Sunday, August 31, 2014

CSM9 - Day 119

Hyperion Launched and it came with a huge overview bug. I came home from work and just decided not to log in for the day. My overviews are not great but I didn't feel like dealing with the fix to get them to save so I had a skip day.

The shareable overview was not everyone's hopes and dreams. There have been some updates to the thread with more advanced features to be used. I advise the overview feedback be placed here.

The release also came with a bug that made the fins on the Thrasher and Cyclone vanish. This caused people to think that CCP had cut off Minmatar frills again without thinking about how players would react. However, it was fixed as CCP Sledgehammer announced.

The wormhole changes are in a state of incredible flux right now. Corbexx has reported that many groups have left. People have started commenting on the changes already. We had our Sprint Review and keeping track of these changes and the effects they are having on wormholes, their populations, and their PvE is a majority priority. I've spent a lot of time following along as those who I know, in wormhole space, experience these changes.

The Burner missions have also been released to a lot of deaths. CCP Fozzie tweeted some stats. 207 Burner NPCs died compared to 1563 players.  The feedback is being followed quite closely for that. One major complaint is that the reward is currently not good enough. Due to Eve’s reward system for missions it is going to take a few days or a week or so for it to equal out to what it should be.

I’ve been talking to people a lot as I work on my Summit topic sheet. This is the document I’ve been building that has complaints, ideas, concerns, needs, and wishes. I’ve gone over some in forums or in Skype but I want to have them on hand to discuss as well during the summit. Someone suggested that I just use chatlogs. I had to explain that getting a summary of an idea or topic is easier to work into a document I can flip through during a meeting. I’m not going to hand Developers chat logs and ask them to wade through them for the ideas. That would not be good communication. Bringing as much of the player voice forward is one of the things that I most wanted to do. It is why I don't tell people to go away and that Sugar's way is the only way.

I will have this finished up by next weekend with everything that I have collected over the past months. From there it will be adding to it until I take it to be printed. It is not a lot of time at the end of the day. The summit is only two weeks away. It may mean a few skipped blog post days since, "I wrote a lot of stuff in my document," is not the most engaging reading material. And CSM 'stuff' trumps other Eve activities. Nose to the grindstone and all of that.

The next Town Hall will be on the 7th of September aka next weekend. It looks as if I will not have work that weekend and can make it.

CCP has officially taken over Eve Vegas as an event. It will be interesting to compare this year and last year. That is in October so only six weeks away. If you think you want to go, now would be the time to do so.

And that is about it. Internally there has been a lot of discussion and chats and forum posting. Things are not quiet but steaming along in a nice, steady fashion.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Spaceship Shaped Dreams

One day, long ago, I purchased Demon Eyeball on a whim. I quickly realized that my frigate skills were not up to par to use him and I put him away. During that time I was musing trying more expensive things. I had been in a position where I did not feel that my skills and abilities justified modules on my ship more expensive than the hull. My Jaguar's set me back enough. Still. I knew that one day I'd grow up and fly fancy things.

Somewhere along the line that changed. Some was my improved finical stability where I knew that I could easily replace an expensive loss even if I would not enjoy it. Perhaps I have managed to grasp more do to my play.

Or maybe I stopped worrying about justifying my losses to others.

The Machariel is one of my love interests in Eve. I so fondly remember my early days with Lue in his Machariel and Chimera doing level five missions as I salvaged during the early morning hours when I had gotten in from my midnight shift. Back when torpedo launchers had amazing animations and NPC aggression meant you sent in a tank and then wandered in to clean up the field.

In those long, lazy morning hours I developed quite a love for those two ships. Lue was my ISK making idol. One day I'd be bad ass enough to do those things. I'd grind ISK and be this confident PvPer and everything would be amazing.

Time passed. What I've become may not be what I thought I would be but I seem to be getting things done anyway. And while I may not have undocked a Machariel for PvE badassery last night I undocked one for PvP. What was once vague dreams during sleepy mornings had become reality.

The warp speed bonus to angel ships really make a difference. It makes the in space speed feel a bit strange. I want it to feel like a battlecruiser  but it is still a battleship, if an agile one. Still, buzzing back to my drones was not the most fun I'd had. Burning away from them is such a habit. Moving is such a habit. I often find myself feeling a bit awkward and confused these days in larger hulls on the field. I expect, eventually, that will pass. I've done the same thing for a long while and new is often not easy.

As for battleships? I still don't know what to make of them. I've listened to so many people speak fondly of flying them and having true 'manly' brawls in them. I hear it referred to as 'real' fights. I've even had people come to me and suggested limited plexes that will only allow battlecruiser, T2 logistics, and battleships for 'proper fights'. I've always squinted at them and wondered if they were feeling unwell. After flying my Machariel I'm no closer to understanding. Maybe in the future.

Oddly, I feel exposed in a battleship. There is a lot of commitment to using it. Once the fight is on, its on.

The fleet did not result in a huge battle. A possible chance was just missed. The rest were a few random ships ganked as we passed by. Still, there is a bit of work rubbed off on the ship. Some time out in space flying something completely new. I'd never thought I'd be here but I also have to ask myself where is here?

I guess that is something I will find out along the way.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eve Vegas's Status Changed to Official CCP Event

Sometime in the last week has turned into A little digging around on the site brought up the FAQ where it says:
Is EVE Vegas supposed to be Fanfest USA?
No. EVE Vegas is a different event in another part of the world, established by EVE players who still make up large part of presentations. The event has enjoyed support from CCP Games throughout the years and is now run and managed by the company, with the programming being conducted in close cooperation with EVE players.
This was a surprise. Eve Vegas is a player run event started by Zapawork. I first attended in 2012 where we had six developers that we had to fly in to do presentation. There was a good turn out of around a hundred and seventy people or so (I think). This was followed in 2013 by Eve Vegas growing. Almost three hundred people went and CCP sent an entire Developer team to do tournaments, streaming, Valkyrie demos and give our goodies and toys. It was a lot of fun and much more polished.

This year, CCP has fully taken over while still working with Zappa. And I think it is both good and bad.

The FAQ notes that Eve Vegas is a player run Event and that CCP plans to keep it that way. I do not know what agreement they came up with Zappa but CCP is in charge of the buss. I've been to Fanfest and last year Eve Vegas was great. I expect it to be amazing this year.

Having CCP makes it seem more official to those who are uncomfortable going to player events. We already give money to CCP. We have a level of trust with them as their clients. They are professionals at this type of things. It means more goodies, a polished experience, and lots of fun Eve focused things.

My worries are that it will become affected by any ups and downs at CCP. A player hosting the event could also have ups and downs. I've become fond of Eve Vegas and I want for it to succeed. I've had a good time in at CCP's official gathering and it will be interesting to see how Eve Vegas is handled this year and in the future.

My flight and hotel are booked. It will be a busy September and October full of Eve Online.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Currency of Trust

I will admit that the concept of spying and intrigue was one of the many things that drew me to Eve. It was not until I started to play that I discovered that I had no stomach for what seemed to be a very romantic idea. I like people. I've met very few people that I'd wish to never have known existed and for those, they are normally surrounded by a group of incredible people. At the end of the day I found other ways to keep myself occupied.

That does not mean I do not love the idea. The social interactions of Eve are amazing. I understand how people can spy. I have a deep loyalty to some people in the game. As I've moved around and gameplay has changed I've developed a core of people who I'd never want to betray. 

Betrayal and Honor are interesting concepts in Eve. I consider myself honorable due to my loyalty to my friends and that I keep my promises. I consider betrayal harming someone that one considers a friend. Other's define honor by the style in which they fight and when others do not buy into that fighting style. Kiting is honorless to some while brawling is full of honor. And beyond that, some do not worry about honor or its lack in a video game but just explore various threads of thought and interest, action and reaction, in an environment that is for the most part safe for that.

But none of this is about judging bad or good, honor or deceit. It is about my curiosity on how people reach their social choices.

I've had very close corporate ties and I tend to hold my corporation very close to myself. I have a very classic loyalty to my group and that helps to anchor me to the game. I know that for other people, corporations are a fleeting moment in time that come and go. Loyalty is restricted to a personal group or may not even exist at all depending on the amount of video game vs personal interaction of the individual. For some, nothing that happens matters. For others, everything does. Both have draw to their respective parties but most of us fall somewhere in between the two.

That gradient is where I find the social choices people make most interesting. There are people who are in and out of their home corporation and it does not matter where they go, they can always go home. There are others that burn every bridge behind them and bite the hand they used to play with.

But a lot of it is just opportunity. People change. Situations change. I've watched people join different corporations and their mindset and game view changes. I know my own reflects the places that I have been and the things that I have done. It is easy to question another's loyalty but we don't really know what may have caused a person to make the choices that they do.

Still, I find the espionage aspect of Eve fascinating. The paranoia is not just from the casual violence that we can wreck upon each other but deepened by the sheer, destructive havoc that the cooperation aspects of the game can create. Assets can be stolen. Corporations and alliances destroyed. The sandcastle is as susceptible from the inside as from it out. When someone leaves a corporation there is a trail of information access points that have to be cauterized. And that is not offensive. It is not considered rude. "It is sad to see you go, access snipped."

And how well deserved that paranoia is. I've seen misplaced trust land people on the wrong side of their assets more than once. I've seen people who try to sell out their previous corporation as a key to get into the key one. "Do you want cap kills? I can get you cap kills." Suddenly, the currency they are trading in is the trust that they were once given. Have they lost forum access? Can they get a mirror for the fleet comps? Do they still have jabber access? Whos alt is who?

In a way, I gave up the potential for spying and intrigue when I started writing. I indulge myself in writing out what is going around me. While, I try to share no more than the casual surface for others, I do leave my own doorway wide open for people to peek in. Of course, the paranoid would say that to is a cover-up. Thankfully, I'm not paranoia prone.

Still, I find the currency of trust fascinating. I know the simple mechanics of theft where a relationship is never developed. It is the deeper relationships that fascinate me. Do we come to hate what we loved? Or, is it all just business at the end of the day? In a game where who you are follows you, eventually, every bridge can be burnt. 

But, not everyone is carelessly burning bridges. Sometimes it is calculated and accepted. Other times it is just a hefty shake of crazy sauce on the situation. I find that I understand the espionage and the spy. I understand the calculated choices. I may not understand the crazy sauce but I'm okay with not understanding crazy. What I personally find oddly fascinating is the casually burned bridge to pander to another choice.

The ruined reputation does not bother some. For others, it becomes a type of infamy. And for the rest of us? Well, its a reminder to lock the doors.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Condition for Killing

Over the weekend I was able to attend a few PvP ops. One was third/fourth/sixteenth partying into a faction warfare takeover of a system. It was a scheduled fleet and I do love scheduled fleets. I died for such is life. A few minutes later someone paraded my loss mail in front of me in a chat room. My response was, "Yes?"

Kaeda commented yesterday:
"Because nobody ridicules losses in Minecraft & Space Engineers. It doesn't have the ultra toxic culture of losses being a shameful thing that dishonours your space family and is a blemish that can never be forgotten about. Loss is one thing. Being made to feel terrible just because you lost something is far far worse."
It was a simple and lovely comment for its truth. In Eve, we do teach people that losing things is bad.

"But, what about going and losing 50 frigates until you somehow learn by random osmosis?" you may ask. That is true and few people will berate someone for learning but they will still comment on their fits and what they may have died to. They will still go, "What was that?" but often with more curses and more insults to the persons intelligence and ability to fly spaceships.

We teach shame and it is a shame that we do. Loss becomes not just a challenge and something to get over but a bad and terrible thing that we want to avoid. And that happens because of shaming. It is extensive and it is constant. It is friendly and it is vicious. Cruise one of the killboards and see the endless snarky comments. See people apologize for losing things. It is a culture we have created.

I'm not a fan of removing killmails. I know it is the first thing that people suggest. Without the killmail the loss will not be ridiculed and people will be more relaxed and forgiving. The problem I have with it is that removing killboards opens up a lack of knowledge in what really happened. Fights become a mixture of fact and lies.

The lies are what bother me. It may be a me thing. I could always say, "Well I know what happened!" And that is true, I do. But, I do love knowing what happened. I'm one of those people who want logistics ships on killmails. The information saturation to me is important because the lies bother me so much. The gloating and the smugness that comes from creating a reality that only existed from the moment it was told to another person makes me grit my teeth.

I like the information and the tracking. I like the knowledge and the awareness. But, that is tainted by the shaming that happens over loss. I don't think killmails are magical. We have things like a culture of ISK efficiency where you lose a fight despite having kicked ass and taken names because your ship cost .01 ISK more then their ship did. "Oh its a wash." "Oh, we lost the ISK war." It makes me grit my teeth.

Loss and gain can be as nebulous as fun in a game where goals are self defined instead of preset and measured. Lacking a competitive nature, I spin off into the sunset happy as can be while others sit and stare at their measurements and mutter darkly at each other. Those measurements are fine. We all define what something means to ourselves. The problem is when that measurement is extended to another and affixed with duct tape.

It means that I wind up owning shame that is not my own. Yet, if I am not careful I carry it as if it belongs to me. Because I play with other people and our interactions with each other dictate our day, I cannot just toss every shred of responsibility out of the window. Still, I've found myself shrinking about losing things not because the loss upset me but because the potential berating that would follow made me want to log out of the game.

Maybe if I were a competitive person it would be different. As it is, kill mails have a lot of negatives. There is a culture built around them. but, before one nods I also point out that they have positives as well. I think that a culture would grow out of them one way or another and that culture would still carry some weight of its current negativity. After all, at the end it is spaceship violence against anther player. That comes with its own baggage.

So, no. I will not be the one cheering for a killmail free Eve. But I do, very much, agree with Kaeda. We teach each other that losing things is bad. And when you learn something from the start it tends to follow you forever more. And I know other's will feel differently. It's a big subject, well worth its own thesis.

And as for my lossmail the other day? To me, it is ample proof that I'm out in space doing the pewpew in new and different environments. I'm glad that someone noticed. I'm not shamed by it. I won't cringe that someone is going to spend their time being snarky and insulting. Instead, I'm proud. There is my proof in the pudding. The chocolate pudding. And that is my personal win condition.

Ramblings: Explanations Without Definitions

TL;DR: How do we communicate what we understand but cannot define?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

CSM9 - Day 112

This is a short post for a long week.

On Tuesday, Hyperion will arrive. I’ve spent the last several weeks going over the basics. I advise everyone to read the patch notes for details as to what is happening on Tuesday.

The Burner Missions are on Sisi. Yes, they were released very late. However, testing has been hot and heavy on them and tweaks have been happening to adjust the strength. There should be a patch going in today that will be their released state. To sum up the dev posts from the test server feedback: CCP Fozzie has said that they will continue to adjust them as needed. The rewards are not correct on SiSi due to how the mission system works. He has also been able to solo them in a T2 frigate with T2 modules. They do not need a fleet to kill but yes, they are very hard and require a lot of thought into fitting. That is the point.

The incursion changes are also live on Sisi and seem to be going well. The incursion community has been fantastic about testing and giving feedback about what they want.

I spent most of this week reading. It takes up a surprising amount of time to keep up with a series of threadnoughts and internal discussions. I broke from my normal habit of keeping CSM focused posts to Sunday because of SomerBLINK simply because my blog is the way that many people follow what I am doing as a CSM member. The normal day-to-day things can hold until Sunday but this was one where I felt that I needed to make my stance and activity clearly known. I also kept up with the threads, posts, reddit, eve-mails, and conversations in game about the topic. It was a very information-dense set of days when you mix in the meetings with CCP.

My open Q&A was yesterday. It was small, most people were off watching the Alliance Tournament. However, I had two good discussions where I dragged the flu infected Corbexx along and we chatted about Hyperion, wormholes, ganking, newbies, and the CSM members as individuals and the general process. I've already received a few eve-mails with feedback from questions and the discussion. Thank you to those who took the time to write.

We’ve been active in skype and on the CSM forums. The Summit is quickly approaching. I’ve been working on my list of things players have brought to me. Once Hyperion hits the ground we will pick up and keep running towards the next release.

Thankfully, the second half of the week was not like the first. I was even able to sneak in some in space time for a nice little brawl against the Militia and unwind with some Eve Online.

That sums it up.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thankfully, Nothing is Happening

"Sugar, you are so serious!"

I've been accused of said seriousness a few times in the last week. It is a true thing. I am serious. I take questions serious. I take promises seriously. I play serious internet spaceships, what can I say? I'm a pretty serious person.

I am also a very tired person. I realized that my mind was a bit empty of what I'd consider interesting enough topics to write about. I've spent the bulk of the week very focused and engaged. I'm a little low in the ways of energy. It is something that I find amusing. I'm to tired of think of new things. I'm still processing to many other things in the back of my mind.

I pull my writing from my day to day experiences. When ones week is consumed by only one thing that tends to limit everything else. Somewhere under there, what else have I been doing? I know I was busy but was I productively busy? Does it matter? Probably not. Mostly, now, I'm curled up and unwinding.

In other, random things. My Eve Uni talk is tomorrow instead of Sunday. I mixed my dates up a bit but I figure it doesn't really matter. Also, my Eve Vegas stuff is all together. They have started to announce prizes from the drawings as well as the in game items that come along with a ticket or the stream.

I will never fly it. It will sit in a hangar somewhere (probably Jita) and be beautiful forever.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

TCS: Expansion and Contraction

In the end I took down my office in Bosena. It was a mix of disappointment and relief. While I learned a lot about cost savings and becoming more mentally flexible in my logistics while trying to circumvent the office ISK problem, it was nice not to just pour over a hundred million ISK out the window every month as well.

I know that my logistics problem didn't make sense to some. Why not raise my prices? Why not ship this way or that? I think some of the confusion simple comes from the fact that my market is a major piece of my game but it is not my entire game. In many ways I have no single thing that I do for my game of Eve. Because my market is a piece, I must slot it in as I can depending on other priorities.

I've also learned that I can handle two markets. My abilities and understanding as to what I want to do with a market now is better. I can now paint the entire picture, not just the outline. The success of Bosena means that I can stock it about twice a week. Normally it needs a week day stocking and a weekend stocking. Learning that ebb and flow has let me managed time better. Knowing what does and does not sell allows me to invest more ISK into large groups of items.

Some things don't sell or are not worth it to sell. Some are just a pain in the butt. Missiles are a pain in the butt. They sell based off of the current missile meta. Sometimes I'm buying them constantly and sometimes they delist without a single one moving for three months. Unlike some items such as various meta 0 and meta 1 and 2 and 3 modules, I  need to keep listening missiles. After all, the goal is to be able to fit and ship as they please. I don't know if I can fix the missile problem. I doubt it.

With Bosena thriving I've been introducing a steady stream of faction and battleships to it. The battleships are still at a handful of the most common utility PvP battleships. It is a lot of ISK to tie up in hulls that may sit and sit and sit.

On the other hand, over in Sujarento I'm pondering if I should introduce battlecruisers to the market or wait. Battlecruisers in Bosena sell, steadily, but not quickly. Sujarento is in faction warfare space. Frigates and destroyers sell like crazy there. They move very slowly in Bosena. That makes me wonder if I should wait to go up in hull size in Sujarento until the rest of the market is more established. I don't know yet. The ebb and flow of ship size is very different between the two regions. Those comparisons, I'll save for later.

Another major differences is that Sijarento is only a few jumps from Jita. I expected there to be a sharper margin but in general, my pricing scene is exactly the same as it is in Bosena and I am still often at the top of the region for prices. I've seen it before in the other Mobile Market's that I've run. What it has taught me is that there is greater room in the PvP market for prices.

And even a few jumps from Jita people still go, "It's low sec" and mark up the prices until the market screams. There is more low sec competition. I was pushing against high sec in Molden Heath but the Citadel is a massively populated region and that gives everything a different feel and usage.

Plus, I'll soon have a second market alt ready to go for Sujarento (I'm now training marketing skills on my scanning alt) which will free up the orders I need. I think comparison of the two markets over the next months will be interesting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Somergate: Lend Me Your Voice

Last night I joked that I'd wake up and check to see if there was an early morning meeting for the CSM reference Somer. It turns out that it was not a joke. I woke up at six and was pinged with a meeting invite to meet with CCP and the VP of Sales over the e-mails that have been released and to where the entire topic sits today. We ended our meeting so that they could go have more meetings over this, meet with legal, and make decisions.

CCP Falcon will start responding to the thread.

I said yesterday that this entire thing spells out RMT to me. My opinion is that it looks like money laundering.
Money laundering is commonly defined as occurring in three steps: the first step involves introducing cash into the financial system by some means ("placement"); the second involves carrying out complex financial transactions to camouflage the illegal source ("layering"); and the final step entails acquiring wealth generated from the transactions of the illicit funds ("integration").
All the questions people have brought to us, we have taken to CCP. The forum post alone shows the laundry list of reactions players have. The lack of trust. The belief in special treatment. That the EULA has been violated by RMT. That it has been violated by sharing internal documents in public. The hurt that the community was not fully listened to last year and Somer was not shut down when his actions were proven to be RMT. These are the things that are on the thread and these are the things that we have said and continue to say. 

CCP is not shoving this under the carpet or dragging their feet as happened last year. We have expressed that they cannot. They cannot leave the community hanging for weeks or months while a decision is made. They no longer have that luxury and they no longer have that trust or patience from their player base. 

Was there malice on CCP's side? No. But, a mistake was made. A mistake that should have been corrected last year was allowed to grow. It needs to be corrected now.

I've given you my opinion. I think that rules are being broken. I do not approve of special treatment. All this does is hurt the game that I passionately enjoy. Now, I want yours. 

If you are willing to throw your voice into the fray, please do. Give me your opinion. Ban Somer? Let everyone RMT? Give me words. Give the forums your opinion. I know that some of you have but for those who have not and are willing to weigh in, please do. This is one of those times that I will ask you not to be silent.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Want to be Neutral

Of course. Here you go.

Somergate 2014

Not everyone uses Twitter. CSM9 had an early morning (USTZ) prelimiary meeting with CCP Leeloo and CCP Falcon over Somer Blink's new program. Stay tuned.

Update: We have spent the day talking with CCP. It has been back and forth and back and forth. I realized that I didn't put my personal opinion up here earlier so here it is:

I don't like this. I don't feel that it is okay. I also really, really want to know what is going on and get this stuff hammered out so that it is not happening over and over again. I find the rules clear but it seems that I lack a particular type of creativity for this.

Several of us have asked questions in the thread of CCP Falcon. We've repeated the concerns that have been expressed to us. And we'll keep this going.

CCP Falcon released a statement here. I'm reposting it for those who do not wish to go to the forums.

Hey guys,
Apologies for the delay in putting out a notification, I’ve just arrived home from the office after a bit of a busy day talking to various departments to get a handle on how and what’s been going on with this situation.
This issue was first brought to the attention of the Community Team by the CSM around 24 hours ago after concern was raised by members of the community regarding the promotion that’s currently going on over at SOMERblink.
Myself and CCP Leeloo has been sat with various groups within CCP today and have been in constant contact with the CSM throughout the day to discuss the concerns of the community and make sure that some form of resolution is reached. They’ve been very clear, direct and unified with their opinion on the situation, and this is a sentiment that I share with them.
This thread will serve as a place where we’ll be updating you guys on what’s going on with this to make sure that there’s a central place for information, because it’s quite clear that this is an issue that the community is taking seriously. It’s also something I feel incredibly strongly about.
At this point in time, we’re investigating exactly what’s going on with the whole situation, and I’ve been in contact with our Legal department, Sales and our Information Security team with a view to having this looked into and resolved.
Given the sheer size of the investigation that we’ll be undertaking, this is going to take some time, as a lot of ISK and assets have changed hands. While some temporary action has been taken in order to keep a handle on the situation, any outcome of an investigation is still to be determined, and I can’t give any further information regarding the process while it’s ongoing.
There’s not a great deal more that I’ll be able to give you guys tonight, but please be aware, and rest assured, that you will not be stonewalled over this, and within reason the Community Team will be letting you guys know exactly what’s going on as and when we can release more information.
I’m hoping to have more on this for you guys tomorrow as we look into this further, but for now, this is just to let you all know that your voices have been heard, we’re actively looking at the situation, and will feed back as soon as we have more information that we can share.
We'll be locking all the other threads that are discussing this, and diverting them here to keep feedback concise and centralized in one place, so please feel free to use this thread to talk about the issue openly.
Just remember to keep it civil and within the forum rules, which also means no discussion of warnings and bans.
Thanks for your patience,
- F

Sunday, August 17, 2014

CSM9 - Day 105

On Monday, CCP Seagull was kind enough to post a Coming Soon in Hyperion Dev Blog and release some of the changes coming. They also had a little live twitch feed to go over some of the features and discuss it with various developers.

FIrst is a change that was dropped as a teaser by another CSM member some weeks ago. It instantly caused fear in some members of the wormhole community that CCP was changing PI (Planetary interaction) on them. In fact, CCP is simply removing a restriction where you currently cannot drop PI Command Centers in Sov unless you belong to the alliance that owns the system. This was a request by the null sec CSM members. I did not even know there was that restriction on null sec PI when it comes to who dropped command centers. Now, it will be the same everywhere.

CCP MasterPlan let out the fact that he has been working on making signatures persistent after downtime on Twitter.  Most people were happy but I found one complaint that now new signatures will be harder to decipher from old. They are now up on SiSi along with the new bookmark copying.

The UI team is still working on the Industry window to make it a smoother and better experience. This is not an abandoned project. They have been pushing updates and fixes.

100MN (Battleship size) microwarpdrives are getting their cap usage cut in half. This is a very big deal. There is a lot of excitement. There are some murmurs that it will be over powered. I think that it is the type of change that needs to be fielded to see the effects. With the six week release cycle if it is truly broken and over powered and low sec becomes Machariels online, we can address the problem promptly.

The Scout Site changes for incursions are going in along with some changes to how many NCN sites spawn. This has been a major project for Mike and it is nice to see it implemented.

At the start of our Term CCP Fozzie told us that he was looking to add a new type of mission. It is one of those things where everyone said "yes please!" On Monday, CCP Seagull released the news and CCP Fozzie followed up with a dev blog about the missions.

Now, the reaction was not what I expected. I expected that i would sit here and respond to complaints that CCP was working on PvE content. All of the things about it, such as it being skippable, in the regular level fours but not decreasing access to the normal mission pool, and using frigates were supposed to be the defense for them. The idea of giving mission runners something new to try and a reason to try out frigates and fighting styles that are not optimal battleship blitzing seemed amazing.

I didn't expect people to stampede up to me and demand access to these missions. To demand mission agents. To tell me that they wanted this. That this would be something they could embrace and do. That tucking them away in level four missions was an awful, awful thing.

I talked to frigate pilots who do not own a battleship and pilots who do not have standings for level four missions and never enter high sec. They want these missions. They feel that it is a perfect content opportunity. But, they cannot access them because they are buried in the mission system. I was absolutely wrong about the reaction. But, I find it interesting. A few days ago all I heard was that PvE was terrible and they’d never want to do it. Instead, it appears that people are saying current PvE is terrible but they will look at new types and evaluate them. Know that I have heard these desires and will continue to express them to CCP to expand upon this type of content.

CCP Fozzie did respond about them being buried in the level IV system and I’m going to quote a part of his post.
"I completely understand why people would want to have these missions accessible from their own dedicated agents, and that is definitely something we'd like to do with similar missions in the future. However since these missions are going to be a bit more profitable than average level 4s and because there's only going to be five of them in this initial deployment, they aren't really suitable to stand on their own right now."
The Summer Summit post is up and topics are being taken. We are working on a schedule. It will be three eight-hour days of talking and note taking for us.

Corbexx had a wormhole Town Hall last night which CCP Fozzie attended. The channel had about 300 people in it along with the people at the New England Meetup listening in. I tagged along just in case I could be useful. I ran home from work, changed, and logged on. I stepped right into the mass-based jump change and wow, what a discussion. People laid their opinions and CCP Fozzie answered them. The consensus is that they do not agree with the changes (but for one guy) and there was a very general feeling that null sec pushed for this and CCP bowed to them. The topic keep going back to the mass changes. I was able to share what I’ve picked up from the wormhole pilots that have come to me.

CCP Fozzie did say that BlackOps are high on the list for rebalance. This, I’m sure, surprises no one. Get your engines thinking and ready to give feedback, hopes, and dreams.

We had our bi-weekly meeting as well. It was short and sweet. Mostly it was a touch up on what had already come out and any questions or problems. Again, the wormhole mass changes were the main topic.

Next Sunday is my Eve Uni talk. At 1500 and 2200 on Eve Uni mumble. I’m asking Corbexx to come along so that some of the wormhole people who missed him at the townhall can talk to him there.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wormhole Town Hall: Today

Just in case you don't read the forums:

Corbexx is running a Wormhole Town Hall on August 16th (today) at 2200 UTC (eve time).

It is to discuss the wormhole changes and wormholes in general.

CCP Fozzie will be there.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Season for Change

There have been a lot of changes in my little Eve world. I undock to dark, velvety blue-black space under an orange star.

I cannot pronounce the system names. Somewhere along the way my processing gives out and random garbled sounds flow for a bit before stopping. Things are the same, but different. Random people come through spamming contract ads and ISK doubling. I'm greeted by people and sometimes engage in local conversations with names I have never before met.

Change. It can be overwhelming. The desire to run back to the familiar sometimes surfaces. Other times, I start to act upon things I had loosely planned for the future that I no longer need to do. I no longer need a second deployment carrier. Which is a good thing because, T2 large rigs. The familiar is comfortable and I get somewhat homesick. After all, over two and a half years and most of that was in Molden Heath where I could fly to any system without thinking and had safes and bookmarks yards deep.

And what is the point of change but to be embraced? But sometimes you need an exterior motivator and I received one today.

I received a gift from a reader. A shiny gift from a reader. A shiny gift from a reader that I could not fly.

I had slipped into a bit of a pity party the last few days. Wallowing in a bit of change sickness and looking down paths not taken. And there I was, feeling sorryish for myself and someone gifts me this amazing, little thing.

This amazing little thing that I cannot fly.

That I cannot fly because I am more stubborn than I have any right to be.

And I penned a thank you note. Because, someone had taken the time out of their day to write me. The ISK out of their wallet to gift me. And they found me to be worthy of these things.

I wrote my thank you. And then I said that they needed to give me a few weeks until I could fly it. For they wish to see it upon my kill board. But it will take a moment to fly it. But, I would.

I will.

And that is why Sugar Kyle decided today, to get over herself, and learn missiles.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Today, Snuff took out a shield fleet which, from comments and reactions it appears that it is an event close to the coming of the four horsemen for such a situation to happen. While everyone else was puzzled, or buzzing off into space at full speed in random directions enjoying the sweet taste of speed and agility, I felt at home. I know what to do in a shield ship. Or, for the most part. This wasn't a five man fleet situation. But, it felt good. It felt familiar.

And maybe that is bad.

I was reading a conversation the other day. Or, I was skimming a rant to be truthful. It was a familiar rant. Said person likes to get onto this particular soapbox and beat it like a dead horse. Anyway, it was a familiar rant about the place of certain types of ships, namely supers in low sec. It was one full of frustration and irritation. And "They don't belong here," was said about a particular group and their habits not meshing with the what they defined as 'low sec' combat.

Back to that shield fleet I was in. There I was, stretched out and feeling good about myself. Life has been different the last twoish weeks. New people. New Places. New things. New new. And, I've been flying a lot of armor stuff. Armor has never been popular with me and some may wonder why I'd even wander somewhere that I'd be flying armor and my beloved shield fleet would sit in my hangar, dusty.

It would be very easy for me to stay a shield focused frigate pilot. The thing is, I didn't start as a frigate pilot. I started as a random newbie who came to low sec and got trained into a Hurricane because it was battlecurisers online. I didn't switch to frigates until Retribution and the battlecruiser nerf forced me out of battlecruisers. I moved to frigates because we needed tackle and everyone wanted to fly DPS ships. I've never, ever cared what my damage percentage was on a kill and as the tackle pilot and also the support pilot I understood my place in the fleet and I understood my importance to the kills and fights.

And from there, I became a good fleet frigate pilot. I'm not excellent. I've never been a soloer. I'm not that kind of pilot and I don't have any desire to bet hat type of pilot. I became an interceptor pilot to expand upon my goals. I stuck with Jaguar's because they did what I wanted them to do and how I wanted them to do it. I enjoyed having a place where I felt that I mattered and my skill points did not. I filled a niche role in my social group, because that, it seems, is what I do in Eve.

But, I'm not only a frigate pilot. I don't want to be only a frigate pilot. I want to do more in Eve than one thing. I want to fly different ships and play with tactics. I want to rampage with new players that get their first kill and ride the wave of nervous excitement when a cyno goes up and fifty ships jump in. In a way, I want everything and I want to have the chance to experience everything.

I'm a generalist, not a specialist.

And that is the problem with pigeonholing.

  • Pigeonholing is any process that attempts to classify disparate entities into a small number of categories (usually, mutually exclusive ones).
  • The term usually carries connotations of criticism, implying that the classification scheme referred to inadequately reflects the entities being sorted, or that it is based on stereotypes.

If we 'solve' the problem by kicking groups or things out of low sec... if we say, 'they don't belong here' and we then push for mechanics to force a particular type of engagement, we've pigeonholed low sec. It isn't about unique features. The question is, "How restricted do we want things?" I've always loved the potential to do things in Eve. But the moment we have hard limits on things... the moment we say that things don't belong here out of frustration, we open ourselves to crawling into a box we may never get out of.

Maybe I just dislike rules.

I want to fly more than frigates. I may want to go back to only flying frigates. But, there is a lot of Eve out there. I don't want to be told that I don't belong in an armor fleet flying a DPS ship because I am a frigate pilot. I'd like to discover if I belong there on my own. I personally want to avoid shoving, we the players, into boxes. If people make them, I'd like them to make said box themselves so that they have the key to escaping it if they so choose. Otherwise, we will create walls and even the shortest wall is still a barrier that many will never think of climbing.

We need to make sure that we know if we are pigeonholed. Otherwise our ideas and solutions will reflect back on us and we will hear our own echo and think it is other voices. At the same time, I want people who have found their niche to be able stay there and be comfortable. Maybe, I want to much. I want options and choices and chances. I want people to be able to make things happen. I want restrictions to be creative things that we use as features and terrain.

After all, I'm a frigate pilot.

Pleasure in Planning

I was excited. I logged in Haibisukasu and undocked her Reaper. Deftly she twisted in space as I aligned her towards the Heild gate and accelerated into warp. Haibi is not my most experienced pilot. It took a bit longer than normal for her Reaper to reach warp but it dropped out of warp space onto the Heild gate. Gates need much less skill. A few commands and she was through and accelerating towards the Pator Tech School in Heild that sits on Moon 1 of Planet X.

The cause for this excitement was that Haibi could now plug in Cynosural Field Theory. It was the culmination of a few weeks of planning. Being a market alt, she had very few skills trained. Because of this, when I moved out of Molden Heath a few weeks ago I found myself up a creek without a cyno when it came to TCS.

Like many pilots who spend their time in a capital ship rich environment, I have cynosural field theory trained on all of my active pilots. This allows anyone that I have logged in to light an emergency cynosural field if one is needed. I tend to keep a small stock of ships prepared for action in this emergency situation. I have a few alts who just spend their time sitting places with supplies ready to light a cyno for my logistics efforts.

When I moved out of Molden Heath I did not reorganize my cyno network as coherently as I should have. This led to me leaving my scanning alt behind to light cynos until I was able to train a replacement. To not make the same mistake a second time, I've spent the past two weeks training a TCS alt into cynosural field theory. This mean that today, when she was able to plug in the actual skillbook, I was pretty happy and rather satisfied.

What type of game play is that?

I picked up Space Engineers last week and I've been playing with it. I've been doing a terrible job and managed to destroy my first three games. I'm now in one where I'm doing okay for the most part with a good few mistakes but nothing I've not been able to overcome with planning, caution, and patience.

Eve is no different. Doing things often involve creating the groundwork of the 'thing' that you want to do along with the thing itself. If I want to run a market that means I have to make all of the market happen. In this case my various logistical assets become their own problem to solve. These are problems that are very interesting to me and probably only me. That does not devalue them. I am reminded, however, when I start chattering excitedly and someone reminds me that 'I get my own stuff,' that not everyone gives a little delighted squeal when the next part of their problem solving is accomplished.

My markets are not very glamorous. I'm not making billions a month for only a few hours work. It's reasonably time intensive. In fact it is very calm, and quiet and often slow but still takes a lot of time. However, once everything slots into place I sit back and smile at my screens. It amazes me that I move the sum and volume of goods that I do.

It has not yet grown old. If anything, new challenges appear. From station rent being so high that it drove me to a new path to do my logistics to learning how to run a second market that is a starter while keeping Bosena stocked and ready to go.

I did learn today that in the time it takes a non-acendencey freighter to make five jumps my blockade runner can do 18. What fun.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Newbie From My Other Life

This is going to be a very predictable post... but...

One of my co-workers told me that they made an Eve account yesterday. I promptly lost my mind in hysterical joy and almost scared him away. He had been told by another co-worker that games (we're some of the only non-FPS gamers that we know of) that I played Eve so he should get in touch with me. He did and I about turned into a packet of Starburst (strawberry best, then orange).

Of course, I was late home from work. It was not a big deal but you know it is going to happen on days when you have things to do in Eve. I staggered inside almost an hour late, got myself sorted, discovered the AC was broken again, took a cold shower and logged in.

My co-worker had picked Gallente. I wasn't surprised. Gallente is very appealing and he is an experienced gamer and player of MMOs. However, will he like Eve? Well, he enjoys DayZ. He'll be fine.

This is what we decided to do. He was on a normal 14 day trial. I told him that I would give him a 21 day trial. I would then give him a PLEX and let him subscribe himself, giving him the 51 days. That would give me 30 days game time to redeem. That way he gets 51 days to decide if he want's to play or not, try to PLEX or not, or pay or not if he liked the game. He asked me if I was losing out. I said no, I'd get the game time for the PLEX usage. He gets off of the trial restrictions and can dive into the game for almost two months.

I went and met him at his newbie system and had him transfer over all of his stuff. He then recreated off of the link and I headed off to Jita. This is when I managed to do something special. I had switched from my Blockade Runner to a Velator. I wasn't in the mood to have my Blockade Runner popped in Jita.

So, I set autopilot (I'm using Chella not Sugar) and went off to make dinner. I then wander back to notice that I am in low sec warping to a gate.

You see... someone forgot to change her autopilot settings.

As I panicked and went to warp off the gate a bunch of frigates jump through, decloak, and point me. Whoops. One dead empty Velator. I reshipped into another and snickered. I have never done that particular bit of stupidity before. My first loss involved me getting confused about gates due to autopilot settings and not really understanding things. But I made it through several systems before I caught my mistake and then was caught in my mistake.

Anyway, it was late and he had to log. We picked back up today. I got him to Jita and explained PLEX usage with him. He got himself subbed, relogged to clear his trial restrictions, and returned to his rookie home to finish the tutorial missions and start figuring out what he wants to do in Eve. I've dumped him in help chats, given him links, and we will see how it goes. I gave him 10 million ISK and told him his handouts were over!

I did forget to give him a set of +3 implants. He is okay with it. Putting through his training and asking questions. I hope he enjoys it.

I, however, do not think I am very good with ISK anymore.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Potential is Not a Guarantee

Risk is a very popular buzzword in Eve these days. Often, it is pair with reward. I looked it up because I was arguing about the cloak microwardrive trick. I'm told that it is risk free because they escape the tackle or gatecamp.

I disagree with it. Because someone successfully evades and escapes that does not mean they were not at risk. It does not mean that they do not take a risk. No where does 'risk' mean 'they automaticlly die to me when I do the pewpew at them'.

And then I asked myself, "Do we even know what the word we are using means?" I asked myself that because we have reached the point of throwing it down and asking it to stand for itself and carry the weight of the conversation.

I went and looked up the definition of RISK:
  • possibility of loss or injury :  peril
  • someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard
  • to put (something) in a situation in which it could be lost, damaged, etc.
  • to do something that could result in (something bad or unpleasant)
  • to do (something that may have harmful or bad results)
  • to expose to hazard or danger <risked her life>
  • to incur the risk or danger of
For such a small word it has a lot depth to its definition. Risk as a noun. Risk as a verb. Risk in medical usage. There are examples. It is used as an insurance term. It is a very large small word.

I do think that we are using it correctly. But, personal desires are getting mixed up into the actual usage. The entire definition of risk carries the suggestion that the action may have a negative outcome. It does not say that it does.

If you mission in low sec you may lose your ship. It does not mean that you will. It means that you have the potential  to put yourself into that situation. It does not mean that you will lose it. It does not even mean it is worth it. It simply mean that the potential of ship loss is the risk.

This applies for null sec as well. Null sec is not 100% safe. If it was we'd not hear so much about cloaky campers, fears of hot drops, and see bubbled gates that are themselves spectacles to amaze. Null sec has risk. It may just not be the levels or intensity of risk that the parties discussing agree on. There is a difference between a guarantee and the potential of a thing.

Really I hate hearing, "Its 100% risk free!" It is simply not a 1 to 1 scale to define the reward. It was wicked to mention null sec without pitchforks and tar so let me abuse something else. I will use wormholes since I know very little about them.

A C5 or C6 wormhole is full of people in capital ships that PvE in dreadnoughts and make eleventy billion ISK an hour with no risk. Or at least, this is what I hear. However, they are at Risk. They are at the potential of Risk. They are at this potential from other players and their enviorment. But let's say that they have managed this and they now have all of their special wormhole stuff. This stuff now needs to make it to the market.

At this point people will tell me that they make it to the market and make eleventy billion ISK. Sure, but they don't always make it tot he market. Sometimes they get ganked. Sometimes it takes them weeks to get into a position to go and cash out. Then they are paid back out and that eleventy billion iSK isn't just injected into their wallet fifteen minutes after they killed their last, magical wormhole NPC. Most often they make it to market and roll in the eleventy billionness of it and that makes sense because IRS a game and they did a bunch of stuff to gather the game rewards.

I use that simply to suggest that risk vs reward is to narrow a view point. The behaviors that a player takes to do PI in low sec, to move their cloaky stabbed hauler through gate camps, to get it back out, to get it to market are behaviors that we want to reward. They are possibilities to make those tools work.

I have a hard time feeling anything that might be considered pitty that your gatecamp did not cacth them. Because if your gatecamp did.... if it always caught them... why would they ever take that risk? What reward would they have to engage in that risky behavior that even puts them within view of you?

A lot of Eve's gameplay is about behaviors. Social behaviors. Human behavior. We don't have to be social. It our behavior dictates our play. I asked a few days ago if people would see a greater good in another player group large enough to see past a killmail. It is about trying to place players in the position where they make decisions. Some are going to play it safe. They are going to play it safe each time. There is nothing that we can do to make people who will always play safe no longer play it safe. They will stop or quit. They don't have to play Eve.

"But, Sugar I want to kill everything! Rawr! Rawr! Nomnom!"

I can't help there. We're not entitled to rewards. Be that ISK or killmails. We're not entitled to safety. We're not entitled to success. We're not even entitled to failure. What we are entitled to is potential. And we bring that with us when we start playing.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ramblings: My Momentary Writers Block

TL;DR: I was sent an Eve mail that made me debate where the boundaries are to others dictating what I may or may not do as a 'public' figure.

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Fourteen

A Look at the History of Expansions

Previous Entry: Revelations III

It is December 11th, 2007. The next day, Eve Online: Trinity will be released. But before we get there take a moment to remember Steve, the first Titan who was destroyed on December 11th, 2007 only a few months after his birth.

Eve Online: Trinity is released December 12th, 2007. While originally billed as Revelations III somewhere along the way the expansion picked up the name of its primary feature. The Trinity graphics engine that was giving Eve Online it's first visual update since its launch in 2003.

However, the Trinity release was still the third part of the Revelations release arc with its war featured theme. With Trinity, we received advertised fleets that members could join instead of every member being invited one by one. Eve's battles had grown and what might work for a twenty man fleet quickly staggered under the weight of several hundred players going to battle. This is aided by corpses having gender. Female's now no longer, oddly, leave male corpses. This is important. The battlefield will now tell a true story.

Trinity also brings with it undocking at maximum velocity in an effort to cut down undock congestion. However, if one wishes to indulge in the congestion the overview can now be filtered down to very focused tabs.

The tutorials received an overhaul. There used to be creation paths it seems because one of them was called "Executive Commander" and that needed some typos fixed. It also looks as if the tutorial missions were in some way protected. A warning was added to notify new players when they decided to leave the tutorial room.

Corporation standings can now be set from an accounts show info window. CEOs now are notified that they've been voted out of office.
 "The office bill reminder will now mention that it is charging you in ISK, rather than leaving you to guess if it meant Quafe, slaves, fedos, etc."
The Trinity patch notes are extensive but they are mostly an exhaustive list of tweaks and fixes. Typo fixes, rebalances, error fixes, menu clarifications, the list goes on and on. The Trinity engine was the highlight of this expansion but at the same time CCPs energy was going into cleaning up huge areas of the eve client. The developers even did a live blog (podcast) on patch day that was available to listen to or download.

December of 2007 is quiet on the dev blog front. The community team emerges from the latest GM/ISD shuffle. The 5th alliance tournament is also in the works showing that they were not in the current summer cycle for the alliance tournament.

CCP has moved heavily into more types of media. There are live blogs which are basically a CCP Podcast and Eve TV. I'm sure everyone will be pleased to know that CCP has looked at clones. They have added some higher grades and rounded up the costs to make everything better. More expensive clones.

Asteroid belts also get their own dev blog. There is a question about optimization and a question about change. Here, the nugget of prospect mining show. Mining would not be just about selecting the proper name but about hunting out special goodness.  Ewar icons are added to the overview. Before, who was using ewar was an unknown. Now you know. It will be far into the future when ewar icons are placed overt the HUD. These tiny icons are a useful first step.

CCP Prism X enters with his first dev blog. For those who use twitter, he is quite amusing once he starts up. He is cleaning up space. Anchored containers will now expire after thirty days if not interacted with unless they are inside of a POS shield. Sound familiar?

Amarr ships are the complaint of the day. They are getting love, care, and rebalancing. CCP has engaged the community about the ships. The changes are on the test server and they are taking in feedback. While they are balancing ships they decide to touch up on Jump Freighters. No one is using them so they get some buffs. Won't someone use a jump freighter, please?

The second quarterly economic report is released. At the same time, CCP sets up for the first CSM election.

It is March of 2008 and Trinity 1.1 is released and CCP releases another live dev blog during the patch. CCP has nerfed drones, removing their automatic shield recharge when recalled. Now begins the day of drone shield regeneration at some unknown speed inside of your ship. CCP also adjusted some docking radius, nerfing many undock and die stations.

In April of 2008, as an April fools joke, CCP deploys what they called Subscription 2.0.  It is billed as:
Just as Web 2.0 is built on top of Web 1.0, Subscription 2.0 will be built on top of Subscription 1.0. We're not changing the underlying Service Provision Model – you'll still be paying a monthly fee as part of your Community Participation Agreement – although certain product areas will be migrated across to Subscription 2.0 in order to enhance user choice through Selective Resourcing. Subscription 2.0 will allow you to invest in optional product areas on an ad-hoc basis, so you only pay for what you actually want!
Sounds great right? Until one reads:
Our launch product for Subscription 2.0 will be AmmoAnywhere!, which will be fully integrated into the client next week. It does exactly what it says on the tin – simply click the new "AmmoAnywhere!" button in the UI, and a new stack of ammunition will appear in your cargo hold. We've done everything we can to streamline this process, so there's no fiddling about with details and authorization: once you've set up your account to enable Subscription 2.0, clicking "AmmoAnywhere!" will automatically bill your credit card for the transaction as part of the Customer Experience Process. No hassle, no fuss, instant ammunition!
Pay for items? Micro transactions? What fascinating things do we have here? I can only think if this dev blog was deployed to Eve today. But it shows an interesting change in CCP. The Dev blogs since hte launch of Trinity have been somewhat scarce and now, micro transactions for game items. What future does this bring?

One that may be about battling RMT. The next dev blog, released a few days later, focuses on RMT (Real Money Trading).

A team to maintain the Eve Wiki is formed. I wonder what happens to them in the future. The first CSM candidate list is released and more information on what CCP hopes the CSM to be is also released. This is the first iteration of the CSM when CSM sessions were six months long and you could only run twice.

Fortunately, to break up everything, Shuttles can no longer be purchased from NPCs and are placed in the hands of players for ever and ever. While moving things from NPC to player made is very common, the reason behind the shuttle movement is interesting. It is about the price of tritanium.
"It is true that the convenience factor is important. It was debated internally if the benefit of removing the price cap outweighs the loss in convenience. In the end the opinion that current options of travelling in the capsule, warp to zero and free rookie ships minimizes the loss of convenience and hence the benefits of removing the price cap clearly outweighed the loss in the convenience factor.
The benefit from removing this price cap is that the price of tritanium will be more in line with the underlying demand for tritanium at any given time. This makes the mining industry more profitable in the long run and will balance the benefits between mining and other professions in EVE."
It is now May of 2008 and the name of the next expansion, due in June is revelead. Eve Online: Empyrean Age will be launching on the 10th of June. With it will come what CCP has promised and worked on for years. Faction Warfare.

And that is it for now. Next post, Eve Online: Empyrean Age

Edit Note: I added that the Subscription 2.0 was a April fools joke after it was pointed out to me by someone more aware of the meaning of such dates than I.


Official Eve Online: Trinity Expansion page
Eve Online: Trinity Patch Notes
2007 Eve Dev Blogs
2008 Eve Dev Blogs
Massively - Steve

Sunday, August 10, 2014

CSM- Day 98

This was wormhole week.

First, Wormholes have some changes coming to them. CCP Fozzie wrote a dev blog that not only details the changes but details CCP’s view for wormholes. The purpose of this dev blog is to explain to the players how CCP feels about wormholes, in official words.

Early in the week someone loaded up SiSi and discovered that the spawn range for ships had changed when they came out of a wormhole. This caused some questions, a lot of anger, and a threadnought. At the same time, there appeared to be changes in the polarization effect of wormholes. There was a lot of anger. I was told that people were going to unsub because CCP was changing wormholes and not engaging the community. Others said that because Corbexx is the only wormhole member terrible things were happening due to under representing.

There was a lot of reaction and almost none of that reaction remembered that the CSM is under an NDA and we don’t get to discuss changes until CCP releases that information to the public. However, there was also the automatic assumption that nothing had been said or done by the CSM because we had not said anything. Again, that ignores the simple problem that we are under the NDA and we cannot discuss what we have been discussing with CCP until we are allowed to discuss it with the player base in public. This makes it look as if we are behind and people start to panic.

Sadly, some people went straight to rage and assumed these changes were being pushed to Tranquility in the exact state they were found at on SiSi. All of that was incorrect. The CSM and especially Corbexx have been discussing this with CCP. Corbexx is not ignored because he is the only wormhole rep. At the same time, CCP doesn't elect the CSM to make game design decisions for them to implement. While we suggest plenty, CCP comes up with things on their own and we may or may not agree with them. But, we’re not going to be able to discuss anything until we are allowed to.

The NDA is very frustrating but it is there because CCP does share this information with us and brings us into the process of change and implementation. I’ve had half a dozen people call the NDA stupid this week because it restricts me from telling them what they want to hear.  Yes, I give answers that say, “This has been brought to the attention of the CSM.” And that’s all I’m going to give out because I’m not breaking the trust I was elected to honor. Frustrating for all sides? Yes.

After all of that happened, CCP Fozzie released the Dev Blog and released individual threads for the wormhole changes.

K162 Signatures Appearing on First Jump
Wormhole Effect Rebalance
Second Static for C4s
Mass-Based Spawn Distance after WH Jumps
Bookmarks and Bookmark Copying
Random WHs and the New Small Ship WHs

Most have received positive feedback. The mass-based spawn distance after WH Jumps is the unloved one. All of these are set up for the Hyperion release at the end of August. Please, enter in the discussion. If you hate the forums just hit reply and type your opinion without reading anything but the first post by CCP Fozzie.

Corbexx amused me greatly. When the dev blog about the wormhole changes went live he said, “let me get some beers and start responding.” He’s also written some personal blogs and released the first one which details one of the major projects has has taken on. The project is about the actual average ISK in various classes of wormholes. The range of how much people makes is huge and instead of assumptions being created off of guesses or ‘he said, she said’ Corbexx is working on actual documentation. Give it a read.

Wormholes are not my specialty. I know enough about them to get basic lingo. I know how they work. I don’t feel that I can speak from an educated stance about how these changes will change life for wormhole residents. Thankfully, I’ve had people come and explain their opinions to me. I send them to the threads and I discuss things with Corbexx. I am comfortable saying that Corbexx doesn’t look down on those who live in the C1-4 wormholes and he is not trying to make them come play in the C5 and C6 wormholes. He is very fair and will point out how a change will make things easier to invade or harass the lower class wormholes when we discuss.

Copying bookmarks will benefit everyone. It is a quality of life change that will have a quietly large effect.

With the new random and small ship WH thread someone asked why not add them to null sec -> null sec. CCP Fozzie points out that the CSM has asked for  this type as a High Sec -> Wormhole connection

CREST and API stuff is moving along at rapid rates for those interested. Steve is on the ball.

POS fees can now be paid from a corporation wallet or a personal wallet.

There was also an issue where the materials for bubbles (mobile warp inhibitors) was greater than intended.

There should be a Town Hall before the summit in mid-September. I don’t know if I will be able to attend. I work the weekend before the summit and that is the best weekend for the Town Hall.

But! My next Eve Uni chat is scheduled for August 23rd at 1500 and 2200. As always, everyone is invited. This is open to everyone and Eve Uni is kind enough to host. I’ve been told to publicize them more but, I’m terrible at publicizing things. Marketing is not a career I would succeed in.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My Dreadnought Story

This isn't a battle report. It's just the story of my first Titan kill the first time I took my Revelation out. This is my first week as a member of Snuff Box.

Back in the end of 2012 I decided to try to take down inactive high sec POS to steal the mods. I quickly discovered that this was incredibly boring. However, I had trained a set of perfect Oracle alts with T2 guns for this. A few months later, I decided to use this alt as a level 4 mission pilot. I trained her into Amarr Battleships and set her up to grind level 4 missions. 

I never did that. I have a nice, T2 NaPoc all fit out for her to use. I had more fun doing exploration in low sec and just never convinced myself to go to high sec and grind missions.

Sometime later, I started to train her into a Dreadnought so that I could help with the POCO and POS take downs for planning fights. She was a T2 laser user. The jump from T2 Iarge guns to capital lasers was simple. While I was at it, I  trained her into T2 siege and jump skills before I trained dreadnought. I then purchased a fit Revelation. 

Also, Revelations are pretty. I have a pretty simple philosophy that if I am buying things I want to enjoy them. "Why not a Moros?" I hear. Because Moros, while being amazing DPS machines, are ugly. Revelations are beautiful. And if it was going to be big, slow, and often static it might as well be pretty to look at.

However, I've never used my dread. 

Then today... we had just finished a Navy Vexor roam and the news that an Erebus fail jumping a few systems over came in. People scattered to hics (heavy interdiction) and Guardians. I had neither on hand. I just haven't trained Sugar into Hics yet. So there I sat, with a dread available but no experience. It was one of those moments when everything told me to just wait it out for the next time.

And then as they called for dreads I decided that I might as well go for it. Even if I messed up, at least I tried. I had enough stront, I topped up my fuel, I joined fleet and the command to jump went up. The HICs pointed the Erebus and I frantically undocked as the dreads jumped in.  Then the cyno went down and then two more went up. I took a leap of faith and figured both were on the field and well, I’d not get this chance again. 

I locked up the target, shot, remembered that I should siege, didn't remember hearing the seige command, looked at the other's and saw they were sieged and pressed the button. Then I had to lock it up again. Learning on the job.

I shot it. People were warping in to assist. Everyone knew what they were doing. Pings were flying. The fleet was morphing as the people who had given the original intelligence arrived. More dreads were arriving and there I was, sitting there going, “Eep! What am I doing? Hope this is the right thing.” As the Erebus was dying.

With it in structure I sieged red. People were arriving and I'm sitting there just shooting this thing, shocked that I was there. My dread pilots overview was a mess as well, and I'm trying to sort things out, and take pictures, and I realized that I was okay if I lost it. I had jumped in to help. I was helping. I had helped.

The wreck vanished. However, our hics and a close Naglfar had already looted the wreck. I slid out of seige and remembered about jump cap when I tried to jump out. I've heard dozens of times ‘are you at jump cap’. Now I sat there, consuming boosters and broadcasting for cap wondering if I would die as more people appeared. A Titan kill had gone down and that is blood in the water of low sec. One by one the dreads were jumped out and I spammed jump over and over until that beautiful, “Jumping” notification came up.

Back in Sujarento. It was about fifteen minutes from first ping to kill a Titan to my docking back up with the Titan down.

I docked and shook for a bit. I was stunned that I made it. The killmail had not shown up and someone asked if I had checked my dread alt. I said, "No." After all, I never get final blows and she is my dread alt. Well...

That is me. Oh. Wow. Final blow on a Titan kill. I said in a little shocked voice, “I have it,” and dropped the killmail into fleet.

The fall out was interesting. People said I should contact Gevlon to see if he was willing to pay a bounty on it. I got contacted on my dread pilot by Eve News. I told them that I'd do a write up. It seems that the Titan was stolen from -A- a few months ago. It is interesting how these things go. The killmail was posted everywhere. Comments are already flying.

A random mail was sent to a member of the fleet.
bat country
From: ---------
Sent: 2014.08.09 22:42
To: ----------
dear snuffbox... when i was two weeks old in eve i got recruitment scammed by bat country for everything i had and i would like to thank your alliance from the bottom of my heart for hopefully making them cry.... pass on the thanks sir!
But for me… this is the story of my first Titan kill and dreadnought op all wrapped up in one. I jumped out of my comfort zone. And that is what playing Eve is often about. Still, I am shocked. The guys are comparing DPS done. I don’t care. I’ve never cared if I got top damage, middle damage, or whatever. I was there. I participated. And that was more than enough for me.

Video by SmarncaV2:

Friday, August 8, 2014

What Might Have Been

"What would I have become if I had followed a different path in Eve?"
such was a question I asked about myself. I've had a lot of changes of late. Sometimes I wonder who and what I am. I am not the newbie that I was. I am not the bitter veteran that I may become. But, what would I have become if THC2 had not picked me up and taken me in? Who would I have been without the guidance of three, veteran pirates in a quiet low sec region who taught me how to play?

There are always paths not taken. Sometimes we stumble onto the path as we thrash around in the forest. Other's have always been where they wanted to be. They lay their path before them.

I might have stayed a loner with my bad fits and habit of not spending a lot of time searching for how to do things in the game. I understand those people who don't search for fits, duel tank, and have six types of guns on their ship. That would have been me. That was how I always played games and how I played Eve before I was taught to play Eve.

What might have been is a story of musing and guesses. But, some part of what we are would still show up. I do not think that I would have gone and joined one of the pirate corporations that accepted new players. I might have wound up in null but I know my distaste for being another's pawn would have caused problems in my future.

But, I do not know what I might have become if I had said "No" to Lue that day and taken another path.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's Been a While...

There have been many changes of late.

Tonight, if I were to imagine my hangar, I'd walk down the line of my ships. I'd see the familiar, battered, well used hulls of my Jaguars, Sleipnirs, Omens, and Stabbers nestled in their docks. I'd pass my Stilettos and Ares, their paint worn and flaked away. I'd walk past those dim lights and the steady hum as they wait, ready for me to make my way to the end where a stack of new ships wait for me. They are my future. Unknown and untouched by time and familiarity. These vast battleships and heavily armored Ishtar. My crew would load massive projectiles and enormous, vibrant crystals. Drones would buzz around as systems checks organized and programmed them to their new homes. And I'd stand among them with my past and future tangled into one, confused thread.

Kaeda and I were talking about how quickly you become rusty with PvP. I found myself nervous as I made my way home from work. I was excited. It has been a bit since I've gone on a scheduled op. I was also nervous. Everything was new. I was stepping into unfamiliar territory.

You get familiar with the people around you. You learn what your Fleet Commanders want. Their voice and their tempo become second nature. The behaviors and habits are all ingrained until you understand them at an instinctual level. But all that has to be learned and until it is learned there are pauses and hesitations. 

I really hate messing up. So, I listened to music.

There are many types of PvP. We all know that but knowledge and experience are different. I've often advocated learning before doing and people tell me that eventually, you have to do. I agree but if I had not learned first, I'd never be able to do.

That didn't mean I didn't make mistakes. In fact, if anything the last few days feel like a steady wave of mistakes. There are so many little things I dont have. T2 ammo for my rail guns. T2 large artillery ammunition. Medium beam ammo. I need scrips. I realized that I've never plugged an Omnidirectional onto a ship since the script changes. Last night I had to make another run for little things and before I went to bed I jumped into my slave clone.

Things are different. And when I undocked my Ishtar I might as well have never flown one before. I'm not good at sentry stuff. I am not good at the concept of them. I thank my experience with Titans during my first year. It stops me from making the type of dumb mistakes no one ever forgives you for. So I know what to do, but I'm so slow with it. Deploying drones. Using drones. Shooting the targets. I'm just bad at everything. Hesitant. Slow. Cautious with selecting broadcasted targets and listening to the FC. I know what I am doing but nothing works smoothly.

But, that is okay. I'm not lost. It was a tower op. I knew what to do. I paid attention. Everything else was closed. Only Sugar logged in. My chatroom ignored. I had to listen otherwise I would not hear. Listening is not about the sound coming into your ears and splattering across receptors. It is about processing what is said. It is about hearing what is said and that is something that you learn to do.

I also don't assume. I wait to be told to shoot things. Later, when I understand the rythem and flow, I will be able to make my choices faster and with more decisions. But today, I am back in the time when I didn't know to detach and take out the blackbird/falcon without FC approval. I'm back when I am the last one to warp because I don't remember hearing things are free burn and in fact it may not have been said.

I was shaking before I left the station. So nervous! What a good impression I wanted to make. And so I flew and kept my mouth shut. I shot, I targeted, I scooped my drones, and broadcasted when I was damaged. I helped to kill things. I managed not to shoot people I should not shoot. And I made it through without getting lost or called out. I made it back home, I docked, and I collapsed into a little tired puddle. 

That is where I wanted to be. Everything else will catch up.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cause and Effect

Back when I started to document some of my projects, such as TCS, I was warned that I was putting a sign on my back to be messed with. Instead of tucking everything down and hiding information as one is supposed to, I decided to hand out most of my details to those that wished to read them. Does someone wish to destroy my market? Do they wish to gank me as I go about my day? That's always been a question. I'm predictable. My habits are easy to figure out when I make no efforts to hide them. I am cautious and take the proper protocols but that is only but so much.

It is always interesting when something that you just know is confirmed to be correct and true. Am I a prophet? I was chatting with someone as I stocked TCS and discovered that indeed, the desire to gank my JF has filtered across some minds. After all, I'm always around. I'm an easy target to track and plan around. I'm just a nice, juicy kill mail waiting to happen. And that was my prophecy. Simple enough. It didn't take that much skill to make that guess. It was interesting to have it confirmed.

But there is a second part. Somewhere someone said, "No." And they said no not because I am that amazing but because they had the foresight to see that ganking my JF might cause the entire TCS project to collapse.  Bosena thrives. But it is still mostly me If I have a big tantrum and pack up my toys it collapses. Many people go,  "So what?" And that so what is such that I can agree with rolling eyes if I have a temper tantrum. I'd roll mine too.

I find the greater unspoken social aspects of the game fascinating. There are so many people I've never spoken to that I interact with all of the time. Anyone who has worked with Black Frog in low sec knows that often they are given a pass with their cynos. It is because they work for everyone and they improve everyone's day. It is not a must have thing. If someone decides to pop a cyno they pop a cyno. But just as often it may be a nod and a pass.

There is someone who will read what I have said and assume that I am expecting or even demanding something. Someone else may decide to show me. Who knows. I can replace my JF. But it is not about replacing it. It is also not about me being some type of altruist. I'm not. It is about the walking a line of neutrality that fascinates me. It is separating behaving towards TCS from dealing with Sugar Kyle.

I'm interested in the Eve community. It is larger than the voices on the forums, podcasts, blogs, and twitter. I'm interested in how we work together and work against each other. My projects often start out of this type of curiosity and interest and blossom from there. I am interested in the other players and how we make this world of ours.

Neutrality is something that is fascinating to explore in Eve.