Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Moment of Forgetfulness

I was pretty proud of myself. It was bedtime and I was tired but I had been productive. I had been productive during the day at home. I had meant to do a bit more in game but I was finally getting to what I needed to do. My builds would be done for the morning and I'd be right on task. I'm always pleased when I avoid the urge to not do the things that I need to get done. So, I was in warp to my tower when it hit me.

I had forgot to set the password on my freighter. I was in in warp. I was in a Charon. I was in low sec. It was not a good thing.

As my screen started to shake the adrenaline hit me. So many things can go wrong. How could I have forgotten to put the password in? Wex and I had discussed it extensively for the last few days. Yet, the first time I went to use it I relapsed into the habit of just warping to it. And memory came all to late.

I've never been quite so happy for the slow slide out of warp on a freighter. I decided that decelerating and turning around, accelerating and getting back into warp would take to long and I'd die. I always say that I live in low sec because I can die. That doesn't mean that I like it.

With fevered fingers and my senses all to aware I selected the safe log off. First, let me get the ship safe and secure. Next, I can figure out what to do. Only, it didn't work. I was still in fleet. Panic. Never had leaving a fleet been something I failed so miserably at. Why was I in my own fleet? I must hate myself. I must leave my fleet forever as soon as I am done making my jumps.

I logged out while wheezing and panting some. Why oh why could I not remember something so simple?

Then I told Wex. "Wex! Wex!" I called to him to tell him of my mistake. I'm not good at hiding these things. We decided that it was late and I was tired and we'd fix it in the morning. We could have done it then but... there is that moment when you know it is a good idea to just stop. It is that moment that stands between solving a situation and making a huge mistake that will cost a lot of ISK.

I went to bed.

In the morning, I made tea, watered my plants, and we set up to get me webbed back to station. I entered the password, made a test run with my venture, and then went and took care of business.

I feel like an idiot. Such a simple thing that, but suddenly not so simple when you are meters away from the POS shield in a freighter.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Discord

I had enough to do when I woke up this morning that I just kind of collapsed into a puddle and figured I'd try to get it done. Maybe. Then I opened Rookie Chat and started answering questions for a bit. Rookie Chat almost always improves my mood. I'm an excitement vampire I guess.
[18:07:12] Mike Azariah > Operation Magic School Bus will be handing out free fitted ships in gallente career systems today, starting with  Clellinon VI - Moon 11 - Center for Advanced Studies School where I am for the next ten min.  Watch local
[18:07:43] Aranea > Mike Azariah just to remember, you do know that advertising is forbidden in here?
Mike runs a program where he gives fitted starter ships to new players. He also has permission to advertise. It grew out of the rookie chat time from last fall. He's been quite productive with it. Seeing him scolded amused me. Especially by someone who is in rookie chat by choice. Six months ago that would have been a big deal. Now, there are people who inhabit it to help and seeing one scold another just makes me shake my head. Of course, I got scolded next for asking a question across two different lines, so some people are just scolders I guess.

I've had more then one discussion of late of these community changes. Its not universal. Heaven forbid. But something in the last two years has caused a new type of gameplay to grow and mature. Where playing Eve becomes an even more complex social experiment. It is one that I guess I am involved in. Not the CSM thing but the market.

Which is what I started writing about. Not a thoughtful post. Oh no. More a, "Oh why me moan," type of post. You see, moving that alt cancelled all of her active orders. A few hundred of them. I forgot about that part. And they have to be relisted. Also, I haven't done any restocking in a week. I've just finished my long work week and my short work week has become catchup week.

But instead, today, I dissolved into a puddle. I'll try to improve my coherency by the end of the day. I have jumps to make and thing to move.

But for now.. rookie chat is more fun.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

CSMX - Post #06

Mosaic is the name of the release on Tuesday. It may be one of my favorite release names yet. It is quite a pretty word. I'm glad of it, for CCP is trying to move away from release dates and an exact release schedule and into a release when ready approach. CCP Seagull outlines these goals in her dev blog. They still have five week windows for major updates but smaller changes that do not need to wait will start entering the game when they are ready. This is the reason for the development of Eve Updates.

For those looking for the release dates they will be:

  • April 28th
  • June 2nd
  • July 7th
  • August 25th
  • September 29th
  • November 3rd
  • December 8th

I expect someone to ask me if this concerns me or comment that they are concerned. The answer is no. The teams are filled to the gills. At the moment, I cannot stuff more into their work queue. It is a very frustrating place to be. I still have things from CSM9 that I'd like to have seen and things for CSMX that are coming up from the players, and I'm in a holding pattern on some of my pro-activity.

That is not to say that there is not information to process and feedback to give. Sov and structures are moving along. Discussions are on going. I'm greedy.

The main SKIN dev blog came out. We'll see this enter the game on Tuesday. Remember that some skins may not convert. The Victory Rattlesnake will wait for another pass and the Golden Pods will too. I've listened to a lot of feedback about SKINs. In general, people seem pleased in general. There is some disgruntlement over the weird price variations. I don't know why what is what. I am just pleased that they are not more expensive. Personally, I'd like them all to be around five dollars. That'd be my price point to buy them. The unexpected part (as in I saw it when I saw the dev blog a few days before release) was the removal of the skins they had released over the last year. Now I'll never get that blue Omen I had admired but never pressed the button for. For those able to cash in, congratulations. This is why I will never be rich. Don't forget that your skins in corp hangars will be moved to the corp headquarters deliveries.

If you are into the New Player Experience (NPE) take a moment to read CCP Rise's update on opportunities. I got to see some of these numbers back in March at Fanfest. Its made it hard to bite my tongue over how well they are doing with just the few that CCP had out at the time. We've had good discussions about them and the place of the old Tutorial Missions in the new scheme of things. This is an ongoing project and one that I'm very pleased with the direction.

"How do I get around it?" may be what I hear most often about the 2 factor authentication. Just skip the launcher. For those who have been waiting for it, its here. I remember hearing about this as something CCP needed to do when I was a newbie. It is a weird feeling of completion to see it released now.

There is a line in the patch notes that says "Standard containers in space are now also cleaned up during some downtimes, same as other space junk." The question was immediately asked what qualifies as a standard container. Some people are using floating freight containers in their wormholes. We asked and got the answer, "Small Standard Container, Medium Standard Container and Large Standard Container." Also, things floating in the POS shield are not special cased. So, anchor them or empty them. It looks like freight containers are okay this time around but I'd be personally paranoid.

Unique region and system descriptions names are missing! That is a whoops. They are working to bring them back.

CCP Falcon is also going to be looking at the character bazaar rules. If you are into buying and selling, keep an eye out for any changes. I doubt they will be dramatic.

The CSM had two meetings this week and I missed them both! One was our normal weekly meeting with CCP Leeloo. Its our touch base one and since it is every Friday and I work every other Friday, such is life. The other was sov focused and looks to have had good attendance.

I appeared on episode #94 of Declarations of War and said "I don't know" a lot about how null sec works day to day. I do still want more colors in the UI. That dream has not died.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Declarations of War #94

I was on Declarations of War's latest episode (#94) and I was quite the terrible guest. They are nice about it, but I was a bad guest. I did discover some things about myself:

-I'm only good at talking when I have a topic. Having a topic is easy enough in Eve. The problem is that I'm not good at more, casual chatter. I believe that I talk to much and find myself uncomfortable with talking without a defined goal, such as sharing a recipe.

-I hate speculating. I find that I have nothing to say when it comes to guessing what people may do. I don't know. I want to watch and observe until I do know. But, if you ask me what I think they will do I'll flounder.

-Attached to speculating comes the fact that I am an observer. I'm a lean back and watch the events go by. I'm not a major player in the greater movements in game play. The episode was very null sec focused and I realize that for everything I have learned I find myself more and more ignorant of what null sec life is like. I cannot speculate for it is unknown.

-I'm attracted to small details.

In general, I make for bad radio. I'm okay with that. I was amused at how terrible I was. Mix it with my general lack of humor and I'm a terrible and boring guest. I'm told that off the cuff stuff gives you are more honest reading. Well, the honest truth is that I'm boring. :P

I did apologize. It was nice to be invited. I wish I had been more... *waves arms* stuff.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I'm bad at pressing buttons

I spent most of the last two days being very productive. In Eve and out of it. I've had that spring cleaning bug I mentioned a few weeks ago. One of the things that I said I wanted to do was shut down two accounts. Yesterday evening, I sat down to do it before they billed for another cycle.

About a week ago I deleted an alt. I first made sure that she had nothing of value on her. I had created her as a drug runner some years ago. That career path failed for me and she has just been hanging around on my login screen. Well! She was in the way of one of the accounts that will be my primary so off to the vats she goes.

Always make sure you log that alt in and check their assets, contracts, industry jobs, personal wallet, and corp wallet. I've heard some people lose some nice assets through alt or corporation deletion.

Character deletion takes ten hours. I used to wonder why. Then I read some story of some girl deleting her boyfriends video game characters and I said, "Ahh." I forget that some people share computers or allow people they are in a relationship to access their machines. That's always surprised me. My computer is mine, like my cellphone is. I have never had the desire to go through my husbands computer or phone. Its his. But, I came to understand an entirely different world that day and the ten hour deletion made sense.

Now, I was at my desk and remembering that I needed to shut down accounts. First, I darted to account management and cancelled my subs. There is a selection for reducing the number of Eve accounts. I checked that for both. I'm glad I remembered. One sub would have renewed/ended in two days and the other in a week.

Once that was done, I deleted the alt and set up the transfer. Transferring is easy except...

First I forgot to take the character out of the corporation. This had the side effect of cancelling all her sell orders. Damn. I'll have to reset that all up in a few days.

Next, I forgot that I had her logged in.

Then... I tried to move it to the wrong account (of mine)...

Finally, I got it all working.

Yeesh. I'm amazed at how such a simple thing managed to take me 30 minutes and multiple failures.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Where is Everyone?

What is Population?

I was watching some light, verbal sparing about low secs population. I grew up in Molden Heath and the big city of the Citadel is still odd to me. I've often been told that Molden is a dead back water. I figured that I was rather active and kept myself busy and obsessed with Eve so it could not have been but so bad.  But, I do have to admit that it is busier in Sujarento then it was in Bosena.

Busy does not make for better. Just different. What you do in each area of space changes with the population. I've never understood AFK cloaking because I am a low sec resident and I expect everyone in space with me to harm me unless they are my corporation or alliance. It makes undocking a judgement call where sometimes you lost things and sometimes you do not.

But space is not dead just because the pilots we may want to populate it, do not. Non-combatants may hide under the proverbial asteroid as the sleek hunter passes by. The hunter has nothing to hunt because the prey is alert and aware and seeks the deepest most empty voids to occupy. All space does not have to be inhabited equally for it to be inhabited. As I've lived in busier space I miss an area that is more quiet. Eve's a big game and some of us like going to live on the other side of the mountain without that meaning going to wormhole space.

But, the question of where people live is popular. CCP Quant decided to answer some population graph questions posed by Dirk McGirk and give some graph porn on Twitter. He started a few days ago with 'Active Characters by Solar System Security Class'.


Gee then asked if it showed movement. CCP Quant responded with a relative change graph of active characters by solar system security class.


Mike Pegg asked if we could see a split of NPC Null and Sov Null. CCP Quant delivered.


And then because he likes Corbexx more then me, he added one of w-space by class.


I asked for FW and non-FW warfare. How best should that be split up do you think? I'll write a request which I've been meaning to do anyway. Beyond that, while not as detailed as some would like it is interesting stuff.

Monday, April 20, 2015

To Click and Click and Click Again

There was a time when I stocked TCS every other day. Now it is a weekly task. That comes from both my increased volume that stays on the market and the time that I can give it. Often, I do my buys over several days and then ship them to myself. I then do the jumps and get builds going and the market stocked. In many ways I regret the ability to respond as quickly as I used to be able to. On the other hand, Sujarento is doing quite well.

It is just a matter of time. Restocking is a lot of clicks. Clicks take time. With other conversations and things to write, it can take me a day or two to get everything restocked. Then I like to get up and take pictures of my garden or start prepping dinner and poof, the time is gone. Often, on my days off I start early in the morning and finish later in the day. It is one of the times I do enjoy voice coms as a primary mode of communication. It keeps my hands free.

I'm also becoming more adventurous. I often say that I'm not much of a market person and I'm not. I can never make calls and take risks like the big profiteers make. Instead, I'm huddled over my keyboard staring at the figures and taking a big breath to make an investment. This time, an Eos. GASP! AHHHHH Command ships are so expensive.

(Let me fan myself and calm down before I continue.)

I also have more competition in Suj. On one side, the aggressive and possessive me starts muttering about how previous the market is. On the other, I kind of wilt in appreciation because I cannot do it alone. A market is healthy with many people putting up wares. It is why I don't try to chase people out if they undercut me. I keep listing at my price and that way I know that if the other person stops listing my stuff will be available. The goal has always been to keep people supplied and out in space doing what they want.

I also have irrational thoughts like the buyers will like the other sellers more then me and not buy my stuff. Or, if people price under me that I'm a terrible and bad creature for having higher prices. It is very, very silly but I will get caught in personal feedback loops where I panic and flutter around over stupid things that don't make any sense.

The market goes. I'm trying to explore and expand a bit when it comes to my selections. Snuff has exotic tastes. The warzone has a pulse unlike Molden and it is one that I am still learning. I'm well off enough to start taking some risks. But the little, sensible voice in me still goes, "Gasp! Fifty million on that? Are you sure?"

Maybe I will out grow that one day. Until then, I'll still be shocked at those big numbers. I kind of like it that way.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

When is it?

I have recently had a weird problem with time zones. I've become so used to mentally converting for GMT that I keep doing it with PST as well. It leaves me saying spectacularly wrong meeting times. I might has written it off if I'd done it once but I've done it about three times in the last two weeks. I am thankful that I double check before rushing off but at the same time I am somewhat amused by the problem.

It is just a matter of focus. But, I never thought about time zones before Eve. I knew that they existed. I travel enough to deal with them. But, I never had a second clock on my phone to keep up with time in another country. I would stare at the clocks on the wall at some companies. They'd have clocks showing the time at major cities all over the world or places where they had offices. It very much said, "We are an international company." A form of decorative bragging rights and a subtle reminder.

But, here I am, a no one in a dead end job with time on my watch because I need to know when it is in other places. Time zones have become a regular part of my day. Of course this country is so many hours before or after us. Doesn't everyone pay attention to this?

No... no they don't. Even other games don't. They gate regions onto servers. It improves latency. The AU Eve players can speak to that. But, I wonder if I can live without the international feel and flavor of Eve in another game. The knowledge of other cultures has only improved me. Sure, I was aware of it but it is different to learn of something or even read of it and sit down with someone and figure out why a recipe is different or what one thing means.

It is warm for them and cold for me. It is light somewhere during the deepest dark here. I know these things but to listen to the complaints and wonder of the elegant complexity of the planet is another.

Time is supposed to be the fourth dimension. There are theories about. All things happen at the same time but we move through them at a set pace. That time can be conquered and traveled through, controlled and manipulated. but for me, I'm simply trying to remember what direction I am thinking in for the when I need it to be.


CSMX - Post #05

Last night was one of our local meets for the VA/MD/DC area. I add them into these weekly updates because I normally have good conversations with people about CSM stuff. Text is a beautiful medium but face time can be very useful for these topics.

We're a month into CSMX and when I saw that the alliance logo submission went live on April 15th, 2015 as promised I was ecstatic. I was also at work. About two hours later the complaints had started to roll in. The submission rules had changed. There was a lot of language about quality, type, and artistic direction. There is a grandfather clause but it is not 100%.The feedback started, the alliance number was rolled back, and the rules lawyering started.  The end answer is submit your logo. If it is rejected open up a discourse with CCP Falcon over why it was rejected. Those who visit reddit may have seen General Tso's thread for their rejected logo. I sat down with them over it and we've developed a game plan with their artist for some ideas for submission.

The end goal is to get alliance logos on ships. The submission guidelines are based around the technical needs of the image to put them onto the ship and make them look as if they belong. The artistic direction doesn't make me happy. I'm a creature of whimsy or fun. I think it can be done in a classy way. These rules are super vague and they are not going to be neatly defined. As said above, just submit your logo and if rejected take a deep breath and open up communications with CCP Falcon.

They are not opening logos to corporations.

CCP karkur dropped a hint of her latest project on twitter. It is one that I am quite pleased with and that in general I think people will find a bit of a life improvement. Coupled with the recent changes to skill queue's training plans will now be even easier.

Team Security also released a quick after Fanfest update. I'm pleased that they have been stepping forward a bit and stepping into community interaction more. There presentation is well worth the watch.

I've had some talks over my question from last week with the Market Structure and Faction Warfare's usage of it. I have gotten a lot of good opinions and will see where they lead. We were hoping to have the next soundboard with CCP Nullarbor by now but scheduling.

Steve has been all over the Fanfest shirt issue. Things are moving along. I have a reasonable task list and keeping up has become quite the challange some days. We've moved from Skype to Slack and gotten Confluence access together. CSM9 had only just started learning Confluence (minus Steve) so CSMX isn't far behind when it comes to figuring out its use.

We have started up meetings. There were two on Wednesday and I missed both because I was at work. CCP Leeloo collected all of our schedules and is trying to work in the meetings at the best time to cover as many of us as she can. I made the Friday meeting! The null guys have called for a sov meeting as well. It looks as if I will miss that one along with the Friday one next week because both are on work days. However, we have recordings and I get to come home and listen to them.

Later today, I have a pod cast that I have been invited to. I'm also going to do one of my CSM talks. I'm only holding one because I am still struggling with talking at long stretches and coughing. I looked like I had the plague at the meet last night because I have this dry, hacking cough. I sound incredible.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Musings: Wandering Absolutes

What value is there in a kill?

The value of PvP is a strange thing to me. Value in itself is a complex word. To look at Merriam-Webster's first three definitions of value (after that technical use starts creeping in):
  1. a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged
  2. the monetary worth of something :  market price
  3. relative worth, utility, or importance 
While broad in scope it is conceptually easy to grasp. It is highly personal but also easy to relate to. I may not find what you hold of value to have value but I can understand what having something valuable means to me. 

What I find fascinating is that value starts to break down quickly when it comes to PvP. Yesterday, I commented on the value of character's I will not use. Today, I debated one of the terms that I truly loathe in Eve. That is the one where people complain that what is available for them to kill does not have and value to it.  I hate hearing that. One man's useless kill may be another's first and most exciting PvP experience ever. What is valuable to you does not have to be valuable to me for it to have worth.

I think concepts like challenge get caught up in value. It is not challenging for a well equipped fleet with skills, skill points, links, and logistics to kill a lesser equipped fleet. I will hear it said that those ships are not worth killing. They are not valuable enough. And I find that we've caught up a bunch of issues into a single sentence.
  • Those ships did not harm the other person in their loss.
  • Those ships did not challenge me as a player.
  • That ship did not entertain me as an individual.
  • That ship did not entertain my fleet as a group.
  • That ship did not forward my conscious goals.
  • That ship did not forward my unconscious goals.
  • That ship did not create a new experience for me to enjoy.
All of those things make the thing not valuable. Yet, those are personal and subjective. Some people will experience it. Other's will not. Killing a frigate will be a joy to some people every time and killing a Titan will become regular to others. And as I was trying to run around proving that things are valuable to someone even if they are not to someone else I realized that the opposite was also true.

Having worked myself into a logic circle I decided to figure out what my problem was with the statement and I discovered my old enemy the absolute statement. "No one wants to kill cheap <insert ship here>." I'm reminded of the irritating thing that some teachers or parents will do. "Who is no one?" Or, to expand it and make it more personal, "Why doesn't my enjoyment count?"

Well, it does to me just not to others. I get my thrills out of team work and enjoying the company of my corp mates. If I am unhappy in my personal relationships my enjoyment of fleets immediately plummets. Other's have no interest in fleets or others and it is their own interests that motivate them. Then there is just the levels of competitive nature, those who seek to win over anything else, and everything in between, before an after, and off to the side.

There just isn't a neat package. That's my absolute statement. It is something I need to remember.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring Cleaning

This year I am spring cleaning like never before. Some of it is a rearrangement of my house. We're giving the basement room to be my husbands computer workshop and server room. I've been gardening. Its warm enough that I can get to work on projects like repainting the bedroom. Etc.

While at work today I decided to close down two of my accounts. There is no dark or sinister reason for it. It is because I am not as active as I have been and I don't need them. I've been training them for a future date when I may want them to be able to do things. Only, I've almost never used them. What kept me going was that they had TCS alts on them.

It meant deleting an alt I only used a few times. It was back when I wanted to try selling boosters in a sustainable way. I created an alt to run the goods to the buyers. That was before I fully comprehended how much I put on the line and how little I received for it. I couldn't sell those boosters for trying. The people it was suggested that I sell to ignored my efforts to supply them. It was one of my earlier efforts and I did terribly at it. I wound up with a huge back log of boosters that took me forever to get rid of. I learned a lot then. I learned that selling things directly to people in this game of stuff is incredibly hard. I learned that even having what people need at the price they wanted did not mean they'd buy it from you.

The TCS alts I will move onto other accounts and I will be down to the ones that I use constantly and use all of the characters on.

This all came from a thought about ISK and the value of things. I don't PLEX my accounts. That means I'm just paying for accounts I really don't do anything on. That seems silly. I can reactivate them later, when I want to use them. I don't have an endless supply of ISK or PLEX. I don't buy PLEX for the game. And with the CSM I have little game time and less ISK making time.

I don't think I'm abnormal in that. The average wallet amount has always been fascinating. Its often been much lower then people think. It was under a billion the last time one of those amounts surfaced. Managing ISK has always been an essential part of Eve for me. Making ISK comes easier to some than others. I've always longed to roll in the hundreds of billions but I've never been able to keep myself over ten billion liquid for longer then a week or so.

But there is an interesting disconnect for some when ISK becomes easy or ISK is part of a greater support structure. Someone has to make it. Someone has to manage it. It is nice if you can just throw it around and if it feels endless. It isn't that way for everyone. It's not that way for me. Any time I hear something is only 25 billion "don't be poor", or how a hundred PLEX is reasonable I am like, "What?"

This stuff doesn't just rain from the sky. TCS does well but I still find myself struggling to select things that will not sit but turn over. I have large amounts tied up in capital production right now. It pays itself back but it isn't instant and sometimes I grow very tired of peddling to keep things moving. Tired enough that I debate finding new ways to make money or at least not spend it.

However, that may be me. Perhaps everyone else is reeling in ISK and can spend a hundred PLEX any time it is called for. Me? I've never been quiet good enough to PLEX my accounts and not make it feel like a job. I don't want Eve to be a job. So, I'm downsizing a little bit. Breaking a few habits I've sunk into over the last year. I've been admiring Kaeda's newbie start over project. I don't think I want to go down that particular rabbit hole but I have a whole lot of projects I've wanted to do and gotten distracted before I ever got there.

So maybe. We will see.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Condensing

To continue on my line of frustrated and whiny posts, on  Saturday night I came home like the partially dead thing I often am on my long work weekends. I had to change out capital builds and I was so very, very tired and whiny about it. I was just worn out and tired and frustrated with how much went into putting a capital into build. The warping, the constant mineral counts, the endless copying that my alt does. And upon realizing what an incredibly whining fit I was having I tried to turn the direction of my post around to something productive. But I failed at that time and just didn't post what I had written.

I often try to dig down into what has me frustrated. Yesterday, its being to far outside of my comfort zone to a point where I am no longer able to be productive and start to break down. With my capital building it is all of the windows in and out of the client that I am relying on to build things.

Once, a long time ago as a new player still fascinated with Eve's windows I took a picture of what it takes to fit a ship if you have all of your various windows open. At the time I was fascinated with it. I was amused at how the windows took up the game screen but it didn't bother me so much. This time, I found that I was growing frustrated by constantly opening and closing windows that took an extended period of time to open and close to gather all of the info that I needed.

I don't have a memory for numbers. Do I need 15 Capital Armor Plates or 16? Ugh, I have to go look again. Did I take enough minerals to the POS? How many modules have I built and put into a container vs how many do I have in build and how many left to build? I find myself opining and closing windows over and over. This is coupled by loading and unloading my freighter constantly.

I wasn't quite at the point where I stomp my feed and demand to just be able to magically play the game without effort. What I did realize was that I was tired of having to go from screen to screen to screen to scroll, select, copy, search, paste, etc. There had become two aspects of work. One was the events inside of the game that I have to do or create to make what I want happen. The second is how I gathered all of the information to make those events happen. The second part was where my frustration lay.

I've come up with two ways to solve my current issue so far. One is to create infographs that just take up one page. I can take the blueprint of the end result and have it there. I can calculate the total minerals needed to create each of the capital components and have that there. The second is to use the in game notepad more.

The ingame notepad is one of those weirdly useful tools that doesn't seem as if it should be. It saves links and I'm thinking I can make a quicker, faster method of searching the market and buying items with it. What would be perfect if I could preset a link to buy a particular amount of items.

In general what I need is less tasks to break out the information that I need. When I'm in game I get tired of tabbing over to my spreadsheet and scrolling for the information needed. Then back over, some cut and pastes, back and forth. I think if I can remove this layer of frustration for myself I'll have more energy to be frustrated by the freighter movement. That needs to come in an update on Crius.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Planning a Eve Meetup

For reasons that I am not fully sure of I keep diving off the deep end when it comes to doing Eve things. This qualifies for both real life and the game. Such is the situation that I find myself in trying to plan the local meetups.

Epi cheerfully scraped this responsibility onto me last year and I've kept at it for some reason. It was much easier when he was helping but I'm trying to do it myself and I've come to the understanding that it sucks. I've always had respect for those who plan big meetups but that respect is growing into a type of awe at their godlike powers of getting things together.

One of the biggest problems is knowing how many people will go. Our meetups have been growing and people have been travelling further to come to them. That leaves a question of where will we shove everyone? At some point people have suggested tickets and RSVP and such. I shudder at that and frankly, I don't know if I want to go down that route. At the moment a headcount is a strange impossibility. I cannot fathom trying to organize beyond that.

So, I'll try to keep it neat. However, having a place that can squeeze in some 20-50 people at the drop of a hat is not as easy as one would think. Thanks to my love of my house, I only go out to have dinner. That leaves me somewhat lost as to where you go to 'hang out' with open seating. Mix in the fact that people want to drink and drinking interesting and complex alcoholic beverages are in vogue. Now you have an introverted non-drinking event planner.

None of this actually makes sense.

That didn't stop me. Last time we went to the Dogfish Ale House in Falls Church. We are going to do that again. I've spent the last few weeks looking at places and visiting a few. None really were much different from the others. So, today I decided to try contacting the place we went last time to see if we could use their back room.

My talk with the manager first made me feel like an idiot. He was polite but I was somewhat incoherent as I tried to babble out my needs. He told me that people always plan for groups of like 30 and only 12 show up. How people have to get their kids or have family things happen. I decided not to explain to him that I had a bunch of video game lovers travelling from hours away to come hang out together. Quickly, I realized that he might not understand how normal this is for me so I just let him talk.

He said it was okay for us to overwhelm the bar. We did so last time and while we felt a bit guilty, it didn't stop us. So, I've had a few tables reserved for us for about 15 people and then hes happy to let us over whelm the bar. With the improved weather we can also spend more time outside. I decided to just go for it. Maybe we will only have fifteen people. Who knows.

But ugh. RSVP would be lovely but I've learned not to expect that to happen.

Anyway, there is a forum thread up. I just built the event on Eve Meet but I have no idea if I did it properly. I did move the meetup back an hour to start at five. This gives us a nice sold chunk of chatting time before we have to head home for the night.

This really isn't an easy task to plan these things, nor is it fun. It is very much not my kind of thing. I'm glad people have enjoyed themselves so far. I'm just not the gathering/hostess type of person. If this goes well I'll reevaluate. I'm locked in until I give away all the stuff I brought back from Iceland. One way or another I'm even more amazed at those who put togehter events and get people to actually RSVP and such.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

CSMX - Post #04

CSMX got full access to CCP this week and the shared CSM/CCP channel has been buzzing along. Later, it may slow down. Confluence access is not yet together/ For now, after being pent up for some weeks there is a lot to say. With no confluence what is being said would normally go into a longer form post. And a lot of what is being said is about structures.

Sov is puttering along the development path for June. The null sec guys are all over it and the takeover mechanics as well as structures. I know that the structure team has not been commenting in the threads. They have been reading them and going over the ideas, insights, and comments laid out. I'm hoping to see the follow up round soon.

One question that I have been asking players in and familiar with faction warfare is market hubs in locked down systems. These hubs will be attackable. Is that content enough to allow the enemy faction(s) to access market items in a system they cannot dock in?

Cruiser burners are on Sisi but they are not in their finished state yet. Special thanks to Abavus Durden who has been playing with them. Having Sisi only give burners has been asked for and it will be happening.

I've also had a few sit downs about SKINs as people double check what is supposed to happen when the application goes live. As I understand it, if you have a BPC of a skin right now that will turn into a token for a license. That license will be an item you can sell or use. If you have a skinned ship that ship will turn into a token and a vanilla hull.

There is a thread about the damage control icon change. Some people hate it. Some love it. Many are indifferent. I feel kind of sad. I thought the medical kit was cute. It also made sense to me and I liked the idea of bandaging my ship. The new icon has the redeeming feature of being blue. However, it is not an object like so many other icons. Its more a symbol or logo. That, more than anything else, is throwing me off. It just doesn't fit into the module row.

I'm still catching up to e-mail and eve-mail. I know that I am behind. I've had a lot of challenging questions and ideas thrown at me and I've not been at my best these last few weeks. I'm much more recovered and beyond a lingering and persistent cough, about up to speed finally. It will be nice when my voice comes back. As for those mails, they will all be answered, I beg patience in this.

When it comes to interacting, I'm going to try to attack Eve Uni coms next Sunday. I'm still planning on a local meet up next Saturday. It conflicts with another one but that may not be so bad. I've been struggling with the where to hold it and I just give in and we will go back to the same ale house as last time and then go from there.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Don't Press Rewind

"But think of the newbies!"

I like new players bunches. However, we also have veteran players in this game. While often referenced to as bittervets, not all of them are bitter. Many are. Even as I write this I am extracting myself from a conversation in Eve Uni chat with a 2008 player who is systematically hating on changes that have happened. It's enough to spoil an thoughtful evening as thick layers of venom and distaste are heaped all over every topic. But, bittervets are one of Eve's fascinating things. In a game that has been puttering along for twelve years, what do our veteran players mean in the game?

At the end of last year, CCP released six million trial account names. It was the first such purge. Before then, if you created an account in Eve you always had that account to come back. I agree with unsubscribed trial account names being cleaned up. However, some have been left with the taste for more. They are sniffing around other names to free and suggesting that corporation names receive the same treatment.

One of Eve's beauties is that you can always return to it. If I were to walk away today and come back in two years, my stuff would be here. Names might have changed. Rebalancing may have happened. Values may have gone up or down. But, I'd still have my stuff. There is no great expansion nerf as it seems to happen in WoW where everything becomes useless with the new hotness injected into the game.

Veteran players are part of retention, too. The person who, accidentally, first set me down this path tends to subscribe once a year. He lasts from 1-3 months and then quits again. I have commentors who check in on the state of the game. Some resub. They are able to pick their lives back up, for the most part, and start again. It even leads to the habit of shutting everything down and mothballing ones assets in a secure place. When interest returns or life settles down, things can be picked up and the game restarted.

Being who I am, I'm a fan of both options. I love new players. Yet, I also feel that our experienced players have a valued, and vested interest. It is an odd line to walk. I've upset some by pushing for exploration changes that have opened up content. I've been told that it is devalued because it is not special enough anymore. And there is the eternal argument that CCP is creating for someone else, anyone else, who is not 'me' and my play style.

It leaves a complex path to lay. A future for new players and one for old. Some argue that older players should be ignored for newer. That time should not wrap around incentivizing those that have been here or are here but instead focus on bringing new blood into the game. Let the past be the past and the future be what it may. The players of today will never know the Eve that was. I think that is a great thing. Eve's past is one that we can try to do the impossible. Learn from history and not repeat the mistakes.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Maybe I don't make sense

There is a point, somewhere in the depths of Eve Online, where the game is a science fiction universe born out of creativity and imagination. 

I like science fiction. I also like fantasy. In general, I enjoy taking the rules and turning them upside down. I love epics that recreate history and I enjoy new worlds where they play a balance between fiction and science using science and the general aspects of the unknown. I have times when I have to suspend my knowledge to accept older fantasy. Such is the case with "In Conquest Born" where they have a fertility problem. These days you'd just use surrogate and do DNA tests to make sure that people are pure of blood, but the book was written in the late eighties and there are allowances that must be made.

When I first logged into Eve I logged into a new world. I'd need to learn about it. What and where things were. Who people defined themselves as. A part of my mind was automatically assigned to the task of learning the game and learning the game was not just about technical things such as how to move my ship and firing guns. Learning the game was learning names and spaces. It is mispronouncing system names like I'm paid to do so. Now, I can discuss things with such comprehensive ease that I have to back up and make sure that I write them out in a way that someone not as familiar with the information could maintain a basic understanding.

But for some reason, "making sense" is the fall back argument for many, many things in Eve. From the first round of tiericide to suggestions on removing racial fuel types and general homogenization. It doesn't "make sense" is used. And, when I hear that I just stare. Not much makes sense. My avatar is an overly attractive immortal that submerged in a organic fluid that supports her metabolic functions as she interfaces with a spaceship as large as a city to run off and shot pirates in a place far from the birth of her origin species in space and time. 

It is also used as a catch all for design decisions and game play that feels cumbersome and sub optimal. Yes, there are four racial fuel types. How does it not make sense? If I go to the gas station I have four fuel types of choose from. Does it not make sense because it involves having to make choices and move more things? Would a single type make things easier? Sure, but does it make it more sensible?

It's a thinner line then it seems. It is one of those wandering paths that leads wherever you take it. At the end of the day the game doesn't make sense. For some, spending their evening playing a game doesn't make sense. And it can expand out into infinity... but really we're rolling it back up into how ti relates to Eve.

To go back to the fuel example. An Amarr tower takes Amarr fuel blocks. That is understandable. If you tell someone unfamiliar with the mechanic they may not know what an Amarr but the relationship is easy to make. Now, An Amarr jump capable ship requires helium isotopes. That isn't directly intuitive but all Amarr jump capable ships require helium isotopes. Okay, there is a pattern that one can follow, learn, and understand. I don't need to know why. I don't need to understand what about jump technology means that they need isotopes. Nor would changing them from isotopes to gasoline cause jump fuel to 'make more sense'. In fact, we'd argue about gasoline vs petrol.

Of course, most things become understandable after a while. Missile names for instance are known by missile users. They are still a mystery to me. I understand the damage types through the colors. But, if I were to decide to use missiles I'd understand what missile did what without them needing them be toned down to thermal heavy missile. That's where I feel we sometimes get tied up in the argument of what does and does not make sense. Do we base things off of common, current vernacular of our day to day lives or do we use pattern recognition and consistency? How much does a fictional world come into play?

Maybe, I am to much the dreamer willing to sink into what is and work with it. I love the fictional aspects of the game. I didn't think that was odd but of late I've started to wonder if it is. Perhaps, fictional tastes have deviated and I've not caught up. It may just be that I'm still caught in my father's stacks of paperback novels from the 50s and 60s.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cosplay

I've been taking some easy, Eve days and I am glad that I have. CSMX got the CCP/CSM channel sorted out the other day and there has been a lot of chatter. I've been very caught up and distracted.

In the meantime!

We were given our prizes from the cosplay contest at Fanfest today. I now have a bunch of clothing on Sugar including a maroon set of tshirts that don't appear on the market. I noticed that woman's clothing and men's clothing sell for different prices. The woman's clothing tends to be more expensive. I find that amusing.

I enjoyed making my jacket and my little outfit. I'd like to do so again if I go to Fanfest next year. I've also Eve Vegas to think of. That is if there is a cosplay portion. It'd be fun if there was. It'd fit in in Vegas. I was so nervous walking through Reykjavik in my Minmatar jacket with my heavy makeup on and my braids. In Vegas, I'd not stand out. Not when a black Batman rides by on a bicycle and Chewbacca is talking to Bumblebee under the neon sign for a casino.

I need a sewing machine. I am not the greatest seamstress but I can put basics together. I'd love to learn embroidery as well but that may be stretching things a bit. I have to think about it.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Letter's From the Past

In my list of goals for this summer I've mentally jotted down finishing my History of Eve Expansion series.  I'm up to Incarna's release and shall soon dive into its after effects.

Eve's history has taught me a lot about the game. It has changed my perceptions more than anything else I have done. Hindsight is a beautiful thing and the past is meant to be learned from. All the knowledge that you know can be mixed with what you learn to develop fascinating pictures of things you did not directly know but upon retrospect are clear.

But that is the serious side of things. The other side, the side that would be hardest for me as a new player to uncover, is the rest of the history. The small things that existed and then changed. It is things as small as the text in the Tutorial's changing. The gruff and often sarcastic humor of the original writers has changed and will change more. Or if the movement that 'gamer's can't read' is fully embraced will vanish for other forms of stimulation.

I like history. I've always been fascinated by the past. I discovered I had a love of old books when I found the small science fiction section of my high school. It was only a single, two level shelf. There, I picked up books that had last been checked out a year or two after the school was opened. That was twenty years before I plucked them off the shelf to see their date  stamps from before my birthday. I think that is when my flood gate for history that you can touch and feel opened.

My dive into Eve's history started as a whim that has grown. Now and then, I am fortunate that some older players share the early history of the game with me. Ancient history in Eve is old in video game terms. I am always excited when I meet players who have been here since the games early days. I don't always do my due diligence and check to see if someone is older then dirt. In a way, that makes it even better when they still enjoy the game and lack bitterness that would automatically have me checking to see their start date.

Alexander get's that title today. He sent me a loss mail from 2004 and one from 2006 which I am allowed to share. I think that they are cute. I know some people would tire of the message but I think I would giggle when I read it and then beg to be able to customize it.

Clone activated
From: Alexander Imperator
Sent: 2004.10.12 01:18
To: Alexander Imperator
Well, since you are reading this, I guess we screwed up, and I died.
Luckily I had invested in a Grade A Clone at Fobiner VII - Moon 13 - Civic Court Tribunal, that clone would be you.
Seems like the clone paid off, no skill points were lost in the reanimation process. Let's hope that I remembered to insure my valuables.
Note to self: Beware of EveOwner ID: 177858806, "OmegaTron". They seem to be out to get us.
We still call kill reports kill mails because once upon a time, before my birth, when the universe was still young and innocent, they were mails like this.

And then they changed.

Clone activated
From: Alexander Imperator
Sent: 2006.03.01 05:30
To: Alexander Imperator
So you died? Well you have a Clone Grade Omicron at Allebin VI - Federal Navy Academy School station. Enjoy your afterlife.
Eventually they evolved into our current kill reports. Those have been refined as well. Pod kills now show implants. Capitals that self destruct now leave loss mails if players have attacked them. The later has been added since I played. Many a capital kill is recorded only by my own words and battle reports in this blog.

I like the good matured fun of things. I know that Eve is a serious game and it has to appear fresh and polished to compete. That is what I tell myself at least even as I watch things like the damage control icon change because it is silly and does not belong. Sure, it is silly, but sometimes that is fun and joyful. Eve is a harsh game but that does not mean it must be dark and somber and without character or humor. Those qualities can still be possessed in the modern day.

That is an argument I am losing. So, I'll preserve history. I'll enjoy these things I never knew and I will miss the things that have come and gone.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

CSMX - Post #03

Welcome to Easter weekend. It's been quiet. CSMX has their NDA's signed but confluence access will not hit until next week it looks like. CCP's also out on a five day holiday breaking up this week and next week with a bit of quiet time.

It is not too quiet, however. CCP snuck in an o7 show in Wednesday instead of their previous Thursdays. This was on April 1st which caused some people to be disgruntled but the information released was rather true.

First, thank you to Gorski Car for finding the argument that got us battlecuriser warp speed buffs. It also came up a lot during fanfest. This has been a nonstop point of contention and I am thrilled to see some changes. I know that some will ask for the old Hurricane back, but we're not getting that. The warp speed improvements, will I hope, provide some needed quality of use that can get these ships back out a little bit more.

There is also the Entosis Link #2 thread. This is showing changes. There is stront use and module stats that will stop trollceptors from being a thing. CSMX has had several internal discussions about this. The feedback the null sec guys have been getting has been very good and I expect them to hit the ground running with this subject as soon as their access opens the rest of the way.

There is also a T3 Destroyer nerf incoming. I've had a lot of people pounding the drum that they are just to good. Fozzie said it at Fanfest. The nerfs should address some of that. Some feel the Confessor nerf is to strong. They are still allowed in small faction warfare complexes. I will continue to touch bases with Faction Warfare members and see how the state of small complexes is after the changes. I've received a lot of mixed feedback on T3D in small complexes so it is something I have to keep on top of.

I've had a few corp little things brought to me of late. I've punted everyone to CCP Punkturis' thread. It's not that I don't love you, its that she monitors her thread and posting in it is the best way to get there right now.

If you haven't been to the test server and you don't mind going, go. There are a lot of new things. I went and played with SKINs the other day and wrote up a post about them. I like them a lot. It is a more flexible and entertaining system. I'm the girl that scavenges for coins in Diablo to dye my gear. I can see myself making ISK to buy skins to make all of my ships blue if they can be blue.

Module tiericide is also coming to Damage Control Units it looks like. I'm sure that it is there for other modules as well but damage control units are one that will affect most of our PvP fits. Please test them out and give feedback. Or at least, be prepared to change fits and potentially lose ISK as the market changes for some of the more rare types.

The new burner missions are also starting to come out. They will be added as the team has the time so don't be surprised not to see all of them at once. More burners has been requested from the release of the first ones and I'm pleased to see them hitting the test server now. I don't know if they are going to do a hack as they did last time so that people could do only burner missions. I've asked about it.

Things should start picking back up when CCP gets into the office. For now I'm trying to put together a local meet on the 18th of April in the Maryland, Virginia, DC area. I'm also looking to restart my monthly talks on the following Sunday. Corbexx and I will hopefully have a wormhole structure soundboard announced in the next week or so as well.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Little Deck Garden

A non-Eve post. It involves going outside but only as far as my deck which is still attached to the house.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Show a little SKIN

There I was, hovering in space. The lurid golden green glow of the incursion was not making my day. The test server is supposed to be a place for fun and experimentation. Instead I was frustrated and committing insurance fraud and only after I had taken that little step into darkness I realized that I no longer lived in Molden Heath.

Let me explain in this incredibly image heavy post.