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Showing posts from December, 2014

Forced Interaction

There is Eve the story. It has four empire factions, multiple other factions, missions, needs, sales, and a story.

There is Eve the video game. Players log in, interact with the story line, shoot NPCs, get ISK, do things that the empires need done. Participate in events, and in general play.

There is Eve the metagame. This is where players interact with players and create the world around them.

Most of us play the video game to some level or another. We almost cannot avoid it. I will not give an absolute because there are many players who do avoid the video game part. Some play the story. They are a small culture in Eve but a rich one and their efforts of late have helped move the video game part forward and enrich it for others. And then there is the meta game. That is what Eve is famous for. It is the hardest, most frustrating, most rewarding, craziest part because it is all about people interacting with people.

People are hard.

Sometime, in Eve's near future Sov will be redone.…

The Rise and Fall of The Cougar Store

Eve is a game of failure and successes. It is one of the appeals. For everything that you accomplish you can also have failed. For every failure you may have accomplished something. mix that into a game where you create what you want to spend your time doing and it makes for a heady and addictive mixture of game play.

I am very proud of accomplishments in Eve. Truly proud of what I have done. That pride makes the failures all that much harder. And with any failure it'd be nice to shove it into a dark pit, roll a bolder over top of it and walk away. The problem is that I still know that it is there, in its bolder covered pit. Ignoring it, hiding it, pretending it did not happen will not make it go away. I am the type of person that has to work out their problems, cry out their hurts, and attack the obstacles in their path.

That's why sitting for the past three or so weeks, sad and hurt, has not been productive for me. In many ways writing my blog has been my way to work through…

Rambling: Where I Examine Why I've Been Sad

Earlier this weekend I started to wonder if I am too optimistic. My Eve weekend started out poorly. I hit Friday morning bright eyed and cheerful to have a full weekend of gaming and puttering around. I had an Eve mail that depressed me and a conversation that exhausted me and a discussion that made me log out and go and wash the dogs and clean the house instead.

CSM9 - Day 239

Things were rather slow making for a short update. However a few things did slip in before Christmas slowed everything to a halt.

On Tuesday, CCP Rise posted the first major edit to the recon rebalance thread which has passed 100 pages. In this revision the Pilgrim gets tweaked for neut range and strength, the resists are dropped to increase the general fragility, and the dscan immunity is staying. This has calmed some and upset others who wanted recons to have a viable, tanking, core fleet role.

Also, on Tuesday a module rebalance dev blog was posted. This was noted by CCP Seagull in her Proteus overview. I’d not seen any of the module rebalancing and a lot of this hits me in my Jaguar fit. CCP has taken a step back with the renaming schemes and is trying to preserve some of the creativity of the names. Making everything bland and tasteless makes sense in a way but it is boring. Science Fiction is supposed to be fun and creative and thoughtful and exciting. It looks like a few new mo…

Buttan?

I made a note for myself to write about Eve needing more buttons. I then had an impassioned speech about why I've become so focused on some type of social group support being added to the game that is not corporations. I then blended the two together because I was discussing the exact same subject in different areas.

It is about layers. Eve is full of layers. These come in basic forums like the right click menu and more advanced forms such as learning how to play the game. Wherever you go there are layers and half of the complexity of the game is learning that those layers exist.

I wondered, the other day, if we could solve some complexity issues with buttons.


On the right side of my HUD I have my modules. On the left side I have utility buttons that I use off and on. The Confessor got me thinking. It has three mode buttons. I have not heard people say that they are horrified by the location of the buttons or finding them hard to use. They may not always work but that is another t…

Candy Cane

I was given a Stratios.


I wanted to say thank you. It was from one of my readers who also hangs out in chat and has listened to me sigh for the last six months over my desire to buy a Stratios. I have this plan where I would earn enough LP to buy one. I also have this plan where I will run drone sites and get a Sentient spawn that will drop the disc that I can trade in for one. In reality, I've mostly done other things and let the CSM eat up the time I used to spend making ISK with spaceships.

But I have dreams and one of them was answered by this contract. Happy. Flustered. Shocked. I went through the normal automatic responses where I wanted to reject it. To expensive. I don't deserve it. I should earn my own. But gifts are gifts. I know that I give things to people because I want to. But, eeep!

I think the Stratios is the most beautiful ship in the game. I suspect that some think I am in love with the Rifter hull. While iconic, it is the Jaguar as a ship that I love not the…

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Nineteen

A History of Expansions

Previous Post: And all of Apocrypha

While released in March, Apocrypha's development and release really continued into the summer of 2009.  The last few changes included rig sizes and the level IV epic arcs for the empire. It was a very different release. CCP had created an entire new part of space known as wormholes. They had introduced new races and expanded upon Eve's lore. Instead of focusing on the warfare and fight of the empires they had moved into exploration and created a vast unknown. At the same time there was more fine tuning of Eve both in software and hardware. By July of 2009 CCP was ready to head towards their winter release.
The second Eve novel Eve Online: The Burning Lifehas been written and will soon be released. When it comes to Eve's expansion outside of the game CCP is also working on a social website called COSMOS. They do like to reuse words for things. Unlike the COSMOS missions this is planned to be a player portal of sort…

Shelves Overflowing

A year ago I accidentally purchased 5000 units of small Scorch ammunition for TCS. That was when my market was in a different place with a different environment. Today, I am buying small Scorch because someone tried to cripple the ability to refit frigates and destroyers in Sujarento.

Aw hell naw!

There will be none of that in a market I am managing. My hair on end and tail fluffed I stormed to the login screen for my Jita alt spitting in shocked fury. My market shelves were empty of hulls. It was a disagreace. As I ground my teeth and pushed an update to Eve Mentat I saw that it was a larger problem then I had realized.

T1 drones. Gone.

Small Rigs. Gone.

Small tanking mods. Gone.

T1 frigates. Gone.

T1 dessies. Gone.

It was unacceptable. Market warfare had landed a blow on my doorstep! I had not yet stocked the shipment that I brought in for the morning. My eyes wide and my fingers moving fast I began to buy the list. I needed to go to lunch shortly and hoped that my items would be mov…

My Newest Ship

I came home to see boosters being assigned to Guardians in alliance chat. I was to tired for whatever excitement they were off to do. It seems they decided to go tangle with Specter Fleet's nestor public fleet. After twelve hours and my work weekend finally ending, I was a bit dead on my feet and in my mind. I find PvP to be an exhausting pastime. I also tend to go from tired to grumpy to full blown toddle tantrum quite easily when I'm worn out.

The previous evening, after that twelve hours, I was trying to put a Rorqual hull into build. I had picked up the last pieces and it was now ready for its final assembly. I sat there, clicking on my Rorqual trying to find the use blueprint button and not being able to. Click. Where is it? Click. What? Click. Is my stuff broken?

No. No. I was clicking on my actual, Rorqual. My Rorqual, Buttered Scone, who is fit and rigged. He is not a blue print but my tired mind had focused on the image of a Rorqual as my goal to click and build a blu…

CSM9 - Day 232

Here are the Rhea patchnotes. I recommend skimming these while your client launches to see what has been fixed or added. With the new UI came a flood of bugs. Fleet windows not working, chat tabs unblinking, lagging windows, shortcuts not saving, color schemes not switching properly, and then the general complaints about the new system. After a quiet release week Monday hit and the release bugs have started to get ironed out. Thankfully.

The POS Survey is out. Please fill this out. A lot of noise was made about POS being important to the player base. A threadnought was formed. This is a torch that has been passed from one CSM to another. I pray that we are now at the point of using that torch to set the old POS code on fire and I’m going to put my energy into watching that old code burn and something better happen. Please, please, please participate in this.

The Recon rebalance thread is here. It is here early and that is good. Back when CSM9 started I went out seeking feedback on recon…

Reasonableness

And with changes come discussion of said changes. Over several topics in the last few weeks I have harped upon the idea of reasonableness in balance and decision making. When someone tells me that something is to strong if done in an exact way I ask is that method reasonable?

Reasonable

fair and sensiblefairly or moderately goodnot too expensive
Reasonableness is a very flexible concept. Something can be reasonable on many levels. Using a hammer can be reasonably expected to be done by an averge person. Using an electron microscope can be reasonable expected to be done by the average scientist. However, not being accessible to the average person does not make the complexity of an electron microscope unreasonable.

Reasonableness and accessibility are a bit different although they overlap each other. You can add in words like general and such but what is reasonable differs from person to person. In Eve, I often have a discussion where someone discusses a topic. They discuss that topic we…

Screen Layouts

Nosy Gamer wrote about a program called Eve-O Preview which helps to manage windows without multiple inputs. For those interested in the discussion about multiboxing and the future ban of input broadcasting across multiple accounts at one time there has been a lot of discussion on this topic and Nosy is a good source to expand outwards about the discussion.

I'm a multiboxer and I keep seeing people say that multiboxing is being banned. It is not. It is one click to control all the clients that is going away. Managing software is still allowed. It was that management software that Nosy looked at that made me decide to take this picture.


That is my normal setup. I don't use multiple account management programs and never have. Four accounts is about my average and they are rarely doing the same thing. From right to left I have, my normal web browser with its tabs, Skype going, I'm on TS, a second set of browser windows to work on the history stuff, Sugar hanging out talking, …

Constructive Use of Time

"You seem quite the industrial player to be in Snuff Box."
It was an interesting conversation and I found myself doing what I often find myself doing in Eve. I defended a part of my game play. "I am a combat pilot," I pointed out. I listed Sugar's abilities. I listed Chella's. I pointed out my dreadnought abilities. I added in my fully trained link and recon pilot. I explained that I am a combat pilot and one that people would find useful. It is just that I do a lot of other stuff as well.

Wex and I have been given the title of Carebear due to our industrial project. I suspect that is because we've demanded a corporate hangar just for ourselves, we've set up a POS for our efforts, and we've raised Sujarento's industry index with our project.

On my own I make boosters, run a market, do logistics work if needed, and talk to people in local. It is the same story that I discuss every day but I find in these situations I'm justifying myself. …

Snapping ISK At The Problem

neu·tral·i·ty - noun
the state of not supporting or helping either side in a conflict, disagreement, etc.; impartiality.absence of decided views, expression, or strong feeling. I am a big fan of neutrals and wish it was conceptualized better in Eve. It often feels as if there is a 'them' and an 'us' in the game. But there are also 'those people'. Who are they all? Well, in a lot of ways they are the neutrals in Eve. Some are absolutely hostile. I've smirked a few times when I saw who I purchased something from. I can't not purchase from them. But we can't remove them from our pool of neutrals so its a bit of a mangled mass.

I've been asked a few times about Thera's market. Do I want to stock it? What do I think about stocking it? Will it thrive? Will everyone be rich?

Speculation isn't my favorite thing. I can't station trade to save myself. But things like market stocking for PvPers I am comfortable talking about. I have lots of litt…

Change and Preservation

Four weeks until the Winter Summit. A few more until the CSM candidates submit to CCP. My monthly talk had a split focus. Much was what is going on, thoughts, answers, and responses. Some is what will be going on and my opinion of things as a potential candidate.

One of the side effects of having an informal talk session is that I don't get to prepare for anything. So when Niden asked me about my feelings towards the investment of veterans I talked in circles for a bit and touched on a few areas of it. I thought a lot about why he asked that. A lot of my current writing and talks focus on what I do with new players. In a way he did a little check. "Sugar, do you care about veteran players? Will you care for them and their investment in the game?"

Its a fair question regarding my focus on new players. I tend to pick things up and start running with them. I don't often have high level plans and convoluted strategies. I rather dislike the meta and that probably causes m…

A Scamers Choice

I've spent a lot of the weekend in Jita pricing things. Click upon click upon click as I price checked hundreds of items. Plus, there is stuff to buy to feed the maw of the capital ship machine that we have become. We've risen Sujarento's industry index a few points. Irritating but impressive at the same time.

I ignore Jita local on my market alts. They have no need for it. That means it was Wex that noticed something interesting happen in Jita local that involved his alt.


The ISK doubler Fly Yellowsight spams Jita saying that people have sent ISK and received ISK. That made Wex quite fascinated to see his alt's name on a list of people who had sent and received ISK. Fly has one of those BIO's full of colors with a line of tiny text at the bottom. It helps people who taste the gambling feel that they have been clever. But, over the course of the evening we saw Fly call out Wex not once but twice as a winner.

How fascinating.

I've never believed that these scams…

CSM9 - Day 225

I’ll call this last week busy and interesting if you have been keeping track of the Rhea release. It has also been a productive CSM week as well and there is more to do.

Rhea was released on Tuesday. The actual release went well. I was pleased to have it as a day off and woke up to a lot of changes. While the launch itself went well, Rhea is not without bugs.

On Tuesday night they had to take the server down due to a duplication bug. It is not common for CCP to do an emergency reboot. But this particular exploit was bad enough that they acted immediately. CCP Falcon released a news story detailing the exploit. 

The UI is buggy. It is laggy. There is no gamma correction. There are no personal UI colors. CCP has regressed and gone back to modal windows after they said they were going away from them and had started to remove them. This is the Rhea issues page. This is the Rhea feedback thread. The developers have bundled the first few posts with the problems. Flip through the dev posts a…

Blue Suede Shoes

Eve is a dystopian future where humanity has lost and regained technology and space flight It is a uuniverse full of war and destruction. From clone technology aided immortals in the skies and on the ground to crazed psychopaths riding in on their magic wormholes to invade space systems it is a dark, grim world.
But darkness does not have to also mean a lack of color. Eve is not a monochromatic world. From the luscious greens and yellows of Gallente Space, to the sparkling blue vistas of the Cladari to the sepia red tinge of Minmatar space, Eve is a bright hued world. 
Lasers anyone? Image Credited to Eve Pics.
At the summer Summit we may have shocked the art team by announcing that we'd like some brighter colors and hats. "Hats?" "Yes. Hats." White and orange where two of the major color schemes we had been requested to request.  While that brings horrors of games such as Rift where obnoxious hats have become part of the game's reputation I believe that it…

Path Finding for Communication

"Well, I won't be able to fix it until I come back home. I need to go back to work now." Such was the message from my husband after a futile half hour of trouble shooting the server rack. Back in July, I was in this situation. Power was lost at home, the servers went crazy and my husband was out of town on a business trip. It took us several hours to get me back online, bypassing the servers and resetting the DNS addresses.

As he signed off I had to carefully lay my phone down on my desk and get up. The desire to throw it hit me like a shockwave. But, I needed my Nexus 5, and I put it down. He was not due home for ten more days and it was not acceptable that I'd just go without access due to his overly complex setup. I tried a few things myself to no avail and collapse in a puddle of misery for a while. Once I was able to crawl back to my feet I sent him a message asking him if I could at least bypass his entire server setup and go straight to the Fios box.

"Sur…

Chatting Over Coffee

I had an idea today while at work that I wasn't able to develop fully due to coming home and finding that the server rack was off and the DNS wouldn't work and my husband was off at a pool party in Florida while I was trouble shooting but...

My idea came from the Ancient Gaming Noob's Blog Banter #61 where he says:
"But there are times when we clearly aren’t just playing in different areas of the game, but it seems like we might be playing totally different games."  What it made me want to do is write about my game. I then wanted to get other people to do the same. Kind of like a sub-banter but more casual perhaps. The idea worked around into a first person view of describing Eve.

When I talk about Eve I tend to get excited. I talk faster. I feel like I get flushed and bright eyed with that intensity that is not quite insane but somewhat creepy. And in that excitement I like to tell vaguely interested people what I do or my husband if he is being used as my neutra…

Unfocused Patch Day Post

It is patch day. Like everyone else that runs a program to check their skill points and clones, I woke up to a very agitated smartphone informing me of my massive alpha clone wave of characters.

People are running around finding Thera. I somehow made friends with Matthew Geary who writes White Talon. He has started a corporation named Furtherance and they have established themselves in Thera. I've been living vicariously through them since Thera is not on my game-plan. Join 'Thera Local Chat' to harass him.

Patch day is normally about the expansion. It's been cool but my patch day was instead about all my normal day in and day our chores. Moving stuff, getting my POS in Suj up and running, reading, posting, and writing mails.

I had some CSM stuff to do.  Foo asked the candidates for CSMX to write a summary about themselves. I've also expanded the posting for my PvE soundboard to the Missions and Complexes forum.


My morning was busy. Not in a exciting and spectacula…

Blog Banter #61 - Freedom Must be Taken

"What would we encourage ALL new players to do in their first month to get them to subscribe long term, if we had to give out one set of advice for everyone (which we do if we're giving general advice)?"Blog Banter #61 - Origin State 
I also am not fond of absolutes such as 'all' or 'everyone' in Eve or in life. It turns a simple question into a challenge.  I'm not fond of telling people what decisions to make. I don't tell them what to eat, what to buy, what to like, or why they should do it. I'm not a salesman. I expect people to think about and make their own decisions. But, the best advice I have ever received was to make a decision even if it is the wrong one.
That's not the advice I'm giving because decision is to heavy a word for someone without the knowledge and background to understand what decision they are making. If this were important, sure, but its a game. It is a game that we are here to speed our time by choice, playing…

Minerals, Minerals, Everywhere

I was motivated.

I'd been invited onto the Derping through War Podcast and spent an hour causing the hosts eyes to glaze while I ran around chattering about building things, hauling stuff, and kind of defended null sec industry sorta. They asked! But I had fun and had to stop myself from rampaging all over the place which seems to happen when I get to talking about Eve...

Anyway! I just finished a work weekend and I had just chattered about building still and I was ready to build stuff. Then I remembered that I had a work class that would take up most of my day tomorrow. Bye, bye day off. Ugh. So, I went and got another piece of cake and debated how I would handle myself.

Over the last few weeks I have really been catching up with myself. In many ways the balance of game life and CSM life takes a bit to get. It is easy to tip to far in ether direction. Many of my projects had stalled out or where on shaky ground which disturbed me. I love my projects. I'm proud of them. I may …

CSM9 - Day 218

CCP has decided to sneak features into the last days before Rhea. The release is on Tuesday.

The insurance change was not slipped in unannounced so much as it auto updated and was noticed. When Crius was released mineral usage changed. Extra minerals were rolled into base mineral costs for hulls. In other areas mineral costs were smoothed out. This caused insurance costs to skyrocket. Some saw this as a great thing. It gave more ISK back to people who lost ships and incentivized them to buy more expensive hulls. Other’s felt that it devalued PvP and injected ISK into the game unsnessessarly. Some just hate insurance. It was suggested that it would be changed and the changes have now kicked in. The costs are not as low as they were but they are not nearly as high. My Jaguar before gave me a million ISK or so. After the buff it gave me nineteen million. Now a Jaguar loss is down to five if I insure it at the Platinum level.

CCP Seagull announced map changes. We have all been waiting to s…

Technical Bits

It is Saturday night and prepatch weekend. However, I was thinking about a question on Twitter. Miura was wondering why some of the portraits in local would go blank and I speculated that it was something to do with the portrait cashe. You know how it takes a day or two for a new players picture to upload and sometimes a day or two for a change to be noticed?

Oh? You don't look at portraits? Well, I do. I gleaned this knowledge from somewhere. I may be totally wrong. But it made me think about our interest in the technical whose and whats and whys of Eve.

I don't spend as much time thinking about the technical aspects of most games. I chortle at the ridiculousness of Just Cause 2 but I enjoy it. I immerse myself in the ridiculous reality of a grappling hook and unlimited parachutes.

Some of it is important. CCP Explorer announced the patch size on twitter. People have limited bandwidth, limited connections, time constraints, and computer restrictions. That type of technical in…

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Eighteen

A Look at the History of Expansions

Previous Post: Apocrypha

It is March of 2009 and CCP has just launched one of their most ambitious and game changing expansions, Apocrypha. Apocrypha has several interesting things about that that are clearly visible on retrospect. First, it came out only four months after Quantum Rise which, when looked back upon, appears to be a very quiet expansion developmentally. It is also a very early expansion coming two to three months before the normal May-July release period for summer expansions. Apocrypha added a lot of content to the game and its release was also timed along with some real time physical releases due to CCP teaming up with Atari.

Production: The Other Side of Distruction

Somewhere in the middle of this green box is a small area in the center of the arrows that you right click on to get this secondary menu which is not the main menu when you right click in space. Trying to explain to Wex how to find this box was me going, "So in the green box there are arrows and you right click inside of those arrows kind of because somewhere in there is the secondary menu. It is there. I promise." I wondered if I was making it harder by not using the anchor option on the POS management screen. I was sure that was general usage and I was correct it did not anchor them in space. Back to finding the box.

About three and a half minutes in Wex hated the interface. I felt bad. But, this is the sad reality of current POS management. My first POS was put up two and a half years ago and I was a tearful mess by the time Razor logged in to explain to me how to make my production lines work by clicking on things that I didn't know where buttons and dragging them a…