Friday, October 31, 2014

Rambling: Free

Today I came across a discussion in Eve Uni chat where a particular player said he felt that CCP was setting Eve up to go free to play. The changes in the trial accounts sealed it for him. With them leaving so many skills open that a trial account cannot reach, he feels that it is the first door opening to change.

I disagreed. He ignored me and continued on his points. I disagreed. He ignored me some more. Not being successful in the communication point I found myself thinking that it was a ludicrous idea. Of course it is. Ha, Ha. But if I'm honest with things, it is one I've heard before on other blogs and forums.

"Be the Villain"

I hunted down the "be the Villain" add that one sees for Eve on the internet. I've been following a lot of threads. Many of them go, "Eve advertises you to be the villain." This is also in reference to some blog posts some months ago. But today, I finally tripped across what I was looking for.

It's an add for Eve. It contains four images in the order below.

It does end with Be the Villain. That doesn't suprise me. It is rather shocking marketing wise. But it is not the only part of the advert nor I feel the entire focus.

An Undocked Adventure

With the minutes released, a weight was off of my shoulders and everything has become a bit easier to focus on. I was logged in and on coms when someone reported a Rhea jumping into Tama on what looked like a badly positioned cyno. Per the report the Rhea appeared to be a few kilometers off of the station and dithering between warping or going to dock.

Tama is a system with a station that can be a pain to dock at.

Not the worst station in the world but not the best. Now, when I light cynos at stations like this I do my best to hug the center of the station and work up or down. I'd probably light my cyno in between some of the poking out bits under them down by the spire.

That reminds me of a nifty guide I was shown. It comes from this forum thread where the poster took a guide on station docking ranges and added where he cynos in on stations. I don't agree with all of his cyno positions that is only because of my personal comfort level. It is useful if you have never cynoed into or even seen some of these stations.

Anyway, this Rhea came in and it was not a good position. The person who saw the jump could not bump. I flipped into a Cynabal. It seems I was not the only one to do so. Warp speed was the reason. A little Cynabal herd shot out of Sujarento and roared towards Tama with no actual belief that we'd land on the Rhea. Of course, the Rhea was still there.

Grarr landed the first bump. I managed to not warp to the nice corporate bookmark and just to the station meaning I had to burn 60k to assist. The nice part? Shield cynabal at full speed slammed into the Rhea next. Now we had multiple points and someone landed in a Machariel. That was that.

I think that this is one of my biggest nightmares. It seems whenever I cyno onto a station I am facing away from the station. I have a moment of panic. Sometimes, the station takes a moment to load and I find myself gasping a bit wondering if I made a mistake....

Killing haulers is not a glorious battle. It however, is an exciting event. Killing this hauler and seeing that it was full of stuff, we broke out haulers and looted the wreck as fast as we could. With everything dumped in the corporation hangers. I love loot. I've never ransomed people but I love looting wrecks.

That was my adventure. My last two kills have been freighters now. Weird habit that.

On a side note, thanks to the 10 day offer Holykittens has returned to the game. Kittens and I started at the same time and he joined my first corp. When I left, I dragged him along and we've had a close, comfortable relationship ever since. He has been unsubbed however and I am not in a position to bring him into my current corporation. He is corporation hunting and I have said I will help. He is social, likes fleets, wants to pewpew stuff, doesn't mind doing other things, and in general is somewhat silly and utterly wonderful.  If anyone has suggestions, let me know.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CSM 9 Summer Summit Minutes are Released

Two days early, the CSM 9 Summer Summit Minutes have been released. You can download them here. It is a PDF of roughly 140 pages.

It is quite the weight off of my shoulders for the minutes to be out. To no longer sit on all of that information is quite the relief. Plus, I can discuss things in more details.

The minutes are a big deal simply because they are one of the actual 'tasks' that the CSM has to do and they are quite an important one. In the minutes you see the interaction of the CSM with CCP. A lot of information and detail about what is going on comes out.

There is also going to be a lot of different writing styles. Nine people contributed to the minutes out of the thirteen members of the CSM who attended. Gorski gets a pass because he was not given his CSM position until after the Summit and the submission of the minutes to CCP. At one point there was a question of more homogenization. It would be nice yes, but the minutes are a tremendously large task. I was more interested in people getting them written. To stop and try to force everyone into the same style would slow down and perhaps hinder the progress. I didn't want to add more to the people who were churning through the information for consumption. So, you get the interpretation and processing of each member.

I wrote nine sessions. There was a comment made before the Summit about people being 'all talk' when they said they would work on the minutes. Also, there was a comment about 'quality' of minutes written. The reason that I was able to do as many sessions as I was is simply a matter of familiarity with that type of information processing. I spent several years as a police dispatcher and one of the important parts of that job is not adding anything into what is being said and listening and properly repeating things. There is a game called Telephone played by school children. It can even be used by adults and it shows how information can be warped and distorted. One of my jobs has been to just listen and process the information as a conduit instead of a filter. That is how I approached the minutes. I cleared my schedule for the two weeks and they where my focus every evening. Mix that in with my love of writing and my typing speed and I chewed through sessions.

However, I'll let people decide on how they like my transcription and if they feel they are of reasonable quality. I picked transcription because I feel it is important to preserve the discussion. It is how you see the CSM members in action. I wanted you to see as much of me at the Summit as I could give. It will be how many people will judge me as a member of the CSM.

My sessions:

  • General Low Sec 
  • Corps and Alliances 
  • Content Tools 
  • Web Team 
  • Veteran Player Retention 
  • Nullsec 
  • Economy Overview 
  • Ships and Module Balancing 
  • Team Bananastand 
Low sec was the easiest session to write because I talked nonstop during it. Ships and Module Balancing was the hardest. Null sec took the longest. I twas originally Force Projection and Null sec in two back to back sessions that we turned into one two hour block. Veteran Player Retention was the weirdist because I took the things the vets said to me and and used htem for this session.On top of that there was so much detail and I didn't want to miss anything or misrepresent anyone.

The hardest part of being at the Summit was trying to represent many different view points. I don't have a single demographic that comes and talks to me. My Summit Document was composed of over forty questions and ideas from players all over the game. That does not include my own items. It means that I bring up topics that someone does not like because it matters to someone else. Then, I may bring up a conflicting opinion later, because that is another subject. It feels weird to argue against myself but sometimes that is what had to be done because there are more sides then Sugar's in these discussions.

I don't blindly take everything that is given to me. I will engage people in a discussion on a topic. Some things are easier then others. However, I can't only use my game and what affects me to build off of. I'd be ridiculously limited and everyone would run around low sec making markets full of Jaguar's.

I was going to write a thank you list of the names. I keep everyone's name so that I can properly credit them. Then, I worried that would be unwanted. Some people are very private. I think I'll just write a bunch of Eve Mail this weekend to people to direct them to the minutes to find their answered question and thank them for taking the time to interact with me. I've learned that interaction is not to be taken for granted and deeply appreciate when people come to me with things. There are a lot of people and a lot of things out there and I can't find them all on my own.

There are things that did not come up. Some of these items are just not on CCP's plate right now. I simply condensed them down and will take them to the Winter Summit.  Hopefully people like what they see. I'm happy to improve as I can. This was a first time event for me and I know I can do better. Maybe, not have such an irritating nervous laugh when I talk next time.

Being prepared was important.

My CSM organization efforts.

There is so much information flowing back and forth that having all of my questions written down let me express them. I didn't expect to have a solid block of time for the low sec session. When CCP Fozzie looked at me I was like, "Urp. Here I go. Let this be good," and I unloaded everything. You have to be able to think on your feet and react and comment. CCP Fozzie caught me in a neat trap by taking my goal of mobility in low sec and pointing out that it does not work with static DED sites. However neat that trap was, I could not not speak about static DED sites because there is still an unhappy community about their removal. Then things like the destroyer link ship came up. Okay, well, what do I think of that? Sure? What have people said? What have I read? All of that needs to come up now because I need to say something.

The hardest part is dropping the self in the conversation and presenting sides that may be detrimental to yourself and your game play. Catching supers in low sec is an important topic. Snuff Box is a corporation with supers. But, I can't ignore or side step that. 

And I may not always be right. I can't make everyone happy. Sometimes, people wonder why I didn't say their view. I can only ask, "Did you bring that view to me?" I'm happy to listen to why you think I'm wrong or what is a better idea. I believe it is what I have done and it is what I will continue to do.

Not much was snipped by NDA. CCP Seagull was very open and honest. I captured her talk at Eve Vegas because it was very much what she had said to us during the summit sessions she sat in on. I wanted people to hear what she said and how she said it. I've seen a lot of quotes from that session and that is good. It means people are listening. Many things have been said that answer questions or show where a person is heading in their concept of Eve. I find it a better experience then bitter assumptions.

So, these are the minutes and the most tangible report card I can give you. I'll be finishing up my halfway through post in the next few days. This may be a CSM heavy blog post week.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Puttering in Space

Let me talk about my tiny, industrial goals.

Niden recently interviewed me about industry and markets in low sec. He wrote it up here, on his column Low Life on Crossing Zebras. One thing I did say to him at the start was that he might wish to find someone who was more industry focused. For some reason he settled with me. I was super honest and said things like, "I don't know."

I compare myself to many of the industrialists I know, who make their living off of it and feel a bit shamed. If anyone remembers the skit by Eddie Murphy when he discusses how his friends have McDonalds and his mother makes him a burger, that is about how I feel. I don't let that stop me however. As unbeautiful as my burger may be, it is still mine and I can look to aspire to bigger and fancier industrial goals.

My last post was discussing my need to reevaluate how I am handling my marketing. This ties into my industrial goals. In some ways, I've had these plans in place for a while. I've been slowly slotting them in as I worked on other things. Deciding to take some of my wanted down time to be productive with these goals I consolidated and moved my blue print collection.

In a way I regret every blue print I have sold over the past few years. For a while, my blue prints where a side income. I had a POS. Putting things into research forever was fairly useful and a passive way to squeeze a bit more ISK out of my endeavors. Now however, all of those lovely perfect cruiser blueprints I research I'd like to have back. I don't think hunting people down and moaning at them will make them give them back.

My first round of frigate blueprints are coming out of the oven fully researched. I have some destroyer, cruiser, and battlecruiser blueprints. I also have some stacks of blue print copies obtained  in many various ways. The two things that excite me most in a wreck are shiny, shiny modules and blueprints. God I love blueprint drops. I'd get all excited every time wondering what wonders I had found. Rarely did anyone want them, except when we scored capital blueprints so I often got them. It was glorious.

Now I've set up my little nest egg. It will take a while to finish researching what I want to research. The general goal is to stop shipping hulls. They are bulky and clutter up my freighter. I am not sure if this idea or concept will actually work. I'm not sure if it will pay for itself or be profitable. I think it will be super fun.

Somewhere along the line I can start inventing things as well. That, however, will mean another POS and I'm not sure if I'm ready to have a POS again. However, my industry alt has been training her little heart out and she should be an amazing T2 manufacturer once I start.

My mineral hoard is moved. I also moved over some Procurers for evil, how dare I use that alt to idly mine in another window and I should be ashamed of myself according to someone, mining with that alt when I'm doing things like writing blogs. I'm rather pleased. I'm putting my life back together, resetting up my bases, and getting a grip on things again.

I also found a random Deimos I must have purchased because it was super cheap. That reminds me of my cheap Orca I have sitting in Rens that I should sell or use. I still have not done asset cleanup.

Monday, October 27, 2014

TCS: Selfishness and Adaptation

I was told that I could whine and throw myself a little pity party for a TCS post if just I'd write one. Armed with permissions I gleefully looked to write a long saga about the trials and tribulations of the CSM balancing with my market attempts.

That post didn't quite happen. I find that writing about how bad I feel for myself makes me feel a bit stupid. However, there was truth in the fact that the negatives and hardships that are part of running TCS should be shared. Not everyone who picks up markets in a vein similar to mine will join the CSM and find their time consumed. However, other types of game time consumption do and will happen to most of us.

I often bemoan that I don't feel as if I fit in with a lot of market bloggers. They make ISK by the billions, per month. Some months TCS makes a billion ISK in pure profit after everything else but that is not common. However, that is no ones fault but my own. I don't run TCS like a proper business so it should be no surprise that it does not respond like one.

One admission that I had to make over the summer is that I would not be able to continue TCS at my previous levels. It simply took to much time to maintain and groom a market of that size. Even with my tools and familiarity, nothing removes the simple time factor of entering market orders. When I gave up my Bosena office (150 mil ISK a month anyone?) that increased the speed that my market handling degraded.

Ever since I picked up the market as a part of my game play in Eve I have much lamented the unfulfilled potential of running a store in Eve. It is right there, out of my grasp. My perception is skewed towards what I do and what I discovered I enjoyed doing, but having a truly functional storefront ability seems like it would be interesting and immersive for those who want to ply their trade and wares.

But beyond that, one of my larger problems is simply the fact that I created TCS as a project to help other people. I did not create it as a way to fund my own gameplay. It is something that it can do. TCS does not lose ISK. But I still work around the idea of using that money to grow and expand TCS and to fund projects and other people. For a while, I would buy ship hulls for people who where low on ISK and high on PvP. I'd fund Rawrcat fleets and ship peoples items mixed into my own shipments.  I also used that ISK to expand TCS and to invest in the POCOpore. The POCOs give a low but steady return and the expansions into Battleships are somewhat paying off in the fact that the store has liquid ISK again.

This sounds great and wonderful. It is a problem however because I created TCS around the goal of giving the locals everything they'd want and need at reasonable prices. That means that instead of focusing on what sells and makes a good return I have instead focused on what needs to be available for the whims of the low sec PvPer.

It turns out that is a very hard goal to keep up with. As players improve their skills they broaden the selection of items available to them. It leads to flavor of the week or month habits among those I am used to flying with. Someone works up a fit and flies that for a while. Others often fly complimentary ships to it. For months shield rigs may not move as kiting armor is in vogue. Or missiles will stay stagnant for months until someone feels like blowing the dust off of their launchers.

An example of my most recent Eve Mentat update.

I am a bit sad. I also now realize how much time and energy I was throwing into keeping Bosena afloat. It was a lot. And because it was a personal project it was not considered to be anything other then my own personal project. Lacking the time, that project has also diminished. It is not dead. It is far from dead. But I don't have the time to put into it that I had to keep it at seven hundred orders. I'm a bit ashamed and a bit embarrassed of that fact but it is a reality that I have to accept.

Things have changed. I no longer live in Molden Heath. Shipping is harder then it was back in the spring. Between surcharges for ganking and my attempts to move items through other means and hte delays that they impose my entire market structure has changed.

To my amusement, I noticed a lack of boosters on the market. For months, while I kept them stocked, others pushed me out of that market. Now, months after I have stopped making them, the others have left. The greatest weakness of a low sec market, for I cannot speak for null or high, is that someone must be dedicated to it. Someone must love it and shape it and keep it maintained. There are to many factors fighting against he market for it to just grow and thrive as a living thing tended by dozens of people with various goals.

Perhaps, my biggest mistake was that I refused to raise prices. If I had raised prices I could have just forced the increased shipping costs onto others. I could have eaten the office bill and pushed that onto my customers. But they are also not mistakes. I was very interested in running the market as I wanted to run it. That meant doing things under the terms of how I wanted to. I do know that I have been extreme but I wanted to see what would happen.

That is why I've documented what I do. Sometimes it works out well. My entire concept of a low sec market works. Reasonable prices work. But some extremes stop working at a point. I've perhaps reached that point.

Bosena's diminishing, for I will not call it death for it is not dead and shall not die just yet, started when someone said to me that they were going to spend their money in another system where someone had everything they needed, unlike me. It was a bit after the elections and things where just kicking into full swing. I was hurt. It still stings. But, that was the moment when I learned that unless I gave everything I'd probably not be able to maintain Bosena as one person and do anything else in the game. I learned that what I had done did not matter for some peoples now.  And I also realized that I was not selfless enough to give up the rest of Eve to provide a market of often obscure needs so that I could watch other's go and have fun while I moved freighters and frantically compiled last minute shopping lists for fleets that I couldn't go on because I'd used my time shipping and stocking and my game time was done for the day. Sometimes, I to, just wanted to play.

I believe that I can continue to give the low sec community a valuable asset with creating markets while being a bit more selfish. A solidly stocked market is still valuable. I regret that I may not be able to keep it to the levels that make me preen with pride. But I have other duties. As long as I do the CSM thing my game time will always be divided. It is not something that I regret. It is a choice that I made and I will have to accept that it is not a good enough excuse for some.

I do not know if I will raise prices to compensate for shipping or just work with a smaller market that I can work into my time, easier. I suspect that it will be some hybrid of the two. It will be a new chapter into what I do as I take what I have learned and adapt them to what my game life is now. I've been clinging to what I had and that was my greatest mistake.

Lessons have been learned. Mistakes have been made. Eve is not static. I cannot be static nor can TCS always be the same. Eve environment has changed and TCS shall adapt to change with it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

CSM9 - Day 176

Last week was perhaps my quickiest and dirtiest weekly post. I'll try to do a bit better this time.

We're down to nine days before Phoebe is launched. There have been stacks of dev blogs and several threads on the forums covering everything else.

Naming conventions have come up with Oceanus and now with Phoebe. We're really not agreeing with CCP on the direction names have taken. With Oceanus it was a blandness that made the eyes cross and took away from the sci-fi feel and theme. For Phoebe the 'blighted' names brings way to much of a fantasy feel to it. Also, blighted and uber powerful guns just don't work together.

It is amazing how much power there is in a name. I think that we see it in these last few weeks as items are renamed and new names introduced. I think a 'hyper velocity cannon' would sound great and be reasonable and easy to understand. Even a hyper special cannon or something along those lines sounds interesting and science fictionish.

There is also the fact that at current stats, the blighted weapons do not seem very good or at least not good enough for people to use them over other things. Options and choice and decisions are all very good words to use but the item has to fall into a category where it will be used. Being balanced by potential cost and availability is a hindrance for ganks perhaps but it is also a hindrance for usage. Plus, eventually, everything balances out. As long as they are expensive people will hunt down the pieces to sell them and push the cost down. I think they are a great idea but I don't think they are where they need to be to create something interesting to play with and try new things with.

Stealth Bombers: I've received a lot of good feedback. This was also a common topic at Eve Vegas. The usage of stealth bombers and ISBoxer is a very hot topic for the community and CCP Fozzie said that the use of ISBoxer is not why the changes made, were made. In fact he clearly posts in the thread the reason why. ISBoxer is tightly tied up into the concept of bombing fleets these days due to several prominent bombing ISBoxers. My personal stance in ISBoxer is the same. I'd prefer it was outright and clearly banned. However, the Stealth Bomber thread is not about ISBoxer. CCP Fozzie has also said that they are looking over the changes again after all the feedback for them. Keep up the good posting and solid ideas and counters.

Speaking of ship balancing, CCP Fozzie points out some of the design goals for various T2 ships based off of their ship yards in the Heavy Interdictor thread.

The starbase weapon rebalance is being pushed back to December.

The Multisell dev blog came out. I went onto the test server to try it out. Selling things is quite different. I think that the window will save a lot of time all together but I advise people to give it a try and get their suggestions for tweaks in, now. Some areas are moved around. There is a gear/sprocket that now contains the customization areas. When I tested it there was an irritating popup menu that said 'sold' on it. That, per the thread, seems to be a temporary thing.

And don't forget about the mission objective tracker along with a few other changes to give more clues about the status of missions.

Some other stuff:
Corbexx put together a nice little spreadsheet for POS usage information. He is pretty much wallowing in it from wormholes. However! Lots of people use POS and we're finding that people use them for every reason under the sun. I'm putting everything I've gathered into it. Then we'll bundle it together for the devs to read as they are looking towards the future of POS.

The minutes?
Due out by next week. I'm hoping things are still on schedule. We did discuss it some at Eve Vegas.

Making Noise:
Things in general have calmed a little bit. I have fewer new threadnoughts to read having caught up so I've been putting some time into the forums and posting on them. I'm not much of a poster on Eve's forums. That environment has never been my medium. I do read them however and when I have something to say, I try to speak. I don't really want to just make noise to make noise because I have the CSM ticker but sometimes people make that request of me.

I scheduled my open chat. As for the others, I will invade Eve Uni public mumble for the accessibility to everyone that wishes to join in. I'm going to go for November the 15th at 1500 and 2200. That's a Saturday. As always these talks have no set format. They are a sit down and talk, listen, and discuss things. I do these so that people can have casual voice time with me and whatever other CSM members I drag along. My native environment is this blog and in game channels but I don't wish for them to be the only way that people feel they can talk to me. I also want people to feel as if they are talking with me, not just listening to me talk or someone else talk to me. That is why I do an open chat.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Let Them Choose a Way

Let's talk about options.

CCP Rise discussed an idea he has been kicking around in his spare time of permanent death. He pointed out that it is an idea as old as Eve it is just one that has never been achieved. He also said that how it would be implemented is still a series of ideas or guesses. It, like many things that have been said and will be said, is an idea.

I like the idea of permanent death and I say that as someone who will never, ever use the option. The thing is that I like options. I have also pushed for players that start to have more options in how they start the game. To move back and use another game as an example, I shall use Skyrim. I love Skyrim with all of my heart and soul and when I finally started to use mods for Skyrim I picked mods that did not give me special bonuses but instead gave me more options to live in the game world.

I picked a mod that gave me an alternate start. It threw me out somewhere to the west. I was immediately chased by wolves and dragons. Did I mention that I added a 'more' dragon mod? It made them appear everywhere and try to kill me constantly. Then, I ran through a bandit camp and they chased me to. Off into a snow storm I ran, heading roughly towards my icon with nothing but a stick, a pack of wolves chasing me, and bandits shooting me with arrows.

I loved it. I eventually worked my way to the start of the normal game but it took a while for that to happen. During that time I tripped over all sorts of things in the game environment, I died a few times, and in general I had refreshed a game that I had already put hundreds of hours into.

The idea of things like permanent death or alternate starts in Eve are very much for the people who want to pick them as options. No one has suggested that they will be the only way to play Eve. They would just be another way to play. With new ways to play will come new cultures. What spurred me to write this was a comment that permanent death would make people more risk adverse. I don't agree. In fact, I think that if we opened up more and different pathways for people to enter the game on their own terms we might shed some of unwritten rules that we have now.

Perhaps we have to many bottlenecks for new players. My theory is that if people had more options in how they started the game they'd therefore enter the game with a different mindset. If someone chose to enter with a permanent death mode, they'd behave in a different manner from someone who entered and followed a tutorial string. If another decided to take a 'just start' mode where they were randomly dropped into space and had to figure things out for themselves, they'd develop their knowledge of the game based off of the fact that they started knowing they'd need to go out and learn.

Our current tutorial simply funnels too many people into one mindset. If Eve were a game like many others where there were directions and pathways that a player went on until they reached endgame, that would be fine. But Eve is a game where we need people to decide on their personal destiny rather quickly. Even if they don't know what that is, the fact that they are looking for one is a good start.

While I think the new player start that they are working on will give people a less structured box to learn in, I still believe that including other random methods to start with no goal of assisting the player is good. If someone selects these options they have already made a series of personal decisions. They are also prepared to seek knowledge because they just told the game, "naw, I don't want your starter stuff."

I'm a great believer in options.

Ramblings: Clearing My Mind

I was writing some very boring words about moving items for my market. They made sense but bored me into not being able to complete them. I was just saying the same thing that I've said before. I'm worn out enough that just stocking the market is about the full extent of my energy right now. It turns out I was sick by the time I got back home. My husband brought it with him when he flew in. Nice of him.

Then my fan died today which left me without a machine for much of my time. However, a trip to the store and some searching and things are back to normal. I'm still in an odd state where I feel as if I have things to say but not much is coming out.

My normal method for that is to write through it anyway even if I have no point and make little sense along the way. With Eve Vegas past us and the release of the minutes coming up I think I am rather wound up. I should just start writing my halfway through my term post because I think that is what is clogging up the writing.

Then there is also negativity. Eve Vegas is a very positive place and stepping outside of it is much like walking wet and naked into a blizzard. It is a bit surprising and not the most pleasant thing one can do. When compared to the positive energy I had just left, it was a bit disappointing. But then, no reality is always fun and pleasant just as no reality is only negativity.

Over the weekend I talked to a lot of people about a lot of different things. I talked about markets as much as I talked about low sec. There has been some follow up from that. Niden for instance asked me a bunch of questions about industry and trade. I often don't feel as if I'm the most qualified person to ask these things and I tend to say that. His questioning thou, about industry and markets and the coming of Phoebe fit neatly into what I was doing which was restocking Bosena and being frustrated at how life, the universe, and everything else can make something that seems simply so damn hard.

When I first started TCS, I did a lot of my own moving. I slowly started to split it due to the sheer number and value of items I was moving. Once I reached the CSM I turned it fully over to others. I was using Red Frog and spent a good bit of time venturing into private hauling. The reliability and speed of Red Frog kept me a stable customer. My use of independent hauling services has been very hit or miss. However, Red Frog has added a huge surcharge for shipping through Udema. I don't blame them but it has caused me yet another layer of difficulty when it comes to getting stuff moved.  CODE took over the haulers channel and they have since moved and are restarting under a new name.

Instead of one huge things it is a series of little things that causes me to struggle. It seems like such a simple thing, moving stuff around and selling things. Just press button and receive ISK. I just write a few contracts, buy a few items... but it never works quite that neatly.

I've tried PushX before and I am trying them again. For regular, vanilla contracts they tend to sit till they are close to expiration. This is still a bit better then public contracts which are hit or miss when not on regular routes. For regular routes public contracts are the best way to go.

But I'm not good at regular routes. I'm not good at sticking to the sure thing of selling at trade hubs and working the market there. Hell, I'm not even capable of doing the sensible thing when it comes to industry and instead follow my own fancy most of the time. That makes simple things in Eve absurdly frustrating at times.

But that frustration is what is so damn cool about the game. The fact that Phoebe is causing changes that are rippling in expected and unexpected ways amazes me. I absolutely love the life of the game. I hate being inconvenienced but at the same time the way changed slam into each other and make new and different pathways is amazing.

There has been a lot of change in this last six months for me. Some of it has been great and some of it exhausting. Phoebe will bring more then I think we assume and expect. It may just be my absolute lack of speculative ability kicking in. I think I'll work on my Sunday post and on my six month post and see if that clears things up for me. Life, in general is back to normal as well with no travel plans for a bit.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Eve Vegas 2014 - General Game Design

This was a bit boarder in topic but it was very much ask questions about Eve. This topic also had some longer discussion that I often did not include. One of those was in the realms of AFK cloaking. That had a long discussion attached to it and I wrote very little because it is the same arguments that have been going on for years.

There has been talk to censor these questions to 'good' questions. People ask what they want to ask. It is why they come. So enjoy both good and bad questions and know no one would censor you and tell you how to ask questions the right way.

Q: There have been a lot of changes to blueprints. Some people have invested what equals centuries of time into researching blueprints. There was no type of compensation when the blueprint research was changed and that time was lost where skills are at least reimbursed or something is given for other things that change.
A: We know that people have a lot of time invested into some things. But we are trying not to be afraid of changing things that need to be changed because of it. Industry was changed to improve things in a larger way in the game.

Q: How about giving us some free skill points to help when we lose things like research time that we've been heavily invested in?
A: Unallocated skill points are one of the most powerful things in the game. We have to be careful when we had them out.

Q: This was a longer question and commentary that wrapped up into the fact that there will be some major combat changes after Phoebe. What does CCP see in the future of this?
A: We have been trying things to create different types of combat situations. The ESS are an example of something we tried to experiment with that did not do as well as we hoped. We've had ideas for taking the asteroid belts and turning them into a super belt where people interacted across that belt and they'd be there doing many different things. We want more reasons for people to cross each other in space while just playing.

Q: How do you feel about the current T3 meta?
A: They are very strong. e will be passing over them. Some subsystems are used some are never used. We'd like there to be interesting choice with the usage.
A: I feel we have been trying to find a way to put a more mechanical pressure on logistics. Some idea will come to us that will achieve this.

Q: Ship Skins. A demo was shown that would give more options in the future?
A: Some of that is art and some of that is us deciding how extreme we want it to go. Do we just release faction skins? Do players submit skins? Do we just let you do whatever you want with everything
(Note: There were some general requests here for the ability to color ships to ones hearts content and promise/threats that they will make pink ships if CCP lets them.)

Q: In game EFT type tool
A: Tuxford wants to have a fitting tool in the game. We'd like to add them. We're not fully sure what we would do. If we'd try to fully replace a player built tool like EFT and Pfya or if we'd just try to give some of the stats and information. Things like importing from these player built projects is a good step and CCP Seagull is passionate about supporting that type of interfacing.

Q: You discussed using frigates to get to places. How we can just jump into an interceptor or assault frigate and go twenty jumps. How about reducing clone costs for vets if you expect us to get into these ships. And what content for veteran players have you looked at making and what type of progress goals do you have for those of us who don't have anything left to learn.
A: CCP Foxfour discussed his presentation.
A: The clone upgrade system is a weak system. Clones however are tightly tied to lore and the game itself. They are learning towards removal but its something they want to adjust down in general. The 30% reduction showed absolutely no change in clone costs. They don't know if that's just because of what clone usage is like or if it is just because 30% was not enough of a decrease to matter to people.
Q: If they remove clone costs would there be a SP loss mechanic still?
A: No. The entire mechanic would be scrapped for something better. People are still having loss on death and they don't want to discourage people from undocking. Ship loss is already a penalty that people get. Clone loss is another penalty on top of that.

Q: Suggesting of an implant insurance scheme to give implants an insurance level of some type.
A: Insurance is an ISK faucet not a sink. To make the insurance worth it they have to open another faucet. They are careful wit that.
A: It is easy to look at the bad medical clone system on its own. Then an implant system is another thing to look at on its own.

Q: Do you plant o release more genolution implants?
A; We always reserve the right to rerelease them when we want to.

A discussion on how logistics and ewar do not scale well.

Q: Now that we have multi sell can we have multi buy?
A: Hopefully

Q: How about clone fatigue for jumping? After so many deaths skill loss starts?
A by Fozzie: That's a very harsh penalty for undocking. Skill loss is very delicate and one of the harshest penalties in Eve.
A by Rise: Id prefer that if we have loss there was more reward or more choice. Not a pure penalty. That makes people not want to play.

Q: Instead of losing skill points you can't undock?
A: We always want players to undock

Q: Jump fatigue is going to severely hamper BlOps. Can we warp cloaked now to at least give us something to do while we wait?
A: We are wiling to consider it when we rebalance

Q: Cloaky AFK campers? My people log in, see the cloaky camper and log out. They can't play. This is botting!
A: No it is not botting. They are not killing you while they are afk. We do want interesting game play around cloaking and hunting cloakers. We know that there is a psychological thing going on with people more then anything else. Wormholers function fine with cloaky campers.
(Note: This thing went into a rather long back and forth over cloaky camping)
A: We'd like to replace local with a better set of intel tools for Sov holders.

Q: Can we drop out of local?
A: Its a bit to strong to just cut oneself out in the current method. But it is a possibility when we rebalance.

Q: Can Covert ops can turn their covert ops cloak on under gate cloak?
A: That's a bit strong

Q: Decloak bubbles?
A: That is a big strong. It creates a gate camping tool

Q: Clean up skills like advanced target management where there is no reason to learn it beyond a point because almost no ship can even use it in a reasonable way?
A: We are doing a touch up of skills as we cross them and cleaning up legacy things and old quirks

Q: Fitting ships of many types sucks. Mass fitting and mass price quites to buy a fit. Right now it all sucks.
A: Multisell is a first step in this direction

And that is it for the round table sessions I took notes for!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ranting: Reviews and Behavior

My own time in Vegas has moved to vacation from Eve related events. I spent some time over the last two days writing my notes. I still have one more session to write up and one session that wound up not having many notes.

CCP Manifest created a feedback thread early on Sunday to get peoples feedback. This wrapped into the community team's request for feedback from the attendees.

Eve Vegas 2014 - Ship and Module Round Table

I am in a food coma from the buffet as I try to look over the scrawled lines of black that constitutes my fast note handwriting. This session was one of the longest and most crowded which will surprise no one. It also started first thing in the morning so it filled after it started leading to some possible rehashes of topics. A few times we go on about a topic for quite a while and have discussions.

In general, in feedback from the convention, we have asked for these to be recorded in some way. Until then, here is my rehash.

Q: Make the new T3 Minmatar Destroyer vertical.
A: I'd like that as well and will bring it up with the art team.

Q: New jump changes - Black ops don't have any long distance repping ships.
A: These limits are known. BlackOps are unique in what they do. I don't think we will make a mass produced Etena to go along with them. but we are not happy with the current state of T3 repping subsystems.

Q: Battle Cruiser and Battleship warp speeds. They are so slow that it feels as if we are giving up too much potential and possibility to use these ships.
A: We want there to be a large, noticeable difference in warp speeds between the classes.

Q: Specifics on the Tug?
A: Two and a half fitted battleships maybe.
Q: Slots and rigs?
A: It should have some slots.

Q: This was a question about improving the Nidhoggur's rep bonuses for structures for the most part and its lack of bonuses.
A: We could buff the reps. We can consider looking at the capital reps. We are reducing the hit points on these structures.

Q:  Last year there was discussion about links coming on grid as an important change.
A: It is still on the radar. We want warfare links to be in battle or in range. But doing it in a performance way is still behind the scenes.

Q: Systems with link jammers? (Sov upgrade I believe)
A: Maybe it is something we can consider. It would not be something you could just mass spam to every single system.

Q: How about if links lasted for a set time and then had to be reaplied?
A: We will probably go that way.
(Note: There was some discussion about buffs and debuffs and more flexability to what linking was and how it worked somewhere in this general area.)

Q: Will we get scram drones?
A: Scramming drones are not something I think we will do.
(Note: There was a brief discussion about some broken aspects of e-war drones at the moment and them saying they may give drones a break from being touched for right now.)

Q: Force Projection - How about tying down capital ships to a logistical base. That type of cost and anchoring does not seem to exist. Something like they are teetered to depending on a PI colony on a planet or something to support them. Countries can't just deploy all their carriers because of logistical limitations and I don't see that in Eve.
A: The idea has been bounced around a lot. The fuel cost is one anchoring cost that caps have. We raised that recently, remember? But doing it in a way that fights against playing the game is not fun. It would be hard to make this fun and interesting game play. Also, we don't have a date for a super rebalance but when we do we want to rebalance them from the ground up.

Q: 1000MN MWD?
A: We have thought about it. The problem is making it more then a fast align module and having interesting reasons to use it.

Q: Will we fix capital warping by Phobe?
A: We have changed how caps war to gates. For a while a Titan could never actually approach a gate and get there. The bump mechanics are the same. Yes, they will starburst if they don't jump fast enough or if they land in bubbles.

Q: Will you change how Titans Fleet Warp?
A: A lot of the bugs should be fixed on the current version of Sisi now.

Q: E-War like target painters. This was a question geared towards a new ship class that can use e-war against e-war resistant ships.
A: Maybe. We have no plans to commit to changes like this until we know how we are rebalancing capitals and super capitals. We don't want to make a totally new ship class that may be redundant with the rebalance.

Q: Clone vat bays rebalanced to be useful?
A: We certainly want them to be more useful and have interesting game play around them.

Q: The invention blog talks about capital invention. Are we about to see T2 capital?
A: That was in regards to freighter which are considered capital invention products.

Q: The reduced need for cyno alts means fewer subscriptions. Is CCP worried about this?
A: We absolutely expect there to be a reduction due to cyno accounts. We think that the balance this change is bringing will be good and bring other people to the game or back that will compensate.

Q: In regards to cyno alts, why not add something to the skill tree for them to get those accounts back?
A: Maybe.

Q: Stealth bombers? Could defender missiles be used as an anti bomb weapon?
A: That is an idea seen with a lot of potentual. One problem is that it requires a rebuild of all the code behind defenders. We also have to be careful bcause that scalres in a very powerful way.

Q: Was the bomber change focused around nerfing ISBoxer?
A: No.
Q: Why was decloaking changed?
A: Idea was to make people orginize and work together and with each other.
Q: Yes but ISBoxers are already saying that they can beat this and just set their accounts to warp to different ranges. It is harder for individuals to coordinate then it is for an ISBoxer to set his accounts.
A: Yes. People bombed successfully before the delcoaking change and I believe that they will continue to do so. If we see that people cannot be successful with the changes are are willing to irradiate on them.

Q: It hits a lot of other types of cloaky game play.
A: Yes it does. We know. And we will watch. If people cannot cope we will make changes.

Q: Can we at least see our cloaked fleet mates?
A: Potentially.

Q: Battleship and battlecruiser quality of life issues with the current warp speeds. (Note: This asker was not in the room for the earlier question.)
A: We want them to be different and we want them to be notably different but we may reiterate on it later.

Q:T2 Reactive armor hardeners?
A: Maybe. We have not done T2 for any of those items that have been released.

Q: Rorqual changes?
A: We are not read to announce them yet. We'd like to give the ship a reason or bring it to a point where you want to take it outside of your POS shields. The form of this we don't know. Maybe some sort of invulnerability field so that there is a fight over this ship.
Q: Will it still be focused on industry?
A: Yes.

Q: Changes to acceleration gates to allow supers to use them?
A: This will be a case by case basis. If there are good places to let supers use acceleration gates we will look. We don't want them winding up in ridiculous places.

Q: When will POS defenses become better?
A: We are giving a buff to POS weapons in Phoebe.

Q: Blops Battleships and jump fatigue. The addition of jump fatigue kills blops usage because you can only do one and you are fatigued for an hour.
A: We are looking into Blops now. They also have 1/2 of the fatigue gain. We are open to tweaking that. The fatigue is currently short enough for multiple blops runs. The thread has been updated.

Q: Outposts - Can we have defenses on them?
A: Maybe in the future when stations can be destroyed.

Q: Ishtar Online is not good game play.
A: I would not be surprised if we keep chipping away at the Ishtar until it is in a better place.

Q: What do they have a warp speed increase for T2 ships over their T1?
A: We decided that was a definitive difference between T1 and T2 ships. That T2 tend to get a faste warp speed and we adjust from there. In Phoebe for instance a T2 hull will be slower ten its T1 counter parts. We are still experimenting and tweaking thing.

Q: Rorqual: Could we have it so that the ore hold can carry PI stuff? Minerals?
A: It is doable and something to consider. We are not happy with the current state of ore bays in the game in general.

Q: Why can't we destroy outpost upgrades?
A: The outpost system is a mess. It would not be trivial to let you destroy upgrades. The current process is terrible.

Q: How about destroying IHUB or JB upgrades?
A: That is a more reasonable bit of code so maybe.

Q: Drastically increase the size of null to null wormholes so that we can still drop each other with a sizable capital fleet.
A: That is interesting. It can be done now. But probably not enough mass to get a decently sized cap fleet through.

Q: Your stance on jump clones in station? Can we switch between clones in the same station and not receive the timer penalty?
A: There is some movement to have change to the implant and clone system to make them more, separate systems instead of the current work around. There will be some big changes in that realm.

Q: Any thoughts for jump fatigue skills?
A: Adding a skill is always a maybe. We think that adding skills right now will make the introduction too complicated. But this is only the first pass.

Q: Jump Fatgigue is capped out at a month. Will it go down when we are unsubbed?
A: I'll have to double check with CCP Nullabor.

Q: Glass cannons? Details?
A: These modules will use current skills used for T2 weapons. First iteration is in short range for small, medium and large. The idea is that they will be better at damage then T2 but worse in range but better in tracking. We are still working on the balance.
Q: How will that balance with freighter ganking?
A: Cost right now. But we are looking at the balance of using them when it comes to ganks.
Q: Will the resists reduce when they are fitted?
A: Yes
Q: Where do you think people will use them?
A: Faction frigates and things with current low resits. The goal is to see what people will make of this vs having an exact plan for them to use it.
Q: People will use these for siege fleets
A: Yes and we are watching this
Q: So sniping?
A: That is why we are starting with close range weapons first
Q: BPO's?
A: Nope. BPCs from a rare exploration site.
Q: Can we use invuls and such to raise resists?
A: Nope. They set resists to zero and there is no way to improve them.

Q: Are there still ghost sites? I have never seen one.
A: Yes. They are spawning and being run regularly.

Q: Some form of orbital strike to disrupt PI?
A: It would be an interesting idea when we go back to PI and update it.

Q: Glass Cannon capital sized weapons?
A: Not in this go around

Q: Module tiericide? Recons?
A: They are coming.
Q: Philosophy for rebalancing recons?
A: It is still early for that. All of them have to have a use including the Pilgrim. No date yet. It is on a high priority list. And yes there are a few T2 groups left to touch.

Q: Rebalancing logi?
A: They are on the list to be rabalanced.

Q: Ring mining?
A: It never moved past a cool phase. Maybe in the future but it is not in any current design plan.

Q: Will you ever allow us to put a ship with ozone into a carrier?
A: Maybe we can look at that in the future rebalance

Q: Will glass cannons have new skills?
A: No they will use the current skills that you need for T2 weapons.

Q: Will we finally see T2 cap modules?
A: There are no direct plans but it is possible. There is room to expand the meta types for capital modules.

Q: Glass Cannons - Are they a module or a slot?
A: They are a gun that you use.

Q: Skills for T3 destroyers?
A: They will be a reasonable train like T2 frigates are. They will require destroyer V and have a racial skill that trains like a T2 frigate skill.

Eve Vegas 2014 - CCP Seagull's Round Table

CCP Seagull sat down with CCP Manifest sitting beside her. I will say at that CCP Manifest controlled himself and CCP Seagull did all the talking. I don't think he stabbed her with a cattle prod of STFU even once. As always my notes are somewhat short hand and may occasionally break proper use of my native language.

Q: Are you looking at making changes to make mining more interesting?

At this point CCP Seagull explained that she does not make that type of design decision and that is not what she does in her position. Knowing that the argument would derail into people asking her about ship balancing and everything under the sun I interjected and suggested that she start the session explaining to people what she does and how she interacts with her teams so that they could give her questions she could answer beyond vague empty statements. My decision to do this absolutely came from discussions at the Summit and the knowledge the CSM has of what CCP Seagull does. I hoped that it would lead to a better, more in depth discussion and I think that it did.

Q: The six week cycle is faster. Is it harder for marketing and PR?
A: Yes. The locked cycles were easier because we only announced things that had been locked in. It has been a challange.

Q: High level design goals - Corp changes
A: I want it to be something that does not have to have a full time staff dedicated to making it work. I want to make tools for those who want to work for and with others. We should be able to do better. And to change it into something easier to use would be better.

Q: What does sandbox mean to CCP Seagull?
A: I mean a world with many systems of doing things and the point is that you are out playing others. You have to figure out how the game works to use that to out play other players. It is fine that people don't want to go to that second system. That they want to just learn how the game works and stop there. But for those that take that next step it should be about out playing players. But to avoid people will still be something you have to use the game to do. The game industry does not have a good vocabulary to explain what we do in Eve and how you play Eve. It can be hard to explain what Eve means and what we want out of it.

Q: To continue about the sandbox. Some changes seem made to stop emergent game play which seems against the sandbox. If a group oppressively dominates the sandbox should allow that but you are making changes to stop that.
A: When we add things into Eve it is a form of behavior shaping. Our responsibility is to make a rule set and a landscape that makes it as good a game as it can be for many people. If the environment is unbalanced it is our responsibility to try to correct the flaws or change them and not be afraid because they have always been broken. It is not a simple system. We have avoided changes for fear that changes are bad. But we want an interesting and viability world for as many people as possible so we have to make things change even if some things won't be liked.

Q: With changes coming to sov are you looking to mirror those changes to Faction Warfare?
A: We may have many different systems in the game for a while. We are fine with that. However, some things are always going to be used across all types of space and when that happens we have to look at the over all image and the usage of these things. But Sov and FW don't have to be the same.

Q: how does CCP feel about media events like B-R?
A: We get excited about them. We know that these changes will decrease the probability of such fights. It is more sustainable for people who have fun to create places for others to have fun. Then they bring their friends in. B-R brings in subs and they immediately drop off because they can't join in. We want to set up systems that are more sustainable.
Manifest: Yes there are are lost opportunities PR wise. but it opens up the longer term struggles in politics and such things that are also interesting stories. The media has heard of big huge battles and they are looking for other things and we can give that to them.

Q: Balance: What are CCP's priorities?
A: We look at behaviors that are disproportionate or toxic to the game itself. Some things are hard to touch because they have always been that way and people fear change. I hope people will see our development path and see that we are not just changing and ignoring things but changing it again and again as it needs.

Q: Getting friends into the game. Live events are cool. Do you want more?
A: Yes. But we don't want live events to be the game play for people.

Q: Are the directions of development heading towards more dynamic systems or more static systems? An example is using gates to get a fight vs going to a timer to defend or attack.
A: We have been working on various ways for people to meet in space. We are trying to get more people out in space meeting each other.

Q: How do you approach what you decide to take into account when it comes to player feedback?
A: We use internal goals plus the feedback from the players and filter them to see what keeps coming up. The game is a huge, complex system and there are usage cases we miss and try to find. We can't always predict what will happen. We can and do gauge the signal to noise ratio as well. Sometimes we know the future and that is why it seems we don't listen. It is easier for you to give us a use case over  only a solution so that we don't have to reverse engineer your solution into your use case.

Q: Long term design goal? More capitals? T2 caps?
A: That is in the hands of the design team.

Q: How does the lore and landscape interact with your goals?
A: The lore is there to help us layout the landscape. We should use it to bring immersion. We have a living, breathing sci-fi world but the real stories should be from the player stories. And they should be things that you do. We are not going to use live events to entertain players as if they are the game.

Q: I forget to write this question
A: Not every problem has to be seen as a player. Such as the skill queue bringing more negitives then anything else. Things like balancing however I leave to the design team.

Q: Is it a plan to update how people talk to each other?
A: We want to modernize all of Eve and make all of those areas better.

Q: The single universe - Integrating Dust/Legion/Valkery. Is that still a plan?
A: Yes. We are moving slower. We want to have each game stand alone before we marry them.

Q: Have you thought of applying FW mechanics to Sov to revamp sov? It is there and it seems a natural progression.
A: We are not trying to make one system that captures all usage cases. It has been discussed but we are not trying to do just a single thing to solve all problems. Sov will get its own mechanics that fit its needs.

Q: The single shard universe? Will Serenity ever be integrated?
A: There are no plans to have multiple copies of Eve. Serenity is there because of legal reason

And that is it for this one. I'm going to bed and I'll try to get the rest done tomorrow.

Eve Vegas 2014 - Social Media Round Table

As always with round tables I take notes in a rapid scrawled shorthand that I then have to decipher later. I also condense down the questions and the answers because I'm writing at full speed. The side effect is that my hand hurts a lot. I never write this much anymore. Ow.

I try to break it down into Devs and such when multiple ones answer but I'm not perfect.

CCP Manifests Round Table about Social Media and PR stuff from October 18th. CCP Guard was there too.

To Start:

CCP Manifest is the SR PR guy and in charge of Social Media. He reads over the dev blogs before they are released. He sorts out interviews when people wish to interview the developers. His main focus is on Eve Online.

Q: A request for an approved set of graphics or video that players can use to promote Eve.
A: A pack of approved for use graphics could be good. However he notes that they do not hunt people down for use stuff unless they are making a large amount of profit off of the Eve IP.

CCP Guard: We are working on setting up an IP for things like a preset t-shirt format so that people can make Eve swag for Events and that type of thing without tripping over legal.

Q: Social app for corp chat outside of the game
A from Fuzzy Steve: Foxfour is working on that
A from Manifest: We have talked to people about this. We have been disusing it. We want to keep what people have done in mind to get around this currently. We'd not stop a player from developing it if they did. However, we should do it as a company and not rely on the players.

Q: Some of us have websites that don't fit into the Fansite format. But we want to promote Eve.
A: I'm willing to support anything that points towards Eve. Fansites have pros and cons and you have to decide if you want those. Many times people do not ask us. It is like interviews. We do them with who we do because people ask. It is not favoritism you have to talk to us.
Guard: The fansite modle does not fit everything and we are open to things out of the box.
Sard Caid notes that his twitch channel is listed as a Fansite and its about streaming.
Manifest: We are not proactive about messing to fansites. We talked with the podcasters here and they said that they want to help us get the message out. We don't see the fansites as a PR Tool. There are pluses and minuses to that.
Guard: We sometimes send messages out to fansites in advance when things are happening. Maybe we should send it out sooner then we have been.

(Note from me: CCP Manifest spoke of using the CSM as PR tools. Now, he did not mean tool as a derogatory thing. He spoke of it as an actual thing to use. However, I was very offended at the suggestion that the CSM is something to be used as public relations in such a way that may bring question to the independent nature of the CSM members. While we are public relations in the fact that CCP works with a player elected group, I am an independent player and individual not a member of CCP's staff. For those that followed the little twitter explosion that followed that statement.)

Q: On the trial account page can we have something that points people to looking for a 21 day trial recommendation? Also can we look into setting it up so that you can update from a 14 day trial to a 21 day trial?
A: We will bother people about these things.

Q: Let us automatically tweet screen shots when we take them.
A: The tweeting ahs been looked at.

Discussion moved onto how an event calender and more public calender would be nice where players can see what is going on in the game. This has been talked about before and is still desired by both players and CCP.

CCP Manifest: We are going to work on in game mail as a way to communicate. The launcher was born out of a battle to get messaging to the players because the old log in screen had no place for that and people had no idea that other things happened. Also send things that are cool to Even if they are not reshared on public media we tend to share tehm in house a lot.

Q: Next Eve TV Episode?
A: Week after next is the plan. Guard has been travelling.

Q: Trailers
A: The trailer team is still there and making things.

Q: Will we continue to get music with expansions?
A: Yes. We have been releasing new music and will continue to.

Q: Have you thought of having player hosted segments for things like Eve TV and events?
A: Yes: We have a lot of stuff in the pipe. We want premade segments.
Guard: Would you all like player made commercials like AT?
Players: Yes
Manifest: We will be more open to content made by players.

Q: More video dev blogs?
A: Yes. We feel that there should be more and more types.
This was followed by discussion that the jump changes and other large future changes of that magnitude should get their own personal video dev blogs as well as written dev blogs.

CSM9 - Day 168

It is not quite Monday morning where I am so the Sunday post is still written on Sunday!

From the CSM side of things Eve Vegas has been a fantastic and new experience. I have met a lot of people. I have talked to people about my views and philosophy. I wound up being dragged onto the live stream with Ali and interviewed by CCP Guard to my horror and amazement. I have explained to people what the CSM is and I have been hugged and thanked by other people for doing it.
I'll be writing a halfway through post pretty soon I think. But for now, let me try to skim over what has been going on.

This week has mostly been the Eve Vegas reveals. Many members of CCP's team has been travelling this week and things were quiet until the weekend hit. I've also had heavily broken internet at the hotel which means I have not had the time to skim forums and bring up the threads and links that I normally do on these days.

T3 Destroyers - These are not fully fleshed out yet and the first one is due in December. The immediate question I had when I learned of them and the immediate question that came to me was about faction warfare restrictions. Right now with the end stats not decide upon what size pl exes they will be able to enter is up in the air. But, this is on the radar with their individual ship balancing. There just is not an answer yet.

Glass Cannons - I think this is amazing. I love that its wild and doesn't fit with any meta concepts. Good. I tire of the tightness of the meta. Sometimes you just want to say fuck the world let's try something crazy. I am not sure how I feel about cost and availability being a balancing mechanic here. I do not think that cost scales well with balancing.

The Tug Boat - Some people have asked me what this is about and a few more questions came up in the round table. Right now they are thinking about two battleships and a halfish worth of space. It is a box to haul fitted ships so it will have a ship maintenance bay.

Edit: I mistyped the tug and said one and a half battleships. Sorry about that. I have corrected it to two and a half which is what was said at the round table.

The Higgs Anchor Rig - This is another type of item entering the game and being left to players to see if they use it or do not. But they can do something with it. Maybe something interesting.
Recons, Blops, CovOps, Logi, all of that is on the re-balance schedule. Recons are up sooner then later it looks like. Let me hear your opinions.

One of the things that CCP pushed during Eve Vegas was communication with the player base and their determination to come back to things and look them over. That has not been the case in the past and many players are gun shy from that. I understand it. CCP understands it and CCP Seagull is very dedicated to changing that. If you did not see her Keynote I think that it is worth your time to look it up and listen.

I will be writing up summaries from the round tables. I attended most of them. Other's have been doing write ups for the live streamed sessions. I can only advise you to take some time to flip through CCP's twitch channel and look at the information that has been made available.

Getting dragged onto the live stream freaked me out a bit. However, I couldn't say no. It is an odd place that the CSM has placed me in. I do not feel that it would be right to my voters not to participate in an interview. At the same time, I am more comfortable here with my text and pages and pages of words. It is a comfort zone thing and I do hate being dragged out of it but I think I kind of signed up for that when I got this gig.  It broke my normal barrier to pictures and such. I've never wanted to be known for more then what I can do and can produce and images are often a barrier to such things. But, when asked by people who wanted a picture with me I couldn't say no to them. I never expected that anyone would want such a thing and when faced with it, it seemed ridiculously bitchy to say no.

I've also seen more then one suggestion to vet the questions. Asked at events like this. My answer is no. People come to ask their questions. Their questions were important to them. We, at the round tables, did not have times when there where to many questions. There were often pauses and the questions flowed in and built off of each other. Censoring someone because their question is dumb is dumb. It is not for me to say "oh that is not important enough for CCP to answer at this social round table where people who come to the event can ask questions." I am never going to support that.

Edit: I forgot to add that going to the round tables becomes extra useful for me as a CSM member because it lets me know the scope of what I can talk about. Also, ease dropping on player discussions with developers is great for this!

This post isn't as polished as my normal weekly posts. That too is okay. Over the next few days I should be pumping out summaries from the round tables for the notes that I was able to take. There has been a general push to get those recorded and I hope that can happen and it will not leave CCP feeling constrained.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saturday Short Hand Summary - Eve Vegas

I will preface this with something that will surprise no one. I am quite tired and I have been quite busy and occupied. I am also writing from my phone which makes spell checking hard. I am just tired enough not to care.

My next suggestion is that you follow the eve tweetfleet on Twitter. The updates and images are rolling in hot and heavy for those that want to follow people around the convention.

I've been taking notes at the round table sessions. Normally, during these events I do not spend a lot of time doing stuff and I have a lot of time to write. This time, I've actually spent considerable amounts of time socializing. It is quite a change and not a bad one. However, it does eat into my writing time.

The other reason is that I've been having problems with getting access to my room. At the moment my husband has called the tech support and they are sending someone to the room to fix things. He arrived a few hours ago. That is why I am laying on the bed as my hair dries, typing on my portable keyboard and using my phone to write with. The most frustrating part is that it means I have not written my Sunday post and at this rate, it won't get written until Monday.

I'm going to assume that I am forgiven.

Arrival worked out fine. I immediately went to New York, New York and acquired a candy apple. On Friday, Sion and I went to find In-and-Out burger which wound uo being a trip through a parking garage, across a construction site, and down a highway. We got a cab back.

I've walked my way into sore feet and stiff legs, but that is okay. I did get plenty of sleep as I watched the drinking and partying happen. I may be old and boring but part of a vacation for me is actually getting sleep.

Saturday has been quite interesting. The streams have had lots of announcements. They have been good announcements. The round tables have been interesting. I've taken notes and will write up summaries for them. I'm not writing summaries of the streams since others are doing so.

I did get wrangled into helping test the PvP tournament. That was amusing. It kind of started a cascade of meeting people. I've met and talked with and interacted more this last day then I have the last two years worth of meets. It is very cool and I'm glad for it but it does make me sigh for the fact that it took getting on the CSM for this to happen.

The Event itself has been incredible. THe quality of everything is wonderful. We've had bagels and a toaster and cookies and muffins and coffee and tea and soda and water. The only missing thing is hot chocolate but I had tea so that was fine.

There is plenty of room and the various rooms are close to each other. The flow and lay out is superb. I also think the location caters well to the crowd. The range of food is fantastic for any budget or dietary needs.

The party tonight was over at Paris. We got shunted upstairs and it was super nice. It was just Eve people for three hours. People drank and the intimacy of the location was fantastic. I talked and met people and stalked Steve a few times. I had good conversations and watched people run around in Elvis suits. The wives started dancing together and the entire thing was rather amusing and quite fun.

The security does get nasty to kick us out. They formed a lone and just kind of marched people out. That entire club thing where you have to buy bottles of over priced alcohol to sit down was there again. I just bailed and they really, really did not want our scruffy randomly dressed nerd aura up there once they could get rid of us.

That was fine. People scattered and then have coalesced. I wanted to go back to my room and greet my spouse and wash my hair. Vegas and the smoking in the Casinos always leaves me feeling rather dirty.

Now I am showered and waiting for the Internet to get fixed. I was going to transcribe my notes but I started falling asleep. I need to spell check my cell phone. And tomorrow is another day.

There have been little amusing things that happened. But everything has been very smooth, very polished and well worth going to.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Sixteen

A Look at the History of Expansions - Current List

Previous post: Empyrean Age

In June, 2008, CCP introduced Eve Online: Empyrean Age. With Empyrean age came the long promised introduction of faction warfare. While this is not the faction warfare that we know in current times, it was a large addition to the game adding a new region, new missions, and a new playstyle to the game.

But it is no longer June and CCP has released the Empyrean Age 1.1 release. Other areas of Eve are also entering their eternal dance. The first CSM is about to end and elections are starting for the second. CCP is locked in their eternal war to combat lag. They have migrated Eve into StacklessIO with notable improvements.

Jita, sweet Jita, how well we know its name. Before the release of stacklessIO, Jita capped out at around eight hundred pilots. Now, it is holding strong at a thousand. However, it still crashed once the population hit 1,400 pilots. Still, CCP is encouraged at improvements. They also had a large fleet battle with 1,100 pilots that lasted for ten minutes before the cluster went down. Eve is allowing larger player groupings then seen elsewhere but it will still take some time and improvements for CCPs visions to take form.

E-ON magazine did an alliance survey. The results are worth reading over. The full summary is here. It is a look into the opinions of Eve Players in 2008. Question number 15 is fascinating considering the time that I write about this piece of history.
15. Do you believe that under current game mechanics 0.0 space could ever be *dominated* by one single entity (an alliance, or coalition of alliances)?
  • No 61.5% 816
  • Yes 38.5% 511
  • answered question 1327
  • skipped question 34
It is followed by question number 14.
 14. Real-life always comes first, of course, but which of the following statements would you apply to your main character in EVE?
  • I am first and foremost a member of  an alliance 18.2% 247
  • I am first and foremost a member of a corporation 54.1% 736
  • I am first and foremost a member of  a division / squadron 2.6% 35
  • I am first and foremost an individual 25.1% 342 
  • answered question 1360
  • skipped question 1
One of the first, major, Walking in Stations dev blogs is released. Until now, most of the discussion abou this feature was on forums and at Fanfest. However, CCP  Eris Discordia insinuates that proper play testing will start that involves the player base. That WiS will be a great, social event with games and activities for the players. But play testing will be at fanfest only. It spawns a nine page comment thread on the old forums.

If you like the technical, CCP Mindstar gets into detail with how Eve is running under its new StacklessIO structure.

CCP Greyscale introduces Certificates. Per the dev blog:
The objective of this continuously-iterating group is not to remove the challenges from the gameplay itself, but rather to ensure that players aren't being held back from addressing those challenges by other things. In this case, an inability to clearly see where a particular skill fits into the greater scheme of things, what it enables, how to get there and where to go next.
It is now October and we are heading into the winter release. CCP is releasing, early, an update that will disable what is known as 'ghost training'. Ghost training is when an account is no longer subscribed to the game but the skill queue continues to accumulate skill points. It spawned a good, healthy two hundred and seven page threadnought. It does feel as if we are moving up to modern times.

Weapons Grouping is about to be introduced and it was spawned as part of CCP's fight against lag.
We didn't stop at the database though, we wanted more, more, more! After looking over the results from our investigations we found several areas where we could potentially get some really nice performance boosts by adding to or changing some game logic. We're not just talking about server-side stuff, our commitment to improving performance is especially important for the EVE client as well.
One such change that we've decided to implement is a new feature we're calling "Weapon Grouping". I won't go into any real detail here as it will be discussed at length in a following blog, however I will tell you that aside from improving performance quite a bit it's also really friggin cool, which is always a plus. It has a nice side-effect of giving players some very cool new options for how they use their weapons.
While this implementation is something that current Eve is familiar with and takes for granted, the initial dev blog is great to read just because of the image of the fitting screen.

... and all of the information on a major change that is now an ordinary part of the game.

The quarterly economics report is released. At the same time, CCP, being an Icelandic company is weathering the global finical crisis.

Quantum Rise is about to arrive but it is making very little  noise. The developments for it are based around quality life improvements. But it does bring with it the development and release of the Orca. The Orca fills a need that Eve may or may not have known existed since the creation of the Rorqual.

CCP also starts a competition to go along with Quantum Rise. Whomever gets the most buddy invites gets a new gaming machine. I can only scratch my head at the ways that this could and would and probably was exploited.

To release the pressure that moon goo has on the market, CCP introduces Alchemy. The ability to combine other materials to bypass the most expensive materials is not created to invalidate what is there. It is created to help production continue.

In a way the name blockade runners makes a bit more sense to me. At their inception they were not the cloaking ships that we know of now. But, CCP has added more and more and they have decided to give blockade runners the ability that gives them more sex appeal then a spaceship deserves to have. At the same time deep space transports receive their innate +2 to warp core strength. Imaging ether of these ships without their current bonuses is baffling. What did they do with them before?

Quantum Rise is a technical expansion. Improvements in Eve's physical self as well as technical self and sales are features. It is large but not in the tangible ways that players can touch. Even its expansion page is somewhat quiet in its list of features.

I'd say that Quantum Rise was a rather unremarkable expansion except for two things.

It has a trailer...

And secondly...

Eve Online: Quantum Rise at the last minute brings us PLEX. The dev blog is released on November 3rd, 2008 that PLEX: Pilots License Extension will become the new way to trade game time codes for Eve Online. CCP worries that it will be immersion breaking. The dev blog is hesitant, worried, and full of justification for the change. I can only chuckle. In this last minute development blog CCP introduces a game changer to Eve Online and the gaming industry all together.

And by the way... the original PLEX could not be put into a noob ship to be lost on the Jita undock. What an unEvelike implementation.

Thank you Eve Online: Quantum Rise.


Eve Online 2008 Dev Blogs
Official Eve Online: Quantum Rise expansion page
2008 E-ON Alliance Survey

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why I Will Never be Space Rich

Silva decided to sell himself. This is Eve and it makes complete sense that this can happen. He didn't go about it cold and technical. He put himself up for sale and decided to see what would happen.

What happened is Rixx started a 'save Silva' campaign to buy him. Rixx, however, has little cash, and he stated this. That was when Bagehi stepped in and offered to donate towards Rixx's purchase.

That was the unusual part. Character buying in Eve is very cut throat. The characters skill point totals and abilities have an absoulte value. The buyers buy and use or buy, clean up the skills, and resell. It is a trade of bodies and abilities. It is one that is a clever work around to the out of game sale of characters.

I both like and dislike buying and selling characters. I have done it myself. I trained up a Nomad pilot and sold her just to see what it was like. I decided that I did not enjoy it. But my opinions about using purchased characters are not for this post. Instead, this was about saving Silva.

Over the course of the last day or so, over twenty billion has been raised. Silva accepted Rixx's offer. Mike Azariah is holding the ISK.

The entire event is weird. It is good weird in an Eve way. It is a moment when a desire to save a character becomes a crowd sourced project. I decided to have TCS send the ISK in. Rixx's offer for Silva involved PvP and a life of violence. TCS specializes in helping people remain violent in space. It synergized.

 This type of thing will probably not help me to achieve my goal of being ridiculously space wealthy. But that is okay. It may not make a lot of sense ether. That is okay as well. I'm happy with this outcome.

This is the type of thing I would tell someone about Eve. That this is a game where a group of people will donate to the goal of preserving a character name for the memories and attachments that they have to it.  That people would donate to a character based off of his reputation. That is the type of world that we can and have created.

Rambling: Organic Mechanics

TL;DR: I'm frustrated and this is frustrated ramblings.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Now or When?

This morning, I decided to be a tiny bit productive in game. I've been trying to put my markets back together. The other weekend, when I had my glorious adventure, I got one of my alts stuck in the station with Sugar. She was going to be the in cyno for my great escape that I wound up not needing.

Today, I extracted her when I got up from work. The corporation that lives in that station is USTZ. My days off are scattered through the week so I logged in, noted that local was at zero instead of seventy five, and warped out to freedom.

I absolutely love the danger and I love avoiding the danger. I like that thinking and planning and a bit of patience can allow me to just step out of a bad situation. Hopefully. It may not work. I might have left that and jumped into an instalocking spammy camp and lost the ship a jump later. That is also something I adore. And I love and adore the possibility while not actually wanting to be the one that falls victim to it. But, I know that it will happen at times.

Was I at risk because I mitigated the bulk of the risks? I'd say yes but I am quite curious to know how many people would say no.

Is the risk that we, the players, want to define the game by immediate and unavoidable or is it a potential future that can be avoided? The second, I feel, is good gameplay. The first, I believe is good that it does happen. I do not think it has to be absolute.

I bring this up because I've been in a lot of discussions of late where someone throws down, "100% risk free," when criticizing a behavior. This may be using jump freighters to jump to a station or double wrapping so that a clear cargo scan cannot be had. Others will use it for the ganker themselves. It is applied to null sec. It is applied to high sec. It is applied to absolutely everything to defend or argue a point.

But it is not such a straight black and white line.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

CSM9 - Day 161

Change. Change is the only way to describe Phoebe at this point.

CCP Seagull released a dev blog touching on a lot of the upcoming, November 4th, release.

Welcome to the new skill queue changes. I appreciate everyone who participated in my posts about skills, skill queues, and account babysitting for their energy, conversation, and thoughts. When CCP introduced the ability to plex another person’s account I saw it as the first step to ‘fixing’ the babysitting account problem. Now with the change to the time restrictions for the skill queue, someone can load up their queue with up to 50 long skills and their babysitter can just inject the account with PLEX, helping it to stay subbed. Injection of skills that you do not have the pre-qualifications for will hopefully be in the future but they will not be a part of this release.

People have spoken of the fact that they will never log on. I know that logging on to change a skill may have started a series of events that gets a player in, playing. But, looking at it, if you don’t want to log in you don’t want to log in.  Forcing you to log in for a skill queue is not giving you a reason to play. That is another thing that needs to be addressed. For this, the potential quality of life improvements are enormous and worth the fact that those who are not motivated to log in are still not motivated to log in.

My quality of life PvE improvements will be going in. I talked about these on Day 140, right after I returned home from the Summit. I’ve been building a list of problems with Team Space Glitter. Most of these have to do with exploration. I will gush more about it once the Dev Blog is released but I am very, very happy to see my project bearing fruit.

CCP Greyscale has released a update to the changes for jump drive usage and jump fatigue for logistical uses. I am happier with where we are. I was hoping to be around seven light years after sitting down with people and running routes to all corners of space. CCP has decided, currently, upon ten. It is still up for nerfing. Nor is this a forever number. After reviewing the feedback, CCP Greyscale has said that he does not feel that logistics are healthy enough at this time. The goal is to improve that health which will lead to further nerfs.

The Rorqual is exempt from the added range but continues to have a lesser gain in fatigue. This trade off comes from the Rorqual’s use as a logistics ship and its combat ability. It could not have both range and the combat abilities and CCP has decided not to remove its combat function at this time. I look forward to seeing combat Rorqual on the field because I absolutely expect them to be used.

Doomsdays in low sec? I’m still scratching my head over this one. The feedback thread is available on the features and ideas forum. However, no bombs and no bubbles. CCP Fozzie has made that clear. It allows me not to work myself up into a frothy rant. So far the best feedback on this I have read so far is about being able to DD Faction Warfare structures.

With the changes coming in Phoebe, CCP is also twiddling with the HP and resists of Sov Structures. Sov structures. This is not about POS.

There is a thing called “Hobojamming”. I’m told it has worse names. Basically, interdictor bubbles will not pop when the interdictor docks in a station. Interdictor pilots should read and provide feedback.

The sensor overlay is getting a huge upgrade. I’ve been sitting on this one for a while now, utterly excited. Viewable bookmarks in space. A directional dial to stuff. More customization. It looks amazing. It is now live on Sisi. There is a need for a new shortcut key due to the decoupling of the dscan menu.

Eve Probe has a new update out. It has a few new graphics that are worth looking at.

CCP Punkturis dropped a hint on twitter about MultiSell. It was later confirmed in CCP Seagull’s Phoebe Dev Blog. It now has a thread where they are looking for feedback for this Beta feature.

Do you want to fly a Titan? For an unknown period of time everyone gets all the racial Titans and skills on Sisi. It is a great time to try the test server out if you never have or to update it if you have not. The directions to access the test server are on the Evelopedia. Someone suggested having access passes to Sisi for inactive accounts. What do you think?

There is some work going into the forums. Read the Dev Blog.

Yes, I know there are not any ships or modules rebalancing listed.

Live Event in progress

There is a live event going on. It is about some mysterious new stuff coming out of wormholes.

This is more Steve’s area, but a dedicated site for Eve’s 3rd party developers is being built.

CSM Stuff

We appear to be a CSM that loses members. Major J Silva has resigned. Gorski Car is his replacement. The CSM and CCP have discussed when replacement members should officially stop. Per the thread, this is the last member we will replace if we need to replace one on CSM9. Hopefully, everyone else is good to go.

Bringing on new members is important. The top 14 are selected for the CSM. That could be the top 12 or the top 16 if CCP had felt differently about their selection. Everyone that comes on, who is willing to work, has things to bring to the table. I’d prefer members to resign than sit in their seat AFK for the full term. That hurts everyone. This position isn’t about some title or forum tag. Bringing on people who the players voted for as members decide to leave is good. Each person has the potential to contribute something.

I also do not believe that I only represent who voted for us. Other’s may feel differently. I appreciate my voters. They gave me their trust and their hope and I am doing my best to pay that back. But, not voting for someone is not a reason to cut them out. We’re here to make Eve better, keep communication flowing between CCP and the players, and deal with whatever we can. Limiting that to ‘who voted for me’ is ridiculous.


We finished the minutes on time and got them to CCP. CCP has started reviewing and signing off. We are push, push, pushing to get them approved by CCP so that we can release them to you.

Sion tweeted the results for those who are interested in member activity levels.

Sessions Processed for the minutes:
3-Corbexx, Steve, Xander
1-Ali, Mangala, Mike, Mynnna

The way we handled the minutes was that each member took a session. For example, I took the low sec session. We had video recordings of the meeting. I then did a hybrid of transcription and minutes. While I don’t include wandering jokes about licorice, I make sure that you get the discussion between the CSM and CCP. My nine sessions totalled about ten hours of meetings. Each person has their own style and I will make sure to point out the ones I did once they are released and I can write a full review of my thoughts on the topics.

Eve and IRL

Next weekend is Eve Vegas. I land on Thursday evening and will leave the following Wednesday morning after driving construction equipment around Dig This with my husband.