heel in this game is a lack of agility and speed in my ships. Plus, I felt weird about the entire drone thing. I started with drones but I wound up using guns. I spent a chunk of the fall on my drone skills so I might as well use them.

Altaen had a patch day op up. Let's go to the drone regions and see if we can make some chips drop for BPCs. We often don't undock on patch days but we decided to go and see if we could find glory and ISK. I picked up a Gallente Encounter Surveillance System as well. I figured with Comets selling like hotcakes and my own corpmates wanting them skinned we might as well pick a loyalty point type that would prove useful. It is a project at the least and one that hopefully would result in PvP.

So, fleet composed, off we went into the drone lands to shoot red crosses.

There I am, jumping through null sec in an Ishtar. The gate loads and I'm checking for the site when I hear, "Oh shit! There they come!" I immediately panic and start looking for a safe spot. With none I randomly pick a planet and get ready to bail. Only, local hasn't spiked. Instead, the ones who hit the site first are reacting to the spawn. As Altaen commented, "Oh shit!" is not the reaction one expects to hear from an NPC spawn. It happened another time and I growled, "Is this NPC oh shit or a fleet jumping into the system?"

Sometime, around two hours in, we found out that we where doing the drone Hierarchy sites incorrectly. Whoops. We're bad at this. We where just rolling in and destroying everything. The site didn't despawn and we stared at it in puzzlement and left. Because we're a kiting skirmish fleet of Ishtar it never occurred to us to move closer to the sites and the general documentation is bad. Really, we're bad. Absolutely terrible. We burned about a half dozen sites before we realized what we where doing wrong.

We fixed it but didn't get any drops. We had no idea how to make some of the sites complete. In general, we are bad at it. Also, I'm having all sorts of graphics issues. Stuttering, slow loading, screen freezes, and my mouse is not responding properly. I was trying to add someones alts are corporate contacts. I cannot right click on the standings window. I can with some names but not others. Similarly, I randomly cannot right click on my items menu when it is combined with my Station Services but I can click on those same items when they are a container. If this persists through the patch that I assume will happen tomorrow I will start writing bug reports.

I got handy with the ESS. I've not spent a lot of time with the mobile structures and this one makes my nemesis the evil bubble. I now have 2k Gallente Loyalty Points I did not have before. We split them across the fleet which was 10 or so people. At one point we almost caught a comet at someone elses we went to kill so that we could plant our own. The Comet left and we had no light tackle to grab him. Oh well. At hour three, past most of our bedtimes, we started to close up for the night. Half the fleet started filtering home and I found myself feeling like a growly monster as I suggested that we... you know... go home together in a somewhat organized fashion. I have a strong desire for organization when I am in a fleet and cohesive behavior. Some of it is just old memories of getting jumped and killed on gates when I tried to explore a little further than normal. I'm not the same newbie I was then but I'm also not suddenly a badass.

At the end of the day I like the Ishtar. I've been very hesitant to try it because everyone liked it. I'm not a ship hipster. I just tend not to like ships by stat only and all I ever hear about the Ishtar is stats. Lock range, dps range, dps figures, etc. Flying it, or at least, flying the nanoed version I've built, was pleasant. It felt good to fly. I find the sentry drone management part weird but I am learning to work with them and use my drone commands. Because, yes, we don't actually assist our drones to one person. In fact, we often split up to do all of the sites in a system at once. Blasphemy, I know. Still... it is a pretty ship (for I am a sucker for blue) and it was pleasant to fly. That's enough for me.

P.S. My opinion on the skins: If CCP is going to do microtransactions (and we know that they are. Remember people pitching a fit when they hired Sean Decker [conspiracy theorists say he must be an Evil Overlord] of Micro Transactions? Here are some articles about him and them.) I'd prefer it to be vanity focused like this. Covering my eyes and screaming isn't going to make it go away. I can at least influence it towards what I prefer. I'm not going to spend IRL money to make my ships that I am going to lose even more expensive. I'm going to buy Comets if it means burning every drop of Concord LP that I have and going back and doing more incursions  to push CCP's stats towards giving it to us as an in game option.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tacks in the Timeline

"I think at that point its safe to presume that said person personifies said organization's ideals, values and culture," said Dirty Protagonist also known as 7-2's CEO.
"Be careful DP before someone sees 7-2 as cuddly, tickling, bloggers," I commented in return.
We recently closed recruiting for a bit after getting a handful of interesting and diverse people apply to the corporation. Some have gotten in, some withdrew, and some have been declined. I find the declines the hardest. It is a hard decision. We're here to play and have fun but that decision to not enroll someone at a specific time, for the various reasons that comes along with it, is an important too. Unpleasant, perhaps, but important.

Every character in Eve has a corporation history. That corporation history is a semi-readable look into that players activities. Do they go inactive for months at a time? Do they never stay with a corporation for more than a few weeks? Do they have a habit of going for a particular type of corporation? Some people never settle into an Eve home and some people (such as myself) hit one almost from the start.

My own corporation history is very short. I've been in 3 corporations that where not self created corporations. I was in THC2 for a year and a half and I have been with 7-2 since I left THC. That has now been nine months. If one where to incorporate the personal history of the killboard they will see that I have been entwined with 7-2 since its creation and the change from THC2 to 7-2 would not be a surprising one.

I cannot run nor hide from these choices that I have made. I happen not to want to, but that is not the same for everyone. Many enter the game and try things out only to find themselves trapped by decisions they did not know they were making. There are people who will never be able to apply for a corporation or alliance because they once were part of another corporation or alliance. This has an interesting side effect when mixed with time. Groups change. This in fact happened to us when Rise of Legion changed ownership and the group we were fighting last year and the group that wandered back into the area six months later were no longer the same.

But, so often people are judged by their current corporation or previous corporation history. It is an understandable if unfortunate consequence to this socially powered game. Eve has a solid history of people with certain play styles exhibiting certain behaviors. There are corporations known for their behaviors and actions and people react off of them. I'm no saint on this aspect when it comes to groups that I have had bad interactions with in the past. But, I am not my group even though I am my group. When someone challenges me that I am one thing because they believe 7-2 is that thing I can attempt to counter but it will be their choice if they wish to see beyond the corporation ticker.

That is one reason we fly with people who apply. The application process in 7-2 is similar in that respects to THC2. While 7-2 has an actual application that is gone over, criticized, trolled, or swooned over, it is only one part of the process. "Come fly with us," is the most important part. No matter how good someone is on paper, in words, or while hanging out, if we cannot get along in space we cannot function as a corporation. That is how this corporation works and it will not be the same for every group out there. But, it works for us. At the most someone might try to spy to awox a capital fleet. That amuses me. We manage to kill our big toys quite well on our own.

For some people, that requirement of 'fly with us for a while' is to ambiguous. They applied and they want a yes or a no. We cannot give that to them. While at times, disappointing, the outcome is a higher probability that everyone will mesh. I remind myself of this when I hear people rejected for previous alliances. There are some, I am sure, who would reject me for my past in the game. With cultures come stereotypes. It is up to each to decide what they can or cannot live with or without. The longer I play the more I come to understand the importance of some form of internal harmony in corporation, alliance, or coalition.  In a perfect world ones past would be forgiven. But this internet world of ours is no more perfect than the reality that we escape.

Hopefully our newest members are ready to become cuddly, tickling, bloggers.

Rubicon 1.3 - Gizoogle Patch Notes

I downloaded Rubicon 1.3 today. For the first time in a long time a patch hit on my day off. This is because it was delayed by a day but that does not stop my celebration. I patched when I got up, did my morning chores, and settled down to do logistics for both TCS and an Op tonight. However, people kept asking about the changes that had happened.

The offical patch notes can be found here. A pastebin for work access is here. Please, read them. There are changes to ships, changes to sites, new items dropping, and other changes such as the camera itself. My Jaguar's colors are brighter and many ships look different. Dscan is changed. Chat channels have new options. There is a lot going on in this patch.

But for those who do not want to read the patch notes from CCP, I have provided them here. They may be a big blingged out but Gizoogle is the best translation program ever to figure out the true meaning of patch notes.