Sunday, May 31, 2015

CSMX - Post #11

I was asked earlier this week if the sov changes are really going to come in June and July. My answer was, "Hopefully." It was hopefully because the Icelandic Office Workers Union was voting to go on strike and a huge number of the employee's at CCP are a member of this union. If they went on strike, depending on how long they struck for, it could have done horrible things to the development plans. However, on Friday they announced that they have comet o a deal. This means that CCP's stuff will not have to strike and everyone gets to eat waffles.

Then there was the launcher news article. It first came out saying that the exe file would no longer launch the game. This caused a lot of rage. There are several reasons for this. The launcher itself has constant problems for some players. It does not allow log ins and needs to be repaired. I had one of these earlier this year and had to do a full reinstall. It is also a very limited tool. Many players with multiple accounts have multiple settings across these accounts. It has been asked for the launcher to understand individual log ins and maintain individual settings.  The article has since been updated and the exe file will still be used. But, in its current form, the launcher is not ready to be the only way to log into Eve.

Tuesday is release day. The patch notes can be found here. No more, "Shoot the station services," as I was once taught. You'll need to tote along someone with an Entosis link. It will be interesting to see how people handle this.

A random goody tucked in there is that secondary lighting from ships and stations has been added. Eve used to have a dark side and a light side. Now with the planets, stations, and other ships casting light the environment will be much more interesting.

There is also change to pilots with a criminal flag and their ability to refit. Criminals are not suspects. Still, this was a surprise pointed out to me before I was able to read the patch notes and one that I did not know about. In low sec you pick up a criminal flag for podding and not much else. Still, it makes me frown a bit. I've been rolling over scenarios where this could be a problem. I am not familiar enough with criminal activity in high sec to know what action it is stopping. I'd love some discussion on this change.

Icons will also be changing on Tuesday. I've played with them. I'm not in love with them and I don't find them to be visually more understandable. There is visually more of them and the difference between them is more noticeable than the gradient of red cross size that we have had for so long. I'm up in the air about it. I, however, predict enormous fall out and anger from the player base that does not visit Sisi when they log in on Tuesday and their overview and in space icons are all different. Rollbacks will be demanded. I then predict a lot of random deaths and mistakes in general as people learn the new icons.

Corbexx hosted a soundboard with CCP Nullarbor. The soundcloud can be found here. Ransu Asanari took notes as well. I've totally stolen the google documents link for everyone.

I missed this weeks meeting. It was again on a work day. Such is the curse of time zones. Last year most meetings were on my days off. This year, I'm missing most of them. They are recorded and I come home and review the recording to keep up. I also missed my own plan to run an open Q and A. However, I have a horrific cold and while my incoherent dithering through my NyQuil soaked body may amuse some, I doubt it will provide any quality. I will try to run it two weeks hence on my next weekend off.

I am very, very happy that we are taking these first steps for Sov. The reason is not because I am interested in playing Fozzie Sov. The reason is much more selfish. I need the sov rework out of the way so that I can get back to work on all the other things on my agenda!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blog Posting: Limits

My post counts have dropped a bit in recent weeks and I decided to address it because it is an easy subject on a day when I can barely string a thought together.

Right now, I'm ill. I came home Thursday and couldn't put a coherent thought together. Friday, I spent the day sleeping through waves of fever. Today, I just woke up and I'm doped up on Dayquill. It is almost eighty(26c) in the house and I have goose bumps and sweatpants on. I'm rather irritated with being ill again. I came back from Fanfest with six weeks of misery and ate my weight in cough drops.

The other reason has simply been that work has been busy and the CSM has been fairly active. I can't write about the CSM in a blow by blow fashion and I've been coming home from work tired or just late.

I work 12 hours a day and I get up at 0500. I try to get to bed or at least be on the way to bed and taking a shower by 2200. Over the last few weeks I've been getting home one to two hours late. That's two hours to make dinner (no one cooks for me), tend my dogs, tend my garden, and try to tend Eve. Thanks to my phone I can participate in talking to CCP during the day on Slack. It is the middle of the night for them when I get home from work.

I am not tired of Eve. I am not tired of the CSM. I am not inactive. I simply have to split my time where it is most useful. That means if its between a discussion on Confluence and a blog post, the discussion on Confluence happens. If it means logging in to be available to talk to people about what is going on I want to do that and give people the attention they deserve. I am spread a bit thin. My in game activities suffer which causes my posts to also suffer. That is the most frustrating curse of the CSM. I have a lot to talk about but I cannot and sometimes I run out of other things to talk about.

Such is discovering limits. This too shall pass. I will be gloriously free of my fevered chills to share with you all my slow, awkward attempts to get TCS stocked and get myself moved. Hint: I'm doing quite poorly at it so far.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

... to make choices...

Yesterday, I commented that I don't see Eve as a PvP game. Some people agree. Some disagree. Some have their own definitions. I do know that when I say things like that I worry some people who are deeply involved in PvP. Have I gone crazy? Will I rise up to cast down PvP? My own inactivity in recent months may fuel such worries. I've been approached more than once in public venues and interrogated as to why I have become, 'inactive' and no longer play the game.

One of the most fascinating snide comments I have received in the last few months was being called a freedom fighter. Like napalm, I burst into flames and won't go out if I see someone making suggestions or attempting to walk across the individuality of another player. The reason I have embraced the idea of being a true neutral is because I strongly believe in personal choice and direction. This means for me and for others. If I try to force anything on people it is the ability to choose.

I don't particularly want people to PvP. I use PvP in its most basic way. To commit spaceship violence against each other. I think it is amazing that we can PvP. That is one of Eve's biggest draws to me. Knowing that people can kill me. Knowing that I can try to kill them if I want. I love that about the game. Its something I don't want to lose.

One of my wants for players is to learn how to live in dangerous space. Often there is a disagreement between those who wish for violence and those that do not. I've never been one to try to make people do and be what they are not. It often leaves them miserable. But, I very much feel that one of the greatest and most intangible hurdles is ignorance. The knowledge of living in dangerous space and the skills that come with it do not have to mean spaceship violence. It is about removing fear.

Some fear I cannot remove. Fear of loss for instance. I cannot promise someone that they will never lose. I do not try to make such a promise or promote such a possibility. I don't believe in it. I believe in the potential for loss. I believe it is one of the things that makes Eve glorious. I believe that the existence of that genitive potential is critical to what makes Eve amazing.

But much fear springs from ignorance. Not all gates are camped. Not all bubbles mean death. Not all fights will end in destruction. Not all loss is for nougat. 

Eve is still not a very accessible game in the browser. There are many areas that can still be improved. There are many areas that I hope to see improved. But, some things are not browser accessible. Some things do require another to reach out a hand to help. That hand does not have to be personal. We scatter it across the game and the web. But it does tend to come from another player. I'll leave a spot for the stories of the person that learned to play without ever seeking help. I am not one such as that and I suspect many are not.

It is not that I want people to PvP. Nor is it that I do not. It is that I want people to have the confidence and skills to decide what has a value to them. I don't want those decisions to be made of ignorance or superstitions. 

I am very, very fond of this movement away from low sec being the unwanted stepchild out back. I don't hear the snide comments about low sec being a place for people who fail to reach null or people who cannot hack the game in other places. I love that low sec is a place for people who like a particular type of game play. Just as null is. Just as wormholes are. And yes, even high sec is a place where many residents like the game play.

Educated choice is a dream of mine. I think a handful of education does more than a bucket of ISK to give someone 'risk free' chances to try things. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Few More Steps

There goes that plan. A quarter of a billion ISK for an office for TCS? Nope. Just no. Office prices get so insane.

Wex had been politely prodding me and today I crawled out of bed after a forty hour work weekend and decided to start tackling what I have been avoiding. Moving. I figured that if I went chunk by disorganized chunk I could get it done. I'll start with TCS and my industry and maybe tack on a carrier jump just to get my assets moving. With my gameplan roughly fleshed out in the dark reaches of my mind I gathered together left over salad and cold fried chicken. Braced with a mug of dark, fragrant black tea I was ready to meet the day.

Moving isn't pleasant. I have too much stuff. I recently sat down, looked at my assets, and started to par them down as I did my accounts. I was not selling things off but stacks, and stacks of hulls that I have not touched in what is going on years I dismantled and sent to storage. I also shut down alt accounts which had the side effect of breaking my cyno chain. This means more repositioning characters and moving things around.

I need to stock the new stations with supplies for cynos. I feel as if I leave little pools of cyno supplies all over the galaxy. Every time I do this I think about how people tell me that my logistics are too easy and they wish to make it harder. Not being able to jump within docking range of a station is a popular suggestion. It will make things more balanced for jump freighter pilots I am told. That will be the day that I shut down logistics and no longer run a market.

For now, I have started to scrape the tattered remains of TCS back together. I've moved items and will start relisting them tomorrow. I have no idea if my new market location will work. One nice thing about moving is that I get to test out various climates and situations. Each effort lets me learn a bit more about how the ebb and flow of items and the need for these items works in Eve. It may not be exciting battle recreation but I am fascinated by the pulse of the game.

I admit I've been avoiding this particular bit of work. Sometimes the moving and cataloging and moving and shifting is amazing and other times it wears me out. Not having had the most restful few weeks I find myself slow of motion and low on energy. I'll get there anyway. Although, never before have I longed to have someone else do my in game work for me as I have this latest move.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

CSMX - Post #10

Monday had a structure meeting with Team Game of Drones. While we talk in Skype and have many comments in confluence meetings have also been requested for face time on details. I missed this one because like almost every meeting so far this term it has been on a work day. The one next week will also be on a work day. I get to review the video later. I can say that people are covering all the topics that are coming up. Cagali even alarm clocks for the meetings.

Corbexx has also set up a soundboard for next Wednesday with CCP Nullarbor.

A question from me: What Faction Warfare Warzone bonuses would people like to see on structures in this new system?

Turamarth Elrandir pointed out on his blog that a lot of questions are answered in the dev posts of the structure blog. You may hate the forums but love the dev posts.

In the middle of the controversy over SKINS there is the V5++ initiative. This is a technical blog from the art team which explains the current status of the visual overhaul of all of the ships to the current shaders. And, they've also brought something they promised at Fanfest. The ability for your ships to visually age. This is all tied up into the personification, customization, and immersion goals. All I can think is that we now need car washes. This blog is not about SKINs and the recent skin bugs which is a topic still under discussion.

The features and ideas forum have been busy.

First, there are some tweaks to drones coming. This has had a lot of discussion. Changing drones vs changing hulls vs changing both. Jayne has been making damage charts left and right about what everything means.

CCP Deligate Zero published the armor plates change. This one is rather big in many ways. Plates are very common across the armor PvP spectrum. Acquisition of plates will also cause price spikes and availability surges due to LP stores. Even if you are not into fitting and EFT pay attention to this one. It is a wide reaching rebalance.

The discussion with the Jackdaw (the Caldari Strategic Destroyer) are hot and heavy with changes being introduced based on feedback and discussion.

I'll probably try for my open coms chat next Sunday. I use mumble and Eve Uni has not yet revoked their permissions for public coms!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Non Player Characters

Many times over the last year, and I note with greater frequency, people have suggested NPCs fill in particular tasks in Eve. I, at first thought that this was a random and rare wish. Yet, I've seen it more and more from various places and for different reasons. It is not something I think that I would ever propose. It is not something that I think I want. Seeing it cropping up has left me to at least wish to talk about it.

Perhaps it was the early exposure to missions that left me with the idea that the NPC empires 'hire' the players to do things and not the other way around. It just feels right. I swagger into their office like a bad ass and they thank me for coming and offer to pay me to help with their problem. This seemed to be the natural cycle to me.

But the latest suggestion of Wex and Dire to have NPC escorts for freighters has left me pondering the topic. Not because I am in live with it. I'm not. It is more to find out if this is something people find comfortable. And then, perhaps, what it would do for the game.

NPC convoys? NPC escorts? NPC guards? NPC hauling? NPC mining?

What would it all mean? I find myself at a bit of a loss creatively. This is not a topic near to my own soul.

There are some that will shun the idea. "Get more friends," is a common response to people. I find myself thinking of a merchant hiring a guard instead of maintaining a stable of professional soldiers. There is a chance that I may have been reading a bit too much military based stories of late. Really, I wind up tying myself in a knot. If one shouldn't have to get friends would NPC allies count? I think they'd would but maybe that, again, is just me.

In a way, Teams were a step towards this. It may be a good starting ground to see how people felt about the NPC influence in their day to day activities.

I have so many questions. CCP has worked to remove many things from the NPC hands and give it to the players. it just feels wrong to me to give some of those back to the NPC. Yet, even I cannot fangirl myself out of the fact that Eve has a lot of tedious busy work that is not complex. I've said before that I will not ask others to light my cynos simply because the job is tedious and boring.

Yes? No? Maybe so?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Collateral Damage

Earlier this month I started the process of asset consolidation in high security space. It is the type of thing that I can do piecemeal and this has been a month for piecemeal projects. I tend to contract assets to two separate accounts. They both fly fully trained haulers which makes moving things easier. Things get sent to wherever I make my high security system 'home' base. Right now, that base is somewhat scattered. I decided to do some cleanup. I looked at my low sec assets and just pretended I didn't own any of that stuff and stuck to condensing high sec.

Over a weekend I wrote about a dozen contracts to Red Frog. I've written about my attempts at using different hauling services. At the end of the day, I've tried Red Frog, PushX, and public services as well as a few starter groups that have gone defunct. I've stuck with Red Frog, especially when it comes to things that are a bit out of the main travel pathways.

I've had one problem with Red Frog since I started using them and that was my fault. I under collateralize a package while tired one day and it was stolen. Said person stole a bunch of items and bragged about infiltrating Red Frog. It was one of the first times that I wound up as a collateral damage to something a bit larger in Eve. Nothing I lost hurt. It was odds and ends. The person who got it all would have wound up dumping it as a lot for ISK. Not a bad deal for them because it was free I guess.

I learned to double check my contracts. I often make mistakes on them and cancel and restart over and over and over...

Anyway, I wrote a bunch of contracts and promptly got busy at work and in game. I haven't paid much attention to see if my items were delivered. They are. They are not. Or, collateral is received. Red Frog maxes out at a billion ISK and I often top my contracts out around 900 million ISK.

I could move my own stuff but I've developed a fear of flying a freighter or Orca through any of the gank pipes. I've been bumped a few times. Once, someone tried to random me but he didn't lock me so I logged out in space. Another time they did lock me but they where to busy bumping someone else at the same time and I was able to warp out. There are only a handful of things that you can do to make yourself a better freighter pilot. My skills are maxed. I have implants in. But at the end of the day you are still a big, fat target for them to do with as they please. Having developed a fear of Machariel's in high sec I just stopped doing more than short trips across very high security space.

This morning, when working a character back into low sec around the seemingly omnipresent gatecamps of this area I decided to check her mail. I figured that I had mailed myself something. I often do that and I've learned that sometimes those mails break and refuse to stop flashing. It is not that I am obsessed with talking to myself. It is just a good way to leave a note for myself. I do it most often with market orders when someone is manipulating a price on a very cheap module so that I remember to check back the next time.

I blinked twice when I saw that it was a letter from Red Frog telling me that my courier could not be delivered due to the pilot being ganked. It also called me Sir, which amused me. Its normally the correct assumption in Eve.

Red Frog uses one alt to get the contract and another to deliver it. I was curious as to what package had gone missing. It had been almost a month and I'd not checked on them. A lot of them were a mix of things. Some high value. Some trash. All of different sizes.

Courier contracts do not tell you, the maker, what is in them. It is one of those details that I hate. "What was in that again?" I wondered as I saw that I had lost stuff.  The screen just mocked me and showed me the time that the contract was failed. That is not the time of the gank necessarily. It meant that I had to do a bit of detective work.

I had a three day period where the gank could have happened. I pulled of zkillboard and selected freighter kills. I then moved back to the time frame in question. Chances are that a red frog freighter pilot is going to be out of corp to avoid war decs. The chances are also that it is going to die in one of the two pipe systems on the route. It took about ten minutes but I was able to find a gank heavy morning and what looked like my missing package. A few searches looking for two key items in the package that I knew I had shipped and could not find in my assets and I was sure that I found it.

It all dropped too.

I made 100 million. I lost nothing irreplaceable. The pilot left Red Frog a week and a half later. I may rebuy some of the stuff. It was only a handful of hulls that I was not attached to.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Look at the History of Expansions - Part Twenty Two

A Look at the History of Expansions

Previous Entry: Incursion

November 30th, 2010 CCP released Eve Online: Incursion. It was a partially completed expansion. The game mechanics the expansion was named after did not arrive with the expansion. The expansion page for Incursion is one of the most interesting that I have seen as it covers a very large expansion but it is released in several parts over several months.

In the Incursion the release is full of what would be considered quality of life improvements. These are small changes to the game that have a large impact on the day to day mechanics the players work with. In the first section of the page the CSM is given credit for bringing several tools and improvements into the game. The release feels light. UI customization has been added. Faction ships are on the market. Visuals have been changed. The war against lag is being fought and the Noctis, a dedicated salvage ship enters the game.

But even a quiet expansion can be very loud. The UI changes that started in Incursion created our current HUD.

Also at some point there was potential for the neocom to be on the bottom of the screen. I cannot help but think that a lot of people would die if this happened. The changes themselves were not overly loved. The compression meant that players had to learn the new system and the potential of a horizontal bar was not appreciated. I went to the old forums to check.

Behind the expansion the attempt to clean Eve of botting and RMT was still going on. A year and a half later, CCP Grimmi released an update that they have not stopped on that path. There are no stats nor any charts such s the first Unholy Rage dev blog. CCP Masterplan also writes an update on the 'thin client' which is part of CCP's continued fight against lag. This particular development blog contains a walk through of how the 'tick' that is Eve's heartbeat works.

November rolls into December and CCP releases the Echelon for Christmas of 2010. The Echelon is am exploration ship with bonuses to decryption. The idea is that it would help in some of the incursion sites. What I find interesting is that CCP Loktofeit notes that the Eve universe is 23,000 years in the future. That ties neatly into the rearrangement of Eve's lore which somehow manages to be lost and disorganized.

While the Echelon was CCP's official holiday present the real one may be the removal of learning skills. The development blog at the end of November gave a comprehensive overview of the change. CCP Zymurgist followed up with a forum thread giving a detailed Q and A for the removal on December 15th, 2010. This of course led to people being mad. Mad that they would not get a free remap of their attributes. Meh about the skill point reimbursement. Post #49 in the original comment thread makes sure to note that the change is dumbing down Eve and ruining the game with its slippery slope. Post #52 comments that Eve is becoming a game for casuals and post #66 hates the change.

January 2011. Eve does not die because of the learning skills being changed. Incursion is being released peace meal. Patch 1.1.0 is released six weeks later and with it comes the actual incursions from Sansha Nation. Incursions will bring a great change to the game in the fact that NPCs will affect daily life, randomly. Where before players did or did not interact with the descent of an incursion on a system a player may be out mining and find themselves in the middle of a great tug of war. This will be stronger throughout low sec and null sec with NPC gatecamps that can destroy roaming fleets and systems locked down for days.

At the same time, CCP is releasing its new character creator. This is a major step for one of their longest discussed projects, Incarna and CCP's long worked towards goal of avatar gameplay. Every player will have to log in and create a new portrait. The character creator is receiving a lot of attention. An article on Gamasutra has quotes from the various members of the development team as well as some photographs used for inspiration and hairstyles. New is good but the old has seven years of familiarity and attachment. From this spawns the decision to maintain a database of old character portraits as outlined in this dev blog by CCP Purple Tentacle. has been created and will be maintained with the images that players logged into for the first seven years of the games existence.

Out with the old, in with the new is quite a theme. It covers many changes from character portraits to introducing avatar game play. The changes extend to the forums which are being completely reworked. Eve's community has become an important part of the game and the forum update is not just minor tweaks but a movement to an entirely new forum. CCP expects players to keep up. CPU requirements will also increase. The API is going to HTTPS and gains more customization.

Change does not come smoothly. The re-customization process has several hiccups as players adjust to the changes. Incursions are also stumbling along and being readjusted and CCP opens up a feedback discussion with the players to ask them how they feel about the way incursions are working and what should be tweaked now that they are released.

To mention feedback, CCP Soundwave posts a development blog outlining responses to player feedback in a new initiative of fixing little things that the players have asked for. This started with some features in Incursion brought forward by the CSM and they want to expand on this. Jump clones can be destroyed remotely now. Remote repairs of criminal players is removed to stop the ability to Concord entire fleets through crimewatch. You can now place items into containers even if the container is not open and you can see the location of stations in the market window.

Optimization is a very hot topic at this time. CCP Stillman takes some time to write out how the Quality Assurance process works at CCP. Over in the war on lag department, CCP Veritas explains that missiles break Eve. Missiles are one of the most popular weapon systems and the Drake sits upon a throne as the most used and useful ship in the game. The drake uses missiles and missiles are a massive stress on the server that CCP is trying to correct. During this investigation CCP Veritas realized that the inventory system needed to be cleaned up as well.

Compared to CCP's past progress the release of Incursion could be considered messy with fourteen  release points to its name. However, CCP Zulu steps in with a Producer's Letter to say that the many point releases is a new model that CCP is moving forward with. This will be the future of releases and he takes the time to write a brief summery of some of what has happened since Incursion's official launch. This post however is CCP's line in the sand to announce that they are about ready to start discussing Incarna, the next release.

Not all is bright and shiny. CCP Zulu promises that CCP will continue to deliver quality of life improvements. Eve has been known to leave broken things broken. With all of the new gameplay and changes comining CCP Zulu says:
"We're going to continue on this path of more, smaller and more evenly distributed deployments in the future now that we have the ability to do so and it seemed quite well received by you all. Over the coming weeks and months, our dev teams will add meaningful content and fixes to EVE and we'll be sure to keep you up to speed on all the upcoming face-meltitude that they entail."
It is February, 2011. Incursion has been released but it still has a bit more to go. Incarna however is looming on the horizon. CCP first brought this idea forward in 2006 around the time that Eve Online: Red Moon Rising was released. They discussed it at Fanfest in 2008 and showed their concept for Eve's future. They hinted that it would be ready in 2009 but delay after delay hit. Now, it is February of 2011 and CCP is about to move forward with their biggest and most ambitious update and change to Eve's future with the introduction of Eve Online: Incursion.

Eve Online 2010 Dev Blogs
Eve Online 2011  Dev Blogs
Eve Online Patch Notes
Gamasutra - Revamping Character Creation in Eve Online (2011)
IGN - Eve Online Walking in Stations First Look (2008)
EVE FPS hinted at during CCP’s annual presentation (2008)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Those People Over There

I sit in Faction Warfare space and watch the militias heckle each other. In between a neutral may comment. I read posts and listen to discussions as people yell insults at each other in local. I've watched gankers and miners exchange in high sec. The word propaganda has gained a sour taste for me due to the wars of information waged in null sec.

I wonder if I am odd in that I do not find anyone to be my enemy. I do not love everyone. Oh no. I am not some creature of pure and sweet cored soul. I dislike my fare share of people in Eve but I have never felt that they were my enemy. I have never had the desire to go and 'get' them or in some way make their life hard.

One of the most interesting things that I read early in my time in Eve was a post by Susan Black that I am to lazy to find in which she liked the walls that Faction Warfare gave the game. There was a bit of a reason to do the things you do. At that time I examined myself and discovered that I enjoyed doing things for the simple pleasure of doing them. My PvP was without goals and without negativity. Over time, I've never developed an 'us vs them' feeling about any group in the game.

A lot of this I blame on my non-competitive nature. I'm reminded of my personality test in What Kind of D&D Character are You? I share that link so that you will find yourself sucked into the test. But also, because it was interesting that I managed to not match anyone in the corporation at the time in race, skills, or alignment. I really do fit much of the definition which I found interesting.

Why don't I hate anyone? It sounds like a silly question. Someone will chant, "Can't we all just get along?" in the background. But, as I watch groups in Eve clash with each other I often wonder why I don't feel that particular draw. It is not that I think everyone loves me. Some people hate me. Some hate my corporation. I'm okay with being caught in that conflict but I don't share any distaste back. In fact, I can often emphasis with their dislike of me. After all, I did kill them or inconvenience them or my corporation did move into their territory or take their asset. The distaste is understood. I just don't share it.

To say, "I don't care," is to lackadaisical. I do care. I'm quite serious about my game. Nor do I think people are automatically my friends. I just don't have any problem with 'them'.

The D and D website over there has Ten True Neutral Commandments.
A list of Ten Commandments for a true neutral religion may look like this:
1.You shall avoid lies.
2.You shall not kill the innocent.
3.You shall not murder.
4.You shall help the needy if such action aids yourself.
5.You shall honor those who honor you.
6.You shall follow the law unless breaking the law can advance you without harming others.
7.You shall not betray others unless your life is in jeopardy.
8.You shall aid those who aid you and harm those who harm you.
9.You shall not promote an extreme viewpoint.
10.You shall advance yourself without harming others.
It seems that I am a D&D character stuck in the wrong game. I also think that I am not the norm in this particular aspect of my personality.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Off My Tuffet

I had a dream on Sunday morning. It was not a nightmare. It was a stressmare. I was supposed to be at work but came home for something and wound up going through a portal to another city where work could not contact me. My communications equipment then died and I spent the entire time worried that they'd try to reach me and not be able to and I'd get in trouble. So stressful! Ugh. I woke up quite frazzled and crawled from the bed to start tea, check my garden (the Zucchini needed pollination) and logged in.

Wex appeared and told me that we had solved the freighter problem.

The freighter problem was that we use a freighter to move things from the station to the POS for the capitals. Components are huge. Mineral volumes are huge. We built the freighter in Sujarento  because it was cheaper then buying one on the market. It is also less of a risk then a jump freighter for those times when you forget to enter the POS password and find yourself sitting in the darkness waiting for someone to kill you. We had discussed moving it by convoy or just sending it the one jump through Tama to high sec and building another one.

The freighter problem was one of my things that needed to be done and solved that I didn't have the urge to do. Freighters moving through low sec horrify me. I've killed my share. So, I log in and peer at my screen and Wex tells me that Mortvvs has solved our problem. Wex was discussing the freighter problem and Mort goes, "Bridge it."

Hot damn. That makes complete and total sense. I didn't think of it. I however feel that is okay. Wex didn't think of it. I'm gonna forgive him as well. Nether of us owns a Titan after all. But Mort goes and sets everything up and I'm sitting there with Wex telling me that Mort is ready to bridge the freighter.

I'm not ready! I wailed somewhere in the back of my mind. After all, I had just spent hours stressed about not being able to get to my job because I had to wait for the bus to go back to the portal so I could come back to our world. That however was a dream and this was not. Somehow, I managed to log in other characters and set up courier contracts to myself, for myself, to move a huge amount of stuff that needed to be moved for production reasons.

Did I mention that I'm also terrified of towers? The titan of course is in a regular corp tower that I could warp to. However, one bad experience and I'm distrustful of everything. But Mort is ready and Wex is getting a cyno in position and I'm undocking and warping to the tower knowing I will bounce and die.

I didn't die.

Charon's are next to Erebus. I do not think that I ever expected to see my freighter sitting beside a Titan.

Wex was jumping a carrier at the same time. He lights the cyno and jumps his carrier. He wants to double check the cyno spot he has selected. Mort opens the bridge and goes, "bridge is up" and like a duckling taught to follow in a line I jump.

"There goes checking the cyno spot," says Wex.


We don't bump. I dock. That was ridiculously easy.

I guess I need to get the rest of the stuff moved nw that productivity has happened.

CSMX - Post #09

I've been commenting on the ongoing discussion on structures. The structure update development blog was released on Tuesday.  There is good. There is bad. There is change.

If you go back to January of 2013 Two Step posted on the forums about his disagreement with CCP's perception of Player Owned Starbases and their need for attention. Two Step was a member of CSM7 at the time. It's been a long path to move from the threadnought created to looking at Team Game of Drones lay out a massive concept that will change how we do many things in the game. Two years and five months but we're here now. It hasn't been a smooth road and it still is not.

I've sat down with a lot of people over the past year+ and asked what they wanted from structures. We've gotten CCP Nullarbor into  small soundboards. We've done surveys, filled out data sheets both internally and in public. We've written essays about this stuff and now we're starting to close in one the first changes. That is good but its not perfect yet. With the dev blog release there are some concerns. There is going to be a lot of change. On one side we are looking at the idea of a 'window' when you are docked to the POS.

I've sat down with people and discussed the loss of dscan for available pilots in space and how this will affect wormholers as they move through their chain. The conversation with CCP Nullarbor has been very good. He opened a #structure channel in the tweetfleet slack and he has been reading and responding to conversation there as well as the development blog. Things are still not in their final form and I beg of you to continue to share your doubts, concerns, and wants. I like where it has the potentual to go.

For things that are in their final stages, there is Entosis Link Testing on Sisi. We were asked to share this far and wide so that they can get as many people working with the mechanic as possible. See CCP Lebowski's dev post to join the Test Wars they have set up. For those interested in testing, more burner missions have arrived on Sisi.

For those participating CCP has expanded the PLEX for Good drive and added a silent auction. The auction finishes May 22nd, 2015 at 23:59:59.

Last Year I asked CCP Manifest for the video from Eve's Museum of Modern Art exhibit. He said he would get it for me. The end of that path has finally come to flower and on Tuesday CCP released the video they had created. I am guessing that it had to wait for the exhibit to finish its display or something technical and legal. It is well worth the watch. I wrote about it earlier this week. I find it to be a very beautiful look into the game. I also feel 100% responsible for making this happen! When people ask, "Sugar what did you do on the CSM?" I shall proudly say brought the MOMA exhbit to youtube. You can also view it in 4k.

I was able to make Monday's meeting. I won't make next Monday's meeting because of work. Such is that entire employment thing.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Stalling out for a Moment

Snuff has changed its home system for a bit. Maybe forever. I'm not in leadership. That means moving. Ugh. So, I've kind of stalled out because of it.

These days it takes me weeks to get settled and set up somewhere. POS, market orders, moving my things, new bookmarks, moving my alts, resetting up my cyno chains. Plus, I've condensed accounts and one of the inactive accounts as a primary cyno alt. That in itself is not a big deal. I can move another character to take over for her easily enough. Once I started managing my own capitals I started taking the month to train all of my characters into capable cyno ships.

With my general play activity low, moving my stuff is not appealing. With having to move my stuff stocking and restocking isn't appealing. So, I've just gone into a bit of a pause because of it. I'll snap out of it at some point. Mostly, I need to do something a tad bit different then ship spin Sugar for a while.

Today, I decided to be productive. Kinda.

My newbie has been doing opportunities. I quite like the system and find them intuitive and informative. I've had a few minor complaints and found myself in discussion about how much stuff we should give new players.

One problem that Eve has that is not a problem so much as a part of how the game functions, is that the stuff you pick up as a new player isn't necessarily what you should fit and use on your ship. I've complained about this before but I won't let it stop me from doing it again. The lack of smooth progression is what makes Eve appealing and it is one of the things that makes the learning curve a bit rough at first. What you get from the first NPC kills is not what you should be using. The nature of stuff in Eve is that it spawns in particular areas due to who builds what. This however means that a new player who has a very small territory in which they move about it cannot necessarily fit off of the land early in their career. It is a complex question that appears to be easy on the surface and one that I do not have an instant answer for.

After that, I wandered back to the land of good behavior and took my tower in Sujarento down. Taking down towers is a bit of a pain in the butt. My deep space transported is well loved these days but it does not scoop things in space. My blockade runner is wonderful but its cargo hold means many runs. I wasn't going to take the freighter out and try to slowly wallow from one stack of structures to another.

After about forty minutes of work with Wex we got everything empty and broken down. That left the tower to switch off and unanchor. That is always the last step where I expect someone to steal them. That may be because of the several towers that I have stolen. However, the take down went smoothly and that particular spot of space is scrubbed smooth.

I've always loved the idea of a POS but I do admit I'm not looking forward to putting one back up under the current system. Like others, I have high hopes for the future of structures. It feels both very near and very far as we try to sort things out.

Such has been this Saturday for Eve and I. I've been working on my blueprint collection. It's coming along nicely. I'll have to do a mass buying of modules BPCs soon and touch up on my destroyer collection.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

TCS: Entering that Market Sugar Style

In the last week I've received three mails asking me about starting up a market. I get excited when I get these mails and I do my best to share my thoughts and ideas with people. Getting three in a week is a bit more than usual. I decided to handle this by just writing a general update about my market ideas. I have a tendency to think, "I've written about that before," and I worry about rehashing. So, this may be a rehash.

The main question is "What will I stock?" That seems to be a simple question but it is actually pretty complicated. What people will buy outside of high sec is going to differ. I'm not, for instance, going to do a lot of work in selling ore and moon minerals. They will sell. People hunt down bargains and you need the damnedest things. But for a solo person it just won't work.

What I've been doing is giving people my original market list for Bosena. It hasn't been updated since I started running my market but it gives them an idea of what I started out with. It's nothing magical and the prices are over two years old now. 

The next question is where should I put it? After running mobile markets for 7-2 and putting TCS in Bosena and then Sujarento, my answer is wherever. Try to avoid a kick-out station. Give people some confidence to dock and undock. Even a hungry pirate corp will not keep them out of the market.

It is better to fit fewer things but complete fits then have a bunch of mismatch items that will not fit a ship. People who live in dangerous space want to undock in a fit ship. People want to die in a properly fit ship. Instead of wondering if that module is 100k more or less then yours offer people the ability to properly fit themselves out. That may be in an exploration frigate. But give them that chance. Head to toe make sure that you can fit out a reasonable ship in all four races. Frigates are fine to start out with.

There is a lot to be sold in utilities. Scanning frigates, scanning modules, covert ops equipment, cyno fuel, isotopes, and T1 haulers. I cannot count the times we've needed to loot the field and needed haulers. Haulers sell and PI haulers sell the most. Like cargo expanders, they are one of those things that people just need and that are never available.

Ammo is actually quite scary to get into. There is a lot of it. Start with PvP ammo and drones. Faction ammo and the common T2 ammo. Missiles will still kick your butt but the other races will be easier to manage on your budget and orders.

Pay attention to killmails and loss mails posted in local and your corp/alliance/militia/social chats. This will keep you in touch with the meta. What is being used? People will share their theory crafting. What is dying? Just absorb the information. Its right there just take note of it. Zkillboard also lets you see the top used things like hulls and ammo and modules.

Meta vs T2 is hard and even harder with the rebalance. Still, there are common uses. T2 is good and then the 'best' or most used meta will be fine to start. Later you will refine that. It used to mean T2 and Meta 4. Now that's a bit difference but there will still be a balance. The area that breaks away from this is Damage Control Units and Prop mods. Stock all of them. People do weird things with their fits and need all of the types of these modules.

Know your space. If you don't know it, learn it. In Molden I barely moved frigates and destroyers. In FW space those sell better than cruisers. T2 hulls not so much. In Molden T2 hulls moved faster. Battleships sit and sit and sit and sit and sit.

Buy small, restock often, figure out your markets pulse. I call them 'stacks' but instead of buying 500 buy 20. See how they sell. Try 30. Eventually, you might stock 50. 50 may last for 2-3 weeks. That's not bad. The area I deviate is guns. Gank guns I have big stacks of. Common cruiser guns I have stakc of 30 or so. The 'flavor' of the month changes a lot. With big guns for attack battlecruisers and battleships I carry enough of the most common guns for the most commonly used ones to fit 2 or 3 ships. So that means 16 or maybe 24 of the big, expensive guns.

With that said, pay attention to buying habits. People are going to buy the ammo they need. 50k of ammo lasts a while because people are buying it at 1k at a time. You can stalk your buyers if you want to. Look at their kill boards and loss boards. Keep what they need around.

You are not selling volume you are selling complete fits. You will sell a large number of things but small numbers of each thing. Have perishables. Ammo, drones, nanite paste, cap charges, scripts. 

Avoid exotic things at first. T2 rigs, expensive hulls, faction modules. Eventually, you can see if your market moves them. But most of the time people will go to Jita or a trade hub for these things.  Use your buy orders wisely but experiment a little bit.

Transportation is the hardest one to advise about. A jump freighter is some six billion ISK. Black Frog is up to 75m a jump I believe. Do math. See what works for you. Can you build it in station? Can you jump it in? Is it worth having more than cruisers and frigates? Can you use a Deep Space Transport and Blockade Runner? The logistics of it will be the hardest part of the problem. You're going into dangerous space.

Stocking TCS runs me 2-3 jump freighters most days because of hulls. If jump freighters change much more, or cynoing becomes harder, I may stop running a market. That is how serious the logistics are. As is I have to manage both sides of my cyno chain to get in and out. Because the risk of JF in high sec is to high for my blood I freighter my stuff myself or contract red frog. All of that has to be taken into consideration. its a large volume to move and you will be moving it constantly.

Way at the bottom is making ISK.  There is 'what does my corp need' and there is 'what do the locals need' and there is 'what sells regularly and makes ISK'.
  • The first you will know.
  • The second I will help you with my starter market spreadsheet.
  • The third is a matter of observation and watching.
Its absorbing and its an interesting snapshot into some of the behind the scenes aspect of the game. You're peeking into the closet by selling them their clothing so to speak.

And that's some of the advice I've been giving.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Eve Online's MoMA Exhibit (2013-2014)

Eve Online was placed on exhibit by the Museum of Modern Art in 2013. I'm not an art type. I like or I don't like things. For the Museum of Modern Art to take our game and call it art was a lovely thing. There is some argument if video games can be considered artistic. I think the entire argument is dumb. If someone can splash paint on a board and call it art, pile up sand and make a temporary sculpture, or exactly replicate a structure in the second or third dimension, the art is still in the eye of the beholder.

I'm the simple type. The basic state of art is for someone to create something. It may not be hard or complex. It may not inspire. That doesn't stop it from being art. Unless someone is a snob. But then, I like the movies that the critics don't and I have a Minecraft axe on my wall as a decoration.

My first Fanfest was 2013. A lot of things caught my attention and the time is flooded with memories, experiences, and reflections. Few things caught my attention like the presentation that they had at MoMA. I wasn't even expecting to like it. Art and art museums have never appealed to me. But, it was Fanfest and they played it during the keynote.

What I didn't expect was to remember it. The recording is almost nine minutes long. But one part caught me and changed something about how I saw the game. Call it inspiration, or beautiful, an epiphany, or just enthrallment I was captured.

What caught me and changed my mind from 'another video' to something I cannot forget was at a minute in when they show the player base entering and exciting the game. I find it breath taking. All of those people. All of them connected and intertwined. They work around and with each other knowingly and not. It is amazing.

This is one of the earliest things I asked for on the CSM. I felt that it represented something about Eve that was different from videos and stories. It showed the existence of the players. The players who, to me, are the game. That is me. That is my corp. That is people I have never known in places that I will never be.

All of us playing Eve.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Other Roads a Calling

I may have to reassess my understanding of things. I doubt that I will but the thought is great enough to consider. I wonder how small my soapbox is at times. Perhaps it is only as wide as my feet and it is my perception that makes it feel bigger.

Every time I enter into a conversation that moves into the direction of min/maxing I become exhausting. I do the things that I find interesting in the game. I do not do the things that I do not find interesting in the game. In this simple formula, I have found a reasonable measure of successful endeavors and forward momentum.

I'm not the best Eve player. I often take on situations with very little broad thought about what I am doing. It just seems to be a good idea. It may be fun. It is why I am a poor business person. I'll throw away my profits. I don't consider the value of the time I spent doing things. I, in fact, play most of the game just for the fun of playing it.

ISK per hour is one of my most hated terms in the game. Min/maxing is now a close second. And it may be that I am playing Eve wrong. It may be that I sit here and argue a thing that only I believe in and concepts that only make sense to me. I may have created an entire conceptual idea of playing not for exact games and strict numbers but for amusement, socialization, and the simple joy of liking something.

In my understanding, it seems a strange thing ton have to explain why someone would do something that they like. Why they would do something that was not the exact and balanced exact gain. I've never blitzed a mission or site. In fact, I find the ghost sites that explode frustrating because it is all race in, maybe get something, and then it explodes around you. To me that tastes of failure. To others, it seems to be exciting.

But feelings are much harder to pin down and support then hard mechanics. I only play because I enjoy it. I don't do things that I do not enjoy no matter how technically good they are. I don't think that I am alone in this. Yet, when knee deep and feeling alone, I have to accept that maybe it is not as common a thing as I feel that it is.

I've never been much of a gamer for as much as I play and enjoy games. I don't worry about finishing, I just like playing. I don't care about ranks. Rewards have no appeal. Achievements interrupt my immersion on my play. It's why I tell my story of the first time I started Skyrim and that it was many levels and months later before I found out why I couldn't use dragon powers. I had simply never done the second part of one of the first missions because I ran off into the woods and never came back.

It is the guy who yelled at me and told me that Diablo is not about the story. It is about grinding for the best gear. Diablo was about the story for me. I may be one of a handful of Diablo players that waited for years to see where the story was going to go and delighted in the adventure to find it. The auction house, its closure, the rebalancing, the discussions of nightmare mode... all of those things were vague buzzing far away.

Under all of this is the idea that how we play games has a lot to do with our perception. What games someone plays can clearly display this. I've recently gotten deep into games that do not have endings. Survival games appeal to me but strategey games also do. I have no interest in first person shooters unless they are also a survival game. I play 7 Days To Die for instance which has a first person view but like Minecraft and Skyrim I don't see it as a first person shooter.

It seems that I cannot help but bring this taint with me into Eve. I want to play Eve to play it. If I make 5 million instead of 7 million, I don't much care. If I have to break to far out of the game environment to do things I lose interest in them. I'll never be a metagamer. I'll never be a min/maxer. My dream of being a trillionare will also probably never happen but I'll keep plucking away at it. Just because I enjoy playing. Goals create paths and I guess I like the walk more than the arrival.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Stuck in Place

I am struggling with what I believe to be pride.

I've always wanted to be self sufficient in Eve. I did not come into the game expecting to play with anyone else. I was going to make it in the world by myself. I, however, wound up making friends. At the same time, I was determine not to be a liability. I wanted to be an asset. Such was my start and it has led me down several paths and many adventures both pleasant and not.

However, I'm suborn. The other day, while discussing alts, someone left a comment that said they enjoyed reaching new abilities and doing new things. Alts spoiled that feeling. On one hand I can easily see where they are coming from. On the other hand is my life in Eve. I've spent most of my time trying to hang out with people above my skill and knowledge level. I used alts for two reasons. One: I wanted new avatars. Two: To expand my abilities and reinforce my independence.

The most painful things that have been said to me in this game are all related to my usefulness. Such as the time that I was called a leech for salvaging instead of assisting someone in the project they wanted to do. And more recently, when I was told that I refuse to learn and do things to make myself useful. The results of those things is examination. Am I these things? What did I do to create the sense that I was not useful? How can I correct this? How can I be useful?

I have a burning sense of independence. I enjoy working with people. I enjoy doing stuff with others. But, I must have my own thing that I am the full owner of. I'm possessive of what I have created and I am proud of what I am able to do with myself. However, such things are held up by nothing but myself. That means my projects suffer when my time suffers.

Life is involves changes.

However, the latest changes have left me floundering a bit. I have, what is I believe a good opportunity. I can use a corporation POS to run my building instead of my own. Yet, I find myself not pleased as I should be. Which, to me seems silly. POS are expensive to run. But, I'm not used to getting things from others. It makes me uncomfortable.

Its a somewhat stupid set of emotions.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

CSMX - Post #08

It's been a bit busy on Slack during the day. I think it was Wednesday morning that I sat down around 0700 and looked up at 1100 to wonder where the morning went. Being knee deep in discussion is a good thing. It is not a very tangible thing but it has been absorbing my game time.

Eve turned twelve this week. It is quite a milestone and CCP released the Genolution C3 and C4 implants as a gift. This made some people mad as free stuff always will. Remember to redeem yours. Use them or shove them in a can for later market speculation that may be ruined by CCP releasing them again. Don't let them expire. CCP also had a special Birthday o7 show for those that enjoy the video updates.

The SKIN bug was patched on Monday. There were still a few known cases of improperly skinned ships floating around. I think its mostly been resolved. I've received a good number of eve-mails and e-mails and even a few conversations about how people feel about the skin rollout, the bug, and their personal freedoms in Eve. I touched on it last week but I'll say again that a lot of this discussion and opinion has been heard and discussed. Now, I'm hoping that we will get some type of revised vision from CCP on this that will incorporate the things that made the patch so exciting. However, every skin for every ship for free isn't going to happen.

On a different note, the UI icons have been updated on SiSi. I logged in and stared at them a bit the other day. I don't hate them. I don't love them. They are less busy then the first proposal. So far my feedback on what I wrote about on Thursday has been pretty mixed. I also found the official thread for the icons! I still think it is worth your time to drop onto Sisi and look around a bit. Go give feedback. I don't like that the gate icons are colored in for instance.

CCP Fozzie released a Sov Dev blog. There are some changes. There are some revisions. There are some additions. There are some delays. If you are interested in the sov changes give it a read. The sov focused people have been all over the topic. The non-sov focused have chimed in as we can.

The delays are going to be a very frustrating thing for those currently deciding what is going to happen when sov changes. There was much pressure from several members of the CSM to get this out to the players sooner then it wound up being released due to the delays that it will cause to plans people are trying to form.

The Caldari Tactical Destroyer's stats have always been released. Go look. Go give feedback. I'll also say that concerns about the speed creep of the propulsion modules has been relayed. I had a lot of people unhappy with that and I have shared that feedback.

I was also able to call into the meeting we had on Tuesday and participate!

Structures have been consuming a lot of my energy. In general I'm pleased with them. However, its the fine details that will make or break these things. Its been a lot of long and productive discussion but they have been well worth it. In general, they are awesome. Each area of space has its own particular needs and environmental factors. Areas of space are not identical and their structures need to have the flexibility to meet those tasks. When these things go in I want them to be better then what we had with no lost functionality at all. There are so many fine details but that is what this part of the process is about. I feel that the structure team has been listening to the players and I'm pretty damn excited.

I'm loosely planing for an Open CSM Chat on the 31st of May.

Friday, May 8, 2015

A UI Update Update on SiSi

I find it to be clever that the capital rotation beacon is directly under the undock of the station on 6-CZ49 on the test server.

Why was I there?

I heard that the icons changed again. I didn't pay attention to them when I was checking skins. Perhaps, they had not changed then. But, sure enough, the icon shapes that CCP Arrow went over in his UI Modernization: Icon Strategy dev blog. This particular dev blog was released before fan fest and there was a lot of discussion about it being to busy and in space the icons not being easy to separate from each other. CCP Arrow received a lot of feedback and now the icons have changed again.

They are a bit calmer and a bit easier to separate from each other. For players, I don't think it is that bad. I'd like NPCs to stay red crosses.

Containers are still triangles. An empty triangle with a slit for empty and a circle on top of a triangle for full. Battleships look like chevrons for a uniform sleeve, while cruisers at pentagons and battlecruisers pentagons with a line. Carriers are soft edged diamonds and the dread I saw a bigger chevron.

I don't know when an updated dev blog is due. CCP Arrow so far has been good about sharing these things with the CSM when he is getting close. I don't have an official feedback spot for you yet but for those who are interested go to the test server and have a look at this change in direction.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Not Ready for the Responsibility

It is Eve's 12th Birthday and CCP has given out their yearly gifts. As always, this has caused anger and complaints. I am fascinated by this cycle. CCP gives players stuff. Someone complains. The stuff is not good enough. The stuff is released and crashed market speculation happens and that's bad. I've not yet seen a gift giving from CCP that was not full of complaints somewhere.

This time they are giving out C3 and C4 genolution implants. Like when they rereleased the C1 and C2's people's market speculations have caused great loss and expensive stock devalued. I got C3and C4's with my collector's edition and I sold them because I can't have nice things.

My inability to have nice implants started when I was a newbie. I received the first set of C1 and C2 genos from Crucible's release or maybe it was Christmas? I was new and they were implants so I put them in my head. My urge was to hoard them but I felt that I should use them instead. I had hoarded in every other game. Eve was to be different. I'd be bold!

I was killed for the first time a few weeks later. I was then podded because I tried to slow boat back to the gate. I was actually lost at the time in low sec. It was before I understood Eve's terrain. The incident made me learn terrain a bit better but I lost my implants and life went on.

At some point, after I was a year old I decided to gift myself with a set of snakes. I got myself a low grade set (the current mid grade) and discovered that I couldn't fit the Omega. So, I plugged in cybernetics 5 and waited until I could fit the set properly. I used them a few times but I felt bold and risky and exciting to have them.

I then, about a month later, destroyed them trying to clone jump in the morning before bed. I was working midnights still and I wanted to do something and didn't understand the popup window and destroyed my implants. Sigh. I was embarrassed. However, mistakes happen and I replaced them.

A few months later, I did the same thing.

I looked at my 1.4 billion ISK lesson and learned that I could not have nice things. I never upgraded my implants from +4 to +5. I figured I'd just do something stupid, yet again. I swore off fancy implants and went off to live a productive life with very few poddings. I kept that particular promise until I joined Snuff Box. I purchased a set of low grade slaves. I did so because I fully expected to destroy them.

I haven't lost them yet. I do think about it in every battle. Faction Warfare space is full of small, fast tackle and smart bombers. When it happens I will be sad. I do hate spending ISK. I'll replace them. I've learned that I don't fear losing the implants. I don't want to be heckled by it. It is like someone waving a loss mail at me in local. I figure it is just to taunt me and make me feel bad. It does but only in the sense that someone is actively trying to hurt me. Not that I am harmed by the loss.

Loss happens. I'm sure I will lose a pod or make another very stupid decision with a clone jump. I think I'll toss these implants into a container. Maybe one day I'll have a use for them.

But I doubt I'm responsible enough to use them any time soon.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Next Stop

I came home and Tikktokk beat me about the head with mathematical equations. It was an interesting entry to the game considering my thoughts earlier today. I've never been ashamed of admitting that I am bad at Eve. I'm not technical. I'm not an engineer. I don't see the game in its numeric forms. I do things by feel, and sense, and touch. I fly the ships that feel right to me in the fits that feel right. I could not tell you why I like one more than other. The closest I have come is that they best support my reactions and interpretation of the game.

There are things that I can do in Eve but I could not explain or teach. Sometimes, I wonder if I am behind for the length of time that I have played. Seeing that Chella had ticked over 70 million skill points has left me wondering. I still find that I expect to feel something with each skill point level. Seventy million was an unheard of number at one time. It was not something that I'd ever achieve.

If it is even achieved.

Skills train in real time. I simply have to plug them in. I still have to learn how to use them and with my low activity levels this last year I am going to have to learn to use a lot of things. In my mind I am still a Jaguar pilot just kissing forty million skill points and able to reasonably fly two races of frigates and cruisers with a kissing of T2 sprinkled in.

It may be why I am so comfortable starting an alt. I don't know what to do with my mains. For years now, I've been training towards other peoples doctrines. I've been training to be the best fleet pilot that I could be. I've made money to afford whatever fit I was told to fly without flinching. I've trained so that I never had to question anything about it.

But, that's not the same as having personal goals and wants.

I was happy two years ago as a tackle pilot buzzing around in my assault frigate. Some of it was stubbornness. I know my ship of choice is not good or the best but I enjoyed it. The more people told me that my ship of choice sucked the more determined I was to fly how I wanted to. But I tempered that habit of mine of biting on and not letting go of something with reasonableness by learning things that would allow me to be useful.

Now, I'm a bit lost. I can do so many things but I don't know what I want to do with them. I can do things that I've never done so I don't even know if I like them.

Having seventy million skill points hasn't bestowed any knowledge. No magical door has opened to show me the way. It's still just me under here. Trying to figure things out.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Pausing Is Harder Than Expected

The first thing that I did was the hardest. That was taking my 70 million skill point character and pausing her training.

I made the decision to use the account easily. I had opened up a free slot by deleting a holding alt. I was determined to downsize and not just start up yet another account. However, it was when I logged in and stared at Chella that I realized stopping the skill Queue was a harder task then I had realized.

Skill Queue Online, one of Eve's most powerful controls had me firmly in its grip. I found myself feeling doubt. I felt the urge to just give in an open another account. I could taste the very bad decisions all centered around me allowing Chella to continue to train.

But, what does she do? She mostly sits logged out. She is a well trained logistics, carrier, industrial, and mining character. But I don't play her. I haven't been playing her. Her queue is full of support skills. She is currently topping off her armor compensation skills. I don't care about them and she isn't using them.

And I hate being controlled. Even by myself. So, I logged her in and shut down her skill queue. I can do dual character training if I wanted. I, however, have no need. Maybe in a few months if this project of a new combat pilot takes off. But for now, this week, maybe this month, Chella is going to sleep as an account in training.

And I made Violet Petal.

On the other side of skill training comes Violet's basic skill queue. Without adding anything and just learning all of the basics to level 5 I was at 81 days of skill training. I know that I can hover at four for several of them but it was an interesting reality. I'd be adding more skills as soon as she started the career agents.

I took some time to try Opportunities. I quite like them. Starting in space in a ship with things to look at and poke at from the start is an improvement. Since I am a post Incara Child, I was dumped into the Captain's Quarters and taught to walk around to start the game. I then undocked in a pod and had to go find and board my ship which, later as I learned Eve more, became the most ridiculous, disjointed thing.

What I did discover in opportunities is that my old bane of existence, teaching people to double click has been built into them. I was ecstatic. I felt as if I had accomplished so much. I have no idea if my ranting and raving over double clicking being a mystery helped any and I don't care. It is finally there. If I was prone to crying over things like that I'd do so.

The rest of the weekend was busy. Both IRL and in Eve. Still, I will see what I stumble into later this week on some evenings.

CSMX - Post #07

Mosaic has been a bumpy ride.

The ugliest thing was the reversion of the corporation role interface. It was an emergency reversion do to a defect. Take access was granting view access and view access take access. The news article outlines the fact that CCP will be reimbursing any corporation theft during that thirty hour window. There was an emergency CSM meeting to update the CSM on what was happening and resolution plans on Wednesday when it was discovered. I was at work so got to miss that one as well but we still discussed it in channels.

The other revision is the Title and Roles changes. The goal of theses is to have public titles and private roles. Right now there needs to be more work on the way these are viewed externally and internally. If you want everyone to know that Xerses is a POS Manager for instance that is fine but it should not be the default as it is now. Titles so that everyone knows Xerses 'loves cabbage' should not be created in the same function that Xerses is given his POS Manager powers. This is the thing being split. 'loves cabbage' should only be a role if the corporation wants it to be a role and likes obscure things. The two are intertwined right now and they don't need to be. It will allow for a neater internal structure, a purposeful created exterior view, and vanity titles for personalization.

The beta map was released as the default map. The old map is still available and the beta map can be turned off. The beta map is also still beta. The feedback from the first few days of the release alone as unearthed many usability, response, and interface problems with the map. This is a good thing and while frustrating this has to happen for us to get the map in the state that it can replace the old map. However, since they turned it on as the default there has been much confusion over the state of the map. CCP Rise posted about it. They are reading the forums and reddit but please, do bug reports as well. When you do leave feedback be detailed about it. "It is unusable," may be how you feel but the why is very important.

There are bugs in the SKIN system. People have figured them out to run around in whatever skin they want. This is being fixed. It has made people angry with CCP over the pricing and availability of the skins. In my mind, I figured pricing would be 5-10 dollars. People would be able to convince themselves to buy everything for every ship that they have. And then on their other characters too. What I do understand is why not all of the art assets are released. Some are just not done yet. The layers of graphics show incorrectly. Even if we stepped away from the topic of color choice, some of the patterns will not display properly on some hulls right now. They are still being worked on. For example, someone posted a bloodraider Nyx and it is missing the splatter pattern. Instead it was a dark grey and burgundy which was attractive but it was not the bloodraider splatter pattern.

Then there is the topic of personlization and choice. This is not a new discussion. It's been ongoing for the years that players begged for skins and access to textures that were not available. It resurged when color choice was removed from the UI. Now that Pandora's Box of Ship Skins has been opened, I don't think it will close. I think CCP will try to close it but the resentment born and desire created are not going to go away. Roleplay and lore have been cited as reasons for restrictions. I think that is one of the weaker arguments even if it is sensible in the structure of the game's world. Players have not been involved in the role play and lore of the game for years and the story sat stagnant. Many players know nothing of the fantasy world of Eve Online nor do they play for it. They play for the players and the interactions that come from playing inside of a MMO.

I'd like to see the SKIN programs pricing and choice reevaluated with the feedback and excitement that the bug has caused about colors and options. The CSM has been talking  about it to CCP. Your feedback and comments have been read. I don't yet know where this will end but I'd like it to be in a position where there are more choices.

Another ugly bug was spam clicking was causing weirdness and freezing. That is hopefully resolved but keep bug reporting if it is not.

For some long range discussion, CCP Affinity and CCP Falcon were on the Hydrostatic Podcast. They discuss lore but they also discuss the future changes to low sec and FW. Those are looking to come towards the end of the year instead of the hoped for summer.

And don't forget that CCP is running a PLEX for Good donation drive for the recent tragedy in Nepal.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Looking Under the Bed

Memories are weird things. I'm a stuff hoarder in Eve. Not because I cannot stand to get rid of things but because things remain useful. But, I find that I scatter things about the universe and wind up with memories spread all over the place. My recent spring cleaning has unearthed some.

I didn't realize I had any other Hurricane's left. I was so mad at the battlecruiser nerf that I reprocessed most of mine. While no longer angry I am still deeply disappointed in the changes and find no satisfactions in flying what I once flew. The Hurricane Fleet Issue didn't fill the gap and because of its cost it wasn't worth taking out. It was immediately primared because the ISK war is important to people and it is an expensive ship. The battlecruiser nerf is probably one of the things I am persistently disappointed about when I look back over my time so far in Eve.

I have one in Klingt that was given to me by CraftyCroc when we went to avenge someone killing me. That one has its own story and I have written about it before. This one is a mission ship. I took it to high sec when Chella got her first Oneiros and decided I'd make some money missioning. I did like four missions, got called to PvP and never went back. I've still never learned to mission correctly.

I also have the Machariel I purchased when I was six months old as a present. I paid 800mil for it and that was a steal at the time. Now, they are just over five hundred million.

I also have a stack of my starter ships still. I have the original Iteron that I did so many things in. It's now a different ship and will never be what it was. I found Sugar's hoarder as well. She spent her first few weeks of the game hauling ore for Chella back when jet canning was the way to do it.

In that pile I also have things like my first Atron for Chella and one of Sugar's original PvP Rupture's still T1 fit. That was from when she still spent time in high sec. I think I took it there for something and never brought it back.

I also found genolutions. I used the first set that I got. They were released with crucible. I got myself podded thanks to my ignorance only a few weeks later and swore off of fancy implants until I grew up. The last time CCP gave them out I hoarded them and now I have half a dozen sets or so it seems. They are in a container with my Geckos. Things that I don't really want to use but hold onto because they are valuable. To sell or to keep? I don't know.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Finding a Topic

I was thinking of Eve's spy culture the other day. That part of the game where people find out information about other people. It has its simple forms where public information is sifted and researched. Then it has its more complex forms where people gain information they'd not normally have access to. It is both fascinating and disturbing.

I once thought I wanted to be a part of it. It feels clever. It demands intelligence. It takes cunning. I think spying is very glamorous from the outside.

But then there is the inside. 

I'd be a crappy spy. I'm prone to honesty. I also don't have the competitive nature to desire to 'beat' others nor do I have the personality where people are enemies that I want to see fall. I discovered that I didn't care. If someone wanted my downfall that badly they are welcome to it. It seems odd to me but I can gather that I might make someone that mad.

The problem with playing with others is that I can't just do what I want to do. That is normally write about whatever happens to me or what I see around me. I've always taken the stance that I'd not write about other's except in vague terms unless I have permission. It lets me discuss things but not call out people. That disintegrates when it come to my corporation.

I have a lot of respect for Snuff Box. It's a big corporation that has turned into an alliance. It does a lot of things. Yet, the larger its grown and the more things that it does the less I can speak about it. It is one of those things that I never thought about until it happened. I thought I'd stay in Molden forever, after all or if not I'd be alone. Yet, there is a responsibility to being in a corporation. I am a no-name line member but even line-member's can screw things up by not thinking about what they say.

Then there is the CSM. I don't get to talk about that except in vague terms as well. The two combined, of late, have left me doing things involving Eve but not having anything that I can discuss about what I do. It's unpleasant. I'd not realized how much I enjoy going over my Eve day until I could no longer do so. It is no ones fault. I simply picked up trusts along the way and I can't violate them.

But, one bloggers woes, the entire game does not make. The spy culture in Eve has created much of the history of the game. Like many things, just because it is not for me does not make it a bad thing. It tends to make complete stories once it is done. Stories that fascinate and amaze. Yet, I do wonder what is hurt from these things. Trust is so fragile and we spin it even thinner in this game.  But something will always be gained and always be lost no matter what the choices are. That is the nature of choice after all. If Eve was a different game where these things did not exist that would be a loss while innate trust is a gain. And the darker aspects of Eve have their own appeal to both actor and viewer.

But for me? Well, Eve is a big game with plenty to do. This is probably a good time to explore what can be done with limited free time and catch up on things I need to know on a more personal level. I've been admiring Kaeda's restart program. I also need to learn opportunities. So, I'll take the free spot on Chella's account and do a little research.